A handful of gravel hit Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau as he made his way past a crowd of anti-vaccine protesters shouting their opposition to Covid-19 vaccines, Reuters reports.
His party canceled an event last month because of concerns about anti-vaccine protesters, who he has described as “angry mobs”.
The percentage of fully vaccinated people over the age of 16 is more than 80% in the UK, according to the latest figures.
There have now been 43,535,098 second doses delivered since the vaccination rollout began at the end of last year.
Wales has the highest proportion of the population who have had second doses, with 84.1% of over-16s.
An estimated 88.8% have received one dose in the UK.
Delivering jabs in schools will be the most efficient way to vaccinate pupils if approved for 12- to 15-year-olds, British schools minister Nick Gibb said.
“It is the swiftest and most efficient way of delivering the vaccination programme, as with other vaccination programmes for that age group,” he said. “The consent from parents will always be sought before the child is vaccinated in the school.”
The UK’s chief medical officers are reviewing approval after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation declined recommending a widespread rollout.
Britain’s NHS could face a “remarkably hard” winter that increases the backlog caused by Covid-19, a leading doctor told MPs.
Dr Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said the £5.4bn set aside by Downing Street to help the NHS deal with backlogs was welcome but there are major challenges for the health service.
“So I think that the £5.4bn funding is fantastic news, but let’s be under no illusions this winter is going to be remarkably hard, and it’s going to impact waiting lists, probably more than anywhere else,” said Goddard.
Goddard said that alongside routine winter challenges, Covid-19 and an expected bad flu season will increase the pressure.
He also said a shortage of tubes used for blood testing meant treatment for many patients could not progress, which made it harder to work through the backlog.
Amanda Pritchard, the chief executive of the NHS in England, urged people to come forward if they needed care at a parliamentary session on the health and care bill.
“We just don’t know really how Covid is going to play out over the course of the next few months and years and one of the things that I know colleagues have talked about is that a lot of people didn’t come forward for care over the course of the past two years.
“One of the messages I would like to just give again is that anyone who is concerned about symptoms, the NHS is absolutely open for business, please do come forward and seek diagnosis, treatment, support for anyone who needs it.”
Rowena Mason and Nicola Davis report on the British government’s approached to a rumoured October “firebreak” lockdown:
Downing Street has not ruled out a “firebreak” lockdown as a last resort if the NHS were to be overwhelmed by Covid cases, but denied there were plans for one during October’s half-term school holiday.
With cases expected to rise further this autumn, some scientists have been warning that restrictions could be necessary in the coming months, such as limits on gatherings and a return to compulsory indoor masking.
A member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) told the i paper that a “precautionary break” could be part of “contingency plans”, with another saying that “a firebreak lockdown is by no means out of the question”. They speculated this could take place during October half-term, with the break lengthened to two weeks rather than one.
Asked about the idea, Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said it was “not true that the government is planning a lockdown or firebreak around the October half-term”.
However, he made clear that further restrictions such as a two-week circuit breaker remained an option if the NHS were to be overwhelmed.
India faces a “disaster” for its schoolchildren – especially in rural areas – unless it begins reopening schools, according to experts.
Health experts are saying the benefits outweigh the risks and are hoping that a feared new wave of outbreaks will not be as devastating as this April’s because of how many people were infected then and the levels of vaccinations now.
A report released by Indian academics today warned of a “looming disaster” and criticised the policy of keeping schools closed.
“Soon after the Covid-19 crisis struck in early 2020, all schools were closed without batting an eyelid and most of them are still closed today,” the report said.
The Indian Express reported the survey found only 8% of Indian children in rural areas accessed online learning regularly. More than a third were not studying at all. Very few homes had access to smartphones and those that did often were used by working adults.
The strict lockdown was supposed to end after today but will now continue another week to 15 September.
On Monday, the Philippines recorded a record high 22,415 infections. The number dropped to 18,012, while 161 more people were confirmed to have died. Active cases on Tuesday were 158,000.
Singapore has recorded its highest rise in infections for more than a year, the health ministry said.
It announced 328 new locally transmitted cases on Tuesday, after reporting more than 100 new cases daily for the past two weeks.
Singapore includes in its data the number of “unlinked” cases – those where the source of infection cannot be identified, despite aggressive track and trace efforts.
The Straits Times newspaper reported that the 185 unlinked cases amounted to triple the number of a week ago.
British workers are getting back on public transport as they head back to their offices, Downing Street has said.
The British prime minister’s spokesperson said transport data shows “significant increases” in passengers.
The Transport for London network said it had its busiest morning yesterday since before the first coronavirus lockdowns last year – aided by the return of children to schools.
“What we want to see is the civil service and, indeed, the broader workforce, returning in a gradual way,” said the spokesperson, after a government minister had said only a quarter of his staff worked from the office at one time.
“I’ll repeat that throughout, even at the height of the pandemic, it was civil servants, many of whom were continuing to work from the office because they were on the front line to the response to this pandemic.”
Today so far …
Italy’s health minister, Roberto Speranza, has announced that third doses of Covid-19 will be made available to groups of “clinically vulnerable” people this month. “We have the third dose in Italy,” Speranza said. “We’ll start in September with fragile patients like oncology and transplant patients.”
A coalition of environmental groups have called for this year’s Cop26 climate summit to be postponed, arguing that too little has been done to ensure the safety of participants amid the continuing threat from Covid-19.
The southern state of Kerala in India is increasing its efforts to stop a potential outbreak of the deadly Nipah virus, even as the state continues to battle the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country.
Indonesia’s daily coronavirus positivity rate dropped below the World Health Organization’s (WHO) benchmark standard of 5%, an indicator the country’s second wave could be easing.
A court in Vietnam has jailed a man for five years for breaking strict Covid quarantine rules and spreading the virus to others, state media reported.
Thousands of workers in Zimbabwe have been told they will face the sack if they refuse to be vaccinated with one of the Covid-19 jabs, according to the country’s biggest worker’s union.
UK vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has said he is not aware of any planning for an “October firebreak” if case numbers in England begin to rise following the return of schools.
The rate of registered suicides in England has returned to pre-pandemic levels following disruption to coroners’ inquests, provisional figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggest.
Saffron Cordery, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, said the NHS in the UK needs £10bn next year to make inroads into the backlog of care and keep up with the costs associated with Covid-19.
Health authorities in Chile have approved the use of the Sinovac vaccine for children six and older. Heriberto García, director of Chile’s Public Health Institute, said the institution approved the new measure by five votes in favour and one against.
A study from China looking at mixing Covid-19 vaccines which showed that receiving a booster shot of CanSino Biologics’ vaccine after one or two doses of Sinovac Biotech’s vaccine yielded a much stronger antibody response than using the Sinovac shot as a booster.
A limited number of travellers arriving in Hong Kong from some parts of mainland China will no longer need to quarantine, easing curbs imposed after summer outbreaks of the coronavirus on the mainland.
Japan has agreed to buy 150m doses of Novavax’s coronavirus vaccine, with Japanese firm Takeda expecting to manufacture the formula for distribution early next year.
That’s it from me, Martin Belam, for today. Kaamil Ahmed will be here shortly to take over. Andrew Sparrow, meanwhile, has the politics-focused UK live blog over here.