Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

19 August 2020

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

Key Announcements   

  • As of Tuesday 18  August 2020 , the daily number of people testing positive for Covid-19 was 1,089, 320,286 have tested positive during the pandemic in total. Yesterday, 12 people sadly died, bringing the total number of deaths to 41,381.
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced  that the Office for National Statistics shall expand the infection survey in England to 400,000 people. It will expand from regularly testing 28,000 people per fortnight in England to 150,000 by October, the Health Secretary will announce today. The survey aims to increase to 400,000 people across the entire project in England.   It was also announced that the government would provide a £2 million grant to the   COVID-19 symptom study app .
  • Hancock confirmed yesterday  in a speech at the Policy Exchange Think Tank that the Government would create a  new National Institute for Health Protection . I t will bring together Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Test and Trace, as well as the analytical capability of the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) under a single leadership team.  It shall be under the interim leadership of Baroness Dido Harding.
  • Covid-19 restrictions in Leicesterhave been eased. Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed  that nail bars, salons and some outdoor venues  could open from today.
  • The Office for National Statistics  has found today that  UK consumer price inflation jumped to 1% in July from 0.6% in June as lockdown measures eased further.   The Bank of England said earlier this month that it expects inflation to drop again soon.   It could fall to -0.3% in August, the central bank said.

Regional /Devolved  

  • A decision on whether the current lockdown in Aberdeen  shall continue is expected from Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon later today.
  • Wales has reported no Covid-19 deaths for the second day in a row . This is the seventh day this month where no Covid-19 related deaths have been recorded in Wales.
  • Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann  has  said   that “the time is coming for the executive to consider fresh and concrete actions to prevent further spread of the virus,”  and that “this could include imposing localised restrictions or general measures or a   combination of both. “


  • Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison  has  said  that  he  would  want to make any potential Covid-19 vaccine mandatory as he outlined plans to “return the country to normal life” .
  • Taoiseach of Ireland  Micheál Martin  has  announced  that new restrictions shall be put in place until at least 13 September  following a spike in Covid-19 cases over the last few weeks.
  • It has been reported  that France plans to make the use of face masks compulsory in most workplaces. This comes amid evidence that cases are rising across Europe.


  • Shadow Housing Secretary Thangam Debbonaire  has written to Secretary of State Robert  Jenrick, calling on the Government to extend the evictions ban which is due to expire on Sunday.
  • The Institute for Fiscal Studies has published  a report on Covid-19 and English council funding. The report has produced a number of findings including councils’ forecasts for spending and non-tax income and the  baseline scenario for funding imply a funding shortfall of approximately £2 billion this year, although uncertainty about pressures and funding availability means there is scope for the gap to be much bigger or smaller.
  • Universities UK has written a letter to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson about the A-level results day situation. The letter states that “a  number of institutions will lose out from this very late policy change & need significant financial support” .

Unconfirmed reports   

  • The I are  reporting  that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson offered his resignation in the aftermath of the A-level grading controversy.  It is reported that Boris Johnson refused his resignation.