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 - 22nd April 2021

Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 10:48

Summary for Thursday, 22nd April

  • The Brit Awards will go ahead with a live audience next month, as part of research into how events might be held in a Covid-safe way
  • India has recorded the highest one day tally of cases of any country since the pandemic began - 314,835 in 24 hours
  • Labour is calling for a "thorough investigation" into Boris Johnson's contact with businessman Sir James Dyson
  • Texts show Boris Johnson saying he could "fix" tax issues relating to Dyson staff who came to the UK to work
  • Dyson was asked to make ventilators early in the coronavirus crisis and the PM says he "makes no apology" for trying to get ventilators for the NHS
  • Driving tests in England and Wales resume today after they were suspended due to the pandemic, but there is a large backlog
  • One of the UK's largest foodbank operators, the Trussell Trusts, says use of its services has risen by a third during the pandemic
  • US President Joe Biden will host a climate change summit later - with 40 countries joining the event virtually


Welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are the morning headlines:

  • The Brit Awards will go ahead with a live audience next month, as part of the government's research into how live events might work after the pandemic
  • Labour has called for a "thorough investigation" into Boris Johnson's contacts with inventor Sir James Dyson
  • Sir James texted the prime minister last March when he was involved in efforts to provide ventilators
  • Driving tests are resuming in England and Wales after being suspended because of the pandemic
  • US President Joe Biden will host 40 leaders at a virtual climate change summit later amid the ongoing pandemic
  • The latest figures for the UK show a further 22 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, and another 2,396 cases have been reported


Latest across Europe


  • Italy's national unity government has backed a relaxation of Covid rules from Monday, even though the far-right League party abstained. The 22:00 curfew will stay but a colour-code system will return so that bars and restaurants can serve people outdoors in yellow and white regions and travel for work or health for orange and red regions will be allowed. A green pass will enable travel for people who've been vaccinated, have recovered or have a negative test.
  • Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, is today set to back a big change in the law to fight the pandemic, which will enable the government in Berlin to demand a curfew and school closures where infection rates are high. There’s only one state (in the north) where the seven-day incidence rate is currently under 100 cases per 100,000.
  • Greece will allow restaurants, bars and cafes to serve outdoors from 3 May, which is Easter Monday for Orthodox Christians. Schools will reopen the following Monday and domestic travel will open up on 15 May.
  • French Prime Minister Jean Castex will this evening detail latest moves towards reopening society and lifting travel restrictions. The big announcement is expected to be the lifting of the 10km (6 miles) limit on travel from 2 May and reopening terraces outside bars and restaurants in mid-May. However, more than 150,000 non-essential shops have been shut since 3 April and retail leaders have backed a call to reopen on 10 May. There has been a slight decline in infections but more than 5,900 people are still in intensive care.
  • The EU’s health agency, the European Centre for Disease Control has recommended that member states can consider relaxing mask and social distancing rules in some settings.The rules should stay in place in public or large gatherings, but it says they can be relaxed for meetings involving two individuals, households and social bubbles - when fully vaccinated young and middle-aged fully vaccinated adults meet unvaccinated people, if no-one has a risk of serious disease.


What's going on around the world?

We've been giving you updates so far today from the UK and Europe but here is a round-up of some of the latest developments from elsewhere in the world this morning:

  • India has reported 314,835 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours - the highest one day tally recorded anywhere in the world
  • Joe Biden has urged businesses in the United States to give their staff time off to get vaccinated against Covid-19. All Americans over 16 will be eligible for a jab from Monday
  • Argentina's health minister says the country is going through the worst period of the pandemic since the first cases were reported there just over a year ago
  • Two states in Australia have urged staff and guests in quarantine hotels to get tested and fully self-isolate, after the emergence of three suspected cases of travellers contracting the virus from other residents
  • Police in Cambodia have defended making arrests and punishing people by beating them for breaching tough new lockdown restrictions


In other developments:

  • President Biden hailed the US milestone of 200m vaccines delivered before the end of April , meeting the ambitious goal he set for his first 100 days in office.
  • Thailand has reported seven new deaths from Covid-19 on Thursday, its highest number of fatalities in a single day since the pandemic started, authorities said, as the country deals with its biggest coronavirus outbreak yet.
  • US drugmaker Pfizer on Wednesday confirmed that suspect doses of its coronavirus vaccine that were seized in Mexico and Poland were fake, with doses going for as much as $1,000 a shot, according to US media.
  • French-Austrian vaccine developer Valneva on Wednesday announced that it had launched a Phase 3 trial of its candidate vaccine against Covid-19 – the last testing stage before seeking regulatory approval.
  • The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 29,518 to 3,217,710, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Thursday. The reported death toll rose by 259 to 80,893, the tally showed.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 11:14

Driving tests resume but getting a date 'like gold dust'

For some learner drivers the wait for a test is over as they resume in parts of the UK - but many have spoken about the difficulties in securing a test date .
Tests have been suspended because of Covid restrictions since January but restart in England and Wales today.
Most centres are currently booked up until August, with a backlog of about 420,000 tests because of the pandemic.
Charlotte Dalton, 24 - who has had a test cancelled during every lockdown - says test slots are "like gold dust".
The mother-of-two says she has spent the past few months "logging on every day, every hour" to try to secure one.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency says it's doing "all we can to provide as many tests as possible to help clear the backlog as quickly as we can".

India sets global record for new cases amid oxygen shortage

India has reported 314,835 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours - the highest one day tally recorded anywhere in the world.
Deaths rose by 2,104 in the same time period, India's worst daily toll.
It brings the country's total confirmed cases close to 16 million, second only to the US's 31.9 million.
India is in the grip of a vicious second wave and an acute oxygen shortage is raising more fears about its overwhelmed health care system.
It has led Delhi's highest court to publicly criticise the central government for its handling of the oxygen crisis in the city.
"This is ridiculous. We want to know what the centre is doing with regard to oxygen supply across India," the judges said while reading out the verdict in a petition by the owner of six private hospitals.
The court has ordered the government to ensure safe passage of oxygen supplies from factories to hospitals across India.
A number of people across the country have died while waiting for oxygen, although it is not possible to know how many. Indian social media has also been filled with appeals for oxygen.
Read more here.

Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 11:20

More surge testing as another case of SA variant found

More surge testing is under way in England after the discovering of another case of the South Africa Covid-19 variant, the government says.
Households are being tested in Birmingham's Alum Rock, Glebe Farm and Tile Cross areas, says the Department of Health and Social Care.
The case is not thought to be linked to previous cases found in the area, the department says in a statement.
Hundreds of cases of the South African variant have been detected in the UK.
Last week, surge testing was introduced in a different part of the city after a single case of the same variant was uncovered there.
Read more on this story here.

Spain 'desperate' to welcome UK holidaymakers

Spain's tourism minister says the country is "desperate to welcome" UK visitors this summer.
Fernando Valdes tells Sky News: "I think we will be ready here in Spain.
"We also think that the vaccination scheme in the UK is going pretty well, so hopefully we'll be seeing this summer the restart of holidays."
He adds certificates enabling holidaymakers to prove they have either been vaccinated or recently tested are "going to help us".


Why India's second coronavirus wave is devastating

Rajeshwari Devi, 58, died on Sunday after waiting for two days to get uninterrupted oxygen, an ambulance and a bed in a Covid-19 hospital.
She kept waiting and gasping but it was too late by the time help arrived. She was taken to a hospital emergency room on 16 April after her oxygen saturation level dropped. Her CT scan showed that she had developed severe pneumonia.
But without her Covid report the hospital refused to admit her. She spent about 36 hours in the emergency room on oxygen support in the northern Indian district of Robertsganj. The staff there told her family they were running out of oxygen and she needed to be moved to a bigger hospital but there was no ambulance or any promise of a bed.
The desperate family took her in their car to a hospital where a bed had become available after the intervention of a politician. She had no oxygen support in the car - and Rajeshwari died minutes before she could be admitted to hospital.
Ashish Agrahari, her son, says his mother "would have had a chance at survival if treatment was given in time".
Heartbreaking stories such as this are coming in from across India as a second Covid wave wreaks havoc. Data suggests this wave is proving to be more infectious and deadlier in some states, although India's death rate from the virus is still relatively low.
But the county's healthcare system is crumbling amid the surge in cases - doctors say it's hard for them to "see the light at the end of the tunnel this time" .
Read more here.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 11:29

Kenya seeks more vaccines as Covax supply falters

Rhoda Odhiambo - BBC Africa Health, Nairobi
The Kenyan government is seeking to acquire two million doses of Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines to bolster its vaccination campaign.
Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe says the additional doses will be used to supplement the vaccines supplied through the United Nations-led Covax scheme.
Kenya has so far vaccinated more than 700,000 people with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The East African nation received just over a million doses through the global Covax scheme in early March.
But pharmaceutical manufacturing giant India recently decided to halt vaccine exports in order to prioritise its citizens – throwing Covax supply chains in doubt.
Many African governments have been forced to look elsewhere for future next batches.
AstraZeneca was an ideal choice for many, due to its easier storage requirements. The Pfizer vaccine might prove difficult to roll out in Kenya, as the country does not have the necessary cold-storage facilities.
However Kagwe says Kenya plans to buy the special fridges required to store the vaccines once they have been delivered.
Data from the government shows more men than women are taking the vaccines. But many members of the public are sceptical about being vaccinated.

First Covid case linked to Olympics torch relay in Japan

The organisers of the Tokyo Olympics have reported the first coronavirus infection linked to the torch relay through Japan.
Officials say a policeman controlling traffic during the Kagawa leg of the event five days ago has tested positive.
The organisers insist the relay, which involves around 10,000 runners passing through Japan's 47 prefectures, can be held safely. It's already been scrapped in several areas.
The announcement comes amid reports that Japan is preparing to declare a third state of emergency in Tokyo and three western districts amid a surge in new Covid cases.
The opening ceremony for the Olympics takes place on 23 July.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 11:36

What risk does the South Africa variant pose?

As we reported earlier, further surge testing is under way in England after the discovery of another case of the South Africa variant in Birmingham.
It follows testing in another area of the city last week and the "largest surge testing operation to date" in south London .
In the UK, there are hundreds cases of the South Africa strain.
It carries a mutation called N501Y, that appears to make it more contagious or easy to spread.
Another mutation, called E484K, could help the virus dodge a person's immune system and may affect how well coronavirus vaccines work.
A real-world data study in Israel - not yet peer-reviewed - found some people who had been fully vaccinated against Covid still caught the South Africa variant.
However, there is no evidence that the South Africa variant causes more serious illness for the vast majority of people who become infected.
Here's what we know about the risk of the South Africa variant.

China offers help to India as it battles record cases

Majid Nusrat - BBC Monitoring
The Chinese foreign ministry says the country is willing to provide support to India to tackle its second Covid-19 wave and a record surge in infections, Chinese state-affiliated news website The Paper reports.
"China has noted that the recent outbreak situation in India is serious and there is a temporary shortage of medical supplies for epidemic prevention," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin tells reporters.
"We are willing to provide the necessary support and assistance to the Indian side to control the epidemic.
"The novel coronavirus pandemic is the common enemy of all humanity, and the international community needs to unite and fight against it," Wang says.
India has reported 314,835 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours - the highest one-day tally recorded anywhere in the world. Deaths rose by 2,104 in the same time period, India's worst daily toll.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 12:01

Ireland: Holidays abroad back on cards by end of year for travellers with vaccine passports

Irish Post
Holidays abroad could be back on the cards later this year, provided travellers are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
People could jet off to one of several destinations across Europe before the end of 2021 thanks to the EU’s plans for a digital green certificate which will serve as a vaccine passport for holidaymakers.
The EU is expected to launch the new digital green certificate in June as part of a concerted effort to restart international travel and boost the tourism industry.
However, Leo Varadkar has advised the public to hold off on booking any summer holidays just yet.
Speaking at the launch of the Be Summer Ready water safety campaign, the Tanaiste said: “I’m somebody who really misses travel and would love to see my sister in London and would love to travel abroad and enjoy warm weather and the Mediterranean again.
“I just honestly think June is too soon. I think we need to get into a position where we have our economy and society largely open here first.
“You know, get back to hospitality being open here, religious services, outdoor gatherings, I think international travel comes after that.
“But I do want to say to people who work in the travel industry, who work in the aviation sector, I know how difficult all of this is.
“You didn’t expect to lose two summers. You lost one and you’re going to lose the bulk of another one unfortunately.
“And so long as it’s safe to do so, you can be sure that I’ll be one of the people making the case for return to international travel.
“When I say safe, it will never be 100 per cent safe. There will always be dangerous virus and variants out there, vaccines are never going to be 100 per cent but we’re just not there for June. It’s gonna be later in the summer or later in the year.”
Those warnings were echoed by Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said that while the EU green passport system will be in place from June that will likely be too soon for Ireland.
Coveney did, however, indicate that Ireland would begin a “cautious and gradual” return to international travel that could yet see some jet off later in the summer.
He said: “The message is clear and tough and consistent on international travel for now but I think there is some good news on the horizon on that but it’ll be some time before I think we see the benefits of that.”
Coveney added: “I think over the summer months we will see a gradual change to the advice on international travel but I certainly wouldn’t be advising anybody to be booking holidays.”

Hairdressers, click-and-collect and religous services to reopen in Ireland from start of next month

Ireland is accelerating its slow return to normality following news that three major sectors will be reopening next month.
Almost two weeks ago, the Government began relaxing restrictions for the first time in nearly four months.
While lockdown is expected to remain in place until the start of the summer, a number of other restrictions are going to be eased or even lifted over the coming weeks, so long as Covid-19 case numbers remain low.
Despite recent vaccine setbacks, Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar reportedly told colleagues during a parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday that the country is on course to begin the next stage of reopening on May 4.
It's understood that click-and-collect services, hairdressers and religious services will be available from next month.
In June, there are hopes that pubs and restaurants will be able to open again, with Varadkar noting earlier this week that the country was "on track" to have a summer similar to last year.
Mr Martin is believed to have told colleagues that he wants to ensure that whatever is opened, stays open.
The Taoiseach and Tánaiste also suggested that foreign holidays could be back on the cards, but not until the end of summer, and only for those who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Speaking about summer holidays at the launch of the Be Summer Ready water safety campaign, Mr Varadkar said: "I just honestly think June is too soon. I think we need to get into a position where we have our economy and society largely open here first.
"You know, get back to hospitality being open here, religious services, outdoor gatherings, I think international travel comes after that.
"But I do want to say to people who work in the travel industry, who work in the aviation sector, I know how difficult all of this is.
"You didn’t expect to lose two summers. You lost one and you’re going to lose the bulk of another one unfortunately."
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 13:30

What's gone wrong with Australia's vaccine rollout?

Australia has been one of the world's success stories in its fight against Covid-19, but frustration is growing over its delayed vaccination rollout.
The country has been slower than most others to immunise its population, with some high-risk groups crying out for protection.
Last month, it fell 85% short of its own target - and the lack of clarity around the process has been criticised.
Supply shortages and delivery problems have been blamed for the delays.
And while steps have been taken to speed up the programme - such as mass immunisation hubs and investment in local production - the government is seeing its success so far in battling Covid tarnished by its sluggish vaccination effort.
The rollout began in February and so far 1.6 million vaccine doses have been administered nationwide in a population of 25 million. That's well short of the four million dose goal originally set for March.
After initially saying all Australians would be fully vaccinated by October, the government kept pushing its timeline. Now, it's scrapped its target altogether.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says given the "many uncertainties involved" it is no longer possible to set an end-of-year vaccination goal.
Read the full story here.

Covid passports for UK travellers a 'priority' for government

Coronavirus passports for UK residents travelling internationally are being worked on as a "priority", the Department for Transport says.
The government is working on a scheme that will enable UK residents travelling overseas to prove to officials at their destination they have been vaccinated or recently tested.
Foreign holidays could be permitted for people living in England from as early as 17 May under Prime Minister Boris Johnson's road map for easing pandemic restrictions.
A DfT spokeswoman says: "We are working on a solution to enable residents to prove their Covid-19 status, including vaccination status, to other countries on the outbound leg.
"We are working on this as a priority and intend to have the solution ready as soon as possible."
Spain's tourism minister says the country is "desperate to welcome" UK visitors this summer.
Fernando Valdes has told Sky News: "I think we will be ready here in Spain."
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 13:44

Hungary opposition angry over proposed Covid emergency extension

Hungary's opposition parties have reacted angrily to a government proposal to extend the coronavirus emergency until September.
The draft legislation put before parliament on Wednesday would stop the six parties holding primaries to select the strongest candidate to challenge Viktor Orban's bid for re-election as prime minister next year.
Orban's Fidesz party has a two-thirds majority in parliament and will rubber-stamp the extension of the emergency.
Hungary, with a population of about 10 million, has so far recorded 760,967 infections and 26,001 deaths.

Fake Pfizer jabs 'going for $2.5k a shot'

Fake doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine have been sold in Mexico and Poland, the US drugmaker and an official say.
The fake vaccines have been going for as much as $2,500 (about £1,800) a shot.
In Mexico, some 80 people received the fake jab, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Despite the vaccines giving no protection against the virus, the jab did not appear to cause any physical harm.
Hugo Lopez-Gatell, Mexico's government spokesman on coronavirus, says the fake drugs were being advertised on social media. The vials were discovered in beer coolers, he adds.
In Poland, vials contained a cosmetic substance, thought to be anti-wrinkle cream, the company says.
"We are cognizant that in this type of environment - fuelled by the ease and convenience of e-commerce and anonymity afforded by the internet - there will be an increase in the prevalence of fraud, counterfeit and other illicit activity as it relates to vaccines and treatments for Covid-19," a Pfizer spokesperson told ABC News.

Covid in India: 'We are left with a sense of helplessness'

Vikas Pandey - BBC News, Delhi
My phone is constantly ringing with desperate friends and family asking for help to arrange beds and medicine. Some I am able to help, and some I can't.
I personally know of many cases where patients died because they couldn't get oxygen in time. It's heart-breaking for families to hear that the hospital where their loved ones are being treated may soon run out of oxygen.
Emergency intervention from the government has stopped any big disaster from happening so far, but there is an urgent need to give hospitals enough oxygen so they can sustain the increasing caseload.
But experts are asking why the government allowed the situation to become so dire.
The pandemic was in control in January but the lean period was not used to augment healthcare facilities.
And now people are paying a heavy price for it, and we are left with a sense of helplessness all around.
India reports world's highest daily Covid cases amid oxygen shortage
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 16:10

Half a million on Welsh NHS waiting lists

More than half a million people are now waiting for treatment on NHS waiting lists in Wales after record backlogs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Most non-urgent treatment was postponed in March 2020 to prepare the NHS for Covid patients.
New figures show that as of February, waiting lists had hit record levels with 549,353 awaiting treatment or surgery - a 19% rise in a year.
This is the equivalent of 17% of the Welsh population.
The figures, published by Stats Wales, also show almost 218,000 had been waiting more than 36 weeks - nine months - for treatment by February this year.
Read more


Inquiry into leak of PM and Dyson ventilator texts


Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 94887a10

The UK Government has announced an internal inquiry into the leak of text messages between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and businessman Sir James Dyson over the supply of ventilators during the pandemic.
Copies of the texts were published by the BBC yesterday.
In the messages the prime minister, who had asked Sir James to help build ventilators for the NHS, said he would "fix" an issue surrounding the tax status of Dyson employees who came to the UK to design and build the equipment.
The PM's official spokesman says "we have instructed the Cabinet Office to look into this" adding "it will be done by the Cabinet Office".
The subject of the inquiry will be "the source of leaks of private communication of the Prime Minister as relates to the issue of Sir James Dyson", he says.
Here's the latest on the Dyson lobbying row.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 16:14

Syria receives first batch of vaccines through Covax facility

A shipment of 203,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have arrived in Syria's capital, Damascus, as part of the World Health Organization-backed global Covax initiative.
The first batch will be allocated to healthcare workers in government-held areas of the war-torn country, as well as those in the Kurdish-controlled north-east. A separate batch of 53,800 doses arrived in the opposition-held north-west yesterday.
The WHO’s head of mission in Syria, Dr Akjemal Magtymova, says the deliveries gave “hope for the people in Syria, whose lives have been shattered by a decade of conflict and the devastating impact of the pandemic”. He adds the aim is to protect about 20% of the population by the end of 2021.
The government began vaccinating frontline medics with doses received from an unnamed “friendly country” at the end of February.
Health authorities in Syria have reported 21,500 cases of Covid-19 and 1,483 deaths since the start of the pandemic. But the actual figures are believed to be far higher because of limited testing.
The UN said recently that after a relative tapering off of reported cases in February, the numbers had again surged, possibly indicating the emergence of a third wave.

At least 1,000 people wrongly isolated as schools roll out tests

Robert Cuffe - BBC head of statistics
Figures from Test and Trace England released today show most positive rapid tests in secondary schools that could be checked by PCR were confirmed to be correct.
People are advised to get a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test to confirm the result of a lateral flow test.
Overall, 3,964 people have had their rapid test checked in this way so far, with 2,824 (71%) being confirmed as a correct detection.
But that does mean at least 1,000 people have been incorrectly told to isolate so far – and maybe more who didn’t have their rapid test checked.
You can read more about the types of tests and how to get therm here.

English cases at lowest levels since early September - Test & Trace

A total of 18,050 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England at least once in the week to 14 April, according to the latest Test and Trace figures.
This is down 9% on the previous week and is the lowest number since the week to 2 September 2020.
Of the 15,306 people transferred to the Test and Trace system in the week to 14 April, 89.8% were reached and asked to provide details of recent close contacts.
This is up slightly from 88.1% in the previous week.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 16:19

Modi chairs emergency meeting amid world record cases in India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired an emergency meeting to address the acute shortage of oxygen at hospitals which are struggling to treat rising numbers of coronavirus patients.
Officials are exploring ways of producing greater quantities of oxygen and speeding up its delivery.
India has recorded the world's highest ever daily increase in Covid cases , with 314,835 in the last 24 hours, while deaths rose by 2,104.
Some hospitals warned that oxygen stocks were so low they were in danger of running out. Looting and racketeering has also been reported in the scramble to get supplies.
The Supreme Court has directed the government to produce a national plan to address the shortage.

European Commission considering suing AstraZeneca

The European Commission is considering suing the British-Swedish vaccine maker AstraZeneca for failing to deliver as much coronavirus vaccine as it promised.
Commission spokesman Eric Mamer says no decision has been taken yet, but one EU diplomat says the Commission wants member states to give the proposed lawsuit the green light by the end of the week.
But he says countries are wary of adding to the existing reluctance to take the jab.
The Commission also says it will not take up its option for an extra 100 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, on top of the 300 million it has ordered.
AstraZeneca has so far delivered only a tenth of that amount, and has warned it's unlikely to supply more than a third of the total by the end of the year.

Illegal partygoers 'misled Covid contact-tracers'

Revellers in Wales who partied illegally misled contact-tracers after the gathering led to an outbreak of Covid-19, officials have said.
At least six people who went to the party at Derwen Fawr, in Swansea, later tested positive for coronavirus and 13 more people are being tested.
Efforts to track everyone connected to the party were thwarted by partygoers claiming they had not been in the city and that the party took place elsewhere.
Residents at the house also denied it had happened at first, prompting further investigations that involved police.
Dr Keith Reid, of Swansea Bay health board, said: "The behaviour demonstrated by the individuals in this case is extremely disappointing.
"Not only did their decision to hold a party put others at risk, but they made matters worse by then misleading contact tracers."
Read more on this story and the rules on gatherings here.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 16:22

German football clubs to enter quarantine camps for final fixtures


Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 20070710
Bayern Munich look set to become German champions for the ninth consecutive season

The top 36 football clubs in Germany will be required to enter compulsory "quarantine training camps" for the last two match days of the Bundesliga season.
The German Football League said the move was to ensure the fixture schedule is completed on time ahead of the European Championships, which start on 11 June.
Clubs in the first and second Bundesliga will go into the camp from 12 May to 23 May.
Germany is currently grappling with a third wave of the coronavirus.
Hertha Berlin were ordered into a two-week quarantine last week after several players tested positive.


What are the coronavirus rules across the UK?

As we reported earlier, driving tests have today resumed in parts of the UK as coronavirus restrictions continue to be eased.
And on Monday, pubs and gyms will reopen in Scotland as part of a significant easing of the lockdown.
But what are the rules across the UK right now and what is set to change in the coming weeks and months?
Read our explainer here

Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 16:28

Covid in India: 'It feels like we're back to square one'

"I think we've gone back to how things were at this point last year. We're back to square one."
For Ushma Shah, like many in India, it's a strange time with the rise in coronavirus cases in the country.
"I'm trying to go through this situation with a little bit of positivity, but things are not the best," the 24-year-old tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.
After lower numbers earlier this year and things looking up, India is now experiencing a major surge in Covid infections and deaths.
Places such as the capital city Delhi and Mumbai, where Ushma's from, are under restrictions to cope with a rise in cases.
Some areas have reported a shortage of hospital beds, oxygen and drugs to treat people.
Ushma says many in India have been guilty of not following Covid safety rules in the past few months.
"It's been a year and people's frustration levels have spiked with the cases spiking.
"All of us in some way are at fault. But the only way out is that individual effort to follow the rules."
Read more here.

Case against AstraZeneca has started, Ireland Health Minister says

Ireland's Health Minister has said a legal case has now been started by the European Commission against AstraZeneca.
Stephen Donnelly has told the Irish Parliament the case was being pursued due to the firm's "complete failure" to meet its contractual agreements.
Donnelly says: "With regards to AstraZeneca, a legal case has been initiated by the Commission.
"Earlier this week, I have joined Ireland as one of the parties to that case, specifically around AstraZeneca's complete failure to meet its delivery contractual agreements for April, May and June."
His comments come after Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said a decision was yet to be made over whether to sue the British-Swedish vaccine maker, as we reported within the past hour.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 16:32

People 'left in limbo' over second Covid jabs

People in an English town say they are "in limbo" over when they will get their second Covid jabs, despite waiting longer than the recommended time.
Government guidance says everyone should be offered a second vaccine dose within 12 weeks of the first jab to be fully vaccinated against the virus.
But Keith Farrow, 75, who lives in Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, says his 12-week wait was up on Sunday 18 April and he is still waiting.
Another local resident has told the BBC they feel they have been "left in limbo", while others say they are concerned that delays could make them more vulnerable to Covid-19.
Deputy chief nurse Rebecca Neno, from NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said "immunity doesn't just end at 12 weeks".
She adds: "The deliveries of vaccines don't always match exactly to the 12-week interval between vaccinations.
"Some people get called a few weeks early - some get called a few weeks later."
Read the full story here.

Tunisia running out of beds as cases surge

Hospitals in Tunisia are reported to have run out of intensive care beds as the country struggles to cope with a surge in coronavirus cases.
"The situation is very critical, medical staff are exhausted, ICUs have reached their maximum capacity and deaths are on the rise," says Amenallah Messadi, a member of a scientific committee that advises the government.
He blames the surge in cases on the spread of the Covid variant that was first detected in Britain.
The government has closed all schools until 30 April and banned people from driving cars at night to restrict movement.
Tunisia has recorded about 10,000 deaths since the pandemic began.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 16:35

Lockdown easing in NI and Republic of Ireland 'not aligned'

Jayne McCormack - BBC News NI political reporter

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 71302f10
Taoiseach Micheál Martin told NI business leaders he was in regular contact with Stormont's first and deputy ministers about the pace of reopening

The easing of lockdown restrictions in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will not be perfectly aligned, Taoiseach Micheál Martin says.
Some measures will be eased in NI on Friday , but the Irish government is not due to announce relaxations until next month.
Martin has been telling NI business leaders he is in regular contact with Stormont's first and deputy ministers about the pace of reopening.
"We keep each other informed," he says.
"But I don't see perfect alignment or anything in the next number of weeks. There will be some gaps."
He says this is primarily down to the differences in the speed of vaccination programmes in the two jurisdictions.
Read more


Digital vaccine certificates 'not near yet'

Scotland is working on a digital system to allow people to prove their Covid vaccination status, public health officials say.
This means Scotland will be "ready to join" an international vaccination passport programme.
But, national clinical director Prof Jason Leitch says compiling the information is complex and "we're not near yet".
He says paper "proof" - similar to that given to people in England - was "not a satisfactory solution".
Prof Leitch confirms all four UK countries are discussing the joint digital system.
Here's more information on vaccine passports.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 16:40

Vaccine uptake among over 50s hits 95% in England

The number of over 50s vaccinated has now hit 95% in England, NHS data shows.
The take-up among those aged 45-49 is at 59% after they started being offered the jab earlier this month.
But uptake among care home staff - one of the first groups to be offered the jab - is still at about 80%, despite attempts to get more to come forward.
Latest figures show more than 33 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine with more than 10 million having received both doses.
Read more on the vaccine figures here .


Breaking News

UK records 18 more Covid deaths

A further 18 people have died with coronavirus in the UK, today's government data shows.
It brings the total number of people to die in the 28 days following a positive Covid-19 test to 127,345.
A total of 2,729 new infections have also been recorded.

A quarter of care staff are not vaccinated, figures show

We've been bringing you updates on the number of people who have had been jabbed so far - and more than 400,000 members of England's adult social care workforce have not received a coronavirus vaccine, figures suggest.
Some 80.4% of eligible staff working at older adult care homes had received the jab by 18 April, NHS England says.
A total of 72.3% of staff working in independent Care Quality Commission-registered younger adult care homes and domiciliary care providers have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
For social care staff working in other settings in England, including non-registered providers, the figure is 69.4%.
Overall, about 1.17 million out of 1.58 million social care staff in these settings have received a first dose, according to analysis by the PA news agency.
This leaves 417,989 social care staff (26.4% of the total) who have not been vaccinated or whose vaccination has not yet been reported.
The figures come as the Government has opened a public consultation on a proposal for staff to be required to get a jab as a condition of employment to protect elderly residents.

How many people have been vaccinated in the UK?

A total of 44,450,252 coronavirus vaccinations have been given in the UK, government figures show.
That's 33,257,651 first doses and 11,192,601 second doses.
That's an increase of 416,784 second doses and 117,909 first doses since we brought you the equivalent statistics this time yesterday.
Find out when you will get your vaccine here.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 16:44

Covid reaches Mount Everest


Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 D6cd5610

A Norwegian climber hoping to summit Everest has confirmed he has tested positive for coronavirus.
"My diagnosis is Covid-19," Erlend Ness has told the AFP news agency in a Facebook message. "I'm doing ok now... The hospital is taking care (of me)."
The climber was evacuated from the slopes by helicopter and taken to a hospital in Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, after spending time at Everest base camp.
A sherpa in the camp has also tested positive, Norwegian broadcaster NRK reports.
"I really hope that none of the others get infected with corona high up in the mountains. It is impossible to evacuate people with a helicopter when they're above 8,000m," Ness tells NRK.
The high altitude makes the danger of Covid-19 - which can affect breathing - far worse.
The events come as a blow to Nepal's hopes of fully relaunching its mountaineering season.
You can read about the risks of catching coronavirus outdoors here.

Tynwald backs plan to reopen Isle of Man border

A plan to reopen the Isle of Man's border to non-residents has been backed by the Manx parliament.
It includes a phased relaxation of the border closure from 1 May to allow family to visit under strict conditions.
And the government's revised exit framework sets a date of 28 June for the lifting of all Covid-19 restrictions including mandatory isolation on arrival.
The island's border was closed to most non-residents in March 2020.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle says aspects of the plan "may need to change" in response to any "unexpected challenges" thrown up by the pandemic.
Backing the plan, Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan says the island now needs to move towards releasing border restrictions "for the health, wealth and sanity of the nation".
Here's the full story.
Meanwhile, pregnant women on the Isle of Man are to be offered a coronavirus vaccination , the health minister has confirmed.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 18:27

Probe finds outbreak in Hong Kong linked to door hooks

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 4b43ac10
People line up to be tested in Hong Kong

Over the past week, there has been concern in Hong Kong after a couple of locally-transmitted cases of Covid-19 were identified involving a mutant strain. One of the patients had no history of travel, and the other had already completed 21 days of quarantine after arriving from Dubai.
On Monday, health officials in Hong Kong warned there could be a potential surge of cases as a result of these new cases, and a compulsory testing order was issued in part of the city. The authorities announced they were investigating how these two patients might have been infected.
Today, South China Morning Post says the probe has concluded, and that experts determined transmission was “likely to have taken place at a quarantine hotel via door hooks used by staff to deliver meal boxes to guests”.
The head of Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection says specialists found no problem with the hotel’s ventilation or drainage system, so the focus turned to S-shaped hooks for hanging food deliveries on, which were “hard to clean”. Hong Kong government advisor Professor David Hui says virus particles “could stay on metal surfaces such as door handles for two to three days”.
All designated quarantine hotels have now been told to place meals on chairs, rather than on hooks. However, some specialists question the door handle theory, with one respiratory specialist telling SCMP they think “it’s more likely the patients exhaled virus particles into narrow corridors”.
Hong Kong has been trying to avoid a local outbreak by implementing compulsory quarantines for overseas arrivals, and temporarily banning flights from high-risk countries, like India, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Laos locks down capital over Covid cluster


Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 E3eef710
Vientiane, Laos

Laos has introduced tough lockdown restrictions in its capital and closed its international borders to most traffic due to a Covid cluster in neighbouring Thailand.
People living in the capital Vientiane cannot leave the city and only those with permission can enter. Residents can also leave the house for essential food shopping, hospital visits and other authorised tasks. The restrictions last until 5 May.
It comes as 28 new cases were confirmed yesterday and six more today, bringing the overall count to 94 - meaning about a third of the cases recorded in the nation since the pandemic began have been in the past two days.
The government-owned Vientiane Times reported 26 of yesterday's 28 new cases had contact with a student who had caught the virus from a Thai man.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 18:34

Which areas are being mass tested for variants?

Households in various of areas of Birmingham are being asked to take Covid-19 PCR tests after a small number of cases of the South Africa variant were found in the city. The cases are not thought to be connected to each other.
People aged over 16 in the Alum Rock, Glebe Farm and Tile Cross wards of Birmingham
are the latest to be targeted.
Testing has already been introduced for people aged 16 and over who live or work in the Ladywood, Soho and Jewellery Quarter wards .
In addition, everybody aged 11 years and over who lives in, works in, or travels through the London boroughs of Lambeth and Wandsworth is being asked to take a PCR test.
Forty-four confirmed cases, and 30 probable cases, of the South Africa variant have been found
in the area.
All identified cases are self-isolating, or have completed their isolation. Their contacts have been traced and asked to isolate.
People living in certain parts of SE16 in the London Borough of Southwark
are also being contacted - after a case linked to the Lambeth/Wandsworth cluster was identified.
Surge testing linked to the South Africa variant is also taking place in parts of:

You can find out about surge testing and the new variants here.

Africa urged not to destroy out-of-date Covid jabs

Rhoda Odhiambo - BBC health reporter, Nairobi
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC) are urging African countries not to destroy Covid-19 vaccines that have expired.
The WHO is asking countries on the continent to hold on to expired stock and wait for further guidance.
The call comes after Malawi and South Sudan said they would discard more than 70,000 doses of the AstraZeneca jab that were out of date.
The Africa CDC says it has spoken to the manufacturer and has been reassured the vaccines are still safe.
Many vaccines can be used up to 36 months after manufacture but, because Covid-19 jabs are so new, there is not enough data to prove their effectiveness over longer periods.
Whatever the guidance, the final decision rests with national drug regulators.
However, the issue will further increase the challenges around persuading people on the continent to get vaccinated.
The rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in Africa has been slow, partly because of supply issues and scepticism about the jab.
Out of 55 African countries, 41 have benefited from the delivery of vaccines via the global-sharing scheme Covax. Seven are yet to receive their first batch.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 22nd April 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Apr 22 2021, 18:38

Round-up from around the globe

We'll be wrapping up the live page for the day shortly, thanks for joining us. Here's a round-up of some of the biggest stories from around the world today:

  • India has recorded the highest one-day tally of new Covid-19 cases anywhere in the world - and the country's highest number of deaths over 24 hours
  • US pharmaceutical company Pfizer says it has identified counterfeit versions of its coronavirus vaccine in Mexico and Poland
  • Ireland's Health Minister has said a legal case has been started by the European Commission against AstraZeneca for failing to deliver as much coronavirus vaccine as it promised
  • Hospitals in Tunisia are reported to have run out of intensive care beds as the country struggles to cope with a surge in cases
  • A Norwegian climber hoping to summit Everest has confirmed he has tested positive for coronavirus
  • The top 36 football clubs in Germany will be required to enter compulsory "quarantine training camps" for the last two match days of the Bundesliga season
  • The organisers of the Tokyo Olympics have reported the first coronavirus infection linked to the torch relay through Japan


What's been happening in the UK?

And as we come towards the end of our updates, here's a recap of the day's main pandemic news in the UK:


Goodbye

Thank you for joining us for live coronavirus news, we will have more for you tomorrow.
Your updates today were written by Alex Therrien, Ella Wills, George Wright and Jennifer Meierhans.
They were edited by James Clarke.

    Current date/time is Mon May 17 2021, 14:29