Coronavirus - 30 September


• In August, 58% of GP appointments were face-to- face, vs 54% in January

• Furlough scheme comes to an end with 1.6m still claiming

• Lockdown to be lifted in Ho Chi Minh City tomorrow

• Scotland’s vaccine passport scheme to begin tomorrow

• Malaysia mandates vaccines for federal workers

World news

• The UK’s furlough scheme (CJRS) closes today after its introduction in March 2020. Since its inception there have been 11.6 million unique jobs covered by claims for support from the scheme. Latest figures show that there were 484,000 employers, with 1.6 million staff, on furlough on 31 July 2021.

• The volume of face -to -face GP consultations in England has changed little since the winter lockdown, latest data shows. Just 58% patients were seen face -to -face in August, compared to the 54% seen in January. However, the equivalent figure was over 80% before the pandemic, according to the data from NHS Digital.

• The government has announced £500m of grants aimed at helping families struggling with the cost of living, to replace the Covid -19 local support grant programme. The new grants will be distributed by local councils in England, with funds being made available in October.

• Scotland’s vaccine passport scheme will start tomorrow as planned , after a judge refused a legal challenge from nightclubs seeking to delay it.

• From April to June the UK’s economy grew by 5.5%, which was higher than the previous estimate of 4.8%. However, the UK economy was still 3.3% smaller than in the final quarter of 2019.

• In Africa, 14 out of 54 countries have met the global target of vaccinating more than 10% of their populations by the end of September, according to the World Health Organization. The Seychelles, Mauritius and Morocco have achieved the highest vaccination rates, with all being above 40%. However, just 4% of Africans are fully vaccinated, compared with 60% in the European Union.

• The mental health of children and young people has not improved since last year’s lockdown, a survey by NHS Digital suggests. The survey found that 17% of children in England had a probable mental disorder in 2021 – similar to 2020, which is up from 11% in 2017. Nearly 40% of six to 16 -year -olds, and 50% of 17 to 23 -year -olds, say they felt their mental health had gotten worse over that time, with girls more affected than boys.

• The lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, lifts tomorrow, ending almost three months of restrictions on movement.

• Malaysia has announced it is now mandatory for all federal government employees to be vaccinated, with exceptions only to be allowed on health grounds. Unvaccinated employees have been given until 1 November to complete their vaccinations.

• Slovenia has temporarily suspended use of the one -dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

• The Broadway musical Aladdin currently being performed at The New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City, has been cancelled one day after reopening due to multiple cases within the company.