Sheffield LIVE:over-35s will be able to book their Covid-19 jabs within days

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Sunday, 16th May 2021, 10:39 am

Welcome to The Star’s live blog on Sunday May 16, 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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Boris Johnson defends delay in India travel ban.

Sheffield LIVE:

Last updated: Sunday, 16 May, 2021, 10:30

  • Matt Hancock said five people who have had a single jab have been hospitalised with the Indian variant in Bolton, and one who received both.
  • Matt Hancock confirmed over-35s will be able to book their Covid-19 jabs from some point in the coming days.
  • Sheffield 14th in highest covid rates in England with cases rising
  • Boris Johnson defends India travel ban timing as experts warn against planned easing of lockdown
  • Hundreds gather outside Sheffield Town Hall in protest against Gaza violence

Professor John Edmunds said if things deteriorate quickly with the new variant, action will have to be taken.

Asked about Monday’s easing of restrictions, the Sage scientist told the Andrew Marr Show on the BBC:  “I think we have to monitor this very carefully, I don’t think we should rule anything out. So if things look like they’re getting worse rapidly then I do think that action needs to be taken.”

He said it is “very early days” when it comes to this variant, adding: “I think that we are still quite uncertain about many, many things including the effectiveness of the vaccines.”

Outlining two approaches which could be taken to tackle the spread of the new variant, he said one was to “try and stamp on it locally” while another would be an attempt to “improve vaccine coverage across the UK as best as possible, and let’s see how it goes”.

Asked whether all restrictions are likely to end on June 21 as planned, Prof Edmunds said: “I think we’ll know much more about that in the next few weeks as we see how this variant spreads and the impact that it’s going to have.

“I think at the moment it’s a bit too early to say.”

As to whether the situation could have been avoided had the border to India been closed more quickly, he said: “I don’t think it would have been avoided, it could have delayed things a little bit.”

Matt Hancock confirmed over-35s will be able to book their Covid-19 jabs from some point in the coming days.

He told the BBC: “This coming week we’re going to be opening up vaccination to the 35s-and-over across the country because this isn’t just about accelerating the vaccination programme in Bolton, it’s about going as fast as we possibly can nationwide.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said five people who have had a single jab have been hospitalised with the Indian variant in Bolton, and one who had received both.

He told The Andrew Marr Show on the BBC: “We think that there are five people who have ended up in hospital having had one jab.”

Asked about people who have received two jabs, he said: “We think there’s one person, but that person was frail.

“A small number have had one jab and then there’s one case where they’ve had two jabs and they’ve ended up in hospital and they were frail.”

The vast majority of people in hospital have not had a vaccination, including 18 who were eligible but didn’t take it up.

Asked if anyone had died with the Indian variant after receiving two jabs, Mr Hancock said: “Not that we’re aware of.”

Matt Hancock said it is “quite likely” the Indian variant of Covid-19 will become the dominant variant in the UK.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “I think it’s quite likely this will become the dominant variant. We don’t know exactly how much more transmissible it is but I think it is likely it will become the dominant variant here.

“What that reinforces is the importance of people coming forward for testing and being careful because this isn’t over yet.

“But the good news is because we have increasing confidence that the vaccine works against the variant, the strategy is on track – it’s just the virus has just gained a bit of pace and we’ve therefore all got to be that bit much more careful and cautious.”

Professor Sir Mark Walport said people need to be “sensibly cautious”, socialise outside as far as possible and maintain social distancing.

Professor Sir Mark Walport said people need to be “sensibly cautious”, socialise outside as far as possible and maintain social distancing.

Asked if he thinks normality has got further away, the Sage member told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “Well, possibly. But I think that people have said all along that you know this is a very pesky virus and very versatile in its ability to, you know, change and evade, that’s what viral evolution is all about.

“And so, you know, complete normality I think is going to take a bit of time to return, and people have got to be sensibly cautious I think.”

Asked what his advice would be to people on Monday, he said: “Well my advice is that just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

“As far as possible socialise outside, maintain social distancing, if you’re going to hug, hug cautiously.”

Professor Sir Mark Walport, member of the Scientific Advisory Group for emergencies (Sage), said it will be “extremely important” to keep an eye on the numbers over the next few weeks, and described the pandemic as a “perilous moment”.

He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday that test, trace and isolate is “really important”, adding: “It’s critical that people do get tested and do report that they have symptoms and isolate themselves and their families.

“These are all really important things, and we are going to learn over the next two or three weeks what the impact of the changes is.

“And the problem is that the data takes some while to emerge, which is why there’s you know every grounds to be very cautious about the ability to open up in June.

“But I mean I think it’s fair to say it is a perilous moment. We have a variant that shows good evidence of being more transmissible and possibly significantly more transmissible.

“We’re going to have to watch the numbers extremely closely. And the other thing that we do know is that this new variant from India is actually quite widely distributed across the country

Professor Sir Mark Walport, member of the Scientific Advisory Group for emergencies (Sage), said he will be staying outdoors as far as possible despite Monday’s relaxation of lockdown restrictions.

He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday vulnerable people who have not been vaccinated “really need to get vaccinated”, adding: “Because if you haven’t had a vaccine you really must have one actually. There’s no good reasons for not.

“So that’s the important thing. But then it is I think a question of people making judgments and you know my personal judgment is that I will do things outside as far as possible.”

Asked if he would avoid indoor pub tables, he said: “For the moment, yes.”

Sir Mark said if people are doing things inside they should make sure windows are open and the room properly ventilated.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said there is a “high degree of confidence” that the current vaccines work against the Indian variant of coronavirus.

He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “There’s new very early data out from Oxford University, and I would stress that this is from the labs, it’s not clinical data, and it’s very early.

“But it does give us a degree of confidence that the vaccines work against this Indian variant, but it is clearly more transmissible and has been spreading fast in the groups where there’s a cluster.

“That means that we can stay on course with our strategy of using the vaccine to deal with the pandemic and opening up carefully and cautiously but we do need to be really very vigilant to the spread of the disease.

“We have a high degree of confidence that the vaccine will overcome.”

He urged people to come forward to get vaccinated, arguing the “vast majority” of people in Bolton in hospital with the new variant have been eligible for the jab but have not taken it.

Sheffield 14th in highest covid rates in England

The figures, for the seven days to May 10, are based on the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in either a lab-reported or rapid lateral flow test, by specimen date.

The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people.

Data for the most recent four days (May 11-14) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

Of the 315 local areas in England, 185 (59%) have seen a rise in rates, 119 (38%) have seen a fall and 11 are unchanged.

Bolton in Greater Manchester has the highest rate, with 657 new cases in the seven days to May 10 – the equivalent of 228.5 cases per 100,000 people.

This is up from 88.7 in the seven days to May 3.

Erewash in Derbyshire has the second highest rate, up from 88.4 to 163.0, with 188 new cases.

Blackburn with Darwen has the third highest, up from 56.8 to 111.6, with 167 new cases.

The five areas with the biggest week-on-week rises are:

Bolton (up from 88.7 to 228.5)

Erewash (88.4 to 163.0)

Bedford (42.7 to 105.0)

Blackburn with Darwen (56.8 to 111.6)

Melton (11.7 to 58.6)

The list has been calculated by the PA news agency based on Public Health England data published on May 14 on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

From left to right, it reads: name of local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to May 10; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to May 10; rate of new cases in the seven days to May 3; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to May 3.

Bolton, 228.5, (657), 88.7, (255)

Erewash, 163.0, (188), 88.4, (102)

Blackburn with Darwen, 111.6, (167), 56.8, (85)

Bedford, 105.0, (182), 42.7, (74)

Selby, 69.5, (63), 55.2, (50)

Kirklees, 63.0, (277), 53.9, (237)

Melton, 58.6, (30), 11.7, (6)

Sefton, 56.8, (157), 26.0, (72)

Hounslow, 54.1, (147), 29.1, (79)

Wellingborough, 52.7, (42), 38.9, (31)

Middlesbrough, 52.5, (74), 28.4, (40)

Leeds, 52.4, (416), 44.6, (354)

North Lincolnshire, 52.2, (90), 54.6, (94)

Sheffield, 51.3, (300), 46.2, (270)

Corby, 51.2, (37), 33.2, (24)

Harborough, 51.2, (48), 27.7, (26)

Barnsley, 50.6, (125), 59.5, (147)

Rochdale, 49.9, (111), 35.1, (78)

Watford, 47.6, (46), 29.0, (28)

Burnley, 47.2, (42), 22.5, (20)

Leicester, 47.1, (167), 33.9, (120)

Wakefield, 47.1, (164), 56.0, (195)

Manchester, 46.1, (255), 34.9, (193)

Newcastle upon Tyne, 45.2, (137), 38.3, (116)

South Northamptonshire, 44.4, (42), 27.5, (26)

Bradford, 43.5, (235), 49.3, (266)

Hyndburn, 43.2, (35), 111.1, (90)

Ealing, 42.7, (146), 35.4, (121)

Doncaster, 42.6, (133), 55.1, (172)

South Holland, 42.1, (40), 54.7, (52)

Rotherham, 41.1, (109), 34.7, (92)

Hillingdon, 41.1, (126), 26.1, (80)

Cautious hugging, indoor pints movies and gyms as Sheffield moves to step 3 of lockdown easing on Monday

Cautious hugging, indoor pints movies and gyms as Sheffield moves to step 3 of lockdown easing on Monday

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for – Sheffield welcomes a return to some sort of normality on Monday as Boris Johnson gave the green light to cautious hugging and the serving of pints inside pubs after months of strict restrictions.

The Government said a further seven people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, bringing the UK total to 127,675. 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 Saturday, there had been a further 2,027 lab-confirmed cases in the UK. It brings the total to 4,448,851.

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