Coronavirus UK news – New vaccine RESISTANT covid strain may be unleashed if cases spiral to 100,000 a day, experts warn

Coronavirus UK news – New vaccine RESISTANT covid strain may be unleashed if cases spiral to 100,000 a day, experts warn

07/07/2021

LETTING Covid cases to surge to 100,000-a-day risks a new vaccine-dodging variant emerging, experts have warned.

Britain could be opening itself up to more dangerous variants by fully opening up and ditching social distancing on July 19, scientists fear.

Sir Paul Nurse, director of the Francis Crick Institute, said: "Letting the virus spread in these circumstances encourages a new variant arising in the UK itself. We could create a variant resistant to the vaccine.

"If all controls are lifted and the virus is allowed to let rip, will that result in more resistant variants arising within the country itself which are more difficult to control?

"It makes no sense not to insist on the wearing of masks. We need sensible, well thought out, good plans.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid also warned of new super-infectious mutations – and said the situation is "uncharted territory".

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest lockdown updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRANT SHAPPS 'VERY RELAXED' IF TRANSPORT OPERATORS CONTINUE MASK RULE

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said he would be "very relaxed" if any bus and train operators in England continue to require passengers to wear face coverings from July 19.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that the legal requirement to wear face coverings in settings such as public transport will be dropped once the final stage of his road map out of lockdown is reached.

    Mr Shapps told MPs that individual operators could amend their conditions of carriage to require passengers to continue to cover their mouths and noses.

    He said: "If you're travelling on the (London) Underground and it's pretty packed, and the wearing of a face covering may well be helpful to increase confidence. Standing right next to somebody, I think that's something that I want to do. Transport operators are free to require it.

    "We've seen airlines do that and we may see some transport services do that. If organisations require it to be a condition of carriage, I'm very relaxed about that, and it's up to them to do."

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS JOHNSON 'DEEPLY SORRY' FOR PANDEMIC SUFFERING FOLLOWING BLAST FROM LABOUR MP

    Boris Johnson has apologised for the suffering experienced by many during the Covid-19 pandemic, after he was blasted by a Labour MP denied the chance to see his dying relatives.

    Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Slough) made an impassioned intervention at Prime Minister's Questions in which he criticised "sycophantic, spineless, hypocritical" Government ministers and hit out at Mr Johnson's handling of the pandemic.

    Part of his frustration was centred on the response of the Prime Minister and others to the actions of his then-chief adviser Dominic Cummings, who infamously drove to Barnard Castle in County Durham during a national lockdown.

    Mr Johnson said he was "deeply, deeply sorry" for the lost lives and the time people were unable to spend with loved ones.

  • Joseph Gamp

    MAPPED: THE RAPID RISE OF THE DELTA CORONAVIRUS VARIANT

    THESE shocking maps reveal how rapidly the Delta variant has become in a matter of weeks – and are a forewarning of dangerous future strains.

    Delta, first identified in India, makes up almost every new Covid case in the UK (95 per cent).

    Where Delta makes up the majority of cases (darker colours) now compared to one month ago

  • Joseph Gamp

    WHAT WILL CHANGE FROM JULY 19?

    Freedoms from July 19:

    • Hefty fines for refusing to wear a mask indoors will be dropped as face mask laws binned – but coverings will still be recommended for crowded spaces
    • All legal limits restricting social contact will be torn up, such as the rule of six or rule of 30 outside
    • Work from home guidance will be dropped in favour of firms' discretion
    • Pub rules will be binned – with table service scrapped and social distancing ending
    • Strict caps on care home visitors will be ditched – but PPE will stay
    • ALL adults will now get their second jab after eight weeks, down from 12
    • The one metre plus social distancing rule will be binned – except for ports and for people who have Covid
    • It means festivals and full stadiums will finally be able to make a return after lifting all limits on mass events
    • Covid certificates will be binned – but individual places can still demand them if they want

    BORIS JOHNSON SAYS COUNTRY IS 'MOVING TO A SYSTEM OF TESTING RATHER THAN SELF-ISOLATION' DURING PMQs

    Boris Johnson was asked what he was going to do about people deleting the NHS app because they fear being told to self-isolate as coronavirus cases soar.

    Sir Keir Starmer asked during PMQs: "There are already too many stories of people deleting the NHS app.

    "And they're doing it because they can see what's coming down the track. Now of course we don't support that, but under his plan it's entirely predictable.

    "What is the Prime Minister going to do to stop people deleting the NHS app because they can see precisely what he can't see, which is millions of them are going to be pinged this summer to self-isolate."

    The Prime Minister said the country would be "moving to a system of testing rather than self-isolation".

    KEIR STARMER SAYS PM 'TRYING TO WISH AWAY' PROBLEMS OF LIFTING RESTRCITIONS

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer suggested Boris Johnson was trying to "wish away" the practical problems that will come with a possible 100,000 coronavirus infections a day.

    Sir Keir told the Commons: "We should open up in a controlled way, keeping baseline protections such as masks on public transport, improving ventilation, making sure the Track and Trace system remains effective, and ensuring proper payments for self-isolation.

    "The Prime Minister can't just wish away the practical problems 100,000 infections a day are going to cause."

    JAPAN PREPARING TO DECLARE STATE OF EMERGENCY IN TOKYO AS INFECTIONS RISE – REPORTS

    Japan is preparing to declare a state of emergency for Tokyo to contain a rise in coronavirus infections.

    It comes just over two weeks before the opening of the Olympic Games in the capital, the Sankei daily newspaper said on Wednesday citing government sources. 

    NINE IN 10 ADULTS IN MOST AREAS OF UK LIKELY TO HAVE COVID-19 ANTIBODIES

    Around nine in 10 adults in most parts of the UK are now likely to have Covid-19 antibodies, new figures suggest.

    The estimates range from 87.2% in Northern Ireland to 89.8% in England and 91.8% in Wales.

    In Scotland the estimate is lower and is closer to eight in 10 adults, or 84.7%.

    The presence of coronavirus antibodies suggests someone has had the infection in the past or has been vaccinated.

    It takes between two and three weeks after infection or vaccination for the body to make enough antibodies to fight the virus.

    DR HILARY JONES SAYS GOVT'S NEW COVID STRATEGY IS A 'RECIPE FOR TROUBLE' WITH LAMBDA VARIANT IN 31 COUNTRIES

    • Joseph Gamp

      GRANT SHAPPS SAYS GOVERNMENT SHOULD CONTINUE WITH MAJOR TRANSPORT PROJECTS DESPITE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON TRAVEL

      Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the Government should "absolutely" continue with major infrastructure projects despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on demand for travel.

      He told the Commons' Transport Select Committee: "If you think about other railway lines that were built 150 years ago – the West Coast and the East Coast main lines – not two world wars, not recessions and depressions, not the Spanish flu, none of these things stopped the inexorable growth in the need for people and goods to travel."

      He added: "If you look at something like HS2, we're not building it for what happens this year, or next year.

      "It won't even be up and running until the end of the decade, early next decade, for the first section.

      "For the whole thing, much later than that."

    • Joseph Gamp

      USE OF COVID CONTACT TRACING APP 'AT AN ALL TIME HIGH' SAYS ADVISER

      Asked if people are deleting the Covid-19 contact tracing app, professor Christophe Fraser from Oxford University's Nuffield Department of Medicine, who advises Test and Trace, told Times Radio that usage of the app was at an "all-time high".

      "About 50% of all, overall test results, nationally go through the app," he said.

      "The team monitors the usage of the app, and at this point in time the usage of the app is at an all-time high."

      Asked about the suggestion that 100,000 people could become infected each day over the summer, he said: "It would result in a large amount of people being traced, which of course slows down the rate of infection and limits the stress on the NHS in terms of hospital admissions."

    • Joseph Gamp

      HEATHROW TO FAST TRACK ARRIVALS FOR DOUBLE-JABBED PASSENGERS

      Heathrow is to provide fast-track lanes for fully-vaccinated arrivals as the airline industry steps up pressure on ministers to open up quarantine-free travel to amber destinations.

      Under a pilot programme to be launched this week, passengers from selected destinations will be able to upload their coronavirus vaccination certificate before boarding.

      On arrival at the airport, they will then be directed to dedicated lanes at the border to speed their passage through immigration.

      The move comes ahead of an expected announcement on Thursday when Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will set out details of the Government’s plans to end the requirement for travellers from amber list countries to self-isolate on arrival.

      Boris Johnson is said to favour easing the controls from July 19 – when other Covid lockdown restrictions in England are due to be lifted – according to The Times.

    • Joseph Gamp

      EUROS: MINISTER CANNOT GUARANTEE NO COVID OUTBREAKS FROM WEMBLEY MATCH

      A Cabinet minister has said he cannot guarantee there will not be an outbreak of coronavirus cases linked to football fans watching England against Denmark at Wembley.

      Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng insisted "we can manage this risk" ahead of the Euro 2020 semi-final on Wednesday amid mounting concerns over infections.

      Senior ministers have reportedly grown increasingly concerned that matches at Wembley could be driving up the transmission of Covid-19.

      Mr Kwarteng told LBC radio: "I think we can manage this risk but to say there is no risk, if you have thousands of people in one place. There's always risk in life.

      "I think we're managing the risk. I'm confident there won't be a big outbreak but we can't guarantee that now."

    • Joseph Gamp

      WHO SPOKESWOMAN SAYS REOPENING SPORTS AND MASS EVENTS COULD BE 'RISKY'

      Margaret Harris, spokeswoman for the World Health Organisation, said that mass events, including football matches, could be "risky" in terms of coronavirus spread.

      She told Sky News: "It is risky. We're not out of the woods by any stage.

      "We know there are large rises in the numbers of cases, that means you are (more) likely to be exposed to somebody who unknowingly is carrying the virus. Whether you're vaccinated or not you still can get infected, you still can get a breakthrough infection.

      "It's hard when you're having such a great time, but be serious about your own risk because it's not just a risk to you – you may bring it back to somebody in your family who is yet to be vaccinated, who may develop the severe disease.

      "So we still have to behave knowing that there is a large amount of virus out there, we haven't beaten this by any means."

    • Joseph Gamp

      COVID CASES FELL BY A FIFTH DURING MASS TESTING PILOT IN LIVERPOOL

      Detection of coronavirus cases rose by almost a fifth and potentially thousands of new infections were prevented, results of a community testing pilot in Liverpool have suggested.

      More than 3,200 staff days among key workers, such as those in the emergency services, were saved from being lost to quarantine through a test-to-release scheme, researchers said.

      New cases of the virus dropped by 21% compared with other areas up to mid-December, the study showed, at which point the spread of the Kent variant made it more difficult to compare areas.

    • Joseph Gamp

      MAPPED: THE FIVE AREAS WHERE COVID CASES ARE RISING FASTEST

       

    • Joseph Gamp

      TIMETABLE FOR RELAXING SELF-ISOLATION 'NOT A PERFECT SOLUTION', ADMITS KWARTENG

      Delaying the easing of self-isolation rules for coronavirus contacts until a month after England's other restrictions are lifted is "not a perfect solution", a Cabinet minister has admitted.

      Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng insisted the Government has to strike a balance between reopening the economy and curbing the spread of Covid-19, as ministers faced a backlash over the plans.

      From August 16, people in England who have received both doses of a vaccine – as well as the under-18s – will no longer have to self-isolate if they have been in contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19.

      But restrictions on businesses and social gatherings will be removed at Step 4 of the road map, expected on July 19, raising fears that increased cases could lead to millions being forced to spend 10 days at home.

      Hospitality chiefs said the delay could lead to staff shortages, warning that the current system is already causing "carnage" and unless the Government moves quicker it risks "the summer being cancelled and vast swathes of the population unnecessarily confined to their homes".

    • Joseph Gamp

      LONG COVID MAY STRIKE DOWN 5,000 BRITS A DAY BY END OF THE SUMMER, MINISTER ADMITS BUT INSISTS UK 'HAS TO REOPEN'

      Long Covid may strike down 5,000 Brits a DAY by end of the summer, minister admits but he insists ‘we have to reopen’

    • Joseph Gamp

      INDIA REPORTS 43,733 NEW COVID-19 CASES IN LAST 24 HOURS

      India on Wednesday reported 43,733 new cases in the last 24 hours, data from health ministry showed, with active cases at 459,920.

    • Joseph Gamp

      KWSASI KWARTENG WILL 'PROBABLY' WEAR A MASK ON THE TUBE

      Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said he will "probably" wear a mask on the Tube after the legal requirement ends.

      He told Sky News: "Personally, I use the Tube a lot in London, and I would probably wear a mask in that context, on the Tube, on public transport.

      "That's a personal view, it's not something I would mandate, or necessarily dictate to other people."

    • Joseph Gamp

      JCVI STILL ASSESSING IF CHILDREN SHOULD GET COVID VACCINES – CHRIS WHITTY

      “For any vaccine, you want to be confident that the benefits outweigh any risks,” says Professor Whitty in response to question from the public.

      “Because children have had much lower rates of severe outcomes from Covid… we would need to have even greater confidence about the safety.”

    • Joseph Gamp

      HEATHROW TO FAST TRACK ARRIVALS FOR DOUBLE-JABBED PASSENGERS

      Heathrow is to provide fast-track lanes for fully-vaccinated arrivals as the airline industry steps up pressure on ministers to open up quarantine-free travel to amber destinations.

      Under a pilot programme to be launched this week, passengers from selected destinations will be able to upload their coronavirus vaccination certificate before boarding.

      On arrival at the airport, they will then be directed to dedicated lanes at the border to speed their passage through immigration.

      The move comes ahead of an expected announcement on Thursday when Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will set out details of the Government's plans to end the requirement for travellers from amber list countries to self-isolate on arrival.

      Boris Johnson is said to favour easing the controls from July 19 – when other Covid lockdown restrictions in England are due to be lifted – according to The Times.

    • Joseph Gamp

      MINISTER CONFIDENT OF MANAGING RISK OF EURO 2020

      Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has said he cannot guarantee there will not be an outbreak of coronavirus cases linked to football fans watching England's Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark at Wembley.

      He told LBC radio: "I think we can manage this risk but to say there is no risk, if you have thousands of people in one place… there's always risk in life.

      "I think we're managing the risk. I'm confident there won't be a big outbreak but we can't guarantee that now."

    • Joseph Gamp

      GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

    • Joseph Gamp

      COVID CASES COULD REACH 100,000 PER DAY AFTER FREEDOM DAY, SAYS SAJID JAVID

      Coronavirus case numbers could reach 100,000 per day in the summer as restrictions are eased, according to Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

      “By the time we get to the 19th, we would expect case numbers by then to be at least double what they are now, so around 50,000 new cases a day,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

      “As we ease and go into the summer, we expect them to rise significantly and they could go as high as 100,000 case numbers.

      “We want to be very straightforward about this, about what we can expect in terms of case numbers.

      “But what matters more than anything is hospitalisation and death numbers, and that is where the link has been severely weakened.”

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