Latest Covid Omicron news: Sajid Javid’s ‘optimistic’ rules will end next week

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid ‘cautiously optimistic’ UK restrictions will ease next week

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he was “cautiously optimistic” that Britain’s coronavirus restrictions will be eased from next week.

The Tory MP told the Commons on Tuesday that the measures, imposed last year to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant, will not be in force “one day longer than absolutely necessary”.

The comment comes amid a sharp drop in Covid-19 cases in the UK, with the World Health Organization predicting the end of the UK pandemic is “not far off”.

However, the global health body has warned that there will be “more variations and mutations” and “further challenges” ahead.

Meanwhile Professor Andrew Hayward, an epidemiologist who advises the UK government on science, expressed hope that future variants will be “less severe”, if more transmissible like Omicron.

On the other side of the world, Australia recorded its deadliest day since the start of the pandemic, with 74 deaths recorded nationwide in the past 24 hours.

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Good morning!

welcome to The IndependentLive coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. Stay tuned for ongoing updates and stats.

Stuti MishraJanuary 18, 2022 4:24 a.m.

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Australia records deadliest day of pandemic

Australia reported a record number of Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, with its second-largest state declaring a hospital emergency to deal with rising patient admissions and a shortage of staff.

The 74 deaths occurred in its three most populous states. New South Wales reported 36, Victoria reported 22 and Queensland 16. The previous daily record was 59 coronavirus-related deaths on September 4, 2020.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said there were signs NSW’s infection rate was peaking and Victoria was close to a plateau.

The New South Wales government has ruled out a return to lockdown to counter the highly contagious omicron variant.

Another lockdown would have “substantial consequences for men and women across the state in terms of their ability to provide food on the table for their families,” state Premier Domonic Perrottet told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“Today is a very difficult day for our state,” Mr. Perrottet said during a press briefing, adding that hospitals can still cope with the increase in admissions.

“Despite the challenges, they are not unique to the rest of the world,” he said.

Victoria declared an emergency for hospitals in its state capital, Melbourne, and several regional hospitals from midday on Wednesday due to staff shortages and increased patient admissions. About 5,000 staff members are absent because they are infected or have been in close contact with an infected person.

“We have reached a point in our healthcare system where it is juggling extreme labor shortages. alongside a huge number of Covid-19 patients who require hospitalization, alongside that an extraordinary workforce that is absolutely exhausted,” said Acting Health Minister James Merlino.

This is the first time the emergency has been activated in several hospitals in the state.

Authorities said unvaccinated young people make up a “significant number” of hospital admissions in the country.

Stuti MishraJanuary 18, 2022 04:48

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Covid-19 pandemic may be coming to an end in the UK, says WHO expert

The Covid pandemic could be coming to an end in the UK, a leading expert has suggested, despite warnings from government scientific advisers that claims the virus is now endemic are premature.

Dr David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) special envoy for Covid-19, said there was now “light at the end of the tunnel” for the UK in the fight against the coronavirus. sickness.

His words come as admissions to the National Hospital fell for the sixth day in a row on Monday, from 2,180 to 1,604.

Our health correspondent Rebecca Thomas see you:

Stuti MishraJanuary 18, 2022 05:06

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Two former crew members arrested in Hong Kong for breaking Covid rules

Hong Kong police have arrested two former flight attendants for allegedly leaving their homes when they should have been in isolation for possible coronavirus infections, which were later confirmed.

The two arrived from the United States on December 24 and 25. During their medical supervision, they had “carried out unnecessary activities”, according to a government statement published on Monday evening.

Although the statement did not name their employer, the arrests came after flagship carrier Cathay Pacific said it fired two crew members for violating coronavirus protocols. Both later tested positive for the omicron variant. Read more:

Stuti MishraJanuary 18, 2022 05:30

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Japan to impose restrictions in Tokyo and nine other regions as Omicron cases rise

The Japanese government is preparing social restrictions in Tokyo and other regions as the omicron variant of the coronavirus infects more people.

Japan never had a lockdown during the pandemic, but instead focused on closing restaurants and bars early. Crowds are back in many parts of Japan, with people packing out shops and events, as Covid-19 cases jump.

The order will be finalized this week and is expected to take effect on Friday for Tokyo and nine other regions, including Chiba, Kanagawa, Aichi and Kumamoto, the government spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Stuti MishraJanuary 18, 2022 05:50

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UK could scrap all Covid rules as early as March

The government is said to be drawing up plans to drop Covid laws in England as early as spring.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly considering a permanent revocation of the emergency coronavirus laws he introduced at the start of the pandemic.

The Covid legislation, which is due to expire in a few months, includes a legal requirement for someone infected with Covid to self-isolate – failure to do so is punishable by a fine of up to £10,000 .

Stuti MishraJanuary 18, 2022 06:10

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Poland has entered a fifth wave of Covid, says minister

Poland is experiencing a fifth wave of Covid-19 infections, the country’s health minister said on Monday, warning that the spread of the Omicron variant could push the number of daily cases to levels not yet seen in the country. .

While the number of daily cases has fallen since early December, the largest eastern member of the European Union has had little respite since the fourth wave, regularly reporting more than 10,000 new infections a day amid low vaccination rates and limited restrictions on public life.

“We expect the peak of infections to be in mid-February and that peak is around 60,000 cases per day,” Adam Niedzielski told a news conference.

The highest number of daily cases reported since the start of the pandemic was 35,251 as of April 1, 2021.

Mr Niedzielski said he expected figures released on Tuesday to show more than 20,000 daily cases.

The country of around 38 million people has so far reported 4,323,482 coronavirus cases and 102,309 deaths.

Stuti MishraJanuary 18, 2022 06:30

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Boris Johnson lied about lockdown party, claims Dominic Cummings

#ICYMI Dominic Cummings says evidence will show Boris Johnson ‘lied to Parliament’ when he denied knowledge of the No 10 garden party, throwing his position deeper into jeopardy.

In an explosive blog post, Mr Cummings wrote: ‘Not only me, but other eyewitnesses who discussed it at the time would swear under oath that is what happened.’

The Independents deputy political editor Rob Merrick see you:

Stuti MishraJanuary 18, 2022 06:50

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Covid could change some children’s eating habits, experts say

Children may have been pushed back to certain foods and eat completely in some cases due to illness caused by Covid, experts have suggested.

Smell experts from the University of East Anglia and Fifth Sense, the charity for people affected by smell and taste disorders, say some children who have been infected with the virus could suffer of parosmia.

Parosmia is a condition that alters or distorts the smell of things that change.

Stuti MishraJanuary 18, 2022 07:10

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Inmates sue jail for involuntary ivermectin treatment

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Washington County Detention Center in Arkansas after a group of men detained at the facility claimed they were experimented with ivermectin to see if it was effective in treating of Covid-19.

According to CBS News, the men claim medical staff at the facility gave them the anti-parasitic drug without their consent, allegedly telling them the pills were “vitamins”.

Stuti MishraJanuary 18, 2022 07:30

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