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Coronavirus - 9th September

Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 12:10

Summary for Wednesday, 9th September


  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to give a press conference at 16:00BST
  • Social gatherings over six are to be banned in England
  • A new legal limit will be enforced through a fine but will not apply to schools or workplaces
  • The Oxford University vaccine trial is paused after a participant falls ill
  • The trial in South Africa, Brazil and the US involves 30,000 people. Millions of doses have already been ordered
  • People are refusing to get tested in India's Punjab state as rumours fly about the coronavirus


Welcome to our rolling coverage of the developments in the coronavirus pandemic, brought to you by our team in London and our BBC reporters around the world.
Here are some of today’s biggest developments:


Social gatherings above six banned in England from 14 September

Our top story today is that social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal in England from Monday, in a bid to curb a steep rise in coronavirus cases.
The restriction will be backed by law and will be enforced through a £100 fine if people fail to comply with police, doubling up to a maximum of £3,200.
Previously, guidance allowed gatherings of up to six people from different households outdoors - or two households of any size, indoors or outdoors. But until now the police have had no powers to stop them unless they exceed 30.
The new restrictions won’t apply to schools, workplaces, weddings, funerals and organised team sports as long as Covid-secure guidance is followed.
Across the UK almost 8,400 new infections have been recorded since Sunday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to give more detail at a press conference in Downing Street later.
Here’s what we know about the rules so far .
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own regulations.

England gatherings rule 'will be rigorously enforced'

BBC Breakfast
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been talking this morning about the restriction on gatherings in England. From Monday, social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal.
He says it is a "super simple rule" that you can't gather in a group of more than six.
"This will be rigorously enforced by police," he says.
Hancock says he does not think lockdown was eased too early, adding: "It (the number of cases) was low all throughout the summer, which I was really pleased with - we have seen this rise just in the last few days."
He says there will also be a tightening of "some of the enforcement around hospitality businesses to make sure they are policing the guidelines very clearly".

Hancock urges only those with symptoms to get tested

Last week we first reported that some people were being asked to travel hundreds of miles to get a coronavirus test in the UK.
Hancock tells BBC Breakfast that demand for tests is high and "about 25% of the people who come forward we estimate are not eligible for a test".
"We have seen this quite sharp rise in the last couple of weeks of people without symptoms who don't have a good reason coming forward to get a test," the health secretary says.
"If you don't have symptoms unless asked specifically to get a test, you're not eligible for a test."
There had been examples of "whole schools or parts of schools all being sent to get test", he says, adding that it is "not acceptable".
"I've even heard stories of people saying: 'I'm going on holiday next week therefore I'm going to get a test.'
"No - that is not what the testing system is there for. We've got to be firmer, I'm afraid, with the rules around eligibility for testing."

'Significant restriction' for families in England

On the rules on social gatherings in England, Hancock stresses "you can't gather in a group more than six".
He says for a "family of five or six this will bring in some significant restrictions" and this has not been brought in "lightly".
For example, a family of five would only be able to meet one grandparent in the same setting.
He says if there is a household where more than six people live together "obviously that group will be able to stay together".
There will also be a "number of exemptions for school, work and for some very special events like weddings, funeral and christenings", Hancock adds.

Latest from around Europe

Another 1,164 cases have been reported in the past 24 hours by Czech health officials, the highest so far since the epidemic began. Most cases are either mild or asymptomatic but the outbreak has alarmed the World Health Organization, which has urged Prague not to go ahead with a reduction in contact tracing and testing. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis says the WHO should "shut up". Elsewhere in Europe:

  • More than 1,300 nursing home workers have been infected in Spain, which has already seen a reported 21,000 care home deaths linked to Covid-19, Cadena Ser radio reports. It says the worst affected region is Andalusia in the far south
  • Voters in western Germany will have to take their own pens as well as a mask when they take part in Sunday's local elections. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia has 14 million voters but some of them will vote by post
  • Finally an update on Italian ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who's slowly getting better, six days after he was admitted to hospital in Milan. He says he's “struggling to get out of this infernal disease”.


Businesses will have to take customer contact details in England

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has given a bit more detail on how the government plans to tighten enforcement around hospitality businesses in England.
He says it will become compulsory for venues to take customer contact details for track and trace.
It has been voluntary, he says, and some businesses had chosen not to take details.
We'll hear more detail on the tightening of restrictions in England later from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Read more on this story here .

Health service disruptions threaten millions of children - UN

Millions of children’s lives are being put at risk by disruptions to health services brought on by coronavirus, according to the UN.
Last year, the number of deaths of children aged under five dropped its lowest point on record – 5.2m, down from 12.5m in 1990.
But surveys by the UN have shown that a majority of countries are experiencing disruptions to child and maternity services, along with malnutrition treatment and immunisation.
"The fact that today more children live to see their first birthday than any time in history is a true mark of what can be achieved,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization.
“Now, we must not let the Covid-19 pandemic turn back remarkable progress for our children and future generations,” he added.

Five reasons why rise in UK cases is not all it seems

Ministers and health advisers in the UK believe the country is at a critical moment and the average rate of new infections is now four times higher than it was in mid-July.
Newly diagnosed cases have topped 2,000 for the past three days.
However, our health team has considered five important reasons why the rise in cases is not all it seems .

Oxford University vaccine trial paused after participant falls ill

Fergus Walsh - Medical editor
At first glance this may seem alarming. A vaccine trial - and not just any vaccine, but one receiving massive global attention - is put on hold due to a suspected serious adverse reaction.
But such events are not unheard of. Indeed the Oxford team describe it as "routine". Any time a volunteer is admitted to hospital and the cause of their illness is not immediately apparent it triggers a study to be put on hold.
This is actually the second time it has happened with the Oxford University/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine trial since the first volunteers were immunised in April.
An Oxford University spokesperson said: "In large trials, illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully."
A final decision on restarting the trial will be taken by the medical regulator the MHRA, which could take only days.
But until then all international vaccination sites, in the UK, Brazil, South Africa and the USA are on hold.
The Oxford University team believe this process illustrates that they are committed to the safety of their volunteers and the highest standards of conduct in their studies.
Read more on this story here .
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 12:22

What are the new rules for meeting my friends?

As we've been reporting, the number of people allowed to meet socially is being reduced from 30 to six in England, amid a rise in coronavirus cases.
What do the new rules mean and how will they be enforced?
We've got a full explanation for you here .

South Dakota governor hits back over virus study

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has repudiated claims that a motorcycle rally in the state was the source of 250,000 new coronavirus infections.
The 10-day event in Sturgis, South Dakota attracted more than 400,000 people, with "minimal mask-wearing and social distancing," according to a study by the IZA Institute of Labor Economics.
If all these cases were non-lethal, the researchers (who are economists rather than epidemiologists) estimate that the rally has cost $12.2bn (£9.42bn) in public health funding.
But in a series of tweets, Governor Noem said the report "isn't science. It's fiction."
tweet  Governor Kristi Noem:
:Left Quotes:  This report isn't science. It's fiction. Under the guise of academic research, it's nothing short of an attack on those who exercised their personal freedom to attend Sturgis. (THREAD 1/)
tweet  Andrew Friedson:
:Left Quotes:  We estimate that over 250,000 of the reported cases between August 2 and September 2 are due to the Sturgis Rally. Roughly 19 percent of the national cases during this timeframe. https://twitter.com/SDSUCHEPS/stat
tweet  Governor Kristi Noem:
:Left Quotes:  Predictably, some in the media breathlessly report on this non-peer reviewed model, built on incredibly faulty assumptions that do not reflect the actual facts and data. (2/)

South Dakota's Department of Health has reported 124 cases linked to the controversial motorcycle rally.

UK scientist: Next six weeks 'absolutely pivotal'

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
Prof Sir Jeremy Farrar, a member of the UK government's scientific advisory group Sage, tells BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he hopes England's new coronavirus restrictions will be enough to curb cases.
The Wellcome Trust director says: "The next four to six weeks as we reopen schools and we start to try to get the economy going again - which is just so critical - are going to be absolutely pivotal to the sort of autumn and winter we have.
"So I am very supportive of the restrictions coming in and sincerely hope they are going to be enough."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 12:25

UN warns on Syria virus spread

Martin Patience - BBC News, Middle East correspondent
The UN says more than 40 of its staff and their dependents have caught coronavirus in Syria amid warnings that the pandemic is far more widespread in the country than the authorities have acknowledged.
According to a spokesman three people were medically evacuated. The remainder of those who contracted Covid-19 were suffering from mild symptoms.
"It caught us at a time where we have seen a very significant rise, or increase, in the level of Covid-19 in Syria," said Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
"We believe community transmission is widespread, and that the actual cases exceeds those that are officially recorded."
Since the start of the pandemic, Syria has officially recorded 137 deaths in government-controlled areas. But the country’s healthcare system is in ruins after nine years of war and the government recently admitted it cannot carry out large scale testing.
Last week Human Rights Watch reported that health workers in Syria were overwhelmed, many hospitals were beyond capacity, and there were serious shortages of personal protective equipment.

Daily cases reach record high in Argentina

Argentina, one of the countries where the number of coronavirus infections continues to rise steeply, registered a new record number of daily cases on Tuesday: 12,027.
In total, there have now been more than half a million confirmed cases in Argentina since the pandemic began.
Most of the new cases are in Buenos Aires province.
Argentina was one of the countries to impose a strict lockdown early on in the pandemic and cases at first rose slowly.
But with restrictions being eased to kickstart Argentina's ailing economy, the infection rate has shot up and the country is now among the list of top ten countries with the highest number of Covid-19 cases.

Scottish deaths up by a third between April and June

Deaths in Scotland between April and June 2020 were up by a third compared to the five-year average, according to official figures.
The National Records of Scotland (NRS) said 18,201 deaths had been registered, 4,515 more than the five-year average for the quarter.
Covid-19 was the underlying cause in 3,739 of them, accounting for 83% of the excess deaths.
Deaths from diabetes, dementia and Alzheimer's were also significantly higher than the five-year average, the NRS said.
Read the full story from our colleagues in Scotland here .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 12:30

UK PM to give details on England restrictions at 16:00 BST

Coronavirus - 9th September 1b1ece10

As we mentioned earlier, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to outline the details of the changes to coronavirus restrictions in England later.
He will do this at a Downing Street press conference at 16:00 BST and will be joined by Prof Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK government's chief scientific adviser.
Here’s a reminder of what we know so far about the restrictions .

'No change to place of worship rules'

Justin Welby, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, says he's been told by the UK government there will be no change to guidance on places of worship.
The current guidance says larger gatherings are allowed for acts of communal worship in churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and meeting rooms in England, albeit subject to social-distancing restrictions.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 12:34

More than 2,500 expected at racecourse meeting

Coronavirus - 9th September 4d8aa110

As the government tightens restrictions on social gatherings in England form Monday, more than 2,500 spectators are expected at Doncaster racecourse later.
The crowd at the first day of the four-day St Leger meeting will be the first at a British horse racing fixture in six months.
Racing has been held behind closed doors since resuming on 1 June after a 10-week suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Up to 3,640 people will be permitted entry on Wednesday, and the racecourse says more than 2,500 tickets have been sold. A limit of 6,202 is planned on the other days, including Saturday, when the Leger, the world's oldest Classic race, is staged.
Asked about the pilot on BBC Breakfast on Wednesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "The prime minister is going to set out more details of the consequences of the new rule for six people gathering later today. And we'll set out what that means for some of these events that we were planning to do."
But Doncaster's elected Labour mayor Ros Jones said the festival was a "major risk for the borough that I would rather not see happen".
"I believe the risk is too great as we are seeing rising infection rates," Ms Jones said.

Czech government announces new indoor face mask rules

Rob Cameron - BBC Prague Correspondent
The Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech has announced that face masks will be mandatory everywhere indoors from Thursday, after a record 1,164 new cases were reported on Tuesday.
Masks had been mandatory in shops and shopping centres from today - that will now be extended to all enclosed spaces from tomorrow. Details will be announced during the day. They have been mandatory on public transport since Sep 1.
Only five countries in Europe - Spain, France, Romania, Croatia and Malta - currently have more new cases per 100,000 over 14 days than the Czech Republic. The figures for neighbouring Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia are considerably lower.
Czech authorities say most cases are younger and asymptomatic patients, but the risk of community spread to older and more vulnerable people is a threat.
The country has also been criticised by the WHO for mulling the scaling back of testing and tracing contacts of positive cases, although details of any such moves have not yet been announced.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 12:38

Parkrun return 'unaffected' by England virus rule change

England's tightening of coronavirus restrictions will not affect the weekly mass participation event Parkrun, organisers have confirmed.
Parkruns were suspended worldwide in March because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
They are now set to resume in England by the end of October.
A Parkrun spokesperson said: "As a sporting event operating under a government accepted Covid framework, we are unaffected."
Read more about Parkrun’s return here

Ryanair boss calls UK travel quarantine 'defective'

Coronavirus - 9th September C7eff410

The UK's travel quarantine policy is a "shambles of mismanagement", Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has said.
In an interview with the BBC, Mr O'Leary said the UK and Irish Governments "stand indicted".
He said the UK quarantine was "lumpy and defective" and that the UK needed to use testing at airports to help the safe return of international travel.
Boris Johnson says travel quarantines are "vital" in the fight against coronavirus as tests can be unreliable.
The policy requires travellers to high-risk countries to isolate for two weeks on their return to the UK.
Read more here .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 12:42

Deaths of Venezuelan health workers on the rise

There has been a steep rise in deaths of Venezuelan health workers from Covid-19, the NGO Doctors United for Venezuela has warned.
The group said that nine deaths of health workers had been reported on Tuesday bringing the total to 143.
According to official government figures, Venezuela has more than 55,000 confirmed cases and 444 Covid-related deaths, much lower than its neighbours Colombia and Brazil, which have almost 680,000 and 4.1m cases respectively.
However, health workers have claimed that the real figures are much higher and that a lack of testing is to blame for the low official numbers.
Doctors United for Venezuela called on government spokespeople "to adjust their figures to reality".

The government's warning system is flashing red

Laura Kuenssberg - Political editor
Expect to see the prime minister back at the lectern later urging the population to take care.
It won't mark the beginning of another national lockdown. Nor will it be the start of a new draconian regime.
But do expect to hear the prime minister emphasising the need for the public to follow the existing rules - being careful about social contact with people, isolating if ill, and (what seemed in the early days almost quaint advice in the face of a distant threat), to wash your hands.
And there will be a reduction in the numbers of people who are allowed to gather in groups indoors and outdoors in England from 30 down to six.
The reason for what may seem like a change of tone from the PM? Simple, the government is worried.
In the last four or five days there has been a significant rise in the number of coronavirus cases. It's not a gradual gentle drift upwards, but a sharp and obvious spike. The rate of positive tests is going up particularly among the 17-21s, but noticeable too among people in their 40s.
Read more from Laura here

Cricket club outbreak linked to stag party

Coronavirus - 9th September 2f670910

A coronavirus outbreak at a cricket club has been linked to a stag party, after travellers failed to quarantine after visiting Prague.
Barlaston Cricket Club was forced to cancel Sunday's match after two members tested positive for Covid-19.
Staffordshire County Council heard instead of self-isolating after the trip, the individuals "decided to have a game of cricket".
The club said no more cases have arisen as a result of matches or events.
Read more here.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 12:50

What are the rules and guidance in other parts of the UK?

We've already mentioned the new rules coming in for England this morning - that social gatherings of more than six people - indoors and outdoors - will be illegal from Monday. But what are the rules in other parts of the UK?
If you are meeting outside, the number of people who can gather varies:

  • In Scotland, [url=https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/pages/seeing-friends-and-family/#Meeting others outdoors]up to 15 people from five different households[/url]
  • can meet outdoors
  • In Wales, up to 30 people
  • are allowed to see each other outdoors
  • In Northern Ireland, the maximum number of people who can meet outdoors has been reduced from 30 to 15

There are also different rules for meetings indoors - at your home, or a venue like a pub:


UK's PMQs coming up

As we've mentioned, the UK prime minister is due to give more details on England's coronavirus rules later - but first he faces MPs at Prime Minister's Questions at 12:00 BST.
There may be questions on England's restrictions but he could also be quizzed about the nation's travel quarantine country list - which changed again this week to include seven Greek islands.
Meanwhile, concern has continued over the ending of the UK government's furlough scheme in October. Labour has previously called for the extension of the programme, as have leading business groups .
However, the prime minister has refused to extend the scheme, saying it would only keep people "in suspended animation".

Bosnia schoolteachers build outdoor classroom

Coronavirus - 9th September 77379a10

Teachers at a school in Bosnia have begun classes in an open-air classroom they built together over the summer, Reuters news agency reports.
It had long been an idea to have an open-air classroom outside the school in Kacuni, but Bosnia's coronavirus outbreak accelerated the project - with help from donators and volunteers.
The new space is laid out in an amphitheatre formation, and will be used when weather allows. There are plans for it to host school plays as well.
Coronavirus - 9th September 40325910

Mirza Begovic, a language teacher at the school, told Reuters that it "offers a breath of fresh air both for teachers and students."
Like others in Bosnia, the school has split classes into smaller groups to help student maintain social distancing. Some children will attend classes while others will learn remotely from home on a rotational bases.
Since the start of its outbreak, Bosnia has reported 21,961 cases of coronavirus and 669 virus-related deaths.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 14:27

159 more positive cases in Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon is speaking at the Scottish government's daily briefing at the same time as PMQs and we're keeping an eye on what's happening there (as is our Scottish team's live page ).
Sturgeon has just confirmed a further 159 people have tested positive for Covid-19 - 1.9% of those who were tested yesterday.
The first minister highlights the positive rate is now consistently around 2%, compared with 1% a few weeks ago.
This takes the total number of positive cases in Scotland to 21,878.
Ms Sturgeon highlights that the average daily case number of the last seven days is 155.
Three weeks ago, this number was 52 - so there has been roughly a trebling of daily cases in this time.
A total of 274 patients are in hospital with a confirmed case (up by seven), with six being treated in intensive care (no change).
No deaths of people who tested positive were registered over the past 24 hours, meaning the total remains at 2,499.
This is lower than the 4,231 deaths confirmed by National Records of Scotland earlier because that figure includes all cases where Covid-19 is mentioned on a death certificate, even if the patient had not been tested.

13:35

Speaker: Health secretary's 'total disregard' for Commons

PMQs may be over but there is one more bit of drama in the House of Commons.
Sir Desmond Swayne - a Tory MP known for criticising lockdown restrictions - complains that the latest measure to reduce the number who can gather was not announced in the Commons, meaning MPs couldn't question the minister.
He asks the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle: "What remedy is there for those who enthusiastically support the prime minister but nevertheless want to restrain the government's ability to govern by order without debate?"
Hoyle says he is "very sympathetic" with the point, and that decisions made by government are having to be made fast.
But, he says, it is "really not good enough", revealing he has sent a letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock on the matter.
Raising his voice, the Speaker adds: "I think the total disregard for this chamber is not acceptable."
And he calls on the PM to ensure it doesn't happen again - and to get his colleague to apologise to MPs.

Doncaster Racecourse told to stop spectators attending

Doncaster Racecourse has been told by local health officials to stop spectators attending its St Leger meeting after Wednesday's opening day.
"On the grounds of public health and public safety I have instructed the course to hold the St Leger Festival behind closed doors from tomorrow," said Dr Rupert Suckling, director of Public Health for Doncaster.
More than 2,500 spectators are expected at Doncaster on Wednesday, as the Leger meeting starts amid uncertainty over new government rules.
It is the first crowd at a British horse racing fixture in six months as part of a government pilot scheme for sporting events.
But the government said on Tuesday night that social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal in England from Monday - with some exemptions - amid a steep rise in coronavirus cases.
Read the full story here.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 14:31

Face masks in Czech Republic and other global stories

If you’re just joining us, welcome to our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. The focus is on demand for coronavirus tests and the return of some restrictions on social gatherings in the UK from next week. Here are some of the main developments from elsewhere in the world:

  • The Czech government has announced that face masks will be mandatory everywhere indoors from Thursday, after a record 1,164 new cases were reported on Tuesday.
  • The Netherlands, meanwhile, has recorded its biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections since April, with 1,140 cases in the past 24 hours.
  • The rise in infections mirrors a trend happening across Europe, with France and Spain also seeing stark increases of 6,544 and 3,168 respectively on Tuesday.
  • Countries cannot start “cutting corners” in the race to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus, a World Health Organization (WHO) scientist has said. There are fears that vaccine developers are moving too fast, and in doing so, compromising safety.
  • Western experts have raised concerns about the safety of a fast-track vaccine developed by Russia, named Sputnik V. Russia’s health minister said the third phase of clinical trials for that vaccine will begin on Wednesday.
  • Millions of children’s lives are being put at risk by disruptions to health services caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations has warned.
  • Globally, there have now been more than 27.6m cases of the virus and more than 898,000 deaths, according to the toll kept by Johns Hopkins University


The latest UK headlines

... And here's what you need to know if you're just catching up with the latest coronavirus news in the UK:
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 14:33

Russian vaccine to be delivered to Venezuela

President Nicolás Maduro has announced that Russia's locally licensed coronavirus vaccine will be delivered to Venezuela this month for clinical trials.
In a televised address on Tuesday, the president said “other vaccines” would also arrive in October, although he did not specify which ones.
Reuters news agency also reports that Russia will sell 32m doses of its 'Sputnik-V' inoculation to Mexico.
Sputnik-V has been licensed for use in Russia after two months of small-scale human tests. Experts say the trials were too small to prove effectiveness and safety.
Nearly 180 vaccine candidates are being tested around the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN body has said none of the candidates have so far demonstrated a "clear signal" of efficacy at the level of at least 50% sought by the WHO.

Police Federation calls for public information campaign over England rules

With the news today that social gatherings over six people will be illegal in England from Monday, the Police Federation of England and Wales says the announcement was "no surprise" given the increase in coronavirus cases.
Chairman John Apter says the government needs to "play its part" and an "effective public information campaign must be a priority".
"There's been so much confusion for the public and many people don’t know exactly what the law says," Apter says.
"We would urge the public to do the right thing and comply with the new rules, to help protect each other and prevent the further spread of this deadly virus."
The Police Federation of England and Wales represents 120,000 rank and file officers.
What powers do the police have when it comes to coronavirus restrictions? Find out more here .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 20:13

America remains at the epicentre of pandemic

Amid rising cases globally, the US remains the hardest-hit by the pandemic.
More than 6.3 million infections have been confirmed in the country, and nearly 190,000 virus-related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The midwestern states of Iowa and North and South Dakota have emerged as the latest hotspots after a spike in new cases. The surge is being attributed to the reopening of colleges, and an annual motorcycle rally held in South Dakota last month.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has forecasted that the national death toll will reach between 200,000 and 211,000 by 26 September. By the end of the year, this could climb to 410,000, according to another forecast by the University of Washington.

15:30

UK PM to give coronavirus briefing

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be leading a press briefing on coronavirus in the next 30 minutes, and we will be bringing you all the updates here.
In the meantime, let's look at the headlines from around the UK:


Ex-Italian PM says he’s fighting ‘hellish disease’

Coronavirus - 9th September C3328810
Silvio Berlusconi said he has a "very bad" case of the virus

The former Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, has spoken of his condition for the first time since he tested positive for the coronavirus last week.
The 83-year-old media tycoon was admitted to San Raffaele hospital in Milan on Thursday and was later diagnosed with pneumonia.
As he recovers in hospital, Berlusconi said on Tuesday he was fighting to overcome “this hellish disease”.
“It [the virus] is very bad,” Berlusconi said in a phone call with supporters of his Forza Italia party, according to the Corriere della Sera newspaper .
Berlusconi said that, of the thousands of coronavirus patients treated by doctors at the hospital, he was among the worst cases they had seen.
“I'm giving it my all and I really hope to make it and be able to get back on track,” Berlusconi said.
On Tuesday, the doctor treating Berlusconi for a lung infection said his condition has shown a “favourable evolution”.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 20:19

17:20

Round-up: UK PM's coronavirus briefing


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just finished his press conference on coronavirus.
So, what did he and his scientific advisers, Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance, say?

  • Cases have risen sharply in recent weeks, especially among 17- to 21-year-olds
  • The rise is not limited to a few local areas but has been seen across the country
  • The PM said it was "time to act" and introduced new measures in England from Monday, including "the rule of six" to limit the number of people who can gather together
  • There will be exemptions, such as for weddings and funerals, as well as in gyms and restaurants, but fines will be introduced for all those who break the rules
  • Hospitality venues will be legally required to collect contact details from customers, or face fines
  • Johnson also confirmed the government was working on a "moonshot" mass testing plan for tests that can give results in less than 20 minutes
  • There will be a pilot on entertainment venues in Salford next month so people who test negative on the door can go and see shows
  • He hopes to roll this out nationally, but we will need to wait for the results.

Read more here .

Analysis: PM sends message to students starting university

Hannah Richardson
BBC News education and social affairs reporter
During his press conference, Boris Johnson made a direct appeal to students to observe the new rules when their terms start.
He said opening universities was critical for the life chances of young people.
But he acknowledged students were in the age bracket with the highest rate of infections at the moment.
He also appealed to universities not to send students home in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak.
This was so the virus is not spread unnecessarily around the country, he said.
Johnson said: “My message to student is simple - please, for the sake of your education and your parents’ and your grandparents’ health: wash you hands, cover your face, make space, and don’t socially gather in groups of more than six, now and when term starts.”
He also confirmed the Department for Education was due to publish guidance on how universities could re-open safely shortly.

Eight more deaths in UK

A further eight people have died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number to 41,594. Overall, daily deaths in the UK remain low.
But the number of confirmed cases is rising. The latest official figures show that as of 09:00 BST, there had been a further 2,659 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus - bringing the total to 355,219.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 20:22

Vaccine trial pause 'not necessarily bad news'

Philippa Roxby - Health reporter, BBC News
During the press conference, Sir Patrick Vallance said progress on a vaccine which protects people against the virus is going well.
More than 200 vaccines are being developed around the world and a small number are already in final phase-three trials.
It is inevitable that some people taking part in these trials may have side effects, which need to be investigated. Clinical trials are paused all the time. The trial of a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University was paused on Tuesday .
But this isn't necessarily bad news.
The safety of a potential vaccine is paramount. The more time that's taken to research its effects in different groups of people of different ages, the more effective the vaccine will be in the long run.
Vallance also appealed for people to volunteer to take part in clinical trials if they were eligible.

Countries ‘can’t cut corners on vaccine’, WHO says

Countries cannot start “cutting corners” in the race to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus, the chief scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
A vaccine is considered vital in building widespread immunity to the coronavirus, which would allow restrictions on life to be lifted.
But there are fears that vaccine developers worldwide are moving too fast, and in doing so, compromising the safety and efficiency of the product.
"Just because we talk about speed and scale doesn't mean we start compromising or cutting corners on what would normally be assessed," the WHO's Dr Soumya Swaminathan said on Wednesday.
"The process still has to follow through rules of the game. For drugs and vaccines which are given to people, you have to test their safety, first and foremost," she said.
Dr Swaminathan issued the plea after the trial of a leading candidate for a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University was paused due to concerns over side effects. AstraZeneca described it as a "routine" pause.
Western experts have also raised concerns about the safety of Russia's fast-track vaccine, which entered its third phase of trials on Wednesday.

Your questions answered

Following a rise in coronavirus cases, the government has announced that social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal in England from Monday.
But there are exemptions - in workplaces and schools, for example.
So where will the new rules apply? Will places of worship be exempt? Can a children's party still happen?
We answer your questions here.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 20:27

Trump wanted to downplay 'deadly' virus, Woodward book says

Coronavirus - 9th September Aeb62610
Early in the pandemic, President Trump played down the seriousness of Covid-19

US President Donald Trump was aware in February that the coronavirus was “deadly stuff”, but wanted to publicly downplay the threat of the disease, a new book by American journalist Bob Woodward has revealed.
Trump discussed the seriousness of the disease with Woodward in a series of interviews between December 2019 and July 2020.
On Wednesday several US media outlets, including CNN , published excerpts of the interviews, due to be featured in Woodward’s upcoming book Rage.
In one interview on 7 February, Trump admitted the virus was dangerous, airborne, highly contagious and “more deadly than even your strenuous flus”.
“This is deadly stuff,” Trump told Woodward of the coronavirus.
At the time, Trump was casting doubt on the threat posed by the disease, insisting it would disappear soon and was no worse than seasonal flu.
On 19 March, as the US coronavirus crisis began and the White House declared it a national emergency, the president told Woodward: "I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."
Trump is yet to comment on Woodward’s book.

Canadian PM warns of ‘massive second wave’

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Justin Trudeau urged people to be vigilant

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned against complacency after a spike in coronavirus infections as children returned to school.
"Canadians need to continue to be vigilant," Trudeau said at a media briefing in Toronto. "The last thing that anyone wants is to have to once again shut down our economies and spend our lives to try and counter a massive second wave."
A further 1,606 new infections of coronavirus were confirmed in Canada on Tuesday, bringing the country’s overall tally to 133,748.
Health authorities said the coronavirus reproduction number, which shows how many people someone with Covid-19 is infecting, has risen to just above one, an indication that the virus is spreading.
Up to now, new coronavirus infections have been relatively stable in Canada, hovering at or below the 1,000 cases-a-day mark since the end of May.
The rise in cases comes as schools across the country started to reopen after a nearly five-month forced shutdown.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 20:33

Trump 'has never lied on Covid', White House says

Coronavirus - 9th September D80e9810
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said President Trump wanted to "express calm"

As we reported earlier, a new book has shed light on what US President Donald Trump knew about the coronavirus , and how dangerous it was, as early as February.
A short time ago, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded to questions about the book. In it, Trump was quoted as saying he wanted to play down the virus to avoid causing panic.
McEnany told reporters that Trump's only motivation in downplaying the dangers had been to reassure the public.
"It's important to express confidence, it's important to express calm," she said. "The president has never lied to the American public on Covid."

App tells workers if they are not social distancing

Coronavirus - 9th September 42692b10

A social-distancing app that alerts someone when a colleague is too close is being used by Network Rail, which looks after Britain's railways.
Mind The Gap uses audio and Bluetooth signals to detect if users are in close proximity to one another.
It has been piloted at Network Rail, whose staff now use the app widely, and it's being rolled out to other companies.
The technology uses inaudible ultra-high frequency sounds and Bluetooth to calculate the distance between phones, so it does not require an active internet connection to work.
Although many contact-tracing apps have found it hard to accurately detect distances with Bluetooth , Hack Partners, which designed the app, says the combination of the technology with audio measuring, gives an accuracy of between 6-8cm.
Find out more here .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 9th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 09 2020, 20:36

The latest UK headlines

We're about to wrap up for the day. Here's what you need to know about coronavirus in the UK today if you're just catching up:

  • PM Boris Johnson set out a new "rule of six" in England , restricting gatherings to a maximum of six people, enforced by police able to issue fines or make arrests. He said "we must act" to avoid another lockdown as virus cases rise.
  • He also outlined a "moonshot" plan to control the virus with mass testing, possibly by next spring.
  • The UK reported another 2,659 coronavirus cases, the fourth day running of over 2,000 reported cases.
  • Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said increasing numbers of people in England are seeking tests when they don't have any Covid-19 symptoms - which he called an "inappropriate" use of the system.
  • Doncaster Racecourse has been told by local health officials to stop spectators attending its St Leger meeting after Wednesday's opening day "on the grounds of public health and public safety".
  • Northern Ireland's health minister Robin Swann has said he will recommend the executive tightens restrictions to stop the spread of Covid-19 when ministers meet on Thursday.
  • A health data expert has warned Merthyr Tydfil could be the next area to see a local lockdown in Wales, where a further 165 people have tested positive .
  • Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon did not rule out following England in reducing the number of people who can meet at the same time, as official figures suggest the number of people who died in Scotland at the height of the coronavirus outbreak was a third higher than usual .


The latest world headlines

And here is an overview of some of the biggest coronavirus-related stories from around the world:

  • US President Donald Trump knew Covid-19 was deadlier than the flu before it hit the US but wanted to play down the crisis, a new book by American journalist Bob Woodward has said
  • Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned of a “massive second wave” of coronavirus infections if people are not mindful of the disease
  • Countries cannot start “cutting corners” in the race to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus, the chief scientist of the World Health Organization has said
  • Russia has entered the last phase of trials for its fast-track coronavirus vaccine, which has been viewed with scepticism by some western experts
  • The former prime minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, said he was fighting to overcome “this hellish disease” after being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 last week
  • The Czech government has announced that face masks will be mandatory indoors from Thursday, after the country saw a record spike in new cases
  • France has recorded 8,577 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the second-biggest daily rise it has seen so far
  • The United Nations has warned that millions of children’s lives are being put at risk by disruptions to health services during the pandemic
  • Globally, there have now been more than 27.6 million cases of the virus and almost 900,000 deaths, data collated by Johns Hopkins University says


Thanks for tuning in

That's all from us for today. Thanks for joining our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
We'll be back tomorrow with more updates from the UK and around the world.

Wednesday's live page was brought to you by Hazel Shearing, Joshua Nevett, Jennifer Scott, Sarah Collerton, Claudia Allen, Emma Harrison, Joshua Cheetham, Vanessa Buschschluter and Katie Wright.

    Current date/time is Tue Sep 29 2020, 18:45