Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
9 November 2020
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- Health Secretary Matt Hancock is standing by the Government’s chair of the vaccine taskforce Kate Bingham, despite revelations in the Sunday Times that she charged taxpayers £670,000 for her own team of boutique PR consultants. Despite speculation over the weekend, sources have told Politico that that Hancock still had confidence in Bingham.
- Wales’ 17-day firebreak lockdown has ended, and a new set of nation-wide regulations have come into force. The “short, sharp” lockdown saw people told to stay home, an end to extended households for most, and pubs, restaurants, hotels, gyms, hairdressers and non-essential shops closed. From Monday people can travel anywhere within Wales and two households can again form a bubble. Businesses that shut during the firebreak can now reopen. First Minister Mark Drakeford urged people to reduce the number of people they see, and the time spent with them to reduce the risk of catching or spreading the virus.
- Britain’s economy is set for a pre-Christmas slump with further job losses and shop closures, despite government measures to protect businesses during the latest Covid-19 restrictions. Surveys of business activity reveal a sharp decline as tough new restrictions were launched across the UK amid the second coronavirus wave, setting the stage for a difficult winter ahead as the economy plunges into reverse. While the damage to many industries will be less severe than during the first lockdown, the accountancy firm BDO said measures of business confidence and output fell in October for the first time since April.
- A separate study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the recruitment firm Adecco showed almost a third of UK companies plan to make redundancies over the final months of the year.
- In Northern Ireland, the Executive is expected to agree a partial reopening of the hospitality sector but keep alcohol-only pubs closed for a further fortnight. Ministers will review the plans in a meeting at Stormont this morning. The first minister had said the current coronavirus restrictions would end at midnight on Thursday, but a compromise appears to have been reached.
- US President-Elect Joe Biden will convene a coronavirus taskforce today to confront one of the problems vexing the US, as the president-elect and his running mate, Kamala Harris, move ahead with their transition process . Biden is due to meet with a 12-member advisory board led by former the surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, and the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, David Kessler, to examine how best to tame a pandemic that has killed more than 237,000 Americans.
- The total of confirmed coronavirus cases has surged past 50 million following record numbers of new cases in several countries. More than 1.25 million people have now died after contracting the virus, according to Johns Hopkins university, but the numbers are thought to be higher because of insufficient testing in many countries.
- More than 5,550 shops in Britain, equivalent to one in ten shops, are in limbo after temporarily closing for the first lockdown in March and failing to reopen, according to the Local Data Company and the accountancy firm PWC – here