Covid live news: up to 180,00 healthcare workers killed by virus, WHO says; Melbourne emerges from long lockdown | World news

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Nearly one-third of refugees at Melbourne detention hotel test positive for Covid

Nearly one-third of refugees and asylum seekers detained by the government at Melbourne’s Park hotel have tested positive for Covid-19, amid claims in court an ambulance was turned away from the hotel without being allowed to see a patient.

With the outbreak affecting 15 of 46 men, and expected to grow further still, at least one refugee has been taken to hospital by ambulance.

An urgent hearing in the federal circuit court was convened on Thursday after a Covid-positive refugee – known in court documents as FGS20 – sought orders allowing him to be assessed by ambulance paramedics. The court heard a dispute over whether an ambulance was turned away from the hotel without being granted access, and FGS20 told “never to call an ambulance again”.

Evidence put to the court stated that FGS20 had an ambulance called for him by a friend after concerns about his deteriorating condition, including falling blood-oxygen levels, and difficulty breathing and speaking.

“He was very distressed, very unwell,” the friend’s statement to the court said. “I called the ambulance. They attended the hotel but were not permitted to enter. He was told by the nurse never to call the ambulance again.”

This was contested by the government, which told the court, while several ambulances had been called for those detained, and had examined them, the ambulance for FGS20 had not yet arrived and he had not yet been assessed.

Read more of Ben Doherty’s report here: Nearly one-third of refugees at Melbourne detention hotel test positive for Covid and one hospitalised

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Cancer patients in UK face ‘perfect storm’ as Covid piles pressure on NHS

Progress in clearing the NHS cancer treatment backlog in England has gone into reverse amid high Covid cases and staff shortages, analysis suggests.

With rising coronavirus hospitalisations also now piling pressure on the health service, experts have warned patients should brace themselves for worse to come as a “perfect storm” looms in cancer care.

The NHS has been striving to catch up with the pandemic backlog of cancer care but the analysis by Macmillan Cancer Support of official data suggests the drive has recently suffered a setback, with growing numbers of potential cancer diagnoses missed.

Four key cancer measures have fallen back, with two dropping to their worst ever recorded level.

Figures published by NHS England, and analysed by Macmillan for the Guardian, show the number of patients starting treatment in August following a decision to treat fell to 25,800. The figure was above 27,000 in June and July. The proportion of patients who began treatment within one month of the decision to treat fell to 93.7% – the lowest percentage ever recorded.

Data published last week also shows that in August there was a record-high number of patients forced to wait for more than two months after an urgent referral from their GP before they started cancer treatment. According to Macmillan, 4,075 patients only began treatment two months after being referred, the highest figure recorded.

Read more of our health editor Andrew Gregory’s report here: Cancer patients face ‘perfect storm’ as Covid piles pressure on NHS

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Ukraine sets new daily records for deaths and cases

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