Connect with us

Health

UK police issues over 50 fines for Downing Street lockdown parties

British police said on Tuesday they would issue at least another 30 fines for people who attended gatherings in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s offices and residence in breach of strict coronavirus lockdown rules.
Police are investigating 12 gatherings at Downing Street and the Cabinet Office after an internal inquiry found Johnson’s staff had enjoyed alcohol-fueled parties, with the British leader attending a few of the events himself.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Opponents have urged the prime minister to resign, but the Ukraine war has dampened an initial outcry.
There was no immediate comment on the fines from Johnson’s office, which has said it would confirm if he was a recipient.
Last month, an initial 20 fines were issued and police said that total now stood at more than 50. Further punitive measures are possible.
“We are making every effort to progress this investigation at speed, this includes continuing to assess significant amounts of investigative material from which further referrals may be made,” police said in a statement.
The fines confirm that unprecedented regulations to protect the nation from COVID-19 were broken by officials at the heart of the government that designed them.

PM under pressure

The police have said they will not identify the recipients, but the government’s former head of propriety and ethics, Helen MacNamara, has said she was among them.
The issue had threatened Johnson’s position earlier this year when a number of lawmakers in his own Conservative Party called for him to quit as public trust plummeted.
Revelations of the gatherings, many of which took place when people could not attend funerals or say farewell to loved ones dying in hospital, were first reported in late 2021.
At that time, Johnson said all rules were followed, though he later apologized to parliament for attending one event, which he said he thought was work-related, and then to Queen Elizabeth for another at which staff partied on the eve of her husband's funeral.
“The police have now completely shredded Johnson’s claims that no laws were broken. He cannot be trusted and cannot continue as prime minister,” said Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrat Party.

Read more:

UK probing claims of Russian chemical attack in Ukraine

Lloyd’s of London switches to remote trading after climate protesters block HQ

UK unemployment dips further but wages slide, worsening cost-of-living crisis

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Health

UAE reports 1,796 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths

The UAE announced 1,796 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the official Emirates News Agency reported.

This brings the current total active cases in the UAE to 17,551 and the total number of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic to 949,384, according to data from the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA).

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The cases were determined out of 232,943 tests in the last 24 hours.

No deaths from the virus were recorded on Saturday, maintaining the total deaths caused by COVID-19 to 2,317 in the UAE.

At least 1,727 patients recovered in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total COVID-19 recoveries to 929,516.

On June 13, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) announced it would strictly enforce its mask rules – with penalties for those flouting the protocol – and announced it would tighten its rules on the Al Hosn green pass system amid rising coronavirus cases across the country.

NCEMA said that it has recently “monitored some behaviors that have become a danger to society and public health,” referring to people not adhering to COVID-19 precautionary and preventative measures and how it has “negatively” impacted recovery efforts.

“Negligence and recklessness in following precautionary measures, and failure in the societal role in maintaining public health and acquired immunity, has resulted in a rise in the number of infections and new waves of the virus,” the authority spokesman said in the briefing.

The authority reaffirmed the need to wear masks in closed public spaces, reiterating that it was mandatory and that not adhering to this rule would result in a fine of up to $816 (AED 3,000).

According to the World Health Organization, more than 4.1 million cases were reported globally in the last week.

It added, however, that the worldwide number of deaths remained relatively similar to the week before, at about 8,500, noting that COVID-related deaths increased in three regions: the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Americas.

Read more:

Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccines could increase protection as boosters: EMA

World Bank creates fund to better prevent, respond to pandemics

WHO: Over 4.1 million new COVID-19 cases reported globally, 18 pct increase

Continue Reading

Health

Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccines could increase protection as boosters: EMA

Coronavirus vaccines tweaked to include the omicron variant strain can improve protection when used as a booster, the European Medicines Agency and other global health regulators said on Friday.
Following a meeting on Thursday, the EMA said global regulators had agreed on key principles for updating COVID-19 shots to respond to emerging variants.
While the existing coronavirus vaccines continue to provide good protection against hospitalization and death, the group said, vaccine effectiveness has taken a hit as the virus has evolved.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
As such, an omicron-specific or bivalent booster – meaning a vaccine that includes both the new strain and the original coronavirus strain – could “increase and extend” protection, a statement from the EMA said.
The statement refers specifically to the mRNA vaccines. Both Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc have been testing retooled versions of their vaccines to include the omicron variant.
Vaccines which include other variants, for example the beta variant, might also be considered for use as boosters if clinical trial data demonstrate an adequate level of neutralization against omicron and other variants of concern, the statement said.
It follows guidance from the World Health Organization that omicron-specific boosters could restore protection against emerging strains of the coronavirus.
But it stops short of the position of the regulator in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which said on Thursday that it would seek the inclusion specifically of the newer BA.4 and BA.5 strains of omicron, currently driving a surge in new infections globally, in any new shots for use domestically.
On Tuesday, the head of a WHO advisory committee that has considered the modified shots said the group preferred BA.1-based boosters, arguing that the variant is more distinct and could generate a broader response than the more recently circulating subvariants.
Top US FDA official Peter Marks said in an interview that regulators from other countries were seriously considering using new boosters based on the BA.1 omicron variant that caused the massive surge in cases last winter, because those shots can be available sooner than the BA.4/5 based booster the United States plans to use.
The EMA said it would provide more details in coming days.
Read more:

Russia scraps remaining COVID-19 restrictions

WHO: Over 4.1 million new COVID-19 cases reported globally, 18 pct increase

US secures 105 million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for fall

Continue Reading

Health

Russia scraps remaining COVID-19 restrictions

Russia said on Friday it was ending all restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19, including the requirement to wear masks, citing a steady decline in deaths from the virus.
However, it did not rule out re-introducing restrictive measures if the situation deteriorates.
Consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said it was “suspending previously introduced restrictions, including the mask regime, a ban on public catering at night, and a number of other measures.”
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
It said the dynamics of the virus were consistent with global trends and 93 percent of confirmed cases were mild or asymptomatic.
Since the start of the pandemic in Russia in April 2020, over 800,000 people have died from coronavirus or causes related to COVID-19, Reuters calculations show, with the country recording over 18 million infections.
Russia was quick to develop and launch its Sputnik V vaccine when the pandemic struck but take-up was slow, with many Russians citing distrust of the authorities and fear of new medical products. About 52 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
Read more:

North Korea blames ‘alien things’ near border with South Korea for COVID-19 outbreak

US FDA advisers meet to discuss design of future COVID-19 vaccines

BioNTech, Pfizer to start testing universal vaccine for COVID-19

Continue Reading

Trending