A paramedic takes a Covid-19 test at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci international airport(AP)

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has said there is “no silver bullet” for aiport safety during the coronavirus pandemic after Labour called for more testing at airports to reduce the need for long self-isolation quarantines.

Mr Raab said the quarantine policy was necessary because the success rate for positively identifying Covid-19 cases at airports was low.

It came as Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons speaker,  said he wanted MPs to be tested daily before bringing parliament back to full capacity.

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More details on the daily increase in Scotland’s coronavirus cases can be found below:

Scotland has recorded 208 new coronavirus cases – the highest daily increase in positive tests for more than 17 weeks.

The last time more people tested positive for Covid-19 was 8 May, when there were 225 new cases of infection.

The increase, up from Saturday’s figure of 141 people, takes the weekly total of confirmed infections to 1,079 – the most over a seven-day period since 6 May.

“Today’s numbers show a continued increase, including in % positive,” Nicola Sturgeon said.

“While this reflects the substantial opening up of the economy, it reminds us of the need to deploy strong counter measures.”

She added: “We have two main tools at our disposal. One of these tools is Test and Protect – it is working well and so far reaching well over 90 per cent of positive cases and close contacts.

“Within [the] next few days we will launch a major enhancement – the Protect Scotland app – which will allow us to reach a wider range of contacts

“Our other main tool – indeed our first line of defence – is ourselves. As we are all out and about more, we must take greater care on face coverings, hygiene, distance.”

No new deaths were registered on Sunday, according to Scottish government figures.

Conrad Duncan6 September 2020 15:33


Sturgeon seeks to reassure public after Scotland records highest daily cases since May

Nicola Sturgeon has sought to reassure people in Scotland after the country recorded its highest number of new daily coronavirus cases since May.

Figures from the Scottish government published on Sunday showed 208 new positive cases

“Comparisons with earlier in year need a bit of context – back then we were testing far fewer people and mainly those in hospital, so reported case numbers then were likely to have been a much bigger underestimate of true prevalence,” Ms Sturgeon wrote on Twitter.

Conrad Duncan6 September 2020 15:06


Mexico working on own coronavirus vaccines amid global scramble for jabs

Mexico is working to produce its own coronavirus vaccines amid concerns about the possibility of a scramble between wealthy nations to secure access to jabs as quickly as possible.

Esther Orozco, coordinator of the scientific group that represents Mexico at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, said research based on a virus that transmits the avian Newcastle disease was currently the most viable candidate to produce the first vaccine in Mexico.

She added that the vaccine, developed primarily by the private firm Laboratorio Avinmex, was ready to start the first phase of testing with humans.

“They are advanced,” Ms Orozco told Reuters in an interview.

“I think it’s going to be ready by spring or the start of summer.”

Mexico has launched a global effort to build diplomatic and commercial alliances to ensure it can access the approximately 200 million vaccine doses it is estimated to need.

The country has agreed to take part in clinical trials of Italian and Russian vaccines, and has also struck a deal to produce the pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine.

Ms Orozco said the Mexican vaccine would arrive later than leading foreign candidates but she noted that 7.5 billion people on the planet would need to be inoculated – with that number potentially doubling if two doses are needed.

“The world is going to need much more than one vaccine,” she said.

“Our hope is that Mexico is a part of this even if we’re not the first to cross the finish line.”

Conrad Duncan6 September 2020 14:42


Australia to receive first batch of AstraZeneca vaccine in January 2021, PM to say

Australia will receive the first doses of the AstraZeneca and Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine in January 2021 if trials prove successful, the country’s PM Scott Morrison is expected to say on Monday.

The Australian government said it had signed a preliminary agreement with AstraZeneca in August for enough doses for its population of nearly 26 million, which would be manufactured locally by the pharmaceutical company CSL.

Conrad Duncan6 September 2020 14:14


Former health secretary Andrew Lansley has come out in favour of coronavirus testing at airports within weeks.

You can hear his comments on Times Radio below:

Conrad Duncan6 September 2020 14:01


India sees new daily cases surge as 90,000 infections reported

India has seen another record surge in daily coronavirus cases, with 90,632 reported in the past 24 hours.

The country’s Health Ministry said India’s caseload had reached 4,113,811, slightly short of Brazil’s confirmed 4,123,000 infections.

The ministry also reported 1,065 deaths on Sunday, bringing the total fatalities to 70,626.

Dr Randeep Guleria, a government health expert, said India was seeing a resurgence with more than 70 per cent of its nearly 1.4 billion people still susceptible to infections.

“We could say that we are seeing some sort of a second wave in certain parts of the country,” he said.

However, the government is continuing to relax restrictions (except in high-risk areas) to lessen the economic impact of the pandemic, which led to the economy contracting by a record 23.9 per cent in the April-June quarter.

Conrad Duncan6 September 2020 13:28


South Korea reports smallest daily rise in coronavirus cases in three weeks

South Korea has reported its smallest daily rise in coronavirus cases in three weeks after introducing tighter restrictions to prevent a second wave.

oThe Korea Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 167 new cases of the virus in the 24 hours until midnight on Saturday, down from 168 on the previous day.

Cases peaked at 441 in late August but since then tougher social distancing rules have taken effect.

“With stricter social distancing rules, new coronavirus cases have continued to drift down and we expect to see drops in new cases,” Sohn Young-rae, a spokesperson for the South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare, said in a briefing.

The government extended the restrictions on Friday until 13 September, saying more time was needed to induce sharper drops in new infections.

The measures have included unprecedented restrictions on eateries in the Seoul area, where the spread is concentrated, banning onsite dining after 9pm and limiting coffee and bakery franchises to takeout and delivery all day.

Health authorities have also recommended that people should not return to their hometowns or visit relatives for the widely-celebrated Chuseok holiday, Korea’s Thanksgiving holiday, but said they would not stop them from doing so.

Chuseok starts at the end of September and lasts until early October.

Conrad Duncan6 September 2020 13:05


Tiffany Haddish says she tested positive for coronavirus

Actor Tiffany Haddish has said she tested positive for coronavirus after working on a film set where someone contracted Covid-19.

Ms Haddish revealed her experience in an interview with Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases expert, and said she took multiple tests for the virus.

Our reporter, Sabrina Barr, has the full story below:

Conrad Duncan6 September 2020 12:49


Berlusconi in ‘most delicate phase’ of coronavirus treatment

Silvio Berlusconi’s doctor has said the former Italian prime minister is responding “optimally” to coronavirus treatment but he remains vulnerable and is in “the most delicate phase” of the virus.

Dr Alberto Zangrillo, the head of intensive care at San Raffaele hospital in Milan, said on Sunday that he was still “cautiously optimistic” about Mr Berlusconi’s recovery.

“The patient is responding optimally to treatment,” Dr Zangrillo said.

“This doesn’t mean we can claim victory because, as you know, he belongs to the most fragile category” given his age.

He also suggested Mr Berlusconi would not be released anytime soon, recalling that the virus “requires adequate treatment and takes its time.”

The 83-year-old politician tested positive for the virus earlier in the week and has had a history of heart problems.

Data from Italy’s Superior Institute of Health indicates men aged 80-87 have the highest Covid-19 lethality rate among all cases in the country, at 47 per cent.

Conrad Duncan6 September 2020 12:41


Costa Rican researchers to trial coronavirus treatment using horse antibodies

Researchers in Costa Rica are set to begin trials of a potentially inexpensive coronavirus treatment based on antibodies taken from horses injected with Covid-19.

Roman Macaya, the president of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, told Reuters that the equine antibodies medication developed by the University of Costa Rica’s Clodomiro Picado Institute (ICP) would be tested on 26 patients from mid-September.

Authorities hope the treatment could be used more widely in hospitals if the results from the phase 2 study are encouraging.

“We are proud to know that this product will save lives until the vaccine reaches the population,” Alberto Alape, a project coordinator at ICP, said.

“We do it with our resources, without having to stand in line or compete against other countries, as can be seen with possible vaccines.”

Costa Rican researchers have said their method for SARS-Cov-2 treatment is based on the experience of using horse antibodies to develop snake anti-venoms.

They imported the virus protein from China and the UK and injected it into six of the 110 horses that the IPC uses for testing.

Weeks later, when the animals developed enough antibodies, they extracted blood and used the antibodies from the plasma as raw material for the injectable serum.

If the trial works, the researchers have said they want to share the inexpensive treatment with other Central American nations, which are mostly poorer than Costa Rica.

Conrad Duncan6 September 2020 12:22

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