Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

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

Key announcements  

  • The figures yesterday showed that 152,979 people in the UK have now been tested for Covid-19. Of those, 29,474 have tested positive.
  • As of yesterday afternoon, 2,352 hospitalised patients have died of the virus, indicating an increase of 563 fatalities in 24 hours. The youngest fatality was 13 years old with no underlying health conditions.
  • Around 950,000 people have applied for universal credit in the last two weeks. This is a dramatic spike, with 100,000 usually expected to apply over any normal two-week period.
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to announce a five-point plan for testing today, following increasing criticism for the lack of testing equipment, especially for frontline staff. Dr Yvonne Doyle, Public Health England medical director, told the daily press conference yesterday that the government intended to increase for frontline NHS staff “thousands to hundreds of thousands within the coming weeks”.
  • The international climate summit, COP 26, that were due to take place in Glasgow in November have been postponed until 2021.
  • Wimbledon tennis tournament has been cancelled for the first time since World War Two.
  • Edinburgh Fringe has also been cancelled this year.
  • The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned that six in 10 UK firms face collapse without adequate support, with 62 percent of their members warning that they have no more than three months cash left to cover running costs.
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to do the daily press conference today to announce a new support package for small businesses. It is expected that Sunak will announce plans to make it easier for SMEs to access the new Business Interruption Loan Scheme, following reports yesterday than up to 800,000 businesses could collapse after they struggled to access the scheme.
  • It has been revealed that a major London teaching hospital almost ran out of oxygen over the weekend due to the rise in Covid-19 patients needing ventilators.
  • The Ministry of Defence has called up 3,000 reservists to help respond to the pandemic. They are expected to be helping with medical and logistical support for the NHS.


  • The UK Government will set up a “virtual” Parliament to allow MPs to scrutinise the government’s response over the coming weeks and months, following calls from the opposition and Speaker of the House. Leader of the House, Jacob Rees Mogg said the government were “considering every technological solution available” and aimed to have measures ready for parliament’s return on 21 April.

International News  

  • Italy had its lowest death toll in a week yesterday with 727 recorded fatalities. However, the number of fatalities in the country now stands at 13,155, the highest number recorded for any country.   
  • The total number of deaths in Europe now stands above 30,000, with Spain suffering the largest number of fatalities after Italy.
  • The death toll in the US now stands at 5,100, with 1,300 people fatalities in New York. President Trump has faced criticism for his response to the crisis, with experts warning of a shortage of medical supplies and delays to testing.
  • President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has ordered police to shoot dead residents who cause “trouble” during the country’s lockdown.
  • Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a law allowing the government to declare a state of emergency.
  • The World Health Organisation has stated that the number of infections globally will reach a million within the coming days.
  • There is increasing concern for millions of people living in refugee camps, where social distancing is impossible. Syria’s health ministry has confirmed the countries first fatality from the virus. There are currently no recorded cases of Covid-19 in the north-western province of Idlib, but humanitarian organisations have raised concern about the impact it could potentially have in the region.

Stakeholder Reactions  

  • The Institute for Fiscal Studies have called for greater income protection for the self-employed and employees: “there are people for whom most of their income is not covered by these schemes, including the newly self- employed, self-employed high earners and those who run their business as a company rather than through self-employment.”
  • The Labour Party Labour have repeated calls for a clear National Testing Strategy, with community testing and contact tracing to break the chains of transmission of coronavirus.
  • Commenting on the decision to cancel Edinburgh festival, Adam French, Which? Consumer Rights Expert said: “While understandable, the cancellation of the Edinburgh festivals will be disappointing news for the millions of people who flock to the Scottish capital to experience one of the world’s great cultural events. It’s good to see that some organisers have said they’ll be refunding registration fees, tickets and memberships, so those who planned to attend events may be able to get their money back.”
  • GMB union, which represents hundreds of thousands of key workers, has released figures showing that three million key workers don’t earn the Real Living Wage. Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary warned that: “millions of front-line workers aren’t paid enough to live on, but where would we be without them? Not just in this crisis, every single day of the year.”

Unconfirmed Reports  

  • IAG-owned British Airways is expected to announce a suspension of about 36,000 of its employees. Talks with Unite the Union are still ongoing.