Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson today announced that his brother has died from coronavirus
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson today announced his eldest brother has sadly died a day after being admitted to intensive care with coronavirus.
He tweeted: ‘Despite the efforts of all the staff at Liverpool Hospital ICU my brother sadly died at 10.45 last night.
‘We want to thank the dedicated staff risking their lives for us. Thank you all for your messages of love and support. Let’s stick together and support each other and win this battle.’
Shows of support from politicians, celebrities and members of the public poured in for the 62-year-old mayor, who only five weeks ago lost another brother Henry to cancer.
Last night Mr Anderson said that his sister-in-law, who works as a nurse, had been in touch to say that her husband, his eldest brother, had been struck down with Covid-19 and was in intensive care ‘in a very serious condition’.
He has now confirmed that within hours of posting that tweet, his brother had sadly died.
Liverpool has one of the most severe coronavirus rates in the country and is one of only two regions in the highest alert level.
Mr Anderson has been a vocal critic of the Government in recent days and yesterday branded the tier system a ‘shambles’ after Lancashire’s Tier 3 appeared softer than Liverpool’s.
He demanded ‘immediate clarification on why Lancashire gyms are allowed to stay open’ while Liverpool’s were forced to close.
Draconian Tier 3 regulations have also seen pubs and bars forced to shut unless they can serve food, while also banning two households from mixing indoors.
One of Boris Johnson’s most senior backbenchers and a top government scientist today joined calls for a national circuit-breaker lockdown amid bleak warnings of 690 daily coronavirus deaths within a fortnight.
The Prime Minister has hitherto resisted demands from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and regional mayors to impose a nationwide lockdown and is pressing ahead with a targeted battle plan of local restrictions.
More than 28 million people are now living under tighter measures, with people in London among those plunged into the Tier 2 alert bracket last night which bans different households from meeting indoors.
But former health secretary Jeremy Hunt this morning ratcheted up pressure on the PM to go further and indicated his support for a short circuit-breaker.
The Tory MP said: ‘I’ve always thought that it’s better to do things quickly and decisively than to wait until the virus has grown so I have a lot of sympathy with that.’
Government scientific adviser Sir John Bell rowed in behind Mr Hunt and said he sees ‘very little way of getting on top of this without some kind of a circuit-breaker because the numbers are actually pretty eye-watering’.
It came as scientists from the Medical Research Council biostatistics unit at Cambridge University presented Sage with an estimate that 47,000 people are becoming infected in England every day.
While stressing that the ‘substantial proportion’ of cases are asymptomatic, their modelling suggests that hundreds will be dying daily by the end of the month.
The report published this week says: ‘We predict that the number of deaths each day is likely to be between 240 and 690 on October 26.’
In other developments:
- Police fought to enforce coronavirus laws in London last night as they faced defiance from both protesters and drinkers refusing to go home;
- Mr Johnson said the UK is developing the capacity to manufacture millions of fast turnaround tests for coronavirus which could deliver results in just 15 minutes;
- The National Education Union rowed in behind Sir Keir Starmer’s call for a national circuit-breaker to get infections down;
- The Welsh Government were to meet to discuss a circuit-breaker lockdown and will announce any decisions on Monday;
- Some 15,650 coronavirus cases were recorded in the UK on Friday, alongside 136 deaths;
- A senior scientist predicted Britain could be carrying out a million coronavirus tests a day by Christmas;
- The Prime Minister’s attention briefly switched from the pandemic to warn a No Deal Brexit was likely as both London and Brussels ramped up their tough talk.
Hours before the restrictions came into force at midnight, police fought to enforce coronavirus laws in London as they faced defiance from both protesters and drinkers refusing to go home
Jeremy Hunt (left) and Sir John Bell (right) today joined calls for a short national circuit-breaker lockdown amid bleak warnings of 690 daily coronavirus deaths within a fortnight
Yesterday the Government announced 15,650 new lab-confirmed coronavirus cases, although the true figure is estimated to be much higher.
The Cambridge scientists point to Covid-19 hotspots such as the North West and North East, where infections are reckoned to be at 17,600 and 10,000 respectively, followed by London and the Midlands at 5,450 and 5,720.
Sir John, regius professor of medicine at Oxford who advises the Government, resigned himself to backing a circuit-breaker if the country is to get a grip on the surge in cases.
He told BBC Radio 4: ‘I can see very little way of getting on top of this without some kind of a circuit-breaker because the numbers are actually pretty eye-watering in some bits of the country and I think it’s going to be very hard to get on top of this just biting around the edges.
‘I think there will be every effort to keep schools open. If in the end we have to take kids out for two weeks, calm it all down, and then start ideally embedded in a much more rigorous testing regime then that’s maybe what we may have to do.’
Labour leader Sir Keir and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan have been leading calls for a nationwide lockdown and were yesterday supported by Britain’s biggest teacher union, the NEU.
But while the PM yesterday refused to rule out imposing a national lockdown if cases spiral out of control, he underscored his commitment to local action.
At a Downing Street press briefing, he said: ‘Some have argued that we should introduce a national lockdown instead of targeted local action and I disagree. Closing businesses in Cornwall, where transmission is low, will not cut transmission in Manchester.
‘So while I cannot rule anything out, if at all possible I want to avoid another national lockdown, with the damaging health, economic and social effects it would have. Alongside our local strategy we have been working throughout to find other ways to suppress this virus.’
People in London, Essex, York, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield today woke up to new Tier 2 restrictions.
Hours before the restrictions came into force at midnight, police fought to enforce coronavirus laws in London as they faced defiance from both protesters and drinkers refusing to go home.
After being turfed out of pubs and bars at 10pm, crowds spilled on to the streets of Soho where anti-lockdown demonstrators had gathered, including Piers Corbyn who said: ‘We’re here to drink against curfew.’
As it reached 10pm protesters held up signs and gathered together to protest the curfew and increasing restrictions
Police officers marched through Soho as they tried to break up illegal gatherings of more than six people in central London
A man was handcuffed and bundled into the back of a police van in Soho by police officers after the night descended into chaos when revellers were asked to go home
Scientists say up to one million Britons could be tested per day before Christmas
Britain could be carrying out a million coronavirus tests per day by Christmas with results in just 15 minutes, a scientist working on the testing scheme has said.
The source, who was not named, revealed the government is buying new machines capable of processing 150,000 tests per day with the aim of trebling the current capacity of 300,000.
Separately, trials of pregnancy-style tests which could provide results in just 15 minutes will begin in northern hotspots from next week.
‘It’s going pretty well,’ the scientist told The Times. ‘They have really scaled up their capabilities. By Christmas we’ll be at a million a day, I think. That seems perfectly possible.’
Mr Johnson told a No 10 press conference on Friday that the new tests were ‘faster, simpler and cheaper’ and that work was being done to ensure they could be manufactured and distributed in the UK.
Lancashire also joined Liverpool in the most severe Tier 3, where all pubs are forced to close unless they can serve food.
Labour’s council leaders in Lancashire said they had been forced to accept the measures, with South Ribble’s Paul Foster saying they were ‘blackmailed’ and Blackpool’s Lynn Williams adding they had ‘no option’ to agree, as they secured an extra £30million of funding.
Under Tier 3 rules pubs will close unless they serve food and alcohol as part of a sit-down meal, while stricter restrictions on socialising will also come into force.
People will not be able to mix with others in any indoor setting or private garden, as well as in most outdoor hospitality venues.
Casinos, bingo halls, bookmakers, betting shops, soft play areas and adult gaming centres will be forced to shut, while car boot sales will also be banned.
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham is continuing to resist moves from Government to elevate his region into the very high alert level and is also agitating for a circuit-breaker.
The PM yesterday warned Mr Burnham he will impose Tier 3 restrictions on the Manchester region unilaterally, with sources suggesting as early as Monday.
Mr Burnham and council leaders across Greater Manchester responded by insisting they have done ‘everything within our power to protect the health of our residents’, and said people and firms need greater financial support before accepting the lockdown.
They also suggested in a joint statement that Downing Street had delayed discussions, adding: ‘We can assure the Prime Minister that we are ready to meet at any time to try to agree a way forward.’
Mr Hunt this morning urged both sides to stop the public war of words and thrash out an agreement in private.
He told BBC Radio 4: ‘I think more important right now is we stop this public war of words between local leaders and national leaders because in a pandemic the most important thing is a consistent message because you really have to have compliance with the very, very important public health messages about social distancing.