Snippets from UK: Covid Spreads like Wildfire in Britain with over 200,000 New Cases Reported in 24 Hours

Snippets from UK: Booster Timing Critical to Protection against Covid, Says New British Study


Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a coronavirus media briefing in Downing Street, London, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. (Photo: AP)

From the attempts to restart the stalled India-UK trade talks to the Ferozepur issue being discussed by Punjabis in UK, a roundup of what’s making news at this time.

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  • Last Updated:January 11, 2022, 21:11 IST

Key to staying safe: A new study by the UK Health Security Agency has pointed to timing for a booster shot as critical to protection. Three months after a third booster shot, protection against serious illness from an Omicron infection is about 90 per cent, but protection against minor illness falls to about 30 per cent. That helps to understand what level of protection can be expected when. But this studies only the effect of Pfizer or Moderna as a booster.

Bid to recharge India-UK trade talks: Britain’s trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan is due in Delhi on a two-day visit this week to kickstart the long-due trade talks between India and Britain. Her opposite number will of course be commerce minister Piyush Goyal. Market access barriers and green trade will dominate the talks. On the eve of her departure, Trevelyan said: “I will be using my visit to drive forward an ambitious trade agenda which represents the UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt in action and shows how we are seizing global opportunities as an independent trading nation.”

Boris’s dampener: Prime Minister Boris Johnson may well have pulled the rug from underneath the trade talks before they could begin. He said in reply to a question in parliament that the UK is not considering any deal that could bring thousands of Indians to work in Britain this year. Greater movement of people has been a principal Indian demand. Why India wants to get rid of its best is another matter.

Ferozepur row resonates: The disputes over the reported security breach in Ferozepur in Punjab in relation to the PM’s visit have set off deep divisions among the Punjabi community in Britain. Many have spoken critically of the PM but Lord Rami Ranger of the Sikh Association says that Punjab has lost an opportunity here because the PM, after conceding to the farmers’ agitation demands, was preparing to do yet more for the state.

Ex-cop faced racist bullying: Former Punjabi police officer Gurpal Virdi, the first Asian police officer for West London has told the MyLondon group he was racially abused about every day on the job and earlier through going to school in the 1960s. “I was a Sikh with long hair. My hair got pulled out every single day for three or four years. There would be blood running down my face and I would be in a lot of pain. I would get punched and beaten up. People would say things like ‘go and have a bath you brown s**t.'” It got better after those early years, but Virdi had the police themselves against him.

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