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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 20, 2021 9:00am-9:31am GMT

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this is bbc news with the latest headlines. the government's being urged to set out plans to tackle surging cases of coronavirus. sources tell the bbc three options of increasing levels of severity have been prepared. the downing street parties saga continues with a photo of the prime minister and others with wine and cheese in the no 10 garden during lockdown. ministers say no rules were broken. this is a workplace and it is consistent, exactly... what you can see is consistent with the rules that applied to workplaces. shoppers avoided high streets and city centres on the weekend before christmas, according to new footfall figures, as hospitality businesses continue to ask for help to deal with the impacts of coronavirus.
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premier league officials will meet clubs later to consider pausing the season over the festive period, after a number of matches were cancelled because of covid cases. 19—year—old tennis star emma raducanu has been named bbc sports personality of the year, following an incredible year that saw her become britain's first women's grand slam singles champion in 44 years. borisjohnson is facing calls to bring in tighter measures over the christmas period to stem the rapid rise in cases of the omicron variant of coronavirus. scientists say urgent action is needed to stop a rapid influx of patients into hospital.
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but the prime minister is facing strong oppostion on further restrictions from within his own party. the prime minister is reportedly meeting advisers today and civil servants have prepared a menu of three options for covid restrictions ranging in severity. yesterday there were 82,886 new coronavirus cases recorded in the uk and over the last week, a record number of daily cases have been recorded on several occasions. last night, the treasury doubled the amount of additional funding available for the devolved administrations in scotland, wales and northern ireland to support their response to the virus. ahead of christmas, many city centres saw footfall down over what would normally be one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. and there have been calls for further support for the industries hardest hit by pre—christmas cancellations, including the hospitality industry. helena wilkinson has the latest.
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record numbers of people are continuing to come forward for their booster vaccine, with just days to go before christmas. but daily covid cases have also reached record highs. many are wondering if further restrictions are needed in england to slow the spread of omicron. the health secretary, sajid javid, hasn't ruled out possible new measures. there were no guarantees in this pandemic, he said. devolved administrations are also getting additional covid funding. the uk government said it would double the amount available to help administrations take precautions they feel necessary to keep people safe. but the first minister of scotland, nicola sturgeon, said on twitter that they needed much more action and support urgently from the uk government. the rapid spread of the omicron variant has seen london declare a major incident.
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hospital staff absences in the capital are on the rise. if you look in london, which is the epicentre of where the omicron variant is, we are getting a very significant increase in staff absences. so last week, staff absences in londonjumped from 1900 at the beginning of the week, to a700 by the thursday of last week, and we know it's gone up since. so we are coming under real pressure in terms of the number of staff we have got off work. and that means, given how busy we are with all the other things, that means we are under very, very significant pressure. there are concerns, too, about pressure on schools in the new year, with staff shortages. from today, the government is urging former teachers to apply to join the workforce from january. there is still uncertainty over how much serious illness will be caused by the omicron variant. any decisions about further restrictions will need to be weighed against the cost to the economy, society and wider mental health.
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helena wilkinson, bbc news. the prime minister is facing fresh questions about alleged breaches of lockdown rules at downing street. the guardian newspaper has published this photograph showing borisjohnson and members of staff with wine and cheese in the number 10 garden in may last year. at the time, in england, you could only meet one other person, in an outdoor public place, if you kept two metres apart. a government spokesperson has described the event as a "wo k r meeting" let's talk to our chief political correspondent, adam fleming. perhaps we will come to the photo in a moment but firstly, a lot of talk about future covid measures so what are you hearing? fix, about future covid measures so what are you hearing?— are you hearing? a lot of talk at the moment— are you hearing? a lot of talk at the moment and _ are you hearing? a lot of talk at the moment and not _ are you hearing? a lot of talk at the moment and not a - are you hearing? a lot of talk at the moment and not a lot - are you hearing? a lot of talk at the moment and not a lot of. the moment and not a lot of decisions. what we're hearing from
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whitehawk sources is that a civil servant had prepared a menu of three options for ministers of potential future restrictions —— whitehall sources. it has been described to me as a low, medium or high. we don't know the exact details of what measures are in each category but we do know that ministers have yet to choose an option. they are waiting for more conclusive data about how the omicron wave is progressing, how serious it is, how many people could end up in hospital as a result. the government has also been given scientific advice from the sage committee at the end of last week and those minutes and papers were published on saturday. they show what a range of scenarios are being presented to ministers. for example, one scenario is carrying on with the plan beat measures that are in place in england at the moment, with scientists saying by mid that could lead to 600 deaths per day or 6000 deaths per day and they admit there
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is still a lot of uncertainty but it seems to me that as far as ministers are concerned, the data and the projections are still too uncertain for them to pick from that menu of three options. for them to pick from that menu of three optione— three options. interesting and another day. _ three options. interesting and another day, another - three options. interesting and i another day, another photograph three options. interesting and - another day, another photograph of another day, another photograph of an apparent gathering in downing street so how damaging is this one? that's a very good question because the government is sticking to this line that this gathering of the civil servants, officials, the prime minister and his wife in the garden at downing street with wine and cheese in may 2020 was within the rules because these were work colleagues, people who live in downing street, having a drink as part of their working day which is not restricted as part of the rules in place at the time. that is an interpretation shared this morning by the deputy prime minister, dominic raab. and of course number 10, and including numberio, the garden there is used for work meetings. they were throughout the day to which the picture relates
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and as with many places of work, particularly if you can think of how hard they are working and under the various pressures of the week, they would sometimes have a drink, and that's what you can see there. but that was primarily after the work meetings of the day. that is the government interpretation of the rules being followed in that circumstance but we know that public opinion might take a different view because people were going through quite a hard time at that time. and then there is the politics because it is another opportunity for labour to make the allegation that there is one rule for the rest of us in a different rule for the people who make the rules, here is shadow chancellor rachel reeves. we need leadership from this - government, instead of the hiding away, not attending cobra meetings, and breaking their own rules. - it's very difficult _ for the prime minister to show the leadership this country requires when people, i think rightly, - conclude, that the prime minister thinks that it's one rule for him i and another for everybody else.
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yes, the other question will be whether this gathering in may 2020 gets added to the list above other alleged gatherings being investigated by the senior civil servant sue gray, or is her enquiry very much focused on claims around christmas parties last year rather than summer gatherings? adam, a state where — than summer gatherings? adam, a state where you _ than summer gatherings? adam, a state where you are. _ in the past few minutes, lord frost has been speaking to journalists for the first time since he resigned as borisjohnson�*s brexit minister at the weekend. he resigned over what he described as "concerns about the government's current direction of travel". let's hear more of what lord frost has had to say this morning. i have worked as closely as anybody i have worked as closely as anybody i think_ i have worked as closely as anybody i think with — i have worked as closely as anybody i think with the prime minister over the last— i think with the prime minister over the last few years, i have huge admiration for what he's done as a leader. _ admiration for what he's done as a leader, taking us out of the eu, winning — leader, taking us out of the eu, winning the election, setting a country— winning the election, setting a country on the new path. we have
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never _ country on the new path. we have never disagreed in any way about brexit— never disagreed in any way about brexit policy, right up to the last date we — brexit policy, right up to the last date we have been aligned on that and i'm _ date we have been aligned on that and i'm sure his team in paris will doa— and i'm sure his team in paris will doe great— and i'm sure his team in paris will do a greatjob. i left the government because, as i think is well—known, i could not support certain— well—known, i could not support certain policies, most recently on covid _ certain policies, most recently on covid restrictions and plan b. if you are — covid restrictions and plan b. if you are a — covid restrictions and plan b. if you are a minister, you have to support— you are a minister, you have to support collective responsibility, the decisions of the government, and i the decisions of the government, and i couidnt— the decisions of the government, and icouidn't so — the decisions of the government, and i couldn't so that's why i had to leave — i couldn't so that's why i had to leave. . , ., i couldn't so that's why i had to leave. ., , ., , ., leave. have you given up on the prime minister? _ leave. have you given up on the prime minister? do _ leave. have you given up on the prime minister? do you - leave. have you given up on the prime minister? do you think i leave. have you given up on the | prime minister? do you think he leave. have you given up on the - prime minister? do you think he has lost his— prime minister? do you think he has lost his direction? _ prime minister? do you think he has lost his direction? is _ prime minister? do you think he has lost his direction? is it— prime minister? do you think he has lost his direction? is it time - prime minister? do you think he has lost his direction? is it time for- lost his direction? is it time for him _ lost his direction? is it time for him to— lost his direction? is it time for him to go— lost his direction? is it time for him to go in— lost his direction? is it time for him to go in your— lost his direction? is it time for him to go in your view? - lost his direction? is it time for him to go in your view? absolutely not about leadership, _ him to go in your view? absolutely not about leadership, it's - him to go in your view? absolutely not about leadership, it's about. not about leadership, it's about policy— not about leadership, it's about policy differences and i'm absolutely confident this country has a _ absolutely confident this country has a great future boris johnson's leadership— has a great future boris johnson's leadership if we can get the policies _ leadership if we can get the policies right. he leadership if we can get the policies right.— leadership if we can get the policies right. leadership if we can get the olicies riuht. , ., policies right. he is the right man to carry on? _ policies right. he is the right man to carry on? it — policies right. he is the right man to carry on? it is _ policies right. he is the right man to carry on? it is in _ policies right. he is the right man to carry on? it is in a _ policies right. he is the right man to carry on? it is in a state - policies right. he is the right man to carry on? it is in a state of- to carry on? it is in a state of chaos— to carry on? it is in a state of chaos and _ to carry on? it is in a state of chaos and your— to carry on? it is in a state of chaos and your departure - to carry on? it is in a state of. chaos and your departure seems to carry on? it is in a state of- chaos and your departure seems to be at a time _ chaos and your departure seems to be at a time when — chaos and your departure seems to be at a time when it— chaos and your departure seems to be at a time when it is— chaos and your departure seems to be at a time when it is going _ chaos and your departure seems to be at a time when it is going to— chaos and your departure seems to be at a time when it is going to cause - at a time when it is going to cause maximum — at a time when it is going to cause maximum damage _ at a time when it is going to cause maximum damage to _ at a time when it is going to cause maximum damage to him. - at a time when it is going to cause maximum damage to him. the. at a time when it is going to cause maximum damage to him. the departure was intended to — maximum damage to him. the departure was intended to be _ maximum damage to him. the departure was intended to be in _ maximum damage to him. the departure was intended to be in the _ maximum damage to him. the departure was intended to be in the new— maximum damage to him. the departure was intended to be in the new year - was intended to be in the new year and has _ was intended to be in the new year and has come out earlier than we thought. — and has come out earlier than we thought. is— and has come out earlier than we thought, is about about policy
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differences, and i'm absolutely competent he is the right man to take the — competent he is the right man to take the country forward. if he ursues take the country forward. if he pursues these _ take the country forward. if he pursues these policies, - take the country forward. if he pursues these policies, including perhaps— pursues these policies, including perhaps further— pursues these policies, including perhaps further restrictions - pursues these policies, including perhaps further restrictions thatl perhaps further restrictions that might— perhaps further restrictions that might be — perhaps further restrictions that might be coming _ perhaps further restrictions that might be coming this _ perhaps further restrictions that might be coming this week, - perhaps further restrictions that might be coming this week, in. perhaps further restrictions that. might be coming this week, in your view, _ might be coming this week, in your view, wiii— might be coming this week, in your view, will more _ might be coming this week, in your view, will more of— might be coming this week, in your view, will more of your— might be coming this week, in your view, will more of your cabinet - view, will more of your cabinet colleagues _ view, will more of your cabinet colleagues follow _ view, will more of your cabinet colleagues follow you - view, will more of your cabinet colleagues follow you out - view, will more of your cabinet colleagues follow you out of. view, will more of your cabinet - colleagues follow you out of cabinet try colleagues follow you out of cabinet by the _ colleagues follow you out of cabinet by the time — colleagues follow you out of cabinet by the time you _ colleagues follow you out of cabinet by the time you resign? _ colleagues follow you out of cabinet by the time you resign? [— colleagues follow you out of cabinet by the time you resign?— by the time you resign? i can't seak by the time you resign? i can't speak for— by the time you resign? i can't speak for anybody _ by the time you resign? i can't speak for anybody of _ by the time you resign? i can't speak for anybody of them - by the time you resign? i can't speak for anybody of them i i by the time you resign? i can't. speak for anybody of them i can by the time you resign? i can't i speak for anybody of them i can say what i _ speak for anybody of them i can say what i think— speak for anybody of them i can say what i think is that i don't support coercive _ what i think is that i don't support coercive policies on covid, the prime — coercive policies on covid, the prime minister has some difficult decisions — prime minister has some difficult decisions to take i'm sure he'll think— decisions to take i'm sure he'll think very— decisions to take i'm sure he'll think very hard on them. how decisions to take i'm sure he'll think very hard on them. how do you interret think very hard on them. how do you interpret that? _ think very hard on them. how do you interpret that? he _ think very hard on them. how do you interpret that? he wanted _ think very hard on them. how do you interpret that? he wanted to - interpret that? he wanted to reinforce this _ interpret that? he wanted to reinforce this is _ interpret that? he wanted to reinforce this is not - interpret that? he wanted to reinforce this is not about i interpret that? he wanted to reinforce this is not about a l reinforce this is not about a different opinions about brexit which is his and borisjohnson's real baby here. there has been speculation in the past couple of weeks the government might be suffering in its stance on the northern ireland protocol and particularly the role of the european court ofjustice which still has a role in northern ireland as part of that bit of that deal —— softening its stance. he wanted to reinforce it would not is not about brexit but about covid. the other
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thing i would say is that lord frost has always been a bit of a special case in government. he went from being the prime minister's special adviser when borisjohnson was foreign secretary, then it got brought back into government with borisjohnson in a sort of souped up a role that was special adviser plus but minister minus. then got put in the house of lords and was made a minister and attended cabinet but he didn't have a government department and it was never exactly clear where he was in the hierarchy. he wasn't your typical minister. he was also very outspoken in cabinet about things like covid restrictions and the tax burden. i don't think we should see him as a canary in a coal mine for other cabinet ministers who might quit with him. i think he is a special case was quick for very particular reasons and it was in a job that was kind that may be a bit more equitable than others are in the government but now his job, some
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might call it the poisoned chalice, has been added to foreign secretary liz truss will now be the chief negotiator for the uk when liz truss will now be the chief negotiatorfor the uk when it liz truss will now be the chief negotiator for the uk when it comes to trying to get changes to the northern ireland protocol and she will represent the uk government in thosejoint meetings will represent the uk government in those joint meetings with the eu. she has a new deputy, chris heaton—harris, the backbencher has been promoted to being a minister, quite a fervent brexiteer, and i suppose liz truss will have to decide if you want to continue with the same asks that david frost had or if she tweaked them a bit, downgrade them a bit, water them downgrade them a bit, water them down or does she do nothing? because actually, they are borisjohnson's asks and they will stay the same so interesting to see how that pans out. . ~ interesting to see how that pans out. ., ~' , ., interesting to see how that pans out. ., ,, i. ., interesting to see how that pans out. ., ,, ., ., ,, interesting to see how that pans out. ., ., ., ,, ., interesting to see how that pans out. ., ,, ., ., ,, ., we have heard about the rapid spread of omicron in recent days, especially in london. let's talk to dr deepti gurdasani, a clinical epidemiologist at queen mary university of london. good morning to you. i would like to start by asking you how high you
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think infections will get? i start by asking you how high you think infections will get?- think infections will get? i think it's impossible _ think infections will get? i think it's impossible to _ think infections will get? i think it's impossible to predict - think infections will get? i think it's impossible to predict at i think infections will get? i think it's impossible to predict at thisj it's impossible to predict at this time. certainly, we have been hearing from sage policy —— modelling that infections could get as high as 1—2,000,000 per day and it is plausible given the rapid spread we are seeing. the problem is, with limits on testing, we will probably never know how high infections go until we see hospitalisation is rising and that means we don't have any early indicators of spread and by the time hospitalisation to start rising, because it is far too late to act. the difficulty is that we also don't know what percentage of people will end up in hospital because at the moment, we don't know how severe omicron is? i moment, we don't know how severe omicron is?— omicron is? i think we have some indicators opened _ omicron is? i think we have some indicators opened at _ omicron is? i think we have some indicators opened at the - omicron is? i think we have some indicators opened at the imperial| indicators opened at the imperial report that came out last week suggested that the proportion are people going to hospital it was not that different from delta and that is compatible with reports from
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denmark as well. i don't think we can extrapolate from the south african experience to the uk here. it seems that the severity is a simple and not much lower. even if it was much lower, imagine we had omicron which was half as severe as delta, that advantage would have been lost in today's time because the doubling time was two days so you would end up with the same number of hospitalisations. ultimately, it's important to understand that the impact is determined by the sheer number of people impacted and infected rather than the individual severity in each person. this has the capacity to overwhelm hospitals regardless of severity because of the shear rate of growth we are seeing. so severity because of the shear rate of growth we are seeing.- severity because of the shear rate of growth we are seeing. so how can --eole of growth we are seeing. so how can people protect _ of growth we are seeing. so how can people protect themselves? - of growth we are seeing. so how can people protect themselves? it i of growth we are seeing. so how can people protect themselves? it is i of growth we are seeing. so how can people protect themselves? it is an | people protect themselves? it is an airborne virus, _ people protect themselves? it is an airborne virus, just _ people protect themselves? it is an airborne virus, just like _ people protect themselves? it is an airborne virus, just like delta, i people protect themselves? it is an airborne virus, just like delta, and l airborne virus, just like delta, and it is more easily transmitted and it can get through the wall of vaccination as well. but if you don't have contact with people, if you wear a mask, if there is good ventilation them all that reduces
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risk so ultimately, transmission is a true social compact so i would say, please hunker down over christmas because we are entering a crisis in the next few weeks, hospitalisations are already rising rapidly in london and we want to ensure that people who need emergency care in the next few weeks and in general can access it and the only way to do that is to really reduce transmission now and that is what sage is advising.— reduce transmission now and that is what sage is advising. when you say that eo - le what sage is advising. when you say that people should _ what sage is advising. when you say that people should hunker— what sage is advising. when you say that people should hunker down i what sage is advising. when you say | that people should hunker down over christmas, are you suggesting people go into self—imposed lockdown or that that is what the government needs to impose? i that that is what the government needs to impose?— needs to impose? i think that is what the government _ needs to impose? i think that is what the government needs i needs to impose? i think that is what the government needs to l needs to impose? i think that is i what the government needs to do. i note that it is probably not a popular choice but it is very clear that the sort of exponential spread we are seeing, and with the real possibility people will not be able to access life—saving emergency care in a few weeks' time, that is what sage is saying, you need to act now and if you do that you will save many lives and also the duration of restrictions will be less. the reason we need to interlock that is because the government did not act three weeks ago when the nature of
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the threat was clear and we have gone into this omicron crisis with 50,000 cases a day of delta so now we have one pandemic on top of another and that is a very critical situation for a health care system to be in and it cannot cope with those pressures. you to be in and it cannot cope with those pressures.— to be in and it cannot cope with those pressures. you said at the outset that _ those pressures. you said at the outset that the _ those pressures. you said at the outset that the number - those pressures. you said at the outset that the number of i those pressures. you said at the i outset that the number of infections is impossible to predict, and i suppose my question is, these models you are talking about suggest the worst—case scenario, and the diseased modellers are being too gloomy and we cannot ruin christmas, shut down the economy, cancel other nhs treatments on the basis of what might be the worst case scenario? no, this is not the worst—case scenario. the best case scenario if you have hospital admissions three times what they are today, that's the best case scenario. the worst—case scenario is admissions are much worse injanuary. nobody is talking about the worst—case scenario here. even in the best case
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scenario, the nhs gets overwhelmed and if you're concerned about care for other diseases, believe me, you don't want to let this spread because what will happen first is that care for other diseases goes and then you will not be able to get life—saving emergency care for any disease, even if you have an accident you might not be able to get care for that because if covid is overwhelming hospital, you can't get care for anything and that means we need to get this under control. it's not a choice between controlling covid and treating other disease because what are you doing with the covid patients that happen in the next few weeks? they are, and they are increasing in london. doctor deepti gurdasani from queen mary university in london, thank you so much for your time and good to talk to you. borisjohnson faced a huge conservative rebellion when he put plan b cockbain measures to parliament earlier this month so how much appetite would there be for further restrictions? let's talk to the conservative mp for the cotswolds, sir geoffrey clifton—brown. good to have you with us. good
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morning to. last year borisjohnson said, when the facts change, you have to change your approach so would you support further restrictions at this time? here we are about a _ restrictions at this time? here we are about a week— restrictions at this time? here we are about a week on _ restrictions at this time? here we are about a week on from - restrictions at this time? here we are about a week on from the i restrictions at this time? here we l are about a week on from the vote restrictions at this time? here we i are about a week on from the vote in parliament on further measures and we have no better evidence than we had then. we simply don't know, and i respect what you're previous correspondence was saying, but we don't have the evidence that these omicron cases, particularly with the high level of vaccination we have got, are going to transmit into the huge number of hospital cases that she and others in the medical profession believe they might. at the moment, i wouldn't vote for further measures.— the moment, i wouldn't vote for further measures. don't ministers have to prepare — further measures. don't ministers have to prepare for _ further measures. don't ministers have to prepare for the _ further measures. don't ministers have to prepare for the worst? i further measures. don't ministers l have to prepare for the worst? they can't just have to prepare for the worst? they can'tjust hope have to prepare for the worst? they can't just hope for the have to prepare for the worst? they can'tjust hope for the best? h0. can't 'ust hope for the best? no, and can'tjust hope for the best? no, and there are _ can'tjust hope for the best? no, and there are a _ can'tjust hope for the best? tip, and there are a number of things going on, looking at treating a significant number of people at home to keep them out of hospital and make sure they are treated, and of
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course they can go to hospital if they get seriously ill. we are looking at urging medics and nurses to come back health profession if they are retired, at opening up more intensive care beds so there are things going on and we are looking at actively discharging people who are fit to be discharged from hospital before christmas pud that there are a lot of things going on, a lot of planning going on. but as you said in your last question, to shutdown industries, to stop people meeting over christmas and all the medical problems that involves, i think it is notjustified at the moment. think it is not 'ustified at the moment. ., think it is not 'ustified at the moment.— think it is not 'ustified at the moment. ., , ., moment. you were listening to the doctor along _ moment. you were listening to the doctor along with _ moment. you were listening to the doctor along with me, _ moment. you were listening to the doctor along with me, who - moment. you were listening to the doctor along with me, who i - moment. you were listening to the doctor along with me, who i think. doctor along with me, who i think what every body seems to agree is that we will not have a clear view of the data for a few weeks and the concern is that by then it will be too late, if we leave it until then too late, if we leave it until then to act, and our hospitals could be overwhelmed to. i to act, and our hospitals could be overwhelmed to.— to act, and our hospitals could be
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overwhelmed to. i know they are not directly comparable _ overwhelmed to. i know they are not directly comparable but _ overwhelmed to. i know they are not directly comparable but that - overwhelmed to. i know they are not directly comparable but that is i overwhelmed to. i know they are not directly comparable but that is not i directly comparable but that is not what the data is coming out of south africa, the data from south africa is that the number of cases is now dropping, the severity of them is not as severe as delta and yesterday the number, thank of deaths was coming down, the number of hospitalisations was coming. ijust don't think at the moment there is anyjustification for don't think at the moment there is any justification for further measures. of any justification for further measures. of course any justification for further measures. of course people must be sensible, they only need to meet where it is reasonable to do so and they must consider getting the vaccination. but i think we are asking the good sense of the british people to do that rather than further government edicts at the moment. i further government edicts at the moment. ., ., ., ,~' further government edicts at the moment. ., ., ., i. further government edicts at the moment. ., ., ., ., , ., moment. i want to ask you a bit more renerall moment. i want to ask you a bit more generally if— moment. i want to ask you a bit more generally if you _ moment. i want to ask you a bit more generally if you don't _ moment. i want to ask you a bit more generally if you don't mind, _ moment. i want to ask you a bit more generally if you don't mind, in - moment. i want to ask you a bit more generally if you don't mind, in the i generally if you don't mind, in the wake of the north shropshire by—election loss, the owen paterson affair, hundreds of mps including yourself rebelling, what are you making a bull of this? is boris johnson still up to the job? —— of
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all of this. johnson still up to the 'ob? -- of an of this.— all of this. we have clearly had a bad month. _ all of this. we have clearly had a bad month, nobody— all of this. we have clearly had a bad month, nobody would i all of this. we have clearly had a bad month, nobody would denyl all of this. we have clearly had a - bad month, nobody would deny that and that the north shropshire result was anything but disastrous but we have been in these sort of situation before. i think what we are looking for now is borisjohnson to go away for now is borisjohnson to go away for christmas, get refreshed and get to know his new child and then come backin to know his new child and then come back in the new year and tell us how he will deal with these problems, get proper investigation into the parties and everything else and see if he can move forward and govern this country in a positive way, dealing with the really serious issues we face, how we deal with the backlog in the health service, how we reform social care, paid and the huge amount of debt we are paid in covid, these are serious issues and we will have to see if the prime minister can actually start to deal and resolve some of the problems. have you submitted a letter of no confidence in his leadership? certainly not put that my whole tenure at the moment is that i want him to succeed so i shall be looking carefully to see what happened in the new year. 5ir
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carefully to see what happened in the new year.— the new year. sir geoffrey clifton-brown, _ the new year. sir geoffrey clifton-brown, we - the new year. sir geoffrey clifton-brown, we were i the new year. sir geoffrey - clifton-brown, we were mostly bit clifton—brown, we were mostly bit there, thank you for talking to us. new analysis suggests shoppers are choosing to avoid high streets and city centres on the crucial weekend just before christmas, amid fears over the omicron covid—i9 variant. venues are also coping with a raft of christmas party cancellations. lisa chee is the owner of sweet mandarin and kimchee noodle restaurants in manchester. shejoins us now. as you bleat she joins us now. as you bleat this pre—christmas period would normally be your busiest time of year if not of the busiest time so how busy were you over the weekend? we of the busiest time so how busy were you over the weekend?— of the busiest time so how busy were you over the weekend? we have been auoin for18 you over the weekend? we have been going for 18 years. — you over the weekend? we have been going for 18 years, and _ you over the weekend? we have been going for 18 years, and this _ you over the weekend? we have been going for 18 years, and this has - going for 18 years, and this has been the worst december for us. ever since it was announced in the news about think carefully about socialising, people havejust cancelled bookings. we have lost up
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to 50% of our normal bookings all the christmas parties we would do and it's quite worrying because even though we have been going for a long time, 18 years, we still depend on christmas tried to keep us going through those quieter months. christmas is aboutjoy and festivity and love meeting with friends and family, and the moon itself has had such a massive dampener. we understand the seriousness of the virus but we have bills to pay at the end of the day, loads of things to pay and it is a knock—on effect —— the mood itself. to pay and it is a knock-on effect -- the mood itself.— to pay and it is a knock-on effect -- the mood itself. what are people sa inc -- the mood itself. what are people saying about — -- the mood itself. what are people saying about why — -- the mood itself. what are people saying about why they _ -- the mood itself. what are people saying about why they are _ saying about why they are cancelling?— saying about why they are cancellin: ? ., ., ., , cancelling? there are various reasons. _ cancelling? there are various reasons, people _ cancelling? there are various reasons, people are - cancelling? there are various reasons, people are scared i cancelling? there are various| reasons, people are scared of cancelling? there are various - reasons, people are scared of coming into town, scared of the virus from coming into contact with people. people have tested positive for the virus as well, whichever strain it
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is, or they have come down with a normal flu and cold. is, or they have come down with a normalflu and cold. we have is, or they have come down with a normal flu and cold. we have those factors as well. it doesn't help when you have bought all the stock, you still have the utility bills to pay which is double that month and you have to cough up the bat in the next quarter, these things play into the restaurant operators minds. thank god we have customers that are doing takeaway and we do click and collect, and that has kept us going —— coughed up the vat point it is so uncertain what is going on. -- coughed up the vat point it is so uncertain what is going on.- uncertain what is going on. and to add to that _ uncertain what is going on. and to add to that and _ uncertain what is going on. and to add to that and certainly, - uncertain what is going on. and to add to that and certainly, there i uncertain what is going on. and to | add to that and certainly, there are rumours officials are considering them and i do want to say again and stress considering the possibility of an 8pm curfew for restaurants and bars so what would your reaction be to that? we bars so what would your reaction be to that? ~ ., bars so what would your reaction be to that? ., ., ,, u, to that? we do appreciate the seriousness _ to that? we do appreciate the seriousness of _ to that? we do appreciate the seriousness of this _ to that? we do appreciate the seriousness of this virus - to that? we do appreciate the seriousness of this virus but l to that? we do appreciate the seriousness of this virus but if
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people want to come and have a meal, it's in the evening. hpm, what's the difference between eating before or after hpm? how are you going to differentiate before you —— if you catch the virus? the line they are drawing is very grey. i don't know it will just affect trade and not just in our restaurant, sweet mandarin, but other peoples restaurant as well and also the bars. there are people's livelihoods at stake, they have bills to pay, families to feed. it is a knock—on effect, people are concerned. lisa chee, effect, people are concerned. lisa chee. good _ effect, people are concerned. lisa chee. good to _ effect, people are concerned. lisa chee, good to see _ effect, people are concerned. lisa chee, good to see you in your christmas jumper and with an impressive backdrop of manchester! we have to stay positive in these depressing times! i thank god we are still in business!— still in business! good luck and thank you _ still in business! good luck and thank you for — still in business! good luck and thank you for talking _ still in business! good luck and thank you for talking to -
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still in business! good luck and thank you for talking to us. - a new covid drug designed to reduce the risk of vulnerable patients needing hospital treatment will be offered on the nhs from today. sotrovimab is an antibody given as a transfusion to treat people in high risk groups. it will be offered initially in england, before being rolled out across the uk. let's get more on this from professor anthony gordon, at imperial college. he was also the uk's chief investigator into the trial of rheumatoid arthritis drugs for covid treatment. thank you so much forjoining us. i wonder how much treatment options for covid have changed over the past year? for covid have changed over the past ear? . , for covid have changed over the past ear? ., , , ., ~' year? over the last year i think we have seen — year? over the last year i think we have seen since _ year? over the last year i think we have seen since the _ year? over the last year i think we have seen since the pandemic - year? over the last year i think we l have seen since the pandemic began we have seen the new treatments and
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most of the early treatments were focused on tackling the disease in the most severely ill patients by the most severely ill patients by the time the virus had taken hold made them seriously ill and needing oxygen or ventilation in intensive care units and we have out like drugs to tackle that information. and to help people recover. but what these new treatments, these antibody treatments are aiming to do is to treatments are aiming to do is to treat people in the earlier stages of their disease, to try to prevent them becoming unwell in the first place and hopefully not needing hospital and intensive care. 50 place and hopefully not needing hospital and intensive care. so how effective are _ hospital and intensive care. so how effective are they? _ hospital and intensive care. so how effective are they? so _ hospital and intensive care. so how effective are they? so far, - hospital and intensive care. so how effective are they? so far, the - effective are they? so far, the trials look _ effective are they? so far, the trials look like _ effective are they? so far, the trials look like they _ effective are they? so far, the trials look like they are - effective are they? so far, the trials look like they are effect | effective are they? so far, the i trials look like they are effect to ponder importantly, the issue with antibodies, we have had trials at different types and as the virus changes, different antibodies may or may not work. the important thing
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about sotrovimab is the evidence we have which suggests it will still work against omicron, so that is really good news. can work against omicron, so that is really good news.— work against omicron, so that is really good news. can you tell me a bit more about _ really good news. can you tell me a bit more about the _ really good news. can you tell me a bit more about the trials _ really good news. can you tell me a bit more about the trials you - really good news. can you tell me a bit more about the trials you have l bit more about the trials you have specifically been involved with and what they have told you? the specifically been involved with and what they have told you?- specifically been involved with and what they have told you? the trial i am involved — what they have told you? the trial i am involved with _ what they have told you? the trial i am involved with is _ what they have told you? the trial i am involved with is a _ what they have told you? the trial i am involved with is a big _ am involved with is a big international study, a trial in many countries around the world, in the uk, supported by the national institute for health research we have been studying the sickest patients and testing a multitude of different drugs the information i mentioned earlier, but also looking for drugs that might help with the blood clots we saw commonly with covid—i9, as well as others that are specific for the covid virus and how it interacts with the body, particularly the blood vessels in the lungs, trying to reduce that. we have learnt that many work,
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particularly those focused on the inflammation, and we are testing now these perhaps newer drugs that are focused more specifically on the virus rather than just the information. virus rather than 'ust the information._ virus rather than 'ust the information. ., ~ information. professor anthony gordon, information. professor anthony gordon. we _ information. professor anthony gordon, we are _ information. professor anthony gordon, we are tight _ information. professor anthony gordon, we are tight for- information. professor anthony gordon, we are tight for time, | gordon, we are tight for time, fascinating to talk but we have to leave it there but many thanks. sport and a full round up from the bbc sport centre. england are on the verge of going 2—0 down in the ashes. they are now 182 for nine, having just lostjos buttler for 26 in their second innings in adelaide. he trod on his own wicket. they need to hat the whole of the final

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