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Coronavirus outbreak | The Guardian

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Latest Coronavirus outbreak news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

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Coronavirus live news: Australian city of Melbourne to re-enter lockdown; India deaths pass 20,000

Coronavirus live news: Australian city of Melbourne to re-enter lockdown; India deaths pass 20,000 South Africa’s cases pass 200,000; Kenya emerges from lockdown; Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested again for coronavirusMelbourne to re-enter Stage 3 lockdown for six weeksSouth Africa cases pass 200,000 as Kenya plans ‘phased reopening’New Zealand rations places for citizens returning home during Covid-19UK coronavirus updates – liveWorld map: which countries have the most cases and deaths? 1.18pm BST There have been teething problems in Australia with the permit system allowing people to cross the border between New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria when the border closes tomorrow, according to ABC News.Just 45 minutes after launching on Tuesday, the webpage to apply for a permit apparently stopped working. 11.50am BST Saudi Arabia has issued guidelines for the 1,000 or so pilgrims that will be allowed to perform a limited hajj pilgrimage in Mecca later this month, AP reports.The pilgrims — residents of Saudi aged between 20 and 50 — will be only be able to drink holy water from the Zamzam well in Mecca that is packaged in plastic bottles, and pebbles for casting away evil that are usually picked up by pilgrims along hajj routes will be sterilized and bagged ahead of time. Continue reading...

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UK coronavirus live: No 10 fails to apologise for PM's care homes slur, but claims he meant something different

UK coronavirus live: No 10 fails to apologise for PM Charity boss says blaming care sector for repeated government mistakes is unacceptableJohnson condemned over ‘cowardly’ care home claimsSeveral pubs in England close after positive coronavirus testsNearly one in six Britons would refuse Covid-19 vaccine, says surveyGlobal coronavirus updates – live 1.16pm BST In the Commons, asked when the UK will be most at risk of a second wave, Hancock says the measures in place are designed to avoid this. But he says there is an element of “seasonality” in the illness, and the risk will be higher in the winter, he says. 1.06pm BST In the Commons Labour’s Clive Betts asks Hancock to consider the case for allowing people who are exempt from the need to wear a face covering (for example, for a medical reason) to wear a special badge showing they are exempt (which might make it harder for others to avoid wearing a face covering). And he asks if Hancock will do more to promote the wearing of face coverings in shops.Hancock says yes to both suggestions. Continue reading...

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Welcome to Johnson’s alternative reality – where care home workers get the blame | Marina Hyde

Welcome to Johnson’s alternative reality – where care home workers get the blame | Marina Hyde The prime minister oversaw the discharge of 25,000 people into care homes without coronavirus testing. But not by his accountCan it really be three months ago that Matt Hancock responded to the government’s failure to provide care home workers with adequate PPE by announcing what he called “a new brand”? This, you might dimly recall, was a small lapel badge for care home workers. Its prophylactic properties were unclear, though it was certainly intended to throw a ring of steel around Hancock, who at least managed to get his hands on one. Unfortunately, owing to a second supply problem, the government promptly struggled to even provide care workers with the badge. Despite all this, plenty of people dismissed critics of the badge-based response as sneerers.We must hope to hear from them again now the government is officially blaming care home workers for the deaths of people in care homes – and, presumably, blaming care home workers for the deaths of care home workers themselves. According to Boris Johnson, a Cobra-dodging handshake-nut who was blamelessly “mugged” by the virus himself, “too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have”. Oof. This is quite the blame-game from a government that operated a formal procedure of discharging more than 25,000 people from hospitals into care homes without testing them for coronavirus. You could say that care home residents are still living with the consequences of that decision, were it not for the fact that so many of them ended up dying from it. Continue reading...

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Wear face coverings over nose and mouth, stresses No 10

Wear face coverings over nose and mouth, stresses No 10 Government to launch public information campaign amid criticism of lax face mask regime in EnglandCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageDowning Street will launch an information campaign to tell the public in England that face coverings should cover both the nose and the mouth if they are to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.Amid criticism over the more lax regime in England, where face coverings are mandatory on public transport but merely advised in other settings, Boris Johnson’s official spokesman stressed that they are only effective if they cover the wearer’s nose. Continue reading...

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EC predicts deeper eurozone recession after Covid-19 lockdown - business live

EC predicts deeper eurozone recession after Covid-19 lockdown - business live Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as the EC warns that the eurozone will shrink by 8.7% this yearLatest: EC slashes GDP forecasts after lockdownUK house prices drop for fourth month runningIntroduction: China stock market hits five-year highMarkets heading back to 2015 levels...but is it a bubble?European markets are down 1% 12.58pm BST Fashion chain River Island has joined the swelling ranks of retailers cutting staff.In an internal email sent to staff seen by Retail Week, River Island boss Will Kernan said the business will “now have a requirement for some 250 fewer people in the business”.Retail Week understands these redundancies will be made across all the retailer’s head office departments. 12.24pm BST More gloom: the OECD has warned that UK unemployment is on track to hit its highest level in decades, especially if we suffer another surge in Covid-19 cases.My colleague Phillip Inman explains:The number of unemployed people in Britain could soar to almost 15% of the working population if the country experiences a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has said.A rise in the unemployment rate to 14.8% would take the UK to a higher level than France, Germany and Italy, but lower than Spain, according to the Paris-based thinktank, which is funded by 35 mostly rich countries. Related: UK jobless rate 'could near 15% in second coronavirus wave' Continue reading...

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Halfords predicts bicycle boom to continue for 2020

Halfords predicts bicycle boom to continue for 2020 Chain struggles to keep up with demand for pedal-powered and electric bikes but lockdown dents motoring profits Halfords expects strong demand for bikes to continue for the rest of the year after reporting a 57% rise in cycling-related sales during the coronavirus pandemic.A desire to avoid public transport, as well as generally favourable weather conditions and a switch to cycling as a leisure activity during the UK lockdown, not only boosted sales of bikes but also demand for servicing. Sales surged nearly 42% at the company’s bicycle repairs and overhaul service in the 13 weeks to 3 July as the nation dusted off some of the estimated 7m old bikes resting in sheds and garages. Sales of electric bikes and scooters doubled. Continue reading...

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Melbourne to re-enter stage 3 coronavirus lockdown restrictions for six weeks – video

Melbourne to re-enter stage 3 coronavirus lockdown restrictions for six weeks – video Metropolitan Melbourne will go into stage-three lockdown for six weeks from 11.59pm on Wednesday after the state of Victoria recorded 191 new cases of coronavirus since Monday, the highest daily increase since the pandemic began.The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, announced that people living in the Melbourne metropolitan area and Mitchell shire would again be subject to restrictions, meaning they can only leave their house for work, education, exercise, for necessary goods or services or for medical or compassionate reasons until 11.59pm on Wednesday 19 August.What you need to know about Melbourne’s stage 3 lockdownNSW-Victoria border closure: when does it start, and are there exemptions?What we know about Melbourne’s public housing tower ‘hard lockdowns’Full list of Victoria’s Covid-19 clusters Continue reading...

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Over 5,600 fossil fuel companies have taken at least $3bn in US Covid-19 aid

Over 5,600 fossil fuel companies have taken at least $3bn in US Covid-19 aid Businesses include oil and gas drillers and coal mine operators, an analysis by Documented and the Guardian findsMore than 5,600 companies in the fossil fuel industry have taken a minimum of $3bn in coronavirus aid from the US federal government, according to an analysis by Documented and the Guardian of newly released data.The businesses include oil and gas drillers and coal mine operators, as well as refiners, pipeline companies and firms that provide services to the industry. Continue reading...

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A physician who wrote poems, a nurse who longed for children: US healthcare workers who died from Covid-19

A physician who wrote poems, a nurse who longed for children: US healthcare workers who died from Covid-19 We are documenting the lives of every US medical worker who dies helping patients during the pandemic. These are just a few of hundreds of casesHelp us document the US healthcare workers who die fighting coronavirusLost on the frontline is a collaboration between the Guardian and Kaiser Health News that aims to document the lives of healthcare workers in the US who die from Covid-19, and to understand why so many are falling victim to the pandemic.Each week, we’re documenting new cases of healthcare workers who have died on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Here are their stories: Continue reading...

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Zimbabwe spends millions on officials' luxury cars as country goes hungry

Zimbabwe spends millions on officials Diplomatic staff given Range Rovers while ordinary people struggle amid inflation of 785%The government of Zimbabwe has spent millions of dollars on luxury cars for senior officials despite a deepening economic collapse that has plunged its people into profound hardship.The new cars, including dozens of Range Rovers and Toyota pick-up trucks worth more than $40,000, were distributed to ambassadors and senior civil servants. Analysts say the move constitutes a new effort to shore up support for the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took power after the military coup that ousted Robert Mugabe in 2017. Continue reading...

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