The number of coronavirus cases reported across the UK fell to 1,276 today (confirmed positive cases in the 24-hour period to 9am this morning).

This is a fall of 272 cases on yesterday’s figure which represented the highest number of new Covid-19 cases since mid-June. However, figures recorded in the past week mean the seven-day average remains at 1,190 cases, the highest level since 22 June.

Nine further deaths were recorded – eight were in England and one in Northern Ireland – bringing the UK government’s cumulative death toll to 41,486 (although it bears repeating that this figure reflects only those deaths where the person received a positive test result and died within 28 days, and is lower than that of the UK’s statistical agencies which put the figure at 57,182).

Both the daily case number and the seven-day rolling average remain well above the figures recorded on 23 March, the day national lockdowns were announced (967 daily cases and 730 cases on a seven-day rolling average).

The number of hospitalisations due to Covid-19 remains low at 754 on 26 August.

Young people in Wales are being warned that they must quarantine when they return from some overseas trips after a cluster of cases emerged around Merthyr Tydfil.

Public health officials said the 13 cases are linked through social gatherings and it appears the first young people infected contracted the virus whilst abroad.

Siôn Lingard, consultant in public health for Cwm Taf Morgannwg public health team, said:

If you have been abroad and have returned from a country on the UK quarantine list, then you must not go out for 14 days.

Our investigations into a number of cases of Covid-19 have indicated that a lack of social distancing, in particular by a minority of the 18-30 year age group, has resulted in the spread of the virus to other groups of people.

The Welsh health minister, Vaughan Gething, said:

The thoughtless behaviour of a few can put some of the most vulnerable people at risk of infection.

Anti-lockdown protesters from across the country are expected to gather in London on Saturday afternoon, calling for an end to movement restrictions and the rejection of mass vaccination campaigns and mandatory face masks.

The “unite for freedom” protest is set to gather at Trafalgar Square from 12pm, where it will hear from a number of activists who have campaigned against the government’s coronavirus measures, before marching down Whitehall, past Downing Street, to Parliament Square, where a number of other speakers are due to appear, including the conspiracy theorist David Icke.

Even as the official death toll has mounted from the coronavirus outbreak, opposition has been growing among people who feel that measures imposed by the government in response to the pandemic are a violation of civil liberties.

StandUpX
(@StandUpX2)

UPDATE FOR LONDON PROTEST 29TH AUGUST 12PM TRAFALGAR SQUARE! #vernoncoleman #DavidIcke @davidicke @garethicke #garethicke #londonprotest #awake #lockdown #humanity #Masks #media #BBC pic.twitter.com/6qYCqGtcCe

August 23, 2020

Piers Corbyn, the weather forecaster, who is the older brother of the former leader of the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn, is among those due to speak at Trafalgar Square. Corbyn, who was among 19 arrested at a previous lockdown demonstration, told the Guardian that a number of groups had come together to join in with the demonstration. Explaining the reasons for the protest, he said:

In terms of whether you believe that the virus is a hoax or not, whatever is happening now is less than or equal to a normal flu, so the lockdowns and all that goes with them is unjustifiable in any terms.

We are calling for MPs to refuse renewal of the Covid Act [Coronavirus Act], and if they do not we will campaign to have them removed from office.

Corbyn rejected a suggestion that the presence of Icke, who is known for outlandish conspiracy theories, could discredit their protest, although he distanced the protest due to take place in Parliament Square from that due to happen at Trafalgar Square.

What we are doing in Trafalgar Square doesn’t include David Icke … [but] his contribution against these lockdowns is important. We are trying to build a united front against lockdowns: whatever differences [between what] people might believe, we don’t ask that, we don’t care.

David Icke
(@davidicke)

David Icke speaking at London ‘pandemic’ freedom event this Saturday with doctors and activists. We are looking fascism in the face and it must be the one to blink (Please share far and wide) pic.twitter.com/SJthGQrsgZ

August 28, 2020

The London protest is one of a number due to take place around the world, with others expected in Paris, Ottawa, Copenhagen and several US cities.

Authorities in Berlin had tried to ban a protest due to take place there, but the decision was overturned by a court on Friday afternoon.

The Guardian

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