Coronavirus: The 14 major developments that happened on Thursday

Rebecca C. Taylor
·4-min read
Stewards direct NHS staff visiting the drive-through COVID-19 testing centre set up at the car park of the Ikea store in Gateshead, northeast England on April 9, 2020 as Britain continued to battle the outbreak of new coronavirus and the governement prepared to extend the nationwide lockdown. - The disease has struck at the heart of the British government, infected more than 60,000 people nationwide and killed over 7,000, with another record daily death toll of 938 reported on April 8. A testing centre opened in Gateshead on April 9, 2020 as the government ramped up its testing of NHS staff for the new coronavirus. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Stewards direct NHS staff visiting the drive-through COVID-19 testing centre set up at the car park of the Ikea store in Gateshead. (Getty)

Here’s what you need to know on 9 April. This article was updated at 5pm.

Deaths: Coronavirus deaths recorded by health bodies in each of the four nations bring the total across the UK to 8,063. The figures issued by each nation are separate to the UK-wide figure released by the Department of Health due to differences in how deaths are counted. The UK figure has recorded 7,978 deaths, an increase of 881 from its tally on Wednesday. Read more here.

A doctor diagnosed with coronavirus has died three weeks after he warned the prime minister health workers urgently need more personal protective equipment. Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, 53, died after 15 days in hospital. Read more here.

Twin sisters “who did everything together” died within days of each other after they both contracted coronavirus, their family has said. Eileen and Eleanor Andrews, 66, are believed to have contracted the virus at the home they shared together in South Wales. Read more here.

Politics: Boris Johnson spent a third night in intensive care, but is accessible to those who need him and able to make decisions, according to former defence minister Tobias Ellwood. Read more here.

Policy: First secretary of state Dominic Raab confirmed the lockdown measures will continue, until there is evidence the virus is under control. It comes after meetings between the cabinet and devolved ministers. Read more here.

The NHS will face its worst weekend in history as the number of coronavirus patients increases, a leading professor has warned. Former government advisor and World Health Organization executive Professor Karol Sikora says the NHS will experience its worst weekend on record this Easter. Read more here.

An MP has come under fire after calling for coronavirus lockdown regulations to be slackened so people can go to church over Easter. Jack Lopresti, MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, wrote to communities and local government secretary Robert Jenrick and culture secretary Oliver Dowden to call for the relaxation of current restrictions. Read more here.

Crime: A police chief has warned his force are just “a few days away” from searching shopping trolleys to make sure people are sticking to the strict coronavirus guidelines. With the government meeting to discuss an extension to the lockdown, Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley has said the force will now ramp up the enforcement of coronavirus regulations as the “three-week grace period is over”. Read more here.

Police forces will ramp up patrols of beaches and public spaces over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend to enforce lockdown. Officers fear that the warm and sunny weather forecast for much of the UK over Good Friday and Saturday will tempt people out of cities into the countryside. Read more here.

Rest of the world

Spain is close to the beginning of a decline in the coronavirus epidemic, the country's prime minister has said. Health officials reported 5,756 new cases and 683 new deaths over the latest 24-hour period. That is compared with 6,180 new cases and 757 deaths on Wednesday. Read more here.

The EU could ‘fail as a project’ due to the coronavirus crisis, the Italian prime minister has warned. In an interview with the BBC, Giuseppe Conte said the EU must act to help the countries worst hit by the pandemic in what he called “the biggest test since the Second World War”. Read more here.

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

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Positive news

Singletons should keep dating during the pandemic, just virtually. Instead of lockdown putting the brakes on finding a mate, it seems it’s actually ramped it up with Match reporting a 12% spike in direct messages on the day the government declared it will be at least six months before life in the UK returns to normal. Read more here.

High profile footballers have announced the #PlayersTogether initiative, which will raise money for the NHS and charities. Read more here.

For many, Easter weekend is a time to get outside in the fresh air and spend time with friends and family. Here are some ways to celebrate virtually over the weekend. Read more here.

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