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Coronavirus - 20th June


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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 20 2020, 10:40

Summary for Saturday, 20th June

  • The authorities in Mexico City are delaying a planned reopening of the economy by a week
  • The country is now one of the world's worst-affected, having surpassed 20,000 deaths.
  • World Health Organization says there were 150,000 new cases on Thursday - half from the Americas
  • Cases are accelerating just as people are "fed up" of lockdown, WHO head says
  • Greta Thunberg tells the BBC the world needs to learn the lessons of coronavirus and treat climate change with similar urgency
  • The UK lowers its coronavirus alert level from four to three
  • A review into the 2m social distancing rule will conclude "within the coming days", the UK culture secretary tells the BBC

Good morning - if you are reading us in the UK.
Welcome to our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic - thanks for joining us. We will bring you the latest updates from the UK and around the world throughout the day.
Here is a recap of the latest key developments worldwide:

Mexico City halts reopening as deaths hit 20,000

Mexico City has delayed a planned reopening of businesses until coronavirus infections drop, its mayor has said, as cases continue to surge nationwide.
The city had been hoping to open hotels, restaurants and shopping centres as part of its traffic-light system for easing the lockdown.
But on Saturday the mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, said the city would remain at red - the highest level of lockdown - until next week.
As of Friday, hospital-bed occupancy was at 65% and case numbers had not decreased to the point where opening the economy would be possible.
"The activities we announced … cannot open, we’re going to wait for the infections to reduce,” the mayor said.
The coronavirus epidemic is yet to reach its peak in Mexico, where deaths surpassed 20,000 on Friday, one of the highest tolls in the world.
Mexico has confirmed more than 170,000 infections to date, but the true number is thought to be much higher because of insufficient testing. Mexico City is the worst-affected area in the country.

Brazil becomes second country to pass one million cases

Brazil has become the second country in the world to confirm more than one million cases of Covid-19, and there are no signs suggesting the outbreak is easing there.
Coronavirus has become a highly political issue in Brazil, and far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's response to the crisis has been heavily criticised at home and abroad.
Experts say his refusal to follow scientific advice, such as social distancing or the imposing of lockdowns, is partially responsible for the severity of the outbreak, which has claimed the lives of more than 54,000 people.
The numbers, however, are thought to be much higher because of insufficient testing. Only the US has had more confirmed cases and deaths.
As there was no national lockdown in Brazil, states and cities adopted their own measures. After months of restrictions, some are slowly being lifted, even though the infection level remains high.
There is still concern that the health system will be unable to cope in some places, and that the disease is spreading faster in deprived neighbourhoods and remote areas, such as indigenous communities, where access to adequate care is difficult.

UK app: Where did it all go wrong?

On Thursday, we heard that the UK government was ditching the development of its own National Health Service contact-tracing app. Software from Apple and Google will be used instead.
Our technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones has been looking into how the reversal came about. Read more from him here

Reasonable to relax two-metre rule in England, says scientific adviser

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Pubs and restaurants could reopen further on 4 July in England, when the government hopes to ease more restrictions

Ministers are under pressure to review the two-metre social-distancing rule in England, and a government-commissioned review will conclude "within the coming days" , Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has told the BBC.
Critics of the rule say it will stifle economic recovery for many industries, such as the hospitality sector, and limit capacity in schools and hospitals.
Now, a scientific adviser to the UK government has said the rule could be halved to one metre with "various caveats and other precautions".
"I’m still saying that two metres is safer than one," Sage member Prof Calum Semple told the BBC.
"But in my opinion it's now a reasonable political decision to relax these rules, perhaps accelerate school opening and start opening up other parts of the economy, where it becomes harder to maintain a two-metre rule and where you might envisage going down to one metre with various other caveats and precautions."
He said the reason he had changed his opinion was because "we're in a position where there are low levels - and sustained low levels - of transmission throughout the country".
Prof Semple was speaking the day after the UK downgraded its coronavirus alert level , to three.
Under the new level the virus is considered to be "in general circulation" and there could be a "gradual relaxation of restrictions". Previously transmission was thought to be "high or rising exponentially".

At last some good news

Earlier this week, researchers in the UK announced that a commonly used, and cheap, steroid had been found to significantly reduce the risk of dying in severely ill Covid-19 patients.
The findings on dexamethasone are a rare piece of good news.
Our health correspondent Fergus Walsh has been looking into the work of a small team at Oxford University. Read his piece here

Australian state reimposes lockdown restrictions

The government of the state of Victoria in Australia has scrapped plans to ease Covid-19 restrictions after a spike in cases was reported.
Victoria’s tally of coronavirus cases jumped by 25 to 1,817 on Saturday, the biggest increase in more than a month.
State Premier Daniel Andrews said the spike in cases meant that a planned lifting of social-distancing restrictions on businesses would be delayed until 12 July.
Household gatherings would also be restricted to no more than five people until that date, he said.
Andrews expressed frustration at having to reimpose restrictions, blaming family gatherings for the increase in infections.
He said family-to-family transmission was responsible for more than 50% of the new cases, adding: "It's unacceptable that families anywhere in our state can, just because they want this to be over, pretend that it is".
He said authorities would be willing to go "door to door" to enforce coronavirus restrictions to avoid further infections, according to TV network 9News

How might pubs and cafes reopen in England?

Pubs, restaurants and cafes in England are hoping to reopen on 4 July, but some business owners have warned that the two-metre rule will limit their capacity too severely.
Trade body UK Hospitality is calling for the rule to be relaxed.
Its chief executive Kate Nicholls has warned that only about 30% of pubs and restaurants could break-even under the current rule, but that would increase to 70% with a one-metre rule.
She told the BBC that draft government guidance on restarting hospitality firms contain a "degree of flexibility" and would allow businesses to undertake their own risk assessment.
A raft of possible measures reported in The Times newspaper suggested how parts of the sector could look significantly different compared to pre-lockdown:

  • Drinkers could be asked to order via an app rather than going to the bar
  • Staff could patrol to enforce social distancing
  • Tables at restaurants might not be set in advance
  • Room service in hotels could be left outside of the doors to guests' rooms

Nicholls said it was "possible for certain types of premises" to throw out menus after every use and to bring out cutlery only with food but that other premises "will choose to manage their risk in a different way".
"As the guidelines cover from a burger van in a park right the way through to the Fat Duck in Bray, you need to have something that takes account everything in between rather than a one-size-fits-all."

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 20 2020, 12:26

Analysis: In Brazil, virus still out of control

Katy Watson - BBC South America correspondent
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has long-admired Donald Trump and his way of doing politics. The two men have much in common - not least the way they have handled the pandemic in their own countries. The figures in the US are staggering - but Brazil, too, is frightening. They are now exclusive members of a club nobody wants to join - the countries to have confirmed one million Covid-19 cases.
Such a massive spike in the numbers - even if it was down to inaccurate reporting earlier this week - reveals how out of control the virus still is here. This, at a time when big cities are reopening and people are returning to work.
For a long time, there was a stand-off between President Bolsonaro and state governors - he was angry that they were imposing tough quarantine measures that he said would damage the economy.
But fast forward three months and that pressure from the top seems to have filtered down. With millions of people struggling and out of work, there is a desire to return to some kind of normality. But it feels like a dangerous plan - Brazil has not yet reached its peak.
Read more about the outbreak in Brazil

UK airport tests may provide 'early travel quarantine release'

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A similar testing programme is in place in Hong Kong

Passengers arriving at UK airports could soon avoid the country's two-week quarantine rule by paying £140 ($170) for a coronavirus test.
Under the proposal , those who take part would be tested and given the results within 24 hours.
The firm behind the plans, Swissport UK, says it means those who test negative could avoid up to 13 days of self-isolation.
The quarantine on all air passengers came into force on 8 June - more details on that here - but airline bosses have expressed "serious reservations" about such a "blanket approach".
However, Swissport UK's chief executive Jason Holt said the new voluntary scheme would "complement" the quarantine rule and could help "get the aviation sector back on its feet".
"We need to have passengers having confidence that they can travel and not be quarantined when they get back even if they aren't carrying the virus," he told the BBC.
“And then of course the track-and-trace system in the NHS would have the results of those who are positive - so everyone wins in this.”
The Home Office has not agreed to the proposal and says the quarantine measure, designed to stop a second wave of the virus, will be kept under review.

We must learn lessons of pandemic, Greta Thunberg says

While the world has been preoccupied with the pandemic, the spotlight has shifted from efforts to tackle climate change.
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg believes that is a mistake, because climate change is a crisis that should be treated with similar urgency.
In an exclusive interview with the BBC , Thunberg said the world needed to act with the same "necessary force" to reduce carbon emissions.
The world is now passing a "social tipping point" on climate change and other issues, such as the Black Lives Matter anti-racism movement.
"People are starting to realise that we can't keep looking away from these things,” Thunberg said, adding that the lockdown has given her time to relax and reflect away from the public gaze.

The numbers out of Latin America

As we have been reporting, Latin America is among the regions currently seeing a spike in infections, and there are major outbreaks in a number of countries.
Confirmed cases in Brazil have passed one million, with more than 54,000 registered in the past 24 hours. Mexico has become the seventh country to officially surpass 20,000 virus-related deaths.
Chile and Peru are also seeing a surge in cases, with each country reporting more than 230,000 cases.
Our Reality Check team has been looking at the numbers across the region in detail.

Trump's Oklahoma rally approved despite Covid-19 fears

US President Donald Trump is set to hold an election rally in the state of Oklahoma on Saturday, his first since the start of the pandemic.
There was a legal challenge to stop the controversial indoor event in Tulsa over concerns it could increase the spread of Covid-19.
But that lawsuit has been rejected by Oklahoma's Supreme Court , paving the way for the rally to go ahead at the Bank of Oklahoma Center, a 19,000-seat capacity venue.
Virus cases are rising in Oklahoma, and local health officials have expressed concerns over hosting the rally, which President Trump hopes will give him momentum ahead of November’s presidential election.
"We're going to have a wild evening tomorrow night at Oklahoma,” Trump said on Friday.
We'll bring you more coverage on this rally later on.

Protesters spray French health ministry with red paint

Protesters have doused the French health ministry in red paint to symbolise the blood of people who have died with Covid-19.
Footage shows activists from the Attac protest movement - a well-known anti-globalisation group - spraying the facade of the ministry’s offices in Paris.
A giant medal-shaped banner, dubbed the "medal of contempt", was placed on the steps outside the building during the stunt.
The activists cited the scale of Covid-19 deaths and the treatment of health workers by the French government as the reasons for their protest.
"For years, health workers have been alerting us to the fact they don't have enough resources with regards to staff, beds and equipment to be able to allow us to look after people decently," a spokeswoman for Attac told Reuters news agency.
The French government has said it will pay healthcare workers a €1,500 (£1,357; $1,676) bonus to recognise their role during the pandemic.
But healthcare workers have recently protested, accusing the government of not looking after or compensating them.
France has confirmed more than 196,000 cases of Covid-19, with nearly 30,000 deaths.

Do not go to Stonehenge on summer solstice, public told

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Stonehenge - parts of which are about 4,500 years old - is aligned to the rising sun at midsummer and the setting sun at midwinter

People are being urged not to gather at Stonehenge for the summer solstice, due to the ongoing ban on mass gatherings across the UK.
This year, Stonehenge has been closed to visitors since mid-March and people wanting to celebrate the sunrise at 04:52 BST (03:52 GMT) on 21 June are being urged to stay away.
Traditionally about 10,000 people gather at the Neolithic monument in Wiltshire to watch the sun rise on the longest day of the year. But do not worry: English Heritage is streaming the sunrise live on social media instead.
"We know how strong the draw to come is for some people," said Stonehenge director Nichola Tasker. "But please do not travel to Stonehenge this summer solstice, watch it online instead."
Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon said it was "not very pagan" to watch a "false sunrise" on a screen.
Wiltshire Police said officers would have a "presence" in the area over the weekend.

Latest figures from Russia, Indonesia and Iran

We have the latest coronavirus figures from Russia, Indonesia and Iran, three countries that have had particularly severe outbreaks of Covid-19.
In Russia, coronavirus-related deaths increased by 161 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 8,002. The total number of infections has reached 576,952, the third-highest in the world after the US and Brazil.
Iran’s coronavirus cases jumped to 202,584 on Saturday, an increase of 2,322. A further 115 people died with Covid-19, putting the total death toll at 9,507.
There were 1,226 new coronavirus infections in Indonesia, raising the total to 45,029. Total deaths now stand at 2,429 after another 56 were reported.
The true numbers may be far higher in all three countries due to the lack of testing, and reporting issues.
From the start of the pandemic, we've been monitoring the trajectory of cases and deaths in all countries, with particular focus on those hit hardest. You can check our global coronavirus tracker to see where cases and deaths are still on the rise
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 20 2020, 13:02

Social distancing around the UK

The UK government is under pressure from industry leaders and its own MPs to relax the two-metre social distancing rule, with widespread concerns around the impact it is having on the economy.
And now Cabinet minister Oliver Dowden has told the BBC an official review into the rule in England will conclude "within days".
But what's happening with it in the other nations of the UK? So far they have kept it in place.
However, Northern Ireland's Economy Minister Diane Dodds has said she is open to changing it and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she is looking at the evidence .
A coronavirus adviser to the Welsh government said the risk in reducing the distance "isn't very big"

Delhi orders five-day quarantine for Covid-19 cases

Anyone infected with Covid-19 in the Indian capital Delhi must spend five days in official quarantine, authorities have said.
The new quarantine rule was announced by Delhi’s Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) after a record spike in infections on Friday.
The state government has criticised the move, calling it "arbitrary" and touting the success of its home-quarantine programme. "We have treated thousands of mild and asymptomatic cases at home so far through daily monitoring and counselling," it said.
Health experts have also questioned the decision, saying it will place more strain on overstretched hospitals, where overcrowding may risk new infections.
But the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal, said the lack of monitoring of those in home quarantine was proving problematic. Delhi's cases jumped by 3,137 to 53,116 on Friday, the biggest daily increase since the pandemic began.
Our colleague from BBC Gujarati Roxy Gadgekar has described how his own family was devastated by the virus .

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 20 2020, 13:55

Championship football kicks off with first games in 104 days

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Championship football is back - but behind closed doors

Championship football returns today - after more than 100 days without any action.
Two goals in three minutes has made for a lively encounter at the Riverside, as Middlesbrough take on Swansea. You can follow live commentary here.
And in the other opening game, Fulham and Brentford are under way at Craven Cottage - 99 days after the fixture was originally scheduled. Follow live commentary here.
The games are being played behind-closed-doors as mass gatherings remain banned in the UK.
There are eight games in England's second tier on Saturday, with another four Premier League clashes - making it something like a regular set Saturday of fixtures for the leagues.
The BBC will broadcast Bournemouth v Crystal Palace and Norwich v Everton later, as the first two of its four free-to-air Premier League games.

Beijing to test all delivery workers amid rise in cases

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Nucleic acid tests are being carried out on delivery workers

Tests are being carried out on all food and parcel delivery workers in the Chinese capital, Beijing, to detect traces of coronavirus in an effort to curb a new outbreak in the city.
The nucleic acid tests are expected to be completed within the next week, the Global Times reports. Almost 2.3 million such tests have already been carried out in Beijing, officials say.
This type of test involves a swab sample taken from the back of a person's throat or respiratory tract, which is then tested for the presence of the coronavirus' genome.
Beijing has in the past week seen a spike of Covid-19 cases - almost all of which have been linked to a huge wholesale food market

Traffic levels 'now double the lockdown low'

Lockdown has had a huge impact on traffic levels on Britain's roads.
When the measures were first introduced in late March, traffic slumped to between 35% and 40% of the pre-coronavirus volume.
But it has now doubled to around 75% of pre-lockdown levels, the AA says. That means the amount of traffic on our roads is at a similar level to that seen in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The gradual increase has been caused by travel restrictions easing and hundreds of thousands of people returning to work.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 20 2020, 17:23

Two-metre rule debate; two nations with million cases: World round-up

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This pub in Glasgow has been adapted to follow social-distancing rules

If you are just joining us, here's the latest from the UK and around the world:

French stadiums to reopen to 5,000 fans

Sports fans in France will be allowed to enter stadiums from 11 July, the government has said, as it seeks to ease Covid-19 restrictions.
Stadiums can only permit a maximum of 5,000 fans at first, but that number may increase later in the summer.
"A further review of the national epidemiological situation will be carried out in mid-July to decide whether a loosening is possible for the second half of August," the government said.
The announcement means football's French Cup and League Cup finals could be played in front of supporters. Both were postponed to a date yet to be decided because of the pandemic.
France's Ligue 1 football league was cancelled in April, with final table positions determined by a points-per-game system.
Paris Saint-Germain, which had a 12-point lead when play was suspended, were declared champions , while Amiens and Toulouse were relegated.

Corbyn's brother charged with breaching lockdown twice

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Piers Corbyn being led away from Hyde Park by police on 16 May

The brother of former UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is accused of breaching lockdown rules by participating in demonstrations claiming coronavirus is caused by the 5G network.
Piers Corbyn, 73, was arrested on 16 May during a protest at Hyde Park Corner involving 50 people. He was arrested a second time over protests on 30 May.
He has been charged with offences under the Health Protection Regulations 2020 and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 24 July.
Another 12 people were also arrested and charged over the anti-lockdown protests of 16 May.

Two coronavirus deaths in Scotland

Two coronavirus deaths have been registered in Scotland in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of deaths to 2,472.
There have been 26 new confirmed cases since yesterday.

Drones and dogs to be used against illegal 'quarantine raves'

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Groups meeting ahead of an illegal rave in England

Illegal "quarantine raves" have sprung up across parts of the UK as lockdown continues, and police are warning people against attending such events, with mass gatherings still banned.
That includes one rave which officers believe has been planned in a remote location in the Black Country this weekend.
West Midlands Police Supt Nick Rowe said drones and dog units would be deployed in a bid to find and shutdown the event.
Raves like this are "unacceptable at any time but even more so during a pandemic," he said.
"I fully understand - and I think it's expected - an upsurge among young people wanting to burst out of being at home," David Jamieson, the force's police and crime commissioner said, but attending gatherings risked not only their families' wellbeing, but also prosecution, he added.
Around 1,000 people were estimated to have attended another rave also in the Midlands last weekend.
Two larger raves near Manchester resulted in one man's death, a woman being raped and three people being stabbed , police said.

One further coronavirus death in Northern Ireland

There has been one further death of someone who tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland, taking the total number of deaths recorded by the Department of Health to 545.
There were no new confirmed cases of the virus announced on Saturday.

71 virus deaths in England's hospitals

A further 71 people have died in hospital in England after testing positive for coronavirus, or where Covid-19 was the direct or underlying cause, NHS England said.
It brings the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 28,292.
Those who died were aged between 41 and 95 years old. One, aged 68, had no known underlying health conditions.
The South West was the only region to report no deaths in the latest figures.
In Wales, one further coronavirus death has been recorded , taking the total to 1,476.
We will bring you the UK-wide figures shortly.

UK virus deaths increase by 128

The total number of people who have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus is 42,589, as of 17:00 (BST) on Friday.
It is an increase of 128 deaths from 42,461 the day before, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.
It also said 230,550 tests were carried out or dispatched in the 24-hour period up to 09:00 today, with 1,295 positive results.

Pope Francis holds first post-lockdown audience

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Pope Francis held his first audience at the Vatican since lockdown restrictions were eased

Pope Francis has thanked doctors and nurses for their role in battling Italy's coronavirus epidemic, as he held his first audience since lockdown restrictions were eased.
The Pope heaped praise on healthcare "angels" from Lombardy, the northern Italian region that was once the global epicentre of the pandemic.
"You were one of the supporting pillars of the entire country," Pope Francis told a delegation in the Vatican's Clementine Hall.
He offered his "esteem" and "sincere thanks".
Lockdown measures were eased on 3 June in Italy, which has recorded more than 34,000 deaths and 238,000 cases to date, many of those in Lombardy.
Watch below our Rome correspondent, Mark Lowen, who has reported on the story from the start, return to Lombardy to ask what went wrong.

Anti-racism rally under way despite 'stay away' appeals

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Many of the protesters are wearing masks

Hundreds of people have turned up to [url= of people have turned up to an anti-racism rally in Glasgow city centre despite appeals to stay away due to the lockdown restrictions.]an anti-racism rally in Glasgow city centre despite appeals to stay away[/url] due to the lockdown restrictions.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf, the city council and Police Scotland had all called on the public not to gather for the Say No To Racism demonstration.
There is a heavy police presence at the scene after clashes broke out in recent weeks, with violent scenes from a far-right group on Wednesday.
There has been no early reports of any trouble and small group of about 50 loyalists are being kept apart from the demonstration by officers.
Another group of protesters from the Green Brigade - a group of ultras who follow Celtic football club - are separately being hemmed in by police in the centre of the square.

Zimbabwe’s health minister charged over Covid-19 fraud case

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Zimbabwe's anti-corruption agency arrested Obadiah Moyo on Friday

Zimbabwe’s health minister has been freed on bail after appearing in court on corruption charges over the procurement of coronavirus tests and equipment.
Obadiah Moyo was arrested on Friday after the Zimbabwean government came under pressure from the opposition and on social media.
Moyo is accused of awarding a $20m (£16m) contract to a new company, Drax Consult, without going through proper processes.
The BBC’s Shingai Nyoka said Moyo arrived at court in the capital Harare on Saturday in his official car, flanked by his aides.
He was charged with three counts of criminal abuse of office and is due back in court at the end of July.
The Zimbabwean government said Moyo’s arrest showed its commitment to fighting corruption, adding that no one is immune from prosecution.
But since President Emmerson Mnangagwa came to power in 2017, many corruption cases have ended in acquittal.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 20 2020, 17:36

New coronavirus tracing tool appears on phones

Zoe Kleinman - Technology reporter, BBC News
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A new coronavirus tracing software tool has appeared in the settings of Android phones and iPhones as part of an update of their operating systems.
The "exposure notification" tool is switched off by default, and is not a tracing app itself.
But it enables an app to run in the background while still using Bluetooth.
This lets the app measure the distance between two handsets - allowing for alerts to be sent to the phone owner if someone they have been near them later tests positive for Covid-19.
The update has caused some confusion, with people querying the new addition to their handsets on social media.
"This is not a new app but is an extra element added to the phones' operating systems to enable approved developers to build apps that can potentially warn of proximity to infected individuals," said computer scientist Prof Alan Woodward, of Surrey University.
Read more here

Saudi Arabia to lift curfew and open economy

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Saudi Arabia has said it will end a nationwide curfew

Saudi Arabia has said it will end a nationwide curfew and resume all economic activities from Sunday, easing Covid-19 restrictions despite the rising number of cases.
The lockdown measures will be lifted at 06:00 local time (04:00 BST), allowing mosques and businesses to reopen in the country.
International flights and land entry to the country remain suspended, as will social gatherings of more than 50 people, the Saudi Arabian government said.
Saudi authorities are yet to decide whether this year's Hajj pilgrimage, which attracts more than two million worshippers every year, can go ahead.
Coronavirus cases are still on the rise in Saudi Arabia, which recorded 3,941 new infections in the last 24 hours, raising the total to 154,233.
Until Saturday, the country reported six straight days of new cases above 4,000.
There have been 1,230 deaths to date, with a further 46 announced on Saturday.

'Why I want to go to lockdown raves'

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"We know it's breaking the rules, that's why we keep it so secret but there's no stopping us from doing it."
When Jay, 22, gets a WhatsApp notification, it could be the start of another illegal lockdown rave.
Last weekend, thousands headed to raves in England despite mass gatherings being banned to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
Two of them ended in a man being killed, three people being stabbed and a woman raped.
As police forces gear up to tackle more lockdown raves this weekend, BBC News has been speaking to those who have been flouting the rules to go raving

France awaits blockbuster weekend

An outdoor music festival and the reopening of cinemas are the latest entertainment activities to excite France, as the country makes the most of summer amid a phased easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
France's annual Festival of Music will go ahead on Sunday, albeit in a scaled-back form.
Usually, millions of people take to the streets across the country to play and listen to music outside in public spaces and parks.
French electronic music legend Jean-Michel Jarre has been billed as one of the highlights of the festival. His gig has been described as the world's first live virtual "avatar" concert.
Then, at the stroke of midnight on Sunday, cinemas will be allowed to start screening films again.
Cinema-goers are required to wear masks in theatres, and screening rooms can never be more than half full, authorities said.
Still, excitement is building for the return of the silver screen in France, a cinema-obsessed nation.
"I only have one word - finally," Emmanuel Delesse, one of the directors of cinema chain UGC, told AFP news agency.

Cases at German meat plant rise above 1,000

Over the last few days we have been covering an outbreak of coronavirus at a slaughterhouse in north-west Germany . Now local officials say more than 1,000 workers there have tested positive.
The number of confirmed cases linked to the factory rose by 226 from 803 on Saturday, regional official Sven-Georg Adenauer told German media.
"We have no significant introduction of coronavirus into the general population," the official said, as reported by Germany's dpa news agency.
Operations at the Tönnies meat processing plant in North Rhine-Westphalia have been suspended since Wednesday afternoon.
A quarantine order has been issued for all 6,500 workers and managers at the plant. About half of those employees have been tested so far.
In response to the outbreak, local authorities have suspended schools and childcare centres in the region until the end of the month.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said she "welcomed" the measures to prevent the further spread of the virus in the area.

Delhi U-turn on five-day quarantine

Only hours after it was announced, Delhi has reversed a decision which would have seen anyone infected with Covid-19, and who did not need to go to hospital, quarantined in official premises.
There were fears that people might avoid getting tested if they thought they might be sent to an institution for five days of quarantine. There were also concerns the policy could put strain on already stretched resources.
The quarantine rule was first announced by Delhi’s Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) after a record spike in infections on Friday. The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal, said the lack of monitoring of those in home quarantine was proving problematic.
But the state government criticised the move, calling it "arbitrary" and touting the success of its home-quarantine programme.
Delhi's cases jumped by 3,137 to 53,116 on Friday, the biggest daily increase since the pandemic began.

Will Santa have to socially distance this Christmas?

Well, it may be June but we all know that Christmas planning starts early if you want to get tickets booked to your favourite Santa experience or pantomime.
We've seen Easter parties and summer festivals cancelled thanks to the coronavirus pandemic - but will Christmas outings suffer the same fate, asks our colleague Emma Kasprzak.
While many events have started taking bookings, it remains to be seen whether or not they will go ahead if social distancing remains in place or the virus has a second peak.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 20 2020, 21:03

Analysis: The risk of relaxing two-metre rule

Victoria Gill - Science reporter
The science of social distancing is pretty straightforward - the further away you are, the lower the risk. So two metres IS safer than one.
The virus is transmitted through droplets from coughing, sneezing or even speaking - so the further back you stand, the more likely those droplets will have fallen to the ground before they can reach you.
Based on that, the government's scientific advisers say that being one metre apart carries up to 10 times the risk of being two metres apart.
But, with background infection levels now much lower, the chances of a face-to-face encounter with someone who has the virus are small. And other measures - ones that many shops and restaurants could operate with - reduce the risk, too.
Limiting the time people spend face to face, being outside, screens, even keeping noise levels low, so no-one has to shout - all these things help prevent droplets passing from person to person.
But while coronavirus is still around, we will all have to factor it into the choices we make because there is no such thing as zero risk.

Ex-Bangladesh cricket captain Mortaza tests positive

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Mashrafe Mortaza is one of three Bangladesh players who have tested positive

Veteran fast bowler and former captain Mashrafe Mortaza is one of three Bangladesh players who have tested positive for coronavirus.
Mortaza, 36, is also a member of the country's national parliament.
He has taken 390 wickets in 310 games across all formats since his international debut in 2001.
Spinner Nazmul Islam, 28, and batsman Nafees Iqbal, 34, who last played for the Tigers in 2018 and 2006 respectively, also tested positive.
Nafees is the elder brother of opener Tamim Iqbal, who succeeded Mortaza as one-day international captain earlier this year.
Coronavirus cases in Bangladesh now exceed 100,000, with more than 1,400 people having died.

Spain to allow UK tourists without quarantine

Travellers from the UK will not have to quarantine on arrival in Spain from Sunday, Spanish officials have said.
Britain is to be included in a list of nations from which people can enter the country freely, the Spanish government has confirmed to the BBC.
Spain's Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya says the decision has been made "out of respect" for the 400,000 Brits who have second homes in Spain.
She said discussions were continuing with the UK government about exempting Spanish visitors from quarantine rules in the UK.
The current rules state that anyone returning to - or entering - the UK still has to self-isolate for 14 days.
It is understood the UK's quarantine restrictions will be reviewed on 29 June.

No new cases in NI for first time since lockdown

For the first time since lockdown began, Northern Ireland's Health Department has recorded a full 24-hour period without any new Covid-19 cases .
A total of 995 tests were completed between Thursday evening and Friday evening and none had a positive result.
Health Minister Robin Swann described it as "significant progress in forcing the virus into retreat".
One further coronavirus-related death was recorded within the same 24-hour period. It brings the total number of deaths reported by the Department of Health to 545.

Sanitiser on hand as crowds gather for Trump rally

Crowds are gathering outside a major venue in Oklahoma for President Trump's first re-election rally since the coronavIrus pandemic hit the US.
The event, at the 19,000-seat Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa, is taking place against the advice of many medical experts, who cite fears of spreading Covid-19.
Among them are Dr Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious diseases expert, and the White House coronavirus response co-ordinator, Deborah Birx, according to a report from NBC. Republican Party organisers say masks and hand sanitiser will be provided at Saturday night's event.
But those attending must sign disclaimers saying they will not sue if they contract Covid-19 at the venue.
Meantime, our Visual Journalism team have been examining whether the pandemic is getting worse in the US. Take a look here.
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People attending the event must sign disclaimers saying they will not sue if they contract Covid-19

Chile adds more than 3,000 deaths to toll

Chile has announced it will add 3,069 deaths to the country's coronavirus death toll under a new counting methodology.
The country is one of the worst-hit in Latin America with nearly 237,000 confirmed cases. The revised number means the death toll will pass 7,000.
The new methodology will also include probable deaths, or those which have not been confirmed by lab tests, said Rafael Araos, chief epidemiologist at the health ministry.
This comes a week after Jaime Manalich was replaced as health minister amid a controversy over the official figures.
Infections are on the rise in Chile and the centre-right government of President Sebastián Piñera has extended for 90 days a state of catastrophe, which gives the authorities extraordinary powers to restrict freedom of movement among other measures.
A total lockdown has been imposed on the capital, Santiago, where soldiers have been deployed to enforce the restrictions.

Germany's R rate jumps to 1.79

The R rate, or reproduction rate, for Covid-19 has jumped to 1.79 in Germany, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health has said.
The rate, published in RKI's daily situation report, compares with a value of 1.06 on Friday.
The R number is the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to, on average.
An R value of less than 1 is needed to gradually contain the disease.
But the RKI report points out that the value "reacts sensitively to short-term changes in case numbers, such as those caused by individual outbreaks".
"This can lead to relatively large fluctuations, especially if the total number of new cases is small," it says.
Read more about the R rate here

UK chancellor urged to explore four-day week

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Campaigners say a four-day week would improve people's mental health and wellbeing

A group of MPs wants UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak to consider a four-day working week to aid recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
Backed by campaigners and the Communication Workers Union, Labour's former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, the SNP's Mhairi Black and Green MP Caroline Lucas want a commission to be set up to mirror one established in Scotland.
They say the shorter week would improve mental health and wellbeing and boost the economy, democracy and the environment.
"It's in no-one's interests to return back to the pressure and stress that people were under before this pandemic," they wrote in a letter to the chancellor.
New Zealand has already floated the idea of a four-day week to aid the economy.
The 4 Day Week Campaign group says shorter working hours is a "credible and historic solution" to mass unemployment.
It wrote in a tweet: "Work can be fairly distributed through shortening hours. It happened during the Great Depression [and] led to the normalisation of the [eight-hour] day."

Your headlines round-up

That's almost it for our live coverage today but here's the latest headlines from the UK and around the world.

Delhi ordered a new five-day quarantine for anyone infected with coronavirus in the Indian capital after a record spike in infections on Friday. Read BBC Gujarati’s Roxy Gadgekar describe how his own family has been devastated by the virus

That's it for our live coverage for today. Thanks for being with us - and join us again on Sunday for more of the latest news on coronavirus as it happens across the UK and around the world.

Today's coverage was brought to you by Sean Fanning, Hugo Bachega, Joshua Nevett, Matt Cannon, Sarah Collerton and Jo Couzens.

And if you're joining us from the northern hemisphere, we all hope you'll enjoy the summer solstice tonight!

    Current date/time is Sat Nov 28 2020, 07:19