Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.

Press conference Monday 13 th April

Dominic Raab (First Secretary of State)

  • Raab began by saying that the Government were united in its efforts to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Raab then took the opportunity to thank the NHS for its work during this crisis.
  • “By staying home this weekend, people have helped save our NHS”.
  • There were some positive signs from the data, but the UK was still not past the peak of the outbreak.
  • The Government redouble its efforts to buy ventilators and PPE equipment.
  • He added that the Chancellor and Business Secretary were working to help protect the economy which was undoubtably impacted by the crisis.
  • On the relaxation of measures, the First Secretary said that it was “far too early to talk on” such measures.

Sir Patrick Vallance (Chief Scientific Officer)

  • Sir Patrick Vallance began by saying that UK mobility change indicated that there was a significant drop in the number of people going to out and socially interacting.
  • He added that more testing was going on overall.
  • Regarding the number of people in hospital beds, the chief scientific officer suggesting that there was a flattening in the number of people in hospitals with COVID-19.
  • He suggested that there would be a likely increase in the number of people who would die as a result of the disease.

Chris Whitty (Chief Medical Officer)

  • Speaking only during the questions and answers session, Whitty answered a question on death rates outside of hospitals, which Whitty argued was being stored by ONS data records.

International news

  • Donald Trump has declared in a White House briefing that his “authority is total” when it comes to lockdown rules during the coronavirus pandemic, and he denied that he was weighing firing Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s foremost infectious diseases expert who sits on the coronavirus task force .
  • Sino-African relations have been plunged into crisis after African officials reacted furiously to allegations that their nationals were being routinely discriminated against in Guangzhou, southern China, as alleged potential “carriers” of coronavirus .
  • Japan is urging the public to step up its compliance with a partial lockdown amid concerns it could leave the country stuck in the worst of both worlds: forcing the economy to a standstill without halting the spread of coronavirus .
  • President Emmanuel Macron announced in a televised address on Monday evening that he would extend France’s national lockdown until May 11. But he said crèches and primary and secondary schools would progressively reopen after that date and vowed to be able to test all with Covid-19 symptoms by then .
  • India has recorded close to 10,000 virus cases but with limited testing in its crowded cities the fear is the true figure is much higher .
  • Nearly 1.9 million people worldwide have been confirmed to have the virus and half of humanity is under some form of restriction .

Stakeholder Reactions

  • Liz Kendall MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Social Care, responding to the news that 92 care homes across the country have had new Covid-19 outbreaks in the past 24 hours, said: “Today’s press conference has exposed the growing crisis in our care homes because of coronavirus. “Ministers must publish daily figures of deaths in care homes so we know the true scale of the problem and how fast it is spreading. They must also ensure social care has the resources it needs and that vital PPE and testing get to care workers on the frontline.”
  • Anneliese Dodds, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, has written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to offer to work constructively with the Chancellor to “prevent further damage to jobs and incomes” and “provide the public and businesses with the support they need.” The letter follows a meeting between Dodds and the Chancellor, where she highlighted the imperative for the Government’s schemes to reach those who need them.
  • Supplies of protective gowns used to safely treat coronavirus patients have become so depleted that they are no longer available to many doctors in high-risk roles, a medical union has warned. Only 52% of clinicians carrying out aerosol-generating procedures – those with the greatest risk of transferring the virus – said they had access to the kind of full-sleeve gowns that are mandatory for jobs such as intubating patients so that they can be treated with a ventilator, according to a survey by the Doctors’ Association UK .
  • GMB, the union for ground handling staff has urged the Chancellor to speed up access to the job retention scheme, claiming that “The collapse of the UK aviation has alreadybegun “.

Unconfirmed reports

  • Britain will remain in lockdown for another three weeks as the cabinet debates whether to encourage some people to return to work. Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Boris Johnson, will announce on Thursday that the lockdown will stay in place until at leastMay 7 .
  • Technology companies have been accused of making a “shameless” attempt to exploit the coronavirus pandemic to avoid paying tax after the industry lobby group urged the government to delay a new levy .
  • China has said that it secured a guarantee from Dominic Raab that the coronavirus outbreak would not be “politicised”. The foreign secretary was also said to have agreed with Beijing that the source of the virus was a “scientific issue” that required a professional assessment .