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Coronavirus - 5th August

Kitkat
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covidaug Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 09:05

Summary for Wednesday, 5th August


  • Spread of the coronavirus in the UK could have been slowed with earlier quarantine restrictions on arrivals, says a report from MPs
  • Travellers told to self-isolate in early stages were mostly from Asia but countries such as Spain should have been included, they say
  • Thousands of infected people are likely to have arrived in the days before lockdown was imposed in late March, report adds
  • Australia records another daily record in virus cases, driven by an outbreak in Melbourne, which is under a new lockdown
  • Sri Lankans go to the polls to vote for a new parliament, with virus safety measures in place
  • Global death toll has passed 700,000; more than 11 million people have recovered from the virus


UK’s border policy was a 'serious mistake’, say MPs

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The UK’s coronavirus outbreak could have been curbed more effectively had quarantine restrictions on arrivals been imposed at an earlier stage, MPs have said.
The Home Affairs committee said it was a “serious mistake” not to bring in tougher border measures earlier on in the pandemic.
The committee said ministers had underestimated the threat of importing the virus from Europe at a time when there were serious outbreaks in Italy and Spain.
A Home Office spokeswoman disputed the committee’s findings, saying all of the government’s decisions had "been guided by the science”.
During February and early March, all passengers from China, Iran, South Korea and later Italy were asked to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.
But a decision on 13 March to end self-isolation advice for international arrivals not displaying symptoms had been "inexplicable", said the MPs.
Currently, travellers arriving from certain high-risk countries - including UK nationals - are asked to provide an address where they will self-isolate for 14 days.
Read the full story here .

Victoria sees record rise as more borders are shut

The Australian state of Victoria has reported another record rise in coronavirus cases, days after it tightened its lockdown measures to curb the disease.
A further 725 infections and 15 deaths - including that of a man in his 30s - were confirmed in the state on Wednesday, Australia’s worst day yet.
The record numbers came ahead of another wave of restrictions which will come into effect in Victoria at midnight tonight.
On Sunday, Premier Daniel Andrews declared a state of disaster . He announced a night-time curfew and restrictions on leaving home for residents of Melbourne, the country's second most populous city.
Australia has fared better than many countries due to effective suppression measures early in the pandemic, but since June, the outbreak in Victoria has worsened significantly.
On Wednesday, the state of Queensland said it would close its borders with neighbouring New South Wales to halt the spread of the virus.

Analysis: More accusations of serious errors

Dominic Casciani - Home Affairs Correspondent
The Home Affairs committee's report is the second parliamentary report in a week that's accused the government of serious errors. Last week's criticised how hospital patients were discharged to care homes without a Covid test .
Both reports amount to the same accusation - poor or inexplicable decisions that didn't help slow the march of the pandemic.
The MPs cite examples from around the world where countries were requiring arrivals to comply with stringent quarantine or monitoring measures.
The government insists that its general message from 13 March to the public to stay at home, if they had symptoms, worked.
But that recommendation was not the same as clear guidance, or an absolute legal requirement, for passengers to self-isolate even if they were feeling perfectly well.
And that, say the MPs, meant travellers in March were able to arrive and move about much more freely at a critical moment in the spread of the virus across the UK.

Australia’s worst day yet

Phil Mercer - BBC News, Sydney
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The Victorian government has announced a sweeping shutdown

As we reported earlier, the Australian state of Victoria reported a record rise of 725 new infections and 15 deaths on Wednesday.
This is another sad milestone for Victoria. It has recorded Australia’s worst day of the pandemic so far.
Health officials are stressing the figures reflect infections that occurred in the past fortnight.
They are confident tough lockdown restrictions, including a night-time curfew in Melbourne, will push the number of new cases down in the next two weeks.
All non-essential retail stores in Victoria are preparing to close from midnight tonight, as increasingly strict disease-control measures are introduced.
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All non-essential shops are to close in Melbourne
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 11:21

Masks and sanitiser as Sri Lanka votes

Ayeshea Perera - BBC News, Colombo
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Fingers are marked with ink to prevent repeat voting

Sri Lanka is holding parliamentary elections that were delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the capital Colombo this morning I joined tens of thousands who decided to trust the election commissioner's assurances of safety and made my way to a polling station. The process was unbelievably efficient.
A lot of thought had clearly gone into protecting voters. The pandemic is considered to be largely under control in the country, with 2,834 cases and 11 deaths recorded to date. But officials were clearly taking no chances.
Masks were mandatory and voters had to bring their own pens. Masked policemen were sitting around laughing and joking and helping voters find their booths.
These were staffed by officials sitting behind glass windows. I was given hand sanitiser before I was given my voting sheet. After casting my vote, I got even more sanitiser.
The entire process took minutes and was very relaxed.
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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (C) was seen leaving a polling station
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 11:26

US plans highest-level Taiwan visit in decades

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Alex Azar said Taiwan's response to the Covid-19 crisis would be on the agenda

The US government is sending senior officials to Taiwan to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and other issues.
US health secretary Alex Azar said he would lead the delegation to Taiwan in the coming days. He will be the highest-ranking American cabinet official to visit the island since 1979, says the New York Times.
Azar said he would discuss Taiwan’s “global health leadership” during the pandemic when he meets with President Tsai Ing-wen.
Taiwan’s response to the pandemic has received international praise, but China has sought to keep the self-governing island out of the World Health Organization (WHO), causing political acrimony.
The US visit may inflame tensions with China, which regards Taiwan as a rebel region that must be reunited with the mainland - by force if necessary.

UK quarantine rules: How did they evolve?

It started at the end of January, when the government warned against all travel to Hubei province in China, where the virus began, and, later, all but essential travel to the whole of China.
In late February, it warned against all but essential travel to parts of Italy and South Korea.
The government said anyone who had recently returned from those places, from Hubei province or from Iran should self-isolate, even if they didn't have symptoms. It also said recent arrivals from a further list of places, including many Asian nations, should do the same if they were experiencing symptoms. It expanded the list of affected areas in Italy in early March.
However, on 13 March, the government ended self-isolation advice for international arrivals who did not display symptoms. MPs have called this decision "inexplicable".
Then, on 17 March, British nationals were told they should avoid all non-essential foreign travel .
Fast-forward to 22 May, and the government announced that people arriving in the UK would soon have to self-isolate for 14 days , with enforcement through random spot checks and £1,000 fines in England. Those rules came into force on 8 June.
But from 10 July, arrivals from a list of more than 50 countries deemed "low risk" no longer had to quarantine when they entered England. A further five countries were added to the list on 28 July.
However, quarantine rules were reintroduced for travellers arriving from Spain.
Health measures including quarantine rules are set by each UK nation separately , although Wales has adopted the same exemptions as England. Since 10 July, Scotland's quarantine measures have also been eased, as have Northern Ireland's.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 11:31

Governor sparks gargling solution panic buying in Japan

Shoppers in Japan have rushed out to buy gargling solution after a governor in Osaka suggested it could help fight the coronavirus.
While there are no proven benefits, drugstores have found their shelves emptied of the stuff after a spate of panic buying across the country.
Photos showing “Out of Stock” notices in different shops were shared by hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter.
“Anyone else having trouble buying gargling medicine? I’m coming to four misses now,” wrote one user who posted pictures of bare shelves.
Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura was referring to a study released by a local hospital that apparently showed a lower viral load in the saliva of a small group of patients with mild Covid-19 symptoms after regular gargling, compared to those who had not. Some experts cast skepticism on the research.
A spokesman said the Japanese government would closely follow research developments.

Australia grapples with outbreak - and other key headlines
If you’re just joining us, welcome to our continuing live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here is a summary of the main developments so far from around the world today.

  • As it stands, there have been 18.5 million infections and 700,000 deaths related to the coronavirus pandemic globally, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University
  • . More than 11 million people have recovered
  • The Australian state of Victoria reported a record rise of 725 new infections and 15 deaths on Wednesday, the country’s worst day of the pandemic so far
  • Sri Lankans have queued up to vote for a new parliament, with virus safety measures in place
  • US officials will discuss the coronavirus pandemic with Taiwan during a rare high-level visit to the island this week
  • In the latest sign of carnage in the airline industry, Virgin Atlantic has filed for bankruptcy in the US
  • The UK’s coronavirus outbreak could have been slowed had quarantine restrictions on arrivals been imposed at an earlier stage, a report from MPs says
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 11:34

Ethnic minorities in Britain 'over-exposed' to Covid-19

People from ethnic minority backgrounds in Britain "face greater barriers" when trying to protect themselves from coronavirus, according to a new report.
The Runnymede Trust, a race equality think-tank, said Bangladeshi and black African people were most vulnerable, citing a survey of 2,585 adults in Great Britain.
Ethnic minorities are more likely to live in multigenerational households, which can reduce the ability to self-isolate and shield from the virus.
Bangladeshi, Pakistani and black African groups are said to be the most likely to live in "overcrowded housing".
And more than a quarter of people from BAME backgrounds classified themselves as a "key worker" (28%), compared with 23% of white British people questioned in the same survey.

Virgin Atlantic files for bankruptcy in US

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Airlines have been struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic

Virgin Atlantic is the latest airline to fall victim to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as lockdown restrictions continue to curtail travel worldwide.
The UK-based company said it had filed for bankruptcy in the US.
The airline is seeking protection under chapter 15 of the US bankruptcy code, which allows a foreign debtor to shield assets in the country.
It is the second Virgin-branded airline to struggle this year. Virgin Australia went into administration in April but was later bought by private equity group Bain Capital. The new owner is cutting 3,000 jobs.
Virgin Atlantic’s move comes less than a month after the company said it had agreed a rescue deal worth £1.2bn ($1.6bn) to secure its future beyond the coronavirus crisis.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 11:38

TV watching and online streaming surged during UK lockdown

Tiger King, Normal People, After Life, The Good Place... chances are you binged one (or all?) of the above during lockdown.
New figures show the idle hours that many of us experienced during that time brought about a surge in TV watching and online streaming.
Media watchdog Ofcom's annual study into UK media habits suggested adults - many stuck indoors - spent 40% of their waking hours in front of a screen, on average.
Time spent on subscription streaming services also doubled during April.
And at the height of lockdown, adults spent an average of six hours and 25 minutes each day watching TV or online video.
Screen time overall was up almost a third (31%) on last year.
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There will be a vaccine in 2020 and 2021 - top expert

A vaccine against the coronavirus will be available in 2020 and 2021, a leading pandemic adviser to the UK government has suggested.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of health research charity Wellcome Trust, told the BBC's HARDtalk programme that huge progress was being made.
"In the last seven months since I have been involved, the progress is absolutely staggering and there are now first generation vaccines. There’s probably five or six of them - from the US, from Europe, from China, from Russia - that are becoming available," he said.
Despite the optimistic tone, he also urged caution, saying the first generation of vaccines would not solve everything.
The comments echo those of the World Health Organization (WHO) chief, who said this week there might never be a "silver bullet" for Covid-19.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 11:41

Global deaths surpass 700,000

More than 700,000 deaths involving Covid-19 have now been recorded worldwide, according to the latest tally by Johns Hopkins University .
Overall, the US has reported the most deaths (156,830), followed by Brazil (95,819), Mexico (48,869), the UK (46,295) and India (39,795).
It is worth remembering that there are challenges in comparing countries , such as how widely they test for Covid-19 and whether they count deaths from the virus in the same way.
Differences in population are of course also important when making any comparison. The UK has about 66 million people, while India has more than 1.3 billion.
We have been tracking the trajectory of coronavirus infections and deaths since the start of the pandemic.
You can read our latest analysis here .
Coronavirus - 5th August 53deaa10
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 11:43

WH Smith plans to cut 1,500 jobs amid 'slow' Covid recovery

Coronavirus - 5th August 61133010

WH Smith is planning to cut up to 1,500 jobs as bosses warn its recovery from the coronavirus lockdown has been "slow".
The retailer said it needed to reduce costs as its shops in airports and train stations have been hit by low passenger numbers and its high street stores also suffer from low footfall.
The company said just over half of its UK travel shops have reopened and that 246 of its largest sites have started trading again.
All of its 575 high-street stores have opened, the business said, but footfall is strongly down compared to last year.
Revenue was 57% lower last month compared to July 2019, even as sites started to welcome customers back, with most of this loss coming from the travel arm, the firm said. Read more here .

Senegal’s president praises sign-language videos

A journalism student has earned praise from Senegal's president after interpreting his statements about Covid-19 for the country’s deaf community.
Naomie Koffie has been posting video summaries of President Macky Sall's televised speeches and other coronavirus news in sign language during the pandemic.
Her videos on social media caught the attention of the president, who congratulated her on Twitter.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 15:12

Seven deaths linked to coronavirus in Scotland last week
There were seven deaths linked to coronavirus in Scotland last week, down by one on the previous week, according to the National Records of Scotland.
The total is the second lowest weekly figure since the first coronavirus death in Scotland in early March.
The National Records for Scotland also said that the number of deaths in Scotland since the start of the pandemic is 4,208.
The statistics are published weekly and account for all deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish government because they include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.

Scotland reimposes lockdown restrictions in Aberdeen

And here's some breaking news from Scotland.
Lockdown restrictions are to be reimposed on the Aberdeen area of Scotland after 54 new cases emerged in a coronavirus cluster, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has just said.
At a briefing on Wednesday, she said people in the area must no longer travel more than five miles for leisure or recreational purposes, although she said people could still travel for work or education.
She also said people should not travel to Aberdeen, people in the area should not go into each other's houses, and regulations requiring all indoor and outdoor hospitality in the city to close would come into force by 17:00 BST Wednesday.
Ms Sturgeon said the restrictions would be reviewed in seven days time.

At a glance: New coronavirus guidelines in Aberdeen

The Scottish government, in line with the local health team and Aberdeen City Council, has agreed the following new advice, after a cluster of coronavirus cases in Aberdeen:

  • People should not travel more than five miles for leisure purposes
  • Travelling for work or education is permitted, but other travel is not advised
  • Do not travel to Aberdeen
  • Do not go into each other's houses (with the exception of extended household groups)
  • All indoor and outdoor hospitality in city to close by 17:00 BST on Wednesday. They will be shut for at least seven days

A further 64 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland, bringing the total in the nation to 18,781.
There have been no new coronavirus deaths, Scotland's first minister said at today's briefing.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 15:18

Labour leader: Test and trace must improve or bleak winter ahead

Ministers must make "rapid improvements" to England's test and trace programme by the end of summer or Britons face a "long and bleak winter", Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has warned.
Writing in the Guardian, the UK opposition leader also accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of being "too slow to act" throughout the pandemic, and claimed there was "precious little evidence" of adequate preparation for a resurgence in Covid-19 cases.
He pointed to the government's crisis communications and its testing and tracing programme as the areas most in need of rapid improvement.
He wrote: "On the occasions that the government has acted at pace, it has too often done so without a clear plan. Trying to get answers and clarity from the prime minister is a frustrating experience.
"His repeated refusal to accept that test and trace isn't functioning properly is a roadblock to fixing the issues and restoring public confidence."
A government spokesperson said the test and trace programme was "already working", adding: “We have rapidly built, from scratch, the largest diagnostic testing industry in British history. Over 2.6 million people have been tested in just eight weeks and we have the capacity to carry out more than 330,000 tests per day, growing to 500,000 per day by the end of October.”

South Africa’s infection curve starts to dip

Andrew Harding - BBC News Africa correspondent
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South Africa's total coronavirus case load surpassed 500,000 last week

South Africa’s government says it is successfully managing the biggest Covid-19 surge on the African continent.
Last week South Africa’s total number of coronavirus infections passed 500,000 , a new milestone in the country’s epidemic.
Yet across much of South Africa, the infection curve is starting to dip, in some places quite steeply.
The health minister, Zweli Mkhize, said the government has coped with the surge, thus far - despite what he called challenges and glitches.
Hospitals have not, in general, been overwhelmed. Intensive care units are saving twice as many patients as before.
Experts say the picture will become clearer in the next couple of weeks, but much depends on South Africa avoiding the very real risk of a second surge of infections.
With the economy in deep crisis, pressure is growing here to relax one of the world’s longest and strictest lockdowns.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 15:23

What's the latest in the UK?

Welcome if you're just joining us. Here are the latest UK headlines this lunchtime.


New virus measures in northern England city 'expected in next few days'

Lockdown restrictions could be reintroduced in another city in northern England in the coming days after a rise in coronavirus cases, Lancashire's director of public health said.
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi expects stricter rules to be imposed in Preston - as they already have been in east Lancashire, Greater Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire .
The council has already asked residents to follow a number of extra measures in a bid to halt the spread of the virus.
Data from Public Health England shows Preston recorded 49 new cases of coronavirus in the week to 31 July, more than double the week before, when there were 22 - this means there are almost 35 cases per 100,000 people.
There were 18 cases recorded on the 29 July alone. Numbers have fallen since but data from recent days is subject to revision.


Coronavirus - 5th August D363b510
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 15:25

What's the latest in Europe?

If you're just joining us, here are the top headlines from the region:

  • Sweden, which opted not to impose a lockdown at the height of the pandemic, recorded better economic figures than other EU nations that imposed stricter measures. But the shrinking of its economy by 8.6% in April-June was still its largest quarterly fall in decades
  • Ukraine reported a record daily high of 1,271 new coronavirus cases. It began easing its lockdown measures two months ago and has seen a spike in cases in recent weeks
  • In Germany, the head of the country's doctors' union warned that its members were already seeing a second wave of cases. "We are in a second, shallow upswing," Susanne Johna said
  • Parts of France and the Netherlands are imposing stricter mask-wearing rules to combat rising rates of infection


Coronavirus - 5th August B35f6310
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 15:29

Paris to make people wear masks in some outdoor areas

Paris authorities are soon expected to make the wearing of masks compulsory in certain busy streets and other outdoor places in the city.
"We are going to ask that it become compulsory in crowded outdoor places and where respecting a metre's distance between people is difficult," said Anne Souyris, the deputy mayor in charge of health.
Paris would be following the lead of several other cities and towns in France, including Nice and Lille, that already mandate mask-wearing in certain outdoor areas.
It comes after government scientific advisers warned the country could lose control of the virus "at any time".
Wearing masks is already required inside most private businesses, such as shops, and all public buildings in France.

Virus fears halt another cruise ship in Norway

Coronavirus - 5th August E36c5710
SeaDream 1 was moored at the port of Bodo in Norway

A cruise ship has been ordered to keep everyone on board at a port in Norway after a passenger from a previous trip tested positive for Covid-19.
SeaDream 1 was carrying 123 passengers and 85 crew members when it docked in the port of Bodo on Wednesday.
The mayor of the Bodo, Ida Pinnerod, said all crew would be tested for the virus. “We take the situation very seriously,” the mayor told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
The company that owns the ship, SeaDream Yacht Club, said the previous passenger tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday after returning home to Denmark.
Norwegian health authorities have ordered all passengers that were on the ship at the same time as that passenger to self isolate for 14 days.
SeaDream 1 is the second Norwegian cruise ship to be disrupted by the virus in less than a week. Dozens of crew and passengers from the MS Roald Amundsen have tested positive for Covid-19 since the ship docked in Tromso on Friday .
Last week, Norway's government said it would stop all cruise ships with more than 100 people on board from disembarking passengers for at least 14 days.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 15:37

Sweden's economy hit less hard by virus

Coronavirus - 5th August A1f14010
Sweden kept most businesses open at the height of the pandemic

Sweden's approach to this pandemic has been much discussed as, unlike most European countries, it chose not to impose a strict lockdown early on.
It largely kept businesses open and relied on voluntary social distancing guidelines to contain the virus.
But Sweden has recorded one of the highest death rates relative to population size in Europe, and some health officials have said they now regret the initial approach.
So did the decision not to lockdown shield their economy? To some extent, yes.
New figures show the Swedish economy shrank 8.6% in the April-to-June period from the previous three months - better than many other EU nations.
But it still recorded its largest quarterly fall in decades. And various forecasts predict its economy will still shrink by about 5% this year, which is similar to the rest of Scandinavia.
"It is, as expected, a dramatic downturn. But compared to other countries, it is considerably better, for instance if you compare to southern Europe," said Nordea bank chief analyst Torbjorn Isaksson.
Spain, for example, saw an 18.5% contraction in the same period, while the French and Italian economies shrank by 13.8% and 12.4% respectively.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 15:42

Third of Afghans 'may have been infected'

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A new hospital for coronavirus patients was opened in Herat in June

A sample survey has found that almost a third of the Afghan population, or around 10 million people, may have been infected with coronavirus, the country's health minister has said.
The findings were the result of antibody testing carried out on 9,500 people from across the country, with the support of the the World Health Organization and Johns Hopkins University.
Ahmad Jawad Osmani said the majority of cases had been found in cities, with the capital Kabul worst affected. Many cases are believed to have been asymptomatic.
Afghanistan has officially recorded around 36,000 infections and 1,200 deaths.
The country suffers from extreme poverty, with the health system under immense strain from decades of conflict.

Aberdeen lockdown is a devastating blow - hospitality bosses

As we mentioned earlier, lockdown restrictions are being reimposed in the Scottish city of Aberdeen due to a cluster of coronavirus cases there.
Pubs and restaurants will have to close from 17:00 local time on Wednesday.
The Scottish Tourism Alliance and UK Hospitality have called the measures a "devastating blow" to hospitality businesses which have invested significant amounts of money in reopening.
"Today’s news comes as a shock and should serve as a reminder that disregarding these guidelines has almost immediate consequences," they said in a statement. "However we must also recognise that many people and businesses are enjoying the easing of restrictions in a safe way that poses little threat to public safety."
They also said that further sector-specific financial support would be required.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 15:46

WHO to young people: Tone down the partying

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Dr Ryan urged young people to be responsible

Young people should re-consider their partying habits to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) expert has said.
As lockdowns loosen around the world, some countries are seeing a higher proportion of new coronavirus infections among young people than during the earlier stage of the pandemic.
"Younger people also need to take on board that they have a responsibility," Dr Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s health emergencies team, said in a Q&A session on Wednesday .
"Ask yourself the question - do I really need to go to that party? Do I really need to be part of that indoor disco or nightclub?”
His comments echo those of the WHO’s chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus , who previously said the choices made by the young can be "the difference between life and death for someone else".
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 16:27

What do Sweden's economic figures tell us?

Maddy Savage - BBC News, Stockholm
New economic figures show that Sweden, which opted not to impose a strict lockdown, has been hit less hard by the pandemic than other EU nations.
But it still recorded its worst results in decades.
The authorities here have always said the country's approach wasn't designed to protect the economy. They stressed that the aim was to introduce sustainable, long-term measures.
Even so, the government did hope that keeping more of society open would help limit job losses and mitigate the effect on businesses.
The latest figures are a sign of just how vulnerable Sweden is to global economic shifts. Like other Scandinavian nations, it has a small, open, economy that is dependent on international trade.
They also suggest that, while more of society remained open than in other parts of Europe, plenty of Swedes still chose to stay away from shops, restaurants and gyms.
Recent opinion polls have suggested declining confidence in the minority government's handling of the pandemic. If the economy continues to worsen, there may be sharper national debates about the decision not to lockdown and the subsequent early high death toll.
But given the rapid drop in daily recorded deaths since July, supporters of the controversial strategy are hopeful that the measures will help provide long-term stability.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 16:32

Blair: Second national lockdown would be 'devastating'

BBC Radio 5 Live
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has told BBC Radio 5 Live that he doesn't think the country could afford another national lockdown.
Speaking to Emma Barnett, Mr Blair talked about the importance of reviving the economy, adding: "We’re going to do major long-term damage to the rest of our healthcare system if our economy can’t get moving again and if people can’t get out and about again”.

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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 16:35

UK reports 65 more coronavirus deaths

A further 65 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, bringing the total to 46,364, figures show.
And another 892 people have tested positive for the virus in the UK in the past 24 hours, the government has announced.
This brings the total number of people who have tested positive for the virus in the UK to 307,184.
The latest figures are published on the government's coronavirus dashboard - although a review is taking place into the way deaths from coronavirus are counted in England.

US orders 100m doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The US government has ordered 100 million doses of an experimental coronavirus vaccine.
Johnson & Johnson, which is behind the jab, announced the $1bn-deal on Wednesday, noting that the government may purchase a further 200 million doses at a later stage.
The vaccine is based on the same technology the company used to create an experimental Ebola vaccine that was used in the Democratic Republic of Congo last year.
But Johnson & Johnson's vaccine is not the only candidate being considered by the US government.
Last week, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline announced a deal to develop and deliver 100 million doses of a vaccine they are developing, with a similar agreement between the government and Pfizer and BioNTech announced in July.
“With the portfolio of vaccines being assembled for Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration is increasing the likelihood that the United States will have at least one safe, effective vaccine by 2021,” a US official said.
Around 140 vaccines are currently under development worldwide, though only six have the reached final phase of testing.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 18:44

Italy threatens Ryanair with ban

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Italy's national civil aviation authority has threatened to suspend Ryanair flights in the country after accusing the budget airline of "repeated violations" of the country's coronavirus safety measures.
"Not only is the obligation to distance passengers not respected, but the conditions for making an exception to that rule are also being ignored," ENAC said in a statement.
The body added that it would suspend the airline's activities in Italy's national airports if it failed to comply with the rules.
Italy has been one of the countries worst hit by coronavirus, with more than 35,000 deaths.

Spain records highest daily cases since lockdown ended

Spain announced 1,772 new daily cases on Wednesday, in the largest increase since national lockdown measures ended.
One death was also recorded, bringing Spain's death toll in the pandemic to 28,499.
The number of new infections does not include two regions which have not yet reported their statistics.
The news came as Switzerland became the latest European country to announce quarantine measures for travellers arriving from Spain, although its rules do not apply to the Canary and Balearic islands.
Spain enforced one of Europe's strictest lockdowns, but has experienced a rise in cases since restrictions were eased in June.

Mayor of Luton steps down after breaking Covid guidelines

The mayor of Luton has stepped down from his role in the UK, after breaking coronavirus guidelines to attend a gathering in a garden.
Tahir Malik was forced to apologise last month after he was pictured with two other councillors at a large outdoor gathering at a house in Luton.
In a statement after his resignation, he said: "Once again I regret my actions which were below the standard of my position and would like to sincerely apologise to the people of Luton for attending this gathering which was in breach of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
"There is no excuse for what I did – I should have known better and I accept full responsibility for my actions."
A new mayor will be appointed on 29 September. They will serve for the remainder of the municipal year.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 18:50

Brazilian indigenous chief dies with Covid-19

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Aritana was transferred to a hospital in Goiania on 22 July

A prominent indigenous leader in Brazil has died of complications from Covid-19.
Yawalapiti chief Aritana had fought to protect the Amazon and for the rights of indigenous groups.
He tested positive for coronavirus around two weeks ago, and was later transferred to intensive care.
Indeigenous communities have been badly affected by Brazil's coronavirus outbreak, with the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples' Association reporting that more than 22,000 people have died.
Brazil has the second highest number of deaths and infections worldwide, with 96,000 fatalities and 2.8 million infections.

UK council is latest to set up own track and trace system

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There has been a spike in coronavirus cases in Calderdale which has led to a local lockdown

An area of northern England currently under a local coronavirus lockdown is launching its own track and trace system.
Calderdale was among parts of West Yorkshire, alongside east Lancashire and Greater Manchester, to have some lockdown restrictions reimposed last week.
Now Calderdale council is implementing a local track and trace programme, after the area saw a large increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the last week, with the R-infection number going above one.
It is the second authority to make the move after Blackburn and Darwen said it was setting up a locally-focused system.
Council leader Tim Swift said contact tracers would speak to people in person rather than just over the telephone.
England's Test and Trace programme, which launched in May, sees people contacted by email, text or phone if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 19:20

Chicago schools to start new year online

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Teachers in New York joined a nationwide protest against schools reopening earlier this week

Chicago has become the latest major US school district to allow teaching to go fully online for the start of the new academic year, after a backlash from teachers.
The city had originally planned to offer a hybrid approach of online and in-person learning, but the teachers' union had threatened to strike over the move.
Figures on Tuesday showed 7,545 deaths and almost 185,000 coronavirus cases in the state of Illinois.
New York City, the largest school district in the US and previously the epicentre of the US outbreak, is one of the few areas still planning some form of in-person teaching in September, with students attending school for one to three days per week.

NYC to impose checkpoints to enforce quarantine

New York City plans to introduce quarantine checkpoints at key entrances to the city to screen travellers arriving from parts of the US with rising numbers of coronavirus cases.
“Travellers coming in from those states will be given information about the quarantine, they will be reminded that it is required, not optional,” the city's mayor Bill de Blasio explained at a news conference on Wednesday.
“They’ll be reminded that failure to quarantine is a violation of state law and it comes with serious penalties," he added.
Travellers from more than 30 states must quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the city.
According to the head of New York City's test and trace service, a fifth of all new local infections are from travellers.
Once the city worst affected by coronavirus, New York has reported no coronavirus deaths in three days, Mayor de Blasio said.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 5th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 19:22

A recap of today's top stories

As global deaths pass 700,000, here's a reminder of Wednesday's biggest coronavirus stories:


Thanks for joining us

We're wrapping up our live coverage of the biggest coronavirus stories across the world and will be back again on Thursday morning.

Today's coverage was brought to you by Hazel Shearing, Joshua Nevett, Ella Wills and Victoria Bisset, and edited by Kevin Ponniah and Lauren Turner.

    Current date/time is Tue 29 Sep 2020, 17:13