The latest headlines in your inbox twice a day Monday – Friday plus breaking news updates
Boris Johnson has revealed “contingency plans” were made during his fight against Covid-19 in hospital, with doctors preparing to announce his death.
The Prime Minister spent three nights in St Thomas’ intensive care with the disease, where he said medics gave him “litres and litres of oxygen”.
His interview with the Sun On Sunday came amid growing calls for the Government to end the coronavirus lockdown in stages.
The British Chambers of Commerce called for ministers to immediately set out plans for a “carefully phased” lifting of restrictions, adding: “This is a time to be bold.”
Follow all the latest updates HERE…
New updates availableRefresh
The UK is being urged to unite in raising a glass to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day in the Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of World War Two, as the coronavirus crisis has changed the shape of planned commemorations.
Bruno Peek, Pageant Master of VE Day 75, said it had been “gut-wrenching” to have to cancel many of the events because of Covid-19.
But he is encouraging people to raise a drink of their choice at 3pm on Friday to unite in honouring those who “gave so much to ensure that we enjoy the freedom we have today”.
A former Government chief scientific adviser has assembled a group of experts to look at how the UK could work its way out of coronavirus lockdown.
Sir David King, who worked under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, reportedly said the group was designed to act as an alternative to the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
Concerns have been raised about a lack of transparency within SAGE, and a partial membership list of the group, which informs the Government’s coronavirus response, is to be published.
The Sunday Times reported the new group would broadcast on YouTube and aim to provide “robust, unbiased advice” to the Government.
Almost half of doctors have sourced their own personal protective equipment or relied on a donation when none was available through normal NHS channels, according to a survey.
The British Medical Association said, while PPE supplies have improved, their data from more than 16,000 doctors shows there is room for improvement in protecting healthcare workers on the frontline.
The organisation said its latest survey is the biggest one of frontline NHS staff during the coronavirus crisis.
Good morning and welcome to our live updates.
That’s all for our live coronavirus updates tonight.
For more read here:
Talks will be done over video conference call:
Post-Brexit trade talks to begin with US this week
The UK will begin the first round of post-Brexit trade deal talks with the US on Monday.
It comes as the Government seeks to strike an “ambitious” relationship which “opens up new opportunities” to UK businesses.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and US trade representative Robert Lighthizer will launch the negotiations via video call due the coronavirus lockdown measures.
Mr Johnson told the paper “the bloody indicators kept going in the wrong direction” and that he kept asking himself: “How am I going to get out of this?”
He said: “It was hard to believe that in just a few days my health had deteriorated to this extent. I remember feeling frustrated. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting better.
“But the bad moment came when it was 50-50 whether they were going to have to put a tube down my windpipe.
“That was when it got a bit . . . they were starting to think about how to handle it presentationally.”
He said he was “in denial” initially about how serious his illness was, and said doctors were right to “force” him to go to St Thomas’s where he spent three nights in intensive care.
PM reveals doctors prepared to announce his death amid virus battle
Boris Johnson has said doctors prepared to announce his death as he battled coronavirus in intensive care.
The Prime Minister told the Sun On Sunday: “It was a tough old moment, I won’t deny it. They had a strategy to deal with a ‘death of Stalin’-type scenario.
“I was not in particularly brilliant shape and I was aware there were contingency plans in place.
“The doctors had all sorts of arrangements for what to do if things went badly wrong.
The contact tracing app is part of the Government’s strategy to help ease the lockdown:
Government ‘optimistic’ Brits will download virus contact tracing app
The Government is “optimistic” people will download a phone app to trace the spread of coronavirus.
However, it has also conceded the task to get the contact tracing system running remains “significant”.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Saturday that he thought the “vast majority” of people would download the app and “play their part” – though insisted it was just one element of the plan to stop the spread.
The latest fatalities on the frontline:
Nurse and healthcare worker become latest NHS staff to die with virus
A nurse and a domestic services assistant have become the latest healthcare workers to die after contracting coronavirus.
“Caring mother and wife” Philomina Cherian, 63, died on April 30 at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital after 40 years working as a nurse.
Meanwhile, Ray Lever, who was a domestic services assistant at the Northern General Hospital, died on Saturday and has been remembered as a “perfect dad and grandad”.
Joe Wicks will be back on Monday:
Joe Wicks: ‘I’ll be back for PE class on Monday’ after hand surgery
Joe Wicks says he will be back for his PE class on Monday after undergoing hand surgery.
The Body Coach, 33, has been updating fans with his progress while in hospital after falling off his bike.
Wicks has been dubbed the ‘Nation’s PE teacher’ as he leads online lessons, especially directed at children as they isolate at home. He said the surgery is over and paid tribute to the NHS.
More than 65,000 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Italy and France report huge drops in death toll
Italy recorded just 192 deaths in the past 24 hours – the lowest daily rise since 14 March.
France has also reported that the national death toll in hospital and care homes has increased by 166, to a total of 24,760.
It’s a significant drop from the 218 deaths recorded on Friday.
There are still close to 26,000 people in hospital with Covid-19 in France but that figure has been going down for more than two weeks.
Earlier today, France extended a health emergency by two months, allowing the government to prolong anti-virus measures. The country plans to ease its lockdown from 11 May.
Joe Wicks says he will be back for his PE class on Monday after having surgery on his hand.
The Body Coach, 33, has been updating fans with his progress while in hospital after falling off his bike.
He said the surgery is over and paid tribute to the NHS.
The wires have been taken out…. it was infected,” he said in a video on Instagram Stories.
I’m staying in tonight to have… antibiotics and a bit more paracetamol then I’ll be home tomorrow morning, back to my family.
So see you Monday morning, PE With Joe.
Earlier, Wicks, who is donating the money raised from his online PE lessons to the NHS, posted a video of himself “gowned up” with “the socks on” and waiting for his operation.
He said the pain from the “infection” in his hand was “throbbing and pulsating like liquid hot magma”.
Here’s the latest from London:
Gay and bisexual men excluded from donating plasma to Covid-19 trials
Gay and bisexual men have reportedly been told they cannot donate their plasma to coronavirus trials at a London hospital.
A potential treatment for Covid-19 using plasma from recovered patients is to be trialled by doctors at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital.
It is hoped the potential treatment, known as convalescent plasma, will help patients whose bodies are not producing sufficient antibodies to fight the virus.
‘Some signs’ younger children less likely to transmit virus – Dr Harries
There are “some signs” that younger children are potentially less likely to transmit coronavirus, although the quality of the evidence for this is “difficult”, England’s deputy chief medical officer has said.
Dr Jenny Harries said it may also be the case that those of infant school age are “less susceptible” to Covid-19.
Speaking at the daily Downing Street briefing on Saturday, she said:
What we do know for children is that if they get infected … younger children probably tend to have less clinical disease, and if they have clinical disease – ie, they show some symptoms – they tend to progress less frequently to severe disease, so that’s pretty good.
The bit that is perhaps still in the unknown box at the moment, and some of our prevalence studies will really help us understand, is the transmission of disease.
The quality of the evidence is quite difficult at the moment, so you shouldn’t take this as the truth, but there are some signs, let’s put it that way, that potentially younger children – and I mean, say infant junior school age – are less susceptible to disease and potentially transmit it less.
But those are very early indicators, if you like, and they need testing with proper robust evidence.
Dr Harries’s comments came in response to a question on the impact of school closures during lockdown on parents and their children’s education.
Sam Schmidt becomes donor amid the pandemic
Stem cell donor campaigning to beat blood cancer
A stem cell donor is urging people to sign-up after registration numbers drop by more than 50 per cent from this time last year.
Lockdown was the last thing on Sam Schmidt’s mind when he got the call to say that they had found a match and he was going to be the donor. He had been expecting that call since his registration last year.
Drinks at the pub may be a long way off yet:
Ray Lever, a domestic services assistant at Northern General Hospital, has died with Covid-19, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said.
He had previously worked in patient areas but was transferred to work in non-patient areas early on in the outbreak, the trust said.
Mr Lever’s daughters Rachel, Kathryn, and Rebecca said in a statement:
Dad was the perfect dad and grandad and nothing was ever too much trouble for him if it meant helping someone else. He was always cheerful and loved a laugh and joke.
Our world will never be the same but we are so grateful for the unbelievable care he received from the teams at Sheffield Hospitals for his current illness and on previous occasions.
Nothing was too much trouble and they did everything they could including answering all our questions, keeping us updated about Dad and providing protective clothing and support so that one of us could be with dad until the very end. This was a huge comfort to us.
They even fulfilled his last request to have a drink of beer by sending someone out to get a bottle of his favourite tipple. A small gesture but it demonstrated the kindness of an incredible team.
Spot the difference: Here’s a peep into the Ramsays’ lockdown activities
Gordon Ramsay swaps clothes with daughter in hilarious TikTok
Gordon Ramsay and his daughter swapped clothes in a hilarious TikTok video where they pretend to cook together.
Tilly Ramsay, the celebrity chef’s 18-year-old daughter, shared a clip of the pair dancing and pretending to stir a pot of food to the social media platform on Saturday.