Great Britain

Covid UK news – live: Lockdown ‘may have to be tightened again’ amid warning of significant summer wave

UK Covid-19 vaccinations: Latest figures

Experts have warned that a third wave of Covid infections has already started in the UK and that some strict lockdown rules may have to be reintroduced if infections surge.

“We’re at the beginning of [the third wave] now,” Professor Neil Ferguson, the Imperial epidemiologist, said today.

The number of daily coronavirus infections today passed 10,000 for the first time since 19 February, as the upward trend that began a month ago continued.

Chief medical officer Chris Whitty said the current surge would “definitely” translate into hospital admissions and “undoubtedly” further deaths. And Professor Graham Medley said it was “not impossible” restrictions would have to be brought back in if hospitalisations started to rise.

Meanwhile, an internal NHS email seen by Channel 4 indicates that hospitals have been told to brace themselves for a likely third peak in early August. It warns “we are preparing for a third wave” and adds “the peak is expected to be 1 August”.

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Indonesian doctors infected despite being vaccinated

More than 350 doctors and medical workers have caught Covid-19 in Indonesia despite being vaccinated with Sinovac, and dozens have needed hospital care, officials said, as concerns grow about the efficacy of some vaccines against more infectious variants.

Most of the workers were asymptomatic and self-isolating at home, said Badai Ismoyo, head of the health office in the district of Kudus in central Java, but dozens were in hospital with high fevers and falling oxygen levels.

Kudus, which has about 5,000 healthcare workers, is battling an outbreak believed to be driven by the more transmissible Delta variant, which has raised its bed occupancy rates above 90%.

Designated as a priority group, healthcare workers were among the first to be vaccinated when inoculations began in January.

Almost all have received the vaccine developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac, the Indonesian Medical Association says.

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Seattle mayor says city has herd immunity thanks to jabs

The mayor of Seattle boasted that her city was the first major urban area in the US to hit herd immunity from the coronavirus. Mayor Jenny Durkan celebrated the milestone of 70 per cent of people in the city 12 and older being fully vaccinated. Clara Hill reports:

Doctor credits affluent and educated population for city’s vaccination success

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Nine in 10 over-50s have had both jabs

About nine in 10 people in England aged 50 and over are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, new figures suggest.

An estimated 90.3% of people in this age group had received two doses of a vaccine by June 13.

The Government has set a target to offer both jabs to everyone aged 50 and over by June 21.

Within this age group, 91.8% of people aged 80 and over are now estimated to have received both doses - meaning 8.2%, or about one in 12, are still not fully vaccinated.

The estimates are higher for people aged 70 to 79 (97.6%) and 60 to 69 (93.0%).

Some 83.0% of 50- to 59-year-olds are estimated to have received both doses.

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One in five children eligible for free school meals

More than one in five pupils in England are now eligible for free school meals, new government data shows – an increase of 300,000 in a year dominated by the pandemic, writes Leonie Chao-Fong:

Total figure has risen by 300,000 individuals since January 2020, official figures show

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NHS doctor ‘urges everyone to book a jab’

Responding to figures suggesting around nine in 10 people in England aged 50 and over are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, an NHS doctor said it was the “extraordinary” result of hardworking staff.

An estimated 90.3 per cent of people in this age group received two doses of a vaccine by 13 June, the latest government figures show.

NHS England lead for the Covid vaccination programme, Dr Emily Lawson, said today: “The extraordinary success of the NHS Covid vaccination programme is down to the dedication of thousands of hardworking NHS staff and volunteers, and the exceptional planning and delivery of the rollout has meant that around nine in 10 over-50s are now fully vaccinated.

“Getting the vaccine is the single most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against Covid-19 and it’s so important to keep up this momentum. I would urge everyone to go to book your jabs now and join the tens of millions who have already been protected.”

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Where Covid cases are rising the most week-on-week

Coronavirus case rates are rising in every single region of the country, according to the latest weekly data from Public Health England. They are also rising in every age group.

Northwest England currently has the highest rate, with 196.9 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to 13 June, up week-on-week from 152.0.

Eastern England has the lowest rate: 37.0, up from 28.6.

Are you interested in what this means at a local level? Tom Batchelor takes a closer look at the figures.

Northwest England records highest level of infections though virus is spreading nationwide

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Latest Test and Trace data confirms upward infection trend

Some 41,143 people tested positive for coronavirus in England at least once in the week to 9 June, up 63 per cent on the previous week, according to the latest Test and Trace figures.

It is the highest number of people testing positive since the week to 3 March, data shows.

Britain today reported its biggest daily rise in new cases of Covid-19 in nearly four months, with 11,007 new infections recorded – up from 9,055 the day before.

It’s the highest daily tally since 16 February, when 11,083 new cases were recorded, and is the first time since 19 February that the daily tally has passed 10,000.

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Moscow blames new ‘aggressive’ Covid variant on surge in cases

Russian officials are blaming new Covid variants on a sudden jump in coronavirus cases in Moscow, as well as a sluggish vaccination push.

The Russian capital reported 7,704 new infections on Sunday, the most in a single day since 24 December.

For that day, authorities confirmed 14,723 cases nationwide, the largest one-day total since 13 February, and the daily figures have remained high this week.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Friday’s caseload would be more than 9,000, which would be the most recorded in Moscow since the pandemic began, and that the situation in the city was deteriorating.

Until the beginning of June, daily new infections had been mostly below 3,000 for months.

“A new mutation has arrived, a new strain is active. It’s more aggressive, it’s harder to recover from, it spreads faster. It’s much more likely to penetrate a person’s immune system,” Mr Sobyanin said, according to the RIA news agency.

Some 60 per cent of all service industry workers in Moscow — just over two million people — were ordered to be fully vaccinated by 15 August, including taxi drivers, staff at cultural venues and restaurant workers.

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Travel in and out of Lisbon banned as cases rise in Portugal

Residents of Lisbon will not be allowed to leave the area at weekends, the government announced earlier, as authorities scramble to control a spike in Covid-19 infections.

AP reports that the ban in the area where some 2.8 million people live comes into effect from 3pm local time on Friday, the cabinet spokeswoman Mariana Vieira da Silva said.

“The government made this decision so the situation in Lisbon does not spread to the rest of the country,” she told a press conference.

Coronavirus cases in Portugal jumped by 1,350 on Wednesday, the biggest increase since late February, with 804 of the 1,233 new cases detected thought to be from the Lisbon region.

Ms da Silva said the situation could be worse in Lisbon than other areas due to the Delta coronavirus variant, which was first identified in India but is rapidly spreading in Britain, though experts believe there is community transmission of the highly contagious strain.

Foreign tourists visiting Lisbon are exempt from the weekend rule and can still travel to and from the area. Flights out of Lisbon airport are exempt from the ban, as are work-related journeys.

The region this week crossed the red line established by authorities of a 14-day cumulative case notification rate per 100,000 people of 240. Today, Lisbon’s notification rate was 254. The national rate was 90.

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US spending $3bn to develop meds to fight Covid

The Biden administration is set to spend $3.2bn on a programme dedicated to developing antiviral medication to fight coronavirus in its early stages of infection.

The Antiviral Programme for Pandemics was announced on Thursday, by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The initiative will see efforts to support clinical trials to test “prioritised drug candidates” for Covid-19 accelerated and expanded, reports Chantal da Silva.

The Antiviral Program for Pandemics will see research into antiviral Covid-19 drug candidates accelerated

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