Here is a round-up of the latest news in response to the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, March 26.
It is day three and the Chancellor is set to unveil a package of aid for the self-employed and a Welsh doctor issues a stark warning about the number of deaths in the Gwent healthboard area.
Follow updates on the world coronavirus pandemic on our live blog.
Confirmed worldwide cases: 471,802
Confirmed deaths: 21,297
Confirmed recoveries / discharges: 114,703
As of Wednesday in the UK, 9,529 people had tested positive, up from 8,077 at the same point on Tuesday.
A total of 97,019 people have been tested with 87,490 negative results.
The rise in UK coronavirus-related deaths from 422 to 465 is a jump of 43.
Help for the self-employed
The Chancellor announced a package of aid for businesses, but those who are self-employed and suddenly found themselves with no income have been calling for similar aid.
And it looks like that is going to come today in a statement from Rishi Sunak as the Government comes under growing pressure to throw the sector a lifeline.
The move comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Parliament he wanted to achieve “parity of support” so the self-employed could have similar levels of protection to waged workers.
It is reported that one in three self-employed workers were set to ask the Government to support their wages.
Mr Johnson told MPs: “There are particular difficulties with those who are not on PAYE schemes as … I think the whole House understands.
“We are bringing forward a package to ensure that everybody gets the support that they need.”
He added: “I cannot, in all candour, promise the House that we will be able to get through this crisis without any kind of hardship at all.
“We will do whatever we can to support the self-employed, just as we are putting our arms around every single employed person in this country.”
The Chancellor will outline his measures later today.
Stark warning from Gwent doctor
A senior doctor with the Aneurin Bevan Trust has compared the rate of coronavirus cases in Gwent to Italy.
There are so far 309 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area, and as of Sunday there have been five recorded deaths at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport and Nevill Hall hospital in Abergavenny.
According to UK Government data, Gwent has the highest concentration of confirmed coronavirus cases per 100,000 people outside of London.
Speaking on Wednesday, the director of public health at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Dr Sara Aitken said the health service in Gwent could be “overwhelmed” if Government advice is not adhered to.
Dr Aitken said: “In Gwent we are seeing a rapidly rising increase in the number of cases of coronavirus in all our communities and a daily increase in the number of people being admitted to hospital and the number of people dying from the virus.
“The pattern we are seeing in Gwent is the same pattern as we are seeing in Italy where their healthcare system is now overwhelmed.”
A nationwide thank you for NHS staff
A national salute is set to take place this evening to honour the hardworking NHS staff who are trying to battle coronavirus.
In a gesture of thanks to the frontline healthcare heroes, everyone across the nation has been invited to join a a mass round of applause from their doorsteps, windows and balconies on Thursday at 8pm.
The Clap For Carers campaign, which started online, is being staged because “during these unprecedented times they need to know we are grateful”, according to the organisers.
Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, the Royal Albert Hall and Lincoln Cathedral are said to be among some of the landmarks which are set to be lit up in blue during the salute.
It is part of the #lightitblue campaign which has been organised by members of the events and entertainment industry as a way to say thank you.
The map of all the Welsh cases
Supermarket websites crash under the strain
A number of supermarket websites are experiencing technical issues as thousands of people try to shop online.
Supermarket chains have experienced an influx of people trying to buy their groceries over the internet to avoid leaving the house during the coronavirus pandemic.
Shoppers are now having to wait weeks or even months before a delivery option is available and now supermarket website are crashing due to the amount of traffic trying to enter their websites.
Double bag your rubbish if you are ill
That is the advice after the UK’s major recycling and waste management companies, along with industry and local government bodies, issued a joint statement reassuring people they are working hard to ensure bin collections continue.
The statement said anyone who feels ill at home, whether or not they are diagnosed with Covid-19, should place all their waste in the general rubbish bin, double-bag it and wait at least 72 hours before placing it out for collection.
And it said: “To ensure we can continue to collect general rubbish, which must be prioritised for hygiene reasons, it might be necessary to temporarily change or suspend some non-essential collection services like garden and bulky waste.
“Any disruption to recycling services will be a last resort and, if this is unavoidable, we must not allow it to break our national recycling habit in the long term.
“Some household waste recycling centres will be temporarily closed to the general public and, unless essential, people should not be leaving their homes to visit these sites.
“It is possible that some street cleaning and litter removal services may also need to be temporarily suspended to prioritise household collections. “
Prince Charles self-isolating in Scotland
The Prince of Wales is self-isolating in Scotland after he became the highest profile coronavirus case in the country.
His office Clarence House said the 71-year-old had tested positive for Covid-19, was displaying “mild symptoms” but was in good health and spirits at Birkhall in Aberdeenshire.
A source said “medical advice is that it is unlikely to escalate into a more serious case”.
The Duchess of Cornwall, 72, who is also at Birkhall, has tested negative for the virus, so is separating herself from the prince.
The couple were tested by the NHS in Aberdeenshire on Monday, but SNP politician Joan McAlpine, a Member of the Scottish Parliament, raised questions about the procedures, citing a relative with an underlying health condition who was refused a test.
Clarence House said the prince and duchess were tested on the NHS as “they met the criteria required for testing”.
Charles fell ill over the weekend and a source said his doctor’s most conservative estimate was that he was contagious on March 13.
Meanwhile, the Queen still held her weekly audience with the Prime Minister but it was by phone from Windsor Castle.
House sales expected to plunge by 60%
House sales are set to plunge by as much as 60% over the next three months, as the market reacts to the impact of Covid-19, a report suggests.
Research modelling by property website Zoopla indicates a fall in transaction volumes of up to 60% over the second quarter of 2020, compared with same period in 2019.
Some individual months this spring may even see newly-agreed sales down by up to 80% on last year, given the shutdown of normal life and knock-on impact for the market, Zoopla suggested.
Low sales volumes are also expected to continue into the third quarter.