UK coronavirus LIVE: Cases jump by 4,422 as London lockdown restrictions 'increasingly likely'

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  • September 19, 2020
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It is “increasingly likely” that lockdown restrictions will soon be needed to slow the spread of coronavirus in London, Sadiq Khan has warned.

His comments come after Boris Johnson said the UK is “now seeing a second wave coming in”, and that it was “inevitable” that Covid-19 would hit the country again.

The number of cases per 100,000 people over seven days is reported to have increased in London from 18.8 to around 25.

Meanwhile, another 4,422 infections were recorded across the country overnight – the highest spike since May 8.

Follow all the latest updates below…

Live Updates


2020-09-19T22:32:32.760Z

That’s all for tonight’s rolling coronavirus news.

​Check back in tomorrow morning for all the latest updates.

Goodnight.


2020-09-19T22:29:37.810Z

(PA)

Thousands of international nurses are reportedly lined up to join the NHS as England’s chief nurse outlined plans to spend up to £180 million to boost numbers ahead of a second wave of coronavirus.

Ruth May told the Independent that 6,500 nurses were “on the order book” to join the health service, with almost two dozen travelling from India in the past two weeks.

Ms May told the news site that 2,500 retired nurses who rejoined to help during the first stage of the pandemic were being supported to stay on, as the health service aims to prevent operations being cancelled this winter.

She told the Independent: “Nurses were at the forefront of the Covid-19 response, they have worked so hard.

“The public have seen the breadth and depth of what nurses and midwives can do. I know they will, as a profession, step up yet again for the challenging few months we’ll no doubt have.

“We will no doubt see that nurses will be in the forefront of the response during winter, and that’s exactly why we want more nurses, that’s why we’re asking people to join our profession. We don’t just want people to clap for nurses, we want people to become a nurse.”

The Department of Health and Social Care has provided £28 million to boost international nurse recruitment, while hospitals have £150 million to spend on existing nurses to boost their training and keep them in the health service, the Independent reported.


2020-09-19T22:03:27.003Z

(PA)

London mayor Sadiq Khan is pressing for new coronavirus restrictions amid rising infection rates in the capital – including a return to working from home.

Mayoral sources said the city was catching up with disease hotspots in the North West and North East of England, which have been placed under new controls.

While data from only a few days ago suggested London was two weeks behind those areas, the latest modelling seen by Mr Khan was said to show the gap had closed to two or three days.

The mayor is now urging ministers to extend the latest regional restrictions – including ordering bars and restaurants to close at 10pm – to cover the capital as well.

He is also said to be looking at the possibility of asking those who are able to work from home to do so.

Such a move would be in sharp contrast to the Government, which has until recently been urging people to get back to their offices following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

A mayoral source said: “It’s clear that cases in London are only moving in one direction, we are now just days behind hotspots in the North West and North East. We can’t afford more delay.

“Introducing new measures now will help slow the spread of the virus and potentially prevent the need for a fuller lockdown like we saw in March, which could seriously damage the economy once again.”


2020-09-19T21:49:38.723Z

(PA)

Sir Keir Starmer is urging ministers to put children “at the front of the queue” for coronavirus tests.

The Labour leader warned of a “flood” of school closures unless pupils were able to get the tests they needed.

His call came amid reports that 350 schools in England and Wales were forced to close completely or to send children home last week following positive Covid-19 tests.

Sir Keir said it was essential that children whose schooling was disrupted by the lockdown did not lose out even more because a shortage of tests meant they were unable to return to the classroom.

“If the Prime Minister does not get a grip of the testing crisis, children will be robbed of an education. We are seeing a growing flood of schools closures,” he said.

“The testing regime is not working, nor does it appreciate the unique challenges many families are having to cope with.

“That is why I’m urging the Prime Minister, like our key workers, to put children at the front of the queue for testing. To this week give parents a cast iron guarantee that they can get their child a test within 24 hours and the result back 24 hours later.”

His comments came at the start of Labour Connected – a four-day online event in place of the party’s annual conference, which was cancelled because of the pandemic.

Sir Keir is expected to use his keynote speech on Tuesday to set out his vision for Britain after Covid-19 and to explain how he intends to lead Labour back to power.


2020-09-19T19:53:55.660Z

World update:

Romanian families protest mandatory use of masks in school 

Several hundred Romanians, including many families with young children, have been protesting against measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, especially social distancing and the mandatory use of masks in schools.

Like other countries in Europe, the number of new virus cases has spiked in recent days in Romania, with a record 1,713 cases earlier this week and 1,333 more on Saturday. In all, Romania has registered 111,550 cases of Covid-19, with 4,402 confirmed deaths.

Some 2.8 million Romanian schoolchildren began their academic year on Monday, with classes being held in classrooms, online or a combination of the two, depending on the intensity of the pandemic in a given region. Desks have to be at least one metre apart, masks must be worn by students and teachers at the primary school level or higher and classrooms are disinfected daily.

Protesters at Bucharest’s University Square chanted against President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Ludovic Orban and drew parallels between the protective measures against the pandemic and the communist and Nazi regimes.

One of the speakers at the rally compared the measures to the torture of dissidents during communism.

A large sign carried by a protester included a recent quote from Mr Iohannis about the safety measures — “Kids easily get used to unpleasant things” — above a photograph of children behind barbed-wire fences at a concentration camp

Protesters also highlighted the symbolism of holding the rally at University Square, where protests in 1989 against dictator Nicolae Ceausescu led to the fall of his communist regime.

Only police and members of the media wore masks at the event, where participants, many carrying Romanian flags, did not respect social distancing rules, either.


2020-09-19T19:22:03.120Z

Doctors are calling for tighter restrictions to avoid a second lockdown…


2020-09-19T18:28:54.523Z

Here’s a roundup of today’s heated demonstrations:


2020-09-19T17:23:42.936Z

World update:

France reports nearly 13,500 cases – highest surge since pandemic began 

France has reported another 13,498 Covid-19 cases – the highest daily figure in the country since the pandemic began.

The number of people in France who have died from the virus has risen by 26.

This takes the nation’s death toll to 31,274, with total infections now at 442,194.


2020-09-19T16:40:09.116Z

Ireland update:

A further 274 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Ireland.

Of the latest cases, 166 were in Dublin.

No further deaths were reported, leaving the country’s toll at 1,792.


2020-09-19T16:29:05.306Z

Has the Government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis given Labour a boost in the polls?


2020-09-19T16:15:46.316Z

Police have urged hundreds of protesters to immediately leave an anti-vaccine, anti-lockdown protest in Trafalgar Square or face arrest.

The warning came after heated clashes between demonstrators and officers during a “Resist And Act For Freedom” rally this afternoon.

Dozens of officers, including some on horseback, were repelled by human blockades with loud cheering and chanting as they tried to make arrests.

Scotland Yard said the large crowds of people are “putting themselves and others at risk” just a day after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan warned it is “increasingly likely” restrictions will be needed to slow the spread of coronavirus in the capital, adding he was “extremely concerned” about the rate of transmission in London.

The number of cases per 100,000 people over seven days is reported to have increased in London from 18.8 to around 25.


2020-09-19T15:42:28.133Z

Here’s a breakdown of the latest figures:


2020-09-19T15:25:15.000Z

Irish premier Micheal Martin reassures nation that coronavirus case numbers were forced down before – and can be again

The Taoiseach was speaking as Dublin entered three weeks of tighter restrictions designed to combat a surge in cases. Earlier this week, acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned that the coronavirus situation had “deteriorated nationally”.

He said 50 per cent of Thursday’s cases were in Dublin. On Friday 253 new cases of the virus were confirmed in the previous 24-hour reporting period by the National Public Health Emergency Team, of which 116 were in Dublin.

From midnight on Friday non-essential travel is being discouraged to and from the capital, visits to private homes have been capped at six people from one household and indoor dining at eateries has been stopped.

Mr Martin revealed he is worried about the situation in Dublin, describing numbers as rising “exponentially”. He has urged the public to abide by the new rules, adding that recent regional lockdowns in counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly worked.


2020-09-19T15:13:05.210Z

Oktoberfest celebrations kick off in Munich, but this year’s festival is very non-traditional and highly regulated due to coronavirus concerns

The official Oktoberfest has been cancelled. Instead 50 of the southern German city’s beer halls and other establishments are hosting their own, smaller parties that follow guidelines on mask wearing, social distancing and other restrictions.

A server carries mugs during a barrel tapping at a beer garden near Theresienwiese where Oktoberfest would have started today (REUTERS/Andreas Gebert)


2020-09-19T14:50:53.886Z

University College Dublin professor tells anti-vax rally the coronavirus vaccine will “make people sick”

Professor Dolores Cahill told the crowd: “We want freedom, truth and love. I know that vaccines make people sick, you should not trust the Government, the doctors and the media, they are lying about the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Vaccines have not been safety-tested, they tell you when you take a vaccine you’ll get a little bit of swelling, is that true? No.

“You can get multiple sclerosis and allergies, when I talk to parents, there are 12 known diseases you can get. If you’re a parent, auntie, grandparent, cousin or neighbour, we’re here to say the truth will come out.”

The UCD has previously disassociated itself from views on Covid-19 aired by Prof Cahill, who also chairs the Eurosceptic Irish Freedom Party, the Irish Times reported.

Police supervise protestors at an anti-vax rally in central London (AFP via Getty Images)


2020-09-19T14:21:46.630Z

Protesters at an anti-vaccination demonstration in central London have been ordered to disperse or face arrest

The Metropolitan Police said those attending the Trafalgar Square event are “putting themselves and others at risk” and some had been “hostile” and “violent” towards officers who had attempted to “explain, engage and encourage them to leave”.

A statement said: “This, coupled with pockets of hostility and outbreaks of violence towards officers, means we will now be taking enforcement action to disperse those who remain in the area. Those who remain may get arrested.

“It is important to remember that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic, and the changes have been introduced to help control the spread of the virus, keep everybody safe and save lives. We encourage those in attendance to leave the area immediately.”


2020-09-19T13:40:56.446Z

A further 16 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England

This brings the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,735, NHS England said on Saturday.

Patients were aged between 69 and 97 and all had known underlying health conditions.

The dates of the deaths were between August 19 and September 18, with the majority on or after September 17. Five other deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.


2020-09-19T13:27:03.356Z

Infections rise by 222 in Northern Ireland

There have been a further 222 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland in the last 24-hour reporting period, according to the Department of Health.

This brings the total number of cases in the region to 9,165, including 913 in the last seven days.


2020-09-19T13:15:29.580Z

Latest coronavirus death stats are in for Scotland:

The latest figures for Scotland show three more confirmed coronavirus patients have died, bringing the total number of deaths under that measure to 2,505.

A total of 24,126 people have tested positive for coronavirus – an increase of 350 from the day before.

This comes just one day after Nicola Sturgeon warned “hard but necessary” decisions may be needed in the coming days to prevent another national lockdown.

The First Minister said coronavirus “could get out of our grip again” as Scotland faces the risk of “exponential growth” of Covid-19.

She said this weekend will be “critical” to how the Government plots a way forward, and added she wanted to give the nation “advanced notice” that the “coming days are likely to see some hard but necessary decisions”.