- The UK’s death toll surpassed 28,000 as another 621 deaths across all settings took the total to 28, 131.
- NHS staff are “breaking down” on the front line tackling coronavirus and their mental health must be made a priority now rather than when the crisis is over, Labour warned. The shadow mental minister, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, wrote to the health secretary to seek assurances medical staff will get the support they need.
- Concerns were raised over home testing kits sent out by the government amid reports of kits arriving without return postage labels, without reference codes for registering online, and warnings from medical workers that members of the public will find self-swabbing too difficult. With several people contacting the Guardian to say they had had to order a second testing kit after the above issues left them with void samples, it raises further questions about whether those voided tests would still count towards the government’s daily testing figures.
- More than 70% of critical care patients with Covid-19 in the UK are men, a new report from the ICNARC found. It also found that men were more likely to die in critical care, with 51% dying in care compared with around 43% of women.
- The government pledged a support package of over £76m to support victims of domestic abuse, vulnerable children and victims of modern slavery through the pandemic. A task force led by Dame Louise Casey will also look at what long-term support can be offered for rough sleepers who have been accommodated during the lockdown.
- Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds name their baby boy Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson, in a tribute to their grandfathers and the two doctors who treated the prime minister during his brush with Covid-19.
That’s it from me today on the UK side. Thank you to everybody who got in touch with tips and suggestions, and to all of you for reading along.
If you would like to continue to follow the Guardian’s coronavirus coverage, head over to the global live blog for the worldwide picture.
Updated at 5.50pm BST
Q. Can you give some hope to parents of children whose futures have been put on hold?
Jenrick says they’re not able to give a date yet for the return of schools, but reiterates it will likely be “in a phased manner” when it’s the right time.
Harries adds that it’s still unclear how transmission of the disease impacts children.
Q. How are you going to ensure enough people download the app?
Jenrick says he’s sure people will get behind the app and download it, particularly through “great affection for the NHS”.
And that’s it, the briefing is over.
Updated at 5.21pm BST
Q. How seriously is the government investigating concerns that China might have been less transparent than thought at the beginning of the outbreak?
Jenrick says “there will come a time when we will want to analyse the origins of the virus in detail and consider the actions of other countries”. But that’s not now, he says.
Q. How will you reassure people who are uneasy about going back to normal life after lockdown?
Jenrick says it’s a huge success that people have listened and adhered to the restrictions.
Any decisions the government takes will be guided by medical opinion, he adds.
Harries says people need clear public health messaging in order to be reassured.
Q. Are we likely to see permission for mass gatherings resume before pubs can reopen, if not then why not?
Jenrick says now we’re past the peak, the PM will set out how to bring the country forward in terms of schools, public transport, work etc next week.
The rate of transmission is significantly less outdoors than indoors, so that will be a factor to take into consideration, he says.
But any decisions will be based on the scientific evidence, he adds.
Harries says generally outdoor environments are safer, but it depends how you go there and what you do.
If you’re meeting up with people outside your household and spend time face-to-face, for instance, that’s not good, she adds.
Q. Can we assume that among the numbers of new infections, there is a higher proportion among frontline workers,and what does this say about failures to deliver PPE to those workers?
Harries says she recognises that healthcare staff have a higher risk of infection, as they are treating sick patients.
We’re starting to see strong evidence around transmission in care homes, she adds.
As well as PPE, systematic processes of managing infections are also important, she says.
Updated at 5.11pm BST
Q. How will you manage to do contact-tracing successfully if not enough people download the NHS contact-tracing app?
Jenrick says he’s sure people will get behind the app and play their part.
Q. Do you know where people are now catching the virus?
Harries says when there is sustained community transmission, it’s important to identify pockets of transmission.
There is a focus on hospitals and care environments like care homes, she says.
With more testing, we will get a better understanding of the virus’s prevalence and have the opportunity to interrupt transmission, she adds.
Updated at 5.01pm BST
Q. What more is the government prepared to do to help the aviation sector through the pandemic?
Jenrick says the government wants to support the industry though the challenges it faces, but doesn’t provide further details on this.
Q. Could you define what is meant by “contact” that would require someone to self-isolate?
Harries says a close contact with Covid-19 comes primarily from a respiratory risk.
People living in the same household is one, she says, hence household isolation rules.
Close, face-to-face proximity is also close contact, she says.
The length of time you spend with someone and how physically near to them you were are also risk factors, she says.
The NHS contact-tracing app will determine proximity, she says.
Updated at 5.01pm BST
They are taking questions from the media now.
Q. What are your long-term plans to help people who will have to continue to shield even after lockdown is eased?
Jenrick says he appreciates the huge emotional impact shielding is having on people.
Tailored support such as priority delivery for food is available, he says.
Harries adds that as time goes on and more evidence comes in, they aim to review these measures and identify how services can be adapted for clinical needs, including mental health support.
Q. How many daily tests will you need and how many staff will need to be trained for tracking and tracing to be fully operational?
Harries says tests need to be quick so that contacts don’t have to isolate for long periods of time when their contact actually doesn’t have Covid-19.
Around 3,000 clinical staff and 15,000 tracing staff are being recruited by Public Health England, a significant task, she says.
Updated at 4.47pm BST
Paul in the East Midlands asks about what the government will do to help those in dire need whose situation has been made worse by the pandemic.
Jenrick says the government has taken steps to protect those in need, through food parcels for those shielding, for example.
He also outlines some of the economic measures the government has introduced to help people get by.
They are taking questions from members of the public now.
Ashley from Yorkshire asks about the possibility of catching Covid-19 twice and how a vaccine might change this.
Harries says the World Health Organization position is that there isn’t yet enough information on the immune status.
The elderly tend to show a weaker antibody response, but we still don’t know enough, she says.
Updated at 4.33pm BST
Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer for England, is speaking now.
We are past the peak but still have a lot of work to do, she says.
We must keep in mind the five tests for easing the lockdown, she adds.
Transport use has been a concern when motor vehicle usage flipped up, she says, but the number of social interactions has stayed very low.
The R rate is down, suggesting the significant drop in transport use and adherence to social distancing is working.
The “massive increase in daily testing” will continue, she says.
That is panning out between NHS testing and the growth in wider testing capacity, she says.
As the number of cases requiring clinical care in hospitals falls, all patients coming in are now being tested, so there is likely to be a drop-off in the number of cases as we consistently test through hospitals, she says.
The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has decreased by about 13% since last week, she says.
This signifies that pressure on the NHS is coming down and other services can be ramped up, she says.
Critical care bed use is starting to come down, and the death rate is starting to come down very slowly and very gradually, she says.
Updated at 4.32pm BST
Jenrick says 1.8 million people in England have been instructed to shield.
For those without family and friends to support them, he expects the one millionth package of food and essential supplies to be delivered in the next few days.
Updated at 4.29pm BST
Dame Louise Casey to spearhead new government task force on long-term support for rough sleepers
Turning to the subject of rough sleepers, Jenrick says they are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19.
So far more than 5,400 rough sleepers known to councils have been offered safe accommodation in just under a month, he says.
This is over 90%, he says.
This was the right thing to do.
He says Dame Louise Casey has been appointed by the prime minister and himself to lead a new task force so oversee the national effort to ensure those rough sleepers now in accommodation receive the support they need and move into long-term safe, sustainable accommodation once the pandemic is over.
Updated at 4.26pm BST
Jenrick says that victims of domestic abuse should call 999 in an emergency, or if you’re in danger and unable to talk, call 999 then press 55, he says.
The police will be there for you, they will help you, he adds.
If you need support, call the domestic abuse helpine on 0808 2000 247 at any time, he says.
Updated at 4.24pm BST
Government pledges £76m to support victims of domestic abuse through pandemic
Jenrick says that now we’re past the peak, the prime minister will set out how the government will address the second phase next week.
He says the lockdown has been “a nightmare” for victims of domestic abuse trapped in homes across the country.
Through the domestic abuse bill, the government will ensure the victims get the priority need status to access local housing services more easily, he says.
This is a fully funded commitment, he says, so that victims don’t have to make the choice between staying somewhere unsafe and being made homeless.
He announces a package of more than £76m in new funding to support the most vulnerable during the pandemic. It will go towards charities supporting vulnerable children, victims of domestic abuse, and victims of modern slavery.
The money will be used to provide more safe spaces and accommodation for victims of abuse, in the recruitment of workers for victims of sexual violence, and for frontline charities supporting those in need, including virtual or phone-based services.
Updated at 4.23pm BST
UK death toll rises by 621 to 28,131
The local government secretary is speaking now.
As of today, 1,129,907 tests have now been carried out in the UK, he says, including 105,937 tests carried out yesterday.
182,260 people have tested positive, that’s an increase of 4,806 cases since yesterday.
14,695 people are currently in hospital with coronavirus, down from 15,111 yesterday.
Of those who tested positive across all settings, 28,131 have now died, an increase of 621 fatalities since yesterday.
These are “heartbreaking losses for every family affected”, he says.
Updated at 4.16pm BST
Robert Jenrick’s press conference
The local government secretary, Robert Jenrick, will lead the daily Downing Street coronavirus briefing, due to begin shortly.
He will be joined by England’s deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries.
Readers have been getting in touch with me regarding issues they have experienced with the Covid-19 home testing kits being sent out by the government.
Jade, a pre-registered nurse from Glasgow, received one bearing instructions to register the kit online in order to receive her results – only her kit had been sent without the reference code to do this. The Randox instructions that come with the kits state: “Test kits are only valid for 48 hours after use.” The 29-year-old told the Guardian:
This means there could be hundreds of useless kits sent out to workers like myself.
After calling the help centre, she was told there had been an influx of the same complaint and the advice was to order another one.
Similarly, Lou, a 31-year-old PR manager from London, was sent a kit without a return postage label enclosed. As a label couldn’t be sent to her in time, Lou had a void sample and had to order a second kit to repeat the process.
Both women expressed concern over the delay in getting tested and also over whether the first testing kits they were sent would still count towards the government’s daily testing figures.
The government was accused on Friday of bending the truth about how it passed its target of 100,000 tests a day, amid reports that tests were being counted on dispatch rather than upon return to the lab.
Jade also expressed concern that people would have trouble following the instructions to self-swab because, as she put it, testing for Covid-19 is “quite invasive and very unpleasant for patients and the nurses doing it”. This, she said, led her to fear many tests being sent out won’t be utilised properly.
Lou said she had found the instructions “exceedingly confusing” and hard to follow. She said:
I mainly worry for those with severe symptoms, this delay could be really damaging and also the confusing nature of the instructions make it difficult for those with lower literacy levels.
It’s a worrying delay for many who may be experiencing worse symptoms than me, who might be struggling to complete and return these tests.
She added that she found self-swabbing “painful” and thought others might struggle with it – a process she now has to go through a second time.
Their concerns mirror those of a leading GP who told Sky News that “a significant portion of [home tests] will be useless” because many people will struggle to perform the test on themselves.
Dr Gary Marlowe, the London chair of the British Medical Association, said that to collect a sample of the virus, patients need to scrape a long swab against their tonsils and push it into their nose until it meets resistance, which is “really uncomfortable and difficult” to do.
He said the difficulties with self-swabbing “means that there will be a significant amount of people in whom the test comes back as negative when they’re actually carrying the virus”.
Updated at 4.00pm BST
Updated at 2.29pm BST
Another 44 deaths in Wales, taking total to 969
A further 44 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Wales, taking the total number of deaths there to 969, Public Health Wales has said.
Another 183 people have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 10,155.
Updated at 2.16pm BST
A further 370 deaths announced in England, bringing hospital total to 20,853
NHS England has announced 370 more deaths of patients who tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 20,853.
Of the 370 new deaths announced today:
- 75 occurred on 1 May
- 149 occurred on 30 April
- 52 occurred on 29 April
The figures also show 85 of the new deaths took place between 1 and 28 April while the remaining nine deaths occurred in March, with the earliest new death taking place on 13 March.
NHS England releases updated figures each day showing the dates of every coronavirus-related death in hospitals in England, often including previously uncounted deaths that took place several days or even weeks ago. This is because of the time it takes for those who have died to be confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19, for postmortem examinations to be processed and for data from the tests to be validated.
The figures published today by NHS England show 8 April continues to have the highest number for the most hospital deaths occurring on a single day, with a current total of 864.
Updated at 2.58pm BST
Updated at 1.47pm BST
Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds name baby son Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson
Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds have named their baby boy Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson, after their grandfathers and the doctors who helped save the prime minister’s life.
Symonds announced on Instagram:
Introducing Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson born on 29.04.20 at 9am.
Wilfred after Boris’ grandfather, Lawrie after my grandfather, Nicholas after Dr Nick Price and Dr Nick Hart – the two doctors that saved Boris’ life last month.
Thank you so, so much to the incredible NHS maternity team at UCLH that looked after us so well. I couldn’t be happier. My heart is full.
Later, Dr Nick Price and Prof Nick Hart offered their “warm congratulations” to the prime minister and Symonds.
They said in a statement:
Our warm congratulations go to the Prime Minister and Carrie Symonds on the happy arrival of their beautiful son Wilfred.
We are honoured and humbled to have been recognised in this way, and we give our thanks to the incredible team of professionals who we work with at Guy’s at St Thomas’ and who ensure every patient receives the best care.
We wish the new family every health and happiness.
Updated at 4.02pm BST
Transmission rates for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections have plunged since the pandemic lockdown, according to experts.
The measures to control the Covid-19 outbreak have led to fewer infections over the past five weeks, said David Stuart, of sexual health service 56 Dean Street in Soho, London.
Stuart tweeted that the coronavirus outbreak presented a historic opportunity to cut HIV infections.
It’s broken a chain of onward infections that’s been relentless & consistent for decades; this gives us an unprecedented opportunity – to literally interrupt an epidemic (or two).
To help to achieve this, he urged people, particularly gay and bisexual men, to order free home HIV-testing kits.
Updated at 1.17pm BST
JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has said she will donate £1m to be split between charities Refuge, which supports people experiencing domestic violence, and Crisis, which supports those who are homeless.
Updated at 12.59pm BST
Mental health of NHS staff must be priority now, says Labour
NHS staff are “breaking down” on the front line tackling coronavirus and their mental health must be made a priority now rather than when the crisis is over, Labour has warned.
The shadow mental health minister and A&E doctor Rosena Allin-Khan has written to Matt Hancock to seek assurances that medics are getting the support they need. In her letter to the health secretary, she said:
Increasingly, NHS staff are breaking down – I see it first-hand working shifts.
From a fear of spreading the virus to patients and loved ones, a lack of PPE, an increased workload owing to the number of cases and staff absences, to being redeployed to ICUs and witnessing more patients die, staff are experiencing greater pressure, which is inevitably taking its toll on their mental health.
At this time of crisis, staff mental health must be a priority now. It simply cannot be an afterthought once the acute stage of the crisis is over.
Updated at 12.49pm BST
Lifting lockdown measures in two weeks would result in a second wave of infection comparable to leaving them in place until the summer, according to a new study by mathematicians at the University of Sussex.
The findings, which run contrary to lessons many have drawn from the recent period of lockdown across the world, have been published on medRxiv and have not yet been peer-reviewed.
The research was based on modelling that looked at “non-exponential distribution of incubation and recovery periods”, as well as the age structure of a given population. It found that changing the length of a lockdown – from eight to 12 or 16 weeks – would have an impact on the date at which any second wave might arrive, but only a marginal effect on the number of cases or deaths.
Another finding in the report claimed that the later a second period of lockdown was introduced – one that lasted for eight weeks – the bigger the reduction in any cases would be, compared to taking no lockdown action at all.
Communities with a younger average age of population would also extract greater benefit from a longer period of lockdown than one with an older population, according to the study. It found that any lockdown would save more lives amongst a younger community than an older one.
Dr Konstantin Blyuss, Reader in Mathematics at the University of Sussex, said:
Although in each case we explored, there will be a second epidemic peak after the quarantine is lifted, interestingly and quite counterintuitively, the later quarantine is introduced, the smaller this second peak will be. This reduction becomes quite substantial for quarantines introduced at a later stage.
Introducing an eight-week quarantine 10 weeks after the start of an outbreak reduces the magnitude of the peak in infected individuals by between 45% and 59% compared to no quarantine, and this reduces to only 8.5%-23.5% for a quarantine of the same duration introduced after six weeks.
Dr Yuliya Kyrychko, a reader in mathematics at the University of Sussex and one of the authors of the report, said the expanded effects of lockdown on young people could be explained by the likelihood of their being more socially mobile. She said:
A bigger impact of quarantine on reducing deaths in regions with younger populations can be attributed to a number of factors, such as the fact that younger people have more contacts and thus are making a bigger contribution to disease transmission, so quarantining them makes a bigger impact on reducing the overall disease burden.
Updated at 12.55pm BST
The artist Jeremy Deller has called on middle-aged ravers to buy a poster he has produced in recognition of the plight of victims of domestic violence and care home residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sales of the print, which says Bless this Acid House, will support Refuge, a charity for survivors of domestic abuse, and Pilgrims’ Friend Society, which runs care homes across the UK.
One of Deller’s most famous artworks, Acid Brass, saw him collaborate with a brass band that performed 1980s acid house classics such as A Guy Called Gerald’s Voodoo Ray.
Graphic designer Fraser Muggeridge, who co-produced the posters, said he and Deller wanted to support charities “under increased pressure during this time and to bring a bit of joy into people’s homes and windows”.
Last month, the pair published a poster called Thank God For Immigrants, which raised £50,000 for food bank charity the Trussell Trust and Refugee Action, which supports asylum seekers.
Updated at 12.19pm BST
This is from ITV’s Daniel Hewitt.
He previously reported that hospices were set to run out of PPE “within days” because providers of end-of-life care were being denied access to government supplies.
Updated at 12.14pm BST
My colleague Aamna Mohdin has written about how coronavirus has hit the borough of Newham – one of the country’s most deprived areas – harder than anywhere else. The east London borough has recorded the worst mortality rate in England and Wales.
The borough’s rate – 144.3 deaths per 100,000 people – is closely followed by Brent in north London (141.5), and Newham’s neighbour Hackney (127.4), according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics. The data confirms what had already been suspected: people living in the poorest parts of the country are dying from Covid-19 at a much higher rate than those in the richest.
Newham resident Kamul Islam, a 40-year-old cab driver, said 22 people had died aftering contracting the virus on his road and neighbouring street alone. He said:
Every day I get a message from someone in my community telling me of people who have died. They are young and old. It’s been really tough.
Updated at 12.07pm BST
A son has written an emotional tribute to his mother, a care home nurse who died after contracting Covid-19, saying a lack of personal protective equipment is what killed her.
Ian O’Neal described Suzanne Loverseed, 63, as a “lioness” who gave everything for her children. He said: “At the end, she worked in a care home, with patients dying of this virus. She had no PPE [protective personal equipment] but fearlessly she carried on. That’s what killed her.”
O’Neal described having to say goodbye to his mother via iPad. “There are some people out there still urging that the virus is not that threatening, or that the government has overreacted, or that it doesn’t matter if a few oldies die. They are mistaken.
“We might have had another 20 years with her: instead, we had to say goodbye via an iPad, unable to hold her hand. Her grandson is not yet three. About 25,000 other families will know what I mean when I say that I hope to God such people never have personal cause to amend their opinions,” he said.
On 6 April, Compassion in Care released figures showing it had received 87 calls in the previous two weeks from staff in social care raising PPE concerns, including 61 in residential homes, 20 from nursing homes and six for home care agencies.
Updated at 11.51am BST
Updated at 11.28am BST
Many high-street law firms could face closure this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Law Society survey.
The results showed 71% of small law firms believe they may have to close their doors within the next six months because of physical distancing hindering face-to-face transactions, court hearings and the wider economy.
The Law Society defines high-street law firms as those with four partners or fewer, and the survey results were based on answers from 774 firms.
Its president, Simon Davis, said the shock to the legal system has been “sudden and severe” and firms face “a dramatic plunge in income”. He said:
Although a firm may be open for business, this does not mean it is business as usual.
Residential property transactions have ground to a halt. Reduction in court hearings has massively impacted on the amount of work available – while social distancing and the lack of face-to-face meetings is causing difficulty delivering in other areas, such as the execution of wills.
Elsewhere, small firms have suffered from the decline in overall activity – particularly from service industries such as retail, leisure and hospitality.
The fate of the high-street firm is thus intrinsically bound to that of other small businesses.
He said firms are struggling because although the government provides some relief, they are specifically excluded from support for small businesses, and are expected to continue paying business rates while their buildings are empty. There is therefore a growing fear that “many businesses will fall through the crack”, he added.
Davis also said individual solicitors are also at risk, because some are not eligible for support for the self-employed, and those who are paid via dividends are in need of a support package.
Updated at 11.21am BST
New polling shows extraordinarily high support for the SNP government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a YouGov survey for the Times Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has the confidence of 71% of Scots when it comes to her ability to make the correct decisions in dealing with the virus, with 23% saying they do not have faith in her judgments. That gives the Scottish first minister a +48 rating overall.
There was a high level of cross-party consensus in support of the Scottish government’s performance – three-quarters of Scots, including the vast majority of Tory and Labour voters, believe the SNP government is handling the crisis well.
As well as 85% of SNP voters and 84% of Liberal Democrats, 70% of both Conservative and Labour supporters are happy with the approach taken by the Scottish government. Just 19% said the virus was being handled badly in Edinburgh.
This consensus falls apart when assessing the UK government’s performance. Scots are split, with 47% of those surveyed agreeing Conservative ministers have handled the outbreak well and 48% disagreeing. Boris Johnson himself has a net rating of -15.
Updated at 11.16am BST
A nurse who died after contracting coronavirus will be remembered for her “lovely smile”, hospice bosses have said.
Gill Oakes, a senior clinical support nurse at Bolton hospice, died on 30 April at Royal Bolton hospital with Covid-19, the hospice said.
Chief executive Leigh Vallance said:
She was a dedicated and compassionate member of our team, caring for patients at Bolton hospice for nearly 24 years. She will be dearly missed by us all.
Gill was the sort of person who always offered to help others – nothing was ever too much trouble for her.
She was a brilliant nurse who often helped new members of the team settle into their role at the hospice.
We will always remember her kindness and her lovely smile.
We’d like to thank our colleagues at Royal Bolton hospital for taking care of Gill, and our thoughts are with her family at this impossibly sad time.
Updated at 11.08am BST
Updated at 10.36am BST
More than 70% of critical care patients with Covid-19 are men
More than 70% of coronavirus patients admitted to critical care in England, ,Wales and Northern Ireland are men, according to new data from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC).
The figures were based on a sample of 7,542 critically ill patients confirmed as having Covid-19. Researchers found that 5,389 of the patients were men, compared with 2,149 women.
The report, published on Friday, also found that men were more likely to die in critical care, with 51% dying in care compared with around 43% of women. In total about 49% of the 5,139 patients admitted to critical care who had recorded care outcomes had died, it found.
The report analysed data on patients with confirmed Covid-19 from 286 NHS critical care units in England, Wales and Northern Ireland taking part in the ICNARC programme up to 4pm on Thursday.
Prof Calum Semple, from the University of Liverpool and a consultant respiratory paediatrician at Alder Hey children’s hospital, said the data showed that coronavirus was just as fatal as Ebola for hospital patients.
Research by Semple and his team, which was published on Wednesday, found that of the total number of patients, 17% required admission to high dependency or intensive care units and of these, 31% were discharged alive, 45% died and 24% continued to be treated in hospital. He said:
Some people persist in believing that Covid-19 is no worse than a bad dose of flu. They are gravely mistaken.
Despite the best supportive care that we can provide, the crude case fatality rate for people who are admitted to hospital – that is, the proportion of people ill enough to need hospital treatment who then die – with severe Covid-19 is 35% to 40%, which is similar to that for people admitted to hospital with Ebola.
It’s a really nasty disease.
Updated at 10.29am BST
My colleague Amy Walker has spoken to the relatives of care home residents who have lost their lives in the coronavirus pandemic. She writes:
Before they were care home residents, they were our factory workers, teachers, engineers and administrative workers.
Some were singers, and some were boxers. Some were parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. Now they have died after contracting coronavirus in their homes.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that between 10 and 24 April, there were 4,343 recorded deaths from Covid-19 in residential care homes. Meanwhile, frustration among operators, staff and relatives that the government has underestimated the seriousness of the spread of the virus in care continues to grow.
Here are the stories of some of those who have died.
The National Trust could lose up to £200m this year due to the coronavirus crisis, the charity has said as it appeals to the government for “urgent, practical” support after having to halt a number of projects amid the pandemic.
The conservation charity’s director general, Hilary McGrady, said “a sharp drop in income” is threatening the future of nature sites and staff across the country.
She told BBC Breakfast, the trust “lost about 50% of our annual income literally overnight” when it closed earlier this year.
Writing in the Telegraph (paywall), McGrady urged ministers to step in and “address nature, wildlife and environmental organisations with an immediate offer of support”, given that they had thanked a number of manufacturing businesses, and called for “a green recovery after lockdown”.
Updated at 10.26am BST
Good morning. The government continues to insist its 100,000 tests per day target was met despite revelations that home kits are being counted as they are posted rather than when they are returned. The health secretary Matt Hancock said that 122,347 tests were performed in the 24 hours up to 9am on Friday – but questions have been raised over how the tests have been counted. The government’s national testing coordinator, Prof John Newton, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning:
All the tests are only counted once, and you can count tests when they go out or when they come back in, and whichever way you do it we still meet the target.
Elsewhere, The Times (paywall) reports that commuters could be asked to check their temperature at home before travelling, under plans to ease restrictions being considered by the government. According to the paper, Boris Johnson will present a “road map” on Thursday for socially distanced work, travel and schooling to take the UK out of full lockdown in an effort to restart the economy while still keeping the rate of infection down. The Telegraph (paywall) also understands the 2-metre rule is being reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) at the government’s request.
The FT (paywall), however, reports that working from home is set to become the new norm, with offices expected to stay shut for months.
I’ll be taking you through all the latest coronavirus developments during the day. If you have a story or comment, tips or suggestions, please feel free to contact me via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @lucy_campbell_.
Updated at 10.20am BST
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010