Coronavirus: The 15 major developments that happened on Friday

Yahoo News UK
A medical worker wearing a protective face mask and screen, disposable gloves and a plastic apron, takes a swab at a coronavirus drive-through testing centre. (Getty Images)
A medical worker wearing a protective face mask and screen, disposable gloves and a plastic apron, takes a swab at a coronavirus drive-through testing centre. (Getty Images)

Here’s what you need to know on 1 May. This article was updated at 5pm.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Deaths: The number of people in the UK who have died after being infected with coronavirus has risen by 739 to 27,510. Read more here.

The death rate of coronavirus is twice as high in deprived areas compared to richer areas. The most deprived areas had 55.1 deaths per 100,000 people – more than double that of people in the least deprived areas, where the death rate was 25.3, according to figures from England and Wales published by the Office for National Statistics on Friday. Read more here.

Policy: Boris Johnson is not expected to announce any changes to coronavirus lockdown measures before Thursday, the official deadline to renew restrictions. The Prime Minister has promised to set out the plans for how it will be eased next week. Read more.

More than 200 ventilators ordered from China which were heralded as vital to NHS efforts to tackle coronavirus have been deemed unsuitable and potentially dangerous. The ventilators had to be ditched. Read more here.

Face masks may only bring “modest” health benefits and don’t necessarily make a “huge difference”, a government minister has said. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said wearing face masks is a “personal choice” and while they bring modest benefits, they could help boost public confidence. Read more here.

Lockdown: Two-thirds of Britons would feel uncomfortable attending large public gatherings, like sports events or concerts after the UK’s coronavirus lockdown measures are eased, a new poll suggests. Read more here.

Testing: The UK met its target to test 100,000 people per day for COVID-19 by the end of April. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, praised all those involved as he confirmed there were 122,347 tests were performed in the 24 hours up to 9am on 1 May. Read more here.

Track and trace: Matt Hancock announced the implementation of test, track and trace, with contact tracers in place by mid-May to monitor how the virus might be spreading. He indicated he would be willing to appoint more than the 18,000 currently planned, and said: “The combination of contact tracers and new technology, through our new COVID-19 NHS app, will help tell us where the virus is spreading and help everyone to control new infections.”

Finance: Victoria Beckham has reversed a decision to furlough staff who work for her fashion brand. The designer said the application to the government had been withdrawn. Read more here.

NHS: A senior NHS England director has warned care homes will be the route through which COVID-19 spreads back into the community. Read more here.

Health: Dermatologists have said there are five skin conditions linked to coronavirus, including chilblains and blisters. But they have urged the public not to self-diagnose. Read more here.

Experts have largely dismissed a paper that suggests yoga could protect against the coronavirus. A team in India said yoga was not being considered enough, but experts said the claims were “dubious”. Read more here.

Rest of the world

US President Donald Trump claims he has seen proof the virus came from a lab in China. But US intelligence agencies have debunked a conspiracy theory, saying they have concluded that coronavirus was “not man-made or genetically modified”. Read more here.

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of COVID-19 cases in your local area

6 charts and maps that explain how coronavirus is spreading

Positive news

The number of coronavirus recoveries worldwide has topped one million. According to figures published by Johns Hopkins University, the number of people who have recovered from the virus stood at 1,014,916 on Friday. Read more here.

McDonald’s has revealed it will reopen its first UK restaurants for delivery on May 13 after shutting sites due to the coronavirus lockdown. After temporarily shutting all of its 1,270 UK restaurants on March 23 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, McDonald’s will now be offering a limited menu when it reopens locations around the country. Read more here.

What to read next