Press release: UK to support rest of the world to find COVID-19 virus variants

UK genomics expertise and capacity to be offered worldwide to find new variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 The New Variant Assessment Platform will help countries to identify changes in the virus, while providing an early warning of new mutations that could endanger the UK New commitment to improve Global Health Security comes as the UK holds G7 presidency this yearThe UK will offer its world-leading genomics expertise to identify new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 to countries who do not have the resources to do so.The announcement comes as part of a speech the Health Secretary will deliver at Chatham House. As part of…

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Press release: More employers sign up to rapid testing to protect workforce

Expansion of testing will find more positive cases, keeping key workers from unknowingly passing on the virus and protecting vital services Organisations signed up to workplace testing already include Royal Mail, Tate & Lyle Sugars, Primula, Moy Park, Octopus Energy, Apetito, and DVLABusinesses and public sector organisations are joining a government scheme to test workers without symptoms who cannot work from home.Around 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and may be unknowingly spreading the virus. To help stop the virus spreading, the government is making millions of rapid test kits available to NHS and care home staff, primary care workers, schools, colleges and universities,…

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Press release: Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam opinion piece in The Sunday Telegraph

Next Saturday will mark the first anniversary of the World Health Organizations declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and next Sunday will be one year on from the first case of COVID-19 detected in the UK. It has been a terrible year as the virus has spread across the world causing misery, hardship, death and severely disrupting all of our lives.The silver lining has been the incredible work of scientists and healthcare professionals across the world. If you had told me 12 months ago, that the UK would have discovered, in dexamethasone, the first treatment proven to reduce COVID-19 deaths, and vaccinated over 5 million…

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Press release: More employers sign up to rapid testing to protect workforce

Expansion of testing will find more positive cases, keeping key workers from unknowingly passing on the virus and protecting vital services Organisations signed up to workplace testing already include Royal Mail, Tate & Lyle Sugars, Primula, Moy Park, Octopus Energy, Apetito, and DVLA.Businesses and public sector organisations are joining a government scheme to test workers without symptoms who cannot work from home.Around 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and may be unknowingly spreading the virus. To help stop the virus spreading, the government is making millions of rapid test kits available to NHS and care home staff, primary care workers, schools, colleges and universities,…

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Press release: Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance on the new variant of COVID-19 in the UK

Commenting on the new variant of COVID-19 in the UK the Governments Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said: The new UK variant comprises a significant number of the our cases. It is spreading 30 to 70% more easily than the old variant. It doesnt differ in terms of age distribution to the original variant. When we look at severity and mortality, data for patients who are in hospital with the virus suggest the outcomes for those with the original variant look the same as the new variant. However, when looking at the data for people who have tested positive, there is an indication that the rate for…

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Press release: New hard-hitting national TV ad urges the nation to stay at home

New emotive TV ad challenges the public to think about the impact their actions might have by asking: Can you look them in the eyes and tell them youre helping by staying at home? The TV advert will launch on ITV and Channel 4 this evening and further advertising will run across radio, out of home, digital and across social media from Saturday evening Someone is admitted to hospital every 30 seconds with the virus, and a quarter of those are under the age of 55 There are currently over 38,000 beds taken up in England by COVID-19 patients.Everyone across the UK is being asked Can you look…

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Press release: Winners announced of £7.6 million fund to help give babies the best start in life

New Health and Wellbeing Fund to focus on mothers living in black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) communities or deprived areas The 19 projects will help to promote nutrition, learning, language development and mental health during pregnancy and post-birth The fund will support the governments pledge to level up communities and reduce health inequalitiesThe winners of a new multi-million pound fund to reduce health inequalities among new mothers and babies have been announced.The Health and Wellbeing Fund, based on the theme of starting well, will help charities run and expand projects to: boost mental health for new and expectant mothers improve the development of babies and children give…

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Press release: NHS Test and Trace meets new year surge in demand with faster turnaround times

13% of all PCR swab tests since start of pandemic carried out in first fortnight of January 2021 Significant improvement in test turnaround times: 85.0% of in-person test results returned the next day after the test was taken, compared with 63.0% the week beforeNHS Test and Trace has continued to reach a high volume of cases and contacts and, with improving turnaround times for tests, the service has seen a record-breaking start to the new year.In the first 2 weeks of January, NHS Test and Trace has carried out more than 13% of the PCR tests conducted to date. Approximately 331,000 people received a positive result, with NHS…

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Press release: January 2021 findings from COVID-19 study published

Over 142,900 volunteers were tested in England from 6 to 15 January 2021 as part of one of the most significant COVID-19 studies. It remains paramount everyone stays at home and follows the rules to protect the NHS and save lives.The interim findings from the eighth report of REACT, one of the countrys largest studies into COVID-19 infections in England, have been published today by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI.Over 142,900 volunteers were tested in England from 6 to 15 January to examine the levels of infection in the general population. The findings show infections in England have plateaued at the highest level recorded by a REACT…

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Press release: Asymptomatic testing to be rolled out across the country starting this week

Local authorities will be encouraged to target testing to people who cannot work from home during lockdown. Around 1 in 3 people have coronavirus (COVID-19) without displaying any symptoms. Rapid, regular testing for people without symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) will be made available across the country from this week, with the eligibility of the community testing programme expanded to cover all 314 lower-tier local authorities.Local authorities will be encouraged to target testing at people who are unable to work from home during the national lockdown.Expansion of asymptomatic testing will identify more positive cases of COVID-19 and ensure those infected isolate, protecting those who cannot work from home and…

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