Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 18 Apr 2020


Senior Tories say ministers are treating public like children

The government is “treating the public like children” by refusing to discuss options to ease the lockdown, said senior Tory MPs last night. After Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said she will lay out a “decision-making framework” next week, some cabinet ministers privately told The Times they agree with critics who say they risk losing public consent.



Covid-19 deaths at care homes may have reached 7,500

The number of care home residents who have died of suspected coronavirus may have reached as high as 7,500, says the Daily Telegraph. New data from the country's largest representative body for care homes suggests the number of deaths from Covid-19 is far higher than its previous estimate of 1,400 from earlier this week.



Donald Trump defends his controversial ‘Liberate!’ tweets

Donald Trump has defended his tweets in which he seemingly endorsed protests against tight lockdown measures in several US states. Yesterday, he posted a series of messages saying: “LIBERATE MINNESOTA”, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” and then “LIBERATE VIRGINIA”. Later, at his daily briefing, he said some measures imposed by Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia had been “too tough”.



NHS asking medics to treat Covid-19 patients without gowns

NHS bosses have asked doctors and nurses to work without protective full-length gowns when treating coronavirus patients, reports The Guardian. The move, a reversal of Public Health England guidelines, was revealed as hospitals came within hours of running out of supplies. Meanwhile, unions have expressed concerns about new guidance allowing some personal protective equipment to be reused.



Hopes of an autumn vaccine as human trials begin

Human trials for a Covid-19 vaccine rated as having an 80% chance of success are to begin next week. If it proves successful, there is a target of one million doses of the jab to be ready September. The vaccine has been developed by Oxford University scientists. The Daily Mail says clinical trials will involve 510 people.



Travel agents livid as minister tells public not to book holidays

Travel agents are angry after Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, effectively warned Britons against planning a summer holiday this year. “I won’t be booking a summer holiday at this point,” Shapps told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme when asked if people should think about booking a break in the coming months. Abta, the UK’s trade association for holiday operators and travel agents, said: “It was a thoughtless comment.”



WHO warning over UK antibody test effectiveness

The World Health Organisation says there is no evidence that people who have recovered from coronavirus have immunity to the disease. After the UK government bought 3.5m antibody tests, senior WHO epidemiologists warned that there is no proof that such tests can show if someone who has been infected with Covid-19 cannot be infected again.



Nasa to launch historic manned mission from the US next month

Nasa will launch its first manned mission from US soil in almost 10 years next month. A rocket, carrying a spacecraft is scheduled to take off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre on 27 May, taking two astronauts to the International Space Station. It will take the two astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, approximately 24 hours to reach the ISS.



UN says North Korea flouted sanctions with help of China

A UN panel says North Korea has defied sanctions by escalating trade in coal and oil products with the help of China. “The continued violation by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of commodity export bans not only flouts security council resolutions but serves to fund a revenue stream that has historically contributed to the country’s prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile programs,” claimed the report.



EFL says all football matches will be broadcast after resumption

All matches across the Championship, League One and League Two will be broadcast live on TV or the internet after the English Football League confirmed matches are almost certain to resume behind closed doors. However, EFL chairman Rick Parry confirmed that there is no scheduled date for the return of football across the country after matches were suspended due to Covid-19.

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