Covid news – live: Hundreds of thousands spend Christmas in isolation as booster jab rollout continues

Nurses aware Christmas this year could be worse than last, warns RCN

Hundreds of thousands of people are facing Christmas Day in isolation as they are ordered to stay at home due to Covid, while others queue to get booster jabs amid festive celebrations.

In the previous three days alone, the UK reported more than 300,000 Covid cases – breaking daily records in a row.

Thousands have also booked in to get booster jabs on Christmas Day, with others queuing for walk-ins.

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, urged people in England to “make the booster a part of your Christmas” – but vaccination clinics will be closed elsewhere in the UK.

Across the globe, thousands of flights have also been cancelled over the Christmas weekend – including more than 1,700 today.


China’s ‘zero Covid’ policy won’t work against Omicron, says virologist

Tulio de Oliveira, the director of the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation in South Africa who warned about the Omicron variant, said China’s “zero-Covid” policy will not work against the new variant.

“China should not punish its public health officials or citizens or foreigns because a more transmissible variant (sic),” the virologist said in a tweet on Saturday.

The Asian giant has reported its highest number of fresh Covid cases in four months amid new outbreaks in several regions ahead of the Winter Olympics. The country reported 158 locally transmitted cases on Saturday.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar26 December 2021 06:04

US Navy ship stranded with coronavirus outbreak

A Covid outbreak onboard a US Navy ship has forced it to remain in port at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.

An unspecified number of the 105-person crew tested positive for Covid and are isolated away from the rest of the crew.

The USS Milwaukee departed from its home base in Mayport, Florida on 14 December for a scheduled deployment to the US 4th Fleet area of operations.

Bevan Hurley has more.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar26 December 2021 04:44

France reports record number of Covid-19 cases

France on Saturday reported a record-high 104,611 Covid infections for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.

This is the third consecutive day of a record uptick in the number of cases.

The latest tally comes ahead of a video-conference meeting scheduled on Monday, where president Emmanuel Macron and key members of his government will discuss new Covid safety measures as the new Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar26 December 2021 04:23

How long is Omicron’s incubation period?

The highly contagious Omicron variant has been detected in at least 89 countries to date, with the Netherlands, Germany and South Korea reimposing lockdown measures to slow its spread.

The new variant is thought to incubate faster, closer to three to five days, compared to the first strain of the novel coronavirus.

“Recent analysis from the UK Health Security Agency suggests that the window between infection and infectiousness may be shorter for the Omicron variant than the Delta variant,” UK health secretary Sajid Javid told MPs on 6 December.

Joe Sommerlad reports.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar26 December 2021 04:15

Schools will open despite Omicron surge, PM vows

Boris Johnson has vowed to keep schools open in January despite soaring numbers of Covid cases, raising fears about the impact the decision may have on the NHS, the Times has reported.

The prime minister has told the education secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, that he is “absolutely determined” to send children back to school after the holidays.

The two, who are understood to discuss the issue almost daily, believe that education is the government’s “Number one priority” and school closures are “not something being considered”.

Thomas Kingsley25 December 2021 22:43

Aston Villa head coach Steven Gerrard will miss the club’s next two Premier League games after testing positive for Covid-19, the club have announced.

Gerrard will not be in the dugout for the Boxing Day clash at home to Chelsea or Tuesday’s trip to Leeds.

The club said in a statement: “Aston Villa can confirm head coach Steven Gerrard will be unable to attend our next two Premier League matches with Chelsea and Leeds United as he will be isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.”

Read the full story below:

Thomas Kingsley25 December 2021 22:00

New survey shows that 62 per cent of unvaccinated plan to never get any kind of Covid-19 shot

A new poll from The Economist and YouGov shows that 62 per cent of people who are not vaccinated have no plans to receive a Covid-19 vaccine of any kind.

The survey found that the largest group of unvaccinated people who will not receive a Covid-19 shot were people between the ages of 45 and 64, with 74 per cent of them saying they do not plan on ever receiving a vaccine and four per cent saying they will “definitely” receive one of the shots in the future.

The survey also found that white women with college degrees were more likely than white women without college degrees to say they will not ever receive a vaccine, as 74 per cent of college-educated white women said they do not plan on it compared to 66 per cent of white women with no degree.

Read the full story below:

Thomas Kingsley25 December 2021 21:45

Omicron symptoms: What to look out for from new Covid variant

As the new variant continues to spread after rapidly through the UK, Christmas celebrations may bring an increase in cases of the new variant.

Given that the symptoms associated with the original strain of Covid-19 and its first variants were so similar to the common cold, it has been difficult to tell over the last year or so whether the onset of headaches and sniffles meant you had contracted the coronavirus or just a bout of conventional winter flu.

Lateral flow tests provided an answer but the subsequent emergence of the new Omicron variant in late November has complicated the picture still further as its symptoms are slightly different – stuffy nose, sore throat – and because it cannot yet be specifically identified by home test kits, which simply tell us whether someone is Covid-positive or negative, not which strain they have contracted.

Read the full story below:

Thomas Kingsley25 December 2021 21:30

Another Boxing Day Premier League game cancelled due to coronavirus

Crystal Palace’s game against Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow is cancelled due to a rise in coronavirus cases, Football London has reported.

Two back room staff from Crystal Palace FC have tested positive for Covid. Players delayed travelling to the hotel until the club could hear back from Premier League.

Thomas Kingsley25 December 2021 21:15

Almost 1,000 Christmas Day flights cancelled by US airlines

More than 900 flights on Saturday, the second straight day of massive cancellations as surging Covid-19 infections have sidelined some pilots and other crew members.

A total of 913 Christmas Day flights, including domestic flights and those into or out of the country, were canceled, up from 690 on Christmas Eve, according to a running tally on flight-tracking website

Around 1,110 flights were delayed, Reuters reports.

Thomas Kingsley25 December 2021 21:00

Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.

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