Covid: NHS backlog will take years to clear and post-lockdown shift hits Pelotonon February 8, 2022 at 5:12 pm

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Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Tuesday evening.

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Tuesday evening. We’ll have another update for you tomorrow morning.

1. NHS waiting list backlog will take years to clear

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has unveiled the government’s delayed plan to tackle NHS England’s treatment backlog. But he warned the waiting list for non-urgent hospital treatment – currently at six million people – will not start falling for two years as demand looks set to rise now Covid pressure is easing. Mr Javid set out a new 28-day target for cancer diagnosis from March 2024.

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2. Under-pressure PM reshuffles cabinet

Boris Johnson – who continues to face pressure over Downing Street parties during lockdown – has carried out a mini reshuffle of his cabinet as part of his vow to revitalise the government. Jacob Rees-Mogg has become the minister for Brexit opportunities, with Mark Spencer replacing him as House of Commons leader. The PM has already changed many of his advisers and other No 10 staff – five of whom who quit last week – as he tries to ward off calls from opposition parties, and some Tory MPs, to resign.

Jacob-Rees Mogg

Image source, PA Media

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3. Busiest Canada crossing reopens as protests go on

Canada’s busiest border crossing has reopened after protesting truckers stopped traffic on the bridge for nearly a day. Truckers rallying against Canada’s Covid vaccine rules had blocked Ambassador Bridge, forcing the authorities to close it just before 21:00 local time on Monday. The bridge over the Detroit River is a vital trade and travel link between Canada and the US. It comes after PM Justin Trudeau said Canadians were “shocked and frankly disgusted” by some protesters’ behaviour. Read more here.

Policemen stand near the truckers sit-in

Image source, EPA

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4. ScotRail’s peak services ‘won’t return to pre-Covid levels’

ScotRail has said its peak-time commuter services will not return to pre-pandemic levels, in response to a shift in travel habits. The rail firm previously announced it would drop from its pre-Covid number of 2,400 services a day to 2,100 – in line with new travel patterns and overcapacity on some routes. That figure has now been revised, but returning services will be during the day rather than at traditional peaks. Leisure travel rather than commuting will be the focus of 150 new services being added to ScotRail’s timetable in May. Here’s the full story.

Scotrail train

Image source, PA Media

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5. Peloton boss to step down as firm axes 2,800 jobs

Peloton – which saw sales of its bikes and treadmills soar during the pandemic – has said it will cut about 2,800 jobs globally due to a drop in demand for its products. The post-lockdown return to gyms has left the firm worth less than a fifth of its peak $50bn valuation – as its boss steps down. It has also been hit by a string of recent PR disasters – including TV characters suffering heart attacks when using Peloton machines.

a woman with a Peloton bike

Image source, Getty Images

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And don’t forget…

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

If you’re wondering how exams for school leavers will differ from usual this year, here’s our explainer.

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