PM Boris Johnson and senior health chiefs continue to call on the nation to vaccinate against Covid, amid growing concern over rising infection levels ahead of the winter months.
NHS England’s national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said getting a booster would “protect the freedom and Christmas we have earned”.
People are repeatedly told to jab as Mr Johnson resists pleas from health leaders for tighter restrictions despite a rising number of cases.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said this week that new cases could reach one lakh a day.
But Downing Street insisted the NHS still has excess capacity and that Plan B measures – which include work from home guidance and mandatory wearing of face masks – will only be implemented if it comes under “significant pressure”.
doctors have told Granthshala That the NHS is facing “the worst winter ever”.
Mr Johnson, who has said there are no plans for another lockdown, said: “Vaccines are our way through this winter.”
People eligible for a booster include anyone age 50 and older, people living and working in care homes for the elderly, and health and social care workers.
Mr Javid will tell NHS leaders to be able to book a third shot five months after their second dose for people over the age of 50, a month earlier than they currently can, mail on sunday informed of.
92 percent of schools still waiting on covid air monitor – poll
Most schools are still waiting for airflow monitors, which are used to help reduce the spread of covid indoors.
According to a Twitter survey, only 8 percent of 300,000 CO2 monitors were distributed in primary and secondary schools over this period, inspector has reported.
This is despite Education Secretary Nadim Zahavi’s promise that a third of the units will be delivered by the end of this month.
The Pole was founded by Simon Smith, headmaster of East Whitby Academy, a primary school in North Yorkshire.
Several teachers who responded to his post said that the CO2 monitors that came to schools appeared to be unreliable, and that some staff had bought their own monitors.
Labor says government should reimpose some Covid rules
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said the government should present its so-called Plan B for dealing with rising rates of the coronavirus.
On the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning he was asked what Labor’s position was on when restrictions such as wearing face coverings and working from home were reimposed.
Ms Reeves said: “We have seen today that Sage (the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) is saying that some aspects of Plan B, such as wearing masks on public transport and in shops, and working from home are also more flexibly should be introduced.
“I think the first thing that the government needs to do is to do more to make Plan A work… but there are also things A or B that need to be done, like statutory sick from day one. Payment of wages and better ventilation even in public places.”
Asked directly whether Plan B should be introduced now, he said: “Yes, but don’t let the government detract from Plan A either.”
My colleague’s full report Adam Forrest
Labor demands that the government now bring in covid plan b measures
‘We think we should follow the science’, says Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves
JCVI Pro: ‘Indiscriminately’ giving ‘waste’ to Covid booster jabs
Prof Adam Finn also told Sky News that he disagreed with the government’s proposal to give booster vaccines to people aged 50 and administer them a month before the plan.
The member of the Joint Immunization and Immunization Committee (JCVI) said efforts should be focused on getting people their third jab if they get their first two doses early in the UK’s vaccination plan.
He added that “more testing, social distancing and wearing masks are needed to get things under control soon enough to prevent a real recession in the middle of winter.”
Prof Finn also said: “[Vaccines] This in itself is not enough at the present time to keep the spread of the virus under control. We need to see that people are making constant efforts to avoid contact… Just getting more people vaccinated may risk getting worse rather than better.
“If you promote people before they need the vaccine, it is, in some sense, a waste of the vaccine.
“It also means you’re already immunizing them. It can lead to a minor reaction to the vaccine and the reaction may be worse at first.
“So I think the idea of indiscriminately getting more doses into people’s arms isn’t really going to solve the problem.”
JCVI Professor: ‘We Can’t Be Satisfied, It’s Deteriorating’
A scientist said this morning that people have been warned against being “satisfied” about Covid as the situation in the NHS “worsens”.
Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI) professor Adam Finn was asked by Trevor Phillips on Sky News if the number of daily new cases would reach 50,000 or 100,000 if hospitalization rates were not increasing.
Prof Finn said: “Unfortunately they are increasing and as the number of cases increase they will increase – because the virus will reach people who are vulnerable and who can become seriously ill.
“So I think we can’t be complacent, it’s a deteriorating situation for the NHS, which is already under enormous pressure.”
Prof Finn said reduced immunity from vaccines “exists” and is a risk among the oldest and most vulnerable, those who had had two early first.
“The biggest risk is to people who haven’t been vaccinated at all,” he said, and “many people we’re seeing” [in hospital] Now uninfected.”
Africa sees over 8.4m cases of Covid across continent
According to the data, more than 8.4 million Covid cases have been confirmed in 55 countries in Africa.
The countries with the most cases – at least 500,000 – are South Africa, Tunisia and Morocco.
A total of 216,779 Covid-linked deaths have been reported in Africa to date.
More than 106 million vaccinations have been done across the continent.
The number of Covid cases in Eastern Europe exceeds 20 million
Coronavirus cases in Eastern Europe will soon surpass 20 million, according to a Reuters tally today.
Three of the top five countries reporting the most deaths in the world are in Eastern Europe – Russia, Ukraine and Romania.
Countries in the region have the lowest vaccination rates in Europe, with less than half the population receiving a single dose.
According to Our World in Data, only 19 percent of people have been vaccinated in Ukraine, compared to Hungary, which has received at least one jab with 62 percent of its population.
New infections continue to rise in the region and now average more than 83,700 new cases per day, the highest level since November last year.
Although it accounts for just 4 percent of the world’s population, Eastern Europe accounts for about 20 percent of all new cases reported.
Lateral flow tests for travel come into effect from today
Travelers are now allowed to use cheaper lateral flow tests upon arrival in England instead of the more expensive PCR tests.
Fully vaccinated people arriving from a non-red list country can now use the lateral flow test on or before the second day of their return.
Wells will make the same change a week from now. Scotland and Northern Ireland have suggested they may follow suit.
Lateral flow tests for returning travelers must be purchased from private providers prior to travel to England, with prices listed on the government website starting at £19.
Passengers must send a photograph of their lateral flow test to verify the result, and failure to do so could result in a fine of £1,000.
NHS tests cannot be used for travel.
Full details here:
How do I order a lateral flow test for the trip, and how do the day two tests work?
Starting Sunday 24 October, you can substitute a PCR test for an antigen test when you travel. see here how it works
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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /