MATT Hancock has revealed the coronavirus was like “glass in his throat”- and he lost half a stone from being unable to eat.
The Health Secretary was diagnosed with the virus last week, but attended the Downing Street press conference yesterday after self-isolating.
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Speaking this morning, he explained the illness left him struggling to sleep and unable to eat for "days".
He said: “It was a pretty unpleasant experience
“I went downhill on Thursday last week and for a couple of nights it was very hard to sleep, incredibly painful throat, like having glass in my throat.
“When you’re on the way down it’s really worrying because we can all see just how serious this illness is.
“I’ve lost half a stone. It’s quite a serious impact directly.
“But thankfully for me I could get through it, and I managed to keep working through it.”
His comments come one day on from demanding Premier League stars do their bit over coronavirus and "take a pay cut".
Several clubs are making staff take massive pay cuts, but refusing to cut the multi-million pound salaries of their players during the crisis.
This includes a host of top clubs such as Tottenham, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Norwich.
Speaking yesterday, the Health Secretary warned football clubs everyone needs to do their bit in the battle against the virus.
He said: "That means Premier League footballers too.
"The first thing they can do is make a contribution, take a pay cut and play their part".
He also pledged to test 100,000 Brits a day for coronavirus after the shambles of recent days – but it won’t be for weeks to come.
As the Health Secretary’s voice croaked after he came back from fighting the virus himself, he revealed a new plan to tackle the deadly bug with a huge ramping up of tests.
Another 569 people were confirmed to have died of Covid-19 this afternoon – taking the UK total to more than 2,900.
His five point plan to get to 100,000 tests a day by the end of April included:
- A vow to carry out 25,000 swab tests a day in NHS hospitals and PHE labs to test patients for Covid-19, by the end of April – up from 10k a day now
- Creation of new swab testing capacity with help of commercial partners including Amazon, Boots and universities in new labs and testing sites for NHS staff and their families
- ‘Game-changing’ antibody tests to tell if people have had coronavirus, and are immune to it. Finger-prick blood test takes as little as 20 minutes, and Government is working with nine companies to test whether they work. But could take up to 28 days to show best results
- Virus surveillance, using the antibody test to understand the rate of infection and how the virus is spreading across the UK. Key to helping us exit the crisis.
- Build the British diagnostic industry “at scale” – with the pharmaceutical industry, including major drugs firms Astra Zeneca and GSK
All NHS staff will be able to have a test by the end of the month, he promised.
“That is the goal and I’m determined were going to get there,” Mr Hancock insisted.
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