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 163,194 people in the UK have now been tested for Covid-19. Of those, 33,718 have tested positive.
  • As of yesterday afternoon, there were 569 fatalities in a 24 hour period bringing the total number of UK Covid-19 deaths up to 2,921.
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced a new five-pillar plan for testing at the daily Downing Street press conference yesterday. This plan included i.) Scale up swab testing in PHE labs and NHS hospitals for those with a medical need and the most critical workers to 25,000 a day by mid to late April, ii.) Deliver increased commercial swab testing for critical key workers in the NHS, iii.) Develop blood testing to help know if people have the right antibodies and so have high levels of immunity to coronavirus, iv.) Conduct surveillance testing to learn more about the spread of the disease and help develop new tests and treatments, V.) Create a new National Effort for testing.
  • Hancock revealed that he wanted there to be over 100,000 tests a day by the end of April. This includes a mixture of tests to see if you have the virus as well as antibody tests to see if someone has had the virus before.
  • Hancock announced that over £13 billion of debt will be written off as part of a major financial reset for NHS providers.
  • Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is expected to make an announcement today on measures to help small businesses.
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock opens the new NHS Nightingale Hospital this morning at the Excel Centre in London. The hospital has 500 beds but has the capacity for up to 4000 or more going forward.
  • Public Health England published fresh guidance yesterday on personal protective equipment (PPE). The guidance recommends the safest level of personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect NHS healthcare workers and specifies the type of PPE that should be worn in the various healthcare settings where patients are cared for.
  • Premier League football clubs will meet today to discuss pay cuts for players. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday that “Given the sacrifices people are making, including some of my colleagues in the NHS, who have made the ultimate sacrifice and gone into work and caught the disease and have sadly died, I think the first thing Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution; take a pay cut and play their part.”
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson was still experiencing mild symptoms yesterdayafternoon. However, he came out last night to take part in the clapping  front line staff who are fighting Covid-19.
  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced greater funding to keep bus routes running during the coronavirus pandemic.


  • The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 was laid yesterday. This statutory instrument allows local authorities to hold meetings remotely including by (but not limited to) telephone conferencing, video conferencing, live webcast, and live interactive streaming. The Regulations further modify existing legislative provisions to remove the requirement for local authorities to hold annual meetings, and to enable requirements for public and press access to local authority meetings and associated documents to be complied with through remote means and website access.

International News  

  • The number of Covid-19 cases worldwide has surpassed the one million mark, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.
  • Yesterday, Spain recorded its highest number of deaths in a single day at 950. Covid-19 has now claimed 10,003 lives in Spain.
  • The USA yesterday recorded the world’s highest number of deaths in a single day with 1,169. This record was previously held by Italy where 969 people died on March 27.
  • Signs that Saudi Arabia and Russia may end an oil feud sent prices up more than 20% on Wednesday, the biggest one-day leap on record. A deal to cut production – in response to the drop in demand from coronavirus shutdowns – collapsed last month.
  • Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo said at his daily briefing that the state only has enough ventilators in its stockpile for six more days.

Stakeholder Reactions  

  • Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke to Sky News yesterday about Covid-19. On testing, Corbyn said “It seems to me that the facilities of government to get that testing done have simply not been effective. The fact that we are not yet even testing 10,000 people a day is very, very serious indeed. There are almost half a million people working in the NHS care sector, even they have not yet been tested. It is ludicrous. We have got to get on top of testing. The problem is the government was too slow to do that, they didn’t buy the test kits in and now we have a real problem. I hope it can be resolved, very quickly.”
  • Transport Focus and London Travelwatch  have commented on the announcement today by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Greater funding to keep bus routes running during the coronavirus pandemic. Chief Executive Anthony Smith said:  “Around half of bus passengers tell us that the bus is the only real means of transport available to them, so it is right that the Government has recognised the exceptional circumstances posed by coronavirus. Bus operators and transport authorities must keep services running for key workers and those who must travel for medical care and essential shopping. It is vital that services are protected so they can get back up and running as soon as this crisis is over.”