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Coronavirus - 22nd August


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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 11:03

Summary for Saturday, 22nd August

  • India records more than 69,000 new cases, with its overall tally now close to three million
  • South Korea extends new coronavirus restrictions nationwide in an attempt to control a resurgence of the virus
  • UK tourists have been dashing home as new coronavirus travel rules kick in for Croatia, Austria, and Trinidad and Tobago
  • WHO head says the pandemic could be over within two years
  • The global death toll is just under 800,000, with close to 23 million registered cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University
  • More than 14 million people have recovered from the virus

It’s early in the morning here in London, and we’ve just begun our weekend.
A lot has happened in the world while we’ve been asleep - to help you catch up, here are some of the main coronavirus headlines:

  • India has reported a record daily rise of 69,652 in infections, bringing the total to close 3m confirmed coronavirus cases. The death toll in the country is 55,794, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU). The rise comes as Hindus in India celebrate the major festival Ganesh Chaturthi.
  • British tourists have been rushing home from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago to try and beat new quarantine travel rules, which kicked in at 04:00. As of today, travellers in these countries will need to self-isolate for 14 days on their return to the UK. However, Portugal has now been added to the safe list - and searches for flights there have risen.
  • Meanwhile, tighter restrictions in parts of Blackburn and Pendle in north-west England have also come into force today. Residents in those areas are now not allowed to socialise with anyone from outside their household - although workplaces, childcare facilities and businesses will remain open.
  • Still in the UK, the pandemic has forced student travel agent STA Travel out of business. About 500 UK jobs are thought to be at risk from the collapse.
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, has said he hopes the pandemic will be over in under two years. Speaking in Geneva, he said the Spanish flu pandemic of 2018 took two years to overcome - but that thanks to advances in technology, we could halt the coronavirus “in a shorter time”.
  • The US has now passed 175,000 deaths linked to coronavirus - the highest death toll in the world. It has also had more than 5.5m confirmed cases.
  • The number of confirmed cases of the virus in South Africa has now passed 600,000, according to the country’s Department of Health. A single-day increase of 3,398 new cases has pushed its total up to 603,338. More than 12,000 people have died.
  • The total number of people confirmed to have had the virus worldwide is almost 23m, while the global death toll is almost 800,000, according to figures kept by JHU.

UK tourists in rush to beat new quarantine deadline

British tourists have been hurriedly re-arranging their travel plans to get back home from three tourist destinations that have been pulled off the "safe" list of tourist destinations.
As of 04:00 BST on Saturday, travellers returning to the UK from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad And Tobago must quarantine for 14 days.
Children in families who did not return in time will miss the start of the new school year in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, bookings for Portugal are on the up with the popular holiday destination now added to the safe list.
The quarantine measures for Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago were imposed after of a spike in coronavirus cases in those countries.
Read more.

India to pass 3m cases as Hindus celebrate festival

India is about to reach 3m total confirmed cases of coronavirus, after a record single-day increase of more than 69,000.
The country has the third-highest number of infections in the world, after the US and Brazil. It also has the fourth-highest death toll.
However India's health ministry notes hat one million tests are being carried out every day, and that the rate of recovery had increased too.
tweet  :Left Quotes:  Ministry of Health


India crosses the milestone of 1 million #COVID19 tests a day.

More than 10 lakh people tested in the last 24 hours.
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“Early identification through testing, prompt and effective treatment through supervised home isolation and quality medical care, and innovative graded policy measures have resulted in almost 100% increase in recovered cases in the last 21 days,” the ministry tweeted.
The spike comes as Hindus celebrate one of their biggest festivals, Ganesh Chaturthi - a holiday that in normal years is celebrated with large public processions, after which idols of Ganesh are submerged in water.
Different states have released guidelines on how to celebrate the festival safely.

Coronavirus will be present 'forever'

Coronavirus will be present around the world indefinitely and people are likely to need regular vaccinations, a leading UK scientist has warned.
Professor Sir Mark Walport , a member of government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told to BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Covid-19 could not be eradicated in the way smallpox has been.
He added: "This is a virus that is going to be with us forever in some form or another and almost certainly will require repeated vaccinations. So a bit like flu, people will need re-vaccination at regular intervals."

Bratislava counts the cost of closed borders

Rob Cameron - BBC Prague Correspondent
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Visits from British partygoers and other tourists were an early casualty of the coronavirus pandemic for the Slovak capital Bratislava - and now it is struggling to claw back its depleted industry.
Slovakia was praised for its swift, decisive response to the virus, which included shutting its borders to tourists, but it has come at a price.
I spoke to speedboat captain Frantisek "Frank" Fabian.
"We've recorded a significant drop in demand this year," he told me. "It's growing again now, but April and May were down to zero. June - maybe 5% compared with last year. July might have been 15%, August 20-25%."
The speedboats are just one part of a wider tour operator business which, according to Frank, has only been able to survive thanks to state aid and cuts to investment, marketing and salaries.
Read the full story here

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 11:10

Cases keep rising in Indonesia and Philippines

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Indonesia and the Philippines continue to experience surges in cases.
Another 94 people have died of coronavirus in Indonesia in the past 24 hours, bringing the country's total to 6,594 - the highest death toll in South East Asia. The health ministry also reported 2,090 new confirmed cases, bringing the total so far to 151,498.
The Philippines, meanwhile, has the highest number of cases in South East Asia,and the second-highest death toll.
The country's health ministry reported a single-day increase of 4,933 confirmed infections - the fifth straight day above 4,000 - and 26 new deaths.
The total number of cases in the Philippines is now 187,249, and the death toll 2,966.

New restrictions enforced in north-west England

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There will be no outdoor socialising allowed in parts of north-west England

People in three areas of north-west England can no longer socialise with other households.
under new measures introduced to stem the spread of coronavirus at a local level.
The cities of Oldham and Blackburn and parts of Pendle district have been affected after new rules came into place at midnight after a rise in cases.
Workplaces, childcare facilities and businesses, including pubs and restaurants, will remain open but local councils can take action against people breaking rules.
The measures are not as severe as those that affected Leicester last month - the UK's first local lockdown - and have only recently been loosened.
Meanwhile, Birmingham has been added to the government's watch list, and in Northampton special checks are being made to ensure people self-isolate where required are after nearly 300 people tested positive on an industrial estate.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 11:29

South Korea ramps up coronavirus restrictions

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After imposing tough restrictions on the capital Seoul, South Korea is now extending those measures to the entire country.
Health officials reported 315 new coronavirus cases on Friday - the second rise exceeding 300 in as many days. For a country used to daily infection figures below 20, it has come as a shock, says the BBC's Laura Bicker in Seoul.
The current outbreak originated in a church whose members took part in a mass rally in Seoul last week, despite pleas from the government for them to stay at home.
Among the measures coming into force on Sunday are restrictions on large gatherings, a ban on in-person church meetings, and the closure of nightclubs, karaoke bars, buffets and internet cafes.

Back home... after 110 days in hospital

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Mick Pickering's wife was told several times her husband might not survive the virus

Mick Pickering has told BBC Breakfast he was relieved to be back home in Newthorpe, Nottinghamshire after 110 days in hospital.
The 65-year-old caught the virus in April and after a difficult few months was picked up from hospital in a white Rolls-Royce.
"I'm bearing up, glad to be home and had a nice welcome party." he said.
"The treatment is second to none in hospital. But what happened to me brings it home: it affected my kidneys, they stopped working, it affected my lungs too and the message is stay safe and stop going in crowds. If you get it like I did, it's horrific."
Wife Patsy admitted it was "scary" to hear from doctors that her husband might not pull through.
She added: "That bug sticks to your lungs like glue. I want to see people wear their masks and wear them properly."

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 11:35

Official death toll in Bolivia 'a vast undercount'

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Demonstrators have spent much of August protesting against delays to the presidential elections in Bolivia

Bolivia's chief forensic official, Andrés Flores, has told the New York Times that the official death toll from Covid-19 in the landlocked South American country is a "vast undercount".
According to the official tally, about 4,300 have died so far. But after reviewing mortality figures, the newspaper says the real figure is about five times as much.
That would make its per capita death rate more than double that of the US, and far higher than those across Europe.
Bolivia has been beset by limited testing, scarce resources, and a major political crisis.
The coronavirus outbreak has led authorities to delay a general election several times. Interim President Jeanine Añez argues that it is not yet safe to allow people to go to the polls.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 12:49

Does getting the virus once make you immune?

If you're one of the 14.7m people in the world who's had coronavirus and recovered, you might be wondering whether you can catch it again.
BBC Health reporter Rachel Schraer has taken a look at this question. Here, she reports on what we know so far about immunity and Covid-19.

Coronavirus: Immunity explained

Can you get the virus from food packaging?

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Traces of coronavirus are reported to have been found on packaging in China recently - specifically, on consignments of frozen shrimp and chicken wings delivered from South America.
Naturally, this has raised questions about whether the virus can be transmitted on food packaging.
In theory, it may be possible to catch the virus from packaging - lab-based studies have shown that the virus can survive for hours, if not days, on some packaging materials. What's more, the virus is more stable at lower temperatures, which is how many foods are transported.
But some scientists have questioned whether these conditions can really be replicated outside of a lab environment.. "The chance of transmission through inanimate surfaces is very small," a microbiologist says.
Read more here

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 12:57

German city holds huge 'Covid concerts'

Damien McGuinness - BBC News, Berlin
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Thousands of people crowding into an indoor stadium is not something you see in Germany these days - but this is what is happening today, for a huge science experiment.
A series of pop concerts are being held in the German city of Leipzig on Saturday, as part of research being carried out to see how mass events can be held with a minimum risk of infection.
The three concerts will be held throughout the day, and will cost almost €1m (£900,000), paid for by the German government.
The pop fans are volunteers who have been given tracking devices, which will monitor their movements and proximity to other people. They will disinfect their hands with fluorescent sanitiser, which will help scientists track how surfaces become a source of infection. And a fog machine will show how the virus spreads in the air.
To make sure this experiment doesn’t become a safety risk itself, everyone is wearing face-masks, has tested negative for Covid-19 and is younger than 50 years old, with no health conditions.
Scientists will then analyse the data, which they say could provide valuable information about how to stage large cultural and sporting events safely - even in the midst of a pandemic.

Thinking of travelling to Europe? Read our guide first

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In Madrid, face masks are required outdoors in all circumstances

Most countries have their own unique rules and restrictions around dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
So we've compiled a handy explainer to reveal how regulations differ across nine of the most popular European holiday destinations.
For instance, in the Spanish capital Madrid face masks are compulsory in public, even in outdoor spaces, while testing is enforced for all travellers from high-risk countries arriving at German airports.
Read more on the Europe-wide rules to control the pandemic here

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 13:21

Argentina joins Chinese efforts in search for vaccine

Argentina has joined Peru, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates in moving forward with clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine developed by China National Biotec Group (CNBG), according to Reuters news agency
CNBG is seeking research participants from other countries for testing as cases within China’s own borders dwindle.
Phase-three trials, which usually involve several thousand volunteers, allow researchers to assess how effective potential vaccines are before final regulatory approvals are granted.
The experimental vaccine from CNBG received approval from the UAE in June for a phase- three trial and has so far recruited 15,000 volunteers.
Since then, Peru, Morocco and now Argentina have also approved the trials.

Quarantine rules: Which are the UK's 'low-risk' countries?

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The beaches of the Algarve: Back on the agenda for British holidaymakers

As of today, Portugal has been added to the list of countries UK travellers can visit without having to quarantine on return.
Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago are being taken off the list, however.
In all, there are more than 50 countries deemed ''low risk'', although some of these countries do impose restrictions on travellers entering from the UK.
To find out exactly what the state of play is in terms of travelling abroad, and what happens when you have to self-isolate on your return, read our guide .

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 16:59

How do cases compare across Europe?

As UK tourists travelling home from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago prepare to face two weeks of quarantine, it is interesting to compare numbers of current cases across Europe.
As of 22 August, the UK had recorded 21.2 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over the last fortnight , according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
In comparison, Croatia had 52.2 cases per 100,000, Austria had 34.6 and France had 54.4. Spain recorded the highest number, at 152.7, although the ECDC says this number includes cases from the previous 14 days. Malta was also high, with 119.5 cases per 100,000.
By contrast, Italy's cases were 12.1 per 100,000, and Latvia recorded the lowest number of cases at 2.6.
The ECDC urges caution with the data, saying it may not be fully accurate because of the different times that national updates are published.

UK quarantine decision 'unfair' - Croatian official

The UK decision to add Croatia to its quarantine list "not fair", a Croatian government official has said.
Frano Matusic, state secretary at the country's tourism ministry, called on the UK to reverse the move.
"It is true that we have some several hotspots in Croatia but we didn’t register until now any infection in hotels, camps and other accommodation facilities," he told Sky News.
"So we appeal to UK government to replace this 14-days quarantine measure by reliable tests. We are really disappointed by this."
Read more about Croatia's addition to the list and other questions here .

Wear masks if you're 12 or over - WHO

The World Health Organization has updated its guidance to recommend children aged 12 and above wear face masks.
The new advice says those aged 12 and over "should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee at least a one-metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area".
Younger children could be asked to wear face coverings depending on the situation, the guidance adds, but in general children aged five and under "should not be required to wear masks".
The WHO said people should always consult and follow local rules on masks.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 17:09

Global deaths reach 800,000

At least 800,000 people have died with coronavirus worldwide, according to the latest tally by Johns Hopkins University in the US.
The US has seen the highest number of fatalities, with around 175,000 deaths, followed by Brazil, with 113,000.
Almost 23 million infections have also been recorded since the pandemic began.
Find out more about the spread of the virus here .

Hindus mark festival with idols crushing coronavirus

One of the biggest Hindu festivals of the year, Ganesh Chaturthi, is being celebrated across India amid coronavirus restrictions.
Ganesh Chaturthi usually involves huge processions, after which idols of Lord Ganesha are submerged in water. But celebrations are low key this year, as large gatherings are prohibited.
We reported earlier today that India saw a record increase in infections, pushing the total number of confirmed cases in the country close to three million.
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Hindus pray to Lord Ganesha for protection - and so, many idols this year depict him crushing the coronavirus, wearing masks and carrying hand sanitiser, such as this one in Ahmedabad
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This idol in Mumbai also shows Lord Ganesha destroying the coronavirus
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Priests have also performed pujas - Hindu prayer ceremonies - while wearing masks
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Worshippers have also adhered to social distancing in temples

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 17:12

Seattle food trucks take festival vibes to the suburbs

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Summer is usually a busy time for food trucks in the US, particularly with festivals. But this year, of course, everything's different.
According to the Associated Press news agency, food trucks in Seattle have found an alternative way to keep afloat - by driving to the suburbs.
People in residential areas are glad of the opportunity not to cook, and treat getting food from the trucks as an excuse to spend some time outdoors with their neighbours, the report says.
"This is festival season, fun season," Matt Geller, president of the National Food Truck Association, told AP. "All the stuff we typically do as humans, we can't do anymore. Walking out to a food truck is a taste of normalcy, and it feels really good."

Slovak football team quarantined on Faroe Islands

The Slovak football team Slovan Bratislava has gone into quarantine on the Faroe Islands after two of its players tested positive for coronavirus.
The governing body for European football, Uefa, said in a statement that the entire team had tested negative before travelling to the remote North Atlantic archipelago.
Further testing on arrival showed that one player was infected, leading to their match against Faroese team KÍ Klaksvík being delayed from 19 to 21 August.
Additional players who had also tested negative were put forward to play on the new date - but a member of this second group later tested positive, prompting local officials to place all of Slovan Bratislava's staff and players in quarantine.
It is not known where the players contracted the virus. But a study published by Johns Hopkins University suggested that testing people too soon after they were infected could lead to a false negative results.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 17:15

Top German singer headlines Covid concerts

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No, this isn't an old photo - this is Tim Bendzko performing at a Restart-19 concert today

Tim Bendzko, a singer-songwriter who became famous after winning Germany's Bundesvision song contest, is headlining all three coronavirus concerts in the city of Leipzig.
As we reported earlier, the concerts - called Restart-19 - are being staged as a massive experiment in which scientists will investigate how the virus spreads in mass indoor events.
The first concert is being staged as it would have been before the pandemic, the second one with more hygiene measures and social distancing, and the third with half the numbers and people standing 1.5m apart.
Everyone taking part is healthy, aged 18 to 50 and has tested negative for coronavirus.
The study by Halle University comes after Germany recorded its highest number of new Covid-19 infections since the end of April. More than 2,000 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections up to 232,082, the Robert Koch Institute reported.

German soldiers test positive amid Iraq surge

Eleven German soldiers have tested positive for coronavirus in Iraq.
According to the German army, 10 soldiers were repatriated on Friday. Another man was confirmed to have the virus on Saturday and preparations for his return home are under way.
All of the soldiers were in Iraq as part of a non-combat support mission aimed at countering Islamic State.
The news comes as the number of infections in Iraq passed 200,000.
The country has reported around 4,000 new daily cases for more than a week, according to AFP news agency, with fears that numbers could rise due to an upcoming major Shia religious festival.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 17:29

Czech Republic records record case numbers

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The Czech Republic has become the latest European country to announce the highest number of cases since the pandemic began.
On Saturday the country recorded 506 new infections - though the health ministry said the increase was due to increased testing, especially among the contacts of people who had tested positive.
Prague and Central Bohemia reported the greatest number of cases.
Poland and Slovakia also announced their own record figures on Friday, with 903 and 123 cases respectively, while Spain, Italy and France have also seen sharp increases in recent days.

Trump accuses FDA of delaying vaccine release

President Donald Trump has accused the body that authorises drugs and medical treatments in the US of stalling vaccine trials until after the presidential election.
Mr Trump provided no evidence for his claims against the Food and Drug Administration
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Donald J. Trump
:Left Quotes: The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics. Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives! @SteveFDA

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 17:32

Masked Singer Australia suspended over coronavirus

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Filming of the reality TV show The Masked Singer has been suspended in Australia after a number of crew members tested positive for coronavirus.
On Saturday, health officials confirmed that seven cases had been linked to the show's production in Melbourne.
The programme, which was originally launched in South Korea in 2015 before sparking a number of international versions, features a panel of celebrities who attempt to guess the identity of mystery singers.
The whole production team for the Australian version - including celebrity judges Danii Minogue and Jackie 'O' - has now been placed in quarantine, the show said in a statement.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 17:36

How not to wear a face mask

As face masks are becoming mandatory in an increasing number of settings around the world, you might have noticed that not everyone is clear about how they should be worn.
Here's a quick reminder from BBC health correspondent Laura Foster about the dos and donts of face coverings.


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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 22 2020, 18:22

UK records 1,288 new cases

The number of daily coronavirus cases rose to 1,288 on Saturday, up from 1,033 the previous day.
Eighteen new deaths were also recorded, compared to two a day earlier.
The total number of cases in the UK now stands at 324,601, with 41,423 fatalities.
Cilck here to check the number of confirmed Covid cases in your area.

Thanks for joining us

We're wrapping up today's live coverage and will be back again on Sunday. For now, here's a reminder of Saturday's top coronavirus stories:

  • The global death toll has passed 800,000, with more than 23m confirmed infections, according to figures released by Johns Hopkins University. The US has recorded the highest number of deaths so far, with more than 175,000, followed by Brazil, Mexico, India and the UK
  • The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) says the pandemic could be over within two years, but a leading UK scientist has warned that the virus could remain "with us forever in some form or another"
  • The WHO has updated its guidance to recommend that children over 12 should follow the same face-mask rules as adults
  • Travellers returning to the UK from Croatia now face a two-week quarantine, in a move one Croatian official described as "not fair"

Today's page was brought to you by Ashitha Nagesh, Oliver Brett, Penny Spiller and Victoria Bisset, and edited by Henri Astier and Patrick Jackson.

    Current date/time is Wed Jan 20 2021, 03:36