‘Too early to say’ if lockdown will end by summer, Boris Johnson says

Britain could stay under lockdown restrictions through the spring and into summer, Boris Johnson has suggested.

The prime minister said it was “too early to say” when asked whether rules could be relaxed in the spring or go on longer.

Mr Johnson said it was “absolutely crucial” to obey the current restrictions “in what is unquestionably going to be a tough few weeks ahead”.

The prime minister’s remarks comes as scientists said that infection levels in England may have risen at the start of January. scientists tracking the spread of the coronavirus have said, with swab tests indicating the highest figures were in London.

They also follow an announcement by Matt Hancock, the health secretary, saying that the NHS is vaccinating people against Covid-19 at a rate of 200 jabs each minute. Mr Hancock said that 4.6 million people had now received a total of five million doses.

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1611243701A further 24,962 people receive first vaccine dose in Scotland

An additional 24,962 people had received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by 8:30am on Thursday, Public Health Scotland said, taking the total to 334,871.

It added that 4,466 people have received the second dose, an increase of 296.

Clea Skopeliti21 January 2021 15:41


“We are not all in this pandemic together, for proof look no further than the latest data released by the Office for National Statistics. Stark geographical differences in deaths due to Covid-19 are apparent, the most deprived areas of England have mortality rates two and a half times those of the least deprived.

“Yorkshire and Humber recorded 320 deaths per 100,000 of the population compared to 123 deaths per 100,000 in the South West. The contrast for Wales is just as grim, the most deprived areas recorded 560 deaths per 100,000 compared to 285 per 100,000 in the least deprived.”

Read Prof Ian Hamilton’s piece on inequality’s effect on the pandemic here:

Clea Skopeliti21 January 2021 15:38

1611243247Case rates decrease among age cohorts, PHE says

Infection rates in England are decreasing among all age groups, Public Health England has said, with people in their 20s continuing to have the highest case rates.

Among 20 to 29-year-olds, the rate stood at 647.3 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to 17 January, down week-on-week from 923.2.

Among 30 to 39-year-olds, the rate dropped from 804.9 to 628.4, and for 40 to 49-year-olds, it fell from 712.1 to 575.0.

For people 80 and over, the rate has fallen from 622.6 to 515.1.

Clea Skopeliti21 January 2021 15:34

1611242407Northern Ireland lockdown could be extended

Northern Ireland’s coronavirus lockdown may be extended to 5 March after the health minister cautioned against relaxing restrictions too early. 

Stormont health minister Robin Swann has proposed the step to help drive down case numbers, it is understood.

Ministerial colleagues at the Executive in Belfast are meeting to discuss the advice.

On Wednesday Mr Swann warned against premature easing of the curbs, adding this is “not the time to open any floodgates”.

Clea Skopeliti21 January 2021 15:20

1611242047Early relaxing of restrictions could lead to ‘disastrous’ resurgence of Covid, experts warn

The UK could experience a “disastrous” resurgence in Covid-19 if restrictions are lifted too early and not enough vaccine coverage has been provided to the population’s most vulnerable people, new scientific modelling suggests.

Epidemiologists have estimated that even with an uptake rate of 90 per cent among the UK’s top priority groups, up to 1 million people will remain vulnerable to the disease.

A lack of protection among this group may be enough to fuel a third wave of hospitalisations and deaths, potentially burdening the NHS for many more months to come, the scientists warn.

Clea Skopeliti21 January 2021 15:14

1611241536Over half a million waiting for NHS treatment in Wales

More than half a million people are on the waiting list for NHS treatment in Wales, new figures show.

The record high numbers show that, of the 530,371 people waiting, nearly half – 231,722 (44 per cent) – have been waiting more than 36 weeks for their treatment to start.

In March last year, only 28,294 people had been waiting for longer than the Welsh government target for treatment to start within 36 weeks.

Clea Skopeliti21 January 2021 15:05

1611240677Two-thirds of over-80s in northern England have had first jab

About two-thirds of over-80s in northern England have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

For north-east England & Yorkshire the figure stands at 67 per cent, while for north-west England it is 64 per cent, according to provisional NHS England data for the period up to 17 January.

Here are the regional breakdowns of the vaccination figures. The percentages are based on NHS England data combined with population estimates from the Office for National Statistics:

NE England & Yorkshire 67 per centNW England 64 per centSW England 61 per centMidlands 60 per centSE England 58 per centEastern England 53 per centLondon 50 per cent

Clea Skopeliti21 January 2021 14:51

1611240246North East and Yorkshire to have vaccine doses halved next week – HSJ

The North East and Yorkshire region will reportedly have its coronavirus vaccine supply halved next week, mainly because it has vaccinated more of its eligible population than other regions, according to a report in the Health Service Journal.

The publication cites NHS sources as saying that 100,000 doses will be available next week – down from 200,000 this week – for its centres run by GP practices, which are responsible for most of the vaccine rollout.

An NHS England spokesperson said: “Vaccine allocations have prioritised areas for supply depending on the number of unvaccinated people in priority cohorts. This ensures we reach those most at risk across the country as far as possible, following advice from the [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation].”

Clea Skopeliti21 January 2021 14:44

1611239480Londoners given 518,427 doses so far, NHS England data shows

A total of 518,427 jabs have been given to people in London between 8 December and 20 January, NHS England data shows, including 465,074 first doses and 53,353 second doses.

Here’s how that breakdown compares with other regions:

Midlands – 821,729 first doses and 66,611 second doses, making 888,340 in totalNorth East and Yorkshire – 715,903 first doses and 71,508 second doses, making 787,411 in totalNorth West – 595,673 first doses and 62,710 second doses, making 658,383 in totalSouth East – 692,239 first doses and 75,837 second doses, making 768,076 in totalSouth West – 492,386 first doses and 53,145 second doses, making 545,531 in totalEast of England – 494,557 first doses and 53,396 second doses, making 547,953 in total.

Clea Skopeliti21 January 2021 14:31

1611239023NHS England reports 789 more deaths

A further 789 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 64,111, NHS England has said.

Patients were aged between eight and 111. All except 28, aged between 25 and 97, had known underlying health conditions.

The deaths were between 20 October  and 20 January, with the majority being on or after 17 January.

There were 20 other deaths reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.

Clea Skopeliti21 January 2021 14:23

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