COVID-19
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Dods daily bulletin on domestic and international headlines related to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

02//06/2020

Key Announcements

  • Latest figures show that a total of 4,484,340 people in the UK have been tested for COVID-19. A total of 39,045 have died across all settings. 
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock spoke at the Downing Street press conference and defending the Government easing of the lockdown, stating that "I think this data shows that the action plan is working. The data shows that we're winning the battle against coronavirus. Today we're therefore able to make some cautious changes to the lockdown rules carefully and safety."
  • House of Commons Speakers Sir Lindsay Hoyle wrote to MPs last night  to outline new voting arrangements . This comes after hybrid proceedings shall no longer be taking place. Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg has tabled a Government motion on proposals for voting, which could include socially distanced queues through the halls of Parliament. The house shall debate this motion early this afternoon.  
  • Sky News  have reported that the review int the impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities has been delayed again due to "worries" around "global events". /it is in "close proximity to the current situation in America" and it would be a "bad combination" if it was released amid global outrage over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The review was due to be released by the end of May.  
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  • The Lancet has published a report on physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19It finds that physical distancing and face coverings are effective in tackling the coronavirus outbreak.   

Regional /Devolved

  • The Telegraph are reporting that new estimates show that Coronavirus infection rates in England's Northern regions are now nearly double that in London  

International  

  • Beijing's ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming rel="noopener noreferrer" has said that China would welcome 'international review' into COVID-19 pandemic. Adding that "this review should be independent, free from politicisation, it should be based on science, the scientists should take the lead."   rel="noopener noreferrer"
  • The Guardian are reporting that South Korea is testing a new QR code tracing system to track visitors at entertainment venues, restaurants and churches as it battles to contain persistent clusters of infection.  

Stakeholders  

  • Labour Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary, Marsha de Cordova, speaking about the delayed COVID-19 and BAME communities report, said  "It is unacceptable that this review should be delayed without a given date for its publication. BAME communities need answers."  
  • The Labour Party and other opposition parties have tabled an amendment to the Government motion on voting in the Commons. Valerie Vaz MP, Shadow Leader of the House, said "Jacob Rees-Mogg 's discriminatory proposals would result in two classes of MPs. Those who can physically attend and those unable to owing to the Government's own rules, including having an underlying health condition or shielding responsibilities. The abolition of the hybrid remote parliament which allowed all MPs to take part regardless of their personal circumstances is discriminatory and would not be acceptable in any other workplace. We remain ready to work with the Government and all parties to reach a consensus that would allow all MPs to participate on an equal basis." rel="noopener noreferrer"
  • The British Association of Social Workers have said that increasing evidence of the breakdown in government resourcing, policy, strategic attention and understanding of the social care sector during the pandemic – most particularly is care homes – is coming to light.  They add that " We will continue to press this loudly and urgently, and to build alliances in doing this, so that the dignity and human rights of all adults in our society is upheld. We will be publishing more on our alliances and actions with others to ensure we prevent as much further harm as possible now, learn what we can from this tragedy and press for a better, more just future for social care and people needing support. "     

Unconfirmed reports  rel="noopener noreferrer"

  • Lots of media outlets  are reporting that "air bridges" could be a possible alternative to quarantining those arriving in the UK from abroad. These air bridges could be introduced between the UK and low-risk COVID-19 countries by the end of the month.  rel="noopener noreferrer"  
  • The Mail are reporting that doctors in Italy said COVID-19 samples contain fewer viruses than they did earlierScientific theory suggests viruses may become weaker over time in a bid to survive. Virologists have today cast doubt on the Italian doctors' claims, saying there is no evidence the virus is losing potency anywhere.