Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 10th Jul 2020

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CDC feels pressure from Trump as rift grows over coronavirus response

The June 28 email to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was ominous: A senior adviser to a top Health and Human Services Department official accused the CDC of “undermining the President” by putting out a report about the potential risks of the coronavirus to pregnant women. The adviser, Paul Alexander, criticized the agency’s methods and said its warning to pregnant women “reads in a way to frighten women . . . as if the President and his administration can’t fix this and it is getting worse.” As the country enters a frightening phase of the pandemic with new daily cases surpassing 57,000 on Thursday, the CDC, the nation’s top public health agency, is coming under intense pressure from President Trump and his allies, who are downplaying the dangers in a bid to revive the economy ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election. In a White House guided by the president’s instincts, rather than by evidence-based policy, the CDC finds itself forced constantly to backtrack or sidelined from pivotal decisions.
10th Jul 2020 - The Washington Post

UK has opted out of EU coronavirus vaccine programme, sources say

The UK government has rejected the chance to join the European Union’s coronavirus vaccine programme due to concerns over “costly delays”, according to sources. The EU is planning to spend around €2bn (£1.8bn) on the advance purchase of vaccines that are undergoing testing on behalf of the 27 member states. Negotiations with Brussels have been ongoing but Alok Sharma, the business secretary, is believed to have opted out of the opportunity, according to The Daily Telegraph. The European commission is expected to be notified of on Friday. The decision not to participate is expected to provoke a backlash among opposition MPs, who believe that ministers are reluctant to collaborate with the EU on projects after Brexit. Government sources told the newspaper that officials fear signing up to the scheme could delay the rollout of a vaccine by up to six months while talks on distribution took place.
10th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

UK Government’s post-lockdown economic rescue package meets with mixed reaction in Borders

UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak’s post-coronavirus lockdown rescue package for the British economy has met with a mixed reaction among politicians in the Borders.
9th Jul 2020 - The Southern Reporter

Serbia bans mass gatherings after virus lockdown protests

Serbian authorities on Thursday banned gatherings of more than 10 people in the capital, Belgrade, after two nights of violent clashes between police and thousands of demonstrators protesting coronavirus lockdown measures. Thousands of people defied the ban to stage a sit down protest Thursday night in front of Parliament, along with other peaceful gatherings in towns elsewhere in Serbia. Many protesters wore white T-shirts with the inscription, "Sit Down, Don't Be Set Up" — referring to widespread claims that the violence the previous nights was staged by hooligan groups close to the authorities to smear the opposition groups' image. "This is how the protest should really look like, without their mad dogs present," said one of the main opposition leaders, Dragan Djilas.
9th Jul 2020 - StarTribune

Serbia mulls anti-virus rules as clashes erupt over lockdown

Serbian authorities on Thursday banned gatherings of more than 10 people in the capital, Belgrade, after two nights of violent clashes between police and thousands of demonstrators protesting coronavirus lockdown measures. Thousands of people defied the ban to stage a sit down protest Thursday night in front of Parliament, along with other peaceful gatherings in towns elsewhere in Serbia. Many protesters wore white T-shirts with the inscription, “Sit Down, Don’t Be Set Up” - referring to widespread claims that the violence the previous nights was staged by hooligan groups close to the authorities to smear the opposition groups’ image.
9th Jul 2020 - Washington Times

Virus-ravaged states clamor for more funds from Modi

This week India surpassed Russia to become the third worst-hit country with more than 740,000 Covid-19 infections. The surging virus numbers have all but overwhelmed the public health system, which the states are responsible for. It’s also piling on pressure on local governments at a time when they’re scrambling to restart economic activity. The country’s sudden lockdown -- imposed without consulting state governments -- shattered the already troubled economy. All non-essential activity stalled and state tax collections fell sharply, pushing local governments to ask the federal government for funds in order to avoid racking up debt. The money crunch is putting everything -- from the salaries of government employees to their ability to fight the virus -- at risk.
9th Jul 2020 - Economic Times

Thousands of protesters clash with police in Belgrade over threat of second lockdown

Thousands of protesters fought running battles with riot police outside the parliament building in Belgrade on Tuesday after the Serbian president announced plans to reinstate a coronavirus lockdown. Chaos erupted as demonstrators responded to tear gas being fired at them by hurling flares, stones, bottles and eggs. A number of them briefly forced their way inside the government building before being pushed back by the police. It followed President Aleksander Vucic’s announcement on Tuesday that the Balkan country may once again be placed under weekend curfew after health officials reported the highest single-day death toll of 13 amid 299 new Covid-19 cases. Opponents blame the surge on his earlier decision to lift the restrictions in the first place.
9th Jul 2020 - Metro

Behind New Covid-19 Outbreaks: America’s Patchwork of Policies

The rising tide of coronavirus cases in the U.S. South and West, coming four months into the outbreak, emerged amid a patchwork of often confusing or conflicting rules across government that have proved inconsistent and often difficult to enforce, making the pandemic harder to halt. With the federal government handing off many decisions over reopening, the states have been the primary drivers behind moves with the most impact on the coronavirus’s spread. States, in turn, have often given responsibility for many of those decisions to counties, cities and businesses. The result is a dizzying mix of rules and guidelines that can differ widely from one region to the next. It is a reflection of the American system of governance that limits federal power and distributes power across states and localities, but to health officials it is an ineffective way to manage a pandemic.
9th Jul 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 9th Jul 2020

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Serbian President Retracts COVID-19 Curfew After 60 Hurt in Violence

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has retracted his decision to reimpose a coronavirus curfew and has urged people to stop attending anti-government rallies after a violent clash between protesters and police. The president said Wednesday that new measures could still include shortened hours for nightclubs and penalties for those not wearing masks. On Tuesday, Vucic said at a news conference he would implement a curfew Friday, “probably” to run from 6 p.m. until 5 a.m. on July 13. The president added that gatherings would be restricted to five people starting Wednesday, citing a rising number of coronavirus cases in the country and hospitals running at full capacity.
8th Jul 2020 - Voice of America

Covid-19 news: UK could eliminate coronavirus entirely, say scientists

The UK government has “given up” on trying to eliminate the coronavirus, says a new report published today by Independent SAGE – an independent group of scientists. They propose a new strategy aimed at the complete elimination of covid-19. It would replace what the report calls the government’s “failing NHS Test and Trace system” with a locally controlled contract tracing and testing system that has more laboratory provision, as well as tighter lockdown measures and restriction of international and domestic travel. The report also points out that the UK’s death toll has been one of the highest in the world but says it’s not too late to change that trajectory. “We believe that a clear strategy based on proven public health principles is now required to see us through the next 9 to 12 months,” says the report. But the report has been criticised by researchers, including epidemiologist Mark Woolhouse at the University of Edinburgh, for being overly simplistic. “This is a worthy but extremely ambitious aim,” says Woolhouse.
8th Jul 2020 - New Scientist

Brazil's right-wing President Bolsonaro says he is taking Trump's favourite drug hydroxychloroquine to tackle his coronavirus and already 'feels a lot better'

Bolsonaro claimed in on Twitter that the anti-malaria drug had made him better Said 'I am very well with its use and, with the grace of God, will live a long time' Bolsonaro yesterday said he had tested positive but was feeling 'perfectly well' Last night he showed off footage of himself taking a dose of hydroxychloroquine Anti-malaria drug is touted by him and Donald Trump but is not proven to work
8th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

As Coronavirus Cases Top 3 Million, Fauci Warns Against Misreading a Falling Death Rate

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, cautioned on Tuesday that it was a “false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” which President Trump, top White House officials and several governors have stressed in recent days. Dr. Fauci’s comments came at an event Tuesday with Senator Doug Jones, Democrat of Alabama, as the United States surpassed three million cases on Tuesday, and some states that had hoped to be getting back to normal by now have instead been forced to reinstate restrictions and issue mandatory mask orders.
8th Jul 2020 - The New York Times

White House Adviser Says Another COVID Lockdown Would Be a Big Mistake

The economy would likely suffer some impacts as certain U.S. states reimpose coronavirus-related restrictions, but imposing another nationwide shutdown would be "a big mistake," White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday. He added that he has seen has seen no evidence of a so-called double-dip recession as some financial analysts have suggested as more states reported record numbers of new infections. On Tuesday, U.S. confirmed cases topped 3 million. "I don't see it yet," Kudlow told reporters at the White House, referring to any economic fallout as some of the country's most populous states such as Florida, Texas and California saw cases surge and reimposed various measures aimed at mitigating the outbreak.
8th Jul 2020 - The New York Times

Israel health chief quits in protest at lockdown easing – as it happened

Israel’s public health director resigned on Tuesday in protest against ministers’ decision to ease lockdown so quickly, as another warned that the country has “lost control” of the coronavirus. Siegal Sadetzki, an epidemiologist, said she had resigned because her warnings were ignored, with infection rates soaring to more than 1,000 daily new cases in recent weeks.
8th Jul 2020 - Jewish News

How New Zealand's media endangered public health

New Zealand's health minister, David Clark, has been forced to resign and the nation's hyperactive media have claimed their latest scalp. In the middle of a pandemic, no less. Unseemly as the media's months-long hit on Clark was - a classic example of trial by media - it was consistent with the borderline misconduct that has defined much of the reporting throughout the COVID-19 crisis. While the response to the pandemic threat from the national capital, Wellington, can be held aloft, for now, as a rare success story in a world of disarray, the machinations of much of the nation's media leaves much to be desired.
8th Jul 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Lockdown heroes: will they ever get a raise?

In the US, they are called “essential” staff, in the UK “key workers” and in France travailleurs clés. The Germans have the most elaborate name for the new group: systemrelevante Arbeitskräfte or “system-relevant workers”. But the essential are not always treated as essential. The pandemic has upended the hierarchy of work, demonstrating that many of the people critical to the functioning of a modern economy are also among the least well paid — from the nurses treating Covid-19 patients to the warehouse and delivery workers who provide vital supplies.
8th Jul 2020 - The Financial Times

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 8th Jul 2020

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Coronavirus: Riots in the Serbian capital after government reimposes lockdown

Thousands of protesters have clashed with riot police in the Serbian capital Belgrade after the country's president announced the reintroduction of a lockdown following a spike in coronavirus cases. Serbia went from one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe to a near complete reopening of the country at the beginning of May. Football and tennis matches were played in packed stadiums and parliamentary elections were held despite warnings that the mass gatherings without social distancing could lead to a new coronavirus wave.
8th Jul 2020 - Sky News

Coronavirus: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for COVID-19

Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro, who infamously described coronavirus as a “little flu”, says he has now tested positive for COVID-19. Jair Bolsonaro – one of the world’s biggest coronavirus denialists – has tested positive for COVID-19.
7th Jul 2020 - News.com.au

Trump administration begins formal withdrawal from World Health Organization

The Trump administration has notified Congress and the United Nations that the United States is formally withdrawing from the World Health Organization, multiple officials tell CNN, a move that comes amid a rising number of coronavirus cases throughout the Americas over the past week. The withdrawal, which goes into effect next July, has drawn criticism from bipartisan lawmakers, medical associations, advocacy organizations and allies abroad. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden vowed Tuesday to reverse the decision "on (his) first day" if elected.
7th Jul 2020 - CNN

Trump Presses Schools to Reopen

In a daylong series of conference calls and public events at the White House, the president, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and other senior officials opened a concerted campaign to lean on governors, mayors and others to resume classes in person months after more than 50 million children were abruptly ejected from school buildings in March. Mr. Trump and his administration argued that the social, psychological and educational costs of keeping children at home any longer would be worse than the virus itself. But they offered no concrete proposals or new financial assistance to states and localities struggling to restructure academic settings, staffs and programs that were never intended to keep children six feet apart or cope with the requirements of combating a virus that has killed more than 130,000 Americans.
7th Jul 2020 - The New York Times

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 7th Jul 2020

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Wales further eases lockdown as first minister criticises Boris Johnson

Speaking at his daily press conference, the Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, said the lockdown restrictions in Wales were being lifted in a “careful, step-by-step way”. Drakeford said the cautious approach made it easier in Wales to track the effect of lifting particular restrictions. He revealed that at the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak, 45% of all tests processed by NHS laboratories in Wales were coming back positive. By the end of June this had fallen to 3.5%. The first minister emphasised that the 2-metre social distancing rule still applied in Wales. He asked people to continue to work from home wherever possible and, despite the lifting of the stay local rule, said unnecessary travel should still be avoided.
6th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Lockdown easing in England threatens cautious approach of devolved nations

With new coronavirus infections falling fast, Scotland now seems to have a real chance to effectively eliminate Covid-19 transmission among the general public. But some experts warn that one big obstacle stands in its way: England. Despite much higher levels of infection and hospitalisation, the UK government has since May been easing England’s lockdown restrictions more rapidly than the devolved governments in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Stormont.
6th Jul 2020 - Financial Times

White House rejects national strategy on masks

The White House is again rejecting calls for a national mask-wearing mandate. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows says in an appearance on “Fox and Friends” Monday morning that the president sees the issue as a “state-to-state” matter. He says that, “certainly a national mandate is not in order” and that “we’re allowing our local governors and our local mayors to weigh in on that.”
6th Jul 2020 - ABC NEWS 4

Trump says U.S. schools must reopen in fall amid pandemic

President Donald Trump said on Monday that U.S. schools must open in the fall - a decision over which he has limited power - as governors struggle with a nationwide rise in coronavirus infections and states reverse and pause attempts to reopen. Schools are largely under the jurisdiction of state and local governments. Educators have struggled with decisions over opening schools considering the risk of infection to both students and faculty.
6th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Premier of Australia's Victoria defends hard COVID-19 lockdown

The premier of Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, defended on Sunday his decision to put nine public housing towers in a complete lockdown as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Melbourne’s suburbs. The state recorded 74 cases new cases on Sunday, after Saturday’s 108 cases prompted Premier Daniel Andrews to order about 3,000 people not to leave their homes for at least five days and to place police to guard the buildings. “This is not going to be a pleasant experience for those residents, but I have a message for those residents: this is not about punishment but protection,” Andrews said in a televised conference. Promising two weeks of free rent and hardship payments to the residents, Andrews said public health workers would test every resident of the buildings, except those who have previously tested positive.
5th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Boris Johnson news: No ‘perfect way’ to end lockdown, Whitty warns as Scottish and Welsh leaders attack ‘shambolic government’

The UK government was accused of a “shambolic” response to the coronavirus pandemic as it lifted its travel quarantine for 59 countries and further eased lockdown restrictions. Scottish and Welsh leaders both described the new policy for arrivals in England as a “mess” as police forces braced for the “perfect storm” of pubs reopening for “Super Saturday”. However chief medical officer Chris Whitty said there was no “perfect” way to reopen Britain’s economy after the lockdown. Meanwhile Boris Johnson indicated he would not take the knee in support for Black Lives Matter – saying he does not believe in such “gestures”.
3rd Jul 2020 - The Independent

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 6th Jul 2020

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Greece shuts border to Serbians after virus spike

Greece announced on Sunday the closure of its frontier for Serbian nationals until July 15 because of a coronavirus spike. Serbia declared a state of emergency on Friday in the capital Belgrade because of the highest rise of coronavirus cases since April. Greece had made its decision after analysing the epidemiological data, said government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni. Greece, which has suffered fewer than 200 virus deaths, has launched a promotional campaign to revive tourism, which accounts for a quarter of its gross domestic product
5th Jul 2020 - Medical Xpress

Brazil dilutes mask law as its coronavirus cases top 1.5 million

President Jair Bolsonaro waters down law requiring face masks in public places as country's cases surpass 1.5 million. Bolsonaro on Friday used his veto power to dilute a law aimed at preventing the spread of the virus. The law mandates masks in public spaces, but the president removed provisions that mandate face coverings in shops and churches.
4th Jul 2020 - Al Jazeera English

France to launch inquiry into ex-PM, ministers over coronavirus

A French court will open an inquiry into former prime minister Edouard Philippe and two cabinet ministers over their handling of the coronavirus crisis, a prosecutor said Friday. The inquiry will be led by the Law Court of the Republic (CJR), which deals with claims of ministerial misconduct, said senior prosecutor Francois Molins. Along with Philippe, who was replaced Friday in the first stage of a government reshuffle, the ministers under investigation are former health minister Agnes Buzyn -- who stepped down in February for an unsuccessful bid to become mayor of Paris -- and her successor Olivier Veran.
3rd Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 3rd Jul 2020

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'Raise a glass': UK Treasury faces backlash after hailing pubs reopening

Many of those condemning the post, which was soon deleted, accused its celebratory tone of being in poor taste given that the virus has killed at least 43,000 people in the UK. The tweet came as Leicester was put back under lockdown conditions amid a localised outbreak and fears were expressed about numbers of cases being seen in Greater Manchester.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Guardian

High court hears legal challenge to England's lockdown restrictions

The government’s lockdown, which has closed schools, premises and companies while limiting free movement, is the “most sweeping and far-reaching” restriction on fundamental rights since the second world war, the high court has been told. In a challenge to the legality of emergency legislation, the businessman Simon Dolan, whose Jota Aviation company has been delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) to the NHS, is testing the full extent of the powers under which England has been confined for the past 101 days. The hearing is taking place via video link due to the coronavirus crisis, with lawyers participating remotely from their homes or chambers. Lawyers for Dolan argue that the emergency restrictions, announced by the prime minister on 23 March, are illegal, breach human rights laws and fail to take account of other significant factors.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus news: Boris Johnson ‘blind’ to risk of lifting lockdown as more cities being monitored for spikes ahead of ‘Super Saturday’

Labour has urged Boris Johnson to extend the government’s furlough scheme, telling the prime minister it could be the “last chance to save millions of jobs". It comes as more towns and cities are monitored for coronavirus spikes that could see them placed under local lockdowns. Ministers have faced criticism for the handling of the surge in cases in Leicester, which was put into the UK’s first local lockdown on Tuesday. Australian authorities, meanwhile, will lock down about 300,000 people in suburbs north of Melbourne for one month from today after two weeks of double-digit rises in new Covid-19 cases.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Independent

New US lockdowns are a gross overreaction

For those with a taste for irony, this July 4 weekend will be one to remember. As Britons are finally liberated from months of lockdown tyranny, declaring their independence from imposed confinement with a pint in a pub, here in the former colonies the national holiday will be commemorated with renewed restrictions, tightened controls on movement and stern demands from our rulers to stay home. States that had emerged from lockdown in the spring are now responding to a resurgence in Covid-19 cases with a return to incarceration. In Texas, gyms, bars and restaurants that had been open for the past month have just been closed again. In the desert heat of Arizona the governor announced this week that there will be no going back to water parks for at least a month. In the past week total cases in the US have surged to more than 40,000 a day, the highest number since the virus first hit the country in the late winter, and so a growing number of states are reimposing restrictive measures. The economic and political ramifications of a renewed lockdown are far-reaching. If the new lockdown is an extended one, the damage to businesses that have managed to limp through the past few months could be terminal. President Trump, besieged by a summer of disease, disorder and depression, and seemingly unable to take his foot out of his mouth on any topic, had been counting, increasingly desperately, on a return to some kind of normality in time for November’s election. That may be elusive.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Times

As Britain emerges from coronavirus lockdown, Boris Johnson has lost public trust

In the past few days, the beaches of Dorset in southern England were so crammed with sunbathers, as 500,000 ­merrymakers flouted ­social distancing rules, that local councils declared an emergency. In Liverpool, ecstatic soccer fans celebrated a Premier League title in an enormous downtown mosh pit for two days, refusing to disperse and battling anti-riot squads. The mayor called it “heartbreaking.” Meanwhile, in London, authorities have been scrambling to break up illegal “flash mob” street parties, complete with sound systems and DJs. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick complained that some attendees were drunk and violent, and that all were selfish and reckless, “seeming not to care at all” about their own or their family’s health. All this, and the pubs haven’t even reopened. That happens Saturday.
2nd Jul 2020 - Washington Post

Israel FinMin opposes return to lockdown despite spike in infections

Israeli Finance Minister Israel Katz said on Wednesday he opposed returning to a nationwide lockdown despite a surge in new coronavirus cases, citing the economic pressures of a prolonged closure. “We will not compromise on health considerations but we will not return to a situation where the economy will be closed,” Katz told a news conference. He argued that increased enforcement of existing rules, which include wearing masks and social distancing, was more reasonable for the time being than a shutdown.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters

American lockdown exceptionalism

As the number of COVID-19 cases starts to rise again in many U.S. states, the question is whether residents of those states will tolerate another lockdown. I used to think so, but it is increasingly clear that Americans have become comfortable with a remarkably high number of casualties. There is a mechanism of social conformity at work here. Most people will not tolerate a small risk to their lives to dine out, for instance — but they might if all their friends are doing the same. The appeal of a restaurant isn’t just the food, it’s the shared experience and the sense that others are doing it, too. The danger lies in the potential for ratchet effects. If hardly anyone is eating out or going to bars, you might be able to endure the deprivation. But once others have started doing something, you will probably feel compelled to join them, even at greater risk to your life.
1st Jul 2020 - The Japan Times

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 2nd Jul 2020

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'Unhelpful distraction': Health Minister David Clark resigns

Health Minister David Clark has resigned as Health Minister after he became an "unhelpful distraction" in the fight against Covid-19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted his resignation and said it was "essential our health leadership has the confidence of the New Zealand public." Clark said it had been an "extraordinary privilege" and he had given it his all.But continuing was distracting from the Government's Covid response, he said. He wasn't pushed, he said. "The decision was mine."
2nd Jul 2020 - New Zealand Herald

Campaigners warn big firms could sue over Scotland's lockdown measures

Corporations could sue for millions over Scotland’s longer route out of lockdown, trade unions say. Unison, Unite, the RMT and other unions have sounded the warning as part of the Trade Justice Scotland coalition, a 25-strong network that also includes the Common Weal think tank, Women for Independence and Global Justice Now. It has urged ministers to take action to prevent transnational corporations mounting court challenges for lost profits through the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system.
1st Jul 2020 - The National

Coronavirus: Local testing data to be shared with councils

Local authorities are to be given access to postcode-level data about the number of people testing positive for coronavirus in their areas after it was agreed with the Department of Health. It comes after Leicester became the first city to have a local lockdown imposed following a rise in cases. Labour leader Keir Starmer said there had been a "lost week" due to city officials not having full testing data. The prime minister said the figures had been shared with all local authorities. But, at Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons, Sir Keir said officials in Leicester had only received full figures on Thursday. Until now local authorities have not routinely had full access to the data on people who are tested for the virus in the community. But the agreement, signed individually with councils over the past week, now gives them access to a digital dashboard which shows test results down to a postcode level.
1st Jul 2020 - BBC News

Local Covid-19 lockdowns too blunt, say German politicians

Locking down entire communities is too blunt an instrument to fight coronavirus flare-ups, politicians from the area affected by Germany’s first “local lockdown” have complained after a week of reimposed physical distancing measures. While restrictions continue to be relaxed across the rest of the country, the Gütersloh district in the western state of North-Rhine Westphalia will from today go into a second week of closed schools, nurseries, bars and museum following an outbreak of Covid-19 at a local abattoir. A lockdown in the neighbouring community of Warendorf, however, has been lifted after mass tests found no sign that the virus had significantly spread across the local population.
1st Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Around 1,000 grieving relatives of coronavirus victims want public inquiry into slow lockdown

Families who've lost loved ones to coronavirus are preparing legal action against the Government over claims they would not have died had ministers locked down the country sooner. Around 1,000 grieving relatives say the Government 'gambled' with people's lives when they failed to act quickly enough or heed the warnings from other countries as Covid-19 tore across Europe. They also want an investigation into the flawed testing regime, the levels of protective clothing that was available and other issues surrounding planning for the pandemic.
1st Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

When did UK lockdown start? Date coronavirus restrictions were enforced - and if government should have acted sooner

Staying indoors has become the norm in the UK, with the country adapting to life in lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, restrictions are now gradually starting to lift across the UK, with the devolved government’s outlining plans for the next phase of handling the virus. But how long has lockdown been in place? The UK government imposed the lockdown on the evening of 23 March. The restrictions were initially put in place for a period of three weeks, until 13 April, but were later extended for another 21-day period
1st Jul 2020 - The Scotsman

Welsh Government urges Ryanair to postpone 'lockdown breaking' flights to Spain and Portugal

The Welsh Government is urging Ryanair to postpone scheduled flights from Cardiff Airport to Spain and Portugal this weekend. The budget airline is planning to run flights to Faro and Malaga on Friday and Saturday. But passengers boarding the flight would be in breach of Welsh coronavirus lockdown rules which restricts non-essential travel to five miles. That restriction is not expected to be lifted until Monday. The Welsh Government, which owns the airport, is urging Ryanair to postpone the flights Wales Online reports.
1st Jul 2020 - Daily Post Wales

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 1st Jul 2020

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American Lockdown Exceptionalism

As the number of Covid-19 cases starts to rise again in many states, the question is whether residents of those states will tolerate another lockdown. I used to think so, but it is increasingly clear that Americans have become comfortable with a remarkably high number of casualties. There is a mechanism of social conformity at work here. Most people will not tolerate a small risk to their lives to dine out, for instance — but they might if all their friends are doing the same. The appeal of a restaurant isn’t just the food, it’s the shared experience and the sense that others are doing it, too. The danger lies in the potential for ratchet effects. If hardly anyone is eating out or going to bars, you might be able to endure the deprivation. But once others have started doing something, you will probably feel compelled to join them, even at greater risk to your life. Consider that in the 1920s, the chance of catching a disease or infection from dining out was pretty high, but people still went out. Accepting that level of risk was simply considered to be part of life, because everyone saw that everyone else was doing it. In similar fashion, members of an infantry brigade are usually willing to charge an enemy position so long as they can be assured that all their comrades are, too.
30th Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

Facebook launches initiative to crackdown on covid 'misinformation', all the times UK health chiefs sowed confusion with U-turns over ibuprofen, the two-metre rule and face masks

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said 'clarity is in short supply' in the UK. Officials have flipped stances on essential travel and international quarantine. One Leicester MP said messaging on social distancing is 'at best confusing.'
30th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

No 10 accused of sowing confusion over Leicester lockdown

Downing Street has been accused of sowing confusion and anxiety in Leicester after imposing the first local lockdown to combat a surge in Covid-19 cases in the city, amid growing concern about how the measures will work. As part of hardened restrictions, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, announced on Monday night that schools would shut to most children and reopened non-essential shops would be forced to close for at least two weeks in Leicester. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats backed the lockdown, but criticised the government’s handling of it and called for clarity over the details.
30th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Bavaria's free COVID-19 test for all splits Germany

The state of Bavaria approved plans on Tuesday for universal testing for COVID-19, prompting debate elsewhere in Germany about whether to follow suit or stick with the current targeted approach to prevent a possible second wave of infections. Germany has successfully managed to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control with far fewer deaths than most other large European nations despite relatively softer lockdown measures that allowed some social and economic life to continue. But an outbreak this month at an abattoir in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia affecting more than 1,500 workers has forced a lockdown for 600,000 people and raised fears that Germany remains vulnerable despite its early success. Under current rules, free tests are available for people who have symptoms such as fever and Germany’s 16 states carry out frequent tests among high-risk groups in, for example, retirement homes, hospitals and daycare centres.
30th Jun 2020 - Reuters

'Don't relax': NSW's biggest threat is not Victoria, it's bravado, Premier says

Melbourne's coronavirus hotspots will be put back into lockdown from Wednesday in a desperate effort to contain an outbreak of the deadly disease as Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned NSW's biggest threat was not Victoria but increasing complacency within its own borders. The extraordinary steps taken in Victoria, which include a request to divert all international flights from Melbourne for the next fortnight, came on the same day Queensland announced it would reopen its borders to the rest of the country with the exception of Victoria, and the next phase of COVID-19 restrictions were eased in NSW.
30th Jun 2020 - Sydney Morning Herald

Border reopening must be priority - Business NZ

The business community pinned its hopes on the border reopening as soon as possible and says the government's failed to hold up its end of the deal. Business leaders say billions of dollars of opportunities are on hold while the government and the army fix up mistakes most New Zealanders thought were being managed. The government is frantically trying to plug those gaps, while at the same time the Opposition ramps up pressure for the border to open. Almost four million international tourists typically cross New Zealand shores each year and BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope said livelihoods depend on that window opening again. But for now, the government isn't even resuming compassionate exemptions let alone allowing international visitors in, because there isn't enough confidence in quarantine and managed isolation facilities.
30th Jun 2020 - RNZ

Fake contact tracing part of 'rapidly evolving' coronavirus fraud, U.S. DOJ warns

Scammers are posing as COVID-19 contact tracers as a way to steal personal information, three major U.S. government agencies said on Tuesday, describing “rapidly evolving” fraud related to the pandemic. The U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services and Federal Trade Commission warned that fake contact tracers were asking for money and trying to collect social security numbers, bank and credit card information from individuals.
30th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 30th Jun 2020

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Reuters Special Report - Into the fog: How Britain lost track of the coronavirus

To tackle the invisible virus, doctors and health specialists first needed to find it. But with few tests, little contact tracing and a government culture of secrecy, they lost sight of the enemy.
29th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Putin tells Russia that the coronavirus is in retreat. Critics face crackdowns for saying it’s far from over.

Sometimes information slips out, telling a more dire story for Russians grappling with mixed messages: the Kremlin’s upbeat assessments versus statistics showing that Russia’s confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus are still climbing. When infectious-disease doctor Victoria Adonyeva predicted in a newspaper interview that the nationwide vote would cause a spike in new cases, many readers applauded her honesty. Adonyeva, chief infectious-disease specialist of the Orlovskaya region, about 220 miles south of Moscow, also called into question the accuracy of Russia’s statistics on coronavirus deaths — now at 9,152 — in the interview with the Orlovsky Novosti newspaper. “The numbers are going up. There’s no plateau,” she said. “What kind of stabilization, what kind of lifting of restrictions can we talk about?” Her hospital and others in the city of Oryol had no free beds, she added.
29th Jun 2020 - Washington Post

Coronavirus: Victoria can’t blame bad luck for coronavirus failures

Victoria’s chief medical officer said residents may be asked to wear face masks in light of the state’s surging coronavirus cases, contradicting earlier warnings that wearing personal protective equipment was unnecessary and potentially harmful. Brett Sutton told ABC’s Radio National on Monday that health authorities were preparing advice on whether Victorians should wear masks. “I take the perspective that when you are really trying to drive numbers down to maintain your test and trace capability, it needs to be considered,” Sutton said. “I have got a team working up some advice now and we will talk about masks in those types of settings for people to choose it and provide some guidance on the masks that work and how much protection you get.” The federal health minister, Greg Hunt, told ABC’s 7:30 on Monday night that states and territories can make decisions about whether wearing masks “could be encouraged or even mandatory” – confirming that “that’s one of the items that Victoria is looking at”.
29th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Duncan Garner: It's time to completely shut New Zealand's border - returning Kiwis included

Duncan Garner: It's time to completely shut New Zealand's border - returning Kiwis included
29th Jun 2020 - Newshub

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 29th Jun 2020

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Coronavirus: US has 'serious problem', says Fauci

US infectious disease chief Dr Anthony Fauci says the nation has a "serious problem" as 16 states reel from a spike in Covid-19 cases. At the first White House task force briefing in two months, Dr Fauci said: "The only way we're going to end it is by ending it together." As health experts said more must be done to slow the spread, Vice-President Mike Pence praised US "progress". More than 40,000 new cases were recorded across the US on Friday. The total of 40,173, given by Johns Hopkins University, was the highest daily total so far, exceeding the record set only the previous day. There are over 2.4 million confirmed infections and more than 125,000 deaths nationwide - more than any other country. During Friday's briefing, the White House task force also urged millennials to get tested, even if they are asymptomatic.
27th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Greg Abbott expresses regret over bar reopenings amid coronavirus

"If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars," Abbott said in a TV interview Friday evening.
26th Jun 2020 - The Texas Tribune

Trump Administration Files Supreme Court Brief To End Obamacare Amid COVID-19 Crisis

The Trump administration filed a brief Thursday night calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act — which allows millions of Americans to get health insurance coverage — just as the nation smashed a record for new COVID-19 cases in a single day. Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued in a brief that because Congress in 2017 invalidated the law’s individual coverage mandate — by dropping a tax penalty for those without health insurance — the “entire ACA thus must fall.” The court is scheduled to hear arguments later this year, but a decision might not come until 2021. The move threatens health care coverage for more than 20 million Americans.
26th Jun 2020 - Huffington Post

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 26th Jun 2020

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Tony Blair: UK was too slow to lock down in face of coronavirus

The UK has been “badly hit” by coronavirus and even Government insiders acknowledge it had been too slow to lock down, Tony Blair said. The former prime minister said he sympathised with the challenge facing Boris Johnson as he decided how to respond at a time when there was a lot of uncertainty about the virus. But he said he would be less sympathetic if mistakes were made in the way the lockdown was eased.
25th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Johnson Answers Questions About Lockdowns, Test & Track App

Considering Johnson’s announcement Tuesday that much of Britain would reopen, effective July 4, Starmer said local leaders across the country do not have the proper guidance or powers to implement lockdowns, should there be a spike in coronavirus cases. He asked Johnson to define what a local lockdown might look like and what guidance those leaders might expect to receive. Johnson dismissed Starmer’s criticism, saying the government had a “very effective cluster-busting operation” in place, and local governments understand how it works. Speaking about the National Health Service’s "track-and-trace" app, Starmer said 33,000 people are estimated to have COVID-19 in England, but only 10,000 people with the virus were reached by contact tracers. The opposition leader noted, "This is a big gap," and warned that if the app isn't running, "we can't open the economy." Johnson said the Labor leader was giving a "false impression" of what the NHS app is doing and said that it is a "formidable achievement." He said “no country currently has a functioning track-and-trace app.” Starmer noted Germany’s app, which reports say has been downloaded 10 million times. Italy, Singapore and South Korea also have tracing apps in use.
25th Jun 2020 - Voice of America

British PM Johnson dismisses criticism on local lockdowns, coronavirus app

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson dismissed criticism on Wednesday of his government’s plans to implement local lockdowns if there are flare-ups of the novel coronavirus and of an app to trace the spread of the virus. At prime minister’s questions in parliament, the opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer suggested both systems were not yet ready before England eases its coronavirus lockdown from July 4. In response, Johnson said: “We have a very effective cluster-busting operation which is designed to ensure that we keep those outbreaks under control. “I am not going to pretend ... that this thing is beaten or that the virus has gone away ... We have to remain vigilant and local councils will be supported in doing their vital work in implementing local lockdowns,” he added, challenging Starmer to find any other country that has a functioning tracing app. A spokesman for Starmer pointed to Germany, which has had a large number of people downloading its app, and a number of countries “which are far ahead of us in terms of developing their apps”, such as Singapore and South Korea.
25th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Israel Announces Partnership With U.A.E., Which Throws Cold Water On It

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu touted a rare public opening between the two countries. Apparently, the Emirates was not ready for it. Mr. Netanyahu’s ebullient description was contradicted a few hours later when the Emirates issued a much more muted statement, announcing what it described as an agreement between two private Emirati companies and two Israeli companies to develop technology to fight the virus. The Emirati statement took the wind out of what Mr. Netanyahu had touted as a diplomatic coup, suggesting that despite the deepening ties, the two countries were still at odds over Mr. Netanyahu’s vow to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
25th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 25th Jun 2020

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The way Boris Johnson has eased lockdown sends all the wrong messages

At the last daily press conference on Covid-19, Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, pleaded with the public: “If people don’t take mitigation seriously, if people hear a distorted version of what’s been said – that says ‘this is all fine now, it’s gone away’ – and start behaving in ways that they normally would have before this virus happened, yes we will get an uptick for sure. So it is absolutely critical that people stick to the guidance that has been given.”
24th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Second wave warning, lockdown easing and NUS action

Health leaders are calling for an urgent review to determine whether the UK is properly prepared for the "real risk" of a second wave of infections. The presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Nursing, Physicians and GPs urged the government to examine "areas of weakness where action is needed urgently to prevent further loss of life". Is a second wave inevitable? Our health correspondent James Gallagher looks closely. The warning comes after the prime minister announced a wholesale easing of lockdown in England from 4 July - here's all you need to know on that.
24th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus news: Drinkers warned risk of catching Covid-19 in reopening pubs ‘quite high’, as Boris Johnson eases lockdown and reduces 2-metre rule

Medical experts have warned the UK must prepare now for the “real risk” of a second wave of coronavirus amid growing fears of a renewed outbreak this winter. The warning came in an open letter published in the British Medical Journal after prime minister Boris Johnson announced the two-metre social distancing rule would be reduced to “one-metre plus”, allowing pubs, restaurants, hotels and cinemas to reopen from 4 July. Fitness bosses have criticised the decision to leave gyms out of the next stage of England’s lockdown easing, with the chief executive of David Lloyd Clubs blasting the move as “completely illogical”. Australia has reported its first death in more than a month, sparking concerns about a second wave which saw thousands in Victoria queue for Covid-19 tests and supermarkets impose new restrictions.
24th Jun 2020 - The Independent

A tale of two pandemics: how Germany got it right, and Britain blundered

By 23 June, according to official figures, Britain had sustained 306,210 confirmed cases of Covid-19, compared with Germany’s 190,862. In Britain 42,927 people had died from the virus. In Germany the figure on the same day stood at 8,895 deaths. In Britain, according to Johns Hopkins University data, the current death rate per 100,000 people stands at 64.27. In Germany, the rate is 10.73. It is a stunning difference. Germans have been six times less likely to die from Covid-19 than British people. What explains it? One underlying reason is that the UK’s health spending level per head of $4,000 is only approximately two-thirds that of Germany. Another more immediate one is that Germany was much quicker to lock down: most German schools closed from 13 March, a week before all parts of the UK; shops and restaurants closed from 16 March, again a week before Britain. As a result, Germany was able to begin lifting parts of its lockdown at the end of April.
24th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: 'Extraordinarily risky' to lift lockdown measures now, warns ex-chief scientific adviser

Lifting lockdown measures now in England risks a second wave of coronavirus during the winter, a former chief scientific adviser to the government has warned. “I think it’s extraordinarily risky,” Sir David King told Sky News. “If we take the long view we know that the winter is a likely period when the virus takes off again. We must therefore aim to completely get rid of the virus from this country before the winter.” His warning came a day after Boris Johnson announced the most significant relaxation of the Covid-19 lockdown so far, telling the public that pubs, cinemas, hairdressers and restaurants will reopen on 4 July, and that the two-metre rule will be eased.
24th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Judge orders Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro to wear a mask

President Bolsonaro has been ordered by a federal judge to wear a mask in public after he attended political rallies in Rio de Janeiro without any face covering. Renato Borelli said that Mr Bolsonaro could be fined 2,000 reais ($387) a day if he continued to disobey a federal district ordinance meant to slow the Covid-19 outbreak. Facemasks have been mandatory in public in the city since April. Last week Abraham Weintraub, the education minister, was fined for failing to wear a face mask at a rally in Brasilia, the capital. He shook hands and posed for pictures with demonstrators, many of whom also went without masks. Brazil is facing one of the worst outbreaks of coronavirus, with more than 1.1 million cases so far and more than 50,000 deaths. Mr Bolsonaro has resisted calls for lockdowns, saying that his country’s economy could not survive.
24th Jun 2020 - The Times

'End of hibernation': what the papers say about England's lockdown easing

A combination of sunny weather and the approaching relaxation of coronavirus lockdown rules in England has led to jubilation on some front pages today, as others mark the start of the end of “our long national hibernation”. “Summer’s back on!” says the Daily Mail, and quotes Boris Johnson urging people to get out and enjoy themselves. It notes, however, the move is a “calculated gamble to head off economic disaster”. The Express takes a similar tack. It uses a picture of the prime minister with beer held aloft alongside the headline: “Cheers Boris! Here’s to a brighter Britain”. It tempers the joy with a message across the top: “PM: we’re coming out of hibernation but virus still a risk”. Metro also uses the pub theme with “Get the beers in”.
24th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 24th Jun 2020

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Coronavirus: FM warns Scots against taking UK holidays for now

Nicola Sturgeon has warned Scots against taking holidays in other parts of the UK even as lockdown restrictions are being eased south of the border. The first minister said the Scottish government's five-mile advisory limit on travelling for leisure and recreation remained in place for now. She also said people should still not plan overnight stays away from home. But Ms Sturgeon said she hoped the tourism industry would be "back up and running" by next month. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers can open from 4 July in England, when social distancing rules will be eased.
23rd Jun 2020 - BBC News

Johnson to overrule scientists and ease lockdown

Boris Johnson will on Tuesday reject misgivings from some leading scientists and press ahead with a plan to cut England’s contentious two-metre social-distancing rule, as he adds cinemas, galleries and museums to the list of premises able to reopen on July 4. Pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers will also be given approval to reopen their doors with coronavirus precautions in place on July 4, to the relief of Conservative MPs who have been urging the prime minister to press ahead with further lockdown easing. In a sign of increasing efforts to boost the economy amid the Covid-19 crisis, Mr Johnson is hoping to announce in the next few days the lifting of the UK’s 14-day quarantine arrangements for travellers arriving from countries including Belgium, France, Germany, Greece and Spain.
23rd Jun 2020 - The Financial Times

Nicola Sturgeon slams Boris Johnson's 'reckless' bid to get back to normal by easing lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon tore into Boris Johnson today over his plans to ease the lockdown still further in England, branding him 'reckless. Scotland's First Minister said it was 'tempting' to try to rush to get the nation 'back to normal' but suggested that the move should not be rushed amid new spikes in cases in some countries. She made the waning as the UK's death toll fell to just 15 - the lowest level since mid-March.
23rd Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Pubs, museums and cinemas to open amid concerns UK leaving lockdown ‘too quickly’

Boris Johnson is set to announce new lockdown easing plans today that will allow pubs, restaurants, museums and cinemas to begin re-opening in England from July 4. The Prime Minister is also expected to review the two-metre social distancing rule, amid widespread predictions it will be cut to one metre. He will brief the Cabinet on the proposals before outlining them in the House of Commons later today. Some Tory MPs have put pressure on the PM to ease the two-metre requirement in order to get the hospitality sector back up and running. Many pubs and restaurants have warned that it would be impossible for them to operate as long as the rule remains in place, with others saying their businesses may never reopen if they are not given the green light this week.
23rd Jun 2020 - Metro

Brazilian judge tells Bolsonaro to behave and wear a face mask

A Brazilian judge has ordered Jair Bolsonaro to rectify his “at best disrespectful” behaviour by wearing a face mask when circulating in the capital, Brasília. The president has sparked outrage by repeatedly flouting measures designed to slow the advance of a coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 50,000 Brazilians. The rightwing populist has made a succession of public appearances – at protests, shops and even a floating barbecue – wearing a mask incorrectly, or not at all. On Monday, a federal judge ruled Bolsonaro was not above the laws of the federal district, which contains Brazil’s capital, and would face a daily fine of 2,000 reais (£310) if he continued to break the rules. The use of masks has been compulsory there since late April.
23rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

E.U. May Bar American Travelers as It Reopens Borders, Citing Failures on Virus

European Union officials are racing to agree on who can visit the bloc as of July 1 based on how countries of origin are faring with new coronavirus cases. Americans, so far, are excluded, according to draft lists seen by The New York Times.
23rd Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 23rd Jun 2020

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Coronavirus: Brazil becomes second country to pass 50,000 deaths

Brazil has become the second country, after the US, to register more than 50,000 deaths from Covid-19. It comes amid growing political tension and just days after the country confirmed more than one million coronavirus infections. Brazil recorded its highest number of daily deaths on 4 June; the seven-day average seems to have plateaued since. President Jair Bolsonaro's decision to oppose lockdowns and focus on the economy has been hugely divisive. Two health ministers - both doctors - have left their posts as deaths and infections have surged. The first was sacked by Mr Bolsonaro, the second resigned after disagreeing with the far-right president.
22nd Jun 2020 - BBC News

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 22nd Jun 2020

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Trump urges slowdown in COVID-19 testing, calling it a 'double-edge sword'

U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday told thousands of cheering supporters he had asked U.S. officials to slow down testing for the novel coronavirus, calling it a “double-edged sword” that led to more cases being discovered. In his remarks, Trump used terms such as “Kung Flu” virus and “Chinese virus” to refer to COVID-19. “That name gets further and further away from China, as opposed to calling it the Chinese virus,” he said.
21st Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Trump's Tulsa rally: Court rejects bid for face masks, social distancing

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Friday rejected a request to require everyone attending President Donald Trump's rally in Tulsa this weekend to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing inside the arena to guard against the spread of the coronavirus. The court ruled that the two local residents who asked that the thousands expected at Saturday night’s rally be required to take the precautions couldn’t establish that they had a clear legal right to the relief they sought. Oklahoma has had a recent spike in coronavirus cases, but in a concurring opinion, two justices noted that the state’s plan to reopen its economy is “permissive, suggestive and discretionary.” “Therefore, for lack of any mandatory language in the (plan), we are compelled to deny the relief requested.”
19th Jun 2020 - Chicago Tribune

How Covid-19 spread QAnon in Germany

The sprawling movement which centers on an alleged “deep state” plot against President Donald Trump, has gained traction among anti-lockdown demonstrators and conspiracy theorists
19th Jun 2020 - Coda Story

Afghan health workers deliberately targeted during pandemic: UN

A UN report registered a dozen attacks on health workers at the height of Afghanistan's coronavirus outbreak. Targeting the health care system during the pandemic was ''particularly reprehensible,'' the world body said.
21st Jun 2020 - DW (English)

Airlines' legal challenge of UK quarantine policy to be heard early July, lawyers say

A legal challenge by British Airways (ICAG.L), easyJet (EZJ.L) and Ryanair (RYA.I) against the UK government’s decision to introduce a 14-day quarantine for travellers will be heard in early July, barristers involved in the case said on Friday. “The airlines claim that the regulations are irrational and disproportionate. A hearing has been listed for early July,” Blackstone Chambers said in a statement.
19th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Is the WHO denying there are dangers from assymptomatic patients carrying the coronavirus?

WHO epidemiologist Ms. Van Kerkhov noted that patients who did not show symptoms of coronavirus were less likely to spread the virus than people with an active response to COVID-19 BUT she did not say the dangers were any less and that assymptomatic people posed no risks Russian languages sites and blogs went ballistic in spreading these lies far and wide. "We have a lot of reports from countries that closely monitor the contacts of infected people. They monitor asymptomatic cases, they monitor contacts and do not detect the transmission of the virus, so this is very rare," Kerkhov said at a briefing.
18th Jun 2020 - SOS Pravda Ukraine

Zimbabwe health minister arrested over coronavirus supplies scandal

Zimbabwean Health and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo was arrested Friday for alleged corruption related to the supply of medical materials to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the anti-graft agency said. The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) confirmed the arrest of the minister Friday evening. "I can confirm that Minister Moyo is currently detained at Rhodesville Police Station and will likely appear in court tomorrow," ZACC spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure said. According to Makamure, the minister was arrested over shady procurement deals worth millions of U.S. dollars. Moyo became the second minister to be arrested for alleged corruption in President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government, after the arrest last year of the then tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira.
18th Jun 2020 - CGTN

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 19th Jun 2020

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Florida and Texas governors blame spike in cases on increased testing

As coronavirus cases spike in Florida and Texas this week, the state's Republican governors attributed the alarming trends to increased testing, outbreaks in high-risk areas like jails and assisted living facilities, or in Florida's case, migrant worker communities. They've also brushed away pleas from local officials for stronger requirements to wear masks. The explanations echo the Trump administration's current positioning on the state of Covid-19 in America: denial and excuses.
19th Jun 2020 - CNN

Brazil on track to surpass the U.S. in coronavirus deaths this summer, following record increase

Coronavirus cases have surged dramatically in Brazil as the country struggles to put a lid on the pandemic. On Tuesday, Brazil experienced a record increase of nearly 35,000 daily coronavirus cases. Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)'s director of the Andes, told CBS News on Wednesday that she wouldn't "trust" numbers released by the Brazilian government. She believes they're much higher than what has been reported, citing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's lack of transparency on the data. "There are questions about really how much testing is going on in most of the areas worst affected, which may also influence the numbers," she said. "The fact that it's spreading like wildfire is completely not a surprise."
18th Jun 2020 - CBS News

Trump says U.S. will not lock down again amid rising coronavirus cases

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States would not close businesses again as several states reported rising numbers of new coronavirus infections. “We won’t be closing the country again. We won’t have to do that,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Channel. Trump’s comments come after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin both said the United States could not shut down the economy again. In a call with governors, Vice President Mike Pence encouraged them to repeat the administration’s claim that increased testing accounts for the spike in numbers, the New York Times has reported.
18th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Relaxing Lockdown: Overdue or a Ticking Time Bomb? – Byline Times

The uncomfortable truth is that, at this stage, we cannot predict the trajectory of the Coronavirus. Opinions to the contrary are a by-product of confirmation bias. No high-quality data on the immediate and downstream effects of specific social distancing and lockdown interventions exist. ‘Lockdown versus no lockdown’ remains a crude metric. The murky data remain compatible with a wide range of death-to-infection ratios, also known as infection fatality rates (IFR). If the true IFR and health burden of COVID-19 turns out to be much lower than the initial indications of around 1%, and suppression strategies prove unsustainable in the long-term, then blanket lockdown strategies may turn out to have been an overreaction.
18th Jun 2020 - Byline Times

Lord Sugar: Boris Johnson is being too cautious in lifting lockdown

The Apprentice star has been living in Florida, which has been out of lockdown for six weeks, and said: “Who’s dead? I’m not.” Lord Sugar claimed that the Prime Minister’s own time in hospital with Covid-19 has affected his decision-making. Appearing on Jeremy Vine on Channel 5
18th Jun 2020 - ITV

‘Who’s dead? I’m not’: Lord Alan Sugar says lockdown should end because nobody he knows has died

Lord Alan Sugar has been accused of making “tone deaf” comments about coronavirus after suggesting that lockdown should end in the UK because none of his friends had died. Appearing on Jeremy Vine’s Channel 5 show via video link from his home in Florida, the Apprentice star shared his thoughts on Covid-19 lockdown measures being dialled back.“Look, I’m not a doctor and I don’t want to be giving medical advice and all that stuff,” the former Labour peer began.
18th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 18th Jun 2020

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UK readers find the government's COVID-19 messages more misleading than actual fake news

Studies have suggested social media is rife with disinformation, with surveys showing a high proportion of people have been exposed to false or misleading claims about COVID-19, fueling dramatic headlines. But our six-week diary study of news audiences between April 16 and May 27 found that the vast majority of our panel of 200 participants could easily spot fake news. They found stories such as the conspiracy theory that 5G is responsible for the spread of COVID-19 or the quack remedy that gargling with saltwater cures coronavirus immediately suspect. So it wasn’t fake news being peddled on social media or conspiracy websites that was of most concern. When we asked them about what false or misleading information about COVID-19 they had encountered, many instead referenced examples of what they saw as government or media misinformation.
18th Jun 2020 - Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

Coronavirus lockdown in Wales: Where do the parties stand?

Cabinet members will meet later to discuss what, if any, changes can be made to the lockdown rules in Wales. The first minister will announce their decision at a press conference on Friday. The Welsh Government's handling of the pandemic, lockdown and economic recovery is likely to feature heavily in the campaigning ahead of next May's election to the Senedd. So where do the parties stand on what should happen next?
17th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Spain's COVID-19 Lockdown Prompts Political Backlash Over Freedom

Supporters of right-wing parties were rebelling over the way the Socialist government had imposed a state of emergency on a country unaccustomed to being told what to do. The conservative People's Party and far-right Vox party asserted that the government used the excuse COVID-19 to ride roughshod the rights enshrined in Spain’s 1978 constitution, the first since democracy returned after the death of longtime ruler General Francisco Franco three years before. One of the nations worst hit by COVID-19, Spain in March imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe to contain the epidemic. Some 47 million Spaniards could only leave their homes to buy food, for medical help or for essential work. As Spain prepared to end the state of emergency on June 21, critics said questions remain over how the minority government ran the country in the face of extraordinary circumstances.
17th Jun 2020 - Voice of America

Coronavirus: Lawyers' groups want to join lockdown legality case

A court case about the legal basis for the Alert Level 3 and 4 coronavirus lockdowns could be expanded to allow three lawyers' groups to take part. A decision is pending on whether the Auckland District Law Society, the Criminal Bar Association, and the New Zealand Law Society, will be allowed to take part in the case lawyer Andrew Borrowdale has personally taken. At the High Court in Wellington on Wednesday, Chief High Court Judge, Justice Susan Thomas, reserved her decision on the lawyers' groups application to "intervene". It appeared that the Auckland District Law Society and the Criminal Bar Association would support Borrowdale's claim that early lockdown measures were made without legal authority.
17th Jun 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

England’s ‘World Beating’ System to Track the Virus Is Anything But

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain unveiled last month a “world beating” operation to track down people who had been exposed to the coronavirus, giving the country a chance to climb out of lockdown without losing sight of where infections were spreading. As with much of the government’s response to the pandemic, however, the results have fallen short of the promises, jeopardizing the reopening of Britain’s hobbled economy and risking a second wave of death in one of the countries most debilitated by the virus. In almost three weeks since the start of the system in England, called N.H.S. Test and Trace, some contact tracers have failed to reach a single person, filling their days instead with internet exercise classes and bookshelf organizing. Some call handlers, scattered in offices and homes far from the people they speak with, have mistakenly tried to send patients in England to testing sites across the sea in Northern Ireland
17th Jun 2020 - New York Times

Pence Tells Governors to Repeat Misleading Claim on Outbreaks

Vice President Mike Pence encouraged governors on Monday to adopt the administration’s claim that increased testing helps account for the new coronavirus outbreak reports, even though evidence has shown that the explanation is misleading. On a call with the governors, audio of which was obtained by The New York Times, Mr. Pence urged them “to continue to explain to your citizens the magnitude of the increase in testing” in addressing the new outbreaks. And he asked them to “encourage people with the news that we’re safely reopening the country.”
16th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Pressure piling on PM to ease lockdown amid more evidence of economic ‘disaster’

The Government is facing further pressure to cut lockdown restrictions as new figures laid bare the damage being caused to the labour market. The latest unemployment data was published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday just hours before the Prime Minister meets with his Cabinet. New figures suggested the down turn had yet to feed through fully into unemployment thanks to the job retention scheme but there was a sharp drop in the number of paid employees, down by 2.1% or 612,000 in May compared with March, and a huge increase in benefit claims. The ONS said there was a decline in hours worked by people in jobs, while jobless claims under Universal Credit jumped 23.3% month-on-month in May to 2.8 million and soared 125.9% or 1.6 million since March when the UK was placed in lockdown.
16th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 17th Jun 2020

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Sturgeon warns against ‘reckless relaxation’ of lockdown measures

There must not be a “reckless relaxation” of coronavirus lockdown measures to get Scotland’s economy moving again, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said. It comes as official figures show the number of Scots out of work increased by 30,000 to 127,000 over the period February to April. With unemployment rising, she said an extension to the UK Government’s furlough scheme, in which the taxpayer has paid the wages of hundreds of thousands of Scots, is almost certainly essential. The impact of the job retention scheme means the latest figures are “likely to be an underestimate of the full impact of Covid-19”, Ms Sturgeon said. She said the planned easing of some restrictions later this week could help the economy, adding there could be some “really significant steps taken for all of Scotland to start to get us back to normal”.
16th Jun 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

Coronavirus: Sturgeon warns against 'reckless' easing of lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon has warned against any "reckless" move to ease lockdown in Scotland despite a growing "economic crisis" and rising unemployment. The first minister spoke after the release of the latest jobless figures. The unemployment rate rose to 4.6% in Scotland between February and April, compared with a UK-wide rate of 3.9%. Ms Sturgeon said easing the lockdown "too quickly" would risk a resurgence of the virus which would cost lives and economic productivity. She said the progress made in suppressing Covid-19 so far could help build a "sustainable economy recovery". And she called on the UK government to extend the job retention "furlough" scheme, saying it was "almost certain" to be needed beyond October. Scotland is expected to move to the second phase of the government's "route map" towards lifting lockdown on Thursday, which could see a "safe re-opening" of more shops and workplaces.
16th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Boris accused of ‘disdain’ for public by ignoring early calls for lockdown

The government has been accused of having ‘disdain’ for the public by ignoring calls for an earlier lockdown at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan called it a ‘devastating error’ that the UK didn’t lockdown at the ‘absolute epicentre’ of the first wave of the pandemic. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the Lancet, replied: ‘It is fair to talk about the disdain of the government for the British people, and the reason is that the British people were smarter than the government. ‘People in this country actually knew that there was a threat coming – they could tell that there was danger in the air, and they started to change their behaviour before March 23 when Boris Johnson announced the lockdown.
16th Jun 2020 - Metro

Pressure piling on PM to ease lockdown amid more evidence of economic ‘disaster’

The Government is facing further pressure to cut lockdown restrictions as new figures laid bare the damage being caused to the labour market. The latest unemployment data was published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday just hours before the Prime Minister meets with his Cabinet. New figures suggested the down turn had yet to feed through fully into unemployment thanks to the job retention scheme but there was a sharp drop in the number of paid employees, down by 2.1% or 612,000 in May compared with March, and a huge increase in benefit claims.
16th Jun 2020 - Hampshire Chronicle

Lockdown is 'economic catastrophe', says William Hague

In his article, Lord Hague said the lockdown had been so "destructive" that it could "only ever be allowed to happen once". He urged the government to scrap the quarantine on international arrivals - which requires all people arriving in the UK to self-isolate for 14 days - and the 2m social distancing rule. "We can now see that it is not necessary to have a two-metre separation between people to keep the virus in retreat where it is already at a low level," he writes. "We know this from the experience of countries such as Denmark, France and Germany where the recommended distance is shorter, and we should not have to spend weeks agonising over it." He said lockdown was "like Dunkirk - a heroic operation in itself but the result of a massive failure". And this was a failure "at multiple levels" he said, adding: "A failure by the whole world to prevent the trading of wild animals for consumption; by China to report the initial outbreak openly; by our and many other countries to prepare for this type of pandemic."
16th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Pressure piles to ease lockdown with fresh unemployment figures being released

The Government is facing further pressure to cut lockdown restrictions in England as ministers brace for the latest figures on coronavirus-related job losses. The latest unemployment data will be published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday, only hours before the Prime Minister meets with his Cabinet. With the ONS figures expected to make for grim reading given the economic fallout from Covid-19, Tory grandees have called on Boris Johnson to ease the extent of the restrictions currently in place.
16th Jun 2020 - Wales Online

Hospitals in several Alabama cities now seeing all-time highs in coronavirus patients

The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Decatur has hit all-time highs this month, filling beds and taxing staff as the state struggles with a wave of new cases. Nearly one-third of those patients will require ventilators during treatment, said Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers. Cases are surging in Alabama. The department of public health reported record-high numbers of new coronavirus cases in recent days, with more than 1,000 cases added on Sunday.
16th Jun 2020 - AL.com

Montgomery City Council votes down mask ordinance, sends doctors out in disgust

Jackson Hospital pulmonologist William Saliski cleared his throat as he started describing the dire situation created by the coronavirus pandemic in Montgomery to its City Council before they voted on a mandatory mask ordinance. "It's been a long day, I apologize," he said. "The units are full with critically-ill COVID patients," Saliski said. About 90% of them are Black. He said hospitals are able to manage for now, but it's not sustainable. "This mask slows that down, 95% protection from something as easy as cloth. ... If this continues the way it's going, we will be overrun." More doctors followed him to the microphone, describing the dead being carried out within 30 minutes of each other, and doctors being disturbed when people on the street ask them if the media is lying about the pandemic as part of a political ploy.
16th Jun 2020 - Montgomery Advertiser

Florida businesses, restaurants not required to report coronavirus cases among employees, officials say

FOX 35 Orlando also spoke with the epidemiologist at the Seminole County Health Department to see if businesses are required to report their cases and shut down if their workers get coronavirus. He said that the cases should be reported, but it is not a requirement, and the business is not required to shut down. “We are not regulatory over businesses. For the most part, that is the Department of Business and Professional Regulation,” Baker said. “So, they don’t have to call us and say I’m shutting down my business.”
15th Jun 2020 - FOX 35 Orlando

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US revokes emergency use of drugs touted by Trump vs. virus

U.S. regulators on Monday revoked emergency authorization for malaria drugs promoted by President Donald Trump for treating COVID-19 amid growing evidence they don’t work and could cause serious side effects. The Food and Drug Administration said the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating the coronavirus. Citing reports of heart complications, the FDA said the drugs’ unproven benefits “do not outweigh the known and potential risks.”
16th Jun 2020 - The Associated Press

The Great British COVID-19 Procurement Scandal – Byline Times

Bernie Spofforth reveals how small businesses with little experience and expertise were awarded major contracts for personal protective equipment
15th Jun 2020 - Byline Times

Broken by the coronavirus, Boris Johnson's team losing faith

Inside Boris Johnson’s government, senior officials are exhausted, demoralized and starting to despair. Their dreams of reshaping Britain for a bright post-Brexit world have been blown off course by coronavirus. With more than 41,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.K., Johnson has presided over one of the worst records in the world after the U.S. and Brazil. Now Britain faces among the heaviest financial tolls from the pandemic of any major economy, and the deepest recession in 300 years. In the background is the specter of compounding the pain by failing to reach a trade deal with the European Union, with Johnson next week set to try to rescue talks that are going nowhere.
15th Jun 2020 - The Japan Times

Fear of coronavirus, not lockdown, is the biggest threat to the UK's economy

Tory MPs are missing the point: lifting restrictions won’t ease this recession, people need to feel the outbreak is under control
15th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

'We may be able to do more than we thought in easing out of lockdown' says Health Minister

The Health Minister Vaughan Gething said we may be able to move at a "slightly faster rate" when it comes to easing lockdown restrictions. Mr Gething said we are in this position because people in Wales have followed the rules. Following the rules has saved lives and means we may be able to move at a slightly faster rate than we thought possible even just a few weeks ago.
15th Jun 2020 - ITV News

Boris Johnson desperately needs his lockdown gamble to pay off

"I don't think it's too much to say that his survival as Prime Minister is in danger if we get a second spike," says Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University. "I'm not sure he could restore public confidence in his government if anything like a return to the lockdown had to be executed. The government really has to get this right and pray it's not too early, as some people claim it may be." These claims that lockdown is being lifted too soon range from the editorial pages of the left-leaning Guardian newspaper, which believes Johnson is "seeing polls, not science" and "gambling with the health of the nation," to scientists advising the government who have called it a "political decision."
14th Jun 2020 - CNN

WHO's Kluge warns against further lifting of lockdown in England - Guardian

The coronavirus induced lockdown in England should not be further lifted until the government’s contact-tracing system proves to be “robust and effective”, the World Health Organization’s regional European director Hans Kluge said. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Kluge also cautioned that Britain remained in a "very active phase of the pandemic" and warned against rushing into reopening the economy. Britain said on Sunday it was reviewing its two-metre (6.5-foot) social distancing rule ahead of the next stage of lockdown easing planned for July 4.
14th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

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Coronavirus: Boris Johnson orders review of two-metre social distancing rule in UK

Boris Johnson has ordered a comprehensive review of the two-metre social-distancing rule amid calls it should be scrapped. Easing the restriction is seen as vital if businesses such a restaurants and pubs are to be able to re-open sustainably. The Mail on Sunday reported the review would effectively take control of social-distancing guidelines out of the hands of the British Government’s scientific advisers, who have been deeply reluctant to countenance relaxation. The move comes as thousands of non-essential shops in England are set to re-open on Monday for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March.
14th Jun 2020 - Irish Examiner

Public health workers fighting COVID-19 are threatened with violence, forced out of jobs

In the battle against COVID-19, public health workers make up an invisible army on the front lines.  But that army is under assault when it’s needed most.
12th Jun 2020 - NBC News

Few N95 masks, reused gowns: Dire PPE shortages reveal COVID-19's racial divide

Health care workers are still facing major shortages of N95 respirators, gowns and other safety gear, especially at hospitals in minority communities. Nearly 100 days after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, health care workers across the country are still facing major shortages of personal protective equipment, or PPE, including crucial equipment such as masks, gowns, gloves and N95 respirators. Amid an alarming rise in coronavirus cases across the United States, the situation is especially dire at hospitals serving communities of color or patients on Medicaid, NBC News has found. "The issue of PPE for health workers has not gone away," Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program, said Wednesday at a news briefing. A new study out of Wuhan, China, is finding that health care workers who were appropriately protected with PPE did not get infected, despite being exposed to the virus.
12th Jun 2020 - NBC News

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Swedes round on Sweden's coronavirus approach - POLITICO

The Swedish government’s decision to go its own way on coronavirus just got political. In the first party leaders’ debate in parliament since the pandemic began, opposition politicians went after Prime Minister Stefan Löfven on Wednesday, saying Sweden’s spiking death rate from COVID-19 and inability to protect residents of elderly care homes represented serious failures.
11th Jun 2020 - Politico

British health minister urges protesters not to attend rallies

British health minister Matt Hancock said on Thursday people should not attend large demonstrations for public health reasons after protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement attracted tens of thousands over the last week. “I understand that people want to show their passion for a cause that they care deeply about but this is a virus that thrives on social contact, regardless of what your cause may be,” he said at a daily news conference.
11th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Bolsonaro supporter desecrates Brazil beach memorial for 40,000 coronavirus victims

A supporter of Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has desecrated a beachside memorial to Covid-19 victims as the country’s coronavirus death toll rose above 40,000. Activists from civil society group Rio de Paz dug 100 symbolic shallow graves on Copacabana beach before dawn on Thursday to represent the Brazilian lives lost.
11th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

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Egyptian state media accuses doctors of treason for speaking up on coronavirus crisis

Egyptian doctors have expressed anger in recent days, accusing the authorities of neglecting them and failing to protect and provide them with the protective equipment they need. In response, media outlets close to the government accused the doctors of treason, not sacrificing for the sake of the nation and even taking part in plans by hostile foreign countries or the Muslim Brotherhood. Within one week, 12 Egyptian doctors died of the novel coronavirus. On May 26, four doctors died, followed by eight others in the same week, leading to mass resignations by doctors at al-Munira Hospital in Cairo. Since the coronavirus crisis began and up until June 1, 33 doctors have died from COVID-19, while 372 have tested positive for the virus. Of that number, about 80 have recovered, Karim Mesbah, member of the Doctors Syndicate Council, said in a June 2 press statement. On May 25, the syndicate issued a strongly worded statement accusing the Ministry of Health of failing to protect medical staff.
10th Jun 2020 - Al-Monitor

Nigeria to cut healthcare spending by 40% despite coronavirus cases climbing

Plans by Nigeria’s government to cut healthcare spending risk undermining the country’s coronavirus response and severely impacting already strained services, health and transparency groups have warned. Funding for local, primary healthcare services will be cut by more than 40% this year in a revised budget expected to be passed into law in the coming weeks. The proposed cuts could affect immunisations, childcare, maternal healthcare and family planning services.
10th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Brazil restores coronavirus data after controversy, court ruling

Brazil on Tuesday restored detailed COVID-19 data to its official national website following controversy over the removal of cumulative totals and a ruling by a Supreme Court justice that the full set of information be reinstated. The move followed days of mounting pressure from across the political spectrum and allegations the government was trying to mask the severity of the outbreak, now the world's second-largest.
10th Jun 2020 - Al Jazeera English

EU says China behind 'huge wave' of Covid-19 disinformation

China has been accused by Brussels of running disinformation campaigns inside the European Union, as the bloc set out a plan to tackle a “huge wave” of false facts about the coronavirus pandemic. The European commission said Russia and China were running “targeted influence operations and disinformation campaigns in the EU, its neighbourhood, and globally”. While the charge against Russia has been levelled on many occasions, this is the first time the EU executive has publicly named China as a source of disinformation. French politicians were furious when a Chinese embassy website claimed in mid-April, at the height of Europe’s pandemic, that care workers had abandoned their jobs leaving residents to die. The unnamed Chinese diplomat also claimed falsely that 80 French lawmakers had used a racist slur against the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
10th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

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Cornflakes for lunch! German parents say open school before mum goes nuts

Women are bearing the brunt of home schooling and extra housework, according to surveys. That hurts efforts to promote diversity and narrow Germany’s gender pay gap. Job satisfaction of mothers has fallen by 5 percentage points more than that of fathers during the crisis, and they are more likely to have cut their hours or stopped working, according to a survey by the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB). “Just as before the crisis, it is often the women who are putting back their careers to be there for the children,” said WZB’s social science Professor Lena Hipp, herself trying to fit in work around caring for three young children. At SAP, co-CEO Jennifer Morgan, a mother of two, stepped down in April after only six months as the first female head of a German blue-chip company, leaving Christian Klein in charge.
9th Jun 2020 - Reuters

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Pakistan’s former PM Abbasi, Railways Minister Rashid test positive for COVID-19

Pakistan’s former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and incumbent Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad were tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, making them the latest amongst the country’s top politicians to contract the virus that has infected over one lakh people in the country.
8th Jun 2020 - The Tribune India

Government seeking to increase social gathering limit to 50

Due to the Coronavirus Crisis, the public in Denmark has had to limit their social gatherings to a maximum of ten people in recent months. But that could well change in the very near future after PM Mette Frederiksen sent a letter to members of Parliament proposing increasing the limit to 50 on June 8. The letter also revealed the government proposes additional increases to the gathering limit – up to 100 on July 8 and then to 200 on August 8.
8th Jun 2020 - Copenhagen Post

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China would make a coronavirus vaccine a 'global public good'

China will strengthen international cooperation in future COVID-19 clinical vaccine trials, building on earlier collaboration in vaccine development, the science and technology minister said on Sunday. China is expending great efforts in the global scramble to develop a vaccine for the new coronaries epidemic that began in its central city of Wuhan, with Chinese researchers conducting five separate clinical trials on humans, or half of all such trials globally, according to the data compiled by the World Health Organization. President Xi Jinping vowed last month at the World Heath Assembly, the WHO’s governing body, that vaccines China’s develops will become a “global public good” once they are ready for use, and it will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.
7th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: Hard-hit Brazil removes data amid rising death toll

Brazil has removed months of data on Covid-19 from a government website amid criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the outbreak. The health ministry said it would now only be reporting cases and deaths in the past 24 hours, no longer giving a total figure as most countries do. Mr Bolsonaro said the cumulative data did not reflect the current picture. Brazil has the world's second-highest number of cases, and has recently had more new deaths than any other nation. The Latin American country has more than 640,000 confirmed infections, but the number is believed to be much higher because of insufficient testing. More than 35,000 people have died, the third-highest toll in the world.
7th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Prime minister told to dump rhetoric and plan for new Covid wave

Health chiefs say there should be no further easing before a comprehensive test and trace system has been proved to work, as NHS figures accuse the government of lacking a strategy and dodging an “honest and open” debate about Britain’s plight. They also warned of a “dramatic” drop in capacity at NHS hospitals. The Observer spoke to organisations including the Royal College of GPs, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the NHS Confederation and NHS Providers on how ministers should plan for a potential second wave. They called for: An “aggressive public health campaign” to boost flu immunisation to stop the NHS having to deal with flu as well as Covid-19 outbreaks this winter.
7th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Xi calls for "China-France contributions" to winning global COVID-19 fight

France contributions" to winning the global battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. China and France need to continuously support the international community joining hands against the pandemic, Xi said in a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.
7th Jun 2020 - China Economic Net

Scientists at war with ministers over Covid: Experts call for public inquiry into 'failures'

Nearly 30 leading experts have demanded Boris Johnson launches a public inquiry to prepare Britain for a second wave of coronavirus, in another sign of a growing gulf between ministers and scientists. The group of 27 said a second epidemic was 'probable' this winter and warned it would be more deadly than the first if the Government doesn't address its failures from the previous outbreak. They have laid out a series of glaring shortcomings which they say have contributed to the UK suffering more than 40,000 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in Europe.
6th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Brazil threatens to quit WHO, Trump says US beating pandemic

President Jair Bolsonaro threatened Friday to pull Brazil from the WHO over "ideological bias," as his counterpart Donald Trump said the US economy was recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and Europe sought to reopen its borders. Adding fuel to the political fire raging around the pandemic, its origins and the best way to respond, Bolsonaro criticized the World Health Organization for suspending clinical trials of the drug hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 -- a decision it reversed this week -- and threatened to follow in Trump's footsteps by quitting. "I'm telling you right now, the United States left the WHO, and we're studying that, in the future. Either the WHO works without ideological bias, or we leave, too," the far-right leader told journalists.
6th Jun 2020 - Yahoo News UK

Serco wins Covid-19 test-and-trace contract despite £1m fine

Serco, one of the companies that has secured a lucrative government contract for the Covid contact-tracing programme, was fined more than £1m for failures on another government contract just months ago, the Observer has learned. The revelation has led to campaigners against the privatisation of public services to call for the £45.8m test-and-trace contract to be cancelled. Serco has a range of government contracts both in the UK and overseas, much of it focused on criminal justice and immigration. It has already had to apologise after breaching data protection rules on its test-and-trace contract by inadvertently revealing the email addresses of new recruits. The junior health minister, Edward Argar, is a former Serco lobbyist.
6th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Ten private doctors and a government official 'falsified 500 death certificates'

Mexico City prosecutors are looking into a group of private doctors and a government official after at least 500 death certificates were allegedly falsified Prosecutors were alerted by Mexico City's Health Protection Agency after it found that the doctors never visited the homes or clinics were the deceased died Cause of death were listed as respiratory failure, atypical pneumonia or viral pneumonia - but it is feared coronavirus could have been to blame. COVID-19 has been reported as the cause of death of 3,456 people in Mexico's capital. Mexico has registered 12,545 coronavirus deaths in Latin America, the second highest amount behind Brazil, which has reported 34,021
5th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

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Coronavirus: Would a new Irish government lift lockdown faster?

Hotels in the Republic of Ireland are currently due to reopen on 20 July, the same day as those in Northern Ireland, but hotel bars will remain closed. Reopening hotels, subject to social distancing rules, is part of phase four of the Irish government's five-stage plan to relax Covid-19 restrictions. The plan was announced on 1 May. It says hotels can reopen "initially on a limited occupancy basis (or number of people per square metre), and then increasing over time". Restaurants and cafes in the Republic of Ireland are currently due to reopen on 29 June as part of phase three of the recovery plan but "must comply with social distancing and strict cleaning protocols".
4th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Containment zones would have checked COVID with less harm to economy

The government’s subsequent attempts to justify the imposition of the lockdown by contending that in the absence of such lockdown, the COVID-19 cases would have grown exponentially, is both misleading and poses a false binary.
4th Jun 2020 - The Indian Express

'Draconian lockdown' exposed us to the 'worst of both worlds': Rajiv Bajaj to Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the lockdown in India is the only kind in the world 'where the disease is increasing after we are opening up.'
4th Jun 2020 - The Statesman on MSN.com

Rajiv Bajaj says India should have followed Japan and Korea⁠— calls the lockdown ‘draconian’

In a conversation with Rahul Gandhi, the Bajaj Auto MD, Rajiv Bajaj, said that India ended up having the worst of both the Covid-19 and the economy as the effect of a draconian lockdown. "The lockdown flattened the wrong curve, that being the GDP curve."
4th Jun 2020 - Business Insider India

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Dominic Cummings' trip to Durham during lockdown DID prompt Brits following rules less closely

Thousands of people have said they are following lockdown rules less strictly and citing Dominic Cummings as part of the reason, according to a new poll. The YouGov survey found that one in five adults, or 21 per cent, stuck to lockdown restrictions less stringently last week than the week before. Out of this group, one in three — seven per cent of the total — mentioned Mr Cummings as part of the reason.
3rd Jun 2020 - Evening Standard

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Coronavirus lockdown: The conundrum of balancing health and economic interests as UK eases restrictions

Boris Johnson, as well as leaders in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, are walking a terrifying tightrope as they agonise over how fast to ease the coronavirus lockdown. As England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, warned three days ago, the country has arrived at a “very dangerous moment” as it faces a foe which is “a coiled spring ready to get out if we don’t stay on top of it”.
2nd Jun 2020 - iNews

Coronavirus: Concerns grow over lockdown alert level system

The BBC understands that all four chief medical officers of the UK nations, including England's Professor Chris Whitty, opposed the prime minister's hopes of lowering the Covid-19 alert level last week. Less than a month ago, Boris Johnson announced that any easing of the lockdown would be conditional on a lower alert level, alongside "five tests" on the spread of infection being met.
2nd Jun 2020 - BBC News

To prevent a chaotic end to lockdown, the public should be told the true risks

Just tell the truth. If the government is to get the country out of the mess of lockdown, it must take people into its confidence. It scared us into it, and must now reassure us out of it. This week children are returning to school in England, on the basis that the risk to them and their families from Covid-19 is “minuscule”. What does that mean? One in a thousand, one in a million? The same as them being in a car crash? No parent will readily tolerate “risking my child”, so a language must be found to set minds at rest. That language should be one of evidence, of facts, not of adjectives and adverbs.
2nd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Boris Johnson 'told Italy’s president' he wanted 'herd immunity' to defeat coronavirus, TV documentary reveals

Boris Johnson told Italy’s president he was aiming for “herd immunity” to defeat coronavirus, an explosive TV documentary has revealed – despite No 10 denying that was ever the policy. The Italian health minister has undermined the government’s repeated denials by recounting a conversation between the two leaders on 13 March, as the pandemic neared its peak. “I spoke with [Giuseppe] Conte to tell President Conte that I’d tested positive [for coronavirus].” Pierpaolo Sileri told Channel 4’s Dispatches.
2nd Jun 2020 - The Independent

Leader of Italy’s ‘orange vests’ inspires far right and coronavirus conspiracy theorists

Italian security officials are worried that right-wing extremists could exploit the Covid-19 crisis by infiltrating a new protest movement that drew thousands of people on to the streets in 30 cities over the weekend. The “orange vests” movement is led by Antonio Pappalardo, a retired carabiniere general who has mobilised a heterogeneous group of cranks and conspiracy theorists as well as ordinary Italians suffering the economic impact of a three-month lockdown.
2nd Jun 2020 - The Times

We must be trusted to make our own decisions as we enter lockdown-lite

Getting out of a lockdown, it turns out, is a lot harder than getting into one. The risks and rewards are hard to pin down now. We have divided into groups who are extremely vigilant about any degree of risk and those who will accept more of it because they place greater weight on the consequences of economic and educational lags. Old habits are also beginning to assert themselves. The lockdown-lite arrangements heighten a sense that we have done our bit being caged at home.
2nd Jun 2020 - Evening Standard

Far too soon to ease lockdown in north-east England, leaders warn

Political leaders in the north-east of England have urged residents to disregard the government’s “reckless” relaxation of the lockdown amid concerns it will lead to a second spike of coronavirus in a region with the UK’s highest infection rate. On the day that some primary schools reopened and people were allowed to meet more family and friends in England, council leaders and MPs warned that the easing of the measures had come “far too soon” in the north-east. Martin Gannon, the leader of Gateshead council, which has the second-highest rate of infections in the UK, said: “The current approach from government is reckless and they haven’t put systems in place to keep it safe.
1st Jun 2020 - The Guardian

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Public trust in UK government over coronavirus falls sharply

According to surveys conducted on behalf of the University of Oxford’s Reuters Institute by YouGov, less than half of Britons now trust the Westminster government to provide correct information on the pandemic – down from more than two-thirds of the public in mid-April. “I have never in 10 years of research in this area seen a drop in trust like what we have seen for the UK government in the course of six weeks,” said the institute’s director, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen. The research was conducted in the last week of May, including the period when Cummings’ apparent flouting of lockdown rules by driving from London to Durham – with a trip to Barnard Castle to check his eyesight – dominated the headlines.
1st Jun 2020 - The Guardian

UK eases lockdown restrictions yet experts say it's too soon

The U.K. eased more lockdown restrictions Monday despite warnings from some health officials of another spike in coronavirus infections, especially if Britons persisted in flouting the new guidelines. Most of the changes were in England, where a number of schools reopened to some — but not all — younger children for the first time since they closed in mid-March. The easing of the lockdown, particularly in England, has raised concerns that it is taking place too soon for economic rather than health reasons, given a still-high level of coronavirus infections and a lack of evidence showing that the recently rolled out track and trace system is working properly.
1st Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

UK is following scientific advice on cautious lockdown easing, minister says

The British government is following scientific advice in cautiously easing the coronavirus lockdown, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said on Monday, after criticism from some prominent epidemiologists. “Of course scientific advice does differ but I think the key point is what is the overall view from SAGE?” Sharma told BBC TV. “The overall view from SAGE - the scientific advisory group on emergencies which advises the government - their overall view is that we must do this cautiously and that is precisely what we are doing,” Sharma said, adding that if people obeyed the rules there was a good likelihood that R0 would not go above 1.
1st Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

India's coronavirus infections overtake France amid criticism of lockdown

Criticism has grown in recent days that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden lockdown of 1.3 billion Indians in March has failed to halt the spread of the disease while destroying the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on daily wages. Community transmission is well underway among the population, a team of independent experts said, adding this would only get worse as public transport opens. On Monday, thousands of people were packing into 200 new trains that resumed services across the country, most of them migrant workers and their families leaving metropolises such as Delhi and Mumbai for their homes in the interior. “Had the migrant persons been allowed to go home at the beginning of the epidemic when the disease spread was very low, the current situation could have been avoided,” the Indian Public Health Association, Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine and the Indian Association of Epidemiologists said in a joint statement
1st Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Jeremy Peat: UK and Scottish governments have taken different approaches to easing the lockdown. Who has got it right?

Policy related to the Covid19 pandemic has entered a very delicate phase, from both medical and economic perspectives. The UK and Scottish Governments have taken somewhat different approaches. The UK approach could be deemed more cavalier and the Scottish more prudent. How these approaches work out in terms of the future developments related to the pandemic will determine whether the more risk averse Scottish approach will prove beneficial or not in the medium and longer term, so far as the economy, unemployment and indeed the public finances are concerned.
1st Jun 2020 - HeraldScotland.com

Nigel Farage insists lockdown should be eased: "we should get on with our lives"

Lifting lockdown slowly in the UK from Monday is the right decision to make not only economically, but for the health of Brits. Nigel Farage was looking at the pros and cons of the UK reopening slowly from Monday when he started to list out why he felt it was the right thing to do. "I wish we had a proper test and trace system in place like Germany did three months ago" he began, but reminded listeners that the argument that the UK is following science is flawed.
31st May 2020 - LBC 973 FM

Coronavirus: Raab defends relaxation of lockdown rules

The foreign secretary has defended the government easing of lockdown measures in England from Monday, despite the country's Covid-19 alert system indicating high levels of transmission. Dominic Raab said England is "transitioning" from level four, when there should be enforced social distancing measures, to level three, when they can start to be relaxed. He said the approach is "cautious". Some scientists advising ministers have voiced concerns about easing the rules.
31st May 2020 - BBC News

UK gov't advisers sound warning on easing virus lockdown

Senior advisers to Boris Johnson's government on Saturday warned it was too early to lift the lockdown, just two days before the UK further relaxes coronavirus restrictions. As people revelled in soaring temperatures by flocking to beaches and parks, several members of the government's own Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) told ministers they risked a second wave of infection. One -- epidemiologist Professor John Edmunds -- said the move was "a political decision". Another prominent scientist, Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and also a member of Sage, warned explicitly on Twitter that the government's was wrong on its timing.
31st May 2020 - Japan Today

South Africa leader faces thorny test over virus lockdown

Admired by some but berated by others for imposing a tight lockdown, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa faces a fresh leadership test over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Africa's most industrialised nation is preparing to reopen its economy on Monday as it moves into level three of a five-tier lockdown, in force since March 27, sowing bitter divisions. South Africa had already slipped into recession in the final quarter of 2019 before the virus arrived in March.
31st May 2020 - FRANCE 24

UK govt advisors sound warning on easing virus lockdown

As people revelled in soaring temperatures by flocking to beaches and parks, several members of the government's own Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) told ministers they risked a second wave of infection. One -- epidemiologist Professor John Edmunds -- said the move was "a political decision". Another prominent scientist, Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and also a member of Sage, warned explicitly on Twitter that the government's was wrong on its timing.
30th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 1st Jun 2020

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Coronavirus updates: EU asks U.S. to reconsider cutting ties with WHO as India extends lockdown in 'containment zones'

President Donald Trump announced Friday that he is “terminating” the country’s relationship with the World Health Organization after repeatedly criticizing the group for its response to the coronavirus crisis and accusing the agency of being “China-centric.” Trump’s strained relationship with the WHO could bring complications as scientists around the world race for a Covid-19 cure and treatment.
31st May 2020 - CNBC

The rushed easing of lockdown measures could devastate Italy

With more movement and contact, an increase in infections is expected. But will the current set up, with the regions in the driving seat, allow for a swift containment of potential hotspots, or is there a risk of another wave of uncontrolled infections? At this stage, nobody knows, but a more orderly and nationally coordinated reopening of the economy with mass testing, a contact tracing app, a significant increase in the number of contact tracers, and stricter measures for the isolation of confirmed cases, would certainly reduce the risks.
29th May 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Coronavirus: As we head out of lockdown, Government assurances the 'five tests' have been met are on shaky ground

To the relief of some and the concern of others, the Government has announced a significant drawing back of the strict social distancing rules the country has been following. From Monday, schools and some shops will open and people will no longer be consigned to meeting just one person from outside their household – groups of six can gather and guests can be invited to private gardens.
29th May 2020 - iNews

Germany's virus 'guru' in crosshairs of lockdown critics

The Bild row centres around preliminary results from a study by Drosten's Charite team that claimed children can spread COVID-19 as easily as adults. The issue is key as millions of parents hope to see schools completely reopen. A Bild reporter gave Drosten just an hour to respond to a list of critical comments on the study from other scientists, provoking him to post an angry response on Twitter. "I have better things to do," he said, publicly shaming the reporter by posting a screenshot of the email including the journalist's phone number. The scientists cited by Bild have distanced themselves from the article, saying their comments were simply made in the spirit of critical feedback aimed at improving research.
29th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

Critics say lockdowns will be more damaging than the virus. Experts say it's a false choice

These arguments are unconvincing, say economists. To fix the global economy, fix the global pandemic, they add. Survey data shows the US economy was winding down even before US states were mandating stay-at-home policies. Fear of the virus mean people were shopping less, small businesses were closing and cutting employment.
29th May 2020 - CNN

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 29th May 2020

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Lockdown protester fired after hanging effigy of governor

Terry Bush, the head of a right-wing militia group Kentucky 3 Percenters, has been fired from his job at a car dealership after being seen on video hanging Governor Andy Beshear in effigy.
28th May 2020 - Daily Mail

NYC Tanning Salon Owner to Reopen in Defiance of Lockdown, Says 'All Businesses Are Essential'

New York City tanning salon owner said he will reopen Thursday in defiance of city lockdown orders. "I'm opening business on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.," Bobby Catone, owner of Sunbelievable in Great Kills, Staten Island, said Tuesday in an interview with the Staten Island Advance, a local newspaper. "We had to flatten the curve, and on Staten Island we not only flattened it, we demolished it," Catone said.
28th May 2020 - Newsweek

Spanish regions request to move to new phases of deescalation plan

Several regional authorities in Spain have sent the central government their requests to move to a new phase of the coronavirus deescalation plan. Currently in Spain, 53% of the population is in Phase 1, which allows social gatherings of up to 10 people, and 47% is in Phase 2, where there are no restrictions on outdoor activities. Here is an overview of what each region has so far requested.
28th May 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

U.K.'s Boris Johnson faces schools rebellion over plans to send kids back

In the early days of the lockdown, it almost felt like a novelty for parents like Claire Collins as she and her friends swapped home schooling tips on WhatsApp. "There was an influx of people passing around, quite excitedly, things you could do with your kids at home: links on Pinterest, that sort of thing," said Collins, 37, who has children ages 2 and 5 and lives in the town of Abergavenny in Wales. "Now I think that enthusiasm has died. It's fizzled out," she said, struggling to speak over her children, Amber and Romy, who were vying for her attention in the background. "It sounds fun, but it's actually been quite taxing and draining."
28th May 2020 - NBC News

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 28th May 2020

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Husband of ‘Reopen North Carolina’ leader says he is ‘willing to kill’ in fight against lockdown

The husband of a leading protester campaigning to “reopen” North Carolina has said he and his fellow protesters are “willing to kill people” as they fight to overturn their state’s lockdown order. Adam Smith, whose wife Ashley was arrested at a recent protest in the state capital of Raleigh, said in his video that the only just response to the lockdown was to treat it as a fight against tyrannical government domination.
27th May 2020 - The Independent

Head of Italy's Lombardy Region Given Police Escort as COVID Anger Mounts

The governor of Lombardy, the northern region at the epicentre of Italy's coronavirus outbreak, said on Wednesday that he had been given a police escort after growing criticism of his administration's handling of the crisis. Lombardy, Italy's richest and most populous region and the motor of its economy, is one of the worst affected areas of the world by the coronavirus, accounting for around half of the country's more than 32,000 dead.
27th May 2020 - The New York Times

Putin Schedules Russian Victory Day Parade for June

Under pressure over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s faltering economy, President Vladimir Putin said the country would hold its showcase annual Victory Day military parade next month. The parade, a potent symbol of state power in Russia, has additional significance this year as it marks the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. It was pushed back from its May 9 date as part of a series of measures to contain the spread of the pandemic, which has seen Russia rise up the ranks of worst-affected nations behind the U.S. and Brazil. It has registered more than 360,000 confirmed cases and an official death toll of 3,807.
27th May 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

No masking it: Biden eyes stark contrast with Trump over coronavirus

A hunkered-down Joe Biden finally emerged from his Delaware home on Memorial Day wearing a mask, signalling he is putting the coronavirus front and center during the US presidential race in a nation increasingly divided over the pandemic.
27th May 2020 - Manilla Bulleting

US Barbers Protest against Lockdown

Barbers in the US state of Michigan say the lockdown there has gone on too long. So, they've defied government orders to stay home. They protested on the steps of the capitol, giving free haircuts to those who came out to support them. NHK World's Catherine Kobayashi reports.
27th May 2020 - NHK WORLD

No matter what our leadership suggests, we must ease out of lockdown together

One of the discoveries about our own country during the pandemic is the realisation that we don’t have a National Health Service; we have at least four separate services in the four nations. Meanwhile, areas like Cornwall have sent very strong signals that they don’t want to have to treat patients from elsewhere. Amongst the four, there has been serious divergence.
27th May 2020 - The Independent

Coronavirus anti-lockdown movement surges in the US after Donald Trump's 'Liberate' tweet

Protests targeted at political enemies has been a common trend not just from Trump's administration, but more generally in his public life. The birther conspiracy theory, Obamagate and even the debunked Joe Scarborough murder conspiracy theory all bear the hallmarks of this ability to identify grievances involving his political enemies, and to amplify them. In a limited sense, it's worked too. When broken down by which states endured the largest per cent increase in protests between March and April, there is a clear trend of states that are conservative or at least moderate who have Democratic governors (responsible for implementing lockdowns).
27th May 2020 - ABC News

New Zealand deputy PM breaks ranks to urge Ardern to lift Covid-19 lockdown

The deputy leader of New Zealand’s government has broken ranks with the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, decrying her refusal to drastically loosen the country’s lockdown rules and immediately establish a trans-Tasman travel “bubble” with Australia. “We’ve been in compulsory lockdown for far too long,” said Winston Peters, who is the deputy prime minister and foreign minister, but is not a member of Ardern’s Labour party. “Everybody who has put their heart into the future, the country’s future, and their family’s future realise there is only one way out of this - to think smart and work harder,” he added, during a radio interview on Tuesday. He had been asked by the interviewer whether he supported Ardern’s suggestion of extra public holidays to bolster the country’s flailing tourism sector.
27th May 2020 - The Guardian

Trump urges end to lockdowns as US COVID-19 deaths near 100,000

Even as the United States approached the grim milestone of 100,000 COVID-19 deaths, President Donald Trump is continuing to pressurise state governors to reopen their economies and allow the "transition to greatness" he has adopted as a new campaign slogan to proceed full speed ahead.
26th May 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 27th May 2020

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In Bolsonaro's Brazil, everyone else is to blame for virus

With Brazil emerging as one of the world’s most infected countries, President Jair Bolsonaro is deflecting all responsibility for the coronavirus crisis, casting blame on mayors, governors, an outgoing health minister and the media. By contrast, he portrays himself as a clear-eyed crusader willing to defend an unpopular idea — that shutting down the economy to control COVID-19 will ultimately cause more suffering than allowing the disease to run its course. The refusal of governors to fall into line with his decree allowing gyms to open, he said, verged on authoritarianism.
26th May 2020 - Associated Press

Kentucky lockdown protesters condemned for hanging effigy of governor from tree

Political leaders in Kentucky have condemned rightwing protesters against the state’s measures to fight the coronavirus, after the demonstrators hanged an effigy of Democratic state governor Andy Beshear from a tree. The incident happened on Sunday during a protest in favor of gun rights and other mostly conservative causes. Several men produced a rope and an effigy and strung it from a tree outside the state capitol building in Frankfort. The state representative Charles Booker, who is African American and the Democratic party challenger for the Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s seat in Kentucky in November, described the representation as “ vile and traumatic”.
26th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus lockdown: Scots' concerns over UK response

As Scotland prepares to ease its coronavirus lockdown from Friday, Scots have voiced concerns about the UK government's handling of the crisis and the risk of lifting restrictions "too quickly". A survey for BBC Scotland suggested that a majority of people thought Boris Johnson and UK ministers had handled the pandemic "fairly" or "very" badly. Meanwhile 82% of respondents said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had handled the crisis well overall, with only 8% saying she had done badly.
26th May 2020 - BBC News

Germany: Central and regional government tussle over lifting lockdown

The row erupted after Bodo Ramelow, premier of the eastern state of Thuringia, said on Saturday he would scrap rules on mask-wearing and distancing, relying instead on local measures. The states set most rules affecting day-to-day life in Germany. Though his proposal echoes federal government policy, which envisages gradually reopening the economy while responding fast to outbreaks with local lockdowns and contact-tracing, officials fear muddying the message could undermine public discipline.
26th May 2020 - WION on MSN.com

Pub bosses in plea to revise social distancing guidelines to help trade when lockdown is lifted

Some smaller venues will have to stay shut if the two-metre rule remains in force with others claiming it would not be economically viable to reopen
26th May 2020 - Wales Online

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 26th May 2020

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Protests continue across the world as countries ease lockdown restrictions

Many people across the world are protesting the lockdowns, calling them unnecessary and against personal freedom. While some of the protests have been more organised, others have seen people disregard social distancing rules, posing a threat to public safety. Amidst the protestors, there have also been conspiracy theorists, radical groups and anti-vaxx groups who have allegedly been using the pandemic and lockdown to exploit fears and gain support for their causes. From the United States to India, Europe and Latin America, let’s take a look at some of the protests:
25th May 2020 - YAHOO!

California church appeals to U.S. Supreme Court over lockdown

In the California-focused case that reached the high court Sunday night, a 9th Circuit panel split, 2-1, with the majority declining to disturb the state government’s action in light of the health dangers posed by the ongoing pandemic. “We’re dealing here with a highly contagious and often fatal disease for which there presently is no known cure,’” Judges Barry Silverman and Jacqueline Nguyen wrote. “In the words of Justice Robert Jackson, if a ‘court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.’”
25th May 2020 - POLITICO

Germany: Central and regional government tussle over lifting lockdown

Germany's central and regional governments were at odds on Monday over when and how far to ease contact distancing rules, with allies of Chancellor Angela Merkel warning that scrapping them risks unleashing a new wave of coronavirus infections. The row erupted after Bodo Ramelow, premier of the eastern state of Thuringia, said on Saturday he would scrap rules on mask-wearing and distancing, relying instead on local measures. The states set most rules affecting day-to-day life in Germany. Though his proposal echoes federal government policy, which envisages gradually reopening the economy while responding fast to outbreaks with local lockdowns and contact-tracing, officials fear muddying the message could undermine public discipline
25th May 2020 - WION

Germany's far right 'captures' coronavirus lockdown protests | World

German far right groups are believed by security services to be exploiting a wave of protests against lockdown measures by Angela Merkel’s government to control the spread of Covid-19. More than 40 demonstrations were held in Berlin alone yesterday, with dozens of others taking place across Germany. One of the largest, however, in Munich’s Theresienwiese, site of the annual Oktoberfest, was called off because of a rainstorm. The protests, organised on social media, have drawn a mixture of libertarians, conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers, who are united in their opposition to what they consider to be illegitimate curbs on their freedom.
25th May 2020 - The Times

Protesters take to the streets of Berlin over government's lockdown response

Berlin saw new protests against the country's coronavirus lockdown over the weekend. As well as protests in the capital, crowds also gathered in Munich and Stuttgart to demonstrate the German government's response to the COVID-19 outbreak. They claim that restrictions on civil liberties during the lockdown, which has been notably less strict in Germany than elsewhere in Europe, are undemocratic. Germany's death tolls remain under 8,000, one of the lowest in western Europe, while schools, shops, places of worship, and museums have all reopened. In some cases, demonstrations have been started by left-wing groups or anti-vaccine campaigners, but what unites them is a lack of trust in the authorities, experts say.
25th May 2020 - Euronews

Race, wealth and public spaces: US beaches are a new flashpoint of the lockdown

During the pandemic, this dichotomy has become even more obvious. Public health officials promote exercise and fresh air during citywide lockdowns, and virologists have said it’s largely safe to be outside as long as people observe physical distancing. But, as the Guardian reported earlier this week, 100 million Americans, especially people of color and poor communities, don’t have access to a decent park or public space, which includes beaches.
24th May 2020 - The Guardian

Far-right protests in Spain over lockdowns: Coronavirus updates

Spain eased restrictions but Madrid and Barcelona have remained in lockdown for longer because of more severe outbreaks.
24th May 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 25th May 2020

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Trump urges quicker US reopening from virus lockdown

Trump, with an eye on his re-election prospects in November, made it clear he hoped more state governors would move toward a loosening of anti-virus restrictions. "We did the right thing but we now want to get going... you'll break the country if you don't," he told African-American leaders in Michigan, a key election battleground state. The Republican incumbent specifically talked about reopening places of worship -- something he had initially hoped would be done by Easter Sunday -- as important to the nation's healing. "People want to be in their churches," Trump said. "They're so important in terms of the psyche of our country." Trump has adopted the theme of "Transitioning Back to Greatness" as states reopen at different speeds.
24th May 2020 - YAHOO!

‘Politicised nature’ of lockdown debate delays Imperial report

The publication of a long-awaited report from Imperial College London that models the impact of coming out of lockdown has been delayed for several weeks, following criticism of the team’s methods as the debate around the UK’s coronavirus restrictions has become increasingly politicised. Imperial’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis told the Financial Times at the end of April that a new report, which modelled the effects that easing various lockdown restrictions would have on future deaths from Covid-19, was due to be published some time the following week. However, the report has yet to be released, although its findings have been shared with government, according to two people associated with the Imperial team. The delay comes as the rightwing press and some Conservative politicians question the need for such stringent lockdown measures in the UK
23rd May 2020 - Financial Times

Covid-19's deadly new surge is in rural America as states re-open

As the death toll nears 100,000, the disease caused by the virus has made a fundamental shift in who it touches and where it reaches in America, according to a Washington Post analysis of case data and interviews with public health professionals in several states. The pandemic that first struck in major metropolises is now increasingly finding its front line in the country’s rural areas; counties with acres of farmland, cramped meatpacking plants, out-of-the-way prisons and few hospital beds.
24th May 2020 - The Washington Post

Debate over reopening US plays out online and in the streets

When his business was hit by a coronavirus lockdown, Josh Ellis saw a threat to his livelihood and a breach of the US Constitution. So he went on Facebook and called for protests. The appeal "went viral instantly," said the 40-year-old, who set up a Facebook page called American Revolution 2.0 in early April. The organization is now a driving force behind demonstrations against stay-at-home orders and compulsory closures of non-essential businesses -- and online planning is a central part of the campaign. Ellis -- who is coordinating with various "reopen" groups, as well as militias and gun and religious rights advocates -- is in the middle of an issue dividing the United States: how can the economy reopen, and when can people return to work?
24th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 22nd May 2020

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Anti-lockdown protesters in US state of Michigan hold 'Operation Haircut'

After mass rallies featuring armed protesters, those angry over the restrictive anti-virus lockdown in the US state of Michigan launched "Operation Haircut" Wednesday, with barbers using their scissors and clippers outside the state capitol.
21st May 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

UK’s economic recovery requires move to sensible risk-taking, ministers told

Sensible risk-tasking must replace the “draconian” Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, Conservative peers have told ministers. Tory Baroness Noakes warned the coronavirus is causing “massive damage” to the economy as she pressed for the existing “risk aversion” approach to be replaced to aid the recovery. Party colleague Lord Dobbs also argued “lockdown means poverty” and workplaces must begin to open up, acknowledging there are risks in such an approach but that these fell on both sides of the equation.
21st May 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

Coronavirus: Labour calls for urgent Government review amid concerns UK lockdown exit plan will widen inequality

The Government has been urged to immediately publish a review of how its coronavirus lockdown plan will impact women, BAME people and those living with disabilities amid warnings the policies could exacerbate inequalities. There are concerns the strategy of easing lockdown measures while reducing financial support from the Government could have a detrimental impact on the health or financial stability of some groups and communities.
21st May 2020 - iNews

Coronavirus: Easing the UK out of lockdown is a confidence game and the PM is losing

The 50-page strategy he published on the same day was meant to be our route map towards a new normal. But so far, the public don't seem to have much confidence in the manual or the message. A YouGov poll over the weekend showed support for the government's handling of the virus dropping sharply. Over half of those polled thought the changes went too far and nearly three out of four wanted clearer guidance from the government about what they can and cannot do as they come out of lockdown.
21st May 2020 - Sky News

Protesters demand 'freedom' as lockdown extended in Spain

Protesters bang pots and wave Spanish flags in the streets of Madrid to demand "freedom" and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's resignation. Sanchez won parliamentary backing to extend the coronavirus lockdown for another two weeks.
21st May 2020 - Yahoo News UK

Spain to extend lockdown to June 6 despite outcry from protesters and right-wing opposition

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez won parliamentary backing to extend the lockdown for another two weeks Wednesday, despite opposition from his rightwing opponents and protests against his minority coalition government.
21st May 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

NHS leaders warn time is running out to establish track and trace strategy

PM said a 25,000-strong army of trackers had been recruited to identify the contacts of infected victims. Government's scientific advisers insist the system must be in place before any more restrictions are lifted. Rules limiting social contact could also be relaxed at that point, with a decision due at the end of next week. Ministers have admitted a tracking app being tested on the Isle of Wight will not be ready at the start. Security minister James Brokenshire said tracing system for 10,000 people can be launched before the app. Fears are mounting that the lockdown is eroding after thousands of sunseekers flocked to beaches and parks
21st May 2020 - Daily Mail

Another lockdown 'inevitable' unless test, track and trace is in place

The Shadow Chancellor has suggested a second lockdown is ‘inevitable’ unless the UK can ‘sort out’ its test, track and trace strategy. Anneliese Dodds claimed the Government is a ‘very, very long way away from having the right infrastructure’, branding the issue a ‘major problem’ amid an easing of coronavirus restrictions. Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, Ms Dodds also warned that the UK is facing an unemployment problem bigger than anything seen in ‘many hundreds of years’. She said: ‘The absolutely critical issue to us returning to at least approaching normal levels of economic activity […] is to get test, track and trace right. Until we have that infrastructure we will inevitably see reimpositions of lockdowns and, or, a longer lockdown.’
21st May 2020 - Metro.co.uk

Poll: Public support for lockdowns in US wavers along party lines

Most Americans fear a second wave of coronavirus cases as US begins efforts to reopen and kick-start a stalled economy.
20th May 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 21st May 2020

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New Jersey gym owner who broke rules by reopening claims lockdown against constitutional rights

Police have cited the owners of one New Jersey gym after it reopened in spite of state-wide restrictions against the operation of nonessential businesses. Ian Smith and Atilis Gym co-owner Frank Trumbetti claim the decision to reopen was made in defence of their constitutional rights, whilst issuing apparent criticism of Democratic governor Phil Murphy. “We said it from the get-go that this was about sort of a gross violation of our constitutional rights and that this is for all small businesses,” Mr Smith told Fox & Friends on Tuesday morning.
20th May 2020 - Independent

England and Wales' lockdown rules explained and the huge differences between them

However, before you pack up up your car and get ready for a drive we'd urge you to hit the breaks. The lockdown restrictions are very different once you cross the border and could well land you on the wrong side of the law. Here we run through the main differences between Covid-19 restrictions in England and Wales so you don't fall foul of the rules.
20th May 2020 - Birmingham Live

Coronavirus UK: Earlier lockdown could have saved 11k lives

Triggering lockdown just one week earlier on March 16 could have saved thousands of lives and limited Britain's coronavirus death toll to 11,200 in first wave, study claims
20th May 2020 - Daily Mail

Commons return will ‘euthanise’ MPs, Jacob Rees-Mogg is warned

Jacob Rees-Mogg has been told by a senior Conservative backbencher that an attempt to return to a “physical” parliament will in effect “euthanise” MPs who are sick, shielding and self-isolating. After the leader of the house confirmed the government planned to end the virtual parliamentary proceedings and force MPs to return to Westminster in early June, the former minister Robert Halfon said the proposals would discriminate and threaten the lives of some MPs. “Is it really morally just to say in effect to MPs, because you are not Tarzan-like and able to swing through the chamber, beating your chest shouting to your constituents: ‘Look, I am here!’ that you are effectively euthanised from the Commons?
20th May 2020 - The Guardian

Johnson 'reckless' in easing lockdown before Varadkar, expert says

On Monday, when Ireland started phase one of its gradual easing, new daily cases had tumbled to about 11% of the country’s late April peak. When England started its first phase five days earlier on 13 May, new daily cases had fallen but were still about 75% of its late-April to early-May peak. There was another stark difference. Ireland started lifting lockdown only after testing and contact-tracing systems were fully scaled up. England took the plunge before its systems were ready. “I’d say it was recklessly premature,” said Seán L’Estrange, a social scientist at University College Dublin, who has written about testing and studied tracing. “I honestly fear [the level of cases in the UK] will go up fast in the coming weeks.”
20th May 2020 - The Guardian

Chile protesters clash with police over lockdown

Local television showed police using tear gas and water cannon to quell unrest on the streets of El Bosque, where poverty is high. President Sebastián Piñera, in a televised address after the protests, pledged to get food to those in need. Chile has more than 46,000 cases of Covid-19 so far, with 478 deaths. A recent surge in cases prompted the national capital to go under a strict and total lockdown this weekend. In a separate development on Monday (Tuesday NZT), dozens of members of Chile's senate and two government ministers went into preventative isolation following recent contact with infected colleagues.
20th May 2020 - RNZ

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 20th May 2020

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Coronavirus: Right-wing anti-lockdown protest hailed by Trump featured disturbing ‘hang Fauci’ sign

“People can’t get enough of this. Great people!” Mr Trump tweeted on Saturday in support of the protesters, many of whom were the president’s supporters. Though the sign calling for the execution of Dr Anthony Fauci did not feature in the social media video, it appeared in a TV report by Mr Vesey for News 12 Long Island.
19th May 2020 - Independent

‘Great people!’ Trump backs anti-lockdown protesters filmed harassing reporter in Long Island

Donald Trump has backed a group of anti-lockdown protesters in Long Island, New York, who were filmed harassing and insulting a journalist who had turned up to cover their demonstration. The president retweeted a video by journalist Kevin Vesey talking about what he called “alarming” levels of anger from the people he spoke to but pledging to cover their story fairly. Mr Trump added the comment: “People can’t get enough of this. Great people!”
19th May 2020 - Independent

The UK was late going into lockdown and is now coming out too fast

Children spread Covid-19 less than adults, but it is unclear how much less. I have complete sympathy with those unions advising their members not to trust this government with decisions about their health. Eton and other private schools attended by the children of Conservative MPs seem certain to stay shut till September. If the return goes ahead, then schools need PPE & training in its use; hand washing stations throughout the school; staggered arrivals and departures; very reduced class sizes; constant cleaning of all surfaces; frequent testing of staff for infection; transport to the school that is safe (not a crowded bus); a locally run contact tracing & isolation plan in place for outbreaks and parents taking their children’s temperature testing before they get to school.
19th May 2020 - PoliticsHome.com

UK Minister sidesteps question on relaxed lockdown rules in England undermining virus control measures in North Wales

The Foreign Secretary sidestepped a question about whether relaxing the lock down in England was undermining efforts to control Covid-19 infection rates in North Wales. Dominic Raab, speaking at 10 Downing Street’s daily coronavirus meeting, said there had been “good collaboration” between his Government and the devolved powers. He also said the UK Government “recognised” nations may go at different speeds but claimed there had been a “UK-wide approach” to tackling the virus. On the specific question of whether he thought relaxed lock down rules in England undermined attempts in Wales to keep Covid-19 infection rates down he was less forthcoming.
19th May 2020 - Deeside.com

Britain Doesn't Want to Come Out of Lockdown

On the question of whether to prioritize the economy or the well-being of older people, Brits are much more bothered about the latter. After four years of Brexit divisions, the U.K. is conditioned to expecting intergenerational divides (older people tended to vote for Brexit while younger ones wanted to stay in the European Union). But that split hasn’t been apparent during the pandemic. Lockdown support has spanned all age groups, even though retirees are 34 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than working-age Britons.
19th May 2020 - Bloomberg

Spain's 1% Revolt Against Continued Coronavirus Lockdown

After enduring one of the longest and strictest lockdowns in the world, Spain is beginning to ease its coronavirus restrictions — but the efforts have not come without controversy. Since last week, millions of people have been allowed to visit friends and family, and sit outside at bars and cafes, in parts of the country where the epidemic is sufficiently under control. In response, after first banging pots and pans each night from their balconies, hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets in Madrid’s wealthy Salamanca neighborhood over the past week. Waving Spanish flags and crying “Viva España!” some protesters have denounced Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s leftist government as communists who are ruining the country.
19th May 2020 - HuffPost

Leaked Pentagon memo warns coronavirus pandemic could last until summer 2021: report | TheHill

A leaked Pentagon memo on Tuesday revealed that top Department of Defense (DOD) officials have been planning for the possibility that the military could be dealing with a “globally-persistent” coronavirus pandemic well into 2021. The memo, obtained by Task & Purpose, also warned of the “real possibility” that a vaccine for COVID-19 won’t be available until “at least the summer of 2021.” “We have a long path ahead, with the real possibility of a resurgence of COVID-19. Therefore, we must now re-focus our attention on resuming critical missions, increasing levels of activity, and making necessary preparations should a significant resurgence of COVID-19 occur later this year,” it read.
19th May 2020 - The Hill

Coronavirus: Donald Trump threatens to permanently cut off World Health Organisation funding

Donald Trump has threatened to permanently pull funding from the World Health Organisation (WHO) unless it commits to improvements within 30 days. The US president said he would also reconsider the country's WHO membership, previously saying the global health body did a "very sad job" in handling the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Trump suspended US contributions to the WHO last month, accusing it of promoting China's "disinformation" about the virus outbreak.
19th May 2020 - Sky News

US and UK 'lead push against global patent pool for Covid-19 drugs'

Efforts to dilute world health assembly resolution on open licensing decried as ‘appalling.’ “In general, it is a disappointment, appalling really. There was better text that was rejected,” said Jamie Love, the director of the NGO Knowledge Ecology International. “The US, UK, Swiss and some others pushed against the WHO taking the lead in pushing for open licensing of patents and know-how for drugs and vaccines. “In a global crisis like this, that has such a massive impact on everyone, you would expect the WHO governing body to have the backbone to say no monopolies in this pandemic. It’s one thing for a country to use its economic clout to buy preferential access to drugs or vaccines. It’s another to prevent others from manufacturing and expanding global supply.”
17th May 2020 - The Guardian

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 19th May 2020

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China's Xi announces $2B for coronavirus response as WHO faces calls for investigation

Tensions surrounding the global handling of the coronavirus pandemic came to a head at the World Health Organization's assembly Monday, with China pledging an extra $2 billion to deal with the crisis and the United States blaming the WHO for a failed response that "cost many lives." Speaking by video link, Chinese President Xi Jinping told the 73rd World Health Assembly that his country's funding package would aid "economic and social development" in developing countries hit badly by COVID-19.
18th May 2020 - NBC News

China supports review of global response to pandemic, as calls for inquiry grow

China's President Xi Jinping has said his country will support a review of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic after it is brought under control. Speaking via video-conference at the start of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual assembly, Mr Xi also said his country would provide £1.6 billion over two years to help with the response to the pandemic. His comments come amid calls for an independent inquiry into the origins of the pandemic - led by Australia - while in the US President Donald Trump has accused the WHO of helping China to "cover up" the extent of the initial Covid-19 outbreak.
18th May 2020 - ITV News

US lockdown protests may have spread virus widely, cellphone data suggests

Cellphone location data suggests that demonstrators at anti-lockdown protests – some of which have been connected with Covid-19 cases – are often traveling hundreds of miles to events, returning to all parts of their states, and even crossing into neighboring ones. The data, provided to the Guardian by the progressive campaign group the Committee to Protect Medicare, raises the prospect that the protests will play a role in spreading the coronavirus epidemic to areas which have, so far, experienced relatively few infections. The anonymized location data was captured from opt-in cellphone apps, and data scientists at the firm VoteMap used it to determine the movements of devices present at protests in late April and early May in five states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Colorado and Florida.
18th May 2020 - The Guardian

New clashes with police as anti-lockdown protests erupt across Europe

Thousands of people across Europe took to the streets to oppose their governments’ lockdown measures amid the pandemic. From London to Berlin and Warsaw, demonstrators clashed with police, who made several arrests, including that of Piers Corbyn, the brother of ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. In Italy, hospitality workers protested in front of the Pantheon in Rome, claiming the safety measures required by the government will hinder their recovery efforts. .
18th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Jair Bolsonaro joins anti-lockdown protest as Brazil overtakes Spain and Italy in confirmed coronavirus cases

A day after the country passed Spain and Italy to have the world's fourth-largest COVID-19 outbreak, Mr Bolsonaro did push-ups with paratroopers and flouted social-distancing measures to pose for photos with children. The rally came two days after the country's second health minister resigned within a month after contradicting the President's response to the outbreak. Brazil's confirmed COVID-19 cases have exceeded 230,000, behind only the United States, Russia and the UK, according to Johns Hopkins University.
18th May 2020 - ABC News

Lockdown protests may have spread virus widely, cellphone data suggests

Cellphone location data suggests that demonstrators at anti-lockdown protests – some of which have been connected with Covid-19 cases – are often traveling hundreds of miles to events, returning to all parts of their states,
18th May 2020 - The Guardian on MSN.com

With cases still rising, why is Vladimir Putin pushing Russia out of its COVID lockdown?

Vladimir Putin has liberated his nation from its six-week coronavirus lockdown, but many Russians appear unsure what that means or if it's even prudent to exercise their newfound freedoms given that the country likely hasn't hit a peak in infections. "I don't know what to think," Christa Ivanovo told CBC on her way to the grocery store in Moscow, her one-year-old in tow. "If the rest of the world is under strict isolation … it makes sense we should [continue], too." Out of an abundance of caution, Ivanovo plans to maintain the self-isolation regime Muscovites have been living under for the past month and a half. I'm waiting to see what happens next week."
18th May 2020 - CBC.ca

Coronavirus update: Brazil's President flouts social-distancing advice, Deputy CMO weighs into war of words over borders

The mayor of Brazil's largest city has urged residents to stop flouting coronavirus lockdown rules with Sao Paulo's public hospital system reaching 90 per cent capacity, as the country's President ignored social-distancing advice to pluck kids out of a crowd of supporters in Brasilia.
18th May 2020 - ABC News

Coronavirus update: Boris Johnson admits public frustration with new 'complex' restrictions

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted there is public frustration with his government's measures to ease the coronavirus lockdown following widespread criticism of the new rules, which have been lashed for being confusing and containing mixed messages. Meanwhile, Australia's milling companies have switched to 24-hour operations and add new staff to keep up with the demand that saw supermarket shelves around the country stripped of all flour.
18th May 2020 - ABC News

More anti-lockdown protests seen in Germany as coronavirus fatigue spreads in Europe

A number of protests against the government’s coronavirus policy and restrictive measures took place in various Germany cities, including Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart, on Saturday. Lockdown fatigue has grown in Europe despite the gradual easing of restrictions.
17th May 2020 - CNBC

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Experts Doubt Mexican Government’s Claims on Falling Curve

A former health official and a group of Mexican researchers say the fresh numbers suggest the curve is still on an upward trajectory. With one of the lowest coronavirus testing rates in the region, hospitalizations in Mexico may well be the better bellwether for gauging the scope of the pandemic and when it’s safe to reopen. Those numbers are grim. In the nation’s capital, at least 76% of all hospital beds are occupied, and 63% of ventilators are in use, Lopez Gatell said Friday. That’s up from 58% on April 29. More than a quarter of all coronavirus cases are concentrated in Mexico City
16th May 2020 - Bloomberg

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Michigan officials prepare for anti-lockdown protesters to descend on the capital today

Anti-lockdown protesters turned on each other Thursday when a fight erupted on the steps of the capitol. One protester was removed when he was seen waving an American flag with a doll hanging from a noose. Demonstrators descended on capitol building in Lansing demanding an end to the stay-at-home order. The rally has been dubbed 'Judgement Day' by organizers Michigan United for Liberty Law enforcement has warned demonstrators they may face arrest if they brandish firearms. Gov. Whitmer slammed the protesters this week saying their actions could lead to extension of the lockdown Whitmer has extended the stay-at-home order until at least May 28
14th May 2020 - Mail Online

Police Visit to Tesla Shows U.S. Confusion on Lockdown Loosening

Police visited Tesla Inc.’s sole U.S. car plant Wednesday to assess whether the electric-car maker was adhering to safety protocols agreed to with the county that Elon Musk publicly said he would defy earlier in the week. A lieutenant with the Fremont, California, police department went to the factory late in the afternoon to view employee screening and physical distancing measures, as well as to confirm universal use of face coverings. Findings from the visit -- which Tesla was notified of in advance -- will be presented to the public health officer for Alameda County, which will determine compliance, according to a police spokeswoman.
14th May 2020 - Bloomberg

When will UK lockdown end? Why we don't know yet - but the new Government coronavirus plan gave us some idea

The UK Government issued a 50-page document detailing how coronavirus lockdown restrictions could be eased - but the dates are not confirmed
14th May 2020 - iNews

Britain Starts Easing Lockdown as Pressure Builds on Boris Johnson

Britain took its first steps to ease its lockdown Wednesday as new figures showed the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on its economy, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced growing political pressure over his government’s handling of the crisis. The tentative moves are the latest in a cautious European push to bring the region’s economy out of hibernation. The U.K. economy shrank an annualized 7.7% in the first quarter, official data showed Wednesday, its worst quarterly performance for more than a decade.
14th May 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Anti-lockdown protests in Germany infiltrated by far-right extremists

The protesters are typically a mixed bunch: anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists, left-wing extremists, neo-Nazis and hooligans, and others with no particular political affiliation. But what’s worrying officials in Berlin is that protesters have long ceased to merely appeal on the government to respect fundamental rights. “What unites people is the hatred of the political elite and public broadcasting,” said Matthias Quent, right-wing extremism researcher and director of the Institute for Democracy and Civil Society (IDZ) in Jena.
14th May 2020 - EURACTIV

Coronavirus Lockdowns: Businesses Turn to Armed Defiance

Armed militia-style protesters have helped businesses across Texas defy coronavirus lockdowns and reopen. Protesters say they are enforcing the Constitution.
13th May 2020 - The New York Times

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China-linked hackers are targeting US coronavirus vaccine research, FBI warns

Hackers linked to the Chinese government are trying to steal coronavirus-related research on vaccines, treatments and testing, the FBI and a U.S. cybersecurity agency warned. The FBI, in a joint statement with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said it is investigating “the targeting and compromise of U.S. organizations conducting COVID-19-related research by [People’s Republic of China]-affiliated cyber actors and non-traditional collectors.” The hackers have been caught attempting to “identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property” and public health data related to coronavirus research, according to the statement.
13th May 2020 - CNBC

PM: UK will ‘go forward together’ despite lockdown splits

Boris Johnson has insisted the UK will “go forward together” out of coronavirus lockdown after facing claims that devolved administrations had been “shut out” of the UK Government’s plans.
13th May 2020 - The Scotsman

German adviser sacked for report on 'lockdown peril'

A German ministerial adviser has been sacked for circulating a report that described coronavirus as a “false alarm” and accused the government of causing “a large number of avoidable deaths” through its lockdown. The 92-page document was drawn up by a civil servant in the interior ministry and leaked to a right-wing website, apparently after he felt that his misgivings were being ignored by his superiors. “The (entirely unforced) collateral damage of the corona crisis has by now become gigantic,” it says. “The protection measures ordered by the state … have meanwhile lost any purpose but remain largely in force.
13th May 2020 - The Times

Italy's South Tyrol invokes autonomy to pry open lockdown

Spurred by economic pressure, the provincial governor defied Rome this week and reasserted South Tyrol’s cherished autonomy, allowing restaurants, hair salons, tattoo parlors and museums to reopen Monday -- well ahead of the timetable set by Italy’s government. ‘’We have a relatively positive situation regarding the epidemic, with a rate of contagion the lowest in Italy,’’ said Gov. Arno Kompatscher, whose South Tyrolean People’s Party has controlled the province since 1948. The party’s legislators in the national parliament back Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte’s government. ‘’We appreciated the actions of the government in the phase of emergency, where it was necessary to move in a united way,” Kompatscher said. “But we are very proud and jealous of our autonomy.’’
13th May 2020 - ABC News

Tensions mount as Scotland goes its own way on virus lockdown

First independence. Then Brexit. Now Scotland's handling of the coronavirus outbreak has stirred up fresh tensions with the UK government, despite an initial unified approach. The leader of the Scottish government, Nicola Sturgeon, has put clear water between Edinburgh and London by refusing to implement the same easing of lockdown measures. At the weekend, she warned lives could be at risk if stay-at-home restrictions were lifted too soon, just before British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a plan for a gradual return to normality.
13th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Confusion as UK publishes lockdown exit plan

The publication of a 50-page document followed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s televised address to the nation on Sunday evening, which was widely criticized for lacking precision. A broadcast round by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Monday morning ahead of the document’s release added to the confusion when he appeared to contradict the prime minister’s assertion that anyone who is able to work safely should return to their jobs on Wednesday, not Monday as Johnson had stated the night before.
11th May 2020 - POLITICO

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Coronavirus: SAGE report fails to consider strategy for easing lockdown

"This is what transparency looks like," said Sir David King as he launched a critical report of the government's handling of the coronavirus epidemic. He's a former government chief scientist and the report was the first from a panel of experts assembled to rival the official Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). The 12-strong group live-streamed their two-hour meeting on YouTube last week and have just produced what they say is a constructive report which they've sent to the government and parliament. It's worth saying that the news briefing to launch the report wasn't open to the public. "We were told the membership (of SAGE) was secret. Why on Earth would you want to be secret?", said Sir David.
12th May 2020 - Sky News

SDLP's Eastwood urges Executive to 'reconsider' timeline for exiting Covid-19 lockdown

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has urged the Northern Ireland Executive to "reconsider" its decision not to include a timescale as part of it's coronavirus lockdown exit plan. The Executive published its five step plan on Tuesday, but unlike plans from England and the Republic of Ireland it does not include potential dates for lifting restrictions.
12th May 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

PM Boris Johnson forced to clarify UK lockdown advice

In his first statement to Parliament on the coronavirus pandemic, months after the beginning of the outbreak in the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday issued a lengthy clarification to his government's advice over the lifting of lockdown measures. He had addressed citizens on Sunday evening in a recorded televised address, but his statement was criticised for prompting more questions than it had answered.
12th May 2020 - Al Jazeera English

UK lockdown: Matt Hancock refuses to accept public are confused over government coronavirus messaging

Health secretary Matt Hancock has denied that the government is confusing the public with its messaging over the coronavirus lockdown. England’s latest Covid-19 guidelines, announced by Boris Johnson on Sunday night, have been met with confusion and anger as people have questioned what they can and cannot do. Over the past 24 hours, the government has been forced to correct senior ministers over when people should return to work and whether they can meet relatives and friends in parks.
12th May 2020 - The Independent

Boris Johnson grilled on 'vague' UK coronavirus lockdown advice

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined her government's strategy concerning the lockdown on Monday -- and it contrasts sharply with Boris Johnson's plan for the UK. She told a daily briefing it was "too risky" to change restrictions, and the message to people remains: "stay home". People are not being encouraged to go to work, she said. Johnson's "stay alert" instruction in his TV address on Sunday night applied to England and Wales, the first minister explained.
12th May 2020 - Euronews

Unless the government changes tack, the UK's lockdown will have been for nothing

There are no silver bullets, clever models or easy answers for how to control the coronavirus. But neither is it rocket science. Governments have three choices in how they respond. The first and most difficult path is to contain the virus through a programme of mass testing, contact tracing and isolating. This requires a huge effort: building a large infrastructure to monitor cases of the virus and identify hotspots, ensuring this system runs efficiently, providing adequate PPE to everyone who needs it, and deploying border controls to vet who is entering the country.
12th May 2020 - The Guardian

Lockdown easing: have other leaders fared better than Boris Johnson?

Boris Johnson has been heavily criticised for failing to show Britain a clear route out of lockdown. Easing a nation out of two months of confinement is a complicated business, and some degree of confusion is almost inevitable. Here, Guardian correspondents look at how other European leaders have managed the process.
11th May 2020 - The Guardian

Boris Johnson's lockdown release condemned as divisive, confusing and vague

In a speech from Downing Street, Johnson said if the circumstances were right, schools in England and some shops might be able to open next month, and the government was “actively encouraging” people to return to work if they cannot do so from home. But he stressed that this was “not the time simply to end the lockdown” and that he intended to take a cautious approach guided by the science, otherwise a second deadly wave of the “devilish” virus would take hold. But his remarks drew criticism and concern from across the political spectrum – and his decision to drop the “stay at home” message in favour of advice to “stay alert” was met with a chorus of disapproval from the leaders of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
10th May 2020 - The Guardian

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Dominic Raab adds to confusion over changes to UK lockdown rules

The confusion over Boris Johnson’s request for people to return to work if they can has continued, as the foreign secretary said changes would be introduced on Wednesday, not Monday as initially stated. The prime minister made a televised address to the nation on Sunday evening setting out his roadmap out of the coronavirus lockdown. He said that those who could not work from home were being “actively encouraged” to return to work, prompting a backlash from unions who said there was insufficient guidance in place to keep people safe. “How can the prime minister – with 12 hours’ notice – tell people they should be going back to sites and factories? It’s a recipe for chaos,” said the TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady.
11th May 2020 - The Guardian

Anti-lockdown protests threaten Germany's coronavirus battle: politicians

Chancellor Angela Merkel appealed to Germans on Monday to stick to social-distancing rules to slow down the coronavirus pandemic after data suggested the disease was spreading faster again.
11th May 2020 - Reuters

The UK’s new lockdown rules are another coronavirus comms mess

The government’s coronavirus communication strategy has been a mess of dodgy briefings, reversals and corrections galore. Yesterday’s performance was the worst yet
11th May 2020 - Wired UK

What Kent made of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's lockdown easing announcement including new rules on working and suggestion on schools reopening

It would be fair to say Boris Johnson's lockdown announcement on Sunday left a lot of people scratching their heads. Delivered 49 days since he implemented the measures for many it raised more questions than it answered - questions KentOnline has helped with here.
11th May 2020 - Kent Online

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This end to COVID-19 lockdowns could only have been made in America

“We’re gonna learn a lot. These are all experiments,” sayid Ashish Jha, the director of Harvard’s Global Health Institute. Jha was among four infectious disease experts I spoke with who agreed that the varied — and possibly reckless — way reopenings are being managed state to state would provide information on the spread of the virus. They also seemed to agree the usefulness of the information would be somewhat limited.
8th May 2020 - Toronto Star

Dominic Raab confirms ‘no change’ in UK coronavirus lockdown as top scientist says crucial reproduction rate rising

There has been “no change” in the Government’s guidance on social distancing, Dominic Raab has confirmed, as one of its top scientific advisers said the coronavirus reproduction rate was rising. Speaking after the latest three-weekly review of lockdown measures, the Foreign Secretary said Boris Johnson would use his Sunday address to the nation to set out a “road map” for how the curbs on normal life might eventually be eased. But he pleaded with Brits not to change their behaviour over the bank holiday weekend following a string of press reports that Mr Johnson will ease some measures on outdoor activity when he makes his speech.
7th May 2020 - Politics Home

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UK newspapers accused of giving 'mixed messages' on lockdown

Downing Street was keen to pour cold water on reports that the lockdown could be lifted from Monday, after newspaper headlines such as Lockdown Freedom Beckons and Happy Monday. Senior government figures privately expressed concern about what one referred to as “over-egged” reports about both the “tone and the pace” of a potential easing. The same source also played down one report that people could be able to sit two metres away from friends outside as soon as Monday. “It will be much more cautious than what is being reported,” they said.
7th May 2020 - The Guardian

Keir Starmer: UK needs to leave lockdown together

The leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, has said that easing of lockdown restrictions needs to take place across the UK as a whole, as he urged "caution" to avoid another spike in cases of coronavirus.
7th May 2020 - The Scotsman

Coronavirus: PM 'must show respect' to UK nations over lockdown

The SNP's Mr Ian Blackford said: "We are still facing an enormous death toll and everything we do should be based on the scientific and medical advice. "What we should be focusing on are the health considerations for the public and the absolute desire to drive down the impact of this virus. "If we allow an earlier removal of restrictions, all we are going to do is run the risk of that second spike and the impact on the health of individuals and the economy will actually be greater. "There has to be discipline and an appreciation from the population of what we are doing and why." Also appearing on the Good Morning Scotland programme, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he was "worried" about Scotland potentially taking a different approach to restrictions to the rest of the UK. He said: "Across the United Kingdom, we went into lockdown together and I think it would be far better if any easing or relaxation was done together. "There are real problems if different regions and different nations do it at different times.
7th May 2020 - BBC News

Strain emerges between UK government and Scotland over easing lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon’s spokesman confirmed the first minister plans to renew all Scotland’s lockdown regulations on Thursday without amending them. They were not aware of any scientific or expert advice which supported Johnson’s proposals, he said. “I think the first minister has said in recent days she’s been very clear that she’s not anticipating any imminent changes to the current measures that are recently in place.” The UK’s nations of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have collaborated closely on policies and strategies during the pandemic, with Johnson announcing the lockdown plans on 20 and 23 March on behalf of all four governments.
7th May 2020 - The Guardian

Scotland appeals for "four nation" approach to lockdown as UK plans early exit

Scotland's Health Secretary has appealed for a "four nation" approach to easing the Coronavirus lockdown in the UK amid reports that Boris Johnson will lift some restrictions south of the border this weekend.
7th May 2020 - The Scotsman

Coronavirus: Lockdown tensions between UK and Welsh ministers grow

The results of a review into Wales' coronavirus lockdown will be announced by the Welsh Government on Friday. First Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to outline how and when minor adjustments could be made. It comes after Downing Street conceded Wales and the other UK nations may move differently on easing the restrictions. The Welsh Government said more details will be announced in Friday's press conference. Mr Drakeford's approach is expected to be cautious, with a focus on ensuring the R rate of transmission is not allowed to rise.
7th May 2020 - BBC News

Germany's Maas condemns anti-lockdown protesters' attack on journalists

For the second time in a week, journalists in Berlin were attacked by members of the public. Illegal anti-lockdown protesters turned on a camera team, in a move decried by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
7th May 2020 - Deutsche Welle

Leaving Lockdown, Entering Recession: Strike in Spain Shows Workers’ Fears

Labor unions in Europe have recently voiced concerns about the safety of employees who have been returning to work. But the strike at Nissan highlights what may be the next major concern of organized labor: protecting jobs in a post-pandemic economy. The coronavirus has brought about a recession that is expected to be the worst ever in the European Union, one that will most likely push companies to close down struggling factories.Automakers in particular are believed to have excess capacity, as demand for new cars has slipped in recent years. About a fifth of carmaking capacity worldwide is not being used.
7th May 2020 - The New York Times

Spanish PM secures support for lockdown plans

The fragile left-wing coalition government is set to rescue its lockdown plans from “chaos” in a parliamentary vote today after securing the support of a centre-right party. The Socialist-led government of Pedro Sánchez, the prime minister, was in danger of losing a vote for a two-week extension of the state of emergency after one of its allies, a Catalan separatist party, decided to vote against it. The Catalan Republican Left party withdrew its support, saying powers should now be returned to the regions. However, the government won the backing of Ciudadanos, a centre-right party, and maintained the support of a Basque regional party to stave off what the Socialists called “chaos”.
7th May 2020 - The Times

Anger grows in French coastal areas over continued Covid-19 beach ban

Local Mayors and MPs have struggled to explain the decision and numerous campaigns including #RendezNousLaMer have sprung up on social media to get the decision overturned. Gwendal Richard, a keen surfer, told French newspaper Ouest-France that the beach ban was “completely unjust”. “All those who love the sea” are welcome to join him on nearby beach in Erquy to express their anger “peacefully” on 11 May, he says. He’s calling on them to line up on the beach while respecting social distancing regulations and wearing facemasks and he plans to stream the event live on Facebook.
7th May 2020 - RFI English

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UK could start easing virus lockdown next week - Johnson

A Reuters investigation found policies designed to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed pushed a greater burden onto care homes which struggled to get access to tests and protective equipment. Asked by a member of the public during a question session on Sky News whether the government had sacrificed the elderly in residential homes to ensure the health service was not overrun, Mr Hancock said: "No we didn't do this ... we have, from the start, worked very hard to protect people in care homes."
6th May 2020 - RTE Online

Boris Johnson Hints UK Could Begin Easing Lockdown As Soon As Monday

Boris Johnson has said the government could begin to ease the UK’s coronavirus lockdown from Monday. Speaking during prime minister’s questions in the Commons, the PM said he planned to give a statement on Sunday setting out plans for the next day. He did not specify which measures might be dropped or amended first as ministers were “continuously” receiving data from health and science experts. "We will want, if we possibly can, to get going with some of those measures on Monday,” he said, in a reply to Labour leader Keir Starmer. “I think it would be a good thing [...] if people had an idea of what’s coming the following day. That’s why I think Sunday, the weekend, is the best time to do it.”
6th May 2020 - Huffington Post UK

Coronavirus: Robin Swann says lockdown debate getting ahead of itself

The debate about easing Northern Ireland's pandemic lockdown restrictions is "getting ahead of itself", the health minister has said. A further 17 Covid-19 related deaths in NI were reported by Robin Swann's department, bringing its total to 404. The executive is holding talks about whether to relax any measures to curb the spread of the virus. "Call it my May Day alert," said Mr Swann, as he urged people to stay at home this bank holiday weekend. Northern Ireland's Executive must review whether to amend the coronavirus regulations by Saturday, but some ministers have already said any changes need to be gradual. Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill wants the Executive to publish its plans for emerging from restrictions on Thursday.
6th May 2020 - BBC News

Birx warns against gatherings as US reopens from lockdowns

Dr Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House coronavirus taskforce, has warned against US citizens gathering in public spaces again as the number of COVID-19 infections topped 1.1 million in the country and the death toll rose to more than 67,000 on Sunday. Birx said massing on beaches was not safe unless people kept at least two metres (six feet) apart, and weighed in against allowing such businesses as beauty salons and spas to reopen in the first phase.
4th May 2020 - Al Jazeera English

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Live updates: Vice President Pence says coronavirus task force could be disbanded within a month

Vice President Pence told reporters today that the coronavirus task force created to manage the federal government’s response to the pandemic could be disbanded within a month because “of the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country.” The number of people who have died in the U.S. from covid-19 passed 70,000 on Tuesday, with nearly 1.2 million confirmed cases, according to state health departments and tracking by The Washington Post.
6th May 2020 - The Washington Post

America's coronavirus reopening debate comes down to how much a human life is worth, New York governor says

Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday said debates on how soon states should ease social distancing restrictions come down to the value of human life -- and that policymakers are avoiding saying so explicitly. Cuomo, whose state by far has the most recorded coronavirus cases, reacted Tuesday to projections that the country's coronavirus death rate will soar because many states are easing restrictions now. "The fundamental question, which we're not articulating, is how much is a human life worth?" Cuomo said at a news conference.
5th May 2020 - CNN

U.S. daily coronavirus death rate will more than double by June 1, draft government report projects

Covid-19 deaths in the United States will rise to more than 3,000 a day by June 1, with new confirmed cases surging to about 200,000 daily, a draft government report projects. The predictions belie the projections made Sunday evening by President Trump, who said the U.S. could eventually suffer as many as 100,000 deaths. At 3,000 deaths per day and rising, the national total would quickly outstrip that number if the new report is correct.
5th May 2020 - The Washington Post

Coronavirus Reopening: Cuomo Outlines May 15 Regional Reopening Criteria

On the topic of reopening, he said it would be “more complicated then the close down,” which he called “a blunt operation.” Reopening is “more nuanced, you have to be more careful,” the governor said. The reopening will be phased and work hand-in-hand with measuring certain metrics. “It’s not going to happen state-wide,” Cuomo said. “And rather than wait for the whole state to be ready, reopen on a regional basis. If upstate has to wait for downstate to be ready, they’re going to be waiting a long time. So, analyze the situation on a regional basis.”
5th May 2020 - CBS New York

The price of reopening the economy: tens of thousands of American lives

In an interview published in Tuesday's edition of the New York Post, Trump said Americans were ready come out of isolation and get back to normal life. "I think they're starting to feel good now. The country's opening again. We saved millions of lives, I think," Trump said. "You have to be careful, but you have to get back to work," he said. "People want the country open... I guess we have 38 states that are either opening or are very close." A Washington Post and University of Maryland national poll released Tuesday finds Americans widely oppose reopening most businesses. While 56% said they are comfortable going to the grocery store now, 67% said they would be uncomfortable visiting a retail store and 78% said they'd be uncomfortable going to a sit-down restaurant, according to the poll.
5th May 2020 - CNN

Coronavirus model projects 134,000 deaths in US, nearly double its last estimate

Ali Mokdad, a professor of Health Metrics Sciences at IHME, told CNN's John King that there are "several reasons" for the increased projections. "One of them is increased mobility before the relaxation, premature relaxation, of social distancing," he said. "We're adding more presumptive deaths as well, and we're seeing a lot of outbreaks in the Midwest, for example." He said multiple variables impact infections -- like heat, testing capacity and population density -- but "the most important one is mobility." Right now, he said, "we're seeing an increase in mobility that's leading to an increase in mortality, unfortunately, in the United States."
5th May 2020 - CNN

The reopening gamble: Set your timer for three weeks

Set a timer for three weeks. By late May, we should know whether certain US states collected on a major gamble or committed a hideous error by reopening their economies. If a tide of sickness and death overwhelms the early openers, lockdowns may return, making Americans' trudge back toward normal economic life even slower and more painful. But if infections can be kept at manageable levels, these pioneers may begin to piece together a vision of the "new normal" that everyone keeps talking about. The good news is that some of the states beginning to open up — like South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin were never as savagely hit as states like New York, California and Michigan. The bad news is that their turn may be next. Science warns the virus is still out there, waiting for an opening.
4th May 2020 - CNN

Warmer weather and debate over restrictions drive Americans outside while coronavirus cases rise

From California to New York, more Americans are headed outside -- some for recreation and others in protest. But as some states loosen or let go of their stay-at-home orders, researchers predict a higher death toll from coronavirus this summer than previously expected. As of Sunday, more than 1.1 million people in the US have been infected with coronavirus, and more than 67,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. States such as California have stood firm on their stay-at-home orders -- and have been met with protests.
4th May 2020 - CNN

Northern Ireland church leaders urge politicians to consider easing coronavirus restrictions

The leaders of Northern Ireland's main Churches have urged politicians to consider easing restrictions on private prayer in church buildings "sooner rather than later". In a joint statement, the leaders of the Church of Ireland, Methodist Church in Ireland, Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church and the Irish Council of Churches, said they accept that now is not the time for "a full return" to collective worship in our Churches. However, they asked for the issue to be reviewed regularly.
4th May 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

Reopening of America: More than half of states will lift coronavirus restrictions by the end of the week

In Nevada, a chanting crowd of protesters marched up to the door of the governor’s residence on Saturday, drawing police who stood with automatic weapons. And a group demanding to “Fully Open California” organized to cause traffic gridlock in Laguna Beach. With confirmed US. deaths topping 65,000, efforts to reopen the country also are sparking outcries about public safety. But officials have battled crowds and some public resistance to mask-wearing and social distancing measures.
3rd May 2020 - The Washington Post

States are easing coronavirus restrictions and 'it's going to cost lives,' researcher says

"You're making a big mistake. It's going to cost lives," Dr. Irwin Redlener, a pediatrician and disaster preparedness specialist at Columbia University Medical Center, told CNN on Friday. Redlener and Joseph Fair, a senior fellow in pandemic policy at Texas A&M University, sent a report to all governors on Friday, warning them that no state or city should reduce restrictions until coronavirus infections have been steadily decreasing for 10 days to two weeks, and not until enough tests are available to assess just how many people really are infected. Redlener's warning comes as more than 30 states are easing social distancing restrictions this weekend. The changes ranged from opening state parks to allowing some businesses to restart.
2nd May 2020 - CNN

As Coronavirus Restrictions Ease, Many Still Wary

As states around the country begin lifting stay-at-home orders, individuals face their own choice over whether it feels safe to resume activities we all used to take for granted. We asked NPR listeners to tell us how they are making these decisions and nearly 250 people responded. In general, it's clear that even as local officials lift restrictions, many people plan to wait longer before resuming their old routines. "As long as there are new cases, I think it's not really safe," says Naomi Silas, a freelance graphic designer and graduate student in Grand Rapids, Mich.
2nd May 2020 - NPR

Coronavirus: Lockdown should ease to help economy, says Philip Hammond

Former chancellor Philip Hammond has urged the government to set out its plan to restart the economy. Ministers have been reluctant to discuss a lockdown exit strategy, arguing that it might undermine the message for people to stay at home. Mr Hammond said the country cannot afford to wait until a vaccine is developed and called on the government to start easing lockdown measures.
25th Apr 2020 - BBC News

Partisan Exits - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 30th Apr 2020

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Florida will begin lifting coronavirus stay-at-home orders from MONDAY, governor announces

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a plan Wednesday to lift stay-at-home orders from Monday. Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties will remain under restrictions as they have reported the most coronavirus cases in the state. It comes after the state reported its biggest spike in daily deaths on Tuesday. It joins 16 other states - mostly in the South and Midwest - which have lifted or announced dates to lift coronavirus restrictions following weeks of mandatory lockdowns Alabama, Ohio, Missouri, Montana and Iowa will slowly start opening their economies this week. Minnesota, Mississippi, Michigan, Tennessee, Colorado, Alaska, Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas have already partially reopened. Public health authorities have warned that increasing human interactions and economic activity may spark a new surge of infections
30th Apr 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus: This is what reopening in US looks like

Barber shops, tattoo parlours, beaches and restaurants reopen in Georgia as the governor lifts coronavirus restrictions. BBC Newsnight's David Grossman travelled across the state to see what life looks like as the state emerges from economic hibernation.
29th Apr 2020 - BBC News

US states reopening: Maine is first Northeastern state to ease COVID-19 restrictions

Maine will allow some businesses - including drive-in theaters, barber shops and hair salons, dog groomers and car dealerships - to reopen from Friday. Current restrictions, including no gatherings of more than 10 people and 14 day quarantine for out of state visitors, still apply. Maine joins 15 other states - mostly in the South and Midwest - which have lifted or announced dates to lift coronavirus restrictions following weeks of mandatory lockdowns. Alabama, Ohio, Missouri, Montana and Iowa will slowly start opening their economies this week. Minnesota, Mississippi, Michigan, Tennessee, Colorado, Alaska, Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas have already partially reopened. Public health authorities have warned that increasing human interactions and economic activity may spark a new surge of infections.
29th Apr 2020 - Daily Mail

Why Georgia Is Reopening Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Georgia governor Kemp’s move to reopen was condemned by scientists, high-ranking Republicans from his own state, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; it even drew a public rebuke from President Donald Trump, who had reportedly approved the measures before distancing himself from the governor amid the backlash.
29th Apr 2020 - The Atlantic

Alabama and Ohio are latest to lift coronavirus restrictions

14 states that are home to more than 95 million people have started reopening their economies or announced their reopening plans. Alabama will reopen from Thursday and will be followed by Ohio on Friday. All Missouri businesses and social events will be allowed to reopen from May 4 and Iowa will open restaurants, malls, fitness centers, libraries and retail stores at 50% capacity from May 1. Stay-at-home orders issued by governors across the US and subsequent decisions to slowly reopen state economies have turned into highly charged political issues Minnesota, Mississippi, Colorado, Montana, Tennessee, Georgia, Oklahoma, Alaska and South Carolina will, or have already, restarted their economies following weeks of mandatory lockdowns. Texas partially reopened last week but the governor announced on Monday that state's stay-at-home order would expire April 30.
28th Apr 2020 - Daily Mail

Global coronavirus restrictions loosening, allowing for some return to normalcy

Germany, which has lost more than 6,000 people to the contagion, took its first steps to ease restrictions last week — and by Tuesday locals were pictured visiting the Berlin Zoo and snapping selfies in front of elephants as the zoo partially reopened. Smaller businesses were also permitted to reopen in the country, but strict social distancing measures remain in place, and there are still bans on large gatherings of people.
28th Apr 2020 - New York Post

Several U.S. states prepare to ease coronavirus restrictions despite experts' worries

By and large the states forging ahead with re-openings this week are concentrated in the South, the Midwest and mountain West, where outbreaks have been far less severe than in the Northeast. Most are led by Republican governors. Tennessee said it will allow restaurants to reopen on Monday. Mississippi’s stay-at-home order expires the same day. Montana, which reported three new cases on Sunday, is allowing businesses to reopen Monday if they limit capacity and practice social distancing, while Minnesota is clearing the way for 80,000 to 100,000 workers in industrial and office jobs to return to work on Monday. In Colorado, Democratic Governor Jared Polis has given the green light for retail curbside pickup to begin on Monday. Hair salons, barbershop and tattoo parlors can open on Friday, with retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters to follow.
27th Apr 2020 - Global News

More states are easing coronavirus restrictions this week, unnerving experts and some local officials

Several states are reopening from coronavirus shutdowns this week despite the recommendations of health researchers. Colorado, Minnesota and Montana plan to ease social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions. Iowa will allow elective surgeries to resume and farmers markets to reopen starting Monday.
27th Apr 2020 - CNN

Gov. Dunleavy says Alaska will ease some coronavirus restrictions starting later this week

Gov. Mike Dunleavy accelerated his timeline to open up segments of the economy, announcing Tuesday night that under certain restrictions, barbershops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and tanning salons can open starting Friday, allowing one customer in at a time. “We’re going to give these businesses an opportunity to be open, and really it’s one provider, one client, no waiting room," Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum said. Restaurants can open up for dine-in service, but with reservations. They can have up to 25% capacity. Retail stores will be allowed to open for limited shopping, operating at 25% capacity with hand sanitizer at the entrance. Bars, bingo parlors and bowling alleys cannot open yet, state officials said. The changes are not yet posted on state websites or in public documents, though state officials said more information will be released this week.
21st Apr 2020 - Anchorage Daily News