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Coronavirus - 12th November

Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 10:41

Summary for Thursday, 12th November

  • The UK's economy bounced back from recession with record growth of 15.5% in July to September - but is still 8.2% smaller than before Covid
  • It is also the first country in Europe to pass 50,000 coronavirus deaths - the fifth country worldwide after the US, Brazil, India and Mexico
  • Spain's coronavirus death toll has surged to more than 40,000, with infections passing 1.4m
  • Germany's health minister has he expects coronavirus restrictions there to continue through the winter
  • The US has confirmed its highest 24-hour infection total to date – a world record of more than 144,000 cases
  • New restrictions being introduced in New York - described as the city's "last chance" to stop a second Covid wave


Welcome to our live coverage - latest UK headlines

Good morning - if you are reading us in the UK.
Welcome to our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and thanks for joining us. We will bring you the latest updates from the UK and around the world throughout the day.
Here's a round-up of the main coronavirus headlines from across the UK this morning:


What's happening around the world?

Here are some of the latest key developments from around the world:

  • The US has reported 144,270 new coronavirus infections, a record rise over a 24-hour period, a tally by the Covid Tracking Project says .
  • Cases in Texas have topped one million, with California not far behind
  • In New York, new restrictions have been imposed, with Mayor Bill de Blasio warning it was the city's "last chance" to stop a second wave
  • Brazil's health regulator has announced that the trial of a Chinese coronavirus vaccine can resume , after it was suspended over a "severe adverse incident"
  • The death toll in Spain surpassed 40,000 on Wednesday. The country will demand a negative Covid-19 test for all travellers arriving from countries with a high risk for coronavirus from 23 November
  • The Swedish government, which initially took a relatively relaxed approach to coronavirus restrictions, has unveiled plans to ban the sale of alcohol after 22:00 to curb the spread of the disease
  • A similar measure has been taken in Turkey, where smoking has been banned in crowded public spaces
  • Encouraged by the progress of a Covid-19 vaccine, Organisers of next year's Tokyo Olympics are becoming more confident fans will be able to attend
    . Athletes will be exempt from the 14-day isolation period in Japan, they said Worldwide, there have been 52 million infections and 1.2 million deaths since the pandemic began, data shows.


Ukraine president taken to hospital with virus

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been taken to hospital to be treated for Covid-19, as coronavirus cases surge in the country.
Zelensky, 42, announced on Monday that he had tested positive for the virus and would be working in self-isolation.
Top Ukrainian officials, including two ministers and Zelensky's most senior aide, were also reported to be infected.
A presidential official told Reuters news agency Zelensky went to hospital to "accurately isolate and not expose anyone". The move was "nothing serious", the official said.
Zelensky is latest in a long line of world leaders to contract the virus, including US President Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Coronavirus infections have risen sharply in Ukraine since the beginning of October. A further 10,611 cases were recorded on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 489,808, World Health Organization (WHO) data shows .
On Wednesday, the Ukrainian government approved a weekend lockdown that will force non-essential businesses to close on Saturdays and Sundays for the next three weeks.

UK newspapers headline on Covid

Several of today's UK newspaper front pages cover developments in the coronavirus pandemic.
The Metro and the Daily Mirror both lead on Professor Jonathan Van-Tam saying he is confident the coronavirus vaccine is safe and is encouraging his own mother to take it once it's cleared for public use.
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The i newspaper carries a warning from Prof Van-Tam - England's deputy chief medical officer - that distribution of a vaccine should be based on those who need jabs "to stop wealthy jumping the queue".
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The Guardian has a different take, saying that government scientists have admitted that millions of British people could potentially be given "a less effective vaccine than the highly promising frontrunner if it helps to save lives".
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The Daily Mail front page calls on government ministers to allow care home residents to reunite with their loved ones in time for Christmas.
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The Financial Times leads on the review of capital gains tax, commissioned by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, which it says has recommended "slashing the annual allowance". The paper says the move "could raise billions of pounds" as the chancellor looks to fill the "fiscal hole" left by the coronavirus crisis.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 11:24

Breaking News

NHS England waiting times highest since 2008

Hugh Pym - BBC News Health Editor
Nearly 140,000 people have waited more than a year for a routine operation or procedure in England.
The figure for September, published by NHS England, was the highest since September 2008.
One year earlier, in September 2019, the number having to wait more than 52 weeks to start treatment stood at just 1,305.
The total waiting list is now 4.35 million.

New York's 'last chance to stop second wave'

Day by day, the coronavirus outbreak in the US has been worsening since mid-October.
Records were smashed on Wednesday, with 65,368 Americans receiving treatment in hospital, according to the Covid Tracking Project .
With experts warning hospitals could soon be overwhelmed, New York has introduced new restrictions aimed at curbing coronavirus.
Bars, restaurants and gyms must close by 22:00 and people can only meet in groups of 10 or less.
If the rate of spread of infection continued to rise, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the New York City's public school system would close and children would begin online classes.
"This is our last chance to stop a second wave. We can do it, but we have to act now," he tweeted.
New York City was badly hit by the virus earlier this year when nearly 18,000 people died with Covid-19 in March, April and May, according to the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene .
Tweet  Mayor Bill de Blasio:

Today’s indicators:
• 94 patients admitted to the hospital
• 817 new cases
• The infection rate 7-day average is 2.52%

This is our LAST chance to stop a second wave. We can do it, but we have to act NOW.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 11:27

A COVID-19 testing centre is to be set up within Dublin Airport in the coming days.

In order to cope with an increase in passengers over the Christmas period, as Ireland exits lockdown, the airport is looking to do all it can to ensure that the spread of Covid-19 is limited wherever possible.
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan is set to sign a ministerial order to confirm that Dublin Airport can get a planning law exemption to open the testing centre without permission from local authority, according to The Irish Times .
Once the waiver is granted, the centre could be set up "within days" according to Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) chief executive Dalton Philips.
The testing centre will allow passengers coming in and out of the airport to be given rapid tests for coronavirus.
It would act as another significant boost to air travel after the Government announced a new range of measures under the EU traffic light system.
Under the system there will be green regions, orange regions, red regions and grey regions across the EU.
This map will be updated every Thursday based on EU epidemiological data and the changes will be applied in Ireland the following Monday.
People arriving from "green" regions with fewer than 25 Covid infections per 100,000 people in the last 14 days do not need to restrict their movements.
Neither do those travelling from "orange" areas if they produce a negative test taken in the previous three days.
"Red" regions – those with infection rates of 50 or more per 100,000 and positive tests of 4 per cent – must restrict their movement for a minimum of five days before they can take a test that, if returned negative, ends their quarantine, the Government said.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 11:39

Russia sees record 24-hour rise in deaths

A record high of 439 new coronavirus-related deaths has been reported in Russia over the past 24 hours, bringing the overall official toll to 32,032.
Coronavirus infections are surging in the country, with another 21,608 new cases registered on Thursday.
The regions that recorded the most cases are Moscow (5,997) and St Petersburg (1,667), authorities say.
As the country grapples with a second wave of the virus, its poorer provinces are being hit the hardest.
In northern regions like Arkhangelsk, patients have been forced to sleep on benches and in corridors and ambulance crews are overwhelmed.
Health workers in Russia are usually wary of sounding critical, but as the situation worsens, they are being more vocal.
In the video below, they speak to BBC Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 11:43

Breaking News

A&E visits in England still below last year's levels

A&E visits at hospitals in England continue to be below levels of a year ago, according to the latest NHS England figures.
A total of 1.6 million visits were recorded in October 2020, down 26% from 2.2 million in October 2019.
NHS England said the fall was "likely to be a result of the Covid-19 response" - suggesting that people are still staying away from A&E departments because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The latest year-on-year drop in A&E visits compares with falls of 20% in September, 19% in August and 30% in July.
Emergency admissions to A&E departments at hospitals in England also showed a fall last month, down 14% from 563,133 in October 2019 to 481,846 in October 2020.
NHS England again said this was likely to be a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak.

What's happening across Europe?

Ukraine's president, Volodymr Zelensky, is in hospital with Covid - but he has a special office and is holding conference calls, officials say. Ukraine has announced a record 11,057 infections in 24 hours today with a 198 deaths.
In Italy, the video of a man's body found in a Naples hospital bathroom has gone viral. He was in the emergency department as a suspected Covid patient.
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This was the scene outside Cotugno hospital in Naples on Wednesday where suspected Covid patients waited for beds



The video emerged amid an outcry in Italy over images of people being treated with oxygen in their cars outside another Naples hospital. Last night, another 623 deaths were announced over a 24-hour period.
France will get an update from Prime Minister Jean Castex this evening, after two weeks of a second lockdown. But already more than 60% of French citizens have broken the lockdown rules, a survey suggests – many say they've been seeing family and friends or used a special travel certificate for the wrong reasons.
The Dutch government plans to impose €95 (£85) fines on anyone not wearing a mask indoors in public spaces – until now there have been constitutional problems in changing the law.
Spain has now seen 40,000 Covid deaths and it's going to ask visitors from 65 at risk countries, including neighbouring France, to take a negative test in the three days before they travel.
The head of the EU's health agency, Andrea Ammon, has warned that it is optimistic to think the first vaccines will roll out in the first three months of 2021 – she's told AFP news agency that the pandemic in Europe is "very, very concerning".
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 11:52

NI leaders criticised over lockdown deadlock

Leaders in Northern Ireland have been criticised for being caught in a deadlock over whether to extend the coronavirus lockdown.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said it was "our politics at its worst again" after ministers failed to resolve their differences about rules for hospitality and smaller retailers.
A four-week lockdown across the country is due to end at midnight tonight.
The Stormont Executive is expected to meet later today to try to come to an agreement about a way forward.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has blocked attempts to extend the closures and has denied "running down the clock" until the rules expire.
But Tina McKenzie of the FSB said: "You couldn't get a worse scenario."
Ministers are to consider a compromise proposal which would keep the restrictions in place for one more week.
It has been put forward by the Alliance Party leader and Justice Minister Naomi Long.
It is understood that it would merge a plan by Ulster Unionist Health Minister Robin Swann - in which businesses would shut for another week - with a plan from DUP Economy Minister Diane Dodds which would see a partial reopening within days.

More than 170 Covid cases at European Parliament

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MEPs in the European Parliament

The European Parliament has suffered a significant Covid outbreak: 171 cases among MEPs and staff at the end of October, a spokesperson told the BBC.
She did not have a more recent figure, saying the numbers were evolving, but were decreasing as most parliament meetings were now taking place online.
Most were asymptomatic cases, detected because of the track and trace system, the spokesperson said.
MEPs no longer travel to Strasbourg each month, as they used to. And the Brussels meetings have fewer participants than previously.
In total, there are 705 MEPs and nearly 4,000 MEPs' assistants, plus about 7,500 other staff at the European Parliament.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 11:54

Covid test and trace weekly cases highest ever

A total of 149,253 people in England tested positive for coronavirus at least once in the week to 4 November, according to NHS Test and Trace figures.
This is the highest weekly number since test and trace was launched at the end of May and is an increase of 8% in positive cases on the previous week.
The test and trace figures also show 60.4% of close contacts of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in England were reached through the system.
This is up by 0.2% from the previous week, and is just close to the all-time low of 60.1% for the week to 14 October.
For cases managed by local health protection teams, 99.1% of contacts were reached and asked to self-isolate.
Meanwhile in Scotland, it's emerged that more than 3,500 people who tested positive for Covid-19 have not been spoken to by staff from the NHS Test and Protect system since 22 June.
Public Health Scotland said this was 6% of those who had tested positive, describing it as a "very small proportion" of the number of cases.
The figures also show that more than 9,000 people who were contacts of someone with the virus were unable to be traced.
The Scottish government said there was a "small minority of cases it has not been possible to reach".
It said these individuals have not responded to "repeated attempts by the contact tracing service".
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 12:02

Pubs in Ireland, including 'wet' pubs, could be open in time for Christmas if all things go to plan.

The Government is formalising their strategy for leaving Level Five restrictions - which are due to end on December 1.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that while Ireland will likely revert back to Level Three to begin with, the plan ultimately will be to get the country down to Level Two before Christmas.
At Level Two, pubs and restaurants are allowed to open, but must have restrictive measures in place, like social distancing systems and capacity limits.
Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday, Mr Martin said the country should be allowed to enjoy a "reasonable Christmas," as his fellow Fianna Fáil TDs insisted that the Irish people had "sacrificed enough" during this pandemic.
Martin went on to say that while the plan was for the country to move to Level Three, if a focus on adhering to public health guidance is maintained, it will allow the Government maximum flexibility to reopen society further down the line.
"I did say on the record of the House that I wanted to get back to Level Three - that was a target for December 1," he said.
"The data on that will inform whether we might look at certain sectors as well and might moderate that."
If the country remained at Level Three up until Christmas, pubs would only be allowed to offer takeaway and delivery services, as well as outdoor dining in some places, which wouldn't be ideal in the depths of winter.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 12:12

Covid is not tired of us, says WHO chief

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The world must not let its guard down against the coronavirus, even as progress is made on vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the virus remained as threatening as ever eight months into a pandemic that has killed an estimated 1.2 million people globally.
"We may be tired of Covid-19 but it is not tired of us," Dr Tedros said at the Paris Peace Forum on Thursday. "European countries are struggling but the virus has not changed significantly, nor the measures to stop it."
There have been promising developments on the vaccine front in recent days.
On Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech said preliminary results showed a vaccine they are developing was 90% effective against Covid-19 . Then on Wednesday, Russian researchers said early results from trials of a Covid-19 vaccine they are developing could be 92% effective .
Both vaccines need to pass regulatory checks.
Dr Tedros said relying on vaccines whose safety and efficacy are yet to be fully confirmed risked complacency.
"A vaccine is needed urgently, but we cannot wait for a vaccine and put all our eggs in one basket," he said.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 13:08

First Caribbean cruise since March cut short after virus case

You may remember the suspension of cruises worldwide as the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic raged in March. Many passengers and crew were stranded at sea for weeks, as countries denied ships entry to their ports.
Now the industry is trying to resume operations, yet the threat of coronavirus has not gone away.
One company, SeaDream Yacht Club, has reportedly been forced to cut short its first cruise in the Caribbean since sailing ceased.
The SeaDream 1 is heading back to port in Barbados after a passenger tested positive for Covid-19, reports say.
A report by USA Today said passengers on the cruise had boarded the ship on Saturday. They were required to take a Covid-19 test at home before traveling, and another one before boarding the ship, the report said.
USA Today said it spoke to one passenger, freelance travel writer Sue Bryant. She said there were currently 53 passengers and 66 crew on board the ship.
All passengers have been told to self-isolate in their cabins, she said.
Tweet  SeaDream Yacht Club:

We are welcoming guests on our first 7-day #Caribbean voyage departing from #Barbados . This journey will take us to beautiful beaches while enjoying a safe environment onboard and #SeaDream 's signature service. Proud to be the only line currently sailing in the Caribbean!
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Breaking News

Alcohol ban introduced on Scotland's railway

People will not be allowed to drink alcohol on trains or at stations in Scotland from Monday, ScotRail has announced.
It said the temporary policy had been put in place to support public health measures and keep people safe during the Covid pandemic.
ScotRail said the new measures would help to maintain the physical distancing required while travelling.
The move will be supported by the British Transport Police, they said, who would assist railway staff where required to ensure that people followed the guidance.
The consumption of alcohol is currently banned on ScotRail services between 21:00 and 10.00.
You can read more on this here .
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 13:13

More Covid-19 patients in Welsh hospitals than in pandemic peak

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There are now more patients in hospitals in Wales with Covid-19 than at any time - including the peak of the pandemic - according to the latest figures .
Statistics show that 1,529 beds are occupied, which accounts for 20% of all patients in hospital.
They include 983 beds occupied with confirmed Covid-19 patients.
However, the number of patients in critical care or on ventilators with coronavirus has only reached 40% of the levels at the height of the first wave.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 13:15

Police force hands out a third of England's face mask fines

A third of police fines handed out for not wearing face masks since use became mandatory were issued by the West Mercia force, figures reveal.
From 24 July, masks have had to be worn in enclosed public places in England as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Since then, 172 fines have been issued across the country for non-compliance, according to data.
West Mercia Police handed out 57 £200 fines, equalling £11,400.
You can read more on this story here .

NHS England medical director at Downing Street press conference

Downing Street has confirmed that NHS England medical director Professor Stephen Powis will join Business Secretary Alok Sharma at the press conference at 17:00 GMT.
We'll bring you the latest updates from that press conference here when it happens.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 13:29

Two inquiries into UK Covid 'gravy-train' claims

Labour MPs are pressing for an independent inquiry into £4bn worth of Covid-related contracts awarded to private companies in the UK in what they say "appears to be a flagrant breach of the law".
Labour's Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi asked Cabinet Officer Minister Julia Lopez whether she thought it was right that consultants should be "paid up to £7,000 a day to work on test and trace, which itself is a world-beating failure?".
It had been "all aboard the Covid Tory gravy train", he said, with "accusations of corruption and cronyism with contracts handed down to Tory firms that have links to Tory chums and donors" from all around the country.
Lopez said the government was conducting an internal review of the matter in addition to a National Audit Office investigation.
"We are also doing our own internal review because I note some of the criticisms that are made by the Opposition and I wish to satisfy ourselves that those have no basis - because it is very important in this time of crisis that we maintain the confidence of the public in everything that we are doing," she said.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 15:51

NI circuit breaker to end at midnight on Friday - not tonight

We reported earlier that Northern Ireland's circuit-break restrictions were expiring tonight.
Now Stormont says the regulations will in fact expire 24 hours later, at midnight on Friday.
A Department of Health spokesman said: "Executive ministers last night received revised legal advice that the deadline for the current restrictions on hospitality and close contact businesses is midnight on Friday November 13, and not tonight."
Much of Northern Ireland's economy has been closed since 16 October, after tight restrictions were imposed.
The Stormont Executive's deadlock over whether to extend Covid-19 restrictions had been called "politics at its worst again" by one business group.
Tina McKenzie, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said the "lack of communication" from the executive had led to confusion among businesses - and some were "angry" and "in despair".
Ahead of the decision to end the regulations on Friday, some pubs had said they planned to reopen on Friday regardless of whether a decision was reached.
Read more here .

US 'not in a good place', top expert says

In the last hour we've been listening in to a webinar on coronavirus with Dr Anthony Fauci, the top infectious diseases expert in the US.
When talking about the epidemic in the country, Dr Fauci described the rise in infections there as "sobering".
"We're not in a very good place right now," Dr Fauci said during the event, hosted by Chatham House. "If you look at the numbers, data speaks, and data is telling us that we're now in a very difficult, challenging situation."
He said more than 40 of the 50 US states were currently "seeing increases in cases", adding to the more than 10.4 million already confirmed.
Dr Fauci said infections never "came down" in the US like they did in Europe, where strict lockdowns placed restrictions on economic activity. When the US tried to reopen its economy, it did so "in a disparate way", leading to even bigger increases in infections.
Dr Fauci has often clashed with President Donald Trump, who had pushed to reopen the economy in the summer months.
Dr Fauci said his role would not change under US President-elect Joe Biden, who is expected to take office in January.
"The idea of what the broader approach is, I would leave that to what happens in January," he said.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 15:55

Winter and pollution intensify virus outbreak in India's capital

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Heavy pollution has shrouded Delhi in recent days

Now to India, which has so far reported more than 8.6 million coronavirus infections, the second-highest number in the world.
In the country's capital, Delhi, the spread of coronavirus has been compounded by plummeting temperatures and dangerous levels of air pollution (read more here ).
The city confirmed more than 8,500 cases on Wednesday alone, its highest daily record yet. The capital has confirmed just over 450,000 cases so far, some 42,000 of which are active.
The sharp spike in cases after a months-long lull has also put pressure on hospitals - more than half the available beds are already occupied.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to the federal government asking for more beds at government hospitals as public pressure mounts.
"Two elderly patients of mine had to wait for more than 20 hours to get a bed," said Dr Joyeeta Basu, a physician in Delhi.
Meanwhile, air quality monitors show that pollution levels are 14 times greater than the World Health Organization's (WHO) safe levels.
Another worrying factor is colder weather, which is more hospitable to the virus, whose survival time rises in dry and chilly air, experts say.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 15:58

Germany's infection curve 'flattening', says disease chief

A slowdown in the transmission of coronavirus has been reported in some European countries, as renewed restrictions start to show results.
In Germany, the head of the country's disease control agency, Lothar Wieler, told a news conference that there are tentative signs that the surge in infections may be easing.
"What makes me cautiously optimistic is the fact that the number of cases has been increasing a little less strongly in recent days," Wieler said on Thursday. "The curve is rising a little less steeply, it's flattening."
Germany's coronavirus infections rose by 21,866 to 727,553 over the last 24 hours, government data showed. Like most European countries, Germany saw coronavirus infections spike in early October, prompting the reimposition of restrictions.
But the reproduction rate of the virus, or R number, has dipped below 1 to 0.89 in the country, indicating a decline in infections, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
Wieler said it was too early to know if this was a "stable development", but added "it shows that we are not at the mercy of this virus, we are not helpless".

Care home guidance 'overly cautious', says Tory MP

The World at One - BBC Radio 4
Conservative MP Huw Merriman has criticised government guidance for care homes, saying it is “overly cautious”.
Merriman told BBC Radio 4's World at One it was “crucial” to have a system that “recognises one designated visitor, who is regularly tested” and then allowed “closer and more humane contact” with their family member in the care home.
The updated government advice, which came into effect earlier this month, says care homes - especially those which have not allowed visits since March - "will be encouraged and supported to provide safe visiting opportunities".
Visits should be "tailored to residents and facilities and should prioritise residents and staff's safety" to limit the spread of coronavirus, the advice says, with measures such as social distancing and PPE.
The guidance has also been criticised by charities, who have described the suggestions, including floor-to-ceiling screens, designated visitor pods and window visits, as impractical .
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 16:01

Hull coronavirus rate 'worst in England'

Health bosses have warned that the English city of Hull is in "a public health crisis" as coronavirus infection rates in the city are the worst in the country.
Hull has England's highest rate of new cases at 726.8 per 100,000 population for the week to 7 November.
Julia Weldon, the city's director of public health, said: "We know we're in the middle of a pandemic but for us in Hull it has become more serious."
She said the city wants the power to close certain schools for all except vulnerable children and key worker families if it is deemed necessary.
Asked on BBC Radio Humberside whether the city's schools should close, Weldon said: "We've been able to keep as many schools open as possible and everyone has done a fantastic job.
"We're now seeing that really strained because of the number of teachers who are self-isolating or infected. It's certainly not the students.
"What we need is more flexibility than the government is currently giving us in order to react to what's happening in our schools."
Read more on this story here .

Covid cases increase across all age groups in England

The number of people with Covid-19 in England is rising across all age groups, according to Public Health England.
The highest rate continues to be among 20 to 29-year-olds. There were 358.9 cases per 100,000 people in this age category in the week to 8 November - up from 347.1 in the previous week.
Among 30 to 39-year-olds, the rate rose from 301.0 to 314.3, and for 40 to 49-year-olds it increased from 289.6 to 294.1.
The rate climbed from 129.0 to 135.0 for those in the 70 to 79 age bracket and increased from 192.4 to 217.1 for those aged 80 and over.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 16:05

Covid peaked in Kenya 'earlier than thought'

Rhoda Odhiambo - BBC Africa Health, Nairobi
The coronavirus had already infected 1.3 million Kenyans by June - a far higher number than previously thought.
That is the finding of a landmark study by the Kenya Medical and Research Institute (Kemri).
Scientists analysed national blood donations given between May and June and found that more than 4% of people had antibodies, which is a sign of having Covid-19 and recovering.
More than 3,000 people gave blood over a period of six weeks at the start of the pandemic. None of them were showing any symptoms of Covid-19.
Samples of their blood were analysed by scientists at Kemri.
They discovered more than one in 25 had already been infected with the virus - and recovered.
In the capital, Nairobi, and the coastal city Mombasa - the early hotspots - that figure was one in 12.
Researchers say this means that Kenya most likely reached its first peak far earlier than initially thought.
More than 65,000 people in Kenya have contracted Covid-19, with over 1,000 deaths.

Emirates airline records first loss in over 30 years

Alan Johnston - BBC Middle East analyst
Coronavirus - 12th November 63149210

The Dubai-based Emirates airline says it has suffered a $3.4bn (£2.6bn) loss on account of the coronavirus pandemic - it's first recorded sixth-month loss in more than 30 years.
At one point, the airline was forced to suspend its operations as the virus brought world travel to a standstill.
Over the half-year to September, Emirates carried 95% fewer passengers than it did over the same period last year.
This is yet more evidence of the devastating economic impact that the virus has had on major businesses around the world.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 16:08

'I doubt we're going to eradicate this' - US virus expert

We can now bring you more from the Chatham House webinar featuring Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government's most senior infectious disease expert.
Dr Fauci said he was encouraged by the progress made on vaccines against Covid-19, particularly the one developed by Pfizer and BioNTech .
The end of the pandemic was "in sight", he said, but stressed that even with an effective vaccine, the world would also need better treatments.
"I doubt we're going to eradicate this," Dr Fauci said. "I think we need to plan that this is something we need to maintain control over chronically. It may be something that becomes endemic that we just have to be careful of."
An endemic disease is one that is constantly present within a certain population or geographic area, health experts say.
To end the pandemic, vaccines are seen as crucial. When they do become available, they should be distributed equitably to all countries, Dr Fauci said.
"We need billions of doses of vaccine not just hundreds of millions for the rich world… No one should live or die depending on where they are born."
Coronavirus - 12th November 2cacde10
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 16:17

'DON'T book flights home for Christmas' - Varadkar warns Irish abroad, stressing Covid concerns are still too great


Leo Varadkar has warned those planning Christmas homecomings not to book flights back to Ireland.
The Tánaiste said it was "too soon" to be planning for the festive season and that there was no telling what Covid-19 restrictions might look like in six weeks.

Speaking in the Dáil on Thursday, Varadkar said: "I know it's a tough message ... but we're not in the position at this point to advise people that it's safe to come home for Christmas.
"In terms of people booking flights for Christmas to come home, I advise them not to do that at the moment. I know that's difficult. I know that's a tough ask.
"Christmas is six weeks away, and it's too soon now, I think, for people to be booking flights to come home."

He warned that even as Ireland moves to a lower tier of restrictions in December, there will still be "embers of the virus" in the community, "and as we meet again those embers can be fanned."
Varadkar cited the 1967 outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in England, where Irish people were asked not to come home.
"They didn't come into Ireland, and I'm not saying it's the same, but certainly we're not in the position at this point to advise people that it's safe to come home for Christmas.
"I know that's a tough message to hear but that's the case for the short term," he added.
"International travel is a risk. I think we need to be upfront and honest about that."
Levels of Covid-19 are slowly dropping in Ireland, thanks undoubtedly to the implementation of a full lockdown last month - which is set to run to December 1.

But despite this - and the news of Pfizer's impending Covid vaccine - health officials have warned the Irish public not to lose focus and continue adhering to public health guidelines in order to crush the virus for good.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 18:51

Breaking News 

Strictly couple leave after Covid-19 diagnosis

Nicola Adams and Katya Jones have been forced to exit Strictly Come Dancing after the professional dancer - Katya - tested positive for coronavirus.
The pair are now self-isolating separately following the latest government guidelines and will not be able to continue on the BBC show.
The Russian dancer and Olympic boxer made history as part of the BBC show's first same-sex pairing.
The rest of the cast are unaffected and the show will continue this Saturday on BBC One at 19:10 GMT.
Read more here .

UK Covid cases rise by 33,470

The latest coronavirus figures have just come through and the UK has recorded a further 33,470 daily cases. This compares to 22,950 yesterday.
The numbers on deaths are yet to be published - we will bring them to you when we have them.

Trump has 'ignored' scale of crisis, top Democrat says

The Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has accused President Donald Trump of "refusing to accept reality" in his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pelosi told a news conference that the president and Republicans had "ignored by delay, distortion, denial" the impact of the health and economic crisis, which she called a "red alert".
She said the "devastating milestone" of 10 million Americans infected with coronavirus had been passed, listing the dire economic consequences of that.
"And what are they doing now?," Pelosi said, referring to the Trump administration. "Continuing to ignore in spite of these numbers that should be so compelling.
"Every kind of avoidance of taking responsibility has been witnessed. They're engaged in an absurd circus right now, refusing to accept reality."
Trump maintains that he has handled the pandemic well, arguing that his administration has provided ample medical equipment and accelerated the development of treatments.
Tweet  CBS News:

Pelosi says Republicans are failing to act on COVID pandemic as U.S. is seeing its worst numbers yet, with more than 100,000 new cases eight days in a row: "This is a red alert...They are engaged in an absurd circus right now, refusing to accept reality" http://cbsnews.com/coronavirus

Watch video HERE
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 18:57

. Breaking News 

More countries added to UK's travel corridor list

Travellers from Bahrain, Chile, Iceland, Cambodia, Laos, UAE, Qatar and the Turks and Caicos islands will no longer have to self-isolate when they arrive to the UK after 04:00 GMT on Saturday.
Current coronavirus restrictions mean that only people with valid reasons are supposed to travel abroad.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Greece will be removed from the travel corridor list, apart from Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos and Kos. From 04:00 on Saturday travellers to the UK from this destination will need to self-isolate.
He added that the travel ban on Denmark will be extended for a further 14 days.

Will we return to the tier we were in on 2 December?

The second question is from Laura from Sheffield, who asks that if the national lockdown restrictions end on 2 December, do we go back to the tier our area was in?
Sharma says the government has "made it clear" that the national restrictions "will come to an end" on 2 December and England "will move back to tiered system".
He says it's important to continue to follow the rules to stop the spread of the virus.
"As we get to 2 December the prime minister will set out more details," he says.

Breaking News 

NI Covid-19 restrictions extended by a week

Covid-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland will be extended for one more week with a partial reopening of some sectors next Friday, the executive has agreed .
It means close contact services and unlicensed premises can reopen on Friday, 20 November.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 12 2020, 19:00

That's all from us today - here are the headlines

We're wrapping up our live-page coverage of the pandemic for the day.
Thanks for joining us, we hope to see you again on Friday.
Today's contributors were Mal Siret, Joshua Nevett, Cherry Wilson, Ella Wills, Emma Harrison, Kate Whannel and Martha Buckley.

If you're just catching up, here's an overview of today's headlines from the UK and around the world.
In the UK:

Elsewhere around the world:

  • The world must not let its guard down against the coronavirus, even as progress is made on vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned
  • The first cruise in the Caribbean since March has been cut short after a passenger on board tested positive for coronavirus
  • The Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, accused President Donald Trump of "refusing to accept reality" in his handling of the pandemic
  • Dr Anthony Fauci, the top infectious diseases expert in the US, spoke at a webinar about the country's rise in infections, calling it a "sobering" and "challenging" situation
  • The head of Germany's disease control agency said he was "cautiously optimistic" that the curve of infections was "flattening" as restrictions curb transmission
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been taken to hospital to be treated for Covid-19, as cases surge in the country

    Current date/time is Wed Jan 20 2021, 04:20