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Coronavirus Daily: Prime Minister questioned on lockdown speed comment from former adviser

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it is premature to look back at how the government dealt with the pandemic in the early stages after a former government adviser said the number of UK coronavirus deaths would have halved if lockdown had been introduced a week earlier.

Professor Neil Ferguson, said to told a House of Commons science committee of MPs that he believed decisions taken by ministers were right but questioned whether those choices were taken quickly enough.

Asked if he regretted not going into lockdown earlier at yesterday's daily briefing, Mr Johnson said: "We made the decisions at the time on the guidance of SAGE, including professor Ferguson, on what we thought were right for this country, I think the questions that are posed are still unanswered and there is a lot of data that we still frankly do not have.

Boris Johnson also announced further measures to ease lockdown. (PA Video)
Boris Johnson also announced further measures to ease lockdown. (PA Video)

"I know you want me to cast judgement on everything that happened in the months that have gone by, of course that moment will come and we have to learn lessons, but I just think at this stage it is premature and there is too much that we still do not know."

The Prime Minister also announced 'support bubbles' from this weekend that would apply to single adult households or single parents with children under 18 – to find out more about that click here.

Yesterday's figures from Public Health England showed Norfolk had two new daily positive cases over the last reported 24-hours, taking its total so far to 2,214, with Suffolk reporting only one case, with a total of 1,543.

The UK's daily confirmed cases went down to 1,003 from 1,205, with the overall count of cases in the UK now at 290,143.

Daily deaths also saw a slight drop from 286 in the previous period to 245.

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