| |

"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 23rd Sep 2020

News Highlights

Majority of Americans sceptical of new coronavirus vaccine

Despite close to 200,000 fellow citizens having already died of Covid-19, and many more possibly likely to die in the upcoming flu season, a new poll has suggested that less than 40% of adult Americans plan to take the coronavirus vaccine as soon as it becomes available. More than 30% of people said they would wait a few months to get the shot and close to 25% said that they would not get vaccinated at all.

Mental health issues abound due to coronavirus, despite restrictions easing

People around the world have struggled with mental health challenges brought about due to the Covid-19 pandemic, including issues relating to anxiety, depression and uncertainty about the future. In New Zealand, despite restrictions having been eased considerably since the early days of the pandemic, the looming threat of another lockdown is worrying people, according to Professor Christopher Gale, a psychiatrist from the University of Otage.

New lockdown restrictions imposed in Britian as cases surge

Months after Prime Minister Boris Johnson eased lockdown restrictions in the UK and encouraged people to return to work, the administration is preparing to impose new curbs on pubs, bars and restaurants. The government also raised its Covid-19 alert status to level four - a figure last seen when the pandemic was raging in March. Companies in Britain are also being confused by conflicting regulations; in August the government encouraged people to start going back to the office, but now they are again pushing them to work from home, as cases rise.

French universities fight back against new coronavirus clusters with fresh strategies

The French government is encouraging students to go back to their classrooms and universities, but with new Covid-19 clusters emerging, schools and colleges are adjusting to a new normal. Face masks are mandatory and students use separate entrances and exits, but in addition to that, students are voluntarily maintaining social distancing and avoiding eating together or even sharing a cup of coffee in groups.

Lockdown Exit
COVID-19: US reaches ‘unfathomable’ 200,000 death toll
The US death toll from the coronavirus topped 200,000 on Tuesday, a figure unimaginable eight months ago when the scourge first reached the world’s richest nation with its sparkling laboratories, top-flight scientists and stockpiles of medicines and emergency supplies. “It is completely unfathomable that we’ve reached this point,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins University public health researcher.
'Bring it on': New Zealand tourist hotspots bank on holidays to ease Covid pressures
Covid-19 restrictions have been dropped and school’s almost out for a fortnight – to the delight of mayors in New Zealand’s tourism hotspots, where there are hopes the holidays will boost coffers in the struggling tourism sector. “Bring it on, bring it on,” said David Trewavas, the mayor of Taupō district – an area in the central North Island that is home to some of the country’s most famed skiing and hiking. “You can even have a mass gathering down here.” He added: “Hopefully the [Ministry of] Health boys have got it all under control, which I’m sure they have.” The removal of restrictions in New Zealand highlights the dilemma for governments trying to balance exhortations from struggling businesses to allow them more freedom, with the views of health experts, many of whom have urged more caution.
Filipinos return to work in Australia as lockdown eases
With the easing up of lockdowns, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) on Tuesday reported that most Filipino workers in Australia have returned to their respective jobs. The labor department cited the report of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Canberra to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III saying, “workers have now resumed their employment which gives hope to OFWs in Australia to continue holding on to their aspirations for a better life here.” POLO Canberra launched a series of online consultations with OFWs all over Australia since last month to reach out to Filipino workers whose employment were affected by the pandemic
Exit Strategies
Covid-19: number of schools in England 'not fully open' quadruples
The number of schools in England badly affected by Covid-19 cases among students and staff has quadrupled in the space of a week, and the number of pupils absent rose by 50%, according to estimates released by the Department for Education. The DfE’s figures revealed that 4% of state schools were classed as “not fully open” last week because of Covid-19, compared with 1% of schools seven days before, including cases where entire year groups had been sent home. Around 20 schools were closed outright for Covid-related reasons. Nine hundred schools were affected, in a week during which many headteachers and parents complained they were unable to access coronavirus tests, forcing those showing symptoms to be kept away from the classroom and self-isolate. Including independent schools at a similar rate would bring the figure for England close to 1,000 schools.
Spain to cut coronavirus quarantine to 10 from 14 days, SER radio says
The Spanish government and regional authorities are set to cut the quarantine imposed on those who have had contacts with people tested positive to coronavirus to 10 days from a previous 14 days, Cadena SER radio station reported on Tuesday. Spain has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in western Europe and regional authorities have ordered a partial lockdown from Monday in some Madrid neighbourhoods and other regions are taking measures to curb contagion.
No COVID-19 test, no grape harvest in Spain's Basque Country
All wine industry workers in Spain’s Rioja-producing region of Alava must undergo a coronavirus test before they start work to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks putting the grape harvest at risk. Grape pickers, who have dubbed 2020 the “harvest of the masks”, will be given their own equipment, including baskets and scissors, which cannot be exchanged, to avoid infections, said a spokeswoman for the Rioja wine regulatory board. Authorities in the Basque Country have made it compulsory for wine estates to provide a list of workers. The health department then carries out the PCR tests.
French universities' new rules seek to prevent new COVID-19 clusters
Face masks are obligatory, there are separate entrances and exits on campus and many on-site facilities are restricted or closed. But despite a range of sanitary measures at universities in France, at least a dozen COVID-19 clusters have emerged since some classrooms re-opened earlier this month. September marks the start of a new academic year and the French government says children and students should return to the classrooms again. But in a post-lockdown France, where cases are surging again, lectures look and sound very different.
India's new coronavirus infections at lowest in almost a month
India has reported 75,083 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, according to federal health data released on Tuesday, the lowest daily tally in almost a month. There were 1,053 deaths over the same period. India also reported a record number of single-day recoveries with 101,468 people in 24 hours now virus-free, taking the total to 4,497,867, according to its health ministry.
Australians stranded overseas 'betrayed', says a man telling of months of injury, illness and homelessness
For months Mr Hargreaves had been seriously ill, basically homeless, and stranded in a nightmare — unable to return to his home in Berry on the New South Wales South Coast. Mr Hargreaves and his wife travelled to France to house-sit in January. As concern around the pandemic spread in February his wife returned home, but he felt obliged to stay a few more weeks to honour his commitment.
Czech PM regrets early lifting of Covid-19 measures
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has admitted that his government had made a mistake when it eased restrictions aimed at containing Covid-19 over the summer. His comments came as governments across Europe struggle with a second wave of Covid-19 infections following the holiday months in which the number of cases began rising sharply. "Even I got carried away by the coming summer and the general mood. That was a mistake I don't want to make again," the billionaire populist said in a televised speech.
Coronavirus: The possibility of another lockdown still a worry for some despite restrictions easing
A psychiatrist believes COVID-19 is impacting mental health now more than ever despite alert level restrictions easing overnight. Auckland will move to COVID-19 alert level 2 on Wednesday and stay there for at least a fortnight while the rest of the country is now at level 1. But Professor Christopher Gale, a psychiatrist from the University of Otago, says the possibility of another lockdown is still a worry for some. Prof Gale told Newshub concerns do remain about people's wellbeing and the future of businesses. "What's happening now is a lot of people are finding personal hurt," he said on Monday.
Spain's home working draft bill to make employers pay for expenses
The Spanish government has agreed with unions and business leaders that employers must cover home working expenses after the coronavirus pandemic caused millions to work from their living rooms. “It was fundamental to regulate remote working to protect the rights of workers,” Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias told state-owned TV channel TVE on Tuesday. “This new rule will boost productivity and the competitiveness of the Spanish economy”, as well as the working conditions of the Spaniards who partly worked from home in 2020, Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz told a news conference later.
Companies scramble to reverse UK back-to-office plans
Companies across England were left scrambling to reverse plans to return thousands of staff to their offices on Tuesday after the government abandoned its push to get more people working in towns and city centres. The government has encouraged workers to return to offices since August, ramping up the pressure on businesses to bring back employees after schools returned at the start of September. But just three weeks later, the prime minister announced an abrupt U-turn following a surge in Covid-19 infections, leaving companies frantically rethinking plans for office staff.
Partisan Exits
Fewer than 40% of Americans plan to get a coronavirus vaccine as soon as one is available
In a new poll, 39% of US adults said they are not likely to get the coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available, down from 53% surveyed last month. About 43% of Democrats and 41% of Republicans said they were likely to get the jab during the rollout, a drop from 56% and 49%, respectively. Just 9% of surveyors said they were 'very likely' to be immunized with the first available vaccine, a decrease from 17% in August. Thirty percent of respondents said they would wait a few months before being given the shot while nearly one-quarter said they will not get the shot at all
Trump says COVID-19 'affects virtually no one' apart from 'elderly people with heart problems' after his rally crowd booed mask mandates as the US death toll nears 200,000
President Trump incorrectly claimed that COVID-19 'affects virtually nobody' who is a young American. He made the remarks during a 'Make America Great Again' campaign stop in Toledo, Ohio, on Monday night. He added that COVID-19 affects elderly people and those with preexisting conditions, but not a risk for young Americans. Hundreds of children across the country have tested positive and been infected with COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Washington D.C. reported 766 infected children between the ages of zero and 14. The U.S. death toll is approaching 200,000 and there are more than 6.8million known cases
Economic catastrophe will be down to failure of political leadership
Britain cannot afford another lockdown. Boris Johnson has said it would be “disastrous” for the country. Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, warned that it “would cause unimaginable damage to our economy and people’s wellbeing”. They are right. But neither can Britain afford a spike in deaths like the last. Policymakers are walking a “fine line”, Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said at yesterday’s government briefing. He, too, is right. This is exactly the conundrum the country faced in March. But it would be a mistake to assume the options are the same, of lockdown or herd immunity. Yet, once again, the epidemiologists are pitted against the economists. Save lives or save jobs. There is only one winner if the argument is framed like this
Property leaders' plea: Open the borders, end the lockdown
Leaders in the property, retail and hospitality sectors have called for border closures to be abandoned across the country and for Victoria's strict lockdown to be eased more quickly, warning the economic harm of a prolonged recession far outweighs any medical benefit from the controls. With Victoria recording just 11 new coronavirus cases on Monday, property executives are urging the southern state to accelerate plans to reopen the economy. As well, Queensland's border closure is ringing alarm bells over the future of that state's tourism sector as summer approaches.
Jacinda Ardern 'was in draconian lockdown mode' amid record GDP fall
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was in the “draconian lockdown mode” and now the country’s economy has contracted by a record 12.2 per cent in three months says Sky News host Alan Jones. “Jacinda Ardern thought she could totally eliminate the virus,” Mr Jones said. “The lockdowns were amongst the toughest in the world”. "It is not only opposition accusations in New Zealand which are saying that these things have pushed the economy 'off the cliff'," he said.
Continued Lockdown
‘Provide food to sex workers during lockdown’: SC tells Centre, states
Moved by the plight of lakhs of sex workers rendered jobless and without an alternate source of livelihood following the Covid-19 lockdown, the Supreme Court gave a week’s time to the states to respond on providing them free ration and asked Centre if something could be immediately provided to them in the exercise of its powers under the National Disaster Management Act.
Australia’s ‘extreme’ 2nd lockdown curbed coronavirus — here’s what it took
As Canada’s coronavirus cases continue to climb, many health experts are warning the public that a second lockdown may be around the corner. And as Canadians prepare for a potential fall or winter shutdown, experts argue we may want to look at Australia’s strict second lockdown measures in order to figure out how to tackle spiking coronavirus cases.
Populism and Ostracism: Living with COVID-19 in India – Byline Times
Aday after declaring the world’s strictest lockdown on 24 March, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, said that India would win the war against the Coronavirus in 21 days. The country has now passed five million recorded cases of COVID-19, with more than 87,000 reported deaths. In the past 21 days (28 August to 17 September), India added 1.7 million infections to its numbers – more than the total case count in Russia, the fourth worst affected nation. When India just had more than 500 cases, a 21-day lockdown was declared by Modi, giving 1.3 billion people a mere four hours’ notice to prepare themselves. All activities were brought to a halt, including public transport. The result was a 23.9% contraction in the country’s GDP. Experts warned that it was too early for India to go into lockdown. It didn’t help to ‘flatten the curve’ of the pandemic either.
Scientific Viewpoint
Imperial’s coronavirus vaccine could be approved by middle of next year, professor reveals
Imperial College London's coronavirus vaccine could be approved for use by the middle of next year, an expert has said. Professor Robin Shattock, who is leading the university’s vaccine effort against Covid-19, told the European Parliament trials are showing promising results. He said human volunteers seem to be “responding well” to the jab and the aim is to launch a large 20,000-person trial before the end of the year.
Flu and Covid-19 at same time significantly increases risk of death
The evidence for the double whammy is currently limited and comes mostly from a study with small numbers – 58 people – carried out in the UK during the early phase of the pandemic. “As I understand it, it’s 43% of those with co-infection died compared with 26.9% of those who tested positive for Covid only,” said England’s deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam. These were people who had been hospitalised and had been tested for both viruses, he said, and so were very ill – but the rate of death from Covid alone in the study between January and April was similar to the known rate of Covid hospital mortality generally of around 25% or 26%.
People infected with both flu and Covid-19 have serious and increased risk of death, experts warn
Those infected with both flu and Covid-19 have a serious increased risk of death, new research has found. Public Health England (PHE) warned that both illnesses could be circulating at the same time as they urged people who are eligible to get vaccinated.
Potential risk model could see 4.5m people shielding from COVID-19 this winter
People’s health, weight, age and sex will determine whether they will need to shield from COVID-19 over the winter months, according to reports. The Sunday Telegraph has said that up to 4.5million people will be advised to stay at home as part of the government’s new shielding plan. The risk model is still being considered, although Professor Peter Openshaw, an adviser to the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has urged experts to “act fast” because he said a delay of just a “few days” could be dangerous. In an interview with Sophy Ridge on Sunday’s Sky News he said he thought the country was on the “edge of losing control”. He added: “It’s a bit like water seeping through a dam. It starts as a trickle and if you don’t do something about it, it can turn into a real cascade.”
Covid UK: scientists at loggerheads over approach to new restrictions
Rival groups of scientists are at loggerheads over how government should handle the Covid pandemic, with one advising that only over-65s and the vulnerable should be shielded, while the other backs nationwide measures. The conflicting advice to the UK government and chief medical officers (CMOs) came in two open letters issued on Monday by the rival camps. It came as Prof Chris Whitty, England’s CMO, and the chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance made a national TV broadcast to set out the risk of the virus spreading exponentially, with a corresponding increase in cases and deaths, if public behaviour does not change. Thirty-two scientists signed one letter warning the government is heading down the wrong road and must reconsider its policy to suppress the virus, adopting a targeted approach instead.
Colds Nearly Vanished Under Lockdown. Now They’re Coming Back
Data from Australia and across Europe indicate a surge of at least one other ailment that has been lying mostly dormant: the common cold. Colds are caused by many viruses, but the culprits, at this point, are largely rhinoviruses. That isn’t especially surprising. Rhinoviruses are ubiquitous bugs that normally spread this time of year as schools and day care centers reopen, which in many places they have. “This is exactly what we’d expect during a normal back-to-school season,” says Catherine Moore, a virologist at Public Health Wales.
Professor Lockdown stands by doomsday forecast that sent Britain into lockdown: Warning of half a million deaths was an 'underestimate', admits Neil Ferguson
Professor Neil Ferguson was a member of SAGE until dramatic resignation in May Imperial College epidemiologist said he was not in favour of lockdown to begin Original prediction of 510,000 UK deaths didn't account for hospital overload
Get serious! Careless French public riles COVID medics
David Fleyrat had almost cleared his Marseille hospital’s intensive care ward of COVID-19 patients during the summer lull in new cases. Now the private unit is filling fast again and Fleyrat can barely conceal his frustration. “It’s not doing our job that is tiring. What’s tiring is a second wave because people do not respect social distancing,” Fleyrat, who is managing director of the private Clinique Bouchard-Elsan told Reuters. Marseille is at the epicenter of a resurgence in novel coronavirus cases throughout France. Intensive care wards in the Mediterranean city’s public hospitals are full and so hospitals like Fleyrat’s are handling the spillover.
Coronavirus Scotland: Prof Devi Sridhar shares ‘unpleasant truths’ amidst lockdown fears
Writing in her column for the Guardian, she said: "The world has fundamentally changed over the past nine months since a small pneumonia cluster was reported in Wuhan, China ... She also dismissed the efficacy of lockdown, which she said “just ...
UK faces soaring COVID-19 death rate unless it moves fast, medics warn
Britain will face an exponentially growing death rate from COVID-19 within weeks unless urgent action is taken to halt a rapidly spreading second wave of the outbreak, the country’s senior medics said on Monday. The United Kingdom already has the biggest official COVID-19 death toll in Europe - and the fifth largest in the world - while it is borrowing record amounts in an attempt to pump emergency money through the damaged economy. But new COVID-19 cases are rising by at least 6,000 per day in Britain, according to week-old data, hospital admissions are doubling every eight days, and the testing system is buckling. Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical officer, and Patrick Vallance, its chief scientific adviser, cautioned that if left unrestricted the epidemic would reach 50,000 new cases per day by mid-October in the United Kingdom.
Scientists plead for clarity on AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine trial
Scientists are demanding to know why AstraZeneca’s trial of its Covid-19 vaccine is still on hold in the US while it has been restarted elsewhere, worrying it could damage public trust. The trial was originally halted because a UK participant developed a serious inflammatory condition. In the US it has been on hold for almost two weeks, while trials in other countries including the UK have restarted. Ashish Jha, dean of the school of public health at Brown University, said: “Normally, companies wouldn’t give out information in the middle of a trial, but this is an exceptional case and we need to have radical transparency. Otherwise, there is a risk the public will lose confidence in the whole process.”
FDA poised to announce tougher standards for a covid-19 vaccine that make it unlikely one will be cleared by Election Day
The guidance is part of an effort to boost transparency and public trust as polls show many are skeptical a vaccine will be safe and effective.
Coronavirus vaccine won't bring about 'fairytale' ending to pandemic, expert warns
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to haunt policymakers and the public around the world, a lot of hope is being placed in finding an effective and safe vaccine against Covid-19. The chances of finding an effective vaccine soon are not that high, one expert told CNBC.
Russia offers UN staff free coronavirus vaccines
What do you do when Vladimir Putin offers you Russia’s new coronavirus vaccine for free? United Nations staff in New York and around the world are now facing that choice, after the Russian president offered Tuesday to provide them the Sputnik-V vaccine in a speech to this year’s General Assembly marking the body’s 75th birthday. Only results from small early studies on Russian vaccine have been published, raising concerns among some scientists that the vaccine isn’t ready yet for widespread use -- and prompting worldwide memes about potential bizarre side effects. “Any one of us could face this dangerous virus. The virus has not spared the staff of the United Nations, its headquarters and regional entities,” Putin said in a prerecorded speech from Moscow. The coronavirus pandemic means this year’s General Assembly is a work-from-home production, for the first time in its history.
Chinese state-backed firm expects coronavirus vaccine approval for public use within months
State-backed vaccine maker China National Biotec Group (CNBG) is hopeful of two of its novel coronavirus vaccine candidates receiving conditional regulatory approval for general public use within the year, its vice president said on Tuesday.
China's second wave of coronavirus outbreak in winter is 'inevitable', Chinese expert warns
Dr Zhang Wenhong, who led Shanghai's COVID-19 fight, made the stark warning A looming second wave of coronavirus outbreak is 'inevitable' in China, he says The expert also predicted the world would need 'at least a year' to reopen again
Coronavirus Resurgence
UK recession expected to continue until spring amid Covid-19 surge
Britain’s economy is heading for a prolonged recession lasting until next spring as the number of coronavirus infections climbs and tougher restrictions are introduced to contain the virus. As a Covid-19 second wave spreads and the government launches fresh measures to restrict business and social life, City economists warned that the fightback from the deepest recession in history begun this summer was running out of steam. Dashing hopes that the Covid recession could be among the shortest downturns in history, analysts from Bank of America said growth in gross domestic product (GDP) would probably stall in the fourth quarter and the first three months of 2021.
‘More masks, less alcohol’: German state that led first lockdown to re-impose rules as cases surge
The southern German state of Bavaria was the first one to announce a complete shutdown of public life in March, after people failed to heed warnings to stay home and practice social distancing. On Tuesday, Bavarian state premier Markus Söder and his cabinet approved a number of new restrictions aimed at curbing a recent surge in coronavirus infections. Söder said in a press conference that returning holiday makers are a key reason for the spike in the numbers, as well as general carelessness, especially among young people. The tighter regulations, which Söder described as the basic principle of “more masks, less alcohol” will come into force later this week for areas, municipalities and communities with a high instance of new infections — areas reporting more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week.
As Covid Fatigue Fuels Infections in Europe, Italy Resists the Second Wave
Months after Italy’s lockdown against the coronavirus ended, Enrica Grazioli still sanitizes everything that comes into her Milan apartment, wears face masks diligently and limits interactions between her sons and their grandparents. The 16 health areas with an incidence rate above 1,000 cases but that are not under the new restrictions are: Lavapiés, Canillejas, García Noblejas, San Isidro, Rafael Alberti, Orcasitas, Vicálvaro-Artilleros, Campo de la Paloma, Villaamil (all located in the city of Madrid); Doctor Trueta and Miguel Servet (both in Alcorcón); Las Fronteras (Torrejón de Ardoz); Panaderas (Fuenlabrada); Villa del Prado (in the municipality of the same name); Alcalde Bartolomé González (Móstoles); and Sierra de Guadarrama (Collado Villalba).
Covid-19 incidence exceeds 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 16 areas of Madrid with no new restrictions
The coronavirus pandemic continues to rapidly expand across Madrid. According to data published on Tuesday by the regional government, 16 health areas in the region have a Covid-19 incidence rate above 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Despite this, these hotspots are not subject to the new restrictions on mobility that came into effect in 37 basic health areas on Monday. A basic health area is much smaller than a city district and can include several primary healthcare centers. There are around 286 basic health areas in the Madrid region, according to the regional health department.
France's weak spot: Virus infections rise at nursing homes
Confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths are rising again in France’s nursing homes for the first time in months. French President Emmanuel Macron, who visited a nursing home in the town of Bracieux in central France on Tuesday, tweeted shortly after his arrival that “our elders, more fragile, are more exposed to the virus. We must collectively redouble our attention.” Families fear that French authorities have not absorbed the lessons from earlier in the pandemic, when nursing homes across the country shuttered elderly residents inside and were short of protective equipment for employees.
From curfews to calling in the army, here's what Europe is doing to tackle its coronavirus surge
Europe is facing the much-feared “second wave” of coronavirus cases, after a lull in new infections in summer. There is a reluctance to return to full lockdowns, so other measures are being implemented first. To date, there have been almost 2.9 million confirmed cases of the virus in Europe and over 186,000 people have died, data from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention shows.
Spike in Covid-19 cases in Spain and France
Protesters have taken place in Spain's capital Madrid demonstrate against strict new lockdown measures.
Let's Not Sleepwalk Into New European Lockdowns
This brainteaser is how Martin Hirsch, head of the Paris region’s hospital network, describes the brutal first wave of Covid-19 that triggered lockdowns across Europe in March and April. The answer is 28, because once the pond is half-covered it only takes one extra day for the lily pads’ spread to double in size. “One day’s delay means double the cases, double the seriously ill, and double the deaths,” he writes in a new book about hospitals battling the virus. “Every day counts.”
Johnson starts to shut down Britain again as COVID-19 spreads
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell people on Tuesday to work from home and will impose new curbs on pubs, bars and restaurants in a bid to tackle the swiftly accelerating second wave of the coronavirus outbreak. In an address to Parliament and then to the nation, Johnson will stop some way short of a full national lockdown of the sort he imposed in March. “We know this won’t be easy, but we must take further action to control the resurgence in cases of the virus and protect the NHS,” Johnson will say, according to excerpts of his remarks distributed by his Downing Street office. The measures come after senior medics warned on Monday that Britain faced an exponentially growing death rate within weeks unless urgent action was taken.
New lockdowns in Europe could lead to an economic crisis, according to leading macroeconomic influencers
Daniel Lacalle, chief economist at Tressis SV, shared his article on the possibility of imposing new lockdowns in Europe. Countries such as France and Spain are witnessing a rise in Covid-19 infection cases, which may call for new lockdown measures to control the outbreak. Lacalle notes the lockdowns will have devastating impact on the economy through jobs losses and business insolvencies. Countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Sweden, and Austria have implemented effective measures to control the pandemic instead of implementing a total lockdown, the article noted. Lacalle added that economies in Europe will not be able to survive a new series of lockdowns as it may lead to an economic crisis characterised by massive job losses, highly indebted corporations, and record high government debt.
In Tel Aviv COVID-19 ward, warnings of dwindling hospital capacity
Inside the fast-filling coronavirus ward of a major Tel Aviv hospital, doctors rush to treat critical patients amid a surge in cases that has forced Israel into a second lockdown. Health officials fear that even the three-week closure imposed nationwide on Friday may not be long enough or restrictive enough to slow the daily case toll. On the front lines of Israel’s second wave are doctors and nurses working around the clock on the COVID-19 wards of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center - widely known as Ichilov Hospital - to which a Reuters photographer was granted access on Monday. “Coronavirus Isolation Zone, Entry Forbidden” and “Corona Commando” read the signs on the ward door, inside which nurses wearing head-to-toe protective gear and working two-hour shifts wove through the crowded ward to check on patients separated from one another by glass and metal partitions.
New Lockdown
'Work from home': Johnson starts shutting down Britain again as COVID-19 spreads
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell people on Tuesday to work from home and will impose new curbs on pubs, bars and restaurants in a bid to tackle the swiftly accelerating second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus: Boris Johnson reveals new COVID-19 rules on face masks, fines, pubs and working from home
Face masks will become compulsory for bar staff, shop workers, waiters and taxi passengers in an effort to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England, the prime minister has announced. Fines for failing to wear a face mask will rise to £200 and will be extended to customers when they are not seated at a table, Boris Johnson told MPs.
New coronavirus restrictions - will Nicola Sturgeon go further than Boris Johnson with 'Lockdown II'?
08.30am - Boris Johnson chairs UK cabinet to sign off new lockdown measures which could be a mild as making pubs close at 10pm in England from Thursday and limiting pubs to table service only. 09.00am - Keir Starmer makes a speech in Doncaster to the online Labour conference, before rushing back to the Commons. The Labour leader’s speech is likely to be overshadowed on a big political day. 10.00am - Cobra crisis meeting with relevant cabinet members, experts and leaders of the devolved parliaments. It will be the first Cobra for four months and Nicola Sturgeon and other leaders have demanded a session in light of the rising numbers of infections. Having spoken to the First Ministers by telephone yesterday the PM will hope for a smoother session. However, London mayor Sadiq Khan has not been asked to attend which will cause fury in the capital. Neither have any regional English mayors, adding to the impression that Whitehall doesn’t get how devolution is changing the UK.
UK adopts tough lockdown measures amid alarming second wave of COVID-19
Britain was put under tough new lockdown measures Tuesday because of an alarming second wave of the coronavirus — with the nation’s beloved pubs forced to close early and the military put on standby. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that the stringent new measures were needed because the nation had “reached a perilous turning point” soon after relaxing earlier lockdowns. Confirmed infection rates had “almost quadrupled,” and hospitalizations from the contagion “more than doubled” in the last fortnight, Johnson said — noting the pandemic is likely to spread more in colder weather.
Boris Johnson adopts cautious approach to second UK coronavirus lockdown
Johnson said pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues in England must close at 10 p.m. from Thursday, while venues will be forced by law to provide table service. The government also ditched its attempts to encourage workers back to their offices, instead telling them to work from home if possible with immediate effect. The move marks a significant U-turn after ministers previously insisted staff should return to their desks.
Britain Moves Toward Lockdown As Covid-19 Surges
Today Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell the British people to work from home as he imposes strict new curbs on pubs, bars and restaurants, according to released excerpts of his intended remarks to parliament. This follows last week’s new “rule of six” law that bans gatherings of seven people or more. Yesterday, the British government raised its Covid-19 alert status to level four — the second highest level — meaning that an epidemic is “in general circulation” and “transmission is high or rising exponentially.” Britain was at this level during the UK lockdown Johnson imposed back in March.
‘Shop as normal’: Panic-buying resumes as UK braces for new lockdown measures
Shoppers have been urged to remain calm in the nation’s supermarkets amid fears of a return to the panic-buying seen in the days approaching the UK’s March lockdown. Some supermarkets across the UK have been left with empty shelves in certain aisles - with toilet roll depleted - in scenes reminiscent of the run on shops that occurred in ahead of the first introduction of coronavirus restrictions. A spree of panic-buying in the early stages of the nation’s outbreak saw some forced to turn to foodbanks after being unable to get the essentials they needed to get by.
Boris Johnson to announce 10pm pub closing time across England
Boris Johnson will announce a 10pm closing time for pubs and restaurants across England on Tuesday, as the UK prime minister begins to reinstate national lockdown measures to contain a second wave of coronavirus. He hopes the new restrictions on social life will help to control Covid-19 while keeping businesses and schools open. But he said: “Nobody underestimates the challenges the new measures will pose to many individuals and businesses.” In another blow for the economy, Mr Johnson was set to reverse his recent attempt to coax workers back into city centres; only last month he told people to have “the confidence” to go back to the office.
Spain ready to take further action to fight Madrid’s second Covid wave
Spain’s government said it was ready to step up measures to try to bring the coronavirus pandemic in Madrid under control, even as new restrictions came into force in much of the city in response to a surge in infections. With the highest rate of contagion in Europe, Madrid’s regional administration has introduced mobility controls on some 850,000 inhabitants — largely in poor southern districts — who account for 13 per cent of the region’s population but 24 per cent of coronavirus infections.
Spanish army to enforce lockdown in Madrid
Spain deploys army to Madrid to help enforce lockdownTelegraph.co.ukLockdown measures and rising anger in Madrid as Covid-19 takes hold againThe GuardianProtests in Madrid over coronavirus lockdown measuresThe GuardianSpain ready to take further action to fight Madrid's second Covid waveFinancial TimesView Full coverage on Google News
New coronavirus lockdown rules for England could be in place for 'six months', Boris Johnson announces
New lockdown restrictions in England - which include a curfew on pubs and a tightening of the 'rule of six' - are likely to be in place for six months, the prime minister has announced. In a bid to curb a surge in Covid-19 infections, Boris Johnson said it will be a legal requirement for people to follow the new rules and the military could be drafted in to help police enforce them.
Chhattisgarh enforces strict lockdown in 10 districts after coronavirus cases, deaths spike
Ten districts in Chhattisgarh went into a strict lockdown for a week that is ending on September 28 after the state witnessed a spike in coronavirus cases and deaths. State capital Raipur has been declared a containment zone to facilitate the lockown after the Union home ministry announced in Unlock 4 lockdowns would not be possible without consulting the Centre.
UK’s hospitality sector warns new lockdown would be ‘nail in coffin’
Hospitality bosses in the UK have warned that restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus could be the “nail in the coffin” for the industry, which had only just begun to recover from the first period of lockdown. Fears of further curfews or a second shutdown on the sector sent share prices of leisure and travel businesses tumbling on Monday, before the government said it would impose a 10pm curfew on pubs starting Tuesday. Operators urged the government to provide evidence their establishments were the cause of a sharp uptick in cases over the past week.
Partial lockdowns return to Madrid
New partial lockdown measures became effective on Monday in Madrid's working class district of Vallecas, the morning after residents took to the streets to call for better health provisions, complaining of discrimination by the authorities.
Large parts of Wales to go into lockdown
Large parts of Wales will go into lockdown from 1700 GMT on Tuesday as the novel coronavirus spreads. Coronavirus laws are being tightened in four Welsh authorities – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport – following a sharp rise in cases, Health Minister Vaughan Gething said. People will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education, and people will only be able to meet others they don’t live with outdoors for the time being.