Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Sunday morning.
Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Sunday morning. We’ll have another update for you tomorrow.
The costs of coronavirus will be met by taxpayers “for decades”, MPs have said, adding that an inquiry into the pandemic can not come soon enough. The Public Accounts Committee said No 10’s response to the crisis had exposed UK taxpayers to “significant financial risks”. They also criticised government spending on unusable protective kit. The Department of Health said there were “processes” to ensure spending gives taxpayers value for money.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has been criticised for saying people should no longer “cower” from coronavirus as he announced his recovery from the virus. Mr Javid, who has had both vaccine doses, said he had only experienced “very mild” symptoms “thanks to “amazing vaccines”. “Please – if you haven’t yet – get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus,” he tweeted. But Labour accused him of denigrating those who followed the rules, while a victims’ group founder said his comments were “deeply insensitive”.
A man who mocked Covid-19 vaccines on social media has died after a month-long battle with the virus. Stephen Harmon, a member of the Hillsong megachurch, had made a series of jokes about not having the vaccine. “Got 99 problems but a vax ain’t one,” the 34-year-old tweeted to his 7,000 followers in June. He was treated for pneumonia and Covid-19 in a hospital outside Los Angeles, where he died on Wednesday. In the days leading up to his death, Mr Harmon documented his fight to stay alive, posting pictures of himself in his hospital bed.
Are we in the danger zone for creating new variants that could weaken the ability of vaccines to shield us from Covid? And does it matter? Scientists have warned that the UK has created the perfect conditions by relaxing restrictions – which could see cases reaching 100,000 a day this summer – while large numbers of people don’t have protection from both doses of the vaccine. So far, the problematic variants have been those that spread significantly faster. The Delta variant, which was first identified in India, may spread twice as fast as the original form of the virus that emerged in China. But speed isn’t the only useful trait a coronavirus can acquire.
A mysterious marketing agency secretly offered to pay social media stars to spread disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines. But their plan failed when the influencers went public about the attempt to recruit them. Mirko Drotschmann, a German YouTuber and journalist, normally ignores offers from brands asking him to advertise their products to his more than 1.5 million subscribers. But the sponsorship offer he received in May this year was unlike any other. Read more here.
Latest figures show more than 600,000 people using the NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales were sent self-isolation alerts, but what happens if you’re pinged? Find out here.
Find further information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.
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