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Covid-19: GP appointments, and the last chance to find virus origins Covid-19: GP appointments, and a last chance to find virus origins?
(32 minutes later)
Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Thursday morning. We'll have another update for you this evening.Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Thursday morning. We'll have another update for you this evening.
1. Rescue plan to boost face-to-face GP appointments1. Rescue plan to boost face-to-face GP appointments
In a bid to increase face-to-face GP appointments, the government's unveiling a £250m winter rescue package. In the first full month since restrictions were lifted only 58% of patients were seen in person - nowhere near the pre-pandemic levels of 80%. To change this, the funding should allow surgeries to recruit extra locum staff as well as physios and podiatrists. And to help more same-day appointments there are plans to relax social distancing rules so more people can be seen at practice sites.In a bid to increase face-to-face GP appointments, the government's unveiling a £250m winter rescue package. In the first full month since restrictions were lifted only 58% of patients were seen in person - nowhere near the pre-pandemic levels of 80%. To change this, the funding should allow surgeries to recruit extra locum staff as well as physios and podiatrists. And to help more same-day appointments there are plans to relax social distancing rules so more people can be seen at practice sites.
2. A last chance to find Covid origins?2. A last chance to find Covid origins?
More than a year-and-a-half since Covid-19 was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, questions remain over its origins. The World Health Organization is creating a new group - the Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens (Sago) - to look into it and says it might be the last chance to find out how it emerged. Its previous investigation was hampered by a lack of data and transparency from China and more work was needed to confirm the virus had probably come from bats.More than a year-and-a-half since Covid-19 was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, questions remain over its origins. The World Health Organization is creating a new group - the Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens (Sago) - to look into it and says it might be the last chance to find out how it emerged. Its previous investigation was hampered by a lack of data and transparency from China and more work was needed to confirm the virus had probably come from bats.
Covid-19 and Wuhan: Why don't we know more?Covid-19 and Wuhan: Why don't we know more?
3. Lateral flow tests more accurate than first thought3. Lateral flow tests more accurate than first thought
Lateral flow tests were criticised for being less accurate than lab-analysed PCR tests when they were introduced but a study's found they are very good at detecting Covid-19. University College London researchers say positive results should be trusted and people who get one should "stay at home", says Prof Irene Petersen, lead author of the study.Lateral flow tests were criticised for being less accurate than lab-analysed PCR tests when they were introduced but a study's found they are very good at detecting Covid-19. University College London researchers say positive results should be trusted and people who get one should "stay at home", says Prof Irene Petersen, lead author of the study.
4. More restrictions ease in NI4. More restrictions ease in NI
Up to 30 people from any number of households can meet indoors at other homes and audiences in indoor venues can stand during performances as part the latest easing of restrictions in Northern Ireland. It's taken a "determined and combined effort across society to get us here", says First Minister Paul Givan.Up to 30 people from any number of households can meet indoors at other homes and audiences in indoor venues can stand during performances as part the latest easing of restrictions in Northern Ireland. It's taken a "determined and combined effort across society to get us here", says First Minister Paul Givan.
5. Why are Americans confused about booster jabs? 5. Modelling the magic of Harry Potter
Approval of Covid booster vaccines meant tens of millions of US residents became eligible for a third jab. But people across the country are confused about boosters, who needs them and how they help. "Of course, I'm confused," says one person, "on one day the White House said that they'd give boosters to everyone. It turns out only some people can get them. I still don't know who decides." Others have reported being unclear about the terms "booster" and "third jab" and whether or not they mean the same thing. What's going on? We've taken a look. Helen Ruddell's a Harry Potter superfan and she's been casting a spell over children in her village with a her model creations. She started making miniature sets from the films about the boy wizard while isolating alone during lockdown. They soon became a hit with children when she displayed them in her window. Take a look at her recreating the magic.
Marshfield Harry Potter fan's models become a village hit
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And there's more...And there's more...
So far more than two million people have had their Covid booster jabs in England but they will only be offered to certain groups of people - find out if you're in one of them.So far more than two million people have had their Covid booster jabs in England but they will only be offered to certain groups of people - find out if you're in one of them.
Find further information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.Find further information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.
What questions do you have about coronavirus?What questions do you have about coronavirus?
In some cases, your question will be published, displaying your name, age and location as you provide it, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. Please ensure you have read our terms & conditions and privacy policy.In some cases, your question will be published, displaying your name, age and location as you provide it, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. Please ensure you have read our terms & conditions and privacy policy.
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