Coronavirus ‘under control’ but ‘vigilance’ needed • Covid briefing @BBC News live – BBC

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Today’s coronavirus briefing by the UK government has just finished. Here are some of the key points from the news conference:

• Health Secretary Matt Hancock said England’s national restrictions have been “really tough” on everyone – but the “good news is they’ve been working” and the virus is back under control

• He cited a study from Imperial College London which says coronavirus infections in England have fallen by about a third during lockdown

• Testing people in the community to identify asymptomatic infections is the way forward, Hancock added, urging people to take a test if they’re offered one as they might “save a life”

• He said the next stage of the government’s mass testing plans will be to offer widespread Covid testing to parts of England in tier three, to give them “a way out of the toughest restrictions”

• Hancock also urged university students to take a test if they’re offered one before they travel home for Christmas, but defended the fact that mass testing of students is not mandatory

• Prof Stephen Powis, the national medical director of NHS England, added that a recent fall in coronavirus cases across the UK is now beginning to have a knock-on impact on reducing the number of people in hospital with Covid-19, and he urged people to remain vigilant to help those numbers to “continue to fall”

• But Powis warned that the NHS is always at its busiest in January, February and March so it is “crucial” that the virus remains under control into the new year to reduce the pressure Covid adds on the health service

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BBC News Live | Coronavirus Press Conference | UK Government Press Briefing | BBC

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In This Story: COVID-19

Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

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