Coronavirus latest news: Police given access to test-and-trace data to enforce self-isolation

Police are to be given the power to access the NHS Test and Trace database if they suspect that an individual should be self-isolating with suspected coronavirus, it has emerged.

The change means officers will be able to access the database directly rather than waiting for a request from councils and health agencies to do so – should they suspect somebody of breaching quarantine measures.

But the move has already led to fears by some leading scientists that it will put people off using Test and Trace and undermine public confidence in the confidentiality of the system.

A senior source told Health Service Journal the move came after Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, made an “incredibly forceful” intervention to ensure that data-sharing arrangements were clarified.

It is understood the office of Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer, expressed “significant reservations” about the move, fearing that it would discourage people from being tested.

As the rain sets in while swathes of the country endure a second lockdown, our attention will inevitably turn again to upgrading our homes – our sanctuaries – in coming months. 

In London’s super-prime property echelons, Covid-busting design is now at the forefront of wealthy home-owners’ minds, including virus-quashing “antechambers” the moment we enter our homes, and self-sanitising wardrobes that minimise the threat of viruses, says Charu Gandhi, head of Elicyon design studio. 

The gatekeeping, however, starts at the front door. A new AI thermal body temperature and facial recognition entry system from OKTO Technologies works on a ‘red for stop, green for go’ basis, allowing only healthy, virus-free visitors to enter the building. 

A Harley Street private GP clinic has partnered with a British technology start-up on a new service which monitors the symptoms of patients who have coronavirus.

London General Practice has provided its 50,000 customers with an app built by Careology, which has repurposed its service that is normally used to track cancer sufferers.

Customers of the private GP clinic are given access to the Careology Connect app if they show coronavirus symptoms. The app pairs with an oxygen saturation meter and a blood pressure cuff to monitor their vital signs and relay them to doctors.

NHS Trusts are exploring the possibility of using hotels to house patients following surgery to reduce their chances of catching coronavirus from wards, The Telegraph understands.

At the height of the first wave, Best Western Great Britain, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Travelodge and Whitbread’s Premier Inn hotel chains were all involved in discussions with Government about using their premises as emergency bed space, or to house staff.

In Reading, some patients were discharged to the Holiday Inn on Basingstoke Road following surgery or illness in an effort to keep beds free for Covid-19 patients.

Now, as infections are once again on the rise across the country, it is understood hospitals in London are once again investigating using hotels to discharge patients.

The coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours, Japanese researchers have found, in a discovery they said showed the need for frequent hand washing to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pathogen that causes the flu survives on human skin for about 1.8 hours by comparison, said the study published this month in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.

Both the coronavirus and the flu virus are inactivated within 15 seconds by applying ethanol, which is used in hand sanitisers.

President Donald Trump, who played down the coronavirus pandemic from its onset, criticised Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Saturday for her policies to curb the outbreak, drawing shouts of “lock her up” from a rally crowd.

Mr Trump made the remarks during the first stop of a three-day trip through critical swing states, some of which he won in 2016 but that polls show are supporting Democratic rival Joe Biden this year.

The president held large rallies in Wisconsin and Michigan despite rising coronavirus cases in both states. Supporters who attended the rallies did not maintain social distancing. Some wore masks, some did not.

Australia’s state of Victoria, the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, will see some of its months-long restrictions eased as of Monday but retailers and restaurants must wait longer, the state’s premier said on Sunday.

After more than 100 days in a strict lockdown, the five million people living in Melbourne, Victoria’s capital, will be able to spend as much time outdoors as they wish, but must stay within a 25-kilometre (15-mile) radius from their homes, Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Public gatherings will remain tightly limited, and retailers and restaurants must operate only on take-away or delivery orders, with the state government eyeing their reopening by Nov. 1, Mr Andrews said.

China reported 13 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for Oct. 17, the same as a day earlier, the health commission said on Sunday.

All of the new infections were imported, according to a statement by the National Health Commission.

As of Saturday, mainland China had 85,672 confirmed cases, the health authority said, and the death toll stands at 4,634.

New Zealand confirmed a new community case of Covid-19 on Sunday, two weeks after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that the South Pacific nation had “beat the virus again”.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the latest case involved a port-side worker who returned a positive test on Saturday afternoon.

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News – Coronavirus latest news: Police given access to test-and-trace data to enforce self-isolation