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Coronavirus live: Russia reports more than 30,000 daily cases for first time; Hungary cases on rise Coronavirus live: Russia reports more than 30,000 daily cases for first time; Hungary cases on rise
(32 minutes later)
Russia registers 31,299 new cases in one day; Hungary records 1,141 new infectionsRussia registers 31,299 new cases in one day; Hungary records 1,141 new infections
Covid infections in children in England rose in September after schools returned from summer holidays, helping to keep cases high even as there was a fall among adults, a large prevalence study showed on Thursday.
Infection numbers in Britain are currently much higher than in other western European countries, but have not risen above summer levels following the return of schools in September in England despite higher infection rates in children.
The React-1 study, led by Imperial College London, found that prevalence in 13- to 17-year-olds was 2.55% between 9 and 27 September, with prevalence in those aged five to 12 at 2.32%.
Prevalence for every adult age group was estimated below 1%, PA Media reported.
“Prevalence was high and increasing in school aged children during September,” Paul Elliott, director of the study, told reporters, adding that increased vaccination uptake in school-aged children and adults would help limit transmission.
The study, which analysed 100,527 valid swabs, found that the epidemic was growing among those 17 and under, with an estimated reproduction number of 1.18.
Just returning to Russia for some news, a government taskforce has said it will lift its Covid ban on flights to countries including Tunisia, Thailand, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Iran, Slovenia, and Oman.Just returning to Russia for some news, a government taskforce has said it will lift its Covid ban on flights to countries including Tunisia, Thailand, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Iran, Slovenia, and Oman.
The ban will end on 9 November, the Russian government coronavirus task force said on Thursday.The ban will end on 9 November, the Russian government coronavirus task force said on Thursday.
The government stopped normal commercial flights abroad when the pandemic struck last year, but it has since been gradually relaxing the restrictions.The government stopped normal commercial flights abroad when the pandemic struck last year, but it has since been gradually relaxing the restrictions.
The flight bans dealt a heavy blow to Russia’s airlines, according to Reuters.The flight bans dealt a heavy blow to Russia’s airlines, according to Reuters.
Areas of Syria outside Bashar al-Assad’s control are facing their most deadly wave of Covid yet, pushing already depleted healthcare systems to the limit.Areas of Syria outside Bashar al-Assad’s control are facing their most deadly wave of Covid yet, pushing already depleted healthcare systems to the limit.
In the Islamist-controlled northwest - home to around 4 million people, the majority of whom have been displaced by fighting in other parts of the country - the number of cases doubled in September compared to August, reaching 73,000, according to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).In the Islamist-controlled northwest - home to around 4 million people, the majority of whom have been displaced by fighting in other parts of the country - the number of cases doubled in September compared to August, reaching 73,000, according to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
Cases are also increasing at a worrying pace in the northeast, where western-backed Kurdish forces are in charge. In the last week of September, an average of 342 people in northeast Syria tested positive each day - the highest daily number since the pandemic began.Cases are also increasing at a worrying pace in the northeast, where western-backed Kurdish forces are in charge. In the last week of September, an average of 342 people in northeast Syria tested positive each day - the highest daily number since the pandemic began.
The area only has one testing laboratory, leading healthcare workers to fear the true caseload is much higher.The area only has one testing laboratory, leading healthcare workers to fear the true caseload is much higher.
Both the northeast and northwest are running out of oxygen supplies, hospital beds and testing kits, the charity warned on Thursday, in a call for urgent assistance from international donors.Both the northeast and northwest are running out of oxygen supplies, hospital beds and testing kits, the charity warned on Thursday, in a call for urgent assistance from international donors.
“We are directly witnessing the extent of this outbreak in the facilities we manage and support,” said Francisco Otero y Villar, MSF’s head of mission for Syria. “People in desperate need of oxygen or intensive care are stuck in queues because no beds or ventilators are available. [This] is leading to a higher mortality rate compared with previous waves.”“We are directly witnessing the extent of this outbreak in the facilities we manage and support,” said Francisco Otero y Villar, MSF’s head of mission for Syria. “People in desperate need of oxygen or intensive care are stuck in queues because no beds or ventilators are available. [This] is leading to a higher mortality rate compared with previous waves.”
According to World Health Organisation data, only 355,000 doses of vaccine had been administered in the whole country by the end of August, or less than 1% of the total population, making Syria one of the countries with the lowest vaccine coverage globally.According to World Health Organisation data, only 355,000 doses of vaccine had been administered in the whole country by the end of August, or less than 1% of the total population, making Syria one of the countries with the lowest vaccine coverage globally.
Good morning, I’m Tom Ambrose and I will be bringing you the latest Covid news from around the world today.Good morning, I’m Tom Ambrose and I will be bringing you the latest Covid news from around the world today.
We start with the news that the Republic of Ireland has raised doubts over its plans to drop almost all Covid restrictions next week due to a rise in cases.We start with the news that the Republic of Ireland has raised doubts over its plans to drop almost all Covid restrictions next week due to a rise in cases.
Finance minister Paschal Donohoe has admitted a full return of office workers was now unlikely, according to the Reuters news agency.Finance minister Paschal Donohoe has admitted a full return of office workers was now unlikely, according to the Reuters news agency.
With hospitalisations ticking up, though still far below peaks this year and last, ministers will discuss at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday whether this will push up critical care needs ahead of the busy winter period.With hospitalisations ticking up, though still far below peaks this year and last, ministers will discuss at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday whether this will push up critical care needs ahead of the busy winter period.
After one of Europe’s toughest lockdowns, the government had planned to let nightclubs open for the first time in 20 months from 22 October, with other venues back at full capacity, and a requirement for vaccine certificates in bars and restaurants dropped.After one of Europe’s toughest lockdowns, the government had planned to let nightclubs open for the first time in 20 months from 22 October, with other venues back at full capacity, and a requirement for vaccine certificates in bars and restaurants dropped.
Foreign minister Simon Coveney told the Newstalk radio station:Foreign minister Simon Coveney told the Newstalk radio station:
Asked if there would be a major return of workers next week following last month’s gradual reopening of offices, Donohoe said that was “a little less likely”.Asked if there would be a major return of workers next week following last month’s gradual reopening of offices, Donohoe said that was “a little less likely”.
Russia’s latest daily Covid case and death numbers have both set new records for the country, with more than 30,000 cases being officially reported in a single day for the first time. There were 986 deaths.Russia’s latest daily Covid case and death numbers have both set new records for the country, with more than 30,000 cases being officially reported in a single day for the first time. There were 986 deaths.
Hungary reported 1,141 new infections, with the number rising above 1,000 for the first time during the fourth wave of the pandemic. Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto says Hungary will receive technology this year to produce Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine at a Hungarian plant currently under construction.Hungary reported 1,141 new infections, with the number rising above 1,000 for the first time during the fourth wave of the pandemic. Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto says Hungary will receive technology this year to produce Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine at a Hungarian plant currently under construction.
The high case numbers in Hungary and Russia coincide with similar peaks in Ukraine and Romania, as health systems in the continent’s east continue to struggle. Romanian doctors have issued an open letter begging the population to get vaccinated.The high case numbers in Hungary and Russia coincide with similar peaks in Ukraine and Romania, as health systems in the continent’s east continue to struggle. Romanian doctors have issued an open letter begging the population to get vaccinated.
In the UK health secretary Sajid Javid has apologised for the losses and suffering of families over Covid, while stressing that many of the government’s pandemic decisions were made when he was a “humble backbencher”, and revealing that he is yet to read the devastating report into the handling of the pandemic released earlier this week.In the UK health secretary Sajid Javid has apologised for the losses and suffering of families over Covid, while stressing that many of the government’s pandemic decisions were made when he was a “humble backbencher”, and revealing that he is yet to read the devastating report into the handling of the pandemic released earlier this week.
Of the UK’s current Covid situation, Javid said: “Overall things feel quite stable at this point. The numbers are a bit up, a bit down over the last few weeks, but our primary defences against this virus are working.”Of the UK’s current Covid situation, Javid said: “Overall things feel quite stable at this point. The numbers are a bit up, a bit down over the last few weeks, but our primary defences against this virus are working.”
In stark contrast to those comments, First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has said the ambulance service in Wales is operating under “enormous pressure” as a result of the growing number of people needing the service, as well as the necessity for paramedics to work under Covid-compliant restrictions.In stark contrast to those comments, First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has said the ambulance service in Wales is operating under “enormous pressure” as a result of the growing number of people needing the service, as well as the necessity for paramedics to work under Covid-compliant restrictions.
A study by University College London researchers claims that Lateral flow tests are very good at detecting people most likely to spread Covid-19 and positive results should be trusted. It comes after a flurry of reports of positive lateral flow tests being followed by negative PCR tests.A study by University College London researchers claims that Lateral flow tests are very good at detecting people most likely to spread Covid-19 and positive results should be trusted. It comes after a flurry of reports of positive lateral flow tests being followed by negative PCR tests.
Scientists have urged eligible people to have Covid booster shots after a major survey in England found evidence of so-called “breakthrough infections” more than three months after full vaccination.Scientists have urged eligible people to have Covid booster shots after a major survey in England found evidence of so-called “breakthrough infections” more than three months after full vaccination.
A group of 26 experts will be tasked with examining new pathogens and how to prevent future pandemics after the World Health Organization unveiled a team to revive the inquiry into Covid-19’s origins.A group of 26 experts will be tasked with examining new pathogens and how to prevent future pandemics after the World Health Organization unveiled a team to revive the inquiry into Covid-19’s origins.
Religious festivals in India have been taken place against a backdrop of far fewer Covid cases than earlier in the year. Nevertheless the government is still urging caution, launching a campaign asking states to be extra vigilant during the next 100 days, and ensuring that “Covid-appropriate behaviour” is observed.Religious festivals in India have been taken place against a backdrop of far fewer Covid cases than earlier in the year. Nevertheless the government is still urging caution, launching a campaign asking states to be extra vigilant during the next 100 days, and ensuring that “Covid-appropriate behaviour” is observed.
Fiji says it is already experiencing a boom in demand after announcing this week that it would open up quarantine-free travel to visitors from select countries, almost two years after closing its borders due to the Covid-19 pandemic.Fiji says it is already experiencing a boom in demand after announcing this week that it would open up quarantine-free travel to visitors from select countries, almost two years after closing its borders due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Covid vaccines for children aged five to 11 are inching closer to authorization in the US, with possible availability as soon as early November, and experts are already looking to the next hurdle: actually getting the shots in those young arms.Covid vaccines for children aged five to 11 are inching closer to authorization in the US, with possible availability as soon as early November, and experts are already looking to the next hurdle: actually getting the shots in those young arms.
The US government says it will ship 2.4m doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Pakistan today, bringing the total number of doses sent to the country to about 18.3m.The US government says it will ship 2.4m doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Pakistan today, bringing the total number of doses sent to the country to about 18.3m.
That is it from me, Martin Belam, today. I will be back tomorrow. Andrew Sparrow is covering Covid in the UK in his live blog today, as it is somewhat bound up with Sajid Javid’s comments and push for access to GPs. You can find that here. It is currently leading with a warning from chief medical officer Chris Whitty that the NHS faces ‘exceptionally difficult’ winter even without Covid spikes.That is it from me, Martin Belam, today. I will be back tomorrow. Andrew Sparrow is covering Covid in the UK in his live blog today, as it is somewhat bound up with Sajid Javid’s comments and push for access to GPs. You can find that here. It is currently leading with a warning from chief medical officer Chris Whitty that the NHS faces ‘exceptionally difficult’ winter even without Covid spikes.
Tom Ambrose will be here shortly to take you through the rest of the day’s global Covid news. I am off to host the comments in this week’s edition of the Thursday quiz.Tom Ambrose will be here shortly to take you through the rest of the day’s global Covid news. I am off to host the comments in this week’s edition of the Thursday quiz.
Russia’s latest daily Covid case and death numbers have both set new records for the country, with more than 30,000 cases being officially reported in a single day for the first time.Russia’s latest daily Covid case and death numbers have both set new records for the country, with more than 30,000 cases being officially reported in a single day for the first time.
31,299 new cases is the country’s highest one-day infection tally since the pandemic began, and a jump of around 2,500 higher than the day before. Reuters report the country also recorded 986 deaths, a slight increment on the record set yesterday.31,299 new cases is the country’s highest one-day infection tally since the pandemic began, and a jump of around 2,500 higher than the day before. Reuters report the country also recorded 986 deaths, a slight increment on the record set yesterday.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has called for the nation to accelerate its vaccination programme. Currently around a third of Russians are vaccinated, and the health minister revealed this week that over one million people are currently being treated in Russia for Covid symptoms.Russian president Vladimir Putin has called for the nation to accelerate its vaccination programme. Currently around a third of Russians are vaccinated, and the health minister revealed this week that over one million people are currently being treated in Russia for Covid symptoms.
Covid vaccines for children aged five to 11 are inching closer to authorization in the US, with possible availability as soon as early November, and experts are already looking to the next hurdle: actually getting the shots in those young arms.Covid vaccines for children aged five to 11 are inching closer to authorization in the US, with possible availability as soon as early November, and experts are already looking to the next hurdle: actually getting the shots in those young arms.
Only one-third of parents plan to vaccinate their children as soon as the vaccines are ready, the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation has found. Another third of those surveyed want to wait and see how the rollout goes.Only one-third of parents plan to vaccinate their children as soon as the vaccines are ready, the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation has found. Another third of those surveyed want to wait and see how the rollout goes.
“What’s going to be actually more challenging, beyond having the infrastructure to be able to administer the Covid-19 vaccines, is ensuring that parents feel comfortable vaccinating their children,” Syra Madad, an infectious disease physician and senior director of the System-wide Special Pathogens Program at NYC Health + Hospitals, told the Guardian.“What’s going to be actually more challenging, beyond having the infrastructure to be able to administer the Covid-19 vaccines, is ensuring that parents feel comfortable vaccinating their children,” Syra Madad, an infectious disease physician and senior director of the System-wide Special Pathogens Program at NYC Health + Hospitals, told the Guardian.
About half of children 12 and older have been vaccinated in the months since the vaccines were given the green light for those ages.About half of children 12 and older have been vaccinated in the months since the vaccines were given the green light for those ages.
Vaccinating people of all ages is a crucial part of ending the pandemic, said Dr Saad Omer, an infectious disease epidemiologist and director of the Yale Institute for Global Health.Vaccinating people of all ages is a crucial part of ending the pandemic, said Dr Saad Omer, an infectious disease epidemiologist and director of the Yale Institute for Global Health.
“We will not be able to get out of this pandemic without vaccinating children – both for their own sake and for the sake of having overall protection,” he added.“We will not be able to get out of this pandemic without vaccinating children – both for their own sake and for the sake of having overall protection,” he added.
Read more of Melody Schreiber’s report here: Covid vaccines for children are coming but challenge will be persuading parentsRead more of Melody Schreiber’s report here: Covid vaccines for children are coming but challenge will be persuading parents
Andrew Sparrow has launched our UK politics live blog today, and given the government’s push around access to GPs he will be carrying the main UK covid lines for now. You can find that here.Andrew Sparrow has launched our UK politics live blog today, and given the government’s push around access to GPs he will be carrying the main UK covid lines for now. You can find that here.
I’ll be continuing with the latest coronavirus news from around the world.I’ll be continuing with the latest coronavirus news from around the world.
Agence France-Presse have a report today in from India, where religious festivals are this year able to go ahead with a background of far fewer Covid cases than last year.Agence France-Presse have a report today in from India, where religious festivals are this year able to go ahead with a background of far fewer Covid cases than last year.
The coronavirus is still claiming over 200 lives daily in the nation of 1.3 billion people, but that is down sharply from the 4,000 fatalities in April and May. Most activities are back to normal and India has administered almost a billion vaccine doses, with around 75 percent of people receiving at least one shot.The coronavirus is still claiming over 200 lives daily in the nation of 1.3 billion people, but that is down sharply from the 4,000 fatalities in April and May. Most activities are back to normal and India has administered almost a billion vaccine doses, with around 75 percent of people receiving at least one shot.
India’s peak holiday season includes Durga Puja, Dussehra and Diwali - major Hindu festivals celebrated with noise, colour and exuberance across the country.India’s peak holiday season includes Durga Puja, Dussehra and Diwali - major Hindu festivals celebrated with noise, colour and exuberance across the country.
In Kolkata on Thursday, crowds flocked to colourful “pandals”, temporary structures where idols of the Hindu goddess Durga are installed during the festivities.In Kolkata on Thursday, crowds flocked to colourful “pandals”, temporary structures where idols of the Hindu goddess Durga are installed during the festivities.
Traffic police in the West Bengal state’s capital used loudspeakers to remind people about physical distancing, but in vain, although many people wore masks.Traffic police in the West Bengal state’s capital used loudspeakers to remind people about physical distancing, but in vain, although many people wore masks.
“It’s festival time so people will come and people will enjoy. Now there are no restrictions, the government has allowed us (to celebrate) so we are enjoying out here,” Aradhana Gupta told AFP.“It’s festival time so people will come and people will enjoy. Now there are no restrictions, the government has allowed us (to celebrate) so we are enjoying out here,” Aradhana Gupta told AFP.
Another reveller Riya Tai rued how she could not celebrate the festival last year when strict virus restrictions were in place.Another reveller Riya Tai rued how she could not celebrate the festival last year when strict virus restrictions were in place.
“I am feeling happy (this time) although the crowd is excessive. I am sweating like hell but still I am enjoying it,” she said.“I am feeling happy (this time) although the crowd is excessive. I am sweating like hell but still I am enjoying it,” she said.
On Monday, prime minister Narendra Modi’s government kicked off a campaign dubbed “Mission 100 Days”, with fears that the long festive season could see a resurgence of Covid-19.On Monday, prime minister Narendra Modi’s government kicked off a campaign dubbed “Mission 100 Days”, with fears that the long festive season could see a resurgence of Covid-19.
“We are asking states to be extra vigilant during the next 100 days, and ensure that Covid-appropriate behaviour is observed,” a government official was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times newspaper. “Only then we will be able to save the country from an expected surge in cases.”“We are asking states to be extra vigilant during the next 100 days, and ensure that Covid-appropriate behaviour is observed,” a government official was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times newspaper. “Only then we will be able to save the country from an expected surge in cases.”
UK health minister Sajid Javid appears to have deployed the Homer Simpson “It’s my first day!” defence on the Today this morning.UK health minister Sajid Javid appears to have deployed the Homer Simpson “It’s my first day!” defence on the Today this morning.
PA Media report he told the BBC radio show, when asked about mistakes the government might have made in handling Covid: “I have been in this job for 100 days and was out of government when a lot of those crucial decisions were made. I was a humble backbencher.”PA Media report he told the BBC radio show, when asked about mistakes the government might have made in handling Covid: “I have been in this job for 100 days and was out of government when a lot of those crucial decisions were made. I was a humble backbencher.”
He did offer an apology of sorts, saying: “What I am saying sorry for is the loss that people have suffered and how they have been affected. I don’t think I am in a position yet to go back and look at every decision that was made and how we can learn from that.”He did offer an apology of sorts, saying: “What I am saying sorry for is the loss that people have suffered and how they have been affected. I don’t think I am in a position yet to go back and look at every decision that was made and how we can learn from that.”
The health secretary then revealed that he has not read the report on the coronavirus pandemic, which he is in charge of dealing with. He told listeners “It is one report and I welcome the report. I haven’t had the opportunity to study every word of the report. I will study it properly this weekend,” he said.The health secretary then revealed that he has not read the report on the coronavirus pandemic, which he is in charge of dealing with. He told listeners “It is one report and I welcome the report. I haven’t had the opportunity to study every word of the report. I will study it properly this weekend,” he said.
A quick one from Reuters here – foreign minister Peter Szijjarto says Hungary will receive technology this year to produce Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine at a Hungarian plant currently under construction.A quick one from Reuters here – foreign minister Peter Szijjarto says Hungary will receive technology this year to produce Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine at a Hungarian plant currently under construction.
Besides Russia’s Sputnik, Hungary plans to produce China’s Sinopharm’s vaccine in the planned $193m (£140m) vaccine plant.Besides Russia’s Sputnik, Hungary plans to produce China’s Sinopharm’s vaccine in the planned $193m (£140m) vaccine plant.
Earlier Hungary reported 1,141 new infections, with the number rising above 1,000 for the first time during the fourth wave of the pandemic.Earlier Hungary reported 1,141 new infections, with the number rising above 1,000 for the first time during the fourth wave of the pandemic.
There’s been a concerted drive by some in the Conservative party to stop people working from home. At the weekend MP Iain Duncan Smith even unfavourably compared those still working flexibly using the internet in 2021 with people he, not entirely accurately, claimed had kept going into the office during the London Blitz in the Second World War.There’s been a concerted drive by some in the Conservative party to stop people working from home. At the weekend MP Iain Duncan Smith even unfavourably compared those still working flexibly using the internet in 2021 with people he, not entirely accurately, claimed had kept going into the office during the London Blitz in the Second World War.
It is the subject of our Today in Focus podcast today. While the daily commute has returned for many, it is not everyone and not every day. Instead a new form of hybrid working has emerged as a popular alternative: half a week in the office and half at home. But it is not working for everyone. Last week the prime minister suggested in his party conference speech that Britain needs a further push to get back to the office full-time.It is the subject of our Today in Focus podcast today. While the daily commute has returned for many, it is not everyone and not every day. Instead a new form of hybrid working has emerged as a popular alternative: half a week in the office and half at home. But it is not working for everyone. Last week the prime minister suggested in his party conference speech that Britain needs a further push to get back to the office full-time.
In Today in Focus, Guardian business reporter Joanna Partridge tells Rachel Humphreys that there could be other unintended consequences of retaining remote working permanently. In many cases, it will be those who have childcare or other caring responsibilities who decide to work more from home and in many cases this still means women. And as the gender pay gap continues to grow, this could set women back further. On the other hand, a workforce less concentrated in big cities could help the government’s highest-profile policy initiative of “levelling up” living standards and wages across the country.In Today in Focus, Guardian business reporter Joanna Partridge tells Rachel Humphreys that there could be other unintended consequences of retaining remote working permanently. In many cases, it will be those who have childcare or other caring responsibilities who decide to work more from home and in many cases this still means women. And as the gender pay gap continues to grow, this could set women back further. On the other hand, a workforce less concentrated in big cities could help the government’s highest-profile policy initiative of “levelling up” living standards and wages across the country.
You can listen to it here: Today in Focus – Has England gone back to the office?You can listen to it here: Today in Focus – Has England gone back to the office?