It comes amid fears of a new variant of COVID-19 coming from Brazil, with the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson admitting on Wednesday the new strain was concerning. As a result of the mutation, the UK has banned flights from South America in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that Chile, Madeira and the Azores will be removed from the travel corridors and Qatar and the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba will also lose their exemption to the 10-day quarantine period.
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital in England stood at a record 32,925 as of 8am on Thursday January 14, NHS England said.
The figure is up 17 percent on a week ago, and up 86 percent since Christmas Day.
In London, the number stands at a record 7,840 patients, up 8 percent in a week, while in the Midlands the number is 5,799, also a record, up 28 percent.
South-east England has 5,487 patients, up 9 percent; eastern England has 4,303, up 11 percent; north-west England has a record 3,912, up 26 percent; north-east England/Yorkshire has 3,455, up 18 percent; and south-west England has a record 2,129, up 37 percent.
More to follow…