Your morning briefing: What you should know for Wednesday, April 1

Sean Morrison

Coronavirus hospital NHS Nightingale will need 16,000 staff members if it hits full capacity

London’s new NHS Nightingale Hospital could need a staggering 16,000 members of staff to treat coronavirus patients should it reach full capacity.

The new 4,000-bed temporary facility at the ExCel convention centre is due to open this week despite building work only starting last Wednesday.

Split into more than 80 wards containing 42 beds each, the Nightingale will become one of the biggest hospitals in the world.

It’s chief operating officer said a "scary" number of staff would be needed to run the facility at full capacity and appealed for volunteers to come forward.


British national dies aboard virus-hit cruise ship heading for Florida

A British national is among four people to have died on a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship heading for Florida.

So far two of the four people to have died on the cruise ship Zaandam have been confirmed to have had Covid-19.

Nine people aboard have tested positive and 189 have reported flu-like symptoms.

The vessel’s operators have been embroiled in a bitter dispute over plans to disembark passengers in the US.

The Zaandam, which is carrying more than 200 Brits, and its sister ship the Rotterdam, passed through the Panama Canal on Monday after being denied entry to several ports.

Both ships are seeking to dock in Florida later this week.


Nearly £50k raised for family of 'UK's youngest virus victim'

Almost £50,000 has been raised for the “devastated” family of a 13-year-old London boy who died after testing positive for coronavirus.

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, from Brixton, died in hospital in the early hours of Monday, it was revealed last night.

He had no apparent underlying health conditions and is thought to be the youngest person in the UK to die with the Covid-19.

An online fundraiser on GoFundMe set up for funeral costs and for his family has so far raised £47,500 - far exceeding the initial £4,000 target.


Derek Jarman's cottage saved after campaigners secure funds

A £3.5 million fundraising target has been met to save a cottage formerly owned by the late artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman.

The money was raised after campaigners secured the funding from over 7,300 donations made from more than 40 countries in a 10-week period.

The cottage, which was at risk of being sold privately, will now be bought by the Art Fund charity, with the building, its contents and its garden being preserved.

An Art Fund grant of £500,000, as well as a donation of £750,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, helped secure the future of the cottage, which is in Dungeness, Kent.


Beefy flowers and greasy holes – Was that the filthiest Celebrity Bake Off yet?

The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer is here to distract us from our lockdown blues and last night’s all-star episode didn’t disappoint.

While the baking competition is famous for its naughty double-entendres and quirky characters, our four bakers really surpassed themselves.

James Blunt, Alex Jones, Alison Hammond and Joe Sugg proved to be even more eccentric and filthy (and disastrous) than previous regular contenders.

Things started badly after Joe cut his finger and passed out just minutes into the first showstopper challenge, which saw the celebrities make a tray bake.

However, it really was Joe’s “Rocky moment”, as he put it, as his efforts saw him win a handshake from the steely-eyed Paul Hollywood himself.


On this day...

1873: Sergei Rachmaninov, last of the great Russian Romantic composers, was born in Oneg. He later settled in the USA.

1875: Edgar Wallace, thriller writer and journalist, was born in London. In his career he wrote more than 170 books, along with plays and hundreds of short stories.

1918: The Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps merged to become the Royal Air Force.

1924: The first gramophone to change records automatically went on sale.

1965: Greater London came into being, comprising the City of London plus 32 metropolitan boroughs.

1973: Value Added Tax was introduced in Britain.

1974: Re-organisation of local government in England and Wales saw changes to many county names and boundaries.

1990: The longest prison riot in British history began at Strangeways, Manchester, and lasted until April 25.