Britains update to the coronavirus.

daygo

Well-Known Member
Several Tory MPs have called for Dominic Cummings to resign over his alleged breach of the coronavirus lockdown rules, despite the prime minister defending his adviser.

A total of seven Conservative politicians slammed Cummings for his actions on Sunday morning as Boris Johnson faced mounting pressure to sack him.

Steve Baker, who worked with Cummings on the Vote Leave campaign, penned an article in The Critic on Sunday in which he said Cummings had “clearly broken” the guidance with trips to see his family in County Durham.

In the article, entitled “Boris: take back control”, Baker said three changes are “immediately required” to improve the government’s coronavirus response.

Baker argued the government should seek out “competitive expert advice”, improve its software engineering standards and sack Cummings.
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
There is only a 50% chance of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine working because cases in the UK are declining so fast, one of the scientists behind it has warned.

The University of Oxford's Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group began developing a COVID-19 vaccine in January using a virus taken from chimpanzees.

But with the number of UK coronavirus cases dropping every day, there may not be enough people to test it on, according to the institute's director Professor Adrian Hill.

He told The Sunday Telegraph: "It's a race against the virus disappearing, and against time. We said earlier in the year that there was an 80% chance of developing an effective vaccine by September.

"But at the moment, there's a 50% chance that we get no result at all. We're in the bizarre position of wanting COVID to stay, at least for a little while."
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
Claims Dominic Cummings made a second trip to Durham during the lockdown are "completely untrue", the Transport Secretary has said.

Grant Shapps defended the Prime Minister's top adviser on Sky News on Sunday by saying fresh allegations Mr Cummings made a second trip to visit his parents were false.

Boris Johnson is under renewed pressure to sack the 48-year-old adviser after it was claimed Mr Cummings travelled to visit his family a second time, despite official guidelines warning against long-distance journeys.

Mr Cummings was first accused of breaking coronavirus lockdown rules by making a 250-mile journey to visit his family, when his wife had Covid-19 symptoms.

Asked about the first alleged breach of lockdown rules, Mr Shapps told Sky's Sophy Ridge that Mr Cummings was "trying to do the best by the child".

He said: "What they've done is gone to make sure there's a support network around them, both parents were concerned about being ill, so they've gone somewhere which was adjacent to his parents.

"It meant that if they were both ill that the child would be getting support."

He called Mr Cummings' actions "sensible rational steps to make sure that they could look after their child".

Mr Shapps then said the allegations he made a second trip to Durham after returning to London "completely untrue".

“When he came back to London, which was on April 14 I see, he has remained in London since and hasn’t been back to Durham," said the Transport Secretary.

“There are all kinds of things that are being said here that are completely untrue. The basic story is actually pretty straightforward. Husband and wife were ill, they hunker down, they look after their four-year-old and they don’t move until they are better.

“And coming back down to London afterwards, they would have been travelling for essential work which is always allowed as well.”

The Transport Secretary said he was sure Mr Cummings obeyed social distancing rules during the first trip.
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
A man has received more than 700 cards after an appeal for people to mark his 100th birthday. Bert Vincent faced celebrating his centenary isolated from his family at a care home in Barnsley due to the coronavirus lockdown. Now cards have arrived from around the world, including messages from the Queen and the prime minister.

The World War Two veteran said he was left "humbled" by the response.
 

TheRedeemed

Well-Known Member
Lockdown restrictions in Scotland are likely to be relaxed slightly from 28 May, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

Ms Sturgeon made the announcement as she unveiled a four-phase "route map" aimed at restarting society while suppressing the virus.

The first phase will include allowing people to meet outside with people from one other household.

Schools will not reopen until the new school year begins on 11 August.

But the First Minister said children will return to a "blended model" where they will do a mix of school and home learning.

Teachers will return to work in June, with transition support being given, where possible, to children going into Primary 1 or moving from primary to secondary schools.

And an increased number of children will have access to critical childcare - which has been provided for the children of key workers during lockdown.

Ms Sturgeon said the first phase of easing will see garden centres and recycling facilities reopen, while some outdoor activities such as golf, fishing, tennis and bowls will be allowed again, as will outdoor work such as agriculture and forestry.

People will also be able to sit or sunbathe in parks and open areas, and will be able to meet people from one other household - although only initially in small numbers and while they are outside.

Different households should remain two metres apart from each other, and visiting inside other people's houses will not be permitted in the first phase.
Yes its a difficult thing as Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are behind the curve in England. Scotland is about 2 weeks behind, hence we're all still on full lockdown here.

The sooner it's released even a wee bit, the better. According to the Scottish Govt, we're still hovering around the R1 rate, they want that down to around R0.5 - 0.7 before they will release the restrictions, they reckon it's getting near that this week.

I don't know what to think about the way this virus is being reported, as I have been out every week, sometimes more than once to do shopping for my parents and brother and his Mrs who are all in the 'vulnerable' category. I have been mingling with 100's of people these last 8 weeks and, while every time I go out I worry, I have to just be brave and do it and, in spite of standing in queues and such like with lots of folks without masks, or scarves and no gloves etc.. I have not picked up anything. Thanks to God for keeping me safe while out in crowds, where I could easily have picked up this virus at any time, if these reports are all true.

Surely I must have been exposed to it by now, and frequently too? Not that I am complaining of course! It's just that 8 weeks of going out amongst people of fairly large numbers, and no symptoms. I quietly hope to be one of the ones who has had it and never knew and are hopefully now immune!

Finally @Berni I hope you're doing OK I was thinking of you yesterday and thought I best check the thread here to make sure you're still posting and such like. I hope you're staying safe. :)
 
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daygo

Well-Known Member
Ministers have recruited 25,000 contact tracers ahead of the launch of the government's flagship test and trace programme which aims to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The programme, which involves tracing and advising people who may have come into close contact with someone testing positive for the virus, is set to launch at the end of this week.

The government has been aiming for human contact tracers to be in place for Monday 1 June, the earliest date for opening schools and non-essential shops in England.

Widespread contact tracing was abandoned in mid-March as the number of COVID-19 cases soared in the UK, but a test, track and trace (TTT) strategy is now seen as playing a crucial role in efforts to ease the lockdown while avoiding a second wave of infections.

The government is also currently trialling a contact-tracing NHS app on the Isle of Wight.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has sought to play down the importance of the delayed app in the contact tracing process.

He had originally said the app would be rolled out by mid-May, but it has now been delayed by several weeks.

The test and trace system will involve the public being asked to work closely with the newly-recruited contact tracers, who will run a national virtual call centre operation, the government says.

The contact tracers will request that individuals testing positive for COVID-19 share information about who they have been in recent, prolonged close contact with and who might have been exposed to the virus.

This is most likely to be either be members of someone's own household or work colleagues.

By informing those who might have been exposed, contact tracers can ensure they receive advice and guidance to keep them safe and to prevent the virus from spreading further.

A Number 10 spokesperson said: "A test and trace system allows us to isolate new infections so that we can control the spread of this virus, which will be vital while coronavirus remains present in the UK.

"As we continue on the road to recovery, this will mean that in time lockdown will no longer be necessary for the vast majority of the public and instead it will be possible for there to be a targeted lockdown for a small number of people.

"For this to be effective, everyone will need to stay alert and play their part to control the virus and save lives.

"By working with our tracers and complying with the rules, the public will avoid unknowingly spreading the virus to their family and loved ones and this new test and trace service will help to control coronavirus."

Meanwhile it has emerged the prime minister will hold a cabinet meeting on Monday to discuss the ways lockdown restrictions will begin to ease for certain sectors.

While no changes are expected before 1 June, it is understood that guidance and advice will be given in relation to the sectors that are covered in step two of the government's roadmap for exiting the lockdown.

This will include an update on the new test, track and trace programme, an announcement on schools, and potentially an update on non-essential retail.
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
Yes its a difficult thing as Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are behind the curve in England. Scotland is about 2 weeks behind, hence we're all still on full lockdown here.

The sooner it's released even a wee bit, the better. According to the Scottish Govt, we're still hovering around the R1 rate, they want that down to around R0.5 - 0.7 before they will release the restrictions, they reckon it's getting near that this week.

I don't know what to think about the way this virus is being reported, as I have been out every week, sometimes more than once to do shopping for my parents and brother and his Mrs who are all in the 'vulnerable' category. I have been mingling with 100's of people these last 8 weeks and, while every time I go out I worry, I have to just be brave and do it and, in spite of standing in queues and such like with lots of folks without masks, or scarves and no gloves etc.. I have not picked up anything. Thanks to God for keeping me safe while out in crowds, where I could easily have picked up this virus at any time, if these reports are all true.

Surely I must have been exposed to it by now, and frequently too? Not that I am complaining of course! It's just that 8 weeks of going out amongst people of fairly large numbers, and no symptoms. I quietly hope to be one of the ones who has had it and never knew and are hopefully now immune!

Finally @Berni I hope you're doing OK I was thinking of you yesterday and thought I best check the thread here to make sure you're still posting and such like. I hope you're staying safe. :)
Yes it does make you wonder about whats the truth, TheRedeemed.
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
NHS England has announced 147 more people have died in hospitals in England after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths in the nation to 25,691.
Of the new deaths announced:
  • 28 occurred on 23 May
  • 40 occurred on 22 May
  • 12 occurred on 21 May
The figures also show 49 of the new deaths took place between 1 and 20 May, 16 were in April, and the remaining two occurred in March with the earliest new death on 13 March.
It comes as nine more people have died in Scotland after testing positive with coronavirus, bringing the total there to 2,270, according to the Scottish Government.
A further seven people have died in Wales, bringing the total there to 1,267, Public Health Wales said.
And one more person has died in Northern Ireland after testing positive for coronavirus, according to the Department of Health.
Separate UK-wide death figures will be released by the Department of Health and Social Care later.
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daygo

Well-Known Member
Boris Johnson has backed his key adviser Dominic Cummings, amid a row over the aide’s travel during lockdown.

The PM said he had concluded Mr Cummings had "no alternative" but to travel to the North East for childcare "when both he and his wife were about to be incapacitated by coronavirus".

"In every respect, he has acted responsibly, legally and with integrity," he said.

It follows calls from several Tory MPs for Mr Cummings' resignation.

On Saturday, Mr Cummings and the government had said he acted "reasonably and legally" in response to the original claims that he drove 260 miles from London to County Durham with his wife, who had coronavirus symptoms.

The aide then faced further allegations on Sunday of a second trip to the North East, reported by The Observer and Sunday Mirror.

But, speaking at Downing Street's daily coronavirus briefing, Mr Johnson called "some" of the claims "palpably false".

As expected, but will rumble on I suppose.
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
Total number of lab-confirmed UK cases
259,559
Includes tests carried out by commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National totals
Daily number of lab-confirmed UK cases
2,409
Number of additional cases on Sunday 24 May 2020
Total number of COVID-19 associated UK deaths
36,793
Deaths of people who have had a positive test result confirmed by a Public Health or NHS laboratory
Daily number of COVID-19 associated UK deaths
118
Number of additional deaths on Sunday 24 May 2020
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
A statement from Downing Street issued on Saturday said: “His sister and nieces had volunteered to help so he went to a house near to but separate from his extended family in case their help was needed.

“His sister shopped for the family and left everything outside. At no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported.

“His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines. Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally.”

The government’s renewed backing of Cummings sparked anger from politicians, with one accusing Johnson of being “dismissive and arrogant”.

I give up with the media nowadays.
 

Berni

Well-Known Member
Yes its a difficult thing as Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are behind the curve in England. Scotland is about 2 weeks behind, hence we're all still on full lockdown here.

The sooner it's released even a wee bit, the better. According to the Scottish Govt, we're still hovering around the R1 rate, they want that down to around R0.5 - 0.7 before they will release the restrictions, they reckon it's getting near that this week.

I don't know what to think about the way this virus is being reported, as I have been out every week, sometimes more than once to do shopping for my parents and brother and his Mrs who are all in the 'vulnerable' category. I have been mingling with 100's of people these last 8 weeks and, while every time I go out I worry, I have to just be brave and do it and, in spite of standing in queues and such like with lots of folks without masks, or scarves and no gloves etc.. I have not picked up anything. Thanks to God for keeping me safe while out in crowds, where I could easily have picked up this virus at any time, if these reports are all true.

Surely I must have been exposed to it by now, and frequently too? Not that I am complaining of course! It's just that 8 weeks of going out amongst people of fairly large numbers, and no symptoms. I quietly hope to be one of the ones who has had it and never knew and are hopefully now immune!

Finally @Berni I hope you're doing OK I was thinking of you yesterday and thought I best check the thread here to make sure you're still posting and such like. I hope you're staying safe. :)
Hi @TheRedeemed , thank you so much for thinking of me. I haven't been posting for a short while. Our beautiful Auntie Georgina passed away in her sleep last week, at the grand old age of 95. She was a believer and even though I know that she is in heaven with Our Lord Jesus, her passing has hit me really hard. Probably because we have not been able to visit her due to the lockdown and we are not allowed to attend the funeral. She was Paul's Aunt, but she and I had a very special affinity. I will really miss the way that her beautiful little face always lit up when she saw us.

I have also been helping out my younger brother who is recovering from cancer surgery, taking him vital supplies such as milk and other grocery items, as both he and his wife are in isolation. Also, at my brother's request, I purchased and took 4 large bags of groceries to his ex partner. She had called him stating that she had no food in the house. Unfortunately, this lady is very bitter and nasty, she has a serious alcohol problem. Nobody else would help her and I have to admit that due to her behaviour, I really didn't feel like helping her either, but I would never see anyone without food, no matter what I think of them. Needless to say, she never thanked either of us for helping her. Not that I do things for gratitude.

I've also been busy sorting out some of my crafting supplies, to give to my niece, who has been furloughed from her job. I will be leaving them on her doorstep later today.

I have still been managing to get a weekly click and collect slot for grocery shopping and that is the highlight of my week, going each Tuesday afternoon to collect it :) lol!

I hope that you are well and keeping safe, like you, I thank God for keeping me safe , whilst shopping for everyone else. Luckily, I have washable face masks that I purchased before the crisis which I am sure help to protect me. Sorry for the long winded reply, but it's been quite a week. Thanks again and God Bless you.
 
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TheRedeemed

Well-Known Member
Hi @TheRedeemed , thank you so much for thinking of me. I haven't been posting for a short while. Our beautiful Auntie Georgina passed away in her sleep last week, at the grand old age of 95. She was a believer and even though I know that she is in heaven with Our Lord Jesus, her passing has hit me really hard. Probably because we have not been able to visit her due to the lockdown and we are not allowed to attend the funeral. She was Paul's Aunt, but she and I had a very special affinity. I will really miss the way that her beautiful little face always lit up when she saw us.

I have also been helping out my younger brother who is recovering from cancer surgery, taking him vital supplies such as milk and other grocery items, as both he and his wife are in isolation. Also, at my brother's request, I purchased and took 4 large bags of groceries to his ex partner. She had called him stating that she had no food in the house. Unfortunately, this lady is very bitter and nasty, she has a serious alcohol problem. Nobody else would help her and I have to admit that due to her behaviour, I really didn't feel like helping her either, but I would never see anyone without food, no matter what I think of them. Needless to say, she never thanked either of us for helping her. Not that I do things for gratitude.

I've also been busy sorting out some of my crafting supplies, to give to my niece, who has been furloughed from her job. I will be leaving them on her doorstep later today.

I have still been managing to get a weekly click and collect slot for grocery shopping and that is the highlight of my week, going each Tuesday afternoon to collect it :) lol!

I hope that you are well and keeping safe, like you, I thank God for keeping me safe , whilst shopping for everyone else. Luckily, I have washable face masks that I purchased before the crisis which I am sure help to protect me. Sorry for the long winded reply, but it's been quite a week. Thanks again and God Bless you.
Sorry to hear of your loss, at least so far nothing like that has happened to me, but I do have an auntie in a care home that had the virus (the home not my auntie), but the way the layout of the home is, I think the part she's in was not affected. Some poor souls did lose their lives though.

You seem to be living a parallel life to me with the things you're doing every week!

I will have to be out and about again this week standing in long queues and being in amongst the crowds in the Tesco and Asda stores, but if I didn't have to do this, I would be stuck in here all day, every day for weeks on end.

Hopefully this week we start our release from lockdown in Scotland.

As a self employed person whose client's all disappeared like rats up a drainpipe to coin the phrase, it will be nice to be able to start meeting them again, even if it means outside 6ft apart. No earnings since 28th February when the last of my clients cancelled a contract early and said see you in June! Thank goodness I manage my finances well and have enough to keep me going for 6 months to a year without any clients.

I have no face masks either, so I just use a long woollen scarf, still better than nothing. I also wear my motorcycle gloves as they have a finger tip that allows you to use a touchscreen phone without taking them off. I think the gloves are more important for self protection when shopping as you're lifting things that someone else may have touched, whereas the masks are for the protection of others around you. I see too many people without them in the closed spaces like supermarkets and such like, these are the ones who are likely to spread it to others, and that worries me when I am in there with them all.

All this aside, I am glad you're doing well and keeping going, I am too, as we just have to don't we? A deep breath, quick prayer to God and then out the front door to put our lives at risk, got quite used to it by now.

Glad to hear you're OK though and I am too clearly.
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
The UK prime minister's chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, is set to give a statement and take questions from the press shortly amid a flurry of calls for him to resign.

He has faced criticism for driving 260 miles from London to County Durham to be closer to family during lockdown while his wife was showing symptoms of coronavirus.

Newspapers have also claimed he broke isolation to make a 30-mile trip while in the county, and that he returned to the area after coming back to London.

Boris Johnson has stood by his top aide, but critics from across the political spectrum - including his own party - say the government's lockdown message has been undermined and Mr Cummings should resign.

We will bring you all the updates from his statement on this page, and you can read more on the controversy here.

Starting to be a witchhunt.
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that a decision about whether some lockdown restrictions are to be eased will be made on Thursday.

This would see Scotland moving into phase one of a four-phase path out of lockdown.

Ms Sturgeon said any changes announced - which would initially be to allow outdoor activities - would start on Friday.

She also said a plan outlining how public transport could operate safely would be published tomorrow. But she emphasised that, for now, the message is to stay at home as much as possible.
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
"The coronavirus could be with us for a year or more" so children cannot continue to stay out of school for "months and months" longer, says Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

But he told BBC Breakfast he recognised there would be "initial nervousness" among parents about children returning.

Teachers' unions have warned it is not safe to open England's primary schools on 1 June.

On Sunday, Boris Johnson accepted some schools would not be ready to open.

The education secretary said the first steps for returning to school had to begin.

"We cannot be in a situation where we go for months and months where children are missing out on education," said Mr Williamson.
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
Boris Johnson’s defence of Dominic Cummings has “trashed all the advice” scientists have given Downing Street on making sure the public follow coronavirus lockdown measures, a government adviser has said.
Stephen Reicher, a member of the Independent Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B) said advice on honesty, respect and equity had all been “trashed” and accused the government of “not wanting to listen to science”.
SPI-B is one of several groups that advises the scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage). Made up of behavioural scientists and academic specialists in health psychology, social psychology, anthropology and history, it advises on how to get people to stick to the measures recommended by medical and epidemiological experts to control the spread of infection.
Writing on Twitter, Reicher said: “I can say that in a few short minutes tonight, Boris Johnson has trashed all the advice we have given on how to build trust and secure adherence to the measures necessary to control COVID-19.”
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
The partial reopening of primary schools will go ahead as planned on 1 June as part of the second phase of the lockdown exit strategy, Boris Johnson has said.

The announcement was made in the face of widespread opposition from unions and councils, who have voiced concern about the risks of allowing reception, year one and year six pupils back into the classroom. Early-years settings such as nurseries will also reopen from 1 June, while in secondaries, years 10 and 12 will start having sessions with teachers from 15 June, the prime minister said.

Mr Johnson admitted that it would not be possible for all schools to reopen their doors, and he acknowledged that those who do admit a wider range of children to classrooms will not be able to observe strict social distancing procedures.

All children, staff and parents will be able to access coronavirus tests if they display symptoms, he said.

The move came as Mr Johnson attempted to move on from the controversy over his senior aide Dominic Cummings’ apparent breach of lockdown rules.

The prime minister made clear that he was not sacking Cummings, who travelled 260 miles across the country to a house near his parents home in Durham at a time when his wife was already sick with the coronavirus.

Mr Johnson said that the formal decision on moving to step two of easing the lockdown would come by the legal deadline of Thursday for a nine-week review of the lockdown, when the government will also set out its assessment of its five tests for easing restrictions and give details of possible changes in rules for non-essential schools.

However, he left no doubt that this is no more than a formality, telling the daily Downing Street coronavirus briefing: "Today I can confirm I do believe we will be in a position to move to step two of our plan. As part of step two, we set out plans for a phased reopening of schools because the education of our children is crucial for their welfare, their health and their long-term future and for social justice.

"In line with the approach being taken in many other countries, we want to start getting our children back into the classroom in a way that is as manageable and as safe as possible."

The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, will continue to consult with teaching unions, local authorities and school leaders over the next week, said Mr Johnson.

He added: "I think it is important for us to be clear about the government's intentions now, so that teachers and parents can plan in earnest for schools to open a week on Monday."

The prime minister said that a range of protective measures will be taken to minimise risks, including staggered drop-off and pick-off times, breaks and lunchtimes; reducing the size of classes and keeping children in small groups that do not mingle with one another; reducing the use of shared items; and utilising outside space.

But he admitted: "Of course we recognise that full social distancing may not be possible, especially when teaching young children."

He said that secondary school pupils in years 10 and 12, who are preparing for major exams next year, will attend school in groups of about one-quarter of a year's pupils at any time.
 
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