Uk news PM urged for 'roadmap' out of lockdown as London cases soar - LIVE London news
MetiNews.Com - Boris Johnson is under pressure from scores of Conservative MPs to detail a “road-map out of lockdown” as more people in England come under the toughest coronavirus restrictions. The Prime Minister has been warned by a group of 50 Tory backbenchers representing northern constituencies that the pandemic is threatening his election pledge to “level-up” the country. Meanwhile,
Breaking News ! ES News email The latest headlines in your inbox twice a day Monday - Friday plus breaking news updates Enter your email address Continue Please enter an email address Email address is invalid Fill out this field Email address is invalid You already have an account. Please log in. Register with your social account or click here to log in I would like to receive lunchtime headlines Monday - Friday plus breaking news alerts, by email Update newsletter preferences Boris Johnson is under pressure from scores of Conservative MPs to detail a “road-map out of lockdown” as more people in England come under the toughest coronavirus restrictions. The Prime Minister has been warned by a group of 50 Tory backbenchers representing northern constituencies that the pandemic is threatening his election pledge to “level-up” the country. Meanwhile, Covid-19 is spreading across London with more than 13,000 cases in a week , according to official figures. They also show that six of the ten boroughs with the highest coronavirus rates are now in west London. It comes as a study revealed a decline in protective antibodies among the general population since mid-July. Research by Imperial College London estimated just 4.4 per cent of adults had some form of immunity against Covid-19 in September, compared with six per cent between June 20 and July 13. Follow our live updates below... Live Updates New updates availableRefresh 2020-10-27T08:45:18.900Z Lewisham has the lowest rate of new cases in the capitalRead more here:Covid-19 spreading across London as capital hit with 13k weekly casesEvening StandardCovid-19 is spreading across London with more than 13,000 cases in a week, according to official figures. They also show that six of the ten boroughs with the highest coronavirus rates are now in west London, with the second wave having first hit the east of the city hardest. Two boroughs have a rate of above 200 new cases per week per 100,000 population, with only one below 100. Ealing has the highest rate in London at 214.2 cases per 100,000 (732 cases) in the week to October 22, compared to 153.3 (524 cases) for the previous week, according to an analysis by the PA news agency. 2020-10-27T08:41:32.316Z Healthcare workers have higher levels of antibodiesProfessor Paul Elliott, director of the React antibody study from Imperial College London, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that a vaccine response “may behave differently to the response to natural infection”.Asked what the implications were for a vaccine and how long protection from a vaccine may last, he said: “I think that’s an open question that needs to be kept under close research and close scrutiny over the coming weeks and months.“It’s possible that people might need booster vaccines. For some viruses there’s lifelong immunity; for the coronaviruses that doesn’t seem to be the case, and we know that the immunity can fluctuate so, yes, this is something that needs to be looked at very carefully.”He said healthcare workers were found to have higher levels of antibodies in the study, as did people living in large households and those from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. 2020-10-27T08:22:55.683Z Halloween cancelled in Tier 3Trick or treating during Halloween is banned in the areas of England in the highest level of Covid-19 lockdown, a junior minister in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government said on Tuesday.Asked by LBC radio if trick or treating - a tradition in which children go from house to house asking for goodies or threatening a trick - was banned, junior business minister Nadhim Zahawi said: "Sadly - tier three - you can't"He added: "It's a tough thing," Advertisement 2020-10-27T08:14:55.030Z Bringing virus under control is route out of restrictions, Zahawi saysBusiness Minister Nadhim Zahawi said Tier 3 areas were subject to 28-day reviews and that bringing the virus under control was the route out of restrictions.His comments follow concerns raised by northern Tory MPs about the coronavirus exit strategy.Mr Zahawi told LBC Radio: “There is some good news. I have to be very cautious about this… but what I would say if you look at the the data, where we are working really well together, the rate of increase has slowed down.“It’s still too high, and we’ve got to continue to protect our hospitals, make sure that we save lives, protect the NHS and of course protect livelihoods and businesses, which is why this is a balancing act.”He added: “It’s a choice between two harms – the harm of the virus and the harm to the economy and to livelihoods, which ultimately also leads to health harms as well.” 2020-10-27T08:14:04.786Z Bulgaria's PM continues battle with coronavirusBulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, who is being treated for the novel coronavirus at home after testing positive, called on Bulgarians to observe anti-viral measures and keep safe as daily infections hit a record on Tuesday.Borissov, 61, said in a posting on Facebook there was no change in his health and he was still feeling a general malaise but that did not prevent him from carrying out his duties as prime minister from home."I am being treated like every Bulgarian who has to stay for home treatment. I am confident that our society, led by our doctors, who are some of the best in the world, will go through this ordeal. Follow the measures and keep safe!" he wrote.Borissov tested positive for the virus on Sunday. 2020-10-27T08:04:43.220Z Still reason to be optimistic about vaccine, says expertProfessor Wendy Barclay from Imperial College London said there was still reason to be optimistic about a vaccine.She told Times Radio: “I think that we can still continue to be optimistic about vaccines because vaccines will work in a different way.“What we’re measuring at the moment is the way that our bodies immune response reacts to the virus infecting us.“But when we immunise with vaccines – particularly the new generation of vaccines that have been developed and put forward into trials for Sars-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid – they work in quite different ways and they might like an immune response which is much more long lasting than natural infection. So we have to keep optimistic about that.”When asked if Tier 3 restrictions were tough enough, she added: “I think that one of the points we tried to put across yesterday in the paper was that the total lockdown that we had back in late March was enough to turn the tide, and get the virus back under control.“So far, none of the other restrictions that we’ve seen and none of the other actions, seem to have done that.“So it’s a very difficult balancing act and I think we need to keep trying to find the right formula, which allows people to get on with their lives but also gets the R number in the right direction.” Advertisement 2020-10-27T07:48:41.720Z Covid behaving similarly to common coldVirologist Professor Wendy Barclay from Imperial College London said the new coronavirus was behaving in a similar fashion to seasonal coronaviruses – which are responsible for the common cold.Prof Barclay, who is one of the authors of new research which found that people’s immunity built up after a Covid-19 infection could only last a few months as their levels of protective antibodies decline, told Times Radio: “This new coronavirus seems to be behaving in a somewhat similar fashion to the seasonal coronaviruses that have been in humans for decades, if not hundreds of thousands of years.“And for them we know that you do get reinfected every one or two years because your immunity, whether it’s made up of antibodies or T-cells, fades away to such an extent that you can become reinfected.”On the concept of a “immunity passport” – whereby people could go about their lives as normal after an infection – she added: “This concept of a passport for immunity – at the moment it is not a good idea because individuals can vary quite a lot in the sort of quality of the antibody response they make.“We wouldn’t like people to go out and change their behaviour thinking they were protected when they are not.“What’s more, the study we’ve published shows that if you had to test one month, then you might need to be taking the test the next month or the month after because your antibody levels might change over time.” 2020-10-27T07:47:26.516Z Call for data on pandemic responseTory MP Jake Berry, from the newly formed Northern Research Group which wrote to the Prime Minister about the North-South divide in the tier system, called for “consistent and clear data to be published that shows not just council leaders, but also the public and businesses alike, how they are doing in tackling this pandemic”.He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “First of all it’s good that the Government’s identified the metrics, if you like, that are going to enable areas to leave Tier 3 or Tier 2 respectively.“What I would like to see on a personal basis is that information provided in an easily digestible consumer-facing, public-friendly way that can show people a route out of these restrictions.” 2020-10-27T07:35:02.203Z Zahawi defends Government's support for North and MidlandsBusiness Minister Nadhim Zahawi defended the Government’s support for the North and Midlands.He said Tory MPs who have written to Boris Johnson were “champions for their area”.He told Sky News: “They want to make sure that their Northern Powerhouse strategy that Jake Berry and others have worked so hard on – with myself, I’m the local growth minister as well as being the business and industry minister – is delivered.“That is absolutely our focus, and you will see that coming through in our refresh of the industrial strategy.”Mr Zahawi highlighted areas across the North and Midlands which will benefit from a £180 million share of the £3.6 billion towns fund as evidence of the Government’s commitment. Advertisement 2020-10-27T07:34:21.136Z Government gives Tier 3 'flat rate' Councillor David Mellen, leader of Nottingham City Council, said it is “difficult to tell” whether the city has the Government support it needs for Tier 3, adding that all areas have been given a “flat rate”.He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think we have additional responsibilities of running a big city, and the city centre in particular has additional needs.“I’m not sure that all of that will be covered in what we’ve been promised from the Government.”He said costs and lost income from the first wave of Covid-19 “were not fully met as was promised”, meaning that budgets are “strained and stretched”.
Warrington's council leader defends Tier 3 dealWarrington’s Labour council leader Russ Bowden defended the deal done with the Government as the authority entered Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions.He admitted that “we went in with a larger ask than what we got from Government” but denied it had been a “case of rolling over”.Warrington council will receive a financial support package of £1.68 million to help contact-tracing and enforcement, as well as £4.2 million in business support from the Government.Mr Bowden told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “Ultimately we had to make a call whether or not to accept that, that’s what a negotiation is about.“We have got a good deal for the people of Warrington, we have got promises for further funding that will come out in due course.“This was the right decision to make. Sometimes they are tough ones, you don’t always get what you ask for, but I can absolutely assure the people of Warrington that we have got them a good deal.”
UK immunity on the decline, studyScientists have found that coronavirus immunity could only last a few months after a study revealed a decline in protective antibodies.Research by Imperial College London estimated just 4.4 per cent of adults had some form of immunity against Covid-19 in September, when cases began to increase again.This is compared with 6 per cent found to have antibodies between June 20 and July 13, and 4.8 per cent between July 31 and August 31.
Fifty Tory MPs warn PM coronavirus could send North ‘into reverse’Boris Johnson has been warned by more than 50 Tory MPs that the coronavirus crisis is threatening his pledge to “level-up” the country and could “send the North into reverse”.A group of northern Conservative backbenchers, led by former northern powerhouse minister Jake Berry, has written to the Prime Minister expressing their concerns.The Northern Research Group (NRG) wants Mr Johnson to set out a “clear road-map” out of lockdown and to develop an economic recovery plan for the North.They are also urging the Government to prioritise key infrastructure projects and to accelerate job creation in the region.A North-South divide has emerged with the Government’s coronavirus tier system, as all areas under the strictest restrictions are in the North and Midlands.Mr Berry, who represents Rossendale and Darwen, said: “Our party’s return to Government in December was won on the back of hard-working people in constituencies like ours who backed the Conservatives for the first time in a generation, and who did so on the promise that they would not be forgotten.“We cannot forget that we must deliver on our commitments made during that election, to level-up northern communities and create opportunity across our region.”He said the North has seen “a level of disruption unparalleled with other parts of the country” because of the pandemic.He added: “The virus has exposed in sharp relief the deep structural and systemic disadvantage faced by our communities and it threatens to continue to increase the disparity between the North and South still further.“Our constituents have been some of the hardest hit by this virus with many losing jobs, businesses, and livelihoods.“Never has there been a more pertinent and urgent political and economic case to support people living in the North.“However, instead of moving forwards on our shared ambitions, the cost of Covid and the virus itself threatens to send the North into reverse.”Some 40 Conservative MPs have publicly signed the letter, while a further 14 have had their names redacted.(Reuters)
Scotland's Covid hospital admissions up by a third in one weekIn Scotland, 975 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Friday, up from 627 a week earlier, with 76 in ventilation beds, up from 58 a week earlier.In Wales, 571 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Friday, up from 442 a week earlier, with 41 in ventilation beds, up from 32 a week earlier.In Northern Ireland, 296 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Thursday, up from 271 a week earlier, with 25 in ventilation beds as of Friday, up from 20 a week earlier.Data on patients with Covid-19 is not comparable across the UK due to differences in the way the figures are reported.
North of England continues to see biggest surge in hospital admissionsThe number of Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital on Saturday – the most recent daily figures available – and the total number of patients in hospital and those on ventilators in each region of England, as of Monday, are as follows (previous week’s figure in brackets):East of England – 42 admitted (37), 380 in hospital (260), 34 on ventilators (21)London – 108 (87), 738 (549), 116 (88)Midlands – 174 (108), 1,203 (936), 141 (105)North East & Yorkshire – 277 (210), 1,962 (1,327), 138 (110)North West – 278 (272), 2,407 (1,817), 215 (167)South East – 65 (34), 464 (322), 15 (18)South West – 46 (37), 300 (191), 22 (19)
Europe losing control of Covid-19 transmission, world health official warnsEuropean governments are “well behind” in the fight against coronavirus and the continent is becoming an epicentre for the disease, a senior medic at the World Health Organisation has warned.Dr Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, said that much more comprehensive measures will be needed if Europe is to get on top of the virus.Speaking at a press conference today, Dr Ryan said: “There’s no question that the European region is an epicentre for disease right now.“Right now we are well behind this virus in Europe so getting ahead of it is going to take some serious acceleration in what we do and maybe much more comprehensive nature of measures that are going to be needed.”He said that if European countries imposed much tougher measures, it should be possible to stay ahead of transmission rates as long as thorough public health surveillance is in place.Dr Ryan urged governments not to “squander” the opportunity presented by further lockdowns, and to support their citizens in doing the right thing.He also warned that the free movement of people within the EU was going to present a huge challenge as the transmission rate gathers pace, and might have to be suspended in a bid to get the virus under control.“Europe has spent 50 to 70 years trying to break down barriers and break down walls – it’s not an easy thing to build a coherent response across so many countries with so many different approaches, with so many land borders,” he said.“There’s a lot of free movement, on those principles it may require shutting down and restricting movement and having stay-at-home orders in order to take the heat out of this phase of the pandemic.”Dr Ryan said the more stringent measures being implemented in many European countries could have been avoided if everyone had done everything in their power to protect themselves from the disease.He expressed his frustration at conspiracy theorists and anti-lockdown campaigners, but said not everyone had the knowledge to accept the scale of the problem.“How can you convince someone to do something if they don’t actually believe there is a problem?” he said.“Persuasion is a discussion, persuasion is a dialogue, persuasion involves the exchange of resources between people.“Governments need to persuade people to do the right thing but they need to support people in doing that.”Earlier, WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus criticised world leaders who have undermined scientists during the pandemic.He said: “Where there has been political division at the national level, where there has been blatant disrespect for science and health professionals, confusion has spread and Covid-19 cases and deaths have mounted.“A pandemic is not a political football. Wishful thinking or deliberate diversion will not prevent transmissions or save lives.“What will save lives is science, solutions and solidarity.”
Nottingham lockdown 'was totally avoidable' - Labour MPReacting to the city’s Tier 3 restrictions, Nottingham East MP Nadia Whittome said in a statement: “It is regrettable that Nottingham will enter Tier 3 restrictions later this week.“This situation was totally avoidable had we had a proper track and trace system in place, and had the Government given people financial support to stay at home, instead of encouraging the reopening of workplaces and social spaces before this system was fully functional.“Nottingham City Council is clear that the Government’s proposals are not adequate to cover the costs of protecting health, livelihoods and businesses in Nottingham.”The Labour MP added: “While we await further detail and clarity on the proposals, the Government must urgently change its attitude towards Nottingham MPs and get round the table with us.“I will continue to fight to secure a financial settlement that properly reflects the needs of our city and my constituents.”
Could West Yorkshire be next for Tier 3? Further talks between the Government and council leaders in West Yorkshire over coronavirus restrictions will take place in the “coming days”.A statement from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said: “Today we were invited to a meeting with senior Government ministers and the deputy chief medical officer to discuss the next steps in combatting Covid-19 in West Yorkshire.“The latest data on infections and hospital admissions shows a continued rise, and we have repeated our calls to Government that further local action needs to be taken, including strengthening community engagement and test and trace.“There will be further discussions with Government in the coming days.“We are absolutely committed to implementing the most effective measures to protect the people and economy of West Yorkshire.”
This graphic tracks the rise in cases across the UK since May:
Hospital admissions continue to surgeSeparate Government figures show there were 7,454 Covid-19 patients in hospital in England on Monday – up from 5,402 a week ago – while 681 were in ventilation beds, up from 528 a week ago.A total of 990 patients with confirmed Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals in England on Saturday, the latest figure available, compared with 785 a week earlier.
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