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Coronavirus - 30th April 2021


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Post by Kitkat Fri Apr 30 2021, 17:47

Summary for Friday, 30th April

  • Coronavirus infections in the UK are back to levels seen at the end of last summer, ONS data suggests
  • The R value in England is estimated to be between 0.8 and 1.1
  • About 22 million people in UK are now living in areas which had zero Covid deaths in April, BBC analysis shows
  • All people over 40 in England are being invited for vaccination, as 90% of over-45s have received at least one jab
  • Shops, gyms, pubs, restaurants and cafes in Northern Ireland are reopening - but hospitality is outdoors only
  • Liverpool will hold the first pilot of a live music event, with an audience of 3,000 people and no social distancing
  • India sees the world's biggest recorded one-day rise in infections as Delhi runs short of sites for cremations
  • Covid-19 deaths have passed 400,000 in Brazil, which has the second-highest death toll in the world

Good morning and welcome to today’s live coverage of the pandemic. We’ll be bringing you updates throughout the day, but here’s a quick summary of the headlines:

  • About 22 million people in the UK are living in areas which saw zero reported Covid deaths in April , BBC analysis shows. This “give us confidence” as the country carefully eases restrictions, one expert said.
  • All people aged 40 and over in England are being invited to book their Covid vaccinations . It comes as NHS England said 90% of people over-45 have had at least one jab.
  • Shops and gyms are reopening in Northern Ireland , while pubs, restaurants and cafes will be able to serve outside from today.
  • But across the UK, bar and restaurant owners say they are struggling to recruit staff for reopening , with many hospitality workers having left the industry or moved out of the UK.
  • Amazon has reported a huge rise in sales and a tripling of profits in the first three months of the year , as the online retailer continues to benefit from the home delivery boom during the pandemic.
  • Police in Delhi have asked local authorities to identify more sites for cremation as India tackles its Covid surge . The nation reported the world’s biggest one-day rise in infections on Thursday, with 386,452 recorded.
  • And deaths in Brazil from Covid-19 have passed 400,000 as the country struggled with its vaccine rollout. Congress has opened an inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic.
  • India posted a record daily rise in coronavirus cases of 386,452, while deaths from Covid-19 jumped by 3,498 over the last 24 hours, according to health ministry data.
  • Several Indian states have run out of Covid-19 vaccines a day before a planned widening of a nationwide inoculation drive, authorities have said.
  • Indian scientists have appealed in an open letter to prime minister Narendra Modi to publicly release virus data that they say would allow them to save lives.
  • British bank Barclays says it has rushed out £1m ($1.4m) worth of medical supplies to India in the last week.
  • Ukraine will impose an entry ban on non-nationals arriving from India from 2 May.
  • Uganda has detected the Indian variant of the novel coronavirus, igniting fears the nation could suffer a resurgence of cases just when its outbreak has waned.
  • Shops and pubs, restaurants and cafes with outdoor service have started to reopen in Northern Ireland after four months of lockdown. Its vaccination programme is also to be opened up to some 30- to 34-year-olds
  • Access to vaccinations in England has been expanded again – with all over-40s being offered the opportunity to book their jabs.
  • A new survey suggests that 31% of people in the UK believe vaccine passports will reduce civil liberties. That number is up from 25% when people were asked the same question last month.
  • In Ireland, drinkers may be able to enjoy a pint inside a pub by the end of July and holiday abroad in late summer, prime minister Micheál Martin has said.
  • Hopes are rising in Germany that the country has managed to flatten the curve of its third wave of the pandemic, as the latest infection rates defy worst-case predictions from earlier this spring.
  • AstraZeneca’s CEO Pascal Soriot told a media briefing that the company did its best to deliver as much as it could to the EU. “We never overpromised, we communicated what we thought we would achieve at the time,” he said.
  • In Cambodia a court has jailed three people, including a top police general, for more than a year for violating Covid-19 restrictions by attending a party.
  • Russia’s agricultural regulator has said that Russia has produced the world’s first batch – 17,000 doses – of Covid-19 vaccines for animals.

What's the latest across Europe?

  • Portugal lifts lockdown restrictions imposed in January at midnight on all but eight municipalities, after seeing infection rates fall to the lowest level in the European Union. The border with Spain will reopen for essential travel after several months, sport will be allowed without spectators and from tomorrow restaurants can stay open until 22:30.
  • France begins its four-phase reopening from Monday, President Emmanuel Macron has told local newspapers. From Monday you can travel without restriction beyond the 10km (6 mile) current limit. Then from 19 May museums, cinemas and theatres will reopen and people can eat outdoors. On 9 June you can eat indoors, sport resumes outdoors with a health pass, the curfew is put back to 23:00, and foreign visitors can return with a health pass. The remainder of restrictions are set to be lifted on 30 June.
  • Ireland is also bringing in a phased reopening over six weeks from 10 May, when hairdressers and click-and-collect shopping can resume. Travel will be allowed outside your own county for the first time since Christmas and up to 50 people will be allowed at weddings and funerals.
  • Ukraine is barring entry to foreign nationals travelling from India from midnight tomorrow. It has recorded another 10,000 infections in 24 hours.
  • The Dutch government has decided to allow 3,500 people in to watch all the rehearsals of the Eurovision Song Contest next month as well as all three TV shows. That’s 20% capacity of the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, but tickets will only be available with a negative test and a face mask for people who bought them for last year’s cancelled contest. The big days are the semi-finals on 18 and 20 May and the final on 22 May.
  • A hospital in the Romanian capital Bucharest is organising a vaccination marathon for four days from next Thursday for anyone without an appointment. The western city of Timisoara held one last week and vaccinated 6,700 people.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Apr 30 2021, 17:54

Police hunt nine men after violence at anti-lockdown protest

Police are searching for nine men after violence at anti-lockdown protests in London last Saturday.
The Metropolitan Police said 14 officers were injured as they attempted to disperse a crowd of about 100 people who remained at the end of the protest.
Police said the crowd was listening to music and gathered closely together in breach of coronavirus regulations. But when police asked the crowd to leave, they said they came under "sustained and violent attack".
Det Ch Insp Nat Norris described the violence against officers as "some of the worst I have seen in recent years", with missiles thrown at police.
Five of the officers required medical attention, the Met said.
“These officers were simply trying to do their job and it can never be acceptable for them to be attacked in this way," Det Ch Insp Norris said.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Apr 30 2021, 17:58

Delhi running out of space to cremate Covid dead

Officials in the Indian capital have been urged to find more sites for cremations as local morgues and crematoriums are overwhelmed by Covid deaths.
A second wave of the virus is ravaging parts of India, with almost 400,000 new cases reported on Thursday - another record increase for any country.
There were another 3,500 deaths nationwide on Thursday and nearly 400 in Delhi. The total number of infections in the country has now passed 18 million.
A senior Delhi police officer said people were having to cremate family members in crematoriums not designated to take Covid victims . "That's why we suggested more crematoriums should be set up," the officer said..
An emergency consignment of oxygen concentrators, ventilators and other medical supplies has arrived from the US. It is the latest international aid to reach the country. But oxygen supplies and hospital beds remain in desperately short supply.
The central government is facing mounting criticism over its handling of the pandemic and its decision to allow large election rallies and religious festivals to go ahead in recent weeks.

Brazil passes 400,000 deaths

The number of Covid-related deaths in Brazil has passed 400,000, the second-highest in the world, as the country continues to struggle with vaccinations.
There were 3,001 deaths in 24 hours , down from a peak of more than 4,000 in early April. The 14-day average of deaths and cases remains high despite a slight decline.
President Jair Bolsonaro, who has frequently spoken out against lockdowns, masks and defended unproved drugs as treatment, is facing widespread criticism and his support has plummeted.
The outbreak has been fuelled by more transmissible variants of the virus and a lack of national measures.
The situation has improved in many areas, including where the health system was on the brink of collapse, after states and cities imposed restrictions, but they are already being eased.
The occupancy rate in intensive care unit remains at or above 90% in more than a third of the states.
Meanwhile, some cities have had to temporarily halt their vaccination programmes amid a shortage of doses.

Kenyan anti-vaccine doctor dies of Covid

Rhoda Odhiambo - BBC health reporter, Nairobi
A prominent Kenyan doctor who became an anti-vaccine campaigner and conspiracy theorist has died from the disease.
Dr Stephen Karanja said it was unnecessary to vaccinate Kenyans against Covid-19.
Instead, he argued for steam inhalation and a cocktail of drugs, including hydroxychloroquine and zinc.
He also spread conspiracy theories, involving Bill Gates and population control.
Dr Karanja died on Thursday in the high-dependency unit of a private hospital in the capital Nairobi.
More than 800,000 Kenyans have now been vaccinated, with no severe side effects being reported.
Before his death, Dr Karanja was the chair of the Catholic Doctors Association, which described him “as a true medical soldier”.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Apr 30 2021, 18:14

Australians stuck overseas feel abandoned

Frances Mao - Sydney

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Mandeep is stuck in the Punjab region of India and can't fly back to Adelaide

Mandeep Sharma feels utterly deserted by his government.
He is one of the 9,000 Australian nationals stranded in India right now, left to fend for themselves after Canberra this week banned all flights from the pandemic-ravaged nation until mid-May.
He has a wife and two daughters in Adelaide and fears their separation could drag on for months. Catching Covid in India is also a real risk.
The Australian government's flight ban was the latest action taken to keep the virus out of the country. Infection rates are near zero, and Australia has had far fewer fatalities than most countries, thanks to strict border controls and quarantine measures.
Still, those policies have left many Australians locked out. The ban on Indian arrivals marked an escalation - the first time the country has stopped evacuations and blocked citizens from returning home altogether. It's intensified calls for more to be done to get Australians home.
Why can't so many Australian go home? Read the full story.

Most of Europe should open to UK travellers, says Easyjet

Most of Europe should be open for travellers from the UK under the government's planned easing of flight restrictions, EasyJet boss Johan Lundgren has said.
But he told the BBC the "clock is ticking" and airlines need clarity, with the list of permitted destinations yet to be published ahead of the expected relaxing of travel curbs next month .
It is expected the government will use a traffic light system to rank countries with high vaccination rates and other data, showing which are suitable for travel.
Mr Lundgren will use a speech later today to detail research from Yale University experts which suggest that unrestricted travel to some of the most popular holiday destinations would only increase hospital admissions by 4%.
He will say the research suggests much of Europe, including key destinations such as Spain, Portugal and Greece, should be "green" in the traffic light system.
"As the rest of the economy emerges from this lockdown with some precautions in place, there is no reason why the same is not possible for travel," he is due to say, crediting the progress of the vaccination rollout.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Apr 30 2021, 18:17

Crowds of 10,000 to attend Heineken Champions Cup final at Twickenham

Crowds of up to 10,000 people will be able to attend the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals at Twickenham next month.
The home of English rugby has been selected as the venue for the finals of the European Rugby Union competitions, due to take place on 21 and 21 May. The matches were originally scheduled to take place in Marseille.
No team from England's Gallagher Premiership has made it through to the semi-finals of the Champions Cup, but Leicester and Bath are still competing for the second-tier Challenge Cup.
It will be the first time that supporters have been allowed into Twickenham since 6 December, when 2,000 spectators were present for a match between England and France.

France sets out reopening plan

Under a plan outlined by President Emmanuel Macron, France will start easing coronavirus restrictions in four stages:

  • Next week secondary schools will return to in-person classes and a ban on travelling more than 10km (six miles) from home will end
  • On 19 May, an existing 19:00 curfew will be pushed back to 21:00. Non-essential shops, cinemas and museums will be able to reopen, as well outside cafes and restaurants
  • On 9 June restaurants and bars can bring customers back inside, and the curfew will be pushed back still further. A "health pass" will be introduced for those attending large events, and for foreign tourists entering France
  • On 30 June, the curfew will be lifted completely but nightclubs will remain shut

President Macron reserved the option of imposing an emergency brake in regions where the virus runs out of control.
France entered a third national lockdown on 3 April, as the surge threatened to overwhelm hospitals.
The daily number of new cases has fallen since then, from around 40,000 to 27,000 on average over the past week.

Sri Lanka bans public events amid spike in cases

Sri Lanka has announced a ban on all public events, including weddings and large religious services, for the next two weeks.
The ban will be in force from Monday. The island, which moved quickly to stem a first wave of infections last year, is now reporting more than 1,000 new cases a day following the Sinhala and Tamil New Year in mid-April.
Nearby India is experiencing a devastating surge after its government decided to allow election rallies and religious festivals to go ahead in recent weeks.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Apr 30 2021, 18:19

Breaking News 

UK infections nearly down to 1-in-1000 people

Robert Cuffe - BBC head of statistics
Estimates from the ONS survey suggest that about 66,000 people in the UK would test positive for coronavirus in the week to 24 April - down from 105,000 people the previous week.
This is 0.1% of the population – or one in 975 people.
The ONS also says that infections “decreased” in every nation of the UK.
Here's the breakdown across the UK:
England: 1-in-1010 are estimated to be testing positive for coronavirus Vs 1-in-610 last week.
Wales: 1-in-1,570 vs 1-in-840
Northern Ireland: 1-in-940 vs 1-in-660
Scotland: 1-in-640 vs 1-in-560

An Indian nurse's battle to keep patients alive

As a deadly second coronavirus sweeps through India, nurse Viveki Kapoor tells the BBC how the virus has changed her life:
"I'm the nurse in-charge at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Covid ward in a private Delhi hospital and I supervise the work of 25 nurses. Since the pandemic began, many staff quit, they said our salaries were so low and not worth the risk.
"The second wave has brought a flood of patients. Like all other Delhi hospital, ours also had to turn away so many after we filled up.
"Our workload has gone up five times. All the nurses are now putting in extra hours. We always come on time, but we are never able to leave on time.
I've been a nurse for 22 years but what is unfolding now is unprecedented. Now I'm so tired at the end of the day, that I can fall sleep anywhere. I don't even need a bed anymore."
Read Veveki Kapoor's story in full.

Japan's Olympics chief mulls Games behind closed doors

The head of the organising committee for this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo says the event could take place behind closed doors with no spectators.
Seiko Hashimoto told AFP news agency: "The only way that we can call the Games a success is if we completely protect the lives and health of athletes and the people of Japan."
A final decision on fans is expected in June. Overseas visitors have already been banned from travelling to watch the Olympics, which begin in July.
This week the organising committee issued a series of strict rules for competitors, including taking two tests before going to Japan.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Apr 30 2021, 18:24

Clubbers to return to the dance floor for trial event

UK clubbers are to return to the dance floor for the first time since the pandemic began, as part of a trial event to see how venues can reopen .
Some 6,000 people will attend a two-day event in Liverpool on Friday and Saturday.
Ticket holders won't need to socially distance or wear face coverings, but they'll have to have a negative Covid test result before being allowed in.
Organisers are stressing the events do not carry a risk to public health, with experts to use it to look at whether crowds mixing indoors increases the transmission of the virus.
The First Dance event, which is part of the government's Events Research Programme, will be at the Bramley-Moore Dock warehouse.
Sven Väth, the Blessed Madonna and Jayda G are all performing on Friday night, with Fatboy Slim headlining the Saturday night event.

When will restrictions ease where I live?

With shops, cafes, pubs and gyms reopening in Northern Ireland today it might be a good time for a reminder of what the rules are around the UK .
Up to 15 people can meet outdoors in Northern Ireland, while self-contained accommodation can also reopen.
The next stage of easing in Northern Ireland will happen on 24 May at the earliest. This will see the resumption of indoor hospitality and some indoor mixing, as well as the reopening of hotels.
In Wales, gyms, fitness facilities and community centres can reopen from Monday.
From 17 May, subject to Welsh government approval, indoor hospitality and attractions such as museums should be able to reopen.
On that same day, Scotland is due to further ease its restrictions, allowing up to four people from two households to socialise indoors in a private home. Also, some businesses may be allowed to serve alcohol indoors.
The next easing of lockdown in England is also due on 17 May with six people from two households allowed to meet indoors, as well as up to 30 allowed to meet outside.
Domestic overnight stays and indoor hospitality will also be allowed.
For more on the rules in your area, use our postcode look up tool here .

Man arrested for faking Covid-19 check-in QR codes

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A man allegedly replaced official Covid-19 QR codes with fake ones

A man has been arrested after allegedly placing fake QR labels over official Covid-19 check-in signs in Australia.
When customers used their smartphones to check-in at places in South Plympton, Adelaide, they were instead directed to an anti-vaccination website.
Colin Mark Davies, 51, has been charged with two counts of obstructing operations related to Covid-19.
His lawyer said he "wanted to get his message out to the public".
In Australia, anyone found tampering with Covid-19 QR codes faces arrest and a penalty of up to $10,000 (£5,577).
We've got the full story here.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Apr 30 2021, 18:42

What's been happening?

Here's a quick lunchtime round-up of what's happened so far today:

Breaking News 

England's R number rises slightly

The coronavirus reproduction number, or R value, has crept up in England and is now estimated to be between 0.8 and 1.1 according to the latest government figures .
Last week the estimate was between 0.8 and 1.0.
The R value represents the number of people each person with Covid-19 will go on to infect.
When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially, but when it is below 1, it means the epidemic is shrinking.
An R number between 0.8 and 1.1 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 8 and 11 other people.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Apr 30 2021, 18:47

Higher clot rate in younger adults, says UK medicines regulator

Robert Cuffe - BBC head of statistics
Data published by the UK drug regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), reveals the number of clots experienced by each age group in the UK after taking the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The regulator says they show “higher” rates in younger adults, as has been previously reported, and the MHRA advises that people keep an eye on this “evolving evidence”.
The Financial Times reported this morning that the committee that decides who gets what vaccination, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, is looking closely at the data on clots in those under 40.
The figures from the MHRA show that, overall, the risk of experiencing these unusual clots with low platelets is about a little below one in 100,000.
Up to 21 April, they had seen 27 of these clots in people in their 30s and another 30 among people in their 40s. We don’t have public figures yet on exactly how many people in these precise age groups have been vaccinated.
But the vaccination program has only just opened up to everyone in their 40s.
And the latest figures for England are a reminder how many more older people have been vaccinated, for example 13 million over 60s (with 57 clots reported) compared with seven million people in their 50s (with about the same number of clots reported).

Japanese cruise ship turns back after passenger tests positive for Covid

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A Japanese luxury cruise is returning to port after a passenger tested positive for Covid-19.
The Asuka II is carrying 295 passengers and 425 crew members. It will reach Yokohama tomorrow around noon, an NYK Cruises spokeswoman said.
The infected passenger tested negative prior to the cruise, but then tested positive on board on Thursday, she said.
They are stable and are isolating in a cabin, NYK said in a statement, adding that only one other person had been in close contact.
The ship was due to stop in Aomori and Hokkaido, returning to port on 5 May.
In February last year, hundreds of people on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship became infected with Covid-19 while it was held in quarantine off the port of Yokohama. A total of 14 people lost their lives.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Apr 30 2021, 18:51

Sweden pushes back vaccination target by three weeks

Sweden has announced it will take three weeks longer than expected to offer all adults their first Covid-19 jab after it decided not to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
This means there are not enough vaccine supplies to meet the mid-August target. The government is now aiming for 5 September, Health Minister Lena Hallengren said.
The country's health authority has said under-65s should not get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to reports of extremely rare blood clots.
Sweden has not requested deliveries of Johnson & Johnson vaccines from the EU, the country's vaccine coordinator said.
Sweden tried to avoid imposing rules when other countries were in lockdown, but it recently passed emergency laws giving the government the power to impose coronavirus-related curbs for the first time.
The country has recorded more than 14,000 deaths - far more than its Scandinavian neighbours.

Singapore hit by rare Covid outbreak

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Thirteen infections are linked to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital

Singapore is experiencing a rare coronavirus outbreak which has resulted in a hospital locking down four wards.
There had been almost no local transmission in Singapore for months, but 16 infections were reported on Thursday and another nine today.
Thirteen are linked to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, one of the city-state's biggest, where a Filipino nurse who had been fully vaccinated developed symptoms earlier this week.
Four of the wards have now been locked down.
The emergence of new virus clusters is a "worrying trend", Health Minister Gan Kim Yong told reporters at a virtual press conference.
"There is clearly a heightened risk of infection now in the community," he added.
The city of 5.7 million has reported about 61,000 cases so far and 30 deaths.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Apr 30 2021, 18:55

Where can I go on holiday in the UK?

With the bank holiday weekend coming up, you may have thoughts of getting away in the UK.
So here is a reminder of the rules for domestic travel.
If you live in England, Scotland or Wales you are free to travel around and between each country.
Currently, you should not travel in or out of Northern Ireland unless it is essential to do so. These regulations will be reviewed on 13 May.
In England and Wales, self-contained accommodation is open but only to be used by a single household bubble.
Welsh hotels, B&Bs and hostels can open if they have en-suites and provide room service.
In Scotland, tourist accommodation can open but different households must not share self-contained accommodation.
You can find more information here .

Covid case drop shows 'roadmap is on target'

England's recording of its lowest coronavirus case numbers since September proves the government's roadmap out of lockdown is working, according to one expert.
Paul Hunter, professor in medicine from the University of East Anglia, says: "What makes this week's results particularly important is that this would be the first week when there would be any evidence that the relaxation of 12 April would have had a negative impact on the epidemic.
"That there is in fact no evidence of an increased transmission risk is reassuring that, for the time being at least, it looks like the current road map is still on target."
The ONS estimated just 1-in-1010 people in England would have tested positive for Covid in the week up to 24 April.
However, Rowland Kao, professor of data science at the University of Edinburgh, says that while the "continued decline is good news and should be celebrated", the ONS survey does not yet "provide us with more information about what recent changes in restrictions are doing".
Read more: Covid-19 infections in UK back to late summer levels - ONS

Teletext Holidays faces court over unpaid refunds

Teletext Holidays faces legal action unless it pays back £7m to customers whose holidays were cancelled owing to the pandemic, a watchdog has said.
Complaints suggested people were not receiving refunds they were owed within 14 days, as required by law, for package holidays that were cancelled.
The Competition and Markets Authority said the delay was "unacceptable".
Teletext Holidays says it has "provided evidence of why the refund process has been delayed" as well as "real time plans on how and when we can refund all customers".
A statement says the company is "extremely disappointed with today's CMA announcement that seemingly ignores the reality of the challenges we face through no fault of our own".
Read more on this story here

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Post by Kitkat Fri Apr 30 2021, 19:00

Breaking News

UK records 15 coronavirus deaths

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There have been a further 15 Covid-related deaths in the UK, according to the government's daily figures.
That brings the total number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test to 127,517.
There were also 2,381 new infections reported in the last 24 hours.

Surge testing in Redbridge after South Africa variant found

Surge testing is to be deployed in Redbridge after the identification of two cases of the Covid variant first found in South Africa.
NHS Test and Trace will work with the local council to offer additional testing and genomic sequencing in the IG1 and IG6 postcode areas, as well as small parts of IG5 and IG7.
Everybody aged 11 and over who lives or works in these postcodes is strongly encouraged to take a PCR test, whether they are showing symptoms or not.
The confirmed cases, which are not being linked, are self-isolating and their contacts have been identified, the Department of Health says.
Read more about surge testing here .

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Post by Kitkat Fri Apr 30 2021, 19:08

People arrested in India over fake remdesivir injections

Seven people have been arrested in India for allegedly selling fake remdesivir injections, Delhi police said.
Remdesivir is an antiviral drug - originally developed to treat Ebola - that showed promising early results.
However, in October 2020, the World Health Organization advised against its use for Covid, saying that it "appeared to have little or no effect on hospitalised Covid".
Police got a tip-off and two of the group were arrested.
During interrogation, they admitted that they were selling the fake injections on a higher price as its demand was shooting up due to the Covid crisis. Further raids were then made.
A total of 198 vials of fake remdesivir, one packing machine and 3,000 empty vials to be used in packing of remdesivir were recovered, police said.
A second wave of the virus is ravaging parts of India , with 386,452 new cases reported on Friday - the biggest one-day increase on record for any country.
There were another 3,500 deaths nationwide and nearly 400 in Delhi - a record for the capital.

Russia ‘offering free Covid-19 tests for pets’

BBC Monitoring
The world through its media
Russia's veterinary and phytosanitary watchdog says it is offering free Covid-19 tests for pets whose owners have had coronavirus.
The watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor, says it is providing the tests in 15 cities across Russia, including Moscow, as part of its efforts to collect information on the prevalence of Covid-19 among animals.
It says that the data will allow scientists to study the likelihood of animal-to-animal transmission as well as animal-to-human transmission.
Last month, Rosselkhoznadzor announced it had registered "the world's first" Covid-19 vaccine for animals, called Carnivac-Cov.
The watchdog's deputy head Konstantin Savenkov said at the time that the jab had undergone clinical trials on dogs, cats, mink and other animals - all of which he said had developed antibodies to the virus.
The first batch of 10,000 doses of Carnivac-Cov is to go on sale in early May, the state RIA Novosti news agency has reported.
According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), several animal species have demonstrated susceptibility to Covid-19, including following transmission from infected humans.
It identified farmed mink as being particularly susceptible to the virus and says there have been some cases of the animals transmitting the virus back to humans.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Apr 30 2021, 19:11

What's been happening in the UK today?

We are going to be bringing our live page to a close soon so here's a reminder of some of today's coronavirus developments:

  • Coronavirus infections in the UK have dropped back to levels seen at the end of last summer with around one in 1,000 people infected, ONS data suggests
  • It comes as England's vaccine rollout is extended to the over-40s and 90% of over-45s have received at least one jab
  • Surge testing is under way in the London borough of Redbridge after two cases of the South Africa variant were discovered
  • People in NI have been enjoying lockdown easing to allow shops, pubs, restaurants. gyms and cafes to reopen
  • And about 3,000 people are about to hit the dance floor at a warehouse party in Liverpool without social distancing as part of a government trial to see how nightclubs might be able to reopen.

What's been happening around the world?

Here are some of the biggest developments from around the world today:

  • Officials in Delhi have been urged to find more sites for cremations as the Indian city's morgues and crematoriums are overwhelmed by masses of Covid deaths
  • A total of 386,452 new cases were reported today - the biggest one-day increase on record for any country. There were another 3,500 deaths nationwide and nearly 400 in Delhi - a record for the capital
  • In Brazil, the number of deaths related to Covid-19 has passed 400,000 , the second-highest in the world
  • Sri Lanka has announced a ban on all public events, including weddings and large religious services, for the next two weeks, as the authorities try to curb the spread of the virus
  • Portugal will lift lockdown restrictions imposed in January at midnight on all but eight municipalities, after seeing infection rates fall to the lowest level in the European Union
  • The head of the organising committee for this summer's Olympic Games in Japan said the event could take place behind closed doors with no spectators due to the pandemic.

Goodbye for now

That's all from the live page team -
your updates were brought to you by Doug Faulkner, Emma Harrison, George Wright, Jennifer Meierhans, Henri Astier, Joseph Lee and Vanessa Barford.
We will be back with more coronavirus news tomorrow - enjoy your evening.

    Current date/time is Mon May 17 2021, 14:45