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Coronavirus - 26th May


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Coronavirus - 26th May Empty Coronavirus - 26th May

Post by Kitkat on Tue May 26 2020, 04:37

Summary for Tuesday, 26th May

  • The WHO suspends testing of hydroxychloroquine as a possible Covid-19 treatment
  • A study suggested the drug could cause heart problems in patients and increase the risk of death
  • US President Donald Trump has repeatedly promoted the drug and even said he was taking it
  • As Americans marked Memorial Day, the virus death toll reached 98,218, according to Johns Hopkins university
  • While some people stayed in their homes, many other emerged and headed for the beaches
  • Foreign visitors to Spain will no longer have to undergo a two-week quarantine from 1 July
  • Spain also revised its death toll down by 2,000 after checking regional data
  • Australia's prime minister is expected to set out a plan to revive the economy in the wake of the virus
  • In the UK, the prime minister's key aide said he "acted reasonably" when he decided to travel during lockdown

Welcome back to our rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. We’re kicking this live page off in Asia and Australia but will keep you up to date with our global teams as the day shifts across time zones to Europe, Africa and the Americas.
Here’s what you need to know this morning.

  • A clinical trial of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine – the drug US President Trump said he was taking to avoid getting Covid-19 – has been suspended by the World Health Organization amid safety concerns
  • Japan has lifted its state of emergency, but warned it could be reimposed if infections picked up. Limits on regional travel will be lifted on 19 June
  • India on Monday saw its biggest daily increase in confirmed infections, just as the government reopened domestic air travel
  • Argentina is extending the mandatory lockdown in Buenos Aires until 7 June after a steady increase in the city's confirmed cases
  • The UK has announced that non-essential shops will be allowed to open from 15 June
  • Spain says foreign visitors will no longer have to undergo a two-week quarantine from 1 July
  • Iceland has also eased its restrictions, allowing gatherings of up to 200 people. Nightclubs and gyms are also allowed to reopen

WHO suspends trials of hydroxychloroquine

Testing of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for coronavirus has been halted because of safety fears, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.
Trials in several countries are being "temporarily" suspended as a precaution.
It comes after a recent medical study suggested the drug could increase the risk of patients dying from Covid-19.
US President Donald Trump has promoted the anti-malarial drug, despite warnings from public health officials that it could cause heart problems in Covid-19 patients.
Trump also said he was taking the drug himself to ward off the virus, but said in Sunday he was not taking it any more.

Trump takes aim at Biden's mask

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee in the US, Joe Biden, marked Memorial Day by laying a wreath in Delaware.
He and his wife Jill wore black face masks - something President Trump has declined to do in public.
The president later retweeted a Fox News analyst to seemingly criticise Biden for his choice...

  tweet :Left Quotes:  Brit Hume:
This might help explain why Trump doesn’t like to wear a mask in public. Biden today.
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Pupil infected day after Sydney schools return

A high school student in Sydney has tested positive for the virus just one day after all students returned to the classroom.
Authorities said the boy's school, Waverley College, in the city's beach suburbs, was evacuated this morning.
The case highlights the risks of schools resuming normal lessons, which is happening this week across most of the country. In Victoria, pupils went back full-time today.
Australia has recorded a near flat virus curve for the past five weeks, with only single digit daily case increases in the past week.
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Children returned to Sydney schools full-time yesterday

US death toll rises by more than 500

The number of US deaths linked to Covid-19 rose by 532 over the past 24 hours, according to data by the Johns Hopkins University. The country's overall death toll now stands 98,218, by far the highest number worldwide. But the daily number of deaths is on a downward curve.
The US also has the highest number of confirmed infections - with more than 1.6 million.

Protests against Ecuador virus cuts

Demonstrators in Ecuador have defied coronavirus restrictions to march through cities across the country in protest at tough economic measures imposed by the government to tackle the crisis.
Around 2,000 people protested in the capital, Quito, waving flags and wearing masks.
Last week, President Lenin Moreno announced public spending cuts which included the closure of seven state-owned companies.
"This protest is because the government is firing workers to avoid making the rich pay," Mecias Tatamuez, head of the county's largest union, said at a march in Quito.
The IMF predicts Ecuador's economy will shrink by over 6% this year.

'Bellweather' lowers expectations again

Monica Miller - Asia Business Reporter, Singapore
Singapore has cut its economic growth projection even further due to the impact of the coronavirus.
Officials say they expect the economy to shrink 4 to 7% - and are bracing for the worst recession the country has faced in its 55-year history. Previous estimates projected a contraction of 1 to 4%.
This is the the country's third revision in more than three months. Its Ministry of Trade and Industry reports that measures taken during the country's “circuit breaker” period (similar to a lockdown) have triggered large-scale job losses and weakened consumer spending.
The South East Asian country has one of the highest numbers of infections in Asia due to mass outbreaks in cramped migrant worker dormitories.
Last month, the government announced three stimulus packages worth $42bn support for some businesses.
After the most recent cut in GDP projections, officials say a fourth stimulus package could be announced later today. The last time Singapore faced such economic hardship was during the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998, when the economy shrank by 2.2%
As a financial hub with a huge port, the country is considered to be a bellwether - that is, an indicator of future trends - for international trade and the global economy.

New Zealand has only one virus patient in hospital

And across the nation, there are only 22 active cases.
In total, the Kiwis have reported about 1,500 infections and 21 deaths in a population of around five million.
Officials are confident they've "broken the chain of domestic transmission", with no new cases reported for most of May.
With the nation having largely lifted out of lockdown, the main threat will come when it reopens it borders.

Brazil maintains drug advice despite WHO warning

Brazil says it will not change its recommendation to use hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine against Covid-19, despite the World Health Organization suspending trials of the drug over safety concerns .
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has - like Donald Trump - promoted the supposed benefits of the drug against the virus.
Last week, a study in medical journal The Lancet said there were no benefits to treating coronavirus patients with hydroxychloroquine, and that taking it might even increase the number of deaths in hospital.
"We're remaining calm and there will be no change," a Brazilian health official said.
Hydroxychloroquine is used for malaria, and conditions like lupus or arthritis, but no clinical trials have recommended its use for treating Covid-19.

'I see a lot of people, I don't see any masks'

Thousands of people visited US beaches over the Memorial Day weekend (the day itself was Monday) - and not everyone abided by the guidelines.
All 50 states have partially reopened, to varying degrees.
US coronavirus taskforce chief Deborah Birx urged people to continue to wear masks if they couldn't socially distance. She also said she was "concerned" by the crowded scenes.

Tracking the global outbreak

Global infections since the outbreak began are edging towards 5.5 million.
Some countries like China and New Zealand seem to have the pandemic under control, and Europe is in the process of lifting its lockdowns, but in the Americas, the pandemic is still in full swing - especially in South America.
If you want to keep on top of the global trends in infections, our visual and data team have put together a special where you can keep across all that .

Saudi Arabia to lift curfew by 21 June

Saudi Arabia will lift its curfew across the country on 21 June, with the only exception being the holy city of Mecca - where shortened curfew hours will remain in place, from 3pm to 6am.
The Saudi curfew has varied but has recently been 24 hours a day, to cover the Eid festival. It previously ran from 5pm to 9am in most places during Ramadan, and was 24 hours a day in most places before then.
Bans on travelling within the country, praying in mosques, and going to work in both government and the private sector will be lifted on 31 May.

Tracking the global outbreak

Global infections since the outbreak began are edging towards 5.5 million.
Some countries like China and New Zealand seem to have the pandemic under control, and Europe is in the process of lifting its lockdowns, but in the Americas, the pandemic is still in full swing - especially in South America.
If you want to keep on top of the global trends in infections, our visual and data team have put together a special where you can keep across all that

Chaos at Indian airports as domestic flights resume

Long queues and chaos greeted passengers at Indian airports on Monday, as flights resumed two months after they were halted.
Local media said almost 100 flights were cancelled, but many more took off.
Maharashtra state, which has India's highest number of Covid-19 cases, said it would only allow only 50 flights a day, leading to several cancellations.
Angry passengers said they were not informed in advance, with some only learning of cancellations after waiting hours in long queues to enter the airport.
"Our flight was cancelled and there is no-one to answer us at the help desk. We don't know what to do now," a passenger in the southern city of Chennai told the ANI news agency.
India has confirmed more than 130,000 Covid-19 infections and 4,021 deaths so far.

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Coronavirus - 26th May Empty Re: Coronavirus - 26th May

Post by Kitkat on Tue May 26 2020, 08:43

'We have to get off the medication,' says Australian PM

Frances Mao - Sydney
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has outlined plans to restore Australia's economy.
Even as a world leader in containing the virus (an achievement that shouldn't be downplayed, he says), the economic impact has been severe - with 10% unemployment and debt costing 30% of GDP.
Around five million people (in a nation of 25 million) are currently relying on about A$150bn (£80bn; $98bn) in emergency welfare payments - due to end in September.
"At some point you’ve got to get your economy out of ICU [intensive care unit]," Mr Morrison said.
"You’ve got to get it off the medication before it becomes too accustomed to it. We must enable our businesses to earn our way out of this crisis."
Part of that will be classic centre-right policies like cutting tax and red tape for businesses, but he's also advocating for industrial reform with unions.
There's also a push to produce more skilled workers domestically. For years, Australia has relied on incoming skilled migrants to grow - but the pandemic has clearly disrupted that flow.
Australia's wealth has also been reliant on trade - so no surprise that the PM says the nation will remain "outwards-looking and open" and won't "retreat into the downward spiral of protectionism".

Five-year-old Indian boy flies home alone

A five-year-old boy in India has flown home on his own after being away from his mother for three months.
The lockdown in the country, which came into effect in March, meant that all domestic flights were halted until Monday.
Vihaan Sharma flew from Delhi to Bangalore on Monday, where he was greeted by his mother. Photos showed the boy carrying a "special category" placard, meaning he will have got assistance throughout the journey.
"He travelled alone from Delhi," his mother told ANI news agency.
The boy was staying with grandparents in Delhi - but the lockdown meant the planned short break turned into a much longer one.

UK PM's aide's answers will not stop questions

Laura Kuenssberg - Political editor
Dominic Cummings' rose garden confessional was a bold move designed to take the drama out of a crisis.
But giving detailed answers to why he at the very least broke the spirit of the lockdown rules does not answer the fundamental question now - is his continued presence in Downing Street more of a hindrance than a help to Prime Minister Boris Johnson?
Tempers may have cooled slightly on the conservative backbenches, but there are still calls for him to go, both private and public.
The man respected by Johnson for judging the public mood has made himself famous for falling foul of that opinion.
His explanations may ease for some of the anger. But in Westminster and beyond, it will not disappear overnight.

Four months' prison for Korean quarantine-breaker

Laura Bicker - BBC News, Seoul
A 27-year-old man in South Korea has been sentenced to four months in prison for breaking coronavirus quarantine rules.
It’s the first conviction of its kind in the country.
The man - who has only been identified by his family name, Kim - was asked to self-isolate at home for two weeks after he was discharged from a hospital north of Seoul.
He was caught leaving his house two days before his 14-day quarantine was due to end. He was taken to a residential centre, but was caught once again trying to leave and was arrested for violating the Infectious Diseases Control and Prevention Act.
The country is cracking down on quarantine violators after an outbreak at a series of nightclubs in Seoul’s party district saw sporadic clusters of infections across the country.
The number of daily new infections continue to hover at around 20 per day.
There are more than 33,000 people across the country in self-isolation, most of whom have arrived from overseas. Those who violate quarantine rules are now ordered to wear electronic bracelets to track their movements. There are 17 people currently wearing the devices.
Meanwhile, more than 2.4 million students are due to head back to their classrooms tomorrow as part of a phased return to school.
Health officials fear that further spikes in infection rates may prevent some from re-opening.

What do we know about hydroxychloroquine?

Reality Check
As the WHO suspends trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, what is the confusion all about?
The BBC Reality Check team looked into the drug - which has been touted by both Donald Trump and Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro.

Germany records 432 new infections and 45 deaths

Germany has recorded 432 new infections over the past day, while 45 new deaths have been linked to Covid-19.
The overall totals are now 179,002 infections and 8,302 deaths. Around 90% of those infected have recovered already.
Like most of Europe, Germany is in the process of easing lockdown restrictions - and the state of Thuringia, which had only a few infections, is thinking about lifting them all.

First human vaccine trial in southern hemisphere

The first human trial of a vaccine in the southern hemisphere has begun today in Melbourne, Australia.
The vaccine being tested - with the catchy name of NVX-CoV2373 - was made by US company, Novavax. It will be tested on a group of 130 healthy adults with the first results expected in July.
There are more than 100 vaccines being developed around the world, and around a dozen have begun human testing.
The first in the UK began last month at Oxford.

UK sports events in March 'increased death'

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More than 100,000 people flocked to Cheltenham for its annual horse racing festival in March

Uganda to begin easing of restrictions

Uganda will today begin easing coronavirus restrictions - with private cars allowed back on the roads, shops and restaurants reopening, and guidelines that everyone wears a mask.
President Yoweri Museveni last week delayed the easing until today, giving time for the public to acquire face masks.
The easing of restrictions will only apply in 95 out of 135 districts, with 40 border districts still restricted.
Public transport restrictions will be eased on 4 June, the same day guidelines on the reopening of schools will be announced.

Saudi Arabia's empty roads, highways and mosques

As we reported earlier, Saudi Arabia is lifting its curfew next month. While the severity of the curfew has varied at different times and in different places, it will mean normal life returning to the country after weeks of quiet.
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Particularly in Mecca, the curfew made a drastic difference. During Ramadan, there would have been countless pilgrims across the city. Not this year, though.
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Coronavirus - 26th May Bdad8410

Czech Republic begins to open borders

The Czech Republic is opening its border crossings with Austria and Germany today - although restrictions on who is allowed to enter the country remain.
Only returning citizens, foreign residents, and European Union students and business travellers will be allowed in. Police will carry out spot checks on cars, and passengers will need to provide a certificate proving they do not have Covid-19 - or else face two weeks of quarantine.
From Wednesday, the border with Slovakia will reopen, but visitors from either side of the border will have to return within 48 hours.
The Czech Republic was one of the first European countries to close its borders, doing so on 12 March.

What's the latest sports news?

  • In the UK, the Women's Super League and Women's Championship seasons have been ended immediately, with the outcome of the WSL title - and promotion and relegation issues - still to be decided
  • The Premier League will discuss close-contact training - as opposed to socially-distanced sessions - with club captains, managers and representatives from the Professional Footballers Association and League Managers Association on Tuesday. A vote will follow on Wednesday
  • Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has written to France's prime minister and sports minister, calling for them to reconsider the decision to end the French football season early. Ligue 1 is the only one of the big five European leagues to have ended its season, with Lyon seventh, so they would miss European qualification
  • Former boxing world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield is open to coming out of retirement to fight Mike Tyson for a third time. Both are now in their 50s and have planned returns for charity

Latam Airlines files for bankruptcy protection

Latin America’s largest airline has filed bankruptcy protection in New York after the coronavirus pandemic grounded flights across the region.
The move allows Latam Airlines Group to keep operating while it works out a plan to pay creditors and turn around the business.
The Chilean carrier said it continues to operate on a reduced schedule and has commitments for a loan of up to $900m (£736m).
Earlier this month Colombia's largest airline Avianca filed for bankruptcy, dragged down by a sharp drop in customers and large debts.

Pakistan may reimpose lockdown as cases rise

Pakistan's top health official has warned that lockdown might resume as cases and deaths rise.
Dr Zafar Mirza urged citizens to follow social distancing measures , warning that a "strict lockdown" was on the cards if infections continued to swell.
Pakistan lifted its lockdown in phases, starting earlier this month. The country has more than 57,000 confirmed cases and 1,197 deaths so far.
"I want to warn Pakistanis that if you don't take precautionary measures, this crisis could turn into a huge tragedy," said Dr Mirza.

WHO warns of ‘second peak’ as lockdowns are eased

Countries could see a “second peak” of coronavirus cases during the first wave of the pandemic if lockdown restrictions are lifted too soon, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.
Dr Mike Ryan, the WHO’s head of emergencies, told a briefing on Monday that the world was “right in the middle of the first wave”.
He said because the disease was “still on the way up”, countries need to be aware that “the disease can jump up at any time”.
“We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now that it's going to keep going down," Dr Ryan said.
There would be a number of months to prepare for a second peak, he added.
The stark warning comes as countries around the world start to gradually ease lockdown restrictions, allowing shops to reopen and larger groups of people to gather.
Read more: Five ways Europe is easing its lockdown
Experts say that without a vaccine to give people immunity, infections could increase again when social-distancing measures are relaxed.
Dr Ryan said countries where cases are declining should be using this time to develop effective trace-and-test regimes to “ensure that we continue on a downwards trajectory and we don’t have an immediate second peak”.

Varadkar denies park picnic was lockdown breach

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Leo Varadkar's picnic did not breach lockdown rules, his spokesperson said

Ireland’s taoiseach Leo Varadkar did not breach coronavirus restrictions by having a picnic at a park with friends, his spokesperson has said, despite an official’s warning against such activity.
The spokesperson said on Monday that Varadkar “broke no laws, breached no regulations and observed public health guidance”.
The statement was issued after photos of Varadkar and his partner Matthew Barrett standing in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on Sunday were shared on social media. Both topless and wearing shorts, the pair appeared to be having a picnic with friends.
Under the current guidelines, four people who are not from the same household can meet up outdoors, provided they observe social distancing.
But last week, the assistant secretary to the taoiseach's department, Liz Canavan, urged people to avoid unnecessary trips outside, including picnics.
She said: "If you're visiting a public amenity try not to stay too long at the site or have picnics."
Some critics have compared Varadkar’s picnic outing to the conduct of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s most senior aide, Dominic Cummngs, who was accused of breaking lockdown rule

US brings forward Brazil travel ban

The Trump administration has brought forward new travel restrictions on Brazil, where coronavirus cases have risen sharply in recent days.
The White House said on Monday that the restrictions will come in effect at 23:59 local time on Tuesday, 26 May (03:59 BST on Wednesday, 27 May), not 28 May as originally planned.
Read more: US suspends travel from Brazil for foreigners
Brazil has the second highest number of coronavirus infections (374,898) and the sixth highest number of deaths (23,473) in the world, a tally by Johns Hopkins University shows .
The travel restrictions have been viewed as a blow to Brazil’s right-wing President Jari Bolsonaro, who is an admirer and ally of US President Donald Trump.
Like President Trump, Bolsonaro has played down the risks posed by the virus, and promoted unproven treatments.

Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity reopens

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The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem has reopened as the West Bank eases its lockdown.
But only 50 visitors will be allowed in at a time, and they'll have to wear facemasks and ensure that they do not have a temperature.
The church in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, is a major tourist draw for the Palestinian economy in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Concern that Cummings case could 'damage' confidence in UK guidelines

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
NHS Confederation chief executive Niall Dickson has raised concerns about the potential "damage" to public confidence in official Covid-19 guidance due to the case of the UK government's senior aide Dominic Cummings.
Mr Dickson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Over the next few weeks, following guidance is going to be as vital as ever and actually it's going to be more complex because as lockdown eases the advice is, frankly, less binary and people have to exercise more discretion.
"So I think there is concern that this has been a distraction and that it's not been helpful, and the fear is that it has made people on the front line frustrated and fearful."
Mr Dickson added the incident could "undermine more generally staff confidence in government pronouncements".

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Post by Kitkat on Tue May 26 2020, 09:51

First case in South Australia in weeks

South Australia has seen its first confirmed coronavirus case in almost three weeks.
Officials said an overseas traveller had come to Victoria where she was quarantined for less than a week before then traveling on to South Australia. The quarantine was shortened because she was given an exemption "for compelling family reasons".
She tested positive on arrival at Adelaide Airport.
The woman in her 50s is now isolated and authorities are trying to trace whoever she was in contact with while travelling.

What's the latest in the UK?

  • The UK government is trying to shift the focus away from a row about a senior aide's travel during the lockdown. Senior official Dominic Cummings said on Monday he believed he had acted legally when he drove 260 miles from home
  • Speaking on BBC Breakfast, MP Michael Gove has defended Cummings, saying "his actions were reasonable" and that "he is a man of integrity"
  • But opposition MPs are due to meet later to discuss how to hold Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his senior aide to account, with Labour criticising Mr Cummings for failing to apologise, while other parties continue to call for him to be sacked
  • Mr Cummings' statement overshadowed the PM's new plans to reopen all non-essential shops in England on 15 June. Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June
  • As Scotland prepares to ease its coronavirus lockdown from Friday, Scots have voiced concerns about the UK government's handling of the crisis and the risk of lifting restrictions "too quickly"
  • The scientist leading the UK's largest tracking project has said that two major sporting events held in March "caused increased suffering and death" - the Cheltenham Festival and Liverpool's Champions League match against Atletico Madrid

Russia records highest daily death toll

Russia has recorded its highest daily death toll of 174 in the past 24 hours, pushing the nationwide total to 3,807.
Officials reported 8,915 new infections on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases to 362,342 across 85 regions.
Moscow (2,830), Moscow Region (817) and St Petersburg (363) are the top three regions in terms of new cases. A total of 131,129 patients have fully recovered across the country.

Experts warn against masks for young toddlers

Japan's Paediatric Association has advised parents not to put masks on children under the age of two because they can make breathing difficult and increase the risk of choking.
In a notice on its website, the group also said because children had narrow air passages, their hearts would be put under additional strain by trying to breathe through a mask.
The US Centers for Disease Control also says children under the age of two should not wear cloth face coverings.

Minister becomes first to step down over Cummings row

Douglas Ross has resigned as a government minister over the row concerning senior aide Dominic Cumming's travel during the lockdown.
"I welcome the statement to clarify matters, but there remain aspects of the explanation which I have trouble with," Ross said.
Mr Ross is the first minister to step down over the row.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue May 26 2020, 11:17

Ross resignation a blow

Nick Eardley - Political correspondent
Douglas Ross backed Boris Johnson to be Tory leader and is not one of those Tories seen as hostile to his style of government.
So this resignation is a blow – and could point to wider discontent in the party.
There is a Scottish subplot – the Scottish Tories have been accused of hypocrisy for demanding Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer resign then staying quiet about Dominic Cummings.
But Mr Ross’ reasons for resigning are scathing. He says he cannot tell his constituents in good faith that they were wrong to miss funerals and other family events, but Mr Cummings was right.
He says he has listened to his constituents and resigned. The question now is whether other Tory MPs are continuing to get the same feedback.

Germany eyes lifting borders curbs with 31 countries

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government issued an unprecedented worldwide travel warning to Germans on 17 March - and now they're seeking to lift it for 31 European countries next month.
A draft document that goes to cabinet on Wednesday recommends allowing travel to all 26 other EU states plus the UK and non-EU countries like Iceland and Norway that are in the border-free Schengen zone.
This would be a big move ahead of the summer tourist season if it goes ahead on 15 June as proposed.

Mexico City records ‘8,000 excess deaths’

Mexico's capital has registered 8,072 more deaths than usual in the first five months of this year, a study has found, casting doubt on the country’s official coronavirus figures.
The total number of deaths in Mexico City was 39,173 between 1 January and 20 May this year, compared with 31,101 on average during the same period in the previous four years, the study said .
So far, Mexico City’s health authorities have confirmed 1,655 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic started.
The true death toll is believed to be much higher but, due to a lack of testing, an accurate figure is difficult to establish.
The study estimates that around 25% of the “excess mortality” it reported was attributable to Covid-19.
"While studying excess deaths allows us to identify a higher mortality rate during the Covid-19 crisis, it is not sufficient to attribute it directly or solely to the virus," Laurianne Despeghel, one of the study’s authors, said.
Mexico has recorded 7,633 deaths and 71,105 infections, figures from a US university show .
Read more: Mexico at 'peak moment' of coronavirus

New York key workers promised death benefits

The families of key workers in New York who died with Covid-19 during the pandemic will receive death benefits to honour their service, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said.
Cuomo told a media briefing on Monday he felt a “grave responsibility” to “those public heroes who died from Covid-19 during this emergency”.
"I want to make sure we repay them - and not just by saying thank you and running nice television commercials," Cuomo said.
Cuomo said the families of public sector workers “who showed up”, listing bus drivers, nurses and firefighters as examples, would qualify for the payments.
It's not yet clear how much they'll receive.
At almost 30,000, the coronavirus death toll in New York is by far the highest of any state in the US.

PM regrets minister resignation - No 10

More on the resignation of UK junior minister Douglas Ross following the furore over the lockdown conduct of Boris Johnson's chief aide, Dominic Cummings.
Mr Ross said he was stepping down because the "vast majority of people" disagreed with Mr Cummings' explanation for travelling 260 miles at the height of the country's coronavirus restrictions.
Downing Street says Mr Johnson thanks Mr Ross "for his service to government and regrets his decision to stand down as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland".
Read the full story here .

US pool-party revellers told to self-isolate

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In Missouri, revellers partied on the Lake of the Ozarks, violating social-distancing rules

American revellers who were pictured flouting social-distancing guidelines in the US state of Missouri have been urged to self-isolate unless they test negative for Covid-19.
Large crowds descended on the Lake of the Ozarks over the Memorial Day weekend in violation of coronavirus rules.
One image showed a party in a swimming pool, crammed full of people huddled in close proximity to each other.
Those images prompted the Department of Public Health for St Louis County to issue an advisory to those who “showed no efforts to follow social-distancing practices” on Monday.
“This reckless behaviour endangers countless people and risks setting us back substantially from the progress we have made in slowing the spread of Covid-19,” the county’s executive, Dr Sam Page, said.
“I encourage everyone to follow the Department of Public Health advisory to determine a safe path forward in the workplace.”
Read more: Americans flock to beaches on Memorial Day weekend

Good news for cross-border couples – the latest from Europe

Governments are mulling an end to border controls as the outbreak eases across many parts of Europe. Here’s the latest:

  • Germany is considering lifting its travel warning for a number of European countries – including the UK – on 15 June. Europe effectively shut its internal border area known as Schengen at the start of the outbreak, but a number of countries are calling for the return of free movement as soon as possible
  • Denmark has modified its own border rules, and made it easier for couples to see each other again. From Sunday your girlfriend or boyfriend could cross the border to see you provided they show proof – like texts, photos or letters – to prove a proper relationship. Authorities changed the rules after a major backlash, so now you just need a piece of paper signed by both parties - making it easier for this elderly couple
  • Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary says he will ask parliament to revoke his special powers next week. Parliament approved the measures for Mr Orban to tackle the outbreak. But critics fear he could abuse them, or never give them up, and are watching to see how he ends the powers

Can coronavirus affect eyesight?

UK PM Boris Johnson said on Monday that he had experienced problems with his eyesight after having coronavirus.
The admission came after Mr Johnson's chief aide, Dominic Cummings, said the reason he made a 60-mile round trip by car to Barnard Castle during the country's lockdown was to test his eyes on the road.
So does Covid-19 affect a person's eyesight? Well, eye symptoms with the virus are rare but not unheard of, experts say.
Similar infections can cause viral conjunctivitis, which makes the eyes water and feel gritty and uncomfortable, rather than painful.
Read more here .

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Coronavirus - 26th May Empty Re: Coronavirus - 26th May

Post by Kitkat on Tue May 26 2020, 13:25

‘Clear masks should be the norm’

Coronavirus - 26th May C381a810
Kelly Morellon (right) and her mother Sylvie have designed a face mask with a transparent window

Face masks have become an everyday part of life during the coronavirus pandemic.
People wear them for protection against the virus and to prevent spreading it but there’s an unintended consequence that’s often overlooked.
Standard face masks muffle words and obscure the mouth. For people who have hearing loss, that’s a problem.
But now, charities and manufacturers have come up with a solution: transparent masks.
Main dans la Main (Hand in Hand), an association which supports deaf and hearing-impaired people in Chevrières, northern France, is among the organisations around the world that have created a mask with a transparent window.
"The basic aim of these transparent masks is to allow deaf and hearing-impaired people to read the lips of someone speaking to them," the charity’s founder Kelly Morellon told the BBC.
Read more: Call for clear face masks to be 'the norm'

Cummings didn't break the guidelines - Gove

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has said that people will make up their own minds after listening to Dominic Cummings' "exhaustive" account of his travels during the lockdown.
The prime minister's chief aide has defended driving 260 miles in March from his home in London to his parents' farm in County Durham.
Earlier, Michael Gove was challenged by BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker on why Cummings didn't apologise.

Pandemic fallout stokes protests in Ecuador

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The protests were led by labour and social organisations

Thronging the streets in defiance of coronavirus restrictions, protesters in Ecuador expressed their anger at the government’s economic response to the pandemic on Monday.
Thousands gathered for demonstrations in the country’s biggest cities, where they marched shoulder-to-shoulder despite social-distancing rules.
The protests were led by labour unions and social organisations.
Last week, Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno announced measures including the closure of some state-owned companies and cuts to public sector salaries.
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Crowds thronged the streets of the capital, Quinto

"If the coronavirus doesn't kill us, the government will," the leader of a trade union told Reuters news agency.
Around 4,000 people across the country attended Monday’s protests, the government said.
Ecuador has recorded 37,355 infections and 3,203 deaths from the coronavirus but, due to reporting issues, the figures are thought to be higher.
Read more: Ecuador protests against cuts amid pandemic

Long-term support for rough sleepers housed during lockdown

Plans are under way in England to provide long-term support for rough sleepers taken off the streets during the coronavirus crisis.
Dame Louise Casey, head of the UK government's taskforce to help the homeless at this time, has told the BBC £53m will be spent on support services.
Almost 15,000 rough sleepers have been housed in emergency accommodation since the start of the coronavirus lockdown.
Read more here .

Pandemic ‘great time’ to build pipeline, minister says

The pandemic is a “great time” to build a pipeline because social-distancing rules prevent "ideological protests" from causing disruptions, a Canadian minister has said.
Alberta's Energy Minister Sonya Savage was talking about the Trans Mountain oil pipeline, a project opposed by indigenous groups and environmentalists.
The pipeline, which runs from Edmonton in Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia, is expected to triple its current capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 per day.
The pipeline has become a hot-button political issue for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has said the project is in the national economic interest.
Savage said she supported the project because “people need jobs”, suggesting that “ordinary Canadians” do not have “patience for protests that get in the way of people working”.
Read more

Recap of key developments in the UK

A junior minister has resigned amid the continuing controversy over the actions of the prime minister's senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, during lockdown.
Douglas Ross, who was under secretary of state for Scotland, said he believed Mr Cummings's interpretation of the government guidance was not shared by the vast majority of people.
A growing number of Tory MPs have spoken out this morning - but the government insists Mr Cummings did not break the law.
In other developments:

  • Latest UK figures for Covid-19 deaths are the lowest for six weeks, with 4,210 registered in the second week of May. Deaths in care homes in England and Wales accounted for almost half of the total number
  • High street businesses are warning shoppers may not feel safe enough to spend money when stores are allowed to reopen in England from 15 June
  • A scientist leading the UK's largest Covid-19 tracking project says two large sporting events in Cheltenham and Liverpool in late March "caused increased suffering and death"
  • The Bank of England said the UK economy could still bounce back from the pandemic with a "V-shaped recovery". But the bank's chief economist, Andy Haldane, said the V might be "lopsided" -- suggesting the recovery might take longer than hoped
  • Elsewhere, there were no new Covid-19 linked deaths in the Republic of Ireland in the last 24 hours

Global vaccine campaign hits fundraising milestone

A global pledging campaign has raised more than €9.5bn (£8.5bn; $10.4bn) for the development of vaccines and therapies against Covid-19, the EU Commission's president has announced.
Ursula von der Leyen said the funding “milestone” showed the world was demonstrating solidarity in tackling the pandemic.
The appeal, which was launched by the EU Commission earlier this month, is designed to ensure that affordable vaccines and treatments are available worldwide.
An initial £6.5bn was pledged by 40 countries and donors when the initiative was launched at an online summit hosted by the EU.
The US and Russia did not take part in the initiative. China, where the virus originated in December, was represented by its ambassador to the EU at the May summit.
Read more: World leaders pledge billions for vaccine fight

UK authorises anti-viral drug remdesivir

A drug treatment that appears to shorten recovery time for people with coronavirus is being made available on the National Health Service in the UK.
Remdesivir is an anti-viral medicine that was originally developed to fight ebola.
UK regulators say there is enough evidence to approve its use in selected hospital patients.
Read more here .

Latest from Latin America: Chile sees record daily rise

Restrictions on people travelling from Brazil to the US come into force later on Tuesday and cases in Chile jump.

  • A ban on travellers from Brazil entering the United States has been brought forward by two days after the number of deaths in 24 hours recorded in the South American country was higher than that in the US. The restrictions will apply to foreign nationals who have been to Brazil in the last 14 days. They will now come into force later on Tuesday. Brazil is the country with the second highest number of coronavirus infections after the US
  • Meanwhile, Brazil has said it won't change its recommendation to use a malaria drug to fight coronavirus, even though the World Health Organization has suspended trials of hydroxychloroquine because of safety concerns
  • Chile has registered a new record for the number of coronavirus cases registered in 24 hours with nearly 5,000 infections. Two government ministers are among those who have tested positive. The capital, Santiago, and other regions remain under lockdown. There have been almost 74,000 cases in total now

UK government ordered to respond to lockdown review

Tom Symonds - Home Affairs Correspondent
A judge has ordered the government to respond to a legal challenge against the lockdown by 12 June.
The High Court made a ruling after the government asked for more time to respond to an attempted judicial review of the policy, led by the businessman Simon Dolan.
Mr Dolan’s challenging the government on three issues:

  • Whether the lockdown is unlawful because the government implemented regulations under the Public Health Act 1984 instead of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 or the Coronavirus Act 2020
  • The legality of the continuation of lockdown and whether the tests for lifting it are too narrow and failing to take account of the economic and social impacts
  • Whether the restrictions brought in by the government contravene the European Convention of Human Rights, which covers the right to liberty, family life, education and property

Final call for Wuhan's 10-day testing drive

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
Today is the final call for citizens in the central Chinese city of Wuhan to receive Covid-19 tests, as part of an ambitious 10-day drive to test the entire population of the central Chinese city. More about that here .
At its peak, there were more than 50,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Wuhan, and the city’s health commission wanted to ensure that the city avoids a second wave by ensuring it identifies any asymptomatic carriers.
Hundreds have already been identified. The Hubei provincial health commission says that 334 people across the province are under medical observation who are asymptomatic, and that a further 26 have been identified in the last 24 hours.
Yesterday, official media instructed citizens who had not yet been tested to register with their communities before 5pm today, in order that they can receive tests.
The official Xinhua News Agency says today that 6.5 million tests were carried out between 14 and 23 May, and some three million tests were carried out prior to the drive. There are 11.12 million people in Wuhan.

French alarm at coronavirus pollution

Europe's beaches beckon as countries around the continent ease their lockdowns, and millions still hope to have a holiday abroad.
But a video shot by a French NGO in the Mediterranean shows masks and gloves littering the seabed.
Opération mer propre (Operation clean sea) is trying to clean up the coast near the French Riviera resort of Antibes.
It is alarmed by this new coronavirus pollution, which adds to the already chronic problem of plastic pollution.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue May 26 2020, 18:54

Scotland to launch tracing system on Thursday

The Scottish government will launch a new "test and protect" contact-tracing strategy on Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.
The first minister said anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 should take "immediate steps" to be tested. They and their household should then self-isolate until the results of the test were known.
Those who test positive will need to provide the details of everyone they have had close contact with.
These people will then be contacted by specialist tracers, and will need to self-isolate at home for 14 days.
A further 18 people with coronavirus died in Scotland on Monday, taking the total death toll there to 2,291.
Read more here .

Egypt minister orders investigation into doctor's death

Egypt's Health Minister, Hala Zayd, has ordered an investigation into the death of a doctor who contracted coronavirus while on duty, amid rising concern about the number of health workers dying.
One Egyptian media outlet says the investigation into the death of Dr Walid Yehia has been launched on the direct orders of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.
It comes after the doctors' union issued a statement on Monday, holding the health ministry “entirely responsible” for the deaths of 19 doctors, with more than 350 infected.
“The syndicate is warning that the health system could completely collapse, leading to a catastrophe affecting the entire country if the health ministry's negligence and lack of action towards medical staff is not rectified,” said the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, a body representing thousands of Egyptian doctors.
The most populous Arab country, Egypt has recorded nearly 18,000 cases and 783 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University figures

Lowest UK weekly death toll for six weeks

The Office for National Statistics says there were 3,810 deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales during the week ending 15 May - the lowest weekly number recorded in the last six weeks.
Coronavirus accounted for just over 25% of all deaths in the UK that week.
The latest figures from the National Records of Scotland, published last week, showed 3,546 deaths had been registered in Scotland up to 17 May.
The latest figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, also published last week, showed 664 deaths in Northern Ireland up to 20 May.
The ONS's publication also looked at "excess deaths" in England and Wales - in other words how many more deaths were registered in the first 20 weeks of 2020 compared with the five-year average for the same time of year.
An analysis of that data found there was no additional risk of dying during that period for people under the age of 45.
Read more here.

Russia will hold WW2 parade - Putin

Russia will hold a military parade to mark the 75th anniversary of World War Two's Victory Day, after it was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, its president has announced.
Vladimir Putin was forced to cancel Russia's traditional Victory Day parade on 9 May, as the coronavirus crisis gathered pace in the country.
Usually, Victory Day in Russia sees columns of soldiers, veterans, historical Red Army vehicles, and modern military hardware parade through Moscow's Red Square.
Instead, Russia organised low-key commemorations, involving a flypast of military aircraft over the Kremlin and wreath-laying ceremonies.
Now, Putin has instructed his Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, to begin preparations for further commemorations next month.
"We will do it on 24 June, the day the legendary victors' parade took place in 1945," he told his minister on TV on Tuesday.
Victory Day commemorations are important features of the calendar for former Soviet countries, which together lost around 26 million people in World War Two.
Read more: Russia marks WW2 Victory Day with subdued celebrations

Crew infected on exports ship in Western Australia

State officials say they've found six virus cases in a 48-person crew on a livestock export ship, the Al Kuwait, docked at Fremantle Port.
For Western Australia, which had no cases in hospital, this is an "extremely concerning situation", said premier Mark McGowan.
"Straight away, I had thoughts of the [Ruby Princess] cruise ship saga," he said. "It goes to show that strong border controls are important."

McGowan said the patients had been taken off and quarantined, but the rest of the crew remained on board, and he was negotiating to get the boat to return to its port of origin in Kuwait.
"I suspect it is probably more than likely that more crew members may become infected with the virus," Mr McGowan said.

New York Stock Exchange reopens - with restrictions

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is about to reopen after being closed since 23 March - with some restrictions.
According to NYSE President Stacey Cunningham, the trading floor won't look like the "iconic images" people think of when they think of the exchange.
She told the BBC that rather than being crowded together and shouting out on the floor, brokers will be fewer in number, wearing protective masks, and will be observing "strict social distancing".
Since it closed, the NYSE has been limited to electronic-only trading.
You can read more about the iconic stock exchange's reopening here .

Qatar contact-tracing app flaw ‘exposed details of one million users’

Amnesty International says its researchers discovered serious security vulnerabilities in a Covid-19 contact-tracing app in Qatar that is compulsory to download.
The flaw in the Ehteraz app - which was fixed on Friday after the human rights group notified the Qatari authorities - could have exposed highly sensitive personal information of about one million users, including their names and national IDs. Citizens and residents who do not use the app could face up to three years in prison and a fine of $55,000 (£44,500).
“While the Qatari authorities were quick to fix this issue, it was a huge security weakness and a fundamental flaw in Qatar’s contact tracing app that malicious attackers could have easily exploited," Claudio Guarnieri, head of Amnesty International’s Security Lab, said in a statement.
“This incident should act as a warning to governments around the world rushing out contact tracing apps that are too often poorly designed and lack privacy safeguards,” he added.
Currently more than 45 countries have rolled out, or plan to roll out, Covid-19 contact-tracing apps, including Australia, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

JK Rowling unveils lockdown treat for young book fans

JK Rowling has surprised fans with the announcement of a brand new children's book, which she is publishing in daily instalments on her website for free.
The Ickabog is a fairytale, and is Rowling's first children's story not to be connected to Harry Potter.
She wrote it more than a decade ago for her own children. But now, the author said, it's for "children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times".
Read more here .

No deaths recorded in Northern Ireland in last 24 hours

Chris Page - BBC News Ireland correspondent
The Stormont Department of Health has recorded no deaths linked to Covid-19 since Monday.
It is the first day since 18 March that the department’s daily figures have reported no deaths.
The figures, which are released every day, mainly relate to deaths in hospital.
They include some, but not all, fatalities in other settings.
Another set of figures is released every Friday by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, which includes all deaths in which Covid-19 is listed on the death certificate, and therefore gives a fuller picture of the mortality rate.
Today’s statistics from the Department of Health also show there’ve been 28 new confirmed cases of the virus, bringing the total to 4637.

Tusk mocks Cummings over lockdown furore

Former president of the European Council Donald Tusk has mocked Dominic Cummings, as the ex-Vote Leave chief battles allegations he broke the UK's coronavirus lockdown.
In a tweet, Mr Tusk addresses Mr Cummings, who is UK PM Boris Johnson's top aide and currently embroiled in controversy over a 260-mile trip to County Durham.
Mr Cummings and No 10 insist no laws were broken - but that hasn't stopped Mr Tusk from issuing the jibe:
tweet :Left Quotes:  Donald Tusk:
This is apparently Cummings and his Brexit friends’ rule: that they leave when they should stay.

134 further UK coronavirus deaths

A further 134 coronavirus deaths have been recorded across all settings in the UK, taking the country's total to 37,048.
The Department of Health and Social Care said 2,004 more people had tested positive for coronavirus as of 09:00 BST on Tuesday.
A technical problem meant statistics reporting the number of people tested could not be published, the department said.

'Restrict access to beaches' urges RNLI

The UK's Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) is urging the government to restrict access to beaches until lifeguard patrols return, after two people died in separate incidents on the Cornish coast yesterday.
The RNLI has suspended lifeguard patrols during the pandemic, and a few weeks ago announced it would only patrol 70 beaches this summer instead of the usual 240.
In an open letter, the charity's chief executive Mark Dowie says safety advice can only go so far when people are desperate to exercise some freedom after weeks of lockdown.
The charity is hoping to roll out lifeguard patrols on 16 beaches from this weekend, with more to follow in June and later as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Analysis: How much political capital will UK PM expend over Cummings?

Jessica Parker - BBC political correspondent
The drip drip of Conservative MPs calling on Dominic Cummings to go has continued today.
Now hovering around 30 it is worth saying that this amounts to about 8% of the parliamentary party.
However, what’s notable is that there are those who, even if they’re not calling on Mr Cummings to go, have felt it necessary to write long open letters explaining their thinking to constituents.
Public anger, it seems, has not been put to bed by Monday’s extraordinary rose garden press conference.
The prime minister’s chief aide does of course have his backers; people who believe he did what was right in difficult circumstances.
And one government minister suggested to me that the story’s been “whipped up” by those who simply do not like Dominic Cummings, either politically or as a person.
But this saga is now into its fourth day on a week where the prime minister wishes to communicate crucial messages about his plans for easing the lockdown.
It is – another minister conceded – a “problem” and “distraction”.
And today, as yesterday, the question remains: How much political capital is Boris Johnson ready to expend on keeping his chief aide?

German football rivals to meet in big title match

The biggest football game of the German season takes place tonight as Borussia Dortmund host rivals Bayern Munich in the game known as Der Klassiker.
The match - which would usually be played in front of about 80,000 fans - will instead be behind closed doors at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park.
Dortmund are only four points behind Bayern, who have won seven consecutive Bundesliga titles, so this match could have a huge impact in the title race.
Among the star players who will be on show are Robert Lewandowski, Erling Braut Haaland and England's Jadon Sancho.
The game kicks off at 17:30 BST (16:30 GMT) with live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

NYSE has to take reopening very slowly

Samira Hussain - New York business correspondent
Before the coronavirus, I was a regular on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
It may be one of the great symbols of US capitalism, but it's also just a workplace for hundreds of traders, market makers and various bystanders - such as journalists!
And, like so many offices and shop floors, it's not somewhere that you would ever associate with social distancing, keeping two metres apart and wearing masks.
Quite the reverse - face-to-face stock trading is sometimes close to a contact sport, as is reporting from the floor.
So the NYSE has to take its "reopening" very slowly. It will be a relief for some traders to be back to work, but it's not going to look like the trading floor we're all used to seeing for quite some time.
Read more: New York Stock Exchange trading floor to reopen

Mink farmers may be first animal-to-human cases, health body says

The Netherlands may have recorded the first known cases of animal-to-human transmission of coronavirus at a mink farm, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
The WHO said it was reviewing the cases of two Dutch mink-farm workers who appear to have contracted Covid-19 from the animals.
On Monday, Dutch Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten announced the second suspected infection of an employee at a mink farm.
“These would be the first known cases of animal-to-human transmission," a WHO spokesperson told AFP news agency on Tuesday.
“But we are still collecting and reviewing more data to understand if animals and pets can spread the disease.”
The first cases of the coronavirus were linked to a market where wild animals were sold in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Exactly where the virus came from remains a mystery, but most disease experts agree the virus was transmitted to humans by an animal, possibly a bat.
Until the suspected mink-farm transmission in the Netherlands, there have been no instances of animals infecting humans with Covid-19 since the disease emerged.
However, the WHO said evidence suggests “other animal species are also susceptible to the virus and can be infected, including cats, ferrets”.
Read more: Can my dog or cat catch coronavirus?

Why did Dominic Cummings say he predicted coronavirus?

Faisal Islam - BBC Economics Editor
For Dominic Cummings, the PM's chief adviser, to claim, in the middle of his defence on Monday, "only last year I wrote explicitly about the danger of coronaviruses" is worthy of some inspection.
Such prescience would indeed have been impressive and helpful, and he does have a long-standing and well-known interest in mathematical modelling and big data.
Looking at his blog, there is one reference to coronavirus, and it was indeed in a blog written in March last year. But it wasn't quite as billed. It is a blog about the risk of a pandemic starting from a leak from a biological lab.
The internet archive Wayback Machine, which tracks the changing versions of publicly available websites, shows that the blog was edited some time between 9 April and 3 May this year (after the pandemic started) to insert the reference to coronavirus and Chinese labs.
It is a mystery why he felt the need to burnish his credentials as a coronavirus sage so much that he pointed to having explicitly warned about something that was only added to his blog after the event.
Read more here.

Cuomo rings in traders at NYSE

Following on from Samira Hussain's piece a few moments ago, it has now happened....
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has rung in the start of the trading day at the New York Stock Exchange, marking its return after a two-month closure.
“In the two months the floor was dark, NYers bent the curve and slowed the spread of this virus,” the governor tweeted.
Under new measures at the NYSE, only a quarter of the normal number of traders will be allowed to return to work.
Traders must also avoid public transport, wear masks and follow strict social distancing rules, with newly fitted transparent barriers to keep people apart.
New York City has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with some 200,000 cases and more than 20,000 deaths.

Bishops get death threats over Cummings criticism

Senior bishops who criticised Dominic Cummings' lockdown travel say they have received death threats.
Bishops in Newcastle, Ripon and Liverpool are among those who have said they have received hate mail.
A number of church leaders criticised Mr Cummings' trip from London to Durham to self-isolate.
Bishop of Worcester John Inge said he got a "delightful email" saying: "Stay out of politics or we'll kill you."
Read more here .

US states continue reopening

It's been almost one week since all 50 US states began to reopen, but some are going more slowly than others.
Georgia, one of the states to reopen earliest, has seen a steady stream of around 600 new cases daily but has not reported any spike.
Michigan, which saw its stay-at-home order extended before the Memorial Day weekend by the governor until 12 June, is starting to ease restrictions in the least affected parts of the state as well as in Detroit.
Starting Tuesday, Michigan's retail and auto businesses can reopen but with limited customers. Bars and restaurants have already reopened in the more isolated parts of the mid-western state.
In New Jersey, where gyms, hair salons and other close contact businesses are still closed, a group of around 500 business owners say they will flout the rules and reopen on 1 June.

Cummings witness speaks of 'difficult few days'

Coronavirus - 26th May 917b6a10

A retired chemistry teacher who spotted Dominic Cummings in County Durham says he has some regrets over getting involved.
Robin Lees told BBC Radio Newcastle it had been a “difficult few days” after his account of the encounter with Mr Cummings was initially brushed off by Downing Street, but felt “vindicated” by Mr Cummings' subsequent admission.
Mr Lees said: "When I gave my name I didn't expect... it to be quite like it occurred."
He said he recognised Mr Cummings after seeing him in the press. "I just know what he looks like and this person looked strikingly like him," he said.
Crucially, Mr Lees remembered the number plate of a car used by Mr Cummings, wrote it down, and searched the number online.
"At the time I just put it out of my mind," he said, before reading the first reports on Friday evening and emailing a Guardian journalist. The story has dominated UK politics ever since.

Police raid Rio governor residence

Katy Watson - BBC South America correspondent
Coronavirus - 26th May 7d7eea10

Federal police in Brazil have raided the residences of Rio de Janeiro’s governor Wilson Witzel as part of a corruption probe over Covid-19.
According to a statement by the Federal Police, the search warrants were issued over the involvement of public money used to fight the virus in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
It said evidence pointed to alleged irregularities regarding field hospitals set up to help treat patients with Covid-19. In total, 12 search and seizure warrants were issued. No arrests have been made.
In a statement, Witzel said that he was innocent, and accused the president of interference. Jair Bolsonaro, for his part, congratulated the Federal Police for the move.

UK government briefing at 17:00 BST

We have just had it confirmed that the UK government will give its daily briefing at 17:00 BST (16:00 GMT).
The briefing will be led by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
He will be joined by Prof John Newton, the national co-ordinator of the UK's Covid-19 testing programme.

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Coronavirus - 26th May Empty Re: Coronavirus - 26th May

Post by Kitkat on Tue May 26 2020, 19:13

Spain to enter 10-day mourning period

Spain is going to hold a 10-day mourning period from Wednesday, government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero has said.
She told the government briefing that flags on all official buildings and military ships will fly at half mast, in memory of the people who've died of coronavirus in the country.
At the end of the 10 days, a memorial ceremony will be held.
"They are not with us anymore physically, but they will remain forever in our memories and we will honour their memories as they deserve it, with an official and great act of tribute which will be led by the head of state," Ms Montero added.
A total of 26,834 people have died of the virus in Spain, according to the count kept by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Latest news from the UK

The daily UK press briefing is due in half an hour. We'll be bringing you all the updates from Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
In the meantime, here's a look at what's happening in the UK this afternoon:

Pharmaceutical giant Merck joins vaccine race

Merck, one of the largest vaccine makers in the world, is jumping into the race to find a coronavirus vaccine.
The US company announced on Tuesday that it was pursuing two paths towards a vaccine.
Merck is buying Austrian company Themis Bioscience, which is currently tweaking an existing measles vaccine for possible Covid-19 use. Clinical trials are expected to begin in weeks.
The second track is a partnership with research firm IAVI, which is adapting Merck's Ebola vaccine.
It comes after President Trump announced "Operation Warp Speed" with promises of a vaccine “by the end of the year or shortly thereafter”.
But on Tuesday, Merck CEO Ken Frazier cast doubts on the US government's 12 to 18-month timespan.
“It is not something I would put out there that I would want to hold Merck to,” he told the Financial Times, warning that "very large" clinicals trials would take months or even years to complete.
Meanwhile, US-based biotechnology firm Novavax has announced that human trials for a possible coronavirus vaccine have begun in Australia.
The trial includes 131 volunteers from Melbourne and Brisbane, the company says.

What is Dominic Cummings accused of?

The UK government briefing is due to start in 15 minutes.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is likely to face questions about whether the prime minister's most senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, broke lockdown rules when he drove from London to Durham with his sick wife.
The story generated a political storm over the weekend, and this morning a junior minister resigned from the government. Thirty Conservative MPs have called on Mr Cummings to resign or be fired.
Find out everything you need to know with our round-up here.

What did we learn from today's UK briefing?

The daily press conference was led by Health Secretary Matt Hancock. He was joined by Prof John Newton, who is responsible for the UK's testing scheme.
Here's what they told us:

  • The government has signed contracts to procure two billion pieces of personal protective equipment from within the UK, with a further 3.7 billion gloves coming from abroad
  • A trial of antiviral drug remsedivir is starting in the NHS. It is thought to reduce recovery times by about four days
  • The government commits to "look at" rescinding fines for people breaking lockdown for childcare reasons
  • The most likely place for transmission of the virus is within households, which is why the advice on mixing households is different to shopping or meeting outside
  • Mr Hancock said he believed Dominic Cummings behaved within the guidelines and did not think he undermined the government's messaging. However, he said reasonable people could disagree and he could understand people's anger
  • In future, there will be local lockdowns where there are local flair-ups of the virus

Latest from Europe: Mask pollution and prayers

Here are the latest stories from Europe this afternoon:

  • A French NGO has posted a video showing latex gloves and masks floating in the Mediterranean . The group’s founder called it “the beginnings of a new type of pollution”
  • An Ikea branch in Germany has given its car park over to a local mosque to hold socially distanced prayers marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan
  • From Wednesday, Spain will hold 10 days of mourning for all the victims of the coronavirus. The country has officially recorded 27,117 deaths
  • Russia will hold a parade to mark the 75th anniversary of its victory in World War Two, President Vladimir Putin has said. The pandemic forced Russia to cancel the event held annually on 9 May
  • Boyfriends and girlfriends are now allowed to travel to Denmark, provided they’re from the Nordic countries and Germany. Some who have partners outside these countries are growing frustrated by the time spent apart from their loved ones

How many have been fined for travelling for childcare reasons?

Reality Check
Matt Hancock was asked whether the government would review all penalty fines imposed on families travelling for childcare purposes in lockdown (in a similar way to the prime minister’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings).
So, how many have been fined for doing this?
13,445 fines have been handed out for breaching lockdown rules in England up to 11 May.
Most of these – 10,999 – were issued to those not abiding by the restrictions on movement introduced towards the end of March, according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
But that data doesn’t tell us how many people were fined – if any – for reasons similar to Dominic Cummings’s trip to Durham.
It also doesn’t show how many of those people had made trips across the country or how many were within a more localised area.
Just 137 fines have been handed out by the Durham Constabulary to 11 May – the fifth lowest out of England’s 39 police forces.

Hungary to repeal extraordinary powers

Nick Thorpe, BBC News
The Hungarian government could give up its extraordinary powers on 20 June, Justice Minister Judit Varga has announced. The necessary legislation could be voted by parliament on 2 June.
The original Lex-Covid, passed on 30 March, provoked a tide of domestic and international criticism . It included no end date, and changed the criminal code to increase punishments for those who spread misleading or false information about the pandemic.
According to Atlatszo, an investigative news site, the government has passed 104 decrees during the "state of danger".
The government appeared unnerved by the extent of criticism, and hit back fiercely, blaming "the Brussels-based and Hungarian left wing" for "unfounded and politically motivated allegations" about the Hungarian law.
The government is keen to appear conciliatory, ahead of crucial talks on the next seven-year EU budget.

Did China test an entire city in 10 days?

Reality Check
China has been carrying out an ambitious plan to test everyone in Wuhan, the city where the Covid-19 pandemic began, following the emergence of a cluster of new infections.
The authorities had pledged to test the city's 11 million inhabitants over a 10-day period, starting on 14 May.
They later suggested different districts within the city would be starting at different times.
Health officials in Wuhan say they carried out 1.47 million tests on a single day, 22 May - a huge increase from the 100,000 a day prior to this testing campaign starting.
In total, according to the Hubei health commission website, nine million test samples had been taken by 24 May - 10 days after the campaign started. Of these, the commission says 6.57 million had been processed.
We've looked at what was achieved, and over what period of time. Read more here.

Analysis: UK government's announcements won't make headlines

Jonathan Blake - BBC political correspondent
After a ministerial resignation and hourly calls by Conservative MPs for Dominic Cummings to resign, it was inevitable that the actions of the prime minister’s senior adviser overshadowed today’s news conference.
Downing Street is clearly still hoping the media and the public will eventually move on.
But for now, questions remain about what Mr Cummings did and about what some see as double standards.
Significant announcements were made about a drug which can shorten the recovery time of coronavirus sufferers and vast amounts of PPE being manufactured in the UK.
But for better or worse, neither of those will make the headlines tonight. When the government has something even more important to say, it will need to have confidence that the public will take notice.

Infected White House aide back at work and pregnant

Katie Miller, the spokeswoman for US Vice-President Mike Pence, is back at work after testing positive for Covid-19 on 8 March.
In a tweet, Miller said she had taken three negative coronavirus tests and announced that she was pregnant, as she thanked her husband and top aide to US President Donald Trump, Stephen Miller.

'Huge rise in people dying at home' in UK

A prominent statistician says there's been a huge rise in people dying at home, including 1,700 that are "unexplained".
Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, chairman of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge, says few of these deaths have been linked to the coronavirus.
He says there were around 8,800 fewer non-Covid deaths in hospitals in the seven weeks leading up to 15 May - but during the same period, there was a "huge rise" of 10,500 more deaths in private homes.
"These could be cases - and this is a big assumption - of people whose lives might have been prolonged had they gone to hospital, which is about equal to the number of Covid deaths," he says.
Carl Heneghan, professor of evidence-based medicine at the University of Oxford, adds this is "an urgent area for inquiry".
"Whether people have been discharged too early, or whether they're not presenting sufficiently enough, there are issues here, because these people, this number is significantly higher than what we'd normally expect in the home setting."

UK prison staff infections jump after reporting errors corrected

Danny Shaw - BBC Home Affairs Correspondent
The number of prison staff infected by Covid-19 in the UK has increased by almost 300 after the Ministry of Justice spotted errors in how the data had been compiled.
By lunchtime on Tuesday, 873 staff were reported to have tested positive across 104 jails in England and Wales - out of 117 prisons overall.
On Friday, the number was 575 prison staff testing positive in 77 jails.
The Ministry of Justice said: “Prisons have moved towards a more robust way of reporting Covid-19 staff cases, and further evaluation of the data has produced the higher figure included in today’s summary.”
The department added that the figures “reflect the total number of recorded positive cases - not the number of live cases - of Covid-19, and includes individuals that have recovered.”

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Coronavirus - 26th May Empty Re: Coronavirus - 26th May

Post by Kitkat on Tue May 26 2020, 22:13

If you're just joining us...

Quite a lot has happened today. If you've just clicked onto our live coverage, here are the main headlines.

  • UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government would "look at" the question of reviewing fines given to families who breached lockdown rules for childcare reasons
  • This comes after a junior minister resigned over the actions of top aide Dominic Cummings, who is accused of breaking lockdown rules by travelling from London to Durham

  • In the US, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange to reopen the trading floor. Brokers cheered, while wearing masks and socially distancing from each other
  • Amnesty International warned of serious security vulnerabilities in a contract-tracing app in Qatar, which is compulsory for people to download
  • Spain announced a 10-day official mourning period, beginning tomorrow, which will be concluded with a memorial ceremony to honour the almost 30,000 people in the country who've died of coronavirus

  • The Netherlands may have recorded the first known cases of animal-to-human transmission of the virus at a mink farm, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, after two farm workers became ill
  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin says its postponed Victory Day parade, which was supposed to be held on 9 May, will now take place on 24 June
  • The number of infections worldwide has now passed 5.5 million, and more than 347,000 people have died, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University

What will staying in a hotel be like in future?

Many countries in Europe are considering ending border controls as the coronavirus pandemic begins to ease.
BBC OS has been hearing reaction from hotel owners.
Giancarlo Carniani manages three small hotels in Florence, Italy - and hopes to reopen one of them in June.
"Covid-19 has finally shown our country how important tourism is," he says. "In the last few years everyone has been complaining about over-tourism in the city. It will be a different era once this is all over."
Ines Miro-Sans (pictured) owns a boutique hotel in Barcelona, Spain, which could open up again in September.
"We are trying to humanise the situation. We are going to use masks but maybe using a special textile."

Pompeii reopens to visitors

Coronavirus - 26th May 705b8610

The ancient city of Pompeii has started welcoming visitors again, after being closed for more than two months.
If people want to visit the Italian tourist attraction, they need to book a place in advance. Then, when they arrive, they'll need to have their temperatures checked by a thermal scanner. They also have to follow a specific route through the site.
However foreign tourists are still banned from travelling to Italy, and will be until next month. Pompeii is also due to fully reopen in June.
The city was smothered in volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted nearly 2,000 years ago. Many of its residents and their belongings have been preserved among the ruins.

G7 meeting 'to go ahead at White House'

The G7 summit of world leaders will still happen “towards the end of June” and will take place at the White House in Washington DC despite coronavirus precautions, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany has said.
She told a briefing that US President Donald Trump sees the summit as a great "example of reopening in his transition to greatness" - a phrase the Trump administration has used to characterise the reopening of states' economies.
"We will protect world leaders who come here just like we protect people at the White House," McEnany adds.
Two White House staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus. One of them returned to work earlier today.

NY Stock Exchange 'not pressured by Trump' to reopen

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) President Stacey Cunningham has told BBC News that there was "no pressure" from the Trump administration to reopen the trading floor today after a two-month closure.
Cunningham said the decision to reopen was made to help the smaller independent traders who operate there and "who've not been able to earn an income for their families".
She told the BBC that only 25% of the trading floor has been allowed back, and that NYSE is working with health officials "so that we can start a slow and cautious reopening with new precautionary measures in place so that we can limit the likelihood of an outbreak on the trading floor".
Cunningham also appeared to give tacit backing to a bill passed by the US Senate last week that could block some Chinese companies from selling shares on American stock exchanges.
Asked if it would be a blow to the NYSE, she said "One of the things that makes the US capital markets so strong is the way they balance investor protections with investor choice. We do it better than anyone else in the world.
"Any legislation that we consider should balance those two things as well, certainly transparency is critical so we have a culture over here, very strongly of investors have transparent information. Any measures to enforce that are highly supported by us."

UK authorises anti-viral drug remdesivir

A drug treatment called remdesivir that appears to shorten recovery time for people with coronavirus is being made available on the NHS in the UK.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was probably the biggest step forward in the treatment of coronavirus since the crisis began.
However, experts warn remdesivir shouldn't be seen as a "magic bullet".
Read more here .

Life and death on coronavirus ward

The BBC has been given unprecedented access to a hospital in the heart of London, for one week.

South Africa prepares to lift lockdown

South Africa is getting ready to lift some of its lockdown restrictions on 1 June.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says churches and other recognised places of worship will be allowed to reopen, and that the overnight curfew currently in place will be lifted. Schools and some businesses are also going to open.
"The current restrictions on congressional worship will be eased in a carefully measured way," he says.
"Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and other recognised places of worship may resume services, but these will be limited in size to 50 people or less, depending on the space available."
Ramaphosa previously warned that the coronavirus outbreak in South Africa would get worse, but said severe lockdown conditions were economically unsustainable.

'Deeply disturbing' report into Canadian care homes

A Canadian province has launched an investigation into five Ontario elder care homes following the release of a damning report.
The Canadian armed forces report included allegations that facilities smelt of rotten food, were infested with cockroaches and flies, and that elderly people were left for hours "crying for help with staff not responding".
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it "deeply disturbing".
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the document was "gut-wrenching" and said a full investigation would be launched, and that results of the inquiry would be shared with police should charges need to be laid.
Canada's military has been assisting in a number of elder care homes that have been overwhelmed by outbreaks of the virus.
Government statistics suggest that as many as 80% of all the coronavirus-related deaths in Canada are linked to long-term care homes and residences for the elderly.
Read more about what the military said they found when they went to work in Canadian long-term care homes.

Disney to reveal plan to reopen theme parks

Walt Disney Co is going to present a proposal for a phased reopening of its theme parks in Orlando, Florida.
In a statement, the company said it would present its plans to a local task force tomorrow.
Disney closed its theme parks around the world - including Disneyland and Disney World - in January, in order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
In April, Disney faced criticism for stopping pay for about 100,000 of its workers , as the US faced record levels of unemployment.
The company made $1.4bn for its parks, experiences and products in the last three months of 2019.

Pence: 'We will reopen America'

US Vice President Mike Pence has been defending the US response to the coronavirus pandemic, speaking alongside Donald Trump at the White House.
"Because of the co-operation and compassion of the American people - we are getting there," Mr Pence said.
There were just over 500 deaths yesterday in America, a number not seen since March, the vice president said.
Thanking the "tremendous efforts of healthcare workers", Mr Pence added: "We will reopen America."

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Coronavirus - 26th May Empty Re: Coronavirus - 26th May

Post by Kitkat on Tue May 26 2020, 22:35

Thank you for following our updates. We're going to pause the page now - but before we go, here are some of the day's main headlines.

  • UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the government may review fines given to parents who broke lockdown for childcare reasons, after controversy involving the Prime Minister's top aide Dominic Cummings

  • The UK is also starting a trial looking into whether the Ebola drug Remdesivir can be used to treat coronavirus
  • In France, President Emmanuel Macron announced an €8bn rescue plan for the country's car industry
  • Spain announced a 10-day period of national mourning from tomorrow, which will end with a ceremony in memory of the almost 30,000 people in the country who've died of coronavirus
  • In the US, the New York Stock Exchange was opened by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was cheered on by socially-distanced brokers wearing protective face masks
  • President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have been defending the US response to the crisis, as the number of deaths there nears 100,000
  • The G7 summit of world leaders will go ahead in the US, taking place in Washington DC "towards the end of June", White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany says
  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin says its postponed Victory Day parade, which was supposed to be held on 9 May, will now take place on 24 June
  • The total number of cases worldwide has now passed 5.5m, while more than 348,000 people have died

You've been kept up to date today by Matthew Davis, Martha Buckley, Sean Fanning, Thomas Poole, Joshua Nevett, Alexandra Fouche, Ashitha Nagesh, Max Matza, Robin Levinson King, Emlyn Begley, Ben Collins, Lucy Webster, Toby Luckhurst, George Bowden, Emma Harrison, Owen Amos, Frances Mao, Andreas Illmer and Krutika Pathi.

    Current date/time is Sat Nov 28 2020, 07:58