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Coronavirus - 25th September


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:Covid-19: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 10:09

Summary for Friday, 25th September

  • Industries hit hard by the pandemic in the UK are facing further uncertainty with the government's new jobs scheme
  • Hospitality, events and retail workers and businesses have expressed concern over job losses
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak said employees must be in "viable" jobs to benefit from the wage top-up scheme
  • This means people working in industries currently closed, such as nightclubs, may lose out
  • European health officials say further restrictions may be needed to curb a sharp rise in infections
  • New, stricter rules are due to come into force later as Israel enters its second week of lockdown
  • In hard-hit Brazil, the 2021 edition of the world-famous Rio carnival parade has been postponed indefinitely
  • More than 32 million virus cases have been confirmed globally with almost 983,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University

Good morning if you are joining us in the UK, and hello to all of you around the world. Thanks for joining us for our live coverage of this Friday's top coronavirus developments.
First, let's take a look at the top stories around the world:

  • Rio de Janeiro's world-famous carnival parade, which usually takes place in February, has been postponed indefinitely, organisers say. Brazil has confirmed nearly 4.7 million cases and more than 139,000 deaths, which is the second-highest number in the world after the US
  • New, stricter rules come into force in Israel as the country enters its second week of nationwide lockdown. On Thursday, daily cases reached yet another record high, with more than 7,500 new infections
  • The European Union’s health commissioner has warned that Europe is at a "decisive moment" in the pandemic
  • France’s prime minister has warned of the possibility of a second lockdown as daily cases in the country passed 16,000 on Thursday
  • The spread of cases in the Spanish capital Madrid have brought the country’s total number of cases to above 700,000. Health authorities have warned of difficult weeks ahead for the city
  • More than 32 million cases have been confirmed worldwide, with almost 983,000 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University

News across UK

Workers and businesses in hospitality, events and retail have expressed concern after they missed out on help from the chancellor's emergency jobs support . Rishi Sunak has said jobs must be "viable" to get support, meaning businesses that remain closed, such as nightclubs, may lose out.
Here are some of the other top stories in the UK this morning:

Latest across Europe

Restaurateurs and cafe and bar owners in France's second city Marseille are taking part in a protest against closures imposed by the government that come into force on Saturday because of the rise in infections. A record 16,096 new infections were announced nationally on Thursday, and Prime Minister Jean Castex was confronted on TV by a Marseille restaurant owner. "We will compensate you for the losses you suffer," he promised.
Italy has been the poster child so far for preventing a second surge - but there was a 1,786 rise in new cases on Thursday, with 10 new deaths. Health Minister Roberto Speranza has warned "we must keep our feet on the ground and carry on adopting a prudent approach".
Around a thousand Willem II football fans in the Dutch city of Tilburg celebrated their first European football for 15 years with a big party and a big screen - but no hint of any social distancing. Local authorities say it was better having an organised event than house parties. Willem II lost 4-0 to Rangers.
There is concern about the spread of the virus in Greece too - 342 new cases and nine deaths in 24 hours. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis says Greeks must do all they can to protect themselves to avoid an unwanted new lockdown.

UK 'going back to 1980s' levels of unemployment

Labour's shadow chancellor Annelise Dodds said she was "concerned" that Rishi Sunak's Jobs Support Scheme may not offer employers enough incentive to save jobs rather than making redundancies.
She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that was the "million dollar question".
"It looks currently like at some levels of pay it may not provide that level of incentive," she said.
Dodds said unemployment levels were rising "very substantially" and "going back to 1980s levels".
She welcomed the measures to extend government-backed loans to business and to continue VAT changes, but said the government needed to do more on retraining and was "quite far behind other countries" on stimulating green jobs.
We have more details about the scheme here.

How will UK's Job Support Scheme work?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out plans on Thursday to help workers and businesses hit by new coronavirus restrictions. Here are the key points:

  • The government will subsidise the pay of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to lower demand
  • It will apply to staff who can work at least a third of their usual hours
  • Employers will pay staff for the hours they work
  • For the hours employees cannot work, the government and the employer will each cover one third of the lost pay
  • The grant will be capped at £697.92 per month
  • All small and medium-sized businesses will be eligible
  • Larger business will be eligible if their turnover has fallen during the crisis
  • It will be open to employers across the UK even if they have not used the furlough scheme
  • It will run for six months starting in November

Israel prepares to tighten lockdown

New, stricter rules are due to come into force later as Israel enters its second week of lockdown. On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the country was at "the edge of the abyss".
The new rules, which are still being finalised by parliament, are due to come into effect from 14:00 local time (11:00 GMT) and will include closing non-essential private businesses and further restrictions on movement.
Synagogues are expected to only open for small groups on Sunday for Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day, and the size of protests would be limited.
Israel has recorded 214,000 cases and 1,378 deaths since the pandemic began - one of the highest rates in the world given its population of around 8.9 million.

Life for students on lockdown

Students across Scotland are being asked to self isolate due to outbreaks, and a major outbreak at the University of Glasgow University has led to 172 testing positive with 600 students in isolation.
Lucy Owens is one of them, telling BBC Breakfast that she has lost her sense of smell but is otherwise "fine". She said it was "strange" adjusting to life away from home under these circumstances. "We don’t know what uni life is supposed to be like. We know it's not meant to be like this."
Lucy said the outbreak "happened so quickly" and now she did not know of any student flats without a positive case.
Her flatmate Nell Manson added: "It's kind of scary because some people have worse symptoms than others, no one has the same symptoms even in our flat. It's quite worrying that you might develop the worse ones."
But asked if they would have done anything differently to prevent the outbreak, Lucy said: "I think it was inevitable bringing this many students."

Glasgow student: Freshers' week was quite out of control

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Test centres have been set up at Glasgow University after a major outbreak among students

Sam, a first year student at Glasgow University who has tested positive for coronavirus and is among 600 self-isolating after a major outbreak, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that "there were many people breaking the rules, there’s no denying that".
"I’m pretty sure if you asked any student they would say that freshers' [week] was quite out of control," she said.
But Sam, who lives with nine flatmates, said there was little support for students or enforcement of social distancing rules at university. She said when her flatmate first tested positive, they were unable to get food delivered from the supermarkets and the university did not respond to requests for help.
"There wasn’t really much security and the only real threat of discipline was repeated emails telling us to stay in the flat," she said, adding that crowds of people gathered outside their building and no attempt was made to disperse them.
Since the interview, Glasgow University has got in touch with the student to offer support.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 10:45

Elderly told to stay at home in Moscow as cases rise

Authorities in the Russian capital Moscow have told the elderly and people with chronic illnesses to remain at home from Monday amid a spike in cases. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin also recommended that as many people as possible work from home.
More than 7,200 new cases were recorded in Russia on Friday, the highest figure since June. The country has seen more than 1.1 million cases and almost 20,000 deaths since the pandemic began, and there are fears of a new wave of infections.
Russia has already registered the world's first coronavirus vaccine, despite experts saying the trials were too small to prove its safety and effectiveness. Last month, President Vladimir Putin said the vaccine had passed all the required checks and that one of his own daughters had been given it.

Next year's Rio carnival parade postponed indefinitely

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Rio de Janeiro's world-famous carnival parade has been postponed indefinitely, organisers say.
The samba schools involved in the parade, which was due to be held next February, had previously warned it would be difficult to organise without a vaccine.
The event attracts millions of visitors every year, but Brazil has been one of the worst-affected countries in the pandemic, with nearly 4.7 million infections and more than 138,000 deaths.
Jorge Castanheira, president of samba league Liesa, said schools would not have time to prepare or organise for the February event.
"We're looking for an alternative solution, something we can do when it's safe to contribute to the city. But we aren't certain enough to set a date," he said.
The decision applies to Liesa's formal carnival event , but it is unclear whether local street parties will go ahead.

Hard-hit India sees decline in daily confirmed cases

The number of daily infections in India has declined, with 86,052 new cases announced on Friday. According to the Associated Press news agency, the number of recoveries has overtaken daily infections this week.
India has the second-highest number of infections in the world, with more than 5.8 million cases, but it is expected to overtake the US within the coming weeks. More than 92,000 deaths have also been recorded since the pandemic began.
The country, with a population of 1.3 billion people, still has one of the lowest testing rates in the world so epidemiologists suggest that India's real infection rates are far higher.
Last week our India correspondent Soutik Biswas looked at why India's Covid-19 crisis could be bigger than we think .

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 10:58

Tory MPs back more scrutiny of Covid powers

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A number of MPs are worried about how new coronavirus-related restrictions are being imposed

More than 40 Conservative MPs are backing an attempt to increase parliamentary scrutiny over further coronavirus restrictions in England.
Senior Tory Sir Graham Brady has tabled an amendment that would see the House of Commons debate and vote on any future such measure, arguing that too much power has been left in ministers' hands. It comes as MPs prepare to consider government legislation that will keep Covid-19 emergency powers in force.
The government said it was consulting MPs on public health measures.
The Coronavirus Act - which was passed in March - gave ministers emergency powers to respond to the pandemic but they were time-limited and need to be renewed by the House of Commons next week.
But a number of MPs are worried about how new restrictions - including the limiting of pub and restaurant opening hours and the ban on meetings of more than six people - are being imposed.
Senior Tory Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said: "It's disgraceful that really very far-reaching powers, curtailing people's civil liberties, have just been pushed through without a proper debate in Parliament."

Tesco limits purchases of flour, pasta and toilet rolls

Tesco, the UK's biggest supermarket, is to stop customers from bulk ordering flour, pasta, toilet rolls and anti-bacterial wipes to prevent a repeat of shortages earlier this year.
"We have good availability, with plenty of stock to go round, and we would encourage our customers to shop as normal," a spokeswoman said.
"To ensure that everyone can keep buying what they need, we have introduced bulk-buy limits on a small number of products."

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 15:31

Poland reports record number of daily cases

Adam Easton - Warsaw correspondent
Poland has recorded its highest daily coronavirus figures since the start of the pandemic - 1,587 new cases in the previous 24 hours with 23 virus-related deaths, according to the health ministry.
The totals so far are 84,396 cases and 2,392 deaths since the first case was detected on 4 March. The number of people in hospital increased to 1,995 from 1,964 and the number of patients on ventilators rose by 5 to 96, the ministry said.
A health ministry spokesman said the numbers were the result of increased contacts between people following the end of the summer holidays. "This is not the result of large outbreaks of infections. This is a result of our return to normality, to the everyday functioning of life," he said.
Localised outbreaks are occurring following family parties and in some hospitals and workplaces, he added. The health ministry has also asked the ministry of labour and social policy to decide on limiting the number of visits families can make to elderly people in care homes.

Hong Kong bans major pro-democracy march

Police in Hong Kong have denied permission for an annual pro-democracy march next week, blaming coronavirus rules and the threat to public order.
This year's march was expected to be used to express anger over China's controversial new national security law, which revoked the territory's special status and drew international condemnation.
The coalition which organised the march on 1 October said it planned to appeal the decision.
Authorities in Hong Kong have already postponed elections for a year, again citing coronavirus concerns. But the opposition accused the government of using the pandemic as a pretext to stop people from voting.
The number of daily cases in Hong Kong has now dropped to below 10, and authorities have already eased a number of restrictions.

Here we go again .....

Supermarkets limit bulk buying but supplies 'still strong'

Retailers have said supply chains are "stronger than ever" as supermarkets take measures to prevent bulk buying and avoid the empty shelves seen across the UK in March.
Tesco's announcement that it has limited the sales of flour, pasta, toilet rolls and anti-bacterial wipes comes after Morrisons placed restrictions on a similar list of items on Thursday.
Both supermarkets said they have plenty of stock and the British Retail Consortium said supply chains were "stronger than ever".
But shelves at some stores were left depleted recently after the government warned of rising coronavirus cases across the UK and the possibility of stricter lockdown measures.
Market research company Kantar said Britons made an extra 42 million shopping trips in the four days before the March lockdown, with spending over four weeks that month exceeding the amount spent at Christmas.
It said panic-buying was "concentrated to a relatively low number of individuals".

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 15:42

Spurs get cup match bye after opponents test positive

Tottenham Hotspur have progressed to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup without kicking a ball after a number of their opponents tested positive for coronavirus.
The tie against Leyton Orient had been due to take place on Tuesday but was called off. Orient, who were due to play at home, tried to reschedule but cup rules meant they had to forfeit the match .
A statement from the EFL said Orient was deemed "unable to fulfil its obligations" due to the local council issuing an order preventing the match from being played.

Madrid extends lockdown as cases continue to rise

The regional government of the Spanish capital Madrid will extend lockdown measures to new areas from Monday, amid a surge in cases.
Limits on travel and the size of groups allowed to meet will now be in place in 45 health areas of the Madrid region. Previously 37 areas were under restrictions.
More than a million residents in total will be affected once the changes come into effect. Residents will only be able to leave their zone to go to work, school or to seek medical care. Social gatherings within their zone will be limited to six, public parks will be shut and commercial businesses will need to close by 22:00.
The news comes as the country's Health Minister Salvador Illa said the government had recommended a complete lockdown of the capital to help curb the rise in infections
On Thursday, the number of confirmed infections in Spain passed 700,000, with more than 31,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 15:47

Coronavirus - 25th September Breaki29

One in 500 people in England has Covid - ONS

Robert Cuffe - BBC head of statistics
One in 500 people in homes in England had Covid-19 in the week of 19 September, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
This is up from one in 900 reported last week (nearly doubled) and equates to 103,600 people.
The ONS estimates that there were 9,600 new infections per day in the same week, up 60% on the 6,000 cases per day reported in the previous week.

London added to England's coronavirus watchlist

London has been added to England's Covid-19 watchlist, a group representing the capital's councils says.
A statement from London Councils says: "It is a stark reminder that now is the time for all Londoners to pull together and take action to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe, and to ensure that London's economy is protected."
It says there are "no additional measures at this stage" but it urges "all Londoners to work together and abide by the national restrictions announced on Tuesday".
This includes office workers working from home and wearing face coverings in taxis and private hire vehicles.
Public Health England is expected to formally confirm the areas on the watchlist later.

Start Christmas shopping in November, online buyers told

Emma Simpson - Business correspondent
The UK's online retail industry is warning that firms may struggle to cope with demand this year if we leave all our festive shopping until the last minute.
"We think the volumes are going to be really very excessive this year," said Andy Mulcahy from IMRG, the industry body for online retailers.
"Whilst that in itself is not a problem, getting too much of it too close to Christmas is going to be a bit of a problem," he said.
"If you can spread out your shopping and do quite a lot of it in November, maybe even a bit of it now, then that would really help."
Online sales grew around 40-50% when the pandemic began, IMRG said, and another surge is expected for Christmas.
"I think we can expect an increase of at least 30% for the peak festive trading season, but if stores have to close this might push to 50%, " Mulcahy said.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 15:50

Leeds likely to face further curbs later - city council

Leeds is likely to face further restrictions from midnight, including a ban on households mixing, its city council leader says.
Judith Blake says she expects Leeds will be made an "area of intervention", meaning "more household restrictions along the lines of those already in force across three of the West Yorkshire districts in Bradford, Kirkless and Calderdale".
The inclusion of Leeds - which has a population of 793,000 - in local lockdown measures would mean more than 16.2 million people are living under local restrictions in the UK.
Which areas already have local coronavirus lockdowns? We explain.

Scotland confirms 558 new cases in past 24 hours

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirms a further 558 people have tested positive for Covid-19, 9.5% of those tested in the past 24 hours.
This takes the total number of positive cases in Scotland to 26,518. Sturgeon says the provisional data indicates the breakdown of new cases is as follows:

  • NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde: 255
  • NHS Lothian: 119
  • NHS Lanarkshire: 61

Cardiff and Swansea to be put under local lockdown

Hywel Griffith - Wales correspondent
Cardiff and Swansea will be placed under local lockdown measures from 18:00 BST on Sunday, the Welsh Government has announced.
The same measures will also be applied to Llanelli from Saturday at 18:00.
People living in Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport cannot leave their areas without a reasonable excuse.
The changes mean about 1.5 million people will be under local lockdown, a little under half the Welsh population.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 15:53

London at very worrying tipping point, mayor says

Reacting to the news that London has been added to England's coronavirus watchlist, amid a rise in cases, Mayor Sadiq Khan said the city was at a "very worrying tipping point".
"We’re seeing a sharp rise in 111 calls, hospital admissions, and patients in ICU," he said. "The near collapse of test and trace and the resurgence of the virus means new measures to slow its spread were absolutely necessary."
He said testing capacity was "diverted away from London" to other hotspots in the last two weeks, and that a lack of testing was "totally unacceptable".
"It’s vital that testing capacity is increased immediately in London and focused in the areas it is needed most," Khan added.

Madrid extends lockdown, Moscow stay-at-home call: Europe round-up

With many European countries experiencing a rise in cases, here are the top developments so far on Friday:

  • Spain's capital Madrid is to extend coronavirus measures from Monday, as the country's government calls for a complete lockdown of the city. Around 850,000 residents were placed under local restrictions earlier this week, with the new decision expected to bring the total to over a million
  • Moscow's mayor has told elderly residents to remain at home from Monday and has urged employers to allow home working as far as possible. Russia has seen its highest number of daily cases since late June
  • In the Czech Republic, the mayor of the capital Prague has criticised the prime minister's handling of the pandemic, as the country recorded its highest number of fatalities in a single day since the pandemic began. Nineteen new deaths were recorded on Friday, according to official figures

  • Poland and Slovakia have both had record rises in infections, with 1,587 and 419 new cases respectively

Some countries facing flu jab shortages, WHO says

As winter approaches in the northern hemisphere, the World Health Organization has warned about the availability of flu vaccines.
“Some countries are having trouble sourcing additional vaccine,” Dr Ann Moen told a UN briefing in Geneva on Friday, according to Reuters news agency.
She did not name any nations, but said that in the case of shortages, health workers and the elderly should be prioritised for vaccination.
There are fears that the impact of both coronavirus and any flu outbreak could overwhelm hospitals, as people who are most at risk from coronavirus are also more vulnerable to the flu.
In England, pharmacists and GP surgeries are having to limit flu vaccines to the most at-risk groups amid a surge in demand.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 15:58

UK R number rises to between 1.2 and 1.5

The R number, which measures how quickly the epidemic is growing, has risen to between 1.2 and 1.5, from last week's figure of 1.1 to 1.4, the UK government says.
"An R number between 1.2 and 1.5 means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 15 other people," the government said, adding that the number of new infections was growing by 4% to 8% each day.

Marseille's bar and restaurant owners protest shutdown order

Now to the southern French city of Marseille, where hundreds of restaurant and bar owners have protested against a shutdown order to curb the rising number of coronavirus infections.
The French government ordered bars and restaurants in Marseille to close for two weeks after a spike in cases raised the city's coronavirus alert system to its maximum level.
Health Minister Olivier Veran said the move was necessary to curb new infections.
Nationally, new coronavirus infections have risen above 10,000 a day recently, prompting fears that hospitals could be overwhelmed.
Coronavirus - 25th September E92c4110
Hundreds of bar and restaurant owners protested outside the commercial court in Marseille

But Marseille residents and local officials say the shutdown will devastate the local economy.
One restaurant owner, Bernard Marty, told Reuters news agency his sector had already been "plunged into crisis" by the pandemic. "We're in complete despair. When they shut us down, they humiliate us," he said.
Friday's demonstration took place outside the commercial courthouse. Some protesters yelled "stay open - don't close", while jeering Vernan, who was scheduled to travel to Marseille this afternoon.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 16:02

UK travellers face quarantine in Barbados

Barbados has added the UK to its list of "high risk" countries for coronavirus, meaning travellers will have to quarantine for up to a week on arrival.
It applies from 1 October after a surge in Covid-19 cases in the UK.
Tourists will be required to show evidence of a negative PCR test or risk being refused entry. They will be quarantined for up to a week at a "holding hotel or approved villa" at their own expense, or a free government facility.
They can leave if, after four or five days, they receive a negative result in a second test.
The UK has imposed 14-day quarantine requirements on a series of countries in recent weeks, including Barbados's Caribbean neighbours Curacao and Guadeloupe - usually triggered when cases per 100,000 people exceed 20 over a seven-day period.
Data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control suggests the seven-day rate in the UK is now 52.1 per 100,000 people, while in Barbados it is 1.4.

Kenyan police chief sued over Covid-19 curfew killings

Four human rights groups - Amnesty International Kenya, International Justice Mission Kenya, Haki Africa and the Kituo cha Sheria - have filed a petition asking for monetary compensation for five victims of brutality as police enforced a Covid-19 curfew in Kenya.
They have sued the inspector general of police, the minister in charge of security and the attorney general. They accuse them of failing to uphold their mandate while enforcing curfew leading to loss of lives, injuries and looting of businesses.
The groups have demanded the compensation of about 500,000 Kenyan shillings ($4,600; £3,600) for the five victims.
Among those represented by the rights groups is 13-year-old Yassin Moyo who was shot dead at his parent's balcony as police enforced the night-time curfew. One police officer was charged with the murder of Yassin and is out on bail. The other victims are Joseph Simiyu, Judith Simiyu, Daniel Waithugi Nga’nga and Jacktone Ouma Ochilo.
The government has eased some restrictions and extended curfew start time by two hours.

European authorities seize 27 million counterfeit face masks

Millions of counterfeit and fake goods, including 27 million face masks, have been seized in Europe. The eight-month operation, named Aphrodite, was led by Italian and Irish authorities, with support from the EU's law enforcement co-operation agency Europol.
Authorities tracked online sales of fake items before carrying out checks in a number of countries, leading to the confiscation of nearly 28 million illegal and counterfeit goods.
More than €700,000 (£640,000; $814,000) was also seized during the operation, while 123 social media accounts and 36 websites were taken down.
Ten people were arrested in Greece, while 37 other suspects were reported to the authorities in Greece, Italy and Portugal, according to Europol.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 16:05

Getting back to normal? 600 million to travel for Chinese holiday

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
Next Thursday, hundreds of millions of Chinese people will travel for the annual Mid-Autumn Festival/Golden Week (1-8 October) holiday. This is the first major period of travel in the country since Chinese New Year in January, which this year coincided with the spread of Covid-19.
As China currently has no confirmed domestic, symptomatic patients with the virus in the country, there is the expectation that many will view the holiday as life getting back to normal.
State-run Global Times said on Friday that 600 million were expected to travel in China , roughly 42% of the population. There is hope that the holiday will boost tourism in areas that experienced strict localised lockdowns, so in places like northwestern Xinjiang and central Hubei province, there will be free or discounted entry to scenic spots.
Tourism sites are still being cautious, however, about returning to full capacity. Many still requiring that visitors prebook tickets before visiting.One of these is Beijing’s Forbidden City, which this year celebrates turnings 600-years-old. China Daily says that since July, entry has been capped at 12,000 .
The site can see more than 100,000 visitors a day during Golden Week in normal circumstances.

England reports 33 new virus-related deaths

A further 33 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, NHS England says.
The patients were aged between 56 and 93 and all except two, aged 84 and 88, had known underlying health conditions.
This brings the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 29,871.
In Wales, three more people who tested positive for coronavirus have died and there have been 320 cases, according to Public Health Wales .
UK-wide coronavirus figures are expected to be published later.

'Clear evidence' of rising cases and other UK news

The rate at which the Covid-19 virus is spreading appears to be speeding up, according to a range of measures and numbers.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 16:09

Coronavirus - 25th September Breaki30

Restrictions announced for Leeds, Stockport, Wigan and Blackpool

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed there will be local restrictions in force in Leeds, Stockport, Wigan and Blackpool from Saturday.
There will be restrictions on households mixing in private homes and gardens, he said in a statement.
"This is in line with measures seen elsewhere in the country, such as Leicester and the West Midlands," he said.
"People who live in these areas will not be allowed to gather in a private dwelling or garden with any other household unless in a support bubble.
"People from anywhere else will also not be allowed to gather with another household in a private dwelling or garden in these areas."

Local restriction decisions not taken lightly, Hancock says

More now about Health Secretary Matt Hancock's statement, in which he announced restrictions for Leeds, Blackpool, Wigan and Stockport. He says these new measures are being introduced because the latest data shows a "sharp increase" in incidence rates per 100,000 population in those cities, "which are significantly above the national average".
He says the measures in Leicester, the Borough of Oadby and Wigston, Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Bolton, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale and the remaining local authorities in Greater Manchester have been reviewed.
But, he says, the Local Action Committee Command structure has decided to keep these areas on the watchlist and their current restrictions.
"This will be difficult news for the people living in these areas, profoundly affecting their daily lives," he says.
"These decisions are not taken lightly, and such measures will be kept under review and in place no longer than they are necessary."

Trial of new coronavirus vaccine starts in UK

James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
A trial of a new vaccine that appears to train the immune system to fight coronavirus has begun in the UK.
Early tests showed the jab, developed by US biotechnology company Novavax, leads to high levels of virus-fighting antibodies being produced.
The trial on 10,000 people will now see if the vaccine can prevent people getting ill.
The UK government has already ordered 60 million doses in case it proves successful.
The Novavax jab is only the second to enter large scale trials in the UK; the other has been developed by the University of Oxford .
Some of the vaccines being developed for Covid-19 use either completely new or barely proven technologies.
Novavax are using traditional methods - proteins from the coronavirus that cannot replicate in the body and a chemical, called an adjuvant, to boost the immune response.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 16:14

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Birmingham asks for military support for testing

The deputy leader of Birmingham City Council has confirmed the authority is asking for military support to help with its testing programme in city hotspots.
At a weekly coronavirus briefing, Cllr Brigid Jones said the council had been in talks with the Ministry of Justice for extra capacity for its drop-off-and-collect programme.
She added that personnel would assist civilian efforts in order to maximise the numbers of tests able to be done, and not in an enforcement capacity.
The programme is aimed at areas with high rates of infection, to provide a service to people who can’t leave their homes and to encourage those who may not be proactive in getting tested.
The figures given at the briefing put Birmingham at a rate of 107.6 coronavirus cases per 100k people as of today – the highest in the West Midlands.
Although the amount of testing has increased dramatically, the rate of positive cases to tests has also increased to 6.7%.

Virus figures ‘look downright terrible’ - Dutch PM

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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the rise in cases was "very worrying"

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has expressed alarm over a “worrying” rise of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands, warning of new measures to control the disease.
Rutte issued the warning as the country saw another daily record of new coronavirus infections on Friday, tallying 2,777 over the past 24 hours. Cases have risen sharply since the beginning of September.
"The figures look downright terrible,” the PM told reporters at a news conference. “In short, the situation is very worrisome and will force us to take extra measures.”
He said the new measures will be announced next week. The coronavirus situation in The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam was of particular concern, he said.

London mayor calls for ban on household visits in city

In an interview with the Guardian , London Mayor Sadiq Khan says household visits must soon be banned for the capital's nine million residents.
His remarks come after London councils said that London is now on England's coronavirus watchlist - which is expected to be confirmed by Public Health England later.
Khan tells the the newspaper: "It's obviously bad news that London is an area of concern.
"But the good news is that finally the government will pull their finger out and give us additional support."
He said he had lobbied the prime minister for tougher measures in London, saying: "If you go too late, we will already be in a north-east, north-west, Birmingham-type situation. You've got to go early, particular in the absence of testing.
"One of the things that I said to the prime minister is: I think we should be following what's happening around the country and stopping social mixing of households , and I say that with a heavy heart."

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 16:49

Coronavirus - 25th September Breaki31

Further 6,874 UK coronavirus cases reported

A further 6,874 UK coronavirus cases have been reported in the last 24 hours, according to the latest government figures .
There have also been 34 deaths, according to the statistics, but the government says this does not including Scotland due to a power outage at National Records of Scotland.

Virginia governor tests positive ahead of Trump rally

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Democratic Governor Ralph Northam - and his wife Pamela - tested positive

The governor of the US state of Virginia has tested positive for coronavirus.
Democratic Governor Ralph Northam and his wife Pamela were both tested on Thursday, after a member of staff at their residence was found to have Covid-19, a statement released on the governor's website said.
The governor is currently asymptomatic, while the first lady has mild symptoms. Both will isolate for 10 days, the statement added.
He is the second governor in as many days to test positive, after Missouri Governor Mike Parson and his wife announced they had been infected on Thursday.
The news comes ahead of a planned rally by President Donald Trump in the state, which health officials have warned could pose a "severe health risk".
According to the Washington Post, the director of the local health district had asked the company that operates the airport where the rally is planned to adhere to the state's 250-person limit on gatherings.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 16:55

Israel's new lockdown rules come into effect

It has been a week since Israel went into its second nationwide lockdown, and now new restrictions have come into effect to help stop the rise in cases.
From this afternoon, businesses not officially considered essential were ordered closed, and travel restricted to 1km (0.6 miles) from people's homes.
Other planned rules which would affect protesters and synagogue-goers have not yet been approved by parliament, amid disagreements.
Covid-19 cases in Israel have continued to rise despite the latest lockdown. A new record of more than 8,000 infections for a single day were recorded on Thursday in Israel, which has one of the highest rates of infections per capita in the world.

WHO chief: US had no good reason to withdraw from body

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Dr Tedros said he "didn't believe" the US's decision to withdraw from the WHO

President Donald Trump "doesn't have any good reason to withdraw" the US from the World Health Organization (WHO), its Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said.
President Trump announced the termination of the country's relationship with the WHO in May, accusing the UN agency of failing to hold China to account over the coronavirus pandemic.
“My first reaction was, to be honest, I didn’t believe it,” Dr Tedros said in an interview with Time Magazine .
"Even now I believe that the US administration doesn’t have any good reason to withdraw from WHO."
In 2019, the US was the global health agency's largest single contributor, providing 15.18% of its total budget .
Dr Tedros said the impact of US withdrawal was uncertain, but stressed it was the country’s "global leadership" that mattered more to him than its financial contribution.
Nevertheless, Dr Tedros was hopeful co-operation would prevail over division, especially when vaccines against Covid-19 are distributed.
"The basic principle we're following now, in terms of distribution of the vaccines, is to give vaccines to some people in all countries, not all people in some countries," he said.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 17:39

'Don’t scapegoat students over outbreaks'

Sean Coughlan - BBC News, education correspondent
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Students should not be made "scapegoats" for a wave of Covid outbreaks, says a lecturers' leader.
Jo Grady of the UCU university staff union said it was the "completely predictable" outcome of encouraging large numbers of students to return.
With universities in England returning, she called for them to switch as much as possible to online teaching.
The Department for Education says it is supporting universities to have a mix of online and face-to-face teaching.
Dr Grady said tough restrictions on students in Scotland and increasing warnings for students in England did not mean outbreaks were a consequence of "reckless behaviour" by students.
Earlier, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said students were not to blame for recent outbreaks at the country's universities.
Some students have claimed that they are being "singled out" after they were told not to visit pubs or restaurants over the weekend.
Read more from Sean

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 18:51

US still in first wave of infections, expert says

The US remains in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, because infections have not decreased sufficiently since the initial outbreak, the country's leading infectious diseases expert has said.
Dr Anthony Fauci said the second wave of a pandemic happens when infections of a disease subside significantly before a marked resurgence at a later date.
During the flu pandemic of 1918, for example, infections spiked in the spring then "literally disappeared", before an “explosion” of cases in autumn, Dr Fauci said.
"Rather than say, 'a second wave,' why don't we say, 'are we prepared for the challenge of the fall and the winter?'," Dr Fauci told CNN .
World Health Organization (WHO) data shows the US has recorded more than 13,000 new infections of coronavirus a day since late March.
New cases dipped slightly after hitting a peak of 74,354 on 19 July, but have continued to increase by at least 40,000 a day since then, according to the data.
At least 202,000 people have died with Covid-19 so far in the US, the highest number of fatalities in the world.

Denmark extends restrictions as cases spike

Denmark is the latest European country to see a second spike of coronavirus infections, mirroring a concerning pattern happening across the world.
On Friday, Danish health minister Magnus Heunicke said restrictions already in place would be extended by two weeks until 19 October.
"A rise in new infections was expected, but it has come earlier than we had anticipated," Heunicke told a news conference.
Under the rules, public gatherings of more than 50 people are banned.
Denmark has fared better than many other European countries, recording 24,357 cases and 643 deaths , the latest WHO data shows. However, the country has seen a pronounced spike in recent days, tallying 678 on Friday.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 18:55

Where have local lockdowns been announced?

A series of local lockdowns have been announced today in the north of England and in parts of Wales, including its two biggest cities.
Different households in Leeds , Stockport, Wigan and Blackpool are banned from meeting in private homes or gardens in an effort to slow rising cases of coronavirus from midnight.
In Wales, Cardiff and the county of Swansea go into lockdown at 18:00 BST on Sunday , 24 hours after the Carmarthenshire town of Llanelli.
People will not be able to enter or leave the areas without a reasonable excuse, the Welsh government says.
They will also not be able to meet indoors with anyone they do not live with, with extended households suspended.
Find out how many coronavirus cases there are in your area .

All London boroughs 'areas of concern' - Public Health England

We reported earlier on confirmation from London Councils, which represents the city's 33 councils, that the UK capital had been put on the coronavirus watchlist .
Public Health England's latest coronavirus weekly surveillance report has now been published and confirms all of London's boroughs have been made areas of "concern".
The report shows the incidence rates in the capital, with the rate in the City of London estimated at 11.5 per 100,000 people, while in Havering it is 30.3.
Prof Kevin Fenton, London regional director for Public Health England, said: "The placement of London on the watchlist as an area of concern is a reflection of the rising number of cases of Covid-19 being shown by a range of indicators.
"We are currently seeing much more widespread transmission in the city and being recognised as an area of concern is an important step in our efforts to control the virus."
He says the new status "will enable us to respond more rapidly and with additional measures should cases rise further and faster".

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 18:59

Is spread of coronavirus slowing in Africa?

Peter Mwai and Christopher Giles
BBC Reality Check
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the Covid-19 outbreak in Africa may have passed its peak, but warns governments not to be complacent as countries relax their restrictions.
The number of new daily confirmed cases overall has been dropping for about two months now, although some countries are still seeing a rise in cases.
The humanitarian relief body International Rescue Committee says it believes the true scale of the pandemic may be hidden because of a lack of testing and issues with data.
And the WHO says changes in testing capacity and strategy can also affect numbers.
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Two million deaths ‘very likely’ - WHO expert

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Dr Mike Ryan said two million deaths were possible even with an effective vaccine

The deaths of two million people with Covid-19 is “very likely” unless the world takes comprehensive action to curb the spread of the disease, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) expert has warned.
Dr Mike Ryan was asked on Friday whether two million fatalities worldwide was possible before a vaccine against the disease became available.
“It’s certainly unimaginable, but it’s not impossible,” Dr Ryan told a media briefing at the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva.
Almost one million people have died with coronavirus worldwide since the disease first emerged in China late last year.
Dr Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies team, said fatality rates were dropping as treatments for the disease improve.
But he said better treatments and even an effective vaccine would not be enough on their own to prevent further deaths.
“Are we prepared to do what it takes to avoid that number?,” Dr Ryan said, calling on governments to do everything within their power to control Covid-19.
“Unless we do it all, the number you speak about is not only imaginable, but unfortunately and sadly, very likely.”

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 19:12

Outdoor dining to be permanent in New York - mayor

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Restaurants were allowed to expand outdoor dining in New York City earlier this year

Outdoor dining will be a permanent, year-round fixture of the restaurant scene in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced.
The Open Restaurant initiative allowed 9,000 restaurants to reopen their doors and expand outdoor-dining services to help them stay afloat during the pandemic.
The initiative was set to expire on 31 October, but on Friday Mayor de Blasio said it would continue indefinitely. Outdoor dining throughout the cooler autumn and winter months would be an “important part of how we recover as a city”, he said.
“I believe this is going to make it a lot easier for restaurants to survive,” the mayor said.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio said the initiative will help restaurants survive

Restaurants will be required to observe social-distancing restrictions when indoor dining returns in New York City on 30 September.
More outdoor space will enable restaurants to accommodate more customers, saving thousands of jobs.
The industry has welcomed the mayor’s announcement, with restaurant group NYC Hospitality Alliance hailing the move as a “critical lifeline for thousands of small businesses”.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 19:30

Lockdown dissent grows among Israeli PM's critics

Yolande Knell - BBC Middle East correspondent, Jerusalem
A political row has continued over the tightening of Covid-19 restrictions in Israel, a week after the country became the first in the world to begin a second nationwide lockdown .
Critics of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accuse him of trying to block the regular protests against him and his handling of the crisis.
New rules came into effect at 14:00 (12:00 BST) local time, just ahead of the Israeli weekend.
They close most workplaces and markets. Synagogues are to stay closed except on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which begins on Sunday evening.
In parliament, Netanyahu was blocked from pushing through emergency measures to prevent the protests that have become a regular event outside his Jerusalem residence.
However, anti-Netanyahu groups now say they will form a protest convoy to make their way there with participants, going no further than the 1km (0.6 mile) limit from their homes.
One group is urging protesters to stage events on their balconies.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 20:02

Analysis: Eating out and the risk of infection

Robert Cuffe - BBC head of statistics
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This week’s report on coronavirus hotspots from Public Health England has a new analysis.
It shows that the most common activity people recall doing before their coronavirus symptoms began is eating out.
MPs wrote to Baroness Dido Harding, the head of NHS Test and Trace, earlier this week asking her to share the evidence behind the 22:00 curfew and table service restrictions.
Contact tracers asked people what activities they had been doing in the days leading up to their coronavirus symptoms.
The most common answer from the 45,000 people questioned was eating out (15%) closely followed by shopping (13%).
We can’t say for certain if this is where people picked up their infection, and can’t say anything about the people who don’t pick up the phone to contact tracers.
But it adds some evidence to the public debate about the measures the government have announced.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 25th September

Post by Kitkat on Fri Sep 25 2020, 20:18

Canada to tighten restrictions as cases climb

Two of Canada's most populous provinces have moved to impose further restrictions on social gatherings, as they seek to stem rising coronavirus infections.
In Quebec, Health Minister Christian Dubé urged people to avoid social gatherings for 28 days.
Dubé made the plea as the eastern province recorded a further 637 new cases on Friday, up 10% from the day before.
Ontario, the most populous province, also saw a rise in new cases. In response, Premier Doug Ford announced on Friday that bars, restaurants and strip clubs will have to close by midnight, and stop serving alcohol by 23:00 local time.
On a national level, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau resumed his daily Covid-19 briefing, which he had paused over the summer as cases declined.
In a televised address on Tuesday, he warned that "we are on the brink of a fall that could be much worse than the spring".

Two million deaths ‘very likely’ and other global news

We’re pausing our live coverage for the day soon. In case you missed them, here are some of today’s main headlines from around the world.

  • The deaths of two million people with Covid-19 is “very likely” unless the world takes comprehensive action to curb the spread of the disease, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) expert has warned
  • Spain's capital Madrid is to extend coronavirus measures from Monday, as the country's government calls for a complete lockdown of the city
  • Hundreds of restaurant and bar owners have protested against a shutdown order to curb coronavirus infections in the French city of Marseille
  • Israel has tightened restrictions on its population in the fight against coronavirus, one week after a second lockdown came into effect
  • Younger, less dense populations and hot, humid climates are being cited as key reasons why Africa has been spared a surge in coronavirus cases
  • The US remains in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, because infections have not decreased sufficiently since the initial outbreak, the country's leading infectious diseases expert has said
  • More than 32 million cases have been confirmed worldwide, with almost 983,000 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

A look back at today's main developments

We're pausing the coronavirus live page for now but will be back on Saturday morning.
We leave you with a round-up of today's biggest developments from the UK.

Today's coverage has been brought to you by: Hugo Bachega, Joseph Lee, Victoria Bissett, Paul Gribben, Joshua Nevett and Emma Harrison
Thanks for joining us.

    Current date/time is Sun Oct 25 2020, 07:46