LiveCoronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Covid-19 cases surpass 120,000
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Coronavirus cases in Scotland has now surpassed 120,000.
A leading UK psychiatrist has said the pandemic could be the "biggest hit to mental health since the Second World War".
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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Follow here for all Tuesday’s updates.
Last updated: Tuesday, 29 December, 2020, 10:25
- Coronavirus cases in Dumfries and Galloway have doubled in the last 48 hours.
- A leading medic has warned that mixing households at Christmas will come at a cost.
- Cases in Scotland have now surpassed 120,000.
A 79-year-old grandmother from Dublin will be the first person in the Republic to receive the coronavirus vaccination.
The woman, named Annie, from The Liberties, will be administered the Pfizer-BioNTech jab at St James's Hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
Around 10,000 doses of the vaccine arrived in Ireland on St Stephen's Day.
The first vaccine will be administered at 1.30pm on Tuesday at St James's Hospital.
Chair of the Covid vaccine taskforce Professor Brian MacCraith said an ICU nurse will receive the jab and Annie will then receive it after.
Professor MacCraith said that Annie is a grandmother of 10 and was born in Christchurch, south Dublin.
The rollout of the vaccine will take place across four hospitals, including St James's and Beaumont hospital in Dublin, University Hospital Galway and Cork University Hospital.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the first to be approved for use in Ireland by the European Medicines Agency.
Around 40,000 doses of the vaccine will arrive in Ireland every week throughout January and February.
Professor MacCraith told RTE Morning Ireland that among the first to receive the vaccine include an ICU nurse and junior doctor.
The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine to nursing home residents and staff is expected to start next week.
National coronavirus restrictions are needed to prevent a "catastrophe" at the start of 2021, a member of the Government's New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) has warned.
Andrew Hayward, professor of infectious diseases epidemiology at University College London, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think we are entering a very dangerous new phase of the pandemic and we're going to need decisive, early, national action to prevent a catastrophe in January and February.
"A 50% increase in transmissibility means that the previous levels of restrictions that worked before won't work now, and so Tier 4 restrictions are likely to be necessary or even higher than that.
"I think we're really looking at a situation where we're moving into near lockdown, but we've got to learn the lessons from the first lockdown."
More Covid-19 patients in England’s hospitals than April peak
England's hospitals now have more Covid-19 patients than during April's first-wave peak as a health boss warned doctors and nurses are "back in the eye of the storm."
NHS England figures show there were 20,426 patients in NHS hospitals in England as of 8am on Monday, compared to the 18,974 patients recorded on April 12.
The number of further lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus recorded in a single day in the UK also hit a new high of 41,385 as of 9am Monday, rising above 40,000 for the first time, according to Government figures.
Cases figures do not include information from Scotland and Northern Ireland, which did not report data between December 24 and 28, meaning the true number is even higher.
Sir Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, said: "Many of us have lost family, friends, colleagues and - at a time of year when we would normally be celebrating - a lot of people are understandably feeling anxious, frustrated and tired.
"And now again we are back in the eye of the storm with a second wave of coronavirus sweeping Europe and, indeed, this country."
He said a "chink of hope" lay in the various Covid-19 vaccines, with the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab expected to be approved imminently by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, according to reports.
Sir Simon said: "We think that by late spring with vaccine supplies continuing to come on stream we will have been able to offer all vulnerable people across this country Covid vaccination.
"That perhaps provides the biggest chink of hope for the year ahead."
South Korea counts daily high of 40 virus deaths
South Korea counted 40 more coronavirus deaths in the 24 hours to Tuesday, the highest daily death toll since the pandemic began, as the country continued to grapple with surging case numbers.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said it had logged 1,046 new cases, taking the total caseload to 58,725 with 859 deaths. The country's daily tally had been below 1,000 in the past two days, apparently because fewer tests were taken over the weekend.
The agency said 17,163 people with active infections remained in quarantine and 330 of them were in serious or critical condition.
The 40 deaths are a record daily toll. Previous daily records were 24 deaths reported on December 21 and 22.
Some observers say surging fatalities reflect an increase of cases at nursing homes and long-term care centres.
Meanwhile, China on Tuesday reported seven new cases in the capital Beijing, where authorities have ordered the testing of hundreds of thousands of residents.
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