Sunday, 28 February, 2021

First case of South African Covid-19 variant confirmed in NY resident

Coronavirus around the world Matt Hancock acted unlawfully over details of Covid contracts, judge rules
Cecil Davis | 22 February, 2021, 03:11

Prime minister Boris Johnson will on Monday announce his government's roadmap to the ending of lockdown in England, after pledging over the weekend to offer the Covid vaccine to all adults by the end of July.

- An announcement on the vaccine priority order for under-50s is expected to be made this week, Professor Adam Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said.

In a letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the Good Law Project's founder Jolyon Maugham QC invited the minister to agree to publish the names of all companies awarded public contracts under a fast-track "VIP lane" and how much they were paid.

The aiming to offer all adults their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by the end of July.

"The importance of vaccinating children is to try to stop the spread of the disease and obviously that's something, the impact of the vaccine on stopping transmission, is something that we have early evidence of", he added.

Matt Hancock insisted that, despite the success of the vaccine rollout so far, and the "understandable" urge to return to normal life, the Government's goal is to take a "cautious but irreversible approach".

He later told Times Radio that the road map will see restrictions eased with "weeks between the steps", but that he thinks social distancing and face coverings will remain for a while.

He added that ministers also wanted "to give that indicative sense and a direction so that people can start to begin to plan their lives in a way that they have all put on hold for, well, for the a year ago and certainly the last month or so when we have been in this second national lockdown". The statewide positivity rate for the virus was 2.99% on Sunday, he said.

"We have tried to get answers about who is getting VIP treatment but the Conservatives are refusing to tell us".

US House Democrats advance US$1.9t Covid-19 aid Bill
Referring to Republican critics, Biden said, "Let me ask them what would they have me cut, what would they have me leave out". Budget reconciliation prevents a Senate filibuster, lowering the threshold of passage from 60 votes to 50.

"We hit it hard and send in enhanced contact-tracing and go door-to-door".

"If more supply is available earlier we will ensure this is used to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible".

"So there is evidence of that, but I want to be cautious here because we've got to be vigilant".

"The risk comes when we release the lockdown", he said, adding that allowing the virus to circulate in younger healthier people could lead to further mutations that undermine the vaccine programme.

The first case of the South African mutant strain of COVID-19 has been identified in a resident of New York State.

"The UK government are confident they will have the supplies and that will have the desired knock-on effect for Scotland", their health spokesman Donald Cameron said.

"We do not yet have the confidence the vaccine is as effective against the South Africa variant and the variant first seen in Brazil".

Hancock said in total the United Kingdom had recorded around 300 cases of the more infectious South African variant of the disease that causes COVID-19.

"The latest data shows that there's around a dozen new ones, so a much, much smaller number, and each time we find a new one we absolutely clamp down on it", he said. One is that it absolutely must be safe, specifically for children, so that is being now investigated.