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- NHS frontline workers may refuse to work if there is not enough PPE to ensure their safety, the UK’s largest union warned. The warning came in response to new guidance from Public Health England, revealed by the Guardian on Friday, which instructs healthcare workers to reuse disposable PPE and also recommended that medics wear aprons if they are unable to access full-length gowns. This is all amid concerns that some PPE supplies are dangerously close to running out completely.
- The UK’s hospital death toll rose above 15,000, after a further 888 deaths took the total to 15, 464. Broken down by devolved administration, the death tolls in each nation currently stand at: 13,918 in England, 193 in Northern Ireland, 534 in Wales, and 893 in Scotland.
- The Queen’s 94th birthday on Tuesday will not be marked in any special way as the monarch felt it would be “inappropriate in the current circumstances”, a Buckingham Palace source revealed. It is thought to be the first time the occasion will go unmarked by gun salutes.
- Councils across England are to receive an extra £1.6bn in funding to help them cope with increased pressures brought about by the pandemic, the local government secretary Robert Jenrick announced. The funds would help councils fund services including adult social care, children’s services, waste collection and care for the most vulnerable people. He added an additional £300m would go to the devolved administrations using the Barnett formula.
- Close family must be able to attend funerals and cemeteries and graveyards must remain open, Jenrick added. He said that as long as physical distancing was adhered to, loved ones must have the opportunity to say goodbye to those lost.
- All parks are to remain open, but people must continue to abide by physical distancing rules, Jenrick also said. He said parks were especially vital for maintaing the mental and physical health of people for whom the lockdown was even harder, i.e. those with less living space, or without a garden.
- Arcadia Group may permanently shut down stores closed by lockdown. Sir Philip Green’s fashion group, whose brands include Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge, has served notice on its landlords to walk away from stores whose leases have rolling breaks or are due to expire.
National updates from https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2020/apr/18/uk-coronavirus-live-doctors-confirm-lack-of-ppe-amid-fears-supplies-may-run-out-this-weekend
- Spain coronavirus deaths hit 20,000. The coronavirus death toll in Spain, one of the world’s worst-hit countries by the pandemic, has topped 20,000 after 565 new fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours.The number of the total dead from Covid-19 in the country hit 20,043 on Saturday. The rise was slightly lower than Friday, when an additional 585 deaths were recorded. The number of overall coronavirus cases rose to 191,726 on Saturday from 188,068 on Friday, the country’s health ministry added.
- Bangladesh garment workers pack streets to demand wages during coronavirus lockdown. Hundreds of workers in Bangladesh have taken to the streets in defiance of physical distancing rules to demand unpaid wages during the Covid-19 shutdown. The government sent troops out into the streets to help enforce a shutdown on travel and restrictions on gatherings.
- New York daily death toll at two-week low. Deaths in New York State rose by 540 on Friday, the lowest daily death tally since the beginning of April. Andrew Cuomo, the state’s governor, said new hospital admissions stayed around the 2,000-patient mark, which he said was still an “overwhelming number”.
- Some shops in Iran have reopened as country’s daily death toll fell to 73. Iran allowed some businesses in the capital Tehran to reopen on Saturday as the country’s daily death toll from coronavirus fell to 73, its lowest in more than a month. So-called low-risk businesses – including many shops, factories and workshops – resumed operations in Tehran, a week after reopening in the rest of the country, state television said.
- Croatia extends its lockdown for another 15 days. Croatia is extending its coronavirus lockdown for another 15 days, but a minister says the country is exploring the possibility of gradually easing restrictions.
International updates from https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/apr/18/coronavirus-live-news-global-deaths-pass-150000-trump-china-china-denies-any-concealment-pence-origins-europe-germany