Science

Covid-19 information: UK nations problem stricter recommendation over Christmas mixing

A waiter works at a restaurant in London, UK, on 15 December

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Newest coronavirus information as of two pm on 16 December

UK nations problem sterner suggestions about family mixing over Christmas

The UK’s 4 nations will problem stricter warnings concerning the dangers of blending between households throughout the Christmas interval, however present plans to ease restrictions between 23 and 27 December will largely stay in place, UK prime minister Boris Johnson introduced. The UK authorities has been below strain to desert its deliberate easing of restrictions over Christmas. However on Wednesday, Johnson mentioned folks should present “private accountability” and attempt to keep away from contact with folks from weak teams. UK housing minister Robert Jenrick echoed the Prime Minister. “I strongly really feel that that is one thing the place members of the general public want to make use of their very own judgement,” Jenrick instructed the BBC’s Breakfast present. “Train good judgement, take into consideration the actual vulnerabilities of your individual household and associates who is likely to be coming collectively and determine what’s best for you,” he mentioned. Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon mentioned she recommends that individuals spend Christmas at house with their very own family the place potential. The Welsh authorities is advising folks to solely combine with a most of 1 different family throughout the Christmas interval, and Wales will enter a nationwide lockdown from 28 December. 

Different coronavirus information

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A Royal Society for Public Well being survey discovered that individuals from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds within the UK are much less prone to settle for a covid-19 vaccine than the inhabitants as a complete. The ballot discovered that 57 per cent of respondents from BAME backgrounds have been prone to settle for a covid-19 vaccine, in comparison with 79 per cent of white respondents or 76 per cent for the inhabitants as a complete. Confidence was lowest amongst folks of Asian ethnicity – 55 per cent mentioned they have been prone to settle for a covid-19 vaccine. Within the US, a survey by the Kaiser Household Basis discovered that 35 per cent of Black respondents mentioned they undoubtedly or most likely wouldn’t get vaccinated. In each the UK and US, folks from ethnic minority backgrounds have been discovered to be disproportionately in danger from covid-19.

Germany entered a strict new lockdown, with faculties and non-essential companies closed from Wednesday till a minimum of 10 January. Over Christmas, one family shall be allowed to host as much as 4 shut relations from one different family.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.63 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 73.6 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

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New virus variant: Regardless of the headlines about “tremendous covid” and “mutant covid”, it stays unclear if a brand new variant of the coronavirus recognized within the UK is any higher at spreading.

Important details about coronavirus

The whole lot it is advisable know concerning the pandemic

The place did coronavirus come from? And different covid-19 questions answered

What’s covid-19?

You might be spreading the coronavirus with out realising you’ve received it

Which covid-19 remedies work and the way shut are we to getting extra?

What is going to it take to get a covid-19 vaccine to the world?

What to learn, watch and hearken to about coronavirus

Panorama: The Race for a Vaccine is a BBC documentary concerning the inside story of the event of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in opposition to covid-19.

Race In opposition to the Virus: Hunt for a Vaccine is a Channel 4 documentary which tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic by way of the eyes of the scientists on the frontline.

The New York Occasions is assessing the progress of various vaccine candidates and potential drug remedies for covid-19, and rating them for effectiveness and security.

People of COVID-19 is a venture highlighting the experiences of key staff on the frontline within the battle in opposition to coronavirus within the UK, by way of social media.

Stomach Mujinga: Looking for the Reality is a BBC Panorama investigation of the dying of transport employee Stomach Mujinga from covid-19, following studies she had been coughed and spat on by a buyer at London’s Victoria Station.

Coronavirus, Defined on Netflix is a brief documentary collection inspecting the on-going coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to battle it and methods to handle its psychological well being toll.

New Scientist Weekly options updates and evaluation on the newest developments within the covid-19 pandemic. Our podcast sees knowledgeable journalists from the journal focus on the largest science tales to hit the headlines every week – from know-how and area, to well being and the surroundings.

COVID-19: The Pandemic that By no means Ought to Have Occurred, and Find out how to Cease the Subsequent One by Debora Mackenzie is about how the pandemic occurred and why it’ll occur once more if we don’t do issues in a different way in future.

The Guidelines of Contagion is concerning the new science of contagion and the shocking methods it shapes our lives and behavior. The creator, Adam Kucharski, is an epidemiologist on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Medication, UK, and within the e-book he examines how ailments unfold and why they cease.

Earlier updates

Christmas hats cover beer taps inside a pub in London, UK, on Monday 14 December

Christmas hats cowl beer faucets inside a pub in London, UK, on Monday 14 December

Hollie Adams/Bloomberg by way of Getty Photographs

15 December

UK below strain to desert easing of restrictions over the Christmas interval

The UK authorities is below rising strain to implement stricter coronavirus measures over the Christmas interval. A joint editorial by the BMJ and the HSJ requires the federal government to “reverse its rash resolution to permit family mixing and as a substitute prolong the tiers over the 5 day Christmas interval.” The article urges the UK to “comply with the extra cautious examples of Germany, Italy and the Netherlands” as a substitute of lifting restrictions over Christmas as presently deliberate. This follows comparable calls from Impartial SAGE, a gaggle of scientists publishing different recommendation for the UK authorities. They printed a report on 11 December arguing that the UK’s coverage to permit as much as three households to fulfill indoors between 23 and 27 December carries a “very actual hazard of a 3rd wave of the pandemic.” 

On Tuesday, a authorities supply instructed the Guardian {that a} assembly had been convened to debate the UK-wide method to coronavirus guidelines throughout Christmas. UK cupboard workplace minister Michael Gove will meet representatives from Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire, after Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon mentioned her authorities was now contemplating whether or not any modifications to the Christmas guidelines have been essential.

“From a purely epidemiological standpoint we should always not loosen up our guard at Christmas, notably because the prevalence of [covid-19] locally stays dangerously excessive,” John Edmunds on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Medication mentioned in a assertion.

Different coronavirus information

The European Medicines Company is anticipated to approve the coronavirus vaccine developed by US firm Pfizer and its German companion BioNTech on 23 December, Reuters reported. “It is going to be the primary common approval of a [covid-19] vaccine on the earth,” German well being minister Jens Spahn instructed a information convention. The Pfizer/BioNTech jab has already been authorised for emergency use in a number of international locations, together with the UK and the US, the place vaccinations have already begun.

The US Meals and Drug Administration is anticipated to authorise a coronavirus vaccine developed by US firm Moderna on Friday for emergency use, the New York Occasions reported. Information launched on Tuesday confirmed the vaccine had an efficacy charge of 94.1 per cent in section III trials.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.62 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 73 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

First US coronavirus vaccinations: Roll-out of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has begun within the US as healthcare staff obtain the primary photographs.

Biden administration and covid-19: To cease an out-of-control wave of covid-19, US president-elect Joe Biden might want to beef up testing and the provision chain, and persuade states to mandate masks.

Affect of the pandemic on sleep: World knowledge from a sleep tracker exhibits folks getting up an hour later than common throughout the covid-19 pandemic.

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A lady on Oxford Avenue in central London. London strikes into Tier 3 restrictions at 00.01 AM on Wednesday 16 December

TOLGA AKMEN/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

14 December

UK well being minister claims new coronavirus variant is related to sooner unfold

A brand new variant of the coronavirus which may be related to sooner unfold has been recognized in southeast England, UK well being minister Matt Hancock mentioned at this time. Nevertheless, researchers have responded sceptically to the declare. Eric Topol at The Scripps Analysis Institute mentioned, “That is going to require rigorous evaluation earlier than it may be confirmed. New variant certain, functionally important unlikely. Suspect will probably be refuted or severely questioned.”

Talking in parliament, Matt Hancock mentioned, “Preliminary evaluation means that this variant is rising sooner than the present variant.” Over 1000 instances involving this variant have been recognized within the UK, he mentioned, suggesting the true quantity is far greater as figuring out the virus requires sequencing, which isn’t usually performed. Nevertheless, Hancock additionally mentioned comparable variants have been recognized in different international locations over the previous couple of months and there was nothing to counsel that this variant is extra prone to trigger critical illness or evade vaccine safety. Well being authorities are nonetheless analysing the info. 

Mass vaccinations start within the US 

Vaccinations in opposition to covid-19 have begun within the US, with the primary being given to a nurse in a medical centre in Queens, New York. Canada can be anticipated to start vaccinating folks at this time. Each international locations final week granted emergency use authorisation for the coronavirus vaccine developed by US firm Pfizer and its German companion BioNTech.  “We’ve received to persuade as many individuals as potential on this nation and worldwide to get vaccinated when it turns into out there,” Anthony Fauci, head of the US Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments, instructed CBC. “If we get the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants vaccinated, we are able to truly get a level of herd immunity on this nation and elsewhere that might truly crush this epidemic.” 

Within the US, the entire variety of reported deaths from covid-19 is about to cross 300,000. The precise quantity may very well be considerably greater.

Different coronavirus information

Within the UK, harder restrictions shall be launched in London, and elements of Essex and Hertfordshire, from Wednesday attributable to rising instances numbers. These areas are being put in Tier 3, the very best degree of restrictions, which amongst different issues means bars, pubs, cafes, eating places and social golf equipment should shut, aside from supply companies.

Some faculties in London are closing early forward of the vacations or transferring classes on-line due to hovering case numbers. The federal government has been insisting faculties stay open regardless of fears of older kinfolk being contaminated over Christmas.

Individuals could possibly journey freely between Australia and New Zealand from early subsequent 12 months, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has mentioned. Individuals arriving in Australia from New Zealand are already exempt from the standard two-week quarantine. 

Singapore at this time authorised use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Others to take action embrace Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

A plan for workers on the White Home to be among the many first folks within the US to get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been delayed after US president Donald Trump tweeted that it could not go forward.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.62 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 72.4 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

Shoppers in London’s main high-street shopping district on Regent street

Customers in London’s predominant high-street purchasing district on Regent avenue

TOLGA AKMEN/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

11 December

London might face tier three restrictions quickly to fight surging coronavirus instances

Instances in London proceed to rise, making it more and more probably that town shall be put below tier three coronavirus guidelines. “We all know that as instances go up, hospitalisations and deaths comply with. The present trajectory is a worrying one,” Public Well being England (PHE) London director, Kevin Fenton, instructed the Night Commonplace. The seven-day common throughout England is 153 instances per 100,000 folks. London now has a case charge of 191.2 per 100,000, with 22 of the 32 boroughs above the nationwide common. 4 boroughs within the north east Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Waltham Forest and Redbridge have case charges above 300 per 100,000. Final week Fenton warned Londoners: “If we wish to keep away from being positioned in tier three, it’s vital we maintain transmission down.” And after a gathering of London MPs with well being minister Helen Whately on Thursday, one MP instructed Sky Information: “It was a really clear preparation for tier three. I feel the choice is just about made.” The UK authorities is predicted to evaluate the tier allocation for London, in addition to for all different areas in England, on 16 December.

Throughout the UK as a complete, the R quantity has elevated barely to between 0.9 to 1.0 in the latest official estimate, from between 0.8 and 1.0 within the earlier week’s estimate. The R quantity estimate for London is barely greater than that for the UK as a complete, at between 0.9 and 1.1. These estimates are most probably to characterize the scenario two or three weeks in the past attributable to a time lag within the knowledge used to mannequin the R. The most recent UK authorities figures point out the variety of new infections throughout the nation is shrinking by between 0 and a couple of per cent every day. 

Different coronavirus information

The US Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) is anticipated to grant emergency use authorisation for the coronavirus vaccine developed by US firm Pfizer and its German companion BioNTech. A panel of impartial specialists really useful its use yesterday, saying that the advantages of the vaccine outweighed the dangers in folks aged 16 and over. The panel spent a day discussing knowledge from trials of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, and voted 17-4 in favour of the authorisation, with one abstention. A remaining resolution from the FDA might come within the “subsequent couple of days”, Marion Gruber, director of the FDA’s analysis workplace, instructed the Monetary Occasions. The vaccine has already been authorised to be used within the UK, Bahrain, Canada and Saudi Arabia.

A coronavirus vaccine candidate being developed by UK firm GlaxoSmithKline and its French companion Sanofi has been delayed till late 2021, after interim evaluation of outcomes from a section I/II trial confirmed that it didn’t produce a sufficiently robust immune response in folks aged 50 and older. 

Australia halted trials of a vaccine being developed by Australian firm CSL in partnership with the College of Queensland after some trial contributors obtained false optimistic HIV check outcomes.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.58 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 69.8 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Inside the primary covid-19 vaccine clinics: Coronavirus vaccinations have begun within the UK, however will probably be an enormous problem to ship the vaccine extra broadly by way of native practices, writes one physician engaged on the entrance line.

A nurse wearing personal protective equipment, including a face shield, cares for a patient at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista, California

A nurse checks on a covid-19 affected person at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista, California

Nelvin C Cepeda/Shutterstock

10 December

Day by day covid-19 hospitalisations and deaths reached new information within the US on Wednesday

Greater than 3000 folks died in a single day from coronavirus for the first time within the US, and new information have been set for instances and hospitalisations as some US states arrange subject hospitals to deal with folks. Throughout the nation on Wednesday, there have been 221,276 new instances recognized, 106,000 folks hospitalised with covid-19 and 3124 individuals who died from the illness. California, Texas and Rhode Island are establishing subject hospitals in preparation for a possible overflow of coronavirus sufferers as intensive care items proceed to fill. Two weeks in the past, US well being adviser Anthony Fauci urged folks to comply with covid-19 pointers throughout Thanksgiving. The vacation nonetheless noticed greater than 1,000,000 folks passing by way of airports within the US, and some days later, Fauci mentioned the nation might anticipate to see “surge upon surge” of instances as folks returned house. 

Different coronavirus information

Canada’s well being regulator accredited the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on Wednesday. It’s anticipated that the primary folks shall be vaccinated subsequent week. Canada is the third nation to authorise the vaccine after the UK and Bahrain. As we speak a panel of impartial specialists is assembly to contemplate whether or not the US Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) ought to authorise the jab for emergency use. In a report back to the panel printed on-line on Tuesday, the FDA endorsed the vaccine’s security and efficacy. 

Full outcomes from section III trials of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been printed within the New England Journal of Medication at this time. The paper confirmed findings introduced earlier by the 2 corporations that the vaccine had an analogous charge of efficacy throughout all teams of age, intercourse, race, ethnicity, weight and underlying power circumstances, and concluded that the protection profile over a median of two months after vaccination was much like that of different viral vaccines. It additionally talked about one case of extreme covid-19 within the vaccinated group, in comparison with 9 within the placebo group.

London had the highest coronavirus an infection charge in England within the week as much as 6 December, in keeping with Public Well being England, growing the prospect town shall be moved into tier three – the very best degree of coronavirus restrictions – within the coming days. London’s case charge per 100,000 folks was 191.8 within the seven days as much as 6 December, greater than different areas presently below tier three guidelines, such because the West Midlands the place the case charge was 158.4 per 100,000 folks throughout the identical interval.

Coronavirus instances are rising in Japan. Tokyo reported a file 602 new instances on Thursday, out of 2078 every day new instances throughout the nation. Japan introduced plans to purchase 10,500 deep freezers to retailer coronavirus vaccines after they arrive.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.57 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 69.1 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

May England have averted a second lockdown?: A researcher has claimed that England didn’t want a second lockdown as a result of every day covid-19 every day instances have been already peaking below regional restrictions, however different scientists disagree.

Why is the pandemic so polarising?: Covid-19 continues to separate some folks alongside celebration traces. We are actually starting to work out why, writes Graham Lawton.

Husband and wife Vic and Penny Griffiths receive the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine at Basildon University Hospital in Essex, England

Husband and spouse Vic and Penny Griffiths obtain the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine at Basildon College Hospital in Essex, England

Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Photographs

9 December

UK regulator says folks with historical past of serious allergic reactions shouldn’t get Pfizer vaccine

Individuals with a historical past of serious allergic reactions mustn’t obtain the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and its companion BioNTech, which is being rolled out within the UK this week, in keeping with the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company (MHRA). The recommendation was launched after two healthcare staff skilled allergic reactions shortly after receiving their first doses of the vaccine yesterday. Each people have a historical past of great allergic reactions they usually have since had therapy and recovered. “The immediate reporting of those occasions […] and the speedy issuing of further info to information apply exhibits that the protection monitoring system is working nicely,” mentioned Penny Ward at King’s School London in a assertion. “As these two occasions occurred in folks with a historical past of extreme allergy, it’s smart of the MHRA to attract consideration to those studies and to counsel that people with a historical past of extreme allergy not obtain the vaccine right now,” mentioned Ward.

Different coronavirus information

The UK authorities is below strain to impose tighter coronavirus restrictions in London. “The most recent knowledge exhibits case charges are on the rise once more in most London boroughs, together with within the at-risk over 60s,” Kevin Fenton, London regional director for Public Well being England (PHE), instructed the Guardian. The town is presently below tier two restrictions however the prevalence of an infection is rising: London had a case charge of 170 instances per 100,000 folks within the week as much as 2 December, in keeping with PHE figures, up from 156 per 100,000 the earlier week. John Ashton, former regional director for public well being for north-west England, mentioned pressing motion is required. “If London doesn’t need hospitals to be full over Christmas the federal government must get a grip at this time,” Ashton instructed the BBC. “Deaths will begin going up throughout the Christmas interval and new 12 months until one thing is finished,” he mentioned. The federal government is predicted to evaluate coronavirus restrictions for every area in England on 16 December.

India’s well being ministry introduced that coronavirus vaccines, together with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the vaccine being developed by the College of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca, are prone to obtain licenses within the subsequent few weeks. India’s preliminary plan includes vaccinating about 300 million of the nation’s 1.4 billion folks, with precedence for healthcare and different frontline staff, in addition to folks above age 50 or those that are clinically weak to extreme covid-19.

A coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by Chinese language pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm has 86 per cent efficacy, in keeping with interim knowledge from section III trials launched by the well being ministry of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the place the vaccine is being trialled. The UAE’s well being ministry instructed state media 31,000 volunteers have participated within the trial, and that it has formally registered the vaccine, although it’s unclear whether or not it has been accredited for wider use.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.56 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 68.4 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Europe’s covid-19 Christmas: Italy is banning journey, the UK has family bubbles, Germans are isolating and Austria is mass testing. Which method to coronavirus at Christmas is prone to work finest?

Dangerous gatherings: The very best charge of coronavirus infections in England at current is in folks aged between 11 and 24, elevating the danger of them infecting older or weak kinfolk at household gatherings.

Pfizer headquarters in New York City

Pfizer headquarters in New York Metropolis

Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

8 December

FDA says Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine knowledge matches its steerage on emergency authorisation

The coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and its companion BioNTech has moved one step nearer to approval for emergency use within the US. The US Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) launched paperwork at this time, which mentioned figures on the vaccine’s security and efficacy meet its expectations for emergency use authorisation. The paperwork mentioned the two-dose vaccine is very efficient at stopping confirmed instances of covid-19 a minimum of seven days after the primary dose. In addition they mentioned there wasn’t sufficient knowledge to conclude whether or not the vaccine is secure in folks below 16, people who find themselves pregnant and people whose immune methods are compromised. The company is predicted to decide on whether or not to authorise the vaccine inside days or perhaps weeks. 

The US has bought 100 million doses (sufficient for 50 million folks) of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine with an possibility to purchase as much as 5 instances extra. Nevertheless, the Trump administration opted to not safe a further 100 million doses throughout the summer season for supply within the second quarter of subsequent 12 months, in keeping with the Related Press. The choice might delay US supply of a second batch of vaccine doses in 2021.

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Margaret Keenan, 90, and William Shakespeare, 81, are the primary folks to participate within the UK’s mass vaccination programme, the most important within the nation’s historical past.

Jacob King/POOL/Getty Photographs

First folks participate in UK’s mass vaccination programme

A 90-year-old lady grew to become the first individual to participate within the UK’s mass vaccination programme this morning when she was given the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 subsequent week, obtained the primary of two doses of the vaccine at College Hospital in Coventry. She instructed the BBC, “I really feel so privileged to be the primary individual vaccinated in opposition to covid-19, it’s the very best early birthday current I might want for.” A person named William Shakespeare, 81, was the second individual to obtain the injection on the similar hospital. “As we speak is a superb day for medical science, and the long run,” England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, tweeted. Vaccinations have additionally taken place at this time in Northern Eire, Wales and Scotland. 

Different coronavirus information

Extra details about the section III trials of the vaccine being developed by the College of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca has been printed in The Lancet. The peer reviewed paper lays out the info for the interim findings of three section III trials, which had been partially launched in a press assertion on 23 November. The headline determine stays the identical: the vaccine may be very secure and 70.4 per cent efficient on common. However relying on the dosing regime it may be as excessive as 90 per cent or as little as 62.1 per cent efficient. AstraZeneca has begun the method of in search of regulatory approval within the UK, Canada, EU, Brazil, India, Russia and different international locations, in keeping with Mene Pangalos, AstraZeneca’s govt vp of biopharmaceuticals R&D. 

Coronavirus instances are on the rise in Wales and ministers are contemplating whether or not new restrictions shall be required after the Christmas interval. On 1 December, Wales had a seven-day common case charge of 267.8 per 100,000 folks, up from 251.6 per 100,000 folks on 30 November. Yesterday there have been greater than 1800 folks in hospital with covid-19 throughout Wales, the very best quantity recorded thus far and 400 greater than Wales’ earlier peak in April. The nation’s coronavirus case charge overtook that of England on 23 November, the identical day Wales entered a 17-day “firebreak” nationwide lockdown, which lasted till 9 November. England had a one month nationwide lockdown from 5 November to 2 December. 

Hong Kong introduced new restrictions on hospitality and leisure geared toward curbing a fourth wave of coronavirus infections. Yesterday, Hong Kong recorded 78 new coronavirus instances, and every day new instances have surpassed 100 – the very best degree since July – on a number of events in latest weeks. 

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.54 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 67.8 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

7 December

Healthcare workers training in the covid-19 vaccination clinic at the University Hospital in Coventry, England, on 4 December

Coaching within the covid-19 vaccination clinic on the College Hospital in Coventry, England, on 4 December

Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Photographs

First Pfizer/BioNTech vaccinations shall be administered within the UK beginning Tuesday

The UK is getting ready to manage the primary doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and its companion BioNTech tomorrow, lower than every week after the vaccine was given momentary authorisation for emergency use. The primary doses of the vaccine have been delivered to hospitals on Sunday, which is the place the primary vaccinations will happen throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire tomorrow. In England, vaccinations shall be administered at 50 hospital hubs. The primary to obtain the photographs are anticipated to be older folks already attending outpatient hospital appointments, and people being discharged house after a hospital keep. Different folks over 80 may also be invited to go to hospitals to obtain the injection, and care house suppliers will have the ability to e-book appointments for his or her employees. Healthcare staff who’re at highest danger of getting severely sick with covid-19 shall be provided any unused appointments. Older folks, care house residents and employees, in addition to frontline well being and social care staff would be the first to obtain the vaccine in Scotland. In Wales, frontline well being and social care staff are anticipated to be first in line, whereas in Northern Eire care house residents and healthcare staff are anticipated to be prioritised.

“As a physician this can be a actually thrilling second,” mentioned Stephen Powis, NHS England medical director. “NHS employees across the nation at vaccination hubs have been working tirelessly to ensure that we’re ready to start vaccination on Tuesday,” he mentioned, talking yesterday outdoors Croydon College Hospital in London one of many first to obtain supply of the vaccine. Nevertheless, Powis cautioned that the distribution of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine can be a “marathon not a dash” and that it could take “many months” to vaccinate everybody. 

One other potential barrier to widespread vaccination is vaccine hesitancy. A couple of in three folks (35 per cent) in a latest UK survey by market analysis company Opinium mentioned they’re unlikely to take the coronavirus vaccine when it turns into out there. One in 5 (20 per cent) mentioned they have been unlikely to take it whether it is out there and the federal government recommends that they take it.

Different coronavirus information

Greater than 23 million folks in southern California have been positioned below a strict new lockdown, after the state reported a file every day improve in new coronavirus instances on Friday with 25,068 new confirmed infections. On Saturday, the state reported that solely 12.5 per cent of intensive care beds remained out there. Persons are required to remain at house and minimise contact with these from different households. The brand new guidelines got here into drive on Sunday and can stay in place for a minimum of three weeks.

Serum Institute of India, the Indian producer of a vaccine candidate being developed by UK-Swedish firm AstraZeneca in partnership with the College of Oxford, utilized for emergency use approval of the vaccine in India at this time, a authorities official instructed Reuters. Pfizer utilized for emergency use approval in India for its vaccine over the weekend, in keeping with the identical authorities official.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.53 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 67.2 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Minimising your danger: Should you plan to fulfill folks over the festive season, there are various methods you may cut back the danger of spreading coronavirus, writes Clare Wilson.

Important details about coronavirus

The whole lot it is advisable know concerning the pandemic

The place did coronavirus come from? And different covid-19 questions answered

What’s covid-19?

You might be spreading the coronavirus with out realising you’ve received it

Which covid-19 remedies work and the way shut are we to getting extra?

What is going to it take to get a covid-19 vaccine to the world?

What to learn, watch and hearken to about coronavirus

Race In opposition to the Virus: Hunt for a Vaccine is a Channel 4 documentary which tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic by way of the eyes of the scientists on the frontline.

The New York Occasions is assessing the progress of various vaccine candidates and potential drug remedies for covid-19, and rating them for effectiveness and security.

People of COVID-19 is a venture highlighting the experiences of key staff on the frontline within the battle in opposition to coronavirus within the UK, by way of social media.

Stomach Mujinga: Looking for the Reality is a BBC Panorama investigation of the dying of transport employee Stomach Mujinga from covid-19, following studies she had been coughed and spat on by a buyer at London’s Victoria Station.

Coronavirus, Defined on Netflix is a brief documentary collection inspecting the on-going coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to battle it and methods to handle its psychological well being toll.

New Scientist Weekly options updates and evaluation on the newest developments within the covid-19 pandemic. Our podcast sees knowledgeable journalists from the journal focus on the largest science tales to hit the headlines every week – from know-how and area, to well being and the surroundings.

COVID-19: The Pandemic that By no means Ought to Have Occurred, and Find out how to Cease the Subsequent One by Debora Mackenzie is about how the pandemic occurred and why it’ll occur once more if we don’t do issues in a different way in future.

The Guidelines of Contagion is concerning the new science of contagion and the shocking methods it shapes our lives and behavior. The creator, Adam Kucharski, is an epidemiologist on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Medication, UK, and within the e-book he examines how ailments unfold and why they cease.

A Community Organized Relief Effort worker hands a coronavirus test kit to two women, at a walk-up covid-19 testing site in Los Angeles, California on 1 December

A Group Organized Reduction Effort employee fingers a coronavirus check equipment to 2 girls, at a walk-up covid-19 testing web site in Los Angeles, California on 1 December

ROBYN BECK/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

4 December

US coronavirus instances, hospitalisations and deaths reached new file every day figures

The US reported file every day will increase in coronavirus instances, hospitalisations and deaths yesterday. There have been 217,664 new instances, 100,667 folks hospitalised with the virus and 2879 individuals who died from covid-19 all file excessive figures since its epidemic started. US well being adviser Anthony Fauci warned that the scenario is prone to develop into even worse within the coming weeks. “I feel January goes to be horrible since you’re going to have the Thanksgiving surge super-imposed upon the Christmas surge,” Fauci instructed Newsweek. “It’s fully conceivable that January may very well be the worst,” he mentioned. 

California, the place hospital admissions have risen by 86 per cent prior to now 14 days, is likely one of the newest US states to introduce new restrictions. Yesterday, the state’s governor Gavin Newsom introduced a brand new stay-at-home order in addition to restrictions on companies and on non-essential journey. “That is probably the most difficult second because the begin of the pandemic,” Newsom instructed a press convention. “Lives shall be misplaced until we do greater than we’ve ever performed. We’re being referred to as to do all the things in our energy to make the sort of powerful choices which are required to get by way of this,” he mentioned.

Different coronavirus information

The UK’s R quantity the typical variety of folks every individual with coronavirus infects has fallen barely to between 0.8 and 1.0, in keeping with the newest official estimate, down from between 0.9 and 1.0 the earlier week. That is most probably to characterize the scenario two or three weeks in the past attributable to a time lag within the knowledge used to mannequin the R. The most recent figures additionally counsel the variety of new infections is shrinking by between 1 and three per cent every day. The figures are per the newest outcomes from a random swab testing survey by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS). The ONS estimates there have been 25,700 new coronavirus instances per day in England within the week as much as 28 November, down from 38,900 throughout the week as much as 14 November.

London is susceptible to being moved from present Tier 2 restrictions into Tier 3 as a result of the autumn in confirmed instances is beginning to degree out, notably in outer boroughs, in keeping with Kevin Fenton, London director for Public Well being England. “If we wish to keep away from being positioned into Tier 3, it’s vital we maintain transmission down,” he instructed the Night Commonplace.

Switzerland tightened restrictions as coronavirus instances within the nation stay at a excessive degree described by the nation’s well being minister as “very worrying”. The federal government mentioned ski resorts ought to have the ability to stay open to home vacationers with security measures in place. Germany, France and Italy are shutting ski lifts over Christmas, and France mentioned it’ll additionally impose border checks to cease folks travelling from France to Switzerland to go snowboarding.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.51 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 65.4 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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An employee checks boxes at a Pfizer manufacturing plant in Puurs, Belgium on 3 December

An worker checks packing containers at a Pfizer manufacturing plant in Puurs, Belgium on 3 December

Virginia Mayo/AP/Shutterstock

3 December

UK hospitals are anticipated to get first batch of vaccines earlier than care houses

The primary batch of vaccine doses created by Pfizer and BioNTech have been despatched to the UK from Belgium at this time. Distribution of the vaccine shall be “an immense logistical problem”, UK prime minister Boris Johnson mentioned throughout a briefing yesterday. The order during which folks will get vaccinated is really useful by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) however in the end determined by the UK authorities. Yesterday, the JCVI really useful that precedence be given first to care house residents and their carers. Nevertheless, because of the strict storage necessities of the newly authorised Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the federal government mentioned will probably be delivered first to hospitals, with care house employees, NHS employees and sufferers prone to obtain the primary doses. “As quickly as it’s legally and technically potential to get the vaccine into care houses, we are going to achieve this,” mentioned England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, talking on the similar briefing as Johnson. “However this can be a complicated product with a really fragile tradition. This isn’t a yoghurt that may be taken out of the fridge and put again in a number of instances.”

Deputy chairman of the JCVI Anthony Harnden instructed BBC Radio 4 that care house residents and their carers stay a precedence. “The clear checklist that now we have drawn out is a listing of precedence when it comes to vulnerability,” he mentioned. “I feel the very short-term sensible difficulties of getting this out from a storage viewpoint mustn’t allow us to all lose sight of the truth that these care house residents and their employees are our utmost precedence and it could be potential to get the care house employees to be immunised inside an area hospital setting.”

Different coronavirus information

US regulators are anticipated to fulfill to debate emergency use authorisation of a vaccine developed by US pharmaceutical firm Moderna on 10 December. They’ll meet once more on 17 December to debate the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which was granted momentary authorisation for emergency use within the UK yesterday. US well being adviser Anthony Fauci instructed Fox Information he thought UK regulators have been too fast to authorise the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. “We’ve the gold commonplace of a regulatory method with the [US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)],” he mentioned. “The UK didn’t do it as rigorously they usually received a few days forward,” mentioned Fauci. He referred to as the FDA approval course of “the proper manner”, including that “We actually scrutinise the info very rigorously to ensure to the American public that this can be a secure and efficacious vaccine.”

The US reported file every day will increase in coronavirus instances and hospitalisations yesterday. New instances elevated by 195,695 and 100,226 folks have been hospitalised with covid-19 the very best figures because the pandemic started. The US additionally recorded 3157 new deaths from the illness yesterday, its highest variety of every day covid-19 deaths since its earlier peak of 2607 on 15 April. 

The World Well being Group (WHO) is investigating the potential use of digital vaccination certificates for travellers, Reuters reported. The WHO doesn’t suggest using “immunity passports” for individuals who have recovered from covid-19 or been contaminated with the coronavirus prior to now. It nonetheless isn’t clear how lengthy any immunity to covid-19 induced by a vaccine would possibly final.

Researchers at IBM uncovered a world phishing marketing campaign focusing on organisations engaged on coronavirus vaccine provide chains, which they are saying could also be state-backed.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.49 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 64.7 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

Vials of Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in a laboratory

Vials of Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in a laboratory

PFIZER HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

2 December

UK authorities first on the earth to offer Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine momentary authorisation

The UK authorities has develop into the primary on the earth to give the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine momentary authorisation for emergency use. The UK has pre-ordered 40 million doses – sufficient for 20 million folks at most, as it’s a two-shot vaccine – and can begin to vaccinate folks probably as early as subsequent week. To distribute the vaccine, Pfizer has designed particular cardboard packing containers that may be filled with dry ice, enabling the vaccine doses to be saved at -70°C throughout transport. They will then be saved in a standard fridge for as much as 5 days.

This afternoon the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) launched its recommendation on who will obtain precedence for the vaccine. It really useful that precedence be given first to care house residents and their carers, then to frontline well being and social care staff and other people aged 80 and over. Individuals 75 and over shall be subsequent, adopted by these aged 70 and above and people who find themselves clinically extraordinarily weak. The vaccine is not going to be given to pregnant girls or to most youngsters below 16, as a result of there isn’t a security knowledge for these teams.

Additional particulars are skinny on the bottom. The announcement was made by the Division of Well being and Social Care in a quick press assertion, which confirmed that “The Authorities has at this time accepted the advice from the impartial Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s covid-19 vaccine to be used. This follows months of rigorous scientific trials and a radical evaluation of the info by specialists on the MHRA who’ve concluded that the vaccine has met its strict requirements of security, high quality and effectiveness.”

The MHRA obtained the info from Pfizer and BioNTech – prone to run to 1000’s of pages – on 23 November. In a assertion the pinnacle of the company, June Raine, mentioned: “We’ve been capable of progress growth within the quickest manner potential. It’s been performed utilizing a course of referred to as a rolling evaluate. That doesn’t imply that any corners have been minimize – none in any respect.”

The data has additionally been reviewed by one other impartial advisory physique, the UK’s Fee on Human Medicines. Munir Pirmohamed, chair of the physique’s knowledgeable working group, mentioned his group has referred to as on using a “big selection of specialists” of their analysis, and labored with “unprecedented uncooked knowledge”. He mentioned the group has suggested NHS colleagues on stability points associated to distribution of the vaccine at ultra-low temperatures, the Telegraph reported at this time.

Emergency use functions normally solely contemplate security, however the vaccine has reportedly additionally been assessed for effectiveness. “At this stage it is vitally, crucial that individuals don’t get their hopes up too quickly concerning the velocity with which we can roll out this vaccine,” mentioned UK prime minister Boris Johnson.

Different coronavirus information

A revised three-tiered system of coronavirus restrictions got here into drive in England at this time, marking the top of the nation’s second nationwide lockdown. Underneath the new guidelines, most of England is below tier two and tier three, which means folks stay banned from assembly these from different households indoors.

Russian chief Vladimir Putin has ordered authorities to begin mass voluntary vaccinations with the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine subsequent week. He mentioned Russia could have 2 million doses of the two-dose jab prepared inside the subsequent few days. 

Coronavirus instances in Poland handed 1 million at this time, in keeping with its well being ministry. Poland has a scarcity of docs and medical provides, which is making it troublesome to fight the nation’s second wave of coronavirus.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.48 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 64.0 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

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Medical syringe is seen with Pfizer and BioNTech logos displayed on a screen in the background in this illustration photo taken in Poland

The UK Medicines and Healthcare Merchandise Regulatory Authority (MHRA) has authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for emergency use

Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/PA Photographs

1 December

Evaluation of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines delayed by European regulator

The European Medicines Company (EMA) has delayed its evaluation of coronavirus vaccines being developed by US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer in partnership with German biotechnology firm BioNTech and by US pharmaceutical firm Moderna for emergency regulatory approval. This might push again distribution of vaccines in Europe. The EMA mentioned it’ll decide concerning the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on 29 December and that it might make a separate resolution on an analogous mRNA-based vaccine being developed by US firm Moderna on 12 January. Each vaccines have been submitted for emergency regulatory approval this week and have been initially purported to be assessed by the EMA on 22 December, in keeping with paperwork seen by the Monetary Occasions. In a press release, Pfizer and BioNTech mentioned that if their vaccine is accredited by the EMA on 29 December, it might nonetheless doubtlessly be rolled out in Europe earlier than the top of this 12 months. The UK Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company might decide on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine this week.

A US Centres for Illness Management and Prevention panel is set to problem recommendation on who must be prioritised within the roll-out of a possible coronavirus vaccine within the US. Public well being officers have mentioned that healthcare staff must be first to obtain the vaccine, adopted by the aged and different weak teams and important staff. Nevertheless, will probably be as much as particular person states to determine tips on how to distribute a vaccine. US well being secretary Alex Azar has instructed the primary folks might begin being vaccinated earlier than Christmas. The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccine candidates are each being reviewed for emergency use authorisation by the US Meals and Drug Administration.

Different coronavirus information

The UK has no plans to introduce so-called “vaccine passports” to permit individuals who have been vaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus to entry locations equivalent to pubs and eating places as soon as a vaccine turns into broadly out there, UK cupboard workplace minister Michael Gove mentioned at this time. “Let’s not get forward of ourselves. That’s not the plan,” Gove instructed the BBC’s Breakfast present. Gove was responding to feedback made by Nadhim Zahawi, a minister who has been tasked with overseeing the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine in England. He instructed the BBC yesterday that the federal government was “trying on the know-how” to offer some type of “immunity” passport to permit folks to entry eating places, bars and cinemas, along with growing a manner for folks to tell their GP that they’ve been vaccinated. “After all particular person companies have the capability to make choices about who they’ll admit and why however crucial factor that we must be doing is concentrating on ensuring that the vaccine is rolled out,” Gove mentioned at this time. Whereas a lot of coronavirus vaccine candidates have been discovered to be very efficient at stopping sickness, it nonetheless isn’t identified whether or not any vaccine can cease folks from spreading the virus to others and thus whether or not vaccine passports would offer any profit.

MPs are voting at this time on a stricter three-tiered system of coronavirus restrictions set to come back into drive after England’s nationwide lockdown ends tomorrow. The brand new measures are anticipated to cross.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.47 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 63.4 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

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What to learn, watch and hearken to about coronavirus

Race In opposition to the Virus: Hunt for a Vaccine is a Channel 4 documentary which tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic by way of the eyes of the scientists on the frontline.

The New York Occasions is assessing the progress of various vaccine candidates and potential drug remedies for covid-19, and rating them for effectiveness and security.

People of COVID-19 is a venture highlighting the experiences of key staff on the frontline within the battle in opposition to coronavirus within the UK, by way of social media.

Stomach Mujinga: Looking for the Reality is a BBC Panorama investigation of the dying of transport employee Stomach Mujinga from covid-19, following studies she had been coughed and spat on by a buyer at London’s Victoria Station.

Coronavirus, Defined on Netflix is a brief documentary collection inspecting the on-going coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to battle it and methods to handle its psychological well being toll.

New Scientist Weekly options updates and evaluation on the newest developments within the covid-19 pandemic. Our podcast sees knowledgeable journalists from the journal focus on the largest science tales to hit the headlines every week – from know-how and area, to well being and the surroundings.

COVID-19: The Pandemic that By no means Ought to Have Occurred, and Find out how to Cease the Subsequent One by Debora Mackenzie is about how the pandemic occurred and why it’ll occur once more if we don’t do issues in a different way in future.

The Guidelines of Contagion is concerning the new science of contagion and the shocking methods it shapes our lives and behavior. The creator, Adam Kucharski, is an epidemiologist on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Medication, UK, and within the e-book he examines how ailments unfold and why they cease.

A student looks in the mirror as they take a swab for a lateral flow covid-19 test at a new asymptomatic testing site at the University of Hull in England

A pupil takes a swab for a lateral stream covid-19 check at a brand new asymptomatic testing web site on the College of Hull in England

OLI SCARFF/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

30 November

Coronavirus instances in England have fallen throughout nationwide lockdown

Coronavirus infections in England dropped by about 30 per cent after three weeks of the nation’s second nationwide lockdown, in keeping with preliminary outcomes from a random swab testing survey by researchers at Imperial School London. The examine discovered that the prevalence of an infection fell from about 1320 infections per 100,000 folks between 16 October and a couple of November, to roughly 960 per 100,000 folks between 13 and 24 November. It estimated England’s R quantity to be 0.88, including to UK authorities knowledge final week, which estimated the UK’s R quantity at between 0.9 and 1.0. An R quantity under 1.0 signifies the epidemic is shrinking. The autumn within the variety of infections isn’t uniform. “There’s a blended image throughout the nation,” mentioned Simon Clarke on the College of Studying in a assertion. “Infections are falling extra rapidly within the North, however not so rapidly within the Midlands, South or London. This most likely displays the truth that massive elements of the North have been below extra extreme restrictions earlier than going into lockdown and must be a warning to MPs and councils lobbying for his or her native areas to be positioned in decrease tiers,” mentioned Clarke. 

England went right into a second lockdown on 5 November and is because of transfer right into a three-tiered system of coronavirus restrictions from 2 December. Underneath the up to date three-tiered system of restrictions, most of England shall be positioned below tier two and tier three, which means folks will stay banned from assembly these from different households indoors.

Different coronavirus information

A coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by US pharmaceutical firm Moderna was discovered to have an efficacy of 94 per cent in full outcomes from the corporate’s section III trial. The result’s based mostly on a complete of 196 symptomatic coronavirus instances among the many 30,000 trial contributors. Half of the contributors obtained a placebo somewhat than the vaccine, and simply 11 of the symptomatic coronavirus instances occurred within the vaccinated group. One of many trial contributors within the placebo group died of covid-19. The vaccine relies on a novel, mRNA know-how, as is the vaccine being developed by US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer in partnership with German biotechnology firm BioNTech. Pfizer and BioNTech launched promising full outcomes from their section III coronavirus vaccine trial on 18 November, displaying 95 per cent efficacy, and requested emergency use authorisation from the US Meals and Drug Administration shortly afterwards. Moderna can be submitting for emergency regulatory approval, within the US and Europe.

A preliminary examine discovered that population-wide coronavirus testing in Slovakia, mixed with different management measures, was extremely profitable in quickly decreasing the prevalence of infections within the nation. Slovakia grew to become the primary nation to make use of speedy antigen assessments to carry out mass testing in October. The UK additionally plans to make use of mass testing to attempt to management infections till a vaccine turns into out there.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.46 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 62.9 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

Students at the University of St Andrews in Scotland wearing personal protective equipment participate in the testing of a lateral flow antigen test facility

College students on the College of St Andrews in Scotland take part within the testing of a lateral stream antigen check facility

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Photographs

27 November

The UK’s R quantity is between 0.9 and 1.0 in keeping with the latest estimate

The newest estimate of the UK’s R quantity – the typical variety of folks every individual with coronavirus infects – has fallen to between 0.9 and 1.0 for the primary time since mid-August. “It’s more and more clear that the stricter measures carried out in latest weeks are having an influence,” mentioned Liam Smeeth on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Medication in a assertion. “A interval of tiered measures in December is warranted now to assist permit some social mixing at Christmas that’s so vital to many. I believe an additional circuit breaker in January or probably February could be wanted as a result of Christmas will place such upward strain on transmission charges,” mentioned Smeeth. 

His feedback are echoed in paperwork from the federal government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) dated 5 November however launched at this time. “Many celebrations contain households and households travelling throughout the nation or internationally. If there may be regional variation in prevalence, then this has the potential to seed an infection from areas of excessive prevalence to low,” SAGE warned. 

The SAGE report added that elevated transmission from a brief interval of relaxations, equivalent to these anticipated below the UK Christmas plan, might doubtlessly be compensated for by “implementing sufficiently restrictive measures of enough period earlier than and/or after the occasion”. It mentioned preliminary modelling means that for every day that measures are relaxed, 5 days of stringent measures can be required to maintain the epidemic in verify. Nevertheless, it added: “Given the potential for elevated inter-generational mixing and the publicity of extra weak folks, compensating earlier than the elevated interval is significantly preferable. A interval of excessive transmission throughout December will convey ahead any rise in an infection throughout January.”

Different coronavirus information

Coronavirus instances and hospitalisations within the US continued to surge over the Thanksgiving vacation. There have been 110,611 new instances recorded within the US on Thursday and 1232 new deaths. On the identical day 90,481 folks have been hospitalised with covid-19, in keeping with the COVID Monitoring Mission.

In Denmark, there are considerations that farmed mink contaminated with the coronavirus might have escaped and might unfold the virus to wild animals. Sten Mortensen, veterinary analysis supervisor on the Danish Veterinary and Meals Administration, instructed the Guardian that just a few thousand mink escape from farms yearly and that there’s a danger 5 per cent of those who escaped this 12 months have been contaminated with covid-19.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.43 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 61.2 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

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People wearing face coverings walk along a shopping street in Hull city centre in England

Customers in Hull metropolis centre in England

Ioannis Alexopoulos/LNP/Shutterstock

26 November

Most of England to be put below the 2 strictest ranges of restrictions subsequent week

UK well being minister Matt Hancock revealed which elements of England shall be below which tier of restrictions after the nationwide lockdown ends on 2 December. The hardest measures shall be utilized to the elements of the nation the place instances and strain on the NHS are highest, Hancock instructed parliament at this time. Particularly, the federal government will use 5 standards to determine the tier for every space, which shall be reviewed each 14 days. These embrace case charges throughout all age teams, case charges in folks over 60, the speed at which instances are rising or falling, the check positivity charge and the estimated strain on the NHS in a selected space. “The present epidemiological proof and scientific recommendation exhibits that we should make the tiers harder than they have been earlier than to guard the NHS by way of the winter months and avert one other nationwide lockdown,” Hancock added. 

Underneath the new guidelines, about 55 million folks will stay banned from assembly these from different households indoors –  below tier two and tier three guidelines. Roughly 23 million folks shall be below the very best degree of restrictions – tier three – together with the cities of Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester. This implies they may solely be allowed to fulfill folks from different households in sure outside public areas, equivalent to parks, with a most group measurement of six. Solely the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are below tier one guidelines, which means that individuals shall be allowed to combine with folks from different households indoors in teams of not more than six. Gyms and hairdressers shall be allowed to open throughout England. 

Different coronavirus information

The Africa Centres for Illness Management and Prevention, an African Union company, mentioned that mass vaccination in opposition to the coronavirus is unlikely to begin in international locations in Africa till midway by way of subsequent 12 months. “We’re very involved as a continent that we’ll not have entry to vaccines in a well timed style,” mentioned the company’s director John Nkengasong at a information convention. “It is not going to be, for my part, as much as [the] center of subsequent 12 months earlier than we really begin to get vaccination into Africa,” he mentioned. The US, Germany and the UK have plans to begin rolling out vaccines as early as subsequent month. Nkengasong mentioned there may also be key logistical issues to beat in lots of African international locations, notably these with scorching climates and challenges with supplying electrical energy, since most vaccines have to be saved cool.

The covid-19 pandemic might set again features in gender equality, in keeping with a report by UN Ladies. With extra folks around the globe staying at house attributable to lockdowns and different restrictions, the necessity for family chores has elevated, says the report. However evaluation of information from 38 international locations means that, whereas all folks have elevated their unpaid workloads, “girls are nonetheless doing the lion’s share”. The report additionally discovered that girls are taking over a higher depth of care-related duties in comparison with males. “The whole lot we labored for, that has taken 25 years, may very well be misplaced in a 12 months,” UN Ladies deputy govt director Anita Bhatia instructed the BBC.

Germany will prolong its partial lockdown till a minimum of 20 December and can restrict non-public gatherings to a most of 5 folks from as much as two completely different households. German chancellor Angela Merkel mentioned the objective is to push the variety of new coronavirus instances in every area of the nation under 50 per 100,000 folks per week. As of at this time, solely two of the nation’s 16 federal states have case charges under this degree. “We’ve to proceed to pursue this objective,” Merkel instructed journalists in Berlin at this time.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.42 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 60.6 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

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Two people wearing face coverings walk along a shopping arcade in London, UK

Individuals carrying face coverings stroll alongside a purchasing arcade in London, UK

Man Bell/Shutterstock

25 November

Authorities science advisers warn UK Christmas plan prone to result in rise in instances

Scientists advising the UK authorities warned that its plan to loosen up restrictions throughout Christmas is prone to end in an increase in coronavirus instances, hospitalisations and deaths. “It’s prone to result in a 3rd wave of an infection, with hospitals being overrun, and extra pointless deaths,” Andrew Hayward at College School London, a member of the federal government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), instructed the BBC’s Newsnight programme. Graham Medley on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Medication, additionally a member of SAGE, instructed the Guardian that the comfort of guidelines might result in additional lockdown measures being wanted within the new 12 months. “I feel it’s inevitable that if lots of people do take that danger, even when it’s a small danger, then we find yourself with lots of people in hospital and doubtlessly having to take measures in January to lock down once more,” mentioned Medley.

Underneath the federal government’s new steerage, folks throughout the UK shall be allowed to assemble in three-household teams of limitless measurement for a five-day interval round Christmas. “All of the governments agreed that we should always stability the necessity to shield public well being with additionally permitting folks to be with their family members,” mentioned cupboard workplace minister, Michael Gove.

Different coronavirus information

Senior US well being adviser Anthony Fauci urged folks within the nation to keep away from gathering for Thanksgiving, in keeping with US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention recommendation. “Maintain the gatherings, the indoor gatherings, as small as you probably can. Everyone knows how troublesome that’s, as a result of that is such a stupendous, conventional vacation. However by making that sacrifice, you’ll forestall folks from getting contaminated,” he instructed ABC’s Good Morning America programme at this time. “A sacrifice now might save lives and sickness and make the long run a lot brighter as we get by way of this,” mentioned Fauci. “We’re going to get by way of this. Vaccines are on the horizon,” he added.

A examine that analysed coronavirus genome sequences from 46,723 folks with coronavirus around the globe discovered that not one of the mutations recognized are inflicting the virus to unfold extra rapidly. The researchers found 12,706 positions within the genome with mutations. “Fortuitously, we discovered that none of those mutations are making covid-19 unfold extra quickly, however we have to stay vigilant and proceed monitoring new mutations, notably as vaccines get rolled out,” Lucy van Dorp at College School London, one of many lead researchers on the examine, mentioned in a assertion. The examine is printed within the journal Nature Communications.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.41 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 59.9 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

A nurse holds a vaccine vial and syringe in front of her face as she prepares Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for inoculation in a trial in Moscow

A nurse prepares Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for inoculation in a trial in Moscow

REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

24 November

Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine candidate is 95 per cent efficient, says Russia 

The Russian authorities says preliminary outcomes from trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate Sputnik V have proven it to be greater than 95 per cent efficient after two doses. This is a rise from the 92 per cent effectiveness reported for the Sputnik V vaccine earlier this month. The most recent outcomes are based mostly on a trial in about 19,000 volunteers. Sputnik V relies on comparable viral vector know-how to that used within the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine candidate, which early outcomes point out could also be as much as 90 per cent efficient. However a full comparability between the 2 vaccines will solely be potential when all the info is launched, mentioned Ian Jones on the College of Studying, UK, in a assertion

Every dose of the vaccine would value lower than $10, in keeping with the Russian Direct Funding Fund (RDIF). “It’s greater than twice as low cost as different vaccines which have the identical efficacy ranges,” the pinnacle of RDIF, Kirill Dmitriev, instructed a briefing. 

Different coronavirus information

UK well being minister Matt Hancock mentioned it’s potential some social distancing measures might stay in place as vaccines are rolled out, till it’s decided how efficient they’re at stopping coronavirus transmission along with stopping symptomatic covid-19. Hancock was talking throughout a joint session of the UK well being and science committees at this time. He additionally mentioned the NHS ought to routinely check folks for diseases equivalent to flu after the coronavirus pandemic, and that he thinks the UK’s tradition of “soldiering on” and going to work whereas sick ought to finish.

The UK authorities introduced it’ll introduce a new “check and launch” system in England on 15 December, which is able to permit passengers arriving from sure high-risk international locations to finish their quarantine early in the event that they check adverse for the coronavirus after 5 days of quarantine. Passengers shall be required to e-book their assessments with a supplier from a authorities accredited checklist and to pay for their very own assessments. The brand new system “will give passengers the arrogance to e-book worldwide journeys within the information that they’ll return house and isolate for a shorter interval if they’ve obtained a adverse check”, the federal government mentioned in a press release.

A Microsoft Excel error that resulted in 15,841 instances not being instantly referred to the contact tracing system in England between 25 September and a couple of October might have been linked to 125,000 subsequent instances and 1500 deaths, in keeping with modelling by researchers on the College of Warwick, UK. 

There have been 2466 deaths involving covid-19 in England and Wales within the week as much as 13 November, accounting for 20.1 per cent of all deaths that week in England and Wales, in keeping with the latest figures from the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics. This is a rise from the earlier week, throughout which 1937 folks died from covid-19.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.40 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 59.4 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

A gloved hand holds a vaccine vial

Vaccine vial

John Cairns/Jenner Institute

23 November

Oxford vaccine researcher says UK is on monitor to vaccinate high-risk teams  in December

Individuals in high-risk teams within the UK could possibly get a coronavirus vaccine by December, with doses for the broader public being made out there by subsequent spring, mentioned Adrian Hill on the College of Oxford at this time. Hill is the pinnacle of the institute behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine candidate, which could also be as much as 90 per cent efficient in keeping with preliminary outcomes printed at this time. “I feel we’re on monitor for the timeline […] to begin getting this vaccine rolled out from December,” mentioned Hill. “Hopefully there shall be a vaccine out there for all adults, however that’s prone to be springtime somewhat than in January.” Along with the UK, governments within the US and Germany are additionally getting ready to begin vaccinating some folks in December. 

The UK has pre-ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate, in addition to 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine candidate and 5 million doses of Moderna’s candidate. “The majority of the vaccine rollout programme shall be in January, February, March. And we hope someday after Easter issues will have the ability to begin to get again to regular,” UK well being minister Matt Hancock mentioned at this time. It isn’t but clear how lengthy any immunity generated by coronavirus vaccines would possibly final.  

COVAX – a world coronavirus vaccine allocation coalition with the World Well being Group – has been working to discourage governments from hoarding vaccines and make sure the most weak teams in every nation are vaccinated first. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is already a part of COVAX, which goals to distribute about 2 billion doses to 92 low- and middle-income international locations at a most worth of $3 per dose. In a assertion at this time, AstraZeneca mentioned it’ll search an emergency use itemizing from the WHO to speed up entry to its vaccine candidate in low-income international locations. 

Different coronavirus information

UK prime minister Boris Johnson introduced extra particulars about England’s deliberate return to a three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions, after the nationwide lockdown ends on 2 December. Parliament will vote on the plan later this week. Underneath the brand new system, extra areas shall be positioned within the greater tiers in comparison with earlier than the present nationwide lockdown. On Thursday, the federal government will affirm which areas will fall below which tiers. This shall be based mostly on evaluation of instances amongst all age teams, notably these above 60, in addition to the speed at which instances are rising and falling and the present and projected strain on the NHS within the area, Johnson instructed parliament at this time, which is in keeping with recommendation from the federal government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies. Johnson additionally revealed plans for a programme of mass testing, much like that which befell as a part of a pilot in Liverpool, to be rolled out in all tier-three areas in England after the lockdown ends. Johnson mentioned speedy coronavirus assessments are already being deployed within the NHS and in care houses, with the objective of permitting each care house resident to have two guests who will be examined twice every week by the top of the 12 months. 

Covid-19 hospitalisations proceed to surge within the US, with a brand new file of 83,870 folks hospitalised with the illness within the nation on Sunday. There have been studies of crowding in US airports forward of Thanksgiving this week, regardless of the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention just lately warning in opposition to journey for the nationwide vacation. Senior US well being adviser Anthony Fauci warned yesterday that spikes in instances wouldn’t develop into evident till weeks after Thanksgiving. He instructed CBS this might create a “very troublesome” scenario as winter approaches.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.39 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 58.8 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Odds of dying: Through the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the an infection fatality charge – what number of contaminated folks die – might have been 1 per cent for high-income international locations with older populations.

Hurdles to ending the pandemic: Promising early outcomes from vaccine trials provide hope of defeating covid-19, however vaccines could also be much less efficient in the true world and other people’s security considerations might hamper take-up.

Graffiti showing a person wearing personal protective equipment and holding a syringe in their gloved hand on the wall, with a person walking in front of it.

Hope of a future coronavirus vaccine, in Paris, France

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20 November

NHS England’s draft plan goals for widespread vaccination of adults by begin of April

A draft of NHS England’s plan for the roll-out of a coronavirus vaccine goals for widespread vaccination of all prepared adults in England by early April, if enough doses and different essential provides can be found. Underneath NHS England’s draft covid-19 vaccine deployment programme, which was outlined in a leaked doc dated 13 November seen by HSJ, most doses of the potential vaccine can be administered between early January and mid-March, at a charge of between 4 and 5 million every week. The vaccinations would happen at 1000’s of “neighborhood mass vaccination websites” organized by native GPs, with further “massive scale mass vaccination centres” in stadiums and convention centres. Precedence shall be given to healthcare staff and care house residents who would begin to be vaccinated in early December, adopted by folks aged 80 and above, these of their seventies and people of their late sixties. Adults below 50 might begin getting vaccines late January, with the bulk vaccinated in March. The draft plan depends on greater than 7 million doses of a vaccine being out there in December. The doc doesn’t point out which vaccine shall be used, and it’s not identified what number of doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines shall be out there by then. The doc additionally consists of little or no element about how the NHS will surmount the numerous logistical issues with delivering vaccines that require strict temperature-controlled provide chains.

US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and German firm BioNTech mentioned they utilized to the US Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) at this time for emergency use authorisation for his or her coronavirus vaccine candidate within the US. This week, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was discovered to be 95 per cent efficient in section III scientific trials. The UK authorities has pre-ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccines, and just lately secured an preliminary settlement with US pharmaceutical firm Moderna for 5 million doses of their vaccine candidate, which preliminary outcomes point out is sort of 95 per cent efficient. 

Different coronavirus information

Coronavirus infections in England could also be levelling off, in keeping with the newest outcomes of a random swab testing survey by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics. Estimated every day new infections in England decreased barely to 38,900 new instances per day throughout the week ending 14 November, in comparison with 47,700 throughout the earlier week. “These numbers can be the primary the place we’d hope to see the nationwide lockdown starting to influence,” mentioned James Naismith on the College of Oxford in a assertion. “We all know that social restrictions are the best approach to convey down the variety of new infections.”

The World Well being Group has suggested that Ebola therapy remdesivir shouldn’t be utilized in folks hospitalised with covid-19. The FDA accredited remdesivir to be used in folks over 12 who’re hospitalised with covid-19 final month. “The trials reported up to now have proven no influence of remdesivir on survival,” mentioned Martin Landray on the College of Oxford in a assertion. “This can be a drug that needs to be given by intravenous infusion for five to 10 days and prices round £2000 per course. So remdesivir isn’t low cost, it’s not handy, and it has no influence on the mortality among the many folks at highest danger.”

Private protecting tools ordered by the UK authorities might have come from factories utilizing North Korean slave labour, the Guardian reported.

The US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention suggested folks within the US to not journey for the upcoming Thanksgiving vacation.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.36 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 57.1 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

Pedestrians pass festive lights on Oxford Street in London, UK

Pedestrians cross festive lights on Oxford Avenue in London, UK

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg by way of Getty Photographs

19 November

‘Substantial dangers’ with socialising over Christmas, warns UK science adviser

Individuals mixing from completely different households throughout the Christmas interval poses “substantial dangers”, notably for older people who find themselves extra weak to extreme covid-19, a scientist advising the UK authorities has warned. Socialising throughout the holidays is prone to end in elevated contact between youthful generations “with excessive incidence of an infection”, and older folks, mentioned Andrew Hayward at College School London, who’s a member of the federal government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies. “My private view is we’re placing far an excessive amount of emphasis on having a near-normal Christmas,” Hayward instructed BBC Radio 4. “We all know respiratory infections peak in January so throwing gasoline on the fireplace over Christmas can solely contribute to this.” England entered a four-week nationwide lockdown on 8 November, which is because of finish on 2 December. Subsequent week, the UK authorities is predicted to set out proposals for alleviating restrictions in December.

The town of Hull presently has the highest an infection charge in England at 751 per 100,000 folks, in comparison with 274 per 100,000 throughout England as a complete. Native MPs have requested the UK authorities for assist, together with assist from the navy to hold out mass testing within the metropolis. Final week, the navy was deployed to assist the NHS with mass testing in Liverpool. The federal government mentioned its coronavirus process drive would focus on response measures with leaders in Hull. 

Different coronavirus information

Preliminary outcomes counsel an arthritis drug might enhance outcomes in extreme covid-19. The findings, which haven’t but been printed or peer-reviewed, point out that critically sick covid-19 sufferers handled with Roche’s anti-inflammation drug Actemra usually tend to survive after being admitted to hospital for covid-19. The drug, additionally referred to as tocilizumab, is considered one of a number of being evaluated as a part of the REMAP-CAP trial, led within the UK by researchers at Imperial School London and the Intensive Care Nationwide Audit & Analysis Centre. Different research have proven blended outcomes on the effectiveness of tocilizumab in covid-19 sufferers, mentioned Athimalaipet Ramanan on the College of Bristol in a assertion

The Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine candidate is secure and induces an immune response in folks of their 60s and 70s, in keeping with outcomes from a section II trial printed within the Lancet. The outcomes are based mostly on a examine in 560 volunteers. The findings are important, as a result of the danger of extreme covid-19 will increase with age. Information from on-going section III trials will reveal whether or not the vaccine candidate can forestall folks from turning into sick with covid-19.

The variety of covid-19 sufferers in US hospitals has doubled prior to now month, with new file every day numbers of hospitalisations reported daily this week. Nearly 77,000 folks have been hospitalised with the covid-19 within the US as of Tuesday and greater than 250,000 folks have died from the illness within the nation because the begin of its epidemic.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide covid-19 dying toll has handed 1.35 million. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 56.4 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances shall be a lot greater.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Getting a vaccine to the world: As soon as a coronavirus vaccine is accredited, the race is on to beat the largest logistics problem in historical past to distribute it across the globe.

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