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Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has warned it could be a “chaotic situation” on Monday with the return to school of most primary children in England.
He told the BBC’s Breakfast programme: “There are many parents in Greater Manchester waking up quite anxious this morning, teachers as well of course and support staff in schools, and children.
“So there’s a lot of people who are worried about what’s happening and I think the really important thing is this doesn’t become a big political row today.
“What we need to find is a practical way through all of this. I would say that the current course is not going to work.”
He added: “It will be quite a chaotic situation tomorrow I think given all of the anxieties that people have.”
Thailand’s government held off from ordering new nationwide business shutdowns on Sunday amid a new wave of coronavirus cases, Reuters reported, but empowered some provincial governors to set their own restrictions and pleaded with the public not to travel.
Thailand, which had largely controlled the virus by mid-2020, saw a second wave of outbreaks beginning in December.
On Sunday, it confirmed 315 new coronavirus cases, the majority of which are from local transmission, bringing its total to 7,694 cases and 64 deaths since its first case last January.
The country also reported its first known case of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus called B.1.1.7 on Sunday, Yong Poovorawan, a senior virologist from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, said in a post on his official Facebook page.
The variant was found in a family of four who were in quarantine after arriving in Thailand from the UK, and Yong said there is no risk of that variant being spread in Thailand.
The government COVID-19 taskforce had earlier designated 28 provinces, including Bangkok, as high risk zones and recommended suspension of some businesses and crowded activities in those area that pose infection risks to the public.
The measures, which still need final approval from Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, will empower provincial governors to suspend businesses and other activities if there is a risk of infection, Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for Thailand’s COVID-19 taskforce said.
Good morning and welcome to the Guardian’s rolling coverage of coronavirus in the UK and around the world.
In Britain this morning, Boris Johnson is due to be interviewed by Andrew Marr for the BBC. He’ll face what is likely to be a testing encounter, his first one-to-one interview since the government changed its guidance over Christmas and as case numbers continue to rise.
The Sunday newspapers are leading on coverage of the vaccine rollout and the battle over reopening of schools, with my Observer colleagues Michael Savage and Donna Ferguson reporting:
The planned reopening of schools in England has descended into disarray, as unions advised teachers not to return to the classroom, heads took legal action over the government’s plans and senior Tories warned that school gates may have to remain shut for weeks to come.
Elsewhere, India authorized the AstraZeneca vaccine for use as well sa one developed by Indian company Bharat Biotech. Russia has just reported another 24,150 coronavirus cases and 504 deaths in the last 24 hours, slightly fewer cases but more deaths than yesterday. Germany, meanwhile, reported 10,315 new cases, and 312 deaths.
We’ll bring you all the developments as they happen.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Covid live news: UK row over schools intensifies; India authorises Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine | World news