AstraZeneca to deliver less than half promised doses to EU in second quarter – report
The failure of successive governments to enact part of the Equality Act, which would have imposed a duty to address socio-economic disadvantage, has exacerbated inequalities in England during the coronavirus pandemic, a thinktank has claimed.
The Runnymede Trust’s report, Facts Don’t Lie, says that the public sector duty provision would have imposed a legal obligation on education authorities in England to ensure working class children on free school meals were fed properly while schools were shut and had access to laptops for remote learning.
Section 1 of the Equality Act 2010 requires authorities, also including local councils, the police and most government departments, to carry out their functions having “due regard to the desirability of exercising them in a way that is designed to reduce the inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage”:
Ireland extends lockdown
Ireland is to start reopening some schools next week but is extending other lockdown restrictions until April to prevent another explosion in Covid-19 cases.
The government has prioritised education and childcare in a cautious new roadmap out of restrictions after a disastrous relaxation before Christmas led to Ireland having the world’s highest rate of infection.
The taoiseach, Micheál Martin, announced the revised Living with Covid plan in a televised address on Tuesday evening.
He praised public compliance with restrictions and said he understood people hoped for relaxations. “The sacrifices you have made have a positive impact – our progress in response to the latest wave is among the best in Europe.”
He said 64% of adults would be vaccinated by May. “We will get through this. I know how hard it is and the toll it is taking on people’s mental health and wellbeing but I also know that the end is now truly in sight.”
The cabinet agreed to extend the maximum level 5 restrictions until 5 April, which means non-essential retail, bars, cafes, construction, gyms and other sectors will remain closed. A 5km travel limit remains in place, as does a ban on household mixing:
French ICU patients with Covid at 12-week high
WHO says global deaths down 20% since last week; cases declining for six straight weeks