Coronavirus deaths in Scotland rise by 81 to 447 – Sky News

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Coronavirus deaths in Scotland rise by 81 to 447 – Sky News

Latest police plea to stay indoors over Easter

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners has urged Britons to stick to the lockdown this weekend and not be tempted to go outside and enjoy the sun over Easter.

Katy Bourne OBE said: “This weekend is when many families would normally be setting off on holiday or gathering with family and friends to mark Easter, so it will be especially frustrating for us all to stay at home and stick to the social distancing guidance. 

“We must, however, continue with this collective endeavour if we are to make our earlier efforts worthwhile, protect our NHS and save lives. 

“On the whole, the public have made sensible decisions about non-essential travel and avoiding gatherings and public feedback is showing that most of us understand the critical need to stick to these measures.

“Police officers continue to do an outstanding job and will be visible this weekend calmly engaging, explaining and encouraging people to do the right thing, and only taking enforcement measures as a last resort. 

“I want to thank the public for the actions they are taking, if we can all stay at home we can reduce the risk to other people and ourselves and we can avoid putting unnecessary demands on our emergency services.”

‘Open shops free to sell what they have in stock’

Downing Street has said supermarkets and shops that have remained open during the lockdown are free to sell any items they have in stock, following a warning that police could start searching trolleys for non-essential purchases.

Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley made that suggestion earlier as he urged the public to stay at home as the weather warms up again for the Easter weekend.

The prime minister’s spokesman said: “Shops that are still open are free to sell any items they have in stock.”

It means you’re safe to pick up an Easter egg or two if you’re due for a supermarket trip in the next few days.

WATCH: As the nation prepares to clap for carers again this evening, dozens of stars say ‘thank you’ to NHS

WATCH: Time lapse of NHS Nightingale Bristol construction

Police shutting down hundreds of parties during lockdown

Police in Greater Manchester say they were called to 494 house parties in four days as people continue to flout the lockdown.

The force has released maps showing the 1,132 incidents they were called to from 25 March to 7 April.

One shows there were a huge number of house parties as the weather warmed up last weekend.

The maps also show 166 street parties, 122 group gatherings for sporting activities, 173 gatherings in parks and 112 incidents of anti-social behaviour/public disorder also took place.

Border Force ‘prioritising NHS equipment’ – Patel

Home Secretary Priti Patel has tweeted an update on Border Force operations during the coronavirus pandemic.

She says medical equipment is being prioritised to ensure it reaches the frontline more quickly.

Pandemic ‘will be with us for some time’ – Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the country’s coronavirus curve is “slightly flattening” and that the numbers “give reason for some hope”, but warns that the pandemic “will be with us for some time to come”.

She has urged Germans not to become complacent and to stick to social distancing rules.

Germany has reported 113,296 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University, but comparatively few deaths at 2,349.

Sky data analysis shows that Germany could be the first European country to get their outbreak under control, having successfully embarked than a far more comprehensive testing regime than most nations.

NHS England says a further 765 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in England, taking the total to 7,248.

Patients were aged between 24 and 103, and 43 of them (aged between 33 and 99) had no known underlying health conditions.

The latest increase spans several weeks – 140 occurred on 8 April, while 568 took place between 1 April and 7 April.

The remaining 57 deaths occurred in March, including two on 19 March and one on 16 March.

More on the latest job losses in the US

From Sky’s business reporter John-Paul Ford Rojas:

One in ten US workers have lost their jobs in the last three weeks, according to latest weekly unemployment claims figures.

Government data showed just over 6.6 million people applied for jobless benefits in the week ending 4 April as the coronavirus crisis shuts down large parts of the world’s biggest economy.

It brings the total making unemployment claims to 16.8 million over the past three weeks, roughly one in ten of the workforce – the largest and fastest string of job losses on records stretching back to 1948.

America’s latest weekly jobless figure was lower than the record 6.87 million registered the week before, but higher than the 5.2 million average figure pencilled in by economists.

Read more here.

The number of coronavirus patients to die from coronavirus in Wales has risen by 41 to 286.

But due to a change in how the figures are reported, the number of new confirmed cases today stands at just 16 as it reflects a much shorter period of six hours of testing.

Public Health Wales says case numbers will return to normal on Friday, as it returns to 24 hour reporting.

There are now 4,089 confirmed cases in Wales, although the true number of cases is likely to be higher.

Doctor dies with COVID-19 after warning PM over PPE

A doctor diagnosed with coronavirus has died – three weeks after he warned the prime minister health workers urgently need more PPE.

Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, who worked at Homerton Hospital in East London, passed away after 15 days in hospital.

On March 18, he wrote a message to Boris Johnson asking him to “urgently” ensure personal protective equipment for “each and every NHS worker in the UK”.

He told the prime minister that healthcare workers “are in direct contact with patients” and have a “human right like others to live in this world disease-free with our family and children”.

More to follow here.

Queen’s grocer Fortnum furloughs 700 staff

From Sky’s City editor Mark Kleinman:

The Queen’s favourite grocer is placing 700 of its staff onto the government’s emergency wage subsidy programme as it faces a prolonged shutdown of its famous Piccadilly store.

Sky News has learnt that Fortnum & Mason took the decision to use the coronavirus job retention scheme to cover 80% of its workforce on Wednesday.

The move makes Fortnum the latest in a long line of retailers to utilise the ‘furloughing’ initiative, which aims to secure the jobs of workers who would otherwise have been made redundant amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more here.

How’s the UK’s network infrastructure holding up?

With most working from home and looking online for entertainment while we can’t go outside, pressure on the UK’s network infrastructure has surged.

Marc Allera, chief executive of BT’s consumer division gave some insight into how we’re using the network on Ian King Live, including a surge in voice calls as people keep in touch with friends and family.

“There’s a huge demand on the network, there’s been massive change to the way people have been living and working,” he said.

“It’s the broadband network that’s taking a lot of the pressure, we’re seeing almost double the amount of traffic on the broadband network, obviously everyone’s working from home, we’re seeing a massive uptick in gaming as well.

“And of course services like Netflix and YouTube where people are looking for streaming services to replace going to the cinema or the pub and all the things we used to do.”

US officials say 6.6 million people have filed for unemployment in the week to 4 April – just under the figure reported last week but higher than what had been anticipated.

PICTURED: Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre has become the second NHS Nightingale Hospital and will open for patients on Friday, with a formal opening next week.

Latest on supply of ventilators and personal protective equipment

The NHS now has 10,000 ventilators available to NHS patients and another 1,500 on order, the PM’s spokesman has said.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is also now reaching the frontline in large quantities, they added, with some 33 million items delivered to 289 NHS trusts and other organisations in England on Wednesday.

“We’re confident that enough supply is now reaching the front line, but if there are distribution problems as we deal with very significant increase in demand then we need to address them straight away and that is what we have the phone line for,” he said.

Raab expected to fill in for PM for NHS applause

The public will again take to their front gardens, porches and windows this evening to applaud the NHS.

Boris Johnson has taken part on the past two Thursdays – last week’s was the last time he was seen in public.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is deputising for the PM and is expected to clap for carers in Downing Street as the PM normally would.

The PM’s spokesman said: “The prime minister thanks the NHS for the brilliant care which it is providing.

“The claps for carers have provided wonderful, unifying moments for the entire country. I’m sure that tonight we will once again see people in their millions paying tribute to our fantastic dedicated care workers.”

‘Good spirits’: Full update on the PM’s condition

From Sky’s political reporter Alan McGuinness:

The prime minister “continues to improve” in intensive care and had a “good night” in hospital, Downing Street has said.

Boris Johnson is spending his fourth full day in hospital after being admitted on Sunday evening.

He went to St Thomas’ Hospital because his symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, remained persistent.

The following day he was moved to intensive care after his condition worsened.

But the PM looks to be on the mend, with Downing Street saying on Wednesday that Mr Johnson was in “good spirits” and making “steady progress”.

Mr Johnson’s spokesman said he is continuing with “standard oxygen treatment”, adding: “The prime minister had a good night and continues to improve in intensive care.

“He’s in good spirits.”

The prime minister “continues to improve” in intensive care and had a “good night” in hospital, Downing Street has said.

What are we expecting this afternoon?

Away from the Scottish government’s daily update, we are expecting further news of Boris Johnson’s condition after the prime minister’s third night in intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital.

There will also be updates on the number of confirmed coronavirus cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as how many hospital patients have sadly died after testing positive.

Dominic Raab is also chairing a meeting of the government’s emergency COBRA committee, where the lockdown will be discussed, although Number 10 has suggested a final decision on that won’t be made until next week.

You can read the latest on the lockdown measures here.

The lockdown in Scotland will continue “for some weeks to come”, according to Nicola Sturgeon.

It comes after the Welsh government confirmed yesterday that its lockdown would also be maintained beyond the original three-week timeframe set out by Boris Johnson last month.

It is expected that the UK-wide lockdown will be extended into May.

Nicola Sturgeon has urged people in Scotland to keep following the lockdown ahead of Easter.

“I know how hard it is for people to do that, it will seem even harder over this Easter holiday weekend, especially for families with children and indeed for the children themselves and for older people who would normally be spending time with their grandchildren,” she said.

“Please stay in touch with family, friends and loved ones in whatever alternative way best works for you.

“Reach out to and look out for people even as you stay physically apart from them, but please do follow the rules and stay at home over Easter.”

The number of coronavirus patients to have died in Scotland has risen again – up by 81 to 447.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the increase during a live online Scottish government Q&A with other party leaders.

There are also now 1,781 patients in hospital with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in Scotland.

Key points

  • NHS England reports 765 more coronavirus deaths – up to 7,248
  • Deaths of COVID-19 patients in Scotland up 81 to 447
  • Another 41 have died in Wales – taking total there to 286
  • Nationwide lockdown looks set to continue beyond Easter

  • PM remains in intensive care with his coronavirus symptoms
  • Second NHS Nightingale field hospital to open in Birmingham on Friday

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