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Coronavirus - 7th July


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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 07 2020, 08:59

Summary for Tuesday, 7th July

  • Five million residents to return to stay-at-home restrictions for six weeks after a surge in cases in Victoria
  • Border between Victoria and NSW to close at midnight (14:00 GMT)
  • Victoria recorded 191 new infections on Tuesday, its highest one-day figure since the pandemic began
  • A new Spanish study casts doubt on the theory that herd immunity will protect populations
  • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is tested after showing symptoms of the coronavirus
  • A UN report says diseases will keep leaping from animals to humans without action to protect the environment
  • Three UK pubs which re-opened at the weekend have had to close after customers tested positive
  • There have been more than 11.5 million cases globally and more than 530,000 deaths

Welcome back to our rolling coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest headlines:

  • For the first time in a century, the border between Australia's two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, will close at midnight (14:00 GMT)
  • The closure was agreed after a surge of cases in Victoria, and the state announced another 191 cases on Tuesday
  • A study in Spain suggests that, despite the country's large outbreak, it is a long way from "herd immunity"
  • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro takes another Covid-19 test, after reportedly showing symptoms - results are expected on Tuesday
  • Globally, there have been more than 11.5m cases since the outbreak began, and 537,000 deaths have been linked to Covid-19

Victoria surge continues as border closes

At midnight (14:00 GMT), the border between New South Wales and Victoria in Australia will close for the first time in a century.
The closure was agreed after a surge in cases in Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria. And that surge shows no sign of slowing down.
On Tuesday, the state announced another 191 cases - a record daily tally. Of those, 154 came from unknown sources, while 37 were linked to existing outbreaks.
In Melbourne, 3,000 tower block residents are under a week-lock lockdown after an outbreak there. At least 69 cases have been found in the blocks.

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Police outside a locked-down tower block in Flemington, Melbourne, recently

Spanish study casts doubt on herd immunity

One of the hopes for beating the virus is achieving so-called herd immunity. This means that if enough people in a country get infected and recover, they’ll have antibodies and be immune - and the virus won’t spread anymore.
But a Spanish study has now cast doubt on whether that'll work for the current virus anytime soon.
Looking at more than 60,000 people, it estimates that just 5% of the population has developed antibodies, the medical journal the Lancet reported.
Yet it’s thought that around 70% to 90% of a population needs to be immune to protect the uninfected.
"In this situation, social distance measures and efforts to identify and isolate new cases and their contacts are imperative for future epidemic control," the study's authors said in the report .

Delhi cases cross 100,000-mark

Infections in India's capital, Delhi, are soaring. With more than a 1,000 new cases reported on Monday, the city's total tally has crossed the 100,000 mark, according to health ministry data.
But there is some good news - nearly three-quarters of those infected have recovered. And the proportion of deaths, at just over 3,000, isn't too bad either.
Delhi dominated headlines in late June as infections swelled in the city - but in the last week or so, it seems like the situation has slowly been brought under control. Local authorities have rapidly ramped up testing and have been using antigen testing across districts.
On Monday, India overtook Russia to become the third-most affected country with more than 690,000 cases. For the past few days, India's overall caseload has galloped at an alarming rate, adding more than 20,000 new infections per day.
Although the country has the third-highest number of cases, it is eighth in fatalities, according to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University.

NSW - Victoria border will be shut for 'weeks, not days'

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New South Wales Police Minister David Elliott has said the Victoria border closure will be a "matter of weeks, rather than days".
"I think you can probably assume with the effort put into a deployment like this, [it will last] a couple of weeks," he said.
"The first message and the last message from the government today is: if you don't have to cross that border, don't," he added.
Permits will be issued for those who need to cross for essential reasons. But the police are deploying hundreds of officers to make sure people comply.
"If you want to do the wrong thing, you'll be caught," said Elliot.
The border stretches hundreds of miles from the Pacific coast to the Australian interior.

Brazil's Bolsonaro awaits virus test result

The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, has taken another Covid-19 test, after reportedly having a high temperature.
Bolsonaro said his lungs had also been checked, and they were "fine". The result of the Covid-19 test is expected on Tuesday, and he has cancelled engagements.
This is the fourth test the president has taken - all the others have been negative.
Bolsonaro has previously downplayed the virus, comparing it to "a little flu". Brazil has the second highest number of cases and deaths in the world.
On Sunday, the country's foreign affairs minister posted a picture of himself, Bolsonaro and others celebrating US Independence Day at the US embassy, without masks.

Japan's household spending slumps at record rate

Japan's household spending has slumped at a record pace as measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus kept people at home.
Government figures show household spending dropped by 16.2% in May from a year earlier. The worse than expected fall was the fastest rate of decline since comparable data began in 2001.
There were big drops in spending on hotels, transport and eating out. Goods that saw an increase in spending however included meat, alcohol and face masks.
The data underlines the major challenges facing Japan's government and central bank as the country braces for its deepest recession since the end of World War Two .

No new cases in Beijing as 'mini-cluster' fades away

Beijing has reported no new locally-transmitted cases for the first time since an outbreak began last month.
The outbreak - which was linked to a huge food market in the capital - has led to at least 335 infections.
It caused mass testing, the closure of some venues, and travel restrictions for people in at least 27 of Beijing's neighbourhoods.
But the cluster has seemingly been petering out for some time - the city hasn't reported more than three new daily cases in the past week.

Trying to find answers in Wuhan

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The Wuhan Institute of Virology

While most scientists believe the new coronavirus jumped from animals to humans, President Trump thinks it may have come from a Chinese laboratory, while his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said there's "significant evidence" to back up the "lab leak" theory.
The outbreak emerged in Wuhan - a large city that's home to a virology institute that studies bat viruses, among other things.
But getting answers in Wuhan is not easy - as the BBC's John Sudworth discovered.
"One woman we arrange to interview arrives with plain-clothes policemen in pursuit. When she scrambles into our car, they block our way," he reports.
"We meet another man in the darkness on the banks of Wuhan’s East Lake. He tells us he’s been visited twice by the police for speaking out about the death of his father.
"For victims and journalists alike, asking questions about how and why the outbreak began in Wuhan, and whether it might have been better contained, is not easy.
"But at the epicentre of this global disaster, the need to ask questions is a necessity, not a choice."

Melbourne ordered back into lockdown

Melbourne and a shire in regional Victoria are to re-enter lockdown from Thursday, state Premier Daniel Andrews says.
Mr Andrews says the order will last for six weeks.
Australia's second-biggest city has seen a surge in cases in the past few weeks. It recorded 191 new infections today - a daily tally record.

New Zealanders may not be allowed to come home

New Zealand residents returning from overseas are quarantined for 14 days - but the government is now worried it is running of space.
In response, Air New Zealand has stopped taking new bookings, while people with existing bookings will be allowed in "subject to availability of quarantine space".
“We currently have nearly 6,000 people in our 28 managed isolation facilities, and are scaling up more spaces all the time, but we need to do so safely,” Air Commodore Darryn Webb said. The airline's chief commercial and customer officer Cam Wallace said they had agreed to close new bookings for three weeks.
  tweet  Cam Wallace:
:Left Quotes:  As a short-term measure @FlyAirNZ has agreed to close out bookings for the next three weeks on international inbound sectors. We are working closely with the Govt to support NZ's continued success in its fight against covid-19.
New Zealand has been hailed as a success story when it comes to tackling the coronavirus.
The country has recorded just over 1,500 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases and 22 people have died. Last month, all Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and the nation was declared virus free.

US death toll moves past 130,000

The deaths of 130,284 people in the US have now been linked to Covid-19, according to data collected by the Johns Hopkins University.
This means the official death toll is about twice that of Brazil, which has the second-highest toll.
The US has an estimated population of 328m though, against Brazil's 210m.
After Brazil, there's the UK with more than 44,000 deaths and Italy with just under 35,000.
The US is also leading the tally of the highest number of confirmed infection, currently at 2,935,712.
Overall, New York has the highest death toll among US states, with more than 32,000 fatalities linked to the virus - but confirmed infections are now surging in southern states as well.

More from Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews…

The new lockdown order will apply to metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire to its north - about five million residents in total.
Mr Andrews says those people can only leave home for care, essential items, exercise and work "if you have to".
"There is simply no alternative other than thousands and thousands of cases and potentially more," he has just told reporters.
"I think a sense of complacency has crept into us as we let our frustrations get the better of us. I think that each of us knows someone who has not been following the rules as well as they should have."
The state had been steadily easing restrictions before the surge in the past fortnight. Currently, it has more than 700 active cases.
Other Australian states and territories continue to report only small numbers of new infections, and have banned Victorians from entry.
Australia has had about 8,500 cases in total and 106 deaths.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 07 2020, 09:00

Latest UK headlines

Good morning to those of you just joining us from the UK. Here's a round-up of the main developments this morning:

Reality Check: How fast is virus spreading in Africa?

Reality Check
Africa is seeing coronavirus cases rapidly increasing and deaths rising, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The BBC's Reality Check team has been looking at the situation across the continent.
The two countries with the highest numbers of cases are South Africa and Egypt. They accounted for over 60% of all the new cases reported in late June.

Overall, the death rate has been low compared to the global average, despite the fact that many countries have poor health infrastructure.
The WHO says this could be partly because of the relatively young population in Africa - more than 60% are under the age of 25. Current analysis suggests a lower mortality rate in younger people.
But there are also wide variations in testing rates - just ten countries account for about 80% of the total tests conducted in the whole continent.

China's workers fear for their future

Robin Brant - BBC News, Jiangsu
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Factory worker Huang Xuefeng has seen his salary cut by 50%

Huang waits by a workbench for the welder to pass the next metal tray. There's only a handful of staff in the factory. Half the building is in darkness.
The boss is stranded in Europe. They haven't had any new orders from their American customers for months.
This is a business that's desperately trying to keep the lights on.
"Up until now we haven't received any substantial mass production orders to keep the factory running," Yuliya Yakubova told me. She was blunt about the business she runs.
Speaking from Italy she said: "The last [thing] I want to do really is fire or let go employees." But she doesn't have long left.

Victoria faces 'significant' hit to economy

Back now to the Australian state of Victoria, and the measures just announced there.
Premier Daniel Andrews said he expected Melbourne's lockdown to cause "enormous amounts of damage", but insisted there was no alternative.
"Those venues that had been cautiously opening up will have to go back to takeaway service only," he said.
"Other businesses that had opened will have to close. I know and understand how significant that will be and there will be a big job for us to continue providing support."
He also said:

  • Victoria's infection rate was expected to "get worse before it gets better"
  • Residents who attempted to escape the lockdown zone would face "significant penalties"
  • School holidays would be extended for a week, except for senior students and specialist classes

'Long-haulers' face lengthy virus recovery

Extreme fatigue, nausea, chest tightness, severe headaches, "brain fog" and limb pains are among the recurring symptoms described by some sufferers of Covid-19 for weeks - and even months - after their diagnosis.
They call themselves "long-haulers" and their symptoms persist long after the 14-day period that's officially said to be the average length of the illness.
There are calls for both health professionals and employers to recognise that some people will take a lot longer than two weeks to recover.
"It's the weirdest thing I've ever experienced," Helen Calder, from Liverpool, told the BBC.
Read more here .

PM criticised over 'cowardly' care homes comments

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been criticised for saying "too many care homes didn't really follow the procedures" during the coronavirus outbreak.
Mark Adams, boss of social care charity Community Integrated Care, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he was "unbelievably disappointed" with the PM's comments.
He said the remarks were "clumsy and cowardly" at best but he accused the PM of resorting to a "Kafkaesque" rewriting of history.
"The government set the rules, we follow them, they don't like the results, they then deny setting the rules and blame the people that were trying to do their best. It is hugely frustrating."
Care homes have been at the centre of the coronavirus crisis in the UK, with almost 30,000 more care home residents in England and Wales having died during the outbreak than during the same period in 2019.

Latest from Europe

A German court overrules a local lockdown and Belgium asks returning travellers to quarantine. Here’s the latest from Europe:

  • Authorities imposed a local lockdown around the German city of Gütersloh after an outbreak at a meatpacking plant . But a court has now overruled it, arguing that it was disproportionate to lock down the whole district
  • Belgium is asking tourists returning from areas with strict lockdown measures still in place to quarantine for 14 days. It comes after the government decided on Monday it would not further open its borders to an EU “safe list” of 15 non-EU countries
  • Sweden has imposed a social-distancing rule of at least one metre in bars, pubs and restaurants. Critics say the Swedish government’s advice on social distancing has been vague and inconsistent throughout the pandemic
  • The Rodin museum is reopening in Paris, the latest tourist attraction to open its doors after the government eased restrictions. Tourists were allowed into the Louvre on Monday for the first time since March, albeit under strict new rules

US to withdraw visas for foreign students

Universities across the world have moved their courses online due to the pandemic, and this is set to impact students who were hoping to study abroad later this year.
That's because those foreign students planning to study in the US will not be allowed to stay in the country if their universities have moved classes fully online, unless they switch to a course with in-person tuition.
The students may also transfer to a different college that offers in-person teaching.
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said students could face deportation if they do not comply with the rules.
Large numbers of foreign students travel to the US every year and they are a significant source of revenue for universities as many pay full tuition.
You can read more here.

Sharma seeks to clarify PM's care homes comments

UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma has defended Boris Johnson over his comments that some care homes "didn't follow procedures" during the early days of the pandemic.
Mr Sharma told BBC Breakfast that the prime minister had meant no-one knew the correct plan of action at the start of the crisis.
He said that was because "the extent of the asymptomatic cases was not known at the time".
"No-one is suggesting that care homes haven’t done a great job in really difficult circumstances," he added.
Asked whether the PM should apologise, Mr Sharma said: "I’ve explained what the prime minister was saying, I think the substantive point here is what is the support we are providing, both at the time and going forward."

Covid-19 drugs sold in Delhi black market

Vikas Pandey - BBC News, Delhi
Abhinav Sharma's uncle had very high fever and difficulty breathing when he was admitted to a hospital in Delhi.
He tested positive for coronavirus and doctors told the family to get remdesivir - an antiviral drug that's been approved in India for clinical trial and also under "emergency use authorisation", meaning doctors can prescribe it on compassionate grounds.
But procuring it proved an impossible task - remdesivir did not seem to be available anywhere.
Mr Sharma desperately called people to arrange for the drug as his uncle's condition deteriorated by the hour.
"I had tears in my eyes. My uncle was fighting for his life and I was struggling to arrange the medicine that could possibly save him," he said.
Mr Sharma's plight is familiar to many families in Delhi, desperate to do whatever it takes to save their loved ones.
Many say they have been forced to pay exorbitant prices for the drug - with many of them ending up at a medicine market in old Delhi.

Millions take feared Chinese uni entrance exam

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Students entering an exam site on Tuesday in Dalian

Almost 11 million Chinese students have begun the country's notoriously tough two-day university entry exam, after it was delayed by a month by the virus.
And the "gaokao" could be extra tough this year - as schools across the country were closed when the virus took hold at the start of the year.
"The pandemic has intensified the pressure students suffer as millions of them have been confined to home for a very long time before coming back to normal studying," Ye Minjie, from the Chinese Psychiatrist Association, told AFP.
According to state media , virus measures include extra exam rooms to "guarantee physical distancing", testing for "all monitors and staff", and checks on the students' health.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 07 2020, 11:34

Wear masks in crowded public spaces - science body

Pallab Ghosh - Science correspondent, BBC News
The president of Britain’s national academy of science, the Royal Society, has said people should wear a face covering "whenever you are in crowded public spaces" in order to tackle Covid-19.
Prof Sir Venky Ramakrishnan’s call comes as a new review of evidence reinforces the benefits of face coverings and even suggests they may protect the wearer as well as those around them.
There are mixed feelings among the experts on the government’s scientific advisory group about the use of masks. Some point to evidence that indicates that masks don’t seem to slow the spread of flu when worn in Asian countries. There’s also concern they might give some a false sense of security, and they may end up putting themselves more at risk.
But there is a consensus that they may reduce the risk of an infected person passing the virus on to somebody else.
But, backed by evidence from his own expert committees, the president of the Royal Society goes further. He says masks could protect the wearer from infection, adding that every tool should be used to prevent a second wave.
“We need everyone to start wearing face coverings, particularly indoors in enclosed public spaces where physical distancing is often not possible.
He adds that the UK is way behind many countries in terms of wearing masks and having clear policies and guidelines for the public about how they should be worn.
“You only need to go on public transport, where they are supposed to be mandatory, to see how many people are ignoring this new rule based on the growing body of evidence that wearing a mask will help protect others – and might even protect you.
“Wearing a mask did not bother our Italian, French or Spanish neighbours, none of whom were used to wearing one before the pandemic yet now do so routinely.
“So just treat it as another item of clothing that is part of the new normal and wear it whenever you cannot socially distance safely. It is the right thing to do, and a small price to pay, to help keep infections down and the economy open in the pandemic.”
Read more on this story here .

Sunak 'needs to let some businesses fail'

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Rishi Sunak is making an announcement on Wednesday

Former UK chancellor Philip Hammond says his successor must be prepared to let some businesses fail.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is due to announce fiscal measures designed to aid the UK's economic recovery as it deals with the coronavirus crisis on Wednesday.
Mr Hammond told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "He'll want to continue to support businesses and people who are affected by regulatory shutdown in what are otherwise viable businesses.
"But he will also sadly need to facilitate a transition for those businesses and people who are, what they are doing is no longer viable. Some businesses will close."
Can Rishi Sunak save your job? The BBC has looked at five things he may do in his summer statement.

South Africa cases pass 200,000

Coronavirus cases in South Africa have passed the 200,000 mark.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said four provinces were at risk of a surge - adding that a lockdown for those provinces was a possibility.
The affected provinces are Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
Cases in the country are rising with thousands of new cases being reported daily.
The ministry of health however says a bigger surge could have been experienced if the country had not gone into lockdown.
South Africa is in the process of easing its restrictions in phases with the latest being the reopening of schools for more students this week.
The country is involved in the human trials for a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University.

Disease detectives tracking an invisible culprit

Tara McKelvey - BBC News
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As a public-health director in Savannah, Georgia, Cristina Pasa Gibson spent her time in an office filled with calorie counters and yoga mats and the scent of jasmine tea. Then she started working on contact tracing and her office and her life were turned upside down. "I felt like I was in a Vegas casino," she says. "I didn't know what time it was, what day it was, who I was."
She and her colleagues in Savannah and her counterparts in other cities across the country have been working frantically to trace the path of the infection and to find those who may have been exposed to the virus. They talk to patients, asking for names of individuals they have spent time with, and chase down those individuals and to tell them to remain isolated so they do not infect others.
The pressure on investigators and contact tracers has been intense. "I basically lived in my office," says Gibson, describing the early days. "It was Groundhog Day over and over."
Today their role is even more important. The US now has the highest number of cases and deaths in the world.
Read more here .

Duchess of Cornwall: Missing grandchildren 'worst part' of lockdown

The Duchess of Cornwall says she "can't wait to hug her grandchildren" after only seeing them on internet calls and at a social distance since the start of lockdown in the UK.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live's Emma Barnett, Camilla said missing her grandchildren was "the worst" and she had needed to resist her instinct to give them a hug when she saw them for the first time in more than three months.
She also talked about her husband Prince Charles' recovery from Covid-19, saying he has "nearly" recovered his loss of taste and smell.
The duchess, who is guest-editing Emma's show from 10:00 BST today, also discussed her concerns about the scale of domestic abuse in the UK during lockdown.
Read more on whether coronavirus is changing the royals.

What's the latest in Australia?

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As we've been reporting, the Australian city of Melbourne is reimposing restrictions because of a recent spike in cases.
Here's a look at what's happening in the state of Victoria, where 191 new infections have been recorded over the past 24 hours.
Five million people in and around Melbourne - the country's second biggest city - have been ordered back into lockdown for the next six weeks.
They will be restricted to their homes and can only leave for essential reasons, such as for work and for exercise. Schools will largely return to distance learning and restaurants will, once again, only be permitted to serve takeaway food.
The measures will come into force from Wednesday.
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Some Melbourne housing estates have already been placed under lockdown in a bid to contain the virus

“We are on the cusp of something very, very bad if we don’t take these steps," Victoria's State Premier Daniel Andrews said earlier today.
"I think a sense of complacency has crept into us as we let our frustrations get the better of us."
The state had been easing restrictions before the surge in the past fortnight. It now has hundreds of active cases, while other Australian states and territories continue to report only small numbers of new infections.
The spike has prompted the neighbouring state of New South Wales to announce that it will close its border with Victoria later today to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Sweden tightens social distancing in bars

Maddy Savage - BBC News, Stockholm
New regulations requiring pubs, bars and restaurants to ensure there’s at least a metre between separate groups of customers have come into force in Sweden.
Earlier official regulations from the Swedish Public Health agency did not state a specific measurement, although venues were asked to encourage social distancing and avoid overcrowding. Other regulations introduced in March remain in place, including offering table service only and providing hand-washing facilities.
Sweden's authorities have been criticised for giving inconsistent advice on social distancing. Some venues are already following separate advice from public healthcare information service 1177, which has run a “two-metre rule” campaign, while others have been accused of not doing enough to keep customers apart.
From Tuesday, local authorities now have the right to close venues that don’t stick to the new one-metre guidelines.
Previously, environmental health inspectors had been carrying out checks in major cities. They asked around 40 venues to shut down temporarily due to concerns about overcrowding and other risks for the spread of infection.

Taxing times return for Australia's second city

Frances Mao - Sydney
Two weeks ago, as the cases started to creep up again, some of the fear and unease returned for residents in Melbourne.
Out of caution, people began cancelling interstate trips. Better to wait it out, said my friends who were due to visit.
Surely it wouldn’t get so bad again, right? Australia as a whole had been out of lockdown for over a month.
We were so close to eradication - everyone could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Desperate to maintain that status, officials were also responding quickly to the outbreaks: locking down suburbs, sending in the military, boosting testing.
But for the first time in Australia, community transmission appears to have gained a hold. The case numbers exploded past 100 at the weekend. Then today, nearly 200 new cases were confirmed.
The announcement didn’t come until afternoon but by then most Melbourne residents knew. Sliding back into lockdown - after having tasted freedom for a few weeks - is a cruel blow.
Friends are now scrambling to do their last family visits and shopping trips.
A second lockdown, arguably, is even more taxing - mentally and financially.
What makes it worse is the city will have to bear it alone. The rest of the country has largely eradicated or slowed the virus.

‘They paused my chemo because of Covid’

Kelly Smith was diagnosed with bowel cancer more than three years ago.
Thousands of cancer patients had their treatment halted or delayed as coronavirus spread in the UK, and she was one of them.
Her friend, Deborah James is a fellow bowel cancer patient who has been investigating cancer care during the pandemic for BBC Panorama and the BBC 5 Live podcast You, Me and The Big C.
She tells Kelly's story.
Watch more on Britain's Cancer Crisis on the BBC iPlayer.

Three-quarters of people 'have no symptoms' when testing positive

Three-quarters of people - 78% - report no symptoms by the time they test positive for coronavirus, according to data released today by the UK's Office for National Statistics .
The data, based on tests of people selected at random in homes in England, has looked at people who have tested positive at any time during the ONS infection study (0.32% of 36,000 people).
Read more here: Majority testing positive have no symptoms
The ONS has also released its weekly update of the number of deaths in the UK which showed for the second week in a row the deaths have been below the five-year average.
There were a total of 10,267 deaths registered in the week to 26 June, 295 fewer than the five-year average.
Of those deaths registered in that week, 651 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate - still just above the 607 registered in the week that lockdown was announced on 23 March.

German court lifts lockdown near meat plant

A German court has ended a lockdown imposed to tackle a coronavirus outbreak at a meat packing facility.
Officials in North Rhine-Westphalia brought back restrictions around Gütersloh in June after more than 1,500 Tönnies plant workers tested positive.
The lockdown was due to end on Wednesday, although there was an option to extend it once more.
But the state's Higher Administrative Court overturned the measures on Monday, calling them disproportionate.
While bringing in a lockdown at the start of the outbreak was "not unreasonable", a court statement said, that should have given authorities time to impose a more focused lockdown.
Read the full story here

Three pubs in England close after positive tests

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The Fox and Hounds in Batley, West Yorkshire, has had to close again

At least three pubs in England have announced they have had to shut their doors again after customers tested positive for coronavirus.
They were among hundreds of venues that reopened at the weekend after three months as lockdown measures were eased.
The Lighthouse Kitchen and Carvery in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, said it was "slowly" working through a list of customers who had left details at the weekend and staff were awaiting their own test results.
In Batley, West Yorkshire, the Fox and Hounds said a customer had phoned to say they had tested positive. Meanwhile the landlord of the Village Home Pub in Alverstoke, Hampshire, said his team were awaiting test results after someone in a member of staff's "family bubble" tested positive.

What's the latest in the US?

Let's take a look at the US now, where cases are continuing to rise across the country:

  • A number of states have put their reopening plans on hold as they struggle to contain growing outbreaks of Covid-19
  • The greater Miami area in Florida is the latest place to delay reopening plans and reimpose restrictions. It suspended indoor-dining at restaurants and closed gyms on Monday
  • California, Texas and Florida are among more than two dozen states that have reported high infection rates in recent days. In California, the number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus increased by 50% over the past two weeks. Texas reported a similar rise and officials said hospital beds were full in some areas
  • "It's a serious situation that we have to address immediately," the nation's top infectious disease specialist, Dr Anthony Fauci, said on Monday. "We're surging back up," he said
  • Meanwhile, colleges and universities have altered their reopening plans. Harvard University said all autumn semester classes would be taught online and other institutions have followed suit
  • There have now been more than 2.9m confirmed cases of the virus in the US, with more than 130,000 deaths

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 07 2020, 13:49

Daily Mirror owner to cut 550 jobs as sales fall

The owner of UK newspapers the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express is to cut 12% of its workforce as it struggles with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is the latest in a long line of companies to have made cuts during the outbreak.
Reach, which also owns the Daily Star, OK! Magazine and a stable of regional newspapers, said about 550 people would lose their jobs.
The group's sales were falling even before the pandemic but it was also becoming more profitable as it cut costs and attracted more online readers.
That process now appears to be at risk as advertisers have reined in their spending during the pandemic.

Hanks 'has no respect' for people not using masks

Tom Hanks, who recovered from Covid-19 earlier this year, has said he "has no respect" for people who decline to wear a mask in public during the pandemic.
The actor and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for coronavirus while filming in Australia in March.
Many governments now recommend face coverings, but they are not mandatory in most places.
Hanks said: "I don't get it, I simply do not get it, it is literally the least you can do."
Read the full story here .

Concerns about Leicester textiles factories

There's a local lockdown in place in Leicester at the moment.
And now, textile factories in the city have come under the spotlight, with the government saying it is "concerned" about working conditions.
Some employees told the BBC they had worked throughout lockdown for less than the minimum wage, in conditions where it was "impossible" to say safe, they said.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said he is "very worried about the employment practices in some factories ".
Authorities don't believe the number of coronavirus cases in Leicester can be blamed on a single cause, with the majority of the area's 1,500 factories taking the necessary precautions.
But Public Health England say the living and working conditions in the east of the city are likely to have contributed to the high number of cases there.
Read more here .

Hancock: Infection rate coming down in Leicester

House of Commons - Parliament
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is giving an update to MPs in the House of Commons.
He says that "we're bringing coronavirus under control" - with the figure of 356 new cases reported yesterday in the UK being the lowest since lockdown began.
Specifically speaking about the local lockdown in Leicester , he says imposing it was the result of "difficult but vital decisions".
Now, he says the seven-day infection rate for the city is 117 per 100,000 people - down from 135.
Mr Hancock also praises the three England pubs which shut down after customers tested positive for the virus, saying it shows exactly how the test and trace system is meant to be working.

Spike prompts compulsory masks in part of Austria

Austria lifted rules on wearing masks in shops and restaurants at the end of May, but a new outbreak in the province of Upper Austria means for part of the country they will become compulsory again.
The north-western area, which borders Germany and the Czech Republic, currently has 427 infections and 3,300 people in quarantine. Meat-processing firms are at the centre of the spike, as is a religious group.Coronavirus - 7th July YH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7
"We're still not used to masks, and I know it's uncomfortable wearing one," said Upper Austria governor Thomas Stelzer. However, he said they were still in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic.
Masks were made compulsory on Tuesday in public offices and prisons. From Thursday that extends to all public spaces. You can take it off in a restaurant once you're sitting at a table, but waiters have to wear a mask at all times.

Last part of Scotland sees travel limit lifted

A last slice of Scotland has seen a five-mile limit on travel for leisure purposes lifted.
It was removed for the vast majority of the country on Friday - but remained for parts of Dumfries and Galloway affected by a cluster of coronavirus cases
The Scottish government has now received sufficient assurances to see it join the rest of Scotland.
Residents of Annan, Gretna, Dumfries, Lockerbie, Langholm and Canonbie were covered by the limit.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 07 2020, 18:35

Kenyan schools to stay closed until 2021

Kenya's education ministry has said that all primary and secondary schools will reopen next year.
The ministry said all students will resume studies in their current classes.
Education Minister George Magoha said no final-year national examinations would be held for primary and secondary pupils this year.
Those exams are usually held in October and November each year.
Colleges and universities will however prepare to re-open in September this year with strict guidelines, the minister says, with only those that meet the requirements allowed to do so.
Schools across Kenya closed in March after the country's recorded its first coronavirus cases.
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday reopened the borders of three counties that had been closed as part of the lockdown.
He then gave the education ministry 24 hours to give guidelines on the school calendar.

How many foreign students could be affected by new US visa rule?

Shruti Menon - BBC Reality Check
With many universities in the US moving tuition fully online due to the coronavirus pandemic, foreign students there have been told they may have to leave unless they do some tuition in person.
So how many students could potentially be affected by the announcement from the US Immigration and Custom Enforcement?
The ruling applies to specific types of visa issued for academic study. US government figures show that last year, more than 373,000 of these visas were granted.
The US had more than a million international students doing various graduate and undergraduate programmes in 2018-19, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE) . That’s about 5.5% of the total student community in the country.
Out of these, nearly three-quarters were from Asia - 48% Chinese and 26% Indians.
The IIE says that according to the US Department of Commerce, international students [url= continued growth in international,the U.S. Department of Commerce.]contributed $45 billion to the country’s economy.[/url]

Inside the city where it all started

Coronavirus - 7th July 5d671110

In mid-January China's official death toll stood at just three. Today, more than 11 million people have been infected worldwide, at least 500,000 have died - and the virus has forced the lockdown of entire economies.
The coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, Hubei Province - and it is here, too, where the search for the virus's origin must begin, leading to perhaps the biggest question of them all, and one now at the heart of an escalating propaganda war between Washington and Beijing.
Did the coronavirus – as most scientists think – come from nature, or might it have leaked from a lab?
Read the BBC's John Sudworth's full investigation here .

Texas sheriffs 'won't enforce' governor's mask mandate

Coronavirus - 7th July Cc185e10
Masks are now required in public places in Texas

Law enforcement officials in Texas say they will not enforce the newly enacted ruling requiring mask to be worn in public.
After the Texas governor ordered masks to be worn in public in any county with at least 20 Covid-19 cases on 2 July, multiple county sheriffs vowed not to enforce the rule.
The sheriff of Denton County, which encompasses part of the city of Dallas-Fort Worth, called the mandate an "executive order not a law" and said it is too difficult to enforce.
The office of the sheriff of Montgomery County, just north of Houston, said it will not enforce the order for fear it could be sued by the people who are stopped.
The governor's order calls for warnings for people who do not wear masks, and a $250 (£200) fine for multiple offenders. But officers say they will not know who is a multiple offender, because they will not be documenting any individual incident.
The order also specifically says no citizen can be arrested or jailed for refusing to wear a mask. Critics in law enforcement say this makes the mandate legally impossible to enforce.

What's the picture in Scotland?

The latest global headlines

If you're just joining us, welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the latest headlines from around the world:

  • Five million people in the Australian city of Melbourne have been told to stay at home for six weeks from Wednesday night after cases there surged. Victoria's state premier said a "sense of complacency" had emerged as lockdown restrictions were eased
  • The US is also seeing a spike in cases, with many states putting their plans to reopen on hold. California, Texas and Florida are among dozens of states to have reported high infection rates in recent weeks
  • Elsewhere, the European Commission has downgraded its economic forecast for this year as well as 2021 because of the pandemic. It predicts the EU economy will shrink by 8.3% this year before recovering slightly
  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has taken a Covid-19 test after he reportedly developed a high temperature. He has previously downplayed the virus, comparing it to "a little flu". The results are expected later today
  • A BBC investigation has found that two life-saving drugs used to treat Covid-19 patients in India are in short supply and being sold for excessive rates on the black market
  • There have been more than 11.5 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 globally, with more than 530,000 deaths

Pub landlady 'had to contact 90 people' over positive test

Coronavirus - 7th July A53ebd10
The Lighthouse Kitchen and Carvery in Burnham said it was contacting customers

The landlady of one of the pubs in England which has had to close after a customer tested positive for coronavirus said the experience had been "stressful".
Jess Green, landlady of The Lighthouse Kitchen pub in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, told BBC Radio 4's World At One programme she rang at least 90 people who had left their contact details when they had visited after the lockdown was eased on Saturday.
"The main thing that was going through our heads was we had to make sure everyone was safe, that we contacted every one of our customers.
"It took us all day, we finished at about 10 o'clock last night. Our (list) was about 90 and there were actually more but if they were in a social bubble or a household, we took the main person and they spoke to the people they were with."

The workers not eligible for furlough

Throughout the pandemic, there have been a number of workers who were not eligible for furlough. Some of them have been telling the BBC how stressful this has been for them.
One is Amber Millar Chambers, who worked at two bar jobs to support her university studies before lockdown. One furloughed her, the other didn't.
She is among an unknown number of people in the UK who have lost out financially, because for more than three months, workers could not be part-furloughed. Workers not on a company's payroll are also not eligible for the scheme.
The furlough scheme, brought in to mitigate the effects of coronavirus, allows employees to receive 80% of their monthly salary, up to £2,500.
More than a quarter of the UK workforce - 9.3 million people - are now being supported by it, but there are some that have not been eligible for help.
"It's been stressful. It's been very stressful," Amber says.
Read more here .

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Average age of US coronavirus patient drops by 15 years

The average age of a coronavirus patient in the US has dropped by around 15 years compared to the early stages of the pandemic, according to Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Reports from states where virus cases are surging - such as California, Arizona, Florida and Texas - confirm Dr Fauci's statement, as most new cases are young people who have flouted social distancing guidelines or have essential jobs that require them to be on the frontlines.
“The average age of people getting infected now is a decade and a half younger than it was a few months ago, particularly when New York and New Orleans and Chicago were getting hit very badly,” Dr Fauci said in an interview on Monday.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Monday that the median age for a patient needing hospitalisation in the state is now 33 years old. Most patients being diagnosed in March and April were in their 50s and 60s, he said.

What was the guidance for care homes?

Reality Check
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been criticised by care providers after saying "too many care homes didn't really follow the procedures in the way that they could have" during the coronavirus pandemic.
Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Forum, said the comments were "neither accurate nor welcome" and said the sector had been “grappling” with “over 100 pieces of additional guidance”.
Now the Communities Minister Lord Greenhalgh has admitted that “the guidance around care homes was not as clear as it could have been”.
So, what was the guidance during the pandemic - in which at least 20,000 care home residents in England and Wales have died of Covid-19?
Reality Check has looked at the guidance on testing, personal protective equipment, visits and moving elderly patients from hospitals to care homes during the outbreak.
Read more here .

Israel health chief quits after cases spike

Israel's director of public health has resigned after the country experienced a sharp rise in cases.
Siegal Sadetzki, an epidemiologist, criticised the government's response and said it had lifted lockdown restrictions too quickly.
“The achievements in dealing with the first wave [of infections] were cancelled out by the broad and swift opening of the economy," she wrote in a statement.
Israel imposed a national lockdown in April, and by the following month it had reduced the number of new cases to about 20 a day.
But it reopened schools and businesses shortly after and the rate of infection rose sharply. The daily number of new cases hit 1,000 last week.
On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country needed to take “limited actions” to avoid another full lockdown.

PM rejects calls to apologise for care home remark

No 10 has rejected calls for Boris Johnson to apologise after he said "too many care homes didn't really follow procedures" over coronavirus .
Labour called the PM's comments "crass" and said government advice to care homes had been "conflicting". And one union accused the PM of blaming care workers for government "failings".
But Downing Street said Mr Johnson had been pointing out that not enough was known about the virus in the early stages of the outbreak. The PM's official spokesman added that the care homes had "done a brilliant job under very difficult circumstances" and the government had "put in place rigorous testing and additional funding".
Care homes were hit particularly badly by the coronavirus with nearly 20,000 people confirmed to have died of coronavirus in care homes in England and Wales since the outbreak.

UK coronavirus deaths up by 155

The latest figures from the Department of Health and Social care have been released, showing that a further 155 people in the UK have died after testing positive for coronavirus.
It makes the total number of deaths after a positive test in hospitals, care homes and the wider community 44,391.
But it does not include all deaths involving Covid-19 across the UK. That figure is now thought to have passed 55,000.
The DHSC also said that in the 24-hour period up to 9am on Tuesday, there were 581 positive test results. A total of 286,349 cases have been confirmed in all.

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro tests positive

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who took his fourth coronavirus test on Monday after developing Covid-19 symptoms, has tested positive for the virus.
Mr Bolsonaro has repeatedly played down the risks posed by the virus, calling it "a little flu" and saying that he would not be seriously affected by it.
He has also urged regional governors to ease lockdowns, which he says hurt the economy, and on Monday he watered down regulations on wearing face masks.
As of Monday, the number of deaths in Brazil was over 65,000 and infections were over 1.6m, second only to the United States.
Read more here.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 07 2020, 18:50

US pays largest sum so far for vaccine research

The US federal government will pay $1.6bn (£1.3bn) to drug maker Novavax to produce 100m coronavirus doses.
The payment is the largest made so far by the US "Operation Warp Speed" - a partnership between the federal government and the private sector to find a coronavirus vaccine - and the fourth made to a drug manufacturer.
Novavax, which is based in Maryland, has never before brought a product to market, according to the New York Times.
“Adding Novavax’s candidate to Operation Warp Speed’s diverse portfolio of vaccines increases the odds that we will have a safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,” US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement on Tuesday.
Novavax CEO Stanley Erck told CNN on Monday that the deal with the US government "speaks to the confidence that they have in our platform to be able to develop a vaccine". He added that the company aims to ship out 100m vaccination doses by February 2021.

US ambassador to Brazil to be tested after party with Bolsonaro

The US ambassador to Brazil, who hosted President Jair Bolsonaro at an American Independence Day Party over the weekend, will undergo testing amid news that the Brazilian leader has been infected with Covid-19.
On Saturday, Mr Bolsonaro was photographed by the Brazilian foreign minister embracing US Ambassador Todd Chapman at the 4 July celebration.
After Mr Bolsonaro displayed Covid-19 symptoms on Monday, the US embassy tweeted (in Portuguese) that Mr Chapman "has no symptoms, but he is taking precautions".
The US statement added that he will be tested and and will "follow the screening protocols".

The Irish Covid Tracker app is out - where's England's?

Rory Cellan-Jones - Technology correspondent
Coronavirus - 7th July A3f01110

This morning I installed Ireland's just-released contact-tracing app on my phone, where it joined Germany's Corona Warn-App, which was released three weeks ago.
Gibraltar recently released its Beat Covid Gibraltar app, based on the Irish code.
The Republic's Covid Tracker software is also the foundation of an app Northern Ireland is promising to release within weeks. And now there's a hint Wales could go the same way.
"We remain in discussion about a range of options to achieve a working app, including development in Northern Ireland," a Welsh Government spokesman told the BBC.
So when is England finally going to get its app?
Find out more here.

WHO: Bolsonaro infection 'shows we are all vulnerable'

Dr Mike Ryan, emergencies director for the World Health Organization (WHO), has sent his 'get well soon' wishes to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and said that his infection should serve as an example for others.
"We wish him a speedy and full recovery from this disease," he said on Tuesday. "I think the message to us all is: we are vulnerable to this virus.”
WHO regional director Carissa Etienne echoed his comment while speaking from Washington DC to the directors of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
"This is a pandemic of staggering proportions and we have no option but to continue to put all our energy into controlling it," she warned.
PAHO director for communicable diseases Marcos Espinal added: "The message is that this virus in unpredictable and does not respect race, class or people in power, despite security around any president."

Texas gives update on deaths in prisons

At least 84 prisoners and nine prison guards and employees have died from the coronavirus so far, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
The latest victim was Correctional Officer V Kenneth Harbin, 60, who died on 4 July.
According to figures released last week by Texas officials, 8,811 offenders and 1,556 employees have tested positive.
Prisons and jails around the US have been outbreak epicentres since the early days of the pandemic. Inmates have no ability to practice social distancing and sometimes little access to basic hygiene products such as soap and warm water.
In California, San Quentin prison has been hit by a deadly outbreak after infected prisoners were transferred there from another facility.
As of Monday, six San Quentin inmates have died and another 1,387 inmates have tested positive. Officials say they are urgently trying to reduce the prison's population to below 3,000.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 07 2020, 20:21

Florida ICUs hitting full capacity

Some of Florida's hospitals are coming under immense pressure with coronavirus patients, with intensive care units at 57 hospitals at full capacity.
According to a report from the state's Agency for Health Care Administration, the hospitals are spread out across 25 of the state's 67 counties. More than 300 hospitals were included in the report, but not all of those have ICUs.
Cases of the virus have surged in US southern states, including in Florida. In the last week, Florida has recorded more than 10,000 new cases in a 24-hour period three times in the last week.
The state's total death toll is now more than 3,800.

Burundi begins mass coronavirus testing

Samba Cyuzuzo - BBC Great Lakes
Coronavirus - 7th July Bed65f10
The country's new president has insisted on a tougher stance

Burundi has launched a mass testing campaign for coronavirus, in a fresh campaign by the new government to fight the spread of the pandemic.
Former president Pierre Nkurunziza was accused of downplaying the issue, saying "God had cleared [coronavirus] from Burundi's skies", almost a fortnight before he died last month of cardiac arrest.
But last week, his successor Evariste Ndayishimiye, declared coronavirus a "major enemy of Burundians" and vowed "to start the fight against that enemy".
At the launch of the campaign in Bujumbura, many people were, unusually, seen wearing masks.
A record 640 tests were taken on the day, the highest number since March when the virus was first reported in the country.
Burundi has so far reported 191 cases from 3,200 tests done in the past three months.

Wear masks in crowded public spaces, says leading scientist

The head of the UK's national academy of science has called for everyone to carry a face covering when they leave home in order to tackle coronavirus.
Currently, face coverings are compulsory on public transport in England and Scotland, but advised to be worn elsewhere. From 10 July, masks will be required in shops. In Wales and Northern Ireland coverings are not compulsory.
Prof Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the Royal Society, said the coverings should then be worn "whenever you are in crowded public spaces".
He said evidence shows they protect the wearer and those nearby, and the UK was "way behind" other countries in usage.
No 10 said the use of face masks is always kept "under review".
Read the full story here.

Thanks for joining us

We're wrapping up our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic for today shortly - thank you for reading and we will be back tomorrow.
You can follow all the latest news on the BBC News website, or for coronavirus news head here.

Today's live coverage was brought to you by: Claudia Allen, Paul Gribben, Lauren Turner, Max Matza, Gareth Evans, Ashitha Nagesh, Katie Wright and Francesca Gillett.

A round-up of today's news

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

  • Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for the coronavirus, after months of downplaying the severity of the pandemic. Previously, he had dismissed the virus as a "little flu". While confirming his test result, he removed his mask in front of a group of reporters
  • In Australia, Melbourne residents have gone back into lockdown as the border between New South Wales and Victoria has closed for the first time in a century
  • In the UK, new data shows less than a quarter of people who tested positive for coronavirus reported having symptoms on the day of their test
  • Also in the UK, the head of the UK's national academy of science - the Royal Society - has said face coverings should be worn in all crowded spaces. Currently, they're only compulsory on public transport in England and Scotland
  • And the UK government has rejected calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to apologise after he said "too many care homes didn't really follow procedures" over coronavirus
  • As cases surge in the US's southern states, ICUs in 57 Florida hospitals have hit full capacity. Many US states have put plans to reopen on hold
  • Israel's director of public health, Siegal Sadetzki, resigned after a sharp rise in cases in the country. He criticised the government and said it had lifted lockdown restrictions too quickly
  • A new study from Spain has cast doubt on the theory that "herd immunity" can protect populations from the virus
  • A BBC investigation found that two life-saving drugs used to treat Covid-19 patients in India are in short supply, and are being sold at excessive prices on the black market
  • Meanwhile, the UN warns that diseases will keep leaping from animals to humans if we don't take action to protect the environment
  • There have now been more than 11.6 million confirmed cases of the virus and almost 540,000 deaths worldwide.

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