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Coronavirus - 14th September

Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 11:13

Summary for Monday, 14th September

  • A record one-day rise in the number of new coronavirus cases around the world has been recorded
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) says 307,930 confirmed infections were reported over 24 hours
  • Israel has become the first country to announce it will reimpose a second nationwide lockdown later this week
  • Restrictions banning social gatherings of more than six people have come into effect in England and Scotland
  • New Zealand's PM Jacinda Ardern says restrictions will be lifted across the country on 21 September - except for Auckland
  • Thousands of health workers took part in a protest in Brussels, urging the government to invest in the healthcare system
  • President Trump held his first fully indoor rally in months in Nevada, despite officials warning that it violated Covid restrictions


Good morning - if you are joining us in the UK - and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
We will bring you the latest updates from the UK and around the world throughout the day.
Here is a recap of the latest key developments worldwide:

  • In parts of the UK, new rules come into force today banning social gatherings of more than six people. In England, the "rule of six" applies both indoors and outdoors and includes children of all ages - but the rules vary in Scotland and Wales
  • On Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a record daily increase in cases, with 307,930 reported over a 24-hour period
  • The same day, US President Donald Trump held his first indoor rally in nearly three months - despite warnings that the gathering could violate Covid restrictions - as coronavirus deaths in the country approach 200,000
  • Israel has announced a second lockdown starting this Friday, after recording 4,000 new infections. But the three-week restrictions will coincide with the Jewish New Year and one Ultra-Orthodox minister has resigned in protest
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand will lift coronavirus measures across the country from 21 September – although restrictions will remain in place in Auckland, which has recorded a spike in cases
  • In Italy – the first country to be seriously struck by the pandemic in Europe – children are returning to school for the first time in six months


Record number of daily global cases

The number of daily infections worldwide reached a new record on Sunday, with 307,930 new confirmed infections, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
More than 5,500 new deaths were also recorded, bringing the global total to 917,417.
The biggest increases in infections were reported in three countries, with 94,372 in India, 45,523 in the US and 43,718 in Brazil.
The news comes as a WHO official has warned that Europe is likely to see a rise in the number of daily deaths in October and November.
"It's going to get tougher... in October, November, we are going to see more mortality," WHO Europe director Hans Kluge told the AFP news agency today.
The number of cases has been rising in a number of European countries in recent weeks, with Spain and France experiencing the largest spikes

What are the new rules on socialising in parts of the UK?

New rules for England, Wales and Scotland have come into force this morning, banning people from meeting socially in groups larger than six - in response to recent rises in Covid-19 cases.
The restriction, known as the "rule of six", applies both indoors and outside in England and Scotland. But it only affects indoor gatherings in Wales.
And in Wales and Scotland the restriction does not include children under 11 and 12 respectively.
In Northern Ireland no rule change has been announced - up to six people from two households can meet indoors in private homes and up to 15 people can meet outdoors.
The new measures will mean groups larger than six can be broken up by police and they can be fined.
Find out more: What are the new rules?
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NHS tells GPs they must offer patients face-to-face appointments

Half of the 102 million GP appointments from March to July were by video or phone call, NHS Digital says.
Now NHS England is writing to all practices to ensure patients know doctors can be seen in person if necessary.
It says research suggests nearly two thirds of the public were happy to have a phone or video call with their doctor - but that, ahead of winter, they wanted to make sure people knew they could see their GP if needed.
Meanwhile, the Royal College of GPs says any implication doctors had not been doing their job properly was "an insult".
Prof Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, says: "The college does not want to see general practice become a totally, or even mostly, remote service post-pandemic.
"However, we are still in the middle of a pandemic. We need to consider infection control and limit footfall in GP surgeries - all in line with NHS England's current guidance."
Read more here .

Israel announces new nationwide lockdown

Israelis are now preparing for their second lockdown since the pandemic began, but the decision is proving to be controversial.
Cases in the country, which has a population of just nine million, have risen to around 4,000 per day, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The new measures come into effect on Friday and will last for three weeks.
One minister has resigned over the new lockdown, which will overlap with key Jewish festivals.

Trump's indoor rally angers local officials

As the November presidential election approaches, US President Donald Trump has held his first indoor campaign rally in three months.
But the event angered local officials, who said the size of the crowd violated state rules banning gatherings of more than 50 people.
Participants at the rally in Henderson, Nevada, were seated close together and most did not appear to be wearing face masks. A number of media outlets, including CNN, did not send their crews for safety reasons.
The president's last major indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June caused controversy, with a number of staffers testing positive for coronavirus just hours before the event began.
The US has confirmed almost 200,000 Covid-19 deaths since the pandemic began, the highest figure in the world.

First-time 'rule of six' offenders 'should be encouraged to comply'

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
First-time offenders found to have breached the "rule of six" restrictions - brought in in England today - should not be fined, a policing minister says.
Kit Malthouse says those who have gathered in groups of seven or more, from different households, should first be encouraged to comply by police.
Fines are £100 for a first offence, doubling on each further offence up to £3,200.
Malthouse says concerned neighbours should ring the non-emergency police phone number to report violations.
Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs' Council, says he accepted that rule changes were "confusing for the public", telling BBC Breakfast it had been "challenging" for police.
"We are part of the group that are trying to explain to members of the public what the rules are and encouraging people to comply with them," he says.
Find out more: What are the new rules?

Australian health official under police protection

Queensland's chief health officer, Jeannette Young, says she's been placed under police protection after receiving death threats.
Young said today she felt "safer" with the guard.
There has been growing anger over Queensland's decision to close its borders with neighbouring Australian states in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Last week, four Australian children desperate to travel from Sydney, New South Wales, to Brisbane to see their dying father were told the family must pay A$16,000 (£9,000) in hotel quarantine fees to see him.
"We are in the midst of a global pandemic and we need to protect our communities, especially the most vulnerable members," Queensland Health said in response.
Read more about that story here .

Beijing's back and forth lockdown

Much of China has returned to a more normal pace of life after authorities began easing coronavirus lockdowns in late spring. But, as many cities have found out, the relaxed measures can be short-lived.
In June, Beijing experienced a sudden surge of cases linked to a wholesale market, leading authorities to immediately quarantine close contacts, lockdown nearby areas, and mass test residents.
So how are residents in the Chinese capital coping with the new "normal"?

Public 'should take responsibility over rule of six' - police

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
More from Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs' Council, who says that if police are called to a violation of England’s "rule of six" on social gatherings, officers will speak to the group in the first instance.
"We will then encourage people to comply," he says.
"Only in circumstances when people refuse to comply we will fine."
There is a fine of £100 for a first offence, doubling on each further offence up to £3,200.
Hewitt says he is "not encouraging anybody to shop their neighbours", but if people are deliberately breaking the law "we would expect members of the public to take responsibility to report that".
But former Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption says the new regulations are "unenforceable", and are "only enforceable with an army of snoopers and informers and that is the kind of thing the police rightfully abhor".

Where are the UK's local lockdowns?

As of 11 September, parts of north-west England, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Leicester, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are under local lockdown.


You can find out which places in England , Scotland and Wales have imposed extra restrictions in our online coverage.

No return to school in Venezuela until at least 2021

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced on Sunday that schools wouldn't reopen until 2021 at the earliest.
"It's not helpful for the control of the pandemic," Maduro said about face-to-face classes, which had been due to resume this month.
He said teaching would be moved online and lessons would also be broadcast on a state TV channel.
But many parents have warned that with Venezuela's internet speed one of the slowest in Latin America, further interrupted by frequent power cuts, neither online nor TV classes are a viable alternative.
Critics of Maduro also say they fear lessons broadcast on state channels will be used by the socialist government to "indoctrinate" children.
Venezuela has more than 60,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus - a much lower figure than its neighbours Colombia and Brazil - but health workers say a lack of widespread testing means the real figure is likely to be much higher.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 11:23

The latest from Europe

If you're just joining us, welcome, and here are the latest coronavirus headlines from around Europe today:

  • Millions of children in Italy, Greece, Portugal and Romania are returning to school for the first time in months. "There will be difficulties and hardship, especially in the beginning," Italy's prime minister has said of the return
  • Strict measures will be in place - class sizes will be reduced, social distancing will be enforced and, in Italy, lessons will be held outdoors wherever possible. Read more about how schools are reopening here
  • Meanwhile, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will leave hospital today after he tested positive for the virus. The 83-year-old has been receiving treatment for the past 10 days
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has said Europe is likely to see a rise in Covid-19 cases over the next few months. "It's going to get tougher. In October, November, we are going to see more mortality," the body's Europe director Hans Kluge said
  • It comes as the WHO's 55 member states in Europe begin a two-day online meeting to discuss their response to the pandemic and a broader five-year strategy for tackling it
  • The number of cases in Europe has risen sharply in recent weeks, but daily deaths have remained at around the same level since early June


Health workers in Brussels protest over funding

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Thousands of medical staff took the streets of the Belgian capital, Brussels, on Sunday to call for greater funding for the health sector.
Around 4,000 people took part in the protests, which demanded an end to the "commodification of care" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We came here in Brussels to demonstrate and demand morerespect for our job and a pay rise," one nurse told Reuters news agency.
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Belgium, which is home to around 11.5 million people, has reported one of the highest death tolls compared to the size of its population worldwide.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 11:28

More dolphins seen around Hong Kong as ferry use plunges

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There are thought to be around 2,000 dolphins in the Pearl River estuary (file photo)

Coronavirus restrictions have led to a fall in transport use in countries across the world.
But the measures have been good news for some animals - including a rare species of dolphin.
The number of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (also known as Chinese white dolphins, or pink dolphins) spotted around Hong Kong has increased in recent months as ferry traffic has fallen, Reuters news agency reports.
"These waters, which were once one of the busiest thoroughfares in Hong Kong, have now become very quiet," Lindsay Porter, a marine scientist from the University of St Andrews, told Reuters.
She said dolphin numbers had risen by 30% since ferries between Hong Kong and Macau were suspended in March, adding that the animals appeared to have adapted quickly to the new situation.
Read more about the rare pink dolphins here .

Amazon announces 100,000 new US and Canada jobs

Amazon is one of the few companies to have expanded since the pandemic began, and now it has announced 100,000 new jobs in the US and Canada.
The retail giant has benefited from increased online spending and recently announced record profits.
The new positions, which include full and part-time jobs, come in addition to hundreds of thousands of jobs already announced this year.
The company says it is still evaluating whether it will employ more workers ahead of the Christmas rush.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 11:36

'No risk' at Wetherspoons pubs as 66 staff test positive

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Pub chain JD Wetherspoon says 66 of its workers have tested positive for coronavirus, but maintains that visiting UK pubs is safe.
The company, which employs more than 41,000 people, says the vast majority of its pubs had recorded no positive tests for the virus.
Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin has dismissed claims by disease expert Prof Hugh Pennington that pubs are "dangerous".
"The situation with regard to pubs has been widely misunderstood," he says.
Since reopening on 4 July, Wetherspoons says some 32 million people have visited its 861 open pubs.
Read more here .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 12:00

Sweden removes UK travel restrictions

Sweden has lifted its advice against non-essential travel to the UK.
The change was announced on Monday and comes into immediate effect. Just days ago, the UK removed Sweden from its quarantine list.
In a statement, Sweden said it had lifted most of its travel warnings for European countries, although warnings remained in place for countries including Ireland, Finland and Malta.
The decision comes despite a rise in cases in the UK, with new daily infections remaining above 3,000 for the third day in a row on Sunday.
You can read more about UK travel quarantine lists and how they're decided here .

What's happening in the UK?

Here's a summary of the main coronavirus headlines in the UK this Monday morning:
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 12:02

Coronavirus - 14th September Breaki13

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer self-isolating

The UK's Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is self-isolating after a member of his household showed possible coronavirus symptoms.
His spokesman said: "This morning Keir Starmer was advised to self-isolate after a member of his household showed possible symptoms of the coronavirus.
"The member of his household has now had a test. In line with NHS guidelines, Keir will self-isolate while awaiting the results of the test and further advice from medical professionals."

A long road back to normality

James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
The new "rule of six" measures in England, Scotland, and Wales are a reminder that concerns over coronavirus – and the restrictions placed on our lives – are far from over.
Scientists say a rise in cases is not just confined to hotspots like Bolton, but is being witnessed up and down the country.
That cannot be tackled with just "local lockdowns", hence national rules for all of us, albeit with slightly different flavours among the UK's devolved nations.
And there may be more to come. It is anticipated that coronavirus will get harder to contain through winter.
A multitude of bugs – from flu to the common cold – find it easier to spread when it is cooler and we spend more time indoors.
But coronavirus cases are increasing now, in summer (which technically ends next week).
Levels are still far lower than when they peaked in March, the virus is spreading far more slowly than pre-lockdown and the actions being taken now are aimed at preventing another lockdown.
But the road to normality remains a long one.

Global coronavirus cases rising quickly

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Coronavirus is continuing to spread across the world, with nearly 30 million confirmed cases and a death toll close to one million.
Six months after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a pandemic, the virus is surging in many countries and some that had apparent success in suppressing initial outbreaks are also seeing infections rise again.
However, the number of confirmed cases during the spring peak is likely to be an underestimate of the true level of infection, as widespread testing was not available in many countries earlier in the year.
Read more here .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 16:32

Seven ways scammers will exploit consumers in the pandemic

Trading standards officers in the UK are warning that criminals are evolving their behaviour to rip off consumers as the coronavirus crisis develops.
Fake protective equipment is among the products touted by con-artists and National Trading Standards warned further exploitation was on the way.
One government minister described the scammers as "master opportunists", and urged people to report cases.
National Trading Standards has listed seven likely scams to watch out for in the coming weeks - find out more here .

'I would report anybody who broke the rules'

BBC Radio 5 Live
This morning on BBC Radio 5 Live's Your Call programme, Nicky Campbell asked whether listeners would report friends, family or neighbours if they broke the "rule of six " in England, Scotland and Wales.
Maria, a nurse, said she would. "I have seen first-hand the effects that this pandemic has had on people… so yes, I would report on someone.
"If it were to guarantee mine and my family's safety, then damn right, I would report anybody."
Lynn, from Sheffield, almost lost her father to coronavirus. "Having experienced that, I can only begin to imagine the agony of people that have actually lost loves ones to it," she explained.
However she said it would have to be something "really serious" for her to call the police.
"Say if it was a huge party and really blatantly breaking the rules. If it were just over the six I'd probably just have a word."
Tim is a serving police officer - he said engagement is the best way to deal with those breaking the rules.
"If a group of young people have turned up at the park, we will get calls for it... if they won't disperse then there's always the option of enforcement, but that's not going to be the first point."
Click here to listen back on BBC Sounds.

US woman 'faces heavy fine' over German resort outbreak

Coronavirus - 14th September D102a510
The Peaches cocktail bar in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, which officials believe is responsible for a number of infections

A US woman could face a heavy fine for allegedly infecting dozens of people in Germany after returning from a holiday abroad.
The 26-year-old woman, who has not been named, visited a number of pubs in the resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen while awaiting the results of a coronavirus test, according to local reports. It is not clear where she had travelled, although officials say she had not been to the US.
Thirty-seven new cases were recorded at the resort on Friday and Saturday alone, according to local authorities. They are now appealing for anyone who visited pubs in the area to contact health officials.
The interior minister of Bavaria told the Münchner Merkur newspaper: "Should it be confirmed that the woman ignored quarantine despite [displaying] clear coronavirus symptoms, she must expect a heavy fine."
Quarantine rulebreakers in Bavaria can face a fine of up to €2,000 (£1,845, $2,375).
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 16:39

London City Airport 'to cut a third of jobs'

London City Airport has announced it is cutting up to 239 jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
It means more than a third of all roles at the airport will go, as part of "crucial restructuring plans".
The airport was closed for nearly three months, from 25 March this year, as flights effectively shut down across the globe.
Chief executive Robert Sinclair announced the proposed job cuts "with huge regret".
"We...believe that the difficult decisions we are taking now will enable the airport to bounce back in a better shape when growth returns," Mr Sinclair said.

Israel's new lockdown: 'Not the kind of holiday we're used to'

Yolande Knell - BBC Middle East correspondent, Jerusalem
Israel's second national lockdown is due to last for three weeks – and it's estimated it will cost the economy just under $2bn (£1.5bn).
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he knew the measures would exact a heavy price on everyone. "This is not the kind of holiday we're used to," he said.
From Friday afternoon, the eve of the Rosh Hashanah holiday, Israelis must stay within 500 metres of their home address – but will be allowed to travel to work. There will be limits on numbers allowed to attend prayers in synagogues.
Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman, who leads an ultra-Orthodox Jewish party, criticised the government's response, saying the restrictions would stop people from celebrating their religious festivals including Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, which falls at the end of the month.
Cases in Israel have risen to 4,000 per day

Golden anniversary party nixed by rule of six

Monica Rimmer - BBC News
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A UK couple have spoken of their disappointment at not being able to hold a small family party for their 50th wedding anniversary.
Sue and Michael Hessian, both 72, were due to have their children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren to their home in Canley, Coventry on Saturday - but the rule of six laws mean they can't.
"This is a once only chance to celebrate 50 years of marriage with our family," Mrs Hessian said.
"We're not going to get another chance, we understand the reasons with the virus, but we don't get another chance."
Mrs Hessian had to spend 12 weeks shielding earlier on in the coronavrius pandemic.
"We want to be careful, we keep to all the guidelines, but it isn't going to happen again," she said. "We've been deprived of the opportunity, it's very disappointing."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 16:45

Antibody treatment to be trialled in UK

Rebecca Morelle - Science correspondent, BBC News
A new antibody treatment is to be trialled on Covid-19 patients in UK hospitals.
Monoclonal antibodies, which are potent, laboratory-made antibodies, will be given to about 2,000 people to see if they are effective against coronavirus.
It forms part of the UK Recovery Trial, which found that a cheap steroid called dexamethasone could save lives.
The first patients will be given the new drugs in the coming weeks.
Prof Martin Landray from the University of Oxford, who is co-leading the Recovery Trial, said: “This is the first type of treatment that's targeted for this specific virus.
“There are lots of good reasons for thinking it might well be effective - stopping the virus from reproducing, stopping the virus from causing damage, improving survival for patients."
Read more

Rule of six fines will not start immediately, No 10 suggests

Downing Street has suggested police will not immediately start imposing fines on people who break the "rule of six" restrictions.
In England, those who gather in groups of more than six people could face fines from £100 for a first offence, doubling on each further offence up to £3,200.
"What you would expect to happen is for the police to be out today encouraging people to follow the new rules [rather than fining them]," the prime minister's official spokesman said.
"But in the coming days, if we see people continuing to flout the new rules, it is right that people could face a fine."

China universities cut holiday time for students

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
There's a lot of frustration among university students in China, many of whom have been told that they will have their holiday time cut next month, during the annual Mid-Autumn Festival/Golden Week holiday (1-8 October).
China Daily notes that many students are being discouraged from leaving campus for non-essential travel "to prevent the spread of Covid-19". But it has now been 29 days since China saw any domestic cases in the country.
One university in the city of Zhengzhou, central Henan province, has halved students' Golden Week holiday time from eight days to four.
And students at the Hubei University in Wuhan – the city where the outbreak was first reported – are complaining that their holiday time has been reduced from eight days to one!
Golden Week is an important period of holiday time for Chinese people. Apart from Chinese New Year, it is the only extended period of time when the whole nation can enjoy an extended holiday.
During single-day national holidays, it is normally expected that students and workers make up the time at the weekend, so class/workplace schedules are adjusted accordingly.
However, given that Chinese New Year exacerbated the spread of Covid-19 in the country back in January, these measures signal that the authorities may still be nervous about citizens travelling en masse.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 16:52

UK scientist 'told off' for early lockdown plea

Secunder Kermani - BBC News
A chief scientific adviser to the UK government has claimed he was rebuked for arguing in favour of an earlier lockdown.
In an email uncovered by a BBC Freedom of Information request, Sir Patrick Vallance reveals he was given a "telling off" from other senior officials.
A full lockdown was not introduced until 23 March.
Some scientists argue lives could have been saved had a lockdown been introduced earlier. The government insists there was "no delay".
In a statement, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said government policy had been "guided by the advice of world-renowned scientists".
Read more here

French company develops biodegradable hemp masks

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Concern is growing over the impact of disposable protective equipment during the pandemic, with an estimated 194 billion single-use face masks and gloves used globally every month worldwide, according to one report.
But a company in France has come up with a unique solution to the issue of plastic waste and has started to produce face masks made of hemp.
Frédéric Roure, the founding president of Géochanvre, told Reuters news agency that the company's masks are completely compostable, while the elastic band is recyclable.
"Put the hemp in the ground [and] three months, six months later, there is nothing left. It is food for the earthworms," he said.
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Frédéric Roure said the hemp masks can decompose within six months

Around 1.5 million of the masks, which cost €1 (£0.92; $1.19) each, have been sold worldwide, according to the news agency.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 16:55

Why is six the magic number?

Philippa Roxby - Health reporter, BBC News
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Limiting people to meeting in groups of six or less is an attempt to stop households mixing and keep a lid on rising cases.
But is six a special number? Scientists say not. There is no obvious evidence for embracing six, other than to keep numbers down.
We know is there is a greater chance of the virus being spread around if people are meeting up in large groups as opposed to smaller ones.
We also know that children are at low risk from the virus and infections are less likely to happen outside in the fresh air.
But on these two points the rules have been interpreted differently across the UK, potentially causing confusion among the public.
There have been calls for clearer information to help people do the right thing.
How long the ‘rule of six’ is in place will depend on case numbers in the next few weeks, but also on how well testing and contact tracing systems are working.
Delays on getting hold of tests, receiving results and reaching contacts will have an impact on infections too.

What's the situation in the US?

New cases in the US are continuing to fall, and are down about 44% from a peak on 16 July, when more than 77,000 new cases were reported.
But despite the trend going down, the US has just reported one of the world's biggest one-day increases, along with India and Brazil.
And although new cases in many parts of the US are falling, Midwestern states are seeing a spike.
North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri and Iowa last week reported more recent cases per capita than all other states.
Until now, the Midwest has avoided a surge in coronavirus cases. At the start of the outbreak most cases were in north-eastern states, such as New York, while in the summer, southern states saw the most new cases.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 17:01

At least 25 Indian MPs 'test positive' for coronavirus

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media at the beginning of the monsoon session on Monday

At least 25 MPs have tested positive for coronavirus in India, local media outlets say, with some reporting the number may be as high as 30.
The testing took place before parliament returned to session on Monday for the first time since the outbreak in India began.
A number of other safety measures have also been put in place for the delayed start to the monsoon session of parliament - which normally takes place in July - with screens placed between MPs' seats.
India has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, with more than 4.8 million confirmed infections. The country recorded over 90,000 new daily cases on Sunday alone.
However, the proportion of positive cases compared to India's 1.3 billion population remains lower than many other countries.

India claims coronavirus success despite soaring infections

Reality Check
As the daily number of coronavirus cases continues to rise sharply in India , with just under 100,000 new infections a day, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has made the bold claim that rates in India are among the lowest in the world.
So can he be right, and what does he mean?
The minister said in parliament on Monday that rates of recorded cases and deaths "were one of the lowest in the world when compared to countries with similar situations" and that India had "successfully blunted the aggressive progression of Covid-19".
Looking at the overall numbers, the situation in India looks very bad. It has by far the highest number of recorded daily cases for any country in the world and the second highest number of total infections, after the United States.
That's a cumulative 4.8 million Covid-19 infections in India with nearly 80,000 deaths, the third highest in the world.
However, if we look at the health minister's claims of success not in absolute numbers but as a proportion of India's population of 1.3 billion, the figures do look rather different.
Measured in these terms, currently India's overall number of coronavirus cases per capita since the outbreak began stands at 3,511 per million, which is lower than the global average of 3,726. The US and Brazil have far higher per capita infection rates, at 19,697 and 20,372 respectively.
It's difficult to see, however, what the minister means by having "blunted the aggressive progression" of the pandemic given the increasing numbers of new infections recorded in the country.
Some experts believe that India's actual case numbers could be much higher with many cases possibly going undetected despite attempts to increase testing across the country.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 17:08

Public Health Wales publishes 18,000 test results by mistake

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The details of more than 18,000 people who tested positive for coronavirus were published online by mistake by Public Health Wales.
The health body said the data of 18,105 Welsh residents was online for 20 hours on 30 August and it was viewed 56 times before it was removed.
Most cases gave initials, date of birth, geographical area and sex, meaning the risk of identification was low, Public Health Wales said.
However 1,928 people in living in communal settings were more at risk as nursing home residents or those living in supported housing also had the name of their place of residence published.
The incident was the result of "individual human error" when the information was uploaded to a public server searchable by anyone using the site.
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Relief mixed with nerves in Italian schools

Dany Mitzman in Pianoro, near Bologna, writes:
After almost seven months at home, it's finally back to school for millions of Italian children today.
I grew up learning the three Rs, but today Italian children have to know the three Ms: Mascherina, Mani, Metro (mask, hands, metre).
There was the usual mix of first-day excitement and nerves. Ten-year-old Gabriele posed joyfully for a photo with his classmates in masks. His mother, an A&E doctor, was impressed to see them greeting each other with elbow bumps – not the usual bear hugs. "The parents were far less disciplined," she remarked.
My seven-year-old is relieved to return to proper lessons with teachers, instead of "full-time homework". But she is sad that coronavirus means "it's never going to be the same". She's worried about playtime - "what happens when it rains?" - and nervous about all the new rules. So are the parents.
Which entrance will they use? What if you have two kids at the school? Borrowing in class is banned and everything has to be name-labelled. Each individual pencil?!
Masks can only be removed once children are seated at their desks. At our school, washable masks aren't allowed: they must be surgical, changed daily, and for now provided by the parents.
Disappointingly, our class sizes haven't been reduced or classrooms extended. Pigeon holes have simply been removed to make room to space out the desks.
Despite our worries, my daughter is looking on the bright side: "At least nobody can nick my pencil sharpener."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 17:11

Israel confident play-off will go ahead

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Israel "do not expect a problem" fulfilling their European Championship play-off against Scotland despite a national lockdown being put in place.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced new restrictions from Friday for at least three weeks.
Scotland are due to host Israel at Hampden Park on 8 October.
An Israeli FA spokesman told BBC Scotland: "We do not expect a problem to fly in a chartered plane for an international game, as the Ministry of Culture and Sports will follow the same process as in the case before."
Read more here

2,621 new cases of coronavirus across the UK

There have been 2,621 new cases of coronavirus recorded across the UK.
It marks a fall of more than 600 cases on Sunday's figures, when 3,330 positive cases were recorded.
However weekend figures are often lower, due to delays in reporting.
A further nine deaths have been recorded since 09:00 on Sunday, bringing the total reported death toll across the UK to 41,628.
A death is anyone who dies within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 17:15

Where are cases rising?

As we reported earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said there has been a record single-day rise in the number of new coronavirus cases.
According to the WHO, 307,930 new cases were reported over the past 24 hours. The biggest increases were in India, the US and Brazil.
We've put together this chart showing where in the world cases are surging - and falling.
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Fewer than half of virus fines paid in England and Wales

Fewer than half of all coronavirus fines handed out in England and Wales since the end of March have been paid so far.
Of the 19,171 fines handed out by police for breaching coronavirus restrictions, just 8,930 were paid.
Figures published in the letter to the Justice Committee revealed 8,954 fixed penalty notices - 8,325 in England and 629 in Wales - have not been paid within the 28-day payment period, meaning prosecution may follow.
Another 1,287 unpaid fines are still pending.
Police were given powers to fine people for breaching coronavirus restrictions from 27 March, following the lockdown on 23 March.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 17:36

angry  annoyed  Evil or Very Mad 

Opposition slams UK government over hunting exemption

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Labour has accused the government of trying to "exempt the bloodsport passions of their big donors" from new coronavirus restrictions, after it emerged that so-called 'rule of six' limits would not apply to hunting.
Government guidelines exempt activities shooting and paintball, as part of a wider exemption for sport that can be done with more than five others.
Other activities which are excluded from the "rule of six" regulations include team sports such as football, hockey and netball.
But shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard said: "Across the country, people are struggling to get Covid-19 tests anywhere near their homes.
"But the Conservatives are distracted with trying to exempt the bloodsport passions of their big donors from coronavirus regulations.
"It shows where this Government's priorities really lie."

Covid surge strains hospitals in Marseille

Officials in Marseille say the city is facing a spike in coronavirus cases, and that hospitals are close to running out of space to treat people with the virus.
All but four of Marseille's intensive care beds are in use, they say, and plans have been made to reallocate resources from other areas to deal with the increase in patients.
The authorities have also imposed a number of new restrictions - including making it mandatory to wear masks outdoors in the worst-hit areas, and banning groups of more than 10 from meeting in beaches and parks.
Cases have been surging across France. This weekend, the country reported a single-day increase of more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 18:45

A closer look at where cases are rising - and falling

We reported earlier a record single-day rise in the number of new cases of the virus, with the biggest increases were in India, the US and Brazil.
But where else have cases been surging? Which countries are experiencing a second wave? And what about the US, which remains the country with both the highest number of cases and deaths?
In the US, overall, the daily number of new cases is continuing to fall:
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 18:49

UK virus deaths remain low as case numbers climb

As we told you earlier, there were a further 2,621 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK today - after three consecutive days with more than 3,000 positive tests.
It means the seven-day average for daily infections now stands at 3,004.
The marked rise in infections over the past week is in keeping with many other countries in Europe, notably Spain and France.
Nine more deaths - within 28 days of a positive test - were reported by the UK government on Monday.
Deaths remain low - compared to figures at the height of the lockdown in April and May - despite the current spike in infections.
On average, there were 12 deaths a day over the past seven days.

School closed and year group isolating after Covid case

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A secondary school in the UK has been closed and an entire year group asked to self-isolate, due to one confirmed case of coronavirus.
In a letter to parents , Stantonbury International School, in Milton Keynes, said all of Year Eight had been "in close contact" with the person.
It said those pupils and "a number of teachers" would have to self-isolate for 14 days.
The state-funded academy has about 1,600 pupils; all pupils, except Year Eight, were expected to return by Wednesday.
Head teacher Alison Ramsay thanked parents for their "understanding at this difficult time".
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 19:44

UAE approves vaccine for healthcare workers

Sameer Hashmi - Middle East Business Correspondent, BBC News
The United Arab Emirates government has approved the use of a Covid-19 vaccine for frontline healthcare workers following successful clinical trials.
The country’s health minister said the vaccine could be utilised in "cases of emergency" involving the country's healthcare staff.
He said the decision came after the phase three trial showed no adverse effects and that the vaccine was able to create antibodies.
He added that 31,000 volunteers, representing 125 nationalities, had participated in the clinical trials.
China-based Sinopharm CNG has developed the vaccine and has been conducting the phase three clinical trial along with the Abu Dhabi government and UAE-based artificial intelligence firm, G42 Healthcare.

Wales 'weeks away' from possible second lockdown

There could be a second national lockdown in Wales if people fail "to reconsider the choices we're making", the health minister has warned.
Vaughan Gething warned the pattern of increasing cases was "similar to the situation we faced in early February" - and that national lockdown remained an option.
The number of new coronavirus cases in Wales increased by 183 on Monday - the largest rise in daily cases since 19 May, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 19,573.
It comes as the government in Wales introduces mandatory face masks in all indoor public spaces and restricts more than six people from an extended household from meeting inside.
"If there isn't a change in behaviour, we could well be not just seven weeks away from a national lockdown, it could potentially be much quicker," Mr Gething said.

Healthcare workers protest in Morocco

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Faced with a surging coronavirus outbreak and poor working conditions, medical staff from across Morocco have been staging protests over the past few weeks.
The country reported a record 2,430 cases last Friday, and has seen more than 1,000 new cases every day since July. Meanwhile, medical unions say some intensive care units are overrun and other wards are full.
Morocco's Health Ministry has tried to raise capacity by setting up field hospitals - tents with beds and oxygen - but some medics say the main problem is staff shortages, particularly in rural areas.
Anas Qarim, a nurse working at a Covid-19 hospital in Meknes, told Reuters news agency that they had just three nurses and two doctors to treat 120 patients.
"Imagine wearing full protective gear in the summer heat working continuously for hours," he said.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 19:57

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to have no spectators

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Macy's department store is making its famous Thanksgiving Day Parade a television-only special presentation, with no in-person spectators, the company said in a joint statement with the City of New York.
Instead of going around the traditional 2.5-mile route, this year the parade will be staged solely around the Herald Square area of Midtown Manhattan.
The first parade was staged in 1924, and has been a major fixture on the US festive calendar ever since.
In recent years, more than 3.5m people have lined the streets each year to watch the parade in person.

South African undertakers go on strike

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About 3,000 undertakers in South Africa have gone on strike over pay and working conditions.
As part of the strike they're refusing to collect bodies from people's homes and hospitals, and are also not holding burials.
Their union wants the government to set up a coronavirus relief fund for the industry. Undertakers have struggled with the increasing cost of burials during the pandemic, because of the need for personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitiser and other extra protective items.
But officials say they're worried the strike will cause a significant risk to public health.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 14th September

Post by Kitkat on Mon Sep 14 2020, 20:00

That's all for now

That's all from us until tomorrow. Here are some of the key news stories so far today.

  • Restrictions banning social gathering of more than six people, indoors and outdoors, have come into effect in England and Scotland as cases continue to climb
  • The leader of the UK opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, is in isolation after a household member showed symptoms
  • In Marseille - France's second city - officials say they are running out of hospital beds for patients
  • The UAE has approved an emergency vaccine for healthcare workers after successful trials
  • A new antibody treatment is to be trialled on Covid-19 patients in UK hospitals. The laboratory-made antibodies will be given to about 2,000 people to see if they are effective against coronavirus
  • At least 25 MPs have tested positive for coronavirus in India, local media outlets say, with some reporting the number may be as high as 30.


The news was brought to you by Ashitha Nagesh, Emma Harrison, Victoria Bisset and Victoria Lindrea. It was edited by Mal Siret and Owen Amos.

    Current date/time is Tue Sep 29 2020, 18:16