Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
16 November 2020
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is self-isolating in Downing Street after coming into contact with Lee Anderson MP, who later tested positive for Covid-19. Johnson said he had no symptoms and No10 have confirmed that a series of “critical announcements” would still go ahead this week which will detail Johnson’s “ambitions for the United Kingdom”.
- The number of people who tested positive for the virus yesterday in the UK was 24,962, with 168 people sadly losing their lives.
- The Labour Party have called for the government to bring forward emergency legislation that would impose financial and criminal penalties for companies that fail to act to “stamp out dangerous anti-vaccine content”. The Government have stated they take the issue “extremely seriously” and have secured “a major commitment” from Facebook, Twitter and Google to tackle anti-vaccine content.
- The government have announced that two new “mega labs” will open in early 2021 to increase the UK’s testing capacity. The sites will be at Leamington Spa and at an unconfirmed site in Scotland. The labs aim to increase testing capacity by 600,000 and will also be used to process tests for other illnesses including cancer.
- The Supreme Court will hear a case today involving insurance pay-outs for small businesses who were unable to trade owing to lockdown. Many businesses made business interruption insurance claims after being impacted by the first lockdown, but some insurers are disputing the claims stating that the policies did not cover these restrictions.
- Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, will host a press conference in Downing Street this afternoon (time tbc).
- Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has tweeted that the government will bring forward a motion “soon” to provide additional virtual participation support to those MPs who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
- Northern Ireland is almost 200,000 doses short of the flu vaccine and cannot complete its vaccination programme. The Public Health Agency (PHA) said it acknowledged the inconvenience.
- Scotland’s deputy first minister, John Swinney, on BBC Politics Scotland that it was not inevitable that parts of central Scotland would move into the highest level of coronavirus restrictions in the next few days. Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lanarkshire health board areas were warned on Friday they could be placed under the highest level of Covid restrictions.
- Wales’ Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, has told BBC Wales that the Welsh Government is examining new scientific evidence about the spread of coronavirus among schoolchildren, which may lead to face coverings being made compulsory for pupils at secondary schools.
- France reported 302 deaths and 27,228 new cases in the last 24-hours.
- Germany’s Economy Minister, Peter Altmaier, has told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag that Germans should expect another 4-5 months of severe measures in order to prevent coronavirus infections.
- WHO have registered the highest number of coronavirus cases in one-day over the weekend: Saturday’s figures were 660,905 and Friday’s were 645,410.
- The Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, announced that Austria will follow Slovakia and mass-test their population to get out of lockdown in time for Christmas.
- The Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has written to Boris Johnson urging him to enact a “comprehensive national action plan” for distributing the expected Covid vaccine: “The challenge facing the country now is not just how we get control of the virus, but how we get ready for the vaccine. We are world leaders in vaccines, and I believe we should be aiming for a world-class programme for rolling it out. However, this will be a mammoth logistical operation, probably larger than we have seen since the second world war. If we are to get it right, then we must have a clear plan in place now. It should be a plan that harnesses all of the talents of the British people: our businesses, nurses, doctors, scientists and public servants.”