British govt rushing tests to schools so classes can reopen
Schoolchildren have returned to classes in parts of Europe, while the British government is pledging to rush ventilation units and enough COVID-19 test kits to schools to ensure they, too, can reopen later this week despite soaring infection rates in the UK.
UK eyes traveler quarantine as virus toll passes 100,000
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts while leading a virtual press conference on the Covid-19 pandemic, inside 10 Downing Street in central London Tuesday Jan. 26, 2021. The government said 100,162 people have died in the pandemic after testing positive for the virus, including 1,631 new deaths reported Tuesday. U.K. statistics agencies say that the number of deaths registered that mention COVID-19 on the death certificate is more than 108,000. British authorities are banking on a successful vaccination program to help the country suppress the outbreak and ease the lockdown. People arriving in the U.K. from abroad also must show they have tested negative for COVID-19.
UK appoints vaccines minister to oversee COVID inoculations
(Adrian Dennis/Pool via AP)LONDON – The British government appointed a vaccines minister on Saturday as it prepares to inoculate millions of people against the coronavirus, potentially starting within days. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Conservative lawmaker Nadhim Zahawi will oversee the country’s biggest vaccine program in decades. Britain has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, enough for 20 million people, and 100 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Decisions about which, if any, vaccines to authorize will be made by the independent Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. Bur Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the restrictions were “grimly” necessary to avoid the health system being overwhelmed this winter.