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Coronavirus - 2nd September

Kitkat
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 11:59

Summary for Wednesday, 2nd September


  • The US says it will not join an international search for a vaccine
  • It did not want to be "constrained" by the "corrupt World Health Organization and China"
  • The international effort is meant to speed up vaccine efforts and distribute it equally
  • Millions of pupils in England are returning to school after the unprecedented shutdown
  • Australia has plunged into its first recession in nearly 30 years as it suffers the economic fallout from the coronavirus
  • A rise in infections in the elderly in South Korea leads to a surge in critical Covid-19 cases
  • Antibody levels against the virus rose and then held steady for up to four months in recovered patients, a study finds


It’s Wednesday morning here in London, thanks for joining us and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus crisis.
Here are some of the latest developments from the UK and around the world:

  • It’s a big day for parents and children in England, as schools open their doors to all pupils for the first time in almost six months. Schools will look different, with one way systems, screens keeping pupils apart and staggered start times
  • A group representing the UK families of people who've died with coronavirus accuses British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of being "heartless" after he said he would not meet them. Last week Mr Johnson had suggested he would be willing to talk to group members
  • In Scotland hundreds of thousands of people in Glasgow and surrounding areas are now living under coronavirus restrictions after a rise in cases over two days. People won't be able to meet other households indoors, but shops, cafes and pubs remain open
  • Meanwhile, lockdown restrictions affecting more than a million people in parts of Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire have been eased – despite strong opposition. Councils say ministers are causing chaos and confusion by lifting them too soon
  • Australia's economy has plunged into its first recession in nearly 30 years as it suffers the economic fall-out from the coronavirus. It’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrunk 7% in the April-to-June quarter compared to the previous three months
  • UK travel company Tui has cancelled all holidays to the party resort of Laganas on the Greek island of Zante because it says customers have failed to follow coronavirus safety measures
  • The most powerful elected US Democrat Nancy Pelosi has been criticised for not wearing a face covering in a San Francisco hair salon, breaking the city’s coronavirus-prevention rules


Millions of pupils in England return after historic shutdown

Millions of pupils in England are returning to school today after almost six months away.
Schools are expected to look different, with one-way systems, screens keeping pupils apart and staggered start times.
Many pupils will be given inductions so they understand the new rules, such as staying in their "bubble" groups and where to use social distancing. Teachers will be assessing what and how much their pupils need to catch up.
Ministers are urging parents to send their children back but it's unclear how many will do so, although attendance is compulsory in England.
Some recent polls suggest families are keen to see children back in class but others have not been so positive.
In Scotland, where pupils returned several weeks ago, official statistics show one in 10 pupils is absent. Pupils in Northern Ireland have already returned, and those in Wales are returning later this week.
Read more about the big return here.

How parents can help their children settle

Sean Coughlan - BBC News, education correspondent
Our education correspondent has been gathering advice for all those anxious parents and children with first-day nerves.
Leading educational psychologist, Daniel O'Hare, says there's a real need to recognise the physical, mental and emotional impact of going back.
Children are likely to be "drained" by the sudden "overload" of being in school after being cocooned at home for so long, says Dr O'Hare. "It will be very new to go back into that full-on setting with 30 children in a class."
Dr O'Hare says parents can help reduce anxiety by letting children know what changes to expect - how they will be in separate "bubbles", the one-way systems, the transport arrangements, the changes to timetables and the hand washing.
Another educational psychologist, Will Shield, based at the University of Exeter, says children should be told that it's "absolutely OK to be concerned" about going back and to talk about any particular worries.
Read more from Sean here .

Australia faces first recession in 30 years

Australia has technically lost its famous nickname as "The Lucky Country" and fallen into recession for the first time in almost three decades, the BBC's Australia correspondent Shaimaa Khalil reports.
GDP figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics have shown that the economy shrank by 7% in the last three months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
For young people who have recently joined the workforce, this is something they've never experienced before. Australia has had a steady economy growth for decades with strong coal, iron ore and natural gas exports to a surging China. Tourism has also been a big driver of growth.
But this year, the country was hit hard - twice.
When the bushfires ravaged through more than 12 million hectares, tourism was bashed and thousands of small business lost months of essential seasonal revenue.
Then the coronavirus became a global pandemic. Australia closed down its borders and imposed strict social distancing rules. Nearly 1 million people lost their jobs as a result.
Read more on this story.

US won't join WHO-led vaccine efforts

The Trump administration has indicated that it will not participate in international coalition efforts to find and distribute a vaccine for Covid-19 because the World Health Organization (WHO) is involved.
The Washington Post newspaper reported that the White House would not join 172 other countries participating in a WHO-led initiative to "ensure equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, once they are licensed and approved".
White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement that the US would "continue to engage our international partners to ensure we defeat the virus, but we will not be constrained by multilateral organisations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China".
US President Donald Trump has attacked the WHO over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak , accusing it of being biased towards China in how it issued its guidance.

Johnson 'heartless' for not meeting bereaved families

Campaigners representing families whose loved ones have died from coronavirus are accusing Prime Minister Boris Johnson of being "heartless" in declining to meet them.
Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice says it wrote to the prime minister five times to request a meeting.
Asked by reporters about the letters, Johnson said he would "of course" meet anyone bereaved by Covid-19, but days later he wrote to the group to say he was "unable" to.
The group, which says it represents 1,600 families, said it was "devastated" to receive the letter, which it has made public .
Jo Goodman, co-founder of the group, said: "The prime minister has done a 360 - dodging five letters, then agreeing on live TV to meet with us, and now quietly telling us he's too busy. It's heartless."
Read more on the story here.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 12:02

Ministers set for travel talks as Greece tries to reassure

The UK government and the devolved administrations are to hold urgent discussions later today about introducing new quarantine measures for travellers.
Scotland and Wales have already set out different rules affecting Greece, where the Covid-19 infection rate is rising.
Wales is quarantining people returning from the island of Zante, while Scotland will impose self-isolation from tomorrow for all parts of Greece.
Separately, the travel company Tui has cancelled all holidays to a particular party resort on the Greek island of Zante, because of customers failing to follow coronavirus safety measures there.
Harry Theoharis, the Greek tourism minister, said his government was doing "everything in its power" to ensure visitors are kept safe.
He told the BBC's Today programme this morning that the average number of cases in Greece was falling and specific measures were being taken to target hotspots, but visitors did need to exercise restraint.
Read our explainer to find out where you CAN travel to now.

Latest from Europe

At least a quarter of Spain's new infections are in the capital, and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez wants action: "We are worried about the state of public health and the evolution of the virus in Madrid."
The city has seen 14,871 cases in the past week. "Madrid is where we should focus all attention. It's Spain's hub," physicist Álex Arenas from Rovira i Virgili University told El País website.
In other news:

  • Bavaria's courts have lifted a state ban on barbecues in parks and other public places imposed in June – after a challenge from a 45-year-old barbecue enthusiast. Germany has reported 1,256 new infections today
  • French cases have gone up again - 4,982 were announced last night. But in the South Pacific archipelago of New Caledonia they're having some success. By limiting flights and sending all arrivals into 14 days of quarantine in designated hotels they have reported a total of just 23 cases. Appearing to channel the cartoon hero Asterix, local leader Thierry Santa said: "We are a small village of Gauls who are holding out. All around us the world is seeing a resurgence of the virus."
  • The Venice Film Festival is back. The first such event since the pandemic began, La Mostra is a little different from normal. There'll be masks and social distancing, but some 6,000 people are still expected to attend
  • Hungary has recorded its highest number of daily cases on record - 365 new coronavirus infections - as people return from their holidays and the school year begins.


Greater Manchester lockdown 'illogical', says mayor

Lockdown restrictions in Greater Manchester are "completely illogical", the region's mayor Andy Burnham said after they were eased in three boroughs.
The measures were lifted overnight in Bolton, Stockport, and Trafford, despite concerns from some local councils.
Burnham said it meant boroughs with a rising number of cases were being freed from lockdown but neighbouring ones with lower numbers were not.
"We find ourselves in a completely unsustainable position," he said.
The mayor advised people in Bolton and Trafford to "continue to follow the guidance" not to have social gatherings in their home.
Burnham said the restrictions were "always hard to explain to the public, but they're completely illogical now".
Read more on the story here.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 12:08

Department for Work staff return to their offices

As the government urges staff to return to their workplace, ministers have inevitably faced the question of how many workers in their department are back.
Today we were told "more than half" are "fully back" in the offices at the Department for Work and Pensions.
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told BBC Breakfast that 799 of the department's 804 sites were open, and she hoped that children returning to school would give parents more opportunities to go back to the office.
"It's important that employers and employees have that discussion about Covid-safe environments," she added. "There'll be more opportunities for parents to go back into the office if that's what is the best thing for them and their employer."
On Tuesday evening, pictures from the City of London showed empty streets and Tube stations at rush hour after the prime minister said people were returning "in huge numbers to the office".
Coronavirus - 2nd September A38c1310
Paddington rail station, in London, looking unusually empty earlier today



The nudists spreading coronavirus in a French resort

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For many of Europe's naturists - and the tens of thousands of swingers among them - Cap d'Agde in southern France has become a traditional summer destination, but a coronavirus outbreak here has shone an uncomfortable light on their alternative lifestyle, Chris Bockman writes.
France has seen a surge in infections, with 7,000 people recently testing positive in one day.
The southern area of Hérault, and Cap d'Agde in particular, has seen some of the biggest numbers. Home to the biggest naturist resort in Europe, it has a distinct focus on hedonism.
But now, health authorities - who set up a mobile testing operation outside the village - have found 30% of the 800 naturists checked have tested positive.
Read more on this story here .
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 12:12

India's economic woes may have only just begun

Nikhil Inamdar - India Business Correspondent
India's economy contracted by 23.9% in the three months to the end of June, making it the worst slump since 1996. A grinding lockdown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted business and left millions out of jobs.
For the last five months, since India imposed one of the world's strictest lockdowns, Aditi Limaye Kamat's restaurant business has been bleeding money. Her four popular eateries occupy prime real estate space across Dadar, an expensive neighbourhood in Mumbai, the country's financial capital.
"Only deliveries are being permitted. And that's not helping very much. It amounts to merely 10 to 15% of our overall business in normal circumstances and doesn't even cover salary as well as running costs," Ms Kamat says.
She wants the government to permit in-restaurant dining at the earliest with strict social distancing guidelines like in other parts of the world. "If not, many of us will be out of business by January," she adds.
India today reported a daily increase of more than 78,000 new coronavirus cases. It brings the country's total confirmed cases to nearly 3.8 million.
Read more on this story here .

New York delays start of school year

New York City could be the first of the big major US cities to see its children back in schools this month under new plans agreed by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the unions.
The mayor said he had agreed to delay the start of the school year by 11 days, until 21 September, to implement stronger safety measures demanded by the unions.
The measures include requiring up to 20% of students and staff in all school buildings to have monthly testing, as well as personal protective equipment for staff, greater distancing of desks, and better ventilation in buildings.
He also said he hopes that all students will have up to three days a week in school and the rest of the time spent in online classes. "Nothing, nothing replaces in-person learning," he said.
Students in Los Angeles and Chicago, the country's second and third largest school systems, have begun the new academic year with online learning only.

Trump issues moratorium on home evictions

US renters who are facing homeless because of the coronavirus cannot be evicted from their homes under a new executive order signed by President Trump.
The order gives the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authority until 31 December to ensure renters and property owners do not lose their homes and exacerbate the spread of Covid-19.
Some 40 million Americans are believed to be at risk of being evicted, officials say.
"People struggling to pay their rent due to the coronavirus will not have to worry about being evicted and risk further spreading... of - or exposure to - the virus due to economic hardships," White House spokesman Brian Morgenstern said.
But renters are required to meet certain criteria to qualify, including being able to demonstrate that they would be made homeless or forced into crowded accommodation if evicted from their home.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 12:16

Clowns arrested in Peru

Coronavirus - 2nd September 25b6cb10
The clowns said they wanted to pay their respects to their dead colleague

Eight clowns have been arrested in Peru for breaking a ban on group gatherings. The clowns were performing at the wake of a fellow performer who died of Covid-19 when police broke up the meeting.
The officers loaded the clowns onto a truck and took them to a local police station, where they reprimanded them for endangering the lives of others by flouting the rules.
Peru has the second highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Latin America after Brazil. Its death rate is also one of the world's highest. As of Tuesday, 29,068 people had died with Covid in the country of 33 million people.
Meanwhile, Brazil is expected to reach four million confirmed cases within the next 48 hours.
The milestone comes at a time of economic trouble. On Monday, Brazil's Institute of Geography and Statistics said that the country's gross domestic product had a "historic fall" of 9.7% in the second quarter of 2020, much of it attributed to the effects of the pandemic.
Economic activity has not been this low in Brazil since the 2009 global economic crisis, the statistics suggest.

Singapore PM admits faults in handling of migrant dorms

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has apologised for errors the government made in its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
One of these errors related to migrant workers who, throughout the pandemic, continued to be housed in dormitories with upwards of 20 people in a room.
Addressing parliament, the prime minister said the government should have acted "more aggressively and sooner".
"We stepped up precautions. For a time, these seemed adequate. But then bigger clusters broke out in the dorms, which threatened to overwhelm us."
It harks back to one of the biggest issues surrounding Covid-19 in Singapore. While initially hailed as a success story, the city state later experienced case numbers that, at the time, were among the biggest in Asia.
Of the 56,000 cases Singapore has reported, at least 50,000 of them are low paid migrant workers from South Asia who live in cramped dormitories.
Singapore later sealed the dorms and carried out extensive testing, while the country was placed in a strict three-month lockdown.
But with borders still closed and the economy struggling, the government has come under pressure to explain why more wasn't done to protect the workers – and what the outcome for the country could have been if it had.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 12:19

Youth hiring scheme launched amid 'lost generation' warning

A £2bn scheme aimed at helping the under-25s into work has been launched by the UK government.
The government is urging firms to sign up for the scheme to create work placements for young people who are at risk of becoming long-term unemployed, just as many companies are shrinking their workforces.
Under the Kickstart programme, businesses will be able to offer placements to those on Universal Credit, with the government helping to cover the costs.
Tesco and Network Rail are among the companies who have said they will take part, with Tesco offering 1,000 placements.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said it was an "opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic".
John Nollett, chief executive or Pressmark Pressings, an engineering firm, told the BBC the scheme had "some merit" but more clarity on the scheme was needed.
Earlier, the Federation of Small Businesses lobby group warned that more government action was needed to prevent a "lost generation" of young people.
You can read more about the scheme and how it will work here.

Commons set for PMQs amid criticism from bereaved families

Coming up at 12:00 BST in the UK we have the first Prime Minister's Questions since Parliament's summer recess.
You can expect Prime Minister Boris Johnson to face questions from MPs about the government's approach to coronavirus.
He could also face a grilling over the decision not to meet the campaign group Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, after saying last week he'd meet anyone who had been bereaved.
The group, which says it represents 1,600 families, says it wrote to Mr Johnson five times to request a meeting and was "devastated" to receive a reply saying the PM was "unable" to meet them.
Fiona Kirton, who is a member of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said the prime minister "will not look us in the eye" and listen to their experiences.
Read more here
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 12:47

12:20 Coronavirus - 2nd September Rsz_1r14

UK government U-turn over lifting of local lockdown restrictions

We've just received a statement from Health and Care Secretary Matt Hancock, who says: “Following a significant change in the level of infection rates over the last few days, a decision has been taken that Bolton and Trafford will now remain under existing restrictions."
Measures were lifted overnight in Bolton, Stockport and Trafford despite concerns from some local councils.
Tighter rules were introduced in July in Greater Manchester and parts of Yorkshire after concerns the virus was being spread between households.

Hancock: 'Significant change' in infection level in Bolton and Trafford

Health and Care Secretary Matt Hancock, says there was a "significant change in the level of infection rates over the last few days," which has prompted their decision to now keep restrictions in place.
"We continually monitor outbreaks across the country, and have seen infection rates increase more than three times in Bolton in under a week, and double in Trafford since the last review," he says in a statement.
“We have always been clear we will take swift and decisive action where needed to contain outbreaks."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 14:17

Scottish minister says virus driven by home visits not pubs

Coronavirus - 2nd September 5646b210
Pubs can stay open but home visits are banned in the Glasgow area

Scotland's First Minister has defended the decision to impose new local lockdown restrictions on Glasgow and some surrounding areas.
Nicola Sturgeon said doing nothing was "not an option" in the face of the spike in coronavirus infections.
Under the new rules which come in from midnight, more than 800,000 people in Glasgow city, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire are being told not to host people from other households in their own homes or visit another person's home.
However, pubs will remain open.
The contrast has been criticised by Douglas Lumsden, co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, who tweeted: "Glasgow lockdown. No household gatherings so meet your pals in the pub instead."
Scotland's deputy first minister John Swinney insisted the rise in cases was driven by household contacts and not the hospitality sector.

Pope welcomes back public to weekly audiences

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Pope Francis last met members of the public at his weekly audiences in March

Some normality has resumed at the Vatican as Pope Francis welcomed members of the public to his weekly audiences for the first time in 26 weeks.
He kissed the Lebanese flag in an act of prayer for the country, blessed children from a distance, greeted masked bishops and shook hands with priests whose faces were uncovered.
Reuters news agency said the Pope was clearly enjoying himself as he walked past the crowd of some 500 people, who were at a distance of up to two metres.
The audience, held in the San Damaso courtyard in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, was open to all without the need for tickets, but health protocols were in place.
Pope Francis last met members of the Catholic faithful at his weekly audience in early March.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 14:25

Dutch minister under pressure over wedding photos

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Even before the new pictures emerged, Fred Grapperhaus was being accused of hypocrisy

It's hard work for governments to enforce coronavirus restrictions. So when the Dutch justice minister - who has that particular task - got married last week, there was an outcry when photos emerged showing his wedding guests not observing the required 1.5m social distance.
Ferdinand Grapperhuis promptly apologised and put out a statement pointing out that only the two families and a couple of close friends had been invited.
Now more pictures have come out showing the minister himself apparently shaking hands and putting his arm around his mother-in-law. You can get a sense of the pictures from this Telegraaf tweet:
tweet De Telegraaf:
:Left Quotes:  Weer foto’s van Grapperhaus die coronaregels schendt
Coronavirus - 2nd September _qVcgrDT?format=jpg&name=small

The minister, 61, will face questions from MPs today, and the photographer who took the pictures, Ferry de Kok, says he has more pictures to come.
But the story has had an effect on the street, according to one union representing special enforcement officers known as Boas. They say they've been handing out fewer fines than before, while bar owners are angry they're facing big fines themselves.
Mr Grapperhaus himself has paid out €780 (£700) to the Red Cross as a gesture, double the normal fine. But this may not be the end of the story.

London Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland cancelled

Coronavirus - 2nd September 789bc910

The organisers of London's Winter Wonderland have announced the popular event is cancelled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It was launched in 2007 as a Christmas Market in Hyde Park and has since grown in size with ice skating, shows and roller coaster rides added.
In a statement, the organisers said their announcement came "with a heavy heart".
"In light of ongoing health concerns, travel restrictions and uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, and considering the size and scale of this event, we just couldn't find a way to do that without compromising the magical attractions, shows, rides, bars and experiences that make Hyde Park Winter Wonderland so special."
It is hoped Winter Wonderland will return in November 2021.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 14:30

Man who lost seven relatives to Covid-19 trials vaccine

Coronavirus - 2nd September IKw_rz_0?format=jpg&name=small

Jacob Serrano has more reason than most to want to see a vaccine for Covid-19. The 23-year-old American has lost seven of his relatives to the coronavirus.
Now he is among a group of volunteers to trial a potential vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca. He was the first of 31 Americans to be given a dose of either the vaccine or placebo in Florida over the weekend as part of the final round of testing the vaccine in the US.
"I know there was a risk because it's like... it's a trial," Serrano told CBS News. "But I'd rather have us one step closer, no matter what it takes."
If the vaccine is deemed safe and effective at reducing or blocking Covid-19 symptoms at this stage of testing, then the Food and Drug Administration will cosider approving it for public use.
The head of the Florida trials, Dr Larry Bush, said he was hopeful the vaccine would be effective. "The immune response is very encouraging," he told CBS News.

Fans hope to attend Arsenal v Sheff Utd

Fans may be allowed to attend Arsenal's home Premier League football fixture against Sheffield United on 3 October.
The Gunners hope they will be able to have supporters inside Emirates Stadium on a reduced capacity basis in line with UK government guidelines.
Initially, only gold season ticket holders and premium members will have priority access to tickets.
Football has been played behind closed doors since its return in June after the coronavirus shutdown.
Arsenal play West Ham United on 20 September in their first home game of the new season - but it will be played without fans.
Read more on this story here .

Holidaymakers' false information 'hampering contact tracing'

More now on Welsh holidaymakers returning from the Greek island of Zakynthos, which has seen six clusters of cases linked to flights out of there.
In an earlier post, we said returning travellers were being asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
But there's been criticism that not all travellers were told they would need to do so.
Now the Welsh health minister says it's proving "impossible" to immediately contact 100% of people returning to Wales from hot-spots because people are providing false information.
Vaughan Gething said the contact tracing system was reaching more than 90% of contacts.
"The contact tracing service does rely on people being responsible and giving honest information.
"If they don't, then those people are risking their health and the health of those around them and in their community," he said.
The Welsh Government said it was now considering testing all passengers at Cardiff Airport.
Read more on this story here.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 14:33

Syrian health workers 'dying for lack of PPE'

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says health workers in government-held areas of Syria are dying in growing numbers because of a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Medical workers interviewed by the organisation said the country was overwhelmed and hospitals were working beyond capacity. Officially, Syria has reported more than 2,800 confirmed cases and 116 related deaths but evidence suggests that the true numbers are much higher, HRW said in a report .
HRW said that in August it had confirmed the deaths of 33 doctors with Covid-19-related symptoms while official figures at the time confirmed only 64 deaths across the whole country.
HRW researcher Sara Kayyali said: "It is bewildering that as the obituaries for doctors and nurses responding to the Covid-19 pandemic pile up, official numbers tell a story at odds with the reality on the ground."
The group is calling on the World Health Organization and other bodies to press Syrian authorities to expand testing and provide more PPE for health workers.

South Korea surge in over 60s critical with Covid-19

South Korea is continuing to see a surge in the number of patients who are critically ill with Covid-19 - most of them aged over 60.
As of midnight on Wednesday, 124 patients were in a serious or critical condition with Covid-19, health officials said. There was a rise of 20 cases from the previous day, and a marked increase from the nine cases on 18 August.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported that nearly 87% of the patients were over the age of 60, an age group more vulnerable to the virus.
Coronavirus - 2nd September 1be3b510
South Korea is tackling a second wave of virus cases
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 14:42

Ryanair has warned that it will look to leave Ireland if Covid-19 travel restrictions remain in place.
Harry Brent - Irish Post
The budget airline says it will move capacity out of Ireland during the winter season unless the government's Green list of countries deemed safe for travel is removed.
CEO of Ryanair, Eddie Wilson, says the government should act on the final report of the Taskforce for Aviation Recovery published last month which was put together in "double quick time by "the best brains in the aviation industry".
"We haven't heard anything. And now we're going into the winter and we're going to have to move that capacity out of Ireland. You can't do business with a 14-day quarantine," said Wilson.
The company says Ireland has become a laughing stock due to the caution it's taken with regards to overseas travel.
Ryanair have insisted that they want the likes of the UK, the US and Germany added to the green list at the very list, if they're to keep their fleet in Ireland.
Currently, anyone travelling into Ireland from any country not on the green list must quarantine themselves for a two-week period.
This, Ryanair claims, is vastly discouraging travel and damaging business and tourism in Ireland.
Back in July, the company issued an ultimatum to the Irish government , demanding they expand their green list or they will leave the country.
Ryanair said the green list had done more harm than good to Ireland's tourism industry and will continue to have a "severe, detrimental effect" on the sector, leading to further job losses.
"Ryanair recently cancelled 1,000 flights between Ireland and the UK and allocated that traffic elsewhere, more of that is to come, not just in Ryanair but inevitably every other airline that currently operates in and out of Ireland," they said in a statement.
"The Government should offer incentives in the form of cuts to airport charges in all airports across Ireland for the next three years.
"If Ireland doesn’t act now with incentives to attract traffic this winter and for next year and beyond, then airlines will plan accordingly and migrate that traffic to the other 27 EU countries and the UK where there will be incentives to increase traffic, but more importantly - no travel restrictions."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 15:02

What are the new local lockdown rules?

Earlier, we reported that measures in Bolton and Trafford, which were due to be eased overnight, would now remain in place.
The U-turn came after Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham called any easing "illogical". The government said its decision followed "a significant change in the level of infection rates over the last few days"
So where are local lockdowns in place now - and what are the rules?

If you want to keep a close eye on things, you can check the areas in England under increased restrictions on the government website .
And if you're worried your area could be next, Public Health England has produced a watchlist of areas , based on new coronavirus infection rates and other local intelligence.

Hong Kong further eases measures as infections fall

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Hong Kong's restaurants will be allowed to extend opening hours

Hong Kong is to reopen gyms and allow restaurants to stay open longer from Friday as it recorded its lowest number of new Covid-19 cases in almost two months.
Measures are also being eased for sports premises, amusement centres and massage parlours.
On Wednesday, the territory reported eight new cases, taking the total to 4,831, with 92 related deaths. Although the number of daily cases is falling, two new infections at the Metropark Hotel in Mongkok are giving cause for concern, the South China Morning Post reported .
Officials also announced that the fireworks display for China's National Day on 1 October will not go ahead because of the pandemic. The event, which usually takes place near Victoria Harbour, was called off last year as the city was engulfed in pro-democracy protests.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 15:53

Global vaccine supply fears as US rejects coalition

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As we mentioned earlier, the Trump administration has indicated it will not be joining a WHO-backed coalition of 172 countries to share equitably any future vaccines against Covid-19 – and this has got some experts worried.
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is one of the organisations supporting the initiative, called Covax, which plans to buy and distribute fairly some two billion doses of any vaccine in 2021.
Richard Hatchett, who heads CEPI, told the AFP news agency he is worried that the US, as well as other rich nations, are already reserving the first doses for themselves – at the expense of other countries.
"What we need to persuade global leaders is that as a vaccine becomes available in these initially limited quantities, it needs to be shared globally, that it shouldn't be the case that just a handful of countries get all of the vaccine that is available in the first half of 2021," he said.
The Trump administration said on Tuesday it would "continue to engage our international partners to ensure we defeat this virus". But it has signed contracts guaranteeing at least 800 million doses from six manufacturers which, Hatchett said, puts the US "potentially in a situation of oversupply if all of the vaccines that they've invested in are successful".

Trump attacks Pelosi over hair salon images

President Trump has lambasted Nancy Pelosi - the most powerful elected US Democrat - after images appeared showing her in an indoor hair salon in San Francisco, apparently in breach of coronavirus-prevention rules.
tweet Donald J. Trump:
:Left Quotes:  Crazy Nancy Pelosi is being decimated for having a beauty parlor opened, when all others are closed, and for not wearing a Mask - despite constantly lecturing everyone else. We will almost certainly take back the House, and send Nancy packing!

Pelosi, who was also pictured with a face mask around her neck rather than over her mouth, has previously criticised President Trump for not wearing a mask.
San Francisco's pandemic orders do not allow hair salons to open indoors.
A spokesman for California Democrats said Pelosi did not realise she was breaking her home city's rules.
Read more about this story here .

Pandemic widening gender poverty gap - UN

Decades of work to narrow the poverty gap between men and women worldwide will be undone by the pandemic, the UN has warned.
It says that more women than men will be pushed into impoverished lives by next year, with informal workers in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America among the worst hit.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the head of UN Women, said the increases in women's extreme poverty were "a stark indictment of deep flaws in the ways we have constructed our societies and economies".
Women are more likely to work in sectors hardest hit by lockdowns such as retail, restaurants and hotels and so have lost their jobs at a faster rate than men.
According to UN estimates, the pandemic will push an extra 96 million people into extreme poverty by next year. For every 100 men aged 25 to 34 living in extreme poverty in 2021 there will be 118 women, and the UN expects the gap to increase to 121 women per 100 men by 2030.
The UN is pressing governments to do more to help women in low-paid and informal jobs.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 16:55

Cheap steroids save lives from severe Covid

James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
Cheap steroids can save the lives of patients who are critically ill with Covid-19, studies show.
The findings confirm the results of an earlier trial, which has already led to steroids being used widely with Covid patients in intensive care.
The new results, published in the medical journal JAMA , show eight lives would be saved for every 100 patients treated.
The researchers said the findings were impressive, but stressed that steroids were not a coronavirus cure.
In June, the UK's Recovery trial found the first drug - a steroid called dexamethasone - could save the lives of people with severe Covid.
The latest study confirms dexamethasone works and that another steroid, hydrocortisone, is equally effective.
Read more here.

Three Paris St-Germain players test positive for Covid-19

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Three Paris St-Germain players have tested positive for coronavirus, the Ligue 1 football club said on Wednesday.
The French champions, who lost in the Champions League final last month, have not named the players.
"All of the players and coaching staff will continue to undergo tests in the coming days," a club statement said.
More on this story here .

Uzbek students sit outdoor exams for university places

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Hundreds of students wearing masks took their exam at this sports stadium in the capital, Tashkent

Education officials in Uzbekistan have found a way to hold crucial university entrance exams during the pandemic - stage them outdoors.
Over two weeks, more than 1.4 million applicants will take the three-hour exam sitting at desks on the running tracks or walkways of sports arenas. The massive exercise began on Wednesday, with tens of thousands of youngsters turning up at stadiums.
They are competing for about 150,000 places under a centralised admissions system.
Uzbekistan - a former Soviet republic in Central Asia - has just ended its second national lockdown after a surge in cases over the summer threatened to buckle its healthcare system. The country has so far reported 42,370 coronavirus cases with 324 confirmed deaths.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 18:00

'Frightening' findings from South Africa virus fund audit

An investigation into the use of the South African government's Covid-19 relief fund has revealed "frightening findings", the country's auditor general has said.
A report by Kimi Makwetu, who has been tracking the spending of 500 billion rand ($26bn; £19bn), detailed overpricing and "potential fraud".
He said in some cases personal protective equipment (PPE) was bought for five times more than the price the national treasury had advised.
The report also flagged up 30,000 relief grants which "require further investigation".
The allocated funds were meant to help vulnerable households with food parcels, unemployment grants, support small business, farmers and to also procure PPE.
Read more on this story here .

What's happening in the UK?

If you're just joining us, here are your main UK coronavirus headlines this Wednesday afternoon.


England under pressure to impose Greece quarantine

England is under pressure to reconsider quarantine rules for Greece after Scotland and Wales introduced new measures over concerns about rising coronavirus cases.
From tomorrow anyone from Scotland who travels to Greece will need to self-isolate on their return.
Welsh passengers arriving back from the island of Zakynthos will have to do the same.
Meanwhile, ministers are considering reimposing quarantine measures for those arriving in the UK from Portugal as coronavirus cases rise, sources have told the BBC.
No announcement on travel rules for Greece or for Portugal is expected today.
Travel announcements usually take place on a Thursday or Friday, Transport correspondent Tom Burridge says.
Our correspondent says the UK government's rules "has been a messy affair".
"The picture has been complicated further by the fact that the quarantine is a public health policy and so the Welsh and Scottish Governments can diverge from Westminster and classify countries differently," he says.
"Now the Welsh government is bringing in testing on arrival for passengers too.
"That's awkward for the UK government because, for months, the aviation sector has been asking ministers to give their backing to testing at airports so people who test negative wouldn't have to quarantine for the full 14 days."
Read more here
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 18:05

Iceland study provides Covid-19 antibody hope

There's some good news from Iceland after a study of 30,000 citizens found that antibodies giving immunity to Covid-19 can last for at least four months after the initial infection. This is far longer than previous studies have suggested.
The study, carried out by the Icelandic biotech company deCODE Genetics, measured the antibody levels in Icelanders who became infected earlier this year. Of a group that received a laboratory-tested confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19, more than 90% saw antibody levels rise during the first two months before they plateaued, remaining stable for four months.
The results, published in The New England Journal of Medicine , contrasts with smaller studies which suggested antibodies disappeared quickly. An editorial accompanying the article said the results provided hope that "immunity to this unpredictable and highly contagious virus may not be fleeting".

Silvio Berlusconi tests positive for coronavirus

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Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has tested positive for coronavirus, his staff said in a statement.
Berlusconi, 83, is in isolation at his home in Arcore, near Milan, and will continue to work from there, the statement added.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 19:51

UK coronavirus cases slowly rise

The number of coronavirus cases in the UK is slowly rising, UK government statistics show.
There have been a further 1,508 cases reported in the UK and 10 deaths, according to the daily figures .
A total of 41,514 people who have tested positive for coronavirus have died in the UK.

Madrid teachers hit out at mass testing call

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Long queues quickly formed outside testing centres

Teachers and teaching unions in the Spanish capital, Madrid, have reacted angrily after a call for staff to have coronavirus antibody tests ahead of the new term saw huge queues form across the city.
"If a teacher didn’t have the coronavirus when they arrived, they will be infected now," said one queuing teacher, quoted in El Confidencial on Wednesday.
School staff received the request on Tuesday to go to one of five testing centres in the city between Wednesday and Monday. But by midday on Wednesday, the queues were so long that most tests had to be suspended.
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Antibody testing is one of the new measures for Madrid's return to school

Esteban Álvarez, president of the Madrid Association of High School Principals, told El Pais : “There are thousands of us, it’s crazy to bring us all together.”
As we reported earlier, at least a quarter of Spain's new infections are in the capital. The city has seen 14,871 new cases in the past week.

Speedy return to workplace 'not possible' - Bank of England official

A senior Bank of England official has cast doubt on the UK government's drive to get workers back to the office as coronavirus curbs are eased.
Alex Brazier, the bank's executive director for financial stability, told a committee of MPs that a "sharp return" to "dense office environments" should not be expected.
Social distancing guidelines in the workplace and public transport capacity were two factors holding people back and a "more phased return" should be expected.
"I feel safe coming to work, but I quite understand why many people might not," he said in evidence to the Treasury Committee.
"It's not possible to use office space, particularly in central London and dense places like that, with the intensity that we used to use it."
Read more here
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 20:45

Berlusconi isolating after Covid-19 diagnosis

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More now on former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who has tested positive for coronavirus.
The 83-year-old media tycoon has suffered other health setbacks in recent years - a severe heart attack in 2016 and emergency bowel surgery in 2019.
He has been beset by financial scandals with a conviction for tax fraud in 2013 - which saw him ejected from the Italian Senate - and another conviction in 2015.
Despite being temporarily banned from holding public office, he led his centre-right Forza Italia party to moderate electoral success in 2018. A year later, with his ban lifted, he won himself a seat in the European Parliament at the age of 82.
His staff say he is isolating at his home and he will continue to support candidates of Forza Italia.
Italian news agency Ansa quoted Forza Italia politician Sestino Giacomoni telling other party members that, "despite everything, he is fine and he wanted to let you know that he will continue to campaign".
Read more on Silvio Berlusconi's eventful career here .

English council faces multi-million pound overspend due to coronavirus

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A council placed under local lockdown restrictions has said it is facing a multi-million pound overspend as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire said it overspent by £7.7m during the first quarter of the 2020/21 financial year, £4.64m of which went on fighting the outbreak.
The authority, parts of which have now been removed from tighter restrictions, has called on the government to help.
The BBC has approached the government for a response.
Read more here
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 20:48

'I took a £1,000 flight to beat Portugal quarantine'

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Some UK holidaymakers in Portugal have spoken to the BBC about changing their flights amid reports the country is about to be taken off the government's safe travel list.
Sources have told the BBC that ministers are considering reimposing quarantine measures for those arriving in the UK from Portugal as coronavirus cases rise.
John Cushing is cutting his holiday short to make sure his daughter gets home to the UK before any potential restrictions.
But he had to stump up £1,000 for flights home on Thursday, which is three times as expensive as the return flights he had already paid for.
"I never thought they would re-impose quarantine after giving Portugal the all-clear," John told the BBC. "The airlines have us over a barrel and don't seem to have any sympathy."
Read more from the holidaymakers here
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 2nd September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 02 2020, 20:57

Today's key points as we pause live updates

We're about to pause our live coverage for now - thanks for joining us! To recap, here are the key developments from the UK and around the world in the past 24 hours:

  • The US has indicated it will not participate in international coalition efforts to find and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine because the World Health Organization is involved. A White House spokesman said the US did not want be constrained "by multilateral organisations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China"
  • Parts of Greater Manchester will no longer have lockdown restrictions eased as planned following a government U-turn
  • Millions of pupils in England and Wales are returning to school after the unprecedented shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, 83, has tested positive for coronavirus and is isolating at home, his staff say
  • Three Paris St-Germain players have tested positive for coronavirus, the Ligue 1 football club said. They have not been named
  • Cheap steroids can save the lives of patients who are critically ill with Covid-19, studies show
  • South Korea is seeing a surge in critically ill Covid-19 patients - most of them aged over 60



That's all for now


Today's live page was edited by Mal Siret and Suzanne Leigh and written by Penny Spiller, Marie Jackson, Vanessa Buschschluter, Emma Harrison and David Walker.

    Current date/time is Tue Sep 29 2020, 19:04