Coronavirus briefing: PM in intensive care as China reports no Covid-19 deaths

By Victoria King
BBC News


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PM's condition deteriorates

image copyrightPA Media
image captionMr Johnson is being treated at London's St Thomas' Hospital - just minutes from Downing Street

The prime minister is now in intensive care after his coronavirus symptoms worsened. Boris Johnson, 55, has been receiving oxygen, but as of Monday night, had not been put on a ventilator. Downing Street says he is receiving "excellent care", while messages of support have come from across the UK and the world. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been asked to deputise for the PM when needed - read more about how the chain of command works in this highly unusual situation.

BBC News online's health editor Michelle Roberts explains what happens in intensive care, while correspondent Fergus Walsh goes inside one such unit dealing with coronavirus patients. This piece, meanwhile, explains exactly what the disease does to the body.

On Monday, 439 coronavirus deaths were recorded in the UK - down from 621 on Sunday and 708 on Saturday. Experts are warning against over-interpreting daily figures - this is why.

Elsewhere, the BBC has spoken to thousands of people who have been missed off the government's high risk list for Covid-19 despite meeting the criteria. Many are worried it will affect their ability to access food and medical supplies. And scientists at University College London say countries like the UK that have shut schools to help stop the spread of coronavirus should ask hard questions about whether those closures should continue.

Global latest

The news of a country's leader in intensive care is making headlines around the world, and one of those to send his thoughts to Mr Johnson was President Donald Trump, speaking at his daily press conference. The US has so far recorded almost 11,000 coronavirus deaths, but stark statistics from Chicago demonstrate the heavy and unequal toll it is taking. Black Chicagoans account for half of all cases in the city and more than 70% of deaths, despite making up only 30% of the population.

In Europe, France reported its highest daily death toll since the outbreak began. The country is launching a mass screening programme in care homes which are especially hard hit. In Spain though, the world's second worst-hit country, the daily number of deaths has continued to fall, boosting hopes that the peak has passed.

Elsewhere, China - where the pandemic began - has reported no coronavirus deaths for the first time since January. New Zealand's health minister has called himself an "idiot" after breaking the country's lockdown by driving his family to the beach. And more than 100 global organisations are calling for debt payments of poorer countries to be dropped.

Follow all the latest developments via our live page.

Life in lockdown

The approaches to dealing with coronavirus across the world have been varied to say the least. Our visual journalism team has put together a guide. The impact of those lockdowns has been wide-ranging too. Some have found themselves struggling to get essential items, and the BBC has spent time with one mother going from house to house delivering nappies to families in need. Others are feeling the economic effects, including sex workers, some of whom are attempting to shift online. However, not all businesses are suffering - in the US gun sales appear to be at a record high. Here we look at why.

Find all our analysis and explanation of the crisis on the dedicated coronavirus page.

Why has this country reported no virus cases?

By Abdujalil Abdurasulov , BBC News

While the world battles coronavirus and more and more countries lock down their populations, Turkmenistan is holding a mass cycling rally to mark World Health Day on Tuesday. The Central Asian country claims it still has zero coronavirus cases. But can we trust the figures provided by a government renowned for censorship? "Official health statistics from Turkmenistan are notoriously unreliable," said Prof Martin McKee from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

One thing not to miss today

image copyrightGetty Images

Listen up

The team discuss the prime minister's condition in the latest Coronavirus Newscast. And for a little light relief, BBC Radio 5 Live's Elis James and John Robins bring you some much-needed laughs in The Isolation Tapes.

What the papers say

The main story across all of the papers is Boris Johnson's move to intensive care. He now faces a "fight for life" say the Sun and Daily Star. In the words of the Daily Mail, the "stricken" prime minister was struggling to breathe. The Times quotes one minister as saying the announcement of the PM's worsening condition was a "truly shocking" moment. The Guardian has also been told of "frustration" among ministers over Mr Johnson's decision to remain in charge for so long, rather than rest. Elsewhere, the Financial Times says the government is trying to work out how and when to relax the UK's lockdown. It argues that countries which have rightly decided to close down their economies have only "a very few months" before the costs and social unrest become "unbearable". According to the Daily Telegraph, ministers are scrambling to formulate a new exit strategy following warnings from experts that mass testing cannot be introduced for at least a month.

From elsewhere

Need something different?

Rwanda's president believes drones could become lifesavers for his nation and others in Africa, as well as offering economic opportunity to previously isolated communities. Our BBC Business colleagues examine those ambitions. Elsewhere, read about the three-part series set to tell the story of the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? "coughing major" scandal. And finally, learn why the way you parent could determine whether your children turn out to be the leaders of tomorrow.

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