9.56pm GMT
21:56

Brazil records 469 further deaths from coronavirus

Brazil recorded 29,792 additional confirmed cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, along with 469 deaths from Covid-19, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.

Brazil has registered more than 8.1 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 203,100, according to ministry data.

9.35pm GMT
21:35

Dubai has been added to Scotland’s quarantine list with travellers returning from the country told to self-isolate for 10 days from 4am on Monday, PA reports.

Passengers who have travelled to Scotland from Dubai since 3 January now have to self-isolate for 10 days dating from when they arrived back in the country.

The Scottish government said the change is due to a number of positive cases identified in passengers who have flown into Glasgow from Dubai since the new year.

8.55pm GMT
20:55

One in five people in England may have had coronavirus, modelling suggests

One in five people in England may have had coronavirus, new modelling suggests, equivalent to 12.4 million people, rising to almost one in two in some areas.

It means that across the country as a whole the true number of people infected to date may be five times higher than the total number of known cases according to the government’s dashboard.

In some areas, however, the disparity may be even greater. Parts of London and the south are estimated to have had up to eight times as many cases as have been detected to date.

Read more from my colleagues Ashley Kirk, Anna Leach and Pamela Duncan:

Updated
at 8.56pm GMT

8.34pm GMT
20:34

Northern Ireland hospitals are facing into an abyss, health leader says

Anne Kilgallen, chief executive of Western Trust, said Northern Ireland hospitals are facing into an abyss.

She said:

We can say that this situation is more grave than it has ever been in the course of this pandemic. I would go so far as to say our hospitals are facing into an abyss.

At the moment one in four of the people in our hospitals have Covid-19. It’s about 700 people. At the peak of the first surge there were 400 people in hospital so already we’re in a very grave situation.

The projections show this is likely to double by the third week of January.

Kilgallen said health chiefs were asking people to work with them.

“We want to protect our emergency departments for the sickest people,” she said.

We want to make them available for people who are in emergency need whether that’s medical, or surgical or mental health crisis. We want you to know the emergency department is open for business but that involves all of us thinking carefully before we use it.

She said once people are medically fit for discharge they’ll be asking families to take their loved one home even if they haven’t arranged a care package.

All but the most immediately urgent surgical procedures have been deferred, she added.

She said:

This has been a heartbreaking decision for each of us as chief executives and it’s a decision that has not been taken lightly but we’re absolutely certain we need to do this now if we’re going to be able to provide essential services to those who are the sickest in our society.

7.09pm GMT
19:09

Russia has detected its first case of the more infectious coronavirus variant found in England, in a Russian who returned from Britain and tested positive late last month, RIA news agency reported on Sunday, citing the consumer health watchdog.

Russia suspended flights to Britain last month until 13 January because of the virus variant detected in the UK. It also introduced a mandatory two-week self-isolation period for people arriving from Britain.

Russia on Sunday reported 22,851 new Covid-19 cases including 4,216 in Moscow, pushing its national infection tally to 3,401,954 – the world’s fourth highest – since the pandemic began.

6.43pm GMT
18:43

France has recorded 15,944 new confirmed Covid-19 cases and 151 more deaths from the coronavirus in hospitals in the last 24 hours, data from the country’s health ministry showed.

5.45pm GMT
17:45

US lawmakers may have been exposed to coronavirus during siege on Capitol

House lawmakers may have been exposed to someone testing positive for Covid-19 while they sheltered at an undisclosed location during the Capitol siege by a violent mob loyal to Donald Trump.

The Capitol’s attending physician notified all lawmakers Sunday of the virus exposure and urged them to be tested. The infected individual was not named, Associated Press.

Brian Moynihan wrote that “many members of the House community were in protective isolation in the large room — some for several hours” on Wednesday. He said “individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.”

Dozens of lawmakers were whisked to the secure location after pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol that day, breaking through barricades to roam the halls and offices and ransacking the building.

Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period.

No further details were provided on which person has tested positive for the virus.

Some lawmakers and staff were furious after video surfaced of Republican lawmakers not wearing their masks in the room during lockdown.

Newly elected Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, a presidential ally aligned with a pro-Trump conspiracy group, was among those Republicans not wearing masks

5.12pm GMT
17:12

Italy reports 361 further coronavirus-related deaths

Italy reported 361 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, down from 483 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 18,627 from 19,978.

Italy has registered 78,755 coronavirus deaths since its outbreak came to light on 21 February, the second-highest toll in Europe and the sixth-highest in the world. The country has reported 2.276 million cases to date, the health ministry said.

Patients in hospital with Covid-19 – not including those in intensive care – stood at 23,427 on Sunday, up 167 from a day earlier, Reuters reports.

There were 181 admissions to intensive care units, versus with 183 on Saturday. The current number of intensive care patients rose by 22 to 2,615.

When Italy’s second wave of the epidemic accelerated quickly in the first half of November, hospital admissions were rising by about 1,000 per day, while intensive care occupancy was increasing by about 100 per day.

Updated
at 5.14pm GMT

4.23pm GMT
16:23

A further 563 have died from coronavirus in the UK

563 further deaths of coronavirus have been reported today according to the latest official figures.

This represents those people who died in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid test, and which have been recorded today.

A total of 54,940 people have tested positive for Covid in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, 4066 people have been admitted to hospital.

3.45pm GMT
15:45

The government in the Philippines has signed a deal to secure the supply of 30 million doses of the Covid vaccine Covovax from Serum Institute of India (SII), the company’s local partner said, according to Reuters.

The agreement was signed on Saturday by Carlito Galvez, a former military general in charge of the Philippines’ strategy to fight the coronavirus, according to a statement issued by Faberco Life Sciences.

The Department of Health, which helped distribute the Faberco statement to local media, has yet to issue its own statement.

Health secretary Francisco Duque in a tweet said: “We’re in the final stages of closing agreements with various manufacturers to vaccinate at least 60-70% of the (population).”

SII partnered with US-based Novavax for the development and commercialisation of Covovax, which is in third-stage trials and expected to be approved for use by international regulators, Faberco said.

The vaccine will be available locally in the second half of 2021 and would be used to inoculate 15 million vulnerable Filipinos, it said.

With total confirmed Covid infections of 487,690 and deaths reaching 9,405, the Philippines has the second-highest number of cases and fatalities in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia.

3.31pm GMT
15:31

Seven people in Marseilles, southern France, have tested positive for the new, more infectious variant of Covid-19 first found in Britain, local authorities have announced.

Mayor Benoit Payan said the seven were among 23 people identified as having come into contact with the new variant, as well as a further 30 people from one residential building, who were undergoing tests.

“Right now, every minute counts in terms of preventing the spread of this English variant,” Payan told reporters at a news conference.

In response to the discovery of the new variant in Marseille, the city imposed an earlier evening curfew, moving the start time to 6pm from 8pm, until 6am the following morning. In Paris, the 8pm to 6am curfew hours remain unchanged.

3.08pm GMT
15:08

New Covid variant from Brazil detected in Japan

A new coronavirus variant has been detected in four travellers from Brazil’s Amazonas state, Japan’s health ministry has said, in the latest recorded instance of the virus evolving, Reuters reports.

A ministry official said studies were underway into the efficacy of vaccines against the new variant, which differs from highly-infectious variants first found in Britain and South Africa that have driven a surge in cases.

“At the moment, there is no proof showing the new variant found in those from Brazil is high in infectiousness,” Takaji Wakita, head of the national institute of infectious diseases, told a health ministry briefing.

Of the four travellers who arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda airport on 2 January, a man in his forties had a problem breathing, a woman in her thirties had a headache and sore throat and a man in his teens had a fever, while a woman in her teens showed no symptoms, the health ministry said.

After seeing a steep rise in coronavirus cases, Japan declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and three prefectures neighbouring the capital on Thursday. Nationwide cases have totalled about 289,000, with 4,061 deaths, public broadcaster NHK said.

Updated
at 3.16pm GMT



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