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The lockdown could shrink GDP by 35% in the second quarter of the year but bounce back quickly and see unemployment rise by 2 million, according to the results of a coronavirus scenario published by the Office for Budget Responsibility. This is not a forecast nor an official government prediction, but a scenario illustrating the possible effects on the economy and public finances of a three-month shutdown and the government’s policy responses.
The UK’s death toll surpassed 12,000 as a further 778 hospital deaths were recorded, taking the total to 12,107.
Actual coronavirus-related deaths could be 15% higher than daily government figures suggest, said an ONS report. Nick Stripe, head of health analysis and life events at the ONS said: “The latest comparable data for deaths involving Covid-19 with a date of death up to 3 April, show there were 6,235 deaths in England and Wales. When looking at data for England, this is 15% higher than the NHS numbers as they include all mentions of Covid-19 on the death certificate, including suspected Covid-19, as well as deaths in the community.”
Separately, the latest weekly ONS figures suggest 10% of coronavirus deaths are occurring outside a hospital setting. Of those, more than half were in care homes, with the rest in private homes and hospices. The figures cover the week ending 3 April, making them almost two weeks out of date. With the true picture likely much worse, Labour is calling for daily publication of figures showing Covid-related deaths in care homes.
Two of the UK’s largest care home providers recorded deaths of 521 residents in recent weeks, fuelling claims the official figures are understating the prevalence of coronavirus in care homes. Sir David Behan, non-executive director of HC-One, said Covid-19 is present in two-thirds (232) of its care homes with 2,447 suspected cases and 311 residents had died along with one member of staff. MHA, another leading provider, said Covid-19 had affected around half of its homes and was linked to 210 deaths.
The International Monetary Fund slashed its forecasts for global growth and warns of a slump in output this year unparalleled since the Great Depression of the 30s. It said the “Great Lockdown” is likely to cause a drop in activity more painful than the recession that followed the banking meltdown of the 2008.
A further 778 deaths were recorded in UK hospitals taking the total to at least 12,107. The true extent is likely to be greater because the data do not include deaths in other settings and many hospitals are still collating figures from the bank holiday.
“We think we are at the apex,” New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced after the state saw a small decrease in its hospitalisations. Cuomo said 1,600 new patients came in to New York hospitals on Monday.
Italy, Spain and Austria allowed partial returns to work as countries across Europe report further falls in new cases and begin taking the first cautious steps out of lockdown to revive their battered economies.
Global cases passed 1.9 million, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, whose tally showed at least 1,945,055 people have been infected and 121,897 have died since the outbreak began.
Britain’s economy could shrink by 35% and unemployment rise by more than 2 million people due to the crisis, the official economics forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility warned, as it forecast a 13% fall in GDP for 2020.
Mary Lou McDonald, the leader of Ireland’s Sinn Féin party, tested positive for Covid-19. She says she is no longer deemed to be infected or infectious and hopes to return to work next week. She was tested on 28 March and got the result on Monday, a two-week wait reflecting delays and glitches that have plagued testing in Ireland.
Vladimir Putin warned Russians to brace for an ‘extraordinary’ crisis. As Moscow tightened its lockdown measures, Russia reported its highest daily infection figures yet.