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Coronavirus - 17th September

Kitkat
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 11:54

Summary for Thursday, 17th September


  • US President Donald Trump contradicts the head of the main health agency over vaccines and masks
  • Mr Trump says a vaccine would be available "immediately" - and not as late as mid-2021
  • He also denied Centers for Disease Control director Dr Robert Redfield's suggestion that masks could be more important than a vaccine
  • Almost two million people in north-east England are expected to face restrictions as cases rise
  • New Zealand is in recession for the first time in 11 years
  • There have been nearly 30m confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the world, as well as more than 939,000 deaths


Hello and thank you for joining our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. The main headlines on Thursday are:

  • President Donald Trump has said there will be an effective vaccine available for mass distribution in the US in a matter of weeks - contradicting one of his top health officials. The president's rival in November's election, Joe Biden, says that Trump's promises can't be trusted
  • New restrictions are expected to be introduced in England's north-east region where coronavirus cases have been sharply increasing
  • South Africa's president has said he will start to lift the majority of the country's restrictions, which were some of the strictest in the world, claiming that they have "withstood the coronavirus storm"
  • New Zealand is seeing a recession for the first time in eleven years as its strict lockdown measures hit the economy. It shrank 12% in the last quarter
  • And India has reported another record jump in cases, its health ministry reported. It added another 97,894 cases in the last 24 hours to its tally of 5.1 million infections, the second-highest in the world
  • Overall, there have been nearly 30m confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the world, as well as more than 939,000 deaths


Restrictions expected for north-east England

Local restrictions are expected to be announced in the north-east of England , where coronavirus cases have been rising.
Nearly two million people in Newcastle, South Tyneside, Sunderland, Northumberland and County Durham are set to be affected by the move.
The measures could include pubs closing at 22:00, people being told not to mix with other households, and public transport only being used for essential travel.
The full announcement is expected to come later on Thursday - with the measures starting at midnight, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told ITV’s Peston programme.
Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said it was hoped the temporary measures would prevent a "full lockdown".

New infections records in Ukraine and Czech Republic

Both Ukraine and the Czech Republic have set new records in their daily rise in infections, reports Reuters news agency.
Ukraine has reported 3,584 new coronavirus infections, the national security council said on Thursday. That brings the country to a total of 166,244 cases, with 3,400 deaths.
Meanwhile for the first time the Czech Republic counted more than 2,000 new cases in a 24-hour period - it reported 2,139 new infections on Wednesday, up from a previous record of 1,675.

Bodies pile up on island as funeral director gets Covid

Coronavirus - 17th September 247ea910
San Andrés is a Colombian island in the Caribbean

The governor of San Andrés says bodies are piling up on the Caribbean island after its only funeral parlour was hit by coronavirus.
The parlour's owner has Covid-19 and has had to be flown to hospital on the Colombian mainland. Her son has also tested positive, leaving only one employee at work.
Governor Everth Hawkins said his administration was buying refrigerated trucks to store the bodies.
Nine people have died with coronavirus so far on the Colombian island which has a population of about 75,000.
Colombia is the country with the sixth highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world with more than 735,000 infections.

What's the latest in Europe?

The latest coronavirus headlines from around Europe:

  • In Spain, students are taking part in strike action calling for improved safety measures in schools and universities. They are demanding stricter cleaning measures and better protection for teachers. It comes as the country recorded 239 new deaths from the virus, the highest figure since June. Infections are also rising quickly and a large proportion of these are in the capital, Madrid
  • Protest action is also expected in France, where unions are calling for a day of demonstrations over the government's response to the economic hardship caused by the pandemic. The government has predicted 800,000 jobs could be lost this year
  • Cases are continuing to rise in many countries. France recorded almost 10,000 new cases over the past 24 hours, the Czech Republic has seen a major rise, and Germany's daily cases were the second-highest since April. But hospital admissions are at a lower level than at the beginning of the pandemic
  • And around Europe restrictions are being reimposed in some areas after they were eased following the initial lockdown. You can read our handy country-by-country breakdown of the rules here


Senior Indian minister tests positive

Nitin Gadkari, a senior cabinet minister, has tested positive for coronavirus. The news comes just days after at least 17 MPs tested positive as the monsoon session of parliament began on Monday.
"I am at present doing well with the blessings and good wishes of all. I have isolated myself," the minister said.
India has confirmed more than five million cases - the second-highest in the world after the US - and more than 80,000 reported deaths. The country has stepped up testing, which partly explains rising numbers, but experts are worried at the speed at which the virus is spreading.
Over the past week, cases have shot to 90,000 per day. And seven states, which are the worst-affected, account for about 45% of the country's population. But it's death rate remains low, with 60 deaths per million and its case fatality rate, a measure of deaths among Covid-19 patients, is just 1.6%.

Where in the UK is under a local lockdown now?

A new local lockdown is expected to be announced in the North East - affecting some two million people.
But where in the UK is currently under tightened restrictions?
It's a growing list.
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Posts : 7618
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 12:04

Here's the latest in the UK this morning

If you're just catching up with the news this morning, these are the main headlines in the UK this morning.

  • All eyes are on north-east England where an announcement is expected later about a local lockdown . It could affect nearly two million people in the Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead and County Durham council areas
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told the Sun newspaper that "the only way to make sure the country is able to enjoy Christmas is to be tough now" - he's previously said the government is doing "everything in our power" to avoid a national lockdown
  • In the same interview, the prime minister said he was not in fan of "sneak culture" - and that people should talk directly to those breaking social distancing rules, instead of reporting them to police for meeting in groups of more than six
  • John Lewis is scrapping its staff bonus for the first time since 1953. The chain has been hit by lockdown store closures
  • Care homes in England will receive extra funding of £546m to try to reduce transmission of coronavirus during the winter. The fund, set up in May, has now been extended until March
  • It's clear by now that the UK's testing system is not working as it should, with people being told tests are not available - or that they have to travel hundreds of miles in some case, to get one. We've an explainer here on what's going wrong


Coronavirus - 17th September Breaki16

'Very serious situation unfolding' warns WHO

The number of weekly coronavirus cases has exceeded the infections reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March, the World Health Organization has warned.
"We have a very serious situation unfolding before us," the organisation's Europe director said in a press conference on Thursday.
Hans Kluge added that September's figures should serve as a "wake-up call" for European governments, as the region's weekly tally reached 300,000 patients last week.
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Posts : 7618
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 12:11

What's gone wrong with testing?

People up and down the UK have been unable to access coronavirus tests in recent days, as appointments were paused with the system struggling to cope.
Some were told the nearest test centre to them was hundreds of miles away - if they could access a test at all.
Yet five mega-labs trundle on, processing hundreds of thousands of samples of samples a day and the government says capacity is higher than ever.
Demand for tests has soared, but what isn't clear is by how much. Pressure has been put on the system due to people returning from holiday and children going back to school - as well as the change in season bringing about other viruses like colds.
For many, the message that it's essential to get a test if you have symptoms will have sunk in.
But concerns have been raised about the "worried well" - people applying for tests unnecessarily even if they don't have the relevant symptoms.
Back in August it was clear those five mega-labs were close to capacity - in fact, all the testing capacity was used up on 23 August. Two more are due to open. But will that be enough?
Read our full explainer here .

Joint degree programmes help Chinese students unable to study overseas

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
China’s Ministry of Education has arranged 90 degree programmes across the country for students who have had their overseas study plans disrupted by the global pandemic.
The Global Times newspaper notes that many Chinese students have had to change or even cancel their overseas degrees this year, because of border, flight or visa restrictions that prevent them from entering countries where cases are on the rise.
However, many students have also changed their plans, factoring in concerns about rising xenophobic attitudes towards the Chinese in countries like the US.
Safety from Covid-19 has also been a factor in students deciding to stay home, as it has now been 31 days since China reported any domestic cases of the virus within the country.
The ministry says that the new programmes have been launched with global partners to provide students with the same opportunities to study at home that they would have received overseas.
Hundreds of thousands of Chinese normally study overseas every year.
They make up the largest proportion of overseas students across the world.
An estimated 1.42m Chinese students were already overseas as of April this year .
However, the pandemic led to huge numbers of those being stranded overseas since January.  Some are still struggling to return .

New Zealand has worst recession in years

New Zealand is in its deepest recession in decades, following strict measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic which were widely praised.
The country's GDP shrank by 12.2% between April and June as the lockdown and border closures hit.
It is New Zealand's first recession since the global financial crisis and its worst since 1987, when the current system of measurement began.
But the government hopes its pandemic response will lead to a quick recovery.
The nation of nearly five million was briefly declared virus free, and although it still has a handful of cases, it has only had 25 deaths.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 12:33

Trump's vaccine claims contradict top official

Finding an effective vaccine is a top priority globally, but in the US where the presidential election is just weeks away, the topic is becoming heated.
On Wednesday President Trump said Americans would be able to access a vaccine as early as next month, contradicting claims by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We think we can start sometime in October," the president said. Trump also called Dr Robert Redfield "confused" because he predicted a longer time frame for a vaccine.
Health care workers and others at high risk would get the vaccine first, perhaps in January or even late this year, Dr Redfield told a congressional hearing, but it was unlikely to be available more broadly before mid-2021.

Coronavirus cluster investigated at Scottish university

Public health officials at NHS Lothian are investigating a coronavirus cluster at university student accommodation.
A number of people have tested positive at Edinburgh Napier University's Bainfield accommodation. Contacts are being traced and told to isolate for two weeks.
But the university remains open though, with students and staff who haven't been asked to self-isolate have been told to attend as normal.
Meanwhile, a Highland hotel has shut after being linked to a coronavirus cluster.
NHS Highland said four cases of Covid-19 have been identified in the Kinlochleven community, all of which have been linked to the MacDonald Hotel.
The hotel has now been closed with all staff advised to self-isolate for 14 days. Contact tracing is being carried out.

South Africa eases strict lockdown

South Africa, which had one of the world's earliest and strictest lockdowns, has announced a further easing of anti-coronavirus measures.
From 20 September an overnight curfew will be reduced, gatherings will be allowed at 50% of a venue's capacity, and alcohol will again be on sale.
"We have withstood the coronavirus storm," said President Cyril Ramaphosa in a televised address to the nation.
But rules on social distancing and mask-wearing will remain in place.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 12:37

People urged to call 111 before A&E visit

A trial is starting in parts of England that will see people booking an appointment to attend A&E, by calling NHS 111.
The pilots are live in Cornwall, Portsmouth, Hampshire and Blackpool and have just begun in Warrington.
The aim is to reduce pressure on emergency departments as they face increased winter pressures with coronavirus and flu cases.
But those in a life-threatening condition should still call 999.
Under the changes, patients will still be able to seek help at A&E without an appointment, but officials say they are likely to end up waiting longer than those who have gone through 111.

NHS staff 'to be prioritised for testing'

Frontline NHS workers and care staff will be prioritised for coronavirus testing, UK Health Minister Edward Argar says.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme amid concerns about people not being able to access tests, he said guidance on the issue was due out in the coming days.
Teachers would also be included in the priority group.
It might be the case, he added, that others could have to wait longer to get a test.

New national lockdown 'not needed' right now

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
There has been speculation that the UK could have to go under a new national lockdown.
But Health Minister Edward Argar says it is not currently needed - "if we get this right with local lockdowns".
"We saw in Leicester it worked, we saw those rates come right down - it does work and it does control it at a local level," he told the Today programme.
"I don't think we are at a place where we would wish to see or need to see a national level of restrictions."
Argar stressed that people needed to stick to the social distancing rules however.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 12:45

Kia closes Seoul plants after eight cases

Coronavirus - 17th September E78b4710

South Korean car manufacturer Kia Motors has suspended production at two factories near Seoul after eight workers tested positive for coronavirus.
Kia, the country's second largest car manufacturer, closed the plants in Gwangmyeong, just south of the capital, on Wednesday and sent all 6,000 workers home, a company spokesman told the country's Yonhap news agency.
The firm said it would reopen the plants after disinfecting them.
Kia has a total of eight plants in South Korea and seven overseas.
South Korea has fared relatively well in the coronavirus pandemic, though a cluster linked to a church last month caused alarm and was eventually linked to some 5,200 cases.
The country saw 153 new infections on Thursday, as total infections reached 22,657 with just 372 deaths.

Bahrain Crown Prince volunteers in vaccine trial

Coronavirus - 17th September 0eb7e110
Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, 50, took part in a vaccine trial on Wednesday

We've been reporting on the politics of vaccine development and distribution in the US - and the climate of claim and counter-claim involving President Trump and his top scientists. In Bahrain, meanwhile, the Crown Prince has stepped forward in the country's clinical trials by volunteering as a participant.
Around 6,000 people are taking part in the phase III trials, conducted by Abu-Dhabi based G42 Healthcare using a vaccine developed by Sinopharm CNBG, the sixth-largest producer of vaccines in the world.
Volunteers, including Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, are then monitored to study the production of antibodies.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 12:49

US nursing home ordered to close

A nursing home in Connecticut has been closed and its residents moved elsewhere after an outbreak of coronavirus, report US media. Four people died at the home in Norwich where at least 30 people were infected.
The state's department of health ordered the institution to close after it concluded the outbreak could not be brought under control before the end of September.
Investigations into the outbreak revealed inadequate staffing, lack of personal protective equipment and a failure to isolate sick residents, reports the New York Times.

Funding to protect UK care homes

A £546m funding package to help protect care homes from coronavirus over winter is to be announced in the UK.
The plan includes extra funding to make sure staff are limited to working in only one home - and that they are compensated for any reduced hours, the prime minister announced in the Sun.
Money will also be spent to help care workers reduce their use of public transport, and stock up on personal protective equipment.
Full details are going to be announced later today.
There have been thousands of deaths in care homes of people who had coronavirus.
Boris Johnson also warned that there may need to be restrictions on family visits to care homes in his interview in the Sun.
Read more here .

What's the latest in Europe?

If you're just joining us, these are the latest coronavirus headlines from around Europe:

  • In Spain, students are taking part in strike action calling for improved safety measures in schools and universities. They are demanding stricter cleaning measures and better protection for teachers. It comes as the country recorded 239 new deaths from the virus, the highest figure since June. Infections are also rising quickly and a large proportion of these are in the capital, Madrid
  • Protest action is also expected in France, where unions are calling for a day of demonstrations over the government's response to the economic hardship caused by the pandemic. The government has predicted 800,000 jobs could be lost this year
  • Cases are continuing to rise in many countries. France recorded almost 10,000 new cases over the past 24 hours, the Czech Republic has seen a major rise, and Germany's daily cases were the second-highest since April. But hospital admissions are at a lower level than at the beginning of the pandemic
  • And around Europe restrictions are being reimposed in some areas after they were eased following the initial lockdown. You can read our handy country-by-country breakdown of the rules here
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Posts : 7618
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 12:56

Why aren't the Dutch panicking?

Anna Holligan - BBC News Hague correspondent
Coronavirus - 17th September D0d59a10
Not a mask in sight as traders set up stalls at the antiques' market in The Hague

Infection rates have hit a new daily peak in the Netherlands - the country was recently added to the UK's red alert list, and its neighbours are following suit.
And yet on the streets of Dutch cities people are behaving as if the virus has vanished.
There's a burgeoning movement which subscribes to the "it's a government hoax to control us" conspiracy, Dutch Facebook and Twitter are resplendent with images mocking those who take the risk of infection seriously. Police were called to a friends picnic the other day after a stranger began coughing and wishing coronavirus on them after they tried to create some social distance.
Why aren't the Dutch panicking? My (Dutch) Twitter followers offered some insights.

  • This is a deliberate and successful gaslighting campaign by the government
  • A message that Covid only affects the elderly and sick
  • "Iedereen moet het voor zichzelf beslissen" - everybody has to decide for themselves
  • A toxic mix of Dutch exceptionalism governed by technocratic leaders.

The government, by the way, plans to announce new restrictions tomorrow.

Here's the latest in the UK this morning

If you're just catching up with the news this morning, these are the main headlines in the UK this morning.

  • All eyes are on north-east England where an announcement is expected later about a local lockdown . It could affect nearly two million people in the Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead and County Durham council areas
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told the Sun newspaper that "the only way to make sure the country is able to enjoy Christmas is to be tough now" - he's previously said the government is doing "everything in our power" to avoid a national lockdown
  • In the same interview, the prime minister said he was not in fan of "sneak culture" - and that people should talk directly to those breaking social distancing rules, instead of reporting them to police for meeting in groups of more than six
  • John Lewis is scrapping its staff bonus for the first time since 1953. The chain has been hit by lockdown store closures
  • Care homes in England will receive extra funding of £546m to try to reduce transmission of coronavirus during the winter. The fund, set up in May, has now been extended until March
  • It's clear by now that the UK's testing system is not working as it should, with people being told tests are not available - or that they have to travel hundreds of miles in some case, to get one. We've an explainer here on what's going wrong
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Posts : 7618
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 13:03

Test that tells flu and Covid-19 apart heading for Europe

Laura Bicker - BBC News
The company behind South Korea's new Covid-19 test which tells the difference between coronavirus and flu is sending thousands of kits to Europe and the UK in the next week.
The firm Seegene claims the accuracy rate of the test is 98-99% and results are possible in just two hours.
The single PCR test can detect whether a patient has either Sars-CoV-2, two types of seasonal flu or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
There are currently 30 million test kits in production in South Korea - 95% will be exported and 27% of them will go to Europe. Spain is the largest market in Europe followed by Italy, Germany, France Belgium and the UK.


Coronavirus - 17th September Breaki17

Some 30,000 Australians stranded in UK, airlines say

Strict caps on international arrivals have left around 30,000 Australians stranded in the UK and unable to return home, a group of airlines say.
It is essential to help Australians camped out at Heathrow airport in London, the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) says in a statement on its website.
It is calling on Australian authorities to increase their quarantine capacity to allow more residents to return.
Currently around 4,000 Australians are allowed back into the country per week, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he wants to increase that to 6,000 weekly, ABC News reports. .

Trump health official on leave after controversial remarks

Coronavirus - 17th September A2cbc510
Michael Caputo was appointed by Trump to oversee public communications about potential vaccines

An official appointed by President Trump to oversee health communications about vaccines has gone on medical leave after he made controversial remarks.
In a Facebook live on Sunday Michael Caputo accused scientists in the Department of Health and Human Services of forming a "resistance unit" against President Donald Trump and giving up science in favour of politics. He also ecnouraged Trump supporters to buy guns, predicating that Democratic candidate Joe Biden would refuse to accept a Trump victory in November's election.
In a statement, Caputo said he decided to take a temporary medical leave to “pursue necessary screenings for a lymphatic issue discovered last week”.
An aide to Caputo, Paul Alexander, is leaving the department permanently after reportedly putting pressure on officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to adapt their messages to Trump's.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 13:08

.Coronavirus - 17th September Breaki18

'Very serious situation unfolding' warns WHO

The number of weekly coronavirus cases has exceeded the infections reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March, the World Health Organization has warned.
"We have a very serious situation unfolding before us," the organisation's Europe director said in a press conference on Thursday.
Hans Kluge added that September's figures should serve as a "wake-up call" for European governments, as the region's weekly tally reached 300,000 patients last week.

Coronavirus - 17th September Breaki18

Hancock announces new social restrictions in NE England

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced new social restrictions for parts of north-east England.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Hancock said from Friday restrictions would apply in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham.
In these areas residents should not socialise with people outside of their household or support bubble, he said.
Hospitality will be restricted for food and drink to table service only.
And late-night restrictions on operating hours will be introduced, so leisure and entertainment venues must close between 22:00 and 05:00.

Why India’s Covid problem could be bigger than we think

Soutik Biswas - India Correspondent
India is approaching the ninth month of the coronavirus pandemic with more than five million confirmed cases - the second-highest in the world after the US - and more than 80,000 reported deaths. It reported another record jump in daily infections on Thursday - 97,894 in the last 24 hours.
Infection is surging through the country in a "step-ladder spiral", a government scientist told me. The only "consolation" is a death rate - currently 1.63% - that's lower than many countries with a high caseload.
The increase in reported cases has partly to do with increased testing - but the speed at which the virus is spreading is worrying experts.Here's why. It took 170 days for India to reach the first million cases.
The last million cases took only 11 days. Average daily cases have shot up from 62 in April to more than 87,000 in September.
Kitkat
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 13:13

Crowded Lebanese prison faces outbreak

Martin Patience - BBC News, Middle East correspondent
Coronavirus - 17th September 6c264010
Families of inmates at Roumieh prison protested to demand their relatives be protected against coronavirus

Lebanon’s largest prison is grappling with coronavirus outbreak. A security source told the BBC that about 200 prisoners had contracted Covid-19 in Roumieh prison, located close to the capital, Beirut. Earlier this week, it was reported that prisoners had staged violent protests saying they were not getting the medical care they required.
The jail houses more than 3,000 prisoners and is infamous for poor conditions and overcrowding. There are growing calls for those imprisoned for petty crimes to be released. Lebanon is currently witnessing a surge in the number of Covid-19 infections.
The authorities are warning that they’ll be overwhelmed if the infection rate continues to grow while at the same time the country tries to recover from the devastating Beirut port blast last month.

Italy trials Europe’s first 'Covid-free flights'

Mark Lowen - BBC News, Rome
Fed up with quarantine restrictions by Britain and other countries? Desperate to travel safely again? Italy thinks it has the answer, trialling Europe’s first “Covid-free flights”. Two of Alitalia’s seven daily Rome-Milan services will be reserved for passengers who test negative for coronavirus either at a rapid testing unit set up at Rome’s Fiumicino airport, or elsewhere within 72 hours before the flight, and can show a certificate to prove it. It’s an experiment that, if successful, could be rolled out to other domestic and international routes in the hope of allowing air travel to recover and luring back passengers.
“I think it’s better than just going inside the aeroplane not knowing if the other people are positive or negative,” said Lisa Mandini, clutching her test certificate. “It’s fast - I had to come to the airport just two hours before the flight. Even if a passenger has their mask down their face, I feel more secure like this.”
Fiumicino’s testing unit has been up and running for a month already: a simple and efficient process in which passengers from Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain are given a nasal swab at the arrivals floor. The result comes in just half an hour, which they show at the airport exit.
Italy has moved from Europe’s first epicentre of the pandemic to a pioneer of airport testing. The question now is whether others will follow.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 16:05

Quarantine should remain 14 days - WHO

We reported earlier the World Health Organization's warning that a "very serious situation" is emerging in Europe. The WHO also repeated that the 14-day quarantine period for anyone exposed to coronavirus should not be changed.
The recommendation is based on a scientific understanding of the virus's incubation period and tranmission, the WHO Europe senior emergency officer Catherine Smallwood said on Thursday.
Quarantine periods vary according to country. In France people who have been exposed are told to self-isolate for seven days, but in the UK and Ireland the suggested time is 10 days. Portugal and Croatia are currently considering reducing their recommended quarantine.
"Knowing the immense individual and societal impact even a slight reduction in the length of quarantine can have... I encourage countries of the region to make scientific due process with their experts and explore safe reduction options," the WHO Europe director Hans Kluge explained.

Czech cases surpass 2,000 in a day

Rob Cameron - BBC Prague Correspondent
The Czech Republic has for the first time reported more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day.
In total, the health ministry reported 2,139 cases on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who said on Monday Czechs should stop scaring themselves over Covid, now says the government had not expected the number of people in hospital or dying to rise at such a rate, and everyone should follow the rules to stop an exponential increase.
Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamacek says the Czech Republic could see 8,000 new cases a day by the end of the month if nothing is done.
More restrictions come into effect on Friday, in particular aimed at bars and clubs, as the rise in infections is sharpest amongst the 20-29 age group.
Health minister Adam Vojtech has confirmed that from Friday masks will be mandatory inside classrooms in all Czech schools. At present they are only mandatory in common areas.

Israel's government details second lockdown restrictions

Coronavirus - 17th September 107fde10
Israel will be the first country to impose a second nationwide lockdown

Israel’s government has approved the restrictions that will be enforced under a second nationwide lockdown, following a dramatic surge in new Covid-19 infections.
The measures will take effect at 14:00 (11:00 GMT) on Friday, just as the Jewish New Year festival of Rosh Hashanah begins, and last for three weeks.

  • Everyone will have to stay within 500m (1,640ft) of their homes, with limited exceptions including buying food or essential supplies, travelling to workplaces, and exercising
  • Schools will be closed from Thursday, except for special education
  • Gatherings will be limited to 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors. But spending time in the home of another person will not be permitted.

Israel became the first country to reimpose a nationwide lockdown after its health ministry reported the highest level of infection per capita in the world and hospitals warned that they would be overwhelmed within weeks.
On Wednesday, President Reuven Rivlin apologised for the failure of the country's leaders to contain Covid-19 since the first lockdown ended in May.
But he also appealed to Israelis to heed the new measures. “This is a second chance and we must take it because we will not, I fear, get a third one,” he warned.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 16:10

Memo shows jump in US coronavirus deaths - ABC News

The US has seen a 17% increase in confirmed deaths from Covid-19 in one week, according to a leaked memo reported by ABC News.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency memo showed that 5,906 coronavirus-related deaths were recorded during 9-15 September, a 16.6% increase compared with theprevious seven days. But confirmed cases slightly decreased - by 0.7% - according to ABC's reporting.

Why is Northumberland included in Covid measures?

Daniel Wainwright - BBC England Data Unit
While the rates of new coronavirus infections in the affected parts of the north-east England are lower than those in places such as Bolton, this is not a simply a case of rankings.
Rates of new infections in areas such as South Tyneside and Sunderland are at their highest since May and have been climbing for the past few weeks.
Other areas affected by the new restrictions, such as Northumberland, have much lower rates per 100,000 population but it is clear that infections have been climbing there too.
Northumberland's rate of 25.7 cases per 100,000 in the week to 13 September means it is outside the top 100 of 315 areas of England for new infections.
However, when the government imposed tighter restrictions on Greater Manchester, the east of Lancashire and West Yorkshire in the summer, areas with lower rates were also included.
At the time, Wigan in Greater Manchester and Rossendale in Lancashire were not seeing the same rates of infection as their neighbouring boroughs and districts, but Public Health England included them because they were "part of an area in which overall infection rates are high, with household transmission a key pathway".
It will be the same for Northumberland, with people travelling to and from work in other areas of the North East.

Report noisy karaoke singers, urges Philippines governor

Coronavirus - 17th September 281e1510

Over-enthusiastic karaoke singers are preventing their neighbours getting a good night's sleep and threatening their immune systems, a provincial governor in the Philippines says.
In a Facebook post quoting popular Frank Sinatra song I Did It My Way, Governor of Cavite province Jonvic Remulla told his followers to report noisy singers to authorities.
He said people with nothing better to do than sing all night were stopping people sleeping properly, adding that curfews are not only about staying at home but also promoting healthy sleep.
Karaoke is a very popular pastime in the Philippines, with many residents owning their own sets for home performances.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 16:14

Virus no longer being adequately controlled, NHS Confederation says

Earlier, we reported NHS Test and Trace figures that showed people were waiting longer for coronavirus test results from England's community testing centres.
Only a third of tests carried out in these venues came back in 24 hours in the week up to 9 September, the data showed.
Responding to the figures, Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, said the spread of Covid-19 was not being controlled.
She said: "It appears we are now in a position where the spread of the virus is no longer being adequately controlled, with new cases nearly tripling compared with the end of August.
She said it appeared "a second surge may already be under way", adding that an effective test and trace system was key to reducing the risk of the virus spreading.
"It is concerning that this system seems to be faltering under predictable pressure."
NHS Test and Trace boss Baroness Dido Harding said it was important that "only those with symptoms book tests".
"We need everyone to help make sure that tests are there for people with symptoms who need them."
Read our story here

US college football's Big Ten reverses decision

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Fans had protested against the decision to postpone the autumn season

One of the most powerful leagues in US college sports has reversed a decision to postpone its autumn American football season because of coronavirus safety concerns.
The Big 10 said the season would now begin in late October after unanimous agreement from its 14 member universities.
It said it had adopted “stringent medical protocols”, including daily antigen testing, for the season to go ahead.
The decision last month to postpone the season because of coronavirus was met with pressure from players, parents, coaches and even the US president.
Meanwhile, the University of Georgia has come under fire for saying it would not have an on-campus voting site for the presidential election because of Covid safety concerns, while allowing American football games.
“Those comparing this matter to a football game should be able to recognize that football games will be played outdoors but we will still require social distancing by substantially reducing capacity in the stadium,” the university said in a statement.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 16:21

No P&O cruises until 2021

Coronavirus - 17th September 4683ab10

P&O Cruises has said it will not operate any sailings until 2021.
The firm, the UK's largest cruise line, said the decision had been taken due to "evolving restrictions on travel".
There have been several changes to the list of countries which are exempt from quarantine for travellers returning to the UK - with destinations being added to, and taken off, the list, often at short notice.
P&O had previously cancelled sailings until 12 November.
The company's president, Paul Ludlow, said: "With evolving restrictions on travel from the UK, unfortunately it is necessary to cancel these itineraries.
"These further cancellations vary according to ship as well as complexity and length of itineraries, advice and guidance regarding ports of call and current air availability for fly/cruises.
"We are continuing to monitor the overall situation closely and will certainly reintroduce cruises should the opportunity arise and it is feasible to do so."

Coronavirus - 17th September Breaki19

UK coronavirus cases rise by 3,395

Coronavirus cases in the UK have risen by 3,395, government figures show .
That is down from the 3,991 cases recorded yesterday.
It takes the total number of cases to 381,614.
A further 20 people who had a positive coronavirus test in the last 28 days have died.

Hundreds of Jewish pilgrims remain on Ukraine's border

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Hasidic Jewish pilgrims are gathered on the Ukraine-Belarus border

Israel is urging hundreds of Hasidic Jews gathered on Ukraine's border to return home. The pilgrims, who began to congregate on Monday , have been singing and dancing, as well as praying to be allowed to cross into Ukraine, one guard on the Ukraine-Belarus border told AFP news agency.
The believers want to enter Ukraine to mark Rosh Hashanah or Jewish New Year, which begins on Friday, but the country is refusing to allow any foreigner entry due to coronavirus restrictions.
Normally thousands of people travel to the city of Uman in central Ukraine to visit the tomb of Rabbi Nahman, the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement. This year the pilgrims set off despite warnings from Ukraine and Israel not to travel.
"We believe in God, and if God wants it this way, we need to do anything we can to show our determination, to the very last minute," one pilgrim told AFP from the border.
Believers, including families with children, are staying in makeshift tents while others sleep on their luggage in temperatures of 9C at night at the Novaya Guta crossing.
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The pilgrims are hoping to mark Jewish New Year in central Ukraine from Friday
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 16:24

Staff party blamed for school Covid outbreak

A head teacher has blamed staff for an outbreak of Covid-19 at a Lancashire school.
Eight members of staff at Bacup Holy Trinity Stacksteads CE Primary School have contracted Covid-19 since they attended a party on 5 September.
Another three who weren't present have since been infected and the school has had to close.
In a letter to parents, John Aspin said his staff had "jeopardised hard work" done to keep the school safe and took an "ill-advised risk" when they attended a party at the home of a former colleague.
He had not been told about the gathering and initially could not work out how so many had become ill.
The staff did not break any government restrictions but he said they "failed to appreciate the bigger picture" of the spread of the virus, Mr Aspin said, as he apologised to parents for the "error of judgement".
Read more about it here .
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 19:41

Why the WHO is sticking to 14 days quarantine

Smitha Mundasad - News reporter
The World Health Organization has repeated its plea for countries not to shorten the quarantine period for people who have been exposed to coronavirus.
The global health body recommends anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has definitely got coronavirus or probably has, should stay at home or somewhere similar for two weeks.
The idea is simple - to monitor people in case they get ill and spot Covid-19 cases early on, preventing the virus from spreading further.
The Centrers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, for example, says based on the best current studies, it is likely that the time from someone being exposed to getting symptoms is between two and 14 days.
It's evidence like this that is behind the WHO's advice.
And in the UK if you are told by the Test and Trace system that you have had close contact with someone who has coronavirus, you must isolate for 14 days.
But France is reportedly taking a different approach. It is slashing its isolation time from 14 fourteen days to seven. That's because health experts there say the majority of people find it too difficult to isolate for a whole two weeks. They also say this is when people are most likely to be infectious.
There are also some small studies that suggest people are most likely to pass on the virus in the first week they have symptoms. But the science is still emerging and scientists across the globe agree there are still many uncertainties.
That's why different countries have different approaches - each has to balance the evidence, the unknowns and the chance for citizens to get back to a more normal life.

Coronavirus - 17th September Breaki20

Slovenia and Guadeloupe on England and Scotland quarantine list

The UK government has removed Slovenia and the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe from England's safe travel list, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.
Mr Shapps said people in Slovenia and Guadeloupe who arrive after 04:00 on Saturday will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
The government also announced that passengers arriving back from Singapore and Thailand will not be required to quarantine as those countries have been added to the safe travel list.
The Scottish Government has confirmed the changes announced today will also apply there.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 19:48

New coronavirus rules in Europe country-by-country

As Europe grapples with a significant rise in cases, governments are introducing measures to try to control the spread of coronavirus.
Some of those measures are reintroduced restrictions from the first lockdowns earlier this year.
In France masks must worn outdoors in some areas by anyone aged 11 and over, including busy streets in Paris. They must also be worn in workplaces. And in Germany, testing is compulsory for arrivals at airports from high-risk countries.
Read more about what European countries are doing to try to limit the spread of infection.

New York City delays start of in-person learning for most students

New York City has delayed the start of in-person learning at public schools for a second time for most students, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced.
In person-learning was set to begin on Monday.
Instead, the city is phasing the return of students to the classroom, with only pre-kindergarten children and students with special learning needs now set to start on Monday.
Under the new plans, first grade to eighth grade students will begin on 29 September, while middle- and high-school students will start on 1 October.
Students will continue with remote-learning in the meantime.
It is the second time the mayor has delayed the return to classrooms, which was originally due to happen on 10 September.
The mayor is expected to give more details later.

German football team loses 37-0 in socially distanced match

A German football team lost 37-0 to their local rivals after fielding only seven players who socially distanced throughout the match.
Ripdorf fielded the minimum number of players possible in the game on Sunday because their opponents, SV Holdenstedt II, had come into contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus in a recent match.
Their team tested negative but Ripdorf said the conditions were not safe.
Ripdorf asked for the match to be postponed but the local association refused, and the team would have faced a €200 (£182) fine if they had not played.
Read the full story
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 19:55

Death spike warning in locked-down areas of south Wales

There is a "high risk" that a spike in Covid cases will lead to more hospital admissions and deaths in locked-down areas of Wales, health officials have warned.
Dr Robin Howe, of Public Health Wales, said older people are being infected in Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf.
It comes as people in Rhondda expressed frustration at becoming the second area in Wales to return to lockdown after Caerphilly .
Strict rules came into force at 18:00 BST for the area's 240,000 residents.
Read more

False claims the UK has made vaccines compulsory

Marianna Spring - Disinformation and social media reporter
A video being widely shared on Facebook and Instagram is being accompanied by false claims that receiving a coronavirus vaccine has already been made mandatory and that it will be used to inject microchips into people.
The video, originally posted on TikTok and viewed over 3 million times, does not itself refer to coronavirus. In it, a British woman says her daughter was vaccinated at school without her consent and she doesn’t know “what she’s had put in her”.
The shared video has been accompanied by false claims that a coronavirus vaccine has already been made mandatory in the UK and that it will be used to inject microchips into people.
We’ve looked into these claims before, and there is currently no legislation in the UK making vaccines mandatory - although the government has not ruled this out for a coronavirus vaccine in the future.
There is also absolutely no evidence that a vaccine will be a tool to microchip or deliberately cause harm to individuals.
According to subsequent videos being shared, this woman’s daughter was administered the HPV vaccine - even though she had said she did not want her daughter to receive it. This vaccine protects against high-risk HPV infections, which can lead to many cervical cancers - and some others.
The woman in the video points out that there is a clause on the NHS website that states if a parent does not consent to a child receiving the HPV vaccine “the nurse can override my decision and vaccinate my children if they show an interest in having this done”. While this is true, the child still has to indicate consent

Covid testers go on strike in France

Staff at coronavirus laboratories in France have joined a strike, protesting against poor working conditions.
The CGT labour union told Reuters news agency that several hundred staff from coronavirus laboratories were taking part in the action, and that it was disrupting testing in some towns.
The union said the strike could drag on if laboratory bosses failed to deal with complaints over staff shortages and pay.
"We're overwhelmed," one laboratory nurse told Reuters. "We're exhausted, physically and mentally."
A technician told the news agency the pace of work was “relentless” and that workers were doing free overtime.
France has ramped up testing for coronavirus, and now conducts more than one million tests a week, according to officials.
But people have complained of long queues at testing centres and delays in receiving results.
A representative of employers in the sector said the strike was having a minimal impact on testing.
Like other countries in Europe, France has reported a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 20:28

Analysis: The tide was not turned - now what?

Laura Kuenssberg - Political editor
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Nearly 10 million people's lives are under limits again.
The number of coronavirus cases is rising fast.
Concerned members of the public are stuck in frustrated queues for coronavirus tests in some parts of the country.
The tide was not turned. Life is not back to normal.
And even some Conservative MPs are asking, what on earth is going on?
Read the full blog here.

Canada's most populous province scales back reopening

As Canada moves into the cooler days of autumn, people in parts of the country will see social gatherings being newly restricted as Covid-19 cases surge.
In some parts of the province of Ontario - including Toronto, Canada's largest city - outdoor gatherings will now be restricted to a maximum of 25, down from 100.
Indoor gatherings are no limited to 10, down from 50.
That includes backyard parties and picnics, provincial Premier Doug Ford said, warning of hefty fines for rule-breakers. ​
"We will throw the book at you if you break the rules," he said.
Party hosts could receive fines of C$10,000 ($7,500; £5,800), with attendees getting C$750 tickets.
Ford called partygoers who have been reckless "a few fries short of a Happy Meal".
Covid-19 cases have been increasing though they still are lower than in the months of April and May. There were 293 new cases in Ontario today.
Toronto, the nearby Peel Region, and Canada's capital Ottawa are hotspots in the province.
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 20:32

Inside the epicentre of France’s new Covid crisis

Lucy Williamson - BBC News, Marseille
What’s striking, as you enter the main intensive care unit at Marseille’s La Timone hospital, is the laughter and banter of the staff. Protection comes in many different guises.
Around them, in isolation rooms, are 13 seriously ill patients with coronavirus. Each time they enter, the medical teams need to step into full, zip-up body suits, and put on masks and gloves. For the riskiest operations, they add helmets, and portable ventilators to purify the air inside them as they work.
On the day we visit, doctors are trying to save the life of a 65-year-old man on life support. Looking more like astronauts than medical staff, they step inside the glass screen, and thread a camera down the patient’s throat.
They’re checking for blockages before trying to oxygenate his blood by machine – a last resort.
The ghostly figures hovering around his bed are the patient’s only visitors. His wife calls the unit once or twice every day for news. But contamination risks mean she’s not allowed in to see him.
This unit is now the epicentre of France’s new Covid crisis.
The director of public hospitals in Marseille has said the city is “nearing saturation” and that 100 extra staff have been recruited in the past week, to try and keep pace with demand.
Rates of infection here are now twice that of Paris. More than 10% of those tested here are positive.
But despite France meeting its target of a million tests a week, many people are facing long waits for testing or results.
The government has told testing centres to prioritise those with symptoms or confirmed contact with cases, but the health minister today admitted there were still problems including bottlenecks in big cities.

Coronavirus rule changes 'bit of a nightmare'

Emma Barnett - BBC 5 Live
The owner of a Newcastle restaurant says the new coronavirus measures are "worrying" and "a bit of a nightmare".
Nick Greaves, who runs The Patricia in Jesmond, said: "It's a bit of a shock. We have come so far to get back on our feet and now we are back down in this saga again."
He said the 22:00 curfew puts his restaurant "in an awkward position".
"We have changed the restaurant to have people much more spaced out time wise, in three sittings almost," Mr Greaves said.
"It's going to take out that 20.30 table sitting."
He said the restaurant offers a six-course menu that takes about two and a half hours to work through.
Mr Greaves also said he couldn't understand how the rules would help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
"It could even be a little bit dangerous with people going to the pub, necking as much as they can and then they end up drunk and are like 'let's go to a house or something'.
"I can't get my head around that's going to help anything. The virus is still dangerous before 22:00, as it is afterwards."
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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 17th September

Post by Kitkat on Thu Sep 17 2020, 20:33

Thanks for joining us

We're wrapping up today's live coverage and will be back again tomorrow. For now, here's a look back at some of the biggest developments from the UK and around the world:

  • Almost two million people in north-east England will be banned from meeting other households under new measures introduced amid a rise in cases
  • Meanwhile, people travelling from Singapore and Thailand to England and Scotland will not need to quarantine from Saturday morning
  • The World Health Organization has warned that a “very serious situation” is unfolding in Europe after the continent's weekly tally exceeded 300,000 patients last week
  • South Africa, which had one of the world's earliest and strictest lockdowns, announced a further easing of anti-coronavirus measures
  • In the US, President Donald Trump contradicted the head of the main health agency with comments on vaccines and masks. Mr Trump said a vaccine would be available "immediately" - and not as late as mid-2021
  • New Zealand is in its deepest recession in decades, following strict measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic which were widely praised.


Today's live page was edited by Paulin Kola and Rob Corp and written by Lauren Turner, Georgina Rannard, Alex Therrien and Alice Cuddy

    Current date/time is Sun Oct 25 2020, 08:11