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Coronavirus - 21st March 2021

Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat Sun Mar 21 2021, 10:38

Summary for Sunday, 21st March

  • People in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are to take part in the once-a-decade census
  • Now is not the time to "throw away" our "incredible sacrifices" by curtailing government coronavirus restriction powers, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says
  • The boss of Australian airline Qantas predicts "governments are going to insist" on vaccines for international travellers
  • A UK nurse who tearfully urged people to stop panic buying last year is considering leaving the profession
  • Mumbai is to roll out mandatory tests in crowded places as the country grapples with a rise in infections
  • Official figures show that as of Saturday, more than 26.8 million Britons have received their first dose of a vaccine
  • It means half the adults in the UK have had their first jab
  • More than 30 people were arrested at anti-lockdown protests attended by thousands in London on Saturday


Hello and thanks for joining our live coverage of coronavirus pandemic developments this Sunday. We'll keep you updated with the main stories of the day.

Latest headlines

Here are the latest headlines from the UK and around the world.

  • A snapshot of life across most of the UK during the pandemic will be captured today when people fill in the census
  • The boss of Australian airline Qantas predicts governments are going to insist on vaccines for international travellers
  • The Indian city of Mumbai is to roll out mandatory tests in crowded places amid rising infections
  • A critical care nurse who tearfully urged the public to stop panic buying last year says she is considering leaving her job
  • Half of all UK adults - some 26,853,407 people - have now received a first dose of a vaccine .
  • French ICU patients at highest level this year. The number of people in intensive care units with Covid-19 in French hospitals has risen by 66 to 4,353, a new 2021 high, the health ministry reported on Saturday.
  • India’s Serum Institute to delay further vaccine shipments to Brazil, Morocco, Saudi - source. The Serum Institute of India (SII) has told Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Morocco that further supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be delayed due to surging demand at home and as it works through a capacity expansion, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
  • Saudi Aramco 2020 net profit slumps 44.4% as Covid bites. Saudi Arabian state oil giant Aramco on Sunday reported a 44.4% drop in 2020 net profit, hit by lower crude oil prices and volumes sold, and weakened refinery margins, as the coronavirus pandemic depressed demand.
  • England sets daily jabs record. A record number of people received their Covid-19 vaccine on Friday, with 711,156 doses given to the UK public. Of those, 636,219 were given in England - the highest daily amount since the NHS vaccination programme began, NHS England said. More than half of the UK’s adult population - some 26,853,407 people aged 18 and over - have now received their first jab, Government data up to 19 March suggests.
  • Leading opposition presidential candidate in Republic of Congo hospitalised with Covid ahead of election. The leading opposition presidential candidate in Republic of Congo was receiving oxygen at a private hospital after being diagnosed with Covid, a family member said, casting Sunday’s election into doubt on the eve of the vote.
  • Curfew imposed in Miami. Officials are imposing an emergency 8 pm - 6 am curfew for Miami Beach, effective immediately after hard-partying spring break crowds trashed restaurants, brawled in the streets and gathered by the thousands without masks or social distancing, according to authorities.


What the papers say



'The EU knows the world is watching' - Wallace

Asked about the possibility that Britons will be able to travel overseas this summer, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace tells Sky News the government "cannot be deaf and blind to what is going on outside the UK" - but adds the government will not take a position on international travel before the taskforce reports on 12 April.
He says the EU's threat to block exports of vaccines from the region - amid the ongoing row about supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine - is "counter-productive", adding it will both undermine the global vaccine rollout and damage the EU's reputation.
"The Commission knows the world is watching," he warns.
He adds: "The EU is under tremendous political pressure and it's a matter for them how they deal with it."

Qantas boss: Governments 'to insist' on vaccines for flying

Jonathan Josephs - BBC business producer
The boss of Australian airline Qantas has told the BBC "governments are going to insist" on vaccines for international travellers.
Coronavirus vaccines are seen as crucial to reviving an industry that saw worldwide passenger numbers fall 75.6% last year.
Chief executive Alan Joyce says many governments are talking about vaccination as "a condition of entry".
Even if they aren't, he thinks the airline should enforce its own policy.
"We have a duty of care to our passengers and to our crew, to say that everybody in that aircraft needs to be safe," Mr Joyce says.
Read more here.

Census to provide snapshot of pandemic life

Details of every adult and child in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are being collected today in the latest census.
The Office for National Statistics says the 2021 census will provide insights into the impact of the pandemic and Brexit on people's lives.
In Scotland, the census has been delayed for a year, because of the pandemic.
By law, everyone has to be accounted for, to provide the government, local authorities and other organisations with the information they require to make decisions about planning services, including health, education and transport.
Read more here.
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Post by Kitkat Sun Mar 21 2021, 11:13

Curfew imposed in Miami

The Guardian
Officials are imposing an emergency 8 pm - 6 am curfew for Miami Beach, effective immediately after hard-partying spring break crowds trashed restaurants, brawled in the streets and gathered by the thousands without masks or social distancing, according to authorities.
At a news conference, officials blamed overwhelming and out-of-control spring break crowds for the curfew, which was taking effect Saturday night in South Beach, one of the nation’s top party spots. Tourists and hotel guests are being told to stay indoors during curfew hours.
It’s unclear how long the curfew will remain in effect, but Interim City Manager Raul Aguila told the Miami Herald that he recommends keeping the rules in place through at least 12 April. A countywide midnight curfew was already in place due to the Covid pandemic.
“These crowds are in the thousands,” Aguila said. “We’re at capacity.”
No pedestrians or vehicles will be allowed to enter the restricted area after 8pm and all businesses in the vicinity must close, Aguila said, reading from a statement released by the city.
The curfew comes as a prominent bar, the Clevelander South Beach, announced it was temporarily suspending all food and beverage operations until at least March 24 after crowds crammed Ocean Drive, breaking out into street fights. At another restaurant next door, tables and chairs were smashed during a fight, news outlets reported.

India's Serum Institute to delay further vaccine shipments to Brazil, Morocco, Saudi - source

The Serum Institute of India (SII) has told Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Morocco that further supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be delayed due to surging demand at home and as it works through a capacity expansion, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The news comes as India, the world’s biggest vaccine maker, is being criticised domestically for donating or selling more doses than inoculations conducted at home, despite reporting the most number of coronavirus infections after the United States and Brazil.
India is currently seeing a second surge of cases, taking its total to about 11.6 million.
The latest delays, first reported by the Times of India daily, came to light days after Britain said it would have to slow its Covid vaccine roll-out next month as SII was likely to deliver more doses later than expected.
SII has supplied half of the 10 million doses recently ordered by Britain.
Brazil has already received 4 million doses from SII, Saudi Arabia 3 million doses and Morocco 7 million, according to India’s foreign ministry . The three countries had ordered 20 million each.
Reuters could not immediately contact representatives for the countries or determine if they had agreed to a revised delivery schedule.
SII, the single-biggest maker of vaccines, declined to comment. It has partnered with AstraZeneca, the Gates Foundation and the Gavi vaccine alliance to make up to a billion doses for poorer countries.
The source, who declined to be identified, said SII was working on expanding its monthly production to 100 million doses by April/May, from 60 million to 70 million now, suggesting supplies could improve then.
SII was originally supposed to sell vaccines only to middle- and low-income countries, mainly in Asia and Africa, but production issues at other AstraZeneca facilities forced it to ship to many other countries as well on the British company’s behalf.
India has so far donated 8 million doses and sold nearly 52 million doses to a total of 75 countries, mainly the AstraZeneca shot made by SII. India has administered more than 44 million doses since starting its immunisation campaign in the middle of January.
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Post by Kitkat Sun Mar 21 2021, 12:12

Philipines reports 7,757 new cases on Sunday

The Philippines has recorded 7,757 new cases, its second-highest single-day increase, Reuters reports.
The daily tally follows Saturday’s record infections and marks the third straight day confirmed new cases topped 7,000.
The Philippines is battling a renewed surge in infections, including those of the new and more transmissible variants, prompting the government to tighten restrictions particularly in the capital region.
In a bulletin, the Department of Health (DOH) said total recorded cases had risen to 663,794 while confirmed deaths had reached 12,968, with 39 more fatalities recorded on Sunday. Total recoveries increased by 15,288 to 577,754.
The DOH advised the public to suspend non-essential travel and ensure adherence to minimum public health standards, which includes the wearing of masks even at home when not alone.

8,545 coronavirus patients in hospital in Bulgaria

The number of coronavirus patients in hospital in Bulgaria has risen to 8,545, the highest level since the start of the pandemic last March, Reuters reports citing official data.
A surge in infections in the third Covid wave has prompted the Bulgarian government to close schools, nurseries, restaurants, big shops and gyms from Monday for 10 days ahead of the 4 April parliamentary election.
With 2,541 new cases in the past 24 hours, the country of 7 million people has reported 302,480 cases and 11,966 deaths in total.

Vaccine tensions loom in Asia as China and India trade free shots for influence

Michael Safi - The Guardian
While western Europe’s “vaccine war” has been a struggle to prevent doses from being exported, in another part of the world, the battle is to give vaccines away.
Last week, a Bahraini prince and his retinue arrived in Nepal to climb Mount Everest. They brought climbing gear, provisions and – in an apparent surprise to regulators in Kathmandu – enough Covid-19 vaccines to inoculate 1,000 people.
Bahrain intended the vaccines as a “friendly gesture” to the residents of a village that had recently renamed some hills in honour of the Gulf state’s royals. It coordinated the trip with Nepal’s embassy in Manama, but health ministry officials in the Himalayan country had other ideas, confiscating the Sinopharm doses at the airport.
Read more here
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Post by Kitkat Sun Mar 21 2021, 12:38

EU and UK should 'pull together' - Wallace

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has told Andrew Marr both the UK and EU "should abide by our contracts" - after EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen threatened to block exports of vaccines from the region, to countries including the UK, on Saturday.
"What should happen is both the European Commission and the United Kingdom should live up to our obligations.”
"The EU stands for the rule of law. We are legally obliged to fulfil our contracts and the world is watching," he warned.
He called the language used by the EU "counter-productive".
“The grown-up thing is for all of us to pull together to make sure we maximise production opportunities both for the United Kingdom and for our friends and partners around the world.
"We could absolutely work together.”

Defence Secretary refuses to rule out extending foreign travel ban

Defence secretary Ben Wallace has refused to rule out the government extending a ban on foreign holidays.
"It's very, very important that we see not only how the pandemic is developing abroad, but also that we see how we are dealing with it and the vaccinations.
"I think our number one consideration is that even though the United Kingdom is almost leading the world on vaccination rates... it's really important that we don't import new variants and undermine all that hard work."
The defence secretary says he personally has not booked a summer holiday and will await the response of the government taskforce in April.
He says booking a holiday now will be "premature" and "potentially risky", adding "we are seeing growing variants".
"We are not going to do anything which puts at risk this national effort to control this pandemic," he tells the BBC.
"All the indicators are in the right direction at the moment. Let's take it step by step."

UK going in right direction, but compliance important - Wallace

The BBC's Andrew Marr asked UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace if the roadmap might be extended beyond 21 June, given the anticipated slowdown in vaccine supplies next month.
"The PM has set out a very clear plan - all the way to June. I think all of us across the country really, really hope that that is the plan that we stick to," says Wallace.
"All of us have been in this lockdown and it affects us all in all sorts of personal ways - as well as the economy."
"I am pretty confident that at the moment we are going in the right direction: hospital admissions are down, tragic loss of life is down, the NHS is going to be able to cope at the moment, the vaccine rollout is world-leading."
But he stresses compliance to coronavirus restrictions "is important" given the "huge sacrifices" people in the UK have had to make over the past year.
"We do not want to throw that away," he says.
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Post by Kitkat Sun Mar 21 2021, 12:44

Poland's coronavirus cases rise 27% in a week

Adam Easton - Warsaw Correspondent
Poland’s third coronavirus wave continued to gain momentum with 21,849 new cases reported on Sunday - a 27% rise on the number of cases reported one week ago.
There were 140 virus-related deaths reported on Sunday, the health ministry says.
Health ministry officials attribute the spike in infections to the highly contagious UK variant, which is responsible for 80% of all new cases.
The number of hospitalisations is also rising sharply. More than 70% of available hospital beds are now occupied and there are more patients on ventilators now than at any time since the start of the pandemic.
Health minister Adam Niedzielski has ordered an additional 8,000 beds to be made available in the coming weeks as temporary hospitals are reactivated.
A partial three week national lockdown was introduced on Saturday closing shopping centres, hotels, cultural and sporting facilities until 9 April.
Restaurants, bars and cafes continue to offer takeaway service only.
Primary school years 1-3 have returned to online learning - a move that comes on top of existing restrictions that have seen schools in Poland mostly closed for the best part of a year.
Face masks must be worn in public spaces.
In total, Poland has reported 2,058,550 cases and 49,300 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began.
Some 5.01 million vaccines have been administered, meaning just over 13% of Poland's population has received at least one dose.

Scotland's route out of lockdown: Your questions answered

Scotland has a route map out of lockdown after the first minister announced indicative dates for easing the current stay at home restrictions.
But Nicola Sturgeon has cautioned the timetable will depend on the continued suppression of the virus and the vaccine programme remaining on track.
With the countdown under way, BBC Scotland has been looking for answers to readers' most-asked questions.
Here's a sample of what's being asked - or read here, to see if your question has an answer.
When can someone from Scotland visit England? Margaret, Dumfries
Cross border travel has been banned for non-essential purposes since before Christmas.
But the first minister this week confirmed restrictions on journeys to other parts of the UK will be lifted on 26 April or "as soon as possible thereafter".
When will we know how many people we can have at our wedding? Rachel, Glasgow
Under the current level four restrictions weddings are strictly limited to five guests and receptions cannot take place.
The Scottish Wedding Alliance recently said the measures had led to a "crippling year" for the whole industry.
But the positive trends in Scotland mean the guest limit will be raised to 50 people from 26 April - with further reviews aimed at extending guest numbers pencilled in for early and late June.
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Post by Kitkat Sun Mar 21 2021, 13:01

Chile hospitals almost full despite high vaccination rate

Chile's vaccination rate is the third highest in the world, according to some experts, but that hasn't stopped another resurgence in Covid-19. Infection rates are currently higher there than at any point in the pandemic.
Almost all hospital beds in the country are full and a new lockdown is being imposed in the capital Santiago.
More than 8.5 million vaccine doses have been administered in the country of 19 million people, according to Oxford University's Covid tracker . But officials say new variants and a relaxation of restrictions has led to the resurgence in cases.
In total Chile has recorded 925,089 cases and 22,180 deaths from Covid-19.

Germany mulls quarantine plan

Germany is considering making all people returning from abroad face quarantine and compulsory tests after infection rates jumped above the level at which authorities say hospitals will be overstretched.
The latest proposal is contained in draft plans, seen by Reuters, which will be discussed by national and leaders in a Monday meeting when they are due to decide on the next round of measures to deal with the pandemic.
The new proposals appear directed at people considering holidaying in places, like the Spanish island of Majorca, which are not considered virus risk areas and therefore do not currently trigger a quarantine on returning to Germany.
Holiday destinations should be targeted “since we can expect that holidaymakers from many countries will meet in popular holiday destinations, letting COVID-19 variants spread easily,” according to the draft plans.
Earlier, Stephan Weil, premier of Lower Saxony, told the RND newspaper group that the government’s earlier decision to lift the travel warning for Majorca had been a “serious error”.
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Post by Kitkat Sun Mar 21 2021, 13:32

Hundreds of anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protesters gather in Dublin

Jack Beresford - Irish Post
Hundreds of anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine demonstrators marched through Dublin on Saturday in protest at the ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
At least 150 demonstrators took to the streets of the Irish capital, initially gathering around the Wellington Monument in Phoenix Park before heading on towards the city centre. 
Several placards featuring anti-vaccination slogans were visible among the protesters as well as banners bearing messages opposed to the lockdown measures. 
The crowd eventually congregated outside the GPO on O’Connell Street where several demonstrators gave speeches. 
Gardaí were on the scene throughout the protest to monitor the situation. 
Under the current lockdown regulations organised demonstrations of any kind are illegal. 
A total of 11 arrests were made while a number of fines were also issued. 
A Gardaí spokesperson said: “At approximately 3.30pm, persons involved in the event proceeded to walk from the Phoenix Park along the North Quays to the GPO, O’Connell Street and then back along the South Quays. 
“Following persistent and ongoing non-compliance with Public Health Regulations uniformed members of An Garda Síochána intervened in a graduated response at Victoria Quay.” 
They added: “11 arrests were made in relation to this event over the course of the afternoon.  A number of Fixed Payment Notices (FPNs) will be issued in relation to persons attending this event in breach of Public Health Regulations. 
“An Garda Síochána will carry out an investigation into the organisers of this event.” 
The protest comes just days after 21 people were arrested for failing to comply with the public health guidelines during a St Patrick;s Day anti-lockdown protest.
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Post by Kitkat Sun Mar 21 2021, 13:40

Vaccination of Northern Ireland's homeless under way

Dominic McGrath - BBC News NI
The vaccination of homeless people is under way in Northern Ireland.
Approximately 1,200 homeless people in Northern Ireland will receive a Covid vaccine in the coming weeks, the Public Health Agency says..
Some of Northern Ireland's five health trusts have begun vaccinating people who are sleeping rough or find themselves in temporary accommodation.
It is expected all trusts will offer the service by the end of March.
The trusts have said they will be collaborating together to deliver the two doses of the vaccine, given the fact some people could move from one place to another from week-to-week.
"We will make sure we work together to make sure everything is done and closed off safely," Paula Devine, who is leading the Western Trust's efforts, tells BBC Radio Foyle.
The vaccinations are being delivered through mobile clinics and mass vaccination centres. Anyone who is not living in fixed accommodation will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
Read more.

Fines issued for rugby party Covid breach

Police broke up a party of 14 rugby fans watching the Wales Six Nations game on Saturday - and issued fines for breaching Covid rules.
It was one of 1,500 incidents dealt with by South Wales Police, making Saturday "one of the busiest days of 2021", a tweet by an officer said.
Wales lost the game - and the Grand Slam - in injury time against France.

Germany 'plans to extend lockdown into April'

We've been reporting on a resurgence of Covid-19 in countries around Europe, with Poland seeing a 27% increase in cases in one week.
Now German Chancellor Angela Merkel is planning to extend the country's partial lockdown into April, according to documents seen by AFP news agency.
The high rate of infections and fears of a third wave are driving the decision, which will be discussed with Germany's regional leaders on Monday.
The current restrictions were due to end this month, but officials are warning they must be extended as new variants drive up infection rates.
Meanwhile Reuters news agency is reporting Germany is considering making all returning travellers from abroad quarantine.
On Wednesday Chancellor Merkel urged Germans not to travel abroad for the Easter weekend as airlines increased flights to popular destinations including Spain.
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Post by Kitkat Sun Mar 21 2021, 18:54

Welsh firms looking at flexi-working 'permanently'

Matthew Murray - BBC News
Some of Wales' major employers say they are considering a permanent shift to flexible working after the pandemic.
The Welsh government, Cardiff University and Admiral Group say they are all consulting with staff about a hybrid of home and office working.
Some employers, including the government and Cardiff University, cite a reduced carbon footprint as one of the key drivers behind more flexible working.
A spokesman for the Welsh government says it is consulting with staff and unions over long-term remote working with "ambitions" of having up to 50% of staff working remotely at any one time.
"Allowing more staff to work remotely will be key contributor to our carbon reduction aims and result in a fairer distribution of jobs across Wales," they say.
However, experts suggest while large organisations may well have smaller offices in the future and sanction more flexible working, there will always be a place for office working - especially for those starting careers.
Director of CBI Wales Ian Price says once lockdown is eased there will need to be a continued collaboration between remote workers and those in the office, praising the "real innovation" that has taken place over the past year.
"Firms have done amazing things to keep operations going and deliver for customers - some that will continue well into the future."
Read more.

Lockdown relaxation calls a 'bit pointless', says Ken Clarke

Radio 4's Broadcasting House
The demands by Conservative backbenchers for an early relaxation of lockdown measures are a "bit pointless", according to former Chancellor Ken Clarke.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Broadcasting House programme, Lord Clarke says lockdown "contributed to containing the pandemic".
"Having got this far... we might as well do it properly now and above all else - and I think this is what has persuaded Boris Johnson - avoid if we possibly can the risk of returning back to this horrible situation lockdown situation next winter."
On calls for a public inquiry, Lord Clarke says "every Western government made mistakes - some to more degrees than others and I have to admit that last year the handling of it as we went along was pretty shambolic at times".
But he said "ministers and officials better brace themselves for the inevitable wisdom of hindsight in an inquiry".
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Post by Kitkat Sun Mar 21 2021, 19:01

Congo-Brazzaville presidential candidate 'fighting death' in hospital


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Presidential candidate Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas has diabetes and is in hospital with Covid

A leading opposition politician in Congo-Brazzaville is in hospital with Covid-19 in the capital Brazzaville as voting in the country's election is under way.
Presidential candidate Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas, who is 61, tells supporters in a social media video he is "fighting death".
Briefly taking off his oxygen mask to speak, he urges them to vote: "My dear compatriots, I am in trouble. I am fighting death. However, I ask you to stand up and vote for change. I would not have fought for nothing."
Kolelas came second in the last election in 2016, obtaining only 15% of the vote compared with President Denis Sassou Nguesso's 60%.
Sassou Nguesso, 77, is widely seen as an authoritarian ruler who is expected to win again.
Kolelas's family say they are trying to get him to France for treatment.
Read more about the story.

Can music festivals be safely planned?

A music festival is taking place in the Netherlands, despite the rest of the country being under a lockdown.
The two-day experiment aims to see if there's a safe way to allow large-scale social gatherings to restart, without increasing the spread of the virus.
The BBC's Anna Holligan went to the festival in Biddinghuizen near Amsterdam.

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Post by Kitkat Sun Mar 21 2021, 19:11

Miami Beach declares state of emergency after surge of partying


Coronavirus - 21st March 2021 D9423a10
Police struggled to manage crowds in Miami Beach

It's Spring Break season in the US which means thousands of university students intent on partying are descending on South Florida.
In Miami Beach police have declared a state of emergency as they struggle to control large crowds of people trashing restaurants and fighting in the street.
Video on social media showed closely-packed groups drinking and dancing in the streets.
An 8pm-6am curfew has been imposed immediately and will last for 72 hours, officials said on Saturday.
"Too many are coming, really, without the intention of following the rules, and the result has been a level of chaos and disorder that is just something more than we can endure," Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber Gelber told CNN.

Geneticist calls for investigation into early months of pandemic

The World This Weekend - Radio 4 programme
A Nobel Prize winner has called for an immediate investigation into how the first months of the pandemic were handled in the UK.
Sir Paul Nurse, cancer expert and chief executive of the Francis Crick Institute says a full inquiry would "take too long" while we are still in the midst of the crisis.
But he tells Radio 4's The World This Weekend: "I do think we should look at what happened in the first wave of the pandemic, I’m thinking around January to June... The fact that we weren’t prepared as a nation, the slowness in political response - almost casual really - suggesting a failure of scientific and medical advice reaching political power..."
“There are lessons to be learned, and those lessons are important because we are not out of it yet, and, of course, this isn’t going to be the last time that we have to deal with issues like this."
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Post by Kitkat Sun Mar 21 2021, 19:14

Brazil's Covid 'catastrophe' shows no signs of slowing

Throughout the pandemic, Brazil has rarely escaped the headlines. Infection and mortality rates continue to be sky-high with 2,438 deaths and nearly 80,000 cases recorded on Saturday by the health ministry.
Hospitals across the country are near capacity, following several waves of infection that left sick people in some cities including Manaus without oxygen.
Brazil’s leading healthcare institute, Fiocruz, has said the country faces an unparalleled “catastrophe”.
Meanwhile the foreign ministry said on Saturday it is in talks with the US about potentially importing excess Covid-19 vaccines.
This week President Jair Bolsonaro fired the third health minister of the pandemic, and protests have broken out across the country as people are angry about the handling of the crisis.
Bolsonaro continues to resist calls to introduce strict restrictions, even as local Covid-19 variants continue to drive up infections.

Town residents urged to get tested amid flare-up


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People living in a town in Wales experiencing a Covid flare-up have been urged to get tested for the virus.
Holyhead's infection rate is 466.5 cases per 100,000 people compared to the Wales average of 42.
Anglesey council says mass testing is "a vital step to identify as many positive cases who will be unknowingly infectious and stopping the virus from spreading further" in Holyhead - and Holy Island where the town is located.
Wales-wide restrictions have started to ease - on 13 March the nation's stay-at-home rules were lifted and replaced by a "stay local" message.
People are expected to stick to a five-mile travel rule, and there is flexibility for those in rural areas. But the rise in cases prompted Anglesey council to issue a no travel warning in the area on Friday.
Read more here.
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Post by Kitkat Sun Mar 21 2021, 19:22

What has been happening today?


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As our live page draws to a close, here are today's main headlines from across the UK and around the world:


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Goodbye

That brings us to the end of today's live page.Thanks for joining us.

Your writers today were Alex Kleiderman, Victoria Lindrea and Georgina Rannard. The page was edited by James Clarke.
We'll be back again tomorrow to bring you all the latest headlines. See you then.

    Current date/time is Mon May 17 2021, 14:20