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Coronavirus - 28th May


Posts : 7125
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 28th May Empty Coronavirus - 28th May

Post by Kitkat on Thu 28 May 2020, 09:03

Summary for Thursday, 28th May

  • The US has recorded more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, figures from Johns Hopkins University show
  • Its 1.69m confirmed infections account for about 30% of the worldwide total
  • New York City, especially hard hit, is seeing a drop in the death rate but one study shows it rising in 20 states
  • A "track and trace" system is set to start in England and Scotland on Thursday
  • A row over the UK PM's aide's personal travel during lockdown is continuing
  • In South Korea, a new cluster has been growing linked to a logistics centre outside Seoul
  • Cyprus pledges to cover the holiday costs of anyone who tests positive for the virus after travelling there
  • There have been more than 5,690,000 confirmed virus cases worldwide and 355,000 deaths, according to JHU

Welcome back to our rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. We begin with the grim news that more than 100,000 people have now lost their lives in the United States. Our correspondents and reporters will bring you analysis and insight into how we got here and what happens next.
Here are the other updates from around the world:

  • A new cluster of infections in South Korea has been linked to a logistics centre outside Seoul
  • Japan's government has approved a massive stimulus package to stop the pandemic pushing the world's third-largest economy deeper into recession
  • The EU has proposed a recovery fund worth €750bn (£670bn; $825bn). The package of grants and loans will be distributed among member states to help tackle the "unprecedented crisis"
  • Cyprus has pledged to cover the holiday costs of anyone who tests positive for the virus after travelling there

More than 100,000 lives lost

The US has passed 100,000 deaths in the coronavirus outbreak in less than four months.
That's more fatalities than any other country, while its 1.69 million confirmed infections account for about 30% of all cases worldwide.
The country's death toll stands at 100,276, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.
But on a per capita basis the US ranks ninth in its mortality rate behind the likes of Belgium, the United Kingdom, France and Ireland, according to the university .
Globally there have been 5.6 million people recorded as infected and 354,983 deaths since the virus emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

More Americans dead than in 44 years of war

Jon Sopel - BBC North America Editor
It's an uncanny and almost tragically perfect piece of symmetry.
The number of US servicemen and women killed in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan - over an aggregate 44 years of fighting - is almost exactly the same as the number of Americans who've now lost their lives to coronavirus in just three months of America's war against the hidden enemy, as Donald Trump likes to refer to Covid-19.
Now I know you could replace the Covid-19 deaths with US cancer deaths or road crash victims and come up with similarly stark or perhaps even more dramatic statistics.
But sadly, fatal automobile accidents and terminal tumours have always been with us. A global pandemic has not.
And out of nowhere 100,000 American families are, this spring, mourning loved ones, whose lives have been cut short by this virus.
US deaths in conflict:

  • Korean War (1950-1953): 36,500
  • Vietnam War (1961-1975): 58,000
  • Iraq War (2003-2011): 4,500
  • Afghanistan (2001-today): 2,000
  • Covid-19 (Feb 2020- today): 100,000

Read more from our North America editor here

Only eight active cases in New Zealand

And the nation has recorded no new cases for a sixth consecutive day. However, one 98-year-old woman in Auckland has died bringing the toll to 22 cases.
The last time there were signs of community transmission in the country was also more than a month ago, said director general of health Ashley Bloomfield.
From tomorrow, New Zealand will allow gatherings to increase from 10 to 100 people.
It has also indicated it may open up its borders to Australia in July. A tentative plan is due next week.

Australia's rugby league returns to screens

One of Australia's most popular sports - the National Rugby League - is resuming play today with a game between a NSW and Queensland team.
Fans are very happy to have the sport back on their screens - even though they won't be able to attend games for a while under restrictions.
It's the first professional sporting competition to be begin again in Australia, and one of the only contact sports in the world. As one commentator described it to the BBC: "They've got to sweat all over each other, wrestle all the time; bursting breath".
But officials say that there are tough restrictions in places- and players and officials have to self-isolate outside of training and games.

How the US compares with rest of world

The death toll in the US became the highest in the world in early April and has risen dramatically since then.
President Donald Trump initially said "50 to 60,000" people could die during the outbreak but in May he said he was hopeful the toll would be lower than 100,000.
That benchmark has now been hit though and there are still about 1,000 deaths a day on average.
We've taken a look at how US figures compare to other countries around the world and how the situation could develop over the next few months.
Read the full piece from Mike Hills on our Visual Journalism team here .

Sentencing delayed for Christchurch mosque attacker

Simon Atkinson -BBC News, Sydney
With New Zealand’s borders shut for the foreseeable future, a judge has delayed setting a date for the sentencing of the Christchurch mosque attacker.
In late March, Brenton Tarrant pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder, 49 counts of manslaughter and a terror charge. But at the time of the pleas, New Zealand was in level four lockdown with great uncertainty over when sentencing could be held.
With restrictions now eased considerably, most New Zealand-based relatives of victims and others impacted by the March 15, 2019 attacks will be able to attend in person. But Judge Justice Cameron Mander has acknowledged that some families are overseas and will be unable to get to New Zealand.
The court will now wait until at least 13 June before deciding on a sentencing date. In the interim it will ascertain how many victims families are overseas - and try to gauge how satisfied they’d be with using video conferencing technology.
Judge Mander said the sentencing date decision would “take into account the need to bring finality and closure to the majority of victims who are resident in New Zealand and the extent to which it may be possible for those unable to attend in person because of the pandemic to participate remotely”.

South Korea sees new virus spike

South Korea has reported 79 new virus infections for the past day, the largest daily increase since 5 April.
At least 68 of the new cases were local transmissions and and come as the country struggles with a growing cluster linked to a logistics centre.
Around 69 cases have been traced to that new cluster so far. Over the past weeks, South Korea was already battling another cluster, linked to the capital's nightlife district.
The country was the first hotspot of the virus outside China but had managed to bring new infections down to a single-digit trickle before the new clusters emerged.

The age range of US deaths

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides an age breakdown of Covid-19 deaths in the US. The following data is from January to 20 May, and covers almost 70,000 Covid-19 deaths. It shows most deaths happened in the over-85s.
It is important to note the average age of Covid-19 deaths does vary from country to country.
According to Johns Hopkins University: "15% of Covid-19 deaths in Brazil have been in patients younger than 50 years old, and nearly a quarter of deaths in Mexico have been between the ages of 25 and 49 years."
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'None were mere numbers'

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As the US passes 100,000 deaths linked to Covid-19, the New York Times' front page from Sunday is still being widely shared online.
As the death toll approached 100,000, the paper printed the names and basic details of 1,000 people who died with the virus in the US. Read the online version here. "Numbers alone cannot possibly measure the impact of the coronavirus on America...none were mere numbers," the paper said.
The Brazilian paper O Globo did something similar on 10 May after Brazilian deaths passed 10,000. Since then, the death toll has passed 25,000.
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The six weeks the US failed to contain the virus

As the US death toll goes beyond 100,000, the question is whether the country could have done anything different to contain the virus.
Having watched Asian and European countries struggle against Covid-19, the US was slow to ramp up testing and order its residents to stay at home.
Earlier this months, we looked at this crucial time period and what exactly was done or not done to prevent the outbreak.

College students kicked off campus after party

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24 students have been asked to leave a University of Melbourne college

In Australia, two dozen students at one of the private colleges of Melbourne University have been kicked out for having a party.
Trinity College officials said the students - some of whom had returned to campus in recent weeks as lockdown eased - had clearly broken social distancing rules and would be banned for the rest of semester.
It said the majority of boarders who had stayed during lockdown - from overseas or remote towns - had abided by the rules. It costs about A$32,000 (£17,000 ; $21,000) a year to live at this college.
Currently only a maximum of five guests are allowed in a single household in Victoria. But from June, 20 people gatherings will be allowed.

Cyprus to pay holiday costs of infected tourists

Cyprus has pledged to cover the holiday costs of anyone who tests positive for the virus after travelling there.
It is part of a package of measures aimed at drawing visitors back to the island, which has reported few cases.
The government said it would pay for accommodation, medicine and food for patients and their families.
Tourists "will only need to bear the cost of their airport transfer and repatriation flight". The country has 939 confirmed infections and 17 deaths.

The pro-China network targeting the US

Hundreds of fake or hijacked social media accounts have been pushing pro-Chinese government messages about the coronavirus pandemic on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, a BBC investigation has found.
The network of more than 1,200 accounts has been amplifying negative messages about those critical of China's handling of the outbreak while praising Beijing's response.
Although there is no definitive evidence that this network is linked to the Chinese government, it does display features similar to a state-backed information operation originating in China that Facebook and Twitter removed last year.
Click here to read the full analysis from our misinformation team.

Viral video sparks outcry in India

A heart-wrenching viral video showing a young child with his mother who has passed away at a railway station in India was widely shared on social media on Wednesday. But officials have denied reports that she died of hunger.
The video, reportedly shot at Muzaffarpur station in Bihar state, shows the woman's body on the platform while a toddler repeatedly tugs at a piece of cloth placed on her body.
The woman and her family were on board a special train organised by the government to take home migrant workers left stranded when India went into lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. Hundreds of thousands who suddenly lost their livelihood had no way to get back home to their villages as all transportation was halted.
The Indian Railways have said that the woman died of a heart condition , adding that she and her family had access to food and water on the train, an official is quoted as saying to PTI news agency.
It come as India battles public backlash over its harsh lockdown and its effect on the poor and migrant workers. Many have pointed towards the video as the latest example of the growing humanitarian toll as a result of the lockdown, which was announced with just a few hours notice in March.

The worst affected places in the US

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions against making state-to-state comparisons of cases and deaths, as "data timeliness varies by state" - that is, some report quicker than others. But it is possible to take a broad look at which places have been particularly affected. So far, New York state has more than twice as many reported cases and deaths as any other state, despite being only the fourth most populous.
Meanwhile, five states - Vermont, Wyoming, Hawaii, Montana, and Alaska - still have fewer than 1,000 reported cases, according to CDC data.
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Soldier and mother die within days of each other

Simon Zamudio - a 34-year-old sergeant in the US Army Reserve - died of Covid-19 complications on 22 May. Three days later, his 70-year-old mother died - also from complications with the virus.
Sgt Zamudio was born in Arizona but lived in Carpentersville, Illinois. He was married with an 11-month old daughter. His family told local media his own father died when he was one.
"He was going to care and love his daughter all his life," his sister Alicia said.
Sgt Zamudio became ill nine days after first taking his mother to hospital. He was previously healthy and expected to be deployed next month.
"From three months ago, not believing Covid really existed, it showed me in the worst way how real it is," said Alicia. "Don't think Covid is a lie because it's very real."

Nightmare spreads through Russia's care homes

Sarah Rainsford - BBC Moscow Correspondent
When Alexei Sidnev saw the horror caused by coronavirus in European care homes he knew he had to act fast. Way back in March, before any lockdown in Russia, he began sealing off the six homes he runs near Moscow and buying-up protective clothing for staff.
"I don't sleep much. It's probably the hardest time of my life and I've been through perestroika and all the crises," Mr Sidnev said, recalling the Soviet Union's reform and eventual collapse.
But while the businessman shares his own trials on social media, the struggle in Russia's state care sector plays out old-style, largely behind closed doors.

Japan's world-beating Covid-19 stimulus package

Japan is pumping another $1.1 trillion (£897bn) into its recession-hit economy to help cushion it from further damage.
On Wednesday Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government approved the 117 trillion yen stimulus package for the world's third biggest economy, doubling the amount announced just last month.
The new measures bring the total of Tokyo's stimulus spending to $2.2 trillion, which equates to almost 40% of the country's annual economic output.
It makes Japan's government stimulus measures the biggest in the world to date, beating the $2 trillion stimulus bill passed by the US in March.
Washington is now weighing plans to spend another $3 trillion to support the American economy as it starts to emerge from lockdown.

Premier League return takes another step forward

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Premier League players have been training in small groups without contact since 19 May

Vegas gets ready to roll the dice

Like much of the world, US gambling haven Las Vegas had to shut because of the pandemic.
But now, things are gearing up to get plugged in again. Several of the big casinos will reopen next week after more than two months' hiatus.
The city insists that precautions - including capacity limits, table limits, and contact tracing if there are infections - will ensure that people's visit to the likes of the Bellagio, Caesars Palace and the Flamingo will be safe
"I don't think you're going to find a safer place to come than Las Vegas," said governor of Nevada Steve Sisolak.

Test and trace system kicks off in England

A team of 25,000 contact tracers will make their first phone calls within hours - to track down people who will be told to self-isolate under the new test and trace scheme in England.
Tracers will text, email or call people who test positive with coronavirus and ask who they have had contact with.
Any of those contacts deemed at risk of infection will be told to isolate for 14 days, even if they are not sick.
The prime minister said the system will "change people's lives".
The aim of the NHS Test and Trace system is to lift national lockdown restrictions and move towards more localised, targeted measures.
The contacts of people who tested positive on Wednesday will be the first to be chased by the NHS Test and Trace team on Thursday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
See more on track and trace here.

More news from around the UK

Trouble ahead for India's fight against infections

Soutik Biswas - India Correspondent
On the face of it, things may not look bad.
Since the first case of coronavirus at the end of January, India has reported more than 150,000 Covid-19 infections and more than 4,000 deaths.
To put this in some context, as of 22 May, India's testing positivity rate was around 4%, the death rate from the infection around 3% and the doubling rate of infection - or the amount of time it takes for the number of coronavirus cases to double - was 13 days. The recovery rate of infected patients was around 40%.
All this is markedly lower than in the countries badly hit by the pandemic.
But India is now among the top 10 countries worldwide in terms of total reported infections, and among the top five in the number of new cases . And infections are rising sharply, outpacing any growth in testing.

What does test and trace look like in Scotland, Wales and NI?

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A new test and trace system is launching in England. Tracers will text, email or call people who test positive with coronavirus and ask who they have had contact with. Any of those contacts deemed at risk of infection will be told to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they are not sick.
But what about test and trace in the rest of the UK?

From 'We've shut it down' to 100,000 US dead

We've been hearing how the number of deaths in the US has passed 100,000.
Our North America editor Jon Sopel has been tracing US policy over the course of the pandemic. His piece includes this timeline of President Donald Trump's quotes from critical weeks in January and February.
Jan 22:"It's one person coming in from China and we have it under control. It's going to be just fine."
Feb 2:"We pretty much shut it down coming in from China."
Feb 10:"Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away. I hope that's true. But we're doing great in our country. China, I spoke with President Xi, and they're working very, very hard. And I think it's going to all work out fine."
Feb 11:"In our country, we only have, basically, 12 cases and most of those people are recovering and some cases fully recovered. So it's actually less."
Feb 24:"The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC and World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock market starting to look very good to me!"
Feb 26:"When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done."

South Korea to consider tougher rules if outbreak worsens

Earlier we reported on that spike in cases in South Korea - a bit more detail here.
Health officials say they'll consider tougher social-distancing measures if the current uptick continues.
There have been 79 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, the highest daily rate of new infections in nearly two months.
Most have been traced to two warehouses on the edge of the capital, Seoul. The centres are owned by South Korea’s biggest e-commerce firm, Coupang.
Nearly 4,000 workers from the distribution centres have been tested and are in self-isolation.
More than 560 schools across the country have closed their doors and resumed online classes, just days after they reopened.
Social-distancing rules have been relaxed in South Korea in recent days, with museums and churches reopening.
South Korea has been widely praised for its aggressive track, trace and test approach to this pandemic which is credited with saving lives. Fewer than 270 people have died.

EasyJet to cut 30% of staff

British low-cost airline EasyJet says it will cut up to 30% of its staff - 4,500 jobs - and shrink its fleet to adapt to the collapse of air travel due to the global virus crisis.
The announcement follows similar moves by other carriers like British Airways and Ryanair.
Easyjet said it would launch a consultation with its staff over the next days to work out the details. The airline employs more than 15,000 people in eight European countries.
Airlines across the world have been hit by the almost complete stop of air travel during the pandemic.

Hancock confident of test and trace co-operation

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been speaking to BBC Breakfast to talk about Thursday's launch of the test and trace system in England.
The 2,000 who tested positive on Wednesday will be approached by text, email or phone by tracers, and Hancock added he was confident they will co-operate by divulging information about who they had been in contact with.
He said: "The vast majority will say yes because if we all participate then we'll be able to, more safely, lift the lockdown measures.
"Where this works best is where the clinician and person who tested positive work together to work out who that person might have been in contact with. One of the very nasty features of this disease is that it transmits before you have symptoms - the conversation will be about what happened over the past few days before you became symptomatic.
When asked about a report by the Royal Society which stated the success of the system depended on how quickly contacts can be found, Hancock added: "We need to get test results as fast as possible - our goal is to have a turnaround of tests within 24 hours. We now have 84% of tests at drive-thru centres turned around in 24 hours."

How advertising industry is changing

Jonty Bloom
BBC Business correspondent
The first rule of advertising is that your adverts have to be seen to have any effect.
This is why if you have managed to get out of the house recently in the UK you might have noticed that there are an awful lot of adverts supporting the National Health Service, and key workers on billboards and bus stops.
As Anja Lambrecht, professor of marketing at the London Business School, explains, it is one of the signs that the advertising industry is struggling.
"It is most obvious outdoors with billboards - no-one is driving past them, so no commercial firms are advertising," she says. "That is why they all have adverts for the NHS."
On TV an ever-growing number of us are increasingly watching streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, which don't have any adverts. Meanwhile on traditional commercial TV channels, there are lots of advertising breaks with very few adverts in them.
In the UK, ITV's advertising revenue was down 42% in April, while Fox in the US has seen revenues halve. It is a similar picture in other markets, because there are many products that are just not selling at the moment. So why advertise them?

Test and trace system in everybody's interest, Hancock says

In a later BBC interview, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock again stresses that he believes the "vast majority of people" will follow instructions to self-isolate if told to under the new test and trace system being launched in England today .
In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme he was asked whether the row over the PM's chief adviser Dominic Cummings would make it harder to persuade the public to abide by these instructions.
He said: "I think that the vast majority of people will understand that it is in everybody's interest that those who are at higher risk follow these requests from the NHS, these instructions, and it's very, very important that they do."
"Frankly this is about how as a country we get out of this lockdown in the safest possible way short of having a vaccine or an effective treatment," he added.
We have more about how the test and trace system will work in England.

Posts : 7125
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 28th May Empty Re: Coronavirus - 28th May

Post by Kitkat on Thu 28 May 2020, 12:09

Danish club allow fans into stadium - via video screens

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No fans, no fun?

Having fans cheer their team inside a stadium via video screens might seem like science fiction, but Danish club AGF Aarhus is set to make it a reality.
With supporters banned from most sporting arenas worldwide because of the pandemic, Aarhus will use video-call technology to display the faces of about 10,000 of their followers on screens inside their Ceres Park stadium when they host Randers later today.
"It's about creating an atmosphere around the game so that the players will see that they have the support from the city even though there are no supporters in the stands," the project's co-ordinator Soren Carlsen told the BBC World Service.

Nigeria's cases 'could be four times higher'

A body representing Nigerian doctors believes the real number of coronavirus cases in the country could be four times higher than the 8,733 cases confirmed by the authorities so far.
The head of Nigeria's Medical Association, Francis Faduyile, told the BBC they were disputing the official numbers.
"We're worried because the number that we have declared is still a far cry from the total number we have or we expect. As it is, we know we'll have nothing less than four times the total number that we have as it is," he said.
"We have so many patients who have shown signs of Covid-19 and we are waiting for three to five days before we see their results. So it means we have a lot of backlog."
There has been concern over the high number of unexplained deaths in the northern populous state of Kano, amid fears they could be caused by Covid-19. Grave diggers said they were burying a higher than usual number of bodies.

What may change in England's lockdown?

More now on the health secretary's interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. Matt Hancock was also asked about what changes might be introduced to the lockdown in England.
While he would not give specific details ahead of an official review later today, Hancock stressed the risk of transmission of coronavirus outdoors was "much lower" than indoors.
"During the summer in particular a lot of the changes that you can expect to see will be based on the principle that outdoors is safer than indoors," he said.
Asked about whether families might soon be able to be reunited he said: "I really hope so and we are seeing the number of new cases coming down which is very good news."

Nationwide lockdown eased in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Arab world

Saudi Arabia has begun to ease a five-day nationwide lockdown imposed during the festival of Eid.
A round-the-clock curfew has been partially relaxed except in the holy city of Mecca, which has the highest number of infections.
Anyone wishing to leave home though is required to obtain a permit through a government app.
Measures will be further eased in phases over the next few weeks until the lockdown is fully lifted. It is still unclear whether the major annual Hajj pilgrimage will go ahead at the end of July.
Saudi Arabia has had more cases of coronavirus than any other place in the Arab world, with about 75,000 confirmed infections and 400 deaths.
Our colleague Frank Gardner has taken a look at the troubles the kingdom now faces.

EasyJet can't exclude base closures

An update on those Easyjet job cuts:
The airline's cost-cutting measures might see the closure of some of its bases. The airline has announced it will cut up to 30% of its workforce as it struggles to cope with the collapse in demand for air travel caused by the pandemic.
"We're going to look to do whatever we can to optimise the network," said CEO Johan Lundgren. "And that means that we also can't exclude that there will be base closures."
Pilots' union Balpa reacted angrily, describing the job cuts as an "ill-considered knee-jerk reaction".
Other airlines have already announced job cuts and restructuring programmes as they fight to stay in business. These include:

Russia reports more than 8,300 new infections

Russia has confirmed 8,371 new infections and 124 deaths linked to the virus in the past 24 hours, slightly more for both of those counts than the previous day.
The total virus death toll has increased to 4,142 and the overall number of cases stands at 379,051.
But the authorites maintain the number of new cases is stabilising with the number of new cases under 9,000 for a fifth day.
Russia has the third-largest number of confirmed cases in the world, after the US and Brazil.
Our correspondent Sarah Rainsford has more on the crisis in Russia's care homes

Labour: Test and trace system could be 'huge burden' for some

The requirement to self-isolate for 14 days if contacted under England's new test and trace programme could be "a huge burden" for some people, Labour's shadow health secretary has said.
Jonathan Ashworth told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "There will be people whose work conditions and employment conditions make that difficult for them so they need that security, they need enhanced sick pay where necessary to make sure they stay at home.
"But of course it's perfectly possible that you could isolate for 14 days, come out, meet somebody else who has got the virus again and have to go back in."
Under the new system, those isolating will be eligible for statutory sick pay but Ashworth said the government should be looking at other options such as paying the living wage or the levels paid in other European countries.

France and Switzerland to ease lockdowns: Europe round-up

  • Lawmakers in France voted in favour of a new tracing app called StopCovid - despite concerns about digital privacy. It will be rolled out starting next week. Later today, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will announce the next stage of easing the lockdown throughout the country
  • The lockdown in Switzerland will be eased even further. As of Saturday groups of up to 30 people can meet, rising from five currently. "We need to stay humble, but I think we have the situation under control," Health Minister Alain Berset reportedly said
  • And Russia's recorded death toll has passed 4,000, with its confirmed case total rising to 379,051 - still the second-highest figure in the world. The reported number of dead is far lower than in other countries, but critics fear in reality it could be far higher. Our colleague Sarah Rainsford reports on the nightmare unfolding in the country’s care homes

Reports of test and trace site crashing

As we've been saying, England's new test and trace system is launching today .
However, there have been some reports from contact-tracers saying the website is crashing.
Sarah - not her real name - told BBC Radio 5 Live she tried to log in to the system this morning but could not get on to the website.
"I predicted there might be a surge this morning because I only got my email last night at about 22:30 to say I could login," she said.
Sarah said she was also concerned about whether people would comply with instructions to self-isolate and about a "potential backlash" and abuse towards contact tracers, particularly after the row over the PM's chief adviser Dominic Cummings' travel during lockdown.
But another contact-tracer who spoke to the BBC was more positive, saying the situation with the system had improved over the past week.

Government clarification of 200,000 tests target

Reality Check
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has now replied to a letter from stats referee the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) that was sent to him on 11 May.
The UKSA asked him to clear up the confusion about the government’s target to achieve 200,000 Covid-19 tests per day by the end of May.
Statements in Parliament by Hancock and the prime minister left it unclear whether the target was to conduct those tests each day or have the capacity to do so, and indeed what sort of tests would be counted.
It turns out that the target is for capacity to test, and will include capacity for antibody tests, which are those to find out if people previously had the virus.
It will also include the capacity for tests being sent out to a random cross-section of society by statisticians, as well as those conducted on people actually displaying symptoms.

Nissan shuts Barcelona plant with loss of 2,800 jobs

Nissan is closing its factory in Barcelona with the loss of about 2,800 jobs, according to the Spanish government.
The move is part of a worldwide restructuring being unveiled by the Japanese carmaker.
The closure could cost Nissan, which has a major UK plant in Sunderland, up to €1bn (£898m; $1.1bn), the government said.
There were protests outside the Barcelona factory earlier, with tyres set alight.
Car sales have been hit by the virus pandemic, while manufacturers are investing heavily in electric vehicles.
As expected the company has preserved Sunderland as a production base, the BBC business editor Simon Jack reports. However, there is still talk about cost reduction at the plant, our correspondent adds.
Read more about the closure in Spain.

Juana, the 111-year-old who has recovered from Covid

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Juana Zúñiga is looking forward to celebrating her 112th birthday

At 111, Juana Zúñiga has become the oldest patient in Chile to recover from Covid-19.
Zúñiga tested positive after an outbreak at her care home near Santiago, where she is the oldest resident.
Despite suffering from respiratory problems even before the pandemic, Zúñiga - who is known as Juanita - was not seriously affected by the virus, the director of her care home explained.
"She did not have any symptoms and very few bouts of fever, which was good," María Paz Sordo said.
Sordo added that they had to move Juanita to a different part of the home to keep her isolated from other residents. "Taking her out of her habitat was the most difficult thing."
Juanita has been a resident of the care home ever since her sister, with whom she lived, died six years ago. Juanita, who never married and has no children, will turn 112 in July.
We are sure her recovery is a great early birthday gift!

Hundreds escape from virus quarantine in Malawi

About 400 people have escaped from a coronavirus quarantine centre in Malawi after complaining about its poor state, local media report.
Zodiak Online reported that the breakout happened in the city of Blantyre. The escapees were quarantined on arrival from South Africa and were yet to be tested for coronavirus, it said.
They had complained that the stadium, which was turned into a quarantine centre, lacked water, toilets and food.
The government has not yet commented on the escape.
The incident comes a day after local media reported that eight people who tested positive for the virus on arrival from South Africa had escaped from Kameza isolation centre in Blantyre.
Malawi has so far confirmed 101 coronavirus cases and four deaths.

UK air arrivals down by 99%

Coronavirus - 28th May F2445610
Just 112,300 people arrived in the UK via air in April

The number of passengers arriving in the UK by air in April was down 99% on the same month last year, according to a Home Office report.
Just 112,300 people arrived in the UK via air in April, provisional advance passenger information (API) data showed.
Numbers fell from around 7.1 million in January to 3.8 million in March.
Airliners have already announced huge cuts as they struggle to cope with the collapse in demand for air travel caused by the pandemic. As we reported earlier, EasyJet is to cut up to 30% of its workforce .

What attacks on Asians reveal about American identity

Helier Cheung, Zhaoyin Feng & Boer Deng - BBC News
Attacks on East Asian people living in the US have shot up during the pandemic, revealing an uncomfortable truth about American identity.
Though Tracy Wen Liu was not born in the US, nothing about her life in the country felt "un-American". She went to football games, watched Sex and the City and volunteered at food banks.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms Liu, 31, didn't think anything of being East Asian and living in Austin, Texas. "Honestly, I didn't really think I stood out a lot," she says.
That has changed. With the pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 people in the US, being Asian in America can make you a target - and many, including Ms Liu, have felt it.
Whether they have been faced with outright violence, bullying or more insidious forms of social or political abuse, a spike in anti-Asian prejudice has left many Asians - which in the US refers to people of east or southeast Asian descent - wondering where they fit in American society.
Read more here.

Test and trace system 'won't be fully operational until end of June'

England's test and trace system will not be fully operational until the end of June, two MPs have said.
Labour's Ben Bradshaw and Lib Dem Daisy Cooper both tweeted after a call for MPs with Baroness Dido Harding, the chairwoman of NHS Test and Trace.
A local government source also confirmed to the BBC that they were told on a government call yesterday that "we won't get test results at a local level until the end of June - so difficult to see how the system will be up and running by Monday".
Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs a "world-beating" test, track and trace operation would be in place by 1 June.
An NHS contact tracing app was originally due to be rolled out in mid-May but the government now says it will be ready "in the coming weeks", with Health Secretary Matt Hancock describing it as a "complement" to the system launched today.

Dutch F1 Grand Prix cancelled because of pandemic

Having returned to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time since 1985, the Dutch Grand Prix is the latest race in the 2020 calendar to be cancelled because of the pandemic.
"We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year," Dutch Grand Prix sports director Jan Lammers said.
The 2020 season, which was scheduled to start on 15 March in Australia, has yet to get going but the sport is still seeking to hold a World Championship with between 15 and 18 races, starting in Austria on 5 July.
There are two races planned at Silverstone in England, while the Belgian government has given the go-ahead for its grand prix to be held behind closed doors at Spa-Francorchamps on its original date of 30 August.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu 28 May 2020, 15:07

Tui cancels holidays for UK customers until at least end of June

Tour operator Tui has extended the suspension of holidays for UK customers until at least the end of June due to ongoing travel restrictions amid the pandemic.
The firm has also cancelled its Marella Cruises sailings up to 30 July.
The UK's biggest tour operator had previously cancelled all trips up to 11 June.
Those impacted by the changes can request a refund on Tui's website, the company said in a statement posted on Twitter. A 14-day quarantine for international arrivals is due to begin in the UK on 8 June.

Further 12 coronavirus deaths in Scotland

A further 12 people have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of deaths there to 2,304, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Sturgeon announces easing of lockdown in Scotland

Scotland will move to phase one of a four-step plan to ease out of lockdown, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
She told the Scottish government's daily briefing there would be some "careful but cautious" changes to the lockdown.
The Scottish government has identified four phases for easing the restrictions .
From Friday you should be able to meet another household outside in small numbers.
Sunbathing is allowed, along with some outdoor activities such as golf and fishing.
Garden centres and drive-through takeaways can reopen, some outdoor work can resume, and childminding services can begin.

France cuts nearly 850,000 jobs in April

We should be getting the latest unemployment claims numbers in the US in about 30 minutes, at 13:30 BST (12:30 GMT). In the past eight weeks more than 30 million Americans have lost their jobs amid the pandemic.
Meanwhile in France, nearly 850,000 people became jobless in April, raising the total to more than 4.5 million. The government employment agency (Pole) said this was the highest since records began in 1996.
April was the first full month under the strict coronavirus lockdown. But officials said nearly three-quarters of the people who became unemployed in April had already been registered as under-employed.

Scottish scheme 'boosted confidence' to ease lockdown

More on the easing of some restrictions in Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon said her confidence in the decision was boosted by the launch of the Test and Protect scheme .
Sturgeon says the focus on the changes will be on "family, friendship, love" and most of her time today will be taken up with talking about people's ability to interact with friends and family.
First though, Sturgeon focuses on business and says that from tomorrow:

  • the construction industry can start site preparation in the first phase of its restart plan
  • from tomorrow garden centres and plant nurseries can reopen some services
  • some drive-through food takeaway services can also restart
  • household recycling centres can open from Monday

Latin America latest: Parks and football

Here is the latest from Latin America, where lockdown measures are being eased despite recent WHO comments that the region is now the centre of the pandemic:

  • Parks and green spaces in Mexico City will reopen to a third of their capacity from 1 June, officials have announced. The measure aims to "relieve the stress of confinement" in the densely populated capital. Officials are also planning to create new bike lanes to encourage residents to cycle instead of using public transport
  • Some football clubs in Brazil have resumed training with players being put through their paces to see how fit they are following lockdown. Rio de Janeiro's Flamengo is among the teams back in training and lobbying for matches to be resumed
  • However, São Paulo's Corinthians has warned that Brazil is not yet in the same place as Germany, where the Bundesliga has restarted behind closed doors. Brazil has the second-highest number of cases worldwide behind the US. On Wednesday, the number of dead passed the 25,000 mark

Cummings 'might have broken lockdown rules' - Durham police

A police investigation into the actions of Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson's top aide, has concluded there "might have been a minor breach" of lockdown regulations when he made a journey from his parents' property in Durham to the town of Barnard Castle.
Durham Constabulary said it views "this as minor because there was no apparent breach of social distancing" during the trip.
It said it would not be issuing Mr Cummings with a fine.
The force also concluded that Mr Cummings' trip from his London home to Durham, made with his wife who was showing coronavirus symptoms, did not break the rules.

PM considers Cummings issue closed - No 10

Boris Johnson is standing by his top aide Dominic Cummings, following the Durham Police findings.
A No 10 spokesman said: "The police have made clear they are taking no action against Mr Cummings over his self-isolation and that going to Durham did not breach the regulations.
"The prime minister has said he believes Mr Cummings behaved reasonably and legally given all the circumstances, and he regards this issue as closed."

Millions more Americans file for unemployment

The US Labor Department has announced that 2.1 million more Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the last week.
Since mid-March, more than 40 million Americans have lost their jobs - that's about a quarter of the US workforce.
Last month, the unemployment rate hit nearly 15%, which is the highest since the Great Depression.
These latest numbers come as all 50 states begin to ease Covid-19 restrictions in some form and businesses nationwide slowly start to reopen.
Meanwhile the country's death toll has passed 100,000, the highest in the world.

More on Cummings breaking lockdown rules

As we've just reported, Durham Police have said Dominic Cumming's trip to Barnard Castle "might have been a minor breach" of lockdown rules.
The force said that, had an officer stopped Mr Cummings during his drive, "the officer would have spoken to him, and, having established the facts, likely advised Mr Cummings to return to the address in Durham, providing advice on the dangers of travelling during the pandemic crisis".
It added it would not be taking any action against Cummings, in line with its decision not to enforce the rules retrospectively. It said to do so would be to treat him differently to the general public.

'We risk losing control of the rules' over Cummings - Starmer

Reacting to the findings from Durham Police, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he was worried the public may decide not to stick to lockdown rules following the row.
"The most important thing here is not these technical issues," he told BBC Look North.
"The problem is that by not dealing with Cummings in a strong way the PM has not only showed himself to be weak... But more importantly what I’m worried about is that people might think - well, if Cummings doesn’t have to abide by the rules, why do I have to?
"Then you’re on a slippery slope. The real risk here is that we lose control of the rules."

Drink a cup of coffee and a beer too'

After that flurry of breaking news from the UK and the US, time to relax over a coffee...if you're in Israel.
Israelis have flocked back to cafes and restaurants after they reopened for business for the first time in three months.
Eateries, along with all other non-essential businesses, had been shuttered as part of strict measures to try to curb the spread of coronavirus there.
Israel's Channel 12 News said some 120,000 people had made reservations for Wednesday night - but while some outlets reported brisk trade, others remained shut, put out of business by the cost of the lockdown.
Venues will have to comply with new restrictions, including positioning tables at least 1.5m (5ft) apart, taking customers' temperatures and using only disposable menus.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the reopenings, encouraging people to "drink a cup of coffee and a beer too".

Cummings issue closed?

Jonathan Blake - BBC political correspondent
I suspect Downing Street and those defending Dominic Cummings will point out that the police have chosen to word the statement "there might" have been a minor breach of the regulations. It's not conclusive. Downing Street will be hoping this concludes the story. I am not sure it does.

People in Scotland will be able to meet another household outside

Time to get a few more details on those changes to Scotland's lockdown rules.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also said that teachers in Scotland would be allowed to re-enter schools to prepare for the proposed reopening on 11 August.
From tomorrow, people will also be allowed to sit and sunbathe in local parks.
A legal limit will not be put on how far people will be allowed to travel for recreation but the first minister said the "strong advice" of the Scottish government was to stay within five miles.
People will also be able to spend time outside with members of one other household, as long as social distancing is adhered to.
The first minister asked that the number of people meeting between the two households should not exceed a maximum of eight people - and meetings should not take place with a different household within the same day.

Global tourism could see biggest drop since 1950s, UN warns

International tourism is expected to fall by 70% this year, this biggest slump since the 1950s, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
In an interview with Germany newspaper Handelsblatt , agency chief Zurab Pololikashvili said 110 million jobs worldwide were at risk.
The drop is based on the assumption that all countries will reopen their borders to foreign visitors from August.
Across Europe - the largest tourism market in the world - many countries are beginning to ease their border restrictions. But in South America, another key holiday hotspot, infections are continuing to rise in countries like Brazil and it is uncertain when international travel will resume as normal.
"We will see more travellers staying in their own country this summer," said Mr Pololikashvili, "If only because the airlines will only be able to use their full capacities again at the end of July and beginning of August."

PM to give more details of easing UK's lockdown

Later today the prime minister will set out what lockdown restrictions will be eased from 1 June.
Boris Johnson's spokesman said the government's scientific advisory group, known as Sage, was meeting later today and the prime minister would set out what will be allowed, subject to their advice.
The spokesman said there was no special Cobra meeting today to approve the easing of lockdown measures. He said cabinet discussed the roadmap when they met on Monday. The prime minister will discuss the issue on a call with the nations' first ministers later this afternoon and with opposition parties in Westminster.

What if NHS coronavirus tracers contact me?

Thousands of contact tracers in England and Scotland are making their first phone calls today.
They are telling those who've been near someone who has tested positive for coronavirus that they should isolate themselves for 14 days.
It's hoped the system - already used in places like Hong Kong, Singapore and Germany - will help to slow the spread of coronavirus.
So what should you expect if you do get a call? Here's everything you need to know .

France gives green light to contact-tracing app

France is set to launch its coronavirus contact-tracing app as soon as the weekend after it cleared two parliamentary votes.
The StopCovid app will supplement work already being done by a French team of human contact tracers who are trying to identify people who may be infected with the disease but are unaware of the fact.
The app works by using Bluetooth signals to detect when two handsets are in close proximity, in order to log an estimation of the distance and length of the encounter.
It comes as a test-and-trace system kicks off in England and Scotland.
Germany's forthcoming coronavirus contact-tracing app will trigger alerts only if users test positive for Covid-19.
More on the French app here.

England death toll rises by 185, Northern Ireland by two

A further 185 people have died with coronavirus in hospitals across England, latest daily figures show.
It takes the total to 26,234, NHS England said.
The latest death toll comes as Northern Ireland also reported two more deaths, taking the total number in the region to 518.
UK-wide figures are expected later.

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Trump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100,000 deaths

US President Donald Trump has tweeted that the country passing 100,000 deaths amid the coronavirus is a "very sad milestone".
The US has seen more fatalities than any other country, while its 1.69 million confirmed infections account for about 30% of the worldwide total.

 tweet :Left Quotes: Donald J. Trump:
We have just reached a very sad milestone with the coronavirus pandemic deaths reaching 100,000. To all of the families & friends of those who have passed, I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy & love for everything that these great people stood for & represent. God be with you!
Trump has insisted that without his administration's actions the death toll would be 25 times higher, though critics have accused him of a slow response.
State governors have also been blamed for failing to grasp early enough the lethal threat that the virus posed to nursing homes.
Read here more from the BBC's North America editor Jon Sopel about how 100,000 people lost their lives to Covid-19 in the US.

Millions face food insecurity across Latin America and Caribbean

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that the coronavirus outbreak could leave about 14 million people in severe food insecurity in Latin America and the Caribbean this year.
The number is more than four times the projection for last year in one of the world's most vulnerable regions.
Its latest projection is based on a comparison between food security assessments carried out in 2019, an analysis of economic indicators after the outbreak, and the results of remote surveys to assess the virus' impact on markets access, food security and livelihoods.
“We are entering a very complicated stage,” said Miguel Barreto, the WFP’s regional director. “It is what we are calling a hunger pandemic.”
The WFP has called on government to provide more support to recipients of social protection programmes, and to expand their coverage to more groups, like migrants and those without formal employment.

Premier League football to return on 17 June

Dan Roan - BBC Sports editor
Premier League football is set to restart on 17 June, the BBC has learned.
The first games are understood to be Aston Villa v Sheffield Utd and Manchester City v Arsenal - the games in hand.
A full fixture list will then be played on the weekend beginning 19 June. Clubs are still discussing the idea at a meeting now, but it is understood all have agreed in principle at this stage.

What are the latest developments around the world?

If you're just joining us, here are some of the biggest stories from the day so far:

  • More than 5.7 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed worldwide, along with 356,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University
  • The US death toll continues to be the highest in the world , recently hitting 100,000. The UK is second with more than 37,000
  • A "track and trace" system is being rolled out in England and Scotland from today. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was confident that the "vast majority of people" would participate in the voluntary scheme. Meanwhile Scotland will begin easing some restrictions from Friday
  • A lockdown has also been partially rolled back in Saudi Arabia. A round-the-clock curfew has been relaxed except in the holy city of Mecca, which has the highest number of infections
  • South Korean health officials say they'll consider tougher social-distancing measures if the current uptick continues. There have been 79 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, the highest daily rate of new infections in nearly two months

  • Around 400 people have escaped from a coronavirus quarantine centre in Malawi after complaining about poor conditions, according to local media
  • The UN has warned that global tourism may fall by 70% this year, this biggest slump since the 1950s

Johnson to lead 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 Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is expected to set out what lockdown restrictions will be eased from 1 June.
He will be joined by the government’s chief medical adviser, Professor Chris Whitty, and its chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance.

NHS tracer or potential scammer, how will I know?

Coronavirus - 28th May 8d2f0e4d-2626-41cc-801c-c1b5cc6f389d Reality Check
As the NHS launches its Test and Trace scheme to help halt the spread of Covid-19 , BBC News answers your questions on how it will work.
"How will we know the difference between a genuine contact tracer and a potential scammer?" asks James Wilson in Nuneaton.
If you are concerned about whether a call, text or email has genuinely come from the NHS Test and Trace service, you can visit its web page which lists the official phone number 0300 013 5000 and other contact details.
Genuine contract tracers will never ask you for any financial information such as credit card or bank details.
They will also not ask you to set up a password or Pin over the phone, or to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087.
If you don’t want to talk over the phone, you can ask for an email or text inviting you to log into the web-based service instead.
Here our Reality Check team answer more of your questions.

Northern Ireland announces plans to ease lockdown

Stormont’s leaders have announced a series of proposed lockdown relaxations in Northern Ireland .
The decisions agreed by the executive on Thursday, which will provisionally start from 8 June, include:

  • Small weddings and civil partnership ceremonies permitted outdoors, with no more than 10 people present
  • Outdoor sports courts, horse trainers and dog groomers can reopen
  • Hotels will be able to take advance bookings, for when they can reopen again
  • Large non-food retailers can reopen, including car showrooms, electrical shops and phone shops

The steps will only be introduced if the scientific evidence indicates that the virus continues to be suppressed.
Stormont has sought to co-ordinate with the Republic of Ireland to relax restrictions on common principles, although timings may differ.
Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar has already announced a five-stage road map to reopen the country.

Dominic Cummings row fact-checked

As we heard earlier, Durham Police have investigated the UK prime minister's top aide over the relocation of his family to Durham during lockdown.
They found that when Dominic Cummings subsequently drove to Barnard Castle to check his eyesight "there might have been a minor breach" of the law.
Cummings has maintained he behaved reasonably and legally throughout the episode.
Our Reality Check team have looked at the key points of contention in Cummings' account of his actions.

The UK picture

We should be hearing from the UK government in the next 30 minutes, but let’s take a look at the latest from the country first:

France announces next phase of lockdown easing

France's Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is announcing how the country will relax its lockdown rules from 2 June.
Nearly all mainland regions of France will move into the "green zone", where lockdown measures can be relaxed faster. The exception is Paris, which will move from red to orange on 2 June. This means parks and gardens can finally reopen in the capital, something the mayor has been requesting for weeks.
Cafes and restaurants can now reopen throughout the green zone. Only outside terrace areas can reopen in the orange zone.
Paris is no longer at such a great risk, Philippe said, but authorities would remain "vigilant" there.

US economy shrank 5% in first three months of 2020

The US has reported its biggest quarterly economic decline in more than a decade.
According to official figures, the country's gross domestic product - the sum of the value of goods and services produced in the economy - fell 5% between January and March this year.
This represents the largest drop since the 8.4% reported in the last three months of 2008, in the midst of the global financial crisis. It also exceeds initial predictions made a month ago.
The Department of Commerce said the figure reflected the fact that some businesses had been slow to restock inventory, and the loss was partially offset by slightly stronger consumer spending.
Many economists expect this downward trend to continue amid sweeping coronavirus-related measures which have shut down swathes of the economy and left millions of people without work.

UK coronavirus deaths rise by 377

A further 377 people have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of deaths to 37,837, according to figures from the Department of Health and Social Care.
The figures include deaths in all settings, not just in hospitals.

UK PM 'determined to work closely' with devolved nations

Coronavirus - 28th May 07170510
A number of measures have been taken in the UK, including social distancing

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has spoken to the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland ahead of his announcement on the next steps for the lockdown in England.
Mr Johnson made clear that "he remains determined to work closely with the devolved administrations", a Downing Street spokesman said.
"This continues to be a UK-wide approach, even though we may travel at slightly different speeds based on the scientific evidence."
The PM also stressed importance of "particularly close engagement on programmes that must be UK-wide to be most effective", including contact tracing , and the leaders agreed "continued engagement [was] vital", the spokesman added.

Ten ways schools could change in England

Pupils across the UK have been homeschooling for months, but the government plans to reopen some primary school classes next week.
It hopes to reopen Nurseries, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to go back first in England, but acknowledges that not every school will be opening.
How will school life change?
Well, we can get some insight from the government's guidance for schools, and by looking at what other European countries have done.
Here are 10 things that could look different.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu 28 May 2020, 18:02

UK government briefing

The five tests for lockdown easing

Boris Johnson begins the press conference by confirming over three million tests have now been carried out in the UK.
He also confirms the latest UK death toll in the past 24 hours has increased by another 377.
The prime minister then moves to his slides, explaining the "five tests" the government wanted to pass before deciding to ease lockdown measures any further.
He says it is "vital" to pass these tests as we "must not risk the hardwork and sacrifice of the British people".
Coronavirus - 28th May 3325a610

Johnson: 'Heroic efforts' protected NHS

Starting with test one - protecting the ability of the NHS to cope through the crisis - Mr Johnson says at the start of the outbreak there was "significant concern" it wouldn't cope, but it did thanks to the "heroic efforts" of staff and "the British people".
In his slide, he shows there were an estimated 475 admissions into hospital in England due to coronavirus on Tuesday - down from its peak of 3,121 on 2 April.
He also says 11% of beds with ventilators were in use yesterday, compared to 41% on 10 April.
Coronavirus - 28th May E452ea10

Johnson: Sustained and consistent fall in deaths

The next test is seeing a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates.
Johnson says the seven-day rolling average is now at 256, compared to 943 at the peak in the middle of April - a difference of 687.
The PM says: "While every death is one too many, it is now the case there has been a sustained and consistent fall" so, as with the first test, the second test is being met.
Coronavirus - 28th May 39267710

Johnson 'satisfied third test is being met'

The third test is about seeing the rate of infection of coronavirus "decreasing to manageable levels".
Johnson says there has been a total of 269,127 cases in the UK so far, but the average number in the last seven days is 2,312 - down from an average of 5,066 in the first week of May.
The PM says: "The government is satisfied the third test is being met."
Coronavirus - 28th May 1320d910

Testing and PPE challenge 'immensely frustrating'

Test four is about the government having confidence it can handle challenges such as testing capacity and the supply of personal protective equipment - both of which it has faced criticism for throughout the crisis.
The prime minister says the UK has secured over 100 new deals with suppliers around the world for PPE, with two billion items to be manufactured in the UK.
On testing, Johnson says testing capacity has increased to over 161,000 a day.
He adds: "I fully acknowledge the difficulties on testing and PPE.
"It has been immensely frustrating but we are now making progress."
Coronavirus - 28th May 2f953c10

Johnson: 'Limited and cautious changes'

The final test is to be sure any changes to lockdown will not result in a second peak in the virus.
Johnson says he is going to set out measures on schools, social contact and retail.
Although all parts of the UK are moving in the same direction, he says other nations are moving at different speeds.
"I cannot and will not throw away all the gains we have made together, so the changes we are making are limited and cautious," he adds.
Coronavirus - 28th May 8b2f0910

Schools to reopen on Monday

First, he says schools will reopen to more children from Monday.
Johnson says: "Closing schools has deprived children of their education and as so often the most disadvantaged are hardest hit."
On 15 June, secondary schools will begin face-to-face contact time for years 10 and 12.

Up to six people can meet outdoors from Monday

Johnson says some retail will open on Monday - such as car sales - and more may follow on 15 June, depending on the infection rate.
But he then moves on to social contact.
The PM says there has been a "toll taken on family and friends unable to see each other".
But from Monday, six people will be able to meet in public spaces and private outdoor spaces, such as gardens, if those from different households stay 2m apart.
"These changes means friends and family will start to meet loved ones," says the PM, adding it is a "long awaited and joyful moment".
But he warns people "must stay alert and act responsibly".
And he warns against too many households meeting in quick succession and that they are still not allowed to be inside homes of friends and families.

Johnson: We will reimpose measures for local outbreaks

Johnson says it is "still a fraction" of the social contact people are used to, and he knows people will "find it frustrating".
But he says it is "unavoidable given the nature of the invisible enemy".
The PM says: "We will inevitably not be getting everything right first time."
He says he is "hopeful in the coming weeks we may be able to do more", but protecting the health and safety of the public is the "number one priority".
Johnson adds: "I want to reaffirm the fundamental commitment to the British people that all the steps we have taken and will take are conditional on all the data and all the scientific advice."
But he warns "there will be further local outbreaks", and while the government will monitor them, it is prepared to "put on the breaks as required and, where necessary, reimpose measures".

Vallance: R number between 0.7 and 0.9

Sir Patrick Vallance says the R number – which estimates the infection rate – is currently between 0.7 and 0.9.
That’s a slight reduction on the latest estimate as of last Friday, which was between 0.7 and 1.0.
But he says it may be "very close" to 1 in some areas - and although numbers are going down, they are not "coming down fast".
The government wants to keep this number below 1 at all times, meaning the spread of the virus is decreasing rather than increasing.

Vallance: Infection rate 'still significant'

Sir Patrick also gives some more details of the ongoing swab test infection survey being conducted by the Office for National Statistics.
He says the results point to an estimated 133,000 people being infected in England between 11 May and 24 May, around 0.24% of the population.
The projected total for the two weeks up to 10 May was about 148,000.
There are an estimated 54,000 new infections per week, he adds - which is still a "significant burden" of new infections.

Vallance: 'Vast majority' have not had the virus

Sir Patrick Vallance says the current infection rate means there is “not a lot of room” to do things differently.
Antibody surveys estimate that under 7% of people have antibodies to the virus, meaning the “vast majority” are still vulnerable, he adds.

When will shielded people be allowed out of lockdown?

The first question is from the public - a mother called Jay from Horsham.
She says she is shielding with her 10-year-old son, and wants to know how lockdown will be eased for them.
The prime minister says he feels "very sympathetic" to the over one million people who are shielding because of their health issues.
"We want to release you from your lockdown as fast as we possibly can and that is why we continue to be extremely vigilant in our approach," he adds.
Johnson says they are taking "tentative steps" with others now, but they need to get the infection rate down so "everybody who has been shielded can be released".
Prof Chris Whitty adds: "As the rates of infection comes down... the risk to people at higher risk is decreasing".
He says he hopes they will get to that stage "relatively soon" but the infection is not there yet.

PM pledges to 'look after' those who cannot work

There's a second question from the public on help for those who cannot go into work during local lockdowns.
Boris Johnson says we'll be "hearing more" about support for the self-employed.
He also says employers can take advantage of the government's job retention scheme.
"Where we have to clamp down [...] we will make sure we look after local people".

Analysis: Why back gardens are safe for family reunions

Philippa Roxby - Health reporter, BBC News
Finally, adults will be able to see their parents and children will be permitted to see their grandparents.
It’s been more than eight weeks since this was last possible in England.
The PM has announced that family reunions can take place in private gardens, rather than parks, as long as people continue to stay 2m apart.
That is because the risk of the virus spreading between people is much lower outdoors than indoors.
Outside, there are fewer surfaces to become infected and less chance of smaller droplets being passed around in fresh air.
But the risk is still not zero and so social distancing still applies.

Johnson wants to 'draw line under' Cummings issue

The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg asks the first question from the press.
She asks about a statement from Durham Police, who said they would have sent the PM's top aide, Dominic Cummings, home when he went to Barnard Castle during lockdown - something that has led to calls for his resignation.
She asks the PM and the experts why people would stick to the rules if Cummings didn't.
Boris Johnson says: "I have said quite a lot on this matter already and noticed Durham Police said they were going to take no action."
He adds: "I intend to draw a line under the matter."
He also stops Prof Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance from answering, saying he wants to "protect them [as it is] unfair and unnecessary to ask them a political question".

PM: Not appropriate for experts to comment on Cummings

Robert Peston from ITV asks the government experts whether Mr Cummings' behaviour will undermine government messaging on the lockdown.
Boris Johnson answers for them, saying it would not be appropriate for advisers to be "dragged into political controversy".
On the planned review of the current two metre rule, Sir Patrick says the two-metre rule is a "policy decision".
He says scientists have given advice on the principles and measures than can be taken to reduce risk generally.

Prof Whitty: No desire to get pulled into politics

The next question comes from Sky News, asking Prof Whitty and Sir Patrick if they are comfortable with not being able to answer the questions about Mr Cummings.
Prof Whitty says: "The desire not to get pulled into politics is far stronger for Sir Patrick and me than the prime minister."
Sir Patrick adds: "I am a civil servant and don't want to get involved in politics at all."
Mr Johnson says he has "no choice" but to get involved, but moves onto the second question about whether people must isolate "no ifs, no buts", even if they have childcare issues - another nod to Mr Cummings' reasoning for breaking lockdown.
The PM says: "If you get contacted and told you have been in 2m of someone for 15 minutes that has the virus... then yes, you must self-isolate.
"I know that is going to be hard, but do not forget this is the way to beat it."
Prof Whitty adds it can take two or three days before symptoms show, for two, so if those asked to isolate don't, they are "the biggest risk of unwittingly having the infection without symptoms and spreading it for two or three days".

PM: Don't stay overnight after outdoor meet-ups

There's a question about how long people will be able to stay outside in their groups of six, and whether they will be able to "nip inside to use the loo".
Mr Johnson says the government doesn't want people to stay overnight, although people can have socially-distanced barbecues if they "exercise common sense".
Prof Whitty says during a barbecue people should also make sure they wash their hands so as not to transmit the virus.
A second question to the experts on whether it is appropriate for someone to drive to test their eyesight - as Mr Cummings says he did during his lockdown trip - goes unanswered.

Vallance: New cases closer to 9,000 a day

A reporter from the New Scientist says other research shows the UK has 9,000 new cases a day - four times higher than the government statistic, so asks if the government's test and trace system has enough capacity.
Sir Patrick confirms the number of new cases is "closer to that figure" and says he has always made it clear that government slides are "not the whole number, [with] people not being picked up".
He adds: "You are quite right the system is under much more pressure the higher the numbers.
"It is going to be more difficult at the beginning and as numbers come down it will be easier."
Asked about why there are only three symptoms listed for the virus, while other countries have up to 17, Prof Whitty says their research found if people had any other symptoms, they also had one of the main three - fever, cough or change to smell and taste.

PM: People will not respond differently to rules

The panel is asked about the latest estimates for the R infection number in Northern Ireland, and whether Mr Cummings' behaviour will affect compliance with the rules.
Sir Patrick says there may be areas where the R is "close to 1" and this is therefore a "time to go very cautiously".
"We are at a fragile state," he adds.
Mr Johnson adds that he does not think people will "respond differently" to advice, and that they will "respond very carefully" to advice.

UK press briefing ends

The prime minister has now finished his press briefing. We'll bring you a round-up and analysis from our correspondents soon, so stay with us.

What did we learn from today's UK briefing?

The daily press conference was led by the prime minister, Boris Johnson. He was joined by Prof Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser.
Here's what they told us:

  • The government has decided that its tests (protecting the NHS, consistent falls in death rates, consistent falls in the infection rates, solving operational problems, and avoiding a second peak) for lifting lockdown restrictions have been met
  • On Monday, schools will re-open for children in receptions, year one and year six. From 15 June, years 10 and 12 will start to receive some face-to-face teaching
  • From Monday, some non-essential retail will open, with more to come on 15 June, depending on the infection rate
  • From Monday, six people will be able to meet, so long as they remain social distancing rules (staying 2m from people from outside your household) and remain outside. People will be able to meet in private outdoor spaces. The public is advised to avoid mixing with multiple different households in quick succession to avoid quick transmission of the virus
  • The rate of infection is still near to one (between 0.7 and 0.9), meaning lifting measures has to be done very carefully. People who are classed as extremely clinically vulnerable must remain shielded. However if the absolute number of infections falls, some lifting of shielding may be possible

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Post by Kitkat on Thu 28 May 2020, 21:03

Dentists to reopen in England from 8 June

Tom Edgington - BBC Reality Check
Dental practices in England have just been told they can reopen from 8 June, if they put in place appropriate measures.
In a letter to all practices, NHS England's chief dental officer, Sara Hurley, said that "today, we are asking that all dental practices commence opening from Monday 8 June for all face-to-face care, where practices assess that they have the necessary IPC and PPE requirements in place".
It is the first time that practices have been given a reopening date since all routine dental care in England was suspended on 25 March.
The British Dental Association (BDA) has welcomed the news, but has cautioned that practices will need to move at different rates depending on availability and fitting of PPE as well as their ability to enact ongoing social distancing measures.
You can read the full story here.

New York continues slow reopening

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New York's Times Square on 27 May

Away from the UK, New York City may enter its first phase of reopening by early June, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, making it the last region of the state to begin reopening.
The mayor predicted that at least 200,000 people will return to work when construction and wholesale businesses reopen in the city, and that trains and buses will begin to ramp up services before then. Furniture and clothing stores will also be allowed to reopen for kerbside pickup in the first phase, he said.
All businesses will be required to provide to staff PPE and face masks, de Blasio says, outlining for the first time the city's requirements for reopening. Occupancy will be limited to 50% capacity, and any meetings must be limited in size and take place in well-ventilated areas, he continues, adding that bars and restaurants will be among the last businesses to reopen.
Meanwhile, some business owners in the city say they will flout the law and reopen despite continuing lockdown orders.
"We're being punished for trying to put food on our table," Staten Island tanning salon owner Bobby Catone told CBS.
And speaking in Brooklyn on Thursday, Gov Andrew Cuomo said he had signed an executive order allowing businesses to refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask.
New York continues to be the worst-affected state, with New York City being the epicentre. There were 74 deaths in New York on Thursday, Cuomo says - the same number as on Wednesday.

Analysis: PM struck different tone to scientists

Jonathan Blake - BBC political correspondent
There was a different tone, I thought, between what the prime minister was saying and what the chief scientific adviser and the chief medical adviser were saying.
The PM stressed that the five tests have been met thanks to everyone’s hard work and dedication sticking to the rules.
We then heard from Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, that the R rate was between 0.7 and 0.9 and the number of new cases - around 8,000 per day - was not a low number.
So I did detect, not necessarily a nervousness, but a willingness from the chief scientific adviser and the chief medical adviser to stress that this is not necessarily a permanent change and it is one that the government has decided to take cautiously.

Starmer: PM has been 'too weak' over Cummings

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has criticised the prime minister for stopping his experts answering questions about his chief aide.
During the press conference, a number of journalists posed questions to Prof Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance about Dominic Cummings' trip to Durham during lockdown - but the PM stepped in to stop them from giving their views.
Sir Keir said "of course" he would have let the experts answer, saying: "We want transparency.
"Nobody should be stopped from answering questions from journalists… but it’s the PM here that’s the issue. He’s been too weak throughout.”
He added the Cummings issue had been a "needless distraction... when we should have been focusing on easing of restrictions and doing that safely".
"Instead it’s been wasted because the PM has been frankly too weak to draw a line under this and take the necessary action.”

103-year-old celebrates recovery with beer

Coronavirus - 28th May 290fd510
It was not just the bottle!

A 103-year-old nursing home resident in the US state of Massachusetts has marked her recovery from Covid-19 with... a Bud Light beer.
Jennie Stejna was sick for around three weeks, according to her family. She had a low-grade fever, had to be moved to a separate ward and spoke on the phone with her family to say her last goodbyes. But on 13 May, she finally beat the virus.
"This feisty old Polish grandmother of ours officially beat the coronavirus," her family announced on Facebook. They added that when they asked her earlier if she was ready to go to heaven, Stejna responded: "Hell yes."
To celebrate, staff at her nursing home brought her a bottle of Bud Light, which she used to drink while watching Boston Red Sox baseball games.

Two households may be able to meet outdoors in Wales next week

Coronavirus - 28th May Fe8f2710

Coronavirus restrictions in Wales are likely to be relaxed next week so people from two different households can meet each other outdoors, BBC Wales understands .
They will need to stay in their local area and remain two metres apart.
The changes will not come into force until Monday and further details are expected from First Minister Mark Drakeford on Friday.

UN chief calls for debt relief for world's poorest countries

UN head Antonio Guterres has called for debt relief to be offered to poorer nations as they grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
“Many developing and even middle-income countries are highly vulnerable and already in debt distress - or will soon become so, due to the global recession,” Mr Guterres told a UN meeting.
"Getting through Covid-19 and recovering better will cost money. But, the alternative will cost far more," he added.
It comes as members of the Group of 20 (G20) offered last month to suspend bilateral debt payments to 77 of the world's poorest countries for the remainder of the year.
World Bank President David Malpass told the meeting that about half of the eligible countries have accepted the offer, but longer-term debt relief was needed.

Protection for those affected by local lockdowns

Reality Check
During the UK's daily coronavirus briefing earlier, Boris Johnson was asked by Carol in Sunderland what protection there would be for people losing their incomes if they had to be returned to a severe form of lockdown - in the case of a localised outbreak, for example.
The prime minister said that they would continue to be able to rely on the measures in place to support such people.
“Where we implement local measures to stop an outbreak we will make sure that we look after local people,” he said.
But some of the measures mentioned have time limits on them.
For example, the PM mentioned the furlough scheme, under which the government pays 80% of an employee’s wages up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
That scheme currently runs until October, and from August companies are expected to have to start contributing to the cost.

English Premier League planning to restart 17 June

The Premier League is set to restart on 17 June with Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal, subject to government approval.
A full round of fixtures would then be played on the weekend of 19-21 June.
There are 92 matches still to play. All of them will take place behind closed doors and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport or Amazon Prime.
In a statement, the league's chief executive Richard Masters stressed that the 17 June start date was provisional, and would not be confirmed "until we have met all the safety requirements needed".

What has been happening around the world?

    If you're just joining us, these are these are some of Thursday's developments:

    • The US has passed 100,000 deaths in the coronavirus outbreak in less than four months, figures from Johns Hopkins University show
    • There have been more than 5,925,000 confirmed virus cases worldwide, and 357,000 deaths

  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says groups of up to six people will be able to meet outside in England from Monday
  • Football in England's top-flight is set to restart on 17 June
  • France's prime minister has announced the reopening of bars and restaurants nationally
  • Ramzan Kadyrov, strongman leader of the Russian region of Chechnya, says he is "healthy" after a Covid-19 scare

Spike in excess Europe deaths coincides with virus peak

The coronavirus pandemic has been responsible for around 159,000 excess deaths in Europe since early March, a World Health Organization (WHO) official says.
"What we have seen very clearly is that the peak in excess mortality corresponds in those countries to the peak of the transmission of Covid-19," said WHO emergency official Katie Smallwood.
She said that while the figure for excess deaths takes into account all mortality causes, its timing - recorded as thousands of people were dying in intensive care units in places like northern Italy, France, Spain and the UK - points to the deadly impact of coronavirus.

White House defends reopening

At a White House briefing on Thursday, spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany defended states' decisions to reopen, saying "everything does not depend on a vaccine".
"There's therapeutics," she added.
She also defended President Donald Trump's tweet commemorating the 100,000 US death toll, which went out the day after the number was passed, and said she had not discussed with Trump the idea of making a vaccine mandatory once it becomes available.
McEnany said flags being lowered to half-mast on federal buildings during the previous Memorial Day weekend was an acknowledgment of the growing death toll.
She also slammed the perceived liberal bias of US tech companies, after Twitter issued a fact-check label on two of Trump's tweets.
She specifically accused Google of allowing China "to spread misinformation about the coronavirus". Trump is expected to sign an executive order targeting tech companies later today.

What does the government's lockdown easing mean?

Earlier today, we brought you updates from Downing Street's latest coronavirus briefing.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out details of a plan to begin an easing of lockdown restrictions in England from next week.
We've made a chart detailing what the government is proposing over the next few weeks.
Coronavirus - 28th May 3738d610
Mr Johnson said that, despite the slight relaxation of rules on meeting people outside, those in England deemed most vulnerable to Covid-19 should continue to shield themselves for now.
Coronavirus - 28th May D588be10

What's happening in the US?

As coronavirus deaths reach a grim milestone in the world's largest economy, here are some of the biggest developments from today:

  • The US continues to be one of the worst-hit countries in the world, reporting more than 100,000 virus-related deaths and 1.7 million confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University
  • Official figures show the US economy shrank 5% in the first three months of this year - the largest drop since the global economic crisis of 2008
  • Meanwhile 2.1 million more Americans have filed for bankruptcy over the last week. Since mid-March, more than 40 million have lost their jobs - that's about a quarter of the US workforce

  • The House of Representatives has passed a bill designed to give small-business owners more flexibility over how they spend money from a government aid programme. It was voted through almost unanimously, and will now pass onto the Senate for approval

US prisoners not being tested before jail transfers

A lawyer for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has admitted in court that the agency is not testing prisoners for Covid-19 before transferring them to other jails unless they are showing symptoms of the illness.
"If the individual is actively ill, if the individual has tested positive or showing symptoms, they are not cleared for travel and they will not be transferred until those issues are resolved,” said assistant US Attorney Dexter Lee in a video court hearing, the Miami Herald reported .
"The problem is that there are individuals who are asymptomatic and they may be positive for coronavirus,” he added.
The ongoing case is over a Florida judge's order that Ice reduce its local prison population to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Immigration advocates argue that Ice found a "loophole" by transferring them to jails in other states.
Several recent outbreaks at Ice detention centres have been traced to recent transfers, according to US media.
According to their website, Ice currently has 25,911 migrant detainees. The website adds that around half of the 2,620 inmates who have been tested were found to be positive.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu 28 May 2020, 22:25

Lebanon's woes worsen as country pushed to the brink

Martin Patience - Middle East correspondent
For the past two months, Khaldoon Rifaa has not been able to work as a driver because of Lebanon's lockdown.
He is now back on the road, operating a minivan along the coastal motorway from his home city of Tripoli to the capital, Beirut.
But standing on the street, he is struggling to find any paying customers to fill up his vehicle.
"Before my life was good," says the father-of-five. "I'd work and I could feed my children."
"But now, there's no work - there's nothing. I don't even have the money to buy washing powder."
Like many others in Lebanon, he has suddenly been plunged into poverty in a country that has hit breaking point.
Some are warning that the scale of the catastrophe may be more devastating than the 15-year civil war , which raged from 1975 to 1990.
Even before coronavirus hit, Lebanon was experiencing the worst economic crisis in the country's history, which triggered large anti-government protests late last year.
Read more here.

Texas to let sports fans attend games with limited capacity

Governor Greg Abbott has announced that, from Friday, sports fans will be able to attend outdoor professional sports events in most Texas counties.
In a proclamation, Abbott said that venues would have to be capped to 25% capacity, and received approval from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
But fans will still be banned from attending indoor sporting events, and the rules do not address college and high school sports.
It comes as Texas - America's second-most populous state - rolls out a series of measures to reopen its economy. More than 59,000 confirmed cases have been reported there, making it one of the worst-affected states in the country.

New York to give businesses power to ban customers over masks

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that he will sign an executive order to allow private store owners to refuse service to customers not wearing a mask.
The move marks a significant ramping up of anti-virus measures in the state, which continues to report the highest number of cases and deaths in America. Until now, masks have only been legally required in situations where people cannot maintain a six-foot (1.8 metre) distance from each other.
He announced the move at a press conference today, where he was joined by comedian Chris Rock and actress Rosie Perez. Mr Cuomo joked that he had brought the pair as "reinforcements" because he wasn't "cool enough" to make people heed his advice over masks and coronavirus testing.
“The numbers in our community are staggering," said Ms Perez, in a message partially delivered in Spanish. "This is not a joke, this is not a hoax. This is real.”
Chris Rock added that, based on what he'd observed in New York City, “the kids really aren’t wearing the masks.
“I’m just hoping to help. I have complete trust in the governor. We’re soldiers for New York," said Mr Rock.

Martin Scorsese reveals lockdown 'anxiety' and 'relief'

Martin Scorsese has spoken about how "anxiety" set in during lockdown, after an initial "relief" that his heavy 2020 workload had been temporarily lifted.
The director has shot a new home-made short film about his experiences of isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It premiered on Thursday's edition of Lockdown Culture on BBC Two .
Scorsese, who was nominated for an Oscar for The Irishman earlier this year, said he "didn't realise that the lockdown was going to be so intense".
Read more here.

Italy's Serie A football league to resume on 20 June

Italy's Serie A will return on 20 June, the country's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora has confirmed.
Serie A was suspended on 9 March, with Juventus leading the table by a point with 12 rounds of matches remaining.
Players returned to individual training earlier this month before group sessions restarted this week.
On 20 May the Italian football federation (FIGC) set a 20 August deadline for finishing the 2019-20 season.
Read more here

Kenya leader scolds son for violating Covid-19 curfew

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has revealed how his son violated a government dusk-to-dawn curfew order issued to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
He said one of his two sons, whom he did not identify, recently went out to party at night in the coastal city of Mombasa - an epicentre of infections in the country.
Social gatherings are prohibited in the East African country.
The government has also restricted movement in and out of the capital, Nairobi, and three other coastal counties, including Mombasa, where the first family and the president's mother are currently living.
Kenyatta said he gave his son a dressing down for risking the life of his grandmother Ngina Kenyatta.
"You've had your fun and enjoyed yourself, but now you've come back and you're with your grandmother, your grandmother is 80 plus," the president said.
"If something happens to your grandmother as a result of what you have done - how will you live with yourself?"
In an interview, the president said no-one was immune to coronavirus containment measures, although he has been criticised for not taking his son to a quarantine centre like other Kenyans who violate the curfew.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu 28 May 2020, 23:05

Moscow doubles virus death tally for April

Sarah Rainsford - BBC Moscow Correspondent
Moscow’s health department has doubled the official count of Covid-19 deaths in April to over 1500.
It says this new tally comes after post mortem examinations confirmed coronavirus in dozens of cases where a Covid test had initially been negative, and in hundreds of cases where an autopsy determined that the virus was a significant factor in causing death, even when a patient had other illnesses.
This new methodology is being recommended to Russia’s regions and is likely to mean the death tally increases across the country, although Moscow was the epicentre of the epidemic for many weeks.
A few weeks ago, when reporters here suggested the official numbers were too low after seeing excess mortality figures, they were accused of fake news and distortion.
Moscow’s health department is stressing that even the new count puts the Covid-19 mortality rate for the city under 3% - suggesting that’s well below comparable cities. But it also concedes that the figures for May will be higher.


We're pausing our live coverage

Thanks for joining our live page today. We're wrapping up our rolling coverage until tomorrow, but in you can still get updates throughout the BBC News website.
Before we go, here's a recap of some of the day's top stories.

  • Nearly six million people have tested positive for coronavirus worldwide, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll has also risen to over 358,000
  • America continues to be the worst-hit country in the world, reporting over 100,000 deaths as a result of the virus
  • Official figures show the US economy shrank 5% in the first three months of this year - the largest drop since the global economic crisis of 2008
  • A "track and trace" system has been launched today in England and Scotland. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also laid out plans to relax some restrictions from next week. From 1 June in England, up to six people can meet outside - but those from different households must stay 2m apart
  • France has also unveiled steps to ease its lockdown, with bars and restaurants set to re-open nationally
  • Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, the government has begun partially rolling back restrictions. A round-the-clock curfew has been relaxed except in the holy city of Mecca, which has the highest number of infections
  • South Korean health officials say they'll consider tougher social-distancing measures if the current uptick continues. There have been 79 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, the highest daily rate of new infections in nearly two months
  • Around 400 people have escaped from a coronavirus quarantine centre in Malawi after complaining about poor conditions, according to local media
  • The UN has warned that global tourism may fall by 70% this year, this biggest slump since the 1950s

Today's coverage was brought to you by our reporters in Singapore, the UK, and Washington DC: Saira Asher, Owen Amos, Krutika Pathi, Andreas Illmer, Sean Fanning, Hugo Bachega, George Wright, Hamish Mackay, Becky Morton, Deirdre Finnerty, Rob Greenall, Saj Chowdhury, Neil Johnston, Michael Emons, Josh Cheetham and Max Matza.

    Current date/time is Tue 29 Sep 2020, 16:57