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BBC News – Health

BBC News – Health






BBC News – Health https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/
BBC News – Health
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BBC News – Health https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/
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Covid: Sharp rises in infection levels in England, says ONS https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55436598
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55436598
<style data-emotion-css=”94m6rd-HeadingWrapper”>.css-94m6rd-HeadingWrapper.css-94m6rd-HeadingWrapper > *:not([hidden]):not(style) ~ *:not([hidden]):not(style)</style><style data-emotion-css=”vk3nhx-ComponentWrapper”>.css-vk3nhx-ComponentWrapper</style><div data-component=”image-block” class=”css-vk3nhx-ComponentWrapper e1xue1i80″><style data-emotion-css=”2y05cd-StyledFigure”>.css-2y05cd-StyledFigure</style><figure class=”css-2y05cd-StyledFigure e34k3c20″><style data-emotion-css=”kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer”>.css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer</style><div class=”css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer e34k3c22″><style data-emotion-css=”1xtcmof-Placeholder”>.css-1xtcmof-Placeholder.css-1xtcmof-Placeholder img</style><span class=”css-1xtcmof-Placeholder e16icw910″><span><div><style data-emotion-css=”evoj7m-Image”>.css-evoj7m-Image</style><img alt=”Shoppers in a wet London street” srcset=”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/240/cpsprodpb/151DC/production/_116029468_3_pa-56920176.jpg 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/151DC/production/_116029468_3_pa-56920176.jpg 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/480/cpsprodpb/151DC/production/_116029468_3_pa-56920176.jpg 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/151DC/production/_116029468_3_pa-56920176.jpg 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/cpsprodpb/151DC/production/_116029468_3_pa-56920176.jpg 800w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/151DC/production/_116029468_3_pa-56920176.jpg 976w” src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/151DC/production/_116029468_3_pa-56920176.jpg” width=”976″ height=”549″ loading=”lazy” class=”css-evoj7m-Image ee0ct7c0″></div></span></span><style data-emotion-css=”1ecljvk-StyledFigureCopyright”>.css-1ecljvk-StyledFigureCopyright</style><span class=”css-1ecljvk-StyledFigureCopyright e34k3c23″>PA Media</span></div></figure></div><style data-emotion-css=”uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper”>.css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper</style><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><style data-emotion-css=”83cqas-RichTextContainer”>.css-83cqas-RichTextContainer.css-83cqas-RichTextContainer > *:not([hidden]):not(style) ~ *:not([hidden]):not(style)</style><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p><style data-emotion-css=”14iz86j-BoldText”>.css-14iz86j-BoldText</style><b class=”css-14iz86j-BoldText e5tfeyi0″>Levels of coronavirus are continuing to rise with one in 85 people in England infected, according to the Office for National Statistics. </b></p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Figures for the week to 18 December estimate nearly 650,000 people have the virus, up from 570,000 the week before.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>London now has the highest percentage of people testing positive – more than 2%.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>In Wales, the virus is infecting one in 60 people – a sharp increase. Infection levels are also up in Northern Ireland.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>In Scotland, the percentage of people testing positive has decreased, equating to one in 140 people there with the virus, the ONS suggests.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>It comes as a total of 521,594 people have been vaccinated against coronavirus in England over the two weeks since roll-out started, with thousands more across the UK nations. People aged 80 and over received 70% of these doses.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>In Scotland 56,676 people have received the vaccine, in Wales the figure is 22,595 and in Northern Ireland it is 16,068.</p></div></div><div data-component=”unordered-list-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><style data-emotion-css=”1pzprxn-BulletListContainer”>.css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer.css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer *:not([hidden]):not(style) ~ *:not([hidden]):not(style).css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer ul.css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer ol</style><div class=”css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer e5tfeyi3″><ul role=”list”><li><style data-emotion-css=”yidnqd-InlineLink”>.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em).css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus}</style><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55388846″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>New coronavirus variant: What do we know?</a></li><li><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55428953″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>UK has two cases of variant linked to South Africa</a></li><li><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55435914″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>Fresh air: The forgotten coronavirus weapon</a></li><li><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55428017″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>Six million people to enter tier 4 on Boxing Day</a></li></ul></div></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p><a href=”https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveypilot/24december2020″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>According to the ONS figures</a>, there are sharp rises in levels of positive tests in the capital, the east of England, and the South East, where a new variant of the virus is spreading at a dangerous rate, according to government ministers.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>About two-thirds of people testing positive in these areas could have the new variant – but this is only an estimate, the ONS says.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Meanwhile, case rates in London have doubled in one week, figures from Public Health England show, to 602 per 100,000 people.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director at PHE, said: “This will not be a normal Christmas for any of us.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>”By continuing to reduce your contacts you can help to slow the spread of Covid-19. Remember that about one in three people may never experience any symptoms so could infect others without realising it.”</p></div></div><style data-emotion-css=”18mjolk-ComponentWrapper”>.css-18mjolk-ComponentWrapper</style><div data-component=”image-block” class=”css-18mjolk-ComponentWrapper e1xue1i80″><figure class=”css-2y05cd-StyledFigure e34k3c20″><div class=”css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer e34k3c22″><style data-emotion-css=”69xpve-Placeholder”>.css-69xpve-Placeholder.css-69xpve-Placeholder img</style><span class=”css-69xpve-Placeholder e16icw910″><span><div><img alt=”Most positive tests in south of England looks like the new variant” srcset=”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/240/cpsprodpb/E793/production/_116238295_optimised-new_variant_ons_prevalence_24dec-nc.png 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/E793/production/_116238295_optimised-new_variant_ons_prevalence_24dec-nc.png 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/480/cpsprodpb/E793/production/_116238295_optimised-new_variant_ons_prevalence_24dec-nc.png 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/E793/production/_116238295_optimised-new_variant_ons_prevalence_24dec-nc.png 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/cpsprodpb/E793/production/_116238295_optimised-new_variant_ons_prevalence_24dec-nc.png 800w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/E793/production/_116238295_optimised-new_variant_ons_prevalence_24dec-nc.png 976w” src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/E793/production/_116238295_optimised-new_variant_ons_prevalence_24dec-nc.png” width=”2666″ height=”2083″ loading=”lazy” class=”css-evoj7m-Image ee0ct7c0″></div></span></span></div></figure></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>There are two variants causing concern at the moment – the first, which emerged in Kent, is thought to be driving a rapid growth in cases and hospital admissions in the south and east of England in recent weeks.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Scientists advising government are worried the rest of the UK could experience the same thing, as the number of patients in hospital with Covid approaches levels of the spring peak.</p></div></div><div data-component=”unordered-list-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><div class=”css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer e5tfeyi3″><ul role=”list”><li><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55437283″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>Schools ‘may need to close to control new variant'</a></li></ul></div></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>This has led to strict rules being imposed on six million more people in England from 26 December when 40% of the country will be living under tier 4 restrictions. </p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Scientists say the new variant spreads more easily than other forms of the virus although they don’t believe it causes more serious disease.</p></div></div><div data-component=”image-block” class=”css-18mjolk-ComponentWrapper e1xue1i80″><figure class=”css-2y05cd-StyledFigure e34k3c20″><div class=”css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer e34k3c22″><style data-emotion-css=”1ku6u16-Placeholder”>.css-1ku6u16-Placeholder.css-1ku6u16-Placeholder img</style><span class=”css-1ku6u16-Placeholder e16icw910″><span><div><img alt=”New variant growing faster than other variants in London” srcset=”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/240/cpsprodpb/74C5/production/_116239892_optimised-new_variant_lines_24dec-nc.png 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/74C5/production/_116239892_optimised-new_variant_lines_24dec-nc.png 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/480/cpsprodpb/74C5/production/_116239892_optimised-new_variant_lines_24dec-nc.png 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/74C5/production/_116239892_optimised-new_variant_lines_24dec-nc.png 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/cpsprodpb/74C5/production/_116239892_optimised-new_variant_lines_24dec-nc.png 800w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/74C5/production/_116239892_optimised-new_variant_lines_24dec-nc.png 976w” src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/74C5/production/_116239892_optimised-new_variant_lines_24dec-nc.png” width=”2666″ height=”1875″ loading=”lazy” class=”css-evoj7m-Image ee0ct7c0″></div></span></span></div></figure></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The second variant, which originated in South Africa and is causing a spike in cases there, was detected in two cases in the UK on Tuesday, prompting <a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55434086″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>a ban on travel from the country</a>.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The R, or reproduction number of the virus, is now between 1.1 and 1.3 for the UK, with regions in the south and east of England even higher, signalling that the epidemic is growing fast.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The ONS figures are based on tests of people in thousands of households across the UK whether they have symptoms or not, giving an accurate estimate of how many people are infected with the virus.</p></div></div><style data-emotion-css=”mysbf6-ComponentWrapper-CrossheadComponentWrapper”>.css-mysbf6-ComponentWrapper-CrossheadComponentWrapper</style><div data-component=”crosshead-block” class=”css-mysbf6-ComponentWrapper-CrossheadComponentWrapper e1xue1i84″><style data-emotion-css=”qozapo-StyledHeading”>.css-qozapo-StyledHeading@media (min-width:37.5rem)}.css-qozapo-StyledHeading:focus.css-qozapo-StyledHeading:focus-visible</style><h2 class=”css-qozapo-StyledHeading e1fj1fc10″>Christmas mixing</h2></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Prof Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at The Open University, says the figure of one in 85 people with the virus in England is “worryingly high”.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>But there is some good news – infection rates in the north of England have been falling in recent weeks.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>”I hope that the new virus variant and any extra mixing of people over Christmas does not reverse the positive trends in those parts of the country,” Prof McConway says.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p><a href=”https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/cases” class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>Daily UK government figures</a> show there were 39,036 confirmed new cases on Thursday, slightly down from yesterday’s record of 39,237. The total number of cases reported in the last week is nearly 50% higher than the week before. </p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>On the same day, the deaths of another 574 people were reported within 28 days of a positive test for Covid-19.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>It is almost inevitable that this figure will rise in the coming weeks as small numbers of those infected become seriously ill with the disease.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The latest figures show 21,286 people in hospital with Covid-19 as of Tuesday. The first wave peak was 21,683 people in hospital on 12 April. </p></div></div><style data-emotion-css=”i4prj8-CommentsWrapper”>.css-i4prj8-CommentsWrapper</style><style data-emotion-css=”144ki52-SectionWrapper”>.css-144ki52-SectionWrapper</style><p><strong><a href=”https://blockads.fivefilters.org”></a></strong> <a href=”https://blockads.fivefilters.org/acceptable.html”>(Why?)</a></p> Thu, 24 Dec 2020 18:11:37 +0000 en-GB
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55436598


Schools ‘may need to close to control new variant’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55437283
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55437283
<style data-emotion-css=”94m6rd-HeadingWrapper”>.css-94m6rd-HeadingWrapper.css-94m6rd-HeadingWrapper > *:not([hidden]):not(style) ~ *:not([hidden]):not(style)</style><style data-emotion-css=”vk3nhx-ComponentWrapper”>.css-vk3nhx-ComponentWrapper</style><div data-component=”image-block” class=”css-vk3nhx-ComponentWrapper e1xue1i80″><style data-emotion-css=”2y05cd-StyledFigure”>.css-2y05cd-StyledFigure</style><figure class=”css-2y05cd-StyledFigure e34k3c20″><style data-emotion-css=”kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer”>.css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer</style><div class=”css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer e34k3c22″><style data-emotion-css=”1xtcmof-Placeholder”>.css-1xtcmof-Placeholder.css-1xtcmof-Placeholder img</style><span class=”css-1xtcmof-Placeholder e16icw910″><span><div><style data-emotion-css=”evoj7m-Image”>.css-evoj7m-Image</style><img alt=”School children” srcset=”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/240/cpsprodpb/3325/production/_116239031_gettyimages-144134908.jpg 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/3325/production/_116239031_gettyimages-144134908.jpg 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/480/cpsprodpb/3325/production/_116239031_gettyimages-144134908.jpg 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/3325/production/_116239031_gettyimages-144134908.jpg 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/cpsprodpb/3325/production/_116239031_gettyimages-144134908.jpg 800w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/3325/production/_116239031_gettyimages-144134908.jpg 976w” src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/3325/production/_116239031_gettyimages-144134908.jpg” width=”976″ height=”549″ loading=”lazy” class=”css-evoj7m-Image ee0ct7c0″></div></span></span><style data-emotion-css=”1ecljvk-StyledFigureCopyright”>.css-1ecljvk-StyledFigureCopyright</style><span class=”css-1ecljvk-StyledFigureCopyright e34k3c23″>Getty Images</span></div></figure></div><style data-emotion-css=”uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper”>.css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper</style><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><style data-emotion-css=”83cqas-RichTextContainer”>.css-83cqas-RichTextContainer.css-83cqas-RichTextContainer > *:not([hidden]):not(style) ~ *:not([hidden]):not(style)</style><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p><style data-emotion-css=”14iz86j-BoldText”>.css-14iz86j-BoldText</style><b class=”css-14iz86j-BoldText e5tfeyi0″>Schools and universities may need to close, on top of tier 4 restrictions, to bring the new UK coronavirus variant under control, a rapid analysis says. </b></p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The work, <style data-emotion-css=”yidnqd-InlineLink”>.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em).css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus}</style><a href=”https://cmmid.github.io/topics/covid19/reports/uk-novel-variant/2020_12_23_Transmissibility_and_severity_of_VOC_202012_01_in_England.pdf” class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>which is still preliminary</a>, calculates the variant is spreading 56% faster than other forms of the virus.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine say whether schools can stay open is the key question for the New Year. </p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Keeping children in school has been a political priority.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The pandemic has disrupted the education of millions of children and <a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54449149″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>affected their mental health</a>.</p></div></div><style data-emotion-css=”mysbf6-ComponentWrapper-CrossheadComponentWrapper”>.css-mysbf6-ComponentWrapper-CrossheadComponentWrapper</style><div data-component=”crosshead-block” class=”css-mysbf6-ComponentWrapper-CrossheadComponentWrapper e1xue1i84″><style data-emotion-css=”qozapo-StyledHeading”>.css-qozapo-StyledHeading@media (min-width:37.5rem)}.css-qozapo-StyledHeading:focus.css-qozapo-StyledHeading:focus-visible</style><h2 class=”css-qozapo-StyledHeading e1fj1fc10″>How to control the new variant?</h2></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55388846″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>The variant is thought to have emerged in Kent in September</a> and now accounts for around two-thirds of cases in London, the south-east and the east of England.</p></div></div><style data-emotion-css=”18mjolk-ComponentWrapper”>.css-18mjolk-ComponentWrapper</style><div data-component=”image-block” class=”css-18mjolk-ComponentWrapper e1xue1i80″><figure class=”css-2y05cd-StyledFigure e34k3c20″><div class=”css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer e34k3c22″><style data-emotion-css=”1ku6u16-Placeholder”>.css-1ku6u16-Placeholder.css-1ku6u16-Placeholder img</style><span class=”css-1ku6u16-Placeholder e16icw910″><span><div><img alt=”Graph” srcset=”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/240/cpsprodpb/18582/production/_116241799_optimised-new_variant_lines_24dec-nc.png 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/18582/production/_116241799_optimised-new_variant_lines_24dec-nc.png 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/480/cpsprodpb/18582/production/_116241799_optimised-new_variant_lines_24dec-nc.png 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/18582/production/_116241799_optimised-new_variant_lines_24dec-nc.png 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/cpsprodpb/18582/production/_116241799_optimised-new_variant_lines_24dec-nc.png 800w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/18582/production/_116241799_optimised-new_variant_lines_24dec-nc.png 976w” src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/18582/production/_116241799_optimised-new_variant_lines_24dec-nc.png” width=”2666″ height=”1875″ loading=”lazy” class=”css-evoj7m-Image ee0ct7c0″></div></span></span></div></figure></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>This research suggests the variant could be causing 90% of cases in these areas by mid-January. </p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>It is already thought to have spread widely across the country – the latest Office for National Statistics data suggests 40% of cases in the south-west of England could be the variant.</p></div></div><div data-component=”unordered-list-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><style data-emotion-css=”1pzprxn-BulletListContainer”>.css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer.css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer *:not([hidden]):not(style) ~ *:not([hidden]):not(style).css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer ul.css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer ol</style><div class=”css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer e5tfeyi3″><ul role=”list”><li><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55436598″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>Sharp rises in infection levels in England, says ONS</a></li><li><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55428953″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>UK has two cases of variant linked to South Africa</a></li><li><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55413666″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>Covid variant find ‘due to work of UK scientists’</a></li></ul></div></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Work to understand how it behaves and what this means for the months ahead is happening at lightning speed. </p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>There is still much uncertainty and the study uses mathematical modelling to analyse trends in the variant’s spread.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>It said data on people’s movements, from surveys and Google, could not explain the variant’s surge. </p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Instead, the report said the evidence pointed to the new variant being more infectious “with some evidence that the increase may be particularly marked in children”.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>As a result it concluded it will take more effort to control the virus. </p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>One of the worrying features is the variant spread during the English lockdown in November when the other versions of the virus were in decline. </p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>That lockdown was similar to the current Tier 4 and the report says the highest level of restrictions are “unlikely” to bring cases under control “unless primary schools, secondary schools and universities are also closed”. </p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>It also warns that even if education is shut down “it is possible that restrictions beyond Tier 4 may be required”.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Dr Nick Davies, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said rapid vaccination should blunt the impact of the new variant. </p></div></div><style data-emotion-css=”z0waap-ComponentWrapper-SocialEmbedComponentWrapper”>.css-z0waap-ComponentWrapper-SocialEmbedComponentWrapper.css-z0waap-ComponentWrapper-SocialEmbedComponentWrapper div.css-z0waap-ComponentWrapper-SocialEmbedComponentWrapper iframe.css-z0waap-ComponentWrapper-SocialEmbedComponentWrapper div > blockquote.css-z0waap-ComponentWrapper-SocialEmbedComponentWrapper span.css-z0waap-ComponentWrapper-SocialEmbedComponentWrapper .fb-post.css-z0waap-ComponentWrapper-SocialEmbedComponentWrapper .fb-post span</style><div data-component=”social-embed-block” class=”css-z0waap-ComponentWrapper-SocialEmbedComponentWrapper e1xue1i81″><div><blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>We project the potential impact of the spread of this new variant throughout England and look at possible control policies. Achieving 2 million vaccinations/week could substantially reduce the burden. 200,000 vaccinations/week does not have much impact. NOT PEER REVIEWED 5/9 <a href=”https://t.co/G9uFm8pfXu”>pic.twitter.com/G9uFm8pfXu</a></p>— Nick Davies (@_nickdavies) <a href=”https://twitter.com/_nickdavies/status/1341845194812104704?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>December 23, 2020</a></blockquote>
</div><div class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><span>The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.</span><a href=”https://twitter.com/_nickdavies/status/1341845194812104704″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>View original tweet on Twitter</a></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The work has come to roughly the same conclusions as those by Imperial College London which had suggested around a 70% increase in the spread of the virus. </p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>There is no evidence to suggest the variant is itself more dangerous or able to cause more severe disease. </p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>However, the concern is a virus that can infect more people in a shorter period of time would put increased pressure on the health service.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Yesterday, Dr Susan Hopkins from Public Health England, said: “The best way to stop infection is to stick to the rules – reduce your contacts, wash our hands, wear a face covering, keep our distance from others and ventilate indoor spaces .”</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p><style data-emotion-css=”po6dm6-ItalicText”>.css-po6dm6-ItalicText</style><i class=”css-po6dm6-ItalicText e5tfeyi1″>Follow </i><i class=”css-po6dm6-ItalicText e5tfeyi1″>James </i><a href=”https://twitter.com/JamesTGallagher” class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>on Twitter</a></p></div></div><style data-emotion-css=”144ki52-SectionWrapper”>.css-144ki52-SectionWrapper</style><p><strong><a href=”https://blockads.fivefilters.org”></a></strong> <a href=”https://blockads.fivefilters.org/acceptable.html”>(Why?)</a></p>
Thu, 24 Dec 2020 12:06:00 +0000 en-GB
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55437283


Covid-19: UK bans travel from South Africa over variant https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55434086
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55434086
<style data-emotion-css=”94m6rd-HeadingWrapper”>.css-94m6rd-HeadingWrapper.css-94m6rd-HeadingWrapper > *:not([hidden]):not(style) ~ *:not([hidden]):not(style)</style><style data-emotion-css=”vk3nhx-ComponentWrapper”>.css-vk3nhx-ComponentWrapper</style><div data-component=”image-block” class=”css-vk3nhx-ComponentWrapper e1xue1i80″><style data-emotion-css=”2y05cd-StyledFigure”>.css-2y05cd-StyledFigure</style><figure class=”css-2y05cd-StyledFigure e34k3c20″><style data-emotion-css=”kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer”>.css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer</style><div class=”css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer e34k3c22″><style data-emotion-css=”1xtcmof-Placeholder”>.css-1xtcmof-Placeholder.css-1xtcmof-Placeholder img</style><span class=”css-1xtcmof-Placeholder e16icw910″><span><div><style data-emotion-css=”evoj7m-Image”>.css-evoj7m-Image</style><img alt=”Passengers wearing protective masks walk to the check-in counters at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg” srcset=”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/240/cpsprodpb/FC33/production/_116236546_mediaitem116236545.jpg 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/FC33/production/_116236546_mediaitem116236545.jpg 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/480/cpsprodpb/FC33/production/_116236546_mediaitem116236545.jpg 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/FC33/production/_116236546_mediaitem116236545.jpg 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/cpsprodpb/FC33/production/_116236546_mediaitem116236545.jpg 800w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/FC33/production/_116236546_mediaitem116236545.jpg 976w” src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/FC33/production/_116236546_mediaitem116236545.jpg” width=”976″ height=”549″ loading=”lazy” class=”css-evoj7m-Image ee0ct7c0″></div></span></span><style data-emotion-css=”1ecljvk-StyledFigureCopyright”>.css-1ecljvk-StyledFigureCopyright</style><span class=”css-1ecljvk-StyledFigureCopyright e34k3c23″>Reuters </span></div></figure></div><style data-emotion-css=”uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper”>.css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper</style><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><style data-emotion-css=”83cqas-RichTextContainer”>.css-83cqas-RichTextContainer.css-83cqas-RichTextContainer > *:not([hidden]):not(style) ~ *:not([hidden]):not(style)</style><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p><style data-emotion-css=”14iz86j-BoldText”>.css-14iz86j-BoldText</style><b class=”css-14iz86j-BoldText e5tfeyi0″>Travel by visitors to the UK from South Africa has been banned amid concern over a variant of Covid-19 linked to the country.</b></p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>People who have been in or transited through South Africa in the last 10 days are no longer allowed into the UK.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The new rule does not apply to British and Irish nationals – but they will have to self-isolate.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The variant was found in London and north-west England, both in contacts of people who had been in South Africa.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The Department for Transport said the ban reflects the “increased risk” from the new variant, but will be kept under review.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The travel ban came into effect at 09:00 GMT on Christmas Eve.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Anyone required to quarantine will need to do so for 10 days, along with members of their household.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>UK visa holders and permanent residents arriving from South Africa will not be affected – but they will also need to self-isolate.</p></div></div><div data-component=”unordered-list-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><style data-emotion-css=”1pzprxn-BulletListContainer”>.css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer.css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer *:not([hidden]):not(style) ~ *:not([hidden]):not(style).css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer ul.css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer ol</style><div class=”css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer e5tfeyi3″><ul role=”list”><li><style data-emotion-css=”yidnqd-InlineLink”>.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em).css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus}</style><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55388846″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>New coronavirus variant: What do we know?</a></li><li><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55428017″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>Six million people to enter tier 4 on Boxing Day</a></li><li><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55413666″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>Covid variant find ‘due to work of UK scientists’</a></li><li><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-53181555″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>What’s happening to the numbers in Africa?</a></li></ul></div></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The government had already ordered anyone in the UK who has travelled to South Africa in the past fortnight, and anyone they have been in contact with, to quarantine immediately, along with their households.</p></div></div><style data-emotion-css=”18mjolk-ComponentWrapper”>.css-18mjolk-ComponentWrapper</style><div data-component=”media-block” class=”css-18mjolk-ComponentWrapper e1xue1i80″><figure class=”css-2y05cd-StyledFigure e34k3c20″><div class=”css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer e34k3c22″><style data-emotion-css=”1uy4vn0-Container”>.css-1uy4vn0-Container</style><div class=”css-1uy4vn0-Container e1h75hkw0″><style 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00-3.06-2.11zM108.71 24.36a5.24 5.24 0 001.51-4.23c-.06-2.62-1.59-5-7.62-5h-4.67v11.21h3.37c3.56 0 6.01-.62 7.41-1.98z” /><path d=”M73.46 0v60h63.76V0zm46.69 45.76a11.35 11.35 0 01-5.29 4.24 22.16 22.16 0 01-8.86 1.63H90.19V8.41h12.21a22.73 22.73 0 019 1.44 11.31 11.31 0 014.93 4 9.67 9.67 0 011.8 5.93c.06 4.09-1.76 6.94-5.51 8.86a13.86 13.86 0 016.74 3.92 10.38 10.38 0 012.71 7.32 10.78 10.78 0 01-1.92 5.88zM146.93 0v60h63.76V0zM198 48.24a36.9 36.9 0 01-8.07 3 38.19 38.19 0 01-8.6.93 28.11 28.11 0 01-12.73-2.8 22.06 22.06 0 01-8.73-7.84 20.39 20.39 0 01-3.35-11.13 21.92 21.92 0 013.4-11.71 23 23 0 019-8A28.39 28.39 0 01182 7.86a35.63 35.63 0 017.52 1 58.32 58.32 0 018 2.65v8A40.05 40.05 0 00189.8 16a28.65 28.65 0 00-7.39-1.28 19.92 19.92 0 00-9 1.7 15.8 15.8 0 00-6.57 5.51 14.64 14.64 0 006.46 21.71 21.75 21.75 0 009.09 1.65 26.09 26.09 0 007.1-1.2 34.81 34.81 0 008.5-4z” /></svg></div></div></div><style data-emotion-css=”1rnnz6t-StyledFigureCaption”>.css-1rnnz6t-StyledFigureCaption</style></figure></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>At a Downing Street press briefing on Wednesday, Health Secretary Hancock said the new variant linked to South Africa was “highly concerning”.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>He said those required to quarantine “must restrict all contact with any other person whatsoever”.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The variant was detected for the first time in the UK on Tuesday. </p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p><a href=”https://www.krisp.org.za/manuscripts/MEDRXIV-2020-248640v1-de_Oliveira.pdf” class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>Scientists in South Africa say</a> it is still being analysed, but the data are consistent with it spreading more quickly. </p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>It shares some similarities with another new Covid variant that has <a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55388846″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>already been detected in the UK</a>, although they have evolved separately.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Both have a mutation – called N501Y – which is in a crucial part of the virus that it uses to infect the body’s cells. </p></div></div><div data-component=”image-block” class=”css-18mjolk-ComponentWrapper e1xue1i80″><figure class=”css-2y05cd-StyledFigure e34k3c20″><div class=”css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer e34k3c22″><style data-emotion-css=”1atfwmc-Placeholder”>.css-1atfwmc-Placeholder.css-1atfwmc-Placeholder img</style><span class=”css-1atfwmc-Placeholder e16icw910″><span><div><img alt=”Banner image reading ‘more about coronavirus'” srcset=”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/240/cpsprodpb/B898/production/_111165274_cps_web_banner_top_640x3-nc.png 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/B898/production/_111165274_cps_web_banner_top_640x3-nc.png 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/480/cpsprodpb/B898/production/_111165274_cps_web_banner_top_640x3-nc.png 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/B898/production/_111165274_cps_web_banner_top_640x3-nc.png 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/cpsprodpb/B898/production/_111165274_cps_web_banner_top_640x3-nc.png 800w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/B898/production/_111165274_cps_web_banner_top_640x3-nc.png 976w” src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/B898/production/_111165274_cps_web_banner_top_640x3-nc.png” width=”1920″ height=”228″ loading=”lazy” class=”css-evoj7m-Image ee0ct7c0″></div></span></span></div></figure></div><div data-component=”unordered-list-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><div class=”css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer e5tfeyi3″><ul role=”list”><li>LOCKDOWN LOOK-UP: <a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54373904″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>The rules in your area</a></li><li>FACE MASKS: <a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51205344″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>When do I need to wear one?</a></li><li>TESTING: <a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51943612″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>How do I get a virus test?</a></li><li>SYMPTOMS: <a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51048366″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>What are they and how to guard against them?</a></li><li>LOOK-UP TOOL: <a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51768274″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>How many cases in your area?</a></li></ul></div></div></div><div data-component=”image-block” class=”css-18mjolk-ComponentWrapper e1xue1i80″><figure class=”css-2y05cd-StyledFigure e34k3c20″><div class=”css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer e34k3c22″><style data-emotion-css=”1m4w9jk-Placeholder”>.css-1m4w9jk-Placeholder.css-1m4w9jk-Placeholder img</style><span class=”css-1m4w9jk-Placeholder e16icw910″><span><div><img alt=”Banner” srcset=”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/240/cpsprodpb/D7D8/production/_111165255_cps_web_banner_bottom_640x3-nc.png 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/D7D8/production/_111165255_cps_web_banner_bottom_640x3-nc.png 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/480/cpsprodpb/D7D8/production/_111165255_cps_web_banner_bottom_640x3-nc.png 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/D7D8/production/_111165255_cps_web_banner_bottom_640x3-nc.png 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/cpsprodpb/D7D8/production/_111165255_cps_web_banner_bottom_640x3-nc.png 800w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/D7D8/production/_111165255_cps_web_banner_bottom_640x3-nc.png 976w” src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/D7D8/production/_111165255_cps_web_banner_bottom_640x3-nc.png” width=”1920″ height=”33″ loading=”lazy” class=”css-evoj7m-Image ee0ct7c0″></div></span></span></div></figure></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>On Wednesday, a further 39,237 people in the UK tested positive for virus – an all-time high – and there were 744 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, according to government figures.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>However, cases were thought to be higher in the UK during the spring peak when testing was much more limited.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Six million more people in England are being <a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55428017″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>moved into the highest tier four restrictions on 26 December.</a></p></div></div><div data-component=”image-block” class=”css-18mjolk-ComponentWrapper e1xue1i80″><figure class=”css-2y05cd-StyledFigure e34k3c20″><div class=”css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer e34k3c22″><style data-emotion-css=”al3ouj-Placeholder”>.css-al3ouj-Placeholder.css-al3ouj-Placeholder img</style><span class=”css-al3ouj-Placeholder e16icw910″><span><div><img alt=”Number of people living under each alert level” srcset=”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/240/cpsprodpb/15A8A/production/_116241788_england_tier_populations_v02_640_3x-nc.png 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/15A8A/production/_116241788_england_tier_populations_v02_640_3x-nc.png 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/480/cpsprodpb/15A8A/production/_116241788_england_tier_populations_v02_640_3x-nc.png 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/15A8A/production/_116241788_england_tier_populations_v02_640_3x-nc.png 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/cpsprodpb/15A8A/production/_116241788_england_tier_populations_v02_640_3x-nc.png 800w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/15A8A/production/_116241788_england_tier_populations_v02_640_3x-nc.png 976w” src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/15A8A/production/_116241788_england_tier_populations_v02_640_3x-nc.png” width=”1920″ height=”1926″ loading=”lazy” class=”css-evoj7m-Image ee0ct7c0″></div></span></span></div></figure></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) <a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55436598″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>suggests levels of coronavirus are continuing to rise,</a> with one in 85 people in England infected.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>About two-thirds of people testing positive in London, the east of England, and the South East could have the new variant – but this is only an estimate based on genes detected by the tests, the ONS says.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>In Wales, about one in 60 people are infected – a sharp increase.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The percentage of people testing positive in Northern Ireland is also up, but in Scotland numbers are down.</p></div></div><div data-component=”unordered-list-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><div class=”css-1pzprxn-BulletListContainer e5tfeyi3″><ul role=”list”><li><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-55432977″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>New York City orders international visitors to quarantine</a></li><li><a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55436598″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>Sharp rises in infection levels in England</a></li></ul></div></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Meanwhile, <a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55420193″ class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>more than 6,000 lorries are still being held in Kent</a> in south-east England, with drivers being tested for Covid-19 before they are allowed to cross the Channel. France had imposed a temporary travel ban earlier in the week over concerns about the new UK variant of Covid-19.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said more than 2,300 drivers have now tested negative, while three were positive.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>The Department for Transport did not give figures on how many drivers have left so far, but the flow of traffic has increased since Wednesday night when, according to the Port of Dover, fewer than 100 left.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>More than 50 other countries, including Germany, Italy, India and Pakistan, are continuing to block travellers from the UK.</p></div></div><div data-component=”text-block” class=”css-uf6wea-RichTextComponentWrapper e1xue1i83″><div class=”css-83cqas-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi2″><p>On Thursday, China became the latest country to suspend flights to and from the UK.</p></div></div><div data-component=”image-block” class=”css-18mjolk-ComponentWrapper e1xue1i80″><figure class=”css-2y05cd-StyledFigure e34k3c20″><div class=”css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer e34k3c22″><style data-emotion-css=”18zmtda-Placeholder”>.css-18zmtda-Placeholder.css-18zmtda-Placeholder img</style><span class=”css-18zmtda-Placeholder e16icw910″><span><div><img alt=”Banner Image Reading Around the BBC – Blue” srcset=”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/240/cpsprodpb/C82C/production/_112244215_aroundthebbc-bluebanner-nc.png 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/C82C/production/_112244215_aroundthebbc-bluebanner-nc.png 320w, 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href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000qp8v?xtor=CS8-1000-%5BIn_Article_Promo_Box%5D-%5BNews_Promo_In_Article%5D-%5BNews_Promo_In_Article_BBCGeneric%5D-%5BPS_SOUNDS~N~m000qp8v~Idris_Elba_Meets_Paul_McCartney%5D” class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>Listen to the exclusive interview now…</a></li><li>CHRISTMAS WITH BBC FOOD: <a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/occasions/christmas?xtor=CS8-1000-%5BIn_Article_Promo_Box%5D-%5BNews_Promo_In_Article%5D-%5BNews_Promo_In_Article_BBCiPlayer%5D-%5BPS_FOOD~N~~Christmas_BBC_Food%5D” class=”css-yidnqd-InlineLink e1no5rhv0″>All you need to know to make a great Christmas feast</a></li></ul></div></div></div><div data-component=”image-block” class=”css-18mjolk-ComponentWrapper e1xue1i80″><figure class=”css-2y05cd-StyledFigure e34k3c20″><div class=”css-kwaqyc-StyledFigureContainer e34k3c22″><span class=”css-1m4w9jk-Placeholder e16icw910″><span><div><img alt=”Footer – Blue” 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