UK coronavirus live: Nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate on standby to take patients

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NHS England medical director Professor Stephen Powis says hospitals preparing to take patients; Boris Johnson to reveal plan for country to be graded in three tiers of restrictions

Here are the main points from Prof Jonathan Van-Tam’s briefing.

The hospital admissions we have now actually relate to a time when there fewer cases of Covid-19. Already, with the cases that we know about, we have baked in additional hospital admissions and sadly we also have baked in additional deaths that are now consequent upon infections that have already happened.

We have asked the Nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate to prepare for this next phase. They are being asked to mobilise over the next few weeks to be ready to accept patients if necessary.

Jonathan Van-Tam highlights the ‘three c’s’ messaging put out by Japan’s government. Avoid: closed spaces, crowded places, close contact.

He adds two more:
D – duration spent in an area
V – volume – how loud you talk

If you salami slice the infection data very carefully across the school age bands, what you actually see is very low rates of increase in infection up to around the age of 16 and then picking up a bit in the 17-18-year-olds as we drift into that age bracket … of really quite intense transmission.

The evidence that there is significant transmission in schools is not really borne out by the increased infection rates and indeed we already know that children are not drivers of infection and spread in the community in the same way we know they are for influenza, for example.

Margaret Ferrier – the suspended SNP MP who travelled by train from London to Glasgow after a positive diagnosis of coronavirus – claims that senior SNP officials drafted her statement apologising for her rule breaches and ordered her to refer herself to the police.

Ferrier told the Sun that she felt railroaded into releasing the statement by party officials and was given just five minutes to warn family and friends that it was being released. She said:

I just felt it was very pushy. You’ve just been told you have Covid. You’re stressed, with a lot of things going through your mind. You’re wanting somebody to help you. I said at that point ‘hang on a minute — as soon as this goes out am I going to be bombarded with abuse?’ They were not considering the fact that I had only been diagnosed with Covid and I don’t know how that’s going to affect my mental state. It just went crazy. I still haven’t looked at Twitter, but I have heard about it.

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