Coronavirus news latest – Calls to delay June 21 lockdown lift as UK sees 3000 new Covid cases in 24 hours

THE 'reopening' of Britain should be delayed for "several weeks" as the Indian variant rages on, according to an expert.

A further 3,383 more people tested positive for the killer bug on Monday, according to the figures released by the government – the fifth day in a row daily infections have topped 3,000.

It means the number of infections has increased by 40% after 2,439 cases were recorded this time last week.

The spread of the more transmissible Indian variant has cast fresh doubt over whether June 21 can go ahead – despite the success of the vaccination programme. 

Asked about whether the unlocking was likely to go ahead, Professor Adam Finn, from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “What we've done wrong in the past is left it too late and delayed making decisions, ultimately pushed them back and then ended up with large waves of infection.

"This time around, we should be cautious, wait to see what's happening, and then let everyone free, if you like, once we know for sure that that's safe and that we can do that without having another round of lockdowns and so on.”

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest news and updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    REFUGEE WHO WORKS ON NHS FRONTLINE HITS OUT AT PRITI PATEL'S IMMIGRATION PLANS

    An NHS worker who has spent the pandemic helping save lives on a Covid-19 ward says Priti Patel's immigration plans will see refugees like her turned away from the UK.

    Mariam, from Eritrea, is determined to help people and has been working exhausting 12-hour shifts in a Leeds hospital assisting coronavirus patients, sometimes four days in a row.

    But figures released on Tuesday suggest two in every three women and children that the UK would accept as refugees now would be turned away in future under proposed new Government rules, campaigners say.

    Coalition group Together With Refugees is calling for a more effective, fair and humane approach to the UK's asylum system.

    The Home Office said the figures released by the group "wrongly conflate" refugees with people arriving via an "illegal route".

  • Joseph Gamp

    WATCH: BORIS JOHNSON SAYS HE DOESN'T BELIEVE COVID-19 ESCAPED FROM LAB BUT INSISTS HE'LL 'KEEP AN OPEN MIND'

    Boris Johnson says he doesn’t believe COVID-19 escaped from lab but insists he’ll ‘keep an open mind’

  • Joseph Gamp

    MORE THAN 15,000 TURN UP FOR VACCINES AT TWICKENHAM WITH QUEUES ‘LONGER THAN GLASTO’

    MORE than 15,000 people turned up for jabs at Twickenham Stadium today after a vaccine free-for-all for anyone over 18.

    Queues at the London rugby stadium were "longer than Glastonbury" as tens of thousands of young people turned up in the hopes of getting their first shot.

    Images taken today show visitors waiting patiently for the one-time-only event as temperatures soared to 25C today.

    Anyone under the age of 30 was invited to come along for a jab as health chiefs tried to shift doses to meet targets. It sparked a late rush to the stadium this evening as many Brits not yet on the NHS list for vaccinations tried to get inoculated.

    However, volunteers doling out jabs have been forced to turn people away.

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    MAPPED: THE HUNT FOR CHINA'S 'PATIENT SU'

  • Joseph Gamp

    XI JINPING ‘COULD BE OVERTHROWN’ IF WUHAN LAB LEAK IS PROVEN

    CHINA'S leader could be overthrown if scientists proved Covid escaped from a Wuhan lab, a health chief has claimed. Rumours the deadly virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology have swirled since the crisis began.

    But if evidence for the claims was ever found, Xi Jinping could be toppled and world leaders would demand unprecedented reparations, a leading World Health Organisation (WHO) adviser says.

    Jamie Metzl spoke days after it was revealed British spies are looking into the theory – and consider it "feasible", telling LBC: "In China, if it was absolutely proven, I think there is a real chance Xi Jinping could be overthrown.

    "There would be claims for reparations around the world against China. It would be a massive geopolitical blow to that country. Just think of the anger of everyone around the world who has lost a spouse, a child, parents, would feel.

    "Not just at the original mistake, but the criminal cover-up afterwards."

  • Joseph Gamp

    COVID-19 NEWS ROUND-UP: THE LATEST

    • Indian variant cases diagnosed in Bolton have fallen more than 10 per cent in four days after health chiefs deployed surge testing
    • Brit spies are ‘recruiting Chinese whistleblowers on the darkweb’ for intel on fears Covid leaked from a Wuhan lab
    • Fully-vaccinated people who catch Covid may STILL be able pass on variants, it's feared
    • Half of adults in the UK will have been vaccinated with both jabs by the end of the week
    • NHS staff ‘to be legally required to have the jab’ under Government plans to crack down on transmission in hospitals

    BRITS IN INDIAN VARIANT HOTSPOTS ‘TO GET 2ND JAB SOONER’

    The NHS is being urged to speed up the coronavirus vaccine roll out and try to give as many second doses as soon as possible as the spread of the Indian variant accelerates. 

    Officials have told all staff in charge of administering the jabs that second doses for over 50s should be brought forward, from 12 weeks to eight weeks, but the delay for under 50s would remain at 12 weeks.

    But some people in their late 40s and early 50s are now being invited for their second jab after just six weeks, the i reports.

    The government’s plan to lift all restrictions by June 21 is reportedly “on a knife edge” due to the rapid spread of the indian variant. 

    Sources claim that the government is urging vaccination centres with sufficient supply to accelerate the roll out of the jabs

    SIR CAPTAIN TOM MOORE DONATED HIS BODY TO SCIENCE – REPORTS

    Captain Sir Tom Moore donated his body to science after his death, according to reports.

    The twinkly-eyed fundraiser, who died aged 100 in February, raised over £38.9million to NHS Charities Together.

    Details of the former Army officer’s legacy have now been revealed in official probate documents.

    They set out how his £73,400 estate should be split equally between daughters Hannah, 50, and 52-year-old Lucy.

    And in a final, selfless gesture he ordered his body be offered for medical research or even organ transplants. Captain Tom, who was knighted in May last year, passed away after a battle with Covid.

    GRAPHIC: COVID VACCINATIONS IN THE UK TO DATE (MAY 31)

    • Joseph Gamp

      COVID UK: ONLY 1 DEATH RECORDED IN 24 HOURS BUT 3,383 MORE CASES AMID FEARS JUNE 21 FREEDOM

      THE UK has seen just one new coronavirus death reported in the last 24 hours – while cases have risen 40% in a week as the Indian Covid variant continues to spread.

      A further 3,383 more people have tested positive for the killer bug, according to the figures released by the government.

      It means the number of infections has increased by 40% after 2,439 cases were recorded this time last week. And today is the fifth day in a row daily infections have topped 3,000.

      The one death reported today occurred in Scotland, while England, Wales and Northern Ireland reported zero fatalities.

      As a whole the UK has seen a total of 4,487,339 cases and 127,782 deaths over the course of the pandemic.

      Read more here.

    • Joseph Gamp

      SHOCKING MOMENT COVID VICTIM’S CORPSE IS DUMPED INTO A RIVER IN INDIA FROM A BRIDGE

      Shocking moment Covid victim’s corpse is dumped into a river in India from a bridge

    • Joseph Gamp

      UK COULD MAKE COVID-19 JABS COMPULSORY IN HEALTHCARE, MINISTER SAYS

      The British government is thinking about making COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for healthcare workers to stop the spread of the virus in hospitals, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday.

      “It would be incumbent on any responsible government to have the debate, to do the thinking as to how we go about protecting the most vulnerable by making sure that those who look after them are vaccinated,” he told Sky News.

      “There is precedent for this; obviously surgeons get vaccinated for hepatitis B. So it’s something that we are absolutely thinking about.”

    • Joseph Gamp

      GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

    • Hana Carter

      TENS OF THOUSANDS FLEW INTO THE UK FROM INDIA IN APRIL

      The UK welcomed tens of thousands of people who flew in from India in April – it was put on the red travel list the same month.

      The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has released updated figures which show that 42,406 passengers travelled between the UK and India.

      Unfortunately it didn’t give details of how many flew each way.

      Those returning from red list countries have to quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days upon returning to the UK.

    • Hana Carter

      CHINA’S ‘COVID COVER-UP’

      It is crucial that the West gets to the bottom of China’s Covid cover-up, urges the Sun on Sunday.

      It adds: “Explosive new evidence suggests the virus was created in a lab and researchers used science to hide their tracks.

      “The toothless World Health Organisation was led on a merry dance by the Communist regime and came away with nothing from its Wuhan investigation.

      “But these highly disturbing new findings have emerged just as American President Joe Biden has ordered a fresh probe. Western experts are increasingly suspicious that Covid escaped from the lab in what would be one of history’s most terrible scientific blunders.

      “But it would be far worse if the Chinese deliberately deceived the world by manipulating the bug to conceal its origins. If proven, that would be an outrageous crime against humanity. More than 3million have died in the pandemic and economies destroyed.”

    • Hana Carter

      INDIAN COVID VARIANT SPREADING IN VIETNAM

      Fears are growing that a rampant hybrid of the UK and Indian Covid variant is spreading in Vietnam after officials locked down a city of nine million.

      Authorities plan to test every resident in Ho Chi Minh – at a reported rate of 100,000 per day – as it imposed more restrictions today to deal with the outbreak.

      People in the city are only allowed to leave home for necessary activities and public gatherings of more than 10 people are banned for the next two weeks, the government said.

      Prior to the order, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam's largest city and economic hub, shut down non-essential business last Thursday when cases started to increase.

      Since the end of April, a surge in Covid has spread to 31 areas in Vietnam with over 4,000 cases, almost double the total number that the country reported since the beginning of the pandemic.

    • Hana Carter


      BRITS IN INDIAN VARIANT HOTSPOTS ‘TO GET 2ND JAB SOONER’

      The NHS is being urged to speed up the coronavirus vaccine roll out and try to give as many second doses as soon as possible as the spread of the Indian variant accelerates. 

      Officials have told all staff in charge of administering the jabs that second doses for over 50s should be brought forward, from 12 weeks to eight weeks, but the delay for under 50s would remain at 12 weeks.

      But some people in their late 40s and early 50s are now being invited for their second jab after just six weeks, the i reports.

      The government’s plan to lift all restrictions by June 21 is reportedly “on a knife edge” due to the rapid spread of the indian variant. 

      Sources claim that the government is urging vaccination centres with sufficient supply to accelerate the roll out of the jabs

    • Hana Carter

      CAPTAIN TOM MOORE DONATED HIS BODY TO SCIENCE

      Captain Sir Tom Moore donated his body to science after his death, according to reports.

      The twinkly-eyed fundraiser, who died aged 100 in February, raised over £38.9million to NHS Charities Together.

      Details of the former Army officer’s legacy have now been revealed in official probate documents.

      They set out how his £73,400 estate should be split equally between daughters Hannah, 50, and 52-year-old Lucy.

      And in a final, selfless gesture he ordered his body be offered for medical research or even organ transplants.

      Captain Tom, who was knighted in May last year, passed away after a battle with Covid.

    • Hana Carter

      APPRENTICE STAR SLAMMED OVER QUARANTINE CLAIMS

      GOOD Morning viewers were left outraged this morning as a former Apprentice wannabe revealed she wouldn’t quarantine after going on holiday to an amber country.

      Bushra Shaikh, who appeared on the show in 2017, was branded “totally irresponsible” by host Adil Ray during the heated debate.

      Currently those going on holiday to a country on the amber list legally most quarantine when returning to the UK, but Bushra insisted she wasn’t going to. 

      She appeared alongside NHS palliative care doctor, Rachel Clarke, who was also horrified by her comments and pointed out she could spread Covid when she got back.

      Adil added:  "Your selfishness could cause people to die."

    • Hana Carter

      CHINA RAGES OVER WUHAN LAB LEAK PROBE

      China has raged that the Wuhan lab Covid leak probe will be like the "US finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq" and warned the West faces its "Waterloo".

      An editorial published by Communist Party-run Global Times claims the American government is "full of arrogance" and blasts the theory that Covid-19 emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan.

      The attack comes after Joe Biden last week announced a review of the Covid lab leak theory.

      The US president said the intelligence community will "redouble their efforts" to discover the origins of the Covid outbreak and report back to him within 90 days.

      China hit back at the announcement, with foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian saying Biden is not interested in "serious" scientific origin tracing and doesn't care about "facts or truth".

    • Hana Carter

      PLANS FOR COVID PASSPORT TO BE SCRAPPED

      The Government is reportedly ditching plans for Covid passports – after months of debate on whether Brits would need them to watch the football or visit a pub.

      Top officials on the Covid-19 taskforce believe there's no chance the law will be changed to mandate their use within the UK, although ministers are yet to make the final call.

      If the scheme is given the green light, Brits could be forced to produce evidence of a jab, a negative test or Covid antibodies to get into big events like concerts or sports matches.

      It's understood that, whatever the decision is for crowds, the idea has been jettisoned altogether for boozers and restaurants.

      And one 'well-placed' source told The Telegraph the idea is dead in the water.

    • Hana Carter

      UK COULD MAKE COVID-19 JABS COMPULSORY IN HEALTHCARE, MINISTER SAYS

      The British government is thinking about making COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for healthcare workers to stop the spread of the virus in hospitals, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday.

      “It would be incumbent on any responsible government to have the debate, to do the thinking as to how we go about protecting the most vulnerable by making sure that those who look after them are vaccinated,” he told Sky News.

      “There is precedent for this; obviously surgeons get vaccinated for hepatitis B. So it’s something that we are absolutely thinking about.”

    • Hana Carter

      50 PER CENT OF BRITS DON’T SUPPORT JUNE 21 RESTRICTION LIFTING

      Nearly 50 per cent of Brits don’t want all Covid restrictions lifted on June 21, according to a poll.

      The survey for i news by Redfield and Wilton Strategies found:

      • 49% are against plans to fully reopen the country on June 21
      • 34% in favour of step four of the roadmap to remove all legal limits on social contact and an end to working from home on June 21
      • 55% will continue wearing a mask outside home even after all Covid restrictions are lifted

      SECOND JABS FOR OVER 50S

      HEALTH chiefs will offer second jabs to all over-50s in the coming weeks to try and ensure the UK can throw off its final lockdown restrictions in June.

      There are just three weeks to go until the final stage of Boris Johnson's roadmap to freedom – but it's feared the date could be pushed back amid fears over the spread of the Indian mutation.

      So far, just two people who have received both jabs are known to have died of the variant, which is responsible for up to three-quarters of new infections in the UK.

      And with confidence in the vaccination growing, Government officials now want everyone over the age of 50 to have been offered their second jab by June 21, the Times reports.

      BRITAIN ON A KNIFE EDGE

      Government adviser tells sunbathing Brits to follow social distancing rules as the UK is on a ‘knife edge’.

      Today is expected to ring the warmest weather of the year so far with highs of 25C.

      But as many flock to the UK’s beaches and beauty spots, the country’s top scientists have warned the next two week are crucial for the way out of the pandemic.

      Susan Michie, a professor of health psychology at University College London who sits on government advisory group Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B)​, told Sky News: “We’re on a knife-edge.

      “We could go either way with this new variant.

      “Either it could run away as it did before Christmas, which would be extremely serious and we’d have to have more restrictions, or potentially it could be contained. But that does mean everybody needs to be cautious right now.

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