PM lockdown party revelation sparks outrage in UK Coronavirus pandemic news

Reports of parties under lockdown in the country in May 2020 added to the pressure on a beleaguered Boris Johnson.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s live blog on the coronavirus outbreak. I’m Ted Regencia from the Philippines.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under fresh pressure after an email inviting about 100 employees to bring alcohol to a party was leaked during Britain’s first lockdown.

The email was sent in May 2020 when UK residents were told they could only meet another person from outside their household within a distance of 2 metres.

The revelations that government officials had held rallies in violation of their own rules sparked widespread public outrage. Johnson’s government denies violating COVID-19 protocols.

A summary of other developments:

Here are the latest updates from Tuesday:

Mexico’s president says he has coronavirus for the second time

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced he had contracted COVID-19 for the second time.

“I inform you that I have COVID-19 and although symptoms are mild, I will remain in isolation and will only be doing office work and communicating virtually until I get through it,” he tweeted.

Interior Secretary Adan Augusto Lopez will take over from Lopez Obrador at his routine morning news conference and other public events as he recovers.

‘Bring your own wine!’: More party revelations hit Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under fresh pressure after the Downing Street party came to light during Britain’s first lockdown in May 2020.

In an email leaked to ITV News, an aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson invited more than 100 people working at 10 Downing Street to have “socially distanced drinks” in the gardens.

“Please join us at 6pm and bring our own wine!” it concluded.

About 30 to 40 people accepted the invitation.

At the time, Britons were only allowed to meet a person outside the home in an outdoor public place, provided they kept a two-metre distance between them.

Merck: Monupiravir should be effective against Omicron

Merck’s COVID-19 oral tablet, molnupiravir, works against Omicron and any other variant, the company said.

“We are very confident that it will affect Omicron… This molecular mechanism (will) work for Omicron, and I can imagine it won’t show up in any variants,” said Dean Lee, president of Merck Research Laboratories, at JPMorgan’s annual healthcare conference above indicates the meeting.

Data on the effects of monupiravir on Omicron are not yet available, but in data released in November, the tablet showed a 30 percent effect in reducing hospitalizations and deaths, based on data from 1,433 patients.

The pill has received regulatory authorization in the US, UK, Japan and India.

Read all Monday’s updates here.