Bangladesh secures 17.5m more vaccines
Bangladesh’s health minister said today that the country had secured an additional 17.5m vaccine doses, amid record coronavirus deaths and over a million cases.
The country, which has a population of 169 million, has been under strict lockdown for two weeks with troops on the streets to stop people going outdoors.
Zahid Maleque said it had procured 4.5m new jabs and was expecting 6m from Covax and 5m from China, reports AFP. To date only 5.8million people have been vaccinated.
“We think that in coming days there will be no shortage of the vaccine,” he said. “Our aim is to gradually vaccinate some 80 percent of the people.”
A record 212 people died in Bangladesh on Friday bringing the country’s total number of deaths to over 16,000– a figure experts say is actually at least five times lower than the true toll.
Scotland records 7 deaths and 2,190 new cases
Seven people have died and 2,190 new people have been infected with coronavirus in Scotland in the past 24 hours.
The latest figures from the Scottish government show the daily test positivity rate is at 9% with 435 people are in hospital.
Fifth of staff could be absent from one NHS trust within 3 weeks
A fifth of staff could be absent from one NHS trust in England within three weeks from now, a representative organisation has warned, due in part to staff having to self-isolate amid rising coronavirus infections.
NHS Providers, a membership organisation of NHS trusts in England, said the staff shortage, also caused by people taking annual leave delayed by the pandemic, could lead to 900 operations being cancelled. It declined to name the trust.
They also warned that an increasing number of trusts have alerted them to their concerns in recent days about how the need for staff, the majority of whom are vaccinated, to self-isolate is “significantly impacting their ability to deliver care”.
Chris Hopson, the organisation’s chief executive, said: “Covid-19 infection rates are rising rapidly, with the Secretary of State predicting 100,000 cases a day. This will mean the number of staff having to self-isolate will continue to rise if current procedures are kept in place.”
The government said last night that NHS staff could be exempt from having to self-isolate if they are “pinged” by the Covid app.
Hopson said the government is taking the right approach, but called for “urgent decisions” to be taken as NHS trusts face “rapidly growing pressures”.
The organiser of an illegal house party of 100 people in the UK has been fined £10,000 for breaking Covid laws.
Police in Essex, England were called to the unlicensed event near Brentwood at around 10.35pm last night.
Officers also fined 39 people £200 each for breaching coronavirus restrictions, which are expected to be removed in the UK on 19 July.
Detective Superintendent Jon Burgess said:
This event was a clear and blatant breach of the government’s Covid-19 regulations so it was absolutely right that we responded to it and shut it down.
We know that the end of lockdown measures is within sight but while they remain in place it’s really important we all continue to do the right thing and follow them.
Vietnam recorded 1,853 coronavirus infections today – a new record daily increase. Reuters says most of the cases were in Ho Chi Minh City, which yesterday started a 15-day period of restrictions.
Malaysia has reported 9,353 daily coronavirus cases – a record high for the second consecutive day.
The Malay Mail reports that it is the third time since the start of the pandemic that daily cases have passed 9,000.
The country’s health director-general, Noor Hisham Abdullah, reportedly said Selangor had the most cases, with 4,277, followed by Kuala Lumpur, where there were 1,398.
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Police urge England fans without tickets to stay away from London
The Met police have urged England fans without tickets for the Euro 2020 final on Sunday not to travel to London as cases continue to rise in the capital and across the UK.
The force also asked football fans not to congregate in large groups amid the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor said that the force has a “significantly enhanced policing operation” in place for the match.
He added: “We want people to be able to enjoy the Euros 2020 final safely and securely, behave responsibly and consider the safety and welfare of others.
“London still remains in a public health crisis. There are government guidelines in place and we ask people to follow these and remain socially distanced. We will enforce legislation proportionately and as appropriate and engage with crowds.
“But I urge people not to gather in large numbers. If you don’t have a ticket to the matches, fan zone or officially booked into a pub, bar or club, my message is clear: please do not come to London – you could end up missing the game.”
Thailand registers highest daily death toll
Thailand has reported a record daily figure of 91 coronavirus deaths and 9,326 new cases.
According to the Bangkok Post, the previous highest number of fatalities recorded in a day was 75 on Thursday, when the country also logged 7,058 new infections.
The majority of the deaths were in the capital, which also recorded 3,191 of Saturday’s cases.
In the UK, government officials are examining whether fully vaccinated NHS workers could be allowed to forgo self-isolation in order to curb a healthcare staffing crisis amid a rapid spread of Covid infections.
Downing Street said on Friday it was considering whether ending the requirement to self-isolate if “pinged” by the NHS Covid app could be brought forward for NHS staff. The requirement is due to end for all fully vaccinated individuals on 16 August.
It comes amid rising infections in the UK, which are in turn leading to a rise in people being told to self-isolate. This is expected to intensify after England’s final unlocking phase on 19 July, when most restrictions end, including mask requirements.
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