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Coronavirus - 22nd June


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Post by Kitkat on Mon Jun 22 2020, 10:44

Summary for Monday, 22nd June

  • World Health Organization records highest one-day increase in total cases, with 183,000 added in one day
  • Most came from Brazil, followed by the US and India
  • The high level of confirmed cases is partly down to a global increase in testing
  • Brazil passes 50,000 Covid-19 deaths; only the US has more
  • UK PM Boris Johnson will discuss reducing the 2m rule, with a decision expected on Tuesday
  • South Korea is going through a 'second wave' of coronavirus, officials say, even though new infections are falling
  • France is re-opening cinemas, swimming pools and holiday centres. All children up to 15 are back at school
  • Globally, there have been almost 9m confirmed cases since the outbreak began, with 467,000 deaths

Welcome back to our rolling coverage where we keep you posted on all things coronavirus from around the globe.
Here’s what you need to know this morning.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded the biggest global daily rise in infections, with the Americas accounting for most of the new cases
  • Brazil’s death toll has risen above 50,000 - which is second only to the 120,000 fatalities in the US
  • The number of confirmed infections in Mexico has risen beyond 180,000
  • In China, fears of a new wave have eased with only nine new cases recorded in Beijing
  • In the UK, the government is looking at reducing the "two-metre distance" rule as it moves out of lockdown

Brazil deaths rise above 50,000

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Brazil has become the second country, after the US, to register more than 50,000 deaths linked to Covid-19.
The grim milestone comes amid growing political unrest, and days after the country confirmed more than one million coronavirus infections.
Experts warn that the peak of the outbreak in Brazil is still weeks away.
On Sunday, the ministry announced that 641 more deaths had been registered in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 50,617.
Only the US has fared worse, with 2.2 million cases and nearly 120,000 deaths.

WHO records highest global cases in 24 hours

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded the biggest one-day increase in coronavirus cases, with the Americas responsible for most of the new infections.
The WHO said more than 183,000 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours.
Most - more than 50,000 - came from Brazil, followed by the US and India.
The number of confirmed cases is partly a reflection of increased testing around the world.

Australian 'setbacks' cause concern

Australia has been among the most successful places to tackle the virus – some states have gone weeks without a new case.
But a spike in infections in Victoria is providing the country's biggest concern for some time.
The south-eastern state has recorded more than 100 cases in the past week, mostly in Melbourne. Twelve of the 16 detected today were transmitted inside Australia, unlike many recently which have been infected overseas.
Victoria has extended a state of emergency declaration, re-imposed some lockdown measures, and issued warnings for six virus "hotspots".
"This is part of living with Covid-19," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters today.
"There will be setbacks from time to time, but we have systems to deal with the setbacks."

Stricter measures reimposed in South Korean city

Laura Bicker - BBC News, Seoul
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Pupils in Daejeon, South Korea, pictured in class last month - schools will remain open despite the new, stricter guidelines

South Korea’s fifth largest city, Daejeon, is going back to stricter social distancing measures after clusters of coronavirus cases.
The country has actually just reported its lowest number of new infections in nearly a month, with 17 cases reported in the past 24 hours, six of them from overseas.
But officials are still concerned about sporadic outbreaks, particularly in the city of Daejeon, around 50 miles south of Seoul.
All gatherings in public spaces such as museums, sports halls and libraries have been banned. Twenty-two churches used by the Christian sect, the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, have also been closed.
The church was at the centre of the country’s biggest outbreak in February when over 6,000 members were infected.
The Seoul city mayor said he was also making preparations in case there was a second wave of the virus.
Officials are recruiting more contact tracers and securing more hospital beds in case the infection takes hold in the capital.

Beijing infections drop after 'market spike'

China has reported nine new cases in Beijing over the past 24 hours.
That’s down from 22 the previous day, and the first time it has been in single figures for more than ten days.
More than 230 cases have been recorded in the recent Beijing "spike". The outbreak was linked to a large food market, and triggered lockdowns and travel bans in neighbourhoods across the city.

Face masks now compulsory on Scottish public transport

In Scotland, face masks become compulsory on public transport from Monday as the country continues to ease its way out of lockdown.
The new rule covers buses, trains, the Glasgow Subway, Edinburgh trams, aircraft, enclosed areas onboard ferries, taxis and private hire cabs.
The Scottish government is also urging people to continue to limit travel.
Last week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said face coverings could "help to reduce the risk of transmission", but stressed that physical distancing, hand washing and "good hygiene" were still necessary to prevent infection.
The same rule was imposed in England a week ago , but they are not mandatory on Welsh or Northern Irish public transport.

Deaths down, but cases stubbornly high in US

These two charts show the number of confirmed cases and deaths in the US since February.
While deaths are decreasing, the number of cases shows a slight increase.
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French schooling now compulsory

In France, going to school is now compulsory from Monday for everyone up to the age of 15.
Only lycées – or high schools, which cover the last three years of school education – are not affected.
Schools have been open for several weeks, but only on a voluntary basis.
Read more on how France and other European countries are easing their way out of lockdown.

UK PM to announce on Tuesday if pubs can reopen

British PM Boris Johnson is expected to announce on Tuesday whether the hospitality sector - including pubs, restaurants and hotels - can reopen on 4 July and if the two-metre (6.5ft) distancing rule in England can be relaxed.
Mr Johnson has commissioned a review into social distancing guidelines that require people to remain two metres apart.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said England is "clearly on track" to further ease lockdown restrictions. But No 10 warned the moves would be reversed if they led to a virus surge.
Businesses and many MPs from Mr Johnson's own party have warned that large parts of the hospitality industry won't be viable unless the rule is changed.
They're calling for the distance to be reduced to one metre, in line with World Health Organization advice and countries including France and Denmark.
Read more here

New Zealand extends ban on cruise ships

New Zealand on Monday said it was extending its ban on cruise ships arriving in the country.
"We are extending the current cruise ship ban which was due to expire on 30 June," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a press conference.
New Zealand has been one of the world's most successful countries in fighting the coronavirus. It has lifted all internal restrictions but measures at the border remain.
In the early stages of the pandemic, cruise ships have often been hotbed for the virus spreading and several of them have spent weeks at sea or quarantined in a harbour before passengers were allowed to disembark.

'Deadly masks' claims debunked

Reality Check
With face masks now mandatory on public transport in England and Scotland, as well as in various other settings around the world, the BBC's anti-disinformation team has investigated misleading claims about masks.

  • There is no evidence of harmful carbon dioxide exposure
  • Masks will not deprive your body of oxygen

Click here to read our full take on some of the most widely seen examples on social media.

Yoga, the socially distanced way

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A yoga company in Toronto, Canada, has come up with an inventive way to allow people to return to group practice.
LMNTS Studio has set up a series of bubbles in its outdoor pop-up studio for a few weeks.
Canada has reported some 100,000 cases of the virus and more than 8,480 deaths.
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Japan pushes saliva test

If you’ve had a coronavirus test done, you might know that the nasal swab is not exactly the most pleasant of things to go through. Although harmless, many people find it very uncomfortable to have a swab going far up their nose.
A team of researchers in Japan say they have developed a saliva test that can give a result in as little as 25 minutes.
Medical firm Shionogi said its working with Japanese universities to develop the test and that it would even allow people to take the test at home.
In the UK, there’s currently a trial for a similar saliva test underway, with more than 14,000 front-line workers taking part

Latest headlines from the UK

If you're just joining us this morning, here are the latest coronavirus developments from the UK:

  • PM Boris Johnson will discuss England's approach to the changes with the Covid-19 Strategy Committee on Monday. On Tuesday, he is to announce if the hospitality sector can reopen on 4 July and if the 2m distancing rule in can be relaxed. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will decide on these issues separately.
  • Lower-income households are using savings and borrowing more during the lockdown, while richer families are saving more as eating out and trips abroad are banned, according to research by the Resolution Foundation.
  • The Children's Foundation has warned children are developing serious mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress, because of the pandemic.
  • Face coverings are now compulsory on public transport in Scotland.
  • Non-essential shops are reopening in Wales for the first time since coronavirus restrictions began.
  • A new "no swab" saliva coronavirus test that lets people collect their own sample at home by spitting into a pot is being trialled in the UK. More than 14,000 GP staff and other key workers, along with the people they live with, will take part

Pope worried by 'hypocrisy of certain political personalities'

The coronavirus crisis should lead to more integrity and less hypocrisy in politics and society, Pope Francis has said.
In an excerpt from a recent interview with his biographer, the head of the Catholic church said: "This crisis is affecting us all, rich and poor alike and putting a spotlight on hypocrisy.
"I am worried by the hypocrisy of certain political personalities who speak of facing up to the crisis.
"Of the problem of hunger in the world, but who in the meantime manufacture weapons.
"This is a time to be converted from this kind of function of hypocrisy. It's a time for integrity. Either we are coherent with our beliefs or we lose everything."

Police deploy water cannon at The Hague's anti-lockdown protest

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Police deployed mounted officers and water cannon when unrest broke out

Hundreds of people were arrested in The Hague in the Netherlands on Sunday, after a peaceful protest in the city turned violent.
Mayor Johan Remkes allowed demonstrators to gather at 13:00 local time (11:00 GMT) on Sunday after originally banning the anti-lockdown protest amid fears that people would not observe social distancing.
Police then said a small number of “troublemakers”, who they identified as football fans, threw stones and smoke bombs at officers after the demonstration broke up. Mounted officers and water cannon were deployed to tackle the unrest.
“The atmosphere is grim,” the official police Twitter account posted.
Mayor Remkes later said a small group was “deliberately aiming to disturb public order”. “This has nothing to do with demonstrating or freedom of expression,” he wrote.
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The largely peaceful anti-lockdown demonstration later turned violent

Trump was 'joking' about slowing down testing - White House

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At his first campaign rally for months on Saturday, President Donald Trump told his supporters it was the "double-edged sword" of comprehensive testing that had led to the US having the world's highest number of coronavirus cases.
"When you do testing... you are going to find more people, you will find more cases," he told attendees in Tulsa, Oklahoma. "So I said to my people: 'Slow the testing down.'"
The White House later said his comments were meant as a joke.
But he revisited the issue on Monday with a new tweet in which he argued that the more tests a country carried out, the more cases it was likely to find. However, some health experts have said this is not the case .
The US has nearly 2.3m reported cases of the virus and the highest number of deaths worldwide with nearly 120,000.

  tweet Donald J. Trump:
:Left Quotes: Our Coronavirus testing is so much greater (25 million tests) and so much more advanced, that it makes us look like we have more cases, especially proportionally, than other countries. My message on that is very clear!

Children 'developing post-traumatic stress' from pandemic

Children are developing serious mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress, because of the coronavirus pandemic, a charity has warned.
In a report the Childhood Trust says disadvantage is leaving children extremely vulnerable.
As well as anxiety about their loved ones' health, many children are facing social isolation and hunger. Lack of internet access is also setting disadvantaged children back.
You can read the full story here

Second player tests positive at tennis tournament

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Following world No.19 Gregor Dimitrov's withdrawal from the Adria Tour tournament due to his positive Covid-19 test, a second player has now tested positive.
Dimitrov, 29, pulled out of the tournament in Zadar, Croatia, on Saturday with sickness after losing to 23-year-old Borna Coric, who played again on Sunday.
Now, Coric has revealed he too has Covid-19 , albeit without any symptoms.
With Croatia easing lockdown measures before the event, players were not obliged to observe social distancing rules and were seen embracing at the net at the end of their matches.

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Coronavirus - 22nd June Empty Zero new coronavirus deaths reported on the island of Ireland

Post by Kitkat on Mon Jun 22 2020, 11:18

Coronavirus - 22nd June 3017385370 Zero new coronavirus deaths reported on the island of Ireland

The Republic of Ireland has recorded zero new coronavirus deaths for the third time since the pandemic hit Irish shores.

On 20th June, new data revealed that the Republic of Ireland had reported no new coronavirus-related deaths in a 24-hour period, and that just six new cases have been confirmed.

The figure is the lowest daily record since mid-March, early on in the pandemic.

The HSE is working rapidly to identify any contacts the six new patients may have had, in order to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.

There are now 25,379 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland, and 1,715 people have sadly passed away.

On Saturday, 20th June, Northern Ireland's Department of Health also declared that there had been no coronavirus-related deaths, meaning there had been no deaths on the island of Ireland for a 24-hour period.

Just four new cases were recorded in the six northern counties, with the positive news coming after the North hit a major milestone in the fight against Covid-19 as there were no new positive cases recorded on Saturday,

A total of 4,870 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland, with 545 people confirmed to have sadly passed away with the virus.

Dr Tony Holohan, CMO, stressed that "mission has not been accomplished" and we must continue to abide by social distancing measures to eradicate the disease

Source:  Irish Post

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Jun 22 2020, 13:17

Joy as Spain reopens borders

Spain has reopened its borders to visitors from most European countries after the coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March. It has also ended its state of emergency.

Latin America sees number of cases soar

Brazil on Sunday became the second country after the US to record more than 50,000 Covid-19 deaths, but how is the rest of Latin America doing?

  • Peru is the second-worst affected country in the region with more than a quarter of a million cases and more than 8,000 Covid-related deaths. Despite the continuing rise in cases, the government has brought forward the planned reopening of shopping centres and hairdressers in most areas of the country, with customers welcomed from later today
  • Chile has become the latest country to surpass the number of cases in Italy - an early hotspot of the pandemic. The number of dead nearly doubled on Saturday after the government changed the way it tallies the figure to include probable fatalities from Covid-19
  • Mexico has so far recorded fewer cases than either Peru or Chile but its death toll is much higher with more than 21,000 fatalities. Just under half of all Mexican states, including Mexico City, are still in the "red zone", under the highest alert with bars and cinemas closed and sporting events cancelled. The brewing of beer, which had been paused for weeks at the start of the pandemic leading to a shortage, has been allowed to resume.

For more details read: What are the numbers out of Latin America?

Local lockdown 'possibility' after North Wales factory outbreak

Hywel Griffith, BBC News Wales correspondent
A local lockdown could be enforced on the island of Anglesey, North Wales, in a bid to contain a coronavirus outbreak at a chicken processing factory , Public Health Wales (PHW) says.
Dr Giri Shankar, PHW’s Incident Director for Covid-19, said "aggressive control measures" were being used at the 2 Sisters plant in Llangefni to stop the infection and there was currently no evidence of widespread community transmission.
Dr Shankar told BBC Radio Wales local lockdowns could be something "we need to consider" based on "how the outbreak progresses".
So far, 158 positive cases have been confirmed and all staff and contractors are being contacted for testing and asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
The company - which processes about a third of all poultry products eaten in the UK each day - has suspended production and closed the factory.
2 Sisters has said "the health, safety and well-being of our colleagues is ultimately the thing that matters most".

Dozens of minors test positive in Indian shelter

Fifty-seven female minors have tested positive for Covid-19 in a government-run shelter in the northern Indian city of Kanpur, officials say.
The majority are asymptomatic and all of those who tested positive have been moved to an isolation centre.
Five of the 57 girls were found to also be pregnant, officials told BBC Hindi.
The outbreak came to light after one of the girls was taken to hospital last week with a fever.
After she was declared positive, the other girls in the home were tested.
With more than 400,000 infections, India has the fourth-highest number of cases in the world.

South Korea experiencing second wave

Health officials in South Korea believe the country is going through a second wave of coronavirus.
Officials on Monday said that over the last 24 hours, 17 new infections had been recorded, from different clusters in large offices and warehouses.
Those numbers may appear small, but officials are concerned that following their initial success in tackling the pandemic, they could now be dealing with small clusters for months to come.
Dr Jung Eun-kyeong, head of the Korea Centers for Disease Control (KCDC), said it was now clear that a holiday weekend in early May marked the beginning of a new wave of infections focused in the greater Seoul area, which had previously seen only a few cases.
South Korea has avoided a lockdown and has instead relied on voluntary social distancing measures alongside an aggressive track, trace and test strategy to combat the virus.
A total of 280 people have died since the country reported its first case on 20 January. More than 12,000 infections have been recorded and it is thought that there remain 1,277 active cases.
Read more here

NI set to allow groups of six to meet indoors

Chris Page - BBC News Ireland correspondent
It’s understood that Northern Ireland’s devolved government is set to allow up to six members of a family to meet indoors .
The move to further ease the lockdown is expected to be confirmed by Stormont ministers when they meet later today.
They will also discuss extra funding for childcare and finding the cash necessary to provide food over the summer holidays for children entitled to free school meals.

Serbian football players test positive

Five footballers from Serbian team Red Star Belgrade have tested positive for coronavirus.
The club’s statement on Monday came after it played a series of games in front of crowds.
Other football leagues – including the English Premier League – have opted to resume games behind closed doors.
The Serbian government took the same approach at first, but earlier this month, it agreed to open-air gatherings of any size.
At least four of the five infected players did not play in the most recent match, on Saturday, as they had felt coronavirus symptoms ahead of it, the club said.
"The players feel well and are in strict isolation and in permanent contact with the medical team of the club," Red Star said.

No new coronavirus deaths in Scotland

There have been no new coronavirus deaths registered in Scotland over the past 24 hours, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
A total of 2,472 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for Covid-19, which is no change on Sunday's figure.
The death total previously remained unchanged on four other days - 21 June, 15 June, 8 June and 7 June.
The first minister said 18,170 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 14 from 18,156 the day before.
There are 867 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, an increase of 66.
Of these patients, 15 were in intensive care, down by one.

New Yorkers get ready to dine out again

Like other places we have reported about on Monday, New York is preparing to further lift its restrictions. It is entering the second phase of its four-phase easing plan and reopening a number of facilities.
For the first time in three months, New Yorkers will be able to dine out, though only at outdoor tables. They will also be able to browse in some of the city’s major stores, including flagship department store Macy's. Playgrounds and hair salons are also due to reopen.
Workers will be able to return to their office buildings, including the World Trade Center’s office towers - though some might choose to remain at home. The city estimates 150,000 to 300,000 additional workers will return to their jobs.
New York was hit particularly hard during the pandemic, with some 400,000 reported cases of the virus

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Jun 22 2020, 16:16

More than 1,000 patients sent to Welsh care homes without Covid-19 test

James Williams - BBC Wales Political Correspondent
More than 1,000 hospital patients were discharged to Welsh care homes without a coronavirus test at the start of the outbreak, it has been revealed.
The Welsh Government confirmed 1,097 patients were sent from hospital to care homes without being tested for Covid-19 during March and April.
Care Forum Wales said care homes felt under pressure to take hospital patients without tests.
It said this had "turned safe havens into coronavirus warzones".
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show there have been 654 Covid-19 deaths in Welsh cares homes to 5 June - accounting for 28% of all coronavirus deaths in Wales.
Read the full story here

Greater Manchester mayor warns of councils' Covid costs

As lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease in England, councils and local governments are assessing the impact that the cost of the coronavirus measures have had on their budgets.
Greater Manchester's Mayor Andy Burnham has told the BBC he expects councils in the combined authority area to face a net deficit of £368m by the end of this financial year due to increased costs and lost income during the crisis.
Burnham described the projected figure, which covers 10 councils in Greater Manchester, as a “massive number” that “would have a severe impact on social care, on children’s services", and called on the government to help.
Speaking to the BBC, Burnham urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak “not to go down that path” of cutting public spending.
He said the North was "hit very hard over the last decade" and that the government has said it wants to invest in the region, as part of its "levelling up" pledge.
Burnham warned that if there are more cuts to councils in the North in the coming months and years, then the "levelling up" "will not happen" as communities will be "laid low instead".

Extra police sent to quarantined German tower block

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Police reinforcements have been sent to maintain a coronavirus quarantine on a tower block in the German city of Göttingen after violence erupted there on Saturday.
Some 700 people were placed in quarantine, but about 200 who attempted to get out clashed with police.
Residents attacked police with fireworks, bottles and metal bars. Officials say communication problems lie behind the clashes, with residents not understanding that they need to have a second, negative coronavirus test, before they can leave the block.
The quarantine was introduced on Thursday after two residents tested positive, but many more are thought to be infected.
In Berlin as well as Göttingen, whole apartment blocks have been quarantined after residents were infected. People’s homes have also been fenced off, with police preventing residents from going outside.
Read more here

Germany's R number jumps to 2.88

Damien McGuinness - BBC News, Berlin
In another development in Germany, the reproduction number (R number) has risen sharply.
To contain the virus, it should be less than one - but over the last few days, that value has risen sharply and is now 2.88.
Officials say this does not necessarily mean Germany is seeing a second wave of infections. This sudden rise is mainly down to a number of localised outbreaks.
More than 1,300 workers at a meat-processing plant have tested positive for Covid-19. And in Berlin and the town of Göttingen, whole apartment blocks have been quarantined after residents were infected.
So far there’s no sign that Germany is seeing a second wave: because the country’s overall infection rate is low, these sudden local outbreaks have a big impact on the national R number.
They have so far been contained and don’t appear to be causing more infections. And 140 local authorities haven’t seen any new cases at all in the past seven days.
But the drastic measures to contain the outbreaks have a cost: people’s homes have been fenced off, with police preventing residents from going outside.
Read more here

UK university looks after 750 students in lockdown

A UK university that has closed to face-to-face teaching during the lockdown is still looking after about 750 students on its campus.
Half the 4,500 postgraduates at Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, are from overseas and some were unable to go home when borders closed.
Others managed to get back, but had to leave quickly, without their possessions.
Esther Edun, 45, a researcher from Nigeria and who lives on campus with her husband and teenage children, said support during a stressful time had been "phenomenal".
Jesus Ezquerro, 23, from Spain, said daily meetings with his supervisor were helping him "keep on track".
Alison Whaley, director of student experience, said the university wants the students "to feel safe and taken care of", and had taken steps such as opening up extra study spaces and was working on how to ship students' possessions back to them.
You can read more here

WHO warns of 'lack of leadership' over pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of a lack of global leadership over the pandemic.
"The world is in desperate need of national unity and global solidarity. The politicisation of the pandemic has exacerbated it," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has told a virtual health forum.
"The greatest threat we face now is not the virus itself - it's the lack of global solidarity and global leadership."
The WHO has also said the pandemic is still accelerating and that its economic and other effects would be felt for decades.
Almost nine million people have been infected and nearly 470,000​ have died

Field hospitals to deal with 'alarming' rise in cases in Bangladesh

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is opening two new field hospitals in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh to support what it calls "an alarming and growing number" of coronavirus cases.
There is huge concern about possible outbreaks in the area’s refugee camps, which are filled with nearly one million Rohingya Muslims, who fled persecution in neighbouring Myanmar.
The field hospitals will treat refugees as well as loca residents.
So far, more than 1,500 cases have been confirmed in the Cox's Bazar region, including 37 within the camps. But testing is limited and some analysts suggest there could be many undetected cases.
Nationwide, Bangladesh reported 3,480 more cases and 38 further deaths on Monday. The country has seen a total of 1,502 fatalities and 115,786 registered cases.
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Other virus-treatment centres - such as this one - are already operational in Cox's Bazar

Fifteen new deaths in the UK

The number of daily coronavirus deaths in the UK has dropped to its lowest level since mid-March, according to the latest government figures.
The Department for Health and Social Care said there had been 15 new deaths recorded in the past 24 hours.
In total, 42,647 have died with cornavirus in the UK, with 305,289 people testing positive.

Beijing’s patient zero gets praise online

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
Despite recent concerns in China about a potential second wave of Covid-19, media have been calling on netizens to praise Beijing’s patient zero, a 52-year-old man who has been affectionately termed “Uncle Xicheng”.
“Uncle” is a common term of affection, and Xicheng is the name of the district he lives in. The man, surnamed Tang, contracted Covid-19 on 11 June and was the first patient in an outbreak that saw 236 people testing positive.
Today, people have been seeing footage of “Uncle Xicheng” on local broadcaster Beijing TV. He thanks social media users “for their concern” from his hospital bed and says: “I am now in a stable condition, and will definitely fight this virus!”
On Friday, the official China Daily noted that Mr Tang had been winning mass praise as “thanks to his great memory, he has contributed much to narrowing down the source of the infection”.
Doctors at the hospital he is being treated at also praised him for wearing a mask and riding a bicycle to the hospital to prevent other people from coming into contact with him.
Mr Tang’s online fame is helping China turn the tide domestically on stigma related to Covid-19. After the initial outbreak in the central city of Wuhan, the city’s local economy suffered significantly, as people became nervous about using services or products from the area.
Media are hoping that Mr Tang’s response and openness about the virus will prevent people from hiding their symptoms or feeling ashamed if they test positive.

Irish Republic set to launch contact-tracing app

Leo Kelion - Technology desk editor
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The Irish Republic plans to press ahead with the launch of a coronavirus contact-tracing app based on Apple and Google's technology, despite concerns raised about the tech's accuracy in its current state.
The Health Service Executive told the BBC that it would submit a memo to government this week, and "subject to approval" would launch its Covid Tracker app shortly after.
The UK government has said it is worried about false alerts, while researchers advising the Irish effort have also questioned whether the software should be rolled out in its current state.
Read the full story here

Black Lives Matter protests on hold in South Carolina

An organiser of the Black Lives Matter protests in South Carolina has said all upcoming protests there have been cancelled after a number of infections were linked to demonstrations.
Lawrence Nathaniel said in a Facebook video that at least 24 activists had become ill in recent days.
"If we're going to keep doing protests and we're talking about Black Lives Matter, and Covid-19 is affecting the African American community at a higher rate, we can no longer have mass protests right now," Nathaniel said, adding that he is awaiting the results of his own test.
"If you want to protest, and you care about black lives, stay home," he continued, calling on protesters to "get tested immediately".
South Carolina recorded more than 900 new cases on Sunday.
Black Lives Matter protests have continued across the US, although not at the scale seen immediately after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on 25 March.

French children head back to school

Millions of children in France went back to school today after being at home for more than three months.
Pupils up to the age of 15 returned to schools as part of a gradual reopening.
Schools were closed on 16 March, a day before France went into lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
One parent in Nice, Noémie, told AFP news agency that she "cried with joy" when she was told her two children would be able to go back to school full-time.

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Jun 22 2020, 19:35

Pub customers in Scotland could be asked for contact details

Pub and restaurant customers in Scotland could be required to give contact details as part of post-lockdown measures, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The move would mean people could be alerted if they come into close contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.
The hospitality sector looks set to reopen in the coming weeks with strict social distancing rules.
Sturgeon confirmed that trace-and-protect guidelines could be enforced. "It is something that may very well be necessary," she said.
In England, an announcement on the reopening of hospitality sector is expected on Tuesday.
You can read more about what pubs, bars and clubs might be like after lockdown here

Disney World plans phased reopening in July

Disney is preparing to reopen its Florida parks in July with new social distancing and other measures, such as temperature screenings, required reservations and face masks.
It comes amid a spike in cases in Florida and about two dozen other US states, as lockdown orders are lifted.
Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom theme parks will begin reopening on 11 July. The Epcot and Hollywood Studios parks are reopening on 15 July. The park's campground, hotel resort and shopping complex reopened on Monday.
"Though these may look a little different than in the past, there will be plenty of magic for everyone to enjoy," Disney said in a blog post.
In California, a coalition of unions representing 17,000 Disneyland employees has written to the state's governor asking him to oppose the park's plan to begin reopening in mid-July.
Disney parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong have already been reopened.

What’s happening in the UK?

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

  • Groups of up to six people in Northern Ireland can meet indoors from Tuesday , Stormont sources have confirmed to BBC News
  • People shielding in Northern Ireland will be able to meet in groups of up to six outside and will be able to form a support bubble with one other household from 6 July, health minister Robin Swann has said
  • A local lockdown in Anglesey could be enforced to get the coronavirus outbreak at a food factory in Llangefni under control, Public Health Wales has said
  • Pub and restaurant customers in Scotland could be required to give their contact details as part of post-lockdown safety measures, Nicola Sturgeon has said
  • UK PM Boris Johnson is expected to announce on Tuesday that the 2m distancing rule in England will be relaxed , with some conditions
  • A new "no swab" saliva coronavirus test that lets people collect their own sample at home by spitting into a pot is being trialled in the UK

UK energy firms permitted to chase unpaid bills again

Energy companies have been given the go-ahead to chase unpaid energy bills again - although they have been warned not to be aggressive in their pursuit.
Regulator Ofgem has told suppliers it is not in anyone's interests for an open-ended debt collection delay.
Many households are benefitting from coronavirus-related payment holidays.
But bailiffs have been banned from knocking on doors for another two months to collect other unpaid debts such as parking fines or council tax.
The government has said the current restrictions on civil enforcement officers would continue until 24 August.

Shielding rules to be relaxed in England

The government has just announced that restrictions on the 2.2 million people who have been “shielding” in England are to be significantly relaxed from early next month.
We are due to get more details from the health secretary and Dr Harries shortly.
But those designated as extremely vulnerable to the virus – either due to their age or because of serious health conditions – will be able to spend more time outside their homes.
From 6 July, they will be able to gather outdoors in a group of up to six people, including with family members not in their immediate household.
And anyone living alone, or single parents with children, will be allowed to form a “support bubble” with one other household of any size, in line with rules in place for the wider population.
This will mean that many grandparents will soon be able to see their grandchildren, albeit in a socially distanced way, for the first time since the middle of March.
And from 1 August, the shielding guidance is to be relaxed entirely, meaning those affected will be able to visit shops and places of worship and even return to their workplaces if it is safe to do so.

Supermarkets to prioritise shielded

Hancock says he will write to all those in the shielded group to update them and online guidance will also be updated.
He says that after months of relative isolation, he knows that it will take "time to adjust".
He also says that seven supermarkets have agreed to give the shielded priority delivery slots while he urges employers to be sympathetic to their needs to help them return to work.
The national shielded list will remain place, he adds, while the government stands ready to reintroduce restrictions if needed.
But, once again, he thanks all those who have enabled the shielding programme through "community spirit and emotional support".

Why is shielding advice changing?

Laura Foster - BBC Health correspondent
The UK government says the advice on shielding can be relaxed because the chances of encountering the virus in the community continue to fall - one in 1,700 people are estimated to have the virus now, down from 1 in 500 four weeks ago.
The government says it has worked with clinicians, GPs, charities, the voluntary sector and patient groups on the changes.
"We know how difficult this period has been and the impact shielding has had on many people's mental health," says Dr Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer.
"We believe it is the right time to relax some of the advice so people can start to regain a degree of normality once more in their daily lives."
But she added the advice on shielding could change again "if there are any changes in the rates of infection that could impact on this group".
You can read more analysis on the changes to shielding advice here

What we learnt from today's UK government briefing

In case you missed today's government coronavirus briefing, here is a quick round-up of the key points:

  • The 2.2 million people who have been self-isolating in England during the pandemic will no longer need to shield from 1 August . From 6 July, they will be able to meet up to six people outdoors and form "support bubbles" with other households
  • England's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries, said there were children who were staying home from school because they are shielding who would would be better off in the classroom. She added children with asthma which is under control should be in school as they are at "very low risk" from Covid-19 and are at "very significant risk of getting left behind in their education"
  • Another 15 Covid-related deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, the lowest figure since 15 March - although there tends to be a reporting lag over the weekend
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the virus is "in retreat" in the UK, with a number of "firsts" in today's statistics. For the first time since the peak, the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 has fallen below 1,000 and there are fewer than 5,000 patients in hospital with the disease
  • Hancock said it is now estimated that just one in 1,700 people had the disease compared to one in 400 a month ago, enabling Boris Johnson to set out a further easing of the lockdown on Tuesday - when the PM is expected to announce if the hospitality sector can reopen on 4 July and that England's 2m distancing rule will be relaxed
  • The government will set out where "travel corridors" might be established before the 29 June deadline for reviewing the quarantine policy - which requires people arriving in the UK to quarantine for 14 days. Mr Hancock said any decisions will be based on "epidemiological advice"

What happened after Germany eased its lockdown?

Reality Check
The R number refers to the reproduction rate of the virus.
If the R is below 1, the spread of infection is slowing but if it’s above 1 it’s speeding up.
Across the UK, the R is between 0.7–0.9 and the number is falling day to day by between 2-4%, according to the latest government data.
In Germany, where the lockdown was eased earlier than in the UK, the R number has jumped to 2.88 as of Sunday, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the country’s leading public health body.
As recently as Friday, Germany’s R number was estimated to be as low as 1.06, but it increased significantly after an outbreak at a meat processing plant in the north-west of the country led to more than 1,500 workers being infected with Covid-19.
However, the RKI has cautioned that the jump in the R rate does not show an imminent threat of a second wave nationwide and is instead “mainly related to local outbreaks”.
“Since case numbers in Germany are generally low, these local outbreaks have a relatively strong influence on the value of the reproduction number,” the RKI said in a statement.
Read more about how the R number is calculated here

Shielding advice in Wales 'has not changed'

Advice in Wales asking people vulnerable to coronavirus to self-isolate has not changed, the Welsh Government has said.
It issued the statement after UK ministers announced the tapering of the precautions in England , where people will no longer need to shield from 1 August.
From 6 July, people in England will be able to meet up to six people outdoors and form 'support bubbles' with other households.
But in Wales, shielding advice remains in place until 16 August.
The advice includes people who have received organ transplants, those on immuno-suppressant drugs, and pregnant women.
You can read more here

More than nine million cases worldwide, says Johns Hopkins

The total number of cases worldwide has now exceeded nine million, according to the count kept by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.
It says the exact number of global infections is 9,003,042.
A total of 469,122 people have now died.

Next summer's GCSEs and A-levels could be delayed

Sean Coughlan - BBC News, education correspondent
Next year's A-levels and GCSEs in England could be pushed back later into the summer to allow more teaching time, says Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.
This would allow schools to catch up some of the time lost since the lockdown.
Mr Williamson told MPs he would be consulting the exam regulator Ofqual about extra time to deliver courses.
It follows a similar proposal announced for exams in Scotland.
England's education secretary, speaking in the House of Commons, said he wanted to find a way to "add more teaching time".

French death toll rises by 23

Another 23 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours in France, bringing the country's total death toll up to 29,663.
The French health ministry also says the number of people in hospital has gone down by 130, and is now 9,693.
Schools in the country reopened today for pupils up to the age of 15.
Earlier this month, President Emmanuel Macron declared France had won its "first victory" against the coronavirus, before announcing the greatest lifting of lockdown measures in the country so far.

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Americans fined for sneaking into Canada's Banff National Park

Coronavirus - 22nd June 96fcb010
Banff National Park previously received around 4m visitors per year

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Alberta, has fined six American nationals who were found sneaking into Banff National Park.
Non-essential travel between the US and Canada is prohibited until 21 July, but some Americans have been allowed to cross the border as long as they are en route to the US state of Alaska, - a more than 1,000 mile (1,600km) drive from Canada's southern border.
But to be allowed into Canada, Americans must promise to remain in their cars as much as possible, avoid hotels and shops and forgo any unnecessary stops.
The C$1,200 fines ($880, £700) were issued near the Lake Louise area of the park to Americans who had stopped to hike.

White House denies ordering testing slowdown

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany has denied that President Trump ordered a slowdown of virus testing.
It comes after Trump commented during a rally in Oklahoma over the weekend that the "bad part" of testing is that "you're going to find more cases".
"So I said to my people, slow the testing down please."
But the White House on Monday denied that Trump's comments reflected an actual presidential order.
“Any suggestion that testing has been curtailed is not rooted in fact,” McEnany said on Monday. “It was a comment that he made in jest,” she added.

Netherlands reports no new virus deaths in last 24 hours

Health officials in the Netherlands have announced there were no new coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours - the first time the country's daily death toll has been zero since the beginning of March.
There were, however, 69 new infections.
The Netherlands started easing its lockdown on 13 May, and officials said it would continue to be eased in phases until 1 September.
The country's total death toll is 6,090, and there have been 49,658 cases.

Djokovic must 'feel responsibility' over coronavirus at Adria Tour

Coronavirus - 22nd June Ba478910
Grigor Dimitrov (centre) sat with Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic during the first Adria Tour event in Belgrade last week

As professional tennis tours have been put on pause until at least August, a number of domestic and regional exhibition tournaments between players based in the same part of the world have sprung up.
But the Balkans-based Adria Tour event set up by world number one Novak Djokovic has drawn criticism after two players tested positive for Covid-19 .
The latest critic is British men's number one Dan Evans, who says Djokovic should "feel some responsibility" after players Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric tested positive for the virus.
Dimitrov played Coric on Saturday in the second leg of the world number one's event in Zadar, Croatia - where players were not obliged to observe social distancing rules after a lockdown easing there.
Evans, 30, thinks Djokovic - who is awaiting the results of his Covid test - has some questions to answer.
"Put it this way, I don't think you should be having a players' party and then dancing all over each other," Evans said.
"He should feel some responsibility in his event and how it's transpired."
The first leg of the tour in Serbia concluded with players dancing close together in a Belgrade nightclub.
Meanwhile, Britain's Sir Andy Murray says it has been a "lesson for us all" to take the situation "extremely seriously".
Organisers said Sunday's final in Zadar has been cancelled "as a precaution" and insisted epidemiological measures in each nation where matches were played were "strictly followed" at all times.

Hindu festival to go ahead without crowds

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The Rath Yatra in Puri in 2017 - before social distancing

India's Supreme Court will allow an annual Hindu festival to go ahead in the city of Puri, in Odisha state, on Tuesday - but in a "restricted manner".
The Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra festival had previously been banned because of the coronavirus. But central and state governments argued that it should go ahead without public participation, saying it could be broadcast on TV instead.
Since the Supreme Court's decision, officials in Puri shut the city down, imposing a curfew that will stay in place until Wednesday. This is so the festival can go ahead without the public taking part.
The festival involves a procession with Hindu idols in large chariots. It usually attracts huge crowds.

Mexico resumes sending farm workers to Canada

Mexico has announced a deal to resume sending temporary farm workers to Canada to help with summer planting and harvesting.
Canada and Mexico "reached an agreement to improve sanitary conditions of the nationals who work on farms", the Mexican foreign ministry said.
Canada relies on about 60,000 temporary migrant labourers - mostly from Latin America and the Caribbean - to help with chronic employment shortages in the agricultural industry.
Last week, Mexico said it would hit the "pause button" on sending about 5,000 workers to Canada after at least two of its nationals died after contracting Covid-19 on farms.

English councils urge plan for vulnerable after shielding

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils, has called for a "plan" for vulnerable households affected by news of an end to shielding for people in England from 1 August.
From 6 July, the 2.2 million people who have been self-isolating at home will be able to meet up outdoors , in a group, with up to five others and form "support bubbles" with other households.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA's community wellbeing board, said the UK government's announcement provided "much-need clarity" for those who've been shielding, adding that "clear communication" was "vital" for people to adjust to the changes and councils' ability to support them.
But he said a "plan is needed" to help people who can't afford access to priority supermarket delivery slots when the provision of emergency food parcels finishes and to support those whose "wellbeing has suffered as a result of prolonged isolation".

The latest from the UK

Before we sign off our live coverage for the day, here are the main UK headlines.

  • People in England who have been "shielding" - that is, people who are most vulnerable to the virus - will have more freedom to go outside and see other people from 6 July
  • England's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries, said there were children staying home from school to shield who would be better off in the classroom
  • Next summer's GCSEs and A-levels could delayed until later in the summer to allow for more teaching time, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said. This would be to allow schools to catch up some of the time lost since lockdown
  • The government is also now reviewing whether the 2m rule on social distancing in England should be reduced to 1m
  • Another 15 Covid-related deaths were reported in the last 24 hours - the lowest figure since 15 March.
  • The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 has also fallen below 1,000 for the first time since the peak of the virus
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the virus is "in retreat" in the UK

We're pausing our live coverage

We're bringing our rolling coverage of the pandemic to a close until tomorrow morning. Thank you for joining us.
It's been a busy day. To recap, here are some of the top headlines.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recorded the highest daily increase in total cases - 183,000 added in 24 hours
  • Most of these cases came from Brazil, followed by the US and India
  • WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a lack of global solidarity and leadership was an even greater threat than the virus itself
  • Officials in South Korea said the country was going through a "second wave" of infections, although new cases are falling
  • France has now reopened its cinemas, swimming pools and holiday centres. At the same time, all pupils up to the age of 15 have gone back to school
  • The number of total confirmed cases worldwide has now exceeded nine million, according to the count kept by the US-based Johns Hopkins University

Today's live page reporters were: Vicky Baker, Henri Astier, Alexandra Fouche, Ashitha Nagesh, Hamish Mackay, Mary O’Connor, Max Matza, Emma Harrison and Gavin Stamp. The editors were Thomas Poole and Rob Corp.

    Current date/time is Tue Sep 29 2020, 18:01