With a second wave of coronavirus infections in the UK looming in the horizon, several areas in England – including Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire – are entering the harshest tier of new lockdown restrictions this weekend.
Moving into tier 2 are Slough, Stoke-on-Trent and Coventry, who face new rules including a ban on mixing between households indoors. They join a number of major cities, namely Newcastle, London, Nottingham and Birmingham.
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More than half of the British public do not “fully understand” the current coronavirus lockdown rules in their local areas, a survey has found.
Researchers at University College London found that just 13 per cent of adults in England felt they fully understood the current rules, with half saying they understand most of the restrictions.
There is slight improvement in Wales, where 15 per cent “fully understand” and 62 per cent understanding “majority” of the rules. In Scotland, 15 per cent of adults “fully understand” and 66 per cent understand “the majority” of measures currently in place.
The findings were revealed in the ongoing UCL Covid-19 Social Study, which is the UK’s largest study into how British people feel about the lockdown, advice and their overall wellbeing and mental health. More than 70,000 people have participated in the study, which has continued for the past 30 weeks.
Over 100 inspectors at the Care Quality Commission – almost one-10th of its inspection workforce – have been forced into self-isolation since March.
The watchdog released the figures as ministers continue to deny its inspection teams regular testing. According to the Department of Health and Social Care, inspectors do not get close enough to vulnerable residents to warrant regular testing.
It comes as the CQC is due to launch 500 care home inspections over the next six weeks. It confirmed to The Independent that since March, 225 staff had self-isolated because of concerns they may be at risk of catching the virus.
Out of the 225 staff, 103 who self-isolated were inspectors. In total, 11 staff at the regulator tested positive for the virus, with six being inspectors.
UN chief Antonio Guterres has said it is “very frustrating” that leaders of the 20 major industrialised nations failed to come together in March to establish a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic as he proposed.
instead, they went their own ways as the virus proliferated “every way, everywhere”, he said in an interview with the Associated Press ahead of a Group of 20 summit next month.
Mr Guterres said he hopes the international community now understands “they need to be much more coordinated in fighting the virus”.
He recalled that in March, during a G20 meeting, he urged leaders to take up a “wartime” plan, including a stimulus package “in the trillions of dollars” for businesses, workers and households in developing countries and “a task force to have a combined effort to defeat the virus”.
remdesivir-coronavirus-drug-fda-covid-vaccine-b1236098.html">Remdesivir becomes first coronavirus drug to get FDA approval
Remdesivir is the first antiviral medicine to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which signed off on it on Thursday.
The drug was authorised to be used in case of emergency since early in the pandemic but is the first treatment to win full approval from the US regulator.
It was used to treat US president Donald Trump after he contracted Covid-19 earlier this month and was hospitalised at the Walter Reed Medical Centre.
A recent WHO study showed that the drug has “little or no affect” on the mortality rate of patients hospitalised with Covid.
Pubs, bars and restaurants have praised the £13bn package of support unveiled by the chancellor on Thursday, which includes changes to the furlough repalacement scheme, help for the self-employed and grants for businesses affected by local lockdowns.
Mr Sunak told the House of Commons he was acting in response to the “profound economic uncertainty” businesses have found themselves in as the changing lockdown restrictions hit them hard.
But opponents and experts are questioning why more was not done sooner to prevent thousands of job losses, after weeks of sustained pressure from ministers and business groups.