Green said she understood Labour mayors Andy Burnham and Sadiq Khan would make masks mandatory on trams in Manchester and the Tube in London.
I hope they will and I believe, I think I’m right in saying, that Andy has already indicated that here in Manchester, that’s what he will do.
I certainly think that having travelled regularly on both the Tube and the tram all through the pandemic when I was allowed to, that wearing masks and seeing others wearing masks is a source of great reassurance and people want to do it.
Shadow education secretary in England Kate Green has said Labour supported coronavirus restrictions lifting on July 19 if the data supported it, but that some measures should stay in place.
The shadow education secretary told Trevor Phillips On Sunday on Sky News:
What we don’t want is to lift the restrictions without keeping mitigations in place that would enable that to happen more safely.
So for example, that’s why we’ve said that the mandatory mask-wearing should continue in public places.
That’s why we’ve said that there should be more support and requirement on public spaces to have proper ventilation systems.
That’s why we said that the financial support for people on low incomes who have to isolate needs to be adequate so that they can afford to do that.
So yes, we do want to see the restrictions lifted if the data confirmed that that’s the right thing to do, and I hope, and the indications seem to be that it will do. But we want that with the mitigations kept in place.
The Press Association have written up warnings expressed by Sir David Spiegelhalter on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show today that life is likely to be “massively disrupted” by people being told to self-isolate as the number of coronavirus cases rises over the summer.
The statistician said it would make sense to get the rules “in proportion” today as vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi confirmed the Government was looking at ways to tweak the NHS Covid app.
As PA reports, there have been concerns that people are deleting or disabling the app amid a huge rise in exposure alerts sent to users in England telling them to isolate.
Representative body NHS Providers said a growing number of trusts had told them of their concerns in recent days about how self-isolation of staff is now “significantly impacting their ability to deliver care”.
Downing Street said on Friday that ahead of Step 4 of restrictions being lifted, expected on July 19, officials were examining whether NHS staff could be freed of the obligation to self-isolate if “pinged” by the Covid app.
Under current plans, people who are fully vaccinated will be able to forgo self-isolation even if the app detects they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive after August 16.
Hospitality chiefs have warned that the delay between restrictions being lifted and self-isolation rules being eased risks “the summer being cancelled and vast swathes of the population unnecessarily confined to their homes”.
Spiegelhalter, a statistician from the University of Cambridge, said if people are vaccinated and then pinged by the app, it is a “very low percentage” who have “actually got the virus”.
Few people told to self-isolate actually have an infection, and especially if they’re vaxxed, and so I do think it makes sense to get this in proportion to actually ‘what are the benefits of this massive disruption
Zahawi said the app “was developed and operationalised at a time when we didn’t have vaccines”.
Speaking on Trevor Phillips On Sunday on Sky News, he said:
The team are looking at how we use that app in terms of alerting people to those around them who test positive.
It’s important to look at that in a new context of this massive vaccination programme and make sure that it is fit for purpose for this new world including, for example, being able to take maybe five days, as we have piloted, of lateral flow tests and upload them to the system rather than having to self-isolate.
Libya records record number of cases
In Libya, Al-Wasat news is reporting that the country has recorded a record number of coronavirus cases.
The National Center for Disease Control announced the registration of 2,854 new cases of the “emerging corona virus”, in addition to 376 cases of recovery, and 8 deaths, in the highest number of infections since March 2020.
(thanks to reader Francisco Javier Torres Tobar for the heads up)
Indonesia reports 1007 deaths in 24 hour period
Indonesian national newspaper Kompas is reporting a “high number of new cases and deaths” in the country.
It states that figures released on Sunday show cases in Indonesia rose by 36,197 in one day to 2,527,203.
A further 1,007 deaths were reported bringing the death toll to 66,464, the health ministry said on Sunday.
According to the ministry, 32,615 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 2,084,724.
The number of patients infected with Covid-19 now stands at 2,527,203 people as of March 2020.
Really sad story from the BBC:
Experts are warning that it is possible to catch two Covid variants at the same time, after seeing a double infection in a 90-year-old woman who became sick with the Alpha and Beta types first identified in the UK and South Africa.
The woman, who died in March 2021 in Belgium, had not been vaccinated.
Her doctors suspect she contracted the infections from two different people and believe it is the first documented case of its kind.
Although rare, similar dual infections are happening, according to scientists.
Her case is being discussed at this year’s European Congress on Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases.
In January 2021, scientists in Brazil reported that two people had been simultaneously infected with two types of coronavirus, one of them a variant of concern called Gamma.
Researchers from Portugal, meanwhile, recently treated a 17-year-old who appeared to have caught a second type of Covid while still recovering from a different, pre-existing Covid infection.
The 90-year-old, who was infected with the two “variants of concern” – the most worrying new versions of coronavirus that experts are tracking – had been admitted to hospital after experiencing some falls, but later developed worsening respiratory symptoms.
Hundreds of Thai health workers infected despite Sinovac injections
Thailand’s health ministry has said that more than 600 medical workers who received two doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine have been infected with COVID-19, as authorities weigh giving booster doses to raise immunity.
Of the 677,348 medical personnel who received two doses of Sinovac, 618 became infected, health ministry data from April to July showed. A nurse has died and another medical worker is in critical condition.
An expert panel has recommended a third dose to trigger immunity for medical workers who are at risk, senior health official Sopon Iamsirithawon, told a news briefing on Sunday.
“This will be a different vaccine, either viral vector AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine, which Thailand will be receiving in the near term,” he said, adding that the recommendation will be considered on Monday.
The announcement comes as the Southeast Asian country reported a record high of 9,418 community infections on Sunday. On Saturday authorities reported a record of 91 new daily coronavirus fatalities.
Thailand has reported a total of 336,371 confirmed infections and 2,711 fatalities since the pandemic began last year.
The majority of Thailand’s medical and frontline workers were given Sinovac’s shots after February with the viral vector vaccine from AstraZeneca arriving in June.
Thailand is expecting a donation of 1.5 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines from the United States later this month and has ordered 20 million doses that will be delivered after October.
Neighbouring Indonesia, which has also heavily relied on Sinovac, said on Friday it would give the Moderna vaccine as boosters to medical workers.
Marr getting stuck in to Nadim Zahawi after his first interview on Sky News this morning. He compares Boris Johnson’s claim in PMQs this link that the link between infections, hospitalisations and deaths had been “severed” was at odds with the information given by Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.
When Zahawi suggests the question is “dancing on the head of a pin”, Marr shows why he is one of the best political interviewers in the game, saying:
This is really important because people are going to have to make choices themselves, and we are seeing the number of cases shooting out, and we see the number of hospitalisations rising quite fast as well.
So if people think that the link has been severed, they will behave in one way, and if they don’t think it’s been severed they’ll behave in another way, This is not [an] irrelevant, heads of pin question it is quite important, I say again, the Prime Minister was wrong to say the link has been severed?
Ultimately the Prime Minister agrees with his chief scientific adviser that we have severely weakened that link, and you see it in the numbers.
We have to be cautious on Monday he will stand up another press conference, and will say we have severely weakened the link, okay, and he will advise that people should take responsibly, but will be expected to, for example, wear masks indoors in crowded train carriages.
Marr points out that Zahawi’s messsaging is “interestingly more cautious than some other ministers we’ve been hearing from recently”.
We have to be cautious, this thing is not over, you look at what’s happening in France and Italy and elsewhere,[…] this is very concerning.
Marr asked Spiegelhalter if people were doubly vaccinated, how safe were they:
You’re not completely safe, but probably at least 20 times safer than if you were not vaccinated.
He said compared to a 67-year-old like himself, an unvaccinated 30-year-old still had less chance of dying.
And that’s reflected in the current statistics, you know, very few people are dying, but those that are, are predominantly older people who have been vaccinated. There’s far more vaccinated over 50s dying than unvaccinated under 50s.
What it does mean is that if you’re in this current wave if you’re unvaxxed and older, you’re a very high risk, and that means that some communities are going to be hard hit.
Asked how worried young people should be about long Covid, he said:
There’s a lot of uncertainty about long covid, but it is a reasonable concern. The Office for National Statistics recently estimated that one in six 25 -year -olds were reporting symptoms three months after they got infected.
I mean I don’t like telling anyone what to do, but I should say for young people vaccines not only reduce the chance of getting the virus, but they also seem to reduce the chance of getting long Covid if you do get the virus, and also of course, you help everyone else around you.
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter is on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show this morning.
Talking about the relaxing of restriction on July 19 he said:
Frankly, you know, unless tomorrow, there is an immediate lockdown, which I think is pretty unlikely. there’s bound to be a big wave of cases coming up it is absolutely inevitable. It was predictable right from the start of the roadmap announcement back in February.
It’s been made by worse by the Delta Variant, and I would guess that, you know 100,000 a day is quite possible, and relaxing everything at once on July, the 19th will only make that more likely.
These will be mainly young cases, the average case was 25. And they’ve got a quarter as many over 65 getting infected as there were when we were last at this level which [was in] mid December.
Asked about hospitalisations, which Marr said were running at 460 a day “which is higher than the government originally expected”, Spiegelhalter said:
The cases are so much younger, but that would mean that 100,000 cases, if we got there, would be maybe 2500 admissions a day.
You know that’s very high, [but] considerably lower than the peak in the second wave. And they would be younger and less severe, with shorter stays.
So the actual numbers in the hospital would still be well below the secondary peak, even if we did it that 100,000 a day. But, of course, is very disruptive and there would be a lot of bad outcomes, but I guess the judgment is that it’s better we do it now than in the winter.
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