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Coronavirus - 16th September

Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 11:21

Summary for Wednesday, 16th September

  • UK PM Boris Johnson has also defended the testing system, saying there has been a "colossal spike" in demand for tests
  • Johnson tells MPs that a second national lockdown "would be disastrous for UK economy"
  • There are ongoing reports of people struggling to get tests and results being delayed around the UK
  • The UK government will announce plans to prioritise the NHS and care homes for testing in the next few days
  • India passes 5m coronavirus cases amid a spike in infections as the government continues to lift restrictions
  • The virus appears to be spreading much faster in India than any other country, with more than 90,000 new cases a day
  • US President Donald Trump has denied that he downplayed the seriousness of Covid-19, despite admitting in a recorded interview having done that
  • Trump repeated his claims that a vaccine could be ready "within weeks" despite scepticism from US health experts


A very warm welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. We'll be bringing you updates on the latest developments around the world and in the UK.
More than 29 million cases have been confirmed worldwide and more than 934,000 deaths have been linked to the virus, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University in the US.
Here are the headlines from around the globe today:

  • Melbourne’s 14-day daily case average has fallen to below 50. According to the Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews, there are less than 1,000 active infections in the state
  • US President Donald Trump has denied downplaying the serious of the virus , despite admitting in a recorded interview that he had done just that
  • Mr Trump also claimed during a televised event on Tuesday that a vaccine could be three or four weeks away, despite caution from public health officials in the US about the accelerated timeline
  • India has surpassed 5m cases, the second highest in the world after the US. More than 80,000 people have died
  • The Netherlands recorded a record 1,379 cases on Tuesday. The previous daily record, back in April, was 1,335


What's happening in the UK?

Here's what you need to know in the UK this morning:

  • The UK's inflation rate fell sharply to 0.2% in August from 1% in July as the effect of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme pushed down restaurant prices , figures show
  • Ministers are to publish details in the coming days of plans to prioritise coronavirus tests, with NHS staff and patients and those in care homes set to be at the top of the list
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury has encouraged ministers not to direct coronavirus efforts purely from Westminster, allowing local authorities to have a greater role in fighting the pandemic
  • The Unite union has called on the government to say it will extend its furlough scheme or face "redundancy floodgates" opening in the UK
  • With young people bearing the brunt of rising unemployment, BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat has spoken to some young people about losing their jobs during lockdown
  • And a protective device to help ear, nose and throat doctors reduce their exposure to coronavirus is to be provided free to the NHS


India surpasses five million cases

The number of confirmed cases in India has surpassed five million, according to officials.
India has the second highest number of cases in the world after the US.
More than 80,000 people have died.
The death rate is lower than in many countries with a high caseload.
India’s rise in infections comes as the government continues to lift restrictions to try and boost the economy.
Gyms are the latest to reopen, while schools, colleges and cinema halls remain shut.
Read more here .

Melbourne records 14-day average case total of less than 50

Coronavirus - 16th September 542ef710
Melbourne was placed under a second lockdown in July after a steep rise in cases

The Australian city of Melbourne has recorded a 14-day case average total of less than 50. That's for its entire population of nearly 5m.
The current total means the city has met the benchmark set by authorities to begin a phased reopening. However this figure will need to stay under 50 on 28 September for the easing to be given the go-ahead.
Melbourne was placed under lockdown for a second time in July after a steep rise in cases.
If the average daily case total remains under 50, construction sites, manufacturing plants, warehouses and childcare facilities will be able to reopen.
However a curfew will remain in place and people will only be allowed to move in a 5km (3 mile) radius around their home.
Victoria state, where Melbourne is located, currently has less than 1,000 active cases. The state has recorded 737 deaths since the pandemic began.

Restrictions on Irish cabinet lifted after health minister tests negative

Restrictions on the Irish cabinet have now been lifted after Health Minister Stephen Donnelly tested negative for the virus.
He reported feeling unwell on Tuesday and other members of the Irish cabinet were told to restrict their movements.
Initially it was announced that the cabinet would need to self-isolate and the Dáil (Irish parliament) would be adjourned indefinitely.
However the Dáil resumed business on Tuesday evening.
Read more here .

What is the current situation in Latin America?

Coronavirus cases have risen sharply in Latin America although there are signs that the numbers may be beginning to stabilise in some countries.
With more than 4m cases, Brazil has the third highest tally of confirmed cases in the world after India and the US.
Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Peru have also had major outbreaks and are in the top 10 countries with the most confirmed cases.
So how big is the pandemic currently in Latin America?
Read more from our fact check team on the latest figures

UK government working 'night and day' to improve testing

BBC Breakfast
UK ministers are working "night and day" to improve and increase testing capacity and turn around, the country's justice secretary has said.
Robert Buckland told BBC Breakfast testing laboratories were dealing with a "huge demand", but insisted the government was "opening more labs across the country".
"We know where the pressure points are," he said.
Buckland added that there was a "big determination" within government to improve the testing system and "minimise disruption for people and families".
He said the UK's health secretary, Matt Hancock, would set out details for prioritising testing in the coming days.
"NHS workers have to be at the top of the list, and then the social care sector," he said.
"And bearing in mind the importance of education and schools, I think schools and the welfare of staff and children is also very important."
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 11:31

Entire UK population should be 'tested on regular basis'

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
The UK government must structure a process "where everyone in the entire population is confident they're going to be tested on a regular basis", the country's former health secretary has said.
Jeremy Hunt told BBC Radio 4's Today programme this was "the only way we're going to stop this mass panic to get a test", amid widespread problems with UK's testing system.
He said if ministers "roughly quadrupled" the current aim for 500,000 tests per day by the end of October, "you would be able to test everyone in the population once a month".
Hunt added that this could be achieved with "existing technologies".

Testing must increase 'dramatically' to cope with winter demand

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
Testing capacity in the UK must increase "dramatically" to half a million people per day to cope with demand during winter, a leading scientist has said.
Professor Andrew Hayward, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Health Secretary Matt Hancock's analysis that it could take weeks to sort the current delays with the system was "concerning".
The director of University College London's Institute of Epidemiology & Health continued: "We would expect the demand and the capacity to need to rise quite rapidly over the autumn and winter as the number of people who develop symptoms that could be Covid increase.
"Some of our research has shown that at least in the winter, you would expect about half a million people a day to develop symptoms that are typical of Covid - and that would be in a winter when there was no Covid - so you can see that the capacity requirements will have to increase dramatically if we are going to keep up."
Asked whether capacity could serve such a demand, he said it was possible "from a laboratory perspective".
But he said making sure people can be tested close to home was "one of the more challenging bits".

Keeping UK schools open 'unsustainable' without testing - union

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
Keeping schools open in the UK will become "unsustainable" if issues with testing capacity in the country are not fixed, a union leader has warned.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), told the Today programme headteachers were being forced to decide that the "bubble has to stay at home" if a pupil or teacher in a year group had shown Covid-19 symptoms and could not get a test to prove they were negative.
He said: "This will feel I think like lockdown by default - it will be more frustrating for parents because you can't predict whether it is going to happen.
"And similarly from the headteacher's point of view, if my Year 4 teacher today shows symptoms, will he or she be in school tomorrow, will they be here for the next 14 days?
"As soon as you start to get that with six, seven, eight teachers, it becomes unsustainable to be able to run things."
Barton said teachers should be given testing priority to keep schools open, adding: "Teachers need to be counted as key workers in order that you can at least keep that maths teacher in front of 30 young people if their test is negative."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 11:36

France closes 81 schools after cases reported

Coronavirus - 16th September 69007610
Classes are shut down as soon as there are three cases, the education minister said

A total of 81 schools have closed in France after students tested positive for the virus, up from 28 schools early last week.
Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said a further 2,100 individual classes have also been called off.
Classes are shut down “as soon as there are three cases,” he told LCI television.
“We have around 1,200 new covid cases among students compared with last week,” he added.
There has been an increase in coronavirus cases in France since August.
The University of Rennes suspended classes this week for second and third year medical students after 83 tested positive.
On Saturday, more than 10,000 cases were confirmed in the country. Restrictions have already been tightened in Bordeaux and Marseille after a surge in cases.

From salon to sewer worker in coronavirus Kenya

Coronavirus - 16th September D68fcb10
Sharon Sakase used to work in a beauty salon

To help some of the hundreds of thousands of Kenyans who have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, the government is paying some of them to brave open sewers to clean up their neighbourhoods.
Dressed in neon vests, masks and gumboots, they stand ankle-deep in a stinking, grey stream which runs between the corrugated iron shacks of Kibera, the largest informal settlement in the capital, Nairobi.
They scoop plastic bottles, broken shoes, dirty nappies and human faeces from the open sewer, using their metal spades and rakes.
"It's disgusting work," says 33-year-old Abdul Aziz, who is worried that he might get a water-borne disease like cholera because of the insanitary working conditions.
"However, this is better than staying at home, while being hungry and jobless," the father of two children, who lost his job as a private driver at the beginning of the crisis, said.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 11:41

First international operator to resume Wuhan flights

Stephen McDonell - BBC News, China correspondent
South Korea’s budget carrier T’way Air is the first international operator to resume flights into and out of Wuhan.
The once-a-week round-trip connecting Seoul with the Chinese city which had the world’s first coronavirus cluster is being seen as highly symbolic.
In January the airline suspended its Wuhan flights as the coronavirus spread.
However, the city of 11 million people – where more than 80% of China’s deaths from the virus have occurred – has for months now not had any new local transmissions.
As the health crisis stabilises, life is gradually returning to the way it was, enabling direct international connections to resume.

Czech Republic records 1,677 new cases

Rob Cameron - BBC Prague Correspondent
Tuesday marks a fresh record with 1,677 cases in the Czech Republic.
Hospitalisation, intensive care and deaths are also on a sharp upward trajectory, and heading towards the numbers seen in March and April.
Experts expect numbers will continue to rise for the next 2-3 weeks before new measures introduced last week begin to have an effect.
New guidelines are also now in force on who should go into quarantine; asymptomatic people who have come into contact with someone positive will no longer need to self-isolate or take a test if both people are wearing face masks throughout the time of contact.
Cyprus has become the latest country to restrict travel to and from the Czech Republic; tourist travel is now banned. The Netherlands, meanwhile, is strongly advising people have a Covid test on their return from visiting the Czech capital.

'Plan Christmas with rule of six in mind' - UK justice secretary

The UK's justice secretary has said the government does not want to "cancel Christmas", but stressed it is important for people to plan their celebrations with the "rule of six" in mind.
Robert Buckland was responding to comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who says the rule is "damaging" and "impacts on family life".
The cabinet minister told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I don't think any of us in Government want to be Oliver Cromwell-esque about this - we want to see families celebrate Christmas in a safe and happy way and we want to see our churches and indeed our other places of worship joining in that celebration."
Buckland added: "We are not going to cancel Christmas but the 'rule of six' is something that is clear and important and I do think we've committed to that and we need to stick to it."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 11:45

UK PM must 'take charge' of testing to keep schools open - unions

We reported earlier that the Association of School and College leaders (ASCL) is warning keeping schools open in the UK will be "unsustainable" without fixing issues with testing.
Now two more organisations representing headteachers and governors have joined them to call on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to "take charge" of delays in obtaining coronavirus tests - to ensure schools remain open.
The ASCL, school leaders' union NAHT and the National Governance Association have written to the PM to express concern about difficulties with the testing system.
The letter warns of a "deep sense of foreboding about the potential for the system to become ever-more riddled with delays as more cases emerge".
"This would be increasingly disruptive to children's education and make staffing unsustainable," it adds.
The ASCL said it has received 264 emails on the test and trace system from schools and colleges which said they had symptomatic staff and/or pupils who were struggling to access tests.

European Commission head announces covid economy plans

Coronavirus - 16th September A3871510
Ursula von der Leyen warned 'vaccine nationalism' threatened lives

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced plans to help the European economy recover from the pandemic.
Speaking on Wednesday, she warned “vaccine nationalism” threatened lives and urged members to cooperate and build a stronger health union.
Early on in the pandemic, countries refused to share protective medical kit with the worst affected nations and closed their borders without consultation in order to curb the spread of the virus.
Nations also argued for months over a plan to rescue economies hit hard by the virus before eventually agreeing on a stimulus plan in July.
Addressing the European Parliament, Mrs Von der Leyen said “this is the moment" for Europe to trust each other and stand together.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 11:51

Snake 'not valid face covering'

Coronavirus - 16th September B94c3c10
One passenger thought the snake was a "funky mask" before she saw it move

Transport bosses in Greater Manchester have confirmed that a snake is not a valid face covering after a man boarded a bus with a live reptilian mask wrapped around his neck and face.
A passenger said she thought the man wearing a "funky mask" until she spotted it slithering.
The eyewitness, who asked to remain anonymous, said she found the incident "really funny", adding the animal did not seem to be bothering any of her fellow passengers.
A Transport for Greater Manchester spokesperson said that while there was a small degree of interpretation that can be applied to the rules concerning face coverings on public transport, "we do not believe it extends to the use of snakeskin - especially when still attached to the snake."
Read more here.

Boris Johnson to face Labour's deputy leader in PMQs

Coronavirus - 16th September 507f3810
Angela Rayner will stand in for Sir Keir Starmer

Boris Johnson will face a grilling from UK MPs in the House of Commons later at Prime Minister's Questions, amid the ongoing problems with the coronavirus testing system.
But he will not face the leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer, who remains in self-isolation awaiting a coronavirus test result for a member of his family.
Johnson will instead go head-to-head with deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner at midday.
It comes one week after Johnson announced his "Operation Moonshot" plan for mass coronavirus testing of millions of people.
Here's what you need to know ahead of PMQs:
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 11:54

'Redundancy floodgates will open' - union

The Unite union has called on the UK government to say it will extend its furlough scheme or face "redundancy floodgates" opening .
Many workers can expect a "miserable Christmas" without targeted support for employers, the union warned.
The government's furloughing programme is due to end on 31 October, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said it will not be extended .
A Treasury spokesperson said the government had "not hesitated to act in creative and effective ways to support jobs and we will continue to do so".
Wednesday marks 45 days before the end of the furloughing scheme , which is the same amount of time employers must give for notice of redundancy.
The Unite union said without "a clear and urgent sign" from the government that it is responding to calls to extend the scheme, it fears that "employers facing short-term struggles will issue redundancy notices".

British Airways fighting for survival, says boss

The boss of UK airline British Airways has defended the firm's decision to cut up to 12,000 jobs, telling MPs the business is fighting for survival.
Alex Cruz said the coronavirus pandemic had devastated the business and people are still afraid of travelling.
He also told MPs on the Transport Select Committee that the airline industry was "fundamentally different" because of the crisis.
Cruz said all the data showed that this was "not a temporary effect" and he said there was a "negative structural impact" to BA.
"This is something that is not just going to go away," he said.
He went on to tell MPs that the airline was facing "a very uncertain future" and that it was "focused on its survival right now".
"People need to get flying again," he said.
On the issue of coronavirus testing at airports as a way of reducing quarantine requirements, Cruz said: "It is incredibly important that we reach a testing regime of some sort as quickly as possible, so that we can reduce that quarantine time to the minimum possible."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 12:01

Myanmar builds field hospital as cases rise

Coronavirus - 16th September C0368e10
A hospital is being built in Yangon as cases rise

Authorities in Myanmar are building a field hospital in Yangon after the country recorded its highest number of cases since the pandemic began.
Yangon has seen a sharp rise in cases in recent weeks. Last week, the government banned travel out of Yangon and grounded all domestic flights. The measures will be in place until 1 October.
On Tuesday, Myanmar recorded a record 307 new cases and a further 134 on Wednesday. A total of 3,636 cases have been reported in the country and 39 deaths.
The new hospital, built on a football pitch, will be able to accommodate 500 beds.
Kaung Myat Soe, chief of the new temporary hospital, told Reuters news agency: “We have no more space to accommodate a huge outbreak. The situation will get worse if we can’t accept patients, that’s why we are building the shelters urgently.”

In-house testing system designed for UK university

Liam Barnes - BBC News
The University of Nottingham in England's Midlands is designing its own testing system for coronavirus to find any cases among staff and students where no symptoms are shown.
The Asymptomatic Testing Service is "designed to be complementary to the national testing strategy", the university says, and any positive cases will be confirmed with official government tests linked to NHS Test and Trace.
It comes after two successful pilot schemes were run by the institution over the last six months, with the university also working with local NHS trusts and other bodies to stop the spread of the virus on campus.
As well as the Asymptomatic Testing Service, two walk-in test centres will be based at the university's Jubilee and University Park campuses, and support packages will be made available to self-isolating students.
:Left Quotes: Currently, Covid-19 testing focuses on people who exhibit symptoms. However, we know that significant numbers of infected people, especially the young, are asymptomatic yet can potentially spread virus to others. The type of surveillance and enhanced testing that we are about to embark upon will reduce potential spread and help keep our university and the wider community safe."
Professors Jonathan Ball and Chris Denning
University of Nottingham
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 12:03

UK's Labour leader Keir Starmer out of isolation

Coronavirus - 16th September 8c9fb210

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said he is "pleased and relieved" that a coronavirus test result for one of his children came back negative.
In a tweet, he said: "I'm very pleased and relieved that the test result for one of my children came back negative this morning.
"Thank you to the NHS hospital where my wife works for ensuring that their staff and family members have quick access to a test.
"However, I know the situation is desperate at the moment for thousands of families across the country who are struggling to get a test.
"They deserve answers and for this problem to be fixed."
The Labour leader is out of self-isolation, but it is understood he will not question Boris Johnson at Prime Minister's Questions at midday, with his deputy Angela Rayner taking his place as planned.
PMQs is due to begin shortly and we will bring you the latest virus-related news from it. You can also follow PMQs blow-by-blow on our politics team's live page .
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 15:49

.Coronavirus - 16th September Breaki15

Second county in Wales to go into lockdown

A second county in Wales will go into lockdown because of the rate of coronavirus cases.
People living in Rhondda Cynon Taff will have restrictions imposed on their daily lives.
From 18:00 BST on Thursday, people will not be able to enter or leave the area without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education.

Teachers 'should get priority access to tests'

Unions and school leaders in the UK are urging the government to ensure teachers are given priority access to coronavirus tests, warning schools would be forced to at least partially close unless testing became more available.
Keeping schools open will become "unsustainable", said Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).
As a surge in demand for tests continues to cause delays, Barton said headteachers were being forced to make difficult decisions over whether to keep an entire class at home if a pupil or teacher in a year group had shown Covid-19 symptoms and could not get a test.
"This will feel I think like lockdown by default," he told Radio 4's Today programme.
"Teachers need to be counted as key workers in order that you can at least keep that maths teacher in front of 30 young people if their test is negative."
School leaders' union NAHT and the National Governance Association have also called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to "take charge" of testing delays amid fears of the "increasingly disruptive" impact it might have on children's education.
The ASCL said it has received 264 emails from schools and colleges which said they had symptomatic staff and/or pupils who were struggling to access tests.
The government has committed to prioritise NHS workers, patients and care home residents for tests - but, so far, not teachers.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told MPs on Wednesday he had emphasised the importance of prioritising schools to Baroness Harding, head of the UK testing system.
He said they had this morning opened a schools ordering system to access tests directly from the NHS.

UK hospital plea as people turn up for Covid tests

More than 100 people turned up at the accident and emergency department (A&E) at a hospital in Bolton in north-west England asking for Covid-19 tests, sparking a plea from the hospital to only show up "if you need urgent medical attention".
Bolton NHS Trust said dozens of people went to Royal Bolton Hospital because they could not get into test centres.
Chairwoman Prof Donna Hall said it showed a "lack of a cohesive strategy" in the government's "failing" approach.
Bolton has the highest infection rate in England with 196 cases per 100,000 people recorded on Saturday.
"We've now got 30 people who are Covid-positive and we've got five people in our high-dependency unit, so this virus is not going away," said Hall.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said the NHS Test and Trace system was "working".
He added that anyone with an appointment would not be turned away from test centres, and new booking slots and home testing kits were being made available daily.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 15:53

Latest headlines from around globe

Here are some of the latest headlines from around the world today:

  • US President Donald Trump has denied that he downplayed the seriousness of Covid-19 despite admitting in an interview that he had
  • The pandemic is likely to cost world football some $14bn (£10bn). Olli Rehn, a senior FIFA official said disruptions to championships, empty stadiums and loss of television income has hit the industry hard
  • Myanmar is building a field hospital in Yangon after a rise in cases there. The new hospital, built on a football pitch, will be able to accommodate 500 beds
  • The Czech Republic has reported a record 1,677 cases in a day. Hospital intakes, intensive care and deaths are on a sharp upward trajectory and heading towards the numbers seen in March and April
  • Madrid’s local government said it was considering imposing lockdown measures in neighbourhoods with the biggest rise in cases
  • India has passed 5million cases amid a spike in infections as the government continues to lift restrictions


Scotland records 267 new Covid cases

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier confirmed the total of number of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours is 267.
That represents 3.6% of people newly tested and this takes the total number of positive cases in Scotland to 23,283.
A further one person who tested positive has died in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 2,501 deaths in Scotland by that measure.
"We are unfortunately very clear that cases right now are rising," Sturgeon said at the daily briefing.

What’s the average journey to a Covid-19 test centre?

Reality Check
For now, we're still digesting some of the issues that were raised with the PM.
Boris Johnson said that "just in the last week the average distance that people have had to go for a test has come down from 6 or 7 miles to 5 miles".
It is a variation of the same statistic Cabinet members have used in the Commons or in media appearances over the past week.
So, are they right?
Unfortunately, we can’t say for sure, because the government hasn’t released the data to the public, despite repeated requests for it.
The Department of Health and Social Care says it plans to release it "soon".
However, it has given a limited amount of information about how they got to it.
The number refers to "as the crow flies", so it doesn’t take into account that most roads are not a straight line between someone’s house and the testing site. This means the average distance will be higher.
We also don’t have data for the number of people who’ve searched online for a test slot, been told to travel to a different part of the country and decided not to take the slot. And we don’t know how many people tried and failed to get a test either.
You can read more here on claims made by the government on testing
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 16:00

New Japan PM says Covid is biggest challenge facing country

Coronavirus - 16th September 55129f10
Mr Suga has vowed to increase testing capacity

Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the biggest challenge currently facing the country is the spread of coronavirus.
Mr Suga took over from Shinzo Abe who resigned last month citing health reasons.
Speaking in his first news conference as prime minister, Mr Suga said there was a need to balance tackling the virus with economic revival.
He has vowed to increase testing capacity and to secure a vaccine when it becomes available.

Mass testing begins in Chinese city

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
Free testing has begun in the city of Ruili in China’s southwestern Yunnan province, after two people from Myanmar tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday.
The city, which has a population of around 210,000 , says that it has tested 60,000 residents since the campaign began in the last 24 hours.
The official People’s Daily says that currently, eight people are being treated across the province with symptoms, and five without. However, these figures also include international arrivals from flights.
On Sunday, there was major concern in the border city, after a 32-year-old Burmese woman and her 16-year-old nanny tested positive. They travelled with three children and another nanny on 3 September to stay at the first woman’s sister’s residence.
Global Times said on Tuesday that the women entered “illegally” and would be “held legally responsible”. It added that “those who helped and housed them” would also be punished.
All business operations and public transport has been halted in the city, and mask-wearing has been made mandatory in public places.
Many on Chinese social media have noted that the timing is bad for the city’s businesses to lock down, as in two weeks, the annual mid-autumn festival/golden week annual holiday (1-8 October) will begin, one of the most important times for the tourism industry.

Another 199 cases of coronavirus in Wales

Another 199 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Wales, taking the total to 19,880.
On Wednesday, no new deaths were reported, with the figure remaining at 1,597.
Public Health Wales figures show that 52 new cases were confirmed in Rhondda Cynon Taf, where the Welsh government has announced a local lockdown will begin tomorrow night.
In Caerphilly county borough, where restrictions are already in place, 36 new cases were confirmed.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 16:03

Covid marshals 'unlikely' in England, councils say

The widespread introduction of Covid marshals to towns and cities in England is "unlikely" and "almost impossible", some local authorities have said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested the marshals would enforce rules about social distancing , gathering in groups and wearing masks.
But a lack of detail has been criticised by council and health officials, amid unanswered questions about funding, recruitment and the marshals' power to enforce the law.
A Cheshire East spokesman said any new responsibilities would "have to be fully funded by Whitehall", while Southend's public safety councillor, Martin Terry, said: "We can't do things out of thin air. The government has to put money on the table."
The Local Government Association said: "Even if marshals were rolled out in great numbers, they will not have enforcement powers so it is important that residents do not expect councils to be able to act when they cannot."
Read more.

What has the pandemic cost world football?

Coronavirus - 16th September E44a1b10

Disruptions to tournaments and empty stadiums have had an effect on football associations around the world - and now a cost has been put on it by the world football governing body FIFA.
It says the pandemic is likely to cost world football some $14bn (£10bn) - about a third of its estimated value.
Senior FIFA official Olli Rehn said clubs and member associations in Europe have had the biggest hit in absolute terms but associations in South America have suffered the most.
Rehn warned that the pandemic would also have an impact next year as well.
FIFA has set up a $1.5bn relief fund to help member associations with grants and interest free loans.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 16:06

Pubs 'a factor' in latest county lockdown in Wales

We brought you news earlier that another Welsh county is going into lockdown - Rhondda Cynon Taff (RCT). We have more detail about what it will involve for the county's 240,000 residents.
From 18:00 BST on Thursday, they will not be able to enter or leave the area without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education.
All licensed pubs, bars and restaurants will have to shut at 23:00 every day, once the lockdown comes into effect; rules allowing people to meet others from their extended households indoors will be suspended.
Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said there had been a "rapid" rise in cases in the region, with 82.1 infections per 100,000 people over the past seven days.
Rhondda Labour MP Chris Bryant said he had been "warning this would be necessary".
"Now we need to stick to the rules and get the transmission rate down to protect the NHS and the most vulnerable," he said.
It follows a similar lockdown in Caerphilly, brought in last week.
Gething said pubs were a "factor in transmission" in RCT, citing "evidence of non-compliance in many licensed premises across the borough".
More than 50 licensed premises in RCT were visited by council officers over the weekend, with a number of bars and pubs closed, he said.
A review into the new lockdown will be held in two weeks' time.
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Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 16:09

Jerusalem's Great Synagogue to remain closed during Rosh Hashanah

Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue will not open during the upcoming Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah, due to the pandemic.
The synagogue closed in March during Israel's first lockdown. It is the first time it has been closed for the New Year holy days since worship began there in 1958, according to the Jerusalem Post.
“We will all pray for a better year, and if God wills, we will pray in the Great Synagogue soon ‘in a multitude of people with the King’s glory,’ healthy and whole,” the synagogue said.
It comes as Israel is preparing for a second lockdown due to a recent spike in infections. The restrictions begin on Friday afternoon and are to remain in place for three weeks over the holidays of Yom Kippur and Sukkot.
Israel has recorded more than 164,000 cases and 1,147 deaths.
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Israel is preparing to enter a second lockdown amid a rise in cases
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 18:02

Analysis: Why a second national lockdown is unlikely

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
A second national lockdown is extremely unlikely for two reasons.
Firstly, it is hugely damaging - to the economy, to education and to wider health, for reasons other than Covid-19.
You only need to look at the latest figures for falling cancer referrals, the hours spent out of school and the rising unemployment to see the cost of the UK’s spring lockdown.
Secondly, the government and its medical advisers have a much better grasp of the virus.
Current rates and hospitalisations remain much lower than they were in the spring and, despite the problems with testing, there is strong data on exactly where the virus is and how quickly it is spreading.
Even if things get worse, officials are quite confident the NHS will cope.
But that does not mean there won’t be further restrictions.
The ban of gatherings of more than six people could be just the first step.
There is also talk of curfews - forcing hospitality venues to close at 10pm.
This tactic was used in Belgium to curb the rise in cases and has been deployed to tackle the outbreak in Bolton.
At this stage, it is unlikely this will be used nationally.
Instead, expect it to be an option for virus hotspots - along with banning visits to other people’s houses, which has been used in the North West and West Yorkshire.
Shielding could, though, be reintroduced across the country at some point, along with bans on visits to care homes - in an attempt to protect the most vulnerable groups.

Nearly 4,000 new coronavirus cases in the UK

There have been nearly 4,000 new cases of coronavirus in the UK in the past 24 hours.
The number of people who tested positive rose by 3,991, taking the total number of cases in the UK to 378,219.
In addition, there has been a further 20 coronavirus deaths of people who died within 28 days of positive test.

Is low testing hiding scale of the outbreak in South Asia?

So why is India reporting such an alarming rise in cases when its neighbours have much smaller figures?
Its population of 1.3 billion dwarfs that of other countries in the rgion but with its overall infection numbers much higher, could low testing in South Asia be hiding the true scale of the outbreak there?
Our reality check team have taken a look.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 18:11

Every African nation seeks help from Fifa's Covid fund

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Every single country in Africa has applied to Fifa to access a grant through the world governing body's Covid-19 Relief Plan.
"Fifty-four African member associations have applied for grants," a Fifa spokesperson told BBC Sport Africa.
Formally approved in July, the Fifa fund is making $1.5bn (£1.1bn) available to its 211 member associations and six confederations.
On Wednesday, Fifa announced that it believes the coronavirus pandemic has cost the global football economy an estimated $14bn.
Fifa has revealed that over 150 countries have already applied for the grant scheme, meaning Africa represents around a third of the countries to have made such a request.
Read more on the BBC Sport Africa website

Giant facemasks handed out to Greece's schoolchildren

Face masks for all students and teachers was a laudable aim by Greece's interior ministry, but it has turned into a oversized embarrassment after hundreds of thousands arrived in the wrong size.
A breakdown in communication over sizing meant that the first batch of face masks delivered for the start of school this week were, in the words of politicians, the size of "small parachutes".
Greek social media has been flooded with photos of children sporting the giant facemasks.
The General Secretariat for Public Health has since admitted that the dimensions given had in fact referred to the size before the fabric was made into a mask.
G Stathopoulos, whose company made 500,000 of the oversized masks, told local media they had noticed the masks were too big before delivery: “We also commented on the size. In fact, samples were given from all suppliers. We were not asked to create, but to produce masks to specific dimensions."
Fortunately, it seems only the first batch was affected, and new measurements are being sent to the manufacturers for future orders.
Tweet Nina Reizi:
:Left Quotes:  So schools reopened today in #Greece . First there was a heated debate when the gvmt rejected the provision of free face coverings for all students, then it backtracked and agreed to it and then this happened -kids were given face coverings fit for the Easter Island heads:
Coronavirus - 16th September Eh4mwz10
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 18:45

'Booking a test is like getting Harry Potter tickets'

Demand for coronavirus tests has surged since pupils returned to school in the UK, with many staff and students unable to tell a winter bug from the pandemic virus.
School leaders estimate that around 740 schools in England have sent home some pupils, whether it's a bubble, a year group or multiple year groups.
Teachers say they have spent days trying to book tests for themselves, or immediate family; ploughed the web in the small hours; or ended up driving across the country to get hold of a test.
"It's highly reliant on the user being persistent and just refreshing, refreshing, refreshing - like you're trying to book Harry Potter tickets," said William Lau, a computer science teacher, in north London.
Nicole, a teacher of children with special needs in Sheffield, was close to tears on learning she must self-isolate while waiting for test results for her two children.
"Vulnerable children are being hung out to dry. I just think my report card is 'could hugely do better'," she said of the government's testing system.
Read more .

NYC mayor and team to be furloughed for a week

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New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced he and nearly 500 of his staff will be furloughed without pay for a week at some point in the next six months.
He said the move would only save around $1m (£750,000) but would highlight the need for further savings.
The city has lost $9bn in revenue since the coronavirus pandemic started, and has led to a $7bn cut in its annual budget, he said.
“It was not a decision I made lightly,” he told reporters.
“To have to do this is painful for them and their families, but it is the right thing to do at this moment in history.”
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 16th September

Post by Kitkat on Wed Sep 16 2020, 22:19

Boris Johnson faces Angela Rayner at PMQs



A look back at today's main developments

We're pausing the live page for now, but we'll be back on Thursday morning.
We leave you with some of today's key coronavirus stories from the UK and around the globe.



Today's live page was brought to you by:






Sarah Collerton, Victoria Lindrea, Flora Drury, Penny Spiller, Claudia Allen, Ella Willis and Sophie Williams.

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