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Coronavirus - 24th June


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Post by Kitkat on Wed Jun 24 2020, 10:32

Summary for Wednesday, 24th June

  • More than 100,000 people have now died in Latin American and the Caribbean as the pandemic accelerates
  • Health experts are saying infection rates still haven't peaked in many countries
  • Covid-19 has "brought this nation to its knees" said the director of the US CDC
  • Robert Redfield's comments came as about half of US states are seeing a surge in new cases
  • Health official Anthony Fauci warns of a "disturbing surge" in infections, and calls for increased contact tracing
  • An outbreak in Germany has sparked fresh lockdowns
  • World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic has said he is "so sorry" after testing positive
  • Globally there are now 9.2m cases and almost 477,000 deaths

Welcome to our rolling coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic. Here are the latest headlines:

  • The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, says the virus has brought the US "to its knees"
  • Meanwhile top US adviser Anthony Fauci warns of a "disturbing surge" in infections in parts of the US
  • The number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean passes 100,000
  • World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic apologises after testing positive following a tournament he organised
  • The Maldives will reopen its tourist resorts in mid-July

US official warns of 'disturbing surge'

The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told a Congress hearing that the virus has brought the US "to its knees".
“We have all done the best that we can do to tackle this virus," Robert Redfield said. "And the reality is that it’s brought this nation to its knees."
He also said the cost of "one little virus" could be $7 trillion.
At the same hearing, top White House adviser Anthony Fauci said there was a "disturbing surge" in infections in parts of the US.
He said it was crucial for states to have "the manpower, system, and testing" to identify, isolate, and contact trace new patients.

Where is the 'surge' in US cases?

In some parts of the US, the outbreak seems to be under control.
In the north-eastern states of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, for example, the daily number of new cases is way down from the peak in March and April.
But according to the latest New York Times data, at least 26 states are seeing increases in the seven-day rolling average of new cases. They are:

  • California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Washington, Mississippi, Missouri, Utah, Arkansas, Nevada, Kansas, Oklahoma, Delaware, Oregon, Idaho, West Virginia, Wyoming, Hawaii, Montana

Australia sees first death in a month

Australia’s death toll now stands at 103, after an elderly man in Victoria died overnight.
It’s the first fatality in over a month and comes as an outbreak continues in the state capital Melbourne.
Almost all of Australia’s new infections have come from six suburban “hotspots” in the city, some of which have large migrant populations. Most clusters had come from family gatherings, officials said.
Authorities have defended their messaging to non-English speaking communities, after leaders pointed out non-English warnings were inadequate or had been patchy.
Eight new community transmissions were reported overnight – slightly lower than the average reported in the past week, officials said.
However the state is still scrambling to tackle the spike and confine it before it spreads further.

'Sorry' Djokovic also tests positive

The world's number one tennis player Novak Djokovic has said he is "so sorry" after he, and a number of other players, tested positive for Covid-19 after playing at his Adria Tour competition.
Djokovic set up the event as a way of helping players get back to match fitness after several weeks without competition.
Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki have all tested positive.
Pictures on the tournament's social media site from Friday showed Dimitrov playing basketball with Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic, while he also put his arm around Coric before their match.
In a post on Twitter, Djokovic admitted that it had been "too soon" to stage the tournament.
"I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm," added Djokovic.

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NYC to open beaches for swimming

Beaches in New York City will be open for swimming from 1 July, its Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced on Twitter.
"Let's keep playing it safe, social distance and face coverings, even at the beach," he tweeted.
The city's beaches have been open to sunbathers, but swimming has been prohibited.

UK must prepare for second wave - health leaders

Health leaders are calling for an urgent review to determine whether the UK is properly prepared for the "real risk" of a second wave of coronavirus.
In an open letter published in the British Medical Journal , ministers were warned that urgent action would be needed to prevent further loss of life.
The presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Nursing, Physicians, and GPs all signed the letter.
It comes after Boris Johnson announced sweeping changes to England's lockdown.
On Tuesday, the prime minister said pubs, restaurants, cinemas and hairdressers will be able to reopen from 4 July.

Mongolia holds election amid outbreak

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A polling station in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, on Wednesday

Mongolia is today voting for a new parliament - making it the second country in the world to hold national elections during the virus outbreak, after South Korea.
It's taking several measures to keep people safe, including checking voters' temperatures, disinfecting voting stations, and providing voters with disposable gloves.
The country's two main parties flouted bans on large gatherings during their campaign rallies.
The governing Mongolian People's Party is hoping to retain the vast majority of the parliament's 76 seats it won four years ago.
The huge but sparsely populated Asian democracy has been strict in its response to the pandemic with no deaths, and only around 200 cases.

Inside a Mumbai critical care unit

The state-run KEM hospital in Mumbai is at the forefront of the city's fight against Covid-19.
With more than 60,000 cases, Mumbai is the worst-affected Indian city. Hospital staff are overrun with patients and are struggling under the workload.
So how do they cope?
BBC Marathi's Mayuresh Konnur and Sharad Badhe obtained exclusive access inside the hospital.

Maldives to reopen to tourists

The Maldives will reopen tourist resorts from 15 July, its President Ibrahim Solih has said - adding that international tourists would be welcomed.
Foreign visitors will not need to undergo virus tests to enter the country.
Tourism is one of the biggest sources of income for the Maldives, which banned arrivals in March in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.
The Maldives, which has a population of around 340,000, has reported around 2,200 virus cases.

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Post by Kitkat on Wed Jun 24 2020, 10:44

Tokyo expects 'large number of cases' today

Tokyo expects to see “quite a large number” of new coronavirus cases today after a cluster was discovered at an office, its Governor Yuriko Koike said.
“Clusters in the workplace have become a big problem lately,” Koike told reporters.
Daily cases in the city have fallen to around 20 - 40 for much of the last week.
Infections have not exceeded 50 since 5 May - when the city was still under a state of emergency.

Delhi reports biggest daily spike yet

With nearly 4,000 new infections reported on Tuesday, the Indian capital recorded its highest daily number yet.
Delhi now has more than 66,000 infections, making it the second worst-hit city in India.
The capital is close to surpassing Mumbai, which has the highest number of cases at around 68,000. But it looks like infections in Mumbai are slowly falling - it reported just over 800 new infections in the past 24 hours.
The same can't be said for Delhi, where the growth rate is the fastest in the country.
On Wednesday, the Delhi government said every house in the city will be screened in a new effort to help contain the spread, reported NDTV.
India exited its lockdown earlier this month, but cases have continued to gallop.
The country has confirmed more than 440,000 cases and 14,476 deaths so far, according to data from the health ministry.

What changes on 4 July in England?

Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers will be able to open from 4 July in England.
Two households will be able to meet indoors and stay overnight - with social distancing - in England as well.
Theatres, cinemas, libraries, museums, theme parks and zoos are among other places that can also reopen.
But indoor gyms, swimming pools, nail bars and indoor play areas will remain closed for the moment, as they have been since lockdown started on 23 March.
Mr Johnson said people should remain two metres apart where possible but a "one metre plus" rule would be introduced in England from 4 July.
This means people can be 1m away from each other as long as other measures are in place to curb possible transmission, including the use of face coverings.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford and Northern Ireland's Arlene Foster have said the 2m rule will remain in place in their nations for the time being.
Read more here

Russia holds WW2 victory parade in virus shadow

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Russia will on Wednesday celebrate its biggest public holiday, Victory Day, with a military parade in Moscow that was meant to be held on 9 May.
President Vladimir Putin reluctantly postponed the big annual celebration because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is 75 years since the then USSR defeated Nazi Germany. World War Two cost more than 20 million Soviet lives.
Moscow's lockdown has eased this month, enabling the parade, featuring tanks and long-range missiles, to go ahead.
The annual parade in Red Square - starting this year at 10:00 (07:00 GMT) - is always an occasion for President Putin to harness Russian patriotic feelings, in a way reminiscent of Soviet times.

Death toll in Latin America and Caribbean hits 100,000

A tally of figures collated by Johns Hopkins University shows that the total number of virus-related deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean is now more than 100,000.
More than half of these deaths have been reported in Brazil, where case numbers continue to be among the highest in the world, behind only the US.
Mexico has over 23,300 fatalities. Both countries have taken less severe lockdown measures than many other nations and neither has imposed nationwide restrictions.
Peru and Chile have also been badly affected, with 8,404 and 4,505 deaths respectively.
Latin America now consistently reports more daily cases than the US and Europe, and experts say the peak of the epidemic in some countries is still weeks away.

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Post by Kitkat on Wed Jun 24 2020, 10:50

Looking for viruses in Thai bats

Scientists believe the new coronavirus Sars-Cov-2 may have originated in bats before jumping to humans, possibly via another animal.
Bats are known to be reservoirs of viruses that affect humans, so studying them can give us important clues about how to fight new ones.
Here's what one group of scientists in Thailand is doing:

Still closed - the shops that won't be reopening

Vivienne Nunis - Business reporter, BBC News
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Tattoo artist Adam Grant says he was shocked to learn his studio can't reopen on 4 July

While pubs and hairdressers have been given the all clear by government to reopen on 4 July, many business owners were disappointed to learn they must keep their doors closed for now.
"It was a shock. I can understand the logical argument but personally it feels very irritating and disappointing," said Adam Grant, a tattoo artist and studio manager at Tattoo UK in Uxbridge, west London.
He says it was frustrating to hear that hairdressers can open on 4 July, while tattoo parlours must remain closed.
It was especially irritating since tattoo parlours already have measures in place to prevent-cross contamination he says, such as the disposable gloves and aprons which artists must wear.
Read more on how beauticians, gyms and tattoo artists have been left frustrated by the news they must remain closed

Review call, rent day, relief plea: UK news round-up

Good morning if you're just joining us in the UK - a day after the government announced major changes to England's measures to contain the coronavirus.
We'll be bringing you reaction and the latest from the UK around the world on this sunny Wednesday.
Here are five things you need to know:

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Post by Kitkat on Wed Jun 24 2020, 11:03

Parades and travel bans: Latest from Europe

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More than 13,000 military personnel are taking part in the parade

Russia holds its delayed World War Two victory parade and the EU mulls a travel ban. Here's the latest from Europe

  • Planes, tanks and thousands of soldiers are gathered in Moscow as Russia holds its delayed 75th anniversary World War Two victory parade . Mass gatherings are still technically barred but President Vladimir Putin is going ahead with the event, a week before a planned vote which could pave the way for him to stay in power until 2036
  • The EU is considering plans to bar travellers from countries with high infection rates - including the US, Brazil and Russia. While some countries worry about the affects such a ban could have on tourism, others are more concerned about the continued spread of the virus
  • Lockdowns are under way in two German districts where there have been local outbreaks. Authorities have also reimposed restrictions in parts of northeastern Spain
  • And world number one men's tennis player Novak Djokovic has apologised after becoming the fourth person to test positive who took part at his Adria Tour competition. Djokovic said it was "too soon" to host the event

Filipino health workers 'need extra protection'

Filipino healthcare workers should be given "additional protection" against Covid-19 so they can work safely, the Filipino UK Nurses Association says.
In Wales, seven of the 16 health workers who have died with coronavirus were originally from the Philippines.
The Welsh government said a risk assessment tool was in use.
It comes after a major study concluded South Asian people were 20% more likely to die with Covid-19 after being admitted to hospital in the UK.
According to the study, other minority ethnic groups did not have a higher death rate.
Read more here

Watch: How to fly during a pandemic

Jumping on a plane and going on holiday looks and feels very different to how it did at the start of 2020.
The UK government has released advice on what you can do to keep safe while flying. It is currently reviewing its measures on asking people to quarantine when they return to the UK .
Our Health and Science correspondent Laura Foster has been to Southend Airport to show you what you need to do if you are thinking of catching a flight.

£105m to stop rough sleepers returning to streets

Councils in England will be given an extra £105m to support rough sleepers put up during lockdown.
An estimated 14,500 people were housed in hotels and B&Bs as coronavirus hit under the scheme known as "Everyone In".
But councils and charities had called for help to ensure people did not have to return to the streets when hotels reopen on 4 July.
We have more here

Thais mark anniversary despite ban on gatherings

Pasika Khernamnuoy - BBC News Thai
Dozens of activists and students gathered peacefully in Bangkok early this morning to commemorate the 88th anniversary of the 1932 Siamese Revolution, which ended nearly 800 years of absolute monarchy, defying a ban on public gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic.
They read out the People Party's first announcement which harshly criticizes the monarchy under King Rama 7. A large screen showed a hologram of revolutionary leader Phraya Phahonphonphayuhasena giving the same speech 88 years ago. Similar gatherings took place in at least 12 provinces as well.
The current administration has been accused of burying the history of the revolution, a bloodless coup staged by Khana Ratsadon (the People's Party) that changed the country into a constitutional monarchy. And 24 June has emerged as a symbolic date for pro-democracy groups.
Police say they are monitoring protests as the whole country is still under a state of emergency.

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Post by Kitkat on Wed Jun 24 2020, 11:08

Scotland to see deepest recession in living memory, experts warn

Economic forecasters believe it will be at least 18 months before Scotland makes up the output lost due to the pandemic.
The Fraser of Allander Institute said the country was now in its deepest recession in living memory.
A report from the think tank says in the most optimistic scenario it will be the end of 2021 before the economy recovers.
In the worst case scenario it could be 2024 before a "new normal" is reached.

Guidance on how UK hospitality can safely reopen

The UK government has published updated guidance on how hairdressers, hotels, pubs and other businesses in England can reopen safely from 4 July.
The guidance includes advice to reconfigure seating, minimise self-service, cancel live acts and stagger arrivals.
Customers will be urged to book in advance, order online or through apps, and not to lean on counters.
The updated sector-by-sector guidance covers a range of different workplaces, including factories, offices, shops and restaurants, and lays out the appropriate measures needed to make them "Covid-secure".
It comes the day after Boris Johnson announced sweeping changes to England's lockdown, including a relaxing of the two-metre social-distancing rule.
Pubs, restaurants and hotels are among the hospitality venues which will be allowed to reopen in England in ten days' time , alongside museums, theatres and theme parks.
But Johnson has warned all the changes are reversible if the virus were to begin to run out of control.
We have put together everything you need to know about the new rules .

Police rescue workers 'locked in rice factory'

Police in Nigeria have rescued more than 100 people they say were locked in a rice-processing factory and forced to work throughout a coronavirus lockdown.
From the end of March the men were allegedly not allowed to leave the mill in the northern city of Kano.
The workers were promised an additional $13 (£10) a month on top of their $72 monthly salary - those who did not accept were threatened with the sack.

Questions in New Zealand over quarantine testing failure

New Zealand's government has come under fire after it was revealed that most people released early from the compulsory two-week quarantine on arrival were not tested before they were allowed to go.
Fifty-five residents were granted compassionate exemptions to leave isolation between 9-16 June, but only four had coronavirus tests. One of the 55 had their application withdrawn before they left quarantine, suggesting that, in total, 50 people were released from isolation without a test.
The health ministry said 39 have since tested negative for Covid-19, and four other people are being chased for tests. Four others are awaiting results, and the remainder have not been tested due to health reasons, or because they were children or had left the country.
Two new cases of coronavirus were confirmed last week, ending the country's 24-day run of no new infections.
The pair had travelled from the UK and were granted compassionate early release from quarantine to visit a dying parent. In response, the military has been put in charge of quarantine facilities.
The latest revelation has prompted criticism from opposition leader Todd Muller, who told Radio New Zealand that the quarantine system was "clearly broken".

Hard-hit Brazil records second-highest daily death toll

Health authorities in Brazil have registered the second-highest daily death toll since the pandemic began.
The health ministry said on Tuesday that 1,374 deaths had been registered in the previous 24 hours.
The highest daily number of deaths registered so far was on 4 June - 1,473.
Brazil is the second-worst affected country after the United States with more than 1.1 million confirmed cases, though the real number is thought to be higher (due to insufficient testing).
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has belittled the threat posed by the virus and clashed with governors over the lockdown measures they have imposed in some states.
On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered the president to wear a mask when out in public in the capital, Brasília, or face a fine .

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Post by Kitkat on Wed Jun 24 2020, 11:17

'Home!': Michael Rosen discharged from hospital after nearly three months

  tweet Emma-Louise Williams:
:Left Quotes: Home!
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How did one Welsh county escape the worst of Covid-19?

Steffan Messenger - BBC News
Much has been made in recent weeks of the apparent success of one Welsh county in dealing with coronavirus.
Across England and Wales, only the Isles of Scilly have recorded a lower death rate than Ceredigion.
The local council - which set up its own contact tracing operation - has been widely praised for its response to the virus.
But the region's low infection rates are down to a "combination" of factors, according to public health officials.
BBC Wales has carried out a detailed analysis of available data, focusing on Ceredigion's position in relation to known risk factors for the spread of Covid-19.
With confirmed cases still only in double figures, what did this part of Wales do differently?

Austria further eases face mask rules

Bethany Bell - BBC News, Vienna
Austria says waiters will no longer need to wear masks from 1 July. But Chancellor Sebastian Kurz warned people not to throw their masks away, as they would be needed in the future.
Health Minister Rudolf Anschober said there could well be a "difficult situation in the late autumn". There are also plans to allow all sports to resume.
Austria has also warned citizens against travel to the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia after a coronavirus outbreak at a meatpacking plant there. Lockdown restrictions have been imposed in two districts in the state - we have more on that here.

Analysis: UK must be prepared for second wave

Nick Triggle - Health correspondent
Talk of a dreaded second wave will dominate the coming weeks and months. The UK will need to be prepared for one.
But as the health leaders acknowledge, it is not possible to predict for sure if one will actually happen.
What is certainly a given, is there will be local flare-ups where we see clusters of infections. This has already happened in some locations.
What is important to recognise, is that the UK is in a completely different position to where it was in March - when the first wave hit.
Testing capacity has gone from a few thousand a day to 200,000, and there is a network of contact tracers to find those that might be infected.
There are still weaknesses: some tests take too long to turn around, the tracing system is still bedding in, and the app is not ready.
But there is a realistic chance, if these continue to improve - and, importantly, the public keeps playing its part - that the virus will be largely kept at bay.

US curbs 'unfair' Air India repatriation flights

The US has accused India's national carrier of "discriminatory practices" and curbed repatriation flights it was operating both to and from the country.
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) said Air India was also selling tickets for the flights which meant they were not "true repatriations".
It added that US carriers were not being allowed to conduct similar operations to and from India, despite submissions from airline companies.
Air India has been flying a series of "rescue missions" to bring Indian citizens back home from other countries in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has not yet responded to the DOT's decision.

Slovak president self-isolating

Rob Cameron - Prague Correspondent
Slovakia's President Zuzana Caputova will self-isolate at home until Friday as a precaution after one of her aides came into contact with someone who had tested positive for Covid, her spokesman said.
The president has cancelled her engagements, including a meeting on Wednesday with the head of the Czech Senate, Milos Vystrcil and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.
Slovakia has been praised for its response to the pandemic. It was one of the first countries in Europe to close its borders and introduce mandatory mask-wearing even before the first cases were reported. The EU and NATO member, which has a population of 5.5 million, has so far recorded just 1,589 positive cases. The majority have now recovered. A total of 28 people have died.
Slovakia has eased its lockdown in recent weeks, and is currently allowing in tourists from 19 countries, mostly in central and eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the Baltic states. Tourists from the rest of Europe are not permitted to enter.

EU considers barring US travellers due to virus

EU ambassadors are meeting to discuss plans to reopen external borders on 1 July, and travellers from the US could be among those not allowed in.
A number of European countries are keen to open up to tourists but others are wary of the continued spread of coronavirus.
The 27-member bloc must first agree the measures that non-EU countries should meet before deciding on a safe list.
America continues to report the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, so it is likely it would be barred. Brazil, Russia and other countries with high infection rates would also be left off a safe list, according to reports from Brussels.
Read more here.

Two-metre rule, change or not change? View across UK

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement of sweeping changes to England's lockdown on Tuesday, here's a brief guide to developments across the rest of the UK:

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Post by Kitkat on Wed Jun 24 2020, 13:38

Police deaths and PPE woes: Latin America round-up

Latin America now accounts for 100,000 of the more than 477,000 Covid-related deaths worldwide. Brazil is the worst-affected country in the region, but how are others faring?

  • In Peru, more than 220 police officers have died with coronavirus. The government says most of them are thought to have contracted the virus while enforcing quarantine measures in food markets and other public places. Peru has the second-highest death toll in the region after Brazil, despite strict lockdown measures
  • A doctor in Honduras has given an update on the health of President Juan Orlando Hernández, who was taken to hospital with coronavirus last week. He said the president had trouble breathing and was in a "delicate condition". Hernández's wife has also contracted the virus. There are almost 14,000 confirmed cases in the Central American nation
  • Panama's National Association of Nurses has warned of a shortage of gowns and masks. Panama is the worst-affected country in Central America with more than 27,000 confirmed cases among its population of just under 4.2 million people

Second wave: What it is, and what it is not

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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?
In order to say one wave has ended, the virus would have been brought under control and cases fallen substantially.
For a second wave to start you would need a sustained rise in infections.
Current outbreaks in New Zealand and the Chinese capital, Beijing, cannot be classed as a second wave, scientists argue. But the rapid surge in coronavirus cases in Iran in recent weeks has sparked talk of a second wave.
So what are our options? The BBC's James Gallagher takes a look

UK PM to face questions on lockdown easing

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to face a grilling from political opponents in Parliament shortly, following the announcement of significant lockdown easing measures across England.
Yesterday, the prime minister announced the 2m social-distancing rule will be replaced with a "one-metre plus" rule and huge swathes of the retail and hospitality industry can reopen in England from 4 July - providing they follow guidelines.
Johnson will take Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons from 12:00 BST.

University students urged to seek compensation

Judith Burns - Education reporter
Students in the UK who have missed out on their studies during lockdown are being asked to sign up for a "mass action" for compensation.
The National Union of Students (NUS) wants debt relief and compensation for students who have faced disruption since universities closed their doors.
Hundreds of thousands of students are paying for an education they are simply not getting, according to the NUS.
NUS research suggests one in five students have been unable to access their learning at all during lockdown, while one in three say it has been of poor quality.
England's universities minister wants students to complain directly to the relevant institution, with the Department for Education arguing that universities are "autonomous" and responsible for setting their own fees and arranging their own refunds.
But the NUS is calling for "a national sector-wide response from government".
Read more

Airport handlers Swissport to halve UK workforce

Handling company Swissport is set to cut more than half of its UK workforce - up to 4,556 jobs - as air companies struggle with the effects of the coronavirus crisis.
Chief executive Jason Holt said the company had to reduce the size of its workforce to survive.
Swissport operates at airports across the UK, including Heathrow and Gatwick, which have been badly hit by the pandemic.
Air travel collapsed around the world after governments imposed travel restrictions during coronavirus lockdowns.
"We are now facing a long period of uncertainty and reduced flight numbers, along with significant changes taking place to the way people travel and the way goods move around the world," said Mr Holt, in a message to staff.

Macron and Merkel to meet to discuss recovery plan

The French presidency has announced that President Emmanuel Macron will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday to discuss a European economic recovery plan.
The meeting will happen in the German town of Meseberg, north of Berlin, and they will also discuss the coronavirus crisis and other international affairs.
There have been disagreements between EU leaders over a recovery fund, as we reported earlier this month.
Sweden, Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands say the proposed EU fund of €750bn (£676bn; $840bn) is too large and insist any money given out must eventually be repaid.
Earlier this week, Macron met Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and a French presidential official told Reuters news agency that the talks had enabled them to move forward on resolving differences.

Further four deaths in Scotland over past 24 hours

A further four people have died with coronavirus in Scotland over the past 24 hours.
It brings the total number of deaths in Scotland to 2,480.
The figure is lower than the 4,119 deaths given earlier by the National Records of Scotland, as that figure includes all cases where Covid-19 is mentioned on a death certificate, even if the patient had not been tested.
Speaking during First Minister's Questions, Nicola Sturgeon said nine more people had tested positive for the virus since yesterday, and that 18,191 people now have tested positive for Covid-19.
She added that there are 880 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 with 23 in intensive care.

Cases among women 'may be underreported' in Africa and Middle East

There is a huge gap between the number of men and women who have tested positive for Covid-19 in parts of Africa and the Middle East, according to a global aid agency, suggesting that women in conflict zones may be struggling with access to testing and support.
In countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, over 70% of reported cases were male, compared to a global average of 51%, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said. Richer countries, in contrast, had a gender balance much closer to the worldwide average. These include Sweden (59% female), the UK (54% female) and the US (51% female).
“What we are seeing is a situation in which women are potentially being left out of testing and their health deprioritised,” said Stacey Mearns, senior technical advisor of emergency health at the IRC. “This could have serious ramifications for their physical wellbeing.”
The World Health Organization has previously called on countries to report the sex and age breakdown of their confirmed cases so it can analyse who is most affected.
The UN body said fewer than half of world's confirmed cases had been reported with sex and age data, so any conclusions about the virus' impact on certain genders should be made with caution.

People in Scotland can meet indoors from 10 July

People in Scotland will be allowed to meet indoors from 10 July, and pubs and restaurants can reopen from 15 July, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Announcing changes to the Scottish government's route out of lockdown, Sturgeon said travel distance restrictions - which see people forced to stay within five miles of their home - will be relaxed on 3 July, along with the opening of self-catering accommodation.
Sturgeon said the move was possible thanks to "real and sustained progress" in suppressing the virus.
She added that beer gardens and other outdoor venues would be able to reopen on 6 July - and all other pubs and restaurants would be able to open on 15 July, if progress continues.
Shopping centres - as well as barbers and hairdressers - will also be allowed to reopen on 15 July.
Venues will be subject to physical distancing measures along with "a number of conditions" being followed, Sturgeon said.
She said the advice on the two-metre rule will be reported on by 2 July.

Analysis: Who was right on contact tracing apps?

Reality Check
The prime minister and leader of the Labour Party clashed earlier over coronavirus contact tracing apps – and the fact that England does not have one yet.
Boris Johnson said: “I wonder whether [he] can name a single country in the world that has a functional contact tracing app, because there isn’t one.”
Keir Starmer replied: “Germany."
Germany launched its Corona-Warn-App on 15 June.
Germany’s public health body, the Robert Koch Institute, has tweeted to say the app has been downloaded 12.6m times since then.
But we haven't yet seen figures from the German government on how well it is performing and how many people have received an alert as a result.
France launched its tracing app three weeks ago.
Two million people downloaded it (although 460,000 have uninstalled it since) – according to figures from the French government.
But just 68 people used it to say they had Covid-19 and only 14 people have been traced and warned they are at risk of infection.
A number of other countries around the world have also launched apps.
You can read more about manual contact tracing here .

Where are virus cases and deaths still rising?

While some countries are starting to see confirmed cases and deaths fall following strict lockdown restrictions, others are still seeing figures rise.
A sharp increase in cases in Latin America in the second half of May led the World Health Organization (WHO) to warn that the Americas were the new centre of the pandemic. But there have also been new spikes in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
These charts show four countries - Brazil, Mexico, India and Pakistan - where cases (in blue) and deaths (in red) have been on an upward trajectory in recent weeks
Coronavirus - 24th June 5c5b4010

Brazil confirmed more than 39,000 new cases on Tuesday alone, and is only the second country in the world - after the US - to confirm more than one million cases. Mexico is the second worst-affected country in the region, with cases continuing to surge.
Coronavirus - 24th June 10c53210

India reported more than 15,000 new coronavirus cases on Sunday - the biggest daily increase since the start of its epidemic.
Neighbouring Pakistan has also seen a surge in infections and deaths - although the number of new cases has fallen slightly in recent days. The healthcare systems in both countries are under strain.
Read more here

All African countries can now carry out lab testing, WHO says

All African countries now have laboratories that can process coronavirus tests, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had earlier advised countries to consider their ability to test and trace before easing any lockdown measures.
During a virtual conference to discuss the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, Dr Tedros also warned that the pandemic was accelerating.
"The most recent one million cases of Covid-19 were reported in just one week," he said.

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NHS patients 'waiting too long' for non-Covid tests

Rachel Schraer - BBC Health Reporter
The number of people in England waiting longer than six weeks for non-Covid related tests and scans increased five-fold between March and April.
NHS England's constitution says patients should wait no longer than six weeks for diagnostic tests.
Figures published by NHS England this month showed almost 470,000 people had been waiting longer than six weeks for tests, including for cancer, at the end of April.
That's five times as many as were waiting at the end of March.
The Labour Party is calling for a plan to deal with the backlog.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman acknowledged the impact of the pandemic on NHS services "and the challenges faced as we start to restore them".
Read more

India blocks traditional Covid-19 'cure'

Reality Check
The Indian government has blocked plans to promote and sell a herbal-based product that claims to "cure" coronavirus.
Patanjali Ayurved, a big consumer goods company in India set up by a popular yoga guru, said that it had found the "cure" after conducting research on plants used in traditional medicine.
"We conducted a controlled clinical study on 95 patients," company founder, Baba Ramdev, said.
The trial was reportedly carried out at the National Institute of Medical Science and Research, based in Rajasthan state.
But official records suggest that this institute has limited experience in conducting drug research, according to reports. Also, the research had reportedly not been peer-reviewed before it was publicised as a cure.
The product has also yet to go through the proper regulatory processes, leading the Indian authorities to demand more information about the product and the research involved. Experts say claims of cures for coronavirus need to be treated with caution until the evidence has been properly evaluated.
"There have already been numerous grand claims in relation to Covid-19 around cures and vaccines, and none as yet has been justified," Dr Michael Head, a global health expert at the University of Southampton, said.

What will a reopened pub actually be like?

Coronavirus - 24th June 210fad10
The Willow and Brook is already booked out for its first day of post-lockdown trade

Pubs, cafes and restaurants in England will be allowed to reopen on 4 July. But what awaits those venturing back out into these bastions of normal life?
Welcome to the Willow and Brook, a village bar and restaurant in the Northamptonshire village of Apethorpe. Imagine, just for a moment, today is 4 July.
If you've booked a table, great, you can go to your seats. If not, you can only enter if a table is free.
At the entrance, there's a hand-sanitising station you need to use.
Your table will be bare. Cutlery, napkins and menus will only be laid once you've taken your seats.
And the staff member serving you will be a strange sight. Decked out in a plastic face shield, you might spot the personal hand sanitiser dangling from their waist clip.
Read more here

Are all coronavirus cases being traced?

Reality Check
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer claimed at Prime Minister's Questions that two-thirds of people who have coronavirus are not being contacted by the government's test and trace scheme.
He said 33,000 people are estimated to have Covid-19 in England, but only 10,000 people have been reached through the system.
The 33,000 figure comes from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It was reached by testing a sample of people and working out what percentage of them were infected and then applying that to the population as a whole.
It is an estimate and not a figure for actual people who have been tested.
Between 28 May and 10 June, contact trace teams attempted to reach 14,045 people in England who had tested positive for coronavirus. They got through to 10,192 of them.

England reports further 51 coronavirus-related deaths

A further 51 people have died in hospital in England after testing positive for coronavirus, or where Covid-19 was the direct or underlying cause, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 28,435, NHS England said.
Patients were aged between 48 and 96 years old and all had known underlying health conditions.
The south-west reported no deaths for the second consecutive day and was the only region not to record any coronavirus-related fatalities in the latest figures.
The latest figures covering the whole of the UK are due to be released by the Department of Health and Social Care shortly.

Furloughed Eurostar staff become French teachers

Sean Coughlan - BBC News, education correspondent
Eurostar staff furloughed during the lockdown are helping London schools with online French lessons.
Rail staff not currently working, including train drivers, have volunteered to help pupils with online learning at home.
Only a limited number of Eurostar's services to France and Belgium are running - and about 30 staff have been helping with French lessons.
They are helping classes run online by teachers in three secondary schools.
The schools, based near the Eurostar terminus in St Pancras and its depot in east London, have organised about 100 students into small online groups, with rail staff providing conversation classes for pupils and their accompanying teachers.
Read more here

Latest death toll for Northern Ireland and Wales

There has been one more death linked to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours, according to the daily figures from the Stormont Department of Health - and two new confirmed cases of the virus.
Public Health Wales said a further eight people had died after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of deaths to 1,491.
The total number of cases in Wales increased by 47 to 15,341.
We'll bring you the latest figures for the entire UK once they are released later this afternoon.

Russia holds Victory Day parade in shadow of virus

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More than 13,000 military personnel are taking part in the celebrations

Russia is celebrating its biggest public holiday, Victory Day, with a military parade in Moscow that was meant to be held on 9 May.
It is 75 years since the then USSR defeated Nazi Germany. World War Two cost more than 20 million Soviet lives.
President Vladimir Putin reluctantly postponed the big annual celebration because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But it was rescheduled ahead of a key constitutional vote, which could allow him a further two terms in power.
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Service personnel who took part had to be quarantined ahead of the parade in Red Square

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The parade was due to be held in May, but President Putin delayed it due to the virus outbreak

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Military aircraft flew over Red Square and released smoke in the colours of the Russian flag

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Hundreds of new and World War Two-era vehicles joined the parade

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Service members from several countries, including India, also took part

IMF global forecast: Key numbers

The IMF now expects a larger hit to consumer spending. The report points out something that is unusual about this downturn, our economics correspondent Andrew Walker says.
Usually people dip into savings, or get help from family and welfare systems to reduce the fluctuations in their spending. Consumer spending usually takes a much smaller hit in a downturn than business investment.
But this time, lockdowns and voluntary social distancing by people who are wary of exposing themselves to infection risks have hit demand, our correspondent adds.
Here are some of the predictions:

  • UK: -10.2% this year; +6.3% in 2021
  • US: -8% this year; +4.8% in 2021
  • Italy and Spain: -12.8% each this year; +6.3% in 2021
  • Russia: -6.6% this year; +4.1% in 2021
  • China: +1% this year; +8.2% in 2021
  • India: -4.5% this year; +6% in 2021
  • Brazil: -9.1% this year; +3.6% in 2021

You can find the full IMF report here.
And you can read more from Andrew here

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Pakistan plane crash pilots 'distracted by Covid-19 talk'

Coronavirus - 24th June F75e7a10
The crash site was just short of the airport perimeter

The pilots of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight that crashed last month, killing 97 people, were distracted by a conversation about Covid-19, a minister has said.
The Airbus A320 was flying from Lahore to Karachi on 22 May when it came down in a residential area while trying to land at Jinnah International Airport.
An initial report into the disaster, released on Wednesday , said the pilots and air traffic control were at fault for the crash, because they did not follow protocol.
Presenting the findings to parliament, Pakistan's aviation minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, said the aircraft was "100% fit to fly" and there was no technical fault.
"The pilot and co-pilot were not focused and throughout the conversation was about coronavirus," Khan said, adding their families had been affected by Covid-19.
The crash came just days after Pakistan began allowing commercial flights after coronavirus restrictions were eased.
Pakistan has recorded almost 190,000 coronavirus infections to date, one of the highest caseloads in the world. The death toll in the country reached 3,755 on Wednesday.
New cases are reported to be declining in the country, after authorities imposed localised lockdowns in dozens of hotspots across 20 cites in mid-June.

How will England's places of worship change after lockdown?

By Orla Moore and Phil Shepka
Places of worship in England will be able to reopen to congregations from 4 July but what will they look like - and how will they be different?
Our colleagues have visited a mosque, church and synagogue in Cambridge to find out.
The congregations might be set for a return - but hand-shaking, hugs and hymns will all be absent.
Many have turned to the church online during the pandemic, at a time of isolation and distress. Now their doors are reopening, what will happen next?

What rule changes can we expect from the Netherlands?

Anna Holligan - BBC News Hague correspondent
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expected to announce a further relaxation of the coronavirus rules in the Netherlands later today.
A number of - unconfirmed - changes have already been leaked.
Among them are:

  • Football supporters will be allowed back into stadiums from 1 September. The 1.5 metre rule must be observed. Chanting and singing will be banned because of the potential to spread the virus
  • Secondary schools are likely to be allowed to ditch social distancing after the summer holidays and to resume a normal lesson timetable. They have been partially operating since 2 June, but the combination of physical and online lessons has generated complaints from parents, teachers and pupils
  • The limit on the number of people who can attend formal events will be lifted, on the condition that people can keep social distancing rules and are quizzed about their health. Reservations will remain a requirement. This means that festivals and outdoor events may be possible from 1 July, local authority permits will be required and there's no expectation that the big music festivals will be back on yet
  • Cinemas, theatres and places of worship will be able to welcome more than 100 people (the original planned limit from 1 July), as long as social distancing can be maintained
  • Saunas, gyms and sports schools are also to reopen on 1 July, if coronavirus remains under control

We're also expecting an update on visits to nursing homes.

New York City marathon cancelled for 2020

Organisers have announced that this year's New York marathon has been cancelled due to the city's coronavirus outbreak.
The largest running event of its kind in the world, the marathon was due to be held on 1 November, and would have celebrated its 50th anniversary. Instead, it will take place on 7 November 2021.
Every year, the event draws more than 50,000 runners, 10,000 volunteers and thousands of spectators along the 26.2-mile course.
The event is organised by city officials and non-profit group New York Road Runners (NYRR).
In a statement, the chief executive of NYRR, Michael Capiraso, said the cancellation was "disappointing for everyone involved, but it was clearly the course we needed to follow from a health and safety perspective".

Surging cases in US concern health experts

The US has recorded more than 2.3 million infections and 121,000 deaths to date, the highest number in the world on both counts. States started to ease Covid-19 restrictions in mid-May, but the first wave of the epidemic seems far from over. Infections are on the rise nationwide once again. Here are the latest developments:

  • Dr Anthony Fauci, the most senior infectious-disease expert in the US, has told lawmakers the country was seeing a "disturbing surge" in some states . He said there was "increased community spread" in many southern and western states
  • California, Florida and Texas were among the states to report a surge in new infections on Tuesday. Seven states have reported record daily increases in hospital admissions, according to analysis by the Washington Post California has broken a new daily record for infections for the second day in a row, with more than 6,000 new cases
  • Florida’s cases have increased by 3,289, a day after total infections surpassed 100,000
  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott has urged people to stay at home, after the state recorded more than 5,000 cases in a single day, breaking its previous record
  • Health experts have attributed the rise in cases to the relaxation of social-distancing rules and an increase in testing. In some states, more infections among younger people are being detected
  • Dr Robert Redfield, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has told Congress Covid-19 has "brought this nation to its knees"

UK reports further 154 coronavirus deaths

A further 154 coronavirus-related deaths have been recorded in the UK over the past 24 hours, the Department for Health and Social Care has said.
The latest figures mean the total UK death toll has risen to 43,081.
Earlier in the day, separate death totals were released for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, though they cover a slightly different time period.
Coronavirus - 24th June 75ea2610

Virus in US, state by state

Earlier we told you about how new Covid-19 cases in the US had risen to their highest level in two months, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the outbreak.
This map shows us which states have been worst hit. New York was one of the initial hotspots, but now cases are surging in southern and southwestern states.
Coronavirus - 24th June 48d23810

Beijing residents urged to stay home for public holiday

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
The Chinese capital, Beijing, has only recorded seven new positive cases in the last 24 hours.
But despite this welcome news for residents, the Global Times newspaper notes that "fear of community transmission has been rising in the city" and people are being urged not to go out.
Thursday marks Dragon Boat Festival, a three-day-long public holiday in China. The official China Daily says that all events to celebrate it "will be held online" this year in the capital.
Public places including libraries, museums and art galleries are also only allowing visitors at 30% of normal capacity during the public holiday.
Beijing residents are being urged not to leave the city for anything but essential travel. This has created problems for commuters at the outskirts of the city.
On the popular Sina Weibo social media platform, many have posted pictures of crowds forming at the border with Hebei province.
There have been 256 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Beijing since one individual tested positive on 11 June, leading to fears of a second wave since the initial outbreak in Wuhan late last year.
Read more by Kerry: Chinese city to let people getting married see their partner's abuse history

What is happening around UK?

Just joining us? Here's a round-up of what's been going on around the UK on this Wednesday - which, by the way, is the hottest day of the year so far in the country.

And with many going to beaches or beauty spots to enjoy this sunny day, there are warnings for people not to leave hand sanitiser in hot cars, as it can catch fire in hot temperatures. More on that here.

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Indian state extends lockdown until 31 July

The Indian state of West Bengal has extended its lockdown until 31 July to stem the spread of Covid-19 after a spike in infections nationwide.
The lockdown in the eastern state was supposed to expire on 30 June.
But as new infections continue to rise across the country, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, said it was necessary to keep restrictions in place to "help the entire nation".
Schools, colleges and universities would remain shut as part of the continued curbs, but some relaxations would go ahead, the minister said.
India's infections jumped by almost 16,000 to more than 456,000 on Wednesday, the highest daily rise in the country. The death toll stands at more than 14,000.
There have been 14,728 confirmed cases and 580 deaths in West Bengal.
In the capital Delhi, which reported a record daily increase on Wednesday with 3,788 new cases, soldiers have been deployed to assist medics in treating Covid-19 patients.
Meanwhile, our India correspondent Soutik Biswas has looked into how Asia's biggest slum contained the coronavirus .

Coronavirus cases 'to reach 10 million' next week

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it expects to see the number of cases of Covid-19 reach 10 million within the next week.
"More than 9.1 million cases of Covid-19 have now been reported to the WHO, and more than 470,000 deaths," the health body chief, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told reporters in Geneva.
"In the first month of this outbreak, less than 10,000 cases were reported. In the last month, almost four million cases have been reported.
"We expect to reach a total of 10 million cases within the next week."
He called it a "sober reminder" of our "urgent responsibility to do everything we can... to suppress transmission and save lives".
The Americas have become the epicentre of the pandemic. Find out more about where cases are still rising .

Human trial of new vaccine begins in UK

About 300 people will have the vaccine over the coming weeks, as part of a trial led by Prof Robin Shattock and his colleagues, at Imperial College London.
Tests on animals suggest the vaccine is safe and triggers an effective immune response.
Many traditional vaccines are based on a weakened or modified form of virus, but the Imperial vaccine is based on a new approach, using synthetic strands of genetic code, called RNA, which mimic the virus.
There are more than 120 coronavirus vaccines in early development across the world. A further 13 are now in clinical trials: five in China, three in the United States, two in the UK, one in Australia, Germany and Russia.
Vaccine teams are keen to stress that they are not in a race against each other, but against the virus.
If there are to be enough doses to protect the world, several vaccine approaches will need to be successful, writes the BBC's medical correspondent Fergus Walsh.

US 'working with EU' to reopen travel amid ban reports

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he is "confident" the US and the EU will be able to agree arrangements for the resumption of international travel.
There have been reports that the European Union could block Americans from resuming travel to EU countries because of the prevalence of coronavirus in the US.
Pompeo told reporters: "I'm confident that we'll find a set of conditions that create sufficient health and safety protection.
"We're working on finding the right way to do that, the right timing to do it, the right tactics to have in place. We certainly don't want to cause problems any place else."
We have more on the EU discussions here.

New addition to cancelled events list: Berlin Marathon 2020

Another major event has been cancelled because of the pandemic: this year's Berlin Marathon in Germany.
Organisers say the event - originally scheduled to take place on 26-27 September - will not go ahead citing Covid-19 restrictions and health concerns.
They say holding the marathon was not possible given the German government's social-distancing rules. And, following a review, they decided the event could not be held at a later date this year either.
"As hard as we have tried, it is currently not possible to organise the BMW Berlin-Marathon with its usual Berlin charm," the organisers said.
"Your health, as well as all of our health, is our first priority."
Around 45,000 runners usually take part in the marathon every year in the German capital.
Earlier, we reported that this year's marathon in New York had been scrapped also because of the pandemic.

US states impose 14-day quarantine for visitors

The US states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will require visitors from Covid-19 hotspots elsewhere in the country to quarantine for 14 days, officials have said.
The governors of the three north-eastern states - once coronavirus hotspots themselves - announced the joint travel advisory today.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he did not want visitors from other states bringing Covid-19 in with them, because "we worked very hard to get the viral transmission down".
The quarantine rule will apply to visitors from states where 10% of the population is infected with Covid-19 on a seven-day rolling average, Mr Cuomo said.
Nine states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas, currently meet that high infection rate threshold.
The quarantine will come into effect on Thursday.
With more than 31,000 deaths and 412,000 cases to date, New York was the epicentre of the pandemic at one stage, but now other southern and western states are seeing a rise in infections.

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WHO emergency chief praises UK over phased easing

Dr Mike Ryan, the head of emergencies at the World Health Organization (WHO), has praised the UK for the way it is easing restrictions.
He said there had been a "steady, slow and step-wise exit from lockdown conditions" in the country.
Dr Ryan said the government had communicated the changes to the population at large and to the WHO – with a consistent dialogue between the four nations of the UK over regional differences.
He said testing in the UK had now increased and the "surveillance system is capable of understand where the disease is".
His comments came after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the next level of lockdown easing would take place on 4 July, when businesses such as pubs and restaurants can reopen under government guidelines.

Virus exploits poor government, says WHO emergency chief

Imogen Foulkes - BBC News, Geneva
The outbreak in the Americas has not yet peaked, with an increase in cases of between 25% and 50% in the last week, the head of health emergencies for the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Mike Ryan, has said.
Dr Ryan said the virus exploited "weak health systems" and "poor government", and said that for governments to understand how to tackle the outbreak, they needed to look at the actions of countries which had succeeded in suppressing transmission.

Britons enjoy hottest day of the year on packed beaches

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Bournemouth beach was especially busy on Wednesday evening

People in the UK are enjoying the country's warmest day of the year so far by flocking to beaches on the south coast of England.
Pictures show busy beaches in Brighton and Bournemouth, where thousands of sun and sea enthusiasts are enjoying the exceptionally hot weather.
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Temperatures hit a high of 28C in Bournemouth - but it was hotter still in other parts of England

People in England have been able to travel across the country to spend time outdoors since last month as part of a gradual easing of coronavirus restrictions.
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A beach in Brighton on England's south coast

Jet2 and Eurostar cut summer flights and trains

Demand for transport of all kinds has dropped to historic lows during the coronavirus pandemic.
In response to this dip in demand, airline Jet2 and rail firm Eurostar have said they will scale back their flights and trains this summer .
Eurostar said its train timetable would focus on routes between major cities such as London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, where demand was highest.
Eurostar's direct summer services to Lyon, Avignon and Marseilles, which were meant to start in May, will no longer run at all in 2020 or 2021.
Jet2 said it would be reducing its flying programme for 2020 and 2021, citing "complicated" challenges relating to the coronavirus crisis and "changes on an almost daily basis".
"Sadly, the overall effect of these reductions has been the need to propose a number of colleague redundancies across our business,” the airline said.
The airline is proposing to cut 102 pilot jobs, the pilots' union Balpa said on Wednesday.

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Welsh factory linked to 97 virus cases

A food factory in Wales is linked to nearly 100 cases of coronavirus.
The country's health minister has confirmed that 97 people have now tested positive after staff became ill at Rowan Foods.
One trade union has accused the company of not dealing with health and safety concerns urgently.
Two other food processing plants have had confirmed cases in Wales, with the largest number at 2 Sisters in Anglesey.
Read more here

Fancy a pint? You might need an app for that

Rory Cellan-Jones - Technology corresponden
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Fancy a pint in the pub? From 4 July, you can have one - or indeed a mojito or an orange juice - in England.
But you probably won't be able to stroll up to the bar and order what you fancy.
In many places, you may find you need an app for that.
The government has published a lengthy document, giving guidance to restaurants, pubs and takeaways on all the measures they will need to take to operate safely.
You can read analysis of those measures here

Virus outbreak closes another UK food factory

We reported earlier on the Welsh food factory linked to almost 100 coronavirus cases.
Now a further factory in Cambridgeshire, England, has closed for deep cleaning after 14 positive test results among staff.
Health ministers have said coronaviruses thrive in cold, damp environments and survive for longer indoors and particularly on smooth surfaces - but not food itself.
This is believed to pose a particular challenge to the food manufacturing industry. Outbreaks at food factories and wholesale food markets have also been reported in Germany and China.
Read more here

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Coronavirus - 24th June 30173810 Ireland to ditch 14-day quarantine for visiting tourists

By Harry Brent
Irish Post, 24 June 2020

LEO VARADKAR says he's looking to get rid of the 14-day quarantine currently in place for visitors arriving in Ireland.

The Taoiseach has given his stamp of approval on loosening up the nation's borders as early as next week as Ireland begins to ease its restrictions on travel.

Varadkar insisted that by way of using 'air bridges', the threat of spreading coronavirus is minimised, though he warned that caution was still needed to avoid a second wave of infection.

"I think we need to be very careful about that," he said.

"We've got our caseload down so low now, so low, that there's a real risk of re-importing it from the countries where the virus is still so prevalent.

"I think if we're going to open air travel between Ireland and other countries we need to do it safely and we also need to do it through what we call air bridges."

Air bridges are effectively agreed flight-paths between two destinations with equally low Covid-19 infection rates.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce a similar 'air bridges' plan for Britain on Sunday, meaning that travel between Ireland and the UK could return to normality soon.

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That’s it for our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic for today.
Thanks for joining us.We’ll be back on Thursday with more live updates from the UK and around the world.
Today's coverage was brought to you by Hamish Mackay, Claudia Allen, Joshua Nevett, Mal Siret, George Bowden, Victoria Lindrea, Hugo Bachega, Joshua Cheetham, Vanessa Buschschluter, Toby Luckhurst, Krutika Pathi, Yvette Tan and Owen Amos.

In case you missed them, these were some of the biggest developments of the day:

  • The US states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced a 14-day quarantine for visitors from Covid-19 hotspots elsewhere in the country
  • New Covid-19 cases in the US rose to their highest level in two months, according to Johns Hopkins University , which is tracking the outbreak
  • A human trial of a vaccine against Covid-19 started at Imperial College London in the UK. About 300 people will have the vaccine over the coming weeks
  • Russia held a large military parade to mark the 75th anniversary of its victory over the Nazis in World War Two, despite its rising number of coronavirus infections
  • This year’s marathons in New York and Berlin were cancelled by organisers over concerns about Covid-19
  • The pilots of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight that crashed last month, killing 97 people, were distracted by a conversation about Covid-19, a minister said
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) said it expects to see the number of Covid-19 cases reach 10 million within the next week
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said economic activity in 2020 will probably decline by almost 5% - almost double the April prediction

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