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Coronavirus live news: England rocked by easing U-turn as Australia cases mount Coronavirus live news: England rocked by easing U-turn as Australia cases mount
(about 1 hour later)
Almost 300,000 new infections on Friday, led by US, Brazil and India; Boris Johnson warns of second UK lockdown. Follow all the developments liveAlmost 300,000 new infections on Friday, led by US, Brazil and India; Boris Johnson warns of second UK lockdown. Follow all the developments live
The Afghan doctor who had identified the first coronavirus case in the country has lost his life to the disease, as a US watchdog warns that Afghanistan is “headed for a humanitarian disaster”.Doctor Ibrahim Basim, 64, the head infectious diseases department of Herat regional hospital has died from the virus. Basim identified and treated the first Covid-19 patient in Afghanistan and raised awareness about the pandemic in Afghanistan. Most of the new cases (13) and the only death on Saturday was reported in the same province where officials have already warned of a second wave of the pandemic. Officials in the province said that the flow of Afghan refugees from Iran, and the failure of the people to follow health guidelines have increased the possibility of a new wave of the virus.Health ministry reported the total death toll stands at 1,283. In its latest update, the health ministry said the number of people who had tested positive for the virus had reached 36,710, an increase of 35 on the day before. There have been 25,509 recoveries, including 189 over the past 24 hours.A new report by a US watchdog which was released Thursday said that the coronavirus pandemic is pushing millions more Afghans into poverty, overwhelming the country’s basic healthcare system and causing food shortages.The report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) indicated that only 300 ventilators are currently available across the war-ravaged country. The watchdog warned that Afghanistan is“headed for a humanitarian disaster” as the virus continues to spread. “The economic shock of the pandemic, including increased unemployment, food-supply disruptions due to border closures, and rising food prices, has exacerbated Afghans’ food insecurity, already impacted by the ongoing conflict and high poverty levels,” said SIGAR. It added that about one-third of the country’s estimated 32.2 million people were either in a crisis or an emergency state of food insecurity.
The report says that testing remains limited, but nearly 43% of samples test positive, one of the highest rates in the world.
Thousands of children in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will return to school on 3 August. This federal state is the first in Germany to officially open the new school year, complying with health protocols imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Children will have to wear masks in the common areas of school buildings.Thousands of children in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will return to school on 3 August. This federal state is the first in Germany to officially open the new school year, complying with health protocols imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Children will have to wear masks in the common areas of school buildings.
The Philippines on Saturday reported 4,963 additional coronavirus infections, the largest single-day jump on record, Reuters reports.The Philippines on Saturday reported 4,963 additional coronavirus infections, the largest single-day jump on record, Reuters reports.
In a bulletin, the health ministry said total infections have reached 98,232, while deaths increased by 17 to 2,039. In the region, the Philippines is second only to Indonesia in coronavirus deaths and cases.In a bulletin, the health ministry said total infections have reached 98,232, while deaths increased by 17 to 2,039. In the region, the Philippines is second only to Indonesia in coronavirus deaths and cases.
Poland reported its highest number of new daily coronavirus cases for the third day in a row on Saturday, with 658 new infections, the health ministry said.Poland reported its highest number of new daily coronavirus cases for the third day in a row on Saturday, with 658 new infections, the health ministry said.
Reuters said more than 200 cases were reported in the Silesia mining region in southern Poland, which has been grappling with an outbreak among miners.The ministry also reported five new deaths.Reuters said more than 200 cases were reported in the Silesia mining region in southern Poland, which has been grappling with an outbreak among miners.The ministry also reported five new deaths.
Poland has now reported a total of 46,346 coronavirus cases and 1,721 deaths.Poland has now reported a total of 46,346 coronavirus cases and 1,721 deaths.
“One thing is clear, the government is very worried about a resurgence of coronavirus in the UK,” Denis Campbell and Kate Proctor write.“One thing is clear, the government is very worried about a resurgence of coronavirus in the UK,” Denis Campbell and Kate Proctor write.
Read their damning report on a painful and chaotic week for the prime minister, Boris Johnson.Read their damning report on a painful and chaotic week for the prime minister, Boris Johnson.
Indonesia reported 1,560 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, Reuters reports, bringing its total to 109,936, data from the country’s Covid-19 task force showed.Indonesia reported 1,560 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, Reuters reports, bringing its total 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.It also reported 62 Covid-19 related deaths, taking the death toll to 5,193.
Russia reported 95 new deaths from the novel coronavirus on Saturday, pushing its national tally to 14,058, Reuters reports.Russia reported 95 new deaths from the novel coronavirus on Saturday, pushing its national tally to 14,058, Reuters reports.
Officials also reported 5,462 new cases of the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours, pushing the country’s tally to 845,443.Officials also reported 5,462 new cases of the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours, pushing the country’s tally to 845,443.
Prof Graham Medley, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said England could have to consider closing pubs in order to reopen schools next month.Prof Graham Medley, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said England could have to consider closing pubs in order to reopen schools next month.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:
He added that the rise in coronavirus infections appeared to be among younger people but warned there was a danger it could “spill” over into other parts of the population.He added that the rise in coronavirus infections appeared to be among younger people but warned there was a danger it could “spill” over into other parts of the population.
He said:He said:
He warned the increased lockdown measures in areas across the north-west of England were “highly unlikely” to be the “last intervention that has to be done regionally”.He warned the increased lockdown measures in areas across the north-west of England were “highly unlikely” to be the “last intervention that has to be done regionally”.
“I fully expect that there will have to be other interventions at other times but what the interventions are really depends on what happens,” he added.“I fully expect that there will have to be other interventions at other times but what the interventions are really depends on what happens,” he added.
PA has a roundup of the mixed reaction in the papers to Boris Johnson’s decision to delay lockdown-easing measures.PA has a roundup of the mixed reaction in the papers to Boris Johnson’s decision to delay lockdown-easing measures.
The Mirror slammed the move as a “Lockdown meltdown”, taking issue with the perceived inconsistency of the government’s messaging. An editorial in the paper says: “What everyone wants is clarity and competence. At the moment the Government is failing to deliver either.”The Mirror slammed the move as a “Lockdown meltdown”, taking issue with the perceived inconsistency of the government’s messaging. An editorial in the paper says: “What everyone wants is clarity and competence. At the moment the Government is failing to deliver either.”
Meanwhile, the Express says the delay is an example of “Boris’s tough love”. The paper’s senior political correspondent Martyn Brown says the PM was “right to apply the brakes” to the easing of restrictions.Meanwhile, the Express says the delay is an example of “Boris’s tough love”. The paper’s senior political correspondent Martyn Brown says the PM was “right to apply the brakes” to the easing of restrictions.
He added:He added:
The Daily Mail issues a warning to Mr Johnson not to “let this corona cure kill the economy”, adding in an editorial: “The Prime Minister described it as ‘squeezing on the brakes’.The Daily Mail issues a warning to Mr Johnson not to “let this corona cure kill the economy”, adding in an editorial: “The Prime Minister described it as ‘squeezing on the brakes’.
“It felt more like slamming the car into reverse.”“It felt more like slamming the car into reverse.”
The paper points to an Office for Budget Responsibility prediction that the jobless rate will peak at 12% by the end of the year.The paper points to an Office for Budget Responsibility prediction that the jobless rate will peak at 12% by the end of the year.
The editorial continues:The editorial continues:
The Guardian emphasises warnings from a number of experts that the delay “may not be enough to stop a rise in infection”.The Guardian emphasises warnings from a number of experts that the delay “may not be enough to stop a rise in infection”.
The Times takes a similar path, with the political editor of the Spectator, James Forsyth, writing a commentary piece under the headline: “If you think this is bad, just wait for winter.”The Times takes a similar path, with the political editor of the Spectator, James Forsyth, writing a commentary piece under the headline: “If you think this is bad, just wait for winter.”
The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, has paused new freedoms due this weekend, as people shielding against coronavirus can now leave their home and return to work.The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, has paused new freedoms due this weekend, as people shielding against coronavirus can now leave their home and return to work.
Johnson has warned the country could go into a new national lockdown amid fears any further reopening of the economy could trigger a full-blown resurgence of the coronavirus.Johnson has warned the country could go into a new national lockdown amid fears any further reopening of the economy could trigger a full-blown resurgence of the coronavirus.
The delay in the easing of lockdown raises fresh concerns for the up to 2 million extremely vulnerable people who had been shielding in England. Earlier this week, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) said it would be “heartless and reckless” for bosses to demand the immediate return of shielding workers on 1 August. Many told the Guardian of their fear of returning to work in person next week, while leading scientists said shielding may be ending too soon and demanded to see the scientific evidence behind the rule change.The delay in the easing of lockdown raises fresh concerns for the up to 2 million extremely vulnerable people who had been shielding in England. Earlier this week, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) said it would be “heartless and reckless” for bosses to demand the immediate return of shielding workers on 1 August. Many told the Guardian of their fear of returning to work in person next week, while leading scientists said shielding may be ending too soon and demanded to see the scientific evidence behind the rule change.
The delay in the easing of lockdown restrictions came with a warning from Prof Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, that the country now appears to be “at the outer edge” of how far society can safely reopen in the age of the pandemic.The delay in the easing of lockdown restrictions came with a warning from Prof Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, that the country now appears to be “at the outer edge” of how far society can safely reopen in the age of the pandemic.
“If we wish to do more things in the future, we may have to do less of some other things,” he said. “The idea that we can open up everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong.”“If we wish to do more things in the future, we may have to do less of some other things,” he said. “The idea that we can open up everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong.”
Meanwhile, Labour and a leading welfare thinktank have called on the government to extend the furlough scheme for the hardest-hit industries as employers are forced to make financial contributions towards temporarily laid-off workers from this weekend.Meanwhile, Labour and a leading welfare thinktank have called on the government to extend the furlough scheme for the hardest-hit industries as employers are forced to make financial contributions towards temporarily laid-off workers from this weekend.
The Resolution Foundation said around half of the 9.2 million people placed on the government’s job retention scheme (JRS) since it launched in April have still not returned to work. It warned this group faced the prospect of widespread redundancies when the scheme, which covers 80% of workers’ wages, closes on 31 October, unless state subsidies are maintained beyond that date.The Resolution Foundation said around half of the 9.2 million people placed on the government’s job retention scheme (JRS) since it launched in April have still not returned to work. It warned this group faced the prospect of widespread redundancies when the scheme, which covers 80% of workers’ wages, closes on 31 October, unless state subsidies are maintained beyond that date.
That’s where I might leave you for now, but Aamna Mohdin is here to take you through the rest of the day’s news.That’s where I might leave you for now, but Aamna Mohdin is here to take you through the rest of the day’s news.
Here is the latest opinion piece by Guardian columnist Andy Beckett:Here is the latest opinion piece by Guardian columnist Andy Beckett:
So much seems unusual about this Conservative government: its constant disruptiveness; its preference for rhetoric over functional policies; its mixture of brazen U-turns and cult-like discipline; its flirtations with the far right alongside leftwing-sounding plans to “level up”; its deadly reluctance to curtail small freedoms in a pandemic.So much seems unusual about this Conservative government: its constant disruptiveness; its preference for rhetoric over functional policies; its mixture of brazen U-turns and cult-like discipline; its flirtations with the far right alongside leftwing-sounding plans to “level up”; its deadly reluctance to curtail small freedoms in a pandemic.
It’s common to attribute some or all of these tendencies to the idiosyncrasies of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings, or the effects of Brexit, or the rise of rightwing populism. But there is a less noticed and more surprising factor at work, too. Today’s Tory government has adopted some of the style, rhetoric and preoccupations of a defunct radical sect, the Revolutionary Communist party (RCP).It’s common to attribute some or all of these tendencies to the idiosyncrasies of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings, or the effects of Brexit, or the rise of rightwing populism. But there is a less noticed and more surprising factor at work, too. Today’s Tory government has adopted some of the style, rhetoric and preoccupations of a defunct radical sect, the Revolutionary Communist party (RCP).
The RCP was a tiny British party, founded in the 70s, officially disbanded in the late 90s. Despite its name, most of its stances were not communist or revolutionary but contrarian: it supported free speech for racists, and nuclear power; it attacked environmentalism and the NHS. Its most consistent impulse was to invoke an idealised working class, and claim it was actually being harmed by the supposed elites of the liberal left...The RCP was a tiny British party, founded in the 70s, officially disbanded in the late 90s. Despite its name, most of its stances were not communist or revolutionary but contrarian: it supported free speech for racists, and nuclear power; it attacked environmentalism and the NHS. Its most consistent impulse was to invoke an idealised working class, and claim it was actually being harmed by the supposed elites of the liberal left...
You can read the full article below:You can read the full article below:
For the third consecutive day, new cases of Covid-19 cases topped 1,300 in France.For the third consecutive day, new cases of Covid-19 cases topped 1,300 in France.
Friday evening’s figures showed an increase of 1,346 confirmed new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours and 15 new clusters, taking the total number of clusters currently under investigation to 157.Friday evening’s figures showed an increase of 1,346 confirmed new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours and 15 new clusters, taking the total number of clusters currently under investigation to 157.
The number of new cases, which had dropped to several hundred every day at the beginning of July, rose suddenly to top 1,000 a day a week ago, prompting health officials to warn of a resurgence of the virus. Although new cases dropped to just over 500 at the beginning of last week, they subsequently shot up again.The number of new cases, which had dropped to several hundred every day at the beginning of July, rose suddenly to top 1,000 a day a week ago, prompting health officials to warn of a resurgence of the virus. Although new cases dropped to just over 500 at the beginning of last week, they subsequently shot up again.
A spike in cases in areas popular with tourists, including coastal resorts, has been labelled the “holiday effect”, by the French press.A spike in cases in areas popular with tourists, including coastal resorts, has been labelled the “holiday effect”, by the French press.
Health experts say 21% of the identified clusters have been sparked by families getting together for the summer after the strict two-month confinement, which ended on 11 May, and “temporary public or private gatherings”, including marriages. This figure was 14.5% at the beginning of July.Health experts say 21% of the identified clusters have been sparked by families getting together for the summer after the strict two-month confinement, which ended on 11 May, and “temporary public or private gatherings”, including marriages. This figure was 14.5% at the beginning of July.
Officials blame the increase in cases on people becoming less vigilant and abandoning social distancing and protection measures and say too many of those showing known coronavirus symptoms are failing to get themselves tested.Officials blame the increase in cases on people becoming less vigilant and abandoning social distancing and protection measures and say too many of those showing known coronavirus symptoms are failing to get themselves tested.
There will be no updated figures over the weekend.There will be no updated figures over the weekend.
The number of new coronavirus cases confirmed in Tokyo, Japan was around 472 on Saturday, a new record, NHK public television quoted Tokyo officials as saying.It was the second day in a row that the number of cases in the capital rose by more than 400.The number of new coronavirus cases confirmed in Tokyo, Japan was around 472 on Saturday, a new record, NHK public television quoted Tokyo officials as saying.It was the second day in a row that the number of cases in the capital rose by more than 400.
Although the Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike, has said the city could declare its own state of emergency, the central government says there is still no need to do so nationally despite a record spike in several cities around the nation.Although the Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike, has said the city could declare its own state of emergency, the central government says there is still no need to do so nationally despite a record spike in several cities around the nation.
Japan’s Okinawa region declared a state of emergency earlier on Saturday with people asked to stay home for two weeks as the popular tourist destination sees an “explosive spread” of coronavirus cases.Japan’s Okinawa region declared a state of emergency earlier on Saturday with people asked to stay home for two weeks as the popular tourist destination sees an “explosive spread” of coronavirus cases.
A week is a long time in a coronavirus pandemic – a fact the UK government has learned all too painfully. Avoiding a one-week delay to lockdown in March would potentially have halved the death toll, it has previously emerged.A week is a long time in a coronavirus pandemic – a fact the UK government has learned all too painfully. Avoiding a one-week delay to lockdown in March would potentially have halved the death toll, it has previously emerged.
Which goes some way to explain why there have been not one but two screeching U-turns this week – on travel to Spain and lockdown measures for 4.6 million people in northern England – both announced late into the evening and imposed within hours. The ensuing chaos and anger have been palpable, and all point to one thing: that the government is very, very worried about a resurgence of the virus on UK soil.Which goes some way to explain why there have been not one but two screeching U-turns this week – on travel to Spain and lockdown measures for 4.6 million people in northern England – both announced late into the evening and imposed within hours. The ensuing chaos and anger have been palpable, and all point to one thing: that the government is very, very worried about a resurgence of the virus on UK soil.
Denis Campbell and Kate Proctor have all the details on prime minister Boris Johnson’s trying week below:Denis Campbell and Kate Proctor have all the details on prime minister Boris Johnson’s trying week below:
Health officials in the Australian state of Victoria say there are now 1,008 active cases within the aged care sector, which has emerged as a key area of concern for authorities.Health officials in the Australian state of Victoria say there are now 1,008 active cases within the aged care sector, which has emerged as a key area of concern for authorities.
It represents an increase of 80 new cases within that sector over 24 hours.It represents an increase of 80 new cases within that sector over 24 hours.
Overall, there are 5,919 active cases in Victoria, after 396 were added to the total on Saturday. Of those active cases, 637 are among health care workers, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.Overall, there are 5,919 active cases in Victoria, after 396 were added to the total on Saturday. Of those active cases, 637 are among health care workers, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Of the largest outbreaks, there were a 10 cases added to the stricken St Basil’s aged care home, which now has a total of 134 infections, while another facility, Epping Gardens, added three cases for a total of 118.Of the largest outbreaks, there were a 10 cases added to the stricken St Basil’s aged care home, which now has a total of 134 infections, while another facility, Epping Gardens, added three cases for a total of 118.