Government and policy update from the New Statesman

14 April 2020 (Last Updated April 15th, 2020 08:51)

United Kingdom: The UK could be in lockdown for at least another month, the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said yesterday. Vallance said he expected the number of coronavirus-related deaths to continue rising this week, before reaching a plateau that could last up to three weeks. Only when the UK was “on the other side” of that peak would it be safe to relax restrictions, he said. His comments were backed by the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Scientific leaders will meet later today to discuss the impact of the coronavirus lockdown, and the government is set to extend lockdown measures on Thursday. 

Johnson continues to recover at Chequers after leaving hospital on Sunday. Hours after he left St Thomas’ Hospital in south London, he paid tribute to the NHS staff that had cared for him, adding that they had “saved my life, no question”. Johnson and his medical team have not set any timetable for his recovery, and a spokesman said yesterday that the prime minister was “not carrying out any government work”.

The UK government is reviewing its advice on wearing face masks after a senior British scientist at the World Health Organisation suggested the protection would soon be universal.  

France: President Emmanuel Macron said coronavirus restrictions would lift on 11 May as long as the number of cases continued to drop and citizens were “civic, responsible and respected the rules”. 

Spain: Some workers previously deemed “non-essential”, including construction workers, returned to work as the daily coronavirus death toll continued to fall. 

India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended the nationwide coronavirus lockdown until 3 May. The announcement came on what was to be the final day of the initial lockdown period. 

US: Deaths and hospitalisations continued to fall in New York, with governor Andrew Cuomo declaring “the worst is over”. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump claimed “total authority” over the country’s pandemic response. 

Russia: President Vladimir Putin said the military could be deployed to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak. The country reported its highest daily infection figures yet on Monday, and Putin said the situation was “changing practically every day, and unfortunately not for the better”. 

 

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