The number of coronavirus deaths in the UK rose by 980 on Friday, taking the nations death toll to 8,959. It comes after Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced the current restrictions on movement in the country will be extended beyond Easter Sunday, until Tuesday May 5. Mr Varadkar said the measures have “slowed the spread of coronavirus significantly”, but they need to remain in place a little longer. He said: “The truth is nobody knows for certain when we might get back to normal.” The UK Government could follow suit and extend the nationwide lockdown into next month. Dominic Raab said in yesterday’s daily press briefing the Government would not make a decision on the matter until later next week.
It comes after a BBC investigation found Britons have lost a stagerring £1.86million to vile fraudsters exploiting the coronavirus pandemic for financial gain.
British firms, including businesses, hospitals and care homes, have been targetted by companies selling scam products like masks and sanitisers.
Scammers in West Africa have set up hundreds of websites to make money from Britons and British comapnies hoping to bulk buy on essential goods during the coronavirus crisis.
But the websites are acually fake and the goods never arrive after the customer pays their money.
The websites also sell fake coronavirus tests, which never arrive.
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Coronavirus UK: The number of positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the UK
The latest UK coronavirus figures
Action Fraud said UK authoirites have identified 678 reports of coronavirus fraud with victims losses totalling over £1.86million.
Jack Whitakker, fraud researcher, told the BBC: “Scammers are fairly parasitic and reactionary in nature. When there is a global pandemic, spikes a need for a product, they will flock in towards the need for that product and exploit it.
“The damage is actually huge.”
He said he spoke to a business that had been defrauded of £180,000.
It comes after positive news on Boris Johnson’s health emerged on Thursday evening as Downing Street said the Tory leader was in “extremely good spirits” after returning to the ward at St Thomas’ Hospital following three nights in intensive care.
He continues to be closely monitored during the “early phase” of his recovery from COVID-19.
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JUST IN: Boris Johnson out of intensive care: PM makes remarkable recovery
Matt Hancock urged people to stay at home over the Easter weekend
Saturday April 11
12.30am update: Coronavirus Remembrance Day
Tory MP, Robert Halfon, chair of the Education Select Committee, has called for a day to be set aside to remember people who made sacrifices to support the country during the outbreak.
Mr Halfon suggested the day the virus arrived in Britain as an option.
Writing in Conservative Home, he argued: “Every year, we have an important Remembrance Day in early November, to commemorate the fallen in all our military battles since the First World War. The coronavirus is a different kind of war, but a war nevertheless. As the Prime Minister said, it is a war against an invisible enemy.”
12:25am update: Trump’s decision
US President Donald Trump is set to review the nation’s measures at the end of April.
Trump could extend them but he could also encourage the re-opening of the nation.
He said at a briefing: “I’m going to have to make a decision, and I hope to God that it’s the right decision.
“It’s the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make.”
He insisted facts would determine his next move.
Congresswoman Liz Cheney accused the WHO of being CCP puppets
12.15am update: Saudi royal family
Over 150 members of the Saudi royal family are thought to have contracted the virus.
The New York Times cited a source close to the House of Saud.
The news is thought to have played a part in the ceasefire in Yemen.
Friday April 10
11.15pm update: China’s links to WHO under increasing scrutiny
The World Health Organisation is under scrutiny over links to China.
Current director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus succeeded Hong Konger Margaret Chan in 2017.
Author Gordon G Chang told the Washington Times: “When you look at Tedros, Beijing really campaigned for him because they realized they weren’t going to get two in a row”.
Liz Cheney, a Republican congressman described WHO as “puppet of the Chinese Communist Party”.
Pete Navarro, Donald Trump’s assistant on trade and manufacturing told Fox: “What China has been doing very, very aggressively over the last decade is to try to gain control of those [agencies] by electing people at the top.
“It already controls five of the 15, and also by using proxies, colonial-type proxies like Tedros, at the WHO. You can see in this crisis the damage of that kind of control by China of a key health organization has been just absolutely enormous.”
10.15pm update: South Korea reports second infections
On Friday, South Korean officials reported 91 patients had tested positive for coronavirus a second time.
Jeong Eun-kyeong, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director said the virus may have been “reactivated” rather than the patients being re-infected.
An investigation is underway to determine what is behind the trend.
Gursimran Hans has taken over live reporting from Emily Ferguson.
9.22pm update: Italy extends lockdown until May 3
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced Italy’s lockdown will extend until May 3.
The measures were first introduced on March 9, and were due to expire on Monday.
But the leader said the extension was necessary to help prevent the further spread of coronavirus.
He said: “This is a difficult but necessary decision for which I take all political responsibility.”
8.35pm update: Police urged to arrest and fine those ‘selfishly’ ignoring lockdown rules
Police officers have the powers to fine anyone caught breaching the coronavirus lockdown rules and Express.co.uk readers have urged the force to strictly enforce the rules over the coming weeks.
An exclusive poll carried out from 2pm-8pm on April 10, asked: “Should police arrest and fine those ignoring rules?”
4,684 people responded and the vast majority backed the force to enforce the lockdown measures strictly.
83 percent of respondents (3,870 people) voted “yes” in the poll, while 16 percent (754 people) opted for “no”.
Just one percent (60 people) responded “don’t know”.
8pm update: Ex football star Sir Kenny Dalglish tests positive for coronavirus
Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish has tested positive for coronavirus.
He was admitted to hospital earlier this week for treatment of an infection, but had not shown symptoms of the deadly virus.
A statement released by his family read: “Sir Kenny was admitted to hospital on Wednesday April 8 for treatment of an infection which required intravenous antibiotics.”
7.05pm update: Lockdown rules flouted by selfish Brits enjoying day out in the sun
Britons have been caught ignoring the Government’s lockdown rules on Friday, which marks the start of the four day bank holiday weekend.
Good Friday’s warm weather, which saw temperatures exceed 24C in some parts of the country, saw many people break with Government advice and head outdoors to enjoy the sunshine.
Several people were pictured sunbathing on Brighton beach, with some even going for a dip in the sea and using surf boards.
Others were captured queuing for ice creams along the sea front.
Such outings are a blatant breach of the Government’s guidance, which states people can only leave their homes for shopping for essential items, one form of daily exercise, travelling to work, for a medical need or helping a vulnerable person.
Coronavirus UK: Nicola Sturgeon has offered an update on the crisis in Scotland
6.27pm update: WHO warns countries it’s too soon to lift lockdown
The World Health Organization has warned countries it is too soon to be lifting lockdown restrictions.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference on Friday: “Lifting restrictions could lead to a deadly resurgence.”
He said there had been a “welcome slowing” of epidemics in some European countries, such as Italy, Germany, Spain and France, but there had been an “alarming acceleration” elsewhere including community transmission in 16 African countries.
5.58pm update: Hancock says aim is still to reach 100,000 tests a day
Matt Hancock has said there is still a “lot of work” to be done in order to reach the target of 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of the month.
But the Health Secretary has said he still thinks the figure is achievable.
He said: “We are working 24/7 to hit it (the target). Everyone can see the daily trajectory, which has almost doubled since I set it and we’ve clearly got a lot of work to get to our 100,000, but we are on track.”
5.41pm update: UK in line with other countries
Professor Van-Tam has said the UK’s situation is broadly in line with other countries around the world.
He said this while looking at the date comparing the number of coronavirus deaths across the globe.
5.23pm update: Hancock outlines new PPE plan
The Health Secretary has outlined the Government’s PPE plan today.
It can be split into three strands: guidance, distribution and future supply.
He set the new goal that everyone working in a critical role will get the PPE they need to protect themselves.
Mr Hancock says every NHS hospital has received a supply of PPE once every 72 hours and from next week this will be daily.
Coronavirus UK: Daily new deaths in the UK
5.12pm update: UK death toll surges by 980
The number of coronavirus related deaths in the UK surged by 980 on Friday, taking the nation’s death toll to 8,958.
5pm update: Matt Hancock urges Britons to stay at home
Matt Hancock is leading today’s daily press briefing and has urged Britons to stay at home this Easter weekend.
4.35pm update: Boris Johnson health update
Boris Johnson is able to go on short walks, a Downing Street spokesman has said.
The statement read: “The Prime Minister has been able to do short walks, between periods of rest, as part of the care he is receiving to aid his recovery.
“He has spoken to his doctors and thanks the whole clinical team for the incredible care he has received.”
4.26pm update: Ireland extends lockdown into May
Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has extended the country’s coronavirus lockdown until Tuesday May 5.
4.08pm update: UK GDP forecast for 14 percent contraction
Leading British economists have warned the UK economy is heading towards a record fall, as they forecast the nation’s GDP could contract by a huge 14 percent in the second quarter, ending in June.
But the forecasts vary hugely, with JP Morgan predicting a modest contraction of 7.5 percent and Capital Economics’ calculating a drop of 24 percent.
Half the predictions seen by the BBC are between -13 and -15 percent.
Coronavirus UK: Boris Johnson spent three nights in ICU
3.35pm update: Top football club to provide 30,000 free meals
Arsenal will provide more than 30,000 free meals to vulnerable people in the local community as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The north London club will also provide sanitary and personal hygiene products.
The Premier League club also pledged to donate £100,000 to local organisations and a further £50,000 towards the COVID-19 Crisis Fund.
3.01pm update: Portugal to extend lockdown
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebeleo de Sousa said he would propose next week extending a national lockdown till May 1 as the number of coronavirus cases in the country rose above 15,000.
Portugal declared a 15-day state of emergency on March 18 and last week approved its extension by a further 15 days till April 17.
Rebelo de Sousa, who was himself in quarantine for two weeks last month despite testing negative for coronavirus, told a news conference: “We have to be very focused on a fight that we haven’t fully won yet. We cannot let our guard down.”
2.20pm update: Labour councillor issues apology after crass Boris comments
Julie Heselwood issued a grovelling apology after she sparked fury for saying Boris Johnson’s admittance in to intensive care with coronavirus was a “publicity stunt”.
She wished the PM a “speedy recovery” in a letter where she expressed her regret over comments she made after the Prime Minister was taken into the ICU at St Thomas’ Hospital.
Mrs Heslwood, a Labour councillor in Leeds, sparked outrage when she replied to a Facebook post by radio host Ryan Swain, saying Mr Johnson’s admittance to intensive care was to “change the narrative”.
Coronavirus UK: Dominic Raab urged people to stay indoors
2.16pm update: England death toll confirmed
NHS England has announced 866 new deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 8,114.
Of the 866 new deaths announced today, 117 occurred on April 9 while 720 took place between April 1 and April 8.
The remaining 29 deaths occurred in March, including one on March 5.
1.47pm update: Boris Johnson pays tribute to NHS staff from hospital bed
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said this afternoon: “As the Prime Minister was being taken back to the ward from the intensive care unit, he was waving to the staff and hopefully it was clear to the staff that he was waving his gratitude.”
12.59pm update: Japan’s coronavirus cases exceed 6,000
The total number of coronavirus infections in Japan hit 6,003 on Friday, NHK public broadcaster reported.
Earlier this week, Japan declared a state of emergency to fight the spread of the coronavirus in major population centres.
12.48pm update: Sturgeon said she hopes NHS Louisa Jordan will not be used
Ms Sturgeon said that the Scottish Government expects that the NHS Louisa Jordan hospital, set up at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, will not need to be used.
She said: “Let me be clear, our current hope, indeed our current expectation, is that this hospital will not need to be used.
“But it is important that we prepare now so that it is available if it is necessary.”
The First Minister added that the hospital will be available for use “from mid-April”.
Coronaivrus UK: Boris Johnson reportedly called Carrie Symonds after he left ICU
12.39pm update: Sturgeon reveals Scotland death toll from coronavirus
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a total of 495 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by 48 from 447 on Thursday.
She said 5,275 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 318 from 4,957 the day before.
There are 207 people in intensive care with coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms, a decrease of five on Thursday.
Ms Sturgeon added that 1,832 people are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19.
12.03pm update: South Korean patients have tested twice for coronavirus
South Korean officials said 91 patients thought cleared of the new coronavirus had tested positive again.
Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), said the virus may have been “reactivated” rather than the patients being re-infected.
South Korean health officials said it remains unclear what is behind the trend, with epidemiological investigations still under way.
10.47am update: Iran’s death toll reaches over 4,000
Tehran’s health ministry confirmed the death toll from coronavirus has reached 4,322.
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Coronavirus UK: Britain is on lockdown to fight COVID-19
10.40am update: Spain’s death toll falls
The number of people dying of coronavirus in Spain each day fell again on Friday as the country registered 605 fatalities over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said.
The overall death toll rose to 15,843 on Friday from 15,238 the previous day, it said in a statement.
The total number of coronavirus cases rose to 157,022 on Friday from 152,446 on Thursday.
9.44am update: Hungary ‘slows’coronavirus spread
PM Viktor Orban said his nation had managed to slow the spread of COVID-19 but the “real test” is yet to come.
9.12am update: Boris first thought was Carrie
Boris Johnson’s first thought after leaving ICU was his pregnant wife-to-be Carrie Symonds and other family members, whom he called straight away, according to The Sun.
He is said to have been well enough to make calls after doctors handed him back his two phones.
Ms Symonds, 32, is due to give birth to her first child with Mr Johnson in early Summer after the pair announced their pregnancy earlier this year.
9.39am update: Coronavirus fears after 4 die in care home
A care boss has said four residents of one home died after suffering symptoms which suggested they might have contracted the coronavirus.
One resident of Stanley Park care home in Stanley, County Durham, died in hospital in late March, while three others died at the home more recently.
Care UK’s regional director, Karen Morrison, said the families have been told and she expressed her condolences to them.
Ms Morrison said: “Their determination and commitment to support every resident, and each other, through these very challenging times is incredible.
“They have displayed professionalism and compassion throughout and I am very proud of them and all my other colleagues in our homes across the North East.”
Coronavirus UK: People are urged to observe two metre social distancing rules
8.14am update: Dr says social distancing is working
Dr Paul Cosford, medical director for Public Health England, called for people to stay at home over Easter because social distancing measures are working.
He told Good Morning Britain: “People are complying (with the measures) in a very large majority and the impact that is having is that transmission is much, much less than it would otherwise be.
“The most important thing now is we continue (to stay at home) so we can get through the peak and come down the other side.”
After being asked about Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick driving 40 miles to deliver essentials and medicine to his parents, Dr Cosford said it fell into a “grey area” because the guidelines are “so complex”.
He added: “The principle is clear and that is stay at home unless you absolutely have to go out.”
8.40am update: Boris Johnson’s dad gives update on son’s health
Stanley Johnson said his son will need a period of rest after he was moved from the intensive care unit and the whole family was “amazingly grateful” for the efforts of the NHS and the huge outpouring of support for the PM.
He said the Prime Minister’s illness had underlined just how serious the coronavirus outbreak was.
Mr John son told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “To use that American expression, he almost took one for the team. We have got to make sure we play the game properly now.
He played down suggestions that his son would now quickly return to work at Downing Street.
8.09am update: Tributes pour in for doctor killed by coronavirus
London doctor Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, who died after contracting coronavirus, has been described as a “fantastic” and “caring” family man.
Golam Rahat Khan told BBC Breakfast that the consultant urologist “loved” working for the NHS.
He said: “He was a life-loving person and used to enjoy every good thing on the planet.
“He was very concerned about the current world and had a positive approach to everything.
“He was a fantastic friend, he was caring for his children and wife.
“He loved to work in the NHS and loved his profession. He was a fantastic doctor as well.”
8.05am update: Police ‘ready to take action’ against those flouting lockdown rules
Police warned they were ready to take action against those who flout the coronavirus lockdown rules.
Downing Street offered the Government’s “full backing” to police forces seeking to enforce the restrictions over the holiday period.
But there was a rebuke for Northamptonshire Chief Constable Nick Adderley after he suggested his force could mount road blocks and search shopping trolleys to check if people were going out to buy non-essential items.
Home Secretary Priti Patel told talkRADIO: “That is not appropriate, let me be clear on that. That is not the guidance.”
Coronavirus UK: People have been urged to stay at home over Easter
7.54am update: Housing Secretary travels 40 miles to visit elderly parents
Robert Jenrick has come under fire after it emerged he visited his parent’s Shropshire house at the weekend, which is 40 miles from his own.
But Mr Jenrick defined the visit, saying he respected social distancing when he dropped off medicines and other essentials to his parents, who are self-isolating at their home.
Later, in a tweet, Mr Jenrick said: “For clarity – my parents asked me to deliver some essentials – including medicines.
“They are both self-isolating due to age and my father’s medical condition and I respected social distancing rules.”
7.47am update: MP questions why churches have to close over Easter
Jack Lopresti, the Conservative representative for Filton and Bradley Stoke, wrote to the Government to ask them to reconsider allowing to open “for private prayer” as he questioned why churches will be forced to keep their doors closed on Easter Sunday while off-licences will be allowed to open.
However, his open letter to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has led to criticism, and one bishop said “God always does a door-to-door service”.
Mr Lopresti, first elected in 2010, wrote to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick calling for a temporary relaxing of restrictions “allowing for people to attend church to engage in private prayer while observing social distancing”.
He wrote: “If the Government allows for me to go to an off-licence, a takeaway, or a local shop on Easter Sunday, providing I observe social distancing or take other necessary precautions, why can I not go to Church and say a prayer, providing I do the same?”