Coronavirus in UK live blog: Rishi Sunak to stand in for Prime Minister at daily press briefing

Follow the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak in our live blog below

By Finlay Greig
Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 7:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 3:39 pm

Scroll down and read our coronavirus live blog as it happens.

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An ambulance leaves St Thomas' Hospital in central London, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care with symptoms of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 (Photo: ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image: WHO)

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Coronavirus live blog, April 8

Last updated: Wednesday, 08 April, 2020, 17:47

Think tank The Resolution foundation have said that the government's plan to cover 80% of the salary of furloughed workers could cost up to £40 billion in just three month.

It suggests that between £30 billion and £40 billion could flow from Government coffers as at least a third of workers in the private sector are likely to be sent home.

Second NHS Nightingale hospital complete by Friday

Downing Street are saying that the second NHS Nightingale Hospital, which has been built at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, is to be opened on Friday.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said that it would initially have 500 beds to treat coronavirus patients, with the capacity to expand to 2,000.

"Huge credit should go to all those involved in getting the hospital set up so quickly," the spokesman said.

He added that the third Nightingale Hospital in Manchester was expected to open in "the next week or so".

14,000 tests carried out on Tuesday

Downing Street has said the most recent figures show 14,006 coronavirus tests were carried out on Tuesday in England, Scotland and Wales.

The Government has set a daily target of 100,000 tests to be achieved by the end of April.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said the total number of tests conducted at drive-through sites for NHS staff has now reached 9,069.

In all, more than 20,000 NHS staff and their family members have been tested for the disease.

Welsh First Minister says lockdown to be extended

Sunak stands in for PM at daily press briefing

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will take today's daily press briefing at 5pm.

We will be providing live coverage

Public warned of fake news

Bernie Sanders suspends presidential campaign

Uk records 938 more deaths

Prime Minister responding well to treatment

Rishi Sunak is now carrying out his daily briefing. He's joined by Dame Professor Angela McLean and Professor Stephen Powis.

He says the Prime Minister is receiving excellent care and his condition is improving in intensive care. 

He adds "I can also tell you that he has been sitting up in bed and engaging positively with the clinical team.

"The Prime Minister is not only my colleague and my boss but also my friend, and my thoughts are with him and his family."

£750m fund to support charities

The Chancellor announces a £750m fund for charities. 

£60m of this willl be funded to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 

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