London: In his first briefing to the nation after recovering from the novel coronavirus, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the country was at the moment of maximum risk in the pandemic, and urged people not to lose patience with the ongoing lockdown.
Speaking outside No 10 after he returned to Downing Street, Johnson said “we are now beginning to turn the tide” on the disease, the BBC reported.
The Prime Minister said he understood concerns from business-owners who were impatient to end the lockdown, but said: “I refuse to throw away all the effort and sacrifice of the British people,” and risk a second peak of the outbreak which could lead to “economic disaster”.
He said there were “real signs now that we are passing through the peak” – including with fewer hospital admissions and fewer COVID-19 patients in intensive care.
Johnson said the UK has “so far collectively shielded our National Health Service (NHS)” and “flattened the peak” – but he could not yet say when or which restrictions would be lifted to ease lockdown, the BBC reported.
As of April 27, the official COVID-19 death toll for the UK has increased to 20,795, with a total of 154,037 cases.