Coronavirus latest: NHS warned of winter triple virus threat as pubs, restaurants urged to consider Covid passports

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he NHS has been warned to prepare for a triple threat of respiratory viruses this winter with as many 60,000 deaths from flu under the worse-case scenario set out in a new report.

The report, commissioned by Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, warned that a mix of Covid-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), could put severe strain on the NHS this winter.

It comes as new guidance issued by the Government for businesses has suggested hospitality firms will be encouraged to as customers to show Covid passports to enter their premises.

It comes after Boris Johnson on Monday signalled Covid passports would be recommended for nightclubs and venues with “large crowds”.

Live updates

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Vaccine deliveries finally pick up in Asia

As many Asian countries battle their worst surge of Covid infections, the slow-flow of vaccine doses from around the world is finally picking up speed, giving hope that low inoculation rates can increase and help blunt the effect of the rapidly spreading delta variant.

Some 1.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine were set to arrive Thursday afternoon in Indonesia, which has become a dominant hot spot with a record high infections and deaths.

The US shipment comes in addition to 3 million other American doses that arrived Sunday, and 11.7 million doses of AstraZeneca that have come in batches since March through the UN-backed Covax scheme.

The International Red Cross warned this week of a “widening global vaccine divide”.

Vietnam, Thailand and South Korea have all imposed new lockdown restrictions over the past week as they struggle to contain rapidly rising infections amid sluggish vaccination campaigns.

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Up to 60,000 deaths possible from flu this winter

As many as 60,000 people could die from flu this winter, scientists have said, as they warn a combination of seasonal viruses and Covid-19 could mean that the NHS is “unable to cope”.

Experts said if left unchecked, the flu season could be particularly deadly.

The new report, commissioned by Sir Patrick Vallance, warned that a mix of Covid-19, influenza (flu) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), could put severe strain on the NHS.

Scientists said that people who are sick should “stay out of the way” to avoid spreading flu and other winter viruses.

Covid-19 restrictions meant that many respiratory viruses were kept at bay last winter.

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