Coronavirus latest news: Don’t undo good work on ‘last lap’ of lockdown, urges Dominic Raab

0

Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary - Ian West /PA
Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary – Ian West /PA
  • Logging into NHS app using airport Wi-Fi ‘leaves you open to hackers’

  • Secret vaccines deal that gave Britain access to doses made in India

  • Covid modellers ‘optimistic’ third wave may not happen at all

  • School sports favourite gets the sack over coronavirus fears

Dominic Raab has urged caution in the “last lap” of the fight against coronavirus, arguing there is only “a little bit more time” until all legal restrictions on social interaction are removed.

The Foreign Secretary said today that “steady steps” out of lockdown are “the smart way to go” so that the many sacrifices are not squandered as people plead for hugs between family members to be permitted again sooner.

He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “I know that people are hankering to go a bit faster but actually we feel vindicated at taking steady steps out of the lockdown is the smart way to go.

“We’re very close now to really turning the corner and I think we still need to be careful to go as I said we don’t want to see the gains lost and the sacrifices that have been made undone.

“By the time we get to June 21 almost all social restrictions will be lifted so there’s only a little bit more time to go, but it’s right to make sure we do that in a careful way.

“We’re at the end of really the process if you like, we’ve got two more steps to take, but I do think given the rollout of the vaccine, that’s exciting. It’s got people thinking about not just social interaction but of course things like hugging your loved ones that you haven’t been able to do for a while.

“I do think we just need to make sure that in the last lap, if you like, that we are careful and we don’t lose the gains we’ve made.”

​​Follow the latest updates below.

09:12 AM

Revealed: the secret vaccines deal that gave Britain access to doses made in India

Ministers let AstraZeneca export UK-made Covid jabs to Australia in exchange for access to up to 10m doses produced in India, reports Harry Yorke, our Whitehall Editor:

In a move that is likely to intensify the vaccine row with the EU, multiple sources have said that the Anglo-Swedish firm was given dispensation to use its domestic manufacturing capacity to produce at least 717,000 jabs for one of Britain’s closest allies.

At least two deliveries were made to Australia in February and March – a period when Brussels had begun imposing vaccine export controls and demanding that the UK divert some of its supply to the bloc to make up for a shortall from AstraZeneca.

The Government has repeatedly rejected the requests, while the company’s British contract is said to contain clauses preventing it from shipping UK-manufactured doses to the EU.

However, despite the UK’s arrangements being steeped in secrecy, the Telegraph has been told that earlier this year AstraZeneca was granted permission to export to Australia.

In exchange, Britain gained access to up to 10 million doses produced by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer and a producer of the AstraZeneca jab.

You can read the full story here.

Employees pack boxes containing vials of AstraZeneca's COVISHIELD vaccine at the Serum Institute of India - Rafiq Maqbool /AP
Employees pack boxes containing vials of AstraZeneca’s COVISHIELD vaccine at the Serum Institute of India – Rafiq Maqbool /AP

08:54 AM

Russia reports 8,697 new Covid cases

Russia has reported 8,697 new Covid-19 cases, including 2,699 in Moscow, taking the official national tally since the pandemic began to 4,823,255.

The government coronavirus task force said 342 people had died of coronavirus-linked causes in the past 24 hours, pushing Russia’s death toll to 110,862.

The federal statistics agency has kept a separate count and reported a toll of more than 225,000 from April 2020 to February.

According to Reuters calculations based on data from the state statistics agency published on Friday, Russia recorded more than 400,000 excess deaths from April 2020 to March 2021.

08:25 AM

Prince Charles personally intervened to start India oxygen fundraiser

Prince Charles personally intervened to set up a fund to supply oxygen to Covid patients in India as the British Indian diaspora called for international support to address the deepening crisis.

The Prince of Wales, founder of the British Asian Trust, encouraged the foundation to set up the ‘Oxygen for India’ appeal which has raised more than £1.5 million since its launch on Monday, The Telegraph can reveal.

“He was on the phone over the weekend inspiring us and encouraging us to launch an appeal to see how we can help. I think he was one of our first donors,” said Manoj Badale, chairman of the British Asian Trust.

You can read the full story here from Maighna Nanu.

The Prince of Wales, founder of the British Asian Trust, encouraged the appeal  - Chris Jackson /Getty Images
The Prince of Wales, founder of the British Asian Trust, encouraged the appeal – Chris Jackson /Getty Images

08:09 AM

We will not unlock faster, says Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab has warned a “careful” approach to easing restrictions is still required during the “last lap” against coronavirus.

The Foreign Secretary told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “I know that people are hankering to go a bit faster but actually we feel vindicated at taking steady steps out of the lockdown is the smart way to go.

“We’re very close now to really turning the corner and I think we still need to be careful to go as I said we don’t want to see the gains lost and the sacrifices that have been made undone.

“By the time we get to June 21 almost all social restrictions will be lifted, so there’s only a little bit more time to go but it’s right we do that in a careful way.

“I do think we just need to make sure that in the last lap, if you like, that we are careful and we don’t lose the gains we’ve made.”

07:59 AM

India’s Covid disaster is harrowing proof that none of us is safe until we all are

The emergence of India’s own variant poses an exponential threat to our global response, writes Dolar Popat:

India’s giant second wave is a disaster, not just for the country but the whole world. It is a reminder to us all that this pandemic is relentless and knows no bounds.

It has been deeply distressing to see the world’s largest vaccine producer struggle so severely.

With daily rates exceeding 350,000, the deadly second wave caught India off guard, particularly for such a vast country with deep embedded complexities.

The harrowing scenes of hospitals full to the brim, people struggling to secure oxygen and the pressures on crematoriums were very hard to acknowledge. But the recent outbreak is not just India’s problem.

An immediate consequence has been a sharp disruption to the global supply of vaccines – even for us.

You can read his full piece here.

A worker takes a break at a mass cremation site in Delhi  - Getty Images
A worker takes a break at a mass cremation site in Delhi – Getty Images

07:44 AM

Vaccinations for secondary school pupils ‘up in the air’

It is “very much an open question” whether secondary school pupils will need to be vaccinated from September, an expert has said.

Professor Adam Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, was asked by Times Radio if there was a “need” for the plans reportedly being drawn up by the NHS.

“We don’t know the answer to that yet, so this is very much still up in the air,” Professor Finn said.

“I think it’s very much an open question at this point,” he added.

The paediatrician said there were “no definite plans” to begin vaccinating children aged 12 and up from the start of the next school year.

However, he said the first children to be vaccinated if the plans did proceed would be those “at risk” due to health problems.

07:33 AM

Home testing could soon replace the 10-day Covid self-isolation rule

The 10-day “stay at home” rule for people contacted by NHS Test and Trace could soon be lifted if a major new government trial proves daily coronavirus tests are a suitable alternative.

Under current rules, contacts of people who test positive for Covid-19 have to self-isolate for 10 days, but people will instead be given a week’s worth of tests to carry on with their lives as normal.

The major new study involving 40,000 people will see adults offered the chance to avoid quarantine every day if they produce a negative morning test.

The move marks the first steps to see if Britain’s testing capacity can ease strict quarantine rules, and would remove the threat of fines starting at £1,000 for leaving the home.

You can read the full story here from Steve Bird

06:56 AM

Another state imposes lockdown as India’s cases continue to rise

India’s new coronavirus cases dipped marginally on Sunday but deaths due to the infection jumped by a record 3,689, with one more state going into lockdown as the nation’s creaky healthcare system is unable to cope with a massive caseload.

Authorities reported 392,488 new cases in the previous 24 hours to push total cases to 19.56 million. So far, the virus has killed 215,542 people.

The eastern state of Odisha became the latest to announce a two-week lockdown, joining Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and West Bengal. Other states, including Uttar Pradesh, Telengana, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, have either imposed night curfews or weekend lockdowns.

Burning pyres of the victims who died of Covid-19 coronavirus are pictured at an open air crematorium at a defunct granite quarry on the outskirts of Bangalore  - AFP
Burning pyres of the victims who died of Covid-19 coronavirus are pictured at an open air crematorium at a defunct granite quarry on the outskirts of Bangalore – AFP

05:55 AM

Cambodia reports daily record of 730 new cases

Cambodia reported a daily record of 730 new coronavirus cases, the health ministry said in a statement on Sunday, as the country struggles to contain a wave of infections that emerged about two months ago.

The Southeast Asian nation has recorded one of the world’s smallest caseloads, but the recent outbreak that was first detected in late February has caused infections to climb to 14,520, with 103 deaths.

The capital Phnom Penh, which has the most cases in the country, is under lockdown until May 5 and has declared some districts “red zones”, banning people from leaving their homes except for medical reasons.

People wait to get tested inside a red zone in Phnom Penh - Reuters
People wait to get tested inside a red zone in Phnom Penh – Reuters

04:59 AM

Vaccine campaign begins amid virus surge in Syria

A Covid-19 vaccine campaign kicked off in Syria’s last rebel-held enclave on Saturday, with a 45-year-old frontline nurse becoming the first to receive a UN-secured jab.

Nizar Fattouh, a nurse in Ibn Sina Hospital in Idlib city, received one of 53,800 AstraZeneca vaccines delivered to northwest Syria through Turkey on April 21.

The vaccines come amid a new surge of infections in the war-torn country. Syria’s supplies of oxygen are depleted and its hospitals were already overwhelmed from 10 years of conflict and deteriorating health care services.

Idlib health official Yasser Najib said the jabs were provided through the UN-led COVAX programme for the world’s poor and developing nations.

04:12 AM

Thailand reports second day of record-high virus deaths

Thailand’s Health Ministry on Sunday reported 1,940 new coronavirus cases, while deaths hit 21 for a second day, the highest daily number of fatalities since the pandemic began.

Thailand largely controlled the virus early in the pandemic through shutdowns and strict border controls. But a deadly third wave that begin in early April includes the highly transmissible B.1.1.7 variant and has accounted for about half of its total cases and deaths.

Sunday’s numbers brought the country’s total confirmed infections since the pandemic began last year to 68,984. Total deaths are now at 245.

Thailand has vaccinated nearly 1.5 million people so far, mostly medical workers and vulnerable people, using imported doses of China’s Sinovac and the AstraZeneca vaccines. A mass vaccination programme is to kick off in June with locally manufactured AstraZeneca doses.

A cleaner wearing personal protective equipment disinfects Hua Lamphong railway station in Bangkok - AFP
A cleaner wearing personal protective equipment disinfects Hua Lamphong railway station in Bangkok – AFP

02:08 AM

Secondary school pupils ‘to be offered vaccinations from September’

Secondary school pupils will reportedly be offered Covid-19 vaccinations from September under plans being developed by the NHS.

Health service officials are compiling planning documents which include a measure to offer a single dose of the Pfizer jab to children aged 12 and older when the new school year starts, according to The Sunday Times.

Pfizer has said trials of its vaccine in children aged 12 to 15 showed 100 per cent efficacy and a strong immune response.

The plans, which the Times said it had confirmed with Government and NHS sources, are contingent on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation due this summer.

01:32 AM

Taiwan’s first batch of aid leaves for India

Taiwan’s first batch of aid to India to help it fight a surging increase in infections left for New Delhi on Sunday, consisting of 150 oxygen concentrators and 500 oxygen cylinders, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said.

Countries around the world have been rushing to help India alleviate the crisis. India recorded more than 400,000 new cases for the first time on Saturday as it battles a devastating second wave.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said the aid consignment left on a China Airlines freighter on Sunday morning and would be received by India’s Red Cross.

Taiwan will continue to provide aid as needed, it added.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.

Update your settings here to see it.

01:10 AM

Today’s top stories

  • Ministers secretly allowed AstraZeneca to use its UK supply chain to produce Covid-19 vaccines for Australia in return for access to millions of doses from India, The Telegraph can disclose.

  • MPs are being urged to set an example to the rest of the UK and return to the House of Commons as figures show that nearly 600 of them have all but given up voting in person.

  • For the past month daily Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales have been lower than the typical number of people dying from the flu, data shows.

  • New modelling to be presented to ministers ahead of stage three of reopening on May 17 will show the risk of a “third wave” of Covid cases in the UK has diminished dramatically and may not happen at all, according to experts.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

All the data shown above will be stored by www.rajpostexam.com on https://www.rajpostexam.com/. At any point of time, you can contact us and select the data you wish to anonymise or delete so it cannot be linked to your email address any longer. When your data is anonymised or deleted, you will receive an email confirmation. We also use cookies and/or similar technologies to analyse customer behaviour, administer the website, track users' movements, and to collect information about users. This is done in order to personalise and enhance your experience with us. Click here to read our Cookie Policy.