Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
18 November 2020
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- The Prime Minister has set out a 10-point plan for a “green industrial revolution” to create 250,000 jobs in the UK, especially in North of England and Wales. New petrol and diesel cars are to be banned from 2030, £1.3bn will be invested in charging points for electric cars, £1bn to make homes and businesses more energy efficient; five gigawatts of “low carbon” hydrogen production capacity will be developed by 2030.
- Johnson presented his plan in an article in the FT, responding to claims that a shift towards a green agenda would lose the party votes in former industrial areas. He wrote “Teesside, Port Talbot, Merseyside and Mansfield … This is where Britain’s ability to make hydrogen and capture carbon pioneered the decarbonisation of transport, industry and power.”
- Having been forced to self-isolate after coming into contact with Lee Anderson MP, who tested positive, the PM will face PMQs via video-link.
- Lockdown loneliness has shot up after the clocks went back, according to ONS figures; now 4.2m adults always or often lonely, compared with 2.6m before the pandemic.
- Consumer prices in October rose to 0.7 per cent on year in October.
- 598 more people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid 19, the highest daily increase since 12 May.
- Thousands of additional coronavirus case have been recorded in parts of England after the Government changed its recording methods. Cases were assigned to the address in a patient’s NHS records, but this did not account for those who have recently moved, such as students.
- 11 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities are preparing to go into level four lockdown . People living in level three or level four local authorities will be breaking the law from Friday if they make non-essential journeys outside their own council area.
- Northern Ireland Education Minister Peter Weir has said that there are “no plans” to extend the Christmas break for schools in NI.
- Plaid Cymru have called for infection hot spots to be prioritised for mass testing and extra support to be given to local test and trace teams; they have also called for a “topped-up” grant of £800 to be given to those self-isolating in those areas.
- Italy has reported 731 Covid 19-related deaths, up from 504 the previous day and the highest daily toll since 3 April, when the country was in full national lockdown.
- Pfizer has launched a pilot delivery program for its experimental Covid-19 vaccine in four US states.
- Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband criticised the PM’s 10-point plan, arguing that the funding “in this long-awaited” announcement does not “remotely meet the scale of what is needed” to tackle unemployment and the climate emergency. He called for £30bn capital investment into low carbon sectors, aimed to create 400,000 jobs.
- Greenpeace UK’s head of politics Rebecca Newsom, told Politico this was a “historic turning point on climate action” that could “put the government back on track to meeting its climate commitments,” but said Johnson also remained “fixated” on “speculative solutions” like nuclear and hydrogen.
- The National Audit Office has criticised the Government for lack of transparency, lack of documentation when taking key decisions, and potential conflict of interests in awarding more than £17bn contracts to private companies to tackle coronavirus.
- The British Medical Association has published a blueprint for exiting the lockdown in order to avoid a surge in infections. It includes replacing the “rule of six” with a two-households rule, and banning travel between areas in different tiers, continuing to encourage people who can work from home to do so and giving local public health teams more oversight and budget of Test and Trace.
- Professor Philip Clarke, director of the Health Economics Research Centre at Oxford University, called for teachers, bus drivers and other frontline staff to be given priority for a coronavirus vaccine.
- The Telegraph reports that households are set to be banned from mixing when lockdown ends under Government plans to rescue Christmas.
- Angela Merkel has said she does not have backing among state leaders for new restrictions, postponing any decision until a further meeting between the chancellor and 16 state premiers next week