Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- Last night, the Prime Minister addressed the nation of the conditional plan of lockdown easing. He laid out a 5-point scale, where 1 is there is no evidence of the disease in the UK, and 5 is the most critical (NHS overwhelmed). Johnson stated the UK had been at level 4, but was slowly moving into level 3.
- Each level is determined by the rate of ‘R’ – The R value puts a rating on the disease’s ability to spread, and if this value remains below 1, then the Government can begin to adjust the lockdown. The UK is currently between 0.5 and 0.9. If the UK moves back to R value 1, lockdown measures would again become more restricted.
- Johnson outlined that those who are not able to work from home, such as manufacturers, should return to work. It is also permitted to keep exercising outside as much as you would like, and sitting in a local park in the sun, or driving (only with members of your household) to other destinations.
- Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab outlined on BBC Breakfast this morning that you could meet one person, outside the home, staying 2 metres apart – starting on Wednesday. However, socialising or mixing inside homes is still not permitted.
- The Government will be publishing a 50-page document today (with some sources claiming 2pm ) , outlining further details on the ease of measures and conditional easing of measures later down the line.
- If the level of R remains below 1, it is expected that on June 1st, the Government will be able to open some more retail shops and begin to reopen primary schools. This is all dependent on how controlled the virus is, however.
- UK papers and politicians are split over the new “stay alert” messaging, which replaces “stay at home” – many are suggesting it is a confusing message. The devolved Governments are sticking with the “stay at home” message.
- Many countries in Europe, alongside the UK, are easing up lockdown restrictions this week.
- Across most of France, people will be able to walk outside for the first time in weeks without filling in a permit and Spaniards outside of Madrid and Barcelona will be able to meet in bars and restaurants with outside spaces.
- However, China reported 17 new virus cases on Monday, its second consecutive double-digit increase. Five of the new cases were reported in Wuhan, where the virus first emerged, and there is concern over an outbreak in the north.
- In South Asia, Bangladesh woke up to its highest daily number of infections (884) and deaths (14) on Monday as its Covid-19 tally reportedly breached the 14,000 mark. Pakistan will begin plasma therapy trials, which involves transfusing antibody-rich blood into infected patients. The country has reported more than 30,000 cases and 667 deaths.
- The joint general secretary of the Education Union, Mary Bousted, has described the reopening of primary schools on June first as “reckless”. Bousted took to Twitter to appeal to the Government, suggesting schools should not open until all five tests ha d been met.
- The Labour party have been vocal in their reaction to Johnson’s address. Shortly after the speech on Sunday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Johnson’s statement raised “as many questions as answers” on Radio 4.
- Labour’s shadow business secretary Ed Miliband and shadow employment rights minister Andy McDonald earlier said they were “deeply concerned” about the recommendation that those people unable to work from home should go back to work. They wrote : “Ordering a return to work with 12 hours notice and no official guidance on how workers can keep safe is irresponsible and wrong.”
- On support for emergency food providers, Luke Pollard, Labour’s Shadow environment secretary, said : ” Labour has been calling on the government to provide extra support for those in food poverty . The £16m announced today is welcome but insufficient to deal with the scale of food poverty we are seeing.”
- Labour’s Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers, Lucy Powell, commented on the survey by the British Beer & Pub Association which shows that 40 per cent of Britain’s 47,000 pubs won’t survive beyond September, unless they get more support from Government to get them through the COVID-19 lockdown. She said : “Not only do pubs and the hospitality sector employ millions of people, pubs are at the heart of our communities and high streets. They are part of Britain’s social fabric. With the sector likely the last to leave lockdown its vital that they are not left to go bust.”
- The Sun are reporting that pubs will be last the reopen (after other restaurants and hospitality), though the Government have not mentioned pubs specifically yet , only that they might be part of the conditional phase 3 lifting of rules.
- The Guardian are reporting that soaring drug prices could bar access to future coronavirus treatments.
- Metro has stated that doctors are warning the easing of lockdown could spark even bigger second wave of infections.