Coronavirus live: global deaths pass 5m; UK care home workers refusing jab told to ‘get another job’

Coronavirus live: global deaths pass 5m; UK care home workers refusing jab told to ‘get another job’

Italy reported 25 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, while the daily tally of new infections was 3,312, the health ministry said.

Italy has registered 130,998 deaths in total linked to Covid-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year, Reuters reports.

The country has reported 4.68 million cases to date.

The UK recorded a further 121 Covid-19 deaths and 30,301 new cases on Saturday.

Both figures are slight falls from the previous day’s tallies of 127 and 35,577, official data showed.

Cases in the last seven days were up 3.1% on the week before, while daily fatalities of people who had tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 28 days were down 17%.

A 15-year-old girl who tested positive for Covid-19 has died on the day that she was due to have her vaccine, her family said.

Jorja Halliday, from Portsmouth in England, died at the Queen Alexandra hospital in the Hampshire city on Tuesday after being tested for the virus four days earlier.

Her mother, Tracey Halliday, 40, said that the GCSE student at the Portsmouth Academy was a “loving girl” with lots of friends, a talented kickboxer and an aspiring musician.

She was very active, she liked to go out and spend time with her friends and loved spending time with her brothers and sisters.

Growing up she turned into a beautiful young lady, always wanting to help others, always there for everybody.

It’s heart-wrenching because your kids are always meant to outlive you, and that’s the one thing I can’t get over.

Halliday said that Jorja’s siblings were devastated at her death. She said that Jorja, who did not have any underlying health conditions, first developed flu-like symptoms before she underwent the PCR test which gave a positive result, leading to her isolating at their home.

Jorja was struggling to eat on Sunday but by Monday she could not eat at all due to her throat hurting.

A doctor prescribed antibiotics, but when Jorja’s condition worsened she was seen by a doctor who said her heart rate was double what it should be and she was taken to hospital.

They realised how serious it was and I was still allowed to touch her, hold her hand, hug her and everything else.

They did allow me that. I’m at the point where I can’t comprehend that it’s happened.

I was with her the whole time. They tried to put her on a ventilator to give her body a chance to recover.

Her heart rate didn’t stabilise. Her heart couldn’t take the strain.

They worked as well as I think they could medically but were unable to save her.

Preliminary results from the hospital’s medical examiner indicated Jorja had Covid myocarditis, heart inflammation caused by the virus. Halliday explained that Jorja had been booked to have a jab on Tuesday, but had tested positive the Saturday before. She had been planning to get the jab once the isolation period was over, but passed away on the day she had originally been scheduled to have the vaccine. Halliday said:

She had the best of care, I know that they did everything they could to save her.

Campaigners have accused the UK government of creating a system of “vaccine apartheid” by blocking an intellectual property waiver for coronavirus vaccines.

India and South Africa first proposed waiving intellectual property rights for vaccines at the World Trade Organization (WTO) a year ago today.

Campaigners argue it would allow global south countries to produce Covid-19 vaccines patent-free, and make use of global spare capacity.

The US announced support for the waiver in May 2021, while Australia announced its support last month, and it has received wide support from low- and middle-income countries.

Germany has led EU opposition to the waiver, despite support from countries including France, but campaigners hope a change of government in Germany could leave the UK isolated, according to Nick Dearden, the director of Global Justice Now.

As of 30 September, an average of 10,193 people have died across the 363 days since the proposal was put forward. While the UK rolls out booster vaccines and third doses for vulnerable adults, only 0.5% of people in low-income countries are fully vaccinated and fewer than 3% of people in Africa, he said:

Right now, Boris Johnson is enforcing a system of vaccine apartheid.

Given the British government’s failure to export or supply more than a tiny trickle of doses, the least we can do is get out of the way of others producing their own vaccine. Failing to act will shame the UK for a generation or more.

Next week, campaigners – who argue that the global death toll is far greater than it could be because of the UK’s inaction – plan to hold a funeral procession protest on Whitehall.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has given his support to a waiver and has called on wealthy countries with large supplies of coronavirus vaccines to not offer booster shots through the end of the year – a request that has been largely ignored.

Epidemiologists have warned that global vaccine inequality threatens to undermine current vaccines, while a report from the Wellcome Trust and Institute for Government warned virus mutations will “chip away” at the protection offered by vaccines.

The government says the UK is a significant financial donor to Covax.

Deardan said Covax only intends to vaccinate 30% of participating countries’ populations and has faced recurrent delays, supply problems, and setbacks, while pharmaceutical companies have boycotted the WHO’s Covid-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), a patent pool intended to share vaccine technology and expertise to maximise global vaccine production.

We have so much untapped vaccine manufacturing capacity, but corporate monopolies are creating an artificial shortage of Covid jabs. For an entire year, the UK has quashed pleas from low- and middle-income countries to waive patents and millions have died in the process.

Ten thousand people die every day that the UK continues to block a vaccine intellectual property waiver at the World Trade Organization. Each one of those deaths should be a stain on the conscience of the prime minister.

The Queen has told MSPs that as the country emerges from the “adverse and uncertain times” of the pandemic, there is an opportunity for “hope and optimism”.

As she formally opened the new session of the Scottish parliament, the Queen urged Scotland’s MSPs to “help create a better, healthier future” by tackling the challenges of climate change ahead of the Cop26 conference.

She also reflected on the “deep and abiding affection” and happy memories she and the late Duke of Edinburgh shared of Scotland as she formally opened the new session of the Scottish parliament.

Accompanied by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall – known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland – the Queen told MSPs that as the country emerges from the “adverse and uncertain times” of the pandemic, there was an opportunity for “hope and optimism”.

The beginning of a new session is a time for renewal and fresh thinking, providing an opportunity to look to the future and our future generations.

Next month, I will be attending Cop26 events in Glasgow.

The eyes of the world will be on the United Kingdom – and Scotland in particular – as leaders come together to address the challenges of climate change.

There is a key role for the Scottish parliament, as with all parliaments, to help create a better, healthier future for us all, and to engage with the people they represent – especially our young people.

Speaking at Holyrood for the first time since Philip’s death, she added:

Today is also a day when we can celebrate those who have made an extraordinary contribution to the lives of other people in Scotland, locally or nationally during the Covid-19 pandemic.

I have spoken before of my deep and abiding affection for this wonderful country and of the many happy memories Prince Philip and I always held of our time here.