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Coronavirus updates: Prof Chris Whitty: Next few weeks will be the worst of pandemic – BBC News

HomepageAccessibility linksSkip to contentAccessibility Help BBC Account Notifications HomeNewsSportWeatheriPlayerSoundsCBBCCBeebiesFoodBitesizeArtsTasterLocalThreeMenu SearchSearch the BBCSearch the BBC BBC News News Navigation Sections Home Coronavirus Video World World selected UK Business Tech Science Stories Entertainment & Arts Health World News TV In Pictures Reality Check Newsbeat Long Reads More More sections World selected Africa Asia Australia Europe Latin America Middle East US & Canada More More sections Home Coronavirus Coronavirus Home Your Coronavirus Stories Video World World selected World Home World selected Africa Asia Australia Europe Latin America Middle East US & Canada UK UK Home England N. Ireland Scotland Wales Politics Local News Business Business Home Market Data New Economy New Tech Economy Companies Entrepreneurship Technology of Business Global Education Economy Global Car Industry Business of Sport Tech Science Stories Entertainment & Arts Health Health Home Coronavirus World News TV In Pictures Reality Check Newsbeat Long Reads World  Africa Asia Australia Europe Latin America Middle East US & Canada Breaking Breaking news Close breaking news Media player Close player Close player Close player Live Live Next few weeks will be the worst – Whittypreview84,668 84,668 viewing this page Related Video and Audio Video 42 seconds Video 42 seconds 0:42 Play video ‘The next few weeks are going to be the worst’ from BBC ‘The next few weeks are going to be the worst’ BBC Play video ‘The next few weeks are going to be the worst’ from BBC Video 1 minute 51 seconds Video 1 minute 51 seconds 1:51 Play video The emergency mortuary helping with rising Covid deaths from BBC The emergency mortuary helping with rising Covid deaths BBC Play video The emergency mortuary helping with rising Covid deaths from BBC Video 2 minutes 40 seconds Video 2 minutes 40 seconds 2:40 Play video ‘Police need to be firm to save lives’ from BBC ‘Police need to be firm to save lives’ BBC Play video ‘Police need to be firm to save lives’ from BBC Video 2 minutes 53 seconds Video 2 minutes 53 seconds 2:53 Play video How does a vaccine get approved? from BBC How does a vaccine get approved? BBC Play video How does a vaccine get approved? from BBC Video 3 minutes 33 seconds Video 3 minutes 33 seconds 3:33 Play video Covid-19: What happens if hospitals are overwhelmed? from BBC Covid-19: What happens if hospitals are overwhelmed? BBC Play video Covid-19: What happens if hospitals are overwhelmed? from BBC Video 1 minute 54 seconds Video 1 minute 54 seconds 1:54 Play video Are pandemics the new normal? from BBC Are pandemics the new normal? BBC Play video Are pandemics the new normal? from BBC Video 1 minute 33 seconds Video 1 minute 33 seconds 1:33 Play video Who will be first in line for Covid vaccine? from BBC Who will be first in line for Covid vaccine? BBC Play video Who will be first in line for Covid vaccine? from BBC Video 1 minute 43 seconds Video 1 minute 43 seconds 1:43 Play video ‘Every adult will be offered a vaccine by the autumn’ from BBC ‘Every adult will be offered a vaccine by the autumn’ BBC Play video ‘Every adult will be offered a vaccine by the autumn’ from BBC Video 1 minute 32 seconds Video 1 minute 32 seconds 1:32 Play video Why is the new UK Covid-19 strain more infectious? from BBC Why is the new UK Covid-19 strain more infectious? BBC Play video Why is the new UK Covid-19 strain more infectious? from BBC Video 2 minutes 18 seconds Video 2 minutes 18 seconds 2:18 Play video Asymptomatic tests help ‘break transmission chains’ from BBC Asymptomatic tests help ‘break transmission chains’ BBC Play video Asymptomatic tests help ‘break transmission chains’ from BBC Video 1 minute 24 seconds Video 1 minute 24 seconds 1:24 Play video Moderna vaccine ‘another weapon in armoury’ from BBC Moderna vaccine ‘another weapon in armoury’ BBC Play video Moderna vaccine ‘another weapon in armoury’ from BBC Video 52 seconds Video 52 seconds 0:52 Play video Hancock: ‘We’re working to increase vaccine supply’ from BBC Hancock: ‘We’re working to increase vaccine supply’ BBC Play video Hancock: ‘We’re working to increase vaccine supply’ from BBC RTLAnd we’ll keep you signed in.

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You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law. Find out more I have a TV Licence. Watch now.I don’t have a TV Licence. SummaryThe chief medical officer for England, Prof Chris Whitty, warns the next few weeks will be “the worst” of the pandemic for the NHSHe also says following the existing rules is more important than thinking of tightening themProf Whitty answered questions on the BBC as the UK suffers record numbers of cases and deathsHealth Secretary Matt Hancock is to lead a Downing Street briefing at 17:00 GMTSeven mass vaccination centres open in England, with more sites to open later this weekVaccinations minister Nadhim Zahawi says they could open 24 hours a day, if there is needAbout two million people have now had the first dose of the Covid vaccineSpain is racing to distribute vaccines to areas cut off by the weekend snowstorm before temperatures dropA record number of small firms in the UK could close if the government doesn’t offer help, a business group warnsAn Essex hospital says its oxygen supply has “reached a critical situation” because of the number of Covid-19 casesMore than 1.9m people have died and 90m have been infected worldwide – Johns Hopkins UniversityLive ReportingRelated StoriesLive ReportingEdited by James Clarke and Alix Kroeger

All times stated are UK Get involved Get involved Send an email to haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk Posted at 12:34 12:34 Further 1,793 cases and 17 deaths recorded in Wales Public Health Wales has reported 1,793 new coronavirus cases and 17 more deaths.

It takes the total number of coronavirus deaths recorded in the nation to 3,981.

The number of Covid-19 vaccinations in Wales so far has also been revealed in the first daily report.

Public Health Wales said 86,039 people had received their first dose by 22:00 GMT last night, while 79 people had received a two-dose course of a vaccine.

Meanwhile, the Welsh Government says all over-50s and everyone who is at greater risk will be offered a Covid-19 vaccine by spring.Article share tools Facebook Twitter Share View more share options Share this post Copy this link Read more about these links. Posted at 12:28 12:28 Investigation launched into 11 deaths at care home An investigation has been launched into 11 deaths at an Aberdeen care home.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said it has received reports in connection with the deaths at the Rubislaw Park care home.

COPFS said in a statement: “The investigation into the deaths is ongoing and the families will continue to be kept updated in relation to any significant developments.”

Rubislaw Park, which is privately run, has been approached for comment.

A total of 27 deaths are already being investigated at two other facilities in the north-east of Scotland.Article share tools Facebook Twitter Share View more share options Share this post Copy this link Read more about these links. Posted at 12:23 12:23 ‘Almost half’ of Ireland’s cases involve new variant PA Media Copyright: PA Media Last week the number of hospitalisations in Ireland surpassed the first wave Image caption: Last week the number of hospitalisations in Ireland surpassed the first wave

The new coronavirus variant first discovered in the UK is spreading rapidly in the Republic of Ireland, where it now accounts for almost half of all new cases, according to the country’s prime minister.

Prime Minister Micheál Martin said a sample of recent tests showed that 45% of infections involved the new strain, compared with a quarter the previous week, Reuters news agency reports.

Ireland has seen a steep rise in the number of infections in recent weeks, prompting the government to introduce new measures last week, including closing schools and shutting down all non-essential construction work.

The restrictions came after Ireland recorded its highest number of hospitalisations since the pandemic began.Article share tools Facebook Twitter Share View more share options Share this post Copy this link Read more about these links. Posted at 12:13 12:13 Analysis: Limiting oxygen ‘not ideal, but not unsafe’ Michelle Roberts

Health editor, BBC News onlineSouthend Hospital has had to reduce the amount of oxygen it uses to treat patients, amid a rise in Covid-19 infections.

News of oxygen issues is understandably worrying, but not unexpected.

Tanks may be full, but flow is a problem.

Many people who are sick with Covid will need extra oxygen to help them breathe.

As Covid admissions increase, it can put huge demand on a hospital’s piped oxygen supply system.

Hospital bosses have been planning for such scenarios for months, learning from experience during the first wave of Covid when some trusts ran into difficulties.

Many wards have made improvements to their pipework in preparation for a very busy winter.

But there is still a limit to what hospitals can provide.

When stretched to the maximum, other steps are needed, such as transferring patients elsewhere or limiting how much oxygen is pumped to each patient.

Southend Hospital has taken this measure. Although not ideal, it is not unsafe.

Patients will be closely monitored and the trust hopes the situation will improve if new Covid admissions start to go down as people follow the “stay at home” lockdown rules.Article share tools Facebook Twitter Share View more share options Share this post Copy this link Read more about these links. Posted at 12:01 12:01 Indonesia gives green light to China’s Sinovac jab Reuters Copyright: Reuters

Indonesia has become the latest country to approve a coronavirus vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac.

Earlier this month, Bolivia authorised the jab alongside Russia’s Sputnik V. Sinovac is also known to have secured other deals with Turkey, Brazil and Chile.

The company’s vaccine, called CoronaVac, is the second produced in China and used abroad, with the Sinopharm injection granted emergency use in the UAE and Bahrain last month.

Chinese authorities have also conditionally approved the Sinopharm vaccine.

Both companies have produced an inactivated vaccine – meaning that killed viral particles are used to expose the body’s immune system to the virus without risking a serious disease response.

Read more about the Chinese vaccines here.Article share tools Facebook Twitter Share View more share options Share this post Copy this link Read more about these links. Posted at 11:53 11:53 Starmer: We need to hear possible measures in next 24 hours Talking about the possibility of tightening restrictions Labour leader Sir Keir says: “I do think it’s time to hear from the scientists what else can be done and that probably should be done in the next few hours.”

Asked about people being made to wear masks outdoors he says he would defer to the experts, who say what happens indoors is much more important, but adds scientists need to lay out “what are the other measures we can put in place” in the next 24 hours because “numbers are going in the wrong direction”.

He says he will have to look at the situation with schools, with anecdotal reports of more children of key workers being sent to school than last March, as “the rules pretty much are the same as in March”.Article share tools Facebook Twitter Share View more share options Share this post Copy this link Read more about these links. Posted at 11:47 11:47 Queues form as mass vaccination centres open in England PA Media Copyright: PA Media Queues had formed outside the mass vaccination centre in Newcastle by 09:00 GMT Image caption: Queues had formed outside the mass vaccination centre in Newcastle by 09:00 GMT

Meanwhile, queues have formed outside mass vaccination centres in England, as the first sites opened this morning.

The seven sites include Epsom racecourse in Surrey and Newcastle’s Centre for Life.

Moira Edwards, 88, was the first person to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab at Epsom racecourse at around 08:15 GMT.

She she had “no hesitation” in taking up the vaccine, adding that it meant she was “a step closer to being with my family again and giving them a big hug”. PA Media Copyright: PA Media

Jimmy Charlton, 80, was among the first patients at the Newcastle centre, where people were queuing by 09:00.

The grandfather said the the way the centre was organised was “spot on” and the experience could not have gone better. Article share tools Facebook Twitter Share View more share options Share this post Copy this link <input