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Coronavirus - 15th July

Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Coronavirus - 15th July

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 08:13

Summary for Wednesday, 15th July


  • The number of children worldwide getting life-saving vaccinations has declined amid the pandemic, the UN and WHO say
  • The drop in routine immunisations could cause more harm than Covid-19 itself, the World Health Organization head warns
  • US pharmaceutical company Moderna says it is entering final testing phase for its coronavirus vaccine
  • Phase one testing has proved safe and provoked an immune response, it says
  • UK Health Minister Matt Hancock says masks will not be made compulsory in offices
  • Hong Kong is bringing in strict new measures to counteract a virus surge, including closing all bars
  • NZ PM Jacinda Ardern says they must prepare for new outbreaks, as the virus "explodes" globally
  • A US firm says it will start the final stage of human vaccine trials later this month
  • Globally, there have been 13.3m confirmed cases since the outbreak began, and 578,000 deaths


Hello, and welcome to today’s rolling coverage of the pandemic. It is now 197 days since China first informed the WHO about a strange new pneumonia in Wuhan. Since then, there have been more than 13 million confirmed cases, with only a handful of countries unaffected. More than half a million lives are confirmed to have been lost.
Here are some of the main news points today:

  • Hong Kong - which had early success in containing the virus - says it is firmly in a third wave and has brought in even tougher social distancing rules
  • President Trump has said the decision to keep San Diego and Los Angeles schools online only in the new term is “terrible"
  • A vaccine being developed by US drug firm Moderna has proved effective in early trials and will enter human trials soon
  • The Australian state of Victoria, which is under partial lockdown again, has recorded 238 new cases
  • New Zealand has announced plans for local lockdowns if the virus starts spreading again in the community
  • In Scotland, hairdressers, bars, cinemas, tourist attractions and places of worship are among the venues now allowed to reopen
  • A Lancet study found avoidable deaths may have occured in England, because people didn't seek urgent care for heart symptoms during lockdown


Hong Kong third wave is 'worrying'

Public health experts say the third wave of infection now hitting Hong Kong is the worst it has seen so far, and is much more worrying than an outbreak earlier this year.
"This is the start of a sustained massive local outbreak that we have never seen," said Prof Gabriel Leung, dean of the University of Hong Kong’s medical school, according to a South China Morning Post report.
A HKU microbiologist, Prof Yuen Kwok-yung, said the latest wave had occurred partly because control measures had been relaxed.
“The recurrence of the epidemic in Hong Kong is within expectations. As prevention and control measures around the world are loosened, the epidemic will definitely rebound,” said the SCMP quoting Prof Yuen.
Hong Kong saw 173 confirmed Covid-19 cases between 5 and 11 July - of which 107 were locally transmitted.

Hong Kong brings in toughest rules yet

Hong Kong’s toughest social distancing restrictions yet have now come into force as the city struggles to deal with its latest virus outbreak.
Under the new restrictions, all passengers on public transport are required to wear masks.
Restaurants are not allowed to serve dine-in customers from 6pm to 5am. Bars have been closed entirely.
The maximum size of group gatherings, which was earlier expanded to 50 people, has been reduced back down to just four people.
Twelve types of premises – including gyms and beauty parlours – will be closed. This also includes places of amusement, with theme parks like Hong Kong Disneyland having to shut their doors – again.
The Hong Kong park closed in January due to the virus, but had re-opened last month.

Melburnians fined for KFC and Pokemon

Melbourne was plunged back into lockdown last Thursday but people are still out and about breaking the stay-at-home rules, authorities say.
Most are visiting friends and family - police say they've caught people hiding in cupboards. But residents have also been fined A$1,652 (£919; $1,115) for things like playing Pokémon Go, and refusing to leave a fast food joint.
"Clearly KFC is popular during the lockdown," said a Victoria Police commissioner. "Police were called and the person still refused to leave until they had finished their meal."
Case numbers across Victoria continue to rise - with another 238 infections reported today. More than 2,300 cases - a fifth of the national total - have been found there in the past two weeks.

New Sydney cases and NT closes borders

In other Australian developments on Wednesday:

  • Sydney has also recorded 10 more cases linked to the Melbourne outbreak, prompting fears it will become a new hotspot
  • The Northern Territory has thus closed its borders to Sydney, as well as Victoria
  • The Australian Football League - which has most teams based in Victoria - will relocate most of the clubs north to Queensland to avoid the virus infecting the remaining weeks of competition


Virus-free New Zealand plans for 'any eventuality'

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced measures the country would take if it were to see a return of community cases.
New Zealand has now gone 70 days without a single case of community transmission. It is strictly limiting who can enter the country and everyone has to go into quarantine for two weeks.
But Ardern said the country had to "plan for any eventuality", noting the outbreak in Victoria in neighbouring Australia.
"It appears their current outbreak is linked to a managed isolation facility similar to the ones we run here and that the entire outbreak was seeded by just two cases," she said.
The new plan would involve bringing in swift, localised lockdowns and using rapid contact tracing to ensure anyone close to a confirmed infected person was isolated.
"Internationally the evidence remains that going hard and early is the best way to stop the virus and ultimately delivers the best results for human health and the economy over half measures that aren't as effective at getting on top of the virus and sees us in lockdown for longer," Ardern told reporters.
Read more: How New Zealand went 'hard and early' to beat Covid-19

Tokyo records 143 new cases

Japan's capital, Tokyo, has recorded 143 new infections - bringing the city's total to nearly 8,200, said an NHK report.
In a statement on Twitter, the city's governor said that 70% of the new cases were people in their 20s and 30s.
Many of the infections have been traced to the city's nightlife district, with the most recent cluster being a theatre in central Tokyo.
Around 800 people who attended a production in early July at the Theatre Moliere have been asked by officials to take a virus test.

India virus crisis grows as new hubs emerge

Cases are galloping at an all-time high in India, where daily infections have been more than 28,000 for the past three days, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University in the US.
With more than 900,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases, the country has the third-highest tally so far, behind the US and Brazil. However, India ranks lower at number eight when it comes to fatalities, with a death toll of 23,727.
Different states have witnessed peaks at varying points - for example, last month the focus was on the capital, Delhi, and Maharashtra state where infections were rapidly multiplying. While their numbers continue to be high, attention has now shifted to a handful of southern states that had, until recently, managed to keep the outbreak at bay.
An example of this is the southern city of Bangalore, where new infections have prompted officials to reimpose a week-long lockdown . And Chennai, another city in the south which returned to lockdown while the rest of India opened up, has only just eased its lockdown

Latest UK headlines

If you're just joining us in the UK, good morning and welcome to our rolling coverage. Here are the latest headlines:
The biggest easing of lockdown restrictions in Scotland begins today with the reopening of indoor venues including pubs, restaurants, places of worship and hairdressers. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described it as the riskiest stage of the process so far.
The UK government's temporary VAT cut for the hospitality and leisure industries comes into effect today. The tax has been slashed from 20% to 5% until January to encourage people to venture out and help protect jobs. Some firms, including McDonald's and Starbucks, are cutting their prices as a result.
Hospital admissions for heart attacks dropped by a third across England when coronavirus took off in the UK and the nation went into lockdown, say researchers. Experts suspect coronavirus fear and anxiety may have put some patients off seeking urgent help for symptoms.
And, more than a million people may have quit smoking since April, a survey suggests. Four in 10 of them say the pandemic played a role in their decision.
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Posts : 6173
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 15th July

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 08:21

Which countries have the most cases?

There's almost nowhere in the world now that hasn't been impacted by the virus in one way or another. But here are the countries that have been hardest hit by the virus, when ranked solely by the number of cases:

  1. United States - 3.42m cases
  2. Brazil - 1.92m cases
  3. India - 906,752
  4. Russia - 738,787
  5. Peru - 333,867

*Data from Johns Hopkins University

Trump says 'terrible decision' to keep schools shut

US President Donald Trump has criticised California's two largest school districts, calling it a "terrible decision" to keep classrooms closed in the upcoming term.
In an interview with CBS News, he said it was a mistake for school districts in Los Angeles and San Diego to provide only online education for the academic year beginning in August.
"I would tell parents and teachers that you should find yourself a new person, whoever’s in charge of that decision, because it’s a terrible decision," Trump said.
"Because children and parents are dying from that trauma too. They’re dying because they can’t do what they’re doing. Mothers can’t go to work because all of a sudden they have to stay home and watch their child, and fathers."
According to the California Department of Public Health, the state, which has seen a surge in cases - has recorded 36,508 cases as of 13 July.

Moderna vaccine enters final stage of human trials

US biotech firm Moderna says it will enter the final stage of human trials for its Covid-19 vaccine on 27 July.
The company aims to enroll 30,000 people in its clinical trial - with participants receiving either the vaccine or a placebo.
Information about the trial, which was posted on clinicaltrials.gov, indicated that the study will run until October 2022.
Moderna's latest announcement comes after the New England Journal of Medicine published results from the first stage of the trial - which showed its first 45 participants all developed antibodies to the virus.
Moderna is one of a handful of companies that are now in a global race to develop a vaccine - including pharmaceutical giants like AstraZeneca and Pfizer.
It typically takes years to develop a vaccine.

Pubs and restaurants reopen in Scotland

Scotland has begun its most significant relaxation of coronavirus measures since the country went into lockdown in March.
Hairdressers and barbers, bars and restaurants, cinemas, tourist attractions, places of worship and childcare settings can now all reopen.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the move was "the biggest step so far" in exiting lockdown, but warned it would also bring the greatest risk for potential resurgence of the virus.
One restaurant owner said he was well-prepared.
"We have installed contactless taps and flushes in the toilet and weekly deep cleans," said Neil Douglas.
The restaurant is also introducing paper disposable menus, no salt and pepper on tables and sealed, pre-packaged cutlery.
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Posts : 6173
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 15th July

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 08:33

Latest UK headlines

If you're just joining us in the UK, good morning and welcome to our rolling coverage. Here are the latest headlines:
The biggest easing of lockdown restrictions in Scotland begins today with the reopening of indoor venues including pubs, restaurants, places of worship and hairdressers. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described it as the riskiest stage of the process so far.
The UK government's temporary VAT cut for the hospitality and leisure industries comes into effect today. The tax has been slashed from 20% to 5% until January to encourage people to venture out and help protect jobs. Some firms, including McDonald's and Starbucks, are cutting their prices as a result.
Hospital admissions for heart attacks dropped by a third across England when coronavirus took off in the UK and the nation went into lockdown, say researchers. Experts suspect coronavirus fear and anxiety may have put some patients off seeking urgent help for symptoms.
And, more than a million people may have quit smoking since April, a survey suggests. Four in 10 of them say the pandemic played a role in their decision.

UK newspapers: Masks in the office

Coronavirus - 15th July 7b52b410

Tuesday's big story about the compulsory wearing of face coverings in shops in England continues to make headlines in today's papers.
The Telegraph says it has learnt that face coverings could soon be recommended in all public places, including offices and other workplaces. According to the paper, officials have begun private talks with groups representing major employers amid growing fears over the prospect of a second wave of Covid-19 infections.
Other papers, meanwhile, consider how masks can make us safe as well as chic.
The Times says we can expect no end of sartorial spin as we attempt to make them look stylish.
The Mirror has pictures of celebrities "leading the way" with what it calls plain colours to bright gingham and totally wild styles .
Whatever your style, the Mail says, designers are using their skills to stitch masks in an array of fabrics, vibrant colours and patterns. It reports that one Italian brand is offering a "trikini" - a mask and bikini set .
See all the front pages and read more from the papers here

US police shoot man 'involved in mask stabbing'

The debate over wearing masks to prevent infections rumbles on in the US, with no shortage of disputes breaking out between advocates and opponents posted on social media.
And on Wednesday, a police officer in Michigan shot dead a man who was suspected of stabbing a customer in a shop hours earlier in an altercation over face masks.
Police say the incident began in a convenience store near Lansing, where the suspect - named as Sean Ruis - attacked a 77-year-old man who had challenged him for not wearing a mask.
Police say Ruis, 43, was carrying a weapon. He was taken to hospital, where he was declared dead.

Venezuelan capital to enter lockdown

The Venezuelan capital will on Wednesday join a number of cities globally to go into lockdown in recent days.
Caracas and the neighbouring state of Miranda will enter quarantine in order to combat an outbreak of coronavirus, Venezuelan President Nicolá Maduro tweeted. In his tweet he claimed the rise in cases there was due to the "illegal entry of cases" into Venezuela. According to a tally compiled by US university Johns Hopkins, the country has more than 10,000 reported cases and 96 deaths, which is significantly less than other Latin American nations Peru and Brazil.
However some critics have said the country may be under-reporting the scale of its outbreak.
Venezuela's health system is woefully under-prepared to deal with a large health crisis after years of economic crisis and sanctions on the country.


Fewer heart attacks seen by NHS during pandemic

In England, hospital admissions for heart attacks dropped by a third when coronavirus took off in the UK and the nation went into lockdown, researchers in The Lancet journal have suggested.
By the end of May, 5,000 fewer people than expected were seen and treated for urgent heart symptoms, they estimate.
The study authors say some avoidable deaths may have occurred as a result.
A heart attack is a medical emergency - people with symptoms should call 999, even during the coronavirus pandemic.
Symptoms include:

  • a tightness or crushing pain travelling from the chest into the arms, jaw or neck
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating
  • dizziness

Experts suspect coronavirus fear and anxiety may have put some patients off seeking urgent help.
Read more here.
Kitkat
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 15th July

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 08:46

South African minister tests positive for Covid-19

Coronavirus - 15th July Da2f4d10
Minister Gwede Mantashe had previously tested negative

South Africa's minister of mineral resources and energy, Gwede Mantashe, has tested positive for Covid-19.
Mr Mantashe and his wife, who has also tested positive, are in isolation. The minister will continue to work from home, a statement from the cabinet said.
This was the third test Mr Mantashe had taken since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
"The minister has directed all members of his private office in government to also test," the statement said.
South Africa has confirmed about 287,000 coronavirus cases, according to the World Health Organisation, the highest on the continent.

The latest from Europe

The Catalan government widens its lockdown decree and a new report slams the EU response to the pandemic. Here’s the latest from Europe

  • Catalonia has brought back some lockdown measures in a bid to contain a widening outbreak – including a decree asking people to stay at home. The Spanish region reportedly confirmed 745 cases in 24 hours on Tuesday. “We don't have to go back to total confinement, but we do have to go back to the early stages of reopening,” a government spokesperson said
  • A new report published by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has heavily criticised the EU response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying they found “complacency, confusion and a lack of coordination” in the early months of 2020. You can read it here .
  • Germany has issued a travel warning for its neighbour Luxembourg after a spike in cases. The country recorded 100 new confirmed infections on Tuesday, and now has more than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants
  • Disneyland Paris slowly reopens on Wednesday after months of closure. Social distancing rules apply and masks must be worn at all times for visitors aged 11 and over
  • North Macedonia is pushing ahead with parliamentary elections on Wednesday despite the ongoing outbreak – the first vote since the country controversially changed its name


Emu-like bird bites Brazilian president under quarantine

Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro has been bitten by a rhea - a relative of the emu bird - while he quarantines at the presidential palace after testing positive for Covid-19, the country's media reports.
Bolsonaro had tried to feed the large bird during a stroll on Monday, but it did not respond well and instead pecked the president, news site Metropoles reports.
Jokes about the incident are circulating on social media in the country, where the president's controversial handling of the coronavirus pandemic has drawn many critics. "This emu represents us," tweeted Margarida Salomão, a congresswoman for the Workers’ party.
Bolsonaro initially dismissed coronavirus as a "little flu" and refused to wear a mask, but cases in Brazil have since soared to become the second highest in the world. Bolsonaro himself tested positive on 7 July.
More than 74,000 people have died, according to the US university Johns Hopkins.

Record-breaking daily death toll in Florida

We've been reporting for days about a significant rise in cases in the US , particularly in southern states and in California.
Florida broke its record for daily deaths from coronavirus with 132 reported on Tuesday, according to news agency Associated Press . That's a 10% jump on the record set last Thursday.
However, the toll does likely include deaths from three days, including Monday and Sunday. Two weeks ago, the state was reporting around 39 deaths a day. The latest numbers mean the state is second only in the country to Texas for mortality rate from Covid-19.
Doctors in Florida warn that hospitals are close to capacity. The state has attracted attention for its anti-mask activists who strongly object to suggestions that face masks could become mandatory. "They want to throw God's wonderful breathing system out," one said at a public meeting in June.
Watch: 'You call me selfish for not wearing a mask?'

Final-stage vaccine trials to begin this month

A US firm has said it will soon start final-stage human trials for a possible vaccine.
The vaccine developed by the US pharmaceutical company Moderna has proved safe and provoked immune responses in all 45 volunteers in phase-one trials.
The last stage of the trials is expected to begin later this month and will involve recruiting 30,000 participants in the US.
Half will receive the vaccine, while the other half are given a placebo.
Researchers will then track them over two years to determine whether they are protected against infection by the virus. Or, if they do get infected, whether the vaccine prevents symptoms from developing.
The study should run until October 2022 but preliminary results should be available long before.
Moderna was the first company to start human testing of a vaccine back in March.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 15th July

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 13:02

Russia reports 6,422 new cases

Russia has reported a further 6,422 new cases of coronavirus, bringing its total to 746,369, the fourth highest in the world, reports Reuters news agency.
A total of 156 people died with the virus in the past 24 hours, say officials, bringing the official toll to 11,770.

Arrest after hospital 'issued fake virus certificates'

Police in Bangladesh have arrested the owner of a hospital amid allegations it had issued thousands of fake Covid-19 certificates.
Officials said Mohammad Shahed was arrested in the south-western border district of Satkhira, allegedly while he was trying to flee to India disguised in a burqa.
His arrest comes after several countries, including Italy, began restricting flights from Bangladesh due to a significant number of Bangladeshi travellers testing positive for coronavirus upon arrival, despite having a negative certificate.
It prompted the authorities to launch a crackdown on several hospitals as they investigated the source of the fake certificates.
Mr Shahed is the chairman of private Regent Hospital in capital Dhaka.
Earlier, another doctor was also arrested and is now being interrogated by police in remand.

Infection rate in England 'was lower than thought'

A new study shows the rate of coronavirus infections in England significantly reduced before lockdown eased in May.
The government-commissioned research by Imperial College showed there were on average 13 positive cases for every 10,000 people and the reproduction number - or R - was 0.57.
At the time, the R number had been estimated to be between 0.7 and 1.
The study of 120,000 volunteers suggested young adults aged 18 to 24 and people of Asian ethnicity were more likely to test positive.
Researchers also found care home workers were at greater risk of being infected during lockdown than the general population.
And the study showed 69% of those who did test positive reported no symptoms on the day of their test or the previous week, though they may have developed symptoms later.


Man Utd star Marcus Rashford awarded honorary doctorate

Coronavirus - 15th July D01fe810

The England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford is to become the youngest person to receive an honorary degree from The University of Manchester.
The 22-year-old is being recognised for his campaign to continue free school meals vouchers during the holidays.
In lockdown, the government provided vouchers to families whose children qualified for free meals but insisted this would not continue outside term time.
However, the footballer successfully persuaded the government to extend the food voucher scheme throughout the summer.
"Marcus is an extraordinary young man with an extraordinary talent and drive that stretches well beyond the football field," said university President and Vice-Chancellor Prof Dame Nancy Rothwell.
Rashford said: "It's a proud day for me and my family."
He follows legendary Manchester United figures such as Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton, who have previously received the award - the highest honour the university can offer.
Kitkat
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 15th July

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 13:10

Billionaires' lockdown struggles

If you thought that incredible wealth and privilege would make you immune from lockdown misery, you might want to think again. That's according to the CEO of exclusive rehab centre in Switzerland catering to heads of state, CEOs and celebrities.
The £65,000-a-week Paracelsus Recovery had five times the number of normal calls during lockdown, the clinic's founder Dr. Marta Ra told British newspaper the Evening Standard. Issues that clients were struggling with included drug and alcohol abuse, mental health and eating disorders. Loneliness and isolation were the top triggers, Dr Ra explained.

PPE delay for Northern Ireland dentists 'will affect services'

A delay to an order of protective equipment (PPE) for NHS dentists in Northern Ireland could see some treatments pushed back, the British Dental Association is warning.
About three million PPE items were due to be delivered to dentists this week, but have now been delayed until the start of next week.
The Department of Health said the logistical challenge of the delivery had been "significant".
Tristan Kelso, from the Northern Ireland branch of the British Dental Association (BDA), said the PPE delay "will absolutely delay [treatments], there's a big backlog of treatment and we want to provide that under the health service".
Dentists in Northern Ireland have been able to provide non-urgent care to the public since 29 June.

Blackburn taking steps to avoid local lockdown

Blackburn with Darwen in Lancashire faces a gradual re-imposition of lockdown measures if the spike in infections there is not reduced within two weeks, a senior local official has warned.
Residents have already been told to limit the number of visitors to their homes, bump elbows rather than shake hands and wear face coverings in all confined public spaces, including workplaces, libraries, museums and health centres.
Professor Dominic Harrison, the local director of Public Health, said: "What we are seeing from looking at the postcode data in the last two weeks is a single house being infected and the whole household becoming infected, creating household clusters in part of the town."
He said the majority of new cases were in the south Asian community and areas with a high number of terraced houses, occupied by four or more people.

Mining companies ordered to end confinement of workers

Mining companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been given a month to stop confining workers on site.
Labour minister Nene Ilunga Nkula said companies have been "granted a one-month moratorium to return to normal operation" in an open letter published on Tuesday.
It comes after campaigners called for an end to the system of mandatory on-site confinement put in place by copper and cobalt mining companies to try to halt the spread of coronavirus.
Workers had been told to stay or risk losing their jobs.
Mining of commodities, like cobalt and copper, accounts for a third of the DR Congo's economy while generating more than 90% of its export revenues.
However, fears of the coronavirus pandemic causing a global recession have led to big falls in the prices of commodities mined in the DR Congo, which is a setback to the country’s economy.
Kitkat
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 15th July

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 13:25

Chile police training dogs to sniff out infections

Coronavirus - 15th July 1cae4e10
Four dogs are currently in training

Police in Chile are training dogs to sniff out people who have Covid-19.
The sniffer dogs, a labrador and three golden retrievers, are normally used to detect drugs and explosives, or to find missing people.
While the virus itself has no smell, the metabolic changes it triggers causes people's sweat to smell differently, Fernando Mardones, the professor of veterinary epidemiology behind the project, told AFP news.
The idea is to have the dogs trained up by August so they can go on patrol at railway stations and airports.
The UK-based charity Medical Detection Dogs has been conducting trials along the same lines, which are reportedly going "very well". Read more about them here .

Face covering dilemmas: All you need to know

Shoppers in England will soon have to wear a face covering every time they nip out for a pint of milk and some bread.
Here we've tried to answer some of the most-asked questions on the matter - how to make them, wash them, recycle them. And we've not shirked the big ones, like how do you stop your glasses steaming up?
The trick, we're told, is mask first, glasses second - and try to create a seal so no air escapes around your nose and cheeks.

Disneyland Paris re-opens

Disneyland Paris has re-opened after four months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Visitors must register online in advance.
The amusement park closed in mid-March as France battled its first wave of coronavirus. The country has since begun to ease restrictions, allowing bars and restaurants to open in early June.
More than 30,000 people have died from Covid-19 in France.

Home secretary questioned over Covid-19 cases from abroad

Coronavirus - 15th July 27d0f310

Home Secretary Priti Patel has been challenged over the number of coronavirus cases arriving in the UK from abroad, while speaking to MPs on the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee.
Yvette Copper, chair of the committee, asked Patel how many people are estimated to have entered the UK with coronavirus in July - but the home secretary responded that she did not have a "specific" figure.
Ms Patel said approximately 55,000 people come into the country on a daily basis and the assessment by the government's scientific advisory group, Sage, is that 0.5% of the total number of Covid-19 cases in the UK are from people coming into the country - a figure that was the same in March.
Ms Patel also told MPs that compliance with the coronavirus quarantine measures for people arriving in the UK after travelling abroad has been "incredibly high".
Under the rules, people arriving in the UK must self-isolate for 14 days or face a fine of between £100 and £1,000.
But the measures were relaxed on Friday, allowing travellers arriving in the UK from dozens of countries to avoid the self-isolation period .
Ms Patel said 383,000 spot checks were carried out between 6 June and 12 July and the compliance rate was 99.9% - with the majority of checks carried out at the border.
Shona Dunn, second permanent secretary to the Home Office, said as of last week around 20% of those were follow-up checks on people who have come into the country, which were conducted by Public Health England.
It comes after new data revealed that not a single person was fined by police in England and Wales for breaching quarantine rules in the first two weeks after they were introduced .

Europe should vaccinate against flu earlier - European Commission

European Union states should launch larger vaccination campaigns against flu starting earlier in the year to reduce the risk of simultaneous influenza and COVID-19 outbreaks in the autumn, the European Commission has said.
Flu vaccination campaigns normally begin in the autumn, but it's being advised that they start in the summer.
EU officials are worried about hospitals becoming overwhelmed by a surge of patients, as happened at the peak of the pandemic in Europe in March and April.
States are also urged to buy more shots against flu.
Earlier this week, scientists in the UK warned that a second winter wave of coronavirus could be deadlier than the first was.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 15th July

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 13:36

What happened during today's Prime Minister's Questions?

Coronavirus - 15th July C549eb10

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been taking questions from MPs on the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Here's a quick roundup of the key points from today's Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs):

  • The prime minister pledged that his government "will do absolutely everything in our power to prevent a second spike” of coronavirus cases after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer asked him what he would like to say to the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Group
  • Johnson said there will be an independent inquiry into the government's handling of the pandemic in the future, but not now, in response to a call from acting Liberal Democrat leader Sir Edward Davey
  • The PM said the government's track and trace system has been working at an "unprecedented scale". Sir Keir said capacity needed to be "significantly expanded" to cope with an expected winter spike of coronavirus cases and that the proportion of people being contacted by tracers has "gone down" every week
  • Sir Keir said the government's failure to provide "sector-specific" support could cost thousands of jobs, and that more targeted actions could have helped prevent jobs losses announced in the aviation sector. The PM replied that No 10 has done a "huge amount" to support the industry


SA doctor: 'When people drink, trauma spikes'

BBC OS
After a brief respite, South Africa reinstated its nationwide ban on alcohol sales on Sunday as it battles against the spread of coronavirus.
The government says the move will help take pressure off the country's health system - a view which many doctors support.
Dr Phumudzo Ndwambi, a general surgery and trauma doctor in Johannesburg, said the alcohol ban would help free up beds for Covid-19 patients:
:Left Quotes:  South Africa has a very high rate of trauma, and a lot of that trauma is because of the high consumption of alcohol. So the bed capacity in hospitals is taken up by a lot of trauma patients as well as ICU beds."
South Africa has a very high rate of trauma, and a lot of that trauma is because of the high consumption of alcohol. So the bed capacity in hospitals is taken up by a lot of trauma patients as well as ICU beds."
She told BBC OS on World Service radio the problem was worst at specific times, like the weekend, or when there are big events.

No Covid-19 deaths in Scotland for a week - Sturgeon

It’s been seven days since there have been any deaths after a positive test for coronavirus in Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
No deaths were registered in the last 24 hours meaning total deaths remain at 2,490.
This is lower than the 4,187 deaths confirmed by National Records of Scotland earlier, as that figure includes all cases where Covid-19 is mentioned on a death certificate, even if the patient had not been tested.
Speaking at the Scottish government's coronavirus briefing, the first minister added there have been six days since 26 June when no-one with a confirmed virus case was admitted to hospital.

Protests in Bolivia and other news from Latin America

Coronavirus - 15th July 06095410
Trade unions marched in protest at government policies

  • US President Donald Trump has again claimed that the wall which has been built on parts of the border with Mexico has helped stem the spread of Covid-19 cases to the United States - even though the number of cases in the US is more than 10 times that in Mexico. The two neighbours have agreed to extend a ban on non-essential travel across the land border for another month after Mexico said it was worried about the fast rise in cases on the US side
  • Thousands of people gathered in La Paz in Bolivia on Tuesday in one of the biggest anti-government protests since the pandemic started. Among those protesting in defiance of lockdown rules were teachers' unions demanding that wifi be provided without cost to children so that they can study from home, while others slammed the government's handling of the pandemic. The interim president and at least six ministers have all tested positive for Covid and are currently self-isolating
  • A businessman who met with Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro just days before the latter announced he had Covid-19, has now tested positive for coronavirus. Paulo Skaf, who leads the São Paulo Federation of Industries, has been taken to hospital. He developed a fever after having lunch with Bolsonaro on 3 July. Jair Bolsonaro, who has dismissed the risks posed by the virus, said on Tuesday that he continued to feel fine
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:Covid-19: Ryanair cancels 1,000 flights between Ireland and UK

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 13:46

Ryanair cancels 1,000 flights between Ireland and UK

By Harry Brent - Irish Post

RYANAIR is planning to axe up to 1,000 flights between Ireland and the UK in August and September.

The airline claims this is in direct response to what it claims are "defective quarantine restrictions".

It's estimated that this will affect over 150,000 passengers who had planned trips across the Irish Sea this summer.

Ryanair is currently operating around 1,000 flights per day, compared to about 2,400 flights per day before the pandemic began.

Ireland has in place a 14-day restricted movement (or quarantine) period for anyone travelling into the country from abroad.

This means they're not allowed to use public transport, visit houses other than the one they're staying in, or go shopping unless it's absolutely necessary. Passengers must also fill out forms indicating which address they'll be staying at for the duration of the quarantine so that they can be checked up on.

The airline has publicly hit out against government restrictions on air travel, as well as mandatory quarantining which actively discourages people travelling in and out of the country, saying that the air travel industry is taking a massive hit, and so too will Ireland's economy.

"Air travel between Ireland and the UK is being badly damaged by this ineffective quarantine," said a Ryanair spokesperson.

"Ryanair will significantly reduce its flights between Ireland and the UK in August and September to reflect this suppressed demand.

"This unique policy by Ireland, insisting on blanket quarantines with our European neighbours (most of whom have lower Covid rates than Ireland), is damaging the recovery of Ireland's economy and our tourism industry, causing long-term damage to jobs in Ireland's greatest employment sector, with business travellers in particular being told that Ireland is closed for business," they added.

"If Micheal Martin doesn not quarantine for 14 days after visiting Brussels this week, then why should any other Irish or EU citizen be treated differently?"
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:Covid-19: UK 'facing another 120,000 deaths' unless preparations made for second wave of coronavirus

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 13:53

UK 'facing another 120,000 deaths' unless preparations made for second wave of coronavirus
By Rachael O'Connor - Irish Post

A NEW medical report has issued a stark warning to the United Kingdom as it eases coronavirus restrictions.
The Academy of Medical Science has urged the British government to properly prepare for a second wave of Covid-19, warning that unless precautions are taken the country is facing an additional 120,000 deaths from the virus.
Currently, the UK is the third-worst in the world for deaths related to Covid-19, with live data from Johns Hopkins University indicating that almost 45,000 people have passed away with the virus, surpassed only by the US and Brazil.
According to the report, the UK is facing a second wave worst than the first, in part thanks to the disruption already caused within the NHS, including a backlog of patients in need of assessment as well as the winter flu season likely coinciding with the second wave of Covid-19 infections.
The study looks at projected numbers between September 2020 to June 2021, and modelling of a 'worst case scenario' which would see the R rate increasing to 1.7 from September suggests a peak in hospitalisations and deaths potentially worse than the first wave's peak which occurred in April this year.
If the Government does not make any preparations in the event of a second wave, the report predicts that the number of deaths between September - June 2021 could reach up to 119,900-- not including the number of deaths which would take place in care homes.
This figure, however, is "not a prediction but a possibility", according to Professor Stephn Holgate, a respiratory specialist and chair of the study.
"The modelling suggests that deaths could be higher with a new wave of Covid-19 this winter, but the risk of this happening could be reduced if we take action immediately," he said.
“With relatively low numbers of COVID-19 cases at the moment, this is a critical window of opportunity to help us prepare for the worst that winter can throw at us.”
The report,titled 'Preparing for a challenging winter 2020/21' says only "intense preparation" can ease the pressure on the NHS and save lives this winter.
The recommended protections, some of whch are already being undertaken by the Government, include:

  • Minimising the risk of community transmission with a public information campaign as well as specific advice for higher risk individuals and communities
  • Ensuring the country is fully stocked with necessary PPE gear such as masks and hand sanitisers, that testing is at full capacity and infection-control in vulnerable areas such as care homes
  • Ensuring there is adequate nursing, health and social care staff to prepare for and tackle a second wave of infections
  • Increasing the capacity of the track and trace system to help cope with the winter flu season which will overlap with the second wave-- as both illnesses are similar, identifying cases of the virus will be more difficult
  •  Maximising the use of remote consultations for hospital and GP appointments so the virus is not transmitted in waiting rooms
  • Maintaining a "population-wide surveillance system" to quickly identify new outbreaks of the virus
  • Encouraging maximum uptake of the flu vaccine, particularly for staff in healthcare settings and vulnerable groups

The Academy of Medical Science report can be read in full here .
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:Covid-19: Donald Trump says China ‘fully responsible’ for hiding coronavirus and ‘unleashing it’ on world

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 14:09

Donald Trump says China ‘fully responsible’ for hiding coronavirus and ‘unleashing it’ on world
By Jack Beresford - Irish Post
DONALD TRUMP has told reporters he holds China “fully responsible for concealing the virus and unleashing it upon the world”. 
The US President made the remarks at a White House press conference in which announced he had signed off on sanctions against China. 
It comes in retaliation for the Far East nation’s introduction of an “oppressive” new security law in Hong Kong that allows political opponents to be extradited to Beijing for trial.  
The President has also signed an executive order ending any preferential treatment for Hong Kong, which would now be afforded the same treatment as mainland China. 
It comes as part of a wider offensive against the Republic for what the Trump administration view as a catalogue of failings in relation to coronavirus. 
With cases of Covid-19 continuing to surge in the US, the Trump administration believes China is guilty of hiding crucial details and information on the human-to-human transmission of the virus. 
Speaking at the press conference, the President also moved to suggest his election opponent Joe Biden’s record in dealing with the Far East nation was “a gift to the Chinese Communist Party”. 

The President also dismissed any suggestion of a trade deal between the US and China, despite previous talks proving promising. 
"Look, we made a great trade deal — was done, the ink wasn’t even dry, and they hit us with the plague," he said. "So right now, I’m not interested in talking to China about another deal. I’m interested in doing other things with China."
The end of preferential treatment for Hong Kong means “no special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies” according to Trump, with the special treatment of Hong Kong passport holders also set to be revoked. 
It comes amid concerns the new security laws could infringe on those already in place on the British colony designed to protect freedom of speech and the wider press until at least 2047. 
Trump added: “Make no mistake. We hold China fully responsible for concealing the virus and unleashing it upon the world. They could have stopped it, they should have stopped it. It would have been very easy to do at the source, when it happened.”
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 15th July

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 14:52

Popular Spanish tourist destination closing bars

Coronavirus - 15th July 5904cd10
Calle Punta Ballena in Magaluf is a popular tourist destination

Spain has been keen to invite holiday-makers back to the hard-hit country where tourism is a key industry.
But the bad behaviour of visitors to popular island Majorca has led to the Balearic Ministry for Tourism ordering bars to close in parts of Magaluf, reports the Majorca Daily Bulletin. The area is popular with British and German tourists in particular.
Videos of drunk visitors flouting coronavirus guidelines were shared over the weekend.
Elsewhere in Spain, the Catalonia region has recorded a jump in coronavirus cases after a strict lockdown was announced on Monday. The health department announced a further 938 infections, but with the caveat that they usually report three days of data at a time, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.

US hospitals must report to Trump administration, not CDC

Coronavirus - 15th July 1250b310

US hospitals have been ordered to report Covid-19 patient data to the federal health agency in Washington instead of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as of 15 July, US media report.
The CDC, a leading public health institute, has traditionally handled the US pandemic response. Health experts have expressed concerns that data will be politicised, become less transparent and possibly affect the work of researchers and modelers.
According to the New York Times , which first reported the Trump administration's new instructions, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) database that will now take in this data is not accessible to the public.
HHS spokesman Michael Caputo said in a statement that the CDC's system was inadequate and had a week lag in reporting data.
"The new, faster and complete data system is what our nation needs to defeat the coronavirus, and the CDC, an operating division of HHS, will certainly participate in this streamlined all-of-government response. They will simply no longer control it."
The change follows rising tensions between the White House and public health experts.

On Tuesday, four former CDC directors criticised Trump's "tragic indictment" of CDC efforts in an opinion piece for the Washington Post , accusing the president of "sowing confusion and mistrust at a time when the American people need leadership, expertise and clarity".

Inside South Africa's 'hospitals of horrors'

An exclusive, weeks-long BBC investigation inside filthy hospitals in South Africa has exposed an extraordinary array of systemic failures showing how exhausted doctors and nurses are overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients and a health service near collapse.
With key staff on strike or sick with coronavirus in the Eastern Cape province, nurses are forced to act as cleaners, surgeons are washing their own hospital laundry and there are alarming reports of unborn babies dying in overcrowded and understaffed maternity wards.
As doctors, unions and management fight over scarce resources, one senior doctor described the situation as "an epic failure of a deeply corrupt system", while another spoke of "institutional burn-out… a sense of chronic exploitation, the department of health essentially bankrupt, and a system on its knees with no strategic management".
The revelations come just as South Africa - which held the coronavirus back for months with an early, tough, and economically devastating lockdown - now sees infection rates soar nationwide, prompting President Cyril Ramaphosa to warn that "the storm is upon us".

  • Read the full investigation here .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 15th July

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 17:37

Tesla workers: 'We all feel abandoned'

Workers at Tesla have expressed concerns over their safety after reports that more than 100 employees at a plant in California have tested positive for Covid-19.
An industry blog reported that some 1,500 employees have possibly been exposed to the virus.
Staff say their concerns have been ignored and that social distancing and hygiene rules are not being followed.
"I feel abandoned, we all feel abandoned," Tesla employee Branton Phillips told CBS News . “One day somebody is sick and we know that - next day the three to four guys that worked around him are also gone and we’re not told anything."
Staff say the company told them they could stay home if they felt ill or uncomfortable, but Phillips told CBS that is not a feasible option for many workers.
The Fremont plant employs around 10,000 people. Tesla has not commented on this matter to local media.
The plant was at first forced to shut down amid California's lockdown orders, but Tesla chief Elon Musk fought with county officials to reopen it in May .

Who won't have to wear face coverings in shops?

The UK government says people with medical conditions or disabilities that mean they cannot wear a face covering will not have to do so.
We do not yet have the precise wording of the rules for shops. However, face coverings have been compulsory on public transport in England since 15 June and the rules for that are pretty broad.
Anyone who cannot wear a covering "because of any physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability", or who would experience "severe distress" from doing so, is exempt.
Children under 11 are also exempt in England.
Some disability charities are producing badges or cards for people to carry with them signalling they are exempt. It's thought unlikely the government will produce its own cards, as this didn't happen when coverings became compulsory on public transport.
Find more questions answered here.

Significant fall in children receiving essential vaccinations - UN

A significant number of children are missing out on life-saving vaccines for the first time in nearly 30 years due to the coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations warns.
The UN identified a "substantial drop" in the immunisation of children against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough in the first four months of 2020.
The suffering and death caused to children contracting these diseases could be far greater than Covid-19 itself, suggests the head of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
He said these vaccines are one of the most powerful tools in the history of public health.

Tuna's pandemic popularity has suppliers struggling

As Americans have stocked up on canned tuna amid the Covid-19 pandemic, producers are saying it's becoming difficult to keep up with the demand.
In the US, where many are facing economic hardship due to the pandemic, it is one of the cheapest proteins available, with cans costing around $1 (£0.79) each.
Bumble Bee Foods reported its tuna sales jumped 100% in March and April, according to the Wall Street Journal , and producers say sales have continued to remain high. The Journal reports that average wholesale tuna prices are up 41% compared to last year, though retail prices have stayed around the same.
Suppliers are struggling to keep the cans coming amid supply chain issues due to the pandemic, like border controls.
Most of the world's tuna comes from nations in the Pacific Ocean, and must then be shipped to processing plants and canning plants elsewhere before it ends up in US stores.

Youtube star Jake Paul criticised for house party

Coronavirus - 15th July F7f50b10

Youtuber Jake Paul is facing criticism from a California mayor after footage emerged of the internet star throwing a party at his mansion this weekend.
Calabasas Mayor Alicia Weintraub told FOX 11 : "It wasn't just myself who was outraged, it was everyone who saw the video."
The mayor said she received a number of complaints from residents who saw the video of the party. The clips on social media show a number of young people partying in the residence, apparently following no social distancing protocols and not wearing masks.
"It's just a big, huge disregard for everything that everybody is trying to do to get things back to functioning," Weintraub said.
The mayor says she will work with the local sheriff to enforce a zero-tolerance policy for such parties.
"Something like this will not happen again."

WHO inquiry will be completely whitewashed, Pompeo says

Coronavirus - 15th July E810ba10
Mike Pompeo has taken a hardline against China during the pandemic

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic will be a “completely white-washed investigation”, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, as he lashed out at China.
Mr Pompeo accused China of failing to disclose information about the coronavirus when the first cases were detected in the city of Wuhan last year.
That failure, Mr Pompeo said, had “killed over 100,000 Americans and “cost the global economy trillions and trillions of dollars”.
“And now it is allowing the World Health Organization to go in to conduct what I am confident will be a completely, a completely white-washed investigation,” Mr Pompeo said at a news conference on Wednesday.
Mr Pompeo appears to be referring to an independent inquiry into the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, launched by the WHO earlier this month.
Chaired by two former world leaders, the panel will be tasked with analysing responses to the pandemic by member states and the WHO itself.
The panel will not, however, look into the origin of the coronavirus, as Mr Pompeo and other world leaders had demanded.
Throughout the pandemic, the Trump administration has implicated the WHO in an alleged cover-up by the Chinese in the early stages of the pandemic.
You can read our timeline about what China did early on in its outbreak .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 15th July

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 17:50

Iran loses 140 doctors to Covid-19

Iran has said 140 of its health workers have died with Covid-19 since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We all owe them our lives and to honour them, we must observe health protocols,” said Sima Sadat Lari, an Iranian health ministry official.
The country has seen a rapid surge in the number of coronavirus cases recently, after relaxing its lockdown restrictions in mid-April.
So far, Iran has recorded 264,561 infections and 13,410 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Health officials have suggested the renewed surge in new infections could be attributed to more testing, and they have said people were ignoring social-distancing rules.
On Wednesday Iranian President Hassan Rohani urged people to respect health regulations, in particular social distancing.
"We ask the people to avoid all gatherings and to adapt the way of life to the current situation,” President Hassan Rohani said at a cabinet meeting.
Read BBC Reality Check’s latest analysis on the Covid-19 situation in Iran.

Another 85 people die with Covid-19 in the UK

Another 85 people have died in UK hospitals, care homes and the community after testing positive for coronavirus, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) says.
It brings UK deaths to 45,053 under that measure, but the figures do not include all deaths involving Covid-19 across the UK, which are thought to have passed 55,500.
The DHSC also said that in the 24-hours up to 09:00 BST on Wednesday, there had been a further 538 lab-confirmed UK cases.
Overall, a total of 291,911 cases have been confirmed.

What are the UK's travel rules and where can you visit?

Coronavirus - 15th July A5552110

From today, holidaymakers can take direct flights to Greece from the UK.
So which other countries can you now visit and what do you need to do when you return?
Passengers entering the UK from dozens of countries no longer have to quarantine for two weeks thanks to a relaxation of the government's travel quarantine rules on Friday.
More than 50 countries - including many popular holiday spots - now pose ''a reduced risk'' from coronavirus, the government says.
Wales and Northern Ireland have introduced quarantine exemptions for the same countries as England.
Scotland is also allowing exemptions, although unlike the other nations does not exempt travellers from Spain , because of concerns about their rate of coronavirus.
You can read more here .

Lockdown survival tips from Beijing and elsewhere

As countries far and wide cautiously emerge from lockdowns, some places are regrettably heading back into them.
From Europe to Australia, Asia to the US, restrictions are being reimposed in areas where coronavirus infections are on the rise again.
The Chinese capital, Beijing, was among those places. We spoke to Kai Wei, a 29-year-old resident of the city, who gave us her guide to surviving a second lockdown.
Kai's advice was to keep a happiness balance sheet, trying every means to stay entertained and sane.
"Live as normally as possible. And always wear a mask when you can go out!"
Read our piece to see what other people living under second lockdowns have advised.

UK chancellor defends furlough bonus scheme

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has defended his job retention bonus scheme after MPs questioned its value for money.
The policy - which was announced last week - will see the government pay employers £1,000 for every furloughed worker they retain past January.
MPs on the Commons Treasury Committee described the scheme as "badly-timed and poorly-targeted".
But Sunak said he believed it would "serve as a significant incentive" to preserve jobs amid the pandemic.
Labour's Angela Eagle cautioned that scheme risked spending taxpayers' money for no benefit.
"Surely you could have had less deadweight if you'd have focused support on different sectors, why didn't you do that?" she asked.
But Sunak insisted the scheme "will and can make a difference".

Starbucks and Walmart announce US mask requirements

Starbucks and Walmart on Wednesday announced new mask requirements in all US stores amid Covid-19 surges in a number of regions across the country.
Starbucks says facial coverings will be required for patrons and staff in all its cafes as of 15 July. The coffee retailer says it will also limit the number of customers allowed inside to maintain social distancing.
Retail giant Walmart will enact a similar policy in its more than 5,000 stores by 20 July, and noted many stores were in regions already under government mandates regarding facial coverings. The company also said employees would receive special training to assist customers.
"We know it may not be possible for everyone to wear a face covering," company officials said. "Our associates will be trained on those exceptions to help reduce friction for the shopper and make the process as easy as possible for everyone."

Oklahoma's Stitt 'first US governor to test positive for Covid-19'

Coronavirus - 15th July F4ab8010

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has announced he has tested positive for Covid-19. He is the first governor to publicly announce a virus diagnosis so far, US media report.
"I feel fine, I felt a little bit achy yesterday," the Republican governor told reporters. He said is isolating from his family - who have tested negative - and working from home.
Stitt attended President Trump's controversial rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on 20 June, which local health officials have said was likely to have contributed to the city's recent spike in Covid-19 cases.
The governor also told reporters he does not plan to make masks mandatory across the state.
"I'm so proud of how we've handled it this far," he said of the state's response to the pandemic.
Shortly after the announcement, the Oklahoma Department of Health reported 1,075 additional cases - a new single-day record for the state, according to KOCO News .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 15th July

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 19:50

Polls show Americans oppose reopening schools

As coronavirus cases continue to climb, particularly in southern US states like Texas and Florida, many school districts are considering a combination of online and in-person learning - though the White House has continued to push for complete reopenings.
A new Politico/Morning Consult poll has found that a majority of voters do not think schools and daycare should fully open, in-person, this autumn.
The poll also found that 65% of voters disagree with President Trump's threat to cut funding for schools that refuse to reopen.
Another poll from Navigator Research on Wednesday said the number of parents who oppose reopening schools has jumped from 31% at the start of June to 51% as of 15 July.
On Tuesday, an Axios/Ipsos poll also reported most parents, including a slim majority of Republicans, say it is risky to reopen schools.


UK coronavirus death toll tops 45,000

There have been more than 290,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and more than 45,000 people have died, government figures show.
Both case numbers and the death toll has been falling steadily, but concern remains over possible localised spikes in infection.
Take a look at the latest data on confirmed cases in your area
Coronavirus - 15th July 89683a10

Sweden says it is falling short of herd immunity

Large parts of Sweden’s population are still susceptible to the coronavirus, the country’s health authorities have said, casting further doubt on the so-called herd immunity strategy.
Herd immunity happens when a large proportion of a population develops immunity to a contagious disease, be it through community transmission or vaccination.
Sweden has seen far more coronavirus cases than any of its Nordic neighbours, recording 76,492 infections and 5,572 deaths to date, a Johns Hopkins University tally says .
Sweden did not pursue a full lockdown, instead relying on voluntary social distancing and limited restrictions, such as the banning of large gatherings.
The country’s top epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, has previously expressed hope that herd immunity may be a useful by-product of the strategy, though not its aim.
But on Tuesday a senior Swedish health official, Karin Tegmark Wisell, said large parts of Sweden’s population “haven’t been infected” by the coronavirus, meaning they are still susceptible.
Earlier this month, a study from Spain raised questions about the feasibility of herd immunity as a way of tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

UK bingo chain to close 26 halls and cut hundreds of jobs

A UK bingo chain has announced the permanent closure of 26 of its halls, putting 573 jobs at risk.
Buzz Bingo, which is based in Nottingham, said it had taken the decision due to an "unsustainable operating environment for the foreseeable future".
Its remaining 91 halls will continue to trade when they reopen from 6 August.
Chief executive Chris Matthews said a restructure would ensure those clubs were able to adapt to new coronavirus safety measures and lower customer numbers.
Buzz Bingo had to close its sites on 21 March due to the UK government lockdown and furloughed the majority of its staff.
The company, which employs about 3,400 people, said it would "take time" for footfall at sites to reach pre-virus levels due to social distancing measures and weaker customer confidence.
You can read more here .

Covid-19 found on Ecuadorian shrimp packaging in China

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
Official Chinese media say that an undisclosed number of customers and delivery personnel have been told to self-isolate in southeastern China after Covid-19 was detected on shrimp containers imported from Ecuador.
According to the official CGTN broadcaster, Covid-19 was detected on imported samples in the city of Pingxiang in Jiangxi province. The local government says that “no abnormal situation has been found in the city so far” to suggest a potential localised outbreak.
This is the second time this week that samples of seafood products have tested positive from the South American country. On Monday, the official China Daily said that seafood from three Ecuadorian companies were being pulled from shelves after six samples from inside shipping containers and the outer packaging of shrimp tested positive at customs.
Many local governments and online retailers quickly issued suspension orders on these products and said that they were carrying out tests.
In recent weeks, Chinese consumers have been nervous about eating seafood, after chopping boards used for imported salmon tested positive at a wholesale market in Beijing. It is believed this led to 335 people being infected across the capital city, and led to Beijing implementing a strict lockdown and aggressive testing procedures.

Stuck band makes the most of lockdown in remote Turkish village

Coronavirus - 15th July 360ade10
The group said the Turkish villagers seemed seemed happy to host them

Travel plans have been disrupted, borders have been closed and venues of all kinds have been shut during the pandemic.
This posed a perfect storm of problems for a group of young musicians, whose road trip across Asia was brought to a standstill earlier this year.
The band, called Tango Maluco, found themselves hunkering down in the most unlikely place - Erenler, a remote village in Turkey's Black Sea region.
One member of the four-piece group, Mirjam Ellenbrok, told the BBC they got stuck in the village after the borders suddenly closed along their route.
The group has made the most of their time, however, learning from the locals how to cook village specialities and prepare yogurt from cow's milk, while gardening in the lush surroundings.
Read the full story to see how the group whiled away the time in the mountain village.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 15th July

Post by Kitkat on Wed Jul 15 2020, 19:56

Probe into coronavirus-hit farm expanded across England and Scotland

An investigation into a coronavirus-hit farm in Herefordshire has now been widened to include others in England and Scotland.
The total number of positive coronavirus cases linked to the outbreak at AS Green & Co in Mathon now stands at 93, Public Health England (PHE) said.
In an update on Wednesday evening, PHE said 76 workers who travelled on to other farms in England came to the UK on the same flight as the Herefordshire farm workers.
It added that these 76 people have already been offered testing and no further cases have been identified to date.
A further 63 workers who travelled on to Scottish farms were on the same flight.
PHE said it has notified public health authorities in Scotland so this group can be "followed-up appropriately" .
A group of workers who travelled to the UK by private coach, including some of those who went on to work at AS Green and Co, are also being followed up, it added.
Another worker fled the farm, despite being told not to.
PHE said the agency that employed the worker (who tested negative for the virus) is in contact with them and has been advised they are self-isolating. Three other workers who fled the farm earlier have been traced .
Karen Wright, director of Public Health for Herefordshire, said as testing of workers at the farm continues, officials expect to see the number of cases rise over the coming days "before social distancing and infection prevention measures start to take effect".
She added that workers have been asked to remain on site and self-isolate to "reduce risk of spread within the workforce and into the wider community", and food and essential supplies were being delivered to the farm during this time.
She said she knows local residents are concerned, but added the risk to the general public "remains low".

US Olympic athletes get mental health support

American athletes due to compete in the Tokyo Olympics will be provided with additional mental health support after the games were postponed until next year, officials say.
United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) officials said Wednesday that three independent mental health officers would give support to athletes ahead of the competition scheduled for Japan 2021.
"As our world continues to evolve during the challenges of a global pandemic and Games postponement, we want to ensure our athletes have the resources they need to focus on their mental health," said Bahati VanPelt, the USOPC chief of athlete services.
The International Olympic Committee earlier said it was "fully committed " to the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and had "multiple scenarios" for them to take place safely.

That's it from us - goodbye for now

We’re pausing our live coverage for the time being - thanks for joining us.
If you missed them, here are some of the day’s main developments:

  • The number of coronavirus infections worldwide surpassed 13.3 million, while deaths approached the 600,000 mark, data from the Johns Hopkins University showed
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN warned of a drop in the number of children receiving life-saving vaccinations during the pandemic
  • US pharmaceutical company Moderna said it was entering final testing phase for its coronavirus vaccine
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson committed to "an independent inquiry into what happened" during the coronavirus pandemic sometime "in the future"
  • Starbucks and Walmart announced new mask requirements in all US stores amid Covid-19 surges across the country
  • Magaluf, a popular resort town on the Spanish island of Majorca, has closed its party strip after images of tourists flouting social distancing angered locals
  • Hong Kong brought in strict new measures to counteract a virus surge, including closing all bars

We’ll be back on Thursday to bring you the latest updates from the UK and around the world.

Today's live page writers were Yvette Tan, Krutika Pathi, Marie Jackson, Georgina Rannard, Mary O'Connor, Victoria Lindrea, Vanessa Buschschluter, Ritu Prasad and Josh Nevett. The editors were Anna Jones, Flora Drury and Rob Corp.

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