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Coronavirus - 6th July

Kitkat
Kitkat
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Posts : 6173
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:Covid-19: Coronavirus - 6th July

Post by Kitkat on Mon Jul 06 2020, 10:09

Summary for Monday, 6th July


  • India now has the third-highest caseload in the world according to its health ministry, overtaking Russia
  • India says it now has about 698,000 cases with more than 19,000 deaths
  • New South Wales in Australia is closing its border with neighbouring Victoria to fight a surge there
  • Nearly 240 scientists want the WHO to take the airborne risk more seriously
  • Arts venues in the UK are getting a lifeline from the government to survive
  • Globally there have now been more than 11.4m cases and more than 533,000 people have died


Welcome back to our rolling coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic. Today's headlines:

  • India now has the third-highest number of confirmed cases in the world, overtaking Russia
  • The country confirmed almost 25,000 cases on Sunday, according to state government data, taking the national total to almost 700,000 since the outbreak began
  • For the first time in a century, the border between New South Wales and Victoria in Australia is being closed, because of an outbreak in Victoria
  • The UK government announces a £1.57bn ($1.96bn) package to protect theatres, galleries, museums and other cultural venues
  • Globally, there have been 11.4m confirmed cases since the outbreak began, with 534,000 deaths linked to Covid-19


India now has third-most confirmed cases

State governments in India confirmed almost 25,000 cases on Sunday, taking the national total to 697,887 since the outbreak began.
That means it has overtaken Russia as the third most-affected country in terms of confirmed infections:
1. USA (2,888,885 cases)
2. Brazil (1,603,055)
3. India (697,887)
4. Russia (680,203)
5. Peru (302,718)
6. Chile (295,532)
7. UK (286,931)
8. Mexico (256,848)
9. Spain (250,545)
10. Italy (241,611)
(Source: Johns Hopkins University / India State Data)

New South Wales - Victoria border to close

The border between Australia's two most populous states - Victoria and New South Wales - is to close after a spike in Covid-19 cases in Melbourne.
The outbreak in Victoria's capital has seen hundreds of cases in the past two weeks - more than 95% of new Australian infections.
Until now, the two states had maintained open borders even when others had shut them.
The closure, beginning on Wednesday, will restrict travel to permit holders.
Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews said it was a joint decision with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.


Global cases per capita

Although India has the third-highest number of confirmed cases in the world, it also has the second highest population in the world, at over 1.3bn.
In terms of confirmed cases per one million people, the worst-affected countries (excluding European micro-states) are:
1. Qatar (35,543)
2. Bahrain (17,260)
3. Chile (15,458)
4. Kuwait (11,693)
5. Armenia (9,653)
6. Peru (9,180)
7. Oman (9,042)
8. USA (9,011)
9. Panama (8,840)
10. Singapore (7,657)
Currently, India does not make the top 100 for cases per million people.
(Source: Worldometers )

Bolivian health minister latest to test positive

Bolivian Health Minister Eidy Roca has tested positive for the virus - the third member of the cabinet to be infected in just four days.
A statement said she was in stable health and was "strictly complying with safety protocol that includes isolation, medication and care".
“The fight against the virus continues relentlessly and I wish the minister a speedy recovery to rejoin this battle for the health of Bolivians,” interim President Jeanine Anez said on Twitter.
Bolivia, a nation of over 11 million people, has around 38,000 confirmed cases.

Countries with most Covid-19 deaths

As India becomes the country with the third-most confirmed cases, which country has the most deaths linked to Covid-19?
1. United States (129,947)
2. Brazil (64,867)
3. UK (44,305)
4. Italy (34,861)
5. Mexico (30,869)
India's total death toll is seventh in the world. But in terms of deaths per million people, it only just features in the top 100. The top five, excluding European micro-states, are:
1. Belgium (843)
2. UK (651)
3. Spain (607)
4. Italy (577)
5. Sweden (537)
Source: Johns Hopkins University / Worldometers

NB: Countries have different reporting methods, and different rules, for what they deem as Covid-19 deaths.

Don't compare virus death toll to Europe: Mexico

Coronavirus - 6th July Fbb83110

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has refused to compare coronavirus death tolls with countries in Europe - as Mexico surpassed France as the country with the fifth-highest number of fatalities.
"The population of Spain and France is smaller than that of Mexico," Lopez Obrador said in a video message on YouTube.
"For every one who has died in our country, three have died in Spain. We cannot compare this," he said.
Mexico has 30,639 deaths - just ahead of France with 29,896 and Spain with 28,385.

Fujitsu announces permanent work-from-home plan

Technology firm Fujitsu has said it will halve its office space in Japan as it adapts to the "new normal" of the coronavirus pandemic.
It says the "Work Life Shift" programme will offer unprecedented flexibility to its 80,000 workers in the country.
Staff will be able to work flexible hours, and working from home will be standard wherever possible.
The announcement follows a similar announcement in May from social media platform Twitter.


First NSW-Victoria border closure in a century

Shaimaa Khalil - BBC News, Sydney
This is the first time in a century that the border between New South Wales and Victoria is being closed.
The decision was made as the number of Covid-19 cases in Victoria continued to grow. Nearly 200 cases were recorded there over the weekend.
There are about 50 border crossings between the two states. Officials in Victoria’s capital, Melbourne, have put nearly 3,000 people living in nine tower blocks in full lockdown because of a local outbreak.
Residents have been told not to leave their homes for any reason for the next five days – the time it will take to test everyone in the towers.
Victoria's Minister for Housing said some of the state's most vulnerable people lived in the tower blocks, and that mental health and drug and alcohol support would be made available.

India overtakes Russia in Covid-19 cases

India has recorded more than 24,000 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, taking its total above that of Russia.
The country now has the third-largest number of confirmed cases in the world at 697,413. There have been 19,693 deaths.
The latest surge in numbers has also been powered by a rise in cases from a handful of southern states, including Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
India reopened shopping centres, places of worship and offices a month ago.
For the last three days, India's caseload has galloped at an alarming rate, adding more than 20,000 daily infections per day.
Although India has the third highest number of cases, it is eighth in fatalities, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University.
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Posts : 6173
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 6th July

Post by Kitkat on Mon Jul 06 2020, 10:23

UK throws £1.5bn lifeline to arts venues

In case you missed the news on Sunday, the government has unveiled a £1.57bn ($1.96bn) package to protect the futures of UK theatres, galleries, museums and other cultural venues.
It follows several weeks of pressure, with industry leaders warning that many venues were on the brink of collapse.
Independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues will also be eligible for the new emergency grants and loans.
The £1.15bn support pot for cultural organisations in England is made up of £880m in grants and £270m of repayable loans.
The government said the loans would be "issued on generous terms".
Funding will also go to the devolved administrations - £33m to Northern Ireland, £97m to Scotland and £59m to Wales.


Taj Mahal's reopening cancelled as cases rise

India's Taj Mahal, which was set to welcome tourists on Monday, will remain closed until further notice as cases continue to spike in the northern city of Agra, and across the country.
Other monuments in the city such as Agra Fort and Akbar's tomb will also not be open to tourists.
Officials are yet to announce a date for their re-opening.
India's caseload has been rising at an alarming rate - more than 24,000 cases were added in the last 24 hours.
With more than 697,000 confirmed cases, the country has overtaken Russia to have the third-most registered cases in the world.

France's Louvre museum reopens

The world-famous Louvre museum in Paris is reopening today after it was closed for nearly four months due to the pandemic.
There will be new safety measures in place, including mandatory masks and a limit on the number of visitors.
Galleries where social distancing is more difficult will also remain closed.
The museum usually receives 10m visitors a year, with most of those coming from outside France. This makes it the most visited museum in the world.
But it has lost more than 40 million euros ($45m; £36m) in ticket sales during the recent lockdown.


Broadway actor dies of coronavirus complications

Coronavirus - 6th July 8cb57b10
Nick Cordero was nominated for a Tony award in 2014

A Broadway and TV actor who spent months in intensive care after suffering complications from coronavirus has died.
Nick Cordero, who was 41, died late on Sunday, his wife Amanda Kloots said in an Instagram post.
"I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere," she said. "My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him."
She said her husband had been battling with Covid-19 for 95 days. He suffered sepsis infections and mini-strokes, and had his right-leg amputated because of a blood clot.
Mr Cordero was nominated for a Tony award for his role in Bullets Over Broadway. He also had starring roles in Waitress and A Bronx Tale.

'Extra 35,000 UK cancer deaths possible'

Delays to cancer diagnosis and treatment due to coronavirus could cause up to 35,000 excess deaths in the UK within a year in a worst case scenario, research suggests.
Up to two million routine breast, bowel and cervical cancer screenings may have been missed.
Urgent referrals and treatments have also been delayed or cancelled.
Scientists examined data from eight hospital trusts and shared their findings exclusively with BBC Panorama.


Study warns 13 UK universities 'could go bust without bailout'

Many UK universities have seen their finances hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, a new study suggests that 13 universities face "a very real prospect" of insolvency following the crisis unless they receive a government bailout.
High-ranking universities with large numbers of international students face the largest immediate drop in income, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
But the least prestigious universities are at the greatest risk, it warns. The researchers say the total size of the university sector's losses is "highly uncertain" - anywhere between £3bn and £19bn, or between 7.5% and almost half the sector's annual income.
The researchers' central estimate is an £11bn loss, amounting to a quarter of the sector's annual income.
The Department for Education said a government package announced in May, allows UK universities to access business support and job retention schemes, while the sector will also benefit from the pulling forward of £2.6bn in tuition fee payments to ease cash flow problems.
You can read more here

Dowden: We must preserve 'crown jewel' and local arts venues

BBC Breakfast
Coronavirus - 6th July 91738410

UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has been speaking after unveiling a £1.57bn support package to help theatres, galleries, museums and other cultural venues weather the coronavirus pandemic.
He told BBC Breakfast that the arts and culture sector is at the "heart of our national life" and it was "essential" that its future was protected.
Dowden said the new grants and loans would be prioritised for the institutions that "need it most" such as "crown jewel" venues, such as the Royal Albert Hall, and protecting the UK's wider cultural institutions, including local theatres and art galleries.
Asked about why pubs can reopen but not theatres, he said he understood the "frustration" those in the sector felt, but said theatres can hold performances behind closed doors and rehearsals and he "hoped" they will in the future be able to perform outside and then hold socially distant performances.

North Korean refugees donate PPE to UK

Two North Korean refugees who were granted asylum in the UK have donated thousands of sets of personal protective equipment to English care homes.
Jihyun Park and Timothy Chow endured famine, the deaths of family members and imprisonment in forced labour camps before they fled the country.
They decided to give something back to the country that gave them safe haven, and teamed up with other members of the North Korean community to donate 7,000 sets of PPE to seven care homes in the north of England.
"I was following the news and seeing that so many people were dying and I thought how can I help?" Jihyun said.
"I'm proud, and all the North Korean refugees living here are also proud, to be able to say thank you to the community."
Read the full story from Tom Brada here
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Posts : 6173
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 6th July

Post by Kitkat on Mon Jul 06 2020, 10:38

Scotland reopens beer gardens and outdoor cafes

Today in Scotland, people can go to beer gardens and outdoor cafes for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown in March.
As well as following strict distancing and hygiene rules, customers will have to leave their contact details so they can be traced in the event of an outbreak.
The devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have power over their own lockdowns and have eased restrictions at a different rate to England.
While many businesses - including pubs and restaurants - reopened in England on Saturday, Scotland has taken a more cautious approach in emerging from its lockdown restrictions.
Scotland's pubs and restaurants should be able to welcome customers indoors from 15 July under the third phase of the Scottish government's route map out of lockdown , which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to confirm on Thursday.
Speaking during a visit to an outdoor dining area in Edinburgh, she admitted she was nervous about emerging from lockdown; adding it was important people remembered the virus was still at large and urged them to socialise safely.
You can read more here

How do you campaign during a pandemic?

Political rallies held online, socially distanced canvassing sessions and fist bumps instead of handshakes.
All these concepts would be foreign just months ago - but it's what candidates in Singapore are having to deal with now as the country heads to the polls later this week.
Singapore - initially seen as a model of virus success - later suffered a wave of cases among its migrant worker community.
The country has eased its partial lockdown but social distancing rules, and other restrictions, are still in place.
So what's it like to campaign during a time like this?

Saudi Arabia announces Hajj restrictions



Hajj: Seven things you don't know about the Muslim Pilgrimage

Saudi Arabia has announced a series of measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 during the Islamic pilgrimage, or Hajj, later this month.
It will limit the number of domestic attendees to around 1,000 and touching the Kaaba, Islam's most sacred monument, will be banned.
Social distancing will also be imposed.
In normal times the pilgrimage is one of the most significant moments in the Muslim religious calendar.
Some two million people were expected to travel to Mecca and Medina this July and August for the annual gathering. But only Saudi residents will be allowed to attend this year.

Masks and local lockdowns: the latest from Europe

Local lockdowns return in Spain, and German states mull lifting mask rules. Here’s the latest from Europe:

  • Authorities in the Spanish regions of Galicia and Catalonia have imposed local lockdowns on some 300,000 people following outbreaks of the virus. Only those travelling for work are allowed to leave or enter Galicia’s coastal district of A Mariña from midnight on Sunday to Friday
  • Several states in Germany are considering easing rules about wearing face masks in the coming months as the outbreak stays under control. Health minister Jens Spahn, however, has warned against the move. “I understand the impatience and the desire for normality. But the virus is still there,” he tweeted
  • Switzerland has made masks compulsory on public transport nationwide for the first time, citing rising numbers of travellers. Though wearing face coverings is already recommended, “few people are heeding this advice”, the federal government said
  • Greece is closing its borders to Serbians today, after rising numbers of cases in the Balkan country. The region has seen a large rise in infections in recent weeks: Montenegro reported a record one-day rise in new cases on Sunday, while Kosovo has reimposed a nightly curfew for several cities, including the capital Pristina



Theatre performances without social distancing 'some way off' - Dowden

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
UK theatres - which can't yet stage live performances - have been hit hard by the pandemic, with some going bankrupt and others making staff redundant.
Although the arts sector has broadly welcomed the £1.57bn government support package announced earlier, there are still questions over why some activities - such as going to the pub or sitting on a plane - are permitted in England, but live theatre performances are not.
UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has said theatre performances without social distancing are still "some way off".
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the reduction of social-distancing rules, such as on planes, has only been implemented in "exceptionally limited circumstances" and insisted "slow and baby steps" must be taken.
Asked about whether pantomimes would happen this Christmas, he said he would "love" them to, but there were challenges, such as different generations attending together and lots of interaction, which represent "huge transmission risks".

Indian scientists alarmed over 'unrealistic' vaccine aims

We've been reporting on the rise in cases around India today, and now a group of scientists there have issued a warning about a potential vaccine.
The group say a 15 August deadline to launch a Covid-19 vaccine for public use is unfeasible.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had said it "envisaged" the vaccine to be launched by then, which is India's Independence Day.
But the Indian Academy of Sciences has warned against "any hasty solution that may compromise rigorous scientific processes and standards".
The ICMR has since said the date was "not a deadline".
A vaccine would normally take years, if not decades, to develop. However, researchers across the world are hoping to achieve the same amount of work in only a few months.
Read more here

Award-winning Russian doctor dies

Russian media this morning are reporting the death with coronavirus on Friday of a senior doctor who in 2014 was awarded the title Russia's Best GP.
Elena Minakova, 57, worked at the Pavlovsk district hospital in the Voronezh region in central Russia. She was also a specialist in cardiology and pulmonology, but had been treating coronavirus patients during the pandemic.
Regional governor Alexander Gusev paid tribute to Minakova, saying she had died "like a hero".
"Many people are grateful to her for helping them conquer this horrible disease," he said. "But unfortunately Elena Vasilyevna could not win her own battle with it."
There were reports in the earlier stages of the pandemic that Russia was facing shortages of PPE and that there were high infection rates among medical staff. A website memorialising healthcare workers currently lists 555 deaths, but Russian authorities insist they have the crisis under control
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Posts : 6173
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 6th July

Post by Kitkat on Mon Jul 06 2020, 11:21

Bali to welcome foreign tourists from September

Resty Woro Yuniar - BBC News, Jakarta
Indonesia's resort island of Bali will allow international tourists to visit from 11 September.
The island held a mass prayer on Sunday to ask for permission and protection from the Hindu God at the sacred Besakih Temple.
Indonesian tourists will be allowed to return from 31 July.
Tourism contributes about 70% of Bali’s GDP. As a result, the island has been among the hardest hit in Indonesia amid the pandemic.
Foreign arrivals dried up by almost 100% in April as many countries, including Indonesia, closed their borders.
In his reopening decree, Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster implemented guidance on crowd avoidance, physical distancing and personal hygiene, including regular hand washing and wearing facial covering or masks.
Bali has recorded more than 1,800 positive Covid-19 cases and 20 virus-linked deaths as of Sunday.

Pret A Manger to shut 30 UK shops as job cuts loom

Coronavirus - 6th July 274a2910

High-street sandwich chain Pret A Manger is to close 30 of its 410 UK outlets as part of a coronavirus-related restructuring.
The company will also reduce staffing to "reflect lower footfall, rental costs and new safety measures".
Pret said the impact of coronavirus on trading meant it had to make a "difficult decision".
It said 339 of its shops have so far reopened following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Sales are down 74% year-on-year, the company reported.
Read more here
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Posts : 6173
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 6th July

Post by Kitkat on Mon Jul 06 2020, 13:15

How close are we to a vaccine?

As we reported earlier, an Indian medical council had hoped to have a vaccine available for public use by mid-August - which a group of Indian scientists has now dismissed as unrealistic .
So where are we in the global search for one?
A vaccine would normally take years, if not decades, to develop, but scientists across the world are doing their best to fast-track efforts.
Right now there are around 120 vaccine programmes under way. Oxford University and Imperial College London have both started human trials.
In terms of when one might become available, some health officials have expressed optimism that a vaccine will be in production by the end of 2020 or early 2021. Others say that later in 2021 is more likely.
But on Sunday, the head of the US drugs regulator cast doubt on the prediction that a vaccine will be ready this year.
The top infectious diseases expert in the US, meanwhile, said the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine against Covid-19 should be known by "early winter".

West End’s longest-running show to reopen

The West End’s longest-running show is preparing to reopen.
The Mousetrap was forced to close for the first time in its 68-year run during lockdown.
When it returns in October, it will become one of the first shows to do so in London’s Theatreland.
The BBC’s David Sillito finds out more, in the video above.
We've been reporting on the £1.57bn package of measures to help protect the arts this morning - including loans and grants to help stop venues from closing for good.
But as our arts editor Will Gompertz says , the "elephant in the auditorium" is when social distancing measures will be lifted, to make theatre reopenings viable.

Most of England's children to be removed from shielding list

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
The majority of children currently considered extremely clinical vulnerable to Covid-19 will be able to be removed from the shielded patient list in England, the government has confirmed in the latest shielding guidance .
Independent evidence from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), working with specialists in paediatric medicine, shows the risk of serious illness for children and young people is low and only those with the most severe conditions, such as children undergoing cancer care or with compromised immune systems, should now be considered clinically extremely vulnerable.
Children will only be removed from the shielded patient list by their GP or specialist doctor following consultation with the child and their family.
Specialists and GPs will be asked to contact children and their families to discuss this over the summer, so families do not need to take any immediate action.

French bus driver left brain dead after attack

Coronavirus - 6th July 4dda0710
Face masks are compulsory on buses across France

A French bus driver has been left brain dead after he was attacked for refusing to let people on board who were not wearing face masks.
Four people, none of whom had a ticket or a mask, repeatedly punched the 59-year-old driver in Bayonne on Sunday, local media report.
Masks are mandatory on public transport across France.
One of the attackers is now in custody, a police officer told the AFP news agency.
Regional bus services have been severely disrupted after many of the driver's colleagues refused to work in protest.

Tourism hopes in Wales as travel limit ends

Coronavirus - 6th July E7fb0910
The Brecon Beacons are open to visitors again from Monday, with walkers asked to have a 'plan B' in case it is crowded

Lots of lockdown measures in Wales are being eased today.
The "stay local" five-mile travel advice has been lifted, overnight stays in another household are allowed, outdoor destinations and attractions are reopening - and businesses are therefore hoping they will see tourists return .
The relaxation of restrictions comes as the number of coronavirus cases continues to fall - but First Minister Mark Drakeford urged people to think "carefully about where we go and why".
Travel restrictions were introduced across the UK at the start of lockdown in March, although Wales kept its travel restrictions longer than the UK government did in England.

Lebanon puts on show of resilience

Martin Patience - BBC News, Middle East correspondent
Coronavirus - 6th July E495e910

Despite the worst economic crisis in its modern history – and the coronavirus pandemic – Lebanon put on a spectacular performance last night in the Roman ruins of the city of Baalbek.
A concert with 150 musicians and choral singers was held without an audience because of Covid-19. Organisers dubbed the performance “an act of cultural resilience” and it was broadcast live on national TV.
The concert included a mix of classical musical from Beethoven and Verdi, as well as Lebanese composers, and a song from the country’s beloved singer Fairuz.
For an hour at least, some Lebanese were able to forget the country’s present economic collapse and savour the country’s rich cultural heritage.
“What a masterpiece,” wrote one viewer on Twitter. “Too sad to see such a small country, with so much potential… sinking so fast.”
Coronavirus - 6th July 54ceb210

Changes to England's shielding scheme begin

The 2.2 million people who have been self-isolating in England during the pandemic will no longer need to shield from 1 August.
And from today, they will be able to meet up outdoors, in a group, with up to five others and form "support bubbles" with other households.
The measures can be eased because infection rates are falling, the government says.
Support packages for them will remain until the end of July to help people transition.
As England's shielding scheme ends on 1 August, extremely vulnerable people can return to work, if they can't work from home, as long as their workplace is COVID secure .
You can read more here

Coronavirus conspiracy video gets millions of views

Jack Goodman - BBC Reality Check
A video that claims Covid-19 is a “political hoax” manufactured by the United States “deep state” has got five million views and 100,000 shares on Facebook.
The video is still accessible but it has been labelled “false” on Facebook by a fact-checking organisation and on YouTube viewers are warned of “inappropriate or offensive” content.
The film was uploaded by a well-known follower of QAnon – a wide-ranging unfounded conspiracy theory – which believes President Trump is battling the “deep state” and global elites who are involved in corruption and child abuse.
The video contains several unsubstantiated claims blaming Democrat politicians for manufacturing the pandemic in an election year.
It features in our latest weeklyround-up of the most prominent examples of coronavirus misinformation spreading in the United States.

Polls in a pandemic and other news from Latin America


  • The first general election to be held since the coronavirus pandemic reached Latin America has proceeded smoothly in the Dominican Republic. Opposition candidate Luis Abinader, who had to temporarily suspend his campaign when he tested positive for coronavirus, has an unassailable lead. His two main rivals for the top post have conceded defeat. One of the new president's main challenges will be to restart the Caribbean nation's tourism industry, which has been severely battered by the travel restrictions imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19.
  • Public transport is running again from today in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. It is the country's most populous city and one of the coronavirus hotspots. Its mayor has warned she would not allow drivers and operators to increase fares to make up for restrictions on passenger numbers.
  • The chief of cabinet in El Salvador, Mario Durán, has tested positive for coronavirus. The Salvadorean government has imposed some of the toughest measures in Latin America and has managed to keep the number of cases below 8,000. Nevertheless, on Sunday it announced that it would postpone a further reopening of the economy by two weeks.
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Posts : 6173
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 6th July

Post by Kitkat on Mon Jul 06 2020, 17:06

If you're just joining us...

Coronavirus - 6th July E1ed3a10

Good morning if you're joining us from the Americas, good afternoon if you're in the UK and Europe, and good evening to our readers in Asia.
A lot has happened today. To help you catch up, here are the main headlines from around the world.

  • Scientists in India have warned that the August deadline for developing a coronavirus vaccine is unrealistic. The deadline was set by the country's medical council
  • India recorded 24,000 new cases in the last 24 hours, and has now overtaken Russia to have the third-highest number of cases of the virus in the world
  • At the same time the head of the US drugs regulator, the FDA, has also cast doubt on President Donald Trump's claims that a vaccine will be ready this year
  • In Australia, New South Wales is shutting its border with neighbouring Victoria to try and fight a surge in cases there. This is the first time in a century the border between the states is closing
  • Bolivian Health Minister Eidy Roca has tested positive for the virus - the third member of the country's cabinet to be infected in just four days
  • The world-famous Louvre museum in Paris, France, has reopened today after being closed for nearly four months. There will be new safety measures in place, including mandatory masks and a limit on the number of visitors
  • Authorities in the Spanish regions of Galicia and Catalonia have imposed local lockdowns on some 300,000 people following outbreaks of the virus
  • Globally, there have now been more than 11,470,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and more than 534,000 deaths


'For this to be still in my body is absolutely terrifying'

BBC Radio 5 Live
Today BBC Radio 5 Live's Your Call programme heard from listeners who were still suffering from the long-term effects of coronavirus.
Yesterday NHS England said it was launching a new service for people with ongoing health problems after catching Covid-19.
Jo from Stroud, 37, said she and her husband have both been struggling, which has been difficult whilst trying to look after two young children.
“The biggest thing for me is fatigue – it’s debilitating,” she said.
“In a situation where there is zero childcare and zero information on what is going on with us, it has been really stressful. We’ve had some really tough conversations in our house about how to just make life work.”
The unknown factor of the disease has also added to Jo’s stress.
“I remember getting to week five and just hitting a wall and thinking, ‘how am I still here?’
“I struggle with anxiety anyway. For this to be still in my body is absolutely terrifying."
Listen again to this morning's Your Call on BBC Sounds

What's the latest from the African continent?


  • It was a low-key affair when Malawi’s new President Lazurus Chakwera was formally sworn in today – just 100 people attended after plans for bigger celebrations were called off for safety reasons
  • In South Africa there’s been a surge in new cases , yet authorities have pressed ahead with the phased reopening of schools. On Monday, pupils in Grade R (five-year-olds), Grade Six (11-year-olds) and Grade 11 (16-year-olds) returned to classrooms after months of lockdown
  • Coronavirus clinics are being shut down in Tanzania, with only 11 of 85 remaining. But the current rate of infection, number of patients, and deaths are not known, as the government does not regularly give updates
  • Meanwhile in Kenya, travel restrictions into and out of Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera counties are being lifted. Local flights will begin next week, and it’s expected that international flights will follow on 1 August

Read more news from the continent on the Africa Live page , and follow our Coronavirus in Africa tracker

Outbreak infects more than 100 at US university fraternity

More than 100 university students who are members of fraternities and sororities have been infected by the coronavirus, according to a statement from the University of Washington and the city of Seattle.
Fraternities are social clubs for male university students and sororities are for females. Together the communities are known as "Greek life", because their names are formed of Greek letters.
A joint statement from the university and the city said that 121 students tested positive for Covid-19 - with 112 of them residents of the Greek Row section of campus.
There are over 1,000 pupils living in the Greek Row area. Many are now being asked to self-isolate and be tested.
Fraternities and sororities are private organisations, with national headquarters and chapters on some university campuses. Members must participate in activities, which often involve large amounts of drinking, in order to foster bonding that will lead to networking opportunities after graduation.
As of Sunday, 171 students, seven faculty members and 35 staff members at the University of Washington have been infected. The current plan is for the campus to open for in-person classes in the fall.

Hospital visits and midnight haircuts as NI eases lockdown

Northern Ireland is another UK nation seeing a major easing of lockdown restrictions today.
Barbers, hairdressers and nail salons are now allowed to reopen - with some eager businesses throwing open their doors shortly after midnight.
Other close-contact services like spas, massage and tattoo parlours, holistic therapies and reflexology can also resume trading today.
Visiting rules at hospitals and care homes have also been eased, meaning many people can visit loved ones for the first time in months.
Read our full news story here , and here's an explainer onwhich lockdown rules have eased, and which haven't, in NI .
Later, the NI executive is expected to discuss how to respond to the relaxation of quarantine requirements in England, where the government has agreed to open travel corridors to around 60 holiday destinations.

Outspoken government critic detained in China

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A professor who criticised China's handling of the coronavirus crisis has been detained by authorities.
Friends of Xu Zhangrun say as many as 20 people appeared at his Beijing house early on Monday morning, seizing his computer and papers.
He had been placed under under house arrest earlier this year after publishing an article on the government’s response to the pandemic. He suggested it might be the last one he ever wrote.
Geng Xiaonan, a friend of the professor, told the New York Times he was "mentally prepared to be taken away".
"He kept a bag with clothes and a toothbrush hanging on his front door so he would be ready for this," she said.
A BBC Beijing correspondent says Xu had been treading an ever more dangerous path by speaking out as freedom of expression is tightly controlled in China.
He had also been barred from teaching at Tsinghua University - one of the country's top institutions - after he criticised the removal of presidential term limits, which would allow President Xi Jinping to remain in post for life.
Read more

No virus deaths reported in Wales for first time since March

No new deaths of people with coronavirus have been reported by Public Health Wales for the first time since March.
However, BBC Wales health correspondent Owain Clarke points out that given the way the Public Health Wales (PHW) figures are compiled - tagged on to the actual date of death once reported - there have been previous days where the statistics show no Covid-19 deaths had occurred in Wales.
Retrospectively, PHW stats - based on those who tested positive - show no deaths occurred on 18 June and also on 3, 4 and 5 July, although any deaths reported in coming days may be added to those most recent dates, our correspondent says.
"With very small numbers, the statistics are always likely to bounce around a bit. But the key point will be when the figures show no new deaths here over a longer period of time," he adds.
Meanwhile, a further 15 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, according to NHS data.
The daily UK-wide death toll will be updated later.

Israel reimposes restrictions after cases rise

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Bars have been ordered to close once again as part of the latest measures

Israel has reimposed lockdown restrictions as the country works to contain a major spike in infections.
Bars, night clubs, gyms and public halls will all be closed from Monday. The number of people allowed in synagogues and restaurants will also be restricted.
The average daily rate of infections has risen sharply from double figures in May to around 1,000.
"The pandemic is spreading - that's as clear as day," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. "It is dragging with it... a trail of critically ill patients."
He added that Israel had to reverse course before a full nationwide lockdown was necessary.

UK reports a further 16 deaths

Latest UK government figures show a further 16 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus.
It brings the government’s official death toll to 44,236.
Remember though – the number is often lower than the trend on Mondays, due to delays to reporting data over the weekend.

Greece bars Serbian visitors as cases spike

Greece has banned all but essential travel from Serbia as infection numbers steadily rise in the Balkan country.
From today, all entry points are closed to Serbian travellers for a week, Greek officials said.
It comes days after the Serbian authorities reimposed lockdown restrictions in the capital, Belgrade.
In the last 24 hours there have been another 302 infections reported in Serbia, with more than 16,000 total cases and a death toll of 311.
For context, in May there were about 50 new cases reported daily.
You can read more here

Vast majority of Canadians want US border to stay shut

More than eight in ten Canadians say the border with the US should remain closed to non-essential travel while their neighbours struggle to contain a growing surge in coronavirus cases.
The survey was conducted by Ottawa-based Nanos Research for the Globe and Mail newspaper.
Travel between the US and Canada (as well as the US and Mexico) was halted on 21 March. The survey found that 81% of Canadians want the border to stay shut indefinitely, while another 14% said it should reopen, but only in places were infections remain low.
Canada has recorded more than 105,000 coronavirus cases as of Sunday, compared to the more than 2.8m in the US.

One in 10 virus infections are front-line health and social care staff - study

One in 10 Covid-19 infections in England between 26 April and 7 June were among health and social care staff working directly with patients and residents, an investigation by the Royal Society has concluded .
One in 10 in-patients acquired their infections in hospitals, the report also says.
A lack of protective equipment at the early stages of the outbreak meant that infection rates in hospitals were bound to be high.
The availability of PPE now means that the spread of the virus to health and social care workers has decreased.
But, according to the Royal Society’s expert group, there’s much more to be done. Their report highlights a lack of co-ordination and surveillance of the spread of infection in hospitals in England.

In particular, it calls for better data collection to understand why ethnic minority staff have been disproportionately hit by Covid-19.
Other recommendations include faster identification of cases in hospitals, sharing of information with the care sector and more research to investigate how to drive down infection rates still further.

Vietnam reports new imported cases

Vietnam has reported 14 new cases of the virus - a very small increase compared to many countries, but it is significant in a country with its track record.
More than 80 days have passed since there was a domestically transmitted infection in Vietnam and the country has reported no deaths.
Experts say its swift response and subsequent lockdown proved extremely effective.
But that doesn't mean there aren't still dangers.
All the latest cases were Vietnamese citizens who were in quarantine after returning from abroad.
As is the case around the world, health officials are wary that any lapse in the quarantine system could see a new outbreak quickly develop.
You can read more about Vietnam's response to Covid-19 here
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 6th July

Post by Kitkat on Mon Jul 06 2020, 20:08

Millions of UK coronavirus tests not recorded

Millions of coronavirus tests are not being recorded, according to new data from the UK government.
Some 10.5 million tests have been "made available" since testing began, but only eight million of those have been "processed", the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) says.
More than two million tests, or about one in every five tests, are either not being sent back to laboratories or are being voided.
"Some members of the public may order a test and then for whatever reason they choose not to return that test," the prime minister's official spokesman told reporters.
He said he had not seen a "verified number on this" when the DHSC figures were put to him.
Coronavirus - 6th July E7d68910

It comes as Downing Street defends its decision to stop publishing daily figures on the number of people being tested - in favour of the number of tests being done.
"DHSC will no longer publish the number of people tested daily anymore and will instead publish the number of daily tests processed," the PM's spokesman said.
"This is because the daily people tested statistic only counts new people being tested. For example, someone who is tested in February and then tested again this month will only be counted once."
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The testing system in England has been criticised in recent days, after figures showed many people are still waiting more than 24 hours to get their results - despite the prime minister pledging to make this happen by the end of June.
And an investigation by BBC Panorama last week found thousands of contact tracers in England failed to trace a single contact in the first three weeks of the test and trace system.

NHS Test and Trace faces big challenges

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
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The “single biggest” problem hurdle facing the UK in keeping the virus suppressed is identifying people who are infected but not coming forward for testing, the head of NHS Test and Trace in England says.
Baroness Dido Harding told the House of Lords’ Science and Technology Committee that it's clear there are more cases out there than are being picked up – although she said this was an issue across the world, because the nature of the virus means some people have it without showing symptoms.
Currently an average of just over 600 cases a day are being found by the UK's testing programme, but the government’s surveillance programme run by the Office for National Statistics suggests there could actually be over 3,000 a day.
Baroness Harding said NHS Test and Trace was looking at ways to find more cases, including backward contact tracing. Currently when a person is infected the contact tracing system focuses on who they may have passed the virus on to - backward tracing looks at whom they may have got it from.
Work is also continuing on the app, she said.
The BBC understands one option being pursued is to build features into the app that alert people to when they have been in areas with high rates of infection, as well as telling them how they are doing with social distancing by giving them a daily tally showing the number of close contacts they have had.
The hope is initiatives like these will encourage them to download the app when it is launched. No date has been given for launch.

Tracking a dodgy claim about Ghislaine Maxwell and Covid-19

Alistair Coleman - BBC Monitoring
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A viral post on Twitter claims that Ghislaine Maxwell – a British former girlfriend of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein – has been diagnosed with coronavirus in a prison in New Hampshire where she was taken after her arrest.
One post has been shared over 72,000 times and it cites, as evidence for its claim, a story from a US satirical news website - the Brown Valley Observer.
The site published a story about Ms Maxwell and Covid-19 but on the website’s ‘about us’ page – it says “all news stories contained within are fictional in nature”.
The idea that she might encounter some calamity while in custody feeds into existing conspiracy theories about Jeffrey Epstein’s death while he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Fake news can spread widely on social media and chat platforms, particularly when people don’t click through to the story after seeing a sensational headline, or stop to consider whether it is truthful or not. The BBC’s anti-disinformation unit offers tips on how to spot a fake .

Harvard University to let all first year students return

Harvard University has announced that it will allow some students to return to campus in autumn.
The plan calls for 40% of the student body to return to the Cambridge, Massachusetts campus, and for all first-year pupils to return. All courses will be available online only.
Harvard University is one of the top academic institutions in the US and charges tuition fees of over $46,000 (£36,000) per year.
It's going online has raised questions about whether families are willing to pay such high fees for virtual lessons.
Several parents have already filed lawsuits against universities in the US, which closed in March as the country went into lockdown, claiming that their children were denied the education that they had paid for.

Analysis: What of the missing 2.5 million UK virus test results?

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
The fact more than a fifth of coronavirus tests done - around 2.5 million – have not yet been processed is not as worrying as it necessarily sounds.
Certainly some have had to be voided, because of a problem in how they were carried out or difficulties in labs.
It is not clear how many this has affected.
But the majority are thought to be not yet recorded for other, less concerning reasons.
A large chunk are kits that have been posted out, but not yet returned. Some of them will be, but it is accepted many may not.
People could be stockpiling them or may have requested them and then gone to a testing centre instead.
This may seem wasteful, but is perhaps a price that has to be paid for trying to make tests as easy as possible to get hold of.
A number will be tests that are still working their way through the system - tests can take 48 hours before results are recorded.
There are also a few hundred thousand that have been sent out as part of the government’s surveillance programme run by the Office for National Statistics that have not be returned by participants.

US death toll hits 130,000

More than 130,000 people have now died of Covid-19 in the US, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The grim milestone now means that more than twice as many people have died in the US than in Brazil, which has the second-highest death toll.
The US has an estimated population of 328m, against Brazil's of around 210m.
The US also has almost 2.9 million confirmed cases of coronavirus.
New York has the highest death toll of the states, with more than 32,000 deaths - but confirmed cases are now surging in southern states too.

No positive results in latest round of Premier League tests

There were no positive results in the latest round of testing for coronavirus in the Premier League.
Some 1,973 players and club staff were tested for Covid-19 between 29 June and 5 July.
There have now been 12 rounds of testing carried out in the English top flight, with 19 positive results so far.
The Premier League season resumed on 17 June after being suspended for 100 days because of the pandemic.

UK headlines: Pret job cuts, Scots seek out beer gardens and grandpa holds baby for first time

Here's a summary of the UK headlines as we wind down our coronavirus live page coverage for the evening:


Our live coverage on coronavirus today will soon come to a close, do join us again tomorrow.

On our team today were: Vicky Baker, Owen Amos, Yvette Tan, Krutika Pathi, Max Matza, Gareth Evans, Mary O’Connor, Ashitha Nagesh, Alice Evans and Claire Heald.

We're pausing our live coverage

Thanks for following our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic today. We're pausing now until tomorrow morning - but before we go, here's a summary of the day's global headlines.

  • New figures have revealed a stark racial disparity in the impact of the virus in the US - Black and Latino Americans are three times more likely to become infected than white Americans, and are twice as likely to die of Covid-19
  • Meanwhile, US drugs regulator the FDA has cast doubt on President Donald Trump's prediction that a vaccine will be ready this year
  • In India, too, the medical council had set an August deadline for developing a vaccine - but scientists in the country have now said this is unrealistic
  • Australian state New South Wales has shut its border with neighbouring Victoria to try and stem a surge in cases - the first time in a century that the border between the two states has been closed
  • Bolivian Health Minister Eidy Roca has tested positive for the coronavirus - the third member of the country's cabinet to be infected in just four days
  • The Louvre museum in Paris, France, reopened today after being closed for almost four months. There are new safety measures in place, including mandatory masks and a limit on the number of people allowed to visit
  • Vietnam has reported 14 new cases of the virus - all of whom are Vietnamese citizens in quarantine after returning from abroad. The country, which has recorded no deaths of Covid-19, is frequently praised for its swift and early response
  • Just 100 people attended a ceremony to formally swear in Malawi's new president Lazarus Chakwera today, after plans for a larger celebration were abandoned for safety reasons
  • Globally, there have now been more than 11,495,000 confirmed cases, and over 535,000 deaths, according to the tally kept by US-based Johns Hopkins University

    Current date/time is Wed Aug 05 2020, 12:00