COVID-19 NEWS BULLETIN 22nd APRIL 2020
Daily Press Briefing
Today’s update from Downing Street was delivered by Foreign Secretary Dominc Raab, as he deputises for Boris Johnson as the PM continues to convalesce. Mr Raab was joined by Chris Whitty and General Sir Nick Carter, the chief of the defence staff, which is the first time the UK’s most senior military officer has appeared. General Sir Nick Carter highlighted how the military has been helping in the distribution of protective kit to frontline services, delivering mobile testing labs and building emergency field hospitals. The press were told how dozens of military experts have been providing support to local organisations and how their work has helped the NHS get deliveries to about 50,000 locations, stating that the operation to support the NHS has been the greatest logistic challenge in his career. Prof Chris Whitty discussed the figures and impact of the lockdown on the infection and death statistics. Comparing stats on global deaths, Professor Whitty stated that the UK should not expect a sudden decline in numbers. On the agenda was also the subject of getting PPE to where it is needed. It was reported that a delivery of PPE from Turkey arrived today, the delivery was expected to arrive last Sunday. Todays delivery was described to be only half or what was expected and that RAF planes are on standby to collect a second half of the consignment. The government remains under pressure for failing to supply enough PPE. Journalists were keen to continue to press for figures on care home deaths. Professor Whitty did state today that the number of deaths in care homes, which many say have been consistently under-reported, may have been relatively modest so far but he concedes that the mortality rate will sadly be high.
At the World Health Organisation’s briefing, Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned that the virus will be with us for some time, stating that whilst epidemics in Western Europe appear to be stabilising or declining, there is much increase of the virus in Africa, Central and South America and Eastern Europe.
Interestingly, the BBC reported earlier today that a post-mortem in California has revealed the first US death related to coronavirus came weeks earlier than what was previously thought. A death in Seattle on 26th February was believed to be the first in the country. But two people who died in California on 6th and the 17th February have now been shown to have had Covid-19.
Figures out today and the UK’s inflation rate fell to 1.5% in March according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This was from 1.7% in February. Falls in the price of clothing and fuel leading up to the lockdown have been blamed. Economists are warning that inflation could slide to 0.5% in 2020 as the economy shrinks. The ONS’s latest data was collected on 17th March, so just before the lockdown on the 23rd March. To put this into perspective and to illustrate where the UK is compared to the Bank of England target for CPI;
(Taken from the BBC website)
Daily Updates on the Markets
Last week, I wrote to you discussing how, if suitable for you individually, you could look to be taking advantage of the markets at this time. Tonight, I would like to share with you the below as a nice, easy read this Wednesday evening. We have a great relationship with Brewin Dolphin, who have a portfolio for every investor, so do have a read and get in touch if you would like to discuss further.
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