Good morning and welcome to the news headlines on Thursday, April 9.
The latest figures on coronavirus are as follows.
Confirmed worldwide cases: 1,518,783
Confirmed deaths: 88,505
Confirmed recoveries / discharges: 330,590
The latest figures for Wales show that 284 new cases have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 4,073, although the true number of cases is likely to be higher.
The total of deaths from the virus is now 245, with 33 further deaths reported to Public Health Wales.
Thursday's case numbers are expected to be lower but that's because Public Health Wales are moving the point at which they count new cases back from 7pm to 1pm for operational reasons.
Lockdown expected to continue
Ministers have raised the prospect of Britain’s coronavirus lockdown extending beyond three weeks.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for the Prime Minister will he is in intensive care in hospital, will chair a Cobra emergency committee on Thursday to discuss the lockdown measures with leaders of the devolved nations.
First Minister Mark Drakeford has already said the lockdown will not end in Wales next week, insisting “we will not throw away the gains” by “abandoning our efforts just as they begin to bear fruit”.
With Wednesday seeing a rise of 938 in the number of deaths in hospitals of patients who tested positive for Covid-19, the highest new total so far, and the Prime Minister still in hospital, there seems little chance of the lockdown being lifted across the UK.
The restrictions face their toughest test so far over the Easter weekend, with temperatures set to reach 25C (77F) in some parts of the country, which could tempt more people to break the stay at home rules.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak refused to “speculate” about the future of the lockdown, instead confirming there would be a review of the measures “in and around three weeks” after they started.
The three-week mark will be reached on Easter Monday, while legislation designed to assist with the containment must also be reviewed at least once every 21 days – with the first due to be carried out by April 16 at the latest.
Boris Johnson spends third night in intensive care
Number 10 said Boris Johnson remains in intensive care but is making “steady progress”, with further updates expected on Thursday.
Mr Sunak said the Prime Minister was “sitting up in bed” and “engaging positively” with the medics treating him for Covid-19 at St Thomas’s Hospital in London on Wednesday.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said on Wednesday night: “The Prime Minister continues to make steady progress. He remains in intensive care.”
No 10 earlier said Mr Johnson was no longer working while following the advice of doctors, and receiving just the “standard oxygen treatment” and “breathing without any other assistance”.
Charities to get bailout from Treasury
At the Downing Street press conference on Wednesday, Mr Sunak unveiled a £750 million bailout to keep struggling charities afloat in the Treasury’s latest emergency measure.
Many charities welcomed the move but some also warned it must be the start – and not the end – of the Government’s efforts in protecting the sector.
Some £360 million direct from Government departments will go to charities providing key services, while smaller charities will benefit from £370 million, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund.
The Government has also pledged to match the public’s donations to the National Emergencies Trust, guaranteeing a minimum of £20 million.
It will match fund whatever the public decides to donate to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on April 23.
Mr Sunak said: “Our charities are playing a crucial role in the national fight against coronavirus, supporting those who are most in need.
“It’s right we do everything we can to help the sector during this difficult time, which is why we have announced this unprecedented £750 million package of extra funding.
“This will ensure our key charities can continue to deliver the services that millions of people up and down the country rely on.”
Tens of thousands of charities are expected to benefit, including hospices, St John’s Ambulance to help it support the NHS, vulnerable children and victims services and Citizen’s Advice, to increase the number of staff providing advice.
Announcing the funds for frontline charities at a Downing Street press conference, Mr Sunak said: “For them, shutting up shop at this moment would be to contravene their very purpose, their entire reason to exist.
“Those charities have never been more needed than they are now, and they’ve never faced such a sudden fall in their funding.”
He added: “At this time, when many are hurting and tired and confined, we need the gentleness of charities in our lives. It gives us hope, it makes us stronger and it reminds us we depend on each other.”
Transplant patients could be hit by outbreak
There's a fear that the UK's organ transplant network could be seriously affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) told the BBC that pressure on intensive care beds and risks to those on immunosuppressants drugs in preparation for new organs are worrying.
Just a few of the most urgent cases are being carried out, in comparison to around 80 per week this time last year.
Prof John Forsyth, medical director for transplant and organ donation at NHSBT, told the BBC: "When I hear from other countries who have been at the centre of this Covid pandemic, they have got to the point where no transplant is possible in certain regions at all.
"We may get to that point, and we may get to that point in the next days or weeks.
"But we are working very hard to keep organ donation and transplant open for as long as possible, accepting the safety of our patients is paramount."
William and Kate chat to children of key workers
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have praised NHS staff and other key workers for doing an “amazing job” as they met some of their children during a virtual school visit.
William and Kate carried out their first royal tour via video call, chatting to pupils and teachers from a Burnley primary school to learn how they are coping during the coronavirus outbreak.
With Easter days away, some of the children wore bunny ears for the visit, the Duchess was given a virtual posey and Prince William was left stumped by an inquisitive youngster’s question.
The couple “visited” Casterton Primary Academy, close to Burnley General Hospital, which has remained open to teach children of key workers and other vulnerable youngsters.
Kate told the children and teachers: “To you and everyone who is in during this time, it must be such a relief for all the parents who are key workers to know that their children have the normality and structure and they’ve got a safe place for them to be.
“So really, really well done and for all of you, I know it’s not easy circumstances, but it’s fantastic.”
A teacher replied: “Thank you so much. I think everyone is just pleased to be able to help.”
William added: “Good northern volunteering spirit going on up there, very good of you!”
There was a lighter moment when one of the children asked the future king: “The first William was William the Conqueror. What do you want to be called?”
The Duke laughed before swerving the question, saying: “I don’t think I can answer that.”
The couple spent an hour speaking to children – who held up pictures of their parents – including 10-year-old Harris, whose mother is still working as an NHS administrator for health visitors, and Lloyd, nine, whose mother is employed at a special needs school.
Kate began the introductions, saying: “What are your names? Very nice to meet you. I’m Catherine and this is William next to me,” before asking them if they were holding up pictures of their “mummies and daddies”.
Harris replied: “This is a picture of my mum and she works for the NHS as an admin for the health visitors and I’m really proud of her.”