Covid-19 infections ‘may have risen’ at start of current lockdown

Experts tracking the spread of Covid-19 in England say infections may have gone up at the beginning of the current lockdown. Professor Paul Elliot, who is leading the React study at Imperial College London, suggested the current measures may not be strict enough to see a drop in infections and the reproductive rate – the R. The study on 143,000 people, who were randomly selected, looked at the prevalence of coronavirus including in people without symptoms. Infections from January 6 to 15 were 50% higher than in early December, the study found. Elliott told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the current R rate – which represents how many…

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Nine police officers fined for cafe meal in breach of Covid-19 regulations

Nine Metropolitan Police officers have been fined £200 each for breaching Covid-19 regulations for eating in a cafe while on duty, Scotland Yard has said. The officers, members of the South East Basic Command Unit, were investigated after images of them in uniform eating together were posted online earlier this month. The group were spotted by a member of the public in the Greenwich cafe while their patrol vehicles were parked outside. Under current rules, cafes and restaurants are only allowed to provide a takeaway service. The nine officers were issued fixed penalty notices of £200 following an investigation by the force. Chief Superintendent Rob Atkin, South East…

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Nine police officers fined for cafe meal in breach of Covid-19 regulations

Nine Metropolitan Police officers have been fined £200 each for breaching Covid-19 regulations for eating in a cafe while on duty, Scotland Yard has said. The officers, members of the South East Basic Command Unit, were investigated after images of them in uniform eating together were posted online earlier this month. The group were spotted by a member of the public in the Greenwich cafe while their patrol vehicles were parked outside. Under current rules, cafes and restaurants are only allowed to provide a takeaway service. The nine officers were issued fixed penalty notices of £200 following an investigation by the force. Chief Superintendent Rob Atkin, South East…

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Stark warning from Chris Whitty – UK has not yet hit the peak of Covid-19 infection

The UK has not yet hit the peak of the current wave of Covid-19 infection, with the next few weeks being “the worst” of the pandemic for the NHS, England’s chief medical officer has warned.Professor Chris Whitty said the vaccine rollout offered hope that lockdown restrictions could be lifted in the coming months, but described the current UK death rate as “appalling”. During a BBC phone-in on the current high case rates, he said: “I don’t think we’re yet at the peak, I’m afraid.“I think we will be at the peak if everybody can double down and absolutely minimise their contacts.“The point of the lockdown is to bring…

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Welsh NHS chief warns Covid-19 patient numbers could double from first wave

The number of coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in Welsh hospitals could soon be double that seen during the first wave of the pandemic, the country’s NHS chief executive has warned.Dr Andrew Goodall said Wales’s health system was under “immense pressure”, with critical care units operating at 140% of normal capacity. Two health boards are dedicating almost half their beds to patients with the virus.Almost 2,800 people are in Welsh hospitals with Covid-19-related illness. That’s an increase of 4% in just a week, and the highest number on record following a surge in transmissions over the last fortnight.More difficulties aheadOn Wednesday, Goodall told the Welsh Government’s press briefing that the…

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Vaccine update: issue 315, December 2020, COVID-19 special edition

Vaccine update: issue 315, December 2020, COVID-19 special edition (print version) Ref: PHE gateway number 2020372 PDF, 2.78MB, 21 pages This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format. If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email publications@phe.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use. Source link

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Confirmed cases of COVID-19 variant from South Africa identified in UK

The 2 cases were identified in the UK on 22 December 2020 and both have been in contact with someone who has travelled from South Africa. Public Health England’s Health Protection Teams have followed up with both cases and contact tracing is underway. The new variant named B1.351 (also referred to as 501Y.V2) was first detected in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, in samples at the beginning of October. Molecular dating suggests that it could have been in circulation from the end of August. The rapid spread of the variant in South Africa could be an indication of increased transmissibility but this is not yet confirmed. PHE is…

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Rapid evaluation confirms lateral flow devices effective in detecting new COVID-19 variant

Scientists at PHE’s Porton Down laboratory have carried out a rapid evaluation using clinical and laboratory grown samples containing the VUI 202012/01 variant to test whether it can be detected by lateral flow devices (LFDs) currently in use across the country. Five LFDs were tested. Each device is either in use as part of mass testing or going through the final stages of validation at PHE. Each device successfully detected samples containing the new variant. LFDs are one of the new tools being used to help detect COVID-19 and results can be delivered rapidly in under 30 minutes. The devices can identify people who have high levels of…

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COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2): information about the new virus variant

Main points Data from Whole Genome Sequencing, epidemiology and modelling suggest the new variant ‘VUI – 202012/01’ (the first Variant Under Investigation in December 2020) transmits more easily than other strains. We currently have no evidence that the variant is more likely to cause severe disease or mortality – but we are continuing investigations to understand this better. The way to control this virus is the same, whatever the variant. It will not spread if we avoid close contact with others. Wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance from others, and reduce your social contacts. Is there any evidence that the variant is more serious? We…

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