On Monday, non-essential shops, hairdressers, fitness centers, restaurant terraces and beer gardens reopen in the UK. Days before the self-imposed April 15 deadline, the government said everyone in its top priority group – over 50s, health workers and people with serious medical conditions – had been offered the injection, and about 95% of them received the injection.
More than 32 million people, more than 60% of adults in the country, have had their first injection and nearly 15% of adults have had both doses. Vaccine eligibility was expanded Tuesday to people aged 45-49, the start of a second phase of the injection campaign. The government aims to give everyone over 18 years of age at least one dose by July 31.
The move comes a day after several lockdown rules that had been in effect for more than three months were lifted. Relief residents flock to areas like London’s Soho nightlife district, where tables are packed into narrow streets that have been closed to traffic.
Politicians and scientists are trying to quell euphoria by restoring some freedoms with warnings that the virus is still a major threat. Britain has Europe’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak, with more than 127,000 confirmed deaths.
The combination of rapid vaccination and lockdowns have markedly reduced infection rates and mortality. “Of course vaccination programs have helped, but most of the work on reducing disease has been done in lockdowns,” Johnson said. “So when we open the lock, the result is for sure we’ll see more infections.
Unfortunately, we will see a lot more hospitalizations and deaths.
People just understood that, “he said.
Several of Britain’s neighbors, including France, have imposed new restrictions as virus cases soar. Chris Hopson, chief executive of the healthcare organization NHS Providers, agrees there are “good reasons to be cautious” about the trajectory of the UK pandemic. “We have to be very careful about assuming that we are on a one-way, inevitable and inescapable path for everything to be fantastic and we can get back to normal, because in fact we are going to need a new normal,” said Hopson.
The pace of the UK vaccination push has slowed in recent weeks, with the number of the first dose falling sharply as the campaign focuses on administering the second shot. Like many other countries, the UK also received less than expected doses, in part due to India’s decision to stop exporting the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute. UK inoculation efforts have been using the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and those made by Pfizer-BioNTech.
Britain has also ordered 17 million doses of a vaccine made by American pharmaceutical company Moderna, with the first batch arriving earlier this month.
The Moderna dosage will be given primarily to younger people, following the UK’s decision last week not to give AstraZeneca injections to individuals under 30 as it strengthens evidence that it may be linked to rare blood clots.
Adam Finn, a member of the UK’s Joint Vaccination and Immunization Committee, said the vaccine campaign so far meant that “we are halfway there.”
“We definitely have important work to do to communicate the importance of the vaccination program to younger people,” Finn told Sky News. it can be helped people to understand that the final solution to this disaster involves building immunity in the population. “
Health authorities are also concerned about the new variant that is more resistant to vaccines. They called on everyone living or working in two areas of south London to undergo testing after 44 cases of the strain first identified in South Africa were confirmed there.
That great Britain have done vaccination People over 50 are ahead of schedule, giving millions of people their first injection of the coronavirus vaccine, Downing Street said on Monday.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a statement said: “We have now passed another very significant milestone in our vaccine program by offering injections to everyone in the nine highest risk groups. That means more than 32 million people have been provided with valuable vaccine protection against Covid-19. . ”
“I want to thank everyone involved in launching the vaccine that saved thousands of lives. We will now move forward with completing the second important dose and making progress towards our target of offering the vaccine to all adults by the end of July,” he added. .
According to British Government, all adults over 50, who are clinically vulnerable and health and social care workers have now been offered a shot of the coronavirus vaccine.
“The target was reached ahead of schedule, with the government promising to offer the first dose to priority groups 1-9 by April 15,” Downing Street said, adding that “nearly 40 million vaccines have now been given in total, with adults under 50. expected to start getting invited in the coming days. ”
Those in their late 40s are expected to be the next in line to be invited for a shot of the coronavirus vaccine as Britain moves to the next phase of its mass vaccination campaign, according to Sputnik.
“More than 7 million second doses have now been given – with a record 475,230 given on Saturday – and we remain on track to offer the first vaccine to all adults by July 31,” Downing Street said.
A mass vaccination campaign started in the UK in December last year.
The UK has now confirmed a total of more than 4.3 million coronavirus cases and the country’s COVID-19 death toll stands at over 127,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, as reported by Sputnik.
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ hardest-hit capital and four nearby provinces have been placed under a milder coronavirus lockdown to avoid further damage to an already-hit economy despite continuing surging infections and deaths.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Metropolitan Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, a region of more than 25 million people, would remain under lighter restrictions until the end of April after a two-week lockdown. The 11-hour curfew has been shortened to nine hours in metropolitan Manila.
Most of the population, except for workers in official businesses and medical and government law and order, must remain at home from Monday except for urgent tasks such as grocery and medical emergencies. Important businesses will remain open, including hospitals, supermarkets, convenience stores and banks, but theme parks, cinemas, cockfighting arenas, gyms and beauty salons will remain closed.
“Our emerging strategy is to increase bed capacity rather than shutting down the economy,” said Roque, speaking at a televised press conference from a Manila hospital after contracting COVID-19 like many Cabinet members.
The government has struggled to open more isolation and care centers after many hospitals were overwhelmed starting March due to the spike in the worst-hit coronavirus infections. More than 1,000 extra beds can now be used, many of them at the state-run National Mental Health Center, officials said.
The Philippines has long been a Southeast Asia coronavirus hotspot, with about 865,000 confirmed infections and nearly 15,000 deaths.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – The Gaza Strip recorded the highest daily deaths since the coronavirus outbreak in the Palestinian enclave.
The Health Ministry reported on Monday that 17 Palestinians had died from COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 694.
Gaza is under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade and Hamas rulers have managed to keep it relatively virus-free by imposing mandatory quarantines on several dozen returning refugees crossing via Israel or Egypt.
But in August, the virus escaped the walls of the isolation center and spread rapidly. After a significant drop in infections in February, Hamas removed all precautionary measures and cases are recovering.
Limited vaccination launch. The region of 2 million people has received vaccines for only 40,000 people, including shipments via the global COVAX program.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand requires all border workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus by the end of the month.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday that getting started soon, employers need to consider alternative options for their unvaccinated employees. That could mean these workers are transferred to roles far from the border or fired.
Ardern had previously set April as a deadline for vaccinating frontline workers but on Monday spoke more firmly about it after three workers at the quarantine facility contracted the virus.
New Zealand has eradicated the spread of the virus within the community, so returning travelers who may catch COVID-19 overseas are considered the greatest vulnerability.
Ardern said 86% of workers in quarantine facilities have been vaccinated, even though the group represents only a fraction of all border workers.
SEOUL, South Korea – The new mayor of the South Korean capital is demanding swift approval for the coronavirus self-test kit, saying the city urgently needs more tools to fight the pandemic and continue opening up troubled businesses.
Oh Se-hoon spoke on Monday as Seoul and nearby metropolitan cities closed hostess bars, nightclubs and other high-risk entertainment venues to slow down transmissions. Similar businesses were closed in the southern port city of Busan.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said 350 of the country’s 587 new cases were from the greater Seoul region.
The conservative Oh took office after winning last week’s by-election. He used the press conference to criticize the national liberal government’s anti-virus campaign, which he said failed to slow infections while also hurting businesses and livelihoods.
He said the self-test kits could be sold at pharmacies or supermarkets and produce results within 30 minutes, which would allow more free businesses to operate safely.
Kwon Jun-wook, director of South Korea’s National Institute of Health, said earlier this month that authorities were reviewing whether to approve rapid home tests as they looked for ways to spread a wider net to detect asymptomatic or mild symptom carriers of the virus.
But the review has been slow with some experts saying such tests would do more harm than good because they were less accurate than standard laboratory tests.
TOKYO – Tokyo has adopted tougher measures against the coronavirus as it struggles to curb the rapid spread of a more contagious variant ahead of the Olympics in a country where less than 1% of people have been vaccinated.
Japan expanded its vaccination program on Monday for its older population, with the first injections given at about 120 selected sites across the country.
The stricter COVID-19 rules allow the governor of Tokyo to mandate shorter opening hours for bars and restaurants, punish offenders, and compensate those who comply.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike appealed to residents to be careful when vaccinations are still in their early stages. “We are still unarmed as we are fighting a return of infection,” he said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson likes big projects, but few are as attractive as a proposal for a physical connection in the Irish Sea between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Whether a multi-billion pound pipeline dream or a sign of ambition befitting the post-Brexit era, a feasibility study is being carried out as part of the government. review on how to better tie the UK and its four constituent nations together. A more pressing concern may be whether one day the relationship can link two independent nations that are no longer part of Great Britain
As Britain marks 100 days since leaving the European Union, disputes have broken out with the continent over issues from customs checks to vaccination shots and financial services.
Domestic tensions raise the specter of a more existential conflict, however, a conflict that will determine whether Johnson’s aim to invade the world under the banner of a revived “Global Britain” is necessary. lowered to the simpler “Global England”.
Scotland will hold an election on May 6 to its parliament in Edinburgh which is voting to determine whether the country has the right to – or needs to – another vote on its constitutional future. Poll recommend The pro-independence Scottish National Party was able to grab a majority, a high standard given the proportional electoral system, and press its demands for a second referendum to secede from Britain.
In Northern Ireland, grievances are being treated over its separate treatment from mainland Britain in the Brexit deal concluded between London and Brussels, and the province’s divided past. resurfacing result of. More than 70 police officers were injured in a week of unrest by pro-British loyalists who threw petrol bombs. The polls show a remarkable shift in sentiment for a region so long dominated by its Unionist community, with the majority now saying they want a vote for reunification with the Republic of Ireland in five years.
Even in Wales, which unlike Scotland or Northern Ireland voted with Britain to support Brexit, support for independence has risen during the coronavirus pandemic. Wales is holding elections for its regional assembly on May 6 as well, and it is possible that the ruling Labor Party could share power with the nationalist Plaid Cymru party. The boxes have promise to hold a vote on Welsh independence in five years.
The breakdown of the three-century union has been the subject of speculation for decades, long before Brexit became part of everyday language. On their own, developments in each of the three countries did not necessarily mean revolutionary change, but spoke of shifting cultural identities and varying degrees of political discontent with the center of power in London.
Taken together, it’s hard to ignore the growing feeling that things will inevitably come to a head, whether to reduce unity or strengthen it, and that Brexit has lent those powers to a larger agency.
“But for Brexit, the unions will be relatively safe, but I’m not really sure right now,” he said Matt Qvortrup, a political science professor at Coventry University who has served as special adviser on British constitutional affairs. Change “will not be the day after tomorrow, but give 10 years.”
The challenge for Johnson, who was the driving force behind the successful campaign to get rid of the EU in what has been called an attempt to reclaim British sovereignty, is how to burn political wounds at home. The dilemma is sharpened by the fact that its Conservatives rule at Westminster, but not in Belfast, Edinburgh or Cardiff, where separate parties are in control, reflecting the different regional preferences of voters under a process known as devolution.
The most powerful of these delegated governments is in Scotland, where it administers most of the policy areas important to everyday life, from health and education to transportation and justice. Britain controls areas including foreign affairs, defense and macroeconomic policy.
Johnson has so far refused to give the government-run SNP the official clearance needed to make another referendum watertight, saying the 2014 vote was a once-in-a-generation event. Scotland chose 55% to 45% to remain in the UK, although at the time there was no inkling Britain would leave the EU.
The focus now, Johnson said, was on rebuilding from a shared pandemic and that constitutional issues were an unwanted distraction. Conservative Leader Johnson in Scotland, Douglas Ross, said that “it’s a recovery or a referendum. We can’t do both. “He asked other opposition parties to cooperate in several electoral districts to stop the nationalists.
The election campaign was suspended the Friday thereafter Dead of the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip.
Another SNP landslide – the party has been in power since 2007 – will escalate the stalemate with London and, if Edinburgh raises demand, investors could be scared and the pound will take a hit. There are divisions within Johnson’s party over whether his government should continue to ignore Scotland’s calls for independence or try to buy time and offer enough money or more power in the hope that the problem will fade.
The risk is actually getting worse. And the longer this dispute drags on, the more likely it is to be resolved by demographers. Support for independence is highest among Scotland’s youth and voting age at 16.
The Scots never liked the Eton-educated Johnson, whose upper class was clumsy despite the down-to-earth fact problems of Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon.
The crux of Sturgeon’s argument for another independence vote is usually straightforward: Brexit has changed the game. Not a single district in Scotland chose to leave the EU in 2016, but it had to go along with the rest of Great Britain anyway. The years of contention leading up to Brexit on January 31, 2020, were only divisions hardening, with all delegated administrations claiming they were sidelined.
Some of this anti-Brexit sentiment has been turned into support for the independence struggle. According to a strategy document groomed for the Conservatives and seen by Bloomberg in October, the worry is that there aren’t enough pro-Brexit voters to stand against them.
Emily Gray, who ran pollster Ipsos MORI in Scotland, said it was important for Brexit to be phased in increased support witnessed for independence. The result was “significant doubts in Scotland about the future of trade unions,” he said. “More than half of Scots hope England won’t be in its current form within five years.”
Johnson appears to have a strong argument for unionism in the form of successful vaccine launches in the UK to date. But Sturgeon, not Johnson, is the face of the pandemic war in Scotland, and the first minister said Johnson’s handling of Covid-19, which recorded Europe’s highest death toll, had highlighted the need for full autonomy.
The latest Ipsos MORI poll, taken between March 29 and April 4, projects the SNP will take 70 out of 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament. With the pro-independence Greens seeing a surge in support, the momentum for the referendum looks set to grow. Several other polls have indicated the SNP will fail, but none predicted a pro-union majority.
The situation in Northern Ireland is more complicated given its history of sectarian violence. The nationalist Sinn Fein party is stepping up its campaign for Irish reunification, saying a referendum can be achieved and won. Opinion polls show the advantage of the pro-British side against unity with the south, but thin.
A group called Friends of Sinn Fein, once the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, ran advertisements in the New York Times and the Washington Post in March under the banner “A United Ireland – Let the people say it.”
Conducting such a vote would now be “dynamite,” according to Bertie Ahern, the former Irish Prime Minister who played a key role in the 1998 peace accord that largely ended decades of revenge terrorism in Northern Ireland. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen at some point, he said in an interview last month with Bloomberg Radio. “My personal view is that this will happen towards the end of this decade,” said Ahern.
That feeling of inevitability is driven by the reality of Brexit. Right along Scotland’s southwest coast from anywhere the bridge of the future or tunnels will be built, new customs posts are being set up to inspect goods coming from the EU via Northern Ireland. There is now a border on the Irish Sea.
The problem for Britain is that Scotland is becoming less and less bound to Britain as Northern Ireland has become more and more republican, according to Qvortrup at Coventry University. “Socially, Britain is becoming less than one family,” he said.
– With the help of Alberto Nardelli, and Alastair Reed
It’s a chaotic scene at Islamabad Airport as passengers rush to race to Britain before the 4am ‘red list’ deadline.
Tourists desperate to return home before 4 a.m. yesterday, when hotel quarantines became mandatory for new arrivals from Pakistan, sharing footage of an overcrowded terminal.
Airport staff were forced to urge people to form an orderly queue and present evidence of a negative Covid test with one potential traveler calling it “the worst experience ever”.
One British family was denied a seat on their plane despite arriving at check-in three hours early.
Imran Khan from Aylesbury is at Lahore Airport on a British Airways flight with nine children, including three babies and one woman with a wheelchair.
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They were told it was closed even though they said they arrived at 11pm for their flight which took off at 1.45am on Thursday.
Those who made it back before 4am yesterday have avoided paying £ 1,750 for eleven nights of hotel quarantine.
More than 20 flights have been chartered to return to Britain from Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore in the past 24 hours, according to reports.
According to a recent BBC North West Tonight report, some 32,000 travelers flew from Britain to Pakistan in January alone.
With thousands more still in Pakistan, Labor MP for Bolton South East Yasmin Qureshi called out Boris Johnson to provide more charter flights for stranded citizens.
A letter to the PM signed by 46 MPs and co-authored by Qureshi said the country currently had a lower infection rate than Britain and called for clarity on the Government’s reasons for including it on the list.
His intervention came after reports that thousands of British Pakistanis were trapped in the country, many of them flying there legally under Government travel guidelines.
The letter said: “Most will be traveling to visit family, including elderly relatives, whom they have not seen for more than a year.
“They should have paid for the return flight but are now in a position where they have to pay for a new flight to return before the ban is imposed.”
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Pakistan International Airlines and Polish airline Enter Air have arranged extra direct flights in recent days.
According to data from the FlightRadar24 website, five flights were scheduled to land in Britain directly from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, yesterday.