Covid news – live: UK records highest daily deaths since March, as Javid warns NHS under ‘huge pressure’ – The Independent

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UK Covid-19 vaccinations: Latest figures

The UK has recorded the highest daily total of deaths from Covid-19 since March 9. Government figures released today showed a further 223 people died from the virus, bringing the UK total to 138,629.

It comes as Sajid Javid has warned the NHS is under “huge pressure” and that there are “shortages” across the service. The health secretary told MPs it would be a “particularly tough winter” and that more work was needed to avoid a “crisis of misery” for patients.

Mr Javid also announced a “ramping up” of the coronavirus vaccination programme, saying children aged between 12 and 15 would be able to use the national booking service to get their jabs during half-term.

Meanwhile, scientists behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine are developing a new jab they hope will counter the highly transmissible Delta variant. The team is working to have “something on the shelf ready to scale up – if it’s needed”.

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Unvaccinated workers in US face job losses

Thousands of unvaccinated workers across the US are facing potential job losses as a growing number of states and cities enforce vaccine mandates.

In the latest high-profile example, Washington State University (WSU) fired its head football coach and four of his assistants on Monday for failing to comply with the state’s vaccine requirement.

The coach, Nick Rolovich, had applied for a religious exemption from the mandate earlier this month.

Thousands of police officers and firefighters in cities like Chicago and Baltimore are also at risk of losing their jobs in the coming days under mandates that require them to report their vaccination status or submit to regular coronavirus testing.

The White House, which announced sweeping vaccine requirements in a bid to reduce hospitalisations and deaths from Covid-19 in the wake of a surge driven by the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, has been a major catalyst behind the inoculation push.

Along with the mandate for federal workers and contractors, Biden’s vaccine requirements will cover roughly 100 million people, about two-thirds of the U.S. workforce.

The White House has been meeting with executives of several major companies to discuss Biden’s private-sector vaccination plan.

A wave of layoffs has already swept through the healthcare industry, which moved more quickly than others to impose vaccine mandates given the heightened Covid-19 exposure risk for patients and staff.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Joe Middleton19 October 2021 18:44
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Covid cases surge in southwest England after lab testing fiasco

Cases are surging in southwest England after tens of thousands of people with Covid were wrongly told they were negative, allowing infections to continue spreading unchecked within the region.

An estimated 43,000 people across the country are thought to have received an incorrect false test result due to “technical issues” at a private laboratory in Wolverhampton, where operations have been suspended amid an ongoing investigation.

Authorities have since contacted the affected individuals, mostly in the South West, to advise them to take another test. The incorrect PCR results were handed out between 8 September and 12 October, the UK Health Security Agency said.

Samuel Lovett reports.

Joe Middleton19 October 2021 18:27
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Bulgaria introduces mandatory Covid pass for indoor spaces

Bulgaria has decided to make coronavirus passes mandatory at indoor venues such as shopping malls and cinemas.

The move, announced by the health minister on Tuesday, comes amid a spike in Covid-19 infections.

Health passes, which will show proof of vaccination or a negative test result, will be required from 21 October.

“The number of new infections and deaths is rising. That forces us to impose additional measures. All activities indoors should be carried out with a green certificate,” Stoicho Katsarov.

The health minister also encouraged more people to get vaccinated, as only one in four Bulgarians have had at least one vaccine dose.

Rory Sullivan19 October 2021 18:15
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Northern Ireland administers almost 30,000 Covid vaccine boosters

Health care workers in Northern Ireland have administered almost 30,000 coronavirus vaccine boosters, the territory’s health minister has said.

During ministerial questions on Tuesday, Robin Swann said 29,836 booster doses had been given out as well as 4,123 third doses.

More than 200 community pharmacies will be involved in the booster roll-out, he confirmed.

Mr Swann also gave assurances that there is no shortage of booster doses. “It is hoped the majority of eligible people will have received their booster by the end of this year,” he said.

Rory Sullivan19 October 2021 18:02
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Covid cases jump in 86% of UK local areas

Almost 90 per cent of the UK’s 377 local areas saw a jump in coronavirus infections in the week up to 15 October, the latest data shows.

In total, case rates grew in 323 (86 per cent) local areas and fell in the remaining 54 (14 per cent).

Bath & North East Somerset currently has the highest infection rate in the UK, with 877.5 cases per 100,000 people, a steep rise from 260.7 the previous week.

Rory Sullivan19 October 2021 17:41
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Government ‘not complacent’ about rising Covid cases, says No 10

The government has said it is “not complacent” about the spike in Covid-19 cases but that contingency measures were not needed for the time being.

A spokesperson for Boris Johnson said the decision would not be necessary unless the NHS was at risk of being overwhelmed. “We are not at that point,” they said.

“Because of the vaccination programme, the levels we are seeing in both patients admitted to hospital and deaths are far lower than we saw in previous peaks,” No 10 added.

Rory Sullivan19 October 2021 17:15
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London Mayor Khan condemns treatment of Gove by anti-lockdown protesters

London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the treatment of Michael Gove by protesters and thanked police for stepping in.

“This is just wrong,” Mr Khan said.

“Politicians should be able to go out without being intimidated or fearing for their safety.”

Communities Secretary Mr Gove had to be escorted by police away from an anti-lockdown protest after demonstrators attempted to surround him in the street.

Joe Middleton19 October 2021 16:51
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UK sees highest Covid daily death rate since March 9

A further 223 people have died of Covid-19, the highest daily figure for reported deaths since March 9.

Government figures released today also showed there have been 43,738 new lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 164,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

Joe Middleton19 October 2021 16:24
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Javid defends retention of Covid curbs

Sajid Javid has defended continuing some Covid-19 provisions in the face of Conservative backbench concerns, arguing they were “still necessary and proportionate to help with the pressure”.

During a Commons debate on the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Review of Temporary Provisions) (No 3), he told MPs: “We do certainly expect more pressure as we head into winter, we’ve been very open about that and that is why the vaccination programme, both the Covid vaccination programme, the boosters and the flu vaccination programme remain important.

“But there are provisions in this Act which are still, I believe, still necessary and proportionate to help with the pressure … Again that is for example the registration of healthcare and social care workers, also the power to discontinue healthcare assessments for people being discharged from the NHS.

“I think it is wise especially heading into the winter when we don’t at this stage know just how significant the pressures will be to have that flexibility.”

Jon Sharman19 October 2021 16:15
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Michael Gove ambushed by anti-vax protesters as they push past police

A ring of police officers had to protect Michael Gove from a mob of anti-vaxxer protesters on Tuesday after they started screaming abuse at him, writes Holly Bancroft.

The minister for levelling up, housing and communities was walking through Westminster at lunch time when he was collared by a number of angry protesters.

The incident comes as politicians call for greater protection following the stabbing of Sir David Amess MP at his constituency surgery.

Jon Sharman19 October 2021 15:57

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GUEST COLUMN: How home care technology can ease pressures on the NHS this winter – Home Care Insight

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‘In my country, I feared the war. But here I feared the Home Office': Asylum seekers speak on the UK refugee process – Global Voices Kenya

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