Peter Johnson told BBC Breakfast the NHS has had to adapt very quickly during the coronavirus pandemic in order to create greater capacity to fight COVID-19. Professor Johnson stressed the importance of catching cancer early before it spreads through the body and urged people with symptoms to contact their GP throughout the pandemic.
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Professor Johnson said: “The NHS has had to adapt very quickly to the coronavirus pandemic and we have had to change many of the things we do.
“Firstly to keep people safe because we know that people who are having major surgery and chemotherapy are much more vulnerable to the virus.
“Secondly of course to help the NHS create the capacity to look after the coronavirus itself.
“We have changed very rapidly the things that we do.
“I completely understand that people find it unsettling to have changes made to their treatment plans.
“What is driving this is our need to make sure that we protect lives as much as we possibly can, at the same time as delivering as much cancer treatment as we possibly can.
“The British public has done a fantastic job of staying home, not going out unless it is absolutely necessary and people have understood that the coronavirus being around makes life more dangerous.
“The very important message is that cancer can be a bigger danger than coronavirus and we would much rather see people when cancer is at an early stage when it is curable than have them wait for it to spread about the body when it will be much more difficult to treat.”
At the time of writing, Britain has the fifth-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world.
The UK has more than 161,000 cases in total.
The death toll in Britain is currently higher than 21,000 people.
A total of 585 people died as a result of coronavirus yesterday in the UK.
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Worldwide there have been more than 3,100,000 COVID-19 cases.
The death toll has reached more than 215,000 at the time of writing.
More than 950,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus across the globe.
The United States has the highest amount of COVID-19 cases in the world with more than 1,000,000 confirmed cases.
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