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UK coronavirus live: death toll and infections rise in Scotland, as London hospitals see 'tsunami' of patients UK coronavirus live: death toll and cases rise in Scotland and Wales; London hospitals see 'tsunami' of patients
(31 minutes later)
Rolling coverage of all the latest UK coronavirus developmentsRolling coverage of all the latest UK coronavirus developments
There have been 113 new coronavirus cases in Wales and six new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in Wales to 28, Public Health Wales has said in a statement.
A care home in Hove where around three-quarters of the residents are suffering symptoms of Covid-19 has been refused protective equipment by the government.
After the local MP intervened, the prime minister apparently promised that protective equipment for all care home staff will be distributed by tomorrow. Peter Kyle, the MP for Hove, has said he will “be watching the situation and ensure this materialises”.
About three-quarters of residents and seven members of staff at Oaklands Nursing Home, in Hove, Brighton, are reportedly displaying symptoms of Covid-19 with one resident testing positive yesterday.
But despite the symptoms first appearing 15 days ago, the government has so far failed to issue the home the proper protective equipment it has asked for.
The local newspaper, the Argus, reported that three residents were tested on Saturday. One person tested positive and another person tested negative. The last result has yet to be returned.
Kyle, Labour MP for Hove, told the local paper, the Argus:
The local newspaper, the Argus, reported that three residents were tested on Saturday. One person tested positive and another person tested negative. The last result has yet to be returned.
Our North of England editor Helen Pidd has noted that Derbyshire Police are using drone surveillance to spot those flouting essential travel rules under the coronavirus lockdown.Our North of England editor Helen Pidd has noted that Derbyshire Police are using drone surveillance to spot those flouting essential travel rules under the coronavirus lockdown.
The NHS nurse who posted a tearful video of herself outside a supermarket with empty shelves after she was unable to buy food, has developed coronavirus symptoms and is self-isolating.The NHS nurse who posted a tearful video of herself outside a supermarket with empty shelves after she was unable to buy food, has developed coronavirus symptoms and is self-isolating.
Dawn Billbrough’s emotional plea for people to stop panic buying went viral last week, and has now been shared over 28,000 times on Facebook.Dawn Billbrough’s emotional plea for people to stop panic buying went viral last week, and has now been shared over 28,000 times on Facebook.
On Monday she posted another video to say she had woken up with coronavirus symptoms so had decided to stay off work.On Monday she posted another video to say she had woken up with coronavirus symptoms so had decided to stay off work.
“My chest has been quite tight, which is unusual because I don’t have any problems with my chest usually, I’ve got a really bad headache, I just feel a bit nauseous, so I’ve contacted work to say I won’t be in and I will be self-isolating,” said Billbrough, a critical care nurse in York. “I’m just feeling a little apprehensive right now.”“My chest has been quite tight, which is unusual because I don’t have any problems with my chest usually, I’ve got a really bad headache, I just feel a bit nauseous, so I’ve contacted work to say I won’t be in and I will be self-isolating,” said Billbrough, a critical care nurse in York. “I’m just feeling a little apprehensive right now.”
Speaking on Good Morning Britain this morning she said doing stuff around the house makes her breathless, and she has persistent nausea and headaches.Speaking on Good Morning Britain this morning she said doing stuff around the house makes her breathless, and she has persistent nausea and headaches.
“I do believe that I have Covid, but obviously I haven’t been tested so it’s hard to confirm,” she said.“I do believe that I have Covid, but obviously I haven’t been tested so it’s hard to confirm,” she said.
She went on to say: “The cases are beginning to get more and more each day.She went on to say: “The cases are beginning to get more and more each day.
“My colleagues, my friends, we’re all quite worried that we don’t think people in the United Kingdom are taking this seriously.“My colleagues, my friends, we’re all quite worried that we don’t think people in the United Kingdom are taking this seriously.
“People are going to die. You need to stay indoors, you need to protect the NHS and you need to save lives.”“People are going to die. You need to stay indoors, you need to protect the NHS and you need to save lives.”
Productions by the National Theatre are heading to YouTube after the venue was forced to close.Productions by the National Theatre are heading to YouTube after the venue was forced to close.
One Man, Two Guvnors, with James Corden, will be the first play to be broadcast on the streaming site for free.One Man, Two Guvnors, with James Corden, will be the first play to be broadcast on the streaming site for free.
The theatre said it “is facing a devastating impact from coronavirus” and appealed for donations.The theatre said it “is facing a devastating impact from coronavirus” and appealed for donations.
Other screenings will include stage adaptions of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night featuring Tamsin Greig.Other screenings will include stage adaptions of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night featuring Tamsin Greig.
The Crown Prosecution Service has put out a statement today saying that anyone using “coronavirus coughs” to threaten emergency workers could face serious criminal charges. It follows reports that police officers, shop workers and others have been coughed at by people claiming to have the disease.The Crown Prosecution Service has put out a statement today saying that anyone using “coronavirus coughs” to threaten emergency workers could face serious criminal charges. It follows reports that police officers, shop workers and others have been coughed at by people claiming to have the disease.
The CPS says that using coughing in this way as a threat could lead to someone being charged with common assault. And it says that assaults specifically against emergency workers are punishable by up to two years in prison.The CPS says that using coughing in this way as a threat could lead to someone being charged with common assault. And it says that assaults specifically against emergency workers are punishable by up to two years in prison.
Max Hill, the director of public prosecutions, said:Max Hill, the director of public prosecutions, said:
At her daily briefing, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that as of 9am there are a further 175 cases of coronavirus in Scotland, taking the total to 894 positive tests, and a further three deaths, taking that total to 25.At her daily briefing, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that as of 9am there are a further 175 cases of coronavirus in Scotland, taking the total to 894 positive tests, and a further three deaths, taking that total to 25.
Setting out the enforcement measures that stem from the passing of the Covid-19 legislation, which was given legislative consent in Holyrood on Tuesday, Sturgeon said that Police Scotland could now direct people to return home if they were not complying with the guidance on public gatherings, and also use prohibition notices and on-the-spot fines. The details of these will be set out later today.Setting out the enforcement measures that stem from the passing of the Covid-19 legislation, which was given legislative consent in Holyrood on Tuesday, Sturgeon said that Police Scotland could now direct people to return home if they were not complying with the guidance on public gatherings, and also use prohibition notices and on-the-spot fines. The details of these will be set out later today.
She said that the measures, “which would have been unimaginable a few weeks ago”, were essential but that the police would be taking a “soft” approach to enforcement.She said that the measures, “which would have been unimaginable a few weeks ago”, were essential but that the police would be taking a “soft” approach to enforcement.
As with elsewhere in the country, medical staff have been expressing concern about supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). The health minister Jeane Freeman says that 1.5m masks that had an expiry date of June 2019 have now been retested and made available today, and that she is “taking every step we can with orders in the pipeline”.As with elsewhere in the country, medical staff have been expressing concern about supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). The health minister Jeane Freeman says that 1.5m masks that had an expiry date of June 2019 have now been retested and made available today, and that she is “taking every step we can with orders in the pipeline”.
Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s chief medical officer, said that there had been discussion about possible sites for field hospitals to cope with increasing numbers of patients, but that the key was to expand capacity in existing intensive care units.Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s chief medical officer, said that there had been discussion about possible sites for field hospitals to cope with increasing numbers of patients, but that the key was to expand capacity in existing intensive care units.
Calderwood says the numbers announced are a very significant underestimate, and that she believes that there could be 40,000-50,000 people in Scotland who are infected, many of whom don’t yet know they are infected.Calderwood says the numbers announced are a very significant underestimate, and that she believes that there could be 40,000-50,000 people in Scotland who are infected, many of whom don’t yet know they are infected.
A 14-year-old boy has been arrested after a doctor was robbed on his way to hospital last night.A 14-year-old boy has been arrested after a doctor was robbed on his way to hospital last night.
The victim was forced to withdraw a “two-figure” sum from a cash machine after being approached by two people on foot and one on a bicycle in Harlow, Essex.The victim was forced to withdraw a “two-figure” sum from a cash machine after being approached by two people on foot and one on a bicycle in Harlow, Essex.
Police said the robbery, which began at around 9.25pm in Market Square, was one of three incidents in the town within an hour last night which have been linked.Police said the robbery, which began at around 9.25pm in Market Square, was one of three incidents in the town within an hour last night which have been linked.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, is currently holding her daily coronavirus briefing. Here are some of her main points.Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, is currently holding her daily coronavirus briefing. Here are some of her main points.
The National Education Union, which represents almost half a million teachers and education workers, has called for greater support for supply teachers who play a vital role in schools.The National Education Union, which represents almost half a million teachers and education workers, has called for greater support for supply teachers who play a vital role in schools.
Commenting before the chancellor’s briefing on support for self-employed workers during the Covid-19 crisis, Mary Bousted, NEU joint general secretary, said: “In these unsettling times it is imperative that the government gives support to those who need it. Sadly, their response to the plight of self-employed workers in recent days has been far from adequate.Commenting before the chancellor’s briefing on support for self-employed workers during the Covid-19 crisis, Mary Bousted, NEU joint general secretary, said: “In these unsettling times it is imperative that the government gives support to those who need it. Sadly, their response to the plight of self-employed workers in recent days has been far from adequate.
“There is currently a lack of clarity in existing guidance about whether the coronavirus job retention scheme applies to supply staff. Rishi Sunak has previously stated that all workers employed via PAYE are eligible for 80% cover up to a cap of £2,500 per month, but we believe this should be extended to the self-employed. The chancellor must be explicit on this point.“There is currently a lack of clarity in existing guidance about whether the coronavirus job retention scheme applies to supply staff. Rishi Sunak has previously stated that all workers employed via PAYE are eligible for 80% cover up to a cap of £2,500 per month, but we believe this should be extended to the self-employed. The chancellor must be explicit on this point.
“Supply teachers, agency teaching assistants and others working in the education sector must have proper financial stability, on a genuine like-for-like with their PAYE counterparts.”“Supply teachers, agency teaching assistants and others working in the education sector must have proper financial stability, on a genuine like-for-like with their PAYE counterparts.”
Here are the main points from today’s Downing Street lobby briefing.Here are the main points from today’s Downing Street lobby briefing.
Boris Johnson is now hoping to get 750,000 people to sign up for the NHS volunteer responders scheme, the prime minister’s spokesman revealed. (See 11.54am.)Boris Johnson is now hoping to get 750,000 people to sign up for the NHS volunteer responders scheme, the prime minister’s spokesman revealed. (See 11.54am.)
Banks have received a formal warning from the government not to profiteer from the coronavirus crisis, the spokesman said. Under the business interruption loan scheme announced by the Treasury last week the government was covering the first 12 months of interest costs, he said. But banks also needed to play their part. They should be ensuring that the benefits of the scheme were passed through to businesses and consumers. He said the chancellor, the governor of the Bank of England and the head of the Financial Conduct Authority wrote to the major banks yesterday to emphasise this point. He went on:Banks have received a formal warning from the government not to profiteer from the coronavirus crisis, the spokesman said. Under the business interruption loan scheme announced by the Treasury last week the government was covering the first 12 months of interest costs, he said. But banks also needed to play their part. They should be ensuring that the benefits of the scheme were passed through to businesses and consumers. He said the chancellor, the governor of the Bank of England and the head of the Financial Conduct Authority wrote to the major banks yesterday to emphasise this point. He went on:
The letter has been prompted by concerns that banks are charging excessive rates of interest.The letter has been prompted by concerns that banks are charging excessive rates of interest.
The spokesman did not rule out reports that the government is planning to set up more emergency hospitals around the UK like the one being established in the ExCeL centre in London. According to Sky News, around 10 more sites have been identified for these hospitals. Asked about these reports, the spokesman said:The spokesman did not rule out reports that the government is planning to set up more emergency hospitals around the UK like the one being established in the ExCeL centre in London. According to Sky News, around 10 more sites have been identified for these hospitals. Asked about these reports, the spokesman said:
The spokesman said that the ExCeL hospital, NHS Nightingale, would have 500 beds available next week. Eventually it is due to have 4,000 beds available.The spokesman said that the ExCeL hospital, NHS Nightingale, would have 500 beds available next week. Eventually it is due to have 4,000 beds available.
The spokesman defended the government’s decision to commit to buying 3.5m antibody tests even though their reliability is not yet proven. Asked to justify this, he said:The spokesman defended the government’s decision to commit to buying 3.5m antibody tests even though their reliability is not yet proven. Asked to justify this, he said:
It is understood that the 3.5m tests do not all come from the same supplier.It is understood that the 3.5m tests do not all come from the same supplier.
The spokesman said that Dyson would only be paid for the 10,000 ventilators ordered by the government (see 9.25am) if they passed the required regulatory tests. He said that there had been an “overwhelming response” from firms offering to make ventilators and that the government was now testing “proof of concept” with a number of suppliers. He went on:The spokesman said that Dyson would only be paid for the 10,000 ventilators ordered by the government (see 9.25am) if they passed the required regulatory tests. He said that there had been an “overwhelming response” from firms offering to make ventilators and that the government was now testing “proof of concept” with a number of suppliers. He went on:
The spokesman dismissed suggestions that it was hard to understand why the government was not participating in the EU-wide procurement scheme for ventilators. Asked why the government was not doing this, he replied: “We are no longer members of the EU.” In fact, because the UK is in the post-Brexit transition period, the UK would have been able to participate. When it was put to him that people would find it hard to understand this decision, particularly in the light of the fact that the PM has called for international cooperation in the fight against coronavirus, the spokesman said: “I’m not sure that it is.” He also stressed that the UK was making its own efforts to procure ventilators. He said:The spokesman dismissed suggestions that it was hard to understand why the government was not participating in the EU-wide procurement scheme for ventilators. Asked why the government was not doing this, he replied: “We are no longer members of the EU.” In fact, because the UK is in the post-Brexit transition period, the UK would have been able to participate. When it was put to him that people would find it hard to understand this decision, particularly in the light of the fact that the PM has called for international cooperation in the fight against coronavirus, the spokesman said: “I’m not sure that it is.” He also stressed that the UK was making its own efforts to procure ventilators. He said:
The spokesman confirmed that the way UK coronavirus deaths are recorded and made public is changing (see 11.07am), but he was unable to give details of how. He said Public Health England was moving to a different reporting time. Yesterday was “a crossover day” in the way they were recording the numbers, he said. But he was unable to explain what would change.The spokesman confirmed that the way UK coronavirus deaths are recorded and made public is changing (see 11.07am), but he was unable to give details of how. He said Public Health England was moving to a different reporting time. Yesterday was “a crossover day” in the way they were recording the numbers, he said. But he was unable to explain what would change.
The spokesman said the Home Office would be releasing later today details of the new powers being given to police to enforce the lockdown.The spokesman said the Home Office would be releasing later today details of the new powers being given to police to enforce the lockdown.
The spokesman said that workers worried that they would not be able to comply with the two-metre rule at work, if they were not working from home, should raise their concerns with their employer. And he said the government was also urging bosses to listen to the concerns of their staff.The spokesman said that workers worried that they would not be able to comply with the two-metre rule at work, if they were not working from home, should raise their concerns with their employer. And he said the government was also urging bosses to listen to the concerns of their staff.
The spokesman confirmed that the lockdown measures could be extended. He said:The spokesman confirmed that the lockdown measures could be extended. He said:
The spokesman insisted that the government was still committed to doing 10,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of this week. On Wednesday there were 6,643, he said, up from 6,491 on Tuesday and 5,605 on Monday. On personal protective equipment, he said that more than 15m face masks had been delivered to the frontline in the last two days, as well as 24.6m gloves and 1.9m eye protectors yesterday.The spokesman insisted that the government was still committed to doing 10,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of this week. On Wednesday there were 6,643, he said, up from 6,491 on Tuesday and 5,605 on Monday. On personal protective equipment, he said that more than 15m face masks had been delivered to the frontline in the last two days, as well as 24.6m gloves and 1.9m eye protectors yesterday.
The spokesman said Johnson’s call would take place at 12pm, and was scheduled to last for 90 minutes. Saudi Arabia would be chairing it, he said. He said Johnson thought international cooperation was essential. An announcement might be coming after the call.The spokesman said Johnson’s call would take place at 12pm, and was scheduled to last for 90 minutes. Saudi Arabia would be chairing it, he said. He said Johnson thought international cooperation was essential. An announcement might be coming after the call.
The spokesman was unable to say whether Johnson had any plans to work from Chequers during the Easter recess. For now he would be working from No 10, the spokesman said. In normal circumstances the PM does go to Chequers at Easter. But, with the government advising people not to travel to their second homes, such a move might look hypocritical.The spokesman was unable to say whether Johnson had any plans to work from Chequers during the Easter recess. For now he would be working from No 10, the spokesman said. In normal circumstances the PM does go to Chequers at Easter. But, with the government advising people not to travel to their second homes, such a move might look hypocritical.
The spokesman hinted that the PM might take part in the Clap for our Carers event planned for 8pm tonight. (See 11.28am.) Asked whether he would, the spokesman said:The spokesman hinted that the PM might take part in the Clap for our Carers event planned for 8pm tonight. (See 11.28am.) Asked whether he would, the spokesman said:
The spokesman confirmed that Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, would hold this afternoon’s press conference. Johnson is not due to attend.The spokesman confirmed that Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, would hold this afternoon’s press conference. Johnson is not due to attend.
The spokesman said that the government’s daily press conferences would continue during the parliamentary recess.The spokesman said that the government’s daily press conferences would continue during the parliamentary recess.
The Isle of Wight festival is the latest annual event to have been cancelled due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19.The Isle of Wight festival is the latest annual event to have been cancelled due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19.
The festival was scheduled to take place between 11 and 14 June in Newport, with performances expected from Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi, Duran Duran and the Chemical Brothers.The festival was scheduled to take place between 11 and 14 June in Newport, with performances expected from Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi, Duran Duran and the Chemical Brothers.
Childline has given more than 900 counselling sessions to children worried about coronavirus, with the majority taking place over the last week.Childline has given more than 900 counselling sessions to children worried about coronavirus, with the majority taking place over the last week.
Almost two thirds – 597 – of sessions relating to the Covid-19 outbreak took place between March 16 and March 22, as school closures were announced.Almost two thirds – 597 – of sessions relating to the Covid-19 outbreak took place between March 16 and March 22, as school closures were announced.
Of these remote sessions, the service said more than 50 were with children whhose suicidal thoughts had been exacerbated by fears over the virus.Of these remote sessions, the service said more than 50 were with children whhose suicidal thoughts had been exacerbated by fears over the virus.
The government has given Childline staff and volunteers key worker status so they can continue to keep the service running throughout the outbreak.The government has given Childline staff and volunteers key worker status so they can continue to keep the service running throughout the outbreak.
The price farmers are getting for selling lamb has collapsed due to the coronavirus shutdown, according to the chief executive of the National Sheep Association.The price farmers are getting for selling lamb has collapsed due to the coronavirus shutdown, according to the chief executive of the National Sheep Association.
Phil Stocker said:Phil Stocker said:
Half of UK food normally goes to out-of-home eating – restaurants, bars and canteens – with the other half sold to shoppers. Businesses are struggling to repackage trade products into retail products.“You have just pushed all of that [catering trade] into retail,” said Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers Union on Tuesday. “All of those supply chains, we absolutely have to make sure they are maintained and they are diverted into retail. It is critical this happens this week.”Half of UK food normally goes to out-of-home eating – restaurants, bars and canteens – with the other half sold to shoppers. Businesses are struggling to repackage trade products into retail products.“You have just pushed all of that [catering trade] into retail,” said Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers Union on Tuesday. “All of those supply chains, we absolutely have to make sure they are maintained and they are diverted into retail. It is critical this happens this week.”