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)

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 11:59

Summary for Wednesday, 3rd March

  • The chancellor will extend the furlough scheme in his Budget later, and 600,000 more self-employed people will be eligible for financial help
  • Rishi Sunak says it will help people through "challenging months ahead" as he sets out plans to rebuild the Covid-hit economy
  • He is also due to extend the £20-a-week top-up to universal credit for six months
  • Meanwhile, patients with low immune systems due to health conditions are being recruited for a trial to test how well Covid vaccines work for them
  • In the US, Texas and other states are lifting their mask requirements and allowing businesses to reopen fully, at odds with the president
  • It comes as Joe Biden pledges enough Covid vaccines for every adult by the end of May


Good morning and welcome to today’s live coverage. We’ll be bringing you updates throughout the day on the latest news in the pandemic. Here’s a summary of this morning’s main stories to get you started:


What’s happening in Europe?

Earlier we brought you news that there has been an explosion outside a test centre in the Netherlands. No-one is thought to have been injured. But what has been happening across the rest of Europe this morning?

  • Schools in the worst-affected areas of Italy have been ordered to close amid a rise in cases linked to the UK coronavirus variant. The government has also extended travel restrictions inside the country until early April
  • Sweden’s top epidemiologist has warned that the country is heading towards a third wave as the British variant continues to spread. Although Sweden has avoided a lockdown so far, it has increased restrictions with more limits on the number of people allowed in malls and larger shops expected to be introduced
  • Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting with regional leaders later today to discuss the next steps as the current lockdown ends on 14 March.
  • Artists from 41 countries will appear live at this year's Eurovision Song Contest in the Netherlands under plans set out by the event's organisers , although no decision has been made about whether audiences will be able to attend. Last year’s competition was cancelled due to the pandemic


What's happening in the UK?

Boris Johnson will shortly get to his feet in the Commons for Prime Minister's Questions - ahead of Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivery of the Budget at 12:30 GMT.
As we await the prime minister, here are the main headlines in the UK so far today.

  • So far we know the government's furlough scheme - which has paid up to 80% of employees' wages since the pandemic began - will be extended to September. The temporary £20 top-up to Universal Credit and the suspension of Stamp Duty are also likely to be extended to help people through "challenging months ahead"
  • The limit on a single payment using contactless card technology will rise to £100 later this year, the Treasury has confirmed , as the pandemic accelerates a move away from cash
  • Researchers are recruiting 5,000 people with low immunity due to health conditions - including cancer - to find out if coronavirus vaccines will still offer them high levels of protection
  • The Isle of Man has begun a three-week lockdown in a bid to stem rising numbers of infections which began with a ferry crew member. Restrictions came into force at midnight
  • Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has criticised the "lamentable" support for airlines that had to cancel flights and says the government should have cut Air Passenger Duty to boost their recovery


What's happening around the world

Here are the key developments from the last few hours:

  • 168m children worldwide have missed school for a year. Worldwide, more than 168 million children have had their schools completely shut for almost a year, according to UNICEF, due to coronavirus lockdowns.One in seven children – 214 million – have missed more than three-quarters of in-person learning.
  • Brazil registered a national record daily death toll. Brazil on Tuesday posted a national single-day record for Covid deaths with 1,641 people dying from the disease, according to Health Ministry data. The previous single-day high of 1,595 Covid deaths was recorded in late July 2020. Brazil faces a new peak in coronavirus cases and the hospital system is pushed to the brink of collapse.
  • Contagious Brazil variant evades immunity, scientists warn. A highly transmissible Covid9 variant that emerged in Brazil and has now been found in at least 20 countries can re-infect people who previously recovered from the disease, scientists said on Tuesday.
  • Biden said the US is ‘on track’ to have enough vaccines for all adults by May . Joe Biden has said that the US expects to have enough coronavirus vaccines for all adults by the end of May, two months earlier than anticipated, as his administration announced that the drugmaker Merck would help produce Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved shot.
  • The Texas governor lifted the mask mandate and declared: ‘It’s time to open 100% . With less than 7% of Texans fully vaccinated and another Covid-19 surge potentially imminent , Texas is flinging open businesses to full capacity while simultaneously ending its highly politicized mask mandate, the state’s governor, Greg Abbott, announced on Tuesday.
  • Chinese delegates to propose vaccine passports at annual meetings. Some delegates attending the annual meetings of the Chinese parliament and its advisory body due to begin this week will propose issuing Covid vaccine passports and recognising such passports globally that they say will restore some normality, boost international tourism and economic exchanges, the Global Times reported on Wednesday.
  • Dolly Parton was inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccine that she helped to fund . The country music star, 75, broke into song while getting the Moderna jab and adapted one of her best-known ballads.To the tune of Jolene, she sang: “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, I’m begging of you, please don’t hesitate. Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, because once you’re dead, then that’s a bit too late.”
  • Australia’s economic recovery continued with 3.1% growth in December quarter . The Australian economy grew by 3.1% in the December quarter as the domestic recovery from the pandemic-induced shock consolidated.
  • There were no new Covid cases in Auckland for second day . New Zealand’s government has said it is still too early to make a decision on extending Auckland’s lockdown , despite the city recording no new community cases of coronavirus for a second consecutive day.
  • Africa virus fight boosted as jabs reach Nigeria, Angola. Millions of coronavirus shots from the global Covax scheme have arrived in Nigeria, Angola and Kenya, as African countries ramp up their vaccine rollouts.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 12:26

What's happening in the US?


  • The US has recorded 516,608 deaths and 28 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.
  • US President Joe Biden said the US will have enough coronavirus vaccines for every adult by the end of May . This is two months earlier than previously expected, but Mr Biden said the vaccination drive must be extended, too, and people convinced to take it. He warned people to “stay vigilant” because “this fight is far from over”.
  • The US state of Michigan has announced it is loosening its restrictions as cases in the state decline. Restrictions on eating inside restaurants has been increased from 25% capacity to 50% or a maximum of 100 people. Bowling alleys, cinemas and banquet halls will be able to accommodate 300 people inside or 1,000 outside.
  • The governor of Texas has issued an executive order, effective from 10 March. That rescinds most of the coronavirus measures he imposed earlier in the pandemic. Greg Abbott lifted the regulation ordering people to wear masks and said businesses would be allowed to resume full capacity next week.



Breaking News 

Explosion outside Netherlands testing centre

Anna Holligan - BBC News Hague correspondent
Police in the Netherlands say there has been an explosion outside a Covid-19 test centre. It happened in Bovenkarspel, north-east of the capital Amsterdam.
As yet, there's no indication of who may have been responsible, but there have been protests against the continued lockdown and growing support for baseless conspiracy theories which inaccurately claim the virus is a hoax.
According to the police, the explosive was placed outside the building on a street set aside for testing and was reportedly hidden inside a metal pipe.
Witnesses say they heard a very loud bang. A number of windows have been broken.
A security guard was on site, but no one was injured.
The explosion happened just before 07:00 local time. A bomb disposal team has been called in to check for other explosive material. The area has been cordoned off and all tests for today are cancelled.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 12:32

Travel industry body to trial app with test and vaccine records


Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 3e7aa310
A Singapore Airlines flight to London is expected to give the app its first trial run

An app to store evidence of a negative test for travel - as well as vaccination details in the future - is due to be trialled in the next couple of weeks on a flight from Singapore to London.
The International Air Transport Association tells BBC Radio 4's Today programme that "quite a few" governments have shown interest in its app.
Nick Careen from the IATA says he expects people to be able to upload paper records or link to their digital NHS record to store proof of their vaccination status.
To protect people's data, he says the information on the app will only be stored on your phone and will not be kept in any central database.

People with low immunity to test Covid vaccines

Researchers are recruiting 5,000 people with low immunity due to health conditions - including cancer - to find out if coronavirus vaccines will still offer them high levels of protection .
Trials and real-life data show the vaccines work very well for most adults, including the very elderly.
But there is little evidence on how people who are immunocompromised will respond.
The Octave study will follow up to 5,000 of these people from around the UK, taking blood tests before and after they are vaccinated to check their immune response.
Immunologists are recommending that people with compromised immune systems take both doses of the vaccines whenever they are offered, as they are known to be safe and are likely to offer some level of protection.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 12:43

Lockdown begins on Isle of Man to stem rising infections

The Isle of Man has begun a three-week lockdown in a bid to stem rising numbers of infections which began with a ferry crew member.
Restrictions came into force at midnight after Chief Minister Howard Quayle said there was an increase in unexplained cases, suggesting that transmission "that we cannot see and do not understand" was taking place in the community.
Under the new measures, people are required to stay at home unless for exercise or essential travel, avoid mixing with other households and socially distance when outside.
Schools are shut to most pupils and non-essential businesses are required to close.
And all hospitality and leisure venues have also shut their doors to customers although takeaway and delivery services are still allowed.
There are currently 52 active cases of Covid-19 on the Isle of Man.

Councillor suspended for getting jab 'privately'


Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 6b12a310

A councillor has been suspended from her party over a Facebook post claiming she had received a Covid vaccination from a private doctor.
Jamila Azad, who was elected to both Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council, has been suspended from the Labour Party.
The original Facebook post showed Ms Azad and a woman thought to be her daughter receiving injections from a man in medical scrubs and PPE, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) .
It was accompanied with the comment: "My darling daughter took me to a Private Care Doctor for Covid-19 vaccine. A long wait for NHS waiting list."
The government says jabs are only allowed to be administered by the NHS.
The Labour Party says an investigation is under way and Ms Azad said she did not want to comment.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 12:48

Poland reports highest daily coronavirus cases in 3 months

Adam Easton - Warsaw Correspondent
Poland reported 15,698 coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours, the highest number since November 27, the deputy health minister Waldemar Kraska said.
“Today’s figures show that the third wave is not only a fact, but we can also see it gaining momentum. Today we have 15,698 new cases confirmed. This is almost twice as many as yesterday,” Mr Kraska told Polish Radio.
Today’s cases are up 29% from one week ago and rose 81% from two weeks ago, according to health ministry data.
Mr Kraska said there were 309 virus-related deaths in the previous 24 hours. He said the number of people hospitalised with coronavirus is on the rise too.
On Saturday, shopping centres, hotels, cinemas, theatres and swimming pools closed in the rural north-eastern province of Warmia Masuria which has been experiencing double the national infection rate.
On Monday, primary school classes for years 1-3 went back online in the province.
Much of the growth in new infections is being driven by the UK variant, health ministry officials say.

More African nations receive first vaccines

More African countries have received their first batches of the coronavirus vaccines under the global Covax scheme.
Kenya received more than a million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on Wednesday, becoming the third East African country to benefit from the UN-backed distribution initiative.
The doses are enough to vaccinate 500,000 people in the first phase. Frontline health workers, teachers, police officers and the elderly will be first in line.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Health Minister Eteni Longondo was at the airport on Tuesday night to receive 1.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The DR Congo is expecting a total 6.9 million doses to be delivered from now up till the end of May 2021.
Angola received 624,000 doses of the vaccine, while The Gambia received 36,000 doses on Wednesday.
The Covax scheme is a World Health Organization-driven strategy for a global and equitable distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine. It hopes to deliver more than two billion doses to people in 190 countries in less than a year.
Read more:
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 12:51

Tokyo considers state of emergency extension

Tokyo could have its state of emergency extended for another two weeks.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the extension was needed to "protect the lives and livelihoods of the people" in the Japanese capital.
There is concern that easing restrictions there will cause another spike in cases.
Under the state of emergency, restaurants and bars must close by 20:00 local time and companies must attempt to work from home where possible.
Local media reports claim the government is considering stopping international spectators from coming to the Olympics this year but it is yet to be confirmed.
The Olympics were pushed back to 2021 due to the pandemic.
There is some concern among Japanese people about holding the Olympic Games during a pandemic.
A decision will be made this month following talks with the International Olympics Committee, the Mainichi newspaper claimed citing sources.

Latest world headlines

(at 12:10 GMT)
We'll bring you the main Covid-19 updates from PMQs, but first here are some of the coronavirus stories making headlines around the world:
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 13:01

Taiwan receives first vaccine doses

Taiwan has received its first batch of vaccinations, health minister Chen Shih-chung confirmed.
About 117,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Taipei on Wednesday but it is unclear when they will begin to be administered. Health workers will be at the front of the queue.
Last year, Taiwan said it had agreed to buy almost 20 million doses, including 10 million from AstraZeneca. It is also set to receive 200,000 AstraZeneca doses from global inoculation sharing scheme Covax.
Taiwan, home to 23 million people, has been praised for its handling of the pandemic. It has used methods such as border controls and quarantine to help keep cases low.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Taiwan has recorded 955 cases and nine deaths since the pandemic began.

Japan embarks on random and targeted testing

Last week, about 600 people were tested for the coronavirus in the city of Utsunomiya, north of Tokyo – the Japanese government’s first stab at systematic random and targeted testing that it hopes will prevent a new wave of infections, Reuters reports.
Concerned by highly transmissible variants of the virus and asymptomatic spread, Japan revised its pandemic strategy in early February.
However, many health experts argue the updated strategy still falls far short of what is needed, especially given that inoculations have only just started and vaccine supplies are limited.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 13:05

Brazil registers highest daily death toll since pandemic began


Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 47b9c910

We'll bring you more from the Commons shortly, but in the meantime, some news from outside the UK...
Brazil has registered its highest daily number of deaths since the pandemic started.
The health ministry on Tuesday said 1,641 people had died with Covid in the previous 24 hours.
Brazil has recorded 257,361 fatalities, the second highest death toll in the world after the United States.
Across the country, there have been more than 10.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus. Only the US and India have registered more.
The pandemic spread quickly after first arriving in Brazil and reached a first peak at the end of July, when daily new cases were above 70,000 and daily deaths above 1,500.
Cases and deaths across Brazil fell until early November before a second wave saw cases rise again, a rise which appears to have further accelerated since January.
Researchers say they think the second wave may be linked to the emergence of a new variant of coronavirus which has been traced to the city of Manaus.
Read more here
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 13:14

Vaccination required for 2021 hajj - Saudi newspaper

Saudi Arabia’s health ministry has ruled that only people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to attend the hajj this year, Saudi newspaper Okaz reported on Monday.
“The Covid-19 vaccine is mandatory for those willing to come to the hajj and will be one of the main conditions (for receiving a permit to come),” the report said, citing a circular signed by the health minister.

Ukraine hits record levels of hospitalisations due to Covid-19

Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said on Facebook 3,486 people were hospitalised in the past day, the highest number since the epidemic hit the country of 41 million last year, Reuters reports.
Stepanov said 7,235 new cases were registered over the past 24 hours with 185 deaths. Ukraine has reported 1,364,705 coronavirus cases and 26,397 deaths so far.
Lagging behind the rest of Europe, Ukraine has only just started vaccinating its population. The government cited statistics showing that 47% of Ukrainians do not want the vaccine.

South Korea investigating the deaths of two people who died within days of receiving AstraZeneca vaccine

South Korean authorities are investigating the deaths of two people, both with pre-existing conditions, who died within days of receiving AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, Reuters reports.
One is a 63-year-old nursing home patient with cerebrovascular disease, who developed symptoms including high fever after being given the vaccine four days ago and died after showing symptoms of blood poisoning and pneumonia.
Another nursing home patient in his 50s with a cardiac disorder and diabetes died on Wednesday after suffering multiple heart attacks, having received the vaccine a day earlier, according to Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
KDCA said it is investigating the cause of the deaths, but did not confirm any causal relationship to the vaccine. The agency earlier said it will provide compensation of over 430m won ($383,466) for deaths from the Covid-19 vaccine.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 16:26

US to have enough vaccines for every adult by May

As we mentioned earlier, US President Joe Biden has said the country will have enough vaccines for every adult by the end of May, some two months earlier than previously announced.
However despite the good news, he also warned Americans that the “fight is far from over” with new variants a major concern.
There has been a sharp fall in cases since the start of the year, in some areas that drop has been levelling off, fuelling fears of another wave.
Mr Biden acknowledged that the country will need to extend its vaccination drive and convince people to take the vaccine.
Some states such as Michigan and Texas have announced they are loosening restrictions despite a warning from top federal health officials last week not to ease up.
Read more here

Tanzania nuns and priests dying 'with Covid symptoms'

Athuman Mtulya - BBC News, Dar es Salam
Sixty nuns and 25 priests have died in Tanzania in the last two months after showing symptoms of coronavirus, the Catholic Church in the East African nation says.
The church, which has been outspoken about coronavirus before in one of the few countries in the world not to publish its virus data , warned Tanzanians to take Covid-19 precautions more seriously.
President John Magufuli has previously played down the virus and refused to take measures to curb its spread - and last month the health minister said that Tanzania had no plans to vaccinate.
But Father Charles Kitima, secretary of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, an official assembly of Catholic bishops, said the Covid-19 threat was alive in Tanzania.
He told a news conference in Dar es Salaam that the church could not say whether the deaths of the clergy had been caused by coronavirus as they had not been tested, though they had all shown signs of Covid-19, including “respiratory challenges”.
“People are not tested. That’s a big challenge. The church has about 500 health centres across the country but we are not allowed to test and we don’t have the equipment to do so,” Kitima said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has pleaded with Tanzania to report its cases and review its position on the vaccines currently being rolled out through the international Covax distribution scheme.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 16:29

What did we learn in the Budget?

Here's some more of what we learnt about the government's plans for support through the coronavirus pandemic from the Chancellor's Budget:

  • The Budget includes an additional £65bn of measures to support the economy during lockdown and out of the other side
  • Forecasts show the UK government has borrowed £355bn this year
  • Next year this is expected to be £234bn
  • It is right to help people through an acute public crisis but in normal times the state should not be borrowing to pay for everyday public spending, Sunak says
  • "We cannot allow debt to keep rising," he says
  • Personal income tax allowance to be frozen at £12,570 from April 2022 to 2026
  • Higher rate income tax threshold to be frozen at £50,270 from 2022 to 2026
  • Corporation tax will rise to 25% in 2023
  • A small profits rate will ensure only businesses with profits of over £250,000 will be taxed at the 25% rate - that's only 10% of UK companies
  • The VAT registration threshold will remain at £85,000 until 2024
  • Alcohol and fuel duty increases will be cancelled

You can read our at-a-glance guide to the Budget here.

Analysis: A business-like budget with few surprises

Jonathan Blake - BBC political correspondent
For all the hype this Budget, in the end, seemed remarkably business-like.
After most of the big announcements were trailed in advance, there were few surprises.
The chancellor stressed time and again his intention to be honest and act responsibly as the man in charge of the public finances.
But he ended by saying it was a moment of "challenge and change" for the country, the test for him will be how well his policies meet that challenge and the impact of the changes that he's made.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 16:33

Dutch test centre 'deliberately targeted' in blast


Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 11f99a10
The scene has been cordoned off while investigations are carried out

Back to the Netherlands, where earlier we reported on a blast outside a Covid-19 test centre in Bovenkarspel, north-east of the capital Amsterdam.
Police now say they believe the centre was targeted. The explosive material "must have been placed" there, police spokesman Menno Hartenberg told Reuters. "Something like that doesn’t just happen by accident."
Police say the explosive was hidden inside a metal pipe, and exploded before 07:00 local time, shattering windows but causing no injuries.
There is no indication yet as to who is responsible, but there have been protests against the continued lockdown and growing support for baseless conspiracy theories which inaccurately claim the virus is a hoax, the BBC’s Anna Holligan reports from the Netherlands.
Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge condemned the attack, and said public health authorities were "terribly shocked" by the incident.
Praising front-line health workers, he said on Twitter: "Let's stay behind the people who are working hard to get us out of this crisis."
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 16:36

P&O plans 'staycation' cruises as international voyages halted


Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Ab8b1110

Cruise firm P&O has extended the halt to its international holiday voyages due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The company, which is part of the Carnival group, says it plans to run "staycation" sailings from Southampton around UK coastal waters instead.
The latest round of cancellations affects over 90 planned cruises.
Cruises on Arcadia, Aurora, Azura and Ventura have been cancelled until the end of August and on Britannia and Iona until the end of September.
The company ended its cruises in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic and has not resumed any of its voyages since.
We've got more on this story here.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 16:47

Fake vaccine seized in South Africa and China


Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Cd9a6110
Fake vaccine was found in a South African warehouse

Thousands of doses of fake Covid-19 vaccines have been seized in South Africa and China, amid a warning from Interpol that vaccines are a prime target for criminal networks .
Some 2,400 doses were found in a warehouse in Guateng, east of Johannesburg, leading to the arrests of three Chinese nationals and a Zambian.
In China, more than 3,000 fake vaccines were seized and 80 people arrested after a raid on a “manufacturing premises”, Interpol said.
Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock has called it the “tip of the iceberg when it comes to Covid-19 vaccine related crime”.
The international crime agency says it has received reports of fake vaccine distribution and scam attempts targeting health bodies, such as nursing homes.
And it is warning people not to buy vaccines online, saying no approved vaccine is yet available via the web. Anyone who does so is "putting themselves at risk and giving their money to organised criminals".
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 16:52

Surge testing begins in north London

Whenever a case of a new variant is found in the UK - such as the variant first discovered in South Africa or Brazil - then health officials start testing people in the areas where the new cases were found.
This testing - called surge testing - happens in certain postcodes and offers all residents a test, regardless of whether they have symptoms. Mobile testing units are set up and sometimes officials go door to door.
Now, surge testing is under way in two areas of north London after a case of the South African variant was detected.
People in some postcodes in Hendon NW4, and East Finchley N2, are urged to get tested.
Surge testing is already happening elsewhere in the country, and you can read more on it here.

Third of people on Brazil variant flight still not traced

At the weekend, it emerged that cases of the coronavirus variant first discovered in Brazil had been found in England and Scotland.
In Scotland, the cases were three oil workers returning home from Brazil via Paris and London who later tested positive.
Health officials started trying to trace everyone who was on board the same flight from London to Aberdeen. But more than a third of passengers on the flight have still not been traced.
Scotland's Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said there were 90 people on the flight and a total of 34 passengers have not yet been contacted due to the data provided to contact tracers being "incomplete".
Freeman asked passengers to make themselves known to contact tracers.
We've got more here.

Vienna 'unblocks' AstraZeneca vaccine for over-65s

Over 65s in the Austrian capital Vienna are to be given Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, with the city’s health chief saying: “There is no reason to continue to block this.”
Austria’s central vaccination body is still recommending the vaccine only for the under 65s, although the head of the chamber of physicians has called for this to change.
Fellow EU member states France and Germany had also refused to authorise the AstraZeneca vaccine to the over 65s, citing insufficient data on its efficacy for older people.
However this has gone contrary to World Health Organization advice; and on Monday, France changed course, with Germany under pressure to follow suit.
Meanwhile, in Austria, an additional 100,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are being sent to the Schwaz district of western Austria, which has become a hotspot for the South African coronavirus variant. Officials there aim to offer every adult the vaccine.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 3rd March 2021

Post by Kitkat Wed Mar 03 2021, 16:54

What's been happening today?

The main story of the day in the UK has been the Budget - the day the chancellor sets out his plan for the country's finances as we emerge from the coronavirus crisis. But here's a recap of all the coronavirus news today:

  • The furlough scheme will be extended until September, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said. Support for the self-employed will also be extended until September, and 600,000 more self-employed people will be eligible for help as the access to the grants is widened. In other coronavirus-related support, the £20 uplift in Universal Credit worth £1,000 a year will be extended for another six months and people who claim the Working Tax Credit will get £500 one-off payment. Our main round-up of the Budget is here, or 10 ways it will affect you are here
  • There's good news from the official economic forecasts - the economy will bounce back quicker than previously thought, with lower unemployment and higher growth, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) watchdog
  • Figures on deaths, cases and vaccines in the UK on Wednesday have not yet been released
  • The limit on a single payment using contactless card technology will rise to £100 later this year, the Treasury has confirmed. The pandemic has accelerated a move away from cash
  • US President Joe Biden has issued a pledge to Americans about the vaccine rollout. He said the US will have enough coronavirus vaccines for every adult by the end of May - two months earlier than previously expected
  • In Australia, airline Qantas is launching "mystery flights" in an effort to boost domestic tourism. Day-trips, where passengers don't know the destination when boarding, were popular in the 1990s
  • And country singer Dolly Parton has had her vaccine in the US - and has marked the occasion by singing a version of her hit Jolene, but with the lyrics changed to 'vaccine, vaccine'.


Goodbye

Thanks for joining us for our coverage today.
Updates were brought to you by Sarah Collerton, Francesca Gillett, Claire Heald, Joseph Lee, Victoria Lindrea, Jennifer Meierhans, Penny Spiller and Sophie Williams.
You can follow further coverage of Budget reaction and Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Downing Street press conference here .
Join us again tomorrow.

    Current date/time is Mon May 17 2021, 15:07