British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the U.K. is “past the peak” and “on a downward slope” in its coronavirus outbreak.
In his first news conference in more than a month following his hospitalization with COVID-19 and his subsequent recuperation, Johnson said he would be presenting a “comprehensive plan” next week about how and when the U.K. will ease the lockdown restrictions, which are due to last at least until May 7.
Though he said it would provide a “roadmap,” Johnson is widely expected to extend the current lockdown further.
Johnson also voiced frustrations in getting personal protective equipment, and in ramping up the testing program, but he insisted that the government was throwing “everything at it, heart and soul, night and day, to get it right.”
Johnson, whose partner Carrie Symonds gave birth to a boy on Wednesday, said another 674 people with the coronavirus have died in all settings, taking the total to 26,711, the second highest in Europe behind Italy.