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Coronavirus - 9th October

Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 11:45

Summary for Friday, 9th October


  • Several European countries register record spikes in new daily cases; bars are shut in four more French cities
  • President Donald Trump is ready to return to public duties at the weekend, according to his doctor
  • UK output expanded by 2.1% in August, lower than expected and despite government help for restaurants
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce more help for UK jobs and businesses later
  • China is joining the international Covax scheme to get vaccines to developing countries
  • Nearly 37 million cases have been confirmed globally with more than 1.06 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University


Good morning to those of you in the UK who are just waking up. Here are the top stories on the pandemic in the UK:

  • There’s an update on the UK economy this morning, with figures showing that it grew by 2.1% in August – slower than in June and July, and still below expectations. That’s despite the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which paid half of people’s meals at participating restaurants up to a value of £10
  • A junior government minister has said the virus is “getting out of control” in the north of England, saying it’s an “unbelievably serious situation”. Gillian Keegan, who is the minister for skills and apprenticeships, was defending the restrictions
  • Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has written a piece in the Daily Telegraph calling for local leaders to be included in local lockdown decisions. He said the government had been operating under the “arrogant” view that “Whitehall knows best”
  • There’s some good news from scientists, who have published a study that shows a new, rapid “bedside” test for coronavirus could help to cut the spread of infection in hospitals. The test takes under two hours to show results. Scientists are calling for more rapid tests on the NHS
  • And this evening will see the start of tough new restrictions in parts of Scotland. From 18:00 BST, pubs and restaurants in the central belt – which includes cities Edinburgh and Glasgow – will have to close until at least 25 October


Here are the latest global developments:

Stay with us - we’ll be bringing you experts’ analysis, first-hand eyewitness accounts, and reports from BBC correspondents around the world.

Madrid lockdown tussle as infections rise in Europe

Spain's government imposed a partial lockdown on 4.78 million people in Madrid last Friday night but a court has overturned it, intensifying a political row with the capital's political leaders. For now Madrid regional president Isabel Díaz Ayuso says residents should stick within the city limits. But she rejects the state of alert PM Pedro Sánchez insists on. He's given her an ultimatum ahead of a long holiday weekend.
Brussels Premier Rudi Vervoort has tested positive as Belgium today begins new measures to control the spread. The whole Brussels regional government went into self isolation on Wednesday night and a Flemish minister’s office colleague has died of the virus. Belgians can now keep only three close contacts, let four people into their homes at the same time, and cafes have to close at 23:00.
Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold video talks with the mayors of 11 of Germany's biggest cities today – 4,516 new cases have been reported today and 487 more people are in intensive care.
Czech health officials have recorded 5,394 new infections – the third time this week the republic has seen a record number since the pandemic began. More than 100 deaths have been recorded this week and there has been a big jump in hospital admissions. Restaurants and pubs will start closing at 20:00 from tonight, and gyms, swimming pools and zoos are shutting.
As infections rise sharply in the Netherlands, dozens of people have been arrested during a protest against Covid measures in The Hague. Twenty staff have tested positive at a hospital in the south-eastern province of Limburg.

Four more French cities to shut bars

The French government has imposed tighter coronavirus restrictions in four more cities with high infection rates.
Lyon, Lille, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne will become zones of maximum alert from Saturday.
Bars and restaurants will have to close, as they did in the capital Paris earlier this week and Marseille last month.
The measures were announced as France reported a near-record 18,129 new cases on Thursday.
Read our full story

How did some UK areas come off the Covid-19 watchlist?

In the UK, the government has a Covid-19 watchlist which categorises different local councils as "areas of concern", "areas of enhanced support" or "areas of intervention".
The number of areas on the watchlist has swelled over the past three months to 96.
Some, like Leicester and Greater Manchester, have been under tighter restrictions than the rest of England since the summer, while other areas have come off the watchlist altogether.
Four areas - Hertsmere, Northampton, Peterborough and Swindon - all came off the watchlist recently. Officials identified three key reasons why this may have happened for them but not for others.
So what are those reasons? And how can an area get itself off the list? Our reporter has looked into it.

Why are infections rising again in US?

With about 7.5 million coronavirus cases, the US has the highest number of confirmed infections in the world - about one fifth of the global total despite having only 4% of the population.
After the initial spike in late March, social distancing restrictions gradually brought infections to heel. By May, case numbers had stabilised. But as states peeled back lockdown measures, cases began to rise, reaching a countrywide high in July.
As summer hotspots - like Arizona, Florida and California - brought their outbreaks under control, surges have developed elsewhere, with fast-moving outbreaks in North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
In recent weeks, infections have risen steadily, with national cases increasing for three weeks in a row.
Read our full story here

End of government handouts 'could push 15 million' into poverty in Brazil

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil managed to alleviate the economic impact of the pandemic by introducing monthly emergency payments to more than 67 million people.
A study by the FGV higher education think tank said the monthly handouts - which started at £83 ($107) but have now been cut by half - pushed the number of poor Brazilians to a new low of around 50 million people.
But the handouts are due to expire in December and, unless the government manages to approve the extension of subsidies, 15 million people will be thrown back into poverty, according to FGV.
Bolsonaro - who saw his popularity rise thanks to the payments - is trying to keep income support. But efforts are stalled in Congress amid disagreements over how to fund them without breaking a constitutional spending cap and worries about the country's budget deficit.
"We're between a rock and a hard place," FGV economist Marcelo Neri told Reuters news agency.
There are also fears that the pandemic will lead to a sharp rise in unemployment amid a deep recession.
Brazil has been hard hit by Covid-19, with Bolsonaro being widely criticised for his handling of the pandemic. He downplayed the virus at the beginning, saying it was just a "little flu", and opposed measures suggested by health experts, such as social distancing.
The country has confirmed nearly 5.03 million cases - the world's third-highest number - with 148,957 deaths, according to the health ministry.

Dutch 'intelligent' lockdown fails to contain virus

Anna Holligan - BBC News Hague correspondent
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There have been protests against emergency coronavirus bills in front of the parliament in The Hague

Arrests at protests, intensive care doctors turned patients - these certainly weren't the intended effects of the Netherlands self-proclaimed "intelligent" lockdown.
As the number of new coronavirus cases sky-rocketed to almost 6,000 overnight, the figures are surpassing the Dutch government's own predictions.
On Thursday evening, about 80 demonstrators were arrested near the parliament building in The Hague, gathered in protest against an emergency law designed to give the government's Covid-19 measures a legal foundation.
Tensions are intensifying among those concerned about losing their civil liberties and others worried the liberal government's reluctance to curtail freedoms has resulted in the country now having one of the world's most rapidly rising infection rates.
Twenty operating theatre staff tested positive after an outbreak at a hospital in Limburg province, including three surgeons. One of them is now being treated in the intensive care unit of their own hospital.
No modifications to the existing rules - which include bars closing at 22:00 local time and wearing a face covering "strongly advised" in enclosed public spaces - are expected until next week when the impact of current measures can be assessed.
One headline on the Dutch public service broadcaster's website this morning reads "Where are you still welcome as a Dutch person this autumn holiday?"
You may be surprised to discover six countries in Europe are still prepared to accept residents from what's now the European coronavirus hotspot.


Australian parliament backs tax cuts plan

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PM Scott Morrison's government presented the federal budget earlier this week

The Australian government's tax cuts programme affecting millions of people has been backed by parliament.
The cuts, initially due to kick in in 2022, have been backdated to July this year as part of the government's coronavirus budget unveiled three days ago.
The tax office will now update the Pay As You Go tables, meaning employees will get more money in their paypackets "before the end of the year", Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was quoted as saying.

China in 'vaccine diplomacy' push

Robin Brant - BBC News, Beijing
There’s diplomacy, there’s mask diplomacy and then there’s vaccine diplomacy.
China is determined to increase its influence at multilateral - and often regulatory - bodies like the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
This pledge to support Covax is fresh evidence of that commitment.
The scheme is aimed at distributing two million doses of a vaccine across the world, particularly to developing nations, by the end of next year.
The move is also though an element of what is certain to be "vaccine diplomacy", as China seeks to repair its image across a world dealing with a pandemic which originated in its borders.
We don’t know the specifics of the financial commitment to Covas - but it's a commitment that the US has not made.
President Donald Trump has labelled the organisation behind it, the WHO, "corrupt".
Stepping in where the US, and Russia, have so far refused to go demonstrates China’s wish to ensure what it called an "equitable" distribution of a vaccine.
But there are plenty questions that remain: will China, or indeed others, act unilaterally to give a vaccine to favoured nations?
Will it reveal more about the vaccines it says it's given to thousands of key workers who are not part of the official human trials?

Balkan nations record infection spikes

Guy De Launey, BBC Balkans Correspondent
Countries in the Balkans are scrambling to limit the spread of coronavirus after many of them reported record numbers of new cases in the past 24 hours:

  • Croatia - 542
  • Bosnia - 453
  • Slovenia - 387
  • North Macedonia - 364

Even where records remain unbroken, there is cause for serious concern.
Almost a third of tests carried out in Montenegro came back positive.
In comparison, just 2.5% of Serbia’s coronavirus tests confirmed an infection.
Slovenia’s authorities had already been alarmed by the rising numbers of cases in the country. Police are enforcing new restrictions from Friday, including a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.
But some events will still be allowed to go ahead with as many as 500 people if they secure a licence - including religious services and sports fixtures.
Croatia’s authorities say they are preparing new measures, including the compulsory use of facemasks indoors.
But in the meantime, there was one piece of good news: Italy is removing Croatia from its travel “red list”. That means crossing borders will be possible without a negative coronavirus test or quarantine for the first time since August.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 12:00

UK economy grows in August - but misses expectations

We've got more details about that update on the UK economy that's making headlines this morning.
Figures show that the economy continued to recover in August and grew by 2.1% - partly thanks to a boost to restaurants from the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
But that figure was below expectations - and the economy is still 9.2% smaller than it was pre-pandemic.
Growth was slower than in June and July - and analysts say the coming months could see growth slackening further amid new Covid restrictions and concern over a no-deal Brexit.
Government business minister Nadhim Zahawi has just been responding to the news on BBC Breakfast. He said "undoubtedly 2020 is going to be a difficult year" but added: "The direction of travel is still positive."
Read more on the economy story here.

Cases in north of England 'getting out of control'

Coronavirus - 9th October 41960b10
The number of daily confirmed cases in the UK

A government minister has defended plans to bring in more restrictions, saying rising case numbers needed to be brought "back under control".
The government is planning to bring in a new three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions in England in the coming days.
Under the plan, the worst-affected areas will be in the top tier and could face tighter restrictions - for example possibly closing pubs and restaurants.
But there has been growing anger among MPs and local leaders about the way the government has communicated the proposed changes to them.
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham accused the government of treating the north of England with "contempt" - and that financial support is needed if more restrictions are brought in.
In response, government minister Gillian Keegan said: "This is serious - it is getting out of control, and we have to do something to bring it back under control," she said.
But she acknowledged that communication with the worst-hit areas needed to improve.
"We definitely need to work locally and we definitely need to make sure that the communications are much clearer."
Read the full story here.

Socialising in hospitality venues 'causes 30% of infections'

Coronavirus - 9th October A0456810

The UK government's business minister Nadhim Zahawi has said the trend of rising cases across the country "is worrying".
A week ago, the number of new confirmed cases was 7,000 - but seven days later on Thursday they were at 17,000, he points out.
(Read more here on the number of cases in the UK.)
"That puts into perspective for your viewers the urgency of the interventions we're having to make," Mr Zahawi told BBC Breakfast, as he defended restrictions on the hospitality industry such as the 22:00 BST closing time.
He added: "Chris Whitty the chief medical officer, shared some slides with colleagues from the North yesterday which demonstrate that clearly social interactions in restaurants and cafes is about 30% of the infections."
He said he "deeply" dislikes having to bring in restrictions but unfortunately they have to be done "to control the virus".

Government handout to help heritage sites in England

More than 450 heritage organisations in England are set to share the first wave of a £1.57bn government handout to help them through the pandemic.
The money is part of a Culture Recovery Fund aimed at helping museums, galleries and heritage sites.
Sites to receive funding from the first tranche of £103m include Blackpool's Winter Gardens, the Severn Valley Railway and Gloucester Cathedral.
And organisations including English Heritage and Historic Royal Palaces will receive money to restart conservation and maintenance.
Lucy Worsley, TV historian and chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces, said the pandemic meant conservation work on its six properties - including Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London - was stopped.
"The grant we have received will enable this work to resume - so we can give some of Britain's most historic buildings the care and attention they deserve, while supporting the specialist craftspeople who are vital for the future of our national heritage."

UK chancellor to set out financial help ahead of possible new restrictions

Coronavirus - 9th October E43a2310
Mr Sunak is due to make an announcement on Friday

We're waiting for an announcement from Rishi Sunak, the UK chancellor, later - and it's expected to be about further financial help for jobs and businesses.
Until now, there has been the furlough scheme, which sees the government help employers pay workers' wages.
From 1 November, that is being replaced by the Job Support Scheme, which will run for six months. Under that scheme, employees who work at least a third of their hours will get their salaries partly topped up by the government. (Read about more that here.)
Later today, Mr Sunak is expected to detail "the next stage" of this scheme - ahead of new restrictions expected for the hospitality sector next week.
The BBC has been told that pubs and restaurants could be closed in the worst-affected areas of England.
Regional leaders and unions have been calling for fresh financial support to prevent further layoffs when new restrictions are imposed.
A Treasury spokeswoman said: "The chancellor will be setting out the next stage of the Job Support Scheme later today that will protect jobs and provide a safety net for those businesses that may have to close in the coming weeks and months."

Concern over what economy figures could mean for months ahead

Coronavirus - 9th October 69e6bd10

One of the top stories in the UK today is on the new figures that show the UK economy grew by 2.1% in August - which was below expectations.
Growth in August was slower than the expansion seen in both June and July - and the economy is still 9.2% smaller than it was before the pandemic.
So what are experts saying about what this means for the economic recovery?
"No V-shaped recovery here," was the verdict of Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
He was referring to the suggestion from the Bank of England that the UK was on for a V-shaped recovery , which is considered to be the best case scenario. The V means that after a sharp fall, economic recovery will quickly follow.
Mr Tombs predicted growth of only about 2% in September and suggested GDP will "struggle to improve on September's level" as more restrictions and consumer caution hits.
Meanwhile Sarah Hewin, economist and head of research at Standard Chartered Bank, said: "We had very strong growth in June and July as lockdown restrictions eased, so August data continued to show the economy growing, but not at such a fast pace.
"The slowdown in that momentum, though, does give us some concern for what might be happening over the next few months."

Should we be worried about today's UK economy stats?

Faisal Islam - BBC economics editor
The economy's bounce back from the pandemic shutdowns slowed in August, despite the boost from Eat Out to Help Out at a time when there were few social restrictions.
The official technical recession - two consecutive quarters of shrinking GDP - has certainly ended and that will be confirmed next month.
But a lower than expected figure for growth in the economy in August raises fears about the recovery petering out and even going into reverse in the current final quarter of the year.
The figures bolster the argument of those business groups campaigning for further support, particularly as social restrictions are strengthening rather than weakening. The first stage of that could come from Chancellor Rishi Sunak later on Friday.
The Bank of England will also react at its policy-setting meeting next month.
But the latest figures show that while the first bounce in the economy occurred relatively rapidly, a full recovery is going to take much longer and not yet assured.
It's going to be a tough winter.

Council could scrap its alert levels if government brings in new system

The government is expected to announce a new three tier system to categorise coronavirus rules next week.
Under the new system, different parts of the country would be placed in different tiers, which would each have different rules.
Oxfordshire County Council already has its own coronavirus ranking system which categorises smaller areas under five coloured alert levels from red to dark green.
The council says it could scrap its alert levels when the government brings in its system, since having both "risks causing confusion".
The average weekly new rate of cases across the whole of Oxfordshire is now more than 50 in 100,000 - which, under its own system, takes it into the top "red" alert level.
Read more here.

UK MPs 'will get a vote on three-tier lockdown system'

MPs will get to vote on the plans to bring in a new three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions in England, a senior Conservative politician has said.
The new system - which would see areas categorised into one of three levels of lockdown rules - is due to be announced next week.
Conservative chief whip Mark Spencer suggested the tiered system was "being worked on at the moment".
He told BBC Radio Nottingham that ministers and scientific advisers were striving to come up with a "very clear and easily understood system…so we all know what the aim is".
Many Tory MPs have previously been unhappy that the government cracked on with new lockdown rules without a vote in Parliament first. The government then agreed to give MPs a vote before any new nationwide curbs come into force.
Mr Spencer, who is in charge of maintaining discipline on the Conservative benches, told BBC Radio Nottingham that the government would honour its promise to its MPs and give them a vote on any new rules.
He said he hoped the vote would take place next week and the new system would kick in immediately if it was approved by MPs.
There's more on this story here.

What are the latest UK coronavirus figures?

Cases are continuing to rise in the UK, with a further 17,540 recorded in the UK yesterday, up from the 14,162 reported the day before, government data showed .
A further 77 people died after testing positive for the virus within 28 days.
Our graphs, which track the seven-day average, show the rise in cases and deaths:
Coronavirus - 9th October 09819f10

Coronavirus - 9th October 99200d10
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 13:19

Nancy Pelosi has announced plans to create a commission to review the possibility of Donald Trump being removed from the office of the President.
The office of the House speaker confirmed the plans amid concerns Trump was suffering from a “disassociation from reality” in the wake of receiving treatment for coronavirus.
Pelosi’s announcement comes as the President continues to spark concern with a barrage of erratic tweets, written in capitals, that have raised concerns in some quarters.
He also posted a video describing his contracting of the virus that has killed 212,000 Americans as a “blessing from God”.
The President also did little to dissuade such concerns during an appearance in the Fox Business channel in which the 74-year-old declared: “I’m back because I am a perfect physical specimen and I’m extremely young. And so I’m lucky in that way.”
He also made the false claim: “I don’t think I am contagious at all. Remember this: when you catch it you get better. And then you’re immune.”
Speaking during her weekly press conference, Pelosi cited Trump’s remarks as a major cause for concern.
“The plan isn’t for the president to say that he’s a perfect physical specimen. Specimen, maybe I can agree with that ... And young, he said he was young.”
She described Trump as being in an “altered state” adding that “the disassociation from reality would be funny if it weren’t so deadly.”
Pelosi was particularly concerned by Trump’s decision to halt talks on a new coronavirus aid package for the US people, a decision announced in a “strange tweet” only to later partially reverse his stance.
She said the public needed to know when, exactly, Trump contracted Covid as the number of figures in and around the White House to have contracted the virus continues to rise.
Democrats are planning to enact the 25th amendment of the US constitution, which contains a clause allowing a president to be removed from office should they demonstrate physical or mental incapacity.

Coronavirus - 9th October Boris-johnson-nancy-pelosi-irish-post

Pelosi is holding a discussion over the potential “introduction of the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office Act”.
Trump reacted with anger to Pelosi’s claims, tweeting: “Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation. They don’t call her Crazy for nothing!”
He also retweeted several tweets from Republican allies, including the congressman Mark Green, who posted: “I wouldn’t put it past @SpeakerPelosi to stage a coup. She has already weaponized impeachment, what’s to keep her from weaponizing the 25th amendment? We need a new Speaker!”
The legislation allows for the creation of a panel to review the the president’s health and fitness for office.
However, the House of Representatives would still not be able to remove Trump from office without the agreement of the vice-president, Mike Pence, who would replace Trump and members of the cabinet.
Pelosi said: “I’ve quoted others to say that there are those who say that when you’re on steroids and/or if you’ve had Covid-19 or both – that there may be some impairment of judgment. But, again, that’s for the doctors and scientists to determine, but it was very strange, really surprising.”
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 13:24

The Irish Government is to remove all remaining countries from its Green List on Monday.
The controversial list was drawn up earlier this summer and contained a list of countries where passengers would not have to quarantine on their arrival to Ireland.
The Irish public were encouraged not to travel outside of the country except for essential reasons, however.
A number of countries were placed on the Green List before being promptly removed due to a surge in cases-- most recently, Germany was added to the Green List before being taken off again just a few days later.

Currently there are just four countries remaining on the list, none of them a popular destination for Irish tourists, and one of which does not even have an airport.
And from this Monday, 12 October, Cyprus, Finland, Latvia and Liechtenstein will be removed from the list due to a rise in cases in the areas.

A short statement from the Irish Foreign Ministry confirmed the news, writing on Twitter:
"The Green List was reviewed on the basis of ECDC data on Thursday 8 October.
"There will be no countries on the Green List with effect from Monday 12 October.

Tweet  Irish Foreign Ministry:
There will be no countries on the Green List with effect from Monday 12 Oct. Ireland continues to work with EU partners to finalise negotiations on coordinating travel within the Union (“EU traffic lights system”).
Coronavirus - 9th October Ejz6t210

"Until 12 October, the earlier list... continues to apply."

The Irish Government is continuing to coordinate with the EU to discuss a "traffic lights system" which would allow some travel between countries within the European Union.

Schools in Ireland expected to close for an extra week this mid-term to slow spread of Covid-19- reports
The upcoming mid-term break is likely to be extended by a further week in an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19, according to reports.
According to The Irish Independent , the Government coalition partners are discussing adding an additional week to the break, which had been due to take place between 26 - 30 October.
Senior Coalition sources from the coalition, made up of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party, reportedly told the outlet that the proposal has been discussed and could come into effect regardless of the level of restrictions the nation is currently under.
Currently, all 24 counties in the Irish Republic are under Level 3 restrictions; this could be reduced or heightened depending on the number of daily cases confirmed in the coming days and weeks.
A firm decision on the extended closure of schools has not yet been made, the source added, but the idea is being proposed in many countries.

"We want schools to be open," the source told The Irish Independent, "but a lot of EU countries are looking at it to suppress [the] virus, Northern Ireland included."
Most schools in Ireland have reopened since the end of August, and Government officials have reiterated that it is vital for them to remain open.
Following reports from The Irish Independent, a spokesperson for the Department of Health released a statement insisting there was 'no plans' for schools to closed.
"To date the evidence demonstrates that schools have reopened safely supported by significant investment to support all infection prevention and control measures recommended by the public health authorities," the statement reads.
"The Irish experience to date supports the current international position that schools are low risk environments for COVID-19 and are not key drivers of transmission in the community."
Yesterday, a further 506 cases of the virus were confirmed in Ireland, bringing the total to 40,086.
One more person is reported to have died with the Covid-19, bringing Ireland's death toll to 1,817.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 13:30

Russia sees record spike in new cases

BBC Monitoring - The world through its media
Russia has reported the highest daily number of coronavirus infections since the pandemic began - 12,126 in the past 24 hours.
The previous record was on 11 May - 11,656 new cases.
The number of new infections has been growing steadily since early September, but the authorities have so far stopped short of reintroducing strict lockdown measures or even calling it a second wave.
In Moscow, free or discounted travel has been suspended for high-risk groups, e.g. over-65s.
Earlier in October, employers in the capital were told to move a third of their employees to home working.
In total, Russia has reported 1,272,238 cases and 22,257 deaths over the course of the pandemic.

Wales considers closing pubs to stop virus spread

Earlier this week, it was announced that all pubs and restaurants across central Scotland - home to 3.4 million people - will be closed to try and stop the virus spreading.
Now Wales could adopt the same rule, the country's health minister has warned.
Vaughan Gething said the Welsh Government was "considering" the measure, but said it could mean "significant unemployment" unless there was financial support from Westminster.
Currently, pubs, cafes and restaurants in Wales stop serving alcohol at 22:00 - as is the case in England.
Mr Gething told BBC Radio Wales "we are not yet at a point" where widespread closures of bars was needed, but the situation was "rapidly evolving".
"I'm not itching to press a button, I'm looking to see what we can do to keep people alive, and to keep Wales safe," he added.
Read the full story here.

NI deputy first minister self-isolating after relative tests positive

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Sinn Fein said Michelle O'Neill would carry out her duties remotely


Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill will be tested for Covid-19 after a family member was infected with coronavirus.
It is understood the Sinn Fein politician has been self-isolating at her home in Mid-Ulster since she learned her relative had tested positive.
Sinn Féin confirmed that she is being tested, adding: "Michelle will continue to follow the public health advice and carry out her duties in government remotely."
In April, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said she would never take her health for granted again after she

tested positive for coronavirus .
And on Thursday night, Alliance Party Leader Naomi Long told BBC NI's The View programme that she had been infected with the virus earlier this year and felt unwell for some time.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 13:37

England had '17,200 new infections a day' at end of September

An estimated one in 240 people in England were infected with coronavirus after cases "increased rapidly" at the end of September , data from the Office of National Statistics shows.
The ONS estimates that 17,200 people a day were being infected in homes in England between September 25 and October 1, with the highest rates in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and The Humber.
This is a "marked increase" from an estimated 8,400 new cases per day for the previous week, the ONS said.
The figures come as science advisers warn hospital admissions are "very close" to levels in early March and ministers say cases are "getting out of control".

Breaking News 

Countess of Wessex self-isolating

Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, is self-isolating at home after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week.
Buckingham Palace said she is not displaying any symptoms.
A palace spokeswoman said: "Earlier this week the Countess of Wessex came into contact with someone who has subsequently tested positive for Covid-19.
"Her Royal Highness is not experiencing any symptoms, but is following all relevant government guidelines and is self-isolating at home."
The countess is married to Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, the Queen's youngest son.

Poland hit by big 'second wave'

Adam Easton - Warsaw Correspondent
Poland has reported 4,739 new cases and 52 virus-related deaths in the past 24 hours - the third consecutive daily record spike, the health ministry has said.
In total, Poland has reported 116,338 cases and 2,919 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
The number of daily infections has more than doubled this week and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki says the second wave - much bigger than the first one - has arrived.
Mr Morawiecki says hospital bed and ventilator capacity nationally is sufficient - but individual hospitals are reportedly experiencing shortages.
The prime minister hasn't ruled out introducing a state of emergency if new infections continue to increase so rapidly.
Heightened restrictions will take effect nationwide from Saturday. All Poles must again wear face masks in public, and numbers at weddings and in cinemas and restaurants will be further reduced.
In the worst affected "red zone" areas bar and restaurants close at 22:00 local time.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 13:38

England had '17,200 new infections a day' at end of September

An estimated one in 240 people in England were infected with coronavirus after cases "increased rapidly" at the end of September , data from the Office of National Statistics shows.
The ONS estimates that 17,200 people a day were being infected in homes in England between September 25 and October 1, with the highest rates in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and The Humber.
This is a "marked increase" from an estimated 8,400 new cases per day for the previous week, the ONS said.
The figures come as science advisers warn hospital admissions are "very close" to levels in early March and ministers say cases are "getting out of control".

Breaking News 

Countess of Wessex self-isolating

Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, is self-isolating at home after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week.
Buckingham Palace said she is not displaying any symptoms.
A palace spokeswoman said: "Earlier this week the Countess of Wessex came into contact with someone who has subsequently tested positive for Covid-19.
"Her Royal Highness is not experiencing any symptoms, but is following all relevant government guidelines and is self-isolating at home."
The countess is married to Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, the Queen's youngest son.

Poland hit by big 'second wave'

Adam Easton - Warsaw Correspondent
Poland has reported 4,739 new cases and 52 virus-related deaths in the past 24 hours - the third consecutive daily record spike, the health ministry has said.
In total, Poland has reported 116,338 cases and 2,919 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
The number of daily infections has more than doubled this week and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki says the second wave - much bigger than the first one - has arrived.
Mr Morawiecki says hospital bed and ventilator capacity nationally is sufficient - but individual hospitals are reportedly experiencing shortages.
The prime minister hasn't ruled out introducing a state of emergency if new infections continue to increase so rapidly.
Heightened restrictions will take effect nationwide from Saturday. All Poles must again wear face masks in public, and numbers at weddings and in cinemas and restaurants will be further reduced.
In the worst affected "red zone" areas bar and restaurants close at 22:00 local time.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 13:39

Spain orders state of emergency for Madrid region

The Spanish government has ordered a 15-day state of emergency to bring down Covid-19 infection rates in the capital, after a court overturned a partial lockdown imposed a week ago.
Madrid and nine nearby cities will see restrictions on movement enforced.
The capital has been at the centre of a political row, with the centre-right city authorities challenging the Socialist government's demands.
Cases are down and a state of emergency is unjustified, say city officials.
Madrid Health Minister Enrique Ruiz Escudero insisted that measures already in place were working and that the national government order was "a measure no Madrileño will understand".
Read our full story here.

Further 1,246 cases recorded in Scotland over past 24 hours - a new record

Scotland recorded six deaths of confirmed coronavirus patients in the past 24 hours, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
This takes the total under this measure - patients who died within 28 days of first testing positive - to 2,544.
Ms Sturgeon added that 1,246 new coronavirus cases were recorded during the same period - a record high.
Of the new cases, 440 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 306 in Lanarkshire and 192 in Lothian.
A total of 37,033 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up from 35,787 on Thursday.

'The virus is waking up for winter' - Wales First Minister

Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford has said the pandemic is "getting worse again and getting worse quickly", with a "sharp, steep and continuing" rise in cases even in areas subject to extra restrictions.
"The virus is waking up for winter", he told his regular Friday news conference, adding that hospital admissions are rising and there are more reports of infections in care homes.
“There is no quick way of making things get easier, or better, soon,” Mr Drakeford said.
“Over this winter, we will all be asked to make sacrifices to protect the most vulnerable, to prevent our NHS from being overwhelmed and to keep as many businesses and livelihoods operating safely.”
But he said they would make coronavirus measures easier to live with where they could, announcing that children would be allowed to take part in organised sporting activities outside of their county boundaries, despite travel restrictions.
The first minister also said he wrote to the UK chancellor saying today's expected announcement on funding to support businesses in local lockdowns should be available to the whole UK.
You can read more from the news conference in Wales here
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 13:45

Today's headlines from around the world

If you're just joining us, here's a quick recap of the latest key developments around the world:

Stay with us as we’ll be bringing you experts’ analysis, first-hand eyewitness accounts, and reports from BBC correspondents around the world.

'Incredibly difficult' to advise public in England over changing rules

England is expected to announce a new three-tier system for local restrictions next week. But the change is frustrating some directors of public health in places facing rising cases, as they wait to hear how the new policy will affect their area.
Sharon Stoltz, director of public health in York, told the BBC "changing government policy" on local restrictions is making her job "incredibly difficult" .
York's infection rate is now 198.9 cases per 100,000 people and the city had been expected to be named an "area of concern" under the existing approach.
Stoltz said the change meant "me, as the director of public health for York, waiting to hear like everyone else what the announcement will be".
She said it also made it hard to advise the public, who were becoming "increasingly confused" about what they can and can't do.

In graphics: Coronavirus cases rising again in Europe

Several European countries, including the UK, France and Spain have seen record daily numbers of new cases in recent days.
The Spanish government has ordered a 15-day state of emergency to bring down infection rates in the capital, while bars and restaurants are shutting in some French cities.
A data processing issue in the UK meant nearly 16,000 cases of coronavirus were added to the weekend's figures, and daily cases have continued to rise since then.
Here are some of the latest graphics illustrating Europe's second wave.
Coronavirus - 9th October C4acbd10

Coronavirus - 9th October Ddd63c10

North-east England leaders oppose pub shutdown

Council leaders in the north-east of England have said they will oppose any changes to the local coronavirus regulations, including a possible shutdown of pubs and restaurants.
As the government prepares an announcement on a new system of local restrictions next week, leaders of Northumberland, Newcastle, South and North Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham said they want more time for existing measures to take effect.
Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon said "despite three sets of regulations in 10 days", there was evidence that cases were beginning to "plateau" outside of universities.
“We believe the current measures can work without further damage by closing hospitality," he said, adding that 60,000 workers' jobs in hospitality were at risk.
“Our message to government is give us more time. Further changes could further undermine public confidence which needs to be built not undermined,” Gannon said.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 16:44

Slovakia calls up troops as cases rise

The Slovakian government has approved up to 1,500 troops to help public health officials as the country experiences another record number of new infections.
An initial 267 have been deployed to assist in helping trace contacts of infected people this weekend.
Some 1,184 new cases were identified on Thursday, the government said on Friday.
"I am beginning to be concerned whether the measures adopted can be effective with such marked growth in the numbers of positive people," Prime Minister Igor Matovic told a news conference.
While strict lockdowns have so far been avoided, rules including compulsory facemasks in indoor public places and bars shutting at 10 pm have been in place.
A total of 57 people are known to have died of the virus in the country.

Covid app has only sent one venue outbreak alert

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The app for England and Wales allows people to check in when they visit venues like pubs

The government has confirmed a Sky News report that said the NHS contact-tracing app for England and Wales has only sent one alert about a coronavirus outbreak in a venue since its launch.
While the main function of the app is contact-tracing – using the phone’s Bluetooth connection to detect the user’s proximity to people who later test positive for the virus – it also features a QR code scanner allowing users to check in at pubs, restaurants and other businesses.
Then if somewhere is linked to an outbreak, an alert can be sent to people who have visited that location, with a general warning to them to be aware they may have been put at risk.
The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed that only one such alert had been sent, but stressed that, two weeks after the app’s launch, it was not surprised by that, despite the app being downloaded more than 16 million times.
A spokesperson added: "If health protection teams believe a venue is linked to an outbreak they may send a ‘warn and inform’ message to app users who attended the venue at a similar time based on when they checked-in."

Athens radio to broadcast Covid advice to migrants

Danai Howard - BBC News
Coronavirus - 9th October 89919410

The Greek capital is launching a campaign to provide information about the Covid-19 pandemic to migrants and refugees in 12 languages.
Athens’ municipal radio station, Athens 9.84 FM, will begin broadcasting information in Arabic, French, German, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Kurdish, Urdu, Punjabi, Romanian and Farsi, and printed information will be handed out on the city’s streets.
The decision comes after the Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakogiannis, met the Council for the Integration of Immigrants and Refugees (SEMP) on Thursday to discuss how to co-ordinate prevention efforts against the spread of coronavirus among Athens’ migrant community.
The number of refugees and asylum seekers in Athens is estimated to be around 18,000 , and migrants, including children born in Greece to migrant parents, make up more than 20% of the city’s population.
For many migrants, arriving from the Middle East and North Africa, Greece is a key entry point into Europe. The influx of migrants since the 2015 migration crisis has put a strain on the country, which struggles to cope under the pressure.
Several charities have criticised Greece for imposing mandatory lockdowns on migrant camps, which they say are ill-equipped to handle outbreaks. Greece had kept its infection rate low throughout the summer but recently numbers have been rising, reaching over 21,000 cases as restrictions eased.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 16:54

Further 766 coronavirus cases recorded in Wales

There have been a further 766 cases of Covid-19 recorded in Wales over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 29,028.
Public Health Wales said two further deaths had been reported, with the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic rising to 1,646.

Country star dropped from SNL for breaking Covid guidelines

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Country singer Morgan Wallen has been dropped from performing on Saturday Night Live after a video surfaced on TikTok showing him flouting the US show's virus guidelines.
Wallen was caught on camera socialising without a mask in a crowded bar and at a house party.
After being pulled from the show, Wallen apologised in a video posted to Instagram, in which he admitted his actions were "short-sighted".
"I respect the show's decision because I know I put them in jeopardy," he said.

Breaking News 

Workers at firms told to close to receive two-thirds of wages

Rishi Sunak, the UK’s chancellor, is today setting out further financial support for businesses that could be forced to close by law.
Tougher lockdown rules are expected to be announced in England next week and the BBC has been told that pubs and restaurants could be closed in the worst-affected areas of England.
Mr Sunak says the government’s job support scheme is being expanded.
If businesses are asked to close, “those workers will receive two-thirds of their wages for the time that they are unable to go to work”, he says.
“I hope that this provides reassurance and a safety net for people and businesses in advance of what may be a difficult winter,” he says.
“We obviously won’t know the exact take up of the scheme like this because as we enter an uncertain period the exact scope of any restrictions that may be necessary is uncertain at this time.
“We obviously have all the costings for the previous schemes that we have done.
“But it’s right that we take action now to protect people’s jobs, provide that reassurance if indeed their businesses are asked to close throughout the winter.”

More on the extra help for businesses under lockdown

We've got some more details about the new financial support for businesses that may have to shut due to lockdown rules.
Workers at businesses that close will get two-thirds of their wages paid by the government, up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.
Employers will not need to pay any wages. They will only be asked to cover national insurance and pension contributions.
Announcing the scheme, Mr Sunak said it would “provide a safety net for businesses across the UK who are required to temporarily close their doors, giving them the right support at the right time”.
According to a Treasury source, a rough calculation suggests this will cost hundreds of millions of pounds a month.
The new financial help is part of the Job Support Scheme, which you can read more about here.
It will begin on 1 November and will last for six months. Payments will be made in arrears.

Analysis: This is furlough mark II in all important aspects

Simon Jack - BBC Business Editor
It is a sign of how quickly the coronavirus situation has soured that the chancellor is having to return to a policy he thought he’d parked less than two weeks ago when he announced his Winter Economic Plan.
The government insists this is not a re-tread of the furlough scheme, which is due to expire at the end of this month, but in all important aspects this is furlough mark II.
The crucial bit is that small employers will not have to make any contribution to their workers’ wages if they are legally forced to shut down. Larger businesses will have to contribute around 5% of employee costs in the form of National Insurance and pension contributions.
That is much more generous than the expiring furlough scheme and way more generous than the Job Support Scheme he announced 10 days ago, which requires employers to pay 55% of active workers’ salaries.
The reason for that is simple – those measures applied to businesses that were allowed to be open. This new scheme only applies to businesses that are not.
Other questions are not simple – who will be eligible? What about businesses that were never allowed to reopen since March?
Will it be applied by postcode? Will you be able to walk 10 minutes down the road to go to the pub that is open but having to pay 55% of staff wages when it's less than half full?
And perhaps most importantly for the expected “beneficiaries” of this scheme – the hospitality industry – how strong is the evidence on which this policy is based and can we see it in detail?
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 17:01

Manchester night time economy adviser 'bemused'

Sacha Lord, night time economy adviser to the mayor of Greater Manchester, say he's "slightly bemused" by the decision to begin this new support scheme on 1 November, saying it could leave workers without help for weeks.
"If the North locks down on Monday, that's three weeks without any financial support for those who took PM's advice to 'get off furlough and get back to work'," he said.
However, it should be noted that it is not yet known if and when businesses will be told close.

What about Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

Earlier, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said he had written to the chancellor, calling for any additional support for workers when businesses are shut down due to coronavirus restrictions to be applied across the UK.
He seems to have got his wish: the Treasury said the scheme is intended to be "UK-wide", adding that the government will work with the devolved administrations to ensure it operates across all four nations.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said there would be £1.3bn extra given to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to fund similar schemes run by the devolved administrations if they wish.

Swedish minister tells students to 'get a grip'

Away from the UK, Sweden's minister for higher education has told students to "get a grip" after a series of outbreaks linked to universities.
"To the student parties - unfortunately there are far too many of you who are not taking responsibility and you have to get a grip now. We can't have universities becoming corona transmission clusters," Matilda Ernkrans told a news conference, according to The Local.
"If you go to a party and get infected, you put those close to you [at risk]. Your friends, your professor, the staff at your local supermarket, the person next to you in the library," she added.
"It is not acceptable that adults act in any other way than by taking responsibility."
Public Health Agency general-director Johan Carlson said that eight regions had been hit by outbreaks linked to universities since students returned to campus.
At least 200 students have been infected this autumn, Carlson said.

Merkel sets 10-day deadline for infections to drop

Jenny Hill - BBC Berlin correspondent
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned the public they will face tighter restrictions in 10 days if a rise in infections isn’t stopped.
Merkel held an online conference with the leaders of 11 German cities to discuss a sharp increase in case numbers.
There is growing alarm in Germany where new cases have exceeded 4,000 for the second day in a row.
Of particular concern are cities such as Berlin and Frankfurt, where public health experts say a steep rise in infection rates is due to people having parties or gathering in large numbers.
Merkel and the mayors of 11 German cities today agreed that measures - already adopted in Berlin - like restrictions on the sale of alcohol at night could be introduced to other badly affected areas. The army may be used more widely to help with contact tracing.
If those measures don’t halt the rising numbers within 10 days, Germany will face tighter targeted restrictions, Merkel said.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 17:04

. Breaking News 

UK records a further 13,864 coronavirus cases

The UK has recorded 13,864 confirmed coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, 3,676 fewer than yesterday.
It also reported another 87 people died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, the highest total since 14 June.
Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies show there have now been 58,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

Canada added nearly 400,000 jobs in September

Canada's economy added more than 378,000 new jobs in September, officials say.
Statistics Canada says almost all of these were full-time positions.
The gains mean that the job market is now within 720,000 positions of where it was back in February - just before the pandemic hit.
Three million jobs were lost in lost before the recovery started in June.
Canada has reported more than 178,000 infections, with more than 9,600 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Outbreak at Bristol University puts 300 students in self-isolation

In the latest outbreak at a UK university, 300 students in halls of residence at Bristol University are self-isolating .
Students at The Courtrooms in the city centre will now have to remain in their flats and only socialise with those they live with after 40 students tested positive.
The university says it is supporting those in isolation but may take disciplinary action against those who breach regulations.
Georgiana Scott, a psychology student, said: "What makes it difficult is that we are living in houses and halls of residencies with lots of people, so when just one person is exposed to the virus it has a huge rippling effect."

Confusion over when Trump will return to campaign trail

There is fresh confusion over when Donald Trump will return to the campaign trail following his hospital treatment for coronavirus.
A White House spokeswoman said the president wanted to do so this weekend, adding that he would be tested for coronavirus beforehand and would not appear in public if he could still transmit the infection.
Trump's physician Sean Conley also said the president can return to public engagements this weekend.
But an administration official later said Trump was unlikely to travel so soon because the logistics of organising events at short notice was problematic. An appearance is more likely on Monday, they said.
Congressional Democrats argue the president's recent behaviour suggests his judgement has been impaired - they want to set up a panel to examine whether he is fit for office.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 17:55

Does Trump’s treatment break his policy on medical research?

Reality Check
President Trump is taking a drug which he has touted as a “cure” for Covid-19, and says he will roll it out across the US.
The drug uses a combination of antibodies, and is developed by US based company Regeneron using human cells derived from an aborted foetus .
But the Trump administration suspended funding for projects using human foetal tissue from abortions in 2019. There is no outright ban however on the use of foetal material in drug research.
At the time of the funding suspension, the Department of Health and Human Services released a statement saying: “Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President Trump’s administration.”
This has raised questions about the president’s use and promotion of new coronavirus treatments which have been developed using the practice.
Remdesivir, another drug used by the president, and some vaccine development projects with White House funding also rely on the same cell lines produced from foetal tissue.
But the policy excluded cell lines made before June 2019. The cells used by most of the companies now trying to find a coronavirus treatment were derived from tissue of a foetus aborted in the 1970s.
So the latest drugs being touted by Trump don’t violate the current regulations as long as they’re not being developed using cell lines from a recently aborted foetus.

New UK job support does not go far enough, say mayors

Mayors across the north of England - Greater Manchester's Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, North Tyne's Jamie Driscoll, Sheffield's Dan Jarvis and Liverpool's Steve Rotherham - have issued a joint statement saying Chancellor Rishi Sunak's new package of support does not go far enough.
“We are pleased that the government has listened and recognised that any new system of restrictions must come with a substantial package of financial support," they said.
"What has been announced by the chancellor today is a start but, on first look, it would not appear to have gone far enough to prevent genuine hardship, job losses and business failure this winter."

Stranded migrants need help returning home, UN says

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Migrant workers protesting in Dhaka, Bangladesh

The United Nations' migration agency says that international cooperation is urgently needed to help more than 2.5 million migrants who have been left stranded by coronavirus restrictions around the world.
Among others, they include seasonal workers, temporary residence holders, seafarers and international students.
The Middle East and North Africa account for 1.27 million of the total of 2.75 million stranded, the report said. Asia has nearly a million.
The International Organization for Migration says that, while stranded, some are at higher risk of abuse, exploitation and neglect - including cramped and unhygienic living conditions that put them at greater risk of catching Covid-19.
“It should be clear that migrants can be returned home in a safe and dignified manner despite the constraints imposed by Covid-19,” director general António Vitorino said in a statement.

More than 200 coronavirus cases in English prison

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The number of Covid-19 cases at a Nottinghamshire prison has reached more than 200, the county's director of public health confirmed.
A total of 172 prisoners and 43 staff at HMP Lowdham Grange have tested positive.
It represents a significant increase on 84 recorded cases a week ago.
Jonathan Gribbin said the prison outbreak represented a part of the increase in cases across the Newark and Sherwood district.
The figures were revealed in a briefing on Friday to discuss Covid-19 infection rates in the county, with Nottingham currently having the highest rates in the country .
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 18:32

Trump to receive televised 'medical evaluation'

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Donald Trump will hold his first on-camera interview tonight since his coronavirus diagnosis.
He will receive a "medical evaluation" during a Fox New appearance from Dr Marc Siegel, a Fox contributor, according to the network.
Saturday will mark 10 days since Trump's diagnosis, according to White House Dr Sean Conley, who on Thursday cleared Trump to "return to public engagements" this weekend.
The US president was treated in a military hospital for three days and received supplemental oxygen. The White House has refused to say when he last took a negative Covid-19 test.
The president's coronavirus infection has thrown the campaign in disarray. After the next debate against Joe Biden was moved to a virtual format, Trump pulled out.
Trump has said he is considering returning to the campaign trail with rallies as soon as this weekend.

'Brutal' trading conditions push Edinburgh Woollen Mill into administration

"Brutal" trading conditions brought on by the pandemic have forced the Edinburgh Woollen Mill - which also owns the Peacocks and Jaeger clothing brands - to appoint administrators in an attempt to save its business .
The move puts more than 20,000 jobs at risk, although the stores will continue to trade as a review of the firm is carried out.
Chief executive Steve Simpson blamed the pandemic but said "false rumours" about the company's payments and trading had also affected its credit insurance.
"I hope and believe we will be able to secure the best future for our businesses, but there will inevitably be significant cuts and closures as we work our way through this," he said.

Number of Britons visiting pubs and restaurants drops

Local restrictions and government warnings about the impact of pubs and restaurants on the spread of the virus appear to be having an impact on the habits of the public in Britain.
Only a quarter of adults (25%) said they had eaten or drank at a restaurant, pub or bar during the previous week, when questioned by the Office of National Statistics between 30 September and 4 October. Three weeks earlier, the figure was 30%.
The number of people leaving home to meet others in a public place or someone else's home has also dropped over the same period from 28% to 20%.
More than a third of people (34%) in areas with additional local restrictions said they had not socialised with anyone outside their household, compared to 25% in other areas.
But a small minority admitted to flouting the rules, with 7% of people in areas with local lockdowns saying they gathered in a group of more than six people, and 9% in other areas.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 18:34

Europe sees 100,000 daily cases for the first time

Europe has seen more than 100,000 new cases in a day for the first time since the pandemic started.
A World Health Organization official, Dr Michael Ryan, said it was sad to see a rapid rise in cases in many European countries. He called on governments to take decisive action.
Spain's government has declared a two-week state of emergency in the Madrid region, imposing travel restrictions to try to contain an outbreak there.
In the UK, estimates suggest between one-in-170 and one-in-240 people you meet in the street has the virus.
Russia has reported its highest daily cases since May.

Democrats to study how to remove a sick president

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful US Democrat, has announced legislation to establish a congressional commission to assess the process for removing a president for health reasons.
A statement on the move said the commission would be set up under the 25th Amendment, which outlines how a sitting president can be stripped of power if they are deemed unable to conduct the duties of the office.
Any serious consideration of the measure is unlikely, but it will serve as a political tool to raise questions about Trump's health.
Trump hit back, calling Pelosi "crazy" and said she was "the one who should be under observation".
Read more about the 25th Amendment here
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 18:48

Fauci: Trump's talk of a Covid 'cure' sows confusion

Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US researcher who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has told CBS - the BBC's US media partner - that President Trump's apparent recovery from the coronavirus may wrongly make people think it is not dangerous.
He said that talk of a "cure", as Trump has labeled the medical treatments he received, creates "confusion" among the American public.
There is no medicine that "cures" Covid-19, but experimental treatments such as the ones that Trump received in hospital have shown promise in helping patients to recover.
Polls show around half of Americans say they would not get a coronavirus vaccine if one is found.

Where in the UK has the highest infection rate?

Nottingham has a weekly rate of 760 new cases per 100,000 people - the highest in the UK.
It is the only city to have a rate above 700 per 100,000 in the seven days to 6 October.
The second highest rate is in Northern Ireland's Derry City & Strabane, where the figure is currently 684 cases per 100,000.
Glasgow has the highest rate in Scotland at 242, while Merthyr Tydfil has the highest rate in Wales with 213.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 20:14

Travel writer has 'no further plans' to visit Wales after abuse

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A travel writer has said he received "such intense abuse" when he suggested people visit Wales that he has "no further plans" to book a stay in the country.
Speaking on ITV earlier this week, Simon Calder listed Gwynedd and Ceredigion, as well as Belfast and Edinburgh, as places people in the UK could go for a break during the pandemic.
But he said he then received a torrent of abuse via email and social media.
Visit Wales said it was trying to welcome people back "in a way that is safe".
In an article for The Independent , Mr Calder said he had replied to many of the hundreds of people who messaged on social media and understood the deep concern about the spread of coronavirus, but did not now intend to book a holiday in Wales again.
Mr Calder said he had never meant to upset anyone and had followed travel advice, but it was an "interesting lesson" on current sensitivities.
He added: "The hundreds of people I inadvertently angered may be glad to hear that I have no further plans to book a stay in Wales."
Read the full story here.

How is the virus spreading in different parts of the UK?

Today's estimate of the R number - which measures the average number of people each infected person spreads the virus to and can show how quickly the epidemic is growing - was between 1.2 and 1.5.
That's slightly lower than last week's figure of 1.3 to 1.6, although scientists advising the government said the epidemic continues to grow exponentially.
But the picture varies across the country, with former hotspots such as the north-west of England showing evidence of slower growth, while the highest estimates of between 1.3 and 1.6 were in Wales, Scotland, the east of England and the South West.
Coronavirus - 9th October 4ed4ee10

North-west England remains the worst-affected region in terms of hospital admissions, however, followed by North East and Yorkshire. Hospital admissions are rising in almost every region.
Coronavirus - 9th October 98860410
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Coronavirus - 9th October Empty Re: Coronavirus - 9th October

Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 20:16

Outbreak at ambulance service 999 call centre

Nineteen ambulance staff are believed to have tested positive after an outbreak at a 999 emergency call handling centre in West Yorkshire.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service confirmed the outbreak at its Emergency Operations Centre in Wakefield and said it had taken steps to ensure the 999 service would continue, with help from a facility in York and other ambulance services if needed.
A source from the Unison union said that 19 staff had tested positive but it was not known how many others might be self-isolating.



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Coronavirus - 9th October Empty PM to detail new measures to MPs on Monday

Post by Kitkat on Fri Oct 09 2020, 21:05

Breaking News
The prime minister is to make a statement to MPs on Monday giving details of new restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus in England.

A letter from Boris Johnson's chief strategic adviser to MPs in the north-west of England seen by the BBC states "it is very likely that certain local areas will face further restrictions".
A three-tier system will see areas face differing rules based on case severity.
It comes as the chancellor announced support for UK firms forced to shut.
Under the new restrictions, pubs and restaurants could be closed parts of northern England and the Midlands - where some of the highest number of cases are occurring - while a ban on overnight stays is also being considered.
The most severe measures will be agreed with local leaders in advance before they are implemented.
The letter to the MPs from Downing Street adviser Sir Edward Lister says the government was hoping to "finalise these details as soon as possible."
It cites the "rising incidence in parts of the country" and the "engagement that is taking place today and during the course of the weekend with local authority leaders in your region".

A number of areas in north west and north east England and the Midlands are already subject to stricter restrictions. A tiered system of measures is designed to replace the patchwork of existing rules across the country.
A senior government source said the prime minister has told officials and ministers he wants much closer engagement with local leaders before decisions were made on further measures.
"Local people are going to have to endure these restrictions so it is only right their leaders have a say on what they are" the source said, adding "they will also bring expertise on what will work in their regions".
The number of people in the UK to have tested positive for coronavirus rose by 13,864 - a decrease of 3,676 on Thursday's figures - with a further 87 deaths reported on the government's dashboard.
Under the new support announced by Rishi Sunak, employees who work for companies made to close by law because of coronavirus restrictions are to get two-thirds of their wages paid for by the government.
The chancellor said the latest measures would provide "reassurance and a safety net for people and businesses in advance of what may be a difficult winter".
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https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-54486613

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