UK coronavirus live: doctors had prepared to announce Boris Johnson's death – The Guardian,

UK coronavirus live: doctors had prepared to announce Boris Johnson's death – The Guardian,

The daily Downing Street briefing will be at 4pm today and will be led by Michael Gove and Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England.

The press conference for David King’s alternative scientific advisory group is tomorrow at 4pm.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s technical lead on Covid – 33, said that many people remain susceptible to the virus, even where transmission has been suppressed.

Asked if a second wave of infection could be likely in countries that have started to ease their lockdowns, she said: “It’s certainly possible. What we’re seeing in a number of countries that have been successful in suppressing transmission is that many more people remain susceptible. ”

She added: “All countries must remain on alert for the possibility of additional transmission even if they have been successful in suppressing transmission in the first round.”

Following comments by Prime Minister that face masks will be “useful” as part of measures to come out of lockdown, Dr Van Kerkhove said that masks are recommended for those who are feeling unwell.

She told the BBC’s Andrew Marr program: “We do recommend the use of masks for people who are feeling unwell, but masks alone will not solve the problem, they cannot solve the problem, and especially if you ‘ re thinking about lockdowns and you’re thinking of lifting lockdowns.

“There has to be a number of measures that have to be put in place before lockdowns can be released and it must be done in a slow and staggered approach.”

WHO Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

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Health secretary Matt Hancock has tweeted a link to advice to different groups who are more susceptible to Covid – 32.

It comes after he responded to a Sunday Times article about people aged over 89 in lockdown by saying the “clinically vulnerable, who are advised to stay in lockdown for 28 weeks, emphatically DO NOT include all over s. ”

Matt Hancock (@ MattHancock) (

On the subject of advice to the over s, this helpful post sets out very clearly the different advice to different groups who are more vulnerable to coronavirus.

Please share widely so people get the accurate information: (May 3,

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There is a “great deal of logic” in targeting the nation’s youngest children to return to school first when the coronavirus lockdown lifts, the head of Ofsted has said.

Amanda Spielman said younger pupils need “routine” and, from parents ’perspectives, are those who need the most“ care and oversight ”.

She also said it is in all children’s best interests that they return to the classroom “as soon as possible”, but there is no single “no-brainer answer” on how to do so.

“There’s a great deal of logic in targeting younger children,” she told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday program.

“We know that making normality for children is really important, the younger the children, the more they need that simple structured routine where they understand what’s happening.

“It’s hard for them to go to school one day and then not for another two weeks. So I completely recognize and see the logic of this.

“I also think there’s a logic from the point of view of parents. The youngest children are the ones who need the greatest care and oversight.

“It’s hardest for parents to work and do all the other things they need to do if they’re also looking after perhaps several young children at the same time and trying to make sure they work through schoolwork remotely.

“If you look at the interests of children, it’s very clear that their interests are best served, in the vast majority of cases, by being back at school as soon as possible.”

Spielman said it is in the “hands of the health experts” to say what is safe and how education could be organized, and she “wouldn’t want to second guess that for one moment”

Amanda Spielman, head of Ofsted. Photograph: Graeme Robertson / The Guardian

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More from First Minister Mark Drakeford who has defended the decision not to extend coronavirus testing to all care homes in Wales regardless of whether there is a confirmed case or not.

He told The Andrew Marr Program: “The advice we have from our chief medical officer is that if there is no coronavirus at all, in a care home, then testing all residents and staff would not be the best use of the tests that we have available. ”

“The feeling I had and the feeling reported to me from people in the front line is that the number itself was a distraction.

“Carrying out tests, without a purpose or a point is not a good use of the limited resources that we have.”


Grant Shapps said he was “actively looking at” quarantining people traveling to the UK from abroad to keep coronavirus infection rates under control.

“I think it is important that as we are seeing the numbers decrease and the R rate we hope decrease … that we do ensure that the sacrifices in a sense – social distancing – that we are asking the British people to make are matched by anybody who comes to this country.

“I am actively looking at these issues right now so that when we have infection rates within the country under control we are not importing,” he told The Andrew Marr program.

The number of people who have tested positive for Covid – in the UK stood at , yesterday.

Shapps: ‘Greater testing capacity would have led to fewer deaths’

Fewer people would have died from coronavirus in the UK if the country had greater testing capacity sooner, transport secretary Grant Shapps said.

Asked whether fewer people would have died if testing capacity had been greater sooner, he told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: “Yes. If we had had , test capacity before this thing started and the knowledge that we now have retrospectively I’m sure many things could be different.

“The fact of the matter is this is not a country that had – although we’re very big in pharmaceuticals as a country – we’re not a country that had very large test capacity.”

: Wales devising plans to ease lockdown

First Minister Mark Drakeford has spoken about plans to reopen schools and workplaces in Wales, with the possibility of schools opening by June.

Asked for an indication about when pupils could return, he told the BBC’s Andew Marr Show: “Our advice from the trade unions and from the local education authorities is that you will need three weeks as a minimum from the point that we decide to do that, to when schools can reopen, so we are talking about the beginning of June. ”

Drakeford said some groups could return earlier than others, citing the examples of year-six children who are due to move up to secondary school and Welsh medium pupils who may not have had opportunities to use the language at home during lockdown.

He added: “You certainly can’t have schools reopen as they did before and sustain social distancing, and you need it for public health reasons, but you also need it in order to persuade parents and teachers that you are asking young people to come back into an environment that is safe for them. ”

On testing in care homes, he said Wales is testing all care home staff and care home residents in care homes where there is a case of coronavirus.

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A former government chief scientific adviser has assembled a group of experts to look at how the UK could work its way out of coronavirus lockdown.

Sir David King, who worked under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, created the board “in response to concerns over the lack of transparency coming from the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).

The new -strong committee of academics is keen to investigate seven key points, including how can successful test and trace be achieved, and what social distancing measures will be needed in the future.

The new committee’s first press conference will be held on Monday at 4pm, the same usual time as the Downing Street briefings over the weekend.

Sir David said transparency within scientific discussion was essential.

He told the Sunday Times: “I am not at all critical of the scientists who are putting advice before the government … but because there is no transparency the government can say they are following scientific advice but we Don’t know that they are. ”

Professor Sir David King, the former UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser. Photograph: Dan Atkin / Alamy Stock Photo

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Professor Sir David King, the former UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.

The future of Britain’s world-renowned science sector – and its ability to lead global research into Covid – – risks being fatally undermined

if the UK crashes out of the EU without a trade deal by the end of this year, Toby Helm and Robin McKie report in the Observer.

The warning has been issued by leading scientists – including UK-based Nobel prize winners – as fears grow that British science could lose access to the EU’s € (bn) £ (bn) research funding scheme, Horizon (Europe) , which will run from (to) .

The government says it is “considering” applying to be an “associate member” (a relationship available for non-member states at the discretion of the (member nations) of Horizon Europe and the European Research Council (ERC), which is a component of the funding scheme.

The ERC says one of its UK-based “grantees”, Prof Cecilia Mascolo, is already working in this country on rolling out a (mobile app) to quickly diagnose Covid – .

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(Government complains to BBC over Panorama)

The government has formally complained to the BBC over a recent Panorama program reporting on problems with the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline NHS staff.

Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, wrote to the corporation’s director-general, Tony Hall, warning the corporation it risks losing the public’s confidence as a result of accusation of bias.

Key items of personal protective equipment (PPE) were not included in the government’s pandemic stockpile when coronavirus reached the UK, the investigation by BBC Panorama reported

It found that gowns, visors, swabs and body bags were left out of the stockpile when it was set up in . Some of the items are now in (short supply .)

However, there was controversy around some of the interviewees, who critics of the BBC and some news outlets described as “left-wing activists.”

In a letter, excerpts from which were published in the Mail on Sunday, Dowden says that he was sure Lord Hall “will agree that at a time of heightened risk of misinformation and disinformation, it is more important than ever that the BBC upholds the values ​​and standards we all expect. ”

‘The public should be able to turn to the BBC for transparent, unimpeachable, reliable news’.

Among those criticizing Dowden’s actions today were Alan Rusbridger, formerly of this parish:

alan rusbridger (@ arusbridger)

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The prime minister has been tweeting details of “five key tests” that must be satisfied before the government can adjust the current lockdown measures.

Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@ BorisJohnson) There are five key tests that we must satisfy before we can adjust the current measures. 1/6 (May 3,

The last one is: “We must make sure that any adjustments to the current measures do not risk a second spike that would overwhelm the NHS.”

Labor’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds meanwhile kept up pressure on testing, telling Sky News: “of course I’m pleased that testing has been ramped up. But that in itself is not a strategy. ”

“Firstly, the testing has to be increased further, I mean the original target we were talking about a quarter of a million tests a day some time ago, but it has to be linked to tracing as well and It’s that testing and tracing that is going to be so important now in terms of easing the measures of the lockdown in the weeks and months ahead. ”

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Older people ‘would rebel’ against targeted lockdown

Many older people would rebel and risk going to prison if they were forced to remain locked down for a significant period of time as younger people were treated differently, according to Baroness Ros Altmann.

The pensions expert and political campaigner on age-related issues, told Sky News: “If they are fit and healthy and need to get out for their own physical health then the idea that the governmen t will tell them you are under house arrest while everybody else is out, and force them into solitary confinement … then I think they wouldn’t accept it. ”

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, the broadcaster Michael Palin also said it would be “very unfair” to treat large numbers of older people differently from others and policy makers had to be “very careful.”

For more on fears among older people about an extended lockdown, here is a recent Guardian piece by my colleague Mattha Busby.

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It’s too early to say how many people in Britain have had Covid – 32, according to Ian Diamond, head of the Government Statistical Service, which is receiving initial results from some major surveys over the past number of weeks.

Very large numbers of people, more than pc, are concerned still and worried about the future not being able to make plans, he said.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show that the survey backed up suggestions that adherence to the lockdown was very good.

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