Boris Johnson hosted a coronavirus news conference at 10 Downing Street today.
At the podium, the UK prime minister said there is nothing in the scientific data currently to indicate that the planned roadmap for reopening the economy and ending lockdown restrictions will have to change.
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He said: “I see nothing in the data now that makes me think we are going to have to deviate in any way from the roadmap - cautious but irreversible - that we have set out.”
While Johnson warned that scientists are "firmly of the view there will be another wave of COVID at some stage this year" and we "cannot delude ourselves that COVID has gone away", he added that the country must “learn to live” with the virus.
He announced plans to help defend against and cope with the virus, including an antiviral taskforce which will aim to make “promising new medicines” available later this year.
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Examples include pills that you can take at home if you contract COVID-19 which will reduce the likelihood of becoming severely ill, and a pill that could stop you becoming infected from the virus if you live with someone who has tested positive.
Dr Nikita Kanani, medical director of primary care for NHS England, also spoke at the news conference, stating that the vaccination programme is going from “strength to strength”. She noted that vaccination rates are rising among more wary communities, noting uptake is now four times higher in the Pakistani community and five times higher in the Bangladeshi community.
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Although lockdown looks set to lift as planned, festival season could still be in doubt with an industry body announcing large-scale events will be forced to cancel without a government-backed insurance scheme, with events such as Shambala and Boomtown already cancelling their 2021 editions for this reason.
BREAKING: Prime Minister Boris Johnson says scientists are "firmly of the view there will be another wave of COVID at some stage this year", and announces a new taskforce to search for "promising new medicines" to fight coronavirus.— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 20, 2021
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