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Coronavirus - 30th July

Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 10:11

Summary for Thursday, 30th July


  • Florida is to close its coronavirus testing centres as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches
  • The decision comes a day after the US state reported a record 216 deaths
  • Coronavirus has killed more than 150,000 people in the United States
  • The time people with symptoms will have to self-isolate for is expected to increase from seven to 10 days in England
  • Australia's virus-hit state of Victoria has reported its worst death toll and case rise
  • Violent protests have broken out in Paraguay after areas were ordered back into lockdown
  • There are now more than 17m confirmed cases of coronavirus and 667,000 reported deaths worldwide


Welcome back to our rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. Our news teams around the world will be keeping you posted on all the latest developments.
But first, here are the international headlines:

  • Facemasks are being made mandatory in the US House of Representatives, as the national coronavirus death toll rises above 150,000. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said anyone who broke the new rule faced being removed from the chamber
  • The Australian state of Victoria has reported its worst ever daily increase in deaths and infections, prompting fears that a six-week lockdown of the state capital, Melbourne, is not working
  • Brazil has lifted a four-month ban on foreign travellers arriving by air, despite record numbers of daily cases and deaths. The government did not explain the latest move but observers suggest it is aimed at reviving Brazil's devastated tourism industry
  • There have been violent protests in Paraguay after the government ordered part of the country back into coronavirus lockdown. Crowds clashed with police on the streets of Ciudad del Este, on the border with Brazil
  • Japan is to lift its ban on the re-entry of some foreign residents next week, the foreign ministry has said. About 90,000 foreign nationals with residence permits are currently stuck outside Japan because of the restriction, AFP reports


Florida to close test centres as storm bears down

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Testing centres like this one in Miami will be temporarily closed on Thursday

Florida, one of the US states worst hit by the coronavirus, says it is to close its testing centres as a tropical storm heads towards the coast.
"All sites have free standing structures including tents and other equipment, which cannot withstand tropical storm force winds, and could cause damage to people and property if not secured," state emergency management officials said.
The sites will close from 17:00 local time (22:00 GMT) on Thursday until further notice, they added.
Tropical Storm Isaias, packing winds of 50mph (80km/h) is due to make landfall in the state by the end of the week, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Florida, which has a population of 21 million, has reported more than 450,000 infections and about 6,300 deaths from the virus. A quarter of all of the cases are in the city of Miami.

The latest headlines in the UK

Here are a few of the stories making headlines in the UK this morning:

  • The length of time people with coronavirus symptoms will have to self-isolate for is expected to be increased from seven to 10 days in England. We're expecting more on this later and we'll bring it to you as we get it
  • Lockdown has fostered a new community spirit in Britain, but there are signs feelings of solidarity and togetherness are beginning to fragment and fray, a campaign which includes which includes the NHS, charities and media groups says
  • The Scottish government is expected to confirm later that Scotland's schools will reopen in full next month
  • Wales' arts and culture sector is to be supported with £53m ($67m) from the Welsh Government, with theatres, music venues, museums, libraries, and cinemas among those set to benefit


Virus isolation period 'to go up from seven to 10 days'

The length of time people with coronavirus symptoms will have to self-isolate for is expected to be increased from seven to 10 days in England.
Currently, people showing the main symptoms - a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell - have to self-isolate for at least week, or as long as they feel unwell .
It's unclear if the devolved nations will follow the UK government's lead, but the current guidance was adopted UK-wide.
England's chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty is expected to announce later that the isolation period is being extended as ministers try to avoid a second outbreak of the virus in the UK.
Read our story in full here .

Gambia leader self-isolates after VP tests positive

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President Barrow must spend two weeks in quarantine

Australian state sees huge spike in cases

The Australian state of Victoria has reported its worst ever daily increase in deaths and infections, prompting fears that a six-week lockdown of the state capital, Melbourne, is not working.
Health officials confirmed 723 new cases and 13 deaths on Thursday. State Premier Daniel Andrews said all the deaths involved people in their 70s and 80s. Overall it was Australia's deadliest day in the pandemic.
A partial ban on private gatherings, including weddings and funerals, is coming into force in some areas on Thursday. Everyone in Victoria will have to wear a face covering in public from midnight on Sunday.
Other Australian states have closed their borders with Victoria but the move has not entirely prevented minor infection spikes. Australia had been coping well with the pandemic until a surge in Melbourne earlier this month.

Hancock: Safety of shortening travel quarantine being looked at

BBC Breakfast
Matt Hancock confirms the government is looking into whether it's possible to reduce the length of quarantine for travellers returning to England.
At the moment, people returning from most countries abroad must isolate for 14 days.
"We are working on whether by testing people during that quarantine it is safe to then be able to release them earlier.
"That's something that we're working on, but we're not imminently making an announcement on it," he says, stressing that the rules will not change in "the next few days".
Asked what the indicators were of a potential second wave or resurgence in the virus, he says the number of positive tests, the percentage of people who test positive, surveys of the population, and hospital admissions.
How close are we to that point in the UK? "We review the data all the time. It's impossible to predict that," he says.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 10:21

Pelosi orders US lawmakers to wear masks

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Nancy Pelosi said wearing a face mask was "a sign of respect"

The US House of Representatives has ordered all members and staff to wear face masks as the national death toll from coronavirus rose above 150,000.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said members would be allowed to remove their masks when addressing the chamber but that anyone who broke the new rule faced being removed.
Democrats have a majority in the House and party members are considering making lawmakers take tests for the virus before they enter the Capitol complex.
Ms Pelosi took the decision after Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican often seen around the Capitol without a face covering, tested positive on Wednesday. He had been due to travel that day with US President Donald Trump.
Ms Pelosi called the move “a sign of respect for the health, safety and well-being of others present in the chamber and surrounding areas”.

Extending self-isolation period 'a warning against complacency'

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
The UK requirement for people who test positive to isolate for seven days was always on the low side - plenty of other countries require 10 days or even longer.
As coronavirus is new, there is a lack of certainty over how long someone remains infectious.
Research shows a person can be infectious two days before symptoms develop and carry on being infectious during the period they have symptoms. For most, that lasts no more than seven days.
Those who have symptoms longer are already advised to carry on self-isolating.
But the decision to insist everyone isolates for 10 days is likely to have been made for a number of reasons.
There is plenty of evidence that people continue to shed the virus after symptoms end - although the degree to which this represents a risk of passing on the infection to another person is not clear.
Another factor that may have played a role in the decision is that widespread testing is beginning to pick up people in the asymptomatic stage.
And, finally, it sends an important signal. By extending the length of isolation, it acts as a warning against complacency.

New countries could be added to quarantine list soon - Hancock

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
Health Secretary Matt Hancock says new countries could be added to the incoming travellers' quarantine list in the coming days.
Asked whether it was possible there will be changes in the rules, as there was for Spain, he says: "Yes. I'd love people to be able to go abroad.
"But in the middle of a global pandemic, we just have to be realistic about the fact that these things change because the pandemic changes in other countries."
He also says there is "a danger of an increase" in cases in the UK over the next few weeks.
"At best, the number of cases is flat [in the UK]," he tells Radio 4's Today programme.
"We are absolutely determined to do everything we can to protect this country from a second wave," he says. "We can see a second wave rolling across Europe."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 10:27

NZ police arrest man who fled isolation

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Hotels in Auckland are being used as managed isolation facilities

Police in New Zealand have arrested a man who briefly fled managed isolation in the city of Auckland.
New Zealand requires all travellers arriving in the country to spend 14 days in a managed isolation facility .
Police said the 32-year-old man, who has not been identified, absconded from the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Thursday but only got a short distance before he was apprehended. He had spent one day in isolation after arriving from Brisbane.
"This man will be summonsed to appear in court to face a charge under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act," police said. Under the law, escapees can face up to six months in prison or a hefty fine.
Air Commodore Darryn Webb, quoted by the New Zealand Herald , said defence force staff had challenged the man as he tried to follow them out a gate, claiming he was a worker. The man failed to stop and was chased for a short distance before being arrested.
New Zealand has been lauded as a success story for its handling of the virus. It was quick to close its borders and implement a strict nationwide lockdown.

India reports record cases as gyms and yoga centres reopen

India has also set a new record for infections in a 24-hour period, with more than 52,000 people testing positive.
Cases have continued to soar in states including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
India has the third highest tally of infections in the world after the US and Brazil, while about 35,000 have died.
Despite the mounting caseload, the government further eased restrictions on Wednesday, allowing gym and yoga institutes to reopen from 5 August.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 10:31

Tempering anxiety as Australians deal with second wave

Frances Mao - Sydney
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Melbourne is still struggling to control the spread

When the numbers first leaked out this morning, I heard a reporter on air say he hoped his source was wrong.
More than 700 cases - it’s a crushing blow for Melbourne’s five million people. Halfway through the second lockdown, everyone was hoping their hard work would start to pay off and that the tide would turn.
But it doesn’t look like things will get better any time soon – which means a longer lockdown could be likely.
Lockdown life is harder for Melbournians this time around because they’re going through it alone. The rest of the country has almost all its freedoms back; so they can see on social media their friends elsewhere going out and living it up.
But in Sydney some of the fear has returned too. This slow creep of cases - under 20 each day for a few weeks - has people confused and on edge.
Do you cancel your dinner plans now? Or do you keep going because you want to help the economy? Just where is the virus and why isn’t it showing up?
Just last month, we were celebrating the idea that Australia had escaped relatively unscathed – compared to other nations. It’s only now that we’re getting a sense of the real struggle.

Are younger people less cautious about the virus?

Prof Robert West, health psychology professor at University College London, says there's some evidence that young people "always have, to some degree, been less inclined to take the sort of protective measures that are needed".
"But only to some degree and it is important not to overstate this because we’re all different," he says.
"Whether we’re old or young the real thing underpinning it is the level of concern you feel for yourself and your community. That’s the key thing," he tells Radio 4's Today programme.
West, who advises the government on behavioural science and coronavirus, says the public has become less vigilant.
"Unfortunately for all kinds of reasons the level of concern that people had experienced at the beginning is easing.
"We need to ramp that back up to appropriate levels."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 10:33

Self-isolation period extended to 10 days

People who display symptoms of coronavirus must self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days, the UK’s four chief medical officers say.
The increase from seven days comes as ministers try to avoid a resurgence of the virus in the UK.
The medical officers are issuing the advice based on new evidence that people with mild to moderate symptoms may still be infectious days after the onset of the virus.
People are most infectious before symptoms begin displaying and during the first few days of the illness. But scientists say there is a possibility some people may still transmit the virus for up to nine days after they become unwell.
The new advice brings the UK in line with guidance issued by the World Health Organization.

UK government publishes new guidance on self-isolation

The government has published a statement from the UK chief medical officers on the new guidance for self-isolation.
It says that "evidence, although still limited, has strengthened and shows that people with Covid-19 who are mildly ill and are recovering have a low but real possibility of infectiousness between seven and nine days after illness onset".
"We have considered how best to target interventions to reduce risk to the general population and consider that at this point in the epidemic, with widespread and rapid testing available and considering the relaxation of other measures, it is now the correct balance of risk to extend the self-isolation period from 7 to 10 days for those in the community who have symptoms or a positive test result.
"This will help provide additional protection to others in the community. This is particularly important to protect those who have been shielding and in advance of the autumn and winter when we may see increased community transmission."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 10:37

Violent protests in Paraguay against fresh lockdown

Violent protests have broken out in Paraguay after the government ordered part of the country back into lockdown.
Hundreds of people took to the streets of Ciudad del Este to express their anger. There are reports that shops were looted and lorries set on fire, a number of police are also said to have been injured.
Paraguay has been praised for keeping the number of infections to below 5,000 nationwide.
But on Wednesday the health authorities said that health services in the region of Alto Paraná were close to reaching their limit, as 80% of all cases were concentrated there.
The region borders Brazil, the country with the second-highest number of infections worldwide, and is heavily reliant on cross-border trade.
Local media showed footage of clashes between protesters and security forces.

Eid festivities held amid virus woes

Muslims across the Middle East and the rest of the world are preparing to mark the major festival of Eid al-Adha amid the pandemic.
In Lebanon, a raft of restrictions have been reimposed for the next four days after it experienced an 80% rise in coronavirus cases since lockdown was lifted on 8 June.
In Iraq, home to cities holy to both Sunni and Shia Muslims, a 10-day lockdown came into effect on Wednesday amid a resurgence there too.
Prayers in mosques have been banned in Syria and Egypt, though in the latter opening hours of restaurants and cafes have been extended ahead of Eid following a decline in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
Eid al-Adha - Feast of the Sacrifice - marks the last day of the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Normally about two million people attend, though this year it has been scaled back to only a few thousand because of the pandemic .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 10:40

Analysis: Self-isolation extension a 'value judgement'

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
The UK requirement for people who test positive to isolate for seven days was always on the low side - plenty of other countries require 10 days or even longer.
As coronavirus is new, there is still a lack of certainty over how long someone remains infectious, which is why there are a variety of approaches.
Research suggests the most infectious period is just before symptoms start and for the first few days afterwards – that’s what makes it such a difficult virus to contain.
But UK health officials say there is enough evidence now to point to a “low, but tangible” risk of transmission from seven to 10 days even for those with mild to moderate illness.
This is a decision that could have been taken weeks even months ago in truth.
But officials are describing it as a "value judgement" based on a variety of reasons.
The availability of widespread testing means only those with a positively confirmed infection need to continue isolating – earlier in the pandemic the lack of testing meant a blanket approach had to be taken so anyone with symptoms was asked to isolate.
It is also about sending an important signal. Levels of infection are low, but the message is clear: we can’t be complacent.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 13:49

Ruby Princess case 'caused by test result blunder'

Coronavirus - 30th July 721bf710

Cruise ship passengers infected with coronavirus were allowed to disembark in Sydney because a border force officer misread their test results, it is claimed.
The senior officer mistakenly believed passengers on the Ruby Princess with "flu-like symptoms" had tested negative for Covid-19 whereas they had instead tested negative for flu, Australian broadcaster ABC reported .
As a result, 2,700 passengers were allowed to leave the ship, of which more than 600 later tested positive for the coronavirus. More than 21 deaths have been linked to the outbreak in March.
According to ABC, border force command only realised the mistake more than 30 hours later. Passengers allowed to leave included 13 who had been isolated in their cabins with fever.
In April, Australian authorities launched a criminal investigation into the case.

Africa cases 'higher than numbers suggest'

A lack of testing for coronavirus across Africa is making it "nearly impossible" to understand the extent of the pandemic there, an aid group has warned.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) says it is fighting the epidemic "in the dark" and fears that Covid-19 cases are much higher than official numbers suggest.
"For all the countries where we work in the region, testing rates fall far below WHO guidelines," said Stacey Mearns, IRC's Senior Technical Adviser of Emergency Health.
"Without testing, there are indeed ‘no cases’, but this does not mean the virus is not spreading unchecked."
The group is calling for more funding and international support to increase testing in African countries.
Earlier this month The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Africa might be headed for a much larger outbreak than current numbers are suggesting.


Vietnam steps up alert after Da Nang outbreak

Vietnam's health ministry has told tens of thousands of people to contact disease control centres in a bid to contain the country's first coronavirus outbreak in more than three months.
Text messages have been sent to mobile phone users, urging anyone who visited the coastal resort of Da Nang from the beginning of July to come forward. The outbreak in Da Nang surfaced last weekend.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc warned on Wednesday that every province and city in the country was at high risk of infections.
"We have to act more swiftly and more fiercely in order to control the outbreak," he said.
The capital, Hanoi, has banned large gatherings and ordered bars closed. Nine new infections were confirmed on Thursday.
Vietnam has previously been lauded as a success story of the pandemic having acted early to close borders and enforce quarantine and contact tracing.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 13:53

Analysis: After earlier message of hope, brakes are now being applied

Norman Smith - Assistant political editor
Two or three weeks ago, the message from the prime minister was that, hopefully, we would be back to near-normality by Christmas.
The direction of travel was one of lockdown easing, with pubs and restaurants reopening, as well as a feeling that we seemed to be getting through it.
Now, there's a real sense of the brakes beginning to go on.
We saw it with the quick quarantine measures imposed on people returning from Spain. Luxembourg may well have similar restrictions soon and they're keeping an eye on Belgium too.
We had restrictions imposed in Oldham to curb the virus there and now there's been an extension of the self-isolation period.
The real apprehension is that what is happening in the rest of Europe may, in time, happen here.
To some extent, that has been the story of coronavirus: We have tended to follow what has emerged in mainland Europe.

Cases continue to rise in China

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media
For the seventh day in a row, mainland China has reported an increased number of cases of Covid-19. The country's media are urging people nationwide to not stop being vigilant, to continue wearing masks and avoid large gatherings.
In the last 24 hours, 105 symptomatic people have tested positive for Covid-19 nationwide. China records its asymptomatic results separately, so the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 is in fact much higher.
Most people who have tested positive live in the city of Urumqi in northwestern Xinjiang. Ninety-six have tested positive with symptoms there in the last 24 hours. However, these findings may simply be the results of mass testing, which the city has been carrying out aggressively since a woman in her 20s tested positive on 15 July.
The same goes for the city of Dalian in northeast Liaoning province, where five people have tested positive with symptoms. One person tested positive on 22 July, leading to an outbreak.
The main area of concern at the moment is just outside of the mainland: Hong Kong. More than 3,000 people have so far tested positive, more than 100 for two consecutive days. China’s leading respiratory expert, Zhong Nanshan, has told media today that the city should undergo mass testing.
However, as Hong Kong is an autonomous region with its own conditions, and has not followed the mainland’s strict lockdown procedures, it is not yet clear whether this will go ahead.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 17:17

The latest headlines

Good afternoon to those of you now joining us. Here are the main stories so far today.
In the UK:

Around the world:

  • Florida, one of the US states worst hit by coronavirus, is to close its testing centres on Thursday as a tropical storm approaches
  • Germany's economy, Europe's largest, shrank by more then 10% in the second quarter of the year - its sharpest decline on record - after being hit by the coronavirus outbreak


Poland reports record case rise

Adam Easton - Warsaw Correspondent
Poland has reported its highest daily rise in infections since the start of the pandemic, the country's health ministry said on Thursday.
A total of 615 new Covid-19 cases were recorded. The increase in numbers has been caused by mass testing following outbreaks at three coal mines, several companies and a care home in southern Poland.
Poland has recorded far fewer cases and deaths than many western European countries. The total number of cases per million inhabitants is more than six times lower than in Spain and four times lower than in the UK, while the number of deaths per million inhabitants is 15 times lower than in the UK.
Government spokesman Piotr Muller said Poland was thinking of reinstating quarantine measures for people returning home from some countries following recent rises in cases in some nations.

Mexico golfer has Covid-19 and other Latin American news

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Gaby López of Mexico won't be able to play in Ohio this week

From midnight local time, foreign travellers can arrive in Brazil by air again after a ban imposed four months ago to curb the spread of coronavirus was lifted.
The end of the flight ban came as Brazil registered record numbers of daily infections and deaths.
Brazil now has more than 2.5 million confirmed cases and more than 90,000 people have died of Covid-related diseases. Only the US has more cases than Brazil.
Unlike those of Brazil, Colombia's borders remain closed to international commercial flights. The country registered a record number of daily deaths on Wednesday with 380 fatalities. President Iván Duque has already extended the lockdown by a month to the end of August.
Mexico's golf star Gaby López is the first player on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour to test positive for the coronavirus. López, 26, will miss the Drive On Championship in Ohio which starts this week, the first tournament in months. López said on Twitter that she was "feeling good" and that she had only very mild symptoms.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 17:25

No Covid-19 deaths in Scotland for past two weeks - Sturgeon

Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has said in a statement to the Scottish parliament 18,597 people have now tested positive for coronavirus, an increase of 17 from yesterday.
She said 260 patients are in hospital with a confirmed case, with two being treated in intensive care.
No deaths were registered in the last 24 hours of people who tested positive, meaning the total remains at 2,491.
"In fact no deaths have been registered under this measurement for the past two weeks," Ms Sturgeon said.

Shielding to be paused in Scotland from 1 August

The advice for people shielding in Scotland will be paused from Saturday, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
People in this group can now follow the guidance for the general population, Scotland's first minister said, but should still be especially careful about face coverings, hand hygiene and physical distancing.
Children shielding will be able to return to school, and adults will be able to return to work, although the general advice remain that people should work from home wherever possible.
Ms Sturgeon added that she knows the pause will be an "enormous relief to many" but said she suspects it will also make them feel anxious.

Schools to reopen in Scotland on 11 August

Schools in Scotland will reopen on 11 August, Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced.
Local authorities may choose to have a phased return during first few days, but all pupils are expected to be at school full-time by 18 August, she told the Scottish parliament.
"It is a moral and educational imperative that we get children back to school as soon as is safely possible," she said.
To help schools, Ms Sturgeon announced extra cash to recruit more teachers and for measures such as enhanced cleaning.
She said: "In addition to the £45m previously announced, we will make a further £30m available to support the recruitment of additional teachers.
"We anticipate that this total investment of £75m will enable the recruitment of around 1,400 extra teachers."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 17:28

Testing ad campaign in England to launch on TV and online

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
A TV and online advertising campaign is being launched tonight in England, stressing the need for anyone with symptoms - no matter how mild - to come forward for a test.
It points out testing is free and available to all.
There is concern some people are being put off from getting tested because they think they have to pay for it or they are not eligible.
Surveillance suggests only a third of people who are infected come forward for a test – although some of that is likely to be because they have the virus but are not showing symptoms.
Baroness Dido Harding, head of the NHS Test and Trace programme in England, said it was important people asked for tests to help contain the virus.
She said: "The NHS Test and Trace service is a vital part of enabling us to get back to safely doing the normal things we love, and will become ever more important as we approach winter.
"I urge everybody to get a free test as soon as you experience coronavirus symptoms and to follow the advice you’re given if you are contacted by the service. If we all continue to play our part, then together we can stop the spread of this virus.”
She also said the amount of random testing to pick up cases where people do not show symptoms would be expanded in the coming months.
At the moment, so-called asymptomatic testing is available to care home staff and residents, some hospital staff, as well as being used in communities with high infection rates.
But it is beginning to be expanded out to high-risk professionals, including shop workers and taxi drivers.
She also said the contact tracing app would be launched shortly.

'We're not out of the woods yet', Johnson warns

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it's "absolutely vital as a country we don’t delude ourselves that somehow we’re out of the woods or this is all over, because it isn’t all over".
Asked about Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showing England had the highest level of excess deaths in Europe over the period from 24 February to 14 June, Mr Johnson told broadcasters that work had to continue to drive the virus down.
Speaking on a visit to North Yorkshire Police HQ in Northallerton, he said: "Clearly this country has had a massive success now in reducing the numbers of those tragic deaths and we’ve got it at the moment under some measure of control. The numbers of deaths are well, well down.”
The PM said a “resurgence of the virus” was visible in some countries in Europe and in the US and that people must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to avoid a second wave.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 17:32

Texas infections surpass New York

New York, which was for months the outbreak epicenter in the US, has been overtaken by Texas.
Texas is now counting over 418,000 total cases, compared to New York’s more than 413,000, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
With almost 485,000 cases, California is still leading in total cases. In fact, if California was its own country rather than a US state, it would have the fifth highest case count in the world, ahead of South Africa.
Overall, the US has recorded over 4.4 million cases and 150,716 deaths.

When coronavirus tore through two care homes

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It’s the early hours of the morning and Michelle Heavens moves quickly along one of the care home’s dark corridors.
She’s the senior carer on duty overnight and needs to check on 84-year-old Joan Day. Michelle pauses to put on a mask, goggles, apron and gloves before going into Joan’s room.
Joan has coronavirus and is going downhill fast.
“I loved her from the day she came in,” says Michelle.
Joan had been physically fit, but dementia had made her life increasingly difficult. She'd moved into the specialist home at Blackley in Manchester last year and settled in quickly.
But by early morning, it’s clear Joan is not improving.
Continue reading Joan's story here and watch Panorama: The forgotten front line on BBC One tonight at 21:00.

Self-isolation changes bring UK in line with WHO advice

Lauren Moss - BBC news correspondent
The change to the rules on self-isolation brings the UK more in line with what the World Health Organization (WHO) has been advising since May, although the WHO also recommends people continue to isolate for three days after their symptoms have cleared.
Anyone who lives with someone who is unwell should still isolate for two weeks – that bit has stayed the same.
People are most contagious a couple of days before and after they display symptoms but scientists say evidence they could pass it on up to nine days later has “strengthened”.
Anyone with a fever, new continuous cough or loss of taste or smell can book or order a free Covid-19 test on the government website and is advised to do so within the first five days of feeling ill.
If that result is negative they’ll no longer be told to isolate.
Figures suggest up to one in three tests may give a false negative result so this won’t completely eliminate the risk of the virus spreading but scientists say, given the UK’s increased testing and tracing programme, now is the right time to make these changes.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 17:38

China tightens lockdown in virus-hit Urumqi

Chinese authorities have imposed travel restrictions on people entering and leaving Urumqi, capital of the western province of Xinjiang, after a spike in new infections there.
The city is already subject to a strict lockdown. The latest measures mean that non-residents seeking to leave Urumqi must test negative first if they have been there for 14 days or more.
Those arriving from high-risk areas must self-isolate for 14 days.
Urumqi - which has a population of about 3.5 million - accounted for 96 of 105 confirmed Covid-19 cases reported on mainland China on Wednesday.
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What is the WHO’s advice on self-isolation?

Reality Check
Health Secretary Matt Hancock was asked on BBC Breakfast why the government has been advising people with coronavirus symptoms to isolate for seven days when the World Health Organization (WHO) says 14.
Mr Hancock said the WHO "were not recommending that".
In its advice to the public , the WHO says you should “stay home and self-isolate even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover.”
On 27 May, it released guidance saying people with coronavirus symptoms should isolate for a minimum of 13 days:

  • Symptomatic patients should isolate for 10 days after symptoms started, plus at least 3 additional days without symptoms
  • Asymptomatic cases should isolate for 10 days after a positive test result

This has changed since January, when the advice was that before leaving isolation, a patient with coronavirus should be “clinically recovered” and have two negative tests taken at least 24 hours apart.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 17:41

Trump calls for delay to presidential election

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Democrat Joe Biden, left, is set to challenge Donald Trump later this year

President Donald Trump has called for November's presidential election to be postponed, saying increased postal voting could lead to fraud and inaccurate results.
US states want to make postal voting easier due to public health concerns over the pandemic.
But Trump suggested a delay until people can "properly, securely and safely" vote.
There is little evidence to support his claims. The president has long railed against mail-in voting which he has said would be susceptible to fraud.
Six states are so far planning to hold "all-mail" ballot elections this November: California, Utah, Hawaii, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.
Read more here.

The latest headlines from Europe

Let's take a look at Europe now, where rising cases in some countries have officials worried. Here are the key headlines so far today:

  • Several countries have reported record daily increases in new cases this week, prompting fears of a wider surge across the continent. These include Poland and Romania, with the latter introducing new lockdown measures in a bid to curb the spread of the virus
  • Meanwhile, after almost three months of gradual easing of lockdown measures in Iceland, the government announced it was backtracking after a new surge in infections
  • In Spain, too, new restrictions have been introduced in the capital Madrid. Facemasks are required in public places regardless of whether social distancing is possible
  • And in France, Prime Minister Jean Castex said a second lockdown had to be avoided "at all costs" despite the recent rise in cases in the country
  • Official figures showed that England had the highest levels of excess deaths in Europe between the end of February to the middle of June. Spain's was the second highest in the countries studied followed by Scotland

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 17:46

Six Nations campaigns to resume in October

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International rugby is set to resume in October after the World Rugby Council approved a temporary 2020 calendar following the disruption caused by the coronavirus, World Rugby has announced.
The postponed 2020 Guinness Six Nations campaigns will conclude on the weekends of 24 and 31 October, the governing body of Rugby Union said.
Ireland have outstanding Six Nations matches against Italy and France to complete, while the Italians must also host England and Wales are scheduled to face Scotland.
This year's autumn Tests are then expected to be replaced by an eight-team tournament in which the Six Nations sides will be joined by Japan and Fiji.

Hancock: GP appointments 'should be by phone or video'

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People should have phone or video consultations with their doctors unless there is a clinical reason not to, Health Secretary Matt Hancock says.
He said there had been a "hugely positive" response to virtual appointments during the coronavirus pandemic.
They had worked particularly well in rural areas, he said.
But Mr Hancock said people unable to log-in or who need emergency care would still be seen in person.
He told a meeting at the Royal College of Physicians: "From now on, all consultations should be tele-consultations unless there's a compelling clinical reason not to. Of course if there is an emergency, the NHS will be waiting and ready to see you in person, just as it always has been."
Read the full story here .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 17:50

'Even clear face masks cause problems'

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Julie's daughter relies on a combination of sound and lip reading

BBC 5 Live’s Your Call programme has been hearing from parents and teachers on the subject of whether children should wear masks in schools.
Julie, from Hertfordshire, was worried how it would affect her eight-year-old daughter, who is profoundly deaf and has cochlear implants.
“She relies on a combination of sound and lip reading, so even clear face masks cause a lot of problems because the sound is muffled,” said Julie.
Seeing her daughter look confused when talking to people wearing masks had been “heartbreaking” for Julie.
Lindsay Cooke, a headteacher at a secondary school in Worcestershire, has asked pupils and staff to wear masks as they move between lessons but said it was "really tricky".
“We’ve got buildings that are 400 years old, narrow corridors. If you put that number of staff and children on to corridors, you can’t keep them safe,” she said.
Anna, a teacher from Derby, was “appalled” at the idea of her pupils wearing masks.
“We’ve all put masks on to pop to the shops for 20 minutes. But expecting young people to wear them all day at school is absolutely appalling,” she said.
Listen again to this morning’s Your Call on BBC Sounds


Top US health official: 'Wearing a mask does not cause Covid-19'

A top US health official has said there is no evidence to suggest that wearing a mask can cause a person to catch Covid-19, after an infected lawmaker blamed his mask for his positive test.
US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn's advice to wear a mask comes after a Texas congressman who tested positive yesterday suggested that his mask was to blame.
Republican Louie Gohmert mused during an interview after he was barred from travelling with President Trump "if my keeping a mask on and keeping it in place, that if I might have put some germs or some of the virus onto the mask and breathed it in".
In fact, it's the complete opposite - wearing a mask helps prevent transmission of the virus. The false notion that masks cause infections was popularised by an online video called "Plandemic", which is filled with medical misinformation about where the virus came from and how it is transmitted.
In an interview with NBC on Thursday, Dr Hahn said there is no "medical evidence that that's the case".
"What our data show is that people should wear masks, particularly when they can't socially distance. And they should follow their local ordinances with respect to masks."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 17:53

England records 12 deaths, Wales two, and Scotland and NI none

A further 12 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospitals in England, NHS England says.
The patients were aged between 40 and 96 years old and all had known underlying health conditions.
Wales recorded another two deaths. There were no coronavirus deaths recorded in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Separate UK-wide figures, which include deaths in all settings, will be released later.

New Jersey may release 20% of inmates

The US state of New Jersey, which has suffered the highest rate of Covid-19 deaths behind bars in the US, appears set to release around 20% of its prison population in an effort to reduce transmission rates among prisoners and guards.
The bill that New Jersey senators are voting on today may release 3,000 inmates who are within one year of finishing their sentence. The American Civil Rights Union has called it the first of its kind legislation in the nation.
The bill's authors contend that the governor has bungled the response in prison outbreaks, allowing thousands of infections and at least 50 deaths, while given early release to fewer than 300 inmates since March.
In comes as other officials around the US order prisons populations reduced in an effort to halt the virus' spread.
Can this California prison save itself from Covid-19?

Cambridge medics 'exhausted' after Covid-19 peak

Our colleagues in Cambridge are reporting from Addenbrooke's Hospital today as it emerges from a post-coronavirus peak.
They have stories from patients and staff at one of the UK's leading hospitals.
Deputy matron Nicola Cundell says it's been "pretty full on" and staff are "exhausted".
"Normally patients have someone with them, a relative to sit with them and hold their hand, so we've had to be a little bit of everything," she said.
You can read more from Addenbrooke's and follow the team's live updates here .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 17:56

Former US presidential candidate Herman Cain dies at 74

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Herman Cain made a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012

Herman Cain, the Republican former pizza chain CEO who ran for US president in 2012, has died after testing positive for Covid-19.Cain, who more recently hosted radio and TV programmes, was admitted to hospital on 1 July.
“Herman Cain - our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us – has passed away,” a statement on his website said.
"We knew when he was first hospitalised... that this was going to be a rough fight," it added.
His social media accounts had been providing regular updates on his condition. On 7 July, a post from his Twitter account said “doctors are trying to make sure his oxygen levels are right".
"This is a tough virus," it said. "Please continue praying."
Cain ran for office in 2012 after a stint as CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. He is often remembered for his 9-9-9 tax reform plan.
In 2019, US President Donald Trump asked him to sit on the Federal Reserve Board, but he withdrew his nomination after several Republican senators refused to back his appointment.

Football fans find creative solution to stadium ban

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
The 2020 season for the Chinese Super League, China’s Premier League-equivalent, began earlier this week, on 25 July.
But many sporting events are still banning spectators, meaning that some football fans in the eastern city of Kunshan were forced to find a creative way to watch their favourite players, without entering the stadium.
Images have gone viral showing fans cheering and holding banners from windows at a hotel overlooking the Kunshan Stadium, at a 27 July match in the city between the Shanghai SIPG and Tianjin Teda teams.
Many on the popular Sina Weibo social media platform have applauded the commitment fans made, paying around 450 yuan (£49; $64) to see their favourite teams – technically without breaking the rules.
However, there are hints the authorities aren’t best pleased about this, and hotel staff have told Pear Video that these “football viewing rooms” may not be available in future.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 18:00

One in three furloughed workers back at work in UK, ONS says

Roughly one in three furloughed workers in the UK had returned to their jobs in the first two weeks of July, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS survey also revealed differences between business sectors, with more than 90% of water treatment or IT staff working, but only around half of employees in hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues.
However, businesses such as hotels and restaurants, which only came out of lockdown on 4 July, have seen the biggest increase in the proportion of staff returning to work.

Outbreak at gym operating illegally in San Diego

A popular San Diego gym that was operating in violation of the county’s public health order last week has been confirmed as an outbreak hotspot.
At least three cases have now been linked to The Gym in Pacific Beach, officials say. The Gym continue to operate last week, despite being given orders to shut down, according to San Diego media. It has since closed.
On Wednesday, officials reported 498 new cases in San Diego, raising the total infections there to over 28,000. There have also been 547 deaths.

Jet2 tells holidaymakers in Spain to return early

Jet2 is contacting customers on the Balearic and Canary Islands to ask them to end their package holidays early, the BBC has learned.
Hundreds of customers have had flights back to the UK cancelled and been asked to leave sooner.
Jet2 says it cannot afford to keep sending empty planes to pick up passengers on many different dates.
Customers due to return from Spain in early August have been told to return earlier.
But the BBC understands that passengers meant to be flying with the firm on Friday 31 July and Saturday 1 August are not affected - their flights are scheduled as normal.
Read more here.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 18:04

Pubs and restaurants in Wales can reopen indoors on Monday

The reopening of pubs, restaurants and cafes indoors in Wales has been confirmed for the start of next week.
First Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to announce the next steps in easing the country's coronavirus restrictions on Friday .
Hospitality businesses have already been allowed to open outdoors in Wales, and indoors in other parts of the UK.
They have been shut since the middle of March, just before the country went into lockdown.

Virus tracing app released in Northern Ireland

The app for tracking and tracing coronavirus in Northern Ireland has been released for download from Apple's App Store and on Google Play.
StopCOVID NI has several features for logging the details of those experiencing symptoms of the virus.
It will supplement the phone-based contact tracing programme that is already in place, and identify those at risk of infection.
Northern Ireland is the first part of the UK to have a contact tracing app .
Within an hour of its release, hundreds of people had installed it on their mobile phones.
Read more here.
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The app automatically contacts anyone at risk of infection
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 18:58

Leicester mayor 'incredibly frustrated' at lack of lockdown news

The government has yet to say whether it will lift or extend local lockdown restrictions in Leicester.
The city's mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, said he and local officials "haven't got a clue what's going on", complaining they have been "messed about all day".
He claimed No 10 had indicated they were going to make the announcement "much earlier in the day" but now he understands "they're not even going to discuss it until 6pm".
Sir Peter added that he was "incredibly frustrated" on behalf of the people of Leicester, particularly businesses who have been "struggling" due to an "extra four weeks" of lockdown.
Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that businesses in Leicester would get £3m of government funding to help with the financial impact of the local lockdown.
The city and some surrounding areas were put under the UK's first local lockdown on 29 June after a spike in Covid-19 cases there, though some restrictions were lifted on 24 July.

We could learn if Oxford vaccine is effective in October

James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
We could find out if the vaccine designed by the University of Oxford is effective in October.
AstraZeneca, which is aiming to manufacture two billion doses by the end of next year, said the results of trials in the UK, US, Brazil and South Africa should be known by then.
The company told BBC Newscast they are “hoping the immune response will last for at least 12 months, but hopefully closer to 24 or longer”.
If protection waned after a year, it would mean an annual jab would be needed like the winter flu vaccine.
Early trials of the coronavirus vaccine show it can train the immune system, but it is unknown whether this is enough to offer protection.
Data from those trials suggested two doses gave a stronger response than one and AstraZeneca said that looked like “the most effective dose”.
However, there is still uncertainty about how long protection lasts and how effective it is in older age groups, who are most at risk of the disease.
You can listen to Newscast here.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 19:02

WHO chief: World must learn to live with coronavirus

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said the world must "learn to live" with the coronavirus.
Speaking at a daily press briefing, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "We must all learn to live with the virus and to take the steps necessary to live our lives, while protecting ourselves and others."
He also praised the measures that were put in place for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
"This is a powerful demonstration of the kinds of measures that countries can and must take to adapt to the new normal," he said.
Dr Tedros also warned against complaceny among young people.
"We have said it before and we’ll say it again: Young people are not invincible," he said. "Young people can be infected; young people can die; and young people can transmit the virus to others.
"That’s why young people must take the same precautions to protect themselves and protect others as everyone else," he added.

Analysis: Can Trump delay the US presidential election?

Anthony Zurcher - BBC North America reporter
As we reported earlier, US President Donald Trump has suggested postponing November's presidential election. He has claimed that increased postal voting because of the coronavirus pandemic could lead to fraud and inaccurate results.
There is little evidence that this would be the case - but does he have the power to delay it?
The short answer is no. It would take an act of Congress - approved by majorities in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the Republican-controlled Senate - to change the date of the election.
And the prospect of a bipartisan legislative consensus signing off on any delay is unlikely in the extreme.
What's more, even if the voting day were changed, the US Constitution mandates that a presidential administration only last four years. In other words, Donald Trump's first term will expire at noon on 20 January 2021 one way or another.
Read more analysis here.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 30th July

Post by Kitkat on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 19:08

Here's a recap of today's main headlines

Thank you for following our coronavirus live page today, brought to you by our team of reporters in London and around the world.
Here are some of the main developments of the day:

  • In the UK, the length of time people with symptoms will have to self-isolate for has increased from seven to 10 days
  • Official figures showed England had the highest levels of excess deaths in Europe between the end of February to the middle of June. Spain was the second highest followed by Scotland
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it is "absolutely vital as a country we don’t delude ourselves that somehow we’re out of the woods or this is all over, because it isn’t all over". The PM said a “resurgence of the virus” was visible in some countries in Europe and in the US, and that people must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to avoid a second wave
  • The restrictions of lockdown may have fostered a new community spirit in Britain, but there are signs the feelings of solidarity are beginning to fray , a report has warned
  • Elsewhere, US President Donald Trump called for November's presidential election to be postponed. He said increased postal voting because of the pandemic could lead to fraud - but there is little evidence for this claim
  • An aid group warned that a lack of testing across Africa is making it "nearly impossible" to understand the extent of the pandemic there
  • In Europe, several countries reported record daily increases in new cases this week, prompting fears of a wider surge across the continent. Countries including Spain and Romania have imposed stricter lockdown measures
  • And the economic toll of the pandemic continues to be felt, with Germany's economy experiencing its sharpest decline on record



And that's all from us for today

We are now bringing our live page to a pause. Thank you for joining us today, from wherever you are in the world.

Today's live page has been edited by Flora Drury and Alex Therrien and written by Vanessa Buschschluter, Raffi Berg, David Walker, Dulcie Lee, Kate Whannel, Gareth Evans, Jo Couzens and Mary O’Connor.


We'll be back tomorrow

    Current date/time is Wed 05 Aug 2020, 11:32