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Foreign Secretary says number of confirmed coronavirus cases is in steady decline

By Scott Maclennan

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Downing Street briefing.
Downing Street briefing.

The government is hoping to avoid a second peak of coronavirus cases but it planning for emergencies Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.

At today's Downing Street briefing Mr Raab revealed the death toll now stands at 34,796 – a rise of160 from yesterday.

He said 100,678 tests had been either carried out or dispatched, with 67,409 people actually tested, revealing 2684 new cases of the virus since yesterday.

The number of people in hospital with coronavirus currently stands at 9408, down 13 per cent on the same time last week.

Mr Raab said: "It is a challenging time and as we chart the right course over the weeks and months ahead, our overriding priority remains to save lives, whilst also preserving livelihoods and allowing people to return, over time and as and when it’s safe, to something resembling a more normal way of living."

After a loss of senses of taste or smell were added to the list of potential symptoms of coronavirus today, questions were aksed abut why this had not been done earlier.

England's deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said it took time to “do some very careful analysis” to give good advice.

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