Another 713 dead in Brazil
Brazil has registered 713 additional coronavirus deaths over the last 24 hours and 28,523 new cases, the nation’s Health Ministry said on Thursday evening.
The South American country has now registered 152,460 total coronavirus deaths and 5,169,386 total confirmed cases.
Police will step up Covid checks at London pubs and bars this weekend
Police will increase patrols around pubs and bars in London this weekend to make sure Covid-19 rules are not being broken.
Metropolitan Police said they will crack down on “the most deliberate, harmful and flagrant” breaches, as the capital enters stricter regulations.
From Midnight on Friday, London will be moved into the Tier 2 Covid-alert category which means the region is deemed to be at a high risk from the virus.
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Bars and restaurants banned from selling alcohol from Saturday in Parliament
All House of Commons bars and restaurants will be banned from selling alcohol from Saturday.
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the decision came after London moved into the Tier 2 Covid-alert category.
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Coronavirus trajectory ‘rapidly deteriorating’, warns chief medical officer
Ireland’s chief medical officer has warned of a “rapidly deteriorating trajectory nationally” of coronavirus.
Dr Tony Holohan expressed “extreme concern” at the increased spread of the virus over the last week in particular.
He said the number of positive cases over the past week has increased by 82 per cent compared with the previous seven days, from 3,514 to 6,382.
Sick doctor’s family could be forced to leave UK while he is on ventilator
Friends of a “loved and respected” hospital consultant who is paralysed on a ventilator after contracting coronavirus say they are worried his family will be forced leave the UK while he remains in intensive care.
A fundraising campaign has begun to help get legal assistance for 44-year-old consultant cardiologist Dr Basem Enany, who is in intensive care at Leeds General Infirmary after developing a rare complication of Covid-19.
Dr Enany’s wife and four daughters have been unable to visit him in hospital due to the virus and now face the prospect of having to leave the UK when the Egyptian locum’s contract expires at the end of November.
But, on Thursday evening, the Home Office said Dr Enany is not under threat of enforcement action and said it would be contacting the family and hospital to help.
His colleague Dr Sanjay Gupta said Dr Enany was working as a locum at York Hospital before he became ill, but his contract is due to finish at the end of November.
He said his friend’s work visa will not be renewed and, therefore, his wife and four daughters, the youngest of whom is four, will be asked to leave the UK.
Epidemiologist calls for all-island approach in Ireland
A leading epidemiologist has called for an all-island approach to the pandemic, saying “you could bet your life” one would be used if the disease affected animals.
Calls for a singular approach in how the governments in Belfast and Dublin respond to the crisis are growing after both jurisdictions saw record numbers of cases this week.
The Republic of Ireland saw 1,205 new cases – its highest daily increase – on Thursday, while Northern Ireland counted 763 new cases.
NI saw its highest number of daily cases yet on Wednesday (1,217).
Seven further deaths were also recorded across the island on Thursday, with three in the Republic and four in Northern Ireland.
Irish chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan described an 82% increase in cases in a week, from 3,514 to 6,382 cases.
Tuesday’s hospital admissions
The number of Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital on Tuesday – the most recent daily figures available – and the total number of patients in hospital and those on ventilators in each region of England, as of Thursday, are as follows (previous week’s figure in brackets):
East of England – 32 admitted (11), 209 in hospital (115), 18 on ventilators (12)
London – 73 (43), 404 (323), 78 (51)
Midlands – 161 (78), 758 (489), 91 (78)
North East & Yorkshire – 183 (161), 1,114 (813), 118 (92)
North West – 244 (185), 1,542 (1,098), 149 (117)
South East – 48 (25), 228 (140), 12 (12)
South West – 23 (21), 124 (66), 16 (6)
Hancock calls on northern leaders to come together
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has appealed to local government leaders in the North West to “set aside party politics” and back the Government’s proposals for increased coronavirus controls in the region.
“The situation in the North West of England is severe. The number of cases is rising exponentially, the number of people in hospital has doubled in just 12 days,” he told broadcasters.
“So I call upon local leaders to set aside this party politics and to work with us to put in place the measures that are needed in Greater Manchester, across the North West, so that we can deal with this virus and support people through it.
“This is a time for people to come together so that we can control this virus.”
570 patients in hospital in Scotland
In Scotland, 570 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Wednesday, up from 319 a week earlier, with 49 in ventilation beds, up from 28 a week earlier.
In Wales, 384 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Wednesday, up from 277 a week earlier, with 29 in ventilation beds, up from 27 a week earlier.
In Northern Ireland, 164 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Tuesday, up from 147 a week earlier, with 17 in ventilation beds as of Wednesday, up from 11 a week earlier.
Data on patients with Covid-19 is not comparable across the UK due to differences in the way the figures are reported.
4,739 people in hospital in England
Separate figures show there were 4,379 Covid-19 patients in hospital in England on Thursday, up from 3,044 a week ago, while 482 were in ventilation beds, up from 368 a week ago.
A total of 764 patients with confirmed Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals in England on Tuesday, compared with 524 a week earlier.
Crete added to travel corridor
Italy removed from travel corridor
Grant Shapps Tweeted: TRAVEL CORRIDOR UPDATE: We are REMOVING ITALY, Vatican City state & San Marino from the #TravelCorridor list.
However, note that the implementation date is moved to 4am on SUNDAY 18 October & applies UK wide, if you arrive from these destinations you will need to self-isolate.
NI doubles payments for businesses in local lockdown
Stormont Finance Minister Conor Murphy confirmed that following the additional funding the Executive received of £200 million, he has doubled the payments announced for the Derry and Strabane District Council area.
“Today I am announcing that this will now be rolled out across all 11 council area with applications opening from Monday,” he said.
“This scheme will enable us to make prompt payments to the eligible businesses who apply.”
The smallest businesses will receive £1,600 and the largest will get £3,200 for every two weeks they are closed.
“I know from listening to businesses that there will be many businesses who feel excluded or left behind and who desperately need financial support. I have asked all Executive colleagues to urgently bring forward proposals for the sectors that they have direct responsibility for,” Mr Murphy said, adding he will continue to press the Treasury over “gaps” in the job support scheme.
Nearly 19,000 new cases as 138 more deaths recorded
The Government said that, as of 9am on Thursday, there had been a further 18,980 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 673,622.
The Government also said a further 138 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Thursday. This brings the UK total to 43,293.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 58,500 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
Cases remain highest among young people
Rates for new Covid-19 cases in England remain highest in the 10-19 and 20-29 age groups, according to the latest weekly surveillance report from Public Health England.
Among 20 to 29-year-olds, the rate was 252.6 cases per 100,000 people in the week to October 11, up from 232.1 in the previous week.
The rate among 10 to 19-year-olds was 245.2 per 100,000, down from 269.8.
By contrast the rate for the 70-79 age group was 54.7, up from 43.3, while for people aged 80 and over it was 76.6, up from 60.9.
Andy Burnham accuses ministers of treating the region as a “sacrificial lamb”
The Greater Manchester mayor told a press briefing: “I’ve said it may be that we need to look at a national circuit-break as preferable to this unfunded, risky regional lockdown strategy.
“We have to protect the health of the nation but let’s do it as one nation, and not make the North of England the sacrificial lamb for an ill-thought-through Downing Street policy which doesn’t make sense in the real world.”
Mr Burnham said the Government was “treating us with contempt”, adding: “People are fed up of being treated in this way, the North is fed up of being pushed around.
“We aren’t going to be pushed around any more.”
He argued it would “cost less to support people now rather than let businesses go to the wall” and damage the speed of the post-Covid economic recovery.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, says the Government is asking the authority to sign up to measures that its own advisers were not convinced would work
Speaking at a press briefing in the city, he said: “What we were told last night by the deputy chief medical officer – and I will go a bit further than Andy (Burnham) – was that what we’re asked to do is accept a proposal which the Government’s own advisers say won’t work.
“Why would we accept a proposal that their own advisers say won’t work?”
Sir Richard said the region is “still in a position where we are prepared to work co-operatively with Government”.
He added: “But we are not going to accept a deal that will damage thousands of people in this city region for no apparent benefit.”
John Spence, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for health and adult social care, acknowledges pubs and restaurants will feel the impact of Tier 2 restrictions in the county
“It’s so tough,” he said. “When you’ve built up a business over years – whatever it may be, a pub or a restaurant – you are of course going to feel the impact of this.
“And all I can say to all the people in that category is the fact we honestly believe this is the best way of avoiding a much more severe outcome in Tier 3.
“Secondly, we honestly believe that by doing this now we can avoid being in Tier 2 for a much longer period later.”
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham says measures proposed for the city went “way beyond” the closure of pubs
He said: “Today we communicated our clear and unanimous view to the Government. It is wrong to place some of the poorest parts of England in a punishing lockdown without proper support for the people and businesses affected.
“To do so will result in certain hardship, job losses, business failure.
“It will cause harm in a different way to people’s mental health and is not certain to control the virus.
“Last night the deputy chief medical officer told the leaders that to bring the infection rates down any regional lockdown would require widespread closures way beyond pubs to stand any real chance of working.”
Newcastle University says 749 students and 11 staff tested positive for coronavirus in the seven days up to Wednesday
A spokesman said: “While our numbers are still high and we are not complacent, this is a drop from the previous seven days and a similar trend is being seen at other universities.”
Neighbouring Northumbria University recorded a large drop in positive cases in the week to Wednesday, down to 131 students from 619 the previous week.
It said two members of staff had reported positive tests in the past week.
A spokesman said: “We are making extensive efforts to both reduce the growth in the numbers of cases and to provide support for our students and staff who are self-isolating.”