Krazy Kats

Welcome to Krazy Kats - a friendly informal online community discussing life issues that we care about. Open 24/7 for chat & chill. Come and join us!

CORONAVIRUS: All the latest LIVE worldwide updates - today's updates are also on our Portal page, here)
Message to all: Stay well, stay safe, stay at home - and stay in touch!

Coronavirus - 19th August

Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 11:20

Summary for Wednesday, 19th August

  • Australia says it has secured access to a promising coronavirus vaccine and will offer free doses
  • The country's PM Scott Morrison backtracks after saying the vaccine should be "as mandatory as you can possibly make it"
  • The vaccine, being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, is in advanced clinical trials
  • South Korea's capital Seoul closes museums, nightclubs and karaoke bars after cases spike
  • US stocks hit a new high after the coronavirus crash despite continuing worries about the economic impact
  • Ministers in England are under pressure to lift limits on the numbers studying medicine at university after the school exam grading system was changed


Welcome and thanks for joining us…

We’re starting our coronavirus coverage for the day. Here is a round-up of the world’s biggest new developments:

  • Australia says it has secured access to a promising coronavirus vaccine and will be able to offer free doses to its entire population of 25 million people
  • The vaccine is being developed by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it should be mandatory to have it
  • Museums, nightclubs and karaoke bars have closed in and around South Korea's capital as a cluster of cases has raised alarm of a new crisis
  • Ministers are coming under pressure to lift the limit on the number of places to study medicine in England, after this week's coronavirus-related disruption
  • India has recorded more than 64,000 new cases in the last 24 hours, according to health ministry data, with total cases now nearing 2.8 million
  • A key US stock index has hit a new high despite ongoing worries about the sharp economic impact of the pandemic. The S&P 500 inched about three points above its 19 February record on Tuesday
  • A court in New Zealand has found that the government overstepped its powers in implementing a lockdown earlier this year, but conceded it was justified


Australia secures access to Oxford-AstraZeneca trial

Australia says it has secured access to a promising coronavirus vaccine and will be able to offer free doses to its entire population of 25 million people.
The vaccine is being developed by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
If clinical trials are successful, the deal with AstraZeneca would secure "early access for every Australian", Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
Mr Morrison said it was likely that vaccinations would be mandatory.
Australia has recorded 450 coronavirus deaths, most from an outbreak in the state of Victoria.
Read more here

UK headlines

If you’re just joining us from the UK, here’s the latest stories you need to know about this morning:


Full Oldham lockdown could be 'counter-productive’

Oldham in the north-west of England has been warned it could be on the verge of a full local lockdown, with coronavirus cases remaining high.
The town is already subject to restrictions applied across Greater Manchester, with people living there currently not allowed to visit other households or mix in indoor venues.
However Oldham Council leader Sean Fielding said the latest data showed cases had fallen to 83 per 100,000 people and warned a full local lockdown, with the closure of businesses, could be “counter-productive and premature”.
He told BBC Breakfast, Oldham residents could simply travel to another part of Greater Manchester to visit pubs and restaurants if they closed, which could risk spreading the virus further.
He said currently most cases were amongst the working age population and the council had a “robust plan” in place including increasing testing and getting the message out about the importance of self-isolation.
There had also been no significant increase in hospitalisations or deaths, he told the BBC's Today programme.

Highest number of cases in South Korea since March

South Korea has reported another 297 new cases - the highest daily figure since March.
Museums, nightclubs and karaoke bars have closed in and around South Korea's capital, Seoul.
South Korea is viewed as one of the world's coronavirus success stories for its management of the disease.
But a spike in new cases linked mostly to a church has sparked concerns of a wider outbreak.
Wednesday saw a three-digit increase in cases for a sixth day after weeks with numbers generally around the 40s. Of the 297 infections reported, 252 were in the greater Seoul area.
Many of the new cases have been linked to the Sarang Jeil Church, whose pastor has been a vocal critic of President Moon Jae-in.
In total 623 members of Sarang Jeil Church have been infected so far, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
Ten of these were people confirmed to have attended anti-government demonstrations on the past two weekends in Seoul, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
Read more here.

South Korea church members reluctant to comply

Laura Bicker - BBC News, Seoul correspondent
South Korea has two main concerns. First that the outbreak is in the highly populated greater Seoul area, and secondly that the cluster involves yet another highly secretive church and hundreds of members have provided false contact details at gatherings.
Let's not forget, South Korea has been in this position before and prevailed. Its highly efficient track-and-trace system, paired with multiple testing facilities, has brought cluster outbreaks under control.
But Sarang Jeil church members rallied in the centre of Seoul at the weekend, ignoring warnings from health officials that they risked spreading the virus.
Domestic media has also shown footage of church members shouting and swearing at virus contact tracers. It seems some of them believe that this is part of a conspiracy to close the right-wing church, which is highly critical of President Moon's administration. They are also reluctant to comply with quarantine orders or get a test.
Authorities have the power to introduce stricter social distancing guidelines and they have shut down facilities such as karaoke rooms and nightclubs. Most companies based in Seoul have also told their employees to work from home.
But tracking down reluctant church members who are most at risk of catching and spreading the virus may prove more difficult.

UK 'not considering' mandatory face coverings in workplaces

The UK government is not considering making face coverings mandatory in workplaces, after France took the step on Tuesday , the health secretary has said.
Matt Hancock said the current evidence from NHS Test and Trace was that people were largely catching the virus when meeting another household, usually in one of their homes.
He told BBC Breakfast that while the government was "constantly looking at the scientific evidence", the amount of people catching Covid-19 in workplaces was "relatively low".

Jubilant PSG fans ignore mask rules - Europe headlines

Coronavirus - 19th August 72356710

If you're just joining our live coverage of the pandemic, welcome. Here are the latest headlines from around Europe:

  • Supporters of Paris St-Germain took to the streets to celebrate their side's victory in the semi-final of the Champions League. Hundreds of fans thronged the Champs-Élysées, but many ignored requirements to wear face masks. France has seen a sharp rise in cases since July and masks are already widely used
  • Finland announced it was re-introducing travel restrictions for a number of countries including its Nordic neighbours. These include Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Greece, Malta, and Germany. Iceland, meanwhile, announced new travel restrictions of its own
  • Elsewhere, cases are continuing to spike around Europe. Germany recorded 1,510 cases in 24 hours – its highest daily figure since May. Greece also reported its own record daily figure of 269 cases on Tuesday
  • And Spain is believed to have had the highest rate of infection in Europe over the past 14 days. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, there were 132.2 cases per 100,000 people during that period


Local lockdowns work, says Hancock

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has insisted the approach of local lockdowns works, despite cases remaining high in Leicester.
The city in the East Midlands of England became the first area in the UK to be subject to a local lockdown on 29 June, but restrictions have been gradually lifted, with salons and nail bars the latest businesses able to reopen today .
Hancock told BBC Breakfast the infection rate in Leicester had decreased to around 35 per 100,000, although he acknowledged it was "still too high" and there was more work to do.
He added that some restrictions still remained, for example on gatherings in private homes and gardens.
Earlier Oldham's council leader urged the government not to put the town - where cases remain high - into lockdown.

Early lockdown justified but unlawful, NZ court rules

A court in New Zealand says the government overstepped its powers in implementing a lockdown earlier this year, but conceded it was justified.
The High Court issued its findings over restrictions imposed between 26 March and 3 April, the early stages of a five-week lockdown. Wellington lawyer Andrew Borrowdale had challenged the legality of the steps.
An order imposing stay-at-home restrictions was not passed until 3 April, meaning rights and freedoms were unlawfully limited until then, the court said.
"While there is no question that the requirement was a necessary, reasonable and proportionate response to the Covid-19 crisis at that time, the requirement was not prescribed by law," the court said.
PM Jacinda Ardern has been praiseed for her swift action in locking down the country and avoiding an outbreak on the scale seen in many countries.
But restrictions were imposed on Auckland last week after a number of new infections were identified in the city.
The country's general election - due to take place in September - has been postponed by a month due to the outbreak.

64,000 new cases in India, total nears 2.8 million

The number of coronavirus cases has spiked again in India, with the country recording more than 64,000 new cases in the last 24 hours.
Total cases in the country are now nearing 2.8 million.
The Indian government is focusing on ramping up testing capacity.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, more than 31 million tests had been conduced by Tuesday and more than 800,000 were tested on Tuesday alone.
India has the world's fourth highest death toll at more than 52,000. But the number of deaths per million people stands at 34 - far lower than what has been reported in Europe or North America.
Read more: How many Covid-19 deaths is India missing?
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 11:33

Dr Fauci: 'You cannot force someone to take a vaccine'

Coronavirus - 19th August 16611410

Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious disease expert in the US, has said he does not expect coronavirus vaccinations to be made mandatory for all Americans.
“I don't think you'll ever see a mandating of vaccine, particularly for the general public,” Fauci said on Tuesday during an online forum.
“If someone refuses the vaccine in the general public, then there's nothing you can do about that. You cannot force someone to take a vaccine," he said.
His comments contrast with those of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who earlier said he wanted to make an eventual coronavirus vaccine "as mandatory as you can make it" for all Australians.
Mr Morrison was speaking after his government signed an agreement with the Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca to manufacture the potential Covid-19 vaccine, being developed by Oxford University. Researchers hope to have results of a Phase Three efficacy trial by the end of the year.

Australia PM backtracks on compulsory vaccine comments

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has backtracked on comments he made stating that he would like coronavirus vaccinations to become mandatory for all Australian citizens.
In reference to a vaccine being developed by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University, Morrison said it should be "as mandatory as you can possibly make it" if clinical trials are successful.
Some leading experts voiced concern that such a discussion could be counterproductive and even dangerous given the vaccine has not yet been shown as effective or safe.
Morrison later backtracked on the comments.
“It is not going to be compulsory to have the vaccine, OK? It’s not compulsory. There are no compulsory vaccines in Australia,” he told Sydney radio station 2GB.
"There will be a lot of encouragement and measures to get as high a rate of acceptance as usual,” he added.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 11:41

UK inflation rises to 1% in June as lockdown eases

The UK's inflation rate rose to 1% in July as lockdown measures eased further.
The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose from June's value of 0.6%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said .
Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS, said: "Inflation has risen, in part, due to the largest monthly pump price increase in nearly a decade, as international oil prices rose from their lows earlier this year.
"The largest upward movement came from clothing where prices fell on the month but by less than a year ago, partly due to different sales patterns throughout the year so far.
"In addition, prices for private dental treatment, physiotherapy and haircuts have increased with the need for PPE [personal protective equipment] contributing to costs for these businesses."

Who is the head of England's new public health agency?

Coronavirus - 19th August 5324b611
Baroness Harding is a successful amateur jockey

The choice of Dido Harding to run England's new public health agency cements her position as one of the most powerful unelected officials involved in the fight against coronavirus.
As chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, she will take control of a huge scientific, technological and bureaucratic empire which ministers hope will play a vital role in ultimately defeating the virus.
As well as continuing to oversee the much-criticised NHS Test and Trace system, which she helped launch in May, she will assume responsibility for all local public health protection teams following the abolition of Public Health England, as well as the Joint Biosecurity Centre.
It caps a meteoric rise through the Whitehall ranks for the high-achieving businesswoman, whose time as chief executive of TalkTalk was marred by a massive data breach which landed the firm a record £400,000 fine.
Read more here .
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 11:45

Mass testing is route out of restrictions - Hancock

The UK is hoping to bring in mass testing to help ease restrictions, the health secretary has said.
“This is a really, really important drive that we have across government," Matt Hancock told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
He said testing people regularly could allow measures such as quarantining for arrivals from high-risk countries to be lifted.
Hancock added that new technologies, such as faster tests, where results can come back in minutes, were being looked at, and the government was planning to ramp up testing for the remainder of the year.

Analysis: Expanded testing survey won't identify local outbreaks

Robert Cuffe - BBC head of statistics
A survey to give an idea of how many people are infected with coronavirus in England is being expanded to test 150,000 people a fortnight by October .
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said scaling up the Office for National Statistics survey would allow the government to be "more accurate and more localised" in its response.
But at these levels, the survey won’t enable local trend or outbreak detection.
A 400,000 person survey, at current rates of infection, will see about 200 infections in the UK as a whole. That would be roughly three infections in Birmingham, one to two in Leicester and even fewer in small areas with low infection rates.
It cannot currently define national or regional trends conclusively because there is too little virus about. Boosting the sample size will address that problem, but it won’t be able to do much at local level until there is a lot of virus about.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 11:51

Assaults on London police jump 40% during lockdown

Sam Francis - BBC News, London
Coronavirus - 19th August 3a091810

Attacks on police in London have risen sharply during the coronavirus lockdown, exclusive figures have shown.
Met Police figures showed 2,027 assaults on officers were recorded between May and July, a 38% increase compared with the same period in 2019.
Scotland Yard said the rise was partly driven by a series of high-profile protests, including by Black Lives Matter demonstrators and right wing groups, and unlicensed music events marred by confrontations with police.
Read more here .

Thousands 'forced to choose between health and job'

Thousands of people in the UK who have been shielding and can't work from home could be forced to choose between their job and their health as the furlough scheme winds down, charities have warned.
Eleven groups have called for the government to introduce a new furlough-style scheme to protect high-risk workers in that situation from job losses.
Kate Skoczylas works for a local museums service and has been shielding since March after undergoing cancer treatment but is expected to return to work in September.
While she has faith in her employer to take steps to keep her safe, she still works in contact with the public, and is anxious about catching Covid-19.
Read more here .
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 11:54

Ireland at 'tipping point' as cases rise

Shane Harrison - BBC NI Dublin correspondent
The Republic of Ireland's cabinet has reversed some of its lockdown relaxation measures as it attempts to deal with rising Covid-19 case numbers.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said: "We are at a tipping point."
He added that a few weeks ago there were just 61 new reported cases for a seven day period but last week there were 533 cases.
The tightening of restrictions comes ahead of the reopening of schools over the next two weeks.
Taoiseach (Irish PM) Mícheál Martin said that if the current rates of Covid-19 continue to rise "it will be impossible to stop the spread of the virus to our most vulnerable and our most compromised".
On Tuesday, a further coronavirus-related death was reported, bringing the Republic of Ireland's total to 1,775. There were 190 more confirmed cases.
Read more here.

Northern Ireland health minister warns of new restrictions

Northern Ireland's health minister has said he will be recommending restrictions to the executive to curb the increasing spread of Covid-19.
Robin Swann said "we have to step in now" to deal with the rise in cases and said his recommendations to ministers when they meet on Thursday would include "possibly reducing the number of people who can meet together".
A final decision will be made after ministers have been advised by the chief medical officer and the chief scientific adviser.
On Tuesday, the health minister warned the country was in danger of "sliding down a very slippery and treacherous slope", with almost 300 new cases confirmed over the past seven days.
Read more here .
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 12:01

What's happening with university admissions?

Exam grades for students across the UK have been revised after a U-turn over how they were calculated.
This means many more students have met university offer requirements, throwing the admissions system into overdrive.
So what should you do if you now have the grades you need? And will universities have space for extra students?
Our explainer tells you everything you need to know.

Virus-wary Chinese firm confines Mozambican builders

Jose Tembe - BBC News, Maputo
Coronavirus - 19th August C8829410
The builders haven't been allowed to see their families since March

A Chinese firm constructing a cement factory in Mozambique's capital, Maputo, has been confining about 60 local workers on the construction site since March.
A company representative says the decision was taken to prevent possible transmission of coronavirus from the workers to their employer.
The Salamanga cement factory is being constructed in Matutuone district in Maputo province.
The decision has kept the workers away from their families.
Lawyer Paulino Cossa says this is violating local labour laws.
A company representative has promised to release the workers next week.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 16:03

Facebook 'danger to public health', report warns

Jane Wakefield - Technology reporter
Coronavirus - 19th August 506c1c10

Health misinformation on Facebook was viewed 3.8 billion times in the past year, peaking during the Covid-19 crisis, a report suggests.
Activist group Avaaz, which conducted the research, said Facebook posed a "major threat" to public health.
Doctors added false claims about vaccines on the social network could limit the numbers prepared to have a Covid jab if one became available.
Facebook said the findings did "not reflect the steps we've taken".
In a statement the firm said: "We share Avaaz's goal of limiting misinformation. Thanks to our global network of fact-checkers, from April to June, we applied warning labels to 98 million pieces of Covid-19 misinformation and removed seven million pieces of content that could lead to imminent harm.
"We've directed over two billion people to resources from health authorities and when someone tries to share a link about Covid-19, we show them a pop-up to connect them with credible health information."
Read more here.

Analysis: Hancock sets another ambitious testing aim

Pallab Ghosh - Science correspondent, BBC News
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the UK government is aiming to “ramp up” rapid-turnaround, population-wide testing “over the remainder of this year”.
The new tests are being assessed for reliability at government labs in Porton Down. They are potentially easier to administer and much quicker than the current tests – which have to be sent to a lab and can take a day to turn around.
Some of the tests being assessed can provide results in minutes. And some test saliva instead of requiring a swab from the back of the throat.
Hancock’s aim is to have a system where anyone can tests themselves on a regular basis – potentially each day.
Such a regime would do away with the need for quarantine and fewer people would need to self-isolate for several days.
If the tests are found to be reliable, the health secretary's challenge will be to transform his enthusiasm for the technology into an effective and reliable system – and roll it out to the entire population.
His promise to ramp it up over the remainder of the year is yet another ambitious target he has set for his department.
It comes on top of an expansion of the Office for National Statistics' Infection Survey , which monitors how many people are infected with Covid-19 in England.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 16:10

Latest developments from the UK

If you're just joining us, here are the latest stories you need to know about from the UK:


Global headlines

Here are some of the main coronavirus-related headlines from around the world:

  • Australian PM Scott Morrison has backtracked after saying that he wanted a new coronavirus vaccine to be "as mandatory as possible". Some experts voiced concern that such a discussion could be counterproductive and even dangerous given the vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University has not yet been shown as effective or safe. Mr Morrison later said there were "no compulsory vaccines in Australia"
  • Health misinformation on Facebook was viewed 3.8 billion times in the past year, peaking during the Covid-19 crisis, a report suggests. Activist group Avaaz, which conducted the research, said Facebook posed a "major threat" to public health . The firm said the report "did not reflect the steps we've taken"
  • South Korean officials say the country faces a moment of "grave crisis" after it recorded the highest number of daily cases - 297 - since March . The cluster involves a secretive church and hundreds of members have provided false contact details at gatherings
  • There have been more than 22 million confirmed cases and 780,000 deaths worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University in the US
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 16:33

Mask-exempt mum says abuse made her too afraid to shop

A woman who is exempt from wearing a face covering says the abuse she has received while shopping without one has left her afraid to leave the house.
Louise Sharp says her face needs to stay uncovered so she can communicate with her daughter, who is autistic and would otherwise get distressed.
Louise told the BBC she was accosted at her local supermarket in Whitley Bay, near Newcastle, and when she tried to explain that she was exempt the person still said she was "selfish".
Louise is urging people to be more understanding of those with exemptions after the negative comments from the shopper sparked a panic attack.
"I haven't been to any shop since, not once, I don't have the confidence", she says.


New testing at Heathrow 'could avoid need to quarantine'

Coronavirus - 19th August 67f5f510
Tests are already compulsory for arrivals to German airports from high-risk countries

A new coronavirus testing programme at Heathrow Airport could avoid the need for travellers to quarantine when arriving from high-risk countries, the airport's boss has said.
Aviation services company Collinson and logistics firm Swissport said more than 13,000 Covid-19 tests will be available to passengers each day, with results "within hours".
It is proposed that arrivals will then take a second test at home and will be able to leave quarantine early if they pass both.
The new facility has been set up in Terminal 2 of the west London airport - but the proposed system needs government approval to go ahead.
Heatlh Secretary Matt Hancock told LBC radio that the government was working with Heathrow on the plan but it must be made "safe and secure".
You can read more about why the UK isn't yet testing passengers on arrival here .
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 16:36

Fund to support Aberdeen firms as lockdown extended again

It is "not yet safe" to lift local lockdown measures in Aberdeen and restrictions will be extended for another week , Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Pubs, restaurants and cafes in the city will remain closed, and restrictions on travel in the city and on households will be in place until next Wednesday at the earliest.
Aberdeen was put into lockdown two weeks ago, and Sturgeon said it was "by some distance the most significant outbreak" Scotland had seen since lockdown measures were eased across the country.
The Scottish government will aim to start lifting measures in a week's time, assuming case numbers continue to fall, Sturgeon added. A review on Sunday will look at setting out a timetable for lifting restrictions.
At her daily coronavirus briefing, Sturgeon said a fund of £1m will be immediately set up to support local businesses struggling because of the measures.
She also said no new coronavirus deaths had been reported in Scotland in the past 24 hours, while the number of confirmed cases had increased by 50.

Vaccine must be available to the poor, Pope says

Pope Francis has said the world's poorest people must have access to a coronavirus vaccine if one becomes available.
“How sad it would be if access to a Covid-19 vaccine was made a priority for the richest. It would be sad if the vaccine became property of such-and-such nation and not universal for everyone," the Pope said during his general audience.
The pandemic “has uncovered the plight of the poor and the great inequality that reigns in the world”, he said.
“On the one hand, it is imperative to find the cure for a small but terrible virus, which is bringing the whole world to its knees," he added.
"On the other hand, we must cure a great virus, that of social injustice, inequality of opportunity, marginalisation and lack of protection for the weakest."
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 16:39

Iran death toll surpasses 20,000

The number of people confirmed to have died from Covid-19 in Iran has surpassed 20,000, the country's health ministry says.
In a televised statement, spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said deaths linked to coronavirus had reached 20,125, with 2,444 new infections recorded in the latest 24-hour period.
The total number of cases has reached 350,279 and some 3,868 people were currently receiving intensive care treatment at hospitals, she said.
Iran has experienced a significant surge in the number of infections. Cases spiked in mid-May and have remained high despite a re-imposition of some restrictions on movement.
Read more about coronavirus in Iran:


Welsh wool crisis: Covid, cruise liners and carpets

Coronavirus - 19th August D51adc10

International tourism ground to a halt when Covid-19 struck - hitting businesses from hotels to airlines.
But this has also had an unexpected knock-on impact on Welsh wool farmers.
Thanks to a hill-dwelling lifestyle, Welsh sheep have a coarser fleece, which tends to be used in carpets.
The closure of large hotels and cruise liners - which routinely invest in new carpets - has hit producers and contributed to a "disastrous" fall in demand for fleeces of mountain sheep, according to British Wool.
Read more here
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 16:42

Task force to tackle rising New York anti-Asian violence

The New York Police Department has launched a task force to tackle a rise in racist violence against Asian Americans during the pandemic.
The Asian Hate Crime Task Force comes amid a rise in hate crimes against Asians in the US, Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said on Tuesday.
Since March 21, there have been 21 reported anti-Asian hate crimes that have resulted in 17 arrests, he said.
“This increase was cultivated due to the anti-Asian rhetoric about the virus that was publicised and individuals began to attack Asian New Yorkers - either verbal attack or physical assault. We saw a spike in every borough throughout the city," Harrison added.
“Asian New Yorkers were attacked on trains, buses, restaurants and walking in their own neighbourhoods,” he said, as he stood next to some of the 25 detectives on the team.
President Donald Trump has been accused of stoking anti-Chinese sentiment during the Covid-19 pandemic, and has referred to it as the "Chinese virus".

Big changes needed for 2021 exams, union tells Williamson

Exams must see big changes in 2021 to ensure grades "properly recognise and reward" pupils, the National Education Union has said, after a furious backlash over the government's handling of this year's exams which were cancelled due to coronavirus.
The joint leaders of the union said the controversy around A-level results "must never happen again" and are urging the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to prepare for new spikes in coronavirus that could lead to "further loss of schooling".
Last week thousands of teenagers across England were devastated after 40% of A-level results were downgraded from teachers' assessments. After heavy criticism of the algorithm used to calculate the grades, the government made a U-turn on the policy.

In a letter to Williamson, union heads Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney said the government should reduce the amount of content assessed in 2021's GCSE and A-level exams.
"The current over-reliance on end of course exams increases student anxiety and fails to give a fair reflection of what students can achieve," they said, adding "all options should be considered."
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 16:44

Government backs exams regulator after blame-shifting claims

More now on the fallout over this year's exam grades.
The government has given its backing to England's exams regulator, Ofqual, after the education secretary was accused of trying to shift the blame onto it over the A-level exam grading controversy.
Gavin Williamson remains under considerable pressure as criticism continues from Labour and the Lib Dems - while the normally-supportive Daily Mail paper has described him as "the man who won't take the blame".

The Tory chairman of the education committee, Robert Halfon, called for Ofqual to be abolished so that ministers can have "proper control and accountability".
But this afternoon, the Department for Education said it had "full confidence in Ofqual and its leadership".
The statement also said the decision to abandon the much-criticised algorithm in favour of teacher-assessed grades was taken by the regulator, and that the department agreed with it.
Earlier, the health secretary defended his colleague Williamson , saying he had "done his best in very difficult circumstances".

Warning over elephant dung 'cure'

Health officials in Namibia have been forced to warn people against using elephant dung in an attempt to "cure" Covid-19 patients.
Traditional healers say the elephant dung can be steamed and inhaled as a treatment for flu, headaches and nosebleeds - but the practice has not been scientifically tested.
"I am worried about unscrupulous people who would make other people spend money on useless remedies in the hope that they will be cured," Health Minister Kalumbi Shangula said.
"A desperate person may do a desperate thing," he added.
The southern African country has so far confirmed 4,464 coronavirus cases and 37 deaths.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 16:53

Indigenous tribe blocks Brazil motorway in virus protest
Coronavirus - 19th August F108bf10

Indigenous people in Brazil have been blocking a key motorway that passes through the Amazon rainforest as part of a protest against what they say is a failure by the government to protect them from the coronavirus.
Coronavirus - 19th August 552bcc10

Members of the Kayapo ethnic group started blocking the BR-163 road early on Monday. On Tuesday, they cleared the way to allow a convoy of trucks carrying corn to pass, but later defied a court order and resumed the roadblock.
Coronavirus - 19th August B648e110

Wearing body paint and traditional colourful headdresses, dozens of protesters have been taking turns to stand in a line across the national highway - some brandishing bows - with banners.
Coronavirus - 19th August A3a2b210

"We are tired of unkept promises," the tribe said in a statement, accusing the government of failing to protect them from the virus after four members of the group lost their lives.
Coronavirus - 19th August B3cc9b10

They also say the authorities did not consult them about a plan to build a railway alongside their community.
Coronavirus - 19th August 5b125b10
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 16:57

Rail fares to rise 1.6% despite passenger slump

Railway season ticket holders and commuters in England and Wales will see a 1.6% rise in fares from January, despite a slump in passenger demand caused by the pandemic.
About half of rail fares are pegged to July's Retail Price Index (RPI), which defied economists' forecasts and rose from 1.1% a month ago, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
The independent watchdog Transport Focus said an overhaul of the fares system was needed to fit "the way we live and travel now", with commuter numbers down as more people work from home.
It called for companies to offer cut-price deals and flexible season tickets for commuters.
Scotland will delay any change to its fares as it considers reviewing its system to make it more affordable, while in Northern Ireland fares are set by state-owned operator Translink and don't use RPI.
Read more here .

No funds for Yemen aid, UN warns

Alan Johnston - BBC Middle East analyst
Coronavirus - 19th August F83eaa10
Yemenis collect clean water for their families from a charity water truck amid safe water shortages in Sanaa, Yemen

The United Nations has warned that Yemen is hopelessly ill-equipped to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and millions of people could suffer and die because of a lack of funds for its aid work in the country, which has been devastated by years of civil war.
The alarm was sounded by the UN’s chief aid co-ordinator in Yemen, Lise Grande. She said the funding shortage was so acute that it has already forced the closure or the scaling back of nearly a third of the big aid programmes. Many others are under threat.
Since April, food rations for more than eight million people have been halved. Unless more funds come within weeks, essential medicine and other supplies for half the country's health facilities will be halted.
Grande said thousands of sick and malnourished children would probably die.
The UN describes Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian disaster. About 80% of the population – 24 million people – need assistance. But the country has consistently failed to attract sufficient support and attention from the outside world.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 17:01

Greece to ban parties on holiday island Mykonos

Coronavirus - 19th August 71ad8010
Mykonos is one of the most popular Greek islands

Greece is to ban parties on the popular holiday island of Mykonos to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The coastal area of Chalkidiki in the north of the country will also have measures implemented, Civil Protection authorities said.
Live parties will be banned, while a limit of gatherings of nine people will be implemented. Masks are compulsory in both closed and open spaces.
No more than four people can be seated at the same table in restaurants unless they are very close relatives, in which case this can be bumped up to six.
The restrictions will go into effect from 21 to 31 August.
On Tuesday, Greece recorded 269 infections, its highest daily number since its first case was discovered in February.

UK records 16 more virus deaths

A further 16 people have died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of deaths to 41,397, according to the government's latest figures. Another 812 people have tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 321,098.

Greater Manchester mayor calls to relax some local restrictions

The mayor of Greater Manchester, in north-west England, where restrictions have been reintroduced following a rise in coronavirus cases , is calling for a relaxation of some local lockdown measures.
Labour's Andy Burnham said he was writing to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, with the support of the region's council leaders, calling for:

  • no new restrictions on Oldham beyond those already in place
  • a relaxation of the ban on gatherings in Wigan
  • further business opening allowed everywhere, except Oldham.

Earlier today Oldham Council's leader warned a full local lockdown in the town could prove "catastrophic" for business , although it has one of the highest rates of new infections in England.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 17:05

Spain reports over 3,700 new cases

Coronavirus - 19th August 50833210
Protesters gathered in Madrid at the weekend to demonstrate against the mandatory use of face coverings in public

Spain has reported 3,715 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours - a new daily record since the country eased strict lockdown measures in June.
The total number of confirmed infections in the country is now 370,867, with 28,797 deaths recorded, the latest figures published by Spain's health ministry show.
Spain has seen a surge in new infections since lifting its three-month lockdown.
In recent days, large protests have taken place in the Spanish capital, Madrid, over the mandatory use of face masks and other measures imposed to contain the spread of the virus.
The demonstrations follow a swathe of new restrictions introduced by the government, including a ban on smoking in public.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 18:06

Viral message plays on back-to-school fears

Alistair Coleman - BBC Anti-disinformation Team
School head teachers can’t send children for a coronavirus test or have them detained without parental consent, despite viral social media posts claiming this is the case.
The Facebook and WhatsApp posts are aimed at “all caring parents out there”, and say that schools can take a child to a coronavirus testing centre if they were showing symptoms - and then have officials detain them further without parental access if they test positive.
The children’s commissioner for England has said this is not the case , writing: “It is not true that public health officers have the power to screen and assess without a parent or carer present. This power can only be exercised in the presence of an individual with responsibility for the child”.
That means a parent, carer or legal guardian must be present should a child need a test for Covid-19. In the event of a positive test, the most likely result would be self-isolation at home, the commissioner says.
While powers of detention do exist, they would only be used in extreme cases where there is a flagrant risk to other people, shadow public health minister Alex Norris says. Guidance to public health officials on these powers is publicly available on the UK government website.
Emotional social media messages - however well-meaning - are not the best source of information about Covid-19 and its consequences. Here’s how you can stop viral misinformation spreading online .

Woman jailed over quarantine bus trip

Coronavirus - 19th August 07b1ab10
Fraser Nolan arrived to the Isle of Man after obtaining a travel exemption

A 60-year-old woman who was given permission to visit the Isle of Man to take care of her late mother's estate has been jailed for breaking quarantine rules.
Fraser Nolan, from Belfast, arrived on the island by ferry from Northern Ireland on Sunday morning and agreed to self-isolate at a vacant family home.
But two days later police received an anonymous tip-off that Nolan had left the premises. She later admitted taking a bus to see a locksmith.
Non-residents who travel to the island must quarantine for 14 days as part of rules to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Nolan has been jailed for four weeks.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 18:10

Early release scheme for prisoners to be paused

An emergency scheme allowing some low-risk prisoners in England and Wales near the end of their sentence to be released early is to be paused by the government.
The initiative was introduced in April to help free up prison space to prevent the spread of the virus, but will be stopped at the end of August.
Ministers initially said that 4,000 inmates would be eligible for the programme - but only around 200 were freed.
The government said the decision would be kept under review.

How close are we to a vaccine?

Earlier we reported that Pope Francis has called for a coronavirus vaccine to be provided to the world's poorest people if one becomes available.
His comments came after Australia said it had secured access to a promising vaccine and would offer free doses to its entire population of 25 million people.
But how close are we to a coronavirus vaccine?
While no vaccine has yet been proven to protect the human body against Covid-19, medical researchers around the world are working hard to change that.
About 140 potential vaccines are in early development, and dozens are now being tested on people in clinical trials.

Ultimately, billions of doses of several types of Covid-19 vaccines will need to be made to keep the virus at bay. They will have to be manufactured, distributed and administered across the globe.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 18:34

Florida is fifth US state to surpass 10,000 deaths

Florida has become the fifth US state to surpass the grim milestone of 10,000 coronavirus deaths.
The figure was announced as the state's health department reported 174 additional deaths. Many occured weeks ago, but have only just been confirmed to be coronavirus-related.
Florida also reported 4,201 new cases on Wednesday, continuing a two-week downward trend in new infections.
The other states to have hit 10,000 deaths are New York, New Jersey, California and Texas.

Labour: Algorithm at centre of A-levels grading crisis 'unlawful'

The algorithm used to downgrade thousands of A-level results in England was "unlawful", opposition politicians have claimed.
The computer-based model used by Ofqual to standardise results - after exams were cancelled due to coronavirus - breached anti-discrimination legislation as well as laws requiring it to uphold standards, Labour says.

The party wants the education secretary to publish the legal advice he was given.
Gavin Williamson has backed Ofqual but apologised for the hurt caused to pupils by the chaos.
Read the full story here.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 19:45

Staff isolating after factory outbreak now 'using food banks'

Staff self-isolating after an outbreak of coronavirus at a sandwich factory in England's East Midlands are now having to use food banks and struggling with rent, a union has claimed.
Many of the almost 300 workers who tested positive at M&S supplier Greencore in Northampton are members of The Bakers' Union.
The union entered a grievance with Greencore on Tuesday as its regional officer George Attwall said its members "are now in hardship".
Attwall and branch secretary Nicolar Macari said only statutory sick pay was being paid to the vast majority of people self-isolating, and that workers "are being evicted as a result of not being able to pay rent" while others "were forced to use food banks for the first time in their lives".

The union claims it is "unfair" workers only get statutory sick pay of £95.85 per week while managers are "enjoying full company sick pay".
Greencore said it will give "weekly paid colleagues" a £400 bonus "in recognition of the financial impact".
Read more here .

Entire Scottish primary school class and teacher self-isolate

An entire class of primary pupils in Scotland, and their teacher, have been asked to self-isolate after a case of coronavirus.
Contact tracers are working to identify close contacts at St Albert's Primary School in Pollokshields on the south side of Glasgow.
A council spokeswoman said "control measures are in place at the school, and there is currently no evidence of transmission within the school itself".
The number of pupils and staff asked to self-isolate has not been confirmed.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 7130
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 19th August

Post by Kitkat on Wed Aug 19 2020, 19:47

Latest global headlines

It's almost time to wrap up our coronavirus live page for the evening. But first, let's take a look at the day's headlines.
In the UK:

Around the world:

  • Pope Francis has said the world's poorest people must have access to a coronavirus vaccine if one becomes available
  • Spain has reported 3,715 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours - a new daily record since the country eased strict lockdown measures in June
  • Australia's prime minister, Scott Morrison, has backtracked after saying a coronavirus vaccine should be "as mandatory as you can possibly make it"
  • Greece is to ban parties on the popular holiday island of Mykonos to curb the spread of the virus
  • And the number of people confirmed to have died from Covid-19 in Iran has surpassed 20,000, the country's health ministry has said


Thanks for joining us

We're pausing our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic for today.

Wednesday's coronavirus live page was brought to you by Alice Evans, Dulcie Lee, Mal Siret, Max Matza, Tom Spender, George Wright, and Becky Morton.

Join us again tomorrow as we bring you the latest on the pandemic, from across the world.

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