Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the UK is “past the peak” of the coronavirus outbreak and “we are on a downward slope”.

Speaking during today's daily briefing, Mr Johnson declared that the UK was officially past the peak of coronavirus infections.

“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,” he said.

“It is 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.

“I can confirm today that for the first time we are past the peak of this disease.

“We are past the peak and on the downward slope.”

It comes as it was confirmed there have been 26,711 deaths in all settings, an increase of 674 since yesterday.

Earlier today, in a series of tweets, Mr Johnson urged Britain to “keep going…so we can protect our NHS and save lives” amid suggestions the UK lockdown will continue until June.

In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister reiterated calls for people to stick with the lockdown, saying he understood how “hard and how stressful it has been” to not see family and friends, to worry about jobs and to manage children not in school.

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