First local lockdown could be enforced in Leicester ‘within days’ after surge in cases

Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..

The Government is considering imposing the first local lockdown “within days” following a surge in Covid-19 cases in Leicester, the Home Secretary has confirmed.

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock is reportedly examining the legislation required for the shutdown after it was revealed that there have been 658 cases of the coronavirus in the Leicester area in the fortnight to June 16.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Priti Patel said it was “correct” that the Government was considering the move.

In other news, global Covid-19 cases have exceeded 10 million today according to a tally by Reuters, marking a major milestone in the spread of the virus that has so far killed almost half a million people in seven months.

Coronavirus podcast newest episode
Coronavirus podcast newest episode

Follow the latest updates below.

04:22 PM

Analysis: Why Brexit and Covid-19 are set to collide

In case you missed it, our global health security editor Paul Nuki has written about how the pandemic is fracturing globalisation, making continents much more prominent again. Ours is Europe.

When up against it, science has a way of bringing things to a head. I’m thinking of junk food, obesity and Covid-19. The twin epidemics of Covid and social inequalities. The tensions between have-it-all boomers and the young. 

There is another conflagration coming down the tracks. The pandemic and a thingymajig called “Brexit” may be about to collide. Take a look at the charts below and the data that underpin them. The pandemic is fracturing globalisation, with continents becoming much more prominent again.

Economists would say it was forever thus. Globalisation is a powerful idea but most trade still happens between countries in close geographic proximity.

Nevertheless, Covid-19 may cement that. Perhaps there is an element of cause and effect but whatever the reason, the science is pretty clear: the world is diving up into epidemiologically homogeneous zones bound principally by geography.

Read the full piece here. 

Global Health - Pandemic movement
Global Health – Pandemic movement

04:07 PM

Police in Netherlands detain anti-social distancing protesters 

Police in The Hague have detained 37 protesters today who ignored a court ban and held a demonstration against social distancing rules, they said.

Around 200 protesters took part in today’s demonstration, far fewer than a week ago when several thousand attended a similar protest. Organisers had called on people to stay home this week in view of Friday’s court ruling that the protest violated restrictions on public gatherings.

The protesters say a policy of requiring people to stand 1.5 metres apart is undemocratic and should be lifted.

The Netherlands has recorded more than 50,000 Covid-19 infections and over 6,000 deaths since mid-March. Restrictions are being lifted after a steep decline in new cases and deaths in recent weeks.

04:00 PM

Risk of measles outbreak after children miss vaccinations during lockdown, experts warn

Thousands of children have missed out on vaccinations during the lockdown, leaving them and the wider population at risk of diseases such as measles and meningitis, paediatricians have warned.

A study by scientists from Public Health England (PHE) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that immunisations dropped by nearly 20 per cent in the first three weeks of lockdown.

By the end of April, more than 5,000 fewer children had received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab or the hexavalent vaccine, which protects against diseases including diphtheria, tetanus and hepatitis B, compared to last year.

There are also fears that many secondary school children have missed out on HPV and meningitis jabs, which are given at school.

Our science editor Sarah Knapton has more here. 

03:50 PM

Holiday bookings surge as air bridge deals near

Holiday companies are reporting a huge search in interest as the Government prepares to ease travel restrictions next week. 

Tui, Europe’s largest tour operator, said bookings were up 50 per cent this week compared to last, while Irene Hayes, from Hays Travel, the company that bought Thomas Cook after the operator collapsed last year, said the phones “had not stopped ringing”. 

Dnata Travel Group, which owns brands including Travelbag and Travel Republic, said it had seen enquiries rising as more details of the likely air bridge agreements emerged. 

Follow all the latest on our travel live blog here. 

03:41 PM

How many confirmed cases are in your area?

Use our tool below to find out how many cases of Covid-19 are in your area:

Covid-19 postcode lookup - recent cases by area
Covid-19 postcode lookup – recent cases by area

03:32 PM

China puts half a million into lockdown amid fresh outbreak fears

China has put nearly half a million people into lockdown near Beijing in order to contain a fresh Covid-19 cluster today, as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.”

After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in the neighbouring Hebei province in recent weeks.

Health officials said today that Anxin county – about 90 miles from Beijing – will be “fully enclosed and controlled”, imposing the same strict measures used at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan, where it is believed the virus first emerged.

Only one person from each family will be allowed to go out once a day to purchase necessities, such as food and medicine.

The move comes after another 14 cases of the virus were reported in the last 24 hours in Beijing, taking the total to 311 since mid-June and spurring the testing of millions of residents.

Coronavirus China Spotlight Chart - Cases default
Coronavirus China Spotlight Chart – Cases default

03:20 PM

Coronavirus around the world, in pictures

People wearing face masks catch a bus in Leicester, which may be subject to the first localised lockdown in England - Getty Images Europe
People wearing face masks catch a bus in Leicester, which may be subject to the first localised lockdown in England – Getty Images Europe
A health worker checks the temperature of the residents of a "containment zone" Mumbai, India - Shutterstock
A health worker checks the temperature of the residents of a “containment zone” Mumbai, India – Shutterstock
Medical workers arrive to test the residents of a Covid-19 hotspot in Mumbai, India - Shutterstock
Medical workers arrive to test the residents of a Covid-19 hotspot in Mumbai, India – Shutterstock
Guests at the Van-Del drive-in watch from their cars during a virtual Garth Brooks concert in Middle Point, Ohio - AFP
Guests at the Van-Del drive-in watch from their cars during a virtual Garth Brooks concert in Middle Point, Ohio – AFP

03:12 PM

Dental patients paying up to £35 extra to cover PPE costs

Dentists are charging patients up to £35 to cover the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) during routine procedures.

Those seeking dental work may see the cost of their appointments soar as practices try to claw back the money spent on protective gear amid the coronavirus crisis.

Practices across the country are introducing the extra charges because dentists need to wear masks, face visors and extra plastic clothing. For some procedures that produce spray, for example fillings, the price of treatment can go up by up to £35.

Our reporters have more here. 

03:03 PM

Pandemic could unravel decades of progress in health and education in South Asia, Unicef warns

The pandemic is undoing decades of advances improving the health and education of children across South Asia, the United Nations has warned.

Hundreds of thousands of children face life-threatening malnutrition, or disease as immunisations and health services are disrupted by the spread of the new coronavirus.

As schools have closed down, nearly half a billion children have had to rely on remote learning in communities where often electricity, let alone the internet, is scarce.

The UN’s children’s charity, UNICEF, said in total urgent action was needed to safeguard the futures of 600 million in the region.

Ben Farmer has more here. 

02:57 PM

‘Range of scenarios’ planned in Wales for September school return

Education Minister for the Welsh Government Kirsty Williams said she would grab a full return for schools in September “with both hands” if scientific advice said it was safe, the BBC reports.

But she said the Welsh Government also has “to plan for a range of scenarios”.

Concern has been raised over a possible “blended learning” system with class work, online learning, and homework.

The minister conceded that there had “been a huge variation” in the experience of online learning since the start of the outbreak.

A survey by University College London (UCL) found only 1.9 per cent of Welsh pupils had four or more daily online lessons, compared with the UK average of 7 per cent.

Read more: When will schools fully reopen, and should I send my child back to school?

02:44 PM

UK death toll rises by 36

The number of deaths in the UK from patients that tested positive for Covid-19 has risen by 36 to 43,550 today, according to the Department of Health and Social Care, in the lowest Sunday death toll since lockdown.

901 new positive cases were recorded.

02:40 PM

One death and one new case recorded in Northern Ireland

There has been one further death from a patient that tested positive for Covid-19 and one new confirmed case in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health has announced.

It brings the death toll from the virus in the region to 550.

There have now been 5,751 confirmed cases of the virus reported in Northern Ireland since the outbreak.

02:38 PM

Further 18 deaths in England

A further 18 people who tested positive for Covid-19 have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 28,653, NHS England said.

Patients were aged between 43 and 95 years old. One patient, aged 48, had no known underlying health conditions.

02:31 PM

Regional lockdowns are ‘unenforceable’ and could lead to ‘significant disorder’, Sage warns

Imposing local lockdowns could lead to “significant disorder” and be unenforceable with current technology, the Government was told by advisors.

In papers released at the end of May, the Security sub-group, which feeds into the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) warned that splitting off areas would not be suitable for implementation in Britain.

Experts from Keele University argued that there were important differences in the political cultures of Britain and countries like China and South Korea, where local lockdowns have been successfully enacted.

It would also make people feel angry when they realised they were no longer “in it together” with the rest of the country, psychologists warned the Government, and said it may even cause sick individuals to conceal their illness for fear they would be stigmatised for causing their area to be locked down.

Sarah Knapton has more here. 

Excess Deaths - By Region
Excess Deaths – By Region

02:18 PM

New Delhi healthcare system on brink of collapse as coronavirus cases surge

“Mayhem” is predicted in the Indian capital as patients are being turned away from hospitals amid a shortage of beds and healthcare workers, reports Joe Wallen from New Dehli. 

It had taken a long time for Pramila Minz, 28, to persuade her mother to relocate from her remote village deep in Odisha’s tribal belt to New Delhi. After her mother, Gurubari Minz, 55, began showing coronavirus symptoms and had a suspected stroke, Ms Minz was secure in the belief her mother would receive the best possible healthcare now she lived in the capital.

She took Mrs Minz to Safdarjung Hospital late on the evening of June 10. To her horror, after conducting a CT scan and X-ray, a doctor refused to admit her because of a shortage of staff and beds.

Mrs Minz was rejected by five other major hospitals in New Delhi during a frantic 24-hour search.

Her condition was worsening by the minute. She was experiencing increasing breathing difficulties and drifting in and out of consciousness.  Despite these grave symptoms, her daughter still could not get her mother admitted, despite explaining to doctors that she had suffered a stroke 18 months previously and therefore had comorbidities, making her extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.

Read the full report here. 

Coronavirus India Spotlight Chart - Cases default
Coronavirus India Spotlight Chart – Cases default

02:10 PM

Screen survivors of Covid-19 for PTSD, say mental health experts

Tens of thousands of Covid-19 survivors should be screened for post-traumatic stress disorder because of their experiences in fighting for their lives, mental health experts have urged.

The Guardian reports that leading psychiatrists and psychologists want NHS bosses to ensure that all those who were admitted to hospital when they became seriously ill with the disease is assessed and checked regularly.

“For many people hospitalised with Covid-19 it’s been a potentially traumatic experience. Being in intensive care is frightening. There was a particular risk to their own life, because they were very ill. And early in the pandemic we didn’t have treatments available for Covid.

“The doctors and nurses treating people in hospital all had to wear protective equipment. People weren’t able to see their relatives. And patients had tubes in them and, if they were intubated, they were in an altered state of consciousness.

“So although they were having life-saving interventions, knowing how dangerous the situation was would have been extremely frightening for anybody. Therefore a huge toll of trauma from that would be expected,” said Dr Michael Bloomfield, an NHS psychiatrist, researcher at University College London and one of the experts calling for automatic screening of all survivors.

02:00 PM

Nicola Sturgeon urged by adviser to consider English visitor quarantine for ‘zero-Covid Scotland’

Nicola Sturgeon should examine introducing quarantine for English visitors to Scotland if the number of coronavirus cases south of the Border rises, one of her most trusted advisers has said.

Prof Devi Sridhar, who has played a key role in helping Ms Sturgeon formulate her Covid-19 strategy, said Scotland was trying to eliminate the virus but England’s strategy was to “reopen as soon as possible” despite having up to 6,000 new daily cases.

She predicted Scotland could eliminate coronavirus by the end of the summer if the decline in new cases continues. There were no more deaths reported in Scotland on Sunday, for the third day running.

Simon Johnson has more here. 

01:50 PM

No masks needed as Amsterdam’s Red Light District prepares to reopen

It was a surprise to everyone – especially sex workers – when Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that from July 1 they could return to work, writes Senay Boztas from Amsterdam.

Of all of the “contact” professions, this was dogged with most concern in the Netherlands, which is now reopening after seeing daily Covid-19 deaths fall to single figures. The country has had the biggest percentage drop in weekly cases of 45 countries, according to one analysis, and this week announced a major relaxation of its “intelligent” lockdown.

Sex workers, often unable to access government support because of how they are registered, have been keen to restart work. Unions had even sent the government their own protocol of measures from “don’t shake hands” to banning positions in the client’s “moist breath zone”.

“It’s a contact job like the hairdresser and masseur, and so they need to ask in advance if [clients] have any symptoms,” said Rutte in a “final” corona press conference. “We asked for detailed advice about which positions were possible and which weren’t from the RIVM public health institute, but there was no further explanation.”

Read more here. 

01:38 PM

Why does Covid-19 kill nearly twice as many men as women?

Biology plays a part but the high death rate is as much to do with a wider set of health inequalities facing men and boys, writes our global health security editor Paul Nuki.

In several countries, including the Netherlands, Dominican Republic and Spain, about twice as many men as women have died from Covid-19. In the UK, the male death rate for Covid-19 is 1.7 higher for men and in Thailand, it is 2.6 times higher.

There is little doubt men are biologically more vulnerable to the ravages of the disease than women. They have a weaker immune response and male hormones are a suspect in sparking the rare but lethal inflammatory reaction that kills so many. 

But biological predisposition is only part of the story. Men occupy many of the “high-contact” occupations that are associated with Covid mortality such as security guards and Uber drivers. They also suffer disproportionately from many of the worst comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Read the full analysis here. 

01:31 PM

Data protection nightmare looming for pubs, lawyers warn

Pubs will be faced with a data protection nightmare under the new track and trace system, lawyers have warned, with the possibility that data breaches could lead to six-figure fines.

Under new rules, pubs will have to collect the email addresses and phone numbers of customers when they reopen from July 4, along with arrival and departure times.

This has prompted widespread concern about information ending up in the wrong hands and also about the risks of hacking and data breaches.

Five-figure fines for individuals and six-figure fines for larger companies found to have breached General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws are likely, according to Magnus Boyd, a privacy lawyer and partner at Schillings.

Dominic Penna has more here. 

01:24 PM

No new Covid-19 deaths in Scotland for third consecutive day

There have been no deaths in Scotland of people who tested positive for Covid-19 for a third day running, and the eighth day overall this month that no new deaths have been reported within the previous 24 hours.

Official Government figures released today showed eight new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of positive tests to 18,236.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday – the first weekday that no deaths had been reported since before lockdown measures were introduced – that Scotland was “not far away” from eliminating Covid-19.

But Ms Sturgeon has persistently warned against complacency in tackling the virus.

It follows the news that the Scottish Government could consider imposing quarantine on tourists from England entering the country. 

Read more: Nicola Sturgeon urged by adviser to consider English visitor quarantine for Covid-free Scotland

01:18 PM

Wildlife trade amplifies spread of coronaviruses, two studies find

Asia’s booming wildlife trade is fuelling the spread of coronaviruses by providing the ideal opportunity for animals to infect each other and potentially humans, two studies have found. 

Across Asia, wild animals including rodents, pangolins and bats are transported, often illegally, thousands of miles in crowded and chaotic conditions for use in restaurants and traditional medicines.

Experts have long thought this amplifies the transmission of coronaviruses, making the possibility of a jump to humans more likely.

In one new study, published as a preprint without peer review, researchers analysed oral swabs from more than 2,000 field rats in three provinces in southern Vietnam. They found that the animals smuggled across the Mekong River Delta, from traders to restaurants, tested positive for six different coronaviruses. More significantly, the incidence of infection increased significantly along their journey.

Sarah Newey has more here. 

01:14 PM

Two further deaths reported in Wales

Two more people with Covid-19 have died in Wales, taking the total to 1,504.

Public Health Wales (PHW) figures also showed there were 25 new cases reported, meaning 15,602 people have tested positive for the virus.

01:01 PM

Germany tightens coronavirus measures amid regional outbreaks

German states have put in place internal quarantines for domestic travellers amid a series of coronavirus outbreaks across the country.

The quarantine measures come as the southern state of Bavaria announced a “free test offensive”, while Berlin has begun issuing fines for mask avoiders for the first time.

With the summer holiday season kicking off across Germany, some states have begun implementing bans and quarantines for people arriving from heavily-affected regions.

In most states, travellers from the town of Gütersloh in North Rhine Westphalia must be quarantined for two weeks on arrival or show evidence of a negative coronavirus test in order to enter.

Daniel Wighton has more from Berlin here. 

Coronavirus Germany Spotlight Chart - deaths default
Coronavirus Germany Spotlight Chart – deaths default

12:51 PM

Greek island of Kos to host dozens of German doctors for free

The Greek island of Kos will host dozens of German doctors for free from Monday, the tourism ministry said as the country prepared to reopen its regional airports to passenger flights

The visiting 170 doctors will be hosted for free “in recognition and gratitude for their contribution in combating the coronavirus in Germany,” the Greek tourism ministry said.

Officials from German tour operator TUI will be among the passengers and will meet with Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis on the island, the ministry said.

The flight from Germany will land two days before Greece is officially scheduled to open its regional airports to passenger traffic on July 1.

Greece has registered fewer than 200 deaths attributed to Covid-19.

​Read more: How Greece moved quickly and decisively to keep Covid-19 out

12:42 PM

The UK’s 20 best countryside walks for social distancing

After the first few weeks of house arrest in lockdown, to be told in May, “You can travel to outdoor open space irrespective of distance” was dizzying, writes Tom Ough and Phoebe Smith. 

So The Telegraph presents 20 walks of the off-the-beaten-track variety, to celebrate the lockdown-loosening that came into effect earlier last month. If you are planning a trip to explore the countryside or coastal walks, from July 4th you will be able to book accommodation to stay in hotels and villas overnight, so why not make a long weekend of it?

Read the full list here. 

12:36 PM

Lake District rangers find hundreds illegally camping and partying

Hundreds of people were found illegally camping and holding parties in the Lake District over the weekend, the BBC reports.

Police and Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) rangers said they spoke to more than 200 individuals on Saturday evening.

Groups were camping by tarns, with “fires on summit cairns” and 20 people were “partying” on a fell, they said.

Activities such as camping and large group gatherings are still currently prohibited under Government rules.

As well as camping illegally, damaged was caused to trees and property and litter was left discarded, the LDNPA said.

12:23 PM

London police forced to disperse crowds in another night of violence

Saturday was another busy night for police, following several unlawful gatherings in London over the past four nights, despite concerns about the spread of Covid-19.

Two people were taken to hospital and a man was arrested after a stabbing in London last night. Police received reports of the stabbing near Clapton Common in Hackney at about 11.20pm.

“Officers attended and found two people suffering from injuries. They have been taken to hospital,” Hackney Police said.

“A man was arrested at the scene and taken to a nearby police station. A cordon remains in place.”

Grace Millimaci has more here. 

12:17 PM

Today’s top stories so far

Good afternoon. If you’re just joining us, here’s some of the key stories of the day so far.

  • Boris Johnson has pledged that the Government will “not go back to the austerity of 10 years ago” in response to the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Britain, and especially England, is on a “knife edge” and likely to see an increase in coronavirus cases by July, a Government advisor has warned.

  • Global Covid-19 cases have exceeded 10 million today according to a tally by Reuters, marking a major milestone in the spread of the virus that has so far killed almost half a million people in seven months.

  • Scotland could eliminate the coronavirus by the end of the summer if the decline in new cases continues, according to a public health expert. The comments follow the news that the Scottish Government isn’t ruling telling English tourists to quarantine. 

  • South Korea will begin allowing limited numbers of spectators at sports games as it seeks to return to normal after months of strict social distancing rules.

  • Florida and Texas have reversed their reopenings as cases in many states surge, with infections across the United States passing 2.5 million.

  • The premier of Victoria, Australia, has said the state will consider potential stay-at-home orders and suburban lockdowns to contain several Covid-19 clusters in suburban Melbourne, after 49 cases new cases were confirmed today.

  • Ireland will reportedly maintain a 14-day quarantine for travellers from the British mainland in July even as it plans to ease travel restrictions with some countries.

12:01 PM

Prime Minister ‘will not return to austerity’ in post-lockdown recovery

Boris Johnson has pledged that the Government will “not go back to the austerity of 10 years ago” ahead of a speech on Tuesday.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, the Prime Minister set out his plans for a post-lockdown economic recovery.

The plans will include a new taskforce, led by the Chancellor, which he says will look at speeding up the building of hospitals, schools and roads.

Amid continued criticism of the way his Government has handled the pandemic, the Mr Johnson told the paper that ministers will be “doubling down on levelling up” – spending on infrastructure in order to “build our way back to health”.

“We’re going to make sure that we have plans to help people whose old jobs are not there any more to get the opportunities they need,” he said. “We are absolutely not going back to the austerity of 10 years ago.”

11:37 AM

Sri Lanka lifts nationwide lockdown

Sri Lanka’s nationwide lockdown was lifted today after a selective curfew was reimposed a month ago during a surge in Covid-19 infections, the country’s president said.

The island nation imposed the lockdown on March 20 and lifted it gradually over the past two months, although a nighttime curfew remained in place.

It reintroduced tighter restrictions in late May and early June to curb large gatherings for the funeral of a popular Government minister and for a religious festival.

“The curfew has completely been lifted effective from today,” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office said in a statement.

Around 2,000 infections, including eleven deaths, have been recorded in the South Asian nation so far, according to Government figures.

11:34 AM

Defining specific areas for local lockdowns will be a problem, says expert

In response to the news that a local lockdown could be imposed on Leicester “within days”, an expert has said that defining the specific area for local lockdowns will be one of the “largest problems”.

Professor Keith Neal, Emeritus Professor of the Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases at University of Nottingham, said: “One of the biggest problems is deciding who is in the lockdown area and who is not.  This needs to be understandable to both the people who are inside and the people on the outside.”

He added: “Defining the specific area will be one of the largest problems.  Local authority boundaries can run down the middle of the street with one side in one local authority and the opposite another.

“Urban sprawl has allowed towns and cities to expand resulting in these areas often joining other areas who identify differently and do not see themselves as part of the expanding town or city.

“Locking down at the regional level would be seen as unfair or worse as Leicester City has really very little to do with rural Lincolnshire.  People do not identify with their regional boundaries and many would not actually know where they are.”

Prof Neal added that even islands are not necessarily simple, as some are linked by bridges and communities interact “significantly”.

11:28 AM

Scotland ‘could be Covid-free by the end of summer’

Scotland could eliminate the coronavirus by the end of the summer if the decline in new cases continues, according to a public health expert.

The comments follow the news that there were no confirmed deaths from the virus on Friday or Saturday.

Professor Devi Sridhar, of Edinburgh University, said the country would effectively be Covid-free if that progress could be maintained, and the challenge would then be how to stop new cases from being imported.

On Friday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the priority had to be driving the virus “as far as we can towards total elimination”.

She said Scotland was “not far away” from that goal – but that the “challenge” was to keep it at that level.

11:19 AM

So long to the city! How lockdown created a wave of ‘panic movers’

Cast your mind back to February, just four months, yet another lifetime ago, and Emily Harvey was a committed urbanite, writes Alexandra Goss. 

Her PR job meant she enjoyed long lunches in the latest London restaurants, while weekends were spent at hot yoga classes, pop-up farmers’ markets and museums with her five-year-old daughter, Alice. 

Lockdown obviously put paid to all that, but just as it eases, she and her family are fleeing the capital for good.

“We took a rental in the Cotswolds during lockdown and when we returned after 12 weeks, London was like a scene from [the horror film] 28 Days Later, with everyone in masks,” she says. “After a blissful time spent in the countryside we realised we didn’t want to be in a cramped, frantic city any more.”

The couple put their house in Balham, southwest London, on sale as soon as the housing market reopened in mid-May, accepted an offer after a week, and are in the process of buying a property in an Oxfordshire village.

But Emily’s case isn’t an isolated occurrence: Thousands of “panic movers” are quitting cities for rural or village locations, acting now before the economy plummets into recession and the housing market stalls. 

Read more here. 

11:09 AM

Coronavirus around the world, in pictures

A police car patrols as people attend the Pope's weekly Angelus prayer at St. Peter's Square in The Vatican - AFP
A police car patrols as people attend the Pope’s weekly Angelus prayer at St. Peter’s Square in The Vatican – AFP
People wearing face masks observe social distancing as they queue to cast their votes in Poland's presidential election - AP
People wearing face masks observe social distancing as they queue to cast their votes in Poland’s presidential election – AP
Face masks and first time voters: A parent and child cast their votes in the Polish election - Getty Images Europe
Face masks and first time voters: A parent and child cast their votes in the Polish election – Getty Images Europe
Although most Pride events can't go ahead as planned this year, people hoist a rainbow flag as they march to celebrate at the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall - Shutterstock
Although most Pride events can’t go ahead as planned this year, people hoist a rainbow flag as they march to celebrate at the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall – Shutterstock
Pigeons eat food on the street in Chinatown, London, which is closed off to cars - Reuters
Pigeons eat food on the street in Chinatown, London, which is closed off to cars – Reuters

10:54 AM

South Korea to allow limited number of spectators at sports games

South Korea will begin allowing limited numbers of spectators at sports games as it seeks to return to normal after months of strict social distancing rules.

The country endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the disease outside China but appears to have brought it broadly under control with an extensive “trace, test and treat” programme, all while never imposing a compulsory lockdown.

Social distancing rules were relaxed in early May and some professional sports – including baseball and soccer – started new seasons, albeit behind closed doors.

“We will take phased measures including allowing spectators at sports events,” health minister Park Neung-hoo told reporters today.

South Korea’s sports ministry is expected to hold a meeting this week to discuss the details, Yonhap news agency reported, and the Korea Baseball Organisation is preparing to fill around 30 per cent of stands at its games.

Of 62 new cases reported today – taking the country’s total to 12,715 – 40 were domestic infections while 22 were people arriving from overseas.

Coronavirus South Korea Spotlight Chart - Cases default
Coronavirus South Korea Spotlight Chart – Cases default

10:47 AM

Summer time to ‘crunch the curve’ of virus, says expert

Devi Sridhar, professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, warned that scientists were “extremely concerned” about a second wave of Covid-19 in the winter and argued that the summer was the time to “crunch the curve” and drive cases down so schools could reopen.

Speaking in a pre-recorded interview for Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, she said: “If you have numbers circulating too high or possibly they start to increase and creep up it becomes difficult because you can’t have everything open then.”

10:44 AM

Florida and Texas reverse reopening as US cases pass 2.5m

Covid-19 infections across the United States have passed 2.5 million, with record numbers of cases reported in the states of Florida and Texas.

The surge in cases in southern states comes after businesses were allowed to re-open in recent weeks.

On Saturday, Florida reported more than 9,500 new cases, up from almost 9,000 on Friday, the previous record. The total number of cases in Florida so far is over 132,000, and more than 3,300 people with Covid-19 have died.

The spike has led state officials to tighten restrictions on business again – as Texas also did on Friday.

The leading US Government adviser on the coronavirus, Dr Anthony Fauci, said last week that the country had a “serious problem”.

Many other southern and western states have reported record spikes as they moved to re-open and people from other areas poured in in recent weeks.

Last week, Texas, Florida and Arizona put re-opening plans on pause in an effort to tackle the outbreak.

​Read more: Will America’s new spike of virus infections be as deadly as the first?

10:35 AM

Home Secretary urges drinkers next weekend to social distance

Priti Patel has encouraged would-be drinkers to go to the pubs when they open again next weekend but remember to follow social distancing guidance.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr, Ms Patel said: “In terms of people going, I would say go, be responsible, follow the guidance.

“Practice social distancing, follow the hygiene as well – washing hands and all the hygiene methods are so important.

“But I come back to my point that we are living with the virus right now.

“We don’t have a vaccine so it is incumbent on all of us to make sure we keep our distance and we enjoy ourselves in a responsible way, but be conscientious of other people around us.”

10:30 AM

Sir Jeremy Farrar warns against ‘vaccine nationalism’

Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and member of Sage, has warned against “vaccine nationalism” in the race to find treatments for Covid-19.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that China, which is among the countries developing vaccines, will need to work with the rest of the world due to the low number of cases there.

Sir Jeremy added: “What is important is that we don’t retreat, and there is a danger of this in today’s political world, we don’t retreat into a nationalistic agenda.

“There is no enlightened self-interest in it being a Chinese vaccine, or a British vaccine, or an American vaccine or a German, or an Indian or a Cuban, we don’t know where the vaccine will come from.

“Certainly I’ve been very concerned of something akin to vaccine nationalism where I’ve got my vaccine but you haven’t got one.

“If we do that the world will polarise, the world will become ever more nationalistic and we won’t sort out the pandemic. So it’s not smart scientifically and it’s not good in terms of geo-politics.”

Read more: How far away is a coronavirus vaccine? Latest news on UK and US trials

10:27 AM

Those assaulting police officers will ‘full force of the law’

The Home Secretary has warned that those assaulting police officers would face the “full force of the law”.

Her comments come after scenes of disorder were witnessed following police attempts to close down lockdown parties.

Ms Patel told Sophy Ridge: “What we’ve seen with mass gatherings and protests is unacceptable.

“The violence we’ve seen against our officers is also unacceptable.

“My message is the same – I would urge people not to participate in gatherings of that nature or protests, but I would also add if people do assault police officers, they will feel the full force of the law.

“It is simply unacceptable to have people gathering in these awful ways that we have been seeing.”

10:24 AM

US must become ‘serious again’ about pandemic, says Ben Carson

Asked about the prospect of the European Union banning Americans from travelling to Europe due to high rate of Covid-19 infection in the US, Ben Carson told the Andrew Marr Show: “I think they have to do what they have to do.

The US housing and urban development secretary said: “I’m very hopeful that we can get people to really listen and to pay attention.

“I get the impression that in some other parts of the world, people have been very serious about the social distancing, about the wearing of masks, and about the sanitation, and we just have to become that serious again.

“We did it once and then I think people were cooped up for such a long time they just said ‘Oh it’s over. Life is good’ but of course it’s not.

“You really do have to exercise some discipline.”

10:21 AM

Ed Miliband fears ‘Thatcher levels of unemployment’ for hospitality sector

Ed Miliband has said he “fears Thatcher levels of unemployment” if the hospitality sector and others which cannot fully reopen do not receive continued help from the Government.

The shadow business secretary told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “You’ve got to have a bridge between the end of the furlough and a proper job creation programme.”

He questioned why no Budget would take place this summer, adding: “We’ve got potentially the worst economic recession in 300 years and the Treasury is deciding we’re not going to have a budget.”

Mr Miliband said a VAT cut should be one option considered but is not at the top of his list, instead focusing on how different sectors have been affected by the lockdown and virus.

On reports that Boris Johnson wants to help areas previously affected by austerity, Mr Miliband replied: “There’s a grand canyon between his rhetoric and the reality.”

10:16 AM

Leicester could be first local lockdown, confirms Home Secretary

Reports that Leicester could see a local lockdown after a spike in Covid-19 cases are “correct”, the Home Secretary has confirmed.

When asked on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show whether Leicester was going to see new restrictions imposed, Priti Patel said: “Well, that is correct.

“We have seen flare-ups across the country in recent weeks, in just the last three or four weeks in particular.”

Pressed on the Leicester lockdown, she added: “There will be support going into Leicester and in fact the Health Secretary was in touch with many of us over the weekend explaining some of the measures, the support on testing, resources that will go into the local authority as well.

“With local flare-ups it is right we have a localised solution in terms of infection control, social distancing, testing and many of the tools actually within the Public Health England space which will come together to control the virus, to stop the spread so obviously we can get on top of the infection.”

10:05 AM

Confirmed deaths in Afghanistan rise by 34

The number of confirmed deaths from Covid-19 in Afghanistan has risen by 34 to 737, as the western province of Badghis recorded its worst day of the pandemic while violence rages on across the country.

But the actual number of deaths is much higher than official figures, according to local officials.

The health ministry, which has admitted that it has a lack of testing capacity, recorded 351 new cases from 701 tests in last 24 hours, taking the total number of confirmed infections to 30,967.

The country has tested 70,788 suspected Covid-19 patients since the outbreak began. There have been 12,588 recoveries, including 2,004 in last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, violence persists across the war-torn country according to its national security council, and at least 21 civilians were killed and 30 others wounded in Taliban violence during the last week.

09:58 AM

Government’s test and trace system ‘not yet fully functional’

Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and member of Sage, said the Government’s test, trace and isolate system “is not yet fully functional”, but that it must be by the beginning of September.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “It has to be there, that people trust it, that people are willing to use it and people are willing to respect the results that come from it.”

Asked when the country may see a second spike in Covid-19, he said: “We’re seeing second spikes now in continental Europe, in Germany, and I think we will see rebounds.

“It will be in certain situations, we’ve had outbreaks in meat packing factories across the continent and indeed in the UK.

“I think a true second wave will come in the winter months, in October, November.”

​Read more: Frustrated test and trace volunteers ‘on the verge of quitting’

09:53 AM

People in US ‘went overboard’ when restrictions eased, says Ben Carson

US housing and urban development secretary Ben Carson has said many people in America “went overboard” when the country started easing lockdown restrictions.

Speaking on BBC’s Andrew Marr show about the rising number of cases, he said: “Now we’re down to 650 deaths per day, even though the number of cases has increased.

“Now, it was expected that the number of cases would increase obviously when we started reopening things, but I think that a lot of people kind of went overboard and, you know, have not been socially distancing, haven’t been wearing their mask and have been congregating closer together, particularly a lot of the young people.

“That’s why you see the average age of those who have contracted the virus much lower now, but of course those individuals are much less susceptible to mortality as well.”

Mr Carson said it is “disturbing” that people are not following the recommendations.

Asked if he thinks Covid-19 marks a turning point in Mr Trump’s fortunes, Mr Carson said: “I suspect that probably anybody who was president right now wouldn’t be looking too great, quite frankly, because of circumstances that they can’t necessarily control.”

Coronavirus USA Spotlight Chart - deaths default
Coronavirus USA Spotlight Chart – deaths default

09:35 AM

Victoria to consider stay-at-home order as cases rise

The Victoria premier, Daniel Andrews, says the state will consider potential stay-at-home orders and suburban lockdowns to contain several Covid-19 clusters in suburban Melbourne, after 49 cases new cases were confirmed today.

Victoria is conducting a testing blitz in an attempt to prevent further spread of the virus. About 40,000 people have been tested since Friday.

“Much like a bushfire, putting this out is challenging,” Andrews said. “Containing it, though, is something that we can do, and [widespread testing and contact tracing] is the most effective thing to do.”

Coronavirus Australia Spotlight Chart - Cases default
Coronavirus Australia Spotlight Chart – Cases default

09:26 AM

England on a ‘knife edge’, says Sage member

Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), admitted he is “worried” about a possible spike in Covid-19 infections ahead of further lockdown easing next month.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, he said: “In truth, the restrictions started to to be lifted towards the end of May, the beginning of June, around that bank holiday.

“I would predict, I would guess, that we will start to see a few increases in cases towards the end of June or the first week of July.

“We’re on a knife edge, it’s very precarious the situation, particularly in England at the moment, and I would anticipate we would see an increase in new cases over the coming weeks.”

Farrar said that easing lockdown at the end of May was “too early” due to the number of cases, but added that lower numbers now made it “reasonable” to open up the economy.

Ahead of the reopening of pubs and restaurants, Sir Jeremy urged people to still be “really cautious, particularly around any events indoors”.

He added: “There is no zero risk in any of this. We’re not at the stage where the virus has disappeared. The restrictions have not changed the fundamentals of the virus. It remains the same virus.”

09:20 AM

Deaths in Russia up by 104

The total number of people to die from Covid-19 in Russia has increased by 104 to 9,073, according to the country’s coronavirus response centre.

Russia also reported 6,791 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 634,437.

That is a slightly smaller increase than that seen the previous day, when there were 6,852 new cases.

It is also the third day in a row since late April when the daily number of new cases was below 7,000.

Coronavirus Russia Spotlight Chart - Cases default
Coronavirus Russia Spotlight Chart – Cases default

09:15 AM

France heads to the polls – with face masks

People in France have headed to the polls wearing face masks today for the final round of municipal elections, which are expected to yield a low voter turnout and a rebuke for the party of President Emmanuel Macron.

The opening round was held amid high contagion anxiety on March 15 just as the coronavirus was gaining deadly momentum, but the second phase, scheduled for March 22, was put off after France went into lockdown.

Despite a record abstention rate of 55 per cent, the first round yielded a decisive outcome in some 85 per cent, or 30,000, French communes.

This means political power remains up for grabs today in about 5,000 undecided municipal councils, including the key centres of Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, and Strasbourg.

Some 16.5 million people are registered to cast a ballot, with those turning out required to wear a face mask and urged to bring their own pens to minimise Covid-19 contagion risk.

The incumbent mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo arrives to cast her vote at the 15th district - Shutterstock
The incumbent mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo arrives to cast her vote at the 15th district – Shutterstock

09:09 AM

UK borders could be reopened as cases fall, says Home Secretary 

The Home Secretary Priti Patel has said UK borders could be reopened now that Covid-19 transmission rates were continuing to fall.

Ms Patel told Sophy Ridge on Sky News: “With regard to the public health measures at the border, when those measures were brought in it was to prevent a second wave of the virus being imported in.

“As we see rates of the virus drop with other countries in the world, and also as we see domestic transmission fall, it is right we look at how we facilitate travel and the air corridors, or the travel corridors, that I and my colleagues have spoken about.

“In terms of the countries where this will be possible, there will be an announcement in the next few days ahead.”

Ms Patel confirmed negotiations with countries deemed safe for travel were continuing, adding: “These measures won’t come in overnight.

“They will take time because some of this will be down to negotiation, discussion with certain countries but the principle around sharing data, travel data, the locator form that the Home Office has created, to capture a lot of this information, will absolutely still remain.

“We have to keep on top of this disease.”

​Read more: Holiday bookings surge as air bridge deals near

08:58 AM

Wales offering ‘much more sober message’ than Boris Johnson

The First Minister of Wales has said he was offering a “much more sober message” compared to Boris Johnson as the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing.

Mark Drakeford told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “We will continue to do things in the way we’ve done things in Wales – carefully, cautiously, one step at a time.

“We put our efforts into planning first and making the announcements second, not making an announcement and then thinking about how you can make those things happen.”

Asked if that is what Prime Minister Mr Johnson has been doing, Mr Drakeford replied: “My concerns with the UK Government are sometimes less with the substance, where I think we’re all broadly trying to do the same things, I’m more concerned with the messaging, the way things are described.

“Here in Wales I am very keen to continue to say to Welsh citizens, coronavirus has not gone away, it remains something that kills people in Wales every day, if you don’t stay on top of it you will see things going backwards and everything we’ve done together thrown away.

“That’s a very different message to the message across the border where the message seems much more ‘it’s all over and you can go back to doing everything as you did before’.”

08:51 AM

Lost education time will cause ‘profound’ impact on society, says former Ofsted chief

Without a focus on recovery of lost education time amid the pandemic, there could be “profound” consequences for society, including social unrest and violence among young people, former Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw warned.

He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday that more than two million children are getting less than one hour’s work a day and do not have adequate online programmes for learning.

He said: “The consequences for youngsters, particularly those from poor backgrounds, the consequences for our society and for our education system is going to be profound, and we need to recognise that.

“Everyone involved in education needs to recognise that and put in large-scale recovery and remedial programmes to make sure that the great gains that we’ve made over the last few years are not lost.

“If that doesn’t happen then we will go backwards. And there will be all sorts of problems in terms of social unrest, violence amongst young people that we’ve not seen before.”

He criticised much of the handling of the crisis in terms of education as “inept”.

He said: “I don’t think it’s been led particularly well. I think much of it has been inept and that must stop. Headteachers must have confidence in the leadership of the department.”

​Read more: Private schools offer state pupils summer catch-up sessions

08:41 AM

Some good news from Italy…

Italy had some very good news yesterday, with just eight Covid-19 deaths reported on Saturday – down from 30 the day before, reports Andrea Vogt in Italy.

This marks the first time that a single digit number has been registered in Italy since February 29.

New infections also dropped from 259 to 175.

Health authorities are carefully monitoring several smaller outbreaks, including one at a courier and logistics company in Bologna that has infected over 100 people, but seem confident that the situation is stable and under control.  

Coronavirus Italy Spotlight Chart - deaths default
Coronavirus Italy Spotlight Chart – deaths default

08:31 AM

UK must maintain ‘constant vigilance’ as it eases lockdown

Sir Mark Walport, the former government chief scientific adviser, said the UK needs to maintain “constant vigilance” as it eases out of lockdown.

Speaking to Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, he said the Government faced a “fine balancing act” between managing the virus outbreak and the health harms caused by a damaged economy.

He said people needed to be “sensible and responsible”, and to try and reduce social contact as much as possible.

Citing Covid-19 case numbers, he said: “The virus is out there, it is very widely distributed and we have to have constant vigilance.”

Asked if the virus could come back in winter when the NHS is under more pressure, Sir Mark said: “That is obviously a significant risk.”

Coronavirus UK Spotlight Chart - Cases default
Coronavirus UK Spotlight Chart – Cases default

08:20 AM

English tourists may face quarantine in Scotland 

English holiday-makers crossing the border into Scotland could be told to go into quarantine for two weeks or face a fine if cases of the coronavirus rise again, The Sunday Times reports.

On Friday Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland was edging towards “total elimination” of Covid-19 after no new deaths were recorded on a weekday for the first time since March.

However, Scottish Government sources have told the paper that there is a fear that the progress in suppressing the virus could be undone when the tourism season begins next month, with an expected influx of visitors from England.

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 continued to rise in England last week.

Currently, anyone coming into Scotland from overseas must enter quarantine for 14 days or face a £480 fine, similar to public health measures in England.

One Scottish Government source said that if Covid-19 cases rise, ministers are considering an option to apply the same rules to visitors from England, to help safeguard public health and the economy. Such restrictions may only apply to those parts of England where the number of Covid cases is high.

08:12 AM

Iran to make face masks compulsory from next week

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said today that mask-wearing will be mandatory in certain areas as of next week, and gave virus-hit provinces the green light to reimpose restrictive measures.

The Islamic republic has so far refrained from enforcing full lockdowns to stop the spread of Covid-19, and the use of masks and protective equipment has been optional in most areas.

But mask-wearing would be “obligatory in covered spaces where there are gatherings”, Rouhani said during a televised meeting of the country’s anti-virus taskforce.

The measure would come into force as of next week, continue until July 22 and would be extended if necessary, he said.

Rouhani said the health ministry had devised “a clear list” of the types of spaces and gatherings deemed high-risk, but he did not elaborate. He also did not say what the penalty would be for those who fail to observe the measure.

Official figures have shown a rising trajectory in new confirmed cases in Iran since early May, when it hit a near two-month low in daily recorded infections.

Coronavirus Iran Spotlight Chart - Cases default
Coronavirus Iran Spotlight Chart – Cases default

08:06 AM

Focus of Budget must be jobs, says Labour shadow minister

Jonathan Reynolds, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, said it was “possible already that unemployment is the highest it has ever been”.

As a result of the impact on the jobs market from Covid-19, Labour is calling for the Chancellor to be more flexible with the furlough scheme and continue to provide financial support to certain sectors.

Speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme, Mr Reynolds said: “We need a jobs Budget – the focus should be jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs again.

“Crucially, things like the furlough scheme cannot be a one-size-fits-all scheme.

“If you look around the world a lot of countries are acting flexibly – we need to see that in this country for sectors that are still very much affected by the crisis.”

The Government should guarantee jobs to those out of work for a “significant period of time”, emulating the Future Jobs Fund which was created after the 2008 global crash, said Mr Reynolds.

07:58 AM

Health chiefs warn of four-year wait for NHS to return to normal

Hospital chiefs have reportedly warned that it will take up to four years for the NHS to be able to provide its full range of services again due to disruptions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Observer newspaper quotes one official as saying some hospitals will only be able to provide 40 per cent of the care previously delivered once the NHS reopens.

Patients will face lengthy waits for operations and tests as the push by hospitals to remain infection-free brings side-effects such as more closed beds, the paper says.

Surgeons will also be carrying out fewer procedures than before the outbreak because of their need to wear more protective clothing.

The warnings come as hospitals face pressure to resume services for patients with conditions such as cancer, joint problems and obesity.

07:52 AM

Government considering locking down Leicester after surge in cases

The Government is considering imposing the first local lockdown “within days” following a surge in Covid-19 cases in Leicester, The Sunday Times has reported. 

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock is reportedly examining the legislation required for the shutdown after it was revealed that there have been 658 cases of the coronavirus in the Leicester area in the fortnight to June 16.

The Department of Health and Social Care today stopped short of saying a local lockdown was likely for Leicester, but acknowledged the city was an area of concern as it urged residents in the city to be vigilant against the virus.

“We are supporting the council and local partners in Leicester to help prevent further transmission of the virus,” the spokesman said in a statement.

According to The Sunday Times, Leicester’s rise in cases follows an outbreak in food production plants in the area and reports of large crowds gathering outside takeaway restaurants.

06:34 AM

Ireland to keep two-week quarantine for Britons

Ireland will reportedly maintain a 14-day quarantine for travellers from the British mainland in July even as it plans to ease travel restrictions with some countries.

A memo with the Irish cabinet committee said it was “highly unlikely” that Britain would be included in Ireland’s safe travel list, according to The Sunday Times.

On July 9, Ireland plans to lift a 14-day quarantine for people arriving from countries that have also suppressed coronavirus, the Irish government said on Thursday.

04:26 AM

Grim milestone as global cases exceed 10 million

Global coronavirus cases exceeded 10 million on Sunday according to a Reuters tally, marking a major milestone in the spread of the respiratory disease that has so far killed almost half a million people in seven months.

The figure is roughly double the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to the World Health Organisation.

The milestone comes as many hard-hit countries are easing lockdowns while making extensive alterations to work and social life that could last for a year or more until a vaccine is available.

Read more: Europe looks to Germany outbreak to set template for new normal

An aerial view of people in cars lined up to be tested in a parking lot at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California - Getty
An aerial view of people in cars lined up to be tested in a parking lot at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California – Getty

03:54 AM

Australian state to introduce mandatory testing for travellers

Australia’s Victoria state will implement mandatory coronavirus tests for returning travellers after a sharp spike in infections over the past two weeks, the state’s premier said on Sunday.

The country’s second-most populous state had 49 new cases on Sunday, its highest in more than two months and the 12th consecutive day of double-digit rises. The rest of Australia has seen almost no infections.

“Much like a bushfire, putting this out is challenging,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told a press conference, alluding to wildfires at the end of last year that burnt through vast swaths of the country.

“Containing it, though, is something that we can do, and test and trace is the most effective thing to do.”

Victoria’s officials said earlier this week that some 30 per cent of returning travellers refused a Covid-19 test, and Mr Andrews said it will be a mandatory procedure. Australia also requires all locals who return to quarantine in hotels for two weeks.

02:23 AM

Infections continue to rise in South Korea

South Korea has confirmed 62 additional cases over a 24-hour period, as the country continues to grapple with new clusters after easing social distancing rules.

The additional cases reported on Sunday took the total to 12,715 with 282 deaths.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 11,364 of them have recovered while 1,069 remain in quarantine.

The agency says 40 of the newly reported cases were domestically infected while the rest 22 came from overseas. It says 26 of the 40 domestic cases were detected in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area.

Coronavirus Live Tracker promo embed
Coronavirus Live Tracker promo embed

01:24 AM

Decline in daily cases  in China

Mainland China on Sunday reported 17 new coronavirus cases, mostly in the Chinese capital of Beijing.

The National Health Commission said 17 new infections were confirmed on Saturday, down from 21 a day earlier.

In Beijing, 14 new confirmed cases were reported, down from 17 a day earlier.

Since June 11 when Beijing reported its first case in the current outbreak, stemming from a sprawling wholesale food centre in the southwest of the capital, 311 people in the city of more than 20 million have contracted the virus.

People visit a park amid coronavirus pandemic in Beijing, China - ROMAN PILIPEY/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
People visit a park amid coronavirus pandemic in Beijing, China – ROMAN PILIPEY/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

12:22 AM

Mexico continues to be hard hit by pandemic

Mexico’s health ministry on Saturday reported 4,410 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 602 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 212,802 cases and 26,381 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

Jesus, a boy who works with his father cleaning and decorating graves, loads land on a wheelbarrow at the Xico cemetery on the outskirts of Mexico City - Reuters
Jesus, a boy who works with his father cleaning and decorating graves, loads land on a wheelbarrow at the Xico cemetery on the outskirts of Mexico City – Reuters

12:00 AM

News in brief from around the world

  • The Brazilian government announced on Saturday an agreement with Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to produce a vaccine that is undergoing tests.

  • US Vice President Mike Pence is calling off a planned campaign tour in Florida as the state experiences a surge in confirmed  cases.

  • Italy has registered the lowest day-to-day tally of deaths on Saturday since March 1, a week before the country went into lockdown.

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned that the pandemic is far from over, as regional outbreaks gave rise to fears of a second wave.

  • The Serbian government says Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin has tested positive for Covid-19.

  • Britain‘s Royal Air Force says the first in a series of flights taking aid to Africa has departed for Ghana with materials for a field hospital.

  • Pakistan has announced a record increase in fuel prices days before the end of a fiscal year in which the country’s economy contracted for the first time in 68 years as a result of the  pandemic.

  • Egypt has lifted many of the restrictions put in place to fight the  pandemic, reopening cafes, clubs, gyms and theaters. Authorities also allowed the reopening of mosques and churches.

  • India‘s confirmed cases crossed half a million on Saturday with another record 24-hour jump of 18,552 infections.

  • The United Nations is marking its 75th anniversary with a scaled-down event because of the pandemic, one of many challenges a deeply divided world must tackle along with poverty, inequality, discrimination and unending wars.

11:39 PM

US surpasses 2.5 million cases

The United States on Saturday surpassed 2.5 million cases, a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University showed, as the world’s hardest-hit country grappled with a surge of infections in several states.

There were 2,500,419 confirmed cases in the US, according to the Baltimore-based university as of 5:30 pm (2130 GMT).

US deaths now exceed 125,000, approximately one-fourth the world total of over 495,000.

Florida on Saturday reported a record 9,585 cases in 24 hours as infections there spike. The state’s rapid reopening saw young adults flocking to beaches, boardwalks and bars.

Texas and Florida, which both have Republican governors who resisted prolonged lockdowns, have announced new restrictions on bars.

Read more: Miami to close beaches on July 4 as US hits record number of cases

Hundred of people enjoy a warm day at the beach in Miami Beach - CRISTOBAL HERRERA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Hundred of people enjoy a warm day at the beach in Miami Beach – CRISTOBAL HERRERA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

10:35 PM

Today’s top stories

Source Article

Next Post

'We All Deserve to Have Our Voices Heard'

Thu Sep 14 , 2023
Michelle Obama wants people to get out and vote in November. Through her nonprofit organization When We All Vote, Mrs. Obama teamed up with The Roots during the 13th Annual Roots Picnic on Saturday to encourage people to register to vote for the upcoming 2020 presidential election. During the virtual […]
‘We All Deserve to Have Our Voices Heard’

You May Like