Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- Robert Jenrick, Housing Secretary, led last night’s press conference. He reported the latest figures as Latest data: i ) 2,094,209 test have been carried out; ii) 87,63 tests carried out yesterday; iii)229,705 people have tested positive, a 3242 increase since yesterday; iv) 11,307 are currently in hospital, down 15% from last week; v) Sadly, of those tested positive, 33,186 have now died, which is an increase 494 fatalities since yesterday
- He reiterated the five levels of the new five stage Covid alert system, which will determine the rate of R (infection rate) and therefore the levels of social distancing and lockdown measures necessary. He added that we are now in a position to move from level four to level three
- The Housing Secretary went on to clarify that you can now exercise as much as you like outside, and you can now meet one other person in an outside space, as long as you are two metres apart.
- On the first of June, if all goes to plan, step 2 will come into action. Certain retailers will be allowed to open with social distancing measures in places, primary schools with hopefully open and sports will begin again behind closed doors.
- No earlier than the fourth of July, and again if the data says it is safe to do so, step 3 will be enacted, public places, places of worship and leisure facilities will begin to open. Jenrick is working closely with places of worship on this matter to ensure it can be done safely.
- Jenrick also made a range of announcements regarding moving house during the pandemic, construction work and the reopening of estate agents. The Department also published guidance for the owners and operators of urban centres and green spaces to help social distancing.
- Sky has reported that Sir Keir Starmer has written to the prime minister urging him to return to the House of Commons to “recognise” that government advice that people in care homes were “very unlikely” to contract coronavirus had been advice earlier in the year. Starmer accused Johnson of misleading MPs over official advice.
- From 8am yesterday, self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus were able to apply for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits. The government also announced that they would temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance , ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market.
- Defra announced that garden centres were to reopen from yesterday and they should put in place social distancing, cleaning and protective measures for both staff and customers
- The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport launched a £5m loneliness fund which will aim to ensure that, for people of all ages and backgrounds, staying at home does not need to lead to loneliness. The Department also published guidance to help Britain’s top sportsmen and women to return to training safely .
- The Department for Health and Social Care has announced a major new human whole genome sequencing study will take place across the NHS, involving up to 20,000 people currently or previously in an intensive care unit with coronavirus, as well as 15,000 individuals who have mild or moderate symptoms.
- Sky News reports that experts in waste water from around the world are hoping that sewage could help them to track coronavirus hotspots and are researching techniques that could help gauge the level of infection in a certain community, without the need for testing.
- A coronavirus antibody test kit has been approved by Public Health England (PHE) in a breakthrough that could be key to easing the UK’s lockdown restrictions , the Telegraph
- Sky News reports that a trial of the NHS contact tracing app on the Isle of Wight has unveiled some issues with the software, Downing Street said.
- The Office for National Statistics is due to publish the first results of its landmark infection survey early this afternoon , its first proper estimate today of the number of people who have the coronavirus
- The World Health Organisation has warned that coronavirus “may never go away” as its experts predicted that a global mental health crisis caused by the pandemic was looming.
- Brazil has recorded its highest daily rise in the number of deaths from coronavirus, the BBC reports
- US security officials have said that China is trying to steal and disrupt the work of American researchers developing vaccines for the coronavirus
- India has announced plans to spur small and medium businesses as part of a $266bn economic package
- The US embassy in Tanzania has warned that there is a risk of “exponential growth” of Covid-19 cases in the country, at a time when the government is not releasing data on new cases.
- Lethoso , one of the few places in the world to be apparently free of coronavirus, has now reported its first case and the Ministry of Health said it was awaiting results for 301 cases where tests had been done and sent to neighbouring South Africa.
- Lebanon has begun a “total” lockdown for four days, following a rise in the number of coronavirus cases.
- Education Unions have published a joint statement on the safe reopening of schools, calling on the government to step back from the 1 st June and work with the sector to create the conditions for a safe return based on principles and tests they have set out. Signatories are AEP, GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU, NSEAD, Prospect, UNISON and Unite.
- Responding to the Telegraph report regarding the confidential Treasury report stating that the UK’s deficit could reach heights of £337 billion this year , Public and Commercial Services Union, Mark Serwotka, “Civil servants have already suffered 10 years of pay restraint and cuts and will not tolerate paying for the corona crisis which was not of their making.”
- The National Landlords Association has stated that landlords have welcomed the government’s decision to open up the housing market, which includes the lettings market.
- The Local Government Association has welcomed the government’s announcement to restart the housing market, however, they emphasise the need to allow councils at least five years to spend Right to Buy receipts, along with the ability to keep 100 per cent of receipts, set discounts locally and increase the proportion of receipts that can be used to meet the cost of replacement homes
- The Metro has reported that, according to NHS sources, the results of tens of thousands of Covid-19 key worker testing kits have gone missing