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Coronavirus - 10th August

Kitkat
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covidaug Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 10:35

Summary for Monday, 10th August


  • French police say face masks will be required at busy tourist sites and over 100 streets in Paris, as infections rise
  • The UK sees more than 1,000 new daily infections for the first time since late June
  • Australia records its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic, although new infections are falling
  • The US has passed 5m cases, while Brazil has had more than 100,000 deaths linked to Covid-19
  • However, New Zealand has passed 100 days without a local infection, and plans to open a travel bubble with the Cook Islands


Hello and welcome to our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks for joining us - it's Helier Cheung, Josh Nevett and Alice Evans with you today.
Here is a summary of the top global stories:


What's happening in the UK today?

Meanwhile, here are the main coronavirus developments in the UK this morning:

  • There is little evidence of coronavirus being transmitted in schools, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is expected to visit a school later, is understood to have made it clear that schools should be the last things to close in any future local lockdowns – that is, after businesses like shops and pubs
  • The PM said over the weekend that getting children back to school was a “national priority”
  • In Wales gyms, swimming pools, leisure centres and children's play centres are allowed to reopen as lockdown eases
  • It is now compulsory to wear a mask in shops and other enclosed public spaces in Northern Ireland .
  • Daily coronavirus cases across the UK have risen above 1,000 for the first time since 26 June


Masks outdoors become compulsory in many parts of Paris

A face mask must be worn in many parts of Paris from Monday, after authorities imposed new measures to curb a rise in infections in the French capital.
The order applies to people aged 11 and over in crowded areas, such as the banks along the River Seine and open-air markets, police said.
More than 100 streets are covered by the order , according to a list sent out by the police.
However, some popular tourist hotspots, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees, are exempt from the new rules.
Face masks are already compulsory in enclosed public spaces in France. Those who flout the rules risk of a fine of €135 (£121).
After a strict lockdown, France had flattened the curve of new infections but, since the start of July, cases have been on the rise again.
On Friday, the country reported 2,288 new coronavirus infections in its daily figures, marking a new post-lockdown high.
Experts have warned that France could lose control of Covid-19 "at any time".

Australia sees deadliest day, but new infections slow down

Australia has reported a further 19 deaths linked to Covid-19, its deadliest day of the pandemic yet, as the country grapples with a resurgence of the disease.
The deaths were all recorded on Monday in the state of Victoria, which has become the epicentre of Australia’s coronavirus outbreak.
Victoria has now seen about two-thirds of Australia's total 314 deaths and approximately 21,400 cases.
But the number of daily infections - though still in the hundreds - has dropped in recent days, prompting hope that a strict lockdown in Melbourne is working.
Victoria reported 322 new cases on Monday, down from a high of 725 recorded five days ago. Other states reported few or no cases.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said it was too early to tell if the state’s lockdown, which was imposed last month, was turning the tide.
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Infections have been on the rise since June in Australia



England's schools must stay open during local lockdowns - minister

The UK government is trying to reassure people that schools in England will be safe to reopen fully in September.
Social care minister Helen Whately told BBC Breakfast that the government wants to keep schools open in the event of local lockdowns, adding that staff and pupils will “immediately have access to testing” if they show symptoms.
Schools in local lockdown areas such as Manchester and Leicester "should be still going back" in September as it is "essential that children get back into schools this autumn term", she adds.
Parents and teachers “have made huge efforts to keep children’s education going” during lockdown, it's “just not the same thing" as children being in school, Whately says.
Asked about the possibility of teaching students on a week-on, week-off basis for areas with localised lockdown restrictions, she adds: “Our priority is to make sure that children are fully back in school come the autumn.”

Brazil and the US hit grim milestones

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Brazil's coronavirus-linked deaths have risen above 100,000

The number of infections and deaths linked to the coronavirus pandemic have reached new heights in Brazil and the US, two countries that have struggled to bring their outbreaks under control.
Brazil has now recorded more than three million infections and 100,000 deaths, the second-highest figures on both counts in the world.
Those figures are only surpassed by the US, which has seen more than five million infections and 162,000 deaths to date.
The presidents of both countries, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and the US’s Donald Trump, have at times downplayed the impact of the virus and opposed measures that could damage the economy.
Still, it is worth remembering that there are challenges in comparing coronavirus numbers from different countries , due to factors including how widely they test for Covid-19 and whether they count deaths from the virus in the same way.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 10:41

How Vietnam went from success to resurgence

In the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, Vietnam earned praise globally. Having reported no deaths, it was hailed as a rare success story.
But in mid-July, that story took a turn for the worse. After 99 days without a locally transmitted infection, cases suddenly surged.
The city of Da Nang became the epicentre of a new coronavirus outbreak, leading to the country’s first death linked to Covid-19.
The BBC’s Preeti Jha has looked at where it all went wrong for Vietnam .

Young people are main target for Paris mask rule

Hugh Schofield - BBC News, Paris
The new mask rule in Paris is part of a pattern that is spreading across the country - indeed across Europe - as governments try to stamp down the new virus embers.
It has been obvious for weeks that in some much-frequented parts of the capital, keeping the one-metre (3.2ft) rule is a challenge.
On the Seine quays for example, walkers, joggers and cyclists brush past revellers at the many riverside bars.
Masks are already obligatory in France in all enclosed public spaces - including inside tourist attractions like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.
And across the country, well over 1,000 towns and cities have prescribed face coverings in certain streets and neighbourhoods.
The main target of the rules are young people who gather to enjoy the holiday and the sunshine.
All the evidence shows that they are the group among whom infection is growing fastest.
They may be at a lower risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus than older people. It is their role as vectors that is a cause for concern.

New Zealand sees 101 days with no local cases

For 101 days in a row, New Zealand has reported no locally transmitted cases of coronavirus.
That feat has been hailed as a “significant” milestone by the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, whose Covid-19 containment strategy has received international plaudits.
The 21 active cases of coronavirus in the country are all imported cases from people arriving in New Zealand, who are in managed isolation.
New Zealand has fared better than other countries, recording 1,219 confirmed cases and 22 deaths since the virus arrived in late February.
An early lockdown, tough border restrictions, effective health messaging and an aggressive test-and-trace programme have all been credited with virtually eliminating the virus in the country.
On Monday, Ms Ardern announced the creation of a virus-free "travel bubble" with the Cook Islands in the South Pacific by the end of the year.
She said that the quarantine-free travel arrangement was only possible as both countries had successfully contained the virus.
Read more: How New Zealand went 'hard and early' to beat Covid-19
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 11:07

Face masks mandatory in Ireland from today
Rachael O'Connor - Irish Post
Face masks or coverings are mandatory in shops, cinemas and other indoor public settings from today.
The measures, introduced to slow the spread of Covid-19, applies to everyone over the age of 13, unless a person has a reasonable excuse or is a worker separated from others by a screen or is able to keep a two metre distance from others.
Under the new measures, face masks must be worn by members of the public in indoor public settings, including shops, shopping centres, cinemas, libraries, museums, hair dressers, bookmakers and tattoo parlours.
The use of masks by the public has soared in recent weeks, however from today, anyone not complying with the wearing of coverings face fines of up to €2,500 or six months in jail.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has assured people that Garda intervention will be used as a last resort, however he stressed the importance of wearing a mask, particularly at a time when a surge in cases has seen three counties-- Kildare, Offaly and Laois-- return to lockdown after multiple outbreaks, mostly in meat factories.
Yesterday evening, a further 68 cases of Covid-19 were identified within the community, bringing the total number in Ireland to 26.712.
There were no deaths reported, with Ireland's toll remaining at 1,772.

Garda checkpoints return to Laois, Offaly and Kildare as local lockdowns introduced
Laois, Offaly and Kildare have been sent back into lockdown-- or LOKdown-- after a surge in cases linked to outbreaks in meat and food processing factories.
While most of the cases can be traced to workers at the factories, there are fears of a high risk of community transmission as the workers live, shop and eat in the towns and villages within the counties.
'Operation Fanacht' has now been put back into play in the three counties, with Gardaí patrolling to ensure the public are complying with the new restrictions, which include not leaving their counties except in 'exceptional circumstances'.
Restaurants, cinemas and museums have been closed again, team sports have been suspended, and the number of visitors to a person's home has been reduced to no more than six people.
Deputy Commissioner for Policing and Security, John Twomey, said in a statement that the heavy garda presence "is designed to support the restrictions that are being implemented locally in these three counties in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19."
As was seen during the nationwide lockdown in March and April, Garda checkpoints have been set up to engage with motorists and ask the reason for their journeys.
Motorists would be asked not to travel beyond the borders of their own counties, however a statement released by An Garda Síochána says these rules would be encouraged rather than enforced.
People from outside the three locked down counties are asked not to visit Laois, Kildare or Offaly, and not to stop if passing through.
The local lockdowns will continue for at least two weeks, but Acting Chief Medical Officer, Ronan Glynn, has admitted there is a possibility of the restrictions being extended further after the fortnight has passed.
Depending on the numbers of new cases and the areas in which outbreaks are identified, further local lockdowns could be extended to other counties, the National Public Health Emergency Team have warned.
68 new cases were confirmed in Ireland as of yesterday evening, bringing Ireland's total to 26,712.
There were no further deaths reported.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 11:13

India's former President tests positive for virus

Ayeshea Perera - Digital Editor, Delhi
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The 84-year-old was India's president for five years

Pranab Mukherjee, India's president from 2012 - 2017, has just announced that he has tested positive for Covid-19.
A tweet from his official handle also urged anyone who had come into contact with him to self-isolate and get tested.
The 84-year-old added that he had discovered he had the disease while in hospital for a "separate procedure".
Mr Mukherjee is one of several high-profile Indians to announce that they have contracted the virus in recent days. The federal home minister Amit Shah is receiving treatment for Covid-19 in the capital Delhi, and just last week, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his family left a hospital in Mumbai after recovering from the disease.
India is the world's third-most affected country, recording more than 2.2 million cases in total. More than 63,000 cases have been recorded in the last 24 hours alone.
And the virus seems to be spreading quickly. The country added its last one million cases in just 20 days, faster than the US or Brazil, both of which have a higher caseload.

Taiwan’s response among world’s best, US health chief says

A top US health official has praised Taiwan’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, hailing it as “among the most successful in the world”, during a rare diplomatic visit to the island.
Health Secretary Alex Azar met Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, in Taipei on Monday for talks about the pandemic.
Azar is the most senior American official to visit Taiwan since the US switched diplomatic recognition from the island to mainland China in 1979.
His visit comes amid heightened tensions between the US and China, which regards Taiwan as a rebel region that must be reunited with the mainland - by force if necessary.
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.
“Taiwan’s response to Covid-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent, democratic nature of Taiwan’s society and culture,” Azar said.
Tsai thanked the US for supporting its bid to be part of the WHO.
Read more: Why Taiwan has become a problem for WHO
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 12:09

Is the world winning the pandemic fight?

When will the pandemic end? That is the question on everyone’s lips.
New analysis from BBC health and science correspondent, James Gallagher , suggests there may be long way to go yet, as coronavirus cases surge worldwide.
There are a number of possible reasons why infections are continuing to rise globally.
One of them, American public health expert David Heymann says, is a "lack of political leadership". In many countries, “public health leaders and political leaders have difficulty speaking together", which has hindered efforts to contain the virus, he says.
In such a climate, the virus has flourished.
You can read more of James' analysis here

New mask rules in Paris and an 'alarming' rise in infections in Germany

Gareth Evans - BBC News, Europe desk
If you're just joining us, these are the main headlines from around Europe so far today:

  • Concern over the growing number of infections in France prompted officials to make face masks compulsory outdoors in busy parts of Paris from today. The order applies to people aged 11 and over in "certain very crowded zones"
  • In Germany, the economy minister warned of an "alarming" rise in infections. "We need to flatten the curve and turn this around," Peter Altmaier told local media. His comments come as children in Berlin return to school for the first time in months
  • Greece recorded yet another daily record in cases - 203 - on Sunday. It brings the total number of infections there to 5,623, with many of those recorded in recent weeks
  • Holidaymakers in several countries were warned that beaches may be closed if they become too crowded during the ongoing heatwave. In Belgium, police made arrests after a brawl broke out when people were asked to leave a beach
  • And we've been tracking the latest lockdown restrictions around Europe. You can keep up to date with our country-by-country guide here
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 12:13

Lebanon sees new high in virus cases after Beirut explosion

Coronavirus - 10th August 3dc00210
A massive explosion ripped through Beirut's main port last week

Lebanon has reported its highest daily increase in coronavirus infections, compounding the country’s problems after a devastating explosion tore through the capital Beirut last week.
Another 294 cases were recorded on Sunday, bringing the country’s total number of infections to 6,517, health ministry data showed .
Just seven days earlier, the daily number of new cases was 155, meaning it has nearly doubled in a week.
The country's Covid-19 death toll remained at 76 in the latest release of data.
Lebanese health experts had warned of a resurgence of Covid-19 following last Tuesday’s explosion, which killed at least 200 people and injured thousands more.
In Beirut, hospitals are struggling to cope with the influx of patients driven by the explosion and coronavirus outbreaks.
Firas Abiad, director general of Rafic Hariri University Hospital, said the trend of new cases in Lebanon was “unmistakable”.
On Saturday, he tweeted : “The ability of the healthcare sector to rise to the occasion during the explosion, and absorb thousands of casualties, was unbelievable. But now, hospitals are full, their stores depleted, the energy of their staff spent. Can they give more?”
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 12:48

PPE sold for profit in Ghana’s virus-hit hospitals

Some staff in Ghana's hospitals have been selling vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for personal profit, a BBC investigation has found.
More than 2,000 medical workers in Ghana have been infected by coronavirus since the outbreak began.
The country has faced a severe lack of essential PPE, like face shields, masks and suits.
Some of the PPE that is available has been sold on, as our investigation, seen in the video below, reveals.


Africa Eye: Ghana hospital workers cash-in on PPE for personal profit
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 12:52

Analysis: High stakes over Johnson's schools promise

Sean Coughlan - BBC News, education correspondent
There are high political stakes for the UK government to deliver Boris Johnson's promise to get all pupils back into school full-time in September.
It has become a test of political will - and ministers will be keenly aware of incurring the wrath of parents if, after more than five months of disruption, schools are not fully open again.
But it is worth remembering that when the government U-turned before over all primary pupils in England going back in the summer term, it wasn’t a tussle with the teachers’ unions.
It was a lack of space in schools which were applying rules of social distancing and so didn’t have capacity for all pupils at once. It was a practical problem, not a political one.
And head teachers are complaining that the current political rhetoric about the “moral” need to open schools is not being accompanied with enough clear guidance about how this will be put into practice.
What happens if schools do not have enough space? How will test and trace systems operate? If infections rise and pupil numbers have to be limited, will there be rotas and distance learning again?
With the weeks ticking down to the new term, the first day back at school could be making ministers as well as pupils nervous.

Pakistan's 'return to normal' surprises health experts

Secunder Kermani - BBC Pakistan correspondent
With restaurants, cinemas and tourist spots reopening (albeit with some restrictions in place) life in Pakistan is returning to "normal".
Partial lockdowns have been in place since March, but have been progressively eased.
With just over 6,000 coronavirus deaths in a population of about 230 million, despite the country’s weak healthcare system, Pakistan appears to have fared far better than many in the West.
The UK, for example, has seen more than 46,000 deaths despite having a population of less than 70 million.
The data in Pakistan will not be as accurate as in the West - nevertheless, a marked decrease in cases has been noticed by doctors in hospitals over the past two months.
In the first half of June, the number of cases looked to be overwhelming, but since then hospital admissions have drastically fallen.
One reason is likely to be that a far greater proportion of the population is young. The average age in Pakistan is 22 years old compared to around 41 in the UK.
But even health experts have been left surprised by the sudden, apparent drop in transmission rates. They warn, however, the danger of a new surge in cases still exists.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 12:55

Majority of world population still susceptible - WHO

Coronavirus - 10th August D3a05610

Coronavirus is still circulating and the majority of the population remains susceptible to infection, the World Health Organization has warned.
Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead for Covid-19, told a press briefing there was "no indication that there is seasonality with this virus" and urged people to do everything they could, including physical distancing, wearing a mask where appropriate and avoiding crowded settings, to prevent the spread of infection.
Earlier, the WHO's director general praised the targeted action taken by countries, including the UK government's decision to implement local lockdowns in Leicester and parts of northern England.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the briefing: "Strong and precise measures like these, in combination with utilising every tool at our disposal, are key to preventing any resurgence in Covid-19 and allowing societies to be reopened safely."
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 13:29

Vicar uses chopsticks to give out Communion bread

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A vicar has found an unusual way to give out Holy Communion bread while sticking to coronavirus guidelines - by using chopsticks.
Rev Eileen Harrop, who grew up in Singapore and loves Asian cuisine, uses extra-long serving chopsticks to share the holy bread with parishioners at St Mary's church in Gainford and St Andrew's in Winston, County Durham.
The current Church of England coronavirus advice for Holy Communion states that communicants can be offered only bread, representing the body of Christ, but should not be offered wine, representing the blood, as there should be no "common cup".
But the vicar said many members of her parish were "quite anxious" at the thought of receiving the bread - a fear the chopsticks have assuaged.
"Administering the communion in this way ensures that there is no cross-contamination and my parishioners feel reassured and confident to take part," she says.
"It's rather special that the long chopsticks I use are normally used for the festive occasion 'Lo Hei', meaning 'stir the uplifted breath of life'," she adds.
"They take on an even greater meaning used in this context."

Bolivia hospitals low on oxygen and other Latin America news

Vanessa Buschschluter - Latin America and Caribbean Editor, BBC News
The coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep through Latin America with cases rising fast in Brazil, Mexico and Peru.
Brazil's president, Jair Bolosonaro, took to Twitter after the number of Covid-related deaths passed the 100,000 mark. But rather than express his condolences to the relatives of those who've died, as other politicians did, Bolsonaro said he had "a clear conscience". The remark was in response to suggestions by TV network Globo that, as president, he bore responsibility for the virus' spread. The president, who has a long-running feud with Globo, accused the network of "celebrating" the death toll as if it were "a World Cup final". Bolsonaro has been widely criticised for dismissing the risk posed by the virus - even after he contracted it himself.
It has not been a good weekend for professional football in the region. First, Peru's season was suspended only a day after it had resumed after a large group of fans gathered to celebrate the resumption of matches and ignored social distancing measures. Then, one of the opening matches of the top football league in Brazil was suspended minutes before kick-off after 10 players from the Goiás team tested positive for Covid-19.
A number of hospitals in La Paz and Cochabamba, in Bolivia, say they're running low on oxygen stocks. The main roads to the cities have been blocked for a week by demonstrators angry that the general election has been postponed again from September to October due to the pandemic. The health minister has urged protesters to let lorries carrying key oxygen supplies through as several hospital could run out as early as today.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 16:00

New mask rules in Paris praised by WHO

The decision to make masks compulsory in busy outdoor spaces in Paris has been praised by the World Health Organization.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said "strong and precise" measures introduced by countries such as France were "key" to preventing a resurgence of Covid-19 and allowing societies to be reopened safely.
The rules in Paris apply to people aged 11 and over in crowded areas, such as the walkways alongside the River Seine and in open-air markets, while masks are already mandatory in enclosed public spaces across France.
Masks are also compulsory on public transport and in shops in European countries including Spain, Italy and England.
You can read more about the rules on wearing masks in the UK here , and read about how governments - and even the WHO - changed their approaches to face coverings over time.

'A little crack and the virus spreads quickly'

Vietnam has reported six new coronavirus cases today - taking it to a total of 847, according to the government. The country also has 13 Covid-19 related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
While the overall number of cases is still small, the latest outbreak is still significant - because, until mid-July, Vietnam was seen as a success story, with no reported deaths, and no locally transmitted cases for months.
One expert told the BBC that Vietnam's spike shows that "once there's a little crack and the virus gets in it can just spread so quickly."
You can read more about Vietnam's situation, and what went wrong, in this article from the BBC's Preeti Jha .

Theatre to pay tribute to lost loved ones on empty seats

A theatre in Northern Ireland will place photographs, letters and other items connected to people who have died with coronavirus on its empty seats, when it reopens with social distancing measures in place.
The Derry Playhouse is aiming to be the first theatre in Northern Ireland to open its doors to a paying audience for live performances since lockdown in March, but capacity has shrunk from 150 to 20 due to social distancing regulations.
Many football clubs around Europe have been filling empty seats with cardboard cuiouts of their fans but the theatre's plan is a more poignant take on that..
It's calling on members of the public to donate items they associate with lost loved ones to go on the empty seats.
The theatre also wants to pay tribute to some of the 3,500 people who died during the Troubles - the conflict in Northern Ireland which lasted almost 30 years - so items relating to those people will also be included.
"Grief has a presence, a lamentable presence, so we were saying can we make use of that?" says Damian Gorman, whose play - Anything Can Happen 1972: Voices from the heart of the Troubles - will be staged at the theatre when it reopens in September.
Read more here.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 16:08

Concern in US schools - and 'no slippers' for online classes

While schools reopening is being hotly debated in the UK , it's also a contentious issue in the United States. There's disagreement over whether it's safe for schools to re-open - and balancing the need to educate students, and slow the spread of the virus, is tricky.
For example, a secondary school in Georgia was recently caught up in controversy after a photo showing dozens of students crowded in a corridor went viral. Now, the school has closed temporarily after nine students and staff members tested positive for Covid-19, local media report.
There's also concern at universities and colleges - one new survey suggests about 40% of students due to begin their first year on a four-year residential course think they are "likely" or "highly likely" to not attend.
The rise in remote learning has also led to some tension over school dress codes. In Springfield, Illinois' capital city, school authorities have had to remind students that they cannot wear "pajama pants, slippers or hats" when classes start again this month.
Students should also be "sitting up out of bed, preferably at a desk or table", and should not be wearing sunglasses or bandannas, the school district added.

California top health official resigns

Coronavirus - 10th August 5c81dc10
Dr Sonia Angell has resigned after under a year in her role

California's top public health official has resigned as questions arise over the state's Covid-19 test data.
Public Health Director Dr Sonia Angell submitted her resignation on Sunday. She did not give a reason for her departure.
Days earlier, officials announced that a computer glitch in the reporting system led to an underreporting of new Covid-19 cases across the state. The state's Health and Human Services Secretary said the bug led to a backlog of up to 300,000 records, which may have caused some regions to mistakenly believe their Covid-19 rates were declining.
Dr Angell was a key player in California's response to the pandemic and was seen alongside Governor Gavin Newsom in public addresses.
Her resignation comes as there are more than half a million cases in the nation's most populous state. Over 10,000 Californians have died of Covid-19.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 16:14

No deaths and 12 new cases in Wales

No new coronavirus deaths have been reported in Wales, meaning the total number of people who have died with the virus there remains at 1,579.
A further 12 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the most recent 24-hour period by Public Health Wales.
UK-wide figures will be published later today.

WHO chief's message: suppress, suppress, suppress

The pandemic can be brought under control, but only if governments take action to suppress community transmission of the coronavirus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghbreyesus said on Monday he expected worldwide cases of Covid-19 to pass the 20 million mark this week.
Without a vaccine, the only ways to control Covid-19 are the basics: hand-washing, distancing, wearing masks, and rigorous testing, tracing and isolating, he added.
Those basic tools “are key to preventing any resurgence in disease" and governments must ensure there is adequate control of transmission within communities for schools to reopen safely, he said.
“My message is crystal clear: suppress, suppress, suppress the virus,” Dr Tedros said at a WHO media briefing in Geneva.

Actor Antonio Banderas tests positive for Covid-19

Coronavirus - 10th August F476e210

Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, 60, has announced that he has tested positive for Covid-19.
The actor - who has starred in blockbusters including Philadelphia, Evita and The Mask of Zorro - is currently in quarantine.
"I'd like to add that I'm feeling relatively well, just a bit more tired than usual, and confident that I will recover as soon as possible," Banderas said on Twitter.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 16:18

Six more coronavirus deaths in England

A further six people have died in hospitals in England after testing positive for coronavirus, NHS England has said.
UK-wide figures - which cover a different timeframe and include deaths in all settings, such as care homes and in the community - are expected later today.

Greece warns virus spike 'presents dangerously increasing' risks

Greece is experiencing an alarming rise in daily cases, the country's health minister has said.
Vassilis Kikilias appealed to Greeks to comply with protective measures including wearing masks and adhering to social distance rules.
“Unfortunately, the transmission of the virus presents dangerously increasing tendencies,” Kikilias said.
“Once more I appeal to young people and to citizens who are not adhering to personal protective measures ... to consider their responsibility toward vulnerable groups, our other citizens and toward the country.”
It comes after the country recorded yet another daily record in cases - 203 - on Sunday.

Eight more coronavirus deaths in the UK

A further eight coronavirus deaths have been reported in the UK, taking the official number of people who have died after testing positive with the virus to 46,574.
However, the daily figures tend to be lower on Mondays because of reporting delays over the weekend. The daily figure announced a week ago was nine.
The latest government figures also recorded 816 new cases, a day after it had gone up above 1,000 for the first time since late June.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 18:14

US 'saw 97,000 child infections' in last two weeks of July

At least 97,000 children in the US were infected with Covid-19 in the last two weeks of July, according to a new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.
The study finding a 40% increase in child cases across the US comes as some states begin to reopen schools. One Georgia school that drew scrutiny after a pupil posted a photo of packed hallways has been forced to close after several teachers and staff got sick. A seven-year-old child is the youngest person in Georgia to have died from Covid-19.
The report also comes as President Trump repeatedly says that children cannot get sick, despite much evidence that this is untrue.

New Paris mask rules causing confusion for tourists

While the decision to make masks compulsory in busy outdoor spaces in Paris has been praised by many, it is causing confusion among some tourists in the French capital.
A list of more than 100 mask-wearing zones includes many popular areas including the banks of the River Seine but excludes the likes of the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysees. Masks are already mandatory in enclosed public spaces across France.
But the new map - which is available online - is frustrating some visitors.
"It's not clear at all. We're tourists so we don't know in which zones we're required to wear a mask," Dominico Ditoma, a French tourist visiting Montmartre, told the Reuters news agency.
"We assume it's for tourist spots but there are no signs so it's quite unclear."
One foreign tourist named Angelica said: "I've heard about it, it starts this morning, but I don't know about the zones, I don't know how to get informed."
The penalties for flouting the rules are not cheap.
Anyone above the age of 11 can receive a fine of 135 euro (£121) if caught without a mask in a designated zone.
City hall official Audrey Pulvar said the rules were "evolving" and decisions on where to enforce the rules are based on numerous factors including the amount of space available for social distancing.
"That's why, in certain streets, parts are affected by the measure and parts are not," Pulvar told BFM TV.

Tourists and locals on holidaying in the UK

BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC Radio 5 Live's Your Call programme asked listeners whether holidaying at home is good for the UK, as people head to traditional British tourist spots. In some places , local residents have complained about littering and poor social distancing.
Rod and Helen Chatfield run the Varley House guest house in Ilfracombe. They have brought in extra measures to make sure they are able to offer eight rooms to guests.
Rod told 5 Live that it’s meant a lot more work, including offering table service, but said they are getting plenty of bookings.
“It is definitely more of a thing for us, but I think the guests what we’re doing and are very receptive to what we’re doing.”
Rod chairs Ilfracombe’s District Tourism Association and says businesses are adapting.
“There is a pub in this town here which only opens until 16:00 because [the landlord] is worried about social distancing within his property."
Jason is on holiday in Newquay. He said he and his wife are “astonished” by the lack of space people are giving and how people are “blatantly ignoring” one-way systems on beaches.
“I’m seeing lots of people take their mess away from the beaches… but still we’re seeing people walking through towns… Padstow for example, lovely place to visit, absolutely rammed. Any chance of social distancing? Not a chance.”
Click here to listen back to the programme on BBC Sounds.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 18:27

Bar closes because of 'irresponsible' customer

Coronavirus - 10th August 2b6e8e10

A bar owner has said his "heart went to my shoes" when he was told he would have to shut because an "irresponsible" drinker with Covid-19 had visited.
Jason Brotherton said he closed the Rock Salt Cafe Bar in Stockport, north-west England, after being told a man who visited on Saturday had received a positive test result on Sunday morning.
He said his staff were now waiting for test results.
The nearby Moortop pub has also closed after being visited by the same man.
Read the full story here .

Angry Lebanese 'not listening to Covid rules', hospital director says

Joshua Nevett - Journalist, BBC World Online
Coronavirus - 10th August 6056e110
More than 200 people are believed to have been killed by Tuesday's explosion

The director of Lebanon's main Covid-19 hospital has told the BBC that he believes people angered by last week's blast are not listening to government coronavirus rules.
"We’re seeing is that people are becoming very tired and very angry," said Dr Firass Abiad, director of Rafic Hariri University Hospital.
"This is not conducive to asking them to follow certain rules. Whatever the government comes out and says, I don’t think the people will follow those rules."
A lot of staff that could have been allocated to fighting Covid-19 are now being required to take care of people injured in the explosion, he added.
"Because we’re a Covid hospital, we had to take care of Covid patients from another hospital that was damaged. So at the same time we were receiving Covid patients from that hospital and casualties from the blast," Dr Abiad said.
"If that explosion did not happen, we might have had more staff available," he added.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 18:32

North Korean Red Cross 'deploys 43,000 in virus prevention'

North Korea's Red Cross has deployed 43,000 volunteers to assist in preventing the spread of the pandemic, the International Red Cross says.
It comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong- un declared an emergency in July, and imposed a lockdown on the city of Kaesong. State media said that a man who defected to South Korea in 2017 had returned and was showing symptoms of Covid-19.
The secretive state had previously not reported any virus cases and Kim Jong-un hailed his country's "shining success" in dealing with Covid-19.
However, experts say that it is unlikely the country had zero virus cases.
There have been rumours of Covid-19 cases in North Korea for months, but the country's tightly-controlled society and state media have made them impossible to confirm, analysts say.

What do NI shoppers make of mandatory face coverings?

From today face coverings are compulsory in shops and other enclosed spaces in Northern Ireland .
The move was broadly welcomed by both shoppers and retailers in east Belfast.
One customer said she found wearing a face covering "difficult" but felt it was something she would have to get used to.
Mark Thompson, whose partner is a health worker, said he has been wearing a face covering since the start of the pandemic and is glad that more people will doing the same.
"I think it's a bit irresponsible if you don't wear a mask, specifically in shops," he said.
Stephen Bradley, who is a business owner in Belfast city centre, said: "We are leaving the onus on the individual."
"We have masks on ourselves when we are in the shop to make people feel as safe as possible," he added.
However, the Police Service of Northern Ireland has said the primary responsibility for enforcement will lie with shops owners - and the force would only use enforcement "as a last resort", with fines of up to £60 for those who don't comply.
Read more here .

Further 21 coronavirus deaths in the UK

A further 21 coronavirus deaths have been reported in the UK, taking the total number of people who have died after testing positive for the virus to 46,526.
Public Health England said 69 historical deaths had been removed from the total because the individuals were later found not to have been positive for Covid-19.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 20:13

US millennials hit hardest by Covid-19 job losses

Young people in the US continue to be most affected by the economic crash caused by Covid-19, with one new report putting the figure for unemployed millennials on par with the number of Americans who have been infected.
The Wall Street Journal reports that 4.8m millenials have lost their job due to the shutdown, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis. More than 5m Americans have tested positive for Covid-19., more than a quarter of all the cases in the world.
Millennials are less likely to have savings, and more likely to lose their job amid the pandemic, experts say.

Contact tracers to be reduced by 6,000 in England

Pallab Ghosh - Science correspondent, BBC News
The government will be reducing the number of people employed to track down contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus from 18,000 to 12,000.
NHS Test and Trace, working with Public Health England, will put greater emphasis on contact tracing at a local level, with local authorities getting their own dedicated teams.
In May, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that an “army” of contact tracers would be recruited for England's test and trace service. Early on, there were reports that new recruits were sitting idle – with one telling the BBC that she spent her time watching Netflix.
Some 6,000 of them are now being stood down in England. More of their work will be conducted by local staff with knowledge of their area. The Department of Health has said that this is to provide a “more tailored approach” which has been successfully trialled in Blackburn, Luton and Leicester.
But critics will see it as the latest example of the government departing from its centralised approach to tackling the outbreak.
Plans to launch a national app to identify potentially infected people have been repeatedly delayed.
Now the top-down high-tech strategy for contact tracing is making way for what seasoned local public health officials describe as old fashioned “shoe leather epidemiology”.
This relies on people with local knowledge collecting information by going door-to-door on foot.
Read the full story here .
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 20:18

Beirut Covid-19 hospital 'close to capacity', director says

Joshua Nevett - BBC News
Lebanon’s main Covid-19 hospital in Beirut is “close to capacity” after a spike in infections and last week’s explosion led to an influx of patients, its director has said.
Dr Firass Abiad, chief executive of Rafic Hariri University Hospital, told the BBC there has been an exponential rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Lebanon recently.
A further 294 virus infections were recorded on Sunday, the biggest increase yet over a 24-hour period, according to Lebanon’s health ministry .
More than 100 new infections have been recorded every day since 21 July, placing strain on Lebanon’s healthcare system.
“Obviously we’re extremely close to capacity, especially when it comes to ICU beds. We’re working within the 90% plus occupancy rate,” Dr Abiad said.
“This is worrisome because we have to factor in what happened after the explosion.”
The explosion, which killed more than 200 people and caused widespread destruction, made it difficult for people to abide by coronavirus regulations, like social distancing, Dr Abiad said.
This will probably “augment the rise in Covid-19 cases we’re already seeing”, Dr Abiad added.
Read more: Beirut explosion: Before-and-after images

Cuba sees biggest daily spike in cases

Will Grant - BBC News, Havana
Cuba has registered its highest daily number of coronavirus cases after a recent rise in local transmission.
The health ministry reported 93 cases just as the capital Havana re-entered a period of tighter restrictions.
The recent spike in numbers comes after Cuba appeared to have successfully controlled the outbreak.
While just 93 positive cases in 24 hours might be considered an enviable figure by countries where the pandemic is at its most fierce, in Cuba it represents a step backwards.
Having recently registered no cases and no deaths from Covid-19 on one day a few weeks back, the island has gradually slid back to a situation where it has recorded its highest daily figure.
Havana is facing a tightening of controls. Under the government’s phased system of restrictions, public transport has been suspended, inter-provincial travel prohibited, bars and restaurants ordered shut and the beaches closed.
Fortunately, for the time being, deaths have not risen from the 88 people who had died from the virus by the beginning of the month.
However, the effort to see tourism pick up has suffered a setback, further worsening the island’s dire economic outlook for this year.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 10th August

Post by Kitkat on Mon Aug 10 2020, 20:26

Florida sees lowest new cases since June

Florida on Monday reported just over 4,200 new cases - the lowest new case count in the state since 23 June. The Sunshine State also reported 91 additional deaths.
Last month, Florida was one of several US states seeing a spike in Covid-19 cases, at one point seeing consecutive days with over 10,000 new cases. Critics blamed a hasty reopening and lack of statewide regulations for the rise.
While this signals a positive trend, Florida isn't out of the woods yet - there are still more than 30,000 residents in hospital for Covid-19, though emergency department visits have also been on the decline in the last two weeks. In all, more than 530,000 Floridians have tested positive for the virus and more than 8,000 have died.
The state's positive test rate is also dropping, but remains high.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio said the numbers were "good news" but cautioned: "We need to stay on this track and not let complacency put us back in another surge."

Thank you for joining us...

We're about to pause our live coverage for the day - thank you for joining us. Here is a round-up of the day's biggest developments from across the globe:

  • The World Health Organization says global Covid-19 cases will reach 20 million this week
  • Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has apologised for how grades were calculated for exams cancelled due to virus
  • She acknowledged "we did not get it right" after results estimated by teachers for cancelled exams were downgraded
  • Meanwhile, Boris Johnson said it is understandable that there is "anxiety" over exam grades as pupils prepare to receive estimated results this week for tests cancelled during lockdown
  • Australia has recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic with a further 19 deaths, but the number of daily infections are falling
  • Face masks are now mandatory at many busy tourist sites in France. However, the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysees are not on the list
  • Lebanon has reported its highest daily increase in infections, compounding the country’s problems after a devastating explosion tore through the capital Beirut last week
  • The NHS test and trace system in England is cutting 6,000 staff by the end of August, the government has announced
  • The US state of Georgia - which has been a virus hotspot and is now grappling with reopening schools - today opened a temporary "mega-testing site" in Atlanta, capable of testing 5,000 people per day
  • A BBC investigation reveals that some staff in Ghana's hospitals have been selling vital PPE for personal profit


That's it from us today

Thanks for following our live coverage today.
We'll be back again tomorrow with all the latest coronavirus news from the UK and around the world.

Today's live page was edited by Helier Cheung, John Hand and Lauren Turner and written by Joshua Nevett, Alice Evans, George Wright, Becky Morton and Ritu Prasad.

    Current date/time is Tue Sep 29 2020, 18:08