UK coronavirus LIVE: Boris Johnson calls getting all schools back 'a moral duty' as Labour urges targeted support for businesses

Boris Johnson would close pubs, restaurants and shops ahead of schools in the event of severe coronavirus outbreaks, according to a Number 10 source.

It comes as the PM said getting all children back in school was a “moral duty”. Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Johnson added: “Keeping our schools closed a moment longer than absolutely necessary is socially intolerable, economically unsustainable and morally indefensible.”

Meanwhile new figures suggest that nearly 1,800 UK companies told the Government of plans to cut 20 or more jobs in June as the coronavirus damaged the economy. Labour is calling on the Government to halt a “jobs bonfire” by helping out industries and businesses still shut down by the pandemic.

It comes as a new study by King’s College London suggests that just over half the UK population would be certain or very likely to have a vaccine against coronavirus – with “damaging” misperceptions influencing people’s intentions, according to the authors.

Follow our live updates here…

Live Updates

2020-08-09T07:15:42.113Z

Brazil hits 100,000 coronavirus-linked deaths, second only to the US

Brazil has passed a grim milestone of 100,000 deaths related to Covid-19 – with the country showing no signs of halting the disease five months after its first reported case.

The nation of 210 million people has been reporting an average of more than 1,000 daily deaths from the pandemic since late May, and recorded 905 more in the 24 hours to Saturday night, edging its toll into six figures.

The health ministry said there had been a total of 3,012,412 confirmed infections, while Brazil’s death toll sits second only to the United States.

And as in many countries, experts believe Brazil’s numbers are severe undercounts due to insufficient testing.

2020-08-09T07:03:31.510Z

Good morning and welcome to our live coronavirus coverage. Check back here throughout the day for all the latest updates.

2020-08-08T22:42:58.760Z

That’s all from our live blog for tonight, thank you for following!

Advertisement

2020-08-08T21:06:31.626Z

Trump signs executive order releasing further coronavirus relief funding

President Donald Trump signed executive orders on Saturday providing additional financial support to Americans hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, after his negotiators failed to reach a deal with Congress.

Trump said the orders would provide an extra $400 per week to the tens of millions thrown out of work during a health crisis that has killed more than 160,000 Americans, less than the $600 per week level passed earlier in the year.

Some of the measures were likely to face legal challenges, as the U.S. Constitution gives Congress authority over federal spending.

“This is the money they need, this is the money they want, this gives them an incentive to go back to work,” Trump said of the lower enhanced unemployment payments.

2020-08-08T20:31:35.590Z

India hits 2 million cases

India hit another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday as authorities reported more than two million cases.

The country has the third-highest caseload in the world after the United States and Brazil, but its fatality rate of about 2% is far lower than the other hardest-hit countries.

The rate in the US is 3.3% and 3.4% in Brazil, Johns Hopkins University figures showed.

The health ministry said 62,585 cases were reported in the past 24 hours on Friday, raising the nation’s total to 2,027,074. The number of deaths with those suffering from Covid-19 stood at 41,585.

2020-08-08T19:25:14.013Z

Havana back in lockdown as cases rise

Cuba placed Havana back on a strict lockdown on Saturday following a rebound in coronavirus cases, ordering restaurants, bars and pools once more to close, suspending public transportation and banning access to the beach.

Cuba, which has been hailed as a rare success story in Latin America for its textbook handling and containment of its coronavirus outbreak, had eased lockdown restrictions last month after cases dwindled to but a handful per day.

But they have risen back to April levels over the past two weeks, with the health ministry reporting 59 cases on Saturday and saying the situation could become “uncontrollable” if authorities did not act fast.

“We are witnessing a new epidemiological outbreak that puts our entire population at risk,” Cuban Health Minister Jose Angel Portal said during a daily coronavirus briefing on Saturday.

Advertisement

2020-08-08T19:16:31.056Z

Cases rise in Arizona

 Arizona health officials on Saturday reported 1,054 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 56 more deaths.

The figures from the Department of Health Services increased the state’s total confirmed Covid-19 cases to nearly 186,000 and the reported death toll to 4,137. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.

The hospitalisations for coronavirus and use of intensive care beds and ventilators have been declining since mid-July.

2020-08-08T18:45:56.733Z

Cases continue to soar in Aberdeen

A coronavirus cluster in Aberdeen has risen to 110 cases, with the number of people required to self-isolate doubling overnight.

A total of 39 new cases have been detected in the NHS Grampian area in the last 24 hours, though the health board said it could not confirm how many were linked to the outbreak.

It said 643 close contacts of detected cases in the cluster have been identified, and will be required to self-isolate.

This is up on the 313 close contacts reported on Friday.

2020-08-08T18:31:15.476Z

Trump plans to go at relief fund alone after talks with Democrats break down

President Donald Trump on Saturday plans to sign an executive order intended to provide economic relief to Americans hurt by the coronavirus pandemic after the White House failed to reach a deal with Congress, a White House source said.

“Amid congressional inaction, POTUS will be taking action to help Americans in need,” the official told Reuters. Trump is due to give a news conference at his New Jersey golf club at 3:30 p.m. ET (1930 GMT).

Nearly two weeks of talks between White House officials and congressional Democrats ended on Friday with the two sides still about $2 trillion apart on next steps to address the heavy human and economic toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on the United States, where it has killed more than 160,000 people.

A $600 per week increase in unemployment payments that has served as a lifeline to the tens of millions of Americans who lost their jobs in the pandemic expired at the end of July. Democrats wanted to extend the payments at that amount, while Republicans wanted to cut them, saying they served as a disincentive to return to work.

Trump on Friday night said he would sign executive orders to extend enhanced unemployment benefits, unilaterally suspend payroll taxes, suspend student loan repayments and rental housing evictions in the coming days.

Advertisement

2020-08-08T18:17:02.360Z

Face masks mandatory along the banks of the River Seine

Face masks must be worn outdoors in Paris along the banks of the River Seine and along the Canal St Martin as well as in open-air markets and other places where social distancing is difficult, the Paris prefecture said on Saturday.

2020-08-08T17:48:32.150Z

St Tropez makes masks mandatory

he glamorous French Riviera resort of Saint-Tropez began requiring face masks outdoors Saturday, threatening to sober the mood in a place renowned for high-end, free-wheeling summer beach parties.

More French cities and towns, especially in tourist areas, are imposing mask requirements as the country’s coronavirus infections creep up again. More than 2,000 new infections were reported on Friday — the country’s biggest single-day rise since May.

The uptick corresponds with France’s beloved summer holidays, when vacationers head off in droves, often to the seashore, for festive gatherings with family and friends.

As of Saturday, wearing a mask outdoors was also compulsory in some crowded parts of Marseille, France’s second-largest city. Paris is expected to announce similar measures in the coming days. France has already made mask-wearing mandatory in all indoor public spaces nationwide.

In Saint-Tropez’s famed resort, a top spot for the international jet set, several restaurants had to reclose for two weeks after some staff tested positive for the virus.
 

2020-08-08T17:47:41.423Z

Covid-19 cases spike in Ireland

More than 170 new positive cases of coronavirus have been notified in Ireland’s latest daily update.

One further death with Covid-19 and 174 new cases were reported by the Department of Health on Saturday.

It comes as new restrictions are in force for those living in counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly – aimed at stemming the spread of coronavirus.

Of the latest cases, the majority (110) are located in Kildare, followed by Dublin (seven), Cork (seven), Offaly (seven) and six in Meath.

Advertisement

2020-08-08T16:53:47.770Z

One more Covid-19 death in Ireland

One further person with coronavirus in Ireland has died, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team – bringing the national total to 1,772.

In addition, 174 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been notified, bringing the total number of Irish infections to 26,644.

2020-08-08T16:27:52.263Z

Pubs are ‘perfect storm’ for Covid-19

Pubs create the “perfect storm” for spreading coronavirus and carry more risk than planes, according to academics.

Punters drinking together in an indoor pub are potentially subjecting themselves to a build-up of infected droplets caused by poor ventilation and people having continuous conversations, often speaking more loudly to be heard over the din of a noisy bar, the experts warn.

The comments come after households mixing in pubs and homes was blamed for a rise in Covid-19 cases in Preston, resulting in it being the latest area to have lockdown restrictions reimposed.

Aberdeen was also placed in a fresh lockdown after an outbreak of cases linked to a number of bars emerged.

2020-08-08T16:01:09.646Z

Three Irish counties go into local lockdown

The Garda have urged those living in Kildare, Laois and Offaly to avoid making unnecessary journeys.

The plea comes as new restrictions come into force in the midlands counties aimed at stemming the spread of coronavirus.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin announced the measures following a surge of Covid-19 cases, describing Covid-19 as remaining a “deep and urgent threat”.

As the new measures came into force at midnight, the Garda recommenced Operation Fanacht in Kildare, Laois and Offaly, focused on supporting public compliance.

Officers are set to be highly visible, manning checkpoints and a permanent presence on relevant motorways and associated off ramps.

Advertisement

2020-08-08T14:57:12.003Z

Care home residents in Scotland soon to be allowed more visitors

Care home residents will soon be able to receive more outdoor visitors, despite 60 new cases of coronavirus being recorded in Scotland in the last 24 hours.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman confirmed plans for up to three outdoor visitors from no more than two households from Monday.

It is the first change in visiting rules since July 3, when it was announced one designated visitor would be allowed outdoors.

But care homes will only be able to allow a visit at all if the facility has been Covid-free during the pandemic, or affected residents have fully recovered and no residents or staff have had symptoms for 28 days.

But restarting indoor visiting is still not advised, Ms Freeman said.

She said: “This has been, and continues to be, a very challenging time for care home residents, their families and staff.

“Care homes are first and foremost people’s homes and we are committed to reintroducing measures that allow residents to connect with their family and friends. But this must be done safely and with precautions.

“It is important that we continue to monitor this situation and that all changes within care homes happen incrementally and with real caution to protect residents and staff.”

2020-08-08T14:24:28.376Z

750,000 coronavirus tests recalled amid safety concerns

Up to 750,000 coronavirus tests have been recalled after concerns over safety, the Department of Health has said.

The UK’s medicines and healthcare products regulator told producer Randox to recall the kits which were sent out to both care homes and individuals.

But the Government said this was a precautionary measure, with the testing kits posing a low safety risk.

The results of Randox tests are still valid, the Department of Health added.

2020-08-08T13:52:05.343Z

15 more people have died in English hospitals

A further 15 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,401, NHS England said on Saturday.

The patients were aged between 67 and 100 years old and all had known underlying health conditions apart from one 91-year-old.

Twelve deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.

The region with the highest number of deaths was the North East & Yorkshire with eight.

There were no deaths reported in the North West, where local lockdown measures in place in Greater Manchester and parts of east Lancashire were extended on Friday to include Preston.

Advertisement

2020-08-08T13:28:22.400Z

Look out for vulnerable people spending more time at home during heatwave, say Met Office and Public Health England 

The Met Office has issued a level three heat-health warning for the South and South East, meaning the public should look out for others, particularly the elderly, children and people in poor health.

Ishani Kar-Purkayastha, consultant in public health at Public Health England, said: “This summer, many of us are spending more time at home due to Covid-19.

“A lot of homes can overheat, so it’s important we continue to check on older people and those with underlying health conditions, particularly if they’re living alone and may be socially isolated.”

2020-08-08T13:11:13.866Z

NHS Scotland workers hold silence to remember colleagues who died during coronavirus pandemic

Hundreds of NHS Scotland staff fell silent to remember colleagues lost during the coronavirus pandemic at a protest over pay in Glasgow city centre.

The demonstration was just one of dozens planned across the country in response to a UK Government pay rise announcement which campaigners say excludes “a massive number of healthcare workers”.

Many of those at the demonstration in Glasgow Green held banners and signs along with two-metre lengths of blue ribbon to emphasise social distancing, with action also taking place in Edinburgh on Saturday morning.

Signs read “Enough empty praise, geez a fair raise”, “Covid hero pay rise zero”, and “Who saved you Boris?”.

Melanie Gale, a senior charge nurse who ran a Covid-positive ward with an “under-staffed hard-working team”, helped organise the event.

She told the PA news agency: “It was scary times not knowing what was happening – we were in the middle of a pandemic and our NHS workers stood on that front line and gave their all.”

Read more here

Evening Standard – News