Spain death toll falls as UK fatalities again top 900 and doctors' warning: COVID-19 daily bulletin
- The UK coronavirus death toll has increased by 917 to 9,875. It is the fifth highest number globally and Saturday's increase was the second day running that the death rate has increased by more than 900.
-Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel has warned that child abusers and fraudsters are looking to "exploit" the coronavirus outbreak to carry out crime with more people at home, and online.
-Spain's daily coronavirus death toll fell for the third day in a row on Saturday with 510 fatalities reported in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said. That's the lowest figure since 23 March.
- UK doctors are putting their lives at risk because they are still not receiving adequate protective equipment, says the British Medical Association. The doctors' union leader Dr Chaand Nagpaul said medics were facing "heart-breaking decisions" over whether they should carry on without proper protection.
- The UK public has been given a strong warning by Home Secretary Priti Patel to stay at home and police will be "unafraid to act" on those who disobey.
- The Netherlands health ministry has issued a call for proposals to develop "tracing" smartphone apps or software that could be used to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
- U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered officials to provide medical supplies, humanitarian relief and other assistance to Italy in its battle with coronavirus.
- Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said that the EU financial rescue plan was "still insufficient" and that he would "battle to the end" to secure an agreement on the issuance of common debt which is opposed by countries including Germany and the Netherlands.
- Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa has said that the Netherlands' attempt to block economic support to fight coronavirus has raised questions over the future of the European Union.
- Apple and Google said they will work together to create contact tracing technology that is aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 with users able to log phones they have been near.
- Premier League club Arsenal will provide more than 30,000 free meals as well as sanitary and hygiene products to vulnerable people in the local community, it said.
- A 93-year-old Turkish woman, Alye Gunduz, has left an Istanbul hospital after 10 days of coronavirus treatment. Chief physician Zekayi Kutlubay told AFP: "A 93-year-old woman walking out of intensive care safe and sound is inspiring for us as well as for other coronavirus patients at her age."
Nawied Jabarkhyl in London
From the fictional world of television to the very real pandemic sweeping across the world, a British TV drama called Holby City has donated working ventilators from its set to be used at the makeshift Nightingale Hospital in London, where people are being treated for COVID-19. It isn't clear why the program was using real-life ventilators or how many it provided, but the gesture is yet another example of the strange times we're living in.
Meanwhile, GP (general practician) doctors in the UK say only 7-8 percent of their appointments are now being done face-to-face since the coronavirus lockdown came into force.
The Royal College of GPs, which represents the industry, says "most of the consultations are taking place on the telephone." Some online appointments are also taking place via video link. Doctors are being urged to make sure vulnerable patients are correctly identified and cared for, but the staggering drop in physical GP visits could have long-term implications for the industry once the coronavirus measures are eased. Do we need to actually see our doctors?
The number of people who have died from coronavirus infection in France has jumped by nearly 987 or 8 percent to 13,197 as nursing home deaths swelled but fewer people were in intensive care as the effect of nationwide confinement started to show.
The total number of confirmed and probable coronavirus infections in the country rose on Friday by 7,120 to 124,869, although the ministry does not provide a total, splitting the number instead between cases in hospitals and cases in nursing homes.
That total number is set to increase as just under 5,000 out of 7,400 homes so far have reported coronavirus cases to the government, a ministry official told Reuters.
The Easter weekend is a highlight in Spain's tourism calendar but this year hotels and beaches are empty due to the social distancing measures that have been put in place following the coronavirus outbreak. There are some encouraging signs from the number of cases and deaths that Spain maybe over the worst but still the lockdown will be in place for at least until the last week of April.
Hotels realise that they are also likely to be last in the queue of services that will be allowed to reopen and the general impact on tourism of the coronavirus will have a significant impact on the Spanish economy. Normally the Costa Brava in the north east of Spain is bustling with people over Easter as thousands head to the coast, but despite the current lockdown, the mayor of Lloret de Mar Jaume Dulsat is optimistic for the months ahead. He told local media: "We are not giving up on the tourist season and our objective now is to try and save the peak season."
Still the situation currently is bleak. Lluis Parera, president of the Costa Brava-Pirineu de Girona Tourism Apartments Association said: "At this time of the year we usually have 30 to 40 reservations a day for summer but right now we are not having a single one."