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Coronavirus - 21st June


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Post by Kitkat on Sun Jun 21 2020, 12:05

Summary for Sunday, 21st June

  • Spain is today reopening its tourism industry by lifting travel restrictions for foreign visitors
  • Visitors from the EU and Schengen zone countries and Britain will not have to isolate on arrival
  • Face masks still have to be worn in public spaces where social distancing is not possible
  • In the UK, a review into the two-metre social-distancing rule will conclude "within the coming days", the culture secretary tells the BBC
  • Greta Thunberg tells the BBC the world needs to learn the lessons of coronavirus and treat climate change with similar urgency
  • The authorities in Mexico City have delayed a planned reopening of the economy by a week

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

  • Spain has ended its three-month state of emergency, allowing tourists from the EU and Britain to visit the country during the summer months, a vital period for its economy
  • US President Donald Trump has told a rally in Oklahoma that he asked officials to slow down testing for Covid-19 because so many cases were being detected
  • India’s coronavirus cases have jumped by 15,413 to more than 410,000 infections, the biggest daily rise since the epidemic began in the country
  • The Australian state of Victoria has extended its state of emergency for four weeks, after seeing the biggest spike in cases for more than a month
  • Serbia will hold Europe’s first national election since the pandemic began on Sunday, as the country goes to the polls to vote in a new parliament
  • Another 48 new coronavirus cases have been reported in South Korea, where health authorities are struggling to get to grips with an outbreak in the capital, Seoul
  • American comedian Darryl Lynn Hughley says he tested positive for Covid-19 after collapsing onstage during a performance in Nashville, Tennessee

Spain opens up to foreign tourists

Spain is reopening its tourism industry by lifting travel restrictions for foreign visitors from European Union and Schengen zone countries and the UK.
All arriving passengers will have their temperature taken at the airport, submit information on whether they have had the virus, and provide their contact details.
The move comes as Spain marks the end of its three-month state of emergency, allowing free travel across the country. Face masks have to be worn in public spaces where social distancing is not possible.
Spain introduced its lockdown in mid-March as it sought to bring one of the most severe coronavirus outbreaks in Europe under control.
The country has recorded more than 245,000 infections and 28,000 deaths from its coronavirus epidemic to date, among the highest tallies in the world.
Spain normally attracts 80 million tourists a year, with tourism providing more than 12% of the country's GDP.
Opening up the holiday market again before the summer season is over is seen as crucial to the Spanish economy.
Read more here

India reports record daily infections

India has reported 15,413 new coronavirus cases, the biggest daily increase since the start of its epidemic, as the country struggles to grapple with rising infections.
Sunday’s record daily increase brings the total number of cases in India to 410,461, the fourth highest in the world after Russia, Brazil and the US.
A further 306 deaths were reported nationwide on Sunday, taking the total tally to 13,254.
The true numbers of both infections and deaths are thought to be much higher owing to insufficient testing and reporting issues.
Most of the cases are concentrated in the capital Delhi and the states of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu - they account for nearly 60% of all infections.
In an address on Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocated the use of yoga exercises to help strengthen “our respiratory and immune system” against the disease.
"If our immunity is strong, it is of great help in defeating this disease”, he said.

Trump told officials to slow down testing

US President Donald Trump has told a rally in Oklahoma that he asked officials to slow down testing for coronavirus because so many cases were being detected in the country.
"Here is the bad part: When you do testing to that extent, you are going to find more people, you will find more cases," he told the cheering crowd. "So I said 'slow the testing down'. They test and they test."
The coronavirus, Trump said, had many names, including "Kung Flu", a xenophobic term that appears to be a reference to China, where Covid-19 originated.
Almost 120,000 people have died with Covid-19 in the US since the pandemic began, a number that health experts say could have been much higher had testing not been ramped up.
Trump’s remarks were later described as a joke by a White House official, who said he was "only kidding".

Video from Al Jazeera

Australian state extends state of emergency

The Australian state of Victoria has extended its state of emergency for four weeks, until 19 July, after seeing the biggest spike in cases for more than a month.
The measure gives authorities legal powers to restrict movement on health grounds.
"It's a timely reminder that in a population that is non-immune to the virus, to Covid-19, that we'll get, from time to time, outbreaks and clusters as we've seen in Victoria," Australia’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Nick Coatsworth said.
The south-eastern state has detected a cluster of new coronavirus infections in recent days. The state premier blamed family-to-family transmission for the spike in new cases.
On Saturday, the state said it would delay the lifting of some lockdown measures and reimpose social-distancing restrictions, including limiting household gatherings.

Labour 'would back dropping' two-metre rule

The Andrew Marr Show
The UK Labour party's Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth has told the BBC's Andrew Marr show that Labour would be prepared to back a dropping the two-metre social distancing rule in England "under certain circumstances".
But he said "other mitigation measures" would need to be in place, such as greater wearing of face masks, more face shields and for the UK's test-and-trace system to be properly up and running.
"We cannot be complacent," he said.
The government is due to announce in the coming week whether the two-metre social distancing rule in England will be relaxed.

Polls open amid pandemic in Serbia

In Europe’s first national election since the pandemic began, parliamentary and local elections are taking place in Serbia, where the populist governing coalition is hoping to strengthen its majority.
Voting is taking place under coronavirus restrictions with people urged to wear face masks and use hand sanitiser after casting their ballots. The country has confirmed nearly 13,000 cases of Covid-19 and 260 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the disease globally.
The fears of infection may lead to a low turnout. Opposition parties have also called for a boycott, saying President Aleksandar Vucic's firm hold on the media means the vote will be neither free nor fair.
As our Balkans correspondent Guy Delauney reports, his party is hoping to bring Serbia closer to EU membership while maintaining close ties with Russia and China - a balancing act made more difficult by Western pressure for Belgrade to recognise the independence of Kosovo.

Pubs in England may be asked to register customers, Hancock says

Pubs in England may be required to register their customers as part of the coronavirus test-and-trace strategy, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.
"That's the sort of thing we're looking at for how do you make it safe to open things," Hancock told Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday. "And things like wearing a face mask, which reduces the transmission clearly, about how the seating is arranged because face-to-face is much more dangerous than back-to-back and there's more transmission than side to side."
Hancock said other countries had taken a similar approach, mandating bars, nightclubs, restaurants and other venues to register their customers.
South Korea, whose testing regime has been praised internationally, has required "high-risk" facilities such as bars, clubs, gyms, karaoke rooms and concert halls to use smartphone QR codes to register customers.
However, there has been opposition to such methods in other countries on data protection grounds. Earlier this month, a Belgian minister said ordering coffee and restaurant owners to register their customers for contact-tracing purposes would be illegal, the Brussels Times reported .
Hancock said he would not rule out a customer-registration system, but did not elaborate on data protection or the precise details.

'Real vigilance' required to avoid 'large UK second wave'

The Andrew Marr Show
Sir Ian Diamond, the UK's National Statistician, says there has been a "steady decline" in coronavirus cases right across the country, but "not as fast perhaps as many of us would have liked".
He tells the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that "we're moving into a new phase" but that "the virus certainly hasn't gone away".
"We need to move into a period of surveillance and real vigilance to identify any outbreaks and move to get on top of them really quickly," he says.
Prof Diamond says there are still around 3,000 new infections a day, which is a relatively low level, but fresh outbreaks have already occurred in places like Anglesey.
"My own belief is that this virus is going to be with us for a long time. We need to be quick in acting to ensure we don't get a large second wave."
Around 3.5 million people have had Covid-19 or have natural antibodies against the disease, he said.

UK to move to next phase in early July - Hancock

The UK government will announce the next step of its plan to gradually ease the country's lockdown within days, Matt Hancock told the BBC.
The health secretary suggested the government's two-metre social-distancing rule may be relaxed, allowing businesses such as pubs, restaurants and hotels to reopen in early July.
"We're about to see another step in the plan," Hancock told the Andrew Marr Show.
"This week we will announce further details of the measures we can take to relieve some of the national lockdown measures at the start of July, including on 4 July.”
Earlier this morning Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth told the BBC that Labour could support dropping the two-metre rule.
On Saturday Chancellor Rishi Sunak said dropping the rule would "make an enormous difference" to businesses "keen to see a change".

More than 1,000 workers infected at German meat plant

Damien McGuinness - BBC News, Berlin
More than 1,000 employees at the Tönnies meat processing plant in the western German state of North Rhine Westphalia have tested positive for Covid-19. Thousands of workers are still being tested, so that number could rise still further.
More than 7,000 workers and their families have been quarantined in an effort to prevent the virus spreading into local communities.
One German politician says this is the largest outbreak in the EU and the German army has been called in to help.
The outbreak has been blamed on poor working conditions, which are described as cramped and unhygienic, and there are calls for the the company’s meat products to be boycotted. Officials are not ruling out reimposing a lockdown across the region.

Comedian tests positive after collapsing on stage

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US comedian and actor Darryl Lynn Hughley has tested positive for Covid-19 after collapsing during a stand-up show in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday night.
Hughley, 57, said he "lost consciousness" during the performance at Zanies Comedy Night Club. He was taken to hospital, where he was treated for extreme exhaustion and dehydration, and released on Saturday.
At the hospital, Hughley said doctors "ran a battery of tests, and I also tested positive for Covid-19, which blew me away".
"I was what they call asymptomatic," he said in a video posted to his Twitter account, meaning he did not exhibit any of the tell-tale signs of being infected with Covid-19.
Footage posted to social media shows Hughkley sliding off his stool. When he falls to the floor, people rush to the stage to help him.
Hughley said he would go to his hotel room to quarantine for 14 days and thanked his fans for wishing him well.

What is a second wave and is one coming?

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Coronavirus is far from over. Some countries are still dealing with large epidemics, but even those currently controlling the virus fear "the second wave".
The second phase of Spanish flu a century ago was deadlier than the first.
So, is a second wave inevitable? And how bad could it be?
Find out more

South Korea infections rise

South Korea is the latest country to report a rise in locally transmitted infections after virtually eliminating the coronavirus.
A further 48 cases were confirmed on Sunday, most of which were local infections, as the country tries to curb outbreaks in the capital Seoul and Daejeon, two of the country's largest cities.
The increase brings South Korea's total caseload to 12,421, a relatively low number by international standards. No new deaths were reported, so the total remained 280.
The country has been praised for its aggressive test-and-trace regime, which has been credited with keeping infections down to manageable numbers.
But as the country eased its lockdown in April, clusters of infections began to take root once again in cities.
In late May, authorities had to reimpose some lockdown measures after a spike in cases in Seoul, a city of almost 10 million people. Those restrictions were lifted on 14 June.

UK quarantine rules completely useless, says leading scientist

Naomi Grimley, BBC News
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Prof Piot is credited with helping discover Ebola

One of the UK's leading scientists has deemed the quarantine measures for anyone arriving in the country "completely useless".
Prof Peter Piot, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the UK rules - which see new arrivals or those returning from abroad quarantined for 14 days - should be dropped "as soon as possible".
The world-famous scientist, acclaimed for his work on Ebola and HIV/Aids, said the quarantine policy would only have made sense at the start of the pandemic, when case numbers were low. The measure will be reviewed in late June.
He also argued that the current two-metre social-distancing rule gives people a "false sense of security" and that greater mandatory mask-wearing in public could be more useful.
The professor suggested Prime Minister Boris Johnson should appoint a Covid-19 "tsar" to co-ordinate policies across government, adding that so far the logistical response to the crisis had "not been done very well".

Why some guide dogs might have forgotten their skills

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New one-way systems may confuse guide dogs not familiar with the route

If there's one type of access worker that does not always follow the rules, it is guide dogs. So has pawsing their usual routine for three months meant they have lost vital skills?
Pete Osborne from the UK charity Guide Dogs says while his guide dog has enjoyed playing at home, he is confident that older dogs will not forget their training. Recently-qualified dogs, however, may forget some skills.
Owners should "keep things as normal as possible when exercising" to keep skill levels up, he says.
Some transport hubs are adapting their layouts to include one-way systems. So Pete says guide dog owners should ask about any such changes before trying the journey out, because "if your dog's not familiar with it they can lose confidence".

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Post by Kitkat on Sun Jun 21 2020, 13:28

'Between 5% and 7%' of people in England have had virus

The Andrew Marr Show
Sir Ian Diamond, the UK's National Statistician at the Office of National Statistics (ONS), says blood tests to look at the proportion of the population with antibodies suggest between 5% and 7% of the population - or around 3.5 million people in England - either have or had coronavirus, or have natural antibodies to it.
Prof Diamond says there is a "real gradient in health and mortality towards the most disadvantaged members of society" and that BAME people - black, Asian, and minority ethnic - are more highly concentrated towards that more disadvantaged end of society.
But he reports that higher rates of coronavirus deaths in certain groups are not just to do with disadvantage alone.
"We can say occupations like taxi drivers, security guards and health care workers have higher mortality," he tells the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.
"But it doesn't control out all the excess mortality we're seeing from people among BAME groups."
The ONS is continuing to look at data in this "incredibly important and worrying area", he adds.

Pandemic's impact far exceeds official figures

At least another 130,000 people worldwide have died during the coronavirus pandemic on top of the more than 440,000 officially recorded deaths from the virus, according to BBC research.
A review of preliminary mortality data from 27 countries shows that in many places the number of overall deaths during the pandemic has been higher than normal, even when accounting for the virus.
These so-called "excess deaths", the number of deaths above the average, suggest the human impact of the pandemic far exceeds the official figures reported by governments.
Some will be unrecorded Covid-19 victims, but others may be the result of the strain on healthcare systems and a variety of other factors.
You can dig into the data her

Iraqi football great dies with Covid-19

Ahmed Radhi, one of Iraq’s most celebrated footballers, has died with Covid-19 at the age of 56, plunging sport fans across the country into mourning.
Radhi died at a hospital in the capital, Baghdad, on Sunday after testing positive for coronavirus last week.
The striker scored 62 goals in 121 appearances for the Iraqi national team between 1982 and 1997.
He became a national hero after scoring Iraq's first and only ever World Cup goal during the country's 2-1 defeat to Belgium at the tournament in Mexico, 1986.
Radhi had a successful career in Iraq, winning trophies with several teams and being voted Asian player of the year in 1988.
"With great sadness and sorrow, we mourn our lifelong companion, our fans' ardent star, the unrivalled athlete and son of Iraq, Ahmed Radhi," Iraq's sports minister Adnan Darjal said.
Iraq is struggling to cope with a spike in coronavirus cases. A further 88 deaths were reported on Saturday, the highest figure since the start of the outbreak, taking the total to more than 1,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the disease globally.
Over 29,000 cases have been confirmed so far.

West Africa virus cases rise

Five people have been arrested after police officers were assaulted and injured at an illegal house party in the Welsh city of Cardiff.
South Wales Police said four officers were hurt after responding to reports of a large house party in the St Mellons area of the city on Friday night.
Five people were arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker. They have since been released while investigations take place.
Under coronavirus regulations, large gatherings are currently illegal in Wales . People from two households currently allowed to meet but they have to be outside and at a social distance.
Police appealed for the public to follow the rules.

Is it safe for the UK to relax the two-metre rule?

David Shukman - Science editor, BBC News
The government will outline proposals on how to safely reduce the two-metre social distancing rule in England this week - but is it safe to do so?
The distance could be lowered with "mitigations", so people can be closer without a higher risk of transmission, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC .
The review into the two-metre (6ft) social distancing rule was first announced by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 14 June.
The government has been under pressure from MPs and the hospitality industry to allow people to be closer together, to help businesses after they reopen.
However, the government's scientific advisers say that being 1m (just over 3ft) apart carries up to 10 times the risk of being 2m apart.
Read more here

Family get green light to end Nepal lockdown

A family from Aberdeen have been told they can continue their round-the-world trip after having to spend three months in lockdown in a remote town in Nepal.
Kris and Julie Smith and their two children - nine-year-old Erihn and four-year-old Jacob - can now resume their journey to Everest Base Camp.
They left Aberdeen almost exactly a year ago to fulfil a "big crazy dream" of travelling around the globe. Coronavirus lockdown measures came into force in March, however.

Analysis: Change to two-metre rule almost inevitable

Hugh Pym - Health editor
Officially, the review is still under way. But it now seems inevitable the result will be a move from a two-metre social-distancing rule in England to one metre.
The government is set to announce this in the week ahead - probably alongside a confirmed date in early July for pubs and restaurants to reopen, under certain conditions.
Scientists seem relaxed about this change - the chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance having indicated that, ultimately, this is a political decision, with no continuing body of evidence to stand in the way of the move.
A member of Sage, Prof Calum Semple, says he has changed his mind and it is now reasonable to "relax these rules".
It is understood there will need to be "mitigation" - requirements to stop overcrowding in bars, taking contact details of people booking restaurant tables and a more widespread use of face coverings, for example.
But as the eminent microbiologist Prof Peter Piot reminded us, the virus will not just fade away. He says it will be with us for some time and a second spike of some sort was highly likely.
The pubs and bars may reopen in England and Northern Ireland within weeks - Scotland and Wales are keeping the issue under review.
But no health or scientific official or adviser will be celebrating any time soon.

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Post by Kitkat on Sun Jun 21 2020, 13:45

Brazil nears 50,000 deaths: Latin America round-up

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Brazil reached 49,976 on Saturday, according to the country's health ministry. There have been 1,067, 579 confirmed cases, though the numbers are thought to be higher because of insufficient testing.
Only the US has confirmed more cases and deaths linked to Covid-19.
Experts say the outbreak in Brazil is still weeks away from its peak , and that the disease is spreading across the country's hinterland and among indigenous communities.
Meanwhile Chile, another Latin American country hit hard by the virus, announced on Saturday it would add 3,069 deaths to its coronavirus death toll under a new counting methodology that would also include probable deaths, or those which have not been confirmed by lab tests.
The country has nearly 237,000 confirmed cases. The revised number means the death toll will pass 7,000.
In Mexico, the mayor of Mexico City has delayed a planned reopening of businesses until coronavirus infections drop, saying the city would remain at red - the highest level of lockdown - until next week.
The country has confirmed more than 20,000 virus-related deaths and over 170,000 infections to date, but the true numbers are thought to be much higher because of insufficient testing. Mexico City is the worst-affected area in the country.

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Post by Kitkat on Sun Jun 21 2020, 13:46

An analysis of three Covid-19 outbreaks: how they happened and how they can be avoided

An office, a restaurant and a bus were the settings for multiple infections that have been studied in detail by health authorities. Their conclusions offer valuable lessons for the deescalation process

A crowded restaurant to celebrate the Chinese New Year; 100 workers infected inside a 19-story building; a group of devout Buddhists travelling by bus for a religious ceremony. These were the scenarios for three outbreaks of Covid-19 that have been carefully documented by the authorities. What happened in each one? What were the risk factors? What lessons can be learned, now that we are trying to get back to normal and return to restaurants, offices and other shared spaces?

The office

In a single wing of a call center in Seoul, in South Korea, the risk of infection was multiplied by four key factors: close, prolonged contact between numerous people, in an enclosed space...


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Post by Kitkat on Sun Jun 21 2020, 13:53

Arrests in UK crackdown on illegal lockdown raves

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Lockdown rules mean raves are illegal

Thirteen people have been arrested in a police crackdown on UK lockdown raves planned despite the risk of coronavirus.
Staffordshire Police detained the 11 men and two women in connection with illegal raves planned in Cannock over the weekend.
Officers said the gatherings are "both illegal and irresponsible and put people at risk with the current global pandemic still not over".
Police forces across England have had to target illegal lockdown raves being staged.
Some people are adamant that they want to continue going to lockdown parties . One of them, 22-year-old Jay, explained his views to us: "[It's] escapism from being trapped in this whole time which has been getting really daunting."

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Post by Kitkat on Sun Jun 21 2020, 17:25

Labour says UK 'asleep at wheel' over schools reopening

Labour frontbencher Rachel Reeves has accused the UK government of being "asleep at the wheel" over plans to reopen schools following the coronavirus lockdown.
The shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and shadow minister for the Cabinet Office said Education Secretary Gavin Williamson was "set a test, he has failed it miserably".
Williamson announced on Friday that all pupils in all year groups in England will go back to school full-time in September , with guidance on safety measures to be published in the next fortnight.
That pledge came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a £1bn fund to help England's pupils catch up with their learning .
However, Reeves told Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday there was a "generation who are left behind and locked out of future opportunities because of mistakes made during this pandemic".

Young people 'driving new infections' in some US states

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Florida was one of the the first US states to ease coronavirus restrictions

An increasing number of young people are becoming infected with Covid-19 as they flout social distancing in southern US states where lockdowns have been relaxed, officials have warned.
Infections are rising rapidly in Florida, Georgia, Texas, South Carolina and other states that have lifted restrictions.
Florida's cases increased by 4,049 on Saturday, setting a new daily record for the third consecutive day. Governor Ron DeSantis said most of the new cases were people in their 20s and 30s who did not show any Covid-19 symptoms.
Cases were "shifting in a radical direction" towards young people, who were "testing positive at a higher rate increasingly over the last week," he said.
South Carolina also reported a record number of daily infections on Saturday, with its tally rising by 1,155. People aged between 21 and 30 represented about 18% of the state's total coronavirus caseload, its health authority said.
The spike in cases serves "as a warning that young adults and youth are not immune to Covid-19," South Carolina health official Dr Brannon Traxler said. "They also tell us that younger South Carolinians are not taking social distancing seriously."

US-China friction 'bigger threat' than virus - Sachs

The deepening cold war between the US and China will be a bigger worry for the world than coronavirus , according to influential economist Jeffrey Sachs.
The world is headed for a period of "massive disruption without any leadership" in the aftermath of the pandemic, he told the BBC, warning that the divide between the two countries will exacerbate this.
The Columbia University professor blamed the US administration for the hostilities between the nations.
"The US is a force for division, not for cooperation," he said in an interview with the BBC's Asia Business Report.
"It's a force for trying to create a new cold war with China. If this takes hold - if that kind of approach is used, then we won't go back to normal, indeed we'll spiral into greater controversy and greater danger in fact."

No virus deaths in Scotland over 24 hours

There have been no virus deaths over the past 24 hours in Scotland.
It marks the fifth day in June that no deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded in Scotland.
The death toll in Scotland currently stands at 2,472.
Of those who have tested positive for the virus, 518 are currently in hospital, with 16 patients in intensive care.
It comes as further lockdown easing measures come into force in Scotland on Monday.
However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has regularly sounded a note of caution on the figures of deaths registered at the weekend, saying they tend to be artificially low.

UK virus death toll increases by 43

The UK death toll has risen by 43 in the past 24 hours.
It brings the total number of deaths of people who tested positive for coronavirus, across all settings, to 42,632.
Of those tested, 1,221 new cases were confirmed.
It comes as the UK government vows to "bring forward proposals" on how to safely reduce the 2m social distancing rule in England this week.

India PM Modi touts yoga as way of fighting virus

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promoted the health benefits of yoga in an address to the nation, championing an exercise that has soared in popularity during lockdowns worldwide.
Modi endorsed the exercise in a video speech on Sunday to mark International Yoga Day, an annual event observed mostly in India but other countries too.
He said "the world is realising the need of yoga now more than ever" during the coronavirus pandemic.
Yoga is the "best exercise to keep ourselves safe" because it helps to strengthen "our respiratory and immune system" against the disease, Modi said.
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"A large number of Covid-19 patients all over the world are taking the benefits of all these techniques of yoga. The strength of yoga is helping them defeat this disease," Modi said.
A keen yoga enthusiast, Modi proposed the event to the United Nations General Assembly, which formally adopted it in 2014.
This year, Modi urged Indians to celebrate International Yoga Day at home, but some events did take place in outdoor spaces in India and other countries.
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Five reasons why coronavirus is so bad in Yemen

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Yemen's health facilities have been devastated by five years of war

Coronavirus could spread faster, wider and with deadlier consequences in Yemen than many other countries in the world, the UN says. Here's five reasons why - and you can find out more here.
1) It is a country still at war: Since 2015, Yemen has been devastated by conflict, leaving millions of people without access to proper health care, clean water or sanitation - crucial for preventing the virus from spreading
2) It is already suffering the world's worst humanitarian crisis: Conditions in Yemen put the population at particular risk to a highly contagious disease
3) Yemen's health system has collapsed: The war has shattered the health system, leaving it incapable of coping with a pandemic
4) The actual number of coronavirus cases is unknown: Without knowing more accurately who has got coronavirus, it is more difficult to prevent its spread or plan for numbers of patients putting additional strain on the already fragile health system
5) Medics themselves are vulnerable: Alongside a lack of medicine to treat cases, medics lack personal protection equipment (PPE), such as masks and gowns, to shield them from the disease

Dutch police fire water cannon at anti-lockdown protesters

Anna Holligan - BBC News Hague correspondent
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The anti-lockdown protest was initially banned by police

Dutch police in The Hague have deployed water cannon after rival groups of football supporters infiltrated a peaceful protest objecting to lockdown restrictions in the Netherlands.
Some of those involved in the demo in the western city have accused the police of heavy handedness.
Videos on social media show officers with shields and batons trying to push back an angry crowd.
In a few instances, police appear to physically usher people away from the Malieveld field near the central train station.
Organisers argued the authorities were showing hypocrisy by allowing Black Lives Matter protests to go ahead, while initially banning an anti-lockdown event at the same location in the city.
Roads around the city centre have been cordoned off to try to contain crowds, so traffic is being redirected. It looks as though calm has been mostly restored.

London City Airport to resume commercial flights

London City Airport is set to reopen to the public later on Sunday after it was closed for nearly three months because of Covid-19.
Commercial and private flights stopped operating on 25 March due to travel restrictions and a collapse in demand.
Government agencies and the military have been using the airport instead.
On Sunday, the first commercial flight to restart the airport will arrive from the Isle of Man and is due to land at 18:00 BST.
Initially flights will be restricted to those within the UK and Ireland.
The UK's 14-day quarantine policy, to be enforced with surprise visits and fines of up to £1,000 in England , has been described by some in a struggling aviation industry bosses as a "stunt" and "unenforceable".

China bans imports from US firm and closes Pepsi plant

China has banned imports from US poultry producer Tyson Foods and ordered a Beijing Pepsi factory to close amid measures affecting the food industry as the authorities tackle an outbreak in the capital.
Health officials reported 22 new cases and have tested two million residents following the outbreak linked to a wholesale market.
Tyson Foods frozen chicken imports have been "temporarily suspended", the General Administration of Customs said, after a virus outbreak was found at one of the company's production facilities in the US.
Products from the firm already in China will be confiscated, the statement said.
Drinks giant PepsiCo was also ordered to shut a Beijing snack-manufacturing plant, company spokeswoman Fan Zhimin said. She added that 87 close contacts had been traced and quarantined.
More than 220 people have tested positive. The clusters have been traced to chopping boards used for imported salmon at the city's Xinfadi market. Find out why this outbreak sparked a salmon panic in the country .

German state rules out lockdown despite major outbreak

The leader of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has ruled out sweeping local lockdown measures despite an outbreak centred on a meat processing plant near the town of Gütersloh that has caused at least 1,300 new cases.
Armin Laschet said there was an "enormous pandemic risk" but the outbreak was "clearly centred on the firm" and there was no "significant tranmission" to the wider population.
Laschet said a lockdown could not be ruled out entirely but efforts would focus on preventing infections spreading to the population at large and this would enable more targeted measures to deal with the outbreak.
On Saturday disturbances broke out at accommodation used by Tönnies staff in the nearby town of Verl where 700 people had been put into quarantine.
"Around 200 people tried to get out, but 500 people complied with quarantine rules," Uwe lührig, head of police in the Göttingen area, told reporters.
Eight police officers were injured during clashes with residents wielding bottles, fireworks and metal bars, he said.
Some 6,500 workers and their families have been told to go into quarantine to contain the outbreak.

Do not drop guard, NI medical chief warns

Northern Ireland's chief medical officer has cautioned against complacency after latest figures showed no further coronavirus-linked deaths being reported on Sunday.
Dr Michael McBride said progress was being made in "forcing the virus into retreat" but warned that "now is not the time to drop guard".
The overall death toll recorded by Northern Ireland's Department of Health remains at 545.
The suppression of the virus there has prompted Stormont ministers to quicken a local exit out of lockdown .
From 26 June, caravan parks, campsites and self-contained tourist accommodation will be able to reopen.
A week later on 3 July, hotels, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, pubs and bars will be able to welcome customers back.
Church services are set to resume on 29 June.

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Post by Kitkat on Sun Jun 21 2020, 20:30

First foreigners happy to arrive in Spain after restrictions lifted

Guy Hedgecoe - Madrid
As Spain lifted its travel restrictions for many foreigners, Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport was still relatively quiet. Only Terminal 4 was operating, with a limited roster of flights. But many of those who came through the arrivals lounge were happy to be in Spain.
"It's very special, it#s three-and-a-half months since I've been here!" said Martina, a Swiss woman who lives in Madrid who had travelled on a flight from Zurich.
Spain has been easing restrictions for its own citizens for several weeks and the country's three-month lockdown has now ended with the lifting of the national state of emergency.
In central Madrid there was little noticeable difference in the atmosphere. Many bars and restaurants have been open for some weeks and in and around the city's famous Plaza Mayor, a number of them were busy with customers ordering tapas and wine.
However, many hotels in Madrid and other tourist-oriented cities remain closed as they await the return of international tourists in larger numbers.

US 'makes travel-ban exception' for Nigel Farage

The US government has said it waived Covid-19 travel restrictions for Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, because his visit to the country was "in the national interest".
Farage travelled to the US to attend President Donald Trump's re-election campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday .
Ahead of the event, Farage tweeted: "In the USA, only twenty four hours from Tulsa."
The UK Foreign Office is currently advising against all but essential international travel, while the US has closed its borders to travellers arriving from a number of countries, including the UK.
On Saturday, the US Department for Homeland Security explained that Farage was initially denied boarding to the US on 19 June.
But in a statement to The Independent , the department said: "After conducting a thorough review of the relevant facts and circumstances, DHS determined Mr Farage's travel to be permissible under section 2 (a)(xi) of the presidential proclamation: any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security or their designees, authorising Mr Farage to board his flight."
The BBC has contacted the department for comment, asking it to clarify the decision.
Farage is a long-time political ally of President Trump, who has drawn parallels between Brexit and his election as president in 2016.

New rules to protect British firms amid pandemic

The UK government will introduce new measures on Monday to protect businesses critical to public health from foreign takeovers .
Legal changes would give ministers extra powers to protect those needed to help in future pandemics, who might be struggling now.
The new powers will cover firms such as pharmaceutical companies.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: "The UK is open for investment, but not for exploitation."

Isolating ex-soldier leaves 'uninhabited island'

A former British paratrooper has left the previously uninhabited island where he had been isolating after lockdown measures were introduced during a fundraising challenge.
Chris Lewis, from Swansea, had walked 12,000 miles (19,300km) of the UK coastline after setting off from Wales in August 2017.
He was given special permission to live in the only house on Hildasay, Shetland, with his dog Jet.
"I feel I left a part of me behind," he said.
The 39-year-old was originally sleeping in a tent on mainland Shetland when lockdown restrictions were imposed on 23 March.
Coronavirus - 21st June Ed583910
This is the only house on the island

He was offered the keys to a former shepherd's hut on Hildasay when its owners heard he was camping. The hut had no running water, heating or electricity.
A regular boat brought him fresh water and coal. He collected driftwood, foraged and fished for food, and always made sure he had a three-week supply of dog food for Jet.
He said he had been "the happiest I've ever been" while living on the island.

Passenger flights resume at East Midlands Airport

East Midlands Airport is resuming passenger flights for the first time since lockdown measures were introduced in March, with a Ryanair service from Alicante scheduled to be the first to arrive.
It is the first time passengers have set foot inside the airport in Castle Donington, Leicestershire, for 12 weeks.
The airport is a major UK cargo hub and its freight operations saw it become one of Europe's 10 busiest airports during lockdown.
This included flights bringing medical and personal protective equipment to the UK.

More children to return to school in France

Hugh Schofield - BBC News, Paris
The number of Covid-19 cases continues to fall in France, so the government is proceeding with the next step back to normality. There may be only two more weeks left of term, but from Monday going to school will be compulsory for everyone up to the age of 15, for the first time since March.
Only lycées - which cover the last three years of school education - are not affected. Schools have in fact been open for several weeks but only on a voluntary basis, and for most it has only been possible to attend for a day or two a week.
The change to full schooling is possible because the government has relaxed rules about social distancing between pupils.
Also on Monday, cinemas, casinos, swimming pools and holiday centres are opening. Campsites have been open for two weeks already. Group sports are also permitted, but not combat sports.
With cafes and restaurants all open, and no restrictions on travel, life is for many French beginning to resume its regular rhythms.

What is changing in Scotland and when?

Scotland has entered the second phase of easing lockdown restrictions.
Over the coming weeks shops will start to reopen, work will resume in certain industries, and some of the rules about meeting other people will be relaxed.
But not all the changes will take place at the same time, so what can you do in Phase 2, and when?
You can read the key details here .

Do you know UK quarantine rules?

What do you need to know if you're planning to fly during the Covid-19 pandemic?
A two-week quarantine period for anyone arriving in the UK is now being enforced.
Passengers arriving in the UK by plane, ferry or train - including UK nationals - will be asked to provide an address where they will self-isolate for 14 days.
Travellers can be fined £100 for failing to fill in a form with these details. Surprise visits will be used to check they are following the rules.
Those in England could be fined up to £1,000 if they fail to self-isolate.
Read details about this and other aspects of the UK quarantine rules here.

Germany's R number jumps to 2.88

The coronavirus reproduction rate in Germany, known as the R number, jumped to 2.88 on Sunday, compared to 1.79 a day earlier, according to the country's Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health.
The RKI said the figure was based on a four-day average, and the spike is mainly because of local outbreaks, such as at the meat processing plant in in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where more than 1,300 workers have been infected.
The R number is the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to, on average. In Germany, this now means that out of 100 people with Covid-19, a further 288 will be infected.
An R value of less than one is needed to gradually contain the disease. Our colleague James Gallagher has looked into how the R number is calculated.

Dubai to welcome returning residents and tourists

Dubai has announced that residents will be allowed to return to from Monday, as restrictions imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus are eased.
According to a series of measures announced, they will all be tested at upon arrival. For those infected, a 14-day quarantine will be mandatory.
Tourists will be allowed in from 7 July, although they will be required to present a recent Covid-19 negative certificate or undergo testing at Dubai airports. Again, for those infected, a 14-day quarantine will be imposed.
You can find out more details here

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Post by Kitkat on Sun Jun 21 2020, 20:36

Grigor Dimitrov tests positive

World number 19 tennis player Grigor Dimitrov has tested positive for coronavirus.
The Bulgarian, 29, , played in both of Novak Djokovic's recent Adria Tour events, withdrew from the second tournament in Zadar, Croatia on Saturday with sickness after his opening loss to Borna Coric.
"I am so sorry for any harm I might have caused," he said.
Sunday's final, which would have featured world number one Djokovic, has been cancelled.

Apple 'committed' to working with UK

Leo Kelion - Technology desk editor
Coronavirus - 21st June 9dee3a10

Apple has said it is “committed to working with the UK government”.
Its statement follows claims by Health Secretary Matt Hancock that his original plan to launch a contact-tracing app might have worked had it not been for Apple’s unwillingness to compromise over restrictions it places on third-party apps’ use of Bluetooth on iPhones.
On Thursday, the government abandoned its original plan and switched to a technology co-developed by Apple and Google .
Apple's statement was prompted by an interview Mr Hancock gave to Sky News on Sunday morning in which he said: "Apple have in the past also been intransigent in the face of perfectly reasonable requests from democratically-elected governments to work with them on solving particular problems, whether that's about solutions to terrorism, or other technical problems."
In response, Apple said: "We’ve been constant collaborators with NHSX and will continue working with them on ways to further optimise the technology while protecting our customers’ privacy. Many countries have successfully launched Exposure Notification apps and we look forward to helping the UK government do the same.”

Pubs and planes: Global round-up

We're almost done but before we go here's a recap of Sunday's major developments:

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people in England would "not have long to wait" before they hear the government's decision on reducing the two-metre social-distancing rule, amid warnings many businesses would not survive if the current measures were not changed
  • Pubs in England may be required to register their customers as part of the coronavirus test-and-trace strategy, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said
  • Spain, one of the world's most affected countries by the pandemic, reopened its tourism industry by lifting travel restrictions for foreign visitors on Sunday
  • In Germany, more than 1,300 people have now been confirmed positive as a result of an outbreak at a meat processing plant in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Cases are still rising in many countries in Latin America, with Brazil expected to pass 50,000 deaths later, the only country to do so after the US


We're pausing our coverage

Thanks for being with us on Sunday as we gave you the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic.
The coverage was brought to you by Thomas Spender, Hugo Bachega, Joshua Nevett, Paul Gribben and Victoria Lindrea.
You can find out more about the coronavirus on our website, and join us again on Monday as we update you on everything you need know from around the world.
See you next time!

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