Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- The UK death toll for coronavirus patients has risen to 7,097, an increase of 938 over 24 hours
- 232,708 people have now been tested, with 60,734 testing positive, an increase of 5,492.
- 19,438 people have been admitted to hospital
- Boris Johnson has completed his third night in intensive care, and his fourth in a hospital bed, having now been ill with covid-19 for two weeks. Downing St remains tight lipped, but all noises are that he is “making steady progress”.
- Dominic Raab will host a COBRA meeting today to discuss the extension of the Government imposed lockdown beyond next week. A clear announcement is expected at the Downing St press conference this afternoon. The Welsh Government have already announced an extension.
- At yesterday evening’s press conference, the Chancellor announced £750m of funding support for the charity sector. £370m will support small charities looking after vulnerable people.
- The BBC have also announced they will host a “Big Night In” Charity Appeal on 23 April. The Government will now match whatever the public choose to donate, starting with at least £20m.
- 50 MPs, including Conservative backbenchers, have written to Downing St, demanding a ban on all non-essential construction work.
- Home Secretary Priti Patel has repeatedly turned down invitations from the Yvette Cooper to appear before the Home Affairs Select Committee in relation to her department’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
- The IFS have issued a report concluding that economic downturn and wider NHS disruption will hit the health most vulnerable hardest.
- MPs are being permitted to claim an extra £10,000 in expenses to help them work from home during the epidemic.
- Airbnb is blocking all British bookings on its platform for the majority of customers. Hosts will still be allowed to support frontline workers while following government guidance.
- Academics at Warwick University have suggested easing the lockdown on those aged between 20-30 first, as an alternative to prioritising key sectors of the economy. They maintain that this would deliver, “substantial economic and societal benefits without enormous health costs to the country.”
- In a letter to hospital chiefs and GPs, England’s chief nurse Ruth May and NHS England’s medical director Stephen Powis warned hospital doctors, GPs and NHS managers not to impose blanket do not resuscitate orders on vulnerable patients during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE) have estimated that approximately 151,680 people will die across Europe during the “first wave” of the pandemic. They warn that the UK could become the worst-hit country in Europe, with up to 66,000 deaths.
- The UK’s predicted death toll would put it ahead of Italy, with 20,000 deaths, followed by Spain and France, with 19,000 and 15,000 predicted deaths respectively. The IMHE’s model found deaths in the UK were expected to peak in the third week of April, with an estimated 2,932 deaths on 17 April. The research said Italy and Spain were likely at their peak number of deaths at the moment.
- The EU’s top scientist has resigned and criticised the bloc’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In his resignation letter, Professor Mauro Ferrari, president of the European Research Council (ERC), lamented “the complete absence of coordination of healthcare policies among member states, the recurrent opposition to cohesive financial support initiatives, the pervasive one-sided border closures”.
- Senator Bernie Sanders has ended his presidential campaign, clearing the way for former Vice-President Joe Biden to become the Democratic party’s nominee in August.
- US President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold funds from the WHO, accusing them of “calling it wrong” on coronavirus, and being bias towards China.
- The number of coronavirus deaths in the US has passed the 14,500 mark. US confirmed cases of the virus stand at 419,600.
- Turkey hopes to become first country to distribute free masks to entire nation. Covid-19 has killed at least 725 people in Turkey, a death toll second only to Iran in the Middle East. At least 34,000 people have tested positive for the virus.
- In response to the Chancellor’s announcement of support for the charity sector, Nesta said that social enterprise innovators need “practical support as well as cash”.
- Marie Curie state that PPE guidance will deny thousands of dying people the urgent care they need. New guidance insists that those caring from dying people must wear PPE, whether patients have coronavirus symptoms or not. However, supplies on the frontline are at “breaking point”.
- TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has written to the Transport Secretary and Rail Minister asking them to spend time on the frontline in stations to understand ‘the realities of working without adequate Personal Protective Equipment
- Responding to today’s IFS report, Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, said: “Labour supports the necessary measures to enforce social distancing and protect lives, but this of course brings huge disruption and challenges for the vulnerable on waiting lists for vital treatment, or who need non-coronavirus emergency care. Ministers must outline what plans are in place to ensure patients whose treatment has been delayed will be protected. We must also act to reduce as much as possible the negative economic impacts of these necessary measures, which is why we are pushing the government to do all it can to protect jobs, sustain businesses and maintain incomes”.
Most newspapers dedicate column inches to the extension of the lockdown. A Downing Street source tells the Times it is unlikely restrictions will be lifted before the end of the month, while a senior government source tells the Sun : “Nobody is going to argue about extending the lockdown into May.
- With balmy weather expected over the weekend, the Guardian are reporting “at least five police chief constables” want ministers to consider tougher restrictions for the next few days.
- The Independent report that Ministers and civil servants are expecting an inquiry into the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic when it is over.
- The military is drawing up plans to build nine more emergency hospitals around the country, with eight more sites under consideration