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Coronavirus latest news: Calls for more support for children’s mental health during pandemic

Hospital admissions for children with eating disorders have risen by almost a fifth in two years and by almost a third among all age groups, new figures show.

NHS Digital data for England shows a rise in admissions across most parts of the country, with the Covid-19 pandemic also having an effect on inpatient treatment.

The data shows there were 21,794 admissions for eating disorders among all age groups in 2019/20.

Tom Madders, campaigns director at Young Minds charity, said: “It is worrying to see a further rise in the number of children and young people being admitted to hospital for eating disorders.

“While there have been improvements in waiting times for eating disorder services for children in recent years, it can still be difficult for them to get the help they need before they reach crisis point.

“With it becoming clearer that the pandemic is deepening the crisis in young people’s mental health, the Government must act to ensure that early support is there for those that are struggling and make prevention and early intervention a genuine priority.”

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6:17AM

Johnson & Johnson vaccine gets green light in Philippines

The Philippines has approved a clinical trial for the Covid vaccine of Johnson & Johnson’s unit Janssen, the head of its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Tuesday.

The trials could begin in the next few weeks.

The FDA is still evaluating the late-stage trial applications of Sinovac and Clover.

5:51AM

More than 19 million cases in US

Triage tents for treating Covid patients outside medical centres in Los Angeles, California, on Monday

Triage tents for treating Covid patients outside medical centres in Los Angeles, California, on Monday

Credit:
REUTERS/Bing Guan

The United States has topped 19 million Covid cases with hospital intensive care units full to overflowing across much of California, a major American virus hot spot.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said mandatory constraints on social gatherings and business activities would almost certainly be renewed for at least three more weeks in Southern California.

Mr Newsom said a formal decision on continuing the stay-at-home orders, among the most stringent in the US, would be announced on Tuesday, based on trends projected by health authorities for coming weeks.

Since US regulatory approval was granted to two vaccines earlier this month, about 300,000 doses have been administered in California, the most populous US state with 40 million residents.

Nationwide, well over two million people have received the first of the prescribed two-dose vaccine.

Among them were residents and staff of a nursing home that made headlines as ground zero of the nation’s earliest major Covid outbreak – the Life Care Centre in Kirkland, Washington, outside Seattle.

5:35AM

Troops on standby to run Covid tests

More than 1000 troops have been put on standby to run Covid testing in schools and colleges as ministers battle to get pupils back into the classroom.

It comes after the Government was told by its scientific advisers that secondary schools would have to remain closed in the New Year to quell the spread of the virus.

Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, says “at the moment” the Government intends to go ahead with its plans for a staggered return of schools but admits it is being kept “under review”.

From January, 1,500 military personnel will be on standby across England to roll out testing to students and staff as they form local response teams.

The Department for Education believes mass testing is key to successfully reopening schools.

READ MORE: Troops on standby to run coronavirus testing in schools and colleges

5:25AM

India finds six cases of new coronavirus variant in UK arrivals

A vendor waits for customers at his roadside stall in New Delhi 

A vendor waits for customers at his roadside stall in New Delhi 

Credit:
SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP

India has found six people who returned from Britain in recent weeks infected with a more infectious strain of coronavirus that has prompted a wave of panic and border closures around the world.

All six patients have been kept in isolation, the health ministry said on Tuesday, adding that their fellow travellers were being tracked down.

“Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine,” the ministry said.

India has suspended all flights from Britain until the end of the month but about 33,000 passengers had flown in from late November, before the ban came into place.

Read the full story here.

5:21AM

Analysis: Why ministers must ramp up Covid vaccination

The Telegraph‘s Global Health Security Editor, PAUL NUKI, explains why ministers must ramp up Covid-19 vaccinations to two million people a week, or face a devastating third wave.

 Read his analysis here.

5:01AM

Vaccinate 2m a week to avoid third wave

Vaccines will have to be delivered at a rate of two million a week – double the current target – to avoid a devastating third Covid wave, ministers have been warned. 

The projection has been made by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in a new paper shared with the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which is understood to be circulating in Whitehall. 

It comes as the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been hailed as a “game-changer”, is expected to be approved by Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency imminently.

The vaccine offers the hope of a rapid expansion of the roll-out of jabs because it does not require special storage, and the Government has ordered 100 million doses. 

READ MORE: We must vaccinate two million a week to avoid third Covid wave, Government told

4:58AM

Pandemic helps drive sales of vinyl and cassettes

Vinyl sales grew to their highest level since the Britpop era this year, as consumers turned to the format during the pandemic.

Some 4.8 million vinyl albums were purchased in the UK over the past 12 months, up nearly a tenth on sales in 2019, according to figures from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

Sales dipped during the first lockdown but by September they started showing positive year-to-date growth.

The BPI expects to announce classic albums Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis and Back To Black by Amy Winehouse among the year’s best-selling vinyl albums in its annual report.

It also projects that 157,000 cassettes have been purchased in the past 12 months – the highest number since 2003.

BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “In a year when all our lives have changed, music’s power to inspire has never been more evident.”

RELATED: Vinyl resurgence as music fans yearning for live gigs turn to old-fashioned records

3:59AM

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