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Coronavirus - 26th June

Kitkat
Kitkat
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Coronavirus - 26th June Empty Coronavirus - 26th June

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 26 2020, 08:25

Summary for Friday, 26th June


  • The number of new US infections has in recent days reached levels not seen since April
  • Texas and Florida are among states to pause reopening plans
  • 20m people in the US may actually have been infected, almost 10 times the recorded number, health officials warn
  • London police attacked as they try to disperse crowds at illegal street party for second night in a row
  • Mexico has now recorded 25,000 deaths and 200,000 cases of the new coronavirus
  • The WHO has warned of a resurgence of the virus across Europe as restrictions are eased
  • Cases have hit a record daily high in South Africa, the worst-hit country on the continent
  • The number of cases worldwide stands at 9.6m with more than 490,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University


Hello and welcome to our rolling coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest headlines:

  • As cases across much of Latin America surge, more than 25,000 people have now died with Covid-19 in Mexico
  • In the US, the majority of states are seeing increases in their daily infections, and almost 40,000 cases were reported on Thursday
  • US health officials say 20 million people may have been infected - around 10 times the official figure
  • Europe has seen an increase in weekly cases of Covid-19 for the first time in months
  • Globally, there have been 9.6m confirmed cases since the outbreak began, and 460,000 deaths linked to Covid-19.


Mexico passes 25,000 deaths

More than 25,000 people with Covid-19 have now died in Mexico, with more than 200,000 cases in total, the Mexican government has announced.
The country did not record its first cases until 28 February - weeks after the outbreak took hold in Asia and Europe - and the economy did not shut down until late March.
The socialist president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, was criticised for being too slow to close it down - and then for being too quick to open it up.
Businesses started to reopen earlier this month , despite the rolling averages of daily cases and deaths being on a largely upward trajectory.

Cases increasing in majority of US states

More than 37,000 cases were recorded in the US on Thursday - close to a daily record, and similar to the daily totals in the April peak.
And data from the New York Times shows the daily infections are increasing in 29 states, including California, Texas, and Florida.
But despite the increase in confirmed cases, the daily number of deaths is still decreasing, and is way down on its mid-April peak.
There were 692 Covid-19 linked deaths announced on Thursday. The total regularly passed 2,000 in April.

Texas pauses reopening as cases surge

The US state of Texas has paused the reopening of its economy, as the number of cases surge.
Businesses that are already open will not be shut - but, for example, capacity limits in bars and restaurants will not be eased yet.
Governor Greg Abbott said : "The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses.
"This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening."
The number of daily infections is increasingly sharply in Texas, although the number of deaths is largely flat.
Just over 2,300 people with Covid-19 have died in the state since the outbreak began.

Virgin Australia to fly again with new US owner

Virgin Australia has been bought by US private equity group Bain Capital after falling into administration due to travel restrictions.
The airline was struggling with long-term debt of A$5bn (£2.55bn; $3.17bn) even before the pandemic struck.
Virgin Australia is currently owned by a number of major shareholders including Sir Richard Branson.
The deal is expected to be complete in August.

European cases up for the first time in months

Europe has seen an increase in weekly cases of Covid-19 for the first time in months, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.
Thirty countries had increasing cases, and in 11 places, accelerated transmission has led to "very significant resurgence", said Regional Director Dr Hans Henri Kluge.
The 11 countries and territories are Armenia, Sweden, Moldova, North Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Kosovo.


India cancels trains as cases rise

Indian Railways have cancelled all passenger, mail and express trains until 12 August as cases continue to rise across India.
Those with booked tickets will get a refund , officials said in a statement.
However, the special trains set up in May to take migrant workers back home will continue.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants were left stranded in cities away from their homes when India went into lockdown in March.
Infections have been sprinting ahead in the country - India has broken its daily record twice in two days, reporting more than 17,000 cases in the last 24 hours.
It has had more than 490,000 cases, including 15,301 confirmed deaths, according to data from the health ministry.

Why has Peru suffered so badly?

Peru imposed one of the earliest and strictest lockdowns in Latin America - but now has the sixth highest number of confirmed cases in the world.
So why has the country been affected so badly?
The answers include a lack of fridges, a lack of bank accounts, and overcrowded homes.


Singapore bans Brits for lockdown 'bar crawl'

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Bars and restaurants are open again in Singapore, but only to groups of five and with social distancing enforced

A group of British men living in Singapore have been banned from working there again after breaking lockdown to go on a "bar crawl".
The men were also fined S$9,000 each ($6,500; £5,200).
They were charged after a picture of people drinking during the country's "lockdown" - which banned social gatherings - went viral last month.
A separate group, an American couple and an Austrian, were also punished for drinking on the same day.
The Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MoM) said between 1 May and 25 June, 140 people had their permission to work in Singapore revoked for breaking Covid-19 measures.


Welcome to UK readers

If you're just joining us in the UK, good morning. Here are the latest virus headlines:


Australia still 'on track' despite outbreaks

Despite a spike in cases in recent weeks, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the country will continue along its re-opening as "the curve remains flat".
Australia is now dealing with around 200 new infections from clusters located solely in Melbourne, after a few weeks when barely any cases were recorded at all.
Another 30 infections were confirmed on Thursday. However, this rise was expected. Authorities are now throwing all resources at Melbourne with up to 1,000 army personnel sent to the region on Friday to help with door-to-door testing.
Mr Morrison said the vigilant response should inspire confidence in Australians, and the nation remained well-off compared to others.

"We remain on track: the curve remains flat," he said. "But where you get bumps and when you get outbreaks, then you need to manage them... and that is what exactly what is happening."
Indoor venues will soon be able to have more patrons, and several states have signalled they will re-open their borders next month.

UK medical adviser warns about beach crowds

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A major incident was declared due to crowds in Bournemouth

With temperatures forecast to reach 31C in parts of the UK again today, the chief medical officer has warned that cases could rise again if people do not maintain social distancing.
Prof Chris Whitty issued the warning after a second day of huge crowds at beaches, leading to a major incident being declared at Bournemouth on the south coast of England.
"Naturally people will want to enjoy the sun but we need to do so in a way that is safe for all," he said.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told talkRADIO that he was reluctant to use powers to close beaches "because people have had a pretty tough lockdown", but said he would take action "if we see a spike in the number of cases".
Read the full story

Panic buying ramping up in Australia again

Simon Atkinson - BBC News, Sydney
Australia’s two biggest supermarkets have reintroduced a nationwide restriction on toilet paper – after signs of more panic buying.
Customers of Coles and Woolworths will be limited to two packs each as of 2pm on Friday afternoon.
Stores in Victoria – where there has been a spike in cases – saw shelves stripped of the product earlier this week.
Earlier this year, scenes of shoppers loading trolleys with toilet roll - and even brawling over it - spread across the internet.
That prompted PM Scott Morrison to brand the behaviour “un-Australian”.

Scotland's Western Isles cautious about tourism reopening

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Since the pandemic began, Scotland's Western Isles have seen just eight cases of coronavirus.
But now as tourism is due to resume in the coming weeks - a major part of the islands' economy - some residents are urging caution about reopening.
"The islands aren't just a holiday destination, they are our home and our home is made up of communities of people, and a lot of those people are elderly and vulnerable," said Rebecca Hutton, who runs a Harris tweed business.
The small island community is "a bit more fragile" when it comes to dealing with outbreaks, said Gordon Jamieson, chief executive of NHS Western Isles.
"If we were to see a sudden increase in cases, then it would be quite challenging for the health service to be able to respond," he said.
Read the full story

Colombia's first Covid death earlier than reported

Colombia's first suspected death from Covid-19 occurred in February - almost a month before the first case of coronavirus was officially reported in the country, its statistics agency said on Thursday.
According to data from the ministry of health, the first case of Covid-19 in Colombia was confirmed on 6 March in the capital, Bogotá, and the first death occurred later that month.
But new figures from the statistics agency show the first death occurred earlier - on 15 February, Reuters news agency reports.
Colombia has more than 77,000 reported cases of the virus, with more than 2,600 deaths, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University.
Reports in other countries, including Brazil , France and the UK also suggest the virus may have arrived earlier than first thought.
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Colombian officers in masks, photographed in March



You've completely misread data, Sweden tells WHO: Europe round-up

Sweden's state epidemiologist has taken issue with the World Health Organization (WHO) for including it on a list of 11 countries with "very significant resurgence" of Covid-19. Anders Tegnell has told Swedish TV the WHO has completely misinterpreted the data. Infections are rising because of more testing, says Dr Tegnell, arguing that other countries are at the start of their epidemic.
Sweden took a different approach than most European countries by not imposing a lockdown. unlike the measures seen elsewhere in Europe. We have a comprehensive round-up of how nations across the Continent and easing their virus-related restrictions.
A Norwegian study suggests there's no increased risk of infection in gyms and fitness centres if good hygiene and social distancing are observed. Five Oslo gyms were given the green light to reopen in May and half the members were allowed back. Norway's gyms reopened on 15 June.
Portugal will reimpose a lockdown from 1 July on parts of Greater Lisbon because of high infection rates. Residents in 19 parishes will have to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.
Ireland will move to Phase 3 of lifting its lockdown on Monday. Churches, cinemas, cafes and restaurants will reopen and a 14-day quarantine will be lifted for visitors from a "green list" of countries from 9 July.
There's been an outbreak at a Red Cross reception centre in the southern Spanish city of Málaga. The 89 cases are mainly young migrants rescued in the Mediterranean.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 26 2020, 09:46

Crowds of Liverpool fans at Anfield criticised by police

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Police have criticised Liverpool fans who gathered in their thousands outside Anfield to celebrate the club's first Premier League title.
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Carden at Merseyside Police said the region had been “disproportionately affected” by the virus and local people had a responsibility to prevent it spreading.
But he said: “The overwhelming majority of fans have recognised the fact that now is not the time to gather together to celebrate, and chose to mark the event safely. They are a credit to this city."
A pre-lockdown match on 11 March between Liverpool and Athletic Madrid has been partly blamed by some for the impact of the virus on Merseyside, but experts are divided.
The UK's largest Covid-19 tracking project found that after the match cases locally "increased several-fold" . But an analysis of the spread of the virus through its genetics found that Covid-19 arrived in the UK on at least 1,300 occasions, with the match making a "negligible contribution"

Pint on pavement? New plans to boost hospitality industry in England

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You just have to wait a bit more, until 4 July, for pubs in England to reopen

For many, sunny days call for a pint, but in England, we still have to wait a bit longer - until 4 July - until pubs and restaurants are allowed to reopen.
And when it happens, they will more easily able to turn pavements, terraces and even car parks into outdoor areas under proposals to boost the hospitality industry.
Outdoor markets and summer fairs will also no longer need planning permission as rules are relaxed. The proposals cover England and Wales.
The government says the measures will make it easier to socialise safely outdoors outdoors when the hospitality industry reopens. It will also help struggling businesses in the "crucial" summer months ahead.
We have more on the proposals.

All on board? Paris Orly airport reopens - but not to many flights

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Orly airport to the south of the French capital, Paris, has reopened for the first time in nearly three months, after it was closed because of the coronavirus pandemic on 31 March.
The first flight took off early on Friday morning, and was hosed down by firefighters with a "water salute" before it took to the runway.
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Travellers will be able to fly to 25 destinations and there will be 74 flights on Friday compared to 600 normally, Augustin de Romanet, chairman of Paris airport operator ADP, told French radio.

Police in London attacked at illegal party - for second night running

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Police said objects were thrown at them, but there were no serious injuries

For the second night running, police were attacked as they tried to break up an illegal party in London.
The Metropolitan Police said objects were thrown at officers as they tried to disperse the crowds at an "unlicensed music event" in Notting Hill, west London, but there were no serious injuries.
Officers also broke up another illegal party on Streatham Common in south London.
It comes after Downing Street condemned clashes at a Wednesday night street party involving about 400 people in Brixton, south London, during which 22 police officers were injured.
Lockdown measures are still in place in England, which means large gatherings are illegal. We have more on the developments of Thursday night.

Most children 'experience only mild' Covid-19 symptoms

A study of European children with Covid-19 suggests deaths are rare.
Four children died out of 582 - two of whom had underlying health conditions - researchers from London's Great Ormond Street Hospital found.
The children, aged from three days up to 18 years, lived in 25 European countries.
Symptoms were generally mild and some who tested positive had no symptoms at all. But about one in 10 children needed intensive care.
Doctors say the study is "reassuring", but more needs to be discovered about the best treatment options for children who do develop severe disease.
"Nevertheless, a notable number of children do develop severe disease and require intensive care support, and this should be accounted for when planning and prioritising healthcare resources as the pandemic progresses," said Dr Marc Tebruegge, from the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health in London.
We have more on the study

We're very reluctant to use powers to close beaches, says UK minister

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Crowds on the beach at Bournemouth sparked widespread concern

George Eustice, the UK's Environment Secretary, says the government has powers to close public spaces such as beaches following two days of overcrowding, but adds that it is "very reluctant" to do so.
He told the BBC that reports of 500,000 people travelling to Dorset in the south of England and images of packed beaches were "absolutely a matter for concern", but said they were due to the heatwave rather than the government's easing of lockdown restrictions.
"The British weather being what it is, perhaps this will be a short-lived phenomenon," he said. "But as [Health Secretary] Matt Hancock has made clear, we do have the powers if necessary to go back in and act. We don’t want to do that. We will be very reluctant to do so."
He said that "the infection rate will start to creep up" if people do not follow social-distancing rules as pubs and restaurants begin to open in England on 4 July, however.
"We do need people to work with us on this," he said.
You can read more about the story here.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 26 2020, 10:20

'Not acceptable': Nurse's concern over day-tripper traffic

The issue of overcrowded beaches in England has thrown up another problem: the resulting traffic gridlock means it is difficult for local workers to go about their daily lives.
Jane Martin, from Wimbourne, Dorset, is a palliative care community nurse whose patch includes Bournemouth, where a major incident was declared on Thursday because of the crowds.
She says the increased traffic brought by day trippers affects her ability to visit clients.
"Regarding the issues at Bournemouth beaches over the previous two days: it needs to be highlighted that nurses covering community patients were finding it difficult to reach patients in their homes," she told the BBC.
"I was gridlocked on Wednesday trying to reach patients. It took me six and a half hours to only get to three clients who are vulnerable. This is not acceptable."

Young adults in US 'slower' to step back to normal

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Should I stay or should I go? Data suggests young adults are slower to return to the same number of pre-coronavirus steps

After weeks in lockdown or under other restrictions, resuming physical exercise will no doubt be difficult for many of us.
In the US, data gathered by activity tracker Fitbit suggests young adults are lagging behind older age grups in returning to the same steps as before the coronavirus outbreak. Other data, including resting heart rates and vigorous movement, also suggest young adults were less active than older people this month.
Women and men under 29 years old took fewer steps in June than in the same period a year ago. Hulya Emir-Farinas, Fitbit’s director of data science, told Reuters news agency it was difficult to give an exact reason behind it.
She said: "Perhaps this group is home from university or still working from home so not walking to class or commuting to work, or it could be that they are showing more caution."
The data suggested that people over the age of 30 were closer to last year's levels, and women between 50 and 64 years old even took more steps in mid-June than a year ago.
One step at a time...

Heatwave prompts spate of UK lockdown breaches

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The beach at Bournemouth was covered in litter after thousands of sunseekers left

Two days of temperatures over 30C have prompted a series of large gatherings, violent incidents and concerns about spreading the virus across the UK.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 26 2020, 18:17

Why has coronavirus hit Peru so hard?

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People queue to recharge oxygen tanks in Lima

Peru imposed one of the earliest and strictest lockdowns in Latin America to stop the spread of coronavirus - but it now has the sixth highest number of confirmed cases in the world.
Borders were shut, curfews imposed, and people could leave their homes for essential goods only - but infections and deaths continued to rise.
Daily reported cases are now falling - but the number of deaths remains high. Officially, about 8,500 people have died with coronavirus in Peru.
But the country has one of the world's highest excess death rates - the number of deaths above the average in previous years - which suggests the impact far exceeds official figures.
Experts say the healthcare system was underprepared, leading to more deaths, but several other social and economic factors help explain why Peru is struggling to contain the outbreak:

  • Many households do not have logistics that allow them to stock up on food for many days which means people have to go to markets frequently
  • About 70% of the employed population work in the informal sector, where social distancing is difficult
  • The latest National Household Survey suggests 11.8% of poor households in Peru live in overcrowded homes

Our colleagues at the Reality Check team have been looking at these factors in detail.


London police chief: Large numbers completely flouting regulations

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Police said they sent out extra officers to break up unlicensed music events last night

"Large numbers of people" have been "completely flouting the health regulations" after a second night of illegal parties in the UK's capital, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick says.
"It's hot. Some people have drunk far too much. Some people are just angry and aggressive and some people are plain violent," she said.
"We'll be prepared this weekend. We have officers all over London working hard again to try to keep the peace and to protect our public from violence and disorder."
Attacks on officers are "completely, utterly unacceptable", she said, adding that people had thrown "bottles, glasses and anything they could pick up" during violent clashes in Brixton, south London on Wednesday night.
Extra officers in riot gear had been sent out on Thursday, with officers closing down several events "before they even got going”, she said. We have more on what happened on Thursday here .

Analysis: UK public needs to play its part

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
The concern about people flocking to beaches comes at an important point in our fight against the virus. The UK has been seeing infections fall despite the easing of restrictions.
Six weeks ago when Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the first steps out of lockdown in England the number of newly diagnosed infections was around 4,000 a day. Those numbers have fallen by three-quarters since - with 1,073 a day being recorded, on average, over the past week .
But a combination of warm weather and the further easing of restrictions on 4 July means we are at a crucial juncture.
Much is being left to the good judgement, common sense and personal responsibility of people.
Government experts believe with the testing and tracing system in place the virus can continue be suppressed - but only if the public plays its part.

What could local lockdowns look like in England?

Rob England - BBC News
The government says local lockdowns could be be used to deal with localised "flare-ups" in England.
But it remains unclear whether a local lockdown would focus only on the exact location where the outbreak takes place, or would it cover a much broader area.
Local councils can lock down specific places if they present a health hazard, but say they do not currently have the power to lock down entire towns or cities - and are concerned about how such a measure could be policed.
More widespread local testing, targeted public health messaging and ongoing risk assessments of the affected location may also be necessary.
In Germany, where a number of small lockdowns have been imposed recently, there has been resistance to attempts to curtail freedom of movement locally.
The UK's Department of Health and Social Care has said it would be publishing further guidance on containing local outbreaks "shortly".
Here are some questions about local lockdowns answered.

Help needed to control beach crowds, UK MP says

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The MP for Bournemouth East, where thousands converged on local beaches yesterday , has called for the creation of "a national situation centre".
"I would hate to see Bournemouth or any seaside resort become that place where the second spike is the first to appear," said Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood.
"That can only be avoided if local authorities are given the necessary and swift support."
Ellwood added: "We need to make sure no beach is seen like we saw yesterday. Until there's a vaccine we should not be seeing behaviour like this."
Photographs showed beaches and beauty spots heaving with people on Wednesday, which was the UK's hottest day of the year so far.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 26 2020, 18:26

Extinction Rebellion 'briefly' interrupts Paris air traffic

As we reported earlier, Orly airport to the south of the French capital, Paris, has reopened after being shut down at the end of March because of the country's lockdown.
But it was not all plain flying at the airport on Friday morning. Activists from Extinction Rebellion France broke into the airport and "briefly" prevented aircraft from taking off, airport operator ADP told BFM TV.
The campaigners published pictures of the runway takeover on social networks, asking the French government and Paris airports to stop domestic flights "for obvious security reasons: that of ensuring our survival on Earth. We must challenge our lifestyles and make difficult choices to protect ourselves."
The aviation industry has been badly affected during lockdown , with drastic reductions in air traffic and other transport emissions leading to reduced levels of air pollution. We have more on that here

Virus threat not over, WHO envoy tells Britons

David Nabarro, the World Health Organization's special envoy on Covid-19, has questioned whether people in the UK are aware enough of the continuing threat of coronavirus.
Speaking after huge crowds gathered during a heatwave and illegal parties were broken up by police, Dr Nabarro told the BBC: "There's a huge sense of pent-up frustration among so many people who feel that they've been confined.
"The only question that I've got is whether or not the British public are sufficiently aware of just how constant the danger is," he said.
But he said he was less concerned by the images of crowds in the open air than by other risks when people are travelling to the beach, perhaps using public transport, or using facilities such as toilets.
"It's not so much what we do when we're out in the open that matters, it's enclosed spaces when we're huddled closely together - that's where transmission seems to pick up," Dr Nabarro said.

Italy sends in army and riot police to virus hotspot

Italian authorities have sent in dozens of riot police and soldiers to quell disturbances in a town in southern Italy which has seen a cluster of Covid-19 cases.
More than 40 Bulgarian farm-workers living in a complex of five blocks of flats in Mondragone north of Naples have tested positive. Now 700 people have been placed in a so-called "red-zone" quarantine for 15 days by the regional governor. Clashes between the foreign workers and locals began on Thursday as the Bulgarians tried to leave the zone to go to work.
One man threw a chair and in the early hours of Friday a van apparently belonging to a foreign worker was set alight.
The outbreak has highlighted the controversial issue of undocumented foreign workers living in ghetto-like conditions in parts of Italy.

Holiday accommodation enjoys booking boom

Holiday accommodation has seen a boom in bookings since the government announced it was easing more lockdown restrictions in England from 4 July.
Two major providers of self-catering accommodation - Cottages.com and Hoseasons - reported record one-day sales in the wake of the reopening announcement on Tuesday.
Campsite booking website coolcamping.com experienced a 750% increase in bookings compared with this time last year, with company founder Jonathan Knight calling it "a huge relief".
And after months with hardly any interest, hotel reservations have shot up this week, with the Best Western chain reporting that bookings are up 700% since Monday 22 June.
"It's just a fantastic feeling after so many dark days," spokesperson Andrew Denton tells the BBC.
"It just went crazy. People are saying 'summer's back on'," he says.
Airbnb hosts also say accommodation is rapidly booking up, as Brits trade holidays in the European sunshine for a week or two on the English coast.
Whether the British weather will live up to its unpredictable reputation remains to be seen...
Our colleague Vivienne Nunis looks at how the industry is enjoying a last-minute boom.

Northern Ireland virus deaths fall for seventh week

Deaths in Northern Ireland from coronavirus have fallen for the seven week running , official figures show.
Up to 19 June, a total of 816 people died with Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificate, the NI Statistics and Research Agency said.
Last week, 17 coronavirus deaths were registered, down from 21 the week before.

Texan surge, Swedish complaint: the latest world developments


  • Texas, which has been at the forefront of moves to end lockdown measures in the US, has seen thousands of new cases, prompting Governor Greg Abbott to call a temporary halt to its reopening. We have more on that here
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he did not have plans to move the state to the next phase of reopening - some southern and western states reported record numbers of cases in recent days
  • Sweden's state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, rejected a warning from the World Health Organization that included Sweden among countries in Europe at risk of a Covid-19 resurgence, saying it was a "total misinterpretation of the data" by the health body
  • Police in Kenya killed three people when a crowd of motorcycle taxi drivers protested against the arrest of a colleague for ignoring coronavirus restrictions
  • Supermarket chains in Australia are reimposing purchase limits on toilet paper and other essential household items following a spike in coronavirus cases in the state of Victoria
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 26 2020, 18:33

Violent incidents after UK lockdown breaches

With large crowds gathering on beaches and in parks, or holding parties in the streets against coronavirus regulations, the UK has seen a series of violent incidents in recent days:


No new deaths reported in Scotland

Scotland has recorded no deaths from coronavirus in the last 24 hours.
As just 17 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that fewer than 1% of people being tested were now receiving a positive result for the virus.
There are now 17 people in intensive care with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 in Scotland.

US hits record high in daily cases

The US recorded an all-time daily high of 40,000 coronavirus cases on Thursday, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
As a mentioned earlier, recent surge in infections and hospitalisations has prompted some states and cities to pause their reopening plans.
JHU's previous high of 36,400 was on 24 April when less testing was taking place.
The US has 2.4 million confirmed infections and more than 124,000 deaths - more than any other country, according to JHU.
While some of the increase in daily cases recorded is down to increased testing, the rate of positive tests in some areas is also increasing.
US health officials have also said they estimate the true number of cases is likely to be 10 times higher than the reported figure.

Coronavirus aid loss 'harming millions of children' in Yemen

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"Huge shortfalls" in aid due to coronavirus could lead to mass starvation, UN charity warns

Millions of children could be pushed to the brink of starvation in Yemen amid a "huge" drop in aid caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, a major UN charity warns.
Unicef says it needs almost half a billion dollars to save children in a country the UN declared the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
So far it has received well under half that amount. Some two million children are acutely malnourished in Yemen, which has been devastated by five years of war.
"We cannot overstate the scale of this emergency as children, in what is already the world's worst humanitarian crisis, battle for survival as Covid-19 takes hold," said Sara Beysolow Nyanti, Unicef's representative in Yemen.
"If we do not receive urgent funding, children will be pushed to the brink of starvation and many will die."
Here we look at five reasons why the coronavirus crisis is so bad in Yemen

Bigger shops but fewer trips, Tesco says

Lockdown has forced us to change many of our habits, and food shopping is no exception.
Supermarket chain Tesco says its customers have been buying more food on fewer shopping trips during the pandemic.
While the number of trips made by shoppers fell by nearly a third in the 13 weeks to 30 May, the amount being bought rose 64%, it said.
"In just five weeks, we doubled our online capacity to help support our most vulnerable customers and transformed our stores with extensive social-distancing measures, so that everyone who was able to shop in store could do so safely," Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said.
As more customers turned to online shopping, the firm ramped up online delivery slots and is now fulfilling more than 1.3 million online order per week.

How safe is it to get on a plane?

So you've made up your mind - barring any quarantine complications, you've decided to fly out to the summer destination of your choice.
But then you ask yourself: how safe really is it to fly at the moment?
Covid-19 is quite a new virus, so accurate data on how it can spread between aircraft passengers is in short supply.
You might think sitting in a confined space for long periods will inevitably spread infections but the chief engineer at aerospace giant Airbus argues this is not the case.
Jean-Brice Dumont says the way modern aircraft are designed means the air is intrinsically very clean. "Every two to three minutes, mathematically, all the air is renewed," he says. "That means 20 to 30 times per hour, the air around you is completely renewed."
That's because the air is collected from outside the aircraft, normally through the engine, and mixed with recycled air from the cabin. The recycled air is passed through particulate air filters that are similar to those used in hospitals.
Read about other reasons why it is safe - or not - to fly during the pandemic
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 26 2020, 18:41

'Close the beaches', say Bournemouth residents

Residents have reacted angrily to the Bournemouth and Poole beach chaos over the past two days .
One Bournemouth resident has set up a petition to "close the beaches in the interest of public health", while others want "out-of-town traffic to stop".
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has suggested beaches could be closed by the government if infections rise.
A major incident was declared in Bournemouth on Thursday after thousands visited the Dorset coast on the hottest day of the year in the UK so far.
"Local people have had enough... it's time for change," said resident Sabrina Fitzsimons, whose petition has already received 390 signatures.
"Blockade the roads, close car parks, monitor access. Whatever it takes but this has to stop."
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council says 33 tonnes of waste were collected along the coastline on Thursday morning.
Dorset Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ian Girling called on the government for "stronger messaging" ahead of 4 July, when pubs and restaurants are allowed to reopen.

Liverpool mayor 'frustrated' by celebrations outside Anfield

Coronavirus - 26th June De75a410

The mayor of Liverpool has called the celebrations at the city's Anfield stadium "a little bit frustrating" after thousands of football fans celebrated Liverpool becoming Premier League champions on Thursday evening.
"People believe, wrongly, that we're over the worst of the pandemic," Joe Anderson told the BBC.
"In the euphoria... people have decided to ignore advice [to stay at home], but it's gone, it's happened.
"We'll have to see whether there's a spike in coronavirus as a result of this."
"But if Chelsea or Manchester City had won the league, we would have seen the same scenes outside Stamford Bridge or the Etihad," he added.
"We are where we are."
Official figures show Liverpool registered 544 coronavirus-related deaths up to 12 June and 1,677 cases up to 25 June.

Shopping centre owner Intu goes into administration

Intu, which owns 17 shopping centres in the UK and three in Spain, has confirmed it has gone into administration after talks with lenders failed.
The company says its shopping centres - which include the Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester and Braehead in Glasgow - will continue to trade.
Intu had been struggling even before the coronavirus outbreak, which led to a UK-wide lockdown and the closure of non-essential shops.

Boris Johnson warns 'the virus is still out there'

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people to recognise the ongoing risks from coronavirus, as lockdown measures are increasingly eased.
"It's crucial that people understand that on 4 July we get this right - we do this in a balanced way and we recognise the risks," the PM said, while visiting a restaurant in east London on Friday.
"And so I say to everybody, you may think that you're not going to get it and you're immortal and invincible and so on - and very likely that's true, particularly if you're a young person - but the bug you carry can kill elderly people particularly.
"It is still dangerous and the virus is still out there.
"To win, to beat this thing, we have to stay alert and do this in a balanced way."

Putin says coronavirus 'in retreat' in Russia

President Vladimir Putin has said the number of cases in Russia is decreasing, as official figures show daily infections falling below 7,000 for the first time in two months.
"Now, thank God, the epidemic is in retreat, and the volume of tasks for volunteers is starting to decrease," Putin told the "We're Altogether" group during a meeting, Russian news agency Ria Novosti reported.
According to official figures, the number of new cases in Russia over the past 24 hours was 6,800, in the lowest number seen since late April.
Russia has recorded about 620,000 cases of coronavirus so far - the highest number in Europe and the third-highest globally. At least 8,770 people have died.

Debt and rent shortfalls overwhelm shopping centre giant Intu

Intu, which owns the Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester and Lakeside in Essex along with 18 other shopping centres, had until midnight to secure a new deal over its £4.5bn debt burden.
It has now gone into administration under auditors KPMG after it said “insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved”.
The company, which employs 3,000 staff, had been hit by falling rent payments from its retail tenants since the coronavirus outbreak caused many shops to close for months.
Shares listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges had been suspended, the company said, but its shopping centres in the UK and Spain will remain open.
However, Intu has previously warned that some sites might have to shut down in the longer term.
Read more

Scotland 'not far away' from eliminating coronavirus

Scotland is "not far away" from eliminating coronavirus, the country's first minister has predicted.
Nicola Sturgeon announced there have been no deaths from confirmed cases of the virus in the past 24 hours - the first time the figure had been zero on a weekday since 20 March.
She described the statistic as "really significant", but warned against complacency.
"It doesn't mean it [the virus] has gone away, it doesn't mean it won't rise again if we stop doing the things we need to do, but it gives us more confidence that we can keep it under control.
"I think we are not that far away from that. The challenge is keeping it there."
The number of cases of coronavirus in Scotland has fallen dramatically in recent weeks, with the number of people testing positive in single figures on some days.
There are currently only 17 coronavirus patients in the country's intensive care units.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 26 2020, 18:47

Long-serving BA cabin crew face pay cut

British Airways has told its longest-serving staff they face a 20% pay cut or the loss of their jobs, as the airline plans for its post-coronavirus future.
In an email last night, BA said the aviation industry would look "very different" after the pandemic.
Under the proposals, long-serving, better paid cabin crew would have to accept new terms in line with more recent recruits who are on "market-competitive rates".
The airline has previously been condemned as "a national disgrace" by MPs for proposing up to 12,000 job losses, while receiving nearly £35m in subsidy under the government's coronavirus job retention scheme.
Read more

Wales records two more deaths

The death toll in Wales has reached 1,497 after a further two people died having tested positive for Covid-19.
Public Health Wales said the total number of coronavirus cases increased by 65 to 15,531

WHO warning was 'total mistake', says Sweden

Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell has rejected a warning from the World Health Organization (WHO) that included Sweden among countries in Europe at risk of a Covid-19 resurgence.
On Thursday, the WHO warned that several countries and territories were seeing a rise in infections. Eleven were in the UN agency's Europe region.
But Dr Tegnell told Swedish TV it was a "total misinterpretation of the data". Sweden had seen a rise in cases, he argued, because it was testing more, saying it was "unfortunate" that the WHO was "confusing Sweden" with countries at the start of their epidemic.
Sweden's response to the pandemic has been very different from other European countries. There has been no lockdown, with schools and cafes staying open, but large gatherings have been banned and most Swedes observe social distancing.
It has seen 5,230 deaths in a population of 10 million - a far higher mortality rate than its neighbours. This week Sweden reported its highest number of daily infections since the outbreak began, with 1,610 on Wednesday.

Davis Cup and Fed Cup rescheduled for 2021

The Davis Cup and the Fed Cup - the world cups of men's and women's tennis respectively - have been rescheduled for 2021 .
The inaugural 12-team Fed Cup finals, which were due to have been held in April, will instead take place in Budapest on 13-18 April 2021.
And 18 teams will compete for the Davis Cup in Madrid from 22 November 2021.
The International Tennis Federation said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic meant it was not possible to reschedule the events this year because of venue availability and the risk of the virus spreading at an indoor sporting event.

UK records a further 186 deaths

Another 186 people who have tested positive for coronavirus have died in UK hospitals, care homes or in the community, the Department for Health and Social Care has announced.
It brings the total death toll among people with a confirmed test for Covid-19 to 43,414.
Another 1,006 people have tested positive, with 165,665 tests carried out in the last 24 hours, the department added.

20 million Americans could lose health care

The Trump administration has asked the US Supreme Court to end the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, which provides health insurance to millions of Americans.
Trump has repeatedly sought to end the scheme, arguing it costs too much, and wants to replace it with a different plan.
Government lawyers said the act became invalid when the previous Republican-led Congress axed parts of it.
But Joe Biden - the Democratic nominee in November's presidential election, and vice-president under Barack Obama - says the move could put millions of lives at risk during the coronavirus pandemic.
About 20 million Americans could lose their health care if the coverage is removed.
The US has recorded around 2.4 million cases and almost 125,000 deaths since the pandemic began - more than any other country. Health experts have warned the true figure could be much higher.
Read more on the story here

Former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic tests positive

On Tuesday, world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic admitted it had been "too soon" to organise a tennis competition after he became the fourth player on the Adria Tour to test positive for coronavirus.
Now his coach, former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, has also tested positive for the virus .
The 48-year-old Croat said he is "feeling good" and has no symptoms, but said he would continue to self-isolate. He urged people he had been in contact with recently to "take extra care".
Despite Djokovic saying the competition "met all health protocols" in Serbia and Croatia where it was held, the player faced criticism for holding the tournament in front of fans and without social distancing rules being observed.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 26 2020, 18:52

Florida hits new record for daily coronavirus cases

The US state of Florida has recorded 8,942 cases of coronavirus in one day, a new record number. That means a 62% increase over the previous record of 5,508 reported on Wednesday.
Florida's total number of coronavirus cases now stands at 122,960.
Here's some context to help you understand the recent spike in Florida: the number of cases reported by the state since 10 June - 56,960 - now exceeds the total recorded from the start of the pandemic, in March, through to the end of May, 56,163.
Phase 1 reopening of the state began on 18 May followed by more openings in Phase 2, which began on 5 June. But the governor says the easing of restrictions will be halted.
The number of reported deaths in the state reached 3,366, an increase of 39 since Thursday.

Texas rolls back reopening amid virus surge

More now on the recent spike in southern US states. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued an executive order closing bars across the state among other "targeted measures" amid a rise in infections.
Texas - among those leading the charge to loosen virus restrictions - has seen thousands of new cases in recent days, including a record 5,996 new infections on Thursday and 47 new deaths, the highest daily toll for a month. Texas has also seen a record number of people requiring hospital treatment for 13 days in a row.
Abbott, a Republican, announced that he would stop river-rafting and order restaurants to reduce capacity from 75% to 50% as well as closing down bars. The changes take effect at noon local time (17:00 GMT).
"The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance public health," Abbott said. "We want this to be as limited in duration as possible."
Abbott initially allowed the state's stay home order to lapse on 30 April, one of the shortest shutdown orders in the US.
Take a look at where the virus is slowing - and spiking - across the world .

AstraZeneca vaccine 'probably the most advanced'

A Covid-19 vaccine created by AstraZeneca is probably the leading candidate and most advanced of all the options currently under development, the World Health Organization's chief scientist has said.
Soumya Swaminathan added that a vaccine developed by Moderna was "not far behind", according to Reuters news agency.
Hundreds of vaccines are currently being created against Covid-19, although only a small number are being tested in humans.
Scientists in Oxford began the first human trial in Europe in April and signed a deal with AstraZeneca to supply hundreds of millions of doses if it works.
Most experts think a vaccine is likely to become available by mid-2021, about 12-18 months after the virus first emerged.

Why do people want to go to illegal lockdown raves?

Jennifer Meierhans - BBC News
Police forces across England continue to break up illegal lockdown raves and warn anyone going to them risks arrest and prosecution. But why do people want to go to raves during a pandemic?
Mass gatherings are illegal under new coronavirus laws but Jay, 22, told me he had been going to warehouse parties.
"If people can go to the park and sit close together then why can't we do this? We know it's breaking the rules, that's why we keep it so secret but there's no stopping us from doing it. People are having people over to their houses for drinks so it's hypocritical to say we can't do this," he said.
Ollie, 21, was at one of two raves in Manchester where a man died, three people were stabbed and a woman was raped.
He and his friends followed crowds to the rave out of curiosity but left after witnessing "horrific" violence and drug-taking.
"I would say to anyone thinking of going to a lockdown rave '100% don't go'," he said.
"It seems all fun but it takes one little thing to start and it gets very nasty, very quickly." Read the full story.

White House virus task force's briefing returns amid spike in cases

The White House coronavirus task force will hold a media briefing in the next half-hour after a nearly two-month hiatus.
The briefing, hosted by Vice-President Mike Pence, comes just one day after the US recorded an all-time daily high of 40,000 coronavirus infections , according to Johns Hopkins University.
It will take place at the Department of Health and Human Services, instead of the White House. It is not clear if Pence - who chairs the task force - will be joined by Dr Anthony Fauci or Dr Deborah Birx who, at one point, served as the public faces of the administration response.
The task force appearances paused shortly after US President Trump, speaking at a briefing in April, controversially suggested research into whether coronavirus might be treated by injecting disinfectant into the body - remarks that have been overwhelmingly rejected by health experts.

WHO defends Sweden warning

The World Health Organization (WHO) has defended including Sweden in its warning about European countries facing the risk of a Covid-19 resurgence.
As we reported a bit earlier, Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell accused the WHO of a "total misinterpretation of the data", saying Sweden had seen a rise in cases because it was testing more.
But a WHO spokesman told the BBC that even with increased testing, the proportion of results remained at around 12-13%, indicating that Sweden was "still faced with community transmission".
The organisation has placed Sweden among 11 countries in its Europe region experiencing a rise in cases.
We have more on this here .
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 26 2020, 18:55

UK PPE supply team 'outstanding' says minister

A dedicated team, set up by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) shortly after the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, has sourced more than 10.9 billion items of personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line workers - at a cost in excess of £5.8bn.
In a statement, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the procurement team had been "outstanding" .
Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) experts led a 270-strong "New Buy PPE" team of volunteers from the NHS and other governmental bodies "to progress at pace submissions to the Department of Health and Social Care".
"This remarkable milestone indicates how focused they are on getting vital PPE to the NHS front line," said DE&S chief Sir Simon Bollom on Friday.
The 10 billion items form part of a total of 28 billion items of PPE ordered by a government-led consortium of industry, overseas partners and the armed forces.
In the UK, the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health and care staff, both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, has become one of the most intensely debated issues of the crisis .
Central government opened up a dedicated central supply route in early April, but for a while officials struggled to secure adequate stocks.
In early May, after a series of delays, it was found that a batch of long-promised PPE from Turkey included surgical gowns that did not meet British safety standards .
Earlier this month, the National Audit Office's first official assessment of the supply and distribution of PPE in England highlighted shortcomings in the system.
The Department of Health and Social Care has said that parts of the report are "misleading" .

Isle of Man lifts state of emergency

The state of emergency on the Isle of Man, a British crown dependency, has been lifted more than three months after it was first declared in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The island announced on 17 June that it had achieved "local elimination" of coronavirus.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle said the island was in an "enviable and rare position" as life returned to "relatively normal".
A threat from the virus remained but it was a chance to "breathe and pause for reflection", he added.
Read more
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Coronavirus - 26th June Empty IRELAND WILL move into Phase Three of the government’s gradual easy of lockdown restrictions from Monday

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 26 2020, 19:30

IRELAND WILL move into Phase Three of the government’s gradual easy of lockdown restrictions from Monday.

Leo Varadkar has confirmed the next step in a plan for the steady reopening of the country will come into effect from July 29.

The Government has confirmed that "a wide range of businesses and services can now open or recommence from Monday” including:

  • The hospitality sector including cafes and restaurants, as well as pubs and hotel bars serving food, hotels and holiday parks
  • Cinemas, theatres, museums, gallerie and other cultural outlets
  • Adult education facilities along with crèches, pre-schools, summer camps and youth clubs
  • Religious buildings and places of worship
  • Wellbeing services including massage therapy, chiropractors, hairdressers and beauty salons
  • Driving schools and driving testing centres. 

Up to 50 people will also be allowed gather indoors and up to 200 outdoors, provided social distancing and public health advice is strictly adhered to.

A Government statement said: "Up to 50 people can gather indoors and up to 200 outdoors, providing social distancing and public health advice is adhered to.

"Phase 4 is expected to commence on July 20, subject to Government approval. At that point pubs, bars, hotel bars and casinos may reopen, with the number of people permitted at outdoor gatherings rising to 500, and 100 indoors."

Speaking in what could be his final address to the Irish people, the outgoing Taoiseach praised the public for their efforts in helping battle the virus and halt the spread of Covid-19.
"Our country has suffered greatly. Our mental health has been eroded. Some people became sick, many more were sick with worry," he said.
"People lost their jobs and were anxious about their livelihoods and their futures. We worried about family, we worried about friends, we worried about ourselves.
“This has not been an easy time for any of us, but we have come through it as a country. We must now try and repair the damage that has been done, across all parts of our lives, and show the same solidarity in doing so.
"I believe that if we show the same courage, the same determination, and the same care for each other, we will overcome these new challenges as well."

Mr Varadkar also confirmed that non-restricted travel to several countries will be allowed from July 9.
Phase four of lifting lockdown is scheduled to come into effect from July 20, subject to Government approval.
That phase will see pubs, bars, hotel bars and casinos potentially reopen, with the number of people permitted at outdoor gatherings rising to 500, and 100 indoors.

'Green list' of countries Irish people are allowed to travel to due in July

A LIST of countries Irish people will be allowed to travel to is set to be announced by the government at the start of next month.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed that Ireland would be partially lifting travel restrictions as the nation begins to enter Phase Three of lockdown.

The announcement is due by July 9, and it will provide citizens with a list of countries where trips will be possible without excessive quarantining.

Varadkar cautioned though that the list will be made in coordination with the EU and will be subject to change and could be updated every fortnight.

"There’s no single criteria that will be used, but it’ll be a mix of epidemiological criteria that will be used to create that list of countries," Varadkar said.

"But I do need to caution people that that list of countries will be reviewed and will change, and may change every two weeks, so we may see it getting longer, but if another if a country ends up having a second wave or are there particular spikes then they may be taken off our list as well."

At present, anyone arriving into Ireland must self-isolate for a 14-day period to minimise any potential spread of Covid-19, though these rules are due to relax as Phase Three is kicked into gear.

Due to the lack of quarantining and self-isolation demands, checks and screenings at ports and airports are set to increase.

"It’s a much better way of making sure we get the accurate data from people that they fill it in. As they check-in online. A couple of other changes in the airports as well,” Varadkar added.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jun 26 2020, 21:23

What we learned from the US task force briefing

The White House briefing has come to an end. Here's what we learned:

  • More than 126,000 people have now died from the virus in the US and more than 2.5 million confirmed cases have been reported
  • 30 million tests have taken place across the country with daily testing levels reaching 500,000 a day
  • The number of daily new cases had fallen from around 30,000 in April and has now risen to 40,000 today
  • 16 states have seen a rise in cases - the two leading states for positive tests are Texas and Arizona
  • About 5% of new confirmed cases were hospitalised, down from 15% of cases two months ago
  • Half of new cases are under 35 and there has been a big rise in the number of people under 40 getting tested
  • 120,000 courses of anti-viral drug remdesivir have been made available to states to treat patients. There are currently more than 140 clinical trials underway in the US
  • Vice-President Mike Pence defended the recent Trump rallies telling reporters the right to assemble and the right to free speech were enshrined in the constitution
  • Pence is set to make visits to Texas, Arizona and Florida in the coming days to get a ground report


Second UK lockdown not needed, says former adviser behind lockdown

Coronavirus - 26th June 3b9e5210
Prof Neil Ferguson's advice led to the UK government's decision to go into lockdown

Prof Neil Ferguson, a former UK government adviser whose advice led to the decision to go into lockdown, has said he does not believe a second national lockdown would be necessary.
Instead, he said he would expect to see "targeted" restrictions to contain outbreaks. He also said the easing of restrictions needed to be monitored "very closely".
The UK should "be prepared to row back a bit if we start seeing increases in case numbers," he told BBC Radio 4's Political Thinking programme.
The next series of measures to ease the lockdown will take place in England on 4 July, when the two-metre (6ft) social-distancing rule will be reduced to "one metre plus".
Prof Ferguson said he "did not disagree" with the policy changes announced this week and did not expect to see "very large growth of cases across the country" as a result.
"What I do expect to see, depending on how sensible people are, how much they judge the risks themselves and reduce those risks, is clusters of cases," he said.
But he added he believed there would be "a bigger potential risk of more widespread community transmission" as the UK goes into autumn and winter.

Northern Ireland to launch separate contact-tracing app

Coronavirus - 26th June 1145ff10

Northern Ireland is planning to release its own coronavirus contact-tracing app within weeks, the BBC has learned.
It follows the failure of the National Health Service app in England, which was trialled on the Isle of Wight.
The NI app will be based on the Google/Apple model. It is designed to be compatible with an app due to be released soon in the Republic of Ireland.
The Apple and Google model is more privacy-focused but provides less data to epidemiologists than the centralised version that England was trialling - although that was ditched last week as the government made a U-turn.

Northern Ireland 'could find tracing app solution' for UK

Rory Cellan-Jones - Technology correspondent
If Northern Ireland does manage to release a functioning contact tracing app within weeks that will be a major embarrassment to the UK government.
After all, in England an NHS team managed to spend four months and nearly £12m ($15m) developing a centralised app that did not work.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock then announced that the new focus would be on a decentralised app using the Google Apple toolkit - but that was unlikely to be ready for months.
Then this week the prime minister assured the House of Commons that no country in the world had a working contact tracing app.
Yet Northern Ireland's health minister seems confident that a few weeks' work, perhaps building on the experience of Germany and other countries which have released decentralised apps, can deliver something that will do the job and even be compatible with the Irish Republic's project.
The NHS X team had always hoped its app would be rolled out across the UK - now perhaps it's Northern Ireland which will provide a high tech contact tracing solution that all four home nations can use.

Guidelines issued for food factories in Wales

Meat plants should consider staggered staff starts and gaps between carcasses on production lines to prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to new government guidelines for Wales.
They have been issued following clusters of cases at Welsh food factories - including 2 Sisters on Anglesey, Rowan Foods in Wrexham and Kepak in Merthyr Tydfil.
The guidelines emphasise social distancing and ask staff to work and take breaks in small groups.
"Cohorts" should be formed, particularly if staff live together and travel to work with each other.
It also says staff should not lose pay if they have to self-isolate. Read more here

'The sheer amount of beach rubbish is colossal'

Kate Scotter and Laura Devlin - BBC News
After the hottest day of the year saw thousands of people descend on beaches around the UK, the BBC went to Great Yarmouth on the east coast to see the scale of the mess left behind.
The refuse collector's cart is overflowing. There's the usual drinks cans and plastic bottles, but also a crumpled hat, a paperback book and, balanced on top, a wind break.
"It's as if people have gone slightly mad with lockdown easing," says Penny Carpenter, as she helps pick up rubbish along Great Yarmouth beach.
With cafes and restaurants only open for takeaways, much of the litter is polystyrene cups and burger cartons, plastic bottles and cans. Rubbish bins have been filling up quicker than they can be emptied.
Ms Carpenter said in the 16 years she has lived in the coastal town, she has never seen anything like the amount of litter left in recent days.

Analysis: Spin in the age of pandemic

Tara McKelvey - BBC News, Washington
It was a tough week for the White House.
The number of cases has shot up in Florida, Texas, Mississippi and other states where governors have tried to reinforce President Trump’s message that the nation’s returning to normal.
The spike in cases has alarmed many people, and Vice President Mike Pence expressed his condolences to those who lost loved ones. Then he tried to put a gloss on the situation.
White House officials have much to be proud of, he said, explaining that they have made “remarkable progress” in moving the country forward: “We slowed the spread, we flattened the curve, we saved lives.”
His self-congratulatory tone was surprising, given the dire news, and his effort to put a positive spin on things seemed jarring.
One thing was clear, however: Pence has had a tough job from the start, trying to support the president’s controversial positions.
Pence’s performance on Friday was an especially difficult – and unconvincing - one.

What happened in the UK today?

We will soon be ending our coronavirus live coverage for today. But before we leave, here's a chance to catch up on Friday's main developments across the UK:


Thanks for joining us

We're pausing today's live coverage and will be back again tomorrow morning. Here's a roundup of Friday's biggest coronavirus stories:

  • As the US hit a record daily high of 40,000 new cases, Vice-President Mike Pence held the first coronavirus briefing in nearly two months
  • He said the US had "flattened the curve" but admitted that infections were rising in 16 southern states. Texas has closed bars in response to the surge in cases, while Florida announced a new record number of cases on Friday
  • Sweden hit back against a World Health Organization warning which said the country was at risk of another rise in infections
  • Unicef has warned that millions of children in war-torn Yemen could face starvation after a drop in aid due to the pandemic
  • Worldwide, almost 9.6 million cases and more than 490,000 deaths have been recorded, according to Johns Hopkins University


Our live coverage was brought to you by our BBC teams in the UK and abroad: Owen Amos, Krutika Pathi, Frances Mao, Alexandra Fouche, Hugo Bachega, Patrick Jackson, Victoria Bisset, Joseph Lee, Victoria Lindrea, Holly Honderich, Sophie Williams, Katie Wright, Alix Kroeger and Rob Corp.

    Current date/time is Wed Aug 05 2020, 12:09