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UK coronavirus live: minister admits more testing capacity needed for care homes | Politics

7.33am EDT 07:33 Gordon Brown has called for international coordination to prevent a second or third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying the crisis cannot truly be ended “unless it is eradicated in every continent”.Writing in the foreword of a new report – Tipping Point: How the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to push the world’s poorest


Only 3% of people think their lives will never return to normal after Covid-19, ONS survey suggests

Turning back to the Office for National Statistics report on coronavirus and social impacts (see 10.35am), its survey also shows that people are increasingly resigned to it taking a while before life returns to normal.

As the ONS explains in its summary, 46% of adults now think it will be longer than six months for their life to return to normal, compared with 33% after the first week of lockdown.

But when you look at the detailed figures, what is surprising perhaps is that people do seem to think that one day life will get back to normal. Politicians have not been promising that. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, talks about how people will have to get used to a “new normal”. And the UK government’s coronavirus recovery plan (pdf) does not talk about returning to normal. It says the plan is for life to return life “to as close to normal as possible”, but it also says life post-Covid will be different. It says:

The world will not return to ‘normal’ after Covid-19; much of the global economy is likely to change significantly. The UK will need to be agile in adapting to and shaping this new world if the government is to improve living standards across the nation as it recovers from Covid-19.

But only 3% of people told the ONS that their lives would never return to normal. People were asked how long it would take for their lives to return to normal. Here are the results.

Less than 3 months – 10%

4 to 6 months – 23%

7 to 12 months – 26%

More than 12 months – 20%

Never – 3%

Not sure – 18%


Health minister Nadine Dorries deletes tweet sharing anti-Starmer smear

Labour has expressed alarm after a series of Conservative MPs, including a minister, shared a video tweeted by a hard-right Twitter account which falsely claimed Sir Keir Starmer obstructed the targeting of grooming gang victims when he led the Crown Prosecution Service.

The tweeted video was shared by Nadine Dorries, who is now a junior health minister, as well as Telford MP Lucy Allan and Maria Caulfield, who represents Lewes. All expressed alarm at what the video purported to show, with Dorries calling it “revealing”.

The 22-second clip from 2013 shows Starmer apparently recounting reasons why victims of grooming gangs might not be credible, talking about “the assumption that a victim of child sexual abuse will swiftly report what’s happened to them to the police; will be able to give a coherent, consistent account, first time; that they will not themselves have engaged in any offending or other behaviour; and that they will not have misused drugs or alcohol at any stage”.

The original tweeter, who also regularly posts anti-Islam messages and other hard-right content, titled the clip, “Keir Starmer explains why he didn’t prosecute grooming gangs when he was head if the Crown Prosecution Service”.

However, a fuller version of the video shows this is completely misleading. Starmer is in fact explaining why he had changed the prosecution guidelines, to move away from “a number of assumptions, which didn’t withstand scrutiny”.

A Labour source said:

This is a doctored video tweeted by far-right social media account. As a government minister, we hope Nadine Dorries acknowledges this and takes it down.

Dorries later did remove her tweet, as did Allan. Caulfield appeared to delete her entire Twitter account. None had as yet apologised for sharing the misleading message.

Peter Walker

Here’s a screenshot for if/when the tweet is deleted. pic.twitter.com/oCcOALyOBP

May 14, 2020




More than 25% of Britons may have already had coronavirus, study claims

A new study published this week in the International Journal of Clinical Practice suggests that more than one in four people in England are likely to have been infected already by the coronavirus.

The study, by researchers from the University of Manchester, Salford Royal and Res Consortium, is the first to use case data from 149 local authorities on the number of people infected in their areas. From this data, the researchers calculated the R-value – the number of people infected by one person with Covid-19 – within each area.

The data shows, they say, that more than 25% of people in England could already have had the virus by the second half of April – higher than previously thought.

The researchers said the UK’s R value, which was over three at the start of the outbreak in the middle of March, was now “well below 1”. This tallies with data published by Public Health England, showing that the overall UK R-value is 0.7 with variation from 0.4 in London to 0.8 in Yorkshire and the north-east of England.

Dr Adrian Heald from the University of Manchester, one of the researchers, said:

Covid-19 is a highly infectious condition and very dangerous for a small group of people. However, a much larger group seem to have low or no symptoms and have been unreported.

This study tries to provide an estimate of the number of historic infections – and gives us all a glimmer of hope that there may be light at the end of the tunnel.


Rees-Mogg restates call for MPs to ‘lead by example’ in returning to work despite reservations from Speaker



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Susan E. Lopez

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