The Silent Solution helps people who are unable to speak, but who genuinely need police assistance. You will hear an automated police message, which lasts for 20 seconds and begins with ‘you are through to the police’. It will ask you to press 55 to be put through to police call management. More Info
Sky Lanterns – The Fire Service have advised that Sky Lanterns pose a real risk to property, livestock and agriculture so should never be used and is urging the public to look for alternative ways to show their support to the NHS. More Info
- The health secretary Matt Hancock said he wants to ensure that loved ones can be with people who are dying of coronavirus. At the daily government press conference he referenced the case of 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab who died alone and said he wanted “closest loved ones” to be able to be there, wherever possible.
- All patients being discharged from hospital into a care home will now automatically be tested for coronavirus, the prime minister’s spokesman said in the lobby briefing. And all care home residents with coronavirus symptoms will also be tested. The spokesman also said that 6,000 care homes had already been offered the chance to test their staff and all care providers will have been approached with the same offer by the end of the week.
- Hancock also refused to accept he had promised to deliver 25,000 tests per day by now. On 18 March the government committed to increasing the rate of coronavirus testing to 25,000 within four weeks. Today is exactly four weeks from the day that press release was issued, but that target has been missed.
- The UK government refused to directly criticisePresident Trump’s decision to freeze funding for the World Health Organisation. The prime minister’s spokesman told the lobby briefing the UK would continue to support the WHO, but he declined to say anything critical about Trump’s stance.
- The UK’s death toll appears to be reaching its peak, Prof Chris Whitty told the press conference. But high numbers of deaths will continue and they still don’t know what the transmission rate is, he added. They need to know more before relaxing physical distancing measures can be considered.
- The number of deaths in hospitals across the UK rose by 761 to 12,868. This was slightly down on the further 778 deaths reported yesterday.
- Northern Ireland’s lockdown will remain in place for the next three weeks, the first minister Arlene Foster announced. She said it was important to continue to do “everything we can to reduce the peak”.
- Almost two thirds of graduating students have had job applications paused or withdrawn due to the coronavirus pandemic, a survey of more than 5,000 students found. Some 63% of would-be graduates said their applications had been put on pause or withdrawn because of the virus’s continued spread and only a third felt confident about finding a job after the pandemic.
US President Donald Trump announced the suspension of funding to the World Health Organization, as well as an investigation into the WHO’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, in a move described by leading health experts as “a crime against humanity”.
The EU has set out a roadmap for its members to ease their coronavirus lockdowns, warning they should move very cautiously to prevent further serious outbreaks.
The World Health Organization also said countries should wait two weeks in between any significant changes to analyse the impact.
The guidance came as countries across Europe start to ease restrictions, with some schools in Denmark reopening on Wednesday and Germany considering lifting restrictions from next week.
Spain’s daily death toll has fallen again, with 523 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.
China reported on Wednesday a decline in new confirmed cases on the mainland, although an increasing number of local transmissions in its far northeast bordering Russia remained a concern for authorities, Reuters reports.
Meanwhile Russia recorded its highest daily jump in cases, taking its total to nearly 25,000.
Pressure is mounting in Japan, where hospitals are asking for donations of plastic raincoats due to a lack of protective gear, and some doctors have resorted to wearing rubbish bags. The number of visitors to the country sank 93% as tourism suffers during the pandemic.
India announced it would allow industry and farming in rural areas to resume, as millions struggle under the country’s strict three-week lockdown.