Covid’s restrictions are likely to continue “for a while,” says the scientific advisor
Measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 could remain in place until the entire adult population is vaccinated, the director of England’s public health strategic response has suggested.
Dr Susan Hopkins told Sky News “I think once we get to a very low level of the community, we will have to have all the measures in place until the adult population is vaccinated.”
It comes as ministers need to consider vaccination plans and test certificates to be used for international travel – however the source said the measure will not cease to be sanctioned for domestic use.
The debate arose after the government’s repeated rejection of the idea of using “vaccine passports” for use in the UK to access high-risk areas, including catering facilities and live events. The source said Independent the proposals were at a very early stage and no scheme is expected to be in place for some time.
Coronavirus cases continue to fall across the country, according to the latest English Public Health (PHE) report, with the Southwest recording its lowest rate – 120.3 per 100,000 people in the seven days to 7 February.
According to the data, 30- to 39-year-olds recorded the highest number of cases from 265.3 per 100,000, down from 367.2 last week. For people aged 80 and over, the rate dropped from 294.6 to 200.5.
Meanwhile, as a new scientific study, it was discovered that a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis could help prevent one in 25 deaths among patients admitted to the hospital with Covid, while reducing the need for ventilator placement.
Researchers from the National Recovery Study said that tocilizumab, given with the steroid dexamethasone, reduced the absolute risk of mortality by four percentage points.
The drug has already been used in hospitals to treat some coronavirus patients after early results last month showed it reduced the risk of death.
An arthritis drug reduces Covid’s mortality, scientists find
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Vincent WoodFebruary 11, 2021. 22:20
Some restrictions may need to remain in place until the entire adult population is vaccinated – PHE chief
Dr. Susan Hopkins from the English Public Health said that every phase of easing the restrictions on coronavirus should be monitored “very carefully”.
“I think we’re going to have to be very careful as we ease into these national constraints, taking the time to watch and follow at every stage,” she told Sky News.
“I think once we get to a very low level of the community, we will have to have permanent measures in place until the adult population is vaccinated.
“What those measures are, we’re going to have to look and see, but I think it’s really important that we keep rates as low as possible this year.”
Vincent WoodFebruary 11, 2021. 22:00
Hotel quarantine website invalid before rules are triggered on Monday
An online portal for travelers booking a hotel in quarantine on arrival in England from a country with a banned travel list is likely to stay overnight.
It is understood that officials expect this to restart on Friday around 10 p.m.
A health ministry spokesman said: “The site is currently working to correct a minor technical issue.”
He said the portal would be open “even before” the hotel quarantine takes effect on Monday.
Vincent WoodFebruary 11, 2021. 21:40
The UK has failed to close its borders earlier on WHO advice, Zahawi claims
Vaccine Minister Nadim Zahawi said the UK had closed its borders just as late as because the World Health Organization (WHO) had told the government “that more funds should be spent on other interventions”.
You can see his interview with Sky News on Thursday night here:
Sam HancockFeb. 11, 2021. 9:15 p.m.
Ministers will discuss international certification of travel vaccines
Government ministers are scheduled to discuss vaccination plans and test certificates on Friday to facilitate international travel after the lock.
While the talks will not include “vaccine passports” to prove immunity in places in the UK – instead, they focus on how Britain can work with the international system that is expected to eventually be introduced to facilitated travel between different countries.
The source told our political editor Andrew Woodcock the proposals were at a very early stage and no scheme is expected to be in place for some time.
Read his full report here:
Sam HancockFebruary 11, 2021. 20:56
Vaccination fluctuations in Bama communities ‘rooted in past experience’
London’s regional director of public health in England (PHE) said vaccine variability among black, Asian and minority ethnic communities (BAME) is not about people “choosing to be tough”.
Addressing the first NHS Race and Health Observatory webinar, Professor Kevin Fenton said: “Vaccine fluctuations … are often rooted in a number of social, cultural, interpersonal and institutional factors that, unless we have that broader view and a broader understanding of the factors affecting to hesitation and poor vaccine administration, then we will not successfully address them. ”
He added that people can have a wide range of reasons for indecision in obtaining medication, including past experience and lack of trust.
Prof. Fenton told attendees, “We need to keep in mind that mistrust is often against the background of the historical difficulties people have with services that we also need to overcome.”
Ladies Donna Kinnair, executive director of the Royal College of Nursing, said anti-vaccines “so quickly” played on fears and doubts about spreading myths about vaccines and that it was up to clinical leaders to address them.
She said: “Some of those I’ve seen are actually doctors coming out and saying they have to protect us from taking this vaccine, from this huge experiment.
“So I’m not surprised that we feel a deep level of mistrust, but it’s actually one of the things we have to do as clinical leaders come out and dispel these myths.”
Dame Donna said it was not a matter of rejecting people’s thoughts or beliefs, but of “engaging in a conversation that explores this and provides evidence to combat some of those misconceptions”.
Additional PA reporting
Sam HancockFebruary 11, 2021. 20:38
Thousands of NHS patients have been waiting more than a year for surgery because of Covid
The coronavirus quickly slowed the number of routine surgeries performed by the NHS, and nearly 225,000 patients in England found that they had been waiting for more than a year in December.
The latest figures reveal that the number of admissions to non-Covid hospitals has fallen by 25 percent, with a total of 224,205 people waiting more than a year to start treatment in late 2020 – the highest number in any month since April 2008.
Data show that approximately 100,000 additional patients joined the overall NHS waiting list in December, an increase of 3,300 patients each day.
Our health correspondent Shaun Lintern reports:
Sam HancockFebruary 11, 2021. 20:14
Stafford update: Case of SA variant has no “connection to international travel”
The Stafford Borough Council identified a positive case of the Covid variant from South Africa (SA), from residents unrelated to international travel.
Local authorities said there was no evidence of the strain circulating in the community, after confirming that the case was initiated by a routine laboratory examination after a positive coronavirus test in January.
A neighborhood resident has since recovered, and a search for contacts found that they had no known contact with people in their local area while they were contagious, as well as links to other areas with known cases of the SA variant.
The Staffordshire County Council is now advising everyone in the Stafford County area to be tested over the next four weeks, as part of an effort to identify further cases of the variant.
Dr Nic Coetzee, a contagious disease control consultant for public health in England Midlands, said: “As new versions appeared all the time and spread faster, it is not surprising that a case of the South African variant was found in Staffordshire.
“While there is currently no evidence that the South African variant is circulating in the community, we want to be proactive in testing people and stopping the spread of the infection.
“This is a timely reminder to everyone to keep following the rules, stay home, and if they have substantial reasons to leave their home, get tested regularly.”
Sam HancockFebruary 11, 2021. 19:49
The Prime Minister warned that he would not give up on his plans to release the UK from the lock
Boris Johnson has been warned not to “deviate” from plans to ease Britain from imprisonment, after his spokesman appeared to have withdrawn from the prime minister’s promise to draw up a roadmap for recovery on 22 February.
A spokesman said Thursday that plans would be shared during “Week 22,” which would worry principals and teachers that their current return to school on March 8 would be jeopardized. Ministers undertook to notify staff two weeks before returning to classrooms so they could prepare for Covid-safe face-to-face lectures.
That would require an announcement no later than a week on Monday, February 22nd.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said of the confusion: “The prime minister has said he is aiming for March 8, he must stick to it. We must open our schools.”
Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has more:
Sam HancockFebruary 11, 2021. 19:28
UCU is investigating the death of a teacher who was ‘afraid to go back to work’ because of Covid
The University and College Union (UCU) has expressed concern over the death of a teacher who died after receiving a contract with Covid, telling his family he is afraid to return to work in the midst of a pandemic.
Donna Coleman, 42, who worked with vulnerable students at Burnley College, died Jan. 6 after being rushed to hospital due to breathing problems. Her family reports that she had no underlying health problems.
The UCU is now investigating Coleman’s death, the PA news agency reported.
Martyn Moss, a UCU regional official, said: “Donna’s death is a terrible tragedy and we support her family at this difficult time.
“UCU is investigating the circumstances that led to Donna’s death, including whether she infected Covida with her work at Burnley College.”
Union General Secretary Jo Grady said: “We are all angry and devastated by Donna’s loss. Her death will be deeply felt by her family, her students and the wider community.
“Too many workers, including those in school after the age of 16, have lost their lives because of Covid.”
Sam HancockFebruary 11, 2021. 18:59