Ruth May pleaded with the nation to comply with lockdown measures to avoid more NHS workers being struck down by the killer bug.
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Aimee O’Rourke, 38, and Areema Nasreen, 36, sadly passed away after treating coronavirus patients on the frontline.
Two other healthcare assistants have also died in the last 24 hours – with nine medics now killed by the virus.
A third nurse is today being treated in intensive care at Southend Hospital in Essex. The man, in his 60s, is on a ventilator.
The number of UK deaths has risen by more than 600 today, the largest jump since the crisis began.
Chief nurse Ms May told the nation: “This weekend is going to be very warm and it’s going to be very tempting to go out and enjoy those rays but I ask you to remember Aimee and Areema, please stay at home for them.”
And she added: “I worry that there is going to be more, and I want to honour and recognise their service today.”
Britain is set for a mini April heatwave with temperatures up to 20 degrees.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock took the chance this evening to personally thank every single person who was staying at home to help the war effort.
“I want to thank everyone at home – because you are giving the NHS the time to expand so that it can save lives,” he told Brits.
“By staying at home, you are saving lives.”
More than 7,000 NHS staff have now been tested for the bug too, he said, meaning the tests of those who come back negative can go back to battling on the front line.
However, he issued a stern warning to the public to stay inside this weekend – or the entire country would face the consequences.
Mr Hancock said: “We cannot relax our discipline now.
“If we do, people will die.
“This advice is not a request, it is an instruction. Stay at home, protect lives and you will be doing your part.”
Earlier today he opened the NHS Nightingale hospital in East London which will be used to treat sick patients with the deadly bug.
The Health Secretary also confirmed that two more are on the way in Bristol and Harrogate.
Aimee’s heartbroken friends and family today paid tribute and described her as “beautiful” and confirmed she died after “losing her fight to coronavirus”.
They wrote: “Aimee was a beautiful woman and a valued NHS nurse. Aimee caught the Covid-19 virus and sadly lost her fight to coronavirus.
“Please give as much as you can to help Aimee’s family, just as Aimee gave her life to make sure other people survived this virus.”
Professor Jonathan Van Tam this evening said it was “too soon” to tell when the lockdown will end, but he hoped it would be “soon”.
“We’re going to watch very carefully to see when we hit the peak and when were starting to turn it,” he told the nation.
“We will not take any premature action.”
Most people are obeying the rules and ministers have no plans to tighten them at the moment, Mr Hancock added.
New data out from Google this afternoon showed that retail and recreation football was down by up to 85 per cent in the UK.
Traffic transit movement was down by 75 per cent, and parks were down by 50 per cent too.
And movement in residential areas was slightly up, in sign that people were staying home.
Other data showed a dip in hospital admissions in London and the Midlands too, a hugely positive sign that the NHS would not become overwhelmed by the crisis.
Despite this news, the number of confirmed cases and deaths has continued to climb today.
Earlier Mr Hancock said it was “possible” the worst of the crisis could come over the bank holiday weekend, on April 12.
This morning when asked whether he thought next Sunday would see the peak reached, he told Sky News: “I’m not going to steer you away from that.
“That is one perfectly possible outcome.”
He added: “It’s very, very sensitive to how many people follow the social distancing guidelines.”
Boris earlier today revealed he would be staying in for longer as he’s still sick with the bug.
And he issued a plea to Brits not to go out and enjoy the sunshine this weekend – in a bid to try and keep a lid on the spread of the disease.
The PM has been isolating for at least a week after being diagnosed with the virus, yet he still has a temperature.
The Prime Minister said: “In my own case, although I’m feeling better and I’ve done my seven days of isolation, alas I still have one of the symptoms, a minor symptom, I still have a temperature.
“And so in accordance with Government advice I must continue my self-isolation until that symptom itself goes.
“But we’re working clearly the whole time on our programme to defeat the virus.
“You’ll have seen the big announcement yesterday about 100,000 tests per day by the end of the month.”
The news the PM is not yet over the illness puts him at odds with most of the population.
About 85 per cent of people diagnosed with coronavirus will see their symptoms start to diminish by day seven and coming out of isolation is a possibility.
From the remaining 15 per cent who don’t see their symptoms diminish and are showing signs of dyspnea – they tend to be admitted to hospital on day seven.
Patients with severe cases tend to develop signs of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) at around this point.
The PM’s video did not appear to show him struggling with his breath, however.
Yesterday Health Secretary Matt Hancock went back to work publicly after a week battling the virus too.
He was snapped earlier today blowing his nose and sniffling into a tissue, in signs he may not yet be completely well.