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Covid-19 News: L'OMS dit que l'Europe peut s'attendre à voir une augmentation des décès

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

Un homme portant un masque facial porte le drapeau espagnol pendant la manifestation

Des manifestants anti-gouvernementaux se rassemblent à Madrid, en Espagne, au milieu de l'épidémie de Covid-19, le 12 septembre 2020

Oscar Gonzalez / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dernières nouvelles du coronavirus à 17 heures le 14 septembre

Nouveau record mondial de nouveaux cas quotidiens de coronavirus alors que l'OMS met en garde contre l'augmentation des décès en Europe

UNE augmentation record d'un jour dans les cas mondiaux de coronavirus a été enregistré dimanche avec 307 930 nouveaux cas confirmés. Les augmentations les plus importantes ont été enregistrées en Inde, aux États-Unis et au Brésil, selon l'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS). L'OMS a également averti que L'Europe peut s'attendre à voir plus de morts de covid-19 dès le mois prochain. «Ça va devenir plus difficile. En octobre, novembre, nous allons voir plus de mortalité », a déclaré Hans Kluge, directeur régional de l'OMS pour l'Europe, dans un entretien avec le Agence de presse AFP aujourd'hui. Les cas en Europe ont fortement augmenté ces dernières semaines, les taux de cas les plus élevés en Espagne et en France. Il y a 270,7 cas pour 100000 habitants en Espagne et 153,9 pour 100000 habitants en France, selon les derniers chiffres cumulés sur 14 jours du Centre européen de prévention et de contrôle des maladies. Au Royaume-Uni, il y a 51,1 cas pour 100 000 habitants.

Autres nouvelles sur les coronavirus

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Anticorps fabriqués en laboratoire sera administré à environ 2000 patients covid-19 dans les hôpitaux britanniques dans le cadre de la Essai RECOVERY, un essai clinique à grande échelle pour tester les médicaments existants en tant que thérapies contre la covid-19. En juin, les données de l'essai RECOVERY ont fourni la première preuve qu'un stéroïde appelé dexaméthasone pouvait sauver des vies pour les personnes atteintes de covid-19 sévère. Dans le nouvel essai d'anticorps spécialement conçu pour lutter contre le coronavirus, les premiers patients recevront le traitement expérimental dans les semaines à venir. «Il y a de nombreuses bonnes raisons de penser que cela pourrait bien être efficace arrêter le virus de se reproduire, empêcher le virus de causer des dommages, améliorer la survie des patients », a déclaré à la BBC Martin Landray de l'Université d'Oxford, qui co-dirige l'essai RECOVERY. «Les anticorps monoclonaux ou ciblés sont déjà utilisés pour traiter le cancer et les maladies auto-immunes», a déclaré Fiona Watt, présidente exécutive du Medical Research Council au Royaume-Uni, dans un déclaration. «Le nouvel essai nous dira si les anticorps qui attaquent le virus peuvent être un traitement efficace contre la covid-19.»

Un e-mail vu par la BBC révèle que le conseiller scientifique en chef du gouvernement britannique, Patrick Vallance, a fait valoir que les restrictions de verrouillage du coronavirus du Royaume-Uni seraient imposées plus tôt qu'elles ne l'étaient réellement, et en réponse ayant reçu une «révélation» de la part d'autres hauts fonctionnaires. Vallance a évoqué l'avis donné par le Groupe consultatif scientifique pour les urgences le 16 mars, suggérant que «des mesures supplémentaires de distanciation sociale» soient mises en œuvre «dès que possible». Le Royaume-Uni est entré en lock-out le 23 mars, environ deux mois après le premier cas confirmé du pays, qui quelques chercheurs blâme pour le nombre élevé de décès de coronavirus au Royaume-Uni.

Israël est devenu le premier pays à annoncer une deuxième verrouillage national pour commencer vendredi et durer trois semaines. C’est un effort pour contenir une deuxième vague de nouveaux cas, a annoncé dimanche le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu. Les personnes devront rester à moins de 500 mètres de leur domicile, à l'exception de se rendre sur leur lieu de travail. Les écoles seront également fermées.

Président américain Donald Trump a organisé le premier rassemblement de campagne présidentielle en salle depuis des mois dimanche au Nevada, alors que les autorités locales ont déclaré qu'il violait la règle de l'État limitant les rassemblements à 50 personnes. Dans une déclaration avant le rassemblement, le gouverneur du Nevada, Steve Sisolak, a critiqué la décision de Trump en disant: «Maintenant, il a décidé qu'il n'était pas obligé de respecter les lois de notre État. Comme d’habitude, il ne pense pas que les règles s’appliquent à lui. »

Morts du coronavirus

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Le nombre de morts dans le monde a dépassé les 925 000. Le nombre de cas confirmés est de plus de 29 millions, selon Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas soit beaucoup plus élevé.

Dernières nouvelles sur le coronavirus du nouveau scientifique

Arbre généalogique des coronavirus: Comme toute autre entité biologique, SARS-CoV-2 a un arbre généalogique. Ce n’est pas très ancien – le virus n’est reconnu que depuis décembre – mais il a encore des histoires à raconter.

Le racisme dans les soins de santé: Covid-19 affecte plus gravement les minorités ethniques, mais nous ne comprendrons jamais pourquoi si nous ne collectons pas les bonnes données, dit Alisha Dua.

Informations essentielles sur le coronavirus

Tout ce que vous devez savoir sur la pandémie

Qu'est-ce que Covid-19?

Quels sont les pires symptômes et à quel point la covid-19 est-elle mortelle?

Vous pourriez propager le coronavirus sans vous rendre compte que vous l'avez

Quels traitements covid-19 fonctionnent et dans quelle mesure sommes-nous proches d'en obtenir plus?

Quels sont les principaux candidats vaccins contre le coronavirus?

Que lire, regarder et écouter sur le coronavirus

Course contre le virus: à la recherche d'un vaccin est un documentaire de Channel 4 qui raconte l'histoire de la pandémie de coronavirus à travers les yeux des scientifiques en première ligne.

Le New York Times évalue les progrès de différents vaccins candidats et des traitements médicamenteux potentiels pour le covid-19, et les classe en termes d'efficacité et de sécurité.

Les humains du COVID-19 est un projet mettant en lumière les expériences de travailleurs clés en première ligne dans la lutte contre le coronavirus au Royaume-Uni, via les médias sociaux.

Coronavirus, expliqué sur Netflix est une courte série documentaire examinant la pandémie de coronavirus en cours, les efforts pour la combattre et les moyens de gérer son bilan en matière de santé mentale.

New Scientist Hebdomadaire présente des mises à jour et des analyses sur les derniers développements de la pandémie de covid-19. Notre podcast voit des journalistes experts du magazine discuter des plus grandes histoires scientifiques qui font la une des journaux chaque semaine – de la technologie et de l'espace à la santé et à l'environnement.

Les règles de contagion traite de la nouvelle science de la contagion et de la manière surprenante dont elle façonne nos vies et nos comportements. L'auteur, Adam Kucharski, est épidémiologiste à la London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Royaume-Uni, et dans le livre, il examine comment les maladies se propagent et pourquoi elles s'arrêtent.

Mises à jour précédentes

Deux personnes fréquentent un centre de test de covid-19

Des membres du public assistent à une installation d'essai de covid du NHS dans le centre-ville de Bolton alors que les restrictions sont renforcées dans la région le 9 septembre

Anthony Devlin / Getty Images

11 septembre

De nouvelles données suggèrent que le nombre R de l'Angleterre pourrait atteindre 1,7

le L'épidémie de coronavirus au Royaume-Uni augmente, selon le derniers chiffres du gouvernement. Simon Clarke à l'Université de Reading décrit ceci comme «un coup dur à la stratégie du gouvernement pour contenir la propagation du covid-19». Le Royaume-Uni Numéro R le nombre estimé de personnes infectées par chaque personne infectée se situe entre 1 et 1,2, contre 0,9 et 1,1 la semaine dernière. Ces données sont représentatives de la situation d'il y a deux à trois semaines, en raison d'un décalage dans les données utilisées pour modéliser le R, mais sont conformes aux données plus récentes pour l'Angleterre à partir d'un étude séparée par des chercheurs de l’Imperial College de Londres, ce qui suggère que le nombre de R de l’Angleterre pourrait atteindre 1,7.

L'étude, commandée par le ministère de la Santé et des Affaires sociales, a testé plus de 150 000 personnes dans des communautés d'Angleterre entre le 22 août et le 7 septembre et l'a utilisée pour modéliser le nombre R. Il a révélé que 0,13% des personnes testées positives équivalent à 130 pour 100 000 habitants de la population. le derniers résultats d'une enquête de test aléatoire sur écouvillon par le Bureau des statistiques nationales indiquent également une augmentation des infections dans les communautés en Angleterre et au Pays de Galles ces dernières semaines.

L'augmentation des cas «suggère que la récente hausse des cas n'est pas simplement due à des tests plus importants», a déclaré Clarke dans un communiqué. "Il est probable que le coronavirus circule à nouveau plus librement dans la communauté, ce qui signifie que nous aurons probablement besoin de plus grandes restrictions sur nos vies pour faire baisser à nouveau le taux de transmission."

Autres nouvelles sur les coronavirus

UNE nouvelle application de suivi des contacts de coronavirus sera mis en ligne en Angleterre et au Pays de Galles le 24 septembre, a annoncé aujourd'hui le gouvernement. La nouvelle application permettra aux utilisateurs de scanner les codes QR pour enregistrer les visites dans les bars et les restaurants et utilisera la méthode d'Apple et de Google pour détecter d'autres smartphones à proximité. Le gouvernement britannique avait auparavant été contraint d'abandonner le développement de une application antérieure, basé sur une technologie différente, en raison de son incapacité à reconnaître une proportion significative d'appareils Apple et Android. L'application de l'Écosse, Protect Scotland, est allé vivre hier.

Birmingham en Angleterre est mis sous un verrouillage local en raison d'un pic de cas. La ville a maintenant le deuxième taux d'infection à coronavirus le plus élevé d'Angleterre, après Bolton. Il y a eu 85,4 cas pour 100 000 habitants à Birmingham au cours de la semaine se terminant le 7 septembre, contre 32 la semaine précédente. Les habitants de Birmingham ne seront plus autorisés à rencontrer d'autres ménages.

L'Inde a enregistré le plus grand nombre de nouveaux cas de coronavirus quotidiens dans un seul pays depuis le début de la pandémie, avec 96 551 cas enregistrés dans le pays jeudi.

Morts du coronavirus

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Le nombre de morts dans le monde a dépassé 910 000. Le nombre de cas confirmés est supérieur à 28,2 millions, selon Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas soit beaucoup plus élevé.

Dernières nouvelles sur le coronavirus du nouveau scientifique

Rapports de réinfection: Ces dernières semaines, les premiers rapports confirmés de personnes qui ont été réinfectées par le coronavirus ont commencé à affluer. De tels cas suggèrent que, chez certaines personnes au moins, le système immunitaire ne développe pas de protection durable contre le virus. À quel point devrions-nous être inquiets?

Un chanteur adulte portant des robes et un écran facial marchant dans une église

Un chanteur adulte du York Minster Choir marche pour répéter avant un spectacle à York, en Angleterre.

Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

10 septembre

Les derniers chiffres montrent une augmentation significative des cas hebdomadaires de coronavirus en Angleterre

Le nombre de les personnes testées positives pour le coronavirus en Angleterre était de 9864 dans la semaine se terminant le 2 septembre, en hausse de 47 pour cent par rapport à 6732 la semaine précédente, selon le derniers chiffres de NHS Test and Trace. Il s’agit du plus grand nombre de cas positifs hebdomadaires enregistrés depuis le lancement du système en mai. Au cours de la même semaine, NHS Test and Trace n'a réussi à atteindre que 69,2% des contacts des personnes diagnostiquées avec le virus en Angleterre – en dessous de l'objectif de 80% ou plus conseillé par les conseillers scientifiques du gouvernement pour limiter la propagation des infections.

Des spécialistes de la santé publique ont fait part de leurs inquiétudes quant à la faisabilité des plans gouvernementaux annoncés hier pour dépenser 100 milliards de livres sterling pour étendre les tests à 10 millions de tests par jour d'ici début 2021. Chaand Nagpaul, président du conseil de la British Medical Association, a déclaré au BBC on ne sait pas comment ces tests fonctionneront, étant donné les «énormes problèmes» de capacité du laboratoire. Sarah-Jane Marsh, directrice des tests au NHS Test and Trace excusé pour les problèmes avec le programme de test plus tôt cette semaine. Même si les tests peuvent être étendus, des préoccupations subsistent quant à la précision et à la capacité de recherche des contacts. Le secrétaire aux Transports, Grant Shapps, a déclaré ce matin à BBC Breakfast que la technologie à porter le plan n’existe pas actuellement.

Autres nouvelles sur les coronavirus

Le président américain Donald Trump admis avoir minimisé la menace posée par le coronavirus en mars, lors d'un entretien avec le journaliste Bob Woodward révélé dans son prochain livre. «Je voulais toujours le minimiser», a déclaré Trump à Woodward le 19 mars. "J'aime toujours le minimiser, car je ne veux pas créer de panique." Trump a également reconnu que le virus était "plus mortel que même votre grippe intense" dès février une époque où il disait publiquement que le virus était moins préoccupant que la grippe.

Pascal Soriot, PDG d'AstraZeneca, a déclaré aujourd'hui lors d'un briefing en ligne il est plein d'espoir que le candidat vaccin contre le coronavirus de la société pourrait être prêt pour une distribution mondiale au premier semestre 2021. Les essais du vaccin, qui est développé en partenariat avec l'Université d'Oxford, ont été suspendus hier après qu'un participant a développé des symptômes neurologiques. Un comité de sécurité indépendant examine actuellement les données sur le participant affecté, a déclaré Soriot.

Le système Test and Protect en Écosse, l’équivalent national du NHS Test and Trace en Angleterre, aujourd'hui a publié son application Protect Scotland, qui alerte les gens s'ils ont été en contact étroit avec quelqu'un qui a ensuite été testé positif pour le coronavirus. À l'instar de l'application d'Irlande du Nord, la nouvelle application d'Écosse a été conçue à l'aide de la boîte à outils fournie par Apple et Google. L'Angleterre n'a pas encore d'application équivalente largement disponible, mais a testé une application similaire sur l'île de Wight et dans le quartier londonien de Newham au cours du mois dernier, après avoir abandonné le développement d'une application NHS Covid-19 basée sur une technologie différente, en raison de son incapacité à reconnaître 96% des téléphones Apple et 25% des appareils Google Android.

Étudiants universitaires en Angleterre peuvent être tenus de rester dans leur logement étudiant et évitez de visiter leur domicile familial en cas d'épidémie locale de coronavirus, selon de nouvelles directives publiées aujourd'hui par le ministère britannique de l'Éducation. Les élèves présentant des symptômes de la covid-19 devraient «s'auto-isoler dans leur logement actuel», indique le guide. Il suggère également que les universités regroupent les étudiants vivant dans des résidences universitaires dans des «ménages» qui incluent tous ceux qui vivent au même étage ou partagent des installations communes, pouvant inclure jusqu'à 30 étudiants. Les directives ajoutent que les rassemblements privés, y compris ceux au sein des ménages étudiants, doivent toujours être limités à un maximum de six personnes.

Morts du coronavirus

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Le nombre de morts dans le monde a dépassé les 905 000. Le nombre de cas confirmés est supérieur à 27,9 millions, selon Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas soit beaucoup plus élevé.

Dernières nouvelles sur le coronavirus du nouveau scientifique

Coronavirus et grippe: Les médecins s'inquiètent des épidémies concomitantes de grippe et de covid-19, mais certains virologues s'inquiètent d'un autre scénario: un Frankenvirus. Le coronavirus pourrait-il fusionner avec un autre virus pour créer une nouvelle menace?

Un chimiste travaillant dans un laboratoire

Vue générale des chimistes analytiques au siège d'AstraZeneca à Sydney

Images de DAN HIMBRECHTS / AAP / PA

9 septembre

Le gouvernement britannique prévoit d'étendre les tests de coronavirus à 10 millions de tests par jour

Le gouvernement britannique prévoit d'effectuer 10 millions de tests de coronavirus par jour d'ici début 2021, selon des documents obtenus par le BMJ. Actuellement, la capacité de test du Royaume-Uni est de 350 000 par jour. Dans le cadre de ce nouveau plan, 100 milliards de livres sterling seront consacrés à l’extension du programme d’essais du pays, ont révélé les documents, et GSK et AstraZeneca sont parmi les entreprises nommées pour fournir des tests et des capacités de laboratoire respectivement.

Martin McKee de la London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine a déclaré à la BMJ le plan est trop optimiste et ne tient pas compte «d'énormes problèmes avec les programmes de test et de traçage existants». Le NHS Test and Trace, en particulier, a été critiqué pour son échec répété à atteindre une proportion suffisante de contacts de personnes testées positives pour le virus en Angleterre. Entre le 28 mai et le 26 août, le régime atteint 78,5% des contacts de personnes diagnostiquées en Angleterre – en dessous de l'objectif de 80% ou plus conseillé par des conseillers scientifiques gouvernementaux.

Jon Meeks, biostatisticien à l'Université de Birmingham qui a révisé les documents pour la BMJ, tweeté que les documents «Montrent un grave manque de science ou de réalité. Aucune considération des préjudices que le dépistage de nous tous créerait. » dans le BMJ il a soulevé le problème des faux positifs: «JeSi vous testez 60 millions de personnes (avec un test précis à 99%), nous classerons un groupe de la taille de la population de Sheffield comme ayant à tort un covid. »

Autres nouvelles sur les coronavirus

Essais avancés de l'un des plus prometteurs candidats vaccins contre le coronavirus ont été mis en attente après qu'un participant est tombé malade au Royaume-Uni. Entreprise pharmaceutique AstraZeneca, qui développe le vaccin en partenariat avec l'Université d'Oxford, a volontairement suspendu les essais. Il s'agit d'une procédure standard dans le développement de vaccins et laisse le temps aux chercheurs de déterminer la cause de la maladie et d'assurer la sécurité des participants. AstraZeneca a qualifié cette action de «routine» dans une déclaration à STAT. Le candidat vaccin a déjà réussi les essais préliminaires et est actuellement en cours essais de phase II et III impliquant environ 30 000 participants à ee aux États-Unis ainsi qu'au Royaume-Uni, au Brésil et en Afrique du Sud. Ces essais plus importants sont conçu pour tester s'il peut empêcher les gens d'être infectés par le coronavirus ou de tomber malades avec le covid-19, ainsi que d'évaluer la sécurité à long terme.

Social les rassemblements en Angleterre seront limités à un maximum de six personnes à partir du lundi 14 septembre, dans le but de lutter contre un récent pic de cas de coronavirus. Les gens ne seront pas autorisés à se rassembler en groupes de plus de six personnes à l'intérieur ou à l'extérieur, à l'exception des rassemblements dans les écoles, les lieux de travail et certains événements tels que les mariages et les funérailles. Le ministre britannique de la Santé, Matt Hancock, a déclaré aujourd'hui à la BBC que la nouvelle règle était «super simple» et qu'elle serait «appliquée par la police». Les gens pourraient être condamnés à une amende entre 100 et 3200 £ pour avoir enfreint la règle, a-t-il déclaré. "Nous avons vu dans d'autres pays du monde où ils n'agissent pas, puis vous vous retrouvez avec ce deuxième pic, entraînant plus d'hospitalisations et de décès, et nous ne voulons pas voir cela ici", a déclaré Hancock.

Morts du coronavirus

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Le nombre de morts dans le monde a dépassé les 898 000. Le nombre de cas confirmés est supérieur à 27,6 millions, selon Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas soit beaucoup plus élevé.

Dernières nouvelles sur le coronavirus du nouveau scientifique

Symptômes sévères: Un peptide humain incontrôlable appelé bradykinine pourrait être responsable de certains des symptômes variés et parfois mortels observés chez les personnes qui ont contracté le coronavirus. Nous avons déjà des médicaments pour contrôler la bradykinine, qui sont actuellement testés comme traitements pour les personnes atteintes de covid-19.

Les gens marchent dans la rue dans le centre de Bolton, Greater Manchester

Les gens marchent dans la rue dans le centre de Bolton, Greater Manchester

Jon Super / Xinhua / PA Images

8 septembre

De nouvelles restrictions pourraient être introduites dans toute l'Angleterre en raison de l'augmentation du nombre de cas

Le gouvernement pourrait resserrer restrictions sur les personnes se réunissant en Angleterre suite au récent pic des cas de coronavirus. Selon plusieurs rapports, le gouvernement pourrait réduire le nombre de personnes autorisées à se réunir à l'extérieur à six, contre la limite actuelle de 30. Les restrictions sur le nombre de personnes pouvant se rencontrer à l'intérieur pourraient également devenir plus strictes, selon Sky News. Selon les directives actuelles, seuls deux ménages peuvent se rassembler à l'intérieur.

Le médecin-chef adjoint de l'Angleterre, Jonathan Van-Tam, a déclaré que la nouvelle vague de cas était due au fait que «les gens se sont trop détendus». Aujourd'hui, 2420 personnes testées positives pour le coronavirus au Royaume-Uni, en baisse par rapport à 2948 lundi mais toujours élevé par rapport aux chiffres quotidiens de ces derniers mois. John Edmunds, membre du Groupe consultatif scientifique pour les urgences, a déclaré ITV que le Royaume-Uni dans son ensemble est dans une «période à risque» parce que le pays Numéro R – le nombre de personnes infectées par chaque personne infectée – est passé au-dessus de 1. Un nombre R supérieur à 1 signifie qu'une épidémie se développe.

Certaines mesures se resserrent déjà dans certaines régions du Royaume-Uni, notamment à Bolton, dans le Grand Manchester. La ville a actuellement le taux de cas le plus élevé du pays, avec 120 cas de virus pour 100 000 habitants. Les pubs et les restaurants devront désormais être uniquement à emporter et rester fermés entre 22 h 00 et 5 h 00, Royaume-Uni Le ministre de la Santé, Matt Hancock, a annoncé aujourd'hui. Les directives actuelles, qui stipulent que les gens ne doivent pas socialiser avec ceux d'un autre ménage, seront rendues juridiquement contraignantes, a-t-il déclaré aux députés. Le nombre de personnes autorisées à visiter les hôpitaux et les maisons de soins sera également réduit grâce aux nouvelles mesures. «L'augmentation des cas à Bolton est en partie due à la socialisation des personnes dans la vingtaine et la trentaine. Nous le savons grâce à la recherche des contacts », a déclaré Hancock, ajoutant que« nous avons identifié un certain nombre de pubs dans lesquels le virus s'est propagé de manière significative. »

Autres actualités sur les coronavirus

Au milieu des rapports de plus en plus nombreux selon lesquels des personnes auraient été invitées à se rendre dans des centres de test au volant à des centaines de kilomètres de chez eux, la directrice des tests pour NHS Test and Trace, Sarah-Jane Marche, tweeté des excuses aujourd'hui aux personnes en Angleterre qui n'ont pas pu se faire tester pour le coronavirus. Marsh a décrit le traitement en laboratoire comme "le point critique" et a déclaré: "nous faisons tout ce que nous pouvons pour nous développer rapidement." Le mois dernier chercheurs avertis que le Royaume-Uni ferait probablement face à une deuxième vague d’infections à coronavirus en hiver si le système de dépistage et de recherche des contacts du pays ne s’améliorait pas en septembre.

Il y a eu 101 décès dus au covid-19 en Angleterre et au Pays de Galles au cours de la semaine se terminant le 28 août, selon les derniers chiffres du Office des statistiques nationales. C'est une baisse par rapport aux 138 décès la semaine précédente et c'est également le plus faible nombre de décès dus à la maladie enregistrés depuis la semaine se terminant le 13 mars.

Une école du Nottinghamshire en Angleterre a été forcé de fermer après que son directeur a été admis à l'hôpital avec covid-19. Les élèves et le personnel de l'école primaire de Trowell ont été invités à rester à la maison et à s'isoler jusqu'au 21 septembre. Dans la semaine qui a suivi le retour des élèves dans les salles de classe, des épidémies de coronavirus ont été signalées dans des dizaines d'écoles en Angleterre et au Pays de Galles. À travers Liverpool, on estime que 200 élèves s'auto-isolent après des cas positifs de covid-19 dans cinq écoles, tandis que cinq enseignants d'une école du Suffolk ont ​​été testés positifs.Morts du coronavirus

Image par défaut du nouveau scientifique

Le nombre de morts dans le monde est passé à 897 000. Le nombre de cas confirmés est supérieur à 27,3 millions, selon Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas soit beaucoup plus élevé.

Dernières nouvelles sur le coronavirus du nouveau scientifique

Qu'est-ce qu'un vaccin et comment fonctionnent-ils?: La dernière vidéo de notre nouvelle série YouTube, Science with Sam, explique le fonctionnement des vaccins en entraînant votre système immunitaire à reconnaître les virus et les bactéries. Nous examinons également l'effort mondial sans précédent pour développer un vaccin contre le coronavirus et examinons les défis liés à la fabrication, au test et à la distribution des vaccins covid-19.

Les gens passent des tests sur écouvillon de coronavirus

Des gens entreprennent un test de coronavirus dans une installation d'essai sans rendez-vous à Bolton, au Royaume-Uni, le 7 septembre 2020

Phil Noble / REUTERS

7 septembre

Le Royaume-Uni a enregistré son plus grand nombre de nouveaux cas quotidiens depuis mai dimanche

Il y avait 2948 nouveaux cas de coronavirus confirmés au Royaume-Uni aujourd'hui, en légère baisse par rapport au 2988 nouveaux cas confirmé dimanche, qui a marqué la plus forte augmentation quotidienne de cas enregistrée dans le pays depuis le 23 mai. "Ceci est particulièrement préoccupant pour un dimanche où les chiffres des rapports sont généralement inférieurs à la plupart des autres jours de la semaine", a déclaré Paul Hunter de l'Université d'East Anglia dans un déclaration. "Malheureusement, il semble que nous entrions dans une période de croissance exponentielle de l'épidémie britannique et si c'est le cas, nous pouvons nous attendre à de nouvelles augmentations au cours des prochaines semaines", a déclaré Hunter.

Le ministre britannique de la Santé, Matt Hancock hier a exprimé sa préoccupation sur l'augmentation des cas, qui il a dit étaient en grande partie parmi les personnes de moins de 25 ans, en particulier celles entre 17 et 21 ans. «Bien sûr, les plus jeunes peuvent transmettre la maladie à leurs grands-parents et nous ne voulons pas voir cela», a déclaré Hancock hier. Dans France et Espagne, les augmentations des infections chez les jeunes adultes en août ont été suivies par un nombre plus élevé d'hospitalisations pour les personnes plus âgées et plus vulnérables au cours des semaines suivantes. «C’est inquiétant parce que nous avons constaté une augmentation des cas en France, en Espagne, dans certains autres pays d’Europe, et personne ne veut voir une deuxième vague ici», a déclaré Hancock aujourd’hui.

Les préoccupations de Hancock concernant les jeunes transmettant le virus à des groupes plus vulnérables sont partagées par les conseillers scientifiques du gouvernement. UNE rapport approuvé par le Groupe consultatif scientifique pour les urgences publié la semaine dernière, avertit qu'il existe un risque important que la réouverture des universités puisse amplifier la transmission locale et nationale, ajoutant qu '«il est très probable qu'il y aura des épidémies importantes». En raison de la proportion plus élevée de cas asymptomatiques parmi les groupes d'âge plus jeunes, les cas et les épidémies sont également susceptibles d'être plus difficiles à détecter parmi les populations d'étudiants, indique le rapport.

Autres nouvelles sur les coronavirus

Inde a confirmé 90632 nouveaux cas de coronavirus en 24 heures, a rapporté dimanche le ministère de la Santé du pays, établissant un nouveau record mondial pour le nombre d’infections enregistrées dans un seul pays en une journée. L'Inde a confirmé plus de 4,2 millions de cas depuis le début de la pandémie, le deuxième nombre le plus élevé de tous les pays après les États-Unis.

Les Jeux Olympiques de Tokyo aura lieu l'année prochaine «Avec ou sans covid», selon John Coates, vice-président du Comité international olympique. Auparavant, le comité avait annoncé qu'il annulerait les Jeux prévus en juillet 2021 si nécessaire.

Morts du coronavirus

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Le nombre de morts dans le monde a dépassé 889 000. Le nombre de cas confirmés est supérieur à 27,1 millions, selon Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas soit beaucoup plus élevé.

Dernières nouvelles sur le coronavirus du nouveau scientifique

Assurer la sécurité des écoles: Il est largement admis que les écoles doivent rouvrir et rester ouvertes. Cependant, y parvenir est semé d’inconnues. Bien qu'il semble que les enfants soient moins susceptibles de transmettre et de tomber malades du coronavirus, nous ne savons pas pourquoi c'est le cas. En cas d’épidémie, les familles des élèves et le personnel scolaire pourraient encore être en danger. Afin d'assurer la sécurité des écoles, les gouvernements doivent être prêts à fermer d'autres secteurs de la société pour maintenir les niveaux globaux de transmission du virus à un faible niveau.

Un scientifique pipettes liquide dans un laboratoire

Spoutnik V, Centre national de Gamaleya

LE FONDS D'INVESTISSEMENT DIRECT RUSSE

4 septembre

Le candidat vaccin de la Russie a produit des réponses d’anticorps et de lymphocytes T lors d’un essai préliminaire

Un essai préliminaire de Le candidat vaccin russe contre le coronavirus Sputnik V suggère qu'il est sûr et induit une réponse immunitaire. Le vaccin était approuvé par les autorités russes le mois dernier, avant que des données n'aient été rendues publiques ou qu'un essai à grande échelle n'ait commencé. Dans l'essai préliminaire, il a été testé dans un petit groupe de 76 volontaires sains. Tous les volontaires ont développé des anticorps spécifiques aux coronavirus et Cellules T, et aucun n'a présenté d'effets indésirables graves, selon les résultats publiés dans The Lancet aujourd'hui. Cependant, il n'est toujours pas clair si le vaccin protège les personnes contre l'infection par le coronavirus ou contre la maladie. Cela sera étudié dans le cadre de tests de phase III, qui déjà en cours, et qui devrait inclure 40 000 personnes à travers la Russie.

Certains chercheurs craignent que les développeurs de vaccins ne subissent des pressions politiques pour libérer des doses du vaccin destinées à être administrées au grand public, avant la fin des tests de phase III. «Un vaccin ne doit pas être utilisé pour raccourcir la mise en œuvre d'interventions de santé publique dont on sait déjà qu'elles sont sûres et efficaces, jusqu'à ce que le vaccin lui-même se soit avéré sûr et efficace», a déclaré Eleanor Riley de l'Université d'Édimbourg, dans un déclaration.

L'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) l'a dit aujourd'hui ne s'attend pas à une vaccination généralisée contre le coronavirus jusqu'à mi-2021. «Nous ne nous attendons pas à une vaccination généralisée avant le milieu de l'année prochaine», a déclaré la porte-parole de l'OMS, Margaret Harris, lors d'une réunion d'information à Genève. Harris a déclaré que les essais de phase III devront durer suffisamment longtemps pour déterminer à quel point un candidat vaccin donné est «vraiment protecteur» et sûr.

Autres nouvelles sur les coronavirus

Les résultats préliminaires d'une étude de Public Health England ont été trouvés faibles taux d'infection à coronavirus parmi les enfants et les enseignants du préscolaire et du primaire. Les chercheurs ont prélevé des écouvillons sur plus de 12000 enfants et enseignants de 131 écoles primaires d'Angleterre en juin et début juillet et n'ont détecté que trois cas de virus. Ravindra Gupta de l'Université de Cambridge a déclaré que les résultats n'étaient pas surprenants, car un nombre limité d'enfants fréquentaient des écoles en Angleterre pendant cette période. «Nous ne devons pas être complaisants et faussement rassurés», a déclaré Gupta dans un déclaration. «À partir de septembre, il y aura plus d'enfants, plus de mélange, plus de monde et pendant l'hiver, moins de temps sera passé à l'extérieur», a-t-il dit, ajoutant qu'il y aura moins de chance de s'éloigner socialement dans les écoles dans les mois à venir qu'il n'était possible de le faire. en juin.

La Nouvelle-Zélande a enregistré son premier décès de covid-19 depuis le 28 mai. Un homme d'Auckland est décédé après avoir été admis à l'hôpital. Son décès est le premier lié à une récente épidémie dans la ville, dont 152 cas.

Morts du coronavirus

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Le nombre de morts dans le monde a dépassé les 870 000. Le nombre de cas confirmés est supérieur à 26,3 millions, selon Université Johns Hopkins, bien que le nombre réel de cas soit beaucoup plus élevé.

Dernières nouvelles sur le coronavirus du nouveau scientifique

Distanciation sociale: Les informaticiens ont utilisé une base de données de caméras publiques pour suivre dans quelle mesure les gens adhèrent aux directives de distanciation sociale.

Un travailleur médical prend un écouvillon pour tester le coronavirus dans un centre de test au volant, sous les yeux d'un collègue

Un travailleur médical prend un écouvillon pour tester le coronavirus dans un centre de test au volant

ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP via Getty Images

3 septembre

Un nouveau financement annoncé pour des essais de nouveaux tests rapides de coronavirus au Royaume-Uni

Le gouvernement britannique aujourd'hui a annoncé un financement de 500 millions de livres sterling pour les essais des tests rapides de coronavirus, y compris des tests sur écouvillon et salive récemment développés qui peuvent être effectués en 90 minutes ou moins. Les essais comprendront également des projets pilotes communautaires examinant l'efficacité des tests répétés dans les écoles et dans la population générale. «Nous soutenons de nouveaux tests innovants qui sont rapides, précis et plus faciles à utiliser et maximiseront l'impact et l'ampleur des tests, nous aidant à revenir à un mode de vie plus normal», a déclaré le ministre britannique de la Santé, Matt Hancock, dans un déclaration aujourd'hui.

Des tests plus rapides pourraient aider à accélérer l'identification des personnes infectées et le traçage de leurs contacts étroits. Mais avoir un test rapide est «inutile» si les contacts ne peuvent pas être identifiés parce que le système de traçage est débordé, a déclaré Joshua Moon de l'Université du Sussex dans un déclaration. NHS Test and Trace a été critiqué pour son échec répété à atteindre une proportion suffisante de contacts de personnes testées positives pour le coronavirus en Angleterre. Selon le derniers chiffres, 78,5% des contacts des personnes diagnostiquées avec le virus en Angleterre ont été atteints par le NHS Test and Trace entre le 28 mai et le 26 août – en dessous de l'objectif de 80% ou plus conseillé par des conseillers scientifiques gouvernementaux.

Autres actualités sur les coronavirus

Les Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) américains ont notifié aux États de se préparer au déploiement d'un vaccin contre le coronavirus dans les deux mois. “Limited covid-19 vaccine doses may be available by early November 2020,” according to CDC documents first published by the New York Times. And in a letter to governors on 27 August, first obtained by McClatchy, CDC director Robert Redfield wrote: “CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for (vaccine) distribution facilities and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020.” But public health researchers are concerned that the move is being driven less by evidence and instead by a political effort to rush a vaccine before the November election. Michael Osterholm at the University of Minnesota told the Associated Press that “the public health community wants a safe and effective vaccine as much as anybody (…) but the data have to be clear and compelling.”

Pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi will start testing their protein-based coronavirus vaccine candidate in humans for the first time, to assess its safety and ability to induce an immune response. If this and subsequent trials are successful, the companies have said they could be requesting regulatory approval in the first half of next year.

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

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 864,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 26 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Pharmacist holding packs of dexamethasone anti-inflammatory steroid tablets.

Pharmacist holding packs of dexamethasone anti-inflammatory steroid tablets.

LEWIS HOUGHTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

2 September

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

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

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

Other coronavirus news

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 858,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 25.8 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

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

Pupils wash their hands

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

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

1 September

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

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

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

Other coronavirus news

The UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson today told MPs that people in the UK were returning to the office in “huge numbers”, although no evidence has emerged to support the claim. A spokesperson for Johnson told the Huffington Post “people will be returning to the office after the summer break and also children going back to school gives parents some added flexibility.” le UK government’s campaign to encourage people to return to offices launched today. But in a recent sondage of more than 6000 workers who have been working from home due to the pandemic, nine out of 10 said they would like to continue to do so.

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 851,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 25.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

schoolchildren waiting

Children wait outside the school gate in Johannesburg, South Africa.

KIM LUDBROOK/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

28 August

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

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

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

Other coronavirus news

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide death toll has passed 832,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 24.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images

27 August

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

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

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

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

Hans Kluge at the World Health Organization said today that Europe is entering a “tricky moment” as schools reopen across the continent, though he stressed that schools had not been a “main contributor” to the epidemic. Asked by New Scientist at a press conference today if European countries’ responses to growing cases this week are commensurate with keeping the virus in check, Maria van Kerkhove at the WHO said: “What we are seeing is countries applying different measures. What we are seeing are targeted, tailored approaches. Hopefully these are time-bound.” On measures such as mandating face coverings and limiting the size of gatherings, she said: “All of these are different tools that may need to be applied. I think what we’re seeing is this calibration, of putting in efforts to suppress transmission to keep it at a low level while allowing societies to open up. This is one of the critical things we are all trying to figure out now.”

Other coronavirus news

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide death toll has passed 826,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 24 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

Three school pupils walk through a doorway

Pupils in Glasgow, Scotland return to school after lockdown on 12 August

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

26 August

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

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

Other coronavirus news

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide death toll has passed 820,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 23.9 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

Man and two children wearing face masks walk towards school gate

Father and two children walking to school wearing face masks

Sally Anscombe/Getty Images

25 August

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

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

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

Other coronavirus news

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide death toll has passed 814,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 23.6 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

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

Person waits in line to receive covid-19 test kit

Hong Kong residents receive free covid-19 test kits

MIGUEL CANDELA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

24 August

Researchers say they have detected the first case of coronavirus reinfection

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

What will the discovery mean for the dozens of vaccine candidates being developed to protect people against the coronavirus? It may indicate that being infected with the virus doesn’t necessarily protect people against future infections, m'a dit David Strain at the University of Exeter in a statement. “Vaccinations work by simulating infection to the body, thereby allowing the body to develop antibodies. If antibodies don’t provide lasting protection, we will need to revert to a strategy of viral near-elimination in order to return to a more normal life,” says Strain. But Brendan Wren at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said it is important to take these results into context: “This is a very rare example of reinfection and it should not negate the global drive to develop covid-19 vaccines.”

Other coronavirus news

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide death toll has passed 809,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 23.4 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

Commuters in front of a train station

Commuters arrive for work at Victoria Station in London

Alex Lentati/LNP/Shutterstock

21 August

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

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

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

Other coronavirus news

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 794,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 22.7 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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Commuters at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof central train station in Frankfurt, Germany.

Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

20 August

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

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

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

Other coronavirus news

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

UK health minister Matt Hancock yesterday told the BBC that people in the UK should be able to return to workplaces without the need for wearing face masks, citing evidence from NHS Test and Trace that people have been largely catching the virus in meetings between households rather than in offices. But researchers, including microbiologist Simon Clarke at the University of Reading, say there isn’t sufficient data to rule out the risk of transmission within workplaces and from workplaces to households. “The virus needs to be taken into homes by someone and they will have had to pick it up from somewhere else (…) even a single workplace transmission could lead to multiple onward infections in a family, household or other setting.”

India reported a record daily increase in coronavirus cases for the country today, with more than 69,652 cases confirmed, according to its health ministry.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide death toll has passed 788,000. The number of confirmed cases is more than 22.4 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases will be much higher.

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

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

REUTERS/Carl Recine – RC2Z2I9ILO1A

19 August

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

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

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

Other coronavirus news

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

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

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

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

18 August

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

The World Health Organization (WHO) today called for an end to “vaccine nationalism”, les hoarding of vaccine doses by some nations. “The fastest way to end this pandemic and to reopen economies is to start by protecting the highest risk populations everywhere,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press briefing today. “We need to prevent vaccine nationalism,” he said. The priority should be protecting essential workers and other at-risk groups, Ghebreyesus said: “If we can work together, we can ensure that all essential workers are protected and proven treatments like dexamethasone are available to those who need them.” Although there currently isn’t a vaccine available for covid-19 there are more than 160 candidates in development, with 31 in human trials. Several countries have already secured deals for doses of some of these vaccine candidates. The UK has purchased at least 190 million doses, including 100 million of the vaccine candidate being developed by the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

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

Other coronavirus news

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

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

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

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

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

17 August

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

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

Other coronavirus news

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

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

Corée du Sud tightened social distancing rules on Sunday after 197 new coronavirus cases linked to a new outbreak were confirmed on Saturday. “We’re facing a crisis where if the current spread isn’t controlled, it would bring an exponential rise in cases, which could in turn lead to the collapse of our medical system and enormous economic damage,” director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Jeong Eun-kyeong said during a briefing.

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

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

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

People sitting and waiting in a train station

Passengers wait next to the Eurostar Terminal at the Gare du Nord train station in Paris.

Michel Euler/AP/Shutterstock

14 August

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

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

Other coronavirus news

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

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

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

Men move casket for a funeral

Staff of Guardian Funerals transport the casket of Covid-19 victim

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

13 August

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

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

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

Other coronavirus news

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

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

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

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

Two women wearing face masks leaving a coronavirus testing tent

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

PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

12 August

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

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

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

Other coronavirus news

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

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

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

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

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

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New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced new lockdown measures in Auckland after four new coronavirus cases were detected in the community

New Zealand government

11 August

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

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

Other coronavirus news

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

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

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

Latest on coronavirus from New Scientist

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

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

Man wearing mask and hat in snow

A man seen in a street during a snowfall in the early stages of the pandemic.

Sergei Fadeichev/TASS via Getty Images

10 August

No indication there is seasonality with the coronavirus, says WHO

There is no indication that the coronavirus is seasonal and it could bounce back any time, World Health Organization (WHO) leaders said at a press briefing today. Evidence suggests the coronavirus is unlike flu, which tends to spike in autumn and winter. “If you take pressure off the virus, the virus will bounce back. That’s what we will say to countries in Europe – keep the pressure on,” said Mike Ryan, WHO executive director of the emergencies program. Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead of WHO’s covid-19 response, said that the majority of the world’s population remains susceptible to the virus, and WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasised the importance of countries taking targeted action to tackle local outbreaks through methods like localised lockdowns employed in Leicester, UK.

Other coronavirus news

The WHO says it has only received a fraction of the funding it needs for an initiative aimed at developing and distributing drugs, vaccines and other tools to help tackle the pandemic. “While we’re grateful for those that have made contributions, we’re only 10 per cent of the way to funding the billions required to realise the promise of the ACT (Access to Covid-19 Tools) accelerator,” Tedros said during a press briefing today.

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

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

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

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NHS advice board promoting Test and Trace in Birmingham city centre in the UK

Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images

7 August

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

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

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

Other coronavirus news

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus deaths

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


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