Still a long way to go with COVID-19: UK health official

Britain has a very long way to go in its attempt to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus and people should not just focus on passing through the first peak of cases of COVID-19, the government's top medical adviser said on Monday (April 27).

"We need to view this epidemic over the long run, and this has got a very long way to run," Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, said at the government's daily coronavirus briefing.

The government has been criticized by opposition parties and some businesses for not outlining how and when it will ease social lockdown measures put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as Britain's daily death toll continued to decline and other European countries looked to relax measures.

A further 360 people have died from COVID-19 in British hospitals, Health Minister Matt Hancock said during the briefing, bringing the total to 21,092.

The 360 increase was the lowest daily death toll for four weeks, although weekend reporting delays can distort Monday totals. The deaths of 82 health service workers were included in the figures.

Hancock said the families of British health and care workers who die on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic will be paid 60,000 pounds ($74,472) as part of a new life assurance scheme.