Though we have taken “huge strides forward” in the fight against Covid-19, we must “remain vigilant”, Matt Hancock told MPs on Monday evening, as concern continues to mount over a new variant of the disease.
More than 2,000 people in the UK have confirmed cases of the B.1617.2 Covid-19 strain, known as the ‘Indian variant’.
As the UK continues to cautiously reopen for business - and pleasure - the government is keeping a close eye on the new variant, as evidence suggests it is more transmissible.
Hancock confirmed that surge testing and vaccination is underway in the areas of the North West where the strain is most common, with 483 cases in Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen.
The health secretary said that ‘early data’ suggests existing vaccines are effective against this new strain.
He also encouraged anyone who is eligible to come forward and receive the vaccine, urging those who are hesitant “just look at what is happening in Bolton hospital, where the majority of people in hospital with coronavirus were eligible for the jab but have chosen not yet to have the jab and have ended up in hospital – some of them in intensive care”.
He said: “Vaccines save lives, they protect you, they protect your loved ones and they will help us all get out of this pandemic.”
So far ministers believe that we are still on course for restrictions to be eased again in June, as per Downing Street’s roadmap out of lockdown, but there is growing concern over this new variant.
Amana Walker on what we can all learn from Leicester City’s winning mentality
After a close but well-earned victory over Chelsea in the FA cup final last weekend, Leicester City prove once again they are a footballing force to be reckoned with - even if they’re not one of the so-called ‘big six’.
Writing exclusively for NationalWorld, performance coach Amana Walker takes a closer look at the factors - beyond Youri Tielemans’ right foot - that contribute to their success, and what lessons we can all draw from them.
She writes: “It starts at the very top with the club’s owners, who have been taken into the hearts of both players and fans alike – and in the harsh business world of football (especially after this years’ shenanigans ) that’s huge. The owners of the club support, encourage and give the manager and players the space to get on and do their jobs. That’s refreshing.
“When the culture is right, a team can begin to flourish.
“When the leadership is supportive and believes in their team, the team will grow.
“When the bond between a team is tight, the will to win is strong.
“That combination can make a team unstoppable.”
Bob Emmerson, 88, is making us all look bad
If, like me, you often find yourself conjuring up poor excuses as to why you can’t go to the gym or take regular exercise, you might want to stop reading now.
Because, as Carly Roberts writes, 88-year old veteran runner Bob Emmerson is putting us all to shame, as he prepares for his 400th (!!) Parkrun in Northampton next month.
The veteran runner took part in the first London Marathon aged 44, and credits his lifelong love of running with his good-health.
Speaking to NationalWorld, he said: “The Parkrun has been a marvellous thing, it’s kept me going and I’ve made hundreds of friends.
“It’s a social thing, you look forward to a Saturday morning meeting all your new friends.
“It makes you feel good for the rest of the day.
He added: “Even on a Saturday morning in the winter when I get up and it’s rotten, cold and raining - I’ve done it. It’s a good way of starting the day.”
Now, where did I put those running shoes…
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