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Coronavirus UK news update – Terrifying number of BABIES dying of covid in Brazil as London party scenes ‘spark concern’


A TERRIFYING number of babies are mysteriously dying of Covid-19 in Brazil doctors have warned.

Despite overwhelming evidence the virus rarely kills young children, 1,300 babies have died from it over the past year.

Brazil’s coronavirus infection rate – the second highest in the world – a severe lack of testing and a President accused of failing to take the virus seriously enough are being blamed for the increased deaths.

Of course, the more cases we have and, as a result, the more hospitalisations, the greater the number of deaths in all age groups, including children,” Renato Kfouri, president of the Scientific Department of Immunisations of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics told the BBC.

“But if the pandemic were controlled, this scenario could evidently be minimised,” he added.

It comes as Brits itching to enjoy a well-deserved holiday could find out the available destinations by May.

Boris Johnson is said to be granting tourists the list of Covid-secure countries under a traffic light system.

EasyJet is readying its mothballed aircraft and boss Johan Lundgren believes France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Cyprus and Turkey will make the “green light” list in the next few months.

He told The Sun: “Summer can really take off this year.

“I wouldn’t see a reason why you wouldn’t have the majority of the countries of Europe in there.

“It is important that the Government comes out with this list as soon as possible. This is the main question for most of our customers right now.”

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news and updates on the pandemic

  • EMMERDALE SLAMMED FOR REFUSING COVID JAB

    Emmerdale star James Hooton has been criticised on social media after he revealed he won’t be getting the Covid vaccine.

    The actor, known for playing Sam Dingle since 1995 on the ITV soap, took to Twitter last night and insisted that taking several different types of vitamins would protect him from the deadly virus.

    Aware that he may be labelled an “anti-vaxxer”, James penned: “I’m 47yrs old. I take Vit c,d, zinc, b-12, Q10 and anti virals such as Andrographis, Sambucus, Curcumin, Along with regular exercise and a varied diet.

    “I may not be taking a Covid vaccine. I may be labelled ‘anti vaxer’ for being pro immune system, pro informed choice” (sic).

    In light of his post, the ITV star was inundated with comments from fans who both agreed and disagreed with his statement.

  • MIXED DOUBLES RETURNS TO FRENCH OPEN

    The mixed doubles event will be back at the French Open after it was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, say organisers.

    This year’s French Open has been postponed by a week due to the pandemic and will begin on May 30, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) said.

    The claycourt Grand Slam, which was postponed by four months last year and took place in front of limited crowds, will finish on June 13, two weeks before the expected start of Wimbledon.

    The grasscourt Grand Slam said it would not change its dates following the French Open’s decision, which it supported.

    France is in the midst of a third nationwide lockdown, with President Emmanuel Macron saying he was hoping to “re-open” the country around mid-May.

  • 34% DROP IN ENGLAND’S CORONAVIRUS INFECTIONS

    A total of 19,196 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England at least once in the week to April 7, according to the latest Test and Trace figures.

    This is down 34 per cent on the previous week and is the lowest number since the week to September 2, 2020.

  • SAFE SHOT – BLOOD CLOT RISK LATEST

    You’re up to ten times more at risk of getting a blood clot from Covid-19 than the AstraZeneca vaccine, scientists say.

    A study looked at the odds of getting a brain blood clot, called CVST, in people who had been diagnosed with Covid compared with those who had a vaccine.

    It showed the risk of a brain blood clot after the AstraZeneca vaccine was five in a million, and four in a million after vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna. For people who had Covid, the risk was almost 40 in a million.

    Researchers at Oxford – the same university that created the vaccine – said either after the coronavirus or vaccine, the risk of a brain blood clot in the following two weeks was very rare.

    But comparing the two, they said the risk was “substantially and significantly higher” after Covid – which is avoidable with a vaccine.

  • CYPRUS’S WHOLE CABINET GETS ASTRAZENECA COVID JAB

    Cyprus’s entire cabinet was inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid on Thursday in the capital, Nicosia.

    “We want to send a strong message that what is important is the vaccination, and not the vaccine itself,” said Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

    Like some other EU countries, Cyprus temporarily halted AstraZeneca vaccinations in mid-March but resumed them shortly afterwards after the European Medicines Agency said the benefits of the shot far outweighed the risks.

    At the present rate, Cyprus can expect to have vaccinated 70% of its population by the end of June, therefore acquiring herd immunity, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said.

    Cyprus has to date reported 53,254 Covid cases and 277 deaths.

  • AIRBNB BLOCKS 80,000 UK RESERVATION ATTEMPTS

    Airbnb has blocked nearly 80,000 UK reservation attempts following the introduction of pilot restrictions that prevent under 25-year-olds from making entire home bookings in their local neighbourhoods if they have fewer than three positive reviews.

    Introduced in August 2020, the automated measure is aimed at preventing potentially antisocial behaviour in local communities while still allowing younger guests to book listings outside of their local area.

    Airbnb has already banned all unauthorised parties and events in listings globally and has temporarily disabled the platform’s “event-friendly” search filter. In response to Covid-19, Airbnb has also strengthened its policies to ban gatherings that violate public health mandates.

    The update on the pilot restriction comes as Airbnb rolls out a global update to help clamp down on antisocial behaviour and bolster Coronavirus-related safety measures.

    All hosts and guests to commit to Airbnb’s Covid safety practices, which include wearing a mask, social distancing, and, for hosts and their teams, abiding by its five-step enhanced cleaning process.

  • WORLD WAR TWO HERO NEEDS HELP TO CELEBRATE 101ST BIRTHDAY DURING COVID RESTRICTIONS…MORE

    Harry moved to the Alexandra Grange care home in Pemberton but was forced to shelve plans for a big 100th birthday bash last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Hundreds of well-wishers sent cards to the care home in 2020 and staff sang Happy Birthday to Harry. One of the Royal Navy’s youngest sailors even hand-delivered a set of wooden-carved dolphins to his care home in Wigan.

    The World War Two hero’s great-nephew Matthew Melling said Harry is a “man of the world”, adding: “Now my inspiration and hero’s 101st birthday is just around the corner and I’m determined to make sure he can celebrate this one somehow.

    “He loved it last year and my intention now is to make sure everyone is aware of uncle Harry and what a man he is.”

    • Well wishers are encouraged to send a birthday card to Harry at his care home – Alexandra Grange, Alexandra Court, Howard St, Pemberton, Wigan WN5 8BD.

     

    War hero Harry Melling is turning 101
    War hero Harry Melling is turning 101Credit: SWNS
  • WORLD WAR TWO HERO TO CELEBRATE 101ST BIRTHDAY DURING COVID RESTRICTIONS

    The family of Britain’s oldest World War Two submariner have asked strangers to send birthday cards as he prepares to celebrate his 101st birthday in a care home.

    During his years on board HMS Osiris, war hero Harry Melling was stationed in the Mediterranean, helping the Allied invasion of Sicily, and travelled as far as Kenya.

    Widower Harry, from Wigan, Gtr Manchester, who doesn’t have any children, was brutally robbed and pushed to the floor in the hallway of his own home in a sickening attack in 2017.

    Now his family are hoping kind-hearted Brits will help him celebrate his special day again on Sunday, April 18.

    Harry’s great-nephew Matthew Melling said: “He’s still not able to have a big celebration because of the current restrictions in place, but we intend to have a party from him when it’s safe to do so, whenever that may be.”

    War hero Harry Melling during the Second World War
    War hero Harry Melling during the Second World WarCredit: SWNS
  • A&E PATIENT NUMBERS RISE 10 PER CENT

    A&E attendances at hospitals in England last month were up 10% year-on-year, NHS England said.

    A total of 1.7million attendances were recorded in March 2021, up from 1.5million in March 2020. But the equivalent figure for March 2019, a non-pandemic year, was 2.2million.

    Emergency admissions to A&E departments at hospitals in England also showed a rise last month, up from 427,968 in March 2020 to 503,913 in March 2021.

    The year-on-year change will have been affected by the lower than usual numbers for March 2020.

    The equivalent figure for March 2019, a non-pandemic year, was 555,457.

  • COPS STRUGGLING TO CATCH MASKED YOBS

    Cops are struggling to create E-fits of criminals because they’re taking Covid-safety precautions and wearing masks in the pandemic, it has emerged.

    Susan Morrison, a civilian supervisor at Kent Police’s identification suite, said the past 12 months were difficult to develop E-fits – especially if criminals were wearing a mask.

    With people walking around with their faces half-covered, victims are struggling to go through the process of making an image that will help the investigation.

    And some fear that crimes will go unpunished due to the failure to identify a possible suspect.

  • TOKYO OLYMPICS MAY BE CANCELLED

    Two top Japanese officials have claimed that the Tokyo Olympics could be cancelled as the country faces a devastating fourth coronavirus wave.

    Members of Japan’s ruling LDP party said today that radical changes could be coming to the Tokyo Olympics – with one suggesting the event may not even go ahead.

    Asked if a cancellation was still an option, Toshihiro Nikai, the secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, replied: “Of course.”

    Taro Kono, the government minister in charge of Japan’s vaccine rollout, said even if the Olympics take place, there may be no fans in venues.

    About 1.1million people in Japan, mostly frontline healthcare workers, have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine so far.

  • BLOOD CLOTTING RISK – FAR WORSE WITH CORONAVIRUS

    The potential risks of developing blood clots from a coronavirus vaccination are “pretty trivial” when compared with those posed by contracting Covid-19, a scientist has said.

    Professor Sir John Bell, Oxford University’s Regius Professor of Medicine, told Sky News that blood clotting events being linked to vaccines are “extremely rare”.

    He added: “The best way, if you want to have a bad clotting problem, is to get Covid.

    “And if you don’t get a vaccine you’re going to get Covid, and if you get Covid you’ll have a very, very much higher risk of getting a bad clotting problem.

    “So, the clotting problems of the vaccine are pretty trivial compared to the real risks of getting clotting problems if you get Covid.”

  • NEARLY 5MILLION BRITS WAITING TO START NHS TREATMENT

    The number of people in England waiting to start hospital treatment has soared to a new record high.

    A total of 4.7million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of February 2021, according to figures from NHS England.

    This is the highest number since records began in August 2007.

    The number of people having to wait more than 52 weeks to start hospital treatment stood at 387,885 in February 2021 – the highest number for any calendar month since December 2007.

    One year earlier, in February 2020, the number having to wait more than 52 weeks to start treatment stood at just 1,613.

  • LOCKED DOWN FOR PRINCE PHILIP’S FUNERAL

    Police have ramped up security ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral – with extra armed cops on patrol and specialist searches carried out.

    The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on Saturday will be a scaled-back royal affair with just 30 mourners in attendance due to Covid rules.

    But police are taking no chances with a ring of steel shielding Windsor, where Philip will be laid to rest, and the royal family.

    Among the security measures are extra armed police and uniformed officers on patrol in the historic town leading up to the event.

    Thames Valley Police say the “high visibility patrols” are to “help provide reassurance and keep local residents, businesses and visitors safe”.

  • SCOTTISH ISLAND FOLK FULLY JABBED AGAINST COVID

    NHS chiefs chartered a small plane to a remote Scottish island to vaccinate all its 48 adult residents in one go.

    Neighbours on the tiny farflung Fair Isle are celebrating after everyone aged 18 and over had their second jab.

    Docs took a “wee box” filled with the AstraZeneca immunisation over to the outcrop, which lies between Orkney and Shetland in Northern Scotland this week.

    The island has only had a reliable 24-hour-a-day electricity supply since 2018 and is probably best known for its knitwear and migratory birds.

    It is just three miles long and one and a half miles wide and has reportedly had zero Covid cases since the start of the pandemic. Yet it is now one of the safest places to be after its full-time population was immunised.

     

  • LONDON SURGE TESTING NEEDED TO ‘GET AHEAD OF MUTANT BUG’

    Surge coronavirus testing is needed when variants are identified so officials are able to “get ahead of the infection”, according to London’s regional director of Public Health England.

    Professor Kevin Fenton told BBC Radio 4: “As we begin the process of unlocking and re-entering society and mixing, even small numbers of variants, when they occur, can have the potential to spread relatively quickly.

    “And that is why we have such a proactive programme of screening for and testing for the new variants, and, where we have found, we surge.

    “We need to get ahead of the infection and not keep following behind it.”

  • COVID SURGE TESTING FOR VARIANT IN LONDON – LATEST

    The low level of coronavirus infection in the capital means those taking part in asymptomatic surge testing are able to “move about” afterwards, says London regional director of Public Health England Professor Kevin Fenton.

    Asked why this group are not being told to stay at home until they receive their results, he told BBC Radio 4: “Because the level of infection that we are now having across the city is actually quite low.

    “The probability of you not having an infection is much higher, and, of course, we want to test individuals who may be asymptomatic, can be carrying the infection, so the risk of onward transmission is also much lower as well.

    “So, the combination of factors, the timing of where we are in the phase of the epidemic, and the level of infections that we have, really means that we can allow people to continue to move about.

    “But what’s really important is that we do do as much testing for asymptomatic infections as we can.”

  • PM ‘RIGHT TO SAY LOCKDOWN BEATING CORONAVIRUS’

    Boris Johnson is “correct” in saying lockdown measures have had the main impact on reducing Covid infections, says an expert.

    The PM said earlier this week that, while jabs have helped, lockdown restrictions have done “the bulk of the work” in getting infection numbers down.

    Dr Julian Tang, consultant virologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary, told Sky News: “At the moment the lockdown is causing the main impact in the reduction of number of cases and deaths”, but he said the vaccine rollout is “encouraging”.

    He added: “We’ll see that impact once you start to open up indoor spaces. If one in two people have antibodies, that immune barrier will reduce that spread of the virus in the indoor environment where the ventilation is poorer and where people are closer together unmasked and talking and breathing the same air.

    “So I think that the Prime Minister is correct in that respect.”

  • COVID PASSPORTS ‘MAY BE UNLAWFUL’… MORE

    The equality watchdog also said employers should not be allowed to hire workers on a “no jab, no job” policy until all young people had been offered a vaccine, currently targeted for the end of July.

    Plans to make Covid certificates mandatory for care workers helping older people may be unlawful, added the EHRC.

    The warnings emerged as health secretary Matt Hancock gave a clear indication that care workers would be required to have a vaccination to work in care homes.

    He said staff have a ‘duty of care’ to get themselves vaccinated to protect older care home residents.

    Launching a five-week consultation on the proposal, the government said the initiative could later be extended to the wider health and social care workforce.

  • COVID PASSPORTS ‘MAY BE UNLAWFUL’ – EXPERT

    Covid certificates could amount to unlawful indirect discrimination, the government’s equalities watchdog has warned.

    The papers – also known as Covid passports – risk creating a “two-tier society” and discriminate against some groups, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

    The independent watchdog said the passports risk excluding groups such as migrants, those from minority ethnic backgrounds and poorer socio-economic groups from access to essential services and jobs, reports the Guardian.

    “There is a risk of unlawful discrimination if decisions taken in this process disadvantage people with protected characteristics who have not received, or are not able to receive, the vaccine, unless they can be shown to be justified,” warned the body.

    “Any mandatory requirement for vaccination or the implementation of Covid-status certification may amount to indirect discrimination, unless the requirement can be objectively justified.”

  • HOL OF A TREAT FOR SUN-STARVED BRITS

    Sun-starved Brits will find out in early May where they can jet to for a much-needed holiday — with hopes soaring that European hotspots will be open this summer.

    Greece said yesterday it will welcome jabbed and tested Brits from next week.

    EasyJet is readying its mothballed aircraft and boss Johan Lundgren believes France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Cyprus and Turkey will make the “green light” list in the next few months.

    Abta said there is “massive pent-up demand” for flights, hotels and apartments.

    But, yesterday Aviation Minister Robert Courts cautioned: “I’d advise people to wait until they understand which category each country falls into, because there is of course that risk of disappointment.”

  • LATEST ON SOUTH AFRICAN VARIANT IN LONDON

    Prof Kevin Fenton, London regional director of Public Health England, said that more genetic sequencing of positive coronavirus tests had identified cases of the South African variant in the capital.

    He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We’re finding cases because we’re doing more genetic sequencing of PCR positive tests of coronavirus which we’re seeing across the city.

    “And that is identifying a low prevalence, a low number of cases, but we are finding cases of the South African variant.

    “And in addition, we’re surging to identify additional cases belonging to the south London cluster, which we’re investigating in Lambeth, Wandsworth and Southwark. So we’re doing this very proactively.”

  • INDIA SKYROCKETS PAST 14MILLION CORONAVIRUS CASES

    India reported more than 200,000 new coronavirus cases today, skyrocketing past 14million infections overall.

    Its capital, New Delhi, has seen more than a dozen hotels and wedding banquet halls ordered to be converted into Covid centres attached to hospitals.

    Hospitals in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and several others state are overwhelmed with patients with several hospitals reporting shortage of oxygen cylinders.

    Migrant workers hauling backpacks have swarmed overcrowded trains leaving Mumbai, in an exodus among panic-stricken day labourers.

    Shahid Jamil, a virologist, said the recent local and state elections with massive political rallies and a major Hindu festival with hundreds of thousands of devotees bathing in the Ganges river in the northern city of Haridwar were super-spreader events.

  • DENMARK DUMPS ASTRAZENECA JAB IN WORLD FIRST

    Denmark has become the first country to stop using AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine altogether, over a potential link to a rare but serious form of blood clot.

    The decision will push back the scheduled conclusion of Denmark’s vaccination scheme to early August from July 25, health bosses said.

    But that new timeline assumes it will start using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – whose rollout in Europe has been delayed over similar clotting concerns and the use of which Denmark has suspended.

    Results of investigations into the AstraZeneca-associated blood clots “showed real and serious side-effects,” Danish health agency head Soren Brostrom told a news briefing.

    Astrazeneca said it respected Denmark’s choice and would continue to provide it with data to inform future decisions.

  • PETER ANDRE FINALLY GETS A HAIRCUT

    Peter Andre FINALLY got his hair cut as he visited his brother’s salon yesterday.

    The 48-year-old star made no secret of his struggle with unruly tresses during lockdown, begging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to open barbers again.

    Peter shared a selection of photos of himself during and after the cut – including selfies with his brother as he got to work.

    The star’s finished look was much slicker than the frizzy hair he showed off on Instagram last month.

    Eek! Pete's former mop-head look during lockdown
    Eek! Pete’s former mop-head look during lockdown
    ...to sleek - a better version of Peter Andre after he got the chop
    …to sleek – a better version of Peter Andre after he got the chop



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