Boris Johnson: ‘We Are Past the Peak of This Disease’

By CNSNews.com Staff | April 30, 2020 | 6:10pm EDT
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(CNSNews.com) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a televised address today in which he told the people of the United Kingdom that they are “past the peak” of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I can confirm today that for the first time we are past the peak of this disease,” Johnson said. “We are past the peak and we are on the downward slope.”

At the same time, however, Johnson warned that the United Kingdom must not turn away from the safeguards that are needed to make sure it does not “run slap into a second and even bigger mountain” in a second COVID-19 outbreak.

Johnson noted at the beginning of his speech that Great Britain had conducted 901,905 coronavirus tests, which included 81,611 on Wednesday. As a result of those tests, 171,253 individuals were discovered to be coronavirus positive. 26,711 had died from the disease, Johnson reported, and 15,043 were currently in the hospital. (The U.K., which has a population of approximately 65.7 million according to the CIA World Factbook, is about one-fifth the size of the United States, which has a population of approximately 332.6 million.)

“Today, the number of COVID hospital admissions is falling,” Johnson said.

“The number of patients in ICU is falling,” he said.

“We’ve so far succeeded in the first and most important task we set ourselves as a nation: to avoid the tragedy that engulfed other parts of the world,” Johnson said.” Because at no stage has our NHS been overwhelmed. No patient went without a ventilator. No patient was deprived of intensive care.”

“It’s thanks to that massive collective effort to shield the NHS that we avoided an uncontrollable and catastrophic epidemic, where the reasonable worst-case scenario was 500,000 deaths,” said Johnson.

“And, so, I can confirm today that for the first time we are past the peak of this disease,” he said. “We are past the peak and we are on the downward slope.”

Here is a transcript of parts of Boris Johnson’s speech on British progress in fighting COVID-19:

Boris Johnson: “Across this country, therefore, families everyday are continuing to lose loved ones before their time. We grieve for them and with them. But as we grieve we are strengthened in our resolve to defeat this virus to get this whole country back to health, back on its feet, and we are determined urgently and in particular to overcome those challenges that in the last few weeks have been so naughty and so infuriating. I’m not going to minimize the logistical problems we have faced in getting the right protective gear to the right people at the right time both in the NHS and in care homes, or the frustrations that we have experience in expanding the number of tests.

"But what I can tell you is that everyone responsible for tackling these problems, whether in government or the NHS or Public Health England, local authorities, we are throwing everything at it. Heart and soul, night and day, to get it right—and we will get it right and we are making huge progress. And I will not underrate the work and achievement of those who are dealing with global shortages in a global pandemic. They are rising to a challenge we have never seen in our lifetimes.

“And the same can be said of the entire people of this country: staying in enforced confinement, not seeing family, not seeing friends or grandchildren—worrying about their jobs and the future.

“And, so, my message to everyone again today is your effort and your sacrifice is working and has been proved to work. Today, the number of COVID hospital admissions is falling. The number of patients in ICU is falling. We’ve so far succeeded in the first and most important task we set ourselves as a nation: to avoid the tragedy that engulfed other parts of the world. Because at no stage has our NHS been overwhelmed. No patient went without a ventilator. No patient was deprived of intensive care. We have five of the seven projected Nightingale wards. And it’s thanks to that massive collective effort to shield the NHS that we avoided an uncontrollable and catastrophic epidemic, where the reasonable worst-case scenario was 500,000 deaths.

“And, so, I can confirm today that for the first time we are past the peak of this disease. We are past the peak and we are on the downward slope.

“And we have so many reasons to be hopeful for the long term. The U.K. is leading international efforts to find a vaccine. Today, Oxford University has announced a partnership with Astrazeneca to develop what they believe could soon be a means of inoculating ourselves against this disease. But until this day comes—and I’m afraid we cannot say exactly when it may be—we are going to beat this disease by our growing resolve and ingenuity.”

.....

“We must all make sure that the measures we take do not risk a second spike that would overwhelm the NHS. We have come through the peak. Or rather we’ve come under what could have been a vast peak--as though we’ve been going through some huge alpine tunnel. And we can now see the sunlight and pasture ahead of us.

“And, so, it is vital that we do not now lose control and run slap into a second and even bigger mountain.”

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