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Home Breaking England has entered a full national lockdown and will remain under tight coronavirus restrictions for at least the next month

England has entered a full national lockdown and will remain under tight coronavirus restrictions for at least the next month

It means more than 55 million people are again being told to work from home and only go outside for essential reasons. Boris Johnson is hoping the strict lockdown will bring the infection rate of Covid-19 down far enough that he can reopen the economy ahead of Christmas. The prime minister said he was forced to implement the lockdown to avoid the NHS becoming overwhelmed, which he said could result in thousands of deaths a day. As with the first lockdown, all non-essential shops, hospitality, leisure and entertainment venues have closed. All indoor cross-household socialising is banned and people can only meet outdoors with a maximum of one person from another household. There were more than 100,000 new cases of coronavirus in the US on Wednesday – a record one-day increase. The figure, reported by the Covid Tracking Project, is accompanied by a steep rise in hospital admissions – suggesting that it is not solely due to increased testing. More than 1,100 deaths linked to coronavirus were recorded on Wednesday. The Covid crisis is being overshadowed by tensions over vote counting in the fraught aftermath of the US election. More than 50,000 people across the US are currently in hospital with coronavirus – an increase of about 64% from early October. Average daily death rates in the country have also been increasing again, although they are still lower than at the start of the pandemic. US entering ‘different’ phase of Covid-19 outbreak In an interview with the Washington Post newspaper on Friday, commenting on the US nearing 100,00 cases, the country’s top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci said: “We’re in for a whole lot of hurt.” He added that the US “could not possibly be positioned more poorly”, with colder weather driving people indoors. In response, White House spokesman Judd Deere said the comments were “unacceptable and breaking with all norms”. With almost 9.5 million total coronavirus infections and more than 233,000 deaths, the US has both the highest number of cases and the highest total death toll in the world. The Australian government has agreed to purchase two more COVID-19 vaccines in development, beefing up the country’s prospective arsenal against the pandemic to 135 million doses as it aims to complete a mass inoculation programme within months. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday the government will buy 40 million vaccine doses from Novavax and 10 million from Pfizer and BioNTech. That adds to the 85 million doses Australia has already committed to buy from AstraZeneca and CSL Ltd should trials prove successful, taking the country’s total anticipated outlay to A$3.2 billion ($2.3 billion). “We aren’t putting all our eggs in one basket,” Morrison told reporters in Sydney. Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Novavax and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which will be manufacturd in the United States and Europe, would complement the AstraZeneca and CSL products, which would be manufactured in Australia. Denmark has ordered its military to cull all farmed mink in the country after 12 people have been infected with strain of COVID-19 that has mutated while circulating in the country’s 17 million-strong mink population. At a press conference today Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the mink strain had mutated in the critical spike region of the virus genome. The new strain also reacted more weakly to human antibodies against normal SARS-CoV-2. She went on to say if the mutant strain became widespread it could undermine efforts to develop a vaccine. Virologists however immediately cautioned that it’s too early to conclude the “mutant” mink strain is a functionally different ordinary strain. Last month Denmark ordered a cull of 2.5 million mink after animals on 207 farms were found to have COVID-19.

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