UK coronavirus live: Boris Johnson says he is ‘optimistic’ about lockdown easing but claims Covid is something people will simply ‘have to live with’

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oris Johnson has said coronavirus is a disease which people will have to “simply live with”.

Speaking during a visit to a vaccine manufacturing facility in Teesside, he said Health Secretary Matt Hancock was right to say in an interview that Covid-19 could become a “manageable disease” like seasonal flu.

“A nasty disease like this will roll through. A new disease like this will take time for humanity to adapt to, but we are,” he said.

“The miracles of science are already making a huge difference, not just through vaccinations but therapies as well. New therapies are being discovered the whole time which are enabling us to reduce mortality, improve our treatments of the disease.

“I do think that in due time it will become something that we simply live with. Some people will be more vulnerable than others – that’s inevitable.

“I think the Health Secretary spoke about the autumn. Let’s see where we get to.”

The Prime Minister also said he was “optimistic” he will be able to begin announcing the easing of restrictions when he sets out his “roadmap” out of lockdown in England on February 22.

Speaking during a visit to the Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies plant in Billingham where the new Novavax vaccine will be manufactured, the Prime Minister said: “I’m optimistic, I won’t hide it from you. I’m optimistic, but we have to be cautious.”

He said his first priority remained opening schools in England on March 8 to be followed by other sectors.

Live updates

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There have been 66 further deaths related to Covid-19 recorded in Ireland

There has also been an additional 1,078 confirmed cases of the disease notified in the past 24 hours.

Of the deaths recorded on Saturday, 41 occurred in February, eight were in January and another nine took place in November or earlier.

There has been a total of 3,931 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland to date.

The number of people in intensive care units is down two, to 171.

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UK administers 15 million vaccine doses

According to the latest Government data up to February 12, a total of 15,091,696 Covid-19 vaccines have been given in the UK so far.

Read the full story here:

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UK records 621 new coronavirus deaths and more than 13,000 new cases

The Government also said that, as of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 13,308 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 4,027,106.

Read our full story here:

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BREAKING: UK coronavirus death toll rises by 621

According to the latest Government figures, a further 13,308 infections have been recorded in the UK.

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Teaching union resumes talks with Irish Government over Leaving Cert plans

Teaching union ASTI has resumed talks with the Department of Education over ensuring this year’s Leaving Cert goes ahead

The union walked away from talks earlier this week, saying the proposals were “not viable”.

The ASTI said it was unhappy that the controversial calculated grades system was being prioritised over coursework, orals and practical exams.

Following a “constructive” meeting with Education Minister Norma Foley on Friday, the union announced on Saturday morning that it would resume discussions.

The news has been welcomed by Ms Foley.

An ASTI statement said: “The minister was unequivocal in her statement of commitment to holding the Leaving Certificate this year.

“On that basis, the ASTI believes that doubts regarding the staging of additional component elements of this year’s Leaving Certificate examinations have been substantially alleviated. We expect the minister to ensure that they will take place.”

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Weekday coronavirus deaths drop to lowest level since early January in Scotland

Scotland has recorded 45 deaths from coronavirus and 908 positive tests in the past 24 hours, according to the latest Scottish Government figures.

The number of people who died after first testing positive for the virus within the previous 28 days has fallen from the 67 announced on Friday.

It brings the total death toll under this measure to 6,711.

Excluding figures published on Sunday and Monday – when figures are artificially low because of weekend registry closures – it is the lowest number of recorded deaths since January 5.

The number of new Covid-19 cases was 78 higher than the 830 reported on Friday, although they accounted for 4.9% of all new tests – down slightly from the previous day’s 5.2%.

There were 59,820 first doses of coronavirus vaccines administered in the 24 hours up until 8.30am on Saturday and a further 443 second doses.

The number of first doses fell by 5,058 compared to Friday’s figure, although there were 72 more second doses.

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Coronavirus deaths rise by 10 in Northern Ireland

A further 303 individuals have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, the Department of Health said.

There were another 10 deaths reported. It brings the total number of deaths linked to the virus in Northern Ireland to 1,985.

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Covid is something we will ‘simply live with,’ says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has said coronavirus is a disease which people will have to “simply live with”.

Speaking during a visit to a vaccine manufacturing facility in Teesside, he said Health Secretary Matt Hancock was right to say Covid-19 could become a “manageable disease” like seasonal flu.

“A nasty disease like this will roll through. A new disease like this will take time for humanity to adapt to, but we are,” he said.

“The miracles of science are already making a huge difference, not just through vaccinations but therapies as well. New therapies are being discovered the whole time which are enabling us to reduce mortality, improve our treatments of the disease.

“I do think that in due time it will become something that we simply live with. Some people will be more vulnerable than others – that’s inevitable.

“I think the Health Secretary spoke about the autumn. Let’s see where we get to.”

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436 people die from coronavirus

A further 436 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 78,588, NHS England said on Saturday.

Patients were aged between 21 and 100. All except ten, aged between 49 and 89, had known underlying health conditions.

The deaths were between January 4 and February 12.

There were 58 other deaths reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.

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Boris Johnson is optimistic” about lockdown easing

Boris Johnson has said he is “optimistic” he will be able to begin announcing the easing of restrictions when he sets out his “roadmap” out of lockdown in England on February 22.

Speaking during a visit to the Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies plant in Billingham, Teesside, where the new Novavax vaccine will be manufactured, the Prime Minister said: “I’m optimistic, I won’t hide it from you. I’m optimistic, but we have to be cautious.”

He said his first priority remained opening schools in England on March 8 to be followed by other sectors.

“Our children’s education is our number one priority, but then working forward, getting non-essential retail open as well and then, in due course as and when we can prudently, cautiously, of course we want to be opening hospitality as well,” he said.

“I will be trying to set out as much as I possibly can in as much detail as I can, always understanding that we have to be wary of the pattern of disease. We don’t want to be forced into any kind of retreat or reverse ferret.”

Evening Standard – News