Coronavirus latest: UK 'past the peak' of COVID-19, says Boris Johnson at daily briefing

Coronavirus latest: UK 'past the peak' of COVID-19, says Boris Johnson at daily briefing
Copyright Andrew Parsons/AP
By Euronews
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Coronavirus latest - summary



Boris Johnson promises COVID-19 lockdown exit plan next week

The British prime minister, leading the daily coronavirus briefing for the first time since his return to work after being hospitalised earlier this month, said the UK was "past the peak" and on a "downward slope".

But he set no date for easing the lockdown, instead saying he would announce a "comprehensive plan" next week, and setting out conditions to be met.

It comes as other European countries have set out dates for reopening businesses and schools.

The Conservative government is also under pressure over the country's testing programme and rising deaths, especially in care homes.

Full story here:

COVID-19: Boris Johnson promises UK lockdown exit plan next week

The UK Prime Minister said five key tests must be met to ease lockdowns, to avoid a second spike in coronavirus cases.


That's it for tonight. Join us for more live updates on Friday from 0600 CEST.


How and when do European countries plan to ease lockdown restrictions?

Most European countries have been setting out tentative plans to ease lockdowns imposed to combat the spread of the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus.

Here is a look at the state of play in a selection of them.


Bosnia: Lockdown failure led to virus case spike in Republika Srpska

Authorities in Bosnia's semi-autonomous Serb-run territory said that a failure to enforce strict social distancing over Orthodox Easter has led to a sharp spike in newly registered coronavirus cases.  

Bosnian Serb authorities tolerated gatherings in several churches, despite Republika Srpska's restrictions on public activity during Orthodox Easter on April 19.

Epidemiologists in Republika Srpska reported Thursday that 53 confirmed virus cases were recorded in the region over the past 24 hours.

A day earlier, the region registered 59 new cases, more than on any other single day since Bosnia's coronavirus outbreak started in early March.  

People have been urged to continue practicing social distancing and to keep wearing face masks in public despite the gradual easing of coronavirus restrictions that began this week.

Republika Srpska and a Bosniak-Croat federation make up ethnically divided Bosnia, which has a population of 3.5 million.  

So far, over 35,000 people in the country have been tested for the novel coronavirus.

Officials reported that total COVID-19 confirmed cases during the pandemic reached 1,757 as of Thursday, including 69 deaths. (AP)


Russian PM tests positive to COVID-19

Mikhail Mishustin, Russia's Prime Minister, revealed he has contracted the virus and has told President Putin he needs to self-isolate.

"As a result, I must observe self-isolation and fulfill my doctors’ orders, which is necessary to protect my colleagues," he added. 

Mishustin, 54 was named prime minister in January.

First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov will temporarily perform Mishustin’s duties, AP reports.


French death toll now at 24,376

The country recorded 339 new deaths over the previous day, taking the total death toll since March 1 to 24,376.
This tally includes fatalities observed in hospitals and care homes. 

France releases COVID-19 map

Authorities have released a map of France showing where the virus is still most active. Thirty-five of the country's départements have been put in red. Most are located in the Paris area and the north-east.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe stressed on Tuesday that the entire country would not be "de-confined" at the same time and that the areas most impacted might have to bear restrictions for longer. 

Italy's death toll rises by 285

The number of fatalities recorded in Italy rose by 285 on Thursday to 27,967.
The previous day, the country had registered 323 fatalities. The number of new infections is also decreasing day-on-day with 1,872 new cases on Thursday compared to 2,086 the previous day.

Johnson 4/ Boris Johnson's briefing was followed by a video to illustrate the importance of getting infection rates down.

The prime minister said it was vital not to lose control and hit a "bigger mountain". The fifth test meant that nothing should lift the 'R' rate of infection above 1 -- the figure meaning a rate where every person with COVID-19 infects one other.

Boris Johnson's caution reflected a series of tweets he put out an hour or so before the briefing:


Johnson 3/ The 5 tests to satisfy in order to ease the lockdown are...

i) ensure the NHS (UK health service) is protected and able to cope

ii) there must be a sustained fall in deaths

iii) we must be sure the infection rate is falling

iv) we must be able to overcome operational and logistical challenges over PPE (personal protective equipment)

v) and most importantly, the government must be sure that measures taken do not risk a second spike in coronavirus cases that would overwhelm the NHS

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