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The UK lockdown has been extended by a further three weeks, as Dominic Raab promised light at the end of the tunnel and said Boris Johnsons original three-month timeline to come through the peak of the virus was broadly still the outline.
The foreign secretary warned there would be no returning to business as usual with China after the coronavirus pandemic, as he and Frances Emmanuel Macron joined the United States in criticising Beijings handling of the crisis.
The death toll in Wuhan where the outbreak was first discovered has been revised upwards by 50 per cent, from 2,579 to 3,869, amid scepticism that the true numbers were being accurately reflected.
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Meanwhile, Donald Trumps approval ratings plummeted, as he unveiled guidelines he wants governors to use to craft their own plans to reopen their states, claiming the US wants to be open, despite being the hardest-hit country in the world.
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Coronavirus causes surge in dog and cat meat sales in Vietnam and Cambodia, investigators saySales of dog and cat meat have risen in Vietnam and Cambodia since the outbreak of the coronavirus because people believe it has warming properties that head off flu viruses, an investigation has found, Jane Dalton reports.
Even some hospital doctors recommend the meat to patients, claiming it helps protect them from cold weather and recover from surgery, according to campaigners.
But experts say caging the animals in large numbers and slaughtering them in insanitary conditions actively increases the chances of starting dangerous diseases, and there is no evidence of the meat having any beneficial effects.
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  • Andy Gregory
  • 17 April 2020 08:11

Raab warns ‘end to business as usual’ with ChinaMr Raab said the UK will want an international deep dive investigation into the causes of the pandemic and the reason why it was not stopped earlier.
He was speaking amid growing calls from Conservatives for a reset of the UKs relationship with Beijing, with former Tory leader William Hague saying Britain needs to take a tougher line on issues like the involvement of Huawei in 5G telecoms networks in order to avoid becoming strategically dependent on the communist state.
Mr Raabs comments came after a telephone conference with G7 leaders including US president Donald Trump, who has directly accused China of lying about the death toll from coronavirus and even repeated an unconfirmed story suggesting the disease may have originated in a Chinese laboratory.
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  • Andy Gregory
  • 17 April 2020 08:10

Raab says ‘light at end of the tunnel’ as he extends lockdownMr Raab said their was “light at the end of the tunnel”, but warned lifting restrictions too soon could risk a second peak of Covid-19.
The foreign secretary stated the original three-month timeline to come through the peak of the virus, set down by Boris Johnson, was broadly “still the outline”.
Announcing the lockdown extension, Mr Raab said the government needed to be satisfied of five things before it would consider it safe to adjust the current measures.
They are:
– Protect the NHS’s ability to cope and be confident that the NHS is able to provide sufficient critical care across the UK- A sustained and consistent fall in daily death rates to be confident the UK is beyond the peak- Reliable data from government scientific advisers showing rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board- Confidence that testing capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE) are in hand with “supply able to meet future demand”- Confidence that any adjustments to the current measures would not risk a second peak in infections.

  • Andy Gregory
  • 17 April 2020 07:43

Matt Hancock to face grilling from MPs later todayThe health secretary will likely face questions on PPE and a lockdown exit strategy as he appears before a virtual session of the Commons Health Committee.
Labour leader Sir Keir has accused the government of not taking decisions fast enough during the emergency – a sentiment which appears to be growing among the British public, who overwhelmingly approve of the extended lockdown, polling suggests.

  • Andy Gregory
  • 17 April 2020 07:39

Good morning, we’ll be giving you all the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic here.

  • Andy Gregory
  • 17 April 2020 07:28