Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Top Story: As UK Huawei ban pisses China

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Even though China has not taken any countermeasures, at least publicly, against the UK over its ban on Chinese telecom giant Huawei from its 5G development, many in the UK – from business leaders to scholars – are wary of potential devastating consequences from the move on bilateral ties and on the UK economy, which is already facing what has been described as the worst period in decades.

Such anxiety stems from a strong backlash from China, which vows to take “all necessary” measures. It was illustrated by the widespread attention toward media reports of Chinese short video platform TikTok scrapping a massive plan to build a global headquarters in the UK. Businesses and experts on both sides fear that bilateral businesses ties could see further long-term damage due to deteriorating relations.

Still, in interviews, some Chinese and UK businesses leaders and scholars argue that the UK left some room for potential change in its handling of the Huawei situation and that talks between the two sides to address the dispute are still possible. Some stressed that the UK will eventually realize the importance of positive engagement with China for its economy in the post-Brexit era and change course, though bilateral ties remain under serious pressure on multiple fronts, including Huawei, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.

Deepening anxiety

Uneasiness in the UK over the recent diplomatic row was on vivid display over the weekend after the Sunday Times reported that Beijing-based ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, had suspended talks with UK officials over building a headquarters in the UK following the UK’s Huawei decision.

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Media report on Sunday, which cited an unnamed source, reported that the Chinese company halted talks over the project that could support 3,000 jobs due to “wider geopolitical contexts,” an apparent reference to the Huawei case.

ByteDance did not respond to a request for comment as of press time on Sunday.

Chinese officials have harshly criticized UK’s decision and vowed to take “all necessary measures” to protect Chinese businesses. Though Chinese officials have not announced specific measures, they have stressed that the move has seriously undermined mutual trust and Chinese businesses’ confidence in the UK market.

Annual flow of foreign direct investment from China to the UK.

In a recent interview, Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming hinted that Chinese investments into the UK could be at risk as Chinese companies are wary of Huawei’s treatment by the UK.

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“In the past 10 years. Chinese investment in the UK increased 20 times…This is a big opportunity for UK,” Liu said, noting that with $20 billion Chinese investment, the UK is the largest recipient of Chinese investment in Europe, according to a transcript published by the embassy on Sunday. “I think UK really missed the opportunities.”

Annual flow of foreign direct investment from China to the UK.

Beijing’s reaction over the UK’s decision carries weight. The head of a prominent UK business group said that there was a certain degree of anxiety over bilateral ties and voiced hope that the two sides could “sit down and talk” on the matter. On Friday, the Sunday Times reports Beijing based business leaders were called to a meeting by Chinese government officials where they were warned they could be at risk.

People walk on a street at Chinatown in London, Britain, on July 4, 2020. Millions of people in England emerged from the COVID-19 lockdown on the so called “Super Saturday” to enjoy coffee shops, bars, restaurants and hair salons for the first time in over three months. (Photo by Ray Tang/Xinhua)

“Britain is rejecting Europe and rejecting China at the same time, in a situation where the British economy, as we know, historically has been in long term decline,” Martin Jacques, a senior fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University, said on Friday, noting that the British economy is in the “worst period in British economic history since before the industrial revolution…the consequences from rejecting China are going to be extremely serious for Britain.”

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Apart from the massive Chinese investment, China was the UK’s second-largest trading partner after the US in 2018, with two-way trade reaching 68.3 billion pounds ($85.78 billion), according to UK official data. Chinese students also contribute at least 1.7 billion pounds a year to UK universities, according to the UK’s National Institute of Economic and Social Research, which warned a trade conflict with China could result in a 90 percent fall in UK trade and a 0.75 percent drop in GDP.

Room for change?

“The fact is that [the UK] is facing a very difficult time because of Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and so on… we are in a much better place,” Chen Fengying, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing, told the Media (known to Noble Reporters Media) on Sunday.

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However, Chen said that though China must make its “principled stance” over the Huawei case clear, “we need a much more nuanced, long-term strategy toward the UK” rather than getting into an endless tit-for-tat tussle. “I think the UK understands how important China is. It’s just that the US got in the way… but things could change over time,” she said, noting that the presidential election results in the US could change the dynamic for China and the UK.

In the decision last week, the UK government gave its companies several months until after December to purchase 5G equipment from Huawei and seven years to phase out devices that are already in use.

A staff member tests the speed with a Huawei 5G mobile phone at Huawei 5G Innovation and Experience Center in London, Britain, on Jan. 28, 2020. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

Jacques thinks there is still a lot of uncertainty attached to this situation including the upcoming presidential election in the US, the cost that the UK needs to pay to replace Huawei equipment and whether the replacement can be successful. “Britain needs to have a relationship with China. It needs China, so China needs to consider the situation as a long game,” he said.

Apart from the reported move by TikTok, there were no other changes of plans reported by Chinese businesses in the UK. Although some expressed concerns, certain business deals are moving forward.

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Chinese private steel enterprise Jingye Group, which acquired the bankrupt British Steel in March, said that the company’s plan to invest 1.2 billion pounds in the UK over the next 10 years is moving forward, the company told the Global Times.

However, the risk of long-term damage to bilateral ties and business deals is increased, not just over Huawei but an increasing number of issues, including Hong Kong and the South China Sea, where the UK appears to be keen to join the US and interfere.

Commenting on the UK’s plan to send an aircraft carrier to the South China Sea, Liu warned that it could be “a very dangerous move” and “I don’t want to see that the UK would like to gang up with the United States to challenge China’s sovereignty and disrupt the stability and tranquility in the region.”


#Newsworthy…

United Kingdom reduce COVID-19 alert level to ‘Epidemic’

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Chief medical officers in the UK have agreed that the COVID-19 threat level should be lowered one notch to “epidemic is in general circulation” from “transmission is high or rising exponentially”.


Chief medical officers in the UK have agreed that the COVID-19 threat level should be lowered one notch to “epidemic is in general circulation” from “transmission is high or rising exponentially”.

The Joint Biosecurity Centre recommended the COVID-19 alert level should move from Level 4 (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially) to Level 3 (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation).

“There has been a steady decrease in cases we have seen in all four nations, and this continues,” the chief medical officers of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland said.

“It does not mean that the pandemic is over.

Also, Kwara records 4 new cases of COVID-19.

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“The virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur,” they said.

Recently, Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, told the press that “it looks as though we’re now approaching the fast growth part of the upward curve.

“And without drastic action, cases could double every five or six days”.

The consistent doubling of cases in a fixed period is the hallmark of exponential growth.


#Newsworthy…

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Nigerian shot to death in UK. #BlackLivesMatter

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Oluwamayowa Adeyemi, a young Nigerian man in the UK, was shot and killed outside his home in Hackney over the weekend.

Adeyemi, also known as Samson, 21, was killed in Clapton, east London, last Friday night June 5th. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, with a post-mortem revealing a gunshot wound to the chest as the cause of death.

Police were called at 11.30pm on June 5 to reports of shots fired in Brakenfield Close, E5. They found Samson suffering gunshot injuries outside his home where he later died.

Homicide detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Command have appealed for information.

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A 22-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder has been released on bail.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Considine said: ‘Following initial enquiries we know that there were people in Brackenfield Close at the time of the shooting.

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‘I would urge those people, and anyone else who has information that could progress this investigation to get in contact immediately.’

He added: ‘This is a tragic incident that has resulted in the loss of a young man’s life and has left his family and friends devastated.

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‘If you can help us find those responsible, then please get in contact.’

Police Borough Commander Marcus Barnett said: ‘We understand this is a concerning time for Hackney residents, but please be assured we have increased our resources in the borough and are providing support to the investigation team.

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‘Our thoughts remain with the victim and his family during this devastating time for them.

‘Get in touch with us if you see something or know something about a crime that has either happened or might potentially happen – your information can save lives.’


#Newsworthy….

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COVID-19: Test results of returnees will not be disclosed to public – NCDC alleges. [Nigeria]


The Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Thursday said the agency does not share test results of individuals publicly and the test results of Nigerians evacuated from Dubai, UAE; the United Kingdom and the United States is not an exemption.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu who was responding to questions during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) briefing on COVID-19 on Thursday stressed that the results of the retunes will be shared only with them and not make public.

He added that the returnees are still in isolation undergoing the stipulated 14days of self-isolation.

“We are doing the test, even when the tests are out we are not going to offer it to you. We will offer it to the returnees. If they are patients we will manage that.

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“We are not going to make public the results whether you just came back from Dubai or you are living in Nigeria. Results are meant for patients who got tested,” he said.

No fewer than 253 Nigerians were recently evacuated from the United Kingdom (UK) by the Federal Government and 265 others evacuated from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

Also on May 10, 160 Nigerians who were stranded in the United States following the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

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The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it plans to evacuate more Nigerians back home from Canada, China and other countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NCDC DG in his address also announced that the agency is working with research organisations in the country and focusing on domestic science and research. He said the agency is working with TETFUND, NIMR, ACEGID, LUTH, among others to find solution to the pandemic.


#Newsworthy…

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[United Kingdom] Boris Johnson in trouble over confused lockdown strategy speech.

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Work from home if you can, unless you can’t, in which case definitely try to go back to work, but do not – if at all possible – take the train.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s much-anticipated statement about the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown was roundly criticised on Monday, with the head of the largest police officers’ union, the Police Federation, arguing that officers needed “crystal clear guidance” rather than “loose rules”.

Meanwhile, the replacement of the government’s “Stay at Home” message with “Stay Alert” has led to concerns that citizens will consider the crisis over.

‘Mixed messages’
Police Federation in England and Wales (PFEW) Chief John Apter argued that the latest advice from the government will make it difficult for police officers to enforce the new rules.

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“Policing this crisis has been tough, a lack of clarity and mixed messages has made that even harder,” Apter said.

“If we fail to get clear and unambiguous guidance policing this crisis will become almost impossible.”

His advice to workers on construction and manufacturing, who are unable to work from home, was chief among concerns. Trade unions, in particular, are concerned that the guidance may put undue pressure on workers to try to return to work even at the risk of their health.

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This is especially true for those workers with children, given that there was no firm decision from the government on when children would go back to school.

But it wasn’t just Johnson’s advice on working from home that has led to confusion.

He also told Britons that the one-hour restriction on exercising outdoors was being lifted, and people could now spend “unlimited amounts” of time outdoors.

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They would also be allowed to drive to public beauty spots, including beaches, and play golf and tennis, and meet a friend – but not more than one – in a park as long as they sit two metres apart.

At the same time, fines for breaking social distancing rules were to be increased.

‘Vague and imprecise’
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she didn’t know what the new advice meant and has asked the UK government not to promote a “vague and imprecise” message in Scotland.

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Johnson is due to answer questions in parliament on the government’s lockdown strategy on Monday.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Keir Starmer said that the prime minister had failed to provide either clarity of consensus to the British people.


#Newsworthy…

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[United Kingdom] Boris Johnson to lead first press conference since COVID-19 recovery.

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Boris Johnson will front his first daily press conference since recovering from coronavirus (Covid-19) on 30 April.

The UK’s coronavirus death toll is now the third highest in the world after the US and Italy, so Downing Street is playing down any expectations of an easing of restrictions.

Number 10 said a cabinet meeting earlier in the day would look at the “response in general” but not make any decisions on lockdown measures.

That response was facing further criticism as health secretary Matt Hancock’s deadline arrived for carrying out 100,000 Covid-19 tests a day.

With just over 52,000 tests carried out on 28 April, the deadline looks set to be missed although that will not become clear until 1 May.

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The target has been condemned by the NHS Providers group as a “red herring” which distracts from shortcomings in the long-term coronavirus strategy.

It released a report on 30 April which highlights how the English health and care system “started from a poor position” as Covid-19 tightened its grip on Europe, and consistently “struggled” to demonstrate a “clear, effective and well communicated strategy”, with a lack of clarity on who would be tested, when, how, and with what frequency.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals and NHS trusts in England, said: “Testing is one area where, despite all the work delivered by trusts and the NHS, the health and care system as a whole has struggled to develop an effective, co-ordinated approach.”

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The testing deadline was reached as:

– An international clinical trial, co-led by University College London and the UK’s Medical Research Council, found the Ebola drug remdesivir speeds up recovery from coronavirus by almost a third

– The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca joined forces for the large-scale manufacture and distribution of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine if it is proven to work during clinical trials

– Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s and banking group Lloyds warned of hits to profits from the coronavirus crisis

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– Captain Tom Moore celebrated his 100th birthday at home with his family after he raised almost £30m for the NHS

The cabinet meeting and a gathering of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) come as Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon warned that easing lockdown would not be a “flick of the switch moment”.

Sage is looking at a selection of options for easing restrictions while keeping the reproduction rate of the coronavirus – the number of new cases linked to a single individual – below one to stop it spreading exponentially.

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Germany saw a rise in that rate after easing its own lockdown.

With some Tory backbenchers pressing for an easing of measures for the sake of the economy, business secretary Alok Sharma is set to put forward plans for an eventual “workplace by workplace” approach.

A Business Department spokesman said: “The government has already set out five clear tests to consider before making any adjustment to its approach.

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“It is only right the we work together with industry and unions to ensure workplaces are safe for both those in work now and for those going back to work as government measures develop.”

But Sturgeon said on 29 April that she was “far from convinced” measures could be eased on the next review date of May 7.

“People talk about lifting the lockdown, that is not going to be a flick of the switch moment – we’re going to have to be very careful, very slow, very gradual.

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“I’m far from convinced at this stage that when we get to the next review point on the 7th of May we’ll be in a position to lift any of these measures right now, because the margins of manoeuvre that we’re operating in right now are very, very, very tight and narrow.”

Her comments came after it was announced that a total of 26,097 people have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community in the UK after contracting coronavirus.

It is the first time data on the number of deaths in care homes and the wider community has been included in the government’s daily updates.

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The total is around 17% higher than previous data showed and includes an additional 3,811 deaths recorded since the start of the outbreak.

Of these, around 70% were outside hospital settings.

The change in measurement means the UK death toll is the third highest in the world, behind the US and Italy, based on data from Johns Hopkins University.

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The US had reported 58,355 deaths and Italy 27,359.

The government pointed out other countries may report figures differently and any lag is unclear, although France and Italy also include deaths in care homes.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: UK death toll reach 18,738


Britain’s health ministry on Thursday said 616 more people had died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus in hospital, taking the country’s official death toll to 18,738.

The figure, for the 24-hour period to 1600 GMT on Wednesday, was lower than the 759 reported the previous day, after government claims the virus had hit its peak and as debate grows about easing lockdown measures.

Britain remains one of the countries worst-hit by the outbreak and has been under stringent social distancing rules for a month.

Oxford University began a human trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine on Thursday, with the aim of making it available to the public later this year if successful.

That came after the country’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty on Wednesday warned that some of the tough measures could be in place for the rest of the year until a vaccine is found.

But Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Thursday said restrictions could be lifted in a phased manner north of the border with England, although she did not rule out further full lockdowns.

The British government in London has been criticised for its response to the outbreak, with claims it was slow to impose restrictions and introduce widespread testing.

There has also been concern that the confirmed cases of the virus only cover those who have tested positive in hospital, and that the true figure could be much higher.

Care homes, in particular, have been singled out for concern.

Health officials have also faced repeated questions about the supply of personal protective equipment to frontline health and social care workers dealing with patients of the COVID-19 illness.


>>> Nigerian Immigration Service extends suspension of passport issuance <<<


The Nigeria Immigration Service on Thursday extended the existing suspension passports processing in its offices across the country.

A spokesman for the immigration Sunday James in a statement said the extension was in compliance with the government’s restriction of movement over the spread of coronavirus.

“The Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede MFR, has accordingly directed for the extension of the temporary suspension of processing of passport and Migrant e-Registration from the 23rd April – 23rd May 2020 in pursuance of the government’s directives on Restrictions on International Flight and closure of land borders,” James said.

James said the one-month extension was “to give the situation the deserved attention and approach, considering the successes achieved and the need to drastically reduce the spread.”

The service in late March suspended the migrants e-registration and issuance of passport as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.

During the one month extension of the current suspension, James said the NIS will “process all pending passport cases and the public will be duly informed when they are ready for collection at the expiration of the restriction order.

“The Service regrets any inconvenience caused the general public within this period while assuring Nigerians of our continued service.”


>>> Cases in Sweden more than 16,000 – deaths top 2,000 <<<


Swedish officials said on Thursday they had recorded more than 2,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the country while revising earlier statements about when the capital Stockholm was believed to have passed the peak of infections.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden said it had recorded 16,755 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 2,021 deaths.

The agency also corrected a report it published earlier this week on Stockholm, the epicentre of the Swedish epidemic.

The report, based on statistical modelling, initially said the capital region passed the peak of simultaneous infections on April 15 with 86,000 people believed to be have been infected.

But on Thursday it revised the date to April 8, with some 70,500 believed to have been infected.

“The number of infected is still at a high level, now is not the time to ease any cautionary measures,” deputy state epidemiologist Anders Wallensten said in a statement.

The agency also said in the report that it expected 26 percent of Stockholmers to be infected with the new coronavirus by May 1.

Sweden has not imposed the extraordinary lockdown measures seen across Europe, instead urging people to take responsibility and follow official recommendations. Gatherings of more than 50 people have been barred along with visits to nursing homes.

The strategy has come under scrutiny since its mortality rates leapt ahead of its Nordic neighbours, Finland, Denmark and Norway, which have all instituted more restrictive containment measures.

On Thursday, the Karolinska University Hospital confirmed that a 40-year-old nurse, who had tested positive for COVID-19, had died.

The hospital, however, stressed to broadcaster SVT that while the nurse was on sick leave for symptoms relating to COVID-19, the cause of death had not yet been confirmed.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Death toll in UK exceed 14,000.


Britain’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 847 to 14,576 on Friday, daily health ministry figures showed, a slightly slower increase than the 861 new deaths recorded the previous day.


Nonetheless, the number of deaths over a 24-hour period to 1600 GMT Thursday is still higher than in previous days when the number of fatalities had been on a downward trend.

Britain remains among the countries worst-hit by the pandemic, with the latest data also showing the total number of infections in the country has climbed to nearly 109,000.

That followed a further 5,599 people testing positive in the 24 hours to 0800 GMT Friday.

On Thursday, the government extended its lockdown to tackle the coronavirus for at least the next three weeks.

“The worst thing we could do right now is ease up too soon,” said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recuperates from COVID-19.

Johnson, who is now off work and recovering at Chequers — the country estate of prime ministers — after a week in the hospital, ordered the initial three-week lockdown on March 23.

It shuttered “non-essential” shops and services, banned gatherings of more than two people and gave police powers to fine those flouting the rules.

The government has insisted the lockdown is working and there are signs the pandemic is peaking in Britain, with the infection rate thought to have dropped markedly.

But it is yet to detail when and how the country might eventually begin to relax the stringent social-distancing regime.

There are also concerns over the slow expansion of testing for coronavirus, which many people see as crucial to easing the confinement measures.

Health Minister Matt Hancock, who has previously pledged to scale-up testing to 100,000 a day by the end of April, announced Friday that they would now prioritise a new range of key workers.

Police officers, the fire service, prison staff, “critical” local authority staff, members of the judiciary and some other government staff will qualify if they need tests.

But Britain remains far behind the target, conducting just 21,328 tests in the latest 24-hour period recorded.


#Newsworthy. .

UK COVID-19 case, death high again.


The coronavirus death toll in the UK went higher again on Thursday with 861 more deaths announced.

This took the tally to 13,729, about one-tenth of the global total of 136,990 as at 1500 GMT.

However, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for the country.

The number of new infections has remained stable with just 4,618 people diagnosed in the past 24 hours, despite a spike in testing.

NHS England confirmed 740 people died in its hospitals.

They were aged between 28 and 103.

Forty of them had no other health conditions before catching the virus.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland announced a combined 121 more deaths.

The death toll is the highest in five days, since Saturday last week, but the rise was not unexpected.


#Newsworthy…

10 Nigerians that registered for evacuation from UK are COVID-19 positive.


10 Nigerians who registered for evacuation from the United Kingdom due to the Coronavirus pandemic, have tested positive for the deadly virus.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement released two weeks ago gave conditions for Nigerians residing outside the country, to be evacuated. One of such conditions is that intending returnees would pay for their journey back home.


Also, it stated that they would be tested for coronavirus before coming back to Nigeria.

According to a source in the Nigerian High Commission in the UK, most of those who tested positive were not resident in the UK, but went to the European country for business and educational purposes. The source said they have been isolated and have started treatment. The source added that there are fears that the confirmed cases might have infected others.

Efforts are now being made to begin contact-tracing. United Kingdom is one of the high risk countries


#Newsworthy…

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson leaves hospital, thank NHS.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson has left hospital after being treated for coronavirus, but will not immediately return to work, Downing Street says.

Mr Johnson, 55, was taken to St Thomas’ hospital, in London, on Sunday – 10 days after testing positive for the virus.

He had three nights in intensive care before returning to a ward on Thursday.

Downing Street said the PM would continue his recovery at his country residence, Chequers.

“On the advice of his medical team, the PM will not be immediately returning to work. He wishes to thank everybody at St Thomas’ for the brilliant care he has received.

“All of his thoughts are with those affected by this illness,” the statement added.


Boris Johnson Thank NHS as UK suffer more COVID-19 cases


Boris Johnson has said he owes his life to the NHS staff treating him for coronavirus.

The prime minister, 55, thanked medics at St Thomas’ hospital in London, where he continues to recover after spending three nights in intensive care.

It comes as UK deaths from the virus are expected to pass 10,000 on Sunday.

On Saturday, the UK recorded 917 new coronavirus deaths, taking total hospital deaths to 9,875.

Ministers are continuing to urge people to stay at home over the Easter weekend to curb the spread of the virus, despite warm and sunny weather across parts of the UK.

In his first public statement since being moved out of intensive care on Thursday, Mr Johnson paid tribute to the medics treating him, saying: “I can’t thank them enough. I owe them my life.”

Speaking as she led the government’s daily coronavirus briefing on Saturday, Home Secretary Priti Patel said the PM needed “time and space to rest, recuperate and recover”.

“No 10 does not want to speculate about when the PM might leave hospital or be back at his desk, but a return to work does not look imminent.” NobleReporters sense

“The prime minister is expected to rest and recover in the coming weeks and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will continue to deputise – and will be in charge when ministers carry out a review of the lockdown measures.”

It comes as 917 hospital deaths were recorded in the 24 hours up to 17:00 BST on Friday – the second day in a row that the figure has been over 900.

The death toll released on Saturday was slightly down on the previous day’s 980 deaths.

However, spikes or dips may in part reflect bottlenecks in the reporting system, rather than real changes in the trend and these figures do not include those who have died in care homes or the community.


#Newsworthy…

101-year-old grandpa survives COVID-19 after 14 days battle.

uk’s oldest person to survive COVID-19


A 101-year-old grandfather has become the oldest person in the country to beat coronavirus after a two-week battle with the deadly illness.

Keith Watson, who was being treated at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, Worcestershire, was discharged earlier today.


It comes as the latest figures show there are currently 65,077 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK with a death toll of 7,978.

The Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust shared a picture on Facebook which showed Keith giving a thumbs up surrounded by smiling nurses.


It was posted alongside the caption: ‘This is Keith, he’s 101 years old.

‘He went home today after beating coronavirus.


‘Well done to everyone on Ward 12 at the Alexandra Hospital for looking after Keith so well for the past two weeks!’

Keith’s grandson, Benjamin Watson, later shared the post to his own social media and said: ‘My wonderful Grandad at 101 contracting coronavirus and beating it. What an absolute trooper!


‘Thank you to everyone at the NHS. Can’t wait to see him when this is all over x’.

Elderly people are among the worst affected by the outbreak with 27 per cent of over-80s needing hospital treatment.


Rita Reynolds, 99, from the Isle of Man, was previously believed to be the UK’s oldest person to recover from Covid-19.

Luke Serrell, a volunteer ambulance driver who took Keith home, said: ‘I volunteered to transport positive patients in our ambulance as there is a lot that are beating the virus and want to go home.’

‘I feel honoured to be doing this as there is so much going on and it is great seeing the survivors of Covid-19 especially Keith as he is 101 and he is such a great bloke to chat to.

‘It is scary times but I’m proud to be on the front line helping.’


#Newsworthy..