Monday 13 April 2020

Coronavirus: UK Enters Fourth Week Of Lockdown Ahead Of Review

As temperatures reached up to 70F in Brighton this group of young men in coats had to be moved off the beach on Sunday afternoon after police spotted the loiterers
The UK is facing its fourth week in lockdown, with the government set to review by Thursday whether social distancing measures can be changed.

Ministers are required by law to assess whether the rules are working, based on expert advice, after three weeks of telling Britons to stay at home.

On Sunday, the UK's total number of hospital deaths reached 10,612.

It comes as Boris Johnson thanked NHS staff after being discharged from hospital on Sunday.

Mr Johnson had spent a week at St Thomas' Hospital in London - including three nights in intensive care - where he was being treated for COVID-19 - the disease caused by the coronavirus.

It is unclear whether the prime minister - who is now recuperating at Chequers, his country home in Buckinghamshire - will take part in the review.

In a video message to the nation recorded after he left the hospital, 55-year-old Mr Johnson said it "could have gone either way" as he thanked NHS staff for saving his life.

He singled out two nurses - Jenny McGee from New Zealand and Luis Pitarma from Portugal - for caring for him at his bedside for 48 hours at the most critical time.

Ms McGee's brother, Rob, told TVNZ: "We are all so proud of Jen, and what she's been doing. Not just for Boris, but for every patient she looks after."

On Sunday, 737 new coronavirus-related hospital deaths were recorded, taking the total number to 10,612.

Mr Hancock said it marked a "sombre day" for the nation, as it became the fifth country to surpass 10,000 deaths, joining the US, Spain, Italy and France.

Sir Jeremy Farrar, a member of the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said the UK was likely to be "one of the worst, if not the worst affected country in Europe".

She is back at St Thomas' working the overnight shift, which points to why she is so special, Rob added.

Asked how long it would be before Mr Johnson returned to work, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it would be a "clinical decision for his doctors to take with him".

Speaking at the Downing Street briefing on Sunday, Mr Hancock insisted the government is "operating perfectly efficiently within the strategy that he set out."

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