Coronavirus latest as US Omicron deaths are rising above last autumn’s Delta peak; Kanye West could be blocked from entering Australia; Moderna working on single booster vaccine to protect against Omicron and Delta; lung abnormalities discovered in some long COVID patients.
There will be more tomorrow – but before you go, you can take a look at today’s big stories:
As you can see from the graph below, COVID-19 cases are continuing to fall, following the new year peak.
Those with positive LFTs no longer need a PCR test – so the numbers are reliant on those with the virus, registering it on the government database.
Another 332,398 COVID cases have been reported in France today.
There have also been a further 178 deaths of coronavirus patients in hospital, taking the total to 103,053.
There are 3,634 people in intensive care with COVID.
These latest images show anti-vaccine protests in Paris, France, after the country imposed a new vaccine law.
Under the new rule, people who are unvaccinated will not be allowed into restaurants, bars, tourist sites and sports venues unless they recently recovered from COVID.
The law came into effect on Monday, prompting anger from some corners.
The number of cases is down from 80,263 recorded last Saturday, although deaths have remained flat.
If you want a good idea of the overall picture, you can watch an explainer from our science correspondent Thomas Moore a few posts earlier looking at the COVID situation in the UK.
Sajid Javid is reportedly looking at radical changes that could mean GPs are directly employed by hospitals instead of running their own surgeries.
In a letter seen by The Times, the health secretary wrote to Boris Johnson that there are “considerable drawbacks” to the current system.
A planned review of primary care will look at how GPs can be better integrated with hospital care so that fewer people develop serious illness.
The Times reported that GP surgeries would not be forcibly taken over, and instead they will be given incentives to join up with hospital trusts.
Former CDC director Dr Tom Frieden has some positive thoughts on where the pandemic is heading.
In a long thread on Twitter, he said that despite some “rough weeks ahead” we are now “better defended against COVID than ever”.
Here’s his reasoning:
Dr Frieden warned there are still some “wild cards” that could provide a threat.
For example, it’s not known whether protection from Omicron infection is strong or long-lasting.
The “biggest wild card”, he said, is if an “even worse variant emerges” – such as one that is more deadly and can escape vaccines.
But – ending his thread on a more optimistic note again – Dr Frieden said we are now “better prepared than ever”.
Two nurses in Long Island, New York, have been accused of forging fake COVID-19 vaccination cards and pocketing $1.5 (£1.12) million from the scheme.
They allegedly charged $220 (£164) for adults and $85 (£63) for children to enter falsified information on the New York State Immunization Information System.
Nurse practitioner Julie DeVuono, 49, who owns Wild Child Pediatrics Healthcare on Long Island, and her employee Marissa Urraro, 44, a practical nurse have both been charged with forgery and DeVuono for offering a false instrument for filing.
When police searched DeVuono’s home they found thousands in cash.
As England returns to Plan A restrictions, the rules around coronavirus differ slightly across the UK.
Sky News looks at what the rules are now on COVID-19 in the four nations – and what is expected.
In case you missed this earlier in the week, here’s a useful explainer from our science correspondent Thomas Moore.