Covid: Ambulance waiting times and N Korea confirms first virus cases

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Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Thursday morning.

1. Ambulance wait times endanger patients - doctors

As the UK emerges from the pandemic, the ambulance service is under pressure. It's seeing record levels of demand this year and doctors and paramedics say that long waits for ambulances are having a "dangerous impact" on patient safety. In one case, nine-year-old Willow Clark faced a 10-hour wait for an ambulance when she suffered a fractured skull after falling off her bike last year. The ambulance service in that case apologised and NHS England says patient safety is its "absolute priority".

Image source, Family photo

2. First Covid cases confirmed in N Korea

More than two years after the start of the pandemic North Korea has confirmed its first official Covid infections. Leader Kim Jong-un vowed to eradicate the outbreak recorded in the capital Pyongyang, according to KCNA state media. A strict national lockdown on 25 million residents has been ordered. But why admit to it now? Most likely it's because this outbreak is too serious and too difficult to hide, says our Seoul correspondent Jean Mackenzie.

Image source, AFP

3. World complacent about Covid - Gordon Brown

The world has become "complacent" about Covid and risks "sleepwalking" into another variant crisis unless vaccinations in low-income countries increase. That's according to former prime minister Gordon Brown who will be speaking at an international Covid summit later.

Image source, Getty Images

4. Nurse superhero comparison 'unhelpful'

Images of doctors and nurses portrayed as cape-wearing superheroes appeared throughout the pandemic. They were appreciated by staff, says chief nursing officer for Wales Sue Tranka, but it added pressure on exhausted workers. She's been speaking ahead of International Nurses Day. Read more here.

Image source, Getty Images

5. YouTube star and nurse reunite

"Alice is the most incredible nurse ever. She is an angel," says YouTuber Grace Victory, who was put into a coma due to Covid shortly after giving birth to her son. She was cared for by student nurse Alice Finnigan and the pair have been reunited to celebrate the role of nurses on International Nurses Day. Here's the full story.

And don't forget...

It's likely that Covid will be with us for a while, so what could living with the virus look like in the future? Our health editor Hugh Pym has investigated. Take a look.

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

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