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UK coronavirus live: death toll and infections rise in Scotland, as London hospitals see 'tsunami' of patients | Politics


The NHS nurse who posted a tearful video of herself outside a supermarket with empty shelves after she was unable to buy food, has developed coronavirus symptoms and is self-isolating.

Dawn Billbrough’s emotional plea for people to stop panic buying went viral last week, and has now been shared over 28,000 times on Facebook.

On Monday she posted another video to say she had woken up with coronavirus symptoms so had decided to stay off work.

“My chest has been quite tight, which is unusual because I don’t have any problems with my chest usually, I’ve got a really bad headache, I just feel a bit nauseous, so I’ve contacted work to say I won’t be in and I will be self-isolating,” said Billbrough, a critical care nurse in York. “I’m just feeling a little apprehensive right now.”

Speaking on Good Morning Britain this morning she said doing stuff around the house makes her breathless, and she has persistent nausea and headaches.

“I do believe that I have Covid, but obviously I haven’t been tested so it’s hard to confirm,” she said.

She went on to say, “The cases are beginning to get more and more each day.

My colleagues, my friends, we’re all quite worried that we don’t think people in the United Kingdom are taking this seriously.

“People are going to die. You need to stay indoors, you need to protect the NHS and you need to save lives.”

Good Morning Britain

‘We are worried people in the UK are not taking this seriously. People are going to die.’

Critical care nurse Dawn Bilbrough calls for everyone to follow government advice to stay at home and save lives. pic.twitter.com/AzbmjQ24Ol

March 26, 2020


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Scotland: 175 new cases and three further deaths

At her daily briefing, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that as of 9am there are a further 175 cases of coronavirus in Scotland, taking the total to 894 positive tests, and a further three deaths, taking that total to 25.

Setting out the enforcement measures that stem from the passing of the Covid-19 legislation, which was given legislative consent in Holyrood on Tuesday, Sturgeon said that Police Scotland could now direct people to return home if they were not complying with the guidance on public gatherings, and also use prohibition notices and on-the-spot fines. The details of these will be set out later today.

She said that the measures, “which would have been unimaginable a few weeks ago”, were essential but that the police would be taking a “soft” approach to enforcement.

As with elsewhere in the country, medical staff have been expressing concern about supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). The health minister Jeane Freeman says that 1.5m masks that had an expiry date of June 2019 have now been retested and made available today, and that she is “taking every step we can with orders in the pipeline”.

Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s chief medical officer, said that there had been discussion about possible sites for field hospitals to cope with increasing numbers of patients, but that the key was to expand capacity in existing intensive care units.

Calderwood says the numbers announced are a very significant underestimate, and that she believes that there could be 40,000-50,000 people in Scotland who are infected, many of whom don’t yet know they are infected.



Sturgeon says 1.5m masks past expiry date now in use in Scotland after tests showed they still work

The National Education Union, which represents almost half a million teachers and education workers, has called for greater support for supply teachers who play a vital role in schools.

Commenting before the chancellor’s briefing on support for self-employed workers during the Covid-19 crisis, Mary Bousted, NEU joint general secretary, said: “In these unsettling times it is imperative that the government gives support to those who need it. Sadly, their response to the plight of self-employed workers in recent days has been far from adequate.

“There is currently a lack of clarity in existing guidance about whether the coronavirus job retention scheme applies to supply staff. Rishi Sunak has previously stated that all workers employed via PAYE are eligible for 80% cover up to a cap of £2,500 per month, but we believe this should be extended to the self-employed. The chancellor must be explicit on this point.

“Supply teachers, agency teaching assistants and others working in the education sector must have proper financial stability, on a genuine like-for-like with their PAYE counterparts.”


Downing Street lobby briefing – Summary



The price farmers are getting for selling lamb has collapsed due to the coronavirus shutdown, according to the chief executive of the National Sheep Association.

Phil Stocker said:

It is the number one priority that the health of society is protected at this time. However, the result is proving highly damaging for many businesses, and industries, and the sheep farming sector is now amongst these.

The trade collapsed at the start of this week with prices down by £1 per kg liveweight – on a 45kg lamb that’s between £40 and £50 a head less, on a value that was maybe just over the £100 mark. The main underlying reason is the closure of the restaurant and catering trade, both here and in the EU.

Half of UK food normally goes to out-of-home eating – restaurants, bars and canteens – with the other half sold to shoppers. Businesses are struggling to repackage trade products into retail products.
“You have just pushed all of that [catering trade] into retail,” said Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers Union on Tuesday. “All of those supply chains, we absolutely have to make sure they are maintained and they are diverted into retail. It is critical this happens this week.”


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