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Top medics say UK is at ‘real risk’ of second coronavirus wave and must prepare

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Dr Hilary Jones has warned of a second coronavirus spike in winter, with lockdown easing branded as ‘extremely risky’ by experts.

The UK’s top medics have called for an urgent review of lockdown easing, amid fears of a renewed outbreak later this year, in an open letter to the government.

Boris Johnson announced the biggest easing of lockdown in England yesterday afternoon (June 23rd).   

Health experts have written an open letter saying that Britain should be prepared for a real risk of a second wave of COVID-19, the BBC reports. 

ITV

The public is now advised to abide by a one metre plus rule as the original two metre rule has been eased to help the hospitality industry, such as pubs and restaurants, open and get back on their feet. 

The one metre plus rule advises that people should wear a mask, wash hands regularly and avoid sitting face to face where the two metre distance can’t be maintained. 

Dr Hilary Jones spoke on Good Morning Britain today saying: “We’ve got the heads of most of the Royal colleges writing an open letter to the government saying, ‘Please put in place preparation for a second spike, which we really fear will happen if not by the winter, before then’.

“The two-metre rule is still there. Professor Chris Whitty says please do not take these derestricting measures too lightly, or too vigorously because we still want people to socially distance two metres, but it can go down to one metre at a minimum.”

Former Chief Scientific advisor, Sir David King, has advised that the Government’s easing of lockdown is ‘extraordinarily risky’.

He said: “I think it’s extraordinarily risky. If we take the long view, we know that the winter is a likely period when the virus takes off again.

“We must therefore aim to completely get rid of the virus from this country before the winter. If we move too quickly – and which is what I think is being proposed here – the risk of running into a second wave is very significant.

“We have done such a good job in this country in staying at home – if we could only be a little more patient.

“We still see a 1,000 at least new cases a day in this country and I don’t think there’s anyone who can believe from the scientific point of view that this is a wise move.”

Sir David later told BBC News: “It sounds alright if you’re out of doors and you do keep that one-metre distance apart.

“But if you’re indoors you’re at a much greater risk because you’re sitting in proximity to other people, you’re not wearing masks if you’re in restaurants and pubs and the level of viral infection in the air could well be quite high.”

The British Medical Journal published a letter from the Royal College of Physicians, Surgeons, GPs and Nursing, as well as the chairman of the British Medical Association, appealing to the leaders of all the UK political parties.

“While the future shape of the pandemic in the UK is hard to predict, the available evidence indicates that local flare-ups are increasingly likely and a second wave a real risk,” they said.

“Many elements of the infrastructure needed to contain the virus are beginning to be put in place, but substantial challenges remain.

“The job now is not only to deal urgently with the wide-ranging impacts of the first phase of the pandemic, but to ensure that the country is adequately prepared to contain a second phase.”

“We believe this will be essential if the UK is to get ahead of the curve,” they said.

“It should focus on those areas of weakness where action is needed urgently to prevent further loss of life and restore the economy as fully and as quickly as possible.

“We think there’s a strong case for an immediate assessment of national preparedness, with the first results available no later than August, and that all its work should be completed by the end of October.”

Speaking at the Number 10 briefing, Professor Whitty said it was ‘absolutely critical’ that people continue to abide by social distancing and take other measures to mitigate the spread of the disease when it is not possible to stay 2-metres apart. 

The Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said: “Don’t be fooled that this means it has gone away. The disease is growing across the world. It is coming down in the UK but it hasn’t gone away.” 

See all the latest updates given by Boris Johnson here

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Tributes pour in for ‘gorgeous’ mum killed in Liverpool dog attack

Police say five American bulldogs have since been ‘humanely destroyed’

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Ann Dunn / Facebook & Granada Reports

Tributes have been pouring in for the ‘gorgeous’ mum who was mauled to death by five dogs in Liverpool.

Ann Dunn, sixty-five, died after being attacked by five American bulldogs in a property on St. Brigids Crescent, Vauxhall.

Merseyside Police were called out by paramedics on Monday October 3rd at around 4:25pm. However, Ann’s injuries were too serious and she was pronounced as dead at the scene.

Police say five American bulldogs, which were found inside the property, were handed over and have now been humanely destroyed.

Ann Dunn / Facebook

Officers also confirmed that a thirty-one-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of owning a dog dangerously out of control. He remains in custody.

Following the news of her death, people who knew Ann have paid their own tributes to the mum and grandmother on social media.

One person wrote on Facebook: “RIP gorgeous lady, still can’t believe it Ann. Had some good times with you I will never forget.”

She added: “I am all so heartbroken for you kids and family right now. Don’t want to even think how they feeling… So happy I got [sic] have old chat with you on Friday even though it was only for 10 minutes, keeping looking over your family.”

Another social media user added: “Heart breaking thinking of all the family, devastated for yous all. R.I.P lovely Ann.”

Ann Dunn / Facebook

Liverpool John Moores University, where Ann worked as a cleaner, also paid tribute to their ‘hard-working and dedicated’ employee.

They said: “The university community is absolutely shocked and devastated by this tragic loss and to lose Ann in this way is just heart-breaking. Ann was hard-working and dedicated and had so many friends across the organisation. It’s just awful and she will be terribly missed.

“Our thoughts at this time are with her family and loved-ones.”

Detective Inspector Katie Coote added: “This is clearly a very distressing incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the lady who died.

“Our enquiries remain ongoing as we seek to establish what has happened and I would urge anyone who could assist our enquiries to get in touch.”

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Man arrested after woman killed by ‘five dogs’ in Liverpool

The dogs have since been ‘humanely destroyed’

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Granada Reports & BBC Breakfast

A man has been arrested after a woman was killed after she was attacked by five dogs in a house in Liverpool.

Merseyside Police were called out by paramedics yesterday (Monday October 3rd) after reports a sixty-three-year-old woman had been attacked by the animals inside a property down St. Brigid’s Crescent in Kirkdale.

The woman, who is yet to be formally identified, died at the scene following the attack at around 4.25pm. 

Police say five American bulldogs, which were found inside the property, were handed over and have now been humanely destroyed.

A thirty-one-year-old man has since been arrested on suspicion of owning a dog deemed to be dangerously out of control. He remains in custody.

An investigation into the incident remains ongoing and a post-mortem will be carried out to establish the exact cause of death.

Detective Inspector Katie Coote said: “This is clearly a very distressing incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the lady who died.

“Our enquiries remain ongoing as we seek to establish what has happened and I would urge anyone who could assist our enquiries to get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to DM @MerPolCC or @CrimestoppersUK on Twitter. Alternatively, they can be contacted via telephone on 0800 555 111 quoting reference 22000731247.

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New details about Greater Manchester’s Bee Network transport system revealed

The first fifty Bee Network buses are due to be rolled out in part of the region next year

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Transport for Greater Manchester

As the launch date for Greater Manchester’s highly-anticipated Bee Network draws ever closer, more details about the new transport system have been unveiled.

Mayor Andy Burnham unveiled the first look at the Bee Network’s fleet of electric buses last month, with the first fifty due to be rolled out across Wigan and Bolton on September 17th, 2023. 

The rest of the network will then be implemented across the region by January 2025, alongside Bee Network cycle hire bikes and, ultimately, the Metrolink network.

The buses will be powered by electric batteries to ensure they produce zero local emissions, supporting Greater Manchester in building a sustainable future for public transport.

This comes as Transport for Greater Manchester confirmed a receipt of thirty-three bids from nine different operators vying to run the locally controlled bus services – the first in thirty-six years.

Andy Burnham said of the new network: “The countdown to bringing buses back under local control for the first time in thirty-six years is well and truly on.

“With the order placed for our first fifty new electric buses and strong interest from operators who want to run the first franchised services a year from now, the Bee Network is gathering real momentum.

“We’ve already seen a positive response to our call for people to get back on board, helped by the successful introduction of cheaper bus fares across Greater Manchester to help residents cope with the cost-of-living crisis and I’m pleased to announce that we have commenced engagement with operators about the potential to cap weekly bus tickets from early next year.”

“The previous government bought into what we are trying to do, and I underlined the importance of this partnership approach continuing during my meeting with the new Transport Secretary yesterday.

“By working together, we will realise our ambitions and deliver a network that will transform how people get around our city region – not just in the years ahead but for future generations.”

Bus franchising will be rolled out in phases, starting in Bolton and Wigan as well as parts of Salford and West Manchester on September 17th 2023, followed by Bury, Rochdale, Oldham and parts of North Manchester from the end of March 2024.

Stockport, Trafford, Tameside and South Manchester, as well as the remaining parts of Salford, will be rolled out from January 5th, 2025.

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