Coronavirus update live: Latest news as British economy slips 20% in April

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British economy plunged 20.4% in April as the country suffered its first full month of coronavirus control, the largest decline since records began, Office for National figures show. Statistics.

As Britain content with the worst death toll in Europe, a group of 450 people who have lost loved ones in the pandemic have called for an immediate public inquiry into “life and death decisions” Taken during the crisis, arguing: “We expect there will be a second peak. We want to know what the government will do when it happens. ”

Meanwhile, contributors to a review of why BAME communities have been disproportionately threatened by the virus have expressed “deep concern” that the government will “delete” their recommendations – despite Equality Minister Kemi Badenoch telling members that the government was “unable” to make recommendations due to the lack of data.

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Uber makes face covers mandatory for drivers and passengers from Monday

“For months we have been urging people to stay at home for their safety and the safety of drivers who make essential trips,” said the company’s regional director general for northern and eastern Europe. Jamie Heywood.

“Now that cities are reopening and people are moving again, we are taking steps to help everyone stay safe and healthy every time they use Uber.

“We have put in place measures to ensure that each driver has free access to the PPE they need to ensure their safety when driving with Uber and, as of Monday, we will ask anyone using the Uber app at UK to wear a face cover. ”

Scotland still needs to remove virus before discussing two-meter rule, says Nicola Sturgeon

As a growing number of largely Conservative MPs call for a reduction of the two-meter rule, there are fears that millions of hotel jobs will be lost and schools will be lost. may not return completely unless the rule of social isolation is changed, the first in Scotland The Minister has declared that a new removal of the virus must come first.

“Did the government play politics before saving BME lives?” “Asks a great specialist in racial equality

The director of Runnymede Trust and an independent member of Sage, Dr. Zubaida Haque, has raised new questions that the government has not issued recommendations on how to reduce the disproportionate deaths of ethnic minorities from the coronavirus.

Wondering if Equality Minister Kemi Badenoch misled Parliament by saying that PHE “was unable” to make recommendations in the report, she added: this is what the Black Lives Matter demonstrations are talking about: it is about the life of BME being perceived as consumable and it is about not being heard. ”

Opening of all stores in Northern Ireland after reduction of new infections

With science experts finding the level of Covid-19 transmission manageable to allow for loosening of the lockout, Premier Arlene Foster stressed that the decision had not been accelerated in response to the opening of retailers in the Republic of Ireland.

“I don’t think it is,” she said. Hello great britain. “We had our plan, we launched it on May 12, and in this plan, we said that we would take a step-by-step process out of the lockdown and we would do it in a way that didn’t impact cumulative on virus transmission.

“We have taken steps to get out, we are doing it gradually and we think it is time to open all the stores. ”

Outlets such as independent bookstores have spent days preparing and installing protective screens, while those based in shopping centers have also received the green light.

From Monday, a much wider range of retailers in England will also open.

Those implicated in the BAME death report are “deeply concerned” about the reasons why the recommendations were not published

After the BBC and Sky reported that a document over 60 pages long containing recommendations had been omitted from the government’s report on the deaths of BAME Covid-19 – which the government said was a second document created “in parallel With the first document released – stakeholders reacted with concern.

The British Medical Association said, “The fact that we see such important recommendations missed in this crucial document is deeply worrying. The BMA, as the agency that contributed to the review, will formally ask the government “Why?” ”

Chai Patel, a human rights lawyer with the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, tweeted, “Likewise, we JCWI have spent valuable time contributing in good faith to this review.

“It is deeply disturbing that during this time when everyone is overwhelmed, charities and front-line professionals were invited to participate in something which was later removed. “

Government accused of “deleting” report on BAME deaths

The government has been accused of “deleting” a report on the disproportionate threat posed by Covid-19 to BAME communities, which PHE has now announced it will release next week.

The BBC and Sky revealed the existence of the second report last night, which contained hours of stakeholder consultations, and recommendations on how to limit the impact of the virus on ethnic minorities.

Edinburgh University professor Raj Bhopal, who was asked to review the 64-page document, told the BBC that “Parliament had not been told the whole truth” and asked for immediate publication. of the report.

While Equality Minister Kemi Badenoch told the Commons that Public Health England “did not make recommendations because they were unable to do so”, citing a lack of data, the government said now told the BBC that it was not referring to this second report, only the first – which also faced allegations of deliberate delay.

The government has now told the BBC and Sky News that the recommendations will be released next week, saying the report was conducted “in parallel” with the first but was not part of the same document.

The Labor Party said: “The government’s decision to block this report is scandalous and tragic. His recommendations could have saved lives. The minister should now explain what she knew and when. “

A third of screened and screened patients were not contacted “because they did not want to answer the phone,” said the minister.

In the first week of using the Test and Trace application, 8,117 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in England had their cases transferred to the NHS system. Of these, 33% did not provide contact information or could not be reached.

Speaking at the BBC breakfast, Mr. Argar said, “Some people may not necessarily answer their phones, you and I know what it looks like if you have the flu, for example, and Covid-19 is a much nastier disease than this, you sometimes just don’t want to answer the phone or answer a lot. ”

“This is the first week of this new program and I think it has started very, very well,” he said, adding that the government “will continue to chase away those who have not responded.”

Bereaved family members call for immediate investigation into government crisis management

The British group Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, which consists of 450 parents of people who died during the pandemic, told the BBC that urgent review is needed to limit the lingering effects of the coronavirus crisis and prevent more death.

The group’s lawyer, Elkan Abrahamson, said that a prompt investigation should be carried out before any formal formal proceedings, which should take place after the pandemic has ended.

“What we need to examine immediately are the issues that are life and death decisions,” he said. “We anticipate there will be a second peak. We want to know what the government is going to do when this happens. ”

The group’s request comes after Scotland’s former chief science advisor, Professor Dame Anne Glover, said an investigation was needed before a second wave of viruses hit the UK.

A government spokesperson said, “At some point in the future, we will have the opportunity to look back, reflect and learn deep lessons. But for now, the most important thing to do is to focus on responding to the current situation. ”

Coronavirus Could Push Global Poverty Beyond One Billion, New Study

World Bank figures suggest that 736 million people are currently destitute, surviving on less than $ 1.90 a day (£ 1.53), Samuel Lovett reports.

But in a study released Friday, researchers from King’s College London and the National University of Australia warned that the pandemic could trigger a “substantial” increase in poverty and reverse the value of decades of progress.

Different consumption and income contraction scenarios during the foreclosure were modeled to establish the economic shock of Covid-19 at three poverty levels – $ 1.90, $ 3.20 (£ 2.58) and $ 5.50 (£ 4.43) per day.

The study found that an additional 395 million people around the world could be forced below the $ 1.90 mark by the pandemic.

This figure reaches 527 million people if we consider the highest poverty classification of $ 5.50 a day. In this scenario, more than one sixth of the world’s population would live in extreme poverty.

The increases would mark the first absolute increase in the number of the world’s poor since 1999, the study said, adding that the cost of the pandemic of lost income is expected to reach $ 500 million a day for the world’s poorest.

Blood plasma tests in the United States are extended to see if transfusions prevent infection

While the jury is still out on how the effectiveness of antibody-rich blood plasma improves outcomes for Covid-19 patients, with encouraging signs in critically ill people, scientists are now testing whether donations could also prevent cancer. infection in the first place.

Thousands of coronavirus patients in hospitals around the world have been treated with so-called convalescent plasma – including more than 20,000 in the United States – with little solid evidence to date that it makes a difference. A recent study from China was unclear while another from New York offered a hint of benefit.

“We have glimmers of hope,” said Dr. Shmuel Shoham of Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Shoham is launching a national study in the United States to find out if donating plasma to survivors right after high-risk exposure prevents the disease?

Researchers from Hopkins and 15 other sites will recruit health workers, spouses of the sick and residents of nursing homes where someone has just fallen ill and “they’re trying to nip it in the bud,” said Shoham.

If it works, plasma could have significant ramifications until a vaccine arrives – increasing the chance of occasionally protecting those at high risk with temporary immunostimulatory infusions.

India overtakes the UK as the fourth most affected country in the world

The number of coronavirus cases in India has become the fourth highest in the world, surpassing Britain as it recorded a new record of 10,956 new cases.

The two-month lockout in India has kept transmission low, but in a large population of 1.3 billion people remain sensitive and the campaign against the virus is expected to continue for months, said Balram Bhargava , Director General of the Indian Council for Medical Research.

The foreclosure of India was imposed nationwide in late March but has eased since, and is now widely applied in high-risk areas. The workload increased after India allowed the reopening of stores, shopping malls, manufacturing and religious places.

The metro, schools, colleges and movie theaters, however, remain closed nationwide.

The increase reported on Friday brought India’s national workload to 297,535, with 8,498 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health. The death toll has increased by 396 in the past 24 hours.

UK GDP Drops Largest Since Record Breaks in April

Official figures show that Britain’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by more than a fifth in the first full month of the coronavirus shutdown, as stores and factories closed and workers were out. sent home, Chiara Giordano reports.

This is the largest drop in a single month since the records began in 1997.

Jonathan Athow, assistant national statistician at the ONS, told BBC Radio 4 Today that the drop in GDP “is truly unprecedented,” adding: “In fact, if you take the months of March and April, the fall was 25%. In two months, the economy has shrunk by a quarter.

“The biggest fall we’ve seen before was just over 2% – so it’s 10 times the size of the biggest fall we’ve seen before the coronavirus. Almost all sectors have declined. ”

The fall massively exceeds the then record 5.8% drop in GDP recorded in March.

The United Kingdom is going to reverse its plans for full border controls from 1 January to limit the economic fallout from the coronavirus

Cabinet Minister Michael Gove is expected to announce border operations on Friday when Brexit takes full effect at the end of the transition period, Sam Blewett reports.

The UK has pledged to introduce import controls on EU products in the new year, but ministers should now take a more flexible approach to prevent the departure from further chaos. Covid-19.

A government source said, “We recognize the impact the coronavirus has had on British businesses, and as we regain control of our laws and borders at the end of this year, we will take a pragmatic and flexible to help businesses adapt to changes and opportunities to exit the single market and the customs union. ”

Friday, Gove will have the second joint committee agreed as part of the withdrawal agreement with European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic.

Hello, we will be using this blog to follow the latest pandemic updates.

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