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Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 30th Oct 2020

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Coronavirus: Europe is 'epicentre of pandemic once again', WHO chief warns after deaths rise by 35%

Paris has seen hundreds of miles of traffic jams as people tried to leave the city ahead of France's new national lockdown. Crowded scenes on the roads and railways came as the World Health Organisation warned that Europe has become the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic once again. The region accounted for nearly half of the 2.8 million new COVID-19 cases reported worldwide last week, WHO said.
30th Oct 2020 - Sky News

Australia's COVID-19 hotspot state reports one case after four month city lockdown lifted

Australia's COVID-19 hotspot state Victoria reported only one new infection on Thursday, a day after it lifted a four month lockdown in the city of Melbourne. Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said that while there were three positive cases of COVID-19 detected in the past 24 hours, two may be old infections. "This is another good day," Andrews told reporters in Melbourne. Victoria, which accounts for more than 90% of the 905 deaths nationally, did not record any new deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours. Melbourne, a city of some five million people, on Wednesday emerged from a stringent lockdown credited with ending a COVID second wave, allowing restaurants, cafes and shops to reopen.
29th Oct 2020 - YAHOO!

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 29th Oct 2020

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Wikipedia and W.H.O. Join to Combat Covid-19 Misinformation

As part of efforts to stop the spread of false information about the coronavirus pandemic, Wikipedia and the World Health Organization announced a collaboration on Thursday: The health agency will grant the online encyclopedia free use of its published information, graphics and videos. The collaboration is the first between Wikipedia and a health agency. “We all consult just a few apps in our daily life, and this puts W.H.O. content right there in your language, in your town, in a way that relates to your geography,” said Andrew Pattison, a digital content manager for the health agency who helped negotiate the contract. “Getting good content out quickly disarms the misinformation.” Since its start in 2001, Wikipedia has become one of the world’s 10 most consulted sites; it is frequently viewed for health information.
22nd Oct 2020 - The New York Times

The Lockdown That Felt Like It Might Last Forever Has Finally Ended

As if from hibernation, Australia’s second-largest city emerged from one of the world’s longest and most severe lockdowns on Wednesday, feeling both traumatized and euphoric after weeks of shared sacrifice that brought a deadly second wave of the coronavirus to heel. It took 111 days, but Melbourne and the surrounding state of Victoria recorded no new infections on Monday, and on Wednesday thousands of stores, cafes, restaurants and beauty salons opened their doors for the first time in months. “That is an achievement that every single Victorian should be proud of,” said the state’s top official, Daniel Andrews. The collective exit for a city of five million came suddenly and none too soon — Mr. Andrews had insisted on a very low threshold of cases before lifting the lockdown. It ended a dizzying and lonely experience that many in Melbourne described as an emotional roller coaster with effects on the economy, education and mental health that will linger.
28th Oct 2020 - The New York Times

Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, ends its 111-day coronavirus lockdown

Coffee business owner Darren Silverman pulled his van over and wept when he heard on the radio that Melbourne’s coronavirus lockdown would be largely lifted Wednesday after 111 days. Silverman was making a home delivery Monday when the announcement was made that restrictions in Australia’s second-largest city would be relaxed. He was overwhelmed with emotion and a sense of relief. “The difficulty over the journey, when you’ve put 30 years of your life into something that’s suddenly taken away with the prospect of not returning through no fault of your own — I felt like I could be forgiven for pulling over and having a bit of a sob to myself,” he said.
28th Oct 2020 - Los Angeles Times

Australia's second-largest city ends 111-day virus lockdown

Coffee business owner Darren Silverman pulled his van over and wept when he heard on the radio that Melbourne’s pandemic lockdown would be largely lifted on Wednesday after 111 days. Silverman was making a home delivery Monday when the announcement was made that restrictions in Australia’s second-largest city would be relaxed. He was overwhelmed with emotions and a sense of relief. "The difficulty over the journey, when you’ve put 30 years of your life into something that’s suddenly taken away with the prospect of not returning through no fault of your own — I felt like I could be forgiven for pulling over and having a bit of a sob to myself,” he said.
28th Oct 2020 - The Independent

Melbourne cheers end of Australia's strictest lockdown

Melbourne was at the heart of Australia's second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, and went into a second lockdown for nearly four months - the strictest the country had seen. On Wednesday, the city eased restrictions and people were able to go to bars, restaurants and shops again for the first time in months.
28th Oct 2020 - BBC News

Midnight revelry in Melbourne as lockdown ends, eager diners say it 'feels like New Year's Eve'

Melburnians have flocked to bars and restaurants and even Kmart in a celebration of the four-month coronavirus lockdown lifting at midnight. With restrictions still on how many people are allowed in certain venues, bookings were made hours in advance by those eager to finally "get on the beers". And over 10,000 people ahd been through the doors at Kmart since 6am this morning, the group's managing director Ian Bailey told 3AW. "I now officially declare Melbourne restaurants open for business," Angus and Bon steakhouse owner Liam Ganley said as he cut a ribbon to cheers, confetti and applause.
28th Oct 2020 - 9News

Australian, NZ dlrs outperform as economies escape lockdown

The Australian and New Zealand dollars gained on the euro on Wednesday as the risk of lockdowns in Europe contrasted with open economies at home, while soft Australian inflation figures supported expectations of near-term policy easing. The euro dipped to a one-week low of A$1.6531, a long way from its recent top at A$1.6827. The Aussie held steady on its U.S. counterpart at $0.7129, just short of chart resistance at $0.7158. The kiwi dollar was firm at $0.6700, having touched a five-week high of $0.6724 overnight.
28th Oct 2020 - Reuters

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 28th Oct 2020

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How New Zealand beat Covid: Why early lockdown and stringent quarantine kept cases down to fewer than 2,000

New Zealand has been held up as an example by the World Health Organisation of how to effectively tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The remote Pacific island has less than 2,000 Covid-19 cases and 25 deaths, from a population of about five million. That is roughly the same size as Scotland, which for comparison has recorded more than 59,000 cases and above 2,700 deaths. So what is New Zealand’s secret to success? In short, locking down early and keeping the virus stamped out.
27th Oct 2020 - iNews

Long COVID-19 Lockdown Ends In Australia’s Second Most Populous City

SYDNEY - One of the world's longest COVID-19 lockdowns is coming to an end in the Australian city of Melbourne. Beginning Tuesday, all shops, cafes and restaurants can re-open, and strict-stay-at home orders will be lifted. The lockdown was imposed in ...
27th Oct 2020 - Voice of America

Covid-19 lockdown lifts for Melbourne

Melbourne's five million citizens will be able to leave their homes from midnight and all cafes, restaurants, bars, shops and hotels will be allowed to reopen. Australia's second largest city has been under strict Covid-19 restrictions for the past 15 weeks, but after the state recorded its first 24 hour period without any new coronavirus infections since 9 June, authorities say its time for the city to open up.
27th Oct 2020 - RNZ

Covid 19 coronavirus: One new case in managed isolation - health chief Ashley Bloomfield

There is one new Covid-19 case in managed isolation, director general of health Ashley Bloomfield says. The new case, a young boy aged between 1-4, arrived in New Zealand from the UK. There have been no new community cases for six days in a row and the cluster connected to the Sofrana Surville ship and a marine engineer who worked on it has so far been contained to three people. Seven more cases have now recovered so the active cases are 68, Bloomfield said today
27th Oct 2020 - New Zealand Herald

Covid: Melbourne's hard-won success after a marathon lockdown

Melbourne's grinding second coronavirus lockdown began in the chill of winter. In early July, the nights were long and dark, and Australia's cultural capital was confronting the terrifying reality of another deadly wave of infections. More than 110 days later, experts say it is emerging as a world leader in disease suppression alongside places including Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Raina McIntyre, a biosecurity professor at the University of New South Wales' Kirby Institute, told the BBC that Australia's response had been "light years ahead" of the US and the UK. "It is just thoroughly shocking. When we think of pandemics we don't think that well-resourced, high-income countries are going to fall apart at the seams, but that is exactly what we have seen," she said.
27th Oct 2020 - BBC News

End of Melbourne lockdown paves way for crowds at cricket, tennis

Melbourne’s liberation from its COVID-19 lockdown has boosted hopes of crowds attending some of Australia’s major sporting events in the country’s second-biggest city. The Australian men’s cricket team is slated to host India in the traditional Boxing Day test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from Dec. 26, while the world’s top tennis players are due to play the Australian Open, 2021’s first Grand Slam, in January. Restaurants, pubs and retail businesses in Melbourne, home to 5 million people, will reopen from Wednesday after more than three months under a stringent lockdown. Authorities will also allow limited social visits to houses.
27th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 27th Oct 2020

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Coronavirus: Officials address 'leaked' lockdown plans after social media rumours speculate an alert level move 'planned' for November

Rumours that New Zealand will enter a "planned" lockdown in early November have been squashed by All-of-Government COVID-19 response group after the "leaked" proposal circulated social media. One person claiming to work in education said their superior was at the Ministry of Education during the school holidays and was told: "The Ministry of Health is preparing for a third wave that they have predicted will hit November 6 or 8". "They used the word 'preparing'. I'm cynical when it comes to COVID and the government and what info they pass out," they said in a Facebook message.
26th Oct 2020 - Newshub

Duterte wants government-to-government deal for COVID-19 vaccines

President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would favour a government-to-government deal for the purchase of coronavirus vaccines in the Philippines to prevent the risk of corruption. Duterte made his latest pronouncement even as his Science and Technology Department secretary admitted that in the “most optimistic” scenario, a vaccine would not be available until mid-2021. “Let me tell everybody that we will not beg, we will pay,” Duterte said in a prerecorded address that aired on Tuesday morning. “To the Chinese government, you need not look for partners, we can make it government to government,” added Duterte, who repeatedly said that he received assurance from Beijing that the Philippines would be a priority when a vaccine is available.
26th Oct 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Can Fashion Photography Survive the Pandemic?

Now Covid-19 has led to an “acceleration of what was going on before the pandemic,” said Sølve Sundsbø, the Norwegian photographer whose work has appeared in Love magazine and international editions of Vogue. Namely that even established magazines expect photographers to contribute editorial work for free. Glen Luchford, who recently shot campaigns for Gucci and Rag & Bone, and whose 1990s campaigns for Prada are beloved by the art world, agreed. He recalled looking around the set at Gucci — the rare client with a big photography budget — and saying to his crew: “This is the last hurrah. This is the end. There is not going to be another period where we get to take over Universal Studios and build these massive sound stages and do these incredible things. “I’m not even sure that quality is required anymore,” he continued. “Those kids out there, looking at TikTok, are way more interested in someone appearing in 10 or 20 seconds and doing something really interesting on their telephone than in something that is really beautifully lit.”
26th Oct 2020 - The New York Times

Sri Lanka shuts parliament after coronavirus case detected

Sri Lanka’s parliament has been closed after a police officer at the complex tested positive for the coronavirus amid a new surge of cases in the country. Parliament will be closed for two days as a precautionary measure so the premises can be disinfected, said Narendra Fernando, the parliament’s sergeant at arms.
26th Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Guatemala health workers face retaliation over COVID-19 concerns

Paty Chavez has had a rough few weeks. A nurse at a regional hospital in the Indigenous highlands of Guatemala, she tested positive for COVID-19, recovered, protested against the hospital’s response to the virus, and then was fired – all in the span of 15 days. “My colleagues are all scared. They say, ‘look what happened to the person who most spoke out’,” said Chavez, an Indigenous Maya K’iche mother of three who worked for four years at the El Quiche Regional Hospital, 137km (85 miles) northwest of the capital. But as is the case with so many public health workers in Guatemala, basic labour rights eluded Chavez because she works on a contract basis, a problem that has been exacerbated by COVID-19.
26th Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 26th Oct 2020

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The Trump Administration Shut a Vaccine Safety Office Last Year. What’s the Plan Now?

As the first coronavirus vaccines arrive in the coming year, government researchers will face a monumental challenge: monitoring the health of hundreds of millions of Americans to ensure the vaccines don’t cause harm. Purely by chance, thousands of vaccinated people will have heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses shortly after the injections. Sorting out whether the vaccines had anything to do with their ailments will be a thorny problem, requiring a vast, coordinated effort by state and federal agencies, hospitals, drug makers and insurers to discern patterns in a flood of data. Findings will need to be clearly communicated to a distrustful public swamped with disinformation.
23rd Oct 2020 - The New York Times

Trudeau announces $214M for Canadian coronavirus vaccine research

The federal government says it’s spending $214 million to support “made in Canada” coronavirus vaccine research. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday that $173 million would go to Quebec-based Medicago, while Vancouver’s Precision NanoSystems would receive $18.2 million for development and testing. “This is about securing potential vaccines for Canadians while supporting good jobs in research,” he told reporters at a press conference in Ottawa.
23rd Oct 2020 - Global News

UK sees record third quarter retail sales growth in post-lockdown rebound

British retail sales beat expectations in September to cap a record quarter of growth that took total sales volumes further above their pre-pandemic level, but rising COVID cases risk crimping demand going forward. Retail sales volumes expanded by 1.5% in September alone and are 4.7% higher than a year earlier, the largest annual rise since April 2019 and above all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists. Strong household demand has been the mainstay of Britain’s recovery from the initial shock of the coronavirus lockdown, when output contracted by 20%, more than in any other major advanced economy.
24th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Colombia surpasses 1 million COVID-19 cases

Colombia has surpassed one million confirmed coronavirus cases, becoming the second country in Latin America to report that number in less than a week. The last 24 hours saw 8,769 new infections, bringing the total to 1,007,711 since the first case was detected on March 6, the country’s health ministry said on Saturday. Deaths rose to 30,000 after authorities added 198 fatalities from the last 10 days.
25th Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

In the restaurant where I work, Covid has brought out the worst in customers

Waitressing can be a difficult job at the best of times. The hours are long, the work is exhaustingly physical and the customers have a tendency to take out on you whatever frustrations have been building in them all week.
25th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

'Generation Covid' hit hard by the pandemic, research reveals

Young people, particularly those from deprived backgrounds, have had their earnings and job prospects hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, adding to fears for the long-term impact on their futures. BBC Panorama found people aged 16-25 were more than twice as likely as older workers to have lost their job, while six in 10 saw their earnings fall, according to new research. It also highlighted the impact of school closures on young people and added to growing evidence that students from poorer backgrounds have fallen behind their more privileged peers. A quarter of pupils - some 2.5 million children - had no schooling or tutoring during lockdown, the survey by the London School of Economics (LSE) suggests. But, the study adds, nearly three quarters of private school pupils had full days of teaching (74%) - almost twice the proportion of state school pupils (38%).
26th Oct 2020 - BBC News

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 23rd Oct 2020

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Bars and restaurants account for less than 3% of COVID-19 outbreaks in Spain since end of lockdown

In Spain, bars and restaurants are responsible for less than 3% of coronavirus outbreaks, a new report has found. A study released by the Ministry of Health which analysed data from the end of lockdown to October 15 said family reunions accounted for almost 40% of outbreaks. The report also warns of the high number of outbreaks with mixed origins, where transmission shifts from the family environment to other areas such as work
22nd Oct 2020 - Olive Press

Ardern urged to review New Zealand Covid measures after election landslide

Jacinda Ardern won New Zealand’s election with a commanding majority, in part attributed to her handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in her country. But a veteran epidemiologist is exhorting the prime minister to use the political capital gained in her decisive victory to scrutinise the coronavirus response by her government and officials, and adopt strategies proposed by her opponents before Saturday’s vote. “New Zealand has shown it can be quite smart and flexible, but we can see we’ve got these blind spots and we need to have no blind spots,” said Nick Wilson, a University of Otago epidemiologist. “This is such an unforgiving disease and very few countries are doing it right so we need to smarten up our act quite substantially.”
22nd Oct 2020 - The Guardian

China beats the virus, eclipses India in growth

To keep local transmission at negligible levels, China has been extensively tracking its population through their phones and going in for testing. Perhaps the most draconian step has been the imposition of lockdowns for weeks on end. India has also gone in for extensive lockdowns, but the results have not come remotely close to those in China. Economies across the world contracted sharply when the pandemic arrived but thereafter climbed out of the downturn. In this return to growth, China has shown the greatest robustness. Right now, it is significantly better off than where it was at this time last year. The reason for this is that despite being hit by the coronavirus first, it has been globally among the foremost in successfully tackling it.
22nd Oct 2020 - The Tribune India

Dying of loneliness: How COVID-19 is killing dementia patients

Teresa Palmer is sitting on the back porch of her home in San Francisco when the mobile phone in her hand starts to buzz. A kind, raspy voice inquires from the other end of the line: “Did I wake you?” If the question surprises Palmer, she does not show it. Her reply is plain and swift. “No,” she says: It is past one in the afternoon. She has been awake for hours.
22nd Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

COVID-19 crisis to speed up depletion of Social Security

The economic crisis caused by the coronavirus will dramatically speed up the depletion of the United States’ Social Security programme, a bipartisan think-tank warned on Thursday, outlining how quickly retirement and disability trust funds could run dry depending on the depth and length of the pandemic-induced recession. The Bipartisan Policy Center modelled four scenarios for the current recession, ranging in severity from “50 percent worse than the Great Recession” to “surprisingly quick economic rebound”. What it found was that every scenario showed Social Security retirement fund reserves depleting earlier than predicted – between 2029 and 2033. The centre presented its findings in a brief entitled How Will COVID-19 Affect the Social Security Trust Funds? (PDF), which was published Thursday.
22nd Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Britain tightens COVID restrictions in more areas of England

Britain tightened COVID-19 restrictions in three more areas of England on Thursday, putting them in the “high” category of the UK’s three-tier system, meaning people will not be able to mix outside their households. “We’re seeing rising rates of infection in Stoke-on-Trent, in Coventry and in Slough. In all of these areas, there are over 100 positive cases per 100,000 people, cases are doubling around every fortnight and we’re seeing a concerning increase of cases among the over-60s,” health minister Matt Hancock told parliament. Several cities in northern England are in the top “very high” category, which requires the closure of hospitality.
22nd Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

France extends curfew as COVID second wave surges in Europe

France extended curfews to around two thirds of its population on Thursday and Belgium’s foreign minister was taken into intensive care with COVID-19, as the second wave of the pandemic surged across Europe. French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced a curfew imposed last week on Paris and eight other cities would be extended to 38 more departments, confining 46 million out of the country’s 67 million population to their homes from 9 pm to 6 am. “A second wave of the coronavirus epidemic is now under way in France and Europe. The situation is very serious,” Castex said at a news conference. Shortly after the measures were announced, French health authorities reported a record 41,622 new confirmed cases, bringing the cumulative total to 999,043.
22nd Oct 2020 - Reuters

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 22nd Oct 2020

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Jacinda Ardern landslide is a vote for COVID-19 competence

For governments facing a growing wave of coronavirus cases as fall turns to winter, there’s a stark lesson in Saturday’s stunning election victory for New Zealand’s incumbent Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern: Voters really want their governments to suppress the pandemic. A landslide victory means Ardern could govern with the first outright majority since her country adopted proportional representation in the 1990s, with her Labour party on track to win the largest share of the vote in 70 years. “The argument is strong for countries adopting a so-called zero-COVID strategy” like that in New Zealand, a team of authors in Singapore, Hong Kong, the U.K. and Norway argued in medical journal The Lancet last month.
21st Oct 2020 - The Japan Times

Friendly skies: App would help travellers comply with COVID tests

A public-interest foundation is testing a smartphone app that could make it easier for international airline passengers to securely show they have complied with COVID-19 testing requirements. It is an attempt to help get people back to flying after the pandemic sent global air travel down by 92 percent. The Switzerland-based Commons Project Foundation was conducting a test Wednesday of its CommonPass digital health pass on United Airlines Flight 15 from London’s Heathrow to Newark Liberty International Airport, using volunteers carrying the app on their smartphones. Officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Customs and Border Protection were observing the test.
21st Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Socioeconomic factors drive COVID risks for minorities - UK govt report

The increased risk to ethnic minorities from COVID-19 is largely driven by factors such as living circumstances and profession and not the genetics of different groups or structural racism, a report into racial disparities from the pandemic has found. Several studies have shown a disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on ethnic minorities, and the British government in June promised further work to look into the causes of the disparities. But the dynamics of whether certain groups are more likely to contract the virus to start with due to external factors, or are more susceptible to it once exposed, have been unclear.
21st Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Cyberattacks on coronavirus vaccine projects confirmed in Japan

Some Japanese research institutions developing coronavirus vaccines have been hit by cyberattacks, apparently from China, in what are believed to be the first cases of their kind in the country, a U.S. information security firm said Monday. Amid an intensifying race to develop vaccines against COVID-19, those bodies have been targeted by attacks since April but no reports of information leaks have been made, according to CrowdStrike. The government’s National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity has urged drugmakers and research organizations to raise alert levels against such attempts to steal confidential information. The U.S. firm did not disclose the names of the targeted institutions, but said it suspects the attacks have been made by a Chinese hacker group, based on the techniques employed.
21st Oct 2020 - Kyodo News on MSN.com

Coronavirus survives on skin five times longer than flu, Japan study finds

The coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours, Japanese researchers have found, in a discovery they said showed the need for frequent hand washing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The pathogen that causes the flu survives on human skin for about 1.8 hours by comparison, said the study published this month in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal. “The nine-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus strain that causes COVID-19) on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV (influenza A virus), thus accelerating the pandemic,” it said. The research team tested skin collected from autopsy specimens, about one day after death. Both the coronavirus and the flu virus are inactivated within 15 seconds by applying ethanol, which is used in hand sanitizers
18th Oct 2020 - The Japan Times

Japanese research team develops COVID-19 breath testing system

Tohoku University and precision equipment maker Shimadzu Corp. have jointly developed a system that checks exhaled breath to detect novel coronavirus infections. The testing accuracy of the system is about the same as the levels achieved by widely used polymerase chain reaction tests, according to a joint announcement by the university and Shimadzu on Friday. They aim to put the system into practical use within a few years after conducting clinical research for about six months. The system collects exhaled breath from testing subjects for five to 10 minutes to examine the water vapor contained in it.
17th Oct 2020 - The Japan Times

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 21st Oct 2020

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India Covid-19: From losing loved ones to volunteering for a vaccine

In September, a close friend of Anil Hebbar died of Covid-19 in India's western city of Mumbai after being ferried around three hospitals over five days. Mr Hebbar, who runs a medical equipment firm, had visited his 62-year-old friend, a well-known social worker, in the intensive care unit, hours before his life ended. The social worker was not the only friend Mr Hebbar lost during the pandemic. Since March, 10 people he knew well have succumbed to the virus in Mumbai, which quickly emerged as a hotspot. The city has reported more than 230,000 cases so far. "It was all very overwhelming. I felt this had to stop. That's one reason I decided to volunteer for the Covid-19 vaccine trial," Mr Hebbar, 56, told me. Earlier this month, he signed himself up for the clinical trials for a vaccine being developed by pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
21st Oct 2020 - BBC News

China Moving On From Pandemic As Europe, Parts Of U.S. Brace For More

The SARS 2 pandemic is still raging on in Europe. Parts of the U.S. are seeing hospitals under duress. But China, where all this began, is moving along. China’s GDP grew 4.9% year-on-year in the third quarter, accelerating from 3.2% growth in the previous quarter, official data showed yesterday. Market consensus had it growing a little stronger than that — at 5.5% — but it’s better than the rest of the world’s economic progress as the pandemic continues. The latest encouraging data from China gives us an insight into the recovery in store once a vaccine is released and the outbreak is contained.
20th Oct 2020 - Forbes

China's Covid success compared to Europe shows lockdowns are the first step, not a solution

As much of Europe stares down the barrel of renewed coronavirus lockdowns, and a potentially miserable -- and deadly -- winter to come, China is going from strength to strength. On Monday, the country posted positive economic growth for the second quarter in a row, underlining how speedily the world's second-largest economy has recovered. That comes in the wake of an apparently successful experiment with allowing mass domestic travel, as millions of people criss-crossed China for the Golden Week national holiday. China's ability to track and trace cases across the country whenever there is the suggestion of a new cluster of infections has enabled the government to respond quickly and bring local epidemics under control.
20th Oct 2020 - CNN

Remember concerts? In covid-free New Zealand, it’s a reality and not just a memory.

New Zealand is one of a handful of countries to have successfully curtailed community spread of covid-19, having been widely praised for its “go hard, go early” approach. With a population around 5 million, New Zealand has to date registered fewer than 2,000 cases of covid-19 and 25 deaths. New Zealand also boasts an embarrassment of music talent. That ranges from small, scrappy, critically adored bands like the Beths to festival headliners like drum and bass act Shapeshifter, pop A-lister Lorde, arena rock unit Six60, and TikTok-fueled starlet Benee. The latter has just wrapped a tour during which she live-streamed a concert from the 12,000-person capacity Spark Arena. “That’ll be one of the only live streams [that’s not] someone alone in their living room,” Campbell Smith, who co-manages Benee, said a few days before the event. “You can see, in New Zealand, thousands of people jammed together at a concert, legitimately.”
20th Oct 2020 - Washington Post

COVID, tech advances could disrupt 85 million jobs by 2025: WEF

The coronavirus pandemic has deepened inequalities across labour markets and accelerated the urgency with which the public and private sectors must act to ensure millions of people remain employable in a changing jobs market, the World Economic Forum (WEF) stressed on Tuesday. Within the next five years, automation and a new division of labour between humans and machines will disrupt 85 million jobs around the world, WEF’s Future of Jobs Report 2020 found. Remote work is here to stay and going forward, workers should expect to change careers and hone skills multiple times throughout their careers to adapt to new labour trends.
20th Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

India’s Modi urges coronavirus caution ahead of festival season

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government is working rapidly to ensure the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to all citizens once they are available. In a televised address to the nation on Tuesday, Modi urged Indians to continue wearing masks and uphold physical distancing rules to prevent further spread of the epidemic ahead of the upcoming festival season.
20th Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 20th Oct 2020

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Covid-19: First UK airport coronavirus testing begins

The test will cost £80 and a result can take a mere 20 minutes. The aim is to help people travelling to destinations where proof of a negative result is required on arrival. A growing number of countries have classified the UK as being "at risk", meaning travellers from the UK face more restrictions. The authorities in Hong Kong now require people to show they have a negative test result, taken within 72 hours of a flight from London. The rapid saliva swab, which is now available at Heathrow Terminals 2 and 5, is known as a Lamp (Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification) test.
20th Oct 2020 - BBC News

China’s economy on way back up after heavy hit from Covid-19 pandemic

There are questions over the veracity of official data but China is likely to end the year with an even bigger economy than it had at the start. Economists at the International Monetary Fund are pencilling in annual growth of 1.9 per cent, which puts the country miles ahead of its rivals. The US, Germany and the UK are expected to shrink by 4.3 per cent, 6 per cent and 9.8 per cent, respectively. After relaxing their lockdowns over the summer, western rivals are struggling to protect their economies from a second wave of the virus. However, China deployed a severe lockdown and a robust testing regime to contain the virus the first time round. Although its economy shrank at a record pace at the beginning of the year, the subsequent recovery has not yet come under threat. At the same time growth has powered ahead thanks to a state-backed boom in new infrastructure projects, including roads and high-speed train lines. This has fuelled the strong rebound in industrial production, which beat economists’ forecasts to grow by 6.9 per cent in the year to September. This was up from 5.6 per cent in August.
19th Oct 2020 - The Times

China's economy is the envy of the world

China's economy expanded by 4.9% in the third quarter compared to the previous year, according to government data published Monday, showing the rest of the world what's possible when Covid-19 is brought under control. The pace of growth was a tad slower than economists had expected. But there were plenty of signs of strength, with the services and construction sectors performing especially well. China's economy has now recovered from its historically bad first quarter, when the coronavirus forced the country to shut down. GDP grew a cumulative 0.7% through the first nine months of 2020, the data show. "China's economy continued its rapid rebound last quarter, with the recovery broadening out and becoming less reliant on investment-led stimulus," said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist for Capital Economics.
19th Oct 2020 - CNN

China's Economy Bounces Back As Pandemic Is Brought Under Control

China posted 4.9% economic growth in its third quarter compared to the same period last year, keeping it on track to be the only major global economy to record an economic expansion this year in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Economists estimate China's yearly GDP growth could be north of 2.5% this year — even as the rest of the world economy is expected to shrink by at least 4%. That differential will give Chinese companies in sectors ranging from electronics to steel more global market share and greater economic influence. "What you're seeing now is basically China's stability premium kicking back in, in the sense that companies now are dealing with a global pandemic, and many of the places that they would move production to aren't looking so rosy right now," says Michael Hirson, China and Northeast Asia practice head at the consultancy Eurasia Group.
19th Oct 2020 - NPR

China's economic recovery quickens in Q3 but misses forecasts

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.9% in July-September from a year earlier, official data showed on Monday, slower than the median 5.2% forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll and following 3.2% growth in the second quarter.
19th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Surf lifeguards 'expecting huge crowds' at beaches during post-lockdown summer

Ahead of the patrol season starting this long weekend, there are concerns resources will be tested more than ever with many beachgoers eager to hit the water. “The fact that we're not travelling overseas, we are expecting huge crowds on the beaches,” Surf Lifesaving New Zealand’s search and rescue manager Allan Mundy told 1 NEWS. Complicating things further, international lifeguards who often bring experience to patrols on the country’s busiest coastlines won’t be allowed in due to Covid-19 restrictions. However, officials have been working with their international counterparts in Britain, the United States and Australia to learn how they’re keeping beaches under control during the pandemic. “Their public were choosing to swim on beaches that people had never swum on before and that was a real risk because they didn't have any lifeguard cover,” Mundy said.
19th Oct 2020 - 1News

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People sent to nonexistent Covid test centre in Sevenoaks

People with suspected Covid-19 symptoms were on Sunday sent to a nonexistent site in Kent, in what was seen as a further blow to England’s failing test-and-trace system. Council officials in Sevenoaks said the address had been listed on the government website for people to arrange appointments on the national booking portal. However, the mobile testing unit, which was meant to be introduced in response to a local rise in coronavirus rates, was not deployed to start on site today for “an unknown reason”, according to a spokesperson. This led to reports of some people driving around the facility for up to an hour before realising it was not operational.
19th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

China Will Likely Show Covid-19 Recovery Can Be Real: Eco Week

China is about to show the world that its economy is pulling further out of the chasm created by the coronavirus, setting it apart from other nations struggling to avoid renewed lockdowns. “Right now, China has basically put Covid-19 under control,” People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang said on Sunday in a webinar organized by the Group of 30. “In general, the Chinese economy remains resilient with great potential. Continued recovery is anticipated which will benefit the global economy.” Yet even amid the strengthening domestic recovery, the prospect of renewed closures amid spiking infection rates in Europe and elsewhere comes with uncertain prospects for China, which has relied on exports and manufacturing to help spur its rebound.
18th Oct 2020 - BloombergQuint

Covid: Greater Manchester running out of hospital beds, leak reveals

Greater Manchester is set to run out of beds to treat people left seriously ill by Covid-19, and some of the region’s 12 hospitals are already full, a leaked NHS document has revealed. It showed that by last Friday the resurgence of the disease had left hospitals in Salford, Stockport and Bolton at maximum capacity, with no spare beds to help with the growing influx. The picture it paints ratchets up the pressure on ministers to reach a deal with local leaders over the region’s planned move to the top level of coronavirus restrictions.
18th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

We must ensure all children return to school after lockdown

Anton Leschen is the general manager, Victoria, at children’s education charity The Smith Family. He writes about the importance of ensuring all children can return to school after lockdown. "For thousands of Victorian families, lockdown 2.0 isn’t just a tough time to be endured, it has come to represent a compounding moment when thousands of young people stand at a critical crossroads. Before our second lockdown, the Grattan Institute estimated students from disadvantaged backgrounds may be learning less than 50 per cent of what they would in the classroom, due to school closures. That was in June. Since then, the majority of Victorian students continued with home learning, and the challenges, especially for vulnerable students, have been exacerbated. And students living in poverty were behind in their learning even before COVID-19."
18th Oct 2020 - The Age

Australian expats in Sweden share what life is like under the country's unconventional pandemic approach

When the pandemic hit, Sweden made the unconventional decision to not impose any lockdowns, unlike most of its European neighbours. Instead, its strategy relied heavily on people taking personal responsibility for protecting themselves and those around them from the virus. Its decision to go its own way made it a popular topic of debate for international health professionals, news organisations and political pundits alike. Those against lockdowns point to it as an example other nations should follow, but others who favour stringent public health measures highlight the country's coronavirus death toll, which is significantly higher than its Nordic neighbours. So what's it been like living through Sweden's great coronavirus experiment? The ABC spoke with several Australian expats living across the country to get their thoughts.
18th Oct 2020 - abc.net.au

New Zealand reports first locally acquired Covid case in three weeks

New Zealand has reported its first locally acquired case of Covid-19 in more than three weeks on the heels of a sweeping electoral victory for Jacinda Ardern’s Labour party, dealing a blow to hopes the country had eliminated transmission of the virus within its shores. The positive test was recorded on Saturday — election day in New Zealand — by a person who worked on ships docked at ports in Auckland and Taranaki. Authorities said the case had been caught early and the risk is contained, while close contacts of the man are undergoing testing and hotels where he stayed are deep cleaned.
18th Oct 2020 - The Financial Times

New Zealand's Ardern wins 'historic' re-election for crushing COVID-19

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivered the biggest election victory for her centre-left Labour Party in half a century on Saturday as voters rewarded her for a decisive response to COVID-19. National leaders were decimated in their strongholds by young Labour candidates who appealed to voters with progressive, democratic messages, and highlighted the party’s success in beating coronavirus. Life is back to normal in New Zealand, but its borders are still shut, its tourism sector is bleeding and economists predict a lasting recession after the harsh lockdowns
18th Oct 2020 - Reuters

As new wave of COVID-19 cases hits, remote work becomes the norm

Gina DeRosa was thrilled when her year-long internship at the Department of Education in Pennsylvania in the United States turned into her first full-time job out of college. But two months into her role, DeRosa has never met her colleagues in person. Trained entirely online by her supervisor, who she had met prior to Philadelphia’s COVID-19 lockdown, DeRosa interacts with her coworkers exclusively over Zoom.
18th Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Coronavirus test results must come in 24 hours, says Sage scientist

A massive expansion of testing will still leave Britain struggling to keep Covid-19 infections under control unless the system can inform people they are positive within 24 hours, one of the government’s most senior scientific advisers has warned. Ministers have insisted that they are on course to hit a target of 500,000 tests a day by the end of the month, with suggestions this weekend that capability of a million tests a day could be reached by Christmas. However, Graham Medley, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) and chair of its subcommittee on modelling, said that returning test results “ideally within 24 hours” was as critical as capacity in a successful test-and-trace system. He said if necessary, capacity should be curbed in favour of speed
18th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

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Finnish expert answers 7 questions about coronavirus vaccines

According to a survey by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) last spring, around 70 percent of respondents said they would take a vaccine if authorities recommended it. However, many still remember more than a decade ago the serious side effects of the H1N1 "swine flu" vaccine, Pandemrix, which was found to have multiplied the risk of narcolepsy, particularly among young people, a situation that damaged the public's confidence in vaccines as well as health authorities. The director of the Vaccine Research Center at Tampere University, Mika Rämet, said the centre advises decision makers about new vaccines, but does not participate in policy-making. He noted that the centre is not currently conducting its own coronavirus vaccine study.
16th Oct 2020 - Yle

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson losing grip on strategy as top medical adviser tells local leaders it will not work

Boris Johnson’s coronavirus strategy was unravelling after one of the prime minister’s top medical advisers told regional leaders it would not work and a national lockdown was needed. More than half of the population of England will soon be subjected to heightened restrictions under the prime minister’s three-tier regional system, after areas including London, Essex and York were told to move to “high” alert status from Saturday. But Mr Johnson was forced to back down on plans to put Greater Manchester and Lancashire into the toughest curbs alongside Merseyside after civic leaders demanded more financial support for the thousands of workers whose employers would be forced to shut down. And councils in the northeast united to say that they too would reject tier 3 status.
16th Oct 2020 - The Independent

WHO fears more tuberculosis deaths as COVID-19 pandemic continues

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of a “dramatic increase” in tuberculosis (TB) deaths in the coming years, as a result of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic and a continuing shortage of funds in its annual report on global efforts to combat the disease. The WHO said there were “significant reductions” in the reporting and monitoring of new TB cases in the first half of 2020, as countries imposed lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19. Professor Achilles Kapanidis, from Oxford's Department of Physics, said the test would be "simple, extremely rapid, and cost-effective".
15th Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Indian cinemas reopen amid fewest coronavirus deaths in 11 weeks

After seven months of total blackout, cinemas have reopened in several parts of India as the country reported its lowest daily increase in coronavirus deaths in 11 weeks. The reopening of movie theatres on Thursday came as India’s health ministry reported 680 deaths in the past 24 hours, the lowest number in nearly three months, raising the country’s death toll since the pandemic began to 111,266.
15th Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Coronavirus: France reports more than 30,000 new infections

France has reported a large jump in new Covid-19 cases ahead of a night-time curfew being imposed on Paris and eight other cities on Saturday. A further 30,621 infections were confirmed on Thursday, up from 22,591 the day before. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that tough restrictions are "absolutely necessary" to save lives. Millions in Europe have been told they must live under strict new measures as governments battle a second wave. From Saturday, socialising indoors will be banned in London, as the UK capital and other areas of England will be put under a higher Covid alert.
15th Oct 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus testing lab 'chaotic and dangerous', scientist claims

A scientist who processed coronavirus swab samples at one of the UK's largest labs has alleged working practices were "chaotic and dangerous". He highlighted overcrowded biosecure workspaces, poor safety protocols and a lack of suitable PPE. The Health and Safety Executive has uncovered safety breaches at the lighthouse lab in Milton Keynes. The UK Biocentre, which runs the lab, said strict safety measures were in place and improvements were being made.
15th Oct 2020 - BBC News

Fauci warns Americans to rethink Thanksgiving amid coronavirus surge

Anthony Fauci warned on Thursday that Americans should rethink their usual plans for traditional Thanksgiving gatherings, citing increased coronavirus infections and hospitalizations. Fauci, the most senior public health official on the White House coronavirus taskforce, told ABC News that given the rise in cases in almost three dozen US states, “we’ve really got to double down on fundamental public health measures that we talk about every day, because they can make a difference”.
15th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

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Will Zambia be first African nation to default during pandemic?

Zambia moved closer to becoming the first African nation to default on its dollar bonds since the onset of the coronavirus, making it a test case for nations worldwide battling to meet obligations to a range of lenders from bondholders to Chinese state banks. Holders of Zambia’s $3 billion of Eurobonds will vote next week on the country’s request for a six-month interest-payment holiday. A core croup of creditors have already rejected the proposal, prompting Zambia to say Tuesday it won’t be able to service its $3 billion of Eurobonds unless it gets the relief.
14th Oct 2020 - Aljazeera.com

World Bank approves $12bn to increase COVID vaccine accessibility

The World Bank has approved $12bn in financing to help developing countries buy and distribute coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments. The $12bn “envelope” is part of a wider World Bank Group package of up to $160bn to help developing countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank said in a statement late on Tuesday. Its implementation will be in support of efforts being led by the World Health Organization and COVAX, and will offer recipient countries a number of options with regards to acquiring and delivering vaccines. The World Bank said its new funding would help “signal to the research and pharmaceutical industry that citizens in developing countries also need access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines”.
14th Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Scientists Are Slamming The Great Barrington Declaration’s Call For “Herd Immunity”

As the Trump administration signals a willingness to build “herd immunity” by purposely allowing the coronavirus to spread, major scientific organizations are denouncing a plan they say would be life-threatening and practically impossible. That plan, laid out by three scientists in a controversial document called the "Great Barrington Declaration," calls for only protecting “vulnerable” people and letting everyone else get infected with COVID-19. The authors discussed the strategy in a meeting with two top White House officials last week. This week, the head of the World Health Organization and more than a dozen groups representing thousands of infectious disease and public health experts fiercely pushed back in a series of formal denouncements. “Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.
14th Oct 2020 - BuzzFeed News

G20 agrees to additional 6-month debt suspension for poor nations

The Group of 20 nations, representing the world’s biggest economies, have agreed to extend the suspension of debt payments by an additional six months to support the most vulnerable countries in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The G-20 says the extension will provide ongoing relief for the $14bn in debt payments that would have come due at the end of the year otherwise. Wednesday’s decision gives developing nations until the end of June 2021 to focus spending on health care and emergency stimulus programs rather than debt repayments.
14th Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Global Covid report: young and healthy may not get vaccine until 2022, WHO says

Healthy, young people may have to wait until 2022 to be vaccinated against coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, who says health workers and those at highest risks be prioritised. It comes as Germany recorded its highest daily number of infections since the start of the pandemic. Soumya Swaminathan indicated that, despite the many vaccine trials being undertaken, speedy, mass shots were unlikely, and organising who would given access first in the event of a safe vaccine being discovered was still being worked on. “Most people agree, it’s starting with healthcare workers, and frontline workers, but even there, you need to define which of them are at highest risk, and then the elderly, and so on,” Swaminathan said.
15th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

Countries Rush to Hoard Food as Prices Rise and Covid Worsens

Jordan has built up record wheat reserves while Egypt, the world’s top buyer of the grain, took the unusual step of tapping international markets during its local harvest and has boosted purchases by more than 50% since April. Taiwan said it will boost strategic food stockpiles and China has been buying to feed its growing hog herd. The early purchases underscore how nations are trying to protect themselves on concerns the coronavirus will disrupt port operations and wreak havoc on global trade. The pandemic has already upset domestic farm-to-fork supply chains that provided just enough inventory to meet demand, with empty store shelves across the world leading consumers to change their shopping habits. “Covid-19 has forced consumers to shift from just-in-time inventory management to a more conservative approach which was labeled just-in-case,” said Bank of America Corp. analysts led by Francsico Blanch, head of global commodities. “The result is that consumers are holding more inventory as a precaution against future supply disruptions.”
14th Oct 2020 - Bloomberg

Qatar extends quarantine rules for travellers to December 31

Qatar has extended strict quarantine rules requiring travellers to isolate for up to 14 days upon their arrival in the country, local media reported on Tuesday. “For all arrivals – including nationals, residents and visa holders – quarantine requirements are now extended for all arrival dates up to 31 December 2020,” The Peninsula newspaper reported, quoting the Discover Qatar website.
15th Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

‘We have to act’: France’s Macron orders curfews to contain COVID

President Emmanuel Macron has ordered a nighttime curfew for Paris and eight other French cities to contain the rising spread of the coronavirus in the country. In a televised interview on Wednesday, Macron said residents of those cities would not be allowed outdoors between 9pm (19:00 GMT) and 6am (04:00 GMT) from Saturday, for at least four weeks, except for essential reasons.
14th Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

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A Dose of Optimism, as the Pandemic Rages On

On March 16, back when White House news conferences were still deemed safe to attend, President Trump stood before reporters and announced that drastic nationwide restrictions — in schools, work places, our social lives — were needed to halt the coronavirus. The guidelines, “15 Days to Slow the Spread,” were accompanied by a grim chart. Based on a prominent model by London’s Imperial College, the chart illustrated with a sinuous blue line how many Americans might die if nothing were done to protect the public’s health. The line rose sharply as the estimated deaths went up, then drifted slowly down until finally, at the far right end of the graph, the number of new cases reached zero. Our national nightmare would end by October 2020 — that is, right about now. Along the way, if no action was taken, about 2.2 million Americans would die. Dr. Deborah Birx, one of Mr. Trump’s science advisers, referred to the graph as “the blue mountain of deaths.”
12th Oct 2020 - The New York Times

San Francisco apartment rents fall up to 31%, the biggest drop in the US

New data released on Tuesday shows apartment rental trends across the US. San Francisco saw the biggest drop, with studio rents down 31% from last year. Detroit, New York, and Seattle were also among the cities dropping fastest. Meanwhile, parts of Florida, Oklahoma, Arizona and Texas saw rents rise. It comes as mass exodus from major cities continues amid the pandemic
13th Oct 2020 - Daily Mail

South Korea mandates mask-wearing to fight Covid-19 as face coverings remain controversial in the US

South Korea is mandating the wearing of masks at all crowded facilities, on public transport and at demonstrations, even as the country eases up on coronavirus restrictions as the number of local infections shrinks. Anyone who violates the new face-mask policy, which kicks in next month, faces a fine of 100,000 won, or around $87, and facilities which fail to follow preventative measures could face closure, health authorities said Monday. The East Asian nation is only the latest in the region to introduce a mask mandate, a sign of how vital face coverings have been found to be in controlling infections and preventing future outbreaks. In many cases, such as in Hong Kong, such orders are largely inconsequential, as almost everyone has been wearing a mask for months now, without being told to by the government, something which has been credited for keeping cases low.
13th Oct 2020 - CNN

India sees fewest new coronavirus cases in nearly two months

India has registered 55,342 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, its lowest single-day tally since the middle of August. The health ministry on Tuesday raised India’s confirmed total to more than 7.18 million cases but said the country was showing a trend of declining daily cases over the last five weeks.
13th Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Lessons from China’s ‘golden week’ lustre even amid Covid-19

So far in China, the mass movement of people for 'Golden Week' does not seem to have resulted in renewed Covid-19 outbreaks. How is this possible in the middle of a global pandemic? Having eradicated domestic transmission of Covid-19, mainland China is now the world’s largest “Covid-19 safe” bubble. Both travellers and the government have behaved responsibly. People wear masks on planes and trains, although adherence is less stern at restaurants, shops and tourist spots, particularly outdoors. Mobile apps are mandated by provinces and cities to check that travellers have not been to high-risk locations, including overseas, in the last 14 days
13th Oct 2020 - South China Morning Post

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Covid-19: China's Qingdao to test nine million in five days

The Chinese city of Qingdao is testing its entire population of nine million people for Covid-19 over a period of five days. The mass testing comes after the discovery of a dozen cases linked to a hospital treating coronavirus patients arriving from abroad. In May, China tested the entire city of Wuhan - home to 11 million people and the epicentre of the global pandemic. The country has largely brought the virus under control. That is in stark contrast to other parts of the world, where there are still high case numbers and lockdown restrictions of varying severity.
12th Oct 2020 - BBC News

Slovakia imposes new COVID-19 restrictions following surge in daily cases

Amid a huge surge in COVID-19 cases, Slovakia announced imposing new restrictions on Sunday, October 11. According to the reports, from Thursday, it will be mandatory to wear masks in the outdoors in all cities, towns, and villages. In addition, the Slovakia government has banned all public events including religious services in churches. Only weddings, funerals, and baptisms with a limited number of attendees have been exempted, as per reports.
12th Oct 2020 - Republic World

It Looks Like The SARS 2 Pandemic Is Over In China

To hundreds of millions of Chinese, though, the pandemic is in the rearview mirror now. The virus itself is still alive and kicking (along with millions of others), but whatever China is doing to keep its hospitals safe and its death toll next to nothing at this point, it is working in spades. Life looks a lot better there than it does in the U.S. and the increasingly panicked U.K. The defamed Imperial College epidemiologist, Neil Ferguson, who forecasted a million deaths and favored strict lockdowns while he broke the rules to visit his girlfriend, recently warned of an “uptick” in cases and an “uptick in deaths”.
12th Oct 2020 - Forbes

Some U.S. doctors flee to New Zealand where the coronavirus outbreak is under control and science is respected

Some U.S.-based doctors and nurses are fleeing the country because the lack of PPE and coordinated U.S. response made them feel unsafe during the coronavirus pandemic. Some have been feeling burned out for years due to the complex U.S. health system. New Zealand, which led with science, has declared victory over Covid-19 yet again and hasn’t reported a positive case in more than a week.
12th Oct 2020 - CNBC

Coronavirus will cost the US $16 TRILLION - 90% of the GDP - study predicts

Researchers predict that the coronavirus pandemic will cost the US an estimated $16 trillion, or about 90% of the annual GDP. About $4.4 trillion will be due to the economic cost of 625,000 premature deaths. An estimated $2.6 trillion will be spent treating those who survived COVID-19 but have long-term complications and damage. Mental health treatment, for those dealing with the loss of a loved one or feelings of isolation, will cost $1.6 trillion. The remaining $7.6 trillion will be due to the economic toll of lost jobs and those filing new unemployment claims
12th Oct 2020 - Daily Mail

Herd immunity as coronavirus solution ‘simply unethical’: WHO

The head of the World Health Organization warned against the idea that herd immunity might be a realistic strategy to stop the coronavirus pandemic, dismissing such proposals as “simply unethical.” At a media briefing on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said health officials typically aim to achieve herd immunity by vaccination. Tedros noted that to obtain herd immunity from a highly infectious disease such as measles, for example, about 95% of the population must be immunized.
12th Oct 2020 - Global News

Coronavirus pandemic has exposed global leadership deficit, says report

Over 70 per cent of citizens around the globe say they are experiencing the lowest point in their nation's history, while nearly two-thirds say their leaders are out of touch
12th Oct 2020 - Business Standard

Coronavirus: 10 countries responsible for 70 per cent of global COVID-19 cases, WHO says

The director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Monday that almost 70 per cent of COVID cases reported to WHO in the last week came from 10 countries, including the U.S. and India. He added that the last four days has seen the largest number of cases reported to WHO so far.
12th Oct 2020 - Globalnews.ca

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Australia Warns COVID-19 Border Closures Could Last Into Late 2021

In a further blow to the travel industry, Australia is warning its international borders are likely to stay closed because of COVID-19 restrictions until “late next year.” Foreign nationals were banned in March to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, and Australian citizens must get official permission to leave the country. Last year, about 9 million overseas travelers arrived in Australia. The largest groups came from China, New Zealand and the United States. The pandemic has seen those numbers collapse.
8th Oct 2020 - VOA Asia

Australia – Workplace mental health and wellbeing in decline amid Covid-19, Hays finds

Approximately 42% Australia’s workforce rate their current mental health & wellbeing as positive, down from 63% pre-Covid-19, according to a survey from Hays. The survey was based on a polling of 4,000 people, released in advance of World Mental Health Day on 10 October. According to the survey, 87% of professionals in industry, resources & mining rate their current mental health & wellbeing as either positive or neutral, down 7% since before the outbreak. At the other end of the scale, 55% of sales professionals rate their current mental health & wellbeing as positive or neutral, down from 90% pre-pandemic. The fall of workers’ mental health & wellbeing fell despite 72% of employers increasing their organisation’s focus on this area during the pandemic.
8th Oct 2020 - Staffing Industry Analysts

What South Africa's teachers brought to the virtual classroom during COVID-19

The decision by the Ministry of Basic Education to shut down schools in response to the pandemic forced teachers to adapt and innovate to ensure that learning continued despite the challenges faced. South African schools are clustered into quintiles ranging from one to five. This was done to ensure an equal and fair distribution of resources across schools. Schools in the lower quintiles are often based in under-served communities where resources are limited, while quintile five schools are well resourced. This approach was introduced to address past inequities which affected schools. Regional variances, therefore, exist in terms of access to computer labs and related computing resources. Although many rural and peri-urban schools have some form of computing or information technology resources, some have none at all.
5th Oct 2020 - The Conversation CA

‘There are no words’: As coronavirus kills Indigenous elders, endangered languages face extinction

The old man knew he was dying. The disease he'd been warning of for weeks had taken hold, and it wouldn't be long now. He looked to his son, who would soon be the leader of what remained of their people. The old man was fluent in five languages, but the one he chose to speak now was one that virtually no one else in the world could understand. “Awiri nuhã,” Aritana Yawalapiti, 71, said in the language of the Yawalapiti, an Indigenous tribe in the Amazon rainforest. “Take care of the people. Take care of the land. Take care of the forest.”
9th Oct 2020 - The Washington Post

Hotspots of resurgent Covid erode faith in ‘herd immunity’

For a short time the Brazilian city of Manaus, in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, offered a glimmer of hope in the search for herd immunity from Covid-19. After a devastating wave in May killed about 3,400 people and infected many more, the prevalence of the virus subsided rapidly, leading some scientists to theorise that the city of 2m had reached a form of collective immunity. That hypothesis is now in doubt as a resurgence in cases in Manaus poses fresh challenges to the authorities and difficult questions for the scientists and policymakers worldwide who have been edging towards herd immunity policies as an alternative to harsh lockdowns.
9th Oct 2020 - Financial Times

Young people will 'carry the burden' of coronavirus into the future. How are they coping?

Experts say one in five workers aged between 15 and 24 lost their jobs during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Young people will also "carry the burden" of the pandemic into the future. But amid job losses and cancelled plans, many young people are still optimistic about their futures
9th Oct 2020 - ABC News

UK travellers may soon need mandatory coronavirus tests to enter Italy

People travelling from the UK to Italy may soon be required to take a mandatory coronavirus test in order to enter the country. At the moment, Italy only requires mandatory testing for travellers from countries it considers high risk, including Spain, Greece and certain regions of France. But the existing guidelines are expiring on 15 October and the government is currently debating a new decree to replace it. The list of high risk countries is expected to be reviewed as part of this new decree, local media reported. Drafts show that, following a recent spike in cases, the UK will be added to Italy’s list of high risk countries alongside the Netherlands and Belgium, il Fatto Quotidiano reported.
9th Oct 2020 - The Independent

How effective ‘traffic-light’ systems have been in managing the coronavirus outbreak in other countries

The coronavirus pandemic has reached a second wave, as infection rates continue to ramp up all over Europe. In England, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is one of the leading figures to criticise the Government’s approach to local lockdowns informed by its “traffic light system” – placing the majority of the north and midlands under a raft of fresh lockdown restrictions. While the system has been met with contempt by some local leaders, it is not just the UK who have employed a traffic light-style guide to provide the public with clear messaging on the social distancing measures in place in different areas. Similar systems have been employed in France, the Canadian province of Quebec, New Zealand and Spain to name a few countries, although with varied effect.
9th Oct 2020 - iNews

Nurses suffer burn-out, psychological distress in COVID fight - association

Many nurses caring for COVID-19 patients are suffering burn-out or psychological distress, and many have faced abuse or discrimination outside of work, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said. Supplies of personal protective equipment for nurses and other health workers in some care homes remain insufficient, it said, marking World Mental Health Day on Saturday. “We are extremely concerned about the mental health impact on nurses,” Howard Catton, a British nurse who is the ICN’s chief executive, told Reuters Television at the association’s headquarters in Geneva.
10th Oct 2020 - Reuters

LGBT Australians at higher risk of depression, suicide and poor access to health services during coronavirus pandemic

As his home town of Newcastle grappled with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Taryn Dorrough was having a personal battle with his mental health. "I struggled to get out of bed and would then struggle to have a shower and get ready. I found myself tired a lot of the time, and just lacking motivation to get anything done," he said. The recent university graduate said his job prospects and social life evaporated. His existing disordered eating worsened, and he found it difficult, as a trans man, to access critical health services.
10th Oct 2020 - ABC News

Is COVID-19 being used as a weapon against Indigenous Peoples in Brazil?

Today, according to the Brazil's Indigenous People Articulation, more than 27 000 Indigenous people have been infected with COVID-19, of which 806 have died from the disease (situation as of Sept 15, 2020), giving a mortality rate of 3%. This pan­demic already affects 146 different Indigenous groups across the country.3 On Aug 5, 2020, the Supreme Federal Court recognised the failure of the government of President Bolsonaro to deal with the effects of the epidemic on Indigenous communities.3 The latter was ordered to put in place an emergency plan for the benefit of the Indigenous populations, as well as to adopt the necessary measures to remove invaders from their territories (illegal miners and loggers are not only vectors of diseases, but also cause environmental destruction, in particular through mercury pollution).4 Faced with inaction from the Brazilian Government, some nations, such as the Paiter Suruí and Parque Indigena do Xingu peoples, have placed themselves in voluntary isolation since March, 2020.
10th Oct 2020 - The Lancet

COVID-19 halting crucial mental health services in Africa, WHO survey - World

Critical funding gaps are halting and disrupting crucial mental health services in Africa, as demand for these services rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new World Health Organization (WHO) survey shows. The survey of 28 African countries was undertaken as part of the first global examination of the devastating impact of COVID-19 on access to mental health services. It underscores the urgent need for increased funding. Of the countries responding in the African region, 37% reported that their COVID-19 mental health response plans are partially funded and a further 37% reported having no funds at all. This comes as the COVID-19 pandemic increases demand for mental health services. “Isolation, loss of income, the deaths of loved ones and a barrage of information on the dangers of this new virus can stir up stress levels and trigger mental health conditions or exacerbate existing ones,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown, more than ever, how mental health is integral to health and well-being and must be an essential part of health services during outbreaks and emergencies.”
10th Oct 2020 - ReliefWeb

Brazil’s coronavirus deaths pass 150,000 as infection rate slows

Experts say number of new cases falling but rate it still slow compared with countries in Europe and Asia, suggesting it may still be in its first wave. Brazil’s has surpassed 150,000 deaths from coronavirus, according to the country’s health ministry, but there were signs that the rate of infections continued to slow in the South American country. The toll came as Latin America and the Caribbean marked 10 million cases on Saturday and more than 360,000 deaths. The region is the worst hit in terms of fatalities, according to official figures.
11th Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Vacancy: Prices at NY hotels down $200 with more pain to come

The Midtown Hilton has been closed since March. Same for The Edition, a brand new Times Square boutique. You can get a room at the Pierre, just don’t expect the full-suite of white-glove services that have made the hotel a Manhattan landmark since 1930. Autumn in New York, a season so inviting that it inspired a jazz standard, is grim this year, with the city’s tourism market among the worst in the U.S. The pandemic has canceled live events like Fashion Week and the New York City Marathon, repelled business travelers and international visitors and blown gaping holes in a tourism market that generates $70 billion in economic activity in a typical year.
11th Oct 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Australia in travel talks with Japan, Korea as coronavirus cases ease

Australia is in talks with Japan, South Korea, Singapore and South Pacific nations on reopening travel as coronavirus infections ease, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday. Australia shut its borders in March to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and is looking to revive tourism to help pull the country out of its first recession in nearly three decades. While Australia has managed to contain the outbreak better than others, it is facing a second wave in the state of Victoria, where Melbourne remains under a tight lockdown. But infections there have been falling since early August.
11th Oct 2020 - Reuters Australia

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New Zealand's Covid-19 response the best in the world, say global business leaders

New Zealand’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been the best in the world and is the country that gives business leaders the most confidence for future investment, according to a Bloomberg Media survey. New Zealand ranked strongly for political stability, the economic recovery, virus control and social resilience in Bloomberg’s market crisis management index. The index scores New Zealand at 238, above second-placed Japan at 204 and Taiwan in third on 198. Australia was sixth with 151, while the UK and US – despite their high case numbers and fatalities from Covid-19 – were ninth and 10th. In a boost for Jacinda Ardern’s chances of winning a second term in the election on 17 October, New Zealand scored the highest ranking in each of the categories.
8th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

New Zealand’s ‘go hard, go early’ strategy seems to have worked.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is facing re-election, called the country’s reopening a validation of its “go hard, go early” response.
7th Oct 2020 - New York Times

New Zealand whole again as Auckland lockdown ends

New Zealand is again a country united in its response to coronavirus, with Auckland joining the rest of the nation on the lowest alert level. Auckland was freed from restrictions on gatherings and social distancing requirements in restaurants and bars at midnight on Wednesday. That day three new cases were announced, bringing the total of active cases to 37. Key to lowering the alert level was the absence of active cases in the community, meaning all current cases are in quarantine facilities or managed isolation at home. Twenty-five people have died of Covid-19 in New Zealand, including three since Auckland was put back into level 3 lockdown after a family of four tested positive for the virus on 11 August.
8th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

Auckland businesses hope level 1 will bring back shoppers

With restrictions on social gatherings, physical distancing and face coverings now relaxed, firms hope the much-anticipated normality will bring a rush of customers. Māngere in south Auckland was one of the neighbourhoods most affected by the second Covid-19 outbreak. The owner of local clothing store Pacific Fashions, Vinod Kumar, said it was the worst trade he's seen in 29 years. "Since we opened up the lockdown, things were moving very slowly because most of the communities, big communities, the churches, they've not been operating, and that really hurts our business."
8th Oct 2020 - RNZ

Why These Coronavirus Vaccine Stocks Crashed in September

None of them are considered top-tier contenders to be the first to market with a coronavirus vaccine; top contenders like AstraZeneca and Moderna have already begun phase 3 trials of their vaccines. But each of the vaccines in the chart has some advantages and drawbacks that investors should be aware of. Single-dose vaccines like Altimmune's and VBI's could be more desirable than standard two-dose vaccines. Additionally, Altimmune's intranasal vaccine could be easier and cheaper to administer than a standard injection. On the other hand, neither company's vaccines have even begun phase 1 trials yet. CureVac, a Dutch company, has received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the German government, but its only other vaccine in clinical trials is a rabies vaccine in early-stage trials, which means if its COVID vaccine isn't viable, there aren't any drugs in development to fall back on. VBI, on the other hand, has a hepatitis B vaccine that's completed phase 3 trials, while Altimmune has several intranasal drugs and therapies in various trial stages.
8th Oct 2020 - The Motley Fool

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New Zealand Flattens Curve for a Second Time as New Domestic Covid Cases Fall to Zero

o new community cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in New Zealand except for those in hotel quarantine, the country's health ministry has announced, providing a boost to prime minister Jacinda Ardern ahead of a general election this month that she is expected to win. Those entering New Zealand have to stay in isolation in a hotel for 14 days. On Wednesday, three people who had arrived from overseas and were already in managed isolation, tested positive for COVID-19 but all patients with the virus in the community have now recovered, The New Zealand Herald reported.
7th Oct 2020 - Newsweek

New Zealand eliminates COVID-19 for a 2nd time; cases surge in Europe

New Zealand on Wednesday announced it has eliminated local transmission of the coronavirus for a second time as cases surge in Europe. New Zealand's Health Minister Chris Hipkins said there were no more active community cases of COVID-19 in the country after the last patients had recovered from a recent outbreak of the virus.
7th Oct 2020 - UPI.com

'We've squashed the virus': New Zealand celebrates as it officially eliminates COVID-19 for the SECOND time and Auckland lowers restrictions from midnight

Auckland has gone ten days without any new cases recorded in the community. NZ declared they were COVID-free in April before a second wave in August. Auckland will ease restrictions to alert level 1 as of midnight on Wednesday
7th Oct 2020 - Daily Mail

What pandemic? Crowds swarm the Great Wall of China as travel surges during holiday week

The scene at the Great Wall of China this past week would have been unthinkable just months ago. Photos of the tourist attraction in Beijing last weekend show massive crowds crammed along the winding wall, pressed together in close quarters and squeezing past each other through narrow doorways. Most are wearing face masks -- but a number of people, including young children, pulled their masks down to their chin, and a few seem to have foregone masks entirely. It's Golden Week -- an eight-day national holiday, one of China's busiest annual travel periods, and a major test for the country as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.
7th Oct 2020 - CNN

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Half a billion travelers show China's economy moving past COVID-19

With the COVID-19 pandemic largely under control in China, the Golden Week holiday is putting on display the country’s confidence in its economic rebound and its public health measures. Through the first four days of the weeklong holiday that started Oct. 1, some 425 million people traveled domestically, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, nearly 80 percent of last year’s throngs. The surge of activity stands in stark contrast to the rest of the world — the global tourism industry is expected to lose at least $1.2 trillion in 2020 — and underscores the relative strength of China’s economic recovery.
6th Oct 2020 - The Japan Times

Wuhan sports centre that was a makeshift coronavirus hospital reopens

A Wuhan sports centre which was converted into a 1,100-bed makeshift coronavirus hospital at the height of China's COVID-19 outbreak has held its first game since life in the city returned to normal. As many as 7,500 spectators swarmed into the Wuhan Sports Centre last night to watch a basketball game organised by retired NBA star Yao Ming, according to Chinese state media.
6th Oct 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus vaccine may be ready by end of 2020, WHO says: ‘There is hope’

A vaccine against Covid-19 may be ready by the end of 2020, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said. “There is hope,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a meeting of WHO executives gathered to examine the global response to the pandemic. “We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine.” There are currently nine experimental vaccines in the pipeline of the WHO-led Covax global vaccine facility, which aims to distribute two billion doses by the end of 2021.
6th Oct 2020 - The Independent

Coronavirus cases in Arizona declined by 75% during the summer after mask mandate, CDC report finds

In Arizona, coronavirus cases remained stable from early March to mid-May while stay-at-home orders were in effect and businesses were closed. After the stay-at-home order was lifted, cases rose by 151% from around 800 per day to more than 2,000 daily. On June 17, Gov Doug Ducey updated guidelines and allowed counties to implement mask policies. Cases briefly increased before declining by 75% from 3,506 cases per day on July 13 to 867 cases daily on August 7
6th Oct 2020 - Daily Mail

How do pandemics end?

We are in the grip of a pandemic like none other in living memory. While people are pinning their hopes on a vaccine to wipe it out, the fact is most of the infections faced by our ancestors are still with us.
4th Oct 2020 - BBC News

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New Zealand ‘Beat The Virus Again’ Prime Minister Declares, As Nation Lifts Second Wave Restrictions

New Zealand, the first country hit by Covid-19 to declare it was free of the virus before going into lockdown again, is set to declare that it has overcome a second wave of the illness, cementing its position as one of the countries with the most successful response to the virus. Most of the country, with a population of 4.8 million, is at an alert level of 1, the lowest level that indicates the virus is contained, while capital Auckland will move down from level 2 to level 1 by Wednesday. The changes mean that the 100-person cap on gatherings will be lifted, and social distancing will be done away with in bars and restaurants
5th Oct 2020 - Forbes

New Zealand declares it 'beat the virus again' as Auckland comes out of second lockdown

5th Oct 2020 - Independent.ie

Auckland coronavirus restrictions to be lifted from Wednesday night

5th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

New Zealand's Ardern lifts coronavirus restrictions in Auckland

5th Oct 2020 - Reuters

Mumbai restaurants, bars to open today after months of lockdown

Restaurants, bars and cafes to reopen in Mumbai from Monday after over six months of lockdown restrictions because of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. The dine-in facility will be reopened at 50% capacity and will adhere to several restrictions by following guidelines of the Maharashtra government that were issued last week. However, because of an acute crunch in staff several restaurant owners have asked their workers to return to Mumbai at the earliest and many are booking their flights in a bid to ensure employees could resume their duties at the earliest
5th Oct 2020 - Hindustan Times

'Enormous' planning to distribute coronavirus vaccine in UK

An "enormous amount of planning" is currently going into distributing a coronavirus vaccine, Downing Street has said. A spokesman said that a huge amount of planning and preparation is in place to make sure an eventual vaccine could be sent across the country. “The priority will be the most vulnerable groups and we take advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on which groups should get the vaccine, based on these factors and we keep it under review,” the prime minister’s official spokesman said.
5th Oct 2020 - South Wales Argus

Coronavirus vaccine will be given to less than half the UK population, taskforce chief says

The head of the UK's vaccine taskforce has warned that less than half of the British population should expect to receive a coronavirus vaccine. Kate Bingham said it is "misguided" to expect that every UK citizen will get a Covid-19 vaccine injection when it is widely released, as they will initially be reserved for at-risk groups only. The priority groups top of the list for the vaccine will include the over-50s and health and social care workers.
5th Oct 2020 - Evening Standard

Coronavirus: The entire nation is going to Level 3 - here's what that means

Taoiseach Michael Martin has announced that the whole country is to go under Level 3 restrictions as cases of Covid-19 continue to increase. Despite a recommendation from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to move the country into Level 5, the Government rejected the advice today and instead opted to bring the rest of the counties in line with Donegal and Dublin. Martin said it is “important to understand that we are in a very different situation to last March”. “The virus is spreading because people are allowing it to spread,” he said.
5th Oct 2020 - thejournal.ie

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Booming Wuhan is full of smiles again

The Wuhan Sports Centre, which served as an emergency quarantine hospital at the height of the pandemic, reopened this week with a 10km run by 2,000 people dressed in patriotic red. The Chinese city that was the epicentre of the outbreak is booming again, with airlines adding flights to accommodate a surge of travellers for the first extended public holiday since January 23, when it was shut down as the outbreak raged among its 11 million people. Six months after the city lifted its shutdown, Wuhan is throbbing with life again. Streets are decked in Chinese flags to mark National Day and to show pride at having prevailed over the virus.
3rd Oct 2020 - The Times

The way Italy handled its second wave is a lesson for us all

Now, while cases have spiked in other European countries, Italy is a picture of relative stability. The country reported just 40.4 infections per 100,000 people in the last 14 days. This is far less than Spain (325.9), France (241.8) and the UK (117.9), and even compares well with Germany (32.1), one of the nations that has best dealt with the pandemic. Italy’s death rate is low, too, at 0.4 Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 over the last 14 days, compared, for instance, to Spain’s 3.3 deaths. While the UK, France and Spain have have all had to implement local lockdowns of varying degrees, similar measures haven't been necessary in Italy at all.
3rd Oct 2020 - Wired

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Brazil reports another 728 coronavirus deaths on Thursday

Brazil registered 728 additional coronavirus deaths and 36,157 new cases over the last 24 hours, the nation’s health ministry said on Thursday evening. The South American country has now registered 144,680 total coronavirus deaths and 4,847,092 total confirmed cases. Brazil has the second worst coronavirus death toll in the world outside the United States. Daily deaths and cases have declined significantly in recent weeks, however health professionals are monitoring certain cities for potential second waves.
1st Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

India's coronavirus infections rise to 6.31 million

India’s coronavirus case tally increased by 86,821 in the last 24 hours to 6.31 million by Thursday morning, data from the health ministry showed, as the country eased more restrictions to combat the economic hit from the pandemic. Deaths from coronavirus infections rose by 1,181 to 98,678, the ministry said. The South Asian nation on Wednesday permitted states to open schools and movie theatres. The country’s richest state Maharashtra, home to financial hub Mumbai, said it would also allow bars and restaurants to operate fully.
1st Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

No clear link between school opening and COVID surge, study finds

Widespread reopening of schools after lockdowns and vacations is generally not linked to rising COVID-19 rates, a study of 191 countries has found, but lockdown closures will leave a 2020 “pandemic learning debt” of 300 billion missed school days. The analysis, by the Zurich-based independent educational foundation Insights for Education, said 84% of those 300 billion days would be lost by children in poorer countries, and warned that 711 million pupils were still out of school. “It’s been assumed that opening schools will drive infections, and that closing schools will reduce transmission, but the reality is much more complex,” said IfE’s founder and chief executive Randa Grob-Zakhary.
1st Oct 2020 - Reuters

Influx of returning New Zealanders due to Covid-19 'a myth', says experts

Leaving for overseas has been a rite of passage for young New Zealanders for decades, but Covid-19 has prompted thousands of migratory Kiwis to return. However, beyond the raw numbers, little is known about who exactly is coming back and how long they are staying for. At least one economist says claims that there's a big influx of long-term returnees is a myth. Mark is in managed isolation at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland with his partner and their two children.
1st Oct 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

China contained Covid-19. Now, hundreds of millions of people there are about to go on vacation at the same time

China is on the move again. As October 1 arrives, hundreds of millions of people are expected to pack highways, trains and planes for the National Day holiday, one of the busiest times for travel in the world's most populous country. The eight-day Mid-Autumn Festival break is China's first major holiday since it emerged from the coronavirus outbreak. While life has largely returned to normal in recent months, the upcoming "Golden Week" holiday will be an ambitious test of China's success in taming the virus -- and a much-awaited boost to its economic recovery.
1st Oct 2020 - CNN

China promotes 'revenge travel' to boost economy after Covid lockdowns

Millions of Chinese people are travelling across the country in a bout of “revenge tourism” after almost a year of quarantines, lockdowns and restrictions on their movement. China’s ministry of culture and tourism expects around 550 million people will make trips within the country during an eight-day public holiday marking the mid-autumn festival and China’s national day. Photos posted on social media on Tuesday, the first day of the national holiday, showed tourist spots crowded with visitors, and train stations busy with harried passengers. People complained on online forums that hotels and tickets for tourist sites were sold out or that traffic had made it impossible to move. “Congestion is unavoidable,” one commentator said on Weibo. “It’s best to stay home.”
1st Oct 2020 - The Guardian

Factories Cut Jobs Despite Bounce From Post-Covid Lockdown

U.S. manufacturing activity continues to rebound from the sharp downturn last spring, when factories closed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. A pair of new manufacturing surveys released Thursday shows firms saw solid demand domestically and from abroad in September, leading to backlogs of new orders. The Institute for Supply Management said its purchasing-managers index of manufacturing activity registered 55.4 in September, indicating the fourth straight month of expansion. A reading above 50 indicates that activity is increasing, while a reading below points to a decline in activity. Despite the gains, manufacturing activity in August remained 7.3% below its February level, according to Federal Reserve data released last month.
1st Oct 2020 - Wall Street Journal

Exclusive: U.S. traffic deaths fell after coronavirus lockdown, but drivers got riskier

U.S. traffic deaths fell during the coronavirus lockdowns but drivers engaged in riskier behavior as the fatality rate spiked to its highest level in 15 years, according to preliminary data released Thursday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported the fatality rate jumped to 1.42 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in the three months ending June 30, or about 30%, the highest since 2005. At the same time, overall traffic deaths fell by 3.3% to 8,870 while U.S. driving fell by about 26%, or 302 fewer deaths over the same period in 2019, according to the report first reported by Reuters.
2nd Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

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How we need to change global supply chains after COVID-19

COVID-19 blindsided us. Doctors, nurses and other frontline medical workers were forced to wear garbage bags for lack of personal protective equipment (PPE). Grocery store shelves were left barren around the world while surplus elsewhere led to 3.7 million gallons of milk and 750,000 eggs being dumped and destroyed per day, according to the Dairy Farmers of America. Seemingly overnight, the pandemic plunged nearly every industry into crisis. Goods production stalled. Supply chains were crippled. The virus was fast-spreading and unforeseen; there was only so much even the best logistics experts in the world could do. As a global society, we must learn from this moment. It’s urgent that we do, as many top health experts predict that this virus could likely reemerge in varying waves across different geographies for the foreseeable future. As HP’s Chief Commercial Officer, I recognize that the perfect, fully pandemic-proof supply chain will never exist. Every business, including those in the tech industry, have had to contend with the disruption wrought by this pandemic, but I do believe that we can make our current models better.
30th Sep 2020 - World Economic Forum

COVID-19: How to make indoor spaces safer

Ventilation is the introduction of fresh air into an indoor space while the stale air is pushed outside. Whether at home or in public buildings, such as schools and offices, ventilation can be improved by simply opening windows and doors whenever possible. Luca Fontana, a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) specialist consultant at the WHO, told Al Jazeera ventilation is “one part of the big package of infection prevention and control measures” along with physical distancing, hand hygiene and face masks.
1st Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

COVID-19 cases rising among US children as schools reopen after lockdown

After preying heavily on the elderly in the spring, the coronavirus is increasingly infecting American children and teens in a trend authorities say appears fueled by school reopenings and the resumption of sports, playdates and other activities. Children of all ages now make up 10% of all US cases, up from 2% in April, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported Tuesday. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that the incidence of COVID-19 in school-age children began rising in early September as many youngsters returned to their classrooms.
30th Sep 2020 - The New Indian Express

Post lockdown Mediterranean cruise vessel docks in Greece with coronavirus cases

The first cruise ship to sail to Greece since the coronavirus lockdown docked at the port of Piraeus early on Tuesday after a dozen crew members were reported positive for the virus, state news agency ANA said. The Maltese-flagged Mein Schiff 6, operated by German travel giant TUI, is carrying 922 passengers and 666 crew . Nobody will be allowed to disembark as testers from Greece's public health agency embarked for inspection. The Greek coastguard said on Monday that 12 crew members had tested positive, although TUI Cruises said that they were asymptomatic.
30th Sep 2020 - MercoPress

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In Wuhan, once Covid-19 ‘Ground Zero’, a new battle has began

Since Covid-19 first emerged at a Wuhan wet market nearly ten months ago, more than 1 million people have died and life has been irrevocably changed the world over. Healthcare services have been pushed to the brink, global unemployment has soared, and families torn apart. But back in Wuhan, once the “ground zero” of the pandemic, a new fight has emerged. A group of citizens are now suing the government for what they say was the fatal decision to hide the true danger of the virus in its earliest days.
29th Sep 2020 - The Independent

Millions in Chile capital emerge from lockdown

Chile on Monday lifted strict coronavirus lockdown measures for millions of people in the capital Santiago, a month ahead of a key referendum to amend the dictatorship-era constitution. Most of the capital's seven million population moved to phase three of a five-step deconfinement plan, allowing the reopening of bars and restaurants as well as regional transport links. However, fears are widespread that a new outbreak in infections could drive parts of the capital back into confinement.
29th Sep 2020 - FRANCE 24

First cruise ship to sail to Greek islands since coronavirus lockdown is forced to dock after 12 crew members test positive for Covid-19

The German-operated Mein Schiff 6 has docked with 1,588 passengers and crew Nobody can leave the ship in Piraeus as testers board the ship for screening 12 crew members tested positive although follow-up tests have been negative
29th Sep 2020 - Daily Mail

New York City to impose mask fines as COVID-19 cases climb

New York City will impose fines on people who refuse to wear a face-covering as the rate of positive tests for the novel coronavirus climbed above 3 percent for the first time in months, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said. Officials will first offer free masks to those caught not wearing one. If the person refuses, they will face an unspecified fine, de Blasio told reporters on Tuesday.
29th Sep 2020 - Al Jazeera English

With no end in sight to the crisis – where do we go from here?

After coronavirus emerged in a market in Wuhan, China, it has affected every single part of the planet. In efforts to stem the spread, economies have been crippled. This is a global crisis – but it is deeply personal for those affected. With the World Health Organisation warning it could be the middle of next year before a vaccine is ready, how many more lives will be lost?
29th Sep 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Scientist behind Sputnik V vaccine defends Russian strategy

Russia plans to share preliminary results of its COVID-19 vaccine trial based on the first six weeks of monitoring participants, raising the tempo in an already frenzied global race to end the pandemic. Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya Institute that produced the Sputnik V vaccine, told Reuters that the pace of its development was necessary under the “wartime” conditions of a pandemic but no corners were being cut. Russia has pushed ahead with its potential COVID-19 vaccine at top speed, with mass public vaccinations alongside the main human trial, raising concerns among some observers that it was prioritising national prestige over solid science and safety. “People are dying just like during a war,” said Gintsburg, holding a crystal model of a coronavirus in his hand. “But this fast-tracked pace is not synonymous, as some media have suggested, with corners being cut. No way.” Sitting in his wood-panelled office at the institute in Moscow, Gintsburg said his team had been set a tight deadline to produce a vaccine but that all guidelines for testing Sputnik V’s safety and efficacy had been followed. The plan to publish interim results based on the first 42 days of monitoring volunteers means Russia has a high chance of becoming the first worldwide to announce any data from a final-stage, or phase-three, trial.
29th Sep 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Stretched to the limit, Spanish medics demand better conditions

Dressed in white lab coats, medical scrubs and face masks, hundreds of junior Spanish doctors took to the streets of Barcelona on Tuesday to demand better working conditions as they struggle against a second wave of coronavirus infections. “We’re working up to 80 hours a week and clocking shifts of 24 hours,” protester Clara Boter, a 28-year-old medical resident intern, told Reuters. “Our contract is for 40 hours a week and we’re on a basic salary.” Doctors in her position earn around 960 euros a month, she said. Between chants, the young doctors put down blankets around Barcelona’s busy Plaza de Espana roundabout to stage a sleep-in, highlighting the long hours they have to work. One protester lay next to a sign that read: “I haven’t slept in 24 hours. Can I take care of you?”
29th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Denmark's COVID-19 reproduction rate falls despite spike in new infections

Denmark said on Tuesday that coronavirus is still on the rise in Denmark albeit at a slower pace after the country imposed new restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. The reproduction rate, which indicates how many people one infected person on average transmits the virus to, fell to 1.1 on Tuesday, down from 1.3 a week ago and 1.5 two weeks ago, the country’s health minister said on Tuesday. The lower infection rate came despite the number of new daily infections rising more nine-fold in the past month to a reach a daily record of 652 on Sept. 23.
29th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

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Africa has held off the worst of the coronavirus. Researchers are working to figure out how.

When the coronavirus first began spreading around the world, there was near-universal concern among experts that countries in Africa could be hit particularly hard, with high rates of transmission that could quickly overwhelm health care systems. But roughly nine months into the pandemic, which has sickened over 31 million people and caused more than 950,000 deaths around the world, most African countries have fared significantly better than other parts of the world. The reasons are still something of a mystery — more research is needed, and some studies that aim to answer the questions are only just beginning — but scientists said the success of many African countries so far offers crucial lessons for the rest of the world and shine a light on how inherent biases can distort scientific research.
25th Sep 2020 - NBC News

Second Covid-19 wave could turn cracks in the hospital system into 'earthquakes'

When Dr. Shereef Elnahal walked through his New Jersey hospital in April, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. There were 300 patients being treated for Covid-19, filling hospital rooms and spilling out into the halls of the emergency room. The trauma center, once used for gunshot wounds and car crash victims, was now filled with people on ventilators. “It was really like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” said Elnahal, president and CEO of University Hospital in Newark. “I have memories of walking around and I would look inside the rooms where that was possible. Almost every person was a person of color,” he told NBC News.
26th Sep 2020 - NBC News

Covid cases climbing again in U.S. while Fauci warns 'we're not in a good place'

Juror in Breonna Taylor case files suit for release of grand jury… Los Angeles Clippers coaching candidates: Ty Lue, Jeff Van Gundy… NBC News logo Covid cases climbing again in U.S. while Fauci warns 'we're not in a good place' Covid-19 cases are on the rise again across the United States as more and more states have loosened restrictions put into place to slow the spread of the killer virus, NBC News figures showed Monday.
28th Sep 2020 - NBC News on MSN.com

Covid: Adults without A-levels to be offered free college courses

Adults in England without an A-level or equivalent qualification will be offered a fully funded college course, the government has announced. The offer will be available from April and applies to courses offering "skills valued by employers". In a speech on Tuesday, the PM will say that, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the government cannot "save every job" but wants to help people find new work. Labour said the plans would not reverse the impact of "a decade of cuts". The government decision comes amid fears that unemployment is set to grow sharply.
28th Sep 2020 - BBC News

Covid-19 twice as likely in teens than in younger kids

Teenagers are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19 than younger kids, according to a report released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings could have implications for educators as they wrestle with how to reopen schools safely, as well as for public health officials charged with figuring out how to prioritize Covid-19 vaccine distribution.
28th Sep 2020 - NBC News

Global coronavirus death toll exceeds one million

The US has reported a fifth of all deaths from COVID-19, which first emerged in China late last year. The global death toll from COVID-19 has crossed one million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, but the World Health Organization (WHO) says that number is probably an underestimate and the actual toll is likely to be much higher. Some 1,000,555 people across the world have now died from the virus, data from JHU showed on Tuesday.
28th Sep 2020 - Al Jazeera English

WHO COVID Debrief on kids going back to school

Is it safe to send your children back to school? WHO’s Dr Abdi Mahamud explains. The role of children in transmitting the disease is not yet fully understood and scientists are working to understand more, says WHO’s Dr Abdi Mahamud in this episode of the WHO COVID Debrief. To date, few outbreaks have been reported in children in schools. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 190 countries have closed their schools, affecting some 1.6 billion students as per data released by UNESCO after surveying 94 percent of the world’s students.
28th Sep 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Burials surge as COVID-19 cases spike in Indonesia’s capital

Gravediggers at a cemetery in Jakarta say they’re burying three times as many bodies as they did before coronavirus. Jakarta has been the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Indonesia, where authorities have struggled for months to contain the virus. The country has reported more than 275,000 cases and at least 10,380 deaths, the highest levels in southeast Asia. Jakarta alone has buried some 5,000 bodies under COVID-19 protocols since the virus was detected in Indonesia in March, the city administration has reported. The city now averages between 26 and 28 COVID-19 burials a day, a significant surge since the beginning of August.
28th Sep 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Why India should worry about post-Covid-19 care

When 60-year-old Milind Ketkar returned home after spending nearly a month in hospital battling Covid-19, he thought the worst was over. People had to carry him to his third-floor flat as his building didn't have a lift. He spent the next few days feeling constantly breathless and weak. When he didn't start to feel better, he contacted Dr Lancelot Pinto at Mumbai's PD Hinduja hospital, where he had been treated. Mr Ketkar, who thought he had recovered from the virus, was in for a shock. Dr Pinto told him inflammation in the lungs, caused by Covid-19, had given him deep vein thrombosis, which occurs when blood clots form in the body, often in the legs.
28th Sep 2020 - BBC News

Back-to-School Season in Italy

As an American pediatrician who has spent a lot of time in Italy, where the pandemic began in February and the whole country was in lockdown by early March, I’m interested in how children and families in Italy are responding to the current phase of reopening schools. While the back-to-school situation varies across the United States, with many districts still offering remote lessons, in Italy, where I am right now, most children are going back to their classrooms in person this fall.
28th Sep 2020 - The New York Times

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 28th Sep 2020

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Every 250th person on Earth now infected with coronavirus

The number of Covid-19 cases have surged to more than 32.4 million or 0.4 per cent of the Earth's total population - meaning nearly every 250th person has already contracted coronavirus. The current world population is 7.8 billion (as of September 2020), according to the most recent United Nations estimates elaborated by Worldometer. The number of active cases continues to rise rapidly, increasing by about 5 lakh this week. Active cases now account for 23.3 per cent of the overall case count.
27th Sep 2020 - Daijiworld.com

India offers Covid vaccine production facilities to the world

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged at the United Nations on Saturday that his country's vaccine production capacity would be made available globally to fight the Covid-19 crisis. "As the largest vaccine-producing country of the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today," Mr Modi said in a pre-recorded speech to the UN General Assembly. "India's vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis." Mr Modi said India was moving ahead with Phase 3 clinical trials – the large-scale trials considered the gold standard for determining safety and efficacy – and would help all countries enhance their cold chain and storage capacities for the delivery of vaccines.
26th Sep 2020 - The National

Minnesota marks 2,000 COVID-19 deaths, hits daily case high

Minnesota recorded a grim milestone on Saturday as health officials reported that over 2,000 people have died from COVID-19. The state also posted an all-time high for cases reported in a day with 1,478 people testing positive for the virus. The Minnesota Department of Health recorded 10 new deaths, sending the statewide tally of COVID-19 deaths to 2,004 people. Despite the worrisome marker, the rate of deaths has slowed in recent months after spikes in May and June. Roughly 72% of deaths in the state have been among residents of long-term care or assisted-living facilities.
26th Sep 2020 - Houston Chronicle

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson urges world to unite against COVID-19 and stop comparing death rates

Boris Johnson has urged the world to unite against coronavirus, suggesting it had made nations seem "selfish" and apparently warning against the comparison of countries' death rates. In a pre-recorded speech to the United Nations General Assembly, the prime minister said "the very notion of the international community looks tattered" nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic. "Unless we unite and turn our fire against our common foe, we know that everyone will lose," he said. "The inevitable outcome will be to prolong this calamity and increase the risk of another."
26th Sep 2020 - Sky News

After The Covid-19 Deluge, A Bankruptcy Tidal Wave?

The number of people filing for bankruptcy could set records next year. And, while bankruptcy reform artificially spurred the 2005 record of nearly 2.1 million cases filed, this peak will be all about the reality of a Covid-19-blasted economy. That’s a bankruptcy tidal wave of a different color. So far, 2020 has avoided a surge of personal bankruptcies. In fact, total bankruptcy filings year to date trail the 2019 figures.
26th Sep 2020 - Forbes

Perth campaigner says lack of clarity over Covid-19 measures is leaving blind people unable to shop safely

A Perth disability campaigner fears a lack of clarity over coronavirus restrictions in shops are making it extremely difficult for blind people to visit stores safely. Jon Attenborough, who can only see shapes and colours, feels he in no longer able to go shopping on the high street by himself due to the visual nature of the majority of restrictions implemented by stores. The campaigner has called for shops to adopt a uniform approach to the guidelines to help people with impaired visibility safely navigate stores on their own. “Going into shops was difficult before the restrictions were put in place but with some shops there’s now queues you don’t know about or a one-way system and it’s very difficult to know which way to go.
26th Sep 2020 - The Courier

New CSP Covid-19 rehabilitation standards launched

They apply to anyone with rehabilitation needs– aged 18 or over - who has or has had Covid-19, and are relevant to people at all stages of their Covid-19 recovery, their families and carers. This is whether their care is managed in community settings throughout or if they were admitted to hospital at any stage. There are seven quality standards: Needs assessment, rehabilitation planning and review - Personalised rehabilitation - Self-management - Communication and information - Coordinated rehabilitation and care pathways - Evaluation, audit and research - Personal protective equipment and infection control
26th Sep 2020 - Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Coronavirus: World leaders must overcome differences to fight COVID-19, PM to warn

Boris Johnson will warn the coronavirus pandemic has divided the international community, as he pledges hundreds of millions of pounds to the World Health Organisation to fight future viruses. In a speech at the UN General Assembly later, the prime minister will warn that countries must work together and overcome the divisions created by the global health crisis or risk it spiralling out of control. Mr Johnson will also make a large financial commitment to the WHO, making the UK the largest country-donor to the organisation just months after Donald Trump froze US funding.
26th Sep 2020 - Sky News

China delivers more COVID-19 preventive supplies to Zambia

China delivered more COVID-19 preventative materials to Zambia. Li Jie, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, said on Friday the international community still needs to support Zambia as the country has continued to see a rise in both new cases and deaths. He said the two countries have been all-weather friends for a long time and that the two sides have been united in fighting the pandemic since it broke out in the southern African nation. “These supplies have just arrived in Zambia by air. I am handing over them to the Ministry of Health. I believe they will play a positive role in the treatment of critically ill patients and the protection of medical staff,” he said.
25th Sep 2020 - cgtn.com

Coronavirus: Two million deaths 'very likely' even with vaccine, WHO warns

The global coronavirus death toll could hit two million before an effective vaccine is widely used, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned. Dr Mike Ryan, the WHO's emergencies head, said the figure could be higher without concerted international action. Almost one million people have died with Covid-19 worldwide since the disease first emerged in China late last year. Virus infections continue to rise, with 32 million cases confirmed globally. The start of a second surge of coronavirus infections has been seen in many countries in the northern hemisphere as winter approaches.
25th Sep 2020 - BBC News

Ranking countries' likelihood to secure a future coronavirus vaccine

As soon as drugmakers began testing their coronavirus vaccine candidates, rich countries moved aggressively to lock in deals guaranteeing millions doses for their populations. A global coalition of international organizations is trying to ensure that doesn’t leave poor countries out in the cold. We’ve mapped where 15 countries, plus the European Union, stand when it comes to their likelihood of having access to a vaccine once it proves safe and effective against the virus. Their position is based on the money they have invested in vaccine research and development, the deals secured with pharmaceutical companies developing vaccines and their participation in the COVAX scheme, ran by Gavi, the vaccine alliance; the World Health Organization; and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a partnership that provides early-stage investment in multiple vaccines candidates.
24th Sep 2020 - POLITICO

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 25th Sep 2020

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Asia Pacific hardest hit by COVID-19, climate-related disasters

At least 51.6 million people worldwide have been doubly hit by COVID-19 and climate-related disasters, including floods, droughts or storms, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). In a new analysis published on Thursday, the IFRC said the Asia Pacific was the region hardest hit by the “double jeopardy” of disasters and the coronavirus pandemic.
24th Sep 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Iran anticipates ‘third wave’ as COVID-19 deaths pass 25,000

The death toll from COVID-19 in Iran has surpassed 25,000, the highest total in the Middle East, as cases continue to surge. The healthy ministry reported 175 deaths on Thursday and 3,521 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s total confirmed cases to 436,319. In the past 30 days, 5,000 people infected with the coronavirus have died and 80,000 new infections have been registered, resulting in a total of 25,015 deaths and 436,319 recorded cases, health ministry spokeswoman Sima Lari told state television. The ministry said it was only a matter of time before a “third wave” of infections would hit Iran, which according to health experts could be worse than the first two, with bottlenecks in medical care for those infected. Iran has been battling a resurgence of COVID-19, with figures showing a rise in new infections and deaths since a two-month low in May.
24th Sep 2020 - Al Jazeera English

France to raise Covid-19 alert to highest level in Paris and other big cities

Health Minister Olivier Véran will announce new measures later on Wednesday as he holds his weekly press conference to chart the outbreak's progression, the source said. France has reported a surge in daily cases, prompting officials to urge people to limit social gatherings and wear masks in public at all times. In the larger Paris Ile-de-France area, the incidence rate of infection has risen to 204 per 100,000 inhabitants, higher than in other hard-hit cities such as Lyon and Marseille, which have already tightened measures to curb virus transmission.
24th Sep 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

100 N.Y.C. School Buildings Have Already Reported a Positive Case

At least one coronavirus case had been reported in more than 100 school buildings and early childhood centers in the New York City school system by the first day of in-person instruction on Monday, according to the Department of Education. Nearly all the buildings remained open, though six were closed temporarily, in accordance with city guidelines that only those schools that report at least two cases in different classrooms will be shut.
24th Sep 2020 - The New York Times

How Is Italy Avoiding a Second Pandemic Wave?

Italy was a symbol of the first wave of the pandemic. It was the first country in the world to go into a national lockdown, as its hospitals — especially in cities such as Bergamo and Cremona in the north — struggled to cope with the spike of cases and there was a sharp increase in deaths. As fear of a second wave grips Europe, Italy appears to be coping much better than other countries such as France, Spain and the U.K. This is hardly a time for complacency; as Britain can attest, this virus can return with a vengeance. But over the last two weeks, Italy recorded slightly fewer than 35 cases per 100,000 inhabitants — compared to nearly 315 in Spain, almost 200 in France and 76.5 in the U.K. The number of average deaths stood at 0.3 per 100,000, a third of the French rate and nearly a tenth of Spain’s. Italy’s figures are only marginally worse than Germany’s, which has been praised as a model of sound pandemic management.
24th Sep 2020 - Bloomberg

Trump says safety checks for coronavirus vaccine will cost lives

President Trump has attacked a plan to impose tough new standards on approval of a coronavirus vaccine, saying it “sounds like a political move”. Mr Trump, who has repeatedly raised hopes that a vaccine might be approved before election day on November 3, said he had “tremendous trust in these massive companies” developing vaccines, and said they were best-placed to decide when they were ready, rather than regulators. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is introducing higher hurdles than usual for emergency authorisation of a vaccine, which would allow it to be released to the public rapidly.
25th Sep 2020 - The Times

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 24th Sep 2020

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France preparing fresh measures to stem spread of COVID-19

France is preparing to announce stricter measures in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus as cases skyrocketed since a nationwide lockdown was ended, AFP news agency reported. Ministers will hold two meetings on Wednesday to analyse the latest surge, which has seen more than 10,000 cases and 78 deaths recorded as of Tuesday.
24th Sep 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Britain finally launches COVID-19 app in England and Wales

The government had said the app would arrive in May, but early trials were dogged by problems, and developers abandoned home-grown technology in favour of Apple and Google’s model in June. The embarrassing U-turn followed warnings from tech experts that it would be less effective and that it should have switched to the Apple-Google software earlier. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the reworked tool was “an important step forward in our fight against this invisible killer”.
24th Sep 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Are Parisians really fleeing to the countryside since lockdown?

While the pandemic has shaken the entire world, lockdown was an opportunity for some to reflect on their way of life and to decide they wanted a new one out of the capital. The nationwide lockdown in the spring meant two months confined at home - and for many people in Paris that meant small apartments with no outdoor space. An exceptional situation that led many to reconsider their lives and even some to conclude they wanted to leave the French capital. Leaving Paris as soon as lockdown ended is what Félicitée and her husband Maxime decided to do - after being confined with their three boys in their 67 square metres appartement in the 10th arrondissement. “It was the quickest but also the best decision we have ever taken,” 36-year-old Félicitée told The Local.
23rd Sep 2020 - The Local France

Fourth-Largest U.S. School District to Allow Students Back in Classrooms

Students in Miami-Dade County, the fourth-largest district in the United States and the biggest school system in Florida, will be able to choose to return to their classrooms next month under a plan approved by the school board on Tuesday after a marathon two-day meeting. Students would attend classes five days a week, but families who prefer virtual learning could stick with that option. About half of the district’s families chose remote learning when selecting an option this summer
23rd Sep 2020 - The New York Times

Social gatherings in Ecuador spike following end of lockdown

Crowds and gatherings in Ecuador have increased by 15 percent in the first week following the end of lockdown restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), an official source said on Tuesday. "The latent concern we continue to have is the issue of crowds, they are on the rise. At the national level we are growing by 15 percent and in (the capital) Quito, by 12 percent," Juan Zapata, director of the country's emergency service, ECU 911, told a local TV network. Since a state of emergency was lifted on Sept. 14 after some six months, authorities have reported 57,726 crowds or social gatherings, mainly in the three largest cities: Cuenca, Guayaquil and Quito. The impact of these social gatherings will be seen in 14 days, said Zapata, calling for continued social distancing.
23rd Sep 2020 - China.org.cn

Argentina: Provincial healthcare strained as COVID cases spread

From the capital city and into the provinces – the coronavirus makes its way relentlessly across Argentina. Even though Argentina was one of the first countries to impose a lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, infections continue to rise. Recorded cases have passed 630,000 as COVID-19 spreads from the capital Buenos Aires into the provinces. Al Jazeera’s Teresa Bo reports from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
23rd Sep 2020 - Aljazeera.com

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

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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.
22nd Sep 2020 - Aljazeera.com

'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.
22nd Sep 2020 - The Guardian

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
22nd Sep 2020 - Manila Bulletin

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 22nd Sep 2020

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U.S. faces a smoldering COVID-19 pandemic nationwide as flu season starts

As the United States approaches the miserable mark of 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus, the pandemic is no longer focused on one or two epicenters. Instead it is smoldering across all states, raising fears that when colder weather forces more people inside, it could surpass the surge seen in the summer. The United States is losing on average over 800 people a day to the virus - compared with fewer than 15 a day on average in Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy and the United Kingdom. Although new cases are down about 50% from the peak in July, the United States is still reporting on average nearly 40,000 new infections a day - the highest number in the developed world.
21st Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: cautious Italians return to football stadiums | News

A thousand fans will be allowed into Italian football stadiums for top-flight games this month, marking a cautious return to normality in Europe’s first coronavirus hotspot. The move is significant, given that a Champions League match hosted by Atalanta in Bergamo in February was blamed for helping to trigger northern Italy’s devastating outbreak.
21st Sep 2020 - The Times

Spain’s Andalucia sees second-deadliest COVID-19 figures since end of lockdown

ANDALUCIA has registered 812 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours and 14 deaths. It is the second-deadliest 24 hours in the post-lockdown period after last Thursday, which counted 25 deaths. According to the Junta, the majority of the deaths have been in Malaga, where nine were counted on Monday, then Cordoba with two and Almeria, Cadiz and Sevilla registering one each
21st Sep 2020 - Olive Press

Coronavirus: No crowds as Taj Mahal reopens despite surge in cases across India

India reopened the Taj Mahal after six months on Monday, with the first visitors trickling into the famous monument as authorities reported 86,961 new coronavirus infections across the country, with no signs of a peak yet. The white marble tomb in the city of Agra, built by a 17th-century Mughal emperor for his wife, was opened to the public at sunrise, and a Chinese national and a visitor from Delhi were among the first to enter. Daily visitor numbers have been capped at 5,000, versus an average of 20,000 before the pandemic. Tickets are only being sold online, with fewer than 300 bought on the first day. Visitors will have their temperatures taken and must adhere to advice to keep a safe distance from each other.
21st Sep 2020 - The Independent

Seoul schools resume in-person classes as South Korea coronavirus cases dip

Schools in the South Korean capital Seoul and nearby areas resumed in-person classes for the first time in almost a month on Monday after daily coronavirus cases dropped to the lowest levels since mid-August. Students returned to schools under a hybrid schedule of in-person and online classes to limit the number of people at schools at any given time. Students will attend in-person classes once or twice a week.
21st Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Relief as much of New Zealand eases out of coronavirus restrictions

Ardern eases NZ coronavirus lockdown as new mystery case investigatedSydney Morning HeraldNew Zealand lockdown: Jacinda Ardern announces lifting of all restrictions outside AucklandThe IndependentJacinda Ardern announces New Zealand to ease coronavirus restrictions againABC News‘Mystery’ COVID cases have New Zealand contact tracers stumpedThe New DailyView Full coverage on Google News
21st Sep 2020 - The Guardian

India's Taj Mahal gets first visitors even as coronavirus infections climb

India reopened its famed monument to love, the Taj Mahal, with the first visitors trickling in on Monday, as authorities reported 86,961 new coronavirus infections, with no signs of a peak yet. A Chinese national and a visitor from Delhi were among the first to step into the white marble tomb built by a 17th-century Mughal emperor for his wife when it opened at sunrise, ending six months of closure. Daily visitor numbers have been capped at 5,000, versus an average of 20,000 before the pandemic. Tickets are only being sold online, with fewer than 300 bought on the first day.
21st Sep 2020 - swissinfo.ch

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 21st Sep 2020

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Australia heads for lowest virus count in three months

Australia looked set to record its lowest daily increase in new coronavirus cases in three months on Sunday as a hard lockdown in the city of Melbourne brought the country’s virus epicentre down sharply. The second-most populous state Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, reported 14 new infections in the 24 hours to Sunday morning, down from 21 new cases the day prior and its lowest since June 19. That put Victoria, which has spent months under lockdown to slow a second wave of infections, on track to meet a target of keeping average daily increases below 50 by Sept. 28 when the authorities have said they may lift restrictions.
20th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Russia Is Slow to Administer Virus Vaccine Despite Kremlin’s Approval

In one example of the limited scope of distribution, the company financing the vaccine pointed to a shipment sent this past week to the Crimean Peninsula. The delivery contained doses for 21 people in a region with two million. The Russian Ministry of Health has not said how many people have been vaccinated in all of Russia. The minister, Mikhail Murashko, said last weekend that the first small shipments was being delivered this past week to the Russian provinces.
20th Sep 2020 - The New York Times

India's coronavirus infections surge to 5.4 million

India’s coronavirus case tally surged to 5.4 million as it added 92,605 new infections in the last 24 hours, data from the federal health ministry showed on Sunday. The country has posted the highest single-day caseload in the world since early August, and lags behind only the United States, which has 6.7 million cases in terms of total infections.
20th Sep 2020 - Reuters on MSN.com

Coronavirus: Could smaller nations lose out in global vaccine programme?

Hailed as a project to help the world tackle coronavirus as one, the global vaccine alliance has now secured the commitments of more than 170 countries. But behind the scenes, some smaller nations are concerned by the initiative’s shortfalls and lack of clarity, fearing that they could be left behind as world powers take precedence. Co-led by the Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi) and the World Health Organisation, the Covax Facility was established in April “to secure access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines” through a portfolio of candidates.
19th Sep 2020 - The Independent

EU to finance 88M coronavirus vaccine doses for poor countries

The EU is willing to invest in some 88 million doses of coronavirus vaccines for poor countries as part of its participation in a global effort to secure and equitably distribute immunizations, the Commission said Friday. The Commission and the EU 27, under the banner of “Team Europe,” will contribute to the COVAX Facility with an initial €230 million in cash through a loan from the European Investment Bank. That sum amounts to reserves or options to buy 88 million doses, and the EU “would transfer these” to eligible low-and middle income countries, a press release said.
19th Sep 2020 - POLITICO

Coronavirus: PM does not want another lockdown but says second wave 'is coming'

Boris Johnson has said he does not want to put the country in another national lockdown but warned the government may need to "intensify things to help bring the rate of infections down". He added: "We're now seeing a second wave coming in... clearly we are going to keep everything under review." Calling the second wave "inevitable", he said: "I don't want to get to a second national lockdown at all." But he also said: "As the disease progresses, of course we're going to have to take further measures."
19th Sep 2020 - Sky News

A&E boss fears being overwhelmed by second coronavirus wave & effects of lockdown

A hospital A&E chief has said she fears being overwhelmed not just by a second wave of coronavirus — but also by the knock-on effects of the first. Dr Ann-Marie Morris, of the Royal Stoke University Hospital, said she was seeing a rise in patients with alcohol-related conditions as well as more victims of violent crime.
19th Sep 2020 - The Sun

Mexico reports 5,167 new coronavirus cases, 455 new deaths

Mexico’s health ministry on Saturday reported 5,167 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the country, bringing the total to 694,121 cases, and 455 new deaths, for a cumulative death toll of 73,258. Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell has said the real number of cases in the country is significantly higher.
19th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Football: Italy to allow 1000 fans at Serie A games from Sunday

Italy will allow up to 1,000 supporters to attend top flight Serie A soccer matches from Sunday (Sep 20) following an agreement between the regions and various government departments, sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora said on Saturday. The regions of Emilia Romagna - home to Parma, Sassuolo and Bologna - and Veneto - where Verona are based - had already announced that fans could watch matches in their jurisdiction but Spadafora said the measure had been extended to nationwide. Spectators have been barred from Serie A matches since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
19th Sep 2020 - CNA

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 18th Sep 2020

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One in 7 reported COVID-19 infections is among health workers, WHO says

One in seven cases of COVID-19 reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) is a health worker and in some countries that figure rises to one in three, the agency said on Thursday. The WHO called for frontline medical workers to be provided with protective equipment to prevent them from being infected with the novel coronavirus, and potentially spreading it to their patients and families. “Globally around 14% of COVID cases reported to the WHO are among health workers and in some countries it’s as much as 35%,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
18th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Latin Americans seek more time to join COVAX vaccine facility

Several Latin American countries have informed the World Health Organization (WHO) they intend to request more time to sign up for its global COVID-19 vaccine facility known as COVAX, an official at the WHO's regional branch said on Thursday. Countries have until midnight on Friday to formalize legally-binding commitments to COVAX, a mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of eventual vaccines. The requests for an extension to the deadline will be sent directly to the GAVI Alliance, the COVAX secretariat, the official at the Pan-American Health Organization said. A representative for GAVI said by email that details of which nations joined COVAX will only be made public after the deadline.
18th Sep 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

Canada could lose ability to manage COVID-19 cases, says chief medical officer

Canada could lose its ability to manage the coronavirus pandemic due to a worrying recent spike in new COVID-19 cases, the country's top medical officer said on Thursday. The warning from Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam is the clearest indication yet of how worried authorities are about the potential for the outbreak to spiral out of control. An average of 779 new cases had been reported daily during the most recent week, more than double the level in July, Tam said. Officials in major provinces blame social gatherings for the spike. "The ongoing increase in new cases being reported daily continues to give cause for concern," Tam said in a statement. "With continued circulation of the virus, the situation could change quickly and we could lose the ability to keep COVID-19 cases at manageable levels."
18th Sep 2020 - YAHOO!

School closures are inevitable if teachers and pupils cannot get Covid-19 tests

As executive head of an alternative provision school and two social, emotional and mental health schools (SEMH), I know from experience that the start of a new academic year brings its challenges. Pupils can take time to settle back into school life after the summer break and routines can take time to be established as well as welcoming many new children and all the issues that come with that. But in my 24-year teaching career, never before have I experienced such a difficult and frankly chaotic start to the school year on a national scale. Our teaching teams have worked tirelessly over the summer to make sure our schools are as safe as they possibly can be, meeting all government “Covid-safe" guidelines. We have introduced meticulous handwashing, created one-way systems, re-arranged classrooms, and ensured social distancing in some form or other where we can.
17th Sep 2020 - The Independent

Business daily - How the French economy is faring six months after the lockdown order

It's been six months since France went into lockdown over the coronvirus pandemic, tipping the economy into its worst recession since World War II. How bad was the damage, and what hopes are there for a recovery? Also today, we look at the divisions within the French government over a proposed increase in environmental taxes on flying.
17th Sep 2020 - FRANCE 24

‘You could see it was really serious’: France’s lockdown, six months on

On March 17, 2020, the day after Emmanuel Macron’s famous address to the nation, lockdown measures to fight the spread of Covid-19 came into force in France. Six months on, people remember the surprise and anguish they felt during this unprecedented historical moment. By mid-March the French government needed to act to prevent coronavirus infections spiraling out of control. Consequently, the president addressed the country on March 16, telling the French people that “from noon tomorrow, for 15 days at least, trips outside the home will be reduced greatly”. The lockdown came into force the subsequent day. The aim was to reduce French people’s interactions as much as possible: “The message is clear – stay home!” the then Interior Minister Christophe Castaner declared after Macron’s speech. Everyone lived through this moment in his or her own way – without knowing that these “15 days at least” would in fact last for 55 days, ending on May 11.
17th Sep 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

Why India’s Covid problem could be bigger than we think

India is approaching the ninth month of the coronavirus pandemic with more than five million confirmed cases - the second-highest in the world after the US - and more than 80,000 reported deaths. Infection is surging through the country in a "step-ladder spiral", a government scientist told me. The only "consolation" is a death rate - currently 1.63% - that's lower than many countries with a high caseload. The increase in reported cases has partly to do with increased testing - but the speed at which the virus is spreading is worrying experts. Here's why. It took 170 days for India to reach the first million cases. The last million cases took only 11 days. Average daily cases have shot up from 62 in April to more than 87,000 in September. In the past week, India has recorded more than 90,000 cases and 1,000 deaths every day. Seven states are worst affected - accounting for about 48% of India's population.
17th Sep 2020 - BBC News

New Zealand officially in recession as second-quarter GDP posts record decline

New Zealand fell into its deepest economic slump on record in the second quarter as its battle against the coronavirus pandemic paralysed business activity, official data showed on Thursday.
17th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

A shark and mermaid love affair: surreal Burberry show kicks off London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week kicked off on Thursday in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic with Britain’s Burberry putting on a live virtual display of its latest collection which broke with the traditional catwalk show.
17th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

France to implement extra COVID measures in two new cities

France is to implement extra measures to curb the COVID-19 epidemic in the cities of Lyon and Nice, the health minister said, adding to the three other regions deemed as virus “red zones” where additional measures are already in place. The minister, Olivier Veran, did not say what those measures would be, but that local officials in Lyon and Nice would have until the weekend to submit their plans for extra measures to the government in Paris. France has this month seen a resurgence in the number of virus cases, surpassing the daily record reached earlier this year. Numbers in hospital and intensive care with COVID-19 are climbing too, though they are still a long way short of the peak reached in the spring.
17th Sep 2020 - Reuters

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 17th Sep 2020

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Coronavirus in Scotland: Almost half of over-50s ‘less confident about going to shops due to Covid-19’

Some 35% of respondents said they are not comfortable visiting friends, 62% are less confident to eat out and 63% are worried about using public transport. There has also been an increase in the number of people experiencing loneliness, the charity said. Three in ten (30%) respondents who live alone said they have spent too long on their own and just over one in five (22%) said they feel lonely and isolated – more than three times the figure for those living with others.
16th Sep 2020 - The Scotsman

Spain’s economy faces long-lasting pandemic drag, warns central bank

Spain’s economy will struggle to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic to such an extent that it will still be as much as 6 per cent smaller at the end of 2022 than it was before the crisis hit, according to the Bank of Spain. In a grim set of economic projections released on Wednesday, the central bank highlighted the destructive impact of both the initial coronavirus outbreak and of the resurgence in infection rates following the end of the country’s lockdown in June. Spain’s economy contracted a record 18.5 per cent in the second quarter of this year compared with the previous three months, following a 5.2 per cent first-quarter contraction.
16th Sep 2020 - The Financial Times

Australian industry still caught in a post-lockdown slump

Excess capacity, weak investment and low profit expectations continue to hurt Australia’s manufacturing sector as a result of pandemic-related restrictions, a survey of industrial trends has found. The Australian Chamber-Westpac Survey of Industrial Trends indicates that business conditions remained weak in the September quarter; with investment, profit and employment expectations low and production lower than capacity.
16th Sep 2020 - Australian Times

As Covid-19 Cases Rise, Europe Enters ‘Living-With-the-Virus Phase’

Europe’s leaders choose targeted measures over nationwide lockdowns, even as cases rise. In the early days of the pandemic, President Emmanuel Macron exhorted the French to wage “war” against an invisible enemy. Today, his message is to “learn how to live with the virus.’’
16th Sep 2020 - New York Times

'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme pushes UK inflation to near five-year low

A hefty drop in meal prices, spurred by Britain’s scheme to support the hospitality sector through the COVID-19 pandemic, helped to push inflation down last month to its lowest rate in almost five years. Consumer prices rose by 0.2% in annual terms in August, the smallest increase since December 2015 and a sharp slowdown from July’s 1.0% increase, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Wednesday. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a reading of 0.0%. Discounts for more than 100 million meals were claimed Last month through the government’s “Eat Out to Help Out” programme, which offered diners a state-funded price reduction of up to 10 pounds ($12.89).
16th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Top medical expert says Ontario needs smaller classes as COVID-19 cases accelerate

Classes in Canada’s high risk schools should ideally have 20 or fewer students so children can maintain safe distance from each other, a top doctor who advised the government of Ontario on school reopening said, as sometimes crowded classes resumed in the midst of a spike in COVID-19 cases. Dr Ronald Cohn, president of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, is one author of two reports that Canada’s most populous province cited repeatedly in drafting back to school plans. Cohn said much depends on the size of classrooms - some can accommodate only 15, while others may be large enough to teach 18 or 20 children, but likely not many more than that.
16th Sep 2020 - Reuters.com

US outlines sweeping plan to provide free COVID-19 vaccines

The federal government outlined a sweeping plan Wednesday to make vaccines for COVID-19 available for free to all Americans, even as polls show a strong undercurrent of scepticism rippling across the land. In a report to Congress and an accompanying "playbook" for states and localities, federal health agencies and the Defense Department sketched out complex plans for a vaccination campaign to begin gradually in January or possibly later this year, eventually ramping up to reach any American who wants a shot. The Pentagon is involved with the distribution of vaccines, but civilian health workers will be the ones giving shots.
16th Sep 2020 - Al Jazeera English

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Decision time for Europe as virus surges, WHO warns

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that Europe was facing decision time about tackling Covid-19 as case numbers hit record highs, children return to school and summer recedes. WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said it was time to “stop looking for unicorns” and instead take hard decisions to protect those most vulnerable and keep youngsters in education — but inevitably see others lose out. “Europe is facing that moment as Europe enters into a season in which people will begin to come back indoors. The pressure of infection will grow, no question,” Ryan told a virtual press conference.
16th Sep 2020 - Manila Bulletin

U.K. unemployment rose in July despite lockdown lifting, with more job losses likely

Unemployment in the U.K. has risen in the three months to July, the latest official data published Tuesday showed, despite this period marking the beginning of looser restrictions. The headline unemployment rate for May to July stood at 4.1%, up from the 3.9% figure seen in the previous three month period, which covered the start of the U.K.‘s lockdown that began in late March, the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Estimates indicated that 32.98 million people aged 16 years and over were in employment between May and July, 202,000 more than a year earlier, but down 12,000 from the previous quarter. The annual increase was mainly driven by more women in employment, the ONS noted.
15th Sep 2020 - CNBC

ANALYSIS: Has crime in France spiralled out of control since lockdown?

As a ferocious debate over whether French society has descended towards "savagery" and gang culture has dominated headlines in France the past weeks, we look at whether crime rates really are on the rise since lockdown ended. The word ensauvagement has dominated news headlines in France the past weeks. The term, which could be translated as "a descent into savagery", is not new. It has been a favourite of France’s far-right for years and in 2002, then Front National (now Rassemblement National) party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen used it repeatedly during his presidential campaign. This time it was not a far-right party member, but Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin who brought it back into public discourse. “We need to stop the ensauvagement (descent into savagery) of a certain part of society," Darmanin told Le Figaro in late July.
15th Sep 2020 - The Local France

Relief and fear as Portuguese students go back to school

Wearing masks and trying to keep a safe distance, more than a million pupils returned to schools across Portugal on Monday, a long-awaited moment for many after students were forced in March to learn remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. At the Maria Amalia high school in Lisbon teenagers were called into the classroom one by one and asked to disinfect their hands, while windows were left open. Standing next to her son as they waited outside, Alexandra Borges said she feared there would be new infections at school but going back to in-person classes was essential for pupils of all ages, including her son Pedro, who brought hand sanitizer inside his backpack.
15th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

UPDATE 1-Fuel demand rises as schools open, commuters shun public transport

Traffic picked up in cities across the globe as the summer season ended and schools opened, giving a boost to fuel demand, but the prospect of recovery remained weak as many commuters still worked from home and vehicle sales were down. The reliance on isolated forms of travel including private cars seemed to be the main factor boosting demand, analysts and traders said, as most people avoided public transport for fear of the coronavirus. Road traffic in New York, London and Paris was on a slow but steady recovery, data provided to Reuters by location technology company TomTom showed.
15th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

UK jobless rate rises for first time since COVID-19 lockdown

Britain’s unemployment rate rose for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began in March, prompting fresh calls for finance minister Rishi Sunak to extend a job subsidy programme which is due to expire next month. The unemployment rate increased to 4.1% in the three months to July from the 3.9% level it had clung to since early 2020, in line with the average forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. Sunak’s coronavirus job subsidy scheme has shielded millions of workers, and the number of people in employment fell less than feared in the figures published on Tuesday.
15th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Greece tightens restrictions in Athens as COVID-19 spreads

Greek authorities on Tuesday tightened restrictions to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the greater Athens area, saying the pandemic was showing “worrying signs of resilience”. Health authorities reported 310 new confirmed COVID-19 infections on Tuesday and three deaths, bringing the total number since the first coronavirus case was detected on Feb. 25 to 13,730 and deaths to 313. “The prefecture of Attica is now between a moderate to high epidemiological risk. There is an increase in the occupancy of intensive care beds,” Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias told reporters
15th Sep 2020 - Reuters on MSN.com

U.S. COVID-19 death analysis shows greater toll on Black, Hispanic youth: CDC

A disproportionate percentage of U.S. COVID-19 deaths have been recorded among Black and Hispanic people younger than 21, according to a U.S. study, a reflection of the racial and ethnic make-up of essential workers who have more exposure to COVID-19. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that from Feb. 12 through July 31, there were 121 deaths among people younger than the age of 21 in 27 states. Hispanic, Black, and non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native people accounted for about 75% of the deaths in that age group, even though they represent 41% of the U.S. population aged under 21.
15th Sep 2020 - Reuters

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UK's autumn Covid-19 redundancies could exceed 700,000

Close to half a million redundancies are likely to be announced in the autumn, although the number could end up exceeding 700,000, according to a study that lays bare the scale of the Covid-19 jobs crisis facing the UK. These job cuts are on top of 240,000 redundancies officially recorded by the government up until June. That means the total redundancy figure for 2020 could top one million.
14th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Older teachers in Italy fear Covid-19 risks as schools return

Older Italian teachers and those with underlying illnesses fear the reopening of schools in Italy this week could pose a serious threat to their health. Millions of children will return to classrooms across 14 Italian regions on Monday, more than six months after schools were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. While teachers in other countries have had similar concerns over the risks, Italy stands out for having the oldest teaching workforce in the EU. A report by the OECD published on Tuesday showed that more than half of primary and secondary school teachers are over the age of 50, and 17% are over 60. At the same time, about 13,000 teaching and non-teaching staff will not immediately return to school after testing positive for Covid-19 antibodies as part of a blanket screening carried out last week, leaving many schools understaffed.
14th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Wetherspoons says 66 staff have tested positive for Covid-19

JD Wetherspoon has said 66 employees out of its workforce of more than 41,000 have tested positive for Covid-19 as it maintained that its pubs are safe for drinkers and diners. The firm’s announcement came after concerns were raised last month that the chain was failing to prevent overcrowding in its pubs, which are popular with young people due to their comparatively low prices for alcohol and food. The company said it had 32m customer visits to its 861 pubs open in the 10 weeks since 4 July. During this period, 66 of its 41,564 staff tested positive for coronavirus. It said 811 pubs had reported no positive tests. Most of the reported cases have been mild or asymptomatic and 28 of the 66 employees have returned to work, after self-isolating in accordance with medical guidelines.
14th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Italy's initial virus hotspot back to school after 7 months

The morning bell Monday marked the first entrance to the classroom for the children of Codogno since Feb. 21, when panicked parents were sent to pick up their children after the northern Italian town gained notoriety as the first in the West to record local transmission of the coronavirus. While all of Italy’s 8 million school students endured Italy’s strict 2½-month lockdown, few suffered the trauma of the children of Codogno, whose days were punctuated by the sirens of passing ambulances. “Many lost grandparents,” said Cecilia Cugini, the principal of Codogno’s nursery, elementary and middle schools.
14th Sep 2020 - The Associated Press

France’s Economic Rebound Is Stronger Than Initially Thought

France’s economic recovery from the coronavirus lockdown is stronger than previously expected, the Bank of France said Monday as it revised up its growth and inflation forecasts for this year and next. The slump in the euro area’s second-largest economy during state-ordered confinement wasn’t as deep as initially reported, and recent activity has been better than business leaders had forecast,
14th Sep 2020 - BloombergQuint

India’s parliament reopens with unprecedented Covid safety measures

An 18-day monsoon session of India's parliament has gotten underway with extraordinary safety measures to protect against the coronavirus, including staggered sittings of both Houses and social distancing between MPs. With 200 of the 785 members of parliament over 65 years of age, and at least seven ministers and two dozen lawmakers recovering from Covid-19 infection, the pandemic has cast a shadow over the session, which takes place at the end of the monsoon season. The session, which usually starts in mid-July, had to be deferred due to the pandemic, which enforced a sweeping federal lockdown from 25 March. When proceedings began on Monday, the sitting was adjourned for an hour to mark the demise of former president Pranab Mukherjee.
14th Sep 2020 - YAHOO!

More women than men left jobless post-lockdown

The adverse impact of the pandemic-induced lockdowns and restrictions on the livelihood of women is reflected in the responses of 3,221 women workers from the informal sector in a new survey report covering 20 Indian states.
14th Sep 2020 - Times of India

Europe will see a rise in Covid-19 deaths, WHO says

WHO's Europe director Hans Kluge is expecting an autumn rise in daily fatalities. Deaths have so far remained relatively stable despite summer surge in infections. Kluge also warned that delivering vaccine could present a 'logistical nightmare'
14th Sep 2020 - Daily Mail

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Pfizer CEO says company will know if vaccine works by end of October

Albert Bourla, the head of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which is among the companies developing a coronavirus vaccine, said Sunday there is a "good chance" the company will know whether its vaccine works by the end of October. In an interview with "Face the Nation," Bourla said it's not yet known whether Americans will be able to receive a coronavirus vaccine before 2021, as issuance of a license depends on federal regulators. But studies from Pfizer indicate "we have a good chance that we will know if the product works by the end of October."
13th Sep 2020 - CBS News

Coronavirus: 'UK at a turning point' as sharp COVID rise sees eight million Britons facing tougher lockdown

Nearly eight million people in Britain will be living under stricter lockdown rules, including a large part of the West Midlands, ahead of a widespread ban on gatherings of more than six people. From Monday, social gatherings of more than six people will be banned across England, Wales and Scotland. Households will be banned from meeting each other in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull from Tuesday after a rise in coronavirus cases
12th Sep 2020 - Sky News

Covid vaccine: 8,000 jumbo jets needed to deliver doses globally, says IATA

Shipping a coronavirus vaccine around the world will be the "largest transport challenge ever" according to the airline industry. The equivalent of 8,000 Boeing 747s will be needed, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said. There is no Covid-19 vaccine yet, but IATA is already working with airlines, airports, global health bodies and drug firms on a global airlift plan. The distribution programme assumes only one dose per person is needed. "Safely delivering Covid-19 vaccines will be the mission of the century for the global air cargo industry. But it won't happen without careful advance planning. And the time for that is now," said IATA's chief executive Alexandre de Juniac.
10th Sep 2020 - BBC News

Scarcity of key material squeezes medical mask manufacturing

“N95s are still in a shortage,” said Mike Schiller, the American Hospital Association’s senior director for supply chains. “It’s certainly not anywhere near pre-COVID levels.” Early in the pandemic the White House failed to heed stark warnings, specifically about N95s, from high-level administration officials. The Associated Press has found the administration took months to sign contracts with companies that make the crucial component inside these masks: meltblown textile. Meltblowing is the manufacturing process that turns plastic into the dense mesh that makes N95 masks effective at blocking vanishingly small particles, including viruses. Even today, manufacturers say the Trump administration hasn’t made the long-term investments they need in order to ramp up to full capacity. Meanwhile, the administration allowed meltblown exports to slip out of the country as the pandemic, and the demand for masks, soared.
10th Sep 2020 - Associated Press

Ethiopia opens facility to make coronavirus test kits

With increasing cases of COVID-19, Ethiopia has opened a facility to produce kits to test for the coronavirus and says its researchers are working to develop and test a vaccine. The company producing the testing kits is a joint venture with a Chinese company, called BGI Health Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to nearly 64,000 causing almost 1,000 deaths, according to government figures. On Sunday, Ethiopia also opened a field hospital to hold up to 200 severely affected Covid-19 patients, which will start admitting patients immediately
13th Sep 2020 - Washington Post

Coronavirus: France reports highest number of daily COVID cases since pandemic began

More than 10,000 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in France in a single day - the country's highest daily number since the pandemic began. A total of 10,561 new COVID-19 infections were recorded on Saturday, the first time they have topped 10,000 over 24 hours in France. The total surpasses the previous record of 9,843 new cases reported on Thursday.
12th Sep 2020 - Sky News

'It's not too late' to prevent major COVID-19 resurgence in Canada, Hajdu says

Parts of Canada have experienced a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases and, as the weather gets colder, there are worries about a resurgence of infections. "[The increase in cases] quite possibly could be a resurgence," Minister of Health Patty Hajdu told The Current's Matt Galloway. "It's not too late to bring those numbers down.… Governments are working really hard and in many different ways, and individuals really need to maintain those measures that are so difficult to maintain." Ontario reported 213 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, marking the first single-day increase of over 200 cases in over a month. British Columbia reported 139 new cases on Thursday, setting a new record for new cases in a single day.
12th Sep 2020 - CBC.ca

How Liverpool ended up on the brink of coronavirus lockdown

There was actually more of a concern for Wirral, where infections were rising rapidly. But a week is a long time in the world of covid-19. And at the end of that week, the city finds itself on a government danger list and facing the very real prospect of new lockdown restrictions being brought in to restrict people's lives. On Monday we started to get the feeling that things were rapidly heading in the wrong direction. Cases had started to increase very quickly and the city's Director of Public Health Matt Ashton raised the alarm bells, stating that he was "deeply concerned" by how many new infections were being found in the city. Monday was also the day we saw hundreds of school pupils sent home as positive cases wreaked havoc on the city's education system.
13th Sep 2020 - Liverpool Echo

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France extends programme to protect workers from further Covid-19 related job losses

Labour Minister Elisabeth Borne said that the government would continue paying up to 84 percent of salaries for employees in struggling companies. “I confirm we will maintain the same level, so the cost for the employer will be limited to 15 percent [of net salary], until next summer,” Borne told BFM television on Thursday. Currently, the scheme to help the most exposed sectors - hotels, cafes, events - was in place until the end of the year. The idea, Borne said, is that “companies can keep jobs and skills” while they restructure or retrain people.
10th Sep 2020 - RFI English

German firms spared insolvency spike despite pandemic

The number of firms declaring insolvency in Germany was 6.2% lower in the first half of last year despite the coronavirus crisis, the Statistics Office said, partly because of a rule designed to keep firms afloat in the pandemic
10th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Employment recovering: Urban unemployment at lowest since lockdown, even as salaried jobs get cut

The high unemployment rate in urban India subsided in the week ending 6 September 2020, falling to the lowest level since the lockdown began. The urban unemployment rate fell to 8.32 per cent in the week, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy. Interestingly, the employment situation in urban India has improved despite a severe loss of salaried jobs. An estimated 21 million salaried employees have lost their jobs by the end of August. There were 86 million salaried jobs in India during 2019-20, which fell to 65 million in August 2020. The loss in salaried jobs was the biggest among all types of employment.
10th Sep 2020 - The Financial Express

New Zealand mental health crisis as Covid stretches a struggling system

New Zealanders are experiencing more depression and anxiety since the coronavirus lockdown, doctors say, despite the country leading the world in its battle against the pandemic. New Zealand has been lauded for its effective management of the virus, with most Kiwis returning to their normal routines following a strict seven-week lockdown in April and May. A recent outbreak in Auckland has now largely been contained. But GPs working on the front line say “generalised anxiety” is proliferating in the community, and putting a strain on mental health services that are already overburdened.
10th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Italy July industry output rises more than expected as post-lockdown rebound continues

Italian industrial output rose a stronger-than-expected 7.4% in July from the month before, data showed on Thursday, a third consecutive increase following the end of the country's coronavirus lockdown
10th Sep 2020 - Reuters India

UK house prices jump as buyers seek gardens after lockdown - RICS

The post-lockdown surge in Britain's housing market intensified in August, and prices hit a four year high, as buyers sought properties with gardens, according to a RICS survey that also sent a warning signal that the recovery could run out of steam
10th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Portugal toughens virus rules as schools return

Ministers decided on new rules to come into force from Tuesday, including limiting gatherings to 10 people rather than 20 previously—a cap already in force in the capital Lisbon since late June. Also extending a measure from the capital, sales of alcohol will be barred from 8 pm as will drinking in public spaces. Meanwhile sporting venues will remain closed to fans ahead of the football championship kicking off next week. "We've been seeing a sustained rise in the number of new cases since the beginning of August," Prime Minister Antonio Costa said, after Portugal saw 646 new infections in the 24 hours to Wednesday—its highest since April 20.
10th Sep 2020 - Medical Xpress

UAE sounds warning after virus cases jump five-fold

The United Arab Emirates said Thursday that daily coronavirus cases had jumped five-fold compared with a month ago, and warned residents and citizens to abide by measures designed to curb the disease. The daily tally of cases hit 930 on Thursday, said Farida al-Hosani, spokeswoman for the Emirates' health sector, compared with 179 on August 10. "This is the highest number recorded in four months," she said during a televised conference. "Those who violate the preventive measures in place, whether an individual, shops, or restaurants, will be held accountable." Hosani said 12 percent of cases were among residents or citizens returning to the UAE from abroad, even though they received negative tests from their destination countries -- which are a requirement for entry.
10th Sep 2020 - The Daily Star

India inches closer to 100,000 daily Covid-19 case mark

The latest numbers put total cases at 4.46 million and 1,152 new casualties recorded over the past 24 hours took the death toll to 75,062. In terms of infections, India is second only to the United States’s 6.5 million. In terms of deaths, India is third with the US having recorded over 194,000 fatalities and Brazil over 128,000.
10th Sep 2020 - Hindustan Times

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Outbreaks of infections including Covid-19 in England's care homes at lowest levels for six MONTHS

Between August 24 and August 30 outbreaks dropped to just 58 in England. This is below the highs of 1,010 a week recorded at the height of the pandemic. Outbreaks are when two or more people have the same symptoms, like a cough. They may not mark a coronavirus infection as the figure includes other diseases
9th Sep 2020 - Daily Mail

France's economy set to bounce back despite impact of coronavirus

France's economy, which like those of other countries was pushed into a bruising recession by the coronavirus, will bounce back now that lockdown measures are lifted but will still contract over the year as a whole, official data showed Tuesday. France's gross domestic product, which had shrunk by a record 13.8 percent in the second quarter, is forecast to grow by 17 percent in the subsequent three months, the national statistics office Insee calculated. Nevertheless, the rebound was not quite as strong as expected and Insee said it was sticking to its forecast for an overall economic contraction of 9.0 percent for the year as a whole.
9th Sep 2020 - YAHOO!

New Zealand economy faring better than expected

A cluster of numbers suggests the economy may be faring better than expected despite a resurgence of Covid-19 and reimposition of some travel restrictions. ANZ Bank's preliminary look at business confidence for September showed an improvement in sentiment, with companies markedly less pessimistic about the broad outlook for the economy, falling to a net negative 26 percent from 41.8 percent in August. The more closely followed measure of firms' view on their own future improved 8 points, with a net 10 percent expecting conditions to get worse in the next year.
9th Sep 2020 - RNZ

Rural Communities Needlessly Risk Covid-19 From Prisons

In May, two West Virginia prisons, FCI Gilmer (in central WV) and FCI Hazelton were designated to be quarantine sites for the entire Bureau of Prisons (BOP) system. A number of prisoners were to be transferred from overcrowded DC jails before being sent yet again to another facility after 14 days of quarantine. Part of the objection to the initial transfer was that the BOP screening of prisoners for Covid-19 included a temperature check and questions, but no actual testing for Covid-19. Gilmer received 124 inmates and promptly had an outbreak affecting at least 83 prisoners and additional staff.
9th Sep 2020 - Forbes

Positive Covid tests in no-lockdown Sweden hit lowest rate since pandemic began

Sweden carried out a record number of new coronavirus tests last week with only 1.2% coming back positive, the health agency said on Tuesday, the lowest rate since the pandemic began at a time when countries across Europe are seeing surges in infections.
9th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

One in three central London venues haven't reopened since lockdown

One in three central London hospitality venues yet to reopen from lockdown won’t do so until footfall drastically improves, it was estimated today as pub giants called for more government support. Trade association UKHospitality, which represents hotel, pub, restaurant and club owners, made the reopening forecast at a time when numerous people are yet to return to offices and travel restrictions keep tourists away. Some firms have also struggled with making certain smaller sites financially viable due to social distancing rules.
9th Sep 2020 - Evening Standard

COVID-19: Angola to reopen schools in October

Angolan authorities have decided to reopen schools in the country next month after months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to media reports. “Classes will resume in phases and on alternating days. Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 will resume on October 5,” nation.africa news website quoted Education Minister Luísa Grilo as saying. Classes for the grades 7 and 8 will resume on Oct. 19, she added. The class sessions are expected to be divided into two and will go for two-and-half hours for primary schools and three-and-half hours for secondary schools, according to the website. Meanwhile, Adao de Almeida, the head of the presidential palace, announced that the government will continue observing certain COVID-19 guidelines until Oct. 9 when schools will resume, according to the website.
9th Sep 2020 - Anadolu Agency

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Risking jail, some parents in Spain resist sending kids back to school

Ángela López hardly fits the profile of a rule breaker. But López, the mother of a 7-year-old girl with respiratory problems, has found herself among parents ready to challenge Spanish authorities on a blanket order for their kids to return to school. They are wary of safety measures they see as ill funded as a new wave of coronavirus infections sweeps the country. They fear sick students could infect older relatives who are at higher risk of falling ill from the virus. And they say that they have invested in computers and better network connections to prepare for online lessons, even preparing to homeschool their children if necessary.
8th Sep 2020 - Los Angeles Times

Coronavirus: Spanish children return to school amid fears over surge in cases

Wearing colourful masks, the pupils of the Mariano Jose de Larra primary school in Madrid laughed and played on Tuesday morning before their teachers made them form two lines at the gates to take their temperature. It was the first day back at school for millions of Spanish children after a six-month break, bringing parents feelings of both relief and worry about a possible rise in coronavirus infections. "I'm a teacher and I still haven't brought my children back to school because it's not safe yet," said Maria Varas, who teaches music.
8th Sep 2020 - The Independent

Teachers and pupils missing classes due to lack of Covid-19 tests

One teacher near Birmingham told the PA news agency she and her son were missing school because they were unable to get a home test. The nearest drive-in centres were Oldham in Greater Manchester or Romford in Essex. “I think any school is going to have difficulty eventually unless things change. I should have been able to walk in today and get a test and be back at my desk in 24 hours,” said the teacher, who asked not to be named. “In my opinion the testing system is not fit for purpose and is preventing me from doing my job.”
8th Sep 2020 - Aberdeen Evening Express

Tech companies ramp up hiring as London moves past lockdown

Tech companies in the UK’s capital have accelerated their hiring plans over the summer as businesses get ready to go back to work, with digital roles jumping by more than a third. Advertising for vacancies in the digital tech sector rose 36 per cent in the last two months, according to data collated by Tech Nation for the government’s Digital Economy Council. Technology companies now employ around a fifth of all Londoners at almost 3m people, thanks to major expansions in the city by the likes of Apple, Amazon and Google. Meanwhile digital tech roles account for nine per cent of the UK’s overall workforce.
8th Sep 2020 - City A.M.

London NHS staff join trial to see if 'super sniffer' dogs can detect coronavirus

London NHS workers have been recruited to a trial that aims to determine whether dogs can sniff out Covid-19. A team of 25 volunteers from University College Hospital (UCLH) in Euston are allowing trained “bio-detection dogs” to smell their socks and T-shirts to see if they can detect whether a person has the virus. They are among 3,500 NHS staff nationwide signed up in the trial. The £500,000 government-sponsored project is being led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), charity Medical Detection Dogs and Durham University.
8th Sep 2020 - Evening Standard

French economy bouncing back after Covid-19 lockdown measures lifted

France's economy, which like those of other countries was pushed into a bruising recession by the coronavirus, will bounce back now that lockdown measures are lifted but will still contract over the year as a whole, official data showed Tuesday.
8th Sep 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

French economy bouncing back after Covid-19 lockdown measures lifted

France's economy, which like those of other countries was pushed into a bruising recession by the coronavirus, will bounce back now that lockdown measures are lifted but will still contract over the year as a whole, official data showed Tuesday. France's gross domestic product, which had shrunk by a record 13.8 percent in the second quarter, is forecast to grow by 17 percent in the subsequent three months, the national statistics office Insee calculated. Nevertheless, the rebound was not quite as strong as expected and Insee said it was sticking to its forecast for an overall economic contraction of 9.0 percent for the year as a whole. French economic activity should run at 95 percent of pre-epidemic levels in the third quarter and at 96 percent of pre-outbreak levels in the fourth, INSEE said. Economic activity ran at 81 percent of pre-outbreak levels in the second quarter, data showed.
8th Sep 2020 - Yahoo! News

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Covid-19 vaccine developers prepare joint safety pledge: Wall Street Journal

Several Covid-19 vaccine developers, including Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Inc, plan to issue a public pledge not to seek government approval until their vaccine candidates are proven to be safe and effective, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday (Sept 4). The companies would pledge to adhere to high scientific and ethical standards in the conduct of clinical studies and in their manufacturing processes, the Journal report said, citing the draft of a joint statement that is still being finalised. The companies might issue the pledge as soon as early next week, the report added, citing two people familiar with the matter
7th Sep 2020 - The Straits Times

Coronavirus: Schools face disruption over positive Covid-19 cases

Pupils and teachers have been asked to self isolate with schools across Wales affected by positive Covid-19 cases. Areas affected include Bridgend, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Carmarthen, Gwynedd, Neath, Rhondda, and Wrexham. Thirty pupils in Year 7 class at Ysgol Bro Edern, Llanedeyrn, Cardiff, have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days after a confirmed case. Head teacher Iwan Pritchard said the school had acted "as quickly as possible" to contact those affected. They were identified as close contacts of a confirmed case at the school.
7th Sep 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Train services increase amid evidence of 'modest' return to work

Train services are ramping up from today amid evidence of growing demand as schools reopen in England and Wales and workers are urged to return to offices. Timetables are increasing to around 90% of pre-lockdown levels - meaning additional trains and longer carriages on many routes - according to industry body the Rail Delivery Group. The changes coincide with figures suggesting a "modest" rise in demand since the August Bank Holiday weekend following the government's plea for staff to go back to the office over fears the coronavirus crisis will leave a permanent scar on city centres.
7th Sep 2020 - Sky News

Russia reports 5,185 new coronavirus cases, 51 deaths

Rusian reported 5,185 new coronavirus cases on Monday, pushing its national tally to 1,030,690, the fourth largest in the world. Authorities confirmed 51 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the official toll to 17,871
7th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: India overtakes Brazil with second-worst number of cases in world

India has overtaken Brazil to become the country with the second highest total number of coronavirus infections after the United States. Some 90,802 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours on Monday, pushing India’s total to 4,204,614, surpassing Brazil, which has more than 4.1 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 6.2 million people in the US have been infected. India has recorded the world’s largest daily increases in cases for almost a month. However, India has a relatively low per capita death rate, which some observers have speculated could be due to the younger average age of the population.
7th Sep 2020 - The Independent

India now has the second highest number of Covid-19 cases behind the US as number of infections surges

Another 90,082 cases were recorded on Monday, with 1,016 new fatalities. Rising number of daily infections in the cities and is spreading into rural areas. India has recorded 4.2 million cases; the US, 6.2 million; and Brazil 4.1 million. India's death toll stands at 71,642 compared to 193k in the US and 126k in Brazil
7th Sep 2020 - Daily Mail

PR blitz: China tries to flip the pandemic script, starring a 'reborn' Wuhan

China is recasting Wuhan as a heroic coronavirus victim and trying to throw doubt on the pandemic's origin story as it aims to seize the narrative at a time of growing global distrust of Beijing. China is recasting Wuhan as a heroic coronavirus victim and trying to throw doubt on the pandemic's origin story as it aims to seize the narrative at a time of growing global distrust of Beijing. The PR blitz plays out daily in comments by Chinese officials and lavish state media coverage of a "reborn" Wuhan that trumpets China's epidemic-control efforts and economic recovery while the United States struggles. The drive peaked in the past week as Chinese primary schools welcomed back students with considerable fanfare and Wuhan hosted executives from dozens of multinationals, from Panasonic to Dow and Nokia, on a highly choreographed tour of the central Chinese city
7th Sep 2020 - RTL Today

S.Africa consumer confidence improves in third quarter as lockdown eases

South African consumers regained some confidence in the economy in the third quarter after consumer confidence hit a 35-year low in the previous quarter, a survey showed on Monday, as the country reopened its borders and businesses from the lockdown.
7th Sep 2020 - Reuters

Primark sales rise as shoppers return to UK high streets after lockdown

The group may have been boosted by a trend that has seen more people baking since lockdown began. Increased demand for yeast and bakery ingredients helped ABF's ingredients arm, and profits from sugar sales are expected to increase this year.
7th Sep 2020 - The Independent

India's coronavirus infections overtake Brazil as some rail services resume

India overtook Brazil in coronavirus infection numbers on Monday, making it second only to the United States after a record jump, but the government resumed underground train services and announced plans to re-open the Taj Mahal this month
7th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

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Tiny village offers window into India's surging COVID-19 caseload

The quaint, sugarcane growing village of Rajewadi in India's west did not have a single case of confirmed coronavirus until mid-August. Now one in every four people there is positive for the virus, with police blaming a local religious event for the spread.
5th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

COVID-19 outbreak is worsening malnutrition in India

There are warnings the world is on the brink of a "hunger pandemic". Charity Oxfam says up to 12,000 people could starve to death each day because of coronavirus-related restrictions. In India, malnutrition is already a threat to life - and the United Nations says the pandemic is making that worse.
5th Sep 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Under the cloak of Covid, the government is rushing ill-considered changes to Australia's environment laws

It seems our leaders don’t want tricky environmental matters elevated to them, so they plan to flick responsibility to the states
5th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Brazil's coronavirus cases pass the four million mark: ministry

Brazil has recorded more than 4 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 43,773 new cases and 834 deaths from the disease caused by the virus reported in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday.
5th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

India crosses four million coronavirus cases with record surge

India's total coronavirus cases surged beyond 4 million with a record rise on Saturday, making it the third country in the world to surpass that mark, following the United States and Brazil. India added 86,432 cases of the new virus on Saturday, a global daily record, according to data from the federal health ministry.
5th Sep 2020 - Reuters

Hundreds of students in quarantine after university in U.S. finds COVID-19 in wastewater

While schools and universities across the U.S. monitor coronavirus outbreaks with human testing, Utah State University officials announced they've discovered evidence of the virus a different way. The school found elevated amounts of COVID-19 in wastewater samples collected from four residence halls on campus. Officials issued a safety alert on Sunday calling for mandatory testing and quarantine of all 287 students living in Rich, Jones, Morgan and Davis on-campus residence halls.
5th Sep 2020 - CTV News

Indiana University sees 'alarming' spike in COVID-19 at frat, sorority houses

Indiana University at Bloomington on Thursday urged students living in fraternity and sorority houses to move out, citing an alaraming rate of positive Covid-19 tests that marked the latest outbreak in the U.S. Midwest and at college campus.
5th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

The bleak Covid winter? America still not on course to beat back the virus

The US is closed for many outside its borders, and many within are too scared to fly as Covid continues its deadly sweep across the country. The rate of infection has eased in Florida and elsewhere and Pesquera, president of the marketing group Discover the Palm Beaches, is hopeful business is improving. But it comes in a year of catastrophic collapse for Florida’s tourism. “Nobody has seen anything like this in a couple of generations,” said Pesquera. As the US enters its first coronavirus winter, economists and epidemiologists see a pivotal moment – a hinge whose swing will determine the direction of the economy and the course of the disease into 2021 and for years – potentially generations – to come
5th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

US university workers fight a return to campus as COVID-19 cases grow

A wave of activism is sweeping US campuses that have reopened after their summer break amid the COVID-19 crisis. Across the country, university workers — including faculty members and staff who teach in classrooms and laboratories, and housekeeping staff who clean dormitories — are pushing back against requirements that they show up on campus alongside undergraduates, thereby, they say, risking their own health. One group has filed a lawsuit against the University of North Carolina (UNC) system, which includes 16 institutions across the state, claiming that the system has not provided a safe workplace for its staff. Others have staged protests — including ‘die-ins’, in which demonstrators have simulated coronavirus deaths — to demand remote classes and more COVID-19 testing. In one case, university faculty members passed a ‘no confidence’ vote to indicate that their chancellor had neglected their concerns and botched the institution’s reopening.
5th Sep 2020 - Nature.com

U.S. CDC reports 186,173 deaths from coronavirus

The CDC on Friday said the number of deaths die to the cornoavirus has risen by 1,081 to 186, 173 and there were 6,132, 074 reported cases, an increase of 44,671 cases from the previous count.
5th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

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117 children have tested positive for Covid-19 since return to school

A total of 117 children have tested positive for coronavirus since Scotland’s schools reopened last month, the Education Secretary has revealed. John Swinney announced the number of positive tests for the virus as teachers’ unions spoke out about their ongoing fears over safety inside schools. Since pupils returned to school in August, a total of 77 youngsters aged between 12 and 17 have been found to have Covid-19, along with 40 children aged between five and 11. The Education Secretary told MSPs at Holyrood the evidence he had seen suggested most cases were “coming within households”, describing this as the “predominant explanation” for how youngsters had contracted the disease. But he added that overseas travel was also “resulting in quite a number of the cases”.
2nd Sep 2020 - Wales Online

Coronavirus: How it feels to be back at school

As millions of pupils in England return to school after lockdown, the BBC went to two primary schools in Luton, Whitefield Primary Academy and Southfield Primary School, to find out how parents and children felt.
2nd Sep 2020 - BBC News

Spain, France and Greece report fresh surges in Covid-19 cases as schools reopen in Europe

The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, said he was particularly worried about the surge in coronavirus cases in Madrid. One of the countries in Europe hit hardest by Covid-19, Spain has reported a surge in infections in the capital and other regions since lockdown was lifted in June. “We are worried about the state of public health and evolution of the virus in Madrid,” Mr Sánchez said.
2nd Sep 2020 - iNews

India's coronavirus case tally nears 3.8 million as country reopens

India said on Wednesday it would allow metro services to reopen nationwide, despite the number of novel coronavirus infections there reaching almost 3.8 million. The country reported 78,357 new cases in the last 24 hours, federal health data showed, taking total infections to 3,769,523. Some 66,333 people have died. India’s total cases lag only the United States and Brazil, which it will overtake in days based on current trends. A dozen metro services including in the capital New Delhi would be allowed to reopen from Sept. 7, India’s urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday
2nd Sep 2020 - Reuters

Months after lockdown, children in Wuhan return to school

Children returned to school Tuesday in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the original epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic that underwent months of lockdown but which has not seen new cases of local transmission for weeks. State media reported 1.4 million children in the city reported to 2,842 kindergartens, primary and secondary schools as part of a nationwide return to classes. Life has largely returned to normal in Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus was first detected late last year. After what critics called an attempt to ignore the outbreak, the city underwent a 76-day lockdown during which residents were confined to their homes and field hospitals opened to assist an overwhelmed medical system.
2nd Sep 2020 - The New Indian Express

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'Madness': Parents wait in huge queues as UK schools return after lockdown

A long queue of parents has been filmed outside a London school uniform shop as children prepare to return to school for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown. In the video filmed on Monday, the line of shoppers waiting to get into school uniform store Hewitts of Croydon, snakes down the street and around the corner in London. Schools in the UK have been closed since March 18 due to the coronavirus pandemic but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced all children will return to school after summer holidays in September.
1st Sep 2020 - Yahoo News Australia

Coronavirus: Which parts of the UK are recovering fastest after lockdown?

The UK's major city centres are still significantly less busy and Britons are, for the most part, continuing to shun public transport, data shows. Despite a government drive to get people back in shops, restaurants, bars and workplaces, some parts of the country are recovering far more slowly than others from the coronavirus lockdown. Coastal towns are busier, but cities are still quiet
1st Sep 2020 - Sky News

Venice Reclaims Spotlight as 1st COVID-Era Film Fest Opens

Venice is reclaiming its place as a top cultural destination with the opening of the Venice Film Festival — the first major in-person cinema showcase of the coronavirus era after Cannes canceled and other international festivals opted to go mostly online this year. But don’t be fooled. The 77th edition of the world’s oldest film festival will look nothing like its predecessors. The public will be barred from the red carpet, Hollywood stars and films will be largely absent and face masks will be required indoors and out as the festival opens Wednesday.
1st Sep 2020 - The New York Times

Russia Passes 1 Million Covid-19 Cases as Epidemic Simmers

Russia became the fourth country to pass 1 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, joining the U.S., India and Brazil, on the day schools across the country reopened for the new academic year. The Russian government’s virus response center reported 4,729 new coronavirus infections Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,000,048. The number of new daily cases has gradually declined from a peak of more than 11,000 in May. The death toll increased by 123 to 17,299, a mortality rate that remains much lower than that of many other large nations. The number of fatalities is also significantly lower than those reported by the Federal Statistics Service, which said there were nearly 25,000 Covid-19 related deaths in May and June alone, the most recent data available. While a strict nationwide lockdown in the spring helped tame the initial surge, new infections have remained stubbornly high and averaged more than 5,000 per day in August. Several countries in Europe are now facing a second wave of the epidemic, raising concerns that Russia could see a spike in infections as schools reopen.
1st Sep 2020 - bnnbloomberg

Russia's Virus Cases Exceed 1 Million, Globally 4th Highest

Russia's tally of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed 1 million on Tuesday as authorities reported 4,729 new cases. With a total of 1,000,048 reported cases, Russia has the fourth largest caseload in the world after the U.S., Brazil and India. Over 815,000 people have so far recovered, authorities said, and more than 17,000 have died. Experts say the true toll of the pandemic is much higher than all reported figures, due to limited testing, missed mild cases and concealment of cases by some governments, among other factors. As of Tuesday, Russia has lifted most lockdown restrictions in the majority of the country’s regions.
1st Sep 2020 - The New York Times

Asia's factories shaking off COVID gloom, China shines

Factories across Europe and Asia continued to shake off the coronavirus gloom in August as the global economy gradually emerges from a downturn triggered by the health crisis, thanks in part to massive fiscal and monetary stimulus programmes. Surveys showing an expansion in manufacturing activity may reduce pressure on policymakers to take bolder steps to avert a deeper recession. Many analysts expect recovery to be feeble, however, as renewed waves of infections curb business activity and prevent some nations from fully reopening their economies. Fears of a resurgence in infections in some economies may discourage firms from boosting capital expenditure and delay a sustained rebound, some analysts say.
1st Sep 2020 - Reuters

Texts books and face masks, Europe's children return to school

Tens of millions of pupils returned to school in France, Poland and Russia on Tuesday, their rucksacks loaded with exercise books, geometry sets and, for many, face masks to protect them from a resurgent coronavirus pandemic. Hand cleansing stations, social distancing and staggered play time will become the new normal as countries across Europe seek ways to get children back into the classroom safely and their economies functioning once again. But they do so at a time when infections rates are spiraling upwards across the continent and there are widespread concerns that the return to schools and offices, the autumn flu season and excess mortality in winter could drive a second wave.
1st Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Face mask sales soar as Swedes eye potential guideline change

Sweden is seeing a spike in demand for face masks, several drug stores said, ahead of a possible U-turn by the authorities, who have so far doubted their effectiveness in fighting the spread of the new coronavirus. Unlike most other European countries, Sweden has kept many businesses, restaurants and most schools open, while not recommending the use of face masks, which remain a rare sight unlike in neighbouring Denmark, Norway and Finland. But after the public health agency (FHM) said two weeks ago that it may issue new recommendations, Swedes appear to be stockpiling. Face mask sales at online pharmacist Apotea have increased to around 400,000 units a week in the past two to three weeks from 150,000 in previous weeks, CEO Par Svardson said.
31st Aug 2020 - Reuters

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Capita plans to shut offices as staff work from home

One of Britain’s leading government contractors is planning to close more than a third of its 250 offices after concluding that staff are working just as effectively from home. Almost 100 sites are set to be closed as Capita, which has 45,000 staff in the UK, prepares to transform its operations permanently.
31st Aug 2020 - The Times

Spain reports more than 23,000 new COVID-19 cases since Friday

Spain has registered more than 23,000 new COVID-19 cases since Friday, health emergency chief Fernando Simon told a news conference on Monday, suggesting the infection rate had declined slightly from an Aug. 21 peak. Health ministry data showed 2,489 new cases were diagnosed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total since the onset of the pandemic to 462,858. “Of course we are worried because we have to stabilize and bring down the infection chain,” Health Minister Salvador Illa told Catalonia’s regional TV channel 324 late on Monday, adding that the goal is to avoid pressuring hospitals. Illa said that the situation is not comparable to the pandemic’s first peak in March and April, noting hospitals now have greater capacity. He said that nothing can be ruled out but it would be unlikely Spain would need to close schools again or impose a new state of emergency to try to tackle the virus.
31st Aug 2020 - Reuters

Pakistan records lowest daily count of COVID-19 in four months

Pakistan on Sunday reported 213 new coronavirus cases, its lowest daily count in more than four months. The country reported its first case of the deadly virus on February 26 and went into a three-week lockdown in late March. In the subsequent months, the caseload kept climbing, peaking at 6,825 new cases in a single day on June 13. While it recorded 153 deaths, its highest to date, on June 19. However, in the last month, Pakistan's daily infections and fatalities have dropped significantly. On August 30, it recorded only 213 new cases in a day, and six deaths across the country, while it sampled 18,017 tests.
31st Aug 2020 - Geo News

Coronavirus 'super-spreader' has 'infected at least 140 people' at Brit hotspot

A coronavirus "super-spreader" could be responsible for at least 140 positive cases on the holiday island of Gran Canaria, which is facing the threat of a new lockdown. Health experts believe the virus was introduced via the nightlife scene in the Guanarteme district of the popular Playa de las Canteras resort. While mainland Spain struggles with a second wave, Gran Canaria is battling escalating outbreaks of coronavirus which have put the island on the brink of a new lockdown unlesss the situation drastically improves in the next 14 days. The Canary government says it is watching the evolution of the virus very carefully and monitoring what action to take on a day to day basis.
31st Aug 2020 - Mirror Online

France Covid-19: Paris compulsory face-mask rule comes into force

Wearing a face mask in public has become mandatory across Paris and several surrounding areas, amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in France. On Friday the country recorded 7,379 new infections - its highest number since early May. The number of "red zones" where the virus is in active circulation has risen from two to 21. Announcing new local curbs on Thursday, PM Jean Castex said he wanted to avoid another general lockdown. He said the coronavirus was "gaining ground" across France, and that if the government did not act fast infection growth could become "exponential". Despite a sharp rise in cases in recent weeks, daily death tolls have remained low. Overall, more than 3
31st Aug 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: It would be a miracle if Tour de France finishes, UCI president admits

It would be a "miracle" if this year's Tour de France finishes, the head of the world governing body for competitive cycling has warned, after a surge in coronavirus cases prompted a rule change. There was an unusually subdued atmosphere as the race began in Nice on Saturday amid fears the 176 riders may not make it to the finishing line in Paris. Union Cycliste Internationale president David Lappartient said it was "a first miracle that we are able to start this race".
31st Aug 2020 - Sky News

France Tightens Mask Protocols Amid Gain in Virus Infections

The French government isn’t taking any chances. From Tuesday, masks will be mandatory for companies with groups working in enclosed spaces, Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne said Sunday on BFM TV. While opera singers are among those who can be granted exemptions, mask-wearing is becoming entrenched in daily life. Cities from Paris to Marseilles are making masks compulsory, even outside, while students over 11 years old will have to cover their faces when returning to school next month.
31st Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

Island paradise off Brazil reopens to welcome tourists, but only if they’ve had Covid-19

Fernando de Noronha has reopened for visitors after a five-month shutdown, but with one stipulation. Tourists have to have contracted and recovered from Covid-19 before being allowed on the island
31st Aug 2020 - South China Morning Post

Merkel Calls on Germans to Avoid Virus-Hit Areas Like U.S.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Germans to refrain from non-essential travel to areas with severe coronavirus outbreaks, including the U.S. Merkel’s warning to people in Europe’s biggest economy reflects growing concern among European leaders faced with a summer surge of Covid-19. Paris is expanding its mask-wearing mandate to public spaces citywide, Spain reported the most new infections since late April and Italy had the most since early May.
27th Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

Coronavirus Australia: Free mental health and wellbeing support during the COVID-19 pandemic

When we’re not coping, it’s not always possible to see a psychologist for help. Sometimes there are barriers to professional support services – cost, distance, availability and, more recently, coronavirus lockdowns. If you’re struggling during COVID-19, there are a number of free and accessible tools available.
31st Aug 2020 - News.com.au

'The reversal of gentrification': how Covid-19 could remake Australia's cities

Office buildings in Australian CBDs could be converted into residential living spaces, as a tanking commercial property market leads to a potential reversal of gentrification. The prediction of drastically different city centres, made by property experts and architects, follows the Covid-19 shift in work habits that have forced employers to allow staff to work from home, with expectations the flexibility afforded to them as a result of coronavirus will remain in some capacity into the post-pandemic future. Urban planning thinktanks believe that as businesses require less floor space and less commercial property is used, state and local governments will have to do more to draw people into the city centres in which they have already invested heavily.
29th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

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Falling care home demand since Covid poses threat to UK

There is a graph circulating in the care home industry that should send chills down the spine of the health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock. It predicts, under a worst-case scenario, a plunge in the demand for care homes by the end of 2021 that would leave 180,000 beds empty. The forecast by consultants Knight Frank is not good news based on a healthier aged population, but rather is based on fresh waves of coronavirus killing thousands more people in the community and in care homes, creating a flight from the sector. It is pessimistic, but for care home bosses reeling from the first wave of the pandemic – which killed more than 17,000 of their customers – it does not seem impossible. Short-term, it could have a serious impact on an NHS left to look after the infirm. Longer-term, it could seriously erode the UK’s capacity to look after its most vulnerable.
27th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

UK reports highest daily COVID case total since June 12

The United Kingdom recorded 1,522 new cases of COVID-19 in the latest daily government statistics published on Thursday, the highest number since June 12 and up from 1,048 cases a day earlier. A further 12 people were recorded as having died within 28 days of their first positive test for COVID-19, taking the United Kingdom’s cumulative death toll on this measure to 41,477.
27th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

French Business Morale Rebounds in August Despite Surging COVID-19 Cases

French business confidence rebounded in August to its highest since France went into a coronavirus lockdown despite a resurgence of new infections, a survey showed on Thursday. INSEE, the official statistics agency, said its monthly business sentiment index rose to 91 from 84, reaching its highest since March, when midway through the month the government put France under one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe. Business confidence has rebounded since the government began lifting the lockdown on May 11 as companies struggled to respond to pent-up demand from clients.
27th Aug 2020 - The New York Times

Brits must return to offices to stop city centres becoming 'ghost towns', CBI boss warns

City centres risk becoming permanent "ghost towns" if staff do not return to offices, a senior business leader has warned. Carolyn Fairbairn, the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said getting staff back into offices and workplaces is as important as pupils returning to school in September. Boris Johnson signalled an end to stay at home guidance in July as he gave employers the green light to get staff back to work, but Dame Carolyn called for the Prime Minister to do more to get office workers back at their desks. "The UK’s offices are vital drivers of our economy," she wrote in the Daily Mail. "They support thousands of local firms, from dry cleaners to sandwich bars. They help train and develop young people. And they foster better work and productivity for many kinds of business.
27th Aug 2020 - Evening Standard

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Thailand delays human testing for coronavirus vaccine

Thailand will delay human trials of its coronavirus vaccine due to limited production capacity at overseas facilities, a senior official said on Wednesday, but it hopes to resume trials by the end of the year. Thai health authorities had planned human testing of the vaccine by October, but must delay that by several months as factories abroad are at full capacity, said Kiat Ruxrungtham, director of the Chulalongkorn University vaccine development programme. The delay will be a setback for Thailand’s push to quickly create its own vaccine and comes as developers worldwide race to complete trials and secure regulatory approval. A race is on among countries to guarantee a supply amid concern about competition for access, with Britain and the United States in the lead in securing six vaccine deals with drugmakers each.
26th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Myanmar shuts schools after biggest daily climb in coronavirus cases

Myanmar ordered all schools to close after reporting 70 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, its biggest daily rise, as authorities try to tackle a resurgence of the virus following weeks without confirmed domestic transmission.
26th Aug 2020 - Reuters

India: Health workers alarmed over 'black holes' in COVID-19 apps

Health officials and lawyers have expressed worry about unclear terms on issues like data retention and sharing. "People were just hostile," said Kaur, who is one of more than one million Accredited Social Health Activists, or ASHA workers, on the front lines of India's battle to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. "We didn't want to download the app, but our concerns were ignored," Kaur said in a phone interview. "There is so much information the app wants from every individual, including pictures. Many are just scared to give it now and threaten us if we persist." Considered key tools in stemming the pandemic, the rollout of Punjab's Corona Virus Alert (COVA) app and the dozens of tracing apps being used by different Indian states has been mired in concerns over privacy issues.
26th Aug 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Is Boris Johnson following the science – or following the Scots?

Boris Johnson and his ministers are well known for their mantra that they are “following the science”. On the evidence of recent weeks it might be said that they are also “following the Scots”. The recent Westminster/English policy U-turn on masks follows other such examples, where UK ministers now responsible only for policy in England have followed the Scottish precedent, reversing a previously decided approach, as on the wearing of face coverings on public transport, in shops and indeed on abandoning plans to send pupils back to school towards the end of the last term. Most recently, the UK’s secretary of state for education, Gavin Williamson, has pleaded to be allowed to keep his job on the grounds that his counterparts in Belfast (DUP/Sinn Fein), Edinburgh (SNP) and Cardiff (Labour/Lib Dem) have been doing much the same as he has, and if they’re not being sacked neither should he be dismissed from his role. There is also some suggestion that the Scottish government (as well as the devolved administrations in Wales and Northern Ireland) earlier in the year urged the English authorities to proceed more slowly in relaxing the lockdown from May onwards, and to retain more of the social distancing conventions and business support for longer. So far as their devolved powers allowed them to, this is indeed what transpired in the three mostly self-governing parts of the UK. Arguably their greater caution has resulted in better health outcomes and fewer local lockdowns.
26th Aug 2020 - The Independent

People on low incomes in UK Covid hotspots to be paid if self-isolating

People on low incomes in areas with high coronavirus infection rates will be eligible for a payment of up to £182 if they have to self-isolate, the government has announced. Under the scheme, being trialled from Tuesday in Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham and Pendle, low-paid people who test positive for Covid-19 will receive £130 for their 10-day isolation period. This rises to £182 – or £13 a day – for people they have been in close contact with, including members of their household, who have to isolate for 14 days. The move follows weeks of campaigning by regional mayors, councils and trade unions who said millions of people across the country could not afford to isolate without pay for a fortnight.
26th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

COVID-19 -- Scenarios for the post-lockdown period in Italy

Infection has been reduced up to 70% as of May 1st. Thanks to developed model, scenarios can be drawn regarding future containment measures. While the pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 is still ravaging most countries of the world and containment measures are implemented worldwide, a debate is emerging on whether these measures might be partially alleviated, and in case how and when. This discussion requires appropriate models that guide decision-makers through alternative actions via scenarios of the related trajectories of the epidemic. This is the subject of a research whose results are published today in the journal Nature Communications by a team of Italian scientists from Università Ca' Foscari (Venice), Politecnico di Milano (Milan), Università di Padova (Padua), and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland).
26th Aug 2020 - EurekAlert

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 26th Aug 2020

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Tourism Industry Faces $1 Trillion Loss, 100 Million Jobs At Risk From Covid-19, UN Reports

A new policy brief from the United Nations outlining Covid-19’s impact on the tourism industry projects the pandemic will cost the tourism industry approximately $1 trillion in losses and threaten more than 100 million jobs worldwide, underlining how the ongoing global crisis has devastated one of the world’s largest industries. Tourism “allows people to experience some of the world’s cultural and natural riches and brings people closer to each other, highlighting our common humanity. Indeed, one might say that tourism is itself one of the wonders of the world,” Guterres said Tuesday. “That is why it has been so painful to see how tourism has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
25th Aug 2020 - Forbes

How India's Silicon Valley saw its COVID-19 success come undone

On June 9, an Indian health education minister posted an infographic on Twitter showing COVID-19 infections and deaths in the city of Bengaluru were running about half the rate in New Zealand, a country acclaimed globally for reining in the disease. The city — which has more than double the population of New Zealand — “stumps the Kiwis,” said the caption to the image posted by Sudhakar K., who is responsible for medical education in the southern state of Karnataka. Bengaluru, known to many as Bangalore, is the capital of the state. His tweet was liked and retweeted by thousands. But the celebration was short-lived. At the time, only about 450 cases of the novel coronavirus had been recorded among Bangalore’s population of more than 12.5 million, compared with more than 260,000 cases across India and about 1,150 in New Zealand.
25th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Second lockdown ‘not necessary’ as 91% of England has zero cases in four weeks

A second lockdown is not necessary because the majority of people in England live in neighbourhoods with no new coronavirus cases for four weeks, an expert has claimed. Professor John Clancy, from Birmingham City University, fears ‘dodgy data’ is being used to justify local lockdowns. He says 91% of the country – 51 million people – live in areas without new infections for nearly a month. He said the UK’s testing system was in ‘total chaos’ as new restrictions were enforced in Oldham and parts of Blackburn and Pendle as part of a strict ‘semi-lockdown’. And Birmingham could face fresh measures after rapidly rising infections saw the city added to the Government’s coronavirus watch list.
24th Aug 2020 - Metro

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India hits grim milestone of 3,000,000 coronavirus cases

The number of coronavirus cases in India has crossed the 3 million mark. More than 10,000 new cases and 912 deaths were reported today, bringing the total to 3,044,940. India is the third country in the world hardest-hit by the pandemic, after the United States and Brazil. Health officials are hoping scientists will be able to develop a vaccine by the end of the year, with clinical trials said to be underway.
23rd Aug 2020 - Metro

Care homes 'ordered not to resuscitate' at height of pandemic, report claims

Care homes were told to introduce “do not resuscitate” orders for residents at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, a report has claimed. The Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI) report also found that care home residents were regularly refused treatment in April and May. One carer reported being told to change the status of all the home’s residents to “do not resuscitate” but said staff had refused to comply. Homes were told hospitals had a blanket “no admissions” policy at the height of the Covid-19 crisis. The survey of nurses and managers in 163 care homes across England, Wales and Northern Ireland found 56 per cent said their physical and mental health had suffered due to the stress of the pandemic.
25th Aug 2020 - Evening Standard

People acting like Covid-19 isn't out there, says West Midlands police chief

A police chief has warned that people are acting like “the virus isn’t out there” after a weekend of illegal gatherings in the West Midlands, despite Birmingham edging closer to a local lockdown. Waheed Saleem, the deputy police and crime commissioner for the West Midlands, welcomed new police powers that allow fines of up to £10,000 for organisers of unlawful raves from Friday. Police forces across the country have been dealing with a rise in unlicensed music events as the weather has improved. The increased fine comes into force ahead of the August bank holiday weekend, when senior officers expect many illegal gatherings to take place.
24th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

India coronavirus cases cross 3 million mark as economy opens up

The number of coronavirus infections in India crossed the 3 million mark with 69,239 new cases reported on Sunday even as the country opened up various sectors from a lockdown that ground businesses to a halt and hurt economic growth. With the fifth straight day of more than 60,000 new cases, India's tally stands at 3.04 million, federal health ministry data showed, behind only the United States and Brazil. Deaths in India from COVID-19 rose by 912 to 56,706. India on Sunday issued guidelines to open up its media production industry with norms for social distancing, crowd management and sanitisation. "The general principles behind the SOP will help create a safe working environment for cast and crew in the industry," Prakash Javadekar, India's union minister for information and broadcasting said in a tweet. Top producers, distributors and actors from Bollywood, the movie industry in India's financial capital of Mumbai, had said in May it would take at least two years for them to recover financially from the pandemic, putting at risk tens of thousands of jobs.
24th Aug 2020 - YAHOO!

No10 urges workers to tell bosses if they want to come back to the office amid home working surge

No10 said businesses had a obligation to offer staff 'Covid-secure workplaces' NatWest is among banks telling staff they will not return to offices this year The rise in home working sparked fears for ancillary service industries
24th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus home test kits 'run out' in England and Scotland

England and Scotland appeared to run out of coronavirus home testing kits within hours on Monday, amid a backlog in laboratories. People were advised to travel long distances to test centres after being told that the daily allowance of home tests had run out. Callers to the NHS 119 number for Covid-19 were told: “We’re very sorry – the available allocation has already been issued at this time.” The reason behind the apparent shortage is unclear, but laboratories have been struggling to clear a backlog of tests since the end of July. The health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock, announced on 28 April that his department was increasing the number of home testing kits available from 5,000 a day to 25,000 a day by the end of that week.
24th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

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Germany COVID concerts: Experiment to study virus transmission

Restart-19 is studying the movement of people and flight of the tiny airborne particles that can carry viruses. Scientists in Germany have held three pop concerts to study the risk of virus transmission during large events. The mass experiment, staged with nearly 2,000 people in the city of Leipzig, comes at a time the country has banned all such gatherings until at least the end of October. Al Jazeera’s Um-e-Kulsoom reports.
23rd Aug 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Tour de France: teams will be expelled if two members test positive for Covid

Teams will be withdrawn from the Tour de France if two riders or staff show symptoms or test positive for Covid-19 under strict protocols from race organisers. However the race, which starts in Nice on 29 August, will continue even if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in the peloton according to an 18-page document shared with teams this week. “If two persons or more from the same team present strongly suspect symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19 the team in question will be expelled from the Tour de France,” states the document, which has been obtained by the VeloNews website. “Its riders will not be authorised to start the Tour de France (or the next stage) and the team’s personnel will have their accreditation withdrawn.” All team members will have to enter a “bubble” three days before the race by passing two Covid-19 tests – and everyone in the Tour entourage will be tested again on both rest days, 7 and 14 September.
22nd Aug 2020 - The Guardian

In China, Where the Coronavirus Pandemic Began, Life Is Starting to Look Normal

Markets, bars and restaurants are crowded again. Local virus transmissions are near zero. But some worry that people are letting their guard down too soon.
22nd Aug 2020 - The New York Times

Scale of pandemic in Mexico 'under-recognised', says WHO

The scale of the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico is “under-represented” and “under-recognised” and testing is limited, the World Health Organization’s Dr Mike Ryan said on Friday. He told a Geneva briefing that testing in Mexico worked out at about three people per 100,000, compared with about 150 tests per 100,000 people in the United States. More than 22.78 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 792,837​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.
22nd Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Thailand tops the list of the world’s safest destinations during COVID-19

Thailand was considered the world’s safest travel destination during the COVID-19 pandemic based on various criteria including the 14-day notification rate of new COVID-19 cases and deaths per the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
22nd Aug 2020 - Thailand Business News

Beijing says residents can go mask-free as China COVID cases hit new lows

Health authorities in China’s capital Beijing have removed a requirement for people to wear masks outdoors, further relaxing rules aimed at preventing the spread the novel coronavirus after the city reported 13 consecutive days without new cases. Despite the relaxed guidelines, a large proportion of people continued to wear masks in Beijing on Friday. Some said the mask made them feel safe, while others said social pressures to wear the masks were also a factor. “I think I can take off my mask anytime, but I’ll need to see if others accept it. Because I’m afraid that people would be scared if they see me not wearing mask,” one 24-year old Beijing woman surnamed Cao told Reuters.
22nd Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Pope Francis prays for victims of Covid-19

Pope Francis turns his thoughts and prayers to the victims of the novel coronavirus, and recalls the 4th anniversary of a deadly earthquake in central Italy.
22nd Aug 2020 - Vatican News

COVID-19 response: How Italy went from ‘well-prepared’ to worst-hit in a few weeks

While there are many things that need to be fixed in Italy's health system, a comprehensive, integrated health information system could make the overall health system upgradation process seamless and cost-effective as it will improve the monitoring and evaluation process.
22nd Aug 2020 - Devdiscourse

The Masked Singer production shut down after coronavirus outbreak on Melbourne set

The Melbourne set of The Masked Singer has been shut down after several crew members tested positive for the coronavirus. “The entire production team, including the masked singers, the host and panellists are now in self-isolation,” the Network 10 program posted on Twitter late on Saturday night. “They are all being monitored closely and are in constant contact with medical authorities.”
22nd Aug 2020 - The Guardian

India, Brazil, and South Africa will face the 'harshest' economic impact from the coronavirus in major na..

India, Brazil, and South Africa will face the 'harshest' economic impact from the coronavirus in major nations as they're corrupt and badly run, a report says
22nd Aug 2020 - Business Insider

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World Bank chief warns extreme poverty could surge by 100 million - The Jakarta Post

David Malpass, the president of the World Bank, warned that the coronavirus pandemic may drive as many as 100 million people back into extreme poverty. The Washington-based development lender previously estimated that 60 million people would fall into extreme poverty due to COVID-19, but the new estimate puts the deterioration at 70 to 100 million, and Malpass told the AFP news agency "that number could go higher" if the pandemic worsens or drags on. The situation makes it "imperative" that creditors reduce the amount of debt held by poor countries at risk, going beyond the commitment to suspend debt payments, he added.
21st Aug 2020 - Jakarta Post

New Zealand defers lockdown decision as it reports new COVID-19 cases

New Zealand on Friday reported 11 new cases of coronavirus, and put off a decision about easing restrictions in its biggest city of Auckland to next week. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she would announce on Monday whether the government would ease alert level 3 restrictions enforced in Auckland, and level 2 measures in the rest of the country. Of the new COVID-19 cases, nine were in the community while two were imported.
21st Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Lockdown-free Sweden records its highest number of deaths in a six-month period for 150 years

Lockdown-free Sweden has recorded its highest death toll in a six-month period for 150 years - with 4,500 of its 51,405 fatalities being Covid-19 related. Its the highest tally from January to the end of June since 1869 when 55,431 people died, largely because of a famine. The population of Sweden then was just 4.1million, compared to 10.3million today. It should also be noted that Sweden remained neutral during the two world wars, whereas most European countries were experiencing the equivalent of a six-month coronavirus death toll in the course of a single battle 75 years ago.
20th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail

'Distanced aperitivo and no hugs: How we're hosting house guests in Italy after lockdown'

But it has been a relief to be able to invite people to our house again. This has, however, required adopting some measures to keep everyone safe. There have been no decrees or lists made available to guide this accommodation, so we have had to cobble together our own. In some ways, we have learned from what we have experienced with lodging and restaurants. But then have added a domestic twist. One event that got our attention early-on was the covid-caused death of the village pharmacist and the infection of several members of his family. It seems the family had a large get-together and a few weeks later, the effects were dramatic. Given that he was a kind of town patriarch and friend of everyone, Patrizio’s sudden passing got everyone’s attention. One week he was his affable self, standing by the entrance to his shop and chatting people up; the next week he was gone. Thereafter, people diligently wore masks and maintained proper separation.
20th Aug 2020 - The Local Italy

How the Pandemic Is Reshaping India

With a white handkerchief covering his mouth and nose, only Rajkumar Prajapati’s tired eyes were visible as he stood in line. It was before sunrise on Aug. 5, but there were already hundreds of others waiting with him under fluorescent lights at the main railway station in Pune, an industrial city not far from Mumbai, where they had just disembarked from a train. Each person carried something: a cloth bundle, a backpack, a sack of grain. Every face was obscured by a mask, a towel or the edge of a sari. Like Prajapati, most in the line were workers returning to Pune from their families’ villages, where they had fled during the lockdown. Now, with mounting debts, they were back to look for work. When Prajapati got to the front of the line, officials took his details and stamped his hand with ink, signaling the need to self-isolate for seven days.
20th Aug 2020 - YAHOO!

China state papers back Wuhan park after viral pool party

Chinese state newspapers threw their support behind an amusement park in the central city of Wuhan on Thursday after pictures of a densely packed pool party at the park went viral overseas amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
20th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Chinese state media dismisses attacks on Wuhan's huge pool party as 'sour grapes'

Chinese state media has defended Wuhan residents after photos and video of a huge pool party went viral this week, saying complaints by foreigners were “sour grapes” . Thousands of people celebrated at a water park music festival in Wuhan this week, crowded in front of the stage, shoulder to shoulder. An AFP photo of the dance party drew some negative responses at Wuhan’s apparent return to normal life. A newspaper front page in Australia headlined the story as “China’s big party”, and “life’s a beach in Wuhan as world pays virus price”. Chinese authorities have faced persistent criticisms over early attempts to cover up the coronavirus outbreak, with some world leaders saying they could have stopped its spread to other countries.
20th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

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Inside the French Riviera's pandemic party problem

From Saint-Tropez to Marseille and Nice, parties across the French Riviera this summer have been making international headlines. In conversations with Business Insider, several French residents described a scene of non-stop partying and minimal mask-wearing. In recent weeks, restaurants and night clubs across Saint-Tropez have been forced to close down.
19th Aug 2020 - Business Insider

Notre Dame becomes latest university to suspend in-person classes

The University of Notre Dame on Tuesday suspended in-person classes and moved them online for at least two weeks after seeing a surge in coronavirus cases, the latest university to roll back campus reopenings. Notre Dame University President John Jenkins announced the decision after the prestigious Catholic university near South Bend, Indiana, reported a spike of 80 positive test results on Monday, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 147 since Aug. 3, according to the university’s website. The results from 418 tests represented a positivity rate of 19 percent at the school with overall positivity at around 16 percent since Aug. 3.
19th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Why China’s economic recovery from coronavirus is widening the wealth gap

Amanda Wang’s family businesses — a call centre and two restaurants in Beijing — are grappling with a plunge in revenue following the coronavirus outbreak. She imposed a company-wide 30 per cent pay cut on about 120 workers in July even after receiving tax cuts and employment subsidies from the government designed to help companies survive the pandemic. “My biggest challenge is a lack of business and policy support [from the government] isn’t helpful [on this],” says Ms Wang, referring to her decision to cut workers’ salaries. “I have to make savings where I can.” Yet Ms Wang had no qualms about renewing her annual Rmb150,000 ($21,000) membership at a downtown beauty salon in the Chinese capital. “I am not going to cut corners on my basic needs,” says the 41-year-old, who in July sold one of her six apartments in Beijing for a profit of Rmb3m. “There are ways to make up for the income loss.”
19th Aug 2020 - The Financial Times

Wuhan pool parties bring post-lockdown relief in China

Night-time pool parties are proving popular in the Chinese city hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak as residents in Wuhan seek relief from lockdown. For more than two months, 11 million residents endured a strict lockdown as coronavirus raced around the city in central China. Now, some are letting loose en masse at night-time pool parties at a popular amusement park chain. The Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park reopened in late June and the crowds have picked up this month.
19th Aug 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

Millions in India face eviction amid coronavirus recovery push

Thousands of people were evicted across India during lockdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic, with millions more at risk of being uprooted as authorities push infrastructure projects to spur economic growth, housing rights campaigners said. At least 20,000 people were evicted from their homes between March 16 and July 31, despite court orders that banned such actions during lockdowns, according to a report published by the Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) in Delhi on Tuesday. In the last three years for which HLRN has records, at least 568,000 were forcibly removed from their homes across India, or 22 people every hour. Last year alone, more than 107,600 people were evicted. “India’s grave housing crisis has been exacerbated by the forced eviction and home demolition of marginalised, low-income communities - even during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Shivani Chaudhry, HLRN’s executive director.
19th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Millions return to schools lacking handwashing facilities: UN

A joint report (PDF) published last week by the WHO and UNICEF, the UN children's fund, revealed that 43 percent of schools worldwide lacked facilities for basic handwashing with soap and water in 2019, affecting 818 million children - more than a third of them in sub-Saharan Africa. In the least-developed countries, seven out of 10 schools lack basic handwashing facilities, and half of all schools lack basic sanitation and water services, the agencies said.
19th Aug 2020 - Al Jazeera English

COVID-19 pandemic causes mental health crisis in Americas, says WHO official

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a mental health crisis in the Americas due to heightened stress and use of drugs and alcohol during six months of lockdowns and stay-at-home measures, the World Health Organization’s regional director said on Tuesday. The pandemic also has brought a related problem in a surge in domestic violence against women, Carissa Etienne said in a virtual briefing from the Pan American Health Organization in Washington. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a mental health crisis in our region at a scale we’ve never seen before,” she said. “It is urgent that mental health support is considered a critical component of the pandemic response.”
19th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

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Coronavirus: Australia signs deal for potential vaccine and says it will be free for all its citizens

Australia‘s prime minister Scott Morrison says the country has signed a deal with drugmaker AstraZeneca to secure and manufacture a potential coronavirus vaccine, and that it will be made available for free to all citizens if successful. The University of Oxford jab is considered a leader in the global race to deliver an effective vaccine against Covid-19. With several countries moving to secure supplies that some fear may lead to a global shortage, Australia said it had signed a letter of intent with AstraZeneca to produce and distribute enough doses of the Oxford vaccine for its population. “Under this deal we have secured early access for every Australian,” Mr Morrison said in a statement. ”If this vaccine proves successful we will manufacture and supply vaccines straight away under our own steam and make it free for 25 million Australians.”
18th Aug 2020 - The Independent

Chinese-built lab eases strain in Iraq's virus battle

Iraqi lab staff are busy each day shuffling piles of swab samples that await COVID-19 testing in a Chinese-built facility that has transformed the way they do their vital work. From boosting testing capacities to setting a high standard of testing protocols, the laboratory has played a critical role in helping the Iraqi Ministry of Health battle the disease since its inauguration in Baghdad's Medical City on March 25, lab director Mohammed Ghanim Mahdi said. "The lab was equipped and established by a donation from the Chinese government at a critical time," Mahdi said. "When this lab was established, Iraq had only one working lab fighting COVID-19." Mahdi said the lab has facilitated the Iraqi campaign against the coronavirus, especially in the first few weeks of the outbreak in Iraq.
19th Aug 2020 - ChinaDaily USA

Wuhan coronavirus: From silent streets to packed pools

Thousands of people packed shoulder-to-shoulder with no face masks in sight, frolicking on rubber floats and cheering along to a music festival. It's not a very 2020 image, but it was the scene this weekend in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where Covid-19 first emerged late last year. Pictures of partygoers at the Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park - looking very much removed from the outbreak that the rest of the world continues to battle - have now gone, well, viral. It's worlds apart from the images that came out of Wuhan when it had the world's first Covid-19 lockdown in January - a ghost town devoid of residents and vehicles. The lockdown was lifted in April and there have been no domestically transmitted cases in Wuhan or Hubei province since mid-May.
18th Aug 2020 - BBC News

Wuhan pool party sees thousands of people gather at water park as lockdown is eased

Thousands of people have been pictured crammed into a water park in Wuhan — the Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged — as lockdown restrictions ease. The Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park was filled with partygoers over the weekend as it hosted an electronic music festival. Photos shared widely online show thousands of revellers in swimming costumes and goggles, floating in inflatable rings whilst enjoying the DJs and performers on stage.
18th Aug 2020 - Evening Standard

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Migrants return to Delhi as India's COVID-19 deaths top 50,000

India’s COVID-19 deaths topped 50,000 on Monday, five months after the country reported its first such fatality, as migrant workers poured back into major cities in hopes of regaining work after the easing of anti-virus restrictions. Hundreds of migrant workers from the countryside who had left the capital New Delhi in droves after losing their jobs in a nationwide lockdown in March returned in buses on Monday and were made to wait in lines for rapid COVID-19 tests. Those who tested positive were sent to quarantine centres while the rest were allowed to leave the city’s busy inter-state bus terminus with their luggage. Almost all of them wore masks or covered their nose and mouth with scarves or handkerchiefs, though in the countryside such virus-fighting measures have become tough to enforce and the infection rate has surged.
17th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Nicola Sturgeon announces 26 new Covid-19 cases but no deaths recorded

There were 26 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours in Scotland, the First Minister has announced today. But there have now been zero deaths related to the killer virus since July. The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases across the country now stands at 19,358. Patients currently being treated in hospital with the deadly virus stands at 248 with three currently in intensive care. The total number of Covid-19 deaths in Scotland remains at 2,491. Early estimates show 13 of the new cases are from the Grampian area, with a new cluster emerging in Coupar Angus.
17th Aug 2020 - Daily Record

Fears overcrowding in Wetherspoon pubs may lead to Covid spike

Fears that relaxed summer socialising will lead to a surge in Covid-19 cases around the UK have been heightened after concerns that JD Wetherspoon is failing to prevent overcrowding in pubs in its 900-strong chain. Concerns about poor social distancing by customers in Wetherspoon pubs followed a surge in visitors during recent hot weather and after the publication of A-level results last Thursday. Customers in a south London pub run by the company said they had not been asked to provide personal details, including mobile phone numbers that can be used in the government’s track and trace system. The Guardian found that in one of south London’s most popular pubs with young people, customers were allowed to buy drinks directly from the bar and stood within 1 metre of others without any intervention by the staff
17th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

India travel demand high, says Lufthansa as air bubble flights to Germany resume

The Lufthansa Group on Monday expressed confidence that air travel demand to and from India remains high despite the COVID-19 lockdown disruption, as it welcomed the bilateral air bubble agreement which allowed Germany’s largest airline to resume flights from India last week. George Ettiyil, Lufthansa Group’s Senior Director for South Asia Sales, said the airline is offering more than 40 flights from Frankfurt and Munich to Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore until the end of August, beyond which it hopes to formally apply for inbound flights to India in consultation with Indian authorities.
17th Aug 2020 - Financial Express

Italy’s businesses enjoy ‘better than expected’ virus rebound

In the southern Italian town of Avellino, Salvatore Amitrano has been rushing to dispatch a backlog of deliveries since the country emerged from its strict coronavirus lockdown. Mr Amitrano and his two brothers run a multinational business producing components for household appliances with annual revenues of about €25m. His company Pasell Group, which has plants in Italy, Turkey, Slovakia and Poland, registered year-on-year sales drops of up to 50 per cent in March, April and May as Rome imposed some of the most stringent antivirus measures so far seen in a western democracy.
17th Aug 2020 - Financial Times

Japan’s GDP drop less severe than US and Europe

Japan’s economy shrank by a record 7.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 as it outperformed the US and Europe but lagged behind neighbouring South Korea and Taiwan in its response to coronavirus. The figure, which equates to a 27.8 per cent decline at an annualised pace, exposes the consequences of a nationwide state of emergency over Covid-19 in April and May, which put much of the economy into a voluntary lockdown. Japan’s performance relative to other advanced countries highlights how the effectiveness of a country’s coronavirus response affects the economy, with Japan forced to close schools but able to avoid the strict lockdowns used in Europe.
17th Aug 2020 - The Financial Times

Japan's economy shrinks at fastest pace on record, despite no coronavirus lockdown

Japan's economy shrank at its fastest pace on record between April and June as trade and consumer spending dropped off sharply in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The world's third largest economy saw output drop 7.8 per cent in the second quarter, official data released on Monday showed. At an annualised rate, the fall was 27.8 per cent, the worst ever recorded in Japan. However, it is not as severe as the economic hit taken in a number of other countries. Last week the UK reported its own record slump, with gross domestic product (GDP) shrinking 20.4 per cent in the second quarter alone.
17th Aug 2020 - The Independent

Thousands, Without Masks, Party At Wuhan Water Park In China

Thousands of partygoers packed out a water park over the weekend in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, keen to party as the city edges back to normal life. The popular Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park was filled with people frolicking in swimsuits and goggles for an electronic music festival, many perched on rubber dinghies or wading up to their chest in water. The water park reopened in June after Wuhan gradually opened up after a 76-day lockdown and strict restrictions to try and control the spread of the virus. The park -- which local media says has capped attendance at 50 percent of normal capacity -- is offering half price discounts for female visitors.
17th Aug 2020 - NDTV

China partygoers cram into Wuhan water park

Thousands of partygoers packed out a water park over the weekend in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, keen to party as the city edges back to normal life. The popular Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park was filled with people frolicking in swimsuits and goggles for an electronic music festival, many perched on rubber dinghies or wading up to their chest in water. The water park reopened in June after Wuhan gradually opened up after a 76-day lockdown and strict restrictions to try and control the spread of the virus. The park -- which local media says has capped attendance at 50 percent of normal capacity -- is offering half price discounts for female visitors.
17th Aug 2020 - YAHOO!

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India may soon be world's worst Covid hotspot as virus ravages countryside

An exodus of the poor from cities has caused a rural health crisis — and may spark a political one for PM Narendra Modi
16th Aug 2020 - The Times

No fiesta in Spain as public drinking banned, clubs closed due to coronavirus surge

Spain on Friday ordered nightlife establishments to close and banned drinking on the street in an effort to stem a coronavirus resurgence - measures that caused anger and dismay in the hard-hit hospitality sector. Smoking in public places where keeping a safe distance from people is impossible was also banned, Health Minister Salvador Illa told a news conference. Bars and restaurants will have to down their shutters by 1 a.m. as part of the new restrictions, Illa said. The minister also advised against gatherings of more than 10 people and specifically warned young people not to gather outside to drink alcohol, a popular practice called "botellones".
16th Aug 2020 - Reuters on MSN.com

Germany declares most of Spain a virus risk region

Germany declared nearly all of Spain, including the tourist island of Mallorca, a coronavirus risk region following a spike in cases there. The move deals a blow to hopes for a swift revival of mass tourism after months of lockdown all but wiped out this year’s high season in Europe. The Bild daily had reported earlier that Mallorca had been added to the list of high-risk regions published by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s public health agency. The latest version of the RKI’s list on its website said the whole of mainland Spain and the Balearic islands were risk regions.
16th Aug 2020 - Reuters

India overtakes UK to have fourth-highest coronavirus death toll in world

India has overtaken the UK to have the fourth-highest coronavirus death toll in the world. The nation of 1.3 billion reported another 1,007 deaths on Friday, bringing the total to 49,036, overtaking the official UK toll of 41,358. India’s confirmed cases surpassed 2.4 million after a single-day spike of 64,553 in the last 24 hours, making it the fastest-growing outbreak in the world, according to the John Hopkins University tally. A sign of how quickly the disease is spreading across the sub-continent, the daily increase in new infections was about 15,000 in the first week of July, but jumped to 50,000 the next month.
16th Aug 2020 - Metro

New Zealand has 69 active Covid cases after 13 more diagnosed

New Zealand on Sunday reported 13 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus for the last 24 hours, as the country’s first outbreak in months continued to grow. All but one of the new cases were from community transmission and appeared to be linked to a cluster in Auckland where the most recent outbreak started, said Ashley Bloomfield, the New Zealand director general of health. The 13th was a traveller who returned from abroad and was in managed quarantine. It brings the number of active cases in New Zealand to 69. Since the start of the year the country had recorded 1,271 cases, Bloomfield said.
16th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Island nations have the edge in keeping Covid away – or most do

Island nations have an advantage when it comes to stopping travellers importing disease, be it Covid or other infections. Seas are usually harder to cross than land, and beaches are easier to police. There are no cross-border towns, and fewer ways to sneak over frontiers. These advantages, combined with strict quarantine policies, have made island nations some of the most successful at containing Covid. But the ones that did best had shut themselves off from the world to varying degrees. And a fresh outbreak of cases in New Zealand last week suggests coronavirus can evade even tight controls. Experts say the lack of special border measures in the UK ahead of lockdown was a “serious mistake” that significantly increased the pace and scale of the epidemic. Even now, the UK’s quarantine measures – for selected countries and with limited enforcement – appear to be nowhere near as comprehensive or effective as those used by other island nations.
16th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Covid-19: How New Zealand can avoid lockdowns in the future

New Zealand can avoid going into lockdown every time there is a Covid-19 outbreak by improving its pandemic response, says epidemiologist Sir David Skegg. The Otago University professor says the extended alert level changes across the country were the right thing to do in these circumstances. While it was not necessary to find the source of the cluster in order to control it, it would be critical to do so to stop any future possible breaches, Sir David said. "I agree with the those who say the virus hasn't been lurking around for the last three months or longer. This virus has undoubtedly come in through the border, one way or another, and we need to discover how that happened."
15th Aug 2020 - RNZ

COVID-19 lockdown lifted in Thiruvananthapuram

The lockdown in Thiruvananthapuram city has been withdrawn effective from early on Saturday. With this, all shops can function from 7 am to 7 pm. The bars and beer parlours in the city will now open for takeaway while the government, private offices, and other financial establishments can function with 50 percent staff. Gyms, markets including the fish markets, malls, hypermarkets, hotels beauty parlour and barber shops can now open adhering COVID protocol. While restaurants and cafes can be opened, only takeaway is permitted. However, they can function till 9 pm. Home delivery is also allowed till 9 pm.
14th Aug 2020 - The New Indian Express

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France's COVID-19 cases at four-month high, health system holding up

France reported more than 2,500 new COVID-19 infections for the second day in a row on Thursday, levels last seen in mid-April when the country was in the middle of one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns. Despite the rise in cases, which could prompt Britain to remove France from its list of safe travel destinations, the number of people hospitalised due to the disease continued to fall, having dipped below 5,000 for the first time since mid-March on Wednesday. Experts say this is because more young people are being infected, who are less likely to need hospital care. The total official tally of cases now stands at 209,365.
13th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Top U.S. health official says approval of COVID vaccines unlikely before November

Any potential COVID-19 vaccine backed by the Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” program is unlikely to receive a green light from regulators any earlier than November or December, given the time needed for a large-scale clinical trial, the National Institutes of Health director said on Thursday. In a call with reporters, Francis Collins said he thinks testing a vaccine in at least 10,000 people could potentially give enough evidence of safety and efficacy to clear it for wider use. U.S. late-stage vaccine trials launched so far aim to recruit up to 30,000 people. “I would not expect to see, on the basis of what we know scientifically, that we would be at the point where the FDA could make such a judgment until considerably later than October 1st,” Collins said, referring to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Maybe November or December would be my best bet.”
13th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Sweden avoided a coronavirus lockdown; now its critics urge more caution to avoid a second wave

Goran K. Hansson, the general-secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and Economist Lars Calmfors called for a different strategy to the one of no-lockdown and little restrictions. Sweden had one of the worst coronavirus crises in Europe. “Now a retake is required where effective measures are put in place to protect the population,” Hansson and Calmfors wrote.
13th Aug 2020 - CNBC

20 offices turned into 2,000 individual pods for post-Covid working

Welcome to cube city. Xu Weiping, a Chinese multimillionaire, has a vision for the future of office work in the post-Covid-19 pandemic world: thousands of office pods where each person works in their own self-contained 3m x 3m cube. Xu reckons the coronavirus pandemic will have such a fundamental impact on the way people work that he is converting 20 newly constructed office buildings in east London into 2,000 of the individual cube offices. If the cubes, which feature a kettle, fridge, microwave, videoscreen and fold-down bed as well as a chair and desk, prove popular Xu plans to convert all of his £1.7bn 35-acre regeneration project in east London into more than 10,000 of the individual cubes.
13th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Brazil death toll passes 105,000 – as it happened

Brazil recorded 60,091 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,261 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in a 24-hour period, the Health Ministry said on Thursday (Aug 13). Brazil has registered 3,224,876 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll from Covid-19 has risen to 105,463, according to ministry data. Brazil ranks as the country experiencing the world's worst coronavirus outbreak after the United States.
14th Aug 2020 - Straits Times

Bill Gates On Covid Vaccine Timing, Hydroxychloroquine, and That 5G Conspiracy Theory

Bill Gates, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder and billionaire philanthropist, has become, for better and worse, a central character in the story of Covid-19. The good news: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged more than $350 million to fight the disease, including funds for vaccine manufacturing efforts at AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax. The bad news: Gates has been vilified by anti-vaxxers and other conspiracy theorists who claim he seeded the virus for his own nefarious purposes. Gates says he’s optimistic about the world’s chances of seeing through the wilder theories and of beating the coronavirus, too. His remarks have been condensed and edited for clarity.
13th Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

German health minister: 'Certainly' a coronavirus vaccine 'in the next year'

Germany's health minister says there will "certainly" be a coronavirus vaccine "in the next year." Jens Spahn said he was "optimistic" that a vaccine would be developed in the coming months. He did not specify which vaccine he believed would prove safe and effective and added that it was not yet possible to know how long any such treatment would offer immunity against Covid-19 for. More than 100 vaccines around the world are currently in development.
13th Aug 2020 - Business Insider

Biden calls for mask mandates nationwide for 3 months, targeting Trump's pandemic response

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday called for immediate mask mandates nationwide for the next three months, keeping the focus on drawing a stark contrast between how he would respond to the pandemic crisis compared to how he says it's been mishandled by President Donald Trump. Trump fired back at an evening news conference, saying, "We want to have a certain freedom, that's what we’re about."
13th Aug 2020 - ABC News

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England's revamped contact-tracing app to begin public trials on Aug 13

A revamped coronavirus contact-tracing app for England will begin its public trials on Thursday (Aug 13), BBC News reported on Wednesday. The software will be modelled after Apple and Google's privacy-centric method of one smartphone detecting another, the BBC said. Engineers were still trying to resolve issues with the Bluetooth-based tech wrongly flagging people as being within 2 metres of each other. The app will let people scan barcode-like QR codes to log venue visits, as well as implementing Apple and Google's method of detecting other smartphones, the BBC reported. The test-and-trace programme is key to reopening the economy but has been dogged by problems. A smartphone app developed by the National Health Service (NHS) was initially expected to be rolled out in May but did not materialise. In June, the government pivoted away from a homegrown model for the app to use the Apple and Google system.
13th Aug 2020 - The Straits Times

Russia's coronavirus case tally passes 900,000

Russia’s confirmed coronavirus case tally, the fourth largest in the world, rose to 902,701 on Wednesday after officials reported 5,102 new infections. Authorities said 129 people had died in the last 24 hours, pushing the official death toll to 15,260.
12th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Germany's coronavirus infection rate reaches three-month high

Germany's government has urged citizens to keep their guard up and stick to public health guidelines, as new Covid-19 infections hit a three-month high and schools reopened in the country's most populous state. Germany's response so far has widely been seen as successful in slowing the spread of the pandemic efficiently and quickly, but the country's disease control authority today reported 1,226 new infections, the highest number since early May, although the figure has topped 1,000 on several days recently. Health minister Jens Spahn said smaller and mid-sized outbreaks have occurred in almost all regions, largely driven by travellers returning from abroad and people partying or having family gatherings. "This is worrying, without doubt," he told Deutschlandfunk radio. "And it can naturally lead to a new dynamic, if we don't all now exercise caution." In the early days of the pandemic the average age of people infected was 50; it is now 34.
12th Aug 2020 - The Irish News

Disney World actors ready to work after COVID testing dispute resolved

Walt Disney World actors, who argued that the Florida theme park’s proposed coronavirus safeguards were inadequate to protect them, have resolved a dispute over COVID-19 testing, a union statement said on Wednesday. The Actors’ Equity Association had called on Walt Disney Co to provide regular coronavirus testing for its members, who cannot wear protective masks while performing as other park employees do. Disney said on Wednesday it would provide space just outside Walt Disney World in Orlando for a testing site run by the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The site will be open to Disney employees, known as cast members, and the public. “Our actions support all cast and our community at large,” Disney said in a statement. Walt Disney World reopened on July 11 with several safety measures including limited attendance, social distancing in lines and on rides and mask requirements for guests and staff.
11th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

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Coronavirus: Pupils in Scotland begin returning to school

Scotland's pupils have returned to classes for the first time since lockdown began nearly five months ago. Borders and Shetland schools are the first to reopen with most others following on Wednesday. Physical distancing among students will not generally be required but hygiene and safety measures such as one-way systems have been put in place. Except for children of key workers, most of the country's 700,000 pupils have not been in class since 20 March.
11th Aug 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: How the pandemic is hitting Britain's poorest communities

2020 has become one of the hardest years the charity has seen in its long history. In the basement of their headquarters on Wood Street there is a dedicated team sorting donations and stock in a purpose-built modern space, but the basement is where 300 street children would have crammed in for overnight shelter over a century ago. The friendly staff are trying their best to juggle the demand – more and more families are being referred to them.
11th Aug 2020 - Sky News

Coronavirus: UK to nosedive into recession after COVID-19 triggers record slump

Britain is to be officially declared in recession for the first time since the financial crash with figures set to show the COVID-19 crisis triggered a record economic slump. The dramatic 21% downturn between April and June - the worst in western Europe - is expected to be confirmed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Wednesday after a 2.2% fall in the first three months of 2020. A recession is defined as two successive quarters of decline in gross domestic product (GDP), which has not been seen in the UK since the financial crisis back in 2008.
11th Aug 2020 - Sky News

Coronavirus England: Infection rates are rising in under-65s

Coronavirus infection rates among all age groups under 65 have been on the rise since lockdown was eased, official data shows. Among people aged 15 to 44 in England, the rate has increased by 35 per cent since July 5 - a day after 'Super Saturday' when bars, restaurants and cinemas reopened and a large chunk of the workforce returned to work. A total of 11.9 people per 100,000 population in the age group caught the virus in the week ending August 2, compared to 8.8 per 100,000 five weeks ago. A combination of people having more social interactions and a ramping up of widespread testing is likely behind the rise, experts say. The latest Public Health England data shows weekly infections have jumped by 40 per cent in infants during the same time period. But cases in this age group are still relatively rare, with just 3.8 youngsters per 100,000 being diagnosed per week compared to 2.7 at the start of July. Professor Paul Hunter, an epidemiologist at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline the reopening of nurseries and pre-schools could be to blame.
11th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail

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New Zealand records 100 days without domestic virus case but warns against complacency

New Zealand marked 100 days without a domestic transmission of the coronavirus on Sunday, but warned against complacency as countries like Vietnam and Australia which once had the virus under control now battle a resurgence in infections.
10th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Will Cars Rule the Roads in Post-Pandemic New York?

When New York went into lockdown five months ago to contain the virus, traffic virtually disappeared, and the mostly deserted streets suddenly became a vast trove of open space in one of the world’s most crowded cities. But now as New York slowly recovers and cars have started to return, a battle for the 6,000 miles of city streets is just beginning.
10th Aug 2020 - The New York Times

Reporting on Covid-19 in Spain: 'The limits of our new normality are being tested'

Many of the unhealed socioeconomic wounds of the 2008 financial crisis have begun to seep once again. Here, as elsewhere, the poorest have been hit disproportionately hard by the virus and its attendant effects, while the health and care systems in regions such as Madrid are crying out for proper management and investment. But, as a glance at the number of people wearing face masks on the street will tell you, Spaniards have also shown a remarkable degree of forbearance and a willingness to put their lives on hold for the common good. If only the same could be said for all of the country’s elected representatives. While some have called for unity and cooperation in the face of a common and global enemy, others are only too happy to exploit the pandemic and carry on puffing out clouds of rhetoric that are as mephitic as they are empty. My life as a reporter is slowly drifting back towards something approaching its former normality. On Tuesday I drove out of Madrid for the first time in months to report on a story which, also for the first time in months, had nothing to do with Covid-19. And apart from the mask, the hand gel and the distancing, it didn’t feel all that different.
10th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: New Zealand marks 100 days without community spread

New Zealand has gone 100 days without recording a locally transmitted Covid-19 case, a milestone that has both been welcomed and brought warnings against complacency. The last case of community transmission was detected on 1 May, days after the country started easing its lockdown. Sunday was the fourth day in a row that no new cases of Covid-19 were reported. The total number of active cases in the country remained at 23, all in managed isolation. New Zealand has fared better than other countries, recording 1,219 confirmed cases and 22 deaths since the virus arrived in late February.
10th Aug 2020 - BBC News

'Broken America': Grim US coronavirus milestone leaves Europe aghast

That the most powerful nation on Earth could be found wanting has led to complete bewilderment on the other side of the Atlantic. Much of the incredulity in Europe stems from the fact that America had the benefit of time, European experience and medical know-how to treat the virus that the continent itself didn’t have when the first COVID-19 patients started filling intensive care units. Yet more than four months into a sustained outbreak, the US has reached 5 million cases, according to the running count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
10th Aug 2020 - Sydney Morning Herald

US tops 5 million confirmed virus cases, to Europe's alarm

With confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. hitting 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe. Perhaps nowhere outside the U.S. is America’s bungled virus response viewed with more consternation than in Italy, which was ground zero of Europe’s epidemic. Italians were unprepared when the outbreak exploded in February, and the country still has one of the world’s highest official death tolls at over 35,000. But after a strict nationwide, 10-week lockdown, vigilant tracing of new clusters and general acceptance of mask mandates and social distancing, Italy has become a model of virus containment.
10th Aug 2020 - The Associated Press

England could see drive-thru flu vaccination centres

Drive-thru flu jabs are reportedly planned in a bid to get people vaccinated without having to mix with others. The plan echoes the drive-thru coronavirus testing stations, which were set up in the UK during the pandemic. Now, similar centres could pop up for people to get their flu jabs as part of NHS England plans, according to The Times.
11th Aug 2020 - The Independent

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Hong Kong to Offer Free Virus Tests to Entire City, Lam Says

The mainland-sponsored testing push has fanned suspicions that authorities will collect DNA samples from residents, as local law enforcement recently did with protesters who were arrested. The tactic is also deployed frequently by police in Xinjiang and elsewhere on the mainland. The Hong Kong government denied that there are plans to harvest DNA, saying that the claims are unfounded and that test samples will not be transported to the mainland. “We are talking about lives here,” Lam said. “So I hope people will bear in mind scientific evidence and facts, and not resort to conspiracy theories, and smear every effort indiscriminately.” Local media Ming Pao reported Monday that China wanted Hong Kong to conduct mandatory testing of the entire population but the city’s government and experts blocked the proposal, citing unidentified sources. Some local District Council members had led demonstrations outside the hotel where the mainland testing support team is staying and at the locations of their site visits this week. The Hong Kong government said that this disregarded “public interest, health and safety” in a statement on Wednesday.
8th Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

Coronavirus cases top five million in United States

Nearly 100,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks of July, a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics finds. Just over 97,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus from July 16 to July 30, according to the association. Out of almost 5 million reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S., CBS News' Michael George reports that the group found that more than 338,000 were children. Vanderbilt University's Dr. Tina Hartert hopes increased testing of children will help determine what role they play in transmission, as school districts around the country return to some form of school. She is leading a government-funded study that saw DIY testing kits sent to some 2,000 families.
9th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail

Sweden’s pandemic no longer stands out

Sweden is no longer the outlier it used to be on coronavirus. It no longer has the least restrictive approach to the pandemic in Europe and it has lost its briefly held status as the country with the highest number of deaths per capita after its number of Covid-19 cases decreased over the summer. Its economy has suffered less than the European average in recent months, but at least as much and possibly more than its Nordic neighbours. “We get a second chance. We don’t want this to take off again. We now have the chance to learn and do additional things to avoid things taking off,” said Cecilia Söderberg-Nauclér, a critic of Sweden’s approach and a professor of cell and molecular immunology at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm.
9th Aug 2020 - Financial Times

WHO reports one-day surge in coronavirus cases by over 284,000

More than 284,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection were registered worldwide in the past day, exceeding 19.18 million, while the coronavirus-related fatalities increased by over 6,000 to surpass 716,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its daily bulletin on Saturday. As of 11.00 Moscow time on August 8, as many as 19,187,943 novel coronavirus cases and 716,075 coronavirus-associated deaths were registered across the globe. The number of confirmed cases grew by 284,441 in the past 24 hours and the number of fatalities increased by 6,565. The day before, 278,291 new cases and 6,815 fatalities were documented throughout the world. The WHO statistics are based on officially confirmed data provided by countries.
9th Aug 2020 - TASS

When Covid-19 Hit, Many Elderly Were Left to Die

Of all the missteps by governments during the coronavirus pandemic, few have had such an immediate and devastating impact as the failure to protect nursing homes. Tens of thousands of older people died — casualties not only of the virus, but of more than a decade of ignored warnings that nursing homes were vulnerable. Public health officials around the world excluded nursing homes from their pandemic preparedness plans and omitted residents from the mathematical models used to guide their responses. In recent months, the coronavirus outbreak in the United States has dominated global attention, as the world’s richest nation blundered its way into the world’s largest death toll. Some 40 percent of those fatalities have been linked to long-term-care facilities. But even now, European countries lead the world in per capita deaths, in part because of what happened inside their nursing homes.
8th Aug 2020 - The New York Times

Two Countries, 232,851 Cases and One Big Problem

A lot of things were going right in Southeast Asia’s two great archipelago nations before the coronavirus came around. Indonesia and the Philippines had relatively robust economies tended by well-regarded policy makers, and the benefit of young, educated populations. Both countries were poised to become bigger regional forces in the decades to come. Indonesia and the Philippines took different approaches to battling Covid-19, but the outcome has been the same: deep growth contractions and signs that recoveries — when they do come — will be shallow. These countries were always going to take a hit, given the way global growth has incinerated. Yet they also suffer from home-grown missteps and submerged logs that made a terrible situation worse.
8th Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

Ukraine closes checkpoints at Crimean border to control coronavirus

Ukraine’s government said on Saturday it had temporarily closed its border with Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014, to prevent further spread of coronavirus. All three crossing points between the mainland and Crimea, which is defined by Ukraine as an occupied territory, will be closed from Aug. 9 to Aug. 30, a government statement said. Only Crimean residents with Ukrainian citizenship will be allowed to enter Crimea.
8th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Poland reports 843 new coronavirus cases

Poland reported 843 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, according to the health ministry’s Twitter account, the seventh daily record in two weeks. Poland has reported 51,167 cases of the new coronavirus in all, and 1,800 deaths.
8th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Boy, 7, becomes youngest to die with COVID-19 in Georgia

A 7-year-old boy with COVID-19 has become the youngest known person to die in Georgia since the coronavirus pandemic began, state health officials reported. The boy had no other chronic health conditions, according to data released by the state. The case is from Chatham County, which includes Savannah, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported. The child is Black, but state data lists no other details about him or the death. The boy’s death comes amid nationwide debate about the risks that children face in getting infected or spreading the coronavirus, particularly as the school year begins. There is no indication in the health department’s reports about where or when the child contracted the virus.
7th Aug 2020 - Associated Press

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Covid-19 could push some universities over the brink

DUE TO BE completed in 2022, Boston University’s $141m data-sciences centre will tower over the city like an uneven Jenga tower, providing 350,000 square feet of space. The University of Reading in Britain has nearly finished a £50m ($65m) life-sciences building, designed to make more space for subjects that are attracting lots of students. The University of New South Wales in Australia has pumped more than A$500m into new facilities, as part of a project intended to push it into the top 50 of global rankings. Now, thanks to the virus, this is all in question
8th Aug 2020 - The Economist

Global recovery will come faster if COVID-19 vaccine available to all: WHO chief

Economic recovery around the world could come faster if any COVID-19 vaccine is made available to all as a public good, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday (Aug 6). He was speaking in an online panel discussion with members of the Aspen Security Forum in the United States moderated by the NBC network. "Sharing vaccines or sharing other tools actually helps the world to recover together. The economic recovery can be faster and the damage from COVID-19 could be less," Tedros said. "Vaccine nationalism is not good, it will not help us," he said in an allusion to the competitive scramble of nations and pharmaceutical researchers to come up with an effective vaccine and order as many doses as possible in advance.
7th Aug 2020 - Channel News Asia

Primary care networks and mental health services post COVID-19

A new briefing by the NHS Confederation’s PCN Network and Mental Health Network sets out where such opportunities may lie and possible approaches mental health providers and PCNs could take to improve partnership working. It says better partnership working will not only help to meet rising demand in the short-term but also ultimately improve care for patients with a mental health condition in the long-term. The briefing, which comes off the back of a meeting between senior leaders from the two networks’ memberships in June, shines a light on where partnership working has been successful, including how Mosaic Healthcare PCN in Hampshire used data and stakeholder workshops to identify the physical and mental health needs of their population which lead to a clear focus on social prescribing and closer relationships with social services and voluntary organisations.
6th Aug 2020 - Pharmafield

UK lags behind Europe on returning to office

Office workers in the UK have been comparatively slow to return to their desks in relation to employees in Europe, now lockdown has eased. According to analysis from US bank Morgan Stanley’s research unit AlphaWise, only one-third (34%) of UK white-collar employees are commuting again, well off the pace of their European counterparts, where almost three-quarters of staff (68%) have done so. In France – the leading European country among returnees – 83% of office staff have returned, whereas in Spain, Italy and Germany three-quarters (around 75%) are now heading back in. Office workers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are still advised to work from home as much as possible but the prime minister has urged staff in England to return to their workplaces, a request that has not been taken up by many so far.
6th Aug 2020 - Personnel Today

Shoppers steer clear of high streets despite lockdown lifting

Shoppers continued to stay away from UK high streets last month despite the reopening of non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants following the lifting of lockdown measures. The number of visitors to UK retail destinations dropped by 39.4% in July compared with the same month a year ago, according to figures from Springboard, a data company that tracks footfall at consumer hotspots. Despite an improvement of almost a fifth from June, in the best month for visitor numbers since February, the figures suggest intense pressure remains for the high street as people continued to stay away from town and city centres amid the ongoing health risks from Covid-19. Non-essential shops began reopening in England and Northern Ireland in mid-June, and in Wales and Scotland later that month. Hotels, pub and restaurants in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland followed suit in July, though customers were only allowed back inside Welsh pubs and cafes this week.
6th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Spain diagnoses 1,772 new coronavirus cases in post-lockdown record

Spain reported 1,772 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, marking the biggest jump since a national lockdown was lifted in June and beating the previous day’s record rise. The rate of increase in new cases, which does not include data from two regions, sharply rose from the previous day, while one more death was registered, bringing the total to 28,499. Cumulative cases, which include results from antibody tests on people who may have recovered, increased to 305,767 from 302,814, the health ministry said in a statement.
6th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

More Than Half of Canada’s Workers Fear Returning to the Office

More than half of Canadians are afraid to go back to their workplaces and 77% are worried their colleagues might show up infected with the coronavirus, according to research from consulting firm KPMG. About six in 10 say they’ll will refuse to go back if they believe their place of work is not safe enough and 57% are concerned about sharing meeting rooms and other common areas. The survey polled more than 1,000 Canadians online and was conducted July 22 to 24
6th Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

Health experts warn US cities of 'trouble ahead'

White House health experts are warning of a slow rise in the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus in U.S. cities such as Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Washington and urged local leaders to remain vigilant to avoid a surge.
6th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Learning 'pods': a new solution to the coronavirus school crisis

Parents are banding together to form education pods for children to learn in groups, but not everyone can afford them.
6th Aug 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Lockdown sees Turkish women bear brunt of unpaid work: research

Turkish women did four times as much household and care work as men during lockdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, research supported by the United Nations Development Programme showed on Thursday. A survey conducted in May of more than 2,400 people showed women shouldered most of the unpaid work during lockdown even though men spent substantially more time working in the home. The gender gap in paid work narrowed under lockdown as a result of changes in work patterns and a fall in men’s paid work hours, the research found. But gender gaps in unpaid work and total work time widened: on average women’s workload, including both paid and unpaid work, increased while that of men decreased, the findings said.
6th Aug 2020 - Reuters

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When Covid Subsided, Israel Reopened Its Schools. It Didn’t Go Well.

As the United States and other countries anxiously consider how to reopen schools, Israel, one of the first countries to do so, illustrates the dangers of moving too precipitously. Confident it had beaten the coronavirus and desperate to reboot a devastated economy, the Israeli government invited the entire student body back in late May. Within days, infections were reported at a Jerusalem high school, which quickly mushroomed into the largest outbreak in a single school in Israel, possibly the world.
4th Aug 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus: France records two-month high in cases

France has recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus infections in more than two months. Figures released on Wednesday showed 1,695 new cases within 24 hours. With more than 30,000 deaths, France has the third-highest death toll in Europe, behind the UK and Italy. The city of Toulouse has introduced new rules requiring face masks in its busiest streets, with Paris and a number of other cities expected to follow suit. France is not the only European nation to witness a resurgence in cases since lockdown measures were eased.
5th Aug 2020 - BBC News

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.
5th Aug 2020 - Newshub

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?
5th Aug 2020 - BBC News

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.
5th Aug 2020 - The Conversation AU

‘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.
5th Aug 2020 - EDP 24

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UK coronavirus cases experience highest daily increase since June

The number of new coronavirus cases in the UK has risen by 938 across 24 hours – the highest daily increase in confirmed infections since late June, the government has confirmed. The latest figures from the department of health and social care (DHSC) brought the total number of cases since the beginning of the UK’s outbreak to 305,623. The daily increase in cases is the highest confirmed figure since 26 June, part of a gradual upward trend in infections since the bulk of lockdown measures were eased in early July.
3rd Aug 2020 - The Independent

Lockdown leaves 85 per cent of parents stressed and seeking family life changes, poll finds

More than eight in 10 parents are feeling stressed about family life and want to make changes after the lockdown, a new poll reveals. Eighty-five per cent of the 2,000 parents questioned said they felt more anxious during the pandemic, with 87 per cent concerned about their children’s emotional heath. The research was commissioned by parenting coach Zoe Blaskey, founder of the Motherkind podcast. She has launched a “family reset plan” after coaching families through lockdown
4th Aug 2020 - Evening Standard

Amidst quieter streets and ongoing uncertainty, Paris and its post-lockdown tourists forge a new normal

A friend phoned me from Paris after a particularly dystopian morning in April. She had walked almost two miles east to venture into Bois de Vincennes and, as she approached the sprawling park, a drone buzzed overhead. “Go home,” was its strange disembodied order. My friend, an interpreter by profession, ran all the way there. The coronavirus crisis has stolen much of normal life this year. France curbed its social ways with a stern lockdown to try to tame the killer virus. In a matter of months and in time to salvage some summer holidays, the country found a better way than many others to rise above the dread. In the early days, personal travel was restricted to less than a mile and then only for essential needs—which is how my friend got in trouble. Travel limits eased as infections noticeably fell and when most citizens seemed to comprehend COVID-19 as a resilient foe.
4th Aug 2020 - National Geographic UK

France reports 3,376 new COVID-19 cases over three-day period

France has reported 3,376 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the last three days, the country’s health department said on Monday, while the number of people being treated in ICUs for the disease is creeping higher. The seven-day moving average for new cases has held above the 1,000 threshold for the fifth day in a row, meaning the country is experiencing levels not seen since a two-month lockdown. France’s total number of cases now stands at 191,295. The 1,125 daily average of cases seen since the beginning of August is more than twice as high a June’s 435 figure and a third higher than July’s 746. Earlier on Monday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex urged people not to let down their guard in the fight against COVID-19. Lille, one of France’s biggest cities, has ordered people to wear masks outdoors in busy pedestrian streets.
4th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Manufacturers make headway as lockdown restrictions are eased

Factory output rose at its fastest pace in nearly three years in the UK last month, a closely watched survey has suggested. The IHS Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index climbed further above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction, rising from 50.1 in June to 53.3 in July. The figure was also broadly in line with an earlier flash estimate. Output, new orders and business confidence all improved last month as large parts of the economy started to reopen. The output component climbed to 59.3, its highest level since November 2017. Rob Dobson, a director at IHS Markit, said: “The UK manufacturing sector started the third quarter on a much firmer footing, with output growth hitting a near-three-year high and new orders rising for the year
4th Aug 2020 - The Times

Cardiff Bay: Young people not taking pandemic 'as seriously as others'

A minority of young people who have caused trouble in public spaces since lockdown was eased are spoiling it for the majority, it is claimed. The BBC spoke to a number of small groups enjoying a quiet drink in the sun at Cardiff Bay's Roald Dahl Plass. Two people in their 20s were arrested after a large gathering at the weekend. Welsh government minister Eluned Morgan has said there is evidence young people are not taking coronavirus as seriously as others. Since the easing of lockdown restrictions, hundreds of young people have been gathering, drinking alcohol in large groups in Cardiff Bay.
4th Aug 2020 - BBC News

June death toll in Lancaster below usual levels as lockdown eased

Fewer deaths were recorded in Lancaster in June than a year ago, despite thousands of excess deaths elsewhere as lockdown was eased in England. But a new report is calling for "intense preparations" to ready the NHS for winter, with fears a second coronavirus wave could lead to 120,000 deaths nationally. Office for National Statistics figures show 101 deaths were recorded in Lancaster during June. That was seven fewer than the number recorded in June 2019, a drop of 6%.
4th Aug 2020 - Lancaster Guardian

Covid-19: Man is brutally beaten with baseball bats by gang of 4 men after asking them to wear masks

The attack happened in Soisy-sous-Montmorency, a town north of Paris . Victim, who asked to be named Augustin M., was attacked in a launderette. He asked one of his attackers to put on a mask but he refused and turned angry. A verbal argument broke out, and a few minutes later one of the men involved returned with three friends, two of whom brandished baseball bats
4th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail

EasyJet increases flights as summer demand takes-off despite Covid-19 uncertainty

Greater than expected demand has led easyJet to increase the number of flights it is offering over the summer, despite continuing uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic. The budget airline expanded its schedule to 40% of normal capacity between July and September rather than the 30% previously expected. The carrier said it has seen strong demand from UK holidaymakers flying to Greece, Turkey and Croatia.
4th Aug 2020 - Sky News

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Spanish and Italian manufacturing activity picks up after virus hit

Activity in Spain’s manufacturing sector picked up by more than expected in July, an early indication that the country’s economy may be experiencing the start of a rebound. Data released last week indicated Spain was the European economy hardest hit by the pandemic in the three months to June. The IHS Markit purchasing managers’ index for Spanish manufacturing rose to 53.5 in July, from 49.0 a month earlier — above the 50 threshold which indicates the majority of business managers reported an improvement in activity compared with the previous month. The reading was higher than the 52.0 expected by economists polled by Reuters.
3rd Aug 2020 - Financial Times

How the Pandemic Defeated America

How did it come to this? A virus a thousand times smaller than a dust mote has humbled and humiliated the planet’s most powerful nation. America has failed to protect its people, leaving them with illness and financial ruin. It has lost its status as a global leader. It has careened between inaction and ineptitude. The breadth and magnitude of its errors are difficult, in the moment, to truly fathom.
31st Aug 2020 - The Atlantic

School is back in Germany — but coronavirus is not gone

All of Germany is looking toward the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in the coming days. In 2020, the sparsely populated region in northeastern Germany is the first to start the school year this time. Summer holidays are staggered in Germany, so not all 16 federal states go on vacation at the same time, clogging the nation's airports and famed autobahns. This year's return to school can best be described as a large-scale experiment.
3rd Aug 2020 - DW (English)

Thousands of students return as schools reopen in Germany

Thousands of children attended classes as northern Germany became the first region in Europe to reopen schools on Monday. In Germany's Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, wearing masks will be mandatory for students and people belonging to different age groups will be taught separately so that if one pupil gets infected, the whole school doesn't need to close.
3rd Aug 2020 - WION

Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Three weeks without Covid-19 death

Northern Ireland has gone three weeks without a death from Covid-19. The latest figures from the Department of Health show it has been 21 days since the last person died from coronavirus, with the death toll remaining at 556. Over the weekend another 40 positive cases of Covid-19 were confirmed bringing the total to 5,988 since the pandemic began. The new cases were detected after 4,632 tests were carried out on 3,206 people. There are currently three Covid-19 patients in Northern Ireland's hospitals with two in intensive care units. In Northern Ireland's care homes there are currently five active outbreaks of the virus with 171 being closed after the virus was found to no longer be present.
3rd Aug 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

Coronavirus: Dozens test positive for Covid-19 on Norwegian cruise ship

At least 41 passengers and crew on a Norwegian cruise ship have tested positive for Covid-19, officials say. Hundreds more passengers who travelled on the MS Roald Amundsen are in quarantine and awaiting test results, the company that owns the ship said. The ship, which belongs to the Norwegian firm Hurtigruten, docked in the port of Tromso in northern Norway on Friday. Hurtigruten has halted all leisure cruises because of the outbreak. "This is a serious situation for everyone involved. We have not been good enough and we have made mistakes," Chief Executive Daniel Skjeldamsaid in a statement on Monday. "A preliminary evaluation shows a breakdown in several of our internal procedures," he added. "The only responsible choice is to suspend all expedition sailings."
3rd Aug 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Eight ways lockdown easing has changed the UK

Restrictions on daily life in many parts of the UK - to try to curb the spread of coronavirus - have been eased in recent weeks. Employers in England can bring staff back to the workplace and people can use public transport for non-essential journeys (while wearing face coverings). Many pubs, shops and restaurants have reopened, while most of those who have been shielding are no longer advised to stay at home. There are places where the easing of lockdown measures has been halted - Leicester and Greater Manchester, for example. But, overall, how have people in the UK responded?
3rd Aug 2020 - BBC News

UK coronavirus hospital deaths up by five in lowest rise since lockdown began

The coronavirus death toll in the UK has risen by nine, bringing the total number of fatalities linked to the disease to 46,210, according to the latest Government figures. A further 938 people were confirmed to have the virus in the 24-hour period to 9am on Monday, the Department of Health said on Monday. Separately figures from the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 56,400 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
3rd Aug 2020 - London Evening Standard

Anger as UK nightclub 6 miles from lockdown area reopens with £200 tickets and huge queues

Switch nightclub in Preston, Lancashire, has been allowed open its doors to punters who paid up to £200 for a ticket after the council gave it the green light - but photos show revellers packed together with no social distancing
3rd Aug 2020 - The Mirror

Coronavirus: 'Relief' for Leicester firms out of lockdown

Owners of restaurants, pubs and hairdressers in Leicester have spoken of their "relief" at being able to open for the first time since March. Businesses due to ease coronavirus restrictions with the rest of England on 4 July were told on 29 June to remain shut under a local lockdown. At the end of last week it was announced some hospitality companies in Leicester could finally reopen. Shop owner Drew Harriman said they now felt "ready for anything".
3rd Aug 2020 - BBC News

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Impact of coronavirus will be felt for decades to come, WHO says

The global coronavirus outbreak is the sort of disaster whose effects will last far into the future, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday. “The pandemic is a once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come,” Tedros told a meeting of the WHO’s emergency committee, according to remarks released by the agency. The pandemic has killed more than 670,000 people since emerging in Wuhan, China, with more than 17 million cases diagnosed. The United States, Brazil, Mexico and Britain have been particularly hard hit in recent weeks by the disease COVID-19, as their governments have struggled to come up with an effective response.
1st Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Latin America see coronavirus records tumble as cases near five million

Argentina broke past 200,000 COVID-19 cases on Sunday and Colombia set a daily record as grim milestones topple in Latin America, pushing the world’s worst affected region towards a combined 5 million cases. The region, which topped 200,000 deaths on Saturday, has struggled to stall the spread of the novel coronavirus, with infections picking up pace in many countries even as governments look to ease lockdowns and revive economic growth. Latin America, which has some 8% of the world’s population, accounts for close to 30% of global cases and fatalities, with infections still spreading fast and hitting regional leaders like Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and Bolivia’s Jeanine Anez.
3rd Aug 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus: Russia plans mass vaccination campaign in October

Russian health authorities are preparing to start a mass vaccination campaign against coronavirus in October, the health minister has said. Russian media quoted Mikhail Murashko as saying that doctors and teachers would be the first to receive the vaccine. Reuters, citing anonymous sources, said Russia's first potential vaccine would be approved by regulators this month. However, some experts are concerned at Russia's fast-track approach. On Friday, the leading infectious disease expert in the US, Dr Anthony Fauci, said he hoped that Russia - and China - were "actually testing the vaccine" before administering them to anyone. Dr Fauci has said that the US should have a "safe and effective" vaccine by the end of this year. "I do not believe that there will be vaccines so far ahead of us that we will have to depend on other countries to get us vaccines," he told US lawmakers.
1st Aug 2020 - BBC News

Mexico death toll overtakes UK as third-highest in the world

Mexico has overtaken the United Kingdom as the country with the world's third-highest coronavirus death toll - more than 46,600. On Friday, a multibillion-dollar agreement with the United Nations was announced to buy medical equipment and supplies. Al Jazeera's Manuel Rapalo has more from Mexico City.
1st Aug 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Indonesia reports 1,560 new coronavirus cases, 62 deaths

Indonesia reported 1,560 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, bringing the total in the Southeast Asian country to 109,936, data from the country’s COVID-19 task force showed. It also reported 62 COVID-19 related deaths, taking the death toll to 5,193.
1st Aug 2020 - Reuters

India's coronavirus cases rise by a daily record of 55078

India reported another record surge in daily COVID-19 cases on Friday, taking the total to 1.64 million, as the government further eases virus curbs in a bid to resuscitate the economy, while also trying to increase testing. Infections jumped by 55,078 in the past 24 hours, while the death toll rose by 779 to 35,747, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on its website.
31st Jul 2020 - National Post

Spain records 3,000 new coronavirus cases in biggest jump since lifting lockdown

Spain has recorded 3,092 more cases of coronavirus in the biggest jump since lifting their national lockdown in June. The country's health ministry said cumulative cases, which also include results from antibody tests on people who may have recovered from the disease,
31st Jul 2020 - London Evening Standard

French Daily Coronavirus Infection Rate Back to Lockdown Levels

France reported 1,346 new coronavirus infections on Friday, taking the total to 187,919 as the daily tally of new cases remained above 1,300 for the third day running, a level last seen during lockdown. At the end of the first month of school holidays, with millions of French people traveling and mingling with friends and family not seen for weeks, the infection rate has risen back to a level last reported in late April, when the epidemic was in full swing and a strict lockdown was in place. Comparisons can be difficult, as the health ministry does not publish data every day and it sometimes adds batches of historical data to single-day figures. But the seven-day moving average (7DMA), which smoothes out such irregularities, is now above 1,000 for the second day in a row. Except for early May, when the 7DMA was above 1,000 for a week due to a data revision, the 7DMA was above 1,000 from March 19 to May 1, with a peak of 4,5537 on April 1.
31st Jul 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

Vietnam braces for a fresh wave of coronavirus despite earlier success in containing the outbreak

Vietnam, once praised for its success in containing the coronavirus outbreak, is now battling a resurgence in cases and has warned that the disease could spread wider across the country. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc warned that every province and city in the country is at risk of further infections, reported Reuters, citing state broadcaster Vietnam Television. Authorities have tightened containment measures in Danang, such as stepping up contact tracing, limiting crowd sizes and halting non-essential services. Flights to and from the city have also been temporarily suspended.
31st Jul 2020 - CNBC

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Sao Paulo streets busy as Brazil's virus death toll surpasses 90,000

Streets are busy with people going about their daily business in Sao Paulo's 25 de Março neighbourhood as the country continues to ease lockdown measures and registers record daily numbers of deaths from COVID-19, surging past 90,000.
30th Jul 2020 - MSN

Brazil Covid-19 death toll surpasses 90,000 as government ends travel ban

Brazil, which has been hit harder than any country except the United States in the pandemic, recorded 69,074 new cases and 1,595 new deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the figures to a total of more than 2.5 million infections and 90,134 people killed since the start of the pandemic, the health ministry said. Technical issues likely contributed to the high daily figures. The health ministry had said Tuesday that problems with its online reporting system had delayed figures from Sao Paulo, Brazil's most populous state and the one with the most cases and deaths.
30th Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

US surpasses 150,000 deaths amid spike in cases | News

The US passed the grim milestone of 150,000 coronavirus-related deaths yesterday, amid spiralling outbreaks across southern states. Five states in the south and west reported daily records for coronavirus deaths, as health experts warned that other states were on the brink of new outbreaks. Arkansas, Florida, Montana, California and Oregon each had record rises with Florida reporting 216 deaths and California 185, bringing the national daily toll to about 1,267. The US has now recorded 150,447 deaths and more than 4.4 million infections. In Florida, the death toll now stands at 6,333, and a total of 451,423 people have been infected out of a population of 21 million. The state recently overtook New York in terms of total caseload, and is now second only to California.
30th Jul 2020 - The Times

Sweden, Which Never Had Lockdown, Sees COVID-19 Cases Plummet as Rest of Europe Suffers Spike

However, the Scandinavian nation ranks eighth among countries with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people. It outranks the U.S. and Brazil, which are the world's first and second worst-hit nations in terms of total cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Last week Anders Tegnell, the chief epidemiologist at Sweden's public health agency, who has led the country's COVID-19 response, said the nation's controversial anti-lockdown strategy has been a success "to a great extent," in an interview with UnHerd. While an official lockdown was never ordered, Tegnell noted: "We have cut down on movement in society quite a lot. We have compared how much we travel in Scandinavian countries, and the decrease in travel is the same in Sweden as in neighbouring countries. In many ways the voluntary measures we put in place in Sweden have been just as effective as complete lockdowns in other countries.
30th Jul 2020 - Newsweek

I’ve eaten at restaurants, gone to a mall and attended concerts. That is life in France.

While the outbreak occurred primarily in only two parts of France, French President Emmanuel Macron imposed a severe, nationwide lockdown on March 16. And during that lockdown, the government put extensive testing and contact tracing in place. Almost exactly two months later, France mostly reopened. And for the last two and a half months, the country has functioned in a primarily open status with around 500 new cases per day and only about 450 deaths in the last month.
30th Jul 2020 - The Washington Post

Russia Coronavirus Cases Pass 830K Amid Vaccine Race, Lifted Lockdown

Russia confirmed 5,509 new coronavirus infections Thursday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 834,499. Over the past 24 hours 129 people have died, bringing the total toll to 13,802 — a rate considerably lower than in many other countries hit hard by the pandemic. A total of 9,322 people recovered over the last 24 hours.
30th Jul 2020 - The Moscow Times

Coronavirus: Hundreds more families homeschooling after lockdown

More families are choosing to homeschool their children since New Zealand came out of the coronavirus lockdown. Ministry of Education figures show a surge in homeschooling applications since alert level 4 in March, with 552 received between then and May. Three hundred applications were received in June – the highest recorded in any month this year. In February, when school started, only 174 applications were received.
30th Jul 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Tracking Africa's coronavirus cases

As of July 30, the confirmed coronavirus death toll on the continent stood at 18,884, with deaths including the former president of the Republic of the Congo, Jacques Joachim Yhombi-Opango, and Somalia's former Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein. There are 891,199 confirmed infections and 540,872 recoveries, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts warn fragile healthcare systems in many African countries could be overwhelmed in the face of a severe outbreak of COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.
30th Jul 2020 - Al Jazeera English

'Worst phase of pandemic': Brazil hits record daily deaths, cases

Brazil has set daily records for new coronavirus cases and related deaths with nearly 1,600 deaths on Wednesday and a government under President Jair Bolsonaro determined to ease lockdowns designed to quell the outbreak. Brazil is second only to the United States in the number of cases and deaths confirmed from the coronavirus. The 69,074 new confirmed cases and 1,595 additional deaths reported by the Health Ministry pushed the country past 2.5 million cases and a death toll in excess of 90,000 people.
30th Jul 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Coronavirus may cost Latin America and Caribbean a decade: ECLAC

The coronavirus crisis could set back Latin America and the Caribbean by a decade as countries endure faltering economies and rising poverty, the U.N. economic commission for the region and the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. Poverty in the region is forecast to climb 7 percentage points compared with last year to engulf an additional 45 million people, according to a report by the WHO and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The number of unemployed people is expected to rise to 44 million, an increase of more than 18 million compared with last year, while the region’s economy is projected to shrink 9.1%, the report said. “The Americas are at risk of losing years of health gains in a matter of months. This is tragic,” Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), said in a news conference. A presentation with highlights from the report warned that the coronavirus pandemic could cause a “lost decade” if income per capita drops to levels not seen since 2010, as forecast.
30th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Japan's daily coronavirus tally tops 1000 for first time amid nationwide surge

The total number of coronavirus cases nationwide surged past the 1,000 mark for the first time on Wednesday, with Osaka, Aichi, Fukuoka and Okinawa prefectures setting single-day records for new infections, media reports said. Osaka reported 221 new COVID-19 infections, topping 200 for the first time, while Fukuoka saw at least 101 cases. Aichi recorded 167 cases, 93 of which were reported in Nagoya. Meanwhile, Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures recorded 70 and 49 new cases, respectively, NHK said, both the highest since the state of emergency was called off on May 25.
29th Jul 2020 - The Japan Times

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Brazil hits record 69,000 daily coronavirus cases as restrictions eased

Brazil set daily records on Wednesday for new COVID-19 cases and related fatalities, as the world’s second-worst outbreak hurtles toward the milestone of 100,000 dead amid easing lockdowns. Brazil is the country worst hit by COVID-19 outside of the United States in both its death toll and case count. The 69,074 new confirmed cases and 1,595 additional deaths reported by the Health Ministry pushed the country past 2.5 million infections and 90,000 killed. President Jair Bolsonaro has fought against restrictions on economic activity, and the disease has advanced as governors and mayors have yielded to the pressure. In some cases, Brazilians have packed into bars and crowded public squares without masks, often in defiance of local rules.
29th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

U.S. records a coronavirus death every minute as total surpasses 150,000

One person in the United States died about every minute from COVID-19 on Wednesday as the national death toll surpassed 150,000, the highest in the world The United States recorded 1,461 new deaths on Wednesday, the highest one-day increase since 1,484 on May 27, according to a Reuters tally. U.S. coronavirus deaths are rising at their fastest rate in two months and have increased by 10,000 in the past 11 days.
29th Jul 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

Coronavirus: Rotorua hotel in 'lockdown' after potential Covid-19 result

A Rotorua managed isolation centre went into lockdown on Wednesday after a potential new Covid-19 case was detected. Government officials confirmed restrictions were imposed at Rydges Rotorua. “Standard procedures were followed after the detection,” a Managed Isolation and Quarantine spokesman told Stuff. “In such cases, when regional isolation and quarantine teams are notified by health staff of a potential or confirmed case, the person is isolated to their room, and all relevant staff are informed,” he added.
29th Jul 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Germany begins mass coronavirus testing at airports

Berlin's Tegel airport began large scale coronavirus testing on Wednesday, as airports across Germany prepared for the advent of free, compulsory testing for many passengers from next week. Two rooms were set aside for tests, but an airport spokeswoman said a larger space was being prepared, indicating that authorities are preparing for testing to remain a fixture for a long time to come. "These rooms are of course a bit small, as you can see," said spokeswoman Sabine Deckwerth. "That is why the large Terminal D in Tegel is being prepared to host a bigger one."
29th Jul 2020 - SwissInfo

Italy 'walking a fine line' on coronavirus infections

Italy was the first European nation to be engulfed by coronavirus, but as the prospect of another lockdown looms in some of its neighbours, the country has managed to avoid a resurgence of infections. At least so far. Three experts who spoke to the Guardian put this down to good surveillance and contact-tracing, as well as most of the population diligently following safety rules, with many people wearing face masks outside even though it is not mandatory. On 4 May, when Italy began easing lockdown restrictions, more than 1,200 new cases were reported in a day. Since 1 July, the daily increase has been relatively static, reaching a high of 306 on 23 July, and falling to 181 on Tuesday. Several coronavirus clusters have emerged across the country, but this has mostly been due to infections imported from abroad.
29th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Germany's Covid-19 fears grow over ‘reckless’ partygoers

Lothar Wieler, of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the government’s main advisory body on public health, called the partygoers “irresponsible”. “It is reckless and careless to take part in wild parties,” he said during his latest update of the virus’s progress. “Young people can carry the illness back to their families, especially their grandparents.”
29th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

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Fifteen staff at NHS trust test positive for Covid-19

East Kent Hospitals tested 9,000 members of staff over five days last week and the results were announced on Tuesday. Kent has been under the spotlight after the region recorded some of the highest Covid-19 mortality rates in England last month. The 15 staff who tested positive are isolating in line with national guidance, the trust said. Chief medical officer Dr Rebecca Martin said: “We know that while many people experience mild – or even no – symptoms of Covid-19, they have the potential to carry and pass on the virus without knowing it.
28th Jul 2020 - Aberdeen Evening Express

Venice becomes first major film festival to return after coronavirus lockdown

Helen Mirren, Shia LaBeouf and Greta Thunberg are among the big names due to be on display at the 2020 Venice film festival, as it gears up to be the first major festival to stage a physical event in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Inevitably the lineup has a slimmed-down feel, with many films delayed or held back, meaning there is little in the way of Venice’s traditional dose of Hollywood glamour.
28th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Germans more optimistic about post-lockdown world than French, Spanish and Italians - poll

Germans appear more confident about life post-lockdown than the French, Spanish and Italians, a Euronews-commissioned poll has found. Data from the survey, carried out by Redfield and Wilton Strategies, has found Germans feel a little less cautious than other Europeans as the continent emerges from months of coronavirus restrictions.
28th Jul 2020 - Euronews

The art of contact tracing for the new workplace

I took the step out of curiosity. It was interesting to see a table blocking the entrance of the local temple and unless you enter your name and contact details after removing your shoes, you are not allowed to the almighty – as per NZ government rules. After all, the virus does not care about its creator. It only cares about one thing – reproduction. To its credit, the New Zealand government did try to learn the art of contact tracing during lockdown which reduced its cases to less than 50 in the country. All businesses, temples, churches, gyms, schools have a contact tracing register now. Going to a gym? You are not allowed entry – unless you enter your name and contact number in a register. This level of strictness made the island nation keep its numbers low, which reduced to zero at one point before increasing back to 20s (all in quarantine in government sponsored hotels).
28th Jul 2020 - Economic Times

Germany voices 'great concern' at virus spike, issues Spain warning

Germany's disease control agency voiced "great concern" Tuesday over rising virus numbers in the country as authorities issued a travel warning against parts of Spain. "We must prevent that the virus once again spreads rapidly and uncontrollably," Robert Koch Institute head Lothar Wieler told reporters. "The latest developments in the number of COVID-19 cases are of great concern to me and all of us at the RKI," he said. Germany has fared better than many of its neighbours in suppressing the virus, but Wieler urged citizens not to squander the progress following a spike in numbers in recent weeks. "It's in our hands how the pandemic evolves in Germany," Wieler said, calling on Germans to stick with prevention measures such as washing hands and keeping a safe distance.
28th Jul 2020 - Times of Malta

Hinkley Point concrete supplier closed by Covid-19 outbreak

A concrete-making plant supplying the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been closed after 22 employees tested positive for Covid-19. Balfour Beatty said the Avonmouth site in Bristol was closed until further notice to reduce the virus's spread. It said the plant was deep cleaned over the weekend and the NHS Test and Trace procedure had been initiated. It said this had "so far shown no impact" on the Hinkley Point C site. "We continue to engage with all those affected and remain committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of all those who work with and for us, as well as the general public," a spokesman added.
27th Jul 2020 - BBC News

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Slowly, Italy Is Waking From the Coronavirus Nightmare

This is a very strange, subdued summer for a country with an economy that relies heavily on tourism and merrymaking. But E.U. aid is on the way.
27th Jul 2020 - The New York Times

Robert O'Brien, key Trump adviser, tests positive for Covid-19

President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, has tested positive for coronavirus, the White House has confirmed. Mr O'Brien, 54, has been self-isolating and working from home. The aide has mild symptoms and there was no risk of exposure to Mr Trump or Vice-President Mike Pence, a statement said. Mr O'Brien is the highest-ranking official in Mr Trump's administration known to have tested positive. It is not clear when he and the president last met, but one administration official said it had not been for "several days". The pair appeared together two weeks ago on a trip to Miami.
27th Jul 2020 - BBC News

UK announces 14 more coronavirus deaths taking total to 45,752 in the lowest Sunday rise since lockdown began

There were 14 more fatalities in England, one in Wales - but Scotland had none This is the tenth consecutive day that Scotland has record no coronavirus deaths England patients were aged from 36 and 89, and all had underlying health issues
27th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus: 21 people test positive for COVID-19 in Shropshire caravan park

Testing has confirmed a COVID-19 outbreak at a caravan park in Shropshire with 21 new cases. The individuals were asked to self-isolate for at least seven days from the time they started displaying coronavirus symptoms or from when they received their positive result. However, the council fears the number of cases at the site will continue to rise before infection control measures start to take effect. All residents at the caravan park, which is in the town of Craven Arms, will be asked to self-isolate with their household for 14 days if they have come into contact with one of the positive cases.
27th Jul 2020 - Sky News

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Vietnamese City Reimposes Distancing after First Local Infections in Months

Vietnam reintroduced social distancing measures in the central city of Danang on Sunday after the country reported four locally transmitted coronavirus cases over the past two days, the first in more than three months. The Southeast Asian country was back on high alert after the government on Saturday confirmed its first community infection since April, and another case early on Sunday, both in the tourism hot spot of Danang. The two new cases included a 17-year-old boy in Quang Ngai province and a 71-year-old woman in Danang, the government said late on Sunday, bringing the total number of reported cases in the country to 420. Authorities gave no further detail on how the new infections were contracted nor whether they were believed to be linked
26th Jul 2020 - Voice of America

How tiny Uruguay, wedged between Brazil and Argentina, has avoided the worst of the coronavirus

In the weeks and months that followed the March 13 diagnoses of four recent travelers from Europe, the nation of 3.4 million would keep the virus in check. Wedged between Brazil, suffering the second-worst outbreak in the world, and Argentina, where infections are now surging, Uruguay has reported just 1,064 cases and 33 deaths — unusually low numbers for a Latin American nation testing widely. In June, it became the first country in the region to reopen virtually all public schools. It’s the only country in Latin America from which the European Union will accept visitors.
21st Jul 2020 - Washington Post

New virus cases tumble on fall in imported cases, local infections

South Korea's new coronavirus cases dropped to under 60 on Sunday, a day after the country recorded its highest figure in nearly four months due to a surge in infections among people arriving from abroad. The country added 58 new cases, including 46 cases from abroad, bringing the total to 14,150, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The number of new infections was down sharply compared to 113 the previous day, but health authorities are on alert over a possible spike in both local and imported cases. It marked the first time since April 1 for the country to report more than 100 cases. South Korea reported its first case on Jan. 20.
26th Jul 2020 - Korea Herald

Record number of new virus cases as public loses faith in govts

As governments worldwide struggle to contain the virus despite long and economically crippling lockdowns imposed on millions of people, a new survey suggested that faith in authorities is dwindling in six rich nations. Populations in France, Germany, Britain, Japan, Sweden and the US widely believed death and infection figures to be higher than recorded, according to the study, which polled 1,000 people in each nation. "In most countries this month, support for national governments is falling," said the report by the Kekst CNC communications consultancy.
25th Jul 2020 - YAHOO!

Vietnam back on coronavirus alert after first local infection in 3 months

Vietnam was back on high alert for the novel coronavirus on Saturday after medical officials in the central city of Danang detected, its first locally transmitted case for three months. Thanks to strict quarantine measures and an aggressive and widespread testing programme, the Southeast Asian country has kept its virus total to an impressively low 415 cases and had reported no locally transmitted infections for 100 days. Vietnam has reported no deaths from the virus. But on Friday, the health ministry said a 57-year-old man from Danang, a tourist hot spot, had tested positive, prompting the isolation of 50 people he came in contact with. The ministry said 103 people connected to the patient were tested for the virus but all returned negative results. The government said on Saturday a new test had confirmed the man's infection, bringing the total number of cases in Vietnam to 416.
25th Jul 2020 - The Star Online

How Sweden, Uruguay, Japan and Israel Reopened Schools During COVID-19 Pandemic

As American school officials debate when it will be safe for schoolchildren to return to classrooms, looking abroad may offer insights. Nearly every country in the world shuttered their schools early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have since sent students back to class, with varying degrees of success. I am a scholar of comparative international education. For this article, I examined what happened in four countries where K-12 schools either stayed open throughout the pandemic or have resumed in-person instruction, using press reports, national COVID-19 data and academic studies.
24th Jul 2020 - The Daily Beast

'Our epidemic could exceed a million cases' — South Africa's top coronavirus adviser

From the coronavirus pandemic’s first months, the World Health Organization warned that Africa’s health systems would struggle to cope if the virus began to spread on the continent. That prediction is starting to be realized, as Nature has reported from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. But more than half of the continent’s 780,000 reported cases are in South Africa. Initially, a hard five-week lockdown from 27 March helped to keep numbers low, but that became economically ruinous as 3 million South Africans lost their jobs. The official death toll stands at 6,000, but as with other countries, this is likely to be an undercount, according to the South African Medical Research Council.
24th Jul 2020 - Nature.com

Coronavirus: Will lockdown easing see more of us using rivers?

Figures suggest that more people than ever are heading to Britain's rivers with the easing of lockdown - renewing calls for better public rights of access. It comes as MPs are to consider proposals aimed at opening up the waterways to all. But after recent incidences of littering and overcrowding, there are fears more people on rivers could "cause chaos". Caroline Radford, who began wild swimming in lockdown, says it has helped her mental health.
23rd Jul 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: South Africa death toll could be 'far higher'

South African researchers say the number of deaths from coronavirus could be far higher than the official toll. The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) report says excess natural deaths rose by 17,000, a 59% increase compared to past years. Professor Debbie Bradshaw, one of the authors, said it revealed a "huge discrepancy" in the numbers. On Thursday the country said there had been a record 572 deaths in the last 24 hours. South Africa currently has the fifth highest number of confirmed cases worldwide with more than 400,000 infections and a death toll of 5,940. This is a far lower death toll than in other countries that have fewer confirmed cases, for example the UK.
23rd Jul 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Madagascar hospitals 'overwhelmed'

Hospitals in Madagascar have warned they are overwhelmed after a spike in coronavirus cases in a country where the president has been promoting a herbal drink to treat the virus. A record 614 new cases have been confirmed in the last day, bringing the total to 8,162 and 69 deaths. Several African countries have ordered the tonic, called Covid-Organics. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no evidence the drink works against Covid-19. Hospitals in the capital, Antananarivo, have warned that they are starting to run out of beds. "We are now only accepting severe cases," Andohotapenaka Hospital director Nasolotsiry Raveloson is quoted as telling AFP news agency. Directors at two other hospitals also told the news agency that they were overwhelmed.
22nd Jul 2020 - BBC News

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One third of UK workers 'reluctant to return' to offices post-lockdown

Employee research from e-days, the absence management company used by companies like ASOS and Monster Energy, has revealed that one third of employees are ‘reluctant to return’ to offices as lockdown eases in the UK. A survey of UK workers showed that 60% were reluctant or unsure about returning to the office on grounds of safety. Just over a third felt they were ready to go back to their offices.
23rd Jul 2020 - RealWire

Russia's Coronavirus Cases Approach 800K Amid Lifted Lockdown

Russia confirmed 5,848 new coronavirus infections Thursday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 795,038. Over the past 24 hours 147 people have died, bringing the total toll to 12,892 — a rate considerably lower than in many other countries hit hard by the pandemic. A total of 8,277 people recovered over the last 24 hours, bringing the overall number of recoveries to 580,330.
23rd Jul 2020 - The Moscow Times

COVID -19: As lockdown eases, Saudi Arabia gets ready to welcome Haj pilgrims

Saudi Arabia is gearing up for a scaled-down Hajj season amid fears of the new pandemic
23rd Jul 2020 - Gulf News

Disney postpones 'Mulan' indefinitely, delays 'Avatar' and 'Star Wars'

Walt Disney Co on Thursday postponed the debut of its movie “Mulan” indefinitely, dealing a new blow to theater operators that were counting on the live-action epic to help attract audiences during a pandemic. “Mulan” was scheduled to reach theaters in March but its release has been postponed several times as many cinemas remain closed. The film had most recently been set to debut on Aug. 21 and theater operators had hoped it would help spark a late-summer rebound for movie-going. Disney also said it had delayed the next film installments from two of its biggest franchises, “Avatar” and “Star Wars,” by one year as the novel coronavirus has disrupted production. The “Avatar” sequel is now set to debut in theaters in December 2022, and the next “Star Wars” movie in December 2023.
23rd Jul 2020 - Reuters

U.S. coronavirus deaths top 1,100 for a third day in a row

The United States on Thursday recorded more than 1,100 deaths from COVID-19, marking the third straight day the nation passed that grim milestone as the pandemic escalates in southern and western U.S. states. Fatalities nationwide were recorded at 1,118 on Thursday. Deaths were 1,135 on Wednesday and 1,141 on Tuesday. Even though deaths are rising in the United States for a second week in a row, they remain well below levels seen in April, when 2,000 people a day on average died from the virus. The United States on Thursday also passed a total of more than 4 million coronavirus infections since the first U.S. case was documented in January, according to a Reuters tally, reflecting a nationwide escalation of the pandemic.
23rd Jul 2020 - Yahoo! Voices

New Zealand beat Covid-19 by trusting leaders and following advice – study

The secrets to New Zealand’s success at eliminating coronavirus has been revealed by university researchers, who have found compliance with basic hygiene practices and trust in authorities was at nearly 100%. Researchers at Massey University interviewed more than 1,000 people post-lockdown, to investigate how New Zealanders responded to the pandemic. “We came together as a country, in part because we believed in our political and health experts to deliver and they did,” said Dr Jagadish Thaker, a senior lecturer at the school of communication, journalism & marketing at Massey University. “Simple, clear health messages, communicated with kindness and empathy, resonate with people, even when they are demanding tough changes.”
23rd Jul 2020 - The Guardian

United Airlines sees weak demand until coronavirus vaccine found

United Airlines Holdings Inc has warned that travel demand will remain suppressed until there is a widely accepted treatment or vaccine against the coronavirus, which plunged the carrier into a deep quarterly loss. Coronavirus infections are surging in the United States, causing some regions to scale back reopening plans and reinstate quarantines in a fresh blow to airlines. United, which is not blocking middle seats, plans to fly about 35 percent of its 2019 summer schedule in the third quarter and is expecting its planes to be about 45 percent full in July. They were about one-third full in the second quarter.
22nd Jul 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Coronavirus map: Just 3 states meet criteria to reopen and stay safe

With these metrics, states can gauge if they have repressed the coronavirus while building the capacity to contain future outbreaks should they come. In other words, the benchmarks show how ready states are for the next phase of the fight. So far, most states are not there. As of July 22, just three states — Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York — met four or five of the goals, which demonstrates strong progress. Twenty-two states and Washington, DC, hit two or three of the benchmarks. The other 25 achieved zero or one. (South Dakota and Wyoming didn’t report ICU data, but it wouldn’t be enough to change their rankings.)
22nd Jul 2020 - Vox.com

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Coronavirus cases surge among factory workers in post-lockdown India

When Bajirao Thengde voiced his fears about going to work after dozens of colleagues fell sick with coronavirus, his boss at a motorbike factory in western India said he should “learn to live with the virus”. As India’s coronavirus cases exceeded one million last week, unions say similar spikes in infections in reopened factories are putting workers at risk - accusing companies of skimping on health and safety as they rush to get business back on track. It was only after several workers died and district authorities ordered a seven-day lockdown that Thengde’s plant in Maharashtra state finally closed on July 10, weeks after calls for it to shut when the first cases appeared. “We were demanding that the factory be temporarily closed but work carried on,” said Thengde, a union leader who has worked for more than 30 years for Bajaj Auto Ltd - India’s biggest motorbike exporter.
22nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Egypt extends operating hours of cafes, restaurants until midnight from July 26 -statement

Egypt has extended the operating hours of cafes and restaurants from 10:00 PM to midnight while allowing them to operate at 50 percent capacity starting July 26, the cabinet said in a statement. The operating hours of stores, including malls, were also extended until 10:00 PM, the statement said. Egypt had reduced operating hours in its initial reopening phase to limit public gatherings and curb the spread of the coronavirus.
22nd Jul 2020 - Arab News

Covid vaccine could be rolled out for vulnerable Britons before it is approved by regulators

A Covid-19 vaccine could be rolled out for vulnerable Britons within months of one being found to work, according to the UK's vaccine tsar. Normally, it takes up to two years before a medication is given the green light by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the UK's drugs watchdog. But Kate Bingham, chair of the UK's vaccine taskforce, says a coronavirus jab could be fast-tracked through the process.
22nd Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

DC mayor orders mandatory masks as infections rise again

With coronavirus cases rising, Mayor Muriel Bowser issued an executive order Wednesday making face masks mandatory outside homes — an unprecedented step in the nation's capital. Bowser said the order would include “enforcement language” detailing possible fines for violations. After saying they had successfully blunted the infection curve in the city earlier this summer, health officials say the infection numbers have slowly crept upward, reaching triple digits on Wednesday for the first time in weeks. Limited exceptions to the order, according to material distributed by Bowser's office, include children under age 3, people “actively eating or drinking” and people “vigorously exercising outdoors” while not close to anyone else.
22nd Jul 2020 - San Francisco Chronicle

Female leaders doing 'better job' in virus crisis, says Lagarde

Female leaders are doing a better job handling the coronavirus crisis, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde said in an online interview with The Washington Post, praising them for their honest communication and for showing they cared. The differences in policies and communication were "quite stunning" in countries led by women, she said. The female leaders of Germany Taiwan, Belgium and New Zealand had also "carried the water of bad news as well as the water of clear explanation and strong recommendations", she added.
22nd Jul 2020 - CTV News

DR Congo ends virus health emergency, borders to reopen

DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has lifted a health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak and ordered a reopening in three stages of business activities, schools and borders. He said that from Wednesday all shops, banks, restaurants and bars would be allowed to reopen, public transport could resume and large gatherings would be permitted. Schools and universities can reopen on August 3, and airports, ports, borders and places of worship on August 15. The vast country of more than 80 million people has recorded 8,534 infections including 196 deaths since March 10.
22nd Jul 2020 - This is Money

Switzerland expands COVID-19 quarantine watchlist

Switzerland has expanded to 42 the number of territories on its watchlist of coronavirus hot spots, new arrivals from which must enter a 10-day quarantine, health authorities said. New entries as of Thursday include Bosnia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eswatini, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Montenegro, the Palestinian territories, Suriname and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
22nd Jul 2020 - Reuters

As Barcelona faces lockdown, it’s likely that the UK, too, will experience a second wave

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever why we could not see the same phenomenon playing out in London or other UK cities in the weeks to come, especially as restrictions continue to be eased. I may sound like a broken record but it really is crucial that we have a foolproof test-and-trace system, or else an outbreak will emerge and we will not be able to control its spread.
21st Jul 2020 - iNews

Russia's corona euphoria

Reports of massive electoral fraud haven’t stirred public anger, and there have been no protests on the scale of last summer’s demonstrations. (There’s ongoing unrest in the far east of the country over the arrest of a popular, anti-Kremlin governor but they’ve stayed local for now. Instead, Putin is being thanked by Muscovites for having forced the mayor of Moscow to lift the lockdown earlier than planned, and his popularity has spiked. Russians are mostly just relieved to be free again, even though the country is still recording more than 6,000 new cases daily. International borders may still be closed, but most Russians have thrown caution to the wind and already embraced a post-corona future.
21st Jul 2020 - Politico

Coronavirus: Nineteen cases linked to test and trace call centre

A total of 19 positive cases of coronavirus have been linked to an outbreak that started at a Motherwell call centre, NHS Lanarkshire has said. A statement released on Tuesday evening said 14 cases associated with the premises had been identified. There have been a further five cases involving other people linked to those at the call centre. Earlier on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon said 22 new cases had been detected in Scotland, with 14 in Lanarkshire. The first minister said "at least some of them" were linked to the call centre. She added that a Scottish government resilience meeting would consider the situation in Lanarkshire and whether any further action was required.
21st Jul 2020 - BBC News

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Brazil seeking COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna, AstraZeneca

Brazil is in talks with U.S. biotech firm Moderna Inc to possibly get priority in purchasing a potential COVID-19 vaccine that the company is developing, the country’s interim Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said on Tuesday. Pazuello said that Brazil also has an understanding with AstraZeneca for the firm to deliver 30 million doses of its potential vaccine.
22nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

NHS family who all fell ill with Covid-19 warn public not to take virus lightly as rules ease

A family of three frontline NHS staff who work at the same hospital and who all caught Covid-19 – taking them “to the brink of death” – are warning people not to take the virus lightly as lockdown restrictions are eased. Aryen Roxas, a surgical nurse at King’s College Hospital, London, developed a fever and a cough in March and began self-isolating at home, shortly afterwards testing positive for the coronavirus. Despite taking “every precaution possible” in the two bedroom flat she shares with her parents, her mother and father, who also work at King’s, also caught Covid-19.
21st Jul 2020 - iNews

Peru Restaurants Resume Operations as COVID Lockdown Lifts

Restaurants in Peru are accepting diners for the first time since closing four months ago at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in March. Under new guidelines, businesses on Monday resumed operations at 40% capacity. Tables were required to be at least two meters apart. Ruben Espinoza, chef and manager of the Punto Marisko restaurant, said he is excited about the reopening even if it's only at 40% of restaurant capacity because it's a start. The reopening of restaurants in the upscale Miraflores tourist district in the capital, Lima, attracted few diners as businesses begin to recover from the economic crisis created by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
21st Jul 2020 - Voice of America

Argentine capital begins timid reopening after virus lockdown

Argentina began a timid reopening of economic activity in the capital Buenos Aires on Monday, relaxing coronavirus containment measures despite continued high infection rates. "We need to learn to live with the virus because if we don't, the economic damage will be worse than the damage done by the virus," Daniel Bailo, a vendor at a hiking and fishing store that opened on Monday, told AFP. The reopening of the greater Buenos Aires area, where 90 percent of Argentina's coronavirus cases have been concentrated, comes despite the country reporting more than 3,000 new infections a day.
21st Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

Dutch coronavirus infections are increasing, health authorities warn

The number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands is increasing, the country’s health authorities warned in an update on Tuesday. The Netherlands Institute for Health said that 987 people had tested positive for the disease in the past week, up from 534 the week before.
21st Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus cases in California soar past 400,000, poised to surpass New York

California soared past 400,000 total coronavirus cases on Tuesday, as public health officials once again pleaded with residents to take shelter-in-place measures seriously. At midday, the case count in California jumped to 407,344 cases and 7,868 deaths, with the average number of daily cases in July more than double the average from June. “I don’t overread into the significance of that number,” said Mark Ghaly, California’s health and human services secretary, during a media briefing Tuesday. “I look at every day as an opportunity to do better and do more with our response to COVID-19.”
21st Jul 2020 - San Francisco Chronicle

Canada authorities had expected recent spike in coronavirus cases - World News

A recent spike in coronavirus cases across Canada as the economy gradually reopens is worrying but does not come as a surprise to authorities, a senior official said on Tuesday. Deputy public health officer Howard Njoo - who expressed concern last Friday about the increase - told a briefing that the success of efforts to combat the outbreak was fragile and could be undermined by people becoming complacent.
21st Jul 2020 - FirstPost

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'It makes sense': French shoppers take compulsory masks in their stride

From Monday, shoppers entering the bakery in Paris where Kalil Gaci works are required by law to wear a mask, but his customers are taking the new rule in their stride. “There’s no problem in wearing one, I’m completely for it,” said Elina Outh, a 22-year-old business student who called in to buy some of Gaci’s pastries. “What’s happening makes sense and I think it should have happened a long time ago.” Government edicts about wearing face coverings to curb the spread of COVID-19 have touched off fierce debate in the United States and elsewhere about civil liberties. On France, most people accept them as a necessary tool to fight the epidemic.
20th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Egyptians struggle to return to work even as lockdown lifts

“[Thinking] of everything we’ve been through since coronavirus began until bringing things back and putting them away in storage feels very heavy ... the psychological impact has been intense,” Galal added. In mid-March Egypt imposed lockdown measures including a night curfew, bans on large public gatherings and the closure of restaurants and theatres. Restrictions were eventually lifted in June, with theatres allowed to operate at 25% capacity. But with several hundred new COVID-19 cases being reported daily, the Sitara decided to stay closed. “We actually closed before the government closed everything because it just felt wrong having children come in and then a whole load of new children come in and also schools were panicking and parents were panicking,” said Emma Davies, the artistic director of the theatre.
20th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Tunisia welcomes back tourists after pandemic lockdown

Tourists are back on Tunisia's beaches after charter flights resumed to the North African country following a break of more than three months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some 155 mask-clad holiday makers from France, Germany and Luxembourg were greeted late last week on the resort island of Djerba with temperature checks -- but also by hostesses offering them bouquets of jasmine. "We can't save the whole season, but we will do everything we can to save part of it," said Tourism Minister Mohamed Ali Toumi, who was at the airport to welcome the Luxair flight.
20th Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

What does life in a 'post-lockdown' world look like?

After months of imposing strict restrictions or lockdown rules, many countries across the world have started easing these control measures. What has this meant at a global level?
20th Jul 2020 - Medical News Today

Coronavirus fast-tracked plans to reform NZ healthcare

Covid-19 fast-tracked plans for health workers to do “virtual home visits” by telephone or video link, and is speeding-up initiatives to help people stay well in the community – such as an app to help slow the decline into frailty among elderly. “A key learning from the Covid situation is that we can successfully do remotely a lot of consultations we thought we should do face-to-face,” says Dr Ben Hudson,​ head of general practice at Te Papa Hauora​ partner, the University of Otago, Christchurch. “Phone consulting will become a more well-established way of accessing care, and video consults to a lesser extent,” he says. “There are potentially significant benefits in this more flexible way of working because patients won’t have to always travel to the practice or take time off work or find childcare.”
20th Jul 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Russia reports almost 6,000 new coronavirus cases

Russia reported 5,940 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, pushing its total infection tally to 777,486, the fourth largest in the world. In a daily readout, officials said 85 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 12,427.
20th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

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Aged care 'the new front line' as 40 Victorian nursing homes report COVID-19 cases

At least 40 different aged care homes in Victoria now have at least one positive COVID-19 case, with a number of regional Victorian homes also dealing with infections. The number of facilities which have an active case of the virus has doubled in five days according to state government data, after only 20 aged care homes were affected on July 14. And the number of active virus cases connected to aged care facilities has risen from 86 to 216.
20th Jul 2020 - The Age

Japan to Pay at Least $536 Million for Companies to Leave China

Japan’s government will start paying its companies to move factories out of China and back home or to Southeast Asia, part of a new program to secure supply chains and reduce dependence on manufacturing in China. Fifty-seven companies including privately-held facemask-maker Iris Ohyama Inc. and Sharp Corp. will receive a total of 57.4 billion yen ($536 million) in subsidies from the government, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Friday. Another 30 firms will receive money to move manufacturing to Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and other Southeast Asian nations, according to a separate announcement, which didn’t provide details on the amount of compensation.
20th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

Korea confirms 34 more cases of COVID-19

South Korea reported 34 new cases of the novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19 in the last 24 hours ending Saturday midnight, putting the total at 13,745. Of the newly confirmed cases, 21 were from local transmissions and 13 from abroad. One more person died, bringing the death toll to 295. The fatality rate stands at 2.15 percent, which is much higher for those 80 or older at 25.3 percent. According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s daily situation report, the number of imported cases hit 421 during the first three weeks of July, which is 3.8 times the figure seen at the same time last month. The rise in travel-related cases has left quarantine lodgings occupied at over 80 percent capacity as of Friday afternoon.
19th Jul 2020 - Korea Herald

Mexico reports 7,615 new cases of coronavirus, marking record

Mexico’s Health Ministry on Saturday posted a record for new coronavirus cases reported on a single day, with 7,615 more confirmed cases, bringing its overall tally of infections to 338,913, health ministry data showed. The ministry also reported 578 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 38,888 deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases. Speaking to a news conference, the Mexican government’s head of epidemiology, Jose Luis Alomia, stressed that the country must not let down its guard. “We expect to have a long epidemic, so we have to change personal habits and protect ourselves from risk,” he said.
18th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Rouhani says 35 million Iranians may contract coronavirus

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said 35 million Iranians may contract the coronavirus as the country still did not have herd immunity although a quarter of the population may be infected. "Our estimate is that up to now, 25 million Iranians have been infected with this virus," Rouhani said during a televised meeting of the country's virus-fighting task force on Saturday. "We have to consider the possibility that 30 to 35 million more may face infection." It appears to be the first time a senior Iranian official has indicated the country is seeking to defeat COVID-19 via herd immunity.
18th Jul 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Brazil hospitals overwhelmed as coronavirus cases cross 2 million

Even as cases wane somewhat in the biggest and hardest-hit Brazilian cities, infections are peaking in new locations across the country. At a public hospital in the city of Campinas, northwest of Sao Paulo, a video recorded by a doctor who works at the facility showed no intensive care unit (ICU) beds available to treat COVID-19 patients. Health officials in the city say the coronavirus has become a major public health threat. "We've had many days with a 100 percent of ICU beds occupation," Andrea von Zuben, director of the Municipal Health Vigilance Department, told Al Jazeera.
17th Jul 2020 - Al Jazeera English

No One Knows What Thailand Is Doing Right, but So Far, It’s Working

Did Thailand’s early adoption of face masks, combined with a robust health care system, blunt the virus’s impact? Was it the outdoor lifestyle of many Thais, or their relatively low rates of pre-existing conditions? Is there a genetic component in which the immune systems of Thais and others in the Mekong River region are more resistant to the coronavirus? Or is it some alchemy of all these factors that has insulated this country of 70 million people?
16th Jul 2020 - The New York Times

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India coronavirus cases near one million, driven by surge in rural areas

The number of coronavirus cases in India neared one million on Thursday as infection numbers rose in the countryside, pushing authorities to reinstate lockdowns across several states. India reported a record 32,696 new cases of the COVID-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 968,876 with 24,915 deaths, according to data from the federal health ministry. The country of 1.3 billion people is behind only the United States and Brazil in the number of confirmed infections and there is no sign yet of the curve flattening. India's testing rate is also among the lowest in the world in relation to its population. While major cities such as Delhi and Mumbai were among the initial hotspots of the virus in India, newer cases are emerging in rural areas where healthcare infrastructure is much weaker. A fresh lockdown was imposed on Thursday in the largely-rural eastern state of Bihar, where cases have been rising after thousands of migrant workers returned from cities following a strict lockdown to contain the virus spread.
16th Jul 2020 - The Guardian.pe.ca

Life after lockdown

The pandemic is still affecting some regions of Europe. “There is strategy called Hammer and Dance,” says Dr Leticia Kawano Dourado, a respiratory physician at the Hospital do Coração in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “You alternate between closing down and reopening with a focus on testing and tracing until we get a vaccine.” The strategy, outlined by writer Tomás Pueyo, has drawn a lot attention from experts. “During the Hammer, the goal is to get R as close to zero, as fast as possible, to quench the epidemic. But once you move into the Dance, you don’t need to do that anymore. You just need your R to stay below 1.” He explains, where R means the average number of people each person with a disease goes on to infect.
16th Jul 2020 - Hindustan Times

China leads coronavirus recovery as economy returns to growth

China has reported a return to 3.2 per cent growth in the second quarter, in one the world’s first major signs of economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded expectations in the three months to the end of June, according to data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. The rise follows China’s first decline in decades, with GDP dropping by 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 as the pandemic peaked in the world’s second-largest economy.
16th Jul 2020 - The Independent

Quirky Campers reports boom in interest from New Zealanders post-lockdown

With international travel off the cards due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many New Zealand tourism operators catering to the domestic market are enjoying a boom. Quirky Campers is one of them - the campervan rental company is reporting a 1000 percent increase in visits to its website since January.
16th Jul 2020 - Newshub

New Zealand Inflation Slows as Virus Lockdown Stalls Economy

New Zealand inflation slowed in the second quarter, falling toward the low-end of the central bank’s target range, amid a collapse in the global oil price and a stalling economy due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Consumer prices rose 1.5% from a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said Thursday in Wellington. That compared with 2.5% in the first quarter, but was faster than the 1.3% expected by economists. Prices fell 0.5% from three months earlier -- the first quarterly decline since 2015.
16th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

Half of British workers have restarted commuting, ONS says

The proportion of people in Britain travelling to their place of work rose to 50% last week for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown started, a survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed on Thursday. Another ONS survey of businesses showed 90% of food and accommodation companies had incurred extra costs because of safety measures implemented in attempts to reopen following lockdown.
16th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

London restaurants fret as going out goes out of style

Restaurants might have reopened, but the owner of Etta’s Seafood Kitchen in London’s Brixton Village market fears the prolonged COVID-19 lockdown may have changed customer behaviour for good.
16th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Rising coronavirus infections threaten US economic recovery

Rising coronavirus infections across dozens of states are threatening the U.S. economic recovery, forcing businesses and consumers to freeze spending and keeping the unemployment rate stubbornly high. The government reported Thursday that retail sales rose a sharp 7.5% in June, but the positive trend was undercut by more recent data showing that credit card spending has stalled. A separate report showed that more than a million Americans sought unemployment benefits last week – a sign that companies continue to cut jobs as the virus slashes through the heavily populated Sunbelt.
16th Jul 2020 - The Associated Press

Growing Wait Times for Covid-19 Test Results Hinder Virus Response

“You have no idea how many infections you have today,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and head epidemiologist for the university’s Covid-19 Testing Insights Initiative, which tracks testing trends. “But it also just puts you behind the eight ball. It delays your ability to intervene, and that’s the whole point,” Dr. Nuzzo added. “What’s the point of doing a test if someone doesn’t get a test result for two weeks?” Aside from tracking the virus, the purpose of testing and identifying cases is to isolate infected people and then quickly locate those they have been in contact with and ask them to self-quarantine before they further spread the virus.
16th Jul 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

UK boosts healthcare funding to ward off winter COVID-19 wave

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to pour 3 billion pounds ($3.77 billion) into England’s National Health Service (NHS) to try to ward off any resurgence of the coronavirus. Britain is the worst-affected country in Europe by COVID-19 with a death toll from confirmed cases of more than 45,000. The government has faced criticism over several different aspects of its response to the pandemic, including that it was too slow to impose a lockdown and failed to ramp up testing capacity quickly enough. In recent weeks, the country has eased lockdown restrictions as infection rates have fallen but the government said it must now begin to prepare for a potential second peak in cases over winter. “The Prime Minister is clear that now is not the time for complacency, and we must make sure our NHS is battle ready for winter,” a spokesman said ahead of a news conference by Johnson on Friday afternoon.
16th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus tracked: England’s infection rate is now five times greater than Scotland’s, latest data reveals

The coronavirus infection rate in England is five-times greater than that of Scotland’s, the latest data has revealed. Since mid-May, both countries have seen new daily coronavirus cases reduce significantly, though Scotland’s handling of the virus appears to have been far more effective. At their peak, both nations recorded a similar amount of new cases per day, with England recording around 73 new cases per million people compared to Scotland’s 63 infections per million people.
16th Jul 2020 - The Independent

U.N. aid chief to G20 on coronavirus: 'Step up now or pay price later'

Coronavirus support to poor countries has been so far “grossly inadequate and that’s dangerously shortsighted,” U.N. aid chief Mark Lowcock said on Thursday as he asked wealthy countries for billions more dollars in assistance. The United Nations increased its humanitarian appeal by more than a third to $10.3 billion to help 63 states, mainly in Africa and Latin America, tackle the spread and destabilising effects of the coronavirus. This is up from the world body’s initial $2 billion request in March, then $6.7 billion in May. So far, Lowcock said, the United Nations has only received $1.7 billion.
16th Jul 2020 - Reuters

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One million Brits have quit smoking during covid pandemic

One million Brits have quit smoking since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) says. Ash has calculated that 1,036,000 smokers and recent ex-smokers had quit or continued their abstinence since coronavirus cases started circulating in the UK in March. The charity surveyed more than 10,000 people across England, Wales and Scotland, including 1,700 smokers and people who had quit in the last four months. It found that younger smokers were more likely to have stopped than older smokers – 17 per cent of smokers and recent ex-smokers aged between 16-29 said they had quit compared to seven per cent of those older than 50. A further 13 per cent of those aged 30 to 49 quit during the pandemic, too.
15th Jul 2020 - Evening Standard

Over 330000 coronavirus infections reported in Peru

Health authorities of Peru said on Monday that 3,797 more patients have been diagnosed in the country, increasing the total number of COVID-19 infections across the nation to 330,123. The health ministry said that a total of 12,054 coronavirus infected patients have died due to the disease so far in the country. A report released by the ministry said that "of the positive cases, to date 221,008 people have completed their period of quarantine at home or have been discharged from a health center". The country has continued the economic activity in most of its parts, having only seven regions under lockdown over the high numbers of infections
15th Jul 2020 - MENAFN.COM

As rowdy tourists flout coronavirus laws, residents in some Spanish resorts fear new surge in cases

Scenes of drunken young tourists cavorting without masks, jumping on cars and chanting aggressively on the streets of a resort town have raised concerns in Spain as the country teeters on the edge of a fresh coronavirus surge. Authorities say such incidents, video of which was shared by a local journalist but hasn't been verified by CNN, are isolated. But locals who endured heavy restrictions to limit the spread of the disease fear that ill-behaved visitors could undermine their earlier sacrifices
15th Jul 2020 - CNN

Coronavirus: R number 'lower than thought' before lockdown eased in England

The rate of coronavirus infections in the community in England was significantly reduced before lockdown eased in May, according to a government-commissioned study. Imperial College research showed there were, on average, 13 positive cases for every 10,000 people. This means the R number was lower than thought at 0.57, the study suggests. But the figure does not take into account infections in care homes and hospitals at the time. Calculated using this information, the national overall reproduction number - or R - was estimated to be between 0.7 and 1 during May. The study of 120,000 volunteers also suggested young adults aged 18 to 24 were more likely to test positive. The researchers said this could be due to young people having more social contacts over lockdown. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the findings showed the impact of lockdown.
15th Jul 2020 - BBC News

China's economy seen growing 2.5% in second quarter as lockdowns end, stimulus kicks in: Reuters poll

China’s economy likely returned to modest growth in the second quarter after a record contraction, as lockdown measures ended and policymakers announced more stimulus to combat the shock from the coronavirus crisis, according to a Reuters poll.
15th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Belgium, once hard-hit, reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since March

Belgium, which has reined in the coronavirus after becoming the worst-hit mid-sized country in the world, reported zero new coronavirus-related deaths in 24 hours on Tuesday for the first time since March 10. As in many European countries that were hard hit by the pandemic in March and April, Belgium sharply reduced infections by imposing a lockdown, which is now being lifted. The total number of deaths reported by the national public health institute Sciensano remained at 9,787. In the country of 11.5 million people, that works out to around 850 deaths per million, the worst in the world apart from the tiny city state of San Marino. The peak daily death toll was 343 on April 12.
15th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Bastille Day: France honours health workers amid pandemic

France has honoured its health workers at scaled-down events to mark the national celebration Bastille Day, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Authorities cancelled the traditional military parade but instead held a tribute to those tackling the virus. Invited audience members included families of French workers who died of Covid-19. The annual events mark the storming of Bastille prison on 14 July 1789, seen as the start of the French Revolution. It is the first time officials have called off the annual military parade through the capital Paris since the end of World War Two in 1945.
15th Jul 2020 - BBC News

LA Public Schools Will Start Year Online, as Virus Rises in State

Los Angeles and San Diego public school districts said Monday they will begin the year online, as California grapples with mounting Covid-19 cases and the WHO issued cautionary statements regarding coronavirus and kids.
13th Jul 2020 - Wall Street Journal

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UK retail sales in June show signs of recovery after covid lockdown

Despite signs of a gradual recovery taking hold, the latest snapshot from the British Retail Consortium and the accountancy firm KPMG, also revealed significant pressure still remains for high street firms, as many consumers continue to stay away from the shops while health risks remain from Covid-19. Over the latest three months – a better guide to the underlying trend because it can smooth over monthly changes – sales, excluding food, plunged by 47%.
14th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

California rolls back reopening as nations battle resurgent coronavirus

California drastically rolled back its reopening plans Monday as coronavirus cases surged across dozens of US states and the World Health Organization warned that too many nations are mismanaging their pandemic response. Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all indoor restaurants, bars and movie theaters to close again across California -- by far America's richest and most populous state, with a larger economy than all but four countries. Churches as well as gyms, shopping malls, hair salons and non-essential offices must also shut indoor operations in half of the Golden State's worst-hit and most densely populated counties, including Los Angeles. "We're moving back into a modification mode of our original 'stay-at-home' order," said Newsom
14th Jul 2020 - Yahoo News Australia

Paris bubbles over with optimism post-lockdown

Since the first days of déconfinement, Parisians have embraced with gusto a return to normal life that interprets liberally the official guidelines of social distancing and wearing masks. Judging by the festive outdoor hubbub, the feeling of risk has dissipated. At 5 Pailles, a trendy brunch spot in the 10th arrondissement, a densely packed line snakes around the corner on weekends. Bengisu Gunes, a partner in the restaurant, says business has never been better: “It’s like a placebo effect,” she says of the desire to come out again. “Or maybe it’s the French culture — a little revolutionary.” Meanwhile in Britain, where restaurants and pubs reopened on July 4, three-fifths of Britons still don't feel comfortable dining out, according to an Office for National Statistics survey.
14th Jul 2020 - Financial Times

Pandemic slows down in Chile, where 'improvement continues'

Coronavirus infections are no longer increasing as rapidly in Chile, which has reported 1,836 new cases - the lowest figure in 63 days. "The improvement continues," Radio Cooperativa quoted Health Minister Enrique Paris as saying. One of the Latin American countries with the most COVID-19 cases, Chile has confirmed a total of 319,493 infections and 7,069 deaths. Paris gave credit for the general improvement to his predecessor Jaime Manalich, who "prepared the country very well, above all in testing, treatment in intensive care units, the purchase of ventilators".
14th Jul 2020 - DPA-International

No vaccine, no carnival, Rio's samba schools warn

Some of Rio's biggest samba schools say they will not participate in next year's Carnival unless a coronavirus vaccine is widely available, Brazilian media reported Tuesday. Five of the 12 top samba schools, including Mangueira and Beija Flor, told Brazil's O Globo newspaper they would vote to postpone the parades at a meeting set for Tuesday. "It's simple. If there's no vaccine, there will be no samba," said the head of the Sao Clemente school, Renatinho Gomes. "How can you gather crowds without collective immunity?"
14th Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

Random Covid-19 tests at airports to double to 600 a day

The number of random Covid-19 tests to be held among arriving passengers from Group A and B countries is to be doubled from 300 to 600 a day, the Health Ministry announced on Tuesday. It said the decision was taken on the advice of the team of scientists advising the government on the coronavirus outbreak. Passengers from Group A countries do not need to show they have tested negative for coronavirus, but those coming from Group B countries must show a negative test no older than 72 hours. Authorities have been carrying out random tests — 300 a day — among both groups to monitor the situation. All Group C arrivals (only Cypriots and legal residents are allowed to travel to Cyprus from this group) undergo a test and must also self-isolate for 14 days. The Health Ministry said it had also adopted a proposal by the team of scientists to multiply the tests using a specific method at lower cost with the aim of maximising the number of the people who will be tested.
14th Jul 2020 - In-Cyprus News

France aims to reopen schools amid lingering COVID-19 concerns

France is aiming to reopen all schools for the new academic year under as "normal" conditions as possible, President Emmanuel Macron announced Tuesday, despite lingering virus concerns from some parents and teachers. France gradually reopened schools in May and June as the country emerged from virus lockdown, and most children returned to class. While new infections prompted a few schools to close again, the vast majority stayed open until the school year wrapped up earlier this month. "We have learned a lot" from that period, Macron said. "We developed a new way of teaching" to take the virus into account. France's school reopening was driven by concerns about getting parents back to work to restart the economy, as well as widespread worries about disadvantaged children who couldn't access online classes, who need special help or whose families depend on subsidized school lunches.
14th Jul 2020 - bna.bh

Tokyo to lift coronavirus alert to highest level - report

Tokyo will lift its alert level for coronavirus infections to the highest of four levels on Wednesday, Reuters news agency reported quoting Asahi newspaper, after a recent spike in cases to record levels in the Japanese capital. Daily coronavirus cases exceeded 200 in four of the last six days, touching an all-time high of 243 cases last Friday as testing among workers in the metropolis's red-light districts turned up infections among young people in their 20s and 30s. The highest alert level suggests that "coronavirus infections are likely spreading", the Asahi newspaper said.
14th Jul 2020 - Reuters

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Largest cities in Colombia reverse reopening as coronavirus threatens to collapse healthcare

Colombia’s capital Bogota and the country’s second largest city, Medellin, will reinstate partial lockdowns as COVID-19 is threatening to collapse healthcare. In Bogota, Mayor Claudia Lopez said Saturday that she will reinstate a rotating lockdown starting Monday in the hope that a reduction of people in the street will prevent a collapse of the capital’s healthcare system. The mayor said she will maintain this partial lockdown until after the projected peak in Bogota has passed at the end of August. Residents in areas under lockdown will not be allowed to go to work. Lopez said she would guarantee a universal basic income and food distribution in the locked down parts of the city.
13th Jul 2020 - Colombia Reports

Mexico surpasses Italy to become country with fourth-highest Covid-19 death toll

Deaths in Mexico from the coronavirus pandemic rose above 35,000 on Sunday, with the Latin American country overtaking Italy for the world's fourth-highest death total, according to Reuters data. But leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Sunday that the pandemic was "losing intensity" in Mexico, and blamed what he called "conservative media" for causing alarm. Mexico on Sunday recorded 276 additional fatalities and 4,482 new infections to bring its coronavirus death toll to 35,006, with 299,750 confirmed cases. Italy has recorded 34,954 deaths and 243,061 cases. Mexico trails the United States, Brazil and the UK in total deaths. While Italy appears to have tamed the virus, the pandemic is showing few signs of easing in Mexico, where the government has faced criticism for reopening its economy too soon.
13th Jul 2020 - YAHOO!

Families of Italy’s virus dead seek answers, solace and justice

Members of the Noi Denunceremo (We Will Denounce) Facebook group and an affiliated non-profit committee filed some 100 new cases Monday with Bergamo prosecutors investigating the outbreak, on top of 50 complaints lodged last month. Wearing a face mask with the group’s logo outside the tribunal Monday, We Will Denounce co-founder Stefano Fusco said the complaints don’t accuse anyone specifically of wrongdoing. “We simply tell our stories and ask the prosecutors to investigate about what happened here and why … there was such a huge massacre,” he said.
13th Jul 2020 - PBS

French mayor regrets lack of distancing at music event

The mayor of the French Mediterranean city of Nice has said he regretted a lack of social distancing at a shoreside DJ set thronged by partying crowds, vowing that in future masks would be obligatory at such outdoor events. A prominent French music producer hosted the set organised by the municipality on Saturday night, with crowds massing on central Nice's famous Promenade des Anglais esplanade. The density of the crowd as people danced the night away provoked fury on social media at a time when France is wary of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. "We regret that these rules have not been sufficiently respected," mayor Christian Estrosi wrote on Twitter.
13th Jul 2020 - RTE.ie

Coronavirus: Nail bars and tattoo salons reopen as England lockdown eases

Beauty salons, spas, tattoo parlours and nail bars are welcoming back their first clients for almost four months, as lockdown restrictions ease further in England. But some treatments, such as eyebrow threading, are still banned, leaving many salons unable to reopen. In Scotland, indoor shopping centres are allowed to reopen. In Wales, pubs, bars and restaurants can start serving customers outdoors, while hairdressers can also reopen. Businesses will be required to follow guidelines to reduce the spread of coronavirus - and treatments which involve work directly in front of the face will not be available.
13th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Shopping centres reopen as lockdown restrictions are eased

Scotland will see "the most significant easing of lockdown" this week with shopping centres, pubs and restaurants reopening, the first minister has said. Non-essential shops inside shopping malls are now allowed to return to business. Children and young people are also permitted to play organised outdoor contact sports. Further restrictions on the indoor hospitality sector will be lifted from Wednesday. Family and friends are also able to visit hospital patients from Monday. Patients can have a designated visitor, although they will have to follow strict public health guidance and arrange a time to visit in advance.
13th Jul 2020 - BBC News

178 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including one in the community

There are 322 new coronavirus cases confirmed as of Monday noon (July 13), taking Singapore's total to 46,283. They include 11 community cases, comprising two Singaporeans or permanent residents and nine work pass holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday. The ministry said that the higher number of cases on Monday is mainly due to fewer tests being conducted by the Covid-19 testing laboratories over the public holiday and weekend on July 10 and 11, with the backlog of samples being cleared from Sunday.
13th Jul 2020 - The Straits Times

Summer travel: Which countries in Europe have opened their borders?

Across Europe, governments have started to open their borders after weeks of closure during the coronavirus pandemic. Member states are not, however, legally obliged, to follow the recommendation. The list is to be updated every two weeks, the EU says. Given the pace of change, Euronews has compiled a handy guide to the situation in each European country. In the summer holiday season upon us, people have started to wonder whether they will be able to get away for a break abroad - and how far they will be able to go.
13th Jul 2020 - Euronews

Latin America virus deaths pass US as Spain lockdown blocked

California drastically rolled back its reopening plans Monday as coronavirus cases surged across dozens of US states and the World Health Organization warned that too many nations are mismanaging their pandemic response. Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all indoor restaurants, bars and movie theaters to close again across California -- by far America's richest and most populous state, with a larger economy than all but four countries. Churches as well as gyms, shopping malls, hair salons and non-essential offices must also shut indoor operations in half of the Golden State's worst-hit and most densely populated counties, including Los Angeles. "We're moving back into a modification mode of our original 'stay-at-home' order," said Newsom, whose state was the first to close down in March, but began easing restrictions in May.
13th Jul 2020 - Yahoo News Australia

Re-starting life after Covid-19

Getting through Covid-19 was "a bit like that too", he says, adding that New Zealand had done a great job of locking down – and the population knew they could survive. As a person who travels extensively and engages with lots of people, Thatcher says he missed this face-to-face interaction during lockdown. But, at the same time, he found it helped him think more about what is important to him – his family. "I loved every moment of it in the end," he says, although he worried - and still worries - about one of his two daughters who lives in Sydney. He enjoyed spending more time with his wife Awhina, getting his garden into shape and cooking the odd meal. Now, as Thatcher is gradually getting back to 'normal', the Te Hiringa Hauora/Health Promotion Agency is working with a range of partners to encourage all New Zealanders— but especially those in older age-groups – to get back to doing what kept them busy before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
13th Jul 2020 - New Zealand Herald

Save The Children Warns Almost 10 Million Children May Not Return To School After Covid-19 Lockdown

A new report Save Our Education from Save the Children warns of ‘unprecedented global education emergency’. Deep budget cuts to education and rising poverty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could force at least 9.7 million children out of school forever by the end of this year, with millions more falling behind in learning, Save the Children warns in a new report launched today. As the impacts of the recession triggered by Covid-19 hits families, many children may be forced out of school and into labour markets, and many girls are at risk of being forced into early marriage.
13th Jul 2020 - Scoop.co.nz

Mexico surpasses Italy to post world's fourth-highest coronavirus death toll

Deaths in Mexico from the coronavirus pandemic rose above 35,000 on Sunday, with the Latin American country overtaking Italy for the world’s fourth-highest death total, according to Reuters data.
13th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Florida sets one-day record with over 15,000 new COVID cases, more than most countries

Florida reported a record increase of more than 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours on Sunday, as the Trump administration renewed its push for schools to reopen and anti-mask protests were planned in Michigan and Missouri. If Florida were a country, it would rank fourth in the world for the most new cases in a day behind the United States, Brazil and India, according to a Reuters analysis. Florida’s daily increases in cases have already surpassed the highest daily tally reported by any European country during the height of the pandemic there. It has also broken New York state’s record of 12,847 new cases on April 10 when it was the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.
13th Jul 2020 - Reuters

With masks and gel, Spaniards vote amid new outbreaks of coronavirus

Voters in northern Spain protected themselves with face masks and hand sanitizer before voting on Sunday as Galicia and the Basque Country held regional elections despite new localised outbreaks of COVID-19. The health measures meant there were long lines outside polling stations. The elections were postponed from April due to the pandemic and are the first in Spain since the country relaxed what was one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns. More than 460 people in Galicia and the Basque Country who recently tested positive for coronavirus were barred from voting for the new regional governments, as were people awaiting test results. Spain has recently relaxed restrictions but a surge in cases has fuelled fears of a second wave of infections, prompting several regional governments to impose compulsory use of face masks and localised lockdowns.
13th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

French consumer spending has almost returned to normal levels - finance minister

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday that French consumer spending has almost returned to normal levels and that forced household savings during the coronavirus lockdown period could boost consumption later on in the year. “Our recovery plan...is working. A few weeks ago consumption in France was at minus 30%, today we are just minus 5%, we have almost returned to normal,” Le Maire said on RTL radio. Le Maire also said that he estimates that households will have saved about 100 billion euros (£89.3 billion) by year-end due to the coronavirus crisis. “What I wish for is that they will spend this 100 billion,” he said. Le Maire said that on top of a coronavirus rescue plan worth 460 billion euros in the form of emergency loans for companies and other measures, the government will present another leg of the recovery plan at the end of summer.
13th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Philippines records region's biggest daily rise in coronavirus deaths

The Philippines reported Southeast Asia’s biggest daily jump in COVID-19 deaths on Monday and warned of more fatalities ahead, as authorities scrambled to verify thousands of suspected cases and pressure grows on hospitals after the easing of a lockdown.
13th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Covid-19 Reinvades U.S. States That Beat It Back Once

The first U.S. states to endure the coronavirus this spring hoped the worst would be behind them. Instead, the virus is coming back. Many places that suffered most in the first wave of infections, including California, Louisiana, Michigan and Washington state, are seeing case counts climb again after months of declines. It’s not just a matter of more testing. Hospitalizations and, in some places, deaths are rising, too. The disease is raging -- Florida reported 15,300 cases Sunday, the biggest single-day increase of the U.S. pandemic -- and experts say the resurgence in the original battlegrounds has common causes. They include a population no longer willing to stay inside, Republicans more likely to refuse face masks as a political statement, and young people convinced the virus won’t seriously hurt them.
13th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

Corporations begin cautious return to UK offices after lockdown

When British holidaymakers return from the beaches and a truncated holiday season, some companies will be preparing to welcome back workers too. After months of Zoom video calls, a number of major businesses are getting ready for a return to (relative) normality. Last week accountancy firm PwC reopened all of its UK offices, while its competitor Deloitte began to allow staff back to some sites in the capital and other regional cities, and employees of law firm Slaughter and May were once again able to opt to work from its London headquarters.
12th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Banks are told they must provide cash machines within a 'reasonable distance' of every UK home after more than 7,000 ATMs were shut during lockdown

Around 7,200 ATMs have been closed during lockdown out of a total of 60,000. Cash usage has fallen by as much as 90% in some areas during Covid lockdown. Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised cash machines would be accessible in March
12th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

New York City Reaches Milestone With No Reported Virus Deaths

New York City, once the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak, has just reported its first day with zero confirmed or probable virus deaths since the pandemic hit New York State. The milestone came Sunday in initial data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. It marked the end of a four-month stretch since the city reported its first Covid-19 fatality on March 11. The confirmed daily death count hit its height on April 7 at 597. Another 216 people were reported likely to have died from the virus despite no positive laboratory tests that day.
12th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

China Gives World First View of Post-Lockdown Rebound: Eco Week

The country first hit by the coronavirus pandemic will this week have a clearer picture of its progress on nursing the economy back to health. China reports second-quarter gross domestic product on Thursday, along with monthly readings for industrial output and retail sales. An easing of lockdown measures plus a modest amount of policy stimulus should be enough to post a positive growth rate, after the historic 6.8% collapse in the first quarter.
12th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

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India reports record surge of 28,637 Covid-19 cases in past 24 hours

Tests for Covid-19 were being carried out today as India's caseload neared 850,000 with a record surge of 28,637 cases reported in the past 24 hours. The Health Ministry also reported another 551 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 22,674. India has overtaken Russia in the number of positive cases but is currently behind the United States and Brazil. India has been reporting more than 20,000 cases every day for nearly two weeks now. The ministry said the recovery rate was continuing to improve at 62%.
13th Jul 2020 - TVNZ 1

Coronavirus update: Democratic Louisiana governor issues mask mandate as state’s death toll rises

Governors across the country are facing increasing pressure to pass statewide mask requirements and mount a more coherent pandemic response as coronavirus cases soar to record levels, daily deaths rise and hospitals in the South and West face a crush of patients. A growing chorus of local officials and health experts have warned that infections could continue to spiral out of control unless governors issue public health measures that apply to everyone. “We’ve been begging for a uniform response from the state,” said Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba (D) of Jackson, Miss., where hospital intensive care unit beds were nearing full capacity.
12th Jul 2020 - The Washington Post

Brazil surpasses 70,000 coronavirus deaths

Brazil surpassed 70,000 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the health ministry said, though the number of daily fatalities appears to be stabilizing. The ministry said there had been 45,000 new infections and 1,200 deaths over the last 24 hours, taking the totals to 1.8 million cases and 70,400 deaths. Brazil, a country of 212 million, is the second worst-affected country in the world after the United States. The number of deaths has doubled over the last 35 days with Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states the worst hit, respectively reporting 17,400 and 11,200 deaths.
12th Jul 2020 - Medical Xpress

Italy reports 7 coronavirus-related deaths

Italy on Saturday reported seven more fatalities due to the novel coronavirus, bringing the country's death toll to 34,945. According to the latest data by the Health Ministry, the tally of active infections dropped to 13,303. A total of 188 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, carrying the tally of cases to 242,827. Meanwhile, recoveries continued to climb, jumping to 194,579 as 306 more patients left intensive care in the last 24 hours. To this date, over 5.95 million tests have been conducted across the country.
12th Jul 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Mexico reports 6,094 new coronavirus cases, 539 more deaths

Mexico’s Health Ministry on Saturday reported 6,094 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 539 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 295,268 cases and 34,730 deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
12th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Virus brought ‘under control’ in Jordan, king says

Monarch wants to restart pandemic-battered economy of tourism-dependent kingdom, which has recorded 1,179 cases of the virus including 10 deaths
12th Jul 2020 - The Times of Israel

Walt Disney World reopens in Florida amid Covid-19 surge

Walt Disney World Resort has begun to reopen in Florida despite a coronavirus surge across the US state. The site's Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opened on Saturday. Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios are expected to follow from 15 July. Visitors will be required to wear masks and adhere to other safety measures across the complex in Orlando. Over a quarter of a million cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Florida, along with 4,197 deaths. Disney first closed the resort in March during the early months of America's outbreak. While infections were largely concentrated in New York and California at first, Florida is among several states recording a rise in cases in recent weeks. In Orange County, where the resort is based, authorities have reported 16,630 cases - some of the highest numbers in Florida.
11th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Australia's Victoria state records another day of high COVID-19 infections

Australia's second most-populous state on Saturday (Jul 11) reported one of its highest daily increases in new coronavirus infections and warned the numbers would get worse before they got better as it began its first weekend under a six-week lockdown. Victoria state recorded 216 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the 24 hours to Saturday morning, down from a record 288 cases the previous day but still one of the biggest daily increases of any part of the country since the pandemic arrived.
11th Jul 2020 - CNA

Lebanon records new coronavirus infection high

Lebanon's number of new coronavirus infections increased for a third consecutive day to a record 86, the government said on Saturday. Lebanon has recorded 2,168 infections and 36 deaths since February. Health Minister Hamad Hassan told Reuters on Friday the spike was partly due to expatriates who came after the airport was reopened on July 1. One infected 12 people at a wedding and another infected 12 at a funeral, he said. A second cluster of infections had appeared among nurses and doctors and a third among refuse collectors, he said.
11th Jul 2020 - MSN.com

Russia reports 6,611 new coronavirus infections

Russia on Saturday reported 6,611 new coronavirus cases, taking its nationwide tally of infections to 720,547. The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre said 188 people had died from the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 11,205. Russia said 497,446 people have recovered from the virus.
11th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: Brazil reports over 1,000 deaths

Brazil has become the first country in the southern hemisphere to surpass 1,000 deaths with coronavirus. The health ministry confirmed 1,056 deaths and 19,638 cases. The numbers are likely to be much higher as only patients at hospitals are being tested. Most states have imposed quarantine measures but President Jair Bolsonaro has challenged the restrictions, saying they needlessly harm the economy. Officials say the outbreak is not expected to peak for a few weeks yet.
11th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Panama hospitals on verge of collapse as virus cases surge

Hospitals in Panama are on the brink of collapse as coronavirus cases spike in the Central American country worst hit by the pandemic, where doctors are already exhausted. With a population of four million, Panama has gone from 200 cases a day to 1,100 over the last few weeks. "Our daily number of infected patients has been increasing in a sustained way to the point of passing 1,000 cases," David Villalobos, head of the intensive care unit at the Arnulfo Arias Madrid Hospital in Panama City, told AFP. "There are no hospitals that could sustain such a number," he said.
11th Jul 2020 - CNA

India virus cases cross 800,000 with record daily jump in infections

The country's caseload currently stands at 820,916. The health ministry also confirmed 519 new virus deaths, taking the toll to 22,123. India had breached the 500,000 mark 14 days ago, the livemint.com report said. Another 19,873 patients recovered from the disease in the same period, taking the total to 515,386. The recovery rate currently stands at 62.7 percent, the country’s health ministry said. The number of COVID-19 cases in the country jumped by 100,000 in just three days with more than 20,000 infections reported every day since July 1.
11th Jul 2020 - bdnews24.com

U.S. sees another record-breaking day with more than 63,000 coronavirus cases

A whopping 63,200 coronavirus cases were reported in the United States on Thursday – another all-time, single-day high for new confirmed infections. The previous high was on Tuesday, when 60,000 cases were reported across the country, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. Three of the hardest-hit states — California, Texas and Florida — just recorded their highest daily death tolls yet. There's growing evidence the surge is linked to reopenings.
10th Jul 2020 - CBS News

Augusta Mayor mandates executive order for masks

At a COVID-19 press briefing, Mayor Hardie Davis issued an executive order mandating facial masks in Augusta-Richmond County. According to the mayor, the order officially went into effect at 6 p.m. Friday. In the executive order, it states for the protection of the public and members apart of the vulnerable population, facial masks will be required in public places and all government buildings within Augusta-Richmond County. The order does not, however, apply to religious establishments, but the use of facial coverings is highly recommended.
10th Jul 2020 - WFXG

Georgia to reactivate makeshift hospital at Atlanta convention center

Georgia officials are racing to expand hospital capacity to cope with soaring numbers of coronavirus cases, unveiling plans Friday to reopen a makeshift medical facility at the sprawling convention center in Atlanta and other efforts to add more beds. Gov. Brian Kemp's office said the temporary hospital at the Georgia World Congress Center, which opened in April and shuttered a month later, will soon be reactivated to relieve healthcare systems struggling with rising numbers of coronavirus patients.
10th Jul 2020 - Atlanta Journal Constitution

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Some economies are bouncing back. But recoveries can easily go wrong

Most forecasters reckon that advanced-economy output, after plunging in the first half of 2020, is likely to regain its pre-crisis level some time after 2021. But not all recoveries will be equal. Some rich countries, such as Germany and South Korea, look best placed to bounce back—a “v-shaped recovery”, in the jargon. The path of gdp elsewhere may look more like an l or a w. The Economist’s analysis of real-time mobility data also shows how easily economic recoveries can go wrong, as consumers react to the possibility of fresh outbreaks.
11th Jul 2020 - The Economist

In race to bring vaccine to market, big pharma struggles to protect its intellectual property rights

The pharmaceutical industry is being careful to not set any dangerous precedent that may weaken their future intellectual property rights, Milena Izmirlieva from IHS Markit said. The World Health Organization said 21 candidate vaccines are in clinical trials at the moment, meaning they are being tested on human volunteers. Three of them are said to be in the third phase of those trials, according to the WHO.
9th Jul 2020 - CNBC

Coronavirus: Sweden's death rate falling faster than the UK's

Sweden's death rate is falling despite the country avoiding lockdown altogether On June 9 the country had the highest deaths per million figure in Europe, at 4.11 and since then it has come down to 1.6, a change of 2.51. In the same time the UK's death rate fell by just 1.88, and is now at 1.4 per million. Britain's death rate has largely stalled since lockdown started being lifted.
9th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

125 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including 21 in the community and 1 imported

There are 125 new coronavirus patients confirmed as of Thursday noon (July 9), taking Singapore's total to 45,422. They include 21 community cases, comprising four Singaporeans or permanent residents and 17 work pass holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). Of these 21 cases, five were close contacts of earlier cases and had already been placed on quarantine, MOH said. Epidemiological investigations are being done for the other cases.
9th Jul 2020 - The Straits Times

Asia Today: India’s cases jump, transmission rate increases

India reported nearly 25,000 new coronavirus infections Thursday and its transmission rate is increasing for the first time since March. The new cases bring the total in the world’s third worst-affected country to 767,296. India’s health ministry said the COVID-19 death toll had risen to 21,129. Research by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai shows that India’s virus reproduction rate ticked up in the first week of July to 1.19 after steadily falling from peak transmission of 1.83 in March. The rate needs to be below one for new cases to start falling.
9th Jul 2020 - WTOP

South Korea finds just one case of coronavirus antibodies out of 3,000 tested

Just one person in a South Korean survey of more than 3,000 people showed neutralizing antibodies to the novel coronavirus, health authorities said on Thursday, indicating the virus has not spread widely in the community. While the sample size is small it is believed to be a reliable indicator of a low infection rate among the 51 million people of a country held up as a coronavirus mitigation success story. “The results indicate that each citizen has taken an active participation in tough social distancing,” Kwon Jun-wook, the deputy director of the Korea Centers for Disease and Prevention (KCDC), told a briefing.
9th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

LME trading floor to stay closed despite Britain's lockdown easing

The easing of social distancing in England will not allow the London Metal Exchange (LME) to reopen its open-outcry trading floor, which has been closed for more than three months, the exchange said on Wednesday. The exchange, the world’s oldest and largest market for industrial metals, said last month it would examine whether it could reopen the floor, known as the ring, after the government announced less strict social distancing rules, which took effect on July 4.
9th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: Pandemic costs world's economy $3.8TRILLION

Researchers studied the global impact of coronavirus and lockdown measures The impact was worse due to the interconnected nature of the world economy The airline and wider travel industry was hardest hit by coronavirus lockdown Global wages dropped by $2.1 trillion or about 6 per cent of worldwide income $536 billion or 21 per cent was lost because of a reduction in international trade The team say that easing coronavirus lockdown measures prematurely could have more severe and prolonged economic impacts than remaining in lockdown
9th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

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Miami rolls back restaurant dining as U.S. coronavirus deaths top 130,000

Florida’s greater Miami area became the latest U.S. coronavirus hot spot to roll back its reopening, ordering restaurant dining closed on Monday as COVID-19 cases surged nationwide by the tens of thousands and the U.S. death toll topped 130,000. Restaurants also were targeted for a weekend crackdown on coronavirus enforcement in California, where hospitalizations for COVID-19 have jumped 50% over the past two weeks and the state capitol building in Sacramento was temporarily closed for deep cleaning. For an eighth straight day, Texas registered an all-time high in the number of people hospitalized at any one moment with the highly contagious respiratory illness, up more than 500 admissions from the day before to nearly 8,700.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Philippines Virus Cases Soar Past 50,000 as Lockdown Eases

Confirmed coronavirus infections in the Philippines soared past 50,000 on Wednesday in a troubling milestone for a country that has reopened an economy on the brink of recession while still struggling to combat the pandemic. The Department of Health reported 2,539 new cases, bringing the country's total to 50,359, including 1,314 deaths. The Philippines' caseload is the second largest in Southeast Asia, where the combined number of infections has surpassed those in China, where the pandemic emerged.
8th Jul 2020 - Voice of America

U.S. Consumption May See Quick Pickup If Lockdown Is Short-Lived

“We estimate that the combination of expanded unemployment insurance benefits and stimulus payments should be sufficient to allow a swift recovery in consumer spending to its pre-crisis levels,” they wrote. However, if the shutdown lasts for a year and the unemployment rate hits 20%, “we find that the return of spending toward its no-pandemic path takes roughly three years.” Although recent U.S data has proved better than expected, Atlanta Federal Reserve chief Raphael Bostic earlier this week cautioned that parts of the economy are showing signs of leveling off amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
8th Jul 2020 - BloombergQuint

What regions of Spain are in lockdown and is it safe to travel there?

Europe might have eased many of its lockdown measures, raising hopes that summer holidays might still be on the cards – but it’s not such good news for some parts of Spain. That’s because two regions have found themselves in a local lockdown there, following a surge in Covid-19 cases. It comes after the country lifted its state of emergency last month, and reopened to most of Europe – but which areas are back in lockdown, and is it safe to visit Spain? Here’s what you need to know…
8th Jul 2020 - Metro

Scam calls will rise as lockdown eases, says UK trading standards

Trading standards bosses have warned of an imminent spike in scam telephone calls as Covid-19 lockdown measures ease and call centres around the world – including bogus ones operated by criminals – start to reopen. Between the end of March and May the percentage of nuisance calls made to UK homes as a proportion of total calls was much lower than the usual average of 37% a month, as all office-based call centres were forced to close. However, National Trading Standards (NTS) is now predicting a sharp rise in the coming weeks as fraudsters exploit coronavirus fears and prey on vulnerable and older people self-isolating at home. Analysis by the NTS of the latest data from call blockers trueCall – which it has used in household pilot schemes – reveals that the number of nuisance calls in March was 34% below expected levels and 77% less in April. However these figures are picking up, it says.
8th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Signs of normalcy emerge as China reopens

While we have seen a few clusters where the virus has resurged in recent days after lockdowns were eased, events by and large in China are giving us hope: the re-opening of factories, migratory workers going back to work since January’s Chinese New Year celebrations, and industrial activity returning to at least 90% capacity utilization. As other emerging economies come out of lockdown, we’ll be watching closely whether consumers will behave as they were before the coronavirus. It’s too soon to describe what a broad economic recovery will look like, but we believe China and other trade-sensitive neighboring economies will have to be more reliant on domestic recoveries, given the short-term challenges they face with disrupted global trade routes.
8th Jul 2020 - BusinessWorld on MSN.com

Chinese factories to face headwinds in next phase of post-lockdown recovery

Orders for infrastructure materials and equipment have helped industrial output recover faster in China than most places emerging from COVID-19 lockdowns, but further expansion will be hard to attain without stronger broad-based demand and exports.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Homeless choose to stay housed, but new faces appearing on streets

People who have been chronically homeless are choosing to stay in permanent housing - some for the first time in more than 20 years. Organisations working with rough sleepers say the change in attitudes is "phenomenal". But they are warning it's no time to get complacent about homelessness, especially as new faces start to emerge on the streets. Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly is well acquainted with people sleeping rough. There is one man in particular he never thought would be housed. He's been on the streets for 22 years. "He was reluctant. Three days into lockdown, when all of his mates had gone, he was sitting there alone and said to his case-worker 'I think it's time to go inside. But, I want a room with a view'." He's been in housing for three months now. Last weekend he took his first trip in many years out of Auckland, to visit family.
8th Jul 2020 - New Zealand Herald

California coronavirus cases surge more than 10,000 in single day

California reported more than 10,000 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, a record rise for a single day that also surpassed the number of contact tracers recently trained by the state to detect and prevent potential outbreaks. California is one of several U.S. states that have reported surging numbers of new COVID-19 infections over the past week, raising questions about how U.S. President Donald Trump has handled the crisis and impeding state plans to lift lockdowns. The 10,201 new cases reported on Tuesday took the total number of cases in California since the start of the pandemic to nearly 284,00. In June, California infections more than doubled with over 117,000 new cases.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Japan's service sector mood jumps in June as lockdowns ease

Japan’s service sector sentiment jumped at a record pace in June as businesses re-opened after lockdown measures were lifted in late May, data showed on Wednesday, offering hope that the economy’s coronavirus-induced slump has bottomed out. But a recent rise in new infections in Tokyo is clouding the outlook, leaving few analysts predicting a V-shaped recovery. “Japan’s economy will hopefully pick up as business re-opens and the effect of government stimulus measures appears,” said Takeshi Okuwaki, economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute. “But it will take some time for economic activity to return to pre-pandemic levels. The outlook remains severe,” he said. A government survey of workers such as taxi drivers, hotel workers and restaurant staff - called “economy watchers” for their proximity to consumer and retail trends - showed their confidence about current economic conditions jumped a record 23.3 points to 38.8 in June from the previous month.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Iran coronavirus death toll exceeds 12,000 as lockdown curbs ease

Iran’s coronavirus death toll exceeded 12,000 on Wednesday, the health ministry said, with 153 deaths in the past 24 hours, amid a sharp rise in the number of daily infections and deaths in the past week as lockdown measures have eased. The total number of infections has reached 248,379, with 209,463 people having recovered, ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in a statement on state TV. Iran recorded 200 deaths from COVID-19 within a 24-hour period on Tuesday, the highest official figure recorded by the ministry. President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday launched new measures to try to curb the spread. Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols will be shut for a week, he said.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Norway's economy rebounded in May as lockdown lifted

The Norwegian economy rebounded in May after two months of steep decline as a gradual reopening of businesses from coronavirus lockdowns helped turn activity around, Statistics Norway (SSB) said on Wednesday. The mainland economy, which excludes the volatile offshore oil and gas production, grew by 2.4% in May from April but has still contracted by 8.9% since February, the agency said.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Novavax, maker of a Covid-19 vaccine, is backed by Operation Warp Speed

Novavax has joined the ranks of Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers being supported by the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration announced Tuesday. The Gaithersburg, Md.-based biotech has been awarded $1.6 billion to support late-stage clinical trials and expansion of its manufacturing capacity. In return, Novavax will supply the U.S. government with 100 million doses — likely enough product to vaccinate 50 million people, assuming the product is safe and effective — starting in late 2020. The full amount is expected to be made available by February, Stanley Erck, the company’s president and CEO, told STAT.
7th Jul 2020 - CNBC

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Shops and bars reopen in São Paulo as Brazil reels from world's second-worst coronavirus outbreak

In Brazil’s largest city São Paulo, shops and bars started to reopen on July 6, 2020, after the city spent over three months in lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses that reopen are being allowed to operate for six hours a day at 40 per cent capacity. But Covid-19 continues to spread across the country, which reported 1,603,055 cases and 64,867 deaths as of July 6. Brazil’s outbreak is the world's second-largest following the US.
7th Jul 2020 - South China Morning Post

Coronavirus: Pubs close again after punters test positive for COVID-19

A number of pubs which reopened for the first time since lockdown measures were imposed have had to close again after punters tested positive for coronavirus. Bars across England welcomed drinkers on Saturday more than three months after the coronavirus outbreak closed down the hospitality sector. But three pubs have since alerted their patrons that they have had to shut again after cases of COVID-19 were detected.
7th Jul 2020 - Sky News

Birmingham has highest number of coronavirus cases in England as lockdown lifted

Birmingham has still seen the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country as the lockdown is lifted across England. The city has seen nearly 4,800 cases of the deadly bug, which has killed over 44,000 Brits, since the beginning of the outbreak in February. There have been 4,797 confirmed cases out of a local population of 1,141,816 to 6 Jul, with 1,155 coronavirus-related deaths registered to 19 Jun. 28% of all deaths involved coronavirus between 29 Feb and 19 Jun. The number of Covid-19 cases has been confirmed as pubs, hotels and restaurants begin operating across the city once more.
7th Jul 2020 - Birmingham Live

Coronavirus: Italian beach nudists fined as police crack down

Authorities in the northern region of Lombardy have been struggling to stop people converging on local beaches in the summer weather. Some 70 people were spotted on the beaches, mainly visitors from South American and Eastern Europe as well as neighbouring provinces. Lombardy has been hit harder by Covid-19 than any other Italian region. Although the lockdown is gradually being lifted it is compulsory to wear a mask, even outdoors. The Corriere website noted that it was not just masks that the six nudists had failed to wear.
7th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Brits now required by law to wear face masks on beach in Spain

Sunbathers can ditch their facemasks once they are on the sand in most regions of Spain but following a surge of new Covid-19 cases, La Marina north of Lugo in Galicia has been put on lockdown and people must wear face masks all the time
7th Jul 2020 - The Mirror

Russian court fines coronavirus-denying rebel monk

A Russian court on Tuesday fined a coronavirus-denying monk who has challenged Kremlin lockdown orders for spreading false information about the pandemic. The court in the Ural Mountains region ordered Father Sergiy to pay 90,000 rubles ($1,250). The 65-year-old monk, who has attracted nationwide attention by urging followers to disobey church leadership and ignore church closures during the pandemic, didn’t attend the court hearing. On Friday, a Russian Orthodox Church panel in Yekaterinburg ruled to defrock Father Sergiy for breaking monastic rules. He didn’t show up at the session and dismissed the verdict, urging his backers to come to defend the Sredneuralsk women’s monastery where he has holed up since last month.
7th Jul 2020 - The Associated Press

Few masks and little distancing as thousands pack Black Sea beaches

Tens of thousands of people descended on Black Sea beaches in Russia and Ukraine over the weekend but despite significant COVID-19 outbreaks in both countries, there was little evidence anyone was heeding public health advice. Few were seen wearing face masks or trying to maintain social distancing on the overcrowded beaches of Odessa and Sochi. Both are even more packed this year because of the EU's ban on travellers entering from outside the bloc. Fifteen countries have been exempted from the prohibition, but neither Russia nor Ukraine are on the list.
7th Jul 2020 - Euronews

India's coronavirus death toll hits 20,000 as infections surge

India’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surpassed 20,000 on Tuesday and case numbers surged as the south Asian nation pushed ahead with relaxations to its almost two-month lockdown amid grim economic forecasts. The rate of both new virus infections and deaths are rising at the fastest pace in three months, as officials lift a vast lockdown of India’s 1.3 billion people that has left tens of thousands without work and shuttered businesses. The country reported 467 new deaths on Tuesday, taking the toll to 20,160. It also recorded 22,252 new infections, increasing the total to 719,665. India on Monday overtook Russia as the third most affected country globally, behind the United States and Brazil.
7th Jul 2020 - Reuters

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'It's a tsunami': pandemic leaves vulnerable Latin America reeling

Four months after Latin America’s first Covid-19 case was recorded in Brazil, the region’s biggest economy is far from the only country struggling. Mexico, where 30,000 have died, has overtaken Spain as the country with the world’s sixth highest death toll – despite claims from its president, the leftwing populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, that the outbreak had been “tamed”. Nicaragua’s political elite has been hammered by an epidemic its authoritarian leaders are accused of trying to conceal, with at least 20 prominent Sandinistas dying after showing Covid-19 symptoms. Peru, initially praised for its swift and strict lockdown, has lost more than 10,000 citizens, while the number of cases in Chile, Argentina and Bolivia has been rising too. Fears that Venezuela’s already broken health system could be rapidly overwhelmed appear not yet to have been confirmed, with Nicolás Maduro’s administration recognising just 57 deaths and 6,273 cases. But many doubt those official figures, and reports suggest a worrying surge of infections in the western state of Zulia.
6th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Britain beyond lockdown: what we learned from two weeks on the road

Britain is crying out for a better normal. Communities across the country are emerging from lockdown with a new sense of what is possible and what is necessary – and the answers to both go a lot further than Westminster’s efforts to drive the country back to business as usual. That was the overriding impression from a two-week reporting trip around Britain, asking people in different regions how they view recovery and whether there is an appetite for more fundamental change. The answer, overwhelmingly, was that we cannot just go back to the way things were, that there are elements brought out by lockdown that should continue, and that more needs to be done to prepare the country for the economic, mental health and climate crises to come.
6th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

German restaurants still hungry for customers post-lockdown

For now the glass remains half full for many businesses. "The situation is dramatic," the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) summarised, noting that restaurant owners expect June revenues on average to be 60 percent lower than last year. "Sure, customers are coming back but very, very slowly," said Sahin Ciftci, the owner of Zeus pizzeria in Berlin's trendy Friedrichshain district. "People are still afraid to come and sit inside," he sighed, surveying his empty dining room at midday.
6th Jul 2020 - Bangkok Post

India becomes third worst-hit country as coronavirus cases rocket by 24,000 in a day after lockdown eased

India has seen a surge of more than 24,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. The country now has the third-highest number of infections in the world - 697,413, including 19,693 deaths.
6th Jul 2020 - London Evening Standard

Coronavirus pushes US hospitals to the brink as India hits record new cases

Hospital beds are full in parts of Texas, while calls for fresh stay-at-home orders are growing. Some mayors say their cities reopened too early, as President Donald Trump tries to downplay the disease that has gripped much of the country. India faces similar challenges as it clocked a record daily number of cases across a vast nation where medical facilities are uneven and many COVID-19 infections are likely to be undiagnosed.
6th Jul 2020 - The Japan Times

Vietnam reports 14 new COVID-19 cases, all imported

Vietnam’s health ministry on Monday reported 14 new coronavirus infections, all among Vietnamese citizens held in quarantine upon their arrival from overseas. The Southeast Asian country has been 81 days without a domestically transmitted infection due to successful programmes to contain the virus. It has yet to report any deaths from the coronavirus and has confirmed 369 cases in total, over 90% of which have recovered.
6th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

African nations reopening airspace despite rising COVID-19 cases

Kenya continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic with cases steadily rising each day. Government have locked down a handful of counties including the capital Nairobi and imposed a night-time curfew as part of containment efforts. Kenya as of May 10 was the fourth most impacted country in the East / Horn of Africa region only behind Djibouti, Sudan and Somalia. Government also rolled out mass testing in virus hot spots, borders remain shut and a ban on public gatherings continues.
6th Jul 2020 - Africanews English

India surges to 3rd-highest in cases as virus slams US hospitals

India on Monday became the third-highest coronavirus caseload in the world, as officials warned hospitals in the United States were in danger of being overwhelmed by a surge in infections. The Indian government—like many around the world—has gradually lifted virus restrictions to help the battered economy, but the number of cases has continued to climb, with 24,000 reported in 24 hours to take the total to nearly 700,000 on Monday. India's major cities including New Delhi and Mumbai are the hardest-hit, and critics say too few tests are being conducted and that many COVID-19 infections are likely to go undiagnosed.
6th Jul 2020 - Medical Xpress

India just surpassed Russia as the country with the 3rd-most coronavirus infections

India recorded tens of thousands of new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, raising the country's total number past Russia's as the third-largest in the world. The country has recorded nearly 700,000 cases despite strict lockdowns imposed from March to May. A lack of testing and external factors preventing social distancing among the population of 1.3 billion are thought to be to blame as some cities are preparing to impose lockdowns again.
5th Jul 2020 - Business Insider

Peru Coronavirus Cases Top 300,000 as Andean Nation Eases Lockdown

The South American copper producer, which locked down in March against the virus but struggled to enforce a nationwide quarantine in the face of rising economic hardship, trails only Brazil in the region in terms of case numbers. Peru's death toll from the virus now stands at 10,589, the 10th-highest in the world, according to Reuters calculations. President Martín Vizcarra's government has eased restrictions this month to allow economic growth to revive, including the key mining sector. Peru is the world's second-largest producer of copper.
5th Jul 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

France's Louvre reopens after 16-week virus shutdown

The world's most visited museum, the Louvre in Paris, reopened Monday after nearly four months of coronavirus closure, with a restricted number of visitors enjoying a rare chance to view the "Mona Lisa" without the usual throngs. Several dozen visitors queued outside the vast former palace of France's kings, eagerly awaiting the opening as the famed museum hopes to start recuperating losses estimated at more than 40 million euros (US$45 million) due to the lockdown. The museum's most popular draws, including Leonardo's Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Louvre's vast antiquities collection will be accessible.
5th Jul 2020 - CTV News

Arrests as revelers defy distancing rules after pubs reopen in England

Lockdown restrictions were eased, the pubs opened and crowds flocked onto the streets of English cities Saturday, many ignoring social distancing rules and prompting complaints from the police. A number of arrests were made. John Apter, chair of the Police Federation for England and Wales, warned that it was "crystal clear" that drunk people cannot observe social distancing. Apter, who was on patrol in Southampton, a city on England's south coast, wrote on Twitter that officers dealt with "anti-social behavior, naked men, possession of class 'A' drugs, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights, more angry drunks."
5th Jul 2020 - NBC News

'Beautiful' to have a pint, 'brilliant' to get a haircut - England reopens after lockdown

People relished their first pub drinks in more than three months, went to restaurants and finally got haircuts on Saturday as England took its biggest steps yet towards resumption of normal life after the coronavirus lockdown. Some pubs started serving from 6 a.m., sparking worries of over-indulgence on what the media dubbed a “Super Saturday” of restrictions being eased. Some hairdressers were reported to have opened at the stroke of midnight. “It’s beautiful just to get back and have a pint,” said Jim Martin, a 56-year old carpenter enjoying a beer at The Holland Tringham pub in south London, part of the JD Wetherspoon (JDW.L) chain. It opened at 8 a.m. and was about three quarters full by 11.20 a.m.
4th Jul 2020 - Reuters

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Malawi cancels independence celebrations over virus spike

Malawi's president Lazarus Chakwera on Sunday called off planned independence celebrations and drastically scaled back on his inauguration ceremony following a spike in coronavirus infections in the southern African country. The cancellation will put a dampener on the euphoria generated by the historic opposition triumph in a recent landmark election re-run after last year's fraudulent polls were overturned.
5th Jul 2020 - The Peninsula Qatar

S.Africa reports record rise in COVID-19 cases

South Africa has reported a sharp rise in novel coronavirus infections with 7,210 cases reported in a single day on Saturday, and another 6,334 on Sunday, the Health Ministry said. “We are seeing a rapid rise in the cumulative number of positive COVID-19 cases indicating that, as we had expected, we are approaching a surge during the latter winter months of July and August,’’ Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced in a statement Sunday night. Mkhize said as of Sunday the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 138,134, with the death toll hitting 2,456 and recoveries standing at 68,925. The minister said 43 new fatalities were reported on Sunday, while a day earlier the country recorded 73 deaths from the disease. The highest fatalities were recorded in the tourism hub of Western Cape.
5th Jul 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Nearly 25000 Covid-19 cases in India in record daily jump

India’s tally of the coronavirus disease reached 673,165 with the biggest single-day increase of 24,850 new cases and 613 deaths, data from the Union health ministry on Sunday showed. The country’s death toll due to the disease has reached 19,268 and there are 244,4814 active cases of Covid-19 in the country, according to the health ministry’s dashboard, reports Hindustan Times. The number of recoveries stands at 409,082 with 14,856 people cured of the viral disease in the last 24 hours. The recovery rate is now 60.76%, slightly down from Saturday’s 60.80%. This is the third consecutive day when coronavirus disease cases have increased by more than 20,000.
5th Jul 2020 - Dhaka Tribune

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 239 to 196,335 - RKI

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 239 to 196,335, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by 2 to 9,012, the tally showed.
5th Jul 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

'Let’s do karaoke!': Bangkok nightlife eases out of lockdown

The city’s bars, clubs and even massage parlours are beginning to buzz again but the absence of tourists is taking its toll
4th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina Get Best Marks in Latin America for Pandemic Response-Poll

Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina are the Latin American countries that earned the best grades for their response to the coronavirus, according to a poll conducted in the region and released on Friday, while Brazil was tagged as the worst performer.
3rd Jul 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus mortality in Italy is highest among poor, study shows

Poor Italians are significantly more likely to die of the coronavirus than higher-income groups, the country’s first significant study into the disease’s disproportionate social impact showed on Friday. Italy is one of the world’s worst-hit countries with almost 35,000 COVID-19 deaths since its outbreak emerged on Feb. 21 and it was the first European nation to report large-scale infections. In its annual report, national statistics bureau ISTAT studied mortality rates for each month from January 2019 to March 2020, when the outbreak took off, focusing on the education levels of those who died. On average, Italians who leave school early with few qualifications have lower life-expectancy than those who study for longer, ISTAT said, and this “excess mortality” remained roughly constant through February this year.
3rd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Switzerland publishes list of ‘high risk’ travel quarantine countries

The United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Brazil are among 29 countries listed as posing a high risk of coronavirus infection by the Swiss authorities. From July 6, travellers entering Switzerland from these countries must go into quarantine for ten days.
3rd Jul 2020 - SwissInfo.ch

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Will Europe or the US Recover Faster from Coronavirus?

After the devastating financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, the United States recovered much more quickly than Europe, which suffered a double-dip recession. This time, many economists say that Europe may have the edge. The main reason America did well was the rapid response of the government and the flexible nature of the American economy, quick both to fire workers but also to hire them again. Europe, with built-in social insurance, tries to keep workers from layoffs through subsidies to employers, making it harder to fire and more expensive to rehire. But this is a different kind of collapse, a mandated shutdown in response to a pandemic, driving down both supply and demand simultaneously. And that difference creates the possibility that the European response, freezing the economy in place, might work better this time.
2nd Jul 2020 - The New York Times

Uruguay rides out COVID threat without imposing a lockdown

Uruguay's president was recently photographed surfing in the early morning ahead of a cabinet meeting, symbolizing his government's relief that a policy of "freedom with responsibility" in containing the COVID-19 pandemic is succeeding. Photos of 47-year-old Luis Lacalle Pou emerging from the South Atlantic in a wetsuit with a board under his arm and a smile on his lips hit the newsstands on Tuesday, as Europe reopened its borders to 15 countries. The list included only one Latin American country: Uruguay. With less than 1,000 registered novel coronavirus cases and just 27 deaths, the country of 3.4 million is a notable exception in a region that has become the epicenter of the global health crisis. Uruguay currently has just 83 active cases, while its giant neighbor Brazil is the world's worst-hit country after the United States.
2nd Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

Sweden's prime minister orders an inquiry into the failure of the country's no-lockdown coronavirus strategy

Sweden's prime minister has ordered an inquiry into the country's decision not to impose a coronavirus lockdown after the country suffered thousands more deaths than its closest neighbours. "We have thousands of dead" Swedish PM Stefan Lofven said at a press conference on Wednesday, while admitting the country's handling had exposed Sweden's shortcomings, The Times reported. "The question now is how Sweden should change not if"
2nd Jul 2020 - Business Insider India

Young Americans are partying hard and spreading COVID-19 quickly

COVID-19 is increasingly a disease of the young, with the message to stay home for the sake of older loved ones wearing off as the pandemic wears on. The dropping age of the infected is becoming one of the most pressing problems for local officials, who continued Wednesday to set curfews and close places where the young gather. U.S. health experts say that they are more likely to be active and asymptomatic, providing a vast redoubt for the coronavirus that has killed almost 130,000 Americans. In Arizona, half of all positive cases are people from the ages of 20 to 44, according to state data. The median age in Florida is 37, down from 65 in March. In Texas’s Hays County, people in their 20s make up 50 percent of the victims.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Japan Times

Return to class to be reviewed 'day-by-day' as school spread widens

Victoria's Chief Health Officer will review the planned reopening of schools within Melbourne's locked-down suburbs as new evidence of recent student-to-student transmission of COVID-19 emerges. Professor Brett Sutton said he still expected schools in the lockdown zones to return to face-to-face learning at the start of term three, but that he wanted a reduction in transmission rates. "It will certainly be reviewed on a day-to-day basis. I will give as much notice as I can around the resumption of school in those restricted postcodes," Professor Sutton said. The Chief Health Officer said there was evidence of student-to-student and especially teacher-to-teacher transmission.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Age

New Zealand health minister resigns after blunders

New Zealand's health minister has resigned after criticism of the government's response to coronavirus and his own breaches of lockdown rules. David Clark had already been demoted after breaking rules to take his family to the beach. He said continuing in his role was distracting from the government's overall response to the pandemic. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed on Thursday that she had accepted his resignation. New Zealand has been hailed as a success story when it comes to tackling the coronavirus. The country has recorded 1,528 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases and 22 people have died. Last month, all Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and the nation was declared virus free.
2nd Jul 2020 - BBC News

New Zealand health minister David Clark resigns after breaking coronavirus lockdown to go mountain biking, passing the buck on border failures

New Zealand's health minister has resigned following a series of personal blunders during the coronavirus pandemic. David Clark had earlier described himself as an "idiot" for breaking the nation's lockdown measures and then last week appeared to blame a respected health official for border lapses, generating an angry response from the public. Announcing his resignation, Mr Clark said he had put all his energy into the job. "But it has become increasingly clear to me that my continuation in the role is distracting from the government's overall response to COVID-19," he said.
2nd Jul 2020 - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

New Zealand health minister David Clark quits over handling of Covid-19 outbreak

New Zealand’s health minister has resigned after a series of major missteps during the coronavirus crisis which saw him draw the ire of the public and the prime minister. Dr David Clark has held the health portfolio since Labour was elected in 2017 but has largely been viewed as an ineffectual minister who has struggled to make an impact during his term. During New Zealand’s lockdown, Clark was twice discovered breaching the strict stay-at-home rules; once by going mountain biking, and a second time when he took his family for a beach trip 23km from his Dunedin home.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Lockdown has been eased too soon in the US - and was never strict enough - warns Dr Fauci as he slams young people hitting beaches, bars and protests infecting the vulnerable amid 'disturbing' spike in cases to over 52,000 a day

Anthony Fauci has warned that America's coronavirus lockdown was lifted too soon, was never strict enough in the first place, and that young people are driving a second wave that has seen daily infections top 50,000. Dr Fauci, the White House's top virus adviser, said the 'very disturbing' new rise in cases is being caused in part by the fact that the US never got its first wave under control - only locking down around 50 per cent of the country compared to 97 per cent as happened in most of Europe where daily infections are now very low. That meant that when the economy started to reopen, the virus began spreading rapidly almost immediately because there were still a large number infected people to pass the disease along, he told BBC Radio 4 in the UK.
2nd Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

Border town pays price for Sweden's no-lockdown as Norway reopens

The Swedish border town of Stromstad is paying a heavy price for Sweden’s decision not to lock down its economy like neighbouring Norway and other Nordic nations to halt the spread of COVID-19. Stromstad is just a two-hour drive from Oslo and popular with Norwegians who shop for cheaper consumer goods in Sweden, but Norway’s lockdown, imposed in mid-March, put a stop to that. And now, though Norway has lifted its lockdown following a sharp fall in COVID-19 cases, it still quarantines people returning from Sweden, which has registered more than four times the combined number of deaths in Norway, Denmark and Finland. “When Norway closed its borders, (Stromstad) went overnight from full activity to total stillness,” said Kent Hansson, the town’s mayor. “The border retail trade, it is (still) completely dead. The large supermarkets close to the border are completely deserted.” Sweden kept most businesses and schools open when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, bucking the international trend.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

End of lockdown fails to boost jobs market in Spain

The end of the coronavirus lockdown in Spain failed to bring a surge in employment as government data showed that the 900,000 jobs lost at the pandemic’s peak had not been regained, while the tourism sector has not yet returned to regular activity. The number of people in Spain registering as jobless rose by 0.13% in June from a month earlier, or by 5,017 people, leaving 3.86 million people out of work, Labour Ministry data showed on Thursday. The number of registered jobless people had risen in May by 0.68%. Overall there were 847,197 more jobless people in June than in the same month a year ago. A net 99,906 jobs were lost in June. According to data from the Social Security Ministry, on average 68,208 new jobs were registered in June compared to May, but 161,500 people were fired on the last day of the month.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

India's coronavirus cases cross 600,000 amid easing of lockdowns

India’s coronavirus infections surpassed 600,000 on Thursday, with 17,834 deaths, as authorities battled to contain the pandemic while easing lockdown rules, officials and the health ministry said. Fresh challenges to protect people from the virus emerged for disaster management officials in the northeast state of Assam amid torrential rainfall, where floods and landslides killed 57 people this week and more than 1.5 million were forced to flee their homes. Assam’s health minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, said the state had started testing aggressively to identify coronavirus cases among villagers forced to take shelter in community halls, schools and government buildings. “We were isolating new coronavirus hotspots; the situation is very critical,” Sarma told Reuters. The increase in infections presents a severe challenge for India’s strained medical capacity and overburdened health system.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Lockdown ends in Nigeria's Kano, where coronavirus killed hundreds

The Nigerian state of Kano ended its novel coronavirus lockdown on Thursday, the local ministry of health said, months after an outbreak of what was originally called a “mysterious disease” killed hundreds of citizens. The easing comes weeks after other parts of Nigeria relaxed restrictions, and marks an effort to resume everyday life in Kano, the commercial and cultural heart of predominantly Muslim northern Nigerian. In April and early May, roughly 500 people died in the state, a government probe found, saying the deaths were likely due to coronavirus. Local authorities did not acknowledge the outbreak at the time. Kano’s health ministry on its official Twitter account did not provide details of the state lockdown ending except to say civil servants would return to work from July 6. The end of Kano’s lockdown and other policies to relax restrictions come as coronavirus cases mount in Africa’s most populous country.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Swiss restrict entry from 29 countries to prevent coronavirus spread

Travellers to Switzerland from 29 countries will from July 6 have to register with the authorities and go into self-isolation to prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus, the government said on Thursday. The list includes the United States, Sweden, Brazil and Russia, which have been designated as countries with a high risk of infection.
2nd Jul 2020 - TODAYonline

Other deaths spike in Indian city ravaged by COVID-19

A large Indian city badly hit by the coronavirus has recorded a sharp rise in deaths not attributed to the outbreak, according to official data and burial records, highlighting how the pandemic has affected general healthcare. The spike in deaths in Ahmedabad, the most populous city in western Gujarat state, is due to patients with serious illnesses either not able to go to hospitals or being afraid to visit them because of the virus, doctors said. The numbers contain "ominous signals" for the rest of the country, said Dr Rajib Dasgupta, a professor of community health at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University.
2nd Jul 2020 - CNA

Peru looks to restart economy after months-long lockdown

Peru entered the final stage of its economic reopening on Wednesday after ending a months-long lockdown to try and contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The government said in a decree that “phase 3” of economic reactivation, which includes 96% of production activities, will restart all mining activities, industrial sectors and commerce, though they must comply with health protocols for the pandemic. Restaurants and shops will reopen to cater to a limited capacity of customers. Officials are also weighing health protocols for resuming domestic air and land transport. “The goal is to revive the economy and create jobs,” said President Martin Vizcarra, speaking at an event to announce the purchase of 400 ventilators from China. At least 240,000 companies received an economic stimulus from the government to help them reopen, Vizcarra said.
1st Jul 2020 - Reuters

Peruvians fill streets as lockdown ends despite infections

Blocks-long lines formed at bus stops, food markets and shopping centers in Peru's capital Wednesday as people left their homes en masse to go to work or shop as a 106-day coronavirus lockdown ended in many parts of the country. For the first time in months, food vendors offered breakfasts for 50 cents from street carts covered in clear plastic in Lima's historic center. Vendors hawked face shields and disinfectants outside crowded public markets. City workers cleaned statues with jets of water. “God always accompanies me,” said 73-year-old newspaper deliverer Segundina Lolo when asked if she feared the virus with infection rates in the country still high and scientists warning against ending three months of strict stay-at-home orders too soon.
1st Jul 2020 - YAHOO!

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 2nd Jul 2020

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Peru's biggest LGBTQ nightclub reopens as grocery store to survive pandemic

As Peru begins to ease its strict coronavirus lockdown, the country's biggest LGBTQ nightclub opened its doors on Tuesday, but there will be no nighttime revelers; its dance floor will instead be filled with shelves stocked with groceries. Instead of slinging cocktails at the bar or dancing on stage, ValeTodo Downtown's famed staff of drag queens will sell customers daily household products as the space reopens as a market while nightclubs are ordered to remain closed. The Peruvian government will lift the lockdown in most regions of the country at the beginning of July, but will keep borders closed, as well as nightclubs and bars. The lockdown has been a struggle for the club's 120 employees like drag queen Belaluh McQueen. Her life completely changed when the government announced the quarantine. Her nights were spent at home, rather than performing as a dancer at the club in vivid-colored costumes.
1st Jul 2020 - YAHOO!

Peru's biggest LGBTQ disco gets a new look

Peru's biggest LGBTQ nightclub opened its doors on Tuesday as the government began to ease a strict lockdown due to coronavirus. But there will be no nighttime revelers and its dance floor will be filled with shelves stocked with groceries.
1st Jul 2020 - Reuters

Prague celebrates end of coronavirus lockdown with mass dinner party at 1,600-foot table

People in the Czech capital, Prague, built a 1,600-foot table and held a massive public dinner party on Tuesday, to celebrate the end of the country's coronavirus lockdown. Residents stretched through the city's streets and over its famous Charles Bridge after the government lifted restrictions on large gatherings. The Czech Republic was quick to implement a lockdown at the start of the global coronavirus outbreak and became one of the first countries to tell its citizens to wear masks -- helping it avoid the worst of the pandemic and ease restrictions earlier than many other nations. This meant that locals could enjoy a jaw-dropping spectacle of alfresco dining and forgo social distancing to celebrate the country's progress.
1st Jul 2020 - CNN

Spain and Portugal reopen land border three months after lockdown

The leaders of Spain and Portugal marked the reopening of their land border, more than three months after shutting it because of the coronavirus pandemic. Spain’s King Felipe VI and prime minister Pedro Sanchez met with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and prime minister Antonio Costa for border ceremonies in Badajoz on the Spanish side and later in Elvas, Portugal. Wearing masks, which they removed to hear their national anthems played, the Iberian leaders toured a Moorish fortress and museum in Badajoz before visiting a 14th-century castle in Elvas, 12 miles away.They gave no speeches in Wednesday’s event.
1st Jul 2020 - ShropshireStar.com

Ryanair resumes flights from Leeds Bradford to Spain and France | ITV News

The airline Ryanair will resume 40 percent of its flights from today - including from Leeds Bradford Airport to Spain and France. It's introduced new guidelines such as fewer bag checks, online check-in and temperature measures at airport entry, More than 1,000 flights per day will be operated by Ryanair, which has run a skeleton schedule since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is restoring almost 90% of its route network but frequencies will be lower than normal, with just 40% of its normal July capacity.
1st Jul 2020 - ITV News

Russia: Coronavirus cases to date top 650,000

The number of coronavirus cases Russia has seen since the start of the coronavirus pandemic crossed the 650,000 mark on Wednesday. Over the last 24 hours, 6,556 more people tested positive for COVID-19, briging the tally to 654,405, the country's emergency task force said in its daily report. Over the same period, a spike in coronavirus-related fatalities was seen, with 216 people since yesterday, raising the death toll to 9,536, compared to an average of 100-plus fatalities reported over the last month. Single-day recoveries came in at 10,281, bringing the total number to 422,931. Russia will continue to increase the number of tests although the number of new cases is declining across the country to "identify new cases quickly, helping the patients and preventing them from infecting those around them," said Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. To maintain testing, the government allocated nearly 3.5 billion rubles ($500 million) for the production of COVID-19 test kits for use at federal and municipal establishments, Mishustin added.
1st Jul 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Government's $70 million lifeline for New Zealand film and TV industry

The Government has handed a $73 million lifeline to New Zealand's film and TV industry, which has been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wednesday's funding boost will cover new and existing projects and is expected to save thousands of jobs. While many people heralded the resurrection of high-profile movie Avatar last month, most of New Zealand's domestic film industry remains in lockdown. "There were 47 films in production at various stages before COVID lockdown, but only one has started up again," Dame Kerry Prendergast, chair of NZ Film Commission, said. The $3 billion, 16,000 job industry was at serious risk of a dramatic shrinking but after continued pleas, they netted a huge multi-million dollar cash injection. Kelly Martin, the producer of the upcoming Robyn Malcolm film This Town says it's "amazing". "It's fantastic that the Government is acknowledging the screen sector needs support," Martin said.
1st Jul 2020 - Newshub

Post-Covid New Zealand tackles a new threat – anxiety over an uncertain future

“It’s not so much the presence of Covid-19 that presents us with our greatest challenge, but the absence of it,” says Sarb Johal, a clinical psychologist based in Wellington, New Zealand. “We’re living with this reduced visibility of what’s coming in the future, and it feels sort of ominous and foreboding at the same time.” “It’s not so much the presence of Covid-19 that presents us with our greatest challenge, but the absence of it,” says Sarb Johal, a clinical psychologist based in Wellington, New Zealand. “We’re living with this reduced visibility of what’s coming in the future, and it feels sort of ominous and foreboding at the same time.”
1st Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Czechs mark end of lockdown with bridge dinner

Crowds gathered on Prague's Charles Bridge on Tuesday to celebrate the end of the Czech Republic's coronavirus crisis with a group dinner along a gigantic table set up on the historic landmark. The EU member of 10.7 million people has by now eased most of the anti-virus measures it introduced early on -- thanks to which it has fared relatively well, registering fewer than 12,000 coronavirus cases and under 350 deaths. On the 14th-century bridge, merrymakers munched on snacks and sipped drinks they brought from home, sharing their fare with others at the table spanning 500 metres
30th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 1st Jul 2020

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Toronto makes masks mandatory, citing US problems

Canada’s largest city has made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces. “You have told us you don’t want to see a repeat of what you see when you turn on your TV and see reports from the United States," Toronto Mayor John Tory said. Toronto city council approved a bylaw and it will come into effect July 7. Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, said there is growing evidence that shows non-medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and noted many cities in the U.S. are seeing a resurgence in cases since reopening. De Villa said she made the recommendation to help Toronto move from Stage 2 of the Ontario’s reopening plan to Stage 3.
1st Jul 2020 - ABC News

The Covid-19 changes that could last long-term

From the extinction of the daily commute to transforming our relationship with food, Covid-19 is changing our world already – and in some ways, it looks set to get better.
30th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Jacinda Ardern decries 'dangerous' calls to reopen New Zealand borders