British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday he could begin to ease a nationwide coronavirus lockdown next week, but warned he would do nothing that would risk a new surge of cases.
Johnson said that “every death is a tragedy”, calling the statistics “appalling”, but said there was not yet enough data to make international comparisons.
In particular, he said he “bitterly regrets” the deaths in care homes, which stand at more than 6,000, but added that there had been a “palpable improvement” in the last few days.
The wider death rate is coming down, six weeks after the government imposed stay-at-home orders to stem the rate of infection, and the lockdown measures are up for review on Thursday.
Speaking in parliament for the first time since he himself was hospitalised with coronavirus, Johnson said the government would review the data and he would set out the next steps on Sunday.