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8th May 2020

Science Coronavirus: Boris Johnson back after birth and ‘Captain Tom’ made colonel

Science Coronavirus: Boris Johnson back after birth and ‘Captain Tom’ made colonel


Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Thursday morning. We’ll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.

Science 1. PM back at work as testing deadline looms

It’s straight back to work for Boris Johnson after the birth of his new son. He’ll chair a cabinet meeting later, before updating the public on efforts to tackle the virus, while No 10 also faces the deadline for its target of 100,000 daily virus tests.

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Downing Street

Science 2. The crucial number

The basic reproduction number is a way of rating a disease’s ability to spread. And it gives us clues to the extent the lockdown can be lifted, as health and science correspondent James Gallagher explains.

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Getty Images

Science 3. Tube may be ‘overwhelmed’ when lockdown is lifted

London’s transport system may be unable to cope with a surge in demand when lockdown measures are lifted, with the Tube “rapidly overwhelmed” if social distancing were maintained, according to a briefing to emergency planners.

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Science 4. The people behind the numbers

The scale of the pandemic means it’s difficult for the stories of many of those who die with the virus to be heard. On 12 April alone, at least 1,174 people died in England and Wales. Reporter Alice Cuddy tells the stories of seven of them.

Science 5. ‘Captain Tom’ becomes colonel on 100th birthday

After raising more than £29.5m for NHS charities by walking 100 laps of his garden, Tom Moore is being made an honorary colonel by the Army. As well as a 100th birthday card from the Queen – and 140,000 more from other well-wishers – he was celebrated with an RAF flypast. Follow the latest on our live page.

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Bedford School

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Benjie Ingram-Moore presented his grandfather with a photo of the thousands of birthday cards he has received

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Science And don’t forget…

You can find more information, advice and guides – including the number of confirmed cases in your area – on our coronavirus page.

Follow all the latest developments in our live page.

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