Coronavirus news UK latest – Boris Johnson taking added caution over Covid cases & 'may delay June 21 lift by TWO WEEKS'

THE Indian coronavirus variant could be 100% more transmissible than the Kent strain, an expert has warned.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today Programme Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, said: "The best estimate at the moment is this variant may be 60% more transmissible than the Alpha [Kent] variant.

"There's some uncertainty around that depending on assumption and how you analyse the data, between about 30% and maybe even up to 100% more transmissible… Certainly substantially more transmissible."

It comes as new data suggests the mutation is twice as likely to cause hospitalisation, as June 21's "Freedom Day" hangs in the balance.

A Public Health England report showed that people who tested positive for the Indian coronavirus variant were at 161% higher risk of needing hospital treatment within 14 days.

This figure already factors in aspects such as vaccine status, age and ethnicity and points to the Indian strain being twice as likely to put you in hospital after contracting it.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest news and updates…

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    MAPPED: COVID HOTSPOTS WITH RISING CASES

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    BMA SAYS 'EVERYONE DESERVES TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO THEIR HEALTHCARE DATA'

    The BMA says on the current timescale patients only have until June 23 to decline having their coded health data given to NHS Digital.

    Daily "extracts" of the coded data from practice systems to NHS Digital will then begin from July 1, it said.

    BMA GP committee executive team member and IT lead Dr Farah Jameel said: "Everyone deserves to know what happens to their healthcare data, and throughout our discussions with NHS Digital about this programme, we have stressed the importance of clear communication with the public.

    "People need to fully understand what this programme means and crucially, how to opt-out of their data being shared, if this is what they want to do.

    "Recent weeks have shown that communication from NHS Digital to the public has been completely inadequate, causing confusion for patients and GPs alike.

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    MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS CRITICISE 'INADEQUATE' COMMUNICATION OVER NHS DATA SYSTEM

    Medical professionals have criticised a new NHS system to extract patient data from doctor's surgeries in England, saying communication with the public about the process has been "completely inadequate".

    The scheme will collect information on people's treatments, referrals, and appointments over the past 10 years, alongside other data from medical records held on GPs' systems.

    The collected data is coded by NHS Digital to protect patient identities.

    But the British Medical Association (BMA) and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) say the scheme is being implemented too fast, without sufficient patient consultation.

    The organisations have called for an immediate delay to the rollout of the system to allow more information to be given to the public and more time to opt-out.

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    UK RECORDS HIGHEST NUMBER OF DAILY CORONAVIRUS CASES SINCE MARCH 25

    The UK has recorded its highest number of new confirmed coronavirus cases since late March, according to official figures.

    A further 6,238 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus were recorded in the UK as of 9am on Friday, which is the highest single-day figure since March 25, Government figures show.

    Although rising case numbers could be cause for concern, it comes as analysis by the PA news agency shows the majority of major hospital trusts in England are continuing to average no Covid-19 admissions.

    However, a handful of trusts in virus hotspots are showing a small rise in numbers, as experts warn that the variant first identified in India, also known as the Delta variant, may lead to an increased risk of hospital admission.

    Meanwhile, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest the number of people who had the virus in England has increased by around three quarters in a week.

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    GRAPH: COVID VACCINATIONS IN THE UK

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    SRI LANKA & EGYPT BANNED FOR HOLIDAYS AS THEY MOVE TO UK TRAVEL RED LIST

    Egypt and Sri Lanka have been whacked on the red list in another holiday blow for Brits.

    Afghanistan, Costa Rica, Bahrain, Trinidad and Tobago, and Sudan will also be shoved on the red list from Tuesday at 4am, further putting holiday plans into chaos, the Department for Transport confirmed this afternoon.

    The Government is also announcing that as part of a limited trial, from June 8, direct flights will be permitted to England from countries on the ‘red list’ that were previously subject to flight bans, so long as they arrive at dedicated terminals at Heathrow and Birmingham airports. 

    It will mean Brits stuck in red list countries like India and South Africa – where flights have been banned – will be allowed to come home on direct flights.

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    SECRET PLAN TO DELAY LOCKDOWN LIFT BY TWO WEEKS BUT BORIS JOHNSON IS BATTLING TO SAVE JUNE 21 FREEDOM DAY

    PUB giants and football fans have urged PM Boris Johnson to stay firm on his pledge to lift lockdown on June 21.

    Their battle cry came amid fears that any delays could plunge England’s hosting of the Euros into chaos.

    Ministers and officials are working on contingency plans to move “Freedom Day” to next month, as well as retaining distancing and limits on fans in stadiums.

    But World Cup 1966 winner George Cohen, 81, said: “Boris has to stick with June 21. Our boys need those England fans in the pubs and in the stadiums.

    “It gave us such a boost in 1966 and it’ll give them a huge boost again. What’s the point of home advantage if our fans can’t roar us to the final.”

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    DONALD TRUMP ORDERS CHINA TO PAY ‘TEN TRILLION DOLLARS’ OVER COVID ‘DEATH AND DESTRUCTION’

    Donald Trump has ordered China to pay “ten trillion dollars” to the United States for the “death and destruction” caused by the Covid pandemic.

    The former US president also blasted Anthony Fauci’s “foolish” funding of the infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology amid growing calls for the top doc to explain how much he knew about work being done at the lab.

    According to the Daily Mail, Trump said: “Now everyone, even the so-called ‘enemy’, are beginning to say that President Trump was right about the China Virus coming from Wuhan Lab.”

    “China should pay USD 10 trillion to America, and the world, for the death and destruction they have caused!”

    More on the story here.

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    MAPPED: AREAS WITH SURGE TESTING IN THE UK

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    UK RECORDS HIGHEST NUMBER OF DAILY CORONAVIRUS CASES SINCE MARCH 25

    The UK has recorded its highest number of new confirmed coronavirus cases since late March, according to official figures.

    A further 6,238 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus were recorded in the UK as of 9am on Friday, which is the highest single-day figure since March 25, Government figures show.

    Although rising case numbers could be cause for concern, it comes as analysis by the PA news agency shows the majority of major hospital trusts in England are continuing to average no Covid-19 admissions.

    However, a handful of trusts in virus hotspots are showing a small rise in numbers, as experts warn that the variant first identified in India, also known as the Delta variant, may lead to an increased risk of hospital admission.

    Meanwhile, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest the number of people who had the virus in England has increased by around three quarters in a week.

  • Joseph Gamp

    WATCH: SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX CANCELLED DUE TO COVID TRAVEL RULES

    Singapore Grand Prix cancelled due to Covid travel rules

     

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    BORIS JOHNSON TO TAKE ‘ADDED CAUTION’ OVER JUNE 21 DECISION

    Boris Johnson will take “added caution” when deciding whether to press ahead with the June 21 end of lockdown, a senior ally said today.

    Cabinet big beast Robert Jenrick hinted freedom day hangs in the balance as experts issued a series of dire warnings about the Indian variant.

    He said there are “some signals that we’re seeing” within the latest data about the impact of the new strain.

    The PM is set to make a decision in 10 days’ time on whether to go ahead with lifting all restrictions or pause the end of lockdown.

    More on the story here.

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    OFFICIAL R RATE COULD BE 1.3 IN NORTH WEST

    The official R rate in England could be as high as 1.3 in the North West – a hotspot hit hard by the Indian variant.

    It comes after experts warned the mutation could be 100 per cent more infectious than the Kent variant, which caused the country to lockdown in January.

    Variant fears mean June 21’s “Freedom Day” could be delayed, if cases keep going up and the mutations cause havoc.

    Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, whose modelling was instrumental to the UK locking down in March 2020 said vaccines are helping, but warned the Indian variant is spreading.

    More on the story here.

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    GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

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    EXPLAINED: WHEN DOES PORTUGAL GO ON THE AMBER LIST?

    The change officially takes place at 4am on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, meaning anyone returning after that date will have to self-isolate for 10 days.

    Brits are now rushing to book flights home in order to beat the deadline.

    Travellers returning from Portugal and other amber list countries will be required to take a pre-departure PCR Covid test and provide a negative result.

    They will then have to pay for a further two tests on days two and eight of their 10-day quarantine.

    Brits can opt for private Covid test providers, which can cost between £120 and £300 per person – or slightly cheaper options are available from Boots and Superdrug.

  • Joseph Gamp

    SRI LANKA & EGYPT BANNED FOR HOLIDAYS AS THEY MOVE TO UK TRAVEL RED LIST

    Egypt and Sri Lanka have been whacked on the red list in another holiday blow for Brits.

    Afghanistan, Costa Rica, Bahrain, Trinidad and Tobago, and Sudan will also be shoved on the red list from Tuesday at 4am, further putting holiday plans into chaos, the Department for Transport confirmed this afternoon.

    The Government is also announcing that as part of a limited trial, from June 8, direct flights will be permitted to England from countries on the ‘red list’ that were previously subject to flight bans, so long as they arrive at dedicated terminals at Heathrow and Birmingham airports. 

    It will mean Brits stuck in red list countries like India and South Africa – where flights have been banned – will be allowed to come home on direct flights.

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    MIX OF COVID VACCINES MAY OFFER 'SWEET SPOT OF BEST PROTECTION'

    Meghan Markle may never return to the UK again, warns a royal author.

    Anna Pasternak told Vanity Fair: “I truly wonder if Meghan will ever set foot on British soil again.”

    But Peter York, coauthor of The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook, told the mag: “The ideal reconciliation will be if, in some way, the Queen can engineer it while she’s still around.

    “It would serve the monarchy to show that, as it were, brotherly love, grandmotherly love, had triumphed.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    DONALD TRUMP ORDERS CHINA TO PAY 'TEN TRILLION DOLLARS' OVER COVID 'DEATH AND DESTRUCTION'

    Donald Trump has ordered China to pay “ten trillion dollars” to the United States for the “death and destruction” caused by the Covid pandemic.

    The former US president also blasted Anthony Fauci’s “foolish” funding of the infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology amid growing calls for the top doc to explain how much he knew about work being done at the lab.

    According to the Daily Mail, Trump said: “Now everyone, even the so-called ‘enemy’, are beginning to say that President Trump was right about the China Virus coming from Wuhan Lab.”

    “China should pay USD 10 trillion to America, and the world, for the death and destruction they have caused!”

    More on the story here.

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    INVESTIGATION INTO POSSIBLE INDIAN STRAIN MUTATION

    UK health officials urgently investigate a spike mutation – labelled K417N, also known as the Nepal variant 

    Whilst ministers express concerns about the emergence of a Nepal variant of coronavirus, scientists raise doubt over its existence.

    It is speculated that there are more than 40 cases in the UK, with Public Health England (PHE) saying it was investigating the new spike mutation of the Indian variant

    Housing secretary, Robert Jenrick said there is “growing evidence of a further mutation being called the Nepal variant” which was partly due to Portugal’s removal from the Government’s green list for international travel.

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    GRAPH: COVID VACCINATIONS IN THE UK TO DATE

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    MAPPED: THE COVID HOTPOTS WITH RISING CASES

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    BORIS JOHNSON TO TAKE 'ADDED CAUTION' OVER JUNE 21 DECISION

    Boris Johnson will take “added caution” when deciding whether to press ahead with the June 21 end of lockdown, a senior ally said today.

    Cabinet big beast Robert Jenrick hinted freedom day hangs in the balance as experts issued a series of dire warnings about the Indian variant.

    He said there are “some signals that we’re seeing” within the latest data about the impact of the new strain.

    The PM is set to make a decision in 10 days’ time on whether to go ahead with lifting all restrictions or pause the end of lockdown.

    More on the story here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    WATCH: COVID CASES RISE 50% IN A WEEK AMID FEARS JUNE 21 EASING WILL BE DELAYED AS 6,238 TEST POSITIVE AND 11 PEOPLE DIE

    Covid cases rise 50% in a WEEK amid fears June 21 easing will be delayed as 6,238 test positive and 11 people die

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

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    BIDEN ANNOUNCES PLAN TO VACCINATE THE WORLD

    The White House on Thursday unveiled President Joe Biden’s plans to share Covid-19 vaccines with the world, including its intent to direct 75% of excess doses through the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing program.

    The White House has previously stated its intent to share 80 million vaccine doses with the world by the end of June. The administration says 25% of doses will be kept in reserve for emergencies and for the U.S. to share directly with allies and partners.

    The long-awaited vaccine sharing plan comes as demand for shots in the U.S. has dropped significantly as more than 63% of adults have received at least one dose, and as global inequities in supply have become more glaring.

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