Covid LIVE: Cases explode in new weekly stats – ‘Something really bad happening in UK’

Sajid Javid warns coronavirus pandemic 'is not over'

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This was up from one in 60 the previous week. 

Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding said on Twitter: ” Something really bad happening in UK”, suggesting that the UK is on track for a fourth wave of coronavirus this winter. 

Ministers are also reportedly planning a ‘Plan C’ if cases continue to rise, which could include a ban on household mixing.

Boris Johnson is also putting pressure on scientists to cut the waiting time for Covid booster jabs from six months five, amid rising coronavirus cases.

This would mean nine million more Britons would now be eligible for a booster shot. 

On Thursday, new cases of coronavirus rose by more than 50,000 for the first time in July. 

There were also 115 deaths reported and over eight thousand patients in hospital with the virus.

On Wednesday, health secretary Sajid Javid said the government would not implement ‘Plan B’, which would include measures such as a return to wearing face masks and home working.

Mr Javid said these measures would be put in place when the pressure on the NHS becomes ‘unsustainable’, which he did not believe it currently was.



  • R number estimated to be 1.0- 1.214:07
  • One in 55 people had Covid-19 in week ending October 1612:19
  • Cases rising across all age groups in UK11:05
  • Possible new Delta-Sub variant says epidemiologist 08:09
  • R number estimated to be 1.0- 1.2

    The coronavirus R number for England is now thought to be between 1.0-1.2. 

    This is up from 0.9-1.1 the previous week. 

    Nine in 10 uni students have had jab

    Nine in 10 University students have had at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, a study by the Office for National Statistics suggests. 

    Only 7% of students said they have not been vaccinated.

    More than half of those surveyed that had been vaccinated said they believe Covid-19 poses a significant risk to them. 

    Belgium enters fourth wave

    Belgium has entered a fourth coronavirus wave after cases jumped to the highest level in almost a year. 

    Data from the Sciensano health institute showed that the country registered nearly 6,500 new cases on October 18.

    That is as many as on November 10, last year, just days before the government imposed a second lockdown.

    Covid cases are also on the rise in other European countries such as Germany. 

    ‘Increasingly unlikely’ that winter hospital admission will rise above January peak

    The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) have predicted that Covid-19 hospital admissions this year will not rise above the January peak. 

    However, Sage advisors said that a “rapid increase in hospital admissions” could happen if the waning of vaccines’ effectiveness is significant.

    In a meeting on Friday, the advisors said that acting quickly would reduce the need for “more stringent, disruptive and longer-lasting measures”.

    Pfizer vaccine shows 90% efficacy in trial in children

    A clinical trial of five to 11-year-olds found that the Pfizer vaccine had more than 90 per cent efficacy.

    16 children in the trial who had received a placebo dose got COVID-19, whereas only 3 who had the vaccine were infected.  

    Since more than twice as many of the 2,268 participants were given the vaccine as were given a placebo, that equates to better than 90% efficacy.

    Brits holidaying in Morocco ‘in limbo’ after ban on UK flights

    British holidaymakers have been stranded in Morocco after the country banned UK flights, amid rising Covid cases in the UK.

    The ban came into effect at 11:39pm on Wednesday and left many Britons wondering how they were going to get home.

    Morocco’s National Office of Airports has aid the policy will remain in place “until further notice”.

    The country has also banned flights from the Netherlands and Germany.

    Germany on track to follow UK into ‘winter crisis’

    Cases of Covid-19 have risen by up to 70 per cent in Germany, suggesting that the country is on track to follow the UK into a ‘winter crisis’. 

    Germany’s public health body, the Robert Koch Insititute reported nearly 20,000 infections on Friday, the country’s highest figure since May.

    Scientists have warned Germany that it is heading towards a “difficult” autumn wave.  

    One in 55 people had Covid-19 in week ending October 16

    One in 55 people in England had Covid-19 in the week ending October 16, up from one in 60 the previous week, according to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics.

    At the peak of the second wave in January this year, one in 50 people were estimated to have the virus. 

    Mortality rates in England and Wales in September ‘significantly higher’ than 2020

    According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)  966.2 deaths per 100,000 people were registered in England last month, up from 885.5 in September 2020.

    The statistics also show that there are many more people than is usual for this year dying with 7,215 extra deaths registered in England last month, 19.4% above the pre-pandemic average.

    In England, 41.0% of the total number of excess deaths last month were due to Covid-19.

    Covid-19 was the third leading cause of death in England in September, the leading cause being dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

    Melbourne, world’s most locked-down city eases restrictions

    Melbourne eased coronavirus restrictions on Friday, meaning that residents of the city can now visit pubs, hair salons and restaurants. 

    Melbourne is the world’s most locked-down city and has endured 262 days of lockdown since March 2020.

    Cases rising across all age groups in UK

    Although cases are highest among 10-19-year-olds, they are rising across all age groups in the UK. 

    Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding said on Twitter: “UK is definitely in a looming wave. This is gonna be bad again.”

    Expert calls for herd immunity in UK

    Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia has said that Covid-19 should be allowed to spread through the population when all those at risk have been vaccinated. 

    He said: “That is how severe disease will be reduced in the long-term, and how the pandemic will ultimately become just another cause of the common cold”.

    Cutting booster waiting time not the main issue, says expert

    Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said that the main issue with booster vaccines is not the waiting time, but people taking them up. 

    The government is encouraging those eligible to get their booster vaccines so that pressure on the NHS does not become ‘unsustainable’ this winter. 

    Who is eligible for a booster jab?

    Those eligible for a booster jab are:

    Anyone aged 50 and over

    People living and working in care homes for the elderly, and frontline health and social care workers.

    People who are clinically extremely vulnerable

    Anyone aged 16 to 65 in an at-risk group for Covid (who were included in priority groups one to nine during the initial vaccine rollout).

    Adults who share a household with a vulnerable person. 

    The booster vaccine can be administered six months after the second vaccine dose and helps to boost protection against the virus. 

    Wales to switch international travel tests from PCR to Lateral Flow from October 31

    The Welsh government has announced that fully vaccinated travellers arriving from non-red list countries will need to take a lateral flow test instead of the more expensive PCR test from October 31.

    This is a week later than the introduction of the policy by the UK government. 

    In a statement, the Welsh government said: “We remain concerned about the UK Government’s approach – and the speed at which it is opening up international travel and its decisions to change the border health measures, which are important protections to prevent the risk of new cases – and new variants of coronavirus – from entering the UK.

    “We have consistently urged the UK Government to take a precautionary approach towards reopening international travel.

    “However, it is difficult for us to adopt a different testing regime to that required by the UK Government, as the majority of Welsh travellers enter the UK through ports and airports in England.

    “Having different testing requirements would cause significant practical problems, confusion among the travelling public, logistical issues, enforcement at our borders and disadvantages for Welsh businesses.”

    JCVI deputy says cutting booster waiting time ‘something we will need to consider’

    Professor Anthony Harnden, the deputy chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which sets the waiting time between vaccines has said that shortening the gap between a second and third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is “something we will need to consider in due course”.

    Mr Harden said that although a six month wait time was the ‘sweet spot’ for boosting protection, the current rise in cases was likely to have an effect on their decision. 

    This comes as more than 50,000 cases of the virus were reported on Thursday for the first time since July. 

    Member of Sage committee says working from home key factor in stopping spread of virus

    Stephen Reicher, a member of the Sage subcommittee advising on behavioural science has said that it is a shame that maks are seen as the key mitigation for stopping the spread of Covid-19.

    Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said: “Actually, most of the measures we need to put in place aren’t restrictions at all, they don’t limit our choice, they’re protections which increase our choice.

    “So, if for instance, more was put into ensuring that all public safe places were properly ventilated, were inspected to make sure that they met Covid standards before they opened, then it would give people choice because they wouldn’t know the spaces were safe.

    “If, for instance, we allow people to work from home, that would have a big impact in lessening the spread of the virus, and again that’s about giving people the choice, not forcing them to do anything, and indeed one of the really important issues … is that if people are infected, they need to stay at home, we need to give people the support to give them the choice to stay at home to allow them to do the things we want them to do.”

    Tens of millions of Indians to miss out on vaccines by end of year

    Tens of millions of Indians will miss out on being vaccinated by the end of the year, despite there being plenty of doses available, Reuters reports. 

    This is in part due to the fact that the locally-produced AstraZeneca vaccine – known as Covishield – has a 12 to 16-week gap between doses, in contrast to the 8 to 12-week gap advised by the WHO.

    Complacency is another reason for this, as cases and deaths have fallen drastically in the past month. 

    The government wants to vaccinate all of the country’s 944 million adults by the end of the year. 

    However, 230 million Indians haven’t yet even had a single dose. 

    School closes early following rise in Covid cases

    A secondary school in Portsmouth has closed to days early for half-term, following a rise in Covid cases. 

    Admiral Lord Nelson School shut on Thursday after 161 students were isolating and 17 staff members were absent, mostly due to Covid-19.

    Remote learning will reportedly be provided for the children for these two days .

    Labour MP says government haven’t delivered what they promised with booster jabs

    Shadow secretary for Work and Pensions Jonathan Reynolds has criticised the government for not delivering what they promised in terms of booster jabs. 

    Speaking to Sky News, he said: “Ultimately we’re so far behind on where we should be on those booster shots, that’s the biggest problem.

    “I think that could be something worth considering, but you can’t get past the fact that the government are not where they should be – and promised us – in terms of the overall picture.”

    More Tory MPs seen wearing masks on Thursday

    On Wednesday, health secretary Sajid Javid urged MPs to ‘set an example’, by wearing face coverings. 

    On Thursday morning, six of the 12 Conservative MPs present in the chamber were wearing face masks, a much higher proportion than seen previously. 

    Possible new Delta-Sub variant says epidemiologist

    An epidemiologist has was that there may be a new Delta-Sub variant of Covid-19.

    Eric Feigl-Ding said on Twitter: ” Something really bad happening in UK.

    “hospitalization for Covid-19 surging back near record—but for first time since vaccine rollout—DEATHS SPIKING now as well.

    “Possibly new Delta sub-variant.”

    What is Plan B?

    The government’s ‘Plan B’ will be implemented when pressure on the NHS is ‘unsustainable.

    Measures included in Plan B would be things like:

    Mandatory vaccine passports

    Face coverings

    Working from home

    Fresh coronavirus outbreak reported in China

    A fresh coronavirus outbreak has been reported in China.

    37 new cases of the virus have been reported. 

    Palliative care doctor Rachel Clarke has criticised the government for its lack of action amid rising coronavirus cases.

    In a tweet, she said:  “Every trend is going in the wrong way.

    “Why – WHY is the government not acting?”

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