PPE exclusive: Millions of pieces shipped to Europe
It is a revelation that will fill NHS frontline workers with despair. Millions of pieces of vital protective equipment are being shipped from British warehouses to Germany, Spain and Italy despite severe shortages in this country. We can disclose that lorries are being packed with masks, respirators and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to supply hospitals in the EU. With the Government facing growing criticism over the crisis, Bill Gardner has spoken to UK firms who say they have “no choice” but to sell the gear abroad because British officials have repeatedly ignored their offers of help. So why is the UK so ill-equipped? Read the inside story on Britain’s PPE shortages.
Meanwhile, testing is back in the spotlight. We have nine days until the deadline for Britain to test 100,000 people a day for coronavirus. Latest official figures show just 19,316 tests were carried out in the 24 hours to 9am yesterday. Matt Hancock’s pledge has been criticised as arbitrary and irrational by Downing Street sources. In a sign that senior Whitehall figures are distancing themselves from the target, Chief Reporter Robert Mendick reports that a No10 insider said the Health Secretary’s promise threatened to “come back and bite him”. As the lockdown continues (remind yourself of the new rules for daily life), allow Matt to raise your spirits with today’s cartoon on the DIY haircut dilemma.
PS – With developments coming thick and fast, stay informed with our liveblog, daily Global Health Bulletin, WhatsApp group, coronavirus podcast and index page with all our articles. We have a special offer when you take out a new Telegraph subscription that allows you to access all our newspaper and online articles without leaving home. Sign up for a free one-week trial – then save 50pc on your first three months.
Trump to suspend all immigration to fight virus
Donald Trump has announced he will sign a temporary order to ban all immigration to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The US president claimed he will use his executive powers to close America’s borders. He revealed the move on Twitter overnight. Meanwhile, US oil prices have turned negative for the first time in history. A barrel of American oil was trading for less than a litre of petrol following the “epic” crash. James Titcomb explains why traders are paying to give it away.
Happy birthday Ma’am! Queen turns 94 in lockdown
The Queen has turned 94 today – but is marking her birthday away from her family as the coronavirus lockdown continues. The monarch is with her husband of 72 years, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Windsor Castle with a reduced household for their protection. There will also be no birthday gun salutes for the first time in 68 years. So, as the Queen celebrates in silence, Harry Mount has written the salute Her Majesty deserves.
At a glance: More coronavirus headlines
Comment and analysis
You Are Not Alone: Surviving coronavirus lockdown
- What lies in store for Boris? | ‘Covid-19 has left me a shadow of my former self’
- Allison Pearson’s Corona Chronicles | A tale of non-domestic bliss – part seven
- Town versus country | Which kind of British lockdown wins?
Business and money briefing
Necker on the line | Sir Richard Branson has offered to put Caribbean retreat Necker Island up as collateral in return for a taxpayer-backed bailout of his airline group. The billionaire issued a plea for help to save his business empire after admitting he has no “cash in the bank”.
Gallery: Virus fightback around the world
Isolate, isolate, isolate | China’s approach to quarantine could be the most effective – and the West is in danger of missing the most effective intervention of all, writes Daniel Falush. It is time for a difficult conversation, he says. Read the full article and view more world pictures.
Also in the news today
Mass shooting | The gunman who slaughtered at least 18 people in Canada has been identified as the millionaire owner of a denture business with an alcohol problem. The attack by Gabriel Wortman, 51, has already become the deadliest in the country’s history. Officials warned more bodies could be found in the rubble of five burned-out homes and buildings. Read everything we know.
And finally… for this morning’s downtime
From Iman to elephants | The life of Peter Beard was filled with drugs, women and artistic success. How did he become “The World’s Most Interesting Man”? Read about his amazing, exotic world