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Newmarket's MP ends self-isolation after coronavirus diagnosis and aims for 100,000 Covid-19 tests a day by the end of April

Newmarket's MP Matt Hancock has urged health and care organisations who need equipment to protect them from the coronavirus to contact the government's specialist hotline on the day a county council appealed for donations of vital gear.

In his first public appearance since he ended self-isolation after testing positive for Covid-19, the health secretary announced updated guidance for the use of personal protective equipment and said any health or social care organisation who needed the specialist gear should call the government's hotline.

His call came just hours after Suffolk County Council issued an appeal for specialist gear for critical front-line staff, with council leader Matthew Hicks asking businesses to contact the authority to donate PPE items.

Matt Hancock speaking at Number 10's daily coronavirus press conference (32870083)
Matt Hancock speaking at Number 10's daily coronavirus press conference (32870083)

Cllr Hicks said: “We fully understand the efforts the government is making to ensure PPE is available for all who need it, but we equally recognise the challenge they face in reaching beyond the NHS into other parts of the care system.

"During this unprecedented time we need to ensure that we have enough PPE to help our dedicated teams of social workers, care workers and other front line staff who are working with the most vulnerable people in Suffolk."

Speaking at the Number 10 press conference today, the MP for West Suffolk also set a target of performing 100,000 tests a day by the end of the month.

"I return from illness more determined than ever to fight this disease," said Mr Hancock.

"We'll bring together the best minds, we'll bring together the best science that this country has to offer and we will work with our friends and allies from around the world as we do so."

"We are amidst a war with an invisible enemy and it is a war in which all of humanity is on the same side. And history shows that when the world unites against a common foe then we will prevail."