Coronavirus UK news – Covid NOT among top 10 causes of death in England despite MILLIONS forced into Tier 3 lockdowns

CORONAVIRUS wasn't even among the top 10 causes of death in the UK last month despite millions living under crippling lockdowns.

There were 2,703 excess deaths across England and Wales in September, figures from the Office For National Statistics show, but coronavirus was not in the 10 leading causes.

This is despite millions across the UK living under crippling Tier 2 and Tier 3 lockdowns and a nationwide 10pm curfew that is costing the economy billions and having an enormous impact on the nation's mental health.

The news comes as a study found the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca "works perfectly" and builds strong immunity.

The vaccine is a global frontrunner and has been shown to safely trigger an immune response in volunteers who have taken part in trials.

Follow our coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates

  • Patrick Knox

    STURGEON OUTLINES FIVE LEVELS OF CORONA RESTRICTIONS IN SCOTLAND

    The new set of restrictions has been anticipated since a similar three-tiered system was introduced in England by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and will come into force in Scotland on Monday November 2.

    The Scottish First Minister said areas with lower levels of the virus do not require to be under the same restrictions as areas with higher infection rates, she said.

    Scotland has recorded 18 coronavirus deaths and 1,401 positive cases in the past 24 hours, Ms Sturgeon said, but she added the infection rate appears to be slowing.

    The five levels range from zero, which the First Minister said would be as close to normal as the country can be without effective treatment or a vaccine, to the highest level of four which is “closer to a full lockdown”.

    Schools are expected to be kept open throughout all levels, with necessary safety measures in place, while all hospitality venues, except hotels, will close in Level 4.

  • Patrick Knox

    CAPTAIN SIR TOM MOORE'S 100TH BIRTHDAY CARDS GO ON DISPLAY AT IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM

    The Second World War veteran and NHS fundraising hero has given the cards to the Imperial War Museum (IWM) Duxford in Cambridgeshire and has recorded a video message to be screened alongside them.

    The war veteran who fought in Burma during World War Two raised more than £32m for NHS charities by completing 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday in April.

    In the video Captain Tom, who is honorary patron of the IWM, expresses his appreciation for the well wishes he received.

    The museum is also home to a permanent exhibition about the Burma campaign, in which Captain Tom served.

    The exhibition, called The Forgotten War, is in the museum's Land Warfare Hall and shows what it was like to fight in the jungles of the Far East, menaced by severe weather and the constant threat of disease.

  • Joseph Gamp

    POPE WARNED OF POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO COVID-19

    Pope Francis has been warned of potential exposure to COVID-19 after a Vatican diplomat was infected, Australian media reported on Friday.

    Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, the Holy Sees ambassador to Australia, had a face-to-face meeting with Francis at the Vatican on Oct. 6, less than two weeks before testing positive to COVID-19 in Australia, Nine News reported.

    Australian authorities say a diplomat who flew into Sydney on Oct. 9 had tested positive to the coronavirus. They wont reveal the diplomats identity.

    The diplomat tested positive 10 days after he started quarantining at home in the national capital Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory Health Department said in a statement.

    The department said the risk of infection was low for the two people who drove the diplomat 300 kilometers (185 miles) from Sydney to Canberra.

  • Patrick Knox

    ICONIC BRITISH LANDMARK BLACKPOOL TOWER LIT UP WITH THE LETTERS 'SOS'

    The display was a desperate bid for help as strict lockdown restrictions have left the resort on the brink of collapse

    Business owners in the seaside town say they have had “mass cancellations” on an “unimaginable scale” since being pushed into tier three Covid-19 restrictions.

    In an open letter to Boris Johnson, 1,000 traders described the current conditions as a “perfect storm” and warned about the possibility of hundreds of job losses.

    Hotels, B&Bs and holiday rentals which are usually fully booked for the October half term will “lie virtually empty” next week, the desperate business people said.

    The letter warns that without urgent aid dozens of businesses will shut before the end of the year.

  • Patrick Knox

    PEOPLE FORCED TO 'EAT RATS AND SNAKES' AS 2ND LOCKDOWN DRIVES HUNGER

    With nothing left to buy in Myanmar (Burma), some of the country’s citizens have resorted to hunting for food in the open drains by the slum where they live on the outskirts of Myanmar’s largest city.

    Ma Suu, who runs a stall, said: “People are eating rats and snakes.

    “Without an income, they need to eat like that to feed their children.”

    She lives in Hlaing Thar Yar, one of Yangon’s poorest neighborhoods, where residents shine flashlights in the undergrowth behind their homes, looking for some night creature to stave off their hunger.

  • Patrick Knox

    ZOOM BOOM FUELS CRAZE FOR BOTOX

    Make-up artist Catherine Dudley-Bacon, 42, says she decided to get treatment after spending days staring at her face in video consultations.

    But she is just one of hundreds of people who are opting for cosmetic work while they see their reflections on screen.

    Figures by Save Face, an online register for medics, show a 57 per cent rise in phone inquiries for neck and face work — from 500 a year to 800.

    The rise in Wales has now been dubbed the “Zoom boom” as clinic waiting list are getting longer.

  • Patrick Knox

    MINISTER WARNS NOT TO EXPECT NORMAL CHRISTMAS

    Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay, speaking as sweeping new restrictions were imposed on millions more people in different parts of Britain, said he hoped families could be together over the festive season.

    Greater Manchester moved into the highest alert level, Tier 3, this morning, and Wales was introducing its two-week “firebreak” lockdown at 6pm.

    Coventry, Stoke and Slough will enter Tier 2 on Saturday, while talks between Westminster and civic leaders in Nottingham over possible Tier 3 restrictions were continuing.

    Asked how he would describe the chances of people having a “normal Christmas” despite Covid-19 restrictions, Mr Barclay told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: “I would describe it as a shared endeavour for all of us.

    “All of us want to be able to enjoy Christmas with our families. And that's why there is a common purpose here to get the virus down.”

  • Patrick Knox

    COVID-SAFE PLANS TO BRING BACK CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW IN 2021 UNVEILED

    The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) was forced to take the world-famous flower show online in 2020 as the pandemic prevented the physical event at London's Royal Hospital Chelsea from going ahead in May.

    Now the horticultural charity has announced plans for a longer show in 2021, running for six days for the first time in its 108-year history, from Tuesday, May 18 to Sunday, May 23.

    There will also be fewer visitors — 140,000 across six days compared with 168,500 over five days in 2019 — to help reduce crowds.

    Other Covid-safe measures that will be put in place include socially distanced queuing, crowd modelling and space changes to spread popular areas, and requirements to wear masks in indoor areas such as the Great Pavilion.

    There are also plans for cashless transactions where possible, a flexible ticket exchange for those with symptoms, enhanced cleaning, and a reduction in closed seated restaurants.

  • Patrick Knox

    DEATH RATE INCREASES IN ENGLAND FOR THE TIME SINCE APRIL PEAK

    Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), published today, showed that the age-standardised mortality rate in September because of Covid-19 was 12.6 per 100,000 people in England.

    This is up from 7.2 per 100,000 in August and is the first increase since April, the ONS said.

    The ONS said: “In September 2020, the number of deaths and mortality rate due to Covid-19 remained significantly below levels seen in March 2020 — the first month a Covid-19 death was registered in England and Wales.

    “However, the mortality rate due to Covid-19 was significantly higher in England in September 2020 compared with the previous month, August 2020.”

  • Patrick Knox

    PUBLIC INQUIRY CALL OVER RAILWAY WORKER COVID DEATH

    Some 47 MPs and four peers have signed a joint letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson raising “unanswered questions” surrounding the death of Belly Mujinga.

    Mother-of-one Belly, 47, died on April 5 after complaining that a customer claiming to have the virus coughed and spat in her face at London's Victoria station.

    The letter, penned by former shadow immigration minister Bell Ribeiro-Addy, voices concern over the conduct of Belly's employer Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR).

    And it highlights the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on frontline BAME workers.

  • Patrick Knox

    TEEN DIAGNOSED WITH STAGE FOUR CANCER AFTER AVOIDING GP DUE TO CORONA

    Paige Heeland, 19, now faces a gruelling six-month course of chemotherapy after a biopsy discovered her Hodgkin lymphoma.

    But the nursery worker, from Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, first discovered a small lump in the right side of her neck in January and initially thought nothing of it.

    Yet by the time the UK went into Covid-19 lockdown in March, the lump had grown to the size of a 10p coin.

    When she finally saw a doctor last month, the teen was sent for a biopsy and given the crushing diagnosis.

    Paige is now urging others to go to the doctors as soon as they notice any changes in their body – something she wishes she had done sooner.

  • Patrick Knox

    AIR PASSENGERS USE FAKE NEGATIVE TESTS

    Some travellers are using fake negative Covid-19 test 'certificates' so they can board flights to Pakistan, it has emerged.

    People are able to doctor the name on negative test emails, print them out and hand them to check-in staff at UK airports.

    Many airlines now require proof of a negative Covid-19 test before travellers are permitted to board a plane to certain countries.

    To keep NHS Covid tests clear for those with greater clinical need or for NHS workers, travellers must arrange a private test, costing up to £150.

    From October 5, all international travellers to Pakistan were required to present evidence of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 96 hours of the start of travel.

  • Patrick Knox

    COVID CAUSING MEN TO FLOP IN BED:

    Pandemic anxiety and stress are severely affecting men's ability to get erections, one of the UK's top physiotherapists has revealed.

    Rosemary Lillie, 66, has helped hundreds of men boost their sex lives but says an increasing number are suffering due to the pandemic.

    The erectile dysfunction (ED) expert has been solely focusing on male fertility issues for the last decade at her clinic in Wimbledon, West London.

    But she fears the stress of COVID-19 and current strict lockdown and quarantine restrictions are affecting men's ability to get erections.

    She said: “It is well known that stress and anxiety can be a contributory factor in men's inability to get an erection.

    “One patient who came to me was unable to work due to the lockdown, and was very stressed and worried about money.”

  • Patrick Knox

    BELGIUM TIGHTENS COVID MEASURES IN BID TO AVOID LOCKDOWN

    The country, one of Europe's hardest hit by the coronavirus, further tightened restrictions on social contacts.

    This includes banning fans from sports matches, limiting the number of people in cultural spaces and closing theme parks.

    Belgium, which has already closed cafes, bars and restaurants and imposed a night curfew, has Europe's second highest infection rate per capita after the Czech Republic.

    New infections hit a peak of 10,500 yesterday.

    But the country has so far resisted calls from medical experts for a second lockdown, following the period of confinement in March, to prevent more economic pain.

  • Patrick Knox

    HOPE FOR MILLIONS AS OXFORD UNI JAB ‘WORKS PERFECTLY’

    The Covid-19 vaccine is a global frontrunner and has been shown to safely trigger an immune response in volunteers given it in early trials.

    Unlike traditional vaccines which use a weakened virus, or small amounts of it, the innovative Oxford jab forces the body to make part of the virus itself.

    This means a person's immune system is then primed to recognise and fight the virus without them falling ill.

  • Patrick Knox

    SEWAGE SITES TO BE TESTED FOR TRACES OF CORONAVIRUS

    Human waste could be used in the fight against covid.

    Ninety wastewater treatment sites in England, Wales and Scotland are to start testing for fragments of genetic material from the virus.

    Scientists say it can be detected even when there are only asymptomatic Covid-19 cases in a community.

    Results will be shared with test-and-trace systems.

  • Alahna Kindred

    STOPPING EVENTS

    Writing in the Lancet journal, authors of the study say the most significant intervention is banning public events, which reduces the R rate by 24 per cent in just four weeks.

    Major events including the Cheltenham Festival and the Champions League clash between Liverpool and Atletico Madrid went ahead at the start of the crisis.

    Professor Harish Nair assessed pandemic measures in 131 countries before writing his report on what works – and what doesn't.

    He said: “If you tell people to stay at home, it is very difficult to ensure compliance.

    “If you ask people not to meet in groups, you have the same problem – it's about adherence.

    “Banning mass events or closing schools, on the other hand, ensures compliance.”

    Shutting schools in the UK reduced the R by 15 per cent. Their reopening was associated with a large increase in R.

    However, Professor Nair said: “We found an increase in R after reopening schools but it is not clear whether the increase is attributable to specific age groups.”

    Read more here

  • Alahna Kindred

    STOP THE SPREAD

    Ordering Brits to stay at home in a bid to tackle coronavirus doesn't work as they won't obey – but banning big public events does, experts say.

    The crucial R rate drops by just three per cent after a full month of ordering people to stay indoors.

    A ban on gatherings of more than 10 cuts the rate by the same amount – despite the UK's 'rule of six'.

    And researchers at Edinburgh University say the problem is making people obey the strict laws.

  • Alahna Kindred

    VACCINE HOPE

    The coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca “works perfectly” and builds strong immunity, a study has said.

    The team at the prestigious university are thought to be the frontrunners in the race to produce a safe vaccine.

    In early trials it has been shown to safely trigger an immune response in volunteers, according to the study.

    Usually, vaccines use a weakened virus, or small amounts of it, but the innovative Oxford jab causes the body to make part of the virus itself.

    Researchers led by the University of Bristol have now found this new technique works for the coronavirus.

    Read more here

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    TURD IMMUNITY

    More than a fifth of the country will have their sewage tested for Covid after government pilots found it can trace the virus even if just one in 1,000 people have it.

    Ministers believe sewage testing will provide a vital new tool in identifying local outbreaks days and in some cases weeks before they currently can.

    Tests will be carried out four times a week in more than 90 wastewater sites, which cover around 22 per cent of England’s population.

    Crucially, traces of Covid can be found in sewage even if someone shows no symptoms.

    So public health authorities will be alerted when sewage testing flags up a spike in cases.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    UK COVID-19 SALARY SCHEME FRAUD MAY HIT £3.9BILLION, WATCHDOG SAYS

    British companies may have fraudulently claimed up to 3.9 billion pounds in public money by accepting funds from a salary support scheme while ordering furloughed staff to still work during lockdown, the spending watchdog said.

    The National Audit Office (NAO) praised the government for rolling out support schemes for employees and the self-employed ahead of schedule when COVID-19 forced much of the economy to close down in March.

    But the NAO said that under such pressure it did not have time to fully test the schemes and as a result the total scale of fraud and error was likely to be considerable.

    It will not know the numbers until the end of next year at the earliest.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    LAST CHANCE SALOON

    Revellers in Wales and Manchester hit the town tonight ahead of strict new lockdowns.

    Party-goers packed into bars and clubs in major cities to make the most of what could be the last big night out for some time.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    EUROPE DAILY VIRUS CASES DOUBLE IN 10 DAYS, REPORTS 200,000 DAILY CASES FOR THE FIRST TIME

    Europe's reported coronavirus cases more than doubled in 10 days, crossing 200,000 daily infections for the first time on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, with many Southern European countries reporting their highest single-day cases this week.

    Europe reported 100,000 daily cases for the first time on Oct. 12.

    Europe has so far reported about 7.8 million total coronavirus cases and about 247,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally. European countries like Italy, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia reported their highest single-day coronavirus cases on Thursday.

    Europe as a region is reporting more daily cases than India, Brazil and the United States combined. The increase is partly explained by far more testing than was done in the first wave of the pandemic.

    The global coronavirus tally stands at about 41.4 million cases and about 1.1 million deaths.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    BORIS TEST BLAST

    Boris Johnson last night admitted the £12billion test and trace system desperately needs to improve — after it suffered its worst week yet.

    Just one in seven Brits are getting their test results back within the 24- hour target time, and a record low of only 59.6 per cent of close contacts of people with Covid were reached.

    Joining in criticism for the first time at last night’s Downing Street press conference, he said: “I share people’s frustrations.

    “And I understand totally why we do need to see faster turnaround times.

    “We need to make sure that people who do get a positive test self-isolate. That’s absolutely crucial if this is going to work in the way that it can.”

    He said the system, run by Dido Harding, helps tackle Covid “a bit” — while Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance suggested it was becoming ineffective because Covid rates were so high.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    RON MORE CHANCE

    Cristiano Ronaldo is still in line to face Barcelona in the Champions League next week – despite testing positive AGAIN for coronavirus.

    The Juventus superstar tested positive on October 13 following international duty with Portugal.

    And a re-test has shown that Ronaldo remains positive for Covid-19, although he is well and symptom free.

    Juventus have sent medical documents to Uefa a week before their group stage clash with Barca, informing them of his condition.

    He will take a THIRD test 24 hours before the game where a negative test will see him able to take on his old foe Lionel Messi.

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