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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: The latest updates on Thursday, 10 December
Last updated: Thursday, 10 December, 2020, 12:22
- Culture Secretary urged to help live events next year
- Total daily deaths registered with Covid over 4,000
- Scotland records 50 deaths from coronavirus on Thursday
- 933 positive tests in 24 hours
- 5,330 people have had Covid-19 vaccine in Scotland
Warning over rising air pollution when Covid restrictions end
Air pollution could rise significantly as coronavirus restrictions end, a think tank warned as it called on cities to reboot stalled plans to tackle the problem.
Levels of toxic air fell dramatically in many places in the spring as the country went into full lockdown, Centre for Cities said.
But analysis shows that concentrations of air pollution have risen again over the summer to pre-pandemic levels or higher, even though most of the country remains under restrictions.
This means that, as life returns to normal, pollution could climb even higher, the think tank warned.
It is calling for councils which shelved their pollution reduction plans in the face of the pandemic to revisit them.
Pollution, such as nitrogen dioxide from traffic, is linked to 40,000 deaths a year in the UK, and research has suggested that 15% of Covid-19 deaths can be attributed to toxic air.
Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide fell on average by 38% in cities and large towns as a result of lockdown, analysis from Centre for Cities in partnership with the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (Crea) said.
Some of the biggest falls were seen in Glasgow, with a 57% reduction, followed by Warrington and Oxford, where pollution levels also more than halved, though other places such as Southampton saw much smaller drops.
Nicola Sturgeon defends ‘cautious approach’ as Edinburgh remains in Level 3
Nicola Sturgeon has insisted she did not “pick on” Edinburgh by refusing to loosen coronavirus restrictions in place in the city.
Politicians in the capital have voiced anger at news it will remain under Level 3 restrictions – the second highest tier.
The First Minister said she fears taking a less cautious approach could see Covid-19 cases “skyrocket” in the city, leading to “even more severe restrictions” being imposed.
She stressed decisions on restriction levels are “difficult”, and added: “I am not taking these decisions for no reason.”
During the coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, she said: “The day I can stand here and say the whole of Scotland is open again, there are no restrictions, go back to living your life normally, will be the happiest day of my life.
“I can’t wait to get there, but we are not there yet.”
Allergy warning over Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine
People with a history of life-threatening allergic reactions to a vaccine or food should not get the Pfizer Covid-19 jab, the head of the UK’s medicines regulator said.
But June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said anaphylaxis was a “known … very rare side effect with any vaccine”.
It comes after two NHS staff members who received the jab on Tuesday had allergic reactions after being given the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
The health workers, who are understood to both have a history of severe allergic reactions, were among thousands to receive the vaccine on the first day of the Covid-19 mass vaccination programme.
A further report of a possible allergic reaction following immunisation was also received by the MHRA.
Dr Raine said a group including experts on allergy and clinical immunology was convened on Wednesday to consider any possible mitigation to the “rare risk of anaphylaxis”.
Ex-Doctor Who star Peter Davison: Older people don’t want to be locked away
Ex-Doctor Who star Peter Davison says older people do not want to be “locked away” amid the pandemic, and their lives are being “stolen”.
The actor, 69, who played the Time Lord in the 1980s, said there has been a “miscalculation” and that older people would “much rather be taking the risk while they’re still compos mentis”.
The fifth Doctor told Radio Times Christmas issue: “I’m getting a bit tired of Zooming people.
“This year has all been about protecting older, vulnerable people.
“But the irony is that every vulnerable person I’ve spoken to – and I’m nearly at that age myself – doesn’t want to be locked away and protected from this disease.
“The last years of these people’s lives are being stolen when they’d much rather be taking the risk while they’re still compos mentis.
“I understand that hospital numbers have to be kept at a level where it’s still possible to look after patients, but a huge miscalculation is being made somewhere.”
Culture Secretary urged to help live events next year
Live events could be cancelled next year unless the Government helps with insurance, campaigners have warned.
Event organisers, MPs and insurers have backed an open letter to the Culture Secretary saying that festivals, theatre productions and sports events remain under threat despite the start of the mass vaccination programme.
The Let LIVE Thrive campaign wants the Government to underwrite contingency insurance, which is needed in the event of cancellation.
They say that events must be planned before vaccines are rolled out.
Deaths in Fife care home as residents and staff test positive for Covid-19
A number of residents have died amid a Covid-19 cluster at a care home, the local health board has said.
NHS Fife said that 35 residents and 32 staff at Canmore Lodge Care Home in Dunfermline have tested positive for the virus.
The health board could not confirm the number of deaths for confidentiality reasons but said it was less than five.
On the allergy warning over the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 jab, Professor David Salisbury, a former Department of Health director of immunisation, said that adverse reactions happen “of the order of about one in a million doses”.
BBC boss Tim Davie warns of ‘human cost’ of false claims about vaccine
BBC director-general Tim Davie has warned of the “human cost” of disinformation amid conspiracy theories about coronavirus vaccines.
His comments follow a rise in false claims about the vaccines posted on social media platforms.
Davie said: “2020 has been a year like no other. We have seen the rapid spread of harmful disinformation and a growing number of conspiracy theories online.
“Whether it’s a threat to our health or a threat to our democracy, there is a human cost to disinformation.”
His comments came after media and technology giants pledged to work together to tackle harmful coronavirus disinformation.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden hopes a “full return” of fans at sporting events will have occurred by autumn 2021.
Deaths in Dunfermline care home as 35 residents test positive for Covid-19
A number of residents in a Fife care home have died amid a Covid-19 cluster, the local health board has said.