Covid UK news LIVE – Fears for Chris Whitty's safety grow after chief medical officer harassed TWICE over weekend

PROFESSOR Chris Whitty could be put under police protection after being mobbed by two vile thugs in a London park.

But England's top medic, who is "leading the war on Covid", has told cops NOT to press charges – despite shocking video showing him being put in a headlock and shoved.

Whitty has recently been harassed four times in recent months, including by anti-lockdown protesters who yelled 'murderer' outside his house.

And Home Secretary Priti Patel confirmed she was looking at “the right kind of support" after the nation’s top doctor was grabbed and shouted at by louts while walking in St James's Park.

The clip, which has been viewed more than 500,000 times online, shows two idiots cheering, jeering and grabbing hold of the Covid expert.

Meanwhile, figures from the Office for National Statistics show deaths from all causes are below average again thanks to lockdown restrictions – the 14th week out of the last 16 that has taken place.

Read our Coronavirus blog below for the latest news and updates...

  • Joseph Gamp

    CHRIS WHITTY COULD BE PUT UNDER POLICE PROTECTION AFTER BEING MOBBED BY TWO THUGS – BUT TOLD COPS NOT TO PRESS CHARGES

    PROFESSOR Chris Whitty could be put under police protection after being mobbed by two vile thugs in a London park.

    But England's top medic, who is "leading the war on Covid", has told cops NOT to press charges – despite shocking video showing him being put in a headlock and shoved.

    Whitty has recently been harassed four times in recent months, including by anti-lockdown protesters who yelled 'murderer' outside his house.

    And Home Secretary Priti Patel confirmed she was looking at “the right kind of support" after the nation’s top doctor was grabbed and shouted at by louts while walking in St James's Park.

    The clip, which has been viewed more than 500,000 times online, shows two idiots cheering, jeering and grabbing hold of the Covid expert.

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ‘ZERO TOLERANCE’

    The “disgusting yobs” filmed grabbing Chris Whitty “must be found and charged” over their “appalling behaviour”, ministers have blasted.

    They were speaking after the yobs filmed themselves putting England’s chief medical officer in a headlock and pushed in London’s St James Park.

    In the footage, the two yobs can be seen approaching the top medic – who has been heralded for his sensible approach to guiding the UK through the pandemic – before suddenly grabbing him around his shoulders in London.

    The upsetting footage shows the professor’s face turn red with the effort of trying to free himself from their clutches.

    The new Health Secretary Sajid Javid branded the incident “appalling and totally unacceptable”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    WATCH: COVID ‘ZOMBIE’ BODIES RISE FROM GRAVES ON BEACH IN HARROWING PICTURES FROM INDIA

    Covid ‘zombie’ bodies rise from graves on beach in harrowing pictures from India

  • Joseph Gamp

    MAPPED: THE FIVE AREAS WHERE COVID IS RISING FASTEST

  • Joseph Gamp

    SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT TO LIFT TRAVEL BAN ON MANCHESTER AND SALFORD

    The Scottish Government has announced it will lift its ban on non-essential travel from Manchester and Salford.

    It follows a dispute between First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham over the Covid rules, which came into effect on June 21.

    Mr Burnham said the ban was disproportionate and the Scottish Government had behaved disrespectfully.

    Talks took place between the two sides last week.

    On Tuesday, the Scottish Government announced its policy would change following a review of the data.

    The ban on non-essential travel from Manchester and Salford will come to an end on Tuesday night.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GOVERNMENT'S LATEST COVID PLANS BRANDED 'DISCRIMINATORY' AND 'UNENFORCEABLE'

    The Government's plan to limit indoor activities to those who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 has been described as "discriminatory and "unenforceable" in the Dail.

    During Leaders' Questions, Labour leader Alan Kelly called on the Government to rescind its decision, describing it as "absolutely bananas" and "shocking stuff", while Independent TD Mattie McGrath accused the Government of trying to create a system of "apartheid".

    The Government confirmed on Tuesday that drinking and eating inside bars and restaurants will be delayed for several weeks.

    It was due to resume on July 5.

    Instead it plans to allow indoor dining to resume in the coming weeks for those who are fully vaccinated or who have immunity from the virus.

  • Joseph Gamp

    PRESSURE MOUNTS ON LORD BETHELL OVER USE OF PERSONAL EMAIL ACCOUNT

    Health minister Lord Bethell faced fresh calls to resign over his use of a personal email account rather than official communication channels.

    Downing Street acknowledged Lord Bethell was using a private email address but suggested that was allowed within the rules, while the peer insisted he had done nothing wrong.

    Both the minister and his former boss Matt Hancock have faced claims that they used their private accounts to discuss government business during the pandemic, including potential coronavirus contracts.

    Lord Bethell insisted he sought to uphold the ministerial code "in everything I do" as he was questioned by peers.

    Pressed by Tory peer and former Boris Johnson aide Lord Udny-Lister if he "routinely" uses his private email, Lord Bethell said: "In terms of the use of private email can I just reassure members that I have read the ministerial code, I have signed the ministerial code and I seek to uphold it in everything I do."

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK RECORDS 20,479 NEW COVID-19 CASES AND 23 NEW DEATHS

    The UK has reported 20,479 new COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, official government data showed.

    Today's figures are compared to 22,868 cases and 3 deaths reported yesterday.

  • Joseph Gamp

    WATCH: AMANDA HOLDEN RAGES OVER FORKING OUT £2.5K ON COVID TESTS FOR FAMILY PORTUGAL HOLIDAY

    Amanda Holden rages over forking out £2.5k on Covid tests for family Portugal holiday

     

  • John Hall

    RED CROSS SAYS INDONESIA’S COVID-19 SURGE IS A “CATASTROPHE”

    Indonesia’s Covid-19 surge is on the edge of a “catastrophe” as the more infectious Delta variant dominates transmission and chokes hospitals in Southeast Asia’s worst epidemic, the Red Cross said on Tuesday.

    Indonesia has reported record daily Covid-19 infections of more than 20,000 in recent days, in a new wave of infections fueled by the emergence of highly transmissible virus variants and increased mobility after the Muslim fasting month.

    “Every day we are seeing this Delta variant driving Indonesia closer to the edge of a Covid-19 catastrophe,” said Jan Gelfand, head of the Indonesian delegation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), urging better vaccine access globally.

    Hospitals in several designated “red zone” areas have reported overcapacity, including the capital Jakarta, with its isolation beds 93% occupied as of Sunday.

  • John Hall

    SHORE THING

    Jersey has added the UK to its red list, meaning all unvaccinated arrivals must quarantine for 10 days.

    The island has enforced the new rules due to the threat of the Delta variant, with cases rising in the UK.

    Brits visiting the island who haven't had both jabs will have to self-isolate for 10 days, with a test on arrival, as well as on day five and day 10.

    Vaccinated Brits will be tested on arrival but only have to isolate until they receive their results, followed by a test on day eight.

    The largest of the Channel Islands is just the latest destination to enforce new restrictions on UK travellers due to the new variant.

  • John Hall

    SURGE IN COVID CASES LIKELY ‘LINKED TO FOOTBALL FANS WATCHING THE EUROS, SAYS SCOTTISH HEALTH SECRETARY

    The surge in coronavirus cases is partly linked to football fans watching the Euro 2020 tournament indoors, Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has said.

    A number of cases have also been linked to coaches transporting fans to London to watch Scotland play, Mr Yousaf added.

    On Monday, the daily coronavirus figures showed 3,285 people had reported positive Covid-19 tests overnight, the highest number since the start of the pandemic.

    However, vaccination has weakened the link between cases and being taken to hospital.

    Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Yousaf said the Government was being cautious, but ministers are not looking at introducing further restrictions in the worst-affected areas.

    He said: “If we look at the data that’s presented, it’s very clear that it’s skewed disproportionately towards young males, those under 40.”

  • John Hall

    ‘ZERO TOLERANCE’

    The “disgusting yobs” filmed grabbing Chris Whitty “must be found and charged” over their “appalling behaviour”, ministers have blasted.

    They were speaking after the yobs filmed themselves putting England’s chief medical officer in a headlock and pushed in London’s St James Park.

    In the footage, the two yobs can be seen approaching the top medic – who has been heralded for his sensible approach to guiding the UK through the pandemic – before suddenly grabbing him around his shoulders in London.

    The upsetting footage shows the professor’s face turn red with the effort of trying to free himself from their clutches.

    The new Health Secretary Sajid Javid branded the incident “appalling and totally unacceptable”.

  • John Hall

    MATT HANCOCK WON’T TAKE £16,000 SEVERANCE PAY OUT AFTER QUITTING IN DISGRACE OVER AIDE AFFAIR

    MATT Hancock will reportedly NOT accept £16,000 in severance pay after quitting in disgrace over his fling with Gina Coladangelo.

    The Health Secretary, 42, resigned amid mounting pressure over images of him kissing and cuddling the aide in breach of Covid restrictions.

    And despite admitting he had “let down” millions who had made painful sacrifices during the pandemic he is, in theory, eligible for thousands of pounds.

    However, the Daily Telegraph understands Mr Hancock will not take the severance payments.

    Any decisions to take severance pay outs are published in annual parliamentary accounts – so the actual answer may not be known until next summer.

    Read more here.

  • John Hall

    SAJID JAVID CONFIRMS JULY 19 AS DATE FOR ENGLAND’S LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS TO END

    Boris Johnson and his new Health Secretary Sajid Javid have confirmed their intention for July 19 to mark the end of England’s lockdown restrictions.

    Mr Javid resisted pressure from Tory MPs to bring forward the date of Step 4 of the road map, but he said there was “no reason” why the July 19 deadline would not be met.

    The Prime Minister signalled that the “terminus” date would mean going “back to life as it was before Covid as far as possible”.

    In his first Commons statement since replacing Matt Hancock, Mr Javid told MPs: “There remains a big task ahead of us to restore our freedoms – freedoms that, save for the greatest of circumstances, no government should ever wish to curtail.

    “So my task is to help return the economic and cultural life that makes this country so great while of course protecting life and our NHS.”

  • John Hall

    UPDATED COVID DEATHS

    A total of 102 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending June 18 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – up 21% on the previous week.

    It is the first time the number of deaths has been above 100 since the week ending May 21.

    All of the 102 deaths were registered in England.

    This is the first week since the start of the pandemic that Wales has registered zero deaths involving Covid-19, the ONS said.

  • John Hall

    BREAKING POINT

    Brits could be released from Covid restrictions and enter into a mental health pandemic, an expert has warned.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has consistently highlighted the “roadmap out of lockdown”, but the mental health of the nation has taken a back seat during the pandemic.

    The government has failed to address the dark side of lockdowns, Dr Raj Persaud fears.

    Over the last year over a fifth of people in Britain have experienced some form of depression – more than double the pre-pandemic figure, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) states.

    It was also previously reported that the pandemic is the "greatest threat to mental health" since the second world war and others have bravely spoken out about how the impact of the pandemic made them want to take their lives.

  • John Hall

    COVID-19 ANTIBODY LEVELS VARY ACCORDING TO VACCINE AND PAST INFECTION – STUDY

    Two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine induces lower levels of antibodies against the variant first detected in India than against other strains, new research suggests.

    The laboratory findings from the Francis Crick Institute and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) UCLH Biomedical Research Centre compared the results to their findings in relation to the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.

    The data suggests that both vaccines induce lower levels of antibodies targeting the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant.

    Researchers found that two doses of the Oxford jab generate antibody levels that are 2.5 times lower against the Delta variant than the Pfizer vaccine.

    While antibody levels alone do not predict vaccine effectiveness, the study confirms that two doses of either vaccine are essential to boost antibodies to levels that are likely to maximise the amount of protection against severe disease and hospital admission.

  • John Hall

    RED CROSS SAYS INDONESIA'S COVID-19 SURGE IS A "CATASTROPHE"

    Indonesia's Covid-19 surge is on the edge of a "catastrophe" as the more infectious Delta variant dominates transmission and chokes hospitals in Southeast Asia's worst epidemic, the Red Cross said on Tuesday.

    Indonesia has reported record daily Covid-19 infections of more than 20,000 in recent days, in a new wave of infections fueled by the emergence of highly transmissible virus variants and increased mobility after the Muslim fasting month.

    "Every day we are seeing this Delta variant driving Indonesia closer to the edge of a Covid-19 catastrophe," said Jan Gelfand, head of the Indonesian delegation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), urging better vaccine access globally.

    Hospitals in several designated "red zone" areas have reported overcapacity, including the capital Jakarta, with its isolation beds 93% occupied as of Sunday.

  • [email protected]

    BUSH-TUCKERED

    I’m A Celebrity’s plans to film in Australia have had a shadow cast over them – after a Covid-19 outbreak shut down Queensland.

    ITV bosses had been given the green light for filming to go ahead Down Under with Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, after coronavirus forced them to relocate the last series to Wales.

    However news yesterday that Queensland and other states had been put into lockdown meant bosses were facing what could be their worst nightmare later down the line.

    A source said: “The plan is for I’m A Celebrity to be filmed in Australia and at the moment that is still the case.

    “But seeing Queensland and other parts of Australia go into lockdown because of Coronavirus outbreaks is the kind of news they dread."

  • John Hall

    ‘ZERO TOLERANCE’

    The “disgusting yobs” filmed grabbing Chris Whitty “must be found and charged” over their “appalling behaviour”, ministers have blasted.

    They were speaking after the yobs filmed themselves putting England’s chief medical officer in a headlock and pushed in London’s St James Park.

    In the footage, the two yobs can be seen approaching the top medic – who has been heralded for his sensible approach to guiding the UK through the pandemic – before suddenly grabbing him around his shoulders in London.

    The upsetting footage shows the professor’s face turn red with the effort of trying to free himself from their clutches.

    The new Health Secretary Sajid Javid branded the incident “appalling and totally unacceptable”.

  • John Hall

    CLASS RETHINK 

    Draconian measures which mean entire school classes have to isolate if one child gets Covid-19 could be ditched, Sajid Javid hinted last night.

    The new Health Secretary has ordered officials to look again at the policy in a bid to keep millions in school.

    Read more here.

  • John Hall

    MATT HANCOCK WON’T TAKE £16,000 SEVERANCE PAY OUT AFTER QUITTING IN DISGRACE OVER AIDE AFFAIR

    Matt Hancock will reportedly NOT accept £16,000 in severance pay after quitting in disgrace over his fling with Gina Coladangelo.

    The Health Secretary, 42, resigned amid mounting pressure over images of him kissing and cuddling the aide in breach of Covid restrictions.

    And despite admitting he had “let down” millions who had made painful sacrifices during the pandemic he is, in theory, eligible for thousands of pounds.

    However, the Daily Telegraph understands Mr Hancock will not take the severance payments.

    Any decisions to take severance pay outs are published in annual parliamentary accounts – so the actual answer may not be known until next summer.

    Read more here.

  • John Hall

    SURGE IN COVID CASES LIKELY 'LINKED TO FOOTBALL FANS WATCHING THE EUROS, SAYS SCOTTISH HEALTH SECRETARY

    The surge in coronavirus cases is partly linked to football fans watching the Euro 2020 tournament indoors, Scotland's Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has said.

    A number of cases have also been linked to coaches transporting fans to London to watch Scotland play, Mr Yousaf added.

    On Monday, the daily coronavirus figures showed 3,285 people had reported positive Covid-19 tests overnight, the highest number since the start of the pandemic.

    However, vaccination has weakened the link between cases and being taken to hospital.

    Speaking to the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Yousaf said the Government was being cautious, but ministers are not looking at introducing further restrictions in the worst-affected areas.

    He said: "If we look at the data that's presented, it's very clear that it's skewed disproportionately towards young males, those under 40."

  • John Hall

    SCHOOL ISOLATION RULES COULD END IN AUTUMN, SAYS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

    School isolation rules in England could be brought to an end this autumn, the Department for Education has confirmed.

    There are growing concerns about the rising number of children who have to quarantine because they are the contacts of confirmed cases.

    The department said ministers have written to secondary schools asking them to prepare to potentially replace isolation rules with testing.

    A spokesman said: "We are provisionally asking secondary schools and colleges to prepare to offer on-site testing when students return for the new academic year, so that schools are ready in case it is needed to keep as many children as possible in face-to-face education.

    "We will provide further details about the approach to protective measures and test and trace in education from September in due course."

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