"Now is not the time to be complacent," NHS England medical director Stephen Powis has warned at the government's latest coronavirus press conference.
Prof Powis said "every one of us" had a part to play if the UK was to keep the death toll under 20,000. Business Secretary Alok Sharma also announced changes to insolvency rules and the NHS supply chain.
Written on March 31, 2020 by Xeinadin Group
Mr Sharma said insolvency rules would be changed to allow firms greater flexibility as they faced the coronavirus crisis.
He added that a range of measures to boost the supply of personal protective equipment, such as face masks to protect frontline NHS staff, were also being introduced.
"Red tape" would be reduced to allow new producers of hand sanitiser to bring products to market "in a matter of days", he said.
Prof Powis was also asked about the spread of the disease after a further 260 UK deaths in 24 hours.
He replied: "Clearly there has been a big increase in deaths today.
"If we can keep deaths below 20,000 we will have done very well in this epidemic," Prof Powis added, echoing comments from the government's chief scientific officer earlier in the month.
He continued: "It is early at the moment and the scientists who are working with the government to model what we can expect are of course adjusting their predictions now as we start to see the actuality of the epidemic in the UK, rather than what we believed might have happened a few weeks ago."