TWO studies claim to have ‘debunked’ suggestions vitamin D supplements offer protection against Covid-19.

The University of Barcelona had previously suggested that giving high-dose vitamin D to COVID patients in hospital could cut deaths by 60% – a theory later quoted by MP David Davis.

The Lancet medical review has since removed the study citing concerns about how the research was carried out.

Now two studies, neither of them peer reviewed, have also found that there is no real evidence to support the vitamin D claims.

One study by Mendelian mined a database of hundreds of thousands of people with genetic markers that make them predisposed to vitamin D deficiencies and found no “genetic evidence” they were at more risk.

A second study by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece compared the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in 24 countries to coronavirus cases and deaths and found “limited data” to support the claims.

It comes as Brits were told to hold off on booking summer holidays abroad until it’s clearer whether the PM’s roadmap out of lockdown is still on track.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned “we can’t guarantee” international travel will definitely restart on May 17 because the decision will depend on the state of the pandemic.

And he advised people desperate for a break in the sun it would “make sense” to wait until after April 12 – when a panel of experts will report back on how to restart tourism – before making bookings.

His remarks will come as a blow to millions who are already eyeing up a jaunt in warmer climes, with Britain’s vaccination successful vaccination programme causing cases and deaths to plummet.

Follow our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news and updates on the pandemic

  • SNAIL’S PACE

    Half of vulnerable Germans STILL haven’t had their first Covid Jab with 3.2million people left waiting thanks to the EU’s jab shambles.

    Vaccine delivery in Germany has been hampered by production delays, political infighting and confusion over the use of the Oxford jab in over-65s.

    Of 8.6 million people most vulnerable at least 3.25 million, including many people over 80, have still not received a single dose.

    In a stark contrast the UK has jabbed all vulnerable patients, OAPs and a third of all adults.

    SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach told BILD: “The fact that so many older people have not yet been vaccinated is a big problem – we have to get these vulnerable groups to safety as quickly as possible with the vaccination.”

  • UK CAN BE ‘PROUD’ OF INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO VACCINE SAYS PM

    At Prime Minister’s Questions, Boris Johnson said: “The whole House can be proud of the UK’s vaccination programme, with over 22.5 million people now having received their first dose across the UK.

    “We can also be proud of the support the UK has given to the international Covid response, including the £548 million we have donated to Covax.

    “I therefore wish to correct the suggestion from the European Council president that the UK has blocked vaccine exports.

    “Let me be clear: we have not blocked the export of a single Covid-19 vaccine or vaccine components.

    “This pandemic has put us all on the same side in the battle for global health, we oppose vaccine nationalism in all its forms.”

  • ‘WHEN NOT IF’

    The next viral pandemic could be even more severe than Covid, a TV doctor has warned.

    Virologist Chris van Tulleken said today: “It’s not a question of if the next viral pandemic jumps, it’s a question of when. 

    “And it’s certainly possible to envisage a pandemic that will be far more severe in some ways than our current experience.”

    He told Radio 4’s Today programme that more viruses will jump from animals to humans and cause pandemics, like HIV, Ebola and now coronavirus has done.

    The expert explained how more contact between humans and animals could lead to a more serious outbreak.

  • COVID-19 RATES DROP BELOW 50 CASES PER 100,000 IN HALF OF ALL LOCAL AREAS

    Covid-19 case rates have fallen below the symbolic level of 50 cases per 100,000 people in half of all local areas in the UK, new analysis shows.

    It is a major turnaround from one month ago, when only six of the 380 local areas were reporting rates under 50 per 100,000.

    A handful of areas are even recording rates that are now in single figures.

    The steep fall suggests the various lockdowns in place across the country are continuing to play a key role in reducing the number of new reported cases of coronavirus.

    The analysis, which has been compiled by the PA news agency, shows that for the seven days to March 5 a total of 190 out of 380 local authority areas in the UK recorded Covid-19 case rates below 50 per 100,000 people.

  • SCOTLAND’S LATEST COVID FIGURES

    Scotland has recorded the deaths of 20 coronavirus patients and 691 new cases in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon said.

    The First Minister told MSPs on Holyrood’s Covid-19 Committee that the number of people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for the disease had now risen to 7,461.

    The daily test positivity rate is 3.1%, Ms Sturgeon said.

    She also told the committee that by 8.30am on Wednesday a total of 1,809,158 Scots had received their first dose of the vaccine, an increase of 19,781 on the previous day’s total.

  • ‘THREAT TO HUMANITY’

    Brazil’s unchecked Covid explosion is a “threat to humanity” and could scupper hopes of bringing the pandemic under control, experts warn.

    The country is being ravaged by the deadly P1 variant from Manaus – which is at least twice as contagious and has been shown to reinfect patients who have already had older variants.

    Brazil already has the second highest death toll in the world at over 266,000.

    And hospitals are on the brink of collapse in much of the country as the mutant P1 strain causes a second wave much deadlier than the first.

    Experts say the situation is a “disaster” – not just for Brazil but for the whole world.

  • KENT CORONAVIRUS VARIANT MAY BE TWICE AS DEADLY AS PREVIOUS STRAINS SAYS STUDY

    The Kent variant may be up to twice as deadly as previous strains of coronavirus, new research suggests.

    The more infectious variant, B117, which swept across the UK at the end of last year before spreading across the world, is between 30% and 100% more deadly, according to a new study.

    Epidemiologists from the Universities of Exeter and Bristol said the data suggests the variant is associated with a significantly higher mortality rate among adults diagnosed in the community compared with previously circulating strains.

  • PARDON YOU!

    Coronavirus has been around for a year now, so most people are familiar with the common symptoms to look out for.

    But as scientists are still learning about Covid, they are continuing to uncover more and more of its bizarre side effects.

    Experts now say that as many as two in five people could be left suffering from stomach problems for months after contracting the disease.

    New research from China found that 43 per cent of people admitted to hospital with Covid reported gastrointestinal issues 90 days after being discharged.

    For the nine symptoms click here.

  • WHO IS ON THE UK’S RED LIST?

  • HOLS YOUR HORSES

    Brits should hold off on booking their summer holidays abroad until it’s clearer whether the PM’s roadmap out of lockdown is still on track, a senior minister said today.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned “we can’t guarantee” international travel will definitely restart on May 17 because the decision will depend on the state of the pandemic.

    And he advised people desperate for a break in the sun it would “make sense” to wait until after April 12 – when a panel of experts will report back on how to restart tourism – before making bookings.

    His remarks will come as a blow to millions who are already eyeing up a jaunt in warmer climes, with Britain’s vaccination successful vaccination programme causing cases and deaths to plummet.

  • CLASS ACTION

    Next Years’ A-Levels and GCSEs will be EASIER to help pupils who have been disrupted by Covid.

    Exams in 2022 will be significantly watered down because of students’ loss of learning time, Ofqual boss Simon Lebus said yesterday.

    Simon Lebus told MPs there would still need to be “adaptations” for those sitting papers in 2022 because of the disruption caused by the pandemic.

    He added that the process of recovering lost learning was “going to take several years.”

    Mr Lebus told the education committee: “As far as 2022 is concerned, the thinking at the moment is about adaptations along the lines that had been originally contemplated for this year when exams were still to go ahead.

    “That’s based on the reality of the cohort taking exams next year will have suffered considerable disruption to their learning.”

  • THE 15 PLACES WHERE COVID CASES ARE STILL RISING – IS YOUR AREA ON THE LIST?

    Coronavirus cases are still rising in 15 places in England and this interactive map reveals if your area is on the list.

    Official data from Public Health England (PHE) states that 299 areas have seen a fall in infection rates – with just one area remaining unchanged.

    For the map click here.

  • GERMANY PLAYS DOWN SCALE OF VACCINE BOOST IN APRIL

    Far more people in Germany will get a coronavirus vaccination from April when family doctors start giving them but the idea that 25% of the population can get a shot in just a month is unrealistic, Health Minister Jens Spahn warned on Wednesday.

    Germans are growing frustrated over a sluggish vaccination rollout. Only around 6.4% of the 83 million population have received at least a first dose against the coronavirus, far behind countries like Britain, Israel and the United States

    Spahn said the rate would increase from April, when family doctors will be able to administer doses at their surgeries.

    “But the vaccination numbers will not immediately grow to 20 million a month or to 10 million a week,” he told ZDF television. “In April there will be significantly more vaccinations, but not on that scale” he added.

  • MPS SAY ‘NO CLEAR EVIDENCE’ TEST AND TRACE SCHEME WORKS IN CRITICAL REPORT

    There is “no clear evidence” the £22 billion Test and Trace scheme contributed to a reduction in coronavirus infection levels, a cross-party group of MPs have said.

    Meg Hillier, the chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) behind a critical report, urged the Government to justify the “staggering investment of taxpayers’ money”.

    The MPs said ministers had justified the vast expenditure on preventing a second national lockdown, but noted England is currently living under its third in questioning the programme’s effectiveness.

    They also urged the scheme led by Tory peer Dido Harding to “wean itself off” reliance on thousands of “expensive” consultants and temporary staff, with some receiving £6,624 per day.

  • WAGAMAMA OWNER THE RESTAURANT GROUP TO RAISE £175M AFTER COVID IMPACT

    Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s owner The Restaurant Group (TRG) is tapping investors for £175 million to shore up its finances after the business was struck hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

    The London-listed hospitality firm revealed that total sales dived by 57% to £459.8 million in 2020 after its sites were forced to close their doors for large periods.

    The plunge in sales and pandemic costs caused it to plummet to a £127.6 million pre-tax loss for the year, compared to a £37.3 million loss in 2019.

    It added that its short-term outlook remains “uncertain” while lockdown restrictions remain in place.

    Its venues will be able to reopen outside-only from April 12, with customers expected to dine in from May 17 at the earliest as part of the Prime Minister road map out of lockdown.

  • TEACHING UNION BOSS SAYS SHE WAS ‘WRONG’ TO RUBBISH COVID TESTING BLITZ

    Hard-left teaching union boss Dr Mary Bousted has sensationally admitted she was “wrong” to rubbish the schools testing blitz.

    She also heaped praise on her usual foe, beleaguered Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, for backing the plan.

    The leftie union had issued a string of gloomy warnings predicting that testing millions of secondary school kids for Covid would end in disaster.

    But teachers, parents and ministers have all declared the mission a success so far.

    Dr Bousted, joint boss of the National Education Union, admitted the testing blitz had gone well.

  • COVID VARIANTS AND WHERE THEY EMERGED

     

  • NIGHTINGALE HOSPITALS TO CLOSE

    England’s Nightingale hospitals are to be closed down next month as services are “no longer at risk of being overwhelmed”, the NHS says.

    The seven Nightingale hospitals cost a staggering £500 million to set up and maintain, but treated only a few Covid patients over the pandemic. 

    They were hurriedly put together last spring as ministers feared the NHS would collapse under the pressure of coronavirus patients.

    The temporary sites were described by health bosses as the “ultimate insurance policy”.

    An NHS spokesperson said: “Since the very early days of the pandemic the Nightingale hospitals have been on hand as the ultimate insurance policy in case existing hospital capacity was overwhelmed.”

  • ‘ZERO COVID’ STRATEGY ‘NOT POSSIBLE’

    The Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said a “zero Covid” strategy was not possible.

    “Our focus needs to be on reducing the levels we have here. That is the key point, to keep things under control,” he said.

    “As levels come down test, trace and isolate becomes increasingly important, cluster identification – making sure we understand where there are outbreaks and how to deal with them – and of course the vaccine is going to make a huge difference to all of this.

    “I do not think that zero Covid is possible. I think there’s nothing to suggest that this virus will go away, at least any time soon.

    “It’s going to be there, circulating. It may be a winter virus that comes back over winters with increasing infection rates during that period.”

  • NHS STAFF WERE EXPECTING HIGHER PAY RISE

    NHS staff in England were expecting to receive a higher pay rise than the 1% proposed by the Government, the head of the health service has confirmed.

    Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS in England, confirmed that plans set out previously had budgeted for NHS pay to increase by 2.1% this year.

    Sir Simon said that proper recognition for what staff have been through over the course of the pandemic is “entirely right”.

  • HALF OF AMERICANS DON’T FEEL CLEAN AFTER WASHING HANDS DURING COVID

    Almost half of Americans feel that no matter how often they wash their hands, it’s never enough during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research.

    As the nation reaches the one-year mark of the pandemic, a survey asked 2,000 Americans to reflect on the past year to analyse their hygiene habits.

    Even though 90% of respondents shared they are aware of the CDC’s guidance to wash their hands for 20 seconds, 41% said it’s starting to get old.

    Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of American Water, the survey analyzed how respondents are practicing hygiene as the pandemic reaches its one-year anniversary. 

    It’s no surprise that three-quarters of respondents are frustrated with the pandemic and 65% are tired of people not taking the crisis seriously enough so it can end. Of those surveyed, 42% describe themselves as a newfound germaphobe because of the pandemic, and of these respondents, 79% agreed that this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  • PHILIP SCHOFIELD RECEIVES HIS COVID VACCINE

    THIS Morning host Phillip Schofield has received his coronavirus jab as he thanked NHS staff for administering it without pain.

    The 58-year-old praised the NHS staff who gave him the “painless jab” and shared a snap of the moment he got it online. 

    Posting on Instagram, he showed the moment a masked up NHS worker administered his Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

    Philip Schofield thanked NHS staff after receiving his Covid-19 jab
    Philip Schofield thanked NHS staff after receiving his Covid-19 jabCredit: Instagram

    Phillip smiled behind his mask and wrote: “All painlessly jabbed up, that couldn’t have been any easier, more efficient or friendlier, thank you to Lisa and the team.”

    Phillip followed up the post on his Instagram Stories with a look at a Covid-19 information leaflet and vaccine card.

  • COVID DEATHS AND CASES DOWN

    UK Covid deaths today rose by 231 – down by nearly 80 per cent on the rise recorded this time last month.

    Another 5,766 infections were also recorded, down 65 per cent on last month’s jump and a sign the spread is slowing.

     

  • WHITTY WARNS AGAINST LIFTING RESTRICTIONS

    England’s chief medical officer has said he would “strongly advise” against any move to shorten the timetable for easing lockdown restrictions.

    Professor Chris Whitty said there were still risks to reopening society and the UK will experience another surge of cases at some point, potentially in late summer or through the autumn and winter.

    Speaking to the Commons Science and Technology Committee alongside the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, Prof Whitty said the measures pencilled in for May 17, when indoor mixing of up to six people could be allowed, involved “significant risks”.

    He told MPs he would “strongly advise” against any attempt to “concertina” the five-week interval between steps, saying the April 12 measures are “a very big block”, with shops and outdoor hospitality due to open.

    May 17 further represents “a very significant block with a lot of stuff that is indoors for the first time, that is the point when we are really going to start to see some very significant risks accumulating, potentially”.

  • DOMESTIC AIR PASSENGER DUTY COULD BE CUT

    Air passenger duty on domestic flights could be cut under plans to improve connectivity within the UK set out by the Prime Minister.

    Boris Johnson said he wanted to “build back better” after the coronavirus crisis in a way that brings “every corner of the UK closer together”.

    He will launch a consultation this spring on reforming air passenger duty – a tax on passenger flights from UK airports – in a bid to improve transport connecting all four nations.

    The Government will also commit £20 million to develop plans for upgraded rail, road, sea and air links – and explore new requirements to offset emissions and decarbonise aviation.

    The money will be spent on exploring the development of projects including improved rail connectivity between the north coast of Wales and England; upgrading the A75 between Gretna, Dumfries and Stranraer; faster rail links from England to Scotland and rail improvements in south-east Wales.



Source link Corona News