UK coronavirus news LIVE: Death toll rises to 1,228 as Dr Jenny Harries warns UK could face up to six months of lockdown measures

The UK could face six months of lockdown measures in a bid to fight coronavirus, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jenny Harries has said. 

Speaking at the Covid-19 daily news conference, she said the current lockdown rules will be reviewed in three weeks after Easter but measures may be in place for much longer.

It comes as over 200 more patients have died in the UK after contracting coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths to 1,228, while 19,522 people have now tested positive.

Meanwhile, a consultant became the first frontline NHS healthcare worker to die after contracting the virus

Read our live updates below…

Live Updates

Here’s our latest coronavirus update from Europe:

Boy, 14, with coronavirus dies in Portugal, health ministry says

A 14-year-old boy with coronavirus has died, the Portuguese health ministry has said. Minister Marta Temido said on Sunday that the boy also had prior health conditions.

While the boy tested positive for the coronavirus, health experts still need to investigate if he died of the disease caused by the virus or other health problems, Mr Temido added.

Meanwhile, Portugal reported on Sunday that it has 119 total deaths from the virus and 38,042 infections.

Virgin Media criticised for putting lives in danger

Virgin Media has said it is taking all necessary precautions to protect staff after concerns were raised about workers installing products inside customers’ homes.

One engineer accused the telecommunications company of “putting its employees’ lives in danger” after workers were sent out to install television boxes and broadband modems in people’s homes despite the coronavirus lockdown.

A total of 1,228 people have died in the UK after contracting Covid-19 and 19,522 people have tested positive.

A motorist was stopped by a motorway patrol on a 224-mile round trip to buy a £15 item off eBay, police said.

The driver travelled from Coventry to collect the eBay purchase of windows in Salford, Greater Manchester, despite the public being warned only to make “essential” journeys due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After picking up his purchase in Salford, unfortunately the driver’s wife could not fit in the vehicle for the two-hour return journey south.

She was travelling in the boot of the car when they were pulled over by a motorway patrol on the M6 in Cheshire, according to a tweet by the North West Motorway Police Twitter feed.

Officers wrote out a Traffic Offence Report for the driver.

A woman will appear in court after allegedly coughing and spitting at a police officer responding to reports of a house party.

The 26-year-old is one of three woman arrested by Avon and Somerset Police after officers were spat on, coughed at and physically attacked in the force area over the weekend.

She was charged with assaulting an emergency worker after an officer attending reports of a house party in Bridgwater was coughed and spat at just after 7pm on Saturday.

In Bath, a 42-year-old woman was charged with two counts of assaulting an emergency worker – one relating to an officer being spat at – just after 7.30pm on Saturday.

A 36-year-old woman has also been charged with two counts of assaulting an emergency worker after officers were physically assaulted while attending a domestic-related incident in Bridgwater just before 8pm on Saturday.

Chief Superintendent Carolyn Belafonte said such incidents were particularly abhorrent amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Officers are simply trying to do their job to protect the public and keep our communities safe in these worrying times,” she said.

“They do not deserve to be assaulted in any way, particularly being spat on and coughed at.

“Anyone who does this can expect to be arrested and as we have already seen elsewhere they could face a prison sentence as a result.”

All three of the women arrested by Avon and Somerset Police on Saturday will appear before magistrates next month.

A man who repeatedly approached shoppers at a Tesco superstore has been charged with breaking coronavirus social distancing rules.

Steven Norman Mackie, 53, was allegedly out of his home without good reason and was approaching members of the public queuing at the Tesco store in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, on Saturday.

Police officers “advised” him about his conduct but he continued to approach people contrary to social distancing rules and Government guidelines on the restriction of movement during the emergency period, Greater Manchester Police said.

Chief medical officer Chris Whitty, who is self-isolating with symptoms of coronavirus, said:

I share the deep sadness about the death of Mr El-Hawrani that will be felt by the whole medical profession and wider NHS, and send condolences to his family on behalf of all of us.

Covid-19 is a risk to everyone, but clinical NHS staff are at the front line in battling this disease. Everyone is rightly inspired by the skill and dedication of our NHS staff like Mr El-Hawrani.

The action that everyone in the UK can do to reduce the risk to the NHS is to continue to follow Government advice on staying at home and social distancing. This is the practical support the NHS and its staff need from us all at the moment.

Ireland’s chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “Today, we are informed of a further 10 deaths. Our condolences are with the family and friends of all patients who have died as a result of Covid-19.

“While we continue to build our capacity for intensive care, our strategy remains to prevent people from needing intensive care in the first place.

“We know the virus will not survive if we prevent it from passing among ourselves.

“The enhanced restrictions announced on Friday aim to slow down and restrict the spread of the virus.”

“We are asking everyone to embrace the new restrictions and follow public health advice to stay home and restrict your movements for the next two weeks. It is in all our hands to interrupt the spread of this virus.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has written an open letter of thanks to social care workers for everything they have done in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

“I am acutely conscious that you, along with colleagues across the health and social care system, are on the front line caring for and supporting people in incredibly challenging circumstances,” the letter reads.

“Many of the people you care for will be in groups that are at higher risk from Covid-19 and I know that you will have naturally felt concerned for them.

“My main message to you is simple: thank you.”

Mr Hancock praised the workforce for “going the extra mile” to ensure vulnerable people are cared for while heeding Government social distancing advice on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

There were 200 new positive cases reported on Sunday, taking the total so far in the outbreak to 2,615.

Eight of the latest victims were male, two were female.

Six occurred in the east of the country, three in the north-west and one in the south.

The median age of the 10 people who died was 77.

Ten further people with coronavirus have died in Ireland, bringing the country’s death toll to 46, the National Public Health Emergency Team has reported.

Here’s our latest on the global death toll:

Exclusive just in…

James McAvoy donates £275k to NHS doctors’ appeal for virus protection

Actor James McAvoy has donated £275,000 to a doctors’ crowdfunder for vital protective equipment for NHS staff battling the coronavirus crisis.

The X-Men and His Dark Materials star made an initial payment of £25,000 on Saturday. This came before the group of doctors shared their plan to buy personal protective equipment (PPE) from a verified supplier, prompting McAvoy to donate a further £250,000.

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, who chairs the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, University of Cambridge, said: “It may seem callous to say that 209 deaths is reassuring, but it breaks the run of 30% daily increases we have seen recently.

“But it is still too early to claim that the curve is beginning to flatten off. It is also important not to over-interpret counts for single days: delays in reporting can lead to the numbers varying far more than one would expect by chance alone. For example, one of the deaths reported today actually occurred 13 days ago.”

Eleanor Riley, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Disease, University of Edinburgh, said: “It would be most unwise to infer any trend from a single day’s data.

“Only when the epidemic has peaked – which is some time away – and we get sustained daily reductions in new cases and then sustained daily reductions in deaths, will we know that are beginning to get on top of the epidemic.”

Responding to the latest total of 209 new deaths of patients who tested positive for Covid-19, Professor James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, University of Oxford, said that 209 deaths “are a terrible loss”.

He said: “It is true that this is less than might have been expected from exponential growth. However, daily numbers can be lower (or higher) than expected due to random factors. It is far too early to conclude that the lower number today than yesterday is not simply due to chance.

“I am confident that provided we follow social distancing the increase in deaths will stop and this will be followed by a decrease in the daily numbers. It averages two weeks from infection to onset of symptoms.

“For over 80% of people these symptoms are mild, for the much smaller number who develop the most serious illness, intensive care is needed around 10 days later. For those who do not recover but die, data from China suggests this takes around another four days. The tragic deaths today will be from people infected roughly a month ago. It is inevitable that there will be more tragedies for families ahead.

“We can reduce the final death toll only by following current Government advice. We must expect and welcome changes in Government advice as science, medicine and social science work together to learn more.”

Leeds City Council has announced that the Leeds West Indian Carnival will not take place in August for the first time in its 53-year history.

Dr Arthur France, chairman and founder of the carnival, said: “As carnivalists, we know how to unite the city through joy, happiness and adversity and it’s these qualities that will help us get through these difficult times.

“We will be back in 2021 bigger and better with an array feathers, gems, sequins, costumes and music.”

In a video posted on Facebook, Fabian Hamilton, Labour MP for Leeds North East, said: “We’re doing this for very good reasons, to help preserve life and to ensure that people don’t get infected from this terrible coronavirus.

“The carnival is something that we celebrate every year. It’s a festival that brings us together in joy and celebration of our wonderful area, of our city of Leeds, of our communities, of our vibrant cultural and social life together. And I know that next year it will be better than ever.”

Mr Jenrick said that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had been working “extremely hard” with British missions worldwide to bring those stranded abroad back to the UK.

“He has spent this weekend speaking with his counterparts in a range of countries, where there are citizens who we want to get back safely to the UK as soon as possible,” he told the briefing.

On arranging further rescue flights for those still abroad, Mr Jenrick said: “We haven’t ruled out repatriation flights and we are doing those in some cases.

“There is a flight ongoing at the moment, for example to Peru, to bring back a group of British citizens who have been in a difficult situation there.

“If we need to do more steps of that kind in the days ahead, then we will of course do so.

“We want to get those British citizens back safely to the UK.”

And here’s some the latest from the frontline:

Consultant becomes first NHS frontline worker with coronavirus to die

A consultant has become the first NHS frontline worker to die after contracting coronavirus, NHS England has said. Amged El-Hawrani, 55, died at Leicester Royal Infirmary last night, University Hospitals of Derby and Burton confirmed. He was an ear, nose and throat specialist. 

A spokesman for Dr El-Hawrani’s family said he was a “much-loved husband, son, father, brother, and friend” who “made a difference to thousands of lives”. The statement added: “He was the rock of our family, incredibly strong, compassionate, caring and giving.

Just in…

UK ‘could face up to six months before life gets back to normal’

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries told a Downing Street press conference that it could be six months or longer before the country gets back to normal from the coronavirus pandemic.

The lockdown measures will be reviewed in three weeks, she reiterated. Dr Harries said the Government would review lockdown measures in three weeks time.

Robert Jenrick said that he had heard the news shortly before the briefing that Dr Amged El-Hawrani had “very sadly passed away”.

“The deaths we are reporting daily at these press conferences are very sobering. Every death is a tragedy, we don’t want to see any unnecessary death,” he said.

Dr Jenny Harries said as a medical professional she usually would not comment on an individual case but added she was “very saddened” that a professional colleague had passed away.

“It clearly is a worrying event, it is worrying for the nation because it is another death in our statistics, it is another loss to a family,” she told the briefing.

“And it will be a loss to an NHS family as well.”

She added: “It is in no-one’s interests that we lose our colleagues.”

Dr Harries said the Government would review lockdown measures in three weeks time.

She said people had taken “quite some time to get used to this new way of living”, but there was evidence the country was getting better at social distancing.

She added: “The issue of the three weeks is for us to review where we are and see if we’ve had an impact jointly on the slope of that curve.

“But I think to make it clear to the public if we are successful we will have squashed the top of that curve, which is brilliant, but we must not then suddenly revert to our normal way of living that would be quite dangerous.

“If we stop then all of our efforts will be wasted and we could potentially see a second peak.

“So over time, probably over the next six months, we will have a three-week review.”



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