UK registers daily record of 1,564 COVID-19 deaths

UK registers daily record of 1,564 COVID-19 deaths
Ambulances are parked outside the Royal London Hospital in London, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (AP)
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Updated 13 January 2021

UK registers daily record of 1,564 COVID-19 deaths

UK registers daily record of 1,564 COVID-19 deaths
  • The latest figures take the number of deaths to 84,767, among the highest in Europe alongside Italy
  • The government has warned it will start to get tough with people flouting stay-at-home restrictions

LONDON: Britain on Wednesday announced another 1,564 virus fatalities, a daily record and the first time the death toll has passed 1,500 in a 24-hour period during the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest figures take the number of deaths to 84,767, among the highest in Europe alongside Italy.
Meanwhile the UK registered another 47,525 new infections — a drop on the same day last week, when health officials recorded 62,322 cases.
The total number of cases since the crisis began early last year climbed to 3,211,576.
England is in the midst of its third national lockdown, with schools shuttered and people ordered to stay at home, as a more contagious virus variant has contributed to a surge in cases in recent months.
Similar restrictions are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where devolved administrations are in charge of health policies.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told lawmakers Wednesday that, although it was “early days,” the latest round of lockdown measures and the regional tiered restrictions that preceded them were “starting to show signs of some effect.”
But the government has warned it will start to get tough with people flouting stay-at-home restrictions, with evidence some are ignoring the measures.
Johnson has set a target of having 15 million of the elderly and most vulnerable people vaccinated by mid-February, as a way of getting the country back to normality.


China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners

China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners
Updated 19 January 2021

China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners

China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners
  • Twenty-two workers have been stuck 540 meters underground near Yantai in east China’s Shandong province

BEIJING: Chinese rescuers drilled several fresh holes Tuesday to reach at least 12 gold miners trapped underground for nine days, as dwindling food supplies and rising waters threatened their survival.
Twenty-two workers have been stuck 540 meters (1,750 feet) underground at the Hushan mine near Yantai in east China’s Shandong province after an explosion damaged the entrance.
After days without any signs of life, some of the trapped miners managed to send up a note attached to a metal wire which rescuers had dropped into the mine on Sunday.
Pleading for help, the handwritten message said a dozen of them were alive but surrounded by water and in need of urgent medical supplies.
Several of the miners were injured, the note said.
A subsequent phone call with the miners revealed 11 were in one location 540 meters below the surface with another – apparently alone – trapped a further 100 meters down.
The whereabouts and condition of the other 10 miners is still unknown.
Rescuers have already dug three channels and sent food, medicine, paper and pencils down thin shafts – lifelines to the miners cut into the earth.
But progress was slow, according to Chen Fei, a top city official.
“The surrounding rock near the ore body is mostly granite... that is very hard, resulting in slow progress of rescue,” Chen told reporters on Monday evening.
“There is a lot of water in the shaft that may flow into the manway and pose a danger to the trapped workers.”
Chen said the current food supply was only enough for two days.
Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday, according to a rescue map published on the Yantai government’s official twitter-like Weibo account.
A telephone connection has also been set up.
Footage from state broadcaster CCTV showed dozens of rescuers clearing the main return shaft, while cranes and a massive bore-hole drill was used to dig new rescue channels to reach the trapped miners.
Rescue teams lost precious time since it took more than a day for the accident to be reported, China Youth daily reported citing provincial authorities.
Both the local Communist Party secretary and mayor have been sacked over the 30-hour delay and an official investigation is under way to determine the cause of the explosion.
Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.
In December, 23 workers died after being stuck underground in the southwestern city of Chongqing, just months after 16 others died from carbon monoxide poisoning after being trapped underground at another coal mine in the city.