Lockdown

Don’t leave home this weekend, says Matt, reports BBC News.

Staying at home this weekend is an instruction and “not a request”, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said, as he updated the country on the coronavirus.
Speaking at the No 10 briefing, Mr Hancock said that while warm weather was forecast in some areas this weekend “the disease is still spreading”.
England’s chief nursing officer Ruth May also paid tribute to two nurses who have died from the disease.
“Please stay at home for them,” she urged people.

The Independent also reports Mr Hancock’ instruction.

Government ministers have issued an order to members of the public to stay at home on what is expected to be the hottest weekend of the year so far to help protect the NHS from an upsurge in coronavirus cases.
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, warned that any relaxation of social distancing will cost lives, declaring that the regime imposed by Boris Johnson two weeks ago “is not a request, it is an instruction”.

The Telegraph reports that additional police will be checking up.

Police forces are putting on extra patrols this weekend amid fears that people will break the coronavirus lockdown to go on pre-Easter breaks.
With a sunny weekend forecast for much of the country, police have warned people to stay indoors whatever the weather – and some have recruited extra officers to carry out checks on the roads and in green spaces.
Major online booking companies are still offering hotel and holiday home reservations for this weekend and beyond despite Government advice that the accommodation should be closed for commercial use.

And the Telegraph reiterates the government’s warning that if people break the rules, the lockdown might be tightened.

The coronavirus lockdown could be tightened if the public flouts social-distancing rules with a warm weekend expected, Government sources have warned.
With temperatures expected to hit almost 20 degrees Celsius, ministers including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, warned that the warm weather was not an excuse to break the lockdown.
One source suggested public spaces including parks could be shut if people defied the warnings.

The Mail also warns of police action.

Police have warned there will be extra patrols this weekend to stop people flouting coronavirus lockdown rules as Britain braces for a mini-heatwave.
Forces across the country will be deployed to beauty spots, parks and roads amid mounting fears the public will leave their homes to soak up the sun.
Temperatures will soar to 68F (20C) on Sunday and there will be ‘a good deal of sunshine’ on Saturday, with the Met Office saying the weather will be ‘feeling warmer than recently’.
London‘s biggest parks have even threatened to close if Britons ‘have picnics, sunbathe or cycle where it is not allowed’ as bosses signed a joint letter pledging action.

But the Times claims getting out of lockdown will be a problem.

Britain has “painted itself into a corner” with no clear exit strategy from the coronavirus epidemic and needs to reconsider herd immunity, according to a senior government adviser.
A prolonged lockdown risks causing more suffering than the virus itself, Graham Medley, the government’s chief pandemic modeller, has warned. He said that the country needed to face the trade-off between harming the young versus the old.

Deaths

The number of deaths from coronavirus is accelerating, says the Mail.

The UK has announced 684 more coronavirus deaths today, taking the total number of fatalities to 3,605.
Yet again the number is a record one-day high – this has been the case almost every day this week, with each day since Tuesday announcing more victims than the last.
Yesterday there were a record 569 new fatalities announced by the Department of Health and today’s statistics show a rise 20 per cent larger.
The new numbers mean the number of people dead from COVID-19 in the UK has risen five-fold in a week, from just 759 last Friday, March 27.

And we’ve even overtaken Italy, according to the Sun.

BRITAIN’S coronavirus death toll is HIGHER than Italy’s was at the same stage of the pandemic, figures suggest.
Covid-19 has killed at least 3,645 people in Britain – 667 more than the 2,978 deaths in Italy at the same point of their outbreak.
Today is 22 days since the tenth coronavirus death in Britain, a standard starting point for comparing outbreaks.
After the same number of days following the tenth death in Italy, which has suffered the most deadly coronavirus outbreak of any country, 2,978 people had died.
This is compared to 3,645 in the UK – including 40 who have died outside of hospital – after the number of deaths shot up by 684.
The rate of deaths each day also appears to be increasing more rapidly here, according to one set of data.

The peak of deaths could come next weekend, says Sky News.

The peak of the UK’s coronavirus outbreak – with as many as 1,000 deaths a day leading up to it – may come on Easter Sunday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has suggested.
At the launch of the new makeshift NHS Nightingale Hospital in east London, Mr Hancock told Sky News it was “perfectly possible” the peak of the COVID-19 crisis in this country could occur around 12 April.
As of 5pm on Thursday, the total number of people to have died in the UK after contracting coronavirus stood at 3,605 – a rise in the tally of 684 in 24 hours.
It has been reported there could be 1,000 deaths every 24 hours until the coronavirus peak is reached in little more than a week’s time.

In an exclusive report, the Mail says there are more preparations to cope with the dead.

A second vast mortuary is being built in east London on a site previously used to store rubbish trucks, MailOnline can reveal.
Workers in Waltham Forest are preparing three large white tents to house the bodies of coronavirus victims, which could arrive as early as Sunday.
It comes two days after MailOnline disclosed a morgue the size of two football fields was being developed at Manor Park in the neighbouring borough of Newham.
The new site, at Low Hall Depot in Leyton, spreads over nearly 10 acres of land, close to houses, a primary school and a sports ground.
Waltham Forest Council runs several services from the plot, including the storage of refuse trucks while a sewage plant is located nearby.
It is six miles from the new Nightingale Hospital at Excel, which will be able to care for 4,000 victims and was officially opened today by Prince Charles.

And a former airbase is also being prepared as a mortuary, reports Yahoo News.

Footage shot inside a disused airbase shows how aircraft hangers are being prepared to store the bodies of up to 6,000 coronavirus victims.
The film shows racks of plastic sheeting supported by scaffolding poles surrounded by air conditioning units.
So far, three hangars have been kitted out, each with room for 600 bodies during the pandemic.
There are 10 hangers on the former US airbase at Upper Heyford in Oxfordshire.

Flights

But potential carriers are still coming in from virus hotspots, reports the Independent.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has been challenged to explain why travellers from coronavirus hotspots like New York are not being made to self-isolate after arriving in the UK.
Self-isolation guidance for people arriving from the Chinese city of Wuhan and Hubei province, Italy, Iran or hard-hit parts of South Korea was withdrawn by the government on 13 March and has not been replaced.
Now the chair of the influential House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, Labour MP Yvette Cooper, has written to Ms Patel warning that the approach could help spread Covid-19 and demanding an explanation.
Countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand are now recommending or requiring quarantine or self-isolation for new arrivals.

Nigel has criticised the government in Breitbart.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage detects “the smell of failure in the air” as the coronavirus crisis unfolds in Britain, blaming Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the medical technocrats at Public Health England (PHE).
Writing in The Telegraph, Farage conceded that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was enjoying a bump in popularity — which is often the case during major crises, when the public rally around their leaders, right or wrong — and that this popularity had even “survived the reversal of the herd immunity strategy that his government had been pursuing”, but predicted that this would not last if it continued to fail on priorities such as testing.

Testing

Government promises may not be kept, says the Telegraph.

Seventeen and a half million coronavirus antibody tests promised by ministers are unlikely to be ready until June, potentially extending the UK lockdown by weeks, it has emerged.
Industry leaders commissioned by the Government to produce home-testing kits have told The Telegraph they are “mystified” by suggestions the technology will be available to the public imminently.
A blood test which detects whether a person has already contracted Covid-19 – as opposed to the antigen test, which flags a current infection – is considered by many experts to be vital for easing the restrictions that have brought Britain to a halt.
Last week, senior health officials said the finger-prick blood tests could become widely available via Amazon or Boots “within weeks”. Boris Johnson has described the kits as a “game-changer”.

And scientists agree that the targets may not be met, says the Times.

Testing manufacturers have said they were blindsided by the government’s promise to carry out 100,000 tests a day as they warned the target is unlikely to be met because of global shortages.
The head of the trade body for the diagnostics industry said Matt Hancock, the health secretary, had made no mention of specific targets in a meeting on Wednesday evening, meaning they were unaware of the ambitious pledge made at a press conference the following day.

Trials

Those who have had the virus are being urged to volunteer for the other type of test, the one for antibodies says the Sun.

THE NHS has launched the world’s largest clinical trial for coronavirus treatments – and needs more patients to take part.
Researchers crunched a year of planning and regulatory approval into just nine days and have almost 1,000 volunteers already.
But the Health Secretary tonight called on more patients to take part – with the approval of their doctors – adding that the “bigger the trials, the better the data and the faster we can roll out the treatments”.
Matt Hancock said that research on treatment for Covid-19 was “essential to our plan” for tackling the epidemic.

ITV News also reports the call for volunteers.

Medical experts have appealed for more volunteers to take part in coronavirus clinical trials as the government urged people to resist the warm weather this weekend and stay indoors.
Speaking at the daily government’s Covid-19 briefing, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam asked people to volunteer for world-leading research that Health Secretary Matt Hancock described as “essential to our plan” to tackle the Covid-19 epidemic.
The plea for more volunteers comes as the number of coronavirus-related deaths in the UK rose by 684, bringing the total to 3,605.

Vulnerable

Details of those people ‘shielding’ have been given to supermarkets, reports the Telegraph.

Supermarkets have been supplied with a list of 1.5 million vulnerable customers in the coronavirus crisis after the Government intervened to resolve a row over EU data protection laws which was causing delays.
The list of those who have been told to self-isolate for at least 12 weeks was drawn up by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in order to allow supermarkets to target the most needy with online deliveries.
Officials were prevented from sharing the data immediately, however, because of restrictions under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which prevents the mass sharing of private information including names, addresses and emails.

But the information has not gone to councils, says Huffington Post.

Data on 1.5m vulnerable people handed to supermarkets amid the coronavirus crisis has not been shared with councils on the front line, HuffPost UK understands.
When panic buying swept the country, the government waived data restrictions and passed on details of those most at risk from the disease to grocery giants such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
The aim was to ensure the “extremely clinically vulnerable”, who are on strict lockdown, did not run short of essentials and were first in line for home deliveries.
Local authorities, whose social care workers and volunteers want to target food parcels and support at the most vulnerable, were promised they too could have the vital data.

Education

Exam results will be estimated by teachers, reports the Times.

Teachers will calculate GCSE and A-level grades this summer by drawing up a league table of pupils in their classes, it was announced yesterday.
Students will be given a grade based on their predictions, but will also get the chance to sit exams in the autumn.
Ofqual, the watchdog for exams, said that teenagers would be able to use the higher of the two grades. It raises the possibility of hundreds of thousands of pupils wanting to sit exams at a time when schools and universities are keen to start the next academic year, after effectively being closed for six months.

Ofqual has written to students, says the Mirror.

The exam watchdog has written to all students due to take A levels and GCSES after this year’s exam season was cancelled due to coronavirus.
Students will receive grades based on their teachers’ assessment of their work, with the exam boards providing external checking.
Sally Collier, Chief Regulator, Ofqual, said: “We have published a message to students to reassure them that we, and exam boards, will do everything we can to make sure that, as far as possible, grades are fair and that they are not disadvantaged in their progress to sixth form, college, university, apprenticeships, training or work because of these unprecedented conditions.”

NHS

The service is changing, says the Times.

The health service’s battle against the coronavirus can seem unrelentingly bleak, with a rising death toll and a lack of ventilators, tests and facemasks for desperate frontline doctors.
However, behind the scenes, the NHS is transforming and embracing innovation at an astonishing pace in ways that look likely to outlast the pandemic.
It has taken “two and bit weeks to achieve more than we have achieved in 20 years” in adopting new technology, according to Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

The Queen

Her Majesty will speak to the nation tomorrow, says the Telegraph.

The Queen will deliver an unprecedented televised address on Sunday night, as she speaks as monarch and mother to a nation in the grip of the growing coronavirus outbreak.
It will be the first speech to be made by a monarch at a time of national crisis since the Second World War.
Timed for what Palace aides and the Government hope will be the right moment to reassure and rally the country, it will go out to millions on television and radio at 8pm.
The Queen, 93, recorded the address on Thursday at Windsor Castle, where she has been self-isolating with the Duke of Edinburgh, 98, since March 19.

The Mail says she will rally the nation.

The Queen will issue a rallying cry to the nation on Sunday in a rare address to the nation to boost morale.
In her first televised address on the coronavirus crisis, she is expected to say: ‘We are in this together – and we will all get through it together, too’. It is only the fifth time the 93-year-old monarch has made a broadcast outside of Christmas.
She recorded the message at Windsor Castle, where she is living in isolation with her 98-year-old husband Philip.

Football

With very little sport at the moment, football clubs are considering how they can help in this crisis, says the Mail.

Premier League captains have held discussions about coming together to generate a fund that would be devoted to help the NHS in their fight against Covid-19.
Jordan Henderson, Liverpool’s skipper, was instrumental in getting the talks off the ground but all his contemporaries — including Everton’s Seamus Coleman — have been heavily involved in finding a solution.
Top-flight footballers found themselves plunged into the spotlight on Thursday night when Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, called on them to ‘play their part’ and take pay cuts with the nation in the midst of a financial crisis.

And there’ll be no sport for a while, says the Sun.

PREMIER League clubs have put football’s restart on ice until the coronavirus crisis is under control.
But the clubs risked an all-out war with the PFA and players by agreeing they should push for a 30 per cent cut in wages.
After an unprecedented video conference meeting of the 20 shareholder clubs that lasted almost four HOURS, League chiefs released an agreed statement.
It came against the grim backdrop of the UK’s worst daily death toll yet with another 684 people dying of the virus in 24 hours, bringing the total to 3,645 UK dead.

Post

Postal deliveries may change, says the Star.

Royal Mail has announced stricter rules to its service in a bid to tackle the coronavirus crisis.
The rules, which will start from next week will see a change in deliveries and opening timings.
The delivery service previously revealed changes about handling and delivering mail during the crisis, reports  Mirror Online.
However from next week stricter guidelines will be put into place, though Post Office services are unaffected by the announcement.
Thousands of postmen and women step out to deliver mail every day providing a vital service to the nation.

Recession

After corona, there’ll be a recession, predicts the Telegraph.

The scale of the catastrophe being visited on the world’s biggest economies by the coronavirus became clear on Friday as a blizzard of dire data showed the West crashing into recession.
UK services firms representing 80pc of the overall economy suffered their biggest collapse in activity on record in March according to a closely-watched survey, as the lockdown crushed growth. It pushed the pound down 1pc against the dollar.
Eurozone economies took an even bigger hit last month, while over 700,000 job losses in the US prompted warnings of an “ice age” for the world’s biggest economy.

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