Coronavirus stories you may have missed overnight: Veteran raises over £12m for NHS as pregnant nurse dies from Covid-19

Covid-19 has infected nearly 2 million people globally

Kate Ng
Thursday 16 April 2020 08:47
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Coronavirus in numbers

After an increase of 71,572 cases, the global number of confirmed coronavirus cases is edging closer to 2 million. The death toll has reached 123,126.

As the virus continues cause chaos around the world, here is your daily briefing of recent news items you may have missed.

99-year-old war veteran raises over £12m for NHS by walking around his garden

A 99-year-old veteran has amassed over £12m in donations for the NHS, in a fundraising effort where he aims to walk a hundred lengths of his back garden before he turns 100 years old later this month.

Captain Tom Moore, from Keighley in Yorkshire, had originally set out to raise just £1,000 but a tsunami of donations came flooding in from Tuesday, topping £1m by 9am.

The fundraiser reached £10m just before 11pm on Wednesday night, to which Mr Moore’s Twitter account reacted: “10 MILLION POUND! Virtutis Fortuna Comes. I want to thank all the people behind the scenes including @JustGiving, @BBCBreakfast and @GMB for being behind us from the start, and all the wonderful people donating!”

The war veteran, who served in India and Burma, had aimed to walk 10 laps around his garden a day to reach a hundred lengths by his 100th birthday on 30 April.

He is now ahead of schedule and will be finishing his challenge on Thursday, which will be broadcast on BBC Breakfast and ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

The baby of a pregnant nurse has been saved just before her mother died from Covid-19 at a hospital in England.

Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong, 28, was a nurse on a general ward at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital for five years. An emergency caesarean section was performed on her soon after being admitted and the newborn is in good health.

But Ms Agyapong died just days later, on Sunday. She is one of at least 45 NHS staff who have now died of coronavirus.

David Carter, chief executive of the Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “It is with great sadness that I can confirm the death of one of our nurses, Mary Agyeiwaa Agapong, who passed away on Sunday.

“Mary worked here for five years, and was a highly valued and loved member of our team, a fantastic nurse and a great example of what we stand for in this trust.

“She tested positive for Covid-19 after being tested on 5 April and was admitted to the hospital on 7 April.

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Mary’s family and friends at this sad time. We ask that the family’s privacy is respected at this time.”

EU urges caution as countries begin to reopen schools and shops

The European Commission has warned that member states should coordinate on any easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions and should move cautiously on the advice of scientific evidence.

Brussels unveiled a roadmap as Austria, Denmark and the Czech Republic start to roll back their lockdown measures.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said: “This roadmap is not a signal that containment measures can be lifted as of now but intends to provide a frame for Member State decisions.

“In general, we recommend a gradual approach and every action should be continuously monitored.”

Around 80,000 people have died in Europe of coronavirus, equivalent to two thirds of the global total.

Oxford University to start human trials of Covid-19 vaccine next week

Scientists at Oxford University are prepared to begin human trials of a potential coronavirus vaccine next week.

Researchers said the jab could be ready by autumn following significant progress in the early stages of development. It was tested successfully on several animal species.

The Oxford team joins three other groups of researchers, from the US and China, in beginning trials on humans.

510 people have enrolled to test the jab, ranging from 18 to 55 years old.

Lead researcher Professor Adrian Hill said: “We are going into human trials next week. We have tested the vaccine in several different animal species.

“We have taken a fairly cautious approach, but a rapid one to assess the vaccine that we are developing.”

Donald Trump throws wild accusations at WHO about coronavirus

Donald Trump has ended US funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO) after he blamed the body for “covering up” the coronavirus outbreak in its early stages.

The decision will deprive the WHO of $500m (£399m) per year at the height of the global pandemic. It has drawn criticism from the UN, EU and the American Medical Association, with one professor describing it as “one of the least productive, most short-sighted, self-motivated and hypocritical acts I have ever witnessed”.

He accused the organisation’s officials of “unfair” treatment against the US and said they knew “exactly what was going on” as the outbreak developed.

The president is expected to announce plans for some states to start lifting their quarantines, reiterating his anxiousness to “re-open” the US economy.

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