Covid: Dutch unrest continues, and WHO concerns over Europe Covid riseon November 21, 2021 at 8:20 am

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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 on Monday.

The Netherlands has experienced a second night of riots as protesters opposing the country’s new lockdown rules gathered in several towns and cities. Fireworks were thrown at police, and bicycles were set alight in The Hague. It comes one night after protests in Rotterdam became violent and police opened fire, wounding at least two people. The Netherlands imposed a three-week partial lockdown last Saturday after recording a record spike in Covid cases. Thousands of demonstrators also took to the streets in Austria, Croatia and Italy as anger mounted over new curbs.

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The rising number of coronavirus cases in Europe has sparked concerns from the World Health Organization, with regional director Dr Hans Kluge warning that 500,000 more deaths could be recorded by March unless urgent action is taken. Speaking to the BBC, Dr Kluge said an uptake in mask wearing could help stop the spread. Factors such as the colder winter season, insufficient vaccine coverage and the dominance of the more transmissible Delta variant in the region were behind the rise in cases. See where cases are the highest globally.

People pass by a restaurant window displaying coronavirus disease (COVID-19) safety measures,

Image source, Reuters

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid has ordered a review into whether medical devices are equally effective regardless of the patient’s ethnicity. It comes after research suggested that oximeters, which are clipped to a person’s finger, can overstate the level of oxygen in the blood of people from ethnic minorities. Ministers want to know whether bias could have prevented patients receiving appropriate Covid treatment. “One of the founding principles of our NHS is equality, and the possibility that a bias – even an inadvertent one – could lead to a poorer health outcome is totally unacceptable,” Mr Javid said.

Medic places a pulse oximeter on the finger of a black hospitalized patient

Image source, Getty Images

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More than 14 million booster jabs have been administered in the UK so far. And from Monday, those over the age of 40 in England can book their booster vaccination. NHS England said that nearly 500,000 people in their 40s are currently eligible for the booster, having received their second jab at least six months ago. The health secretary has urged those eligible to get the jab, saying getting the booster vaccine was “the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this winter”. Read more about who can have a booster jab and how to get one.

Young woman getting vaccinated

Image source, Getty Images

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“She is just a little lost soul now, she is just living her own nightmare because there’s nothing for her to do except watch television.” Sandra and Brian’s 52-year-old daughter, Cathy, who has a severe learning disability and other conditions, has been unable to attend her usual day centre because she lives in a care home. They were among protesters at Stormont who had gathered to highlight the continuing difficulties faced by people living in care homes. Residents’ relatives want consistency across the sector amid concerns that pandemic restrictions are having a detrimental affect on their loved ones.

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You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Wondering which children are being vaccinated – and why? Here’s our explainer.

Government statistics show 143,866 people have now died, with 150 deaths reported in the latest 24-hour period. In total, 9,806,034 people have tested positive, up 40,941 in the latest 24-hour period. Latest figures show 8,079 people in hospital. In total, 50,734,556 people have received their first vaccination
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