Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Wednesday evening. We’ll have another update on Thursday morning.
1. UK death toll passes 26,000
The number of people who have died with coronavirus in the UK now stands at 26,097. The government has revised the way in which it collects its figures – so deaths in care homes and the wider community have been included in its daily updates for the first time. The new method includes an additional 3,811 deaths since the start of the outbreak, so does not represent a sudden increase.
2. PM and fiancee announce birth of son
Boris Johnson and his fiancee, Carrie Symonds, announced the birth of their first child, a son. The prime minister – who was in intensive care for coronavirus treatment earlier this month – is understood to have been at the birth. No 10 released this picture of a beaming PM on his return to Downing Street this afternoon, where he will continue to lead the response to the pandemic.
3. UK schools to reopen in phases
Schools in England are expected to reopen in a “phased manner”, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has told MPs. Mr Williamson told the Education Select Committee this could involve some year groups returning before others. But he did not give a timetable for when this would happen, adding that it would depend on scientific advice.
4. US economy shrinks at fastest rate since 2008
The US economy suffered its biggest contraction since 2008 as a result of the lockdowns imposed across the country. The world’s largest economy shrank at an annual rate of 4.8%, official figures showed. But they do not reflect the full economic crisis there, since many of the restrictions were not put in place until March.
5. Swiss say young children can hug grandparents
Children under the age of 10 in Switzerland will now be able to hug their grandparents, the country’s authorities have said, after they concluded young children do not transmit the virus. The health ministry’s infectious diseases chief Daniel Koch said many grandparents “live to see their grandchildren” and that it was important for their mental health. The new advice applies to young children who show no signs of illness.
And don’t forget…
You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.
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