Coronavirus UK news – British economy was BOOMING before 2nd lockdown kicked in with record-breaking 15.5% growth – LIVE

THE UK economy was booming is the months before the second lockdown kicked in, with a record 15.5% growth.

The booming GDP rate is a quarterly record that saw Britain bounce out of a recession in after the first national lockdown – although growth began petering out in September.

The second national lockdown, which kicked in at the start of November, will almost certainly destroy all that growth, however, with economist James Smith of Resolution Foundation warning that the UK's economic situation is still bad, and likely to get worse this quarter.

The news comes as Boris Johnson pledged to have the new coronavirus vaccine himself when it is ready after a call for high profile politicians and public figures to prove it is safe.

The PM's official spokesman said: "Any vaccines which are determined for use will undergo a vigorous series of safety checks, they will be absolutely safe for the public to use. And the Prime Minister would therefore, of course, be very happy to take the vaccine himself."

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  • John Hall

    RUSSIA ANNOUNCES NEW RECORD DAILY DEATH TOLL

    Russia reported a record high of 439 new deaths related to coronavirus on Thursday, taking the official death toll to 32,032.

    Authorities also reported 21,608 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, including 5,997 in the capital Moscow, bringing the national tally to 1,858,568.

  • John Hall

    GRAPH: UK BECOMES FIRST COUNTRY IN EUROPE TO PASS 50,000 DEATHS

  • John Hall

    JAPAN'S RECENT SURGE IN INFECTIONS CONSIDERED 'THIRD WAVE' OF COVID-19

    Japan’s Doctor's Association Chairman, Toshio Nakagawa, warned the recent surge in Covid-19 infections “is considered to be the third wave”.

    Japan's Health Ministry announced 1,546 new Covid-19 cases and 10 additional deaths for Wednesday — the highest number of daily infections since August 7, which was the peak of the last wave. 

    Japan has now reported 112,423 infections, including 1,864 deaths.

    Tokyo reported 317 new cases Wednesday — the highest daily toll since August 20, while Japan’s second biggest prefecture, Osaka, reported its highest number of new daily infections ever at 256. 

  • John Hall

    PHILIPPINES RECORDS 1,407 NEW COVID INFECTIONS

    The Philippine health ministry on Thursday reported 1,407 new coronavirus infections and 11 more deaths, the lowest daily increase in fatalities in nearly three months.

    The ministry said total confirmed cases rose to 402,820 while deaths reached 7,721.

    The Philippines has the second highest COVID-19 cases and deaths in south east Asia, next to Indonesia.

  • John Hall

    LOCKDOWN: WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN'T DO

  • John Hall

    RAPID RESULTS

    New £5 Covid tests could mean crowds returning to footie matches and live gigs by early next year.

    The pregnancy-style tests which produce results in minutes would allow millions of Brits with a negative result to socialise.

    Trials show they picked up more than three in four positive cases — the majority of which are currently being missed.

    And accuracy reached 95 per cent in the most infectious individuals.

    Government scientists say the findings pave the way for daily “freedom passes”.

    Officials have now offered 600,000 tests to 67 towns and cities as a “route out of lockdown”.

  • John Hall

    UK AT THE READY

    Matt Hancock said the military and NHS staff are on standby to roll out a Covid-19 vaccine across the UK from the start of December and will work “seven days a week”.

    The Health Secretary told the Commons that GPs, new vaccination centres and pharmacists will all play a part in the roll out of the remedy.

    But there are many hurdles to overcome before the “vast task” of vaccination could begin, Mr Hancock warned.

    This includes getting regulatory approval of the new Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and assessment of its safety data.

    Mr Hancock said Oxford's vaccine was easier to deploy than Pfizer's, which needs to be kept at a temperature of minus 70C.

    Pfizer's jab is also being manufactured in Belgium, he said, but a lot of work had been carried out to deploy vaccines as soon as they become available.

    “We'll be among the first countries in the world to be able to start to do this,” he said.

  • John Hall

    COVID 'FREEDOM PASS'

    A POSITIVE Covid test could soon mean a three-month “freedom pass” for patients after quarantining for two weeks.

    Government advisor Prof Sir John Bell said they would be protected for at least 90 days so should be able to do what they want.

    The University of Oxford expert said it would “reopen society” and get people back on trains, in cinemas and to football matches.

    He said: “We are living in a world where we need to reopen society back up again and we need a structure to do that.

    “And at the moment we don’t have that structure because the whole philosophy has ‘let’s beat them up with a stick’ rather than 'let’s give them a carrot’.”

  • John Hall

    GRIM MILESTONE

    Coronavirus deaths in the UK passed 50,000 yesterday – a grim milestone as the Covid second wave continues to surge.

    A further 361 people who tested positive for Covid-19 died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of deaths in Britain to 50,131.

    The patients were aged between 43 and 102 and all except 20 – aged between 58 and 95 – had underlying health issues. The deaths were between October 13 and November 10.

    Government adviser Prof Sir John Bell told MPs he was confident we can “hit the New Year with two or three vaccines”. He added he expects the world-leading Pfizer vaccine to be ready for use by mid-December.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News he hoped to begin deploying the vaccine at the start of December, although elderly patients and those most at risk of catching coronavirus would get it first.

  • John Hall

    BORIS JOHNSON PLEDGES TO HAVE COVID-19 JAB

    Boris Johnson has pledged to have the coronavirus vaccine when it is ready.

    Number 10 said the Prime Minister would be willing to have the jab after Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said he had told his own mother to get ready to receive the vaccine.

    The PM's official spokesman said: “Any vaccines which are determined for use will undergo a vigorous series of safety checks, they will be absolutely safe for the public to use.

    “And the Prime Minister would therefore, of course, be very happy to take the vaccine himself.”

    It comes as England's deputy chief medical officer said he would be happy to work evenings and weekends to vaccinate people himself.

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