UK’s Covid cases rise again with 33,904 positive tests, marking a 15% week-on-week jump

Britain’s daily Covid cases are not showing any signs of slowing down yet, official figures suggested today.

Department of Health bosses posted another 33,904 positive tests, up 14.5 per cent on last Wednesday’s figure of 29,612 — despite swabbing levels remaining flat. 

It is the third consecutive day that the rolling seven-day average — which offers a more accurate picture over the true state of the crisis because daily counts can fluctuate heavily — has risen. 

Meanwhile, hospitalisations and deaths are still creeping upwards. Both measures lag several weeks behind cases because of how long it can take for the infected to become severely ill.

Another 111 fatalities were recorded today, up 6.7 per cent on last week. The average daily toll, which hasn’t stood in triple figures since March, is now around 94. 

And 773 Covid-infected patients were admitted to NHS hospitals on August 14, the most recent day UK-wide data is available for — up 8.6 per cent on the previous Saturday.

Sturgeon’s Covid ‘power grab’: SNP ministers want to make emergency laws PERMANENT

Sweeping powers to impose lockdowns, close schools and release prisoners in response to any health crisis could be made permanent under SNP proposals.

The Scottish Government wants to introduce a ‘permanent suite of powers’ to tackle coronavirus or any other infectious disease or contamination in the future that threatens public health.

But critics say the highly controversial move could be viewed as an excessive infringement on the liberty of Scots.

The Tories said it is a clear signal ministers ‘are unwilling to give up their control over people’s lives’.

Most emergency powers introduced at the beginning of the pandemic will already continue until March 2022 and can be extended by a further six months if a majority of MSPs vote for it.

But the consultation published yesterday proposes making many of the powers available to ministers permanently.

It is claimed this would ensure they ‘can respond effectively and rapidly to any future threats to public health in Scotland’.

Scottish Conservative Covid recovery spokesman Murdo Fraser said: ‘These powers were intended to be temporary measures to deal with the pandemic.

‘The fact SNP ministers are now seeking to make many of them permanent is a clear sign they are unwilling to give up their control over people’s lives.

 

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It came as it was revealed sweeping powers to impose lockdowns, close schools and release prisoners in response to any health crisis could be made permanent under SNP proposals. 

The Scottish Government wants to introduce a ‘permanent suite of powers’ to tackle Covid or any other infectious disease or contamination in the future that threatens public health.

But critics say the highly controversial move could be viewed as an excessive infringement on the liberty of Scots. The Tories said it is a clear signal ministers ‘are unwilling to give up their control over people’s lives’.

Most emergency powers introduced at the beginning of the pandemic will already continue until March 2022 and can be extended by a further six months if a majority of MSPs vote for it.

But the consultation document, published yesterday, proposes making many of the powers available to ministers permanently.

It is claimed doing so would ensure they ‘can respond effectively and rapidly to any future threats to public health in Scotland’.

In other developments, analysis suggested mental health referrals in the UK have spiked by nearly a fifth on the back of the coronavirus crisis.

Around 300,000 Britons were recommended for treatment in March this year, a rise of 18 per cent compared to February 2020 — a month before the first lockdown.

Referrals more than doubled in hardest-hit areas in England, including Leeds, Redbridge and Greater Preston, according to the analysis by the BBC.

Urgent referrals to crisis care teams — which include suicidal patients — have also risen 15 per cent in the same time period, nationally.

However, the impact of the pandemic on mental health referrals in England seems less clear when looking at the entire year. There were roughly 3million in the 12 months to March 2021, about the same as the previous year.

Charities fear patients have suffered in silence and put off coming forward for care during the pandemic, and warn there could be huge increases in referrals to come.

Despite the spike in referrals this March, the number of patients actually receiving care was 9 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

Deserted streets, panic buying and Auckland shut for a week: New Zealand plunged into a draconian Covid lockdown as Delta variant cases rise to TEN 

New Zealand’s city streets were largely deserted today after the nation was plunged into lockdown as part of a desperate attempt to press on with its ‘zero Covid’ approach.

The country was virus-free and living without restrictions until policymakers ordered a snap nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, in response to a single new infection — the first locally-acquired case in six months.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that a total of 10 cases have been detected since the draconian stay-at-home order was announced, all of which were infected with the highly-transmissible Delta.

Its is the first sign the mutant strain could undermine the 19 months of economically-crippling restrictions New Zealanders have had to endure to pursue the elimination strategy.

Scientists have warned ‘zero Covid’ is near impossible with the Delta strain, which is many times more infectious than the original virus that emerged in China.

Delta is already wreaking havoc in neighbouring Australia, which took a similar approach to New Zealand but is seeing the strategy fall to pieces.

The state of New South Wales has struggled to contain its crisis, and is recording a record 600 new infections per day, fuelled by the the outbreak in Sydney. More than 25million Aussies are now living under draconian lockdown rules.

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Limited capacity due to social distancing policies is said to be partly to blame, as well as reduced services during lockdowns.

Across the other side of the world, New Zealand’s city streets were left deserted after the nation was plunged into lockdown as part of a desperate attempt to press on with its ‘zero Covid’ approach.

The country was virus-free and living without restrictions until policymakers ordered a snap nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, in response to a single new infection — the first locally-acquired case in six months.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that a total of 10 cases have been detected since the draconian stay-at-home order was announced, all of which were infected with the highly-transmissible Delta.

Its is the first sign the mutant strain could undermine the 19 months of economically-crippling restrictions New Zealanders have had to endure to pursue the elimination strategy.

Scientists have warned ‘zero Covid’ is near impossible with the Delta strain, which is many times more infectious than the original virus that emerged in China.

Delta is already wreaking havoc in neighbouring Australia, which took a similar approach to New Zealand but is seeing the strategy fall to pieces.

The state of New South Wales has struggled to contain its crisis, and is recording a record 600 new infections per day, fuelled by the the outbreak in Sydney. More than 25million Aussies are now living under draconian lockdown rules.

Police are enforcing the rules with fines of up to AUD$5,000 (£2,500) as the country desperately tries to cling on to its failing ‘zero Covid’ pursuit with Beijing-style measures.

Australia and New Zealand’s sluggish vaccine rollouts have left them particularly susceptible to a deadly outbreak of the Delta strain. 

Only 17 per cent of the entire New Zealand population has been fully vaccinated. Australia is also lagging behind (21 per cent).

The ten positive cases in New Zealand were all linked to the original infection in the country’s largest city Auckland, although health officials said modelling suggested case numbers could rise to 120.

Auckland – where the infected man lives – and Coromandel, where he had visited, are in a full lockdown for seven days and the remainder of the country for three days while health experts try to find the source of his infection.

The move into the strictest lockdown underscored the vastly different approach New Zealand has taken to the virus than most other nations, which are trying to suppress its spread rather than eliminate it entirely.

Link hienalouca.com

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