Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 28 Mar 2020
Frontline NHS workers to start being tested for coronavirus
Frontline health staff in England will begin being tested this weekend for the coronavirus, reports the BBC. Following mounting criticism over a lack of tests, staff with symptoms or those who live with people who have symptoms will be checked - starting with critical care doctors and nurses. The number of people who have died with the virus in the UK rose by 181 to 759 yesterday, with 14,543 confirmed cases.
Coronavirus: experts say fewer than expected will die in UK
Experts believe that Britain is on course for around 5,700 deaths from coronavirus, far lower than originally predicted. Statisticians at Imperial College London say the country will avoid the 260,000 fatalities once feared. “Our work shows that social distancing is working against Covid-19 as an effective parachute across multiple countries,” they said.
Italy suffers biggest daily rise in coronavirus deaths
Italy has recorded its single biggest rise in coronavirus deaths, announcing that 969 people have died in the past 24 hours. It also became the second country to overtake China in terms of the number of infections, reaching 86,498 cases. However, the US has become the country with the largest infection caseload, with 93,000 reported as of Thursday.
President Trump signs historical financial stimulus package
Donald Trump has signed the largest-ever US financial stimulus package, worth $2tn (£1.7tn). The House of Representatives passed the cross-party bill two days after the Senate debated its provisions. As the coronavirus bites hard in the US, the number of Americans filing for unemployment surged to a record high of 3.3 million people this week.
Birmingham sets up morgue as Midlands becomes hotspot
A temporary mortuary is being set up in Birmingham airport with space for up to 12,000 bodies. The airport is next to Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, which had been considered as a location for a temporary field hospital. The West Midlands has seen another sharp rise in deaths. The Guardian says it is a “hotspot for transmissions of the virus”.
Are gorillas now at risk of catching the coronavirus?
Endangered gorillas are at risk from the coronavirus, say conservationists. Congo’s Virunga National Park, home to about a third of the world’s mountain gorillas, is barring visitors until June, in response to “advice from scientific experts indicating that primates, including mountain gorillas”, are “likely susceptible to complications arising from the COVID-19 virus”.
Hague orders Dutch to pay out over colonial massacres
The Hague has ordered the Dutch state to pay out over colonial massacres in the 1940s. An Indonesian man forced to watch his father’s summary execution by a Dutch soldier when he was 10 years old was awarded €10,000 (£9,000). Eight widows and three children of other executed men were awarded compensation of between €123.48 and €3,634 for loss of income.
Police confirm more than one exercise outing is not illegal
Senior police officers have confirmed that exercising outside more than once a day is not illegal, despite recent government lockdown guidelines. “The law doesn’t say once a day, the law doesn’t specify what type of activity that would be,” said Deputy Chief Constable Sara Glen. Predicting how police will enforce the lockdown, she said: “We police by consent in the UK and we do not take that lightly.”
Tributes as civil rights icon Lowery dies at the age of US
Joseph Lowery, a leader in America's civil rights movement, died yesterday at the age of 98. He had campaigned alongside the likes of Martin Luther King Jr and Jesse Jackson. Paying tribute on Twitter, the King Centre said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. He was a champion for civil rights, a challenger of injustice, a dear friend to the King family.”
Football authorities predict ‘difficult decisions’ over Covid-19
The Premier League, EFL and Professional Footballers' Association say “difficult decisions will have to be taken” to counter the financial impact of coronavirus on English football. All games have been postponed until at least 30 April and will only resume “when it is safe and conditions allow,” the joint statement added.