The massive Excel conference centre is being considered by the Army as a location for the field hospital, with military and civilian medics expected to help deal with the swell in patient numbers. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the temporary hospital to deal with coronavirus patients will open in London next week. The Health Secretary said: “We will, next week, open a new hospital, a temporary hospital, the NHS Nightingale Hospital at the Excel centre in London.
“The NHS Nightingale Hospital will comprise two wards, each of 2,000 people.
“With the help of the military and with NHS clinicians we will make sure that we have the capacity that we need so that everyone can get the support that they need.”
Hospitals in England will run short of critical care beds for coronavirus patients within the next two weeks if the numbers becoming severely ill and escalate on the scale experienced in Italy, say doctors with many calling for a new hospital to be built to take the influx of infected patients.
In other news people are taking to social media to report a series of attacks on supermarket vehicles.
An ASDA home shopping van was stolen last night and burnt in Weston-super-mare, Somerset and similar attacks were seen in Bristol.
Iceland’s managing director Richard Walker posted an image of one of the supermarket van’s destroyed after an attack in Southmead, Bristol, on Monday night.
Mr Walker hit out at the “sickening” attack, saying vulnerable people were relying on food deliveries as a “lifeline” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He tweeted: “2 of our vans in Southmead were burnt out last night during disturbances in the town. At a time when home delivery is literally a lifeline for some vulnerable people, this is sickening.”
Another person reported a similar attack on an ASDA vehicle, they wrote: “ASDA home shopping van, stolen lastnight and burnt, how selfish!
“Thats maybe 60/70 people/ families in need who will not get the shopping they despratley needed today.
“I’m heartbroken for the people working so hard to help people in supermarkets to wake up and find this!”
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Coronavirus UK: London’s Excel centre considered as a location for a coronavirus field hospital
Thieves also targeted a food distributor in Gateshead, north east England, smashing seven vans and stealing petrol.
The shocking news comes after Boris Johnson urged people to order vital food supplies and household essentials online for home delivery as he placed the UK on lockdown to fight the coronavirus oubtreak.
In his address to the nation, the Prime Minister said Britons will only be allowed to leave their home for four reasons: shopping for basics, exercising once a day, travelling to or from work, to care for a vulnerable person or attend an urgent medical appointment.
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Coronavirus UK: Michael Gove confirms children can move between two parents
00:00am update: Government issues ultimatum to new couples
Downing Street tells those who are in new relationships not to bounce from each other’s houses.
It said new couples must either move in together rapidly or remain apart during the lockdown.
It is just one of a string of stringent new measures implemented on Monday.
11.00pm update: Birmingham NEC ‘ready’ to be used as second temporary hospital.
The NEC in Birmingham has said it “stands ready” and is “well equipped” should the centre be considered as a suitable location for a temporary hospital.
In a statement, a spokeswoman said: “As a cornerstone of the local community, we are committed to playing our part in ensuring the health and well-being of everyone in our area.
“As such, we stand ready and willing to help our emergency services – especially at a time like this.
“The NEC is well equipped to be used as a support base if such need arises so please be assured, that if we are requested to do so, we can action this with immediate effect.
“We are and have been in constant communication with the local NHS trust, police and fire service, and the services are fully aware of the capabilities of the venue. We will do our utmost to support the effort in combating the virus.”
10.23pm update: Trump wants to ‘open up’ country by Easter
The nation approached 700 coronavirus-induced deaths on Tuesday and President Donald Trump said he hoped to “open up” the nation by Easter.
Mr Trump said: “Our country has to get back to work.
“Otherwise it’s going to be very hard to start it up again.”
8.48 update: Twenty-one of the new deaths in the UK were at one NHS trust
Twenty-one of the deaths reported by NHS England today were at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust in Harrow.
A spokesman for the trust told the PA news agency: “Sadly, we can confirm that a further 21 patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 have passed away between Friday 20 March and Monday 23 March, and our thoughts remain with those people who have lost loved ones.
“Our trust is seeing a high number of Intensive Care Unit cases, and we are stepping up our support in response to this demand, having already significantly increased the number of intensive care beds at our hospitals, but we need everyone to also do their bit by staying at home and washing your hands.”
Coronavirus UK: The number of positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the UK
update: Police won’t hesitate to use new lockdown powers, Scotland‘s Chief Constable says.
Iain Livingstone, Scotland’s Chief Constable, has warned people against disobeying the advice issued by the prime minister on Monday evening.
7.33pm update: Gibraltar’s government have enacted measures to stop terminations of employment for “inactive employees”
To qualify, an individual will have to be registered by their employer in an affected sector, as an “inactive employee”. An inactive employee will be a worker whose employer has experienced a downturn or cessation in business, and as a consequence of this downturn or cessation, has sent the employee home. It does not include an employee who is tasked to work from home.
update: France lockdown should last six weeks as death toll surpasses 1,000
The lockdown imposed last week in France to battle the coronavirus should last at least six weeks in total, a committee of scientific experts advising the government on the outbreak said on Tuesday.
“The confinement will likely last at least six weeks from the moment it was put in place (on March 17),” said the scientific council, adding it was “indispensable” to extend the measure from its initial duration of two weeks.
It comes as the death toll rose to 1,100 and the number of people needing life support in the country now totals 2,516.
update: Two more coronavirus deaths recorded in Northern Ireland
The total number of coronavirus-linked deaths in Northern Ireland has risen to five, Health Minister Robin Swann has announced.
The two fatalities confirmed today include 82-year-old Ruth Burke, whose family has already spoken publicly about her death in Antrim Area Hospital.
update: Government and Sadiq Khan in row over London Underground crowding
A row has broken about between the Government and Sadiq Khan about overcrowding on the London Underground during the coronavirus pandemic.
A spokesman for London Mayor Mr Khan insisted ministers have been told “countless times” that TfL cannot run a full service due to levels of staff sickness and self-isolation.
He said: “Nearly a third of staff are already absent – there aren’t enough drivers and control staff to do it.”
Mr Khan’s spokesman urged the Government to “act urgently to get more people staying at home rather than going to work unnecessarily”.
He accused ministers of refusing to take “difficult decisions” on banning non-essential construction work and providing “proper financial support” so freelancers, the self-employed and those on zero-hours contracts stay at home.
TfL pledged to “continue to run as much of a Tube service as we possibly can”.
Sierra Leone declares 12-month state of “public health emergency”
Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio declared a 12-month state of “public health emergency” starting Tuesday in the West African nation to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It has yet to report a case.
Leo Varadkar issues emergency coronavirus crackdown in Ireland as disease grips nation.
The Taoiseach officially announced drastic measures to combat the spread of coronavirus in Ireland, calling on citizens to stay home as more than 200 new cases were confirmed.
4.49pm Coronavirus affecting key workers, such as cardiac and respiratory nursing specialists, in Northern Ireland.
Nurseries closing due to staff sickness make it difficult for key workers to find childcare.
Coronavirus has infiltrated UK prisons and more than 4,000 prison employees are self-isolating:
The Prison and Probation Service said 13 inmates have tested positive for coronavirus.
4.27pm update: Today sees the largest daily fatality rate in the UK since the outbreak began.
Today’s death toll rise from 335 to 422 is a jump of 87. The 26 percent increase is a bigger jump than the 19 percent reported yesterday.
4.05pm update: Latest UK death toll revealed as further 87 die
The latest death toll figures for the UK have been released, revealing a record 87 people have died in the last 24 hours.
The number of deaths jumped to 422 today, with 8,077 people now infected by COVID-19 across the country.
It is hoped the lockdown introduced by Boris Johnson last night will help slow the spread of the virus in the coming weeks.
3.16pm update: India in nationwide lockdown as coronavirus appears in small towns.
Large parts of India have been shut down as experts warn that more than a million people could be infected by mid-May.
2.30pm update: Prison visits stopped in England and Wales
Boris Johnson has stopped all visits to prisons in England and Wales.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “Following the PM’s instruction for people to stay home, prisons in England and Wales took the immediate step to stop visits today while they ensue they can comply with social distancing rules.”
2.17pm update: 2020 Paralympic Games postponed to summer 2021
The 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games have also been postponed by a year because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) says it gave its full support to the decision taken by the Japanese government and International Olympic Committee (IOC).
1.50pm update: Sturgeon reiterates new lockdown measures
Nicola Sturgeon has reiterated the new lockdown measures implemented in the UK.
She said Scotland is effectively in a lockdown and said people should only leave the house for the four reasons stated by Boris Johnson last night.
1.43pm update: Two more die in Scotland after contracting COVID-19
Two more people in Scotland have died after testing positive for coronavirus, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
That takes Scotland’s death toll up to 16.
1.26pm update: Sports Direct accused of hiking prices by more than 50%
Sports Direct is understood to have hiked prices of some sports equipment, including skipping ropes, weights and resistance belts by more than 50 percent, according to documents seen by the PA news agency.
It comes after chief executive Mike Ashley shut all UK stores on Tuesday, having first announced shops would stay open.
The boss faced a mounting backlash, with cabinet ministers Matt Hancock and Michael Gove both stating the store should close.
12.47pm update: Rate of cases rises at dramatic rate
James Gallagher, the BBC’s health and science correspondent, has revealed the dramatic rise of coronavirus cases around the world.
He wrote on Twitter: “It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000 cases and just four days for the third 100,000 cases.”
Coronavirus UK: This ASDA truck was burned in Weston-super-mare
12.21pm update: Japan asks for Tokyo Olympics to be postponed
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has asked for a one year postponement of the Toyko Olympic Games and hope to hold it in summer 2021.
This is the first time the Olympics have been postponed.
The 1940 and 1944 Olympics were cancelled due to the Second World War, but no Games have ever been postponed.
12.06pm update: Wales death toll increases by one
Public Health Wales (PHW) has said another patient has died after testing positive for the coronavirus.
This takes the total number of deaths in Wales to 17.
The number of confirmed cases in the country rose by 60 on Tuesday, bringing the total to 478.
Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the outbreak response at PHW said: “The public play a very important role in slowing the spread of infection. By strictly following the latest measures, you will protect yourself, protect the most vulnerable and help to reduce the pressure on NHS Wales and minimise the impact of the virus.”
11.57am: Egypt imposes two-week curfew from 7pm-6am
Egyptian officials have introduced a two-week curfew from 7pm-6am, which will start from Wednesday March 25.
11.28am update: UK golf courses to close
Golf courses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will shut following the latest Government measures.
Amateur golfers had previously been able to continue playing as long as they adhered to guidance on social distancing.
Coronavirus UK: A sign on the M8 near Glasgow advises motorists to avoid travel where possible
Coronavirus UK: 23million tuned in to watch Boris Johnson’s TV address last night
10.59am update: ‘Toerags’ attack vans delivering food to NHS hospitals
Crooks described as toerags targeted a food distributor delivering essential supplies to hospitals, schools and care homes battling the coronavirus.
The thieves targeted the JR Holland Team Valley Trading Estate smashing up seven vans and stealing diesel from the vehicles.
The food distributor, located in Gateshead, north east England, had been helping the national effort to supply hospitals, schools and care homes with essential food supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic.
But the firm was forced to reduce the number of vans delivering the fresh produce while the vehicles were repaired.
10.45am update: Cases in Spain continue to soar, up 6,000 in the last 24 hours
The number of coronavirus cases have risen to 39,673 on Tuesday, according to their health ministry.
That is an increase of 6,584 cases since yesterday.
The death toll rose by 514 deaths, up to 2,696.
10.22am update: 85% of new coronavirus cases reported in Europe and the US
The World Health Organization has said 85 percent of coronavirus cases reported over the past 24 hours have been in Europe and the United States.
10.14am update: £30 limit on contactless set to rise
From April 1, the limit on contactless payment cards will rise from £30 to £45, the banking industry group UK Finance has said.
The increase will be applied at many stores, but it may take a while for it to be rolled out completely.
The move is aimed at reducing the need for physical contact with devices where people use chip and pin.
10.03am update: WHSmith announce closure of some UK stores
WHSmiths’s has announced it will close 60 percent of its stores across the country in response to the coronavirus lockdown.
The newsagent chain had faced criticism for staying open.
But the firm announced this morning only stories providing post office services, those located in NHS hospitals, key small towns and transport hubs would remain open.
A WHSmith spokeswoman said:”Our key priority is their health and wellbeing and we have a number of strict measures in place to keep everyone safe and supported.
“Given the fast evolving situation, our stores will be under constant review and we will support our colleagues through this difficult time.”
9.51am update: 23million tuned in to watch PM’s address last night
Almost 23million people tuned in to watch Boris Johnson’s live TV address last night.
The TV broadcast was viewed by a whopping 21.1million people on BBC1 and ITV, with a further 1.7million viewers on Channel 4.
These figures do not include those who viewed the programme via online steams and on catch-up TV.
As a result, the Guardian’s media editor Jim Waterson has claimed it is one of the most watched broadcasts in British TV history.
9.33am update: Jazz saxophonist Manu Dibango dies after contracting COVID-19
Eminent jazz saxophonist Emmanuel N’Djoke Dibangom, known as Manu Dibango has died after testing positive for coronavirus.
The jazz star, 86, was taken to a French hospital last week and a statement on his Facebook page this morning revealed he had died.
It read: “Dear relatives, dear friends, dear fans, a voice rises in the distance… It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Manu Dibango, our ‘Papy Groove’, which occurred on 24 March 2020 at the age of 86, from COVID-19.”
Coronavirus UK: Tube services are still packed full of commuters
9.12am update: Lidl to install protection screens in its stores
Lidl has announced it will install cough and sneeze proof checkout protection screens across all its UK stores.
The move will see thousands of screens installed to protect Lidl staff and customers.
Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB, commented: “The safety of our colleagues and customers continues to be a key priority for us, which is why all of our stores here in Great Britain will be fitted with protection screens at checkouts.
“We hope that this additional safeguard will help to provide extra reassurance for those both working and shopping in our stores.
“We are eternally grateful to all of our store teams who are working hard every day to support their communities. And, we would once again like to thank customers for their consideration during this very challenging time.”
8.47am update: Thailand to declare state of emergency
Thailand’s government is set to declare a state of emergency, as the outbreak continues to spread across the country.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the one-month state of emergency would come into effect on Thursday.
This move will give the government additional enforcement powers.
8.23am update: Measures to help self employed will be announced soon
Michael Gove has said measures to help self employed workers will be brought forward “in due course”.
He said we’re expecting a package of support by the end of the week.
The cabinet minister said officials were working out the logistics, such as who would be eligible and how to assess their income.
Coronavirus UK lockdown: The measures introduced by Boris Johnson on Monday night
8.12am update: Tubes still full of commuters
The London Underground is still packed full of commuters this morning, despite efforts by the Government to enforce social distancing.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been urged to run more services, as many tubes are running every 18minutes, leading to overcrowding.
But he told BBC’s Today Programme increasing the number of trains was “simply not possible” because Transport for London has lost 20 percent of staff to sickness.
He blamed the packed carrages on a lack of Government support for freelancers and workers on zero hour contracts.
7.53am update: Sports Direct say stores will NOT open
In an apparent u-turn, Sports Direct have said stores will not open amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Previously, Chief Executive Mike Ashley has said stores would remain open, in order to provide essential sports equipment.
But he received a huge backlash for the move, with both Michael Gove and Matt Hancock instructing the shops to close.
7.48am update: Children can be moved between parents in shared custody
Michael Gove has clarified the Government’s position on parents who share custody of their children.
He said children under the age of 18 can move back and forth between parents.
The cabinet minister said children can see both parents but they should be moved as little as possible.
He wrote on Twitter: “To confirm – while children should not normally be moving between households, we recognise that this may be necessary when children who are under 18 move between separated parents. This is permissible & has been made clear in the guidance.”