Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

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

Key Announcements

  • In the UK, more than 313,769 people have been tested for the novel coronavirus. Of those, 98,476 have been tested as positive; and 12,868 have passed away (an increase of 761 on the previous day) after contracting the disease.
  • The Department of Health and Social Care published its COVID-19 social care action plan.
  • The action plan included guidance for testing all patients discharged from hospitals before entering a care home setting.
  • All symptomatic care home residents will be tested.
  • Tests will be made available for all care home staff, and their families, who need to be tested.
  • Increased PPE supplies to social care.
  • Over the next three weeks, priority drops to local resilience forums who will distribute protective equipment to social care setting.
  • The guidance included the introduction of a single brand for social care workers. This will include a badge of honour to display their work, similar to the NHS blue badge identifiable with NHS staff.
  • Social care staff will get the same priority access to supermarkets as NHS staff.
  • The Government will introduce a national recruitment campaign to attract people to social care and the Government will pay for initial induction training for new members of staff.
  • Secretary of State for Health and Social care, Matt Hancock, announced that the Government are introducing new procedures so that where possible, closest loved ones will be given a chance to say goodbye.
  • The CQC is developing a tool for home care providers to update daily about the impact of COVID-19 on their service.
  • Penlon’s ESO2 ventilator, developed under the codename Project Oyster, will become the first model to get the green light from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), with an announcement expected as soon as Today.
  • On Brexit, three more rounds of talks between the UK and EU negotiators have been scheduled, taking place by video conference. Both sides say they remain committed to reviewing progress in June.
    • Each round will last a week, and they will start on 20 April, 11 May, and 1 June.
    • In February the UK government said that, if it had not achieved the “broad outline” of a deal by then, it would consider abandoning the talks and preparing for a WTO Brexit in 2021, at the end of the transition.
    • The statement does not refer to the possibility of the transition being extended.
  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have arranged for money generated from their wedding broadcast to be donated to a UK charity feeding children during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Hundreds of Romanian fruit and veg pickers are to be flown in to the UK today as travel restrictions leave farms short of staff.
  • High street retailers Oasis and Warehouse have gone into administration with more than 200 job losses, in the continuing economic crisis.
  • Government adviser, Professor Neil Ferguson, told the Today Programme that some level of social distancing will have to remain in place until a vaccine is found.


  • Donald Trump has announced that the USA has passed the peak of the spread of COVID-19 and will be discussing guidelines for reopening commerce Today.
  • Refugees applying for asylum in Germany fear the government is failing to shield them from coronavirus as infections at one crowded reception centre, in the south-western town of Ellwangen, have risen sharply in recent days.
  • Finland’s foreign minister, Pekka Haavisto, has announced that Finland will increase its support and funding for the World Health Organization, in response to Donald Trump’s decision to withhold funding from the US.
  • New York City has revised its Covid-19 death toll sharply upwards to more than 10,000 people, with the city now firmly established as being at the heart of the global coronavirus crisis.
  • G20 finance ministers have agreed to suspend poorer countries’ debt payments from 1 May until the end of the year, as they prepare for increased spending on healthcare systems during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Italy’s civil protection authority said the number of intensive care beds in use continues to fall, with 1,000 fewer people in intensive care than two weeks ago.
  • Belgium has extended its stay-at-home order until at least 3 May, and banned mass gatherings – concerts, festivals and sporting events – until the end of August.
  • US oil prices tumble to 18-year lows of $19.20 (£15.33) a barrel and the benchmark price for Brent crude drop by 5% to $28 a barrel amid gloomy forecasts for demand during the pandemic.


  • In response to the social care action plan Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said it was “not before time, the government has stepped in to proclaim parity for all forms of care.”
  • The Social Care Institute for Excellence has welcomed the Social Care Action Plan, whilst also warning there is still more to do.
  • Labour’s shadow minister for social care Liz Kendall said that workers “really need to see action and not just words”. She also called for “rapid action” to increase testing and to get more PPE to the front line.
  • leaked letter from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass) has revealed their concerns about how the care sector was prepared for the coronavirus crisis. On protective equipment for care workers, the letter says the national handling has been “shambolic”. Early drops of equipment have been “paltry” and more recent deliveries have been “haphazard”, with some even being confiscated by border control for the NHS.
  • Rehana Azam, national officer of the GMB union, said care workers “need more than a badge and a pat on their head to define their precious role in society…They need the protective equipment and testing on the front line now to protect their lives.”
  • Cllr David Fothergill, health and social care spokesperson for the County Councils Network, welcomed the announcements for social care provision but warned against underestimating the volume of testing that will be required to combat the spread of the disease, nor the complexity of doing this in large rural counties.

Unconfirmed reports

  • The Guardian is reporting that A&E chiefs believe many people are dying of COVID-19 in their own homes because they are too scared to go to hospital.
  • As the chief medical officer reported last night, the UK is reaching the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, there are reports that Ministers and their advisers do not yet have a plan for how to leave the lockdown.
  • A British company that can deliver one million coronavirus tests per week is still waiting for an order from Public Health England, The Times reports.