UK Covid news LIVE: Children dying from Covid at ‘alarming rate’ in Indonesia

·16-min read
Doctors survey (PA Wire)
Doctors survey (PA Wire)

Indonesian doctors have seen a spike in coronavirus deaths and cases among children.

This rise has been charted since the Delta variant spread in July this year.

More than 1,272 children have died in the country in total, according to the Ministry of Health’s figures.

Deaths of under-18s make up around 1% of Indonesia’s total Covid-19 death toll which remains higher than the average worldwide at 0.3%, UNICEF reported on August 24 based on data from 79 countries.

In August, at least 228 people aged under-18 died before the end of the month.

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Another 1,293 cases confirmed in Ireland

17:38 , Robert Dex

Another 1,293 confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported by the Department of Health.

As of 8am on Monday, there were 382 Covid-19 patients in hospital, while there are 61 in intensive care units.

Coronavirus booster shots can help vulnerable, WHO Europe head says

16:55 , Leah Sinclair

A Covid-19 booster shot is a way to keep the most vulnerable safe and not a luxury robbing people who have yet to have even a single jab, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Monday.

On Monday, WHO Europe head Hans Kluge told a press briefing that more studies were showing that third doses protect vulnerable people.

“A third dose of vaccine is not a luxury booster (that is) taken away from someone who is still waiting for a first jab. It’s basically a way to keep the most vulnerable safe,” he said.

Mr Kluge said more evidence was still needed and urged European countries with excess vaccines to share them with other states, particularly in Eastern Europe and Africa.

Official figures show there were 26,476 positive Coronavirus tests in the last 24 hours

16:39 , Robert Dex

Official figures show there were 26,476 positive Coronavirus tests in the last 24 hours bringing the total in the last seven days to 235,090.

The statistics from the Government show there were 48 deaths in 24 hours of people who had tested positive for the virus in the last 28 days.

That brings the death total in the last week to 805, a rise of 14.8%, and a UK total of 132,485.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 156,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

Government data up to August 29 shows that of the 90,743,580 Covid jabs given in the UK, 48,024,928 were first doses, a rise of 23,612 on the previous day.

Some 42,718,652 were second doses, an increase of 78,871.

According to a post on the gov.uk dashboard, no data has been reported for Wales due to the bank holiday, meaning UK cases, vaccinations and deaths by report date only include those from England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Hospital staff under pressure as Covid impacts wards in Northern Ireland

16:28 , Laura Sharman

People are urged not to attend some hospitals in Northern Ireland, except for medical emergencies, as they come under extreme pressure.

Emergency departments have been extremely busy over the weekend and into bank holiday Monday.

Officials at Altnagelvin Hospital said the emergency department is very busy, with more than 60 people waiting and 24 yet to be admitted to the hospital.

Health officials said that those with serious illnesses and life-threatening injuries will be seen first.

“Expect Extremely long waiting times as Covid-19 continues to impact on bed pressures,” The Southern Trust said in a tweet.

“Staff continue to work very hard to see everyone. You can call (GP) out of hours for serious urgent problems.”

Latest Covid figures show 26,476 new cases and 48 deaths in 24 hours

16:18 , Laura Sharman

A further 26,476 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the last 24 hours bringing the total in the last seven days to 235,090, according to official figures.

The latest government statistics show there were 48 deaths in 24 hours of people who had tested positive for the virus in the last 28 days.

That brings the death total in the last week to 805, a rise of 14.8%.

Netherlands to end Covid financial support packages

16:07 , Laura Sharman

Financial support packages to help businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic in the Netherlands will end on October 1.

The Dutch government announced that with the economy back on track, lockdown measures largely over and unemployment low, “continuing the support would stand in the way of the economic recovery”.

It has spent some 80 billion euros since March last year propping up business ranging from individual entrepreneurs to national flag carrier KLM.

It says the support helped limit bankruptcies and unemployment.

EU to recommend reinstating restrictions on US travellers

15:22 , Laura Sharman

The European Union plans to recommend that its 27 nations reinstate restrictions on tourists from the US due to rising coronavirus infection levels there.A decision to remove the US from a safe list of countries for nonessential travel would reverse advice from June, when the bloc recommended lifting restrictions on US travelers before the summer tourism season.The guidance could come as early as this week, according to EU diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because the review process was still ongoing.However, any decision would be nonbinding.

The EU has no unified Covid tourism policy and national governments have the authority to decide whether they keep their borders open to US tourists.

Possible restrictions could include quarantines, further testing requirements upon arrival or even a total ban on all non-essential travel from the US.The United States has yet to reopen its own borders to EU tourists, despite calls from the bloc for the Biden administration to lift its ban.

Travel has been severely restricted over the last year (PA)
Travel has been severely restricted over the last year (PA)

Scotland: No new Covid-19 deaths and 3,893 cases

14:09 , Leah Sinclair

Scotland has recorded no new deaths of coronavirus patients and 3,893 cases in the past 24 hours, according to the latest data.

Figures published by the Scottish Government indicate the death toll under the daily measure - of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days - remains at 8,111.

The daily test positivity rate is 14.1 per cent, up from 13.5 per cent the previous day.

A total of 551 people were in hospital on Sunday with recently confirmed Covid-19, up by 44 on the previous day, with 52 patients in intensive care, no change.

So far, 4,103,687 people have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 3,668,041 have had their second.

Anger and frustration for events sector in Ireland

13:36 , Laura Sharman

A meeting between government and the live entertainment sector ended with “anger and frustration”, a stakeholders’ group has said.

The Entertainment Industry Alliance (EIA), an umbrella group representing the sector, said it had not been provided with a date for the return of full capacity events, or a strategy to achieve it.

It came after a meeting with Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, and Culture Minister Catherine Martin who promised to provide them with reopening dates on Tuesday.

“We continue to be disappointed and frustrated at the total lack of urgency on the part of Government for the reopening of the event industry, which represents 35,000 people and is worth 3.5 billion euro to the Irish economy,” EIA chairman Dan McDonnell said.

“This is despite being the only sector mandated to remain closed for nearly 18 months, far beyond any other industry or sector within Ireland.”

But speaking after the meeting, Minister Martin said it had been “a very positive engagement”, adding that it was “timely” ahead of a Covid Cabinet sub-committee meeting later on Monday afternoon.

She said: “I’m positive. What I was looking for is an early September, phased return for live music and events. I remain optimistic about that before we go into this meeting.

“The industry have always been clear that dates are needed, and that’s what will be provided tomorrow. They need that clarity and that will be provided.”

Germany offers transportation for vaccinations

13:22 , Laura Sharman

Germany is offering a special train service for anyone in Berlin who would like to get vaccinated against coronavirus.

The train service will run for two hours on Monday via a circular commuter line around the centre of the German capital for two hours amid slowing demand for the jab.

Officials invited anyone aged 18 or older to step aboard and receive a dose of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Health authorities are trying to make it easier for people to get the shot, as the pace of vaccination has declined noticeably in recent months.

Slightly more than 60 per cent of the German population is fully vaccinated against Covid, while infection rates are rising strongly again.The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Germany has more than doubled over the past two weeks from almost 5.2 new cases per 100,000 people on August 15 to nearly 11 on August 29.

Nicola Sturgeon ends self-isolation after negative Covid test

12:23 , Laura Sharman

Nicola Sturgeon is no longer self-isolating after testing negative for coronavirus.

The Scottish First Minister said she was “relieved” by the results of the PCR test which she had taken after being identified as a close contact of someone with the virus.

Under coronavirus rules, double-vaccinated adults and all children can avoid self-isolation if they are a close contact of someone with coronavirus so long as they are symptomless and provide a negative PCR test. The First Minister had her second dose of a coronavirus vaccine in June.

Scotland had recorded more than 7,000 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, a new record high, with Ms Sturgeon announcing she had been identified as a close contact.

Traffic returns to pre-Covid levels after bank holiday rush

12:22 , Laura Sharman

Traffic is returning to pre-pandemic levels with a “perfect storm” of congestion over the bank holiday weekend, the AA has said.

The return of music festivals, international travel restrictions and scepticism about the safety of public transport will lead to 18.4 million car journeys being made over the three days, according to the motoring association.

The number of cars on the road will increase by 37% on last year’s August Bank Holiday weekend total after 2020 was severely affected by coronavirus restrictions.

Friday evening saw “bumper-to-bumper” traffic on many of the country’s motorways - including the M1, M5, M6, M25 and M56 - as many people left on their getaways, and the AA said more gridlock will follow on Monday.

AA president Edmund King said: “There are likely to be big delays on the roads where holiday traffic mixes with sporting or shopping day trippers.

“Covid‘s disruption to people’s lives is still noticeable in the 10% fewer long-distance trippers this August. The drop in longer trips might be due to the difficulty in booking accommodation away from home due to more families taking their holidays in the UK.”

Coronavirus booster shots “not a luxury” says WHO Europe boss

11:22 , Laura Sharman

A third-dose booster shot of the coronavirus vaccination is a way to keep the most vulnerable safe and “not a luxury”, the World Health Organization has said.

The WHO said earlier this month data did not indicate a need for booster shots, while topping up already fully vaccinated people would further increase vaccine inequity between rich and lower-income countries.

“A third dose of vaccine is not a luxury booster taken away from someone who is still waiting for a first jab. It’s basically a way to keep the most vulnerable safe,” Hans Kluge, head of WHO Europe, told a press briefing.

Kluge also said an increase in Covid transmission rates across Europe over the last two weeks, combined with low levels of vaccination in some countries, was “deeply worrying”.

Live entertainment to return in Ireland

11:01 , Laura Sharman

The Irish government will provide the live entertainment sector with “specific dates” for reopening on Tuesday.

The sector has been largely shut throughout the pandemic, with bosses calling on government to allow it to return as soon as possible.

A meeting between stakeholders and Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar and Culture Minister Catherine Martin got under way at 10am on Monday.

“The government wants to open up and to do that as safely as we can,” minister Simon Coveney told RTE’s Morning Ireland.

“One thing we will definitely do tomorrow is give people specific dates so they can plan their businesses and lives around dates in the future. That’s what the industry is asking for.”

Children should have regular Covid tests as schools return, parents urged

10:56 , Laura Sharman

Parents should make sure their children are tested regularly for coronavirus, the education secretary has said.

Gavin Williamson also warned youngsters not to get “carried away” when schools return.

The government is trying to persuade parents, secondary school pupils and college students to take part in voluntary asymptomatic Covid-19 testing.

There are concerns that the return to classes in England in September could drive a new wave of infections.

Mr Williamson said the easing of restrictions and the return of schooling which is “closer to normality” is welcome but warned that parents and children should not “throw caution to the wind”.

Writing in the Daily Mail, he said: “At long last, we will see children once more free to chase a football around, sing in a choir or just hang out with friends. I am absolutely delighted.

“After all, children and their parents have had to put up with so much disruption over the past 18 months.

“It is important not to get too carried away with these new freedoms and throw caution to the wind.

“The fact that we are in the happy position we are now is because everyone has worked hard to follow the national guidelines. We still need to do so.”

Gavin Williamson (PA)
Gavin Williamson (PA)

Moderna vaccine contamination fears widen with one million more shots suspended in Japan

10:07 , Laura Sharman

Fears have widened in Japan over contaminated coronavirus vaccines with another million doses being temporarily suspended.

Two people have died after receiving affected shots of the Moderna vaccine with batches found to contain foreign substances.

The suspension of Moderna supplies, affecting more than 2.6 million does in total, comes as Japan battles its worst wave of Covid-19 yet, driven by the contagious delta variant.

New daily infections exceeded 25,000 this month for the first time amid a slow vaccine rollout.

The latest reports of vaccine contamination came from Gunma prefecture near Tokyo and the southern prefecture of Okinawa, prompting the suspension on Sunday of two more lots in addition to the 1.63 million doses already pulled last week.

A tiny black substance was found in a Moderna vaccine vial in Gunma, an official from the prefecture said.

In Okinawa, black substances were spotted in syringes and a vial, and pink material was found in a different syringe.

Japan’s health ministry said some of the incidents may have been due needles being incorrectly inserted into vials, breaking off bits of the rubber stopper. Other vials from the lots can continue to be used, the ministry said.

The contamination cases followed a government report on Saturday that two people died after receiving Moderna shots that were among lots later suspended.

A nurse preparing the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine (PA Wire)
A nurse preparing the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine (PA Wire)

New Zealand reports first coronavirus vaccine death

09:41 , Laura Sharman

A woman in New Zealand has died after being given the Pfizer jab.

It is believed to be the first death linked to the coronavirus vaccine in the country.

A vaccine safety monitoring board said the woman died from myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, which she “probably developed because of the vaccine.”

However, she had other medical conditions which may have also contributed.

Director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said myocarditis is a very rare side effect and there is clear evidence that having a vaccination is much safer than being infected with Covid-19.

Health authorities have so far administered vaccines to more than two million New Zealanders.

New Zealand is currently in lockdown amid an outbreak of the delta variant which was first identified in India.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Auckland will remain in strict lockdown for at least two more weeks and the rest of the country for at least another week, but with slightly fewer restrictions.

Jacinda Ardern (REUTERS)
Jacinda Ardern (REUTERS)

Maskless passenger spits at London bus driver when challenged

09:27 , Laura Sharman

A London bus driver was spat at by a passenger who refused to wear a mask when challenged.

The incident happened on a number 83 bus near Wembley, north-west London, at around 10.40pm on Friday.

Metropolitan Police have released an image of a man they wish to identify following the incident.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is self isolating

09:27 , Laura Sharman

Nicola Sturgeon is self-isolating after coming into close contact with somebody who tested positive for Covid.

The Scottish First Minister said she will be self-isolating pending a PCR test result.

Under coronavirus rules, double-vaccinated adults and all children can avoid self-isolation if they are a close contact of someone with coronavirus so long as they are symptomless and provide a negative PCR test.

Ms Sturgeon had her second vaccine dose in June.

“I’ve had notification tonight that I’ve been identified as a close contact of someone who is positive for Covid,” she tweeted on Sunday.

“Accordingly, and in line with the rules, I’ll be self-isolating pending a PCR test result. My thanks to all the contact tracers working so hard in NHS Test & Protect.”

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon (PA Wire)
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon (PA Wire)

Children dying from Covid at alarming rate in Indonesia

09:26 , Laura Sharman

Children in Indonesia make up 1% of the country’s Covid death toll which is more than triple the world average.

Under-18s account for 1% of Indonesia’s total coronavirus death toll compared to the global average of around 0.3%, according to figures published by UNICEF on August 24.

Paediatricians said there has been a surge in cases since the delta variant took hold in the southeast Asian country.

Dr Agus Susanto, a paediatrician at a hospital in the capital of Jakarta, told Sky News: “Health protocols are very difficult to apply to children. Second, the use of masks in children is very difficult to apply, masks are something that make children uncomfortable.”

The health expert explained how hand washing is sometimes forgotten, and that other risk factors include nutrition, heart disease, cancer, malnutrition, stunting and obesity.

“This has an impact on the vulnerability of Indonesian children to COVID-19,” Dr Susanto added.

Bond star Colin Salmon reveals he suffered serious case of Covid-19

09:25 , Laura Sharman

James Bond star Colin Salmon said he felt as if he was “slipping away” after contracting coronavirus on New Year’s Eve.

The actor’s entire family - his wife Fiona Hawthorne and their four children - fell ill with the virus and he was admitted to hospital for treatment.

The 58-year-old, best known for playing MI6 deputy chief of staff Charles Robinson in three Bond films, credited the work of doctors with saving his life.

He told Hello! magazine: “I felt as if I was slipping away. If I hadn’t gone to hospital, I wouldn’t be here now.”

Colin Salmon attending the National Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards 2019 at the London Palladium (PA)
Colin Salmon attending the National Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards 2019 at the London Palladium (PA)
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