It comes amid a race to trace contacts of nearly half of the thousands of positive coronavirus cases that were not recorded in England due to a technical glitch. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the technical blunder “should never have happened” but insisted the team had “acted swiftly to minimise its impact”.
Meanwhile, weekly infection data shows that Manchester now has 529.4 cases per 100,000 people, while Knowsley and Liverpool have the second and third highest rates, at 498.5 and 487.1 respectively. Seven-day rates are also rising in Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham and Leeds.
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Chancellor asked to speak about possible tax rises
Rishi Sunak told Sky News: “Yes you’re right, we need to have sustainable public finances, yes that’s important to me and it’s important to the Government.
“But in the short term the best way to have long term sustainable public finance is to try and protect as many jobs as possible.”
Universities UK presidents says students are being ‘looked after extremely well’
Universities UK president Professor Julia Buckingham said that the vast majority of students are being “looked after extremely well” by their universities during local lockdown measures.
When asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday about students hanging signs out their windows claiming they did not have food she said: “I am sure there are cases where things haven’t gone quite a well as we would have hoped.
“But I am confident that the vast majority of students are being very, very well supported by their university.”
Chancellor pushed to speak about how Government could have made Excel data blunder
When pushed to speak about the reported Excel mishap, Rishi Sunak told Sky News: “The system has been designed in conjunction with our scientists. We have a huge number of scientists who are directly involved with the Government process.
“There are experts in data who are implementing this.
“We’re on a path for half a million tests by the end of October and the percentages of people who we wish to contact are improving.”
Rishi Sunak says over half of the missing contacts have been contacted
The Chancellor told Sky News: “You’re right in the sense that there has been a delay in people being contacted.
“As of 9am on Monday morning just over half have been contacted for a second time.”
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That’s it for our live coverage of the coronavirus crisis for today.
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Dr Conley added that the president could resume his normal schedule once “there is no evidence of live virus still present”.
He also that it was “uncharted territory” having a patient receive such aggressive medication so early in the course of the disease.
Dr Conley repeatedly declined to share results of medical scans of Mr Trump’s lungs, saying he was not at liberty to discuss the information because the president did not waive doctor-patient confidentiality on the subject.
‘Not out of the woods yet’
Mr Trump’s physician Dr Sean Conley has told a press conference that although Mr Trump is not “entirely our of the woods yet,” he has “continued to improve” over the last 24 hours and “met all discharge criteria”.
He added that he would receive another dose of the anti-viral drug remdesivir at Walter Reed before returning home.
Mr Conley said it has been “almost 72 hours” since Mr Trump’s last fever and his oxygen levels were normal.
Trump to leave hospital
Donald Trump has tweeted that he will be leaving hospital on Monday evening and will continue his Covid-19 recovery at the White House.
Coronavirus rule flouters told by council leader: Pack it in
The leader of one of London’s wealthiest boroughs today bluntly told people flouting Covid-19 rules to “pack it in” and stop putting other people’s lives and jobs at risk.
In a hart-hitting intervention, Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, warned that the whole of London could be put into a social lockdown soon if coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Read more and watch the video below:
Hancock promises ‘more simplified approach’ to local Covid-19 rules
Speaking to MPs earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said a more simplified approach to localised coronavirus restrictions could be adopted following confusion over current rules.
The Health Secretary made the comments after Conservative former Cabinet minister Alun Cairns warned that the “myriad” of different forms of restrictions “can become confusing”.
Acknowledging the work of the devolved administrations, Mr Hancock told the Commons:
I think the proposals that we are working through and I’ll bring to this House to have a more simplified approach to the local action needed, we have shared that approach with the devolved administrations.
Could Italy be next on UK’s quarantine list?
Arrivals to the UK from Italy may soon be forced to quarantine as coronavirus cases in the country continue to rise.
The country is currently recording a seven-day rate of 25.6 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people — above the UK Government’s threshold of 20 for triggering quarantine restrictions.
Latest data shows huge jumps in cases
The latest data also shows that 1,273 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Nottingham in the seven days to October 2.
It means Nottingham’s rate of new cases per 100,000 people is now 382.4 – a huge jump from 59.5 in the previous week (the seven days to September 25).
The rate in Exeter has soared from 56.3 to 262.5, with 345 new cases.
In Sheffield it has leapt from 100.9 to 286.6, with 1,676 new cases, while in Leeds it has jumped from 144.9 to 316.8, with 2,513 new cases.
In Newcastle upon Tyne, where Northumbria University is based, 1,317 new cases were recorded in the seven days to October 2 – the equivalent of 434.9 per 100,000 people, up from 268.1 in the previous week.
Here’s the latest on UK coronavirus cases:
Here’s more on what Mr Hancock has had to say:
Mr Hancock also said it is “critical” the UK’s Covid-19 rules are “clear at a local level” so the public can “be certain of what they need to do” to suppress the virus.
I’ll update the House in due course on what action the Government is taking so we can have more consistent approaches to levels of local action, working with our colleagues in local government.
For now, it’s essential that people follow the guidance in their local area.
The Health Secretary concluded in the Commons:
History shows us that the battle against any pandemic is never quick and never easy. It requires making major sacrifices and difficult choices.
I know this has been a tough year for so many and we’re asking people to persevere as winter draws in because the only safe path is to suppress the virus, protecting the economy, education and the NHS until a vaccine can make us safe.
The Health Secretary added on the data issues:
This incident should never have happened but the team has acted swiftly to minimise its impact, and now it is critical that we work together to put this right and make sure it never happens again.
Mr Hancock added:
I want to reassure everyone that every single person that tested positive was told that result in the normal way in the normal timeframe.
They were told that they needed to self-isolate, which is of course now required by law.
However, these positive test results were not reported in the public data and were not transferred to the contact tracing system.