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The number of coronavirus cases in the UK “could be moving in the right direction”, the government’s chief scientific adviser has said.

Speaking at the daily Downing Street briefing, Sir Patrick Vallance said it was “possible that we’re beginning to see… the curve flattening”.

He added, however, it would be another “week or so” before he could be sure.

The foreign secretary, meanwhile, said the PM, who is in intensive care, is in “good spirits” and “stable”.

It comes as the number of coronavirus hospital deaths in the UK rose to 6,159 – a record increase of 786 in a day, the Department of Health and Social Care said, compared with 439 on Monday.

So far, 55,242 people have tested positive in the UK – an increase of 3,634 on Monday’s figures.

Speaking about the number of new cases, Sir Patrick said: “It is possible that we’re beginning to see… change in terms of the curve flattening a little bit.

“We won’t know that for sure until a week or so. But what we’re not seeing is an acceleration.”

Sir Patrick stressed it was important to continue with the social distancing measures to ensure a reduction in the number of new cases.

Commenting on the latest virus death figures, the BBC’s head of statistics Robert Cuffe said that if there was any “silver lining to these grim figures”, it was that they represent “the fourth day in a row of below-trend growth”.

“For weeks up until Friday’s figures, the number of deaths had been doubling every three and a half days,” he said. “Had that trend continued, we would have seen close to 1,400 deaths today. Read more

Also Read: London coronavirus maps: Confirmed cases in each borough as total passes 10,000