Coronavirus in UK live blog: latest as 'UK set for further waves of coronavirus'

Follow the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak in our live blog below

Friday, 17th April 2020, 8:05 am
Updated Friday, 17th April 2020, 12:55 pm

We will be providing live updates until 6pm this evening.

An NHS staff member wipes her eyes as she holds a sign to thank British veteran Captain Tom Moore who raised over £13 million for the NHS (Photo: ANTHONY DEVLIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Coronavirus live blog, April 16

Last updated: Friday, 17 April, 2020, 17:32

UK is 'tight' on PPE gowns

Mr Hancock has admitted the UK is "tight on gowns" but that 55,000 more are due to arrive today.

Asked whether reports that some NHS trusts do not have enough gowns to get them through the weekend, Mr Hancock said: "As of this weekend we will have shipped 1 billion items of personal protective equipment across the UK - so this is a... I've called it a Herculean effort before, it is a massive undertaking.

"And it is understanding in a massive undertaking like that that there are complications and that there are challenges and I take responsibility for getting PPE out to everyone."

He added: "We are tight on gowns, that is the pressure point at the moment. We have another 55,000 gowns arriving today and we're working on the acquisition internationally of more gowns, but it is a challenge.

"And this follows changing the guidance 10 days ago which increased the advice on the use of gowns but also said that they should be used for sessional use rather than for individual patient use.

"And it is a big challenge delivering against that new guidance and we're doing everything we possibly can."

Leeds United legend Norman Hunter dies with coronavirus

'Further waves of coronavirus will hit UK'

Britain will face "further waves" of coronavirus and will probably have the highest death rate in Europe because the Government was "too slow" to act, a leading physician has warned.

Professor Anthony Costello, of University College London's Institute for Global Health, told a committee of MPs that the "harsh reality" is that "we were too slow with a number of things".

"If we're going to suppress the chain of transmission of this virus in the next stage we all hope that the national lockdown and social distancing will bring about a large suppression of the epidemic so far - but we're going to face further waves," he said.

"And so we need to make sure that we have a system in place that cannot just do a certain number of tests in the laboratory, but has a system at district and community level.

847 more deaths in the UK

In case you missed it, here's footage of a ferry in London performing a celebratory spin during yesterday's Clap For Carers.

Scottish OAP raising money by climbing equivalent of Highland mountain

A 90-year-old woman who is climbing the equivalent of a Highland mountain on her staircase has exceeded her target to raise £10,000 for the NHS and a hospice.

Margaret Payne plans to climb the height of Suilven - 2,398ft - by making 282 trips upstairs.

She said 99-year-old veteran Captain Tom Moore, who has raised more than £18 million for the NHS through a charity garden walk, inspired her to take on the climb.

Head teacher should think about how to reopen schools

Head teachers should start making preparations on how schools could reopen their doors to children amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a union leader has said.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), has suggested staggering the return of pupils, with Year 6s, Year 10s and Year 12s phased in first.

Mr Barton has urged heads to start thinking about how a return to school could be safely achieved once the health conditions permit it.

Head teacher should think about how to reopen schools

Head teachers should start making preparations on how schools could reopen their doors to children amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a union leader has said.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), has suggested staggering the return of pupils, with Year 6s, Year 10s and Year 12s phased in first.

Mr Barton has urged heads to start thinking about how a return to school could be safely achieved once the health conditions permit it.

Furlough scheme extended by one month

The Government's furlough scheme has been extended by another month until the end of June, the Chancellor has confirmed.

Rishi Sunak said the decision had been made in light of the continued social distancing measures which were extended for a further three weeks on Thursday.

The scheme, which allows firms to furlough employees with the government paying cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, was originally open for three months and backdated from March 1 to the end of May.

Alok Sharma is due to host today's daily press briefing at 5pm.

Stay tuned for live updates

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