Covid-19 latest: disability crisis, GPs under pressure, festival help, pub anger

The Covid-19 virus.

Here’s today’s round-up of Covid-19 latest news.

Disabled lose more care services than non-disabled during pandemic

Half of disabled people who were receiving care before the coronavirus pandemic said they cannot now access all the treatment they need, figures show.

Around three in 10 (29 per cent) said they are only receiving care for some of their conditions, and a further 22 per cent said their treatment had been cancelled or did not start, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Just over a quarter (27 per cent) of disabled people said their care had started or continued as normal, compared with 44 per cent of non-disabled respondents.

Richard Kramer, chief executive of disability charity Sense, said: “We’ve seen time and time again how disabled people have been disproportionately affected [by the pandemic] and these latest figures show the devastating impact of reductions in care and support on disabled people’s health – they simply have been forgotten by Government.

“As we continue through the second lockdown, we can’t let this get any worse.”


GPs say support needed for vaccine roll-out

GPs have said they will need support to deliver the Covid-19 vaccination programme, as health bosses acknowledged some other family doctor services may need to be scaled back.

Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said existing pressures meant family doctors would need help from colleagues to manage the vaccination programme, which is set to be rolled out from December 1.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme today it was right that GPs were at the heart of vaccination but added: “We can’t do everything with the current resources.

“The issue here is mostly about the staff.

“We can’t do the usual things that we do in general practice – looking after acutely ill patients, dealing with people who might have cancer, dealing with people who have long-term conditions, continuing to deliver immunisation, other immunisation programmes – at the same time as delivering the vaccine without having extra staff.”


MPs to explore supporting Covid-hit music festivals in 2021

MPs are to examine the plight of music festivals in the UK after Covid-19 restrictions led to widespread cancellations across the year.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee will look at how Government policy could support festivals due to take place in 2021.

Following the cancellations of Glastonbury, Isle of Wight, TRNSMT and smaller grassroots events, the sector has seen revenues fall by 90 per cent.

Some 4.9million people attended a festival in the UK in 2018, with festivals estimated to have generated a gross £1.76billion last year.

Festivals can currently take place if they are Covid-secure and comply with all relevant legislation, but social distancing means many events can’t break even with substantially reduced ticket sales.


Pub chain boss lashes out at ‘completely muddled’ Covid rules

JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has lashed out at “baffling and confusing” coronavirus restrictions, as the pub chain revealed that England’s second national lockdown will cost it around £14million.

Mr Martin’s latest attack on government measures came as Wetherspoon reported a 27.6 per cent plunge in first-quarter sales for the 15 weeks to November 8, following the introduction of the 10pm curfew.

It added it will burn through around £14million of its reserves while its pubs are forced to close in the second lockdown.

Mr Martin, chairman of Wetherspoon, said: “For any pub or restaurant company trading in different parts of the UK, and for customers generally, the constantly changing national and local regulations, combined with geographical areas moving from one tier to another in the different jurisdictions, are baffling and confusing.

“The entire regulatory situation is a complete muddle.”

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