- Boris Johnson said the UK did the “right thing at the right time”. Johnson says people should understand that the collating of data internationally is bedevilled with difficulties. The only real comparison will be possible at the end of this, when you look at total excess deaths. He said the UK avoided an “uncontrollable and catastrophic” epidemic that could have caused 500,000 deaths and that we were now “past the peak”.
- Following the lead of various world cities including Bogotá and Berlin, Manchester has announced plans to close part of one of its main streets to cars and widen the pavements along others in order to help people walk and cycle safely while maintaining physical distancing — and move towards a car-free future.
- There have now been 26,771 coronavirus deaths in the whole of the UK in all settings, an increase of 674 on yesterday. These figures are just for people who tested positive for coronavirus. They do not include people who may have died from coronavirus who were not tested.
- The UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has issued a stern warning that GCSE and A-level grade assessments this summer should not unfairly penalise children from minority ethnic minority backgrounds, as well as disabled pupils and those with special educational needs.
- More than 9,000 fines have been handed to people in England and Wales for allegedly flouting coronavirus lockdown laws, according to new figures. As PA Media reports, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said 8,877 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) had been recorded by forces in England between March 27 and April 27, while 299 were issued in Wales over the same period. Some 397 were for repeat offenders, with one person fined six times.
- Denmark says partial reopening has not accelerated virus spread. Authorities in Denmark, became the first country outside of Asia to ease lockdown measures a fortnight ago, said the spread of Covid-19 had not accelerated. Day care centres and schools began reopening in the Nordic country two weeks ago, followed by hairdressers and other small businesses on 20 April. The move came after the number of infections and deaths slowed.
- Spain allocates times slots for outdoor activities, as death toll falls. Health authorities in Spain have said time slots for specific outdoor activities will be used to help the country avoid confusion and further contagion when adults are allowed out on Saturday to exercise for the first time since mid-March. Spain’s daily death toll fell to its lowest level in nearly six week, with 268 fatalities related to Covid-19 recorded overnight.
- Eurozone records 3.8% slump, as ECB chief warns of worse to come. The head of the European Central Bank has warned that the eurozone could be on course for a 15% collapse in output in the second quarter as evidence of the economic toll caused by Covid-19 pandemic started to emerge, with France and Italy falling into recession.
- Another 3.8 million Americans lose jobs as US unemployment continues to grow. Another 3.8 million people lost their jobs in the US last week as the coronavirus pandemic continued to batter the economy. The pace of layoffs appears to be slowing, but in just six weeks an unprecedented 30 million Americans have now sought unemployment benefits and the numbers are still growing.
- Covid-19 outbreak increasing across Africa, WHO warns. World Health Organization officials in Africa have said the Covid-19 outbreak is still increasing across the continent despite widespread efforts at containment. Unlike developed countries that can rely on relatively well-resourced health systems to treat large numbers of sick people, most African nations are hoping they can slow the spread of the disease to protect very limited facilities.
- Russian Prime Minister diagnosed with coronavirus. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has said he has been diagnosed with coronavirus and will self-isolate from the government in the country’s highest-profile case of the disease yet. Russia recorded a record daily rise in cases, taking the total of cases past 100,000. On Thursday 7,099 new cases were recorded, bringing the nationwide tally to 106,498.
- Tajikistan reports first coronavirus cases. Tajikistan, which was thought to be one of the few countries untouched by coronavirus, has recorded its first coronavirus cases.
- South Korea reports no new domestic cases for first time since 29 February. South Korea reported on Thursday no new domestic coronavirus cases for the first time since its 29 February peak, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
- War-torn Yemen reports first virus deaths. The country reported its first two deaths and a new cluster of Covid-19 cases amid worries that the virus has been circulating undetected for some time and attempts at a humanitarian ceasefire to contain the new crisis are failing.
- Czechs say coronavirus spread is contained as country reopens. The Czech Republic has seen the number of new cases drop below 100 for the past eight consecutive days, and the government will continue to cautiously open up the economy, the health minister said.
- Japan likely to extend nationwide state of emergency over the coronavirus. Prime minister Shinzō Abe is expected to extend the measure until the end of May or until 6 June, as the country’s healthcare system continues to face an “extremely tough situation”, he said.
- People out of work in Germany increased by 373,000 to 2.64 million in April. Data from the labour office also showed the unemployment rate increased to 5.8%, up from 5% in March, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.