Coronavirus news LIVE: UK enters recession as France enforces new face mask rules on flights and deaths hit 46,595 – The Sun

THE UK has officially entered into recession for the first time in 11 years, after the economy shrunk by a record 20.4 per cent in the three months to June. 

Economists consider two consecutive three-month periods where GDP falls as the technical definition of a recession.

The latest GDP figures revealed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this morning showed that GDP fell by 20.4 per cent between April to June.

It follows a drop of 2.2 per cent between January to March.

Meanwhile, Brits with reusable face masks will be stopped from boarding flights to France due to strict regulations enforced by the government.

According to French rules, only disposable masks are allowed on flights, despite reusable coverings being deemed safe by the majority of airlines.

This comes as deaths hit 46,595 after 21 more deaths were recorded.

Follow our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates…

  • NEW RESULTS

    Three different daily coronavirus death tolls are set to be published after Public Health England were said to have “exaggerated” the tally.

    Health secretary Matt Hancock ordered a review after scientists discovered that anyone who tests positive and later dies of Covid-19 is currently included in the PHE numbers – even if they are hit by a bus months later.

    A review is due to be published within days and three new tolls are expected to be used after a deal was reached between ministers and scientists.

    The Times reported that ministers favour a model that will show a dramatic reduction in daily deaths rather than the number that is currently reported each week day.

    It is believed that ministers are in favour of including deaths within 28 days of a positive test – which is the model currently being used in Scotland.

    This is expected to lower the toll by around 10 per cent.

  • MONEY WORRIES

    The UK has officially entered into recession as the economy shrinks by a record 20.4 per cent.

    It’s the first time in 11 years that the UK has tipped into a recession.

    Economists consider two consecutive three-month periods where GDP falls as the technical definition of a recession.

    The latest GDP figures revealed by the Office for National Statistics this morning showed that GDP fell by 20.4 per cent between April to June.

    It follows a drop of 2.2 per cent between January to March.

    Here's how it could affect you.

  • UNDERHAND TACTICS

    We revealed a Labour peer is advising teaching unions how to avoid a return to the classroom without breaking the law.

    Lawyer John Hendy QC’s 14-page dossier, leaked to The Sun, risks plunging plans to re-open schools next month into chaos.

    The left-winger, given a Lords seat by Jeremy Corbyn, sent his memo to unions including the National Education Union.

    And he briefed them on how to avoid the sack for refusing to return to work by using employee protection laws designed for factories and mines.

    The ex-personal injury lawyer argues coronavirus could be considered a hazardous substance and therefore is covered by a wealth of Health and Safety rules.

    It would mean teachers have the right to stop working if they say they feel unsafe because of Covid-19 risks in the classroom.

    If the unions exploit this loophole, it jeopardises Boris Johnson’s promises to get schools up and running from September.

  • LOCKDOWN LURKING

    Oldham faces a Leicester-style lockdown “within days” after coronavirus cases almost doubled in the past week.

    Plans are being drawn up to close pubs, restaurants and gyms in the Greater Manchester town unless infections fall.

    It comes after the PM reintroduced tight restrictions for around 4.5million people living in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire after a coronavirus spike.

    Oldham is currently the worst-hit area in England for Covid-19.

    Figures released today show 255 cases in the week up to August 8 – almost double the previous week's total of 137.

  • RECESSION COMING…

    A deep recession will be confirmed after nearly three quarters of a million jobs have been lost.

    New official figures are set to show the economy slumped by 21 per cent from April to June.

    That makes the second quarterly decline in a row — the definition of a recession.

    The last one was during the 2008 financial crisis.

    The Office for National Statistics is today set to confirm the huge second quarter contraction, the worst in Western Europe, following a 2.2 per cent fall in the first three months.

    It comes as around 730,000 employees dropped off payrolls.

  • NEW 'TRIPLE LOCK' AIMS TO GIVE STUDENTS IN ENGLAND FAIR A-LEVEL AND GCSE EXAM GRADES

    A New “triple lock” aims to give youngsters in England fair A-level and GCSE scores — and to prevent a Scottish-style fiasco.

    Pupils will get whatever is highest out of their computer-moderated grade, mock grade, or a September re-sit if they opt for it.

    Education Secretary Gavin Williamson had to rip up the system at the 11th hour amid fears for poor pupils’ results.

    Scotland overturned more than 124,000 results after admitting less well-off children had been penalised by computer moderation, leading to a grovelling apology from the Scottish National Party, which runs the nation’s schools.

    In a dramatic U-turn, Scotland’s education chief John Swinney said pupils will be given higher grades based solely on their teacher assessment.

    He told the Scottish Parliament: “We did not get it right for all young people. I want to apologise for that.

    “I’m speaking directly to the young people affected by the downgrading of awards – the 75,000 pupils whose teacher estimates were higher than their final award – I want to say this – I am sorry.”

    More on the story here.

  • RUSSIA'S 'HALF BAKED' JABCOULD BE 'LITTLE BETTER THAN WATER'

    Russia's “half-baked” coronavirus vaccine could be “little better than water” after trials were skipped so Putin could “wave the Russian flag”, an expert has said.

    Vlad today claimed his scientists have created the world's first Covid-19 jab and said his own daughter has already been given it.

    The Kremlin proudly declared the jab – named Sputnik V after the Russian crafts launched during the Space Race – will provide immunity for two years.

    But the announcement was met with raised eyebrows by many around the world after Phase 3 trials were seemingly skipped in a bid to rush it out.

    And one expert today blasted Russia for damaging trust in jabs with its “pork-barrel vaccine nationalism”.

    Dr Ohid Yaqub, senior lecturer at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, told Sun Online: “I would hope that other countries are not drawn into such pork-barrel vaccine nationalism.

    “The less that vaccine development looks like this, the better.

    “Decision making should published, open to scrutiny, and free from flag-waving.”

    Dr Yaqub explained that Phase 3 is the stage at which scientists determine if a vaccine has any dangerous rare side effects – and establish if it's actually effective.

    More on the story here.

  • WORLD LEADERS MIMICKED EACH OTHER WITH COVID LOCKDOWN MEASURES, STUDY SUGGESTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • HULL AND SALFORD CANCEL TRAINING FOLLOWING POSITIVE POST-MATCH CORONAVIRUS TESTS

    Six Hull FC players have tested positive for coronavirus, the Betfred Super League club have announced.

    It has forced their scheduled training session on Wednesday to be cancelled, in addition to that of Salford.

    The two teams played each other on Sunday in Super League, with the Red Devils winning 54-18 at Emerald Headingley Stadium.

    Five Hull FC players who were involved in the match have since recorded a positive Covid-19 test while a sixth, who was not in their match-day 17, has also tested positive.

    Another is due to have a retest after an inconclusive result and all those who tested positive are now required to quarantine for 10 days until August 21 in line with national guidance.

    Two members of Hull's coaching staff have also tested positive with Public Health England informing the club and Salford of the news on Tuesday evening.

  • PANDEMIC SEEN CHANGING HOW WOMEN GET REPRODUCTIVE HEATLH CARE

    The coronavirus pandemic could bring wider use of self-managed abortions and contraception, extending reproductive health care to more women and girls, medical charities said on Tuesday.

    With movement restricted as nations try to limit the spread of COVID-19, women using medication to end unwanted pregnancies becomes a viable option, said Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), a medical charity, and Marie Stopes International (MSI), a family planning organization, in a virtual media briefing.

    “Before the pandemic, women and girls living in low-income countries and remote areas suffered from a lack of reproductive health services and have even less access under lockdown,” they said.

    “At this moment in history, I think we have a really unique opportunity to revolutionise our approach to sexual and reproductive services, specifically contraception and safe abortion care,” said Manisha Kumar, head of MSFs task force on safe abortion care.

    MSF also is known as Doctors Without Borders.

    “During a pandemic or an emergency, we cannot continue to provide services in the same way,” said Kumar.

    “Prescribing longer refills for contraceptives is another way to reach marginalised and vulnerable women and girls as well”, they said.

    Aid agencies and women's rights' advocates have warned that access to abortion and contraception will be constrained as the fight against COVID-19 diverts resources along with limiting movement.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK THREATENS NEW ZEALAND'S FAN-FILLED STADIUMS

    Sports events in New Zealand could face new restrictions on having fans in stadiums after the detection of four new cases of COVID-19 in Auckland ended New Zealands run of 102 days without a case of community transmission.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced Auckland will begin 72 hours of Level 3 lockdown from midday Wednesday while the remainder of New Zealand will enter Level 2 lockdown for three days.

    Level 3 restrictions prohibit major sports events while Level 2 caps public gatherings at 100 people.

    While both lockdowns are due to expire before a weekend which will see the final round of matches in Super Rugby Aotearoa, most public health experts expect the restrictions to be extended while the source of the outbreak is identified and contact tracing is carried out.

  • OBESITY ASSOCIATED WITH 'HIGHER ODDS' OF COVID-19 HOSPITAL ADMISSION – STUDY

    Obesity is associated with “higher odds” of admission to hospital from severe Covid-19, a study using data from more than 300,000 people in England has suggested.

    Scientists sought to build on previous smaller-scale studies which examined the potential link between being overweight and progressing to intensive care due to coronavirus infection.

    Researchers from University College London and the universities of Southampton and Edinburgh drew on data from the UK Biobank study, collected between 2006 and 2010, covering 334,329 people with an average age of 56.

    They used people's body mass index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio as measures of their levels of obesity and analysed it in relation to cases of coronavirus hospital admissions recorded by Public Health England from March 16 up to April 26.

    Around 0.2%, or 640 people, from the large population sample ended up in hospital after contracting the virus.

    Through their adjusted models, researchers found “there was a linear increase in the risk of Covid-19 with increasing BMI, that became evident from modestly elevated weight… to stage II obesity compared to normal weight”.

  • FACEBOOK REMOVED 7 MILLION POSTS IN Q2 FOR FALSE CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

    Facebook Inc said on today it removed 7 million posts in the second quarter for sharing false information about the novel coronavirus, including content that promoted fake preventative measures and exaggerated cures.

    It released the data as part of its sixth Community Standards Enforcement Report, which it introduced in 2018 along with more stringent decorum rules in response to a backlash over its lax approach to policing content on its platforms.

    The world's biggest social network said it would invite proposals from experts this week to audit the metrics used in the report, beginning in 2021.

    It committed to the audit during a July ad boycott over hate speech practices.

    The company removed about 22.5 million posts with hate speech on its flagship app in the second quarter, a dramatic increase from 9.6 million in the first quarter.

    It attributed the jump to improvements in detection technology.

  • SUSPECTED COVID-19 OUTBREAK AT IRISH HOSPITAL

    A suspected Covid-19 outbreak at an Irish hospital in Co Kildare is being tackled, a health union said.

    Staff at Naas General Hospital were reported to be affected by the disease, Siptu said.

    Management stated that public health protocols are being followed and that an outbreak control team is testing and contact tracing potential cases.

    Siptu organiser John Hubbard said representatives of the union held an emergency meeting with management to discuss concerns.

    He added: “This reported outbreak is a stark reminder that as a community, we all must remain vigilant and continue to play our part in supporting all workers on the front line by adhering to national Covid-19 guidelines.”

    Restrictions have been imposed on three midlands counties following recent outbreaks.

    Mr Hubbard said: “Management stated that public health protocols are being followed at the hospital, that an outbreak control team is testing and contact tracing potential cases, and that engagement with the union will continue regularly.”

  • OVER 1,000 NEW COVID-19 CASES IN UK

    The UK recorded a total of 1,148 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday.

    This compares to the 816 cases recorded on Monday.

    The UK total now stands at 312,789.

  • LEBANON RECORDS COVID-19 CASES FOLLOWING BEIRUT BLAST

    Lebanon has seen a record number of coronavirus cases in the aftermath of the port explosion that rocked Beirut and overwhelmed hospitals.

    More than 300 new infections were recorded and seven additional deaths.

    It brings the country’s total to 7,121 cases and 87 deaths since February, according to health ministry data.

  • CORONAVIRUS SPREAD HARDER TO CONTROL WITHOUT COMMON EFFORT SAYS FRENCH PM

    The renewed spread of coronavirus in France could become harder to control without a collective effort to stop a rise in the infection rate, its prime minister said on Tuesday.

    The public was becoming careless, Jean Castex warned, after official data recorded nearly 5,000 new COVID-19 cases from Saturday to Monday. The epidemic has now killed more than 30,300 people in France.

    “If we don't act collectively, we expose ourselves to the heightened risk that the rebound in the epidemic becomes hard to control,” Castex said during a visit to a hospital intensive care ward in southern France.

    France's 7-day moving average of new infections climbed to 1,640 on Monday from 1,056 on July 31. The 7-day measure reached a post lockdown low of 272 on May 27, a little over 2 weeks after the government eased one of Europe's strictest lockdowns.

    But as in most neighbouring European countries, new clusters have mushroomed as people let their hair down on holiday, families hold reunions and workers return to offices and France is desperate to avoid another full-scale lockdown.

    Britain has said it will not hesitate putting more countries on its quarantine list, including France, where hordes of Britons spend their summer vacations.

  • WORLDWIDE VIRUS CASES DOUBLES IN SIX WEEKS

    It took six months for the world to reach 10 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus. It took just over six weeks for that number to double.

    The worldwide count of known COVID-19 infections climbed past 20 million on Monday, with more than half of them from just three countries: the U.S., India and Brazil, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

    The average number of new cases per day in the U.S. has declined in recent weeks but is still running high at over 54,000, versus almost 59,000 in India and nearly 44,000 in Brazil.

  • WHO LACKS INFO TO EVALUATE RUSSIAN COVID-19 VACCINE, SAYS PAHO

    The World Health Organization has not received enough information on the Russian COVID-19 vaccine to evaluate it, the assistant director of its regional branch, the Pan American Health Organization, Jarbas Barbosa, said on Tuesday.

    Asked about plans to produce the potential vaccine in Brazil, Barbosa said that should not be done until Phase 2 and 3 trials are completed to guarantee its safety and effectiveness.

    “Any vaccine producer has to follow this procedure that guarantees it is safe and has the WHO's recommendation,” he said in a virtual briefing from Washington.

  • WORLDWIDE CORONAVIRUS CASES CROSS 20.18 MILLION, DEATH TOLL AT 736,492

    More than 20.18 million people have been reported to be infected by coronavirus globally and 736,492 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

    Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

  • DELAY ROUTINE DENTAL CHECKUPS, WHO URGES UNTIL COVID RISK IS KNOWN

    Dental patients and staff need to be protected from any potential infection by aerosol-generating procedures, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today, as dentists return to work in areas where the COVID-19 pandemic is easing.

    There is currently no data on the spread of coronavirus from the dentist's chair, it said, calling for more research into common procedures that produce tiny floating particles that may cause infection if inhaled.

    These include three-way air/water spray, ultrasonic cleaning equipment that removes deposits from the tooth surface, and polishing, the WHO said in new guidance.

    “WHO guidance recommends in case of community transmission to give priority to urgent or emergency oral cases, to avoid or minimise procedures that may generate aerosol, prioritise a set of clinical interventions that are performed using an instrument and of course to delay routine non-essential oral health care,” Benoit Varenne, a WHO dental officer, told a news briefing.

    He added: “The likelihood of COVID-19 being transmitted through aerosol, micro-particles or airborne particles … today I think is unknown, it's open to question at least. This means that more research is needed.”

  • FRENCH PM ISSUES SERIOUS VIRUS WARNING

    France's Prime Minister Jean Castex has issued a serious warning to the population as virus cases in the country continue to rise.

    He told reporters today that the country's infection rate was heading in the wrong direction and that a collective response was necessary to avoid losing control of the outbreak.

    “If we don't act collectively, we expose ourselves to the heightened risk that the rebound in the epidemic becomes hard to control,” Castex said during a visit to a hospital intensive care ward in southern France.

    Testing was more than satisfactory, with more than 600,000 tests being conducted weekly, but more could still be done to target those with symptoms, the prime minister said.

  • MOUTHWASH COULD HELP REDUCE RISK OF SPREADING BUG

    Gargling mouthwash for just 30 seconds could reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, scientists have claimed.

    Experts in Germany found that the dental product was effective in “inactivating” SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19.

    They claim that swashing the liquid could reduce the viral load – which is the amount of particles being carried by an infected individual – in the throat and in turn limit transmission.

    Their findings, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, showed that in all of the tests the number of virus particles were reduced.

    Three mouthwashes reduced it to such an extent that no virus could be detected after an exposure time of 30 seconds.

    Check out our full report on that here.

  • RESIDENTS IN OLDHAM AND PENDLE WARNED OF STRICTER LOCKDOWN

    Residents of two areas in the North West have been told they could face stricter lockdown restrictions as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

    Pendle in Lancashire and Oldham, Greater Manchester, were among the parts of the country where additional measures stopping people from meeting others at home or in indoor venues were brought in at the end of July.

    In Pendle, the council urged everyone to have a test, even if they were not showing any symptoms, after the area reported the highest number of cases in the country.

    Council leader Mohammed Iqbal said: “Coronavirus is spreading between households and within households so it's really important that everyone follows these local measures.

    “If we don't, we'll be heading for much stricter measures so please do all you can now to stop the virus spreading further.”

  • FEARS FOR THE AMERICAS AS CASES RISE

    More than 100,000 cases of the coronavirus are being reported every day in the Americas, with over half of them in the United States.

    World Health Organisation regional director Carissa Etienne also pointed out today in a briefing that there are worrisome spikes in countries that had controlled their epidemics, like Argentina and Colombia.

    “Our region remains under COVID's grip,” she told reporters from Washington with other Pan American Health Organisation directors.

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