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Coronavirus - 5th October


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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 11:55

Summary for Monday, 5th October

  • The hospitalised US president said he had been to "the real school" after testing positive for coronavirus last week
  • He has been treated with the steroid dexamethasone after oxygen level drops on Friday and Saturday, doctor says
  • They said the president was doing well and might be discharged back to the White House on Monday
  • President Trump stoked anger after being driven past his supporters outside the hospital on Sunday
  • In the UK, a technical glitch which meant nearly 16,000 cases went unreported has caused delays to its track and trace system
  • All bars in the French capital Paris will shut from Tuesday as the city's coronavirus alert is raised to maximum
  • There have now been more than 35.1m Covid-19 cases causing more than 1m deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University

The world's attention appears to be fixed on the US hospital where President Donald Trump is being treated for coronavirus. However, Covid-19 continues to affect the lives of millions around the globe. Here are some of the main headlines from this morning:

  • The number of coronavirus cases around the world has passed 35 million, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. More than one million people have died since the pandemic began
  • Paris will shut all bars completely from Tuesday as the French government raises the city's coronavirus alert to maximum amid high infection rates. Full details of the new restrictions will be announced later on Monday
  • The news is more positive in New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland, where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that remaining restrictions will be lifted later this week. The city was the centre of a new cluster in August, but no new cases have been reported in the last 10 days
  • The Japanese founder of popular fashion brand Kenzo has died from complications linked to coronavirus at the age of 81

Here's a recap of the main developments in the past few hours surrounding the US president:

  • President Donald Trump has spent a third night in the Walter Reed hospital where he is being treated for coronavirus
  • On Sunday his doctors revealed that he had been given steroid dexamethasone after oxygen level drops on Friday and Saturday - normally the drug is used in severe cases of Covid-19
  • Trump briefly left the hospital after announced in a video on Twitter that he wanted to surprise supporters who have gathered outside to wish him well
  • But doctors criticised the drive-by saying that staff who travelled with Trump in the motorade could have been exposed to the virus
  • Presidential candidate Joe Biden says he plans to travel to Florida on Monday for a campaign event - he appeared on stage with Trump last Tuesday when the president may have been infectious. Guidelines suggest anyone exposed to the virus should isolate for 14 days
  • Vice-president Mike Pence is also continuing campaign events despite coming into contact with Trump and other officials who have tested positive
  • US Attorney General Bill Barr has said he will quarantine after coming into close contact with officials who tested positive but will likely return to work this week
  • There are still a number of unanswered questions - read analysis from our reporter Anthony Zurcher about what we still don't know

What is the latest from the UK?

If you’re just joining us in the UK, good morning. Here’s a summary of the main headlines:

European countries tightening controls
European countries are racing to control increasing infection rates, with tighter measures being imposed in several cities.

  • From Tuesday bars in Paris will have to shut for two weeks and the capital's restaurants and cafes must tighten their hygiene measures. Similar rules are already in force in Marseille. Paris universities can only have lecture halls half-full. The French government is alarmed that in Paris the infection rate is now above 250 per 100,000 people, and Covid patients account for more than 30% of intensive care beds.
  • In Moscow schoolchildren will have to stay at home for two weeks and firms have been told to keep at least 30% of staff working from home. Russia's daily infection rate has risen to 10,888 - the highest since May.
  • The Czech Republic has reimposed a state of emergency, as its two-week average infection rate is 303 per 100,000, with only Spain's (319) higher in Europe, according to EU experts. Czech borders remain open, but indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people maximum.
  • Ireland's emergency health team, the NPHET, has recommended measures almost as tight as a full lockdown. Level Five would see all indoor gatherings banned and bars and restaurants only able to do takeaways.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 12:17

Son and sister of Venezuelan president to receive Russian vaccine
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The son and sister of Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro are to be among 2,000 volunteers to receive a coronavirus vaccine developed by Russia as part of clinical trials.
Maduro said in an address on Sunday that he approved of his son's decision, adding that he himself would be the first person to receive the vaccine - known as Sputnik V - once it was ready for mass use.
Russia was the first country to officially register a vaccine against coronavirus on 11 August and President Vladimir Putin said his own daughter had received a dose. However, health experts have questioned whether it has undergone the necessary testing .
The Venezuelan government, which has received billions of dollars in loans from Russia, said in August that it would be willing to take part in clinical trials for the new vaccine.
Venezuela has offiically recorded more than 77,000 infections and around 650 deaths since the pandemic began, although the real figures may be much higher.

EU Commission head self-isolating

The president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen is self-isolating after learning that she was in contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus.
Von der Leyen said she met the individual in question last Tuesday and would remain in quarantine until tomorrow.

Contact tracing under way for 206 guests at Trump fundraiser

After Donald Trump and other high-ranking officials at the White House tested positive for coronavirus, the administration said it would take part in contact tracing in order to reach people who may have been exposed to the virus.
Now Trump's team has disclosed to New Jersey health officials a list of at least 206 people who attended a fundraiser the president held at his golf club in the state on Thursday.
The New Jersey Health Department says it has contacted individuals to make them aware they may have been exposed, and warn that they should monitor themselves for symptoms.
The fundraiser was held at the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, where staff are now being interviewed to assess how much contact they had with Trump and his team.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 12:32

More from The Guardian:

Moscow considering tougher lockdown to curb spread

Moscow authorities are considering imposing a strict lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus and are looking at several possible scenarios, the Vedomosti newspaper reported on Monday, citing sources.
“It’s particularly important to understand how to take steps that don’t finish off businesses,” one Vedomosti source said.
Russia reported 10,499 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest number of daily infections since 15 May, when the outbreak was at its peak and lockdowns were in place.

Russia’s daily tally of new coronavirus cases rose to its highest since 12 May on Monday as authorities reported 10,888 new infections nationwide, including 3,537 in Moscow.
Authorities said 117 people had died overnight, pushing the official death toll to 21,475. The total number of cases registered since the beginning of the outbreak stands at 1,225,889, they said.

Singapore to extend monetary relief programmes
Singapore said on Monday it would extend relief programmes on mortgages and loans for individuals and small firms into next year because of the prolonged impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The programmes, which include deferrals on mortgage payments and lower interest rates on loans, were introduced in April and were set to expire on 31 December.
“Many individuals and businesses will continue to experience cashflow pressures into early 2021,” the monetary authority of Singapore and associations representing the city-state’s financial industry said in a statement. The extended measures will expire in phases over 2021, they added.

Indonesia reports 3,622 new coronavirus cases
Indonesia confirmed 3,622 new coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the total number of infections in the Southeast Asian country to 307,120, official data showed.
It also reported 102 new deaths, according to its Covid-19 task force, with total fatalities in Indonesia reaching 11,253.

Shutdowns for New York City
New York City’s mayor has asked the state for permission to close schools and reinstate restrictions on nonessential businesses in several neighbourhoods because of a resurgence of coronavirus.
The action, if approved, would mark a retreat for a city that enjoyed a summer with less spread of the virus than most other parts of the US, and had only recently celebrated the return of students citywide to in-person learning in classrooms.
Shutdowns would happen to start Wednesday in nine zipcodes in the city, mayor Bill de Blasio said. About 100 public schools and 200 private schools would have to close. Indoor dining, which resumed a few days ago, would be suspended. Outdoor restaurant dining would shut down in the affected neighbourhoods as well, and gyms would close.
Houses of worship would be allowed to remain open with existing restrictions in place, De Blasio said.

Serious shortage of blood supply in Uganda
Health authorities in Uganda say the supply of blood has sharply declined since the start of the coronavirus pandemic as fewer people donate and schools remain closed. The consequences are sometimes deadly.
Students, especially those in secondary school, are the largest group of blood donors in the East African country but schools have been closed since March amid efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
This means the government agency charged with collecting blood is failing to meet its targets.
Dr Emmanuel Batiibwe, the director of a hospital that looks after many of the poorest residents of the capital, Kampala, cited multiple deaths there in recent months related to blood shortages.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 12:42

Ireland on the cusp of a  nationwide lockdown
Ireland was on the cusp of a nationwide lockdown on Monday after government experts recommended strengthening coronavirus restrictions to curb a surge in cases.
The national public health emergency team (NPHET) recommended on Sunday evening that all of Ireland move to the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions, mirroring those issued during the original lockdown in March.
Coalition government leaders were to meet the chief medical officer to discuss the matter later on Monday.
But the recommendation leaves the government – already faltering since coming to power in June – in a difficult position. In the past it has largely followed official health guidance over the infection, enacting some of the strictest international travel restrictions in the EU.

Malaysia PM quarantines after contact with minister who has Covid-19

Malaysian prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin will self quarantine for 14 days after being in contact with a minister who has tested positive for Covid-19.
In a statement, Muhyiddin said all his recent tests for Covid-19 were negative.
Muhyiddin said he was at a Saturday meeting with the religious affairs minister, Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri, who on Monday confirmed he had tested positive for Covid-19.

Lithuanian foreign affairs minister self-isolating
Lithuanian foreign affairs minister Linas Linkevičius will self-isolate for a week after contact with members of visiting French president Emmanuel Macron’s delegation, who later tested positive for coronavirus.
The minister was present at several events during the 28-29 September visit, spokeswoman Rasa Jakilaitienė said. Lithuania’s BNS news agency reported that two members of staff at the French embassy in Vilnius, who were part of the delegation, had tested positive for coronavirus last week. The embassy could not immediately be reached for comment.
It was not immediately clear if Linkevičius, who had met Macron during the visit, had been tested. President Gitanas Nausėda, his wife and several members of his office took coronavirus tests on Sunday. All the results were negative, the president’s office said in a statement.

Poland’s incoming education minister has tested positive for coronavirus
as new cases in Poland have continued to reach records over the past week.
Przemysław Czarnek, 43, announced he had been infected ahead of an event at the presidential palace, where president Andrzej Duda was expected to confirm new ministers after a government reshuffle announced last week.
“I was tested this morning due to a headache so as not to expose the President, the cabinet and other participants in today’s events. I feel good. Don’t underestimate the symptoms,” Czarnek, said in a tweet posted on Monday.
Poland on Saturday reached a record of new daily coronavirus infections. As of Monday, Poland had a total of 102,080 confirmed cases and 2,659 deaths.

Bars in the Paris region have been ordered to close from tomorrow
after the health authorities reported a sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 infections among the 20-30 age group.
Restaurants in and around the French capital have been given a reprieve and told they can stay open on condition that they enforce stricter health safety regulations.
This will involve taking the name and telephone number of diners, allowing a maximum of six people per group and providing hand gel on each table.
The city’s police chief said this applied only to establishments whose main activity is serving food.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 12:48

UK adds nearly 16,000 missing coronavirus cases after IT glitch

The UK has reported a huge total of coronavirus cases for the second day running as public health officials get to grips with a technical issue that delayed the recording of thousands of cases in the daily figures .
Yesterday evening's total of 22,961 infections comes after Saturday's figure of 12,872 cases. Between them, both days' figures include 15,841 cases which should have been reported between 25 September and 2 October.
BBC health editor Hugh Pym said the adjustment meant that daily figures for the end of the week were nearer 11,000 than the 7,000 reported.
Public Health England said all the individuals who tested positive have been informed, but the issue delayed contact tracing until 01:00 BST on Saturday, when the information was finally passed on.
Labour's shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said: "This is shambolic and people across the country will be understandably alarmed."

Unanswered questions about Trump's Covid crisis

Anthony Zurcher - BBC North America reporter
It has been three days since the shocking revelation that Donald and Melania Trump tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Since then, the president has been admitted to hospital and a growing number of senior government officials and aides have themselves tested positive.
As it now stands, there are a number of important questions that remain unanswered.
When did Trump last receive a negative test? Do we know all the facts about his health? And should Vice-President Mike Pence be isolating?
Read more about these unknowns and why they matter here .

Two weeks of stricter measures could 'buy time' for Scotland

Scotland's national clinical director Jason Leitch has said a two-week period of stricter cornonavirus measures - dubbed a "circuit-breaker" - could buy the nation time and set the epidemic back by 28 days.
Leitch told BBC Scoland's Seven Days programme that the restrictions would not be a "full lockdown like 23 March" and could allow schools and colleges to stay open.
But he said it could be a "short, sharp shock to the R number" - the measure which scientists use to tell how quickly the epidemic is growing.
"You get the R number down, you get the numbers down to a reasonable level and then you can begin to reintroduce some of the things that you've closed," he said.
He said the estimate was "not an exact science", but a two-week period of restrictions could "buy you about a month in the pandemic".

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 12:51

South Korean minister sorry for husband’s ‘yacht-buying’ trip

South Korea’s foreign minister has apologised after her husband travelled to the US to reportedly buy a yacht - violating her own official pandemic travel advice.
Lee Yill-byung, a professor emeritus at Yonsei University, was spotted at Incheon International Airport on Saturday, departing for the US.
He told reporters he was going on holiday.
“The coronavirus will not disappear within a day or two. You cannot just stay at home every day, so in my opinion, you can maintain a normal life to an extent while remaining vigilant,” Mr Lee said.
According to media reports, he was travelling to the US to buy a yacht which he could sail to the Caribbean - plans he had earlier detailed on his personal blog.
However, since March, Kang Kyung-wha’s foreign ministry has advised citizens to refrain from non-essential overseas travel during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"I am sorry that this happened when the people are refraining from outside activities including overseas travels,” Ms Kang was quoted as saying by a ministry official on Sunday.
According to the daily Chosun Ilbo , when questioned if she would ask her husband to return, Ms Kang said: "He planned the trip for such a long time, and postponed it several times, so it's difficult for me to tell him (to come home)."

Deaths down in Peru and 103-year-old survivor

Some positive news out of Peru, which has one of the highest number of Covid-related deaths per capita in the world. For the past week, the number of fatalities recorded daily has been below 100, down from a record high of more than 300 in June.
The number of daily new infections has also been below 3,500 for the past seven days. International flights to and from Peru - which had been suspended since March - will resume from Monday.
And there was a heart-warming story out of Mexico this weekend, where a 103-year-old woman who'd contracted Covid-19 was discharged from hospital.
Doctors said Doña María had been in good spirits throughout her 11 days in hospital, chatting to staff and telling them to take care with their health. In a video released by Mexico's Social Security Institute she can be seen applauding her carers and heard telling doctors she will pray for their safety.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 13:05

Sri Lanka shuts schools after 'mystery' Covid case

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Curfew has been imposed in the town of Divulapitiya

Sri Lanka has announced an early end to school terms after a factory worker in the town of Divulapitiya - on the outskirts of the capital Colombo - tested positive for Covid-19. Curfew has been imposed in the town.
The unidentified woman's daughter has since tested positive, along with at least 69 other workers at the factory.
It is unclear how the woman contracted the virus. Sri Lanka's cases of Covid-19 have been contained to specific clusters so far. The health ministry says there have been 3,471 cases and 13 deaths recorded there since March. Since then, the country has shut down the airport for commercial flights and has only been allowing in repatriated citizens - who have to spend a month in quarantine. This is the first reported case in weeks.
Officials are now conducting more tests, and have placed more than 1,000 people in quarantine. They are also attempting to trace where and how the woman may have contracted the virus.
The news sent has shockwaves through a country where life had resumed pre-pandemic normalcy. Officials have asked people to suspend all non-essential travel. Panic buying has been reported in some areas.

'World's best airport' warns of prolonged crisis

Singapore's Changi Airport has warned of a "daunting period" ahead as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of abating.
The Asian transit hub has been voted world's best airport for the eighth consecutive year. But Changi has had to suspend operations in two terminals as flights have dropped to historic lows.
It has also halted the construction of a fifth terminal for at least two years.
"The battle with Covid-19 has only just begun," Changi Airport Group said in its annual report. "The future does appear daunting with the situation showing no signs of abatement."
Find out more her

England striker apologises after 'surprise party'

England striker Tammy Abraham has apologised "for the naivety shown" after he was reported to have breached coronavirus guidelines.
It was reported in the Sun that about 20 people - including two of his England team mates - attended a surprise party for his 23rd birthday, held at his home on Saturday.
That would be a breach of rules on social gatherings, which cannot be attended by more than six people.
The Chelsea player said he was unaware the party had been planned but "deeply regrets" it.
The party happened hours after Abraham played in Chelsea's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday and before he was set to join up with the England squad this week.
Read more here .

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 13:44

Mumbai's bars and restaurants open again

Andrew Clarance - BBC News, Delhi
Restaurants, bars and cafés reopened on Monday in India’s financial capital, Mumbai. They closed more than six months ago to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
But life is far from normal in the city, which is known for its food and nightlife. It’s among the worst-hit, with more than 200,000 confirmed cases.
Restaurants and bars will reopen with 50% seating capacity, thermal screening, social distancing and other safety measures - staff must wear masks, and customers have to reserve tables before arriving and pay bills virtually, wherever possible.
And businesses have been directed to keep a record of customers - names and phone numbers - to allow for contact tracing.

Argentina Covid cases approaching 800,000

We reported earlier on a drop in the number of Covid-related deaths and daily cases in Peru but one Latin American country where infections continue to rise is Argentina.
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Health authorities registered their highest number of daily cases so far on Friday with 14,687 confirmed infections. While the figures were lower on Saturday and Sunday, Argentina looks set to pass the 800,000 cases mark later on Monday.
The worst affected area is the capital, Buenos Aires, and its surroundings.
Argentina was one of the countries which imposed a strict lockdown early on but, as it has loosened restrictions, the number of infections has jumped up.
Experts warn that because the number of coronavirus tests being carried out in Argentina is very low, the real figure could be much higher.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 13:51

Iran reports record number of new infections amid 'third wave'

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Coronavirus-related restrictions have been tightened in the capital Tehran

Iran has reported a record daily number of new coronavirus infections and a record-equalling number of deaths, as it struggles to contain what officials have called a “third wave” of its outbreak.
Health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said 3,902 people had tested positive for Covid-19 and 235 had died in the past 24 hours , bringing the overall totals since February to 475,674 and 27,192 respectively.
Iran, one of the hardest hit countries in the Middle East, has seen a spike in new infections in recent weeks. More than 3,500 new cases have been reported on each of the past seven days, with the previous record daily number coming on Thursday.
All but one of the country’s 31 provinces are considered to be “red” zones where infections are on the rise, but the situation in Tehran is of particular concern.
On Saturday, authorities ordered the closure of schools, universities libraries, mosques and other public institutions in the capital and its surrounding area for a week to limit the spread of Covid-19.
President Hassan Rouhani meanwhile warned that anyone who concealed a Covid-19 infection and failed to self-quarantine for 14 days would face “the highest punishment”.

No, these bikers aren’t praying for President Trump

Alistair Coleman - BBC Anti-Disinformation Unit
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A video which claims to show bikers praying for President Donald Trump outside the Walter Reed Medical Center isn’t from this weekend, and wasn’t even filmed in the United States.
The clip, shared more than 25,000 times on Twitter and viewed over 1.3m times, was uploaded onto video-sharing platform TikTok on Friday, but the same clip had previously been uploaded by the same user on 12 September, this time claiming to be bikers commemorating the 9/11 attacks.
However, detective work by fact-checking website Lead Stories , verified by the BBC, reveals that the video was actually shot in South Africa and shows bikers protesting against farm murders.
The original clip was uploaded to TikTok on 29 August, and comparison with Google Street View shows it was shot outside the Union Building in Pretoria.
We’ve looked at other false claims here .

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 13:55

Test and trace 'letting country down', says London mayor

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said the capital is at a "very serious tipping point" and the test and trace system is "letting London and the country down" at a crucial moment.
He described the delay in reporting nearly 16,000 cases as "the latest debacle from the government's disastrous test and trace system".
"London is at a very serious tipping point and, with cases rising, it's essential that we have an accurate picture of the number of cases, and that their contacts are urgently told to self-isolate," he said.

Trump ‘ready to return to work’, chief of staff says

Donald Trump is expected to return to the White House on Monday after his condition continued to improve overnight, his chief of staff has told US broadcaster Fox News.
Mark Meadows said he had spoken with Trump earlier on Monday morning.
The White House chief of staff said the president will later meet with doctors and nurses to make further assessments of his progress.
Meadows had painted a gloomy picture of Trump’s condition on Saturday, saying the president's vital signs had been "very concerning".
However, White House Physician Dr Sean Conley contradicted that assessment, giving a more upbeat prognosis on Saturday and Sunday.
But there was scepticism over the prospect of Trump’s departure from hospital on Monday after it emerged that he had received extra oxygen and a steroid normally reserved for serious cases.
Tweet  John Roberts:
URGENT: From WH COS Mark Meadows to Fox News: “Spoke to the President this morning. He continued to improve over night and is ready to get back to a normal working schedule. He will meet with his doctors and nurses this morning to make further assessments of his progress.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 17:36

What’s the latest in the UK?

If you’re just joining us this lunchtime in the UK, here’s a round-up of the main developments:

Other stories from around the world

Away from the news surrounding President Donald Trump, here's a reminder of the top stories from around the world:

  • Bars in Paris will close for two weeks from tomorrow after the city France raised the city's coronavirus alert to the maximum level amid a spike in cases
  • Schoolchildren in the Russian capital Moscow will have to stay at home for two weeks and firms have been told to keep at least 30% of staff working from home, as Russia's infection rate reached its highest level since May.
  • Daily coronavirus infections have reached a record high in Iran, according to new figures from the country's health ministry. A spokesman on Monday said 3,902 new cases were recorded in the past 24 hours, while the number of deaths reached 235 - equalling the record set on 28 July
  • Remaining restrictions will be lifted in New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, from Wednesday night. The city was the centre of a new cluster in August, but no new cases have been reported in the last 10 days
  • Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro says his son and sister will be among 2,000 volunteers take part in clinical trials for a Russian coronavirus vaccine released in August

Thousands attend rabbi's funeral in Israel despite lockdown

Yolande Knell - BBC Middle East correspondent, Jerusalem
In the Israeli city of Ashdod, thousands of Hasidic Jews have been taking part in a funeral procession for a prominent rabbi who died of coronavirus.
Police gave permission for the event but there are concerns social distancing rules were broken.
Israel remains under a full lockdown. It has seen signs in recent days that its rate of Covid-19 infection - which is among the highest in the world - is falling.
However, there is concern that the number of new cases among ultra-Orthodox Jews is still high - accounting for 40% of the total, although the community amounts to just 12% of the population.
On Sunday night, Israeli police said they made more than 30 arrests during clashes in ultra-Orthodox neighbourhoods of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as officers tried to break up prayer services that violated coronavirus-related restrictions.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of Israelis across the country - many banging pots and pans - protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the crisis, despite a controversial new ban restricting people from demonstrating more than 1km (0.6 miles) from their homes.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 18:17

WHO expert: ‘Vast majority of the world remains at risk’

An estimated 10% of the global population has been infected with the coronavirus, leaving most people worldwide vulnerable to the disease, a top World Health Organization (WHO) expert has warned.
Dr Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies team, said the pandemic is "not burning out", with outbreaks surging in south-east Asia and Europe especially.
He said the rise of infections was putting countries heading into winter at risk of virus “amplification events”, as more people gather indoors.
More than 35 million people have been infected and a million have died since the pandemic began, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University .
But Dr Ryan said: "Our current best estimates tell us about 10% of the global population may have been infected by this virus.
“It varies depending on country, it varies from urban to rural, it varies depending on groups. But what it does mean is that the vast majority of the world remains at risk.”

What's the latest on Trump's condition?

US President Donald Trump has been receiving treatment at a military hospital for four days since his coronavirus diagnosis was announced on Friday last week.
If you’re just joining us, here’s a quick recap of the latest developments on his condition:

  • Mark Meadows, the White House’s chief of staff, told US broadcaster Fox News that he was “optimistic” Trump would be discharged from hospital on Monday after the president’s condition improved overnight
  • Doctors will meet with Trump to assess his condition and make a decision on discharging him later on Monday, Meadows said
  • On Sunday, Trump’s medical team gave optimistic assessments of his prognosis, saying he was improving and “feels well”
  • But questions have been raised about the seriousness of Trump's illness after his physician said he had received supplementary oxygen and a steroid typically used on patients with severe cases of Covid-19
  • Amid uncertainty about his condition, Trump made an impromptu trip in his presidential car to wave to "patriots" outside the hospital
  • The drive-by visit has drawn criticism for putting the Secret Service agents who accompanied him in the car at risk of virus exposure
  • Trump’s wife Melania, who also has Covid-19, has avoided visiting her husband in hospital, fearing doing so may expose agents and staff to the virus, NBC News reported
  • Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden has again tested negative for the virus, as he continued to campaign ahead of the election on 3 November

Read more on Trump’s condition: Unanswered questions about Trump's Covid crisis

UK records 12,594 new cases

There have been 12,594 new coronavirus cases recorded in the UK, according to the government's coronavirus dashboard .
It brings the total number of cases to 515,571.
This comes after nearly 16,000 coronavirus cases went unreported in England between 25 September and 2 October, delaying contact tracing efforts.
There were a further 19 deaths recorded on Monday, bringing the total number of fatalities of those who had tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days to 42,369.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 18:23

PM’s mistake over £500 self-isolation payment

Reality Check
In an interview this morning, Boris Johnson said that the Test and Trace Support Payment was £500 per week, when it is actually a one-off lump sum.
The payment to those on low incomes in England who have to self-isolate - and lose income as a result - came into force a week ago.
The prime minister said that anybody contacted by the government’s test-and-trace system and told to self-isolate should do so, and that there would be “£500 if you do per week and a £10,000 fine if you don’t”.
The prime minister’s official spokesperson has confirmed: “It’s a one-off payment of £500."
Earlier in the interview, Mr Johnson had just referred to it as “support of £500”.
You can see the full interview here.

Labour: 'This is worse than a shambles'

Labour's Jonathan Ashworth had some strong words for Health Secretary Matt Hancock in the House of Commons.
"At one of the most crucial points in the pandemic, we learn almost 16,000 positive cases went unreported for a week," he said.
"That means as many as 48,000 contacts not traced and isolating, thousands of people blissfully unaware they've been exposed to Covid, potentially spreading this deadly virus at a time when hospital admissions are increasing and we are in the second wave.
"This isn't just a shambles. It's so much worse than that.
"It gives me no comfort to say it, but it's putting lives at risk."
He said the government was "failing on the basics" on testing.

Breaking News 

Trump's press secretary tests positive

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McEnany (left) has not been wearing masks during briefings, including at this one on Friday

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has become the latest Republican to test positive for the coronavirus.
In a Twitter post she wrote: "After testing negatively consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms."
She added that no members of the press are considered close contacts, according to the White House medical unit.
“Moreover, I definitely had no knowledge of Hope Hicks’ diagnosis prior to holding a White House press briefing on Thursday," she said referring to the Trump aide who was the first White House worker to test positive ahead of last week's outbreak.
“As an essential worker, I have worked diligently to provide needed information to the American People at this time.”
McEnany added that she will quarantine and will "continue to work on the behalf of the American people".

White House reporters react: 'She endangered lives'

White House journalists are reacting with outrage to hear that Trump's press secretary - who has been regularly removing her mask to speak to journalists at the White House even after her boss's positive diagnosis - has just tested positive.
"Kayleigh McEnany has repeatedly spoken to reporters without a mask on. She has recklessly endangered lives," tweeted New York Magazine correspondent Olivia Nuzzi.
Many reporters are pointing out that just yesterday McEnany held an outdoor briefing for reporters at the White House, where she again did not wear a mask.
The White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) sent out a statement amidst the breaking news.
“We wish Kayleigh, the president and everyone else struggling with the virus a swift recovery," the organisation said, adding that no additional journalists at the White House are known to have been infected but several are still awaiting test results after three colleagues tested positive over the weekend.
They added that journalists should wear masks and socially distance - "especially when at the White House" - and to get tested if they think they may have been exposed to the virus.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 18:31

Is McEnany's diagnosis the price of her loyalty?

Tara McKelvey - BBC News, Washington
Over the past several days, many staffers who work at the White House have begun to wear a mask consistently - a departure from how it had been before the president was infected.
Kayleigh McEnany was not one of them.
She spoke with me and others on Friday outside of the West Wing, and she chose not to wear a mask in that moment.
She was following the example of Larry Kudlow, the director of Trump’s National Economic Council, who had spoken with us earlier in the day, also without a mask.
In this way, they were conveying the president’s upbeat assessment of the virus and how it was nearly under control. Both McEnany and Kudlow stood two metres from us, following guidelines on social distancing.
Yet it was striking to see them go about their daily lives in a way that seemed largely unaffected by the virus.
The fact that she has tested positive is a reminder of just how dangerous – and contagious – the virus is.
It is also a reminder that conveying the president’s message through words and actions – whether about the virus or other matters - is a risky undertaking.

White House junior-level staff 'also tested positive'

According to US media, the cousin-in-law of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany is among the more junior staff members of the White House to have their tests come back positive in recent days.
Chad Gilmartin, who is cousins with McEnany's husband, works as the White House principal assistant press secretary. According to ABC News, he tested positive over the weekend - the day before McEnany did.
Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Jacobs says assistant press secretary Karoline Leavitt is also among those that have tested positive.
It's important to note that the White House has not said how many staff total members have now tested positive.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 18:34

Missing data caused by Excel use

Leo Kelion - Technology desk editor
The BBC has confirmed the missing Covid-19 test data was caused by the ill-thought-out use of Microsoft's Excel software. Furthermore, Public Health England (PHE) was to blame, rather than a third-party contractor.
The issue was caused by the way the agency brought together logs produced by the commercial firms paid to carry out swab tests for the virus.
They filed their results in the form of text-based lists, without issue.
PHE had set up an automatic process to pull this data together into Excel templates so that it could then be uploaded to a central system and made available to the NHS Test and Trace team as well as other government computer dashboards.
The problem is that the PHE developers picked an old file format to do this - known as XLS.
As a consequence, each template could handle only about 65,000 rows of data rather than the one million-plus rows that Excel is actually capable of.
And since each test result created several rows of data, in practice it meant that each template was limited to about 1,400 cases. When that total was reached, further cases were simply left off.
Until last week, there were not enough test results being generated by private labs for this to have been a problem - PHE is confident that test results were not previously missed because of this issue.
And in its defence, the agency would note that it caught most of the cases within a day or two of the records slipping through its net.
To handle the problem, PHE is now breaking down the data into smaller batches to create a larger number of Excel templates in order to make sure none hit their cap.

Spain surpasses 800,000 infections

Spain has reported a rise of 23,480 coronavirus infections over the weekend, making it the first western European country to record more than 800,000 cases in total.
The increase pushes the official count of infections since the start of the pandemic in Spain to 813,412, the eight-highest total in the world.
The death toll reached 32,225, up from 32,086 on Friday, Spain’s health ministry said.
"We are still very concerned, the next few weeks are going to be very tough," Health Minister Salvador Illa said at a news conference on Monday.
Spain was one of the first European countries to see a second spike of coronavirus infections at the tail end of summer.
Since then, the Spanish government has moved to impose restrictions to curb the spread of the disease in hotspots such as the capital Madrid.
On Monday, a ban on non-essential travel began in Madrid. Under the new rules, residents can only cross city boundaries for work, school, health or shopping.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 18:50

New York City mulls first new restrictions since rollback

The mayor of New York City has requested the state's permission to place new lockdown orders on nine neighbourhoods in Brooklyn and Queens that are currently experiencing growing rates of tests coming back positive for coronavirus.
It would mean the first new lockdown orders in the state, which only last month began to allow things like indoor dining to resume in the former epicentre of the US outbreak.
According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, the shutdown would affect 500,000 people living in those communities. It would force non-essential businesses to close, restaurants to revert to takeout only and require schools to close for in-person learning.

Maradona tested 'for the peace of mind'

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Diego Maradona has been coaching football clubs in Latin America since his retirement from the game

Argentinian football icon Diego Maradona has been tested for the coronavirus, his lawyer has tweeted.
Lawyer Matias Morla wrote that the former striker had been swabbed at home "for the peace of mind", with results expected within the next 24 hours.
Widely regarded as one of the great football players of all time, Maradona, 59, has been coaching Argentine club Gimnasia since September 2019.
Maradona left his previous managerial role at Mexican second division outfit Dorados de Sinaloa earlier that year, citing health issues.
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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 20:40

'Everything tasted like cardboard'

Scientists now think a loss of taste and smell is the best way of knowing you've caught the virus, but it wasn't until April that it was added to the list of symptoms.
People who have experienced long-lasting symptoms, known as "long Covid", have been telling the BBC what it's like to lose their sense of taste and smell.
Horcel Kamaha, 23, who contracted coronavirus in March, said: "I felt confused but it was so early on (in the pandemic), I just went about my business as normal.
"I was concerned about my own body odour, you know, you'll smell your clothes to see if it needs a wash."
His loss of taste lasted for three months but his sense of smell has still not recovered.
"I can officially say Covid-19 ruined my sense of smell and I'm kind of worried it's permanent." Read more stories here.

Trump says he will leave hospital today

Donald Trump has just tweeted that he is going to leave the hospital later today.
His announcement came just before a press conference with his doctors was due to start.
Tweet  Donald J. Trump:
I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!

Another White House Supreme Court guest tests positive

Pastor Greg Laurie, who attended the White House Rose Garden event on 26 September where Trump announced his Supreme Court nomination, has just confirmed that he tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday.
In a Facebook video message, he told supporters: "I have always taken the coronavirus seriously, and it has tragically taken many lives.
"At a time like this, we need to pray for those that have it and avoid politicising it. If our President and First Lady can get Covid-19, clearly anyone can."
Read more: Trump's White House event in focus over Covid spread
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Many of those who attended the packed event have tested positive

If you're just joining us...

The morning began with Trump's press secretary - who has held numerous briefings without wearing a mask since the president announced his positive diagnosis on Friday - confirming that she has tested positive for coronavirus.
Here's what else is happening:

  • Trump's doctors are due to hold a news conference in the next few minutes to discuss his health condition
  • Moments ago the president tweeted that he plans to leave hospital later today, adding: "I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"
  • Trump, who is facing re-election in less than one month, also called on Americans to not fear the virus and to not let it "dominate your life"

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 20:46

US cases rise by 36,778 in one day

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Monday that an additional 36,778 cases of coronavirus were detected in the previous 24-hour period.
The latest data brings the total number of US infections to 7,396,730.
An additional 378 deaths were also reported across the country, raising the US death toll to 209,199.
The US has both the highest number of Covid-19 cases and the highest number of deaths in the world.

Trump's doctors begin press briefing

President Trump's doctors have stepped outside Walter Reed Medical Center to update the world on his condition.

Trump 'not entirely out of the woods yet' but safe to go home

White House physician Dr Sean Conley says President Trump has continued to improve and is ready to be discharged.
"He may not be entirely out of the woods yet", the doctor said, but can safely return to the White House.

Trump's oxygen levels 'normal'

The medical team also said the president did not have any respiratory complaints and has not had a fever in more than 72 hours.
They say Trump's oxygen levels are normal.

Doctors 'cautiously optimistic' about Trump's recovery

The team has also said there is nothing that is being done for Trump at the Walter Reed military hospital that cannot be done at the White House.
Asked if the president had pressured the doctors for his discharge, Dr Conley said they try to get patients out of hospital as quickly as possible, and that any time patients spend at hospital unnecessarily is a risk to themselves.
He said the team remained "cautiously optimistic" about the president's recovery.

Trump given extra oxygen twice, doctor says

Dr Conley has also revealed that the president was given extra oxygen twice after experiencing a drop in oxygen levels.
On Sunday, the doctor had confirmed that the president had been given supplemental oxygen on Friday at the White House, hours before he was flown to the hospital.
But he did not say whether the president had been given oxygen after his levels dropped again on Saturday.
The doctor also said that the president appeared to be a little dehydrated on Friday, when he had a high fever.

Doctors' briefing ends

The doctors' briefing has now ended, with the president saying he expects to leave hospital at 18:30 Eastern time (22:30 GMT).

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 20:56

Which of Trump's contacts has tested positive?

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Trump's coronavirus diagnosis came after a busy week running his administration and campaigning for November's election.
This followed a positive test for his close aide,Hope Hicks, who reportedly started feeling symptoms on Wednesday.
Since the president's diagnosis, several people close to him have tested positive too, including his press secretary.
So far the majority of publicly released results have been negative. However, test accuracy can vary depending on when a sample is taken during the course of the illness. One taken very soon after exposure may not give an accurate result.
The White House says it has begun contact tracing. We have had a closer look at some of the people we know Mr Trump has crossed paths with during the last week - starting with an event that is being investigated as a possible "super-spreader".
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President Trump announced his Supreme Court pick, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, in front of a crowd of about 200 people on the White House lawn on 26 September

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Post by Kitkat Mon Oct 05 2020, 21:03

Trump 'is back', say doctors but questions remain

Anthony Zurcher - BBC North America reporter
Donald Trump is going “home”.
Of course, in this case, home is a secure government compound with top-notch medical facilities. Still, the decision that the president can return to the White House is being hailed by him and his medical team as an important indication of his improving condition.
“He’s back,” White House physician Sean Conley said during his Monday afternoon briefing.
Conley and his fellow physicians shared positive details about the president’s condition - a lack of fever, good blood-oxygen levels and “no respiratory complaints”. But he once again refused to disclose when the president last tested negative for the coronavirus – information that would help determine if Trump exposed anyone else to the virus.
And when pressed for more details on the president’s condition, such as evidence of longer-term damage to the his lungs, Conley cited patient privacy.
This patient is the president of the United States, however, and Americans may demand more details about his long-term health and prognosis, particularly as they head to the polls in a month to decide whether to give him another four-year term in office.

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