Coronavirus: The 13 major developments that happened on Wednesday

Rebecca C. Taylor
·3 min read

Here’s what you need to know on 6 May. This article was updated at 5pm.

Deaths: A further 649 people diagnosed with COVID-19 have died in the UK, taking the overall total to 30,076. The figure released by the Department of Health is for coronavirus-related fatalities in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the community, as of 5pm on Tuesday. Read more here.

Policy: Boris Johnson continued to shake hands even as some scientists advising the government on the coronavirus outbreak were calling for the practice to stop, it has emerged. Johnson shook hands with Anthony Joshua on 9 March at the Commonwealth Day service, days after advice not to. Read more here.

Lockdown measures could begin to ease from Monday, the prime minister has told the House of Commons. It comes ahead of his update on measures, planned for Sunday. Read more here.

Science: Britain believes the coronavirus was passed naturally from animals to humans. Whitehall sources said it was highly unlikely the virus was leaked from a Chinese lab. Read more here.

The British public are said to be more concerned by the coronavirus outbreak than residents of any other affected country. Scientists from the University of Cambridge asked nearly 7,000 people across Europe, Asia and the US how they felt about the pandemic. UK residents were found to be the most anxious, while South Koreans appeared the most relaxed. Read more here.

Testing: Boris Johnson has set a new target for daily testing that is double the previous target, despite missing the previous target three days in a row. Johnson said he hopes to reach 200,000 tests a day by the end of May. This was later confirmed to refer to capacity for testing, not number of tests performed. Read more here.

Business: British firms say they can be up and running in less than three weeks as the government prepares to unveil plans to kickstart the economy. A survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce revealed that most businesses in the UK would require only one to three weeks’ notice, with small businesses particularly keen to restart operations. Read more here.

The surprise reopening of a KFC restaurant in north Wales led to massive queues and “manic scenes”. Customers had to wait two hours to buy chicken on Tuesday when the drive-thru in Rhuddlan resumed business after a month and a half. There were similar queues at the Swansea branch. Read more here.

Rest of the world

The Trump administration failed to prepare for the onslaught of coronavirus, then sought a quick fix by trying to rush an unproven drug to patients, a senior US government scientist has alleged in a whistleblower complaint. Read more here.

Schools have reopened in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus outbreak began. Pupils wore masks, walked in single file and were checked by thermal scanner as they arrived for their exams. Read more here.

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of COVID-19 cases in your local area

6 charts and maps that explain how coronavirus is spreading

Positive news

A llama called Winter could be the key to unlocking coronavirus treatment. Scientists first began working on the project on the side of normal research a few years ago, but it’s become more urgent in the recent pandemic. Read more here.

Italian researchers claim to have developed a vaccine that can neutralise the coronavirus in human cells. Tests carried out at Rome’s infectious-disease Spallanzani Hospital generated antibodies in mice that work in human cells. Read more here.

Britons have been doing their best to see the funny side during the coronavirus pandemic. A round-up of some of the best jokes can be found here.