HERE are some of the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

Latest statistics

No coronavirus deaths in the North-East and North Yorkshire hospital were recorded over the weekend.

Latest figures published on Sunday afternoon confirmed a total of 1,733 people had died in the region after testing positive for Covid-19.

Nationally, a further 21 Covid-19 related deaths were recorded in hospital settings in England on Sunday, 148 deaths on Saturday.

The total number of Covid-19 associated UK deaths is now 44,819 – 40,234 in England, 2,490 in Scotland, 1,541 in Wales and 544 in Northern Ireland – and 289,603 people have tested positive for the virus.

Vaccine progress

Professor Robin Shattock, who heads Imperial College London's vaccine team, said that the Covid-19 vaccine could be rolled out across the UK in the first half of next year if everything goes "really well".

He told Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday: "So we anticipate if everything goes really well that we'll get an answer as to whether it works by early next year.

"And we have put in place the infrastructure to make that vaccine for the whole of the UK.

"So, assuming that the funding is there to purchase that vaccine, we could have that vaccine rolled out across the UK in the first half of next year."

On the possibility of a vaccine available by September, he said: "I think that feels very optimistic but you know, again, all bets are off, it's still a possibility but I think it's a really, really low possibility.

"Partly because the number of infections in the UK have fallen so much, which is a great thing for the UK, but it means making, testing a vaccine and seeing if it works so much harder."

Businesses reopening

BEAUTY salons, tattoo and massage studios, physical therapy businesses, nail bars, spas and piercing services will be allowed to reopen on Monday, July 13.

Inquiry into Government’s handling of virus

MPs are launching an immediate inquiry into the Government's response to coronavirus with final recommendations set to be released by the end of the summer.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus (APPG) will take evidence from bereaved families, health experts, professional bodies and the public.

It comes amid growing calls for the Government to launch an independent inquiry into its handling of the crisis.

The APPG is chaired by Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, with vice-chairs from the Conservatives, Labour, the SNP, Green Party and Plaid Cymru.

Ms Moran said: "From the neglect of care homes to the lack of an effective testing regime, each day brings more evidence of mistakes in the handling of this pandemic - and there is every indication that we will see a potential second spike this winter.

"The country and the NHS cannot afford for these errors to be repeated. There is no time to waste when it comes to learning the lessons from the UK response to the pandemic. This is why we are launching our parliamentary inquiry and will be taking evidence immediately."

Angelina Jolie to call for more help for young people

Actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie is to warn that children around the world left without schooling during the coronavirus crisis may never set foot in a classroom again unless action is taken.

Ms Jolie will call for practical assistance to ensure access to continuity of education for young people worldwide at a high-level virtual event on refugee education.

She will tell a Unesco and UNHCR round-table event today: "For millions of children and youth, schools are a lifeline of opportunity as well as a shield. Classrooms offer protection - or at least a reprieve - from violence, exploitation and other difficult circumstances.

"Without urgent practical assistance, some of the children left without schooling worldwide due to the coronavirus may never set foot in a classroom again. We must find ways to try to ensure access to continuity of education for young people across the world.

"Ensuring education for refugee children is something we can make happen, if we all come together."

Cancer treatment petition

A petition calling for urgent action to prevent thousands of cancer deaths due to treatment delays during the Covid-19 crisis has topped 100,000 signatures within hours of being launched.

It was created by Craig and Mandy Russell just weeks after their daughter Kelly Smith, 31, who had bowel cancer, died during lockdown.

They are "terrified" by estimates from medical experts who fear that in a worst-case scenario there will be 35,000 excess cancer deaths in the UK in the next year.

The petition, which had gathered more than 130,000 signatures by Sunday afternoon, is part of the family's campaign called Catch Up With Cancer, which they have launched with the group Radiotherapy4Life.


Ill children put at risk by ventilator shortage

Thousands of seriously ill children are being put at risk due to shortages of ventilator equipment, a charity has warned.

WellChild, the national charity for sick children, said that around 3,000 families with children who use ventilators are facing shortages of equipment such as bacterial filters and tubes which need regular replacement.

Due to the difficulties in accessing equipment, some parents are being told to use their supplies for longer than previously recommended, with some families told to use them for twice as long as usual.

Parents have expressed fears of infection, which may lead to potential hospital stays, long-term damage to the child's health or death.