Daily Covid cases fall for NINTH day in row with today’s 39,329 infections down 5%


Daily Covid infections in Britain dropped by five per cent today, marking the ninth day in a row cases have trended downwards. 

Department of Health bosses posted another 39,329 cases today, a drop of 5 per cent on the 41,299 positive tests recorded last Wednesday.

And deaths and hospitalisations were down week-on-week, with a further 214 fatalities recorded (down 1 per cent) and 823 Covid-infected Britons seeking NHS care (down 7 per cent). 

Both measurements lag two to three weeks behind the trend in cases due to a delay between a person catching Covid and becoming severely unwell.

Cases started falling naturally on October 24 — around two and a half weeks ago, before half-term for the majority of schoolchildren in England.

Meanwhile, 79.8 per cent of over-12s across the UK are now double jabbed, while 10.9million people have had a booster injection.

It comes amid a growing row over the Government’s ‘no jab, no job’ policy, with tens of thousands of care home workers facing the sack tomorrow because they are not fully immunised. The same policy will kick in for frontline NHS workers in the spring.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid defended the stance as ‘perfectly reasonable’ and said it will reduce infection rates and protect society’s most vulnerable. 

But official projections suggest the rule would only spur on 20,000 of NHS workers to get vaccinated, forcing 70,000 out the door when it gets enforced in April.  

Care sector bosses called for the deadline for workers to be pushed to April as well, over concerns the move may kill vulnerable residents because homes would be left with ‘unsafe’ staffing levels. 

Care boss urges No10 to delay ‘no jab, no job’ policy until April over fears exodus of 60,000 unvaccinated staff will backfire and KILL elderly residents 

No10 was today urged to delay its controversial ‘no jab, no job’ policy for carers until April over fears the plans could backfire and kill elderly residents. 

From tomorrow, all care home employees must have had two Covid vaccines to keep their jobs. Estimates suggest up to 60,000 workers will be made redundant.

But Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, which represents providers in Yorkshire, has called on ministers to push back the deadline to next spring. He warned mandating the jabs could kill vulnerable residents because homes would be left with ‘unsafe’ staffing levels.

Care boss Niccii Gillett said she was left ‘heartbroken’ by leaving notes from employees who chose to resign rather than get the Covid vaccine. 

The 37-year-old revealed they had lost six out of 36 employees from the home in Surrey, two of which had been working there for more than seven years. Every letter said they wanted to stay in their jobs.

The plea came after it was announced yesterday that NHS workers will have until spring to get their two doses. Some 103,000 are still yet to receive one dose. 

Mr Padgham told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the delay was needed to help the sector through the winter, and to match the timeline set yesterday for the NHS.  

Unions have already claimed hundreds of homes may be forced to close their doors for good from tomorrow because of staffing shortages. The sector was already short of 100,000 workers before the pandemic struck.

But ministers say the policy will ensure vulnerable residents are ‘properly protected’. A care home near Preston received an award today for getting every staff member double-jabbed against the virus.

Sajid Javid dismissed fears tomorrow’s deadline would cause elderly residents to die, however. The Health Secretary insisted the policy was ‘manageable’ for the sector. 

Department of Health data showed 31,541 cases were recorded in England and 3,852 were registered in Scotland, while 2,171 people tested positive in Wales and 1,765 were confirmed in Northern Ireland.  

Even though cases have only been falling for the last nine days, they have been trending downwards on every day but one since October 24. Some 52,009 cases were recorded on the most recent peak, one day earlier.

Some 9.4million positive tests have been registered across the UK since the pandemic began.

But the real infection number is many millions higher, due to the limited testing capacity at the start of the crisis and not everyone who catches the virus coming forward for a test. 

And the latest daily figures show 142,338 Covid deaths have been recorded within 28 days of a positive test since the beginning of the pandemic.

But the many more deaths will have been indirectly caused by the pandemic, with Office for National Statistics figures today showing more than 60,000 extra deaths occurred in private homes since the start of the start of the crisis. 

The number of deaths at home in the England and Wales has steadily risen since 2005, with thousands more people choosing to die in the comfort of their home rather than a hospital bed. But the proportion leapt nearly 30 per cent in 2020 compared to the year before, as Britons were told to ‘stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ when Covid struck.  

Meanwhile, daily Covid data shows 823 people infected with the virus sought hospital care on Saturday, down 7.3 per cent on the 888 recorded one week earlier.

And 8,859 Covid patients are currently in hospitals across the UK. 

NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard came under fire yesterday for suggesting there were ’14 times’ more coronavirus patients in hospital compared to ‘this time last year’.

Yet latest data from the Government’s dashboard shows there were 800 average daily coronavirus admissions and 7,000 inpatients in England on Saturday. This time in November 2020, for comparison, the figures stood at around 1,300 and 11,000, respectively. 

NHS England was later forced to clarify Ms Pritchard was referring to statistics from August, when hospital rates were in fact higher than the same time last year. 

Some 39,836 first doses and 21,199 second doses were administered across the UK, meaning 50.3million over-12s have had at least one injection and 45.8million are fully immunised.

And 340,294 people came forward for their booster jab, meaning 10.9million over-50s, health workers and vulnerable Britons are triple-jabbed.

Labour has warned the country will not get though the list of Britons eligible for the boosters until next spring on the current trends. They’ve called for half a million to be dished out each day. 

The top-up injections, along with first jabs to 12 to 15-year-olds, are a key part of the Government’s Plan A to bring down infection levels this winter. 

Some 100,000 NHS workers are yet to get at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, figures show. The above graph shows the percentage that have got their first dose (blue line) and the percentage that have got both doses (orange line)

Some 100,000 NHS workers are yet to get at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, figures show. The above graph shows the percentage that have got their first dose (blue line) and the percentage that have got both doses (orange line)

The above map shows the 20 hospital trusts with the lowest proportion of staff fully jabbed in England. The data is up to September 30, the latest available

The above map shows the 20 hospital trusts with the lowest proportion of staff fully jabbed in England. The data is up to September 30, the latest available

The above graph shows the proportion of staff working in care homes for the over-65s who have received their first and second doses of the vaccine. It reveals that there was no sharp surge in uptake when the jabs were made compulsory

The above graph shows the proportion of staff working in care homes for the over-65s who have received their first and second doses of the vaccine. It reveals that there was no sharp surge in uptake when the jabs were made compulsory

The above map shows the five areas where more than one in five care home employees are still yet to get two doses of the Covid vaccine

The above map shows the five areas where more than one in five care home employees are still yet to get two doses of the Covid vaccine

60,000 more Brits than usual have died at home during pandemic, official data shows as experts fear Covid crisis has worsened other illnesses 

More than 60,000 extra deaths have occurred in private homes since the start of the Covid pandemic, official data shows as experts call for an investigation into the trend.

An Office of National Statistics (ONS) report published today found that there have been 252,486 deaths in private homes between January 2020 and June 2021.

The number of deaths at home in the England and Wales has steadily risen since 2005, with thousands more people choosing to die in the comfort of their home rather than a hospital bed. But the proportion leapt nearly 30 per cent in 2020 compared to the year before, as Britons were told to ‘stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ when Covid struck. 

The ONS data shows there were about 41,000 more at-home deaths from all reasons in 2020 compared to 2019, with the number of people dying at home peaking in May. 

However, figures for 2021, which go up to June, show there were nearly 25,000 more deaths at home than the five-year-average for this period, casting doubt over lockdown being the sole reason for the rise.

While Britain was still in its third lockdown at the start of 2021, the Government toned down its ‘stay home’ messaging and the NHS was told to continue treating non-Covid patients. 

There has been serious debate over the merit of the lockdowns and if they did more harm than good for the nation’s health with it leading to people avoiding seeking medical help out of fear of the virus and disrupted tests and scans for illnesses such as cancer. 

Experts have called for further and more detailed research to determine if people are choosing to die at home, or if they being left to suffer by a system unable to to provide them quality care of their final days. 

The biggest at-home killer was heart disease, killing more than 25,000 people in 2020 alone. Covid has only played a comparatively minor role in deaths at home, killing around 3,000. 

It comes as the Health Secretary today defended requirements for care home workers and frontline NHS staff to get vaccinated or face losing their jobs.

Mr Javid yesterday confirmed the policy — which was announced for care staff in September — would also apply to health care workers who treat patients face-to-face.

The Government’s own figures suggest it will only result in 20,000 more NHS workers getting immunised and result in 70,000 staff leaving. The NHS is already suffering a staff shortage in the region of 100,000 vacancies.

But Mr Javid today said it was the ‘duty’ of NHS workers to get the jab in order to protect patients, and insisted that he does ‘not want to see anyone have to walk away from their job’.

‘This is all about patient safety, we know vaccines work, we know that they reduce the risk of you being infected, so it reduces the spread of an infection,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. 

‘People whether they are in care homes or a hospital bed, they are particularly vulnerable to this virus, it could be fatal. It is our duty to everything we can to protect them.’ 

Mr Javid said the public would have questioned why they did not introduce the policy, when other countries around he world have. ‘I think you’d have me on the show saying “why didn’t you do anything about it?”,’ he said.

Unvaccinated NHS staff have angrily questioned the ‘no jab, no job’ policy and threatened to leave their positions rather than get inoculated. Trainee GP Dr Reamika West claimed it was ‘unethical’ for ministers to force her to get fully vaccinated by threatening to terminate her contract. 

Meanwhile, No10 was today urged to delay the same controversial ‘no jab, no job’ policy for carers until the spring to match the same timeline set for NHS workers, over fears the plans could backfire and kill elderly residents.

From tomorrow, all care home employees must have had two Covid vaccines to keep their jobs. Estimates suggest up to 60,000 workers will be made redundant. 

Unions have already claimed hundreds of homes may be forced to close their doors for good from tomorrow because of staffing shortages. The sector was already short of 100,000 workers before the pandemic struck.  

And Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, which represents providers in Yorkshire, warned mandating the jabs could kill vulnerable residents because homes would be left with ‘unsafe’ staffing levels.

Care boss Niccii Gillett said she was left ‘heartbroken’ by leaving notes from employees who chose to resign rather than get the Covid vaccine. 

The 37-year-old revealed they had lost six out of 36 employees from the home in Surrey, two of which had been working there for more than seven years. Every letter said they wanted to stay in their jobs. 

Mr Padgham told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the delay was needed to help the sector through the winter, and to match the timeline set yesterday for the NHS.

The Health Secretary insisted the policy was ‘manageable’ for the sector. 

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