It comes after doctors warned they could refuse to treat coronavirus patients in a bid to protect their own lives due to the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – with hospitals possibly running out of supply today. Eighty frontline NHS staff have died so far in the fight against the deadly coronavirus and anger is building against the Government. The NHS Confederation, British Medical Association (BMA) and Royal Colleges have all agreed to back their staff with regards to the lack of PPE. This comes as 400,000 protective gowns from Turkey have been delayed in arriving in the UK meaning some hospitals, already operating on wafer-thin margins, could run out today.
The gowns had been ordered to “avert an absolute crisis over the weekend”, according to healthcare sources. Their delayed arrival could spark chaos.
Doctors and nurses had been asked to treat patients without PPE but the BMA have said they would back any frontline staff member who refuses to treat a patient without the correct equipment.
Dr Chaand Nagpul, BMA council chair, said: “There are limits to the level of risk staff can be expected to expose themselves and their patients to. In the most extreme circumstances, if adequate protective measures are not in place, doctors can refuse to put themselves at risk of becoming infected, and inform their management to make alternative arrangements.”
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents health service managers, said: “This is very serious and makes a difficult situation worse. It would have been better had the Government not made the announcement in the first place. It now looks more likely that supplies of gowns could run out in some places.”
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Doctors could refuse to treat patients without the right equipment
01.00am update: Virgin Australia has gone into voluntary administration
Virgin Australia has gone into voluntary administration after the federal government again ruled out saving the airline.
The move will put more than 10,000 jobs and more than $ 1bn in prepaid tickets at risk, according to the Guardian.
12.00am update: Chief executive of NHS Providers cautions against advising public to wear face masks
The head of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, has warned that advising the piblic to wear face maks could have a serious impact on supplies of PPE for NHS staff.
In a tweet, Mr Hopson wrote: “Given the pressures on PPE and the importance of fluid repellent masks, Government really must be sure of the benefits of advising the public to wear masks before jeopardising NHS mask supply.”
11.00pm update: Joe Biden calls out Donald Trump over handling of US coronavirus crisis
Democratic nominee Joe Biden has launched a stinging attack on Donald Trump over his handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Barack Obama’s former vice president criticised the US president of failing in his task to provide vital leadership in the nation’s darkest hour.
In a tweet, the former Delaware senator wrote: “The office of presidency comes with the ultimate responsibility for the biggest decisions in the world. Every great president thropughout our history has met that duty with the leadership it demands. Donald Trump has not.
10.39pm update: PPE being shipped from the UK
Personal Protective Equipment shipments are being exported from the UK as some UK firms have been forced into selling the gear.
According to The Daily Telegraph, UK firms have been forced to sell PPE as their offers of help have been taken up.
Today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak claimed the Government was doing it can to solve the shortage.
9.42pm update: Haulage industry may go bust
The haulage industry may need to be nationalised unless firms are given money to avoid going bust.
Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association (RHA) said: “With the potential collapse of so many businesses, we are facing the re-nationalisation of road haulage.
“Because without trucks, without hauliers, people do not get their stuff, they will not get their food.”
9.04pm update: An emergency consultant dies
An emergency consultant at the Royal Derby Hospital has died after contracting COVID-19.
Manjeet Singh Riyat, died on Monday after contracting the contagion.
Royal Derby Hospital, Emergency Medicine Consultant Susie Hewitt said: “Manjeet was enormously valued and much loved as a colleague, supervisor and mentor as well as for his wise council and discreet support in tough times.
“For many, Manjeet was considered the father of the current Emergency Department in Derby and many more will reflect on how his inspiration has shaped their own careers.”
8.46pm update: Ireland records highest daily death rate
Ireland has recorded its highest daily death toll after the government reported 77 fatalities on Monday.
The total number of deaths now stands at 687.
Health officials, however, stated deaths announced on Monday evening did not occur in the previous 24 hours.
8.26pm update: US oil prices drop to negative values
US oil prices have dropped to negative values for the first time in history due to the coronavirus pandemic.
8.10pm update: Large proportion of the world at risk from COVID-19
The World Health Organisation has stated the public remains highly susceptible to COVID-19.
However, he also stated a small number have been infected in heavily populated areas.
Speaking today, director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Early data from some of these studies suggests that a relatively small percentage of the population may have been infected, even in heavily affected areas – not more than 2 to 3 percent.”
7.23pm update: France’s mortalities rises above 20,000
France has now recorded 20,265 deaths from COVID-19.
According to official data, 12,513 were deaths in hospitals and 7,752 in nursing homes.
Director-General of the French Ministry of Health, Jerome Salomon said: “Tonight, our country is crossing a painful symbolic milestone.”
Coronavirus: Coronavirus statistics
7pm update: Italy sees decline in active infections
Italian authorities say the number of people officially identified as infected with COVID-19 has fallen since the first time since the country’s outbreak began.
Civil protection agency chief, Angelo Borrelli said: “For the first time, we have seen a new positive development: the number of currently positive has declined.”
As of Monday, there were 108,327 people either being treated in hospital or recovering at home after testing positive for COVID-19, 20 fewer than the day before.
6.46pm update: Ongoing restrictions could hurt NHS
The ongoing coronavirus lockdown could hurt the NHS in the long-run if the coronavirus restrictions are left in place for too long.
Former Northern Ireland minister, John Penrose has stated the economy could suffer dire consequences if the restrictions are left in place for too long.
Mr Penrose outlined his views yesterday in a op-ed written exclusively for Express.co.uk, at the end of a week in which Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, currently deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, announced the lockdown was being extended until May 7 at the earliest.
He said: “If we wait too long, too many jobs will be lost and too many firms will go bust.
“We won’t have protected our NHS if the economy is too damaged to pay for it once this is all over.”
Coronavirus: Coronavirus deaths as of April 20
6.34pm update: Sir John Curtice warns of deep divisions in Cabinet
There are deep splits in the Cabinet over the Government’s lockdown exit strategy, with Boris Johnson reluctant to lift restrictions too soon.
Both Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove are keen to restart the economy.
Sir John, Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde, told Express.co.uk: “Obviously I’m not sitting in 10 Downing Street but this is what we have been told.
“Put it like this: presumably, somebody or other briefed the press, because it was in numerous newspapers, about the fact that we might open the schools on May 11, and that there might be three or four phases to the lockdown being eased.
“If you do that, and then you spend the press conference on Sunday denying it somebody somewhere has not got the communications quite straight.”
6.30pm update: Coronavirus total rises 278
A total of 278 prisoners have tested positive for coronavirus in 64 jails as of 5pm on Sunday according to the Ministry of Justice.
Approximately 194 prison staff have also contracted the virus in 53 jails.
6.01pm update: Rishi Sunak reassures frontline NHS staff
Quizzed on the lack of PPE, Mr Sunak insisted the UK Government was doing all it could to bring in supplies.
He said: “People on the front line can rest assured that we are doing everything we can.”
5.40pm update: Treasury is trying to “bridge” economy out of lockdown
Mr Sunak insisted lifting the lockdown measures too early would be bad for the economy.
He added: “You would expect any responsible Chancellor to make sure we have plans in place for a range of scenarios that’s what I’m doing.
“We will not be able to save every single job and every single business.”
5.29pm update: Britain’s lockdown could last for three months
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden suggested this morning that Boris Johnson had previously stated the lockdown could last for three months in total.
Mr Dowden referenced the Prime Minister’s earlier warnings that he expected the country to turn the tide in 12 weeks.
Mr Dowden told Radio 4: “The Prime Minister is very concerned about a second peak if we lift the restrictions too soon.
“We said right at the beginning of this and the Prime Minister said he expected this peak to last around three months.
“What’s happened is kind of consistent with that.”
5.22pm update: Positive cases of coronavirus beginning to stabilise
Speaking at the press briefing today, Dame Angela McLean, the deputy chief scientific adviser said numbers of positive tests of COVID-19 had started to stabilise.
She said the numbers were “pretty much stable and flat”, while patient numbers in London had fallen for seven days in a row.
She said: “We are looking forward to seeing that pattern replicated across other regions of the country.”
5.15pm update: Lack of PPE a concern
The Medical Director of health protection for Public Health England, Yvonne Doyle has stated the lack of PPE is a concern.
She said 12 million pieces of equipment were delivered over the weekend.
5.12pm update: Rishi Sunak grilled over PPE
The Chancellor added that the government is looking at every avenue to secure more PPE.
He said: “This is an international challenge that many other countries are experiencing.
“Alongside the efforts of British businesses, and our embassies around the world, we are working hard to get the PPE our frontline NHS and social care staff need.”
5.09pm update: 140,000 firms apply for retention scheme
Over 140,000 firm have applied for the coronavirus job retention scheme, Mr Sunak confirmed today.
This will maintain the bobs of more than 1,000,000 people.
Coronavirus LIVE: Rishi Sunak heads at press briefing
5.03pm update: New packages launched
Mr Sunak announced a new Future Fund worth £500million to make sure high-growth companies can access money – it will be launched in May.
Alongside that, £750million of grant funding will now be available for highly innovative firms.
5.02pm update: Rishi Sunak heads press briefing
The Chancellor has announced that the Government has unloaded a shipment of 140,000 gowns from Myanmar.
He added that the UK is working hard to obtain more PPE.
4.49pm update: Northern Ireland reports 13 more deaths
Stormont Health Minister, Robin Swann has announced a further 13 deaths in Northern Ireland.
Forty people were in hospital intensive care units earlier today.
Mr Swann also said new modelling showed a worst-case scenario of 1,500 deaths in the first 20 weeks.
He said: “This is a significant revision on the previous modelling. This is not a prediction or a forecast.
“It provides a clear indication that social distancing is working. It provides encouragement to everyone who is working hard to do the right thing.”
4.20pm update: UK death toll increases by 449
A total of 16,509 patients have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK.
These numbers are accurate as of 5pm on Sunday April 19.
4.02pm update: Nicola Sturgeon grilled over mortality figures
Scotland’s First Minister was questioned whether fewer would’ve died if testing had been carried out sooner.
Questioned on the matter by Sky News’, James Matthews, Ms Sturgeon said it was not the right time to answer such a question.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I don’t think it is possible to answer questions like that at this stage.
“We have at all stages done what we considered to be the right and the best way or containing and then delaying and suppressing the spread of this virus informed by science and evidence.”
3.41pm update: Birmingham trust records highest number of mortalities
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has recorded the highest number of mortalities of any trust in England.
As of 5pm on April 19, the trust had recorded 600 deaths.
The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust registered 387, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust 382, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 322 and Barts Health NHS Trust 309.
3.20pm update: Wuhan adjusts coronavirus numbers
The latest data from China’s National Health Commission has indicated the number of people cured from the virus was lower than first thought.
On Friday, the commission reported 47,300 people had been discharged or cured from the virus.
The figure has now been lowered to 46,359 in Wuhan today.
The number nationwide has also dropped to 77,084 from 77,944.
A delivery of PPE has been delayed arriving in the UK
3.15pm update: Royal Air Force on stand-by to deliver PPE
The Royal Air Force has been put on stand-by to collected a delayed shipment of medical gowns from Turkey.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister confirmed there had been a delay to the shipment.
They added: “We are working to ensure that that shipment is delivered as soon as possible.
“The RAF is on stand-by to take off as soon as the shipment is ready.
“But, to be clear, we are not reliant solely on Turkey for the delivery of gowns and plenty more orders are lined up and expected.”
3.07pm update: Prince of Wales praises new field hospital
The Prince of Wales has called a temporary field hospital at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff a huge source of pride.
In a pre-recorded video message show inside the newly named, Dragon’s Heart Hospital, Charles praised the immense undertaking.
He said: “That this amazing undertaking should have been completed in such a short time is, rightly, a huge source of pride.
“I simply want to add my voice to the tributes that have been paid to all those involved, from so many different walks of life, who have made this possible – the Welsh Government, the National Health Service trust, the planners, builders and technicians, the armed forces, and, of course, the medical staff and volunteers who will be taking forward this hospital’s vital work.”
Additional reporting by Laura Mowat.
2.32pm update: England’s hospital death toll rises to 14,829 from 14,400
This is the lowest increase for two weeks and gives hope the curve is flattening.
There have been 12 more deaths in Scotland and nine more in Wales.
2.17pm update: UK dairy farmers fear for their survival as price of milk plummets
Some farmers could struggle to survive the pandemic and many are already working at a loss following the closure of restaurants and cafes across the country.
Companies such as Medina Dairy have been forced to slash the price they can pay for milk amid the COVID-19 crisis and lack of demand due to the lockdown.
The farmers who supply Medina Dairy will see a two pence per litre reduction of the standard litre price starting from May 1.
Many farms have been forced to dump fresh milk.
1.32pm update: Prince Philip thanks key workers for ensuring life continues under lockdown
The Queen’s husband said: “As we approach World Immunisation Week, I wanted to recognise the vital and urgent work being done by so many to tackle the pandemic; by those in the medical and scientific professions, at universities and research institutions, all united in working to protect us from Covid-19.
“On behalf of those of us who remain safe and at home, I also wanted to thank all key workers who ensure the infrastructure of our life continues; the staff and volunteers working in food production and distribution, those keeping postal and delivery services going, and those ensuring the rubbish continues to be collected.”
1.03pm update: Plea for people to wear masks to prevent infection from scientists
Aerosol and diagnosis specialists ANCON Medical have said people should be wearing masks to prevent infection.
Boris Gorbunov – Technical Director of ANCON Medical, discusses the model’s outcomes:
Scientists think we should all be wearing masks
“This modelling reinforces what we have heard from leading scientific figures around the world on the prevalence of the airborne spread of coronavirus. Face masks show substantial reductions in the concentration of aerosol particles generated by sneezing or coughing, particularly at distances more than 10m.
“The results indicate that when a person who may or may not be carrying the virus wears a mask, the number of droplets with Coronavirus which are emitted by coughing and sneezing is reduced by more than 10 times. Additionally a healthy individual wearing a mask reduces the infection transmission considerably – practically to zero.”
12.06pm update: Fears the PPE arriving from Turkey won’t come today
The Government have said they are “hopeful” the flight would leave today from Turkey.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said to the BBC: ”I don’t want to start making more and more promises but I understand that flight will take off this afternoon and those [gowns] will be delivered.”
Many doctors and nurses do not have enough PPE equipment to protect themselves as they treat their patients.
The demands for oil has plunged due to the lockdowns
11.26am update: Coronavirus should mean a delay to Brexit says Scotland
The SNP have said Scotland can’t cope with both a pandemic and Brexit.
Mike Russell, the Scottish Government’s constitution secretary, He said: “Instead of its reckless decision to pursue a hard Brexit in the middle of this unprecedented crisis, the UK Government should today be asking the EU for the maximum two-year extension to the transition period.
“The benefits of co-ordinated European action have never been clearer. An extended transition will keep the UK as close as possible to the EU and provide an opportunity to rethink the future relationship.”
10.27am update: Captain Tom Moore raises £26.5 million for NHS as UK calls for him to be knighted.
A petition calling for the 99-year-old to be knighted has reached 850,000 signatures.
Captain Tom has walked 100 lengths of his garden to raise the funds.
UK’s new ‘hero’ said he was amazed at receiving a letter from Dame Vera Lynn.
10:07am update: Tony Blair has accused Boris Johnson’s Government of not having the skills to deal with pandemic
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, the former Prime Minister said: “There has never been a more complicated challenge in Government than this.”
Host Nick Robinson asked: “Does that mean you have to in effect reinvent Government.
“You once talked about the scars on your back for trying to reform public services. Are you saying the nature of Government is it can’t face some thing like this so you have to be prepared to throw it up in the air and reorganise?”
Mr Blair continued: “That’s exactly what I’m saying. Obviously you have to have the system involved and the system is working flat out.
I offer this as constructive advice, not criticism and I have huge sympathy for people handling this today but it’s precisely its complexity that you need to make sure that each of these areas are dealt with the best way possible.
Coronavirus deaths across the UK
“I think it requires a different combination of skills.
“I think that’s the reason why the Government have brought in Lord Dayton.
“It’s obvious procuring that and making sure you’re going to produce that in the UK, it’s not the skill set normal civil servants have.”
9.27am update: Piers Morgan blasts Meghan and Harry for accusing media of exaggerating COVID-19
The Duke of Sussex suggested in a podcast the UK media were exaggerating the virus.
The couple are currently living in LA after standing down as senior members of the royal family.
The global race is on to try and find a COVID-19 vaccine
8.47am update: US crude oil plunges 19% to 20 year low
The lockdowns and lack of oil demand have led to the huge drop in price.
Prices on the May contract for West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell to $ 14.84 (£11.91) a barrel.
8.02am update: A lockdown change in three weeks will just be ‘modifications’ of the current situation
The BBC Today Programme has said the changes will just be ‘modifications’ as Boris Johnson is concerned of a second wave of COVID-19.
Other countries across the world, including Germany and New Zealand, have started to reveal when and how their lockdowns will be lifted.
7.33am update: Survey reveals doctors in high risk areas do to have adequate protection
More than 6,000 doctors have responded to a BMA survey which has found that gowns and eye protection are particularly short.
The survey revealed half of doctors working in high risk areas said there were shortages or no supply of disposable gowns and goggles.