Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 5 Apr 2020

1

Keir Starmer says he will work with Johnson on Covid-19

Keir Starmer has vowed to work with Boris Johnson “in the national interest” to manage the coronavirus outbreak. After being elected Labour leader yesterday, Starmer offered to work constructively with the prime minister and not provide “opposition for opposition’s sake”. However, he said the failure to provide enough protective equipment for frontline workers and delays over testing have been “serious mistakes”.

2

Abu Dhabi owners charging NHS millions a month for ExCeL

The Abu Dhabi company which owns the ExCeL centre in east London is charging the NHS millions of pounds in rent to use it as a temporary hospital for coronavirus patients. The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company is charging the health service £2m-£3m a month, according to The Sunday Times. Labour’s shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, described the deal as “an absolute outrage”.

3

Trump encourages Americans to try malaria drug for virus

Donald Trump has told Americans to take a “little-studied” anti-malaria drug for Covid-19, says The Guardian, despite “potentially serious side effects and a lack of data on safety and efficacy”. At a press conference, he said: “What do you have to lose? What do you have to lose? Take it.” He added that he “may take it” himself, though he would “have to ask my doctors about that”.

4

Government says UK public adhering to social distancing rules

Amid concern that warmer weather may encourage people to flout social distancing rules, NHS England medical director Stephen Powis reminded the public of the guidelines and said: “The sun might be out, but that does not mean you should be out.” However, Michael Gove says people in the UK appear to be adhering to social distancing rules despite the temptation to go out in the sunny weather.

5

Spain says it is close to passing its coronavirus peak

The prime minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, says the country is “close to passing the peak of infections” as the number of coronavirus deaths fell for the second day in a row. The toll of 809 deaths in one day is the lowest in Spain for a week. Sánchez nevertheless extended lockdown measures until 25 April, saying the restrictions were “saving lives”. 

6

Queen to encourage self-discipline in coronavirus address

The Queen is to encourage the public to show self-discipline and resolve during the coronavirus pandemic. In a special address to the nation this evening, she will acknowledge the grief, pain and financial difficulties Britons are facing during this “time of disruption”. She will add: “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.”

7

Asylum seeker kills two in attack in south-east France

A man killed two people and injured at least five others during an attack in a town in south-east France. The attacker, 33, slit the throat of one of his victims in front of the man’s wife and son, in the centre of Romans-sur-Isère in the Drôme, north of the town of Valence. The suspect, who reportedly put up no resistance when he was arrested yesterday morning, is an asylum seeker from Sudan.

8

Liverpool attacked after furloughing non-playing staff

Liverpool has become the latest Premier League club to place some non-playing staff on temporary leave. The workers will receive 80% of their salary through the government's job retention scheme. Former club captain Jamie Carragher tweeted: “Jurgen Klopp showed compassion for all at the start of this pandemic, senior players heavily involved in Premier League players taking wage cuts. Then all that respect and goodwill is lost - poor this, LFC.”

9

Three suspects are arrested after murder in north Belfast

Three men have been arrested in Belfast in connection with the murder of a man in the north of the city yesterday. The Police Service of Northern Ireland said the three suspects were taken to Musgrave Street police station in central Belfast for questioning. The force said the murdered man was shot several times during the gun attack in the Ardoyne district around 11.50am on Saturday.

10

Minister slams 5G conspiracy theories as celebrities join chorus

Michael Gove says conspiracy theories blaming new 5G masts for the spread of coronavirus are “dangerous nonsense”. Celebrities including Amanda Holden, a judge on Britain's Got Talent, and Cheers actor Woody Harrelson, have been accused of “fanning the flames” of claims linking the technology to the outbreak of Covid-19. Gove, the minister for the cabinet office, said: “That’s just nonsense. Dangerous nonsense as well.”

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