this is bbc news. the headlines at six... more than 150,000 people in the uk have now died within 28 days of a positive covid test — since the pandemic began. ijust said to him, hurry up and get better. he said, i am trying. that is the last time i spoke to him. lawyers for novak djokavic claim he was given a vaccine exemption to enter australia, because he'd had a recent covid infection. thousands more flat—owners will be spared the expense of replacing unsafe cladding — under new government plans to make developers offer four—billion pounds towards the costs.
nasa says the james webb space telescope has fully deployed in space, after unfolding its final mirror panels. and coming up in sportsday at half—past six — it's the third round of the fa cup — and there's already been some giant—killing — with cambridge from league one — knocking out premier league newcastle united. good evening and welcome to bbc news. it's been confirmed that the covid pandemic in the uk has led to more than 150,000 deaths, that's within 28 days of a positive test. it comes after several days of record numbers of cases being reported —
as the highly—transmissable 0micron variant has swept across much of the country. our health correspondent catherine burns reports how do you begin to imagine 150,000 people? it's almost the entire population of oxford, a city, like others, where the pandemic has caused so much pain. the first death within 28 days of a positive covid test was recorded in the uk on the 6th of march, 2020. five weeks later, more than 10,000 people had died. sabir—hussain mirza was 0xford's first muslim councillor. mostly, though, he was a family man — married with ten children. they relied on video calls when he went to hospital. we would be like, "come on, dad, get better quickly and come back." but one day sabir stopped answering his phone. he'd been put on a ventilator. after almost three weeks, doctors said some of the family could visit him for the last time.
i said to him, "i love you, and i want you to know that i will always love you, and i will never forget you." you just can't come to terms with someone actually telling you that your father's left this world. sabir was buried next to his younger brother. he'd died the day before in the same hospital, killed by the same disease. as the pandemic spread through society, the death toll rose rapidly, but scientists in this city were also working at speed, racing to find a vaccine, and by the end of april 2020, the oxford astrazeneca team was already testing it on volunteers in clinical trials, and as the year came to a close there was a real sense of optimism as both this and the pfizer vaccine were approved. january last year was a turning point — it saw more deaths than at any other time, over 32,000. but by the end of the month almost half a million people had had their first dose of a vaccine.
she was looking forward to the vaccine coming along. traceyjones turned 50 in lockdown. she didn't make it to 51. she said to me, "i feel very, very ill." isaid, "i know, my darling, they're going to put you to sleep and you'll be better." she said to me, "look after stephen," and those were the last words i ever heard from her. neil and tracey were a team, caring for their son stephen who has special needs. i had to tell him, unfortunately, "mum has gone to heaven now," and he hugged me and cried. no—one could come and see you. we were left to grieve on our own, really. it's very hard, especially when you have a special needs son, and you don't want him to see you crying, but sometimes you just had to go away and have a little cry. the pandemic has seen too many sad milestones. in november, 2020, the death toll stood at 50,000. just 11 weeks later, it reached 100,000. vaccines helped slow that pace right
down and it's taken almost another year to get to this point. i'm so glad that he retired when he did, early. robin birchmore was 63 and his invitation for a vaccine came through two days after he died. in hospital, he had one last video call with his daughter. he kept saying, "i'm struggling, i'm struggling to breathe," and i said to him, "hurry up and get better," and he said, "i'm trying." that was the last time i spoke to him. camilla's nan had also died from covid. 0n the night after her funeral the call came, it was time to say goodbye to her dad, as well. it was horrendous, horrendous. the doctor said, "here's your dad," and i went, "that's not my dad." i didn't even recognise him because of all the tubes. you say your goodbyes and then you have to walk away from them.
the uk has reported 150,000 deaths before any country in the eu. there is hope, though, that this pandemic will never again bring suffering on such a scale. catherine burns, bbc news. let's take a look at the latest official government figures — there were 146,390 new coronavirus infections, recorded in the latest 24—hour period. 313 deaths were reported in the latest 2a hour period, that's of people who died within 28 days of a positive covid test. as you heard, it means the total number of people who've died with covid now stands at 150,057. 0n vaccinations, more than 35.2 million people have
had a boosterjab, which means more than 61% of people aged 12 and over have now had three vaccine doses. 0ur health correspondent katharine da costa gave me more background. the figure for today were 313 deaths recorded. ., ., , ., . ., ., recorded. that does not include data for wales. looking _ recorded. that does not include data for wales. looking at _ recorded. that does not include data for wales. looking at what _ recorded. that does not include data| for wales. looking at what happened before christmas, we saw a surge in cases being driven by the 0micron variant. there is a lag between someone becoming infected and becoming seriously ill and dying. looking at the trend week on week, deaths are up a0%. the uk hit 100,000 deaths injanuary last year. it has taken 12 months to reach 150,000 deaths. that is down to the protection we have had from vaccines and the boosterjabs in particular recently. they are playing a big part in preventing people falling seriously ill and dying. daily deaths peaked at 1820 january last
year. we are currently seeing 160 deaths per day on average per week. numbers have come down a lot. everyone is a loss, does someone's family member. it is a tragedy. these are covid deaths and there are also at the other deaths that have happened over the last years and that has had a huge impact on families. restrictions has meant people could not be with their loved ones in hospital when they are dying. he had to limit who came to funerals, they could not access support for bereavement, fa ce—to —fa ce support for bereavement, face—to—face for example, over that time period. some charities are warning there could be huge problems are built up because of a lack of having counselling, for example, leading to things like mental health problems, relationship breakdown, addiction, loneliness, the sort of
thing. addiction, loneliness, the sort of thin. , ., , addiction, loneliness, the sort of thing. huge implications because of this. yes, enormous _ thing. huge implications because of this. yes, enormous ramifications l this. yes, enormous ramifications that we will be talking about probably four years. a quick thaw about the vaccination programme. we have heard there is no need, we are told, at the stage for a fourth dose. it is a testament to the work the third dose, the bicester dos is doing. there is still a drive and vaccinations. there are lots of people in the capital, for example, have not had ease single vaccine. there is a focus on people having a first vaccine and then going on to have a second and third. the evidence has found, people over 65 after eight boosterjab have after eight booster jab have protection after eight boosterjab have protection from needing hospital treatment and falling seriously ill. the vaccine experts have said, for now, they do not think they need to roll out fourth doses to the older age groups yet. they are going to continue to monitor that. in the meantime, for people who have yet to
have their boosterjab, it could be lots of different reasons because if you have caught covid you have to wait a period of time before you can get it, there are appointments available and people are still being urged to come forward. the statistics they say are 90% of people in i see you have not had a boosterjab. it is making huge differences. the offer is still open, it is evergreen and people should still come forward. ﬁur should still come forward. our health should still come forward. 0ur health correspondent there. this lawyers for the tennis champion novak djokovic say he had a vaccine exemption to enter australia because he'd had covid19 in december. djokovic was denied entry to the country after landing in melbourne on wednesday to play in the australian open. he's currently in an immigration detention centre, waiting for an appeal hearing on monday. a second australian open hopeful, renata voracova from the czech republic, has now left the country after having her visa cancelled. shaimaa khalil reports from melbourne.
the world's top tennis player is spending the weekend in an immigration detention hotel. and his supporters have turned up for a third day. this is novak djokovic arriving in melbourne on wednesday. the documents his legal team presented to the court state he'd received the exemption from tennis australia, with a follow—up letter from the home affairs department, saying he was allowed into the country. his legal team added that onjanuary 1st djokovic received a document from home affairs, telling him his responses indicated he met the requirements for a quarantine—free arrival into australia. what's becoming clear is a breakdown in communication among those making the decisions, and what the judge has to look at and examine is exactly which rules apply. is it state government rules
or federal government rules? and until a decision is made about whether novak djokovic can remain in australia, the world no1 is still stuck in this immigration detention hotel, and in the middle of a huge controversy. this particular set of incidents, the victorian government was not briefed on the matter. in terms of how people got into the country, that's a matter for the federal government. last night his mother offered some reassurance. novak is, i think... he said he's 0k, but...|'m not so sure. but he's mentally very stable, and he's waiting. that's what he can do, waiting until monday morning to see what they're going to decide. the tennis tournament is only a few days away, and what's normally one of the biggest highlights here is turning into a political and a diplomatic
embarrassment for australia. shaimaa khalil, bbc news. alexander downer, is former australian foreign minister to the liberal party, the same party as the current australian government. he was high commissioner to the uk until 2018, and he spoke to my colleague jane hill about djokovic's situation. well, it is a bit of a mess because the federal government in the form of the health minister wrote to tennis australia on the 29th of november to say that the fact that somebody who is unvaccinated has covid does not give them an exemption from quarantining for two weeks when they arrive in australia. so tennis australia knew this from the end of november but still he has
come to australia. he could come to australia and he could spend two weeks in quarantine, but he has come to australia hoping to become exempt for quarantine on the basis of tennis australia, which is contrary the advice given to tennis australia given by the relevant ministers. they have got themselves into a terrible mess.— they have got themselves into a terrible mess. ., , ., , terrible mess. your understanding is that this is tennis _ terrible mess. your understanding is that this is tennis australia's - that this is tennis australia's mistake. they knew the rules, the new his position did not fit these rules and yet for some reason he was still given an exemption. he was told to come straight through and come to the australian open. ﬁgs told to come straight through and come to the australian open. as your re ort come to the australian open. as your report pointed _ come to the australian open. as your report pointed out, _ come to the australian open. as your report pointed out, the _ come to the australian open. as your report pointed out, the lawyers - come to the australian open. as your report pointed out, the lawyers have | report pointed out, the lawyers have been arguing in the court that tennis australia had granted an exemption. tennis australia don't have a say. tennis australia don't
control australia's borders, the federal government does that, as you would expect in any country. the tennis association is not responsible for borders. tennis australia had been given the information. i do not know what has happened between tennis australia and the state, but they thought he would be exempt. it is getting an exemption from two weeks in quarantine. 0f exemption from two weeks in quarantine. of course, he could have come earlier and gone into quarantine for two weeks, which i am pretty sure is what he did last year at the australian open or he could have got himself vaccinated, that might have made things a lot easier. yes. let's not go down that particular route because we are where we are, as politicians are fond of saying. to what extent,
then,is fond of saying. to what extent, then, is politics tied up with this? is there a degree... i understand everything you say about the fact and we have approached tennis australia for comment, we have not had a response yet. is there a sense in which scott morrison thinks there is an election in the coming months, my people have gone under huge restrictions and i cannot have a situation that someone is looked to be given some exemption just because he is famous and high—profile. yes. he is famous and high-profile. yes, that is exactly _ he is famous and high-profile. yes, that is exactly right. _ he is famous and high-profile. yes, that is exactly right. of— he is famous and high—profile. 1&1: that is exactly right. of course the decision is not being made for political reasons, this is the law. but there is no way the prime minister and senior ministers could grant an exemption for a tennis player, i'll be at the world's number one tennis player, a truly great player, there is no doubt
about that. there is no way they could give him an exemption when exemptions have not been given to people who wanted to go to australia to see dying parents and, you know, injured relatives. there are all sorts of heart rendering stories about people not being able to see their relatives in australia, but those people i'm not famous, so they don't get an exemption. and the world's number one tennis player, if he were to get an exemption, contrary to the rules, that would outrage people, there is no doubt about that. i would say 90% of the public are on the side of the government and the prime minister on this issue. ﬁt, government and the prime minister on this issue. �* ., ~ , ., ., this issue. a former australia forei . n this issue. a former australia foreign minister _ this issue. a former australia foreign minister and - this issue. a former australia foreign minister and he - this issue. a former australia foreign minister and he wentj this issue. a former australia i foreign minister and he went on this issue. a former australia - foreign minister and he went on to say that he thought it was very unlikely that that court hearing on monday would find in favour of the tennis player. we will see on monday, of course. 17 minutes past
six. the headlines on bbc news... more than 150,000 people in the uk have now died within 28 days of a positive covid test since the start of the pandemic. lawyers for novak djokavic claim he was given a vaccine exemption to enter australia, because he'd had covid19 in december. thousands more flat—owners will be spared the expense of replacing unsafe cladding — under new government plans to make developers offer four—billion pounds towards the costs. the bbc has learned that the housing secretary michael gove will tomorrow pledge to "expose and pursue" companies responsible for the cladding crisis after the grenfell fire. in new attempt to address building safety problems,
he will make a statement to mps with the aim of easing the "unfair burden" on leaseholders. up to half a million flat owners across the uk may no longer face the cost of replacing dangerous cladding on their properties. our business correspondent simon browning has the details. it's a building safety crisis. an estimated half a million people live in homes wrapped in flammable materials. added to that a missing fire breaks, defective insulation and flammable balconies. but who is to blame, and who should fix them? up to now the government's approach was for dangerous cladding removal to be paid for by the building safety fund. it was only for buildings more than 18.5 metres in height. everything else was to be covered by either developers paying, or via a loan scheme for leaseholders. it's meant blocks like this, austin apartments in the south—east london, were previous cut off from government support because it is below 18.5 metres. but on monday, michael gove, the levelling up secretary, is expected to say that will change and lower height buildings will get support.
government will try to secure up to £4 billion from developers towards the cost. and if they don't pay for it voluntarily, it is understood the government will use the law to enforce it. flat owners this morning have cautiously welcomed the news. it does lift a layer of anxiety, but there is no absolute clarification in how developers are going to pay. but there is already concern that house—builders won't pay when asked. well, they won't choose to pay. they will have to be dragged to the table to offer something up. i suspect it relies on showing will, whether it is by sampling the buildings, and showing that these buildings were not built to spec. the home builders federation said of the largest house—builders had already spent or committed £1 billion to remediate affected buildings, and that whilst house—builders were committed to playing their part, there were other organisations involved in the construction, which should also be involved in remediation costs. labour said the new measures appear far less
significant than they sound. but making thousands of homes safe after the grenfell fire continues to be a huge financial challenge for the industry and government. simon browning, bbc news. travel firms say the demand for foreign holidays has started to recover following the relaxation of coronavirus travel rules across the uk. from this weekend fully vaccinated travellers and under—18s arriving in the uk no longer need to take a pre—departure lateral flow test. tim muffett has the details it's been a brutal time for the travel industry. lockdowns and restrictions have meant that for almost two years huge numbers of holidays have been cancelled. hello, flitch travel. but it seems there are grounds for optimism. a number ofairlines and operators are now reporting significant increases in bookings and inquiries. we're starting to see the pent—up
demand that's been there for months and months now start to transition in terms of bookings, but it is off a very low base and we're hoping the next few weeks we will start to see even more demand come through. and which destinations are proving popular? the most interest we're seeing with destinations are spain, and this time of the year the canary islands is doing exceptionally well. actually, 30% of everything we are selling is for a january departure, so for the next three weeks. as of yesterday, fully vaccinated adults and people under 18 arriving in the uk no longer need to take a predeparture covid test. from tomorrow, they will only have to take a lateral flow test instead of a pcr test on day two after arriving. i'll be booking something either this afternoon or tomorrow. getting away for my 50th after a really rubbish two years. just really excited to get some sunshine. somewhere safe, don't mind wearing a mask, just to get there. any increase in foreign travel is coming from a very low base.
but easyjet says flight bookings to lanzarote are up fourfold compared to last week. and jet2 expect bookings this summer to be back to pre—pandemic levels. a glimmer of hope, perhaps, following two years of gloom for the travel industry. tim muffett, bbc news. the family of a woman who has been missing since new year's day have said they are "shocked and distressed" by her disappearance. 28—year—old alice byrne was last seen leaving a friend's flat in marlborough street in the portobello area of edinburgh, between 8 o'clock and 10 o'clock last saturday. detectives believe she potentially headed in the direction of the promenade and beach. allegations of another party at downing street are to be included in the official investigation into events held at number ten during the pandemic. it comes after borisjohnson's former chief adviser, dominic cummings, claimed a senior official invited people to "socially distanced drinks" in the garden, while restrictions were in place in may 2020.
at least 21 people have died in freezing temperatures in northeastern pakistan after their cars were trapped in heavy snow. the chief minister of punjab province has declared the mountain resort town of murree — where a thousand vehicles are still stranded — as a "disaster area" and has urged people to stay away. janey mitchell reports. a day trip to enjoy the spectacle of the first snowfall of the season turned to tragedy. tens of thousands, including families, flocked to the popular resort town after snow began falling on tuesday. many travelled from islamabad ill—equipped to deal with the blizzard conditions. the pakistani army has been brought in to help clear snow and rescue those trapped.
and the hope is to begin air lifts when conditions allow. translation: helicopter service will soon be started, _ but the weather is not good right now. as soon as the weather gets better, god willing, we will start a helicopter service to rescue any people stranded. many of the casualties died from hypothermia as temperatures fell to —8 celsius. others were reported to have been asphyxiated by exhaust fumes as they kept engines running to keep warm. vehicles were trapped as the narrow mountain roads became clogged with the sheer number of vehicles. others were blocked by fallen trees brought down by the weight of snow. local people are delivering blankets and food to those stranded. on friday, the government closed all roads leading to murree to stop any further influx. pakistan's prime minister has expressed his shocked
and upset at the deaths. he suggested that the local administration was caught unprepared. he has ordered an inquiry to ensure such a tragedy does not happen again. the authorities in kazakhstan say they've arrested the former head of the domestic intelligence agency on suspicion of high treason. karim massimov was sacked from the national security committee by president tokayev on wednesday as violence that followed anti—government demonstrations escalated across the country. dozens of people have been killed in the protests. meanwhile, the us has questioned kazakhstan's decision to seek russian military aid to deal with an ongoing wave of violent unrest. from moscow our correspondent, caroline davies, has the latest. we know that there has been some internet access particularly in the capital, although that has been shut off many people since then. and we know that russia has that president tokayev had a phone call
with president putin and that in that call, he said that things were stabilising in the country and thanked moscow for the troops that they along with several other countries have sent and promised to send into kazakhstan and what they are calling a peacekeeping mission to try to ease the situation in kazakhstan. and as you mentioned, the main news that we have heard from today is that the authorities in kazakhstan detaining the former domestic intelligent agency head, karim massimov, on suspicion of treason. now he is a very close ally of former president who was in power from 1989 until 2019, but retained a very prominent position in politics behind the scenes. he was also the head of the security council in kazakhstan as well. the fact that there has been this particular arrest of someone who is so incredibly close to the previous president has fuelled further rumours that have been swirling that there is a power struggle at the heart of politics
in kazakhstan stand at the moment. now the current president president tokayev was the hand—picked successor from the former, we have also heard from the former president's spokesperson today saying that the former president has not left the country. and that he is in contact with the current president, however, this recent arrest will do nothing to quell those rumours that president tokayev, the current president, is trying to secure and cement his position. a zoo in the west midlands has reported that nearly three quarters of its penguins have died in an outbreak of avian malaria. keepers at dudley zoo say they have been left "heartbroken" after 50 of the 69 birds in their care died from the parasitic disease. the zoo has said there is no risk to humans.
nasa scientists say the james webb space telescope has fully deployed in space, after unfolding its final mirror panels. the golden primary mirror will allow the telescope to be properly focused — helping scientists to study the very first stars to shine in the universe. earlier i spoke to our science correspondentjonathan amos about the significance of this moment. we have heard from nasa that they have deployed the mirror. do you remember we had the hubble space telescope 30 years ago, it has completely transformed our view of the cosmos. it will stop working in a few years. we have this successor, james webb. it is bigger, much, much bigger. it can see deeper into the cosmos and therefore, further back in time as well. they hope right to that moment, just a couple of hundred million years after the big bang, when the very first stars switch on. there was darkness and then the stars ignite. why is that important?
when the big bang happened, we only had three chemical elements. hydrogen, helium and lithium. everything else, all of the other chemical elements had to be forged in the nuclear reactions in stars. the carbon that makes up your body, the phosphorus in your dna, the nitrogen in earth's atmosphere, the silicon in the rocks, the silicon in the fibre—optic cables that are bringing the pictures to me here in cambridge, to you in london, all of that chemistry had to be made in those first stars and in their descendants. so it is a really key moment in our story, in the story of the cosmos. it is the formation of all lightness and we want to see it. and james webb is going to show it to us. now it's time for a look at the weather with lousie lear. good evening. it was a pretty miserable start to our weekend. but the weather story did improve as we went through the day.