Covid deaths jump by 626 in UK, Russia’s infection rates continue rapid rise

Madrid Desk, May 8 (efe-epa).- A six-week-old baby became the youngest victim to die from coronavirus in the United Kingdom, authorities said Friday, as the death toll in the country, the worst-hit in Europe, hit 31,241.

It was an increase of 626 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the government’s official statistics, which take into account fatalities in all settings.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson gears up to outline the government’s strategy to exit the lockdown that came into force on 23 March, which he said would be gradual and “cautious.”

Regional leaders in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland said they had no plans to relax the restrictions.

The spread of Covid-19 continued its rapid increase in Russia, where the number of new cases surpassed 10,000 for the sixth consecutive day on Friday.

While many European capitals prepare to ease lockdowns, Moscow officials decided to extend the restrictive measures in place until June.

There were 10,699 cases detected in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 187,859. There have been 1,723 deaths so far.

It currently sits in fifth place in the world in terms of number of cases but if the current trend continues it could overtake the UK, Spain and Italy by next week.

Italian authorities said 30,201 people had died from Covid-19 since the outbreak began, 243 more than registered Thursday. The country was four days into its de-escalation process.

The European Commission will distribute 1.5 million masks to health workers in 17 member states of the European Union and the United Kingdom, the first batch of a package of ten million masks, the bloc’s executive branch said Friday.

This delivery of masks is part of a new purchase financed by the Commission through the Emergency Support Instrument with the aim of giving direct support to Member States in mitigating the immediate consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, said: “We are doing everything we can to support Member States in getting protective equipment to health workers on the frontline.

“They are Europe’s modern day heroes. This is EU solidarity in action to help respond to the needs of European health systems and 3 billion euros has been mobilised from the EU budget to directly support national efforts.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment: together we can win this fight.”

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