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Coronavirus - 31st May


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Coronavirus - 31st May Empty Coronavirus - 31st May

Post by Kitkat on Sun May 31 2020, 09:46

Summary for Sunday, 31st May

  • Worshippers return to Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque - the third holiest site in Islam - after a two-month lockdown
  • India says it will further ease its lockdown on 8 June despite a record daily rise in cases
  • President Trump is forced to postpone a G7 summit in June
  • Vulnerable people in England who have been at home since the lockdown began can go outdoors from Monday
  • Domestic competitive sport behind closed doors will be allowed from Monday, the UK government says
  • Confirmed coronavirus cases across the world have now exceeded six million, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University

If you’re joining us from the UK and Europe - good morning, and good afternoon if you’re in Asia or Australia. Today’s rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic is going to be brought to you by our team in London.
Here are the latest headlines, to catch you up:

  • The number of confirmed cases of the virus worldwide has now exceeded six million, according to the tally kept by US-based Johns Hopkins University. More than 369,000 people globally have died
  • US President Donald Trump has postponed the G7 summit scheduled for June. He had hoped to hold some gatherings in person at Camp David and the White House, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she wouldn’t go because of the outbreak
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said the ongoing unrest, sparked by the killing of George Floyd by policemen in Minneapolis, is linked to the disproportionate deaths of African-Americans of coronavirus. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called on protesters to wear masks and try to socially distance
  • The third holiest site in Islam, the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, has reopened after being closed for two months. Hundreds of worshippers - wearing protective masks - chanted “god is great” as they entered the mosque, while some kissed the ground
  • Rio de Janeiro is planning a six-phase easing of lockdown restrictions, according to local media. Brazil is the epicentre of the virus in Latin America, with the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the world. Its death toll is now higher than France
  • Belgian Prince Joachim, 28, has contracted coronavirus after going to a party in Córdoba, Spain during lockdown. Spanish police have launched an investigation into the party - anyone found to have broken lockdown rules could be fined up to €10,000 (£9,000; $11,100)

Worshippers return to Al Aqsa mosque

After being closed for two months due to coronavirus, al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem has started welcoming worshippers again.
The mosque is the third-holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
Hundreds of people - many of whom wore protective masks - chanted “god is great” as they stood at the mosque’s wooden doors, while some kissed the ground. They were then greeted by mosque director Omar al-Kiswani, who thanked them for being patient.
Here are some photos of the mosque’s reopening.
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The latest news from around the UK as lockdown is set to be eased
Here are some of the latest headlines from around the UK:

    Labour whip Rosie Duffield has resigned after admitting breaching lockdown to meet her boyfriend
  • The Canterbury MP apologised for meeting her partner before members of different households were allowed to meet in public
  • Sport is set to return with the first competitive horseracing meeting to be held at Newcastle on Monday, while the government has given the go ahead for elite sport to take place behind closed doors from this week
  • Vulnerable people who have been shielding will be allowed to leave the house for the first time since March , the government has announced. The details will be announced by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick at Sunday’s Downing Street press conference
  • Governors have urged the government to drop plans for all primary school pupils to return to school before the end o the summer term
  • By Monday, all four UK nations are due to have guidelines in place allowing more than two people to meet outside. Read more here

'Test and trace' and lockdown easing lead Sunday papers

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The failings of the UK’s testing and tracing policy as well as freedoms allowed by the easing of lockdown measures lead the UK's Sunday papers .
The Sunday People says the system is a “national disgrace” while the Sunday Telegraph reports that the policy was abandoned in the early days of the pandemic as the system could only cope with five cases a week.
Despite the prime minister’s plea to move on from the Dominic Cummings saga, his aide still appears on the front of the Observer and the Mail on Sunday .
The latter says Boris Johnson has rebuked Mr Cummings for the media storm surrounding his lockdown trip to Durham.
And for those who are missing Brexit talk, the Sunday Times splashes on the European Union's chief negotiator warning the prime minister to keep his promises or face a no-deal exit.
Pictures from the protests and riots in the US also feature on many front pages as well as the launch of the SpaceX rocket.

LA closes testing centres amid protests

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Protests across the US are escalating in response to the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis.
In Los Angeles, officials have closed down the city’s Covid-19 testing centres. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters this was a safety precaution, adding: “Now is the time to go home. Come back, protest peacefully when there is peace.”
Cities across the US have imposed curfews in an attempt to contain the demonstrations , and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called on protesters to wear protective masks and socially distance.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted about systemic racism in the US, linking the collective anger at George Floyd’s death to African Americans being disproportionately more likely to die of the coronavirus.

  tweet :Left Quotes: Andrew Cuomo:
Why are black people dying from #COVID at higher rates than white people? Why are health outcomes worse in communities of color? Why did George Floyd die? Why does this happen again and again? It’s all related.

Anti-lockdown protests in Argentina

Hundreds of people in Argentina have taken part in protests against the country's strict lockdown, demanding officials end the measures that were first introduced more than two months ago.
Demonstrators in Buenos Aires and several other cities accused President Alberto Fernandez of acting like a dictator, and called for businesses to reopen.
A small number also held signs repeating debunked conspiracy theories about vaccines and 5G networks.
About 500 people have died of coronavirus in Argentina and the country has had about 16,000 confirmed cases.

What's the latest UK sports news?

  • Domestic competitive sport behind closed doors will be allowed in the UK from Monday, with horse racing and snooker resuming competitive action. The Premier League is due to restart on 17 June
  • Championship club Preston have confirmed striker Jayden Stockley was one of 10 positive tests across eight teams in English football's second tier in the latest round of testing on Thursday and Friday. Middlesbrough and Cardiff each confirmed one positive test. Four clubs took part from League Two, with seven positive tests, but there is no programme of testing for League One at present. There were no new positives from Premier League testing last week
  • Cricket has finally been played in the British Isles this year, with the first game since the lockdown taking place in Guernsey. A T20 match was played in Castel on Saturday to raise money for the Covid-19 appeal, with a live stream attracting more than 84,000 views on YouTube. County cricket in England is suspended until August, although it is hoped England can play Tests in July

Sturgeon: Virus could still run out of control

Scotland's First Minister has been on Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme where she warned that there was still a "very significant risk that the virus could run out of control again".
She said that was why Scotland was going to be "moving very cautiously" in easing lockdown restrictions.
Sturgeon also said that there should be a clear distinction between politicians making decisions and scientists advising.
It was elected officials who should take responsibilities and not scientists, she said.
She said she felt "deep personal regret" over the number of people dying in Scottish care homes and said she was making the hardest decisions of her career.

The mystery of 'silent spreaders'

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As the crisis has unfolded, scientists have discovered more evidence about a strange and worrying feature of the coronavirus.
While many people who become infected develop a cough, fever and loss of taste and smell, others have no symptoms at all and never realise they're carrying Covid-19.
Researchers say it's vital to understand how many are affected this way and whether "silent spreaders" are fuelling the pandemic.
Click here to read more from BBC's science editor David Shukman on how the authorities in Singapore used contact tracing to find out how the virus spread there, and what governments have learned from it as lockdown measures are eased.

Singapore records 518 more cases

Sport returned to Las Vegas overnight as Brazil's Gilbert Burns defeated US former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
As with the UFC's recent live events in Florida, there were no fans in attendance at the UFC Apex facility and social distancing measures were in place.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission last week gave the go-ahead for combat sports to return to Vegas.
Boxing promoter Bob Arum's Top Rank has lined up cards to be held at the MGM Grand Conference Center, starting with USA's WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson taking on Puerto Rican Felix Caraballo in a non-title bout on 9 June.

Raab 'did not know where Cummings was'

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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he did not know that the prime minister's aide Dominic Cummings had travelled to Durham while he was filling in for Boris Johnson during his coronavirus illness.
There have been calls for Mr Cummings to resign after it was revealed he had travelled to his family's home in Durham from London during lockdown, as well as making a 60-mile round trip from there to Barnard Castle "to test his eyesight".
Mr Raab told Sky News's Sophy Ridge on Sunday he had only known Mr Cummings was "out of action".
He said: "I just knew that he was out of action because he had come down with coronavirus.
"Given the situation we were in with the prime minister taken ill, and very seriously ill as it later emerged, I was just focused with the government and with a great cabinet team and we continued to focus relentlessly on dealing with the virus."

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Coronavirus - 31st May Empty Re: Coronavirus - 31st May

Post by Kitkat on Sun May 31 2020, 12:02

Sport returns to Las Vegas

Sport returned to Las Vegas overnight as Brazil's Gilbert Burns defeated US former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
As with the UFC's recent live events in Florida, there were no fans in attendance at the UFC Apex facility and social distancing measures were in place.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission last week gave the go-ahead for combat sports to return to Vegas.
Boxing promoter Bob Arum's Top Rank has lined up cards to be held at the MGM Grand Conference Center, starting with USA's WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson taking on Puerto Rican Felix Caraballo in a non-title bout on 9 June.

English schools to reopen: What are the risks?

Some children in England will be going back to school on Monday, but what are the risks to pupils and staff?
Following a heated debate, the government published the advice it received from scientists on what is known about the impact of more children returning to the classroom.
Across the UK, 0.01% of deaths have been children under 15, 1% were aged 15-44 and about 75% were over 75. But can children pass on the virus to others?
Click here to read more

Labour front-bencher 'right to resign', says colleague

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Rosie Duffield is no longer in a frontbench role

Labour whip Rosie Duffield was "absolutely right to resign" for breaching lockdown rules, a fellow shadow cabinet member has said.
Duffield, MP for Canterbury, has apologised after she met her partner while they were living separately, in breach of restrictions.
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds told the Andrew Marr Show: "It is absolutely correct that she has immediately taken responsibility for that and resigned.
"It is critically important - I have talked to my constituents about the sacrifices they have made - to stick to the rules to keep us all safe."

Raab defends easing of measures amid scientists' concern

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said this was a "sensitive moment" for the UK as he defended government plans to ease lockdown restrictions, despite several scientists speaking out against the move .
He told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme the government had been listening to the views of different scientists who did not all agree.
Raab said the country was now transitioning from level four to level three of the Covid-19 alert system . He said the easing of measures was only being taken because the government had met its five targets .
The government "wanted to avoid a re-entering of the lockdown", he said, but with the track, trace and test system a targeted approach could be taken.
"We have definitely got the ability and we will target specific settings or particular regions or geographic areas - and that gives us the confidence to take sure footed steps forward."
Read our guide on how to socialise under the new rules here.

Drop plan to reopen primaries to all pupils, ministers urged

School governors want ministers to drop plans for all primary pupils in England to return before the summer holidays.
The first wave of children is due back on Monday but the government wants all primary pupils in class for the last four weeks of term.
This ambition piles pressure on schools "when actually it wouldn't be safe", said Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governance Association.
Ministers say the return of all pupils will depend on updated safety advice.
Last week Schools Minister Nick Gibb told MPs any decision on whether all pupils should return would be led by the science, and no decision had as yet been made.

Dortmund aim to close gap as Bundesliga continues

The German Bundesliga continued with five games on Saturday, with Robert Lewandowski scoring twice as Bayern Munich won 5-0 at home to Fortuna Dusseldorf to move 10 points clear at the top of the table.
Second-placed Borussia Dortmund can cut Bayern's lead to seven points with five games remaining as they visit bottom club Paderborn on Sunday (17:00 BST) but Bayern look set to secure an eighth successive title at the end of June.
This was their fourth straight victory since the Bundesliga season restarted earlier this month, scoring 13 goals and conceding just two.
Borussia Mönchengladbach can go third if they win at home to Union Berlin in Sunday's other game (14:30 BST).

What can South Africa teach the rest of the continent?

South Africa leads the continent in many ways - and right now, it is poised to take Africa into the next, most dangerous phase of the pandemic.
But while President Cyril Ramaphosa is attracting admiration for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, he's also facing criticism.
From tomorrow, the country will start reopening its economy after two months of strict lockdown - and this next phase is largely seen as a test of Ramaphosa's leadership. South Africa was already in recession in the last quarter of 2019, before the virus hit in March.
As the nation braces itself for this, BBC Africa correspondent Andrew Harding has looked at what other African nations can learn from South Africa's response to coronavirus - from testing to keeping tea rooms clean.

Test and trace 'up and running' - Raab

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab defended the government's decision to ease lockdown on the Andrew Marr Show earlier.
Several scientists who sit on the government's advisory board Sage have warned it is too early to ease lockdown.
Raab said it was a "delicate and dangerous moment" but that the testing and tracing mechanism which was in place would keep the pressure down on the virus.
He said it had been operational since Thursday with 25,000 tracers and the ability to track 10,000 cases a day.
Andrew Marr pointed out to him that there were more than 8,000 new cases a day currently, which meant this was "on the edge".
Raab was not able to give a figure for the number of people traced so far.
"We have got the ability for 10,000 cases to track all the contacts they have had and that system is up and running."

Shielded people able to go for walks from Monday

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People who have been shielding due to their potential vulnerability to coronavirus in England will be able to go outside from Monday, the government has said .
Those with families will be able to go out once a day with members of their household, while people living alone can meet one other person from another household while maintaining social distancing.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick is due to give a full announcement later today.
The Welsh government has also announced that shielded people can meet with a person from another household and take unlimited exercise providing social distancing remains in place.
Prof Peter Openshaw, who sits on the government's New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threat Advisory Group (NERVTAG) said: "I think we're going to be able to fine-tune the advice now and actually reassure some people who we feared might be susceptible, that in fact they're not as vulnerable as we thought. So that's really good news."
For 10 weeks people in the shielded category have been advised to stay at home and not leave for any reason or have face-to-face contact with people.
The government has said emergency support, such as delivering of supplies, to the vulnerable will continue.

Contact tracing in NI for 'up to two years' - Foster

Northern Ireland could have contact tracing for "quite some time, possibly even up to two years", says First Minister Arlene Foster.
Northern Ireland was the first of the four UK administrations to roll out a contact tracing programme, as part of its plans to tackle coronavirus.
She told the BBC's Andrew Marr Programme this morning that contact tracing was vital to "make sure that we know where the virus is in our community".
It is forming the cornerstone moves towards coming out of lockdown and being able to relax "very draconian" regulations, she added.
Read more here

How al-Aqsa opened its doors again

Alan Johnston - BBC Middle East analyst
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There was much emotion as the gates swung open, and hundreds of worshippers could at last make their way into the compound that surrounds the al-Aqsa mosque – the third holiest site in Islam.
The many weeks of closure had meant that the whole, sacred month of Ramadan passed without believers being able to hold the usual daily prayers at al-Aqsa.
But the site has re-opened in the lingering shadow of the threat from the virus. Worshippers were told to wear face masks and bring their own prayer mats.
The authorities in Saudi Arabia had issued similar instructions ahead of today’s re-opening of mosques across the kingdom.
Millions of believers were sent text messages urging them to pray two-metres apart, and to refrain from greeting each other with hugs or handshakes. People were told to carry out their usual washing ritual at home, because washrooms at mosques would remain closed.
Sermons and prayers are to last no more than 15 minutes. And the Grand Mosque in Mecca will stay shut.

Hong Kong records first local infection in 17 days - report

Hong Kong has recorded its first local infection since 14 May, sources have told the South China Morning Post. A 34-year-old woman is on a ventilator at the intensive care unit of the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin. Investigators are looking into whether she caught the virus at work in an imported food warehouse, the newspaper says.
Her husband, 56, reportedly developed a fever on Saturday and was sent to the hospital where he also tested 'preliminarily positive'.
Hong Kong has recorded a number of imported infections since 14 May, mostly residents returning from Pakistan, but the couple in the newest case have no recent travel history.
So far Hong Kong has recorded a total of 1,082 cases, with four deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University


If you are just joining us...

If you are just joining us in the UK you have missed UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and shadow chancellor Anneliese Doddsdoing doing the rounds on the Sunday programmes.
Here is what they have been talking about:

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Coronavirus - 31st May Empty George Floyd death: Widespread unrest as curfews defied across US

Post by Kitkat on Sun May 31 2020, 12:36

George Floyd death: Widespread unrest as curfews defied across US

Protesters took to the streets of many cities to voice their anger following the death of George Floyd

Curfews have been ordered in cities across the US to try to stem unrest sparked by the death of a black man in police custody.
But they have been defied in many areas, with shops looted, cars burned and buildings attacked. Riot police have used tear gas and rubber bullets.
President Donald Trump urged "healing" over the death of George Floyd but said he could not allow mobs to dominate.
A white ex-policeman is charged with murdering Mr Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis.
Derek Chauvin, 44, is due to appear in court on Monday.
In video footage, Mr Chauvin can be seen kneeling on Mr Floyd's neck for several minutes on Monday. Mr Floyd repeatedly says that he is unable to breathe.

Three other officers present at the time have also since been sacked.
The Floyd case has reignited US anger over police killings of black Americans. It follows the high-profile cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York and others that have driven the Black Lives Matter movement.
But for many it also reflects years of frustration over socioeconomic inequality and segregation, not least in Minneapolis itself .

What's the latest on the protests?

Huge demonstrations have taken place in at least 30 cities across the US. They were largely peaceful on Saturday, but violence flared later in the day.
One of the cities worst affected by unrest is Los Angeles. California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in the city and activated the National Guard - the reserve military force that can be called on to intervene in domestic emergencies.
The entire city is under a 20:00 to 05:30 curfew. Numerous shops have been looted, including on the famous retail avenues, Melrose and Fairfax, while overhead footage showed fires burning. Earlier police fired rubber bullets and hit protesters with batons. Hundreds of arrests have been made.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said this was "the heaviest moment I've experienced" since the riots in 1992 that were sparked by the acquittal of police over the beating of Rodney King.
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Police are deployed as a fire burns in Los Angeles, which is under curfew

In New York, some 20 police cars were burned and dozens of arrests made. Video also showed a police car driving into a crowd of protesters. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the situation was not started by the officers, but Congress Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said his comments were unacceptable and he should not be making excuses for the officers.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot imposed a 21:00 to 06:00 curfew until further notice, saying she was "disgusted" by the violence.
"I've seen protesters hurl projectiles at our police department... bottles of water, urine and Lord knows what else," she said.
In Atlanta, protesters remained on the streets after the curfew began, damaging property and vehicles. Dozens of arrests were made.
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A firework explodes near a police line during a protest in Atlanta

Minneapolis, where George Floyd died, has seen less violence overnight. Some 700 National Guard officers are aiding police and they acted quickly to enforce the curfew imposed there. The Star Tribune said the action had so far headed off the unrest of the previous night.
For the second day running, a large crowd of protesters taunted National Guard officers outside the White House in Washington, DC.
Indianapolis was one of the cities that had seen peaceful protests during the day turn violent later. At least one shooting death has occurred, but police said no officers had discharged weapons.
In under-curfew Philadelphia, 13 police officers were hurt and at least 35 arrests made as stores were looted, police cars torched and buildings defaced.
Overnight curfews have also been declared in Miami, Portland and Louisville, among other cities, although many were simply ignored.
San Francisco is the latest to impose a curfew, announced by Mayor London Breed for 20:00 local time on Sunday, after looting and violence.
But amid the violence there were also moments of solidarity. In Flint, Michigan, Sheriff Chris Swanson took off the riot helmets of his men, laid down batons and asked protesters what they wanted. After hugs and high fives, they chanted "walk with us" and the sheriff did.

What has the president said?

On Saturday evening, Mr Trump said that Mr Floyd's death had "filled Americans with horror, anger and grief".
"I stand before you as a friend and ally to every American seeking peace," he said in a televised address from Cape Canaveral in Florida, following the launch into orbit of two Nasa astronauts by billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX company.
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Minnesota residents arrange food and drink donations for those participating in peaceful protests

The president denounced the actions of "looters and anarchists", accusing them of dishonouring the memory of Mr Floyd. What was needed, he said, was "healing not hatred, justice not chaos".
"I will not allow angry mobs to dominate - won't happen," he added.
Mr Trump has blamed the mayor of Minneapolis - a Democrat - for failing to control the protests, which are the worst since the president took office.
The president's Democratic Party rival, Joe Biden, has accused him of giving oxygen to bigotry and said those responsible for Mr Floyd's death must be held accountable.
But he also condemned rioting, saying: "Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. But burning down communities and needless destruction is not."
Many mayors and local officials have been trying to separate the genuine protests over Mr Floyd's death from the violent unrest, often blaming "outsiders" for the looting and arson. There have been many reports of residents trying to stop acts of violence.

What happened to George Floyd?

On Monday night, police received a phone call from a neighbourhood grocery store alleging that George Floyd had paid with a counterfeit $20 note.
Officers were attempting to put him in a police vehicle when he dropped to the ground, telling them he was claustrophobic.
According to police, he physically resisted officers and was handcuffed. Video of the incident does not show how the confrontation started.
With Mr Chauvin's knee on his neck, Mr Floyd can be heard saying "please, I can't breathe" and "don't kill me".
According to a preliminary autopsy by the county medical examiner, the police officer had his knee on Mr Floyd's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds - almost three minutes of which was after Mr Floyd became non-responsive.

Nearly two minutes before Mr Chauvin removed his knee the other officers checked Mr Floyd's right wrist for a pulse and were unable to find one. He was taken to hospital and pronounced dead around an hour later.
The preliminary autopsy, included in the criminal complaint against Mr Chauvin, did not find evidence of "traumatic asphyxia or strangulation".
The medical examiner noted Mr Floyd had underlying heart conditions and the combination of these, "potential intoxicants in his system" and being restrained by the officers "likely contributed to his death".
Mr Chauvin was charged on Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter over his role in Mr Floyd's death.
Mr Floyd's family said they wanted a more serious, first-degree murder charge as well as the arrest of the three other officers involved.
Hennepin County Prosecutor Mike Freeman said he "anticipates charges" for the other officers but would not offer more details.

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Coronavirus - 31st May Empty Re: Coronavirus - 31st May

Post by Kitkat on Sun May 31 2020, 12:47

Afghanistan faces 'impending catastrophe'

Afghanistan's public health ministry is warning of an impending catastrophe in the country as the confirmed number of coronavirus cases passed 15,000.
More than half the samples tested for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours came back positive, according to the ministry.
Over half of those are in the capital Kabul - the country's worst affected area.
Deputy Health Minister Wahid Majroh has called for the return of strict lockdown measures.
Afghanistan had imposed a strict lockdown but measures were eased for the Muslim Eid festival a week ago.
Mr Majroh says the virus is spreading because social distancing rules, which are still in place, are being openly flouted.

German on flight to China tests positive for coronavirus

We reported yesterday that two charter flights are taking about 400 German expats and their families back to China. The first took off from Frankfurt on Friday night and landed in Tianjin yesterday.
Tianjin officials have now said one of the people on that flight has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The 34-year-old engineer had a regular temperature, and reported having no symptoms. He's now been taken to a local hospital for observation.
All passengers are required to quarantine for two weeks and have a coronavirus test.
The second charter flight is due to leave Frankfurt for Shanghai this Wednesday.
Read a fascinating piece on asymptomatic coronavirus carriers by our science editor, David Shukman, here .

Schools reopening will not 'cause significant rise' in cases - minister

Radio 4's Broadcasting House
Pupils across England are preparing to return to school tomorrow, if they are in reception, year one or year six.
Children's Minister Vicky Ford told Radio 4's Broadcasting House the government was using a very phased "one-step-at-a-time" approach.
That was the way to "keep the R factor down whilst also having a small amount of social contact for these children".
Asked "yes or no" by host Paddy O'Connell if we should expect a rise in cases with children back at school Ms Ford said: "Obviously there are a number of steps being taken across the country but the advice we have on the phased reopening of schools is that in itself will not have a significant impact and cause a rise - a significant rise in the spread of the virus."

On a boat in mid-Pacific with nowhere to land

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Crew member Nova on board the Arka Kinari

A group of performers were halfway across the Pacific Ocean in a 75ft sailing boat when the coronavirus pandemic erupted - now they have nowhere to come ashore.
The crew of the Arka Kinari left Mexico on 21 February, like many others, unaware of the virus. Then suddenly countries began closing their sea borders.
The vessel now has no guarantee of a safe haven before the start of the typhoon season.
The crew, including Briton Sarah Louise Payne, say it was as they approached Hawaii six weeks into their voyage, that they picked up a radio signal announcing Pacific islands were all shutting their borders.
Read more here

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Coronavirus - 31st May Empty Re: Coronavirus - 31st May

Post by Kitkat on Sun May 31 2020, 14:00

New rules: How to socialise from Monday

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As the UK starts to relax its coronavirus lockdown rules, here's a reminder of how to socialise within the new guidelines from Monday.

  • In England: People can meet in groups of up to six people in outdoor spaces like parks or private gardens - as long as you remain two metres (six feet) apart
  • In Scotland: Members of two different households - up to eight people - can meet outdoors if they maintain social distancing
  • In Wales: People from two different households can meet each other outdoors while maintaining social distancing
  • In Northern Ireland: Groups of up to six people who are not in the same household can meet outdoors if they stay two metres apart

Read more here

Iran passes 150,000 cases

Iran has confirmed 2,516 new cases, taking the country's official total to 151,466.
Over the past 24 hours, 63 coronavirus patients have died, making the total death toll 7,797.
In a news conference broadcast by the IRINN news channel, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said that the number of those who have recovered had reached 118,848, but 2,527 patients were in a critical condition across Iran.
Last week Iran allowed Shia muslim shrines to reopen - with social distancing measures.

Japan - no plans for new Tokyo state of emergency

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People walking on Takeshita street in Tokyo's fashion district Harajuku today

Japan has no plans to place Tokyo and Fukuoka Prefecture under a state of emergency again despite an increase in the number of coronavirus infection cases in those areas, according to the Kyodo news service.
Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura says he does not expect new infection case numbers to increase rapidly as the country reopens its economy - but the authorities will continue to carefully monitor the situation.
"We have not come to a stage of reinstating a state of emergency," he is reported as stating.
The city of Kitakyushu in Fukuoka had no confirmed coronavirus infections from 30 April to 22 May but began to see double-digit daily growth in cases at medical institutions.
And in Tokyo, the number of new daily cases had fallen to single digits earlier in the month after peaking at over 200 in mid-April. But new cases started to creep up from Tuesday, the day after the government fully lifted the state of emergency.
As of Saturday, 5,231 cases have been confirmed in Tokyo and 741 in Fukuoka.

If you're just joining us...

If you've just clicked onto our live coverage, welcome - you're being kept up-to-date by our team in London today.
It's been a busy day so far. To catch up, here are some of the main headlines:

  • UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has told the BBC he's confident that now is the right time to ease lockdown restrictions in England, after scientific advisers to the government warned of the risks of doing so too soon

  • US President Donald Trump has had to postpone the G7 summit, which he'd planned to hold in person at the White House and Camp David at the end of June. Yesterday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she wouldn't be attending because of the ongoing pandemic
  • Still in the US, officials in Los Angeles have closed the city's coronavirus testing centres, citing safety concerns as protests over the killing of George Floyd continue across the country. Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, was killed by police officers in Minneapolis on Monday
  • Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem has started welcoming worshippers again, after being closed for two months - including during Ramadan and Eid. The mosque is the third holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia
  • The total number of confirmed cases in Iran has now surpassed 150,000, after the Health Ministry recorded 2,516 new infections
  • India says it will further ease its lockdown on 8 June, despite seeing record one-day rises in confirmed cases
  • Hundreds of protesters in Argentina have been calling for an end to the country's strict lockdown

Hundreds attend London lockdown party with DJ booth

Hundreds of people were at an unlicensed party in east London breaching lockdown rules on Saturday night.
Met Police officers were called to Springfield Estate in Clapton at about 21:00 BST where a large number of people had gathered.
Footage shows a DJ booth was set up and those who attended were not socially distancing by keeping two metres apart.
A small number of arrests were made for various offences and a Taser was used on one person who was arrested. Offences included assault on an emergency worker and breach of the peace.

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Post by Kitkat on Sun May 31 2020, 15:42

Premier League return financially driven - Mings

England football international Tyrone Mings says the players were the "last people to be consulted" over the Premier League's 'Project Restart'.
The UK government says sport can return behind closed doors from Monday.
With no positive results in the most recent batch of coronavirus tests at Premier League clubs, the English top flight is set to resume on 17 June.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Mings said players were "commodities in the game". The Aston Villa defender added: "The motives are possibly 100% financially driven rather than integrity driven. I think everybody accepts that.
"I am all for playing again because we have no other choice. As players, we were the last people to be consulted about Project Restart and that is because of where we fall in football's order of priority."

'I'm high risk - but I made a full recovery'

Bryony Hopkins - BBC Ouch
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For those living with underlying health conditions, the thought of contracting coronavirus can be terrifying. But while the numbers may appear bleak, there are many people considered high risk who are making a full a recovery - as I personally discovered.
I have Crohn's Disease, an autoimmune disease which means my digestive system attacks itself. It's classed as a "serious underlying health condition" at this time.
So when the first coronavirus symptoms arrived, my mind was full of questions and the horror stories I had read about. Would I end up in hospital? Would I need a ventilator? Am I going to die?
But after eight days, my symptoms eased. My suppressed immune system had done a good job.
I am not alone in my story. There are many people, like me, considered high risk who have made a full recovery. You can read our stories here

Parisians enjoy the sun as parks reopen

Parks and gardens reopened in Paris for the first time in months on Saturday, as coronavirus measures were relaxed.
Many people flocked outside to enjoy the sun and to enjoy their first picnics of the summer.
But some rules remain in place. People must observe social distancing, gatherings cannot exceed 10 people and face masks are recommended.
Cafes and restaurants will open across France from Tuesday but in Paris they will only be able to serve customers on outside terraces. Luckily, in the French capital there are plenty of those.

Spanish PM seeks to extend emergency to 'finish virus'

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has requested a "final extension" to the country's state of emergency "to finish with the pandemic once and for all".
The measures limit the movement of people even as lockdown rules are eased.
The extension will have to be ratified by the Spanish parliament on Wednesday and would mean the state of alert - which was announced on 14 March - remains in place until 21 June.
Spain has been one of the worst-affected countries globally by the pandemic. Almost 28,000 people have died and around 233,000 infections have been confirmed.
But the number of new cases has fallen dramatically in recent weeks - on Saturday infections rose by 271 and only four new deaths were reported.

England, Wales and Scotland report 105 more deaths

The daily death figures are beginning to come in from the nations of the UK.
NHS England reported 85 more deaths of people who had tested positive for Covid-19 in all settings - taking the total to 26,614.
Of those deaths 15 occurred on Saturday, 31 on Friday and seven on Thursday. The other deaths recorded happened earlier but have only now been registered as coronavirus-related.
Public Health Wales said a further 11 people had died after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of deaths in Wales to 1,342.
In Scotland there have been nine further deaths registered in the last 24 hours of people who had tested positive. This brings the total - under this measurement - to 2,362.
The figures for Wales and Scotland include mostly, although not exclusively, patients who have died in hospital.
We expect an update from Northern Ireland soon, as well as the daily UK-wide figure that is calculated differently by the Department of Health later.

Pope cautions against rush to ease lockdowns

Pope Francis said on Sunday that healing people was "more important" than the economy, as countries around the world continue to ease lockdown restrictions.
The Pope made his first address from his window overlooking St Peter's Square in three months. Many thronged to the Vatican City square, which was reopened to the public last Monday, to listen to him.
"Healing people, not saving [money] to help the economy [is important] - healing people, who are more important than the economy," he said.
"We people are temples of the Holy Spirit, the economy is not."

Brazil overtakes France in virus deaths

The coronavirus death toll in Brazil is now the world's fourth-highest.
On Saturday, the number of deaths in Brazil surpassed that of Spain, and on Sunday it overtook France.
Brazil has now recorded 28,834 fatalities, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. It has the world's second-highest number of confirmed infections.
It's a sign of how the country has failed to get the virus under control despite dire warning signs from Europe and Asia.
It should be said however that Brazil's population - at more than 200 million - is several times larger than those of the Western European countries.
Yet despite the steadily worsening situation in Brazil, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has continued to downplay the severity of the outbreak, opposing lockdowns instituted by state and city governments.

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

Modi warns Indians to stay vigilant as lockdown eased

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has warned the country to stay vigilant as lockdown restrictions are eased.
In an address broadcast to the nation, Modi said: "The fight against the coronavirus is intense, we cannot drop our guard.
"Wearing a mask, gloves and following social distancing rules is essential as everyone will soon start stepping out of their homes."
Although the number of new daily cases continues to rise to record highs, India is preparing for a phased reopening of the economy after a strict two-month lockdown.
However, in some high-risk areas - such as Indian-administered Kashmir - the lockdown has been extended until 30 June.
And for people in neighbouring Pakistan, wearing face masks is now mandatory when out in public.

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Post by Kitkat on Sun May 31 2020, 21:11

Recap on main points from daily UK briefing

So what did we learn from the government's daily briefing? Here is a summary of the main points.

  • A further 113 people who tested positive for the virus have died over the past 24 hours, while the number of new confirmed daily infections fell below 2,000 to 1,936
  • The UK now has the capacity to perform 200,000 tests of different kinds every day, ministers claim, hitting an end of May target set by Boris Johnson. However, only 115,725 tests were actually recorded in the past 24 hours and these include test kits mailed out to people as well as tests carried out
  • Restrictions on the most vulnerable who have been shielding at home in England and Wales since the middle of March will be relaxed on Monday, allowing people to "safely spend time outdoors"
  • Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick says the changes, which will be reviewed on 15 June, will enable millions of people to "see loved ones" for the first time in months but adds that people should only do what they are "comfortable" with
  • Mr Jenrick says the further easing of the lockdown in England tomorrow involves "quite modest" changes that are "manageable" in terms of minimising infections while Dr Jenny Harries, England's deputy chief medical officer, urges people to remain cautious and keep social interactions to a minimum
  • 6,000 new homes will be built to provide permanent accommodation for rough sleepers in England, including 3,300 in the next year, at a cost of £160m

Spain records fewer than 100 new infections

Spain has recorded its lowest number of new infections in almost three months, with 96 new cases reported on Sunday. Just two deaths were recorded.
By comparison the UK recorded 1,936 new confirmed cases and 113 deaths today. In Italy the numbers were 355 infections and 75 deaths.
Spain's figures are a massive fall from early April, when the country recorded 950 deaths and several thousand new cases in a single day.
The country has already begun easing its lockdown restrictions, which were among the strictest in Europe. But the government remains cautious and the prime minister has requested a two-week extension to the state of emergency.
More than 27,000 people have died in Spain since the pandemic began and around 240,000 cases have been recorded.

Italian club coach feared death from Covid-19

Gian Piero Gasperini, coach of Italian football club Atalanta, has said he thought he would die as he suffered coronavirus symptoms.
He has described feeling ill and frightened when his side played their second Champions League match at Spanish side Valencia in March.
The first encounter between the teams had taken place in front of thousands of fans on 19 February inside Milan's San Siro stadium. Many Atalanta supporters had travelled from Bergamo, in the northern Lombardy region, which was one of the epicentres of the pandemic in the country. Some experts believe that game was one of the key causes of the spread.
Gasperini said he felt ill on the day of the second encounter in Spain and his condition worsened in the days that followed, when he was at the team's training ground.
He added: "An ambulance passed every two minutes. There is a hospital nearby. It seemed like a war zone.
"At night I thought: 'If I go in there, what happens to me?'
"'I can't go now, I have so many things to do'... I was saying it jokingly, to lighten things. But I really thought so."

If you're just joining us...

Here's a run-down of the key global headlines, if you're just joining us.

  • The number of coronavirus fatalities in Brazil has risen by almost 1,000 in a day, making the country's overall death toll the world's fourth-highest. Its figure of 28,834 has now surpassed France, with only the US, the UK and Italy recording more deaths
  • Some of the most important sites in Islam - including Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque - have reopened two months after the coronavirus pandemic forced them to shut, allowing worshippers to enter under strict guidelines
  • Pope Francis said on Sunday that healing people was "more important" than the economy, as countries around the world continue to ease lockdown restrictions
  • Afghanistan's public health ministry is warning of an impending catastrophe as confirmed coronavirus cases pass 15,000
  • Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has requested a "final extension" to the country's state of emergency "to finish with the pandemic once and for all"

US officials voice virus concerns amid protests

As mass demonstrations continue across the US amid an outpouring of anger over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, while in police custody , some US officials have warned of the continuing danger posed by the coronavirus outbreak.
“If you were out protesting last night, you probably need to go get a Covid test this week,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said on Saturday evening.
Her concerns were echoed by Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, who told NBC News that protesters should consider self-isolating and getting tested.
"While I saw some people with masks last night, others didn't [wear them]. When I saw some people social distancing, other people were right on top of each other," she said. "So we don't want to compound this deadly virus and the impact it's had on our community."
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan appeared on CNN and warned: "There's about a 14-day incubation period. So, two weeks from now across America, we're going to find out whether or not this gives us a spike and drives the numbers back up again or not."
The US has the world's highest number of coronavirus deaths and cases.
Cities outside the US still under coronavirus restrictions also saw anti-racism protests on Sunday, including London .

Cancer charity chief expresses concerns about guidance for shielders

A UK cancer charity chief has told the BBC he is concerned about the new guidance for those who were previously shielding.
Vulnerable people in England and Wales were advised to stay home from when the coronavirus lockdown began - but will be able to go outdoors again from Monday.
Alasdair Rankin, Blood Cancer UK's director of research and policy, said: "It's a surprise to all of us in the community. Is it good news? Of course. Those shielding with blood cancer have had a difficult time over the past few weeks. They're anxious about the future and what that brings. What they need to know is that they're safe and that the guidance provided is clear and they can understand it.
"This has been a bit of bolt from the blue. It's not helpful to bring changes really quickly that we don't know the evidence behind. We'd like to see the evidence the decision is based on and for the government to be really transparent for people with blood cancer and other conditions as to why changes have been made to the guidance."
He added: "What we would say is talk to your doctor about your own personal circumstances before you make a change. People with blood cancer need to move away from guidance that everybody has to shield for an indefinite time, but it needs to be based on clinical evidence."

Poland records fewest cases in two months

There was positive news in Poland as the country recorded the fewest coronavirus infections in two months.
Sunday's figures released by the health ministry show there were 219 new cases recorded, down from 416 on Saturday.
The number of virus-related deaths fell to three from 10 on Saturday. The total number of cases so far is 23,786 with 1,064 deaths.

Sweden reports no new deaths

Sweden has not reported any new coronavirus deaths for the first time in over two months.
No new fatalities were reported on Sunday, although there are often delays in reporting deaths over weekends.
Sweden chose a controversial approach to the coronavirus outbreak and did not impose a lockdown, unlike the rest of Scandinavia. But its death toll from the virus is also by far the highest in Scandinavia, with 4,395 deaths.
Earlier this week, Norway and Denmark announced they would open tourism between the two countries, but restrictions remain in place for Swedes.

The fear of protest-linked outbreaks

As we reported earlier, officials in various US cities that have seen mass protests over the death of George Floyd have been warning about the risk that coronavirus could spread at these demonstrations.
As the mayor of Minneapolis - where Mr Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes - put it: "We have two crises that are sandwiched on top of one [another]."
That's not just a concern in the US - there were large protests today in some European cities, including London, where crowds did not obey social distancing.
"Whether they're fired up or not, that doesn't prevent them from getting the virus," Bradley Pollock, head of the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of California, told the Associated Press news agency.
Coronavirus - 31st May 5664b610
Protesters gathered outside the US embassy in London

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Post by Kitkat on Sun May 31 2020, 21:16

Emirates becomes latest airline to announce job cuts

The airline Emirates has said that it will have to carry out job cuts due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The company has not given any details about the number of staff or roles likely to be affected.
"We reviewed all possible scenarios in order to sustain our business operations, but have come to the conclusion that we unfortunately have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people that worked with us," a spokesman was quoted as saying.
The state-owned airline, which is based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, employs almost 60,000 people.
Thousands of jobs could go if Emirates follows the lead of other major airlines. British Airways says it will cut up to 12,000 jobs because of the pandemic, while budget carrier EasyJet could cut up to 30% of its workforce - 4,500 jobs - due to the collapse in air travel.

German air force evacuates four from Afghanistan

Germany's air force is medically evacuating three policemen and one soldier from Afghanistan.
According to German media, two of the policemen and the soldier all tested positive for coronavirus, while the third policeman displayed symptoms but tested negative.
The news comes as war-ravaged Afghanistan raised the alarm about its ability to deal with the spread of the virus.
The country has recorded more than 15,000 cases so far, and more than half of the samples taken in the last 24 hours were positive, the health ministry said. The capital Kabul is the worst-affected area.
Deputy Health Minister Wahid Majroh has called for a return to strict lockdown measures, which were loosened for the Muslim festival of Eid on 24 May.

London protest over George Floyd

Demonstrations earlier today in London over the death of George Floyd in US police custody attracted thousands of people.
Floyd, a black man, died when a white officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck last Monday in Minneapolis, even as he said he couldn't breathe.
There were concerns about the flouting of social distancing rules at the protest. The Met Police said officers were present and were engaging with those in attendance.
Reverend Sally Hitchiner, associate vicar at St Martin-in-the-Fields, near where the protest started, said: "Clearly they're not following lockdown and social distancing, but I think there's a huge amount of passion there and that's overriding their concerns.
"It's an issue that requires passion but at the same time there's a huge amount of risk in what they're doing."
There was also a march in the city of Manchester.
Read more about what happened in the final moments of George Floyd's life .

Which schools in England reopen tomorrow?

From tomorrow, some schools in England are due to reopen.
The exact rules will vary, but head teachers have been working out how best to minimise risks for pupils, staff and parents.
Nursery and pre-school children plus pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will be the first to go back.
But head teachers have been told to focus on priority pupils - vulnerable children and those of critical workers - across all year groups.
And the government has also published guidance for children with special educational needs or a disability .
A BBC Breakfast survey of 150 councils revealed many are not guaranteeing every primary school will reopen.
Read more here .

US cities brace for more protests

Cities across the US have been cleaning up rubble and boarding up windows after another night of protests over police brutality against African-Americans sparked by the death of George Floyd.
As cities from New York to Los Angeles prepare for more unrest, despite calls from both officials and peaceful protesters for an end to violence, there have been warnings that the mass demonstrations could lead to new coronavirus outbreaks. The US already has by far the world's highest number of cases and deaths.
The mayor of Atlanta warned residents that there was "still a pandemic in America that’s killing black and brown people at higher numbers".
In Minneapolis, the city where Floyd died, African-Americans make up 35% of coronavirus cases despite representing less than a fifth of the city's population, according to the New York Times. Job losses are also reported to have hit black and latino workers harder than the rest of the population.

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Post by Kitkat on Sun May 31 2020, 22:15

US sends 2m hydroxychloroquine doses to Brazil

The White House has sent two million doses of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) - a malaria drug often touted as a potential treatment for coronavirus - to Brazil, which has been hit hard by Covid-19.
It said it was also sending 1,000 ventilators to the South American country.
"HCQ will be used as a prophylactic to help defend Brazil’s nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals against the virus," a White House statement says. "It will also be used as a therapeutic to treat Brazilians who become infected."
President Trump recently said he was taking the drug but on Wednesday Dr Anthony Fauci, a lead member of his coronavirus taskforce, told CNN that the scientific data "is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy" of the drug as a treatment.
Last week, France banned the use of HCQ as a treatment for Covid-19 patients and also in clinical trials.
This all comes after the World Health Organization temporarily removed the drug from global trials over safety concerns.

Rome's Colosseum prepares to reopen

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The Colosseum in Rome has been illuminated with the colours of the Italian flag in remembrance of those who have died with Covid-19.
The monument, which has been closed for three months, will reopen on Monday.
But new health precautions have been put in place, including temperature checks and onsite medical staff. Visitors must also wear face masks.
The leaning Tower of Pisa welcomed its first visitors on Saturday.
Italy has the third-highest number of confirmed coronavirus deaths in the world, after the US and the UK.

How badly is Latin America being hit?

The number of deaths in Brazil has reached 28,834, meaning the country now has overtaken France to have the world's fourth-highest Covid-19 death toll.
Only the US, the UK and Italy have recorded more fatalities.
But Brazil is not the only country in Latin America struggling to contain outbreaks of the virus, and the World Health Organization has said the continent is the new epicentre of the pandemic.


That's all for now

We’re winding up our live coronavirus coverage for Sunday. Thanks for joining us. Our colleagues in Singapore and Sydney will get things started again when they wake up.
Here's a recap of the day's top stories:

  • Anger has continued to grow over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of white police officers in the US city of Minneapolis. But officials are now raising concerns that mass protests - which have been seen across the US, as well as in London and other European cities - could help fuel the spread of coronavirus
  • Brazil has passed France to have the fourth-highest number of deaths in the world. The country is second only to the US in its number of confirmed infections
  • In the UK, the government has changed its advice for the most vulnerable people in England and Wales. More than two million people who were previously shielding will be able to go outside again from Monday
  • From Monday in England, primary schools will start to reopen and people can meet outdoors in groups of up to six
  • Afghanistan's public health ministry has warned of an impending catastrophe as confirmed cases pass 15,000
  • But some European countries are reporting promising daily figures: Spain reported fewer than 100 new cases on Sunday; Sweden recorded no new deaths and Poland announced its lowest daily infection toll in two months

Today's updates were brought to you by: Jasmine Taylor-Coleman, Lauren Turner, Kevin Ponniah, Sean Fanning, Ashitha Nagesh, Victoria Bisset, Gavin Stamp, Doug Falkner, Jo Couzens, Ben Collins and Saj Chowdhury.

    Current date/time is Sat Nov 28 2020, 08:29