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UK coronavirus LIVE: London leaders demand tougher lockdown as Boris Johnson grilled at PMQs – Evening Standard

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/coronavirus-live-latest-london-lockdown-vaccine-b867473.html

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ondon leaders are calling on Boris Johnson to urgently introduce tougher coronavirus restrictions or risk putting an “unsustainable strain” on the NHS and public services.

This includes the closure of places of worship. They have also called for the Government to distribute more Covid vaccines across London, after it emerged that the capital was losing out to the rest of the country. 

It comes as Mr Johnson told PMQs that images of meagre food parcels were an “insult to the families that have received them”. He was also facing questions by senior MPs about the vaccine rollout.

Live updates

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Sadiq Khan says more than 10,000 Londoners have now died with Covid-19

“Many of the families will be listening to this programme now and they’re in my thoughts and prayers… it’s heartbreaking it’s come to this,” Mr Khan told LBC.

“This epidemic is far worse than it was in spring, the pressures on the NHS are far higher, yet the lockdown measures are much lighter.”

Mr Khan said he and the leader of London Councils, Georgie Gould, have written to the Prime Minister “pleading with him to have additional restrictions on our city”.

“We think that’s the best way to save lives and stop the NHS being overwhelmed,” he added.

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More on the latest vaccine data:

A total of 191,965 people in Scotland had received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination by 8.30am on Wednesday, according to official figures.

The Public Health Scotland statistics indicate an increase of 16,023 on the 175,942 vaccinated 24 hours previously.

A total of 2,990 people have received a second dose, an increase of 133.

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The latest NHS figures on vaccines in England

A total of 2,661,850 Covid-19 vaccinations had taken place in England between December 8 and January 12, according to provisional NHS England data, including first and second doses, which is a rise of 187,645 on Tuesday’s figures.

Of this number, 2,254,556 were the first dose of the vaccine, a rise of 174,276 on Tuesday’s figures, while 407,294 were the second dose, an increase of 13,369.

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Scotland tightens lockdown with curbs on click and collect and takeaways

The First Minister told the Scottish parliament that shops would only be allowed to offer click and collect for essential goods, such as clothes, shoes, baby equipment, books and homeware.

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The latest coronavirus figures for England hospitals are in:

A further 1,012 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 57,828, NHS England said on Wednesday.

Patients were aged between 39 and 102. All except 46, aged between 39 and 98, had known underlying health conditions.

The deaths were between May 8 and January 12, with the majority being on or after January 6.

There were 54 other deaths reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.

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PHE official says if the vaccine does not prevent Covid-19 transmission, the virus may need to be allowed to circulate among younger people

Asked if it was likely the entire population would need to be vaccinated, Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England, told the Commons Science and Technology Committee: “We may need to accept, if the vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission, that we’re going to protect the people who are really vulnerable and going to die and have serious disease, but we allow the disease to circulate in younger people where it’s not causing much harm.

“That may be the situation we go to, like we are with things like flu, that we accept that a lot of people get flu but we protect those who are most vulnerable.

“That may be the outcome, I’m hoping it will be a bit better than that.”

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Marcus Rashford says it is time for a “major review” of the free school meal system

He tweeted: “Thanks to the efforts of individuals, businesses, charities, educators, and Govt so many of our vulnerable children have been helped during this pandemic and we should be proud of what we have achieved so far. That being said there is so much work to be done.

“This year has shown us how dangerous and life-altering many children’s access to food is and frankly too many children have been falling through the cracks, at risk of being seriously left behind.”

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Government has ‘no intention’ to close nurseries, Gavin Williamson says

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said there is “no intention” to close nurseries despite concerns about the spread of coronavirus in early years settings.

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Nicola Sturgeon has urged Scots to adhere to the spirit not just the letter of lockdown laws

Speaking in Holyrood on Wednesday, she said: “Don’t think in terms of the maximum interactions you can have without breaking the rules.

“Think instead about how you minimise your interactions to the bare essentials to remove as many opportunities as possible for the virus to spread.

“In everything you do, assume that the virus is there with you – that either you have it or any person you are in contact with has it – and act in a way that prevents it passing between you.

“All of this means staying at home except for genuinely essential purposes – including working from home whenever possible.

“Except for essential purposes, do not have people from other households in your house and do not go into theirs.”

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Wales could offer 24-hour vaccinations in the future

Dr Andrew Goodall said there had already been a “step up” in supply, particularly of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, with an increase in vaccination sites, days and hours.

“I think firstly we need to just extend the hours and make them available, but if at some point during this response – particularly as we go over the next four to six weeks – we feel that there is an opportunity to do things on a 24/7 basis, then we would do so if that’s the way in which we deliver the activity,” Dr Goodall said.

Dr Frank Atherton, chief medical officer for Wales, added: “I’d expect local health boards to be flexible in their approach and to really look at the demand.

“If there is a demand, a real demand, for further hours of opening, then I would expect them to meet those.”

Dr Atherton said it would depend on the supply of the vaccine, as well as staff availability.

“We need to make sure that we don’t destabilise the NHS by increasing activity elsewhere,” Dr Atherton said.

“We’ll go as fast as we can but we will go as safely as we can and we will go in a way which avoids wastage as much as we possibly can – those three things are really important to us.”