Coronavirus news you might have missed overnight: UK hospitals run low on dialysis kits as Trump suggests ‘disinfecting injection’
The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact and shape every aspect of life across the world, killing nearly 200,000 people and infecting 2.7 million.
Here is your morning briefing of everything you may have missed overnight.
Hospitals running out of dialysis kits
Hospitals are running out of dialysis kits – vital blood filtration equipment which are being used to keep roughly a third of Covid-19 patients alive, medical professionals have told The Independent.
Doctors said they were already under pressure to use equipment conservatively and choices were needing to be made about which patients should receive the treatment, without which they would likely die within 24 hours.
“We are being asked to guess how many sets we will need four days in advance and bits of kit are being ferried between hospitals in taxis where those predictions aren’t known”, one consultant said.
White house scientists push back after Trump suggests injecting ‘something like’ disinfectant as treatment option
President Trump has again turned his hand to medicine – doubling down on his claims sunlight will kill the virus while asking aloud if “something like” an injection of disinfectant would help.
“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning,” the president, a noted germaphobe, said during his daily Covid-19 briefing in comments later rebuked by his own medical officials.
He added that the nation was “very close” to developing a vaccine. America’s top infectious disease official, Anthony Fauci, said a drug will take 18 months to develop.
Cases across Africa surging by 43 per cent
Cases of the virus across Africa have picked up by 43 per cent in the space of a week, according to the continent’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
John Nkengasong, head of the Africa CDC, said the state of testing across the 54 nations was “very disappointing”.
“As of this week in a continent of 1.3 billion people, just about 415 thousands tests have been conducted,” he said, urging governments to scale up testing.
The goal is to test 10 million people across the continent, he added. A recent warning from the World Health Organisation said the virus could kill more than 300,000 people in Africa and push 30 million into desperate poverty.
Testing to be made available for millions in UK
Key workers and their families will be able to access testing to see if they have coronavirus, the government has confirmed, opening the door for millions to check if they are infected.
NHS and social care staff, police officers, teachers, social workers, undertakers, journalists and those who work in supermarkets and food production are among those now eligible to register for a test online.
Announced at yesterday’s briefing by the health secretary, it comes as the government faces repeated scrutiny after claiming it would be conducting 100,000 tests a day by the end of the month. The most recent 24 hour data, covering the day up to 9am on 23 April, put the number of tests conducted at 14,629.
Boris Johnson could return on Monday
Boris Johnson could be back in Downing Street as early as Monday, it has been reported.
The PM has been gradually taken on more of his responsibilities from his Chevening country house as he recovers from a bout of Covid-19 that saw him hospitalised and kept in intensive care for a number of days.