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Coronavirus - 31st July

Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 09:07

Summary for Friday, 31st July


  • Separate households are banned from meeting each other indoors in large parts of northern England
  • Four million people are hit with the measures, imposed after a spike in coronavirus cases
  • Vietnam reports its first death, months into the pandemic, amid record new cases
  • The WHO is to meet to discuss what more can be done to control the pandemic
  • Melbourne in Australia could face further restrictions as cases rise despite a lockdown
  • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he's taking antibiotics to treat an infection after contracting coronavirus
  • Globally there have been more than 17m cases and nearly 700,000 deaths


The latest headlines in the UK

There have been big changes overnight for more than four million people in the UK after the health secretary announced a tightening of lockdown in parts of northern England.

  • Separate households have been banned from meeting each other indoors in Greater Manchester and parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire following a spike in coronavirus cases.
  • A number of care homes in England are having to delay the resumption of visits because of a lack of coronavirus testing for staff and residents. A leading care home group told the BBC many of its facilities would not be able to host family members for weeks.
  • Charities are calling on the chancellor to protect the jobs of workers who have been shielding during the pandemic, warning that workers will be forced to choose between health and their jobs, when restrictions ease.
  • The rules on how many people can meet outdoors in Wales will be eased next week , the Welsh Government has announced. Since early June outdoor meetings have been restricted to just two households.


Global headlines: Japan sees record daily cases

Here are some of the key updates from around the world:

  • Japan says it recorded at least 1,305 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, a record daily increase for the second consecutive day
  • Vietnam reported 45 new coronavirus infections in the city of Danang, the single biggest rise in cases since the start of its outbreak
  • Mexico has posted 639 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the country's toll to 46,000, almost equalling that of the UK’s
  • The president of the Philippines has extended lockdown restrictions in the capital Manila, saying they will remain in place until mid-August
  • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said he was taking antibiotics for an infection after testing positive for coronavirus earlier this month
  • US President Donald Trump has been rebuked by Republicans for suggesting a delay to November’s presidential election , over concerns about mail-in voting during the pandemic
  • Herman Cain, the Republican pizza chain boss who ran for president in 2012, has died after contracting Covid-19 .


Home visits banned in parts of northern England

Separate households have been banned from meeting each other indoors in Greater Manchester and parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire following a spike in coronavirus cases.
The health secretary said the increase in transmission was "largely due" to people not observing social distancing.
The opposition party Labour criticised the government for a lack of clarity over the measures and for announcing them "late at night".
More than four million residents of Greater Manchester, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees will be affected by the tightening of restrictions.
Read more about the new restrictions here .

Tokyo governor considers state of emergency

Tokyo’s governor has said a state of emergency may need to be declared in the Japanese capital if coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Yuriko Koike said there were 463 new coronavirus infections on Friday, the biggest daily increase yet.
On Thursday Tokyo's government asked restaurants and karaoke bars to limit their operating hours amid worries over the recent spike in infections.
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Japan, which reported 1,305 new infections on Thursday, a daily record for the second straight day.
Despite this Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said on Friday it was not necessary for the government to reimpose a nationwide state of emergency at this point.

Not a lockdown but modest steps - Manchester's mayor

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
Coronavirus - 31st July 14380e10

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, says the tightening of restrictions announced late last night are "modest steps".
"This isn't a lockdown," he says. "This is asking people to take extra precautions, particularly with regard to who visits their home.
"The aim of course is to prevent a lockdown."
Burnham said the prospect of Muslims gathering in each other's houses to celebrate the festival of Eid this weekend had been a concern, adding that there was "no doubt" that asking people not to do so was a big ask.
"Everybody feels for people who had their plans and those plans have now been disrupted. The reality is people still can hold gatherings... within their household, but not by having visitors into their homes."
"Though it's a difficult reality for people to wake up to today, the truth is we're going to have to get used to this."
"This will be a more regular feature of life in Britain as we live with Covid," he says.

India death toll rises to fifth-highest

Nearly 800 deaths were reported from India on Thursday, taking the total to more than 35,500, and surpassing Italy to become the country with the fifth-highest number of fatalities.
Another new record of daily infections - over 54,000 - has meant that the infections in India have crossed 1.6 million, the third highest anywhere in the world.
India locked down in late March and started to open up in June in phases. On Wednesday, the home ministry announced a new round of "unlock" measures, including re-opening gyms from 5 August and hotels.
On Friday, the capital Delhi said it would start to reopen hotels - but keep gyms closed for now.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 09:19

Test and trace data shows virus spreading through home visits

BBC Breakfast
Explaining his decision to ban separate households from meeting indoors in many parts of northern England, Health Secretary Matt Hancock says test and trace data given during contact tracing has shown "most of the transmission is happening between households" and between people visiting family and friends.
"Whenever anybody tests positive, the vast majority of them we manage to speak to, and we ask which contacts they've had.
"That's shown that the vast majority of contact of people who have the virus, other than people in their own household... is from households visiting and then visiting friends and relatives."
He says the data has allowed for the more targeted measures , rather than more blanket rules seen previously.
"In a way, one of the terrible things about this virus is it thrives on the sort of social contact that makes life worth living," he says.

Vietnam reports record daily increase

Vietnam has reported 45 new coronavirus infections in the resort city of Danang, the country's highest daily increase in cases since its outbreak began.
The outbreak in the city, a popular destination for tourists, saw Vietnam record its first locally transmitted cases for more than three month last week.
Now authorities are scrambling to stamp out the outbreak, with more than 100 health workers sent to Danang to help out.
In the capital Hanoi, testing has been increased and gatherings have been banned as part of those efforts.
The new infections reported in Danang on Friday brought the total number of cases to 509 nationwide. There have been no deaths in Vietnam.
Vietnam earned plaudits for its initial response to the pandemic, which saw it bring in strict travel restrictions and launch an aggressive test-and-trace programme.

UK chancellor 'must protect' jobs of those shielding

Charities are calling on the UK's chancellor to protect the jobs of workers who have been shielding during the pandemic.
A total of 15 charities have warned in an open letter that workers will be forced to choose between health and their jobs, when restrictions ease.
"Some of these workers will find themselves in an impossible position," the letter says.
From 1 August, extremely clinically vulnerable people who have stayed at home to protect themselves from coronavirus in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are allowed to return to work.
But charities including Age UK and Macmillan Cancer Support have said that these employees could be at risk of being made redundant, or returning to the workplace when they do not feel it is safe.
A government spokesperson said that the government had "worked tirelessly" to support the clinically vulnerable.
Read more here .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 09:23

Vietnam reports its first Covid-19 death

Vietnamese state media has just confirmed a patient has died of coronavirus - the first death from the virus in the country.
Vietnam had had extraordinary success in keeping the virus out after shutting its borders early and imposing strict quarantine and contact tracing.
But a new outbreak in Da Nang, a tourist city on the central coast, has caused alarm, as the origin has not yet been identified.
Cases are also springing up around the country, after three months with none.

Hancock defends giving three hours' notice for new rules in England

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
More now on the tightening of restrictions in parts of northern England.
Asked why the new measures were announced three hours before they were due to come into force, Health Secretary Matt Hancock says: "We announced the decision as soon as practical, and I think that's what people expect.
"One of the features of this pandemic is that in government we have had to take decisions swiftly and then announce them swiftly so that people know about them as soon as possible."
He adds that the government had put together advertising campaigns to communicate changing rules.
Read more about the changes here .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 09:36

Brazil’s president takes antibiotics for infection

Coronavirus - 31st July B69f3510
Michelle Bolsonaro (left) tested positive for the virus on Thursday

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said he is taking antibiotics for an infection that has left him weak, after he fell ill with Covid-19 earlier this month.
"I just had a blood test. I was a little weak yesterday. I have a bit of an infection and I'm on antibiotics now,” Bolsonaro said in a livestream video on Thursday.
Bolsonaro said he had “mould in my lungs”, without elaborating, after spending almost a month in quarantine at his presidential residence.
The president tested positive for coronavirus on 7 July, but has since been given the all clear.
His wife, First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro, tested positive for the virus on Thursday, the presidential palace said.
Bolsonaro has previously compared Covid-19 to a "little flu" and complained about lockdown measures and their effect on the economy.
Brazil is second only to the US in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths.

Analysis: Better testing means we can buy time

James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
There is an inescapable fact in the UK – the coronavirus has not gone away and it still thrives on close human contact.
The more we come together the easier it will spread.
We have seen this happen as national lockdowns have been lifted from Europe, to the US, to Australia and more.
Better testing means we can now spot where cases are starting to spike.
The warning signs are in the data with cases climbing in areas like Manchester, Trafford, Salford and Tameside.
The hope is the government has acted quickly enough to suppress the virus with “local restrictions” before it becomes a national problem.
It is now the turn of millions of people in northern England to take the hit, but local lockdowns could happen anywhere.
This is the "new normal" as we buy time until a vaccine is developed.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 09:40

Australia's Victoria may impose tougher lockdown as cases rise

Coronavirus - 31st July 74c69e10
Police were called to an anti-mask protest on Melbourne on Friday

The Australian state of Victoria may need to tighten coronavirus restrictions further as infections continue to rise despite weeks of lockdown, premier Daniel Andrews has warned.
A further eight deaths and 627 cases were reported on Friday, a drop from the record daily rise of 723 infections a day earlier .
Most of Victoria's new cases were detected in Melbourne, Australia's second-biggest city, where a six-week lockdown began on 7 July.
Andrews told a news conference on Friday that the “these numbers are far too high”.
He added “we need to take further steps” to bring the outbreak under control, without giving more details.
Under Melbourne's stay-at-home order, people cannot leave their home except for exercise, food shopping, work and care-giving.

Why Hong Kong's 'third wave' is a warning to others

Helier Cheung - BBC News
Until recently, Hong Kong was considered a poster child in its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It contained the outbreak through strict border controls, testing and tracing cases, the widespread use of masks, and social distancing measures.
But it is not a second but a third wave of infections it is now facing and the government has warned its hospital system could face collapse.
How did this happen?
Health experts say exempting people in certain professions from quarantine seems to have led to imported infections spreading in the community - and that other countries, including the UK, should take note.
You can read more here .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 10:23

French authorities given powers to enforce outdoor masks

Coronavirus - 31st July E5a3f110
Cases are on the rise again in some regions of France

Local authorities may enforce the wearing of face masks in outdoor spaces to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, France’s health minister has announced.
“This decision can be taken locally, depending on the situation of the epidemic in each region,” the minister, Olivier Veran, wrote on Twitter .
The French government has already made face masks compulsory in all enclosed public spaces, including public transport and shops.
President Emmanuel Macron declared a "first victory" over the virus in June and has ended the national state of emergency, but local outbreaks remain.
France reported 1,377 new coronavirus infections on Thursday. France, one of Europe's hardest-hit countries, has recorded more than 200,000 infections and over 30,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Lack of clarity over new rules causing 'huge uncertainty' - Labour

BBC News Channel
Shadow business minister and Manchester MP Lucy Powell has criticised the government for causing a "huge amount of uncertainty" about what the new lockdown measures mean.
Ms Powell says a lack of clarity is "causing people a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty."
She says there are "questions here which we need urgently answering" about "what these restrictions mean".
It was wrong for the government to announce these changes "without being around to answer those basic questions", she says, adding that the "blanket set of restrictions" is the "government recognising that their track and trace system is just not fit for purpose".

WHO to discuss way out of global emergency

Imogen Foulkes - BBC News, Geneva
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergency committee will meet on Friday to reassess the Covid-19 pandemic, six months after first declaring a global public health emergency.
But we already know one outcome of that meeting: the global emergency will stay in place. The discussion will instead be over what more can be done to control the virus.
When the WHO committee declared the emergency in January, there were fewer than 100 recorded cases of Covid-19, and no deaths, outside China.
The hope was that lockdown measures would end the pandemic, but as countries cautiously ease those restrictions, the virus is returning.
WHO experts may try to offer encouragement to people around the world to keep going. And perhaps, they will assess progress towards that vital vaccine, viewed by many scientists now as the only way out of the pandemic trap.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 10:31

85 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Ireland, largest daily rise in over 10 weeks

:shamrock: IRELAND HAS experienced an alarming rise in daily Covid-19 cases as 85 new cases were identified in a 24 hour period.
Yesterday evening, Thursday 30 July at 6.30pm, the Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) announced that there had been an additional 85 new cases and one further death confirmed within the community.
The new figures represents Ireland's highest daily rise in cases in over 10 weeks, since 115 cases were recorded on 22 May.
The 85 cases are spread around the country, with 26 identified in Kildare, 18 in Dublin, 11 in Clare, 9 in Laois, 7 in Limerick, 4 in Meath and the remainder in 7 other counties.
68% of the new cases are in people under the age of 45, and 39% are associated with close contacts of a confirmed case.
Half are associated with outbreaks in the community.
The 85 new cases brings to 26,027 the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Ireland; the announcement of one sad passing brings the number of virus-related deaths to 1,763.
The HSE is working rapidly to identify any close contacts the patients may have had, in order to advise them and slow the spread of the virus.
Acting Chief Medical Officer says the new figures "demonstrate how quickly Covid-19 can re-emerge in our country.
"We are now at a crucial point in our response to Covid-19. Over the coming days it is vital that everyone continues to avoid large crowds, physically distance, wear face coverings where appropriate and wash hands regularly.
“COVID-19 is extremely infectious and no one is immune. Follow public health advice and stay vigilant."

Pubs could remain closed as Ireland experiences 'significant' rise in Covid-19 cases
PHASE FOUR of the reopening of the country could be delayed if Ireland continued to experience a spike in new cases, the Acting CMO has said.
Dr Ronan Glynn yesterday announced that 85 new cases of the virus had been identified in the community; the highest number in ten weeks since 115 cases were confirmed on 22 May.
Stating that the figures indicate "how quickly Covid-19 can re-emerge in our country", Dr Glynn said it is "vital that everyone continues to avoid large crowds, physically distance, wear face coverings where appropriate and wash hands regularly.
"Covid-19 is extremely infectious and no one is immune."
Speaking on the alarming rise in cases, Dr Glynn said we do not yet know if they are "a blip associated with a number of specific clusters, or... a sign of something more significant."
The spike in cases, which includes a number of clusters in counties across Ireland, has raised the country's average daily cases from the 20s to the 30s, he added.
Ireland is due to enter Phase 4 of the reopening of the country on 10 August, after it was pushed back from 20 July due to a rise in cases.
However, Dr Glynn said they could not confirm whether this will go ahead.
"Next week is very far away at this point," he told press at yesterday's briefing. "We'll be monitoring this in hours: in the next 24 hours and the next 48 hours.
"We'll be making no decisions about moving to Phase 4 or other measures until we see how this plays out in terms of the numbers.
When asked what advice he would give to pub owners hoping to reopen for business on 10 August, Dr Glynn said he was "very sorry" for the position they were in "but our focus here has to be on public health".
Earlier this month, National Virus Reference Laboratory Director Dr Cillian De Gascun told Today With Sarah McInerney that there was always a possibility of Ireland "taking a step backwards into Phase Two" if new daily cases hits high double digits or over 100 per day.
When questioned about Dr de Gascun's comments at that evening's press briefing, Dr Glynn said "We've always been honest that this isn't a one way street with this disease."
"We don't want to go backwards but we can't rule it out unfortunately."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 13:30

Up to 30 can meet outdoors in Wales from Monday

Coronavirus - 31st July 9bc58510
Groups of up to 30 people will be able to meet outdoors in places like Cardiff Castle from Monday

The rules on how many people can meet outdoors in Wales will be eased next week, the Welsh Government has said.
Since early June outdoor meetings have been restricted to just two households.
But from Monday groups of up to 30 can meet, and it will not matter how many households they are from.
Children under 11 will no longer have to maintain a 2m distance from each other or from adults from Monday, because of lower rates of transmission in their age group.
Swimming pools, gyms and leisure centres can also reopen from 10 August.
Read more here .

How will Eid be celebrated in northern English mosques?

Rahila Bano - BBC Asian Network
Coronavirus - 31st July 9b9dbe10
Worshippers are seen socially distancing as they arrive at the Bradford Grand Mosque in West Yorkshire

The new restrictions in the north of England came on the eve of Eid al-Adha, when Muslim families were preparing to meet family and friends to celebrate the three-day festival.
Many Muslim families usually attend Eid - even those who don't usually go to the mosque at other times of the year.
Mosques have reopened and special Eid prayers will be held in Greater Manchester, Leicester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire.
But they'll look different to previous years.
The 2m distancing rule means many mosques won't be able to accommodate as many people as normal and those who do attend have been asked to bring their own prayer mats.
People have been told to wear masks, those over 70 have been told not to attend and, in some mosques, worshipers must give their details for contact tracing.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 13:36

Baby steps as NI shielders move back into the world

Nuala McCann - BBC News NI
For thousands of people across Northern Ireland who have been shielding since the Covid-19 pandemic began, today is a big moment as restrictions on their movements finally eased.
Marianne Cleary is 32 years old and has been shielding with a rare neurological condition.
Travelling from her home in Crossgar to hospital appointments, she was dismayed that so few people were wearing face masks.
"I was really shocked," she said. "Face masks should have been compulsory by the time the most vulnerable in society were allowed out."
Marianne will not be rushing out into the world.
"Baby steps and caution seems the most logical way forward for me personally," she said.
"I certainly won't be taking any unnecessary risks like going to restaurants or pubs. I haven't found a meal or drink yet that I would, quite literally, die for."
Read more here .

The UK picture

We should be hearing from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the next 30 minutes, but let’s take a look at the latest from the country first:
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 13:44

Easing of UK restrictions 'to be delayed'

The prime minister has told opposition parties a further easing of restrictions due to come in tomorrow in England is being postponed, the BBC's Nick Eardley reports.
It had been expected that venues such as casinos and bowling alleys would reopen from tomorrow. Live indoor theatre and concerts were also due to resume with socially distanced audiences.
Details are expected in the prime minister’s press conference shortly.

Hong Kong leader delays local elections

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam has said September's local elections will be postponed because of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the territory.
It is not yet clear when it is being delayed to.
September's poll was seen as a test of support for pro-democracy candidates in Hong Kong, after China's imposition of a controversial national security law.
Coronavirus cases have recently been on the rise in Hong Kong, a special administrative territory of China.

Evidence for increased infections in England - ONS

There is evidence to suggest a slight increase in the number of people in England testing positive on a nose and throat swab in recent weeks, the Office for National Statistics says.
The figures are based on its infection survey, which takes swabs from people selected at random in homes in England.
The ONS estimates that about 1 in 1,500 people in homes in England are infected (roughly 36,000 people in total) with 4,200 new infections each day.
Both figures are up on last week, when it was estimated there were 2,800 new infections each day and that one in 2,000 people (28,000 total) were infected in homes in England.

Scottish gov advises against non-essential travel to north England

Glenn Campbell - BBC Scotland Political Correspondent
The Scottish government is advising against all but essential travel to and from parts of northern England after a rise in coronavirus cases.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 13:48

Muslim leader criticises government for 'shockingly short notice'

The Muslim Council of Britain's secretary general, Harun Khan, criticises the way the government announced new restrictions in northern England, which came the day before Eid celebrations began.
"With the first day of Eid being today, for Muslims in the affected areas, it is like being told they cannot visit family and friends for Christmas on Christmas Eve itself," he says.
"Whilst the safety of communities is of paramount importance, as has remained the case from the very outset of this crisis, so is effective communication delivered in a timely fashion.
"Failure to communicate makes it difficult for communities across the country to continue working together to minimise the spread of the virus, whilst eroding trust in the ability of authorities to steer our course as we tackle the Covid-19 crisis.
"The UK government has failed to provide clarity on the shockingly short notice and the reasoning behind the new rules that British Muslims deserve - any such clarification would be most welcome."
Read more on the changes here .


Spectators 'no longer allowed to attend UK pilot sports events'

Dan Roan - BBC Sports editor
The prime minister is set to announce that fans will no longer be permitted to attend the sporting pilot events allowing limited numbers of spectators at Goodwood, the Crucible and the Oval in coming days.
It comes after evidence that the infection rate has risen across the country.

Virus prevalence 'likely to be rising'

Boris Johnson says progress against coronavirus continues, with death numbers falling, but adds that some European countries are "struggling" to control it. The UK must be ready to "react", he adds.
The prevalence of the virus in England is now likely to be rising, he says.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 13:54

Wearing face coverings in some settings to become law

The prime minister says the rules on face coverings will be extended "to other indoor settings where you're likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship."
"We now recommend face coverings are worn in these settings and this will become enforceable in law from the 8 August," he says.

Is PM worried this will turn into a surge?

The BBC's Leila Nathoo asks the prime minister how worried he is that there will be a surge in cases.
“I’ve said throughout the pandemic there would be fresh outbreaks,” Johnson says.
“We’re now seeing a warning light on the dashboard - it’s right to respond in the way that we are.
“The answer lies with all of us following that guidance."

Analysis: We may have passed the limit of lockdown easing

James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
Cases in England are increasing for the first time since May.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows there are around 4,200 new infections a day compared with 2,800 a week ago.
This is not a return to the height of the epidemic in March, but it is telling.
Every restriction we ease increases the ability of the coronavirus to spread and the government’s science advisers have always warned there was not much wiggle room to lift restrictions and still suppress the virus.
The uptick in infections is a warning we may have already passed the limit of lifting lockdown.
That is why Boris Johnson has delayed some of the planned lifting of restrictions in England and face masks will become a more frequent sight.
The big question remains around schools. If the current rules are leading to an increase in cases, can we open schools as well? If we open schools will we have to close something else?
It is worth noting all this is happening in July and scientists suspect the virus will spread even more easily in the winter months.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 17:25

What's happening to England's lockdown rules?

Reality Check
On 17 July, the prime minister set out plans to further ease lockdown rules from 1 August to:

  • Reopen most remaining leisure settings, including bowling, skating rinks and casinos
  • Allow live indoor theatre and concert performances to resume with socially distanced audiences
  • Reopen all close contact services including any treatments on the face, such as eyebrow threading or make-up application
  • Allow wedding receptions for as many as 30 people

These changes have now been postponed for at least a fortnight, with the prime minister saying at a Downing Street press conference that "we should now squeeze that brake pedal to keep the virus under control".
The changes to the guidance for employers, allowing them to make decisions about how and where their staff can work safely from tomorrow, will remain in place.
And plans to pause shielding from 1 August will proceed as planned.

Boris Johnson briefing: Key points

The PM has just finished speaking at a Downing Street press conference.
Let’s take a look at the main points:

  • Further easing of restrictions which had been due to come in tomorrow in England are postponed until 15 August at the earliest – this includes the opening of casinos, bowling alleys, indoor theatres and concerts with social distancing
  • Changes to wedding celebrations to allow up to 30 guests are also postponed
  • Shielding will be paused nationally from 1 August as planned
  • Face covering rules will be extended to additional settings in England from 8 August, including museums. There will be a greater police presence to enforce this
  • The introduction of new restrictions in northern England is not a "return to lockdown" - but further local restrictions will be implemented as needed
  • No change to work-from-home guidance from tomorrow - meaning more people will still be encouraged to go in to their workplaces. The PM promised to "come down hard” on workplaces which people do not feel are safe
  • People who test positive for coronavirus will not be discharged into care homes
  • New slogan from the PM: "Hands, face, space, get a test”
  • Rise in infection rates in several parts of the world is not a "second wave", says Professor Chris Whitty, but if people increase the number of people they meet, the virus rate will increase "inevitably"
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 17:31

How are face covering rules being enforced?

Reality Check
Coronavirus - 31st July 15d86510
Face coverings are to become compulsory in museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship

At the Downing Street press briefing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he’d asked the home secretary to “work with the police and others to ensure that the rules which are already in place are properly enforced” meaning a “greater police presence to ensure face coverings are being worn where this is required by law”.
He also announced that wearing them would become compulsory in museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship from 8 August.
The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) releases data on the number of fines issued for breaches of coronavirus restrictions.
The most recent release was on 27 July and showed that between 7 and 20 July, just six fixed penalty notices were issued in England to people for not wearing a face covering on public transport.
New rules requiring people to wear a face covering in shops, takeaways and banks came into force on 24 July. We don’t yet have data on how many fines have been issued to people for not complying with these rules.

France tightens rules amid heatwave

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Cannes: France is seeing crowded beaches again

It’s sizzlingly hot in France – the temperature topped 40C (104F) in Biarritz on Thursday – and local authorities are alarmed about overcrowded beaches.
Local authorities are being given extra powers to enforce the wearing of masks outdoors but beach resorts have already rushed to tighten coronavirus restrictions
In La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast, and Argelès-sur-mer and Grau-du-Roi on the Mediterranean, mask-wearing is now compulsory in public spaces. Saint-Malo in Brittany has made it compulsory until 30 August.
From next week vacationers in Bayonne and Biarritz will also have to wear masks in town, or pay fines.
Biarritz, Quiberon and Sables d'Olonne on the Atlantic coast will bar access to their beaches at night – a measure aimed at curbing beach parties popular among young people.
After months of lockdown, there is concern in Europe that many young people, enjoying some freedom again, are flouting social distancing rules.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 17:34

Republicans reject Trump’s election-delay suggestion

US President Donald Trump has whipped up political opposition within his own party to his controversial suggestion of a “delay” to November's presidential election.
In a tweet on Thursday, Trump mooted the idea of postponing the poll over concerns about mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
He suggested that increased postal voting during the pandemic could lead to fraud and inaccurate results.
For the suggestion of a delay, Trump was rebuked by senior members of the Republican party , with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy both dismissing the idea.
Trump does not have the authority to postpone the election, as any delay would have to be approved by Congress.
Our North America reporter, Anthony Zurcher, has written some analysis about the process of delaying a presidential election .

What's the R number in your area?

A little earlier we heard how the R number for the UK as a whole is between 0.8 and 0.9.
If you need a quick reminder, R is the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to, on average.
It's a way of rating a disease's ability to spread.

If the reproduction number is higher than one, then the number of cases increases exponentially - it snowballs like debt on an unpaid credit card.
But if the number is lower, the disease will eventually peter out, as not enough new people are being infected to sustain the outbreak.
Take a look at the R number in your area (if you're in England) here:
Coronavirus - 31st July A5d8c710
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 17:37

Philippines sees 4,063 new cases as capital stays in lockdown

A further 4,063 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the Philippines, the highest daily case increase in south-east Asia for the second straight day.
The country’s health ministry said total confirmed infections have risen to 93,354, while deaths increased by 40 to 2,023.
On Friday Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte extended lockdown restrictions in the capital Manila, saying they will remain in force until mid-August.
Lockdown measures have been in place in the capital region, provinces south of it, and cities in the central Philippines since June.
"My plea is to endure some more. Many have been infected," Duterte said in a TV address.
Duterte promised to distribute free Covid-19 vaccines supplied by China when they become available.

PM's 'dramatic' decisions 'understandable', says shadow health secretary

The PM's decision to postpone further easing of lockdown restrictions is "understandable", shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has said.
He told Times Radio: "Two weeks ago, Boris Johnson was suggesting it could all be over by Christmas and I think many people thought there would be a kind of lull in this virus across the summer."
But the Labour MP said the increase in infection rates and outbreaks across Europe were a reminder the virus hadn't gone away.
Mr Ashworth added: "Of course, it comes off the back of the devastating news yesterday that we've now had the highest death rate in Europe confirmed."
Repeating the assertion that the government was "too slow early in responding to this virus", he said: "I think it's understandable why they've had to make these decisions so quickly and dramatically in the last 24 hours."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 17:41

How bad is Hong Kong’s outbreak?

As we reported earlier, Hong Kong’s local elections in September have been postponed.
The reason was the rising number of coronavirus infections in the territory, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said .
How serious is the outbreak in Hong Kong?
Well, despite its early success against Covid-19, Hong Kong is now regularly reporting more than 100 new daily cases.
A further 121 coronavirus cases were reported on Friday, the tenth straight day of triple-digit increases in infections. That increase brought the total number of cases to 3,272, while deaths rose by two to 27.
The number of infections and deaths in Hong Kong, a city of about 7.5 million people, are lower than other places with comparable populations.
But on Wednesday, Lam said Hong Kong's hospital system could face "collapse", as the territory was "on the verge of a large-scale community outbreak".
Read more about the causes of Hong Kong’s “third wave” of Covid-19 .

New lockdown rules mean 'the spirit of Eid has gone'

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Muslim leaders have criticised the "last-minute" announcement that derailed Eid celebrations

"Imagine it's Christmas and you get this bombshell?" said Zulfi Karim, president of the Bradford Council of Mosques.
That's how many Muslims were affected by yesterday evening's "last-minute" announcement of coronavirus restrictions two hours before the festival of Eid , he suggested.
"Coming together of friends and family is actually a major part of the day of Eid - it's a sharing of food and gifts and coming together," Karim said, adding that "the spirit of Eid has gone".
But Qari Asim, a senior Imam in Leeds, urged people to "remain safe" by celebrating at home. He said it was "just as effective as being in larger groups".
Coming on top of restrictions on Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, there was a sense of "deflation and disappointment".
"But we are not alone," he said. "Other faith communities have had to make sacrifices. We hope these spiritual sacrifices will enable us all to defeat Covid-19 together."
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There is "deflation and disappointment" but "we are not alone", said Leeds imam Qari Asim
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 17:46

Nepal to resume trekking and climbing

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Nepal is issuing permits for the Autumn season including for Mount Everest

Nepal is set to resume trekking and climbing in the country’s mountains including Everest, officials said.
Permits are now being issued for the autumn season.
Spring season, usually a busy time, was brought to a halt due to the virus.
The government is still finalising plans for foreign arrivals including a potential quarantine rule.
Nepal’s lockdown has had a dramatic effect on the country’s climbing and tourism industries which is estimated to have cost Nepal a billion dollars (£720m) in lost revenue.

Can you hold elections during a pandemic?

Helier Cheung - BBC News
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Leader Carrie Lam said there were no political motives behind her move - but opposition activists disagree

Hong Kong has announced it will postpone its parliamentary elections by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The territory is experiencing a spike in infections - but the decision is still controversial, with opposition activists accusing the government of undermining democracy.
The government says the decision is based entirely on public safety reasons, and elections pose "an immense infection risk".
However, critics say they are using the pandemic as an excuse to deny people the right to vote.
One health expert previously told the BBC: "I'm not sure it's necessary to delay the elections - certainly not for a year. You could consider delaying them for two weeks or a month, because by then we'd almost certainly have [local infection] numbers back down to zero."
At least 68 countries or territories have postponed elections due to Covid-19, while 49 places held elections as planned - including Singapore, which had general elections earlier this month.
You can read more about the elections here .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 17:48

Police patrol beaches as Brighton tells visitors not to come

The seafront in Bournemouth and Poole in Dorset is being patrolled by police and council officers as thousands of people descend on the beaches.
Roads were already gridlocked by By 09:00 BST and a mobile app to aid social distancing on the beaches was showing red in three areas - meaning "avoid".
Back in June, a major incident was declared in Bournemouth because of the crowds arriving in hot weather.
Dorset Police said its officers would be working longer shifts and some had had their rest days cancelled to cope with the anticipated influx of visitors over the summer.
In Kent, Thanet Council warned many of its most popular beaches were also nearing capacity.
Meanwhile, Brighton & Hove city council has issued a warning on Twitter, expressing concern about the number of people in the city.
"If you're not already here, please don't travel to the city today," it said, adding: "There is limited capacity on public transport - Large numbers make it impossible to maintain physical distancing."

Four more deaths in Wales, none in NI or Scotland

A further four people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Wales, according to Public Health Wales, taking the total number of deaths there to 1,560.
The number of cases increased by 26.
No new deaths were registered in Northern Ireland, keeping the total number of deaths at 556. Ten new cases were confirmed.
In Scotland, there were no new deaths. The number of cases increased by 30.
We'll bring you figures for England when we get them, as well as the UK-wide figures later on.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 17:52

Germany adds three Spanish regions to high risk list

Germany has added three Spanish regions to its high risk list.
The foreign ministry is warning against unnecessary travel to Catalonia, Aragon and Navarre.
Those arriving in Germany from those areas will have to produce a negative coronavirus test or go into quarantine for 14 days.
The regions include tourist hotspots such as Barcelona and the Costa Brava.
Germany’s high risk list includes the US and Turkey.
Infection rates have risen in Germany to the highest level since early May – around 900 new infections per day.

At least nine dead after consuming hand sanitiser in India

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India has recorded more than 1.6 million cases

At least nine people in India have died over the past two days after consuming alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
Siddharth Kaushal, a top police official in Kurichedu said people who are heavily addicted to alcohol had been consuming hand sanitisers.
“Alcohol is not available because of the lockdown but hand sanitisers are easily available,” he said.
Other people who also consumed hand sanitiser have been discharged from hospital, he added.
An investigation into their deaths has been launched.
It comes as India’s death toll surpassed 35,000 on Friday. The country has recorded 1.63 million infections.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 17:57

Fans not allowed at sports pilot events in England

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Sport has been held behind closed doors since its return, including England's Test series against West Indies

Fans will not be allowed to attend the pilot sports events scheduled for this weekend in England after a spike in coronavirus cases, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
Spectators were due to watch the first two days of two county cricket matches, while 250 fans were at the start of the World Snooker Championship on Friday.
It was also hoped to permit 4,000 racegoers at Goodwood on Saturday.
The new restrictions on fans will be enforced until at least 15 August.
Read more here .

Minimise contact for 14 days if returning from northern England - Sturgeon

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is giving more details on her government's advice against non-essential travel to parts of northern England.
People should only travel to areas covered by the UK government's new restrictions - Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire - if absolutely necessary, she says at an impromptu press conference.
"If you're returning to Scotland from these parts of the north of England we're asking you to minimise your contact with people outside of your own household for 14 days after your return.
"We're asking you to avoid, if at all possible, indoor hospitality and areas where you're more likely to come into contact with people outside your own household," she says.
"By not travelling there [to parts of northern England], we are making sure that we don't exacerbate the challenge that they are already facing."
Those who are planning to return home to Scotland "can of course do this", she adds.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 18:01

'Confusion and distress' over local lockdown, say Manchester leaders

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Many questions still remain over new restrictions in Manchester, local leaders say

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and the leaders of the city's ten councils have said the government should make "full supporting details" available whenever they announce local coronavirus restrictions like the ones affecting parts of northern England.
In a statement, they said they support the measures but the way they were communicated caused "confusion and distress".
Burnham told a press conference that localised lockdown measures were likely to "become a fact of life in our country in the months ahead" and "we all need to be extremely vigilant".
The Manchester leaders said some of the new measures were not clear, such as how many people were allowed to gather in public spaces and whether hospitality businesses can keep operating if they have outside space.
And they said they did not understand why people were being banned from gathering in their gardens, when outdoor spaces are thought to be safer.

Florida records highest death total since pandemic began

Florida recorded 257 deaths in the last 24 hours – a record increase in Covid-19 related deaths for the fourth day in a row.
More than 9,000 cases were announced on Friday bringing the total number of infections in the state to 470,000.
Florida has the second highest number of cases in the country.
On Wednesday, one person in the US died every minute from Covid-19, Reuters news agency reports.
More than 150,000 people have died in the US since the pandemic began.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 18:05

Hong Kong delays elections and other news

For those who have just joined us, here are some of the main developments from around the world on Friday.

  • The Hong Kong government has postponed September's parliamentary elections by a year, citing concerns over a rise in coronavirus infections
  • Vietnam has recorded its first coronavirus-related death , causing dismay for health officials whose strategy was initially successful in suppressing the disease
  • Spain, France and Italy - three of Europe’s largest economies - have reported double-digit contractions of GDP in the second quarter of the financial year, tipping their coronavirus-battered economies into recessions
  • Germany has added three more Spanish regions to its high-risk list
  • The World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergency committee are meeting on Friday to discuss what can be done to control the Covid-19 pandemic, six months after first declaring a global public health emergency
  • Tokyo’s governor has said a state of emergency may need to be declared in the Japanese capital if coronavirus cases continue to rise.


The first 30 days of the WHO's response

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The first cases of what was later confirmed to be a novel coronavirus were detected in Wuhan, China late last year

The emergency committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) has gathered for a meeting on Friday to discuss its ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Six months ago, on 30 January 2020, the WHO declared a global public health emergency of international concern after a meeting of the committee.
Since then, the WHO’s handling of the pandemic has come under scrutiny, with the US and other countries raising questions about its efforts to warn the world when the virus was first detected in China.
Here’s a timeline of what action the WHO says it took before declaring the public health emergency:

  • 1 January: The WHO requested information on atypical pneumonia cases reported in Wuhan, China
  • 3 January: Chinese officials provided information to the WHO about the “viral pneumonia of unknown cause”
  • 5 January: The WHO shared information on the cases and advised member states to take precautions
  • 9 January: The WHO reported that Chinese authorities determined that the outbreak was caused by a novel coronavirus
  • 11 January: WHO said it had received the genetic sequences for the novel coronavirus from Chinese authorities
  • 22 January: The WHO said there was evidence of human-to-human transmission in Wuhan, but more research was needed.


MP defends his claim some Muslims not taking virus seriously

Tory MP Craig Whittaker has defended his claim that some Muslims in his West Yorkshire constituency are not taking the pandemic seriously.
He said the "vast majority" of those breaking the rules were from black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.
The MP made the comments in an interview with LBC radio.
He said there were "sections of the community that are not taking the pandemic seriously". When asked if he was talking about the Muslim community, he replied: "Of course."
Tory peer Baroness Warsi called his comments "divisive nonsense" and Labour said they were "overtly racist".
But Mr Whittaker told the BBC he would continue to speak out to try to prevent excess deaths in BAME communities.
It comes as restrictions on social contacts between households across West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and parts of Lancashire were re-imposed in response to a rise in infections.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 18:08

Covid-19 a once-in-a-century health crisis, WHO chief says

The coronavirus pandemic is a once-in-a-century health crisis whose effects will be felt for decades to come, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued the stark warning at a meeting of the WHO’s emergency committee, which declared the global health crisis six months ago.
The pandemic has already killed more than 670,000 people since the first cases of the disease were detected in Wuhan, China late last year.
Despite the global spread of Covid-19, Dr Tedros said studies showed “most of the world’s people remain susceptible to this virus, even in areas that have experienced severe outbreaks”.
"Many countries that believed they were past the worst are now grappling with new outbreaks,” Dr Tedros said on Friday. “Some that were less affected in the earliest weeks are now seeing escalating numbers of cases and deaths.”

UK reports another 120 deaths

A further 120 deaths have been recorded in the UK, bringing the total number of people who have died after a positive Covid-19 test to 46,119.
There were another 880 cases confirmed by testing in the last 24 hours.
The figure for deaths may be different from the sum of newly reported deaths for the four nations, because the UK-wide figure is calculated on a different time frame and includes deaths in all settings, not just hospitals.
The government has also launched a review of the UK death figures, over concerns that England may be wrongly including deaths which took place months after the person tested positive for the virus.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 18:11

New cases in China but little worry of second wave

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
For three days running, China has recorded more than 100 new cases of Covid-19. In the last 24 hours, 127 cases have been recorded, including 112 in north-west Xinjiang, and 11 in north-east Liaoning province.
For eight consecutive days, the number of cases has grown in China, meaning that official media have urged people nationwide not to relax vigilance: to wear a mask and avoid gatherings.
But there is limited concern about either of the outbreaks in Xinjiang or Liaoning leading to a second wave in the country.
China has experienced a number of localised outbreaks since the beginning of the year – including in the capital Beijing – and media have lauded the co-operation of the public with swift self-isolation procedures, and their willingness to be tested, in keeping the virus under control.
Currently, in Xinjiang’s Urumqi and Liaoning’s Dalian, communities where people have tested positive have gone into full lockdown.
Other residents have taken advantage of free testing that has been made available to them in public areas with a lot of space. Over the next few days, medical staff will finalise testing 3.5 million people in Urumqi, and six million in Dalian.

'We're at the limit of how much we can reopen'

James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
This is it. We are now, give or take, at the absolute limit of how much we can reopen society without a resurgence of coronavirus.
This realisation at the heart of government is about more than delaying the opening of bowling alleys . It will define our lives for months to come - and probably until we have vaccine.
And I'm sorry to break it to parents, but the biggest question mark now is around the reopening of schools.
Two weeks ago, Boris Johnson was setting out plans for normality by Christmas .
But since then the number of confirmed infections has started to creep up again.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 18:16

Reopening of indoor theatres and music venues delayed

The socially-distanced reopening of indoor theatre and music venues in England has been delayed until at least 15 August, Boris Johnson announced today.
The easing of restrictions had been due to start this weekend but has been postponed amid concerns over a rise in virus cases.
Face coverings will also be required in additional settings including museums, galleries and cinemas - enforceable in law from 8 August.
Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust, said "most theatres will not be able to put on productions until we reach stage five [of the roadmap for the return of professional performing arts], which allows fuller audiences, so that is the most critical date for much of the sector".
Read more here

One in four not sticking to quarantine rules in Victoria

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People who should be isolating have been leaving their houses, according to Victoria's premier

One in four people who tested positive for coronavirus in Australia’s state of Victoria were not at home when authorities came to check up on them.
Victoria Premier Andrew Daniels said 130 unsuccessful visits had been made to people who should have been in quarantine over the past 24 hours.
Last week, the Victorian government said sick people breaking isolation rules – or not getting tested in time – was leading to continued spread despite lockdown measures.
Victoria recorded 623 cases on Friday and eight deaths.
Those who were not at home will receive a follow up from police and could face a fine , according to Channel 9 News.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 18:20

Infections in England start to rise

Coronavirus infections in England have risen from an estimated 2,800 to 4,200 since last week, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures suggest .
A sample of households in England, excluding care homes and hospitals, were swabbed to test for current infection.
However there is not enough data to suggest a higher proportion of positive tests in any particular region.
Despite the ONS figures suggesting a rise in infections, the official estimate of the virus's reproduction or R number (a measure of whether cases are rising or falling) for England was between 0.8 and 1 as of 31 July.
An R number below one indicates the number of infections is shrinking.
It's calculated using a range of different measures, including hospital admissions and deaths.
Because it takes more time for someone to end up in hospital due to an infection, it's possible the latest estimate of R isn't capturing more recent upticks in infection.

Iceland re-introduces restrictions following rise in cases

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There are currently 50 people in isolation in the country

Iceland has re-introduced restrictions on public gatherings after two infection clusters were confirmed.
Under the new rules, public gatherings are limited to 100 people and a two-metre social distancing rule has been re-imposed.
It comes after Icelanders were told that social gatherings of 1,000 people were allowed and social distancing would become optional from 25 May.
Iceland avoided a full lockdown, choosing to impose social distancing and close schools and some businesses.
According to the government’s Covid website, there are currently 50 people in isolation.
A total of 1,885 cases have been confirmed and 10 people have died since the pandemic began.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 18:25

Ryanair launches legal proceedings against Irish government

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Ryanair claims Ireland's travel restrictions are unlawful

Ryanair says it has launched legal proceedings against the Irish government over its travel restrictions.
Currently, Ireland has a “green list” of countries in which a 14-day quarantine rule does not apply. However Britain, France and Spain are not on this list.
Ryanair claims the restrictions are unlawful. It is calling for a review of the list and claims that the Irish parliament was not given the opportunity to scrutinise it..
The airline claims the list has been detrimental to its business.
It comes after Ryanair, British Airways and easyJet launched a similar challenge against the British government, however this was ended after a 14-day quarantine rule for travellers coming from many tourist spots such as France and Greece was scrapped.

Scientists cautious over UK schools re-opening

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Scientific advisers say for schools to open fully, other measures may need to be tightened

At the Downing Street briefing earlier, UK Chief Medical Adviser Chris Whitty warned that "the idea that we can open up everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong" - meaning the country faced some "very, very difficult choices".
Newly released papers from the Sage advisory group reveal a bit more about the scientific thinking, suggesting experts believe there is a trade-off between opening schools and opening other areas of society.
On 23 June, scientists said coronavirus measures might need to be changed at the end of summer to keep the R number below 1 - a level at which the epidemic is not growing - while still reopening schools.
On 9 July, they said the spread of the virus from children to adults "appears to be low" but stressed there needed to be "enough ‘room’ in terms of the epidemic to open schools".
They also warned that areas seeing coronavirus restrictions reimposed - such as parts of northern England today - might not respond in the same way as they did when lockdown was first introduced, due to changing levels of trust, fear and anger.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 18:29

Vietnam records second death

Vietnam has recorded its second Covid-related death, just hours after it recorded its first.
The fatality was said to be a 61-year-old dialysis patient in Da Nang, the epicentre of the outbreak there.
No new infections had been reported for more than three months before an outbreak was reported in the resort town.
It’s a devastating blow to the country which had been proud of its zero death toll.
Vietnam acted before it even had confirmed cases, closing its borders early to almost all travellers, except returning citizens. Anyone entering the country must quarantine in government facilities for 14 days and undergo testing.
Earlier today the country reported 37 new cases, according to local media.

Covid outbreak on Norway cruise ship

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The Roald Amundsen joined the Hurtigruten line last year

Four crew members on a Norwegian cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen, tested positive for Covid-19 and are now in hospital. The ship is docked in Tromsoe, northern Norway.
All 160 quarantined crew will be tested and the 177 passengers, who have disembarked, have been urged to self-isolate.
The ship, owned by Norwegian firm Hurtigruten, had been on a week-long voyage to Svalbard in the Arctic. It is scheduled to visit ports in England and Scotland in September, Reuters reports.
In March, Hurtigruten suspended most cruises because of the pandemic, but it plans to return 14 vessels to service by the end of September.
Early in the pandemic thousands of passengers were stranded aboard cruise ships in Asian and US waters because of coronavirus outbreaks onboard.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 18:31

Spain records biggest rise in cases since lifting of lockdown

Coronavirus - 31st July A36ddf10

Spain has confirmed 1,525 new cases, the biggest rise since the lockdown was lifted there last month.
It is the third day in a row that new cases have exceeded 1,000.
More than half of these recent infections are from Aragon and Madrid, according to El Pais. More than 28,000 people have died in Spain and more than 285,000 cases have been confirmed since the outbreak began.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 19:51

What is changing for people 'shielding' in England?

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Guidance saying people with serious medical conditions should stay at home is coming to an end

Since March, as many as 2.2m in England with medical conditions that make them "extremely vulnerable" have been taking the most extreme measures of self-isolation. Only earlier this month did the government say it was safe for them to leave the house at all.
That is due to end tomorrow, with the government "pausing" the guidance on shielding.
Under the new rules, the government says these people can go to work as long as their workplace meets its Covid-secure standards - but they should still work from home if they can.
Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can attend school or college in line with the broader plans to reopen educational institutions.
But while people who had been shielding can go out, they are advised to keep social interactions low and to maintain social distancing carefully.
The end of the shielding guidance also means the end of extra support for extremely vulnerable groups, such as free food parcels and medicine deliveries.
You can find a detailed guide to all the changing coronavirus measures in England here.

Record daily global increase in cases today

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Cases around the globe rose by 292,527 on Friday

Friday has seen a record daily global increase in coronavirus cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The one-day total rose by 292,527 - up from the previous record daily increase of 284,196 on 24 July.
Deaths on Friday rose by 6,812, according to a daily report.
The countries reporting the largest increases were the US, Brazil, India and South Africa.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 19:57

Fewer than half of UK adults stick to social distancing, says ONS

Fewer than half of adults spending time with family and friends are sticking to social distancing rules when they meet up , the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says.
Almost three-quarters of adults polled said they'd socialised with others during the last seven days - with 50% welcoming family or friends into their homes, it said.
Of the 1,150 people who reported socialising, 47% said they had maintained social distancing - rising to 70% of those aged 70 and over.
Three in 10 (31%) said they often followed the measures, 13% said they sometimes did and 8% said they rarely or never followed social distancing.
More than a quarter (26%) of those surveyed said they had met up with between five to 10 people, while 6% said the group had been larger than 10.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said "households gathering and not abiding by the social distancing rules" was one of the reasons for the stricter rules announced late on Thursday for some parts of England.
The ONS also found that 63% of respondents strongly supported targeted lockdown measures to stop the rise of the virus and 57% were in favour of mandatory face coverings in shops and supermarkets.

Wedding industry 'forgotten' and its future looks 'bleak'

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A couple marry in Belfast, where wedding celebrations with as many as 10 people are allowed outdoors

Wedding ceremonies or civil partnerships with as many as 30 guests have been allowed since 4 July in England but an expected relaxation in restrictions to allow the same number of people to attend wedding receptions has been put back until 15 August – at the earliest.
Weddings had been banned under almost all circumstances since lockdown began on 23 March, prompting 73,600 marriages and same-sex civil partnership ceremonies to be postponed.
Northern Ireland has allowed outdoors weddings with 10 people present since early June . Wales and Scotland also now allow wedding ceremonies to take place, but social distancing must be observed and big gatherings are not allowed.
Wedding photographer, Neil White, from Chorley, Lancashire, says he was booked to do 44 weddings this year – but now he’s down to three.
He told the BBC: “A lot has been mentioned, quite rightly, about the grief of couples not able to enjoy their day and the struggles of cancelling or postponing. However, the wedding industry and its suppliers are taking a huge hit right now, when we should be enjoying peak season.
“While many other industries have been allowed to open, such as pubs and restaurants, the wedding industry at large has not been given any directives for its future. We seem to have been forgotten.”
He said the longer it goes on, many venues and suppliers will lose their livelihoods, adding that the future of the industry is “bleak”.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 20:01

Latest headlines from the UK and around the world

Here’s an update on the latest developments in the UK and around the world today:

  • Friday saw a record daily global increase in cases of the virus. The one-day total reached 292,527 according to the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the WHO warned the effects of the pandemic would be felt for decades to come
  • Hong Kong has delayed its chief executive elections citing the rise in Covid-19 cases there as the cause
  • Vietnam recorded its second death late on Friday, hours after it recorded its first fatality
  • Iceland has reintroduced restrictions such as social distancing and a limit on social gatherings following the emergence of two clusters
  • Spain has recorded its biggest daily rise in cases since lockdown was lifted last month. Authorities confirmed 1,525 cases on Friday
  • Germany has added three Spanish regions - Catalonia, Aragon and Navarre to its high-risk list. People returning from those areas will have to provide a negative Covid-19 test or quarantine for 14 days
  • Boris Johnson has postponed lockdown easing in England for at least two weeks amid concerns over an increase in coronavirus cases, saying it’s time to "squeeze the brake pedal".
  • Face coverings are to become mandatory in additional settings in England, including museums and places of worship - it will become law on 8 August
  • The UK government is accused of causing "confusion and distress" with its handling of new local lockdown rules as people living in parts of northern England are told they cannot mix with other households in private homes or gardens
  • England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty says the easing of lockdown restrictions has "probably reached near the limit of what we can do" if we are to keep the virus under control
  • The number of weekly coronavirus-linked deaths registered in Northern Ireland has risen for the first time since mid-June . It was mentioned on the death certificates of seven people up to Friday 24 July – five more than the previous week
  • In Wales, up to 30 people can meet outdoors and children under 11 will not have to socially distance from Monday. From 10 August, swimming pools, gyms, leisure centres and indoor play areas, including soft play, will be allowed to reopen
  • Scotland’s first minister warns people not to visit areas of England affected by new local lockdown rules and to only travel between Scotland and Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire if "absolutely essential".


Thanks for tuning in

Thanks for tuning into our coverage today. We'll be back on Saturday with more updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the UK and around the world.

Our team updating you throughout the day were: Thom Poole, Justin Parkinson, Jennifer Scott, Joshua Nevett, Joseph Lee, Dulcie Lee, Martha Buckley, Krutika Pathi, Jo Couzens and Sophie Williams.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 31st July

Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 31 2020, 23:22

hairpull  For sure this chaos is going to have a detrimental impact on the whole country tomorrow. What a Face

This is really quite scary and the aftermath is bound to cause huge problems as far as containing the virus spread is concerned.  It's almost 11:00pm here now and it's still sweltering here in London - the hottest day of the year so far.
I have just read this in the News.  No doubt there will be more about it in the daily coverage tomorrow.
Not looking good:

Beach crowds descend on Bournemouth, Brighton and Poole
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The council in Brighton said it was concerned about the number of people in the city

Sun-seekers had to be turned away as thousands descended on Bournemouth and Poole to visit the towns' beaches on the UK's hottest day of the year.
By 09:00 BST roads were gridlocked and a mobile app to aid social distancing was showing red in three areas - meaning "avoid".
Police and council officers patrolled the seafronts in both towns.
Brighton and Hove City Council, said crowds were making it "impossible to maintain physical distancing" there.
And in Kent, Thanet District Council said some of its most popular beaches were full.
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Thanet Council urged people thinking of heading to Viking Bay in Broadstairs to reconsider their plans

Meteorologists said temperatures recorded at Heathrow had reached 37.8C (100.04F), making it the third warmest day ever recorded in the UK.
Dorset Police said its officers would be working longer shifts and some had their rest days cancelled to cope with the anticipated influx of visitors over the summer.
By 11:00 BST traffic marshals were already turning people away from Sandbanks car park and residents were urging the council to close the road.
By mid afternoon, nearly all of the seven-mile stretch of beach between Poole Harbour and Highcliffe was marked as red on the council's beach app, meaning "avoid, safe social distancing not possible".
Dorset Council said car parks at Lulworth and Durdle Door, on the Jurassic Coast, were also full and urged visitors to go elsewhere.
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Police are carrying out high-visibility patrols in Bournemouth
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Yvonne Jones said local people would suffer as a result of the crowds

Yvonne Jones, 66, who has been a beach hut holder in Poole for 35 years, said: "There shouldn't be this many people here - but Boris [Johnson] should have made sure people stayed in their own counties.
"The traffic is horrendous - I live locally and it was a nightmare to get here. It's the locals who end up suffering."
Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council leader Vikki Slade said the towns were ready to welcome visitors "with open arms" but marshals had been deployed at car parks along with extra security officers, first aiders and additional traffic management systems.


At the scene: Toby Wadey, BBC South

Traffic is winding every way you look on the roads approaching Sandbanks.
I watched as some flummoxed drivers finally made it to the car park entrance - only to be told in no uncertain terms to turn around. They left frustrated.
For those who had made it to the beach, they found the sand much busier than an average Friday.
On the whole though, the people I spoke to felt beach-goers were doing their best to be responsible - their biggest worry was what mess would be left behind to clear in the morning.
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Motorists endured long queues to Sandbanks where the car parks were full

In Bournemouth, a major incident was declared on 25 June because of the crowds.
At the time police reported fights, overnight camping and three men were stabbed in an attack near Bournemouth pier.
Cars were left abandoned on verges as visitors struggled to park and the beaches were strewn with litter.
BCP Council said it now had powers to clamp or tow away vehicles parked illegally.
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South East Trains warned social distancing was not possible on its coastbound trains

In Kent, Southeastern Railway said trains bound for the coast via Faversham were very busy, making social distancing impossible.
Thanet Council urged people thinking of heading to Joss Bay, Botany Bay and Viking Bay in Broadstairs to reconsider their plans as the beaches there were nearing capacity.
Sun-seekers were also warned to avoid Camber Sands in East Sussex where Rother District Council said the car parks were full.

    Current date/time is Wed Aug 05 2020, 11:54