"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 6th Aug 2020

Isolation Tips
Lockdown study reports surge in health anxieties
New research into people's coping strategies faced with COVID-19 highlights the mental health toll for those shielding. Coronavirus and the imposition of lockdown this year 'significantly raised' mental health challenges, particularly so for the most vulnerable groups, including those shielding, according to the first study to look at people's coping styles in face of the pandemic.
COVID-19 research call for domestic violence workers
UNSW researchers seek workers helping people impacted by domestic and family violence for a study into how services are meeting community need during the coronavirus pandemic.
'I had to hide myself again': young LGBT people on their life in UK lockdown
The experiences of LGBTQ people across the UK during lockdown have been as diverse as the community itself. Married and cohabiting older gay men and lesbians have mainly felt the pandemic has had no more impact on them than on their heterosexual peers. But for many of the more than 200 respondents to the Guardian’s callout, the past few months have brought significant challenges, including weeks of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, increased isolation and deteriorating mental health. Younger LGBTQ people reported that lockdown meant being confined with families who were unsupportive or hostile. Kate, a 24-year-old bisexual demi-girl, meaning she identifies as a woman but not completely, said moving from her flat in Glasgow back into her childhood home in Ayrshire had meant hiding her sexuality again.
Lockdown HAS affected babies' development and behaviour, research shows
Lockdown has affected the behaviour of babies across the UK, survey suggests. The Babies In Lockdown report found some new parents felt 'abandoned.' Others said babies have become 'clingy', 'violent' and 'upset' in recent months
Lockdown having 'pernicious impact' on LGBT community's mental health
The coronavirus lockdown has provoked a mental health crisis among the LGBTQ community, with younger people confined with bigoted relatives the most depressed, researchers found. A study of LGBTQ people’s experience during the pandemic, by University College London (UCL) and Sussex University, found 69% of respondents suffered depressive symptoms, rising to about 90% of those who had experienced homophobia or transphobia. Around a sixth of the 310 respondents to the Queerantine study said they had faced discrimination during the pandemic because of their sexuality. The rate rose to more than a third among those living in homes where they were not open about their identity. Almost 10% of people reported they felt unsafe in their homes. The study’s co-author, Laia Bécares, deputy director of the centre for innovation and research in wellbeing at Sussex University, said the pandemic was having a “pernicious impact” on the LGBTQ community’s mental health, with younger trans and non-binary people suffering more discrimination and reporting the highest levels of depression.
Hygiene Helpers
A needle-prick is a small price to pay to suppress Covid-19
Few relish a jab in the arm with a needle. If the syringe prevented Covid-19, then many might think it a pain worth suffering — but by no means all. Tens of thousands of anti-lockdown protesters gathered in Berlin over the weekend, some to voice their discontent at the possibility of being coerced by the state into getting vaccinated. The situation is far from unique to Germany. In Italy, where the broader anti-vaccination movement enjoys widespread support, both main anti-establishment parties campaigned last year against compulsory routine vaccinations for children. In the US, a fifth of people say they would never submit to inoculation against coronavirus; another third remain unsure. A recent online survey of UK residents showed a quarter would decline a vaccine if the government made it “available tomorrow”.
NYC Sets Up Traveler-Registration Checkpoints to Enforce Quarantine Orders
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that checkpoints will be set at entry points to the city, in order to enforce a quarantine order for people coming from states with high rates of Covid-19
More French cities make masks mandatory amid public support
Masks may become obligatory in certain public places in Paris as mayor Anne Hidalgo pushes for the measure, as other cities such as Toulouse introduce it, and the public is largely in favour of the move. Ms Hidalgo has this week (Tuesday August 4) submitted a proposal to make masks mandatory in certain public areas of Paris, to head of the capital’s police, Didier Lallement. The measure, if it is introduced, is likely to apply first to busy shopping streets, public parks and gardens, the banks of the River Seine, and covered markets. Paris deputy mayor in charge of health, Anne Souyris, said: “Wearing a mask is unpleasant, especially when it is hot, but it is a really necessary move now that the epidemic is restarting. “We will therefore demand that it becomes obligatory in exterior areas where there are a lot of people, and where respecting the distance of a metre between people is difficult.” She said that currently, “90% of people in the streets do not have [a mask]” and that there is much variation between neighbourhoods.
Nations tighten mask rules, lockdowns as Covid-19 deaths approach 700,000
France and the Netherlands are gearing up for stricter mask-wearing rules to fight the coronavirus as the global death toll from the pandemic neared 700,000. Paris, Toulouse and other cities announced that the wearing of masks would be compulsory in particularly busy streets and squares. People already have to wear them inside most private businesses and all public buildings. A scientific committee advising the French government warned that the country could lose control of its spread "at any time." In the Netherlands, the same mask-wearing measure will be applied in Rotterdam and the famous red-light district of Amsterdam from Wednesday.
Nations tighten mask rules, lockdowns as Covid-19 deaths approach 700,000
France and the Netherlands are gearing up for stricter mask-wearing rules to fight the coronavirus as the global death toll from the pandemic neared 700,000. Paris, Toulouse and other cities announced that the wearing of masks would be compulsory in particularly busy streets and squares. People already have to wear them inside most private businesses and all public buildings. A scientific committee advising the French government warned that the country could lose control of its spread "at any time." In the Netherlands, the same mask-wearing measure will be applied in Rotterdam and the famous red-light district of Amsterdam from Wednesday. And Ireland postponed the reopening of pubs and other nightspots on the advice of scientists, concerned about rising infections.
Covid testing and contact tracing key for safely reopening schools, two new studies suggest
Researchers in Britain found that schools could reopen safely so long as enough contact tracing is in place. Contact tracing strategies involve enough testing to find cases, isolating those people, then tracking down and quarantining their contacts. And a team in Australia found that even though schools remained open in New South Wales between late January and early April, children and teachers did not contribute significantly to the spread of Covid-19 — because good contact tracing and control strategies were in place. Both studies, published in the journal The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health on Monday, aim to help inform global discussions around reopening schools.
Determining the optimal strategy for reopening schools, the impact of test and trace interventions, and the risk of occurrence of a second COVID-19 epidemic wave in the UK: a modelling study
As lockdown measures to slow the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection begin to ease in the UK, it is important to assess the impact of any changes in policy, including school reopening and broader relaxation of physical distancing measures. We aimed to use an individual-based model to predict the impact of two possible strategies for reopening schools to all students in the UK from September, 2020, in combination with different assumptions about relaxation of physical distancing measures and the scale-up of testing.
Coronavirus UK: Preston set to be next city in local lockdown
The infection rate in the Lancashire city has more than doubled in seven days. More than 34 people per 100,000 were diagnosed with Covid-19 last week Lancashire director of public health said matter of days before lockdown comes
'Uncertainty' about origin of outbreak and 'rapidly accelerating' transmission forced Aberdeen lockdown decision
Nicola Sturgeon has said the uncertainty over the origin of the outbreak of Covid-19 in Aberdeen and the ongoing “rapid transmission” of the virus created a tipping point for the Scottish Government to reimpose lockdown restrictions in the city. The First Minister, speaking at her daily coronavirus briefing with chief medical officer Gregor Smith, announced those living in Aberdeen will face tougher restrictions from today due to the outbreak which was first reported last week.
Community Activities
Guatemala Teacher Pedals His Classroom To Students Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
When the COVID-19 pandemic closed Guatemala's schools in March, teacher Gerardo Ixcoy decided to take the school to children using a tricycle..
English speaking-countries were less likely than French or Italian to comply with lockdown rules, study says
British people, Americans, and other English speakers were measurably less likely to comply with coronavirus lockdown regulations than people in other European countries, a new study has claimed. Academics at Durham University found that 71 per cent of English speakers around the globe followed guidelines. But 89 per cent of French and Italian speakers are said to have complied, according the academics' analysis, based on a survey of over 8,300 respondents from 70 countries.
British BAME groups face 'greater barriers' than white people in avoiding Covid-19
The Runnymede Trust found that people from BAME backgrounds faced greater barriers in shielding from Covid-19, with employment, public transport, and multigenerational and overcrowded households all risk factors. Those from BAME backgrounds are over-represented in Covid-19 diagnosis, severe illness and deaths. A Public Health England report published in June found people from Bangladeshi backgrounds faced the greatest risk of dying from the disease. The findings of the survey of 2,585 adults in Britain, including 750 from BAME backgrounds, suggest that one of the main reasons ethnic minorities are at greater risk of dying from Covid-19 than their white counterparts is that they are more exposed to coronavirus.
New support service helping Covid survivors on the road to recovery
The Covid-19 Recovery Service, which has been set up by NI Chest Heart & Stroke (NICHS), will help survivors deal with the physical and psychological problems caused by the illness and will assist them in building up their lung and general health on the long road to recuperation.
Working Remotely
Coronavirus: Finland reintroduces remote working as cases rise
Cases of coronavirus in Finland totalled 7,512, with 331 deaths, as of today The Scandinavian country plans to reinstate working from home as cases rise The recommendation in favour of remote working had ended at the end of July
UK office workers slower to return to their desk after Covid
British office workers have returned to their desks at a much slower pace than staff in France, Germany, Italy or Spain, as they continue to work from home following the lockdown. Only one-third (34%) of UK white-collar employees have gone back to work, lagging far behind their European counterparts, where almost three-quarters of staff (68%) have done so, according to analysis from US bank Morgan Stanley’s research unit AlphaWise.
Global Workforce Revolution - Brand new study reveals the impact of Covid-19 on the future of work, employee pay and benefits
The majority of tech employees (79%) said they would move, either to a different country (71%) or a different region of the UK (8%) if they were able to work remotely and retain the same job and remuneration, with 67% believing people should be entitled to a great career regardless of where they grow up and live. 63% of tech employees believe entrepreneurs need to look beyond London if they want to find the best talent in the world and on average employees expect 33% of tech roles to be remotely located outside of the UK in five years’ time.
Keep your COVID schedule: How to work from home indefinitely
The global coronavirus pandemic has made working at home the new normal for millions of Americans. Before the pandemic, only 14% of U.S. employees worked from home full-time. Now, that number has jumped to 60%. And many now working remotely are finding out they like it. A new Gallup poll shows three out of five remote employees said they didn’t want to return to the office. If you enjoy the flexibility, how can you convince your boss to let you work from home indefinitely? Tell your manager why the setup is better for the company and for you. For one, you’ll save time commuting. The average American who drives to work spends 54 hours per year stuck in traffic.
As remote learning looms, employers throw working parents a lifeline
For working parents like LaMonica, the pending start of the school year, which brings the anxiety of new teachers, schedules and courses under even the best of circumstances, is looming as a major source of stress. A growing list of companies are pushing office reopenings to 2021 and many school districts, including Chicago Public Schools, are nixing even a part-time return to the classroom, portending an ongoing work-life family mashup that threatens to derail both career and childhood development.
Virtual Classrooms
Impact of coronavirus on projects supporting student mental health: sharing of emerging practice
"The impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the OfS Mental Health Challenge Competition" is the first report published through the two-year programme and has been developed to contribute to the emerging body of practice exploring and responding to the impact of the pandemic. The report’s findings are drawn from interviews conducted with project leads, project staff and project partners. The interviews were conducted shortly after the March 2020 lockdown restrictions were put in place and were limited only to those projects funded by the OfS. Its findings will be useful more widely for universities, colleges, and other stakeholders in understanding and responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Columbus teacher taking break from the classroom, offering virtual learning help
Parents are not the only ones weighing their options for this upcoming school year. One Columbus teacher said she is taking a break from the classroom this year. However, she won’t be taking a break from teaching altogether. “I’m excited that I can do this for people. I can help them,” said Khelsi Stone who is certified to teach K - 5. Stone, who taught kindergarten and second grade in Columbus, said something was telling her to take a break from the classroom and take this year for herself amid the pandemic. “To take this year for my mental health, to breathe, and to make sure that I’m 110 percent ready for the kids,” Stone explained.
US coronavirus: Quit my job, or risk serious illness? Parents and teachers face grueling decisions as schools reopen
About 260 employees at Forehand's school district have already been infected or exposed to coronavirus, Gwinnett County Public Schools said. At least one teacher has resigned after being denied the option to teach from home. "I have a lot of fears. The community spread is still very high," Forehand said. "I have asthma. My 2-year-old son is showing indications he as well has asthma." Like virtually all teachers, Forehand said, she wants in-person learning to resume as soon as possible -- once it's safe to do so. But "right now, I am actually afraid for my life," she said. "And I'm not going to be able to teach any children if I am having to take extended medical leave, or if I die."
Teacher who was charged $2,000 for resigning COVID-19 concerns launches online school
An Arizona teacher has left his job during the novel coronavirus pandemic after his district required all educators to return to the classroom for virtual learning. Tavious Peterkin, from Surprise, Arizona, was scheduled to begin his first year at Dysart Unified School District. Peterkin has been teaching for 15 years and was hired to teach band and choir. Peterkin said he was told to prepare to teach virtual learning inside the classroom starting in August, and face-to-face instruction would begin sometime in October.
Coronavirus US: Georgia class shuts down as student infected
Teacher and 20 students from a second grade class at Sixes Elementary School in Cherokee County have now been ordered to quarantine. More than three-quarters of Cherokee County's 42,000 school students returned to classes on Monday to commence the 2020-21 academic year. Mask-wearing is only optional, and images of students failing to social distance at various schools have caused alarm among parents. Several other school districts in Georgia are also on alert after multiple employees tested positive to COVID-19. Meanwhile, a student in Indiana was also diagnosed with the virus after interacting with classmates on the first day back at school
Public Policies
Starting UK coronavirus lockdown three days earlier 'would have saved 20,000 lives'
Starting lockdown just three days earlier would have saved 20,000 lives, new research shows. Scientists claim certain countries were unwilling to take the economic cost of shutting businesses and ordering people to stay home earlier. Modelling by the University of Exeter Business School calculated that delaying lockdown by three more days would have cost 32,000 more lives. A delay of 12 days would have seen 200,000 extra deaths linked to Covid-19, they found. They have calculated a “price of a life” in the impact on lost GDP linked to lockdown for every death avoided. The price of life in the UK was among the lowest at around £77,000.
Coronavirus: New virus measures in Preston 'expected in next few days'
Lockdown measures could return to Preston in the next few days after a rise in Covid-19 cases, Lancashire's director of public health said. Dr Sakthi Karunanithi expects stricter rules to be imposed in the city as they have been in east Lancashire, Greater Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire. The council has already asked residents to follow a number of extra measures in a bid to halt the spread of the virus. Data from Public Health England shows a rise in new Covid-19 cases in the city. Preston recorded 49 new cases of coronavirus in the week to 31 July, more than double the week before when there were 22 - this meant almost 35 cases per 100,000 population.
Testing center lines fuel criticism over France's COVID strategy
The French government was under fire on Wednesday over its free-for-all COVID-19 testing policy as queues snaked out of some testing centres in Paris and at sites across the country amid a flare-up in infections. One leading federation of laboratories said an abrupt July 25 decree to make testing free-of-charge and without prescription piled pressure on at a time many staff go on holiday. Political opponents lampooned a policy in disarray. “Testing anyone achieves nothing. You have to be targeted,” epidemiologist Didier Pittet, who heads a government-appointed task force monitoring the handling of COVID-19, told Europe 1 radio.
‘Officially a high-risk area’: How Geneva became Switzerland’s new coronavirus hotspot
The western Swiss canton of Geneva is now one of Europe’s hotspots for new coronavirus infections. In one of Europe’s wealthiest regions with excellent health care, how did it get so bad? On Monday, August 3rd, the number of new infections per 100,000 residents in Geneva crossed the 100 mark, reaching 103 per 100,000 for the past 14 days. The mark is well above the Swiss government’s ‘high risk’ classification of 60 per 100,000 - meaning that if Geneva was a separate country, residents would be forced to quarantine upon entering the rest of Switzerland. On Saturday August 1st, Belgium banned travel to and from Geneva, along with Valais and Vaud, as a result of the rising infections, although Valais and Vaud were removed from the list on Wednesday, August 5th.
Coronavirus: what France's 'second wave' could look like
A second wave is “highly likely”, the French Scientific Committee has said, but what will that mean for people in France France could see a resumption “at any moment” of the Covid-19 pandemic, warned the Conseil Scientifique in a document published on Tuesday (August 4). It added that a “second wave” could be expected in Autumn or Winter this year. The four scenarios: Scenario 1: Epidemic under control - Scenario 2: One or more critical clusters showing signs of a local resumption of the epidemic - Scenario 3: A diffuse and low-key resurgence of the epidemic - Scenario 4: The epidemic reaches a critical stage - The report said that localised lockdowns should be considered early on if “critical clusters” emerged, with indications of this including a rate of more than 50 cases per 100,000 population. This was reached in Mayenne in mid-July but there has been no local lockdown so far.
Poland plans to fully reopen schools in September despite COVID-19 spike
Poland intends to fully reopen its schools on Sept. 1, the education minister said on Wednesday, despite a recent renewed spike in coronavirus infections. Poland was initially successful in containing the outbreak, but cases started rising after restrictions on public gatherings were eased. On Tuesday authorities reported the fourth record daily increase in a week, with 680 new infections. Poland, a nation of 38 million people, had recorded a total of 48,789 cases and 1,756 deaths as of Wednesday. “We want students to come back to normal education in schools from September,” said Education Minister Dariusz Piontkowski. He said the ministry would impose strict hygiene and safety rules for schools, as well as criteria under which some schools could switch to online or a mix of online and in-class instruction in case of local infection spikes.
India's fatality rate hits its lowest since first lockdown despite case surge in some states
The Union Health Ministry in India announced that the country is now registering its lowest Covid-19 fatality rate since the first national lockdown was imposed in March. The fatality rate dropped to 2.1 percent while the recovery rate is now double the number of active cases, a good indicator that the country is on the right track in its battle with Covid-19. Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Rajesh Bhushan, stated “This is the first time after the first lockdown that the fatality rate is at its lowest, at 2.1 percent. The fatality rate has seen a progressive decline and it is continuing, which is a good sign".
Global coronavirus deaths exceed 700000, one person dies every 15 seconds on average
The global death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 700,000 on Wednesday, media reported, with the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico leading the rise in fatalities. On average, one person dies every 15 seconds from the disease caused by the virus, according to media. Countries across the world have recently seen single-day records in new cases, signaling a second wave in infections. Spain has been among the first countries that warned the country is facing the start of a second major coronavirus outbreak. The announcement has prompted the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Germany to recommend that their citizens cancel their vacation plans in Spain.
Uganda's tough approach curbs COVID, even as Africa nears 1 million cases
Uganda’s crumbling public hospitals, doctors’ strikes and corruption scandals make its success in the fight against the new coronavirus all the more unlikely. But the nation of 42 million people has recorded just over 1,200 cases and five deaths since March, a strikingly low total for such a large country. As the number of cases in Africa approaches one million, Uganda’s experience shows what can be accomplished when a government with a firm grip on power acts quickly and enforces a strict lockdown. But its success came at a cost, critics say. Jobs were lost, and economic growth is set to plunge to as low as 0.4% in 2020, from 5.6% last year, according to the World Bank.
The government must up its game to prepare for a second wave of Covid-19
We are at a crucial point in the battle against coronavirus. This summer, there are three key questions the government should be reflecting on. First, are we now doing everything we can to suppress the virus? Second, how can we protect lives and livelihoods? Third, how is it that frontline workers have been left feeling, to quote the National Care Association, kicked in the teeth? Labour has been a constructive opposition. We accept that no one could have handled coronavirus perfectly. But the truth is that the government has been too slow to act throughout this crisis – too slow into lockdown, too slow on testing and too slow getting PPE to frontline workers. Despite Labour’s warnings in recent months, the government has ignored the red lights flashing on the country’s economic dashboard and been too slow to change course in order to save jobs.
Coronavirus: Is the UK in a better position than we think?
Another day, another worrying coronavirus headline. On Tuesday it was reported the UK's testing and tracing system was not good enough to prevent a second wave once schools reopen. It came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week the brakes were being applied on the lifting of further restrictions. And that was off the back of the announcement that parts of northern England were to have some of the lockdown restrictions reimposed on them. The problem, ministers and their advisers warned, was that infections were on the rise. We had, concluded chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty, reached the limits of lifting lockdown. It prompted a weekend of debate, with people urging pubs to close so schools could open. But is the situation really as bad as it seems?
Sweden eschewed lockdowns. It's too early to be certain it was wrong
A full accounting of how Sweden’s approach has fared compared to other country’s will take time, and will involve trading off health, economic, educational and other outcomes. Confidence in its Public Health Agency remains high at 65%, suggesting Swedes are not unhappy with the tradeoffs made. And they are prepared to follow directions, perhaps more than Australians and residents of the United States and the much-touted Germany. Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency says 87% of the population is complying with the social distancing restrictions that are in place, up from 82% a month ago.
Australia suffers record coronavirus deaths, triggering tighter curbs
Australia reported a record 15 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, all in Victoria state, which was preparing to close much of its economy to control a second wave of infection that threatens to spread across the country. The second-most populous state in Australia reported a record rise of 725 new COVID-19 cases despite having reimposed a lockdown on Melbourne, the state capital with a population of 5 million people, four weeks ago. New South Wales and Queensland states introduced new measures to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, which has claimed 247 lives across the country.
Victoria-NSW border communities brace for 'enormous heartache' as lockdown measures loom
Communities straddling Victoria and New South Wales are bracing for “enormous heartache” and even more disruption to business, with the looming lockdown measures adding to the pain caused by last month’s border closure, a federal MP says. The independent MP for the north-east Victorian seat of Indi, Helen Haines, said many business owners were “desperate” and “exhausted” after experiencing four weeks of impacts from the NSW border restrictions – and now faced another hit from the reintroduction of stage three lockdown measures in regional Victoria this week. Haines is calling for “some very targeted federal government business support to the border communities, which recognises that they have now experienced a month of disruption to their business as a result of the border closing”. The Albury-Wodonga region, for example, has faced a range of impacts.
COVID-19: Other countries are learning from Italy - WHO - English
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, said Wednesday that other countries are learning from how Italy has tackled the coronavirus. "Grazie mille @robersperanza, #Italy Health Minister, for a very good call and for your strong support to @WHO," Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented as he retweeted a post by Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza. "Your leadership and humility is inspiring to other countries who are learning from and acting on Italy's experience". Italy was the first European country to be badly hit by the pandemic.
Donald Trump flounders in interview over US Covid-19 death toll
Donald Trump visibly floundered in an interview when pressed on a range of issues, including the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the US, his claims that mail-in voting is fraudulent, and his inaction over the “Russian bounty” scandal. The US president also repeatedly cast doubt on the cause of death of Jeffrey Epstein, and said of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite who has pleaded not guilty to participating in the sex-trafficking of girls by Epstein, that he wished her well. In the interview, broadcast on HBO on Monday and conducted by Axios’s national political correspondent, Jonathan Swan, Trump again asserted that his administration was doing an “incredible job” responding to the coronavirus.
White House: Another Lockdown Would Harm More Than Help, as COVID Cases Spike
"The President is not considering a national lockdown," McEnany told reporters. "What he is encouraging is mitigation efforts like wearing a mask, which is patriotic, like social distancing and engaging in these really commonsense, safe measures to safely reopen and avoid the health consequences of a lockdown." Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in several states that started to loosen restrictions put into place as the pandemic began to spread earlier this year. According to the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, at least 36 states are currently designated COVID-19 hotspots. California, Florida and Texas have seen the sharpest increases in cases in recent weeks. At least 156,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States since it began to spread across the states earlier this year
What Africa, approaching a million cases, is doing to fight coronavirus
The World Health Organization has warned the coronavirus pandemic could overwhelm strained public health systems in Africa. On Wednesday, the continent was approaching a million infections and around 21,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally. Here are measures some countries are taking to curb the virus.
Gambia coronavirus cases surge 60% in a week
Coronavirus cases in Gambia, mainland Africa’s smallest country, have surged over 60% in the last seven days to nearly 800 cases, health ministry data showed on Wednesday. Authorities attributed the rise to people relaxing their guard on protective measures that had so far kept Gambia’s case total the lowest in Africa. Testing has also increased in the country, where the number of deaths is 16. “There is increased enforcement of mask-wearing and other measures across the country,” government spokesman Ebrima Sankareh said. Gambia will increase police, paramilitary, marine and immigration presence on its border as scores of Senegalese return from celebrating Eid al-Adha in neighbouring Senegal, which has recorded over 10,400 cases, he added
Covid-19 news: UK border rules 'accelerated' pandemic, say MPs
The UK government’s decision not to impose tighter border controls and quarantine rules “accelerated” the pandemic, a report by the UK’s home affairs select committee has found. The report says the failure to introduce stricter border measures for arrivals allowed thousands of people with covid-19 into the UK in February and March. The report added that the government was slow to recognise the increased risk of the disease spreading from other European countries, particularly Spain. In February and the first half of March, under the government’s initial quarantine rules, travellers from China’s Hubei province, certain areas of South Korea, Iran and eventually Italy, were asked to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the UK.
Dr. Fauci: My family gets death threats
Dr. Anthony Fauci tells CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta that he has had to get security protection after his family received threats and harassment.
Australia suffers record coronavirus deaths, triggering tighter curbs
Australia reported a record 15 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, all in Victoria state, which was preparing to close much of its economy to control a second wave of infection that threatens to spread across the country. The second-most populous state in Australia reported a record rise of 725 new COVID-19 cases despite having reimposed a lockdown on Melbourne, the state capital with a population of 5 million people, four weeks ago. New South Wales and Queensland states introduced new measures to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, which has claimed 247 lives across the country.
4m banned from visiting homes outside their areas under lockdown rules in areas of the North
More than four million people subject to new lockdown restrictions in areas of the North of England will also be banned from visiting households outside the designated area. New laws enforcing the restrictions in Greater Manchester and parts of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire come into effect on Wednesday. Anyone who is caught flouting the rules could be fined £100, rising to a maximum of £3,200 for repeat offences.
Coronavirus: Queensland to close border to New South Wales
Australia's Queensland will extend its border closure to New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to halt the spread of coronavirus from south-eastern states. It has already shut to Victoria - the centre of Australia's second wave - amid an outbreak in Melbourne. Victoria reported 725 new infections on Wednesday, yet another daily record despite being four weeks into lockdown. NSW saw many fewer - 12 - but all other states have consistently fared better. Sydney - the NSW capital and Australia's largest city - has been averaging about 80 infections per week, prompting concerns that community transmission could grow.
Maintaining Services
‘We don’t live in Spain’ - noise concerns over new al-fresco dining policies
City eateries will be free to use outdoor space for al-fresco dining and drinking in a bid to boost businesses following the impact of the coronavirus lockdown. Social distancing measures mean bars and restaurants are having to maximise outdoor seating in line with government guidance to limit the spread of the virus. And Norwich councillors have agreed to introduce new policies to make it quicker and cheaper for firms to get permission to do so. But concerns were raised ahead of a meeting of the city council’s licensing committee over a rise in noise complaints and the impact on residents during the summer.
Dealmakers must readjust as lockdown bites business
The rash of cold feet has not generally extended beyond the US. Globally, only 593 deals had been withdrawn, down 9 per cent year on year. That’s partly because laws outside America make it much harder for a buyer to claim conditions have changed so much that it justifies pulling out of a deal. The Takeover Panel, which governs British M&A, made this abundantly clear back in 2001, when it knocked back WPP’s claim that it should be allowed to drop its offer for Tempus because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. US-based payments group WEX is due in a British court in September to test that high barrier as it tries to break its deal to purchase two systems from Travelport, citing the pandemic. Lawyers say that they would be surprised to see many European deals falter because of Covid-19. “Europe is still a market where if you do a deal, you are locked-in,” says one top M&A lawyer. “People are looking not at walkaway rights but at financial adjustments.”
Teachers, Show Us How the Coronavirus Is Changing Your Classroom
We want to see how educators are preparing school buildings to keep themselves and their students safe if they open amid the pandemic - send us information on your particular stories
Coronavirus: New Zealand's COVID-19 response criticised by Australian economics journalist
"If New Zealand's the COVID-19 role model then we're in strife", an Australian economics journalist has argued, claiming that declining case numbers are not correlated to the success of "draconian" lockdown measures. Sydney-based journalist Adam Creighton has argued that New Zealand's COVID-19 response - internationally lauded for its success at flattening the curve - is not deserving of praise, arguing lockdown in response to a virus with a low infection fatality rate is not worth the economic sacrifice.
WHO says North Korea's COVID-19 test results for first suspected case 'inconclusive'
North Korea’s test results for a man suspected of being the country’s first coronavirus case were inconclusive, though authorities have quarantined more than 3,635 primary and secondary contacts, a World Health Organization official told Reuters.
Healthcare Innovations
Novavax Aims to Deploy Covid-19 Vaccine by December: R&D Head
Dr. Gregory Glenn, Novavax president of research and development, discusses the progress on the company's experimental vaccine for Covid-19 with Bloomberg's Alix Steel on "Bloomberg Markets.
U.S. to pay $1 billion for 100 million doses of J&J's COVID-19 vaccine candidate
The United States government will pay Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) over $1 billion for 100 million doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine, as it stocks up on vaccine and drugs in an attempt to tame the pandemic. The latest contract is priced at roughly $10 per vaccine dose produced by J&J, or around $14.50 per dose, including a previous $456 million the U.S. government promised to J&J for vaccine development in March. That compares with the $19.50 per dose that the U.S. is paying for the vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and German biotech BioNTech SE
Coronavirus UPDATES: R rate 'could soar by 0.5 across UK when schools go back'
The UK's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has asked for coronavirus survivors to receive the free winter flu vaccine. The proposal would mean that more than 250,000 Brits who have recovered from the disease can get the winter jab. It comes as the UK Covid-19 death toll went up by 65 today, while hospital fatalities increased by 15. The number of people who have died from coronavirus in hospital is down from the same time last week. Meanwhile, new lockdown restrictions have been put in place in Aberdeen following a rise in cases. Today's announcement is the first "local lockdown" in Scotland after a string of areas in England had restrictions reimposed.
Fauci talks vaccine prospects in Reuters interview
“We are likely going to have maybe tens of millions of doses in the early part of (next) year. But as we get into 2021, the manufacturers tell us that they will have hundreds of millions and likely a billion doses by the end of 2021. So I think the process is moving along at a pretty favorable pace.” “I’m cautiously optimistic, though you can never guarantee things with a vaccine. I’m cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine that’s effective enough to get approved, because the early studies in the Phase One study showed that it induced the kind of neutralizing antibodies that were at least comparable, if not better than what you see in convalescent serum. And that’s a whole mark of a predictive quality that a vaccine might work.”