Coronavirus in UK live blog as it happened: deputy chief medical officer advises public to not inject themselves with disinfectant following Trump claims

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

By Finlay Greig
Friday, 24th April 2020, 6:22 pm

We will be providing live updates until 6pm this evening.

A girl looks at a mural by artist Rachel List paying tribute to NHS staff battling the COVID-19 outbreak painting on a wall in Pontefract (Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Coronavirus live blog, April 24

Last updated: Friday, 24 April, 2020, 17:50

Cancer surgeons face 'impossible question'

Cancer surgeons are facing "an impossibly difficult question" of whether to operate during the coronavirus outbreak, the head of a professional organisation has said.

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCS) president Professor Michael Griffin is leading calls for more "Covid-free hubs" to be available so life-saving procedures can go ahead.

The RCS, which represents 15,000 members UK-wide, conducted a survey of its fellows and found a third of those who carry out cancer operations have completely stopped them.

Scotland reports 64 more deaths

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced 64 more hospital deaths in Scotland relating to coronavirus. 

1,184 have died in Scotland to date.

UK not looking into disinfectant as treatment

Downing Street said the UK was not looking at recommending the injection of disinfectant to treat coronavirus, following US president Donald Trump suggesting it as a potential treatment method during a White House press briefing.

Asked about the remarks, the Prime Minister's spokesman said: "No, it is not something that is being looked at here."

Conservative MP takes aim at Chinese Communist Party

Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat has accused the Chinese Communist Party of putting its own survival ahead of that of the survival of people during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told the BBC's World At One programme: "The one thing that really marks out the Chinese Communist Party is not that they didn't have sufficient data, but that they deliberately falsified the data. Now this is very different from other countries.

"The arrest of Li Wenliang, who tried to call out the problems that he was seeing and sadly later died from (it) in Wuhan, demonstrates that the party puts its own self ahead of the interests of its people and ahead of the interests of the wider world.

"And later, the party also influenced the World Health Organisation (WHO) not to communicate with states like Taiwan who were responding well, but instead to perpetuate the falsification that the Chinese state had begun, and that had already put the Chinese people at risk and was now putting the world at risk.

"So it's a really very, very specific problem that we're dealing with which is the survival of the party is put ahead of the survival of the people."

Latest death toll figures for England and Wales

NHS England has announced 587 new deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 17,373.

In Wales a further 110 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths there to 751.

768 new deaths in UK

Grant Shapps is due to take the daily press conference at 5pm. 

He will be joined by Dr Jenny Harries.

Unlikely that 10% of population have developed antibodies

Prof Whitty said it is unlikely more than 10% of the population outside London have developed antibodies to coronavirus.

He said he is not at the point where he feels "confident" that he can give a proportion, but added: "My view at the moment, I would love to be proved wrong, is that it is unlikely that any part of the UK maybe outside London will have a seroprevalence much above 10%.

"So I think it's quite a small proportion of the population... I would be delighted if it was higher than that, that would be very good news."

Grant Shapps is speaking now. 

He says there are "tentative signs that we are making progress."

He says the government has secured a tri-lateral agreement which commits France, Ireland and UK to keep essential freight flowing during pandemic.

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