03.08.2021

Boris Johnson considers on face masks UK opts out of EU vaccine scheme

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation warned the coronavirus pandemic had still not reached its peak, with the organisation’s director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, saying the virus is not under control “in most of the world” and is in fact “getting worse”.

Gyms and beauty salons will be allowed to reopen in England later this month as more lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, announced beauticians, tattooists and tanning salons can reopen from Monday – while gyms, indoor pools and other sports facilities can open from 25 July.

It comes as quarantine rules for people returning to or visiting the UK from a list of 76 countries are relaxed from Friday.

Venezuela minister tests positive for coronavirus

Oil minister and economic vice-president of Venezuela Tareck El Aissami has revealed on Twitter that he has tested positive for Covid-19.

Mr El Aissami,who has been indicted in the United States on drug trafficking allegations, said he was beginning self-isolation.

“A new battle that I will take on, clinging to God and to life,” he wrote.

It comes a day after the leader of the socialist party, Diosdado Cabello, tested positive for the virus.

Venezuela has so far reported 8,010 cases of the novel coronavirus so far, well below neighbouring countries like Brazil.

​Earlier this week Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, 65, and Bolivian interim president Jeanine Anez, 53, also confirmed they had been infected.

Florida records spike in daily coronavirus cases as Disney World prepares to reopen

Florida has reported its second sharpest daily rise in cases as Disney World prepares to reopen in Orlando to the chagrin of some employees.

The state recorded 11,433 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the state health department said, just short of its record high set last weekend.

On Saturday, the Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando will open to a limited number of guests, with measures such as mask wearing and temperature checks in place.

About 19,000 people, including workers, signed a petition asking Disney to delay the reopening.

Meanwhile, the actors’ union that represents 750 Walt Disney World performers has filed a grievance alleging retaliation against its members over the union’s demand that they be tested for the virus.

Florida is one of the few states that does not disclose the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients, but more than four dozen Florida hospitals reported their intensive care units reached capacity earlier this week.

Coronavirus deaths for under 65s more common with non-white people, CDC report says

Coronavirus deaths among Americans aged 65 and younger are more common among non-white people than among white people, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said.

A publication released on Friday found 34.9 per cent of Hispanic patients who died were younger than 65, while 29.5 per cent of non-whites who died were under 65, compared to only 13.2 per cent of white, non-Hispanic descendants.

Researchers analysed 10,647 Covid-19 deaths between 12 February and 24 April from 16 public health departments in 15 states.

Most of those who died were older than 65 years and had underlying medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The percentages of Hispanic and non-white people under age 65 who died of coronavirus were greater than their share of the US population, the report said.

The researchers noted that more Hispanic and non-white people work in occupations or essential activities that do not allow physical distancing.

WHO expert warns eradication of new coronavirus is unlikely

Dr Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organisation’s emergencies programme, has said it is unlikely that the new coronavirus will be eliminated completely.

“In the current situation, it is unlikely we can eradicate this virus,” Dr Ryan told an online briefing from Geneva.

However, he said that by extinguishing clusters of infection the world could “potentially avoid the worst of having second peaks and having to move backwards in terms of lockdown”.

Doctors and teachers reject Trump pressure on reopening schools

Groups representing US doctors, teachers and top school officials have pushed back against pressure from Donald Trump to fully reopen schools amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

“Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics,” the American Academy of Pediatrics, two national teachers’ unions and a school superintendents’ group said, following days of threats by Mr Trump to cut off federal education funds.

“We should leave it to health experts to tell us when the time is best to open up school buildings, and listen to educators and administrators to shape how we do it,” AAP, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the School Superintendents Association said in a joint statement.

Their call was echoed by two medical groups – the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association.

The government overstated the total number of people who had been tested for coronavirus by as many as 200,000 at the height of the UK’s first wave of Covid-19, according to analysis by Sky News.

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