Tag: Coronavirus in the UK

BBC News: Zoos and safari parks set to reopen from 15 June – PM

Zoos, safari parks and drive-in cinemas are set to reopen in England from Monday, the PM is due to announce.

Boris Johnson is expected to outline the latest step in the easing of the coronavirus lockdown at Wednesday’s daily briefing.

He will say the outdoor attractions can reopen as long as they follow social distancing rules.

Some zoos, including Chester Zoo and London Zoo, have reported financial struggles during the pandemic.

The move will pave the way for zoos to reopen in England alongside non-essential shops, which can also open from 15 June

Sky News: Health minister Helen Whately blames scientists for care home deaths – then quickly rows back

A minister said the government could pin the blame on scientific advisers for ministers’ handling of the coronavirus in care homes, before quickly rowing back.

Health minister Helen Whately was challenged over the effect of COVID-19 in adult social care during an interview with Sky News.

She told Kay Burley@Breakfast that there was guidance for care homes “very early” in the coronavirus pandemic.

“At all points in this we follow the scientific guidance as to what is the right thing to do,” Ms Whately added.

When it was put to the minister that “you can’t stick this on the scientists”, she replied: “Well, I can.”

City A.M: Coronavirus deaths in the UK rise by 286

The UK’s death toll from coronavirus has risen by 286, it was announced today.

Almost 130 of those deaths occurred in hospital after testing positive for the virus, NHS England said this afternoon. For overall deaths, data from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the toll rose by 286 as of 5pm yesterday.

The government’s total death toll from confirmed cases of coronavirus now stands at 40,883. However according to wider data which factors in deaths from suspected cases, the total toll is likely to be closer to 52,000.

BBC News: Pandemic pushes US into official recession

The economic downturn in the US triggered by the pandemic has been officially declared a recession.

The National Bureau of Economic Research made the designation on Tuesday, citing the scale and severity of the current contraction.

It said activity and employment hit a “clear” and “well-defined” peak in February, before falling.

The ruling puts a formal end to what had been more than a decade of economic expansion – the longest in US history.

Meanwhile, US markets continued their rebound on Monday, as investors remained optimistic that the downturn will be short-lived.

The Guardian: Pub gardens in England could reopen from 22 June – reports

Opening beer gardens before the end of the month would give struggling pubs a psychological boost but most would still lose money, JD Wetherspoon’s founder, Tim Martin, has said.

The government is reportedly ready to let pub beer gardens in England reopen from 22 June as part of plans drawn up by a group of ministers, dubbed the “Save Summer Six”, who are looking at ways to restart the hospitality industry earlier than initially planned.

The proposals, first reported in the Financial Times, would allow some of the 27,000 pubs that have outdoor space to serve customers for the first time in three months.

Sky News: Watchdog to investigate racial inequalities in British COVID-19 deaths

The initial review found BAME Britons were more likely to die than white people, but no recommendations were made.

An inquiry is being launched by the human rights watchdog to address racial inequalities highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has announced it will carry out the inquiry after Public Health England (PHE) published a review into the disparities within ethnic minorities from COVID-19.

The initial review, commissioned by the government, left many with “widespread concerns” and “doesn’t go wider to address inequalities that exist”, the chairman of the EHRC said.

The Guardian: Extra 10,000 dementia deaths in England and Wales in April

There were almost 10,000 unexplained extra deaths among people with dementia in England and Wales in April, according to official figures that have prompted alarm about the severe impact of social isolation on people with the condition.

The data, from the Office for National Statistics, reveals that, beyond deaths directly linked to Covid-19, there were 83% more deaths from dementia than usual in April, with charities warning that a reduction in essential medical care and family visits were taking a devastating toll.

Daily Mail: Britain announces 176 more coronavirus deaths as daily data shows Covid-19 is still killing more people in the UK than in the rest of the EU combined

  • NHS England saw 115 more deaths in hospital patients who tested positive – the youngest a 26-year-old
  • Scotland posted nine Covid-19 deaths in all settings, followed by eight in Wales and one in Northern Ireland
  • Britain’s outbreak has slowed dramatically in the past few weeks – yesterday 359 new deaths were recorded
  • But statistics show only 345 deaths were recorded in the 27 EU countries yesterday, including 81 in France
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Britain today announced 176 more coronavirus deaths, taking the total number of victims to 39,904 –  as separate shock data suggests the UK’s outbreak is still killing more people each day than the rest of the EU countries combined.   

The UK’s death toll is now on the brink of passing the 40,000 mark, but the epidemic has slowed dramatically in the past few weeks. For comparison, last Thursday there were 377 Covid deaths, and 338 the week before that.

New Scientist: Why have there been so many coronavirus deaths in the UK?

THE UK has been a leader in its coronavirus response, but not in a way any government would aspire to. The country now has the highest absolute excess deaths in Europe, 59,537 more than usual since the week ending 20 March, and the second highest per million people, behind only Spain for countries with comparable data, according to a Financial Times analysis. The total number of confirmed covid-19 deaths at the time of writing was second only to the US, and was still rising by more than 100 a day.

“Not knowing they were infected, many people were carrying on as normal and infecting others”

“I think it’s nothing short of a disgrace, and a dereliction of duty,” says former UK chief scientific adviser David King about the figures, which are coupled with more than a quarter of a million lab-confirmed cases.

UK GOV: PM statement at the coronavirus press conference: 3 June 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a statement at the coronavirus press conference on 3 June 2020.

First let me first run you through the latest data on our coronavirus response.

4,786,219 tests for coronavirus have now been carried out or posted out in the UK, including 171,829 tests yesterday.

279,856 people have tested positive, and that’s an increase of 1,871 cases since yesterday.

7,485 people are in hospital with COVID-19 in the UK, down 16% from 8,921 this time last week.

And sadly, of those tested positive for coronavirus, across all settings, 39,728 have now died. That’s an increase of 359 fatalities since yesterday and once again we are with their families in mourning.

Now that the rate of transmission in the UK has significantly fallen from its peak, we need to take steps to manage the flare-ups and stop the virus re-emerging in the UK.

I want to update you on the progress we are making on three fronts to prevent a second wave of infections that could overwhelm the NHS.

First, we have set up NHS Test and Trace in order to identify, contain and control the virus in the UK, thereby reducing its spread.

As we move to the next stage of our fight against coronavirus, we will be able to replace national lockdowns with individual isolation and, if necessary, local action where there are outbreaks.

NHS Test and Trace will be vital to controlling the spread of the virus. It’s how we will be able to protect our friends and family from infection, and protect our NHS.

It does this by identifying anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and asking them to isolate for 14 days in order to avoid unknowingly infecting others.

The system clearly relies on everyone playing their part.

So I want to stress again today: we need you to get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss of taste or smell.

There is plenty of capacity and everyone with symptoms is eligible, everyone with symptoms, so please order a test from nhs.uk/coronavirus as soon as you develop symptoms.

And we need you to isolate yourself if a contact tracer tells you that you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.

NHS Test and Trace started operating a week ago. And already thousands of people are isolating who wouldn’t have been doing so before this service was introduced. They are thereby protecting others and reducing the spread of the virus.

So while we are going to all these efforts here in the UK to control the virus, we must also ensure we don’t reimport the virus from abroad.

So the second action I want to update you on is the introduction of public health measures at the border.

Today the Home Secretary has brought forward the legislation needed to establish the new regime from Monday.

And I want to explain the reasons for introducing these measures now.

When coronavirus started to spread around the world, first from Wuhan and then from northern Italy and other areas, we introduced enhanced monitoring at the border in an attempt to stop the virus from gaining a foothold in the UK.

These measures applied, at various different times, to arrivals from China, Japan, Iran and Italy, and required people with symptoms travelling from those countries to self-isolate for 14 days.

However, once community transmission was widespread within the UK, cases from abroad made up a tiny proportion of the total. At the same time you’ll remember that international travel plummeted as countries around the world went into lockdown. So as a result, measures at the border were halted because they made little difference at the time in our fight against the virus.

Now that we’re getting the virus under control in the UK, there’s a risk cases from abroad begin once again to make up a greater proportion of overall cases. We therefore need to take steps now to manage that risk of these imported cases triggering a second peak.

So just as we are asking people already in the UK to isolate for 14 days when contacted by NHS Test and Trace, we’re also asking those arriving from abroad to isolate so that they don’t unknowingly spread the virus.

There will be some exemptions for a limited number of people who need to cross the border, such as those engaged directly in the fight against coronavirus or who provide essential services.

And we will review how the policy is working after three weeks. And of course we will explore the possibility of international travel corridors with countries that have low rates of infection – but only when the evidence shows that it is safe to do so.

The third point I want to make today is we need effective international action to reduce the impact of the virus across the globe.

This is the moment really for humanity to unite in the fight against the disease.

Health experts have warned that if coronavirus is left to spread in developing countries, that could lead to future waves of infection coming back and reaching the UK.

While our amazing NHS has been there for everyone in this country who needs it, many developing countries have healthcare systems which are ill-prepared to manage this pandemic.

So to ensure that the world’s poorest countries have the support they need to slow the spread of the virus, tomorrow I will open the Global Vaccine Summit.

Hosted by the UK, and will bring together more than 50 countries and leading figures like Bill Gates to raise at least $7.4 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Over the next five years – with the UK’s support as Gavi’s biggest donor – this Vaccine Alliance aims to immunise a further 300 million children in the poorest countries against deadly diseases like polio, typhoid and measles – again saving millions of lives.

This support for routine immunisations will shore up poorer countries’ healthcare systems to deal with coronavirus – and so help to stop the global spread and, as I say, prevent a second wave of the virus reaching the UK.

This virus has shown how connected we are. We’re fighting an invisible enemy. And no one is safe frankly until we are all safe.

And again, of course this is all contingent upon each of us continuing to do our bit.

And as I never tire of telling you

Let us not forget the basics.

Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds, wash your hands.

Do not gather in groups of more than six outside.

Always observe social distancing, keeping 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household.

And I want to stress one final point which may be relevant today as the weather threatens I think to take a turn for the worse. Some of you may be tempted to move the gatherings you’ve been enjoying outdoors, indoors, out of the rain.

I really urge you – don’t do that.

We relaxed the rules on meeting outside for a very specific reason – because the evidence shows that the risks of transmission are much lower outdoors, much lower outdoors.

And the risks of passing on the virus are significantly higher indoors, which is why gatherings inside other people’s homes are still prohibited.

Breaking these rules now could undermine and reverse all the progress that we’ve made together.

I have no doubt that that won’t happen, I’ve no doubt that that won’t happen. I think the British public will continue to show the same resolve in fighting the virus as they have throughout the outbreak.

We will get through this if we stay alert, control the virus, and in doing so save lives.

The Guardian: UK hospitals to trial five new drugs in search for coronavirus treatment

Five new drugs are to be trialled in 30 hospitals across the country in the race to find a treatment for Covid-19, it has emerged.

Just days after World Health Organization trials of hydroxychloroquine, the drug promoted by Donald Trump as a cure, were halted, British scientists are looking to sign up hundreds of patients for trials of medicines they hope will prevent people becoming ill enough to need intensive care or ventilators.

They range from drugs such as Heparin, which is used for blood thinning, to therapies still in clinical trial for conditions such as muscular, lung and blood disorders,which have evidence of potent anti-viral or anti-inflammatory properties.