Tag Archives: freedom

UK Covid cases spike by 11,000 in biggest daily surge for months – Freedom Day on brink

Covid-19 infections have been surging with the highly transmissible Delta variant becoming dominant.

As a result the Government has pushed back the end of coronavirus restrictions in England by four weeks.

Thursday’s figure is the highest since February 19, when 12,027 cases were detected.

Professor Chris Whitty, the UK Government’s chief medical advisor, said the worse of the new outbreaks are taking place in deprived areas.

He commented: “The geographical areas where Covid has hit have been extremely defined, where the biggest problems have been repeated.

“So, you see in situations in Bradford, in Leicester, in bits of London for example, in bits of the north west, you see repeated areas where places have been hit over and over again in areas of deprivation.

“Indeed in many of them, if you had a map of Covid’s biggest effects now and a map of child deaths in 1850, they look remarkably similar.

“These are areas where deprivation has been prolonged and deeply entrenched.”

Addressing the NHS Confed Conference Professor Whitty warned of a “further surge” in coronavirus cases.

He said: “I think the height of that surge is still uncertain and we’ll have to see how this goes over the next several weeks.

“But that will definitely translate into further hospitalisations and, unfortunately, it will undoubtedly translate into further deaths.”

On Thursday the UK recorded another 19 coronavirus related deaths, which took place within 28-days of a positive Covid test.

Another 222 patients were admitted to hospital with the disease whilst over 1.1 million virus tests were administered.

The UK has one of the world’s most advanced Covid vaccine programmes, with more than 42 million Britons having received at least one jab.

Just over 30 million have been vaccinated twice, giving them the highest possible protection against coronavirus.

On Thursday Britain recorded another 195,565 first vaccines and 234,834 second jabs.

During his address Professor Whitty claimed the UK is likely to have a resurgence in flu cases this winter, unless “the Covid situation is so bad that everybody has started to go back to essentially minimising their social contacts again”.

He added: “So, either we will have a very significant Covid surge, people will minimise their contacts and we will have less respiratory viruses, or people will be back to a more normal life, there will be some Covid but on top of that we will go back to having a flu surge, an RSV [respiratory syncytial virus] surge in children, and so on.

“I think we need to be aware of and brace for the fact that the coming winter may well be quite a difficult one.”

However he claimed the situation is unlikely to be as bad as it was during the winter of 2020-21.

On Monday the Government announced the end of coronavirus restrictions for England is being pushed back four weeks until July 19.

However the 30 person cap for weddings will be lifted on June 21, though attendees will still have to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Currently it is illegal to have a gathering of more than six people, or two households, in your home.

Britain has recorded more than 128,000 coronavirus related deaths since the pandemic began.

More to follow… 

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Denise Welch slams 'utterly spineless' Boris after Freedom Day delay 'Not fit for purpose'

Denise Welch, 63, claimed Boris Johnson, 56, was “not fit for purpose” as a Prime Minister in a fresh swipe at the Government this evening. The Loose Women panellist shared an animation of Boris carrying a football goal net behind the likes of Chris Whitty.

She captioned her post: “We have a bumbling oaf for a leader. He doesn’t believe a single word that’s he’s saying.

“He’s totally and utterly spineless and not fit for purpose.”

Many of Denise’s 233,000 Instagram followers flocked to her post to comment.

One commented: “Thanks for continuing to post on this and being one of the very few public figures who aren’t spineless.”

READ MORE: Ben Fogle ‘confused’ as wife sends pregnancy scan while he’s away

A second wrote: “Would anyone want to do his job? I think some of you think u can , and do it better… I wouldn’t want his job.”

A third added: “I think it’s the proper thing to do until more people are vaccinated. England is just so lapsed, people don’t give a s**t.”

Earlier today, the actress shared a video of Boris with other leaders at the G7 Summit.

The Prime Minister and guests were seen removing their masks as they sat down for a discussion.

“Also, as this video proves, if Covid can’t spread when you’re sitting down then theatres should be ok?”

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference today, Boris said the rise in new variants and the risk of a “surge in hospitalisations” meant the initial ‘Freedom Day’ on June 21 had to be delayed.

He added this period will allow more people to be vaccinated, which could prevent more cases and deaths.

While social distancing measures remain in place, the Prime Minister lifted the 30-person limit on both weddings and funerals.

He stressed that while he is confident remaining restrictions will be lifted by July 19, there is no guarantee the final step will not be delayed again.

Despite sparking backlash about his announcement, Piers Morgan said he was on the Prime Minister’s side this time.

He wrote on Twitter: “Boris Johnson delays ‘Freedom Day’ for four weeks until July 19.

“For the reasons the Prime Minister cited, this seems a sensible decision.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Coronavirus outrage after Britons told no movement to June 21 freedom EIGHT times

Matt Hancock gives update on June 21st plans

The final stage of lifting COVID-19 restrictions would see all legal limits on social contact removed, nightclubs reopened and restrictions on performances, weddings and other events lifted. But concerns in the UK about the spread of the Delta variant, first detected in India, has led some scientists to call for a delay to the plans. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant made the decision on lifting lockdown “more challenging”.

He insisted June 21 was a “not before” date to end restrictions and Number 10 “would look at the data” before making the decision.

But some Britons have had enough, lambasting the Government for even toying with the possibility of delays after following strict rules set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he unveiled his “roadmap” out of lockdown in February.

He told MPs the plan aimed to be “cautious but irreversible” and at every stage, decisions would be led by “data not dates”.

He added that there was “no credible route to a zero-Covid Britain nor indeed a zero-Covid world”.

Boris Johnson could delay the easing of lockdown restrictions

Boris Johnson could delay the easing of lockdown restrictions (Image: GETTY)

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the decision is now 'more challenging'

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the decision is now ‘more challenging’ (Image: GETTY)

 Mr Johnson later told a Downing Street news conference the coming spring and summer would be “seasons of hope, looking and feeling incomparably better for us all”.

He described the plan as a “one-way road to freedom”.

It requires four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met at each stage.

That plan hit a key milestone when step two was completed on April 12.

Non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries and outdoor attractions reopened, while bars and restaurants were allowed to serve customers outdoors, and groups limited to two households or by the “rule of six”.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson snubbed: Ex-Trident commander WOULDN’T press nuke button for PM

Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his roadmap out of lockdown

Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his roadmap out of lockdown (Image: GETTY)

The Prime Minister noted at the time: “I will be going to the pub myself and cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint to my lips.

“We think these changes are fully justified by the data.

“We set out our roadmap and we’re sticking with it.

“And I want to stress that we see nothing in the present data that makes us think that we will have to deviate from that roadmap. 

“But it is by being cautious, by monitoring the data at every stage and by following the rules – remembering hands, face, space, fresh air – that we hope together to make this roadmap to freedom irreversible.” 

Mr Johnson warned that they “could not be complacent” and urged the British public to get the vaccine in order to reduce the risk of hospitalisations.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng backed the progress

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng backed the progress (Image: GETTY)

And in May it appeared those calls had been answered.

Mr Johnson said he did not see any signs that he would have to “deviate” from his plans to scrap all restrictions by June 21. 

He said: “We will be letting everybody know exactly what sort of arrangements to expect for June 21.

“But what I can tell you, and just to stress that I am still seeing nothing in the data that leads me to think that we’re going to have to deviate from the roadmap – obviously we must remain cautious but I’m seeing nothing that makes me think we have to deviate.”

And Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng backed that view days later.

He said: “Nothing I’ve seen would suggest that we should extend or delay the date of reopening.

Professor Chris Whitty is said to have dealt the plans a blow

Professor Chris Whitty is said to have dealt the plans a blow (Image: GETTY)

“So if scientific evidence, data, points to an increased hospitalisation rate, an increased degree of risk, then we have the flexibility to move that date.  

“As of today, as of the data I’ve seen, I don’t think we will move the date. But I can’t guarantee that.” 

But now, after 68 million Britons have received the jab and almost 28 million are fully vaccinated, the plan to end the lockdown restrictions could reportedly be delayed by two weeks.

Cabinet ministers are said to be increasingly pessimistic about the possibility of lifting the rules following a “downbeat” briefing from chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.

Prof Whitty and Sir Patrick had a briefing to ministers on Monday on the latest COVID-19 data, which was described as “fairly grim”.

The pair expressed concerns about the current rate of transmission of new coronavirus strains, including the Delta variant and warned that vaccinations do not provide 100 percent protection.

Sir Patrick Vallance and other scientists are wary of the new variant

Sir Patrick Vallance and other scientists are wary of the new variant (Image: GETTY)

That same day, the UK recorded more than 5,600 cases, which is a significant increase from around 1,350 infections at the beginning of May.

But Mr Hancock told the Commons yesterday that out of the 12,383 Delta variant cases in the UK up to June 3, only 464 went to emergency care and just three had received both COVID-19 vaccines.

He noted that despite the “rise in cases” that scientists are warning of, “hospitalisations have been broadly flat” – one of the key tests for exiting restrictions.

And many have started to criticise the approach.

Professor Carl Heneghan stated: “At some point, pandemics have to come to an end. If we aren’t going to move on, you have to ask, what’s not working?”

Reform UK leader Richard Tice added: “Millions are already ignoring unnecessary Government restrictions and millions more will say enough is enough on June 21. 

“Ministers in Westminster have no idea of the collateral damage.”

Punch Taverns founder Hugh Osmond asks: “Why should we have any restrictions at all when there is no longer a risk of hospitals being overwhelmed?”

And talkRADIO presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer fumed: I’ve worn my sodding mask, washed my hands and stayed two metres apart… we’ve done everything and it’s still not enough.

“That’s it now. I’m done.”

A final decision on whether to ease England’s lockdown further will be made on June 14

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Lockdown exit: Boris Johnson's roadmap to freedom to be 'delayed by two weeks'

Cabinet ministers are said to be increasingly pessimistic that the June 21 date for ending lockdown restrictions in England can still go ahead as planned, after receiving a downbeat briefing yesterday from the Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance. A cabinet source told The Times that any delay could be “between two weeks and a month.” The postponement would allow all over-50s to be fully vaccinated and leave sufficient time for the jabs to kick-in and take effect before restrictions are lifted.


Professor Whitty and Sir Patrick were reported to have told Cabinet ministers that they had “real concerns” about the transmissibility of the new Covid variants, and emphasised that vaccines did not provide 100 percent protection.

A spokesperson for Number 10 told The Times that there was “nothing in the data” to suggest that the final stage of the lockdown easing could not go ahead on June 21.

However, they insisted that the Government would continue to look closely at infection rates and hospitalisations.

All remaining lockdown restrictions are scheduled to end on “Freedom Day”, June 21.


This means that pubs and restaurants will no longer be required to observe the one metre-plus rule and all restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather indoors will also come to an end.

Nightclubs will be able to resume business and there will no longer be a 30-person limit on events, including weddings.

Rules governing face masks and guidance on working from home will cease to apply.

READ MORE: June 21 still ON! Hancock declares ‘jabs ARE working’ citing new data

Professor Neil Ferguson, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M), estimated it at 60 percent, although he added the possible range spanned 30-100 percent.

In May, Spi-M scientists from the University of Warwick calculated that the Delta variant could lead to up to 6,000 new hospitalisations each day, if the strain was 40 percent more transmissible than Alpha.

That figure rises to 10,000 admissions a day if the variant is 50 percent more transmissible.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

How long before the vaccine rollout is finished? Freedom day hopes exposed

Health experts have noted case concentrations of the variant, also known as B.1.1.7, run high in teenagers.

Dominic Harrison, public health director for Delta hotspot Blackburn with Darwen, warned of an “exceptionally high rate” in 17 and 18-year-olds.

He has led calls for ministers to extend the programme’s license to the country’s younger population.

Speaking to BBC Radio Four’s World at One, he said England should follow examples set by other countries.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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Britain locked in race for freedom to ensure all over-50s have both jabs by June 21

Linda Bauld says June 21st restrictions ease is ‘ambitious’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the rollout may accelerate in time for the ­proposed end of lockdown. And vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “We are in a race between vaccinating at scale and making sure people get two doses. “We saw good data around the protection from two doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. We hope to be able to protect all over-50s before June 21.”
It would mean around 21 million over-50s having received both Covid doses in time for Britain’s independence day.

There is also growing concern at the highly transmissible Indian variant and the renewed pressure on the NHS.

The alarming spread of the B1617.2 ­variant means it is critical that everyone ­eligible for a life-saving jab gets one as soon as possible.

Yesterday, Mr Hancock said: “We are in a race between the vaccine and the virus.

“We are doing everything we can to roll out the vaccine as quickly as possible and it’s never been more important to get your ­second jab. 

“So come forward so we can continue on the road to recovery.”

Almost 40 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine as part of the biggest inoculation programme in history, which started on December 8.

June 21

The Government is working to ensure around 21 million over-50s receive both jab doses before June 21 (Image: Getty )

Three-quarters of all adults will have received at least one jab within days and almost half will be vaccinated with both doses before the end of this week.

Official figures show 39,068,346 people have had their first shot and 24,892,416 have had the second. Many of those under 50 who have had their second jabs are either key workers or have vulnerable health.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of the NHS Providers membership organisation, said “very few” Covid patients have received both shots, proving vaccines provide “very high” levels of protection.

He said: “The significant majority of ­hospital cases are unvaccinated.

“Either because they are too young or, although the patient was eligible, they haven’t had their vaccinations.

“This sends a very clear message about the overwhelming importance of getting both doses and the key role of surge vaccination in speeding up protection.”


There is growing concern at the highly transmissible Indian variant and renewed pressure on the NHS (Image: Getty)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing pressure to consider a delay to his previously “irreversible road map” out of the pandemic.

All legal curbs on social contact are due to be lifted in three weeks. But almost half of all new Covid cases are thought to involve the new variant.

A fortnight ago, Mr Zahawi announced the gap between jabs would be cut from 12 weeks to eight for over-50s and the clinically vulnerable.

The rapid pace of the rollout means health chiefs are confident of offering a first jab to all over-18s by the end of July.

Focus will then turn to an autumn booster campaign in which over-50s could get a third shot, potentially of a different vaccine to the one they had previously received.


Matt Hancock said the vaccine rollout may accelerate in time for the proposed end of lockdown (Image: Getty )

The Government yesterday said there had been a further 3,240 lab-confirmed cases in the UK and six deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

New daily coronavirus cases have soared by close to 40 per cent during the space of a week.

Official figures show that daily infections have risen from 2,325 last Sunday to the 3,240 recorded yesterday, while deaths rose by just one in that week.

More than 537,000 vaccinations were carried out in England on Saturday.

The NHS has also revealed 54,379,320 jabs were given in England between December 8 and May 29, including first and second doses.

A total of 6,900,813 jabs were given to people in London in that period, including 4,334,097 first doses and 2,566,716 second ones, NHS England added.

Meanwhile, Mr Hopson warned some hospital trusts are now facing a new conundrum – of how to clear the mammoth backlog of patient care.


More than 537,000 vaccines were carried out in England on Saturday (Image: Getty)

The NHS Providers chief said: “Trusts are going full pelt on recovering care backlogs, getting through as many cases as possible, starting with more clinically urgent, often complex cases.

“Many of these require several days of post-operative recovery, so wards are very full with these patients. Urgent care demand has significantly increased over the past few weeks and there is a very marked increase in patient complexity.”

NHS England data shows around five million patients were waiting for surgery in March – the highest figure on record.

The figures show more than 436,000 ­people were waiting for more than a year, compared with 1,600 pre-pandemic.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Face mask freedom! Rules on coverings and social distancing to be binned on June 21

Under Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of England’s third coronavirus lockdown, June 21 is the earliest point to “remove all legal limits on social contact”. But the Government’s official guidance previously said ‘hands, face, space’ rules will continues to apply.
An insider has now said the Government will axe guidelines enforcing face masks and social distancing for the summer in most areas.

Scientists are reported to be on board with the proposal to scrap the rules, suggested by the National Economy Recovery Taskforce.

They have discussed a “maximalist” approach to lifting “non-pharmaceutical interventions” like masks and staying apart everywhere except for a small list of confined places.

The Prime Minister is also said to be eyeing up a return to the office, looking to end the work-from-home order.

READ MORE: US-UK travel: Boris Johnson will urge Joe Biden to drop travel bans

Experts have warned the Indian variant of Covid could delay the roadmap out of lockdown, after Public Health England identified it as a “variant of concern”.

Prof Christina Pagel, director of the clinical operational research unit at University College London and member of the Independent Sage group of experts, said a spike in B.1.617.2 cases means the May 17 reopening should be delayed.

The COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium, which tracks and identifies new variants, has reportedly recorded 1,723 cases of the variant. Cases appear to double every week.

Prof Pagel told the Guardian: “We’ve done this so many times – waited until things got really bad before we realised we should have acted several weeks ago.

“So why don’t we actually act several weeks ago – which is now!”


The UK’s vaccine rollout has continued at pace, after 135,113 first doses and 350,147 second doses were administered yesterday.

So far, the UK has administered 35,722,461 first doses and 18,438,532 second doses of coronavirus vaccine.

That equals 67.8 percent of the UK’s adult population having received their first dose, and 35 percent receiving their second.

Yesterday saw another 2,284 cases and 11 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.

In total, the UK has seen 4,441,975 cases and 127,640 deaths.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

US chain challenged over freedom of speech

US chain challenged over freedom of speech

A coffee shop owner in the US has been fired from his role after leaving a derogatory comment on a post by social justice warrior LeBron James, with bosses axing him over three “inappropriate and uncalled for” words and an emoji.

Stephen Bruno Jr, who ran a branch of popular chain PJ’s in Louisiana, unwisely reacted to a status update by the Los Angeles Lakers talisman.

When James called for his vast audience to help “protect our young black women and men”, the franchisee replied by curtly telling him to eat an eggplant emoji – interpreted by most as a reference to a penis.

Kenn Barnes saw the exchange and posted a screenshot of it alongside Bruno’s Facebook biography, in which he claimed to be a “franchisee at PJ’s Coffee”.

That led to the company removing Bruno from their ranks, adding in a statement that they had taken swift action in order to keep “supporting the diverse communities in which we serve” – even though Barnes pointed out that he did not call for any punishment.

“When I made the post, I never said ‘this is despicable, he shouldn’t say this’ or ‘he should lose his franchise’ or ‘he should be canceled’ or anything of that sort,” Barnes insisted to KHOU“I [just] posted his words.”

Reaction to the firing was divided online, with some applauding bosses and others claiming that Bruno had become the latest victim of “wokeness”.

“PJ’s need to eat a d*ck,” seethed one unimpressed reader. “Given Lebron James’ behavior lately, Bruno’s tweet was appropriate. It’s a shame you had to involve yourselves in protected free speech like this.”

James removed a tweet last month after admitting it would stoke hate in the aftermath of the shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old black girl who had appeared to attack two other people with a knife in Ohio.

Shortly after police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted for the murder of George Floyd, James posted a photo of officer Nicholas Reardon – the man allegedly involved in Bryant’s shooting – alongside the words “you’re next”, a hashtag of “accountability” and an hourglass emoji.

That earned him fresh criticism from the likes of former president Donald Trump and Jay Linneman, a bar owner in Ohio who responded by saying that James was not welcome at his venue.

“They just need to play the game and that’s it,” Linneman said, discussing basketball players attempting to take the moral high ground.

“Their opinion doesn’t really matter. They’re using their position to push their opinions, and that’s just not right.”

Linneman claimed that if Trump or his successor, Joe Biden, made similar demands, calls would be made for impeachment.

Also on rt.com LeBron James responds with sarcasm after Ohio bar owner bans NBA games until league ‘EXPELS’ Lakers star

“If anyone wants to watch an NBA game, don’t come to Linnie’s Pub,” he warned on Facebook. “We will not air them until Lebron James has been expelled from the NBA.”

Getting wind of the news, James responded with a jokey tweet that read: “Aww, damn. I was headed there to watch our game tonight and have a drink. Welp.”

Confirming that Bruno had been removed as the owner of one of their New Orleans shop locations, PJ’s announced they would not “tolerate hatred or disrespect of any kind.”

“The words used by Stephen Bruno Jr were inappropriate and uncalled for,” they said.

Also on rt.com ‘Is this all he does? Complain?’ Fans rip ‘whining’ LeBron as Lakers star says ‘someone should be fired’ for NBA postseason plans

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

Covid freedom: UK to reach safety in fight against pandemic by August, says expert

Coronavirus cases in the UK remain below 3,000 a day as the UK continues to implement its successful vaccine rollout. Speaking to The Telegraph on Friday, Clive Dix, former head of the UK’s vaccine taskforce, said the country would be safe from the virus in the coming months.
“Sometime in August, we will have no circulating virus in the UK,” predicted Mr Dix.

The suggestion comes as British officials say people under 40 will be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine amid health concerns over blood clots caused by the jab in rare circumstances.

Mr Dix added that, within three months, “we will have probably protected the population” from the virus.

He added: “All the variants that are known; I think we’ll be safe against over the coming winter.”

The latest Government figures suggest that over 35 million people have received their first dose of the vaccine and around 16.7 million people are fully vaccinated.

Mr Dix was appointed the interim leader of the vaccine taskforce back in December and stepped down from the role last week.

He was also an integral team member that struck deals with vaccine producers near the start of the pandemic – when there was no certainty that any vaccines would be successfully created.

He further predicted that everybody in the UK will have had their first dose of the vaccine by the end of July.

READ MORE: Emmanuel Macron attacked for using ‘Brexit hatred’ as cover

Experts and the public hope that if cases remain low as the country slowly eases on lockdown restrictions that a holiday abroad this summer might be allowed.

Yesterday, the UK unveiled a list of 12 countries and territories that are on its green list for quarantine travel from May 17.

Green listed countries include Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the Falklands.

Looking to the future, Mr Dix also predicted that the UK’s vaccination rollout has been so successful that a booster shot programme might be pushed back to early 2022.

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He said: “We may decide that we need to boost the immune response, and we’ve got the vaccine to do that.

Whether we’ll need to or not, I would think probably not, but we might still do it in case.

“I really don’t think it should be autumn. We should be thinking about boosting in maybe January or February, because the immune response will be strong.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Covid cases map: Global rates SURGE as UK nears freedom – where are cases highest?

Two countries are shouldering most of the case burden, Brazil and India.

The nations, both in the developing world and lacking the vaccine resources of other countries, have vast and densely packed populations.

They have covered approximately 4.5 and 8.3 percent of their people with jabs, respectively while beating back daily case increases of 200,000 and 30,000.

India is now home to the second most significant outbreak after taking the unenviable position from its South American counterpart in March.

Between April 6 and 10, a total of 2,634,923 cases were recorded – and 14,983 deaths.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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