Covid-19 hospital admissions climb to highest level in four months

Covid-19 hospital admissions climb to highest level in four months. Cases of stalking have significantly risen during pandemic, police say. There has been a “significant increase” in stalking offences in England and Wales during the pandemic, police have said.–167752360/–167752373/–167752360/–167752373/–167752360/–167752373/–167752360/–167752373/–167752360/–167752373/–167752360/–167752373/–167752360/–167752373/–167752360/–167752373/–167752360/–167752373/–167752360/–167752373/–167752360/–167752373/–167752360/–167752373/–167752360/–167752373/–167752360/–167752373/

Over 80,000 incidents were recorded by forces across the UK last year.

But Freedom of Information requests from the BBC show that arrests struggled to keep up – growing at half the rate of the rise in offences between 2019 and 2020.

A government spokesman says protecting women is “a priority”.

National lockdowns have made it much easier for stalkers to target victims in their homes, especially during the first in March 2020 when restrictions on exercise and shopping were at their most stringent, says Rachel Horman-Brown, a lawyer and chair of the stalking advocacy charity, Paladin.

Chris, 32, from London, says for the last six years of her life she has been stalked by a man she met briefly in a team meeting at a previous job.

Despite the fleeting acquaintance and both subsequently leaving the company, she was inundated with over 2,000 messages.

US officials block vaccine misinformation

The Mississippi State Department of Health is now blocking comments on its Facebook posts that relate to Covid-19 because of a “rise of misinformation” about the virus and vaccinations, a health official has said.

“The comments section of our Facebook page has increasingly come to be dominated by misinformation about Covid-19,” state health department spokesperson Liz Sharlot said in a statement.

Allowing comments that “mislead the public about the safety, importance and effectiveness of vaccination” is “directly contrary” to the state’s public health mission, which includes encouraging members of the public to be vaccinated against the virus, which has been recently making a resurgence in the state.

Only about 31 per cent of Mississippians have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, a statistic that ranks near the bottom of U.S. states.

Government ‘discriminating’ against young by keeping countries on amber list

The Government has been accused of discriminating against the young by keeping countries on the amber list to boost vaccination take-up.

Leading industry figures said amber countries including France, Italy, Greece and the US should be on the Government’s green list because their infection rates, vaccination levels and testing capabilities are on a par or better than destinations already on it.

They said that by keeping them off the green list, the Government was denying quarantine-free foreign travel to young unvaccinated Britons with only older double-jabbed adults able to visit amber countries from next Monday without having to self-isolate for 10 days on their return.

The “unfairness” to younger Britons has been raised by major airlines in a letter to Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, in which Airlines UK said young people had “as much right and reason to travel for work, leisure, to see friends and family and for education purposes as older groups”.

It comes as concerns grow that the Covid vaccination programme is hitting a “demand ceiling” among the more hesitant young as the daily number of people getting their first jab has almost halved.

Charles Hymas has the full story here

AstraZeneca working to eliminate risk of blood clots from vaccine

AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are investigating how to tweak their vaccine to preclude the risk of blood clots.

The companies are understood to be conducting laboratory work to understand the molecular mechanism that may cause the complication, with a view to potentially producing a modified version.

It comes after data showed a probable causal link between the jabs and an extremely small chance of fatal blood clots.

The risk has prompted watchdogs to restrict the AstraZeneca jab to those aged 40 and older.

The risks of clotting combined with low blood platelets—a rare condition termed vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT—following the AstraZeneca shot are roughly 1 to 2 per 100,000 vaccinations, according to U.K. and European tallies of cases.

Henry Bodkin has the full story here

First-ever Zika outbreak in Kerala as pandemic disrupts mosquito control programme

Disruption to mosquito control programmes because of the pandemic is thought to have contributed to the first ever outbreak of the Zika virus in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Over the last week at least 21 people have been infected by the vector-borne disease, which has a fatality rate of eight per cent and has been linked to birth defects and brain damage among unborn babies.

The virus, which can cause fever and muscle pain, is spread to humans by mosquitoes which have bitten infected primates, known reservoirs for the virus, although it can also be sexually transmitted.

In Kerala, as across much of India, humans are increasingly coming into direct contact with monkey habitats as forested areas are cleared for new infrastructure and housing.

Joe Wallen has more detail on this story

Spain surpasses four million cases

Spain reported 43,960 new infections, surpassing four million cases since the pandemic began as the more contagious Delta variant drives a surge among unvaccinated young people.

The nationwide 14-day infection rate reached nearly 437 cases per 100,000 people on Tuesday, up from 368 cases a day earlier, health ministry data showed.

Among 20-29 year olds, that figure climbed to 1,421 per 100,000.

Chris Whitty says we must change behaviour ‘slowly and steadily’

The Chief Medical Officer for England has said the nation must change its behaviour as we edge closer to Freedom Day on July 19.

As we move to the next stage of the COVID response, it is essential we change behaviour slowly and steadily.

These papers give some of the data which show why going slowly will reduce the risk to all.
— Professor Chris Whitty (CMO_England) July 13, 2021

Plea to wear masks on trains from Wales to England

Passengers on Transport for Wales (TfW) rail services will be asked to continue wearing masks on journeys into England, even when they are no longer mandatory.

The UK government is ending compulsory use of masks in England next week and leaving it to transport operators to make their own rules.

TfW said the risk of catching Covid on public transport was low, but masks helped keep passengers and staff safe.

Masks are still required on all public transport in Wales.

However, mandatory coronavirus mitigation measures are being scrapped on public transport in England from Monday.

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has said masks will remain legally required on public transport.

Covid patients ‘may have died due to staff errors using ventilators’

Covid patients may have died due to staff errors while using ventilators, a report has suggested.

An inquest will examine the deaths of two patients at the London Nightingale Hospital in April last year, following claims that staff used the wrong ventilator filters.

A coroner said the deaths came as part of a “cluster” of similar incidents involving breathing system filters in hospital intensive care units more widely.

Kishorkumar Patel and Kofi Aning, 66, died at the Nightingale Hospital in the Excel Centre near Canary Wharf in April 2020.

Although it has not yet been determined whether errors in operating the machines caused the two men’s deaths, the East London Coroner has taken the unusual step of issuing a warning about the risk of future deaths before the inquest has taken place.

In a prevention of future deaths report, coroner Nadia Persaud said that in both of the cases “there was a serious incident in which the wrong filter was found to have been used within the breathing systems of their intensive care ventilator”.

Henry Bodkin has the full story here

Third of England at risk of infection from delta variant

A third of the population in England is still susceptible to being infected with the delta variant of Covid-19, according to a scientific adviser.

Professor Matt Keeling, from the University of Warwick and a member of Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M), which informs ministers, said by July 19, there will have been 15.3 million symptomatic and asymptomatic infections in the country.

This means that 27.4 per cent of the English population will have been infected and therefore have natural immunity, leaving the rest either vaccinated or unvaccinated.

When taking account of vaccines, which do not work perfectly, the modellers at Warwick calculated that 33 per cent of the population remains susceptible to the Delta variant, which was first identified in India.

Hospital admissions climb to highest level in four months

The number of hospital admissions in England of people with Covid-19 has climbed to its highest level for four months.

A total of 502 admissions were reported on July 11, NHS England figures show.

This is up by 29 per cent on the previous week, and is the highest number since March 6.

The total includes 127 admissions in north-east England and Yorkshire: up 25 per cent week-on-week and the highest daily number for this part of England since March 3.

Average daily admissions for England are also at their highest for four months, with the total standing at 460 on July 11, the highest since March 12, according to PA news agency analysis.

This is still some way below the peak of the second wave, when average admissions hit a high of 3,812 on January 12.

UK accused of turning away from world’s poor as MPs back £4m cuts to overseas aid budget

The Government has been accused of taking “food from starving people” as MPs backed proposed cuts to the overseas aid budget.

MPs voted by a majority of 35 to support the reduced level of aid funding and a new test which critics have warned could mean spending never returns to its previous level.

Last year Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that spending on aid would be cut from 0.7 per cent of gross national income to 0.5 per cent because of the economic devastation caused by the pandemic – this represents a cut of around £4billion from the annual £14 billion aid budget.

The 0.7 per cent threshold is enshrined in law and was included in the 2019 Conservative party manifesto.

Anne Gulland has the full story here

Vulnerable fear having to ‘play Russian roulette’ after restrictions ease

A clinically extremely vulnerable person has said she will have to “play Russian roulette” every time she goes outside her door once restrictions are eased in England.

Rosemary Parker said the clinically extremely vulnerable had been abandoned by the Government and it will be “survival of the fittest”.

Her comments come after Government guidance advised those most at risk to avoid others who are unvaccinated, continue meeting outside where possible and ask friends and family to take lateral flow tests before visiting after all remaining restrictions are eased on Monday.

Ms Parker, who lost her spleen and part of her pancreas due to pancreatic cancer and has chronic asthma, said she would need “X-ray spectacles” to see who had and had not been vaccinated.

‘We can ride this wave if we act socially responsibly’, says virologist

Professor Wendy Barclay, head of department of infectious disease and chairwoman in influenza virology at Imperial College London, told a ZOE Covid study webinar that now is the time for people to act responsibly.

She said: “We’re nearly there at the point of total social release.

“But despite whatever the rules say, and the politicians say, I think there is a level of social responsibility, particularly if you live or work with vulnerable people.

Just keep your distance, go outside in the summer, open all the windows. We can ride this wave out, I hope, if we act socially responsibly

Latest Covid case rates

Here is Tuesday’s update of Covid-19 case rates for every local authority area in England.

The figures, for the seven days to July 9, are based on the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19.

The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people.

Data for the most recent four days (July 10-13) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

Of the 315 local areas in England, 291 (92 per cent) have seen a week-on-week rise in rates, 22 (seven per cent) have seen a fall and two are unchanged.
South Tyneside continues to have the highest rate, with 2,091 new cases in the seven days to July 9 – the equivalent of 1,385.0 per 100,000 people.
This is up sharply from 767.7 in the seven days to July 2.

Foam parties halted as nightclubs amid Covid caution

Nightclubs will hold off from throwing foam parties when they reopen next week as bosses adopt a more cautious approach after more than a year of closures.

Peter Marks, chief executive of Rekom, Britain’s largest nightclub operator, said the industry had proved itself to be “sensible”.

He said: “We never said we should open now regardless of cases. We’re not going to do anything that would increase the risks, things like foam parties.

“It would be wrong to do that sort of thing early on. We’re not going to have anything that could be upping the ante as it were. We’ve got to get through until everybody has been vaccinated and then we would choose to maybe let the rope out a little bit.”

Michael Kill, the chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said many businesses were looking at their current operations.

Hannah Boland has the full story here

Dutch Covid-19 infections soar by 500 pc in a week with almost all restrictions lifted

Infections in the Netherlands skyrocketed by more than 500 per cent over the last week, the country’s public health institute has reported.

The surge follows the scrapping of almost all remaining lockdown restrictions and the reopening of night clubs in late June.

The weekly update showing that nearly 52,000 people in the Netherlands tested positive for Covid-19 over the past week came a day after caretaker Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte apologized for the June 26 lockdown relaxation and called it “an error of judgment.”

Rutte backtracked on Friday, reintroducing some restrictions in an attempt to rein in the soaring infection rate.

Bars again have to close at midnight, while nightclubs remain shut until at least August 13

Sturgeon vows to act ‘responsibly’ when easing Covid restrictions for Scotland

Scotland will go ahead with plans to further ease coronavirus restrictions next week – but Nicola Sturgeon has insisted measures such as face masks will likely remain for “some time to come”, as she claimed lifting all restrictions right now “would put all of us at greater risk”

The First Minister told Scots the country would move to Level 0 – the lowest point in the five-tier system of restrictions north of the border – all be it with some changes, from July 19.

That is the same day that Boris Johnson is to end all remaining legal restrictions in England.

But Ms Sturgeon, defending her more cautious approach, insisted the Scottish Government was choosing to do things “at a responsible pace, not an irresponsible pace”.

Her message to the public was: “We will continue to ease restrictions – we are not slamming on the brakes – but we will do so carefully.”

Covid passports and masks required at sporting events in England after July 19

Fans attending sporting events in England after July 19 will require a Covid passport and will be told to wear masks, Telegraph Sport can reveal.

The Government will this week issue guidance to sports ahead of a return to full capacity after Boris Johnson revealed venues with large crowds would be urged to adopt Covid certification – proof of full vaccination or evidence of a negative test – “as a matter of social responsibility”.

A masked England fan places down a flag prior to the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Semi-final match between England and Denmark
A masked England fan places down a flag prior to the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Semi-final match between England and Denmark Credit: Carl Recine/Getty Images Europe

The use of Covid passports and masks – an exception could be made for the latter in outdoor settings – will not be mandatory at this juncture but it is unthinkable sports will ignore official guidance given their duty of care to those attending.

The Prime Minister’s announcement saw one senior figure in football denounce the “bloody appalling” inconsistency of the Government’s position on Covid certification, which it had previously considered before appearing to rule out.

But sport had called for the measure if it meant being allowed to return to full capacity and has long been planning to adopt it if required.

A Whitehall source told Telegraph Sport: “We are going to strongly encourage sports to use it.”

Ben Rumsby has the full story here

UK reports 50 Covid-19 deaths, the highest since April

The UK has reported 50 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, the highest level since April as Downing Street prepares to remove almost all coronavirus restrictions in England from next week.

An additional 36,660 cases were registered, according to official data.

Bangladesh to lift lockdown for festival despite record infections

Bangladesh will lift its nationwide coronavirus lockdown for the country’s second-biggest religious festival, the government said on Tuesday , even as new infections soared to record levels.

The cabinet said all restrictions would be eased in the Muslim-majority country of 169 million people from Thursday ahead of the Eid al-Adha festival which will be celebrated from July 20 to 22 this year.

People in Sreenagar, Bangladesh prepare to board a ferry to their hometowns after the government eased the nation’s lockdown restrictions
People in Sreenagar, Bangladesh prepare to board a ferry to their hometowns after the government eased the nation’s lockdown restrictions Credit: AFP

The removal of the curbs would “normalise economic activities” ahead of the celebrations, it added.

Tens of millions of people usually head back to their villages to mark Eid al-Adha with their families.

Bangladesh imposed its strictest-ever lockdown at the start of the month as new Covid-19 cases and deaths climbed to record highs.

NHS trusts planning to tell public to wear masks after Freedom Day

Multiple NHS trusts are planning to tell the public they must comply with current Covid infection control measures, such as mask wearing, beyond 19 July when they visit NHS premises.

Numerous trust chiefs have told the Health Service Journal they will insist public visitors continue to wear masks within their hospitals.

This is despite Boris Johnson confirming yesterday mask-wearing will be advisory in crowded and enclosed spaces, rather than a legal requirement, from Monday.

Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust discussed how it was looking to keep some restrictions such as face masks and restrictions in patient visiting at its board meeting today.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust confirmed to the HSJ it was also planning to maintain restrictions including face marks, social distancing, hand washing and flexible working.

However, senior leaders added they expected there would be “significant issues” around continuing to enforce face masks for the public.

South Korea vaccine rolllout grinds to halt as new cases hit record high

South Korea’s rollout of vaccinations to people aged 55-59 has stuttered to a week-long halt after a record high number of new cases sparked a rush for vaccines, exhausting available supplies and crashing an official reservation website.

The halt in vaccination appointments for people in the upper 50s age bracket came late on Monday, the first day that inoculation bookings were opened to under-60s.

Daily infections had risen to 1,440 by 9 p.m. on Tuesday, the country’s highest daily tally of the pandemic and an eighth straight day of more than 1,000 cases, Yonhap news agency reported.

While South Korea is ahead of its schedule in vaccination targets, the pace has slowed sharply in recent weeks to around 30,000 doses a day from a peak of 850,000 earlier.

“Due to strong demand, 1.85 million Moderna doses were fully booked and reservations for those who couldn’t sign up will resume on July 19,” the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said in a statement.

Holiday park owner asks guests to clean toilets if ‘healthy’ staff have to self-isolate

A holiday park owner has asked guests to clean toilets if “healthy” staff are forced to isolate by the NHS Test and Trace app.

The email, entitled “Dunkirk Spirit”, was sent to guests by the Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park and asked for volunteers to “help clean toilet blocks” amid a potential summer staff shortage.

Patrick Langmaid at his holiday park, Mother Ivey’s Bay holiday park in Padstow, Cornwal
Patrick Langmaid at his holiday park, Mother Ivey’s Bay holiday park in Padstow, Cornwal Credit: SWNS

The holiday destination, in Padstow, Cornwall, blamed the NHS app, saying the technology had sent notifications to “healthy” staff members telling them to self-isolate for 10 days.

Owner Patrick Langmaid, 56, said he had no choice but to ask guests to help out due to “desperate times”. The email said guests might have to cancel bookings if they were not prepared to help.

It read: “Dear Guest, Apologies if this email causes distress, but we are perilously close to closing our toilet blocks and cancelling touring holidays, all because healthy staff who’ve tested negative are nevertheless required by law to self-isolate following an NHS ‘ping’.

Parents and clinically vulnerable warn MPs of ‘fear’ and ‘anxiety’ over unlocking plans

Parents of children with long Covid and the clinically vulnerable have warned MPs about their “fear” and “anxiety” over the Government’s plans to drop legal restrictions on July 19.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus heard from Sophie Charles whose son developed long Covid last October and is still suffering from a range of debilitating symptoms including fatigue, brain fog, chest pain, back pain, insomnia and tinnitus.

She said: “our 12 year old was a very fit and healthy young man” and that “the life he was living before he contracted Covid-19 has been devastated by the disease.”

She warned MPs that: “It’s not the flu. We shouldn’t expose our children to this virus when we don’t understand the long term implications,” adding that this would risk effectively sentencing thousands of children to a “stolen childhood.”

When asked what she’d say to the prime minister, she said: “I’d ask him to look my son in the eye, and tell him the decisions being made are in the best interests of those children and based on scientific evidence, and not based on political expediency and convenience.

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