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Covid-19: Antibodies, northern 'exit strategy' and fireworks warning

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Tuesday morning. We'll have another update for you at 18:00 GMT.

1. Antibody levels fall 'quite rapidly'

Immunity against coronavirus may only last a few months after infection, according to researchers at Imperial College London. They say the number of people testing positive for antibodies fell by around a quarter between June and September, with the biggest drop in those over 65. They're warning everyone to adhere to guidance on hygiene, social distancing and so on, even if they've already had the virus. The researchers say their findings don't scupper hopes of a vaccine, which may prove more effective than a real infection. Read more on the hunt for a vaccine.

media captionCan you become immune to coronavirus?

2. North 'needs road map out of lockdown'

Fifty-four Conservative MPs have written to Boris Johnson warning him he cannot leave people under tier three restrictions in northern England "with no end in sight". They want to see an exit strategy from the PM, and a Northern Economic Recovery Plan to guarantee investment in job creation and big infrastructure projects. Warrington is the latest area to enter the highest level of restrictions - see what that means and what support it brings. There's also a warning today that Northern schools are facing the greatest disruption during this time.

3. Covid 'has thrived on discrimination'

A report commissioned by Labour and led by social justice campaigner Lady Lawrence has blamed decades of structural discrimination for the disproportionate impact coronavirus has had on black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. Lady Lawrence cites things such as barriers to healthcare and worse employment prospects, which leave non-white people more vulnerable. She's made 19 recommendations for ministers, but a government spokesman said it was important not to automatically assume disparities were "evidence of discrimination or unfair treatment".

image captionThe first quarterly report for the government on Covid disparities recently highlighted several key factors

4. DIY fireworks warning

Many public Bonfire Night and Diwali events have been cancelled this year due to Covid, and doctors are warning people against attempting their own firework displays at home instead. Plastic surgeons fear there will be a big increase in injuries, especially to the eyes and hands. They say the potential risk is too high and could put further pressure on the already stretched NHS.

image copyrightGetty Images

5. Street art celebrates NHS diversity

A new mural has been created in east London celebrating the diversity of the NHS. Members of the public across the UK were invited to create more than 200 flowers in honour of the nationalities represented in the workforce. Obstetrics and gynaecology registrar Dr Shaun Haran told the BBC he believed diversity meant all patients were able to "see themselves in those who care for them".

media captionGiant new mural celebrates NHS

And don't forget...

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

Plus, after a tough second lockdown lasting 110 days, the Australian city of Melbourne is being hailed as a world leader in disease suppression. Find out why.

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