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Coronavirus - 8th June


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Join date : 2011-03-19
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Post by Kitkat on Mon Jun 08 2020, 11:25

Summary for Monday, 8th June

  • From Monday, most people arriving in the UK will have to quarantine for two weeks
  • Some groups are exempt such as road haulage workers and travellers from the Republic of Ireland
  • The move is controversial, with airlines and travel companies saying it is unjustified
  • With zero active cases, New Zealand will move to its lowest level of lockdown at midnight local time
  • New York City begins opening up, with hundreds of thousands expected back at work
  • A single coal mine in Poland has been found to be the source of hundreds of new cases
  • Infections in Saudi Arabia top 100,000, the health ministry said on Sunday
  • There are almost 7 million recorded virus cases globally, with more than 400,000 deaths

Welcome back to our coverage of all things coronavirus. We'll keep you posted on the global developments with our teams of journalists based across time zones from Australia to the Americas.
Here's what you need to know as the new week kicks off in Asia.

  • New Zealand's only virus patient has recovered - meaning there are no active cases in the country
  • Starting today, there will be a two-week quarantine period for travellers arriving in the UK. Only those coming from Ireland and some essential workers are exempt
  • Many other European countries are gradually opening their borders - without quarantine requirements
  • In the US, New York City will begin opening up on Monday, with hundreds of thousands expected back at work
  • A new outbreak in Poland with hundreds of infections has been traced back to a single coal mine
  • While daily deaths in Italy - one of Europe's worst-hit countries - have dropped to 53, new infections in Russia continue to see a steep rise - with almost 9,000 new cases over the past day.
  • Infections in Saudi Arabia have topped 100,000, the health ministry said on Sunday

No Covid-19 at all in New Zealand

New Zealand has no single active Covid-19 infection, officials said on Monday, after the last remaining patient recovered.
That's after more than two weeks of no new infections.
Later on Monday, the government of Jacinda Ardern will announce whether it'll remove the remaining social distancing restrictions.
New Zealand had one of the world's strictest lockdowns for weeks and successfully stopped the pandemic from escalating.
There have been 1,504 confirmed cases in New Zealand, and 22 deaths.

How did New Zealand beat the virus?

With not a single active case remaining, New Zealand seems to have beaten the virus - or rather not allowed it to take hold in the first place.
How did they do it?
First, the country locked down quickly and comprehensively . The country shut borders as early as 19 March, while there were still fewer than 30 confirmed cases.
Seven days later the highest alert level kicked in, putting the country under a strict lockdown.
After five weeks of strict lockdown, the first takeaway food shops and some non-essential businesses were allowed to open .
Eventually, new infections dropped to almost zero in late April and the country was able to lift even more restrictions .
Fast forward to today and the virus seems to be gone. But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has warned there will be no open borders for a long time .

Fijian PM congratulates New Zealand

Last week, the Pacific island nation of Fiji declared itself free of Covid-19, after its last patient recovered.
After New Zealand made a similar announcement on Monday, the Fijian Prime Minister offered his congratulations on Twitter:

  tweet Frank Bainimarama:
:Left Quotes: Congratulations to @jacindaardern and our vuvale in New Zealand on joining Fiji in clearing their last active case of #COVID19 .
I hope to meet again soon in our post-COVID future (and welcome @NZClarke back to Fiji for a jig!)

'Reckless' or 'wake-up call'? Australia debates protests

Tens of thousands of Australians took part in Black Lives Matter rallies around the country on Saturday, in defiance of warnings from officials over the virus.
Police initially succeeded in having Sydney's march declared illegal, only for a court to overturn that ruling on Saturday as defiant protesters massed anyway.
Now political brawling over the protests is escalating. The government’s Senate leader, Mathias Cormann, has branded demonstrators "reckless" and "selfish" for ignoring the health advice.
But some opponents disagree, citing Australia's record of at least 430 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody since 1991.
"This issue of First Nations people dying in this country is what is reckless and irresponsible," Labor Senator Malarndirri McCarthy told Channel Nine this morning.
It had to be "a wake-up call" to end deaths in custody, added Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly praised most protesters for wearing masks, but said it was a "wait-and-see" approach to see if any infections emerged.

What are the new UK quarantine rules?

Under the new rules, everyone, including British nationals, arriving in the UK will have to self-isolate for 14 days beginning today (people arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man are exempt).

  • Passengers arriving by plane, ferry or train will be asked to provide an address where they will self-isolate
  • If they are unable to provide an address, the government will arrange accommodation at the traveller's expense
  • There will also be checks to see whether the rules are being followed

  • Those in quarantine must not go to work, school, public areas or have visitors
  • They could face a fine of £1,000 if they fail to self-isolate for the full 14 days (the fine is lower in Scotland).

Some people are exempt, including freight workers and medical professionals who are providing essential care.
The travel industry has been critical of the rules - saying the two-week isolation period will deter visitors and put jobs at risk.
The rules do not apply to transit passengers - i.e. people flying into the UK who then fly out without leaving the airport or passing border control.

Australia to stop offering free childcare

The Australian government announced in April that all parents would receive free childcare, amid spiralling unemployment and fears of absenteeism among critical workers as schools closed down.
But that subsidy will end on 12 July, Education Minister Dan Tehan has just confirmed.
Australia continues to see only small numbers of daily infections. Currently, three people with the virus are in intensive care.
Many parents hoped free childcare would be extended - Australia ranks fourth for most expensive childcare based on percentage of earnings, according to the OECD.

The tourists swapping lockdown for Sweden

As other countries locked down, Sweden kept pubs, restaurants and shops open throughout the Covid 19 pandemic.
The more open approach has attracted growing numbers of British and European tourists - who’ve broken national guidelines advising against non-essential global travel in search of a beer or even a haircut.

Cuba has virus 'under control'

Cuba says it has the virus "under control" after eight days without a death from Covid-19.
Next week the country plans to announce how it will gradually ease its lockdown. There are fewer than 250 active cases left out of around 2,200 overall infections. The deaths of 83 people have been linked to the virus.
The government warned, though, that people should not get complacent. Schools and borders remain closed, public transport is suspended and it is mandatory to wear masks outside.

New Zealand to drop restrictions by midnight

New Zealand will move to its lowest alert level by midnight, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.
That means all restrictions within the country will be lifted - only borders will remain closed.
Public and private events, retail, hospitality, public transport and domestic travel will all be allowed without any restrictions.
Ardern said New Zealand had "united in unprecedented ways to crush the virus" - but warned that "elimination is not a point in time but a sustained effort" and that the country would "almost certainly see cases again".

India's Maharashtra state has more cases than China

India's western state of Maharashtra has recorded 85,975 cases so far - taking its tally beyond China's 84,191.
The state's capital city, Mumbai, accounts for most of that number - it has 48,774 confirmed cases.
India's financial hub is also one of the world's most crowded and densely populated cities. The virus has devastated the city's medical infrastructure , overwhelming its hospitals in weeks.
Maharashtra has also seen more deaths from Covid-19 than any other part of India - 2,969.
With more than 250,000 confirmed cases, India now has the fifth-highest number of cases in the world.

US daily death toll below 700

In the United States, 691 deaths have been linked to the virus over the past 24 hours. That's the lowest number in the past week.
At the peak of the pandemic, in the middle of April, the country had around 3,000 daily deaths.
Overall, there have been more than 110,000 deaths in the US and 1.9 million confirmed infections, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.

Delhi reserves hospital beds for residents

India's capital, Delhi, has reserved many hospital beds for the city's residents as cases continue to rise.
The decision came on Sunday amid an increasing number of complaints from patients and their families struggling to find a spot in a hospital.
With more than 16,229 cases so far, Delhi is India's third worst-affected region. But it continues to reopen, with malls and places of worship opening today.
In the past week or so, people have taken to Twitter, often appealing to the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal or the health minister, Satyendar Jain, asking them to intervene to help them find a hospital bed urgently.
People have also complained that the city's Covid-19 app, which is supposed to display the number of available hospital beds, does not reflect what is actually happening.
The government's order, however, does not apply to some of the city's biggest hospitals, which are run by the federal government.

New York reopens for business

New York City is reopening non-essential businesses on Monday, as the US virus hotspot seeks to regain some normality.
The changes in "phase one" will mean that as many as 400,000 people can return to work in construction, manufacturing and retail. The subway railway system will pick up to 95% of pre-pandemic service.
Work places will have to observe certain safety measures and retail will start with kerb-side and in-store pickup only.
New York City has recorded more than 200,000 virus infections, and 21,844 deaths have been linked to Covid-19
More than 880,000 jobs disappeared during the pandemic and the losses in tax revenue mean the city is looking at a $9bn (£7bn) shortfall over the next year.

New York state governor on NYC reopening

"Tomorrow is a new day," says the governor of the country's worst-hit state.

Pakistan's Covid-19 tally passes 100,000

Pakistan has recorded more than 5,000 new cases for the second day in a row, taking its national tally over the 100,000-mark.
With more than 37,000 cases each, Sindh and Punjab account for about three-quarters of the country's caseload.
Deaths too have been rising - sparking fears that hospitals could soon be overrun.
The country has reported 2,032 deaths so far, according to the latest local media reports.
The country lifted most of its lockdown restrictions last month - which some believe has contributed to the surge in cases.

What are the new UK quarantine rules?

Under the new rules, everyone, including British nationals, arriving in the UK will have to self-isolate for 14 days beginning today (people arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man are exempt).

  • Passengers arriving by plane, ferry or train will be asked to provide an address where they will self-isolate
  • If they are unable to provide an address, the government will arrange accommodation at the traveller's expense
  • There will also be checks to see whether the rules are being followed

  • Those in quarantine must not go to work, school, public areas or have visitors
  • They could face a fine of £1,000 if they fail to self-isolate for the full 14 days (the fine is lower in Scotland).

Some people are exempt, including freight workers and medical professionals who are providing essential care.
The travel industry has been critical of the rules - saying the two-week isolation period will deter visitors and put jobs at risk.
The rules do not apply to transit passengers - i.e. people flying into the UK who then fly out without leaving the airport or passing border control.

Hundreds of Polish infections linked to mine

A coal mine in Poland is behind a recent spike in the country's confirmed virus cases.
Over the weekend 1,151 new infections were recorded nationally . An outbreak among miners and their families at the Zofiowka colliery in southern Poland accounted for two-thirds of that figure.
Poland introduced a strict lockdown early in March, and has avoided the comparatively large numbers of deaths seen in Western Europe.
Overall, 1,157 people have died from Covid-19 - and 26,561 have been infected.

Who is exempt from the UK's new rules?

There are a number of groups who are exempt , including:

  • Road haulage and freight workers
  • Medical and care professionals providing essential healthcare
  • Those arriving for pre-arranged medical treatment
  • Passengers in transit, if they do not pass through border control
  • Seasonal agricultural workers if they self-isolate where they are working
  • UK residents who ordinarily travel overseas at least once a week for work

Singaporeans protest against tracking device

In Singapore, the prospect of having to wear tracking devices has triggered a wave of protests - socially distanced via an online petition.
Last Friday, the possibility of such a tracking device was discussed in the country's parliament - after a voluntary tracking app did not work as well as hoped.
Even though it wasn't clear whether the devices would be mandatory, the idea has led to an online petition which over the weekend amassed around 30,000 signatures.
“We – as free, independent, and lawful members of the public of Singapore – condemn the device’s implementation as blatant infringements upon our rights to privacy, personal space, and freedom of movement,” the online petition says.
Singapore is one of the worst-hit countries in the region with more than 37,000 infections - largely among the city state's foreign workers who live in packed dormitories that make social distancing very difficult.

Can I fly to the UK via Ireland to avoid quarantine?

The short answer is no.
Although people travelling from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man are exempt from the 14-day quarantine, travellers must have been there for at least two weeks to avoid the UK self-isolation. Read answers to that, and other virus questions, here.

Fifty people can meet in Denmark

Denmark has increased the limit on public gatherings from 10 to 50 people, the ministry of health said.
Denmark has recorded just over 12,000 confirmed infections. The deaths of 589 people have been linked to Covid-19.
On 15 June, the country will allow tourists from selected European countries to visit the country for tourism.

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern: Borders remain closed

New Zealand has no virus cases, and has moved to its lowest alert level. But the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, says the borders will stay closed - for now.
"Our borders remain our first line of defence as we aim not to import the virus," she said.
"Borders remain closed, our managed isolation at the border will continue and it will be as important as ever as we know this is a potential pathway.
"And that is key because we don't just want to move to level one, we want to stay there."
The country is in discussions with Australia - which has a low number of cases - about opening a "travel bubble" between the countries.

What's happening in sport

  • New Zealand will allow full crowds in stadiums when its domestic rugby union season resumes on Sunday, after the government lifted all domestic Covid-19 restrictions
  • Some Premier League clubs have begun playing friendlies at their home grounds as the competition moves towards its restart on 17 June.
  • Two people at two Championship football clubs in England have tested positive for coronavirus in the latest round of testing
  • French rugby club Pau has dismissed former New Zealand fly-half Tom Taylor for leaving France in March without permission during the pandemic
  • In tennis, men’s world number one Novak Djokovic has called the coronavirus safety protocols, planned for the US Open, "extreme"

Jail in the Philippines for cancelling food orders?

As lockdown leads to a surge in demand for food delivery, the Philippines House of Representatives will discuss a bill that would penalise people who cancel their orders.
In the Philippines, it is not uncommon for the delivery driver to pay for the food upfront before being reimbursed by the customer.
This means cancelling a confirmed order on a delivery platform could leave the driver with the bill - as well as wasting their time.
The draft law brought forward by one representative wants people to be heavily fined - and even put in jail.
Representative Alfredo Garbin told local media that "pranks on deliveries had become widespread nowadays".

Infections spike in Kashmir amid protests

Riyaz Masroor - BBC Urdu
Indian-administrated Kashmir reported more than 600 new cases in the past 24 hours, taking its tally over 4,000.
According to police records, more than 40 militants have been killed by Indian security forces since the lockdown began on 25 March.
The deaths have sparked protests, because officials have not been handing over the bodies to families, in order to prevent large funerals.
Locals have also been protesting because numerous homes - where militants often hide during the gunfights - have been damaged.
Officials say this has made it harder to enforce social distancing in the tense Muslim-majority valley, which has seen an armed insurgency against India since the late 1980s.

The virus in DR Congo

A collaborative online project is documenting the challenges facing the Democratic Republic of Congo as it tackles Covid-19, measles and Ebola in 2020.
Congo in Conversation chronicles the country's human, social and ecological challenges in the current health crisis through photos and reports from people on the ground.
Much of the country is under lockdown, but millions of Congolese rely on the informal economy to survive and live life on the margins with little to no social safety net.

Street vendors, traders and motorcycle-taxi drivers rely on what they earn for the day and frequently lack property or savings.
According to the UN, nearly half of all workers throughout the African continent could lose their jobs.
DR Congo has had more than 4,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 85 deaths.

Leading scientist backs concerns about N England infection rate

A leading UK scientist says he has “some sympathy” with mayors in northern England who are worried about high infection rates.
Many schools in the north-west have delayed reopening over concerns the R value is on the rise.
Speaking to the BBC, Prof Tom Solomon, director of the UK’s emerging infections research unit, said: “I think they are right to be concerned.
“An R number that appears at one or greater now is not going to be reflected in hospitals today. It’s likely going to be in a couple of weeks, and an increase in deaths would be a couple of weeks after that."
Prof Solomon added that UK-wide anti-racism protests were also likely to set back attempts to get the virus under control:
“It is very unfortunate timing for this to happen at the time we are trying to get this outbreak under control. If you have got thousands of people together then there is an increased chance of the virus spreading, you don’t need to be a scientist to work that one out.“

Lockdown eased in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

Lockdown measures are being eased today in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
In the Republic of Ireland, all high street shops can now resume their business while enforcing social distancing.
People will be able to travel up to 20km from their home or anywhere in their own county - up to now, the restriction was five kilometres.
In Northern Ireland, vulnerable people who were advised to shield can now go outdoors.
Large retailers, including car showrooms and shops in retail parks, can also reopen, and outdoor weddings with 10 people present can take place.
See here for more on the easing in the Republic of Ireland and here for Northern Ireland .

Ryanair boss slams 'stupid, ineffective' UK quarantine rules

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary says new rules requiring all people arriving in the UK to self-isolate for 14 days will cause “untold devastation” to the British tourism industry.
The government says the measures are designed to help prevent a second wave of the virus, but O’Leary told the BBC they were “irrational, ineffective and completely unimplementable.”
“It will cause untold devastation, not just to the airlines but to British tourism,” the boss of Europe's largest budget airline said.
“The thousands of hotels, the thousands of visitor attractions, restaurants in the next couple of months – July and August are the two key months for British tourism.
“We’re facing thousands of jobs losses because of a stupid, ineffective quarantine.”
O’Leary added that while bookings were down by about 50% on the same time last year, outbound flights from the UK were full and he had no intention of cancelling flights, with British people likely to “ignore” the new rules.

The five countries with the most virus cases

Five countries account for more than half of the world's Covid-19 cases, which now stand at just over seven million, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University .
The United States has the highest number of confirmed cases so far - with more than 1.9 million.
With nearly 700,000 cases, Brazil comes second, followed by Russia (467,073), the UK (287,621) and India (257,486).
But testing rates vary widely across these countries - testing availability in the US has improved in recent weeks, but experts say Brazil and India, which have been testing too little, are likely to have far more infections than reported.
Of course, difference in population sizes are important to consider. The US has about 330 million people, while India has more than 1.3 billion. And there are a host of smaller nations which have more cases relative to their population sizes than these five big countries.

Pubs in England 'could reopen on 22 June'

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June 22 is the target date identified by ministers for pubs and restaurants to reopen outdoors in England, the Financial Times (FT) reports , nearly two weeks earlier than previously planned.
The reported plans are part of an effort to get the economy moving again and to save millions of jobs in the hospitality sector. The date has not yet been signed off but will be discussed in a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the FT says.
Half a dozen ministers - dubbed the "save summer six" - are spearheading the push for an earlier reopening. The hospitality sector had not been due to open until July 4.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma is reportedly pushing for the 2m (6ft) social distancing rule to be cut to 1m, to make reopening more commercially viable.

New Zealand steps fully out of lockdown

While most of the world is only ever so gradually easing restrictions, New Zealand will be officially out of lockdown by midnight (12:00 GMT).
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters she did "a little dance" when she was told that, as of Monday, the country no longer had any active cases. The last known transmission of the virus occurred 17 days ago.
At midnight, New Zealand will move to alert level 1, which means all domestic restrictions will be lifted. The only things that won't change for now are quarantine measures for arriving New Zealanders and a ban on foreign arrivals to stop the virus from coming back into the country.
Ardern warned that New Zealand would "certainly see cases again", adding that "elimination is not a point in time, it is a sustained effort".

Dentists can reopen in England - but will yours?

Dental practices in England are able to reopen from this week - as long as they have safety measures in place.
But some dentists say they still lack they lack the necessary kit - and were not given enough warning ahead of the government's announcement 10 days ago .
Only about one in three dentists are expected to be reopening on Monday, according to one poll.
However, it is hoped the move will help bring an end to people venturing into their toolboxes to perform DIY dentistry.
Like many patients, Debroy Parrington decided to take his oral health into his own hands - alongside a pair of pliers.

No, a coronavirus 'cure' is not being secretly poisoned

Reality Check
As coronavirus cases spread in Africa, misleading information continues to be shared on social media and online.
One conspiracy theory revolves around Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina, and the unproven herbal tonic, Covid-Organics, which he's been promoting to treat coronavirus.
Social media posts have been circulating that claim he's been offered large amounts of money by the World Health Organization (WHO) to secretly poison the drink.
The baseless theory suggests that the WHO wants to prove that African countries can't be self-reliant and find their own cure for Covid-19.
It reportedly first appeared in a French-language post on a Facebook account operated from Angola and DR Congo on 23 April.
The WHO has told the BBC that the story is fake. The Madagascar government has also dismissed the allegations.
Read more about the misinformation that's spreading in Africa.

Indian capital's chief minister 'unwell' as city battles virus

Coronavirus - 8th June 6736fa10
Arvind Kejriwal is the chief minister of Delhi

Delhi's chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, has a fever and cough, common symptoms of the coronavirus, according to media reports. He is expected to be tested later today.
The news comes as the Indian capital struggles to cope with a spike in infections - it has confirmed more than 27,000 cases and 761 deaths so far.
And Kejriwal said on Sunday that hospital beds in the city would be reserved for residents amid reports that patients are struggling to get admitted for treatment.
Meanwhile, India has taken steps to further relax its stringent lockdown - shopping centres, restaurants, temples and offices are open from Monday.
Delhi is the second-worst affected state in India, which, overall, has recorded 256,611 cases.

Virus and no-deal Brexit 'risk UK drug stockpiles'

he UK's stockpile of medicines, built up in case of a no-deal Brexit, has been drained during the pandemic, drug companies have warned.
In a private industry memo, seen by the BBC , pharmaceutical firms also stress that the UK now needs to store a wider list of crucial medicines after a massive increase in demand for items such as inhalers.
But they fear stockpiles cannot feasibly be built back up in time, with trade talks due to end at the end of 2020.
The UK government has said "robust contingency plans are in place".
It comes as Brexit negotiations reach a crucial point, ahead of a summit expected later this month.
The UK has until the end of June to ask for the "transition period" - during which the country remains in the single market and customs union - to be extended. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled this out.

Tests offered at Vienna airport to avoid quarantine

Controversial new rules requiring all people arriving in the UK to self-isolate for 14 days have come into effect.
But in Austria, people travelling through Vienna Airport can take Covid-19 tests, at departure and on arrival.
It allows them to avoid 14 days of quarantine.
The test results are available within around three hours, and cost €190 (£169).

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. From 15 June, you must wear one on public transport in England.
While medical face masks and respirators are being prioritised for health and care workers, you might want to try making your own face covering, wherever you live.
Here's our guide to some different types and step-by-step instructions on how to make them.
And here's one of the easier options.
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Post by Kitkat on Mon Jun 08 2020, 17:16

Paris returns to (outdoor) cafe life

Cafes and bars - and the people-watching terraces that they provide - are a cornerstone of Paris city life.
So the reopening of venues (with outdoor seating only) has come as a relief to many in the city.
"I've been waiting for this," said 88-year-old Mathilde , sitting on the terrace of her local bistro in Paris, hours after it reopened.
"To be surrounded by people, not to be alone anymore!"
There was something about the emptiness of Paris, in particular, during lockdown that felt especially poignant, said Joan Dejean, an author and historian of French culture.
"Paris was intentionally constructed for people in the streets, to be viewed, to be appreciated visually," she said.

Scrap quarantine and start testing at UK airports - Labour

People coming into the UK should be tested for coronavirus "within days" of their arrival, the leader of the Labour opposition party, Sir Keir Starmer, has said.
From Monday, most people arriving in the country must quarantine for 14 days.
Starmer said the new rule was a "blunt instrument" used too late, at a time when other countries were lifting travel restrictions.
"I actually would much prefer to see some sort of testing regime at the airport" or "within days of [people] coming in", he told LBC Radio.
The quarantine has also provoked fierce criticism from the aviation and travel industries, with the boss of Ryanair labelling it ineffective and a "political stunt".
Home Secretary Priti Patel has said the measures were designed "to prevent a second wave" of coronavirus.

South African children return to school

In South Africa, children are returning to school as the government continues to ease what was one of the world's strictest lockdowns.
Initially, only pupils in grades seven and 12 will return to class, with other years phased in gradually.
The reopening had been delayed after teaching unions said schools lacked sufficient health and hygiene measures.
However, not all schools are reopening. Some, particularly in rural areas, have no running water, making hand-washing nearly impossible.
Education Minister Angie Motshekga says 95% of schools had met requirements for safe reopening and promised to work with those that have not.
Since the start of the pandemic South Africa has reported nearly 50,000 cases and almost 1,000 deaths.

At least half of new Singapore cases 'have no symptoms'

At least 50% of Singapore’s newly discovered Covid-19 cases have no symptoms, the co-head of the country's taskforce has told Reuters news agency. "Based on our experience, for every symptomatic case you would have at least one asymptomatic case," Lawrence Wong said.
"That is exactly why we have been very cautious in our reopening plans."
Singapore - which has a population of just 5 million - has been hit relatively badly by coronavirus in comparison to many countries in Asia, with 38,000 cases.
Lockdown has been eased in the last week, but many are still required to work from home.
“People have commented - why are we not reopening the economy faster?” Wong said.
“We have to take a more cautious approach. There are still asymptomatic cases which we may not have detected circulating in the community.”
Read more about the mystery of asymptomatic 'silent spreaders'.

What's the 'Dublin dodge'? And can I go on holiday?

Coronavirus - 8th June E11aec10

As we've been reporting, new travel rules have come into force for the UK today.
It means people arriving in the country from abroad - including UK nationals - will have to isolate for 14 days.
But that two-week period does not apply to people travelling from the Republic of Ireland, leading some to suggest a "Dublin dodge".
So can the rules be bypassed this way? We've been answering that and some of your other questions on the quarantine here.
For some people however, there's only one question on their minds: can I go on holiday this summer?

Tracking the global outbreak

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No new virus deaths in Scotland for second day in a row

No new coronavirus deaths have been reported in Scotland in the last 24 hours, the second day in a row the figure has remained the same, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, Sturgeon said a total of 2,415 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, no change on the previous day's figure.
She said this was "very encouraging" but it was likely that more deaths from the virus would be reported in the coming days.
The first minister said 15,639 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 18 from the day before.

Oil giant BP to cut 10,000 jobs

The boss of UK-based oil giant BP has told staff it plans to cut 10,000 jobs from its global workforce after being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
In an email to staff, BP chief executive Bernard Looney said most of the jobs would go by the end of the year and the majority of people affected would be in office-based jobs.
"We are protecting the front line of the company and, as always, prioritising safe and reliable operations," he added.

'Virtual fans' to cheer on La Liga games in Spain

Spain’s top-flight football competition La Liga will use virtual images of stands in television broadcasts with added "fan audio", when it resumes on Thursday behind closed doors.
Viewers in Spain will have the choice of normal or enhanced digital broadcasts while international viewers will receive broadcasts augmented by graphics and added atmospheric audio.
La Liga, which has worked with a Norwegian company and the makers of the Fifa video game, said the technology would "allow matches to be seen in an attractive way that closely resembles how they looked and sounded before the competition was postponed".
Virtual stands will display to-scale images of fans wearing the home club's colours and be adapted to fit the flow of games, mimicking reactions from situations likes goals.
The league restarts with a derby match between Sevilla and Real Betis (21:00 GMT), while champions Barcelona visit Real Mallorca on Saturday and Real Madrid host Eibar on Sunday.

New York begins phase one of reopening

New York City - the area of the US worst-hit by the coronavirus - is beginning to ease its lockdown from today.
As many as 400,000 workers could begin returning to construction jobs, manufacturing sites and retail stores today in the city’s first phase of reopening.
More than 205,000 people have been infected with Covid-19 in the city, and nearly 22,000 have died, with up to 800 people dying in a single day at its peak two months ago.
Earlier, New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted :Left Quotes:  Tomorrow is a new day. NYC reopens.

Travellers give verdict on new UK quarantine rules

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BBC transport correspondent Tom Burridge has been speaking to passengers arriving at London Stansted Airport from Eindhoven in the Netherlands about new quarantine rules that came into force today.
The measures require all travellers arriving in the UK, except those arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, to self-isolate for 14 days. Many passengers said they were happy to comply.
One told the BBC: "For some people it might be inconvenient but for me it’s OK because I’ve come to the country and the rate is high here so I think it’s sensible.”
But others pointed out the effectiveness of the measures could be undermined by individuals travelling by public transport to the place where they are quarantining.
"If I’m a carrier now how would they control it? How would you know if I’d spread it to anyone else?" one said.

How has New York City been affected?

New York state is currently at the epicentre of the pandemic, with nearly 400,000 cases and just over 30,000 confirmed deaths.
Within this, New York City has become the worst-hit area with about one in every 20 people having had a confirmed coronavirus infection.
But new cases are down to about 500 a day - half the level it was a few weeks ago. People are still required to wear masks outdoors but lockdown measures are gradually being eased.
The outbreak has had a severe impact on businesses, wiping out thousands of jobs. Health facilities and their staff have also felt the strain. Lorna Breen, a senior doctor at a hospital in Manhattan, took her own life in April.
Her father told the New York Times: "She tried to do her job and it killed her."
The BBC spoke to several frontline workers who gave their accounts of battling the outbreak.

No Covid-19 deaths in London over 24 hours

London hospitals have recorded no deaths among those to have tested positive for coronavirus over 24 hours.
Across the UK, a further 55 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus, during the same period.
That is the lowest number since before lockdown was announced on 23 March.

Moscow mayor announces easing of lockdown

Sarah Rainsford - BBC Moscow Correspondent
The mayor of Moscow has announced a timetable for removing most of the coronavirus restrictions currently in place.
This is despite a stubbornly high number of new cases in the city each day – around 2,000 per day for the past fortnight.
The period of "self-isolation" officially ends on Tuesday, meaning that everyone – including the over-65s – can move about the city freely again for the first time since the end of March.
Sergei Sobyanin said the move was possible because the city had managed to "avoid a catastrophe" thanks to the strict measures it took.
He said that the pandemic, "slowly but surely" was fading – with fewer hospital admissions and fewer new cases – and so the city could return to "normal life", step by step.
"Don’t forget, the risk has fallen but not gone away," he said.
The announcement comes two weeks ahead of the re-scheduled Victory Day Parade in the city on 24 June. President Vladimir Putin’s big set piece event of the year had to be postponed from 9 May.
It is also three weeks before a nationwide vote on constitutional reforms that would allow Mr Putin to stay in power for another two terms, should he choose.
From Tuesday, hairdressers and beauty salons reopen, while theatres and circuses and musicians can begin to rehearse again. Cemeteries also reopen their gates.
Restaurants, cafes, libraries, museums and zoos reopen on 16 June.

Schools in England 'may not be ready for September full return'

The head of a top teaching union says schools in England may not be able to return in full in September if more progress is not made in tackling coronavirus.
Dr Mary Bousted, the joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said whether whole schools could reopen depended on the R number ; whether the number of coronavirus cases was low enough and whether schools were confident they could operate.
“If you’ve got a whole school in, there is no way you can do social distancing," she told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme.
Some primary schools in England partially reopened for Reception, Years One and Six at the beginning of June, while secondary schools are due to reopen for Years 10 and 12 from 15 June.

Students return to university in China’s Wuhan

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
Chinese students are returning for the first time today to a number of universities in the city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak began.
Since early May, the local government has been phasing the return of students to academic institutions. Today, final year and postgraduate students who specialise in scientific research are able to return, state media says.
The official People’s Daily newspaper is sharing pictures of students returning to universities with their suitcases and masks. They have been told to turn up at specific times to maintain social distancing, and they are subject to temperature checks on arrival.
There were more than 50,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Wuhan, and people in the city spent 76 days in strict lockdown. On Friday, authorities confirmed the city was free of all symptomatic cases of the virus, but roughly 200 people who are asymptomatic are still under medical observation.

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NI records no Covid-19 deaths for second day

No new coronavirus deaths have been reported in Northern Ireland hospitals for the second day in a row, latest figures show.
It is only the third day of no deaths being recorded since 18 March - five days before lockdown began.
It comes as Scotland also recorded no new Covid-19 deaths for 48 hours.
Meanwhile, a further 59 people with coronavirus have died in England. In Wales, the death toll rose by three to 1,401.
Fewer deaths are generally recorded over a weekend and early into the following week, due to a lag in reporting.

Good level of compliance with new quarantine rules - No 10

There appears to be a "good level of compliance" so far with new regulations requiring people arriving in the UK to self-isolate for 14 days, Downing Street has said.
"We do expect the vast majority of people to play their part in helping to stop the spread of this disease," the prime minister's spokesman said.
The spokesman declined to comment on the threat of legal action by some airlines, but said the science behind the new regulations, which came into force today, was clear.
"If we limit the risk of new cases being brought in from abroad we can help to reduce the likelihood of a second wave of coronavirus," he said.
The spokesman also dismissed suggestions from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer that testing at airports could be used instead of a quarantine system.
He said people needed to self-isolate for 14 days as it could be a "significant number of days" after becoming infected that they develop symptoms.
Read more about the new quarantine rules here.

An outbreak in Polish mines - and other Europe updates

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Screening for coronavirus at a coal mine in southern Poland

Poland is temporarily closing 12 coal mines to stop the spread of the virus. Here's more on that and other stories from around Europe:

  • Poland recorded the highest number of new cases in the EU on Sunday – 575 - due to an outbreak at the Zofiowka mine. Many infected miners have not shown symptoms, which has helped to spread the virus. Poland is the EU’s largest producer of hard coal, but its power stations have enough stocks to generate electricity. Covid-19 cases and deaths overall remain quite low in Poland, compared with western Europe
  • In the Republic of Ireland thousands more businesses have reopened. It is now in Phase 2 of a four-phase plan to ease the lockdown, so most shops are reopening, though not yet those in shopping malls. People can now travel up to 20km (12 miles) from their home, or anywhere in their own county
  • Denmark's easing began in mid-April, and on Monday its Phase 3 started, with one more phase to go. Danes can now meet in groups of up to 50, and gyms and swimming pools are reopening, though with social distancing rules in place

Pub gardens in England 'could reopen this month'

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Pubs and restaurants in England could re-open earlier than planned after warnings of huge job losses.
Firms have been preparing to start serving customers outdoors from 4 July, but 22 June is now being considered by ministers - as first reported by the Financial Times newspaper .
Pub chain Wetherspoons said it would be a "psychological boost", but trade body UK Hospitality told the BBC that reducing social distancing from two metres to one metre would be far more important for the industry's survival.
The Cabinet may discuss the issues on Tuesday. Read more here.

US government says remdesivir supply is running out

A top US official has warned that the government's supply of remdesivir - a drug shown to reduce recovery time for Covid-19 patients - could run out by the end of June.
US Department of Health and Human Services official Dr Robert Kadlec told CNN that the final shipment of remdesivir will go out on 29 June.
The government is now "waiting to hear" from Gilead Sciences - the company that makes remdesivir - on the drug's availability later into the summer, Dr Kadlec said.
Remdesivir - originally developed as an Ebola treatment - was authorised for emergency use for the treatment of Covid-19 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month.
The news comes just as the UK pharmaceutical industry signals that some stockpiles of medical supplies have been depleted entirely by the virus .

Man jailed for 5G phone mast arson attack

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Michael Whitty admitted arson at an earlier hearing

A man in the UK who thought 5G technology was linked to coronavirus has been jailed for an arson attack on a phone mast .
Michael Whitty, 47, set fire to the mast's equipment box in Kirkby, north-west England, after reading erroneous internet claims about the virus, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
Theories claiming that 5G technology helps to transmit coronavirus have been widely condemned by the scientific community .
Attacks on 5G masts pre-date the coronavirus pandemic. But there are concerns that a surge in the amount of vandalism has been caused by conspiracy theories which falsely claim the deployment of 5G networks has caused, or helped accelerate, the spread of Covid-19.

Brazil's domestic workers cut adrift in pandemic

Katy Watson - BBC South America correspondent
Days after Brazil registered its first coronavirus death in March, the country began to close down. Businesses and restaurants were shuttered and people were told to stay home.
That's when Rosangela Jesus dos Santos's life changed unimaginably. The 47-year-old diarista - or daily housekeeper - was fired by most of her employers.
"They said it was because of the virus," she says. "I went to a different house every day of the week and some clients are elderly, I understand."
Rosangela is scared. She hopes she can return when the outbreak is over but for now, she's been left working just one day a week. Her remaining employer gives her a mask but at no point have they told her to stay home for her safety. She's wary of the virus but she knows if she doesn't work, she won't get paid.
"I need to work - my family is big, that's the truth," says Rosangela. "I would like to be working and I'm used to it, going out early and coming home late."
Read about the troubles facing Brazil's domestic workers here

UK briefing due at 17:00 BST

The daily UK government press conference is due to start in about an hour.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will be at the podium.
It is the first Monday conference since the government decided to stop holding televised briefings at the weekend, so Mr Hancock is likely to face lots of questions about the events of the past few days.
We'll be bringing you all the information you need here.

Drop in UK deaths shows progress - but challenges remain

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
The UK has recorded its lowest daily rise in the number of coronavirus deaths (55) since before lockdown on 23 March.
The welcome drop in deaths is encouraging news.
But it comes with a big caveat - the deaths cover the weekend and there are always delays recording fatalities on Saturdays and Sundays.
This time last week there were just over 100 new deaths announced, but then later in the week they topped 300.
Nonetheless, the figures do show the progress being made.
Two weeks ago there were more than 120 deaths and the week before that 160. During the peak, more than 1,000 deaths a day were seen.
The challenge now will be making sure the figures stay low as restrictions are eased.

Did China test everyone in Wuhan?

Reality Check
China has completed a mass testing programme in Wuhan, the city where the Covid-19 pandemic began.
The authorities had pledged to test the entire city over a 10-day period after a cluster of new infections arose.
Wuhan has an estimated population of 11 million people, so aiming to test everyone in 10 days would have been an ambitious target.
All the data we have comes from official sources in Wuhan, and there's no independent verification for the numbers.
As of 1 June, a total of 9.9 million people had been tested, according to the city health authorities.
They said this marked the end of the mass testing programme.
They also said that if you include the one million people tested in the seven days before the mass programme began in their area (and who didn't need retesting), that's a total of 10.9 million people tested out of the population of 11 million.
It's taken longer to test everyone than the 10-day period that was promised.
However, they did manage to collect as many as nine million test samples after 10 days, so nearly the entire population.
Read more on efforts to test the whole of Wuhan here .

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Brazilian media launch virus data initiative

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President Bolsonaro has underplayed the severity of the pandemic

In response to a perceived mishandling of coronavirus data by the Brazilian government, several local media outlets are partnering to create their own centralised database.
The unprecedented initiative by O Estado de S. Paulo, Folha de S. Paulo, O Globo, G1 and UOL will allow them to share and corroborate official information about cases, deaths and other key statistics.
"In the most acute moment of the pandemic, we need to ensure that the population has access to correct data as quickly as possible, whatever the cost," said online portal UOL's content director, Murilo Garavello.
It comes a day after months of Covid-19 data was removed from a government website. Brazil's health ministry also said it would now only be reporting cases and deaths in the past 24 hours, no longer giving a total figure as most countries do.
Brazil has the world's second-highest number of cases, and has recently had more new deaths than any other nation. President Jair Bolsonaro has been criticised for rejecting lockdown measures recommended by the World Health Organization and, on Friday, threatened to pull out of the body, accusing it of being a "partisan political organisation".

Tanzania's president says prayers have defeated Covid-19

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Tanzania's President John Magufuli says the country is "coronavirus-free" thanks to the prayers of its citizens.
"The corona disease has been eliminated thanks to God," Mr Magufuli told worshippers at a church in the capital, Dodoma.
He also praised them for not wearing masks and gloves.
Mr Magufuli has repeatedly said the health crisis has been exaggerated. He has urged people to attend services in churches and mosques, saying that prayers "can vanquish" the virus.
His government has also stopped publishing data on the number of coronavirus cases in the country.
Read more here .

Passengers react to new quarantine rules

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Anna Wulf and Albert Mackintosh have moved from Berlin to London

Passengers at London Stansted Airport have been speaking to the BBC about how their plans have been affected by new rules requiring most people arriving in the UK to self-isolate for 14 days.
Anna Wulfand and Albert Mackintosh were travelling from Berlin to London because Anna has a new job there.
The quarantine rules mean the couple have had to leave behind a lot of their belongings in Berlin and move sooner to give them time to self-isolate before Ms Wulf starts her job at King's College London.
"We have a lot of freedom in Germany right now and coming to a country that is a lot more restricted than we've ever been, it's weird," said Ms Wulf, 26.
Mr Mackintosh, 28, said moving house, while also figuring out the logistics of how to quarantine without being allowed out for basic necessities such as food, had been "very stressful".
Read more about how travellers have been impacted by the new rules here

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Health secretary's UK briefing due to start

The UK government daily briefing, today with the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, and David Pearson, the new chairman of the national Covid-19 social care support taskforce, is due to start.

Lowest new cases since the end of March

Health Secretary Matt Hancock begins by saying the number of new cases confirmed in the UK was 1,205 on Sunday - the lowest since the end of March.

Hospital admissions fall

Other figures falling include the number of hospital admissions, which were down to 519 across the UK, confirming a "continued downward trend".

Death figures fall but each a tragedy, Hancock says

There are 6,403 people in hospital with coronavirus, the health secretary says. He confirms that the number of deaths recorded yesterday in the UK was 55, but adds that the seven-day rolling average is continuing to fall. But each death is a "tragedy" for a family and community, he says.

Hancock: Testing for all adult care homes

The government will ensure that all remaining care homes will get "high-quality" coronavirus testing from today. He adds that this will affect 6,000 homes.
Matt Hancock says he knows "personally" how "anxious" a time this is for anyone with relatives living in social care. He adds that homes will have the resources and training they need to deal with coronavirus.

'No positive answer yet' on weddings

The first question is about weddings - the health secretary is asked if more weddings will be permitted in England, as in Northern Ireland.
Hancock says he would "love to see the joy" of such events starting again. But he is unable to give a "more positive" answer on when this will be possible.

New taskforce 'will focus on stopping infection'

David Pearson, the newly-appointed chair of the national Covid-19 social care support taskforce, says it will bring together the actions of central and local government with care providers.
He says its focus will be on stopping infection, while also trying to ensure the well-being of all those who receive care and support, whether they live in care homes or at home.
“Our job is to harness our efforts as we go through the various phases of this pandemic and support social care in its crucial role," he says.

Hancock: Safety-first still our approach

Asked by BBC health editor Hugh Pym why he said earlier in the House of Commons that coronavirus is "in retreat across the land" and whether it could spike again, Matt Hancock says there is "progress" on all statistics.
The number of deaths and new infections is down, he adds, as is the total number of excess deaths, compared with the normal level for this time of year.
It is "clear" coronavirus is in retreat, but people must be "cautious" and take a "safety-first approach", Hancock says.

Government 'listening to care homes'

David Pearson says there's a "continuing dialogue" between government and care homes about the problems they face and the resources they need. The "totality" of the measures being introduced will make a difference, he adds, because the virus is "so pernicious".

'No trade-off' between health and economy

Matt Hancock is asked about some scientists' fears that easing the lockdown is coming to quickly and what level of deaths must be reached before the economy is opened more fully. He answers that there is "no trade-off" between health and the economy.
It's "simplistic" to say otherwise, he adds, saying that a second coronavirus spike would be "hugely damaging" for the economy too.

Epidemic in care homes is coming under control - Hancock

Paul Brand from ITV asks whether it is now safe for people to send their loved ones into care homes.
Matt Hancock says with the measures the government has put in place it is, adding: "It is clear that the epidemic in care homes is coming under control" and "strong infection control procedures" are in place.
He says he understands why people are worried but the government will continue to strengthen these measures.
David Pearson adds that the government will continue to learn from evidence across the world and be "vigilant" about the future.

Hancock: Differences in death rates will be investigated

Matt Hancock is asked why people from ethnic minorities are "disproportionately" dying from Covid-19 and are more likely to be punished for breaking lockdown rules.
He responds that all factors, including comorbidity, housing and occupation, must be looked into. When conclusions are reached, the government will "absolutely" put measures in place, Hancock says.

Government 'keeping 2m rule under review'

The briefing has now drawn to a close, but a Daily Mail journalist asked why some countries have a rule that people should try to stay 1m apart, while in the UK, social distancing rules call for a 2m distance.
Matt Hancock says the distance is "based on the science" and the closer you are the more likely you are to pass on the virus, especially when face-to-face.
“To keep the R below one we need to keep social distancing measures in place," he says, adding that it is important to look at the range of measures as a whole.
However, he adds that the government keeps the 2m rule under review all the time and Sage - the body of scientists advising he government - has been looking at the issue recently.
Hancock is also asked whether he expects schools to be able to reopen fully in September.
He replies that the "current working plan" is that secondary schools won't fully open until September at the earliest.
He adds that schools and the economy must reopen "safely" in a way that doesn't lead to the spread of the virus.

Analysis: Testing not picking up every infection

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
The challenge facing the government is that even with the extra testing in place, not all infections appear to be getting picked up.
Today’s data shows there were 1,205 new infections diagnosed, but surveillance suggests the true figure may be five times higher.
Some of these will be asymptomatic cases – people who do not show symptoms – but the concern remains that some people are simply not coming forward.
Identifying these will be crucial to keep on top of the virus.

Analysis: Pearson appointment will be welcomed

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
The appointment of David Pearson – a well-respected and senior social care director – will be welcomed by the sector.
A key role will be to provide a more joined-up approach across central government, councils and the private companies that run many care homes.
A big complaint locally is that central government has been too top-down – issuing guidance and instruction with too little consultation and forethought.
But the key challenge he faces is containing outbreaks.
In time, it has become clear people who are infected but not showing symptoms - whether staff or residents – are a key driver of outbreaks.
Identifying these people will require mass testing being repeated constantly in the coming months.
That will not be easy.
It has taken until now to provide tests to all staff and residents in elderly care homes – those for younger adults are now just being offered them for people without symptoms.

Has the government met its target on testing in care homes?

Reality Check
On 15 May, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We'll test every resident and every member of staff in our elderly care homes in England between now and early June."
Now the government has said it has met its target, having provided 1,071,103 test kits to 8,984 care homes.
But that is kits sent out rather than tests done, and the government doesn’t reveal the proportion of test kits that are returned for processing.
Mr Hancock did say every resident and member of staff would be tested, but thegovernment’s roadmap for easing lockdown said that they would all be “offered” tests.
The National Care Forum, which represents some not-for-profit care homes, said that as of 2 June, 90% of the care homes they surveyed had been tested , but that almost half of those had received null or inconclusive test results and a number were still waiting for results to return.

Hancock 'spiky' on economy vs fatalities

Chris Mason - Political Correspondent
The Health Secretary Matt Hancock was notably spiky when asked by Beth Rigby of Sky News about a trade off between reopening the economy and the coronavirus death rate.
Mr Hancock repeated that in his view there was no such trade off - because a second surge in cases would be economically damaging.

What did we learn from today's UK briefing?

Today's press conference was held by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who was joined by David Pearson, the new chair of the government's coronavirus social care taskforce.
Here's what they told us:

  • Despite some speculation over the weekend that the R-number (the rate of reproduction of the virus) is above one in some regions, the government's official figures estimate it is below one in every region. This means each infected person passes the virus, on average, to fewer than one other person
  • The government will be drawing up a new plan for social care as lockdown eases. The new taskforce will connect government, local authorities and care providers and focus on infection prevention
  • All old-age care home residents and staff have been tested - and this is now being rolled out to 6,000 other adult care homes
  • Mr Hancock says it is safe for families to put their relatives into care homes. He said the proportion of care home deaths in the UK is lower than in other countries
  • He also denied that, when thinking about lifting lockdown measures, there is a trade off between deaths and the economy. He said a second spike in cases would be very damaging to the economy

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Global virus outbreak worsening, WHO chief says

Although the coronavirus outbreak in Europe is improving, "globally it is worsening", says World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
At a coronavirus briefing earlier today, he told reporters that more than 100,000 cases had been reported in nine of the past 10 days, and that 75% of yesterday's cases came from just 10 countries - most of them in the Americas and South Asia.
But despite striking a sombre tone, Dr Tedros said the WHO was encouraged by "positive signs" in several countries.
"In these countries, the biggest threat now is complacency," he added. "Results from studies to see how much of the population has been exposed to the virus show that most people globally are still susceptible to infection."

WHO urges Brazil to collect and share virus data

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on Brazil to share information about the country's outbreak "in a consistent and transparent way".
Brazil has the world's second-highest number of cases and has recently had more new deaths than any other nation. But authorities have been criticised after months of Covid-19 data were removed from a government website.
The WHO's health emergencies chief, Michael Ryan, told reporters it was vital that information was shared with the agency and with Brazil's citizens to keep them safe.
"They need to understand what's happening. They need to understand where the virus is. They need to know how to manage the risks to them," said Dr Ryan. "We trust that any confusions that may exist at the moment can be resolved."
Brazil's health ministry has said it will now only be reporting cases and deaths for the past 24 hours, no longer giving a total figure as most countries do. President Jair Bolsonaro said the cumulative data did not reflect the current picture.

Texas and Florida report increase in infections

As the US continues its march towards reopening the economy, some states, including Texas and Florida, are still seeing an increase in new infections.
Nationally, confirmed infections will soon reach two million, as new cases decline overall.
On Sunday, Florida's cases surpassed 1,000 for the fifth day in a row, bringing the state's total close to 64,000 known infections. Daily cases have not been reported at this level in Florida since April, when the virus was at its peak.
But the percentage of positive Covid-19 tests has declined over the same period, suggesting the rise may be linked to increased testing. There have been more than one million tests administered in the southern state thus far.
Texas, too, has seen a rise in reported cases in recent days. After a steady decline beginning in May, cases have moved in an upward trend since around 26 May, about three weeks after retail stores and restaurants were able to open, with limited capacity. There have been at least 75,408 cases in Texas confirmed so far.

Co-author of hydroxychloroquine study leaves university post

Dr Amit Patel, co-author of an influential study on hydroxychloroquine and its effects on coronavirus patients, has left his faculty posting at the University of Utah.
In a statement to the BBC, the university said his unpaid adjunct appointment was officially terminated by "mutual agreement" on Friday.
It comes days after Dr Patel and two other co-authors retracted their study , which found that taking hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in coronavirus patients. The group said they could no longer vouch for its veracity after the healthcare firm behind their data would not hand over the dataset for independent analysis.
The study's findings influenced the World Health Organization's decision to suspend testing on the anti-malaria drug, but the UN body has since resumed trials.
Read more about hydroxychloroquine and the controversy behind it.

'I've got Covid, I'm going to cough all over you'

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Footballer James Hurst has played for West Brom and Wrexham

A footballer has been remanded in custody after being convicted of coughing at police officers and telling them he had coronavirus.
James Hurst, 28, flew into a rage in the garden of a woman's home in Glasgow's Drumchapel in April. He admitted acting in a threatening or abusive manner towards the officers.
A court heard that Hurst, an ex-West Brom and Wrexham defender who now plays for non-league Hednesford Town, initially contacted the police claiming to be the victim of domestic abuse, but was aggressive when officers became aware of a possible outstanding warrant against him.
Prosecutor Mark Allan said: "He immediately stated 'I've got Covid, I'm going to cough and spit all over you'. At that point he began to cough in the faces of both officers as they were placing handcuffs on him."
Sheriff Tony Kelly deferred sentencing until the end of the month.

Evening update: Latest from the UK

If you're joining us from the UK here's a quick update on the main stories so far today:

  • The UK has recorded its lowest daily rise in the number of coronavirus deaths since lockdown
  • New rules requiring most people arriving in the UK to self-isolate for 14 days have come into effect
  • The government has extended coronavirus testing to all staff and residents at 6,000 care homes for adults with disabilities in England
  • BP is to cut 10,000 jobs following a global slump in the demand for oil because of the pandemic

Here's more on those stories and other things you might have missed.

London bus drivers 'spat at 60 times' in lockdown

Tom Edwards - Transport Correspondent, BBC London
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If any more evidence was needed that transport workers are on the front line with Covid-19, it emerged today.
There have been 43 deaths of transport workers from Covid-19, it was revealed at the Transport for London (TfL) board meeting.
Six worked directly for TfL. Thirty-three worked for bus companies, of which 29 were bus drivers.
What was also shocking was the 60 reports of people spitting at bus drivers since the lockdown began.
Read more here

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Jun 08 2020, 22:04

What will going to the dentist look like?

Many countries have been easing lockdown restrictions. In England, dental practices are allowed to open again from today – but with new guidelines in place. Here are the experiences of two dentists in different parts of the world.
Dr Sarveen Mann owns a small practice in London, which is preparing to reopen on 15 June, and told BBC Outside Source: "It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. We donated our PPE and our oxygen cylinder to the frontline so now we have to have it all back in place. There’s panic within the profession to get PPE."
Dr Jeff Cooper is a dentist in Wisconsin, US, whose practice reopened some weeks ago.
“We don’t have people in waiting rooms, they wait in cars and we call them in when necessary. We’ve got a real problem getting protective equipment, and masks are the worst. Our suppliers are rationing things out.”
What’s the reaction from patients been? “People have been very good, but those on reception have caught some flak from patients irate about having to wear a mask. “My choice is to tell them, ‘You’d be better served elsewhere’.”

Poland reports highest daily rise in cases

Adam Easton - Warsaw Correspondent
Poland has recorded 599 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest daily rise in the country since the start of the pandemic.
The cause of the spike has been an outbreak among coal miners in Upper Silesia. Just one coal mine, Zofiowka, run by state coking coal producer JSW, accounted for 60% of the new cases on Saturday and 34% on Sunday.
On Monday, 54% of all new cases were recorded in Upper Silesia, southern Poland, home to the majority of Poland’s coal mines. In response, the government has announced that it will temporarily close 12 mines for three weeks to allow it to conduct mass testing.
Poland is the biggest hard coal producer in the EU and the country generates about 50% of its electricity from hard coal. Power generation is not under threat, though, because coal stockpiles are at a very high level.
Polish authorities have recorded far fewer cases and deaths than many western European countries. But in light of the latest developments, this could change.

Welsh libraries start click-and-collect style loans

Library services are partially reopening in Cardiff to offer residents a reserve and collect book service.
Four library hubs around the Welsh capital will offer readers collection appointments for items they have pre-booked online or over the telephone. Delivery services will also be available for people who are shielding or self-isolating due to coronavirus.
Books will be quarantined and cleaned before they are reused, and will not be shared between hubs.
The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) said Cardiff was the first council to restart physical lending since the lockdown began.

Veteran marks 100th birthday in lockdown with 100 cards

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Eddie Hunn received 107 birthday cards after an appeal by his Norwich care home

A World War Two veteran who celebrated his 100th birthday in lockdown has said he is "so thankful" after being sent more than 100 cards following an appeal .
Eddie Hunn, who lives in Norwich, was unable to share his milestone on Sunday with family and friends amid government guidelines on social distancing.
But the centenarian received 107 cards after staff at his Chiswick House care home organised a campaign.
As well as the cards, Mr Hunn also received a telegram from the Queen and an email from the High Commission of the Republic of Singapore.
Mr Hunn joined the Territorial Army in 1938 as a driver mechanic before he saw action in Singapore, and spent three-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war on the Thai-Burma Railway.
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Eddie Hunn was able to see his family from a distance as he marked his birthday

Lockdowns in Europe saved millions of lives - study

James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
Lockdowns have saved more than three million lives from coronavirus in Europe, a study has estimated.
The team at Imperial College London, which assessed the impact of restrictions in 11 countries in western Europe up to the beginning of May, said the "death toll would have been huge" without lockdown.
But the team warned that only a small proportion of people had been infected and we were still only "at the beginning of the pandemic".
Meanwhile, a separate study has argued that global lockdowns have "saved more lives, in a shorter period of time, than ever before".
Read more here

Pandemic worsening - and other headlines

In case you're just joining us, here are some of the biggest stories from today so far.

  • More than seven million cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University in the US. The total death toll has surpassed 404,000
  • The UK has recorded its lowest daily rise in the number of coronavirus deaths since before lockdown on 23 March, latest government figures show
  • The World Health Organization has warned that, despite progress in Europe, the pandemic is "worsening" globally
  • New York City - the area of the US worst-hit by the coronavirus - has begun to ease its lockdown restrictions
  • A study by Imperial College London has estimated that lockdown measures have saved more than three million lives in Europe. But researchers warned that the pandemic was still in its early stages

What have scientists uncovered six months on?

Investigating the outbreak of a virus is not unlike the work of any detective. It’s a race to the scene of the crime before any evidence disappears; witnesses are interviewed - and then the chase begins, to track down and contain the killer before they strike again.
But despite rallying an unrivalled international effort, the coronavirus continues to advance, killing thousands of people every day.
Six months on, what have scientists discovered while trying to contain coronavirus?
Here Claire Press traces Covid-19 from the source of its outbreak to the search for a vaccine .

Pandemic pushes US into official recession

The economic downturn in the US triggered by the pandemic has been officially declared a recession.
The National Bureau of Economic Research made the designation on Tuesday, citing the scale and severity of the current contraction.
It said activity and employment hit a "clear" and "well-defined" peak in February, before falling.
The ruling puts a formal end to what had been more than a decade of expansion - the longest in US history.

Arts industry faces 'ruinous losses' from pandemic

A cut in public funding has left the arts sector in England more exposed to the threat of Covid-19, new figures suggest.
The latest Arts Index, which is published annually by the National Campaign for the Arts (NCA), showed public investment in the arts per head of the population fell by 35% in the last decade.
The NCA said the sector had been "brought to its knees" amid the coronavirus pandemic, adding that many companies now face "ruinous losses".
While galleries and cinemas are putting plans in place to reopen, theatres and concert venues will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
The government said it had announced "unprecedented financial aid" for the sector and was working with it on how to reopen safely and plan for the future.

Get tested, Cuomo tells George Floyd protesters

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New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo has urged New Yorkers taking part in protests against the killing of George Floyd last month to get tested for the coronavirus.
"Please go get a test. It's free, it's available," Cuomo said.
As New York city began reopening 100 days after the lockdown, Cuomo warned residents to "stay smart" to avoid the resurgence of coronavirus cases being seen in other US states.
"New Yorkers did what many experts told me wasn't possible in 100 days," Cuomo said. "I don't think I've had a good night's sleep in 100 days knowing some of things they told me. New Yorkers bent the curve by being smart. We're celebrating, we're reopening, we're excited. Our mojo's back, our energy's back, stay smart."

China outbreak 'may have started earlier'

A surge in road traffic outside Wuhan hospitals at the end of August suggests that Covid-19 may have hit China earlier than reported by the authorities, according to a Harvard Medical School study. Using commercial satellite imagery, researchers found a "dramatic increase" in traffic outside five major hospitals in the Chinese city. The traffic spike also coincided with a rise in online searches for information on symptoms like "cough" and “diarrhea”.
Dr John Brownstein, who led the research, said the evidence was circumstantial, but told ABC News that it would provide important context in the search for the virus' origins.
“Something was happening in October,” said Dr Brownstein. “Clearly, there was some level of social disruption taking place well before what was previously identified as the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic.”
On 31 December 2019, China reported a cluster of pneumonia cases with an unknown cause to the World Health Organization. Nine days later, Chinese authorities revealed they had detected a novel coronavirus (later named Sars-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19) in several of the pneumonia cases.

Amputee schoolboy raises £222,000 for NHS

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A five-year-old schoolboy, who had both legs amputated as a baby, has raised more than £222,000 for the hospital that saved his life.
Tony Hudgell, from Kent, has new prosthetic legs and crutches and aims to walk every day this month to reach his 10km (six mile) challenge.
He had hoped to raise £500, inspired by fellow NHS fundraiser Captain Tom Moore.
His adoptive mother, Paula Hudgell, said: "He saw Captain Tom walking with his frame in the garden, and he said 'I could do that'."
Tony had to have both his legs amputated when he was just five weeks old after suffering horrific injuries from his biological parents.
He was treated at the Evelina Children's Hospital in London and had prosthetic legs fitted last year.
Read more here

Wahaca boss: It's going to be hell after lockdown

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Mark Selby says customers could be given the option of ordering food on apps in a bid to encourage people back into restaurants

Restaurants and pubs across the UK have been hard-hit by lockdown measures but are now busy making plans to reopen.
The government says it is working towards 4 July as the possible date they will be allowed to reopen in England. There's no firm date yet for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
"Starting up, it's going to be hell," says Mark Selby, the boss of Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca.
"A lot of people are going be nervous about coming out. We've all got to do our jobs in making people feel confident, making them feel safe, but also giving them that experience that hospitality is."

What will the post-pandemic world look like?

Jonathan Marcus - BBC Diplomatic and defence correspondent
Will the world that emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic be more peaceful, or, will it be more divided, more unstable and more open to conflict?
This debate has been raging in the pages of the world’s leading foreign policy journal, Foreign Affairs. And the latest contribution is decidedly pessimistic.
The authors argue that there is unlikely to be a “coronavirus peace dividend”. In many countries - even in some of the most developed - the crisis has highlighted inequalities and contributed to domestic unrest. In authoritarian states (and beyond) the technological opportunities for monitoring have raised additional concerns about civil liberties. Social media spreads conspiracy theories and racism as contagious as the virus itself. Economic instability promises tensions for some years to come as nations turn inward.
There is, of course, a contrary view - that good will indeed come from this crisis. But look around. For now the pessimists seem more realistic.
So read the article and join the debate.

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Germany puts on a drive-through art show

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One benefit of viewing from your car: no huddling around artworks

Pandemic-required lockdowns have prompted drive-in meals, drive-in cinemas, even drive-in church services. And now: a drive-in art gallery.
At the weekend a car park at Germany’s Cologne/Bonn airport became a space for artists to display their creations, as big indoor exhibitions have been cancelled.
It is one way to support artists hit hard by the freeze on artistic events, said organiser and artist Dieter Nusbaum.
"We saw the trolleys and they have the perfect height should you look at a painting from the car, so we were given 300 trolleys by the airport,” he said.
“The big pictures we have placed quite unorthodoxly, on the ground. We are quite practical in that way… we are just happy that we were able to set it up at all."
The charge was €4.50 (£4) per car, per hour.
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The grounding of most flights meant the car park had plenty of free space

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Fifty artists displayed about 300 paintings and sculptures

Faeces in yoghurt pots among items dumped by beach-goers

Used sanitary items, human faeces and underwear were among items dumped at a beach in Dorset since lockdown restrictions were eased across England.
Thousands of people have flocked to the area's beaches in recent weeks, with local groups complaining about "horrendous" amounts of litter left behind
Volunteers from clean-up group GoPladdle said they also found discarded PPE items and food wrappers at Lake Pier in Hamwothy, Poole.
"While we can commend the great effort some people went to, to disguise their faeces inside takeaway containers, yoghurt pots, towels, blankets, socks and crisp packets, we did not enjoy clearing it up," a spokesman for the group said, describing the job as "stomach churning".

We're pausing our live coverage

That's it from us for today, thank you for joining.
We leave you with a sobering warning from the World Health Organization (WHO).
More than seven million cases of coronavirus are now confirmed worldwide, along with 404,000 virus-related deaths. And despite progress in tackling the virus in Europe, the WHO says the pandemic is "worsening" globally. "More than six months into this pandemic, this is not the time for any country to take its foot off the pedal," WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva.

Today's updates were brought to you by our team of reporters in the UK, Singapore, Australia and the US: Anna Jones, Owen Amos, Jay Savage, Aparna Alluri, Andreas Illmer, Yvette Tan, Saira Asher, Henri Astier, Stephen Sutcliffe, George Wright, Kevin Ponniah, Vicky Baker, Michael Emons, Becky Morton, Claire Heald, Matt Cannon, Josh Cheetham, David Walker, Holly Honderich and Paulin Kola.

We'll be back soon. Until then, you can follow the latest developments on our website

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