Covid families criticise Javid ‘cower’ comments – follow live

UK Covid-19 vaccinations: Latest figures

Bereaved families have hit out angrily at the health secretary, Sajid Javid, over his “deeply insensitive” suggestion that the public should not “cower” from coronavirus, which he wrote after making a “full recovery” from a “very mild” bout of Covid-19.

“Not only are they hurtful to bereaved families, implying our loved ones were too cowardly to fight the virus, but they insult all those still doing their best to protect others from the devastation this horrific virus can bring,” said Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice co-founder Jo Goodman.

It came as NHS executive warned hospitals are experiencing a “perfect storm”, as rising Covid hospitalisations and record-breaking demand for A&E collide with holiday season, amid warnings of a summer of venue closures, travel disruption and food supply woes as a result of worker shortages caused by the so-called “pingdemic”. The British Medical Association blamed the government for allowing cases to “skyrocket”.

And MPs cautioning that taxpayers will be spending money on the pandemic for decades to come warned that the government is still spending millions on unusable personal protective equipment (PPE), with some 7 per cent of items failing quality checks – totalling more than 2.1 billion wasted purchases.

Key Points

  • Anger over health secretary’s ‘cower’ remark
  • Government has wasted £2.1bn on unusable PPE
  • ‘Perfect storm’ for hospitals as Covid and holiday season collide

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Young people getting ‘seriously ill’ due to Covid, expert warns

Young people are getting “seriously ill” due to Covid, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has warned.

Speaking on LBC on Sunday, Professor Adam Finn, of the University of Bristol, said there have been close to 200 admissions in Bristol with a mean age of 40 and added: “We have had people under 30 on our intensive care unit and also requiring high-level oxygen therapy.

“This is not always trivial in young adults. There are younger people really getting seriously ill at the moment, so that’s one good reason to think about having the vaccine.

“But the other one is these vaccines now, it’s clear, do reduce the risk of not only getting the infection but passing it on to other people.

“Getting immunised is going to reduce the risk of spreading this infection around amongst young people and enable them to get back to normal.”

Andy Gregory25 July 2021 10:46


In the most recent data, covering the week to 15 July, more than 618,000 people in England and Wales were told to self-isolate by the NHS Covid app.

According to government estimates, the current rate of infection across the UK is 500 per 100,000 people – with 286,863 cases reported so far in the past week.

Andy Gregory25 July 2021 10:28


Discontent grows over ‘pingdemic’ amid food warnings and transport disruption

Industry leaders are warning of a summer of venue closures, disruption to services and empty supermarket shelves as a result of the so-called “pingdemic”.

In a bid to ease the crisis, ministers published a limited list of sectors whose double-jabbed workers are eligible to avoid isolation if they undergo daily testing before the wider easing of rules for England.

But, addressing concerns over food supply issues, British Frozen Food Federation chief executive Richard Harrow said the move “shows that yet again government does not understand how connected the food supply chain is. Only opening part is unlikely to solve the overall issue. Plus, who is in and who is out, who decides and how do they decide?”

“Confusion continues to pervade and I have been advised no list until Monday. This is worse than useless.”

Andy Gregory25 July 2021 10:22


A further 31,795 coronavirus cases and 84 deaths were reported in the UK on Saturday.

In the week to Tuesday, some 5,490 people were admitted to hospital with the virus.

There have been more than 46.5 million first vaccine doses administered, and nearly 37 million second doses.

Andy Gregory25 July 2021 10:08


Sajid Javid told to apologise for saying people have been ‘cowering’ from Covid-19

Our policy correspondent Jon Stone has more details on the backlash to Sajid Javid’s comment about “cowering” from coronavirus.

He reports that Mr Javid is an avid devotee of the fringe American philosopher Ayn Rand, who presented man as a “heroic being” who should reject altruism and pursue its own interests at all costs.

Andy Gregory25 July 2021 09:50


Fans could need to be fully vaccinated to go to Premier League matches

Coronavirus vaccine passports are to be introduced at football matches from October, reports suggest – potentially putting hundreds of thousands of Premier League fans at risk of being refused entry to stadiums.

Ministers are thought to be in the process of finalising plans to make double vaccination status a mandatory requirement for supporters attending matches, according to both the Daily Telegraph and the Mirror, as part of the drive to keep the country moving in the run-up to Christmas.

The move will allegedly extend to the autumn rugby internationals, major concerts, and spectator events of 20,000 or more. My colleague Sam Hancock has the details here:

Andy Gregory25 July 2021 09:24


#SajidJavidResign trends on Twitter

A call for the health secretary to resign is now trending on Twitter, following his remark that we should “learn to live with, not cower from” coronavirus.

Martin McKee, director of public health at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine asks if Sajid Javid’s could be “the most ill-judged tweet of the pandemic”.

Andy Gregory25 July 2021 09:21


Next fortnight ‘crucial’ to determine if drop in Covid cases a ‘false peak’, epidemiologist says

The next fortnight will be “crucial” in identifying whether the slight drop in the rate of new daily cases of Covid-19 is a “false peak”, an epidemiologist has warned, after the UK recorded a further 36,389 cases on Friday, representing a fall for the third consecutive day.

“It’s always good to see some early signs, but I think those are early signs,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme,” said Professor Adam Kucharski of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“We’ve seen false peaks before. What’s happened in Scotland recently with schools closing slightly before England and cases coming down, that may well be the same effect coming into play in England with better weather.

“The next week or two is going to be crucial to know if this is genuinely a slowdown of a potential peak or if we’ve got more transmission to come,” he said.

Andy Gregory25 July 2021 09:09


Opposition MPs lambast Javid over ‘cower’ comment

Anger continues to boil over Sajid Javid’s claim that we should not “cower” from the virus. Labour MPs David Lammy and Yvette Cooper, and the SNP’s Ian Blackford are among those to have criticised the health secretary so far.

Andy Gregory25 July 2021 08:44


Boris Johnson is to seek to counter criticism over the “pingdemic” and police anger at Priti Patel by shifting the focus on to tackling crime when he re-emerges from isolation.

The prime minister is expected to unveil his new “beating crime plan” on Tuesday after leaving quarantine at his Chequers country retreat following a coronavirus contact.

As he began his third year in No 10, Mr Johnson vowed to ensure that every victim of crime has “a named officer to call – someone who is immediately on your side”.

It comes after a new survey by YouGov by forThe Times saw the Conservative Party’s lead in the polls fall sharply by six points.

Andy Gregory25 July 2021 08:29

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