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Coronavirus - 13th November

Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 10:48

Summary for  peepdoor  Friday, 13th  What a Face November    wary

  • People celebrating Diwali this weekend urged to stick to lockdown rules and only meet others online
  • It follows a jump in the UK daily recorded case rate of 10,500 on Thursday - to 33,470
  • Several European countries warn it's too early to say if people will be able to travel at Christmas
  • Number of UK job vacancies advertised back at pre-pandemic levels - with NW England and Wales recovering fastest
  • PHE report finds people with learning difficulties at six-fold risk of dying from Covid-19


Good morning and welcome to today's live coverage. Here's a look at the main headlines this morning to bring you up to speed:


Here are the key developments from the last few hours (The Guardian):

  • The US topped 140,000 daily cases, again breaking world record. As the US confirmed a world record 143,231 coronavirus cases in 24 hours, Dr. Anthony Fauci says he doesn’t believe the United States will need to go into lockdown to fight the coronavirus if people double down on wearing masks and social distancing.The nation’s top infectious disease expert says “the cavalry is coming” in the form of vaccines. He says, “Help is really on the way.”
  • UK confirms record new cases. Britain hit a new daily high of 33,470 confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday. That’s an increase of 10,520 more positives reported Wednesday and pushed the total number of cases in the UK to nearly 1.3 million, AP reports.
  • Five passengers test positive for Covid-19 on Caribbean cruise ship. One of the first cruise ships to ply through Caribbean waters since the pandemic began ended its trip early after five passengers tested positive for Covid-19.The SeaDream is carrying 53 passengers and 66 crew, with the majority of passengers hailing from the US, according to Sue Bryant, a cruise ship reporter who is aboard the ship.
  • California becomes second state in US to surpass 1m Covid-19 cases. California crossed a grim milestone in its battle against the coronavirus, as the state became the second in the US to surpass 1m cases of Covid-19 on Thursday. With 1,000,631 total cases as of Thursday, California saw nearly 7,000 cases in the past 24 hours, with a seven-day test positivity rate at 5%.
  • Japan confirmed a record daily case increase. Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has said there is no need to declare a second state of emergency after the country recorded a record number of daily coronavirus cases. Japan reported 1,660 infections on Thursday - including 393 in Tokyo - beating the previous record set in early August. The surge prompted the president of the Tokyo Medical Association, Toshio Nakagawa, to warn that the country had entered a “third wave ” of infections.
  • New Zealand reopened downtown Auckland on Friday after contact tracing of a new coronavirus case revealed it was linked to a known case from a border isolation facility, reversing an earlier call for people to work from home.
  • Australia will not allow foreign students to return as Canberra prioritises the return of locals stuck overseas, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday. Australia has since March closed its borders to all non-citizens and permanent residents in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19.


Sunak urges Hindus to ’stick with this’ during Diwali

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The chancellor lit candles for Diwali outside 11 Downing Street

“Diwali is special, and it's going to be difficult this year,” Chancellor Rishi Sunak told the BBC.
A practicing Hindu, he has urged people to stick to lockdown regulations throughout the five-day Festival of Lights - celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.
Many councils are providing online events on Saturday, the main celebration of the festival, as England’s lockdown continues.
Sunak said: “We've got Zoom, we've got the phone, and most importantly, we've got each other. Whether you can see someone or not the bond of family, that bond of love is always going to be there.”
He urged families to "stick with this for a couple more weeks”.

How to celebrate a lockdown Diwali

With lockdown restrictions in place in England, going to the temple for group worship or bringing together family members from different households are all out of the question for many during Diwali this year.
So how are Britain's Hindus, Sikhs and Jains planning to celebrate the festival of lights this weekend?
Harish Malhi runs Diaspo, an online platform offering cooking classes, so he plans to make use of his experience of bringing people together with food - even when they're far apart.
He says cooking together online means people can be "transported home and have the smells and tastes they would usually have on Diwali".
Francesca Bhavisi, a 21-year-old Hindu, says she's going to enter online competitions to make rangoli (traditional Indian decorations) and mithai (sweets).
"Celebrating in this pandemic has meant we can connect to people in ways we never thought would normally be possible," she says.
Amandeep Turna, who is 25 and a Sikh, is spending the first Diwali away from her family. She says she plans to connect to her faith by teaching her housemates about the celebration and what it means.
Read more

Did cases surge in England because lockdown plans were leaked?

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Pubs and restaurants were busy on the night before lockdown

With the UK seeing it's highest-ever coronavirus cases yesterday, there have been questions about whether the spike was caused by people rushing out for a last social gathering before lockdown plans were announced.
But Prof Steven Riley from Imperial College told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the timing of the cases meant this was "not a good explanation" and the leaking of the plans is not likely to be to blame.
He said "the day that that news came out is probably too late in the sequence of data we have for it to be a primary driver of the uptick".
Instead, he suggested that people are more likely to have contracted the illness in the days before news of the lockdown leaked out, perhaps because they were anticipating greater restrictions anyway and changed their behaviour earlier.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 11:00

NI lockdown 'torturous example of how not to take decisions'

Today should have been the day when Northern Ireland's hospitality industry shutdown ended. But instead business owners complained of widespread confusion before a deal was finally stuck to extend restrictions for another week.
First Minister Arlene Foster told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster that the proceedings of the Stormont executive had been a "torturous example of how not to take decisions" .
Some businesses had said they planned to reopen anyway if no agreement had been reached, while others said the decision was being made too late even if they had got the go-ahead to start trading again.
Foster said: "We need to look to the future and move on from this very difficult week for everyone in Northern Ireland watching as we struggled to make decisions."
The Northern Ireland Hotels Federation told the BBC that hoteliers had to make 3,000 phone calls on Thursday to customers who had already made bookings after the executive decided to keep hotels closed for two more weeks.
"What many people forget is we had brides who are getting married this Saturday on the phone this afternoon asking could they get married," said Janice Gault, the federation's chief executive.

Caffe Nero struggles amid second lockdown

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The company said the pandemic had "decimated" trading

The cafe chain Caffe Nero is the latest business to be hit by the knock-on effects of the lockdown . The company, which has about 800 stores across the UK and about 6,000 employees, is asking landlords for better terms after their cafes were forced to close for a second time.
It's part of what's known as company voluntary arrangement, or CVA, which is a way for struggling businesses to renegotiate their costs.
"Like so many businesses in the hospitality sector, the pandemic has decimated trading, and although we had made significant progress in navigating the financial challenges of the first lockdown, the second lockdown has made it imperative that we take further action," chief executive Gerry Ford says.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 11:14

Tighter restrictions, fines for masks and Thanksgiving warning - update from around the world

The latest pandemic headlines from around the world:

  • Austria is set to announce further restrictions as cases continue to rise. The government will reveal the new restrictions on Saturday. It’s thought that schools will close but retail will remain open
  • Portugal is expanding the number of places subject to a night time curfew and other restrictions. From Monday, two thirds of the country will be under the toughest restrictions
  • Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn has warned it is unlikely that life will go back to normal in December. He said Christmas parties and other events are unlikely to go ahead. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to meet with the leaders of Germany’s states to discuss whether lockdown measures imposed earlier this month are enough
  • Serbia’s health minister Zlatibor Loncar has warned there are no more hospital beds for Covid-19 patients in the capital Belgrade, AFP news agency reports. Earlier today, the country introduced hefty fines for people not wearing masks or maintaining social distancing
  • In the American city of Chicago, a new stay at home advisory was issued on Thursday. The mayor has urged people to cancel their Thanksgiving plans and avoid travelling
  • All Australian states are set to open before Christmas aside from Western Australia, the cabinet has declared. Travellers from Victoria and New South Wales remain banned in Western Australia. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australians should accept that adhering to Covid-19 safe measures is now part of normal life


Austria 'to announce stricter lockdown' as cases rise

Austria is set to close schools and tighten restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, according to news website OE24.
It said the government would hold a news conference on the measures on Saturday.
It’s thought shopping centres where large crowds can gather will close but other retail shops will remain open.
Austria has already introduced a partial lockdowd, but cases are still rising.
The partial lockdown, set to last until the end of the month, has closed restaurants, cafes and bars, to all but takeaway services. Theatres and museums have also shut.
There have been more than 180,000 confirmed cases and 1,600 deaths in the country since the pandemic began.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 11:17

Yorkshire Ripper dies and 'torturous' NI lockdown - UK morning summary

If you're just finding time for a tea break, here's a quick recap of some of the main coronavirus-related headlines from the UK this morning:

  • One of the UK's most notorious serial killers, Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, has died in hospital aged 74. He is said to have refused treatment for Covid-19 and also had other health problems
  • Coffee chain Caffe Nero says the pandemic has "decimated" trading as it seeks a voluntary agreement with landlords and other creditors to reduce its costs
  • Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster said she regrets the "torturous" decision-making of the Stormont executive over the last-minute decision to extend tougher coronavirus restrictions by a week
  • And Kylie Minogue, one of the featured stars in tonight's 40th anniversary Children in Need broadcast, says the appeal is "more poignant than ever" in this pandemic year. A film about lockdown life for young people is one of the highlights of the programme


What are the rules on meeting up around the UK?

The rules for people celebrating Diwali together this year are different because of the current restrictions in place.
But what are the regulations for meeting friends and family around the UK?

  • In Scotland, with the exception of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, people are not allowed to meet anyone outside their household or extended household inside a private home•Two households can form a bubble and meet in their own homes in Wales.
  • In Northern Ireland, you must not socialise with anyone from outside your household, or bubble, indoors in private homes
  • England is under its second national lockdown. People are not allowed to mix with anyone outside their household or social bubble indoors or in private gardens

For more on the latest regulations around the UK, read more here.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 11:23

Jordan election mayhem

Yolande Knell - BBC Middle East correspondent
In Jordan, security is being beefed up to enforce emergency laws after thousands defied a five-day Covid lockdown to party and protest at the results of parliamentary elections.
Social media shows large, unmasked crowds and celebratory gunfire – which is also illegal – in at least one case, with young children joining in. In some places, supporters of losing candidates broke the curfew to block streets with burning tyres and rubbish.
King Abdullah expressed his indignation in a tweet, saying lives had been endangered. The interior minister then resigned.
Jordan, with its population of an estimated 10m, is now among the Middle Eastern countries worst hit by the pandemic. It registered 5,685 new cases and 80 deaths on Thursday, bringing its total to 132,086 infections and 1,547 fatalities.
Early in the pandemic, the kingdom successfully contained a coronavirus outbreak with one of the strictest lockdowns in the world but in the past month, cases have risen alarmingly.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 11:28

Testing sewage for evidence of rising infections

Early in the pandemic, a few cities and countries around the world began testing sewage for evidence of rising infections.
Now some researchers are fine-tuning that strategy by moving upstream to test waste from single hospitals or other buildings, aiming to quickly pinpoint burgeoning outbreaks and stop them with testing and isolation.
While the virus primarily spreads through droplets expelled from the mouth and nose, it can also be shed via human waste.
Testing sewage is cheaper and less invasive than swabbing hundreds of people, and it could be done more frequently. With the virus again surging across much of the world, schools, hospitals and care homes badly need to catch new cases early.
What we’re trying to do is identify outbreaks before they happen,” said Francis Hassard, a lecturer at Cranfield University, part of a project that started collecting samples at 20 London secondary schools last month.
Hassard’s UK government-funded team will expand sampling to at least 70 schools. The program is a research project, meant to test the approach, and is not yet a full-fledged surveillance system.

Crowded hospitals in Germany and France

The surge of new coronavirus cases appears to be slowing in Germany and France, generating hopes that the two European heavyweights are beginning to regain control over the pandemic, AP is reporting.
But authorities have said that hospitals are crowded and are likely to face further strain in the coming weeks with numbers of confirmed cases hitting records and contact-tracing efforts being overwhelmed even in Germany, which was credited with handling the pandemic’s first cases well and is still in better shape than most of its neighbours.
Germany embarked on its four-week “lockdown light” on 2 November. Restaurants, bars, sports and leisure facilities have closed, but schools and shops remain open.
One death in four in France is linked to Covid, and there were more virus patients in French hospitals as of Thursday than there were during the peak of the country’s first epidemic in the spring.
But the number of people infected per 100,000 has been dropping for 10 days, and the number of virus patients is hospitals is expected to peak early next week.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 11:36

Threat of resurgence of infections in New York City

The Guardian
AP reports a resurgence of the coronavirus in in New York City is threatening to halt the nation’s biggest experiment with in-person learning.
The city’s public school system this autumn became one of just a few large, urban districts in the US to welcome students back into classrooms. A little more than a quarter of the city’s 1.1 million pupils have been attending classes in person between one and three days a week.
A few weeks ago, parents were told to send their children back to school or forfeit the option of having them return later this academic year.
But as the Sunday deadline, the city also approached the mayor’s threshold for closing all school buildings: if 3% of the Covid-19 tests performed in the city over a seven-day period come back positive. On Thursday, that citywide positivity rate was at 2.6%.
Some parents expressed frustration that they were being asked to make a decision about sending children back into classrooms, when the city itself is not even sure what will happen in the days ahead.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has insisted it is safe for children to be in school as long as officials are quick to close things down when there is a problem. If a shutdown does happen, he said, “we’re going to figure out what it takes to come back as quickly as possible”.




Donald Trump sulking about the timing of the Pfizer vaccine results

President Donald Trump has publicly disengaged from the battle against the coronavirus at a moment when the disease is tearing across the US at an alarming pace, AP is reporting.
Trump, fresh off his reelection loss to president-elect Joe Biden, remains angry that an announcement about progress in developing a vaccine for the disease came after election day.
Aides say the president has shown little interest in the growing crisis, which has killed more than 240,000 Americans and infected more than 10 million people in the US, with new confirmed cases skyrocketing and hospital intensive care units in parts of the country nearing capacity.
Public health experts worry that Trump’s refusal to take aggressive action on the pandemic or to coordinate with the Biden team during the final two months of his presidency will only worsen the effects of the virus and hinder the nation’s ability to swiftly distribute a vaccine next year.
With more than 100,000 new confirmed US cases reported daily for more than a week, Trump has been more focused on tracking the rollout of a vaccine, which won’t be widely available for months.
He has fumed that Pfizer intentionally withheld an announcement about progress on its vaccine trial until after election day, according to a White House official. Pfizer said it did not purposely withhold trial results.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 11:41

Too early to plan for Christmas travel, European countries warn

A number of European countries have warned it is too early to plan for Christmas travel.
Cases of the virus continue to rise across the continent.
In Sweden, people have been told to prepare for possible travel restrictions during the holiday period.
The country's top epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told citizens to prepare for the possibility of restricted travel between different areas during the Christmas period so that regional healthcare services could avoid becoming overwhelmed.
He said the "large bulk" of new Covid-19 cases were currently coming from private parties. A ban on serving alcohol in pubs and bars after 22:00 is due to start next weekend.
Meanwhile Irish and French authorities say it is too soon to say if people can make travel arrangements.
Read more here

Ireland is set to be at Level Two in time for Christmas as the country prepares to move out of lockdown in two phases.

Following advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), the plan is for Ireland to revert back to Level Three on December 1st, before dropping down to Level Two a fortnight or so later.
The goal is to ease restrictions as much as possible so families can gather for the festive season, but this can only be done if Covid-19 figures are on the right trajectory.
Government representatives met with NPHET on Thursday to review the current lockdown and to discuss the plan going forward.
There was a general agreement that December 1 should remain as the date Ireland exits lockdown and moves to Level Three, and that a move to Level Two should happen later in the month, with some suggesting it could happen as late as December 22 or 23.
At Level Two, members of the public would be allowed to travel domestically without restriction, meaning that families would be free to visit each other at Christmas.
Gatherings would however be limited to a maximum of six people, and to a maximum of three households.
Despite this, no concrete decision has been made yet, though NPHET will officially advise the Government on the next step during their meeting next Thursday.
A source within the team told the Irish Daily Mail that everyone's hope is that the country can open up as much as possible in time for the festive season.
"We will have to do something on Christmas week as Christmas is a primal thing with Irish people and we believe that they are just going to travel around the country, and visit relatives and friends," the source said.
"Nobody in this country is leaving granny on her own this Christmas."
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 11:51

Fans criticised for beer garden football celebrations

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Scenes shown on social media of football fans celebrating Scotland's win over Serbia last night have been criticised.
Fans were filmed in a covered beer garden at Aberdeen's Draft Project, jumping up and down and hugging each other as Scotland won on penalties, qualifying for next year's Euro finals.
A large number of people appear to be close together in the scenes, which SNP Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart said showed "clear breaches" of Covid regulations.
He said he was contacting the council and police and that they "must investigate".
Aberdeen is under the level two system of Covid restrictions for Scotland. Up to six people from two households can meet in hospitality settings, with two-metre distancing remaining in place for those in different households.
Bar owners PB Devco have been asked for comment.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 12:39

Germany keeps Christmas spirit alive with drive-through market

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Christmas markets in Germany are a well-known tradition. People from around the world usually head to the country to check them out. But this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, very few are operating.
Nuremburg, home to one of Germany’s oldest Christmas markets, has already cancelled its usual event.
However one inn keeper in Bavaria has come up with another way of hosting a Christmas market event while remaining Covid compliant.
Patrick Schmidt has created a drive-through market in the town of Landshut, north of Munich.
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“We don’t just sell a crepe or a pack of roasted almonds, we sell an experience,” Mr Schmidt told Reuters news agency.
Images from the market show customers purchasing food, drinks and cars driving through artificial snow.
Germany is currently under a partial lockdown - bars and restaurants are closed except for takeaway and large events have been cancelled.

Tesco restricts online customers amid Christmas booking rush

Tesco has apologised to customers for delays on its website as it tries to cope with high demand for Christmas bookings.
Some customers complained they had been waiting for hours after the online supermarket installed a queuing system to manage demand.
"We're sorry if things take a bit longer than usual," Tesco said on its Twitter account . "A lot of customers are using our website and app at the moment."
Supermarkets have been overwhelmed with demand as people start to plan for Christmas, and rival Ocado has already sold out of slots after "huge" demand.
It comes after several supermarkets introduced limits on sales key items such as toilet roll and pasta earlier in the autumn to try and prevent a repeat of the empty shelves seen in the first wave of the pandemic.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 16:02

About 50,000 cases of coronavirus a day in England

There were an average of 47,700 new cases of Covid-19 a day in homes in England in the week up to 6 November, the Office for National Statistics has estimated.
That's up from an estimated 45,700 new cases a day the previous week.
The ONS said the rate of new infections appeared "to have stabilised at around 50,000.”

'Fifth of adults have been indoors with someone outside household' - survey

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Holding hands - only allowed between people in the same household or bubble

A fifth of adults in Britain had direct contact indoors with someone who was not in their household or support bubble at the beginning of November, according to a new survey.
The Office for National Statistics found that 22% of those polled had had physical contact with at least one other person when socialising indoors in the previous 24 hours.
The ONS said examples of such contact were hugging, shaking or holding hands or making contact when passing objects.
This is despite coronavirus restrictions saying you should keep a distance from those not in your household or support bubble.
They questioned 4,378 adults about their behaviour from 5 to 8 November in settings like private homes, cafes, pubs or restaurants.
The previous week, 24% of people said they'd had such contact.
England's four-week lockdown started on 5 November. Over the survey period, Wales was on its firebreak lockdown, with Scotland having five tiers of local protection levels.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 16:05

Seoul gifts residents drone show to give "comfort and hope"

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South Korea’s capital Seoul has held a drone show to give “comfort and hope” to its residents during the pandemic.
More than 300 drones lit up the sky, forming images of people wearing masks and the coronavirus.
Kim Sang-do, deputy minister for aviation policy said: "I hope this drone show serves as an opportunity to convey joy and hope for a moment to our people experiencing pandemic fatigue."
On Friday, South Korea introduced fines for people not wearing masks in public.
The country has been praised for its handling of the pandemic. South Korea has confirmed 28,133 cases and 488 deaths since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 16:07

2,500 mink to be culled in Greece after Covid outbreak

At least 2,500 mink are set to be culled in Greece after coronavirus was found in two farms there.
An agriculture ministry official said the strain of the virus discovered in the mink had not mutated from humans.
A breeder at one of the farms in Kozani region has tested positive for the virus and staff at the farms are being tested.
It comes after Denmark announced it was culling 17 million mink after the virus was found in the animals there.
Mink are known to be susceptible to Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, which can spread rapidly from animal to animal in the conditions on mink farms, where thousands of animals are kept in close proximity.
Other countries that have recorded outbreaks among mink include the US, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Italy.
You can read more about the science behind mink and coronavirus here.
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Ukraine records record number of cases

Ukraine has recorded 11,787 cases over the past 24 hours, a new record.
The country's Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said the virus was spreading at a “hurricane rate”.
President Volodymyr Zelensky is currently in hospital with the virus.
Weekend lockdowns will be in force across the country until the end of the month. Most businesses with the exception of grocery shops, pharmacies and transport, Reuters news agency reports.
Ukraine has recorded more than 515,000 cases and 9,422 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 16:12

China voices increased concerns about import cases – via people or food

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
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Outbreaks in a few Chinese cities, including Beijing, have been linked to import cold chain products

China has reported no new domestic symptomatic cases in the last 24 hours, but its National Health Commission has warned that “the country is facing greater risk of local transmissions caused by import cases” .
Earlier this week, China expressed concerns that two domestic cases had been confirmed linked to Shanghai’s international airport.
Shanghai is one of the largest and most populous cities in the world, so an outbreak there could spread quickly. Earlier this week, two cargo handlers tested positive, one after travelling to the eastern Anhui province.
This led to thousands of potential close contacts in both Shanghai and Anhui being tested.
Fears are also growing in the country that the virus could enter via import seafood or frozen meats. Today, official media have confirmed that the packaging of frozen goods in eastern Shandong province, central Hubei province and southeastern Fujian province, have tested positive for the coronavirus.
China halts imports from foreign companies when this happens, but in the last month has noted that there has been a surge of frozen goods entering the country from multiple origins, showing positive results for Covid-19.
According to China’s national Global Times newspaper , since 13 October, cold chain products from Brazil, Ecuador, Russia, The Netherlands, Germany, India and Indonesia have tested positive for Covid-19.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 16:36

Final batch of live sheep leave Mongolia for China’s Wuhan

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
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Thousands of live sheep have been travelling from Mongolia to China since late October

Some 1,800 live sheep are today arriving in China today from Mongolia, and will begin the roughly 1,000 mile journey to Wuhan - the city where the coronavirus was first detected.
They are the final batch of 30,000 donated to China by Mongolia’s president, Khaltmaa Battulga, during a visit there in late February, when Wuhan was hard-hit by the virus. It was also in strict lockdown, with residents unable to leave the city, or even their buildings, without special permission.
The sheep have been travelling in batches since late October. The official China Daily newspaper says sheep are a “symbol of wealth and status in Mongolia” and that the gift represents “the best wishes of the Mongolian people” .
Wuhan was the Chinese city worst hit by the coronavirus. More than 50,000 of the city's 11 million population contracted Covid-10, and some 3,800 people died. It also experienced heavy flooding during the summer , impacting the agricultural sector and leading to fears about winter food shortages.
The city is, however, Covid-free now and this week hosted an international health expo, which attracted some 13,000 guests from 34 countries and regions.

'Do you all live in this flat, boys?' Police stop 50-student party

This is the moment police shut down a party with more than 50 students at Cardiff Metropolitan University, recorded on body-worn cameras.
One shouted "kill the music!" over the noise of the Friday night party, while another asked: "Do you all live in this flat, boys?"
The officer added: "You are the future of this country and you are messing it right up."
Police issued 52 fines of at least £60, saying the party-goers had shown "flagrant disregard" for the coronavirus regulations and for public health.
A university spokesperson said: "It is disappointing that a small number of students have decided to behave in this way when the vast majority have stuck to the rules."

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 16:46

Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has poured cold water on hopes that we could have anything resembling a 'normal' Christmas this year.

He warned that large family get-togethers and office Christmas parties shouldn't be happening due to Covid-19 fears.
This is in spite of recent news that Ireland could be moved to Level Two of the Living with Covid Plan by mid-December.
Dr Holohan revealed that it was too early to say whether Ireland will be able to leave Level Five as planned on December 1, and stressed the importance of continuing to follow all relevant public health guidelines in order to suppress the virus as best we can in the run up to Christmas.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is due to meet with the Government next Thursday and recommend which steps to take following lockdown.
Earlier this week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar warned Irish people living abroad not to book flights home for Christmas , a message that was echoed by Dr Holohan last night.
He controversially told the Irish diaspora to abandon the idea of coming home for Christmas the year , stressing that flying back to Ireland for the holidays was considered "non essential travel".
Ireland is expected to move back into Level Three once lockdown ends on December 1, and there are hopes that a move to Level Two could be possible towards the end of the month in time for Christmas.
In Level Two, large family get-togethers won't be possible, but gatherings of up to six people are fine. As is mixing with up to three other households.
Fingers crossed.

There will be no "going on the lash" this Christmas, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned.

The Fianna Fáil leader was speaking to RTÉ's News at One this afternoon when he said the Government is considering easing restrictions in late December to allow households to visit each other and people to cross county borders, but Christmas parties and sessions will not be happening.
"I want a meaningful Christmas," he said. "We can't be at Level 5 forever."
"We’ve learned from Level 2 what worked and what didn’t work," he added.
"People won’t be going on the lash, [or] to Christmas parties.
"It will not be the same Christmas as last year."
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Micheal Martin has indicated that some restrictions will be eased in time for Christmas

The Taoiseach also stated that churches are expected to be allowed to hold services in person by Christmas week, rather than the online-only masses which are being held under current Level 5 restrictions.
The announcement comes after church-goers across the country were last week warned by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin that, should Christmas mass be allowed to go ahead, people should be prepared to book their places in advance .
The Government and NPHET are also under pressure from Irish people both at home and abroad to set out a clear path and rules for Christmas to allow people to begin making arrangements.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar called for caution yesterday when he said Irish immigrants abroad should not book their flights home yet , as the Government is "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," he said. "I know that's difficult. I know that's a tough ask."
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan went a step further yesterday evening at the Covid-19 press briefing, where he said people returning to Ireland for Christmas is not classed as essential travel and therefore should not go ahead .
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 16:51

Football star Mo Salah tests positive for coronavirus

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Footballer Mo Salah has contracted the virus, according to the Egyptian Football Association (EFA).
A tweet from the association said the Liverpool star had tested positive but was not suffering from any symptoms.
The Egyptian national team are preparing for their African Cup of Nations qualifier match against Togo on Saturday.
None of the other players have tested positive, the EFA said.
Read more here .

Russia and North Korea 'hacking vaccine researchers', Microsoft says

Gordon Corera - Security correspondent, BBC News
Microsoft says it has detected cyber-attacks from Russia and North Korea targeting seven companies involved in researching vaccines and treatments for Covid-19.
The company’s vice-president, Tom Burt, said in a blog post that the targets included leading pharmaceutical companies and vaccine researchers in Canada, France, India, South Korea and the United States.
The attacks came from one group in Russia and two in North Korea.
The "majority" of these attacks were said to have been blocked and the companies informed.
It is not the first time that states have been accused of targeting vaccine work.
In July, the UK said Russian intelligence was behind the targeting of UK research , including on the Oxford vaccine.The US also accused China of similar activity.
All of this is part of a global race for a vaccine as countries seek advantage over each other.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 16:55

Biden 'very interested' in Australia's pandemic handling

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The Australian prime minister said President-elect Joe Biden was "very interested" in how Australia has handled the pandemic

US President-elect Joe Biden has invited Australia to share its findings about containing the spread of Coronavirus, according to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The pair spoke over the phone on Thursday , SBS News reports.
Mr Morrison told reporters he would be sending a copy of the National Contact Tracing review to the Biden team as well as to President Trump.
The Australian prime-minister said Mr Biden was “very interested in Australia’s success”.
Australia shut its borders early on into the pandemic and introduced strict measures. The country has recorded more than 27,600 cases and 907 deaths in a country of more than 24 million people.
During the election campaign, Mr Biden said he would “listen to the science” when it came to tackling the pandemic in the US.
The US has recorded 10.5 million cases and more than 242,000 deaths since the outbreak began.

Breaking News 

UK records 27,301 new cases

There have been 27,301 new cases of coronavirus recorded in the UK, according to the daily figures released by the government .
It brings the total - since the pandemic began - to 1,317,496.
There have been a further 376 deaths of people who had a positive test within the previous 28 days. It means 51,304 people have now died, under this measure.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 16:59

California becomes second US state to pass 1m cases

California has become the second US state to hit one million cases.
Texas was the first state to hit the landmark figure. Both states now have more viral caseloads than countries including Mexico and Germany.
The US reported a record high of 153,496 new infections on Thursday as well as 919 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Over 67,000 people are currently in hospital in the US.
Eleven counties in California have been told to reverse some opening measures. The state’s positivity rate – the percentage of positive tests in the population - is now at 3.6%.
California Governor Gavin Newsom urged people to wear masks and distance.
“Your actions could literally save lives,” he said.
Read more about the pandemic in the US here.

Italy reports record 40,902 cases in 24 hours

Italy has reported a record 40,902 coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours and 550 deaths.
Earlier this week, the country became the third nation in mainland Europe to surpass one million cases, after Spain and France.
There have been calls for a national lockdown to help curb the spread of the virus.
Italy was one of the worst affected countries in Europe during the first wave of the pandemic.
More than 43,000 people have died there since the pandemic began.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 17:10

Owner of bar at centre of police probe says 'staff unable to prevent what happened'

We told you earlier about criticism of fans' behaviour in an Aberdeen pub after Scotland's win over Serbia last night.
Aberdeen City Council and Police Scotland have now launched an investigation after footage posted online showed people at the Draft Project pop-up bar embracing while celebrating the result.
The owner of the bar has now spoken, saying staff were "unable to prevent or contain what happened".
Stuart Clarkson, owner and founder of PB Devco, which owns the bar, said: "Having seen the videos I am shocked, disappointed and saddened.
"This simply is not acceptable and I understand why people are so upset by this."While we are proud of our venues and the safe environment they provide, it is clear that in this case we misjudged what was likely to happen.
"Despite having four additional members of security staff on duty, we were simply unable to contain the outbreak of joy at Scotland's success."
Aberdeen is currently in Level 2 of coronavirus restrictions and rules state no more than two households can mix in pubs.
Police said there were no arrests or fixed penalty notices issued in relation to the alleged incident.
Read more here .
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 17:35

France v Fiji rugby match cancelled after positive tests

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This weekend's France v Fiji Six Nations rugby match has been called off after a number of the Fijian players tested positive for Covid.
Ben Morel, CEO of the Six Nations, said it was impossible for the Fijian team to field a competitive team .
Fiji's match against Portugal was already cancelled after three of their players tested positive.
They are due to play Italy and Scotland next weekend. Further tests will be taken in the coming days.

Analysis: Is the race for a vaccine safe?

Tulip Mazumdar - Global Health Correspondent
Concerns around vaccines is nothing new. But the speed at which Covid-19 candidates are being developed, have made some people - understandably - question how it's possible to make a safe and effective vaccine so fast.
It usually takes around a decade to develop a new vaccine, but in less than a year it appears scientists have created at least one for Covid. So how are they doing it?
Firstly, they are well-funded - and time is money. Governments around the world, desperate for a way out of this crisis, have ploughed billions of dollars into developing a vaccine.
This is unprecedented in such a short space of time. It can take scientists years just to secure funding for their research for other vaccines.
With so many people potentially receiving a vaccine, safety has to be the absolute number one priority. There is a very robust international human trials process which establishes the safety and effectiveness of any vaccine.
The World Health Organization - which is collating all the data from trials for more than 200 vaccine candidates - says safety data cannot and will not be compromised.
Studies will also continue even after vaccines are rolled out to keep track of any rare possible side effects. Also, much of what needs to happen to get a successful vaccine out to people all over the world is already under way. For example, hundreds of millions of the most promising vaccine candidates are already being manufactured.
This usually only happens when a vaccine is approved for wide use. If the vaccines are found not to be effective or safe enough as trial data continues coming in, they won't be used. But if any of them are - the vaccines will be ready to deploy very quickly.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 17:44

Ireland's Alan Browne played full match against England WITH CORONAVIRUS as midfielder tests positive after game

Ireland midfield Alan Browne unknowingly played the full 90 minutes against England last night with Covid-19 after the midfielder tested positive for the virus after the match.
It leaves both the Ireland and England squads holding their breath as they nervously wait for results of their own, after they took tests this morning following Browne's diagnosis.
A statement from the Football Association of Ireland read: "The FAI can confirm that Ireland midfielder Alan Browne has testedt positive for Covid-19.
"There are no close contacts of the player and the rest of the staff and squad tested negative ahead of Sunday's UEFA Nations League tie against Wales in Cardiff.
The Preston North-End star has now been isolated from the rest of the squad, who will be gearing up for trips to Wales and then back home to Dublin to face Bulgaria over the coming days.
England meanwhile face a trip to Belgium on Sunday before hosting Iceland at Wembley.
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Alan Browne in getting up close and personal with England's Harry Winks during a friendly at Wembley on Thursday. Browne played the match with coronavirus.

Browne is just the latest one of a number of Ireland stars to fallen foul of a Covid-19 case since football returned post-lockdown.
West Brom's Callum Robinson was ruled out of the match earlier this week after contracting the virus, while two players were forced to pull out of Ireland's crunch play-off tie with Slovakia after they were alleged to have sat "too close" to a member of staff who was later diagnosed with the virus while travelling to the game.
Browne was one of just five Irish players to last the entire 90 minutes of Ireland's 3-0 defeat to England.
Goals from Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho and Dominic Calvert-Lewin secured what was an all too easy win for the Three Lions, leaving Ireland boss Stephen Kenny still searching for his first win in charge.
Worse still, Ireland are now without a goal in nearly 500 minutes of football.
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Post by Kitkat on Fri Nov 13 2020, 18:01

What's been happening in the UK today?

We are preparing to close the live page shortly. Here's a reminder of some of the top stories in the UK today:

  • The R number for the UK has fallen to between 1 and 1.2 , the closest it's been to 1 since early September. It comes as the Office for National Statistics suggests the rate at which people are becoming infected with coronavirus in England is stabilising, according to the data up to 6 November
  • In Wales, rising infection levels are still continuing however and it is too early to say if they were stabilising in Scotland a week ago, when the most recent data is available for. In Northern Ireland, infection rates were levelling off, the ONS says
  • Areas in the west of Scotland have been warned they could be moving to level four of coronavirus restrictions next week. Discussions are taking place with councils in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lanarkshire health board areas about them being moved to the highest level of restrictions
  • A scheme to help low income workers pay bills when self-isolating in Wales has been criticised after delays due to "practical challenges" . From Monday, people will be able to claim £500 if they have to stay off work due to coronavirus. But workers in England and Scotland have had access to payments since October
  • Tributes have been paid to a doctor at the Royal Derby Hospital following his death with Covid-19. Dr Krishnan Subramanian, a consultant anaesthetist, died at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester on Thursday. The 46-year-old was described as a "quiet and dedicated colleague" who was known for his "characteristic grin"
  • And more than 50 partygoers at a Cardiff Metropolitan University student hall of residence have been fined for breaching Covid-19 rules by attending a party last Friday night


Covid headlines from around the world

And here are the latest headlines from around the world today:

  • Cases are continuing to rise in many European nations. Italy recorded a record 40,902 cases in 24 hours and 550 deaths. Serbia’s health minister Zlatibor Loncar has warned there are no hospital beds for Covid patients in the capital Belgrade
  • A number of European nations including Sweden, Ireland and France have said it is too early to plan for Christmas travel
  • President-elect Joe Biden has invited Australia to share its findings about containing the spread of the virus, according to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The Australian prime-minister said Mr Biden was “very interested in Australia’s success
  • At least 2,500 mink are set to be culled in Greece after coronavirus was found in two farms there. A breeder at one of the farms in the Kozani region has tested positive for the virus
  • California has become the second US state to surpass one million cases, behind Texas . Both states have caseloads that surpass other countries including Mexico and Germany
  • Sport has taken a hit today with stars testing positive and matches cancelled. Liverpool forward and Egyptian football star Mo Salah tested positive ahead of his country’s international match against Togo. Meanwhile, the French rugby team’s match against Fiji this weekend has been called off after several members of the Fijian side tested positive, organisers Six Nations Rugby said.


Thanks for joining us

Thanks for joining us today as we've brought you the latest coronavirus updates.
The live page has been edited by Emily Young and Martha Buckley, and written by Joseph Lee, Lauren Turner and Sophie Williams.

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