A MUCH-FEARED second wave of coronavirus could kill 120,000 people this winter, Government scientist say.
Scientists advising the government say officials must act now to prevent another explosion of cases overwhelming the NHS.
It comes as officials prepare to announce that wearing a face mask in shops and supermarkets will be made mandatory in England this month.
In a statement on Tuesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock will say anyone failing to comply with the order – which comes into force on July 24 – could face a fine of up to £100.
Ahead of Tuesday's announcement by Mr Hancock, a No 10 spokesman said: “There is growing evidence that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space helps protect individuals and those around them from coronavirus.
“The Prime Minister has been clear that people should be wearing face coverings in shops and we will make this mandatory from July 24.”
It comes as the UK's coronavirus death toll increased by 11 to 44,830 – the lowest rise since the outbreak began.
Follow the latest news and updates surrounding coronavirus below…
WELSH COULD FIGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE AFTER PANDEMIC
The coronavirus crisis has been a “game changer” in the argument for Welsh independence, Plaid Cymru's leader has said.
Adam Price said a new “national consciousness” had been boosted by the Welsh Government's response to the pandemic.
A motion has been tabled by Plaid in the Welsh Parliament to debate whether Welsh ministers should be given the right to call a referendum on independence in future, with permission currently needed from Westminster.
Mr Price said: “I think that it's caused many more people again to question the future for Wales as a nation, whether we're actually better placed to make decisions for ourselves.”
VIROLOGIST SAYS SHE WAS 'CENSORED' BY CHINA
A virologist and whistleblower claims many lives across the world could have been saved had the Chinese government not 'censored' her work.
Li-Meng Yan, a scientist at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, says she fled to the U.S. to expose the truth about a Beijing cover-up over the coronavirus outbreak.
And she warned: “We don’t have much time.”
Here's the story.
NEW RESTRICTIONS IN HONG KONG AFTER 'VERY WORRYING' OUTBREAK
Hong Kong will impose strict new social distancing measures from midnight tonight as authorities warn the risk of a large-scale coronavirus outbreak is high.
Since late January, Hong Kong has reported over 1,500 cases and eight deaths.
Today, 48 new cases of coronavirus were recorded, including 40 that were locally transmitted, health authorities said
“Half of the reported cases today have unknown sources. It is very worrying,” said Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, a senior health official.
Masks will be mandatory on public transport and restaurants will no longer provide dine-in services, with fines of $645 for those who don't obey.
TAX HIKES LIKELY AFTER DIRE WARNING ON ECONOMY
Britain's economy could shrink by more than 14 per cent this year if there is lasting damage from coronavirus.
The Office for Budget Responsibility, whose projections are used by the government, said tax hikes or spending cuts would probably be needed to fix the huge hole in the public finances.
“The UK is on track to record the largest decline in annual GDP for 300 years, with output falling by more than 10 per cent in 2020 in all three scenarios,” the OBR said in a report.
“This delivers an unprecedented peacetime rise in borrowing this year to between 13 per cent and 21 per cent of GDP.”
FEARS OVER SLOW GROWTH OF ECONOMY AFTER LOCKDOWN EASING
We've blogged this morning about the UK's economy,which grew by 1.8 per cent in May – after record falls in March and April.
Here's the full story – with a graph showing exactly how steep those drops were.
NEW MASK RULE IS 'IMPOSSIBLE TO ENFORCE'
Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh said the Government's move to require the wearing of face masks in English shops will be “impossible for enforcement”.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: “Shopkeepers need to step up to the plate and take some responsibility.
“They can quite easily put signs up on their doors 'No mask on, no entry, this is private property'.”
And he said it's “nigh-on impossible” for police to enforce because “you won't have a police officer on every shop door”.
ESSEX PUB SHUTS AFTER CUSTOMER TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID
Another pub has closed for a deep clean after a customer tested positive for coronavirus.
The Crown & Anchor in Aveley, Essex, has been forced to close its doors for 72 hours.
A post on the pub's Facebook page reads: “I regret to inform you that we have shut down due to a patron on Sunday 12th being taken to hospital with suspected Covid.
“Necessary measures took place the moment we heard the news from a regular customer.
“Our doors were shut, our staff were informed and all necessary calls were made to the top boys on advice as what to next.”
SCORES OF DUCKS WANDER ONTO THE M25
RSPCA officials are among those to have carried on working throughout lockdown.
And that's been good news for lots of animals – including SIXTY ducks who wandered onto the M25 on Sunday.
Animal collection officer Kate Wright spent two hours rounding up the birds.
She was on her way to a call about an injured pheasant when she was diverted to 'a duck and her ducklings' stranded on the motorway just before junction 18 for Watford.
Kate said: “I expected to arrive to find a mother duck and a brood of ducklings – but when I got to the scene there were dozens and dozens of ducks everywhere.
“The highways officers and Hertfordshire Police closed the road so we could round the ducks up and corral them into carriers.
“Sadly, some birds had been hit and killed on the road before the highways officers arrived. But we were able to round up around 60 of them.”
COVID DEATH TOLL DROPS TO LOWEST SINCE LOCKDOWN BEGAN
The Office for National Statistics has today released information about deaths in the UK.
Now we can reveal that those figures show the number of weekly registered deaths involving coronavirus has fallen to the lowest level since lockdown was first introduced.
The number of deaths registered in England and Wales involving Covid-19 in the week ending July 3 was 532.
It is the lowest number of deaths linked to the virus in the last 15 weeks, the ONS said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced lockdown measures on March 23.
In that week, 539 deaths involving coronavirus were registered, according to ONS figures.
More than 50,548 deaths involving Covid-19 have been recorded in England and Wales during the outbrea.
THREE OF LONDON'S BEST-KNOWN MUSEUMS TO REOPEN
The Natural History Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum and Science Museum will reopen in August.
London's South Kensington museum district – usually a tourist and school holiday hotspot – has been closed since March.
The three institutions held a joint virtual event to announce their plans to reopen.
The Natural History Museum will reopen on August 5, the V&A on August 6, and the Science Museum on August 19.
FARM WORKERS WITH COVID 'GO ON THE RUN'
Three workers with coronavirus have gone on the run from a farm after 75 people caught the bug and hundreds were forced to quarantine on site.
The outbreak in Mathon, Herefordshire, is being closely monitored by PHE Midlands and there is a heavy police presence around the farm, where all 220 workers were told to isolate in mobile homes.
Four vegetable pickers – including three with the virus – have now fled, it's reported.
Here's the full story.
DEATH RATE BELOW AVERAGE FOR THIRD WEEK
The death rate is below the average for this time of year, according to new stats released today.
There were a total of 9,140 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to July 3, according to the Office for National Statistics – 43 fewer than the five-year average of 9,183.
This is the third week in a row that deaths have been below the five-year average.
The number of deaths in care homes and hospitals in the week to July 3 was also below the five-year average – 88 and 634 deaths lower respectively.
EVERY LIDL HELPS
We've heard a lot of bad news recently about the state of the economy.
But as many businesses announce redundancies, bosses at Lidl say they'll create 1,000 new jobs as they open 25 supermarkets across the UK.
And it's promised to keep the jobs in place for the next two years.
Here's the story.
SCIENTISTS WARN: 'WE MUST TAKE ACTION NOW'
One of the big coronavirus stories today is that Government scientists have warned 120,000 more could die in a second wave this winter.
It's feared a second spike could be even worse than the first.
Stephen Holgate, a professor and co-author of a report by Britain's Academy of Medical Sciences, said the illness is more likely to spread in the winter as more people spend time together in an enclosed spaces.
“This is not a prediction, but it is a possibility,” Holgate told an online briefing.
“Deaths could be higher with a new wave of Covid-19 this winter, but the risk of this happening could be reduced if we take action immediately.”
The academy's new report estimates 119,900 hospital deaths between September 2020 and June 2021 – more than double the number that occurred during the first wave.
MASKS 'COULD BE MANDATORY IN OFFICES'
Environment Secretary George Eustice hasn't ruled out the mandatory use of face coverings being extended to offices and other workplaces in the future.
Asked whether their use could be extended to offices, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: “At the moment we take one step at a time and we've taken the view in this next step that we should make it mandatory in retail environments.
“When it comes to workplace environments, because people are in the same company throughout the day, there are not lots of people coming through the venue as you have in a retail environment; the risk of transmission is therefore lower.”
'LEICESTER IS REALLY QUITE AN OUTLIER'
This graphic shows how high Leicester's virus rates are compared with other cities.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam told the BBC that new data shows Leicester is “really quite an outlier” compared with anywhere else in the country.
The latest figures for the city show a seven-day rate of 126 cases per 100,000 people, compared with figures of 17.8 for Leicestershire as a whole, 9.3 in Derby and 5.4 in Nottingham.
Mr Van-Tam said: “The situation has improved, but it needs to go further.”
LEICESTER'S LOCKDOWN COULD BE EXTENDED AGAIN
Really worrying news from Leicester, where the local lockdown looks likely to be extended once again.
It's reported that the city still has a higher coronavirus infection rate than anywhere else in the country.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock met Leicester Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby yesterday to discuss the measures.
Here's the story.
SHOPPING HAS CHANGED FOREVER, SAYS OCADO BOSS
The boss of online grocer Ocado has said shoppers 'won't be going back' after switching online during the lockdown.
Tim Steiner, chief executive and founder of Ocado, said the “world as we know it has changed” for retailers since the coronavirus crisis struck.
He predicted the shift towards internet shopping will not be reversed even after lockdown restrictions are eased.
His comments came as Ocado reported a 27 per cent jump in retail revenues to £1.02billion due to “unprecedented” demand during the six months to May 31.
Mr Steiner said: “The world as we know it has changed.
“As a result of Covid-19 we have seen years of growth in the online grocery market condensed into a matter of months – and we won't be going back.”
BRAVE KATE SAYS MEDICS ARE PUTTING ON GMB FOR HUSBAND
Kate Garraway is planning to visit her husband in hospital – where staff are switching on Good Morning Britain in the hope of stimulating a response.
Derek Draper was admitted to hospital three months ago and although doctors are no longer keeping the 52-year-old in a coma, Garraway has said that “he sort of can't wake up”.
The TV host returned to work on Monday after taking time off while Draper has been in intensive care.
Now she has told Good Morning Britain: “I might be able to go and visit Derek after the show today.
“In fact, the nurses are going to put Good Morning Britain on for him….
“Obviously, we don't know what he can hear and see but they're going to put it on this morning… (to) see if there's any reaction.
“We're trying everything at the moment.”
STILLBIRTHS INCREASE FOURFOLD DURING CRISIS AT ONE HOSPITAL
British mums have suffered more stillbirths during the coronavirus pandemic, a shocking study has revealed.
The alarming findings come amid ongoing concern about a reduction in face-to-face checks for pregnant women.
The study looked at the outcomes of pregnancies in women pre-pandemic – October 1 last year to 31 January.
It compared it with data mid-pandemic – February 1 to June 14.
It found stillbirths rose from 2.38 per 1,000 births, to 9.31 per 1,000 births.
At St George's University Hospital in south London, there were four stillbirths during the first period, and 16 during the pandemic – a four-fold increase.
- For help, advice and support following a stillbirth, visit Tommys.org
HARVEY FIGHTS FOR LIFE 'AFTER PRESENTING COVID SYMPTOMS'
Katie Price’s son has been tested for Covid-19 after struggling to breathe in intensive care.
Seriously ill Harvey is fighting for his life in hospital and doctors fear he could have caught coronavirus after he “presented symptoms” of the deadly disease.
We're all wishing Harvey a speedy recovery.
Here's the full story.
'WE NEED TO LEARN TO LIVE WITH CORONAVIRUS'
More now on that worrying warning from the World Health Organisation.
Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's health emergencies programme, said it's still not fully known whether people who had the virus would be immune to it in the future.
He said: “We need to learn to live with this virus. Expecting we will eradicate this virus in the coming months is not realistic.
“Also believing that magically we will get a perfect vaccine that everyone will have access to is also not realistic.”
WHO CHIEF IN STARK VIRUS WARNING
The coronavirus pandemic could get much worse if governments around the world don't come up with a proper strategy to suppress transmission, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.
Director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday there would be “no return to the 'old normal' for the foreseeable future” and that “too many countries were headed in the wrong direction”.
His stark message came as 230,000 Covid-19 cases were reported to the WHO on Sunday, with almost 80 per cent occurring in 10 countries and 50 per cent in just two.
Dr Tedros said said the epicentre of the pandemic remains in the Americas where more than 50 per cent of the world's cases have been recorded.
He told a WHO press briefing: “The virus remains public enemy number one, but the actions of many governments and people do not reflect this.”
'LEAVE ME ALONE TO RIDE MY FRICKING BIKE' SAYS RAMSAY
Gordon Ramsay admitted he 'sneaked off' for 100km cycle rides in lockdown but insisted he should have been left alone to “ride my fricking bike”.
The TV chef, 53, was warned by the coastguard in May for breaching the strict restrictions.
However, he said officials should 'look after the coastline' and let him ride his bike.
Here's the full story.
ECONOMIC RECOVERY 'BEGINS' AS LOCKDOWN EASES
We've had a lot of bad news about the state of the economy since lockdown began back in late March.
But now there are signs of a slow recovery, stats experts say.
And the UK's economy grew by 1.8 per cent in May as lockdown restrictions began to ease.
However, it remained a quarter below its pre-pandemic levels.
The Office for National Statistics says during that month, manufacturing and housebuilding showed signs of recovery.
However, they warned output is still a long way from recovering from the record falls seen in March and April.
Source: Read Full Article