1. Health Services
Hospitals in England are to begin restoring some services which have been put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. NHS England ensured that 33,000 hospital beds were cleared to cope with an expected surge in coronavirus patients. The Health Service has successfully handled the inflow of COVID-19 patients. The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said the timing of when services re-started would depend on local need and the number of beds available at each hospital.
NHS England’s chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, has indicated that reintroducing some services will be considered now Matt Hancock has said that planning for some of that work would start from today with the main priorities being cancer care and mental health support.
Today (28.04.2020) at 11 o’clock the prime minister, Boris Johnson, and the labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, will take part in the tribute of a national minutes silence to honour health workers who’ve died during the pandemic.
3. New Zealand
Hundreds of thousands of people have gone back to work in New Zealand as the government there begins easing lockdown restrictions. Factories and building sites have re-opened as well as some takeaway food outlets but many other shops remain closed and strict social distancing will still have to be observed. The countries prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said there was still some difficulties to be faced. “I want to begin by stressing that at alert level 3 we are not out of the woods. As I have said before it is a recovery room of sorts to assess if the incredible work the New Zealanders have done at Level 4 to break the virus’ chain of transmission and prevent further community outbreak has worked”.
Public Health England says it believes substantially more prisoners (in England and Wales) may have been infected with coronavirus than the official figures suggest. It says it’s identified almost 1800 possible or probable cases on top of the 304 that have been confirmed.
Supermarkets have increased their online capacity to cater to people forced to isolate at home because of coronavirus. Tesco says social distancing has led to the kind of growth in grocery deliveries that it would normally take years to achieve. The company’s Chief Executive, Dave Lewis, says they’ve taken on thousands of temporary staff but they are still struggling to meet demand. “Before the crisis we would have about 600,000 delivery slots for grocery shopping and last week for the first time ever we delivered to more than a million delivery slots. S o capacity is up 67%. It’s still not enough. We’ll go again in the next 2 weeks and put another 200, 000 slots on to 1.2 million and I guess that won’t be enough either.”
6. Domestic Abuse
The minister for safeguarding Victoria Atkins said it was unacceptable that some children had to witness abuse in their own homes. The government is to provide over £3 million of funding to specialist services for children who’ve been affected by domestic abuse. A new domestic abuse bill will be debated in parliament today with labour proposing an amendment to secure £75 million of emergency funding for charities to address increased demand during the coronavirus lockdown.
It seems English footballers may not be as bad at taking penalties as we believe. The reputation of being poor at taking penalties stems from losing at the 1990 World Cup penalty shoot out. German scientists from the German Sport University in Colon have published research showing that English players are among the best in the world at scoring spot kicks in major tournaments at 90% of the time. The conversion rate falls to 60% in shoot outs. The report concludes that pressure created by the media and fans is much more likely to be the cause of the teams struggles.