Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Tuesday evening. We’ll have another update for you tomorrow morning.
1. No local lockdowns in place, say Covid-hit areas
Local councils in areas worst affected by the Indian Covid variant have insisted there are no restrictions on travel in their areas and “no local lockdowns”. It follows complaints of confusion after the government updated guidance for Bolton, Blackburn, Kirklees, Bedford, Burnley, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside which asked people not to meet indoors or travel unnecessarily. The councils said people could take “sensible” voluntary precautions. A No 10 source earlier denied it was imposing local lockdowns by stealth by updating the advice without an announcement.
2. Moderna jab ‘highly effective’ in teens
Moderna has said its coronavirus vaccine is “highly effective” in teenagers aged 12 to 17. No cases of the virus were detected in a trial involving 3,732 adolescent volunteers who had two doses of the vaccine, compared to four cases in groups who had placebo infections. The company says it will send the data to regulators globally to seek approval for use of the jab in teenagers. Although teenagers rarely get seriously ill with Covid, they can spread the infection. Experts hope vaccinating them against the virus will help stop the pandemic.
image captionThe UK has approved three Covid vaccines for use in adults but none yet for younger teens or children
3. Tributes to world’s first man to receive Pfizer jab
Bill Shakespeare, the first man in the world to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, has died from an unrelated illness. Mr Shakespeare, 81, had his first jab in December at University Hospital Coventry shortly after 91-year-old Margaret Keenan. Coventry councillor Jayne Innes, a friend of Mr Shakespeare, said he would “be remembered for many things, including a taste for mischief”. She added that the “best tribute to Bill is to have the jab”.
4. Families blame NHS for hospital Covid deaths
Three families whose loved ones died after catching Covid in hospital have said mistakes were made by NHS trusts. David Laws, David Smith and Debbie Burford all died with the virus. Mr Laws was admitted to Kent’s William Harvey hospital with pneumonia in December. Despite being a vulnerable patient with leukaemia, his family say he was left on a trolley in a corridor overnight in A&E. He caught Covid and died in January, with the disease listed on his death certificate. An East Kent NHS Trust spokesman said they have “strengthened infection prevention and control”. You can read more here.
image captionDavid Laws’ family say he was left on a trolley overnight, and held in a Covid bay on a dirty bed
5. Cornwall overtakes London on Airbnb amid travel shift
Brian Chesky, the boss of Airbnb, says people’s travel habits have fundamentally changed due to the pandemic. He says “rural nights booked in the UK used to be a quarter of our bookings, they’re now half.” Cornwall is the country’s most-booked summer location in 2021, a title previously held by London. The Airbnb boss also believes people are increasingly using the platform for remote working opportunities, rather than just holidays.
image captionThroughout 2020 Airbnb experienced booking levels lower than 2019
And don’t forget…
You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.
Here’s what we know about the variant first identified in India, which is causing the majority of infections in some areas.
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