Some police officers in the UK may have gone a little too far in enforcing the coronavirus lockdown, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has admitted, after people were summonsed to court for going for a drive and shopping for “non-essential items”.
Meanwhile the World Bank has warned the Covid-19 outbreak is causing “an unprecedented global shock” which is expected to sharply slow growth in developing economies in East Asia and the Pacific as well as China.
It comes after the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, announced a £75m plan to repatriate as many as 60,000 British travellers stranded overseas by the increasing number of travel restrictions during the pandemic.
On Monday the number of Covid-19 cases passed 750,000 worldwide.
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Coronavirus news you might have missed overnight
The coronavirus pandemic continues to cause chaos in the UK and around the world.
Here’s your morning briefing of everything you may have missed overnight, by Chiara Giordano.
How will government plan to bring back stranded Britons work?
These are the key questions, answers and Independent predictions about the government’s plans for a £75m airlift of British nationals stranded abroad due to the global coronavirus shutdown, by Simon Calder.
Over 580 Germans have died of coronavirus
The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Germany has risen to 61,913 and 583 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases show.
Cases rose by 4,615 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 128, the tally showed.
Tanzania confirms first coronaviurs death
Tanzania confirmed its first coronavirus death today, health minister Ummy Mwalimu said in a statement.
The 49-year-old Tanzanian male, who had pre-existing conditions, had been admitted to Mloganzila Hospital in Dar Es Salaam for treatment.
Tanzania had 19 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Monday.
Vietnam to begin 15 days of social distancing
Vietnam will begin 15 days of social distancing from Wednesday to curb community transmission of the coronavirus, the Southeast Asian country’s prime minister has said.
“From midnight April 1, everybody is required to stay at home and can only go out to buy food or in emergency cases and must keep at least two metres from others,” Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in a statement.
Epidemic ‘far from over’ in Asia-Pacific region, WHO warns
The coronavirus epidemic is “far from over” in the Asia-Pacific region, and the current measures to curb the spread of the virus are merely buying time for countries to prepare for large-scale community transmissions, a WHO official has said.
Even with all the measures, the risk of transmission in the region will not go away as long as the pandemic continues, said Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director for the Western Pacific at the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Preparations for a large-scale transmission must reach everyone, Mr asai said at a virtual media briefing.
Mr Kasai warned that for countries that are seeing a tapering off of cases, they should not let down their guard, or the virus may come surging back.
March was busiest month on record for UK supermarkets
British grocery sales soared 20.6 per cent year-on-year in the four weeks to 22 March, as shoppers stocked-up before the country went on coronavirus lockdown, making it the biggest month on record for grocery sales, industry data showed on Tuesday.
Market researcher Kantar said growth was driven by people shopping more frequently and buying slightly more, with the average household spending an extra £62.92 pounds over the four weeks.
The coronavirus conspiracies Brits believe
One in five British adults wrongly think that coronavirus originated in a laboratory in China, according to a new survey, Peter Stubley reports.
The myth is one of several unfounded claims widely believed by the public due to a host of conspiracy theories, hoaxes, misinformation and fake advice.
Indonesia bans all arrivals
Indonesia’s Foreign Minister has said the government has decided to ban all arrivals and transits by foreigners in Indonesia to prevent a further spread of the coronavirus.
Foreigners with stay permits and some diplomatic visits will be exempted from the ban, Retno Marsudi said, adding that the government aims to issue the regulations for the ban today.
The government will also strengthen screening for Indonesian nationals returning to the country, she said.
Outbreak causing ‘unprecedented global shock,’ World Bank warns
The World Bank has warned the outbreak is causing “an unprecedented global shock” which is expected to sharply slow growth in developing economies in East Asia and the Pacific as well as China.
The bank said precise growth forecasts were difficult, given the rapidly changing situation, but its baseline now called for growth in developing economies in the region to slow to 2.1 per cent in 2020, and to -0.5 per cent in a lower-case scenario, compared to estimated growth of 5.8 per cent in 2019.
In China, where the coronavirus outbreak originated in late December, growth was projected to slow to 2.3 per cent in the baseline scenario, or as low as 0.1 per cent in the lower-case scenario, compared to growth of 6.1 per cent in 2019.
£75m plan to bring Britons home
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has announced a £75m plan to repatriate as many as 60,000 British travellers stranded overseas, Andrew Woodcock reports.
After negotiations with airlines, Mr Raab announced a partnership agreement under which Virgin, EasyJet, Jet2 and Titan have signed a memorandum of understanding to help bring back UK nationals, while British Airways says it will work with the government “in the national interest” to get people home.
Police may have gone a little too far in enforcing lockdown
Some police officers may have gone a little too far in enforcing the coronavirus lockdown, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has admitted.
“The police are doing a difficult job and they are doing it well,” Mr Shapps told Sky.
“I am sure there are individual examples where perhaps you look at it and think that is perhaps a bit further than they should have gone but in general terms I think the case is that if people help everybody out, including the police, by staying home and the rest of it, then there will be no problems.”
Mr Shapps said there had been “one or two instances” of police being heavy handed with enforcement measures on social distancing and staying at home, but said, in the main, forces were being “sensible”.
He told BBC Breakfast: “I think the police are doing a difficult job.
“There will be one or two instances where they have perhaps not approached it in the right way but in general, actually, across the country not only are people complying very well but, generally speaking, the police are taking a very sensible approach to it.”
NHS doctors ‘gagged’ over protective equipment shortages
Frontline doctors have told The Independent they have been gagged from speaking out about shortages of protective equipment as they treat coronavirus patients – with some claiming managers have threatened their careers, Shaun Lintern reports.
Staff have been warned not to make any comments about shortages on social media, as well as avoiding talking to journalists, while NHS England has taken over the media operations for many NHS hospitals and staff.
Good morning and welcome to the latest updates on the coronavirus crisis from The Independent.
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