November 24, 2020

Covid UK news live: Latest updates as true death toll passes 65,000 – The Independent

The UK’s ‘true’ coronavirus death toll has now passed 65,000, according to the latest data. 

The PA news agency made the announcement this morning, confirming a total of 65,024 deaths involving Covid-19 had taken place across the UK.

The figures are a result of reports published last week by various bodies and agencies in which 61, 498 deaths were confirmed. Since those figures were compiled, though, a further 3,191 deaths are known to have occurred in England, plus 77 in Scotland, 209 in Wales and 49 in Northern Ireland.

The news comes after it was claimed last night, by a pandemics expert, that around half of the UK’s positive coronavirus cases are “not being identified”. 

Professor Mark Woolhouse, who teaches infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, told the BBC this failure is why Liverpool’s mass testing scheme has been introduced. He said: “The problem that pilot scheme is trying to solve is that we’re still not finding about half of the Covid cases in Scotland or in the UK more generally.” 

His claims are yet to be verified by either the Scottish or UK government. 


‘Tired and confused’: Britons share their views on the second lockdown

With restrictions of one sort or another well under way across the country, The Independent’s Adam Forrest will be rounding up ordinary people’s reactions to the latest Covid measures every week. 

You can read week one of our Lockdown Diaries here:

Sam Hancock9 November 2020 10:54


Coca Cola’s Christmas truck tour cancelled due to virus

The UK’s Christmas Coca-Cola truck tour has been cancelled for the first time in 10 years due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Coca Cola GB released a statement on Twitter, saying: “Due to current restrictions around the country, our Coca-Cola Christmas Truck Tour won’t go ahead this year.”

“We know it’s disappointing, but we’ll continue to share special Christmas moments throughout the festive season,” the popular drinks brand added.

The 14-tonne lorry, kitted out with fairy lights free cans of the fizzy drink, annually tours around 40 of the UK’s major cities. The iconic truck, which releases an annual advert to stir festive excitement, stops at shopping centres and supermarkets, and is usually a huge success with children and families. 

There were a mix of reactions on social media, with some people pleading for the “tradition” to go ahead while one woman thanked the brand, saying her “children’s teeth need a year off”.

Sam Hancock9 November 2020 10:28


Disabled people feel ‘forgotten’ during pandemic, survey finds

The majority of disabled people in Britain feel that their needs have been overlooked during coronavirus , new figures indicate.

Campaigners have warned that disabled lives are being “forgotten” after polling revealed that 65 per cent of respondents felt their rights had been negatively affected due to Covid-19, often leaving them unable to do basic things such as leave the house, eat and wash themselves.

The YouGov survey of more than 1,000 disabled people of working age (18-65), commissioned by the BBC, found that seven in 10 felt their needs had been “overlooked” since the start of the pandemic.

The findings come 25 years after the Disability Discrimination Act was passed in 1995. The act was designed to make it unlawful to discriminate against people in respect of their disabilities.

The Independent’s social affairs correspondent, May Bulman, reports:

Sam Hancock9 November 2020 10:16


‘True’ UK death toll passes 65,000 

Just over 65,000 deaths involving Covid-19 have now occurred in the UK, the latest figures show.

A total of 61,498 deaths have so far been registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, according to reports published last week by the Office for National Statistics, the National Records of Scotland, and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

But since those figures were compiled, a further 3,191 deaths are known to have occurred in England, plus 77 in Scotland, 209 in Wales and 49 in Northern Ireland, according to additional data published on the government’s coronavirus dashboard.

Together, these totals mean that, so far, 65,024 deaths involving Covid-19 have taken place in the UK.

The official UK death toll, compiled by the Department of Health, still stands at 49,044. This figure often takes a few days to reflect the “true” one.  

Additional reporting by PA

Sam Hancock9 November 2020 09:57


Everything you need to know about supermarket delivery slots during lockdown

Sam Hancock9 November 2020 09:46


Rail links to London cut as passenger numbers slump during lockdown

As passenger numbers fall during England’s second lockdown, two key inter-city rail routes to and from London are to lose one-third of their express services.

From 14 November, Avanti West Coast will cut links from Euston to Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street from three trains per hour to two.

At present both cities have departures every 20 minutes in each direction to and from London Euston. But, under the changes, one in three existing departures to and from each city will be cut.

Sam Hancock9 November 2020 09:37


Wales enjoys ‘signs of stability’ as medical officer warns people to avoid England

Wales’ chief medical officer Dr Frank Atherton has said there are “early signs of stability” as the country comes out of its firebreaker lockdown.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, he said: “We are coming out of the firebreak arrangements today.

“We always recognised that there would be a lag in terms of the indicators we look at as to how successful we have been but we are seeing some early signs of stability and we are seeing that in mobility data, so we recognise that the people of Wales have been travelling significantly less during the firebreak, and we are starting to see that in some of the testing rates.”

Dr Atherton also said on the show it was important that Welsh people’s behaviour did not revert back to what it was before. “We still need to work differently,” he said.

When asked if people could be stopped from travelling between England and Wales, Dr Atherton said that with England under national lockdown there was “no reason” to cross the border.

“At the moment England is moving into its lockdown, so there’s no reason for people to travel from Wales into England,” he said.

“As England comes out of its lockdown we will absolutely have to reconsider how people travel.”

Sam Hancock9 November 2020 09:07


France battles second wave as death toll passes 40,000

France’s prime minister has urged people to respect lockdown measures as a record number of coronavirus cases were reported in a single day and the country’s death toll passed 40,000.

Jean Castex said that the second wave of Covid-19 had “arrived brutally and violently” after meeting staff at the CHU Hopital Nord in the city of Saint-Etienne.

Talking about French caregivers, Mr Castex tweeted: “Let’s respect them. Let’s respect confinement. Let us limit our contacts as much as possible.”

More than 30,000 people are in hospital in France with Covid-19, after nearly 20,000 admissions over the last seven days, according to the health ministry.

Peter Stubley has the story:

Sam Hancock9 November 2020 08:55


US reports more than 10 million cases and 239,000 deaths 

More than 10 million people have now been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the US, according to the latest figures.

The count by NBC News shows the grim milestone was reached as the number of cases globally hit 50 million.

There have now been more than 239,000 officially recorded deaths in the US with more than 1 million confirmed cases of the virus being reported in the US in the last 10 days.

The nation’s seven-day average exceeds 100,000, with at least four consecutive days within the last week in which the US broke its own record for daily cases.

The Independent’s Oliver O’Connell and Alex Woodward report:

Sam Hancock9 November 2020 08:45


Half of UK’s positive coronavirus cases not being recorded

Around half of the UK’s positive coronavirus cases are not being recorded, a pandemics expert has claimed.

Professor Mark Woolhouse, who teaches infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, said these underreported cases mean attempts to control the virus are being done “with one hand behind our back”.

Prof Woolhouse, who is part of a Sage sub-group and is a member of the Scottish government’s Covid-19 advisory group, also revealed this is why Liverpool’s mass testing scheme had been introduced – to combat the issue of unidentified cases. 

Speaking on BBC Scotland’s Seven Days programme, Prof Woolhouse said: “The problem that testing pilot scheme in Liverpool is trying to solve is that we’re still not finding about half of the Covid cases in Scotland or in the UK more generally,” before adding: “That’s a very high proportion.”

“It’s probably partly because many of them are asymptomatic or so mildly infected they don’t recognise the symptoms, partly because people do have symptoms but actually genuinely aren’t recognising them as Covid – I’ve heard a few cases of that in the last week – and also the possibility that some people are having symptoms and actually ignoring them, perhaps because they don’t want to go into self-isolation,” he said.

He finished by warning: “We can’t control the epidemic effectively if those cases are not also being self-isolated and their contacts traced. It’s going to make it much more difficult.”

(Channel 4)

Sam Hancock9 November 2020 08:28