Coronavirus: UK should donate vaccines to poorer nations now, says new WTO chief; two die amid lockdown protests in Gabon

Posted by on February 20, 2021 4:26 am
Categories: Global Stories

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9.26am GMT

The Philippines’ health ministry has reported 239 new deaths, the second-highest daily increase in casualties since the pandemic started, Reuters reports. The agency says there were also 2,240 new infections.

The previous daily high death toll was 259 deaths reported on 14 September. The ministry said total confirmed cases have increased to 559,288 while confirmed deaths have reached 12,068.

9.05am GMT

Staying in the UK, the chair of the National Care Association has welcomed the news on care home visits after a “gruelling” year, but said the approach must be one of caution. Nadra Ahmed told BBC Breakfast:

I think it is a welcome step forward. I think we need to be very careful and cautious and make sure that everybody understands the implications and the risks that might be attached.

But if everybody does what they’re asked to do and follows the rules then certainly we hope that this will be the start of a bit more as we go forward.

It’s doable as much as we possibly can and it will depend on the resources. Staff resource is our biggest problem. We have staff who are exhausted, we’ve got staff who are going down with Covid and also getting long Covid.

We have no insurance in our services for Covid-related risks – that still hasn’t been sorted out by government in any way, so there will be all sorts of things about mitigating risks, but the default is we want to enable this visiting.

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