July 6, 2022

Spy Gists

Fresh Updates From Around The World.

Coronavirus UK latest news – Covid cases and deaths falling slower Matt Hancock warns as he confirms 20m now vaccinated

THE Brazilian “variant of concern” that has been discovered in the UK could disrupt plans to lift all lockdown measures in the UK by June 21 an expert has suggested.

Asked about the variant on Times Radio, Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College said the public should be “somewhat worried but not total panic, perhaps.”

But he suggested the Brazilian variant could have a real impact on the UK’s jab rollout, saying “The way I think about it is it’s a bit like, and I think about the effect that the Kent variant had… it just slowed everything up.”

If the variant does slow the UK jab rollout, Boris Johnson’s lockdown roadmap will almost certainly be impacted as one of the key conditions for June 21 lifting of measures is vaccines continuing at their current pace.

Any slowing down of the rollout could potentially push the June 21 date back by weeks or even months, as the Prime Minister made clear when he first announced his plans on February 22.

The news comes as it was revealed more than 20 million people have had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in the UK.

Boris Johnson hailed the “huge national achievement” while praising the NHS, volunteers and armed forces for their work in the vaccine roll-out.

Meanwhile, vaccines for people over 40 will begin this month as Britain delivers jabs to more than 20 million adults, The Telegraph reported.

Health officials are about to send the last batch of invites to those over 60, the report added.

Follow our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news and updates on the pandemic

  • SURGE TESTING IN SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE

    Surge testing will be in place in South Gloucestershire for the Brazilian variant.

    Mr Hancock urges everyone to go and get tested – even if people are showing no symptoms.

  • JABS TO REPLACE RESTRICTIONS

    The health secretary explained that as the jab continues to be rolled out, the safety that comes from the restrictions we are currently under will be replaced by the safety of the vaccine.

  • 1.65BILLION BUDGET FUNDING

    We are making sure that we have the funds to do all this incredible work.

    The budget meeting on Wednesday will pump 1.65billion pounds worth of new government funding to support the vaccine roll out across all parts of the UK.

  • JABS BY END OF JULY

    So long as everything goes to plan, everyone will have jabs by the end of the July.

  • OVER 60S TO BE CALLED FOR JABS

    Mr Hancock said: “It shows the power of science. And what it means for you is when the call comes, get the jab.”

    He also formally announced that the over 60s will now be called for their jabs.

  • OXFORD JAB PRAISE

    “The data show that the protection that you get from catching Covid 35 days after a first jab is even slightly better for the Oxford jab than for pfizer – albeit both results are clearly very strong,” Mr Hancock said.

  • “EXTREMELY GOOD NEWS”

    The vaccine is helping to protect the NHS and to save lives.

    Mr Hancock went on to share the new data: “A single shot of either vaccine works against severe infection among the over 70s with a more than 80 per cent reduction in hospitalisations.

    “This is extremely good news.”

  • NUMBER OF DAILY DEATHS FALLING

    The number of deaths each day is falling much, much faster than in the first peak.

    It’s falling faster in the over 80s who got the jabs first.

  • HOSPITALISATIONS FALLING

    The number of people being hospitalised is falling faster, especially among the age groups who were vaccinated first.

    The fall in the number of older age groups is faster than those in younger age groups – which proves the vaccines are working.

  • NEW DATA

    Matt Hancock revealed new data that has emerged, as well as new analytic research that shows how lives are being saved.

    He showed slides that showed that the number of new cases is falling but the rate of decline has slowed.

    “This shows how we all need to keep sticking to the rules – lets not blow it now,” he stressed.

  • “ENTHUSIASM IS FANTASTIC”

    The health secretary said: “Each and every jab makes us all safer. Every time a friend sends me a message with a picture of them having jabs, i know that we are all one step closer to returning to normality.

    “It is fantastic the enthusiasm we are showing. We still have a long way to go so lets stick at it.”

  • 20 MILLION JABS

    Matt Hancock started this evening’s press conference by sharing the “miraculous” news that 20 million people in the UK have now been vaccinated. 

    He thanked everyone who has been involved in the biggest vaccination roll out in UK history. 

  • MATT HANCOCK TO LEAD PRESS CONFERENCE AT 5PM

    The health secretary is due to lead a press conference from Downing Street any minute now.

    He is expected to address the new Brazilian P.1 variant that has been found in the UK.

  • PM: UK HAS ‘VERY TOUGH REGIME’ AT BORDERS

    Boris Johnson has insisted the UK has “one of the toughest border regimes anywhere in the world” despite the Brazilian coronavirus strain being detected.

    The Prime Minister claimed the Government “moved as fast as we could” to launch its quarantine hotel policy.

    Public Health England has identified six UK cases of the concerning P1 variant first detected in the Brazilian city of Manaus – three in England and three in Scotland.

    This has led to accusations that stricter and quicker restrictions should have been imposed on international arrivals.

    UK nationals or residents have continued to be allowed to return from Brazil using indirect fights.

  • COVID DEATHS AT THEIR LOWEST SINCE OCTOBER

    Coronavirus deaths have risen by 104 – the lowest toll since October.

    Cases have increased by 5,455, bringing the total to 4,182,009.

    Read more here.

  • UK GIVES FIRST DOSE OF COVID-19 VACCINE TO 20.3 MILLION PEOPLE

    A total of 20.3 million people have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, official data released on Monday showed.

    Britain also reported a further 5,455 cases and 104 deaths within 28 days of a positive test. That compares with 6,035 cases and 144 deaths on Sunday.

  • RED LIST SYSTEM FOR COVID QUARANTINE IS ‘INADEQUATE’, SAYS SCOTTISH HEALTH SECRETARY

    The red list system for quarantining international arrivals is “inadequate”, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has said, following the arrival of the Brazillian Covid-19 variant in the UK.

    Six UK cases of the concerning P1 variant, first detected in the Brazilian city of Manaus, have been identified: three in England and three in Scotland.

    The three Scottish cases were found in asymptomatic passengers who flew into Aberdeen on the BA1312 flight from London Heathrow on Friday.

    They tested positive while self-isolating and contact tracing of other passengers on the flight is currently ongoing.

    Ms Freeman said there is no reason to believe that the Brazilian strain of Covid-19 is in circulation in Scotland but efforts to “identify and break any possible chains of transmission” are ongoing.

  • WOMAN, 101, COULD BE LIVING PROOF THAT COVID JAB REDUCES SYMPTOMS

    A 101-year-old who contracted coronavirus just days after getting the vaccine only felt tired and didn’t need hospital treatment or oxygen, she has revealed.

    Lore Lucas could be living proof that the jab reduces symptoms and she “only felt more tired than normal” after contracting Covid not long after receiving the Pfizer jab. She had to miss out on her 101st birthday celebrations on January 7 after being consigned to her bed for around two weeks as she recovered.

    Mrs Lucas was among a number of care home residents at Elton House in Bushey, Hertfordshire, to receive the jab on Christmas Eve, but in the new year, she tested positive for Covid-19.

    But in a sign the vaccine does prevent serious risk among elderly people, Mrs Lucas required no hospital treatment and only had a mild illness.

    She said she did not really suffer from any symptoms except tiredness and although she was prescribed oxygen at her bedside, it was not needed.

  • BRITAIN SHOULD BE A ‘FORCE FOR GOOD IN THE WORLD’ AS RAAB HERALDS START OF COVAX INITIATIVE

    Dominic Raab has said Britain should be a “force for good in the world” as he heralded the start of the rollout of vaccines under the Covax initiative.

    The Foreign Secretary told reporters: “What we are seeing today is the first mass rollout at Cote d’Ivoire – half a million doses – part of our strategy to get the most vulnerable people in 92 of the developing countries vaccinated by June.

    “And that’s because we believe Britain should be a force for good in the world but also because we recognise that we are not safe until everyone is safe.”

    Mr Raab also said border restrictions in the UK are “robust” despite the discovery of cases of a Brazilian coronavirus strain.

    He said: “The border restrictions, I think, are robust – we keep them under constant review. I think variants are the normal feature of any pandemic and any virus.”

  • BRAZIL VARIANT LEAVES VICTIMS SUFFERING FOR DAYS LONGER

    A new coronavirus strain ripping through Brazil has caused a fresh spike in deaths and brought overwhelmed hospitals to their knees.

    In a grim warning for the UK, patients with the P1 mutation from the Amazon have been found to suffer for days longer and have a viral load ten times higher than with other variants.

    Experts have warned the dangerous new Covid strain could be three times more infectious than other types, and vaccines might not be so effective.

    The P1 mutation was first detected in jungle city Manaus, where it spread like wildfire as cemeteries filled with hundreds of new graves.

    You can read the full story here.

  • EU BOOST FOR SUMMER HOLS WITH VACCINE PASSPORT PLAN

    Brussels has raised hopes that vaccine passports will save the summer holidays – but warned that Brits will be behind Europeans in the queue for a beach getaway.

    EU boss Ursula von der Leyen announced the bloc will draw up plans for jabs certificates within weeks and aims to have them in place by June.

    Under the plan EU citizens will be able to travel again within the bloc if they can show proof of vaccination, negative test, or antibodies.

    A European Commission spokesman added: “We’re of the view that in collaboration with the WHO there should be a way to scale this up globally.

    “We work on a European solution now – this is where we start – and then anything else would need to come after.”

  • COVID JAB ROLLOUT WILL ‘GO AT TWICE THE SPEED IN MARCH’

    The UK’s Covid jab rollout will go at twice the speed in March, the government’s vaccine minister has claimed.

    Nadhim Zahawi today said that “March will be a big month” when it comes to the UK’s coronavirus jab programme.

    Speaking to BBC Breakfast this morning Mr Zahawi said: “We’ll probably going to be twice the rate over the next 10 weeks as we have done over the past 10 or 11 weeks.”

    He added: “We have already been reserving second doses. You have seen the numbers tick up of second doses.

    “And in March you will see that number increase even more.”

  • SCHOOL STAFF AT ‘NO GREATER RISK’ OF COVID-19 INFECTION THAN WORKING-AGE ADULTS

    School staff are not at a higher risk of Covid-19 infection than other working-age adults in their local communities, new figures suggest.

    Around 14.99% of school staff tested positive for coronavirus antibodies in December, which indicate a past infection, lower than the estimate of 18.22% for working-age adults, according to a small study of schools.

    The survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also suggests the proportion of staff who tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies was 14.61% of primary staff, compared with 15.72% of secondary staff.

    The findings come a week before all pupils in England are set to return to class after months of remote learning.

    School leaders and teachers have been left “disappointed” after Government advisers decided against prioritising school staff in “crowded” classrooms in the next phase of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

  • DOWNING STREET SAYS SCHOOLS WILL REOPEN ON MARCH 8 AS PLANNED

    Downing Street has said schools in England will reopen on Monday as planned despite the discovery of a number of cases of a Brazilian variant of the coronavirus.

    The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Schools will reopen on March 8 as we set out in the road map.”

    The spokesman said that included South Gloucestershire where two cases had been found.

    “We have deployed the extra surge testing in Gloucestershire to ensure that if there are any other cases in that local area we can identify then and ensure those people are isolated,” he said.

  • JEREMY HUNT CALLS FOR TIGHTER BORDER CONTROLS FOLLOWING SIX CASES OF P.1 VARIANT

    Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the discovery of six cases of the Brazilian P1 variant of the coronavirus in the UK showed the need for tighter controls.

    “Absolutely we have got to look at what has gone wrong,” he told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One programme.

    “It shows that it needs to be tightened up still further because if we are going to protect the road map out of lockdown then the name of the game is going to be stop new variants coming in, some of which may end up being immune to the new vaccines.

    “Where we need to get to is a much, much more thorough combination of test and trace and genetic sequencing so we are not just testing the people who have been near someone who tested positive, but we also are working out where the original infection happened and which variant it is.

    “You can only do that if you bring the cases right down.”