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Coronavirus - 8th September

Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Coronavirus - 8th September

Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 11:39

Summary for Tuesday, 8th September


  • UK scientists warn that the country is seeing "very worrying" increases in cases, "particularly over the last few days"
  • Japan says it will hold the Tokyo Games in 2021, even if the pandemic is still continuing
  • UK tax authorities admit about 5-10% of cash paid out on the furlough scheme was wrongly awarded
  • India records its highest daily deaths in more than a month - 1,133 people in 24 hours
  • US President Donald Trump and rival Joe Biden trade insults over their stances on a vaccine


Thanks for joining our rolling coverage of the global coronavirus pandemic - it's Helier Cheung, Ashitha Nagesh and Marie Jackson with you this morning in London.
To help you catch up, here are some of the main headlines from across the world.

  • Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto has said the Tokyo Olympics, which were supposed to be held this year, must be held in 2021 “at any cost”. He said the Games should be held for the benefit of athletes, regardless of the challenges posed by the pandemic
  • India has today recorded its highest daily death toll from the virus in more than a month, even though new cases are slowing. Yesterday India overtook Brazil in overall number of coronavirus cases, and is now second only to the US
  • In the US, many people celebrated Labor Day weekend by holding large gatherings across the country, despite warnings from public health officials. More than 1,000 people went to a beach event in San Francisco, while people gathered on beaches and rooftops in Georgia and South Carolina. The US has 6m cases of the virus - the highest in the world
  • Still in the US, President Donald Trump and his electoral rival Joe Biden have sparred over each other’s positions on a Covid-19 vaccine. Trump hinted again that a vaccine would be available before the election in November, while Biden expressed scepticism that Trump would listen to scientists
  • Globally there have now been more than 27.3m cases of the virus and more than 892,000 deaths, according to the toll kept by Johns Hopkins University


What’s happening in the UK today?

There’s a stark warning for those waking up in the UK, where the number of new infections reached nearly 3,000 a day for two days in a row:

  • Prof John Edmunds, from the UK government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), says the UK is in a “risky period” , with the epidemic “taking off again”. England's deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van Tam, said people had "relaxed too much".
  • A local lockdown in the county of Caerphilly in South Wales will be imposed this evening, after nearly 100 new cases were reported there in the last week. From 18:00 BST no-one will be allowed to leave or enter the area without good reason. The Welsh government said the infection rate was 55 per 100,000 people - one of the highest in the UK.
  • The Royal College of GPs is calling for a national network of “post-covid” clinics to support people who've been chronically ill with coronavirus for months. NHS England said it was rapidly expanding new and strengthened rehab centres.
  • New figures obtained by the BBC show that British employers had drawn up plans to cut more than 300,000 jobs in June and July. It's more than six times as many posts as businesses were planning to axe during the same period last year, before the pandemic.
  • And It's been revealed that as much as £3.5bn ($4.6bn) may have been paid out incorrectly or in fraudulent claims for the government's Coronavirus Job Retention scheme. HMRC is looking into 27,000 cases where it's believed a serious error has been made in the amount an employer has claimed.


Latest around Europe

French Health Minister Olivier Véran says the increase in cases - 4,203 more announced on Monday - is "worrying". However, he has stressed that the rate of infection is nowhere near as problematic as during the initial stage of the pandemic. The so-called R-rate is now around 1.2, whereas it was around 3.2 in the spring. He says France's science council backs the idea of a seven-day isolation period, rather than 14 days for people who test positive.
Elsewhere in Europe:

  • Spain's total number of infections has reached 525,549, the first country in the EU to surpass half a million. The spread has sped up dramatically in the past month
  • Meanwhile, Spain's foreign minister Arancha González Laya says a tourism corridor will be opened with the UK to the Canary Islands as winter approaches. "The important thing is that this window of opportunity opens," she told Spanish radio. The UK said yesterday it had a "new islands policy" to add and remove specific islands from quarantine
  • A Dutch TV survey suggests as many as 74% of under 35s have suffered psychologically from Covid – stress, loneliness and persistent fatigue are the most common complaints
  • Italian ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi appears to be on the mend. Reports say he could leave hospital in Milan next week. He was admitted last week with early-stage double pneumonia.

Read more: What is the R-number and how is it calculated?

UK minister: 'Virus still very much with us'

We mentioned earlier that the UK has seen nearly 3,000 new infections for two days in a row, with one expert warning that cases are now "increasing exponentially".
UK minister Robert Jenrick has just been asked on BBC Breakfast about his own concerns about the rising numbers of infections in the UK.
The communities secretary stressed that the virus is "still very much with us - we have to still be concerned about it", and reminded people to wash their hands, wear a mask and stay socially distanced.
"If we do that and we all play our own part then we should be able to maintain our daily lives in this new normal," he added.
He was also asked about the possibility of testing for the virus at airports - something the opposition Labour party has been calling for as a way of cutting the numbers of travellers required to quarantine for two weeks.
Jenrick said it was an "attractive solution" but "not the panacea that some suggest," adding that "we don't want to give people a false sense of security".

Hong Kong eases coronavirus restrictions amid 'third wave'

While case numbers are rising in some places, they're falling in others.
The number of new daily cases in Hong Kong has dropped into the single digits, and the city announced today it would relax more of its coronavirus restrictions, increasing the size of public gatherings from two to four people.
They will also reopen more sports venues from Friday, although swimming pools will stay closed.
"We must strike a balance," Health Secretary Sophia Chan said. "The third wave is entering two months already, and we have yet to see an end to it."
The relaxation comes two days after parliamentary elections were due to be held, on 6 September. Officials postponed the election for a year, citing the pandemic as a reason - but critics accused the government of using the outbreak as a pretext to stop people from voting.
Read more: Why Hong Kong's 'third wave' is a warning

Flouting of social distancing rules 'led to Caerphilly lockdown'

Earlier we told you that the Welsh county of Caerphilly is to enter a local lockdown later today which will mean no one can leave or enter the area without good reason.
Vaughan Gething, the Welsh health minister, said there was evidence of "community transmission" in the area, with some infection coming from travellers from the European mainland. However, the largest element was people socialising in larger numbers at home, he added.
"It is that breakdown in social distancing, that breakdown in respecting the rules around extended households that is driving infection rates," he told the BBC, adding that without action, the disease would spread to more vulnerable people.
He warned that those who breached the lockdown rules would be fined and suggested people were likely to shop any rule-breakers to the police.
Read more here.

UK cases numbers could 'get out of hand'

Coronavirus - 8th September De55a510

We've already heard the stark warnings from two members of the scientific advisory group to the UK government (SAGE) that the UK is lowering its guard too quickly, and seeing case numbers rise.
Andrew Hayward, a professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at UCL who is also an adviser to SAGE, said there was concern local outbreaks, as we've seen in Leicester, Greater Manchester and now Caerphilly, would move towards broader transmission.
He told the BBC that SAGE would be monitoring the extent of transmission using the test and trace system and population studies, with a focus on looking at the age distribution of cases and where in the country numbers are rising.
He warned the increase in cases "can potentially get out of hand if we don't be very serious about the control measures".
He acknowledged the need to balance the return to normality with controlling the virus but said many restrictions, including reopening schools and universities, and getting people back to work, were all happening at the time of year when they expect to see high levels of transmission.
"The key thing to do to reduce the risk of transmission is to reduce the number of people we come into contact with," he said, in particular contact between generations.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 8th September

Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 11:48

Brazil's daily death toll drops to lowest since May

Vanessa Buschschluter - Latin America and Caribbean Editor, BBC News
In Brazil, the country with the second-highest number of Covid-related deaths after the US, the daily death toll on Monday dropped to its lowest in four months.
At its highest in July, the reported number of deaths within 24 hours was 1,554. On Monday, it stood at 315.
However, Monday was a holiday in Brazil so experts have urged caution, warning that a delay in the reporting of fatalities may have contributed to the low number.
They say that looking at the average daily deaths within a one-week period gives a more reliable indication of any trends. That figure - an average of 784 deaths per day for the last seven days - was 17% lower than two weeks previously.
In total, there have been more than 125,000 Covid-related deaths in Brazil.
Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, has been sceptical about the risks posed by the virus and vociferously opposed lockdowns imposed by regional governors.
The lockdowns have since been eased amid concerns for Brazil's economy but a run on many beaches on the holiday weekend has reignited fears that a lack of social distancing may drive the number of cases up again.

Mbappe to miss tonight's Croatia match after testing positive

Coronavirus - 8th September F49f1810

In football news, Kylian Mbappe is going to miss France's Nations League match against Croatia on Tuesday after testing positive for coronavirus.
Several other players from his regional team, Paris St-Germain, also tested positive last week.
Mbappe, 21, scored the only goal as France beat Sweden in their Nations League opener on Saturday. He was separated from the rest of the team on Monday, and later sent home, the France Football Federation said.
Meanwhile the Ligue 1 season has started, but the opening match between Marseille and Saint-Etienne last month had to be postponed because four home players had tested positive for Covid-19.
Read more from our Sport team here.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 8th September

Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 11:53

Taj Mahal to reopen - despite India's Covid surge

Coronavirus - 8th September 64cd1b10

One of India's most popular tourist sites, the Taj Mahal, is going to reopen to visitors on 21 September, even though India is seeing record numbers of new cases and deaths.
According to Uttar Pradesh state's Tourism Department, visitors to the monument will have to follow "all Covid-19 protocols, like physical distancing [and] masks".
The department's director Amit Srivastava also told AFP news agency that visitors will be limited to 5,000 - compared to the usual daily average of 20,000.
Today, India recorded its highest daily death toll from the virus in more than a month, although the rise in new cases is slowing. Yesterday, it overtook Brazil for the number of overall coronavirus cases, and is now second only to the US, with 4.2m cases.

Greek islands' cases falling, insists tourism minister

Coronavirus - 8th September Cb61e210

From 04:00 on Wednesday, travellers to England from seven Greek islands will have to self-isolate for 14 days after the UK government imposed separate "regional" rules for the first time to stop coronavirus entering the country from abroad..
But Greece's tourism minister, Haris Theoharis, has told the BBC cases on most of the islands are actually below the UK's usual threshold for triggering quarantine of 20 cases per 100,000 people - and the numbers are on their way down.
He said he would not comment directly on the UK's decision, but insisted Greek authorities were imposing restrictions where necessary on the islands and "doing everything we can to safeguard citizens and visitors".
The islands affected are Crete, Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos, and Zakynthos (also known as Zante). The restrictions do not apply to travellers from mainland Greece.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 8th September

Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 11:57

North-east England seeing big rises in case numbers

We've been talking a lot about scientists' concern about the rises in case numbers in the UK, but where exactly are these going up?
One area seeing "deeply concerning" rises is north-east England. It's become so worrying there that the leaders of seven councils have issued a joint statement urging people to help avoid a "devastating" lockdown.
They say average daily cases have doubled in just over a week and are averaging about 80 a day. Gateshead, South Tyneside and Middlesbrough are currently among the top 20 areas in England for cases.
The council leaders are urging people who have symptoms or are asked to take a test to self-isolate until they have the results.
"We have seen cases where individuals with symptoms have had a test, then gone out and infected others before getting their results - reckless and selfish behaviour," the statement says.
It also said a "significant minority" believed it was acceptable to have house parties, hold events with unregulated crowds and ignore the rules.
You can read more here.
Coronavirus - 8th September Dccb0310

School shuts as head teacher in hospital with virus

A whole school has shut after its head teacher was taken to hospital with Covid-19.
Pupils and staff at Trowell Primary School in Nottinghamshire have been told to stay home and self-isolate, and not return until 21 September.
A letter to parents said head teacher Dan Goddard was "in good spirits" and was "resting and recuperating".
"This is not the way we wanted to start the new school year, particularly as the children have re-adapted to life at school so superbly over the last few days," the letter said.
"However, it is a necessary step to avoid spreading the virus within our local community."
A spokesperson for the Department for Education said: “The very small number of schools that are asking some or all of their pupils to remain at home are following our clear published process following a positive case being confirmed in a school."
It said once a positive case was confirmed, local health teams would advise schools and any self-isolating children would receive remote education at home.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 8th September

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

India's first 'lockdown film' is an edgy thriller

Coronavirus - 8th September 0cfadb10
C U Soon is a 90-minute suspense thriller

The pandemic has forced filmmakers around the world to take a break - or, get creative.
Mahesh Narayanan shot what is being described as India's first lockdown movie, filming it in three weeks in six apartments in a residential building.
He says one reason he decided to make the film was to help people working in his local film industry - some had been forced to rely on selling home-cooked food to make ends meet.
His film, which is showing on Amazon Prime, has gained praise from critics, with one calling it "an immersive experience like no other".
You can read more about the film here .

'Long Covid' patients need better care, doctors say

The Royal College of GPs is calling for a national network of "post-Covid" clinics to help people left chronically ill with Covid-19 symptoms.
Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London and leader of the Covid Symptom Study app, said about 300,000 people in the UK have reported symptoms lasting for more than a month - so called "long Covid".
However, many of these people may not have been tested for Covid.
People like Elly MacDonald, 37, from Surbiton, who was training for the London Marathon when she first developed what she believes were Covid symptoms on 21 March.
More than five months on, she still suffers from breathlessness and extreme fatigue, but has not received a positive test result - because community testing was re-introduced too late for it to detect her illness.
Currently, less than 12% of 86 NHS care commissioning groups asked by the BBC said they were running rehabilitation services.
NHS England said it was "rapidly expanding new and strengthened rehab centres".
Read more on this story here.
File on 4's Covid-19: The Long Road to Recovery is on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 8 September at 20:00 and available afterwards on BBC Sounds.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 8th September

Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 13:39

Pakistan gets ready to reopen its schools

M Ilyas Khan - BBC News, Islamabad
As the incidence of Covid-19 cases tapers off, Pakistan has decided to reopen schools and colleges that have been closed since 15 March.
The reopening will be done in three phases: secondary, graduate and post-graduate classes will resume on 15 September, and middle school classes will follow on 23 September. If all goes well, pre-primary and primary classes will then resume from 30 September.
The decision comes as Pakistan's surge in recorded cases and deaths is starting to ease. However, many fear that the number of reported cases isn't reflective of the reality on the ground.
Read more: Why youthful Pakistan seems to have avoided the worst of the pandemic

Up to £3.5bn furlough claims fraudulent or paid in error - HMRC

It is thought that as much as £3.5bn ($4.6bn) could have been wrongly paid out from the UK government's furlough scheme.
HM Revenue and Custom (HMRC) is investigating 27,000 cases where it is believed a serious error has been made.
The scheme has paid 80% of the wages of workers placed on leave since March, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
Speaking to MPs on Monday, HMRC's permanent secretary Jim Harra said it estimated that between 5 and 10% of furlough cash has been wrongly awarded.
"That will range from deliberate fraud through to error," he added.
You can read more here.

Covid surges as Lebanon recovers from Beirut blast

Martin Patience - BBC News, Middle East correspondent
Until last month’s deadly explosion at Beirut’s port, Lebanon had been handling the coronavirus outbreak pretty well compared to other countries.
Now Lebanese health officials are warning that’s no longer true, with a surge in cases in recent weeks. The health minister says the current situation is “delicate”.
The health ministry says more than 20,000 people have contracted the disease this year with 200 deaths recorded from Covid-19 so far.
The authorities fear the country’s fragile health system could be overwhelmed by a further spike in cases. Its problems are compounded by the fact that several hospitals in the capital were damaged by the port blast.
Part of the challenge for officials is getting people to listen to health advice and social distance.
What with the Beirut explosion and the country’s economic collapse, perhaps - unsurprisingly - many Lebanese people believe they have bigger problems to deal with than the pandemic
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 8th September

Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 13:45

Czech PM tells WHO to 'keep their mouths shut'

Rob Cameron - BBC Prague Correspondent
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Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has told the World Health Organization (WHO) to "keep their mouths shut".
He tweeted the remark after the WHO's Czech branch criticised Prague's public health authorities - after reports they are considering reducing contact tracing and testing, amid a spike in mostly asymptomatic cases.
Babis tweeted: "I've just read what the WHO have issued. That's the same WHO which wasn't recommending face masks, and didn't even know this was a pandemic. In my opinion they should keep their mouths shut.
"And for the Czech media, who constantly criticise and write that we're failing to control the situation: here are the statistics for deaths in Europe per million inhabitants. We're doing very well indeed."
He also attached a table to back up his claims.
Health Minister Adam Vojtech meanwhile has said it's too early to criticise plans that have not even been made public yet. He added that there were no plans to abandon contact tracing, merely to make it more effective.

'The whistleblower doctor deserves honour'

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
After months of monitoring Chinese media, today it feels like China has reached a pinnacle moment of victory in its Covid-19 fight.
The Global Times newspaper says that the number of patients in north-west Xinjiang – the last region of the mainland to experience a localised outbreak - has now dropped to zero . In line with this, state media is full of praise today for the epidemic “heroes” that led the fight in bringing China’s Covid-19 outbreak under control.
There's a lot of praise for the key role young people played, with People's Daily saying almost half of those on the frontline were under 30 years of age .
And many cartoons and gifs online praise four key doctors - including respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan, who today received a Medal of the Republic, China’s “highest national honour”.
But on social media, it's a different story. Many Weibo users are repeating the name of one man: Dr Li Wenliang, the “whistleblower” doctor who originally warned colleagues about the contagiousness of Covid-19. He was subsequently given a police warning , and later contracted the virus himself and died. He was 33 years old.
“Li Wenliang dared to speak up, then was punished, he then died, and disappeared, without any recognition,” one user of the popular Sina Weibo microblog says.
“The whistleblower deserves honour,” says another .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 8th September

Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 13:49

Irish drink-only pubs set to reopen within weeks

Coronavirus - 8th September E534d410
Pubs which only serve drink have not been allowed to reopen on either side of the Irish border

It is understood the Irish government has agreed that pubs that do not serve food will be able to reopen from 21 September.
The reopening will be subject to possible local restrictions if case numbers rise, RTÉ News has reported.
The move will put pressure on the Stormont Executive to reopen non-food bars in Northern Ireland.
So-called "wet pubs" in Ireland, which do not serve food, have been closed since March.
Read our full story here.

Ireland's incidence of Covid-19 cases rate is now higher than both the UK and Italy
Harry Brent - Irish Post
Ireland's incidence of Covid-19 cases rate has now surpassed that of the UK and Italy.
This is the measurement of how many coronavirus cases are identified over a 14-day period per 100,000 people.
Ireland's rate now stands at 34.7 cases per 100,000, a slight increase on Sunday's rate of 33.2.
Worryingly, that rate is now higher than both the UK (32.3) and Italy (30.3) - two of Europe's worst-hit nations.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is set to meet this Thursday to discuss the rise in case numbers in Dublin and in the healthcare sector.
NPHET is also predicted to reduce the quarantine period from 14 days to ten days as a result of new research and evidence on Covid-19.
Despite Ireland's alarming incidence rate, its 14-day cumulative death rate per 100,000 stands at zero - joint-lowest throughout Europe, and level with the likes of Norway, Iceland, Finland, Austria, Luxembourg, Cyprus and Liechtenstein.
Ireland has failed to record a single death from Covid-19 since mid-August, with the death toll still standing at 1,777.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 8th September

Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 16:50

New restrictions for Bolton

The health secretary continues his statement: "This is not over, just because we have come through one peak doesn't mean we can't see another one coming to our shores."
He says the government has met its target to provide testing kits to all care homes that have registered for them.
He goes on to say local lockdown action has worked in Leicester and Luton but further action is needed in Bolton, which now has 120 confirmed cases per 100,000 people - the highest in the country.
He says the rise in cases was due to people in their 20s and 30s socialising and says the government had identified pubs where the spread is most significant.
New restrictions will be put in place:

  • Restrict all hospitality to take-away only.
  • All venues must close from 10pm to 5am.
  • No socialising outside households will be put into law


Hospital and care home visits restricted in Bolton

Health Secretary Matt Hancock added that visitor restrictions will also be put in place in care homes in Bolton.
"We're also putting in place extra measures including visitor restrictions to restrict the spread of virus into care homes and hospitals in Bolton," he told MPs.
Addressing people in Bolton directly, Mr Hancock said: “I know how anxious this can be and I know the impact that these measures will have.
"We are asking you to step back at a time when we all just want to get on with our lives and what we love and back to normal.
"But we need to take this crucial step to keep this virus at bay. Because as we’ve seen elsewhere, if we act early and control the virus, then we can save lives."
Adding that track-and-trace data showed socialising by people in their 20s and 30s was behind much of the rise, he warned young people were also at risk of serious harm from the virus.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 8th September

Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 16:55

Three more deaths reported in Scotland

Three deaths have been recorded in Scotland over the past 24 hours of people who had tested positive for coronavirus.
It the first time three deaths have been recorded in one day since 30 June.
It brings the total number of Covid-19 deaths in Scotland to 2,499.
This represented 2.3% of people newly tested, down from 2.4% yesterday.
Of those new positive cases, 91 were in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area while 32 were in the NHS Lanarkshire area.
But Ms Sturgeon said new cases had been confirmed in every mainland health board area.

Hancock: 'Significant drop' in Leicester cases since local lockdown

Matt Hancock said the local lockdown in Leicester had resulted in a "very significant" drop in cases and measures there will be reviewed on Thursday.
Asked whether those in Bolton could travel to other areas to enjoy a drink at pubs or bars, Mr Hancock said: "Thankfully, what we've learnt from this sort of local action elsewhere is that we don't see large numbers of people travelling to nearby areas.
"We haven't seen that yet but of course we remain vigilant.
"I am sure the people of Bolton understand how significant this problem is - and we will bring in new laws to back-up the proposals that we've made today."

French PM to take test after Tour de France contact

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French PM Jean Castex shared a car with tour director Christian Prudhomme on Saturday

French Prime Minister Jean Castex is to be tested for Covid-19 as a precaution after sharing a car with the director of the Tour de France, who has contracted the virus.
The prime minister’s office said Castex and tour director Christian Prudhomme travelled together in a car along the route of the cycling race on Saturday.
"They were both wearing masks and respecting social distancing,” the PM’s office said of the car ride. "The prime minister is to undergo a new test, just in case."
Prudhomme was confirmed positive on Tuesday by tour organisers . As of Monday, all Tour de France riders had returned negative tests, but some staff members of their teams have since tested positive.

'Only visit one pub per night' warns Sturgeon

Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, says evidence points towards house gatherings having made the biggest contribution to the spread of coronavirus across Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
They are also where older and more vulnerable people are likely to socialise, she points out.
But some transmission is also happening in pubs and restaurants, and that is being kept under close review, added Ms Sturgeon.
She said those going out to such venues needed to be responsible for keeping to the guidelines - not meeting more than eight people from a maximum of three households going out to the pub or restaurant.
They must also socially distance from people from other households.
The strong advice is to avoid busy bars where social distancing is difficult and to only visit one bar in an evening, Ms Sturgeon says.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 8th September

Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 17:00

Drug companies jointly pledge to 'follow the science'

Nine major drug companies who are developing a coronavirus vaccine have issued a rare joint pledge to uphold scientific standards.
The pharmaceutical firms, including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Astra Zeneca, made the statement after rising concerns that standards might slip in the rush to find a vaccine.
The other companies that signed the pledge were Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co, Moderna, Novavax, Sanofi and BioNTech.
US President Donald Trump has hinted repeatedly that a vaccine may be available before the country's presidential election in November. His electoral rival, Joe Biden, in response, has questioned whether Trump would listen to scientists.

Dutch infections rise by 5,400, with most among the young

Coronavirus - 8th September 273e2710
Young people account for most of the Netherlands's new virus cases

Now we turn to the Netherlands, where coronavirus infections have increased sharply in recent days, mirroring a worrying pattern seen across Europe.
A further 5,427 infections were confirmed in the week to Tuesday, up from 3,597 in the previous week, Dutch health authorities said.
That increase brought the country’s total number of confirmed coronavirus infections to 76,548, among Europe's highest tallies.
Like other countries, the Netherlands has experienced a recent spike in cases after easing lockdown restrictions over the summer and ramping up testing for the disease.
Most of the new cases, however, have been found among those in their 20s, who are less vulnerable to the virus than older people.
As a result, hospital admissions remain low relative to the first wave of the pandemic - another common trend internationally.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 8th September

Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 17:05

Bolton restrictions blamed on 'irresponsible actions of a few'

Coronavirus - 8th September 4ecc1010
Queues for testing in Bolton as cases rise

Earlier, we heard how people in Bolton will not be allowed to socialise with those from other households, restaurants will only be able to sell takeaways and venues will have to close from 10pm to 5am.
David Greenhalgh, council leader of Bolton, has blamed the need for strict new restrictions there on the "irresponsible actions of a few" who've caused the infection rate to rise.
He told the Bolton News:
“Nobody wanted this, but we must now prove what our borough is made of, follow the guidance in order to have these restrictions lifted."
The virus was currently moving around the borough uncontrolled, he said, having gone from 15 cases per 100,000 to over 120 in the space of two weeks.
"If we do not get control of the virus now, we will continue to put our most vulnerable residents at risk and delay any return to normality," he added
The paper says those aged 18 to 49 accounted for the majority of cases in Bolton.

'Stop fist bumping' say Malaysian officials

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Former Prime Minister Najib Razak fist-bumped his supporters a couple of weeks ago

Malaysian health authorities have reminded everyone not to fist bump as a form of greeting, as the number of new coronavirus cases surged to a three-month high.
In case you're not familiar with a fist bump - it's where two people briefly press their fists together. It's quite 1980s, but with people avoiding hand shakes this year, the fist bump has enjoyed a comeback as an alternative to the elbow bump.
However the country's top health official, Noor Hisham Abdullah, says any form of physical contact risks spreading the virus: "This is why we're telling people not to fist bump."
Malaysia recorded a three-digit rise in new infections for the first time since early June, with 100 cases reported on Tuesday. It has reported a total of 9,559 infections and 128 deaths.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 17:20

Indonesia’s cases jump above 200,000

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Indonesia has the highest number of coronavirus-linked deaths in south-east Asia

Indonesia’s total number of coronavirus cases has surpassed 200,000, after the country recorded a further 3,046 new infections on Tuesday.
Another 100 deaths were registered in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s overall toll to 8,230, the highest in South East Asia.
Indonesia imposed lockdown restrictions and closed its borders in April, but experts fear these measures came in too late, and were lifted too early in places.
Regional governments started to ease restrictions and allowed businesses to reopen in June.
Wiku Adisasmito, a spokesperson for the government’s Covid-19 taskforce, said the country must “take care of health affairs first so the economic situation can get better”

Thirty more deaths reported in Great Britain

Northern Ireland figures delayed
There have been 30 more deaths reported in people who had tested positive for coronavirus in the previous 28 days in Great Britain.
The figures for Northern Ireland have been delayed, so the overall UK total is not yet available.
It's the highest daily total since 29 July, when there were 34 in the whole of the UK.
There were a further 2,420 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 352,520.

Small numbers of fans allowed into Scottish football

For the first time since March, fans will be allowed into senior Scottish football matches this weekend.
However, only two games will be allowed to have spectators - and only 300 will be allowed into each game.
Those matches are Aberdeen's v Kilmarnock and Ross County v Celtic. The home sides will hold ballots to see who will be allowed in.
Read our full story here.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 17:23

Austrian man who left US in the 1960s 'gets Trump virus cheque'

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Linz, Austria... quite a long way from the US

A retired man in Austria who worked as a waiter in the US for two years in the 1960s has been sent a virus relief cheque from the US government, signed by President Donald Trump, local media say.
The payment is part of a massive US federal stimulus programme.
Austrian broadcaster ORF reports that the 73-year-old man from Linz was able to cash the $1,200 (£920; €1,018) cheque - despite him last living in the US more than half a century ago. His wife, who has never worked or lived in the US, was also sent a cheque.
Banks in Austria have reportedly cashed dozens of US government cheques, and it's unclear how many recipients were actually eligible to receive them.
According to AP news agency, cheques have also mistakenly been sent to people who are dead.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 18:09

Berlusconi’s condition is ‘reassuring’, doctor says

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Silvio Berlusconi has served as Italian prime minister in four governments

There’s been an update on the condition of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who tested positive for Covid-19 last week.
The doctor treating Berlusconi for a lung infection at San Raffaele hospital in Milan says his condition has shown a “favourable evolution”.
Berlusconi’s signs of recovery “are reassuring”, said Alberto Zangrillo, head of the hospital’s cardiovascular intensive-care unit.
Berlusconi, 83, was admitted to hospital on Thursday. The media mogul's positive diagnosis came last week after a holiday at his luxury villa in Sardinia.
His companion, Marta Fascina, and two of his children - daughter Barbara, 36, and son Luigi, 31 - have also contracted the virus.

HMS Queen Elizabeth delayed again after outbreak

The aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has been delayed a second day after a Covid outbreak on board.
The Royal Navy warship was due to leave Portsmouth for training exercises on Monday.
A MoD spokesman confirmed that “fewer than 10” members of the 1,000-strong crew had tested positive. They are in isolation on shore, while people who had been in contact with them are isolating on board.
The ship is now due to leave on Wednesday.
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The Royal Navy said the positive tests were detected during "routine" preparations
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 18:14

EU Parliament cancels Strasbourg session

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The parliament usually meets once a month in Strasbourg

Next week’s session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg has been cancelled over concerns about the spread of coronavirus in the French city.
The parliament will hold the plenary session in the Belgian capital, Brussels, instead, EU Parliament President David Sassoli has announced.
"We are very saddened by this decision, but the transfer of the administrative operation of the European Parliament would mean all the staff would have to be quarantined on their return to Brussels," Sassoli said.
The EU Parliament usually meets once a month for a plenary session in Strasbourg to vote on legislation and discuss political issues.
The next session, scheduled for 14-17 September, was to be the first in the city since coronavirus containment measures were introduced in March.
But MEPs have shown resistance to the notion of reconvening parliament in the city, which was recently designated a Covid-19 “red zone”.
In a tweet , French MEP Christophe Grudler said the decision to relocate the session to Brussels went against the advice of French health authorities, describing it as “lamentable”.

Test and trace on verge of collapse - Starmer

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has warned the test-and-trace system is "on the verge of collapse".
He said Prime Minister Boris Johnson had to take responsibility amid a rise in the number of coronavirus infections in the UK.
Sir Keir told the BBC: "Everybody is deeply concerned about the rise in the rate of infection.
"As we reopen the economy, as children go back to school, this was always going to be a risk, we understand that."
He said Mr Johnson should have used the summer to get a "very effective" test-and-trace system running.
He added: "What we're now seeing is stories over the past few days that is showing the testing regime is on the verge of collapse.
"Heartbreaking stories from people who need a test being told no tests are available.
"Or the website is crashing, or people are being told to go miles and miles for a test. Nobody can argue that that is good governance."
Sir Keir said he still supported the principles of the government's coronavirus restrictions.
But he said that the government's messaging had been "confused".
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 19:02

Bolton reaction: 'Drunk youngsters' to blame?

People in Bolton have been reacting to the tighter restrictions announced in their area - which include the closure of pubs and a ban on socialising with people outside their households.
Nasser Herez, 59, who runs Yummies Kebab & Curry House, said: "I have seen lots of drunk young people, hugging with no social distancing.
"It is sad it has come to this...but if that's what we need to do, then that's what I'll do."
The manager of The Elephant & Castle, Steve Coyle, said: "We are disappointed but not surprised.
"We are not going to operate as a takeaway so we are just going to close - probably for a few weeks."
Read more reaction from Bolton here.

Police visit for salon that says Covid 'does not exist'

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The posters put up in Skin Kerr salon in Bootle have since been taken down

A beauty salon that said Covid-19 did not exist will be visited by police.
Skin Kerr salon in Bootle put posters in its window and posted online stating masks weren't being worn by staff as "You can't catch what doesn't exist."
Merseyside Police said officers would visit the salon to "remind" the owner and staff of their responsibilities around Covid-19.
Sefton Council said its environmental health team would also visit and the owners are due to meet the council on Wednesday.
The BBC has been unable to contact Skin Kerr for a response. Read our full story here.


Canada Covid cases jump 25%

Canada's top doctor is urging caution after coronavirus cases spiked 25% in one week across the country.
Chief Public Health Officer Theres Tam warned that Canadians would need to be "even more diligent" in the autumn, as temperatures plummeted and people headed indoors.
“This is a concern and a reminder that we all need to maintain public health measures to keep Covid-19 on the slow-burn path that we need,” she said on Monday.
Cases rose to 545 over the past week, up from 435 and 390 in the two weeks prior.
On Tuesday, after a long weekend, public health officials in Ontario noted there were 375 new cases over the past two days, the biggest increase since 6 July.
About 23 of the new cases have been linked to a multi-location wedding the prior weekend.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 19:09

French PM tests negative for virus - BFM TV

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has tested negative for Covid-19, the BFM TV channel has reported, citing his office .
Earlier, we reported that Castex was to be tested as a precaution, after he shared a car with the director of the Tour de France, Christian Prudhomme, who has contracted the virus.
Prudhomme was confirmed positive on Tuesday. He and Castex had travelled in a car together along the route of the cycling race on Saturday.
The prime minister’s office said they were both “wearing masks and respecting social distancing”.

UK cases up, but deaths and hospitalisations stay low

These up-to-date charts show that while confirmed cases in the UK are rising sharply...
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 19:12

Quarantine imposed on three Greek migrant camps

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The Moria camp in Lesbos recorded its first case of coronavirus last week

Three migrant facilities in Greece have entered quarantine amid concerns over the spread of Covid-19 among thousands of asylum seekers living in dire conditions.
Restrictions will be placed on the camps of Malakassa, Schisto and Eleonas until 21 September, the Greek government said.
Greece's migrant camps have technically been under lockdown since March, with restrictions on who can leave and enter.
This has prompted criticism from aid groups, who have warned that an outbreak of the virus at these camps, where sanitation is poor and accommodation overcrowded, could easily spread.
One of the largest camps, Moria, which hosts almost 13,000 asylum seekers on the island of Lesbos, recorded its first case of coronavirus last week.
Up to now, Greece has recorded few coronavirus infections and deaths relative to its European neighbours. Of the 289 deaths confirmed in total, none of them have been at migrant camps.

Businesses reopen as restrictions lifted in parts of northern England

Coronavirus restrictions have been eased in parts of northern England allowing more businesses to reopen - except in Bolton where there has been a rise in cases.
Soft-play centres, bowling alleys, gyms and casinos are able to open again in parts of Lancashire, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire which had had restrictions reimposed.
Beauty salons can also begin close-contact treatments such as facials.
The move brings these areas back in line with the rest of England.
One owner of a gym in Blackburn, Lancashire, described his "unbelievable relief" and "excitement" at being allowed to reopen after six months.
"I am finally back doing what I do best," said Nick Talbot, owner of The FitMill.
He said he feared he would lose his gym if it did not reopen soon.
Read more here .
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 19:25

Man faked dying grandfather to leave quarantine, police say

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Travellers to Sydney, Australia are kept in isolation for a period to curb the spread of the coronavirus

Police in Sydney, Australia have accused a man of falsely claiming his grandfather was terminally ill as an excuse to leave quarantine early.
The 30-year-old man from neighbouring Victoria state was asked to quarantine at a hotel after arriving at Sydney Airport on Friday without an exemption.
But the following morning, the man was released after he provided what he claimed to be a valid exemption document, saying he was in New South Wales to visit his terminally ill grandfather in hospital.
Police later determined the document to be false, and discovered the man’s grandfather was not in hospital.
The man was arrested on Saturday and charged with failure to comply with coronavirus regulations, and producing false documentation, police said .
He was given bail and returned to hotel quarantine, with a court appearance due on 12 October 2020.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 19:35

Update: UK reports 32 new deaths

Earlier we brought you the latest coronavirus figures for Great Britain - as there was a delay with the Northern Ireland data.
That is now in and the updated figures for the whole UK show 2,460 new cases of coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours.
There have also been a total of 32 deaths of people who had tested positive within the previous 28 days. It is the highest daily figure since 29 July, according to the government data
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Sep 08 2020, 20:28

News from around the globe

Coronavirus cases rising, lockdown restrictions returning, economies wobbling. The pandemic has wreaked havoc worldwide on yet another eventful day. In case you missed them, here are some of the main developments from around the world today.

  • The French Prime Minister Jean Castex tested negative for Covid-19 after he shared a car with the director of the Tour de France, who contracted the virus
  • The European Parliament cancelled a session in Strasbourg over concerns about the spread of coronavirus in the French city
  • South Africa's economy shrunk by 51% in the second quarter of 2020, a staggering reduction caused by the pandemic
  • India recorded its highest daily deaths in more than a month - 1,133 people in 24 hours
  • A group of nine vaccine developers announced a "historic pledge" to uphold scientific and ethical standards in the search for a coronavirus vaccine
  • Democratic US vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris said she would trust a coronavirus vaccine developed under US President Donald Trump, but only if health experts gave it their approval
  • Globally, there have now been more than 27.3m cases of the virus and more than 893,000 deaths, according to the toll kept by Johns Hopkins University


Covid-19 in the UK: Tuesday's headlines

Here is a round-up of the major Covid-19 stories from today in the UK:

  • Restrictions in Bolton, a town in Greater Manchester, have been tightened . Pubs and restaurants will have to close or serve takeaways only and people can only socialise with their household, even outdoors
  • The government says it is not ruling out a further tightening of restrictions across England
  • Across the UK, 32 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were recorded on Tuesday, alongside 2,460 new cases
  • A director of the government's test and trace programme in England has issued a "heartfelt" apology for delays in testing


We're pausing our coverage now

That's all for our live coverage today. Join us again tomorrow for more of the latest news on coronavirus as it happens.

Our editors were: Helier Cheung, Martha Buckley and Owen Amos. Our contributors were Lauren Turner, Ashitha Nagesh, Marie Jackson and Joshua Nevett.

    Current date/time is Tue Sep 29 2020, 17:55