Coronavirus news – Shock as 800k test positive for covid in just 1 week in UK, plus fears of youth violence explosion

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More than 800,000 people in the UK are thought to have had Covid in the space of just ONE week, a national survey has suggested.

Shock figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today, as part of it’s ongoing Covid infection survey, say 1 person in 75 was estimated to have the virus – a steep rise from 1 in 95 recorded the previous week.

Meanwhile, UK charities are warning of a spike in youth violence this summer, fuelled by lockdowns, patchy education and compounded mental health issues.

Youth worker Kayeligh Wainwright told The Guardian: “In recent weeks some youth workers have said to me that lockdown, especially for young people already involved in gangs, has given them the opportunity to strategise and to think.

“Now lockdown has been lifted, we’re seeing this violence and conflict play out.”

The director of collective action at UK Youth added: “We saw a real increase in the number of young people being exploited as a result of Covid, because they were vulnerable and isolated.”

Read our coronavirus live blog for the very latest updates…

  • MARTIN LEWIS EXPLAINS HOW TO CLAIM UP TO £500 IF YOU’RE SELF-ISOLATING

    Martin Lewis reveals how to claim money if you’re self-isolating
  • WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

  • COVID CASES WILL RISE ‘EXPONENTIALLY’ AGAIN WITHIN DAYS

    Yesterday the Government reported 39,906 new infections, which was almost 18 per cent lower than last Thursday’s figure and down for the first time since May.

    But Paul Hunter, a professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, said it was likely the unusual statistic was only “temporary”.

    He said: “It is still too early to see any impact of the relaxations of Monday 19th and some of the reduction in cases will be because of many children no longer being tested as regularly now schools are closed. 

    “I would caution that this may just be a temporary slowing in reports before we start to see a return to exponential growth towards the end of next week as a result of the ending of restrictions last week.”

  • SAJID JAVID SAYS RESTRICTIONS WON’T LAST ‘A DAY LONGER THAN NECESSARY’

    Sajid Javid has vowed he doesn’t want the remaining Covid rules to last “a day longer than necessary”.

    But the isolating Health Secretary, who tested positive for the virus last week despite being double jabbed, admitted there will be no big bang ending to the pandemic as we learn to live with the virus.

    Mr Javid also said his experience dealing with the pandemic has been “rather more personal than I would have wanted.”

    In an article for The Spectator today he joked: “Testing positive for Covid-19 definitely wasn’t in the 100-day plan” and revealed he’s even had to isolate from his own wife on their wedding anniversary.

    But he stressed that “curtailing people’s precious liberties, as vital as it has been, is never something that’s come easily to me” as a Conservative.

  • NO MORE GROUPS WILL BE ADDED TO AUGUST 16 PINGDEMIC SELF-ISOLATION EXEMPTION LIST

    Staff in critical sectors – including food and water supply, medicines and public transport – can dodge 10 days quarantine if their bosses get permission from the Government.

    The news was welcomed by industries facing major staff shortages, with more than 618,903 Brits ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid-19 app in just one week.

    The Government has not published a list of essential workers – like it did in the first lockdown – but has identified vital industries.

    George Eustice said today that the exemption from self-isolation would not be extended to the hospitality industry.

    And he made clear that no other sectors are being considered to dodge self-isolation before August 16.

  • ERIC’S CLAMPDOWN

    Eric Clapton won’t play shows where the attendees are required to prove they’ve been vaccinated against Covid.

    The guitarist, 76, made the announcement after previously revealing his “disastrous” reaction to getting two vaccinations.

    Eric shared his stance in reaction to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that vaccine passes would be required to enter nightclubs and other venues.

    “Following the PM’s announcement, I feel honor-bound to make an announcement of my own,” Eric said via a statement on architect and anti-vaxxer Robin Monotti Graziadei’s Telegram account.

    “I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present.

    “Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show.”

  • PINGDEMIC DEVELOPMENTS

    • Mr Eustice suggested isolation could continue for the fully-vaccinated beyond August 16
    • The minister said the army remained on standby in case the food supply chain weakened
    • Hospitality bosses fumed they were overlooked for a test to release exemption scheme
    • The Government published a list of critical sectors available for isolation exemption applications
  • PINGDEMIC TRAVEL CHAOS LEAVES PASSENGERS STRANDED AS TRAINS CANCELLED MID-JOURNEY

    As lockdown-weary holidaymakers head off for a post-Freedom Day weekend in the sun, rail firms are grappling with severe staff shortages.

    Cabinet Minister George Eustice today warned of delays and cancellations over the “next few weeks” as the Delta variant sends alerts into overdrive.

    Thameslink and Southern have both slashed upcoming timetables because of the staffing black hole.

    Passenger Helena Horton was among exasperated holidaymakers travelling from London to Exeter – and left stranded at Salisbury.

  • COVID CASES WILL RISE ‘EXPONENTIALLY’ AGAIN WITHIN DAYS AFTER ‘TEMPORARY SLOWING’, EXPERT WARNS

    Yesterday the Government reported 39,906 new Covid diagnoses, which was almost 18 per cent lower than last Thursday’s figure and down for the first time since May.

    But Paul Hunter, a professor in medicine, The Norwich School of Medicine, University of East Anglia, said it was likely the unusual stat was only “temporary”.

    He said: “It is still too early to see any impact of the relaxations of Monday 19th and some of the reduction in cases will be because of many children no longer being tested as regularly now schools are closed. 

    “I would caution that this may just be a temporary slowing in reports before we start to see a return to exponential growth towards the end of next week as a result of the ending of restrictions last week.”

  • ARMY ON STANDBY

    The army is on standby to step in and help secure the nation’s food supplies if the Pingdemic worsens, a Cabinet minister said today.

    Environment secretary George Eustice revealed up to 20% of workers in the sector have now been forced into self-isolation.

    Last night the Government scrambled to exempt 10,000 employees from strict quarantine rules to stop supermarkets running bare.

    The move came amid warnings the country could be set to face its worst food shortages in 75 years with half of deliveries being delayed.

    MPs have even called for troops to be deployed and tasked with vital roles like shipping goods and stocking shelves.

  • BUSINESSES MUST APPLY FOR STAFF TO BE EXEMPT FROM PINGDEMIC SELF-ISOLATION RULES

    The full list of crucial sectors where workers can skip pesky isolation rules if they are pinged by the NHS Track and Trace app has finally been revealed.

    Anyone working in critical sectors – including food and water supply, medicines and public transport – no longer have to spend days under house arrest if they come into contact with a Covid case – as long as their application for exemption is accepted.

    The government’s guidance states that employers who feel their workers should be exempt from self-isolation need to contact the relevant government department for their sector themselves.

    They are also asked to provide information on the number of people who they want to leave self-isolation, the jobs they do and the impact that self-isolation would have on their business.

    If a worker is deemed to meet the criteria then their employer will get a letter from the government telling them what measures they now need to follow.

  • THE 25 PLACES ON COVID WATCHLIST REVEALED

  • PINGDEMIC NIGHTMARE HITS 999 CALL CENTRES

    People were allegedly waiting up to 20 minutes to get through for help.

    The chaos has left ambulance services on the brink as 1,000 NHS staff are forced to self-isolate and stay away from work.

    Needy Brits are also waiting hours for ambulances to arrive as doctors and paramedics are prioritised for only the sickest people.

    Some hospital and ambulance trusts say they are experiencing the busiest times in their histories.

    Hot weather, an explosion of bugs and illnesses after lockdown and a swathe of staff self-isolating after being pinged by the NHS Covid app has let to unrelenting pressure.

  • LORRY DRIVERS AND FACTORY WORKERS TO USE DAILY COVID TESTS TO ESCAPE ISOLATION

    It’s been revealed that lorry drivers and factory workers can now use daily Covid tests to escape ‘pingdemic’ isolation rules and help keep supermarkets stocked.

    Ministers have announced emergency plans to keep Britain fed after chilling pictures showed empty shelves and stores reported major staff shortages.

    Key staff working in food distribution will able to skip self isolation if they are pinged and go to work as long as they test negative for Covid daily.

    But frontline supermarket workers, like check out staff and shelf stackers, are not expected to be allowed to sign up to the scheme.

    Bosses will have to apply for their staff to get on the project, and prove they are suffering from dire shortages. The Sun understands that police forces are also set to avoid forced self-isolation.

  • ENGLAND’S OFFICIAL R RATE

  • WATCH: WE’RE ‘PINGDEMIC’ STOCKPILERS – WE’VE SPENT £2K ON ‘EMERGENCY’ FOOD TO LAST UNTIL 2022

    Panic buying and empty shelves as ‘pingdemic’ raises fears of food shortages
  • NEW COVID VARIANT EMERGES IN UK AS DELTA CASES RISE BY 33,716 IN A WEEK

    Experts at Public Health England (PHE) are currently carrying out analysis of B.1.621 and have confirmed 16 cases of the variant.

    There is no evidence to suggest that the strain causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines any less effective.

    Where cases of the new variant have been detected, health officials have followed up and tested contacts.

    If necessary PHE will deploy surge testing to limit the spread.

    PHE also highlighted today that cases of the Delta variant have risen by 33,716 since last week to a total of 286,765.

    The variant now accounts for 99 per cent of all cases in the UK and PHE have urged Brits to continue to get their jabs.

  • FULL LIST OF WORKERS EXEMPT FROM PINGDEMIC SELF-ISOLATION RULES FROM TODAY

    Staff in critical sectors – including food and water supply, medicines and public transport – can dodge 10 days quarantine if their bosses get permission from the Government.

    The sectors included are:

    • energy
    • civil nuclear
    • digital infrastructure
    • food production and supply
    • waste
    • water
    • veterinary medicines
    • essential chemicals
    • essential transport
    • medicine
    • medical devices
    • clinical consumable supplies
    • emergency services
    • border control
    • essential defence outputs
    • local government
  • NEARLY 620,000 PEOPLE TOLD TO SELF-ISOLATE BY COVID APP

    618,903 people were told to self-isolate by the NHS test and trace app in the week to 14 July.

    Of these 607,486 alerts were sent to people in England – where nearly all restrictions were lifted on Monday.

  • HOW RELIABLE ARE LATERAL FLOW TESTS?

    Lateral flow tests are not as reliable as the PCR tests used by the NHS.

    The Department of Health says because the tests have been rigorously assessed by scientists, it means they are “accurate, reliable and successfully identify those with Covid-19 who don’t show symptoms”.

    But the tests were not designed to look for Covid in people without symptoms, but for people who did have symptoms.

    It means the results are not 100 per cent correct.

    The Government website states that “when a person has low levels of virus in their system, lateral flow tests are less sensitive than some of the other tests we use, such as PCR tests”.

  • HOW DO I ORDER AND USE A COVID LATERAL FLOW TEST?

    Head online to this website – where you can request a pack of tests to use at home.

    The testing kit comes with instructions and is fairly simple to use.

    It first involves taking a swab of the throat and nose and dipping it into a solution.

    This is then placed onto a paper pad on the device – that looks like a pregnancy stick.

    Inside the device is a strip of test paper that changes colour if coronavirus proteins are in the sample.

    Usually, one line next to the “C” means negative, two lines next to “C” and “T” means positive, and no lines or one next to “T” means the test is void.

  • WHAT IS A COVID LATERAL FLOW TEST?

    A Covid lateral flow test uses a swab from a patient’s nose or throat to quickly determine if they are infected with coronavirus.

    They are being used to check if people have the virus but are not showing symptoms.

    By catching these people it means they can isolate at home and not spread the virus.

    Around one in three people with coronavirus don’t have symptoms, which means they could be spreading the virus without knowing.

  • WATCH: LORRY DRIVERS AND FACTORY WORKERS CLEARED TO USE DAILY COVID TESTS TO ESCAPE ISOLATION RULES

    Lorry drivers and factory workers cleared to use daily Covid tests to escape isolation rules to keep supermarkets open
  • HOSPITALITY BOSSES RAGE THAT THEIR STAFF WILL BE KEPT IN PINGDEMIC ISOLATION UNTIL AUGUST 16

    Hospitality has not been named as a critical sector viable for exemption or earmarked for a “test and release” scheme like the food supply industry.

    Pubs and bars crippled by staffing shortages are urging ministers to broaden the exemption scheme so more venues don’t go to the wall.

    Alastair Kerr, from the Campaign for Pubs, said the industry is not “out of the woods yet” and the pingdemic would only worsen the situation.

    He told The Sun: “A lot of venues aren’t being able to open at full capacity – they’re having to enforce their own restrictions – or worse not open at all because of staffing shortages in the pingdemic.”





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