Coronavirus map LIVE: UK ‘sleepwalking towards second wave’ as COVID-19 cases ‘creep up’

Coronavirus map LIVE: UK ‘sleepwalking towards second wave’ as COVID-19 cases ‘creep up’

In the graph, posted by Samuel Tombs, chief economist of Macroeconomics, the UK’s rolling average of weekly cases is now 16 percent above what it was on July 8 in hospitals. Due to this rise incases, he stated the UK was now “sleepwalking towards a second wave”. Earlier, the UK’s coronavirus death total rose by 110 in the last 24 hours the Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed. That rise now takes the UK’s total to 45,422. The number of cases also rose by 445 taking the number of positive COVID-19 cases to 295,817. This may differ from previous statistics as this relates to cases across all settings. Face masks do protect the wearer, as well as people they come into contact with, from coronavirus, a new study has suggested – highlighting widespread confusion in the UK, where it is not even compulsory to wear them in shops yet. Meanwhile Leicester has been overtaken by Blackburn as England’s coronavirus hotspot, with the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the country, new figures have shown. 


The Government has been accused of putting out mixed messages on the subject, with Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove initially suggesting it was a decision best left to the common sense of individuals, before Prime Minister Boris Johnson subsequently said he was looking at ways to make wearing masks in public a legal requirement.

Data has revealed the borough of Blackburn with Darwen, in Lancashire in the north-west, now has a rate of 78.6 cases per 100,000 in the seven days up to July 17.

By comparison, Leicester, which was the first town in the UK to be subject to a local lockdown – had 72.6 cases per 100,000 people during the same period.

Last week public health officials in Blackburn brought in measures aimed at enforcing social distancing in the wake of concerns about rising infection rates.

Up to 250 mourners at a mosque in the town were last week forced to self-isolate after the imam was confirmed to have COVID-019.

The Jamia Ghosia mosque has now been closed for a deep clean, with all who attended the funeral on July 13 required to quarantine themselves or take coronavirus tests.

Meanwhile Boris Johnson will meet his Cabinet in person for the first time in four months today as the Government presses ahead with plans to secure millions of doses of a potential vaccine.

Ministers will meet in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office rather than the smaller Cabinet room in Downing Street to allow for proper social distancing.

Yesterday a study suggested a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford was safe and induces an immune reaction, with the scientific community describing the news as “encouraging”.


Coronavirus Live: UK deaths rises by 110

Coronavirus Live: UK deaths rises by 110 (Image: GETTY)

12.30am update: California cases set to surpass New York’s

California on Tuesday became the second US state with the highest number of infections after New York.

It is also the second state after New York to record over 400,000 coronavirus cases, according to a Reuters tally of county data.

California has reported more than 400,000 coronavirus cases.

11.30pm update: More than 500 women at a Texas medical prison test positive for COVID-19

The US Bureau of Prisons has announced that 509 women at Federal Medical Center-Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, have tested positive for coronavirus.

According to the Associated Press, it is one of the largest confirmed outbreaks at a federal prison.

World coronavirus deaths as of July 21

World coronavirus deaths as of July 21 (Image: Express)

8.43pm update: Cases in California surpass 400,000

According to Reuters’ tally, the state has now become the second state to surpass 400,000 cases of the virus. 

The number of cases now stands at 400,166. 

Only New York has more with 412,800. 

8.25pm update: Virus was not slowing down in the Americas

The pandemic is not slowing down in the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization director said today. 

The virus has now spread to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. 

Three out of ten are now at risk of developing complications from COVID-19.

7.52pm update: Coronavirus vaccine could be rolled out before authorisation 

A coronavirus vaccine could be rolled out before it has been authorised by regulators the UK Vaccines Taskforce has said. 

The authorisation process usually takes 18-24 months but that could be reduced to 70 days. 

Kate Bingham, of the Vaccines Taskforce told The Daily Telegraph: “By engaging regulators early and involving them in key decision-making and key safety aspects everything can be done much more quickly. 

“I don’t know how long it will take, but regulators are receiving all the non-data aspects of the trials already so they can look at manufacturing facilities and assays and lots of things that are non-clinical before they open the envelope and get the results.

“They will still need time to digest the data, but I think it will be much more rapid than usual. The main issue is safety, and any safety event is recorded immediately so they can judge it quickly.”

Coronavirus: UK heading for a second wave

Coronavirus: UK heading for a second wave (Image: Twitter)

7.16pm update: US charges Chinese national with vaccine hacking 

The US Justice Department has accused the Chinese government of sponsoring attempts to hack biotech firms working on coronavirus vaccines. 

In an indictment in Washington State, the department charged two men.

6.35pm update: Matt Hancock hints at Public Health England reform 

Speaking today, Mr Hancock stated PHE was not set up to be an organisation “ready to go to mass national scale”. 

Speaking to the Science and Technology Committee said: “We need a standing capability, right, we need a public health agency that isn’t only brilliant at science, but also is ready to mass scale very, very quickly.

“PHE was designed as a scientific organisation, and it is really good as a scientific organisation, and remains so, and has some of the best public health scientists in the world in PHE.

“The challenge that it found was it was not set up to be an organisation ready to go to mass national scale and we didn’t go into this crisis with that mass of testing capability.

“In that we were like almost every other country in the world. Germany was the exception in this space rather than the norm, and some of the far eastern countries.”

6.18pm update: UK heading for second wave 

In a graph reported by Samuel Tomb, chief UK economist at Macroeconomis, the UK’s seven-day rolling average of deaths in hospitals has begun to increase. 

This increase began with the reopening of bars and restaurants earlier this month with the economist stating the UK is “sleep-walking towards a second wave”.  

After a low-point on July 8, the average is now 16 percent higher.

5.35pm update: Chris Whitty defends mass testing

England’s chief medical officer has launched a staunch defence of his actions by insisting the mass testing policy had to be abandoned early into the pandmeic due to capacity issues. 

Questioned by chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, Jeremy Hunt, Mr Whitty insisted the testing capacity needed to increae mass testing early into the pandemic was not available. 

He said: “You are going to say I suspect at some point why is test, trace and isolate not brilliant now?

“This is after we’ve had huge investment and many months of preparation.

“The idea that you can suddenly switch this on, I’m afraid, is incorrect.

“The way you run emergencies badly is to try and run them based on a theory of what you could do rather than with the tools you have at your disposal.

“That is the way we had to run it and that is the way we did run it.”

Coronavirus Live: ONS statistics revealed

Coronavirus Live: ONS statistics revealed (Image: PA)

5.22pm update: Weekly coronavirus deaths fall by a third 

Weekly deaths from the virus have fallen by a third in the last seven days and remain at their lwoest level since pre-lockdown levels. 

There were 366 deaths registered in the week ending July 10 which was a 31.2 percent fall from the previous week according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

5.11pm update: Florida death rate now higher than any other state

The US state now has a higher death rate than any other in America. 

Florida has now recorded 134 new deaths bring the daily average to 115 surpassing Texas’ 112. 

Overall, 5,317 people have died in the US state from COVID-19. 

4.32pm update: England’s top 10 coronavirus hotspots

Blackburn and Darwen has now overtaken Leicester in cases per 100,000. 

The council has now registered 78.6 cases per 100,000, surpassing Leicester’s 72.6. 

However, eight other areas are also witnessing a rise in cases including the west Midlands council of Sandwell which has seen a 157 percent increase.  

The other areas are: Rochdale, Bradford, Luton, Kirlees, Herefordshire, Rotherham and Calderdale.

Coronavirus: Matt Hancock spoke to the committee today

Coronavirus: Matt Hancock spoke to the committee today (Image: PA)

4.14pm update: UK deaths rise by 110 

The Department for Health and Social Care has reported 110 new deaths from coronavirus. 

That takes the total to 45,422 while the number of cases increased by 445.

The overall case total now sits at 295,817. 

4.10pm update: No new deaths in Northern Ireland 

No new deaths have been reported in Northern Ireland for the eight day in a row. 

The death total remains at 556. 

3.47pm update: UK preparing for the winter 

Continuing from the Commons Science and Technology Committee today, Mr Hancock stated the UK Government is now preparing to control the virus in the winter. 

He added: “For now, my focus is on getting the virus down, controlling the level of the virus and preparing for winter.

“So for instance, PHE is doing incredibly important work right now in local lockdowns, in local action.

“There are PHE boots on the ground in Leicester and they’re working with Blackburn and Bradford and all of the other areas where we’ve got a much higher prevalence than elsewhere.”

Areas with cases rising

Areas with cases rising (Image: Express)

3.32pm update: Government not relying on SAGE or COBRA

Health Secretary, told the Science and Tech Committee that the two groups are becoming less central in decision making. 

He said: “Sage is not a body that is just there for coronavirus, or indeed for communicable diseases. 

“As we build our capabilties to deal with epidemics on a grand scale, so we are building our capability together in one place under the Joint Biosecurity Centre as the analytical function.”

3.09pm update: No new deaths reported in Wales 

There have been no further deaths fro mthe virus  i nthe last 24 hours, Public Health Wales has confirmed. 

The total deaths now stands at 1,547, while the number of cases has risen by 22 to 16,965. 

3.05pm update: 15 new deaths reported in England 

A further 15 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England in the last 24 hours. 

The total deaths as recorded by NHS England npw stands at 29,202. 

Bill McLoughlin takes over from Ciaran McGrath. 

2.02pm update: 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has been savaged after signing off a series of measures aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19 which locks the Netherlands into tax hikes to pay for the EU’s coronavirus rescue plan – with one Twitter user comparing the bloc to a mad dog which needed to be put down.

Derk Jan Eppink, a Dutch MEP and member of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament, took to Twitter after the EU’s €750billion coronavirus rescue plan, which includes €390billion in non-repayable grants which will go towards countries in the south of the block worst hit by the pandemic, chiefly Italy and Spain.

Referring to the biblical figure who led his people out of Egypt, Mr Eppink claimed the case of Mr Rutte, the reverse was the case.

Speaking about the bloc, Sjoerd Visser said: “It’s a mad dog that just needs to be killed!”

1.22pm update: Call centre outbreak has helped drive up cases, says Sturgeon

An outbreak at a call centre has been responsible, at least in part, for 22 coronavirus cases being recorded in one day, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Speaking at the first Scottish Government coronavirus briefing of the week, the First Minister said the majority of new positive cases are in Lanarkshire.

She confirmed no new deaths have been recorded of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.

Ms Sturgeon said all new cases are being looked into and steps taken to trace contacts and break the chains of transmission.

12.37pm update: Scotland records 22 new cases

Scotland has recorded 22 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in a day, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing, she said 18,474 people have tested positive for Covid-19 north of the border.

She said the majority of the new cases are in Lanarkshire and at least some are likely to be connected to the outbreak at the Sitel call centre at Eurocentral business park north of Bellshill.

No deaths of people who tested positive for the virus were recorded between Monday and Tuesday, meaning the toll remains at 2,941.

There were 618 people with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 in hospital as of Monday evening, up 51 in 24 hours.

Of these, 20 were in intensive care, up 10 from the previous day.

Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Image: GETTY)

11.55am update: World will be living with COVID-19 “for many years to come”, warns expert

Wellcome Trust director Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar told the Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee that the world will be living with Covid-19 for “very many, many years to come”.

Sir Jeremy told MPs: “Things will not be done by Christmas. This infection is not going away, it’s now a human endemic infection.

“Even, actually, if we have a vaccine or very good treatments, humanity will still be living with this virus for very many, many years to come.

“We need to keep the urgency in place in June, July and August, but we need to move now to a consistent long-term approach to this.

“Because humanity will be living with this infection for decades to come.”

11.39am update: 

Cracks are already appearing in the unity of the EU27 with respect to the £677billion coronavirus rescue plan – with a Dutch MEP demanding a referendum on the subject in the Netherlands, in an echo of the 2016 referendum which took the UK out of the bloc.

And Derk Jan Eppink launched a scathing attack on his own Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, accusing him of being a “reverse Moses” and of selling out his countrymen, while suggesting the EU was now well on the way to becoming a “superstate”.

At the end of the fractious four-day summit in Brussels – which at one point saw Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban accuse Mr Rutte of “hating him” – EU leaders finally signed off an a massive package of measures worth €750billion.

Mr Eppink said: “Prime Minister Rutte sold us out. He should never have agreed to this end result.”

11.37am update: Britain was “not on the front foot”, says expert

Professor Sir John Bell, of the University of Oxford, has told the Commons Health and Social Care Committee that one of the UK’s biggest failures was not being on the “front foot” in preparation for a pandemic.

Asked about the biggest failures during the pandemic, he told MPs: “The fact that we were asleep to the concept that we were going to have a pandemic, I think, shame on us.

“Since the year 2000 we’ve had eight close calls of emerging infectious diseases, any one of which could have swept the globe as a pandemic.

“This is not new and I think we should not be proud of the fact that we ended up with a system which had no resilience to pandemics. I think the biggest single failure was not being on the front foot.

“Singapore started the first week of January preparing for trouble, where it took us very much to the end of February beginning of March to get going.

“I think that’s the single biggest failure and I think a lot of things fall out from that.”

John Bell

Professor Sir John Bell said the UK had “not been on the front foot” (Image: Parliament TV)

11.24am update: Coronavirus may get more severe in winter, warns report

Coronavirus may be more severe in colder months than warmer ones, and dry indoor air may encourage its spread, new research suggests.

Severe Covid-19 outcomes decreased as the pandemic progressed from winter to the warmer months, analysis indicates.

Experts warn that their findings paint a grim picture for the colder weather, when it is thought the disease may re-emerge.

Researchers analysed data from 6,914 patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in Croatia, Spain, Italy, Finland, Poland, Germany, the UK and China.

10.55am update: Oman plans Eid curfew and travel ban

Oman is banning travel between all provinces from July 25 to Augugst 8 to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, state news agency ONA said on Tuesday.

The Gulf state will also implement a daily 7 pm to 6 am curfew during that same period, which includes the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Shops and public spaces will be closed during the curfew hours.

10.50am update: Deaths in care homes and hospitals below five-year average

There were a total of 8,690 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to July 10, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 560 fewer than the five-year average of 9,250.

The number of deaths in care homes and hospitals was also below the five-year average (283 and 901 deaths lower respectively).

However, the number of deaths in private homes remains above the average, with 706 deaths higher during the week.

The ONS said the pandemic is likely to have brought forward some deaths of vulnerable or elderly people, which could explain the period of below-average deaths currently being experienced.

Deaths involving Covid-19 decreased in all English regions. All but the East of England had fewer overall deaths than the five-year average.

In Wales, the total number of deaths was six below the five-year average.

10.48am update: Weekly deaths fall by almost a third

Weekly coronavirus deaths have fallen by almost a third within seven days and remain at the lowest level since before the lockdown, official statistics show.

There were 366 deaths registered in the week ending July 10 involving Covid-19 – accounting for 4.2 percent of all deaths in England and Wales, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The figure represented a 31.2 percent fall from the previous week, when there were 532 deaths where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate.

It is also the fourth week in a row that deaths have been below the number that would usually be expected at this time of year, based on an average from the previous five years.

Face masks

Face masks DO protect the wearer, the study suggests (Image: GETTY)

10.38am update: Face mask DO protect the wearer, says study

Face masks DO protect the wearer, as well as people they come into contact with, from coronavirus, a new study has suggested – highlighting widespread confusion in the UK, where it is not even compulsory to wear them in shops yet.

The University of California research suggests masks can cut the amount of virus which gets into someone’s system, meaning they do not get as ill.

Face coverings are now mandatory on public transport – but the requirement will not come into force until Friday in shops and supermarkets.

The Government has been accused of putting out mixed messages on the subject, with Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove initially suggesting it was a decision best left to the common sense of individuals, before Prime Minister Boris Johnson subsequently said he was looking at ways to make wearing masks in public a legal requirement.

10.36am update: Risk of “winter of discontent”, warns Nurse

Francis Crick Institute director Sir Paul Nurse told the Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee that there was a risk of a “winter of discontent” without “greater clarity” in decision making.

He told MPs: “I think that perhaps what we need to think about is do we have clear government in place?

“Do we have it both at the executive level, do we have it at the political level?

“And I think unless we get that straight, we may run the risk of sleepwalking into frankly a winter of discontent, if you have an issue with second peaks and so on.”

9.32am update: “We must put public finances back on sustainable footing,” says Sunak

The UK must get public finances back on an even keel in order to bounce back after the coronavirus pandemic, Rishi Sunak has said.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer added: “It’s clear that coronavirus has had a significant impact on our public finances, but we know without our response things would have been far worse.

“The best approach to ensure our public finances are sustainable in the medium-term is to minimise the economic scarring caused by the pandemic.

“Our plan for jobs does this by providing significant and targeted support where it’s needed the most, to ensure nobody is left without hope as we reopen our economy.

“I am also clear that, over the medium-term, we must, and we will, put our public finances back on a sustainable footing.”

9.20am Vaccine could be rolled out before the end of the year – but no guarantees

The University of Oxford’s possible COVID-19 vaccine could be rolled out by the end of the year – but there is no certainty that will happen, the lead developer of the vaccine said on Tuesday.

The experimental vaccine, which has been licensed to AstraZeneca, produced an immune response in early-stage clinical trials, data showed on Monday, preserving hopes it could be in use by the end of the year.

“The end of the year target for getting vaccine rollout, it’s a possibility but there’s absolutely no certainty about that because we need three things to happen,” Sarah Gilbert told BBC Radio.

She said it needed to be shown to work in late-stage trials, there needed to be large quantities manufactured and regulators had to agree quickly to license it for emergency use.


A vaccine could be rolled out by the end of the year – but there are obstacles (Image: GETTY)

9.11am update: 

Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Aldi will soon have to adhere with government face mask rules. Who exactly will have to wear them now?

It will be compulsory to wear face masks in shops from Friday this week under new rules laid down by the government. This includes in supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Aldi.

All Britons will have to wear masks in shops from Friday, July 24, by law.

Shops will have the right to refuse customers entry and the police can issue fines of £100 to those breaking the rules.

However, it will not be compulsory for shop workers to wear masks under the new rules.

Currently no supermarkets are enforcing their staff wear masks.

9am update: Decision on vaccine approval will not be easy, says Professor

Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, said regulators would face a tough decision on whether to approve a vaccine.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Probably the toughest job of anybody will be the regulator who has to make the call on whether this is safe and effective in a way that it can be rolled out to the population. I would not want that job.”

If the regulators say “yes” then “there will be a queue of 3.5 billion people” around the world for the vaccine.

But he said there is no chance of totally eliminating coronavirus in the global population so any form of treatment would be valuable.

“We are never going to eliminate this virus from the global population, we can forget that, that’s never happening, so I think we have got to learn to live with this virus, and if we can stop it from progressing and making people really ill and killing them, that’s a pretty good result.”

8.53am update: Martin hails EU’s coronvirus rescue plan

Ireland’s Taoiseach has hailed the EU agreement on a ‎€1.82 trillion euro budget and coronavirus recovery fund.

Micheal Martin said it was a strong deal which includes a substantial and significant package of measures.

He added: “I welcome what is a very substantial and significant package of measures – 1.8 trillion, which I think will go a long way to help reboot and re-energise economic recovery within the European Union.

“It has been a very a challenging number of days negotiating this package but it has been worthwhile and the solidarity displayed through this summit is something I think will stand Europe in good stead going into the future.

“The COVID-19 challenge is unique – its impact in terms of our economic, social and political life is very severe and it necessitated a response of this scale and magnitude.”

Ireland Micheal Martin

Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Image: GETTY)

8.43am update: China shares rise of coronavirus vaccine hopes

China shares ended higher on Tuesday, lifted by healthcare stocks as global hopes for a coronavirus vaccine firmed, but profit-taking following the previous session’s rally checked gains.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.2 percent at 3,320.89, after flirting with small losses in the afternoon session. The index jumped 3.1 percen a day earlier.

The blue-chip CSI300 index added 0.23 percent with the healthcare sub-index soaring 3.95 percent, on rising global hopes for coronavirus vaccines following promising studies.

The smaller Shenzhen index gained 0.72 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was 1.45 percent higher.

8.36am update: Shops should encourage people to wear masks, says Malthouse

Mr Malthouse also said shops should encourage people to wear face masks when they become compulsory.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he said: “There’s no intention for the police to be standing outside every branch of Asda or Greggs and making sure that people are wearing face masks.

“What we’re doing is adopting the same posture that we did throughout the lockdown which is encourage people to comply.

“We know from the previous experience that the vast majority of people will, and that, you know, shops and others should encourage people to wear face masks if at all possible, and they obviously are – it’s going to be compulsory.

“But if people resist or won’t leave the premises or there’s any kind of altercation, then obviously the police will be called and they should attend if it’s a public order issue, as they would in any other retail circumstance – if there was a scuffle or a conflict that arose.”

Kit Malthouse

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse (Image: PA)

8.30am update: Chief nursing officer not silenced, insists Malthouse

Policing minister Kit Malthouse denied that chief nursing officer Ruth May had been silenced by Number 10.

She was dropped from a Downing Street press conference in the wake of the Dominic Cummings row after saying that lockdown rules should apply to all.

Mr Malthouse told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “The Prime Minister and ministers are responsible for the decisions that have been taken and the science is meant to inform their decisions.

“Who or who doesn’t appear at a podium at a particular press conference seems to me less relevant than this hard-working and dedicated public servant can speak when she wishes and she has done, obviously, before and since.

“I don’t think there’s any intention to restrict that.”

8.21am update:

UK shoppers must wear masks in all shops from this Thursday – but police have already admitted they won’t intervene unless it is a public order offence. Do you think police should always enforce fines on those flouting the mask law in shops?

While police have the power to hand out £100 fines on those not complying, at least one police force has already said it won’t be taking such measures.

Devon and Cornwall police officers will not be intervening unless it is considered a public order offence.

The police force said they do not have time to respond to these calls.

8.20am update: US tennis player Collins excluded from tournament after breaching coronavirus rules

American Danielle Collins has been dismissed from the World TeamTennis event in West Virginia for breaking COVID-19 protocols, organisers said on Tuesday.

One of only a few live sports events allowing fans in North America to attend amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the entire three-week regular season of the WTT is being held at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.

WTT Chief Executive Carlos Silva said in a statement: “We have dismissed Danielle Collins for the remainder of the 2020 World TeamTennis season after breaking our COVID-19 protocols and leaving The Greenbrier Resort and the state of West Virginia.”

“The protocols have been put in place and communicated numerous times to protect the health and safety of our players, coaches and staff which are of utmost importance to WTT.”

US tennis player Danielle Collins

US tennis player Danielle Collins (Image: GETTY)

8.13am update: China requires all arrivals to test negative for COVID-19

Passengers of China-bound flights must provide negative COVID-19 test results before boarding, China’s aviation authority said on Tuesday, as the government looks to further reduce the risk of imported coronavirus cases amid increased international travel.

Nucleic acid tests must be completed within five days of embarkation, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on its website. Tests should be conducted at facilities designated or recognised by Chinese embassies in host countries, it said.

The embassies will carefully assess the testing capacity of host countries and formulate travel procedures when testing conditions are met, CAAC said.

The announcement comes as countries struggle with testing capacity and speed. In parts of the United States, receipt of test results can take up to two weeks, while in some other countries, nucleic acid tests are reserved for people who have come in close contact with COVID-19 patients or who have symptoms of the potentially fatal disease.

COVID-19 was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan towards the end of last year.

Blackburn coronavirus

A mobile testing centre at Witton Park High School in Blackburn and Darwen (Image: PA)

8.06am update: 

Donald Trump has once again referred to COVID-19 as the “China Virus” in a tweet in which he said it is patriotic to wear a face mask.

Mr Trump started wearing a face mask only recently after months of refusing to do so despite US Centers for Disease Control recommending the contrary.

Mr Trump’s recent U-turn on mask-wearing is being seen by some observers as an attempt to rebuild public opinion as polls show Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden has a clear lead in several key areas in the run-up to the US presidential election this November.

In a tweet, the President posted a black-and-white photograph of himself wearing a black face covering.

He wrote: “We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance.”

8.05am update: Coronavirus rescue plan marks “birth of a new Europe”, says Le Maire

The EU’s deal on a massive, economic stimulus plan marks the birth of a new Europe, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France Info radio on Tuesday.

Le Maire said the deal would result in a Europe with greater solidarity among member nations, more environmentally-friendly policies and a stronger Franco-German relationship at its core.

European Union leaders reached an “historic” deal on a massive stimulus plan for their coronavirus-hit economies at a pre-dawn meeting on Tuesday after a fractious summit that lasted almost five days.

Coronavirus cases yesterday

Coronavirus cases yesterday (Image: Express)

8am update: 

European leaders struck a monumental deal on a vast coronavirus rescue package this morning after one of the longest and most bitter summits in the bloc’s history, which signalled a no-going-back moment for a federal superstate.

The marathon talks, which entered their fifth day, saw leaders exchange verbal insults, bang their fists on the table and storm out of the negotiating rooms as tempers flared.

But shortly after 5.30am in Brussels, European Council President Charles Michel declared a deal had been done on a recovery fund for the bloc’s pandemic-stricken regions and industries.

The unprecedented package moves the EU one step closer to full-blown federalism by sanctioning the European Commission to undertake mass borrowing to pay for the rescue package.

7.56am update:

Kate Garraway returned to Good Morning Britain today alongside Ben Shephard to share with ITV viewers an update on her husband Derek Draper’s wellbeing.

Kate’s husband Derek has been in hospital for almost three months now after contracting coronavirus earlier this year.

The GMB presenter’s spouse was left in a coma as a result of the virus but Kate shared positive news last week when she revealed he’d opened his eyes after almost 10 weeks in the induced state. Today, she shared another update on his wellbeing, speaking to Ben Shephard on the ITV show, revealing he’d even tuned into watch the pair on TV.

Data Blackburn

Data shows Blackburn rate of infection (Image: GETTY)

7.49am update: Health Secretary Hancock praises public health officials

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, one of the ministers expected to attend Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, has claimed the coronavirus was “on the back foot” as he praised the work of British health officials, saying they had “played a blinder”.

Mr Hancock will face questions about possible vaccine treatments and the latest NHS Test and Trace results when he appears before the Commons Science and Technology Committee today.

Meanwhile, former Tory leader William Hague has said the Government must recognise there has been a “gap” in its pandemic response.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, he said: “Mass testing, using tests still being developed but which could give results at the point of use, might be the only way to spot new outbreaks quickly enough and give people the confidence to go back to the office, the airport and big indoor events.”

7.40am update: Cabinet poised to meet in person

Boris Johnson will gather his Cabinet in person for the first time in four months on Tuesday as the Government presses ahead with plans to secure millions of doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine.

Ministers will meet in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office rather than the smaller Cabinet room in Downing Street to allow for proper social distancing.

It comes after a study suggested a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford was safe and induces an immune reaction, which was branded “encouraging” by the scientific community.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam responded in The Sun, saying he was “cautiously optimistic that by late next spring there will be several vaccines that will have made it. And my confidence is increasing”.

Published at Tue, 21 Jul 2020 23:32:00 +0000