Coronavirus latest – summary
- Boris Johnson says UK is ‘past the peak’ of COVID-19 as he leads the daily briefing – watch in the video player and read our blog posts below
- UK COVID-19 deaths increase by 674 in the last 24 hours, with 6,032 new infections
- The PM promises a “comprehensive plan” next week for easing the lockdown
- France and Italy in recession, Spain GDP in record fall, German unemployment soars
- European Central Bank ramps up measures to cushion Europe’s economic plunge
EU Commissioner Vestager lukewarm over plans to cancel flights refund scheme
Spain records lowest number of daily deaths in over a month — 268 in 24 hours
‘Clear-cut’ evidence drug remdesivir shortens coronavirus recovery time
Trump will not extend social distancing guidelines even as US death toll passes 60,000
Boris Johnson promises COVID-19 lockdown exit plan next week
The British prime minister, leading the daily coronavirus briefing for the first time since his return to work after being hospitalised earlier this month, said the UK was “past the peak” and on a “downward slope”.
But he set no date for easing the lockdown, instead saying he would announce a “comprehensive plan” next week, and setting out conditions to be met.
It comes as other European countries have set out dates for reopening businesses and schools.
The Conservative government is also under pressure over the country’s testing programme and rising deaths, especially in care homes.
Full story here:
COVID-19: Boris Johnson promises UK lockdown exit plan next week
The UK Prime Minister said five key tests must be met to ease lockdowns, to avoid a second spike in coronavirus cases.
That’s it for tonight. Join us for more live updates on Friday from 0600 CEST.
How and when do European countries plan to ease lockdown restrictions?
Most European countries have been setting out tentative plans to ease lockdowns imposed to combat the spread of the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus.
Here is a look at the state of play in a selection of them.
COVID-19: How and when do European countries plan to ease lockdowns?
Bosnia: Lockdown failure led to virus case spike in Republika Srpska
Authorities in Bosnia’s semi-autonomous Serb-run territory said that a failure to enforce strict social distancing over Orthodox Easter has led to a sharp spike in newly registered coronavirus cases.
Bosnian Serb authorities tolerated gatherings in several churches, despite Republika Srpska’s restrictions on public activity during Orthodox Easter on April 19.
Epidemiologists in Republika Srpska reported Thursday that 53 confirmed virus cases were recorded in the region over the past 24 hours.
A day earlier, the region registered 59 new cases, more than on any other single day since Bosnia’s coronavirus outbreak started in early March.
People have been urged to continue practicing social distancing and to keep wearing face masks in public despite the gradual easing of coronavirus restrictions that began this week.
Republika Srpska and a Bosniak-Croat federation make up ethnically divided Bosnia, which has a population of 3.5 million.
So far, over 35,000 people in the country have been tested for the novel coronavirus.
Officials reported that total COVID-19 confirmed cases during the pandemic reached 1,757 as of Thursday, including 69 deaths. (AP)
Russian PM tests positive to COVID-19
Mikhail Mishustin, Russia’s Prime Minister, revealed he has contracted the virus and has told President Putin he needs to self-isolate.
“As a result, I must observe self-isolation and fulfill my doctors’ orders, which is necessary to protect my colleagues,” he added.
Mishustin, 54 was named prime minister in January.
First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov will temporarily perform Mishustin’s duties, AP reports.
French death toll now at 24,376
France releases COVID-19 map
Italy’s death toll rises by 285
Johnson 4/ Boris Johnson’s briefing was followed by a video to illustrate the importance of getting infection rates down.
The prime minister said it was vital not to lose control and hit a “bigger mountain”. The fifth test meant that nothing should lift the ‘R’ rate of infection above 1 — the figure meaning a rate where every person with COVID-19 infects one other.
Boris Johnson’s caution reflected a series of tweets he put out an hour or so before the briefing:
Johnson 3/ The 5 tests to satisfy in order to ease the lockdown are…
i) ensure the NHS (UK health service) is protected and able to cope
ii) there must be a sustained fall in deaths
iii) we must be sure the infection rate is falling
iv) we must be able to overcome operational and logistical challenges over PPE (personal protective equipment)
v) and most importantly, the government must be sure that measures taken do not risk a second spike in coronavirus cases that would overwhelm the NHS