Speech: Coronavirus debate: opening speech

first_imgMadam Deputy Speaker,The House meets today to debate the coronavirus pandemic once more.The peril of this pandemic has no short-term quick fix, but calls for ingenuity, commitment and resolve from us all.We have responded with one of the greatest collective efforts this nation has seen in peacetime.But this fight is not yet over, and the virus continues to spread.Cases, hospitalisations and, tragically, deaths are all rising.Yesterday, we learned that Liverpool Hospital Trust is now treating more COVID patients than at the peak in April.And across the UK, deaths have doubled in under a fortnight.StrategyAnd yet, just as the situation we face is grave, so the hope of a solution is growing.And, with every day, my confidence in the ingenuity of science to bring resolution grows.But until that moment, we must have resolve.Madam Deputy Speaker, we are focused on finding a long-term solution. We reject political point-scoring.And I call upon this House to work together in the interests of our whole nation – and indeed the whole world.[political content removed]Strategy and rebuttalAnd so we need this long-term solution, and I would say, like other liberal democracies around the world, we are wrestling with this question, as we have just wrestled in the last few minutes, with the question of how we keep people safe from this virus whilst at the same time protecting the important things in life: our liberties, our livelihoods and the things that we love.And that is what leads us to this strategy of suppressing the virus, supporting the economy, education and supporting the NHS to do all the things the NHS needs to do until a vaccine is available.And I reject the false choice that says we must pick a side – and choose between a healthy economy and a healthy nation.Because the 2 are intrinsically linked.If we were to, God forbid, let the virus unleash its full force, then the damage – not just to the NHS and the hundreds of thousands of lives, but to our livelihoods too – would be catastrophic.And we can only get our economy and our society going gangbusters again if we drive this virus down, so people have the confidence they need to live their lives to the full.Long COVIDAnd drive it down we must. Now, Madam Deputy Speaker, this is a deadly virus and yes it reserves its biggest impact for the oldest in society, which means the rise in cases among the over 60s gives me such cause for concern.And as we have just heard, compellingly, from the Minister for Equalities about the impact on people from ethnic minority backgrounds.But the impact is not confined to these groups. The virus can affect anyone, of any age, and of any background.And we have already seen worrying numbers of young, fit and healthy people suffering debilitating symptoms, months after contracting COVID.Yesterday, a study by King’s College London showed that one in 20 people with coronavirus are likely to have virus symptoms like fatigue, breathlessness, muscle pain, and neurological problems for 8 weeks or more.Yesterday I visited the cutting-edge long COVID clinic at University College London Hospital.I met people in their 20s and 30s, unable to work, sapped of all their energy, living with the long-term effects of a virus that has completely changed their lives.So to anyone, of any age, catching COVID can be very grave indeed.Long COVID underpins, again, our strategy of suppressing the virus until a vaccine arrives.[political content removed]I now want, Madam Deputy Speaker, to turn to question of how we do that.Social distancingWe cannot reiterate enough the importance of the basics: social distancing, and hands, face, space.Local actionThe next area, Madam Deputy Speaker, is through following the rules on local action, which is at the core of how we, and increasing numbers of other countries around the world, are tackling the crisis.Through our local COVID alert levels we have been able to take a balanced approach.And today I’d like to update the House on some further changes that we are making.Unfortunately, we are seeing rising rates of infection in Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and in Slough.In all these areas, there are over 100 positive cases per 100,000 people.Cases are doubling around every fortnight and we are seeing a concerning increase of cases among the over 60s.So we have agreed, in partnership with local leaders, to move these areas into the high local alert level area, coming into force at one minute past midnight on Saturday.The central change is that people cannot now meet other households socially indoors. This applies in any setting, at home, or in a restaurant, or any other venue.The rule of 6 still applies to any outdoor setting.And although you may continue to travel to open venues, you should reduce the number of journeys where possible.I’d like to thank local leaders in these areas for the work that they’ve done, for their cooperation. And I can assure the people of Stoke-on-Trent, of Coventry and of Slough that we will support you all the way through, including with the business support that the Chancellor announced earlier today for all areas with a high local alert level.We are also formally beginning discussions with Warrington about moving into the very high alert level, due to a continuing rise in cases there.[political content removed]The virus moves quickly and so we must respond quickly, and in a targeted way, like this, to keep it under control.Local enforcementAs part of local discussions, Madam Deputy Speaker, local authorities including the LGA have asked for stronger enforcement powers.And I agree.To support businesses who are doing the right thing, it is fair that we take action against those businesses who are doing the wrong thing.So firm enforcement helps make these restrictions fairer on all.So we want to put in place stronger regulations to give local authorities further powers to take action in their local area.The proposals we will bring forward will mean councils will be able to act without delay and use closure notices to shut premises on public health grounds, to help suppress the virus.We will work with local authorities in the coming days on the detail of these proposals so we can act in a firm and fast way against the minority who are breaching these life-saving rules.New testing and vaccinesMadam Deputy Speaker, these changes will help us fight this virus in the here and now.But we are also making progress on long-term solutions.The long-term solution is not to give up, as some would have us do or to wish the problem away.It is to harness the science and ingenuity of innovation, whilst supporting people through.First, if I can turn to testing.Thanks to exceptional work from so many people, we have built a critical national infrastructure of diagnostic testing.Today’s testing capacity is now over 370,000.And alongside this expansion of the current technology, I want to update the House on mass testing.Now I know there have been many questions about this project.Last week we began rolling out new testing technologies to hospitals, based on the point-of-care LAMP test.That will allow the regular, repeat, testing of NHS staff and patients.And I am delighted to be able to tell the House that yesterday we began the roll-out of lateral flow tests to schools and universities.Lateral flow tests don’t require a lab or a machine. The kit gives you the result within minutes.We’ve successfully purchased many millions of these tests, and they’ll allow us both to find the virus where it spreads, and to reduce the disruption that virus control measures inevitably create.If we can deliver a mass testing solution, so pupils in a bubble don’t have to isolate for a fortnight when one in the bubble tests positive, we will not only help control the spread of the virus, we will protect education better, and help schools, teachers and parents to live their lives much closer to normal.These tests will also allow directors of public health to have more rapid access to testing capacity.And we are starting the rollout to councils, including today with the council in Stoke-on-Trent.Second, vaccines.Progress continues on the development and deployment of vaccines.And we are determined to give those developing vaccines all the support they need.I can inform the House that we are initiating human challenge trials to speed up the development of a coronavirus vaccine.And to improve further its safety.We are contributing £33 million to back these trials, joining forces with academia and industry.What a human challenge trial involves is taking a vaccine candidate that has proven to be safe in trials, and giving it to a carefully selected small number of healthy adult volunteers who are then exposed to the virus in a safe and controlled environment, closely monitored by medics and scientists.And that gives us the chance to accelerate the understanding of promising vaccines that have been through clinical trials, so we can improve on their safe deployment.And the UK is one of the only countries in the world with the capability to run this kind of programme.And we should all be proud that once again we are leading this global effort.ConclusionMadam Deputy Speaker, our response to this lethal virus has been one of the greatest collective endeavours that this nation has ever seen.And thanks to those efforts, we are so much better prepared this time round.As a nation, we built the Nightingale hospitals in just 9 days.As a nation, we came together as one to protect the NHS. And it wasn’t overwhelmed, and now the NHS is better yet prepared still.As a nation, we built the biggest testing capability of all our peers.And as a nation, we have made huge and historic advances in vaccines and treatments.We understand this virus infinitely more than at the start at of this pandemic.But we are not there yet.Not when the virus is spreading at pace.So we must, each of us, look at what we can do and the role we can play – what actions we can take.Because as we have seen throughout this pandemic, we are at our best when we come together.And we know that with science on our side, ultimately, we will prevail.last_img read more

Rose winner for unconvincing Spurs

first_imgDanny Rose was the central figure as Tottenham won their first away game for more than two months 1-0 against 10-man Stoke. The main talking point before the game had centred around Charlie Adam, with Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood forced to deny his players would refuse to shake the playmaker’s hand. The Scot has become a hate figure for Spurs fans after a serious of controversial tackles, the most recent of which came in the reverse fixture and sidelined Paulinho for a month. In the end, there was no handshake because Adam was an unused substitute, although t hat did not stop Tottenham fans jeering him at every opportunity. The visitors were quicker out of the blocks and Nacer Chadli shot wide after only 19 seconds, while Asmir Begovic had to react quickly to push Aaron Lennon’s mis-hit cross past the post. Shawcross was furious with what he felt was a forearm to the face from Emmanuel Adebayor but referee Andre Marriner took no action. The home side withstood the early pressure to enjoy a decent spell themselves, and Tottenham were grateful for the presence in their defence of captain Michael Dawson, back after a hamstring injury. The centre-back was key in dealing with the threat of former Spurs striker Peter Crouch, who was making a nuisance of himself in the penalty area. Crouch was involved as Stoke came close to taking the lead in the 27th minute, playing in Stephen Ireland, who cut in from the left and unleashed a powerful shot that just curled beyond the far post. The defender scored his first Barclays Premier League goal of the season in the 33rd minute and was then caught by Ryan Shawcross to earn the Stoke captain a second yellow card seven minutes after the break. Stoke responded well but were unable to find an equaliser as they slipped to only a third home defeat this term. Press Association But six minutes later it was Tottenham who opened the scoring when Adebayor beat Glenn Whelan on the right of the area before sending in a perfect cross for Rose, who planted a fine header past Begovic. And the visitors might have extended their lead just before half-time when Harry Kane, in search of his fourth goal in four games, was given time and space but he dwelled on the ball a fraction too long and his shot was blocked. Stoke began the second half brightly with a shot from Marko Arnautovic that flew wide but their hopes of getting anything from the game were badly dented in the 52nd minute when Shawcross was shown a second yellow card. The defender, who had been booked for a foul on Christian Eriksen in the first half, caught Rose on the shin with his studs. Referee Marriner initially did not even give a free-kick but, with Rose still on the floor, pulled back play and produced the red card, much to the anger of the home fans. Stoke boss Mark Hughes moved Marc Muniesa to centre-back, with Erik Pieters replacing Ireland and taking over at left-back. Rose was being booed every time he touched the ball and the full-back was booked for pushing Geoff Cameron in the chest after the Stoke man had felled him. His game was over soon after as Sherwood took him out of the firing line to be replaced with Zeki Fryers. Stoke were fired up and were enjoying their best spell of the game, with Peter Odemwingie, Arnautovic and Steven Nzonzi all missing the target. Arnautovic then produced a much better effort that was rather awkwardly blocked by Hugo Lloris. At the other end, Eriksen sent a free-kick just over the bar, but it was Stoke doing most of the attacking and their calls for a penalty were in vain as Dawson and Odemwingie clashed. Their clearest opening came in the 84th minute as Arnautovic broke through but the Austrian shot tamely at Lloris, and Begovic had to be at his best to deny Paulinho in stoppage time. last_img read more

Morrison eyes return to London

first_imgOn-loan Sheffield Wednesday striker Clinton Morrison says he would welcome a return to London on a permanent basis.Morrison, 32, made a temporary switch from Hillsborough to Brentford last week and has not ruled out signing for the Bees in the summer.The Republic of Ireland international accepts he will move on at the end of the season after being unable to establish himself as a first-team regular at Wednesday.And regardless of where he ends up, the Tooting-born Morrison, who made his name while at Crystal Palace, would like to stay in the capital.“I like London and I’d like to come back and play here,” he told West London Sport.“Whether I’ll end up signing [for Brentford] or not it’s too early to say. I just want to play as much as possible and see what happens.“What I can say though is that the manager has been good to me and so have the other lads, and I’m enjoying it.”See also: Owls may regret loan deal – MorrisonFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Full 2019 Raiders schedule: Opponents, dates and times

first_imgThe Raiders begin their 2019 season just like they did a year ago, hosting the back end of Monday Night Football’s Week 1 doubleheader, this time against the Broncos.Denver will trot out Joe Flacco as their quarterback for the first time. Who will try to sack him remains a mystery, but the Raiders are sure to answer that question, in part, with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft a week from Thursday.Some tidbits from the Raiders’ 2019 schedule:The Raiders play five straight games …last_img read more

Vote for Kevin: South African tennis star nominated for ATP award

first_img5 November 2015Tennis player Kevin Anderson is currently ranked 12th in the ATP World Tour rankings and has been nominated for the tour’s Fan’s Favourite Awards, which include among others Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Gael Monfils. The award recognises not only outstanding performances throughout the year, but also looks at the popularity of players with courtside fans and global supporters.Anderson now need his country’s full support to win the ATP award, as the winner is decided by the fans through global online voting.On Monday, 1 November, Anderson tweeted to his over 45 000 followers that he was grateful to be nominated by the fans and hoped he could rely on South African fans to vote for him to claim the top spot.So excited to be nominated for @ATPWorldTour Fans’ Favourite Award! You can vote for me until November 9th here: https://t.co/5FnEGUnzDz— Kevin Anderson (@kevinanderson18) Novembe r 1, 2015Anderson’s nomination and growing popularity on the tour caps an exceptional year for the 29-year-old South African. He reached the fourth round at Wimbledon, where he led eventual champion Novak Djokovic two sets to love, taking both sets through tiebreakers.But his big moment of the year was at the US Open, where he defeated Andy Murray, advancing to his first-ever quarter-finals in a major after seven failed attempts. He won the first two sets, then lost the third set via tiebreaker, but after a hard-fought fourth set, Anderson pulled away, winning the tiebreaker 7-0 and capturing the victory.U.S. Open: Andy Murray upset by Kevin Anderson http://t.co/s5ud8Vow0U pic.twitter.com/4iT5PxKjL3— Andy Murray Daily (@AndyMurrayDaily) Septemb er 10, 2015Anderson won the Winston-Salem Open in August, and was runner-up in the Queen’s Club Championships and the US National Indoor Tennis Championships.A regular on the ATP tour since 2008, Anderson achieved his career-high ranking of number 10 on 12 October 2015. He is the first South African to be ranked in the top 10 since Wayne Ferreira in 1997. Anderson is currently ranked 12th, following quarter-final exits from tournaments in China and Austria.“It was a long-time dream come true.” @kevinanderson18 honoured in Paris. More: https://t.co/O3yxFVeO9o #ATP #tennis pic.twitter.com/TZlMG3Qm85— ATP World Tour (@ATPWorldTour) November 3, 2015Fans can vote for Anderson on the ATP World Tour website. Voting closes on Monday, 9 November.Watch some of Kevin Anderson’s 2015 highlightsSource: News24Wirelast_img read more

Neymar already looking to extend his contract with PSG

first_imgWintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The father-agent said he wants Neymar to play for another 10 years “so it ends like we are today: Happy.” Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ LATEST STORIES Google Philippines names new country directorcenter_img Brazilian player Neymar, center, watches the friendly soccer match between Brazil and Panama at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal, Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Luis Vieira)SAO PAULO — Neymar’s father says the Brazil striker is already looking to extend his contract with Paris Saint-Germain.Neymar da Silva Santos says in an interview published on Monday there is “a very big” likelihood his son will stay at the French club after his current contract ends. Neymar is in the second year of a five-year deal.ADVERTISEMENT Tri-factor duathlon championship SEA Games qualifier Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Neymar’s father, who is also his agent, says “we are already going for an extension with PSG.”“He is always among the (transfer) targets,” Santos told news website UOL. “But that doesn’t mean he is going to one club or to another.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“His name is part of speculations since age 17, when he had his professional debut. Neymar has two transfers in his life, but it has been 10 years of speculations. The likelihood that he doesn’t leave (PSG) is very big.”Neymar moved from Barcelona to PSG for 222 million euros (about $250 million) in 2017. The 27-year-old Brazilian is recovering from a foot injury and is expected to return in April. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Professional Sports Handicapper Gianni the Greek Joins WagerTalk

first_imgLAS VEGAS (PRNewswire) – WagerTalk, a leading sports betting information and handicapping service, has come to terms with professional sports handicapper, Gianni the Greek.Known by many names around the Las Vegas Strip – Ace, Vegas-Runner or Gianni the Greek, professional sports handicapper Gianni Karalis is one of the industry’s best.“We could not be happier as VR is generally regarded as one of the brightest minds in sports handicapping and a true legend in this industry,” WagerTalk co-founder Lawrence Prezman said. “Our customers have grown accustomed to the best sports betting consultants in the world, and now our team has just gotten stronger.”Karalis broke into the sports betting industry as a bookmaker in Philadelphia in the late 1980s. He moved to Las Vegas in the mid-1990s and served as a runner for respected betting syndicates at the Stardust Race & Sports Book, where he frequently participated on the famous Stardust Line radio show.Since then, Karalis has become one of the most recognizable faces in the Las Vegas sports betting scene. He has made several appearances on ESPN, FOX, CBS, Yahoo! Radio and many more local and national outlets. Karalis has been featured on a CNBC sports betting special, a NY Times Magazine longform on sports betting, and was a featured participant in “The Best of It” sports betting documentary.“I met VR back in 2008, and when I left that first lunch meeting that lasted for hours, I knew at that moment I had a sports betting podcast on my hands,” said WagerTalk co-founder Marco D’Angelo. “It was an instant success. Now getting to work again with him at WagerTalk, it’s like we put the old band back together and we are ready to rock. We will have some of the best sports content that will be both informative but also highly entertaining.”Founded in July 2015, WagerTalk’s team of writers, handicappers, and personalities create content from across the globe. The brand’s YouTube channel has generated over 2.5 million views for its sports betting videos. WagerTalk produces a daily radio show from ESPN Las Vegas, and publishes a weekly podcast.“Since joining the sports betting industry in 2011, I have always wanted to work with VR, he’s one of a kind,” said Kelly Stewart, WagerTalk’s Director of Media Relations. “He’s not only a great guy, but a true asset in this market.”Gianni the Greek specializes in offering his exact bets, plus the strongest positions taken by betting syndicates that he provides wagering accounts for. Gianni’s personal selections will be available at: https://www.wagertalk.com/profile/giannithegreekTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more