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Coronavirus - 5th June


Posts : 8253
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 5th June Empty Coronavirus - 5th June

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 05 2020, 08:10

Summary for Friday, 5th June

  • The EU Commissioner for Home Affairs says states should reopen internal borders by end of June
  • Ylva Johansson made the comments before a meeting of national ministers on Friday
  • Some EU states have reopened some borders, but others remain closed
  • In England, masks will be compulsory on public transport from 15 June
  • Article that said hydroxychloroquine increases risk of death in coronavirus patients is withdrawn
  • Peru declares oxygen a 'strategic resource' - meaning hospitals get priority on supplies
  • Basketball teams in the NBA vote to resume matches on 31 July in Disneyworld, Florida
  • Globally, there have been 6.6m cases since the outbreak began and 388,000 deaths

Hello and welcome back to our rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. We’re writing to you out of Singapore, where we’ll keep you across all the latest developments.
Here’s what you need to know:

  • The EU Commissioner for Home Affairs has called on the EU’s member states to reopen their internal borders by the end of June. Ylva Johansson said she believed it was “time to open up”
  • Masks will be made compulsory on public transport in England from 15 June. Passengers will not be allowed to travel without one, and if they do not wear one they could be fined
  • The Peru government has declared oxygen a “strategic health resource” due to an acute shortage to treat Covid-19 patients. Peru is the second hardest-hit country in Latin America
  • And an influential study on the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine has been withdrawn.

Globally, over 6.6 million people have been infected with the virus and the death toll stands at 388,000.

EU commission: 'Open borders by end of June'

The European Commission has called on all EU member countries to lift their border restrictions by the end of this month and allow passport-free travel across the bloc.
The virus situation was "fast improving", according to Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson.
"We are coming very close to a situation where we should lift all the internal border restrictions and border checks," she told broadcaster Euronews, adding that "a good date should be the end of June".
She also said she was happy to see that EU members were already easing border controls.
Across Europe, countries are phasing out their domestic restrictions and some have begun to reopen borders over recent days. There's no indication yet as to when the EU's external borders will reopen.

NBA votes to restart season in July

After a suspension of almost three months, the NBA's board of governors has approved a plan to restart the season on 31 July.
The games are set to be played without fans at the Disney campus near Florida.
“While the Covid-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalised with public health officials and medical experts," said commissioner Adam Silver, according to local reports.
The NBA first suspended its season on 11 March after one of its players tested positive for Covid-19.

Australia PM says planned protests a health risk

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A Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney on Tuesday

There are more Black Lives Matter protests planned in Australian cities this Saturday, but they’ve been strongly criticised for their potential health risks.
In light of the alleged police killing of US man George Floyd, the protests in Australia have focused on the country’s own record of indigenous deaths in custody – where over 430 Aboriginal people have died since 1991.
Organisers have urged protesters to wear face masks and PPE. But Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has strongly urged people to not go – saying the health risks from “people coming into close proximity are real”.
He said people had the right to protest, but many Australians had made sacrifices under health restrictions such as being unable to attend funerals or visit family.
State authorities are allowing the rallies to proceed in cities like Sydney and Melbourne, where thousands are expected to attend. Victoria’s premier had urged people to stay home but said the protests would be allowed “given the depth of feeling on these issues”.

Australian police try to stop Black Lives Matters protest

Now the state government says it will attempt to block the Sydney protest from going ahead. State police have sought a court injunction to stop protesters.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the initial rally, when it was approved by government, was expected to be smaller - but now up to 10,000 people were expected.
She said organisers could not guarantee the event would be safe.
"They could not guarantee safe social distancing and simply the number of protesters far exceeds the health orders," she said.
There have been no locally transmitted coronavirus cases in the state for the past nine days, with all new recent infections being recorded in quarantined travellers.

What's the schedule for Europe reopening borders?

As the summer tourist season approaches, EU countries are eager to lift both domestic restrictions and open borders for non-essential travel so that tourists can come in.
Italy has done so earlier this week and most of the rest of the bloc is set to follow in the same vein later this month.
For most countries, the date when they'll reopen is around the middle of June - that includes France, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Austria, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
Spain expects to allow international tourists in from July.
While some countries will permit travel from across the EU, others will first allow only visitors from countries considered low-risk. Some will require virus tests from citizens of high-risk countries or regions.
Although the UK has left the EU, its citizens still have the right to freedom of movement across the bloc until the end of 2020. However, most travellers to the UK will have to face quarantine from 8 June.

More people have now died in Brazil than Italy

Katy Watson - BBC South America correspondent
Brazil has now surpassed Italy in the number of people who have died from coronavirus. On Thursday evening, the country reported that 1,473 deaths had been recorded in the past 24 hours. More than 34,000 people have now died and there have been more than 580,000 confirmed infections.
Three consecutive days, three record death tolls. Amid worsening numbers, the government has also stopped publishing them in a reliable fashion.
They used to be announced in the afternoon without fail, but these past few weeks, the timeframe has been slipping. And for the past two days, they’ve been announced after the main evening news bulletin has gone out - a fact that’s been noted by many observers as more than a coincidence.
President Jair Bolsonaro though is saying very little – speaking on a Facebook live, he reiterated his frustration with isolation measures imposed by state governors, saying the collateral damage from the virus would be far worse than those who had lost their lives.

Authors retract influential hydroxychloroquine study

An influential study that found hydroxychloroquine increases the risk of death in coronavirus patients has been retracted by its authors.
Three of the study's authors said they could no longer vouch for its veracity because Surgisphere, the healthcare firm behind the data, would not allow an independent review of the study's data.
The study's findings had led the WHO to suspend its testing on the controversial drug, which has been repeatedly touted by US President Donald Trump.
Here's what the study actually said:

  • It was a huge study involving 96,000 coronavirus patients across 671 hospitals worldwide. Nearly 15,000 of them were given hydroxychloroquine
  • It concluded that the drug showed no benefits against the virus, and actually increased the risk of patients developing irregular heart rhythms and dying

As of yet, there is no evidence that the drug works against the virus.
Read more about it here.

How to make your own face mask

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People across the country are being advised to wear face coverings in certain circumstances when out of the house, to help limit the spread of coronavirus. From 15 June, you must wear one on public transport in England.
While medical face masks and respirators are prioritised for health and care workers, you might want to try making your own face covering, wherever you live.
Here's our guide to different types and step-by-step instructions on how to make them.

Rumours, fear and rising Covid deaths in Pakistan

Secunder Kermani - Pakistan and Afghanistan correspondent
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An isolation ward was trashed by a mob when the body of a patient wasn't handed over immediately

As well as concerns about the quality of medical care, and a reluctance for family members to be quarantined, bizarre rumours are swirling around, including claims that doctors are being paid by the World Health Organization (WHO) to falsely declare patients as coronavirus sufferers.
One doctor from Karachi, who asked to remain anonymous, told the BBC she was recently contacted by a friend asking for medical advice, saying: "'My son is having flu and fever but I do not want to take him to the hospital because doctors are just declaring every fever is Covid, and they're taking 500 rupees ($3; £2.40) per case'."
The theories might sound risible, but they have dangerous consequences - and not just for the patients. Hospitals in Karachi, Peshawar and Lahore have all seen incidents of patients' families attacking staff.
Read more here.

BBC to broadcast Royal Opera House reopening concert

Mark Savage - Music reporter, BBC News
The BBC is to broadcast the Royal Opera House's first post-lockdown performance across TV and radio later this month.
The concert, which will take place without a live audience, is scheduled for 13 June, hosted by the venue's director of music Antonio Pappano.
It will feature a dance premiere by Wayne McGregor, resident choreographer of the Royal Ballet, as well as music by Britten, Handel and Butterworth.
Radio 3 will air the show on 15 June, with TV highlights later in the month.
Read more here.

What is the EU Commission?

The Commission is the European Union's executive arm. That means it's the body that draws up EU wide laws and is tasked with implementing them.
But this does not mean it has the power to just order member states around. In many areas, national legislation remains in the hands of the respective national governments.
So can the Commission just order countries to close or reopen borders? No, it cannot.
But this Friday, it will discuss the border issue with all member states and make suggestions.
As national lockdowns are coming to an end, the Commission is trying to get the 27 countries to coordinate their policies to avoid confusion with every state deciding on its own rules and schedule.

AstraZeneca boosts potential vaccine supply

British drug maker AstraZeneca has now said it will be able to supply two billion doses of a potential virus vaccine after signing two new deals - including one backed by Bill Gates.
Earlier last month, it said it could manufacture one billion doses that it is developing with scientists at Oxford University.
It has now agreed to supply half of the doses to low and middle-income countries.
One of the new partnerships is with the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume. The other is a $750m (£595m) deal with two health organisations backed by Bill and Melinda Gates.
Read more about AstraZeneca's plans here.

Peru struggles for air

Peru's government has declared oxygen a "strategic health resource" due to an acute shortage to treat Covid-19 patients.
According to news wire AFP, Peru's health system is currently on the verge of collapse with more than 9,000 virus patients receiving hospital treatment.
The country's President Martin Vizcarra said oxygen for health care would take "priority over its industrial use".
Peru has more than 183,000 virus cases, making it the second hardest-hit country in Latin America after Brazil. Its death toll currently stands at 5,000.
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A man in the capital Lima carrying an oxygen cylinder

The body collectors of Brazil

The number of coronavirus fatalities in Brazil has risen by more than 1,000 in a day, making the country's overall death toll the third-highest in the world.
Deaths have now surpassed Italy's total, and only the US and the UK have recorded more fatalities.
President Jair Bolsonaro has consistently played down the outbreak , although the country has the world's second-highest number of cases.
In places like Manaus, ordinary people are taking on extraordinary roles in order to help their cities cope.

If you need advice or support

It's a difficult time for many of us and you might have feelings of anxiety, loneliness or frustration.
Here's how to cope with living alone in self-isolation
Here's how you can stop bad information from going viral
Here's how to protect your mental health
Here are some of your questions answered

China continues to report no domestic cases

China's health authority has reported no domestically transmitted cases on Thursday.
However, five new imported cases - including four in Shanghai and one in Sichuan province - were reported, bringing the total number of cases to 83,027.
China had a day earlier also seen no domestically transmitted cases, with only one new imported case recorded on Wednesday.

Japan's Fuji Rock Festival cancelled

Coronavirus - 5th June 920e4110
The Fuji Rock Festival in better years

Japan's popular music festival Fuji Rock, which had acts like Tame Impala, The Strokes and Major Lazer in its line-up this year, has been called off.
The annual festival was originally scheduled to take place 21 - 23 August in a ski resort in Niigata prefecture. It will now take place at the same time next year.
The festival's organisers apologised for "taking so long to inform everyone of this decision", adding that they had "hoped the pandemic would abate in time to hold this summer's festival as scheduled".
Tickets will be refunded, or will be considered valid for next year’s festival.
Japan has 16,911 virus cases and 911 recorded deaths recorded, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Infections are spiking in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh

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The three countries are home to some 1.7bn people

Covid-19 cases are rising fast in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh - between them, they are home to more than a fifth of the world's population.
The spike comes as all three countries lift lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus.
Pakistan now has 86,139 confirmed cases - its tally crossed China's on Thursday. Bangladesh has recorded more than 57,500 cases so far. And India on Friday registered yet another record single-day spike, adding 9,000 cases, taking its tally to 216,919.
Deaths remain relatively low, comparatively - at 6,075, India has had the most, and Pakistan (1,793) and Bangladesh (781) are far behind on this count.
But experts fear the numbers are a sign of undercounting, and with the peak yet to come in these countries there is also concern over their health systems coping with a sudden deluge of infections.

Rugby team that set off 104 days ago still not home

Owen Amos - BBC News, Singapore
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Some of the squad during their quarantine in Auckland

A professional rugby union team that set off for an away match on 23 February have still not made it home.
Manuma Samoa left their Pacific island for an away match in Perth, Australia, more than 100 days ago.
But on their way home they were forced to quarantine in New Zealand - and were then stuck when their home country closed its borders entirely.
In Auckland, the squad lived in a church compound for three months, with 20 players sharing one room.
Although they are now back in Samoa, they are half-way through a two-week quarantine - and players still haven't seen their families.
"When we arrived in New Zealand it was summer," the team's video analyst Hari Junior Narayan tells the BBC. "When we left it was winter."

Where are coronavirus cases still rising?

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Circles show number of confirmed coronavirus cases per country.

The US has by far the largest number of cases, almost one third of the global total, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University . It also has the world's highest death toll.
The UK, Italy, France and Spain are the worst-hit European countries. And South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria have seen the largest outbreaks in Africa. Infections are spiking in India and Iran shows signs of a second wave.
There is particular concern about the situation in Brazil where President Jair Bolsonaro has compared contracting the virus to having "the sniffles". It has nearly 600,000 cases, and more than 30,000 people have died.
The true number of cases worldwide is thought to be much higher than the reported figures, as many of those with milder symptoms have not been tested and counted.
Read more .

What's the latest in the UK?

Hello and good morning to those of you just joining us in the UK. Here are the morning headlines from across the country:

  • The new NHS coronavirus contact-tracing app should be in place by the end of the month, a government minister has said . The app, which has been tested on the Isle of Wight, had been due to be launched in May.
  • Doctors have urged the government to extend rules making face coverings mandatory on public transport to more places where social distancing is difficult.
  • People will have to wear masks on buses, trains, planes, trams, coaches and ferries in England from 15 June, following a government announcement yesterday .
  • Dentists have warned there will be no return to "business as usual" for dentistry in England when practices can reopen from Monday, with some saying they lacked enough warning of openings and do not have the necessary protective kit.
  • In Europe, The European Commission has called on all EU member states to reopen borders and allow passport-free travel inside the bloc by the end of June.

Fiji says it's free of coronavirus

The Pacific island of Fiji has declared itself free from coronavirus, after its last known infected patient was given the all-clear.
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said its success was a result of "answered prayers, hard work and affirmation of science".

  tweet :Left Quotes: Frank Bainimarama:
Fiji has just cleared the last of our active #COVID19 patients.

And even with our testing numbers climbing by the day, it's now been 45 days since we recorded our last case. With no deaths, our recovery rate is 100%.

Answered prayers, hard work, and affirmation of science!

Fiji was among a handful of Pacific Islands struck by the virus. The first case was recorded there in mid-March, sparking panic across the nation.
The Pacific Islands were initially seen as among the world's most vulnerable to the disease due to their under-resourced health infrastructure system. But countries acted quickly to close their borders and shut down tourism - and many have remained successful in keeping the virus at bay.

What are the symptoms and how to protect yourself

As many countries are easing restrictions, officials are warning that negligence can lead to a virus resurgence - and a second wave.
That means you should still be taking active measures to protect yourself - and to avoid infecting others should you be a silent spreader.
Here's a reminder of the symptoms, and what to do and not to do.
Coronavirus - 5th June D44c9e10

Posts : 8253
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 5th June Empty Re: Coronavirus - 5th June

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 05 2020, 12:48

Redeploy unemployed workers into green jobs - Labour

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
People who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis should be redeployed into the "green industries of the future", Labour's shadow business secretary Ed Miliband has said.
The Labour Party has today launched a consultation on how to create what it calls an "ambitious green" economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Miliband called for the unemployed to be retrained and redeployed to a "huge" number of green jobs, such as insulating homes, planting trees and installing electric car charging ports.
He said: "I think we owe it to people to build back better, not just to build back the old economy of the past."
Miliband also suggested the government should be more "strategic" in the way it offers financial support to businesses.
"You should be willing to intervene, but to do so in a way that ties people to climate change commitments," he said.

Government defends new face-covering rule in England

London Mayor Sadiq Khan says the UK government's delay in making face coverings mandatory on public transport may have led to more people catching coronavirus.
The government announced on Thursday that coverings must be worn on buses, trams, trains, coaches, aircraft and ferries in England from 15 June.
Khan told BBC Breakfast he had been asking the government to introduce the changes for "more than two months".
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Khan was "disagreeing with the scientists" in holding that view and that introducing the rule earlier would have been a "moot point".
He said it was not necessary earlier because transport usage was only at 5% of usual rates and scientists had not given guidance either way on whether coverings would help.
The rule is being introduced from 15 June because that is when non-essential retail shops are set to open, meaning transport usage will increase, Shapps said.
He added that the impact of face coverings would still only be "marginal" and was not as important as maintaining social distancing.

Vaccine summit raises almost £7bn

Almost £7bn ($5.5bn) has been raised at a virtual global vaccine summit hosted by the UK, to immunise 300 million children.
The summit saw pledges by more than 50 countries and individuals like billionaire Bill Gates, who donated $1.6bn (£1.3bn) from his foundation. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged £1.65bn over the next five years.
Johnson said up to eight million lives would be saved as a result of the efforts, which raised funds for Gavi, a global alliance of public and private sector organisations promoting vaccination among the world's poorest communities.
The money will help immunise children against diseases like polio, diphtheria and measles over five years.
Read more about it here.

Face-covering rule 'applies when in vehicles' - Shapps

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said England's new compulsory face-coverings rule for public transport applies to "when you're in the vehicle itself".
Shapps told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that police officers, Network Rail workers, Transport for London workers and volunteers would be encouraging people to put on their face coverings when entering stations.
He said it would be "wise" to do so, but added: "The actual condition of transit, the condition of carriage, is actually when you're in the vehicle itself."
Shapps went on to explain that "often platforms are outside and that changes the risk profile".
Asked why the rule is not also being introduced for shops, the transport secretary said there was a "larger chance" of being next to someone for between 10 and 30 minutes on public transport - rather than in a shop where "you're going to move on".

Premiership Rugby aims to return in mid-August

Premiership Rugby - the top professional rugby union league in England - hopes to restart its 2019-20 season on 15 August, the league's chief executive has said .
There have been no matches played since 8 March because of the coronavirus pandemic, but clubs were cleared to start non-contact training this week.
It is the latest sport in England to set out plans to return.
Football's Premier League is set to return on 17 June, and cricket will take place again from 8 July when England begin a series against West Indies - both behind closed doors.
In the US, the remainder of the NBA season will be played at Disney World in Florida from 31 July .

Can I start a new relationship? And other coronavirus questions

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Lockdown restrictions have begun easing across the UK, but there are still limits on what we are able to do.
Can you start a new relationship with social distancing in place? Can you go on a business trip abroad? What's an asymptomatic "silent spreader"? How long are you ill for if you catch the virus? How dangerous is it if you have asthma?
Click here to get the answers to those and many more questions.

Latest ONS figures on coronavirus infections in England

Robert Cuffe - BBC head of statistics
How many people have it?
The number of infections in homes in England is falling.
The Office for National Stastics estimates that 1 in 1,000 (0.1%) people in the England have coronavirus in community settings. That equates to 53,000 people.
This is considerably lower than last week's estimate of 133,000 and 137,000 and 148,00 in the two weeks before that.
There are wide margins of error around each of these figures (the 133,000 could be between 62,000 and 250,000), so it’s hard to be sure that figures have halved in a week but the ONS are confident that the trend is downwards.
New infections per day
The ONS further estimate that there are about 5,600 new infections per day in homes in England.
Last week's was 7,700, the week before 8,700.
One in five (22%) report experiencing symptoms on the day of the test.
This is only for households in England. Getting tests from households means this doesn’t cover infections in places like hospitals, care homes or prisons.
Self-adminstering a swab test is not easy, and so the pilot may be missing some current/new infections because of poorly completed swabs.
This week, the ONS analysed data from 19,723 households. Among those households, there were 21 infections (down from 36 in the last set of figures).

London's secret lockdown raves 'put lives at risk'

Paul Grant and Kafui Okpattah - BBC 5 Live investigations team
Hundreds of people have attended three all-night raves in London, even though social distancing rules and government regulations clearly prohibit them from taking place.
BBC Radio 5 Live's Investigations Unit was tipped off about raves being advertised on a private Instagram page.
Police say they attended two of the gatherings but no arrests were made, and the rave's organisers say they're a community of people exercising to house music while distancing.
Londoners aren't the only ones going to forbidden raves. Earlier this week, police in Berlin had to break up a "floating party protest" - where about 1,500 people took over hundreds of boats, to show their support for the city's club and rave scene.
Read more about London's lockdown raves here .

Death after 'facemask arrest' sparks violent Mexico protests

Will Grant - BBC News, Mexico and Central America Correspondent
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Protestors have set fire to police cars

Anger over the death of a young builder, Giovanni Lopez, has spilt over into clashes between police and protesters calling for justice on the streets of Guadalajara in Mexico.
Riot police fired tear gas as some of the most radical demonstrators smashed windows, sprayed graffiti in the city’s historic centre, and set fire to several police cars.
Video emerged of one police officer being soaked with gasoline and set alight by a masked protester.
The protesters are furious over the death of Lopez who was arrested in May, apparently for not wearing a facemask, and then subsequently died from injuries he received while in police custody.
When his family went to the hospital to find him, they were told he had received a head trauma injury and they say he had also been shot in the leg.
The governor of the state of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro, who has pushed for more stringent measures on tackling the spread of coronavirus, blamed supporters of the president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, for the unrest.
However, a number of high-profile figures in Mexico, including at least one former president, have called on him to do more, including launch a proper investigation and for the officers involved to be detained.
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Demonstators smashed down a door of the Jalisco State Government Palace

The latest from Europe

As more and more European countries ease border controls, the EU is trying to co-ordinate their actions.

  • The European Commission, which drafts EU laws, wants the 27 member states to lift their internal border controls by 1 July. Most are in the Schengen zone, where citizens enjoy passport-free travel, but the pandemic brought border lockdowns across Europe. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson announced the plan on Euronews, and the states’ home affairs ministers are discussing easing border controls today
  • The EU makes a big distinction between internal and external borders; the talk is not about lifting controls for non-EU travellers arriving in the bloc. Some border controls have already been lifted. Today the Czech Republic is lifting its controls with neighbours Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia
  • The Irish government is expected to approve the second phase of a roadmap for exiting the lockdown. It would allow some workplaces and small shops to reopen; extend the distance restriction on exercise from 5km to 20km; and let people visit the homes of those isolating, but with social distancing
  • The world-famous Vienna Philharmonic is to give its first post-lockdown concert - Beethoven’s 5th Symphony - at Vienna’s Musikverein concert hall. It has capacity for 2,000 people, but under social distancing rules only 100 people can attend.

Dementia deaths up during pandemic

We're still digesting the slew of data from the UK's Office for National Statistics this morning.
Its analysis has also found that deaths due to dementia have been higher than average during the coronavirus pandemic.
The ONS figures suggest a third of deaths above the expected level for this time of year were not registered as being related to coronavirus.
Between 7 March and 1 May, recorded deaths were more than 50% higher than the five-year average.
Older age groups had the most elevated risk of dying from non-Covid-19 causes.

Free face coverings to be distributed at London stations

Coronavirus - 5th June E44dd510

Face coverings will be handed out for free at a selection of Tube and bus stations from Monday, following the announcement they will become compulsory on public transport in England.
The masks will be distributed at stations which have seen higher numbers of people travelling during the lockdown "to help customers adjust to the forthcoming new requirement", Transport for London (TfL) said.
Transport bosses estimate between 30 and 50% of commuters are wearing coverings when travelling at the moment.
Mike Brown, London’s transport commissioner, said: "I encourage customers not to wait, and to start wearing them now if they are not already.
"Face coverings can now be quite easily made or purchased, and we are helping by temporarily handing out free masks at hot-spot Tube and bus stations."

Job cuts, a lawsuit and some vaccine news - the latest from Business

It's been an eventful day in the business world so far, with many companies continuing to be hit hard by the coronavirus.
To help you catch up, here are the latest headlines.

  • IAG - the parent company of British Airways - says it's thinking about launching a legal challenge against the UK government over a new rule that will require incoming travellers to quarantine for 14 days. Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, told Sky News earlier that the "irrational" rule would "torpedo" the airline's chances of flying in July, and said there had been no consultation with the industry before the legislation was announced
  • Carmaker Bentley says it's going to cut up to 1,000 jobs under a "voluntary release system", and that it can't rule out future compulsory redundancies
  • Clothes retailer Gap has reported a loss close to $1bn (£792m) because of store closures due to the coronavirus. The company was $932m in the red for the three months to May - while during the same period last year it made a profit of $227m.
  • The boss of drug company AstraZeneca, Pascal Soriot, has told the BBC they're starting to produce a potential vaccine for the coronavirus. Trials of the drug are under way, but Soriot says they need to start making it "right now" so that they "have it ready to be used by the time we have the results"

Australian court bans Black Lives Matter protest, citing virus fears

Simon Atkinson - BBC News, Sydney
An Australian court has refused permission for a Black Lives Matter protest scheduled to happen in Sydney on Saturday, ruling that it would risk spreading coronavirus.
New South Wales Police went to court seeking an injunction on the demonstration because it would have been a large assembly. Thousands were expected to attend.
Justice Desmond Ferguson said allowing the protest would defy the rulings of government ministers and the public health officers who advised them.
However, he said there was "no doubt" the cause of the planned rally was "widely supported", and that the court took freedom of speech very seriously.

UAE donates medical material to UK

Frank Gardner - BBC Security Correspondent
The United Arab Emirates embassy in London says it has just donated six tonnes of medical material to the UK, enough to manufacture millions of face masks.
The embassy says the equipment arrived at Heathrow on Friday on a special flight from the Gulf and includes material made in the UAE’s own factories.
With the wearing of face masks on public transport soon to become compulsory in England, the donation is timely.
A statement by the UAE embassy in London said the consignment, which arrived on a specially chartered flight, included meltblown fabric for surgical face masks.
The UAE has a close defence and security relationship with Britain but it has faced criticism from human rights groups.

Man finally heads home after 35-day coma

With so many disturbing headlines around, it helps to remember there are many stories of survival too - even among those gravely ill with Covid-19.
Richard Hanson, 66, spent 35 days in a coma after catching the coronavirus while on holiday in Tenerife. Doctors also treated him for pneumonia and kidney failure. But now, against all odds, he's finally able to leave hospital in the UK.
Richard is far from the only case to survive such an ordeal though.
Other survivors who've come out of comas have shared messages of hope , while almost 2.9 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, according to the tally kept by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Face coverings can create challenges for deaf people

By Bethany Rose, BBC Ouch
Face coverings and social distancing can both be a challenge if you're deaf.
Covering the mouth means lip reading becomes ineffective, while social distancing can mean, for those with some hearing, that they can be a little too far away from people to hear what they’re saying.
Lots of deaf people plan their travel routes in advance to avoid having to ask for help, but sometimes that is unavoidable if there are changes to services or delays – meaning other solutions need to be found.
Some designers have made face coverings with a clear window around the mouth to enable lip reading, and nine British charities have written to Public Health England and NHS England asking that these be commissioned for wider use.
It might be something we see more of in the future, but for now, production is low and to have any real benefit they would need to be widely available so the majority of the population could use them.

Husband of railway worker Belly Mujinga speaks out

Sam Francis - BBC News, London
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The husband of a railway worker has spoken out on the two-month anniversary of her death from coronavirus after she was spat on by a man claiming to have the virus.
Belly Mujinga, 47, who died with Covid-19 on 5 April, was working at Victoria station when she was assaulted . Police concluded the incident was not linked to her death.
In a statement Lusamba Mujinga said his wife's employers, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), didn’t do enough to protect her.
Mr Mujinga said: "We want justice for Belly.
"We want to know why she was sent out to work unprotected on the station concourse that day. We want to know why she was working when she had a respiratory condition.
"We want justice for Belly’s colleagues who still don’t have full [personal protective equipment].
"Today, it’s two months since Belly died in hospital from coronavirus. Two months since I lost my wife and our daughter lost her mother.
"We ask you to take a moment today to think about Belly, and about all the transport workers who have died from this terrible virus and all those putting their lives on the line to keep our country moving."
More than a million people have signed a petition launched in support of Mrs Mujinga, calling for all frontline workers within Transport for London to be provided with personal protective equipment.
The petition also calls for GTR to provide an explanation as to why she was still working in direct contact with general public when she had a respiratory underlying health condition.

CPS asked to review evidence around UK rail worker's death

We reported earlier on that appeal by the husband of railworker Belly Mujinga, who died after being spat at in Victoria Station.
Now the Crown Prosecution Service has been asked to review evidence into her coronavirus-related death in "recognition of wider public interest", although the case is not being reopened, the police said.
The man alleged to have spat at Mujinga, 47, who died with Covid-19 on 5 April, claimed to have coronavirus.
But, following "extensive inquiries", British Transport Police (BTP) concluded last month the attack did not lead to her death.
The force also said no further action would be taken against a 57-year-old man interviewed by officers.
The BBC understands that the man, who was the main suspect, had a negative antibody test in the time after the incident.
In a new statement on Friday, BTP said it had invited the CPS to conduct an independent review of the available evidence, and whether there were any further lines of inquiry.

'Make masks mandatory in more places' - UK doctors

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The British Medical Association, which represents UK doctors, is urging the government to make face coverings compulsory in all places where it's not possible to socially distance - not just on public transport.
The government announced on Thursday that everyone travelling on public transport in England will need to wear a covering from 15 June.
The BMA also says the coronavirus risk would be "much less" if the rule were to come into effect now, rather than later in the month.
Read more about this here .

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 05 2020, 12:51

Irish people could be travelling for holidays abroad 'within weeks'

THE SUMMER holidays are not yet lost, as the Government have announced plans to reopen international travel from Ireland within a matter of weeks.

Ireland's Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphries, has announced plans for 'limited' international travel between Ireland and other countries who have managed to flatten the curve of Covid-19.

Minister Humphries appeared on RTÉ's Morning Ireland this morning where she said the Government are currently working on the plans, and while she has discouraged people from booking flights for now, it is expected for some travel to resume before the end of the summer.

Stating that "the virus has no mercy", Minister Humphries said that Ireland is behind other European countries with regards to the curve of the virus, which is why we are opening more slowly.
Countries such as Spain, Malta and Greece are reopening their borders to travellers from abroad, with Irish airline Ryanair already advertising flights from Ireland to multiple countries-- however a 14-day quarantine remains in place for anyone travelling from abroad into Ireland.

Under the Government's plans to reintroduce holidays abroad, only countries which have successfully flattened the curve would be included; while much of Europe has recorded a decline in new cases, other areas are experiencing a surge.

Brazil has become the second-most affected country in the world after the United States, with over 614,000 cases, followed by Russia with almost 450,000.
The United States remains the worst-affected country, with 1.8 million confirmed cases of the virus.
The Irish Government are today expected to confirm the move to Phase 2 of easing restrictions, which will stretch the travel restrictions from 5km to 20km and will allow visits to people's homes.

€350 a week Covid-19 payment to be cut for part time workers

AN TAOISEACH has announced plans to cut the Covid-19 payment scheme for those who were working part time before the pandemic hit Irish shores.

The scheme, which has allowed families and individuals to keep afloat while jobs were lost across the country due to the coronavirus, indiscriminately provided everyone who lost their jobs with €350 a week, regardless of the hours they had been working or the wage they had received.

Yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced some changes to the scheme, including that those who were working part time will have their payment reduced.

While he did not indicate how much part time workers would have their payment reduced by, Mr Varadkar insisted they would still be making more on the Covid-19 scheme than they had while working part time.

A report in the Irish Independent yesterday indicated that the Government planned to reduce the Covid-19 payment to €203 a week, in line with the general jobseekers allowance, however this has not been confirmed.

Mr Varadkar yesterday confirmed that the scheme would be extended "for months, not weeks" as Ireland's businesses slowly reopen with each passing Phase of easing restrictions.

The Covid-19 payment had been due to come to an end in June, however many businesses-- including pubs-- are not due to reopen until mid-August.

Ireland is expected to enter Phase 2 this coming Monday, 8 June, where larger retail outlets will be allowed to reopen as long as they can maintain social distancing within the stores.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 05 2020, 17:02

Jakarta mosques reopen after three months

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Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, opened its mosques and other places of worship for the first time in three months on Friday.
On Thursday the city's governor said offices, restaurants, shopping malls and tourist attractions would also be allowed to start operating again in the coming weeks as part of measures to ease the local lockdown.
Those attending mosques were asked to bring their own prayer mats and abide by social distancing rules, with temperature checks at the door.
Indonesia has confirmed more than 29,000 cases of coronavirus and 1,770 deaths. Jakarta has been the epicentre of the outbreak, with 7,766 cases and 523 deaths.
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UK contact app roll-out in late June or early July

Rory Cellan-Jones - Technology correspondent
News that the full UK test and trace programme might not be up and running until September has led some to think this applies to the NHS contact-tracing app, rather than the wider manual tracing effort.
The confusion is understandable - after all it’s not long ago that ministers talked as if the app was the centrepiece of the programme rather than the “cherry on top” as Baroness Harding described it this week.
My understanding is the app, which has indeed suffered a number of delays, should still be rolled out nationwide by late June or early July - although there is no guarantee that the timetable won’t slip further.
After a first trial of an app with very limited capabilities on the Isle of Wight, version two - which features five questions about symptoms instead of two and integrates the testing process - is undergoing testing at a secret location in London.
I understand this version will then be launched as an update for Isle of Wight residents next week. But when that local trial becomes a national rollout is not clear.
Someone close to the project says that at the beginning the team was told to act like a tech startup, trying things out and then changing them day by day. Now though, "Downing Street’s attitude to risk has been dialled right down - they don’t want it to be released until it’s perfect".
Bluetooth contact tracing apps are a new idea and many countries around the world are trying them out. So far, however, there is no clear evidence that they are effective.
Singapore, which pioneered the idea, struggled to get enough people to download its app, which appeared not to work very well. Now the government there says it will roll out a wearable contact tracing-device to all its citizens.

Turkey U-turns on weekend lockdowns after backlash

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cancelled plans to reintroduce a lockdown in various cities, citing a need to avoid “social and economic consequences”.
The interior ministry had announced plans for a weekend curfew in 15 cities - including Istanbul and Ankara – overnight.
However, Erdogan later tweeted that he had decided to cancel the plans, following a backlash from citizens.
Turkey reopened restaurants, cafes and beaches earlier this week, as well as allowing domestic travel to recommence.
Erdogan said he had believed a second lockdown was needed, after the number of new daily cases jumped to almost 1,000 on Thursday, up from about 700 in previous days.
"As a result of this negative development, we had to once again bring the stay-at-home order on our agenda," he tweeted. "However, the reactions we received from our people pushed us to re-evaluate the decision."

No 10 'disappointed' BA did not join meeting about quarantine plans

The UK government is "disappointed" that British Airways chose not to join a meeting between the home secretary and the travel industry on Thursday to discuss the UK's coronavirus quarantine plans, Downing Street has said.
The prime minister's spokesman added that Downing Street was not going to comment on "threats" of legal action over the quarantine measures.
As we mentioned earlier, IAG - the parent company of BA - says it is thinking about launching a legal challenge against the UK government over a new rule that will require incoming travellers to quarantine for 14 days.

Meanwhile, the PM's spokesman insisted the coronavirus test and trace service is "up and running" and that "thousands" of people have been contacted, with the "majority" of people getting their results back in a day.
However No 10 said that - while there will be updates in terms of more precise figures - it was not yet in a position to publish the full data as it still needs to be "verified".
Turning to the NHS app, Downing Street said it had been "successfully piloted" on the Isle of Wight and will be rolled out nationally "in the coming weeks".

Spain to allow foreign tourists from 1 July

Spain is to begin opening up to foreign tourists from 1 July.
The clarification comes after the country's tourism minister initially said, on Thursday, that restrictions on land borders would be lifted from 22 June.
The EU Commissioner for Home Affairs has called on states in the bloc to reopen their internal borders by the end of this month.
Spain has recorded almost 28,000 deaths and more than 233,000 cases since the coronavirus outbreak there began.

If you're just joining us...

If you've just joined today's rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, welcome, and thanks for being here with us.
A lot has happened today. To help you catch up, here are some of the main headlines from around the world.

  • The EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Yiva Johansson says all states should reopen their internal borders by the end of June - some states have already begun doing so
  • In England, masks are going to become compulsory for everyone taking public transport from 15 June. The British Medical Association, which represents doctors, says the rule should be extended to all public places where social distancing isn't possible
  • British Airways says it's thinking about taking legal action against the UK government over a new rule that will require incoming travellers to be quarantined for 14 days
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has U-turned on plans to reintroduce a lockdown in some cities, saying the country needs to avoid the "social and economic consequences"
  • Peru has declared oxygen a "strategic resource", meaning that hospitals get priority on supplies
  • Indonesia's capital Jakarta has reopened its mosques and other places of worship, three months after they closed because of the coronavirus
  • Brazil's death toll has surpassed Italy's to become the third-highest in the world, after the US and UK

England, Scotland, Wales and NI report more virus deaths

Another 123 people have died in hospitals in England after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total in the nation to 27,282.
Of the 123 new deaths:

  • 19 occurred on 4 June
  • 50 occurred on 3 June
  • 23 occurred on 2 June
  • seven occurred on 1 June

The figures also show 19 of the new deaths took place in May, four occurred in April, and the remaining one death took place on 25 March.
Meanwhile, 14 more people have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total there to 2,409.
Public Health Wales has announced four more people have died in Wales after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total there to 1,383.
And Northern Ireland's Department of Health has reported one further Covid-19-related death in Northern Ireland, bringing its total to 536.

UK passes 40,000 coronavirus deaths

The number of people who have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus has passed 40,000.
It comes as another 357 people were reported to have died with the virus in hospitals, care homes and the wider community, according to the Department for Health. It brings the total to 40,261.
The UK is only the second country in the world to pass that number of deaths from Covid-19.
In March, the government's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said keeping deaths below 20,000 would be a "good outcome" .

Could more virus deaths have been prevented in the UK?

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
At the start of the pandemic, government advisers were saying that 20,000 deaths would be a "good outcome" given what was happening.
The UK has now seen more than double that - with 40,261 deaths recorded. Was this loss of life inevitable? Or should more lives have been saved?
So how bad is our death toll?
It should go without saying the emergence of a new virus is bound to be a threat to life. Deaths have been recorded in every corner of the globe.
International comparisons are difficult - the way coronavirus fatalities are recorded differs from country to country.
But whether you look at absolute numbers or deaths per head of population, the UK has certainly been among the worst-affected countries.

University of Oxford ends hydroxychloroquine trial

A University of Oxford trial into anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine will end with "immediate effect" after it was found to be ineffective against Covid-19, researchers have said.
The Recovery trials, which look at potential coronavirus treatments, involve a number of medications that are licensed for use for other conditions, including hydroxychloroquine.
But, after reviewing the data on Thursday, the chief researchers decided to end the hydroxychloroquine arm of the trial after it was found to be not effective in preventing the deaths of coronavirus patients in hospital.
Researchers found that 25.7% of patients who were given hydroxychloroquine died after 28 days, compared with 23.5% of people who had standard care alone.
It comes after an influential article in medical journal The Lancet, which found hydroxychloroquine increases the risk of death in coronavirus patients, was retracted over data concerns .

Ireland accelerates lockdown easing

The Republic of Ireland has moved forward its plans to ease lockdown restrictions in the country by three weeks.
Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar said that large retailers would be allowed to resume trading from Monday, and hotels from the end of the month.
"Shopping malls can open on 15 June, provided only shops will reopen," he added.
"We want to see return of domestic tourism, and the reopening of hotels, restaurants, caravan parks, galleries and museums will happen from 29 June."
The original five-phase lockdown exit plan has been reduced to four. The final phase will begin on 20 July, instead of 10 August.
There were 38 newly confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland on 4 June. The number of cases has been on a gradual downward trend since mid-April.

Latest news from the UK

The government's daily briefing is due to start in about half an hour.
In the meantime, here's a round up of what's happened so far today:

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 05 2020, 21:37

What did we learn from today's UK briefing?

Today's government press conference was with Health Secretary Matt Hancock. It was the first time the minister giving the briefing has not been joined by a government scientist.
Here's what he told us:

  • People who have had coronavirus can help people currently in hospital by donating their blood plasma, which will contain antibodies. Mr Hancock said he had done so this morning
  • From 15 June, all hospital visitors and out-patients will have to wear face coverings (not surgical masks)
  • All hospital staff, whether working in a clinical setting or not, will have to wear a type one or two surgical mask
  • He implored people not to attend large gatherings, including protests over the killing of George Floyd by police in the US
  • The R-number (which measures rate of infection) is higher in the North West and South West of England, but remains below 1. The national R number is between 0.7 and 0.9

UK protests are 'unlawful'

Solidarity protests against the death of George Floyd in the US are continuing to take place in the UK.
Thousands attended the biggest march through London on Wednesday, while other large events have taken place in Birmingham and Manchester.
However, a senior Met Police officer says the events are considered unlawful under current lockdown laws, which restrict public gatherings to no more than six people in England.
While Health Secretary, Matt Hancock has pleaded for restraint, saying, “Like so many I am appalled by the death of George Floyd but we are still facing a health crisis.
"Please, for the safety of loved ones, do not attend large gatherings, including demonstrations of more than six people."
Protests began in the US after a video showed Floyd, 46, being arrested on 25 May in Minneapolis and a white police officer continuing to kneel on his neck, even after he pleaded that he could not breathe.
Thirteen people were arrested during Wednesday's march in London, after some scuffles broke out.
Seven men and two women have been released on bail until early July, while four other men have been released under investigation.

WHO now encourages fabric mask wearing in public

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is now “advising governments” to encourage its citizens to wear fabric face masks in public areas to help stop the spread of virus.
The WHO had previously said there was not enough evidence to support the use of masks by healthy people in public but that medical masks should be worn by those who were sick and those caring for them.
"We have evidence now that if this is done properly it can provide a barrier for potentially infectious droplets,” Dr Maria van Kerkhove told Reuters in an interview.
“And we specify a fabric mask - that is, a non-medical mask."
In its new guidance, which has been prompted by studies over recent weeks, the WHO stressed that face masks are just one of a range of tools that can be used to reduce the risk of transmission and that they should not give people a false sense of protection.

Eviction ban extended for two more months, says UK minister

An eviction ban has been extended by a further two months, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said.
A three-month temporary ban was first introduced by the government in March - but was due to end this month.
The extension means that landlords cannot evict tenants until the end of August at the earliest.
Making the announcement on Twitter , Jenrick said: "No-one will be evicted from their home this summer due to coronavirus".
Housing charity Shelter welcomed the move but warned it was "only a stop-gap" while many people were "racking up rent arrears".
"Judges must be given the power to stop people losing their homes because of coronavirus, otherwise the country will face a tidal wave of homelessness after the end of August," chief executive Polly Neate said.
"Sooner or later, the government has to stop kicking the can down the road," she added.

Coronavirus 'under control' in France

Hugh Schofield - BBC News, Paris
In its most optimistic pronouncement since the start of the crisis, France’s scientific advisory panel has said the Covid-19 epidemic is now “under control”.
The panel’s president, Jean-François Delfraissy, told France-Inter radio that though the virus was still circulating, it was now doing so “at low speed”.
“We reckon we are now on about 1,000 new cases a day,” he said, comparing this to the high-point of the epidemic when there were “around 80,000 new daily cases”.
Officially there have been, until today, 152,000 confirmed (ie tested) cases of coronavirus in France, and just over 29,000 deaths. The 80,000-a-day figure is an estimate of the real number of cases – including those undetected or with mild symptoms – in early March.
The number of dead from French hospitals on Thursday fell to 44.
Delfraissy said there were still clusters appearing, but these were easily circumscribed, thanks to testing, contact-tracing and self-isolation.

All symptomatic Covid-19 cases cleared in Wuhan - authorities

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
The central Chinese city of Wuhan announced on Friday that it had cleared all hospital cases of Covid-19 where patients have exhibited symptoms.
State newspaper Global Times said that “the last three Covid-19 patients in Wuhan have recovered and been discharged from hospital” - a development that has been met on Chinese social media with mass praise.
At its peak, there were more than 50,000 confirmed cases in the city, the original epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
However, it is worth noting that China omits from its data any cases where patients have tested positive for Covid-19, but have not exhibited symptoms. It began recording these separately from 1 April.
Over the last couple of weeks, Wuhan carried out an extensive drive to test all 11 million of its citizens so that it could record all such cases. According to the Hubei provincial health commission, 217 people who are asymptomatic are still under medical observation.

How to make your own face mask

People across the UK are being advised to wear face coverings in certain circumstances when out of the house, to help limit the spread of coronavirus.
And from 15 June, wearing one on public transport in England will be compulsory.
But the good news is that while medical face masks and respirators are prioritised for health and care workers, there are a variety of ways to make your own face covering, wherever you live.
Whether you're handy with a sewing machine, like cutting up old t-shirts or just want a quick fix, the principles are the same: the more layers of material the better, and the mask needs to fit snugly around the face, and you should be able to breathe comfortably.
And if you’re not exactly great when it comes to textiles, our guide providing step-by-step instructions on how to make them may come in handy.

Here's one option:
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Uncertain times as Brazil climbs towards peak

Katy Watson - BBC South America correspondent
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Brazil now has the world's third-highest number of Covid-19 deaths

On the front page of one of Brazil’s biggest papers, Folha de Sao Paulo, there is a piece of text in large font, taking up much of the page. It describes the trajectory of Covid-19 in the country and along the side of the text is a clock symbol, indicating that it will take 60 seconds to read it.
At the end, in red, the text states that "in the time it’s taken you to read this, another Brazilian has died from coronavirus".
Not only has Brazil surpassed Italy in terms of the death toll, but it’s now second only to the US for the number of infections, with more than 600,000 cases so far.
Janitor Orlando Monteiro, 61, is one of the names behind the statistics. He’s recovering from Covid-19 with the help of physiotherapy after being intubated. He lives in Santos, an area of Sao Paulo state that has seen cases soar in recent weeks.
“It’s not just a little flu,” he says, referring to comments made by President Jair Bolsonaro, who has tried to brush off the severity of the virus. “I was in intensive care for 14 days. People really need to look after themselves.”
It comes at a time when major cities including Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are gradually trying to reopen. Orlando has mixed feelings about it.
“There needs to be a happy medium,” he says – between state governors imposing tough quarantine measures and a return to normality, advocated by President Bolsonaro.But these are uncertain times in Brazil, with experts saying the country is still a way from the peak.

England football star gets 'haircut fine' in Germany

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England and Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho has been fined by the German football league (DFL) after breaching rules to restrict the spread of the coronavirus , while getting a haircut at home.
The 20-year-old - who has been repeatedly linked with a £100m transfer to England’s Premier League - and his Swiss team-mate Manuel Akanji, were fined after a photo on social media showed neither the players nor their hairdresser wearing personal protective equipment.
A statement from the DFL read: "The DFL has fined Manuel Akanji and Jadon Sancho.
"The players from Borussia Dortmund had obviously violated general hygiene and infection protection standards at home hairdressing appointments."
Sancho, was one of a number of Bundesliga players to make anti-racism statements during matches last weekend in response to the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of US police.

Italy's Lombardy sees rise in new cases

The latest figures from Italy show the daily death figures staying broadly flat - 85 on Friday, 88 the day before, according to the Civil Protection Agency.
However, the number of new confirmed coronavirus cases jumped from 177 on Thursday to 518 on Friday, with 402 recorded in the northern region of Lombardy - the hardest-hit part of Italy in terms of deaths and cases.
The total number of cases in Italy has now increased to 234,531, the sixth highest tally behind those of the United States, Russia, Spain, Britain and Brazil. The death toll now stands at 33,774.

UK beach marshals to stop coastal influx

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Just how do you stop large gatherings of people when the sun is shining and people fancy a trip to the seaside?
Well, on the Dorset coast in the UK, pre-booked parking spaces, fines for illegal parking and beach marshals are all going to be introduced in order to prevent a repeat of last weekend's influx of visitors.
Thousands have flocked to the Jurassic Coast and Bournemouth beaches since lockdown restrictions were eased.
Current government guidelines state that households can drive any distance in England to parks and beaches.
Three people were badly hurt jumping from the limestone arch at Durdle Door, while a horrendous amount of litter was also another unwelcome byproduct of the Jurassic Coast Unesco World Heritage site receiving a large number of visitors last week.
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Beach-goers had to abandon social distancing when rescue helicopters landed on Durdle Door Beach to pick up injured divers

Almost entire class catches Covid in Canada

A primary school in the Canadian province of Quebec became the site of an outbreak after one child caught Covid-19, health officials say.
Out of a class of 11, nine children have since tested positive . The class was small because the school has been operating at half capacity.
Health officials confirm the school had taken preventative measures, such as handwashing reminders and marking spaces on the floor to encourage social distancing.
Elementary schools opened across Quebec outside the city of Montreal on 11 May, despite the province being Canada's biggest coronavirus hotspot, with 52,398 total cases and 4,935 deaths currently recorded.
Across the country, different provinces are reopening at different rates. On 1 June, British Columbia opened all schools on an optional, part-time basis.
Ontario, the site of Canada's second-largest hotspot, has closed schools for the remainder of the school year. But Premier Doug Ford announced the province would proceed to phase two of reopening the economy, despite a slight rise in the number of cases.

Chinese mock government warning against Australia travel

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
China’s culture and tourism ministry has issued a warning to people not to travel to Australia, which has raised a lot of eyebrows in China.
“Due to the coronavirus epidemic, racial discrimination against Chinese and Asian people in Australia has increased significantly,” the notice reads. It comes amid sharp tensions between China and Australia over the latter's calls for an inquiry into the origins of the virus.
The announcement got thousands in China on Friday using the hashtag #DontGoToAustralia .
But given that Australia has closed its borders to everyone except Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members, many are ridiculing the government’s message.
Some tell the “motherland” to “rest assured” that they will do their civic duty.
“Australia has long denied foreign entry,” one user says. “How do I get there? Which Chinese citizens can enter Australia?”
“It’s hard enough to get out of bed,” another says.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 05 2020, 22:54

How does the UK's death toll compare internationally?

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
The UK';s coronavirus death toll officially passed 40,000 today.
International comparisons are difficult - the way coronavirus fatalities are recorded differs from country to country.
In fact, there are actually two ways to measure it in the UK. The 40,000 figure refers to deaths following a positive test.
If you look at death certificate mentions, which rely on the judgement of doctors, the UK was actually close to 50,000 deaths by the end of May.
The UK has certainly been among the worst-affected countries. However, a number of our near neighbours - in particular Spain and Italy - have seen similar rates of fatalities if you look at deaths per head of population. The UK is certainly not an outlier.
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Universal Studios reopens to visitors

The Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida, has opened its doors to visitors for the first time in almost three months.
New safety guidelines have been put in place , including temperature checks before entry, mandatory face coverings and spacing between visitors on rides.
The park was closed in mid-March due to the spread of coronavirus.
It's not the first major theme park to begin reopening its doors: Shanghai Disneyland began operating again on 11 May, and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will start a phased reopening of its attractions from 11 July.

Swiss resorts open again after three months

Imogen Foulkes - BBC News, Geneva
In March, just as fresh snow had fallen across the alps, Switzerland’s ski season came to an abrupt halt.
Alpine hotels emptied overnight, cable cars and mountain railways stopped. No-one, not even the Swiss themselves, could enjoy a day on the slopes.
The financial consequences for the alpine communities are huge, but now the resorts are opening again.
The Swiss government's advice on maintaining a two-metre distance is still in place, so the mountain railways have a safety concept: staff and passengers should wear masks.
The snow has long since melted, but the alpine resorts hope their offer of natural beauty and a clean environment may be just what European tourists want after three months of stress under lockdown.
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Isle of Wight MP admits going to lockdown barbecue

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A Conservative MP in the UK has apologised after admitting he failed to follow lockdown guidance by attending a barbecue.
According to the Guardian newspaper, Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely, went to an evening gathering at a journalist's home in Seaview on 22 May. Seely said he and his girlfriend met the man for a work-related discussion and ate "half a sausage", but did not enter the house or have a drink.
At the time people could only meet one other person from another household at a distance in a public place.
Seely, who is leading efforts to promote the trial of the Covid-19 contact-tracing app on the island, said the journalist wanted to discuss the project with him.
In a statement , the MP said: "When I arrived, I saw another couple of people there, which I was not expecting. I thought about leaving, but felt that was perhaps over-reacting.
"I apologise because, on balance, I called this wrong. It would have better to have spoken to this person without any others nearby."

NHS app to help protect cystic fibrosis patients

A new NHS app is being rolled out to help thousands of people who are most at risk from coronavirus to keep away from hospitals.
It will allow cystic fibrosis patients to share information about their condition with their doctor, with the help of a bluetooth-enabled spirometer which measures lung capacity.
A separate trial will give some who have both the condition and coronavirus devices which can help spot potentially dangerous dips in their blood oxygen levels.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: "For patients and their families living with cystic fibrosis this is a landmark moment, offering people vital health help at home."
The devices should be rolled out to all 4,000 cystic fibrosis patients in England later this year, the NHS said.

Quarantine yoga 'incompatible' with Christianity

While many people have turned to yoga as a form of exercise and stress relief during the pandemic, not everyone is as welcoming.
The Greek Orthodox Church now says that the practice is "absolutely incompatible" with Christian faith and has no place "in the life of Christians".
Greek media had been advising yoga for people stuck under quarantine.
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Online yoga classes become popular around the world as countries imposed lockdowns

French police ban anti-racism protest

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Thousands of people took part in Tuesday's demonstration in Paris

French police have banned protests that were due to place in front of the US Embassy on Saturday, citing coronavirus measures.
Demonstrations have been taking place in the US and across the world since an unarmed African-American, George Floyd, died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis.
On Tuesday, 20,000 people joined a rally in Paris in memory of Adama Traore, a French black man who died in similar circumstances to Floyd in 2016.
Campaigners have called for a new protest near the Eiffel Tower on Saturday instead.
Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter protesters in Australia have said they will go ahead with plans to hold a demonstration in Sydney on Saturday, despite a court banning the gathering because of coronavirus

Thanks for joining us

That’s it for our live coverage today - thank you for joining us.
Here’s a roundup of Friday's biggest coronavirus stories:

  • The World Health Organization changed its policy to advise that people should cover their faces with homemade masks in places where social distancing isn't possible. Previously it said there was a lack of evidence for the use of masks and other face coverings by healthy people
  • The UK became the second country to record over 40,000 coronavirus deaths, after the US. Meanwhile Health Secretary Matt Hancock advised people to avoid large anti-racism protests to stop the spread of the virus
  • Brazil, meanwhile, overtook Italy to become the country with the third-highest death toll worldwide
  • The EU commissioner for home affairs said states should reopen their internal borders by end of June
  • The US unemployment rate fell from 14.7% in April to 13.3% in May due to an unexpected surge in employment that President Trump hailed as a great comeback for the country
  • Globally, there have been 6.7m cases since the outbreak began and more than 393,000 deaths

Today's live page was brought to you by teams in Singapore, Sydney, Delhi and across the UK.
They are: Owen Amos, Frances Mao, Saira Asher, Yvette Tan, Aparna Alluri, Andreas Illmer, Rebecca Seales, Sean Fanning, Ashitha Nagesh, Robert Corp, Ella Wills, Emma Harrison, Gavin Stamp, Lucy Webster, Matt Cannon, Kevin Ponniah, Vicky Baker, Victoria Bisset, Matthew Henry, Saj Chowdhury and Steven Sutcliffe

    Current date/time is Sat Nov 28 2020, 08:34