The latest figures from the 10th of April say 1,043 people have died from the virus in care homes in England and Wales although ministers have admitted that number is inaccurate. The Shadow Health Secretary John Ashworth says the government urgently needs to pull together a detailed plan for the sector. “If we’ve got residents in care homes that come down with Covid-19 why not move them into some of these empty beds in hospitals. We think there are thousands of empty general ward beds in hospitals. Let’s use those empty general ward beds for residents in care homes.” The Social Care Minister Helen Whately says that a huge amount of work was going on to try to manage and prevent outbreaks in care homes.
This morning an RAF plane arrived from Turkey to the UK carrying items of Personal Protective Equipment for NHS staff. Supplies of protective equipment are still very tight. There is a global shortage of PPE and what matters is countries should be collaborating and working together.
Scientists at Imperial College London are appealing for volunteers to take part in trials in a potential new vaccine for Coronavirus. They want to start testing the new drug in June. Professor Robin Shattock said it should be easier to develop a vaccine for the virus than other conditions such as flu and HIV. Unlike those other things where it’s a moving target, you’re having to keep ahead of the game as long as this virus stays relatively stable it’ll be very easy to lock our sights on it in terms of targeting a vaccine that will work.
The Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfields, has shown that she’s concerned that some youngsters become invisible during the crisis. Official figures have shown that only about 5% of vulnerable children have been attending school since the lockdown began last month.
Holiday Companies and Airlines
Holiday companies and airlines have been delaying or refusing to give refunds for trips cancelled because of the Coronavirus pandemic. They are effectively taking a back door bail out from consumers by holding on to their cash. The consumer group Which wants the government to step in with a temporary fund to stop firms. Many travel companies are struggling. This is a completely unique situation.
Consumer Price Index Inflation
New figures show the Consumer Price Index Inflation fell from 1.7% to 1.5% in March. The figures were collected before the lockdown. It’s thought to be down to the drop in the price of clothing and fuel.
The Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, is calling for parliament to approve a two week extension to the national lockdown until 10th May (incorrect BSL says 2nd May). However it’s not clear whether the lockdown will be extended again. There’s lively debate over how and when restrictions should be lifted in Spain especially as the virus’ impact appears to have stabilised over the last two weeks. Last week some industries were allowed to return to work. From this Sunday children will be allowed to leave their homes although only to take short walks accompanied by adults.
A pensioner, Bryan Davis went to hospital suffering with the Coronavirus and was put on end of life care and his family were allowed a last 15 minute visit. His wife Shirley returned home where she received an unexpected phone call last Friday from the hospital notifying her that he had been coming on in leaps and bounds and was now eating icecream. Today he is celebrating his 90th birthday.