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Covid UK news – live: Winter plan for ‘masks and social distancing for 5 years’, as medics fear 19 July spike

UK Covid-19 vaccinations: Latest figures

Plans drawn up by health officials could see masks and social distancing continue in England for the next five years, according to reports.

Under these contingency plans, ministers would be able to pick which restrictions might be needed for the winter months in the event of future outbreaks, said The Daily Mirror.

The draft blueprint includes a menu of options, including make face-masks mandatory and bringing back social distancing, as well as working from home and putting limits on numbers at indoor gatherings.

Mandatory mask and social distancing restrictions are due to come to an end in England on 19 July, but hospital bosses fear the reopening date will lead to a new spike in admissions.

“Trust leaders are increasingly confident that vaccines are breaking the chain between infections, serious illness and deaths,” said Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers.

“But they are understandably nervous about what a wholesale lifting of restrictions on 19 July could mean for the NHS.”

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Contingency winter plans ‘could see masks and social distancing for the next five years’

Under these contingency plans, ministers would be able to pick which restrictions might be needed for the winter months in the event of future outbreaks, said The Daily Mirror.

The draft blueprint includes a menu of options, including make face-masks mandatory and bringing back social distancing, as well as working from home and putting limits on numbers at indoor gatherings.

Officials believe the plan could help prevent another full lockdown once enough people have receive two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Leonie Chao-Fong2 July 2021 07:59
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India sends teams to six states reporting high number of Covid cases

The Indian government has sent teams to six states which are reporting an increased number of Covid-19 infections. The two-member teams will have a clinician and a public health expert.

The teams will support the states in their efforts for targeted Covid response and management, the health ministry said.

Akshita Jain2 July 2021 07:31
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COVAX urges countries to recognise WHO-approved vaccines

The UN-backed COVAX has urged all national and local governments to recognise people who have been inoculated with WHO-approved jabs as “fully vaccinated” when making travel decisions.

This comes after reports that those vaccinated with Covishield — Indian-made version of AstraZeneca — will not be eligible for the EU’s green pass because it’s not one of the vaccines recognised by the European Medicines Agency yet. At least eight EU countries have subsequently approved Covishield, according to reports.

Akshita Jain2 July 2021 07:02
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Johnson & Johnson says its vaccine is effective against Delta variant

Johnson & Johnson has said its single-shot Covid-19 vaccine protects against the Delta variant that was first detected in India and has now spread to at least 96 countries.

The company said that data showed the durability of the immune response lasted through at least eight months.

It said that a single dose of its vaccine generated neutralising antibodies against a range of coronavirus variants of concern — including Delta — which increased over time.

Akshita Jain2 July 2021 06:32
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India’s Covid death toll crosses 400,000

Half of the 400,000 deaths were reported during the second wave of the pandemic that overwhelmed India’s healthcare system, according to Reuters. Its tally also showed the last 100,000 were added in just 39 days.

With 46,617 new cases, India’s overall caseload now stands at 30.45 million.

Akshita Jain2 July 2021 06:03
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WHO says Delta plus not yet a ‘variant of concern’

The World Health Organisation has said that Delta plus — a mutation in the Delta variant of Covid-19 which was first identified in India — is not currently a “variant of concern” because of lower number of cases.

The Indian government, however, has classified Delta plus as a “variant of concern,” citing its increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells and potential post vaccination immune escape.

The government said 51 cases of the new variant have been detected in India, and it has been found in at least 12 other countries so far.

Akshita Jain2 July 2021 05:38
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Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic for Friday 02 July, 2021.

Akshita Jain2 July 2021 05:15