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Health secretary Matt Hancock has warned that sunbathing is against the coronavirus lockdown rules, as the UK prepares for another day of warm weather.
According to official figures published on Sunday afternoon, in the UK:
- 4,934 people in hospital had died after contracting coronavirus as of 5pm on Saturday, an increase of 621 in 24 hours.
- As of 9am on Sunday, April 5, 195,524 people have been tested for the virus, with 47,806 people testing positive.
Global cases of the virus have now surpassed 1.2m, and almost 65,000 people have died worldwide according to a running total maintained by the John Hopkins University.
Here’s the latest on Covid-19, both in the UK and abroad:
Boris Johnson admitted to hospital over symptoms
Prime minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital for tests as his coronavirus symptoms persist, Downing Street has said.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “On the advice of his doctor, the Prime Minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests.
“This is a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus.
“The prime minister thanks NHS staff for all of their incredible hard work and urges the public to continue to follow the government’s advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
21 more patients die in Ireland
Another 21 patients in Ireland who were diagnosed with Covid-19 have died, according to the health authorities, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 158.
The most recent deaths were that of nine female and 12 males.
Twelve of the patients were reported to have had underlying health conditions.
Meanwhile, Italy recorded 525 deaths from coronavirus, its lowest daily toll in more than two weeks since the 427 deaths recorded on March 19.
The rate of coronavirus deaths in Spain also slowed for a third straight day as the European nation reported 674 deaths compared to 809 a day earlier, as the country began its fourth week under a near-total lockdown.
Over 10,000 tests conducted
Public Health England said 11,085 tests for coronavirus were carried out on 8,651 people on Saturday in England.
A tweet by the Department of Health added that PHE gave the testing capacity for inpatient care in England as 12,799 tests per day.
Scotland’s chief medical officer apologises for visiting second home
Scotland’s chief medical officer was wrong to visit her family’s second home in Fife during the coronavirus pandemic, which went against her own advice that all Scots should stay at home, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The first minister said she does not condone anyone breaking the guidance on preventing the spread of the virus, but added it would be “damaging not to have the ongoing advice and expertise” of Dr Catherine Calderwood as chief medical officer.
Calderwood told a briefing at the Scottish government headquarters in Edinburgh on Sunday she had also visited the home in Fife last weekend with her husband.
She has apologised after photos of herself and her family near a coastal retreat in Earlsferry were published in The Scottish Sun on Saturday.
Just days earlier, the 51-year-old tweeted a photo of her family at their main residence in Edinburgh as they clapped for the front-line NHS staff working to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Sturgeon said: “The chief medical officer made a mistake in travelling away from her home. Whatever her reasons for doing so, it was wrong and she knows that.
“All of us, including me, will make mistakes in these unprecedented times we are living in. When we do we must be candid about it and learn from it.”
Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said officers had visited Calderwood and issued a warning about her conduct.
Calderwood said her reasons for visiting the house – a drive of more than an hour from Edinburgh – were “not legitimate” and she is “truly sorry for not following advice she gave to others”.
Third nurse, 23, dies after treating coronavirus patients
A 23–year–old nurse at Watford general hospital has died after treating coronavirus patients, the third nurse known to have died in the UK during the outbreak.
John Alagos reportedly collapsed at home after working a 12–hour shift tending to patients, and had complained of a high temperature and headache after returning home.
His mother Gina Gustilo told the Mail on Sunday that her son did not have access to proper PPE. She said: “They wear PPE, but not totally protective of the mouth. They wear the normal masks.”
Alagos’ death follows that of two other young nurses; Aimee O’Rourke, 39, who worked at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, and Areema Nasreen, 36, who worked at the Walsall Manor Hospital.
A midwife who died on Thursday after testing positive for coronavirus at Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust has been named as Lynsay Coventry, 54, The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust said.
Longleat owner Lord Bath dies after contracting coronavirus
Lord Bath of Longleat has died aged 87 after testing positive for coronavirus.
Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath, died on Saturday after being admitted to the Royal United Hospital in Bath on March 28.
During his time there, it was confirmed that he had Covid-19.
Longleat Safari Park confirmed the news in a Facebook post on Sunday, expressing their “deepest sadness” at Lord Bath’s death.
They added: “The family would like to express their great appreciation for the dedicated team of nurses, doctors and other staff who cared so professionally and compassionately for Alexander in these extremely difficult times for everyone.”
“They would politely request a period of privacy to deal with their loss.”
Man charged with wiping saliva on supermarket products
A 20-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly wiping his saliva on products in a Dorset supermarket.
The man entered the Lidl store on St Andrews Road in Bridport wearing a face mask and gloves at about 2pm on Friday, Dorset Police said.
He was seen to lower the mask and lick his fingers before “purposefully” rubbing them onto an item in the store.
The force said following inquiries, the individual was arrested and charged with an offence of contaminating or interfering with goods with intent under Section 38 of the Public Order Act 1986.
He is due to appear before Weymouth Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
Dorset Police said the suspect did not have a confirmed case of Covid-19 and was not displaying any symptoms.
Sunbathing against the rules, health secretary warns
Sunbathing is “against the rules” of the UK-wide lockdown, health secretary Matt Hancock has warned as the country prepares for another day of warm weather.
As the sunshine set on on Saturday thousands of people headed out to parks and beauty spots, with Sussex Police warned that social distancing had become “impossible” after scores flocked to the beach, and Brockwell Park closed after 3,000 people passed through its gates.
Speaking to Sky News the cabinet minister called their behaviour “unbelievable” and underlined that Brits can only go outside for food, medical supplies, exercise or work while the lockdown is in place.
He added: “There are a small minority of people who are still not doing that – it’s quite unbelievable frankly to see that there are some people who are not following the advice.”
Speaking to Andrew Marr later on Sunday morning, Hancock warned that outside exercise could be banned if social distancing rules are continually broken.
He added: “If the result of that [allowing exercise] is that too many people go out and flout the other rules because they say ‘well if I can exercise, then it’s fine for me to do other things’, then I’m afraid we will have to take action.
“My message is really clear, if you don’t want us to have to take the step to ban exercise of all forms outside of your own home then you’ve got to follow the rules.”
However, speaking at a press conference in Downing Street in the afternoon, Hancock said a stricter coronavirus lockdown is not “imminent”.
He added that the government has “upgraded” the guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line workers based on its evolving understanding on the level of risk posed by Covid-19.
“As we have learned about the science of coronavirus over the last few months, so we will keep upgrading and improving guidance as we learn more about it,” he said.
Watford hospital reopens after running out of oxygen during critical incident
Watford General Hospital has reopened after closing its doors on Saturday as a result of running out of oxygen supplies.
A critical incident was declared, patients were transferred to other facilities, and people were urged to stay away and to travel to other hospitals in the case of an emergency.
The restrictions were lifted at around 10.30pm on Saturday evening, said West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Deputy chief executive Helen Brown said: “We know that our NHS colleagues and the police are exceptionally busy at the moment, but this didn’t stop them stepping in to help.”
As of 5pm Thursday, 29 people had died at West Hertfordshire NHS Trust hospitals after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
The trust is responsible for Watford General as well as Hemel Hampstead and St Albans City hospitals.
Queen urges nation to prove current generation is ‘as strong as any’
In a rare televised broadcast the Queen urged Britain to prove that the current generation is “as strong as any”, amid fears the warm weather will lead to people ignoring current social distancing rules.
She personally thanked front-line NHS staff, care workers and others carrying out essential roles for their efforts, in a deeply personal message reflecting her experience in other difficult times.
It comes as the UK death toll from the virus rose by 708 – bringing the number of coronavirus-related hospital deaths to 4,313 as of 5pm on Friday, up from 3,605 the day before. A five-year-old child was among the victims.
The monarch acknowledged the “grief” some have experienced, the “financial difficulties” many face, and the “enormous changes” the country is enduring, after almost two weeks of lockdown to tackle the spread of Covid-19.
The Queen has made only three prior televised addresses – broadcast after the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, ahead of Diana, Princess of Wales’s funeral in 1997, and about the first Gulf War in 1991.
Donald Trump warns Americans to expect ‘a lot of death’
The US is heading into what could be its “toughest” week as coronavirus cases swell nationwide, Donald Trump has said.
In a sombre start to his daily briefing on the pandemic, the president said: “There will be a lot of death, unfortunately. There will be death.”
But he also expressed confidence the strict lockdown and other measures imposed in a number of states will be eased “sooner rather than later”.
He revisited a familiar message, saying he wants to get the economy up and running as soon as possible.
At one point during the unfolding outbreak, Trump had said he had hoped to reopen businesses by Easter, April 12.
He later acknowledged that was not possible, ceding the month of April after seeing rising death toll projections even if restrictive measures remained in place.
But he insisted on Saturday: “We have to vanquish the virus as quickly as we can… We have to get back to work.”
And just days after extending tough national guidelines until the end of April, he revealed he has been speaking to the leaders of professional sports leagues about filling arenas again as soon as possible.
“This country was not designed to be closed,” he said. “The cure cannot be worse than the problem.
“I want fans back in the arenas. Whenever we’re ready, as soon as we can.”
The number of people infected in the US has exceeded 300,000, with the death toll climbing past 8,100 – with more than 3,500 of those deaths in New York.
UK travellers trapped in India to fly home next week
Flights to bring back stranded Britons from the Indian cities of Delhi, Goa and Mumbai will begin next week, the government has said.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is continuing with a £75 million operation to bring people back to the UK in the face of travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus.
The FCO said 10 airlines had joined its scheme and that it would also charter flights to airlift Britons from Bolivia, Ecuador and Philippines.
It comes as the department extends its advice against travelling overseas for an indefinite period due to the pandemic.
The operation was launched last Monday by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, and his office said more than 1,450 British travellers had returned home on charter flights since then, including from Peru, Tunisia and Algeria.
Meanwhile, the FCO is warning Britons in Sweden that commercial flights to the UK will cease on April 9 and to not run the risk of being stranded.