UK Covid cases rise 11% in a week to 37,011 while deaths jump by tenth

Covid cases rise 11% in a week to 37,011 while deaths jump by a tenth as UK records another 68 victims

  • The Department for Health confirmed that Britain had recorded a total of 37,011 new daily Covid cases today
  • There has also been a total of 68 deaths within 28 days of a positive test bringing the national total to 133,229
  • It comes as minister Nadhim Zahawi confirmed vaccine passports will be required to enter to large venues

Britain recorded 37,011 new daily COVID-19 cases on Sunday, marking an 11 per cent rise on cases since last week.

There were 68 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test reported, also a rise of 11 per cent which brings the national total to 133,229.

Figures can fluctuate due to hospital reporting patterns over the weekend.

Separate data published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 157,000 deaths in total registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

Government data up to September 4 also shows that of the 91,623,530 Covid jabs given in the UK, 48,245,337 were first doses, a rise of 39,752 on the previous day.

Some 43,378,193 were second doses, an increase of 127,156.

It comes as vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi today confirmed vaccine passports will be required to gain entry to large venues, arguing the documents are the ‘best way’ to avoid winter Covid closures. 

The Vaccine Minister said the Government is concerned large venues ‘could end up causing a real spike in infections’ because of groups of people mixing in close proximity.

He said the ‘worst thing’ for those venues would be for surging coronavirus case numbers to result in an ‘open shut, open shut strategy’ and the ‘best way’ to ensure they can remain open for the long term ‘is to check vaccine status’. 

Boris Johnson announced back in July that being double-jabbed would be made an entry requirement for all nightclubs in England by the end of September. 

He also signalled the requirement would likely be imposed on other large venues.

Many Tory MPs are vehemently against the documents being used, with the Prime Minister facing a significant rebellion on the issue.   

The move on vaccine passports came as official statistics showed Covid cases in the UK are continuing to climb ahead of the return of many schools on Monday. 

Yesterday, the Department of Health recorded the biggest week-on-week jump in new cases since August 22, when they rose by 20.2 per cent to 32,253.

Hospital admissions are also creeping up, jumping to 985 on August 31 but deaths with the virus have fallen, dropping 9.8 per cent from the 133 recorded last Saturday to 120 yesterday.

Mr Zahawi’s comments on vaccine passports came as: 

  • The Vaccine Minister insisted no decisions have been made about jabs for 12 to 15 year olds, with the UK’s chief medical officers currently examining the matter after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation opted not to recommend the move on health grounds alone. 
  • Mr Zahawi guaranteed that parents will be asked for consent should the jabs be recommended for children. 
  • The vaccines minister has vowed to do ‘everything in my power’ to avoid another national Covid lockdown 
  • Sajid Javid is reportedly planning to make full vaccination a condition of employment for all NHS staff. Gordon Brown said coronavirus will ‘come back to haunt’ the West unless vaccination rates in African are improved. 
  • Government scientific adviser Professor Peter Openshaw said he was ‘a little surprised’ at the JCVI’s decision.

Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi hints Sajid Javid WILL make full vaccination a condition of employment for all NHS workers

Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi today hinted Sajid Javid is going to press ahead with plans to make full vaccination a condition of employment for all NHS staff. 

Reports suggest that Mr Javid, the Health Secretary, will proceed with the change as part of a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus in hospitals and other healthcare settings. 

Mr Zahawi did not deny the move is on the table as he said ‘it is only right and responsible that we look at the duty of care for healthcare workers on the frontline and across the NHS’ who are looking after vulnerable people. 

The Government is set to launch a consultation on the issue, potentially as soon as this week, according to the Sunday Telegraph.   

However, there are fears that a vaccination requirement could spark an exodus of NHS staff. 

Mr Zahawi told Sky News: ‘I think it is only right and responsible that we look at the duty of care for healthcare workers on the frontline and across the NHS who are looking after people who are, when they are entering hospital, vulnerable to infection and we consult and we will come back and of course publish that consultation in due course.’

Told that his answer sounded like a confirmation the change will happen, Mr Zahawi said: ‘I think the right thing to do is to consult and then publish that.’

 Mr Johnson is expected to face a considerable Conservative rebellion if he does push ahead with his vaccine passports plan. 

The Prime Minister announced back in July that they would be required in nightclubs. 

He said at the time: ‘I don’t want to have to close nightclubs again as they have elsewhere. But it does mean nightclubs need to do the socially responsible thing.

‘As we said last week, we do reserve the right to mandate certification at any point if it’s necessary to reduce transmission.

‘And I should serve notice now that by the end of September, when all over 18s have had their chance to be double jabbed we’re planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.’

The Government has faced mounting Tory backbench anger over the vaccine passports plan, with critics arguing the documents are unnecessary and infringe on individual freedoms.  

Mr Zahawi was asked this morning if the Government had made up its mind on the issue. 

He told Sky News: ‘We are looking at by the end of September, when everyone has had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated for the large venues, venues that could end up causing a real spike in infections, where we need to use the certification process.

‘You look at what the FA have done, have done so brilliantly, in terms of checking vaccine status to reopen football, that is the sort of right thing to do and we are absolutely on track to continue to make sure that we do that.

‘There is a reason for that, the reason being that I, as does the Prime Minister, want to make sure the whole economy remains open.

‘The worst thing we can do for those venues is to have a sort of open shut, open shut strategy because we see infection rates rise because of the close interaction of people, that is how the virus spreads, if people are in close spaces in large numbers, we see spikes appearing.

‘The best thing to do then is to work with the industry to make sure that they can open safely and sustainably in the long term and the best way to do that is to check vaccine status.’

This graph shows the number of first doses dished out by age group. The NHS publishes age groups as periods of five years, and groups all those under 18 together. It shows more than 620,000 have already been inoculated among under-18s

Covid chaos is causing red tape misery for millions of Britons waiting for passports, driving licenses and tax returns as civil servants continue to work from home

Covid chaos is still causing red tape misery for millions of Britons with months-long delays in the processing of essential documents such as passports and driving licences.

Yet an overwhelming majority of civil servants are continuing to work from home – 80 per cent in some departments – despite the Government encouraging workers to return to offices.

Last night, MPs and campaigners urged them to return immediately.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: ‘They’ve got to get back into the offices and look at ways of clearing the backlog.’

John O’Connell of the TaxPayers’ Alliance added: ‘With taxes at the highest level for 70 years, it would be deeply unfair for taxpayers to see the standard of services decline due to the Whitehall work-from-home revolution.’  

It came as Mr Zahawi insisted the Government is yet to make a final decision on whether healthy 12 to 15-year-olds should be vaccinated against coronavirus. 

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) decided against backing the move on health grounds alone because Covid-19 presents such a low risk to younger teenagers. 

But Professor Chris Whitty and the three other chief medical officers in the UK are reviewing the wider benefits of vaccinating the age group, such as minimising school absences, and are expected to present their findings within days.

The Government is awaiting their advice before making a final decision but ministers have indicated they are keen to authorise a wider rollout.

Mr Zahawi said if the UK’s chief medical officers recommend vaccination then it ‘absolutely’ is the right thing to do, but he said he does not want to ‘pre-determine’ that. 

Speaking on Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday programme, Mr Zahawi said: ‘We have not made any decisions, so we haven’t decided not to listen to the experts.

‘On the contrary, all four ministers, the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, and his fellow ministers in the devolved administrations have agreed to ask the chief medical officers to convene expert groups, including the JCVI being in that, to be able to recommend which way we should go on healthy 12 to 15-year-olds.’

He said parents of healthy 12 to 15-year-olds will be asked for consent if coronavirus jabs are approved for their children.

‘I can give that assurance, absolutely,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Professor Peter Openshaw, a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) which advises the Government, told BBC Breakfast he is ‘a little surprised’ at the JCVI’s decision.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi today confirmed vaccine passports will be required to gain entry to large venues

Nadhim Zahawi hinted Sajid Javid is going ahead with plans to make full vaccination a condition of employment for NHS staff

‘We do know the virus is circulating very widely amongst this age group, and that, if we’re going to be able to get the rates down and also prevent further surges of infection perhaps later in the winter, then this is the group that needs to become immune,’ he said.

‘And the best way to become immune is through vaccination, and there’s never been as much information as this in the past. To think there hasn’t been enough research is completely wrong.’

Prof Openshaw added: ‘To my mind, the public health benefit is very, very important, and we have to take the wider view that, unless we do get infection rates down amongst this particular part of the population, it will be very, very hard to prevent further large recurrences (of Covid-19).

‘I would say that teenagers are often amongst the most altruistic and the most generous people in society. They often think very deeply about these moral and ethical issues and they want to protect others as well.

‘So I would think that a lot of teenagers, actually, if they see the evidence in the round, would prefer to be vaccinated.’

On Friday, the JCVI approved a widening of the vaccination programme to another 200,000 children aged between 12 and 15 who have underlying health conditions.

But they stopped short of recommending the full rollout after investigating potential side-effects, such as the extremely rare events of inflammation of the heart muscle, known as myocarditis, after Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations.

While the condition can result in short periods of hospital observation, followed by typically swift recoveries, the JCVI concluded that the medium to long-term outcomes are still uncertain and more follow-up time is needed to get a clearer picture.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, the JCVI’s chairman of Covid-19 immunisation, said the group’s view is that the benefits of vaccinating the age group ‘are marginally greater than the potential harms’ but that the benefits are ‘too small’ to support a universal rollout at this stage. 

Meanwhile, it is believed Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, will press ahead with plans to make full vaccination a condition of employment for all staff. 

Reports suggest Mr Javid will proceed with the change as part of a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

Mr Zahawi did not deny the move is on the table as he said ‘it is only right and responsible that we look at the duty of care for healthcare workers on the frontline and across the NHS’ who are looking after vulnerable people.

The Government is set to launch a consultation on the issue, potentially as soon as this week, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

However, there are fears that a vaccination requirement could spark an exodus of NHS staff.

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