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Matt Hancock thankful to Muslims

for staying home during Ramadan

UK coronavirus death toll rises to 18,738 as 616 more lives lost.

Indian 3, Pakistani 2 and Bangladeshi 0.6 percent among fatalities

Nation special report

LONDON: While extending Ramadan greeting to Muslim community, Health Secretary Matt Hancock was thankful to them for cooperating and following government’s advice and lockdown regulations.

In a regular daily briefing at 10-Downing Street on Thursday (April 23), he thanked British Muslims for staying at home over Ramadan, which begins today. “I know how important the daily Iftar (breaking fast) is, how important communal prayers are at night, and how important the Eid festival is,” he said.

“Thank you for making major changes to these vital parts of your practice,” he says, adding: “Ramadan Mubarak.” (Happy Ramadan), he greeted.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock

Detailing the anti-corona measures, Matt Hancock said that they are putting the infrastructure in place now so we can roll out contact tracing on a large scale and they are testing the new NHS contact tracing app.

Test track and trace is “vital” to stop the virus, he says. “If you become unwell, you’ll be able to tell NHS with this app and then this will send an alert to other users,” he says.

This week the “biggest antibody studies we have ever seen” begin, Hancock says – it is a joint project with the Office for National Statistics and the University of Oxford. 

He says 25,000 people will take part in the first phase and there are plans to expand it further over the next 12 months. “If you are asked to take part in vital research for this country… If you get a letter, please respond as soon as you can,” he says.18,000 people will be hired to help trace coronavirus infections.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said from today (Thursday) employers of essential workers and their families will be able to go on the government’s website to get a coronavirus test for any of their staff who one. “From tomorrow, any essential workers who need a test will be able to book an appointment on gov.uk themselves directly,” he says.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock started by saying: “We must retain our resolve and follow social distancing rules – they are working.

“To lift the measures too soon and to risk a second peak will be a mistake and undo all the hard work that has been done.”

It would be bad “for nation’s health and economy”, he says.

He goes on to say testing capacity has increased “ahead of our times” to 51,000 a day – but still short of 100,000 a day target.

Britain’s Covid-19 death toll in hospitals rose by 616 to 18,738 in the 24 hours to 4pm on April 22, the health ministry said on Thursday. That is the lowest weekday increase since the start of the month.

“As of 9am 23 April, 583,496 tests have concluded, with 23,560 tests on 22 April. 425,821 people have been tested of which 138,078 tested positive,” the health ministry said.”As of 5pm on 22 April, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 18,738 have sadly died.”

NHS England has announced 514 new deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 16,786.

Separate figures from NHS England, using data up to 5pm on April 21, show that of 16,272 patients in hospitals in England who had tested positive for Covid-19 at time of death, 74.1% were of white ethnicity, 15.7% were of BAME ethnicity and 0.7% had mixed ethnicity.

The remaining 9.4% had no stated or identifiable ethnicity.

Figures do not add up to 100% due to rounding.

The 15.7% figure for BAME ethnicity breaks down as:
Indian 3.0%
Pakistani 2.0%
Bangladeshi 0.6%
Any other Asian background 1.5%
Caribbean 2.8%
African 1.8%
Any other black background 0.9%
Chinese 0.4%
Any other ethnic group 2.7%