UK Covid live news: India added to UK’s coronavirus red list as travel ban begins

Latest updates: India joined UK red list from 4am, with returning British citizens and residents now having to quarantine at government-approved hotels

12.14pm BST

Two cases of human-to-cat transmission of Covid-19 have been identified by researchers. Scientists from the University of Glasgow found the cases of Sars-CoV-2 transmission as part of a screening programme of the feline population in the UK.

The cats, of different breeds, were living in separate households and displayed mild to severe respiratory signs. Researchers believe both pets were infected by their owners, who had Covid-19 symptoms before the cats became unwell, PA news reports.

These two cases of human-to-animal transmission, found in the feline population in the UK, demonstrate why it is important that we improve our understanding of animal Sars-CoV-2 infection.

Currently, animal-to-human transmission represents a relatively low risk to public health in areas where human-to-human transmission remains high. However, as human cases decrease, the prospect of transmission among animals becomes increasingly important as a potential source of Sars-CoV-2 reintroduction to humans.

Related: UK scientists find evidence of human-to-cat Covid transmission

11.51am BST

Has Britain moved from a pandemic to an endemic situation? The claim was made during a press conference on Thursday when scientists at Oxford University revealed an analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics.

Their work showed vaccines are driving down Covid in the UK, with two doses of the Pfizer jab slashing asymptomatic infections by 70% and symptomatic infections by 90%.

Without vaccines, I don’t think getting close to zero is really feasible in the situation now in the UK where we’re effectively endemic, we’ve moved from a pandemic to an endemic situation.

Pandemic means something across the world, usually in the context of sweeping the world, and causing problems in lots of countries at the same time, so clearly I didn’t mean that this wasn’t still happening.

What I was trying to get across is the difference between an acute crisis and an ongoing underlying chronic problem. In infectious diseases, we talk about a disease becoming endemic, meaning it is always there and you just have to deal with it, like malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.

Every infection provides the opportunity for the virus to mutate into a new variant that the vaccines are less effective against, so it is on a knife edge,” she said. “We need as many people to get vaccinated and reduce the virus levels to as low as possible.

Continue reading… Source: The Guardian: UK Covid live news: India added to UK’s coronavirus red list as travel ban begins ———