LiveSheffield news LIVE: Matt Hancock ‘absolutely open’ to delaying June 21 reopening

Welcome to The Star’s live blog on Monday June 7.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 8:38 am

Welcome to The Star’s live blog on Monday June 7 where you will be able to find a round-up of the latest coronavirus news and the biggest Sheffield news stories of the day.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaks to the nation (Photo by Trevor Adams - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Sheffield News LIVE:

Last updated: Friday, 11 June, 2021, 12:42

  • Mum and four-month-old baby girl taken to hospital after crash in Sheffield
  • Sheffield cops arrest ten people during 21 RAIDS in massive police day of action
  • Covid vaccination for 18-plus at Sheffield Crucible Theatre
  • UK Covid-19 hospital admissions highest since April

The percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 is estimated to have increased in north-west England, the West Midlands, London and south-east England.

There are also early signs of a decrease in eastern England while the trend is uncertain for other regions, the ONS said.

In many regions positivity rates are very low, meaning trends are difficult to identify since they are affected by small changes in the number of people testing positive from week to week.

North-west England had the highest proportion of people of any region in England likely to test positive for coronavirus in the week to June 5: around one in 200.

South-west England had the lowest estimate: around one in 1,920.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi stressed the importance of being “really careful” when asked about the possibility of a delay to the June 21 lifting of coronavirus restrictions in England.

“There has been some really hard won battles against this virus and we don’t want to squander those hard fought gains that we have made through the vaccination programme,” he told Times Radio Breakfast.

“In saying that, the virus hasn’t gone away, the virus will continue to attempt to mutate, to escape, to try and survive, and I think it’s really important that we are really careful.”

Here’s the front page of Today's edition of The star

People aged over 25 are being invited for a Covid vaccination at an open clinic at the Church of God of Prophecy at Park Hill at 2.30pm this afternoon (Friday June 11) to 5,30pm.

People can get a first or second dose of either the Pfizer or Astrazeneca jab.

UK Covid-19 hospital admissions highest since April

A total of 147 hospital admissions of people with Covid-19 in England were reported for June 8, NHS England said.

This is up from 115 a week earlier and is the highest number since April 14.

The seven-day average for admissions currently stands at 112, the highest since April 24.

The figures cover all patients admitted in the previous 24 hours who were known to have Covid-19, plus any patients diagnosed in hospital with Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours.

Sheffield cops arrest ten people during 21 RAIDS in massive police day of action

Sheffield cops arrest ten people during 21 RAIDS in massive police day of action

Ten people have been arrested and a gun, drugs and thousands of pounds in cash recovered so far in ongoing police raids in Sheffield.

Mum and four-month-old baby girl taken to hospital after crash in Sheffield

Mum and four-month-old baby girl taken to hospital after crash in Sheffield

A woman and her baby daughter were taken to hospital after a collision in Sheffield.

Matt Hancock said he has received no evidence to suggest any medics died due to a failure to provide them with personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Health Secretary told MPs: “We’ve looked into this and there is no evidence that I have seen that a shortage of PPE provision led to anyone dying of Covid. That’s from the evidence I have seen.

“What I do know though is PPE provision was tight, and it was difficult, and it was difficult throughout the world, but we did manage – it was pretty close sometimes – but we did manage to ensure that there was… at a national level we had the PPE and then distribution was a challenge to all areas.”

Pressed about nurses having to use bin bags instead of PPE, he said: “I have acknowledged throughout there were individual challenges at getting hold of PPE but at a national level there was never a point where we ran out.”

Matt Hancock said payments for people on low incomes who need to self-isolate have been strengthened since February so everyone earning below a certain threshold in targeted areas can receive support.

Jeremy Hunt said some people believe one of the reasons some did not self-isolate was because the Government did not make a “simple promise” to make up people’s salaries.

Mr Hancock replied: “Well, the challenge that we had with that proposal is the extent to which it might be gamed.”

Asked if the Government should have been more open to giving this reassurance, Mr Hancock replied: “Well, I think it’s fair to say that I’m glad that we’ve made the change now.”

Matt Hancock said he cannot recall Boris Johnson expressing surprise about the care home situation when he returned from hospital in April.

“Not that I can remember,” the Health Secretary said when asked about Dominic Cummings’ testimony.

Matt Hancock has said the Government had tried to throw a “protective ring” around care homes but that it had proved difficult.

“I think the most important words in the sentence are ‘we tried to’. It was very hard,” he said.

“Each and every death in a care home weighs heavily and always will. We knew from the start from very early in January that the impact of this disease was most significant on the oldest and therefore care homes were going to be a particular risk.

“We put in funding. We made sure PPE was as available as possible. We set guidance for care homes. Then later when we had the testing capacity – in July – we brought in weekly testing for staff.”

Mr Hancock said that at the beginning of the pandemic his powers over social care were “extremely limited” and that the Department of Health and Social Care did not even have a list of care homes in England.

Matt Hancock has denied lying to Boris Johnson as the Health Secretary began being grilled by MPs investigating the pandemic response.

Mr Hancock was questioned over allegations Dominic Cummings previously made before the Health and Social Care Committee and Science and Technology Committee.

Asked by science committee chairman Greg Clark if he ever said anything to the Prime Minister he knew was untrue, Mr Hancock simply replied: “No.”

The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital in England stood at 876 as of 8am on Wednesday June 9, according to the latest figures from NHS England.

This is up from 801 a week earlier.

The seven-day average currently stands at 827 patients, the highest since May 17.

In north-west England the number of patients is currently 256, the highest since April 20.

A total of 131 hospital admissions of people with Covid-19 in England were reported for June 7, NHS England also said.

This is up from 98 a week earlier and is the highest number since April 19.

The seven-day average for admissions currently stands at 108, the highest since April 27.

The figures cover all patients admitted in the previous 24 hours who were known to have Covid-19, plus any patients diagnosed in hospital with Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours.

Professor Neil Ferguson said that, at present, it was too difficult to pin down how Covid-19 cases “will translate into hospitalisations, but it is well within the possibility that we could see a third wave at least comparable in terms of hospitalisations, maybe not as severe, as the second wave”.

“Almost certainly I think deaths probably will be lower – the vaccines are having a highly protective effect, cases in hospital now are milder – but it still could be quite worrying.”

Prof Ferguson said that models submitted to the Government looked at the “plusses and minuses” of reopening, but added: “I mean, fundamentally, it is for policymakers to take that on board.

“You have to be more cautious if you want measures to be irreversibly changed and relaxed, but the Government will decide in the next few days.”

He said the country has not yet seen a “huge surge in transmission” from step three of the road map, “but that may still be coming”.

Moving to Step 4 next stage of lockdown lifting likely to lead to another wave says Sheffield health chief

Sheffield’s director of public health Gregg Fell said moving to step 4 is likely to lead to another wave of cases.

He said: “I get that we all want it to be over. I do.

“But we can’t alter the virus, but we can alter the outcome of of the virus depending on how we behave . You can steer the path between perpetual lockdown versus letting the virus rip through the as yet unvaccinated people. We will remain in that space for the remainder of the Summer.”

Figures show infection rates in South Yorkshire have risen but remain low.

Barnsley had the highest infection rate with 45 cases per 100,000 people. The national average is 50 cases per 100,000.

In our region the infection rate went up by a fifth with 498 infections in the week to June 5. compared with 408 the week before.

Boris Johnson has said the Government will assess the impact the coronavirus vaccination programme is having before deciding whether to go ahead with the next stage of lockdown lifting in England.

Speaking during a visit to Cornwall, the Prime Minister said: “I think what everybody can see very clearly is that cases are going up and, in some places, hospitalisations are going up.

“I think what we need to assess is the extent to which the vaccine rollout, which has been phenomenal, has built up enough protection in the population in order for us to go ahead to the next stage.

“That’s what we’ll be looking at. There are arguments being made one way or the other. But we will be driven by the data. We’ll be looking at that and we’ll be setting it out on Monday.”

Page 1 of 3