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UK minister says Delta variant 40 percent more transmissible | Coronavirus pandemic News

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Health Minister Matt Hancock says the coronavirus variant causing surge in infections is 40 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant.

The Delta variant of the coronavirus is estimated to be 40 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant that caused the previous wave of infections in the United Kingdom, Britain’s health minister has said.

People who have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine should be equally protected against either variant, he added.

“That figure, around 40 percent more transmissible, is indeed the latest advice I have,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News on Sunday.

The Delta variant, which was first detected in India, is now the dominant strain in the UK, according to Public Health England figures.

It was the Alpha variant, which was initially detected in the UK, that forced Britain into lockdown in January.

Hancock said the 40 percent figure came from the government body of scientific advisers, SAGE.

Concerns are mounting over whether the emergence of the Delta variant threatens the government’s provisional June 21 deadline for lifting virus restrictions.

Hancock acknowledged that the Delta variant “does make the calculation more difficult for June 21”.

“We’ll look at the data for another week and then make a judgement,” he told the BBC on Sunday, stressing that the government was “absolutely open” to delaying the lifting of restrictions.

Public Health England said last month that research showed double vaccination was similarly effective against both the Alpha and Delta variants.

“The best scientific advice I have at this stage is that, after one jab, it’s not quite as effective against the new Delta variant, but after both jabs, it is,” Hancock told the BBC.

So far hospitalisations are “broadly flat”, with very few people hospitalised after receiving both vaccine doses, he added.

The UK has so far given more than 27 million people two doses – more than 50 percent of adults – while more than 40 million have had one dose.

Hancock said the government was “taking clinical advice” on whether to extend the vaccination programme to children over 12, who are believed to be playing a major role in spreading the virus. But this would not be mandatory, he added.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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India eases COVID rules as new cases dip to two-month low | Coronavirus pandemic News

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Many states, including capital New Delhi, ease restrictions as new infections drop to the lowest since March 31.

Many Indian states have eased coronavirus restrictions, including the capital New Delhi, where authorities allowed all shops and shopping centres to open, as the number of new infections dropped to the lowest in more than two months.

Experts have cautioned against a full reopening as India has vaccinated only about 5 percent of its estimated 950 million adults with the necessary two doses, leaving millions vulnerable.

Infections peaked in India in May with about 400,000 new cases a day but that dropped to 70,421 new infections reported on Monday, the lowest daily increase since March 31, health ministry data showed.

The number of deaths went up by 3,921, the data showed.

India has had the second-highest tally of COVID-19 infections in the world after the United States, with 29.51 million cases and 374,305 deaths, according to ministry data.

Authorities in Delhi allowed all shops and shopping centres to reopen although bars, gyms, salons, cinemas and parks remained shut.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said markets and restaurants would be carefully watched this week.

“If we see coronavirus cases are going up, we will have to reimpose strict restrictions,” Kejriwal said in a televised address on Sunday.

Hospitals in Delhi had struggled to provide oxygen cylinders and beds to patients last month as infections surged but, earlier this month, the city allowed businesses to bring back 50 percent of employees and partially resumed public transport.

In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, known for automobile manufacturing, some businesses were allowed to bring back 50 percent of employees and salons and liquor shops re-opened. Bus services remained suspended until June 21.

In Bengaluru, the capital of neighbouring Karnataka state and a major tech hub, traffic returned to the streets as authorities allowed the partial re-opening of businesses though the strict night and weekend curfews remained in place.

The pressure to resume some economic activity has grown as millions depend on daily wages to pay for food and rent.

“India needs to reopen as the challenge of maintaining a fine balance between lives and livelihoods is very crucial,” said Rajib Dasgupta, head of the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Eddie Mutwe, Nubian Li Released on Bail

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The General Court Martial in Makindye has on Monday released on bail the remaining members of the National Unity Platform who have been on remand since December last year.

The released include Bobi Wine bodyguard Eddie Mutwe,Singer Nubian Li and Producer Dan Magic.

The released are facing charges related to possession of fire arms.

The group had made several attempts at bail but kept getting stonewalled by government prosecution, on different grounds.

In the last court sitting in which teh army court released 17 of the 35 NUP supporters, Chairman Gen Court Martial sent back Eddie Mutwe and his group on remand, on grounds that prosecution was still examining their affidavits.

The group was arrested on December 30th 2020 in Kalangala district, while on the campaign trail with their candidate Robert Kyagulanyi.

“All our comrades who were arrested last year from Kalangala have been released on bail. These have spent six months while under detention for no crime whatsoever. Thanks to our legal team and everyone who has worked tirelessly to ensure these comrades regain their freedom,” NUP said in a statement.

This story is being updated

The post Eddie Mutwe, Nubian Li Released on Bail first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Kanungu DHO Dr Sebudde Dies of Covid19

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Dr Stephen Ssebudde the Kanungu District Health Officer has succumbed to COVID-19.

Dr Ssebudde passed away on Sunday evening at Entebbe hospital where he has been receiving treatment for Covid19 after he started feeling unwell early this week.

News of his death was confirmed by a family who told this reporter that Ssebudde died at around 6Pm after three days of admission in Entebbe Hospital.

“Kanungu District Health Officer Dr Ssebudde died at around 6pm today after 3 days of admission in Entebbe Hospital. As per family, RIP” message from a family member reads.

Hajji Shaffiq Ssekandi the Kanungu Resident District Commissioner who also heads the District COVID-19 taskforce described Ssebudde’s death as a big blow to the district health department since he has been working selflessly to ensure that all people in the community are equally served when it comes to health.

His death comes at a time when the country has already registered cumulative confirmed covid19 cases of 61,977 representing a test positivity rate of 18.7%.

The country has 884 Active cases on admission, 48,160 Cumulative recoveries, and 428 total deaths.

According to Ministerial statistics, 777,895 Persons have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The post Kanungu DHO Dr Sebudde Dies of Covid19 first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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