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Britain wakes up to its largest COVID-19 daily death toll- but the real figure will be higher

Downing Street briefing 1st April 2020 led by Business Secretary Alok Sharma. Image: LMMNews screen grab.

On April 2nd 2020 Britain woke up to the media reporting the country’s highest daily death toll of 563 people from COVID-19, but the real figure will be higher.

The country is not as yet reporting those people dying at home and in care homes who suffered from the virus.

Nor is there a large-scale testing programme that succeeds in accurately tracking the extent of infections and indeed fatalities.

The human tragedy is harrowing and incalculable for the grieving families affected, their friends and colleagues.

In London a 13 year old boy died from the disease in hospital. His family could not be by his side.

The Guardian reports that a new document issued by the British Medical Association says if NHS services become overwhelmed ‘Virus patients more likely to die may have ventilators taken away.’

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is isolated in Downing Street suffering from COVID-19 and posted a video to try and reassure the public that the testing programme for NHS workers and others would improve.

 

Britain’s newspapers publish headlines and editorials criticising and condemning the national situation.

An unwell looking PM during his Wednesday night video 1st April 2020. Image: LMMNews screen grab.

The rudest headline directed at the Prime-Minister is from the tabloid Daily Star which says: ‘Now get a bleeding grip Bojo.’

No apparent sympathy for Mr Johnson who looked visibly ill and suffering when recording his message last night.

Deficiencies in the UK’s testing for coronavirus in national newspapers is the main theme.

Conservative leaning news publishers such as the Telegraph said there were ‘questions without answers.’

The Daily Mail’s front page headline is ‘550,000 NHS Staff Tested, Only 2,000 Tested.’

The Times headline is ‘Virus Testing Plans in Chaos.’

The Daily Mirror has described the situation as ‘a shambles.’

Metro illustrated the contrast between the ‘sublime’ effort to prepare the Nightingale Hospital and the ‘ridiculous’ situation of frontline NHS workers still being short of vital protective equipment.

The Sun newspaper avoided criticising the government on its front page and called for a weekly clap for NHS workers every Thursday evening.

The Speaker of the House of Commons and opposition parties exploring recall of a ‘Virtual Parliament.’

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, says Britain’s parliament is investigating how it can operate virtually, to scrutinise the government even if lawmakers cannot physically attend debates.

Parliament closed early for its Easter break last month and was not planning to reconvene until April 21st.

The government introduced sweeping restrictions on daily life, ordering people to stay at home to limit the spread of coronavirus and only travel to work if strictly necessary.

That has effectively shutdown scrutiny of the government, with no existing protocols for teleconference political debates in place to replace the archaic debating system inside parliament’s Westminster Palace.

 

Devastation to the British economy- nearly a million claim Universal Credit in less than two weeks.

The Department for Work and Pensions said 950,000 successful applications for the payment have been made between 16 March, when people were advised to work from home, and the end of the month.

The department would normally expect 100,000 claims in a two week period.

Officials said they were working ‘flat out’ to help people get support.

But Labour said the figures were ‘truly shocking’ and the government ‘must wake up and take action.’

 

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