UK Covid news LIVE: Antibody tests offered to public for first time

·7-min read
Patient samples are transferred by scientists into plates before entering the PCR process for Covid-19 testing at the Glasgow Lighthouse coronavirus testing facility (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Archive)
Patient samples are transferred by scientists into plates before entering the PCR process for Covid-19 testing at the Glasgow Lighthouse coronavirus testing facility (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Archive)

A UK-wide antibody testing programme is to be launched for people who have tested positive for coronavirus, the Government has announced.

The programme, which will offer tests to thousands of adults per day, aims to improve understanding and gain “vital” data about antibody protection following Covid infection and vaccination.

From Tuesday, anyone over 18 from any of the four UK nations can opt into the programme when receiving a PCR test.

Of those who test positive for coronavirus, up to 8,000 will be sent two-finger prick antibody tests to complete at home and send back for analysis.

The first must be taken as soon as possible after the positive result, and the second must be taken 28 days later.

The UK Health Security Agency, which is running the programme, will work alongside NHS test and trace services in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and use the results to monitor levels of antibodies in positive cases across the UK.

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Turkey ‘to come off the red list’ next week after drop in cases

08:59 , Leah Sinclair

Welcome to the Standard Coronavirus Live blog on Sunday, August 22.

Australian cases continue to increase

09:01 , Leah Sinclair

The Australian state of Victoria, in its sixth lockdown since the start of the pandemic, recorded 65 locally acquired cases today, taking the tally in its current outbreak to 440 active cases.

New South Wales saw 830 new infections today, despite stepped-up efforts, and the Australian Capital Territory, home to the capital, Canberra, had 19.

Nationwide, the tally of active cases stands at nearly 12,000.

Australia’s PM defends lockdowns

09:02 , Leah Sinclair

Prime Minister Scott Morrison today defended Australia’s lockdown strategy for tackling coronavirus, saying it would stay until at least 70pc of the population is fully vaccinated, as daily infections break records.

Sunday’s 914 cases of the highly infectious delta variant surpassed the previous high of 894 a day earlier.

“You can’t live with lockdowns forever and at some point, you need to make that gear change and that is done at 70pc,” Mr Morrison said.

Covid cases increase in New Zealand

09:03 , Leah Sinclair

New Zealand has recorded 21 new Covid cases, as the current community outbreak of the highly transmissible delta variant continues to increase.

It brings infections associated with the outbreak to 72.

The Pacific nation of 5.1 million people is under a strict lockdown until midnight on Tuesday as the outbreak has extended beyond the two key cities.

Jesse Jackson hospitalised with coronavirus

09:04 , Leah Sinclair

Famed civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and his 77-year-old wife, Jacqueline, have been hospitalised after testing positive for Covid.

Reverend Jackson, 79, received his first vaccine dose in January.

Russia reports 20,564 new Covid-19 cases and 762 deaths

09:25 , Leah Sinclair

Russia reported 20,564 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, including 1,661 in Moscow and 1,481 in St. Petersburg, which took the national tally to 6,747,087.

The Russian coronavirus task force said 762 more deaths of coronavirus patients had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 176,044.

Rosstat, the government statistics agency, keeps a separate count from the pandemic task force and says it has recorded about 315,000 deaths related to Covid-19 between last April and June this year.

Russia has reported about 463,000 excess deaths from April 2020 to June this year, according to Reuters calculations based on the latest Rosstat data.

Tokyo reports 4,392 new coronavirus cases, highest for Sunday

10:19 , Leah Sinclair

The Tokyo metropolitan government confirmed on Sunday 4,392 new coronavirus cases, marking the highest figure ever reported for that day of the week.

The number, which surpasses the 4,295 cases reported last Sunday, was down from the 5,074 new cases the previous day when they topped the 5,000 level for the fourth straight day.

The seven-day rolling average of Covid-19 infections stands at 4,732.9 per day, up 11 per cent from the previous week, according to the capital’s government.

The number of Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms increased by one from Saturday to 271.

Poland reports 185 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, no deaths

10:56 , Leah Sinclair

Poland recorded 185 new confirmed coronavirus cases and no deaths over the past 24 hours to Sunday morning, against 222 cases reported on Saturday, data released by the Health Ministry shows.

The healthcare system is now handling 340 Covid-19 hospitalisations, up from 359 recorded the day prior, including 36 patients on ventilators, against the total of 578 ventilators available, the Health Ministry said on Twitter.

UAE reports 1,076 new coronavirus cases, 2 deaths

11:24 , Leah Sinclair

The UAE confirmed 1,076 new Covid-19 cases and two deaths on Sunday.

With today’s newly detected cases, the total number of coronavirus infections in the country has risen to 709,378, while the death toll is 2,020.

India records 30,948 coronavirus cases, 403 deaths in 24 hours

11:47 , Leah Sinclair

A total of 30,948 new Covid-19 cases and 403 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 4,34,367, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

The Health Ministry said active cases of coronavirus in the country now stands at 353,398 which accounts for 1.09 per cent of the total cases.

Vietnam reports 11,214 coronavirus infections and 737 deaths

12:47 , Leah Sinclair

Vietnam reported 11,214 coronavirus infections on Sunday with most of the cases detected in Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong province.

The country reported 737 additional fatalities over the past two days, raising its coronavirus death toll to 8,277, Vietnam’s ministry of health said.

Global study suggests new treatment approach for critically-ill covid patients

13:11 , Leah Sinclair

Critically-ill Covid-19 patients are less likely to die or to require invasive ventilation if lying on their stomachs while receiving oxygen, a global research project has found.

The impact of the technique, known as awake prone positioning, was assessed in hospitals in six countries and involved more than 1,000 coronavirus patients requiring advanced breathing support.

The findings of the study, sponsored by NUI Galway, have been published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

It was the first clinical trial of its kind into the practice of awake prone positioning and ran from April 2020 to January 2021.

Brazil reports 28,388 new coronavirus cases, 698 deaths

13:15 , Leah Sinclair

Brazil recorded 28,388 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, along with 698 deaths from Covid-19, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

Brazil has registered more than 20 million cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 574,209, according to ministry data.

Nightclub vaccine passport policy in ‘disarray’, leaked letter claims

14:00 , Sarah Harvey

Boris Johnson has been accused of allowing his vaccine passports plan to descend into chaos as a leaked letter from government lawyers stated that “no final policy decision” had been taken on demanding the passes in nightclubs.

You can read the full story on this below:

Nightclub vaccine passport policy in ‘disarray’, leaked letter claims

Scotland: No new Covid-19 deaths and 3,190 new cases

14:33 , Leah Sinclair

No coronavirus deaths have been recorded in Scotland in the past 24 hours but 3,190 new cases have been confirmed, the latest Scottish Government figures show.

The death toll under the daily measure - of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days - remains at 8,070.

The daily test positivity rate is 10.8 per cent, down from 10.9 per cent the previous day.

A total of 338 people were in hospital on Saturday with recently confirmed Covid-19, up by 18 on the previous day, with 34 patients in intensive care, up two.

So far, 4,079,496 people have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 3,556,947 have had their second.

North Wales’ infection rate still above Wales average

15:31 , Leah Sinclair

There have been an additional 1,626 cases of Covid-19 recorded in Wales.

The latest figures published by Public Health Wales on Sunday and covering a two day period reported that five people have died after testing positive for coronavirus.

There have now been 261,509 cases of the virus recorded in Wales since the start of the pandemic.

Of the 1,626 new cases, 322 were in the North Wales region covered by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

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