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Coronavirus - 10th November

Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 08:59

Summary for Tuesday, 10th November

  • UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the NHS will be ready by December to roll out vaccines, if approved
  • Mass testing for coronavirus will be rolled out to 67 more areas in England, following a programme in Liverpool
  • Three Scottish council areas are will have tougher coronavirus rules imposed amid concern over increasing cases
  • Welsh Government cancels GCSE, AS and A-level exams next summer 2021, with grades to be based on classroom assessments
  • Record redundancies recorded in the UK in the three months to September
  • The second wave has pushed UK death rates over the five-year average, the Office for National Statistics says
  • In Brazil, a clinical trial for a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine is suspended after a "severe adverse" incident
  • Globally there are now nearly 51 million confirmed cases and more than 1.2 million deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University

Good morning and welcome to today’s live coverage. Here’s a look at the main headlines this morning to bring you up to speed:

NHS is 'ready to deploy' vaccine, says Hancock

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The health secretary said he would announce £150m of support to roll out the vaccine in GP surgeries

The first results of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine trials showing it is 90% effective were “promising, promising news”, Health Secretary Matt Hancock says.
He tells BBC Breakfast he is “cautious about putting a date on it” but as soon as it is confirmed as clinically safe “we’re ready to deploy it in the NHS”.
Earlier, he told Sky News he has asked the NHS to be ready to deploy the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the start of December.
He said care home residents and staff would be the first priority for vaccination, followed by the NHS, with the vaccine then being distributed down the age range of the population, starting with the over-80s.
Vaccinations would take place in care homes, at dedicated vaccination centres set up in places such as sports halls, at GP surgeries and at pharmacies.
Later he will announced £150m of support for GPs for the roll-out, he said.

Children will not be vaccinated

The health secretary also said that children would not be vaccinated, as they had a very low susceptibility to the disease. “This is an adult vaccine,” Matt Hancock said.
Vaccination would not be compulsory, the health secretary said, but he pointed to surveys that showed the UK had some of the highest levels of enthusiasm for a Covid-19 vaccine.
He said the roll-out would be complex and would take time, with each person receiving two doses, 21 days apart and full protection only coming a week or two after the final dose.
“We still appeal this morning to people’s patience to follow the existing rules.
"This is still a deadly disease and it’s not over yet,” he said.

Brazil halts trials of China's Sinovac vaccine

Brazilian health authorities have suspended clinical trials of the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine, Coronavac, because of what they called a "severe adverse" incident.
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Brazilian health regulator Anvisa said the incident happened on 29 October, but did not give further details. Butantan, the medical research institute conducting the trial, is to hold a news conference on Tuesday at 11:00 local time (14:00 GMT).
The Sinovac vaccine is one of several in final-stage testing globally. But China has already been using it to immunise thousands of people at home in an emergency programme. There was no immediate response from Sinovac.
Read more on this story here .

Record UK job losses in last three months

Redundancies rose by a record 181,000 in the period to reach a record high of 314,000, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
It brings the unemployment rate up to 4.8% , from 4.5% the previous quarter.
Firms made more workers redundant in anticipation of the end of the furlough scheme, which was originally supposed to finish at the end of October. It will now last until 31 March.
The ONS said that the redundancies in the last three months were slightly higher than those at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.
Young people were particularly hard-hit with the number of 16 to 24-year-olds in employment falling by 174,000 to a record low of 3.52 million.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 09:36

Summary

The Guardian
Here are the key developments from the last few hours:

  • China inflation dips to 11-year low as pork stocks rise. Falling food prices dragged China’s consumer inflation to an 11-year low last month, spurred by improving supplies of pork, official data showed Tuesday.
  • Blocking Taiwan at WHO will increase hostility to China, premier says. China’s efforts to block Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Organization during the coronavirus pandemic will only increase the world’s hostility towards the country, the island’s premier said on Tuesday.
  • Australia records third day with no local cases. Australia has gone three days without any locally acquired cases of Covid-19. All cases have been detected in quarantined locals who have recently returned from overseas.Now the country is considering opening its borders to Asian countries, including parts of China, prime minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday, as Canberra seeks to revive an economy ravaged by Covid-19.
  • Monday saw record Covid patients in US hospitals. There were almost 59,000 Covid-19 patients in hospitals across the US on Monday, the country’s highest number ever of in-patients being treated for the disease. The number of people with the virus being hospitalised has increasedabout 73% over the past 30 days to at least 58,982 – a record level that surpasses the previous high of 58,370 on July 22.
  • US FDA authorises emergency use of Eli Lilly’s experimental treatment for Covid. The US Food and Drug Administration on Monday authorised emergency use of Eli Lilly and Co’s experimental Covid-19 antibody treatment for non-hospitalised patients older than 65 or who have certain chronic medical conditions. The FDA said its emergency use authorisation (EUA) was based on clinical trials showing that the treatment, bamlanivimab, reduced the need for hospitalisation or emergency room visits in Covid-19 patients at high risk of disease progression.
  • Brazil halts trials of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine. Brazil’s health regulator said on Monday it had suspended clinical trials of a Chinese-developed Covid-19 vaccine after an “adverse incident” involving a volunteer recipient, a blow for one of the most advanced vaccine candidates, AFP reports.The setback for CoronaVac, developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech, came on the same day US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said its own vaccine candidate had shown 90% effectiveness, sending global markets soaring and raising hopes of an end to the pandemic.
  • World may be tired, but virus ‘not tired of us’: WHO chief. The World Health Organization’s chief called on Monday for everyone to keep fighting Covid-19, warning that while we may be sick of battling the pandemic, the virus is “not tired of us”, AFP reports. Speaking to WHO’s main annual assembly, which resumed on Monday after being cut short in May, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also hailed the election of Joe Biden as the next US president, voicing hope it could signal tighter global cooperation to end the pandemic.
  • Italy will ramp up coronavirus restrictions in Tuscany and four other regions from Wednesday to rein in the second wave of the pandemic, a health ministry source said on Monday. Last week, the government imposed nationwide curbs including a nightly curfew, and divided the country into three zones based on the intensity of their Covid-19 outbreaks, calibrating additional limitations accordingly.
  • The US president-elect Joe Biden led the tone for much of the reaction from world leaders. He said it could be “many months” before the vaccine is widely available – providing it passes several more hurdles in the approval and distribution process – and warned Americans: “We’re still facing a very dark winter.”
  • Sir John Bell, one of the UK’s most eminent vaccines experts, said he believed “with some confidence” that life should return to normal by spring next year following the Pfizer/BioNTech announcement. Bell went further than many of peers in the scientific community but his prediction carries significant weight given his role on the UK’s vaccines taskforce.
  • A senior World Health Organization official said a Covid-19 vaccine may be rolled out by March 2021 to the most vulnerable. Bruce Aylward told the WHO’s annual ministerial assembly that interim results from Pfizer’s late-stage vaccine trial were “very positive”.





Czech Republic’s health ministry figures published today show a drop of more than 3,000 positive tests against a week earlier, with the number of new cases in the last 24 hours now 6,048.
In total, the country of 10.7 million has recorded 420,875 cases after showing one of Europe’s highest infection rates for several weeks.
The ministry also reported 216 new deaths, including 95 on Monday as well as revisions to previous days. Overall, 5,074 people have died in relation to Covid-19.



Ukraine registered 10,179 Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, its health ministry said on Tuesday, not the record figure of 10,842 that it had earlier reported.
The minister Maksym Stepanov said a total of 479,197 cases had been registered in Ukraine as of 10 November, with 8,756 deaths.




Covid poverty forces India’s children into work

In India, Amrit Dhillon has reported on the children forced into work by the coronavirus pandemic. Her excellent piece begins with Subhan Shaikh, who was at school in Mumbai until the pandemic hit but now has to work because the lockdown brought his mother’s work as a school bus attendant to an end:
:Left Quotes:  Today, life for Subhan revolves around tea, which has become a lifeline for his family. After seeing his mother struggle, Subhan decided to do something and became a tea seller on the streets of Mumbai.
From 2pm Subhan is allowed to borrow the stove in the corner of a food stall in Bhendi Bazaar to make a big pan of milky tea. He strains the tea into a large thermos flask, hangs it precariously on his bicycle handlebars and sets off to sell it in tiny paper cups for five rupees each.
Read more




Russia reported 20,977 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, including 5,902 in the capital Moscow, bringing the national tally to 1,817,109, Reuters reports. There were 21,798 cases the previous day.
Authorities also reported 368 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, against 256 the day before, taking the official death toll to 31,161.




In Hungary, the government has reported 103 deaths from coronavirus in the last 24 hours, Reuters reports. That figure is close to the national peak set on Saturday of 107.
The number of new cases rose by 4,140, the government said in a statement. It said the number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 rose to 6,153, with a record number of 461 patients on ventilators.




Indonesia reported 3,779 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, bringing the total number to 444,348, data from the country’s Covid-19 task force showed.
The data added 72 new Covid-19 deaths, taking the total number to 14,761. Indonesia has confirmed the highest tally of coronavirus cases and deaths.




Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat dies after contracting Covid-19

The Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat has died at 65 after contracting Covid-19, a senior member of his Fatah party told Reuters. He was reported to be in a medically induced coma and in critical condition in mid-October.
Erekat, who had a lung transplant in 2017, had led the Palestinian negotiating team in peace talks with Israel since 1994. He was also Secretary General of the PLO’s Executive Committee.
He was a strong advocate of a two-state solution of the conflict with Israel and a sharp critic of its settlement policy on occupied land that he said could destroy prospects for a viable Palestine.
He continued to lead the Palestinian delegation in talks during the Trump administration, and in September said in response to the diplomatic breakthrough between Israel and Gulf monarchies: “We definitely feel betrayed... [the deals are] tremendous encouragement for the Israeli government to continue their occupation.”
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 10:40

What's happening around the world?

As the pandemic continues to disrupt normal life around the world, here's a roundup of some key developments from outside the UK.

  • Clinical trials of the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine, Coronavac, have been suspended by Brazil's health authorities because of what they called a "severe adverse" incident
  • US President-elect Joe Biden has "implored" Americans to wear a mask as the best way to "turn this pandemic around". He named a new task force and vowed to "follow the science" as he puts his transition team together
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban goes to parliament today to seek approval for a state of emergency that would include limits on public gatherings and closures of schools, restaurants and universities
  • Portugal has imposed a night-time curfew as part of its state of emergency that is set to last at least two weeks. The curfew, which covers 70% of the population including Lisbon and Porto, runs from 23:00 to 05:00 local time, but at weekends it will run from 13:00 to 05:00
  • France's unemployment rate jumped to its highest level in two years amid fallout from the pandemic, official figures revealed on Tuesday. The Insee statistics office said the number out of work rose to 9.0% from 7.1% in the second quarter
  • Globally there are now nearly 51 million confirmed cases and more than 1.2 million deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 12:01

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat dies due to Covid-19 complications

Coronavirus - 10th November B139cd10
Saeb Erekat tested positive for Covid-19 on 9 October and was admitted to hospital 10 days later

Veteran Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat has died at the age of 65, a Fatah party official and a spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has told the BBC.
Mr Erekat had suffered serious health problems for several years before contracting coronavirus last month.
He was being treated at an Israeli hospital in Jerusalem.
Erekat was secretary general of the PLO and an adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
He was the Palestinians' chief negotiator in peace talks with Israel for the past two and a half decades.
Read more: Key Palestinian negotiator dies of Covid-19

Jordan holds election despite alarming Covid-19 resurgence

Yolande Knell - BBC Middle East correspondent, Jerusalem
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Jordan's government plans a four-day lockdown after the election

Jordanians are heading to the polls for a parliamentary election, as their country struggles to deal with a serious rise in coronavirus cases.
Latest figures suggest the kingdom has the highest per capita infection and death rates in the Arab world.
Despite the alarming resurgence of Covid-19 cases over the past month, the Jordanian government decided not to postpone this election. Instead, it plans a four-day lockdown afterwards.
Voter turnout is expected to be low because of public apathy over the role of the 130-seat parliament - seen as rubber-stamping government policy. Activists are also calling for a boycott over holding the poll at this time.
There is growing public discontent in Jordan as it faces its worst economic crisis in years.
Early on in the pandemic, the country imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in the world to bring its outbreak under control.
Officials have since linked a sharp increase in infections to travellers from neighbouring Syria and problems in the healthcare system.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 12:06

Mass testing to roll out to over 66 local authorities - Hancock

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock says he has written to every director of public health in England to offer the rapid mass testing that was trialled in Liverpool last week .
He tells Sky News 66 local authorities have already expressed an interest in the tests and he expects "a whole load more" to sign up.
The tests would also be available to authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Hancock says.
"Lateral flow" tests, which can give a result within an hour without a laboratory, have been used as part of England's first trial of whole-city testing in Liverpool, with all residents offered regular tests whether or not they have symptoms.
But BBC health and science correspondent James Gallagher says these type of tests need high levels of the virus in the body to work . It is not yet clear how good they are at catching people in the early stages of the infection, when the virus is still taking hold.
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Mass testing in Liverpool finds 154 positive from 23,000 tested

Mass testing of the population in Liverpool has seen 23,170 people tested since midday on Friday, with 0.7% positive .
The 154 people who tested positive had no symptoms.
All residents and workers - about 500,000 people - in Liverpool have been offered tests at one of 18 centres.
The hope is that mass testing can identify more people who have the virus but no symptoms, so they can self-isolate, preventing them from spreading the virus.
City Mayor Joe Anderson said there had been a "great response" from the public.
Children aged 11 and over are also to be tested in schools with their parents' consent as part of the scheme, the city's council has said.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 13:44

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat dies after contracting Covid-19

Coronavirus - 10th November 204810
Saeb Erekat (centre with Bill Clinton and Yassar Arafat during the 1994 Camp David summit. Photograph: Reuters

The Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat has died at 65 after contracting Covid-19, news agencies have reported. He was reported to be in a medically induced coma and in critical condition in mid-October.
Erekat, who had a lung transplant in 2017, had led the Palestinian negotiating team in peace talks with Israel since 1994. He was also secretary general of the PLO’s executive committee.
He continued to lead the Palestinian delegation in talks during the Trump administration, and in September said in response to the diplomatic breakthrough between Israel and Gulf monarchies: “We definitely feel betrayed … [the deals are] tremendous encouragement for the Israeli government to continue their occupation.”
“I am the most disadvantaged negotiator in the history of man,” he told a reporter in 2007, the year that the Islamic militant group Hamas seized control of Gaza from Abbas’ forces. “I have no army, no navy, no economy, my society is fragmented.”
AP writes:
:Left Quotes: The American-educated Erekat was involved in nearly every round of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians going back to the landmark Madrid conference in 1991, when he famously showed up draped in a black-and-white checkered keffiyeh, a symbol of Palestinian nationalism.
Over the next few decades Erekat was a constant presence in Western media, where he tirelessly advocated for a negotiated two-state solution to the decades-old conflict, defended the Palestinian leadership and blamed Israel for the failure to reach an agreement.

Weekly death toll in England and Wales jumps 41%

In England and Wales, a total of 1,379 deaths registered in the week ending October 30 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It is first time the weekly figure has been above 1,000 since the week ending 12 June.
It is also the highest number of deaths involving Covid-19 since the week ending 5 June. The total is up from 978 deaths in the week to 23 October – a jump of 41%.
For more on these figures, head to Andrew Sparrow’s UK live blog .
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 13:53

Malaysia’s health ministry reported 869 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, raising the total to 42,050 infections.
The Southeast Asian country also recorded six new deaths, taking total fatalities from the pandemic to 300.




Highest number of deaths during second wave in France

Kim Willsher - The Guardian
France reported 551 new Covid-19 deaths on Monday evening, the highest number of the second wave, according to French public health director Jérôme Salomon. And the head of Santé Publique France warned that the worst of the spike was to come.
Salomon said France had the 4th highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world – an extra 20,155 were reported on Monday – but attributed this to what he called “particularly high” testing in the country. France is now carrying out around 2.3m tests a week.
Officials reported that 4,690 intensive care beds were now being occupied by Covid-19 patients. Before the first wave in March-April this year, France had around 5,000 intensive care beds; this figure has now been increased with an eventual target of around 7,500.
With news of a possible vaccine on the horizon, an Ipsos poll found that only 59% of French people questioned said they would get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Twenty per cent said they were vehemently opposed to having the vaccine.
A number of schools were closed across France on Tuesday after several teaching unions called for members to hold a “health strike” in protest at what they see as insufficient Covid-19 precautions in some schools and lycées. It was not immediately clear how many teachers had responded to the strike call.



The latest figures for Switzerland have just been published. The Alpine state has reported 5,980 new coronavirus infections with 107 more deaths.
Total confirmed cases in Switzerland and neighbouring principality Liechtenstein increased to 235,202, and the death toll rose to 2,683.
Hospitalisations swelled by 243 to 9,448 as the government deployed army personnel to help the hard-pressed health care system cope with the surge in admissions.




European coronavirus death toll set to pass 300,000

The Covid-19 death toll in Europe is set to pass 300,000, according to a Reuters tally, and authorities fear that despite hopes for a new vaccine, fatalities and infections will continue to rise as the region heads into winter.
With just 10% of the world’s population, Europe accounts for almost a quarter of both the 50.7 million cases and 1.2 million deaths globally and even its well-equipped hospitals are feeling the strain.
After achieving a measure of control over the pandemic with broad lockdowns earlier this year, case numbers have surged since the summer and governments have ordered a second series of restrictions to limit social contacts.
In all, Europe has reported some 12.3 million cases and 295,000 deaths and over the past week, it has seen 280,000 cases a day, up 10% from the week earlier, representing just over half of all new infections reported globally.
Hopes have been raised by Pfizer’s announcement of a potentially effective new vaccine, but it is not expected to be generally available before 2021 and health systems will have to cope with the winter months unaided.
Britain has the highest death toll in Europe at around 49,000 and health experts have warned that with a current average of more than 20,000 cases daily, the country will exceed its “worst case” scenario of 80,000 deaths.
France, Spain, Italy and Russia have also reported hundreds of deaths a day, and together with the UK account for almost three quarters of the total fatalities.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 16:26

Breaking News

Exams in Wales cancelled next summer

Wales' GCSE, AS and A-level exams in summer 2021 have all been cancelled, with grades to be based on classroom assessments instead.
Education Minister Kirsty Williams says it is impossible to guarantee a level playing field for exams, due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic.
Head teachers will work on a "national approach" to ensure consistency, she says.
Assessments will be done under teacher supervision, and will begin in the second half of the spring term.
It comes after exams were cancelled this summer due to coronavirus.
Read more here .

Student mass virus testing 'to begin on 30 November'

Rapid Covid testing of students in England, so they can return home safely for the Christmas holidays, could begin on 30 November, according to a letter from the universities minister .
It proposes a week of mass testing that overlaps with the end of lockdown, with the testing finishing by 6 December.
The letter, seen by the BBC, promises the tests can deliver "results within an hour" - but it acknowledges that they do not catch all positive cases.
The aim is to prevent the 1.2 million students expected to travel back home for Christmas from spreading the virus around the country.

China to disinfect all frozen food imports amid virus fears


Coronavirus - 10th November C7feb610

China is to disinfect all imported frozen food after cases of coronavirus among port workers were linked to contaminated goods.
New government guidelines say that packaging of imported frozen products - and even the vehicles used to transport them - must be disinfected before the goods are unloaded.
There have been several instances in recent months where frozen products were found to be contaminated with coronavirus, the South China Morning Post reported .
On Saturday, authorities in central Shanxi province said frozen ribbonfish imported from India had tested positive for coronavirus.
In September, China suspended imports from frozen food companies in 19 countries and regions which reported Covid-19 infections among workers.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 16:33

Russia resists lockdown despite cases surge

Sarah Rainsford - BBC Moscow Correspondent
The ticket booths at Krylatskoye ice palace are shuttered, but the rink is full - not of speed skaters and hockey players, but rows of coronavirus patients.
It's one of five facilities in Moscow transformed into giant temporary hospitals that are now swinging into action as the number of new Covid cases reaches daily record highs.
The Kremlin describes the rate of infection as "worrying" - close to 21,000 new cases were announced on Tuesday - and admits that healthcare facilities in some regions are "overloaded".
But it is still resisting a national lockdown, anxious to protect the economy and optimistic that Russia's contender for a Covid-19 vaccine can help chart a way out of this crisis.
Read more from Sarah here .

French teachers strike over classroom Covid security

Coronavirus - 10th November A9b0c510
Teachers say crowding in schools risks spreading the coronavirus

Teachers' unions in France are holding a day of nationwide strikes and protests to call for stricter coronavirus protocols in schools.
France is now in a new national lockdown but schools remain open. And although the government has issued stricter hygiene rules for schools, many teachers say crowded premises are putting their health at risk. Unions want more staff recruited urgently so that classes can be made smaller.
On Monday, students demanding smaller class sizes outside a high school in Compiègne, north of Paris, clashed with police. Officers made four arrests, France 24 reported .
The French government imposed the second national lockdown in a bid to curb a surge in Covid-19 cases. The country has recorded more than 1.8 million infections and just over 41,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 16:38

'Grave' warning about Danish mink outbreak

Hancock updates MPs on the new variant strain of coronavirus that emerged in farmed mink in Denmark, saying it "shows how vigilant we must be".
He said the likelihood of the new strain becoming widespread in humans is low, but the "consequences would be grave".
Hancock sets out the travel restrictions he imposed on Denmark, saying: "Be in no doubt we will do what needs to be done."

More than 10m tested so far, says Hancock

More than 10 million people in the UK have now been tested for coronavirus at least once, through NHS test and trace, says Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
The test and trace app has been downloaded almost 20m times, he adds.
He says testing provides people with confidence - and it is that that will get the UK back on its feet.
Testing is to be rolled out twice-weekly for all NHS staff. The next step is mass testing happening more widely, following the testing pilot in Liverpool, he says.
He has now written to 67 directors of public health - who had expressed an interest in further local testing - about making more tests available reaching 10% of the local populations each week.

Breaking News 

NHS ready to give vaccine from 1 December - Hancock

Hancock tells MPs that the UK was "among the first to identify the promise shown" by the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which early results suggest is 90% effective.
The UK has secured 40m doses, he says, putting it "towards the front of the international pack".
"We do not have a vaccine yet but we are one step closer," the health secretary says, adding that the regulator will only approve it once it is shown to be safe.
Hancock also says we do not yet know how long the effect lasts for and how effective it is at reducing transmission.
But he says the NHS will be ready to give out a vaccine from 1 December, if one is approved.
"The logistics are complex, the uncertainties are real and the scale of the job is vast," he says, but he says the NHS and assisting armed forces are "up to the task".
The health secretary says he has written to GPs outlining £150m of support to help them distribute a vaccine.
The NHS is "ready to inject hope into millions of arms," he says.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 16:40

Dedicated GP clinics to deliver '975 doses a week each'

In the House of Commons, Matt Hancock says he has written to GPs to announce £150m to support the vaccine rollout and to let them know what they would be expected to do.
Now we're getting some details of what that will mean in England: NHS England has told each of the 1,250 primary care areas to nominate a GP surgery that could hold clinics from 8am to 8pm seven days a week, including on bank holidays if needed.
Documents suggest that each of these dedicated clinics will be expected to deliver a minimum of 975 doses per week and need to have the fridge space by 1 December.
Patients will need to be supervised for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine, and annual flu jabs and Covid-19 immunisations must be given at least a week apart.
Appointments for the vaccine - in two doses, given between 21 days and 28 days apart - will be managed through a national booking system, the documents say. Patients will be notified they are eligible and can then book with their nearby GP provider or choose another provider through the National Booking Service.
Hancock said earlier that pharmacies and dedicated clinics set up in public venues such as sports halls were also likely to be used.

Breaking News 

Tougher Covid rules for three areas of Scotland

Three Scottish council areas are to have tougher coronavirus rules imposed amid concern over an increase in cases.
Fife, Angus, and Perth and Kinross will all be moved from level two to level three of Scotland's five-tier system.
It means pubs and restaurants in those areas will no longer be allowed to serve alcohol.
But people in Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles will be able to meet inside their homes with one other household from Monday, said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Read more on the restrictions here .
She said 1,239 patients are in hospital with a confirmed case, with 102 being treated in intensive care.
A further 39 people who tested positive have died, taking the total to 3,079 deaths in Scotland by that measure.

Sturgeon: Level three areas on 'sharply rising trajectory'

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the "necessary and precautionary" decision to move Fife, Perth and Kinross and Angus to level three from Friday was taken because cases in all three areas were on a "sharply rising trajectory".
She said she knew the news would be "disappointing to residents and businesses in these areas".
Measures in level three include that pubs and restaurants in those areas will no longer be allowed to serve alcohol.
The most recent data shows that, in the space of a week, the number of cases per 100,000 of the population has increased in Perth and Kinross by 32%, in Fife by 40%, and in Angus by 47%.
"However, by acting now, we can hopefully prevent an even more serious deterioration in the situation," she added.
Medical experts had strongly recommended the move to level three as it was felt that level two may not be enough to reverse increases of that magnitude.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 16:43

Key points from Hancock's Commons update


  • NHS staff are being prepared to roll-out a vaccine from 1 December, if one has been approved by regulators. Earlier, the health secretary said the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) could approve a vaccine "within days" of a licence application being submitted because they had been examining data throughout
  • But Matt Hancock said the vaccine would only be approved once it is shown to be safe, adding that there are still questions about how long it protects for and how effectively it reduces transmission
  • Hancock said it has not been tested on children and so will not be given to them, but he added that their risk from the disease is very low
  • The UK has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which has announced initial results, as well as 300 million doses of other candidate vaccines
  • The speed of the UK's vaccine roll-out will depend on how quickly it can be manufactured, the health secretary said. But he acknowledged "the scale of the job is vast"
  • The health secretary also said he has written to 67 directors of public health who expressed an interest in rapid testing about making enough available to reach 10% of their local populations each week. Hancock said testing gives people confidence and that will get the UK back on its feet
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 16:47

Lebanon announces new lockdown

Lebanon is to enter a fresh two-week lockdown from Saturday as coronavirus infections continue to rise.
In a televised address on Tuesday, caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab said a "stage of critical danger" had been reached. "Private and public hospitals don't have the capacity to receive severe cases," he warned.
Mr Diab said that the huge blast in Beirut more than three months ago, which killed more than 200 people and overwhelmed local hospitals, had caused Lebanon to lose control of the outbreak.
Some key industries will be allowed to operate during the new lockdown, Mr Diab said without providing details.
Lebanon, which imposed its first lockdown in March, has recorded more than 95,000 infections and 732 deaths. Last week there were record numbers of new cases for two days in a row.

Nurses 'emotionally attacked' at hospital

Nurses at one hospital have been "emotionally attacked" and "victimised" by members of the public, a senior doctor there has said.
Nerys Conway, a consultant at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant, said there had been "awful cases" of abuse.
Dr Conway said some nurses felt "the finger has been pointed at them" because of the high infection rates within the hospital.
The hospital has been at the centre of a large recent outbreak of Covid-19 .
So far 186 cases and 51 deaths have been linked to the outbreak at the hospital, although infection rates appear to have stabilised more recently.
Dr Conway said the experience has been "horrendous" for staff working hard to care for patients during the latest wave of coronavirus, and they have received abuse both in person and on social media.
Read more on the issue here.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 16:50

Which areas in Scotland are under which level?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been giving updates about the levels in place in Scotland.
No part of Scotland is currently under the most severe level four restrictions. Three council areas - Angus, Fife, and Perth and Kinross - are being moved up to level three due to concerns over rising numbers of cases.
From Friday 13 November, the levels will be:
Level 3 - Angus, Clackmannanshire, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Inverclyde, Midlothian, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Perth & Kinross, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian.
Level 2 - Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute, Borders, Dumfries & Galloway.
Level 1 - Highland, Moray, Orkney, Shetland, Western Isles.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 16:55

Honduras fears virus spike after storm Eta

Coronavirus - 10th November Eb342110
Many fled their homes when the storm triggered devastating floods

Doctors in Honduras are warning that the number of coronavirus infections could soar among those who used communal shelters to escape the wrath of Tropical Storm Eta last week.
At least 57 people are known to have died and eight are still missing after Eta left a trail of destruction across the Central American country. Many areas are still under water. Neighbouring Guatemala was also badly hit.
Public shelters in Honduras were opened in all communities affected by the floods but doctors at public hospitals warned that cases of Covid-19 could skyrocket unless strict sanitary measures were imposed in them.
They said many people who fled their homes did not have access to facemasks when they entered the shelters. Honduras has recorded more than 100,000 coronavirus infections and 2,765 deaths.

Doctor's diary: 'We are first-hand witnesses of this devastation'

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Work. Sleep. Repeat. Our doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and support staff have settled in to a weary routine. The hospital is nearly full. The patients we admit were infected a fortnight beforehand. The patients who are dying were infected a month ago - when the government's scientific advisory group, Sage, was recommending a circuit break.
The virus has used this time to great effect. In Yorkshire, one in 37 people tested positive in the last week of October - almost 3% of the population. This is a prevalence figure beyond our comprehension.
The avalanche has begun at the top of the mountain and we are readying ourselves at the base for its unstoppable force. As with the first wave, it is our 2,000-strong nursing staff who will bear the biggest impact.
Read here about the pressures on nursing staff at Bradford Royal Infirmary.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 16:58

Denmark admits mink culling had no legal basis

Coronavirus - 10th November 51151910

The Danish government has admitted that there was no legal basis for the mass cull of farmed mink it ordered after a mutated version of the coronavirus was found in the animals.
It says it will now put forward legislation to back up its order for the mass cull.
Many animals have become infected by farm workers during the pandemic and have occasionally passed the virus back to humans, potentially bringing new viral mutations.
Danish scientists are concerned that genetic changes in one particular mink-related form of the virus - which has been found in a dozen people - has the potential to make future vaccines less effective.
You can read more on this story here .
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 18:06

Vaccine trials: The booster shot knocked me out

BBC OS
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Casey Ayers is taking part in the Pfizer vaccine trial

With vaccine trials going on around the world, BBC OS on World Service radio has been speaking to trial participants about their experiences.
Casey Ayers, 33, from Florida, took part in the Pfizer vaccine trial. He has no pre-existing health conditions.
Casey said he had the initial dose in mid-August and was warned that he might experience reactions similar to those from a seasonal flu vaccine.
“I haven’t had adverse reactions to those in the past but in this case I did have aches, chills and a low-grade fever set in about 24 hours after the first injection, lasting for about 12 hours before rapidly dissipating," he said.
"And then very similar, slightly heightened, side-effects after the booster shot, beginning about 12 hours after injection and lasting about 12 hours once again at that point.
“I would not be surprised if the recommendation came out that after the booster, individuals take the day off of work or at least a few hours afterwards in case their symptoms were about as severe as mine. That one knocked me out pretty good after the booster, similar to a very rapid flu."
You can listen to the full interview here .

What's the global situation?

As our page draws to a close today, here's a roundup of some key developments from outside the UK.

  • US President-elect Joe Biden is expected to warn against scrapping "Obamacare" legislation in the midst of the pandemic, when he speaks on the subject later today. The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a case that could overturn the healthcare legislation
  • Clinical trials of the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine, Coronavac, have been suspended by Brazil's health authorities because of what they called a "severe adverse" incident. Brazil's health regulator has not given further details but developer Sinovac says it is "confident in the safety of the vaccine"
  • Veteran Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat has died aged 65 after contracting coronavirus last month. He had suffered from serious health problems for several years
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban goes to parliament today to seek approval for a state of emergency that would include limits on public gatherings and closures of schools, restaurants and universities
  • France's unemployment rate jumped to its highest level in two years amid fallout from the pandemic, official figures revealed on Tuesday. The Insee statistics office said the number of people out of work rose to 9.0% from 7.1% in the second quarter
  • Globally there are now nearly 51 million confirmed cases and more than 1.2 million deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 10 2020, 18:08

What's been happening in the UK today?

And these have been some of the main developments in the UK:


Join us again tomorrow

Thanks for joining us on our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic today.

Updates were brought to you by Chris Clayton, David Gritten, Claire Heald, Joseph Lee, Lauren Turner, David Walker and Cherry Wilson.

    Current date/time is Wed Jan 20 2021, 03:54