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The increase of 1,062 in 24 hours at the weekend is the first time the number has been in four figures since late June, breaching a ceiling set by the Government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre in May. Prof Gabriel Scally, president of epidemiology and public health at the Royal Society of Medicine as well as member of Independent Sage, said: “Something’s got to change, otherwise we are really in for an extraordinarily difficult time. “It’s bad, and at the back of it all is that the government does not have a strategy.
“The last time they published a strategy for COVID-19 was March 3.
“What they have published is a strategy for removing social restriction, but that’s not about dealing with the virus.
“They have no strategy for dealing with the virus that they have ever made public.”
The criticism relates to a Joint Biosecurity Centre report published on May 20 on the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).
This stated: “Decreasing daily incidence of symptomatic cases in all regions across the UK until the target acceptable incidence is reached, then incidence kept below that target.
“This target is yet to be specified and needs to be spelt out.
“We suggest 1,000 new symptomatic swab +ve [positive] cases per day in the UK.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The UK continues to have low levels of disease compared to the start of the pandemic and, thanks to our large testing capacity, we are able to detect more cases now than ever before.
“We will not hesitate to take necessary steps to stop the spread of the virus and continue to urge the public to play their part by following government guidance.”
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7.50am update: Heathrow passenger numbers down by almost 90 percent compared with last year
Heathrow’s passenger numbers were down 89 percent year-on-year in July, figures published by the airport show.
Just 867,000 people travelling through the west London airport last month, compared with 7.754 million in July 2019.
The latest monthly data reflects a slight uplift in passenger traffic since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Demand was down 95% year-on-year during the previous month.
7.46am update: FTSE 100 LIVE – UK unemployment SOARS – ONS issues bleak coronavirus update
UK unemployment continued to soar last month, a bleak update from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.
The number of UK workers on payrolls fell by 730,000 between March and July, ONS said.
This includes another 81,000 jobs lost last month, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic, they said.
It comes amid instability in world markets.Japan’s Topix index rose 2.2 percent as trading resumed in Tokyo following a long weekend.
7.42am update: Trump ponders legislation to block US citizens with COVID-19 from returning home
President Donald Trump is considering a measure to block US citizens and permanent residents from returning home if they are suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus, a senior US official confirmed to Reuters.
The official said a draft regulation, which has not been finalised and could change, would give the government authorisation to block individuals who could “reasonably” be believed to have contracted COVID-19 or other diseases.
Trump has instituted a series of sweeping immigration restrictions since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, suspending some legal immigration and allowing U.S. border authorities to rapidly deport migrants caught at the border without standard legal processes.
Reuters reported in May that US government officials were concerned that dual US-Mexico citizens might flee to the United States if the coronavirus outbreak in Mexico worsened, putting more stress on UShospitals.
7.36am update: Warning as cases surge past 1,000 a day
Confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK pushed about 1,000 a day for the first time at the weekend – exceeding a key target and triggering a dire warning from public health officials – with one launching a accusing the Government of having no strategy to cope.
The increase of 1,062 in 24 hours at the weekend is the first time the number has been in four figures since late June, breaching a ceiling set by the Government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre in May.
Prof Gabriel Scally, president of epidemiology and public health at the Royal Society of Medicine as well as member of Independent Sage, said: “Something’s got to change, otherwise we are really in for an extraordinarily difficult time.
“It’s bad, and at the back of it all is that the government does not have a strategy.”
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