Covid news live: Latest updates as UK ‘must do more than booster jabs’ to avert threat of Christmas lockdown

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Boris Johnson says no plans for new U.K. COVID lockdown

A government adviser has said it was “quite questionable” for chancellor Rishi Sunak to suggest that vaccine boosters will be enough to prevent future lockdowns.

Professor Adam Finn, member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, has told Times Radio: “I think we do, probably need to do more than that now.”

It comes after the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that the vaccine alone will not be able to lift the world out of the pandemic.

PM Boris Johnson has been urging people eligible for a Covid booster vaccine to get theirs before the winter months, as those eligible for the third jab have been slow to book their appointments.

Cases have been rising over the past week to between 40,000 and 50,000 new cases per day for the last week – sparking fears for hospitalisation and death rates over the festive season.

WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris told Times Radio: “The problem is focusing on one thing, the vaccine isn’t going to get us out of this.

“We really have to do other measures.

“We have got to be serious about not crowding. We have still got to be looking at wearing the masks, when you’re indoors particularly.”

Senior scientific advisers to the government have told ministers to start preparing for the “rapid deployment” of basic Covid measures such as the return of compulsory mask-wearing and working from home.

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Glaswegians advised only to go to A&E is condition is life-threatening

Glasgow’s health board deputy director Scott Davidson has today urged patients not attend A&E if their issue can be treated at home.

It has emerged that a third of those who went to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital’s A&E department during one week were there for injuries such as bruising, cut fingers, and lower back pain.

Health boards across the country have struggled to deal with normal service amid the Covid pandemic, and the military are already providing additional support to NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Grampian and NHS Borders.

Lamiat Sabin23 October 2021 15:15

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Northern Ireland records 10 more Covid-linked deaths

Ten further deaths of patients who had previously tested positive for Covid-19 have been reported in Northern Ireland.

Its Department of Health has also reported another 1,323 cases of the virus.

To date, more than 2.6 million vaccines have been administered in the north of Ireland.

Lamiat Sabin23 October 2021 14:50

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Scotland unable to report latest number of Covid deaths

Scotland has recorded 2,403 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, latest Scottish Government figures show.

A “data issue” means the Scottish Government is unable to report the number of deaths on Friday.

The daily test positivity rate was 8.7 per cent, down from 8.8 per cent the previous day.

There were 896 people in hospital on Thursday with recently confirmed Covid-19, up two on the previous day, with 61 in intensive care, up one.

So far, more than 4.3 million people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 3.8m have received a second dose.

Lamiat Sabin23 October 2021 14:30

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Taoiseach urges Ireland to ‘behave’ to prevent severe Covid cases

Up to 150 people could be in intensive care with Covid by the end of next month, the Taoiseach has warned.

Micheal Martin also said he could not predict when Ireland would return to normal following the pandemic.

In an interview with Newstalk FM, Mr Martin said there was concern about the growing number of Covid cases in the country.

On Friday, there were a further 2,466 confirmed cases, with 457 patients in hospital, 90 of those in intensive care units.

The Taoiseach said: “There is the optimistic model, there is the pessimistic model.

“You could be looking at up to 150 in ICU by the end of November. That would be serious in terms of the wider impact on the health service.

“But if we all collectively behave, what I mean by that is watch ourselves, be a bit more cautious about how we go about in congregations, we can pull this back.”

Lamiat Sabin23 October 2021 14:08

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Melbourne comes out of nine-month-long lockdown

Melbourne has begun celebrating the end of the world’s longest string of lockdowns with street parties, beach games, live music, and packed indoor venues.

Australia’s second-largest city, home to about five million people, was in lockdown for nearly nine months straight until this weekend.

(Reuters)

The ease in restrictions came the state’s full-vaccination rate reached 70 per cent.

Nearly 72 per ent of adults in Australia are now fully vaccinated and nearly 87 per cent have received one jab.

(Reuters)

According to a national strategy, lockdowns will be unlikely once 80 per cent of Australians are fully-jabbed.

Lamiat Sabin23 October 2021 13:20

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Seventy per cent of South Koreans vaccinated

South Korea has announced that it has achieved its goal of vaccinating 70 per cent of its 52 million population.

The country set the target when it started its Covid vaccination scheme in February.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said it was reached by 2pm (5am GMT) today.

Health minister Kwon Deok-cheol said last week that the government would begin a slow return to “normal activities” from 1 November.

Lamiat Sabin23 October 2021 12:50

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Billionaire’s companies received up to £6m in furlough money

A billionaire property tycoon claimed up to £6 million in furlough cash during the pandemic through shell companies, it has been reported today.

This is despite John Christodoulou, who has a net worth of more than £2 billion, having said that he “borrowed nothing from the Government during Covid pandemic”.

According to The Times, Mr Christodoulou’s businesses – Blue Manchester, Blue Liverpool, YFSCR and Octagon Pier – received the cash via the coronavirus job retention scheme from December 2020 to June 2021.

In June, he told an audience at an event that firms which take money from the government were sending the “wrong image”.

Mr Christodoulou is not a director nor listed as an owner but the four companies are all controlled by him – the newspaper reported.

Lamiat Sabin23 October 2021 12:30

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Councils urge residents to follow stricter rules than the government’s

Local councils are telling residents to follow tougher Covid measures while the government resists called to implement Plan B measures to halt the spread of Covid.

Residents in Liverpool, Windsor and Suffolk are among those who have been told by public health teams to follow stricter measures.

Lamiat Sabin23 October 2021 12:15

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Children in Romania to go on two-week ‘firebreak’ school holiday

Romania’s government is planning to keep children off school for two weeks as part of efforts to lower numbers of Covid cases and deaths.

The authorities are also set to re-introduce a night curfew and make health passes and face masks mandatory for entry to most public venues from Monday.

Weddings and other private events are banned, and the government is also urging employers to send half their staff to work from home.

The measures to be in force for 30 days were approved by the interim government late last night.

Romania reported record numbers of daily Covid deaths and cases this month, and the health system is stretched to breaking point.

The country has the second-lowest coronavirus vaccination rate in the EU, with just over a third of the adult population fully jabbed.

“We are in a disaster situation,” deputy Interior Minister Raed Arafat said on Friday.

“We have seen other countries go through this when there wasn’t a weapon available, namely the vaccine.

“We are in this situation while having the vaccine, because the majority of us refused to get inoculated. This situation could have been avoided.”

Lamiat Sabin23 October 2021 12:00

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Russia sees record number of Covid cases and deaths

Russia has reported record levels of Covid-19 infections and deaths.

This comes after President Vladimir Putin ordered Russians to stay away from work between 30 October and 7 November.

The national coronavirus taskforce said today that 1,075 people had died with the virus in the past 24 hours.

A total of 37,678 new infections were recorded.

The daily death toll is about 33 per cent higher than in late September and infection cases have risen by about 70 per cent in the past month.

Only about a third of Russia’s 146 million people are vaccinated.

Lamiat Sabin23 October 2021 11:45

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