Nicola Sturgeon during a Covid-19 social distancing First Minister's Questions - Fraser Bremner/PA
Nicola Sturgeon during a Covid-19 social distancing First Minister’s Questions – Fraser Bremner/PA

Lockdown measures in Aberdeen will be extended by at least one week, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The Scottish First Minister said that 177 cases had been confirmed which were linked to the outbreak in the city, and that 940 contacts had been identified.

The lockdown was introduced again last week meaning that bars and restaurants were closed, as well as a five-mile travel limit from homes.

She said: “They will be reviewed in one week’s time and as soon as we can relax any of them, then we will do.”

“I know people in Aberdeen, who of course are today dealing with severe weather as well as Covid, will be disappointed with this decision, but I want to thank them for complying so well with the measures that we put in place last week.”

It came as Scotland reported another day without a coronavirus death, while its number of positive cases rose by 47.

Follow the latest updates below.

Table of Contents

02:44 PM

Six more coronavirus deaths in England

A further six people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,431, NHS England has said.

The patients were aged between 57 and 96 and all had known underlying health conditions.

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

02:32 PM

Covid-19 is a crossroads for education – we must use this moment to help girls seize their futures 

The pandemic amplifies existing inequalities – and girls’ education will disproportionately suffer as a result:

Pauline has lived through a lockdown before. When she was 19, the Ebola virus swept across Liberia. Schools were closed for seven months.

When they re-opened, thousands of girls were unable to return because they had to go to work to keep their families fed, got pregnant or were married early – but boys didn’t face the same barriers.

The injustice of this gave Pauline a mission: “We must ensure both boys and girls are equally educated.” 

Half a decade later, Pauline is out of school again – one of 350 million girls and young women in developing countries whose lives have been upended by school closures to stem the spread of Covid-19.

While it’s too early to know the extent of learning that will be lost, we know that crises amplify existing inequalities and that girls’ education will disproportionately suffer as a result. Ten million more secondary-school aged girls may never set foot in a classroom again.  

This would be a huge loss, and not just for these girls. Educated women are vital to public health and economic recovery. And the recent success of women-led nations in fighting the coronavirus illustrates how crucial it is for both girls and boys to see themselves as doctors, scientists and Prime Ministers to confront the challenges of the future.

This opinion piece from Alice Albright, Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen and Tiffany Drake has more.

02:18 PM

Tate confirms job losses

The commercial subsidiary of the Tate museums has confirmed plans to cut hundreds of jobs because of the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Staff have been updated on the outcome after a period of consultation over the “difficult decision” to make 313 redundancies cross Tate Enterprises, affecting retail and catering jobs.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has described the cuts as unnecessary and is organising a series of strikes in protest.

Hamish Anderson and Carmel Allen, directors of Tate Enterprises, said in a statement: “Tate Enterprises has had to make the difficult decision that many businesses in the hospitality and retail sectors now face, to restructure its business because of the impact of the pandemic.”

01:59 PM

Is a second wave beginning to sweep through Europe? 

Today the UK became the latest country in Europe to see its finances hit by lockdown, with the biggest recession on record. 

However, with case numbers creeping up all around Europe, the question remains: will there be a second wave and will we need another lockdown?

Sarah Newey from our Global Health Security team explains the science behind a resurgence in the virus:

While it is undoubtedly the case that there has been an uptick in cases in some countries, including Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg, experts are divided about whether this spike in infections really constitutes a “second wave”.

Much of the debate comes back to the term itself, which is ill-defined. It has become a shorthand for any resurgence in infections, whether a localised outbreak, national crisis, or a continent-wide spike. 

But “second wave” is also disputed due to its roots in describing influenza outbreaks, said Dr Tom Frieden, who served as director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for eight years under Barack Obama.

He told the Telegraph that the phrase “implies that this [virus] will act as the flu acts”, with seasonal peaks and troughs and rapid mutations. “We don’t know that – it might, but it might not.”

You can read the full piece here.

01:36 PM

Three more deaths in Wales

Another five people who tested positive for coronavirus in Wales have died, bringing the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic to 1,586.

Public Health Wales said the total number of cases in the country increased by eight, bringing the revised total of confirmed cases to 17,484.

01:19 PM

Swiss to allow events of 1,000 or more people from October

Switzerland will allow events with more than 1,000 people from October 1 provided organizers agree to strict hygiene measures and have authorization from regional authorities, the government has decided.

“The Federal Council thereby intends to ensure that the epidemiological situation in Switzerland does not deteriorate,” the government said.

“At the same time, this careful reopening step takes into account the needs of society and the economic interests of sports clubs and cultural venues.”

01:02 PM

No link to higher Covid death rates among ibuprofen users, study says

Early on in the pandemic, there was controversy over the use of ibuprofen after a French health minister advised against the use of ibuprofen.

Scientists in Britain launched a review to assess ties to the drug and Covid-19.

The Commission on Human Medicines’ expert working group concluded: “There is currently insufficient evidence to establish a link between use of ibuprofen and susceptibility to contracting Covid-19 or the worsening of its symptoms.”

But a new study, which examined data from eight British hospitals at the height of the pandemic, found that the regular use of painkillers including ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac did not increase the risk of death from the disease.

Their study, published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, examined information on 1,200 patients and found no clear evidence that routine use of non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) was associated with higher Covid-19 mortality.

12:55 PM

Sweden puts Austria and Liechtenstein on safe travel list 

Sweden withdrew its recommendation to citizens not to take unnecessary trips to Austria and Liechtenstein on Wednesday, but kept in place warnings over travel to the United Kingdom and several European states amid an upturn in Covid 19 infections.

Sweden had already withdrawn advice against unnecessary trips to countries like neighbours Denmark and Norway and a number of other destinations in Europe, such as France, Germany and Spain.

However, restrictions will remain in place for Britain, Ireland, Latvia, Finland and a number of other countries until at least August 26.

12:50 PM

Jordan to close border with Syria after spike in Covid-19 cases 

Jordan will close for a week its only land trade border crossing with Syria after a spike in Covid-19 cases coming from its northern neighbour, officials said.

They said the interior minister’s decision to close the main Jaber border crossing would come into effect on Thursday morning.

12:34 PM

More sobering statistics

Here’s another graph of the current economic downturn which has eclipsed all from the financial crash, post-eighties slump and global oil crisis in the seventies.

12:31 PM

TUI and Germany agree on additional coronavirus aid package 

TUI has reached an agreement with the German government on an additional aid package worth 1.2 billion euros (£1.08 billion) to provide sufficient liquidity, the tour operator said as the company is hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The package will help cover TUI’s seasonal swing through winter 2020/21 and beyond or if there are long-term travel restrictions and disruptions related to the pandemic, it said in a statement.

TUI and state-owned lender KfW agreed to increase an existing credit line by 1.05 billion euros, the company added.

12:13 PM

Pandemic to push Swiss federal finances into the red 

The Swiss federal government expects a financing deficit of 20.9 billion Swiss francs (£17.59 billion) and an ordinary budget deficit of 3.1 billion francs this year as the coronavirus pandemic hits revenue.

“According to initial estimates, the extraordinary budget measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic amount to 17.8 billion francs,” it said.

Switzerland ran a federal budget surplus of 3.6 billion francs in 2019 but, like other countries around the world, it was forced to shutter much of the economy for weeks to stem the spread of the disease.

11:57 AM

Aberdeen lockdown to continue for another week despite no deaths today

The First Minister said last week that restrictions would be imposed on the city again after a local outbreak was identified.

Bars and restaurants were closed, as well as the return of the five-mile travel limit from homes.

Nicola Sturgeon said there have now been 177 confirmed cases linked to the coronavirus outbreak in Aberdeen.

There have been no coronavirus deaths in Scotland in the last 24 hours.

The First Minister said 19,126 people have tested positive for the virus, up by 47.

11:44 AM

Record numbers seek medical help online

Record numbers of people in England sought help through the NHS 111 website during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, NHS Digital has said.

The health body reported more than 30 million users visited NHS 111 online between February 26 and August 11.

Over six million of these completed an online coronavirus assessment.

In mid-March, NHS 111 online was used more than 950,000 times a day, a rate 95 times higher than it normally would be, NHS Digital said.

11:32 AM

How Spain lost control of coronavirus – again 

Progress made through a strict lockdown has all but evaporated for the new sick man of Europe. James Badcock has the latest from Madrid:

Spain’s coronavirus lockdown was the strictest of all – and it worked.

But less than two months after Spain’s state of emergency ended, the country is once again topping the European league of Covid-19 transmission, with the total caseload touching 323,000, ahead of the UK now.

On June 15, six days before the lockdown was lifted, Spain registered 40 new cases.

Over the past week, Spain is averaging 3,400 confirmed new cases per day.

The transmission rate currently stands at 90 active infections per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to France’s 29, 17 in the UK, 13 in Germany and just eight in Italy, whose initial epidemic was of a similar size to that of Spain.

What has gone so wrong?

You can read the full story here.

Coronavirus testing at Vilafranca del Penedes in the Barcelona province, Spain - Emilio Morenatti /AP
Coronavirus testing at Vilafranca del Penedes in the Barcelona province, Spain – Emilio Morenatti /AP

11:09 AM

Coronavirus found on Ecuador shrimps in China, according to Chinese state media

A city in China’s eastern Anhui province found the novel coronavirus on the packaging of shrimps from Ecuador, state media reported today, in the latest instance of the virus being detected on imported products.

The coronavirus was found on the outer packaging of frozen shrimps bought by a restaurant in Wuhu city when local authorities carried out a routine inspection, CCTV, China’s state television, said.

The news broke a day after a port city in eastern Shandong province said it found the virus on the packaging of imported frozen seafood, although it did not say where it originated.

Since July, several other Chinese cities have also reported cases, including the port cities of Xiamen and Dalian, prompting China to suspend imports from three Ecuadorean shrimp producers.

10:51 AM

Vietnam PM says next 10 days ‘critical’ in virus fight 

Vietnam’s Prime Minister has said that the next 10 days would be critical in the Southeast Asian country’s fight against a new coronavirus outbreak, which resurfaced late last month after three months of no domestic cases.

Vietnam was lauded for suppressing an earlier contagion through aggressive testing, contact-tracing and quarantining, but it is now racing to control infections in multiple locations linked to the popular holiday city of Danang, where a new outbreak was detected on July 25.

“Note that the period from this week to the middle of next week is critical,” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said.

“Which measures should we continue to implement to win against the virus? Which lessons have we learnt from this current outbreak?”, said Phuc.

Vietnam reported three new coronavirus infections today, raising the number of cases in the country to 866, with 17 deaths. All fatalities stemmed from the new outbreak.

10:36 AM

Beauty therapists being forced to work illegally while waiting for the government’s green light 

We speak to a beautician ‘working illegally’ to support herself – and prevent her business from going under. This is her story:

“Everyone is working illegally,” says Laura, the founder of a London based skin clinic. “I don’t know one facialist or brow and lash technician who hasn’t had to go back to work because it has been five months now.”

“Our clients are desperate to come back, they don’t care [about the restrictions] because they don’t understand why they’re allowed to go to some clinics for chemical peels and Botox, but they can’t come to me to get their facials. This is no longer about safety and proximity to the client, this is now a question of politics.”

You can read the full piece here.

10:18 AM

Paris marathon cancelled as Covid-19 cases pick up in France

This year’s Paris marathon has been cancelled, organisers said, as France battles against a resurgence of the virus.

The marathon was originally due to take place on April 5 but had been postponed to Nov. 15 because of the pandemic.

“After having tried everything to maintain the event, we, alongside the City of Paris, feel obliged to cancel the 2020 edition of the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris and the Paris Breakfast Run,” organisers said in a statement.

“Faced with the difficulty that many runners, especially those coming from abroad, had in making themselves available… it was decided that it would be better… for those concerned if we organised the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris in 2021.

The Paris marathon, one of the most popular events on the global running calendar routinely attracts over 40,000 participants.

10:03 AM

Youth unemployment poses mental health risk, says new reports

Young people could suffer long-term damage to their wellbeing because of unemployment, a report has warned.

The Prince’s Trust said its research suggested a link between youth unemployment and poor mental health.

A survey of more than 2,100 people aged 16 to 25 found that even before the coronavirus pandemic, the overall wellbeing of young people had fallen to its lowest level in the study’s 11-year history.

One in four of those questioned said they always or often felt hopeless, rising to almost half of those not in work, education or training. Jonathan Townsend, chief executive of the Prince’s Trust, said:

“These findings are more poignant than ever in the face of the current economic crisis and rising joblessness.

“The events of recent months mean millions of young people all over the UK now face the prospect of unemployment, as well as the lasting damage this can have on their wellbeing and future opportunities.

“If we don’t act now, we risk a lost generation of young people destined for long-term joblessness, mental health problems and poverty.”

09:44 AM

Sobering statistics

With the UK’s recession confirmed by the latest figures on GDP, its worth putting it into context of previous hits to the economy.

This graph by the ONS shows that even our last recession following the global financial crisis barely measures as a blip in comparison.

You can keep up to date with how the markets across the world are coping with the pandemic with our live business coverage.

09:39 AM

UAE lifts entry permit restrictions on foreign residents 

The United Arab Emirates on has lifted entry restrictions that required foreign residents who are overseas to seek approval before returning to the Gulf state.

The UAE in March suspended the entry of non-citizens as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.

It has since gradually allowed residents to return, either by granting them special exemptions or through an online registration system though many still remain overseas.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority on said registration was no longer required.

09:23 AM

France to ramp up police checks to ensure masks are worn 

France will gradually ramp up police checks to ensure people wear face masks where it is mandatory and respect social distancing amidst a new surge of Covid-19 infections, the government’s spokesman has said.

“We’re at a tipping point (…) We’re going to mobilize polices forces to make checks,” BFM TV showed Gabriel Attal telling journalists while visiting the Mediterranean island of Corsica.

“But it’s not the police people should be afraid of (…) they should fear the virus, that lurks and contaminates,” he said.

09:12 AM

Israel to examine Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine

Israel will examine Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine and enter negotiations to buy it if it is found to be a “serious product”, Israel’s health minister said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday his was the first country to grant regulatory approval to a coronavirus vaccine, after less than two months of human testing. His health minister dismissed allegations that the vaccine was unsafe.

“We are following vigilantly every report, no matter what country,” Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein told reporters. “We have already discussed the reports from the research centre in Russia about the vaccine development.

“If we are convinced it is a serious product, we will also try to enter negotiations. But I don’t want to delude anyone. The ministry’s professional staff is working on this all the time. The vaccine will not come tomorrow,” he said.

Israel is developing its own vaccine candidate and intends to begin human trials as early as October. It has also signed with Moderna and Arcturus Therapeutics for the option to buy their potential vaccines.

08:54 AM

A-level students told they can choose mock results in last minute change 

Gavin Williamson’s ‘triple lock’ plan will let students revert to their mock grades on Thursday if their estimated results are low after lockdown has thrown exam results into confusion. Tony Diver has more:

Results in mock tests – which were held before schools were forced to close amid the Covid-19 crisis – will carry the same weight as the calculated results to be awarded this month, Gavin Williamson said on Tuesday night.

Students who are worried their estimated grades are too low can opt to boost them by using mock scores if they are higher.

The move was described by one union leader as “panicked and chaotic,” while Labour warned it did not go far enough to protect the “Covid generation”.

You can read the full story here.

Two students congratulate each other after receiving their A level results last year - Andrew Matthews /PA
Two students congratulate each other after receiving their A level results last year – Andrew Matthews /PA

08:43 AM

Hong Kong reports 62 new coronavirus cases 

Hong Kong has reported 62 new coronavirus cases, as authorities cautioned that the global financial hub still faced a critical period to contain further transmissions of the virus and warned residents to stay vigilant at social distancing.

Authorities said 61 of the 62 cases were locally transmitted.

Since late January, around 4200 people have been infected in Hong Kong, 63 of whom have died. Today’s figure was up from Tuesday’s 33 cases.

08:31 AM

Germany seeing “a lot of outbreaks all over the country”

Germany has recorded the biggest daily increase in new coronavirus cases in more than three months, data showed, with the health minister warning of outbreaks in nearly all parts of the country due to holiday returnees and party-goers.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 1,226 to 218,519, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) showed. That was the biggest daily increase since May 9.

The number of coronavirus deaths remained relatively low, edging up by six to a total of 9,207.

“This is, no doubt, very worrying,” Health Minister Jens Spahn told Deutschlandfunk radio, adding that citizens had to remain cautious to prevent the virus from spreading further.

“Because we now have a lot of outbreaks all over the country,” Spahn said.

08:15 AM

Indonesia reports 1,942 new coronavirus cases

Indonesia has reported 1,942 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the country to 130,718, data from the government’s health ministry website showed.

The Southeast Asian country also added 79 new deaths, taking the total number to 5,903, the highest Covid-19 death toll in Southeast Asia.

08:05 AM

Top 10 countries by case number

This chart by our data team shows the top countries in the world by Covid-19 case number.

Yesterday, the global total coronavirus case number hit 20 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Track more Covid-data here.

07:44 AM

Covid outbreak closes court for a week

Manchester Crown Court will remain closed this week after six staff members tested positive for coronavirus.

An entire deep clean of the Crown Square building has taken place but the site will remain temporarily closed until staff return, said HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS)

All urgent work has been moved across the city to Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

Details of the six employees have been passed to NHS Test and Trace, added HMCTS.

Crown Square closed on Thursday morning after a worker’s positive Covid-19 test and then again from Monday when three more staff members tested positive over the weekend.

07:15 AM

Brussels makes masks compulsory amid rising infection rate

Belgians board a busy train to the beach - as the virus rate soars - Sylvain Plazy/AP
Belgians board a busy train to the beach – as the virus rate soars – Sylvain Plazy/AP

The wearing of face masks in public is compulsory in the Brussels region from today, regional authorities have announced, as Belgium battles one of the most serious coronavirus outbreaks in Europe.

Face masks were already required in most closed public spaces since July 11 for people aged 12 and over.

The measure was extended in the 19 municipalities of the Brussels region after the threshold of 50 daily cases per 100,000 people was crossed, the regional government said in a statement.

Belgium has one of the highest per capita death rates from Covid-19 in the world and infections are again rising after earlier success in bringing the epidemic under control.

The number of cases in the country of around 11.5 million people topped 75,000 on Wednesday. Nearly 10,000 deaths have been registered.

06:56 AM

US signs vaccine deal for 100 million doses

The United States has entered an agreement with drugmaker Moderna Inc to acquire 100 million doses of its potential Covid-19 vaccine for around $1.5 billion, the company and White House has said.

The United States has made deals to acquire hundreds of millions of doses of potential Covid-19 vaccines from several companies as part of its ‘Operation Warp Speed’ program, which aims to deliver a vaccine in the country by the end of the year.

Moderna’s price per dose comes to around $30.50 per person for a two-dose regimen.

With the exception of its deal with AstraZeneca, which offered a lower price per drug in exchange for upfront research and development costs, all the deals price Covid-19 vaccines between $20 and $42 for a two-dose course of treatment.

Moderna’s vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, is one of the few that have already advanced to the final stage of testing and is on track to be completed in September, the company said this month.

Moderna’s deal with the U.S. only pays out in full if the drugmaker hits certain unspecific timing benchmarks for vaccine delivery.

06:50 AM

Boris Johnson: Life in recession-hit Britain will be ‘bumpy’

With the latest news from the Office for National Statistics confirming a contraction of more than 20 per cent in the UK economy, here is Boris Johnson’s warning that the country could be in for a rough few months.

 Anna Mikhailova, our deputy political editor, has more.

06:42 AM

Copycat leaders mimicked each other in coronavirus response, study finds

World leaders based decisions on implementing lockdown measures on what neighbouring countries were doing to prevent the spread of the virus, a study has suggested.

In research of 36 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – including the UK, US and New Zealand – Swedish researchers examined when decisions such as school closures and restrictions on internal travel were implemented.

They found that despite differences in the spread of the virus, countries mimicked each other in a short space of time, with around 80 per cent of OECD nations implementing multiple measures within a two week period in March.

The researchers said this was “striking” given the differences in the scale of the pandemic in each country, the preparedness of healthcare systems and the make-up of their populations.

Author Professor Karl Wennberg, from the Institute for Analytical Sociology at Linkoping University, said: “We found that the decisions were not based on, or had a very weak correlation to, standard epidemiological indicators such as number of infections, number of deaths, intensive care capacity etc.

“A much stronger determinant was whether many neighbouring countries had already implemented measures.”

06:38 AM

Minister defends last-minute schools decision

Nick Gibb, an Education minister, has defended the Government’s eleventh-hour decision to allow A-level and GCSE students in England to use their mock exam results.

Mr Gibb said only a small number would be affected by the move, which was designed as a “safety net” to ensure that no students were disadvantaged by the system for assessing their grades following the cancelling of exams.

“It is just making sure at the edges that no student is disadvantaged. This is just to give a safety net for any student who might fall through the system,” he told Sky News.

“It will only affect a small group of people. Most young people tomorrow will get the grade that the teacher sent in to the exam board that they thought they would get.”

06:30 AM

Britain’s economy contracts by 20 per cent amid Covid pandemic

Britain has officially entered into recession after the coronavirus crisis saw the economy contract by a record 20.4 per cent between April and June, the Office for National Statistics has said.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS, said: “The recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led to the biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record.

“The economy began to bounce back in June with shops reopening, factories beginning to ramp up production and housebuilding continuing to recover.

“Despite this, GDP in June still remains a sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck.

“Overall, productivity saw its largest-ever fall in the second quarter. Hospitality was worst hit, with productivity in that industry falling by three-quarters in recent months.”

Follow all the latest on the economic news on our live blog here.

06:06 AM

Everything you need to know on Wednesday morning

If you’re just joining us while you’re having your breakfast, here are our top Covid-19 stories today.

05:58 AM

Coronavirus on today’s front pages

Good morning. There is plenty of Covid-19 news on this morning’s front pages, amid other stories about the royals and Ed Sheeran.

The Daily Telegraph leads with the story that Gavin Williamson is under mounting pressure to follow Scotland’s lead and ensure all A-level pupils receive their predicted grades.

Today's Daily Telegraph
Today’s Daily Telegraph


The Mail, Guardian and Times have also splashed the education row.

Today's Guardian and Mail
Today’s Guardian and Mail

 The Financial Times writes that Rishi Sunak could be forced to delay this year’s budget, or replace it with a watered-down economic statement to avoid making spending cuts or introducing tax rises during the global pandemic. Boris Johnson is already managing expectations ahead of some new economic data, released today, that is expected to show the UK has fallen into recession.

Rishi Sunak could delay this year's budget
Rishi Sunak could delay this year’s budget

03:55 AM

China reports virus on frozen seafood

China has reported instances of the coronavirus being detected on the packaging of imported frozen seafood.

On Tuesday, the city government of Yantai, a port city in eastern Shandong province, said it had found the virus on the packaging of frozen seafood that had arrived from the port city of Dalian, which recently battled a surge of cases.

Officials said in a statement the seafood was from an imported shipment that landed at Dalian but did not say where it originated.

In July, customs officers in Dalian, a major port in the northeastern province of Liaoning, found the coronavirus in the packaging of frozen shrimps imported from Ecuador, and China then suspended imports from three Ecuadorean shrimp producers.

Read more: NZ investigating freight as possible source of  outbreak

Workers set up a temporary fence outside a residential community after a Covid-19 case was confirmed in a nearby seafood company on July 23, in Dalian - China News Service
Workers set up a temporary fence outside a residential community after a Covid-19 case was confirmed in a nearby seafood company on July 23, in Dalian – China News Service

03:33 AM

Summary of news from around the world

  • South Korea reported 54 new cases as health authorities scramble to stem transmissions amid increased social and leisure activities.

  • China‘s new domestic cases fell into the single digits on Wednesday, while Hong Kong saw just 33 new cases. 

  • Mexico reported a near-record 926 newly confirmed deaths on Tuesday, bringing the country’s accumulated total to 53,929.  

  • Panama will from Monday allow work to resume on some infrastructure projects and permit more businesses to re-open from lockdown, the government said on Tuesday. 

  • The Pan American Health Organisation has expressed reservations over reports that institutions in the region were negotiating to manufacture and distribute a new  vaccine announced by Russia that has yet to go through standard, extensive safety and efficacy trials. 

  • The remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan on Tuesday announced its first lockdown after having been largely shielded from the disease for months. 

  • France has reimposed mask-wearing in certain crowded areas and tourist hotspots of the capital Paris. 

  • In Spain, authorities have ordered nationwide mask-wearing in public places and some regions have returned to lockdown.

Members of the artistic and cultural community take part in a protest asking to be included in the government's social support programs, outside the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City - AFP
Members of the artistic and cultural community take part in a protest asking to be included in the government’s social support programs, outside the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City – AFP

02:49 AM

Australian state reports record number of deaths

The Australian state of Victoria on Wednesday reported a record 21 virus deaths and 410 new cases from an outbreak in the city of Melbourne that has prompted a strict lockdown.

State Premier Daniel Andrews said 16 of the deaths were linked to aged-care facilities. 

Meanwhile, three Melbourne vloggers were fined after posting social media videos showing them breaching nighttime curfews for a McDonald’s run, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The five-minute video, since deleted, showed the students walking through alleys, dodging police officers and dancing inside the restaurant, ABC said.

And the state of New South Wales on Wednesday reported 18 new cases, including two connected with a private school cluster in Sydney.

Read more: ‘Indefinite’ Northern Territory border closure to Australian hot spots

Empty Bourke Street in Melbourne as stage four coronavirus restrictions are in force including a 8pm to 5am curfew - JAMES ROSS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Empty Bourke Street in Melbourne as stage four coronavirus restrictions are in force including a 8pm to 5am curfew – JAMES ROSS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

01:48 AM

New Zealand locks down nursing homes

New Zealand locked down nursing homes nationwide on Wednesday after a 102-day streak without the coronavirus ended.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said authorities were scrambling to trace anyone who had been in contact with four Auckland residents who tested positive on Tuesday, ending the dream run in which the virus had been contained at New Zealand’s borders.

A three-day stay-at-home order for Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city with a population of 1.5 million, was announced on Tuesday night and went into force at lunchtime on Wednesday.

Ms Ardern said health officials were also locking down aged care homes across the country because they could act as transmission hotspots.

Ms Ardern also suggested that the outbreak could force her to postpone next month’s general election.

Read more: NZ investigating freight as possible source of outbreak

Jacinda Ardern said she might postpone the election - AP
Jacinda Ardern said she might postpone the election – AP

12:21 AM

Does Russia’s vaccine work?

Since the virus first emerged in January around 170 vaccine candidates are now in development, with 15 already in human trials. 

Russia claims to have produced the world’s first coronavirus vaccine – but scientists are wary that it has not been adequately tested.

Read the latest on the search for a vaccine – and whether Russia’s vaccine will work – here.

12:10 AM

Today’s top stories

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