Covid-19 news: England is facing ‘worst weeks of this pandemic’

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Covid-19 news: England is facing ‘worst weeks of this pandemic’

England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty

SIMON DAWSON/POOL/AFP through Getty Photographs

Newest coronavirus information as of 5 pm on 11 January

Hospitals in England battle to deal with rising numbers of covid-19 sufferers

England’s chief medical officer on Monday issued a stark warning about what the nation can anticipate within the coming weeks and urged folks to keep away from all pointless contact with others. “The subsequent few weeks are going to be the worst weeks of this pandemic by way of numbers into the NHS,” Chris Whitty instructed the BBC. He stated there have been greater than 30,000 folks with covid-19 in hospitals in England, in comparison with about 18,000 through the peak of the primary wave in April final 12 months. Hospitals across the nation are taking distinctive measures to deal with the inflow of individuals with covid-19, together with placing trainees on wards and making nurses responsible for a greater number of patients than ordinary. Southend Hospital in England has been compelled to scale back the quantity of oxygen it makes use of to deal with sufferers, as a result of the hospital’s oxygen supply has “reached a critical situation”, in keeping with paperwork seen by the BBC.

“We have to actually double down, that is all people’s drawback, any single pointless contact you’ve gotten with somebody is a possible hyperlink in a sequence of transmission that can result in a susceptible particular person,” stated Whitty. “We’ve all bought to, as people, assist our NHS, assist our fellow residents, by minimising the quantity of pointless contacts we now have.”

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Different coronavirus information

UK prime minister Boris Johnson stated 2 million people have been vaccinated towards covid-19 within the nation to this point, together with about 40 per cent of individuals over the age of 80 and 23 per cent of older care dwelling residents. Later, UK well being minister Matt Hancock stated 2.6 million doses of covid-19 vaccine had been given to 2.Three million folks within the nation. The UK has now published full details of its vaccination programme, together with its plan to be administering no less than two million vaccinations per week in England by the tip of January, and to have vaccinated 15 million folks by mid-February. “It’s a race towards time, as a result of we will all see the risk that our NHS faces,” stated Johnson. 

A extremely transmissible variant of the coronavirus first recognized within the UK accounted for almost half of the latest pattern of optimistic checks in Eire, in keeping with native authorities. 

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.93 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 90.Four million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances will likely be a lot greater.

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Panorama: The Race for a Vaccine is a BBC documentary in regards to the inside story of the event of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine towards covid-19.

Race Against the Virus: Hunt for a Vaccine is a Channel Four documentary which tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic by means of the eyes of the scientists on the frontline.

The New York Times is assessing the progress of various vaccine candidates and potential drug therapies for covid-19, and rating them for effectiveness and security.

Humans of COVID-19 is a undertaking highlighting the experiences of key employees on the frontline within the battle towards coronavirus within the UK, by means of social media.

Belly Mujinga: Searching for the Truth is a BBC Panorama investigation of the dying of transport employee Stomach Mujinga from covid-19, following studies she had been coughed and spat on by a buyer at London’s Victoria Station.

Coronavirus, Explained on Netflix is a brief documentary collection inspecting the on-going coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to battle it and methods to handle its psychological well being toll.

New Scientist Weekly options updates and evaluation on the newest developments within the covid-19 pandemic. Our podcast sees knowledgeable journalists from the journal talk about the most important science tales to hit the headlines every week – from know-how and area, to well being and the setting.

COVID-19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened, and How to Stop the Next One by Debora Mackenzie is about how the pandemic occurred and why it’s going to occur once more if we don’t do issues otherwise in future.

The Rules of Contagion is in regards to the new science of contagion and the shocking methods it shapes our lives and behavior. The writer, Adam Kucharski, is an epidemiologist on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Drugs, UK, and within the guide he examines how illnesses unfold and why they cease.

Earlier updates

Two nurses wearing personal protective equipment in the Intensive Care Unit in St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south-west London on 7 January

Nurses within the Intensive Care Unit in St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south-west London on 7 January

Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Photographs

eight January

London mayor Sadiq Khan urges Londoners to remain at dwelling “to guard our NHS”

London mayor Sadiq Khan has declared a major incident in London in response to surging coronavirus circumstances and hospitalisations within the metropolis. Greater than 100 firefighters have been drafted in to drive ambulances in London, to assist cope with the increased demand. Khan stated the London Ambulance Service is presently taking as much as 8000 emergency calls per day, in comparison with 5500 on a typical busy day. “Londoners proceed to make large sacrifices and I’m right this moment imploring them to please keep dwelling except it’s completely crucial so that you can go away,” stated London mayor Sadiq Khan in a statement. “If we don’t take speedy motion now, our NHS may very well be overwhelmed and extra folks will die. Keep at dwelling to guard your self, your loved ones, pals and different Londoners and to guard our NHS,” stated Khan. A serious incident is one which presents a severe risk to the well being of the neighborhood or that causes important numbers or kinds of casualties requiring particular preparations to be carried out. Beforehand, main incidents have been declared in London for the Grenfell Tower fireplace in 2017 and for terror assaults at Westminster Bridge and London Bridge. 

In London greater than 7000 persons are in hospital with covid-19, making up greater than half of the capital’s occupied beds. The Workplace for Nationwide Statistics estimates that one in 30 people across the city had the virus on 2 January. Infections in London, in addition to in England and within the UK as a complete, are estimated to be rising by as much as 6 per cent every day. Throughout the UK the latest official estimate of the R number is between 1.zero and 1.4, which implies each 10 contaminated folks infect an average of 10 to 14 others.

Different coronavirus information

Preliminary research suggests the covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and its accomplice BioNTech is effective against the highly transmissible new variants of the coronavirus recognized within the UK and South Africa. Antibodies remoted from the blood of 20 individuals who had obtained the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had been nonetheless capable of neutralise viruses containing one of many key mutations in laboratory checks. The analysis has not been peer-reviewed. Considerations that covid-19 vaccines is not going to work towards the variant recognized in South Africa prompted the introduction of testing for brand spanking new arrivals into England and Scotland from overseas, in keeping with UK transport minister Grant Shapps.

A third covid-19 vaccine has been approved to be used within the UK. The UK has ordered a further 10 million doses of the mRNA vaccine developed by US firm Moderna, on prime of seven million which it pre-ordered final 12 months, however provides for the extra doses should not anticipated to reach till spring. 

Greater than 4000 people in the US died from covid-19 in a single day for the primary time for the reason that begin of the pandemic. The nation recorded 4033 deaths because of covid-19 on Thursday, in keeping with the COVID Monitoring Venture, passing its earlier file of 3903 deaths on 30 December.

Better Brisbane in Australia was put under a strict lockdown after one case of the extremely transmissible UK variant was detected on Thursday.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.90 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 88.Three million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances will likely be a lot greater.

A healthcare worker walks past a line of ambulances at the Royal London Hospital in London, UK

A healthcare employee walks previous a line of ambulances on the Royal London Hospital in London, UK

NEIL HALL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

7 January

England hospitals in the reduction of on companies as almost a 3rd of sufferers have coronavirus

There are 26,467 covid-19 patients in hospital in England, accounting for almost a 3rd of all folks in hospital. Many hospitals have needed to cancel routine operations to accommodate a rising variety of folks with covid-19. The BBC reported that there are indications that is starting to occur for most cancers care as effectively. “The affect of the pandemic is taking care away from different diseases resembling most cancers and coronary heart illness,” Rupert Pearse, an intensive care marketing consultant on the Royal London Hospital instructed the BBC. “We’re actually struggling to supply the standard of affected person care that we predict sufferers deserve,” stated Pearse. 

The variety of covid-19 sufferers in England hospitals has elevated by greater than 50 per cent since Christmas, with common daily hospitalisations now exceeding 3000 per day – 3 times the same old winter fee for respiratory situations.  

Different coronavirus information

Birmingham may run out of stocks of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and its accomplice BioNTech as quickly as Friday, in keeping with native leaders. Town has not but been provided with the vaccine developed by the College of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca. Birmingham leaders known as for extra readability on the covid-19 vaccination programme of their metropolis in a letter to UK well being minister Matt Hancock. “It stays unclear who’s answerable for overseeing the vaccination programme in Birmingham, and whom we must always maintain accountable for progress and supply,” it stated. In a briefing on Tuesday, UK prime minister Boris Johnson stated 1.Three million folks within the UK had been vaccinated with a primary dose to this point and information from NHS England published today revealed 308,541 folks obtained a jab in England within the week ending Three January. The federal government goals to vaccinate 13 million folks in 4 precedence teams by mid-February. 

Nearly half of the residents in an East Sussex care dwelling in England died from covid-19 over the Christmas and New Yr interval, with greater than a 3rd of the workers additionally testing optimistic through the outbreak, the Guardian reported. Of the 27 residents at Edendale Lodge care dwelling in Crowhurst, 13 died with confirmed or suspected covid-19 since 13 December. Prime minister Johnson instructed parliament on Wednesday that 10 per cent of care dwelling residents and 14 per cent of workers had to this point been vaccinated towards the illness. “That clearly must be stepped up,” he stated.

As coronavirus vaccines proceed to be rolled out throughout the US, well being officers have burdened that the danger of extreme sickness and dying from covid-19 nonetheless outweighs the risk of developing a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine. Within the US, 29 folks have to this point developed anaphylaxis after being vaccinated towards covid-19 and the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention stated it presently seems that circumstances are occurring at a fee of about 5.5 per 1 million vaccine doses administered.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.88 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 87.Three million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances will likely be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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Two covid-19 advisors wearing high-visibility jackets patrol an empty High Street in Worcester city centre, England

Two covid-19 advisors patrol an empty Excessive Avenue in Worcester metropolis centre, England

Max Willcock/EMPICS Leisure/PA

6 January

UK studies 1041 deaths from covid-19 in a single day 

The UK reported 1041 deaths from covid-19 inside 28 days of a optimistic check on Wednesday, the best every day determine since 21 April, when 1224 deaths were reported. There have been 62,322 new circumstances of coronavirus reported on Wednesday. “This upward development of circumstances (and hospitalisations and deaths) is prone to proceed for one more 2-Three weeks because the affect of social mixing throughout Christmas/New Yr continues to be felt,” stated Julian Tang on the College of Leicester in a statement.

1 / 4 of all deaths in England and Wales within the week main as much as Christmas had been because of covid-19. New figures from the Office for National Statistics confirmed that 2912, or 25 per cent, of the 11,520 deaths registered throughout England and Wales within the week ending 25 December talked about covid-19 on the dying certificates. Wales has been beneath a lockdown since 23 December and England and Scotland each entered nationwide lockdowns on Tuesday. 

Different coronavirus information

A World Well being Group (WHO) workforce despatched to China to analyze the origins of the coronavirus pandemic has been denied entry to the nation. Talking at a information convention in Geneva, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated, “I’m very disenchanted with this information, on condition that two members had already begun their journeys and others weren’t capable of journey on the final minute, however had been in touch with senior Chinese language officers.”  

Coronavirus cases and hospitalisations are surging in California. The state recorded greater than 74,000 new coronavirus circumstances on Monday and 21,597 folks had been hospitalised, each file every day will increase for the reason that begin of the pandemic. “It’s getting more durable and more durable for healthcare employees to look after these coming to the hospital with gunshot wounds, coronary heart assaults, strokes and accidents from automobile accidents,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis instructed the Los Angeles Occasions.

Individuals arriving within the UK from overseas might quickly be required to show a negative coronavirus test so as to enter the nation. A spokesperson for the Division for Transport instructed the BBC: “With a brand new pressure of the virus on the unfastened in South Africa and a extra infectious variant already widespread within the UK we have to do extra.” The Division for Transport stated full particulars of further measures, which can additionally embody testing earlier than departure, stay to be agreed. Sure travellers, resembling haulage drivers, could also be exempt.

The European Medicines Company has recommended a covid-19 vaccine developed by US firm Moderna for authorisation within the EU. The vaccine has already been authorised for emergency use within the US.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.87 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 86.7 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances will likely be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Mutant viruses: Mutated variants of the coronavirus making their means all over the world are inflicting covid-19 to unfold quicker, and one might be able to evade present vaccines.

Disrupted senses: Lack of odor and style is likely one of the most constant signs of covid-19, and this anosmia reveals essential particulars about how the coronavirus works. 

A pigeon on an empty Deansgate in Manchester, UK

A pigeon on an empty Deansgate in Manchester, UK

Anthony Devlin/Bloomberg through Getty Photographs

5 January

Lockdowns imposed in England and Scotland to attempt to curb surging virus circumstances

Strict new nationwide lockdowns came into force in England and Scotland, which cupboard workplace minister Michael Gove stated may final in some type till March. UK prime minister Boris Johnson introduced the brand new lockdown guidelines for England throughout a televised tackle on Monday night, saying that vaccination of key teams of individuals by mid-February may enable the restrictions in England to be eased. However on Tuesday, cupboard workplace minister Michael Gove told Sky News: “We are able to’t predict with certainty that we’ll have the ability to elevate restrictions within the week commencing [15 to 22 February]. What we will likely be doing is the whole lot we will to guarantee that as many individuals as attainable are vaccinated, in order that we will start progressively to elevate restrictions. I feel it’s proper to say that, as we enter March, we must always have the ability to elevate a few of these restrictions however not essentially all.” The highest 4 precedence teams for vaccinations embody older care dwelling residents and their carers, folks over 70, frontline well being and social care employees, and clinically extraordinarily susceptible folks.

The UK reported 60,916 new daily coronavirus cases on Tuesday, surpassing 60,000 every day new circumstances for the primary time for the reason that begin of the pandemic. One in 50 folks in England and one in 30 in London are estimated to have the coronavirus, in keeping with the most recent data from the Office for National Statistics, England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty stated throughout a televised briefing on Tuesday. By comparability, one in 900 folks had been contaminated in early September. 

In Tuesday’s press convention, Johnson stated that 1.Three million folks within the UK have to this point obtained the primary dose of a covid-19 vaccine. Nonetheless, greater than Four million doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its accomplice BioNTech had been delivered to the UK earlier than the tip of 2020, the Financial Times reported, prompting questions in regards to the hole between the variety of vaccine doses secured and the quantity of people that have been vaccinated. Requested in regards to the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with the College of Oxford, of which the federal government has stated it hopes to have 2 million doses every week by the tip of January, NHS England director Stephen Powis instructed the Monetary Occasions: “Definitely this month we’ll have the ability to rise up to that form of quantity however that might rely upon provides. We’ll be delivering it as quickly as we get it.”

Different coronavirus information

Researchers in South Africa are investigating whether or not a brand new variant of coronavirus spreading within the nation might be resistant to existing covid-19 vaccines. “It’s a theoretical concern. An inexpensive concern […] that the South African variant could be extra resistant,” Shabir Madhi, who led trials of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine in South Africa, instructed the BBC. Madhi stated it was unlikely that the mutation within the South African variant would render present vaccines ineffective however stated it would weaken their affect.

Germany will extend its nationwide lockdown till no less than the tip of January. After a partial lockdown launched in early November did not sufficiently cut back infections, Germany entered a second nationwide lockdown on 16 December, which was initially because of be lifted on 10 January.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.85 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 85.eight million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances will likely be a lot greater.

Two paramedics transport a patient on a cart next to an ambulance

Paramedics transport a affected person to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, London on Four January

James Veysey/Shutterstock

Four January

England anticipated to tighten restrictions and Scotland publicizes nationwide lockdown

A lot of the UK faces new lockdown measures as Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated there’s “no query” that restrictions in England will likely be tightened, and Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon introduced a strict new lockdown in Scotland beginning at midnight on 5 January. Johnson is anticipated to announce tougher restrictions in England this night in a televised look, which may embody colleges being closed and Tier Four restrictions throughout the nation. The UK recorded 58,784 new coronavirus circumstances on Monday and 407 deaths inside 28 days of a optimistic coronavirus check, and the Joint Biosecurity Centre is anticipated to be raising the country’s covid-19 threat level to five – the best stage.

Most primary schools in England reopened right this moment, regardless of calls from instructing unions and a few councils to maintain colleges shut. Major colleges in London and south-east England stay closed till 18 January. Council leaders in lots of areas together with Manchester and Birmingham stated they might assist the choice of head academics who assume it’s unsafe to reopen their colleges.

First Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines administered within the UK

An 82-year-old man grew to become the first person to receive the coronavirus vaccine developed by the College of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca, as a part of the UK’s mass vaccination programme. Brian Pinker obtained the jab on the Churchill Hospital in Oxford and 530,000 doses had been prepared to be used on Monday. AstraZeneca has stated it expects to provide about 2 million doses of the vaccine every week by the center of January within the UK.

Different coronavirus information

Coronavirus circumstances within the UK are persevering with to surge, with concern rising a few variant of the virus first detected in South Africa. “I’m extremely apprehensive in regards to the South African variant, and that’s why we took the motion that we did to limit all flights from South Africa,” UK well being minister Matt Hancock told BBC radio. “It’s much more of an issue than the UK new variant,” he stated. John Bell on the College of Oxford told the Telegraph there was “a giant query” as as to whether current vaccines could be efficient towards the South Africa pressure, which incorporates mutations that have an effect on a part of the virus that’s recognised by antibodies. Nonetheless, he added that it ought to be attainable to make new vaccines rapidly, if this or any future variant of the coronavirus emerges that’s immune to the present ones. “It would take a month, or six weeks, to get a brand new vaccine, so all people ought to keep calm. It’s going to be fantastic,” he stated. “We’re now in a sport of cat and mouse, as a result of these should not the one two variants we’re going to see. We’re going to see a lot of variants.”

India approved two coronavirus vaccines for emergency use on Sunday, together with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and a vaccine known as Covaxin being developed by Indian firm Bharat Biotech. Gagandeep Kang on the Christian Medical School, Vellore in India expressed concerns about India’s approval of Covaxin, as part III trials of the vaccine haven’t but been accomplished. Kang told the Times of India newspaper that she had “by no means seen something like this earlier than”, including that “there’s completely no efficacy information that has been offered or revealed.”

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.84 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 85.2 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances will likely be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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A shopper walks past an Evening Standard newspaper stand in central London on 16 December, as new guidance on Christmas during the coronavirus pandemic was announced by the government. A poster advertising the newspaper stand reads: "Christmas chaos: now it's up to you"

A consumer walks previous an Night Commonplace newspaper stand in central London on 16 December, as new steerage on Christmas through the coronavirus pandemic was introduced by the federal government

TOLGA AKMEN/AFP through Getty Photographs

17 December

Areas within the east and south-east of England face tier three guidelines from Saturday

Nearly 70 per cent of England’s inhabitants will likely be dwelling beneath strict tier three coronavirus rules from Saturday as “pressures on the NHS stay”, stated UK well being minister Matt Hancock on Thursday. Areas within the east and south-east of the nation, together with Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Hertfordshire will transfer into tier three one minute after midnight on Saturday 19 December, as will components of Surrey, East Sussex, Cambridgeshire and Hampshire. “I do know that tier three measures are robust, however the easiest way for everybody to get out of them is to drag collectively, not simply to comply with the principles, however to do the whole lot they probably can to cease the unfold of the virus,” Hancock instructed parliament. There will likely be 38 million folks within the nation dwelling in tier three from Saturday, together with different components of England already beneath tier three guidelines.

Hancock stated circumstances within the south-east of England had risen by 46 per cent in every week, with hospital admissions up by greater than a 3rd, whereas circumstances within the east of England had gone up by two-thirds in every week and hospital admissions had risen by almost half. He additionally introduced that Bristol and North Somerset would have the ability to transfer right down to tier two on Saturday and that Herefordshire would additionally have the ability to transfer down, to tier one. “I feel it is a smart precautionary measure – to damp down virus transmission within the lead as much as the Christmas 5-day rest – and afterwards, to limit wider virus  transmission popping out of this break,” stated Julian Tang on the College of Leicester, UK, in a statement

Yesterday, the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments launched a joint statement with advice on household mixing during Christmas. “The most secure approach to spend this Christmas is with your individual family or your current assist bubble in your individual dwelling – and we strongly advocate that that is what you do if in any respect attainable,” the assertion stated. It additionally burdened that “scientific recommendation is obvious: the longer you meet others for, the upper the danger of you catching and spreading the virus” and that “when you do intend to type a bubble, you must preserve the bubble small and your visits quick”. 

Different coronavirus information

Two healthcare workers in Alaska developed allergic reactions after receiving the coronavirus vaccine developed by US firm Pfizer and its German accomplice BioNTech, together with a lady who didn’t have a historical past of allergy symptoms to vaccines and who was admitted to hospital. Each people obtained therapy and have recovered. The girl’s response seems to be just like the allergic reactions skilled by two healthcare employees who had been vaccinated within the UK final week. Following the 2 allergic reactions within the UK, US Meals and Drug Administration officers stated they might require Pfizer to observe extreme allergic reactions and submit information on this afterward.

French president Emmanuel Macron tested positive for the coronavirus. In an announcement, the Élysée Palace stated Macron would “self-isolate for seven days in keeping with the well being protocol relevant to everybody” and that he would proceed to work remotely. 

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.65 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 74.Four million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances will likely be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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