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

Coronavirus - 3rd April 2021 (Easter Saturday)

Kitkat
Kitkat

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Post by Kitkat Sat Apr 03 2021, 16:37

Summary for Saturday, 3rd April 2021

  • The rules around indoor visits to care homes in England will be relaxed from 12 April
  • Two people, rather than one, will be able to visit and parents will be allowed to bring their babies and toddlers
  • Seven people in the UK have died with rare blood clots after being given the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, the UK's medicines regulator has said
  • And there have been 30 cases of clotting out of more than 18 million vaccine doses administered
  • But the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has urged the public to continue accepting coronavirus vaccination appointments
  • Clean up work is under way after huge crowds gathered to socialise in Cardiff Bay on Friday night
  • Italy has entered a strict three-day lockdown to try to prevent a surge in Covid-19 cases over Easter
  • The country is battling a third wave, with about 20,000 new cases a day


Welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
We will be bringing you the latest updates throughout the day.

Latest developments in the UK and around the world


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Hundreds of people were seen gathered on the steps of the Senedd in Cardiff, Wales, on Friday evening


Here’s a quick look at some of the main headlines from the UK and around the world to get you started:


Today’s front pages: Staycation 'stampede' and NHS's future

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  • "Foreign holidays for vaccinated" is the headline in the Daily Telegraph , which looks ahead to Boris Johnson's travel announcement on Monday.
  • The paper understands that people who have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus could require fewer tests if they want to holiday in countries deemed to be low-risk and may not have to quarantine when they return from countries classed as medium risk, including popular Mediterranean resorts.
  • The Daily Mail thinks families could end up paying thousands for Covid tests if they travel abroad, even if their destination is on an approved list.
  • The Daily Mirror predicts a "staycation stampede", saying there has been a surge in bookings for UK breaks.

Read the full newspaper review here.

Seven UK blood clot deaths after AstraZeneca vaccine

Seven people have died from unusual blood clots after getting the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK , the medicines regulator has confirmed to the BBC.
In total, 30 people out of 18 million vaccinated by 24 March had these clots.
It is still not clear if they are just a coincidence or a genuine side effect of the vaccine.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency says the benefits continue to outweigh any risk.
However, concern has led to other countries including Germany, France, the Netherlands and Canada to restrict the vaccine's use only to older people.
The data released by the MHRA on Friday showed 22 cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) which is a type of blood clot in the brain.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sat Apr 03 2021, 16:53

Care home residents allowed two indoor visitors


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Residents of care homes in England will be allowed two regular visitors indoors from 12 April .
Currently people in care homes are only allowed one face-to-face visitor but that will change as part of the next stage of lockdown easing.
They will be able to hold hands - but visitors must be tested and wear PPE.
Visitors will also be able to bring babies and young children with them, meaning some residents could meet grandchildren for the first time.

Clot risk is 'miniscule' compared to Covid

Dr Sarah Jarvis tells BBC Breakfast that just because blood clots are being reported does not necessarily mean they are a side effect of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
She says: "If we look at all the possible side effects that have been reported they include excess wind, alcohol poisoning, getting pregnant - there are so many things people report because they happen shortly after they have the vaccine – that does not mean that they wouldn’t have happened anyway."
The majority of people who have had the rare cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) blood clot both here and and in Europe are younger females, she said, adding: "But – and this is a really important but – younger females are already at higher risk of having this type of clot whether they’ve had the vaccine or not."
Overall, about one in every million people have this clot every year anyway, the GP explained.
Jarvis adds: "If you take the oral contraceptive pill, you increase your risk of having a clot on the leg or on the lung from one in 5,000 to up to one in 800 in some cases - and yet women don’t stop taking the pill.
"In real terms – if there is a risk [of blood clots from the vaccine] – it is miniscule by comparison to the risk of Covid."
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sat Apr 03 2021, 17:03

It is 'vital we get family in' to care homes

Following the news that care home residents will be allowed a second face-to-face visitor from 12 April Olivier award-winning actress Ruthie Henshall says it is "vital we get family in" to care homes.
She tells BBC Breakfast it has been a shock seeing how far her mother Gloria had gone down hill in the last year, but now that she has been able to visit as an essential care-giver "the light's back on in her eyes".
"It is incredible the difference in my mother in just two weeks," she says.
"It is absolutely imperative that people get to see their loved ones," she says. "We are running out of time with our loved ones and this [change] is welcome news."

Italy goes into Easter lockdown as cases surge


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Extra police are on duty to enforce the lockdown

More now on the situation in Italy, where the whole country has been placed into a strict lockdown over Easter to try to stop a surge in coronavirus infections.
The decision to place every region into the "red zone" - the highest tier of restrictions - came as authorities battled a third wave, with about 20,000 new cases every day.
All non-essential shops are closed and cafes and restaurants are running a takeaway-only service.
Most travel is also banned, although people are allowed to invite two guests who are from the same household over for an Easter meal.
Churches remain open but worshippers are being encouraged to attend services close to their homes. St Peter’s Square will be empty when Pope Francis delivers his Easter message on Sunday.
The government said an extra 70,000 police officers were being deployed to enforce the rules.
"This is not the time to lower our guard, and to let go of that sense of responsibility shown so far," interior minister Luciana Lamorgese said.
Kitkat
Kitkat

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Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sat Apr 03 2021, 17:07

'Question marks' over Covid passports - Hall boss


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The Proms is due to be held at the Royal Albert Hall from 30 July

As the UK government looks into whether the use of Covid passports at different venues could help to reopen the economy in England, the Royal Albert Hall's chief executive says there needs to be clear guidance on how they will work.
With the Proms due to be held at the venue from 30 July, Craig Hassall tells BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We will do whatever it takes to open safely to full capacity audiences.
"But there are a lot of question marks over how we collect the information, how to spot forgeries - if people are exempt, how do you prove they are exempt?
"There’s a lot of things to be sorted out, but if the government gives us guidance and training, we’ll follow that, we will do it."

Reading and Leeds Festivals 'desperate to be open'

The organiser of the Reading and Leeds Festivals is hoping there will be no need for Covid passports at the events because they're held in the open air.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, adds: "If that’s what the government wants then we would 100% do that in order to be open - because we’re desperate to be open."
He says any form of vaccine passport or certificate should include those vaccinated as well as those people testing negative for Covid "so that it’s 100% non- discriminatory".
Benn adds: "Operationally I think it would work quite easily - I see it as a way forward."
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sat Apr 03 2021, 17:51

'You are better off having AZ jab than Covid'

There is lots of talk in Europe and the UK about whether there is a link between the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 jab and blood clots .
Answering viewer questions on BBC Breakfast, Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, says there "isn't any evidence of a causal effect".
"Covid itself actually increases the risk of blood clots... and that might be part of the explanation for why we are seeing this," she says.
Dr Chris Smith, consultant virologist at University of Cambridge, says the risk of the clots happening is around one in 2.5 million.
The risk of these side-effects happening is no higher than the risks of other vaccines like flu or polio, he says.
"You are much better off having the vaccine statistically rather than catching coronavirus," he says.

Cardiff cleans up after huge crowds party


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Clean up work is under way after huge crowds gathered in Cardiff Bay on Friday, despite coronavirus restrictions still being in place .
Cardiff council leader Huw Thomas says people who took part should be "deeply ashamed of themselves".
Currently Covid rules state six people from two different households can meet outdoors.
But on Friday evening, police took over from council marshals, who had been patrolling the site in the day, after the situation "escalated", Mr Thomas says.
Kitkat
Kitkat

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Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sat Apr 03 2021, 17:56

Indian state warned of lockdown as cases rise

Indian officials have warned that the Covid hotspot state of Maharashtra could be placed under a full lockdown unless infections there begin to fall.
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said people were failing to take precautions and the western state's health system could become "inadequate" within weeks.
"Consider this a warning," he said in a televised address.
In the latest figures, Maharashtra accounted for more than half of India's 89,129 new infections reported over 24 hours.
India has the third-highest number of Covid-19 infections in the world - 12.2 million - after the US and Brazil. However, its number of deaths per capita is far lower than either country.

Macron under fire as France enters new lockdown

French President Emmanuel Macron is coming under growing pressure over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
The country is entering its third national lockdown on Saturday as steadily rising infections threaten to overwhelm hospitals.
As the curbs are introduced, Mr Macron's critics say that his decision back in January to overrule scientists and not launch the third lockdown then was a blunder. The president has also been blamed for the slow pace of France's vaccine rollout.
The BBC's Ros Atkins looks at how Mr Macron is coping, with statistics all going in the wrong direction.

When can I get a haircut or go shopping?

Like many, you may be counting down the days until you can get a haircut, go clothes shopping or sit in a beer garden again.
In England there are nine days left until you can do all three of those - with a rule change due on 12 April.
But there are still 44 days until you can sit inside a restaurant for a meal and 79 until you can throw a big party - provided the easing of lockdown remains on schedule.
The speed restrictions are loosened at is different in Northern Ireland , Scotland and Wales .
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sat Apr 03 2021, 17:59

Ukraine reports record spike in Covid cases


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Ambulances carrying Covid-19 patients have had to queue outside hospitals in the capital, Kyiv

Ukraine has registered a record increase in Covid-19 infections - more than 20,000 new cases in a day for the first time since the pandemic began.
Nearly 400 more people died with the virus over 24 hours, health minister Maxim Stepanov said on Saturday. It brings the total number of deaths to more than 34,000.
Earlier this week, the mayor of the capital, Kyiv, announced the city would go into a full lockdown on Monday for 12 days to try to control the surge. Hospitals there are said to be approaching capacity.
Ukraine has also struggled to get supplies of vaccines, and there are signs of widespread public scepticism towards the programme. In February, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology found that 60% of Ukrainians did not want a jab.

Poland sees cases begin to decline amid lockdown

Poland reported another 28,073 new coronavirus infections and 571 deaths on Saturday but the numbers are starting to decline, officials say.
The country is currently in a three-week partial lockdown after a surge in cases largely brought about by the rampant UK variant.
Saturday is the second day in a row that Poland's week-to-week comparison fell.
“This is another day of a more than 10% decline," Poland’s health minister Adam Niedzielski said in a tweet. "What happens in the coming weeks depends on how safe we are during Easter.”
The spike in cases has put huge pressure on hospitals. Currently, 75% of available beds and 77% of available ventilators are in use, the BBC's Warsaw correspondent Adam Easton reports.
In the worst affected province of Silesia, some patients are being relocated to less burdened hospitals in neighbouring regions. The government is readying an extra 7,000 beds over the next two weeks.
Mr Niedzielski said the main problem, however, was a shortage of staff. Poland is sourcing doctors from abroad and about 100 have come so far, he added.
Kitkat
Kitkat

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Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sat Apr 03 2021, 18:04

German president to call on nation to 'pull together'

Damien McGuinness, Caucasus correspondent

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President Steinmeier's speech has already been recorded

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will address the nation on television this evening.
In the speech, which has already been recorded, he will call on people in Germany to pull together, rather than simply criticise others.
In the speech President Steinmeier will concede that mistakes have certainly been made when it comes to "testing, vaccination, digital solutions".
He will talk about a "crisis of trust" in the state.
But he will also say “Let us all pull together" and call on people to not just be outraged "at other people or those at the top".
Instead of only pointing out what is not possible, he will say it's also important to show what can be done when everyone plays their part.
The German president will talk about the increased pace of the vaccine rollout and say that he himself had the vaccine a few days ago - he received the AstraZeneca vaccine on Thursday.
President Steinmeier will say he trusts "all - and I stress all - the vaccines that have been authorised in Germany".
A few months ago after the first wave of the pandemic, he will say, Germans saw themselves "with some satisfaction as pandemic world champions".
But today “we are outdoing ourselves in doom and gloom”.
Neither of these things is true, he says.
“We doubt a lot but we can also do a lot. And right now the important thing is to do, not doubt!"

What are the rules on holidays abroad?

With the debate surrounding vaccine passports or Covid certificates ongoing, and a cold snap predicted for Easter Monday, you might be wondering when you will be able to dust off your flip-flops and sunscreen and head somewhere sunny.
At the moment, foreign holidays are banned, and returning travellers have to quarantine on arrival.
In England and Wales, you can be fined £5,000 for travelling outside of the UK without a reasonable excuse.
A government taskforce report is due on 12 April, about how and when international travel can resume - although Boris Johnson has hinted he could update the public on travel on Monday.
You can read more here .
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sat Apr 03 2021, 18:13

Philippines to extend lockdown around Manila


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Police are enforcing lockdown measures in the Metro Manila region and neighbouring provinces

The Philippines is to extend a lockdown in the capital, Manila, and four surrounding provinces amid fears that hospitals will be overwhelmed by a surge in coronavirus cases.
Residents must stay at home for another week unless they are essential workers, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
The number of new infections in a 24-hour period hit a record high of 12,576 on Saturday. The Philippines has reported more than 784,000 infections in total and more than 13,400 deaths.
Poor compliance with health protocols and more contagious variants of the virus have been blamed for the surge in recent weeks. The Philippines was among several countries recently added to England's "red list" amid concerns about the spread of new variants.
Experts said the lockdown imposed on 29 March was showing signs of slowing the spread but more had to be done.
Many hospitals in Manila have been swamped with Covid patients. Some people have reported driving for hours looking for a facility that will admit a sick relative.

Police shut down Good Friday church service

A Good Friday service at a Catholic church in Balham, south London, was closed down by police, it has emerged.
Met Police officers were called to a report of crowds of people queuing outside the church on Balham High Road at 17:00 BST.
The force said a large number of people were found inside the building "clearly not socially distanced" and some not wearing masks.
The Met said in a statement: "Understanding the sensitivity of the situation, officers engaged with the priest outside the church and were invited inside to address the congregation.
"No fixed penalty notices were issued."
What are the current rules for places of worship? Read more here .
Kitkat
Kitkat

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Post by Kitkat Sat Apr 03 2021, 18:21

Czech foreign minister attacks PM over vaccine veto

Rob Cameron - BBC Prague Correspondent
The Czech Republic's Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek has attacked the prime minister Andrej Babis over his ill-fated decision to join Austria in attempting to veto the European Union's planned vaccine redistribution effort.
The effort failed, leaving the three countries which tried to veto it - Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovenia - with fewer vaccines than had originally been on the table.
The Czech Republic appears to have lost out on 140,000 extra doses, although Austria has offered the Czechs 30,000 of theirs apparently as compensation.
Petricek, from the junior coalition Social Democrats, says Babis - founder of the populist ANO party - failed to consult anyone in government or explain the result of the failed strategy and must now explain to citizens why the country will receive fewer doses in the months to come.

Police 'exceeded' powers by shutting church service

We have some reaction to the story we reported earlier on a Good Friday church service in Balham, south London, being shut down by police .
The parish, Parafia Chrystusa Krola [Christ the King] has issued a statement saying it believes the police "brutally exceeded" their powers by ordering everyone to leave the service and that officers had been "misinformed" about the current Covid guidelines.
The parish says: "The policemen found our liturgical assembly illegal, ordering everyone to leave our temple immediately on pain of a £200 fine for each parishioner present or even arrest.
"The faithful obeyed this order without objection."
The statement says "all government requirements had been complied with" and adds: "We regret that the rights of the faithful have been wronged on such an important day for every believer".
The Metropolitan Police force says a large number of people were found inside the church and were "clearly not socially distanced" with some not wearing masks.

The 100-year-old who can't wait to go back to the fair


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Despite celebrating her 100th birthday on Friday, Pearl Rowland says she is ready to go back to the funfair when coronavirus rules allow it .
She was born in a Rowlands Fair caravan and has spent most of her life travelling and working at the attraction.
The fair, which is based in Devon but travels throughout the South West of England, is currently off the road because of lockdown restrictions.
Pearl says the lockdown is "far worse than the war days", adding: "We never had to close as we are now."
But funfairs and other outdoor attractions will be able to return from 12 April as part of England's easing of restrictions.
Staff at the fair said on Facebook she received about 700 cards, 50 bouquets of flowers and "some lovely gifts" for her birthday.
Kitkat
Kitkat

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Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sat Apr 03 2021, 18:27

.
Breaking News

Further 3,423 test positive for Covid-19 in UK

A further 3,423 people in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the latest government figures .
There have also been a further 10 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test. It brings the total deaths by this measure to 126,826.
During the Easter period the government says coronavirus data might vary, although all four UK nations are due to report their figures today.
The statistics can be lower at the weekend due to lags in reporting.

More than 5m people have had second dose

More than five million people have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in the UK, the latest figures show.
The total number of people who have received one jab is 31,425,682.
The number of people who have received both vaccinations is 5,205,505.
Second doses are being prioritised in April amid a warning that vaccine supplies will fall .
But the government has said it is still on course to offer all adults in the UK a first jab by the end of July.

Archbishop visits after service shut down

We reported earlier on a Good Friday service at a church in Balham, south London, which was shut down by police for breaching Covid restrictions .
Following the incident, Archbishop John Wilson has made a pastoral visit to the Christ the King Polish Catholic Church today.
He discussed the matter with the rector, who will contact the Metropolitan Police about how the situation was handled, the diocese says.
Public worship is allowed where Covid hygiene procedures are in place and national guidance has been issued by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sat Apr 03 2021, 18:29

Main developments today

We’re leaving our daily live coverage now, but here’s a reminder of the main developments today.

  • More than five million people in the UK have had a second dose of a coronavirus vaccine; it means nearly one in 10 adults have had their full jab
  • From 12 April, care home residents in England will be allowed two regular visitors indoors , as the government relaxes the rules
  • Seven people in the UK have died from unusual blood clots after getting the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the medicines regulator has confirmed to the BBC. It is still not clear if they are just a coincidence or a genuine side effect of the vaccine
  • Police in Wales have been given special powers after crowds gathered in Cardiff Bay on Friday evening , despite coronavirus restrictions still being in place. Cardiff council said a significant amount of rubbish had been left by "large groups of people intent on breaking Covid-19 restrictions"
  • Italy has entered a strict three-day lockdown to try to prevent a surge in Covid-19 cases over Easter, as the country battles a third wave, with about 20,000 new cases a day
  • The Czech Republic's Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek has attacked the prime minister Andrej Babis over his decision to join Austria in attempting to veto the EU's planned vaccine redistribution effort
  • Poland reported another 28,073 new coronavirus infections and 571 deaths on Saturday but the numbers are starting to decline, officials say. The country is currently in a three-week partial lockdown after a surge in cases largely brought about by the rampant UK variant
  • Ukraine has registered a record increase in Covid-19 infections - more than 20,000 new cases in a day for the first time since the pandemic began. Nearly 400 more people died with the virus over 24 hours, health minister Maxim Stepanov said
  • The Philippines is to extend a lockdown in the capital, Manila, and four surrounding provinces amid fears that hospitals will be overwhelmed by a surge in coronavirus cases


Updates were brought to you today by Jo Couzens, Doug Faulkner, David Walker and Claire Heald.
Join us again tomorrow.

    Current date/time is Mon May 17 2021, 14:51