Majority want another lockdown to stem coronavirus cases – follow live


An estimated 248,000 children in England did not go to school in the run-up to half-term due to a Covid-related reason, according to official figures.

An education union leader said increasing pupil and staff absences were “wreaking havoc in many schools”, after the Department for Education released the latest data.

Meanwhile, a slim majority of people want the government to impose another lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus amid a spike in cases across the UK, a poll by The Independent has found.

Almost 40 per cent of respondents said they wanted another lockdown due to concerns around rising Covid infections and NHS capacity as the country enters flu season.

Although overall Covid cases have fallen from the 56,000 seen in mid-October, nearly 20 per cent of local areas across the UK are still witnessing climbing case counts, particularly in the East Midlands.

It comes as the number of deaths involving coronavirus registered each week in England and Wales has risen for the second week in a row, though figures remain at a low level.

A total of 792 deaths registered in the week ending 22 October mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

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Increase in pupil and staff absence ‘wreaking havoc in many schools’

Here is Geoff Barton from the Association of School and College Leaders on the latest school absence figures:

“These statistics show another increase in both pupil and staff absence as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is wreaking havoc in many schools because they have to juggle online and in-person learning for different groups of pupils at different times with fewer staff. It is an impossible situation.

“We hope that the half-term break will have helped to reduce transmission of the virus and reduce disruption but even if this is the case it is likely to be only temporary.”

Zoe Tidman2 November 2021 14:55

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Vaccine stats

It’s time now for the latest vaccine statistics.

More than 50 million first doses have been delivered in the UK as of Monday.

This works out at around 87.0 per cent of people aged 12 and over in the UK, or 74.6 per cent of the entire population.

Additional reporting by PA

Zoe Tidman2 November 2021 14:26

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Warning parliament could see tougher Covid measures

Over in Westminster, the Commons speaker warned tougher Covid measures could be put in place if cases continued to rise.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle said cases have increased among MPs and staff.

Measures were stepped up in parliament today. Ashley Cowburn, our political correspondent, has the full story:

Zoe Tidman2 November 2021 13:55

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Here is the full story on the latest education figures:

Zoe Tidman2 November 2021 13:25

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Covid and education

In some education news, figures show around 248,000 children in England were off school due to a Covid-related reason in the week before half term.

An estimated 127,000 of these had contracted coronavirus.

Zoe Tidman2 November 2021 12:47

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Care home death statistics

New Office for National Statistics figures show there were 108 care home resident deaths involving Covid in England and Wales registered in the week to 22 October.

This was slightly down from 111 in the previous week.

In total, 43,783 care home residents in England and Wales have had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.

The ONS figures cover deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just in care homes.

Additional reporting by PA

Zoe Tidman2 November 2021 12:33

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Facebook and Instagram ‘allowing misinformation to thrive’, report claims

Misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccines has been allowed to spread on more than a dozen Facebook and Instagram accounts which have gained some 370,000 followers over the past year, according to a new report.

A study by NewsGuard, which monitors online misinformation, highlighted 20 accounts, pages and groups which were continuing to push conspiracy theories and false claims around Covid-19 but were allowed to remain online and gain tens of thousands of new followers.

The groups included posts claiming Covid vaccines harm children and are generally unsafe, with many of these posts not flagged to users by the social media platforms, NewsGuard said.

The report said that, while some of the pages in question had Facebook-generated labels on them saying they contained posts about Covid-19, users were not told whether or not the information is trustworthy.

The monitoring group said it has been submitting reports to the World Health Organisation (WHO) since September 2020, highlighting accounts, groups and pages which spread Covid misinformation and are used by the WHO in its work with social media to mitigate the harm of such claims.

Chiara Giordano2 November 2021 12:10

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Sajid Javid faces questions on NHS backlog and current Covid situation at first health committee

Sajid Javid is making his first appearance before Jeremy Hunt’s health committee this morning.

The health secretary, who was appointed to the role in June, is facing questions on the NHS backlog and the current coronavirus situation.

Chiara Giordano2 November 2021 11:50

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Coronavirus measures stepped up at parliament

Parliament has stepped up measures to limit the spread of coronavirus as many MPs continued to shun masks in the Commons chamber.

The UK Health Security Agency has determined the risk of transmission of Covid-19 on the parliamentary estate has increased.

New measures include the cancellation of non-parliamentary business activity such as tours, and banqueting activity at the Palace of Westminster.

Face coverings are already compulsory for staff, contractors and journalists – although not MPs – and chairs of meetings will be urged to take a stronger role in ensuring compliance with the rule.

A parliamentary spokesperson said the measures will be reviewed in two weeks’ time.

Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has more details here:

Chiara Giordano2 November 2021 11:40

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Covid-related deaths rise for second week

The number of deaths involving coronavirus registered each week in England and Wales has risen for the second week in a row, though figures remain at a low level.

A total of 792 deaths registered in the week ending 22 October mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is up 11 per cent on the previous week, and follows a 7 per cent rise a week earlier.

However, deaths are still far below levels seen during the winter.

There were 8,433 deaths involving Covid-19 registered in England and Wales in the week to 29 January, at the peak of the second wave of the virus.

By contrast, the weekly total has been between 600 and 900 for the last two months.

Chiara Giordano2 November 2021 11:30



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