Thursday briefing: Javid in Covid recall compromise

Thursday briefing: Javid in Covid recall compromise

Headlines: deal signed to buy 114 million more doses

Hello everybody. I’m Martin Farrer and these are the best stories today.

Ministers could allow general practitioners in England to suspend regular monitoring of millions of patients with underlying health conditions as part of urgent new blitz on the supply of Covid booster vaccines to fight the spread of the Omicron variant . Sajid Javid and NHS bosses are in talks with GPs to relax the rules, which means family doctors are undertaking checks on people with diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions, the Guardian. It came as the Health Secretary pledged to ‘secure the future’ of the UK’s immunization program and to protect ‘even more people in the years to come’. The government has proposed vaccine deals to get 114 million more doses over the next two years. Under the agreements, the UK will buy an additional 54 million doses from Pfizer / BioNTech and an additional 60 million doses from Moderna. So far 115 million doses have been administered in the UK. Yesterday there were 10 more cases of Omicron in the UK, bringing the total to 32. Overall, there were 48,374 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, a 2% increase from from the previous week, and 171 additional deaths.

An Israeli doctor who was one of the first people in the world to be infected with the Omicron variant says he believes he caught the virus when he was in London for a medical conference last month. Elad Maor’s claims will raise concerns that the variant was in the UK much sooner than expected. The United States recorded its first case of Omicron in California while analysis of data in South Africa shows the strain has spread “exponentially” and made up 74% of the viral genomes sequenced in November. And former Health Secretary Matt Hancock was under pressure last night to set the record straight on the £ 40million in Covid-related government work won by his former pub owner. Follow updates on the pandemic here.

Debate on abortion – U.S. Supreme Court justices have indicated they will support restrictions on abortion access during pleadings in the largest reproductive rights case in decades, threatening the future of the country. access to abortion across the country. Activists warned that the case posed a direct threat to the legal foundations of Roe v Wade, a landmark decision made in 1973 that guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion. The case centers on whether Mississippi can ban abortion at 15 weeks gestation, about nine weeks before the bans were allowed under current law. The court is expected to render a decision on the case in June next year.

Labourer – Farmers will be paid to take care of English soil for the first time from next year, when the government’s £ 900million replacement for the EU’s controversial Common Agricultural Policy begins rolling out. Environmentalists criticized the measures as puny and accused ministers of failing to keep promises to use the UK’s departure from the EU to boost environmental protection and reduce the adverse effects of the EU. Agriculture.

Peng Shuai, a former world No. 1 in doubles. Photograph: Adrian Dennis / AFP / Getty Images

Tennis in – The Women’s Tennis Association has announced the suspension of all tournaments in China over concerns over the safety of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. The player disappeared from the public last month after accusing a senior Chinese politician of sexual assault. Amid growing outrage from top players, she was interviewed on video by Olympic chief Thomas Bach, whose organization said Peng was “doing well”. But in a statement last night, WTA President Steve Simon said he could not allow athletes to compete in China while Peng Shuai was “not allowed to communicate freely.”

‘Clown’ PM – French President Emmanuel Macron would have called Boris Johnson a “clown” in a private conversation, according to reports in France. The remarks came as Macron and Johnson clashed last week over the Channel crossing tragedy. According to Le Canard Enchaîné, Macron would have said: “It’s sad to see a big country with which we could do a lot of things being run by a clown. The Prime Minister is also under pressure at home to explain why No 10 staff apparently held two parties during the lockdown last winter.

‘Human error’ – An Austrian court fined a surgeon for amputating the bad leg of an elderly patient. The 43-year-old surgeon blamed ‘human error’ after marking the patient’s wrong leg, but Linz judge found her guilty of gross negligence and fined her € 2,700 (£ 2,300) . The 82-year-old patient died before the case went to court.

Podcast Today in Focus : Omicron annulera-t-il Noël ?

A new variant of Covid first identified in South Africa is spreading around the world, with leaders rushing to respond. Our science correspondent Nicola Davis describes what we know so far about the Omicron variant.

Today in focus

Is Omicron going to spoil Christmas?

Lunchtime Reading: Noomi Rapace – From Badass to Lamb

“I healed”: Noomi Rapace. Photography: Pedro Alvarez / The Guardian

Actor Noomi Rapace rose to fame in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo but says the role trapped her in “pain and sadness.” She tells Ryan Gilbey how starring in the bizarre new thriller Lamb made her feel alive again.


Everton fans turned their fury over the club’s board last night after seeing their side swept away 4-1 at home by Liverpool in the Merseyside derby. Manager Rafa Benitez has insisted he has no fear for his job, but his side have been outclassed by rivals, for whom Mo Salah has scored twice, and Jonathan Wilson writes that the Spaniard cannot be blamed for the unease at Goodison Park. Liverpool remain third in the Premier League, Manchester City are second after beating Villa 2-1 and Chelsea remained in the lead, beating Watford by the same score. Former British No.1 tennis player Johanna Konta has decided to retire after suffering from a knee injury for years. She reached fourth place in the world in 2017 and bowed out knowing that she gave her all in her career.

Bryony Frost, Britain’s most successful show jumping jockey, told a disciplinary panel that fellow rider Robbie Dunne subjected her to verbal and physical abuse and exposed herself to her in the hall weighing. Michael Vaughan has been removed from the coverage of BT Sport’s Ashes due to his involvement in the ongoing investigation into racism in Yorkshire cricket. He also revealed that he had tested positive for Covid-19 but his day improved a bit when he was informed by the BBC – which had already removed him from their Ashes coverage – that she was expected to work with him again.


An announcement that rail fares will rise 3.8% in March was postponed by ministers last week after the furious backlash against the government’s lowered plans for rail investment in the north. The tariff hike for England and Wales, not yet publicly confirmed but contained in leaked documents seen by the Guardian, will be the largest in nine years. Beijing has urged US business groups with interests in China to “speak up” and pressure the US government for its defense, warning that as bilateral ties deteriorate they cannot win. ‘money’ in silence ‘. It was another upside down day in the markets, but the FTSE100 is expected to start today up 0.6%. The pound is about $ 1,331 and € 1,174.

The papers

The Guardian leads with “GPs may stop monitoring millions of patients due to driving Covid jab”, while the Times says “Fourth jab to fight the variants”. The Telegraph has a similar line with “Two more sets of commanded recall shots” and the is reports “Booster jabs until 2023: Great Britain buys 114 million doses of vaccine”.

Guardian front page, Thursday, December 2, 2021
The Guardian’s front page, Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Mail warns “Stop being Christmas spoilers, ministers” but the Express feels optimistic and says, “Not all darkness! Omicron cases are “light” ”. The Mirror a “Booze, snacks and board games until the early hours” and the FT leads with “US delays deal to lift Trump-era steel tariffs over Northern Ireland fears.” In Scotland the Save splashes on ‘Cops pay £ 1million to crush mom’s kids’.


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