KRAZY KATS

Welcome to Krazy Kats - a friendly informal online community discussing life issues that we care about. Open 24/7 for chat & chill. Come and join us!

COVID-19: All the latest LIVE worldwide updates - today's updates are also on our Portal page, here)
Message to all: Stay well, stay safe, stay at home - and stay in touch!

Coronavirus - 29th December

Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 11:28

Summary for Tuesday, 29th December

  • India becomes the latest country to detect the new, more transmissible coronavirus variant
  • The variant - first indentified in the UK - has also been detected in South Korea, Canada, and across Europe
  • Russia says its Covid death toll is three times higher than reported
  • Spain says it will set up a register of people who refuse to have the Covid vaccination
  • The head of England's health service says workers are "back in the eye of the storm" as cases rise
  • The military is to support mass testing in England's secondary schools next month
  • But school leaders warn the return of pupils may have to be delayed
  • South Africa announces new curfew as cases, linked to a new variant, rise sharply
  • Globally there have been 81m confirmed cases since the outbreak began, and almost 1.8m deaths


Good morning and thank you for joining us. Here are the coronavirus headlines:


Six cases of new variant found in India

Six cases of the more transmissible variant of Covid-19, first identified in the UK, have been confirmed in India.
The six individuals who returned from the UK are being kept in isolation , officials said on Tuesday.
India joined a list of other countries last week in suspending flights to and from the UK.
Officials have begun contact-tracing close contacts and family members of the six who tested positive for the new variant.
The new variant is considerably more transmissible than previous strains but not necessarily any more dangerous, experts say.
With more than 10 million confirmed cases so far, India has the second-highest caseload in the world after the US.

Australia deportation warning after backpacker party


Coronavirus - 29th December 937e6610

Australia has warned UK backpackers they could be deported for breaching Covid rules after hundreds were seen partying on a Sydney beach on Christmas Day .
Videos of the gathering, widely shared on social media, showed hordes of young revellers singing and dancing at Bronte Beach in breach of regulations - sparking anger from locals.
Sydney has seen a resurgence of the virus after months of no local cases.
Australia's Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said: "If somebody is threatening public safety or health, their visa can be cancelled and revoked."

Where else has confirmed cases of the new variant?

As we've already reported, India has become the latest country to confirm cases of the new coronavirus variant that was first identified in the UK.
At least 20 other countries and territories have also reported infections involving the new strain, including:

  • Europe: Netherlands, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Germany, Iceland, Belgium
  • North America: Canada
  • Asia and Australia: Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia
  • Middle East: Israel, Lebanon


Spain to set up register of people who refuse jab

Spain will set up a register of people who refuse to be vaccinated against coronavirus and share it with other European Union nations, its health minister has said.
Salvador Illa said the list would not be made accessible to the public or to employers .
He said the way to defeat the virus was "to vaccinate all of us - the more the better".
Spain has been one of the countries in Europe worst affected by the virus and is currently rolling out the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Mr Illa emphasised that vaccination would not be mandatory and that the register would be created with the "utmost respect for data protection".

The virus situation in the UK

On Monday evening, the UK announced more than 40,000 daily virus cases for the first time - although it is thought infection rates were higher earlier in the year, before mass testing.
The new figures showed :

  • 41,385 people testing positive
  • 357 people dying within 28 days of a positive test

Those figures are likely to be an underestimate, as not all UK nations reported full data across the Christmas period.

Russia admits its death toll is three times higher

More than 80% of the excess deaths in Russia this year are linked to the coronavirus pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova has said.
According to the Rosstat statistics agency, there were almost 230,000 additional deaths between January and November this year compared to 2019 - which would give Russia a total coronavirus death toll of more than 186,000.
The revised total is more than three times higher than the estimated 55,000 fatalities previously acknowledged by Russian authorities.
Only two other countries - the US and Brazil - have reported a higher number of deaths in the pandemic.
Russia has developed its own vaccine, the Sputnik V, which it has already begun rolling out.

Iran begins testing own vaccine

Iran has begun testing its own locally-made vaccine for the first time, local media report.
Tayebeh Mokhber, the daughter of senior official Mohammad Mokhber, was the first person to receive a dose of the Cov-IranBlessing on Tuesday.
"This was a message to the Iranian people that we already believe in what we will be injecting into our people, and if there are any complications all of us and our families will accept them willingly," Health Minister Saeed Namaki said in comments broadcast on state TV.
Mr Mokhber, meanwhile, said the country would be able to produce around 1.5 million monthly doses within weeks.
Almost 55,000 Iranians have died with coronavirus since the pandemic began - the highest figure in the Middle East - while more than 1.2 million people have been infected.
Iran's leaders have repeatedly said that US sanctions prevent the country from accessing coronavirus vaccines, although the sanctions make exceptions for medicine and humanitarian aid.
Tehran has signed up to the World Health Organization's Covax scheme, which is designed to distribute vaccines globally.

Which countries have seen the highest death tolls?

As we reported earlier, new statistics from Russia show a dramatically higher number of deaths from Covid-19 than previously thought. Here's how its death toll compares to other countries:

  • USA - 334,963 deaths
  • Brazil - 191,570
  • Russia - 186,057
  • India - 148,153
  • Mexico - 122,855
  • Italy - 72,370
  • UK - 71,217
  • France - 63,235
  • Iran - 54,813
  • Spain - 50,122

Note: Totals for all countries except Russia based on data from Johns Hopkins University. Russia's numbers are based on excess death figures from statistics agency Rosstat and statements by Russia's deputy minister. Different countries use different measurements for what counts as a "Covid death".
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 11:39

Analysis: Spread of UK variant 'concerning, but not surprising'

Michelle Roberts - Health editor, BBC News online
The new, more contagious variant of Covid, first identified in the UK, has now been confirmed in over 20 countries and territories around the world.
While that is concerning, it’s not surprising. The first case can be traced back to late September in the south of England, meaning there was ample time for it to spread undetected around the UK and into other countries.
Now that the alarm has been raised, scientists around the globe are actively searching for and tracking this variant that is thought to pass more easily between people. And the more you seek, the more you can potentially find.
More than 50 countries have imposed travel restrictions on the UK in recent days to help prevent more spread. But WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned against punishing nations that transparently share information, saying “only if countries are looking and testing effectively will you be able to pick up variants and adjust strategies to cope”.
Viruses continually mutate and future new versions of Covid will occur. Science will need to keep up.

Hospitals 'extremely busy' as Covid cases rise

An A&E doctor has warned London's hospitals are close to being overwhelmed amid a rise in coronavirus cases .
Dr Sonia Adesara told BBC Breakfast: "The hospitals are extremely busy - we have seen a massive rise in people coming in with Covid-19 over the past week and this is on top of an increase in the non-Covid cases we see at this time of year."
She said ambulance queues were commonplace due to a shortage of beds and added: "The situation is untenable and I think we are very close to becoming overwhelmed."
Prof Steve Hams, a chief nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said he had seen a 30% increase in community transmission, with his trust now having 200 Covid patients in its beds, compared to 60 during the first spike.
"We felt during April that there would be an end to this but actually we're now seeing a third peak so trying to keep our colleagues and our teams going through this time is just incredibly difficult," he said.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 11:54

South Africa announces new restrictions as cases soar


Coronavirus - 29th December Acaf2d10

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced new tougher coronavirus restrictions, a day after the country surpassed one million Covid-19 cases.
The measures include an overnight curfew from 21:00 to 06:00, as well as bans on indoor and outdoor gatherings and alcohol sales.
The president said the country was at an extremely dangerous point in the pandemic and action had to be taken, as some hospitals and medical centres struggle under a huge rise in admissions.
Recently authorities confirmed a new, faster-spreading variant of the virus had been detected in South Africa.
The new form of the virus appears unrelated to the new variant identified in the UK, although both have a mutation in a crucial part of the virus used to infect the body's cells.
South Africa has recorded more than 27,000 deaths since the outbreak began in March.

Breaking News 

Pakistan confirms first cases of new variant

Pakistan has become the latest country to report cases of the new coronavirus variant first detected in the UK.
Health authorities in Sindh province said that three people in the southern port city of Karachi had tested positive for the new strain.
All three had recently returned from the UK, the authorities said, adding that contact tracing was under way.
Pakistan was among dozens of countries to introduce travel restrictions after the new variant was first identified last week - but exceptions were made for Pakistani nationals in the UK on visitor or temporary visas who provided negative tests before travel.
The new strain has now been found in more than 20 countries.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 11:59

The UK virus outbreak in charts

As the new variant drives an increase in UK cases , the first chart below shows how the number of infections has increased sharply in recent weeks.
The second shows the number of people dying each day who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the previous 28 days.

Coronavirus - 29th December Aba4b810

Coronavirus - 29th December Dad3e610
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 12:05

Airline traffic down by 67% in 2020

Airline passenger traffic dropped by an estimated 67% in 2020 compared to the previous year as the pandemic took its toll on the sector, according to an industry analyst.
Jeremy Bowen, chief executive of aviation analyst Cirium, said there was no dressing up the fact the year had been a "catastrophe for the airline industry".
"We have seen 21 years of consistent passenger growth wiped out in the matter of a few months," he said.
Mr Bowen said there had been half the flights of 2019 and just a third of the passengers.
"At the moment we are seeing international travel is down everywhere in the world but the region which is boosted quite heavily by domestic travel is Asia/Pacific, particularly China," he said.
"Domestic travel in China is now at record levels."

Call for schools to remain closed until testing ready

BBC Breakfast
A union has said schools should remain closed in England until testing systems are ready - amid rising cases of a new coronavirus variant.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) told BBC Breakfast: "Eminent scientists have said that schools should remain closed; that's what unions I think have been responding to.
"None of this is to create problems because we know those tests are going to help more young people to keep from being disrupted - it's a really good idea."
Year 11 and Year 13 pupils are due to return to secondary schools in England next week, while others will begin online.
Nicola Mason, head of Chase Terrace Academy in Burntwood, Staffordshire, said the government's mass testing plans for secondary schools had caused a lot of "stress and panic" for teachers over Christmas, with information coming to schools "very late".
The military is to support the new mass testing programme in schools, it has been announced.

'New national near lockdown' needed

Today Programme -BBC Radio 4
National coronavirus restrictions are needed in England to prevent a "catastrophe" at the start of 2021, a scientist who advises the government has said.
Prof Andrew Hayward, a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think we are entering a very dangerous new phase of the pandemic and we're going to need decisive, early, national action to prevent a catastrophe in January and February.
"A 50% increase in transmissibility means that the previous levels of restrictions that worked before won't work now, and so tier four restrictions are likely to be necessary or even higher than that.
"I think we're really looking at a situation where we're moving into near lockdown, but we've got to learn the lessons from the first lockdown."
He added the rise in cases was "very largely driven" by the new, more infectious variant of coronavirus.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 12:09

Remote Shetland 'set for toughest restrictions' as cases rise


Coronavirus - 29th December Fbe67810

The Shetland Islands, off the north coast of the Scottish mainland, are "almost certain" to move into Scotland's toughest coronavirus restrictions after a rise in cases.
Fourteen cases of coronavirus were confirmed on Monday, bringing the total to 30 within the past week - with 120 now asked to isolate.
The current situation is described as by far the most serious outbreak in Shetland since March.
Most of Scotland is currently in level four restrictions with the exception of Shetland, the Orkney Islands, and the Western Isles, which are subject to level three measures.
Level four is similar to the national lockdown, with all non-essential shops, hospitality businesses and gyms forced to close.
In level three shops can open, as can pubs, restaurants and cafes, although they cannot sell alcohol and must close at 18:00.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 12:52

Wales records a further 33 Covid deaths

Another 33 people have died after contracting coronavirus in Wales , taking the total to 3,416, according to the latest figures.
Public Health Wales (PHW) also reported a further 2,510 new cases across the country.
It takes the number of positive tests to 144,425 since the pandemic began.
UK-wide coronavirus data are due to be published later today. As a reminder, a record 41,385 Covid cases and 357 deaths were reported in the UK on Monday.

How are the UK nations returning to school?

As we've been reporting, members of the armed forces will be helping to roll out mass coronavirus testing to secondary schools and colleges in England from next month .
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has said he is "confident" the staggered return to secondary schools in England can go ahead as planned.
But how and when will pupils across the UK's four nations return to school?

  • In England, secondary school pupils in exam years (11 and 13) will return at the start of term as normal. However, the majority of secondary school pupils will resume their studies online
  • to give head teachers time to bring in a testing scheme for students and staff. Face-to-face learning is expected to resume for everyone by 11 January. Primary schools will return as normal
  • In Scotland, schools will start term on 11 January
  • with learning taking place online until at least 18 January
  • Wales: Term will start with online learning, but the majority of pupils are expected to resume face-to-face lessons by 11 January
  • . A full return to the classroom is expected to be complete by 18 January
  • Northern Ireland: All schools will initially reopen for face-to-face teaching at the start of term, but years 8 to 10 will move to remote learning from 25 January for at least two weeks
    Schools in all the UK nations are remaining open for vulnerable children.
    England, Wales and Scotland have also committed to maintain face-to-face teaching for children of key workers.

Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 12:56

US House votes to increase stimulus package payments

The US House of Representatives has voted in favour of increasing the aid sent to individuals under the new coronavirus stimulus package from $600 (£445) to $2,000.
The Democratic-led House passed the bill with the support of more than 40 Republican members. However, the bigger relief package is likely to struggle in the Republican-led Senate.
President Trump belatedly signed the coronavirus relief and spending package bill into law late on Sunday. The move averted a partial government shutdown.
But even as he put his name on the bill he called for the stimulus cheques to increase to $2,000, saying he wanted "far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people".
The $900bn (£665bn) relief package is part of a $2.3tn bill that includes $1.4tn for normal federal government funding.
Read more here .
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 13:59

EU urges China to release citizen journalist


Coronavirus - 29th December Fa1b8710

The European Union has called for the "immediate release" of a Chinese citizen journalist who was jailed after documenting the early stages of the pandemic in Wuhan.
Zhang Zhan was sentenced to four years in prison on Monday after being found guilty of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble", a frequent charge levelled against activists.
In a statement on Tuesday, the EU voiced its concern at growing "restrictions on freedom of expression, on access to information, and intimidation and surveillance of journalists, as well as detentions, trials and sentencing of human rights defenders, lawyers, and intellectuals in China".
The statement added that "credible" sources said Zhang had been tortured in detention.
Zhang, who was detained in May, is one of several citizen journalists who have run into trouble for reporting on Wuhan.
There is no free media in China and authorities are known to clamp down on activists or whistleblowers seen as undermining the government's response to the outbreak.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 14:05

Criminal trials to be held at Dublin's Croke Park due to Covid-19


Coronavirus - 29th December 3c95e610

Croke Park in Dublin is the headquarters of Ireland's largest sporting organisation - the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) - and has hosted gigs by the likes of Taylor Swift and Westlife.
But the stadium is set to host a very different kind of event for the first three months of next year, as criminal trials will take place there to help implement coronavirus safety measures.
Ireland's national broadcaster RTÉ reports up to 200 sittings will take place during the period.
RTE says the new facility in the stadium will allow three courts to sit at a time.
The venue will cost €437,000 (£396,000) for the next three months.
You can read more here .
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 14:08

UK PM to chair Covid meeting ahead of England tiers review

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to chair a meeting of the UK government's Covid-O committee this evening ahead of tomorrow's review of England's coronavirus tier restrictions.
Some 24 million people in Greater London, the south-east and east of England - about 43% of the population - are now living under the strictest tier four rules and tomorrow's review could see more areas placed under the toughest restrictions.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to announce any changes in the House of Commons when he updates MPs from around 15:00 GMT tomorrow.
On schools, Downing Street says it's still planning for a staggered opening but that all measures are kept under constant review.

Analysis: Hints that new variant is ‘no worse’ than regular Covid

Michelle Roberts - Health editor, BBC News online
A preliminary analysis just out suggests the new variant of Covid that has been spreading rapidly in England is no more harmful in terms of causing hospitalisations and deaths.
Researchers found no significant difference in terms of mortality or morbidity when they compared 1,769 people infected with the new variant versus 1,769 who had "regular" or "wild type" Covid. Good news indeed.
Out of those 3,538 people who caught the disease between September and December, 42 were admitted to hospital - 16 were ill with the new variant, while 26 had the wild type.
There were 12 deaths recorded among the new variant group and 10 in the wild type group within 28 days of a positive Covid test.
But, it is worth pointing out that the average age of the people included in the study was 35. Very few were over 70 – the age group at highest risk of getting very sick with Covid.
Experts will continue gathering data to better understand what threat the new strain poses to all age ranges.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 14:11

Nurses are 'physically exhausted'

The World at One - BBC Radio 4
Nursing staff are "physically exhausted" from nine months of treating people during the pandemic, the head of the Royal College of Nursing has said.
Dame Donna Kinnair told BBC Radio 4's The World At One: "This has been going on since March for many of the nursing staff and on top of that, I was just hearing this morning from nursing staff who have sadly lost members of the nursing community - so there is also the emotional stress of nursing someone who you have worked with."
She also said the country had been "tens of thousands" of nurses short before the pandemic, with staff shortages making it difficult to mobilise the temporary Nightingale Hospitals.
"You can't have it both ways - if you are going to have the Nightingales up and running then we need to adequately staff these wards because you are needing very complex care in these Nightingales."

Schools may have to shut to control virus - Ferguson

The World at One - BBC Radio 4
Even closing schools may not be enough to control coronavirus given how "transmissible this new variant is", a government adviser has warned.
University College London epidemiologist Prof Neil Ferguson told BBC Radio 4's The World At One: "Clearly no one wants to keep schools shut but if that's the only alternative to having exponentially growing hospitalisations then that may be required at least for a period. I think there are no easy solutions here."
But he warned: "My real concern is that even if universities and schools do have staggered returns or even stay closed, how easy it will be to maintain control of the virus is unclear right now - given how much more transmissible this new variant is."
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 14:15

Mobile data shows Swedish ski resorts packed over Christmas

Maddy Savage - BBC News, Stockholm

Coronavirus - 29th December 62eeaf10

Swedish ski resorts were as busy as usual over Christmas, according to mobile phone data from major Swedish operator Telia seen by the BBC.
The government in Sweden strongly advised against all non-essential travel during the holiday period.
But Telia’s data suggests that in the country’s most popular mountain destinations of Jämtland and Sälen, mobile phone activity rose by 44% and 48% respectively between 19 and 25 December, compared to the previous week, indicating an influx of visitors.
Compared to the same week in 2019, there was only a 1% and 4% drop in mobile phone activity.
However, the data suggests that on average, long distance travel in Sweden was down 40% compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, fewer people appear to have gone Christmas shopping, with mobile phone activity dropping between 41 and 64% in the major shopping areas of Sweden’s largest cities, compared to the same week in 2019.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 14:17

.
Breaking News

Scotland urged to stay home for Hogmanay as cases rise

People in Scotland have been urged to stay at home and not celebrate Hogmanay with other households as Covid-19 case numbers continue to rise.
A further 1,895 cases were reported on Tuesday - the highest number ever logged on a single day in Scotland.
The whole Scottish mainland is in the highest level of restrictions in a bid to contain the new variant.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was "especially vital" people did not mix indoors with other households.

Further seven Covid-19 deaths reported in Scotland

Scotland has released its daily coronavirus figures after a break over the holiday period.
As we told you a moment ago there are 1,895 new cases of coronavirus.
A further seven deaths of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 have been reported, although the Scottish government noted that registry offices had been closed for the festive season.
There are 1,092 people in hospital with Covid and 65 of those are in intensive care.
Of the 14,179 tests carried out 14.4% were positive.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 15:49

The rule-breaking Sydney beach party

We reported earlier of a Christmas Day beach party in Sydney, thought to involve backpackers, which has caused anger in Australia.
Australia's immigration minister said that backpackers and other foreign visitors caught flouting public health restrictions could be deported.
Here's footage of some of the party - which was broken up by police.

Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 15:59

Argentina starts vaccinating with Sputnik V

Argentina has become the latest country in Latin America to start vaccinating people against Covid-19.
Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica already started their vaccination drives on Thursday using the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine.
But Argentina is the first in the region to use the Russian-developed Sputnik V, of which it has received 300,000 doses so far with millions more expected to arrive in the coming months.
Frontline healthcare workers have been given priority. Health Minister Ginés Gonzáles said it was "a day of immense joy".
Argentina has registered more then 1.5 million cases of coronavirus and more than 43,000 people have died.
The Sputnik V vaccine also started being administered in Belarus on Tuesday with medical staff at a clinic in Minsk the first to receive it.

Paramedics wed at fifth try after nuptials hit by pandemic


Coronavirus - 29th December Cd3d5210

In England, two paramedics who were forced to cancel their wedding four times amid the coronavirus pandemic have finally got married.
Rob Stewart, 30, and Beth Griffin, 25, who saw their original March wedding cancelled by the first lockdown, wed in Worcester, in the West Midlands, on Sunday.
They will have one day off before working together again for West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Coronavirus - 29th December F84a1b10

Stewart said the day was "amazing", adding: "The snow made it even more special."
The couple were "relieved" the city remained under tier two restrictions, so were able to hold a reception for 15 guests - which included Beth's 91-year-old grandfather David.
"It was a really nice little reception," he said. "A lot of friends and family have been stuck in a room working from home on their own, so it was really nice to actually meet up."
You can read more here .
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 16:02

Hospitals could use tents to cope with patient surge - doctor

Yesterday, a health official warned that England's "very high" coronavirus infection level was a "growing concern" as the NHS continues to struggle to cope with rising patient numbers.
The number of people being treated for Covid-19 in hospital is now 20,426, which is higher than the previous peak of about 19,000 in April.
Now, a senior doctor has said that health staff are considering the idea of setting up tents outside hospitals to triage patients.
Emergency medicine consultant Simon Walsh, who is deputy chair of the British Medical Association's UK consultants committee, said such plans were normally reserved for dealing with major incidents such as terror attacks or major industrial disasters.
But he told the PA news agency that many trusts in London and south-east England were "effectively operating in a major incident mode", with crisis meetings, and staff asked to work on their days off.
He added: "They are dealing with queues of ambulances outside many emergency departments, often with patients sat in the ambulances for many hours until they can be offloaded into the department because there simply isn't any space to put them in."

New variant was in Germany in November

A new coronavirus strain that was first detected in the UK has been retrospectively found in an older man who died of the disease in Germany last month, health authorities say.
The ministry of health in the state of Lower Saxony said researchers from the Hannover Medical School (MHH) were "able to sequence the virus variant B1.1.7 in a person infected in November this year".
A laboratory at Berlin’s Charité hospital confirmed the MHH’s initial findings.
Apart from the patient’s daughter and wife, who recovered, there were no further infections in connection with this case, the ministry said.
“The patient's daughter had been in England in mid-November and was most likely infected with the virus there,” the ministry said.
The new coronavirus variant is thought to be more infectious than other strains. However, early analysis suggests the strain does not induce more severe symptoms.
Meanwhile, Switzerland became the latest country to identify cases of new coronavirus strains from both the UK and South Africa.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 16:06

Breaking News 

First woman to receive jab gets second dose

Margaret Keenan, the first person to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine outside of a trial, has received her second dose of the jab.
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust confirmed she had received the second dose, 21 days after the first.
Prof Andy Hardy said: “We were delighted to welcome Margaret Keenan back to Coventry’s University Hospital today to safely receive the second dose of the vaccination, after she became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 following its clinical approval.
"Our hardworking staff who have been involved in the vaccination programme have remained in contact with Margaret’s family since that day and we are delighted that Margaret has been continuing to recover well at home following her discharge from hospital."
It is understood William Shakespeare, the second person to get the jab, has not received his second dose yet.

Premier League reveals 18 Covid cases

As virus cases increase in England, the latest round of Premier League testing found 18 people had the virus - the highest figure recorded in the league's testing programme.
That figure surpassed the previous highest figure recorded - 16 for 9-15 November - though the percentage of positive cases was lower.
The 18 positives come from 1,479 tests on players and staff between 21 and 27 December, a rate of 1.22%.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 16:10

Tracking the global coronavirus outbreak


Coronavirus - 29th December D2b61a10

Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with more than 81 million confirmed cases in 190 countries and more than 1.7 million deaths.
The virus is surging in many regions and countries that had apparent success in suppressing initial outbreaks.
On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the virus will continue to spread rapidly in the coming months.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "There will be setbacks and new challenges in the year ahead - for example new variants of Covid-19 and helping people who are tired of the pandemic continue to combat it."

Coronavirus - 29th December Af288010

The US has recorded more than 19 million cases and more than 330,000 deaths from coronavirus - the highest figures in the world.
Daily cases have been at record levels since early November and there are over 120,000 people in hospital , double the number in either of the two previous waves.
Find out more here.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 16:14

2021 Indian Wells tournament postponed

The Indian Wells tennis tournament, scheduled to take place in California in March 2021, has been postponed over coronavirus concerns, the ATP says.
The tournament, a combined ATP and WTA event which is one of the biggest and most prestigious outside of the Grand Slams, was also cancelled in 2020.
An ATP statement said "alternative dates are being assessed" for the event to take place later in the year.

Which areas are in which tiers?

As we reported earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to announce any regional tier changes in England at 15:00 tomorrow.
Here's a reminder of which areas are currently in which tiers - only the Isles of Scilly, 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, are in the lowest category.

Coronavirus - 29th December E24f1f10
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 16:19

Russia doctors praised for lying with Covid-19 patient


Coronavirus - 29th December 1318a710
The three doctors work in a hospital in Russia's north-western Leningrad Region

Dressed in full protective gear, three Russian doctors lie on the floor next to a coronavirus patient, apparently asleep.
It’s a striking picture that has been posted to Russian social media by a hospital in the country’s north-western Leningrad Region. At first glance, the picture appears to illustrate the pressures on Russian health workers during the pandemic.
But according to the nurse who wrote the post, the picture was an example of selfless dedication to duty rather than overworked doctors with nowhere to sleep.
The nurse quoted in the post said a message about the deterioration of a coronavirus patient was sent in a WhatsApp group for doctors at 02:00 in the morning.
The three doctors in the picture answered the call.
“I want to say a huge thank you to Rasul, Katya and Lesha for coming into work when they weren’t on shift and helping out at a difficult time. Guys, you’re so cool,” the nurse said in the post on the VK website .
Hospitals in many areas of Russia have struggled to cope with the rise in coronavirus patients during winter.
On Tuesday, Russia's deputy prime minister admitted that more than 80% of excess deaths this year were linked to Covid-19 , suggesting the country's total fatality count from the disease is far higher than previously reported.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 16:55

London's NHS Nightingale 'on standby' as Covid cases rise


Coronavirus - 29th December Ff001c10

As we've been reporting, there is mounting pressure on England's hospitals, which are currently treating more Covid-19 patients than during the previous peak of the virus in April.
The growing pressure has refocused some attention on the Nightingale hospitals - the network of emergency field units built in the spring to cope when hospitals could not, with most going mainly unused.
There are seven in England, while Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales established their own field hospitals but these were not known as Nightingales.
Now, NHS England has said that London's Nightingale hospital remains on standby , despite some of its equipment being removed.
Some equipment, including beds and ventilators, are no longer at the ExCel Centre site, it is understood.
NHS England said the facility would be available to support the capital's hospitals if needed.
It sent a letter to trusts on 23 December asking them to plan for the use of additional facilities such as the Nightingale hospitals.
However, concerns have been raised about the already-stretched NHS's ability to staff Nightingale facilities.
Dr Nick Scriven, the former president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: "It is not just the case of using the Nightingale hospital as there are simply no staff for them to run as they were originally intended."
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 16:59

Breaking News 

UK reports more than 53,000 daily Covid cases

A record 53,135 coronavirus cases have been reported in the UK on Tuesday, as well as 414 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, according to the latest government data.
Yesterday, 41,385 Covid cases and 357 deaths were reported in the UK .
It is thought the infection rate was higher during the first peak in April, but testing capacity was too limited to detect the true number.
Part of the reason the number is so high is a lag in Christmas reporting, but it also reflects the impact of the faster-spreading variant.

Figures represent real increase, PHE adviser says

We can bring you some reaction to the record rise in coronavirus infections recorded across the UK.
Dr Susan Hopkins, a senior medical adviser at Public Health England (PHE), said the UK was "continuing to see unprecedented levels of Covid-19 infection".
This, she said, was "of extreme concern particularly as our hospitals are at their most vulnerable".
"Whilst the number of cases reported today include some from over the festive period, these figures are largely a reflection of a real increase," she said.
"It is essential, now more than ever, that we continue to work together to stop the spread of the virus, bring the rate of infection down, and protect the most vulnerable and the NHS.
"A critical part of this is each and every one of us abiding by the restrictions in place however hard it may seem at this time of the year."

More detail on UK's record daily Covid cases figures

A little bit more detail on the record 53,135 coronavirus cases that have been reported in the UK.
It is a rise of more than 11,000 confirmed virus cases on yesterday's figure of 41,385 - which had been the highest daily cases figure until now.
The latest cases data brings the total number of confirmed cases in the UK to 2,382,865.
The further 414 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test takes the UK death toll to 71,567, according to the government's coronavirus dashboard.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 10085
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th December Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 18:03

Today's headlines

We’re pausing our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic for today. Here’s a final roundup of the top headlines in the UK and abroad:

  • The UK reports another 53,135 Covid-19 cases - a daily record, breaking the previous record, set yesterday, by more than 11,000
  • Some of the increase is down to Christmas lags in reporting but also reflects the new fast-spreading variant
  • India , Pakistan and Switzerland have become the latest nations to detect the new UK variant
  • Germany says it retrospectively discovered the variant in a patient who died in November
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock will announce any changes to the English tier system at 15:00 on Wednesday
  • Russia's deputy prime minister has revealed more than 80% of excess deaths this year are linked to Covid-19, which would mean its death toll is three times higher than previously reported
  • Margaret Keenan - the first person in the world to get the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine - has received her second dose of the jab
  • US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has become the latest senior American politician to receive the vaccine


Thanks for reading

The Covid-19 live page is now closed, but will be back tomorrow.
Our writers were Doug Faulkner, Victoria Bisset, Mary O'Connor, and Joshua Nevett. The editor was Owen Amos. Thanks for reading.

    Current date/time is Sat Feb 27 2021, 21:54