Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 28 Apr 2020

1

UK ‘failed to stockpile crucial PPE before virus struck’

The government failed to stockpile the personal protective equipment (PPE) required to protect medical staff despite being warned to do so by expert advisors as far back as last June, a BBC investigation has found. The Panorama programme will report tonight that there were no gowns, visors, swabs or body bags in the pandemic stockpile when the Covid-19 coronavirus reached the UK.

2

One-minute silence for key workers

A one-minute silence will be observed across the UK at 11am today to commemorate the healthcare staff and other front-line workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus. At least 90 NHS and social care workers have died after contracting the infection since the pandemic began. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to join the tribute from Downing Street.

3

Oil collapse puts 30,000 UK jobs in danger

The UK’s offshore energy industry is facing a “bleak outlook” amid falling oils prices, with as many as 30,000 jobs at risk, a new report warns. The Oil and Gas UK industry body is calling on the government to protect jobs and the security of the country’s energy sector amid falling global demand for oil during lockdowns intended to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

4

Argentina stops flights until 1 September

Argentina has banned the sale of tickets for internal or international commercial flights to and from the South American nation until 1 September, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The authorities say companies should not be allowed to sell seats on flights that may not happen because of the outbreak. Aviation industry groups say thousands of people could lose their jobs as result of the new measures in Argentina, which closed its border to non-residents in March.

5

Wales ‘ready to move out of lockdown first’

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford says the country is ready to move out of lockdown earlier than the rest of the UK if there is a clear decline in the number of new infections over the next two weeks. In an interview with The Guardian, the Labour politician also complained about a lack of contact with the Welsh government from politicians at Westminster.

6

Drivers hit roads as lockdown boredom rises

Levels of traffic on UK roads was higher over the past weekend and on Friday than at any other point since the coronavirus outbreak lockdown began, according to the AA. The motoring group suggests that drivers were making non-essential journeys to “break the boredom of the lockdown or escape family conflicts”. Journeys were up by almost fifth in total compared with previous typical lockdown days.

7

Mayor of Prague fears Russian poison plot

The mayor of Prague has been given police protection following reports that he is the target of a Russian poison plot. A Czech Republic newspaper says a Russian man with a diplomatic passport was caught with lethal poison ricin, in an alleged plot to kill Zdenek Hrib after he renamed a Prague square in honour of murdered Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov. 

8

Trump ‘can’t imagine’ why Americans are ingesting disinfectant

Donald Trump yesterday batted away a question about a medical hotline in Maryland receiving hundreds of calls for help with disinfectant-related injuries in the days after he suggested injecting it as a cure for Covid-19. The governors of Michigan and Maryland have blamed the US president for the spike, but Trump shrugged off claims at the daily White House briefing of a possible link, saying: “I can’t imagine why.”

9

England ‘just unlucky’ with penalties, say Germans

England football players are as good at taking penalties as the teams of any other major footballing nation, a study by German statisticians has found. The researchers analysed almost 700 shootout strikes at World Cups and European Championships and discovered that despite long-standing claims about England players “choking under pressure”, there was no “significant differences” between the success rates of penalty takers from different nations.

10

Briefing: Italy’s timetable for lifting coronavirus lockdown

The Italian government has revealed a detailed plan to begin lifting the strict coronavirus lockdown measures imposed across the country seven weeks ago.

Italy has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the key dates in the country’s exit plan.

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