Travel insurance slump cuts profits at Moneysupermarket

Profits fall 27% as pandemic also cuts appetite for new home, car and life insurance deals

Price comparison website Moneysupermarket has reported a sharp slump in annual profits after coronavirus restrictions wiped out demand for travel insurance.

The financial services platform, which helps customers compare deals, reported a 24% fall in pre-tax profits, to £87.8m, following “negligible” revenues from its TravelSupermarket site.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
via COVID-19 Alerts

The NHS rose to the challenge of Covid, but its next test may be even harder | Bruce Keogh

The health service needs modernising if it is to maintain its position at the forefront of patient care and medical research

  • Bruce Keogh is a former national medical director of NHS England

Over the past year, our NHS has risen to the challenges of the pandemic. But it’s been a very close-run thing. There have been well-publicised difficulties such as the shortage of ventilators, ICU beds and PPE, and the physical and staffing capacity of the health service has been strained to breaking point. GPs have managed the risks to patients who have been unable to receive specialist care. We now face a growing backlog of postponed treatments and emerging mental health issues. So if we were to imagine a post-Covid NHS, toughened by the challenges of the pandemic but better prepared for the future, what would it look like?

Related: How Covid is driving enrolments in postgraduate health courses

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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Calls for compensation scheme for UK frontline workers with long Covid

In letters to Boris Johnson, MPs and peers urge him to recognise long Covid as occupational disease

Boris Johnson is being urged to launch a compensation scheme for frontline workers who are suffering from the long-term effects of coronavirus.

The all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus said the prime minister should recognise long Covid as an occupational disease, saying some sufferers have found it hard to return to work.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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‘We have to bring art back’: with theaters closed, New York performers head outdoors

Performers are trying to find ways to adapt to the pandemic as the future of New York’s art spaces remains uncertain

Surrounded by snow and ice, against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline and the East River, members of a dance troupe launched into their ballet exercises using a hand rail as a makeshift barre.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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BAME groups urged to have Covid vaccine in UK TV ad campaign

Main broadcasters uniting this Thursday to show film in which ethnic minority stars encourage take-up

A video campaign urging ethnic minority communities to take the Covid-19 vaccine is to be aired simultaneously by the main British broadcasters on Thursday.

The national television broadcast, which features personalities including Adil Ray, Moeen Ali, Denise Lewis, Romesh Ranganathan, Meera Syal, David Olusoga and Beverley Knight, addresses cultural concerns about the vaccine in minority communities.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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Australia’s coronavirus vaccine rollout to start next week in 240 aged care homes

Chief medical officer warns ‘there will be bumps in the road’ during vaccination program as Victoria emerges from its snap lockdown

Australia will begin its first coronavirus vaccinations from Monday in about 240 aged care homes across more than 190 locations around the country.

The rollout will begin with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine due to join the rollout from early March.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
via COVID-19 Alerts

Snowstorms throw US vaccine distribution into disarray

Vaccination sites close or see shipments delayed, heightening frustrations as thousands of shots are canceled

Devastating winter storms sweeping the US have injected confusion and frustration into the nation’s Covid-19 vaccination drive, snarling deliveries and forcing the cancellation of thousands of shots around the country.

Across a large swath of the US, including deep south states such as Georgia and Alabama, the snowy, slippery weather either led to the closing of vaccination sites outright or held up the necessary shipments, with delays expected to continue for days.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
via COVID-19 Alerts

‘Wildly unfair’: UN says 130 countries have not received a single Covid vaccine dose

UN secretary general calls for ‘global vaccine taskforce’ led by G20 in what he says is a ‘moral test’ of world community

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, has sharply criticised the “wildly uneven and unfair” distribution of Covid vaccines, saying 10 countries have administered 75% of all vaccinations and demanding a global effort to get all people in every country vaccinated as soon as possible.

The UN chief told a high-level meeting of the UN security council on Wednesday that 130 countries had not yet received a single dose of vaccine.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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Coronavirus live news: UN says 130 countries have not received a single vaccine dose

UN Secretary General calls for ‘global vaccine taskforce’ led by G20; 21% of Covid patients with diabetes die within 28 days of hospital admission

One in five diabetes patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19 die within 28 days, research suggests.

PA media: Results from an ongoing study by the University of Nantes in France also showed that one in eight diabetes patients admitted to hospital with coronavirus were still in hospital 28 days after they first arrived.

Diabetes UK said understanding which people with the condition are at a higher risk if they are admitted to hospital with Covid-19 will help to improve care and save lives.

The findings show that within 28 days of being in hospital 577 of the 2,796 patients studied (21%) had died, while almost 50% (1,404) had been discharged from hospital, with a typical stay of nine days.

Around 12% remained in hospital at day 28, while 17% had been transferred to a different facility to their initial hospital.

The authors of the CORONADO (Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and Diabetes Outcomes) study, published in the Diabetologia journal, said: “The identification of favourable variables associated with hospital discharge and unfavourable variables associated with death can lead to patient reclassification and help to use resources adequately according to individual patient profile.”

In May last year, earlier results from the study, based on smaller sample of people, suggested that 10% of Covid patients with diabetes died within seven days of a hospital admission.

Dr Faye Riley, senior research communications officer at Diabetes UK, said the study supports previous research which showed certain risk factors, such as older age and a history of diabetes complications, “put people with diabetes at higher risk of harm if they catch coronavirus”.

“It also provides fresh insight into factors that are linked with a quicker recovery from the virus,” she said.

The United Nations on Wednesday led calls for a coordinated global effort to vaccinate against Covid-19, warning that gaping inequities in initial efforts put the whole planet at risk, AFP reports.

Foreign ministers met virtually for a first-ever UN Security Council session on vaccinations called by current chair Britain, which said the world had a “moral duty” to act together against the pandemic that has killed more than 2.4 million people.

Just 10 countries have administered 75% of all #COVID19 vaccines.

Yet, more than 130 countries have not received a single dose.

Those affected by conflict & insecurity are being left behind.

Everyone, everywhere, must be vaccinated as soon as possible.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
via COVID-19 Alerts

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