Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 16 Apr 2020

1

Three-week lockdown extension as hopes rise

Ministers are expected to announce a three-week continuation of the coronavirus lockdown in the UK today, but hopes are rising that the peak of the infection has arrived – and the government will publish a lockdown exit strategy within days. Speaking to the press yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said this was “probably” the peak.

2

Trump: US has passed the peak of infection

US President Donald Trump says the US has passed the peak of new coronavirus infections and predicted that some states will reopen later this month. Trump said he would publish reopening guidelines today, vowing the US would be “comeback kids”. There have been more than 25,000 deaths from the disease in the US.

3

Pregnant nurse dies of Covid-19 but baby saved

A 28-year-old pregnant nurse has died with the Covid-19 coronavirus, but her baby has been saved. Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong, also known by her married name of Mary Boateng, died on Sunday in the Luton hospital where she had worked for five years. One colleague said she had “devoted her life to the NHS”. Her baby girl is doing well.

4

Britons in India slam ‘shambolic’ repatriation

British tourists returning from India say the UK government’s attempts to repatriate them during the coronavirus outbreak have been shambolic and embarrassing, the BBC reports. One said the official response was “incompetent and uncaring”. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office insisted repatriation was “huge and complex”.

5

Lockdown earns Amazon $11,000 a second

Online retail giant Amazon is reaping a cash bonanza from the global coronavirus lockdown, with its share price soaring and customers spending almost $11,000 (£8,800) a second. Founder Jeff Bezos has reinforced his position as the world’s richest person, his personal fortune rising $6.4bn (£5.1bn) on Tuesday to reach $138bn (£110bn).

6

Captain Tom’s 100th birthday walk raises £12m

Captain Tom Moore, the 99-year-old Army veteran, has seen his fundraising total for NHS charities treble in 24 hours to more than £12m. Moore is using a walking frame to cover laps of his 25-metre garden, aiming to reach 100 laps by his 100th birthday on 30 April. The original target for his Just Giving page was just £1,000.

7

Burger King, KFC and Pret start to reopen

Three UK fast-food chains that had ceased trading as a result of the coronavirus outbreak have announced limited reopening, for takeaway and delivery only. Burger King is opening four branches in the south of England, while KFC has reopened 11 outlets for delivery only. Pret A Manger will reopen 10 shops near London hospitals from today.

8

Camper van pair face abuse from public

Two people living in camper vans in a Cornwall car park – one of them a key worker, the other retired – say they are regularly abused by people who accuse them of being on holiday in breach of coronavirus guidelines. Mimi Gulliford, 33, fears she will return from work to find her van has been set on fire.

9

French study brings hope for ash trees

A study of ash trees in France suggests the survival rate from the ash dieback fungus may be much higher than previously feared. The study shows that trees standing alone have the highest chance of beating the parasite. Ash dieback had been predicted to kill 95% of British ash trees but only between 5% and 15% of solitary trees are dying in France.

10

The politics of naming Covid-19

Covid-19 has impacted every corner of the globe, with confirmed cases on every continent. But how it is referred to depends on where you are – and your politics.

Here is how the name came about and why it matters.

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