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Donald Trump stops US funding to WHO

Donald Trump has halted funding to the World Health Organization after accusing it of helping China to cover up the spread of coronavirus. The president announced he was cutting between $400million and $500million of funding to the UN-backed body on Tuesday after accusing it of taking China’s alleged lies about the spread and mortality rate of coronavirus at face value. He said those alleged blunders had allowed the virus to spread and caused deaths that could have been avoided. Speaking on the White House lawn, Trump followed through on a threat he first made last week, saying: ‘Today I am instructing my organization to halt funding of the world health organization while a review is conducted to assess the WHO’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus. ‘(The WHO) failed to investigate credible reports from sources in (the Chinese city of) Wuhan that conflicted government accounts and credible reports of human to human transmission in December.

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The president announced he was cutting between $400million and $500million of funding to the UN-backed body.

Ken Uwotu

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Government buys 3.5 million antibody tests for home use

The Government has announced that Britons will be able to conduct coronavirus antibody tests at home, with finger-prick kits that will be available from Amazon and Boots.
But what are these tests – and do they work?
What is an antibody test?
An antibody test can detect if a person has had coronavirus before and has since recovered. The test, carried out by a device that pricks your finger for blood, works this out by testing your blood for coronavirus antibodies to see if they have already beaten the virus and gained some immunity to it. It can do this in about 15 minutes.
The coronavirus swab test that the Government currently uses can only tell whether a person has the virus, not if they have had it and recovered. These swab tests also take much longer to get a result.
The antibody test is also known as a “serological test”.

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An antibody test can detect if a person has had coronavirus before and has since recovered.

Ken Uwotu

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Hellocare Consulting Team

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Michael Gove’s daughter gets special treatment on testing

Michael Gove has come under fire after it was revealed his daughter was tested for coronavirus just days after showing symptoms. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster first faced questions after he was photographed jogging in a park while he was believed to be in isolation. His daughter, 17, had shown symptoms of the virus, and under government guidelines, this means members of household need to stay inside for a period of 14 days. Defending his actions, Gove reportedly said he had received special permission from Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty to have his daughter tested for Covid-19. She had first shown ‘mild’ symptoms on April 5 and he received permission 24 hours later, the Mail Online reports. They said: ‘She was tested on Tuesday and the result came back negative on Wednesday afternoon, at which point the household isolation rules no longer applied to the family.’ 

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Michael Gove’s daughter was tested for coronavirus just days after showing symptoms.

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UK Government ‘doesn’t expect’ to relax  lockdown

The government does not expect to relax or lift the coronavirus lockdown later this week, Dominic Raab has said.

The foreign secretary, who is deputising for Prime Minister  Boris Johnson  as he recovers from the coronavirus, said there are some “positive signs” from the data that show “we are starting to win this struggle”.

But he warned: “We are still not past the peak.”

He was speaking at the government’s daily COVID-19 press conference, which comes ahead of the first review of the UK’s lockdown measures on Thursday.

The stringent restrictions, imposed last month in order to try to halt the spread of the virus, are widely expected to be extended.

Ministers have said they want to be certain the UK is past the peak of the epidemic before they ease the conditions of the lockdown.

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19 NHS workers have now died after contracting coronavirus.

Ken Uwotu

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92 care homes record Corona Virus outbreaks in 24 hours

Covid-19 outbreaks have been recorded at 92 care homes in the UK in a single day, the chief medical officer has confirmed.  Professor Chris Whitty said around 13.5% of care homes had registered an outbreak. ‘In the last 24 hours there have been 92 care homes where an outbreak has been detected,’ he added during the daily press briefing on Monday. ‘If an outbreak is suspected, public health authorities will go in to do testing to assess if an outbreak has taken place.’.

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Professor Chris Whitty said around 13.5% of care homes had registered an outbreak.

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Split in government over extension of lockdown

Boris Johnson’s cabinet is reportedly torn over when to end the UK’s lockdown – with some ministers arguing that is should continue for another six weeks. The current social-distancing restrictions were put in place for a period of three weeks on March 23, with the last day due tomorrow. However, the government has already stated that these measures will continue past the deadline. So-far 9,875 people have died from Covid-19 in the UK.

A Cabinet source has now revealed that ministers are split between wanting to save lives and wanting to protect the economy, as some fear current action to keep the public safe could create bigger problems for the UK in the future. According to The Sun, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Priti Patel want the current lockdown to be extended by three weeks, while Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Michael Gove say the UK needs longer.
.

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A Cabinet source has now revealed that ministers are split between wanting to save lives and wanting to protect the economy.

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Estimated 1000’s care home deaths left off official records

Hundreds of people are dying in care homes from confirmed or suspected coronavirus without yet being officially counted, the Guardian has learned.

More than 120 residents of the UK’s largest charitable provider of care homes are thought to have died from the virus in the last three weeks, while another network of care homes is reported to have recorded 88 deaths. Care England, the industry body, estimated that the death toll is likely to be close to 1,000, despite the only available official figure for care home fatalities being dramatically lower. The Office for National Statistics said this week that 20 people died in care homes across the whole of England and Wales in the week to 27 March.

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Care England, the industry body, estimated that the death toll is likely to be close to 1,000

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Home Secretary apologies on failings’ over PPE

The Home Secretary has apologised over failings on personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus crisis. When pressed repeatedly to say sorry to NHS workers over a lack of PPE, Priti Patel said: ‘I’m sorry if people feel there have been failings.’ After being asked twice if she would apologise to NHS staff and their families over the lack of ‘necessary PPE’, she said: ‘I’m sorry if people feel that there have been failings. I will be very, very clear about that. But at the same time, we are in an unprecedented global health pandemic right now.’

The comments at today’s coronavirus press conference come after repeated complaints from NHS staff and medical experts that there has been a shortage of specialist equipment, amid suggestions that it has been putting lives at risk. 19 NHS workers have now died after contracting coronavirus.

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19 NHS workers have now died after contracting coronavirus.

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Hospitals suffering body bag shortage

Funeral directors and disaster relief charities are stepping in to help NHS hospitals in desperate need more body bags and personal protective equipment (PPE).

As medics continue to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, the GMB Union claimed hospitals in Surrey had asked staff to wrap deceased patients in plastic sheets. Now undertakers are being asked to share their supplies to plug the gap and international aid workers are donating body bags that they never imagined would be used in Britain.

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Now undertakers are being asked to share their supplies to plug the gap.

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Covid-19 vaccine could be imminent – Oxford Professor

A coronavirus vaccine could be available by September, according to a leading Oxford professor who is involved in its discovery. The UK death total due to Covid-19 currently stands at 8,958, while the total number of confirmed cases is 73,758. Any ease in the current lockdown restrictions could cause a new spike in cases until a vaccine is discovered. But Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, says she is ’80 per cent’ confident that the vaccine her team are working on would be successful.

Professor Gilbert is hopeful that the vaccine could be ready by September, while human trials are set to take place in the next two weeks. ‘I think there’s a high chance that it will work based on other things that we have done with this type of vaccine, Professor Gilbert told The Times.

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Professor Gilbert is hopeful that the vaccine could be ready by September.

Ken Uwotu

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