LiveCoronavirus LIVE: latest updates

Welcome to our coronavirus live blog for Tuesday, March 31.

Tuesday, 31st March 2020, 7:50 am

Public Health England data for Sunday, March 29 shows 216 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Nottinghamshire - an increase of 23 from Sunday's figure of 193.

Across the UK 1,408 people are confirmed to have died after testing positive for Covid-19, as of 5pm on Sunday.

Sherwood forest Hospitals Trust confirmed five patients have passed away at King’s Mill Hospital between March 22-26. The patients in their 70s or 80s all had underlying health conditions.

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Last updated: Tuesday, 31 March, 2020, 11:55

Union leaders are calling for emergency changes to postal services during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Communication Workers Union said daily deliveries should be reduced to three times a week with only parcels, packets and first class mail being delivered on alternate days.

 

If personal protective equipment is not in place for all workers, offices should stop operations until gloves, hand sanitisers and other equipment has been provided, said the union.

 

In a letter to the Royal Mail and the Government, it said the company should cease acting as a commercial operation and instead operate as a vital national service, with postal workers given key worker status.

 

All unaddressed advertising mail should be immediately suspended, and Government contracts enabling public testing and the delivery of official information to the public must be prioritised, it was urged.

 

Postal workers could check on the elderly and vulnerable to flag up any concerns, collecting and delivering food parcels and medical prescriptions and equipment, said the CWU.

 

Paul Chuckle recovering from coronavirus

Contactless limit up to £45 from Wednesday

The contactless card payment limit in shops is increasing by £15, from £30 previously, as part of measures to combat coronavirus.

Shortages in supplies of protective equipment for health workers has led to a desperate NHS procurement chief tweeting "God help us all".

Protective gowns for frontline staff were not included in the national pandemic stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE), it has been claimed.

The Health Care Supply Association (HCSA), which represents procurement and supply professionals within the healthcare sector in the UK, warned of "serious supply issues" in hospitals.

The HCSA has asked officials "why gowns appear never to be included in the original pandemic stockpile".

It comes after HSCA chief officer Alan Hoskins wrote in a tweet, which has since been deleted: "What a day no gowns @NHSSupplyChain rang every number escalated to NHSE just got message back no stock can't help can send you a ppe pack losing the will to live god help us all."

Police have condemned two "shameful" Nottinghamshire thieves after bicycles belonging to health workers were stolen.

David Moran, 35, of Courtleet Way, and Craig Lancaster, 29, of Camrose Close, both Nottingham, will be sentenced in April after pleading guilty at the city's magistrates' court on Monday to dtealing the bikes from from Queen's Medical Centre.

Chief Superintendent Rob Griffin from Nottinghamshire Police, who oversaw the force's investigation into the thefts, said: "This is a shameful crime which has targeted our NHS colleagues at a time when they were working tirelessly to protect the public they serve.

"The speed and seriousness with which this case has been dealt with should leave anyone who thinks they can target hard-working members of our NHS in no doubt that they will be caught and that they will be dealt with robustly."

The Crown Prosecution Service said Moran pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary, theft of a pedal cycle and common assault of an emergency worker.

Lancaster pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary, theft of a pedal cycle, common assault of an emergency worker and obstructing a constable in the execution of his duty.

Janine Smith, the chief crown prosecutor for the East Midlands, said: "The CPS is committed to supporting NHS and emergency workers and will play our part to ensure those who target them in criminal offences will be brought to justice."

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