Covid UK news – live: ‘Long way to go’ before life is normal, warns Sage, after NI records first child death

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Lockdown and social distancing measures are ‘unlikely’ to be needed in future

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Lockdown and social distancing measures are ‘unlikely’ to be needed in future

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Lockdown and social distancing measures are ‘unlikely’ to be needed in future

Government scientific adviser Neil Ferguson has warned that Covid cases could rise again but that lockdowns are “unlikely” to be needed in the UK in future.

There would still likely be higher numbers of deaths each year than before, mainly during the colder months, as the world learns to live with the new disease – Prof Ferguson told The Times in an interview.

But vaccines have “changed the relationship between cases and hospitalisation”, he added.

The epidemiologist had stepped down from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) in May 2020, but remains on other government advisory committees.

He quit his advisory position after he was paid a visit from his girlfriend, which was against lockdown rules then.

In the Times interview, he expressed sympathy for Matt Hancock over the lockdown affair with his aide that ended his tenure as health secretary, rather than calling him a hypocrite for his criticism when Prof Ferguson’s own private life was subjected to scrutiny.


Vaccines saved more than 38,000 lives, Germany says

Covid vaccines have saved the lives of more than 38,000 people in Germany, the country’s disease control centre has estimated.

The Robert Koch Institute said mass vaccinations also kept 76,000 patients out of hospitals and almost 20,000 people out of intensive care units.

Some 45 million people in Germany are now fully vaccinated against Covid, or 54.5 per cent of the population.

“The high effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign shows in an impressive way that vaccinations pave the way out of the pandemic,” the institute said in a statement.

Leonie Chao-Fong7 August 2021 13:54


Mother who turned down Covid jab makes vaccine plea after baby born at just 1lb 4oz

A new mother who was 24 weeks pregnant when she fell seriously ill with coronavirus is now urging other expectant mums to take the vaccine, writes Charlene Rodrigues.

After developing Covid-19 symptoms, Claudia Li, 30, from Birmingham, was hooked up to a ventilator and medics were compelled to carry out an emergency C-section to save her and her baby’s life.

Her son weighed less than 1kg, at just 630g (1lb 11oz) when he was born on 20 July— 16 weeks before his late autumn due date.

“Please, take the vaccine. I didn’t. Don’t risk yours and your baby’s life,” Ms Li told Birmingham Live.

Leonie Chao-Fong7 August 2021 13:37


Voices: Vaccine apartheid shows that, once again, the free market has failed

Last year, the world marvelled at the speed with which scientists developed effective vaccines against Covid-19.

Many of the factors explaining such extraordinary success came down to global cooperation: world leaders joined forces to throw funds at this vital mission, scientists pooled research across borders and thousands of people around the world volunteered for vaccine trials.

It’s a heartening story that stands in shocking contrast to the world’s vaccine rollout: a tale of selfish nationalism, blatant inequities and a failure of humanity on a global scale.

Leonie Chao-Fong7 August 2021 13:22


Vaccination of Scottish 16 to 17-year-olds to start this weekend

Vaccinations for those aged 16 and 17 will begin this weekend, Scotland’s Health Secretary has announced.

Earlier this week the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advised that the vaccine rollout should be extended to anyone aged 16 or over.

Appointments for Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines can be booked at some vaccination clinics this weekend, or the teenagers can visit a drop-in centre if staff have been trained and appropriate information is available at the location.

A full rollout of the vaccination programme for this age group will be in place across Scotland from Tuesday.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “I would urge all eligible young people to take up the offer of vaccination … Our route out of this pandemic is getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 13:10


Sage scientist ‘cautiously optimistic’ there will be no more UK lockdowns

Professor John Edmunds – one of the government’s Sage panel adviser – has said he is “cautiously optimistic” there will be no need for more lockdowns.

It comes after former Sage scientist Professor Neil Ferguson said that Covid cases could rise again but that lockdowns are “unlikely” to be needed in the UK in future.

Prof Edmunds told Times Radio: “I don’t think we will need to go into a lockdown. I hope not anyway. I very much hope not. I’m cautiously optimistic about that.”

He added: “Will we ever return to completely normal behaviour? I don’t know.

“But there’s a long way to go between the sorts of behaviours that we’re collectively making now and the average behaviour that we were making before the pandemic. There is a big difference.

“And if we go back completely to normal that will certainly fuel an autumn wave.”

Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 12:51


Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard tests positive for Covid

Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard is self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, the club have announced.

The 28-year-old midfielder will now miss the club’s final pre-season friendly against Everton this afternoon.

Lingard said on his Twitter account: “Really gutted to have tested positive after a good pre season, luckily I feel fine and will follow the guidelines and be back with the boys on pitch very soon! Thank you for your support.”

Lingard is back at Manchester United following a successful loan spell at West Ham last season.

Manchester United begin their Premier League campaign against Leeds next weekend.

Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 12:32


French Covid health pass protests for fourth weekend in a row

Protesters in France are gearing up to take to the streets for the fourth weekend in a row against “vaccine passports”.

Hundreds of thousands of people in cities including Paris, Lille, Marseille and Lille are to demonstrate today against the government’s Covid-19 health pass that will come into force on Monday.

The pass has been in effect since 21 July, but it has been extended to places including restaurants.

People visiting and using cultural and recreational venues, inter-city trains, planes, shopping centres and department stores will need the pass, as well as visitors to hospitals or care homes, and those seeking non-urgent medical care.

Critics have accused French President Emmanuel Macron of running a health “dictatorship” by making vaccines mandatory in order for people to get a pass.

On Friday, France’s Constitutional Council ruled that the measure complied with the country’s founding charter.

Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 12:10


Vaccines ‘more than twice’ as effective as natural Covid immunity

People who were previously infected with Covid are more than twice as likely to be reinfected with the virus than those who are fully-vaccinated, according to a new US study.

The study, involving hundreds of people in the state of Kentucky in June, suggests that vaccines offer better protection than natural immunity, and that they help prevent reinfection if a person gets vaccinated after catching Covid.

“If you have had Covid-19 before, please still get vaccinated,” said Centers of Disease Control and Prevention director Dr Rochelle Walensky.

“Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others around you, especially as the more contagious Delta variant spreads around the country.”

It comes just says after another study, in the UK, revealed that fully-vaccinated people were three times less likely than unvaccinated people to test positive for Covid-19.

The study from 24 June to 12 July from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI involved 98,000 volunteers in England to examine the levels of Covid-19 in the general population.

Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 11:37


Sturgeon: Scotland in ‘better position’ with Covid than expected

Scotland is in a “much better position” with Covid than could have been expected at the start of summer, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister tweeted encouragement for Scots to “continue to take sensible precautions” while many of coronavirus restrictions are being lifted on Monday, except the requirement to wear face masks in some settings.

The number of new coronavirus infections reached a peak of 4,234 on 1 July but the average number of daily cases so far during August is now 1,125, according to the Scottish Government statistics.

Friday’s figures showed Scotland recorded seven coronavirus-related deaths and 1,250 new cases in the past 24 hours.

Data from the National Records of Scotland show 46 fatalities, that mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificates, were registered in the week from 26 July 26 to 1 August.

This marks a drop of 10 on the previous week, and the first time the figures have fallen in seven weeks.

Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 11:12


US averaging 100k new Covid cases a day

The US is now averaging 100,000 new Covid infections a day, a number not seen since its surge in the autumn and winter.

A daily average of about 11,000 cases a day was recorded in late June, and now that has increased to 107,143 despite that vaccines have been administered to more than 70 per cent of the adult population.

The increase is attributed to the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of the virus.

Prior to the new figure, the average number of new daily cases had not surpassed 100,000 since November.

A few months later in late January, the average number of new cases peaked at about 250,000.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 10:53

Source: Covid UK news – live: ‘Long way to go’ before life is normal, warns Sage, after NI records first child death

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