Mone’s Covid lobbying ‘extraordinarily aggressive’, claims Hancock

The Conservative peer Michelle Mone made “extraordinarily aggressive” lobbying efforts on behalf of a company bidding to supply Covid tests during the pandemic, Matt Hancock has claimed in a serialisation of his diaries. The former health secretary claimed that Lady Mone made “wild accusations” about the procurement process, intimating that the company she was helping, … Read more

China’s Covid policy didn’t have to end in riot and protest. This is why it did | Stephen Reicher

On Thursday 24 November, a fire broke out on the 15th floor of an apartment block in Urumqi, capital of the western Chinese province of Xinjiang. At least 10 people died, all from the minority Uyghur community. Outrage grew at the fact that the deaths were entirely avoidable, caused by China’s draconian Covid lockdown policy. … Read more

Chinese cities ease Covid curbs in wake of protests

Chinese cities, including the financial hub of Shanghai and Urumqi in the far west, have announced an easing of coronavirus curbs after unprecedented protests against zero-Covid restrictions last weekend. Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region and centre of the first protests, will reopen malls, markets, restaurants and other venues from Monday, authorities said, ending … Read more

‘A gift of life’: the NHS double lung transplant that saved Covid patient

“When I woke up I was confused. I remembered the doctors in St George’s hospital deciding to intubate me. But when I woke up from the intubation, I’d been transferred to another hospital, St Thomas’, and was on a machine that was keeping me alive. I wondered how things had gotten so bad and how … Read more

Covid destroyed my lungs; a double transplant saved my life – video

Cesar Franco is the first person in the UK to undergo a double lung transplant as a result of a Covid-19 infection. He spent five months in St Thomas’ hospital on the NHS’s highest level of live support, with an Ecmo machine effectively breathing for him. When doctors told him his only chance of survival … Read more

England World Cup success could drive up Covid infections, scientists warn

England’s progress in the World Cup could drive up the number of Covid cases across the country this winter, scientists have warned. Researchers say that mass gatherings in pubs, and in homes where friends and relatives get together to watch the team compete in Qatar, could lead to a rise in infections. They point out … Read more

Covid fine cancellations underline sense of unfair treatment in western Sydney

When Stephen heard that the New South Wales government was going to cancel more than $30m in fines for breaches of Covid health orders, relief washed over him. Stephen’s son, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, was fined $1,000 on three separate occasions for breaching restrictions during the height of Sydney’s lockdowns in 2021. One … Read more

Care workers hit back at Matt Hancock’s claim staff brought Covid to care homes

Care workers have hit back at claims by the former health secretary Matt Hancock that the Covid virus was brought into homes by infected staff. In his book, the Pandemic Diaries, which is being serialised in the Daily Mail, Hancock said only a small proportion of cases were caused by his decision to discharge patients … Read more

China’s easing of Covid curbs does not solve Xi Jinping’s dilemma

At the end of October, Xi Jinping had secured his position as China’s most powerful leader in decades, his grip on the country cemented by a norm-breaking third term in office. At the end of November, he faced the most widespread protests China had seen in decades, mostly focused on Covid restrictions but also featuring … Read more