Pandemic cost UK $508bn, Paris protests: COVID-19 Daily Bulletin
Patrick Rhys Atack
Helge Braun is the highest ranking German official to suggest an internal 'vaccine passport' for events / Reuters / Michael Kappeler

Helge Braun is the highest ranking German official to suggest an internal 'vaccine passport' for events / Reuters / Michael Kappeler


· The UK government's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said the cost of emergency spending during the pandemic has reached at least $508 billion. It warned taxpayers could be dealing with the cost for generations and said it expects ministers to draw up a fully-costed recovery plan this autumn. 

· In a related publication, the PAC noted $2.74 billion worth of the UK's personal protective equipment (PPE) was "not fit for purpose" and estimated $35.7 billion had been lost from fraud and unpaid business loans.

· Several arrests were made in Paris on Saturday as police faced off with anti-lockdown protestors in Paris. French authorities said at least 160,000 people took to the streets across the country to voice opposition to COVID-19 measures. 

· A top German official warned those who chose not to be vaccinated might not be allowed into restaurants, venues or stadiums if infection rates get too high. Chief of staff to Angela Merkel, Helge Braun, said the current trajectory risks 100,000 infections per day. 

· New UK Health Minister Sajid Javid has been criticized for a message on social media that asked people to get vaccinated instead of "cowering" from COVID-19. "Cower" means to back away in fright - and his use of the word has offended many. Following the backlash, Javid said, "it was a poor choice of words and I sincerely apologize."

· Scientists have warned the UK government has created the perfect conditions for variants of the virus to form by relaxing restrictions, which could see cases reaching 100,000 a day. All while large numbers of people don't have protection from both doses of the vaccine.

· Spanish golfer Jon Rahm has withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for the virus for the second time in two months. The world number one recently won the U.S. Open but tested positive despite having at least one vaccine jab. 




Natalie Carney in Germany

Germany's Chancellery Minister has announced possible restrictions in the autumn for people who have not been vaccinated. 

Earlier this month, chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany will not make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory, yet more and more politicians are pointing towards possible disadvantages for those who do not get the jab.

The premier of Baden-Württemberg says compulsory vaccinations in the southern state cannot be ruled out in the future. "It could well be that at some point we will only allow certain areas and activities for vaccinated people," said Winfried Kretschman.

The number of people fully vaccinated against the coronavirus across the country is around 49.1 percent, according to the Robert Koch Institute, while 60.8 percent have had at least one shot.

Yet concerns continue over the country's rising incident rate, which is now at 13.8, following 1,387 new infections reported over the last 24 hours.


Iolo ap Dafydd in the UK

The pace of the vaccination drive in the UK is slowing. A social media campaign to boost more under 30's to be vaccinated links jabs to the ability to go on holiday. Roughly 3 million 18-30's are yet to receive their first dose.

The government is also contemplating making double jabs obligatory for football supporters who want to attend Premier League matches. Other mass events with more than 20,000 spectators could require full vaccination from October too, including major concerts.

Also, in the autumn, a National Health Service booster jab rollout is expected to deliver 35 million doses to over-50's and the most vulnerable to try and stop  another winter lockdown

The cost of the pandemic in the UK keeps mounting. In two new reports by Parliament, the Public Accounts Committee said the executive's response to the crisis has exposed UK taxpayers to "significant financial risks for decades to come."



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CGTN Europe has been providing in-depth coverage of the novel coronavirus story as it has unfolded. 

Source(s): Reuters

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