/Coronavirus map LIVE: NHS could run out of 1bn items of protective gear on frontline

Coronavirus map LIVE: NHS could run out of 1bn items of protective gear on frontline

The dire prediction of shortages for NHS workers on the coronavirus frontline by the consultancy firm McKinsey was shared with ministers last week. Questions have also been raised about the quality of PPE.

A source told the Sunday Times: “There is ever-growing concern about PPE because the quality of Public Health England guidance has been woeful.

“Every day we run out of something, the advice is downgraded and we are now running at standards lower than [recommended by] the International Red Cross and the World Health Organisation.

“We have always been so smug about ourselves as a developed country, but now we have nations we send aid to watching us in horror.”

The Government has been under mounting pressure in recent weeks over desperate PPE shortages.

It comes as there have been 148,377 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and 20,319 people have died.

The Department of Health and Social Care department said: “We are working night and day to ensure our frontline health and social care staff have the equipment they need to tackle this virus.

“We constantly model the PPE we will need in the future in order manage new supplies and our stockpiles.”

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The NHS will be short of up to a billion items of PPE, according to a Government forecast (Image: GETTY)

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There have been 148,377 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and 20,319 people have died (Image: EXPRESS)

12.10pm update: Five new flights to bring Britons home from Bangladesh

More than 1,250 British travellers in Bangladesh are to be brought back to the UK after the Government chartered a further five repatriation flights amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Flights from Dhaka to London will take place between April 29 and May 7 and bring the total number of flights from Bangladesh organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to nine.

12pm update: Contact tracing app could be released ‘within weeks’

A contact tracing app could prevent one coronavirus infection for every one to two users who download it, according to an expert advising the Government.

Professor Christophe Fraser, from Oxford University’s Big Data Institute, warned the traditional way of contact tracing is not quick enough because of how rapidly the virus spreads.

Prof Fraser told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that around 60 percent of the population would need to download the app – which could be released “within weeks” – to prevent a resurgence of the outbreak.

Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab has rejected calls for an early lifting of the coronavirus lockdown (Image: SKY)

11.40am update: Iran’s coronavirus death toll rises by 60

Iran’s coronavirus death toll has increased by 60 to 5,710 on Sunday, while the number of cases has reached 90,481.

11.30am update: Spanish children allowed out for first time in six weeks

Spanish children left their homes today for the first time after six weeks under a strict lockdown.

It comes as Spain registered its lowest daily increase in the coronavirus death toll in more than a month.

Spain’s Health Ministry said on Sunday that 288 more people had died after being diagnosed with the virus, taking the total to 23,190.

The number of confirmed cases rose to 207,634 from 205,905 the day before.

10.50am update: Raab rejects calls for early lifting of coronavirus lockdown

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has been standing in for Boris Johnson, told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “We are at a delicate and dangerous stage.

“We need to make sure that the next steps are sure-footed, which is why we are proceeding very cautiously and we are sticking to the scientific advice with the social-distancing measures at this time, whilst doing all the homework to make sure that we are prepared in due course for the next phase.”

He added: “Until we can be confident, based on the scientific advice, that we are making sure-footed steps going forward that protect life, but also preserve our way of life, frankly it is not responsible to start speculating about the individual measures.”

Andy Burnham

Andy Burnham has said there should be a (Image: SKY)

10.30am update: Shadow minister for mental health urges patients not to avoid hospitals

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, who has been working shifts in A&E, told Sky’s Ridge On Sunday programme: “In the A&E departments, my colleagues and I have been finding that the number of patients worryingly is going down for other illnesses.

“My plea to anyone watching your show today Sophy would be if you have chest pain, if your child is ill, if you are worried that someone you love has got symptoms of a stroke, please, please go to the emergency department – we are ready and waiting for you.

“We don’t want to see a rise in deaths come out of those people who were too afraid to go to hospital because they were worried about contracting Covid-19.”

9.55am update: Greater Manchester Mayor calls for ‘standards-led’ easing of lockdown

Labour’s Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has said there should be a “standards-led” easing of the coronavirus lockdown, with the Health and Safety Executive deciding whether businesses can put effective social distancing measures in place to reopen.

Mr Burnham told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “I worry that if we’re going down the sectoral approach it could have heavy consequences for a city like Manchester, or say Blackpool – a town that really depends on tourism and hospitality.

“So the impact of a sectoral approach could hit certain places hard, so what I’m saying to the Prime Minister is think about a standards-led approach and actually create a national recovery council because we all need to have a voice in this debate.

“And these decisions that you are about to take are crucial to the economy of the North West of England and we need to be in the room debating it with you.”

He added: “Well I would have this overseen by the Health and Safety Executive so if people are making complaints that (social distancing) procedures aren’t being followed that there could be an investigation and people could be required to close again.”

Italy coronavirus lockdown

Italy will start reopening businesses on May 4 with schools following in September (Image: GETTY)

9.25am update: Coronavirus vaccine may not be ready until ‘well into the next year’

A coronavirus vaccine might not be ready until “well into the next year”, the former deputy chief medical officer for England has said.

Speaking to Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Professor Gina Radford said people should be “realistic” about the prospect of a vaccine.

She said: “Firstly we haven’t at the moment got a vaccine so we are having to start from scratch.

“We haven’t got a hugely good track record with vaccines for this particular virus, coronavirus, the family of viruses.

“But having said that everything is being thrown at it, there are researchers all over the world trying to identify a vaccine.

“We have never seen anything like the effort that is being put to discover this vaccine.”

9.10am update: China says all coronavirus patients in Wuhan have been discharged

Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak started, has no remaining cases in is hospitals, a Chinese official has said.

National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said: “The latest news is that by April 26, the number of new coronavirus patients in Wuhan was at zero, thanks to the joint efforts of Wuhan and medical staff from around the country.”

8.50am update: Italy to start reopening businesses on May 4

Italy will start reopening businesses on May 4 with schools following in September.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told Italian newspaper La Repubblica: “We are working in these hours to allow the reopening of a good part of businesses from manufacturing to construction for May 4.

The country was the first in Europe to impose a lockdown.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is set to go back to work on Monday after being struck down with coronavirus (Image: GETTY)

8.25am update: People entering UK will have to quarantine for two weeks

People entering the UK will have to quarantine for two weeks under new Government plans which are similar to measures imposed in Singapore.

A source told the Mail on Sunday: “A stringent, Singapore-style approach at our ports will help the UK manage the risk from travellers entering the country and reduce the possibility of a second peak.

“We are looking at deploying these measures at the right time, in line with the scientific advice and when community transmission has been significantly reduced.”

8am update: Armed Forces to operate mobile coronavirus testing units

The military will begin operating mobile coronavirus testing units across the UK.

The new units will test essential workers and vulnerable people in areas where there is “significant” demand, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

The mobile facilities can be set up in less than 20 minutes and tests hundreds of people each day.

7.40am update: PM to return to work on Monday

Boris Johnson is set to go back to work on Monday after being struck down with coronavirus.

The Prime Minister, who is said to be “raring to go”, faces a number of challenges including desperate shortages of PPE and the Government’s looming target of 100,000 tests a day by the end of the month.

There are also growing calls for the lockdown to be eased.

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