NEWS OF THE WEEK 11/10/20
On Monday 12th, Boris Johnson will be delivering a speech to MPs. He is expected to be giving details on his new three-tier system, which outlines different levels of restrictions dependent on how quickly the virus is spreading. Highly-effected areas should expect to see pub closures and possible restrictions on overnight stays. It’s expected that the North will be hit harder by the new system than the South, where infection rates are double.
UK AND CORONAVIRUS
On Monday, it was announced that Public Health England had failed to include 15,841 cases in their daily statistics. Nearly 16,000 cases between 25th September and 2nd October were therefore not included in the track and trace system, meaning that those who came into contact with the infected persons were not alerted and did not take the necessary isolating measures. According to PHE, the 15,841 that tested positive were informed at the time and the issue has now been resolved. The outstanding cases were added to last Sunday’s figures.
Nicola Sturgeon has announced that National 5 qualifications in 2021 will be assessed grades rather than exams. Scottish Education Secretary, John Swinney has stated that it could not be ‘business as usual’ for the exams, but equally he has stressed that an algorithm will not be used. It is not yet clear if England, Wales or Northern Ireland will follow suit at the minute, but Swinney has made it clear that it is ‘too big a risk’ to plan a full exam season at present.
U.S VICE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION DEBATE
On Thursday, the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris went head-to-head with the Republican candidate Mike Pence in the only vice presidential debate of the whole election. Compared to last week’s presidential debate, Harris and Pence were more civil, however moderator Susan Page still struggled to keep both candidates within their time slots and from speaking over one another.
Again, Coronavirus was a main topic in the Vice Presidential debate. Harris labelled Trump’s response to the virus as the ‘greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country’. Pence responded in Trump’s defence, stating that he had ‘put the American people first’.
POSITIVE STORY OF THE WEEK
In April, Alan Mack lost his daughter, Rebecca, to coronavirus. Rebecca was a nurse in the children’s cancer unit at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary before she sadly passed away. Alan was lucky enough to recover from COVID-19 and has since been donating his plasma to a clinical trial. Since his blood is now full of coronavirus-fighting antibodies, it is thought it could aid others who are battling the virus. Alan has said that he does not want anybody else to go through what he and his family have gone through.