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Coronavirus - 17th October

Kitkat
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Oct 17 2020, 14:03

Summary for Saturday, 17th October


  • Millions of people in England are now living under tighter Covid restrictions
  • London, York and Essex are among the places moving into the second highest category
  • Lancashire joins the Liverpool City Region in the highest alert category
  • Stalemate continues between Greater Manchester's leaders and central government over virus measures
  • No 10 and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham arrange phone call for Sunday morning
  • A month-long night curfew begins in Paris and other French cities
  • Austria’s foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg tests positive for coronavirus
  • Israel is to ease its second nationwide lockdown after cases decline
  • More than 39 million cases have been confirmed worldwide globally with more than 1.1 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University


Hello and welcome to our coronavirus live coverage this Saturday.
As millions of people wake up to tighter Covid-19 rules in England, here's the latest:

We'll bring you updates on Covid-19 in the UK and around the world today.

Greater Manchester uncertainty continues

A stalemate between Greater Manchester's local leaders and central government over stricter new measures continues, even as neighbouring Lancashire accepts tougher curbs.
It comes after the PM warned on Friday that he would impose the extra restrictions if no agreement was reached.
Local leaders are resisting a move to tier three's strict rules on hospitality - pressing instead for more shielding measures for the vulnerable, extra financial aid and stricter local powers to shut down venues breaking virus guidelines.
"We firmly believe that protecting health is about more than controlling the virus and requires proper support for people whose lives would be severely affected by a tier three lockdown," Greater Manchester deputy mayors and council leaders said in a joint statement.
Read more here .

How worried should we be about Covid?

Winter looks like it is going to be tough. Cases are rising across the whole of the UK, the restrictions on our lives are already tightening, there are fears some hospitals are starting to fill up and there are ongoing political and scientific rows.
It feels like there is a constant stream of information and you would be forgiven for getting lost in the whirlwind of headlines.
So - let's keep this really straight and really simple. Where are we, is this a repeat of spring and how worried should we be?
The BBC’s health correspondent James Gallagher has looked into it.

Government testing adviser calls for circuit-breaker

Prof Sir John Bell, who has advised the government on its coronavirus testing programme, says a "circuit-breaker" - a short, limited lockdown - is now needed as cases soar to "eye-watering" levels in some parts of the UK.
He warned there were signs compliance with rules and regulations was reducing and that it is hard to get on top of outbreaks while "just biting around the edges".
Sir John told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Things look pretty grave at the moment and the numbers are going up pretty rapidly.
"The other phenomenon you're seeing is that people are pretty unhappy, they are tired, this has been going on too long, they can't go about their business, they can't do the normal things they would expect to do. Hospital staff are exhausted from the last go."
He added: "I can see very little way of getting on top of this without some kind of a circuit-breaker, because the numbers are actually pretty eye-watering in some bits of the country and I think it's going to be pretty hard to get on top of this just biting around the edges."
Sir John says he thinks "there will be every effort to keep schools open".
"This is not a good place to be so if in the end we have to take kids out for two weeks, calm it all down and then embed it in a much more rigorous testing regime then that's maybe what we may have to do."

What are the latest UK figures?

The government announced 15,650 confirmed cases on Friday - with 136 new deaths.
Also on Friday, the Office for National Statistics said that approximately one in 160 people in England had coronavirus in the week ending 8 October. That equates to 336,500 people - approximately 50% higher than the figure the previous last week.
It believes there are around 27,900 new infections a day in England - and that does not include outbreaks in communal residences like student halls of residence.
Check the cases in your area here .

Jeremy Hunt calls for end of 'public war of words' over restrictions

Conservative former health secretary Jeremy Hunt indicated support for a national circuit-breaker lockdown as he called for an end to the "public war of words" over local restrictions.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I've always thought that it's better to do things quickly and decisively than to wait until the virus has grown, so I have a lot of sympathy with that.
"But I think more important right now is we stop this public war of words between local leaders and national leaders because in a pandemic the most important thing is a consistent message because you really have to have compliance with the very, very important public health messages about social distancing.
"And if local leaders and national leaders are saying different things, it's incredibly damaging.
"I really do urge Andy Burnham and other local leaders to have these arguments, and I'm sure they're very fierce arguments and I'm sure there's some justification for some of their concerns, but have those arguments in private not in public because that's so damaging to the national fight against the virus."

Are you feeling daunted by all the rule changes?

All four UK nations have responded to a surge in coronavirus cases by tightening up restrictions.
From three tiers to a “circuit-breaker” - it can be hard to keep up with the latest rules and advice.
Luckily, the BBC’s Alice Evans has waded through the small print and produced a handy simple guide for us - best read with a brew.

Tory MP calls for more evidence that tough curbs work

Ministers need to demonstrate how coronavirus restrictions are working to win over the "spoonful of scepticism", a Conservative Lancashire MP has said.
Jake Berry told BBC Breakfast: "I do think the British public would react extremely well to having the data shared with them in a simple and meaningful way.
"My preference would be through the NHS Test and Trace app to try and bring the people with us.
"Because I think the point that's made by Greater Manchester is that people are very sceptical about whether this new tiering system will work.
"I think that spoonful of scepticism is because we've been in very similar measures since August and no one has really demonstrated to us the way out or how these measures are working."
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Oct 17 2020, 14:11

Wales travel ban from UK hotspots begins

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A ban on people travelling to Wales from coronavirus hotspots elsewhere in the UK has come into effect.
The ban , which started on Friday night, covers all of Northern Ireland, England's tier two and three areas and the Scottish central belt.
People living in parts of England and Scotland without extra restrictions can still travel to areas of Wales which are not under local lockdowns, including Powys, Pembrokeshire and Gwynedd (apart from Bangor).
Find out more about where you can holiday around the UK here

Updates from around the world

Here are some of the latest global updates on coronavirus:

  • Paris and other French cities start a month-long night curfew . About 20 million people are covered by the curfew, which goes from 21:00 to 06:00 every night.
  • Austria’s Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has no symptoms and is self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus. It is suspected he may have contracted the virus at the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on Monday.
  • Poland has recorded its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic with 9,622 new Covid-19 infections



Curfew begins in French cities

French restaurants, bars and cafes faced a busy evening yesterday before a month-long curfew started at midnight (22:00 GMT) in Paris and other cities.
The controversial night curfew is aimed at curbing the soaring coronavirus infection rate in France, which is one of Europe's coronavirus hotspots.
The full curfew begins today from 21:00 to 06:00 every night.
The Paris region and eight other cities are affected, including Marseille, Lyon, Lille and Toulouse.
About 20 million French people are covered by it, but mayors in some towns - notably Le Touquet and Creil in the north - have also announced curfews to prevent a knock-on effect, as frustrated revellers seek somewhere else to meet.
Read more here.
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Oct 17 2020, 14:15

NHS Covid app failing to give correct risk level

Rory Cellan-Jones - Technology correspondent
Many users of the NHS Covid-19 app are reporting this morning that it has not updated to their new risk level.
For example, London users should be seeing it rise from medium to high.
In some cases there are reports that two users in the same household are seeing different alert levels - this is the case in my west London home right now.
The Department of Health says there has been an issue but this has been resolved and users should soon see the correct alert levels.
A spokesperson said: "We are aware of an issue which impacted updates to postcode alerts for some app users yesterday.
"This was identified and resolved within an hour and users’ phones will automatically update to show the correct local alert level for their area along with new guidance.”
People can find out the local alert level in their area by going her

Derby day clashes kick off in fan-free stadiums

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For the first time in over a century the famous Old Firm derby in Glasgow is being played in an empty stadium .
Rangers are at Celtic Park as they take on their fierce rivals in the first clash of the season .
It will be televised but pubs in the Scottish central belt are currently closed due to restrictions.
Earlier this week Scotland's First Minister appealed to Sky Sports to show the match for free, a plea which was rejected by the broadcaster.
Meanwhile, another big derby is taking place - in the Premier League, leaders Everton are playing reigning champions Liverpool at a crowd-free Goodison Park. Follow the action on BBC Sport's live page .
The Premier League season has started with a goal-fest and before the international break Everton defender Michael Keane said the absence of crowds in stadiums could be playing a part in the high number of goals.
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Oct 17 2020, 14:19

.
Breaking News 

Liverpool mayor's brother dies with Covid-19

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has said his brother has died after being admitted to intensive care with Covid-19.
On Friday evening, Anderson urged people to follow local rules to prevent the spread of the virus as he revealed his eldest brother was in a "very serious condition" in hospital in the city.
In a Twitter post on Saturday, he said: "Despite the efforts of all the staff LivHospitals ICU my brother sadly died at 10.45 BST last night.
"We want to thank the dedicated staff risking their lives for us.
"Thank you all for your messages of love and support.
"Let's stick together and support each other and win this battle."
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Joe Anderson (pictured) urged people to follow the Covid rules


Greater Manchester Police chief defends virus enforcement

The chief of Greater Manchester Police has defended its role in enforcing coronavirus regulations after a report suggested officers were caught in the middle of a political fight over tougher rules.
Discussions between the government and local leaders over putting the region into the highest level of restrictions are at a stalemate.
A Daily Telegraph article said Boris Johnson has held back on new restrictions in Greater Manchester amid fears over enforcement of the rules because the police answer to Mayor Andy Burnham.
But Ian Hopkins, Greater Manchester Police chief constable, said in a statement that it was for politicians to decide regulations and his officers would enforce them proportionately .
Ch Con Hopkins said the force's approach has been supported by both Greater Manchester's mayor and Home Secretary Priti Patel, and he has been in regular contact with them throughout the pandemic.
Meanwhile, businesses in Greater Manchester say they are frustrated by the uncertainty over whether the area will be moved into the highest level of restrictions.

Analysis: How long can stand-off last?

Jonathan Blake - BBC political correspondent
At least 48 hours have passed since there was any discussion between the government and leaders in Greater Manchester.
It's not complete radio silence - I understand conversations have continued between officials in Whitehall and the region's local authorities .
But there won't be a breakthrough until politicians on one side pick up the phone.
Both camps have indicated they're ready to talk, but neither seems willing to make the first move.
The prime minister did not put a time limit on his pledge to impose restrictions if no agreement can be reached, but he will only be able to wait so long.
One thing everyone involved agrees on is that something needs to be done as coronavirus cases continue to rise .
Given the political fault lines this row has exposed - Conservative vs Labour, north vs south, local vs national - deciding exactly what is proving far more difficult.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Oct 17 2020, 14:25

No 10 schedules Greater Manchester curbs call

Jonathan Blake - BBC political correspondent
A phone call between Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and a representative of No 10 has been arranged for Sunday morning, Downing Street said.
A spokesperson told the BBC they had "reached out" to Mr Burnham on Saturday morning.
The development comes after the prime minister yesterday said he would intervene and impose restrictions in the region if agreement couldn't be reached with local leaders.
The mayor's office has been approached for comment but did not immediately respond.
Read the latest here .

Scuffles on last night out in London's Soho




Pub goers in central London enjoyed their last night out on Friday, before new coronavirus restrictions came in.
The capital moved to Tier 2 on Saturday, meaning people cannot mix with other households indoors , including in pubs.
A crowd was dispersed by police from the corner of Old Compton Street and Frith Street, in Soho.

Wales records 674 new coronavirus cases

There have been a further 674 cases of Covid-19 recorded in Wales , bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 34,679.
Public Health Wales said five further deaths had been reported, with the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic rising to 1,708.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Oct 17 2020, 14:36

Man living in papal residence tests positive

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The Vatican has said that a man living in the same residence as Pope Francis has tested positive for coronavirus and is now in isolation.
The man has not been named, and did not not show any symptoms of the illness before testing, according to a statement.
An undisclosed number of people who came into contact with him have also been isolated.
The Pope is regularly tested for Covid-19, and is continuing with his regular schedule, Reuters reports.
It's not the first time this has happened. Back in March, someone else living in the residence - which has about 130 rooms and suites - contracted coronavirus during the height of Italy's outbreak.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Oct 17 2020, 14:40

Confusion over Greater Manchester restrictions

People in Greater Manchester are facing confusion over Covid-19 rules, as local leaders denied Downing Street's claim that talks have been arranged to resolve a row over tougher restrictions.
No 10 told the BBC it had arranged a call with the region's mayor, Andy Burnham, on Sunday morning.
However, Mr Burnham's office said "nothing has yet been arranged".
It comes after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he may intervene to place Greater Manchester into tier three - very high - in England's new system of rules - something Mr Burnham has been resisting.
He is instead pressing for more shielding measures for the vulnerable, extra financial aid and stricter local powers to shut down venues breaking virus guidelines.
Read more here .

Analysis: 48 hours of stand-off and counting...

Jonathan Blake - BBC political correspondent
When two sides cannot even agree on the arrangement of a phone call, it doesn't bode well for the bigger picture.
After 48 hours of stand-off between Downing Street and the mayor of Greater Manchester, it seemed there might be some progress.
Downing Street claimed they had "reached out" and a call had been arranged between Andy Burnham and No 10 for Sunday morning.
But soon after that Mr Burnham's spokesperson said nothing had been agreed.
This may seem like a tedious running commentary on the logistics of negotiations, and on one level it is.
But as coronavirus cases continue to rise there is a lot riding on these discussions, or lack of.
People in Greater Manchester may be wondering how long it will be before action of some sort is taken, and what restrictions they'll be asked to endure when it is.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Oct 17 2020, 16:18

1,167 new virus cases in Scotland

Scotland has recorded 15 deaths of coronavirus patients in the past 24 hours , the latest official figures show.
This takes the death toll under this measure - of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days - to 2,609.
A total of 1,167 people have tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 46,399.
There are 675 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus as of yesterday, up by 46 in 24 hours and of these patients, 62 were in intensive care, up by four.

Kansas City hospitals 'bursting at the seams'

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As cases rise in Kansas City, in the US state of Missouri, many hospitals in and around the city are so full they are having to turn away ambulances and refuse non-emergency care, ABC News reports .
Marc Larsen, an operations director at Saint Luke's hospital - the region's second largest care provider - told the American broadcaster that many hospitals are "bursting at the seams".
"The current trajectory and the rapid increase in infections is a big concern for me," said Mr Larsen.
"With our numbers where they are coming into influenza season, I worry that the facilities will continue to be pushed to the brink."
Missouri is one of several states in the midwestern US which is grappling with a surge in coronavirus cases.
More than 11,200 have been reported over the last seven days, bringing the state's total number of cases to nearly 155,000.

Another EU foreign minister tests positive

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Belgium's Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès has announced she has tested positive for coronavirus - saying she potentially contracted it from a family member.
In a series of tweets, Ms Wilmès said that rising cases in the country were a reminder "that no one is safe".
"Take care of yourself and especially for each other," she added.
It comes days after Ms Wilmès attended face-to-face talks with several other EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.
Since the 12 October meeting, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has also tested positive.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Oct 17 2020, 16:21

86 further deaths in England hospitals

A further 86 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, new NHS data has shown.
It brings the total number of confirmed deaths reported in English hospitals to 30,910.
The NHS said the latest patients were aged between 44 and 99 and that all but two patients, aged 62 and 79, had known underlying health conditions.
The deaths were between 16 September and 16 October.
The number of deaths of patients with Covid-19 by region are as follows:

  • East of England - 2
  • London - 11
  • Midlands - 17
  • North East & Yorkshire - 15
  • North West - 33
  • South East - 4
  • South West - 4


Scottish Premiership game off after Covid positive test

Scottish Premiership side St Mirren have been forced to call off this afternoon's game with Motherwell after another member of their team tested positive for Covid-19.
Two players had already contracted the virus earlier this week with a third forced into self-isolation.
Now St Mirren have postponed their showdown with Motherwell at the Simple Digital Arena after the latest test result meant a number of other squad members would have to go into self-isolation.
Chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick added: "It is very disappointing that we are faced with this situation despite the numerous precautions and safeguards that are in place within the club."
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Oct 17 2020, 16:23

Iran coronavirus death toll passes 30,000

Iran's health ministry has reported that 253 coronavirus patients have died over the last 24 hours, bringing the national death toll to 30,123.
Case numbers have also risen by 4,103 to 526,490, a ministry spokesperson told state TV channel IRINN.
Iran's total number of deaths is the highest in the Middle East, and the 10th highest in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Shortly after the latest figures were announced, Iranian authorities said they would be extending closures and restrictions in Tehran and four other cities for another week to help curb infections.

'Sterilised' popcorn and old films - India's cinemas reopen

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Cinemas have started reopening in India after being closed for seven months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But watching a movie in a cinema won't be the same now - at least in the foreseeable future.
There will be no eager crowds or long queues at the ticket counter as social distancing is enforced.
Names and phone numbers will be collected at the entrance for contact tracing, and seating in cinema will be capped at 50% of the regular capacity.
Even popcorn will be sterilised under UV rays for eight minutes , reported local media.
But the biggest blow may well be the lack of new material - for months, cinemas watched helplessly from the sidelines as streaming platforms snapped up Bollywood movies that were willing to opt for an online release.
This leaves cinemas with no option but to re-release older titles, including those from 2018.
Read more about cinemas in India reopening here.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Oct 17 2020, 17:04

More than 16,000 new virus cases across UK

There have been a further 16,171 coronavirus across the UK, the government's latest daily figures show .
This brings the total number of positive Covid-19 infections to 705,428.
A further 150 people have died within 28 days of a positive test - taking the total number of UK deaths to 43,579.

Today's live coverage is finishing shortly

We will be wrapping up today's live page very soon.

The coverage has been brought to you by Sarah Collerton, George Bowden, Thomas Mackintosh, Joshua Cheetham and Paul Gribben.

The latest coronavirus headlines

As we end our live coverage for the day, here's a quick recap of the latest coronavirus headlines from the UK and around the world:

  • People in Greater Manchester are facing confusion over Covid-19 rules, as local leaders denied Downing Street's claim that talks have been arranged to resolve a row over tighter curbs
  • More than half of people in England are now under stricter coronavirus rules as part of a new tier system
  • Northern Ireland has begun its "circuit-breaker" or short, limited lockdown
  • A further 16,171 coronavirus cases have been recorded across the UK and 150 more deaths, according to the UK government's daily figures
  • The eldest brother of Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has died in hospital with coronavirus
  • The foreign ministers of Austria and Belgium have tested positive for Covid-19, days after attending a summit of European foreign ministers in Luxembourg
  • The Vatican has said a man living in the same residence as Pope Francis has tested positive for coronavirus and is now in isolation
  • Night-time curfews will begin on Saturday night in several major French cities, including Paris
  • Iranian authorities have announced restrictions in the capital, Tehran, and four other cities are being extended for another week, as the national death toll passed 30,000
  • Israel will start easing its month-long second nationwide lockdown, after a significant decline in the number of new coronavirus cases
  • More than 39.4 million coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide, along with 1.1 million virus-related deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University

    Current date/time is Sat Nov 28 2020, 07:48