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Coronavirus live blog, March 25

Last updated: Wednesday, 25 March, 2020, 16:43

  • Global cases exceed 400,000 as deaths approach 20,000
  • WHO warns that the pandemic is "accelerating", and the US could become the next hotspot
  • Parliament expected to adjourn early for Easter once emergency coronavirus legislation has been approved

Channel 4 announce new host of shows to keep the nation 'entertained and active'

Channel 4 has announced a series of shows to keep viewers "entertained and active" during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lockdown Wedding Live will see a bride and groom be given a wedding celebration "live online", while Fred Sirieix will "oversee proceedings for the whole country to enjoy."

The Steph Show will now be broadcast live from Steph McGovern's home from March 30.

Grayson Perry will teach a course and Grime Gran, AKA Margie Keefe, will address the nation from her east London flat.

"The octogenarian will advise the country, in her own straight-talking style, on how not to be a dick in a range of scenarios that are facing us all", Channel 4 said.

Prince hasn't seen the Queen since he was contagious

Charles's last public engagement was on March 12, but he did have a number of private meetings with Highgrove and Duchy individuals, all of whom have been made aware.

A source said his doctor's most conservative estimate was that the prince was contagious on March 13.

They added that Charles has not seen the Queen since before March 13.

A small number of people living and working at Birkhall are remaining at the residence and self-isolating.

Prince Charles in 'good spirits'

A source said the prince and the duchess remained in good spirits, and the prince was up and about and not bedridden.

Medical advice is that it is unlikely to escalate into a more serious case.

Charles has spoken to his sons the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, as well as the Queen.

Queen in good health

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: "Her Majesty The Queen remains in good health.

"The Queen last saw The Prince of Wales briefly after the investiture on the morning of 12th March and is following all the appropriate advice with regard to her welfare."

Peak in approximately two to three weeks

Professor Neil Ferguson told the Science and Technology Committee current predictions were that the NHS would be able to cope if strict measures continued to be followed.

Regarding when the UK will hit its peak of Covid-19, Prof Ferguson said there was uncertainty but "if the current measures work as we would expect them then we will see intensive care demand peak in approximately two to three weeks and then decline thereafter".

He added: "We clearly cannot lock down the country for a year.

"The challenge that many countries in the world are dealing with is how we move from an initial intensive lockdown... to something that will have societal effects but will allow the economy to re-start.

"That is likely to rely on very large-scale testing and contact tracing. It should be stated that the entire world is in the very early stage of developing such strategies."

Prof Ferguson said countries were looking to China, which was lifting its lockdown, to see what would happen next.

But he added: "The long-term exit from this is clearly the hopes around a vaccine."

SNP MSP questions why Prince Charles was tested

An SNP MSP has questioned how the Prince of Wales was able to receive a test for coronavirus.

Joan McAlpine, MSP for South Scotland, tweeted that she wished Charles a speedy recovery but added: "Given that his symptoms are said to be mild, like many I wonder how he was tested when many NHS and social care workers cannot get tested.

"My nephew, who has serious asthma and a chest infection was recently refused a test."

Antibody tests for frontline NHS staff initially

The deputy chief medical officer has said that antibody tests will "initially" be available for frontline healthcare staff.

Dr Jenny Harries told a Mumsnet webchat that this is "so we can manage patients and vulnerable people safely and keep our NHS and care systems running".

"But we will be able to roll out to other people after that," she added.

The antibody tests can help to establish whether someone has recovered from coronavirus.

Deputy CMO: peak in two or three weeks

When asked when she expected the peak of the virus to hit, Dr Jenny Harries said: "What we hope is that in about two to three weeks, if people have continued to do as we have asked and cut down their social interactions, we would start to see a change in the slope of the graph.

"That means the peak will be pushed forward but the height of it will be lower and we can manage all those who need hospital and healthcare safely through our NHS."

Five more deaths in Wales

There have been 150 new positive cases of coronavirus in Wales, with five further deaths reported, Public Health Wales said.

Dr Robin Howe, incident director for the novel coronavirus outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: "150 new cases have tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 628, although the true number of cases is likely to be higher.

"Five further deaths have been reported to us of people who had tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), taking the number of deaths in Wales to 22.

"We offer our condolences to the family and friends affected, and we ask those reporting on the situation to respect patient confidentiality."

Boris Johnson addressing the House of Commons

Boris Johnson said the current state of lockdown in the UK was designed to protect NHS staff on the front line of battling the coronavirus outbreak.

His comments came in answer to a question from Suzanne Webb MP (Stourbridge) in an hour-long session of Prime Minister's Questions.

The Prime Minister said: "I fully echo her tribute to our amazing NHS workers and it is in order to protect them and help them that we are taking the extraordinary measures that this country is.

"I repeat my advice to the nation which is to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives."

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