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Coronavirus - 30th October


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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 30 2020, 10:36

Summary for Friday, 30th October

  • More than 11 million people - 19.6% of the population - will be living under England's tightest restrictions - tier three - from Monday
  • Nottinghamshire has now moved into the top tier of Covid-19 restrictions after an overall rise in infection rates
  • Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab defends localised measures - he says the government is "striving to avoid" a "blanket approach"
  • Infection rates are rising rapidly, with an estimated 100,000 people a day catching the virus
  • North East of England at "critical point" in virus fight, say heads of seven local authorities in the region
  • Germany and France reintroduce strict measures amid dire warnings for winter
  • Business leaders in Glasgow warn of "damaging impact" of Scotland's latest Covid curbs
  • UK's latest daily figures show 23,065 further positive cases and 280 more deaths as of Thursday

Welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK and around the world.
As we start our rolling updates, here’s a quick look at the main headlines this Friday morning:

  • Nottinghamshire has moved into the "very high" tier three of Covid-19 restrictions after a rise in infection rates. Unlike some other tier three areas, betting shops, saunas, tattoo parlours and nail salons must close. West Yorkshire will also join England's toughest tier from Monday . It will take the total number of people living in tier three restrictions to just over 11 million - 19.6% of the population
  • The number of criminal cases waiting to be dealt with by crown courts threatens to overwhelm the justice system in England and Wales , a study suggests. It says longer sittings and new courts are needed to tackle the problem, which has worsened during the pandemic
  • Traffic around Paris hit record levels just hours before a new national lockdown came into force across France, with jams stretching to a cumulative 430 miles (700 km) in the Ile-de-France region early on Thursday evening, local media reported. Many Parisians have left the city - and their often cramped apartments - to spend lockdown in the countryside when it comes into force at midnight on Friday (23:00 GMT)
  • There are warnings about the "damaging impact" of Scotland's latest Covid curbs , with business leaders in Glasgow fearing travel restrictions in the city - one tier below the strictest in the nation's new five-level system - could hit retailers relying on an influx of Christmas shoppers

What’s happening across Europe?

From today, every time you leave your home in France you need to have a good reason and usually a downloaded document. You can go to school, buy food, go to work or go for a jog or walk the dog close to home and go to the pharmacy. But masks are now required from the age of six. France declared 47,637 new infections last night and 235 deaths.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has promised all 27 EU countries will get vaccines at the same time based on their size of population. She wants borders to remain open but mainly to essential travel.
Thirteen of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions have now stopped movement in and out of their areas. Valencia is the latest to close its borders for the next week.
Almost all of Austria has turned red on its four-level at-risk traffic light system. That means outbreaks are out of control and the virus is widespread. Austrians will expect new measures to emerge tomorrow.
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Greeks are waiting to hear what PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis will announce today – with medical experts warning that tough measures are required. Thessaloniki is one of three areas now in the “red” zone – courts, museums, cinemas, restaurants and gyms have closed.
Belgians will hear later what’s in store for them today and things aren’t looking good. Health minister Frank Vandenbroucke says “I reckon it’s inevitable we’ll toughen restrictions”. More than half the country’s 2,000 intensive care beds are full and hospitals in French-speaking Wallonia it’s now 60%.
Russian infections have surged to a record 18,283 with 355 new deaths and Poland is facing record infection numbers of over 20,000 a day.
Ukraine has declared a record high 173 deaths and 8,312 new cases – but officials say another 3,394 people have recovered which is also a new high.

'We're always ready for further measures' - Raab

Every area of England is now in one of three coronavirus alert categories - medium (tier one), high (tier two) or very high (tier three).
People living in tier three areas for example, are banned from mixing with other households indoors and outdoors - including in private gardens - and pubs and bars not serving substantial meals must shut. Further restrictions can be introduced for individual areas.
But Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has not denied suggestions that the government is considering bringing in an even higher fourth tier of restrictions.
Asked about reports, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We're always ready for further measures that we can take. But I think the most important thing about further measures is that we continue on the track we're on of targeting the virus."
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Current tier measures not 'strong enough' - Starmer

Labour leader Keir Starmer says he is calling on the prime minister to "look again" at the tier system, and that he is concerned it is "not strong enough" to deal with the rise in coronavirus cases.
When asked if he still wanted to see a short national lockdown - known as a "circuit-breaker" - he said he was "deeply concerned" by the rise in infection rates, hospitalisations and deaths, and "that's why we called for a circuit break over half-term" as it would have been the "ideal opportunity" to do it while schools would be closed - but the "prime minister didn't choose that".
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Starmer said: "My concern is that the tier system is not strong enough to stop the infection rate going up and the alternative now is weeks or months of agony in the tier system. So I do call on the PM to look again."

Fancy dress fun before tier three measures start

Nottinghamshire has become the latest county to move into the top tier of Covid-19 restrictions after an overall rise in infection rates.
But before the new rules came into force, young people took to the streets in fancy dress on Thursday night.
Youngsters were seen posing for photographs in fun attire in Market Square in the city centre, while others were seen drinking alcohol in large groups.
The new rules mean:

  • Residents must not socialise with anyone outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting - including homes and private gardens - or at most outdoor hospitality venues
  • People must not socialise in a group of more than six in an outdoor public space, such as parks
  • Pubs and bars that do not serve substantial meals as a restaurant must close
  • Residents are advised to avoid travelling outside the area, unless for essential journeys, such as work or caring responsibilities
  • Auction houses, car boot sales, betting shops, saunas and tattoo parlours must close
  • Hotels, gyms and leisure centres can remain open.

West Yorkshire will join the third tier from Monday.
That will take the total number of people living in very high restrictions in England to just over 11 million - 19.6% of the population.

Record Paris traffic ahead of second France lockdown

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Traffic hit record levels in Paris just hours before a new national lockdown came into force across France.
Parisians were reportedly leaving the capital - and their often cramped apartments - to spend lockdown in the countryside.
Jams stretching to a cumulative 430 miles (700 km) in the Ile-de-France region were reported by local media on Thursday evening, ahead of new measures coming into force at midnight (23:00 GMT) on Friday.
People have been ordered to stay at home except for essential work or medical reasons as daily Covid-19 deaths in France hit the highest level since April.
French authorities reported 47,637 new cases and 250 new deaths as of Thursday.
Tweet  Michael E. Webber:
Incredible traffic jam in Paris as people try to leave the city before 9 pm curfew and before confinement begins at midnight. Traffic is barely moving in every direction as far as the eye can see. Lots of honking and frustrated drivers.
Watch video here

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 30 2020, 10:46

The 400,000 seafarers who can't go home

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This image is part of the "Still At Sea" photography competition, held by the ITF Seafarers' Trust

An estimated 400,000 seafarers are stranded on their ships around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Many port authorities fear they will bring new Covid-19 infections ashore and in some countries crew changes are banned or difficult to carry out due to virus restrictions.
Seafarers have often been stuck on their ships beyond the maximum of 11 months permitted under international laws.
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Seafarers face many frustrations, including prolonged contracts and cancelled flights home. This image is part of the "Still At Sea" photography competition

Alona - not his real name - is among those stranded. Until his ship pulled into anchorage at Santos in Brazil last week he had been on the same ship for 16 months - so long that he even missed his own wedding.
He says he works on a ship because the pay is better than it is at home but plans to leave the industry when he's more financially secure.
"My plan is to make a lot of money while I'm still young, then start a business, so I don't have to return to the sea," he says.
You can read more here .

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 30 2020, 10:56

Summary from The Guardian:

Here are the key developments from the last few hours:

  • US nears 9m cases. The United States, the worst-affected country worldwide in terms of the number of coronavirus cases and national death doll, is on the brink of the terrible milestone of 9m cases. In recent days the US has twice reported daily infection totals of over 80,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. It currently has a total of 8,944,632, with the next daily infection figure expected to take that number over 9m.
  • Record 17m guns bought this year in the US . Americans have bought nearly 17m guns so far in 2020, more than in any other single year, according to estimates from a firearms analytics company. Gun sales across the United States first jumped in the spring, driven by fears about the coronavirus pandemic, and spiked even higher in the summer, during massive racial justice protests across the country, prompted by police killings of black Americans.
  • Australian active cases lowest in four months. Australian officials said on Friday there just under 200 active cases of Covid-19 in the country, the lowest number in more than four months and well down from a peak of just over 8,000 in mid-August. Officials reported just 11 new infections in the past 24 hours, the bulk of which were people already in hotel quarantine after arriving from overseas. Australian states and territories have begun further relaxing domestic travel bans, although some restrictions remain.
  • Mainland China reported 25 new Covid-19 cases on 29 October, down from 47 a day earlier, the country’s national health authority said on Friday. Of the new cases, 24 were imported infections originating from overseas. The National Health Commission said in a statement that one local infection was reported in the eastern province of Shandong.
  • Japan passes 100,000 cases. The total number of Covid-19 cases in Japan has topped 100,000, as experts warned that Tokyo – the most-affected part of the country – should prepare for another wave of infections this winter. Japan had recorded 100,516 cases and 1,761 deaths as of Thursday, according to a tally by the public broadcaster NHK.
  • New Zealand government orders Air New Zealand to freeze bookings to the country. New Zealand’s government has ordered Air New Zealand to freeze all international bookings to the country as quarantine facilities near capacity, as more citizens try to return home ahead of the Christmas holidays. From Tuesday, they will need to have a voucher in order to board a flight home.
  • EU to fund transfer of Covid-19 patients across borders to prevent hospital collapse. The EU will finance the transfer of patients across borders within the bloc to prevent hospitals from getting overwhelmed as Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations rise across the continent. “The spread of the virus will overwhelm our healthcare systems if we do not act urgently,” said Ursula von der Leyen, head of the EU commission.
  • Spain hit a new record in daily cases, recording another 23,580 infections. It brought the nation’s tally to 1,136,503, health ministry data showed. The government voted in favour of a six-month extension of the state of emergency, which allows Spain’s 17 regional governments to limit mobility, impose curfews and shut their borders with other regions.
  • France will restrict outdoor movement and make working from home mandatory under new lockdown rules, coming into effect at midnight. People will only be able to leave their own homes for certain essential purposes, as the country tries to put the brakes on a Covid-19 outbreak that the president, Emmanuel Macron, said risked accelerating out of control. More details here .
  • West Yorkshire in England will move into tier 3 restrictions from 12.01 on Monday. The “very high” restrictions – the strictest level in England – will see indoor social mixing banned and the closure of pubs and bars unless they can operate as a restaurant. More details here .
  • Greece will impose regional lockdowns on its second-largest city of Thessaloniki and two other regions from Friday after a rise in cases of Covid-19, the government said.
  • Italy registered a record of 26,831 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Under new restrictions bars and restaurants must stop serving customers at 6pm while cinemas, theatres, swimming pools and gyms must close completely.
  • Sweden registered 2,820 new coronavirus cases, the highest since the start of the pandemic and the third record number in a matter of days. Hospitals are feeling the strain, with the number of patients with Covid-19 in need of care in the region having risen about 60% over the past week after a near 80% surge in recorded infections.

Russia’s daily tally of coronavirus cases surged to a record high of 18,283 on Friday, including 5,268 in Moscow, Reuters reports.
The latest figures take the national total to 1,599,976 since the pandemic began.
Authorities reported 355 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 27,656.

Indonesia reported 2,897 new coronavirus infections on Friday, taking the total number to 406,945, data from the country’s Covid-19 taskforce showed, Reuters reports.
The data also showed 81 additional deaths, bringing the total number to 13,782.
Indonesia has recorded the most cases and deaths from Covid-19 in south-east Asia, Reuters notes.

Iran’s confirmed COVID-19 cases crossed the 600,000 threshold on Friday with 8,011 infections identified in the past 24 hours, a Health Ministry spokeswoman told state TV, as the country’s death toll rose to 34,478, Reuters report.
Sima Sadat Lari said 365 people had died in the past 24 hours and the total number of infection cases reached 604,952.

Malaysia’s health authorities reported 799 new coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the total to 30,889 infections, Reuters reports.
The Southeast Asian country recorded three new deaths, increasing the total number of fatalities at 249.


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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 30 2020, 12:32

Crowds in Nottingham streets ahead of new restrictions

Footage shows crowds chanting in Nottingham city centre on Thursday night, ahead of the city going into tier three restrictions .
The city moved into the top tier of Covid-19 restrictions at midnight after an overall rise in infection rates.


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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 30 2020, 12:38

The latest coronavirus figures around the world

Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with more than 45 million confirmed cases in 190 countries and about 1.2 million deaths.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the global death toll could hit two million before an effective vaccine is widely available.
It says roughly one in 10 people around the globe may have already been infected but that "the vast majority of the world remains at risk".
You can read more here .

Breaking News 

Almost 52,000 new daily Covid cases in England - ONS

Robert Cuffe - BBC head of statistics
There have been almost 52,000 new coronavirus infections per day in homes in England in the week to 23 October, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest.
This is up about half on last week’s figure (35,000) from October 10 to 16.
Approximately one in 100 people in homes in England had coronavirus over this period, which equates to about 570,000 people.
This figure is about a third higher than the figure for the previous week (430,000).
Since this ONS survey is of homes, it misses outbreaks in communal residences like student halls of residence, so strips out some of the student effect.
It tests a representative sample of the general population to provide an estimate of the true spread of the virus, as it picks up asymptomatic cases that would not necessarily be identified in the daily figures.

Virus spread by 'chatting in pubs and homes' before Wales firebreak

Chatting in pubs, restaurants and homes was "mostly" how coronavirus spread before Wales' firebreak lockdown, Public Health Wales (PHW) has said.
Chris Williams, of PHW's data analysing surveillance team, said most cases had nothing to do with venues making mistakes and were simply down to how people behaved .
"It's not to do particularly with the nature of the pub or the bar," said Williams.
"It's just the fact that you're talking to someone across a table who's in a different household. Talking, unfortunately, is great for transmission, as is singing and shouting."
Wales is currently in the midst of a 17-day firebreak lockdown, which means people can leave home for limited reasons including to buy food and medication, provide care, exercise or to work if they cannot do so from home.
Pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops have also been forced to close.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 30 2020, 12:52

Scotland records 1,281 new Covid cases

A further 1,281 people have tested positive for Covid-19, Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney has confirmed.
This takes the total number of positive cases in Scotland to 62,812.
The deaths of a further 28 people with Covid have been recorded in the past 24 hours. This takes the total to 2,819 deaths in Scotland by that measure.
The positive cases were recorded in the following areas:

  • NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde: 496
  • NHS Lanarkshire: 258
  • NHS Lothian: 194
  • NHS Ayrshire and Arran: 89

The remaining cases are spread across the nine other health board areas.
There are 1,170 patients are in hospital with a confirmed case (up 18), with 83 being treated in intensive care (down 3).

Face masks advised for some Scottish pupils

Senior secondary school pupils in Scotland should wear masks in class if their area is in higher level restrictions , the Scottish government has said.
From Monday, pupils in S4 to S6 (aged 15 to 18) and their teachers should wear face coverings in class, if their local authority is under level three or four restrictions.
At all levels, adults in primary and secondary schools should wear face coverings when it is not possible to maintain physical distancing, the government said in new guidance.
Children who are shielding are also being advised not to go to school if their area goes into level four.
No local authority has been placed under that measure yet.
Scotland's new five-level restriction system comes into effect on Monday.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 30 2020, 16:16

New offence to lie to contact tracers in Wales

People in Wales will be committing an offence if they knowingly give false information to contact tracers under new rules.
First Minister Mark Drakeford made the announcement on Friday, a week after the nation began a 17-day firebreak lockdown.
He promised a new set of national rules will be announced on Monday.
There have been claims contact tracers have sometimes been given false information.
Employers will be banned from preventing people from self-isolating, which itself will become a duty for individuals under the law.
It is not yet clear what fines will be levied against those who break the new contact tracing rules.

Parisian streets look deserted as lockdown comes in

What a difference a few hours makes.
There were traffic jams leaving Paris on Thursday night before new lockdown restrictions came into force .
Now, as you can see from this video, the streets have been left almost deserted.
The capital's streets are, however, busier than during the March lockdown.
Schools and workplaces remain open, but people need permits to leave home.

Tier 3 London lockdown 'highly likely' without circuit breaker

Local Democracy Reporting Service
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan believes a tier three London lockdown is “highly likely” in the coming weeks if the government does not introduce national circuit breaker restrictions, according to City Hall sources.
He has repeatedly called for a short nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus, arguing that early action would halt the worst health and economic consequences of a second wave.
London has been under tier two rules for two weeks but Covid-19 infections are still rising in the city.
There are now 155 cases per 100,000 people across the capital, up from 113 cases per 100,000 the previous week, according to the latest figures.
Every borough now has more than 100 infections per 100,000 people, with more than 200 per 100,000 in three council areas – Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Kingston.
A source close to the mayor said: “The more we delay in implementing measures, the more stringent they need to be and the longer they have to be in place."

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 30 2020, 16:19

R number remains above 1 across the UK

The reproduction rate - or R number - remains above one across the UK, meaning that the virus is continuing to spread exponentially.
The latest government figures put the R number at 1.1 to 1.3, which means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 13 other people.
Last week the R number was 1.2 to 1.4.
There is a growth rate of between +2% and +4% which means the number of new infections is growing by 2% to 4% every day. Last week this was between +4% and +7%.
The numbers are provided by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), a sub-group of the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).
Sage said the figures published on Friday more accurately represent the average situation over the past few weeks rather than the present situation.
If you want to find out more about the R rate you can read this guide .

Are we heading back into a full lockdown?

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
There's no stopping the second wave of coronavirus, it seems, despite a bundle of new rules designed to do just that.
Infection rates are rising rapidly, with estimates suggesting up to 100,000 people a day may be catching the virus .
Across the Channel, France has admitted its regional approach is not working, by announcing a new national lockdown. Germany, to a lesser extent, is also planning one.
Wales is in the middle of a short "fire-breaker" lockdown, in which bars, restaurants, churches and most shops have shut for a fortnight.
So is a full-on UK-wide lockdown only a matter of time?
Read the full story here.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 30 2020, 16:25

Elderly patient gets virus after 240-mile hospital move

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Kathleen Cantell, 73, was transferred from a hospital in Norfolk to a care home in Darlington in September

A woman has described her anger after her elderly mother contracted coronavirus after being moved to a hospital hundreds of miles away.
Kay Cantell said her mother Kathleen, 73, was transferred from Norfolk to Darlington in September.
Kathleen, who has bi-polar disorder, was a patient at Northgate Hospital in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, when she was sent to a care home in Cromer, less than 40 miles (64km) away.
However, on 23 September, her daughter Kay received a call saying the stay was not working out but that no beds were available back at Northgate Hospital.
The caller said Kathleen was instead being transferred to a private hospital near Darlington, 240 miles (386km) away.
"She was on her way as I got the phone call. We didn't have time to say goodbye to her," said Kay.
Kathleen's family has not been able to see her since.
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has apologised for not informing Kay of her mother's move sooner.
You can read the full story here .

Anti-masker who caught virus had 'worst two weeks'

A man who refused to wear a face covering after believing false conspiracy theories about Covid-19 has said battling the virus was "the worst two weeks" of his life.
Trevor Jones from Bolton, in north west England, said he initially believed others who told him coronavirus was "man flu" or linked to the 5G network , but became gravely ill after testing positive in September.
He received critical care in hospital and said he "lost a stone and a half in 12 days".
He said his experience had changed his perspective on the virus and how seriously it should be taken.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 30 2020, 16:30

No more local lockdowns for Wales after firebreak, says first minister

There will be no local lockdowns in Wales after the end of the country's 17-day firebreak, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.
Bars, non-essential shops, restaurants, cafes and churches will reopen at the end of the current lockdown on 9 November.
Wales saw 17 local lockdowns before the introduction of the firebreak and Drakeford confirmed these would not return.
"For the sake of clarity and simplicity, our decision is is that the other side of the firebreak period from 9 November, we will have a set of national rules that will apply in all parts of Wales," he said.
He also warned that a ban on people travelling to Wales from areas of the UK with high levels of coronavirus could continue after the firebreak ends, adding that a decision would be made in the next couple of weeks.
He said: "The point of asking people in those places not to travel into Wales was because the rate of virus circulation in those places was so much more than it is here and I'm afraid there is still a significant gap between those places and Wales."

UK-wide Christmas rules government meeting 'expected'

The UK government plans to hold a meeting to discuss a UK-wide approach to Covid rules at Christmas , the Welsh first minister has said.
Mark Drakeford said Prime Minister Boris Johnson had told him to expect an invitation to talks on a "common approach".
The first minister said there was a need for leaders to "get round the table" and "share ideas" but added that despite efforts to secure the meeting this week it "hasn't yet been forthcoming".
Earlier this week, Environment Secretary George Eustice said it was "too early to say" what the rules will be and warned people "may not be able to get together in the larger groups that they normally would".
It came after the Liberal Democrats and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland called for a "four-nations summit" to agree a shared plan .
Scotland's national clinical director has warned people to prepare for a digital Christmas and some people are already making plans for a very different Christmas celebration. You can read more about their ideas here .

Covid intensive care ward at Scottish hospital evacuated after fire

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The alarm was raised at University Hospital Hairmyres in East Kilbride shortly before 22:00

A Covid-19 intensive care unit in a Scottish hospital had to be evacuated after a fire broke out .
Three firefighting crews were sent to University Hospital Hairmyres in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said.
The Covid unit was one of three wards cleared after the blaze started on ward one, where 13 patients were being treated for the virus.
The fire was extinguished and three casualties were assessed by staff.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in a tweet that her thoughts were with everyone caught up in the "frightening incident" and thanked staff for their efforts in ensuring the safety of the patients.
Russell Coulthard, the hospital's site director, praised the "magnificent" response after the alarm was raised on the first floor intensive care unit at about 21:45 GMT on Thursday.
He said no patients had been transferred off the hospital site, but the fire would mean that emergency patients would be diverted to other hospitals.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 30 2020, 16:45

Another 274 deaths recorded in UK

Another 24,405 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, while a further 274 deaths have been recorded, according to the latest government figures .
It takes the overall number of cases in the UK to 989,745, while the total death toll has reached 46,229.

Covid spreading faster than 'worst-case scenario' in England

James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
Covid is spreading "significantly" faster through England than the government's predicted "worst-case" scenario, documents reveal.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) says there are around four times as many people catching Covid-19 than anticipated.
A "reasonable worst-case scenario", used by officials and the NHS to plan, had estimated 85,000 deaths from Covid-19 over the course of winter .
But an official Sage document, dated 14 October and published on Friday, estimated that, by mid-October, there were between 43,000 and 74,000 people being infected with coronavirus every day in England.
Their report said: "This is significantly above the profile of the reasonable worst-case scenario, where the number of daily infections in England remained between 12,000-13,000 throughout October."
It added that the number of people with Covid-19 needing hospital care is already higher than the winter plan and deaths will "almost certainly" exceed the plan in the next two weeks.
However, this is not the same as saying more than 85,000 people will die this winter as government action can still change the course of the pandemic.
If cases fall in the "very near future" then the higher than anticipated deaths "might only continue for three to four weeks", the report said.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 30 2020, 18:41

'Action on national scale' might be needed to bring infections down

We have more on the news that Sage documents warn the Covid-19 situation in England is worse than the government's predicted "worst-case" scenario.
University of Warwick scientist Mike Tildesley, who sits on the Sage sub-group SPI-M which produced the report, said: "There's still some uncertainty, the worst-case scenario does climb quite dramatically in November and December and there's been a lot of policy changes in the last couple of weeks.
"It may be that we see the trajectory come down a bit."
However, he said that the highest - tier three - restrictions are unlikely to bring the R number below 1.0 and that "we might need to take more action on a national scale".
That is not part of the government's current strategy, which is focused on local restrictions to control the virus.
As we told you earlier, the R number - the rate at which the virus reproduces - for the UK is estimated to be between 1.1 and 1.3, which means the virus is continuing to spread.

US sees record-high daily Covid numbers as election nears

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The US saw a record high of 91,000 new Covid-19 cases reported on Thursday, with spikes in dozens of states just days before the presidential election.
The same day, over 1,000 Americans died with the virus, as the national death toll and number of patients in hospital continue to trend upward.
The US is just shy of nine million total cases, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
The contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden comes to a head on Tuesday.
Twenty-one states are experiencing outbreaks, with some of the most severe in the states that will be key in deciding the 2020 election.
Arizona has been hit particularly hard, with nearly 6,000 deaths and the number of cases rising every day.
The BBC's Clive Myrie visited one of its worst affected communities - the Navajo nation:


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Coronavirus - 30th October Empty Re: Coronavirus - 30th October

Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 30 2020, 18:45

Are we heading for lockdown?

James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
You don’t need to be a genius to realise how difficult managing the virus through winter is going to be.
Scientists advising government have been arguing for a short, planned lockdown - called a circuit-breaker - since 21 September .
They made the case when there were around 5,000 confirmed cases a day. The numbers have changed dramatically since then and their argument is intensifying not lessening.
The UK government is holding to its regional "tiered" system even as other countries introduce new lockdowns.
There are glimmers of hope with cases appearing to level off in the north east and the R number drifting down.
However, the national R rate is not below 1.0 and there will be a constant argument for tighter restrictions, in whatever form, until it is.
The biggest thing to remember is quite how much further we have to go - November, December, January and February are expected to be the toughest months - and we are in this for the long haul.

The main headlines

We are winding down our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic for today.
Here's a final roundup of the main headlines this Friday evening:


We are now closing our live coverage for the day. Thank you for joining us.

Sarah Collerton was today's live page editor and the writers were Jo Couzens, Mary O'Connor, Doug Faulkner and Cherry Wilson.

    Current date/time is Wed Jan 20 2021, 04:15