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Coronavirus - 29th August

Kitkat
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covidaug Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 10:15

Summary for Saturday, 29th August


  • Protesters are due on the streets of Berlin to voice opposition to coronavirus restrictions
  • In France, a further 7,379 cases were confirmed on Friday in an "exponential rise"
  • A leaked report for the UK government predicts 85,000 Covid deaths this winter in a worst case scenario
  • South Korea sees another day of triple-digit rises, with 308 new cases registered on Saturday
  • Children can carry coronavirus in their noses for up to three weeks, a study from South Korea suggests
  • The Tour de France finally gets under way today, after a two-month delay
  • More than 24.7 million cases registered worldwide, over 837,000 deaths - Johns Hopkins University


Hello and welcome to our continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic around the world. First a round-up of the main points:

  • Later on Saturday an “anti-corona” march is expected to attract thousands in Berlin. Protesters won the final stage of a legal battle last night for it to go ahead – police say they will strictly enforce mask-wearing and social distancing
  • The French health ministry says cases are rising “exponentially ” as President Macron warns that another lockdown may be coming. A further 7,379 cases were confirmed on Friday, the country’s largest rise since mid-May
  • Children may be carrying the virus in their noses for up to three weeks and spreading the disease without realising, according to research carried out in South Korea.
  • South Korea, seen as good at controlling the spread of Covid-19, is now facing rising infections with more than 300 cases reported on Saturday
  • In the UK a leaked government report presents a worst-case scenario of 85,000 deaths due to Covid this coming winter
  • The Tour de France cycling tournament starts today in Nice – it has been delayed for two months due to the pandemic. But officials are worried about the challenges of managing the huge crowds the Tour normally draws


Protesters begin gathering in Berlin

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Some demonstrators carry a flag referring to the German Democratic Republic, which was communist-controlled East Germany from 1949-1990

Organisers are predicting around 22,000 people will be on Berlin's streets to protest against restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19. A similar march several weeks ago attracted anti-vaccination campaigners, conspiracy theorists and self-described "free thinkers".
It was broken up after protesters deliberately flouted safety regulations.
Berlin authorities had banned this event from going ahead, fearing participants would not be able to keep a safe distance from each other. But a court sided with the organisers, saying there was no indication demonstrators would deliberately ignore social distancing guidelines. Some 3,000 police are being deployed, and authorities warn the march will be broken up "very quickly" if rules are violated.
Although Germany has not so far seen the waves of cases seen in some parts of Europe, it does have a growing infection rate. New case numbers are reaching highs last seen in April.

Robert F Kennedy Jr at Berlin march

The son of Robert F Kennedy and nephew of former US president John F Kennedy has tweeted that he will speak at the protest in Berlin today against coronavirus restrictions.
Robert F Kennedy Jr is an anti-vaccination campaigner, criticised by members of the Kennedy family for his views.
The crowd gathering near Berlin's Brandenburg gate includes families with children. "I'm not an extreme right-wing sympathiser, I'm here to defend our fundamental freedoms," one participant wearing a t-shirt reading "Thinking helps" told AFP news agency.
One of protesters' concerns is rules about mandatory mask-wearing in Germany.
tweet Robert F. Kennedy Jr:
:Left Quotes:  In #Berlin launching @ChildrensHD Europe. Tomorrow, I will speak to largest crowd in #German history. We are expecting 1 million+ people protesting Bill Gates’ bio security agenda, rise of authoritarian surveillance state + Pharma sponsored coup d’etat against liberal democracy.
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Police patrolling beaches in Australia

Phil Mercer - BBC News Sydney
A burst of balmy weather in Sydney this weekend will test the city’s ability to keep its beaches safe as the warmer months approach. Police, lifeguards and council rangers will try to ensure there’s no repeat of the mass flouting of Covid-19 regulations that forced the closure of several beaches, including Bondi, in March.
Groups of more than 20 people are not permitted, and beachgoers should stay a towel-length apart from each other.
While several coronavirus clusters are causing concern in Sydney, the number of daily new infections in Victoria has fallen to below 100 for the first time since early July.
Kitkat
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 12:16

Rota system for England's schools if virus cases rise

Meanwhile in the UK, new government advice suggests English secondary schools in areas with significant rises in Covid-19 cases could be put on a rota system - limiting the number of pupils attending.
The guidance also indicates that pupils who've been in close contact with other students who test positive for the virus would have to self isolate for 14 days.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said changing school attendance would be used only as an "absolute last resort".
Teaching unions have welcomed the guidance, but criticised the timing of its publication - just a few days before pupils are due back in classrooms.

UK winter virus plans revealed in leaked report

A leaked government report, seen by the BBC, suggests a “reasonable worst-case scenario” of 85,000 further deaths in the UK this winter due to Covid-19.
The document, prepared for the government by the Sage scientific advisory group, also says there could be restrictions between November and March to substantially reduce contacts between households.
It was drawn up to help the NHS and local authorities plan services, such as mortuaries and burial services, for the winter months ahead.
However, some are critical of the modelling and say some of it is already out of date.
Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust health think tank, said the report had "very wide ranges" of scenarios which make it "quite difficult for people to work out exactly what they should be doing".
There have been more than 330,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far in the UK and more than 40,000 people have died.
Read more on this story here

South Korea 'running out of hospital beds' in Seoul

As South Korea reported a rise of 300 cases on Saturday, there are fears the country could soon run out of hospital beds for patients.
On Friday, the Greater Seoul area had just 4.5% of beds available, a fall from 22% a week earlier.
"Only about 15 beds are immediately available in the Greater Seoul area for patients in critical condition as there were numerous patients who were in a serious condition and needed to be hospitalised," said Yoon Tae-ho, director general for public health policy at the health ministry.
Most schools in the area have closed, as well as churchs, nightclubs and gyms. From Sunday restaurants and pubs will be take-away only after 9pm.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 12:21

18,000 at Berlin rally - police

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Around 18,000 people are taking part in the Berlin demonstration against Covid regulations, police say.
Protesters are closely packed in places, and sat together on the ground at one point.
One person has been arrested as demonstrators confronted police.
Police have imposed mandatory mask-wearing and say the march cannot progress unless protesters observe the order. It came after participants refused to keep a safe distance from each other, authorities said.
Right-wing demonstrators are taking part, and a Nazi flag was seen flying at the demo, reports German newspaper BZ .
Counter-protests are also taking place with around 100 people at one rally. "You are marching with Nazis and Fascists," shouted some participants, according to broadcaster RBB.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 13:06

The UK's newspapers: Office return 'hypocrisy', and flexible hours push

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Many of the UK's papers consider the government's planned appeal to get workers back to the office.
The Times says that despite the push, three quarters of the country's biggest employers are looking at a permanent switch to flexible working .
The Daily Mail accuses Business Secretary Alok Sharma of hypocrisy on the issue - after counting 95 civil servants arriving at his department on Thursday morning out of a workforce of 1,800.
And the Daily Mirror agrees that ministers should not campaign for people to go back to work if it's not safe to do so, while the Independent website describes such pressure as "illogical, ill-judged and ill-timed".
In other news, The Sun features 64-year-old Sue Davies from Swansea who bought a lottery ticket to celebrate ending five months of shielding - and went on to win £500,000.
See more from the newspaper front pages here

Czech Republic records significant spike

Czech Republic has recorded its second highest daily rise in infections since the pandemic began, with 486 new cases.
It did not represent a "second wave" because the first one never ended, Health Minister Adam Vojtech told Czech media.
But he added that the virus appeared to be less dangerous than in the spring - some 2.5% of positive cases are in hospital, compared to spring when the figure was above 10%, he said.
The country was put on the UK's quarantine list on Friday, meaning that people arriving in Britain from 0400 BST on Saturday must self-isolate for 14 days.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 13:16

UK travellers rush home to beat new quarantine rules

As we've seen over the past month, the UK government updates its travel advice regularly - and sometimes at short notice.
The latest change, which came into force at 04:00 BST, affects travellers returning to the UK from Switzerland, Czech Republic and Jamaica, who will now have to self-isolate for 14 days.
The government said the move was needed to keep UK coronavirus infection rates down.
People who do not self-isolate can be fined up to £1,000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and £480 in Scotland. There are fines of up to £5,000 for persistent offenders.
Among those to cut their holidays short were Daniel Maree and Leisa Evans, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, who decided to end their honeymoon early, spending around £200 on new flights.
They were due back from their Swiss Alps break on Saturday - after the deadline, but decided to change their flight home.
"I would have lost two weeks of work - I'm self-employed, so no work, no pay. It would have affected us quite a bit, especially after an expensive holiday,” Mr Maree said.
Elsewhere, another couple says 30 of their wedding guests have had to leave the Czech Republic before their nuptials on Saturday to beat the UK’s quarantine changes.
Read more here
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 13:31

Berlin police order demonstrators to disperse

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Police said mask-wearing was mandatory or the march would be over

Police in Berlin have ordered thousands of people demonstrating against Germany's coronavirus restrictions to disperse.
The authorities said participants - estimated to be about 18,000 - were flouting rules about social distancing, and other safety regulations.
A march several weeks ago was halted on similar grounds.
Protesters say they are defending freedoms under threat by the coronavirus restrictions and the rules are too restrictive.
One protester said the measures were out of proportion. “This crazinesss must be stopped and allow a normal life again.”

Who is involved in the Berlin protest and what do they stand for?

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Organisers say coronavirus restrictions violate people's rights and freedoms

As we've just been hearing, police have ordered thousands of people protesting in Berlin against Germany's coronavirus restrictions to disperse. But what do we know about those taking part in the demonstration?

  • The demonstration was organised by the Stuttgart-based movement Querdenken 711 (or Lateral Thinking 711). The group has more than 16,000 followers on Facebook and communicates largely through encrypted messaging service Telegram. It believes that coronavirus regulations infringe on basic rights and freedoms enshrined in Germany’s constitution and wants them to be lifted
  • The group previously organised a protest in Berlin on 1 August dubbed the "day of freedom". Thousands joined, including some from the far right and some conspiracy theorists who do not believe Covid-19 exists. German news site Deutsche Welle reported that flags and T-shirts supporting the far right could be seen among the crowd today
  • The protests have also gained support from anti-vaccination campaigners. Prominent anti-vaxxer Robert F Kennedy Jr - the son of assassinated US Democratic presidential hopeful Robert F Kennedy and nephew of assassinated US president John F Kennedy – said he was set to speak at today’s event
  • Photos shared online also showed flags and slogans linked to the conspiracy theory QAnon at today’s protest. The wide-ranging, unfounded conspiracy theory says that US President Donald Trump is waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business and the media, among other claims
  • Participants today also include families and children. Some people said they just want the right to protest while others said they want "normal life" to resume
  • As for what 711 means, who knows? Some have suggested it comes from the city of Stuttgart's dialling code, where the movement started. We've tried contacting the organisers on this point but have yet to hear back.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 13:57

Extensive lockdowns 'can't be ruled out'

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that a second wave of coronavirus is "a very serious threat", and could bring about extensive local lockdowns in a "reasonable worst case scenario [where] we have a bad flu and a growth in coronavirus, as people spend more time indoors".
In an interview with The Times , Mr Hancock said ministers wanted to avoid further nationwide restrictions - but couldn't rule out such measures in the months ahead.
His comments come amid warnings by French President Emmanuel Macron of the possibility of a nationwide lockdown in France - after a spike of 7,379 cases on Friday.

Record high new infections in Ukraine

A record 2,481 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Ukraine in the past 24 hours, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reports, quoting the National Security and Defence Council.
A total of 2,540 people have died there, according Johns Hopkins data.
Ukraine has banned foreigners from entering the country until 28 September and extended lockdown measures until the end of October.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 15:25

Restrictions to be eased in parts of northern England

Tightened restrictions to stop the spread of Covid-19 are to be eased in parts of north-west England from Wednesday, allowing more than a million people to mix in different households.
The restrictions, in place since the end of July, will be relaxed in Bolton, Stockport, Trafford, Burnley, Hyndburn and parts of Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees.
But Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham this morning called for more negotiation and agreement between Westminster and local authorities on local lockdown measures and how they are changed.
The Labour former cabinet minister told BBC Breakfast: "I think we will better negotiate what lies ahead of us in the autumn and winter if government listens to local leaders - they know their communities.”
He said during the local lockdown, some areas had been left with one half of a street under restrictions and the other not.
Meanwhile, the restrictions in Leicester will stay in place until a review by 11 September.
Read more here

Analysis: Frustration over new guidance for English schools

Dan Johnson - BBC News
Head teachers had asked for a Plan B and here it is - but there's frustration it came just days before more children are due back in the classroom across England.
A suggestion of entire year groups or classes - "bubbles" - having to automatically self-isolate was deleted, but not before it added confusion.
The Department for Education is now pointing to more nuanced guidance about head teachers and public health officials needing to establish who's been in "close contact" with anyone who tests positive.
There's recognition that schools won't be immune from outbreaks in local communities and, while the intention will be to stay open and keep children in class, there's an acknowledgement that further interruptions to learning are possible.
Primary school pupils are the clear priority. Secondary schools will first adopt a rota system before more prolonged disruption, meaning remote learning will still be a reality for some children.
Read more on this story here
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 15:33

Pictures from Berlin 'anti-corona' protest

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Police in Berlin are disbanding protesters - estimated to be about 18,000 - at a demonstration in the city for flouting social distancing rules and other safety regulations, German authorities say.
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Protesters won the final stage of a legal battle last night to allow the demonstration to go ahead.
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People of all ages gathered at the city's famous Brandenburg Gate, the starting point for the march, early on Saturday.
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Some wore outfits, such as this demonstrator with a plague doctor mask.
The protest is said have been mainly peaceful, despite some confrontations with the police, and the presence of far-right groups.
However, there have been a number of arrests.
Read the full story here .
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 15:38

Victoria records fewest daily cases since July

The Australian state of Victoria has recorded 94 new cases of coronavirus over the latest 24-hour period - the first time that the number of daily cases has fallen below 100 since early July.
Eighteen deaths were also confirmed in the state - the worst-hit in Australia - over the past day.
State Premier Daniel Andrews said earlier this week that a reduction in cases raised hopes that the spread of the virus was slowing and strict lockdown restrictions could be eased next month.
It comes as Australian authorities start patrolling the country's main beaches to enforce coronavirus restrictions as warm weather is expected to draw large crowds to the coast.
Police, lifeguards and council rangers will try to ensure there's no repeat of the mass flouting of Covid-19 regulations that forced the closure of several beaches, including Bondi, in March.

Six deaths in England and none in Scotland

A further six people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, NHS England has said.
This brings the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 29,547.
Meanwhile, Scotland has reported no new deaths in the past 24 hours and 88 new cases of coronavirus.
Statistics from the Scottish government show the biggest number of new cases came from the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area, which saw a rise of 36 from Friday.
The number of deaths of patients who tested positive in Scotland remains at 2,494.

Berlin protest broken up and other global stories


  • Police have told a crowded "anti-corona" rally in Germany to disperse - it attracted about 18,000 people but many refused to wear masks or keep a safe distance from others. Similar smaller protests are taking place in Paris and London
  • Cases continue to rise in Europe - France reported "exponential growth", the Czech Republic recorded its second highest increase since the pandemic began, and Ukraine broke its record for new infections
  • In Australia, police are patrolling beaches as warmer weather encourages people to leave their homes in search of sun after the winter
  • The South Korean health ministry has warned that its hospital capacity is reaching dangerously low levels, with just 4.5% of beds in the Greater Seoul area free
  • Riders have finally begun the Tour de France - it was delayed by two months due to the pandemic

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French officials are worried about the challenge of controlling the virus in the roadside crowds that gather to watch the Tour de France
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 15:42

Protests in Trafalgar Square

Coronavirus - 29th August Dde67e10

We've been reporting today on the demonstration in Berlin, but similar, though smaller protests have been taking place in Paris and London too.
Photographers in the UK have captured hundreds of people gathering in Trafalgar Square to demonstrate against the UK government’s coronavirus measures.
Demonstrators were seen holding up banners reading “Covid hoax” and “no mandatory vaccines” as they packed the square, contrary to England’s social distancing rules.
There’s no mandatory vaccine law in the UK.
Earlier this year, BBC Reality Check fact-checked some of the most widely shared dubious coronavius claims .
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 16:32

A further 12 deaths in the UK

A further 12 people in the UK, who tested positive for coronavirus, have died, according to the latest government figures .
This means 41,498 people have died in the UK in total.
Another 1,108 people have tested positive for coronavirus.

No coronavirus deaths reported in Wales

There have been no deaths of people who've tested positive for coronavirus in hospitals or care homes in the past 24 hours in Wales.
Public Health Wales says the total number of deaths in Wales remains at 1,565.
It has recorded 40 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 17,917.

What's happening in the UK?
Here are the main UK headlines this Saturday afternoon:

  • Head teachers and teachers have criticised the government for "last-minute" guidance on what to do during virus outbreaks and local lockdowns
  • A leaked government report suggests a "reasonable worst case scenario" of 85,000 deaths across the UK this winter due to Covid-19
  • A further 12 people in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus have died, according to the latest government figures
  • In an interview with The Times, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that a second wave of coronavirus is "a very serious threat", and could bring about extensive local lockdowns in a "reasonable worst case scenario”
  • Tightened restrictions to stop the spread of Covid-19 are to be eased in parts of north-west England, allowing more than a million people to mix in different households, from Wednesday
  • Current restrictions in Leicester, in the East Midlands, remain until a review by 11 September
  • As of 04:00 BST this morning, travellers returning to the UK from Switzerland, Czech Republic and Jamaica will have to self-isolate for 14 days
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 16:39

Canada extends border closures again

Canada is again extending border restrictions that mandate a 14-day quarantine for anyone entering the country. They will last at least another month, officials say.
All non-essential travel to the country is banned for anyone who is not a citizen or resident, with the exception of visitors from the US.
Canadians who do travel abroad must self-isolate on their return.
The country has had 9,108 deaths and more than 127,000 cases, according to a tally recorded by Global News.

Over 100 cases linked to Maine wedding reception

A coronavirus outbreak originating from an indoor wedding reception in the US state of Maine earlier this month has now been linked to 123 cases.
Since the event on 7 August, the virus has spread to a prison and a nursing home, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention told CBS news.
Some 65 people attended the wedding reception at the Big Moose Inn in the town of Millinocket, exceeding the state's permitted limit of 50 people per gathering.
The inn, which had its licence temporarily suspended following the incident, had failed to adhere to social distancing guidelines or ask customers for contact-tracing information, officials said.
The owner of the Big Moose Inn, Laurie Cormier, said in a statement on Friday: "Our hearts go out to... those affected by the virus who were at the wedding, and those who have been impacted since then."

France confirms 5,453 new daily cases

France has recorded 5,453 new cases of coronavirus over the past 24 hours, down from 7,379 on Friday.
An additional six deaths have been confirmed today, bringing the total number of fatalities so far to 30,602.
Friday's figure was France's biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections since March, and was described by the country's health ministry as an "exponential" rise in cases.
President Emmanuel Macron has raised the possibility of another nationwide lockdown.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 17:44

Conspiracy theories touted in Trafalgar Square

Marianna Spring - Specialist disinformation and social media reporter
The protests in central London and Berlin included some demonstrators pushing conspiracy theories.
The demonstrations in Trafalgar Square were in opposition to coronavirus lockdowns, masks and a coronavirus vaccine.
Whilst some protesters in attendance expressed concerns about the impact of lockdown, others held placards featuring false claims. These included suggestions that Bill Gates is planning to use vaccinations to microchip the population and that the pandemic is "a hoax".
There were also protesters expressing their support for QAnon. That’s a wide-ranging, unfounded conspiracy theory that says that US President Donald Trump is waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business and the media.
In recent weeks, it has gained traction in the UK, particularly from users sharing the #SaveOurChildren hashtag.
These dangerous conspiracy theories have become increasingly popular on social media during the pandemic. Posters for the protests circulated on a number of Facebook groups this week, including on community forums and parent chats.
Various pseudo-scientists who have spread disinformation online about coronavirus were also scheduled to speak at the London demonstration.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 17:48

Man spends 158 days in intensive care

A coronavirus patient who entered a hospital in Madrid on 17 March thinking he would return home the same day ended up spending 158 days in intensive care, Spanish media report.
Ángel Rodríguez, 70, arrived at the Gregorio Marañón Hospital with symptoms more than five months ago, not knowing how events would unfold.
Doctors say that Ángel was "particularly vulnerable" to Covid-19 because he suffers from underlying conditions, including heart disease.
The virus caused him to suffer bilateral pneumonia and he required a tracheostomy - to allow a ventilator to supply oxygen - and deep sedation.
His situation became so serious that he "feared for his life" and his family were permitted access to his unit in order to "say goodbye", Madrid's ABC newspaper reports.
As Ángel was transferred back to a regular ward at the hospital, he was applauded by staff.

Lockdown confusion used as an excuse to break the rules - police

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Hundreds of people were caught on a drone camera at an illegal party by West Midlands Police

This year’s August bank holiday weekend (in England and Wales) looks very different to those in previous years, with festivals cancelled and restrictions on gatherings. But lots of people will still be meeting up.
One police chief now says that confusion over lockdown guidance is being used by some as an excuse to break the rules.
Andy Rhodes, chief constable of Lancashire Constabulary, told the BBC earlier: “We've had people who have clearly, fragrantly, ignored the rules and had a wedding for 200 people.
"There's no one anywhere who could misinterpret the current rules to say that 200 people in your back garden or in your house or in an area is going to be OK.
"There's a world of difference between good people who are doing their best to enjoy themselves and they're a bit confused, and people that are clearly just ignoring the normal rules that the rest of us are trying to abide by.
"Being confused is becoming a bit of an excuse for some people at the moment."
Writing in the Telegraph , Home Secretary Priti Patel said London’s Metropolitan Police had responded to more than 1,000 unlicensed events since the end of June.
New fines of up to £10,000 for organisers of illegal gatherings of more than 30 people, such as raves, came into force in England on Friday. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can set their own enforcement rules.
To remind yourself of what's allowed - read more here.
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 17:53

Analysis: Next few weeks will be critical in UK

Fergus Walsh - Medical editor
Are the government and media overdoing coronavirus? Is it time to move on and get back to normal life?
These are big questions, and given the parlous state of the economy, they deserve some attention.
Let me start with some positives, which may help encourage the viewpoint I see a lot on social media, that Covid is over, finished, done with.
The trend in deaths and serious illness continues to decline.
The number of patients in hospital who have a confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis has been falling for months.
At the peak in the UK there were around 20,000 - now it's fewer than 800.
But it's still - just - summer. Respiratory viruses don't circulate as well in the summer months. We are still spending time out of doors. Most of us are social distancing: I can't remember the last time I shook hands with anyone. So the virus has had less chance to jump from one person to the next. Coronavirus is still out there.
The next few weeks are going to be critical in understanding whether transmission rates will rise sharply again as schools and universities go back and people return to offices and spend more time indoors.
Read more from Fergus here
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 19:02

Bus journeys will be first challenge of new school year

Becky Morton - BBC News
Teachers in England and Wales have been preparing to welcome back children for the autumn term, putting in place coronavirus-safe measures.
But with 17% of school journeys in England made by bus last year and public transport capacity limited by social distancing, is transport a weak link in the plans for a safe return to the classrooms?
Prof Jonathan Ball, a virologist at the University of Nottingham, says public transport carries risks because it can be difficult to socially distance, there are lots of touch points like handrails, and it's a relatively enclosed space, making it easier for the virus to spread.
Some families have voiced concerns, including mum Rosalind Searle, who lives near Glasgow, where schools have reopened already.
She says her 15-year-old daughter is anxious about catching the school bus she normally takes, adding that the pupils cannot socially distance as the bus “is rammed”.
"In school they've made changes to timetables and staggered lunch breaks but I think [my daughter] just feels there's a bit of a disconnect between that and the transport situation," she adds.
Read more here


All public sector staff to return to work in Saudi Arabia

BBC Monitoring - The world through its media
Coronavirus - 29th August F1afbc10

Public sector workers in Saudi Arabia are set to return to their workplaces on Sunday - the beginning of the working week in the country - as lockdown measures imposed to stem the spread of Covid-19 are eased.
Saudi-funded Al Arabiya TV quoted the ministry of human resources and social development as saying that a number of guidelines will have to be adhered to as offices reopen.
Measures include staggered shift times. Employees will not be required to sign in by fingerprint, and those vulnerable to infection will continue to work remotely.
The ministry had permitted 50% of public sector workers to return to the workplace on 31 May, and raised that figure to 75% the following month, Al Arabiya TV reported.
In its daily briefing today, the health ministry said there had been 987 new coronavirus cases, 27 deaths and 1,038 recoveries.
Kitkat
Kitkat
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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 29th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 19:05

Today’s main coronavirus headlines

Here's a reminder of today’s main coronavirus headlines from the UK and around the world:

  • Police in Berlin stopped a demonstration involving some 18,000 people who took to the streets to protest against Germany's coronavirus restrictions. Officials said the participants of the “anti-corona” protest were flouting social distancing rules. Smaller protests took place in London and Paris
  • Head teachers and teachers have criticised the government for "last-minute" guidance on what to do during virus outbreaks and local lockdowns in England
  • A leaked government report suggests a "reasonable worst case scenario" of 85,000 deaths across the UK this winter due to Covid-19
  • There have been a further 1,108 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the UK in the past 24 hours. Another 12 people have died within 28 days of a positive test, bringing the UK death toll to 41,498
  • Cases continue to rise in Europe - the Czech Republic recorded its second highest increase since the pandemic began, and Ukraine broke its record for new infections
  • The South Korean health ministry warned that its hospital capacity is reaching dangerously low levels, with just 4.5% of beds in the Greater Seoul area free
  • Premier League football fans in England have had their first taste of watching a live game for six months , with a restricted number of Brighton supporters allowed at the Amex Stadium for a friendly against Chelsea, as part of a government trial
  • More than 170 cyclists participated in stage one of the Tour de France, which had been delayed by two months by the coronavirus outbreak.The Norwegian, Alexander Kristoff, has claimed the initial yellow jersey


Goodbye - and thanks for joining us


That's it for our live coverage for today.

It was edited by Sean Fanning and Holly Wallis, and written by Georgina Rannard, Emma Harrison and Mal Siret.
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covidaug Thousands gather in London for ‘Unite for Freedom' anti-lockdown protest

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 29 2020, 20:01

Thousands descended on central London today as part of a protest organised to "expose the truth about Covid and lockdown".

Sizeable crowds were pictured demonstrating in the English capital for the “Unite for Freedom” rally which called for an “end to government lies” and an end to all lockdown restrictions in place across the country.

It comes despite more than 40,000 people dying from the virus in the UK.

According to a flyer promoting the demonstration several “top professional doctors and nurses” were due to speak at the event.
Coronavirus - 29th August GettyImages-1228251482

Piers Corbyn, the brother of former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, was among the notable names on the bill along with conspiracy theorist and former football commentator David Icke.

Promotional materials for the event urged those in attendance to “reject the tyranny” and warned of a potential two-year extension to the “draconian Covid laws” already in place.

Few, if any, protestors wore masks, while there were several homemade signs featuring anti-lockdown slogans like "masks are muzzles" and "new normal = new facism."

One appealed for "freedom over fear" while another called on the public to "find courage" and "Take back freedom".
Coronavirus - 29th August GettyImages-1228254538

The protests came exactly a week on from similar demonstrations in Dublin , where hundreds gathered to call for an end to the Irish government's strict lockdown rules.

Protestors in Ireland were also opposed to the mandatory wearing of face masks on public transport and the introduction of hand sanitiser stations in shops.

As reported by The Irish Post

    Current date/time is Tue Sep 29 2020, 18:28