Daily Covid-19 Brief: Sunday, April 5
Each day, our Public Policy team will be reporting on the latest news in the evolving situation. To view the previous day’s summary, please click here.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has given the daily press conference
- It comes as the UK death toll from Covid-19 reached 4,934 – an increase of 621 on Saturday.
- Hancock said that the Government isn’t currently planning to introduce further restrictions on exercising outside of people’s homes.
- This followed his warning earlier in the day that the Government may tighten lockdown measures further in response to people spending more time outdoors over the weekend given the warmer weather.
- Deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries said that the Government has bought 3.5m finger-prick antibody tests, and when asked about personal protection equipment (PPE), said that the Government is assessing areas where PPE is needed.
Other UK COVID 19 news
- The Queen will make a televised address at 8pm UK time tonight, intended to reassure the nation by drawing upon the country’s history of perseverance in troubled times.
- Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden will ask social media companies to do more to combat conspiracy theories about Covid-19 in the wake of several 5G masts apparently being set on fire in Birmingham and Liverpool.
- US President Donald Trump warned Americans to prepare for the “toughest week” of the crisis yet. Latest figures show over 312,000 cases in the US, over 8,400 deaths.
- Japan is increasing its stockpile of a flu drug, Avigan or favipiravir, which is believed by some scientists to be able to treat Covid-19. It was previously used on patients where the pandemic started, in Wuhan, China.
- Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, has apologised “unreservedly” after visiting her second home during the lockdown. Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said he believed Dr Calderwood’s position was “untenable”.
- The Treasury is believed to be preparing contingency plans to take stakes in companies close to collapse as a result of the crisis.
- It is believed a team from leading investment banks will be brought in to support struggling sectors which are deemed to be strategically important. This may take the form of loans to be converted to equity if not repaid within a specified window.