Priti Patel today slammed ‘extraordinarily dangerous’ drivers hitting speeds of up to 151mph as they use Britain’s quieter roads as their ‘personal race tracks’.
The home secretary revealed one covidiot was clocked at 151mph on the M1 while another raced through a 40mph zone at 134mph in London.
Speaking at the daily Downing Street press briefing, she impressed on the public the seriousness of obeying the lockdown at this critical stage in the pandemic.
But she remained tight-lipped over when restrictions will begin to be eased despite mounting clamour for the government to publish an exit strategy.
The senior minister, who confirmed the UK’s death tally has surpassed the bleak 20,000 milestone, praised the majority of Britons who are observing social distancing.
Yet as another warm weekend saw people pour into parks across the country, Ms Patel scolded the rule-breakers and said police officers were ‘putting themselves at risk to ensure that people follow the life-saving instruction to stay at home’.
Lashing out at wreckless drivers heaping more pressure on frontline emergency services, she added: ‘We’ve seem speeds of up to 151mph clocked on the M1 and 134mph in 40mph zone in London.
‘Police and fire (services) continue to put their arms around people and our communities by taking people shopping and taking prescriptions to the elderly.
‘Driving ambulances and supporting those in need throughout this difficult time – I’m immensely grateful to each and everyone of our emergency service heroes.’
Her hard-hitting message to the country was slightly undermined by a remark proudly revealing a drop in shoplifting – Twitter quickly pointed out many shops have been shuttered.
The home secretary (pictured today) said in London one Covidiot was racing at 134mph in a 40mph zone
Ms Patel also paid tribute to the South Yorkshire Police motorcyclist Matt Lannie, who was killed as he responded to an emergency earlier this week
As the home secretary doubled down the government’s call to stay at home:
- It is estimated that as many as 5,000 people normally expected in casualty in the same time period have simply not turned up;
- Key workers including frontline NHS staff have spoken of their frustration after places for a coronavirus test ran out within just an hour of the site opening today;
- Ambulance emergency response times are their worst on record, causing heart attack victims to wait two hours on average, sometimes with fatal consequences;
- The World Health Organisation said there was currently ‘no evidence’ that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second coronavirus infection;
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was ill with the virus, is preparing to return to Downing Street on Monday;
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak is drawing up measures to enable businesses to reopen in a ‘safe and practical way’;
- Councils agreed to reopen 340 parks and green spaces following Robert Jenrick’s timely intervention;
- Care home bosses have blamed the sector’s soaring death toll on government guidance telling hospitals to discharge elderly residents to free up beds;
- The NHS is launching a new campaign to make sure people seek urgent care during a medical emergency after visits to A&E dropped by almost 50 per cent this month;
- Labour is criticising the inclusion of Dominic Cummings in a secret group advising the Government on the coronavirus crisis amid concerns political appointees are breathing down the necks of scientists;
- Low cost airline Wizz Air said it would restart some flights from London’s Luton Airport on May 1;
- Many who are seriously ill and awaiting life-saving operations or treatment are being turned away by doctors who fear their patients may catch the virus on the wards of our beleaguered hospitals
It comes as transport use in the country has started to creep up amid sunnier weather and people getting restless from being shut in their homes for a fifth straight week
Another graphic issued at today’s government daily press briefing showed the Apply mobility trends data for the UK. The number of requests for directions involving walking, driving or public transport has decreased over the past month and a half
Get patients back into Britain’s deserted hospitals: New figures show number of people visiting UK’s A&E wards down by half this month
The NHS is launching a new campaign to make sure people seek urgent care during a medical emergency after visits to A&E dropped by almost 50 per cent this month.
Health officials are worried many people are not seeking treatment because they fear contracting Covid-19, thereby jeopardising their survival and potentially becoming collateral damage to the virus.
Recent research found four in 10 people are too worried about being a burden on the NHS to seek help from their GP.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens stressed the NHS is still there for non-Covid patients who might be suffering from a stroke, heart attack, and other killer conditions.
Ms Patel also paid tribute to the South Yorkshire Police motorcyclist killed as he responded to an emergency earlier this week.
Pc Matt Lannie, 40, died following a collision in the Ecclesfield area of Sheffield on Tuesday as he responded to reports of a car failing to stop for officers, police have said.
South Yorkshire Police said he was responding to reports of a silver BMW failing to stop for officers at about 1pm on Tuesday when his bike was in a crash with a blue Toyota Avensis.
The officer was pronounced dead shortly after the crash on Nether Lane.
The Toyota driver, 59, was taken to hospital with minor injuries, the force said.
Ms Patel tweeted at the time: ‘The saddest news. Deeply tragic & my thoughts are with the family of this distinguished officer.’
Police forces across England have also paid tribute to the officer.
At today’s government press briefing, Ms Patel said it was too early for the country’s coronavirus lockdown to be lifted.
She said the entire nation was grieving as it marked another ‘tragic and terrible milestone’ in the outbreak.
It came less than six weeks after the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said it would be a ‘good outcome’ if the number of deaths in the UK could be held below 20,000.
One expert suggested the numbers could now double that tally before the outbreak was brought under control in Britain.
Professor Stephen Powis, the medical director of NHS England who had echoed Sir Patrick’s original claim, insisted the social distancing measures the Government had put in place were having an effect.
However, he emphasised the difficulties in dealing with a new virus which had created a ‘once-in-a-century global health crisis’.
The number of people to have tested positive for the deadly bug surged by 4,913 to 148,377, it was revealed on Saturday afternoon
One of the graphs issued at the press conference today showed the number of people in hospital with the coronavirus across the country. It has fallen over the last 24 hours
Professor Stephen Powis, the medical director of NHS England, insisted the social distancing measures the Government had put in place were having an effect
The grim 20,000 milestone – which also saw the number of people testing positive for coronavirus rise by 4,913 to 148,377 – came as the coronavirus lockdown continued into its fifth weekend and the Government faced calls for greater transparency over the scientific advice given to ministers on the outbreak
Coronavirus patients who get put on a ventilator have just a 34% chance of survival, new study shows
The figures come from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC) and are based on a sample of 6,720 critically-ill coronavirus patients.
Of those who required advanced respiratory support – known as invasive ventilation – just under two-thirds of patients died.
Data showed that 1,744 (65.4 per cent) died after requiring mechanical ventilation in critical care, while some 923 (34.6 per cent) on the same treatment were discharged.
For those who required basic respiratory support – such as oxygen through a face mask, which is known as non-invasive ventilation – 894 patients (81.9 per cent) recovered and some 198 (18.1 per cent) died.
The research also found that, of the 4,078 patients where an outcome was known, some 2,067 have died, while 2,011 were discharged.
This mortality rate of 50.7 per cent among all people admitted to intensive care is slightly lower than in ICNARC’s last report at the start of April – which put the death rate at 51.6 per cent.
The report analysed data on patients with confirmed Covid-19 from 286 NHS critical care units in England, Wales and Northern Ireland taking part in the ICNARC programme, up to 4pm on April 23.
‘This was going to be a huge challenge not just for the UK, but for every country,’ he said.
‘Even in countries that have got on top of this early on, we are unfortunately beginning to see new infections.
‘So I think the first thing to emphasise is that this unfortunately is not going to be something we will begin to get over in the next few weeks.
‘This is something we are going to have to continue working our way through over the months ahead – as I have said before this is not a sprint, this will be a marathon.’
According to the latest official figures, a total of 20,319 patients had died in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 in the UK as of 5pm on Friday – up by 813 from the previous day.
It meant the UK has become the fifth country to pass 20,000 coronavirus deaths, behind the US, Italy, Spain and France.
That figure does not include deaths in the wider community, such as in care homes, which means the true toll will be higher by several thousand at least.
Dr Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said the true figure could already be double that amount.
‘The World Health Organisation said yesterday that about half of all deaths in Europe are occurring in residence of elderly care homes,’ he said.
‘We know for a fact the figures reported every day are an underestimate, possibly a significant underestimate of the total number of deaths.’
The UK is well on track to hit 30,000 deaths in hospital, perhaps even 40,000 before the pandemic is brought under control, he said.
‘We are undoubtedly going to have one of the highest death rates in Europe,’ Dr Hunter added.
Courtesy DAILY MAIL