Coronavirus latest: National and international news

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 coronavirus.

In an open letter published in the British Medical Journal, ministers were warned that urgent action would be needed to prevent further loss of life.

The presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Nursing, Physicians, and GPs all signed the letter.

It comes after Boris Johnson announced sweeping changes to England’s lockdown.

 

German authorities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia have reimposed lockdown restrictions in two districts after a spike in cases, with more than half a million people affected.

One area is home to a meatpacking plant where more than 1,500 workers have tested positive.

State premier Armin Laschet said the “preventative measures” in Gütersloh district would last until June 30.

Neighbouring Warendorf district has also seen restrictions return.

 

World number one Novak Djokovic said he is “so sorry” after becoming the latest tennis player to test positive for Covid-19.

Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all revealed they had coronavirus after playing at Djokovic’s Adria Tour competition.

Djokovic, 33, played fellow Serb Troicki in the first event in Belgrade.

In a post on Twitter, Djokovic said it had been “too soon” to stage the tournament.

He said: “I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm.”

 

Brazil has become the second country, after the USA, 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 June 4; 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.

 

At least 315,410 people have been infected with coronavirus in Africa, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus-linked death toll has reached 8,334, while 149,932 people have recovered across the continent.

Southern Africa has the highest number of virus cases, at 106,100, north Africa 83,400, west Africa 63,500, east Africa 31,900 and central Africa 30,500.

At least 3,500 people have died of the virus in north Africa, 2,000 in South Africa, 1,200 in west Africa, 958 in east Africa and 668 in central Africa.

South Africa is by far the worst-affected in terms of number of cases: it has recorded 101,600 cases.

 

The idea of a second wave of Covid-19 when most of the world is still submerged by the first is grim.

But Beijing’s reaction to the recent outbreak offers lessons on how it can be contained.

The outbreak at Xinfadi could have been a nightmare: a Covid cluster in a wholesale market that supplies more than 70 per cent of the city’s fruit and vegetables.

But on Monday the city reported just nine new cases.

The most critical aspect is speed, which informs every part of the response.

Beijing did not hesitate in shutting schools and imposing various restrictions on gyms, bars and other venues.

Speed is also crucial in building capacity. There is no point in keeping massive infrastructure in place when cases are low.

Instead, governments need to be prepared to scale up quickly when a wave arrives.

Over the past two weeks, Beijing has built 26 new test centres and doubled its testing capacity, to 230,000 tests a day.

 

Potential coronavirus vaccines being developed at UK universities will be tested in the USA, South Africa and Brazil because Britons are now at low risk of contracting Covid-19, it has emerged.

Researchers at Oxford and Imperial College London are among 140 teams across the world aiming to find the first vaccine for Covid-19.

The Oxford trial vaccine is at stage three – the main part the research, where its effectiveness, or efficacy is tested in thousands of people.

It has already been trialled in healthy British volunteers and in people in Brazil.

The House of Lords science committee was told this week that declining infection rates in the UK meant foreign volunteers were being sought.

 

 


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