Video: Housing demand, AstraZeneca doses gap, CAO offers

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Video: Housing Demand, Astrazeneca Doses Gap, Cao Offers
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Kenneth Fox

Kevin Lunney testimony 

Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney feared that nobody would come to help as he dragged himself along a country road, shivering from the cold, with a broken leg, knife wounds to his chest, and blood dripping from his face, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Mr Lunney (52) had been stripped to his boxer shorts before his attackers abandoned him on the side of a dark, country road at about 9pm on a September night.

Giving evidence at the trial of four men accused of falsely imprisoning him and causing him serious harm, Mr Lunney said he dragged himself using just his left arm and left leg to a larger road, hoping a passerby would help.

 

Mixing doses 

Immunologist Professor Luke O’Neill has said he supports moves to give the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine as the second dose for people who received AstraZeneca for their first dose.

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It would be “a really good thing to do”, he told Newstalk’s Pat Kenny show as it could offer a better response and would speed up the vaccination programme.

Spain and Canada are already offering MRNA vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna as the second dose, he said.

Using a different vaccine for the second dose would be beneficial for the over-60 cohort who were awaiting their second dose, he added.

Prof O’Neill pointed out that Nobel Prize winner Peter Doherty had recommended using Pfizer as a second dose to AstraZeneca as it gives an extra boost.

 

Belarusian journalist set up 

A dissident journalist arrested when Belarus diverted his flight has said in a video from prison that he was set up by an unidentified associate.

The footage of Roman Protasevich was part of an hour-long TV programme aired late on Wednesday by the state-controlled ONT channel.

In the film, the 26-year-old is also shown saying that protests against Belarus’ authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko are now pointless amid a tough crackdown, and suggesting the opposition wait for a better moment.

A top associate of Mr Protasevich said the journalist was clearly speaking under duress.

Public housing funding 

The Government must borrow in a “sustained by prudent manner” in order to generate funds to provide the level of public housing needed to meet the growing demand according to the Economic and Social Research Institute (ERSI).

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A report published by the think-tank on Thursday warned the country “will fall significantly short of meeting the level of demand for accommodation in the absence of such investment”, compounded by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, reducing the pace of delivery of new homes.

The report acknowledges the considerable investment now needed in many areas, including health and education, however, adds: “Without significant investment, we risk experiencing another decade of inadequate housing supply and result upward pressure on residential prices and rents.”

 

AstraZeneca doses gap

The Health Service Executive (HSE) will be able to reduce the gap between the first and second doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from 12 weeks to eight weeks, after it received new advice.

The advice was outlined in a letter from chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan which has been sent to the HSE after a new recommendation from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac).

The HSE will now consider the advice and how it can be used in the national vaccine rollout.

If the advice is taken up, people who have received their first AstraZeneca dose will now receive a second jab at least four weeks earlier.

 

Fourth wave

The World Health Organisation says there could be a fourth wave of Covid-19 in Ireland if people socialise too much.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the warning comes after large crowds gathered in Dublin, Cork and Galway last weekend, with fears of a repeat this Bank Holiday Weekend.

The chief medical officer (CMO) said the scenes in Dublin city centre last weekend were like something from before an All-Ireland Final.

Dr Tony Holohan expressed his shock at the large crowds who gathered in the South William Street area on Saturday.

Dr David Nabarro, special envoy on Covid-19 for the World Health Organization (WHO), says the disease can spread in outdoor settings.

 

CAO offers 

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said this year’s Leaving Certificate students will not miss out on CAO offers despite the delay in the date for results.

The CAO and universities have all agreed to accommodate the later timeline, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland after it was announced on Wednesday that results would not be issued until September 3rd.

Universities will have to reserve a proportion of on campus accommodation for first year students, he added, as they had done last year.

“We will work with Leaving Cert students to ensure they have a good college experience,” the Minister said.

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