News

End to self-isolation rules, 75% of adults fully vaccinated and NHS waiting list hits record highs – this week’s Friday Five

Self-isolation for double-jabbed to end on Monday

The requirement to self-isolate for ten days after having contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus will end for fully vaccinated people on Monday 16th August, the government has announced.

The government has been keen to alter the rules surrounding self-isolation since millions of people have been “pinged” by the NHS Test and Trace app in the past few weeks.

Health secretary, Sajid Javid has said “Getting two doses of a vaccine has tipped the odds in our favour and allowed us to safely reclaim our lost freedoms, and from Monday we can take another huge step back towards our normal lives by removing self-isolation requirements for double-jabbed people who are contacts of people with Covid-19.”

Read the full story in The Independent.

NHS waiting list in England hits record 5.45 million

Over 5.45 million people in England are waiting for NHS hospital treatment, the highest number since records began in August 2007.

Data published on 12 August 2021 also shows that ambulances across England answered more than a million calls in July – and waiting times were the longest since a new way of logging calls was introduced in 2017. Despite this, the number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks for care has dropped by almost 25,000 to 1.7 million.

Chris Hopson of NHS Providers said the NHS was “going at full pelt” to try to get through the backlog. He added “They’re having to cope with the fact that we’re 8,000 beds short compared to the normal number of beds we have because of infection control, and we’ve got large numbers of staff self-isolating…We’re also in the peak leave period and we’ve got very large numbers of people coming in for urgent and emergency care – and we’ve still got 5,000 Covid patients in hospital beds.”

Read the full story in the BBC.

75% of adults in the UK are now fully vaccinated

89% of adults in the UK have now received their first dose of a Covid vaccine and 75% of adults have received two doses and are now fully vaccinated, the government announced this week.

This announcement comes as latest data from Public Health England and Cambridge University shows that around 60,000 deaths, 22 million infections and 66,900 hospital admissions have been prevented by the vaccines

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said in a statement: “Our incredible vaccine rollout has now provided vital protection against the virus to three-quarters of all UK adults. This is a huge national achievement, which we should all be proud of”

Read the full story in Sky News.

Facebook has removed an anti-vax influencer campaign

Hundreds of accounts have been removed from Facebook as they are believed to be part of an anti-vax disinformation campaign operated from Russia.

In its latest report, Facebook said it found links between the network and a botched disinformation campaign from the marketing agency Fazze, which is part of Russian-based company AdNow.

Posts from accounts in the network spread memes that used images from the Planet of Apes films to give the impression that the vaccine would turn people into monkeys.

Jack Stubbs, Director of Investigations at social media analytics firm Graphika has said “In addition to the previously-exposed efforts to enlist social media influencers, this operation appears to have used a whole range of tactics in a wider effort to seed misleading narratives online about Western-made Covid vaccines,”

Read the full story in the BBC.


Quote of the week

Oxfam have said that a 99% emergency tax on pandemic wealth gains made by billionaires could pay for everyone to get vaccinated according to a new analysis.

Oxfam International’s global inequality policy lead, Mike Lawson, said:

“Covid-19 is turning the gap between rich and poor into an unbridgeable chasm. The obscene levels of wealth gained from the pandemic by a handful of mega-rich individuals should immediately be taxed at 99% – enough to fully vaccinate everyone on earth and help millions of workers who lost their jobs due to Covid-19. Only with this kind of radical and progressive policy making will we be able to fight inequality and end poverty.”

Find out more from The Guardian