NEWS DIGEST 14.04.2020: National coronavirus lockdowns to be extended


Today’s news digest is brought to you via Google News. As the UK enters its fourth week of lockdown in the coronavirus pandemic affecting the world, The Guardian newspaper there reported that the foreign affairs secretary for state Dominic Raab has announced that the lockdown will be extended and may last another month, with the infection peak for Britain still yet to arrive – Coronavirus UK live: Lockdown to be extended and peak yet to come as Raab insists ‘plan is working’ (The Guardian)

The Telegraph says that UK ministers need to be ‘honest’ about how the public will have to live with the virus, which some experts say may become a seasonal and regular occurrence, as is with the common flu (influenza). The newspaper leads with a description of the current situation in Spain, which has had one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe, and has begun recently allowing some non-essential employees to return to work under social distancing rules – Ministers need to be honest about our need to live with the virus (The Telegraph)

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Tabloid The Sun also reports on the extension of the British lockdown, stating that the restrictions may have to go on for at least three more weeks until May 7th as the peak is yet to arrive. Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said that the plateau of deaths in the country will itself last at least two weeks before a decline is seen. There are debates among senior ministers over whether to ease restrictions and allow some non-essential workers to resume their jobs – THREE MORE WEEKS UK coronavirus lockdown to be extended for at least three more weeks on Thursday as pandemic peak still days away (The Sun)

In the US, president Donald Trump yet again blasted the news media in his public address over the coronavirus situation, after media criticism of his handling of the emergency. His conference was described by one BBC correspondent as “jaw-dropping” – Coronavirus: Trump berates media at jaw-dropping briefing (BBC News)  The Guardian also gave an account of the White House briefing, saying that the president had ‘total authority’ over the crisis, leading critics to say that he was become dictatorial and overriding the power the US Constitution invested in his position – Trump claims ‘total authority’ and attacks media in chaotic coronavirus briefing (The Guardian)

It is not just the UK that is extending its lockdown. Across the Channel, French president Emmanuel Macron has said his country will also continue to ‘reste a la maison’ as he admitted the country’s politicians were ill-prepared for the impact of COVID-19. France will remain locked down until May 11th, Macron told his nation via a televised address. France’s current death toll is 14,967 – Macron admits French government ‘wasn’t prepared enough’ as he extends lockdown (Metro)

In other non-virus related news, a wildfire in the Ukraine is threatening the site of Europe’s most infamous nuclear disaster, Chernobyl, which is still highly radioactive 33 years after the Soviet nuclear reactor overheated, spewing out toxic materials. Forest fires have been burning for several days in the area, with some only a few kilometres from nuclear waste stores. The fires were believed to have been started by an unidentified man setting dry grass ablaze, according to the BBCWildfires ‘edge closer to Chernobyl nuclear plant’ (BBC News)

Back in the UK, the family of a thirteen-year-old boy who was killed while crossing a road in Erdington, Birmingham, has paid tribute to him in the Metro newspaper. The loved ones of Mason O’Grady, described him as kind-hearted and loving. The driver who struck O’Grady is now in police custody awaiting charges – Family pay tribute to ‘kind-hearted loving’ boy, 13, killed while crossing road (Metro)



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