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Covid-19: Heart deaths increase and testing for care home visitors

Publishedduration4 hours ago

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Saturday morning. We’ll have another update for you on Sunday morning.

1. Heart deaths ‘up’

Almost 5,000 more people have died from heart problems in England than would be expected since the start of the pandemic, the British Heart Foundation has warned. Analysis by the charity found excess deaths are 7% above predicted levels. The charity is urging people not to delay checks or treatment during the second wave of the virus, while NHS England says hospitals are redesigning services so that care can go ahead safely.

image copyrightGetty Images

2. A hard winter ahead

Despite this week’s vaccine breakthrough, the UK is going to be wresting with Covid for some time yet, says our health correspondent Nick Triggle. The UK has become the first European country to pass the grim milestone of 50,000 deaths and we’ve see a record rise in new cases – both are a clear reminder that there are many more difficult days to come. More lockdowns, more isolating? Nick looks at what’s in store.

image copyrightGetty Images

3. Testing for care home visitors

People visiting relatives and friends in care homes will be able to access regular coronavirus testing as part of a trial, says the government. A new pilot in England will see screening rolled out across 20 care homes in Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall, with other regions expected to see regular tests before Christmas. Tests for one family member or friend for each resident could end restrictions on visits, when used with other measures such as face coverings.

4. A very different lockdown Diwali

Every year, Leicester’s Golden Mile – the city’s length of road famous for its South Asian connections – becomes a noisy, joyous mass of colour and light as residents and visitors from around the world celebrate Diwali. “Normally all the shops have decorations and signs up in their windows,” Joshna Ramji, 62, said. “It’s full of people buying gifts, food, new clothes or getting their hair done. But this year nobody is doing that. The atmosphere is very different.” Undeterred, our Radio 1 Newsbeat colleagues have been finding out how people are planning to still have a fun Diwali.

image copyrightJoshna Ramji

5. Lighting up Christmas

Thoughts of digging out the baubles may be a way off for some, but not for Paul Fenning, from Doncaster. Determined to put a smile on people’s faces, he’s turned his house into a Christmas spectacle and says the decorations are needed more than ever this year. And he’s not the only one, as BBC Breakfast found out,

media captionPaul Fenning from Doncaster loves decorating his home for Christmas.And don’t forget…

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Plus, find out how the pandemic has affected your area and how it compares with the national average.

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