A man stands next to an NHS Test and Trace billboard in Westminster

Covid-19 news: record low percentage of contacts followed in England

By Michael Le Page
, Clare Wilson
, Jessica Hamzelou
, Adam Vaughan
, Conrad Quilty-Harper
and Layal Liverpool

In Westminster, a man stands next to an NHS test and trail billboard as the government scrutinizes the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis

Alex Lentati / LNP / Shutterstock

Latest coronavirus news from 3pm on October 15th

NHS Test and Trace achieved the lowest percentage of virus case contacts

For the second year running England's contact tracing system reached a record low from people who had come into contact with someone diagnosed with covid-19. Only 62.6 percent of the contacts of those who tested positive were reached by NHS test and trace in the week before October 7, after 69.5 percent in the previous week – the lowest value since the system was launched in May. This is also below the goal of 80 percent or more recommended by the government's scientific advisors to limit the spread of infection. "This needs to be fixed," said Kevin McConway of the Open University in the UK in one statement. "It's probably never been high enough, but it's been down significantly since September. If the contact tracing can't get in touch with contacts quickly, any contact that has become (infected) can walk around unconsciously for days (…) and potentially pass the infection on. "Coronavirus cases in England continue to rise sharply, according to NHS Test and Trace. Between October 1 and October 7, 89,874 people tested positive for the virus, a 64 percent increase from the previous week.

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The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and other leaders in the area did refused to accommodate Manchester Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions unless otherwise noted Affected workers receive more financial support. The Liverpool metropolitan area is currently the only part of England subject to level three or very high alert restrictions, the country's most stringent regional restriction. In tier 3 areas, people are not allowed to mix with people from other households indoors or outdoors, not even in restaurants or private gardens. Pubs and bars that do not serve meals will have to close. "If the government is convinced that this approach will work (…), they must properly and fully fund it so that they have a chance to work," Burnham told journalists today.

London New level two coronavirus restrictions will apply from Fridayif the city is brought on high alert. In a statement, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the virus "is spreading rapidly" in every corner of our city and that a "significant number" of districts report an average of 100 cases per 100,000 people. Ealing currently has the highest rate from every borough of London with 144.5 cases per 100,000 people.

The World Health Organization said the increasing cases of coronavirus in Europe are "of great concern". WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said a press conference: “The evolving epidemiological situation in Europe is a matter of great concern. The daily number of cases has increased, hospital admissions have increased. “He said Covid-19 is now the fifth leading cause of death in Europe.

Coronavirus deaths

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The global death toll has exceeded 1.09 million. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 38.6 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Concerns about a major UK infection survey: The UK's largest program to track the spread of the coronavirus – a random poll by the Office of National Statistics on swab testing – may paint a misleading picture of the epidemic as a growing proportion of those invited to participate do not return test results.

Important information about the coronavirus

Everything you need to know about the pandemic

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What to read, see and hear about coronavirus

Race against the virus: chasing a vaccine is a Channel 4 documentary that tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic through the eyes of frontline scientists.

The New York Times evaluates the progress of various vaccine candidates and potential drug treatments for Covid-19 and rates them for effectiveness and safety.

People from COVID-19 is a project shedding light on the experiences of key frontline workers in the UK's fight against coronavirus through social media.

Coronavirus, explained on Netflix is ​​a short documentary series that explores the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, efforts to fight it, and ways to manage mental health.

New Scientist Weekly provides updates and analysis on the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic. Every week on our podcast, journalists from the magazine discuss the biggest scientific stories that hit the headlines – from technology and space to health and the environment.

COVID-19: The Pandemic That Should Never Have Happened And How To Stop The Next One by Debora Mackenzie is about how the pandemic happened and why it will happen again if we don't do things differently in the future.

The rules of contagion is about the new science of contagion and the surprising ways in which it shapes our lives and behavior. The author Adam Kucharski is an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK. In his book, he examines how diseases spread and why they stop.

Previous updates

A worker covers a pool table in Cafe Louvre before new coronavirus restrictions are introduced in Prague, Czech RepublicA worker covers a pool table in Cafe Louvre before new coronavirus restrictions are introduced in Prague, Czech Republic

Milan Jaros / Bloomberg via Getty Images

October 14th

Tighter restrictions have been put in place in the UK and across Europe to counter rising infections

ONE new three-tier system of restrictions entered into force in England today and Northern Ireland announced it Schools there are being closed for two weeks from October 19 as the UK tries to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Other European countries are too Introduction of stricter restrictions in response to sharp increases in cases. The Netherlands yesterday announced a partial nationwide lockdown that will take effect today at 10 p.m. The country recorded nearly 7,400 cases in 24 hours yesterday in the one Record rising dailyand currently has a case rate of 412.2 per 100,000 people, according to the latest figures from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The corresponding figure for the UK is currently 283.2 cases per 100,000 people. According to the new rules in the Netherlands, bars, restaurants and cafes have to be closed for four weeks and the sale of alcohol is banned every evening after 8 p.m. The Czech Republic, which currently has the highest infection rate in Europe at 581.3 cases per 100,000 people, launched a three-week partial lockdown yesterday. Schools, university accommodation, bars and clubs should close. New restrictions are also expected to be announced in Spain and France, where infection rates are currently 293.8 and 307.1 cases per 100,000 people, respectively.

In England, union leader Keir Starmer has called for stricter measures, particularly the Implementation of a two-week “circuit breaker” lockout trying to get cases under control. At a press conference yesterday, Starmer suggested that schools could remain open, but that all pubs and restaurants should be closed for two weeks, with only essential work and travel allowed. Starmer's proposal reflects the recommendations of the government's scientific advisors more than three weeks agoThis included introducing a two-week lockdown, banning contact between people from different households, closing pubs, restaurants, and other venues, and moving all courses to universities and colleges online.

Other coronavirus news

Advice for People in England who are extremely vulnerable Coronavirus – those who have conditions that affect their immune systems, some people with cancer, and organ transplant recipients – are now being tailored to the alert level in the area where they live. These 2.2 million people are advised to take precautions and practice social distancing as cases increase. However, most are not being advised to stay home, as they were during the first wave of the virus in the spring, the government announced yesterday. Exceptions are some people in tier three areas where infection rates are highest. Patient populations, including Blood Cancer UK and Kidney Care UK, criticized the new council because they are not enough to support the most vulnerable.

The World Bank has approved $ 12 billion (£ 9 billion) to buy and sell Coronavirus Tests, Treatments, and Future Vaccines in developing countries.

Coronavirus deaths

Standard image of the new scientist

The global death toll has exceeded 1.08 million. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 38.2 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Bad science: It's bad science to say that Covid-19 infections create herd immunity, writes Graham Lawton.

Excessive deaths: England, Wales and Spain suffered the biggest spikes in deaths from any cause during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, while countries like New Zealand, Norway and Poland appear to have gotten off relatively unscathed.

Coronavirus and Climate: Global warming has become a forgotten crisis during the coronavirus pandemic. But a year that set worrying climate records also shows how we can change the world for the better.

A man uses a fog machine to clean and sanitize the Grand Central venue in Liverpool, UKA man uses a fog machine to clean and sanitize the Grand Central venue in Liverpool, UK

Danny Lawson / PA Images

October 13th

British scientific advisors recommended a brief lockdown in England three weeks ago

The UK Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) warned the ministers three weeks ago Failure to introduce stricter coronavirus restrictions in England would have "catastrophic results". SAGE documents from September 21st that were published yesterday, included a recommendation that the government impose a two-week breaker lockdown to contain the spread of infection. The advisory group warned that "failure to address the cases will lead to a very large epidemic with catastrophic consequences in terms of direct COVID deaths and the ability of health care providers to meet needs". Other recommendations of the group, which were not implemented by the government at the time, were to ban all contact between people from different households, to close all bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms and personal services such as hairdressers, and to move all universities and colleges online – Lessons unless absolutely necessary.

At a press conference yesterday, the English chief doctor Chris Whitty said he was not confident that new measures, namely a three-stage alarm system announced by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, "would be sufficient to get the coronavirus under control". Whitty said local authorities are likely to need to put more restrictions in place in areas that are on very high alert.

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He's become a man in the USA The fifth person is said to have caught the coronavirus twiceafter similar cases in Hong Kong, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ecuador. The 25-year-old first tested positive for the virus on April 18 after several weeks of symptoms, but then recovered and tested negative for the virus on May 9 and 26, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. However, a few days after the second negative test, he developed more severe symptoms that eventually required hospitalization, and he tested positive for the virus again on June 5. The man has since recovered. Although cases of coronavirus reinfection with serious illness do not seem to be common, "these results confirm the point that we still do not know enough about the immune response to this infection," said Paul Hunter of the University of East Anglia, UK, in an explanation. Understanding immune responses to the virus and the duration of immunity important for vaccine development.

The pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has voluntarily interrupted clinical studies of his coronavirus vaccine candidate because of an unexplained illness in a study participant. This is the standard procedure in Vaccine developmentand gives researchers time to determine the cause of the disease and ensure the safety of study participants. In September, AstraZeneca, in partnership with Oxford University, developed trials with a coronavirus vaccine candidate were also stoppedafter a participant fell ill in the UK. Trials against the Oxford-AstraZeneca candidate have since resumed in the UK, Brazil, South Africa and India. However, the US trial is still on hold pending regulatory review. Both Johnson & Johnson and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine Candidates are based on adenoviral vectors – – modified viruses that can direct cells to produce coronavirus proteins.

Senior US government health advisor Anthony Fauci has criticized US President Donald Trump's decision to resume the campaign rallies without adequate social distancing. The president returned to campaigning yesterday to attend a rally in Florida less than two weeks after testing positive for the coronavirus. "This is causing trouble," said Fauci said CNN in an interview. Citing rising virus positivity rates in a number of US states, he added, "Now it's even worse to do this because when you look at developments in the US, it's really very problematic."

Coronavirus deaths

Standard image of the new scientist

The global death toll has exceeded 1.08 million. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 37.8 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Can Vitamin D Help Beat the Coronavirus?: In this week's Science with Sam, we take a look at the evidence of sunlight's health benefits, its effects on your mood, and some simple tips to maximize your exposure.

A television shows British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons in London as customers sit at tables in the Richmond Pub in Liverpool, North West England, on October 12, 2020A television showing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons in London while customers sit at tables in the Richmond Pub in Liverpool, UK

PAUL ELLIS / AFP via Getty Images

October 12th

Restrictions are tightening in parts of England as a new three tier system is introduced

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today a new three tier system for setting coronavirus rules in England, due to come into force on Wednesday, subject to debate and vote in Parliament tomorrow. Under the new system, different restrictions apply to different regions with increasing severity. They are classified as medium, high, or very alert based on their fall rate per 100,000 people and the rate at which infections are increasing. The Liverpool metropolitan area, which recorded 600 cases per 100,000 residents in the week ending October 6, is subject to the strictest restrictions, categorized as level three. This means those who live in and around Liverpool will not be allowed to meet people from different households indoors while gyms and pubs will have to close until the measures are reviewed in a month, Johnson told Parliament.

Most areas where additional restrictions are already in place are classified as high alert and subject to the second level restrictions. This means that people must not mix with people from other households indoors. Nottinghamshire and east and west Cheshire will also be subject to Tier 2 rules, Johnson said. The medium alert covers most of England and includes first level restrictions, including the rule of six and pubs closing time at 10pm. Johnson said the goal of the three-tier system is to simplify and standardize local rules.

"That's not how we want to live our lives" he said. "But is the narrow road we have to walk between the social and economic costs of a complete lockdown and the massive human and real economic costs of an uncontrolled epidemic," he added. "We can't let the NHS fall over when lives are at stake."

"The introduction of a three-tier system provides more clarity on what will happen in parts of England to address the current surge in Covid-19 cases," said Linda Bauld of the University of Edinburgh in one statement. Bauld said the new guidelines are in line recent evidence Linking infections with contact between different households and visits to restaurants.

Johnson also outlined financial support measures for people affected by the new measures, including covering wages for employees of companies forced to close due to coronavirus restrictions, as well as funding improved contact tracing for areas on very high alert.

Other coronavirus news

The The coronavirus can remain infectious on surfaces for up to 28 days like cell phone screens, according to a study by researchers at the Australian Center for Disease Preparedness published in Virology Journal. The researchers examined coronavirus particles on several common surface types over a range of temperatures in complete darkness. They found that the virus had a half-life of between 1.7 and 2.7 days at 20 ° C, and that viable virus particles could be isolated for up to 28 days on smooth surfaces like cell phone screen glass, as well as paper and paper banknotes. However, this is likely to be an overestimation because outside of these laboratory conditions, factors such as exposure to ultraviolet light can increase the likelihood of virus particle destruction.

More People in England are hospitalized with covid-19 Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said at a press conference on Downing Street today before the UK was first locked in March. "If we don't take steps to control the spread of the virus, the death toll will be too high to endure," Powis said. All hospital staff in risk areas are now regularly tested for the virus regardless of symptoms, and Nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate have already been asked to prepare for an increased number of patients in the coming months.

Coronavirus deaths

Standard image of the new scientist

The global death toll has exceeded 1.07 million. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 37.60 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

A woman wearing a face covering walks past a public information poster in Hackney, North LondonA woman wearing a face covering walks past a public information poster in Hackney, North London

Dinendra Haria / LNP / Shutterstock

9th October

In England, infections continue to rise in the community

Coronavirus Infections in communities in England continue to rise, according to the latest results from the REACT-1 study by Imperial College London. Using random swab tests, the researchers monitored coronavirus levels and found that about one in 170 people had the virus between September 18 and October 5, an increase from one in 769 between August 22 and August 7 September. The latest results are based on an analysis of swabs from 175,000 people.

Great Britain R number – The number of people infected by each coronavirus case – has decreased slightly for the first time in the past five weeks, from 1.3 to 1.6 in the previous week to 1.2 to 1.5 in the last week official numbers. This is most likely the situation two or three weeks ago due to a time lag in the data used to model the R. An R number above 1.0 indicates that the infections are increasing.

"While the R-value stays above 1.0, the infections will continue to increase exponentially," said the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies in documents released on Friday. "This is currently the case for every region in England and all of them are showing positive growth rates due to the increase in the number of new infections across the country."

Other coronavirus news

There was a Record 24-hour increase in global new coronavirus cases on Thursday, with 338,779 confirmed cases worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The increase was largely due to an increase in infections in European countries, including the UK, which saw a record daily increase of more than 17,000 new cases on Thursday. The UK reported 13,864 new cases daily on Friday. Some hospitals in the north of England will no more beds within a weekhealth officials said on Thursday. The cases also continue to increase Spain, France, Italy and Germany. The Spanish government declared a state of emergency for 15 days on Friday to deal with the increasing cases of coronavirus in Madrid. Almost 25 percent of the beds in intensive care units in France are occupied by Covid-19 patients, in Paris and the surrounding area it is 40 percent. France recorded more than 18,000 new cases on Thursday. The daily new cases in Italy rose from more than 4000 on Thursday to more than 5000 on Friday, with hotspots in the south of the country. Germany reported more than 4,000 new cases per day for the second year in a row on Friday, with Berlin becoming one of the hotspots in the country's second wave.

US President Donald Trump is planning a political rally this Saturday in Florida and possibly a separate rally in Pennsylvania on Sunday evening. The White House has not released any information on whether he still has coronavirus or whether he has been tested at all since testing positive for the virus on October 2. A president rally was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma in June associated with a spike in coronavirus cases from a local health officer.

The Washington, DC Department of Health appealed to all White House staff and everyone who attended an event in the Rose Garden on September 26 to get tested for the coronavirus and seek medical advice. in an open letter published yesterday. The letter stated that the appeal was triggered by "limited contact tracing" at the White House and that "other employees and local residents may be at risk of COVID-positive individuals."

Coronavirus deaths

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The global death toll has exceeded 1.06 million. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 36.62 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

CRISPR and covid-19: CRISPR gene editing already treats diseases. But it could do a lot more, from fighting cancer and Covid-19 to braking climate change, says Feng Zhang, a technology pioneer.

Two health workers speak to a woman before testing for the coronavirus in Stoke-on-Trent, UKHealth workers speak to a woman before taking a test for the coronavirus in Stoke-on-Trent, UK

REUTERS / Carl Recine

8th October

The daily coronavirus cases rise to 17,540, 3300 more than the previous day

The UK has registered 17,540 coronaviruses Cases in the past 24 hours, an increase of 3300 from yesterday. Deaths also rose slightly, with 77 deaths registered within 28 days of testing positive, up from the 70 reported on Wednesday. The number of coronavirus patients in hospitals in England also rose slightly to 3,044, from 2,944 yesterday.

Other coronavirus news

England's contact tracing system only reached 68.6 percent of those who tested positive for coronavirusthe lowest proportion since the system was launched in May. The number has fallen from 72.5 percent in the previous week. It is also below the goal of 80 percent or more recommended by government scientific advisors to limit the spread of infection. A total of 51,475 people tested positive for the coronavirus in England in the week ending September 30, an increase of 56 percent compared to the previous week.

In England and Wales, covid-19 was the underlying cause of death in over 3 times as many people as influenza and pneumonia combined in 2020 according to analysis of the National Statistics Office (ONS). "The significantly higher number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 shows that Covid-19 is currently a greater risk to humans than influenza," said Rowland Kao of the University of Edinburgh in a statement. Kao said this isn't surprising given that we have a vaccine for flu but not Covid-19, and because we are new to the coronavirus, while some people may have acquired immunity to seasonal flu. The ONS analysis included data between January and August of this year.

Coronavirus Restrictions in parts of England could be tightened Early next week with possible closings of pubs and restaurants in the worst hit areas, the BBC said. In these areas, overnight stays outside the home may also be banned. An official government announcement is expected on Monday.

US President Donald Trump said today he wouldn't attend in a virtual presidential debate with Democratic candidate Joe Biden. The debate format was changed for security reasons after Trump tested positive for the coronavirus. "I'm not going to have a virtual debate," Trump said during an interview with the Fox Business Network. "That is not what debates are about."

Coronavirus deaths

Standard image of the new scientist

The global death toll has exceeded 1.05 million. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 36.2 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Socially distant future: Coronavirus has planned a rocket for more automation, robotization and the use of AI. Should we fear for our jobs – or will we just get better ones?

A restaurant worker removes chairs on a terrace in BrusselsA restaurant worker removes chairs on a terrace in Brussels

HATIM KAGHAT / BELGA / AFP via Getty Images

October 7th

In Belgian, French and German countries, new rules were introduced in increasing numbers

Belgium, France and Germany are among the European countries that have put in place new restrictions to curb the increase in coronavirus cases. In Belgium all bars, cafes and function rooms will be must be completely closed for at least a month, from Thursday at 7 a.m. According to official information, one in seven people in Brussels tests positive for the virus. In Paris and the surrounding suburbs, more than 40 percent of hospital beds are currently occupied by Covid 19 patients, according to the regional health department. It warned that the proportion could rise to 50 percent within two weeks without intervention. Bars, gyms and swimming pools were in Paris completely closed on Tuesday for at least two weeks. On Saturday, New rules and curfews will come into effect in the German capital of Berlin, where authorities have registered 44.2 new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days. Bars, restaurants and off-licenses in the city must be closed between 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM. Restrictions have been introduced that limit the number of people allowed to attend private and public gatherings.

In Scotland, where 1,054 new coronavirus cases were registered today, Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced new restrictions on serving alcoholwhich come into force on Friday at 6 p.m. Bars, pubs and restaurants are not allowed to serve alcohol in the house for 16 days. Sturgeon described the new measures as "a short, sharp measure to stop a worrying increase in infection".

Other coronavirus news

diagnosis Tests in the UK could be delayed due to a supply chain failure affecting Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche, which supplies diagnostic test equipment and materials to the NHS. Roche said problems related to moving to a new warehouse had resulted in a significant decrease in processing capacity, adding that shipping of Covid-19 diagnostic and antibody tests would be a priority. However, there are concerns that this strategy could delay other tests, such as: B. for kidney, liver and thyroid function as well as for sepsis and other infections. Tom Lewis, a doctor with the North Devon District Hospital, told the BBC that his hospital's trust has already asked staff to stop any non-urgent blood tests in the community. Solving the problem could take up to two weeks, a Roche spokesman told the BBC.

The US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has announced the next presidential debate on October 15th shouldn't take place if US President Donald Trump still has Covid-19. Biden told journalists that the debate to be held in Miami should only take place in accordance with strict health guidelines, adding, "If (Trump) is still Covid, we shouldn't have a debate."

Coronavirus deaths

Standard image of the new scientist

The global death toll has exceeded 1.05 million. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 35.9 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Covid19 symptoms: As the list of Covid-19 symptoms recognized by health officials continues to evolve, we are beginning to learn that people appear to fall into one of several symptom clusters and that we may be missing key signs of the disease in children.

Doctor diary: Inadequate coronavirus tests and uncertainties about the success and delivery of flu vaccines will do poorly prepare doctors in England for this winter.

Shoppers wearing face covers walk under an electronic sign reminding pedestrians to "act now to avoid a local lockdown" in Manchester, UKShoppers pass under an electronic sign reminding pedestrians to "act now to avoid a local lockdown" in Manchester, UK

PAUL ELLIS / AFP via Getty Images

October 6th

There are 14,452 cases in the UK in a single day as the number of deaths from Covid-19 rises for the third straight week

Today the The UK recorded 14,542 new coronavirus cases daily, almost 2000 more than on Monday. That's a record number of new daily cases, with the exception of last Sunday when the number was artificially increased to 22,961 to compensate for thousands of cases missed between September 25 and October 2 due to a technical error. The number of deaths with a mention of Covid-19 on death certificates has risen for the third year in a row in the UK National Statistics Office. In the week ending September 25, 234 deaths were recorded from the coronavirus, up from 158 the week before.

Other coronavirus news

Levels of Pandemic "fatigue" due to persistent uncertainty According to Hans Kluge, director of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe, disruptions related to coronavirus restrictions are increasing in Europe statement today. The results come from aggregated survey data from countries in the region. "Although fatigue is measured in different ways and the values ​​vary from country to country, it is estimated that in some cases it has reached over 60 percent," said Kluge. He encouraged governments to monitor community sentiments and comforts regarding coronavirus restrictions and guidelines, and work with local communities to develop public health guidelines.

US President Donald Trump took off his mask and posed for photos on Monday on the White House balcony after being released from hospital where he was being treated for Covid-19. Before leaving the hospital, the president tweeted, “Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life.” Trump's doctor told journalists that the president would continue to take antiviral drugs remdesivir and the Steroid drug Dexamethasone – – Treatments usually reserved for seriously ill Covid-19 patients. "It is a little unprecedented that someone who is sick (of their illness) this early should receive remdesivir," said Walid Gellad of the University of Pittsburgh time.

China is in talks to have its own locally produced coronavirus vaccine candidates rated by WHO to make them available for international use, according to Socorro Escalate, a WHO coordinator in the western Pacific. Escalate told an online press conference that China has had preliminary discussions with WHO to put its vaccines on an emergency list. Hundreds of thousands of people in China have already received locally developed vaccine candidates before final regulatory approval for their general use was granted ethical concerns.

Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, said she was leaving quarantine today after coming into contact with someone infected with the coronavirus a week ago, despite the European Center for the Prevention and Control of Diseases (ECDC) had recommended self-isolating 14 days. A spokesman for the European Commission said the Guardian that the period of self-isolation von der Leyen was in line with the rules in Belgium, which were recently relaxed but refused to comment on the ECDC's recommendation.

Facebook removed a post by Donald Trump Today it was falsely claimed that the coronavirus is less deadly than the flu because it violates the social media platform's rules for Covid-19 misinformation. Twitter added a warning label to a similar tweet posted by Trump and restricted interaction with the post.

Coronavirus deaths

Standard image of the new scientist

The global death toll has exceeded 1.04 million. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 35.5 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

A sign in Bolton, UK reminds people of the need for testingA sign in Bolton, UK reminds people of the need for testing

Adam Vaughan / Shutterstock

5th October

Almost 16,000 coronavirus cases were missed in the UK due to a technical failure

Nearly 16,000 coronavirus cases in England were missed According to Public Health England, official case numbers from the UK were released between September 25th and October 2nd due to a technical error. Over the eight day period, a total of 15,841 cases were removed from the UK's daily numbers, representing around 1980 missed cases per day. The missing cases were added over the weekend, artificially increasing the daily UK case numbers to 12,872 for Saturday and 22,961 for Sunday. Public Health England has reportedly been with Microsoft Excel software as a provisional database for recording laboratory cases. The file reached the maximum number of columns, truncating thousands of cases.

"Some of the data was cut off and lost," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told journalists today. Johnson said that Public Health England had contacted all of those who tested positive and that efforts were being made to follow up their contacts. However, many researchers fear that it may be too late. The government's scientific advisors recommend that the contacts of people who test positive for the virus are tracked and asked to self-isolate within 48 hours.

"In order for the test, track and trace system to have a real impact on reducing the transmission of Covid-19, it is important that the test results are communicated quickly," said Paul Hunter of the University of East Anglia in a statement. "People with Covid-19 are most contagious by the time they develop symptoms, so any delay in tracking people will potentially expose large numbers of people."

Other coronavirus news

The White House medical team said the condition of U.S. President Donald Trump was Improvement since saturdayand that he could be released from the hospital on Monday. The president got a dose from one experimental antibody cocktail is developed by the pharmaceutical company Regeneron, as well as dexamethasone, a drug that lowers the risk of death in seriously ill Covid-19 patients. The decision to give the President dexamethasone confused some doctors. Rochelle Walensky of Massachusetts General Hospital said CNN: "Generally you start the dexamethasone when you are worried that it is on the wrong track. So what happened today? Either he made progress or people say we just throw the sink at him."

On Sunday, Trump briefly left the hospital and was driven around in an SUV, from which he waved to the supporters gathered outside. The move was heavily criticized, also from a doctor at the hospital where the President is being treated because the intelligence agents in the vehicle are at risk of infection. The president's short drive also contradicts the U.S. Health Department's recommendations on self-isolation when seeking treatment for Covid-19.

Less than half of people in the UK can expect to get a coronavirus vaccine when one becomes available, the state's head of vaccines task force said Financial Times. Kate Bingham said vaccination "would not happen" to everyone in the country, adding, "We just need to vaccinate everyone at risk." If a successful vaccine is found, Bingham said the government's goal is to vaccinate about 30 million people. "There will be no vaccination for anyone under the age of 18. It is an adult-only vaccine for those over 50 and will focus on health workers and nursing home workers, as well as the vulnerable."

Coronavirus deaths

Standard image of the new scientist

The global death toll has exceeded 1.03 million. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 35.2 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Can Vitamin D Help?:: There's no definitive evidence that vitamin D protects against Covid-19, but the case is growing – and most people should still be taking a daily supplement for bone strength reasons.

U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House in WashingtonUnited States President Donald Trump leaves Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on October 1, 2020

SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images

October 2nd

Donald Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, and the president experienced mild symptomsAccording to Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff. It's not clear when they got infected or if they might have infected others, but Trump's senior advisor, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the virus on Thursday. "This raises questions about whether Hicks was the source or whether they were all infected at the same time from a different source," said Trish Greenhalgh of Oxford University in one statement. "The chain of infection is important," said Greenhalgh, as it will affect the likelihood that Trump could have infected other people, for example during the presidential debate on Tuesday. Trump has a number of risk factors for developing severe Covid-19, including male, older and overweight, said Naveed Sattar of the University of Glasgow in a statement. "But if he has no chronic illnesses and is reasonably active (…), these can offset or reduce his risks." If Trump gets too sick to run the country, power could be temporarily transferred to Vice President Mike Pence, who will come on Friday tested negative for the virus.

Two days before Hicks tested positive, she traveled with the president and his wife on Air Force One for the first US presidential debate in Ohio. Trump and the Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden were both were previously tested for the virus and kept a distance of two meters from each other during Tuesday's debate. However, Biden was not informed According to a senior campaign official who took part in the debate with Biden, from either the Trump campaign or the White House, about the potential exposure. Biden's doctor confirmed on Friday that the Democratic candidate had tested negative. On Wednesday, Hicks fell ill and was quarantined at Air Force One. That evening, Trump and the First Lady attended a fundraiser at a private home in Minnesota, followed by a rally in the city of Duluth.

Trump traveled to New Jersey on Thursday to meet fans at his Bedminster golf club and spoke at a fundraiser. That night, Trump announced during an interview on Fox News that Hicks had tested positive for the virus. After the interview, he tweeted that he and the first lady were quarantined after Hick's diagnosis and were waiting for their own test results. After their positive test results in the early hours of Friday morning, the President and his wife are self-isolating in the White House.

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An estimated 116,000 people in communities in England had the coronavirus between September 18 and 24. This comes from the latest results of a random swab test survey conducted in the United States National Statistics Office. This corresponds to about one in 500 people, which is the same as the previous week. This is an early indication that infections could level off after the sharp surge in August and September. In Wales, an estimated 1 in 500 people had the virus during the same period, up from 1 in 300 people the previous week. It is estimated that around one in 400 people in Northern Ireland had the virus, up from one in 500. England has the highest rates of infection among teenagers and young adults under the age of 24.

Great Britain R number – The number of people infected in each coronavirus case – has increased for the fourth straight week, up to an estimate of between 1.3 and 1.6, an increase of between 1.2 and 1.5 in the previous week official numbers. This is most likely the situation two or three weeks ago because the data used to model the R is lagged in time. It is estimated that infections are increasing by 5 to 9 percent every day across the country.

Spain's capital Madrid and nine neighboring cities will be partially closed on Friday from 10 p.m. The Madrid region currently has the highest case rate in Europe with 859 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Poland has its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases According to the country's health ministry, 2,292 new cases have been confirmed since the pandemic began on Friday.

Coronavirus deaths

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The global death toll has exceeded 1 million. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 34.3 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Can Vitamin D Help?:: There's no definitive evidence that vitamin D protects against Covid-19, but the case is growing – and most people should still be taking a daily supplement for bone strength reasons.

A person wearing protective gear sprinkles a statue of the Beatles with disinfectant in Liverpool, UKA man disinfects a statue of the Beatles in Liverpool, UK

REUTERS / Carl Recine

October 1

Coronavirus cases are still on the rise in England, but that trend could slow down

Infections in England continue to rise but the rate of increase could slow down loudly preliminary results from the REACT-1 study by Imperial College London. Using random swab tests, the researchers tracked coronavirus levels in communities in England and found that about 1 in 181 people had the virus between September 18 and 26, an increase of 769 between August 22 and August 7 September. The estimated R number for England – – the number of cases each case infects – – had fallen from 1.7 to around 1.1, suggesting that the rate at which cases are rising is slowing. There is an uncertainty around this number, which could be anywhere between about 0.7 and 1.5. The latest results are based on an analysis of swabs from 80,000 people.

The study also found an increase in coronavirus cases across all age groups. The cases were twice as high in people of black and Asiatic descent than in whites – A trend seen in previous REACT-1 results. The recent surge in cases in people over 65 is "worrying," said Julian Tang of the University of Leicester in a statement. "This could also affect the more vulnerable elderly population (…) if we don't take action now to prevent the spread of this virus."

The latest numbers NHS Test and Trace found that the number of people who tested positive for the coronavirus in England rose 61 percent to 31,373 in the week ended September 23, compared to the previous week. The system reached about 72 percent of contacts from people diagnosed with the virus, which is below the 80 percent or more recommended by the government's scientific advisors.

Other coronavirus news

ONE Coronavirus vaccine That alone won't be enough to contain the spread of the virus, and social distancing measures are likely to be necessary for some time, according to a report by a multidisciplinary group of researchers convened by the Royal Society in the UK. "Even if (a future vaccine) is effective, it is very unlikely that we will go back to normal," said report co-author Charles Bangham of Imperial College London Guardian. The report says that the challenges to the success of a future vaccine include potential limitations in how the vaccine works, obstacles to manufacture and storage, and issues with public trust.

India has announced further relaxation of coronavirus restrictions today in spite of sustained increases in new cases every day. The government said it will allow states to reopen movie theaters, multiplexes and exhibition centers with 50 percent capacity starting October 15.

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The global death toll has exceeded 1 million. The number of confirmed cases is loud Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

How your computer can help: Thanks to the Folding @ home project, millions of people are helping scientists understand the structure of proteins in the new coronavirus, says Layal Liverpool.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock pursed his lipsBritish Health Secretary Matt Hancock

REUTERS / Hannah McKay

30. September

MPs can vote on new coronavirus regulations for England or the UK

United Kingdom Parliament will be able to vote "Wherever possible" on new coronavirus regulations UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who affects England or the UK as a whole, told Parliament today ahead of the entry into force. "I am sure that no member of this House would like to limit the government's ability to take immediate action in the national interest, as we did in March," he added, referring to the nationwide lockdown of the UK on March 23.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson today defended the recent introduction of new local locks across the UK. "Honestly, if the virus is as high as it is now in some parts of the country, you need to take strong local action," Johnson said during the Prime Minister's questions.

The UK recorded the highest number of yesterday new coronavirus cases every day 7143 new cases have been confirmed within 24 hours since the pandemic began. Today 7,108 cases have been registered across the country. Several other European countries have seen daily record levels recently, including the US Netherlands and Romania today, although this may be partly due to it more people are being tested. Yesterday, the UK recorded 71 deaths from Covid-19, the highest daily death toll since July 1. Seven deaths from Covid-19 were recorded in Scotland today highest daily toll since June 17th.

Other coronavirus news

A study of 60 volunteers, ages 18 to 55, found that a coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech elicited an immune response. Most of the volunteers produced coronavirus-specific production antibody and T cellsAccording to the results published today in the journal nature. The vaccine candidate contains messenger RNA, which is used to make fragments of the coronavirus protein that belong to the body immune system can recognize and react to it. The UK has already received 30 million doses of the vaccine candidate in addition to several other companies' vaccine candidates, including 100 million doses of a candidate developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with the University of Oxford.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said today that she wanted to Avoid another national lockdown "at all costs". After an increase in cases, Merkel and the heads of state and government of the 16 German federal states agreed today to tighten restrictions on the size of gatherings, especially in coronavirus hotspots. People in areas with a fall rate of 35 per 100,000 or more must limit private gatherings to 25 people, and people in areas with a fall rate of 50 per 100,000 or more must limit private gatherings to 10 people. "We want to act regionally, specifically and in a targeted manner, instead of closing the whole country again – that must be prevented at all costs," said Merkel.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden clashed yesterday in the country's first presidential debate over the coronavirus pandemic. Trump card claimed the US was "weeks away from a vaccine" against the virus, conflicting health officialsincluding Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Biden criticized Trump's record in Covid-19, saying 200,000 people "died on his watch".

Today, Scotland's First Minister is Nicola Sturgeon announced a new grant of £ 500 for low-income people who are asked to self-isolate. The grant is intended to help those who would lose income if they stayed at home.

Coronavirus deaths

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The global death toll has exceeded 1 million. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 33.7 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Strict quarantine: Perth and other Australian cities have some of the strictest quarantine policies in the world. Donna Lu reports from quarantine as Australia successfully abolishes its second wave of Covid-19.

Two people stand facing each other, one seated and one standing, near works of art in Newcastle city center in north east EnglandPeople sit and stand near works of art in Newcastle city center in north east England

OLI SCARFF / AFP via Getty Images

September 29th

Confusion over new restrictions put in place in parts of the North East of England

Local leaders have criticized the UK government for doing this Create confusion about his announcement of tightened restrictions in north east England. Newcastle Council Chairman Nick Forbes told the BBC that government announcements of new restrictions were not detailed enough. He said, "There's a" gap between the announcements in the headlines and the details that people can understand (…). It creates confusion, it creates doubt, it creates uncertainty. "

The new rules, which go into effect tomorrow, will apply to Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland. They will extend the ban on people from different households meeting indoors to venues such as restaurants, bars or pubs. People who break the rules can face fines of up to £ 6,400.

UK Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, who spoke on BBC Radio 4 today, could not determine whether the new restrictions were preventing people from meeting outdoors in pub and restaurant gardens as well as indoors.

Regardless of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson today apologized after wrong suggestion that another rule restricting gatherings to six in England does not apply outdoors in the North East. Johnson answered media questions after giving a speech in Exeter. He later tweeted an apology saying "I spelled wrong today" and made it clear that people in the Northeast "should also avoid contact with other households outside".

Other coronavirus news

The number of deaths in which Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate has increased in the UK, according to the US agency National Statistics Office. In the week ending September 18, 158 deaths were recorded from the coronavirus, 48 ​​more than the week before. "This is by no means a huge increase in deaths," said Kevin McConway of the Open University in one statement. "However, the recent surge in infection numbers, based on data from the ONS infection survey and Imperial College REACT-1 study, didn't start until late August or early September," McConway said. "If the increase in infections leads to a corresponding increase in the number of deaths (…), this increase in deaths has mostly not yet occurred."

According to a study published online in the journal, the proportion of coronavirus cases among U.S. children has increased during the summer months Pediatrics. From April to September, the proportion of cases in children rose from 2.2 to 10 percent of all cumulative reported cases. It's not clear whether this is partly due to increased testing capacity, although the proportion of tests performed under the age of 18 has remained relatively stable at 5 to 7 percent since the end of April, the authors write in the paper. Previous studies have suggested this Children don't get so sick with Covid-19compared to adults.

Independent SAGE, an independent group of scientists that publishes advice to the UK government, says so UK universities should switch to online teaching and give university students the "right to return home". In their latest report, the group argues that students should return home after a coronavirus test at any time during the semester and have their accommodation fees reimbursed.

More than 1 million people have died from Covid-19 after the pandemic started, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University. UN Secretary General António Guterres described the global death toll as a "deranged figure" and "agonizing milestone". Guterres tweeted: "We must never lose sight of every life."

Coronavirus deaths

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The global death toll has exceeded 1 million. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 33.4 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

A million deaths: The coronavirus pandemic has claimed one million lives since it first emerged in Wuhan, China. How did we get here?

Young people: As a surge in Covid-19 cases hits anti-lockdown protests, a small minority argue that we should let the virus pass through the young and healthy.

Europe's second wave: Several countries in Europe are reporting more Covid-19 cases daily than during the first wave in March, although the higher numbers may be due to more people being tested.

Passengers standing around walking with suitcases at Heathrow Airport in LondonPassengers arrive at Heathrow Airport in London on July 30, 2020

ANDY RAIN / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

September 28th

Coronavirus rates were higher among people who traveled abroad

The rate of people who tested positive for the coronavirus in communities in England in the past few weeks was higher among people who had traveled abroad, after analyzing the National Statistics Office. An estimated 1 in 286 people who said they had traveled abroad in the last 30 days tested positive for the virus on September 10, compared with about 1 in 1,000 who said they had not. However, both groups saw an increase in positive test rates between August 2 and September 10. The analysis also found that coronavirus infection rates rose more sharply in the least deprived areas of each region and that positivity rates were higher among those under 35 who reported socially distant contact with six or more people aged 18 to 69 compared to these The Office for National Statistics states that "a socially distant direct contact in younger age groups is an increasingly important factor in the infection with Covid-19".

Other coronavirus news

The Mayor of Greater Manchester today requested an urgent review of the 10 p.m. closure rule for restaurants, bars and pubs across England that went into effect last week. Andy Burnham said this resulted in people gathering in houses and supermarkets that were "full" after the bars closed. "This curfew does more harm than good," he told BBC Radio 4. A spokesman for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC that there were no concrete plans to review the policy but that all measures were being reviewed. Some scientists agree that the measures could be counterproductive. “We have seen this type of measure before. In March the London Underground cut services in the hopes that only key workers would use them. Instead, we saw trains full of commuters, ”said Flaxio Toxvaerd of the University of Cambridge in one statement. Scientists advising the government have previously suggested that high-risk venues such as indoor pubs and restaurants should be closed to ensure schools can stay open, Susan Michie of University College London said in a statement. "We can't have it all."

The President of the National Union of Students, Larissa Kennedy, warned today that students risked being "trapped" in "disgusting conditions" in their dormitories due to self-isolation rules. The remarks came after UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden suggested it on Sunday Students were only allowed to go home during the Christmas break when the public follows government orders. Thousands of students at universities, including Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Glasgow and Edinburgh Napier University, are currently isolating themselves in their rooms after spikes in certain cases. "We would expect all students to be able to go home for Christmas," said a spokesman for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said journalists today.

The people of England could now face it Fines of up to £ 10,000 for refusing to self-isolate if asked. A preliminary study published last week suggested only 11 percent of people in the UK who are told to self-isolate they actually do so for the entire 14 days.

Coronavirus deaths

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The global death toll has exceeded 998,000. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 33.1 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Members of the public are seen through public information messages in central Manchester, England. Britain has reached "a dangerous turning point," Boris Johnson said as he put in place a series of new coronavirus restrictionsPublic information messages in the center of Manchester, England

Jon Super / AP / Shutterstock

25th of September

The rate of infection in communities in England and Wales continues to rise

One in 500 people in England had the coronavirus in the week leading up to September 19, up from one in 900 people the week before. This comes from the latest results of a random swab test survey conducted in the United States National Statistics Office. "It is a worrying increase and is occurring in all age groups, particularly in the north of England and London," said Simon Clarke of the University of Reading in a statement. "While there is a lot more testing being done these days, this is clear evidence that the virus is accelerating," said Clarke. "We can expect an increasing burden on our hospitals and an associated increase in deaths."

In Northern Ireland, which was first included in the survey, and in Wales, infections also increased. It is estimated that one in 300 people in Wales and Northern Ireland had the virus over the same period. In Wales, that number has risen from one in 500 the week before. This weekend, new restrictions will be established in the Welsh city of Cardiff, as well as Swansea counties and the city of Llanelli.

Great Britain R number – – The number of people infected in each coronavirus case – – has increased to an estimate of between 1.2 and 1.5 for the third week in a row, an increase of between 1.1 and 1.4 in the previous week official numbers. This is most likely the situation two to three weeks ago because the data used to model the R is lagged in time. It is estimated that infections are increasing by 4 to 8 percent every day across the country.

Other coronavirus news

Only 11 percent of the people told to isolate yourself, actually do so for the entire 14 day period known to the UK Government since June. The result comes from a survey that began in February. The results were published online yesterday on the pre-print server medRxiv and have not yet been reviewed by experts. The government's scientific advisors recommend that 80 percent or more of contacts made by people diagnosed with the coronavirus self-isolate over time to limit the spread.

Independent sage – – An independent group of scholars that publishes advice to the UK government – – Sweden said the success in fighting the coronavirus pandemic has been overrated. In one Report released todayThe group rejected the idea of ​​"herd immunity" as a strategy to fight the UK epidemic in the absence of a vaccine, saying it was "irresponsible and unethical to try".

The Spanish government has recommended that a new partial blocking of the entire city of Madrid due to increasing cases. The capital accounts for more than a third of the country's hospital admissions, according to local authorities. Under the new restrictions, people would be banned from traveling outside of the city, but they could still leave their homes to go to work and school.

The Netherlands recorded the highest daily increase in cases 2777 new cases have been confirmed since the pandemic began today. The country's previous record for new cases every day was only set yesterday when 2544 cases were recorded.

Coronavirus deaths

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The global death toll has exceeded 984,000. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 32.3 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

When did the coronavirus first reach Europe and the USA?: No cases were reported outside of China as of January 2020, but a study published on September 10 claims that cases in the United States had increased by December 22. Many people there and in Europe suspect that they had a coronavirus around this time. Overall, however, the evidence suggests that there were few cases outside of China this early.

Birdsong during the lockdown: If you thought the chirping of birds sounded different during lockdown, you are probably right. In the uniquely calm circumstances of the Covid-19 restrictions in San Francisco, the birds responded by lowering their pitch, singing sexier songs, and making their songs clearer.

A smartphone held in a person's hand while the person taps the screen displaying the NHS Covid-19 appThe new NHS Covid-19 app for England and Wales

Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

September 24th

The NHS Covid-19 app goes live in England and Wales but testing and tracking is still limited

The official test and trace app for England and Wales went live today, with more than one million downloads so far. The app uses Bluetooth technology built into smartphones to detect people nearby and warn users if any of those people later test positive for the virus. The government encourages everyone over the age of 16 to download and use the app.

Some users have reported problems with the app before, and it does not work on some iPhone and Android smartphones, including iPhone 6 and older models. UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Breakfast this morning that the app would work on the "vast majority" of the country's smartphones. However, there are concerns that limitations in testing and contact tracing could negate the potential usefulness of the app.

The newest NHS test and trace numbers show that it takes longer to return results for Coronavirus tests in England. Only 28.2 percent of coronavirus tests conducted in community test centers returned results within 24 hours of the week ending September 16, compared with 33.3 percent the previous week. Over the same period, NHS Test and Trace reached 74.7 percent of contacts made by people diagnosed with the virus, below the 80 percent or more recommended by the government's scientific advisors.

Only 18 percent of people in the UK say they self-isolate after developing symptoms of the coronavirus, and only 11 percent say they self-isolate after being told by contact tracers that they have a confirmed coronavirus – case have come into contact preparatory study by researchers at King & # 39; s College London. The study, which was not peer-reviewed, interviewed more than 31,000 people in the UK between March 2nd and August 5th.

The number of new coronavirus cases in England also rose, but less than in the previous week. 19,278 people tested positive for the virus between September 10 and 16, compared with 18,371 the week before. That small weekly increase could be due to "oddities in the reporting test system rather than a sudden plateau in viral cases," said James Naismith of the University of Oxford in one statement.

Other coronavirus news

The number of people in the UK diagnosed with common medical conditions – including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and mental illness – – was about 50 percent lower than normally expected between March and May this year, a study found. The study, published in The Lancet Public Health analyzed electronic health records from 47 general practitioners in Salford, UK, between January 2010 and May this year. Britain was locked on March 23rd.

United Airlines in the US is expected to be the first airline to offer rapid coronavirus testing to some of its passengers. The company plans to test the program on flights from San Francisco to Hawaii starting October 15 with 15-minute rapid tests from US biotech company Abbott.

Coronavirus deaths

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The global death toll has exceeded 978,000. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 31.9 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Test problems: How the UK can bring its disastrous coronavirus testing under control.

A doctor holds a syringe near a patient's armThe doctor gives a vaccine

Udom Pinyo / Getty Images

September 23rd

Volunteers are intentionally infected with the coronavirus in their first challenge attempts

Healthy volunteers are deliberately infected with the coronavirus to test the effectiveness of experimental coronavirus vaccines in London next year in the world's first coronavirus human challenge trials. About 2,000 people in the UK have volunteered to receive one of several experimental vaccines and then receive a dose of the coronavirus under controlled conditions. The volunteers have joined the process through the advocacy organization 1Day Sooner, which is scheduled to start in January. Earlier this year the group organized one open letter Signed by prominent researchers, including Nobel Prize winners, urging the US government to prepare immediately for experiments with human challenges. The researchers behind the studies, which are funded by the UK government, said the Financial Times that the studies would play an important role in identifying the most promising vaccine candidates that are expected to enter clinical trials in early 2021.

Other coronavirus news

There were 6,178 new coronavirus cases Recorded across the UK today, the highest daily total since May 1st. Scotland 486 new coronavirus cases were registered yesterday, the highest daily number since the epidemic began, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told a briefing today. In the Scottish city of Dundee, 500 university students have been instructed to withdraw because of a Suspected dorm breakout. Meanwhile in England More than a million students were absent from school last Thursday for reasons related to covid-19, the country's Ministry of Education said. Yesterday the Isle of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall in England recorded hers first coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged the people of England to follow new rules announced yesterday to limit the spread of the coronavirus, warning that the government could put more restrictions in place if people fail to abide by them. "If people don't follow the rules we set, we must reserve the right to go further," Johnson said during a televised address. However, some have questioned the logic behind the new rules. "Closing restaurants and pubs earlier does little to prevent the spread as long as several different households can meet exchangeably," said David Strain of the University of Exeter in one statement.

The official test and trace app for England and Wales launches tomorrow after being tested in Newham, London and the Isle of Wight. It will be the second iteration of the app after the first was canceled because it struggled to recognize iPhones. There is Concerns about lack of transparency around the new app, and the government has yet to prove that it is effective and ready for mass rollout, the Health Foundation charity said in one statement today.

Germany's contact tracking app, the Corona warning app, became is used to broadcast 1.2 million coronavirus test results According to official information from laboratories to users in the first 100 days. The app has been downloaded more than 18 million times since it first launched in June, and more than 90 percent of laboratories in the country are now connected to it.

Coronavirus deaths

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The global death toll has exceeded 972,000. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 31.6 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Asymptomatic infection: People who have the coronavirus with no symptoms appear to have similar levels of virus in their nose and throat as people with mild symptoms, according to a study. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are as likely to spread Covid-19 as they are.

Doctor diary: How can we deal with the long symptoms of Covid-19?

A restaurant worker wearing a mask carries a tray of drinksA staff member wears a face mask as she serves customers at The Shy Horse Pub and Restaurant in Chessington, Greater London

BEN STANSALL / AFP via Getty Images

September 22

New restrictions on England could take six months, says the UK Prime Minister

People in England are asked to work from home whenever possible and pubs, bars and restaurants have to close at 10 p.m. every night new restrictions British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today, which will take effect on Thursday. Under the new rules Johnson told MPs today could stay in place for six monthsPubs, bars, and restaurants are limited to table service only, and face masks are mandatory for hotel staff and non-seated customers, as well as retail workers and taxi drivers. In Scotland a Ban on meeting people in houses extends from Glasgow and the surrounding area to the whole country, and bars, pubs and restaurants have to close at 10pm.

Linda Bauld of the University of Edinburgh said in a statement that the new measures for England are not as severe as might have been expected, with some of them already being carried out under local lockdowns in parts of the nation. "What is worrying, however, is that they are accompanied by whips, but not carrots," said Bauld, "in public, there is a threat of increasing violations." Shops and hospitality establishments that fail to adhere to the rules for using face coverings, tracing contacts and limiting maximum group size, closing down risks, or fines of up to £ 10,000. The fines for those who do not wear a face covering or who follow the rules will be increased from £ 100 to £ 200 for the first offense.

Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove told BBC Radio 4's Today program that People should work from home "If you can," a reversal of the Prime Minister's advice in July when he encouraged people to go back to work.

“It makes sense to urge people to work from home if possible. It should never have encouraged people to get back to work, ”said Michael Head of the University of Southampton in one statement. "We have already seen outbreaks related to the office environment and there is no reason to encourage an increase in the number of commuters using public transport."

Other coronavirus news

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have Traced back to advice posted last week regarding airborne broadcast of the coronavirus. The council suggested that the virus spread through tiny droplets that can linger in the air. The World Health Organization acknowledges that there is some evidence This airborne transmission can occur in crowded rooms with insufficient ventilation. The main way coronavirus is transmitted, however, is via larger droplets of coughs and sneezes that land on surfaces and get on people's hands. The CDC withdrew its guidance yesterday, and a spokesperson told CNN that "a draft of the proposed changes to these recommendations has been mistakenly published".

According to the USA, more than 200,000 people have now died of Covid-19 Johns Hopkins University, the highest number for a nation. The country has registered more than 6.8 million cases of the coronavirus.

Covid-19 was a contributing factor to 1 percent of all deaths recorded in England and Wales in the week leading up to September 11th National Statistics Office. The number is among the lowest since March, but there is Concern that deaths can occur due to the recent increase in cases and hospitalizations.

No new locally acquired coronavirus infections were registered in New South Wales, Australia today For the first time in 76 days. Two infections confirmed yesterday were both returned travelers in hotel quarantine, according to local health authorities.

Coronavirus deaths

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The global death toll has exceeded 965,000. The number of confirmed cases is loud. More than 31.3 million Johns Hopkins Universityalthough the true number of cases will be much higher.

Two people standing outside under a pavilion occupying a temporary coronavirus testing facilityStaff at a testing facility for NHS appointments only accept test kits from members of the public in Redcar, England

Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

21st September

New localized lockdown restrictions go into effect in parts of the UK tomorrow

Among the warnings from scientists that the epidemic is in Britain Doubling every seven daysThe UK, which could lead to 50,000 cases a day by mid-October, has put new restrictions in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The country's chief physician also advised that the The coronavirus alert level has been increased from 3 to 4. According to the government 5-tier warning systemAn alert level of 4 indicates transmission is high or increasing exponentially and warrants increased social distancing measures. The UK currently has around 3,000 cases per day, compared to around 5,000 per day at the height of the epidemic in the spring.

Wales has now followed England in the introduction additional localized coronavirus restrictions, should come into force tomorrow. A total of, at least 13.9 million people in the UK Now there are some form of additional local restrictions. Tomorrow after 6pm, people in Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent and Newport, Wales are not allowed to leave these areas or meet with people from other households. Restaurants, bars and pubs must close at 11 p.m. every evening. Similar restrictions will affect Rhondda Cynon Taf in Wales starting tomorrow and 10.9 million people in parts of northwest England, West Yorkshire and the Midlands. Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told journalists this today additional lock restrictions will "almost certainly" be introduced in Scotland in the next few days.

Other coronavirus news

Coronavirus The restrictions will be lifted across New Zealand Today, with the exception of Auckland, where some restrictions remain. "Our joint actions have managed to get the virus under control," said the country's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a press conference today. There are currently 62 active cases of the virus in New Zealand, 33 of which are linked to a cluster in Auckland. The rules in Auckland will be relaxed further on Wednesday, with the number of gatherings expected to increase from 10 to 100 people.

Strict In the Spanish capital Madrid, new lockdown measures came into force today. Am Wochenende gingen Tausende von Menschen im südlichen Stadtteil Vallecas auf die Straße, um gegen die neuen Beschränkungen zu protestieren. Nach den neuen Regeln dürfen Menschen die Gebiete, in denen sie leben, nur zur Arbeit oder zur medizinischen Notfallbehandlung verlassen.

Indiens Taj Mahal wurde heute zum ersten Mal wiedereröffnet da es wegen der Pandemie im März geschlossen wurde. Besucher müssen strenge Regeln für die physische Distanzierung einhalten, und die Anzahl der Besucher ist auf 5000 pro Tag begrenzt – – ein Viertel der üblichen Rate.

Coronavirus deaths

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Die weltweite Zahl der Todesopfer hat 961.000 überschritten. The number of confirmed cases is loud Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Zahl der Todesopfer: Die meisten Menschen haben immer noch keine Immunität gegen das Virus hinter covid-19. Es besteht jedoch ein wachsendes Risiko, dass einige von uns gegen die enormen Zahlen immun werden, die diese Pandemie wöchentlich auslöst. Die weltweite Zahl der Todesopfer durch covid-19 liegt bei fast 1 Million. Das ist eine Zahl, über die wir uns nicht blasieren lassen sollten.

UK-Epidemie: Großbritannien steht vor einem „sehr schwierigen Problem“ mit steigenden Todesfällen und Fällen, wenn sich der Kurs nicht ändert, warnte Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer für England.

Käufer gehen an einer elektronischen Werbetafel vorbei, auf der eine Anzeige der britischen Regierung zu sehen ist, in der die Öffentlichkeit aufgefordert wird, Vorsichtsmaßnahmen zu treffen, um die Ausbreitung von COVID-19 im Stadtzentrum von Newcastle einzudämmenKäufer gehen an einer elektronischen Werbetafel vorbei, auf der eine Anzeige der britischen Regierung in Newcastle, Großbritannien, angezeigt wird

OLI SCARFF / AFP via Getty Images

18. September

Britische Regierung erwägt kurzfristige nationale Sperrung im Oktober

Laut dem britischen Gesundheitsminister Matt Hancock könnte Großbritannien im Oktober eine zweite landesweite Sperrung erleben. In einem Interview heute sagte Hancock Sky Nachrichten dass die Regierung eine kurzfristige nationale Sperrung im Oktober nicht ausschließt. "Wir müssen erkennen, dass die Zahl der Fälle steigt und wir müssen handeln", sagte er. Dies geschieht nach Warnungen hochrangiger wissenschaftlicher Berater an die Regierung, dass Großbritannien in Bezug auf Coronavirus-Fälle etwa sechs Wochen hinter Frankreich und Spanien zurückliegt und ohne weitere Intervention bis Mitte Oktober mit einem signifikanten Anstieg der Fälle rechnen kann. Frankreich setzte a Aufzeichnung für täglich neue Coronavirus-Fälle Laut Gesundheitsministerium wurden am Donnerstag innerhalb von 24 Stunden 10.593 neue Fälle im Land registriert.

Die neueste Schätzung des Vereinigten Königreichs R number – – Die Anzahl der Personen, die jeder Coronavirus-Fall infiziert – – liegt zwischen 1,1 und 1,4, zwischen 1 und 1,2 in der Vorwoche und zwischen 0,9 und 1,1 in der Woche zuvor neueste Regierungszahlen. Die aktuelle Zahl ist repräsentativ für die Situation vor zwei bis drei Wochen, da die zur Modellierung der R-Zahl verwendeten Daten zeitlich verzögert sind. In heute veröffentlichten Dokumenten warnt die wissenschaftliche Beratergruppe der Regierung für Notfälle vor Neuinfektionen in Großbritannien kann sich so schnell wie alle sieben Tage verdoppeln und nach den neuesten Ergebnissen von a zufällige Tupfertestumfrage Nach Angaben des Amtes für nationale Statistiken hatte in der Woche bis zum 10. September etwa einer von 900 Menschen in Gemeinden in England das Virus, gegenüber etwa einem von 1400 in der Vorwoche.

Teile des Nordwestens Englands, West Yorkshires und der Midlands sind die neuesten Gebiete in Großbritannien Verschärfung der Coronavirus-Beschränkungen. Ab Dienstag dürfen sich die Menschen in diesen Gebieten nicht mehr mit Menschen aus anderen Haushalten vermischen. Pubs und Restaurants müssen jeden Tag um 22 Uhr schließen. "Es scheint ironisch, dass wir nach der Förderung des Massenbesuchs in Pubs, Cafés und Restaurants durch" Essen gehen, um zu helfen "jetzt erwägen, diese Aktivitäten einzuschränken oder zu schließen", sagte Jonathan Ball von der University of Nottingham in a statement. Mindestens 13,5 Millionen Menschen im Land sind jetzt lokalen Beschränkungen ausgesetzt, darunter 10,9 Millionen Menschen in England.

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Details zu einem Teilnehmer an der AstraZeneca Coronavirus-Impfstoffstudie, bei dem neurologische Symptome auftraten, die Anfang September wurde der Prozess abgebrochenwurden in einem i offenbartInterner Sicherheitsbericht von der Firma. Die 37-jährige Frau hatte laut dem Bericht Symptome einer seltenen neurologischen Erkrankung namens transversale Myelitis, einschließlich Schmerzen, Schwäche und Schwierigkeiten beim Gehen.

Israel wurde heute das erstes Land, das eine zweite landesweite Sperrung einführtMenschen müssen sich in einem Umkreis von 500 Metern um ihre Häuser aufhalten, es sei denn, sie reisen zur Arbeit.

Coronavirus deaths

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Die weltweite Zahl der Todesopfer hat 947.000 überschritten. The number of confirmed cases is loud. Mehr als 30,2 Millionen Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Standardbild des neuen Wissenschaftlers "data-credit =" David Cliff / NurPhoto / PA Images "data-caption =" Personen, die die Oxford Circus Station in London, England, betreten.

Leute, die Oxford Circus Station in London, England betreten.

17. September

Starker Anstieg neuer Coronavirus-Fälle in England trotz Testmangel

Die wöchentliche Anzahl von Menschen, die in England positiv auf das Coronavirus getestet wurden ist stark gestiegen, da das Land unter Testmangel leidet. Zwischen dem 3. und 9. September wurde bei 18.371 Menschen Covid-19 diagnostiziert, was laut Angaben „einem deutlichen Anstieg von 167 Prozent gegenüber Ende August“ entspricht NHS Test und Trace. Dies könnten "die letzten verlässlichen Zahlen" über den Stand der Epidemie des Landes seit einiger Zeit sein, da weniger Tests verfügbar sind, sagte Daniel Lawson von der University of Bristol in a statement.

Die Zeit für die Rückgabe der Tests dauert ebenfalls länger. Der Anteil der innerhalb von 24 Stunden eingegangenen Testergebnisse ging im gleichen Zeitraum im September von 32 Prozent in der Woche zuvor auf 14,3 Prozent zurück. "Tests, deren Berichterstattung und Durchführung viele Tage in Anspruch nimmt, haben keinen Wert für die Unterdrückung der Pandemie", sagte James Naismith von der University of Oxford in einem statement. Im Juni hat der britische Premierminister Boris Johnson sagte dem Parlament dass alle Coronavirus-Tests bis Ende des Monats innerhalb von 24 Stunden zurückgegeben werden.

The Die Website für die Online-Buchung von Coronavirus-Tests in Großbritannien hat Probleme um der wachsenden Nachfrage nach Tests gerecht zu werden. Immer mehr Benutzer melden Fehlermeldungen, wenn sie versuchen, Tests auf der Site zu buchen.

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Today the Die britische Regierung kündigte neue Beschränkungen an Betroffen sind fast zwei Millionen Menschen im Nordosten Englands, wo die Fallraten besonders hoch sind. Nach den neuen Regeln, die heute Abend um Mitternacht in Kraft treten, ist es Menschen verboten, Menschen aus anderen Haushalten zu treffen. Restaurants, Bars und Pubs müssen ebenfalls um 22 Uhr schließen. Betroffene Gebiete sind Sunderland, wo die Infektionsrate derzeit 103 pro 100.000 Menschen beträgt, sowie Newcastle, South Tyneside und Gateshead, die alle Infektionsraten über 70 aufweisen, sagte der britische Gesundheitsminister Matt Hancock heute gegenüber Abgeordneten. "Die Daten sagen, dass wir jetzt handeln müssen", sagte Hancock.

Europa hat "Alarmierende Übertragungsraten", warnte die Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) heute, Dies ermutigte die Länder, die empfohlene 14-tägige Selbstisolierungsfrist für Personen einzuhalten, die möglicherweise dem Coronavirus ausgesetzt waren. In Großbritannien beträgt die Empfehlung derzeit 10 Tage. Andere europäische Länder, darunter Portugal und Kroatien, erwägen laut Angaben der EU, die Dauer der empfohlenen Selbstisolation zu verkürzen Guardian. „Wenn ich die immensen individuellen und gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen kenne, kann selbst eine geringfügige Verkürzung der Quarantänelänge (…) dazu führen, dass die Länder der Region mit ihren Experten einen wissenschaftlichen Prozess durchführen und sichere Reduktionsoptionen prüfen“, so Hans Kluge, WHO-Regionaldirektor für Europa, sagte auf einer Pressekonferenz.

Es wird mindestens dauern ein Jahr vor einem Coronavirus-Impfstoff Robert Redfield, Direktor der US-amerikanischen Zentren für die Kontrolle und Prävention von Krankheiten, sagte gestern vor einem US-Senatsgremium. In one (n Interview Mit Fox & Friends Anfang dieser Woche sagte US-Präsident Donald Trump, ein Impfstoff könne "in wenigen Wochen" fertig sein.

Coronavirus deaths

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Die weltweite Zahl der Todesopfer hat 942.000 überschritten. The number of confirmed cases is loud Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Verfolgung von Blutsauerstoff: Apples kürzlich veröffentlichte Smartwatch der Serie 6 verfügt über eine neue Funktion: Sie kann Ihren Blutsauerstoffgehalt messen. Die Technologie muss Jahre in der Entwicklung gewesen sein, aber der Zeitpunkt ihrer Veröffentlichung hat gut funktioniert, da wir uns mitten in einer globalen Atempandemie befinden.

Die nächste Pandemie stoppen: Covid-19 ist nicht die erste Pandemie, mit der die Menschheit konfrontiert ist, und es wird nicht die letzte sein. Was passiert ist, bietet Lektionen darüber, wie Virenwarnungen in Zukunft beurteilt und darauf reagiert werden können.

Was jetzt?: Fünf Wissenschaftler erzählen uns, was als nächstes mit der Covid-19-Pandemie passiert.

Menschen stehen in einer Coronavirus-Testeinrichtung anMenschen stehen in einer Coronavirus-Testeinrichtung in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, an

Jacob King / PA Draht / PA Bilder

15. September

Weit verbreitete Berichte von Menschen, die in England um Coronavirus-Tests kämpfen

Englands Coronavirus-Testsystem ist deutlich überfordertViele Menschen in den 10 am stärksten betroffenen Coronavirus-Hotspots des Landes können keine Tests durchführen. Menschen, die am Montag in Bolton, Salford, Bradford, Blackburn, Oldham, Preston, Pendle, Rochdale, Tameside und Manchester versuchen, Tupfertests zu buchen, wurde mitgeteilt, dass dies nicht möglich sei LBC. Bolton hat derzeit 171 Coronavirus-Fälle pro 100.000 Menschen, die höchste Rate in England. „Es scheint, dass die Testverfahren mehrere Engpässe aufweisen. Diese werden nicht öffentlich zugänglich gemacht, daher können wir nur spekulieren, dass dies begrenzte Materialien für den Testprozess, Kapazitäts- und Verfahrensfragen sein könnten “, sagte Brendan Wren von der London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in einem statement. "Dies muss dringend angegangen werden, und wenn es sich um eine (Labor-) Kapazität (ein Problem) handelt, sollten Universitätslabors weiter verbreitet werden", sagte Wren.

Ein Sprecher des Ministeriums für Gesundheit und Soziales teilte dem mit Guardian: „Es ist falsch zu sagen, dass in diesen Bereichen keine Tests verfügbar sind und unsere Kapazität weiterhin dort eingesetzt wird, wo sie am dringendsten benötigt wird.“ Es gab jedoch auch Berichte über Testmängel an anderer Stelle. NHS Providers, eine Einrichtung, die Krankenhaus-Trusts in England vertritt, teilte der BBC dass sich NHS-Mitarbeiter selbst isolieren müssen, weil sie keine Tests für sich selbst oder ihre Familienmitglieder erhalten können.

Bereits im August waren die Laboratorien, in denen Community-Tupfertests in England analysiert wurden, überlastet Guardian heute enthüllt. NHS England schickte am 24. August eine E-Mail an alle NHS-Labors, in der sie aufgefordert wurden, das UK Lighthouse Labs Network zu unterstützen, eine private Gruppe von Labors, die aufgrund eines „Kapazitätsanstiegs“ Community-Abstriche analysiert hat.

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Ein Bericht der Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation warnt vor dem Coronavirus pandemic has pushed back progress on improving health around the world by “about 25 years.” The pandemic has increased poverty by 7 per cent and led to a drop in routine vaccination coverage from 84 per cent last year down to 70 per cent, according to the report. “It’s a huge setback,” Bill Gates said at a media briefing on the report’s findings today. The report also highlighted the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women, racial and ethnic minority communities and people living in extreme poverty.

Schools in England have seen a higher absence rate among pupils this term compared to last year, according to the nation’s Department for Education. Official figures suggest 88 per cent of pupils attended school last Thursday, below the figure for the same term last year of about 95 per cent. Since schools reopened earlier this month, school leaders have warned that delays in testing are leading to year groups being sent home, the BBC reported.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 930,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 29.3 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Man wearing face mask carries Spanish flag during protestAnti-government protesters rallying in Madrid, Spain amid the covid-19 outbreak, on September 12, 2020

Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

14 September

New global record for daily new coronavirus cases as WHO warns of rise in deaths in Europe

ONE record single day increase in global coronavirus cases was recorded on Sunday with 307,930 new confirmed cases . The largest increases were in India, the US and Brazil, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO also warned that Europe can expect to see more deaths from covid-19 as soon as next month. “It’s going to get tougher. In October, November, we are going to see more mortality,” said Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, in an interview with the AFP news agency today. Cases in Europe have increased sharply over the last few weeks, with case rates highest in Spain and France. There are 270.7 cases per 100,000 people in Spain and 153.9 per 100,000 people in France, according to the latest 14-day cumulative figures from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. In the UK there are 51.1 cases per 100,000 people.

Other coronavirus news

Laboratory-made antibodies will be given to about 2000 covid-19 patients in UK hospitals as part of the UK’s RECOVERY trial, a large-scale clinical trial to test existing drugs as therapies for covid-19. In June, data from the RECOVERY trial provided the first evidence that a steroid drug called dexamethasone could save lives for those with severe covid-19. In the new trial of antibodies made specifically to combat the coronavirus, the first patients will be given the experimental treatment in the coming weeks. “There are lots of good reasons for thinking it might well be effective – – stopping the virus from reproducing, stopping the virus from causing damage, improving survival for patients,” Martin Landray at the University of Oxford, who is co-leading the RECOVERY trial, told the BBC. “Monoclonal, or targeted, antibodies are already used to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases,” said Fiona Watt, executive chair of the Medical Research Council in the UK, in a statement. “The new trial will tell us whether antibodies that attack the virus can be an effective treatment for covid-19.”

An email seen by the BBC reveals that UK government chief scientific advisor Patrick Vallance argued that the UK’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions be imposed earlier than they actually were, and in response he was given a “telling off” from other senior officials. Vallance referred to advice given by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies on 16 March, suggesting “additional social-distancing measures” be implemented “as soon as possible.” The UK went into lockdown on 23 March, about two months after the country’s first confirmed case, which einige Forscher blame for the UK’s high number of coronavirus deaths.

Israel has become the first country to announce a second nationwide lockdown to begin Friday and last three weeks. It is an effort to contain a second-wave surge of new cases, Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday. People will be required to stay within 500 metres of their homes, with the exception of travelling to workplaces. Schools will also be closed.

US-Präsident Donald Trump held the first indoor presidential campaign rally in months in Nevada on Sunday, despite local officials saying it violated the state’s rule limiting gatherings to 50 people. In a statement before the rally, Nevada’s governor Steve Sisolak criticised Trump’s decision 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 death toll has passed 925,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 29 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Coronavirus family tree: Like any other biological entity, SARS-CoV-2 has a family tree. It isn’t a very old one – the virus has only been recognised since December – but it still has tales to tell.

Racism in healthcare: Covid-19 is affecting ethnic minorities more severely, but we will never understand why if we don’t collect the right data, says Alisha Dua.

Two people attend a covid-19 testing facilityMembers of the public attend an NHS covid testing facility in Bolton town centre as restrictions are tightened in the area on 9 September

Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

11 September

New data suggests England’s R number could be as high as 1.7

The UK’s coronavirus epidemic is growing, according to the latest government figures. Simon Clarke at the University of Reading described this as a “massive blow to the government’s strategy to contain the spread of covid-19.” Great Britain R number – – the estimated number of people each infected person goes on to infect – – is between 1 and 1.2, up from between 0.9 and 1.1 last week. This data is representative of the situation two to three weeks ago, due to a time-lag in the data used to model the R, but is in line with more recent data for England from a separate study by researchers at Imperial College London, which suggests England’s R number could be as high as 1.7.

The study, commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care, tested over 150,000 people in communities in England between 22 August and 7 September and used this to model the R number. It found that 0.13 per cent of people tested positive – – equivalent to 130 per 100,000 people in the population. The latest results from a random swab testing survey by the Office for National Statistics also indicate an increase in infections in communities in England and Wales in recent weeks.

The rise in cases “suggests that the recent uptick in cases is not just because of greater testing,” said Clarke in a statement. “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.”

Other coronavirus news

ONE new coronavirus contact tracing app will go live across England and Wales on 24 September, the government announced today. The new app will allow people to scan QR codes to register visits to bars and restaurants and will use Apple and Google’s method for detecting other smartphones nearby. The UK government was previously forced to abandon development of an earlier app, built on different technology, due to its inability to recognise a significant proportion of Apple and Android devices. Scotland’s app, Protect Scotland, went live yesterday.

Birmingham in England is being put under a local lockdown due to a spike in cases. The city now has the second highest rate of coronavirus infection in England, after Bolton. There were 85.4 cases per 100,000 people in Birmingham during the week ending 7 September, up from 32 in the previous week. People in Birmingham will no longer be allowed to meet with other households.

India has recorded the highest number of daily new coronavirus cases in a single country since the pandemic began, with 96,551 cases recorded in the country on Thursday.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 910,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 28.2 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Reports of reinfection: In recent weeks, the first confirmed reports of people who have been re-infected with the coronavirus have begun to trickle in. Such cases suggest that, in some people at least, the immune system doesn’t develop lasting protection against the virus. How worried should we be?

An adult singer wearing robes and a face shield walking in a churchAn adult singer from the York Minster Choir walks to rehearse ahead of a performance in York, England.

Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

10 September

Latest figures show significant jump in weekly coronavirus cases in England

The number of people who tested positive for the coronavirus in England was 9864 in the week ending 2 September, up 47 per cent from 6732 in the previous week, according to the latest numbers from NHS Test and Trace. It’s the highest number of weekly positive cases recorded since the system was launched in May. During the same week, NHS Test and Trace only managed to reach 69.2 per cent of the contacts of people diagnosed with the virus in England – below the target of 80 per cent or more recommended by government scientific advisors to limit infections from spreading.

Public health specialists have raised concerns about the feasibility of government plans announced yesterday to spend £100 billion on expanding testing to 10 million tests per day by early 2021. Chaand Nagpaul, council chairman of the British Medical Association told the BBC it is unclear how these tests will work, given the “huge problems” with lab capacity. Sarah-Jane Marsh, director for testing at NHS Test and Trace apologised for the problems with the testing scheme earlier this week. Even if testing can be expanded, concerns remain about accuracy and contact tracing capacity. Transport secretary Grant Shapps told BBC Breakfast this morning that the technology to carry out the plan doesn’t currently exist.

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US president Donald Trump admitted to playing down the threat posed by the coronavirus in March, during an interview with journalist Bob Woodward revealed in his forthcoming book. “I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told Woodward on 19 March. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.” Trump also 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 less of a concern than the flu.

AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot today told an online briefing he is hopeful that the company’s coronavirus vaccine candidate could be ready for global distribution in the first half of 2021. Trials of the vaccine, which is being developed in partnership with the University of Oxford, were put on hold yesterday after a participant developed neurological symptoms. An independent safety committee is currently reviewing data on the affected participant, said Soriot.

Scotland’s Test and Protect system, the nation’s equivalent to NHS Test and Trace in England, today released its Protect Scotland app, which alerts people if they have been in close contact with someone who later tests positive for the coronavirus. Like Northern Ireland’s app, Scotland’s new app was built using the toolkit provided by Apple and Google. England doesn’t yet have a widely available equivalent app but has been testing a similar one on the Isle of Wight and in the London borough of Newham over the past month, after abandoning development of an NHS Covid-19 app built on different technology, due to its inability to recognise 96 per cent of Apple phones and 25 per cent of Google Android devices.

University students in England may be required to stay in their student accommodation and avoid visiting their family homes in the event of local coronavirus outbreaks, according to new guidance published by the UK Department for Education today. Students with covid-19 symptoms should “self-isolate in their current accommodation”, the guidance says. It also suggests that universities group students living in halls of residence into “households” that include all of those living on the same floor or sharing communal facilities, potentially including as many as 30 students. The guidelines add that private gatherings, including those within student households, must still be limited to a maximum of six people.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 905,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 27.9 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Coronavirus and flu: Doctors are fretting about concurrent outbreaks of flu and covid-19 but some virologists are worrying about another scenario: a Frankenvirus. Could the coronavirus merge with another virus to create a new threat?

A chemist working in a laboratoryA general view of analytical chemists at AstraZeneca headquarters in Sydney

DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAP/PA Images

9 September

UK government plans to expand coronavirus testing to 10 million tests a day

The UK government plans to carry out 10 million coronavirus tests per day by early 2021, according to documents obtained by the BMJ. Currently, the UK’s testing capacity is 350,000 per day. As part of the new plan, £100 billion will go towards the expansion of the country’s testing programme, the documents revealed, and GSK and AstraZeneca are among firms named for supplying tests and laboratory capacity respectively.

Martin McKee at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told the BMJ the plan is too optimistic and disregards “enormous problems with the existing testing and tracing programmes.” NHS Test and Trace in particular has been criticised for its repeated failure to reach a sufficient proportion of the contacts of people who test positive for the virus in England. Between 28 May and 26 August, the scheme reached 78.5 per cent of the contacts of people diagnosed in England – below the target of 80 per cent or more recommended by government scientific advisors.

Jon Meeks, a biostatistician at the University of Birmingham who reviewed the documents for the BMJ, tweeted that the documents “show a severe lack of science or reality. No consideration of harms that screening us all would create.” By doing BMJ he raised the problem of false positives: “If you test 60 million people (with a 99% accurate test) we will be classifying a group the size of the population of Sheffield as wrongly having covid.”

Other coronavirus news

Advanced trials of one of the most promising coronavirus vaccine candidates have been put on hold after a participant became ill in the UK. Drug firm AstraZeneca, which is developing the vaccine in partnership with the University of Oxford, has voluntarily paused the trials. This is standard procedure in vaccine development, and allows time for the researchers to determine the cause of the illness and ensure the safety of participants. AstraZeneca described the action as “routine” in a statement to STAT. The vaccine candidate has already passed preliminary trials, and is now undergoing phase II and III trials involving approximately 30,000 participants in the US as well as in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. These larger trials are designed to test whether it can prevent people from becoming infected with the coronavirus or getting ill with covid-19, as well as assessing long term safety.

Social gatherings in England will be limited to a maximum of six people from Monday 14 September, in an effort to tackle a recent spike in coronavirus cases. People will not be allowed to gather in groups larger than six either indoors or outdoors, with the exception of gatherings in schools, workplaces and some events such as weddings and funerals. UK health minister Matt Hancock told the BBC today that the new rule is “super simple” and will be “enforced by the police.” People could be fined between £100 and £3200 for violating the rule, he said. “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,” said Hancock.

Coronavirus deaths

Standard image of the new scientist

The worldwide death toll has passed 898,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 27.6 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Severe symptoms: An out-of-control human peptide called bradykinin could be responsible for some of the varied and sometimes deadly symptoms seen in people who have contracted the coronavirus. We already have drugs to control bradykinin, which are being tested as treatments for people with covid-19.

People walk on the street in central Bolton, Greater ManchesterPeople walk on the street in central Bolton, Greater Manchester

Jon Super/Xinhua/PA Images

8 September

New restrictions could be introduced across England due to surge in cases

The government could tighten restrictions on people meeting in England following the recent spike in coronavirus cases. According to several reports, the government could reduce the number of people allowed to meet outdoors to six, down from the current limit of 30. Restrictions on how many people can meet indoors may also become tighter, according to Sky News. Under current guidelines, only two households can congregate indoors.

England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, said the new wave of cases was because “people have relaxed too much.” Today, 2420 people tested positive for the coronavirus in the UK, down from 2948 on Monday but still high compared to daily figures in recent months. John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies told ITV that the UK as a whole is in a “risky period” because the country’s R number – the number of people each infected person goes on to infect – has risen above 1. An R number higher than 1 means that an epidemic is growing.

Some measures are already tightening in some parts of the UK, including Bolton, in Greater Manchester. The town currently has the highest case rate in the country, with 120 cases of the virus per 100,000 people. Pubs and restaurants there will now have to be take-away only and stay closed between 10 pm and 5 am, UK health minister Matt Hancock announced today. The current guidance, which says people should not socialise with those from a different household, will be made legally binding, he told MPs. The number of people allowed to visit hospitals and care homes will also be reduced under the 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,” said Hancock, adding “we’ve identified a number of pubs at which the virus has spread significantly.”

Other coronavirus news

Amid increasing reports of people being told to attend drive-through testing centres hundreds of kilometres away from their homes, the director of testing for NHS Test and Trace, Sarah-Jane Marsh, tweeted an apology today to people in England who haven’t been able to get tested for the coronavirus. Marsh described laboratory processing as “the critical pinch-point” and said “we are doing all we can to expand quickly.” Last month researchers warned that the UK would probably face a second wave of coronavirus infections in winter if the country’s testing and contact tracing system didn’t improve by September.

There were 101 deaths from covid-19 in England and Wales during the week ending 28 August, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. This is down from 138 deaths in the previous week and is also the lowest number of deaths from the disease recorded since the week ending 13 March.

A school in Nottinghamshire in England has been forced to close after its head teacher was admitted to hospital with covid-19. Pupils and staff at Trowell Primary School have been told to stay home and self-isolate until 21 September. In the week since pupils returned to classrooms, coronavirus outbreaks have been reported at dozens of schools in England and Wales. Across Liverpool, an estimated 200 pupils are self-isolating after positive covid-19 cases at five schools, while five teachers at a school in Suffolk have tested positive.Coronavirus deaths

Standard image of the new scientist

The worldwide death toll has passed 897,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 27.3 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

What is a vaccine and how do they work?: The latest video in our new YouTube series, Science with Sam, explains how vaccines work by training your immune system to recognise viruses and bacteria. We also take a look at the unprecedented worldwide effort to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, and consider the challenges involved in making, testing and distributing covid-19 vaccines.

People take coronavirus swab testsPeople undertake a coronavirus test at a walk-in test facility in Bolton, UK, September 7, 2020

Phil Noble/REUTERS

7 September

The UK recorded its highest number of daily new cases since May on Sunday

There were 2948 new coronavirus cases confirmed in the UK today, down slightly from the 2988 new cases confirmed on Sunday, which marked the highest daily increase in cases recorded in the country since 23 May. “This is especially concerning for a Sunday when report numbers are generally lower than most other days of the week,” said Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia in a statement. “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,” said Hunter.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday expressed concern about the rise in cases, which he said were largely among people under 25, especially those 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 said yesterday. in the France and Spain, rises in infections among younger adults in August were followed by higher numbers of hospital admissions for older and more vulnerable people 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 said today.

Hancock’s concerns about younger people transmitting the virus to more vulnerable groups are shared by the government’s scientific advisors. ONE report endorsed by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies published last week warns there is a significant risk that reopening universities could amplify local and national transmission, adding that “it is highly likely that there will be significant outbreaks.” Because of the higher proportion of asymptomatic cases among younger age groups, cases and outbreaks are also likely to be harder to detect among student populations, says the report.

Other coronavirus news

India confirmed 90,632 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the country’s health ministry reported on Sunday, setting a new global record for the number of infections recorded in a single country in one day. India has confirmed more than 4.2 million cases since the pandemic began, the second-highest number for any country after the US.

The Tokyo Olympic Games will take place next year “with or without covid”, according to John Coates, vice-president of the International Olympic Committee. Previously, the committee said they would cancel the Games scheduled for July 2021 if necessary.

Coronavirus deaths

Standard image of the new scientist

The worldwide death toll has passed 889,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 27.1 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Keeping schools safe: There is wide agreement that schools must reopen, and stay open. Achieving this is fraught with unknowns, however. Although it seems that children are less likely to transmit and get sick from the coronavirus, we don’t know why that is the case. Should an outbreak occur, pupils’ families and school staff could still be at risk. In order to keep schools safe, governments must be prepared to shut down other areas of society to keep overall levels of virus transmission low.

A scientist pipettes liquid in a laboratorySputnik V, Gamaleya National Center

THE RUSSIAN DIRECT INVESTMENT FUND

4 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 is safe and induces an immune response. The vaccine was approved by Russian authorities last month, before any data had been made public or a large-scale trial had begun. In the preliminary trial, it was tested in a small group of 76 healthy volunteers. All the volunteers developed coronavirus-specific antibodies and T cells, and none experienced serious adverse reactions, according to results published in The lancet today. However, it still isn’t clear whether the vaccine protects people from becoming infected with the coronavirus or from getting ill. This will be investigated through phase III testing, which is already underway, and which is expected to include 40,000 people across Russia.

Some researchers are concerned that vaccine developers may come under political pressure to release doses of the vaccine for administration to the general public, before phase III testing is complete. “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,” said Eleanor Riley at the University of Edinburgh, in a statement.

The World Health Organization (WHO) today said it does not expect widespread coronavirus vaccination until mid-2021. “We are not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year,” said WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris at a briefing in Geneva. Harris said phase III trials will need to go on long enough to determine how “truly protective” and safe a given vaccine candidate is.

Other coronavirus news

Preliminary findings from a study by Public Health England found low rates of coronavirus infection among children and teachers in pre-school and primary school. Researchers took swabs from more than 12,000 children and teachers across 131 primary schools in England in June and early July, and detected only three cases of the virus. Ravindra Gupta at the University of Cambridge said the findings are not surprising, since limited numbers of children were attending schools in England during this time period. “We must not be complacent and falsely reassured,” said Gupta in a statement. “From September there will be more children, more mixing, more crowding and over winter less time will be spent outdoors,” he said, adding that there will be less chance to socially distance in schools in the coming months than it was possible to do in June.

New Zealand has recorded its first death from covid-19 since 28 May. A man in Auckland died after being admitted to hospital. His death is the first connected to a recent outbreak in the city, including 152 cases.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 870,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 26.3 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Social distancing: Computer scientists have used a database of public cameras to keep track of how well people are adhering to social distancing guidelines.

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

ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

3 September

New funding announced for trials of rapid new coronavirus tests in the UK

The UK government today announced £500 million worth of funding for trials of rapid coronavirus tests, including recently developed swab and saliva tests that can be performed in 90 minutes or less. The trials will also include community pilots investigating the effectiveness of repeat testing in schools and among the general population. “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 health minister Matt Hancock said in a statement today.

Having quicker tests could help speed up the identification of infected people and the tracing of their close contacts. But having a rapid test is “useless” if contacts can’t be identified because the tracing system is overwhelmed, Joshua Moon at the University of Sussex said in a statement. NHS Test and Trace has been criticised for its repeated failure to reach a sufficient proportion of the contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus in England. Entsprechend der latest numbers, 78.5 per cent of the contacts of people diagnosed with the virus in England were reached by NHS Test and Trace between 28 May and 26 August – below the target of 80 per cent or more recommended by government scientific advisors.

Other coronavirus news

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has notified states to prepare for the roll-out of a coronavirus vaccine within two months. “Limited covid-19 vaccine doses may be available by early November 2020,” according to CDC documents first published by the New York Times. 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.” But public health researchers are concerned that the move is being driven less by evidence and instead by a political effort to rush a vaccine before the November election. Michael Osterholm at the University of Minnesota told the Associated 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 start testing their protein-based coronavirus vaccine candidate in humans for the first time, to assess its safety and ability to induce an immune response. If this and subsequent trials are successful, the companies have said they could be requesting regulatory approval in the first half of next year.

A surge in demand for coronavirus tests has left the UK struggling to keep up. Some people with symptoms who tried to book coronavirus swab tests online told the BBC they were directed to testing centres more than 100 miles away from their homes. This could act as a “big disincentive to being tested”, Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia told the BBC, potentially limiting efforts to contain localised spikes in cases.

Coronavirus deaths

Standard image of the new scientist

The worldwide death toll has passed 864,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 26 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

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 drugs that reduce inflammation found to save lives from severe covid-19

A group of drugs that reduce inflammation have been confirmed to increase survival in people with severe covid-19. In a landmark study bringing together all the trials done so far looking at the effect of steroids on coronavirus, researchers in the World Health Organization (WHO) REACT working group analysed results from seven randomised clinical trials, which included 1703 critically ill patients with covid-19. They compared the outcomes of those who had received one of three corticosteroid drugs – – Dexamethasone, hydrocortisone or methylprednisolone – – with those who received standard care or a placebo. The researchers found that 32 per cent of those who received a corticosteroid treatment had died from the disease after 28 days, compared to 40 per cent of those who did not.

“The evidence for benefit is strongest for dexamethasone,” Stephen Evans at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said in a statement. These new results, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, add weight to earlier findings from the RECOVERY trial, which found that dexamethasone reduced deaths in critically ill covid-19 patients by a third for patients on ventilators and by a fifth for those receiving oxygen – the first drug shown to do so. “This analysis increases confidence that (dexamethasone) has a really worthwhile role in critically ill patients with covid-19,” Evans said. As a result of the study, the WHO is expected to update its guidance on treatment. In the UK, the drug has been in use for treating severely ill covid-19 patients since June.

Other coronavirus news

The US will not take part in a global initiative to develop and distribute a future coronavirus vaccine, because of its association with the WHO. More than 170 countries are participating in the initiative, called COVAX, which is working to ensure the equitable and fair global allocation of a potential vaccine. “We will not be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere said in a statement. The US is due to withdraw from the WHO entirely next July – a move Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has vowed to reverse if he is elected in November.

Coronavirus restrictions have been eased in parts of Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire in England, with the exceptions of Bolton and Trafford in Greater Manchester. The government today announced that restrictions on meetings between different households indoors in these areas, which were also due to be lifted today, would now remain in place due to increasing infection rates. Bolton currently has one of the highest rates of new virus cases in England, with 59 cases per 100,000 people in the week ending 29 August. Similar restrictions have also been introduced in the Glasgow area in Scotland, which has seen a rise in cases over the last two days.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 858,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 25.8 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Schools reopening: Schools across England and the US are about to reopen their doors to students who have been at home for months thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. What is the best way to keep children, and school staff and parents, safe?

Face coverings in schools: Should children returning to school wear face coverings? Official advice on this has evolved during the pandemic.

Oxford vaccine: A large trial of a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford has begun in the US. With similar trials already under way in the UK and Brazil, hopes are rising that we could find out if the vaccine works before the end of the year.

Pupils wash their handsPupils wash their hands as they arrive on the first day back to school at Charles Dickens Primary School in London

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

1 September

Pupils around the world return to schools with new coronavirus measures in place

Millions of pupils returned to school today for the first time since coronavirus lockdowns were introduced, including pupils in France, Poland, Russia, England and Wales as well as in Wuhan in China, where the coronavirus was first detected. Schools in England and Wales have introduced hygiene and social distancing measures in line with recently updated government guidance, including wearing of face coverings by pupils in communal areas and staggering of break times for different year groups. But a survey of 653 parents in these regions by YouGov revealed that 17 per cent were considering keeping their children out of school due to concerns about coronavirus.

UK schools minister Nick Gibb today urged parents to send their children back to school. Doing so would “help them catch up on the lost education they’ll inevitably have suffered in the lockdown period,” he told the BBC Breakfast show. A survey of thousands of teachers by the National Foundation for Educational Research suggests that children in England are three months behind in their studies following lockdown, and that the estimated learning gap between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils has risen by 46 per cent. 98 per cent of the teachers in the survey, which was conducted at the end of the last school year in July, said their pupils were further behind in the curriculum than they should have been at the time.

Other coronavirus news

The UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson today told MPs that people in the UK were returning to the office in “huge numbers”, although no evidence has emerged to support the claim. A spokesperson for Johnson told the Huffington Post “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 government’s campaign to encourage people to return to offices launched today. But in a recent survey of more than 6000 workers who have been working from home due to the pandemic, nine out of 10 said they would like to continue to do so.

Pharmaceutical giant Astrazeneca has expanded its agreement with UK company Oxford Biomedica to scale up production of its coronavirus vaccine candidate. Oxford Biomedica has agreed to produce tens of millions of doses of the vaccine candidate, which is being developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with the University of Oxford. The candidate recently entered late-stage trials in the US, with 30,000 people enrolled. In a statement, AstraZeneca said its global manufacturing capacity was close to 3 billion doses.

Although there has been an increase in the use of face coverings in the UK, only 13 per cent of people who wear reusable face masks are maintaining them in a way that is helpful to stopping the spread of coronavirus, according to a poll of 1944 people by YouGov. The survey found that the use of face coverings in the UK increased from 38 per cent to 69 per cent from mid to late July. However, only 13 per cent of people who said they wear washable face masks also said they wash them after every use and at 60 degrees C or higher.

Coronavirus deaths

Standard image of the new scientist

The worldwide death toll has passed 851,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 25.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Immune response: Throughout the coronavirus pandemic there have been fierce debates over the science – when to lock down, whether face coverings help and whether children are less susceptible, for example. The latest row is over whether we have been ignoring a crucial part of our immune response to the virus: T-cells.

schoolchildren waitingChildren wait outside the school gate in Johannesburg, South Africa.

KIM LUDBROOK/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

28 August

Children are at “strikingly low” risk of getting severely ill from coronavirus

Children are much less likely to get severe covid-19 than adults, and it is very rare for them to die from it, according to a UK study that was published in the BMJ today. The study tracked 651 under-18s admitted to hospital with coronavirus between January and July in England, Scotland and Wales. Six children died, 1 per cent of the total, and they had all had other severe illnesses before the virus struck, some of which were themselves life-limiting. The authors say this is a “strikingly low” death rate compared with 27 per cent for all ages in the population as a whole over the same time period. The findings are in line with previous similar research. Young people make up 1 to 2 per cent of cases of covid-19 worldwide, although it’s not clear why they seem to be less affected.

“There have been no deaths in otherwise healthy school-age children,” Calum Semple at the University of Liverpool told the BBC. “There is no direct harm from children going back to school,” he said. The findings come as some UK schools have been reopening for all their pupils for the first time since lockdown in March, with most schools in England due to be back by next week.

Other coronavirus news

The UK has announced plans for quickly immunising large numbers of people if a coronavirus vaccine is developed before winter. They involve allowing a wider range of healthcare staff to give shots, such as midwives, physiotherapists and dentists, as well as pharmacists, who already administer flu vaccines. It also grants powers to approve any vaccine that is proven safe and effective before the end of the year to the Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Agency. This body will become responsible for approving all drugs and vaccines from the start of 2021 once the UK’s Brexit transition period is over.

Schools reopening in the US have found Legionnaires’ disease bacteria in their water supply, which can cause deadly pneumonia. The Legionella microbe was found in the water supply of five schools in Ohio and four in Pennsylvania last week, and experts say it could be in more.

The World Health Organization is trying to get more countries to join Covax, its coronavirus vaccine allocation scheme, according to documents seen by Reuters. The WHO plan would see countries pooling funds so that if one vaccine succeeds, all participants will get a fair allocation. But the UN agency has struggled to get enough richer nations on board. Countries including the UK, the US and Japan have made their own deals with manufacturers developing vaccines, securing millions of doses for their own citizens.

Several large US states have said they will not follow official federal policy to stop testing people who think they have been exposed to the coronavirus but who do not have symptoms. In a rebuke to the new testing policy announced by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California, Texas, Florida, New York and four other states have said they will continue with the old regime. The CDC’s move provoked claims that it was a politically motivated move to lower the number of people testing positive ahead of the 2020 election.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide death toll has passed 832,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 24.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Internet outage slows covid-19 contact tracing: Health officials were unable to trace and isolate the contacts of thousands of people who tested positive for the coronavirus in England until up to a week later.

Standard image of the new scientistA woman walks past chairs painted with the colours of the Tour de France leaders’ jerseys on the seafront in Nice, France

ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images

27 August

WHO warns Europe is entering “tricky moment” as coronavirus cases climb

As some European countries have continued to report growth in covid-19 cases, governments are responding by tightening up restrictions and safety measures. France reported 5429 daily cases today, up from 3776 a week ago, and Italy counted 1366 cases, its biggest daily increase in more than three months and up against 642 a week ago. Daily numbers in other major European countries are relatively stable, with Spain at 7296, Germany at 1507 and the UK at 1048.

The French prime minister Jean Castex warned the country had seen an “undeniable surge” of cases and the epidemic “could become exponential”, with cases rising as quickly as they did in the early days of the pandemic. The virus is now circulating in 20 of the country’s 101 “departments”, up from two previously. With France’s reproduction number – the average number of people one infected person will likely infect – now at 1.4, Castex said masks will become mandatory in Paris. The 21-day Tour de France will still go ahead this Saturday.

The German government today rejected calls to relax restrictions, with a leaked plan saying private parties will be limited to 25 people and the anticipated end of a ban on large public gatherings in October will instead be extended to the end of the year.

Hans Kluge at the World Health Organization said today that Europe is entering a “tricky moment” as schools reopen across the continent, though he stressed that schools had not been a “main contributor” to the epidemic. Asked by New Scientist at a press conference today if European countries’ responses to growing cases this week are commensurate with keeping the virus in check, Maria van Kerkhove at the WHO said: “What we are seeing is countries applying different measures. What we are seeing are targeted, tailored approaches. Hopefully these are time-bound.” On measures such as mandating face coverings and limiting the size of gatherings, she said: “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.”

Other coronavirus news

The number of patients getting heart disease services at hospitals in the US and UK dropped by more than half during the countries’ lockdown, researchers have found. Schreiben in the journal Open Heart, they warned cardiology departments need to be prepared for a “significant increase in workload” in the coming months as a result.

In the UK, government statistics today show that three months after the launch of England’s contact tracing scheme, it is still falling short of reaching 80 per cent of close contacts of people who have tested positive for covid-19, the level the government’s scientific advisers say is needed. Three quarters of close contacts were reached between 13-19 August. Nearly 300,000 people have been reached since the system’s launch.

Separately, anyone in the UK on a low income who needs to self-isolate for 10 days and cannot work from home will be eligible to get £13 a day from the government in areas affected by local outbreaks, health secretary Matt Hancock said today.

A drug used to help cats with another coronavirus has been found to show promise in tackling the current coronavirus outbreak. The drug, GC376, and its parent, GC373, are “strong drug candidates for the treatment of human coronavirus infections because they have already been successful in animals,” the team write in Nature Communications. Here’s the New Scientist guide to all the latest on covid-19 treatments.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide death toll has passed 826,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 24 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Is the rush to roll out a coronavirus vaccine undermining safety? Some shortcuts are being taken in the race to get a coronavirus vaccine approved, but there are also more resources, openness and scrutiny than ever before.

Three school pupils walk through a doorwayPupils in Glasgow, Scotland return to school after lockdown on 12 August

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

26 August

Face coverings will now be mandatory for secondary school pupils in areas of England under lockdown

Secondary school pupils in areas of England under local lockdowns will now be required to wear face coverings in all communal areas except classrooms, after the government reversed its guidance last night. The government has been under mounting pressure from headteachers to adopt a stricter policy on the use of face coverings ahead of schools reopening next month. Within 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 told journalists today, citing recently updated World Health Organization guidelines. The new rule won’t apply to schools in areas that aren’t under lockdown, although head teachers in any secondary school will have the flexibility to introduce their own rules. In Wales, the decision on the use of face coverings in schools will be left to individual schools and councils.

Other coronavirus news

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been criticised for changing its guidelines on coronavirus testing to say that some people without symptoms may not require a test, even if they have been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. The change has not been explained by CDC leaders. Leana Wen, a doctor and public health professor at George Washington University, told CNN, “These are exactly the people who should be tested,” as they are key to contact tracing.

Fewer than 40,000 cases were confirmed in the US yesterday and daily new coronavirus cases there have been falling, after peaking on 22 July at about 70,000, though this may be due to insufficient testing. The total number of tests administered has fallen from an average of more than 820,000 per day in mid-August to about 690,000 per day in the last week or so.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide death toll has passed 820,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 23.9 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Vaccine race: Some shortcuts are being taken in the race to get a coronavirus vaccine approved, but there are also more resources, openness and scrutiny than ever before.

Face coverings: Do you get angry when you see someone without a face covering? They might have a good reason to avoid one, even if it isn’t obvious.

Man and two children wearing face masks walk towards school gateFather and two children walking to school wearing face masks

Sally Anscombe/Getty Images

25 August

UK government under pressure to review policy on face coverings in schools in England

Es gibt growing pressure on the UK government to review its policy on the wearing of face coverings in schools in England, after the Scottish government today announced that secondary school pupils will have to wear them in communal areas from Monday. Public Health England’s current guidance, issued in July, doesn’t recommend the use of face coverings in schools. The Association of School and College Leaders – – a headteachers’ union in the UK – – has criticised the lack of clarity around the rules on whether teachers and pupils can wear face coverings in schools in England. “The guidance is silent on what schools should do if staff or pupils want to wear face coverings,” the union’s general secretary, Geoff Barton told the BBC. During a visit to the south-west of England today, UK prime minister Boris Johnson said the government is continuing to look at the changing medical evidence, adding “if we need to change the advice then of course we will.” The Welsh government has said it will review its position on face coverings in schools.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization issued new guidance saying that children above age 12 should wear face masks in line with recommended practice for adults in the place where they live. Recent outbreaks in Scotland “reinforce the idea that covid-19 transmission in schools is potentially substantial”, said Rowland Kao at the University of Edinburgh in a statement. “Should masks be adopted, their use must be accompanied by awareness of the need for good mask hygiene and regular handwashing.”

Other coronavirus news

Two more patients have been reported to have been reinfected with the coronavirus, one in the Netherlands and another in Belgium. Yesterday, researchers at the University of Hong Kong announced that they had documented the first case of coronavirus reinfection. “That someone would emerge with a reinfection, that doesn’t make me nervous,” Marion Koopmans at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “We have to see whether this happens more often.”

Coronavirus cases in Spain are continuing to surge, with 175.7 cases per 100,000 people, according to the latest 14-day cumulative figures from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. This is compared to 62.8 cases per 100,000 people in France and 22.5 cases per 100,000 people in the UK. Unions in Madrid last week warned that the primary care system was “on the edge of collapse” due to lack of staff and capacity for testing.

People living in the Gaza Strip have been put under a lockdown after local authorities confirmed the first locally acquired cases of the coronavirus. A 48-hour lockdown went into effect on Monday evening across the territory.

Bali in Indonesia will not reopen to foreign tourists this year due to concerns about rising coronavirus cases.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide death toll has passed 814,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 23.6 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Less deadly in Europe: It is becoming increasingly clear that people are less likely to die if they get covid-19 now compared with earlier in the pandemic, at least in Europe, but the reasons why are still shrouded in uncertainty.

Plasma treatment: Blood plasma donated by people who have recovered from covid-19 will be used as a treatment for the infection in the US. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an emergency use authorisation for the treatment on 23 August, but the evidence that it works is lacking.

First case of reinfection: A healthy 33-year-old man is the first person confirmed to have caught the coronavirus twice, according to unpublished research from the University of Hong Kong. As details of the case emerge, researchers say there is still much we don’t know.

Person waits in line to receive covid-19 test kitHong Kong residents receive free covid-19 test kits

MIGUEL CANDELA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

24 August

Researchers say they have detected the first case of coronavirus reinfection

Researchers at the University of Hong Kong say they have documented the first case of a person being reinfected with the coronavirus. The team analysed virus samples taken from a man when he first tested positive for the coronavirus in late March, and again when he tested positive for a second time in mid-August. They discovered several differences in the sequences of the virus from the first and second infections, suggesting the man had been infected with two separate strains of the virus, rather than one long-lasting infection. Their findings have been accepted for publication in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.

What will the discovery mean for the dozens of vaccine candidates being developed to protect people against the coronavirus? It may indicate that being infected with the virus doesn’t necessarily protect people against future infections, said David Strain at the University of Exeter in a statement. “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 Strain. But Brendan Wren at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said it is important to take these results into context: “This is a very rare example of reinfection and it should not negate the global drive to develop covid-19 vaccines.”

Other coronavirus news

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Sunday issued emergency use authorisation for convalescent plasma as a treatment for severe covid-19. This is drawn from people who have recovered from infection with the coronavirus and contains antibodies to fight the virus. In one statement the FDA said that “the known and potential benefits of the (treatment) outweigh the known and potential risks.” More than 70,000 people in the US have received convalescent plasma as a treatment for covid-19 since March, through a programme run by the Mayo Clinic. FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said studies have found a 35 per cent improvement in survival for covid-19 patients given the plasma.

At least 17 staff and pupils at a school in Dundee have tested positive for the coronavirus less than two weeks after pupils returned to schools in Scotland. Kingspark school closed last Wednesday and pupils have been told to self-isolate until 3 September. Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon today announced that secondary school pupils in Scotland may be advised to wear face coverings, in light of new guidance from the World Health Organization. Schools in England are due to reopen in September, but a spokesperson for the prime minister today said there are no plans to review the current guidance in England for the wearing of face coverings in schools.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide death toll has passed 809,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 23.4 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Australia’s second wave: Australia’s second wave of the coronavirus appears to be finally subsiding, but the country isn’t out of the woods yet.

Vaccine technology: Prevention is better than cure, so we should start using genetic techniques to stop dangerous animal diseases jumping to humans, say Scott Nuismer and James Bull.

Commuters in front of a train stationCommuters arrive for work at Victoria Station in London

Alex Lentati/LNP/Shutterstock

21 August

Coronavirus R number in UK rises slightly but infections appear to be levelling off

In the UK, the latest estimate for the R number, the number of people each coronavirus case infects, has risen to between 0.9 and 1.1, up slightly from 0.8 to 1.0 the previous week. However, due to a time lag in the data used to model the R number, this is more representative of the situation two to three weeks ago. Estimates for the infection growth rates range between -3 and 1 per cent. This suggests infections in the UK are levelling off on average, in a continuation of the trend observed over the last few weeks. This is consistent with the latest results from the random swab testing survey by the Office for National Statistics, which suggests about 24,600 people in England – – 1 in 2200 – – had the virus in the week ending 13 August, compared to 28,300 people – – 1 in 1900 – – in the week ending 9 August

Local coronavirus restrictions in place in parts of northern England will be lifted on Saturday. People from two different households in Wigan in Greater Manchester and Rossendale and Darwen in Lancashire will now be allowed to meet in homes and gardens. But restrictions will remain in place in some other parts of Greater Manchester and Lancashire, as well as in parts of West Yorkshire and in Leicester. Oldham, which had the highest rate of infections in the UK last week at 103.1 cases per 100,000 people, has avoided the introduction of restrictions but will be subjected to “a more targeted intervention”, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Other coronavirus news

Travellers arriving in the UK from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago will be required to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival, starting at 4.00 am on Saturday, UK transport minister Grant Shapps announced yesterday. There are currently 47.2 cases per 100,000 people in Croatia compared to 21.2 per 100,000 people in the UK, according to cumulative figures for the last 14 days from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. Those arriving in the UK from Portugal, which currently has a case rate of 28.5 per 100,000 people, will no longer need to self-isolate. Shapps said it would be “too difficult” for the UK to adopt a more targeted approach to the quarantine rules like Germany’s, affecting travellers from specific regions rather than entire countries, due to the difficulty in assessing infection patterns overseas in sufficient detail.

Coronavirus cases have been reported among pupils or teachers at 41 schools in Germany’s capital Berlin, less than two weeks after schools reopened. Berlin was one of the first places in Germany to reopen schools after the summer break. Schools in Scotland reopened earlier this month and schools in England will reopen in September.

South Korea recorded its highest number of daily new coronavirus cases since 8 March, with 324 new cases confirmed on Thursday. There have been 732 cases linked to the new outbreak so far, 56 of which have been linked to a single church in Seoul.

Lebanon has reintroduced a partial lockdown and an overnight curfew in an attempt to suppress a recent spike in coronavirus infections in the aftermath of the Beirut port explosion. The country recorded 605 new cases on Thursday, its highest daily case number so far.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 794,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 22.7 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Coronavirus and flying: Is it safe to fly with the coronavirus still circulating? That depends partly on where you are. But while hard evidence is scarce, it appears the risk of being infected with covid-19 during a flight is relatively low.

Standard image of the new scientistCommuters at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof central train station in Frankfurt, Germany.

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20 August

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

The risk of a resurgence of the coronavirus “has never been far away,” the World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge said during a briefing today. Europa recorded 40,000 more coronavirus cases in the first week of August, compared to the first week of June, when cases were at their lowest, and cases have steadily been rising in the region, in part due to the relaxation of public health and social measures, he said. Germany recorded its highest daily number of new cases since April, with 1707 new cases confirmed on Wednesday. Spain recorded 3715 cases on the same day, the highest daily number there since the country’s lockdown was lifted in late June. “Authorities have been easing some of the restrictions and people have been dropping their guard,” said Kluge.

Kluge thanked young people for the sacrifices they have made to protect themselves and others from covid-19 but expressed concern about people aged between 15 and 24, who account for a growing number of cases. “Low risk does not mean no risk. No one is invincible,” he said.

Other coronavirus news

England saw a 27 per cent increase in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus in the week ending 12 August compared to the previous week, according to the Department of Health and Social Care. Its latest figures state that 6616 people tested positive for the virus, whilst the number of people tested for the virus went down by 2 per cent over the same time period.

UK health minister Matt Hancock yesterday told the BBC that people in the UK should be able to return to workplaces without the need for wearing face masks, citing evidence from NHS Test and Trace that people have been largely catching the virus in meetings between households rather than in offices. But researchers, including microbiologist Simon Clarke at the University of Reading, say there isn’t sufficient data to rule out the risk of transmission within 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 record daily increase in coronavirus cases for the country today, with more than 69,652 cases confirmed, according to its health ministry.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 788,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 22.4 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, obwohl die wahre Anzahl der Fälle viel höher sein wird.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Rewilding the sky: Let’s take inspiration from the way we intervene to help degraded ecosystems recover and attempt to restore the atmosphere back to full health, taking advantage of the lull in human activity under covid-19, writes Graham Lawton.

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

REUTERS/Carl Recine – RC2Z2I9ILO1A

19 August

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

Coronavirus tests will be carried out on more people in the UK to help monitor the spread of the virus, the government says. The random swab testing survey for coronavirus by the Office for National Statistics, which started in May, will be expanded to test more people in England as well as people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the UK’s health minister Matt Hancock announced today. In England, the survey will expand from testing 28,000 people every two weeks in the community, outside of hospitals and care homes, to testing 150,000 people. Hancock said this is part of a wider effort to expand coronavirus testing in the UK.

Testing larger numbers of people will allow smaller changes in infection growth trends to be interpreted with more reliability, says biologist and medical innovation researcher Michael Hopkins at the University of Sussex. It will provide a “higher definition picture of the outbreak”, helping to pinpoint at-risk groups within the population, says Hopkins. More widespread testing could also help capture people who have the virus but are asymptomatic. An analysis by the ONS published yesterday found that only 28 per cent of people testing positive for the coronavirus in England reported having symptoms around the time they were tested.

Other coronavirus news

Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison backtracked today after saying that coronavirus vaccination would be mandatory in Australia. Currently there isn’t a coronavirus vaccine available but there are 160 vaccine candidates being developed and 31 are in human trials. The Australian government recently secured access to the vaccine candidate being developed by the University of Oxford in partnership with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, and has now said that if the vaccine is approved it will offer it to Australian citizens for free. Clarifying his earlier comments about making the vaccine mandatory, Morrison said “we can’t hold someone down and make them take it”, adding that vaccination would be “encouraged.”

Almost 1200 fewer people died this year in New Zealand up to 20 July compared to during the same period last year, a rare trend in light of the global pandemic. Some researchers speculate this may be due to a reduction in deaths from other respiratory illnesses, thanks to the introduction of measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus. In May, neighbouring Australia reported lower flu rates than usual, which was also attributed to coronavirus lockdown measures. New Zealand has recorded only 22 covid-19 related deaths.

South Korea recorded its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases since March yesterday, with 297 cases of the virus confirmed. Officials in Seoul have begun introducing restrictions on gatherings in the city and its surrounding area, prohibiting indoor gatherings of more than 50 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 782,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 22.1 million, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Achieving herd immunity: Today, some headlines celebrate the fact that many places might have achieved herd immunity including Britain and pockets of London, New York and Mumbai. But others warn that millions will die before we get there. The true picture is far messier, partly because scientists don’t even agree on what herd immunity is, let alone how it might be achieved. So how will we know when populations are protected against the coronavirus?

Standard image of the new scientistA worker holding a tray containing ampoules of “Sputnik V”, a covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology in Zelenograd, Russia

Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

18 August

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

The World Health Organization (WHO) today called for an end 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 told a press briefing today. “We need to prevent vaccine nationalism,” he said. The priority should be protecting essential workers and other at-risk groups, Ghebreyesus said: “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.” Although there currently isn’t a vaccine available for covid-19 there are more than 160 candidates in development, with 31 in human trials. Several countries have already secured deals for doses of some of these vaccine candidates. The UK has Bought at least 190 million doses, including 100 million of the vaccine candidate being developed by the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Separately, Takeshi Kasai, WHO Western Pacific regional director, told the briefing that “the epidemic is changing.” He said that “people in their 20s, 30s and 40s are increasingly driving the spread. Many are unaware they are infected.” This increases the risk of the virus spreading to the more vulnerable,” he added.

Other coronavirus news

Public Health England will be replaced by a new public health agency, UK health minister Matt Hancock confirmed today. The new agency, called the National Institute for Health Protection, will combine “the expertise of Public Health England with the enormous response capabilities of NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre,” Hancock said at the Policy Exchange think tank. Dido Harding, the current head of NHS Test and Trace, will lead the new organisation initially, Hancock said. NHS Test and Trace has been criticised for repeatedly failing to reach the proportion of contacts of people diagnosed with coronavirus that is recommended by government scientific advisors – – 80 per cent or more. Between 30 July and 5 August for instance, the system only managed to reach 74.2 per cent of the contacts of people who tested positive for the virus in England.

The proportion of people in the UK who reported experiencing symptoms of depression was 20 per cent in June, up from 10 per cent in July last year, according to a survey by the Office for National Statistics.

Voters from six US states filed a lawsuit against the country’s president Donald Trump and the postmaster general Louis DeJoy yesterday over cuts to the US postal service ahead of the upcoming general election. Many states are expecting a surge in postal ballots this year due to the pandemic.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 775,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 21.9 million, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Travelling abroad safely: Many countries have seen an increase in coronavirus cases, making going abroad more of a gamble. So what are the different options for managing the current risks from international travel, and which countries have got it right?

Return of covid-19 to New Zealand: New Zealand has acted swiftly to contain a new coronavirus outbreak after going 102 days virus-free, but it’s still unclear whether it can stamp it out again.

Protestor holds placard reading 'Yo Gavin, I just wanna talk'" data-credit="Guy Smallman/Getty Images" data-caption="A-level students hold a sit in protest at the Department for Education over the results fiascoA-level students hold a sit in protest at the Department for Education over the results fiasco

17 August

A-level and GCSE grades in England to be based on teachers’ predictions instead of controversial algorithm

Pupils in England will be given A-level and GCSE grades estimated by their teachers rather than by an algorithm that sparked protests after it was used to moderate the grades of A-level pupils last week. The algorithm, which was introduced because the pandemic disrupted the usual exam process, resulted in about 280,000 A-level pupils in England seeing their scores drop by at least one grade or more compared to their predicted results.Those from disadvantaged backgrounds were worst-affected. UK education minister Gavin Williamson today announced that England’s exams regulator, Ofqual is scrapping the algorithm, bringing policy in line with the UK’s other nations. Williamson and Ofqual chair, Roger Taylor apologised for the “distress” caused.

Other coronavirus news

England’s health agency, Public Health England, could be replaced by a new body specifically focused on dealing with pandemics. The new agency would be modelled on Germany’s Robert Koch Institute and is expected to be announced this week by the UK’s health minister, Matt Hancock, according to a report in the Sunday Telegraph. The article also indicates that Hancock plans to merge the NHS Test and Trace scheme with the pandemic response work of Public Health England. “The reports in the media of a proposed ‘axing’ of Public Health England is of huge concern,” said Amitava Banerjee, clinical data scientist and cardiologist at University College London. A major restructuring of public health function, as the global covid-19 emergency continues, will divert limited resources away from public health measures such as testing and tracing, said Banerjee.

Voters in the US are concerned about whether it is still safe to post their ballots, after the country’s president Donald Trump last week said he would block additional funding required for the postal service to handle the expected surge in postal ballots this year. Many US states have been trying to make postal voting easier so that people are able to vote safely during the pandemic.

Südkorea tightened social distancing rules on Sunday after 197 new coronavirus cases linked to a new outbreak were 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Jeong Eun-kyeong said during a briefing.

New Zealand’s general election will be postponed by a month due to an on-going coronavirus outbreak in Auckland, the country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. Nine new cases in the new cluster were confirmed today, bringing the total to 58 cases so far.

ONE new test for coronavirus-specific T-cells – – immune cells that help the body fight infections – – could help researchers developing vaccine candidates. The test is being developed by UK company Indoor Biotechnologies, which says early trials found that some people who had the coronavirus but tested negative for antibodies went on to test positive for T-cells. It still isn’t clear whether antibodies or T-cells provide long-lasting immunity against the virus and how long such immunity might last.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 776,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 21.7 million, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Coronavirus and pets: Reports of pets being infected with the coronavirus have been growing, but how worried should owners be? And could pets be spreading the virus between people?

People sitting and waiting in a train stationPassengers wait next to the Eurostar Terminal at the Gare du Nord train station in Paris.

Michel Euler/AP/Shutterstock

14 August

UK visitors to France could face restrictions after UK imposed quarantine on arrivals

Travellers arriving in France from the UK could be required to quarantine for two weeks after arrival into the country, Clément Beaune, France’s junior minister for European Affairs, told journalists on Thursday. His statement came after the UK added France and the Netherlands to its list of countries from which arriving travellers will be required to quarantine for 14 days. France currently has a coronavirus case rate of 34.0 people per 100,000, according to cumulative figures for the last 14 days from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, with 41.6 cases per 100,000 people in the Netherlands. The case rate in the UK is currently 17.3 per 100,000 people. The UK’s new rules are effective from 4:00 BST on Saturday 15 August and will also apply for people arriving in the UK from Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos and Aruba. Transport minister Grant Shapps said that there are currently about 160,000 people from the UK on holidays in France.

Other coronavirus news

Restrictions affecting parts of northern England and Leicester will stay in place due to on-going local outbreaks, the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care announced today. People living in the affected areas in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester aren’t allowed to meet with people from other households indoors or in private gardens. Oldham in Greater Manchester has experienced the largest week-on-week rise in cases in England, recording a rate of 107.5 cases per 100,000 people between 2 and 8 August, up from 57.8 during the previous week. The government says the restrictions will be reviewed again next week.

Elsewhere in England, easing of restrictions allowing small wedding receptions, live indoor performances and beauty treatments will go ahead from Saturday after being delayed from the original date of 1 August, UK prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed today. Bowling alleys, casinos and play centres will also be allowed to reopen.

Despite some local outbreaks, coronavirus cases across England as a whole appear to be levelling off, according to the latest results from a random swab testing survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS estimates that 28,300 people in England – – one in 1900 people – – had the virus in the week ending 9 August, the same as the previous week.

New Zealand has extended a lockdown in Auckland by at least 12 days, the country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. New Zealand had been free of locally transmitted coronavirus infections for 102 days until four people from the same household in Auckland tested positive for the virus earlier this week. The number of cases in the new outbreak there has since risen to 29.

North Korea has lifted a three-week lockdown in the border city of Kaesong after a suspected coronavirus case there, state media reported today. The World Health Organization last week said that tests on the suspected case – – a man who returned to North Korea after defecting – – had been inconclusive. North Korea has not reported any other cases.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 760,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 20.9 million, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Men move casket for a funeralStaff of Guardian Funerals transport the casket of Covid-19 victim

Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

13 August

UK government has changed the way deaths from covid-19 are recorded in England

England’s covid-19 death toll has been revised down by more than 5000, after the UK government announced a new UK-wide standard for recording deaths caused by the coronavirus. The changes mean the removal of 5377 deaths from Public Health England’s official record, decreasing the UK’s total numbers of deaths from the virus from 46,706 to 41,329 as of 12 August.

People who recovered from covid-19 before dying from other causes more than a month later may have been included in the previous death toll due to the way Public Health England was collecting its data. “It had become essentially useless for epidemiological monitoring,” said epidemiologist Keith Neal at the University of Nottingham, UK. From now on England’s official death toll will only include people who died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus, bringing it in line with the other nations in the UK.

Other coronavirus news

The number of patients admitted to hospitals in England for routine treatment was down by 67 per cent in June compared to the same time last year, according to data from NHS England. The number of people visiting accident and emergency units was also down, by 30 per cent compared to last year, as was the number going to their family doctor with symptoms of cancer and being urgently referred to a specialist , at 20 per cent lower than last year. The NHS England data also suggests more people waited longer than usual for planned procedures, such as knee and hip operations. The Health Foundation charity told the BBC that this indicates the NHS is still “nowhere close to business as usual following the first outbreak of covid-19,” and warned that long waiting times could lead to deterioration in people’s health.

The coronavirus may have been circulating in New Zealand for weeks prior to the country’s new outbreak, according to New Zealand’s director-general of health, Ashley Bloomfield. The first person in the new cluster of cases started showing symptoms as early as 31 July, Bloomfield said during a media briefing in Wellington, adding that genome sequencing was underway on the original four cases to try and trace the train of transmission. Officials are also investigating the theory that the cases were imported via refrigerated freight. New Zealand had been free of locally transmitted coronavirus infections for 102 days before four people from the same household tested positive earlier this week.

Authorities in two cities in China said they found traces of the coronavirus on imported frozen food and on food packaging. Samples of chicken wings imported to the city of Shenzhen from Brazil and packaging of frozen shrimp imported from Ecuador to a city in China’s Anhui province tested positive for the virus. It isn’t yet clear when the products became contaminated but China is increasing screening at its ports. The coronavirus can survive for up to two years frozen at -20°C but is destroyed by heating to 70°C. The World health organization says that there isn’t currently any evidence that people can catch the virus from food or food packaging.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 750,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 20.6 million, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Sweden’s coronavirus strategy: Sweden was one of the few European countries not to impose a compulsory lockdown. Its unusual strategy for tackling the coronavirus outbreak has both been hailed as a success, and condemned as a failure. So which is it?

Two women wearing face masks leaving a coronavirus testing tentTwo woman in Ripollet, Catalonia wearing face masks outside a coronavirus testing area.

PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

12 August

Germany and Spain among a growing list of western European countries where coronavirus cases are surging

Coronavirus cases are rising in Germany, Spain and other countries in western Europe, with Spain recording 1418 new infections on Tuesday, and Germany detecting 1200 cases in the last 24 hours, the country’s biggest daily increase for three months. In the Netherlands, daily new infections are back to about half the level they were at during the initial peak. Spain now has the highest rate of coronavirus infections in the region, with 94 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 38 in the Netherlands, 30 in France, 18 in the UK and 14 in Germany, according to cumulative figures for the last 14 days from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

Germany’s health minister, Jens Spahn, says people returning from holiday may be the reason for the increasing number of cases in Germany, as the UK and Germany continue to warn people against non-essential travel to parts of Spain. Any holidaymakers returning to the UK from Spain are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The list of countries from which all arrivals to the UK must quarantine may be updated this week to include 14 more countries, including France.

Other coronavirus news

The World Health Organization (WHO) is in talks with Russian authorities about reviewing the coronavirus vaccine candidate whose approval for use in Russia yesterday sparked criticism from researchers. Russia’s vaccine, Sputnik-V, is not on the WHO’s list of six vaccines that have reached phase III trials involving clinical testing on large groups of people. Russia’s health minister Mikhail Murashko today dismissed safety concerns expressed by foreign researchers about the rapid approval of the vaccine as “groundless.”

Lebanon announced its highest number of daily new coronavirus cases yesterday since the start of the pandemic, with more than 300 new cases and seven deaths from covid-19. Hospitals in the country are overwhelmed following the aftermath of the explosion in Beirut last week. WHO spokesperson Tarik Jarasevic told a UN briefing yesterday that the displacement of people due to the explosion risks accelerating the spread of the coronavirus there.

At least 800 people are estimated to have died around the world as a result of misinformation about the coronavirus during the first three months of this year, a study has found. A further 5800 people are estimated to have been admitted to hospital for the same reason during this period. The majority of the deaths and hospitalisations were due to people consuming methanol and alcohol-based cleaning products, incorrectly believing that they were cures for covid-19, according to the study, which was published in The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide death toll has passed 744,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 20.4 million, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Children at risk: A staggering 115 million children in India are at risk of malnutrition, as the world’s largest school lunch programme has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Who should get vaccinated first?: It is August 2021, and the moment the world has been waiting for has finally arrived – a vaccine against covid-19 has passed all the tests and is ready to be rolled out. But this isn’t the end. There are more than 7.5 billion people in need of vaccination but perhaps only a billion doses available in the first six months of production. Who gets one?

Staying connected: Greeting neighbours or gossiping with a colleague can boost your health and well-being, but coronavirus lockdowns are putting that in jeopardy. Here’s how to stay connected.

Standard image of the new scientistNew Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced new lockdown measures in Auckland after four new coronavirus cases were detected in the community

New Zealand government

11 August

New Zealand reimposes Auckland lockdown after first locally transmitted cases for 102 days

New Zealand has reported its first new coronavirus cases thought to be acquired through local transmission, after going 102 days without a single reported case outside of managed isolation or quarantine. Four people within one family in south Auckland tested positive for the virus, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern said today at a press briefing. New Zealand has been widely praised for its aggressive response to the coronavirus, closing its borders to non-nationals and implementing one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, all at a time when the country had only 205 cases and no deaths from covid-19. Testing is now being ramped up in Auckland and lockdown restrictions will be reimposed there from tomorrow. Everyone except essential workers will be asked to work from home and schools will be closed for most children. Other public facilities, including bars and restaurants, will be required to close and gatherings will be limited to 10 people.

Other coronavirus news

Researchers have expressed concerns about the approval of a coronavirus vaccine candidate in Russia today. The virus has been approved for widespread use, despite only being tested in dozens of people. “There is no data on the Russian-led vaccine for the global health community to scrutinise,” said Michael Head, public health research fellow at the University of Southampton, UK. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin said one of his daughters has already been inoculated, and claimed it was safe.

The number of contact tracers working for NHS Test and Trace will be reduced by 6000 in England by the end of this month, the UK government has announced. The remaining 12,000 contact tracers will work more closely with local public health authorities to help with contact tracing within communities. Between 16 and 22 July, NHS Test und Trace only managed to reach 75 per cent of the contacts of people who tested positive for the coronavirus in England. Dido Harding, head of NHS Test and Trace said that having a more localised approach will ensure more contacts of coronavirus cases within communities can be reached.

Australia’s remote Northern Territory will keep its borders shut to coronavirus-affected states until at least 2022, according to local officials. People arriving from affected states will be required to quarantine at a hotel for 14 days at their own expense.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 737,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 20.1 million, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest information on the coronavirus from New Scientist

Question about the UK’s new rapid tests: Two 90-minute tests for the coronavirus will be rolled out by the UK government in the coming weeks – and while both are promising, neither has publicly available data to support its use.

Common cold virus vaccine: A vaccine that protects against one of the main common cold viruses – respiratory syncytial virus – has been shown to be safe and effective in a clinical trial and could be available by 2024.

Man wearing mask and hat in snowA man seen in a street during a snowfall in the early stages of the pandemic.

Sergei Fadeichev/TASS via Getty Images

10 August

No indication there is seasonality with the coronavirus, says WHO

Es gibt no indication that the coronavirus is seasonal and it could bounce back any time, World Health Organization (WHO) leaders said at a press briefing today. Evidence suggests the coronavirus is unlike 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,” said Mike Ryan, WHO executive director of the emergencies program. Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead of WHO’s covid-19 response, said that the majority of the world’s population remains susceptible to the virus, and WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasised the importance of countries taking targeted action to tackle local outbreaks through methods like localised lockdowns employed in Leicester, UK.

Other coronavirus news

The WHO says it has only received a fraction of the funding it needs for an initiative aimed at developing and distributing drugs, vaccines and other tools to help tackle 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 said during a press briefing today.

“Greece has formally entered a second wave of the epidemic,” Gkikas Magiorkinis, an epidemiologist at Athens University and one of the scientists advising the Greek government, told journalists today. This comes after Greece recorded its highest number of daily new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, with 203 confirmed on Sunday.

In France, it is now compulsory to wear a face mask outdoors in certain crowded areas within Paris. Health officials said the rate of positive coronavirus tests was 2.4 per cent in the Paris area compared to the average of 1.6 per cent for people tested in the country as a whole. Other cities, including Nice and Lille, have also introduced new rules making face masks mandatory in specific outdoor areas.

It has been more than 100 days since New Zealand last detected a locally acquired coronavirus case. As of today, the country has only 21 active infections, all of which are being managed in isolation facilities. Authorities are still testing thousands of people each day. “We need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases,” said New Zealand’s director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield on Sunday.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 731,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 19.9 million, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Standard image of the new scientistNHS advice board promoting Test and Trace in Birmingham city centre in the UK

Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images

7 August

The number of people estimated to have the virus in England may be levelling off

The number of people estimated to have covid-19 in England appears to be levelling off, after rising slightly in July, according to a random swab testing survey of almost 120,000 people by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS estimates that 28,300 people outside of hospitals and care homes in England had the virus in the week ending 2 August – – about one in every 1900 people. This is down slightly from the previous week’s estimate of 35,700. But it isn’t clear how infection rates may differ across different regions. In Wales, which was included in the survey for the first time, an estimated 1400 people had covid-19 in the week ending 2 August, equivalent to one in every 2200 people.

The proportion of people in the UK who say they have been wearing face coverings has gone up for the second week in a row, according to a separate ONS survey. In the week ending 2 August, 96 per cent of people said they had worn a face covering outside their home, up from 84 per cent in the previous week and 71 per cent the week before. The survey also found that 72 per cent of people said they had socialised with others in person, just over half of whom said they had always maintained social distancing.

Other coronavirus news

Coronavirus vaccine trials could be undermined by the lack of diversity among participants, according to researchers. In the recent trial of a coronavirus vaccine candidate being developed by the University of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca, fewer than 1 per cent of the approximately 1000 participants were black and only about 5 per cent were Asian, compared to 91 per cent of participants who were white. In a smaller trial of a vaccine candidate being developed by US company Moderna, 40 out of 45 participants were white. “Diversity is important to ensure pockets of people don’t have adverse side-effects,” Oluwadamilola Fayanju, a surgeon and researcher at Duke University told the Guardian.

The city of Preston in England is being placed under stricter local lockdown measures following a rise in coronavirus cases. From midnight on 7 August residents from different households aren’t allowed to meet indoors or in private gardens. These new measures are in line with those currently in place in east Lancashire, Greater Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire.

More than one million people in countries across Africa have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, although health officials say this is certainly an underestimate. “We haven’t seen the peak in Africa yet,” Mary Stephen, technical officer at the World Health Organization’s regional office for Africa told Al Jazeera. Although the majority of cases confirmed so far are in South Africa, it is also performing significantly more tests than other African countries.

India has recorded its highest number of daily new coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, with 62,538 cases confirmed on Friday. There have been more than 2 million cases recorded in the country since the pandemic began.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 715,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 19.1 million, according to the map and dashboard from Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

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