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Covid: UK vaccine rollout ‘breaking link’ between infections and death

Covid: UK vaccine rollout ‘breaking link’ between infections and death

Health
Getty ImagesIncreasingly strong evidence shows that the UK's vaccination programme is breaking the link between Covid-19 cases and deaths, scientists tracking the epidemic have said. A study found infections had fallen by roughly two-thirds since February, before beginning to level off.This is probably because people are beginning to mix more - but deaths have not followed the same pattern.This was not the case before January, when the vaccine rollout began. The research, commissioned by the government and run by Imperial College London, is based on swabs taken from 140,000 people selected to represent England's population.Of that group, who were tested for the virus between 11 and 30 March, 227 had a positive result, giving a rate of 0.2%, or one in 500 people.But in people over the age o...
Covid: Brazil has more than 4,000 deaths in 24 hours for first time

Covid: Brazil has more than 4,000 deaths in 24 hours for first time

World
EPABrazil has recorded more than 4,000 Covid-related deaths in 24 hours for the first time, as a more contagious variant fuels a surge in cases.Hospitals are overcrowded, with people dying as they wait for treatment in some cities, and the health system is on the brink of collapse in many areas. The country's total death toll is now almost 337,000, second only to the US.But President Jair Bolsonaro continues to oppose any lockdown measures to curb the outbreak.He argues that the damage to the economy would be worse than the effects of the virus itself, and has tried to reverse some of the restrictions imposed by local authorities in the courts. Covid vaccines: How fast is worldwide progress?What is the Brazil variant and do vaccines work against it?Political crisis and Covid surge rock Bra...
Covid passports: Entertainment venues air concerns over plans

Covid passports: Entertainment venues air concerns over plans

Entertainment
Getty ImagesLeading figures in the UK entertainment industry have expressed reservations about the prospect of using Covid passports as venues reopen, especially if they require proof of vaccination.The government has said Covid-status certificates could be used at theatres, nightclubs and festivals from June.They could be used to prove if a person has been vaccinated, has had a recent negative test or has natural immunity.But some industry figures say they have "deep concerns" over the proposals.The announcement of a series of pilot events, which will start later this month, has already proved controversial.Trial events are due to take place at venues in Liverpool, as well as sporting fixtures including the Snooker World Championships and FA Cup Final.Covid passports are 'one option', say...
Vitamin D: The truth about an alleged Covid ‘cover-up’

Vitamin D: The truth about an alleged Covid ‘cover-up’

Health
Getty ImagesAs Covid-19 swept the world, so did misinformation about how to treat it. But sometimes misinformation can develop even around ideas that have some truth to them - and that can be the most difficult kind to tackle.Why vitamin D?There are many treatments that have been suggested for Covid-19.Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin and vitamin D - all are, or were, being studied. Suggesting that a treatment could be effective and then finding it isn't upon further research is all part of the normal scientific process. But online, early or low quality research can be shared out of context. And the confusion this creates can be exploited by people promoting conspiracy theories. There is some logic behind why vitamin D might be useful in treating or preventing Covid.It plays a role in immuni...
Covid: Tests to be offered twice-weekly to all in England

Covid: Tests to be offered twice-weekly to all in England

Health
PA MediaEveryone in England is to be given access to two rapid coronavirus tests a week from Friday, under an extension of the government's testing programme.The lateral flow kits, which can provide results in around 30 minutes, will be available for free at testing sites, pharmacies and through the post. The health secretary said it would help squash any outbreaks as lockdown eases. But critics of the programme say it risks becoming a "scandalous" waste of money.It comes as Boris Johnson is due to meet the cabinet to sign off the next stage of lockdown easing in England, which will see non-essential shops reopen and pubs and restaurants start serving outdoors from 12 April.Rapid home Covid tests to be available for workersHow many people have been vaccinated so far?Covid passports would b...