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Boris Johnson was withdrawn from intensive care tonight, a sign that he is winning his battle against coronaviruses.
The Prime Minister, who has been hospitalized since Sunday, spent three nights in a heavy-duty unit at St Thomas Hospital in central London after his condition deteriorated.
The announcement came just hours after Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, who replaced him when he was incapacitated, said he was making “positive strides” in his treatment.
Tonight, a No. 10 spokesperson said, “The Prime Minister has been transferred from intensive care tonight to the ward, where he will be closely monitored during the first phase of his recovery.
“He is in a very good mood. “
The last time the Prime Minister was seen in person, not in a Zoom call, last week, he appeared at the door of No. 11 to applaud caregivers.
The footage shows the Prime Minister’s changing appearance as his battle with the coronaviruses progresses. He is pictured on the left on March 17 and weeks later on April 1 after catching the virus.
Mr. Raab, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and First Secretary of State, started the daily press conference by saying: “He is still in intensive care but he continues to take positive steps and he is in a good mood”
Carrie Symonds posted a photo of a rainbow on Twitter tonight with cheering emoji while participating in the “Clap for Carers” campaign
Mr. Johnson was treated at St Thomas’ Hospital in London where many patients with Covid-19 are treated. Paramedics wearing face masks are seen above changing the sheets of the ambulance
Patel dismisses police calls for tougher restrictions
Priti Patel has turned down calls from chiefs of police for laws prohibiting the British from driving long distances and flouting the rule of exercising more than once a day.
Officers from Windermere, Cumbria, are already sending people into camper vans, while residents of St Ives, Cornwall, have blocked certain roads to protect vulnerable residents.
Police have also created online forms to alert people to potential March 23 lockout violations to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
At least five police chiefs are said to support stricter restrictions and clearer rules – including legislation to enforce the order to limit exercise to an hour outside after some people trampled on him for sunbathing in parks or beaches.
Northamptonshire police said the “three-week grace period is over” and suggested that they might even start searching the shopping carts, but how it would work is unclear.
However, Patel said in a radio interview tonight that the government is “absolutely not” proposing to tighten up the lockdown measures.
Currently, the police can fine people or simply tell them to move. The Coronavirus Emergency Law gives ministers broad powers to impose restrictions on “events and rallies”, which, it appears, could be deployed to cover unnecessary travel.
According to the legislation, this can cover “any vehicle, train, boat or plane”, as well as “any tent or mobile structure”. The health secretary may issue a “directive” prohibiting events of a “specified description” to stop the transmission of the virus.
However, there are no provisions in the law that could require people to obtain prior authorization, present documents or have reasonable grounds to leave home.
Thoughts will now turn to how long Mr. Johnson could stay in the hospital before he is well enough to play a full role in government again.
The birth of her child with Carrie Symonds, 32, is also just a few weeks away, and the couple have been separated since their isolation on March 27.
Tonight, Miss Symonds went to Twitter where she posted a photo of a rainbow.
Along with the photo, she added cheering emojis as the nation took to the streets tonight for Clap for Carers.
One of the last times the Prime Minister was seen in person, and not in a zoom, was when he stood at the door of No. 11 last week to participate in Clap for Carers.
Another tumultuous day in the fight against the coronavirus:
- Downing Street said that planning was underway in Whitehall for an exit strategy from the foreclosure, but ministers faced criticism for the secrecy over the plans;
- Mr. Johnson “continues to improve” in intensive care, and he has been “hired” with the medical staff treating him at St Thomas Hospital;
- A respected think tank warned that a million people could end up with long-term health problems due to the economic consequences of the coronavirus shutdown;
- The Bank of England extended the government’s Ways and Means clause – in fact its overdraft;
- New figures show that the economy had effectively stabilized before the coronavirus crisis reached 0.1% growth in the three months ending in February;
- It appeared that MPs were offered £ 10,000 more to help them and the staff to work from home;
- EU officials have accused the British government of being in “fantastic land” by insisting that the Brexit transition period cannot be extended beyond December;
It happened as the UK recorded 881 additional coronavirus deaths today, bringing Britain’s total to 7,978 as its coronavirus crisis continues.
Boris Johnson’s condition is improving – and he may have even been able to speak to his pregnant fiancée Carrie Symonds (right), although Downing Street has not confirmed this.
Boris Johnson is still in intensive care at St Thomas Hospital in central London today, although the Prime Minister’s condition is expected to improve.
Government extends “overdraft” with Bank of England
The government has widened its overdraft with the Bank of England to ensure it has enough cash to cope with disruption from coronaviruses.
He said the central bank will directly finance the additional spending the government needs on a temporary basis.
The Treasury and the Bank of England said in a joint statement that this would minimize the need to raise additional funds in the bond or currency markets.
The government’s central bank account, historically known as the Ways & Means Facility, will amount to an undisclosed amount.
Ministers will be able to spend more in the short term without having to tap into the bond markets because of this decision.
Mr. Raab, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and First Secretary of State, started the daily press conference tonight by saying, “May I start with an update on the Prime Minister – he is still in intensive care but he continues to take positive steps and is in good spirits. ‘
But he confirmed that he had not spoken to Mr. Johnson since taking office. When asked if they had been in touch, he replied, “Not yet. It is important, especially during intensive care, that he can focus on his recovery.
Raab chaired a meeting of Cobra’s emergency committee this afternoon, indicating that the foreclosure will continue for weeks on end despite mounting fears of the economic coup.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs called on the public to continue to follow the rules of social distancing during his daily briefing on Downing Street, insisting that there will be no more information on the changes to the draconian restrictions until until at least the end of next week.
In a clear message, Mr. Raab – representative of Boris Johnson while he is being treated in intensive care – said that the disease should not “kill more people and hurt our country”. “We haven’t finished yet. We have to keep going, ”he said.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, an ally of the Prime Minister, said he was “improving” in intensive care, where he has been receiving treatment since Monday.
What kind of treatment will Boris have in the ward compared to intensive care
As the Prime Minister leaves intensive care and goes to a surveillance service, we are looking at what his treatment would look like in both settings.
Most people in intensive care are admitted because they need help with breathing. In order to help people, they can be connected to a fan.
There are two types of ventilators used: non-invasive ventilation and invasive ventilation. Non-invasive ventilation means that the patient remains conscious and receives a specialized mask that pumps high pressure air into the lungs.
These are called continuous positive pressure machines. If that doesn’t work, patients are intubated – put a tube down their throat through their airways – and placed on an invasive ventilator. They must be placed in a drug-induced coma and paralyzed while the mechanical ventilator takes their breath. The intensive care ventilators have built-in sensors to adjust the amount of oxygen the patient needs.
In a room
Burnout is a common symptom of coronavirus. Previous studies have shown that lack of sleep and high stress can suppress the immune system.
Mr. Johnson was criticized for continuing to work after being diagnosed.
He will continue to be monitored during his stay in the room as he recovers from the virus.
Since there is no specific treatment for the disease, it is likely that Mr. Johnson will need to be closely monitored to make sure his breathing is stable.
Downing Street had relayed more positive signs about the Prime Minister’s health this morning, saying he had a “good night” although he is still receiving oxygen.
“The PM has had a good night and continues to improve in intensive care in St Thomas. He is in a good mood, ”said his spokesperson.
However, there is no indication that Johnson will be able to take part in decisions regarding the epidemic ravaging the country after the No. 10 confirmed yesterday that he is not working.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said in a series of earlier interviews that the Prime Minister is doing “reasonably well”.
He told BBC Breakfast this morning, “He is stable, getting better, sitting and talking to medical staff.
“I have known the Prime Minister for a long time and wish him well in this difficult time and I think things are improving for him. “
Asked whether the PM will be able to make a decision on the lock himself next week, Dowden told BBC Radio 4 Today: “He is in stable condition, he seems to be doing quite well, he was seated and engaged with the medical staff.
“But we have a well-established mechanism for Prime Minister Dominic Raab to take the place of the Prime Minister in chairing these meetings, he will chair Cobra and he will chair relevant decisions. It’s just a matter of going through an appropriate process, which is why we’re waiting for next week.
When the virus first spread to the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister was still visiting hospitals. Many of them treated patients with coronavirus.
On March 3, he said at a press conference, “I was in the hospital the other night where I think there were actually a few patients with coronavirus and I shook hands with everyone, you’ll be glad to know, and I keep shaking my hand. “
Then, a few days later, on March 5, he shook hands with Mr. Schofield and Ms. Willoughby when he appeared this morning to reassuring the British that he would “feed the country” during the coronavirus epidemic to prevent panic shoppers from looting supermarket shelves and storing food.
On March 5, he shook hands with Mr. Schofield and Ms. Willoughby when he appeared this morning to reassure the British that he was “going to feed the country.”
He later hosted a reception for International Women’s Day at Downing Street with MP Nadine Dorries – who would become the Prime Minister to contract Covid-19.
The next day, March 6, he met scientists during a visit to a test laboratory at Bedford Technology Park. He was later photographed shaking hands with Byron Davies as he arrived at the Welsh Conservative Party conference at Llangollen Hall.
Three days later, on March 9, he attempted to shake the hand of a bishop at Westminster Abbey before stopping while in the Commonwealth Service.
But later, he shakes hands with heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua.
Mr. Johnson shaking hands with Byron Davies upon his arrival at the Welsh Conservative Party conference on March 6
Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds speak with heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Commonwealth Day March 9
On March 10, he informed the British that people should stop shaking hands to encourage others to wash their hands more often.
Two days later, on March 12, Johnson says preventing mass gatherings is not an effective way to fight coronaviruses, but in a U-turn on March 16, he advises against mass gatherings, effectively canceling all sporting events.
The next day, March 17, he spoke of the importance of social isolation, and a day later announced that all schools would be closed.
Boris Johnson with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Scientific Director Patrick Vallance at Downing Street on March 17
On March 19, he said that the tide could be activated against the virus within 12 weeks, the next day, he imposed the closure of all pubs, bars and restaurants.
On March 23, he ordered a UK-wide foreclosure and began organizing remote cabinet meetings.
But on March 25, he then spoke in person in the House of Commons. On the same day, he spoke to the Queen by phone before making a video call with other G20 leaders and later joined in national applause for NHS staff on March 26.
Boris Johnson addresses the nation from Downing Street and imposes a lockdown on March 23. He addressed the nation from the clean room
Boris Johnson chairs a weekly remote Cabinet meeting from the Cabinet Room on March 24. He looked animated as he chatted with his cabinet.
Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister’s questions in the House of Commons on March 25. Lots of people are seen sitting two yards apart
The journey of Boris Johnson’s coronavirus
Early last month, Boris Johnson appeared on television during the day shaking hands with presenters of This Morning before attending various events.
This is how it went for the Prime Minister last month.
3rd of March: Said at a press conference that he was in a hospital where coronavirus patients were being treated and were shaking hands
March 5: Appears this morning and shakes hands with the presenters
March 6: Welsh scientists and MPs meet
8 March: Flood defenses study in the town of Bewdley, Worcestershire
March 9: Meet and shake hands with Anthony Joshua at an event
March 10: Tells British people to stop shaking hands
March 11: Talk about social distancing
12th of March: Johnson says preventing mass gatherings is not an effective way to fight coronaviruses
March 16: He advises against mass gatherings in the U-turn policy – effectively canceling all sporting and other events
The 17th of March: Interview on the importance of social distancing during a briefing with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and chief scientific director Patrick Vallance
March 18: Speaks to Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons and announces that all schools will be closed
March 19: Says UK can ‘turn the tide’ in fighting coronavirus within 12 weeks
March 20th: Farm pubs, restaurants and theaters
March 21st: Daily update of coronaviruses in the Cabinet room
March 22: Press briefing with Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick and Assistant Chief Medical Officer of Health Jenny Harries
March 23: Orders a UK-wide lockout with people invited to stay at home in a special TV address
March 24: Host weekly Cabinet meeting remotely
March 25: Address Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons and Address Queen Elizabeth II by Telephone
March 26: Holds a video call with other G20 leaders and later joins in national applause for NHS staff
March 27: Reveals that it has tested positive for Covid-19
April 2: PM comes out of isolation
April 3: Urge people to stay at home
April 5: He is admitted to the hospital as a precaution
April 6: Passed to intensive care
April 9: Leaves intensive care but must move to a ward to be monitored
On March 27, he announced that he had tested positive for the virus, but he continues to work from home, chairing cabinet meetings and posting press releases on social media.
In a video message on Twitter, he said, “I work from home and I isolate myself and it is absolutely the right thing to do.
“But do not doubt that I can continue, thanks to the magic of modern technology, to communicate with all my best team to lead the national fight against the coronavirus.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also announced that he had tested positive for Covid-19, while chief medical officer Chris Whitty said he had symptoms of the disease and that he self -isolated.
Some have questioned why the Prime Minister had adopted a standstill approach to government after locking out the rest of the UK, with Johnson accused of failing to follow his own advice.
The House of Commons continued to sit, with Cabinet meetings and daily media briefings taking place in the first weeks of March.
Three days later, number 10 confirms that Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s chief counselor, self-isolates after developing coronavirus-like symptoms.
The next day, Mr. Johnson tweeted a picture of the very first Cabinet meeting held entirely online.
Johnson is seen in person on April 2 as he leaves No.11 Downing Street to cheer on caregivers.
He said to those outside, “I’m not really allowed to go out, I’m just here. “
The next day, he asked people to stay home and save lives because he was still suffering from a temperature.
He urged people not to break social distancing rules as the weather warms up, even if they go a little crazy.
On April 4, Mr. Johnson’s pregnant fiancee, Carrie Symonds, 32, said that she was on the mend after suffering from symptoms of coronavirus.
Shortly after the PM’s announcement on March 27, Ms. Symonds – who usually lives with him in apartment # 11 – shared a photo of herself isolating herself in Camberwell, south London, with the couple’s dog Dilyn.
A few days later, on April 5, he was hospitalized for tests. The next day, No. 10 announced that he was in intensive care.
On April 6, Mr. Johnson tweeted, “Last night, on the advice of my doctor, I went to the hospital for routine tests because I am still suffering from symptoms of coronavirus. I am in a good mood and keep in touch with my team as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe.
“I want to thank all of the brilliant NHS staff who take care of me and others during these difficult times. You are the best in Britain.
“Stay safe everyone, and don’t forget to stay home to protect the NHS and save lives. “
A few hours later, Downing Street said that the Prime Minister’s condition had worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he had been transferred to the hospital’s intensive care unit.
Mrs Symonds had been isolated with her dog (photo above), she usually lives with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street in London
Earlier this month, Johnson appealed to people to stay home and thanked NHS staff
Downing Street said on April 7 that PM’s condition remained “stable” and that he was in “good spirits” after his first night in intensive care, but should remain there for “close monitoring” .
However, concerns have been expressed about the number of decisions his deputy Dominic Raab is authorized to make, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs has suggested that the planned review of the country’s foreclosure restrictions should not continue.
Downing Street later confirmed that the test would take place after the PM’s three-week deadline.
The following day, the Prime Minister is said to have “responded to treatment” after a second night in intensive care.
Downing Street said it remained in stable condition.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said later at the daily coronavirus press conference that Mr. Johnson was still in intensive care, but was sitting in bed and in touch with his clinical team.
Today, after having a “good night” in intensive care, Downing Street said that the Prime Minister’s condition “continues to improve.”
At the daily coronavirus press conference, Raab, who had previously chaired a meeting of the Cobra committee, said he had not spoken to the Prime Minister since taking office.
“We in government have covered this,” he said, adding, “I have all the authority I need to make the right decisions – whether by chairing cabinet updates , by chairing Cobra or in fact the morning meetings of senior ministers. ‘
Downing Street said tonight that Johnson had been transferred from intensive care to St. Thomas.
Boris Johnson’s pregnant fiancée Carrie Symonds shares an image applauding the NHS and key workers as PM leaves intensive care and goes on normal duty
ByClaire Ellicottand Jason Groves and Sam Greenhill for the Daily Mail
Carrie Symonds thanked NHS workers Thursday evening after Boris Johnson’s withdrawal from intensive care.
The Prime Minister has been relocated to a regular ward at St Thomas Hospital after three days of intensive care, Downing Street said. Il était, dit-on, de « très bonne humeur ».
Un porte-parole a déclaré qu’il « bénéficierait d’une surveillance étroite au cours de la première phase de son rétablissement ».
Jeudi soir, sa fiancée enceinte, Miss Symonds, a publié sur les réseaux sociaux une photo d’un arc-en-ciel – devenu synonyme d’espoir face à la crise de Covid-19. Elle l’a sous-titré sous les applaudissements au moment même où la nation participait à l’événement hebdomadaire «applaudir les soignants du NHS».
Le 9 mars, le couple a assisté ensemble à un événement à Londres à l’abbaye de Westminster. Le service était l’engagement final du duc et de la duchesse de Sussex
Jeudi soir, Carrie Symonds a tweeté cette image d’un arc-en-ciel et de mains qui battaient. Elle vit loin du Premier ministre
Le père de M. Johnson, Stanley, a déclaré hier soir qu’il se sentait « profondément soulagé ».
M. Johnson, 79 ans, a déclaré au Mail: « Au nom de tous les membres de la famille, nous sommes en effet profondément soulagés qu’il semble aller dans la bonne direction – même si nous reconnaissons qu’il y a encore un long chemin vers le rétablissement complet. . ‘
Faisant référence aux «Claps for Carers» d’hier soir, il a ajouté: «Ce n’est pas seulement le merveilleux travail que fait le NHS au service de Boris, mais l’effort fantastique qu’ils font dans le pays dans son ensemble. Je les ai tous applaudis à 20h et je sais que dans ma ville locale, il y avait une cacophonie de casseroles qui se heurtaient et des gens applaudissaient. “
Un porte-parole n ° 10 a déclaré: «Le Premier ministre a été transféré ce soir des soins intensifs dans le service où il sera surveillé de près. He is in a very good mood. “
Le Premier ministre a été transféré des soins intensifs peu après 18 heures. Il a été admis aux soins intensifs lundi soir.
Une source n ° 10 a déclaré qu’il y avait un «sentiment de soulagement palpable» lors du déménagement à Downing Street. « Nous espérons tous qu’il continuera de s’améliorer dans les prochains jours », a ajouté la source.
Hier soir, le ministre de l’Intérieur, Priti Patel, a révélé que le Premier ministre avait eu l’air « malade » lors d’une réunion virtuelle du Cabinet il y a une semaine.
Le Premier ministre Boris Johnson (à droite) n’a pas vu sa partenaire Carrie Symonds (à gauche) depuis des semaines après qu’ils ont tous deux été contraints d’isoler
« C’était clair, franchement, il n’était pas bien et il devait se reposer et récupérer », a-t-elle déclaré à Talk Radio. « Il est celui qui a travaillé d’arrache-pied pour diriger cela. Nous devons maintenant lui donner le temps et l’espace pour récupérer. “
Ses remarques suggèrent que M. Johnson était beaucoup plus malade que Downing Street ne l’avait laissé entendre après que les responsables aient insisté sur le fait qu’il n’aurait besoin de s’isoler que pendant sept jours.
Cela soulève également des questions sur les raisons pour lesquelles le Premier ministre a continué de diriger le gouvernement alors qu’il luttait pour lutter contre le virus.
S’exprimant lors de la conférence de presse quotidienne de Downing Street hier, l’adjoint de M. Johnson, Dominic Raab, a déclaré: « Le Premier ministre … continue de faire des pas positifs et il est de bonne humeur. » Lui a demandé s’il pouvait prendre les principales décisions requises par M. Johnson. absence, il a répondu que c’était un «effort d’équipe».
Dominic Raab (photo applaudissant pour les soignants jeudi soir) a déclaré que M. Johnson devait se concentrer sur son rétablissement
« J’ai toute l’autorité dont j’ai besoin pour prendre les décisions pertinentes – que ce soit en présidant les mises à jour du Cabinet, en présidant Cobra, ou en fait les réunions matinales des hauts ministres », a-t-il déclaré. Lorsqu’on lui a demandé s’il avait parlé au Premier ministre depuis qu’il avait pris ses fonctions, M. Raab a déclaré: « Pas encore, je pense qu’il est important, en particulier pendant qu’il est en soins intensifs, de le laisser se concentrer sur le rétablissement. “
M. Raab a participé à l’hebdomadaire «Claps for Carers» à la place du Premier ministre, qui, selon le porte-parole, a fourni «des moments merveilleux et rassembleurs» au pays. Johnson was last seen publicly applauding NHS workers on Downing Street last Thursday before being admitted to the hospital three days later.
Le secrétaire à la Santé, Matt Hancock, a tweeté hier soir: «Si bien que le Premier ministre est sorti des soins intensifs et est sur la voie du rétablissement. The NHS is there for all of us, and I know our incredible NHS staff have provided world-class care. “
L’ancien chef conservateur Iain Duncan Smith a tweeté: «Une excellente nouvelle que le PM a été transféré des soins intensifs dans le service de l’hôpital St Thomas et qu’il est de bonne humeur!»
« Nous n’avons pas encore fini »: Dominic Raab lit l’acte anti-émeute alors que la Grande-Bretagne subit 881 décès de coronavirus supplémentaires avant le week-end de Pâques ensoleillé et avertit que le verrouillage doit RESTER jusqu’à ce que le pic soit passé – au milieu des demandes d’une « stratégie de sortie » avant l’effondrement économique
Dominic Raab a lu l’acte anti-émeute aux Britanniques avant le week-end de Pâques ensoleillé ce soir, disant que le verrouillage doit rester en vigueur jusqu’à ce que l’épidémie de coronavirus atteigne son apogée.
Le ministre des Affaires étrangères a appelé le public à continuer de suivre les règles de distanciation sociale lors de son briefing quotidien sur Downing Street, insistant sur le fait qu’il n’y aura plus d’informations sur les modifications des restrictions draconiennes jusqu’à au moins la fin de la semaine prochaine.
Dans un message clair, M. Raab – représentant de Boris Johnson pendant qu’il est traité en soins intensifs – a déclaré que la maladie ne devait pas « tuer plus de personnes et blesser notre pays ». ‘We’re not done yet. We must keep going,’ he said.
However, ministers are facing a mounting backlash for stonewalling over their coronavirus ‘exit plan’, amid fears of massive damage to the economy. Mr Raab hinted this evening that they are avoiding doing so to avoid people ‘taking their eye off the ball’. ‘We will make the right decisions at the right moment and we will be guided by the science,’ he said.
The comments came after Mr Raab chaired the Cobra crisis meeting this afternoon, and the UK recorded another 881 deaths – although in a small relief numbers fell back from the high of almost 1,000 declared yesterday.
Far from easing the lockdown, police have been urging tighter restrictions such as barring people from driving long distances and making it illegal to exercise more than once a day – although Home Secretary Priti Patel batted away the calls tonight.
But the trade-offs involved in the national effort are becoming increasingly clear, with claims two million people have already lost their jobs.
The respected IFS think-tank has warned that more than a million people might suffer long-term illness as a result of the economic misery.
Labour’s new leader Keir Starmer said ministers must spell out their ‘exit strategy’. ‘I’m not calling for precise timings, but the strategy,’ he said. ‘This is incredibly difficult on people and we need to know that plans are in place, and what they are.’
Downing Street insisted planning is under way across Whitehall for the restrictions to be eased – but flatly refused to say what that might involve, saying the government’s focus is on tackling the epidemic.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the disease must not be allowed to ‘kill more people and hurt our country’ as he took the daily Downing Street briefing
The UK has recorded 881 more coronavirus deaths today, taking Britain’s total to 7,978 as its coronavirus crisis rumbles on and 4,344 more positive tests pushed the number of patients, past and present, to 65,077.
The grim tally is considerably smaller than the devastating 938 announced yesterday but still represents the second biggest surge since the epidemic began almost six weeks ago. La Grande-Bretagne a jusqu’à présent réussi à éviter le sombre jalon d’annoncer 1000 morts en une seule journée, ce qui ne s’est produit qu’aux États-Unis.
NHS England announced 765 more fatalities in its hospitals among patients aged between 24 and 103, taking England’s total to 7,248, and 116 deaths were announced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Experts say it is still too soon to see the impact of the UK’s lockdown in daily statistics but, speaking in today’s Government briefing, chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said ‘the NHS can cope’ with the current situation. Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical adviser, added ‘there is still room’ in intensive care units.
In a direct appeal to the public, Mr Raab said: ‘Above all, as we go into this long bank holiday weekend I think people should think very long and hard, not just about the guidance and the importance of keeping it up, but about what happens to those on the NHS frontline who are doing a heroic job, if people in large numbers don’t comply with those rules.
‘I would urge everyone just to take a moment before they do anything however warm it is, however great the temptation, just to think about the sacrifices those on the frontline, particularly in our NHS are making.’
Mr Raab said: ‘While the early signs suggest that they are having the impact we need to see, it’s too early to say that conclusively.
‘Sage (the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies) will meet next week to discuss the latest evidence and we will keep the measures we’ve put in place under review.’
Mr Raab added: ‘We don’t expect to be able to say more on this until the end of next week.
‘The measures will have to stay in place until we’ve got the evidence that clearly shows we’ve moved beyond the peak.’
No10 has made clear the PM will not be participating in any government business while he battles the disease in intensive care – meaning decisions are in the hands of Mr Raab and Cabinet.
Asked if he had spoken to Mr Johnson since taking over his responsibilities, Mr Raab said: ‘Not yet, I think it’s important particularly while he’s in intensive care to let him focus on the recovery.
‘We in the Government have got this covered. I chaired the Cobra meeting that I have just come from, we are pursuing all the different strands of our strategy to defeat the coronavirus and I’m confident we’ll get there.’
Nicola Sturgeon preempted the hard line on lockdown this morning, before she even attended the Cobra meeting. ‘I don’t think there is any possibility, any likelihood of these lockdown measures being lifted immediately, or even imminently,’ she told Sky News.
She added: ‘I wouldn’t expect any change coming out of today’s Cobra meeting but we will see where the discussions take us.’
Although a review of lockdown must happen next week by law, there is now no chance of it being lifted. Senior politicians are set to launch a ‘Stay at Home This Easter’ publicity drive later designed to avert an exodus of sunseekers.
A report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) today raised fresh questions about the trade-offs involved in the extreme curbs, which are intended to stop hundreds of thousands being killed by the disease.
The IFS said there is debate over ‘whether the adverse health effects of a recession may be greater than the increased morbidity and mortality within the pandemic itself’.
It stressed that the scale of the economic hit from the lockdown is unclear, but is likely to be ‘much larger’ than the 2008 credit crunch which meant 900,000 more people of working age developed serious health issues.
Another 500,000 are estimated to have suffered poor mental health as a result of that crisis.
If the economic hit is twice as large it would be expected to lead to 1.8million people enduring chronic illness, and a million mental health issues.
In a sign of the intensifying strain on the country’s finances, the Government said it has expanded its overdraft with the Bank of England to ensure it has sufficient cash to cope with disruption.
It said the central bank will directly finance the extra spending the Government needs on a temporary basis.
The Treasury and the Bank of England said, in a joint statement, that it would minimise the need to raise additional funding from bond markets or currency markets.
The Government’s bank account at the central bank, historically known as the Ways & Means Facility, will rise to an undisclosed amount.
Ministers will be able to spend more in the short term without having to tap into the bond markets, as a result of the move.
Any money drawn from the facility, which usually stands at around £400million, will be paid back as soon as possible before the end of the year, the Treasury said.
The measure was last used during the 2008 financial crisis, which saw its value increase briefly to £19billion.
Meanwhile, police chiefs are calling for laws to ban Britons from driving long distances and flouting the rule to exercise more than once a day ahead of a hot Easter weekend.
Officers in Windermere, Cumbria, are already sending people in camper vans home, while locals in St Ives, Cornwall, blocked some roads to protect vulnerable residents.
Police have also created online forms for people to report potential breaches of the lockdown which was imposed on March 23 to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
At least five chief constables are said to be backing more stringent restrictions and clearer rules – including legislation to enforce the order to limit exercise to a one-hour period outdoors after some people flouted it to sunbathe in parks or beaches.
Northamptonshire Police said the ‘three-week grace period is over’ and suggested they may even start searching shopping trolleys, but how this would work is unclear.