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Coronavirus UK news – Cases now as low as last JULY sparking lockdown fury with covid deaths plunging in every age group

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CORONAVIRUS infections have faded to levels not seen since July 2020 as cases have more than halved in a week, new data has revealed.

Experts say there are now less than 2,000 symptomatic infections of the virus on a weekly basis.

Data from the ZOE Symptom Tracker app shows that in the last week 1,924 new cases of the virus were recorded, down from 4,152 daily cases a week ago.

That’s down 54 per cent in the last week and since January, infections have come down by 98 per cent, after reaching a peak of 69,000 new infections a day at the start of the year.

It comes as data shows the of developing blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine is tiny compared with everyday occurrences like flying or taking the contraceptive pill.

Dr June Raine, the chief executive of the MHRA, said: “From these reports, the risk of this type of rare blood clot is about four people in a million who receive the vaccine.”

This works out at a risk of one in 250,000, or 0.0004%.

The European Medicines Agency said that “frequency is difficult to assess” but added: “If you state the reporting rate is approximately one in 100,000 or even a little bit higher, that would reflect the risk”.

But it is important to put those numbers into perspective.

For example America’s National Blood Clot Alliance estimates that one in 1,000 women per year who are taking birth control pills will develop a blood clot, putting the risk at 0.1%.

And according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the annual incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is estimated to be about one in 1,000 (or 0.1%),

That risk increases two to threefold in flights of more than four hours.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news and updates on the pandemic

  • IAIN DUNCAN SMITH URGES BORIS TO SPEED UP LOCKDOWN LIFT

    Amid a series of positive datasets, Sir Iain Duncan Smith told MailOnline the UK’s release from lockdown “should be quicker” now, to reflect the positive new data instead of the PM’s current “deeply pessimistic” roadmap.

    He said: “I think we should be opening up hospitality inside not just outside next week, or certainly very close thereafter and then other stuff cascading directly as a result of that.

    “Instead of which I think we are sort of in a peculiar place where we are so cautious now that the idea we were following the data is not correct.”

    Scientific experts have also said the data suggests society can return to normal sooner than planned.

    Dr Mike Tildesley told LBC: “I think if these numbers keep going down over the next few weeks there certainly is an argument to say ‘well actually we’re doing really well with the road map, it could be sped up’.”

  • MATT HANCOCK AND SCIENTISTS SEEK TO REASSURE PUBLIC OVER ASTRAZENECA JAB

    Matt Hancock and chief scientists are seeking to maintain public confidence in the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine after regulators pointed to a one in a million chance of dying from a rare blood clot.

    The Health Secretary said everyone should take a vaccine when their time comes, and the risk of experiencing a brain clot was the same as “taking a long-haul flight”.

    He urged the under-30s, who will be offered an alternative vaccine to AstraZeneca, to take a jab to protect loved ones and avoid the risk of long Covid, adding there were was “more than enough” Moderna and Pfizer for this age range.

    In a round of broadcast interviews, Mr Hancock said vaccines are clearly breaking the link between Covid cases and deaths in the UK and were saving “thousands of lives”.

    He told Sky News: “The number of people dying from Covid halved in the last nine days… and is down 90% from the peak.”

  • GRAPHIC: WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A BLOOD CLOT AFTER A VACCINE?

  • ANIMAL VIRUSES LIKELY TO TRIGGER NEXT PANDEMIC REVEALED

    Hundreds of viruses lurking in animals could trigger the next killer pandemic, data has revealed.

    The main animal host of Covid-19 is thought to have been a bat, but experts have been unable to determine this and the virus is also known to have infected mink and lions.

    A new tool called SpillOver, created by The University of California has ranked the newly discovered animal viruses that cause the greatest threat.

  • COVID DEATH TOLL PASSES 10,000 IN SCOTLAND

    Figures from the National Records of Scotland show 38 deaths relating to Covid-19 were registered between March 29 and April 4, bringing the total number of fatalities up to Sunday to 9,997.

    Since then, six deaths have been recorded in the daily figures from Public Health Scotland.

    NRS also warned that with fewer registrations than usual this week due to the public holiday on Friday, the actual fatality figure may be even higher.

  • GETTING A VACCINE IS ‘ONE OF THE SAFER THINGS YOU DO IN THE DAY’, SAYS EXPERT

    Getting a coronavirus vaccine is safer than driving or cycling to work, a Government scientific adviser has said.

    Professor Stephen Reicher said having a Covid-19 jab is “actually one of the safer things you do in the day”.

    Figures suggest the risk of developing a rare blood clot is about four people in a million who receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said, prompting a change in course to offer under 30s in the UK an alternative jab.

    Prof Reicher, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours, said it must be remembered that the chances of such clots developing are “incredibly rare events”.

    He told BBC Radio 4’s World at One: “Something like 30 or 40 people drown in the bath every year, something like 1,000 people die falling down the stairs, something like 200 die from choking on their breakfast, and that’s many, many more deaths than we get from these vaccines so actually taking the vaccine is actually one of the safer things you do in the day, it’s definitely safer than cycling or driving to work. So these are incredibly rare events.”

  • NICOLA STURGEON HAS ‘NO HESITATION’ IN TAKING ASTRAZENECA JAB

    Scotland’s First Minister has said she will “not have any hesitation” about getting the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine when she goes for her first jab next week.

    She added she is “hopeful” the decision to offer younger people an alternative product will not have a “significant impact” on the target of offering all Scots their first jab by the end of July.

    She is due to receive her first dose on April 15.

  • NEARLY SIX IN 10 OVER-80S IN ENGLAND ‘FULLY VACCINATED’ AGAINST COVID-19

    Nearly six in 10 people in England aged 80 and over are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, figures suggest.

    An estimated 58.5% of people in this age group had received both doses of the vaccine as of April 4.

    In some regions the proportion was higher, with 61.0% for north-west England and 66.5% for north-east England and Yorkshire.

    People aged 80 and over were among the first groups on the priority list for vaccines, with initial doses offered from early December.

    Second doses must follow within 12 weeks of the first, meaning the four in 10 people in this age group yet to have a follow-up jab should receive it within the next few weeks.

  • WATCH: MATT HANCOCK SAYS JULY JAB TARGET STILL ON AND THERE’S ENOUGH MODERNA AND PFIZER VACCINES TO COVER 8.5 MILLION PEOPLE AGED 18 TO 29

    Matt Hancock says July jab target still on and there’s enough Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to cover 8.5 million people aged 18 to 29
  • STOKE-ON-TRENT MAYOR CONDEMNS COVID-19 MEMORIAL GARDEN VANDALS

    The Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent has expressed sadness after vandals damaged a memorial dedicated to coronavirus victims, including a plaque bearing a quote from Captain Sir Tom Moore.

    The memorial garden was unveiled in Fenton Park last month to mark the anniversary of the first lockdown, and pay tribute to hundreds of local people who have died during the pandemic.

    The city’s Lord Mayor, councillor Ross Irving, said: “This vandalism is deeply saddening, we’re hugely disappointed that anyone would wish to damage commemorations to those who have lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic.

    “The past 12 months have been incredibly difficult for so many people in our city and this garden was designated just a few weeks ago on the year anniversary of the first lockdown on 23rd March, as a quiet place for reflection.”

    Mr Irving added: “We know that the vast majority of people in the city will share our condemnation of this incident and we ask anyone with information as to who did it to contact Staffordshire Police on 101.”

  • PRINCE WILLIAM URGES LEADERS TO PROTECT THE NATURAL WORLD AS IT EMERGES FROM COVID-19 PANDEMIC

    PRINCE William has urged global leaders to act and protect the natural world as we emerge from Covid-19.

    The Duke of Cambridge spoke out ahead of this year’s 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) saying the decisions “will echo down the generations for years to come”.

    In a video call he called on the world to back green measures in the recovery from the pandemic.

    In his rallying call he said: “So let’s make it count.” He added: “Protecting and restoring nature is critical to the success of COP26 in Glasgow later in the year this year, and for the brighter, greener, more prosperous future that we all want to see.

    “We cannot recover sustainably from Coronavirus, eradicate global poverty, achieve net zero emissions, or adapt to climate change, without investing in nature.” The duke added: “The evidence is clear. Nature continues to decline at an alarming rate.”

  • MATT HANCOCK AND SCIENTISTS SEEK TO REASSURE PUBLIC OVER ASTRAZENECA JAB

    Matt Hancock and chief scientists are seeking to maintain public confidence in the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine after regulators pointed to a one in a million chance of dying from a rare blood clot.

    The Health Secretary said everyone should take a vaccine when their time comes, and the risk of experiencing a brain clot was the same as “taking a long-haul flight”.

    He urged the under-30s, who will be offered an alternative vaccine to AstraZeneca, to take a jab to protect loved ones and avoid the risk of long Covid, adding there were was “more than enough” Moderna and Pfizer for this age range.

    In a round of broadcast interviews, Mr Hancock said vaccines are clearly breaking the link between Covid cases and deaths in the UK and were saving “thousands of lives”.

    He told Sky News: “The number of people dying from Covid halved in the last nine days… and is down 90% from the peak.”

  • GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

  • ANIMAL VIRUSES LIKELY TO TRIGGER NEXT PANDEMIC REVEALED

    Hundreds of viruses lurking in animals could trigger the next killer pandemic, data has revealed.

    The main animal host of Covid-19 is thought to have been a bat, but experts have been unable to determine this and the virus is also known to have infected mink and lions.

    A new tool called SpillOver, created by The University of California has ranked the newly discovered animal viruses that cause the greatest threat.

  • COVID DEATH TOLL PASSES 10,000 IN SCOTLAND

    Figures from the National Records of Scotland show 38 deaths relating to Covid-19 were registered between March 29 and April 4, bringing the total number of fatalities up to Sunday to 9,997.

    Since then, six deaths have been recorded in the daily figures from Public Health Scotland.

    NRS also warned that with fewer registrations than usual this week due to the public holiday on Friday, the actual fatality figure may be even higher.

  • HAITI DOESN’T HAVE A SINGLE VACCINE TO GIVE

    The impoverished Caribbean nation does not have a single vaccine to offer its more than 11 million people over a year after the pandemic began.

    So far, Haiti is slated to receive only 756,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through a United Nations program aimed at ensuring the neediest countries get Covid-19.

    The free doses were scheduled to arrive in May at the latest, but delays are expected because Haiti missed a deadline and the key Indian manufacturer is now prioritizing an increase in domestic demand.

  • STURGEON SAYS SHE’S NO HESITATION IN TAKING ASTRAZENECA JAB

    Scotland’s First Minister has said she will “not have any hesitation” about getting the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine when she goes for her first jab next week.

    She added she is “hopeful” the decision to offer younger people an alternative product will not have a “significant impact” on the target of offering all Scots their first jab by the end of July.

    She is due to receive her first dose on April 15.

  • PM WILL STICK TO LOCKDOWN ROADMAP

    Boris Johnson will stick firmly to his roadmap out of lockdown despite claims Britain is on course to achieve herd immunity next week, Matt Hancock said today.

    The health secretary vowed the roll back of restrictions won’t be sped up – nor will it be slowed down by issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    He dismissed modelling that shows the proportion of the population with protection against the virus is set to hit almost three quarters on Monday.

    “What I prefer to do is watch the data. We’ve set out the roadmap, the roadmap is really clear,” said Mr Hancock.

  • CARD FACTORY CONFIRMS REOPENING OF STORES FROM APRIL 12

    Following the government’s further easing of lockdown restrictions in England and Wales, Card Factory has confirmed it will be reopening its sites on Monday April 12.

    Retail director, Steve Lilley said: “Our team have been working incredibly hard to prepare for the reopening, and we’re all looking forward to seeing our customers in person after a long and difficult lockdown.

    “The health and safety of our colleagues and customers is of the highest importance.

    “All of our Card Factory sites have a thorough cleaning regime in place and strict social distancing guidelines to ensure we offer the safest shopping environment for you.”

    To welcome customers back to the high street and local shopping centres, Card Factory customers can expect “great offers”, including five cards for £1, new kids book ranges from £1 and Buy One Get One Free on a large range of confectionery.

  • DON’T KNOW IF BLOOD CLOTS CAUSED BY AZ JAB – EXPERT

    Professor Beverley Hunt, an expert in thrombosis and haemostasis at King’s College London, who has been working with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on the rare blood clot cases, said “we don’t know whether it’s causal or not” when it comes to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    She said people had been presenting to doctors “with the worst headache they’ve ever had” four days after vaccination and sometimes later.

    She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that early treatment could improve outcomes for people.

  • BORIS URGED TO CONSIDER ‘UNTOLD HUMAN SUFFERING’ OF LONG COVID IN EASING LOCKDOWN

    The PM is facing calls to take into account the “untold human suffering” of long Covid and seek to limit coronavirus’s spread as he eases lockdown restrictions.

    A cross-party group of more than 65 MPs and peers criticised the Prime Minister for having “largely overlooked” the long-term effect of the disease during the pandemic.

    And they said it would be “unforgivable to make the same mistake again” as he eases England’s third lockdown, allowing for the potential for the prevalence of the virus to rise once again.

    It is estimated that more than a million people in the UK are suffering with the extended effects of a coronavirus infection.

  • ANTIBODIES FROM MODERNA JAB ‘LAST AT LEAST SIX MONTHS AFTER SECOND DOSE’

    Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine should protect against illness for at least six months after the second dose, new research suggests.

    The news comes as Wales became the first nation to roll out the US-made jab on Wednesday.

    The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), are based on 33 participants who were involved in the phase 1 study of the vaccine.

  • VACCINE PASSPORTS TO BE GIVEN TIME LIMIT

    Vaccine passport laws are set to be given a time limit in a bid to try and reassure the public that life will go fully back to normal and head off a growing Tory mutiny.

    Ministers are drawing up plans to include “sunset clauses” in the legislation for so-called Covid certification to demonstrate that it is only intended as a short-term measure.

    The move comes with the Government facing a knife-edge Commons vote over the plans with at least 40 Tory MPs set to rebel, and Labour, the Lib Dems, and the SNP all currently opposed to them.

    Read more here.

  • UK HAS ‘FLOWN 700K JABS TO AUSTRALIA’

    The UK as secretly flown 700,000 AstraZeneca jabs to Australia in a bid to help their vaccine rollout after the EU blocked exports.

    The source of the shipments was originally kept quiet to avoid any controversy in coronavirus-ravaged Britain.

    But reports have revealed Australia’s early rollout has been aided up by 717,000 doses manufactured in the UK, as opposed to factories in Europe, as was originally believed.

    Read more here.

  • GERMANY TO HOLD TALKS WITH RUSSIA OVER SPUTNIK V JAB

    Germany’s vaccine task force will hold talks with the possibility of setting up more production sites in the country, a government source told Reuters on Thursday.

    It comes as Health Minister Jens Spahn confirmed that Berlin will start bilateral talks with Russia over a supply deal for the vaccine.

    The country’s vaccine rollout has got off to a sluggish start, hampered by supply constraints and bureaucracy, although the number of doses delivered is expected to ramp up in the second quarter.



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