Coronavirus UK news – Arthritis drug 'could cut deaths' as Gareth Southgate battled covid and growth rate is 'slowing'

A NEW arthritis drug has been found to cut deaths by two-thirds in patients who are admitted to hospital with coronavirus, it has been revealed.

Researchers have said that the pill, named Olumiant, has been found to reduce deaths by 71 percent in those with moderate or severe symptoms.

Meanwhile the Sun on Sunday revealed how England manager Gareth Southgate has been secretly battling Covid with the players none the wiser.

It comes as the UK experienced its deadliest Saturday since May 2, with 462 more people dead on Saturday during the second Covid wave bringing the total fatalities to 51,766.

But Professor Sir Ian Diamond, the head of the Office for National Statistics , sid that there had been slow down in new cases.

Follow our coronavirus updates below...

  • Patrick Knox

    ‘BRITS’ OBESITY BEHIND HIGHEST CORONAVIRUS DEATH RATE IN EUROPE’

    Professor Dame Sally Davies, has blamed the fast food industry and the amount of grub on our plates for the country's soaring death toll.

    The UK has one of the highest levels of obesity in the world and the second highest in Europe, with nearly one in three adults in the obese category.

    Obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) over 30, raises the risk of dying from Covid-19 by 48 per cent.

    Last week the country is believed to be the first in Europe to hit the morbid milestone of more than 50,000 coronavirus deaths.

  • Patrick Knox

    GERMAN MINISTER SEES SEVERAL MORE MONTHS OF COVID LOCKDOWN

    Germany may see four to five more months of coronavirus restrictions, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said Sunday, dashing hopes of a quick end to a partial lockdown introduced two weeks ago.

    “The infection numbers are still far too high — much higher even than a fortnight ago,” Altmaier told the Bild an Sonntag newspaper ahead of a government meeting on Monday to assess the progress of the restrictions.

    Germany went into partial lockdown in early November, closing bars, restaurants, gyms and other recreational facilities but keeping schools and shops open.

    The number of new infections per day has since slowed but remains high, with a record of more than 23,000 reported on Friday.

    Mr Altmaier said: “We will have to live with considerable precautions and restrictions for at least the next four to five months.”

  • Patrick Knox

    ENGLAND FOOTBALL TEAM MANAGER BOSS GARETH SOUTHGATE SECRETLY BATTLED CORONAVIRUS

    Gareth Southgate, 50, tested positive for the virus late last month after developing symptoms.

    He was forced to self-isolate for ten days before further checks came back negative.

    Concern was heightened due to his age but his fitness helped him fight off the deadly virus — with his England stars none the wiser.

    One source said: “He’s a professional, he just got on with it. Fortunately he’s very fit for his age.”

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  • Patrick Knox

    ARTHRITIS DRUG 'CUTS COVID DEATHS BY TWO-THIRDS AMONG ELDERLY'

    The daily pill has been noted as a possibly powerful tool in fighting the virus, which could reduce deaths by 71 per cent.

    Those patients with moderate or severe forms of coronavirus could find the drug drastically helpful in beating the illness, research has claimed.

    It is marketed under the name Olumiant, and called baricitinib.

    The drug is relatively new but is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Patrick Knox

    DEADLY DAY SINCE MAY 2

    The UK has suffered its deadliest Saturday during the Covid second wave after 462 more people died bringing total fatalities to 51,766.

    And the grim figures released today show that cases have increased by 26,860 — with a total of 1,344,356 now infected by the killer bug.

    In comparison, last Saturday 24,957 new infections were recorded along with 413 deaths from the disease.

    Today is the deadliest Saturday since May 2 when 493 people passed away.

    This comes after infections surged yesterday by half to 33,470 in a record 24-hour rise.

  • Patrick Knox

    COVID-19 RATE OF GROWTH ACROSS THE UK ‘IS SLOWING’

    Professor Sir Ian Diamond, the head of the Office for National Statistics told Sky News's Sophy Ridge On Sunday show: “The good news is — yes — we are seeing a slow down in the rate of growth.

    “That means we're still increasing and we are now in England at 1.25 per 1,000. That means that one in 85 people in England, we believe, have the virus.

    “In Wales, a little less at one in 100, in Scotland one in 135 and Northern Ireland one in 105.

    “So yes we are continuing to increase the numbers, but the rate of growth is slowing.”

  • Patrick Knox

    OZ 'VICTIM' OF OWN COVID-19 SUCCESS AS LOCALS WANT TO RETURN

    It closed its borders in March to all but citizens and residents, and the government has kept entries capped and put those allowed into the country in a two-week mandatory quarantine.

    South Australia recorded three locally acquired coronavirus cases today, its first in months, after a worker from a quarantine hotel infected family members, health officials said.

    This came after Australia yesterday recorded its first week of no coronavirus community transmissions and no related deaths since the start of the pandemic. Victoria, the hotspot of the pandemic, recorded on Sunday its 16th consecutive day of no new cases and no deaths.

    Education Minister Dan Tehan told Sky News: “With what's happening with COVID-19 in other parts of the world, we're almost becoming a victim of our own success here in Australia, with more people wanting to come back.”

  • Patrick Knox

    ONE IN THREE CHILDREN HAVE BEEN VICTIMS OF BULLYING DURING PANDEMIC – POLL

    It suggests nearly two in five children were worried about bullying when they returned to class at the start of term after months of school closures.

    The Anti-Bullying Alliance, which commissioned the survey, said Covid-19 may have changed the way bullying is happening this year, with rising numbers reporting incidents online and in the community.

    The poll, which questioned more than 2,000 secondary school pupils in England in October, found that 33 per cent had been bullied in the last six months.

    Of those who have been victims of bullying, nearly one in five (19 per cent) said it happened once a week, while 7 per cent said it was every day.

    Overall, 38 per cent said the bullying had taken place online, a rise from 29 per cent in a pre-Covid survey last year.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    EXPERT URGES AGAINST 'FLIP-FLOPPING' BETWEEN ECONOMY AND EPIDEMIC

    Encouraging the public to visit bars and restaurants and then closing hospitality due to a spike in Covid-19 cases is not a “sensible way to run the epidemic”, a Government scientific adviser has said.

    Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), urged a long-term strategy when it comes to balancing the economy and the pandemic.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    HIDDEN TOLL

    Almost 5,000 more people have died from heart problems since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The British Heart Foundation warned patients could be delaying their treatment or avoiding hospitals during the virus' outbreak – with deadly results.

    According to mortality data analysed by the BHF, 73,799 fatalities had heart or circulatory disease named as the underlying cause of death between March 20 and October 30.

    The figure is 4,785 higher than projected – 7% higher than predicted levels.

    Dr Sonja Babu-Narayan, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Going forward, we have to learn the lessons from this pandemic.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    COVID 'BREAKOUT'

    A man awaiting trail for the attempted rape of women he met on dating apps has gone missing after a judge let him out of jail for $500 due to Covid concerns.

    Rene Chandler, 31, was on an electronic monitor charged with the sexual assault of two women when he assaulted and robbed a third woman in an Uber in April 2019.

    The Chicago man was arrested and a judge ordered he be held without bail for violating the terms of his sexual assault cases, CBW Chicago reports.

    However, his attorney petitioned to have him released, arguing for an emergency motion to reduce his bond amount based on Chandler’s asthma.

    “He is absolutely not a flight risk,” Chandler's defense attorney wrote in the bail reduction request, as seen by CBW.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    FAKE NEWS

    CNN star Jake Tapper has been slammed for spreading “false information” about suicide rates during the Covid pandemic on Twitter.

    The criticism of the CNN host came after he shared a “copy” tweet on increasing suicide rates on Thursday, The New York Post first reported.

    “Suicide figures are up. Could 2 followers please copy and re-post this tweet? We’re trying to demonstrate that someone is always listening,” the tweet said.

    “Call 1-800-273-8255 (USA hotline) Just two. Any two. Copy, not retweet.”

    Users – including doctors and health experts – immediately questioned Tapper's tweet, as they disputed the claim on rising rates.

    Jeremy Faust, who is an ER doctor, and instructor at Harvard Medical School, said: “Jake, I'm a fan of yours. But I'm wondering where this statement comes from, though.”

    “We've seen data that suicidal thoughts may be up. But every dataset I've seen (including my own work) says actual attempts and completion didn't go up, at least so far.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    FRIEND IN NEED

    Singer Jeremih has reportedly been hospitalised with Covid-19.

    Celebrities are calling on fans for prayers for their 'brother' and 'friend.'

    According to TMZ sources say Jeremih has taken a turn for the worse in his battle against COVID-19.

    The R&B singer is reportedly on a breathing ventilator in the ICU.

    It's not known yet how long he's been in the hospital or how he contacted the virus.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    AISLE BE BACK

    Tesco has reopened ‘non-essential’ sections of its stores after lockdown confusion.

    The retail giant had previously barricaded ‘non-essential’ items – sparking fury amongst customers.

    The U-turn comes after furious shoppers took to Twitter to complain about not being able to get to clothes and into other parts of the supermarket due to strict new lockdown rules.

    Customers were left bemused at the sight of ‘non-essential’ sections barricaded off by walls of tinsel and stacks of Corona and Lynx Africa.

    The barricades were watched over by Tesco security guards – leaving shoppers unable to buy clothing, hombre, toys and electronics.

    But the supermarket has since confirmed that it reopened its upper floors on Saturday morning, and all items are back on sale.

    A spokesperson said: “Our mezzanine levels are now open again for customers in all our stores.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    JAB FAB

    Tens of millions of British-made Covid-19 vaccines are ready to roll into production by the end of the year, it has been revealed.

    Professor Andrew Pollard, who led the Oxford University and AstraZeneca-backed trial, said they are on track and “optimistic” to get the green light on the jab by Christmas.

    He said his team’s work was a “miracle” done at “record speed”.

    And their anti-viral will be easier to deliver and ten times cheaper than the Pfizer version, which needs two injections weeks apart and must be stored below -109F (-78C).

    Professor Pollard says: “Ours are stored at fridge temperature.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    THE PEAK-END

    Europe may have beaten the second wave of Covid thanks to strict national lockdowns, new data suggests.

    Nations across the continent have shutdown over the last six weeks following a spike in cases in September.

    However, infection numbers are either falling or flatlining in most of the countries which chose to re-introduce draconian lockdowns.

    And the data shows that the likes of Italy and Spain who did not shutdown are seeing infection rates surge.

    France, which has been in lockdown since October 30, has seen its daily coronavirus infection rate fall from 730 per million people to 508 per million.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    COVID TRAGEDY

    A university graduate died days after catching coronavirus – as he prepared to move in with his girlfriend.

    Matthew Pearson, 26, had tested positive for the virus days before he tragically died on October 1.

    His heartbroken family paid tribute to the beloved young man following his death.

    Leeds Live reports his dad, Gary, said Matthew had been getting ready to set up a home with his partner, Hayley.

    He said: “He met his soul mate and the love of his life Hayley three years ago. Hayley has become a very special part of our family.

    “He loved her and always will beyond words and I know that Hayley feels the same.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    FIRE AT COVID-19 INTENSIVE CARE UNIT IN ROMANIA KILLS TEN

    A fire killed ten people late on Saturday at the intensive care unit of a Romanian hospital that was holding coronavirus patients, the country's agency for emergency situations (ISU) said.

    The fire, which has since been extinguished, broke out in a room of the intensive care unit and also affected an adjoining room. It was unclear what triggered it, officials said.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    IRISH HEALTH CHIEF CONCERNED BY UNEXPECTED RISE IN COVID-19 CASES

    An unexpected 10% rise in the five-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases in Ireland threatens to reverse a recent sharp drop in the incidence rate of the disease to the third-lowest level in Europe, the country's chief medical officer said on Saturday.

    Ireland was among the first European countries to reimpose tough nationwide measures last month to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, with restrictions on travel and the closure of non-essential retail more than halving the 14-day infection rate to 130 cases per 100,000 people.

    The number of people infected by someone who has COVID-19 – the so-called R rate – also fell by more than half to 0.6 last month, prompting health officials to predict as recently as Thursday that cases were on track to fall below 100 per day by the time constraints are due to end on Dec. 1.

    But infections have begun to tick up since then and the five-day moving average rose to 392 from 354 after the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) reported 456 new cases on Saturday.

    “We have seen higher numbers in recent days than we expected based on the encouraging trends of the last three weeks,” Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said in a statement.

    “We are concerned that this progress is at risk. NPHET will continue to monitor the situation closely over the coming days.”

    (-REUTERS)

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    NEW COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS RISE SHARPLY IN FRANCE

    The number of confirmed new COVID-19 cases and deaths in France rose sharply in the last 24 hours, according to French health ministry data published on Saturday.

    France registered 32,095 new COVID-19 cases over the previous 24 hours to reach a total of 1,954,599.

    Deaths in hospitals in France from COVID-19 rose by 359 over the previous 24 hours to reach a total of 44,246 so far.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    MARCH MAYHEM

    Anti-lockdown protesters have clashed with cops in Bristol as Jeremy Corbyn's brother Piers was detained while the crowd chanted “shame on you”.

    At least 14 people have been arrested – including one for assaulting a police officer – as pictures showed cops detaining a number of maskless protesters.

    Mr Corbyn appears to have been led away by police after speaking at the protest this afternoon.

    He branded lockdown a “pack of lies” and warned of the “New World Order” – a common trope in conspiracy theories.

    He also accused the Labour Party of “treachery” and said Labour is acting as they did “before Hitler got into power”.

    “We want our lives back, we want our jobs back, we want the economy back, we want my brother back in the Labour party,” he ranted.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    GRIM TOLL

    The UK has suffered its deadliest Saturday during the Covid second wave after 462 more people died bringing total fatalities to 51,766.

    And the grim figures released today show that cases have increased by 26,860 – with a total of 1,344,356 now infected by the killer bug.

    In comparison, last Saturday 24,957 new infections were recorded along with 413 deaths from the disease.

    Today is the deadliest Saturday since May 2 when 493 people passed away.

    This comes after infections surged yesterday by half to 33,470 in a record 24-hour rise.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    AUSTRIA ORDERS THREE-WEEK LOCKDOWN TO REIN IN SURGING CORONAVIRUS CASES

    Austria on Saturday ordered a three-week lockdown in a last-ditch effort to bring surging coronavirus cases under control and relieve the stress on the health service in time for retailers to reopen in the run-up to Christmas.

    The country had so far used a lighter touch in dealing with the second wave of cases than it did with the first outbreak, which it brought under control with a lockdown in the spring.

    A nighttime curfew is in place from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. this month but shops are open; cafes, bars and restaurants are limited to take-away service; theatres and museums are closed.

    Those measures have failed to stop infections from accelerating and Austria now has one of Europe's highest infection rates. Daily new cases hit a record of 9,586 on Friday, nine times higher than at the peak of the first wave.

    The conservative-led government had called a lockdown a last resort, but it was left with no alternative to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.

    The new lockdown is due to start on Tuesday and end on Monday, Dec. 7.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    PRIMARKS GET SET

    Thousands of shoppers descended on Cardiff city centre today with a massive queue forming outside Primark after Wales eased its firebreak lockdown.

    Eager bargain hunters waited for hours outside the fashion giant as shoppers hit the high street for some retail therapy ahead of Christmas.

    The queue for Primark snaked down Cardiff's Queen Street and reportedly stretched as far as 1,000 feet from the front door.

    One shopper said: “It is so busy today. I was speaking to two women who said they were teachers so Saturday and Sunday is the only time they can go out shopping.

    “They couldn't understand why it was so crazy.”

    Another said: “It's absolute chaos in Cardiff today. Anyone would swear coronavirus is having a firebreak.

    “Guaranteed we'll be locked back up before Christmas because Susan 'needs' bed socks from Primark.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    MINKS ARE BURIED AFTER TESTING POSITIVE FOR COVID IN GREECE

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