There is a 'bit of a plateau' in the number of new coronavirus cases in the UK.

Michael Gove said that while the rate of coronavirus testing in the UK has increased, the UK must go further and faster.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster told the Downing Street press conference: "More NHS staff are returning to the frontline, and more testing is taking place to help those self-isolating come back, and to protect those working so hard in our hospitals and in social care.

"But while the rate of testing is increasing, we must go further, faster."

He said a "critical constraint" on the ability to rapidly increase testing capacity is the availability of the chemical reagents, but that Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock were working with companies worldwide to ensure the UK gets the material needed to increase tests "of all kind".

Mr Gove said the UK was buying ventilators from EU nations.

"We have just over 8,000 ventilators deployed in NHS hospitals now. This number has increased since the epidemic began thanks to the hard work of NHS professionals, but we need more.

"That's why we are buying more ventilators from abroad, including from EU nations.

"It's also why we are developing new sources of supply at home."

The first new ventilator devices will roll off the production line this weekend and be delivered to the NHS next week, Mr Gove said.

He said: "I can announce that this weekend the first of thousands of new ventilator devices will roll off the production line and be delivered to the NHS next week.

"From there, they will be rapidly distributed to the frontline."

The medical director of NHS England Professor Stephen Powis said there is evidence the public was heeding the message on the need to maintain social distancing.

He said there was a "bit of a plateau" in the number of new cases of people testing positive for Covid-19.

"It is really important not to read too much because it is really early days. We are not out of the woods, we are very much in the woods," he said told the No 10 press conference.

"So green shoots but only green shoots and we must not be complacent and we must not take our foot off the pedal."

Mr Gove also confirmed that three RAF Puma helicopters are now stationed at Kinloss Barracks in Moray - working with a Chinook and Wildcat helicopter based at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire - to meet requests for assistance from NHS boards and trusts across Scotland and Northern England.

He said a second helicopter facility covers the Midlands and southern England, working out of RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.

Asked about testing for NHS staff, Mr Gove said: "We are increasing the number of tests.

"One of the constraints on our capacity to increase testing overall is supply of the specific reagents, the specific chemicals, that are needed in order to make sure that tests are reliable."

Professor Powis said that the rate of hospitalisation of cases for Covid-19 was still increasing, as was expected at this stage of the epidemic.

However, he said that if the number of infections started to drop, then in the next few weeks the "hope" was that the number of hospitalisations would also begin to fall.

"The good news here is that that line is not going up very steeply but we are not out of the woods. We need to keep our foot on the pedal," he said.

On end of life care, National Medical Director of NHS England Stephen Powis said: "I would expect end of life care to be just as good as it is in normal times and I know that's something that our clinicians and hospitals and other health care facilities are thinking about very carefully.

"Clearly with the additional impact of this particular virus we do need to think carefully about when people are discharged from hospital if they have had the Covid, and so we have issued specific guidance to assist in that discharge, for instance, if discharging into care homes.

"So we have taken account of the fact that over and above our normal procedures we need to take account that we have a new infectious disease."