England's chief nurse Ruth May made a plea at the government's daily news conference on Friday (April 3) asking for the public to stay at home over the coming weekend, by invoking the names of two nurses who have died.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF NURSING OFFICER OF NIGHTINGALE HOSPITAL, RUTH MAY, SAYING: "We have lost today Aimee O'Rourke and Areema Nasreen, two registered nurses working to protect our public, and they sadly have died.
My sincere condolences to their families, their friends and their colleagues, because they were one of us.
They were one of my profession, of the NHS family.
I worry that there's going to be more.
And I want to honour them today and recognise their service." Also speaking at the briefing, Britain’s health minister Matt Hancock said the country has more than 2,000 critical care beds still free for use against COVID-19.
Extra beds have been provided from the new Nightingale hospital which opened on Friday.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) UK HEALTH SECRETARY, MATT HANCOCK, SAYING: "I want to update you with the latest on what we're doing to boost NHS capacity so the capacity we have to care is always above the need for that care.
First, we're delivering more critical care beds.
This morning I attended the opening of the new Nightingale Hospital in east London with (Nightingale Hospital's chief nursing officer) Ruth (May) and many others.
It was planned, constructed and fully staffed in just nine days." England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam said results from clinical trials of possible drugs to treat the virus are likely a few months away.
Hancock said that until possible treatments were shown to be effective, the only protection against coronavirus was to stay at home.