It’s too early to life the coronavirus lockdown across Britain, says Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
The worst thing that could happen, he says, is for the virus to have a second chance at killing people and we must not allow this to happen.
He was speaking at the government’s daily news brief from 10 Downing Street.
At the briefing, Raab and his team of scientists explained not enough data is available to assess the impact of social distancing and lockdown measures.
“The early signs suggest they are having an impact,” he said.
“But it is too early to say that conclusively.
Don’t waste sacrifices we have made, says Raab
“We mustn’t give the coronavirus a second chance to kill more people. I know it is tough going but this is a team effort.
“Restrictions would have to stay in place until evidence showed the UK had moved beyond the peak of the virus.
“After all the efforts everybody has made, after all the sacrifices so many people have made let’s not ruin it now.
“Let’s not undo the gains we’ve made, let’s not waste the sacrifices so many people have made.”
Meanwhile prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in intensive car in hospital.
In a bulletin, Raab said he was recovering well, sitting up in bed and in good spirits.
UK sees 9,000 coronavirus deaths
The latest coronavirus statistics for the UK show 8,978 people have died from the virus – an additional 883 casualties in the 24 hours to 5pm on April 8.
More than 280,000 tests have been carried out, with 60,733 testing positive.
Commenting on the figures, Raab said the country has not yet reached the peak of infection from coronavirus.
Elsewhere, the USA recorded 1,038 deaths over the past 24 hours to bring the country’s total to 15,826.
In Spain, 446 died taking the death toll past 15,000, in Italy 610, but only two in China which had relaxed restrictions around the Coronavirus ground one in the city of Wuhan and filled no deaths for a couple of days.
In another coronavirus development, research has revealed more than 6,300 passengers are still at sea on eight cruise ships, with countries fearing to let them dock after deaths related to the infection have been reported on one of the ships.