Coronavirus: The 9 major developments that happened on Wednesday

Rebecca C. Taylor
·2 min read

Watch: Boris Johnson attends PMQs virtually as he self-isolates

Here’s what you need to know on 18 November. This article was updated at 4.30pm.

Deaths: Scotland has recorded 54 more deaths in the last 24 hours. There were 41 in Wales and 11 in Northern Ireland. The UK as a whole has recorded another 529 deaths. Read more here.

Figures showing the UK COVID death toll passing 52,000 have been branded “shocking” by a government adviser. Dr Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of Sage, reacted to data showing another 598 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, bringing the UK total to 52,745. Read more here.

Christmas: A top government coronavirus adviser has said a family Christmas is possible if people are “careful” in the next few weeks. However Alok Sharma, the business secretary, has said it’s too soon to make plans. Read more here.

Vaccine: US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which is partnering with vaccine-developer BioNTech, said their vaccine in trials appears to protect 94% of people over 65-years-old. It said its data indicated that their mRNA vaccine works equally well across all ethnicities and races of people. Read more here.

Immunity to coronavirus could last eight months according to a new study. Scientists at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, part of the University of San Diego found evidence the immune memory could last months, and even years, in the largest study of its kind. Read more here.

Hospitals: The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital in three of the seven NHS regions in England have passed levels recorded at the peak of the first wave of the virus, figures show. North-west England, north-east England and Yorkshire, and south-west England have all recorded more patients in hospital than in the first wave in the Spring. Read more here.

Politics: Boris Johnson attended Prime Minister’s Questions virtually after being told to self-isolate because he came into contact with someone who had a positive COVID-19 test. His was negative but he will complete the isolation period. Read more here.

Dido Harding, the head of Test and Trace, is in self-isolation after her own app alerted her to contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. She said she was feeling well. Read more here.

Health: People are being advised to open their windows this winter to help decrease the risk of catching coronavirus. Fresh air can reduce the risk of infection by 70% according to the Department of Health. Read more here.

Coronavirus: what happened today

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