Coronavirus in Sheffield LIVE: Anyone aged 30 and over can now book Covid vaccine jab

Welcome to The Star’s live blog on Wednesday May 26.

By Kev Rogers
Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 8:22 am

Welcome to The Star’s live blog on Wednesday May 26 where you will be able to find a round-up of the latest coronavirus news and the biggest Sheffield news stories of the day.

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Doctor Kate Martin (L) administers an injection of AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine to a patient at the vaccination centre set up at St Columba's church in Sheffield (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Sheffield LIVE:

Last updated: Thursday, 27 May, 2021, 14:00

  • Hancock rejects Cummings’ ‘unsubstantiated allegations’ about his conduct
  • ‘Strong sunshine’ forecast for Sheffield
  • Bereaved families said the Government has “missed the point” and is engaged in a “political pantomime”, following the fallout from Dominic Cummings’ testimony.
  • Pilot scheme launched to encourage coronavirus testing and help with self-isolation

Two pop up vaccine clinics for first dose in Sheffield this week

A total of 44,559 people have had Covid-19 in Sheffield since the start of the pandemic the latest figures show.

The number of positive cases reported in Sheffield by 9am on Monday (May 24) was 183 higher than last Monday, according to Public Health England

Overall, the rate of infection in Sheffield now stands at 7,619 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the England average of 6,925.

Across the UK, the number of recorded cases was 12,144 higher than last Monday, with the total now standing at 4,464,900.

Sheffield’s cases were among the 400,390 recorded across Yorkshire and The Humber, a figure which rose by 1,911 over the period.

Cumulative case counts include patients who are currently unwell, have recovered and those that have died.

It comes after Public Health England changed the way it reported the figures from Friday.

Revision to historical case data in England also led to the removal of 5,500 cases nationally over three days last week.

Cases that are identified through a positive lateral flow test – those which can deliver results within half an hour – are no longer being counted if the person then takes a PCR test, which is sent to a lab to be checked, and receives a negative result within three days.

These cases are now being removed daily.

The Government said a further three people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Monday, bringing the UK total to 127,724.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have been 152,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

The Government also said that, as of 9am on Monday, there had been a further 2,439 lab-confirmed cases in the UK.

It brings the total to 4,464,900.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said she was “surprised” to hear that MPs in areas impacted by new guidance around the Indian variant did not feel properly informed.

Speaking to Sky News, Ms Coffey said: “The Prime Minister set out that we need to take extra caution in certain areas regarding the Indian variant.

“It is good practice to formally put that guidance on the record affecting those communities.

“We have been working in close contact, so I’m surprised to hear that people think this has come out of the blue – it hasn’t.

“It is about formalising on the record the guidance which we believe people can and should follow in order to make sure we tackle and don’t have more spread of the Indian variant.”

Speaking about Government advice that the public should avoid travelling in and out of areas where the Indian variant is growing fastest, Yasmin Qureshi, Labour MP for Bolton South East and shadow international development minister, said: “I was not informed of this and I understand nor was anyone else in Bolton.

“I’m just gobsmacked. They’re making such an important announcement and they don’t even have the decency to tell us or tell our constituents.

“The least I would expect is a letter or email from (Matt Hancock) or his office as a matter of courtesy.

“Further and more importantly, my constituents needed to know. Many will have planned for the long weekend, bought tickets, made arrangements.

“And it’s still not clear if this is advisory or legally obligatory.

“This is typical of this Government’s incompetence.”

NHS offers jab to 32 and 33 year olds, but some Sheffield GPs are already vaccinating people in their 20s

NHS offers jab to 32 and 33 year olds, but some Sheffield GPs are already vaccinating people in their 20s

Covid-19 vaccinations have been made available to people aged 32 and 33 across England, and in Sheffield some areas are already offering it to people in their 20s.

Government advises against travel in and out of English Indian variant hotspots

Brits urged not to travel in & out of 8 Indian Covid hotspots in the UK – full list

The Government has been accused of “incompetence” after advising against all but essential travel in eight areas of England where the Covid variant first identified in India is spreading fastest.

Downing Street said the World Health Organisation’s investigation into the origins of the pandemic needs to “explore all possible theories”, following reports that workers at Wuhan’s virology laboratory were treated in hospital as far back as November 2019.

Downing Street said the World Health Organisation’s investigation into the origins of the pandemic needs to “explore all possible theories”, following reports that workers at Wuhan’s virology laboratory were treated in hospital as far back as November 2019.

A US intelligence report said three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) sought hospital care a month before China reported the first cases of what became known as Covid-19, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Asked about the report, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The WHO investigation into the origins of the virus is ongoing and we have been clear throughout that it must be robust, transparent and independent.

“The investigation needs to explore all possible theories on how Covid-19 made that jump from animals to humans and how it spread and that’s vital to ensure we learn lessons from this crisis and prevent another global pandemic.”

Asked whether the report suggested the possibility of a leak of virus from the lab, the spokesman said: “We want to let the WHO investigation run thoroughly and be carried out properly and then make a judgment from that.”

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, told the PA news agency: “There are many people who can safely and responsibly travel to an amber country to see family they haven’t seen for over a year, or to do business, or visit a second property they may have.

“It’s vital consumers are aware that they will have to pay for tests and self-isolate on their return to the UK but it is safe to travel out to an amber country and not illegal in any way whatsoever.

“The travel sector is fighting to recover and needs to see more countries added to the Government green list.”

On Twitter, Mr Charles pointed to data from analysts Cirium suggesting that airlines had scheduled many more flights from England in the last five days.

The three most popular destinations are Spain (284 flights, 56,000 seats), Greece (150 flights, 29,000 seats) and the US (128 flights, 34,000 seats).

But he added: “The planes are far from full though.”

Asked about the UK’s stance on amber list countries, Fernando Valdes, Spain’s tourism minister, told Sky News he was “not judging how countries are taking care of the health situation”.

But he suggested Spain could be added to the green list during the next Government review.

He said: “What I can say is that right now Spain is doing a great effort not only in terms of vaccination, we have at least one third of our whole population with at least one dose… but also, we do have some holiday destinations which are very loved by British tourists such as the Balearic islands, Costa Blanca or Malaga, with our notification rates which are pretty low and by the same notification range of the UK, so I have to suspect that on the next review that the UK Government can provide… Spain is going to change on its notification.”

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