World leaders call for pandemic treaty as PM puts faith in roadmap

1617102863Scottish rollout “better than we dared hope for”, says SturgeonScotland’s vaccine rollout has been “better than we could have dared hope for”, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

As of Tuesday morning, almost 2.5 million people had received their first dose of the vaccine, while almost 340,000 people have been given a second dose.

Addressing the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh on Tuesday, the First Minister said: “These figures confirm the very good progress in the last three months.

“The progress in the vaccination programme is, if anything, better than we could have dared hope for back at the turn of the year.”

1617102420Over 1/4 of people failed to turn up for jab in Swansea yesterdayMore than a quarter of those scheduled to receive their Covid vaccine in Swansea on Monday did not turn up, according to the local health board.

Swansea Bay University Health Board said 28% of its patients missed their arranged appointments.

Public Health Wales figures for Monday showed a total of 1,400,750 first doses have now been administered in Wales – an increase of 13,167 from the previous day.

It added that 416,862 second doses have also been given, an increase of 4,199.

1617098215Weekly Covid deaths below 1,000 for first time since October – ONSWeekly registered deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales have fallen below 1,000, and to the lowest level since October, figures show.

There were 963 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending March 19 where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is the lowest number since the week ending October 16 and the first time the weekly death toll has fallen below 1,000 since the following week.

The figure is down 36% on the previous week’s total, with about one in 11 (9.3%) of all deaths registered in the latest week mentioning coronavirus on the death certificate.

The latest figures take the UK Covid-19 death toll to more than 150,000.

1617095361Poland have an outbreak of Covid cases ahead of England clashPoland’s preparations for their World Cup qualifier against England have suffered a further blow after they reported two more positive cases of coronavirus.

Grzegorz Krychowiak and Kamil Piątkowski have contracted Covid-19 in the latest round of testing ahead of Wednesday’s match at Wembley.

The Polish Football Association’s media officer Jakub Kwiatkowski has also tested positive.

Kwiatkowski tweeted: “The Polish national team has undergone further tests for the presence of coronavirus. Unfortunately, the results of Grzegorz Krychowiak and Kamil Piątkowski are positive.

“Due to the fact that Krychowiak is a recovering man, we started talks with UEFA in order to clarify the matter and admit the match.”

1617095317Dance teacher’s fancy dress coronavirus test snaps keep Covid officers amusedA dance teacher who has to send a picture of his negative coronavirus test twice a week to be allowed into work has been keeping Covid officers amused by taking a creative approach to the task.

Philip Joel, from Finchley in north London, is a choreographer, but also teaches dance in colleges around London, and has to send the pictures to show to his employer he is Covid-free.

PAThe 33-year-old has taken to positioning himself alongside the test in a variety of poses and costumes to keep the task interesting for everyone involved.

He told the PA news agency: “I thought, ‘I’ll make it a bit more interesting for them’, so they could see me with the test and maybe have a bit of a laugh that day, because I can’t imagine seeing hundreds of tests weekly is that much fun.”

PA1617093018Don’t forget Covid risks after a few drinks in the sun, expert warnsMillions of people were today urged not to “drop their guard” against Covid-19 with alcohol-fuelled gatherings on what is set to be the hottest day of the year so far.

Communicable disease expert Dr Bharat Pankhania, a senior clinical lecturer at Exeter University, warned of the risks of catching coronavirus if individuals go inside other people’s homes at social events in breach of lockdown rules.

1617090254Boris Johnson thanks Sir Lenny Henry for his letter to get Black Britons vaccinated1617089402Seperating jabs by more than three weeks ‘probably fine’ says Novavax jab investigatorProfessor Paul Heath, chief investigator for the Novavax trial in the UK and director of the Vaccine Institute at St George’s, University of London, said that separating the doses between the jab for more than three weeks – the interval studied in the trial – would be “fine”.

The jab, which is being assessed by UK regulators, was tested on participants who were given the second dose three to four weeks after the first.

When asked if it would still be effective if the second dose was delayed by up to 12 weeks – as the UK authorities decided would be the case with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines – Prof Heath told Sky News: “The answer is we don’t know because we haven’t looked at studies where the two doses have been separated by more than three to four weeks.

“From basic immunological principles I think it probably would be.”

He added: “We know from other vaccines that we can extend the interval between doses and do so with confidence.

“So if we needed to for this vaccine, I’m sure extending that interval would be fine from the point of view of its effectiveness.”

He added that people involved in the trial are “keen” for the jab to be approved and rapidly implemented across the UK.

1617087697London Covid cases by borough as infection rates plunge in over-60sHealth chiefs believe cases will rise as the lockdown is eased — but they do not expect hospitalisations and deaths to rise at the same rate because of the vaccination rollout

1617086616WHO still searching for origin of Covid-19Dr David Nabarro, World Health Organisation special envoy on Covid-19, said that it is “notoriously difficult” to find the origins of a virus.

“Finding the origins of a virus – when you’re trying to explain where a disease has come from – is notoriously difficult,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“We don’t know the precise origins of HIV, we don’t know the precise origins of Ebola and it will take a long time to find the precise origins of Covid-19.

“We’re on the way – we’ve got four hypotheses, we’re testing them all.

“The research that needs to be done is known.”

He added: “It always takes much longer than people think to find where these things have come from.”

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