Coronavirus news you may have missed overnight: New measures for Scotland as UK rate doubles in a week

The new rules will not send Scotland into a second national lockdown, Ms Sturgeon says

Clea Skopeliti
Wednesday 07 October 2020 11:04
‘We are not proposing another lockdown’, says Nicola Sturgeon

The rate of coronavirus cases across the UK has almost doubled in a week, with nearly 15,000 new infections reported on Tuesday.

As fatalities rose for the third week week in a row, with 76 people dying from the disease over the latest 24-hour period, a government adviser has warned stricter measures are needed to fight the spread of disease.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is set to reveal new measures for Scotland this afternoon, while Northern leaders say local lockdowns have been confusing and ineffective.

Over in the US, yet another White House aide has tested positive for the virus, with Steve Miller being the latest top adviser to enter self-isolation. 

Nicola Sturgeon to announce further coronavirus restrictions in Scotland

Scotland’s First Minister is set to reveal new measures to tackle the spread of infection in the country, which has seen the average number of daily cases increase from 285 two weeks ago - when the ban on indoor household mixing was introduced - to 729.

Ms Sturgeon has said the new rules will not lead Scotland into a second national lockdown like during the spring, and school closures have also been ruled out. 

Though people will not be asked to stay at home as was the case in March, she is expected to say that some stricter measures, however, may be needed in some hotspot areas.

Ms Sturgeon said: "The situation is not out of control, but it is a cause of increasing concern." The First Minister will announce the details to the Scottish parliament on Wednesday afternoon, following a morning cabinet meeting.

Trump aide Stephen Miller tests positive for coronavirus

Stephen Miller has become the latest White House adviser to contract Covid-19, after an outbreak that has seen the press secretary, four of her aides, his campaign manager, chair of the GOP, two senior advisers, and former adviser Kellyanne Conway all test positive alongside Mr and Ms Trump.

“Over the last [five] days I have been working remotely and self-isolating, testing negative every day through yesterday,” Mr Miller said in a statement on Tuesday. “Today, I tested positive for Covid-19 and am in quarantine.”

The president left hospital after only three days on Monday, and addressed the press, without a mask, from the White House balcony, where he appeared to be struggling to breathe as he posed for pictures.

Local lockdowns are not working, Northern leaders say

Local lockdown measures have been ineffective and even “counter-productive”, leaders in several Northern cities have told the health secretary, warning they will not back further regional “economic lockdowns”.

Leaders in Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds told Matt Hancock that new powers are needed to stem the resurgence that has seen the UK-wide seven-day rate almost double from 63.8 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people to 125.7.

"The existing restrictions are not working, confusing for the public and some, like the 10pm rule, are counter-productive," the politicians, who are all Labour, wrote.

Government coronavirus adviser Professor John Edmunds agreed with the leaders judgements, saying local measures have failed, and national restrictions are necessary to bring the pandemic under control.

Supply chain breakdown results in testing shortages

The future supply of coronavirus tests has been thrown into doubt following a supply chain problem with pharmaceutical giant Roche, which said on Tuesday it was experiencing a "very significant drop" in its processing capacity.

The company recommended that customers ”look to prioritise essential services only"  due to a problem with its Sussex distribution centre – the only one in the UK. 

The shortage reportedly includes vital reagents, screening kits and swabs, and Roche has said the issue may not be resolved for two to three weeks.

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