Coronavirus in UK live blog as it happened: Queen to address the nation | Nurses among latest victims

Follow the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak in our live blog below

Friday, 3rd April 2020, 8:20 am
Updated Friday, 3rd April 2020, 6:02 pm

Scroll down and read our coronavirus live blog as it happens.

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A worker in PPE including gloves, a face mask, eye protection and an apron, swabs an NHS worker at a drive-in facility to set up to test for the novel coronavirus COVID-19, in the car park of Chessington World of Adventures (Photo: BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
A worker in PPE including gloves, a face mask, eye protection and an apron, swabs an NHS worker at a drive-in facility to set up to test for the novel coronavirus COVID-19, in the car park of Chessington World of Adventures (Photo: BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image: NHS)

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Coronavirus live blog, April 3

Last updated: Friday, 03 April, 2020, 14:43

Health Secretary: having coronavirus a 'pretty unpleasant experience'

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed what it was like recovering from coronavirus, an experience he described as "like having glass in my throat".

He said: "For me it was short-lived and I was able to come back to work yesterday and I'm in full health. But it is worrying. I've lost half a stone, it's quite a serious impact directly. But thankfully for me I could get through it."

100,000 tests a day 'guaranteed' by the end of the month

Asked if he can guarantee 100,000 tests a day will happen by the end of April, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Yes, it's got to happen.

"I've got a plan to get us there. I've set it as a goal. It absolutely is what the nation needs."

He said there is still a "huge amount of work to do" to get to that point.

"One of the things I tried to do yesterday was set out just some of the real-world challenges that there are. There are barriers, there will be bumps in the road and some of this is going to be very difficult."

Coronavirus to peak in the UK 'in the next few weeks'

The Health Secretary has said: "The modelling suggests that that peak will be slightly sooner than previous, in the next few weeks.

"But it is very, very sensitive to how many people follow the social distancing guidelines.

"The more people follow the social distancing rules, the sooner that peak will be. That is the only thing around this that we know for absolute sure."

Family of 13-year-old who died cannot attend his funeral

Two siblings of Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, the 13-year-old who died after testing positive for coronavirus, have developed symptoms including a temperature and loss of taste.

The development means his mother and six siblings are forced to self-isolate and cannot attend his funeral in Brixton on Friday

In a statement through GoFundMe, a family friend said: "Shaykh Sharif Zain will be leading the funeral and I will be delivering a short speech for the Abdulwahab family and a few close family and friends.

"We hope that we can send a live stream of the funeral to his mother and siblings so they can be there remotely, but they are obviously devastated that they can't be there in person again.

"It's extremely upsetting for everyone involved, but they have been very moved by the warmth and very positive messages of support from people following their appeal."

BBC unveils plans for children at home

The BBC has unveiled plans to support the education of "every child in the UK" and provide "rhythm and routine" for their frazzled parents.

BBC Bitesize will deliver daily online lessons for all age groups, while a programme, for BBC iPlayer, will be filmed in Match Of The Day's studio after the sports show was cancelled.

Just weeks after the Government was warned against "ramping up an unedifying vendetta" against the BBC, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden called the plans "public service broadcasting at its best".

Nurse dies with Covid-19

Walsall nurse Areema Nasreen, who was in intensive care on a ventilator, has died, friends have said.

A close friend of the 36-year-old mother-of-three, who worked at Walsall Manor Hospital, paid tribute to her on social media and confirmed she had died.

Fellow nurse Rubi Aktar said: "She was the most loveliest, genuine person you could ever meet, she went above and beyond for everyone she met.

"I am so broken that words can't explain. I can't believe I will not see your smile again."

Deaths in Spain rise by 932

Spain has released another grim death toll, this time 932 deaths have been recorded in the past 24 hours. 

Boris Johnson thanks hospital builders

Prince Charles opens Nightingale Hospital

The Prince of Wales has declared NHS Nightingale Hospital London open.

Charles appeared via video-link from his Scottish home of Brikhall and told those gathered at the entrance of the new temporary hospital: "It is without doubt a spectacular and almost unbelievable feat of work in every sense, from its speed of construction - in just nine days as we've heard - to its size and the skills of those who have created it.

"An example, if ever one was needed, of how the impossible could be made possible and how we can achieve the unthinkable through human will and ingenuity."

The plaque unveiled at the NHS Nightingale Hospital London says it was opened by the Prince of Wales on April 3.

"This plaque is a tribute to the engineers, members of the armed forces, NHS staff, contractors and public volunteers who helped to build this hospital in March 2020," it says.

Scottish deaths up by 46

A total of 172 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by 46 from 126 on Thursday.

3,001 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up from 2,602 the day before.

176 people are in intensive care with coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms, and increase of 14 on yesterday.

PM still has symptoms

First Minister gives her take on 100,000 tests figure touted by Health Secretary

The First Minister said it was not for her to set out the basis for the UK Government's target of 100,000 tests per day.

Nicola Sturgeon added that what the Scottish Government would do would proportionally equal what is being done on testing in the rest of UK, although the expansion to allow 3,500 tests per day was slightly higher proportionally than the UK.

The Scottish Government is also looking at how antibody testing can move Scotland out of lockdown, although the test does not currently exist in a "reliable form", the First Minister claimed.

Antibody tests not included in 100,000 tests

11,764 tests carried out yesterday

Public Health England said 11,764 tests were carried out on Thursday in England, while testing capacity for inpatient care in the country currently stands at 12,799 tests per day.

Queen to address the nation on Sunday night

The Queen is to address the nation at 8pm on radio and TV on Sunday night. 

In what is only her fourth public address for a crisis in her 68-year reign, the Queen will deliver a message on the coronavirus pandemic. 

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