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COVID-19: All the latest LIVE worldwide updates - today's updates are also on our Portal page, here)

Coronavirus - 6th March 2021

Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 15:17

Summary for Saturday, 6th March

  • There are concerns pupils could be forced to isolate unnecessarily due to inaccurate Covid test results when schools reopen in England on Monday
  • Mass testing using lateral flow devices is to be carried out in secondary schools
  • Research suggests they can offer a false positive result between 1 and 3 times for every thousand carried out
  • More unions have put pressure on the government to reconsider its planned 1% pay rise for NHS staff in England
  • Hospital leaders in England back the demands, saying ministers previously budgeted for a pay rise of 2.1%
  • Staff feel undervalued and many could leave nursing when the pandemic is over, the Royal College of Nursing warns
  • The government has defended its proposal, saying public finances are under unprecedented strain
  • A mystery person in the UK infected with the Covid variant of concern first found in Brazil is traced
  • Rapid Covid testing is now available to all workplaces in England


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s the main stories this morning:


The Associated Press reports:
In Russia, health authorities have reported 11,022 new cases, including 1,820 in Moscow, taking the official national tally to 4,312,181. The government’s coronavirus taskforce said 441 people have died in the last 24 hours, bringing the Russian death toll to 88,726.
But that contradicted data from Russia’s Rosstat statistics agency, which said on Friday that more than 200,000 have died since the pandemic began .


The papers: Easter 'travel permits' and 'slap for carers'


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A number of front pages continue to focus on the row over NHS pay, including the Daily Express, which highlights the threat of strike action by nurses in England upset about their proposed 1% wage increase.
The Daily Mirror has the headline: "Boris' Slap For Carers."
The Daily Star accuses the prime minister of betraying what it calls the "NHS heroes" who saved his life when he fell ill with Covid last year.
New international travel permits which must be used by people leaving the UK from Monday are highlighted in the Daily Telegraph, which says the move is to stop Easter holidays abroad.
"There is concern in Whitehall over increasing levels of rule-breaking", the paper reports, "particularly among the 40% of adults who have now been vaccinated".
Read more from the papers here .
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 15:24

Saudi Arabia to end most restrictions on Sunday

Saudi Arabia will end most restrictions on Sunday, including resuming indoor dining, reopening cinemas and resuming entertainment activities and events, the state news agency SPA said on Saturday.
Some activities will remain banned, including weddings and corporate meetings. Social gatherings will continue to be limited to a maximum of 20 people, SPA said, citing an interior ministry source.

Ireland to reach 500,000 first doses

Ireland is expected to reach the milestone of half a million coronavirus jabs administered this weekend.
The taoiseach, Micheál Martin, hailed progress made fighting the pandemic. Speaking in a video posted on Twitter, he said he was inspired by recent visits to vaccination centres where thousands of frontline healthcare workers are receiving the vaccine doses.
He said government and the HSE were doing everything they could to secure supplies and to give those vaccines to people as quickly as possible.
:Left Quotes: Over the coming days, we will have administered half a million doses since the first vaccination was given to Dubliner Annie Lynch 63 days ago. Next week we will begin to vaccinate those with underlying health conditions as well as continuing to vaccinate the over-70s and healthcare workers.
The taoiseach said the vaccines are reducing the impact of the virus.
:Left Quotes: This can be seen in the reduced levels of infection in our nursing homes and amongst our frontline healthcare workers. This brings hope, along with the continued fall in Covid numbers thanks to the sacrifices you have been making.
The 14-day incidence level fell below 200 this week for the first time since Christmas. While our health services are still under pressure, the number of patients in our hospitals and ICUs is reducing significantly.
However, Martin added a note of caution, warning that variants of the virus mean people should not relax around restrictions.
On Saturday, the number of patients with Covid-19 dropped to 99 with the number of cases in hospital at 401.
Paul Reid, the chief executive of Ireland’s HSE, described it as a “great sign”. On Friday, one further death with the virus and 522 new cases were notified in the Republic of Ireland.
Meanwhile, protesters calling for an end of lockdown restrictions are set to gather in Cork city centre later. It follows a demonstration in Dublin last weekend which saw chaotic scenes in the capital, 23 arrests and three Garda officers left injured.
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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 15:27

California plans reopening of Disneyland and other venues

In the US, it's been announced that outdoor sports and entertainment facilities in the state of California will reopen to visitors on 1 April, with limits on attendance numbers in place to allow for social distancing.
Disneyland and Universal Studios will be among the venues able to open their doors from next month.
Bookings will be restricted to local residents, and there will be a ban on any indoor dining.
Capacity will be limited to between 15% and 35%, depending on each county's tier system for restrictions, state health officials said.
California has seen a steady decline in coronavirus cases since mid-January.
The state has so far recorded more than 53,000 Covid-related deaths.
You can read more about this here .

How is NHS pay decided?

Ben Butcher - BBC Reality Check
As we know, the government has recommended that NHS staff in England should receive a 1% pay increase this year.
Many other public sector workers will have their pay frozen, with the government warning that the country's finances are under "huge pressure" because of the pandemic.
Around half of all public sector workers, including NHS staff, police officers and teachers, have their salaries negotiated by independent pay review bodies.
These pay bodies - made up of individuals not directly attached to the relevant department but with experience in economics and employee relations - work with government departments, unions and other groups to come up with a recommendation on how pay should change each year. This recommendation is non-binding.
The pay review body will now take evidence from other groups, including unions and NHS bodies, and do its own calculations before making its recommendation around May.
Read more about how NHS pay is set here .

'Claps and calling us heroes does not feed me or my child'

John Anderson, an intensive care outreach nurse from Hastings, described the proposed 1% pay rise for NHS staff as an "insult".
"I have taken colleagues and their families to intensive care due to them being seriously ill due to Covid, this is a kick in the teeth for them and their families," he told the BBC.
"It feels like the government are happy to have us risk our lives or even die in this pandemic, but not to pay us properly for our jobs.
"Claps and calling us heroes does not feed myself or my child."
He added: "If you won’t pay us properly for our work and the risk to our health and our families' health - why should we carry on working?”
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 15:35

Will Europe be open for tourists this summer?

The BBC's Kevin Connolly in Brussels says decisions on what kind of summer will be on offer in European resorts are currently being formulated.
Tourism is big business, providing 27 million jobs in the European Union, and the economies of countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy cannot recover until the industry reopens for business.
Saving the summer depends on two Europe-wide problems: getting people vaccinated and then agreeing rules about whether or not the right to travel should be linked to vaccination status.
One big question is whether EU member states will be content to leave decision-making to the European Commission in Brussels - which has bungled the vaccine-buying programme - or simply take matters into their own hands.
Greece, for example, has already struck a deal to welcome tourists from Israel if they have a vaccine passport.
And Cyprus has said it will welcome British tourists from May as long as they have had two doses of any vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency - although it's not yet clear how this would be proved.
You can read more of Kevin's analysis here .

Huge demand for beer garden slots from 12 April

Having a tipple in a pub beer garden, weather permitting, used to be part of normal everyday life in Britain in late spring and summer.
But hostelries in the UK have been closed to sit-in customers during the latest lockdown.
Industry group UK Hospitality says such is the pent-up demand from former patrons that pubs have been inundated by requests from people keen to book tables in beer gardens after they reopen from 12 April.
From then, pubs are expected to be able to serve customers sitting outdoors.
One Leeds venue reported that it had taken in 700 bookings in just five hours this week.
During the most recent lockdown, pubs in England have been allowed to serve takeaway food and non-alcoholic drinks until 23:00 GMT, but not takeaway alcohol.
In Scotland, alcohol cannot currently be sold for outdoor consumption, while venues are closed on the mainland except for takeaways picked up outside the premises, although they are open on some of the islands.
In Wales, pubs can sell takeaway drinks if licensed, and in Northern Ireland, takeaway sales must stop at 20:00 GMT.
You can read more about this here.
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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 15:37

'We've been doing crazy hours - and we've been left with nothing'

Susan Graham, a nurse from Hythe in Kent who has been working on the frontline as well as on the coronavirus vaccination programme, has described the government's proposed 1% pay rise for NHS staff as a "disgrace".
"Baring in mind we have been all working hard since the start of the pandemic, we’ve never been on furlough and we get absolutely nothing," she told the BBC.
"We have all been doing crazy hours, caring for people on wards and this is how the government repays us.
"They promised us more and that we would be rewarded for our service, but once again we’ve been left with nothing.”

Now is the wrong time for NHS pay restraint - Tory MP

Now is not the time for pay restraint in the NHS, a former Conservative health minister has said amid the row over NHS pay in England.
Tory MP Dr Dan Poulter, who continues to work as a doctor in mental health, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "A lot of health professionals in the early part of the pandemic were working without the right equipment to protect themselves, and many people have gone above and beyond the hours they are already paid for during the pandemic and have really pulled together in very difficult circumstances.
"So for me this is, from a moral perspective, the wrong time to be applying pay restraint."
Dr Poulter also suggested squeezing wages could be "counterproductive economically", saying that previously this had a knock-on effect on the NHS's ability to recruit permanent staff, causing agency bills to rise.

Government defends proposed 1% NHS pay rise for staff

The government has responded to comments from NHS Providers - the organisation representing NHS trusts in England, which argues ministers had already set out funding for a five year period that assumed a 2.1% pay rise in 2021/22.
A government spokesperson said: “Over one million NHS staff continue to benefit from multi-year pay deals agreed with trade unions, which have delivered a pay rise of over 12% for newly qualified nurses and will increase junior doctors’ pay scales by 8.2%."
The spokesperson added that the government would carefully consider the recommendations of independent pay review bodies when they report in late spring.
Government sources also make the point that there has been unprecedented strain on the public finances which could not have been foreseen when the long-term NHS plan was drawn up.
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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 15:43

Cyprus and Portugal to welcome vaccinated Brits

Cyprus says it hopes to welcome British tourists who have been vaccinated twice against Covid from May - the month when travel restrictions could be lifted in the UK.
But it is unclear how the Mediterranean island will expect people to prove their vaccination status.
Foreign travel from the UK is currently banned unless it is for exceptional reasons. The earliest date people in England will be allowed to go abroad for holidays is 17 May, after a review of travel rules takes place.
Portugal - like Cyprus a very popular holiday destination for Britons - has also said vaccinated British tourists will be able to visit - as will those who have tested negative or are "immune". Again, how people will be expected to prove this remains unclear.
Portugal is currently on the UK's red list of high-risk Covid countries - meaning British or Irish citizens and UK residents coming to the UK from there have to quarantine in hotels when they arrive.
You can read more about this here .

Breaking News 

Over-55s now able to book Covid vaccine in England

People aged between 56 and 59 in England are now able to book their Covid-19 vaccinations, according to the NHS booking website.
More than 18 million people across England - more than one third of the adult population - have already had at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the country remains "on track" to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July.
Those eligible in England can book a vaccine here .
And you can find out when it might be your turn to get the jab here .
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 15:49

Portugal to increase restrictions on travellers from UK and Brazil

Passengers flying indirectly to Portugal from the UK or Brazil must present a negative test taken 72 hours before departure and quarantine for two weeks upon arrival from Sunday onwards, the interior ministry said on Saturday.
Reuters reports that the move is designed to close a loophole which allowed travellers from Britain and Brazil to reach Portugal by stopping over in a country from which travel was authorised.
Direct commercial or private flights to and from Britain and Brazil have been banned since January to limit the spread of Covid variants.
Direct humanitarian and repatriation flights will still be authorised but passengers must present a negative test taken 72 hours before departure and quarantine for 14 days. The measures are due to be reviewed on 16 March, the news agency says.
Portugal’s tourism minister told the BBC on Friday the country hoped to allow British tourists who could prove they had tested negative or were immune into the country from 17 May, when England lifts its ban on international travel.
Portugal, which has so far reported 808,405 cases and 16,486 deaths, is set to begin a sector-by-sector lifting of restrictions next week after nearly two months of strict lockdown following a devastating surge in cases at the beginning of the year.

Rangers fans in Scotland break coronavirus rules

In Scotland, Rangers fans have broken coronavirus lockdown rules by gathering outside Ibrox Stadium and setting off flares.

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Rangers fans gather outside the ground ahead of the Rangers v St Mirren match Photograph: Jeff Holmes/REX/Shutterstock

Fans were seen crowding around a car entering the ground as police tried to hold them back, PA Media reports.
Under Scotland’s coronavirus rules, public gatherings are banned and a maximum of two people from two households are allowed to meet outdoors.
Football games are continuing to take place behind closed doors with no fans permitted inside stadiums.
Rangers could win the league title this weekend if they beat St Mirren on Saturday and Celtic drop points against Dundee United on Sunday.
The first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has previously criticised fans for gathering in large numbers. After Celtic fans took part in a protest outside the club’s stadium in November, she said:
:Left Quotes: We have advice against gatherings and every day I stand up here and say avoid crowded places. 
We have a limit on people coming together outside ... so it stands to reason any group of people that are gathering together in a crowd are putting themselves and others at risk.
Whether it’s football fans, rugby fans, any other kind of sport fans or just people in general, please don’t do it because right now, in the middle of this pandemic, it is a risky thing to do that puts you and other people at risk.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 15:55

Protests in Sweden

Swedish police have started to disperse hundreds of opponents of coronavirus restrictions who staged a protest in the capital, Stockholm, in defiance of a ban on large gatherings, Reuters reports. The agency says:
Police blocked a bridge in the centre of the city and said on their website they were in dialogue with organisers to persuade demonstrators to disperse.
TV images showed police shoving some protesters, while the police said one officer had been slightly injured and taken to hospital.
“Police have taken the decision to break up the non- authorised gathering which is ongoing,” Stockholm police said on their website on Saturday.
Earlier this week, the protest organiser Filip Sjöström told local media that he was expecting around 2,000 people to join the demonstration, which had been announced on Facebook.
TV images showed hundreds of people had gathered. According to Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, demonstrators had travelled from several parts of Sweden, which has a ban on public gatherings of more than eight people.
Sweden, which has 10 million inhabitants, registered 4,831 new cases on Friday, and 26 new deaths, taking the death toll to 13,003.
The government said last month that it would cut opening hours for restaurants, bars and cafes and tighten limits on the number of people allowed in shops, in a bid to ward off a third wave of the pandemic.
The centre-left government has gradually tightened restrictions since late last year after keeping most schools, restaurants and businesses open, relying primarily on voluntary measures.

France reintroduces lockdown measures in north of country

Hundreds of thousands of people in northern France have gone back into lockdown, while health officials stepped up their nationwide vaccination campaign to make up ground after a slow start. AFP reports:
The residents of Pas-de-Calais on the north coast joined those in the region’s port of Dunkirk – and the Mediterranean resort of Nice – already shut down on Saturdays and Sundays.
That puts more than 2 million people across France under the weekend restrictions, required to stay at home unless they can provide a written exemption.
With hospital capacity at 90% in Pas-de-Calais, the region’s prefect insisted the new restrictions were necessary to prevent local health services from being overwhelmed.
Two thirds of the cases recorded there recently have been the more contagious variant first detected in England, said local officials.
But with a 6pm-6am curfew already in place and non-essential shops closed there, the new restrictions will hurt already hard-pressed businesses.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 15:58

When will I get the vaccine?

The priority list for the coronavirus vaccine in the UK is set by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and is primarily in order of age.
However, health and social care workers, as well as younger people who are clinically vulnerable are also being prioritised.
Between now and the 15 April, the government is aiming to offer everyone over 50, as well as all over-16s with an underlying health condition and unpaid carers for the elderly and disabled, a first jab.
There is a target of offering a first dose to everyone over the age of 18 by the end of July.
You can read more about the vaccine rollout here .

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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 16:17

Brazil President tells public to ‘stop whining’ about Covid-19 amid surge in deaths

President Jair Bolsonaro has told Brazilians to "stop whining" about Covid-19, as he takes aim at lockdown measures despite a swell in cases and deaths.

Coronavirus - 6th March 2021 Gettyi26

His comments came a day after Brazil saw its most significant surge in deaths over a 24-hour period to date.
The sprawling South American nation is facing its worst phase of the pandemic yet, leaving its health system at the brink of disaster.
In response to the president’s lacklustre response to the crisis, some cities and states have imposed their own restrictions.
More than 260,000 people have died with Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic according to Brazil's health ministry, making it the second-highest pandemic death toll in the world after the US.
From Thursday, a further 1,699 deaths were added to that tally, which is a slight decrease on Wednesday's record 1,910. Meanwhile, 75,102 cases of coronavirus were reported – the second-highest daily jump yet.
The dramatic surge in cases has been attributed to the spread of a highly contagious variant of the virus thought to have originated in the Amazon city of Manaus.
Despite these worrying developments, on Thursday Mr Bolsonaro continued to downplay the threat posed by the virus.
"Stop whining. How long are you going to keep crying about it?" Mr Bolsonaro said at an event. "How much longer will you stay at home and close everything? No one can stand it anymore. We regret the deaths, again, but we need a solution."
The comments sparked a furious response from some Brazillian officials, including São Paulo's governor, João Doria, who, speaking to the BBC, called the outspoken president "a crazy guy" for attacking "governors and mayors who want to buy vaccines and help the country to end this pandemic".
"How can we face the problem, seeing people die every day? The health system in Brazil is on the verge of collapse," Mr Doria said.
Taking a stance that mirrors his former American counterpart, President Donald Trump, President Bolsonaro has consistently opposed lockdown measures introduced by governors, arguing that the economic fallout will be worse than the effects of the virus itself.
"Unfortunately, Brazil has to fight, at this moment, two viruses: the coronavirus and Bolsonaro virus. This is a sadness for the Brazilians," Mr Doria told the BBC.
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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 16:22

A further 158 people have died in the UK

A further 158 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 in the UK as of Saturday, bringing the total to 124,419, according to the latest official figures.
The government also said that, as of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 6,040 lab-confirmed cases in the UK.
It brings the total to 4,213,343.
There have been 22,887,118 jabs given in the UK so far with 21,796,278 being first doses – a rise of 437,463 on the previous day.
Some 1,090,840 were second doses, an increase of 56,772.

Analysis: Growing sympathy for NHS workers amid unprecedented pressures

Hugh Pym - BBC News Health Editor
The NHS pay row in England, fuelled by angry responses from health unions, rumbles on and seems unlikely to fade away.
It is significant that the employers have now entered the fray in the shape of NHS Providers, the group representing hospitals and other trusts in England.
NHS trust leaders know only too well that morale is low among an exhausted workforce and they fear that the proposed wage rise will make things worse. They are in effect lining up with the unions to oppose the government.
Ministers argue that the pandemic changed everything, including the state of the public finances, and that earlier plans have had to be rethought.
They say that compared to other parts of the public workforce facing a pay freeze, the NHS workforce will fare better and that difficult measures were needed to respond to public borrowing increases.
But after the unprecedented pressures on hospitals during the pandemic there is growing sympathy for health workers.
There will be a difficult few months ahead as the pay review body considers the arguments and ministers decide on their next steps.
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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 16:29

China make Covid-19 anal swabs mandatory for all international arrivals

Harry Brent - Irish Post
Well ... that's a bummer.
Little over a month ago, China made headlines after announcing that it would be introducing the use of anal swabs to detect cases of coronavirus. If you still don't believe us, click here .
As if the idea itself isn't mad enough, the communist nation has gone and made the method a requirement for all passengers arriving into China from abroad.
Beijing claims the method, which involves a 5cm long saline-soaked swab shoved up the patients bum (about 1 or 2 inches in in case you were wondering), is more accurate than other methods such as nasal, throat or cheek swabs.
According to respiratory experts in China, traces of Covid-19 stay detectable for longer in faecal matter than they do in the nose or mouth.
Nevertheless, both the US and Japan have hit out at the procedure, branding it 'humiliating'.
Japan has called upon China to stop the undignified practice as it has the potential to cause "psychological distress" ... which is a fair assessment don't you think?
Last week, it emerged that American diplomats were ordered to undergo anal swab tests, sparking a furious reaction from the US state department, although Beijing denies the claims.
It's understood that as many as 5 million anal swab tests have already been carried out, and last month, China was forced to assure concerned citizens that they won't 'waddle like penguins' after getting the test, following the emergence of a 'fake' video showing patients walking stiff-legged like the flightless birds.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 16:49

Summary

Kevin Rawlinson - The Guardian
Here’s a summary of the latest developments:

  • Ireland reached the milestone of half a million coronavirus jabs administered. The taoiseach, Micheál Martin, hailed progress made fighting the pandemic. He said he was inspired by recent visits to vaccination centres where thousands of frontline healthcare workers are receiving the vaccine doses.
  • The Dalia Lama had a Covid-19 vaccine administered. The Tibetan spiritual leader said: “In order to prevent some serious problems, this injection is very, very helpful.”
  • Passengers flying indirectly to Portugal from the UK or Brazil were told they would have to present a negative test taken 72 hours before departure and quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. Reuters reported that the move was designed to close a loophole that allowed travellers from Britain and Brazil to reach Portugal by stopping over in a country from which travel was authorised.
  • The Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari received a first Covid vaccine dose, the day after the distribution of the shots began in the west African nation. According to AFP, Buhari said he wanted to encourage all Nigerians to have the jab, although the country faces massive security and logistical challenges in delivering the vaccines.
  • England and Wales passed the 20m mark in respect of vaccine doses administered. NHS England said about 19.25m vaccinations – whether first or second dose – had been given, while Public Health Wales reported nearly 1m more.
  • The UK government came under increasing pressure to reverse a plan to offer health workers only a 1% pay rise. Workers representatives, the Tory party’s own and MPs and the opposition offered severe criticism of the proposal.
  • Hundreds of thousands of people in northern France went back into lockdown. The residents of Pas-de-Calais on the north coast joined those in the region’s port of Dunkirk – and the Mediterranean resort of Nice – already shut down on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • The UK was told the next few weeks would crucial for keeping infections down. An infectious disease expert said that, as schools reopen, there would be a rise in the reproductive number.
  • Businesses in England will now be able to sign up to receive free rapid coronavirus tests under the UK government’s workplace testing programme. From Saturday, businesses of all sizes, including those with fewer than 50 employees, can register to order lateral flow tests for their workers, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.



Breaking News

UK reports more than 6,000 new cases but trends down

The government has released the latest figures for coronavirus cases and deaths in the UK.
There have been 6,040 new cases since the last tally was published on Friday, and a further 158 deaths. Both figures appear to confirm the steadily decreasing level of cases and fatalities reported in recent weeks.
In terms of vaccinations, 21,796,278 people had been given a first dose and 1,090,840 people had been given a second dose by the end of Friday.

Italy reports 307 more deaths

Italy has reported 307 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday against 297 the day before, the health ministry said.
The daily tally of new infections fell to 23,641 from 24,036 the day before, PA news reports.
Some 355,024 tests for Covid-19 were carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 378,463, the health ministry said.
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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 19:02

UK cases and deaths down by a third week-on-week

The latest pandemic figures reported by the UK government show continuing falls in the number of cases and deaths.
In the seven days up to 6 March, there were 42,826 new recorded infections, a drop of 22,018 (34%) on the number for the previous week.
Over the same period, there were 1,542 deaths, a fall of 799 (34.1%) on the previous week.

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Post by Kitkat Sat Mar 06 2021, 19:15

Saturday's developments in brief

Here's a round-up of some of the latest developments in the UK and around the world:

  • The UK reports 6,040 new cases of coronavirus and a further 158 deaths - both figures are well down on a week ago
  • The row over the below-inflation 1% pay rise for NHS staff rumbles on, with the government defending the move and the Royal College of Nursing warning it could lead to large numbers of staff leaving
  • Workplace Covid testing is now available to all businesses in England, which can register from Saturday to order lateral flow tests for their workers
  • Ahead of children returning to school in England on Monday, there's concern that the lateral flow testing system in place could lead to inaccurate test results and many young people having to isolate unnecessarily
  • A compromise in the US Senate means America's third major spending package to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic - this one costing $1.9tn (£1.4tn) - can move forward
  • In Australia, some 36,000 people have gathered inside Sydney Cricket Ground for a scaled-down version of the city's annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebration


Goodbye - and thanks for joining us

That's it for our live coverage for today.
It was brought to you by Holly Wallis, Becky Morton and Adrian Dalingwater.

    Current date/time is Mon May 17 2021, 12:54