- There have been more than 20m cases of Covid-19 around the world, and 736,000 deaths
- More than 5m of those cases are in the US, with 3m in Brazil and 2m in India
- The UK records its biggest quarterly drop in employment since 2009, as the pandemic hits the jobs market
- Australia’s remote Northern Territory says it will keep its borders closed to coronavirus-affected states until 2022
- Scottish students return to classrooms for the first time since March
- Donald Trump considers blocking US citizens suspected of having Covid-19 from entering the country, US media report
- More than 10.5m meals have been claimed in the UK’s “eat out to help out” scheme
Hello and welcome back to our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. It's Helier Cheung, David Walker and Doug Faulkner with you today.
Let's start with a summary of some of the top global stories.
- The number of people around the world who have been infected with the coronavirus has now passed 20 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 730,000 people have died. The US has been worst affected with more than a quarter of all cases and the most deaths. Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa are also suffering large-scale outbreaks
- Australia's Northern Territory says it will keep its borders closed to coronavirus-affected states for at least another 18 months. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says interstate travel restrictions will probably continue until Christmas
- US President Donald Trump is considering blocking US citizens and permanent residents from returning home if they are suspected of having coronavirus, reports say. A senior official told Reuters that draft regulations could allow the government to bar those “reasonably" believed to have been exposed to the virus
- Sunbathers in Rio de Janeiro will have to reserve space on the sand of the Brazilian city's famous beaches in advance via an app, the mayor has announced. The move aims to improve social distancing on the often crowded beaches
- Iranian authorities have shut down a business newspaper after it carried an interview with a former member of the coronavirus task force who said the numbers of Covid-19 infections and deaths could be 20 times higher than official figures
What's happening around the UK?School’s back for pupils in Scotland, who will return to classrooms today after nearly five months .
Pupils in Shetland and the Borders will be the first back, with the majority of other areas following tomorrow.
While pupils will not have to social distance, their teachers will be expected to keep 2m away from their class and other adults.
In other news around the UK today:
- Universities in England have been told to hold places while appeals against A-level results take place . With exams cancelled pupils have been given grades based on estimates and many of those left disappointed are expected to appeal.
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out policy has served more than 10.5m meals in its first week . The discount dining scheme, which runs Monday to Wednesday, is aimed at getting the public to support the hospitality sector by offering 50% off food and drink, up to a value of £10. The chancellor described the response to it as “amazing”.
- Retail sales rose again in the UK in July, but shop visits are down with more people choosing to buy online, industry figures show. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said some retailers continue to struggle due to the coronavirus crisis, and it made a fresh call for government help with rents. Sales were up 3.2% compared to last year with internet shopping accounting for 40% of total sales.
- And Celtic footballer Boli Bolingoli has apologised after breaching coronavirus rules . The defender admitted playing against Kilmarnock at the weekend despite having recently returned from Spain - which requires a 14-day quarantine.
Biggest quarterly drop in UK employment since 2009The number of workers on payrolls in the UK fell by 730,000 between March and July, with 81,000 jobs lost last month, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Unemployment rose by 220,000 between April and June - the biggest quarterly drop in UK employment since 2009.
Trump 'considering blocking citizens' re-entry over virus fears'More now from the US where the White House is reported to be mulling a plan to block US citizens and permanent residents from returning home if they are suspected of having coronavirus.
The New York Times reports that, under the draft proposal, authorities could bar re-entry if an official “reasonably believes” the person had been exposed to, or could be infected with, coronavirus.
The government has not yet officially commented on the reports.
During the pandemic, US President Donald Trump has approved new rules banning entry by foreigners, citing the risk of spreading Covid-19. But those rules have so far exempted US citizens and permanent residents.
It is not clear if the Trump administration has the authority to impose such a rule, the Washington Post says . Federal agencies have reportedly been asked to give their views on the plan to the White House by Tuesday.
The US has more than 5m cases of Covid-19 - about a quarter of all global cases.
Former India president on ventilator after Covid-19 diagnosisAyeshea Perera - Digital Editor, Delhi
Pranab Mukherjee, who served as the president of India from 2012 - 2017, is in critical care and on a ventilator, one day after he confirmed that he had tested positive for Covid-19.
The 84-year-old was in hospital for a surgical procedure to remove a blood clot from his brain when he discovered he had the virus.
Local media have quoted hospital sources as saying that his condition remains "critical", and that the next few hours will be important.
Apart from serving as president, Mukherjee has held every important portfolio - finance, defence and foreign affairs - in government. He also served on the boards of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
India has the world's third-largest caseload of the virus, though death rates are still relatively low. However, the speed at which cases are increasing has worried experts. The country took just 20 days to go from one million to two million cases.
In the last 24 hours the country has added nearly 64,000 cases, taking the overall tally to nearly 2.3 million.
Australia's Northern Territory could keep borders closed till 2022Australia's remote Northern Territory is to keep its borders closed to coronavirus-affected states for at least another 18 months, officials say.
Australia is experiencing a second wave in the south-east with about 8,000 active cases in Melbourne and smaller clusters in Sydney.
"My advice to every Territorian, if you can, stay in the Territory. You're safe here, don't go," said Chief Minister Michael Gunner. "If you can, cancel your Christmas holiday plans and stay here in the Northern Territory."
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said interstate travel restrictions will probably continue until Christmas.
Read more on this story here .