Krazy Kats

Welcome to Krazy Kats - a friendly informal online community discussing life issues that we care about. Open 24/7 for chat & chill. Come and join us!

COVID-19: All the latest LIVE worldwide updates - today's updates are also on our Portal page, here)
Message to all: Stay well, stay safe, stay at home - and stay in touch!

Coronavirus - 19th November

Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 09:29

Summary for Thursday, 19th November

  • The Oxford coronavirus vaccine shows a strong immune response in adults in their 60s and 70s, with early results from crucial phase three trials expected in the coming weeks
  • Three vaccines - Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik and Moderna - have already reported good preliminary data from phase three trials
  • The US records more than 250,000 deaths from Covid-19 and nearly 11.5 million cases, as cases soar once again across the country
  • Provisional figures show the number of apprenticeships ending in redundancy between March and July in England is two thirds higher than in 2019
  • NHS Wales's boss warns it will take "a number of years" for waiting times to recover to pre-coronavirus levels
  • More than 200 Facebook workers accuse the firm of forcing staff back to the office despite the risks of contracting coronavirus


Good morning and welcome to our live page coverage. We’ll be bringing you the latest updates on the pandemic from around the world. Here’s what you need to know this morning:


What’s happening across Europe?


  • Italy was the first country hit during Europe’s initial Covid wave and it’s seen another 753 deaths in the 24 hours to last night. The eastern region of Abruzzo has decided to become a “red zone”, joining seven other areas with maximum restrictions.
  • Austria’s nursing homes have been badly affected by the second wave of the pandemic. In the 40 days up to 12 November, 323 deaths have been recorded – more than half of the country’s 607 fatalities in that time.
  • Strict Covid measures in the Netherlands that came into force two weeks ago have been relaxed, so museums and swimming pools are reopening today and up to 100 people can now attend funerals.
  • Cases in Germany have gone up 22,609 in the past 24 hours, close to last week’s peak. The RKI public health agency has appealed to Germans to follow hygiene and distancing measures.
  • Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has warned of a Christmas like no other before it. “The last thing we want is a Christmas wave – if we’re not careful at Christmas we’ll endure the consequences three or four weeks later,” he says.


US records a quarter of a million deaths

More than 250,000 Americans have now died with coronavirus , making it the highest death toll anywhere in the world. The country has now reported 250,029 deaths and nearly 11.5 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. In El Paso, Texas, prison inmates have been recruited to move bodies for $2 (£1.50) an hour at mobile morgues as the hard-hit state struggles to cope with the surge in deaths.
That milestone has been reached as the overall situation in the US appears bleak.
Infections are soaring as the virus hits all parts of the country with Thanksgiving - traditionally a large family get-together - looming around the corner.
Case numbers have been hitting new daily highs in the past week. The top US infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, told the BBC that the country was "going in the wrong direction at a very precarious time", with people more likely to gather inside as the weather gets colder.
From Thursday New York City will close its schools - the largest school system in the US. Some states are introducing new restrictions, including Minnesota and Kentucky which on Wednesday ordered all restaurants and bars to temporarily stop indoor eating.
Read - Is this US coronavirus wave the worst yet?

Christmas mingling will come at a cost - scientist

There would be a "cost" to mingling between younger and older generations at Christmas, a scientist advising the government has warned.
"Mixing at Christmas does pose substantial risks, particularly in terms of bringing together generations with high incidence of infection with the older generations who currently have much lower levels of infection and are at most risk of dying if they catch Covid," Prof Andrew Hayward told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
Prof Hayward, a member of the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, added: "My personal view is we're putting far too much emphasis on having a near-normal Christmas.
"We know respiratory infections peak in January so throwing fuel on the fire over Christmas can only contribute to this."
His comments come as ministers are looking at how to relax restrictions so families can celebrate Christmas together.
Scientists have said that for every day measures are eased, five days of tighter restrictions would be needed.
Read the full story here.

Facebook workers say they've been forced back to the office

More than 200 workers at Facebook globally say they are being forced into the office despite many countries advising people to work from home during the pandemic.
In an open letter , they said the company is "needlessly risking" lives to maintain profits.
Facebook says that the majority of its content moderators are working from home - the company said in August that most employees won't return to the office until summer 2021.
The workers claim they've been called back because Facebook's attempts to use artificial intelligence to identify problematic content have not been very successful.

Oxford vaccine shows 'encouraging' immune response in older adults

The Oxford coronavirus vaccine shows a strong immune response in adults in their 60s and 70s, raising hopes that it can protect age groups most at risk from the virus.
Researchers say the Lancet phase two findings , based on 560 healthy adult volunteers, are "encouraging".
They are also testing whether the vaccine stops people developing Covid-19 in larger, phase three trials.
Early results from this crucial stage are expected in the coming weeks.
Three vaccines - Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik and Moderna - have already reported good preliminary data from phase three trials, with one suggesting 94% of over-65s could be protected from Covid-19.
The UK has already ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine, manufactured by AstraZeneca, 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and five million of the Moderna vaccine.
Read the full story here.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 09:52

NHS waiting lists will take 'years' to recover in Wales

The boss of NHS Wales has said it will take "a number of years" for NHS waiting times in Wales to recover to pre-coronavirus levels
The number of people waiting more than 36 weeks for planned hospital treatments is at least five times higher than at the start of 2020.
NHS Wales chief executive Andrew Goodall warned waiting times could grow even further - saying a "real concern" was hospital doctors only being able to see about half as many in-patients and day cases as normal.
Waiting list figures will be published later, for the first time since March.
Read the full story here.

Samoa records first coronavirus case

The number of places with the precious status of being untouched by coronavirus has just dwindled further.
The island nation of Samoa in the South Pacific Ocean has recorded its first positive test result for Covid-19.
The country's 200,000 people have been urged to remain calm in a TV address by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.
It's thought that the case came from a sailor who flew to the island from New Zealand on Friday.
After four days, a second test showed a negative result.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 13:02

Head of Greek Church in hospital with virus

Coronavirus - 19th November 5ad74110

The head of the Greek Church, Archbishop Ieronymos, is being treated for a mild case of coronavirus. The 82-year-old joins an Albanian archbishop who was airlifted to the central Athens hospital last week.
It follows the burial on Monday of a senior clergyman in the Greek Orthodox Church who died from Covid-19. Metropolitan Bishop Ioannis of Lagadas, 62, strongly defended administering communion with a spoon shared among a congregation. Like several senior religious officials, he claimed that the body of Christ could not transmit the virus.
Earlier this month, coronavirus spread in a group of Serbian religious leaders after a senior bishop died from coronavirus.
Mourners at the bishop's funeral had kissed his body and shunned face masks - days later the 90-year-old head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej, tested positive. His condition is reported to be stable.

Was the scientific advice for lockdown flawed?

Ever since the novel coronavirus arrived in the UK, ministers have repeatedly said they were "following the science".
But the UK has ended up with one of the worst death rates in the world - coronavirus has killed more than 50,000 people so far.
So how good was the evidence provided in the run-up to lockdown? Do scientists believe they should have acted earlier? A BBC documentary, to be aired tonight, has been examining these questions in detail.
In the programme, Prof Calum Semple of the University of Liverpool, one of the key scientists advising the government on Covid-19, says there will "a lot of criticism of the scientists" because "it's easy to have hindsight".
"It's easy to say if only we'd done this a week earlier we'd have saved 5,000, 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 lives. But if you look at where we were in February, would you really have made these decisions any differently? I don't think you would have," he says.
'Lockdown 1.0 - Following The Science?' is on BBC2 at 21:00 GMT on Thursday 19 November and on the BBC iPlayer afterwards. Or you can read our article about it here.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 13:05

Seven things that may be different this Christmas

The government is working on a plan to let families celebrate Christmas together.
Earlier today we heard from Prof Andrew Hayward, a member of the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, who said he felt "far too much emphasis" was being put on having a "near-normal Christmas". He said there are "substantial risks" associated with allowing households to mingle.
So what can we expect this year? How is the festive period likely to be different?
We've come up with seven things that might be different about Christmas in 2020 - take a look here.

Further restrictions 'needed this month' in Northern Ireland

Ministers in Northern Ireland have been told that more Covid-19 interventions are necessary before the end of this month, BBC News understands.
Close-contact services, cafes and coffee shops are set to reopen in the region this Friday but restrictions on pubs, restaurants and hotels are due to expire at midnight next Thursday.
The warning on further interventions comes as part of the health minister's latest advice to Northern Ireland's Executive.
It is believed the paper spells out that interventions are needed in late November. Otherwise, a full lockdown in mid-December would not be enough to prevent hospital services being overwhelmed.
Ministers are set to discuss the advice today.
You can read the full story here.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 13:11

167,000 positive tests in England in a week

NHS Test and Trace figures for England show that 167,369 people tested positive for Covid-19 at least once in the week to November 11 - an 11% rise on the previous week.
It's the highest weekly number since the contact tracing programme was launched at the end of May.

Tokyo enters highest alert level amid daily record cases

The Japanese capital Tokyo has raised its coronavirus alert to the highest level, as the city's daily case tally hits new highs for a second day running. Tokyo reported 534 new cases on Thursday, prompting city officials to raise the level there to "red".
Across Japan, daily coronavirus cases topped 2,000 for the second consecutive day.
"We are now in a situation of maximum alert," Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Thursday. He urged people to wear masks, including when talking during meals in restaurants, but stopped short of announcing any further restrictions.
Experts are alarmed by the spike in numbers ahead of an upcoming three-day weekend in Japan, as well as the advent of end-of-year holiday parties, and are calling on officials to step up preventative measures.
The BBC's Yuko Kato in Tokyo says people there are bewildered by the mixed messaging of the government, with people questioning how much more they can do to prevent the virus spreading, as shops and restaurants remain open.
Japan has not seen a lockdown on the scale or severity of Europe, though people are encouraged to wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidance. Since the pandemic started, 1,917 people have died in Japan, according to John Hopkins University data.
Read more on Japan's mysteriously low virus death rate here .
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 13:18

A global picture of the pandemic

Coronavirus - 19th November 2cc29c10

As the US records a quarter of a million Covid-19 deaths, the virus is continuing to spread rapidly globally.
The past two weeks show an upward trend in new infections, with more than 633,000 cases reported on Wednesday, as well as almost 12,000 deaths.
Coronavirus - 19th November 1ac57110

But the picture is not the same everywhere. Europe and North America are by far the worst-hit currently, as the charts above show. But in Asia and Africa cases are largely stable or declining.
There are some exceptions to that - in Japan cases are ticking up again reaching a record daily high on Thursday. And Turkey, which reported a significant wave in the spring, is seeing cases increase again.
Coronavirus - 19th November 7cbce110
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 13:21

Germany investigates anti-lockdown protesters' parliament access

Coronavirus - 19th November Ab6d8c10
Anti-lockdown protesters in Berlin, Germany clashed with police

If you followed our live page yesterday, you will have seen reports about coronavirus protests in Berlin, Germany that led to some arrests. Some demonstrators also entered the parliamentary building, the Bundestag, ahead of a vote on coronavirus lockdown measures to harangue politicians.
Now officials are investigating how they were able to get into the Bundestag after reports that members of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party let them in, German media report. The AfD said they have no knowledge of how protesters accessed the building.
Germany introduced a partial lockdown two weeks ago as the country faced an increase of infections. On Thursday, the head of the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases (RKI) said the number of new cases remains too high, however it also added that the new restrictions were showing signs of success as the infection rate has stabilised.
The number of confirmed cases in Germany rose by 17,561 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 833,307, according to RKI data.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 13:25

Fresh lockdowns in Europe are avoidable, says WHO official

Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization's Europe director, has said health systems on the continent are being overwhelmed, with one person dying every 17 seconds because of the pandemic. More than 29,000 deaths were recorded in the past week alone.
"Europe is once again the epicentre of the pandemic, together with the United States. There is light at the end of the tunnel but it will be a tough six months," he told reporters on Thursday.
He also called for universal mask wearing, saying:
"Mask use is by no means a panacea, and needs to be done in combination with other measures. However, if mask use reached 95%, lockdowns would not be needed."

US outbreak in pictures

Coronavirus - 19th November B49b5c10

The US is currently seeing a serious wave of infections hitting all areas of the country. But the cases per million people are highest in the Midwestern states, as this map by our colleagues in the Visual Journalism team shows.
North Dakota and South Dakota recorded the highest cases according to population size and many hospitals in the states say they are dangerously close to running out of beds and staff to treat patients.
Coronavirus - 19th November Dfa41d10
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 13:37

Ireland's coronavirus death toll passes 2,000

Irish Post
The news was announced yesterday by the Department of Health, when it was revealed that a further 12 people had passed away from the virus.
The new figures brings the number of Coronavirus-related deaths in Ireland to 2,006 since the pandemic began in March.
A further 379 cases of Covid-19 have also been identified within the community, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) announced yesterday, 18 November.
There have now been 69,058 confirmed cases in Ireland.
282 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised,with 33 people in Intensive Care Units, and 22 were hospitalised in the last 24 hours alone.
In a statement, Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan spoke on the sombre milestone reached by the country, stating:
"Today we sadly report over 2,000 deaths associated with COVID-19 to date in this country. This pandemic has impacted, directly and indirectly, on families and communities all across Ireland.
"It is important that we continue to work together if we are to suppress this virus and protect as many people as possible. For the next two weeks, work from home, stay at home and follow public health advice."
Ireland's Level 5 lockdown is succeeding in lowering the average number of daily cases, although not at the speed experts hoped it would.
As of yesterday, Wednesday 18 November, Ireland's 14-Day incidence rate per 100,000 people is 119.9.

Government set to release details of exactly how Ireland will exit Level 5

The Irish Government will be announcing details of the country's exit from full lockdown in the coming days, with an official announcement due next week.
The Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail Businesses Damien English said that plans will be announced when it was appropriate, once the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and other experts have had time to analyse data from the first four weeks of Level Five restrictions.
Ireland is set to exit lockdown on December 1, and it's expected that the country will drop to Level Three of the 'Living with Covid Plan', before an eventual move to Level Two in time for Christmas.
But health experts and Government officials have been clear that this plan is far from set in stone, and that ultimately the number of cases of coronavirus will determine just how Ireland operates over the coming weeks.
Minister English said that he understood the importance of opening the country back up as early as possible in order to help businesses, particularly in the crucial run-up to Christmas.
Speaking to RTE Radio One on Wednesday, he said: "Of course the plans is to open as soon as we can," before admitting that shops could be granted extended opening hours in order to facilitate a more prosperous festive period.
Mr English said it was the Government's "full intention" to open the retail sector up again, but reiterated that until an official plan was laid out, likely to happen towards the end of next week, nothing was certain.

Shops in Ireland could be allowed to open as late as they want in bid to boost Christmas shopping

The Irish Government is considering a proposal which would allow high-street shops to stay open as long as they like leading up to Christmas.
The idea is that it would boost Christmas shopping and allow the retail sector, which has badly hit by the pandemic, more opportunity to get back on its feet.
Retailers around the country have been pushing for later opening hours once lockdown ends, not simply to allow more shoppers in, but to spread customers out across the day so they can socially distance, and aren't forced to cram in alongside each other during the traditional Christmas rush.
It's understood that the Government is currently considering a plan that will allow for later opening hours, with rumours swirling that they may even let shops stay open for as long as they like.
Speaking to the Irish Independent , Minister of State for Retail Businesses Damien English said he is working with local authorities and other State agencies to ensure retailers can safely meet the demand of shoppers during the Christmas weeks.
"Many retailers say they will need longer hours, and we will consider this in the context of our plans for December," Minister English said.
"Retailers engaging with the Retail Forum have so far asked for longer hours but not specifically 24-hour opening, although that has happened in the past," he added.
Nothing is set in stone yet, but the plan may include local authority staff stepping in to monitor queues and ensure customers are adhering to social distancing rules.

Christmas parties to be banned in Ireland as indoor gatherings labelled 'highest risk' of Covid-19 transmission

A hew study has revealed that indoor gatherings carry with them the "highest risk" of Covid-19 transmission.
As a result, Christmas parties, whether in the office or at home, look to be well and truly off the cards in Ireland this year.
The study, commissioned by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), found that places where people are likely to be singing and shouting increase the risk of spreading the virus significantly.
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) found that most coronavirus clusters happen in household settings.
Under Level Five restrictions, indoor gatherings are banned, while pubs, bars and restaurants remain closed, only offering takeaway services. But things would change if Ireland were to drop down to Level Three.
HIQA say they share NPHET's current stance on the opening of pubs and restaurants, according to Dublin Live .
They say that indoor settings with large groups, as well as poorly-ventilated environments where people engage in 'boisterous behaviour, insufficient use of face coverings and prolonged interaction between people' means there is a higher risk of Covid-19 transmission.
HIQA's review looked at international evidence, although there is as yet no Irish data available.
Representatives of the hospitality industry have frequently hit out at the lack of proof that Covid-19 outbreaks are caused by their sector, and have questioned the necessity for the pubs and bars to remain shut.
HIQA deputy chief executive Dr Mairin said: "The international evidence highlights the main factors that contribute to spread of Covid-19 are indoor settings, crowds and prolonged contact with others.
"Our findings reinforce the importance of adherence to self-isolation guidance, despite the challenges it can pose, for those with Covid-19, those awaiting test results and those with symptoms suggestive of Covid-19.
"This means following the HSE guidance on self-isolation including staying indoors, in a room with a window you can open, and completely avoiding contact with other people, including where possible other household members, for at least ten days."
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 13:49

Mink virus strain in Denmark 'most likely' extinct

Coronavirus - 19th November 1e985d10
Mink farmers were ordered to cull their animals after a new coronavirus strain was found

A mutated form of coronavirus that led to orders to mass cull mink in Denmark is "most likely" extinct, according to the country's health ministry. The identification of the new strain had caused panic that it could compromise new vaccines.
Earlier this month, the Danish government drafted in the army to assist with the culling of 17 million farmed mink. But the order was found to be illegal, as it should have only applied in areas where the virus had been detected.
On Wednesday the agriculture minister resigned over his role in the decision. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who has apologised publicly, is also facing calls from the opposition to resign over the cull.
The country is now lifting restrictions in northern Denmark where the infected mink were found. Restaurants and cafes will re-open from Friday and people will be able to travel to other regions.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 16:03

Russia passes two million Covid cases

Russia has now recorded more than two million Covid-19 infections, giving it the fifth largest caseload in the world.
On Thursday a further 463 deaths were confirmed by the Russian health ministry.
The country has strict rules about wearing masks and gloves and some regions have introduced measures to control the spread of the virus, but there has not yet been a second lockdown this winter.
Moscow remains the worst affected area, and secondary schools have been closed as well as bars, restaurants and nightclubs overnight.

Breaking News 

Brexit trade talks suspended after EU aide tests positive

Brexit trade talks between the EU and the UK have been suspended after an aide tested positive for coronavirus.
EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier tweeted that one of his officials had contracted Covid-19 and he has agreed with the UK's counterpart David Frost to pause discussions.
Tweet  Michel Barnier:

update: one of the negotiators in my team has tested positive for COVID-19. With @DavidGHFrost we have decided to suspend the negotiations at our level for a short period. The teams will continue their work in full respect of guidelines.

Health of Brexit teams 'comes first'

EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier tweeted that the discussions will be paused for a "short period" but that teams will "continue their work in full respect of guidelines".
Britain's negotiator David Frost tweeted that he is in close contact with Barnier. "The health of our teams comes first," he added.
There had been speculation that an EU-UK trade deal could be announced early next week. Barnier was expected to brief the EU's 27 member states on Friday morning about the state of play.
A deal would need to be in place by 1 January when Britain's transition period ends.
Tweet  David Frost:

:Left Quotes: I am in close contact with @michelbarnier about the situation. The health of our teams comes first. I would like to thank the @EU_Commission for their immediate help and support.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 16:14

India quadruples fines for not wearing masks

Failure to wear a mask can now cost residents in the Indian capital of Delhi even more as authorities nearly quadrupled the fines.
Coronavirus infections are rising rapidly in the densely-populated city and authorities are keen to get a handle on the crisis.
Officials can now fine anyone not wearing a face covering $27, up from $7, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Keriwai announced.
The sheer number of dead bodies of coronavirus victims is overwhelming ambulance drivers who must transport them to crematoria across the city.
The number of infections in the city and its outlying areas has crossed half a million. More than 8,000 people have died.

'Farcical' that MPs cannot speak via video link during debates

Coronavirus - 19th November 149e7f10
Boris Johnson used video link for this week's Prime Minister's Questions

Plans to allow MPs who are shielding to take part in House of Commons debates via video link have been criticised for not going far enough.
The influential cross party Procedure Committee is calling on the government to allow all MPs to take part in debates virtually during the coronavirus pandemic.
At the moment, MPs can ask questions and respond to statements virtually but they are not allowed to speak during debates on legislation, or anything else, unless they are physically present in the Commons chamber.
On Monday the Leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg said the government planned to allow only MPs who are clinically vulnerable to take part in debates until the end of March.
During a short debate, the Conservative chair of the Procedure Committee Karen Bradley said his "refusal to listen" to the "views of the House" was "indefensible".
She said the public would be "baffled by a situation where the prime minister can answer Prime Minister's Questions virtually yesterday and and make a statement to the House virtually today, but cannot then take part in a debate until he has finished self isolating".
"This is an utterly farcical situation," she said.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 16:16

Chinese parcel thief imprisoned for nine months

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
For many of us, online shopping has become a lifeline in lockdown life.
And in China, that has very much been the reality for a lot of people. When the country saw an outbreak of Covid-19 at the beginning of the year, cities began implementing strict lockdowns and social distancing measures.
Many couriers began leaving parcels outside people's apartment buildings to avoid social contact, but between March and April, surveillance footage picked up one opportunistic woman in the capital city of Beijing, stealing multiple parcels from outside the entrance of one building. She was subsequently arrested.
Ms Lang has now been sentenced to nine months imprisonment and fined 7,000 yuan ($1,063; £803) for stealing 10 parcels, the majority of which contained food. While the sentence might appear strict, many on China’s Sina Weibo social network site believe the punishment was adequate, given that she stole essential items.
Coronavirus - 19th November 5dd01c10

China has prosecuted more than 6,000 people for Covid-19 related crimes since the beginning of the year.
People have been arrested for hiking the price of masks and hand sanitiser, making fake PPE, and breaking social distancing rules.
Last month in Sichuan, a man was even arrested after he tried to avoid paying for a karaoke room by calling for an ambulance, and saying he had Covid-19 symptoms.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 16:40

Swedish mink workers test positive

Coronavirus - 19th November 85d8d110

A number of workers in Sweden's mink industry have tested positive for coronavirus, days after Denmark identified a strain of the virus on farms.
The Swedish health ministry said it is investigating any possible links between the strains identified in the animals and the workers.
Earlier on Thursday the Danish health ministry claimed that coronavirus strain found in its mink was "very likely" extinct. All farmed mink in the country have now been killed.
In Ireland a mass culling is also being planned, a government spokesperson said on Thursday. Testing of the animals has not so far revealed any positive Covid-19 cases.
There are worries about a potential new strain of coronavirus undermining vaccines in the works.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 17:00

What do the data say about the Scottish and English pandemics?

Robert Cuffe - BBC head of statistics
Many Scots feel that the Scottish government has handled the pandemic better than the UK government.
But the hard data on the pandemic reveals many similarities between the two nations’ experience.
The death rates in England in the first wave were higher than those in Scotland.
Both both saw higher death rates than Wales or Northern Ireland.
And both nations featured in the three worst-hit in Europe, with Glasgow and Edinburgh joining Birmingham, London and Manchester in the ten worst hit cities .
Differences are starting to emerge between the two nations in the handling of the second wave.
Nicola Sturgeon introduced severe restrictions in the central belt in mid-October and cases in Scotland have started to flatten, perhaps even decline, while those in England still rise.
But it will be some time before these differences filter through into the numbers of people who die because of the pandemic.
And it will be even longer before death rates start to come down and we can make definitive comparisons between nations.
Coronavirus - 19th November Ddcc5810
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 17:06

Further 501 coronavirus deaths in UK

A further 501 people have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test in the UK, the Department of Health has confirmed .
It takes the total number of people who have died by that measure since the pandemic began to 53,775.
There have also been a further 22,915 people who have tested positive for the virus.

New York City closes its public schools

New York City's entire public school system closed its doors on Thursday, a shutdown automatically triggered by the city reaching a 3% test positivity rate - meaning that for every 1,000 New Yorkers tested, 30 were positive for Covid-19.
The city's students had been back to school for in-person learning for less than eight weeks. With 1.1 million students and 1,800 schools, New York boasts the largest public school system in the US.
"Today is a tough day, but this is a temporary situation," Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday, announcing the closure.
New York - once the national epicentre of the coronavirus crisis - began its phased reopening this summer, after a brutal battle with the virus in spring.
Now, with cases rising once again, the city appears headed back towards tightened restrictions. Both de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have indicated that places like restaurants and gyms may soon face closure.
The New York City closures comes as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns of "dire and growing” consequences for children , as the pandemic continues on into another year.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 17:14

Breaking News 

Israel, Sri Lanka and Uruguay added to UK air corridor list

Travellers to England, Wales and Northern Ireland from Israel, Sri Lanka and Namibia will not have to quarantine for 14 days after they were among several countries added to the air corridor list.
Other places added to the list are Rwanda, Uruguay, Bonaire, St Eustatius & Saba, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted: "If you arrive from these countries after 4am on Saturday 21 November you will not need to self-isolate. Please remember that under the current restrictions travel outside of the home, with the exception of a limited number of reasons including work or education, is not permitted."
Remember, Scotland makes its own decisions on travel, and we will bring you any updates here.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 17:43

The Guardian

Here’s a round up of the latest developments:
• A new mutated strain of coronavirus from mink farms in Denmark is “most likely” extinct, the health ministry said, following a cull of the animals. But the authorities in Sweden are investigating number of cases of Covid-19 among people who work in its mink industry..
• The latest post Brexit trade talks between the UK and EU have been paused at a crucial stage after one of the EU team tested positive for Covid. The health of Brexit negotiators is the top priority, Britain’s chief negotiator David Frost, said after his EU counterpart, Michel Barnier announced the suspension of the talks.
Ireland’s department of health has recommended a cull of mink to stop the risk of the mink mutation spreading to Ireland. Ireland also announced that its R rate has increase from 0.6 to 0.7 to 0.9.
Hungary’s plans to import and possibly use Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine raise safety concerns and could damage trust in potential shots, the European Commission has warned. Meanwhile, trials of the Sputnik V vaccine have resumed after a temporary suspension in Russia.
• Iran’s death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak has risen to 43,418, with 476 deaths in the past 24 hours. Ahmed al-Mandhari, director of WHO’s eastern Mediterranean region, expressed concern that countries in the Middle East are lowering their guard after tough lockdowns imposed earlier this year.
Poland reported a new daily high of 637 coronavirus-related deaths. There were 23,975 new cases reported on Thursday, the health ministry said.
• The number of new Covid-19 infections in Germany is still much too high and is causing a serious pandemic situation, according to head of the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases (RKI), Lothar Wieler. The head of RKI’s surveillance unit, Ute Rexroth, added there are indications that Germany’s new distancing measures are working after the number of new infections has stabilised.
Japan is on “maximum alert” after logging a record number of daily coronavirus infections, its prime minister has said. The comments came as Tokyo raised its alert level to the top of its four-tier system, with local media saying the capital would report a record number of infections for a second day running.
Russia has surpassed 2m coronavirus cases after reporting a record 23,610 infections and 463 deaths related to Covid-19. The total number of coronavirus infections on the continent of Africa also surpassed 2m.




Africa's confirmed cases pass the two million mark

Emmanuel Akinwotu - West Africa correspondent, The Guardian
Confirmed cases in Africa account for less than 4% of the global total, with 48,000 deaths registered. But just 20 million tests have been administered on the continent, with testing rates among the lowest in the world, and health officials estimate cases may be significantly under reported.
Yet experts have also praised outbreak responses in several African countries that have helped to contain the virus and protect more at-risk health systems, compared to other parts of the world where the impact has been much greater.
Stringent measures adopted early on by governments in Africa helped protect the majority of its 1.3 billion people, according to the World Health Organization, as well as effectively redeploying disease response systems to focus on coronavirus.
On the flipside, lockdown measures, now largely eased, increased economic suffering across the continent, and outbreaks of polio, yellow fever, measles and malaria have risen as resources have been focused on the pandemic. In Nigeria, a sharp rise of yellow fever has killed at least 72 people in two months according to government officials, sparking a new wave of immunisation campaigns.
In recent months health bodies around Africa have begun to raise the alarm over rising cases. South Africa, Morocco, Egypt and Ethiopia are the countries in Africa most affected by the virus, with 70% of the continent’s cases.
Kenya is among a number of countries in Africa where cases are rising steeply. Daily confirmed infections have jumped ten-fold from September to 1,000. At least four doctors died on Saturday, leading a major health union in the country to threaten a nationwide strike from next month.
Whilst the progress of a number of potential vaccines have raised hopes around the world, significant concerns remain that availability in Africa could be a challenge.




20,550 official deaths recorded in South Africa

Jason Burke
South Africa has so far suffered 20,550 official deaths but excess mortality figures suggest a far higher toll.
The most recent figures from the country’s respected Medical Research Council indicate 50,865 excess deaths between 6 May and 10 November. Not all these deaths can be directly attributed to Covid, but many can.
In a statement the council said:
Although more data are needed on the underlying causes of death, this observation is strongly supportive that a significant proportion of the current excess mortality being observed in South Africa is likely to be attributable to Covid-19.
South Africa is one of the worst hit countries in Africa with 750,000 cases, though it is likely to have recorded a significantly higher proportion of Covid cases and fatalities than many other countries. Tanzania has failed to provide any statistics for more than six months, despite requests by the WHO. In other countries, such as Somalia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo, official statistics are likely to be a significant underestimate of the extent of the pandemic’s spread.
Professor Jonny Myers, a specialist in public health medicine at the University of Cape Town, said statistics from rural parts of South Africa gave an indication of what might be happening elsewhere on the continent. He said:
Health services in some areas are in a pretty parlous state in South Africa and deaths are simply not being reported. That is very likely to be representative of rural populations elsewhere in Africa. I suspect people die at home. What the doctors are seeing in hospitals is not a very good indication.
Zweli Mkhize, South Africa’s health minister, said complacency was to blame for a recent rise in the number of cases.
At the moment, we are not at a point where we are talking a [harder] lockdown, but everyone needs to know that they are supposed to observe all containment measures.
“But if we are not able to contain, and an entire area sees a huge spread, then that will make us look at tighter measures.

Italy records 653 further Covid-related deaths

Angela Giuffrida
Italy recorded 653 further coronavirus fatalities, down from 753 announced on Wednesday. It takes the death toll from the virus in Italy to 47,870.
The health ministry also announced 36,176 new infections.
It said mortality rate across many cities was up by over 20% compared to the average of the previous five years. The ministry said there was a significant number of excess deaths in cities including Turin, Genoa, Milan, Rome, Bari and Palermo, adding that the data showed “strong increases in mortality observed during the first phase of Covid-19”.



Azerbaijan has extended coronavirus lockdown restrictions until 28 December after a further rise in the number of infections, Reuters reports citing a presidential aide.
Hikmet Hajiyev told a news conference that all restaurants, cafes, beauty salons and shops would be closed at the weekends, while public transport would not be operating. Grocery stores and pharmacies remain open.
Arrivals and departures from the country will be restricted. Wearing masks in public places is mandatory.
The South Caucasus country of about 10 million people had registered 83,994 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus and 1,053 deaths as of Thursday.




The lower house of the Czech parliament has voted to allow the government to extend a state of emergency until 12 December as the Czech republic struggles with one of Europe’s worst outbreaks.
The state of emergency is the legal basis for some government measures aimed at slowing the spread of the infection, such as limits on assembly, temporarily shutting businesses, or a night-time curfew, Reuters reports.




The death toll in France from coronavirus has increased by 429 since yesterday.
Jerome Salomon, the government’s top public health official, said the virus had now killed 47, 127 people in France, up from 46,698 on Wednesday.
The health minister, Olivier Veran, said France will win its battle against the coronavirus but it is a struggle which will take time.
Veran said the mental health of the French was deteriorating during the second lockdown.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 17:45

£300m package to help UK sports survive winter

The government has announced a rescue package of £300m of emergency funding for sports in England impacted by the absence of spectators because of coronavirus.
Both rugby codes and horse racing are among the beneficiaries, but not clubs in football's Premier League nor the English Football League.
Cricket was not on the initial list.
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "Clubs are the beating hearts of their communities - this boost will help them survive this difficult winter period."
The government said the Sports Winter Survival Package will be largely composed of low-interest loans.
The sports which will benefit are: rugby union £135m, horseracing £40m, football £28m, rugby league £12m, motorsport £6m, tennis £5m. netball £4m, basketball £4m, ice hockey £4m, badminton £2m and greyhound racing £1m.
Sports minister Nigel Huddleston added that grants would be available where organisations were unable to repay loans. He also said "the door was open" to any sport requiring funding, including cricket which was not on the initial list.
The money available is for sports in England, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland responsible for their own budgets.

Punk musician jailed after criticising Indonesia's Covid plans

A punk musician who posted criticism of Indonesia's handling of Covid-19 has been sentenced to 14 months in prison for causing public unrest.
Gede Ari Astina or Jerinx, the drummer for the Balinese rock band, Superman is Dead, commented on Instagram in June about the pandemic.
Criticising an order that pregnant women should be tested for coronavirus, he said that Indonesia's doctors association was acting as a lackey of the World Health Organisation.
The court ruled he was guilty of spreading of hate speech. Jerinx is considering an appeal.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 17:47

Philadelphia mayor dines inside before banning indoor dining

Coronavirus - 19th November E7ddec10

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is facing criticism after being photographed drinking inside a city bar the day before issuing a city-wide ban on indoor dining.
The mayor's office confirmed to US media that the photograph was taken some time last weekend. On Monday, Kenney issued a series of new Covid-19 restrictions, amid rising cases. Some have accused the mayor of hypocrisy for participating in an activity he later linked to coronavirus spread.
In addition to an indoor dining ban, movie theatres, bowling alleys, museums and gyms have been ordered to close, and high schools and colleges must move to online instruction.
As of Wednesday, Philadelphia had reported 57,201 cases of Covid-19, and 1,942 deaths. Statewide, Pennsylvania has seen a surge in cases starting in October, reaching more than 5,000 new cases each day this month.
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 17:51

Round-up of world headlines

We're nearing the end of our live page coverage - on a day that the US hit a grim milestone of 250,000 Covid deaths, and the nation of Samoa recorded its first ever case. Here's a summary of the day's stories from around the world:

  • More than a quarter of a million Americans are now known to have died from coronavirus. The US remains the worst-hit in the world and infection rates are soaring across the country. States are bringing in new restrictions to try to control the oubreak
  • Russia has now recorded more than two million cases of Covid-19. A national lockdown has not been imposed but the most affected areas, including Moscow, have shut secondary schools and bars and restaurants overnight
  • The head of World Health Organization Europe says that health systems in the continent are overwhelmed but that there are signs that infections rates are slowing. If 95% of people wore masks, lockdown could be avoided, he said
  • The Japanese capital Tokyo has raised its coronavirus alert to the highest level, as the city's daily case tally hits new highs for a second day running - with 534 new cases on Thursday
  • The fallout from a suspected new strain of the virus in mink has continued. A number of mink workers in Sweden have tested positive, and Ireland is planning a mass cull. But on Thursday Denmark said it believes the strain there is "very likely" extinct
  • And the South Pacific nation of Samoa has recorded its first case - in a sailor who travelled to the island from New Zealand last week
Kitkat
Kitkat
Admin

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 19th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 19th November

Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 19 2020, 18:21

What happened in the UK today?

We're winding up our live coverage now - as ever, you can follow any major developments on our news site. Meanwhile, here's a summary of headlines from across the UK this evening:

And that's all from us for today's live page.

Our coverage has been edited by Sarah Fowler and Emma Owen and written by Hazel Shearing, Georgina Rannard, Holly Honderich and Doug Faulkner.


Thanks for joining us - there'll be more from the team tomorrow.

    Current date/time is Wed Jan 20 2021, 03:54