Coronavirus in UK live blog as it happened: Queen to address the nation | Nurses among latest victims
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Coronavirus live blog, April 3
Last updated: Friday, 03 April, 2020, 17:42
Death toll increases by 684
Rishi Sunak is holding a Q&A on Twitter
New York records steep rise in deaths
Health Secretary set to take press briefing
Matt Hancock is to take today's press briefing.
This will take place at 5pm.
Hancock: 'Stay at home'
Matt Hancock is speaking now
He underlines how important it is that "we stay at home".
He pays tribute to two nurses and two healthcare assistants who have died in the past 24 hours.
7,000 NHS staff tested
He talks of how inspiring it was to see the combined effort of key workers at the opening of the Nightingale Hospital.
He details that over 7,000 NHS staff have been tested for Covid-19. He adds that 26m PPE products were delivered to 281 different organisations yesterday.
2,000 critical care beds are free before the addition of Nightingale hospital capacity
Three clinical trials underway
The Health Secretary explains tht three national trials have been launched covering the three major stages of the disease.
These are primary care, hospital care and critical care.
The hospital care trial is "the largest of its kind in the world”.
Good weather warning
Matt Hancock says that some parts of the country are set for warm weather but insists that members of the public must stay at home.
He underlines that this is an instruction and not a piece of advice.
Stay at home for the nurses who lost their lives
NHS Trust Manager Ruth May is speaking now.
She pays tribute to nurses who lost their lives in the fight against Covid-19 and asks that we stay at home for them.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van Tam is speaking now
He highlights that the country has seen a promising decline in transport use.
He also outlines that hospital admissions are increasing and says that this means it's significant that we stay at home.
He returns to the medical trials which Matt Hancokc referenced earlier. He said that 926 patients have enrolled in the Recovery trial, which he describes at astonishing.
Van Tam outlines that treatments being tested include the use of HIV medication and anti-malarials.
He said it could be "a few months" until it is known if these treatments are effective.
Peak could be 10 to 11 days away
The trio are taking questions now.
Jonathan Van Tam says we don't know when the peak will be, but says that the more the public adhere to social distancing the sooner the peak will come.
He says we aren't "anywhere close" to the NHS' capacity being overrun.
Matt Hancock says he lost his taste, but it returned
Asked about his own symptoms, Matt Hancock says he temporarily lost his sense of taste, but it returned.
Van Tam says that there is anecdotal data that suggest that a proportion of people do lose their sense of taste and smell.
He says that symptom on its own is not typical of coronavirus.
Covid-19 patients needed for trial.
On clincial trial recruitment Van Tam says physicians in charge of Covid-19 patients need to sign up for the clinical trial and then approach patients to ask for their consent.
He says we "need" people to sign up the trials.
Italy death toll
17.5m antibody tests ordered
Matt Hancock repeats that 17.5m antibody tests have been ordered but these will only be paid for if they can be used. He says that no G& country has yet found one that works.