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HomeUK NewsRishi Sunak leads today's daily coronavirus press briefing

Rishi Sunak leads today’s daily coronavirus press briefing

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak ,is leading the government’s coronavirus daily press briefing today

Chancellor Sunak has started today’s briefing by taking us through the latest COVID-19 figures. 60,734 have tested positive – up 5,492 since yesterday, 19,438 people have gone to hospital and 7,097 have now died – an increase of 938 fatalities since yesterday. 

Moving on to the PM’s health, he says Johnson remains in intensive care where his condition is improving. 

He has been sitting up in bed and engaging positively with the healthcare professionals.

The Foreign Office has just announced chartered flights have brought back 2,300 people – in the last week there have been flights from Ghana, Peru, Tunisia, Algeria, Ecuador, Bolivia and the Philippines.

It expects almost 4,000 people to return this week from India and South Africa alone, with more flights expected from Peru, the Philippines and elsewhere.

Sunak confirms £750m for charities

The chancellor promises to “do whatever it takes”, adding: “I am striving every day to keep that promise.”

He says a huge part of that is charities.

“There are over 170,000 charities [and] we will not be able to match every pound of funding they would have received this year,” says Rishi Sunak.

But, he announces a new £750m pot of cash for frontline charities across the UK – including hospices and charities helping domestic abuse victims.

Mr Sunak says £360m will be directly allocated by government departments, while £370m will go to smaller charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund, and £60m of that will go to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The chancellor also promises to match donations to the National Emergencies Trust as part of the BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser later this month “pound for pound”, with a minimum pledge of £20m.

He adds: “Charities teach us the lesson that the simplest acts have the potential to change lives.

“At this time, when many are hurting, tired and confined, we need the gentleness of charities in our lives.

“It gives us hope, makes us stronger and reminds us we depend on each other.”

When will schools re-open?

MoD chief scientific adviser Angela McLean says it would be “premature” to say whether this will be possible.

She adds a “longer run” of infections data will be needed to see when schools can reopen, adding “so much depends” on the trends.

NHS England’s medical director Stephen Powis says there are the “first signs of a plateauing” in the infections data.

He notes however this is “not the time to become complacent”, noting that without social distancing measures cases would otherwise be “steeply rising” on an “exponential curve”.

More to come soon…

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    Eve Cooper
    Eve Cooper
    I've been writing articles and stories for as long as I can remember and in the past few years I've had the fortune of turning that love & passion for writing into my job :)

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