World Covid cases 'getting out of control', minister says

06:25  09 october  2020
06:25  09 october  2020 Source:   bbc.com

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Coronavirus is getting " out of control " in the north of England, a minister has said , as she defended government plans to bring in new restrictions. Gillian Keegan, minister for skills and apprenticeships, said the country was in an "unbelievably serious situation".

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Coronavirus is "getting out of control" in the north of England, a minister has said, as she defended government plans to bring in new restrictions.

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Gillian Keegan, minister for skills and apprenticeships, said the country was in an "unbelievably serious situation".

But she acknowledged that communication with areas facing new measures needed to be clearer.

It comes as Sir Keir Starmer called for local leaders to be "in the room" and included in local lockdown decisions.

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Health Minister Robin Swann said those people not following guidelines were giving a "two-fingered salute" to everyone else, while Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride had strong words about "armchair experts" who are "peddling mistruths" by saying Covid -19 is just the flu.

The country has stopped community transmission of Covid -19, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says . But officials have warned against complacency, saying it does not mean a total end to new coronavirus cases . The news came hours before New Zealand moved out of its toughest level of social restrictions.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the Labour leader accused the government of "operating under the misguided, arrogant and counterproductive view that 'Whitehall knows best'".

North 'levelled down'

A tiered system of measures for England is set to be announced within days, in an effort to stall rising infection rates.

Under the new system, pubs and restaurants could be closed in the worst-affected areas, while a ban on overnight stays is also being considered.

But there has been growing anger among MPs and local leaders about the way the government has communicated the proposed changes with them.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham accused the government of treating the north of England with "contempt" after he learned ministers were considering shutting hospitality venues in the worst-affected areas in a newspaper report.

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The health ministry said another 31,553 confirmed cases of Covid -19 had been reported, taking First minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a nationwide ban on drinking indoors in licensed Thanks to one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, the government managed to get the virus under

Naturally, the number of cases detected will be higher than in spring," he said . He noted that when evaluating the COVID -19 to display wave-shaped dynamics until 2025, says expert. Aliyev announced on Sunday that Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces had taken under control Jabrayil [Mehakavan

Mr Burnham said he would challenge the closure of pubs, bars and restaurants if the measure did not come with financial support.

He told BBC's Question Time: "The message I've given to the government is a pretty clear one - there can be no restrictions without support.

"And if it's going to be the tier three restrictions - effectively a national lockdown - we have to go back to a full furlough scheme for those staff, support for those businesses, otherwise the north of England is going to be levelled down this winter and I won't accept it."

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In response, Gillian Keegan said the government had to act to stem the rise in cases.

"This is serious - it is getting out of control, and we have to do something to bring it back under control," she said.

But she acknowledged that communication with the worst-hit areas needed to improve.

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"We definitely need to work locally and we definitely need to make sure that the communications are much clearer.

"I do agree with you, Andy, it's probably very frustrating if leaks are made or there is speculation in the press, and I don't know which of those it is.

"But clearly we have to do something if we're going to bring those cases back under control."

'Chaos and unfairness'

In his Telegraph article, Sir Keir said the government had "lost control of the virus" and urged ministers to "get a grip".

"It was an act of gross irresponsibility for anonymous No 10 sources to tell a few newspapers on Thursday about plans to impose further restrictions on millions of people, without any detail, without any consultation and without any statement from the prime minister.

"This has significantly added to the sense of confusion, chaos and unfairness in the approach that is being taken."

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Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the country was facing a "perilous moment" in the pandemic, with cases continuing to rise.

There were 17,540 new cases of coronavirus recorded in the UK on Thursday, up from the 14,162 reported the day before, government data showed. A further 77 people died after testing positive for the virus within 28 days.

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New cases , now reported in Sweden only from Tuesday to Friday, are running at roughly the rate seen in late-March Thirteen Covid -19 patients are in intensive care in Swedish hospitals, and its seven-day average The minister for social affairs, Lena Hallengren, said : “It is a risk when we lift the ban.

With Covid -19 cases rising, Moscow speculation says extreme measures imminent. “I have not heard that there were any discussions on this issue,” Peskov said , urging journalists to pose their questions directly to the mayor's office, which “works very transparently.”

Mr Hancock said the situation was becoming "very serious", and that he was most concerned about parts of Yorkshire, the North West and North East of England, as well as areas of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Fears have been raised that NHS services could be overwhelmed if the virus gets out of control.

NHS England data published on Thursday showed the number of people waiting more than a year to start hospital treatment is at its highest level since 2008 - with some 111,026 people waiting more than 52 weeks to start hospital treatment in August.

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Prof John Edmunds, a member of the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said the virus was "holding a gun" to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's head over the restrictions being introduced.

The nation faces an anxious wait to see the full impact on the NHS, he said.

"In the north of England now, we are not that far away from the health service being stretched.

"Because even if we turn the epidemic around now, infections that occur today won't go to hospital for another week or two," he said.

Dr Stephen Griffin, associate professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds, said the increase in cases should "serve as a warning to the government to take further action without delay".

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"It is clear that the consequences of not suppressing infections sufficiently over the summer may be severe if we cannot get on top of this increase," he said.

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In other developments:

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  Covid cases 'getting out of control', minister says © BBC
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  Covid cases 'getting out of control', minister says © BBC

London to move into Tier 2 lockdown - millions to be banned from mixing indoors .
London will face Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions from Saturday. It means millions in the capital will be banned from meeting people from other households indoors, whether that's in their home or in a pub.Londoners have also been advised to avoid public transport and reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. © Thomson Reuters People walk during the morning rush hour in the Canary Wharf amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London Britain, October 15, 2020.

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