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Coronavirus

Labour Leader Starmer says no worker should risk their life because they haven’t got the right PPE

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At 11 am today, a minute’s silence will be held to remember those that have died during the coronavirus outbreak.

A campaign for the national silence was launched last week by the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Nursing which represent more than a million NHS and public service workers.

In a video message released this morning on International Worker’s memorial day, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said that as the nation observed a minute’s silence for those that have died, “we must continue to fight for those on the frontline to protect their lives”.

Starmer said that “Nobody should put their lives at risk because they haven’t got the right protective equipment” adding “We owe it to them to make sure they’ve got the right equipment, in the right place, at the right time and we will continue to press on that”.

Last week, a survey by The Royal College of Physicians of 2,129 hospital doctors, found that 26.5% of medics reported being unable to access the protective equipment they need for managing COVID patients.

Today the Trades Union Congress (TUC) , an umbrella group for unions in the UK called upon the government to do more to protect those on the frontline.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said Britain will “forever be in debt” to the workers who have died during this pandemic.

O’Grady criticised ministers for the handling of the crisis and demanded an enquiry, she said;

“The lack of protective equipment for frontline workers during this crisis is a grotesque failure by ministers. We demand a public inquiry into why government allowed workers to keep working without the right equipment to keep them safe”.

Yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that families of NHS workers and social carers who die from coronavirus would receive a £60,000 payment.

Labour’s Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders MP welcomed the announcement and said;
“It is welcome that the Government has listened to workforce representatives and ensured that death in service benefits are available to everyone working in the NHS and social care sector.”

He added “..the Government must finally get a grip over PPE supplies so that NHS and care staff aren’t putting their lives on the line to do their job and protect the rest of us.”

82 NHS staff are known to have died after testing positive for COVID-19.

Coronavirus

Eight in 10 Britons Ignore COVID-19 Self-Isolation Rules, Survey Finds

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A new survey indicates more than 80% of people living in Britain with COVID-19 symptoms or who have had contact with someone who has tested positive are ignoring self-isolation guidelines.
 
The survey, released Friday and conducted by Kings College London and the National Health Service (NHS), found that only 18.2% of people who reported having symptoms of COVID-19 in the previous seven days have stayed isolated since their symptoms developed, and only 11.9% requested a COVID-19 test.
 
The research also shows fewer than half those surveyed were able to identify the symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.
 
The research also found that only 10.9% of people told to self-isolate after close contact with a COVID-19 case had done so for 14 days as required.
 
In a statement, the survey’s senior author, Kings College researcher Dr. James Rubin, said the research indicated that while the public seems to have good intentions to adhere to the test, trace and isolate guidelines, financial constraints are the most common reason given for non-compliance, among other factors.
 
Britain this week introduced fines of up to $12,780 for breaking self-isolation rules, and it is offering nearly $640 in support payments to low-paid workers who lose income from quarantining.
 
The study shows other reasons for non-compliance ranged from not knowing government guidance to being unable to identify the symptoms.
 
Kings College says the data was collected through surveys conducted among 30,000 people living in Britain between March and August of this year.

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Coronavirus

UK’s Coronavirus Vaccine Is Safe And Induces An Immune Reaction

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The UK’s Coronavirus Vaccine is safe and induces an immune reaction, according to preliminary results.

Results published today in the journal Lancet show that the early stage Oxford University trial has found that the vaccine is safe, causes few side effects, and induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system.

The trial of 1,077 healthy adults found that the vaccine induced strong antibody and T cell immune responses up to day 56 of the ongoing trial. 

Explaining how the vaccine works, study lead author Professor Andrew Pollard, University of Oxford, UK, said;

“The new vaccine is a chimpanzee adenovirus viral vector (ChAdOx1) vaccine that expresses the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. It uses a common cold virus (adenovirus) that infects chimpanzees, which has been weakened so that it can’t cause any disease in humans, and is genetically modified to code for the spike protein of the human SARS-CoV-2 virus.

This means that when the adenovirus enters vaccinated people’s cells it also delivers the spike protein genetic code. This causes these people’s cells to produce the spike protein, and helps teach the immune system to recognise the SARS-CoV-2 virus.” 

The current results focus on the immune response measured in a laboratory, and scientists say further testing is needed to confirm whether the vaccine effectively protects against infection.

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Another 1.5 Million File For Unemployment As States Continue To Reopen Economies, Totaling 44 Million People Unemployed

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(NPR) — The pain in the job market continues as an additional 1.5 million sought jobless benefits for the first time last week, down 355,000 from the prior week. Continued claims fell by 339,000 to 20.9 million, a sign that more people are returning to work as the economy reopens after pandemic lockdowns.

More than 44 million first-time claims have been filed in the past 12 weeks.

The Federal Reserve is projecting that the unemployment rate will be more than 9% by year end, falling to 6.5% by the end of 2021.

That’s down from last month’s lower-than-expected 13.3% rate but up sharply from a nearly 50-year low of 3.5% earlier this year before the coronavirus crisis shut down much of the economy. Employers added 2.5 million jobs in May, but they slashed 20.7 million just a month earlier.

“The May employment report, of course, was a welcome surprise,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday. “We hope we get many more like it. But I think we have to be honest. It’s a long road.”

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