A second wave of coronavirus is “certainly coming” – but it could be different from the first and target young people this time, experts have warned.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has predominantly affected elderly people, those with underlying health conditions and ethnic minority groups so far, scientists fear young people could be hit next – as was the case with the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

Boris Johnson has warned Britons booking holidays that quarantine restrictions could be imposed on more European countries if a “second wave” of coronavirus hits the continent. The prime minister faces a diplomatic row with Spain after warning against all but essential travel to the country and its resort islands, as well as insisting travellers arriving in the UK from there spend two weeks in quarantine.

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“I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic,” the prime minister said.​ “It’s vital that when people are coming back from abroad, if they are coming back from a place where I’m afraid there is another outbreak, they must go into quarantine. That’s why we have taken the action that we have and we will continue, throughout the summer, to take such action where it is necessary.”

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2020-07-29T20:37:57.000Z

Glasgow NHS trust confirms cluster of cases linked to businesses including pharmacy

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has confirmed a cluster of coronavirus cases linked to several businesses including a pharmacy in Inverclyde.

First Minster Nicola Sturgeon revealed the cluster at her daily briefing in Edinburgh ahead of a meeting of an incident management team.

In a statement later on Wednesday, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said a cluster of eight positive Covid-19 cases had been identified and a “thorough investigation” was under way.

“Contact tracing of individuals has identified a number of businesses across Greater Glasgow and Clyde including a pharmacy in Inverclyde as being linked to the cases,” it said.

“An NHSGGC-led Incident Management Team is working with Scottish Government, Health Protection Scotland (HPS) and local environmental health teams to provide advice and support.

“None of the cases are experiencing anything but mild symptoms.”

2020-07-29T20:11:57.000Z

US death toll exceeds 150,000, nearing UK for per capita fatalities

US deaths from the novel coronavirus have surpassed 150,000, a number higher than in any other country and nearly a quarter of the world’s total, according to a Reuters tally.

Of the 20 countries with the biggest outbreaks, the United States ranks sixth in deaths per capita, at 4.5 fatalities per 10,000 people.

Only the UK, Spain, Italy, Peru and Chile have a higher per capita rate, the tally shows, with US deaths making up nearly 23 per cent of the global total of just over 661,000.

2020-07-29T19:54:57.000Z

People around the world say ‘up yours corona’ from Piccadilly Circus

Greg James and BBC Radio 1’s video featuring people from around the world telling coronavirus “up yours” has played on the big screens in Piccadilly Circus.

The radio presenter, 34, recruited 193 people in 193 countries for his Up Yours Corona campaign.

A selection of the messages were played at Piccadilly Circus on Wednesday and also on Radio 1. The videos featured people delivering the line in their native languages.

The campaign was prompted by a listener called Esther who vented her frustrations about lockdown and told coronavirus “up yours” while live on James’ breakfast show.

2020-07-29T19:37:57.000Z

Ministers told to ‘release Leicester from its chains’

Ministers have faced appeals to “release Leicester from its chains” by easing its local lockdown.

Peers heard the plea was from Lord Bach, the police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Leicestershire, who was unable to attend a House of Lords debate on regulations related to the lockdown in the area.

Lord Bach highlighted a decrease in positive Covid-19 tests, adding: “The seven-day infection rate has fallen dramatically at a time when huge amounts of testing are taking place.

“It’s time to release Leicester from its chains.

“People and businesses who have followed the lockdown to the letter are entitled to their freedom.

“It’s now up to HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) to do the right thing by Leicester later this week.”

A decision is expected on Thursday over the lockdown, which was partially eased earlier this month.

2020-07-29T19:20:57.000Z

Death toll rising in South Carolina as two month case spike levels off

A nearly two-month spike in coronavirus cases in South Carolina has levelled off – but its death toll is catching up.

South Carolina reported 1,573 new coronavirus cases today and confirmed 52 more deaths.

Nearly 84,000 people have tested positive for the virus during the pandemic and the death toll has topped 1,500, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

It says 60 more likely coronavirus deaths are under investigation.

2020-07-29T19:03:57.000Z

Shapps – exclusion of Spanish islands from quarantine measures had been considered

Mr Shapps added the exclusion of certain Spanish islands from the measures taken by the UK Government had been considered.

The transport secretary said: “We did have a look at whether certain islands could be included (on the list) and not others.

“Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, was very clear with us that he was concerned about the data, we’d seen how the data had come very fast forward in Spain in 20, 48 hours, it had gone up by 75%.

“It had doubled in just a few days. He was concerned to see what was happening in the islands and that’s why we make it a whole-country approach in these things.”

2020-07-29T18:49:57.000Z

Grant Shapps – government’s action on Spain was ‘essential’

Grant Shapps has said it was “essential” that the UK Government acted when it did to require that travellers from Spain to the UK isolate for 14 days.

The minister was among those caught out by the decision to implement a quarantine period for those travelling to the country.

He said: “I very much understand (the frustrations), it obviously had an impact on me and my family and I’m very, very sorry and upset for the thousands of Brits who are either away or perhaps even haven’t managed to go away this summer as well to Spain.

“But it’s absolutely essential we acted when we did, it’s why all four nations of the United Kingdom acted together and the figures since have turned out to justify that action.

“We have to, I think, have a clear message and make sure that we act by adding entire countries to that list for the time being.”

2020-07-29T18:29:57.000Z

Zuckerberg defends Twitter’s decision to ban Trump Jr over ‘harmful’ Covid post

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has defended Twitter’s decision to suspend Donald Trump’s Jr’s account after he posted “harmful” information about countering the coronavirus.

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2020-07-29T18:14:57.000Z

National Trust to make 1,200 staff redundant

The National Trust is planning to make 1,200 staff redundant as it looks to save £100 million in the wake of coronavirus.

The conservation and heritage charity, which has 5.6 million members, said it had lost almost £200m as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, which shut all of its houses, gardens, car parks, shops and cafes, and stopped holidays and events.

The trust said it had already saved millions of pounds through furloughing staff, drawing on reserves, borrowing and stopping or deferring projects, but still needs to make savings to keep it sustainable in the long term.

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2020-07-29T17:56:57.000Z

Health leaders express ‘very high’ levels of concern over second spike risks

Health leaders have “very high” levels of concern about the possibility of a second spike in coronavirus cases, one expert has said.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said that the combination of a spike of cases with “exhausted staff” while the NHS tries to rebuild services could prove “challenging”.

He told the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus: “I would say in relation to the second spike issue or something coming, the levels of concern among our members – the people who are leading NHS trusts, who are leading in primary care and all levels in the systems – is very high.

“There’s real concern about winter and the compounding factors there, but also about an earlier spike.”

2020-07-29T17:39:57.000Z

Hundreds tested after outbreak at Staffordshire pub

“Hundreds” of people have turned up to a town’s Covid-19 walk-in centre after pub-goers were urged to get tested following the confirmation of 10 positive cases.

Health chiefs asked people who had been working or drinking at the Crown & Anchor in Stone, Staffordshire, on July 16, 17, and 18 to get tested, after an outbreak linked to the premises.

One individual who tested positive from the pub then attended a private social gathering, further spreading the virus, Staffordshire County Council said.

The pub said on Facebook that it had since taken the decision to temporarily close “due to the overwhelming amount of people visiting”.

The post added that the pub was reviewing its risk assessment “to deal with the difficulty that we faced with social distancing”, but was planning to reopen this weekend.

2020-07-29T17:21:57.000Z

Trump defends doctor who claimed medicine is made from alien DNA and walks out of briefing mid question

Donald Trump doubled down on his decision to retweet a video of Houston doctor Stella Immanuel in which Ms Immanuel touts the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating patients of Covid-19 and dismisses masks as unnecessary in stopping its spread.

In the past, Ms Immanuel has made several dubious medical claims, including the harmful effects of having sexual relations with demons and witches while dreaming, the alleged use of alien DNA in various medicines, and the production of a vaccine to inoculate people against being religious.

“I can tell you this: She was on air, along with many other doctors —they were big fans of hydroxychloroquine, and I thought she was very impressive,” Mr Trump told reporters of Ms Immanuel at a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday.

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2020-07-29T17:03:57.000Z

National Trust to make 1,200 staff redundant due to virus

The National Trust is planning to make 1,200 staff redundant as it looks to save £100 million in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The conservation and heritage charity, which has 5.6 million members, said it has lost almost £200 million as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, which shut all of its houses, gardens, car parks, shops and cafes, and stopped holidays and events.

The trust said it had already saved millions of pounds through furloughing staff, drawing on reserves, borrowing and stopping or deferring projects, but still needs to make savings to keep it sustainable in the long term.

2020-07-29T16:45:57.000Z

Trump defends use of coronavirus funding package to secure FBI HQ near his Washington hotel

Donald Trump has defended his push to use a coronavirus relief package to fund a new FBI headquarters near his Washington hotel, citing his background as a real estate developer.

The bill, which is being negotiated in the Senate before the expiration of a number of provisions aimed at helping Americans stave off financial losses amid the coronavirus pandemic, is on rough ground with the White House at odds with both Democrats and Trump’s own Republicans over the measure.

Trump at first did not directly answer questions about whether he would drop his demand for $1.8 billion to fund a new FBI headquarters in downtown Washington. He later said the provision “should stay.”

“Republicans should go back to school and learn,” he told reporters at the White House, referring to opposition from conservative lawmakers. “I’m very good at real estate.”

The FBI’s current headquarters is one block from the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, and Democrats have accused Trump of seeking to prevent the sale of the site to a private developer and possible competitor. The matter is currently under review by the Department of Justice.

2020-07-29T16:28:57.000Z

Spain diagnoses 1,153 new cases

Spain has diagnosed 1,153 new coronavirus infections in the past day, the nation’s health ministry has confirmed as the country continues to struggle with a rapidly accelerating surge of new cases.

The cumulative total rose to 282,641 cases, the ministry said.

The figure was up 2,031 from the previous day, and includes results from antibody tests on people who may already have recovered.

2020-07-29T16:11:57.000Z

Madrid officials walk back ‘immunity card’ plan

Authorities in Madrid have backtracked over a highly-criticised plan to give an “immunity card” to people who test positive for the virus,

Politicians, rights groups and epidemiologists condemned the project, announced by regional leader Isabel Diaz Ayuso, as potentially discriminatory and medically unsound.

After a weekly cabinet meeting of the Madrid authority, her deputy, Ignacio Aguado, told a news conference that the controversial cards would not in fact be issued.

“This would be a registry of organised, updated information, only to be consulted by the health services so that they can take epidemiological decisions,” he said of the modified plans.

2020-07-29T15:56:57.000Z

US Attorney General Barr to be tested for virus after exposure to congressman

US Attorney General William Barr will be tested for Covid-19 after coming in close contact with Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert on Tuesday when Barr testified before the House Judiciary Committee, a Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed.

Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec added that Mr Barr already undergoes routine testing for Covid-19 at the White House.

2020-07-29T15:40:57.000Z

Air travel won’t recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, say experts

Experts have scaled back their expectations of how soon the aviation industry could recover, with air travel not expected to hit pre-pandemic levels until 2024.

Leading trade body the International Air Transport Association (Iata) originally predicted that flights would recover to 2019 numbers by 2023, but has pushed back its forecast by a year.

One key market that is slowing the recovery is the US, where air travel had been increasing but has recently been knocked off course again by new spikes in coronavirus cases across a number of states.

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2020-07-29T15:23:18.020Z

US officials accuse Russia of spreading coronavirus disinformation

US officials say Russian intelligence officers are spreading disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic through English-language websites, trying to exploit a crisis that America is struggling to contain before the presidential election in November.

Two Russians who have held senior roles in Moscow’s military intelligence service known as the GRU have been identified as responsible for a disinformation effort meant to reach American and Western audiences, according to US government officials. They were not authorised to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to news agency AP on condition of anonymity.

Russian officials on Wednesday rejected the accusations as “conspiracy theories” and a “persistent phobia.” One of the sites singled out by the U.S. posted a response denouncing as “categorically false” the American assertions that it was linked to the Russian military intelligence service or was involved in propaganda.

2020-07-29T14:55:02.436Z

Vietnam orders bars and pubs in capital to shut

Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, has ordered bars and pubs to shut and banned large gatherings from midnight on Wednesday because of a Covid-19 outbreak in the city of Danang, the head of the city’s administration said.

Hanoi on Wednesday has registered its first case of Covid-19 linked to the Danang outbreak.

“We have to act now and act fast. All large gatherings will be banned until further notice,” Nguyen Duc Chung, Hanoi’s chairman, said in a statement on the city’s website.

“Over 21,000 people returned to Hanoi from Danang will be closely monitored and will undergo rapid testing,” he said.



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