Covid-19 news: Testing shortages reported in England’s virus hotspots

Covid-19 information: Testing shortages reported in England’s virus hotspots


People queue at a coronavirus testing facility

Folks queue at a coronavirus testing facility in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham

Jacob King/PA Wire/PA Photos

Newest coronavirus information as of 5 pm on 15 September

Widespread reviews of individuals struggling to get coronavirus assessments in England

England’s coronavirus testing system is considerably overwhelmed, with many individuals within the nation’s 10 worst-hit coronavirus hotspots unable to get assessments. Folks attempting to e-book swab assessments on Monday in Bolton, Salford, Bradford, Blackburn, Oldham, Preston, Pendle, Rochdale, Tameside and Manchester have been instructed that it was not attainable, in keeping with LBC. Bolton at present has 171 coronavirus instances per 100,000 folks, the best price in England. “It seems that there are several bottlenecks in the testing procedures. These are not being made publicly available so we can only speculate that these may be limited materials for the testing process, capacity and procedural issues,” mentioned Brendan Wren on the London College of Hygiene and Tropical Medication in a assertion. “This needs to be addressed urgently, and if it is [a lab] capacity [problem] then university labs should be more widely deployed,” mentioned Wren.

A spokesperson for the Division for Well being and Social Care instructed the Guardian: “It is wrong to say testing is not available in these areas, and our capacity continues to be targeted where it is needed most.” Nevertheless, there have additionally been reviews of testing shortages elsewhere. NHS Suppliers, a physique that represents hospital trusts in England, instructed the BBC that NHS employees are having to self-isolate, as a result of they’re unable to get assessments for themselves or their members of the family. 

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Laboratories analysing neighborhood swab assessments in England have been stretched to capability way back to August, emails seen by the Guardian revealed at present. NHS England despatched an electronic mail to all NHS laboratories on 24 August calling for them to assist the UK Lighthouse Labs Community, a personal group of labs that has been analysing neighborhood swabs, attributable to a “surge in capacity.”

Different coronavirus information

A report by the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis warns that the coronavirus pandemic has pushed again progress on enhancing well being world wide by “about 25 years.” The pandemic has elevated poverty by 7 per cent and led to a drop in routine vaccination protection from 84 per cent final 12 months right down to 70 per cent, in keeping with the report. “It’s a huge setback,” Invoice Gates mentioned at a media briefing on the report’s findings at present. The report additionally highlighted the disproportionate impression of the pandemic on ladies, racial and ethnic minority communities and other people dwelling in excessive poverty. 

Colleges in England have seen a increased absence price amongst pupils this time period in comparison with final 12 months, in keeping with the nation’s Division for Schooling. Official figures counsel 88 per cent of pupils attended college final Thursday, under the determine for the identical time period final 12 months of about 95 per cent. Since colleges reopened earlier this month, college leaders have warned that delays in testing are resulting in 12 months teams being despatched residence, the BBC reported.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 930,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 29.Three million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Important details about coronavirus

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What to learn, watch and take heed to about coronavirus

Race Towards the Virus: Hunt for a Vaccine is a Channel Four documentary which tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic by way of the eyes of the scientists on the frontline.

The New York Occasions is assessing the progress of various vaccine candidates and potential drug remedies for covid-19, and rating them for effectiveness and security.

People of COVID-19 is a undertaking highlighting the experiences of key staff on the frontline within the combat towards coronavirus within the UK, by way of social media.

Coronavirus, Defined on Netflix is a brief documentary sequence inspecting the on-going coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to combat it and methods to handle its psychological well being toll.

New Scientist Weekly options updates and evaluation on the most recent developments within the covid-19 pandemic. Our podcast sees knowledgeable journalists from the journal focus on the largest science tales to hit the headlines every week – from expertise and house, to well being and the atmosphere.

The Guidelines of Contagion is concerning the new science of contagion and the shocking methods it shapes our lives and behavior. The creator, Adam Kucharski, is an epidemiologist on the London College of Hygiene and Tropical Medication, UK, and within the e-book he examines how ailments unfold and why they cease.

Earlier updates

Man wearing face mask carries Spanish flag during protest

Anti-government protesters rallying in Madrid, Spain amid the covid-19 outbreak, on September 12, 2020

Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto through Getty Photos

14 September

New international document for each day new coronavirus instances as WHO warns of rise in deaths in Europe

A document single day improve in international coronavirus instances was recorded on Sunday with 307,930 new confirmed instances . The biggest will increase have been in India, the US and Brazil, in keeping with the World Well being Group (WHO). The WHO additionally warned that Europe can anticipate to see extra deaths from covid-19 as quickly as subsequent month. “It’s going to get tougher. In October, November, we are going to see more mortality,” mentioned Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, in an interview with the AFP information company at present. Circumstances in Europe have elevated sharply over the previous couple of weeks, with case charges highest in Spain and France. There are 270.7 instances per 100,000 folks in Spain and 153.9 per 100,000 folks in France, in keeping with the most recent 14-day cumulative figures from the European Centre for Illness Prevention and Management. Within the UK there are 51.1 instances per 100,000 folks.

Different coronavirus information

Laboratory-made antibodies will likely be given to about 2000 covid-19 sufferers in UK hospitals as a part of the UK’s RECOVERY trial, a large-scale medical trial to check current medicine as therapies for covid-19. In June, information from the RECOVERY trial offered the primary proof {that a} steroid drug known as dexamethasone may save lives for these with extreme covid-19. Within the new trial of antibodies made particularly to fight the coronavirus, the primary sufferers will likely be given the experimental remedy within the coming weeks. “There are many good causes for pondering it would effectively be efficient stopping the virus from reproducing, stopping the virus from inflicting harm, enhancing survival for sufferers,” Martin Landray on the College of Oxford, who’s co-leading the RECOVERY trial, instructed the BBC. “Monoclonal, or targeted, antibodies are already used to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases,” mentioned Fiona Watt, government chair of the Medical Analysis Council within the UK, in a assertion. “The new trial will tell us whether antibodies that attack the virus can be an effective treatment for covid-19.”

An electronic mail seen by the BBC reveals that UK authorities chief scientific advisor Patrick Vallance argued that the UK’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions be imposed sooner than they really have been, and in response he was given a “telling off” from different senior officers. Vallance referred to recommendation given by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies on 16 March, suggesting “additional social-distancing measures” be carried out “as soon as possible.” The UK went into lockdown on 23 March, about two months after the nation’s first confirmed case, which some researchers blame for the UK’s excessive variety of coronavirus deaths.

Israel has develop into the primary nation to announce a second nationwide lockdown to start Friday and final three weeks. It’s an effort to include a second-wave surge of recent instances, Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu introduced on Sunday. Folks will likely be required to remain inside 500 metres of their houses, apart from travelling to workplaces. Colleges will even be closed.

US president Donald Trump held the primary indoor presidential marketing campaign rally in months in Nevada on Sunday, regardless of native officers saying it violated the state’s rule limiting gatherings to 50 folks. In an announcement earlier than the rally, Nevada’s governor Steve Sisolak criticised Trump’s resolution saying “Now he’s decided he doesn’t have to respect our state’s laws. As usual, he doesn’t believe the rules apply to him.”

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 925,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 29 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Coronavirus household tree: Like every other organic entity, SARS-CoV-2 has a household tree. It isn’t a really previous one – the virus has solely been recognised since December – but it surely nonetheless has tales to inform.

Racism in healthcare: Covid-19 is affecting ethnic minorities extra severely, however we’ll by no means perceive why if we don’t accumulate the fitting information, says Alisha Dua.

Two people attend a covid-19 testing facility

Members of the general public attend an NHS covid testing facility in Bolton city centre as restrictions are tightened within the space on 9 September

Anthony Devlin/Getty Photos

11 September

New information suggests England’s R quantity may very well be as excessive as 1.7

The UK’s coronavirus epidemic is rising, in keeping with the newest authorities figures. Simon Clarke on the College of Studying described this as a “massive blow to the government’s strategy to contain the spread of covid-19.” The UK’s R quantity the estimated variety of folks every contaminated individual goes on to contaminate is between 1 and 1.2, up from between 0.9 and 1.1 final week. This information is consultant of the state of affairs two to a few weeks in the past, attributable to a time-lag within the information used to mannequin the R, however is in keeping with newer information for England from a separate research by researchers at Imperial Faculty London, which suggests England’s R quantity may very well be as excessive as 1.7. 

The research, commissioned by the Division of Well being and Social Care, examined over 150,000 folks in communities in England between 22 August and seven September and used this to mannequin the R quantity. It discovered that 0.13 per cent of individuals examined optimistic equal to 130 per 100,000 folks within the inhabitants. The newest outcomes from a random swab testing survey by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics additionally point out a rise in infections in communities in England and Wales in latest weeks.

The rise in instances “suggests that the recent uptick in cases is not just because of greater testing,” mentioned Clarke in an announcement. “It’s likely that the coronavirus is circulating more freely out in the community again, meaning we are likely to need greater restrictions on our lives to push the transmission rate back down again.”

Different coronavirus information

A new coronavirus contact tracing app will go stay throughout England and Wales on 24 September, the federal government introduced at present. The brand new app will permit folks to scan QR codes to register visits to bars and eating places and can use Apple and Google’s methodology for detecting different smartphones close by. The UK authorities was beforehand pressured to desert improvement of an earlier app, constructed on completely different expertise, attributable to its incapability to recognise a big proportion of Apple and Android units. Scotland’s app, Defend Scotland, went stay yesterday.

Birmingham in England is being put beneath a native lockdown attributable to a spike in instances. The town now has the second highest price of coronavirus an infection in England, after Bolton. There have been 85.Four instances per 100,000 folks in Birmingham throughout the week ending 7 September, up from 32 within the earlier week. Folks in Birmingham will now not be allowed to satisfy with different households.

India has recorded the highest variety of each day new coronavirus instances in a single nation because the pandemic started, with 96,551 instances recorded within the nation on Thursday.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 910,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 28.2 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Studies of reinfection: In latest weeks, the primary confirmed reviews of people that have been re-infected with the coronavirus have begun to trickle in. Such instances counsel that, in some folks a minimum of, the immune system doesn’t develop lasting safety towards the virus. How anxious ought to we be?

An adult singer wearing robes and a face shield walking in a church

An grownup singer from the York Minster Choir walks to rehearse forward of a efficiency in York, England.

Ian Forsyth/Getty Photos

10 September

Newest figures present vital soar in weekly coronavirus instances in England

The variety of individuals who examined optimistic for the coronavirus in England was 9864 within the week ending 2 September, up 47 per cent from 6732 within the earlier week, in keeping with the newest figures from NHS Take a look at and Hint. It’s the best variety of weekly optimistic instances recorded because the system was launched in Could. Throughout the identical week, NHS Take a look at and Hint solely managed to succeed in 69.2 per cent of the contacts of individuals identified with the virus in England – under the goal of 80 per cent or extra really useful by authorities scientific advisors to restrict infections from spreading

Public well being specialists have raised issues concerning the feasibility of presidency plans introduced yesterday to spend £100 billion on increasing testing to 10 million assessments per day by early 2021. Chaand Nagpaul, council chairman of the British Medical Affiliation instructed the BBC it’s unclear how these assessments will work, given the “huge problems” with lab capability. Sarah-Jane Marsh, director for testing at NHS Take a look at and Hint apologised for the issues with the testing scheme earlier this week. Even when testing might be expanded, issues stay about accuracy and call tracing capability. Transport secretary Grant Shapps instructed BBC Breakfast this morning that the expertise to hold out the plan doesn’t at present exist.

Different coronavirus information

US president Donald Trump admitted to taking part in down the menace posed by the coronavirus in March, throughout an interview with journalist Bob Woodward revealed in his forthcoming e-book. “I wanted to always play it down,” Trump instructed Woodward on 19 March. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.” Trump additionally acknowledged the virus was “more deadly than even your strenuous flu” as early as February a time when he was publicly saying the virus was much less of a priority than the flu.

AstraZeneca chief government Pascal Soriot at present instructed a web-based briefing he’s hopeful that the corporate’s coronavirus vaccine candidate may very well be prepared for international distribution within the first half of 2021. Trials of the vaccine, which is being developed in partnership with the College of Oxford, have been placed on maintain yesterday after a participant developed neurological signs. An unbiased security committee is at present reviewing information on the affected participant, mentioned Soriot. 

Scotland’s Take a look at and Defend system, the nation’s equal to NHS Take a look at and Hint in England, at present launched its Defend Scotland app, which alerts folks if they’ve been in shut contact with somebody who later assessments optimistic for the coronavirus. Like Northern Eire’s app, Scotland’s new app was constructed utilizing the toolkit offered by Apple and Google. England doesn’t but have a extensively out there equal app however has been testing the same one on the Isle of Wight and within the London borough of Newham over the previous month, after abandoning improvement of an NHS Covid-19 app constructed on completely different expertise, attributable to its incapability to recognise 96 per cent of Apple telephones and 25 per cent of Google Android units.

College college students in England could also be required to remain of their pupil lodging and keep away from visiting their household houses within the occasion of native coronavirus outbreaks, in keeping with new steering printed by the UK Division for Schooling at present. College students with covid-19 signs ought to “self-isolate in their current accommodation”, the steering says. It additionally means that universities group college students dwelling in halls of residence into “households” that embrace all of these dwelling on the identical ground or sharing communal services, probably together with as many as 30 college students. The rules add that non-public gatherings, together with these inside pupil households, should nonetheless be restricted to a most of six folks.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 905,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 27.9 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

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Coronavirus and flu: Medical doctors are fretting about concurrent outbreaks of flu and covid-19 however some virologists are worrying about one other state of affairs: a Frankenvirus. Might the coronavirus merge with one other virus to create a brand new menace?

A chemist working in a laboratory

A basic view of analytical chemists at AstraZeneca headquarters in Sydney

DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAP/PA Photos

9 September

UK authorities plans to develop coronavirus testing to 10 million assessments a day

The UK authorities plans to hold out 10 million coronavirus assessments per day by early 2021, in keeping with paperwork obtained by the BMJ. Presently, the UK’s testing capability is 350,000 per day. As a part of the brand new plan, £100 billion will go in the direction of the enlargement of the nation’s testing programme, the paperwork revealed, and GSK and AstraZeneca are amongst companies named for supplying assessments and laboratory capability respectively. 

Martin McKee on the London College of Hygiene and Tropical Medication instructed the BMJ the plan is just too optimistic and disregards “enormous problems with the existing testing and tracing programmes.” NHS Take a look at and Hint particularly has been criticised for its repeated failure to succeed in a adequate proportion of the contacts of people that take a look at optimistic for the virus in England. Between 28 Could and 26 August, the scheme reached 78.5 per cent of the contacts of individuals identified in England – under the goal of 80 per cent or extra really useful by authorities scientific advisors

Jon Meeks, a biostatistician on the College of Birmingham who reviewed the paperwork for the BMJ, tweeted that the paperwork “show a severe lack of science or reality. No consideration of harms that screening us all would create.” Within the BMJ he raised the issue of false positives: “If you take a look at 60 million folks [with a 99% accurate test] we will likely be classifying a bunch the scale of the inhabitants of Sheffield as wrongly having covid.”

Different coronavirus information

Superior trials of probably the most promising coronavirus vaccine candidates have been placed on maintain after a participant grew to become ailing within the UK. Drug agency AstraZeneca, which is growing the vaccine in partnership with the College of Oxford, has voluntarily paused the trials. That is commonplace process in vaccine improvement, and permits time for the researchers to find out the reason for the sickness and make sure the security of members. AstraZeneca described the motion as “routine” in an announcement to STAT. The vaccine candidate has already handed preliminary trials, and is now present process section II and III trials involving roughly 30,000 members in the US in addition to within the UK, Brazil and South Africa. These bigger trials are designed to check whether or not it will probably forestall folks from turning into contaminated with the coronavirus or getting ailing with covid-19, in addition to assessing long run security.

Social gatherings in England will likely be restricted to a most of six folks from Monday 14 September, in an effort to deal with a latest spike in coronavirus instances. Folks is not going to be allowed to collect in teams bigger than six both indoors or outside, apart from gatherings in colleges, workplaces and a few occasions akin to weddings and funerals. UK well being minister Matt Hancock instructed the BBC at present that the brand new rule is “super simple” and will likely be “enforced by the police.” Folks may very well be fined between £100 and £3200 for violating the rule, he mentioned. “We’ve seen in other countries around the world where they don’t take action then you end up with this second peak, resulting in more hospitalisations and more deaths, and we don’t want to see that here,” mentioned Hancock.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 898,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 27.6 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Extreme signs: An out-of-control human peptide known as bradykinin may very well be answerable for a few of the diverse and typically lethal signs seen in individuals who have contracted the coronavirus. We have already got medicine to regulate bradykinin, that are being examined as remedies for folks with covid-19.

People walk on the street in central Bolton, Greater Manchester

Folks stroll on the road in central Bolton, Better Manchester

Jon Tremendous/Xinhua/PA Photos

eight September

New restrictions may very well be launched throughout England attributable to surge in instances 

The federal government may tighten restrictions on folks assembly in England following the latest spike in coronavirus instances. In response to a number of reviews, the federal government may scale back the variety of folks allowed to satisfy outside to 6, down from the present restrict of 30. Restrictions on how many individuals can meet indoors can also develop into tighter, in keeping with Sky Information. Below present pointers, solely two households can congregate indoors. 

England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, mentioned the brand new wave of instances was as a result of “people have relaxed too much.” At this time, 2420 folks examined optimistic for the coronavirus within the UK, down from 2948 on Monday however nonetheless excessive in comparison with each day figures in latest months. John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies instructed ITV that the UK as an entire is in a “risky period” as a result of the nation’s R quantity – the variety of folks every contaminated individual goes on to contaminate – has risen above 1. An R quantity increased than 1 implies that an epidemic is rising. 

Some measures are already tightening in some components of the UK, together with Bolton, in Better Manchester. The city at present has the best case price within the nation, with 120 instances of the virus per 100,000 folks. Pubs and eating places there’ll now should be take-away solely and keep closed between 10 pm and 5 am, UK well being minister Matt Hancock introduced at present. The present steering, which says folks mustn’t socialise with these from a unique family, will likely be made legally binding, he instructed MPs. The variety of folks allowed to go to hospitals and care houses will even be diminished beneath the brand new measures. “The rise in cases in Bolton is partly due to socialising by people in their 20s and 30s. We know this from contact tracing,” mentioned Hancock, including “we’ve identified a number of pubs at which the virus has spread significantly.” 

Different coronavirus information

Amid rising reviews of individuals being instructed to attend drive-through testing centres tons of of kilometres away from their houses, the director of testing for NHS Take a look at and Hint, Sarah-Jane Marsh, tweeted an apology at present to folks in England who haven’t been in a position to get examined for the coronavirus. Marsh described laboratory processing as “the critical pinch-point” and mentioned “we are doing all we can to expand quickly.” Final month researchers warned that the UK would most likely face a second wave of coronavirus infections in winter if the nation’s testing and call tracing system didn’t enhance by September.

There have been 101 deaths from covid-19 in England and Wales throughout the week ending 28 August, in keeping with the most recent figures from the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics. That is down from 138 deaths within the earlier week and can be the bottom variety of deaths from the illness recorded because the week ending 13 March.

A faculty in Nottinghamshire in England has been pressured to shut after its head instructor was admitted to hospital with covid-19. Pupils and employees at Trowell Major College have been instructed to remain residence and self-isolate till 21 September. Within the week since pupils returned to school rooms, coronavirus outbreaks have been reported at dozens of faculties in England and Wales. Throughout Liverpool, an estimated 200 pupils are self-isolating after optimistic covid-19 instances at 5 colleges, whereas 5 academics at a faculty in Suffolk have examined optimistic.Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide dying toll has handed 897,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 27.Three million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

What’s a vaccine and the way do they work?: The newest video in our new YouTube sequence, Science with Sam, explains how vaccines work by coaching your immune system to recognise viruses and micro organism. We additionally check out the unprecedented worldwide effort to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, and contemplate the challenges concerned in making, testing and distributing covid-19 vaccines.

People take coronavirus swab tests

Folks undertake a coronavirus take a look at at a walk-in take a look at facility in Bolton, UK, September 7, 2020

Phil Noble/REUTERS

7 September

The UK recorded its highest variety of each day new instances since Could on Sunday

There have been 2948 new coronavirus instances confirmed within the UK at present, down barely from the 2988 new instances confirmed on Sunday, which marked the best each day improve in instances recorded within the nation since 23 Could. “This is especially concerning for a Sunday when report numbers are generally lower than most other days of the week,” mentioned Paul Hunter on the College of East Anglia in a assertion. “Sadly it is beginning to look like we are moving into a period of exponential growth in the UK epidemic and if so we can expect further increases over coming weeks,” mentioned Hunter.

UK well being minister Matt Hancock yesterday expressed concern concerning the rise in instances, which he mentioned have been largely amongst folks beneath 25, particularly these between 17 and 21. “Of course younger people can pass on the disease to their grandparents and we do not want to see that,” Hancock mentioned yesterday. In France and Spain, rises in infections amongst youthful adults in August have been adopted by increased numbers of hospital admissions for older and extra susceptible folks in subsequent weeks. “It’s concerning because we’ve seen a rise in cases in France, in Spain, in some other countries across Europe, and nobody wants to see a second wave here,” Hancock mentioned at present.

Hancock’s issues about youthful folks transmitting the virus to extra susceptible teams are shared by the federal government’s scientific advisors. A report endorsed by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies printed final week warns there’s a vital danger that reopening universities may amplify native and nationwide transmission, including that “it is highly likely that there will be significant outbreaks.” Due to the upper proportion of asymptomatic instances amongst youthful age teams, instances and outbreaks are additionally more likely to be more durable to detect amongst pupil populations, says the report.

Different coronavirus information

India confirmed 90,632 new coronavirus instances in 24 hours, the nation’s well being ministry reported on Sunday, setting a brand new international document for the variety of infections recorded in a single nation in in the future. India has confirmed greater than 4.2 million instances because the pandemic started, the second-highest quantity for any nation after the US.

The Tokyo Olympic Video games will happen subsequent 12 months “with or without covid”, in keeping with John Coates, vice-president of the Worldwide Olympic Committee. Beforehand, the committee mentioned they might cancel the Video games scheduled for July 2021 if vital. 

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide dying toll has handed 889,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 27.1 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Retaining colleges secure: There may be vast settlement that colleges should reopen, and keep open. Reaching that is fraught with unknowns, nevertheless. Though evidently kids are much less more likely to transmit and get sick from the coronavirus, we don’t know why that’s the case. Ought to an outbreak happen, pupils’ households and college employees may nonetheless be in danger. With the intention to hold colleges secure, governments should be ready to close down different areas of society to maintain total ranges of virus transmission low.

A scientist pipettes liquid in a laboratory

Sputnik V, Gamaleya Nationwide Heart

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Four September

Russia’s vaccine candidate produced antibody and T-cell responses in early-stage trial

A preliminary trial of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine candidate Sputnik V suggests it’s secure and induces an immune response. The vaccine was accepted by Russian authorities final month, earlier than any information had been made public or a large-scale trial had begun. Within the preliminary trial, it was examined in a small group of 76 wholesome volunteers. All of the volunteers developed coronavirus-specific antibodies and T-cells, and none skilled critical antagonistic reactions, in keeping with outcomes printed in The Lancet at present. Nevertheless, it nonetheless isn’t clear whether or not the vaccine protects folks from turning into contaminated with the coronavirus or from getting ailing. This will likely be investigated by way of section III testing, which is already underway, and which is predicted to incorporate 40,000 folks throughout Russia. 

Some researchers are involved that vaccine builders could come beneath political strain to launch doses of the vaccine for administration to most of the people, earlier than section III testing is full. “A vaccine should not be used to short-cut the implementation of public health interventions that are already known to be safe and effective, until the vaccine itself has been shown to be safe and effective,” mentioned Eleanor Riley on the College of Edinburgh, in a assertion

The World Well being Group (WHO) at present mentioned it doesn’t anticipate widespread coronavirus vaccination till mid-2021. “We are not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year,” mentioned WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris at a briefing in Geneva. Harris mentioned section III trials might want to go on lengthy sufficient to find out how “truly protective” and secure a given vaccine candidate is.

Different coronavirus information

Preliminary findings from a research by Public Well being England discovered low charges of coronavirus an infection amongst kids and academics in pre-school and first college. Researchers took swabs from greater than 12,000 kids and academics throughout 131 major colleges in England in June and early July, and detected solely three instances of the virus. Ravindra Gupta on the College of Cambridge mentioned the findings will not be shocking, since restricted numbers of kids have been attending colleges in England throughout this time interval. “We must not be complacent and falsely reassured,” mentioned Gupta in a assertion. “From September there will be more children, more mixing, more crowding and over winter less time will be spent outdoors,” he mentioned, including that there will likely be much less likelihood to socially distance in colleges within the coming months than it was attainable to do in June.

New Zealand has recorded its first dying from covid-19 since 28 Could. A person in Auckland died after being admitted to hospital. His dying is the primary related to a latest outbreak within the metropolis, together with 152 instances.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 870,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 26.Three million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

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Social distancing: Laptop scientists have used a database of public cameras to maintain monitor of how effectively individuals are adhering to social distancing pointers.

A medical worker takes a swab to test for the coronavirus at a drive-in testing facility, as a colleague looks on

A medical employee takes a swab to check for the coronavirus at a drive-in testing facility

ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP through Getty Photos

Three September

New funding introduced for trials of fast new coronavirus assessments within the UK

The UK authorities at present introduced £500 million value of funding for trials of fast coronavirus assessments, together with just lately developed swab and saliva assessments that may be carried out in 90 minutes or much less. The trials will even embrace neighborhood pilots investigating the effectiveness of repeat testing in colleges and among the many basic inhabitants. “We are backing innovative new tests that are fast, accurate and easier to use and will maximise the impact and scale of testing, helping us to get back to a more normal way of life,” UK well being minister Matt Hancock mentioned in a assertion at present. 

Having faster assessments may assist pace up the identification of contaminated folks and the tracing of their shut contacts. However having a fast take a look at is “useless” if contacts can’t be recognized as a result of the tracing system is overwhelmed, Joshua Moon on the College of Sussex mentioned in a assertion. NHS Take a look at and Hint has been criticised for its repeated failure to succeed in a adequate proportion of the contacts of people that take a look at optimistic for the coronavirus in England. In response to the newest figures, 78.5 per cent of the contacts of individuals identified with the virus in England have been reached by NHS Take a look at and Hint between 28 Could and 26 August – under the goal of 80 per cent or extra really useful by authorities scientific advisors.

Different coronavirus information

The US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) has notified states to organize for the roll-out of a coronavirus vaccine inside two months. “Limited covid-19 vaccine doses may be available by early November 2020,” in keeping with CDC paperwork first printed by the New York Occasions.  And in a letter to governors on 27 August, first obtained by McClatchy, CDC director Robert Redfield wrote: “CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for [vaccine] distribution facilities and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020.” However public well being researchers are involved that the transfer is being pushed much less by proof and as an alternative by a political effort to hurry a vaccine earlier than the November election. Michael Osterholm on the College of Minnesota instructed the Related Press that “the public health community wants a safe and effective vaccine as much as anybody […] but the data have to be clear and compelling.”

Pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi will begin testing their protein-based coronavirus vaccine candidate in people for the primary time, to evaluate its security and talent to induce an immune response. If this and subsequent trials are profitable, the businesses have mentioned they may very well be requesting regulatory approval within the first half of subsequent 12 months. 

A surge in demand for coronavirus assessments has left the UK struggling to maintain up. Some folks with signs who tried to e-book coronavirus swab assessments on-line instructed the BBC they have been directed to testing centres greater than 100 miles away from their houses. This might act as a “big disincentive to being tested”, Paul Hunter on the College of East Anglia instructed the BBC, probably limiting efforts to include localised spikes in instances.

Coronavirus deaths

New Scientist Default Image

The worldwide dying toll has handed 864,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 26 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Pharmacist holding packs of dexamethasone anti-inflammatory steroid tablets.

Pharmacist holding packs of dexamethasone anti-inflammatory steroid tablets.

LEWIS HOUGHTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

2 September

Steroid medicine that scale back irritation discovered to avoid wasting lives from extreme covid-19

A gaggle of medication that scale back irritation have been confirmed to extend survival in folks with extreme covid-19. In a landmark research bringing collectively all of the trials finished thus far wanting on the impact of steroids on coronavirus, researchers within the World Well being Group (WHO) REACT working group analysed outcomes from seven randomised medical trials, which included 1703 critically ailing sufferers with covid-19. They in contrast the outcomes of those that had acquired one in every of three corticosteroid medicine dexamethasone, hydrocortisone or methylprednisolone with those that acquired commonplace care or a placebo. The researchers discovered that 32 per cent of those that acquired a corticosteroid remedy had died from the illness after 28 days, in comparison with 40 per cent of those that didn’t. 

“The evidence for benefit is strongest for dexamethasone,” Stephen Evans on the London College of Hygiene and Tropical Medication mentioned in a assertion. These new outcomes, printed at present within the Journal of the American Medical Affiliation, add weight to earlier findings from the RECOVERY trial, which discovered that dexamethasone diminished deaths in critically ailing covid-19 sufferers by a 3rd for sufferers on ventilators and by a fifth for these receiving oxygen – the primary drug proven to take action. “This analysis increases confidence that [dexamethasone] has a really worthwhile role in critically ill patients with covid-19,” Evans mentioned. On account of the research, the WHO is predicted to replace its steering on remedy. Within the UK, the drug has been in use for treating severely ailing covid-19 sufferers since June.

Different coronavirus information

The US is not going to participate in a world initiative to develop and distribute a future coronavirus vaccine, due to its affiliation with the WHO. Greater than 170 nations are taking part within the initiative, known as COVAX, which is working to make sure the equitable and truthful international allocation of a possible vaccine. “We will not be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China,” White Home spokesperson Judd Deere mentioned in an announcement. The US is because of withdraw from the WHO completely subsequent July – a transfer Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has vowed to reverse if he’s elected in November.

Coronavirus restrictions have been eased in components of Better Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire in England, with the exceptions of Bolton and Trafford in Better Manchester. The federal government at present introduced that restrictions on conferences between completely different households indoors in these areas, which have been additionally attributable to be lifted at present, would now stay in place attributable to rising an infection charges. Bolton at present has one of many highest charges of recent virus instances in England, with 59 instances per 100,000 folks within the week ending 29 August. Related restrictions have additionally been launched within the Glasgow space in Scotland, which has seen a rise in instances over the past two days.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 858,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 25.eight million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Colleges reopening: Colleges throughout England and the US are about to reopen their doorways to college students who’ve been at residence for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. What’s one of the best ways to maintain kids, and college employees and fogeys, secure?

Face coverings in colleges: Ought to kids returning to high school put on face coverings? Official recommendation on this has advanced throughout the pandemic.

Oxford vaccine: A big trial of a coronavirus vaccine developed by the College of Oxford has begun within the US. With comparable trials already beneath means within the UK and Brazil, hopes are rising that we may discover out if the vaccine works earlier than the top of the 12 months.

Pupils wash their hands

Pupils wash their arms as they arrive on the primary day again to high school at Charles Dickens Major College in London

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Photos

1 September

Pupils world wide return to colleges with new coronavirus measures in place

Thousands and thousands of pupils returned to high school at present for the primary time since coronavirus lockdowns have been launched, together with pupils in France, Poland, Russia, England and Wales in addition to in Wuhan in China, the place the coronavirus was first detected. Colleges in England and Wales have launched hygiene and social distancing measures in keeping with just lately up to date authorities steering, together with sporting of face coverings by pupils in communal areas and staggering of break instances for various 12 months teams. However a survey of 653 dad and mom in these areas by YouGov revealed that 17 per cent have been contemplating maintaining their kids out of college attributable to issues about coronavirus. 

UK colleges minister Nick Gibb at present urged dad and mom to ship their kids again to high school. Doing so would “help them catch up on the lost education they’ll inevitably have suffered in the lockdown period,” he instructed the BBC Breakfast present. A survey of hundreds of academics by the Nationwide Basis for Instructional Analysis means that kids in England are three months behind of their research following lockdown, and that the estimated studying hole between advantaged and deprived pupils has risen by 46 per cent. 98 per cent of the academics within the survey, which was performed on the finish of the final college 12 months in July, mentioned their pupils have been additional behind within the curriculum than they need to have been on the time.

Different coronavirus information

The UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson at present instructed MPs that folks within the UK have been returning to the workplace in “huge numbers”, though no proof has emerged to assist the declare. A spokesperson for Johnson instructed the Huffington Put up “people will be returning to the office after the summer break and also children going back to school gives parents some added flexibility.” The UK authorities’s marketing campaign to encourage folks to return to workplaces launched at present. However in a latest survey of greater than 6000 staff who’ve been working from residence as a result of pandemic, 9 out of 10 mentioned they want to proceed to take action.

Pharmaceutical big Astrazeneca has expanded its settlement with UK firm Oxford Biomedica to scale up manufacturing of its coronavirus vaccine candidate. Oxford Biomedica has agreed to provide tens of hundreds of thousands of doses of the vaccine candidate, which is being developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with the College of Oxford. The candidate just lately entered late-stage trials within the US, with 30,000 folks enrolled. In an announcement, AstraZeneca mentioned its international manufacturing capability was shut to three billion doses.

Though there was an improve in the usage of face coverings within the UK, solely 13 per cent of people that put on reusable face masks are sustaining them in a means that’s useful to stopping the unfold of coronavirus, in keeping with a ballot of 1944 folks by YouGov. The survey discovered that the usage of face coverings within the UK elevated from 38 per cent to 69 per cent from mid to late July. Nevertheless, solely 13 per cent of people that mentioned they put on washable face masks additionally mentioned they wash them after each use and at 60 levels C or increased.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 851,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 25.5 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Immune response: All through the coronavirus pandemic there have been fierce debates over the science – when to lock down, whether or not face coverings assist and whether or not kids are much less inclined, for instance. The newest row is over whether or not now we have been ignoring an important a part of our immune response to the virus: T-cells.

schoolchildren waiting

Kids wait outdoors the college gate in Johannesburg, South Africa.

KIM LUDBROOK/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

28 August

Kids are at “strikingly low” danger of getting severely ailing from coronavirus

Kids are a lot much less more likely to get extreme covid-19 than adults, and it is vitally uncommon for them to die from it, in keeping with a UK research that was printed within the BMJ at present. The research tracked 651 under-18s admitted to hospital with coronavirus between January and July in England, Scotland and Wales. Six kids died, 1 per cent of the overall, and so they had all had different extreme diseases earlier than the virus struck, a few of which have been themselves life-limiting. The authors say it is a “strikingly low” dying price in contrast with 27 per cent for all ages within the inhabitants as an entire over the identical time interval. The findings are in keeping with earlier comparable analysis. Younger folks make up 1 to 2 per cent of instances of covid-19 worldwide, though it’s not clear why they appear to be much less affected.

“There have been no deaths in otherwise healthy school-age children,” Calum Semple on the College of Liverpool instructed the BBC. “There is no direct harm from children going back to school,” he mentioned. The findings come as some UK colleges have been reopening for all their pupils for the primary time since lockdown in March, with most faculties in England attributable to be again by subsequent week.

Different coronavirus information

The UK has introduced plans for shortly immunising massive numbers of individuals if a coronavirus vaccine is developed earlier than winter. They contain permitting a wider vary of healthcare employees to offer photographs, akin to midwives, physiotherapists and dentists, in addition to pharmacists, who already administer flu vaccines. It additionally grants powers to approve any vaccine that’s confirmed secure and efficient earlier than the top of the 12 months to the Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Company. This physique will develop into answerable for approving all medicine and vaccines from the beginning of 2021 as soon as the UK’s Brexit transition interval is over.

Colleges reopening within the US have discovered Legionnaires’ illness micro organism of their water provide, which may trigger lethal pneumonia. The Legionella microbe was discovered within the water provide of 5 colleges in Ohio and 4 in Pennsylvania final week, and specialists say it may very well be in additional.

The World Well being Group is attempting to get extra nations to hitch Covax, its coronavirus vaccine allocation scheme, in keeping with paperwork seen by Reuters. The WHO plan would see nations pooling funds in order that if one vaccine succeeds, all members will get a good allocation. However the UN company has struggled to get sufficient richer nations on board. Nations together with the UK, the US and Japan have made their very own offers with producers growing vaccines, securing hundreds of thousands of doses for their very own residents. 

A number of massive US states have mentioned they won’t comply with official federal coverage to cease testing individuals who suppose they’ve been uncovered to the coronavirus however who do not need signs. In a rebuke to the brand new testing coverage introduced by the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), California, Texas, Florida, New York and 4 different states have mentioned they may proceed with the previous regime. The CDC’s transfer provoked claims that it was a politically motivated transfer to decrease the variety of folks testing optimistic forward of the 2020 election.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide dying toll has handed 832,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 24.5 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

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Web outage slows covid-19 contact tracing: Well being officers have been unable to hint and isolate the contacts of hundreds of people that examined optimistic for the coronavirus in England till as much as every week later.

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A lady walks previous chairs painted with the colors of the Tour de France leaders’ jerseys on the seafront in Good, France

ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP through Getty Photos

27 August

WHO warns Europe is coming into “tricky moment” as coronavirus instances climb

As some European nations have continued to report progress in covid-19 instances, governments are responding by tightening up restrictions and security measures. France reported 5429 each day instances at present, up from 3776 every week in the past, and Italy counted 1366 instances, its greatest each day improve in additional than three months and up towards 642 every week in the past. Day by day numbers in different main European nations are comparatively secure, with Spain at 7296, Germany at 1507 and the UK at 1048.

The French prime minister Jean Castex warned the nation had seen an “undeniable surge” of instances and the epidemic “could become exponential”, with instances rising as shortly as they did within the early days of the pandemic. The virus is now circulating in 20 of the nation’s 101 “departments”, up from two beforehand. With France’s replica quantity – the common variety of folks one contaminated individual will doubtless infect – now at 1.4, Castex mentioned masks will develop into obligatory in Paris. The 21-day Tour de France will nonetheless go forward this Saturday.

The German authorities at present rejected calls to loosen up restrictions, with a leaked plan saying non-public events will likely be restricted to 25 folks and the anticipated finish of a ban on massive public gatherings in October will as an alternative be prolonged to the top of the 12 months.

Hans Kluge on the World Well being Group mentioned at present that Europe is coming into a “tricky moment” as colleges reopen throughout the continent, although he harassed that colleges had not been a “main contributor” to the epidemic. Requested by New Scientist at a press convention at present if European nations’ responses to rising instances this week are commensurate with maintaining the virus in verify, Maria van Kerkhove on the WHO mentioned: “What we are seeing is countries applying different measures. What we are seeing are targeted, tailored approaches. Hopefully these are time-bound.” On measures akin to mandating face coverings and limiting the scale of gatherings, she mentioned: “All of these are different tools that may need to be applied. I think what we’re seeing is this calibration, of putting in efforts to suppress transmission to keep it at a low level while allowing societies to open up. This is one of the critical things we are all trying to figure out now.”

Different coronavirus information

The variety of sufferers getting coronary heart illness companies at hospitals within the US and UK dropped by greater than half throughout the nations’ lockdown, researchers have discovered. Writing within the journal Open Coronary heart, they warned cardiology departments should be ready for a “significant increase in workload” within the coming months consequently.

Within the UK, authorities statistics at present present that three months after the launch of England’s contact tracing scheme, it’s nonetheless falling in need of reaching 80 per cent of shut contacts of people that have examined optimistic for covid-19, the extent the federal government’s scientific advisers say is required. Three quarters of shut contacts have been reached between 13-19 August. Practically 300,000 folks have been reached because the system’s launch.

Individually, anybody within the UK on a low revenue who must self-isolate for 10 days and can’t do business from home will likely be eligible to get £13 a day from the federal government in areas affected by native outbreaks, well being secretary Matt Hancock mentioned at present.

A drug used to assist cats with one other coronavirus has been discovered to indicate promise in tackling the present coronavirus outbreak. The drug, GC376, and its dad or mum, GC373, are “strong drug candidates for the treatment of human coronavirus infections because they have already been successful in animals,” the staff write in Nature Communications. Right here’s the New Scientist information to all the most recent on covid-19 remedies.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide dying toll has handed 826,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 24 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Is the push to roll out a coronavirus vaccine undermining security? Some shortcuts are being taken within the race to get a coronavirus vaccine accepted, however there are additionally extra assets, openness and scrutiny than ever earlier than.

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Pupils in Glasgow, Scotland return to high school after lockdown on 12 August

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Photos

26 August

Face coverings will now be obligatory for secondary college pupils in areas of England beneath lockdown 

Secondary college pupils in areas of England beneath native lockdowns will now be required to put on face coverings in all communal areas besides school rooms, after the federal government reversed its steering final night time. The federal government has been beneath mounting strain from headteachers to undertake a stricter coverage on the use of face coverings forward of faculties reopening subsequent month. Inside coronavirus hotspots, “it probably does make sense in confined areas outside the classroom to use a face covering in the corridor and elsewhere,” UK prime minister Boris Johnson instructed journalists at present, citing just lately up to date World Well being Group pointers. The brand new rule gained’t apply to colleges in areas that aren’t beneath lockdown, though head academics in any secondary college could have the pliability to introduce their very own guidelines. In Wales, the choice on the usage of face coverings in colleges will likely be left to particular person colleges and councils.

Different coronavirus information

The US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) has been criticised for altering its pointers on coronavirus testing to say that some folks with out signs could not require a take a look at, even when they’ve been involved with somebody who examined optimistic for the virus. The change has not been defined by CDC leaders. Leana Wen, a health care provider and public well being professor at George Washington College, instructed CNN, “These are exactly the people who should be tested,” as they’re key to contact tracing.

Fewer than 40,000 instances have been confirmed within the US yesterday and each day new coronavirus instances there have been falling, after peaking on 22 July at about 70,000, although this can be attributable to inadequate testing. The whole variety of assessments administered has fallen from a mean of greater than 820,000 per day in mid-August to about 690,000 per day within the final week or so.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide dying toll has handed 820,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 23.9 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Vaccine race: Some shortcuts are being taken within the race to get a coronavirus vaccine accepted, however there are additionally extra assets, openness and scrutiny than ever earlier than.

Face coverings: Do you get indignant if you see somebody and not using a face protecting? They could have a very good cause to keep away from one, even when it isn’t apparent.

Man and two children wearing face masks walk towards school gate

Father and two kids strolling to high school sporting face masks

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25 August

UK authorities beneath strain to evaluation coverage on face coverings in colleges in England

There may be rising strain on the UK authorities to evaluation its coverage on the sporting of face coverings in colleges in England, after the Scottish authorities at present introduced that secondary college pupils should put on them in communal areas from Monday. Public Well being England’s present steering, issued in July, doesn’t suggest the usage of face coverings in colleges. The Affiliation of College and Faculty Leaders a headteachers’ union within the UK has criticised the shortage of readability across the guidelines on whether or not academics and pupils can put on face coverings in colleges in England. “The guidance is silent on what schools should do if staff or pupils want to wear face coverings,” the union’s basic secretary, Geoff Barton instructed the BBC. Throughout a go to to the south-west of England at present, UK prime minister Boris Johnson mentioned the federal government is continuous to take a look at the altering medical proof, including “if we need to change the advice then of course we will.” The Welsh authorities has mentioned it would evaluation its place on face coverings in colleges. 

Earlier this month, the World Well being Group issued new steering saying that kids above age 12 ought to put on face masks in keeping with really useful observe for adults within the place the place they stay. Latest outbreaks in Scotland “reinforce the idea that covid-19 transmission in schools is potentially substantial”, mentioned Rowland Kao on the College of Edinburgh in a assertion. “Should masks be adopted, their use must be accompanied by awareness of the need for good mask hygiene and regular handwashing.”

Different coronavirus information

Two extra sufferers have been reported to have been reinfected with the coronavirus, one within the Netherlands and one other in Belgium. Yesterday, researchers on the College of Hong Kong introduced that they’d documented the first case of coronavirus reinfection. “That someone would emerge with a reinfection, that doesn’t make me nervous,” Marion Koopmans at Erasmus College Medical Heart within the Netherlands instructed Dutch broadcaster NOS. “We have to see whether this happens more often.” 

Coronavirus instances in Spain are persevering with to surge, with 175.7 instances per 100,000 folks, in keeping with the most recent 14-day cumulative figures from the European Centre for Illness Prevention and Management. That is in comparison with 62.eight instances per 100,000 folks in France and 22.5 instances per 100,000 folks within the UK. Unions in Madrid final week warned that the first care system was “on the edge of collapse” attributable to lack of employees and capability for testing.

Folks dwelling within the Gaza Strip have been put beneath a lockdown after native authorities confirmed the primary regionally acquired instances of the coronavirus. A 48-hour lockdown went into impact on Monday night throughout the territory.

Bali in Indonesia is not going to reopen to international vacationers this 12 months attributable to issues about rising coronavirus instances.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide dying toll has handed 814,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 23.6 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Much less lethal in Europe: It’s turning into more and more clear that individuals are much less more likely to die in the event that they get covid-19 now in contrast with earlier within the pandemic, a minimum of in Europe, however the explanation why are nonetheless shrouded in uncertainty.

Plasma remedy: Blood plasma donated by individuals who have recovered from covid-19 will likely be used as a remedy for the an infection within the US. The US Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an emergency use authorisation for the remedy on 23 August, however the proof that it really works is missing.

First case of reinfection: A wholesome 33-year-old man is the primary individual confirmed to have caught the coronavirus twice, in keeping with unpublished analysis from the College of Hong Kong. As particulars of the case emerge, researchers say there may be nonetheless a lot we don’t know.

Person waits in line to receive covid-19 test kit

Hong Kong residents obtain free covid-19 take a look at kits

MIGUEL CANDELA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

24 August

Researchers say they’ve detected the primary case of coronavirus reinfection

Researchers on the College of Hong Kong say they’ve documented the first case of an individual being reinfected with the coronavirus. The staff analysed virus samples taken from a person when he first examined optimistic for the coronavirus in late March, and once more when he examined optimistic for a second time in mid-August. They found a number of variations within the sequences of the virus from the primary and second infections, suggesting the person had been contaminated with two separate strains of the virus, slightly than one long-lasting an infection. Their findings have been accepted for publication within the Medical Infectious Ailments journal.

What is going to the invention imply for the handfuls of vaccine candidates being developed to guard folks towards the coronavirus? It might point out that being contaminated with the virus doesn’t essentially shield folks towards future infections, mentioned David Pressure on the College of Exeter in an announcement. “Vaccinations work by simulating infection to the body, thereby allowing the body to develop antibodies. If antibodies don’t provide lasting protection, we will need to revert to a strategy of viral near-elimination in order to return to a more normal life,” says Pressure. However Brendan Wren on the London College of Hygiene and Tropical Medication, shelp it is very important take these outcomes into context: “This is a very rare example of reinfection and it should not negate the global drive to develop covid-19 vaccines.”

Different coronavirus information

The US Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) on Sunday issued emergency use authorisation for convalescent plasma as a remedy for extreme covid-19. That is drawn from individuals who have recovered from an infection with the coronavirus and accommodates antibodies to combat the virus. In a assertion the FDA mentioned that “the known and potential benefits of the [treatment] outweigh the known and potential risks.” Greater than 70,000 folks within the US have acquired convalescent plasma as a remedy for covid-19 since March, by way of a programme run by the Mayo Clinic. FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn mentioned research have discovered a 35 per cent enchancment in survival for covid-19 sufferers given the plasma.

At the least 17 employees and pupils at a faculty in Dundee have examined optimistic for the coronavirus lower than two weeks after pupils returned to colleges in Scotland. Kingspark college closed final Wednesday and pupils have been instructed to self-isolate till Three September. Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon at present introduced that secondary college pupils in Scotland could also be suggested to put on face coverings, in mild of recent steering from the World Well being Group. Colleges in England are attributable to reopen in September, however a spokesperson for the prime minister at present mentioned there are not any plans to evaluation the present steering in England for the sporting of face coverings in colleges.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide dying toll has handed 809,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 23.Four million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Australia’s second wave: Australia’s second wave of the coronavirus seems to be lastly subsiding, however the nation isn’t out of the woods but.

Vaccine expertise: Prevention is best than remedy, so we must always begin utilizing genetic methods to cease harmful animal ailments leaping to people, say Scott Nuismer and James Bull.

Commuters in front of a train station

Commuters arrive for work at Victoria Station in London

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21 August

Coronavirus R quantity in UK rises barely however infections look like levelling off

Within the UK, the newest estimate for the R quantity, the variety of folks every coronavirus case infects, has risen to between 0.9 and 1.1, up barely from 0.eight to 1.Zero the earlier week. Nevertheless, attributable to a time lag within the information used to mannequin the R quantity, that is extra consultant of the state of affairs two to a few weeks in the past. Estimates for the an infection progress charges vary between -Three and 1 per cent. This implies infections within the UK are levelling off on common, in a continuation of the pattern noticed over the previous couple of weeks. That is in keeping with the most recent outcomes from the random swab testing survey by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics, which suggests about 24,600 folks in England 1 in 2200 had the virus within the week ending 13 August, in comparison with 28,300 folks 1 in 1900 within the week ending 9 August

Native coronavirus restrictions in place in components of northern England will likely be lifted on Saturday. Folks from two completely different households in Wigan in Better Manchester and Rossendale and Darwen in Lancashire will now be allowed to satisfy in houses and gardens. However restrictions will stay in place in another components of Better Manchester and Lancashire, in addition to in components of West Yorkshire and in Leicester. Oldham, which had the best price of infections within the UK final week at 103.1 instances per 100,000 folks, has averted the introduction of restrictions however will likely be subjected to “a more targeted intervention”, in keeping with the Division of Well being and Social Care. 

Different coronavirus information

Travellers arriving within the UK from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago will likely be required to quarantine for 2 weeks upon arrival, beginning at 4.00 am on Saturday, UK transport minister Grant Shapps introduced yesterday. There are at present 47.2 instances per 100,000 folks in Croatia in comparison with 21.2 per 100,000 folks within the UK, in keeping with cumulative figures for the final 14 days from the European Centre for Illness Prevention and Management. These arriving within the UK from Portugal, which at present has a case price of 28.5 per 100,000 folks, will now not must self-isolate. Shapps mentioned it will be “too difficult” for the UK to undertake a extra focused strategy to the quarantine guidelines like Germany’s, affecting travellers from particular areas slightly than complete nations, as a result of problem in assessing an infection patterns abroad in adequate element.

Coronavirus instances have been reported amongst pupils or academics at 41 colleges in Germany’s capital Berlin, lower than two weeks after colleges reopened. Berlin was one of many first locations in Germany to reopen colleges after the summer time break. Colleges in Scotland reopened earlier this month and colleges in England will reopen in September. 

South Korea recorded its highest variety of each day new coronavirus instances since eight March, with 324 new instances confirmed on Thursday. There have been 732 instances linked to the brand new outbreak thus far, 56 of which have been linked to a single church in Seoul.

Lebanon has reintroduced a partial lockdown and an in a single day curfew in an try and suppress a latest spike in coronavirus infections within the aftermath of the Beirut port explosion. The nation recorded 605 new instances on Thursday, its highest each day case quantity thus far.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 794,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 22.7 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Coronavirus and flying: Is it secure to fly with the coronavirus nonetheless circulating? That relies upon partly on the place you’re. However whereas laborious proof is scarce, it seems the danger of being contaminated with covid-19 throughout a flight is comparatively low.

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Commuters at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof central practice station in Frankfurt, Germany.

Alex Kraus/Bloomberg through Getty Photos

20 August

WHO warns of “risk of resurgence” in Europe as Germany and Spain see instances surge

The danger of a resurgence of the coronavirus “has never been far away,” the World Well being Group (WHO) regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge mentioned throughout a briefing at present. Europe recorded 40,000 extra coronavirus instances within the first week of August, in comparison with the primary week of June, when instances have been at their lowest, and instances have steadily been rising within the area, partly as a result of leisure of public well being and social measures, he mentioned. Germany recorded its highest each day variety of new instances since April, with 1707 new instances confirmed on Wednesday. Spain recorded 3715 instances on the identical day, the best each day quantity there because the nation’s lockdown was lifted in late June. “Authorities have been easing some of the restrictions and people have been dropping their guard,” mentioned Kluge. 

Kluge thanked younger folks for the sacrifices they’ve made to guard themselves and others from covid-19 however expressed concern about folks aged between 15 and 24, who account for a rising variety of instances. “Low risk does not mean no risk. No one is invincible,” he mentioned.

Different coronavirus information

England noticed a 27 per cent improve within the variety of folks testing optimistic for coronavirus within the week ending 12 August in comparison with the earlier week, in keeping with the Division of Well being and Social Care. Its newest figures state that 6616 folks examined optimistic for the virus, while the variety of folks examined for the virus went down by 2 per cent over the identical time interval.

UK well being minister Matt Hancock yesterday instructed the BBC that folks within the UK ought to be capable to return to workplaces with out the necessity for sporting face masks, citing proof from NHS Take a look at and Hint that folks have been largely catching the virus in conferences between households slightly than in workplaces. However researchers, together with microbiologist Simon Clarke on the College of Studying, say there isn’t adequate information to rule out the danger of transmission inside workplaces and from workplaces to households. “The virus needs to be taken into homes by someone and they will have had to pick it up from somewhere else […] even a single workplace transmission could lead to multiple onward infections in a family, household or other setting.”

India reported a document each day improve in coronavirus instances for the nation at present, with greater than 69,652 instances confirmed, in keeping with its well being ministry.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 788,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 22.Four million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Rewilding the sky: Let’s take inspiration from the best way we intervene to assist degraded ecosystems recuperate and try to revive the ambiance again to full well being, profiting from the lull in human exercise beneath covid-19, writes Graham Lawton.

Medical worker takes swab sample in a drive-thru testing centre

A medical employee takes a swab pattern in a drive-thru testing centre

REUTERS/Carl Recine – RC2Z2I9ILO1A

19 August

Random swab testing survey to be expanded in England and to different UK nations

Coronavirus assessments will likely be carried out on extra folks within the UK to assist monitor the unfold of the virus, the federal government says. The random swab testing survey for coronavirus by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics, which began in Could, will likely be expanded to check extra folks in England in addition to folks in Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire, the UK’s well being minister Matt Hancock introduced at present. In England, the survey will develop from testing 28,000 folks each two weeks in the neighborhood, outdoors of hospitals and care houses, to testing 150,000 folks. Hancock mentioned that is a part of a wider effort to develop coronavirus testing within the UK.

Testing bigger numbers of individuals will permit smaller adjustments in an infection progress tendencies to be interpreted with extra reliability, says biologist and medical innovation researcher Michael Hopkins on the College of Sussex. It would present a “higher definition picture of the outbreak”, serving to to pinpoint at-risk teams inside the inhabitants, says Hopkins. Extra widespread testing may additionally assist seize individuals who have the virus however are asymptomatic. An evaluation by the ONS printed yesterday discovered that solely 28 per cent of individuals testing optimistic for the coronavirus in England reported having signs across the time they have been examined.

Different coronavirus information

Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison backtracked at present after saying that coronavirus vaccination can be obligatory in Australia. Presently there isn’t a coronavirus vaccine out there however there are 160 vaccine candidates being developed and 31 are in human trials. The Australian authorities just lately secured entry to the vaccine candidate being developed by the College of Oxford in partnership with pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, and has now mentioned that if the vaccine is accepted it would supply it to Australian residents without spending a dime. Clarifying his earlier feedback about making the vaccine obligatory, Morrison mentioned “we can’t hold someone down and make them take it”, including that vaccination can be “encouraged.”

Virtually 1200 fewer folks died this 12 months in New Zealand as much as 20 July in comparison with throughout the identical interval final 12 months, a uncommon pattern in mild of the worldwide pandemic. Some researchers speculate this can be attributable to a discount in deaths from different respiratory diseases, due to the introduction of measures to restrict the unfold of the coronavirus. In Could, neighbouring Australia reported decrease flu charges than regular, which was additionally attributed to coronavirus lockdown measures. New Zealand has recorded solely 22 covid-19 associated deaths

South Korea recorded its greatest each day improve in coronavirus instances since March yesterday, with 297 instances of the virus confirmed. Officers in Seoul have begun introducing restrictions on gatherings within the metropolis and its surrounding space, prohibiting indoor gatherings of greater than 50 folks and outside gatherings of greater than 100 folks.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 782,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 22.1 million, in keeping with the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

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Reaching herd immunity: At this time, some headlines have a good time the truth that many locations may need achieved herd immunity together with Britain and pockets of London, New York and Mumbai. However others warn that hundreds of thousands will die earlier than we get there. The true image is much messier, partly as a result of scientists don’t even agree on what herd immunity is, not to mention the way it could be achieved. So how will we all know when populations are protected towards the coronavirus?

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A employee holding a tray containing ampoules of “Sputnik V”, a covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by the Gamaleya Nationwide Analysis Heart for Epidemiology and Microbiology in Zelenograd, Russia

Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg through Getty Photos

18 August

“We need to prevent vaccine nationalism,” says WHO director-general

The World Well being Group (WHO) at present known as for an finish to “vaccine nationalism”, the hoarding of vaccine doses by some nations. “The fastest way to end this pandemic and to reopen economies is to start by protecting the highest risk populations everywhere,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus instructed a press briefing at present. “We need to prevent vaccine nationalism,” he mentioned. The precedence must be defending important staff and different at-risk teams, Ghebreyesus mentioned: “If we can work together, we can ensure that all essential workers are protected and proven treatments like dexamethasone are available to those who need them.” Though there at present isn’t a vaccine out there for covid-19 there are greater than 160 candidates in improvement, with 31 in human trials. A number of nations have already secured offers for doses of a few of these vaccine candidates. The UK has bought a minimum of 190 million doses, together with 100 million of the vaccine candidate being developed by the College of Oxford and pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca. 

Individually, Takeshi Kasai, WHO Western Pacific regional director, instructed the briefing that “the epidemic is changing.” He mentioned that “people in their 20s, 30s and 40s are increasingly driving the spread. Many are unaware they are infected.” This will increase the danger of the virus spreading to the extra susceptible,” he added.

Different coronavirus information

Public Well being England will likely be changed by a brand new public well being company, UK well being minister Matt Hancock confirmed at present. The brand new company, known as the Nationwide Institute for Well being Safety, will mix “the expertise of Public Health England with the enormous response capabilities of NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre,” Hancock mentioned on the Coverage Change suppose tank. Dido Harding, the present head of NHS Take a look at and Hint, will lead the brand new organisation initially, Hancock mentioned. NHS Take a look at and Hint has been criticised for repeatedly failing to succeed in the proportion of contacts of individuals identified with coronavirus that’s really useful by authorities scientific advisors 80 per cent or extra. Between 30 July and 5 August for example, the system solely managed to succeed in 74.2 per cent of the contacts of people that examined optimistic for the virus in England. 

The proportion of individuals within the UK who reported experiencing signs of melancholy was 20 per cent in June, up from 10 per cent in July final 12 months, in keeping with a survey by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics.

Voters from six US states filed a lawsuit towards the nation’s president Donald Trump and the postmaster basic Louis DeJoy yesterday over cuts to the US postal service forward of the upcoming basic election. Many states predict a surge in postal ballots this 12 months as a result of pandemic.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 775,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 21.9 million, in keeping with the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Travelling overseas safely: Many nations have seen a rise in coronavirus instances, making going overseas extra of a big gamble. So what are the completely different choices for managing the present dangers from worldwide journey, and which nations have gotten it proper?

Return of covid-19 to New Zealand: New Zealand has acted swiftly to include a brand new coronavirus outbreak after going 102 days virus-free, but it surely’s nonetheless unclear whether or not it will probably stamp it out once more.

Protestor holds placard reading 'Yo Gavin, I just wanna talk'A-level college students maintain a sit in protest on the Division for Schooling over the outcomes fiasco

17 August

A-level and GCSE grades in England to be based mostly on academics’ predictions as an alternative of controversial algorithm

Pupils in England will likely be given A-level and GCSE grades estimated by their academics slightly than by an algorithm that sparked protests after it was used to average the grades of A-level pupils final week. The algorithm, which was launched as a result of the pandemic disrupted the standard examination course of, resulted in about 280,000 A-level pupils in England seeing their scores drop by a minimum of one grade or extra in comparison with their predicted outcomes.These from deprived backgrounds have been worst-affected. UK schooling minister Gavin Williamson at present introduced that England’s exams regulator, Ofqual is scrapping the algorithm, bringing coverage in keeping with the UK’s different nations. Williamson and Ofqual chair, Roger Taylor apologised for the “distress” precipitated. 

Different coronavirus information

England’s well being company, Public Well being England, may very well be changed by a brand new physique particularly targeted on coping with pandemics. The brand new company can be modelled on Germany’s Robert Koch Institute and is predicted to be introduced this week by the UK’s well being minister, Matt Hancock, in keeping with a report within the Sunday Telegraph. The article additionally signifies that Hancock plans to merge the NHS Take a look at and Hint scheme with the pandemic response work of Public Well being England. “The reports in the media of a proposed ‘axing’ of Public Health England is of huge concern,” mentioned Amitava Banerjee, medical information scientist and heart specialist at College Faculty London. A significant restructuring of public well being operate, as the worldwide covid-19 emergency continues, will divert restricted assets away from public well being measures akin to testing and tracing, mentioned Banerjee. 

Voters within the US are involved about whether or not it’s nonetheless secure to submit their ballots, after the nation’s president Donald Trump final week mentioned he would block extra funding required for the postal service to deal with the anticipated surge in postal ballots this 12 months. Many US states have been attempting to make postal voting simpler in order that individuals are in a position to vote safely throughout the pandemic.

South Korea tightened social distancing guidelines on Sunday after 197 new coronavirus instances linked to a brand new outbreak have been confirmed on Saturday. “We’re facing a crisis where if the current spread isn’t controlled, it would bring an exponential rise in cases, which could in turn lead to the collapse of our medical system and enormous economic damage,” director of the Korea Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, Jeong Eun-kyeong mentioned throughout a briefing.

New Zealand’s basic election will likely be postponed by a month attributable to an on-going coronavirus outbreak in Auckland, the nation’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern introduced at present. 9 new instances within the new cluster have been confirmed at present, bringing the overall to 58 instances thus far.

A new take a look at for coronavirus-specific T-cells immune cells that assist the physique combat infections may assist researchers growing vaccine candidates. The take a look at is being developed by UK firm Indoor Biotechnologies, which says early trials discovered that some individuals who had the coronavirus however examined unfavorable for antibodies went on to check optimistic for T-cells. It nonetheless isn’t clear whether or not antibodies or T-cells present long-lasting immunity towards the virus and the way lengthy such immunity would possibly final.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 776,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 21.7 million, in keeping with the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

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Coronavirus and pets: Studies of pets being contaminated with the coronavirus have been rising, however how anxious ought to homeowners be? And will pets be spreading the virus between folks?

People sitting and waiting in a train station

Passengers wait subsequent to the Eurostar Terminal on the Gare du Nord practice station in Paris.

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14 August

UK guests to France may face restrictions after UK imposed quarantine on arrivals 

Travellers arriving in France from the UK may very well be required to quarantine for 2 weeks after arrival into the nation, Clément Beaune, France’s junior minister for European Affairs, instructed journalists on Thursday. His assertion got here after the UK added France and the Netherlands to its record of nations from which arriving travellers will likely be required to quarantine for 14 days. France at present has a coronavirus case price of 34.Zero folks per 100,000, in keeping with cumulative figures for the final 14 days from the European Centre for Illness Prevention and Management, with 41.6 instances per 100,000 folks within the Netherlands. The case price within the UK is at present 17.Three per 100,000 folks. The UK’s new guidelines are efficient from 4:00 BST on Saturday 15 August and also will apply for folks arriving within the UK from Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos and Aruba. Transport minister Grant Shapps mentioned that there are at present about 160,000 folks from the UK on holidays in France. 

Different coronavirus information

Restrictions affecting components of northern England and Leicester will keep in place attributable to on-going native outbreaks, the UK’s Division of Well being and Social Care introduced at present. Folks dwelling within the affected areas in Better Manchester, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester aren’t allowed to satisfy with folks from different households indoors or in non-public gardens. Oldham in Better Manchester has skilled the biggest week-on-week rise in instances in England, recording a price of 107.5 instances per 100,000 folks between 2 and eight August, up from 57.eight throughout the earlier week. The federal government says the restrictions will likely be reviewed once more subsequent week. 

Elsewhere in England, easing of restrictions permitting small marriage ceremony receptions, stay indoor performances and wonder remedies will go forward from Saturday after being delayed from the unique date of 1 August, UK prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed at present. Bowling alleys, casinos and play centres will even be allowed to reopen.

Regardless of some native outbreaks, coronavirus instances throughout England as an entire look like levelling off, in keeping with the most recent outcomes from a random swab testing survey by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS). The ONS estimates that 28,300 folks in England one in 1900 folks had the virus within the week ending 9 August, the identical because the earlier week.

New Zealand has prolonged a lockdown in Auckland by a minimum of 12 days, the nation’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern introduced at present. New Zealand had been freed from regionally transmitted coronavirus infections for 102 days till 4 folks from the identical family in Auckland examined optimistic for the virus earlier this week. The variety of instances within the new outbreak there has since risen to 29. 

North Korea has lifted a three-week lockdown within the border metropolis of Kaesong after a suspected coronavirus case there, state media reported at present. The World Well being Group final week mentioned that assessments on the suspected case a person who returned to North Korea after defecting had been inconclusive. North Korea has not reported every other instances.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 760,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 20.9 million, in keeping with the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Men move casket for a funeral

Employees of Guardian Funerals transport the casket of Covid-19 sufferer

Christopher Furlong/Getty Photos

13 August

UK authorities has modified the best way deaths from covid-19 are recorded in England

England’s covid-19 dying toll has been revised down by greater than 5000, after the UK authorities introduced a brand new UK-wide commonplace for recording deaths brought on by the coronavirus. The adjustments imply the elimination of 5377 deaths from Public Well being England’s official document, reducing the UK’s complete numbers of deaths from the virus from 46,706 to 41,329 as of 12 August. 

Individuals who recovered from covid-19 earlier than dying from different causes greater than a month later could have been included within the earlier dying toll as a result of means Public Well being England was accumulating its information. “It had become essentially useless for epidemiological monitoring,” mentioned epidemiologist Keith Neal on the College of Nottingham, UK. To any extent further England’s official dying toll will solely embrace individuals who died inside 28 days of testing optimistic for the virus, bringing it in keeping with the opposite nations within the UK. 

Different coronavirus information

The variety of sufferers admitted to hospitals in England for routine remedy was down by 67 per cent in June in comparison with the identical time final 12 months, in keeping with information from NHS England. The variety of folks visiting accident and emergency models was additionally down, by 30 per cent in comparison with final 12 months, as was the quantity going to their household physician with signs of most cancers and being urgently referred to a specialist , at 20 per cent decrease than final 12 months. The NHS England information additionally suggests extra folks waited longer than regular for deliberate procedures, akin to knee and hip operations. The Well being Basis charity instructed the BBC that this means the NHS remains to be “nowhere close to business as usual following the first outbreak of covid-19,” and warned that lengthy ready instances may result in deterioration in folks’s well being.

The coronavirus could have been circulating in New Zealand for weeks previous to the nation’s new outbreak, in keeping with New Zealand’s director-general of well being, Ashley Bloomfield. The primary individual within the new cluster of instances began exhibiting signs as early as 31 July, Bloomfield mentioned throughout a media briefing in Wellington, including that genome sequencing was underway on the unique 4 instances to attempt to hint the practice of transmission. Officers are additionally investigating the idea that the instances have been imported through refrigerated freight. New Zealand had been freed from regionally transmitted coronavirus infections for 102 days earlier than 4 folks from the identical family examined optimistic earlier this week. 

Authorities in two cities in China mentioned they discovered traces of the coronavirus on imported frozen meals and on meals packaging. Samples of hen wings imported to town of Shenzhen from Brazil and packaging of frozen shrimp imported from Ecuador to a metropolis in China’s Anhui province examined optimistic for the virus. It isn’t but clear when the merchandise grew to become contaminated however China is rising screening at its ports. The coronavirus can survive for as much as two years frozen at -20°C however is destroyed by heating to 70°C. The World Well being Group says that there isn’t at present any proof that folks can catch the virus from meals or meals packaging. 

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 750,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 20.6 million, in keeping with the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

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Sweden’s coronavirus technique: Sweden was one of many few European nations to not impose a obligatory lockdown. Its uncommon technique for tackling the coronavirus outbreak has each been hailed as successful, and condemned as a failure. So which is it?

Two women wearing face masks leaving a coronavirus testing tent

Two girl in Ripollet, Catalonia sporting face masks outdoors a coronavirus testing space.

PAU BARRENA/AFP through Getty Photos

12 August

Germany and Spain amongst a rising record of western European nations the place coronavirus instances are surging

Coronavirus instances are rising in Germany, Spain and different nations in western Europe, with Spain recording 1418 new infections on Tuesday, and Germany detecting 1200 instances within the final 24 hours, the nation’s greatest each day improve for 3 months. Within the Netherlands, each day new infections are again to about half the extent they have been at throughout the preliminary peak. Spain now has the best price of coronavirus infections within the area, with 94 instances per 100,000 folks, in comparison with 38 within the Netherlands, 30 in France, 18 within the UK and 14 in Germany, in keeping with cumulative figures for the final 14 days from the European Centre for Illness Prevention and Management

Germany’s well being minister, Jens Spahn, says folks coming back from vacation could be the cause for the rising variety of instances in Germany, because the UK and Germany proceed to warn folks towards non-essential journey to components of Spain. Any holidaymakers returning to the UK from Spain are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The record of nations from which all arrivals to the UK should quarantine could also be up to date this week to incorporate 14 extra nations, together with France.

Different coronavirus information

The World Well being Group (WHO) is in talks with Russian authorities about reviewing the coronavirus vaccine candidate whose approval to be used in Russia yesterday sparked criticism from researchers. Russia’s vaccine, Sputnik-V, will not be on the WHO’s record of six vaccines which have reached section III trials involving medical testing on massive teams of individuals. Russia’s well being minister Mikhail Murashko at present dismissed security issues expressed by international researchers concerning the fast approval of the vaccine as “groundless.”

Lebanon introduced its highest variety of each day new coronavirus instances yesterday because the begin of the pandemic, with greater than 300 new instances and 7 deaths from covid-19. Hospitals within the nation are overwhelmed following the aftermath of the explosion in Beirut final week. WHO spokesperson Tarik Jarasevic instructed a UN briefing yesterday that the displacement of individuals as a result of explosion dangers accelerating the unfold of the coronavirus there.

At the least 800 individuals are estimated to have died world wide on account of misinformation concerning the coronavirus throughout the first three months of this 12 months, a research has discovered. An additional 5800 individuals are estimated to have been admitted to hospital for a similar cause throughout this era. Nearly all of the deaths and hospitalisations have been attributable to folks consuming methanol and alcohol-based cleansing merchandise, incorrectly believing that they have been cures for covid-19, in keeping with the research, which was printed in The American Society of Tropical Medication and Hygiene.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide dying toll has handed 744,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 20.Four million, in keeping with the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

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Kids in danger: A staggering 115 million kids in India are susceptible to malnutrition, because the world’s largest college lunch programme has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Who ought to get vaccinated first?: It’s August 2021, and the second the world has been ready for has lastly arrived – a vaccine towards covid-19 has handed all of the assessments and is able to be rolled out. However this isn’t the top. There are greater than 7.5 billion folks in want of vaccination however maybe solely a billion doses out there within the first six months of manufacturing. Who will get one?

Staying related: Greeting neighbours or gossiping with a colleague can increase your well being and well-being, however coronavirus lockdowns are placing that in jeopardy. Right here’s how you can keep related.

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New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern introduced new lockdown measures in Auckland after 4 new coronavirus instances have been detected in the neighborhood

New Zealand authorities

11 August

New Zealand reimposes Auckland lockdown after first regionally transmitted instances for 102 days

New Zealand has reported its first new coronavirus instances regarded as acquired by way of native transmission, after going 102 days and not using a single reported case outdoors of managed isolation or quarantine. 4 folks inside one household in south Auckland examined optimistic for the virus, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern mentioned at present at a press briefing. New Zealand has been extensively praised for its aggressive response to the coronavirus, closing its borders to non-nationals and implementing one of many strictest lockdowns on the planet, all at a time when the nation had solely 205 instances and no deaths from covid-19. Testing is now being ramped up in Auckland and lockdown restrictions will likely be reimposed there from tomorrow. Everybody besides important staff will likely be requested to do business from home and colleges will likely be closed for most youngsters. Different public services, together with bars and eating places, will likely be required to shut and gatherings will likely be restricted to 10 folks. 

Different coronavirus information

Researchers have expressed issues concerning the approval of a coronavirus vaccine candidate in Russia at present. The virus has been accepted for widespread use, regardless of solely being examined in dozens of individuals. “There is no data on the Russian-led vaccine for the global health community to scrutinise,” mentioned Michael Head, public well being analysis fellow on the College of Southampton, UK. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin mentioned one in every of his daughters has already been inoculated, and claimed it was secure. 

The variety of contact tracers working for NHS Take a look at and Hint will likely be diminished by 6000 in England by the top of this month, the UK authorities has introduced. The remaining 12,000 contact tracers will work extra carefully with native public well being authorities to assist with contact tracing inside communities. Between 16 and 22 July, NHS Take a look at and Hint solely managed to succeed in 75 per cent of the contacts of people that examined optimistic for the coronavirus in England. Dido Harding, head of NHS Take a look at and Hint mentioned that having a extra localised strategy will guarantee extra contacts of coronavirus instances inside communities might be reached.

Australia’s distant Northern Territory will hold its borders shut to coronavirus-affected states till a minimum of 2022, in keeping with native officers. Folks arriving from affected states will likely be required to quarantine at a lodge for 14 days at their very own expense.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 737,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 20.1 million, in keeping with the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Query concerning the UK’s new fast assessments: Two 90-minute assessments for the coronavirus will likely be rolled out by the UK authorities within the coming weeks – and whereas each are promising, neither has publicly out there information to assist its use.

Widespread chilly virus vaccine: A vaccine that protects towards one of many primary widespread chilly viruses – respiratory syncytial virus – has been proven to be secure and efficient in a medical trial and may very well be out there by 2024.

Man wearing mask and hat in snow

A person seen in a avenue throughout a snowfall within the early phases of the pandemic.

Sergei Fadeichev/TASS through Getty Photos

10 August

No indication there may be seasonality with the coronavirus, says WHO 

There may be no indication that the coronavirus is seasonal and it may bounce again any time, World Well being Group (WHO) leaders mentioned at a press briefing at present. Proof suggests the coronavirus is in contrast to flu, which tends to spike in autumn and winter. “If you take pressure off the virus, the virus will bounce back. That’s what we will say to countries in Europe – keep the pressure on,” mentioned Mike Ryan, WHO government director of the emergencies program. Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead of WHO’s covid-19 response, mentioned that almost all of the world’s inhabitants stays inclined to the virus, and WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasised the significance of nations taking focused motion to deal with native outbreaks by way of strategies like localised lockdowns employed in Leicester, UK. 

Different coronavirus information

The WHO says it has solely acquired a fraction of the funding it wants for an initiative geared toward growing and distributing medicine, vaccines and different instruments to assist deal with the pandemic. “While we’re grateful for those that have made contributions, we’re only 10 per cent of the way to funding the billions required to realise the promise of the ACT [Access to Covid-19 Tools] accelerator,” Tedros mentioned throughout a press briefing at present.

“Greece has formally entered a second wave of the epidemic,” Gkikas Magiorkinis, an epidemiologist at Athens College and one of many scientists advising the Greek authorities, instructed journalists at present. This comes after Greece recorded its highest quantity of each day new coronavirus instances because the pandemic started, with 203 confirmed on Sunday.

In France, it’s now obligatory to put on a face masks outside in sure crowded areas inside Paris. Well being officers mentioned the speed of optimistic coronavirus assessments was 2.Four per cent within the Paris space in comparison with the common of 1.6 per cent for folks examined within the nation as an entire. Different cities, together with Good and Lille, have additionally launched new guidelines making face masks obligatory in particular outside areas.

It has been greater than 100 days since New Zealand final detected a regionally acquired coronavirus case. As of at present, the nation has solely 21 lively infections, all of that are being managed in isolation services. Authorities are nonetheless testing hundreds of individuals every day. “We need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases,” mentioned New Zealand’s director-general of well being Ashley Bloomfield on Sunday. 

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 731,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 19.9 million, in keeping with the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.

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NHS recommendation board selling Take a look at and Hint in Birmingham metropolis centre within the UK

Mike Kemp/In PIctures through Getty Photos

7 August

The variety of folks estimated to have the virus in England could also be levelling off

The variety of folks estimated to have covid-19 in England seems to be levelling off, after rising barely in July, in keeping with a random swab testing survey of just about 120,000 folks by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS). The ONS estimates that 28,300 folks outdoors of hospitals and care houses in England had the virus within the week ending 2 August about one in each 1900 folks. That is down barely from the earlier week’s estimate of 35,700. But it surely isn’t clear how an infection charges could differ throughout completely different areas. In Wales, which was included within the survey for the primary time, an estimated 1400 folks had covid-19 within the week ending 2 August, equal to at least one in each 2200 folks.

The proportion of individuals within the UK who say they’ve been sporting face coverings has gone up for the second week in a row, in keeping with a separate ONS survey. Within the week ending 2 August, 96 per cent of individuals mentioned they’d worn a face protecting outdoors their residence, up from 84 per cent within the earlier week and 71 per cent the week earlier than. The survey additionally discovered that 72 per cent of individuals mentioned they’d socialised with others in individual, simply over half of whom mentioned they’d at all times maintained social distancing. 

Different coronavirus information

Coronavirus vaccine trials may very well be undermined by the lack of range amongst members, in keeping with researchers. Within the latest trial of a coronavirus vaccine candidate being developed by the College of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca, fewer than 1 per cent of the roughly 1000 members have been black and solely about 5 per cent have been Asian, in comparison with 91 per cent of members who have been white. In a smaller trial of a vaccine candidate being developed by US firm Moderna, 40 out of 45 members have been white. “Diversity is important to ensure pockets of people don’t have adverse side-effects,” Oluwadamilola Fayanju, a surgeon and researcher at Duke College instructed the Guardian.

The town of Preston in England is being positioned beneath stricter native lockdown measures following an increase in coronavirus instances. From midnight on 7 August residents from completely different households aren’t allowed to satisfy indoors or in non-public gardens. These new measures are in keeping with these at present in place in east Lancashire, Better Manchester and components of West Yorkshire.

Greater than a million folks in nations throughout Africa have been identified with the coronavirus, though well being officers say that is definitely an underestimate. “We haven’t seen the peak in Africa yet,” Mary Stephen, technical officer on the World Well being Group’s regional workplace for Africa instructed Al Jazeera. Though the vast majority of instances confirmed thus far are in South Africa, it’s also performing considerably extra assessments than different African nations.

India has recorded its highest quantity of each day new coronavirus instances because the begin of the pandemic, with 62,538 instances confirmed on Friday. There have been greater than 2 million instances recorded within the nation because the pandemic started.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide dying toll has handed 715,000. The variety of confirmed instances is greater than 19.1 million, in keeping with the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins College, although the true variety of instances will likely be a lot increased.


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