Coronavirus: Dominic Cummings' Case Leaves Police 'Frustrated' And Four Other Stories You Need To Know

Jasmin Gray

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The row about Dominic Cummings – a senior aide to Boris Johnson – and his decision to travel 260 miles to Durham during the coronavirus lockdown continues to rumble on. 

The advisor’s decision to travel across the country with his sick wife has left police officers “frustrated” and the rules around travel during the pandemic “very confused”, a former police chief constable has warned. 

According to the latest figures published by the Department of Health and Social Care, 36,914 people have died in the UK after contracting coronavirus and more than 261,000 have tested positive. 

(Photo: Statista )

Here’s the latest:  

Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham has left police ‘frustrated’ and travel rules ‘very confused’

Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings arrives home in London  (Photo: TOLGA AKMEN via Getty Images)

Dominic Cummings’ controversial trip to Durham while his wife was ill during lockdown has “frustrated” police officers and left the rules around travel “very confused”, former Greater Manchester Police chief constable Sir Peter Fahy has warned. 

“I think it’s quite hard to see the role the police have in the future,” Fahy told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme on Tuesday. 

“The rules now about the reasons for travel are now very confused. When you see the crowds on Bournemouth and Southend beaches and other places yesterday, it’s hard to see what role the police have in trying to control that.”

He also warned that Cummings’ attempt to test his eyesight after suffering from suspected coronavirus was “ill-advised”. 

“It appears to be against the Highway Code,” Fahy said. “It’s not the way to test your eyesight and put potentially other people in danger.” 

It is likely that if police had stopped Cummings and his family on his way to Durham from London, they would have been turned back, he added. 

WHO suspends testing of drug taken by Donald Trump ‘to prevent coronavirus’ over safety fears 

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President Donald Trump answers questions during the daily briefing of the coronavirus task force in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 27  (Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images)

Testing of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for Covid-19 has been suspended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) over safety concerns. 

Donald Trump – who has said he was taking the drug to ward off coronavirus – is among those who have touted hydroxycholoroquine as a possible treatment. 

But WHO director general General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that testing had been paused while safety data was reviewed. 

It came after hydroxycholoroquine was tied to a possible increased risk of death in a study of more than 96,000 Covid-19 patients.  

Ghebreyesus said the other arms of the trial - a major international initiative to hold clinical tests of potential treatments for the virus - were continuing.

The WHO has previously recommended against using hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent coronavirus infections, except as part of clinical trials.

Dr Mike Ryan, head of the WHO emergencies programme, said the decision to suspend trials of hydroxychloroquine had been taken out of “an abundance of caution”.

He also warned that countries where coronavirus infections are declining could face an “immediate second peak” if they measures too soon. 

“We need also to be cognisant of the fact that the disease can jump up at any time,” he said. “We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now, it is going to keep going down.”

Dominic Cummings made a ‘mockery’ of healthcare planing, say experts  

Dominic Cummings has made a “mockery” of healthcare planning by travelling to Durham with his family during lockdown, experts have said.

Professor Jackie Cassell, deputy dean of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, said the rules were very clear that people should not leave major cities to go to second homes in rural areas, the Press Association reported. 

This is because hospitals in less densely populated areas could become overwhelmed if people bring infections from other parts of the country,.

Meanwhile Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow at the University of Southampton, said Cummings had made a “mockery” of local healthcare planning.

Their comments come after senior government aide Cummings sought to defend his decision to drive to County Durham despite the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, saying he believes he behaved “reasonably” and does not regret his actions.

Prof Cassell said NHS hospitals had ramped-up intensive care bed numbers to manage a surge in their local populations, so visitors could put extra strain on their resources.

She added: “During lockdown, and for many months ahead, we all need to protect the NHS from people becoming ill with Covid-19 in second homes.

“This could easily overwhelm the NHS in less densely populated areas.

“This is the reason for the very clear rule – which still stands – that people should not move out of major population centres to their second homes.”

Health of thousands of ‘hidden workers’ at risk during coronavirus pandemic, union warns

A worker wearing a protective face mask drives a bin lorry in north London (Photo: EMPICS Entertainment)

Thousands of “hidden workers” are putting their health at risk by keeping essential services going and deserve more government support, according to a leading trade union.

Alongside frontline health and care staff, workers including refuse collectors, social workers and teaching assistants face being overwhelmed with work, warned Unison.

The workers are often unable to keep a safe distance or are not entitled to safety kit, said the union.

Unison’s head of local government Jon Richards said: “It’s understandable that throughout the crisis, public attention has been focused on the UK’s health and care workers.

“But it’s important the government and the country as a whole don’t overlook the people providing vital services who also face added risks during the pandemic.

“We’re hearing day in and day out of the difficulties and dangers. People want to do all they can to get us through the crisis, but they’re worried and being made increasingly anxious by their working conditions.

“Ministers have to make sure the concerns of all essential workers are addressed. It’s also vital they show a commitment to underfunded local services by increasing budgets so local authorities can increase the pay offer they’ve made to council workers.”

Shoe shops to ‘quarantine’ footwear to stop the spread of coronavirus 

Kurt Geiger shoes store in Manchester (Photo: tupungato via Getty Images)

High-end footwear chain Kurt Geiger has said it will ‘quarantine’ shoes for 24 hours after customers have tried them on once stores are allowed to reopen. 

The Times reported that customers will also have to apply antibacterial hand gel and out on socks provided by the shop before being allowed to try on any shoes. 

It comes after Boris Johnson confirmed that some shops would be allowed to reopen on June 1 as the coronavirus lockdown continues to ease. 

On Tuesday, Cabinet minister Michael Gove said shoppers would have to “exercise restraint” when they are finally allowed back in stores. 

He told BBC Breakfast on Tuesday: “It’s also the case that we need to ensure that some of the shopping habits people may have grown used to in the pre-Covid days are habits that we exercise a degree of restraint on.

“So when it comes to touching and testing goods, when it comes to trying on clothing, when it comes to trying make-up and so on,  that all of us exercise restraint in not doing that and recognising that as these stores reopen, it is a new normal. 

“But it will allow us to ensure there are a wider range of goods and will also ensure the economy can return to a new normal, that is absolutely vital for people’s jobs.”


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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.