Press "Enter" to skip to content

Coronavirus UK news LIVE: Eat Out to Help Out scheme extended by some restaurants as 16 new deaths recorded

THE Eat Out to Help Out scheme is due to end on Bank Holiday Monday August 31.

But some chains have chosen to continue to offer 50% off deals at their own cost.

This comes as 1,048 new positive cases and 16 deaths were recorded on Wednesday August 26.

The death toll now stands at 41,465.

Follow our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates…

COVID DEATH FORMS PART OF EXAMINATION INTO PPE GUIDANCE

Health investigators launched an examination of guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE) for health and care staff after the death of a person who was shielding.

The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) said an “emerging safety risk of confusion over guidance on PPE” was identified after a member of the public expressed concerns about a shielding patient who had died from Covid-19.

The referral said that some care workers did not use PPE when doing home visits.

Made in April, the referral highlighted “confusion around PPE use requirements when visiting a patient at home who was in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ category”, according to the HSIB report.

The patient, who was deemed to be “clinically extremely vulnerable”, was visited by district nurses who used PPE.

But other care workers did not use PPE and had been told this was not necessary, according to the referral.

The care visits occurred when the patient and other household member were not showing any Covid-19 symptoms – but the patient later died from Covid-19.

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – BE IN THE KNOW

Get the latest coronavirus news, facts and figures from around the world – plus essential advice for you and your family.

To receive our Covid-19 newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.

To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.

CHEMICAL USED IN COMMON INSECT SPRAY ‘KILLS VIRUS THAT CAUSES COVID-19’

A chemical found in insect repellent kills the virus that causes Covid, a study by Britain’s defence laboratory shows.

Citriodiol, derived from lemon eucalyptus, is found in Mosi-guard Natural, which costs about £7 for a 75ml bottle.

But the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory said more tests were needed to pinpoint the ideal concentration.

Troops were issued with the spray as it was known to kill other corona-viruses. It is not sufficient protection alone and is used with face masks and hand-washing.

Read the latest here.

MATT HANCOCK CONFIRMS PAYMENT FOR LOW-PAID SELF-ISOLATING IN HIGH RISK AREAS

People on low incomes who need to self-isolate in areas where there are high numbers of coronavirus cases will be able to claim a maximum of £182 from the Government, Matt Hancock has announced.

The Health Secretary has confirmed that as of Tuesday September 1, people on either Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit, who are required to self-isolate and are unable to work from home, in areas with high incidences of Covid-19, will benefit from a new payment scheme.

Starting with a trial in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham, eligible people who test positive for the virus will receive £130 for their 10-day period of self-isolation.

Other members of their household, who under the current rules have to self-isolate for 14 days, will be entitled to a payment of £182.

The Department for Health and Social Care added that non-household contacts who are advised to self-isolate through the NHS Test and Trace system will also be entitled to a payment of £13 per day up to a maximum of £182, dependent on the length of their isolation period.

The payment will not reduce any other benefits that a person may already receive, the department said.

Payments will be provided within 48 hours of the eligible person providing all the necessary evidence, and to receive the payment people will be asked to provide a notification from NHS Test and Trace and a bank statement.

MINISTERS UNVEIL 5G GUIDE TO DISPEL ‘QUACK’ CONSPIRACY THEORIES

Ministers have published a guide on 5G masts in a bid to dispel “quack” theories that the new technology could harm people’s health.

Conspiracy theories have emerged claiming that the burgeoning 5G network, which will provide super-fast internet speeds while on the move once fully rolled out, was behind the coronavirus outbreak and that they could damage public health by emitting dangerous levels of radiation.

The misinformation campaign has resulted in some communication masts being vandalised – an act the Government warned could cost lives as damaging them could prevent calls to the emergency services from being made.

Digital infrastructure minister Matt Warman and local government minister Simon Clarke have written to councils to promote a new guide which can be handed out to worried constituents in an effort to dispel the misleading theories taking hold on social media.

The guide, published on Thursday, says: “Companies have been rolling out 5G in the UK since 2019. However, some people have raised concerns that the introduction of 5G could affect people’s health and have even linked it to the coronavirus pandemic.

“These claims are completely unfounded and should not be used as a basis to block or delay 5G rollout.”

AUSTRALIA: VICTORIA RECORDS LOWEST DAILY NUMBER OF COVID CASES IN TWO MONTHS

Australia’s second most populous state, Victoria, reported 23 deaths from the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours and 113 new cases – the lowest daily rise in the region in nearly two months.

The southeastern state, which has become the country’s virus hot spot, a day earlier reported its second-most deadly day of the pandemic with 24 deaths and logged 149 cases.

Strict lockdown measures have helped ease the daily rise of coronavirus infections in Victoria after the state hit a one-day high of more than 700 cases about three weeks ago.

EAT OUT TO HELP OUT: WHAT CHAINS ARE EXTENDING THE DEAL?

Several restaurants, food chains and pub groups have decided to extend the 50% off discount after it formally closes to keep encouraging customers through the doors.

Eat Out to Help Out was introduced by chancellor Rishi Sunak to help boost the flagging hospitality sector and revive Britain’s pubs and restaurants – which had been ravaged by lockdown.

Now, the scheme is due to wind up, but several chains have decided to extend the offer.

But several chains have confirmed they will still be offering half price meals in September including Harvester, Toby Carvery, Bill’s, Tesco Cafe and Pizza Hut restaurants.

Read the full list here.

BUSINESS BOSS URGES PM TO GET WORKERS BACK TO OFFICES

Boris Johnson has been urged by a senior business leader to do more to get workers back in offices.

The head of the CBI Carolyn Fairbairn has told the PM city centres risk are in danger of becoming  “ghost towns”.

A fresh survey of 8,000 adults from eight countries has shown that workers in the UK and the US are least likely to want to return to the office with fears of a second wave cited as the main reason.

Dame Carolyn says the knock on effect of that reluctance is the damage to thousands of local firms, from dry cleaners to sandwich bars.  

Read more here.

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – BE IN THE KNOW

Get the latest coronavirus news, facts and figures from around the world – plus essential advice for you and your family.

To receive our Covid-19 newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.

To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.

BRAZIL: CORONAVIRUS CASES HIT 3.7M, DEATH TOLL AT 117,666

Brazil reported 47,161 new cases of coronavirus and 1,086 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Brazil has registered 3,717,156 cases of the virus since the pandemic began.

The official death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 117,666, according to ministry data.

GAZA: CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN EXTENDED BY 72 HOURS AS INFECTIONS SPREAD

Gaza will remain in lockdown at least until Sunday, health officials said on Wednesday after reporting two deaths and 26 COVID-19 cases in the first public outbreak of the coronavirus in the blockaded Palestinian enclave.

As of two days ago, when the first four cases were discovered in a refugee camp in the 360 square-kilometre (140 square-mile) territory, and a 48-hour lockdown was imposed, there had been no infections outside border quarantine facilities for new arrivals.

But by late on Wednesday, health officials said 26 people in several locations had tested positive for COVID-19 and two patients had died.

SPAIN OVERTAKES US IN NEW COVID-19 CASES PER MILLION

Spain has overtaken the US in new daily confirmed coronavirus cases per million people, according to new figures.

It comes as the country saw a surge of over 7,000 infections yesterday – with tourist favourites Benidorm and Majorca emerging as major hotspots.

The country’s infection curve has been rising steeply now for at least two weeks, with some 81,000 new infections recorded in fourteen days.

According to estimates by tracker Our World in Data, which is run by researchers at Oxford University, Spain has overtaken the United States in terms of its daily new number of coronavirus cases per million inhabitants. 

UK-US DISCUSSING NEW AIR BRIDGE BETWEEN LONDON AND NEW YORK

The UK and US governments are in talks to introduce an “air bridge” between London and New York to enable travellers to sidestep quarantine, the Telegraph reported on Wednesday.

Ministers are studying plans for regional air bridges that would enable business and other travellers to come to Britain from “low-risk” areas such as New York City within countries that are “red listed” because of their continued overall high coronavirus rates, the report said.

US: PFIZER SAYS COVID-19 VACCINE TRAIL MORE THAN 50 PERCENT COMPLETED

Enrolment in the 30,000-volunteer US trial testing a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech is more than 50 percent complete.

The news was announced by Dr. Nicholas Kitchin, a top Pfizer vaccine research and development scientist, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immuniaation Practices meeting on Wednesday.

Last week, the company said it had enrolled more than 11,000 volunteers in the trial.

COVID OUTBREAK CLOSES NORFOLK CHICKEN FACTORY AS 350 WORKERS GO INTO ISOLATION

A chicken factory has been closed after 75 staff tested positive for the coronavirus.

Hundreds of employees have been forced to self-isolate after the outbreak was detected at a Banham Poultry factory in Norfolk.

The cutting room at the factory in Attleborough, Norfolk will close tomorrow morning after the factory voluntarily agreed to shut part of its operations and advised 350 members of staff to go into isolation.

There is said to be fears that the workers could have spread the virus across the county.

Read more on the latest developments here.

BRAZIL: CITY THAT DIDN’T LOCKDOWN ‘REACHES HERD IMMUNITY’

A city in Brazil which did not lockdown may have reached herd immunity, experts have said.

Manaus, in the Amazon, has seen a dramatic fall in coronavirus cases and deaths since hitting 3,300 fatalities.

The city of two million people was once one of the world’s hardest-hit, with drone images taken in April showing images of mass graves and burials occurring at five times their normal rate. 

But last week, Manaus saw its “excess deaths” drop to almost zero – as tests suggested that around 20 per cent of the city’s population had been infected with the bug. 

Read more on the story here.

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – BE IN THE KNOW

Get the latest coronavirus news, facts and figures from around the world – plus essential advice for you and your family.

To receive our Covid-19 newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.

To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.

EU COMMISSIONER PHIL HOGAN CONFIRMS RESIGNATION IN STATEMENT

Mr Hogan said: “This evening I have tendered my resignation as EU Trade Commissioner to the President of the European Commission, Dr Ursula von der Leyen.

“It was becoming increasingly clear that the controversy concerning my recent visit to Ireland was becoming a distraction from my work as an EU Commissioner and would undermine my work in the key months ahead.

“I deeply regret that my trip to Ireland – the country that I have been so proud to represent as a public servant for most of my adult life – caused such concern, unease and upset.”

Mr Hogan added he had always tried to comply with all relevant Covid-19 regulations in Ireland and had understood that he had met with all relevant public health guidelines, particularly following confirmation of a negative Covid-19 test.

He said: “I reiterate my heartfelt apology to the Irish people for the mistakes I made during my visit.”

He said he fully appreciated the challenge posed by the pandemic.

“As European trade commissioner, I have been at the front line of the European Union’s response to the crisis,” he said.

“I recognise and appreciate the devastating impact of Covid-19 on individuals and families, and I fully understand their sense of hurt and anger when they feel that those in public service do not meet the standards expected of them.”

JOHNSON & JOHNSON TO EXPAND COVID-19 VACCINE TRIALS TO INCLUDE SOUTH AMERICA

US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has added Chile, Argentina and Peru to the Latin nations where it plans to conduct Phase III trials for its vaccine against COVID-19, the company confirmed on Wednesday.

The study will involve 60,000 volunteers from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Mexico and will be coordinated by J&J’s pharmaceutical unit Janssen and local academic centres.

The company told Reuters it was waiting for regulatory approval in Chile, Argentina and Mexico.

A statement from the company read: “This multilateral collaboration…demonstrates the progress and commitment of collective efforts to find solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic.”

RISE IN DRUG CRIME DURING CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN, FIGURES SHOW

Drug crime rose by up to 44% during the coronavirus lockdown in England and Wales compared with the same period last year, official figures show.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), drug offences recorded by police rose by 22% in April to 16,570 and 44% in May to 20,687.

This is compared with 13,535 and 14,343 for the respective months in 2019.

The ONS report, published on Wednesday, put this down to “proactive police activity in pursuing these crimes during lockdown”.

It said the rises were driven largely by drugs possession offences, with “early indications” suggesting this was “particularly evident in London” where the Metropolitan Police had increased the number of drugs-related stop and searches it was carrying out during that time.

SCRAPPING PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND RISKS LOSS OF EXPERTISE, MPS TOLD

Controversial plans to scrap Public Health England (PHE) and replace it with a new body have “little clarity” and risk the loss of highly trained staff, MPs have been told.

Doctors criticised the Government’s decision to launch the new National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP) in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, and expressed concern over how it will affect efforts to improve the nation’s health and the morale of “exhausted” workers.

Their comments came in response to questions from members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus on Wednesday.

Dr Isobel Braithwaite, an academic clinical fellow at University College London, who has been involved with PHE’s London Coronavirus Response Cell, said: “People have been working incredibly hard and we’re facing a very difficult winter. It doesn’t feel like a good time for a distraction like this.

“And I think it’s going to make recruitment more challenging and I think we risk losing a lot of very specialised and highly trained people.”

She added: “My impression is certainly that morale is pretty low and that’s from a low baseline.”

NHS WORKERS HIT OUT AT ‘HYPOCRITE’ JOHNSON DURING PAY RISE RALLY

Boris Johnson has been branded a “joke” and a “hypocrite” by NHS workers demanding an immediate pay rise.

NHS staff, who have hinted at strike action, made their way to Whitehall on Wednesday evening carrying banners that said “Pay Justice Now” and “Stop clapping, start paying”.

A senior member of staff, who called the Prime Minister a “clown”, said workers are struggling so much on their current pay that some take the night bus to work because they cannot afford the tube.

Health workers are in the final year of a three-year deal and are due a pay rise next April, but unions want the Government to show its appreciation for NHS staff by bringing it forward to this year.

The Government did not commit to an early pay rise for all NHS staff last month when wage increases for 900,000 public sector workers were announced.

TORY PEER SLAMS GOVERNMENT FOR FORCING PEOPLE TO WEAR FACE MASKS WITHOUT A VOTE

Tory Sir Desmond Swayne has criticised the Government for forcing people to wear face masks in enclosed spaces and “go about like Darth Vader” without there having been a vote on the matter.

Asked what is so bad about wearing a mask, the New Forest West MP told Channel 4 News: “I think it is frightful. I think it is awful having to cover your face and go about like Darth Vader. I mean, I just think it is horrible, many people do.

“But that is not the point. The point is you told me that I must wear a mask and I’ve never had the democratic legitimate right to ask you the counter case and vote upon it in Parliament through my elected representatives.”

On whether older students should be wearing masks at school, he added that “teachers should have the discretion to determine what happens at school”.

EU TRADE COMMISSIONER TO RESIGN OVER COVID-19 GUIDELINE BREACH

European Union Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan will resign later on Wednesday over alleged breaches to COVID-19 guidelines during a recent trip to his native Ireland, a spokesman for the commissioner said.

Hogan attended a golf dinner last week that outraged the Irish public and led to the resignation of an Irish minister and the disciplining of several lawmakers. He had insisted on Tuesday he had adhered to all rules during the trip.

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – BE IN THE KNOW

Get the latest coronavirus news, facts and figures from around the world – plus essential advice for you and your family.

To receive our Covid-19 newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.

To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *