Covid: More visitors at care homes and UK clotting deaths after AstraZeneca jab

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

1. Two visitors for England care home residents

For many care home residents in England, the past few months have meant little to no contact with their loved ones, with some having gone a year without seeing their grandchildren. Now, babies and toddlers will be able to accompany visitors to care homes - and will not be counted as part of a new two regular visitors rule. The government has announced the change from one to two face-to-face visitors will take place from 12 April - the date for the planned next step of lifting lockdown. Those visiting must wear PPE and have had a coronavirus test. Read more about the "countdown to freedom" here.

Image source, PA Media

2. Seven UK clotting deaths after AstraZeneca vaccine

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency says the benefits of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine continue to outweigh any risk after it was confirmed seven people had died from unusual blood clots after getting the jab in the UK. Some 30 people out of 18 million vaccinated by 24 March had these clots, but it remains unclear if it is just a coincidence or a genuine side-effect of the vaccine. Read more about whether there is a blood clot risk with the AstraZeneca jab. More than 31 million people have received their first dose in the UK. Still waiting for yours? Here's when you can expect to get one.

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3. Covid a 'massive step back' for women in work

Caring responsibilities and a lack of funding for female-dominated industries in Wales means women could be the last to return to work, a gender equality charity has said. At the end of January, 52% of jobs furloughed were held by women. These latest concerns come after an Office for National Statistics report found women had been "disproportionately impacted" by repeated lockdowns. The Welsh government has stressed it had tailored support to help women.

Image source, Getty Images

4. The women fighting South Africa's 'infodemic'

South Africa has been worst hit by the pandemic in Africa, and health officials are not only battling the virus, but misinformation spread about it and vaccines. Sarah Downs, who studies molecular biology and infectious diseases, encountered a response she never expected when she tweeted about how her grandmother had died from Covid-19. "I had someone asking me, 'Well, was there an autopsy done? What were the autopsy results? You don't know that she passed away from Covid. She could have passed away from something else.'" Now, volunteers are taking on the Covid-19 deniers.

Image source, Getty Images

5. Writing songs in lockdown: 'It was an escape'

Months of lockdown led many to embrace their creative side, not only to pass the time, but also as a way of processing their emotions. Paramedic David Webster turned to music to help him cope with the growing pressure being placed on his hospital colleagues. Although he'd never written a song before, the 53-year-old wrote some lyrics and created a melody. His song is one of several lockdown-themed tunes to feature in a BBC project - Now That's What I Call Lockdown.

Media caption,

BBC Radio 5 Live hosts a virtual concert to celebrate music written in lockdown

And don't forget...

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

Wondering what you can do now lockdown restrictions are being gradually relaxed across the UK? We've answered some of your questions.

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