UK coronavirus live: Boris Johnson 'against lifting lockdown over second wave fears'

Anger mounts over PPE shortages; culture secretary says official minute’s silence for NHS workers killed by virus ‘a very good idea’

8.02am BST

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, has cast doubt on the government’s claim that the delayed PPE shipment form Turkey will arrive today.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said:

As of an hour ago, there is relatively low confidence that will it will arrive today. If it is going to arrive today, it’ll probably arrive very late on in the day. It just illustrates that we need to be careful about focusing on individual consignments.

Bitter experience over the last few weeks has shown than until a consignment of gowns has actually landed, that the boxes have been checked and the equipment’s been tested, the NHS simply can’t count on the gowns being available at the front line.

7.52am BST

Dowden also backed Labour and union call for a minute’s silence to honour the NHS workers who have died from coronavirus.

Dowden, who as culture minister has responsibility for such ceremonies, suggested the government would soon announce that an official minute’s silence will be held. He said:

I think it is a very good idea and we are looking into it. As culture secretary I have responsibility for ceremonials and things like minute’s silence. And we are actively looking into that.

Our key workers are literally putting their lives on the line in the fight against the coronavirus. They represent the best of us. That is why Labour wholeheartedly supports the call for a minute’s silence in honour of all those on the frontline who have died from coronavirus.

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/apr/20/uk-coronavirus-live-boris-johnson-against-lifting-lockdown-over-second-wave-fears