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Australia Covid news live: PM confirms extra Pfizer doses as NSW records 141 new cases and two deaths, including woman in her 30s

25 minutos 31 segundos ago

Scott Morrison confirms extra 85 million Pfizer doses; NSW records 141 new local cases and two deaths, including a woman in her 30s; too soon to tell if Victorian lockdown will end Tuesday as state records 11 new local cases. Follow all the latest updates, live

9.05am BST

With that, we might leave you for the night.

I’ll see you bright and early on the blog Monday morning to kick start the next week of news.

8.48am BST

Okay, here are the numbers on all the arrests and penalty notices to come out of the Syndey anti-lockdown protest so far.

NSW police say they have received more than 5,500 reports from members of the public, with 63 people arrested.

Thirty-five people – aged between 18 and 69 - were charged with various offences, including assault police officer in execution of duty, resist officer in execution of duty, wilfully obstruct officer in execution of duty and not comply with noticed direction...

Of these, 20 were refused bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court today [Sunday 25 July 2021].

Investigators are following up every report and have issued two court attendance notice and [penalty notices] to 16 people today.

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Matilda Boseley (now) and Justine Landis-Hanley (earlier)

Covid live: UK could extend vaccine passports to sports; India reports 39k new cases

33 minutos 48 segundos ago

Follow all the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic from around the world

8.57am BST

Australia’s Victoria state reported 11 locally acquired Covid-19 cases on Sunday, down from 12 a day earlier, raising hopes the state will end a hard lockdown imposed 10 days ago. State Premier Daniel Andrews said it was too early to say whether restrictions will be eased on Tuesday, but: “At this stage, though, things are going well.”

8.44am BST

Still in Australia, prime minister Scott Morrison, who is under fire for a slow vaccine rollout, said more vaccine supply was not going to ensure New South Wales gets out of lockdown, but what was needed was an effective, properly enforced lockdown.

He told reporters at a televised media conference:

Let me be clear - there’s not an alternative to the lockdown in New South Wales to get this under control. There is no other magic bullet that’s going to do that.

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Caroline Davies

The Queen had a lucky escape from Boris Johnson’s ‘sod it’ attitude to Covid | Andrew Rawnsley

1 hora ago
‘Freedom’ day panders only to Boris Johnson’s real boss – a minority faction in the Tory party and rightwing press

Right at the beginning of the pandemic, there was intense concern among officials about the health of one elderly female. I was subsequently told by a very senior figure that there was “a lot of worry” the Queen could be killed by Covid, with incalculable effects on public morale and trust in government. The public would ask, so shivered Whitehall, how anyone could be safe if they could not even protect the head of state? This fear was reasonable. We were not far into the crisis before Prince Charles got Covid.

While elaborate precautions were put in motion to safeguard the Queen, someone in government did not get the memo. Or he did receive the memo, but couldn’t be arsed to read it. In mid-March of last year, when staff at Number 10 were already falling ill as the virus rampaged around that rabbit-warren building, Boris Johnson told aides that he was going to carry on with his weekly in-person audience with the Queen. He answered protests that this was sensationally reckless by responding: “That’s what I do every Wednesday. Sod this, I’m gonna go and see her.” On the retelling of Dominic Cummings, he had to explain why going to see the Queen was “completely insane” and asked what the prime minister would do if he caused her death. Only then did Mr Johnson finally relent. “He basically just hadn’t thought it through.”

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Andrew Rawnsley

Fears for Covid vaccine drive if second doses clash with boosters

1 hora 15 minutos ago

Risk that low take-up by young will lead to crunch as older people get third shot

Health experts have warned the government that it needs to increase efforts to ensure more young adults are vaccinated against Covid-19 – as a matter of urgency.

They fear the current low take-up of jabs among 18- to 25-year-olds could lead to a pile-up of vaccine campaigns in September, when other groups are scheduled to get booster injections and also to be inoculated against influenza. In addition, they argue that vaccines also have a crucial role to play in protecting young adults against long Covid, which is now recognised as a serious problem associated with the disease.

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Robin McKie & James Tapper

I struggled with office life. Now others are alive to benefits of remote working

1 hora 30 minutos ago

People with invisible disabilities have long asked for flexible options such as working from home. Then came the pandemic

I struggle with a mild form of face blindness, or prosopagnosia. The condition, usually associated with autism, makes it difficult to remember people’s faces. This means that, in high-stress situations, I am often unable to match someone’s face to their name or even remember if I’ve met them before. When I worked at an office, I inadvertently offended colleagues who did not understand why I struggled to place who they were.

This is just one way that the daily office environment made my career difficult to navigate. Working from home, as I have for the past three years, has made a positive difference in my ability to be a successful, confident journalist, and a happier person overall.

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Angela Lashbrook

Europe clamps down amid fears over rapid spread of Delta variant

1 hora 30 minutos ago

Governments are launching de facto vaccine passport schemes as they try to head off a summer Covid wave like the UK’s

With the school term finally over, Britons are flying to Europe in their tens of thousands, record levels for this Covid year. They are arriving in countries where the Delta variant paralysing Britain is just becoming dominant – and Europe is responding by clamping down.

Some countries have tightened border controls, with Malta barring entry to unvaccinated travellers and Germany bringing in stricter quarantine rules for people arriving from Spain and the Netherlands. More broadly, authorities from Greece to Italy and France to Portugal are bringing in what are effectively vaccine passports for a wide range of activities, although most are shying away from using that term, which has become incendiary.

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Emma Graham-Harrison

How England’s ‘pingdemic’ took a heavy toll on the Tories

2 horas 15 minutos ago

It was billed as a return to freedom, but the week ended with empty supermarket shelves and cancelled trains as many thousand workers – including the PM and chancellor – self-isolated

Last weekend, as MPs prepared for their long summer holiday break from Westminster, a senior member of Boris Johnson’s cabinet had this to say about the Conservative government’s achievements in steering the country through the Covid-19 pandemic. “It seems incredible to me we are still ahead in the polls after the year we’ve had. I think that we have plenty to feel good about, don’t you?”

A week on, his choice of the word “incredible” seems to be the most apt. Within hours of making this assessment, and as freedom day approached, the health secretary for England, Sajid Javid, announced he had tested positive for Covid-19.

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Toby Helm

Jeremy Farrar: ‘A September 2020 lockdown would have saved a lot of lives’

2 horas 30 minutos ago

The Wellcome Trust director and Sage member on what politicians and scientists got right and wrong on Covid and why we need an immediate public inquiry

Jeremy Farrar is the director of the Wellcome Trust, a former professor of tropical medicine at the University of Oxford and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage). He has just published his account of the Covid crisis – Spike: The Virus v the People - in which he attacks the government for delaying a lockdown last autumn and describes the scientific and medical efforts that went into combating the pandemic.

At the beginning of the book, you say you initially believed that the virus might have leaked from a Chinese lab. Do you now reject that theory? And is there anything China could do to end that line of speculation?
You cannot absolutely, categorically, determine where the virus came from. But I do think that the balance of scientific evidence points strongly in favour of a natural origin, though you cannot totally rule out laboratory accidents. In order to do that, you’d have to find the intermediate animal host. And that could be one of thousands of different species of animals. It’s a needle in the haystack. What could China do? If it were to totally open up its laboratories, laboratory books and all its data… but I’m not even sure that would convince the doubters. But it would be great to have more transparency on all sides.

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Andrew Anthony

Florida urged to ramp up vaccination effort amid ‘alarming’ Covid rise

2 horas 30 minutos ago

State accounts for almost a quarter of new US infections as frustration grows at what experts say is governor’s mixed messaging

The week began with Florida’s high-flying governor, Ron DeSantis, in Texas, bashing Joe Biden over immigration at the southern border. But with the highly contagious Delta variant pushing new cases of Covid-19 in his home state to their highest level since January, DeSantis’s road trip was looking increasingly deaf in tone and timing.

By week’s end, Florida was accounting for almost a quarter of new infections nationally, with the US surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, warning of an “alarming” rise in deaths and hospitalizations.

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Richard Luscombein Miami

Nurses’ pay in England to fall 7% in a decade even after government offer

3 horas 15 minutos ago

Latest NHS salary plan fails to offset past drop, as teachers and police furious at wage freeze

Pay for nurses and other NHS staff in England will have fallen in real terms by more than 7% since 2010, even if they accept the latest offer from the government, according to new analysis that will fuel rising anger about public sector pay deals.

Figures produced by the TUC show that remuneration for nurses, community nurses, medical secretaries, speech therapists, physiotherapists, paramedics and radiographers will have dropped by between 7.3% and 7.6% in real terms in just over a decade, even after factoring in the 3% rise offered last week.

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Toby Helm

Australia Covid update: woman in her 30s among two deaths as NSW records 141 new coronavirus cases

3 horas 43 minutos ago

Gladys Berejikilian tells anti-lockdown protesters they should be ‘ashamed’ as case numbers continue to climb

A woman in her 30s with no pre-existing health conditions has died of Covid-19, as New South Wales announced 141 cases on Sunday and the state premier told anti lockdown protesters they should “should be ashamed” of themselves.

Gladys Berejiklian confirmed on Sunday that two people had died from Covid-19 in the state in the past 24 hours, a woman in her 70s, and woman in her 30s. The premier noted the younger woman, who was a patient at the Royal Prince Alfred hospital, had no pre-existing health conditions that contributed to her vulnerability to the virus.

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Matilda Boseley

Coalition rebuffs request by NSW treasurer to bring back jobkeeper to curb Sydney Covid outbreak

4 horas 10 minutos ago

Federal government has ordered 85m more Pfizer doses but has rejected call for existing vaccines to be redirected to NSW

The federal government is resisting calls to redirect existing vaccine supply to south-west Sydney and reintroduce wage subsidies to combat the Covid-19 outbreak, but has ordered 85m doses of Pfizer to arrive from 2022.

On Sunday the federal treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, pointed to increased take-up of AstraZeneca as a means to boost vaccination rates and described existing disaster payments as “effective” and “flexible”, rebuffing calls from his NSW counterpart for jobkeeper payments.

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Paul Karp

Sydney police fine hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters for ‘filthy, risky behaviour’

4 horas 25 minutos ago

Prime minister denounces ‘selfish’ protesters who marched against coronavirus measures as police taskforce traces everyone who broke rules

Hundreds of fines have been issued and dozens charged in Sydney after anti-lockdown protesters marched and clashed with police in what one deputy commissioner called “violent, filthy, risky behaviour”.

The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, said on Sunday the previous day’s protests – in which thousands breached the region’s coronavirus measures to protest – were “selfish and self-defeating”, adding: “It achieves no purpose. It won’t end the lockdown sooner.”

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Matilda Boseley and agencies

Snow leopard at San Diego zoo catches coronavirus

6 horas 21 minutos ago

Exhibit closed after nine-year-old unvaccinated male named Ramil developed a cough and runny nose

An unvaccinated snow leopard at the San Diego zoo has contracted Covid-19.

Caretakers noticed that Ramil, a nine-year-old male snow leopard, had a cough and runny nose on Thursday. Later, two separate tests of his stool confirmed the presence of the coronavirus, the zoo said in a statement on Friday.

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Associated Press

Sajid Javid criticised over Covid recovery remarks – as it happened

9 horas 20 minutos ago

This blog is now closed. You can find all of our pandemic coverage here.

11.56pm BST

11.43pm BST

Two men have been charged after allegedly striking police horses during an anti-lockdown protests in Sydney, Australia.

The men, aged 33 and 36, were refused bail and will appear today at Parramatta Local Court.

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Nadeem Badshah (now) and Kevin Rawlinson and Clea Skopeliti (earlier)

Sajid Javid’s advice to not ‘cower’ from Covid provokes backlash

9 horas 23 minutos ago

Bereaved families, Labour and Lib Dems all condemn health secretary, accusing him of insensitivity


Sajid Javid has provoked a wave of anger from families of the victims of Covid after he said people must no longer “cower” from the virus.

The health secretary announced on Saturday that he had made a “full recovery” from Covid-19 after falling ill eight days ago, and said: “Please, if you haven’t yet, get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus.”

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David Connett

Even a pandemic can’t keep Ryanair from flying higher

9 horas 25 minutos ago

Although profits may be down this week, the airline’s shares – and its chief executive’s optimism – are defying gravity

Who’s afraid of the Delta variant? Not Michael O’Leary. Over the last 16 months of sickness, death and lockdown, the billionaire Ryanair boss has rediscovered his controversy button and has lately been loudly telling governments to stick their “scariants” and let everyone fly again.

Much of his ire has been reserved for Ireland, whose scientific and medical leaders must envy the UK’s Chris Whitty for only getting accosted in the park.

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Gwyn Topham