10 August 2020


Daily COVID-19 figures update

The number of globally recorded cases of COVID-19 is now over 19.8m. Over 731,000 people have died and over 12.1m have now recovered. The UK has confirmed over 312,000 cases and 46,659 mortalities. The number of global cases can be followed here, and the number of UK cases can be followed here. Live news updates can be found on the BBC website.

UK Government claims there is little coronavirus transmission in schools

The UK Government’s Education Secretary Gavin Williamson MP has said that there is little evidence of coronavirus being transmitted in schools. Mr Williamson said that the UK Government was being guided by the best science as it accelerated plans to reopen schools to all pupils in England next month. UK Government advisers have warned the nation may have reached the limit of what can be reopened in society safely. But Mr Williamson suggested an upcoming study would support his government's position on reopening schools. His comments come after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the reopening of schools - after months without in-person education - was the "national priority" of the government. The Association of School and College Leaders has said there is an absence of clear guidance from the UK Government, and schools are making their own contingency plans. It said teachers might teach students on a week-on, week-off basis if there was a resurgence of coronavirus. Prof Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and a member of the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said "rota systems appear to make very little difference" to the level of risk.

750,000 test kits recalled over safety concerns

Up to 750,000 unused coronavirus testing kits are being recalled in the UK due to safety concerns. The UK's medicines and healthcare products regulator (MHRA) asked Randox to recall the kits sent out to care homes and individuals. The UK Government said it was a "precautionary measure" and the risk to safety was low. It comes weeks after the health secretary said Randox kits should not be used until further notice. In mid-July, Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP said the swabs in some kits were "not up to standard". The Department for Health and Social Care said results from Randox tests were unaffected. A spokeswoman said: "We have high safety standards for all coronavirus tests. Following the pausing of Randox kits on 15 July, Randox have now recalled all test kits as a precautionary measure." Care home residents or staff with symptoms of coronavirus can continue to book a test, she said.

Australia records deadliest day but fewer new infections

Australia has recorded its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic amid a second wave of infections in Melbourne. Victoria state - of which Melbourne is the capital - reported 19 deaths on Monday. Victoria has now seen about two-thirds of Australia's total 314 deaths and approximately 21,400 cases. But the number of daily infections - though still in the hundreds - has dropped in recent days, prompting hope that a strict lockdown is working. Melbourne's second lockdown began over a month ago, but residents have been subject to a night-time curfew and stricter requirements since 3 August. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said it was too early to tell if the state was at a turning point, but "we're certainly seeing some greater stability" following the stricter measures. "It's always better to be lower than the previous day, but it is only one day's data," he said. Most deaths have been linked to outbreaks in nearly 100 aged care homes in the state.

News in brief

  • Is the world winning the pandemic fight?
  • Global report: US nears 5m COVID-19 cases; New Zealand goes 100 days without local transmission
  • Beirut explosion: Death toll rises to 200 as protests continue
  • Wales eases more lockdown restrictions as indoor gyms and swimming pools reopen
  • Nurses protest over pay at demonstrations in Scotland
  • Lockdown reduces cases of flu, colds and bronchitis in England
  • Social care at breaking point in England after 'lost decade' – report
  • COVID-19: only half of Britons would definitely have vaccination
  • Nursing apprenticeship funding gets £172m boost