politics

Matt Hancock to give Downing Street coronavirus press conference at 5pm today



Matt Hancock will give a Downing Street coronavirus press conference at 5pm today.

The Health Secretary will address the nation on TV after a dramatic weekend of hopeful and grim news about Covid-19.

Yesterday it emerged the UK has now given more than 20million people first doses of the vaccine – with hopes being raised that the over-50s could all get theirs by the end of March.

But on Friday the Health Secretary gave a grim update saying one in five areas in England were seeing case rates rise.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam warned Brits “don’t wreck this now” with even one visit, or the dates for easing lockdown could have to be extended.

Then last night officials revealed the first cases of the P.1 Covid variant from Manaus, Brazil, had been found in the UK.

A desperate race has been launched to find a mystery Brit with the dangerous mutant strain who did not complete their test details online – so officials have no idea who or where they are.

The government says “every effort is underway” to find the person – who may not have known they were positive or been in isolation. Their test was processed more than two weeks ago, on January 14, but the variant was only identified on Friday.

The case of the P.1 variant is one of six that were detected on or around Friday – three in England, and three in Scotland. The other five either flew into the UK from Brazil, or live with someone who did.

But the unknown case raises the threat that the variant – which may spread more easily or resist the vaccine – is “loose” in our society and already spreading.

Anyone who took a Covid test on February 12 or 13 and has not received a result, or did not complete their test registration card, is being asked to call 119 in England or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland as soon as possible.





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