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Covid news: Aspirin tested as potential treatment and schools get coronavirus advice from call centre

Follow the latest updates and statistics

Chiara Giordano,Emily Goddard,Peter Stubley
Saturday 07 November 2020 18:28 GMT
Mass coronavirus testing scheme getting under way in Liverpool

Aspirin will be tested as a possible treatment for Covid-19 in one of Britain's biggest trials, which will assess whether it might reduce the risk of blood clots in people with the disease.  

Scientists behind the RECOVERY trial, which is looking into a range of potential treatments for the novel coronavirus, said it would look into the painkiller, which is commonly used as a blood thinner. 

Meanwhile, teachers have reacted with anger to unskilled call handlers being drafted in to give coronavirus safety guidance to schools.  

A school leaders’ union said that in many cases call handlers do not have the knowledge or expertise needed to give helpful advice, with many reading answers from scripts. 

It came as the government has imposed its first outright travel ban on arrivals since the coronavirus pandemic began. In the early hours of Saturday, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that foreign visitors from Denmark will be denied entry.

The unprecedented move is because of serious concerns about mutations of coronavirus spreading from mink to humans.

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Chiara Giordano7 November 2020 08:52

Aspirin study

A major UK study will look at whether the painkiller aspirin could be used as a treatment for coronavirus.

The RECOVERY trial, which is investigating a range of potential treatments for the disease, said it would look into whether the drug, commonly used as a blood thinner, might reduce the risk of blood clots in people with Covid-19.

Aspirin to be tested as potential coronavirus treatment in UK trial

Investigator says there is ‘clear rationale’ for believing aspirin could help Covid-19 patients

Chiara Giordano7 November 2020 08:55

Denmark travel ban

The UK has slapped a travel ban on visitors from Denmark amid widespread outbreaks of coronavirus at the country’s mink farms. 

Denmark has found mink-related versions of coronavirus in 214 human cases since June, according to a report updated on 5 November.

All non-British national or resident travellers who have been in or transited through Denmark in the last 14 days will be denied entry into the UK as of 4am today.

Read more on the outbreak in Denmark:

More than 200 people diagnosed with mink-related coronavirus in Denmark

Strain found to be less sensitive to human antibodies, potentially undermining efficacy of future vaccines, scientists say

Chiara Giordano7 November 2020 08:59

Calls to make contact tracing local

Sir John Oldham, adjunct professor in global health innovation at Imperial College London, has called for the NHS Test and Trace system to be scrapped in favour of handing responsibility for contact tracing to local public health teams.  

It comes after the national tracing programme hit a new low, recording its worst weekly performance since being set up, with the latest figures showing 59.9 per cent of close contacts of people who tested positive in England were reached through the system in the week ending 28 October. 

Chiara Giordano7 November 2020 09:05

US reports record cases for third day

The US has reported a record number of new coronavirus cases for the third day in a row.

NBC News has confirmed there were 122,365 new Covid-19 cases nationwide on Friday.

The new total eclipsed Thursday’s record of 121, 289 cases, and Wednesday’s total of 107,872.

The seven-day rolling average is now on the brink of hitting 100,000 cases, being less than 550 cases shy of that milestone.

US hits third record in three days for new coronavirus cases

Seven-day rolling average on brink of hitting 100,000 cases per day

Chiara Giordano7 November 2020 09:32

Data to justify lockdown ‘a mess’

Sir David Spiegelhalter was critical of the data shown to the public to justify a second lockdown in England, calling the information shown at last Saturday's press conference suggesting a possible peak of 4,000 deaths a day a "mess".  

The non-executive board member of the UK Statistics Authority, which oversees the statistics watchdog, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It has been a mess, it really has.  

"All those graphs that got put up at the press conference last Saturday, the projections were out of date at the time, they're definitely out of date now.  

"That one (the slide about 4,000 deaths) was really ghastly - that was out of date when shown, it was never meant to be part of any formal document, it was leaked early and then it was part of the briefing to MPs." 

Chiara Giordano7 November 2020 09:47

Positive start to Liverpool mass testing

Liverpool director of public health Matt Ashton has said the city's mass testing pilot showed positive signs on its first day of operation.  

It is aiming to test up to 50,000 people a day once fully up and running.  

Mr Ashton told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It was the first day yesterday and we didn't open first thing, we opened at lunchtime and had six of the asymptomatic testing centres open.  

"We are still working on the numbers but we think (there were) about 1,500-2,000 people per testing centre, so really good numbers and really good interest, so it was very encouraging." 

Chiara Giordano7 November 2020 09:58

 Home cleaning scam

People in Bristol have been warned to be extra vigilant after a scam leaflet offering cleaning services to remove "bacteria that attracts Covid-19" was circulated to homes around the city.  

Bristol City Council's Trading Standards said it received several reports about the leaflet, which contains false claims about "corona removal officers" offering services such as a deep clean and plumbing.  

The consumer watchdog said the leaflet is not endorsed by the council, government or NHS. 

Chiara Giordano7 November 2020 10:12

‘Too late to find enough nurses for winter’

In a worrying update, the Royal College of Nursing has warned it is too late to recruit enough nurses to meet the demands placed on the health service this winter.  

The RCN said any plans to cope with the second wave of Covid-19 created by ministers and the NHS has to be based on reality and specifically the number of nurses “actually available”.  

It urged the government to be honest about the widespread shortages of nursing staff and warned it had “grave concerns how services will be safely staffed”. 

Read more:

Too late to find enough nurses for this winter, warns union

Royal College of Nursing warns of ‘grave concerns’ for staffing in the NHS this winter

Chiara Giordano7 November 2020 10:28

The virus worldwide

More than 49.29 million people have been reported to be infected by Covid-19 globally and 1,242,323 have died, according to a Reuters tally. 

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

Chiara Giordano7 November 2020 10:49

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