Daily Update 22/05/2020

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The total death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 36,042, an increase of as of today 368. 

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, started the daily briefing by drawing attention to mental health awareness week. Hancock announced that the government have given £4.2 million to mental health charities like Samaritans and Young Minds. 

Hancock also went on to give information about the antibody tests being developed by researchers in the UK. These tests, the Health Secretary warned, do not tell us whether people are immune to the virus but instead only reveal whether people have developed antibodies which may help to fight off the virus in future. 

Daily Update 15/05/2020

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The rate of infection, the so-called R number, for Coronavirus is now between 0.7 and 1. The increase in the rate of infection has led some news outlets to question the government’s decision to loosen lockdown restrictions this week.

The total death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 33,998 an increase of 384. 

In the daily briefing Matt Hancock, the health secretary, stated that all care home residents in England, with and without symptoms, are now being tested for Coronavirus. 

Negotiations between the UK and the EU on the future post-Brexit settlement have become deadlocked. According to an article in the Financial Times the chief stumbling block is whether the UK will maintain the same standards in areas such as labour and environmental law as the EU. EU officials have stated that the deal must be struck by October in order to be ratified in time. 

Daily Update 13/05/2020

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The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stand at 33,186, an increase of 494. 

In the daily briefing Robert Jernick, the Housing Secretary, told the public that restrictions on exercise have been lifted and that workers unable to work from home should speak to their employers about arranging a possible return to work. People have also been allowed to meet one person from outside of their household in a public space. 

The government has also allowed the housing market to restart, allowing estate agent’s offices to report, removal companies to return to work, and people to move into new homes. The government has also removed restrictions on the supply side of the housing market, allowing construction companies to restart building and work up to 8pm in residential areas and later outside of these areas. 

Daily Update 12/05/2020

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The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced that the government will continue their job retention scheme until October. The scheme, which allows workers to be paid 80% of their wages up to £2,500 a month, will allow require employers to make contributions from August but also allow them to move workers onto part-time hours. This change comes after the government faced pressure from unions to ensure that that the percentage of worker’s wages paid to them through the scheme would not be cut.

The total death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 32,692, an increase of 627 in the last 24 hours. 

Daily Update 11/05/2020

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Today the government published a 50-page document, “Our Plan to Rebuild”, which set out a three-phased plan for easing the nationwide lockdown. 

The first phase of the strategy will be begin this week and allow citizens of England to leave their homes as many times as they’d like for exercise and leisure. Scotland, Wales and Northern Island have not altered their lockdown restrictions. The report advises that people use face coverings in places where social distancing cannot be observed, such as on public transport.

The report goes on to state that the only long-term solution to Coronavirus is a vaccine or a drug-based treatment, which may be more than a year away. 

Phase two of the government’s plan, which will not take place before June 1, will involve the reopening of primary schools and non-essential shops. There is a possibility that households may be allowed to mix with one another at this stage. 

Phase three, which will take place no sooner than June 4, will involve the opening of restaurants, pubs, hotels, and hairdressers. Business which cannot meet social distancing guidelines will not be re-opened, according to the report. 

Research by the ONS has shown that men in blue-collar jobs were more than twice as likely than the rest of the working age population to contract Coronavirus. These findings come after government’s decisions to allow workers from the construction industry and other similar trades to return to work. 

Daily Update 06/05/2020

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The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at X, an increase of X

In his first Prime Minister’s Questions since being admitted to hospital Boris Johnson said that the government will introduce measures to ease the lockdown by Monday. 

The UK has failed to reach their target of 100,000 tests a day for four days in a row –  69,463 tests were administered in the last 24 hours. 

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said that he is preparing to winddown the furlough scheme from July. The government has not yet put forward any concrete proposals as to how this would be done. 

Neil Ferguson, the British epidemiologist who has been in charge of shaping the Government’s response to the pandemic, has resigned after it was revealed by the Telegraph that he had broken met with a lover on two occasions during the lockdown. Matt Hancock has said that he would back the police if they felt a need to take further action. 

Daily Update 05/05/2020

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The total Coronavirus death toll has now passed that of Italy’s, standing at 29,427, an increase of 693 as of today. 

In the daily briefing Dominic Raab, the Secretary of State, rejected attempts to draw comparisons between the UK and Italy. 

Doctors in Birmingham have launched an urgent report into BAME deaths as a result of Coronavirus. This report comes after several media reports have drawn attention to the disproportionate number of Black Asian and Minority people that have died as a result of Coronavirus.

The number of key workers and members of their family who have tested positive for Coronavirus has overtaken the number of sick people in hospitals. 

Daily Update 01/05/2020

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The total death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 27,510, an increase of 739. 

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, announced that the government had met their target, set in the beginning of April, of reaching 100,000 tests per day by the end of April. According to the Health Secretary 122,347 were administered on 30th April. 

Daily Update 24/04/2020

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The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 19,506, an increase of 684.

The Coronavirus website set up to allow key workers and their families to arrange testing has had to close because of high demand. This has led to the government receiving criticism for their failure to anticipate the scale of demand. 

Daily Update 22/04/2020

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The daily recorded death toll increased to 18,100, an increase of 763. 

The government continues to receive criticism for the inadequate supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Today the European Commission stated that the government had been given an opportunity to bulk buy PPE with EU countries but refused to do. The call for joint European wide procurement of PPE was, according to the Commission, announced on 31 January. 

Prime Minister’s Questions resumed today with Dominic Raab, standing in for Boris Johnson, facing up against the newly elected head of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer. 

Alongside the first Secretary Dominc Raab, General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, gave the daily briefing. Both Raab and Carter drew attention to the role that the armed forces have played in supporting the NHS during the pandemic.