Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 10 May 2020

1

Experts warn 100,000 could die if lockdown eased too fast

Britain could see more than 100,000 deaths by the end of the year if the government eases the lockdown too swiftly, a scientific adviser has warned. Warnings about the potential death toll were sent to the government’s Sage advisory committee last week by researchers from a number of centres, including the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Imperial College London.

2

Government prepares to announce Covid-19 alert system

Boris Johnson is expected to announce a Covid-19 alert system this evening. The system will rank the threat level from coronavirus on a scale of one to five and be adjusted according to data. The prime minister is also expected to unveil a new slogan, telling the public to “stay alert, control the virus, save lives”.

3

Queen to withdraw from public life for some months

The Queen is to withdraw from public life for several months in what is expected to be her longest absence from official duties. The 94-year-old monarch will remain at Windsor Castle, with her diary of engagements on hold. The Trooping the Colour, Order of the Garter service and other events have been cancelled. Buckingham Palace will be closed to the public this summer. 

4

NHS waiting lists could reach seven million by the autumn

More than seven million people will be on hospital waiting lists by the autumn, according to a new study. The report found that, due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, 1.3m patients have been added to waiting lists to see a specialist for conditions including cancer and heart problems. The Sunday Times says the news will add to pressure on the government to lift the lockdown.

5

Obama describes Trump's handling of virus as a ‘disaster’

Barack Obama has criticised Donald Trump over his response to the coronavirus crisis. The president described the US handling of the pandemic as “an absolute chaotic disaster”. He added that there has been a “mindset” of “what's in it for me” and “to heck with everybody else,” in the US government. More than 77,000 people have now died and the US has 1.2m confirmed cases - both the highest in the world.

6

Government encourages cycling as public transport shrinks

Grant Shapps says much of the country’s public transport network will be reduced to just 10 per cent capacity due to social distancing. The transport secretary said the infrastructure is facing an “enormous logistical challenge”, and even with every train, bus and tram fully operational it “will not be enough”. He announced that £2bn will be used to “put cycling and walking at the heart of our transport policy”.

7

Care home system ‘could collapse within weeks’

The care home system could collapse within weeks leaving up to 60,000 vulnerable OAPs homeless, claims the Sunday People. With costs rocketing in the sector, Anita Astle, who runs Wren Hall in Nottingham, said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if we can just manage to carry on for six to eight weeks.” An estimated 7,000 have died of coronavirus in care homes.

8

Tributes paid as Little Richard dies at the age of 87

Little Richard has died of bone cancer at the age of 87, the musician's family has confirmed. The pioneering rock 'n' roll star is known for hits including Good Golly Miss Molly, Tutti Frutti and Long Tall Sally. Former Beatles drummer Sir Ringo Starr tweeted: “God bless Little Richard, one of my all-time musical heroes.” Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys said his music would “last forever”.

9

Deaths as protesters clash with officers in Afghanistan

At least six people were killed when demonstrators clashed with security forces in western Afghanistan. The violence began after the protesters assembled in Firozkoh, the capital of Ghor province, to complain about problems with the distribution of food aid. The authorities say gunmen in the crowd attacked a government office, prompting security forces to open fire.

10

Pandemic could force the Royal Albert Hall to close

The Royal Albert Hall is facing closure as social distancing rules risk making it impossible to run the venue safely. Chief executive Craig Hassal said that that the two-metre space requirement would force the 150-year-old venue to cut its capacity to just 30 per cent. He said the venue is in a “seriously desperate” financial situation and warned “we may have to close”.

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