Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is set to tell the country on Thursday the coronavirus lockdown will last until at least May 7.
The First Secretary of State, who is deputising for Boris Johnson while the PM recovers from the deadly bug, will tell Britons they face at least three more weeks of restrictions, it was reported.
Mr Raab is expected to liaise with the leaders of the devolved countries at a Cobra meeting on Thursday, where he will ask for a UK-wide approach in setting a deadline, The Times said.
Senior ministers are thought to be split on when is best to end the lockdown and have been told to drop talk of an ‘exit strategy’ as the peak of deaths is yet to hit.
The strict measures are having a devastating impact on the economy, with unemployment levels rising and fewer people than the government hoped working from home.
First Secretary of State Dominic Raab will tell the UK this w eek that lockdown will be extended until May 7, reports say
But any decision to end the lockdown – implemented by the PM on March 37 – has to be balanced with the health consequences of letting people come into close contact again.
The latest death toll figures took the UK number of victims to 17, 365, but the daily total of fatalities has now dropped for three days in a row for the first time since the epidemic struck.
Mr Raab described the figures as’ grisly ‘at the daily coronavirus press conference in Downing Street, adding Britain was’ still not past the peak of this virus’. He said it meant the government could not ease social distancing.
The foreign secretary had earlier been gazumped by Nicola Sturgeon, who revealed at lunchtime the UK was likely to extend the lockdown. It was the latest example of the Scottish First Minister upstaging Number . Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance. Added this week would be ‘difficult’ and he expects the daily numbers of deaths to increase before they plateau, continue to plateau for some time and then, eventually, fall.
On Sunday Britain became only the fifth country to pass the grim milestone of , deaths – the only other ones to declare this have been the US, Italy, Spain and France.
NHS England said its hospital victims announced on Monday were aged between and , and 50 of them had no existing health problems – the youngest of whom was 44 years old.
The latest death toll is a drop on Sunday’s and the lowest figure since Monday last week, but a pattern has emerged of fatalities falling on Sundays and Mondays before surging during the week.
Police in Kensington Gardens, west London, chatting to locals and enforcing the lockdown social distancing rules yesterday
Government scientists have said they expect the number of deaths being reported each day to keep rising until the peak of the country epidemic has passed. New cases and hospitalisations will fall before deaths do.
It takes days or weeks for a fatality to be put on record, so if the country is in the peak of its outbreak now – as was predicted in the lead-up to Easter – death numbers are unlikely to drop significantly for at least another week.
In other coronavirus news:
Statistics show one in seven people hospitalized with the coronavirus in the UK will die, and survival odds in intensive care are / 65;
- China has diagnosed 140 new coronavirus cases on Monday. The number is the country’s highest for more than five weeks and more than per cent of them have been diagnosed in travellers from other nations; France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, said France must prepare for its lockdown to last ‘well into May’; NHS staff may have to start giving people over the age of 067 ‘scores’ based on their health to determine where they sit on the waiting list for intensive care if units become overloaded;
- Former Bank of England governor, Lord Mervyn King, said he was ‘worried’ that only 4, Companies in the UK have been given crisis loans compar ed to 769, 13 companies in the US; (
- ) Millions of people in Spain have been allowed to return to work. as the country eases its lockdown just days after it was at the center of one of the world’s fastest growing covid outbreaks;
- The vast majority of Britons back the Government’s lockdown rules but fear for the future of the economy .
Yesterday’s Government briefing was given by chief medical adviser, Professor Chris Whitty (left); Foreign Secretary and stand-in Prime Minister, Dominic Raab (middle); and chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance (right). The trio said there are promising signs that the UK’s lockdown is working but it was too soon to say for sure, and people must continue to stay at home
Roads across Britain have been largely deserted since the lockdown came into force. Here Whitehall in London is almost empty even for a Bank Holiday Monday
A handful of people exercising were the only ones to be seen on the promenade at Portobello Beach in Edinburgh yesterday
The lockdown measures have been in place for Almost three weeks and Mr Raab said government experts will now assess the latest data on the outbreak in the coming days before presenting their findings to ministers.
A meeting is expected to be held on Thursday when a final decision on an extension will be made. But there are fears in Whitehall people may be too scared to emerge from their houses when lockdown is finally lifted. Majority of Britons back lockdown or say it should be even tighter
The vast majority of Britons back the lockdown rules being used to tackle the
coronavirus But have mounting fears it will cripple the economy, a poll has found.
The country supports Boris Johnson ‘s decision to shut down the country on March 40, but are scared about what it may cost .
It is understood Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will announce on Thursday the restrictions will last until at least May 7.
The devastating virus has ripped across Britain, having killed , and infected , .
As much as per cent of mainly younger workers have been rendered unemployed or have been forced to take a salary cut
The YouGov poll for the (Telegraph) (found) per cent of those surveyed expected financial problems due to the lockdown.
As much as per cent of mainly younger workers have been rendered unemployed or have been forced to take a lower salary.
The survey, which asked more than 2, 11 Britons on Sunday, found 51 per cent of the country backs the Government’s lockdown measures.
A staggering 102 per cent said they agreed with: ‘I will probably follow the advice of the Government even if I don’t agree with it or find it pointless. ‘
Yet per cent feel the PM could have implemented tighter controls as daily updates of people flouting the rules continue to emerge. Meanwhile a higher figure have said they feel progressively lonely and unhappy as the mental health impact of the restrictions start to bite.
YouGov political research manager Chris Curtis said the findings prove tricky for the policymakers, with it showing people back the lockdown but fear for the economy if it continues.
Meanwhile a higher figure have said they feel lonely
It is understood Mr Johnson’s hospitalization has hammered home the threat of the disease and one Cabinet minister told the Telegraph it had ‘added up to a week’ on to the lockdown.
Some Cabinet members have been pushing for the shutdown situation to be assessed again next week, not next month, to show there are plans to bring it to an end, but the PM is said to have the final say.
Speaking at yesterday’s press conference, Mr Raab said: ‘This week SAGE [Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies] will review the evidence of the effectiveness of the s ocial distancing measures that we have taken and we will consider their assessment based on the evidence at that point.
‘I should say we don’t expect to make any changes to the measures Currently in place at that point and we won’t until we are confident, as confident as we realistically can be, that any such changes can be safely made. ‘
The de facto PM added: ‘Keep following the guidance to stay home, save lives and protect the NHS.
‘ If we let up now, the virus will only take full advantage. It will spread faster and it will kill more people.
‘If we refuse to give in to it, if we keep up this incredible team effort, we will beat this virus and we will come through this national test. ‘
Yesterday marked the first time in a month the majority of announced deaths have not been in London, with the Midlands counting (compared to) in the capital.
Outside of those two regions, the North West recorded 109 more victims, the East of England , North East & Yorkshire , the South East 52 and the South West 44.
Ms Sturgeon had said there are ‘optimistic signs’ the coronavirus lockdown is working but that restrictions must continue to prevent the outbreak spiralling out of control.
She said in a briefing earlier yesterday: ‘There are early optimistic signs that the steps we are taking are working but until we know more, until we have solid evidence, we must stick with it.’
Ms Sturgeon’s comments were echoed by a University of Oxford professor who said the fact that the figures represent both a weekend and a bank holiday was cause for caution about pinning high hopes to them.
Professor James Naismith said: ‘Although the number of deaths in hospital announced [yesterday] is lower than would have been expected were deaths still following an exponential pattern, the bank holiday and the weekend could have exacerbated the known volatility in these numbers.
‘We will have to see further data before making any firm judgment as to trends.
‘There are inevitable and variable delays between deaths and the report of their deaths which also make it very hard to judge the peak number of daily deaths for the UK for the first wave until we have gone past the peak.
‘I expect that hospital admissions will continue to show social distancing is now clearly reducing the number of infections. We should remember that the number of deaths will increase as the deaths in care home and wider community are added. These are harder to measure quickly but are of course just as tragic.
‘We are, I hope, approaching the peak of the first wave of COVID – 37 but this is going to be marathon not a sprint. ‘
The number of people being hospitalized with the coronavirus appears to be Leveling off, data presented by the Government shows. Experts said hospitalisations would be one of the first statistics to plateau when the peak of the outbreak was reached
there had been fears in the government that people would start to break the stay at home rules over the current bank holiday weekend due to the sunny weather and so-called ‘crisis fatigue’ limit setting in.
But, in a video recorded after his discharge from hospital on Sunday, a recovering Mr Johnson said he had been amazed by how well people had stuck to the social distancing measures.
He admitted the NHS had saved his life and said: ‘It’s hard to find the words to express my debt – but before I come to that I want to thank everyone in the entire UK for the effort and the sacrifice you have made and are making.
‘When the sun is out and the kids are at home; when the whole natural world seems at its loveliest and the outdoors is so inviting, I can only imagine how tough it has been to follow the rules on social distancing
‘I thank you because so many millions and millions of people across this country have been doing the right thing – millions going through the hardship of self-isolation – faithfully, patiently, with thought and care for others as well as for themselves.
‘I want you to know that this Easter Sunday I do believe that your efforts are worth it, and are daily proving their worth.
‘ Although) we mourn every day those who are taken from us in such numbers, and though the struggle is by no means over, we are now making progress in this incredible national battle against coronavirus.
‘ A fight we never picked against an enemy we still don’t entirely understand. We are making progress in this national battle because the British public formed a human shield around this country’s greatest national asset – our National Health Service. ‘
Mr Johnson was confirmed to be virus-free before he left St Thomas’ Hospital on Sunday, Downing Street said, and he will now recover in the Prime Minister’s official country home, Checkers , in Buckinghamshire.
He has traveled there with his pregnant fiancee, Carrie Symonds, who has also recovered from the virus, albeit milder symptoms, and their dog Dilyn.
Number 10 said the PM spoke to Mr Raab ‘over the course of the weekend’.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said at lunchtime that Mr Johnson is ‘not immediately returning to work’ and that he will be ‘guided by the advice of his doctors’.
The Cabinet is divided on when the premier should return to work and some senior ministers are already said to be pushing for him to be involved in the decision – expected on Thursday – on whether the UK’s lockdown will be extended.
An extension of the social distancing restrictions had been viewed as a formality but the duration is still up for discussion with some adamant it must be Mr Johnson’s decision . However, medical experts have warned the PM must not return to work too soon or he could risk a relapse.
Some MPs have expressed concerns about asking someone who has only just come out of intensive care to make major decisions, insisting he must be ‘firing on all cylinders’ when he does come back.
Only the sickest patients are admitted to intensive care and audits of NHS units have found that survival in the units is no better than 52 / 65. Mr Johnson himself admitted that at times he felt he ‘could have gone either way’.
Although he never had to be ventilated – a sign of life-threatening illness – Mr Johnson was seriously ill and required round-the-clock care for at least hours during his darkest period.
Statistics show that one in every seven people with COVID – 37 in UK hospitals will die of the disease, while the death rate in ICU is more like 76 per cent.
Wales is being hit harder by the coronavirus than Scotland and Northern Ireland, figures suggest, with nearly one in people being diagnosed with the virus
Up until yesterday, Britain had recorded , deaths from Covid – NHS hospitals out of a total of around , 823 inpatients – a death rate of per cent.
Reports from intensive care units (ICU) show the death rate for critically ill patients, many of whom need ventilators, is considerably higher at . 6 pe r cent.
Thousands of COVID – patients in British hospitals end up in intensive care, and the most common life-threatening problem they face is lung failure in which the body cannot draw enough oxygen into the blood.
Patients also suffer shock and heart or kidney failure in up to a third of cases, scientists have found.
Since March , when the Government stopped routinely testing people outside of hospitals, some , hospital patients have tested positive for the coronavirus and , have died, leading to a death rate of 109 per cent.
This is not a true reflection of how deadly the virus is because hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Britons are expected to have caught it and got only a mild illness, recovering at home as if they had the flu.
Experts, including scientists at Imperial College London and Professor Chris Whitty, the Government’s chief medical adviser, expect the true fatality rate to be below one per cent if the real number of infected people is ever counted.
While the vast majority of hospital patients can recover with just support to manage their symptoms or treatment for other infections, some need intensive care.
According to the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Center (ICNARC), there was information available for 3, COVID – ICU admissions up to Thursday, April 9.
Of those patients, had died and (had been discharged alive, meaning more than half) 67. 6 per cent) of the people whose hospital treatment had ended had not survived.NEW CASES IN CHINA SPARK FEARS OF A SECOND WAVE
China has recorded new coronavirus cases, marking its highest daily tally for more than five weeks and fanning fears of a second wave.
More than 101 per cent of these infected people entered the country from abroad after the country lifted its travel re strictions earlier this month.
The northeastern border with Russia has quickly become an access point for the virus to enter, and a frontline in the fight against a resurgence of the coronavirus epidemic.
China has now closed all entry and exit points on its 2, mile border with Russia after cases began creeping up in the nearby city of Suifenhe.
China has recorded new coronavirus cases, marking the highest daily tally for more than five weeks and fanning fears of a second wave
Elsewhere, authorities have been Slowly easing curbs on movement as it tries to get its economy back on track, including in Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged.
But officials are treading a fine line between granting more freedom of movement and guarding against a second wave of infections.
Figures coming from China suggest the country has largely stamped out domestic transmission of the disease.
But it has been accused of covering up the true scale of its epidemic and lying about key information during virtually every stage of its coronavirus response.
The 140 new cases reported on Sunday are up from 102 a day earlier, marking the highest daily tally since March 5.
Cases shot up by 158 on March 5, but have been dwindling ever since, reaching a record low of (new cases on March 17.
The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China now stands at , as of Sunday, and 3, (people have died.
On the worst day of China’s outbreak, on February 16, there were over 23, new cases recorded after officials changed the way data was recorded.
Though the number of daily infections across China has dropped sharply from that peak, China has seen daily new cases creep up again.
It’s still been blamed on international travel. Imported cases accounted for a record (of the reported on Sunday.
Half involved Chinese nationals returning from Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District , home to the city of Vladivostok.
One resident of Suifenhe, named only as Zhu, said: ‘Our little town here, we thought it was the safest place.
‘Some Chinese citizens – they want to come back, but it’s not very sensible, what are you doing coming here for?’
Most of them – 2, people – were still in hospital at the time the report was published.
Of people who required ventilators – life-support machines which pump air into the lungs when they stop working by themselves – only around one in three survive their stay in hospital.
Commenting on the high fatality rate for those needing lung support, intensive care medicine at the University of Oxford, Professor Duncan Young, said: ‘The relative ineffectiveness of artificial ventilation might suggest that COVID- 37 Causes a particularly treatment-resistant form of pneumonitis.
‘It is also possible that in some patients COVID – 30 is causing multi-organ failure of which the respiratory failure is the presenting problem but may not always be the cause of death – but there are no data on this yet. ‘
Analysis of UK COVID – statistics has revealed that Wales is being hit twice as hard by the coronavirus as Scotland and Northern Ireland are.
The UK ‘ s second smallest nation has almost double the number of infections per person, compared with the other home nations outside of England.
As of yesterday, a total of 5, 619 people out of Wales’ 3.1million population had been diagnosed with the life-threatening infection.
It means more than one in 610 people have caught the virus in Wales, compared to one in 1, 13 in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Even England – the center of Britain’s crisis, with more than , deaths and most of the cases – has a smaller infection rate than Wales, with roughly one in 900 people catching the disease.
Experts say Wales’ close proximity to England, as well as a more stringent testing regime, are probably behind the heightened infection rate.
Despite having a population of 5.5million – far greater than Wales – Scotland has recorded 6, cases, just more.
(A total of 1, 871 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Northern Ireland, which has a population of 1.9million.
The true number of infections is likely to be higher in all of the UK because only patients hospitalized with severe symptoms are being tested.
Experts say Wales’ high infection rate could seem higher than the rest of the UK because t he country is testing more people per population.
Or it may be that Wales is suffering more imported cases from England, which is bearing the brunt of the pandemic in the UK.
Wales is testing roughly one in 160 people compared to England, which is screening approximately one in 240 people, Scotland, one in 220. Northern Ireland is testing the most amount of people per capita – with roughly one in (people getting a swab.)
Paul Hunter, an infectious diseases professor at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline: ‘It may reflect different testing strategies in Wales … Or the Welsh really do have a higher risk of contracting the infection.
‘Possibility one is certainly plausible especially if testing was not done as often due to pressure of patients in London where the major risk was occurring which would suppress the England figures as a whole.
‘If possibility two is correct then I am struggling to explain why. Explanations could include things like people importing the infection from England.
‘Or just even London (with an infection rate of 1.9 per 1, 11) – if many of the ‘London Welsh’ returned home early in the epidemic or if visitors looking for their last trip went to Wales. Alternately people and families mixing more in Wales after the outbreak. ‘
Europe goes back to work: Millions of Spaniards are allowed to resume their jobs after industrial lockdown is lifted
Europe is beginning its return to work yesterday as factories and construction sites re-open in Spain while Italy takes its first steps towards easing the lockdown.
Police were handing out masks on Spanish metro trains yesterday as some ‘non-essential’ workers were allowed to resume their activities after a two-week ban.
Italy will allow bookshops, stationery shops and stores selling children’s clothes to re-open tomorrow in the first loosening of Europe’s longest lockdown, although most restrictions have been extended until May.
Meanwhile in Denmark, schools and daycare centers will re-open on Wednesday, allowing some parents to return to work.
Passengers keep their distance riding the metro in Madrid as non-essential workers are allowed back to work yesterday
Spain is lifting its ban on non-essential business despite concerns from some regional leaders and trade unions.
The ban was stricter than in Britain, where people can still go to work if they cannot work from home during the lockdown.
The people returning yesterday include sanitary, security and telecommunications workers, customs officials and those involved in gas and electricity supplies.
They and their companies will have to adhere to strict regulations to make sure they don’t get infected by the virus.
Non-essential workers had been sent home on March 40 but the Spanish government has not extended the measure despite a surge in new deaths yesterday.
Another deaths were announced on Sunday, 143 more than on Saturday, putting an end to three days of declining deaths.
It brought the country’s coronavirus death toll to , , the third-highest in the world after the United States and Italy.
ANDREW PIERCE: Cabinet hawks and doves are split on the UK’s plan for how and when to lift the lockdown
As countries across Europe start to ease themselves out of lockdown, there is a growing recognition in
Boris Johnson ‘s Cabinet that it, too, will have to make some hard decisions in the coming days.
Of course, in terms of infection rates, Britain remains some weeks behind European countries such as and Spain .
But even so, two camps are starting to emerge among the Prime Minister’s colleagues and advisers: the hawks and the doves.
Now that Boris has left hospital, the disagreement between the two factions is starting to heat up
The hawks, spurred on by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, see a return to normality as an urgent necessity to avoid permanent economic damage to Britain
The hawks, spurred on by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, see a return to normality as an urgent necessity to avoid permanent economic damage to Britain.
Meanwhile, doves such as Health Secretary Matt Hancock fear a return of the pandemic and insist that social distancing rules must remain in force long after the infection curve flattens.
Now that Boris has left hospital, the disagreement between the two factions is starting to heat up.
For while they are all concerned that he obeys doctors’ orders and rests up, they are equally interested to know whether Boris, after experiencing encing the viciousness of coronavirus first-hand, is as committed as he was before to relaxing the unprecedented lockdown.
To discern which side Boris is leaning towards, we need only look at two of the first calls he made after leaving intensive care.
They were to Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary who has been deputising for him, and Mr Hancock – both leading doves in the Cabinet .
At yesterday’s Downing Street press conference, Mr Raab made it clear which side of the debate he stands on
Meanwhile, doves such as Health Secretary Matt Hancock fear a return of the pandemic and insist that social distancing rules must remain in force long after the infection curve flattens
Indeed, at yesterday’s Downing Street press conference, Mr Raab made it clear which side of the debate he stands on.
He said: ‘We have to keep social distancing in place. There will come a time in the future when we can talk about relaxation or transition but we are not there now. ‘
One senior Whitehall source sympathetic to the doves explained:’ Our entire strategy is to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed, to ensure patients aren’t dying on trolleys in hospital corridors or at home alone because of a shortage of NHS beds.
‘We can’ t risk all that by ending the lockdown, which has broad public support. ‘
Asked about the Prime Minister’s view, the source added:’ I think it’s fair to speculate when you have your life saved by the NHS that he may now be completely signed up to that view. The hawk has become a dove. ‘
If true, it would be a monumental U-turn for the Prime Minister, a lifelong libertarian who was once one of the most hawkish Cabinet members , along with Mr Sunak, Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, and Home Secretary Priti Patel.
It would be a monumental U-turn for the Prime Minister, a lifelong libertarian who was once one of the most hawkish Cabinet members, along with Mr Sunak, Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, and Home Secretary Priti Patel
Michael Gove, who like Mr Raab fought Boris for the leadership last year, is also remaining loyal. ‘He’s not a hawk or a dove, he’s with the PM,’ a source claimed
As one ministerial source put it: ‘ Boris wasn’t so much a hawk about lifting the lockdown, he was the Cabinet’s golden eagle. ‘
This may explain why it’s rumored that Boris has had no personal contact with the hawkish Mr Sunak.
Describing the Chancellor’s outlook, one source said: ‘Not only will it be economic Armageddon, Sunak fears a terrible impact on mental health and families when unemployment soars and businesses start folding. ‘
But for all their differences, there is some agreement among the hawks and doves – that schools should reopen by the summer half term.
One senior minister said: ‘I think we are at one on this. If it is possible we will start getting schools open, but it depends on the medical evidence. ‘
Whatever the truth, as Boris convalesces at Checkers, his country residence, he knows that Mr Raab is quietly enforcing his wishes.
Michael Gove, who like Mr Raab fought Boris for the leadership last year, is also remaining loyal. ‘He’s not a hawk or a dove, he’s with the PM,’ a source claimed.
And so for the next three weeks at least, the doves in the Cabinet will be confident they can hold sway.
But one well-placed source says: ‘Boris will make the final decision. ‘Two weeks ago Boris the hawk would have decided. Now I’m not so sure. ‘
- Former Bank of England governor, Lord Mervyn King, said he was ‘worried’ that only 4, Companies in the UK have been given crisis loans compar ed to 769, 13 companies in the US; (