As different parts of England come to grips with the new three-tier coronavirus lockdown system introduced last week, as well as changing restrictions elsewhere, the number of coronavirus infections continues to rise.
England recorded over 16,000 new positive cases on Monday, with 993 in Scotland, 626 in Wales and 820 in Northern Ireland. Globally, there have been over 40 million confirmed cases of Covid-19.
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Leaders in Greater Manchester have until 12pm on Tuesday to reach an agreement with Westminster on tighter coronavirus restrictions for the city.
The government may impose tier 3 measures against the will of local leaders if an agreement cannot be reached. Communities secretary Robert Jenrick said that if the deadline passed without a deal, he would have to inform the prime minister of the situation.
The new deadline came as the government warned that intensive care units (ICU) in Greater Manchester could be overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases by 12 November.
Higher level restrictions were imposed in London from midnight on Friday and London’s pubs are feeling the effects.
On top of the 10pm curfew imposed across the country last month, London was moved under tier 2 restrictions which means households cannot mix indoors unless they are in a support bubble.
Russell Nathan, head of hospitality at accountancy firm HW Fisher, said tier 2 lockdown will be “catastrophic” for pubs and restaurants, adding that the government should provide “urgent clarification” to the hospitality industry, “otherwise our favourite restaurants and bars will simply not survive the next six months”.
Ministers have denied care home inspectors access to weekly testing for coronavirus, despite fears they could contribute to the spread of the virus throughout the country.
The Independent can reveal that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) was told by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) last month it could not have access to regular testing for inspection teams. The watchdog is preparing for 500 inspections of care homes over the next six weeks.
Officials said the teams did not get close enough to people to present a risk, but Labour MP Barbara Keeley told The Independent that the decision was “deeply concerning” and would put lives at risk.
Despite receiving warnings months ago on the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on ethnic minorities, ministers have failed to take any action to reduce the impact.
A review carried out by Public Health England, commissioned by the government, concluded in June that death rates were highest among people of black and Asian ethnic groups. Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch was announced later to be leading work to address the disparities.
But the government has been unable to provide The Independent with details of any action taken to address the issue as the country heads into a second wave of the virus four months after the review.
Labour’s shadow equalities minister, Marsha de Cordova, said the failure to bring in measures is “negligent, discriminatory and unlawful”.
A TikTok video posted by a nurse responding to US president Donald Trump’s dismissive attitude towards coronavirus has gone viral.
Cristina Hops posted the video after reading the president’s exhortation to the country not to “be afraid” of coronavirus and not to “let it dominate your life”, after he was discharged from Walter Reed Medical Centre, where he was treated for the virus himself.
Ms Hops told CNN his words infuriated her. In her video, she is nearly in tears as she describes her harrowing experiences trying to save the lives of Covid-19 patients.
“How dare he undermine all of the work that we have done as nurses and healthcare providers and respiratory therapists,” she added.