• Tuesday, March 05, 2024


UK orders more jabs amid rising Covid numbers; 4,000+ cases linked with Cornwall fest

(REUTERS/Henry Nicholls)

By: Pooja Shrivastava

BRITAIN on Monday (23) announced it will take delivery of another 35 million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in the second half of next year to “future-proof” its jabs rollout. Meanwhile, deaths from Covid-19 and daily infection numbers are again on the rise, says official data, as reports suggest that the recently-held Cornwall music festival has been linked with more than 4, 000 positive cases across the country.


“I am pleased we’ve reached this agreement with Pfizer for more doses as part of our robust preparations to future-proof our vaccine programme, ensuring we have plans in place to keep the nation safe for years to come,” UK health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said, confirming the new delivery of vaccines.

The government has yet to decide on a potential rollout of third doses. It was reported that it might begin a booster programme in early September, alongside the flu jab.

Meanwhile, the seven-day average for Covid deaths now stands at 100, as per the figures released by Public Health England on Monday (23)- a number that was last exceeded in March this year.

Although the deaths are far below the peaks of last winter when the highest daily number touched more than 1,200, the recent PHE’s numbers are still a notable rise from late May and early June.

Daily infections numbers are also on the rise once more following a dramatic fall in mid-July, with 31,914 cases reported on Monday (23).  Hospitalisations have risen from 672 on 31 July to 948 on 17 August, reports said.

Calling for “the reimposition of rules on masks”, Prof Ravi Gupta of the University of Cambridge- a co-opted member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag)- said it was likely there will be a long, protracted period of high hospital admissions and continuing disruption as schools return.

Meanwhile, the Boardmasters music festival in Cornwall may turn out to be a super spreader event as more than 4,000 Covid infections are suspected to have links to it.

Health officials are currently investigating some 4,700 cases following the event that took place in Newquay from Aug 11 through Aug 15- an event that saw a mass gathering, including many out-of-towners, reports said.

The music fest, which featured Sam Fender, Gorillaz and Jorja Smith, had asked attendees to present their Covid-19 status via the NHS Covid Pass upon arrival, as per its website, which also added that those with camping tickets were also asked to bring a lateral flow test with them, to take on the third day of the festival.

While the festival encouraged the wearing of face masks, they were not otherwise compulsory, reports said.

Professor Mike Wade, deputy regional director and NHS regional director of public health for Public Health England South West, said: “We are working with colleagues at Cornwall Council to monitor what impact the Boardmasters Festival may have had on Covid case numbers, and we are starting to see cases reporting that they attended the event prior to developing symptoms or testing positive.”

A spokesperson for Boardmasters said: “Since the government allowed live events to return, we have worked closely with Cornwall Council’s public health team, putting in place risk management measures above and beyond national guidelines.”



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