Fears for ‘second wave’ of coronavirus after resurgence in Europe
There have been reports of a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus in Europe, due to spikes in Spain and France.
Matt Hancock has said he is ‘worried’ about a ‘second wave starting to roll across Europe’ and that the UK must ‘do everything to prevent it reaching these shores’.
The news comes after the Belgian government has warned the country could be put back into a ‘complete lockdown’ due to significant spike in infections.
Similarly, Catalonia in Spain may also reintroduce lockdown if the outbreaks are not controlled within 10 days.
The health minister in France has called for greater vigilance due to a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in young people, while Germany’s public health body has said it is ‘deeply concerned’ about the rise over the past few weeks.
However, experts are divided about whether this actually is a second wave of infections and what the term ‘second wave’ actually means.
Scientists in the field actively avoid using the term ‘second wave’ as it is ill-defined and instead opt for ‘resurgence’, according to COVID expert at Norwich Medical School, Professor Paul Hunter.
The World Health Organisation has made it clear that it is, in fact, ‘one big wave’ spreading across the globe and for a second wave to exist, the virus would need to have gone completely away.
Similarly, ‘second wave’ also assumes that COVID-19 will act the way flu acts with seasonal peaks and troughs and rapid mutations, however ‘we don’t know that’, according to Dr Tom Frieden, who served as director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for eight years under Barack Obama.
Nevertheless, 36 countries in Europe are seeing an increase in infections, based on a seven-day rolling average. And while it has been six months since the WHO declared the highest possible alert under international law, global health emergency, cases are still acceleration.
There have been a total of 16 million cases detected worldwide but the overall figure has doubled in the last six weeks, according to the Telegraph.
Between July 17th and July 23rd, Belgium saw a 71% increase on the seven-day average of infection number.
The regional president of Catalonia, Quim Torra, has confirmed the current resurgence is a situation similar to that before the national lockdown was introduced in March.
Mr Torra said: “We’re in the 10 most important days of the summer and during that time, we’ll see whether we’re capable of sorting out the situation through solidarity, cooperation and a collective effort.
“But the situation is critical and if we don’t manage to, then we will have to go backwards.”
According to the ministry, six people have died from coronavirus in the past seven days. At its peak, Spain had 9,222 new infections in a single day. On Monday, the Spanish health ministry reported 855 new cases in 24 hours.
Many people in Barcelona have ignored advice to stay home and flocked to beaches instead and many young people have been holding ‘drinking parties’ in the streets.
French health minister, Olivier Véran said at the weekend: “When we carry out mass testing we are seeing a lot of young patients … more youngsters than during the previous wave.
“This is particularly the case in the Île-de-France [Paris] region where we are seeing young people who are infected without knowing how it happened. Clearly, older people are still being very careful, while young people are paying less attention.”
Germany is seeing outbreaks in urban areas and among holidaymakers. But abattoir and harvest workers have demonstrated how quickly the virus can flare up again.
While Spain makes headlines due to a resurgence in cases and the government’s response to introduce quarantine for travellers returning to the UK from Spain, other parts of Europe are also on a worrying trajectory.
Dr Kluge (WHO’s regional director for Europe) warned against complacency: “We consider about a three to four week lag time between case incidence and severe cases and mortality. We also know that the epi-curve is never linear, but rather exponential.
“So in that sense, we absolutely need to be vigilant as these raising numbers could, could, prefigure a return to community transmission in many countries.”
Boy, 11, left in critical condition after being hit by police van
Awful news this morning
A boy has been left in critical condition in hospital following an incident with a police van last night.
The 11-year-old was struck by a police van in Lancaster on Thursday night, May 25th, as the van was attending a call.
Lancashire Police say the vehicle was en route to an emergency call when the collision happened.
The boy was crossing Owen Road just before 8:30 pm when he was hit, and was transported to Royal Lancaster Infirmary in a critical condition.
A police spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with the child’s loved ones at this time.
“An investigation is underway to establish the full circumstances that led to the collision.
“We have voluntarily referred this matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), as is standard with an incident of this nature.”
The IOPC said in a statement: “We have declared an independent investigation into the actions of Lancashire Police prior to a road traffic collision in Owen Road, Lancaster at around 8.30pm tonight, in which a child has been injured.
“We understand that a marked police van, with its lights and sirens on, was in a collision with an 11-year-old boy.
“We were notified by the force shortly after the collision and declared an investigation at 10.37pm. IOPC investigators are heading to the scene and the police post incident procedure to begin gathering information.”
According to the IOPC, the investigation is in its early stages.
Sam Smith cancels upcoming shows due to ‘vocal cord injury’ and tells fans ‘I’m so sorry’
‘Refunds will be available at point of purchase for all three dates; Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow’
Sam Smith has cancelled their upcoming shows due to a vocal cord injury and issued a statement telling fans, ‘I’m so sorry’.
The singer had to call off their Gloria Tour show, mid-way through, at Manchester AO Arena last night (Wednesday May 24th) after experiencing ‘vocal issues’.
The lights went off and fans waited in darkness for a number of minutes as speculation circulated on social media, with many wondering if there had been a ‘power cut’.
Moments later, after just four songs, a packed-out arena was told the show unfortunately had to be called off.
Afterwards, Sam, 31, issued a statement on their Instagram stories to tell fans — who had missed out on a ‘surprise’ that was supposed to be at the end of the show — how ‘sorry’ they were.
Today, Thursday May 25th, the ‘Unholy’ singer has issued another statement after calling off upcoming gigs.
On their Instagram stories, the star wrote: “Due to vocal issues during last night’s Manchester performance, regrettably we will be cancelling the rescheduled Birmingham and Glasgow Sam Smith shows.
“Refunds will be available at point of purchase for all three dates; Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.
“A spokesperson said ‘Doctors have advised due to a vocal cord injury, Sam must have complete vocal rest’.
“Sam is heartbroken to have had to cancel these shows but they have been told by doctors that if they keep singing, they will do permanent damage to their voice.
“If they take some rest they will be able to perform again. I’m so sorry.”
Sam already had to push back the Birmingham and Glasgow gigs after suffering from a virus several weeks ago.
After calling off last night’s show at Manchester’s AO Arena, Sam wrote on their Instagram story: “Today in soundcheck I felt fine and was so excited to give Manchester an amazing show tonight, with a special surprise at the end.
“During my third song, I noticed something wrong with my voice. I prayed it was just my voice waking up for the show but into the fourth song I could feel something was really wrong.”
The pop singer added: “I came off stage and have tried everything to get my voice back in gear but it won’t.
“I am honestly heartbroken I couldn’t finish the show tonight for you all. I love you all. I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry.”
Body found in river in search for missing 24-year-old woman
Shannon’s family have been informed
A body has been found in a river in the search for a missing woman from Lancashire.
Police searching for Shannon Canning from Lancaster say they have found a body. The 24-year-old had been missing from home since the early hours of Friday May 19th.
A search operation was launched to find the young woman who did not turn up for work at Tipple bar on Friday afternoon.
Public appeals for help were launched by her family and the police force, who said they were concerned for her welfare as the disappearance was out of character.
Lancashire Police have confirmed the body of a woman was found in the River Lune near Halton on Wednesday afternoon, May 24th. Shannon’s family has been informed.
Patrols were increased during the week and specialist divers joined the search yesterday. Officers were called at around 4.20pm Wednesday afternoon when the discovery was made.
A statement from Lancashire Police said: “Sadly, officers searching for missing Shannon Canning have an update, following a body recovered from the River Lune.
“We can confirm that we were called today (May 24th) at around 4:20pm to a report that a body had been found in the River Lune, near Halton.
“Specialist search teams have subsequently attended the area and can sadly confirm that the body of a woman has been recovered.
“Although formal identification has yet to take place, we believe the body to be that of missing Shannon Canning.
“Shannon’s family have been made aware of this sad development and our thoughts are with them at this upsetting time.”