Matt Hancock slammed for saying 'only 36' people died of coronavirus yesterday
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Matt Hancock has been criticised after saying that ‘only 36’ people died of coronavirus in one day.

As elements of the lockdown are eased in the UK, scientists and the public have been scrutinising the government’s response to coronavirus.

New Zealand just announced that it had seemingly eliminated the virus, after locking down early and keeping restrictions in place for months.

But as the UK eased restrictions, Matt Hancock tweeted that there had "only: been 36 deaths in the UK.

This was apparently the lowest number of daily deaths since the 21 March. But the tone that he took, as well as his use of the word "only" led people to criticise him.

People pointed out on Twitter that saying "only" 36 wasn’t a fair representation of what was actually happening.

Others asked whether he had thought about the fact that those who died would leave behind friends and family.

Death rates are generally lower on weekends as it is because of lags in reporting.

Others pointed out that Hancock wouldn’t be saying "only 36" if it was about anything else.

Some said that the UK’s response to coronavirus has been abysmal – and that pretending we’re winning the "battle", as Matt Hancock says, isn’t realistic.

Over the weekend, the government was also reported to be considering overriding the 2 metre distancing rule – despite advice from the World Health Organisation advising against it.

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