Coronavirus latest news: Using a circuit breaker would be an ‘error’ says Michael Gove

Asked if the Government would take the measure on Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday, he flatly replied: “No.”

“It would seem an error to try to impose on every part of the country the same level of restriction when we know that the disease is spreading more intensively and quicker in some parts of the country,” he said.

Pressed on whether the measure could be taken in the future, he said: “We always look at how the disease spreads and we will take whatever steps are necessary to maintain public health.

“But the Labour Party are arguing the blanket restrictions across the country at the moment and the spread and nature of the disease does not merit that at the moment.”

He went on to accuse Andy Burnham, the Greater Manchester Mayor of “posturing” over his reaction to lockdown restrictions for the area.

“I want them to put aside for a moment some of the political positioning that they’ve indulged in and I want them to work with us in order to ensure that we save lives and protect the NHS.

Professor Jeremy Farrar, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said he believed coronavirus vaccines will be available in the first quarter of next year.

Prof Farrar told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday that it was important for the country to now try and reduce transmission to the levels seen back at the start of September.

The Wellcome Trust director said: “I do believe the vaccines will be available in the first quarter of next year, I do believe that monoclonal antibodies to treat patients and save lives will be available in the coming months.

“It’s with that context that I think we need to reduce transmission now and we need to get ourselves back to the beginning of September as a country, not in piecemeal, not in fragments across the country, but as a whole country.”

Michael Gove has ruled out a national “circuit-breaker” lockdown to control the coronavirus resurgence “at the moment”.

Asked if the Government would take the measure on Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday, he flatly replied: “No.

“It would seem an error to try to impose on every part of the country the same level of restriction when we know that the disease is spreading more intensively and quicker in some parts of the country.”

Pressed on whether the measure could be taken in the future, he said: “We always look at how the disease spreads and we will take whatever steps are necessary to maintain public health.

“But Kate [Green, shadow education secretary] and the Labour Party are arguing the blanket restrictions across the country at the moment and the spread and nature of the disease does not merit that at the moment.”

Kate Green, the shadow education secretary  said that a circuit-break lockdown would give the UK a chance to “reset” before coronavirus spirals out of control.

She told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge: “What we’re saying is that a circuit-breaker for two to three weeks would mean that we would be able to halt and reverse the spread of the infection right across the country.

“We could use that time to boost our lab capacity, to put proper local tracing processes in place and then we would have that breathing space which would buy us time really and stop the real danger that our NHS faces, that our hospitals are going to be filling up far too quickly over the next few weeks.

“And so it would really give us the chance to reset and take a step back before this virus really spirals right out of control.”

China’s top legislative body passed a new biosecurity law aimed at preventing and managing infectious diseases, state news agency Xinhua reported.

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee voted to adopt the law on Saturday, according to Xinhua, and it would come into effect on April 15, 2021.

The law would establish systems for biosecurity risk prevention and control, including risk monitoring and early warning, risk investigation and assessment, and information sharing.

It would also have provisions to prevent and respond to specific biosecurity risks, including major emerging infectious diseases, epidemic and sudden outbreaks, and biotechnology research, development and application, reported Xinhua.

China had announced in May that it aimed to fast-track the passing of the biosecurity law by year-end, following the global coronavirus outbreak which was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

New infections detected last week in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao ended China’s run of about two months without reporting a local case.

They also said 185 people had died in the previous 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 24,187, and that 1,070,576 people had recovered from the virus.

Heston Blumenthal’s world famous Fat Duck restaurant will close for two weeks after multiple team members tested positive for coronavirus.

The eaterie, in the village of Bray in Berkshire, is understood to be the first three Michelin-starred restaurant in the country to be affected.

It comes just a few months after it reopened following the lockdown and is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.

I was serving some of Heston’s most memorable concoctions over the past two and a half decades, including snail porridge and crab ice cream.

Contacting people who were due to dine this week, the restaurant’s reservations team said: “As we all know only too well, coronavirus pandemic is extremely difficult to control and stop spreading.

“Unfortunately, we have now been affected, in the past few days, a number of employees have returned positive tests, which has resulted in them self-isolating at home.

“Therefore, we have decided to close the restaurant as of October 14 for the self-isolation period.

“We have made this proactive decision which we hope will act as a circuit-breaker and ensure Covid-19 doesn’t spread to our other staff and future guests.”

As the rain sets in while swathes of the country endure a second lockdown, our attention will inevitably turn again to upgrading our homes – our sanctuaries – in coming months. 

In London’s super-prime property echelons, Covid-busting design is now at the forefront of wealthy home-owners’ minds, including virus-quashing “antechambers” the moment we enter our homes, and self-sanitising wardrobes that minimise the threat of viruses, says Charu Gandhi, head of Elicyon design studio. 

The gatekeeping, however, starts at the front door. A new AI thermal body temperature and facial recognition entry system from OKTO Technologies works on a ‘red for stop, green for go’ basis, allowing only healthy, virus-free visitors to enter the building. 

A Harley Street private GP clinic has partnered with a British technology start-up on a new service which monitors the symptoms of patients who have coronavirus.

London General Practice has provided its 50,000 customers with an app built by Careology, which has repurposed its service that is normally used to track cancer sufferers.

Customers of the private GP clinic are given access to the Careology Connect app if they show coronavirus symptoms. The app pairs with an oxygen saturation meter and a blood pressure cuff to monitor their vital signs and relay them to doctors.

NHS Trusts are exploring the possibility of using hotels to house patients following surgery to reduce their chances of catching coronavirus from wards, The Telegraph understands.

At the height of the first wave, Best Western Great Britain, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Travelodge and Whitbread’s Premier Inn hotel chains were all involved in discussions with Government about using their premises as emergency bed space, or to house staff.

In Reading, some patients were discharged to the Holiday Inn on Basingstoke Road following surgery or illness in an effort to keep beds free for Covid-19 patients.

Now, as infections are once again on the rise across the country, it is understood hospitals in London are once again investigating using hotels to discharge patients.

The coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours, Japanese researchers have found, in a discovery they said showed the need for frequent hand washing to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pathogen that causes the flu survives on human skin for about 1.8 hours by comparison, said the study published this month in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.

Both the coronavirus and the flu virus are inactivated within 15 seconds by applying ethanol, which is used in hand sanitisers.

President Donald Trump, who played down the coronavirus pandemic from its onset, criticised Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Saturday for her policies to curb the outbreak, drawing shouts of “lock her up” from a rally crowd.

Mr Trump made the remarks during the first stop of a three-day trip through critical swing states, some of which he won in 2016 but that polls show are supporting Democratic rival Joe Biden this year.

The president held large rallies in Wisconsin and Michigan despite rising coronavirus cases in both states. Supporters who attended the rallies did not maintain social distancing. Some wore masks, some did not.

Australia’s state of Victoria, the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, will see some of its months-long restrictions eased as of Monday but retailers and restaurants must wait longer, the state’s premier said on Sunday.

After more than 100 days in a strict lockdown, the five million people living in Melbourne, Victoria’s capital, will be able to spend as much time outdoors as they wish, but must stay within a 25-kilometre (15-mile) radius from their homes, Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Public gatherings will remain tightly limited, and retailers and restaurants must operate only on take-away or delivery orders, with the state government eyeing their reopening by Nov. 1, Mr Andrews said.

China reported 13 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for Oct. 17, the same as a day earlier, the health commission said on Sunday.

All of the new infections were imported, according to a statement by the National Health Commission.

As of Saturday, mainland China had 85,672 confirmed cases, the health authority said, and the death toll stands at 4,634.

New Zealand confirmed a new community case of Covid-19 on Sunday, two weeks after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that the South Pacific nation had “beat the virus again”.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the latest case involved a port-side worker who returned a positive test on Saturday afternoon.

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News – Coronavirus latest news: Using a circuit breaker would be an ‘error’ says Michael Gove