Coronavirus live news: no widespread vaccination until mid-2021, says WHO; cases rise across Europe

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Brazil records 50,000 cases in 24 hours as death toll passes 125,000 – as it happened” was written by Nadeem Badshah (now); Alexandra Topping, Nazia Parveen and Helen Sullivan (earlier), for theguardian.com on Friday 4th September 2020 23.40 UTC

12.40am BST

Summary of events, Friday 4 September.

That’s where I’ll leave this blog for now, but you can continue following our live coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic here.

Here’s a quick summary of global events:

  • The World Health Organisation director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said the UN body would never endorse a vaccine that has not proven safe and effective amid concerns over the rush to develop a jab for Covid-19. Ghebreyesus, also called for countries around the world to join forces to tackle the coronavirus, saying that “vaccine nationalism” would only slow the response to the pandemic.
  • US presidential candidate Joe Biden disclosed publicly for the first time he has been tested at least once for Covid-19 and promised he will be tested regularly during his election campaign against US president Donald Trump. The Democratic presidential nominee told reporters of his testing protocol during a news conference in which he criticised Trump for downplaying the coronavirus.
  • Italy on Friday registered 1,733 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily rise since 2 May, and 11 deaths.
  • Spain’s health ministry has reported 10,476 new cases since yesterday, bringing the country’s total to 498,989. It has also logged 256 deaths over the past week, bringing the toll to 24,918.Madrid continues to be the worst-hit region, accounting for 31,538 of the 101,962 cases detected over the past two weeks.
  • Health authorities in France reported 8,975 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, setting an all-time high of daily additional infections since the disease started to spread in the country at the end of the winter. The number of people hospitalised for the disease, while still well below its April 14 peak of 32,292, has gone up for the sixth day running, at 4,671.
  • Iraq on Friday recorded its highest single-day rise in Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, prompting authorities to warn hospitals may “lose control” in the coming days. According to the Iraqi health ministry, 5,036 new coronavirus infections were confirmed on Friday, bringing the total number of cases across the country to 252,075, of which 191,368 had recovered, but 7,359 had died.
  • In Australia, police in Victoria continued to crackdown on anti-lockdown protests planned in Melbourne on Saturday as the premier, Daniel Andrews, warned people not to attend the rallies. The state, which has been through a vicious second-wave outbreak, reported 76 new cases and 11 deaths on Saturday.

Updated at 12.42am BST

12.29am BST

AFP reports that Iraq on Friday recorded its highest single-day rise in Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, prompting authorities to warn hospitals may “lose control” in the coming days.

According to the Iraqi health ministry, 5,036 new coronavirus infections were confirmed on Friday, bringing the total number of cases across the country to 252,075, of which 191,368 had recovered, but 7,359 had died.

The health ministry attributed the spike to recent “large gatherings” that took place without recommended safety measures, including mask-wearing or social distancing.

That included the marking on August 30 of Ashura, a major Muslim day of mourning that commemorates the killing of the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Hussein in 680 AD.

On that day, tens of thousands of Shiite Muslims converged on the holy city of Karbala in southern Iraq.

Karbala’s authorities introduced new measures to stem the spread of the virus, including restricting access to areas of worship and widespread spraying of disinfectants.

But the health ministry warned the measures weren’t enough.

“The number of cases is expected to escalate further in the coming days, which we fear will lead our health institutions to lose control as they try to deal with these large numbers,” its statement on Friday said.

“This will lead to an increase in the number of deaths, after we made headway in reducing them over the past few weeks,” it added.

Iraq’s hospitals have already been worn down by decades of conflict and poor investment, with shortages in medicines, hospital beds and even protective equipment for doctors.

Ahead of Ashura, the World Health Organization had warned that Covid-19 cases in Iraq were rising at an “alarming rate” and said Iraq should take action to end the community outbreak “at all costs”.

12.02am BST

Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has released a statement on his appointment as an adviser to the UK Board of Trade.

11.40pm BST

A Victorian man has been charged after he allegedly attempted to offer a bribe to police at the closed border between New South Wales and Victoria on Friday.

In a statement, NSW police said officers stopped a vehicle just before 2pm on Friday at the Barmah Bridge checkpoint. They spoke with the driver, a 66-year-old man, and asked for his border permit to enter NSW.

Police will allege in court that the man could not provide a valid permit, and instead offered an envelope with ,000 to an officer.

He was arrested and taken to Deniliquin police station, where he was charged with giving or offering a bribe to a member of NSW Police.

He was granted conditional bail and is due to appear before Moama local court on 4 November.

Updated at 11.46pm BST

11.35pm BST

76 new cases, 11 deaths in Victoria.

Still in Australia, Victoria, which has suffered a major second-wave outbreak of the virus, has recorded 76 new cases and 11 deaths in the past 24 hours.

The state capital, Melbourne, has been under restrictive lockdowns for several weeks, which have seen case numbers steadily fall over recent weeks, but clusters in aged care facilities have meant hundreds of deaths have occurred during the outbreak.

Updated at 11.47pm BST

11.27pm BST

Police in the Australian state of Victoria have warned people not to attend anti-lockdown protests planned across Melbourne on Saturday, as the state prepares for the premier, Daniel Andrews, to release the government’s roadmap out of its current stage-four lockdowns on Sunday.

In the lead-up to Saturday, police arrested five people and warned about 80 others against attending anti-lockdown protests planned in Melbourne as they enforce Victoria’s lockdown rules.

On Friday, Andrews backed police efforts to shut down any planned protest rallies while the lockdown rules remain in place.

You can’t ignore the reality you’re in and give yourself a leave pass and go and do something that, in all likelihood, will contribute to the spread of this (virus),” Andrews said.

It came as Victoria recorded 81 new Covid-19 cases and 59 deaths on Friday. Only nine of the deaths occurred in the previous 24 hours. The figure included 50 people who died in aged care facilities in July and August who have now been added to the state’s tally.

The state toll has now climbed past 600 to 650, pushing the national figure to 737.

New South Wales reported eight new Covid-19 cases, one of which was in hotel quarantine. Two previously announced cases have been linked to cluster of cases in the Sydney CBD, which has grown to 57.

Updated at 11.48pm BST

11.13pm BST

Victoria police raid conspiracy theorist’s home ahead of illegal protests

In Australia, Victorian protesters are being urged to stay at home as police vow to shut down anti-lockdown rallies planned for Saturday.

Early on Saturday, police raided the home of James Bartolo, who runs conspiracy website The Conscious Truth Network, and charged him with incitement.

Bartolo, who posted footage of his arrest online, is the fifth Victorian arrested over plans for the illegal “Freedom Day” rally.

“Woke up this morning, jumped on the dunny, heard some knocks on the door,” Bartolo wrote on social media.

“It was all the cops, they broke down the door, arrested me, they took computers, laptops (and my) phone.

“It is a bit of a pain in the ass. They stole my shit. Whatever. I’m fine.”

Bartolo told supporters to not attend today’s rally because he believed it was “a trap”

“It is the worst possible thing to do. It is a set-up from the get go. It is all just terrible. Don’t go to that one. What is going to happen, Dan Andrews will blame the protest for the lockdown extension. Don’t go to the protest.”

Updated at 11.48pm BST

11.12pm BST

Brazil records 50,000 cases in 24 hours as death toll passes 125,000

Brazil recorded 50,163 additional confirmed cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, as well as 888 deaths from the disease, the health ministry said on Friday.

Brazil has registered nearly 4.1 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 125,502, according to ministry data.

10.51pm BST

After recording its highest single-day rise in Covid-19 cases (see 13.54), Iraq has warned hospitals may “lose control” of the virus.

The health ministry attributed the spike to recent large gatherings that took place without recommended safety measures. That included the marking on 30 August of Ashura, a major Muslim day of mourning that commemorates the killing of the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Hussein in 680AD.

According to the Iraqi health ministry, 5,036 new coronavirus infections were confirmed on Friday, bringing the total number of cases across the country to 252,075, of which 191,368 had recovered, but 7,359 had died.

10.10pm BST

Saturday’s front page of the UK edition of The Guardian.

9.58pm BST

Mozambique will next week lift the state of emergency imposed in April to try limit the spread of coronavirus, President Filipe Nyusi announced in a television address.

Nyusi said the state of emergency would end on Sunday night as infections have not increased much compared to neighbouring countries in the region.

“We are proud of the measures we have taken that have allowed the spread of the disease to be contained,” said President Nyusi.

Diagnosed coronavirus cases in Mozambique stood at 4,265 including 26 deaths, much lower than neighbouring South Africa which has topped 635,000 infections.

The southeastern country will also re-open its borders on Monday allowing international flights.

Beaches will also re-open while religious services of up to 250 people will be permitted.

9.48pm BST

A selection of Saturday’s front pages in the UK, starting with The Times.

9.34pm BST

Smoking appears to increase the genetic contribution to Covid-19 infections, a small study suggested.

The new coronavirus enters the body by hijacking proteins on the surface of healthy cells, in particular a protein called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).

In adult lungs, just three cigarettes can increase the activity of genes with the information for building ACE2, according to an international research team led by Alen Faiz of Australia’s University of Technology Sydney.

Faiz told Reuters that ACE2 levels were lower in people who had stopped smoking for more than a month.

“Our preliminary data suggest that second-hand smoke exposure of 1-year-old children … increased ACE2 expression in their airways,” he said.

His team also found higher levels of the ACE2 genes in the nose compared to the lung airways, indicating the nose may be more easily infected.

But while it is known that the coronavirus uses ACE2 to break into cells, there is as yet no proven link between higher expression of the genes and the severity of Covid-19 infection, Faiz said.

9.16pm BST

Liberia’s president George Weah has sacked the country’s top health official over his handling of coronavirus testing in the impoverished West African state.

Mososka Fallah, director general of the Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), was removed from his post for “breaches in the health and administrative protocols that guide the issuance of Covid-19 test results,” Weah’s office said in a statement.

The decision was made on the recommendation of a committee set up especially to investigate the matter.

The exact nature of the allegations against Fallah was not revealed but Weah, a former AC Milan footballer, promised to publish the committee’s report at a later date.

NPHIL is in charge of handling epidemics such as coronavirus, which has killed 82 people and infected 1,306 in Liberia so far, according to the latest official data.

An internal source within the institute, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Fallah had been sacked for refusing to attend meetings of an anti-coronavirus taskforce because he had not been put in charge of it, AFP reported.

He was also suspected of issuing “Covid-19” travel permits without the taskforce’s knowledge, the source said.

9.00pm BST

A summary of today’s developments

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) insists it would never endorse a vaccine that has not proven safe and effective amid concerns over the rush to develop a jab for Covid-19. WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, also called for countries around the world to join forces to tackle the coronavirus, saying that “vaccine nationalism” would only slow the response to the pandemic.
  • Police forces in the UK are dealing with thousands of potential violations of quarantine rules involving holidaymakers who may not be self-isolating after trips abroad, the Guardian can reveal.
  • Joe Biden has disclosed publicly for the first time he has been tested at least once for Covid-19 and promised he will be tested regularly during his election campaign against US President Donald Trump.The Democratic presidential nominee told reporters of his testing protocol during a news conference in which he criticised Trump for downplaying the coronavirus.
  • Italy on Friday registered 1,733 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily rise since 2 May, and 11 deaths.
  • Spain’s health ministry has reported 10,476 new cases since yesterday, bringing the country’s total to 498,989. It has also logged 256 deaths over the past week, bringing the toll to 24,918.Madrid continues to be the worst-hit region, accounting for 31,538 of the 101,962 cases detected over the past two weeks.
  • Health authorities in France reported 8,975 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, setting an all-time high of daily additional infections since the disease started to spread in the country at the end of the winter.The number of people hospitalised for the disease, while still well below its April 14 peak of 32,292, has gone up for the sixth day running, at 4,671.
  • US job growth slowed further in August as financial assistance from the government ran out, threatening the economy’s recovery from the COVIDCovid-19 recession.
  • Iraq registered its biggest daily increase in coronavirus infections on Friday with 5,036 cases to take its total to 252,075, the health ministry said. It reported 84 fatalities to take its coronavirus death toll to 7,359.

Updated at 9.01pm BST

8.47pm BST

A worker disinfects an area of the Museum of Tomorrow prior to its reopening in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Friday amid the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic.
A worker disinfects an area of the Museum of Tomorrow prior to its reopening in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Friday amid the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic.
Photograph: Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty Images

8.31pm BST

Police forces in the UK are dealing with thousands of potential violations of quarantine rules involving holidaymakers who may not be self-isolating after trips abroad, the Guardian can reveal.

The requests for “further action” have been raised by Border Force officials and public health authorities, who have been tasked with ensuring that people returning from abroad are abiding by regulations designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The details emerged as leading scientists warned that the UK is fast approaching a pivotal moment. With another surge in the number of positive cases recorded on Friday, they urged people to keep following the rules or risk the return of widespread lockdown across the UK.

8.15pm BST

Egypt has been urged to release two jailed journalists, including one with Covid-19, after Human Rights Watch said four inmates had died in Egyptian custody within 72 hours.

The Committee to Protect Journalists urged, a New-York based press freedom advocacy group, called on authorities to immediately free Hany Greisha and El-Sayed Shehta, who were both arrested from their homes last month.

The CPJ said Greisha was charged with spreading false news and joining a terror group, charges regularly invoked against dissidents, while it was unclear whether Shehta faces charges.

It said Shehta, who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, is currently handcuffed to a hospital bed in the intensive care unit of a public hospital about an hour outside of Cairo.

“Egyptian authorities should be urgently releasing journalists from its prisons because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa Coordinator.

“Instead, it is diligently rounding up more to throw in jail – including now one who was sick and in quarantine.”

8.00pm BST

Cuba welcomed the first planeload of tourists to arrive on the island in months.

An Air Canada plane arrived at midday at the Cayo-Coco airport on the northcentral coast. Air Canada Vacations, the airline’s tour business, said it would now fly weekly to Cuba and biweekly beginning next month.

Cuba closed its airports in March due to the pandemic. While some hotels are open under international sanitary regulations at resorts in isolated areas such as Cayo-Coco, there is no indication when Havana and other cities might allow foreign visitors to return.

The nation has managed to control the pandemic in most of the country. But it is currently trying to contain a new outbreak in Havana, along with lesser outbreaks in a few other provinces.

It has reported nearly 4,300 COVID-19 cases to date and 100 deaths.

7.46pm BST

A Palestinian bide and groom, wearing protective face masks, prepare to pose for a picture during their wedding in Gaza City amidst a COVID-19 lockdown.
A Palestinian bide and groom, wearing protective face masks, prepare to pose for a picture during their wedding in Gaza City amidst a COVID-19 lockdown.
Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

7.36pm BST

The World Health Organization (WHO) insists it would never endorse a vaccine that has not proven safe and effective amid concerns over the rush to develop a jab for Covid-19.

Under normal procedures, test administrators must wait for months or years to verify that vaccine candidates are safe and efficacious.

But as the pandemic continues to take a devastating toll, there has been massive pressure to roll out a vaccine quickly, sparking concerns that testing standards could be lowered.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus insisted that was not the case.

“WHO will not endorse a vaccine that is not effective and safe,” he told a virtual briefing.

He also took issue with the so-called anti-vax movement that has been stoking fears about the vaccines in development.

They might be able to “build narratives to fight against vaccines, but the track record of vaccines tells its own story,” he said.

7.23pm BST

Here is more from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden who accused President Donald Trump of failing to “feel” the economic pain caused by the coronavirus pandemic after data showed US job growth slowing.

He said: “The painful truth is, we just have a president who just doesn’t see it, he doesn’t feel it, he doesn’t understand, he just doesn’t care.

“He thinks if the stock market is up, then everything*s fine,” Biden said during a speech in his home base of Wilmington, Delaware.

The Labor Department reported that non-farm payrolls increased by 1.37 million jobs last month, fewer than in July.

Trump and his fellow Republicans highlighted the fall in the unemployment rate in August to 8.4% as a sign that the economy is improving after the shock from coronavirus lockdowns that have devastated small businesses from restaurants to gyms and hair salons.
Former Vice President Biden, who leads Trump in opinion polls, called on the president to bring congressional leaders together to restart stalled negotiations for another coronavirus economic relief package.

He said: “Bottom line: Mr. President, do your job. Get off your golf course and out of your sand bunker. Call your leaders together and sit in the Oval Office. Make a deal.”

7.11pm BST

Joe Biden has disclosed publicly for the first time he has been tested at least once for Covid-19 and promised he will be tested regularly during his election campaign against US President Donald Trump.

The Democratic presidential nominee told reporters of his testing protocol during a news conference in which he criticised Trump for downplaying the coronavirus.

“They’re going to do it on a regular basis,” Biden said of the testing.

He noted the Secret Service agents assigned to protect him and everyone else who comes into his home is tested already.

Biden said he didn’t know specifically when his next test would be.

“I just, yes, sir, show up and put my head back,” he said.

“I imagine it will be sometime this week, but it will be a regular basis.”

At a rally on Thursday, Trump mocked Biden for wearing a mask, to which Biden replied: “It’s hard to respond to something so idiotic.”

6.51pm BST

This is a Reuters exclusive from Aislinn Laing:

Johnson & Johnson will seek 20,000 volunteers for late-stage human trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine in hard-hit Latin America, one-third of the planned global total, one of its public health chiefs in the region said.

Josue Bacaltchuk, the vice-president of medical affairs for Latin America for Janssen, J&J’s Belgian unit developing the vaccine prototype, said countries hosting the trials would also probably get preferential access to vaccines once ready.

Bacaltchuk said:

We expect the majority in Brazil because it’s the biggest country and also the one most affected by the pandemic so we expect a lot of people volunteering, but we expect also high numbers in Colombia and in Argentina.

It’s the intention of the company to prioritise the countries that contribute to the development of the vaccine and that will have patients participating in the trials, yes.

J&J’s vaccine is one of more than 100 worldwide being developed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected nearly 26.5 million people and led to 869,323 deaths. Latin America has become the centre of the pandemic.

The drugmaker is carrying out tests in the US and Belgium, and has added Chile, Argentina and Peru to a list of Latin American countries where it plans to conduct phase III trials along with Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Its trials globally will include 60,000 volunteers.

The Latin American countries all have high infection numbers, making them attractive testing sites for vaccine developers since it is easier to obtain dependable trial results in areas with high rates of active transmission and infection.

Bacaltchuk said the decision to spread trials so widely was motivated in part by the challenge of securing sufficient volunteer numbers in a region crowded with other pharmaceutical companies conducting trials of their own prototypes. He said:

I think this is a potential risk and that’s why we are going to a number of centres that is higher than the other companies to cover geographies that are not covered by the other studies.

He said the response from volunteers in the region has been “quite positive” which he hoped would continue.

This is impacting everybody and it’s going to continue to impact even after this is over. The consequences will continue so we need to try and stop it as early as possible.

Updated at 6.58pm BST

6.37pm BST

The statistics agency of Russia has said there were 10,079 deaths of people with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 in July.

6.02pm BST

The WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has called for countries around the world to join forces to tackle the coronavirus, saying that “vaccine nationalism” would only slow the response to the pandemic.

Tedros said 78 high-income countries had now joined the Covax global vaccine allocation plan, bringing the total to 170 countries, adding that joining the plan guaranteed those countries access to the world’s largest portfolio of vaccines.

The WHO and the Gavi vaccine alliance are leading the Covax facility, aimed at helping buy and distribute vaccination shots fairly around the world.

But some countries that have secured their own supplies through bilateral deals, including the US, have said they will not join Covax.

At a WHO briefing in Geneva Tedros told reporters:

Vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic.

Tedros thanked Germany, Japan, Norway and the European Commission for joining Covax during the last week.

A WHO spokeswoman said earlier on Friday that the organisation did not expect widespread vaccinations against Covid-19 to be available until mid-2021, citing the need for rigorous checks on their effectiveness and safety.

The WHO’s chief scientist told the briefing that no vaccine should be approved for a worldwide rollout until it had undergone sufficient scrutiny.

Soumya Swaminathan said:

No vaccine is going to be mass-deployed until regulators are confident, governments are confident, and the WHO is confident it has met the minimum standard of safety,

She added that the vaccine candidates needed to go through the full phase III trial, which usually involves thousands of participants.

Updated at 6.29pm BST

5.48pm BST

Italy registers highest daily rise since 2 May

Italy on Friday registered 1,733 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily rise since 2 May, and 11 deaths.

Veneto, which during Italy’s lockdown was commended for quickly containing the virus, registered the highest number of new cases – 373 – mostly due to an outbreak at a meat factory in Treviso and people returning from high-risk areas.

There were 171 new cases confirmed in Lazio (106 in Rome), the majority among those returning from Sardinia, where several clusters recently emerged, and 170 in the southern Campania region, of which 40% were linked to those returning from abroad or Sardinia.

More than 113,000 coronavirus tests were carried out within the last 24 hours, up by 21,000 on Thursday.

Hospitalisations have also been increasing in recent weeks, with 1,607 people currently being treated, of whom 121 are in intensive care.

Updated at 6.53pm BST

5.33pm BST

Spain reports over 10,000 new cases

Spain’s health ministry has reported 10,476 new cases since yesterday, bringing the country’s total to 498,989. It has also logged 256 deaths over the past week, bringing the toll to 24,918.

Madrid continues to be the worst-hit region, accounting for 31,538 of the 101,962 cases detected over the past two weeks.

The regional government of Madrid has announced that no more than 10 people will be allowed to meet indoors from Monday and has also capped the number of people permitted to attend religious services and funerals.

The regional president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, said the “very painful and very difficult” measures had been taken in an attempt to arrest the spike in cases in and around the capital. (See here.)

Speaking earlier on Friday, the health minister, Salvador Illa, said he believed Spain would be in a position at the end of this year to start receiving “safe doses” of vaccine and giving them to certain groups.

Updated at 6.59pm BST

5.31pm BST

France sees almost 9,000 new infections

Health authorities in France reported 8,975 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, setting an all-time high of daily additional infections since the disease started to spread in the country at the end of the winter.

The number of people hospitalised for the disease, while still well below its April 14 peak of 32,292, has gone up for the sixth day running, at 4,671.

The number of people in France who have died from COVID-19 infections stood at 30,686 and the cumulative number of cases now totals 309,156.

Updated at 6.59pm BST

5.05pm BST

The technology institute for the Brazilian state of Paraná, which has agreed to produce Russia’s Sputnik-V Covid-19 vaccine, has said it plans to conduct phase III trials on 10,000 volunteers in Brazil at the start of next year.

Jorge Callado, the head of Tecpar, said approval for the trial will be requested of Brazil’s health regulator, Anvisa, this month.

Doses will be imported for the tests and Tecpar plans to start producing the vaccine for Brazil’s market in the second half of 2021. Tecpar could eventually look to export to Latin American neighbours, Callado said.

Paraná is one of several Brazilian states that have struck out on their own to secure access to Covid-19 vaccines, motivated at least in part by a distrust of the federal government’s response.

Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has consistently minimized the gravity of the pandemic, which has infected more than 4 million people in the country and killed 124,600 in the worst outbreak outside the US.

Callado said Friday’s publication in the Lancet medical journal of results showing the vaccine had produced an antibody response in early-stage trials was an important development. He dismissed suspicion of Russia’s decision to fast-track registration of Sputnik V.

Russia heralded the development of the world’s first registered coronavirus vaccine as proof of its scientific prowess.

Paraná’s government signed a memorandum of understanding last month with Russia’s Gamaleya National Research Institute, which is developing the vaccine, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is marketing it.

Callado said the vaccine will be given in two doses 15 days apart early next year and the results will take two to three months to process before it can be registered in Brazil.

He said 200m reais (m) have been earmarked to purchase the vaccines, used first to inoculate the state’s population.

Updated at 5.15pm BST

4.24pm BST

The European Commission has proposed a common traffic light system for EU member states to coordinate border controls and remedy the current, confusing patchwork of coronavirus restrictions on travellers across Europe.

It said it was responding to demands from the European Union’s 27 countries, which will have to approve the proposal, and from citizens facing long border queues or perplexed about where and under what conditions they can take trips.

Under the proposal, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control would produce a weekly map with every region or country coloured green, orange or red.
The commission is advising that no restrictions be set for travellers from green or orange zones, though visitors from the latter might be recommended to take a Covid-19 test.

Restrictions, whether a quarantine or a test, would be appropriate for those coming from red zones, although the measures should be the same for all red zones, whether inside or outside the country. Countries would be free to determine what measures to take.

The colour coding is based on two criteria – no restrictions for people from areas with 50 or fewer Covid-19 infections per 100,000 people in 14 days, or where the percentage of positive tests is below 3%, unless the number of cases exceeds 150.
Red zones denote regions or countries with over 150 cases per 100,000 or over 50 cases if at least 3% of Covid-19 tests are positive.

One EU diplomat said some ambassadors, who discussed the issue on Wednesday, pointed out that various EU countries did not have health services or test and tracing systems equally capable of coping with Covid-19. More vulnerable countries then might wish to set tighter limits for visitors.

EU countries, most of which closed their national borders when the coronavirus pandemic struck, began easing restrictions in June. But the coordinated opening swiftly unravelled.

On Tuesday, Hungary locked its borders, while exempting visitors from three neighbouring states, a move branded by the commission as discriminatory and illegal.

Separately on Friday, the German health minister, Jens Spahn, said EU counterparts wanted to shorten a mandatory quarantine for travellers returning from more risky regions within the bloc to a minimum of 10 days. The rule is now 14 days. Spahn said:

We want to prevent a situation where travel rules in Europe and to Europe are starkly different. This leads to uncertainty and creates problems at borders.

We agreed that when travelling from a risky region, a general quarantine of at least 10 days is advisable. Some member states want to keep the possibility to go beyond 10 days.

Germany defines a risky region as having 50 or more Covid-19 cases per 100,000.

Many EU countries are experiencing rising numbers of coronavirus infections and have widely varying quarantine rules for travellers returning from regions with high case rates.

Updated at 4.27pm BST

3.57pm BST

Covid-19 has forced the closure of a dozen schools in mainland France just days into the new academic year, the government said on Friday, as the number of coronavirus cases surge in parts of the country.

The education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, said the overwhelming majority of France’s 12 million pupils had returned from Tuesday without any problems and that glitches were to be expected, Reuters reports.

Pupils aged 11 and over must wear face masks at all times. Attendance is mandatory, though schools can adapt to surges in local infections by limiting numbers for a few days or weeks – again forcing some parents to juggle work and childcare.

Giancarlo Ambrosini’s son’s primary school in Paris’s 16th district sent home two classes for a fortnight. He said:

It’s just the third day, they’ve just started, and there are already (virus) cases.

Though his son was not caught up in the closure, Ambrosini said he and his partner – who spent the spring coronavirus lockdown at his family home in Italy – would need to devise a backup plan were the school to close. “We both work, so it’s not easy.”

Some parents and teachers’ unions had voiced concerns that the virus could spread through classrooms.

Jean-Andre Lasserre, head of School Parents’ Union FCPE in Paris, said of the virus’s spread in the capital:

The dynamic looks terribly like what we experienced before lockdown. How will we ensure that parents who are put into self-isolation because of the children do not lose any income because they cannot go to work?

The education ministry told Reuters that, for now, affected parents would have to take holiday. It said the labour ministry was working on a measure to ensure that one parent could take paid leave without sacrificing annual holiday.

France reported more than 7,000 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, nearing the record of 7,578 set on 31 March.

Updated at 4.07pm BST

3.11pm BST

Surging coronavirus cases in Ankara in Turkey are stretching hospitals to the limit and Turkish authorities need to impose a fresh lockdown to bring the virus under control, according to doctors in the Turkish capital.

The city is now the epicentre of Turkey’s Covid-19 outbreak, the government announced this week, and although authorities say there is no plan for a lockdown as yet officials privately say new measures may be needed soon, Reuters reports.

Geriatrics professor Mustafa Cankurtaran at Ankara’s Hacettepe medical faculty urged the government to open all medical centres, including private health units. He tweeted:

Ankara has become Wuhan. A 10- to 14-day lockdown should be imposed. Health capacity may be exceeded.

Two officials told Reuters the number of cases in Ankara was rising faster than anticipated, and current measures including mask-wearing and social distancing were not having the results they anticipated.

One official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said:

The daily positive cases are high enough to cause discomfort now, and everyone has started seeing daily new cases in their close circles. If new measures are not taken, it appears it will be more difficult to prevent new problems.

Health minister Fahrettin Koca, describing a “second peak” in Covid-19 cases in Turkey, said the number of active cases in Ankara this week were twice the number in Istanbul – whose population is three times the size of the capital’s.

Ankara governor Vasip Sahin told reporters on Friday that he hoped the rising trend in the number of cases would not require stricter measures such as curfew. Sahin said:

Curfew is a tough situation, we don’t want to impose that. We believe that it’s possible to reverse this trend in our city without such restrictions.

However, Ankara doctors and other health workers are exhausted, the Turkish Medics Association (TTB) says.
One doctor dealing with Covid-19 told Reuters there were over 1,000 daily cases at their Ankara hospital, not far below the official national daily total which stands at around 1,600. Patients were being treated in corridors, and doctors dying. the doctor said:

Ankara is seriously in big trouble. They really need to impose restrictions on being outdoors.

Asked about the numbers reported by the doctor, Turkey’s health ministry stood by its figures.

Fatalities across the country have jumped to their highest since mid-May, when lockdowns were in place, with 49 deaths reported on Thursday.

At the weekend, the mayors of Istanbul and Ankara accused the government of playing down the scale of the pandemic, citing local information.

Updated at 4.09pm BST

1.59pm BST

US job growth slowed further in August as financial assistance from the government ran out, threatening the economy’s recovery from the Covid-19 recession.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 1.371 million jobs last month after advancing 1.734 million in July, the Labor Department’s closely watched employment report showed on Friday. The unemployment rate fell to 8.4% from 10.2% in July.

Companies from transportation to manufacturing industries have been announcing layoffs or furloughs, putting pressure on the White House and Congress to restart stalled negotiations for another fiscal package. With just two months to go until the presidential election, the jobs situation likely will provide political ammunition for both Democrats and Republicans.

Programmes to help businesses pay wages have either lapsed or are on the verge of ending. A 0 weekly unemployment supplement expired in July. Economists credited government largesse for the sharp rebound in economic activity after it nearly ground to a halt following the shuttering of businesses in mid-March to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Friday’s report is one of just two monthly labor market scorecards left on the calendar before the 3 November presidential election. Employment growth peaked at 4.791 million in June.

Most of the job gains have been workers being recalled from furloughs or temporary layoffs. Though new Covid-19 infections have subsided after a broad resurgence through the summer, many hot spots remain.

United Airlines said on Wednesday it was preparing to furlough 16,370 workers on 1 October. American Airlines has announced its workforce would shrink by 40,000, including 19,000 involuntary cuts. Ford Motor Co said it was targeting 1,400 US salaried jobs for elimination by year end. Mass transit rail operators are also eying furloughs.

A report this week from the Federal Reserve based on information collected from the US central bank’s contacts on or before 24 August showed an increase in employment. The Fed, however, said:

Some districts also reported slowing job growth and increased hiring volatility, particularly in service industries, with rising instances of furloughed workers being laid off permanently as demand remained soft.

Updated at 2.09pm BST

1.55pm BST

The reproduction “R” number of Covid-19 in the UK remains between 0.9 and 1.1, the government said on Friday, indicating that the rate of infection is most likely either broadly stable or slightly growing.

The latest growth rate for the whole of the country is between -1% and 2%, the government said, meaning the number of new infections is somewhere between shrinking by 1% and growing by 2% every day.

Updated at 2.09pm BST

1.54pm BST

Iraq registered its biggest daily increase in coronavirus infections on Friday with 5,036 cases to take its total to 252,075, the health ministry said.
It reported 84 fatalities to take its coronavirus death toll to 7,359.

The daily tally of cases has been rising since the holy month of Ramadan and as many Iraqis flout lockdown measures..

Updated at 2.31pm BST

1.38pm BST

About 27,100 people in the community in England had Covid-19 during the week from 19-25 August, equating to about one in 2,000 individuals, with about 2,000 new cases a day, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics reveals.

The team behind the work – which is based on sampling of households – say that, once again, the data suggest infection rate in England is still levelling off, with no clear sign of a rise or fall, following a rise in the rate in July.

However, researchers behind the Covid-19 symptom study app say their data, based on swab testing of people reporting symptoms, tells a slightly different story, revealing a slight rise in daily cases of Covid-19.

The latest data suggests that from 16-29 August 2020 there were on average 1,423 new cases per day in England, compared with 1,073 reported the previous week for the period 9-22 August. For the UK the figures are 1,974 and 1,292 new cases per day respectively.

Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, and lead researcher on the Covid-19 symptom study, said the rise in numbers was occurring as economic activity and travel increased.

Earlier this week, experts told the Guardian the testing figures from the government suggested infections in the UK had risen since early July, although levelling off in August, even once an increase in the number of tests carried out was taken into account.

Prof Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, said at the time:

What it clearly demonstrates is we’re in a position where case numbers are going up. So we don’t have much room for manoeuvre.

Responding to the latest figures Prof Oliver Johnson, professor of information theory at the School of Mathematics at the University of Bristol, said:

Today’s ONS infection survey figures are very similar to last week. Indeed the long-term trend is broadly flat since the beginning of July, suggesting an R value very close to 1.

This data may appear to contradict the recent increase in UK cases: this may partly be due to some of those cases being discovered by targeted testing in hotspots.

Further, it is important to note this ONS survey covers only England and Wales: a significant proportion of the recent increase in cases has occurred in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and so would not be visible here.

For more UK coronavirus news, do check out our other live blog:

Updated at 2.13pm BST

1.13pm BST

The strict lockdown in Australia has led to calls for protests this weekend, which police have aggressively tried to shut down. Video footage of police seeking to detain a woman and a man for inciting people to protest have gone viral on social media.

James Bartolo, who calls himself the leader of the Conscious Truth Network, on Friday posted a video of police entering his house with a battering ram after he refused to open the door. He had earlier posted videos saying he was going to join an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne on Saturday.

Police confirmed a 27-year-old man had been arrested and charged with incitement, possession of prohibited weapons and two counts of resisting police.

On Thursday, police came under fire for arresting and handcuffing a pregnant, pyjama-clad woman at her home for promoting an anti-lockdown protest in the regional town of Ballarat.

Victoria reported a record 59 deaths on Friday, the highest daily total for the country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but that included 50 previously unrecorded fatalities in aged care homes in July and August. It also reported 81 new cases, taking the state’s total infections to 19,415.

1.09pm BST

Australia’s prime minister pressed states on Friday to reopen their borders by December and ease restrictions, as businesses and locked down households vented their frustration over deepening revenue and job losses. Reuters reports:

Prime minister Scott Morrison said the country would look to bring more Australians home, raising the cap from 4,000 a week, and suggested an eventual travel bubble with New Zealand would boost tourism and help revive the economy, which has fallen into recession for the first time since 1991.

Seven of Australia’s eight state and territory leaders agreed to map out a path to open borders by December, by coming up with a definition for “hot spots” to manage travel around the country, Morrison said following a national cabinet meeting.

He said he had told New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, that Australia would also look to apply the same hot spot approach to New Zealand. Morrison told reporters:

In the absence of a vaccine, we may have to live this way for year.

Australia’s biggest state, Western Australia, which has not had a local transmission for 129 days and has no social or business restrictions, rejected the plan to reopen its border until the eastern states contain the coronavirus.

Western Australia state premier Mark McGowan said the desert borders that separate his state would stay closed to save lives and protect the nation’s largest mining operations.

Australia’s early international border closures, lockdowns and social distancing restrictions has resulted in it recording far fewer coronavirus infections and deaths than other nations. Nationally there have been about 26,100 infections and 737 deaths.

Australia’s tourism industry welcomed the push to reopen internal borders in time for summer holidays and Christmas. Margy Osmond, the chief executive of the Tourism and Transport Forum, said:

Our industry remains on its knees in the fight of its life and has each month been losing thousands of jobs and bn in activity from the forced shutdown of domestic travel alone.

Victoria, the second-most populous state, is the epicentre of Australia’s latest wave of cases, mainly in the state capital Melbourne. Daily new infections have dropped to double digits this week thanks to a strict lockdown imposed on 2 August.

Melbourne is nearing the end of the six-week lockdown which includes a night time curfew, an hour a day of outdoor exercise and travel limits to within three miles 5km) of home. Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews is due to outline plans on Sunday for easing restrictions.

Businesses have been calling for the economy to reopen but Andrews does not want to lift restrictions quickly and then be forced to shut down again with another wave of infections.

Andrews told reporters:

There is simply no alternative but to ease out of these restrictions in a safe and steady way.

Updated at 1.31pm BST

12.59pm BST

The Japanese government has said it will cover the cost of coronavirus vaccines for its entire population, as it aims for a comprehensive inoculation against the pandemic.

The government has also announced it will establish funds to compensate people who suffer from any possible side effects caused by vaccines. The plans were outlined in documents distributed at a briefing by the economy minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura, who also heads the coronavirus response

This is Lexy Topping taking over from my colleague Nazia Parveen. If you have a story from where you are, or you think there is something we’ve missed please do get in touch with me. I’m on alexandra.topping@theguardian.com or I’m @lexytopping on Twitter.

Updated at 1.31pm BST

12.14pm BST

Russia’s “Sputnik-V” Covid-19 vaccine produced an antibody response in all participants in early-stage trials, according to results published by the Lancet medical journal.

The results of the two trials, conducted in June-July this year and involving 76 participants, showed 100% of participants developing antibodies to the new coronavirus and no serious side-effects, the Lancet said.

Russia licensed the two-shot jab for domestic use in August, the first country to do so and before any data had been published or a large-scale trial begun.

“The two 42-day trials including 38 healthy adults each did not find any serious adverse effects among participants, and confirmed that the vaccine candidates elicit an antibody response,” the Lancet said.

“Large, long-term trials including a placebo comparison, and further monitoring are needed to establish the long-term safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for preventing Covid-19 infection.”

A scientist filters out samples during the research and development of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease at a laboratory in St Petersburg, Russia.
A scientist filters out samples during the research and development of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease at a laboratory in St Petersburg, Russia.
Photograph: Anton Vaganov/Reuters

The vaccine is named Sputnik-V in homage to the world’s first satellite, launched by the Soviet Union. Some western experts have warned against its use until all internationally approved testing and regulatory steps have been taken.

But with the results published for the first time in an international peer-reviewed journal, and with a 40,000-strong later-stage trial launched last week, a senior Russian official said Moscow had faced down its critics abroad.

“With this (publication) we answer all of the questions of the west that were diligently asked over the past three weeks, frankly with the clear goal of tarnishing the Russian vaccine,” said Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, which has backed the vaccine.

“All of the boxes are checked,” he told Reuters. “Now … we will start asking questions of some of the western vaccines.”

Updated at 12.25pm BST

11.32am BST

The regional government of Madrid, the worst-affected part of Spain, has announced that no more than 10 people will be allowed to meet indoors from Monday and has also capped the number of people permitted to attend religious services and funerals.

The regional president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, said the “very painful and very difficult” measures had been taken in a bid to arrest the spike in cases in and around the capital.

Almost a third of the 100,000 new coronavirus cases detected in the past two weeks in Spain have been in the Madrid region, while it also accounted for 73 of the 191 deaths during the past seven days. In Madrid’s hospitals, 16% of beds are occupied by Covid patients, compared with a national average of 6%.

Both the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, and the head of Spain’s centre for health emergencies, Fernando Simón, have expressed concern this week over the situation in Madrid.

On Wednesday, the president of the neighbouring region of Castilla-La Mancha claimed that “80% of the cases we’ve got came from the radioactive viral bomb that was planted in Madrid”.

However, the central government has ruled out a return to lockdown or isolating Madrid from the rest of the country.
Explaining the measures at a press conference on Friday morning, the regional health minister, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, said that while the pandemic was “stable and under control”, action was needed.

From Monday, the existing ban on groups of more than 10 people meeting outdoors will be extended to cover indoor gatherings, and the number of people allowed at funerals, weddings, theme parks and betting shops will be reduced from 75% of capacity to 60%.

Ruiz Escudero also said the regional government was readying hotels to serve as medical facilities for those with mild infections and their families, and said the number of contact tracers in the region will almost double, rising from 560 to around 1,100. He added that 2m rapid testing kits had been bought.

The new measures will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis.

Updated at 11.35am BST

11.14am BST

Iran’s death toll from the novel coronavirus rose by 118 to 22,044, a health ministry spokeswoman told state TV on Friday, with the total number of identified cases rising to 382,772.

Sima Sadat Lari said that 2,026 new cases were identified in the last 24 hours in Iran, one of the worst-hit countries in the Middle East.

Updated at 11.19am BST

10.40am BST

Thailand is racing ahead with contact-tracing after detecting its first domestic coronavirus infection in more than three months, health officials have said, with tests conducted on nearly 200 people with possible exposure to the new case.

Thailand reported its first non-imported case in after more than 100 days on Thursday, after a prisoner a day earlier had tested positive for the coronavirus during a mandatory test for new inmates.

“We traced his movement back two weeks before he had symptoms on 29 August,” Sopon Iamsirithaworn, the director of the bureau of general communicable diseases, told a news conference.

3 September 2020
A man arranges a sales sign for a travel company during a domestic travel fair in Bangkok, Thailand. National travel has seen an increase in July as more people take advantage of less crowded tourist destinations in Thailand.
Photograph: Diego Azubel/EPA

The man, 37, had worked as a nightclub DJ at three different venues in the capital Bangkok during the past two weeks, officials said, before he was jailed for a drugs-related offence.

So far, 194 people considered at risk, including family members, inmates and people at the court where he had appeared have tested negative, Sopon said, adding that authorities were using a government smartphone application to contact those who had checked-in at those venues.

All of the country’s new cases in the last three months have been found in quarantine in individuals who were returning from overseas.

Thailand has reported a relatively low 3,431 cases and 58 Covid-19 deaths overall, with 96 patients being treated in hospital. That compares with more than 232,000 and 187,000 infections in the Philippines and Indonesia respectively.

Thai authorities advised those concerned about exposure to the new case to seek testing and to quarantine at home.
“If you suspect that you’ve come into contact with this DJ, you can come in for free tests,” a senior health official, Ritdej Chareonchai, said.

Updated at 11.21am BST

10.34am BST

Indonesia reported 3,269 new coronavirus infections, bringing the overall tally to 187,537, according to data from the country’s health ministry.

It was the third consecutive day of new infections above 3,000 and followed Thursday’s record-high 3,622 new cases.

Indonesia also reported 82 new deaths on Friday, raising its total fatalities to 7,832, Southeast Asia’s highest number.

10.30am BST

WHO: no widespread vaccination until mid-2021

The World Health Organization has said it does not expect widespread vaccinations against coronavirus until the middle of next year, stressing the importance of rigorous checks on their effectiveness and safety.

“We are not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year,” spokeswoman Margaret Harris told journalists at a briefing in Geneva.

“This phase 3 must take longer because we need to see how truly protective the vaccine is and we also need to see how safe it is,” she added referring to vaccine clinical trials.

Updated at 10.51am BST

10.06am BST

“Authoritarian”, “unnecessary”, “completely bonkers” and “Stasi” – Ireland’s latest move to tame Covid-19 is not going down well.

From next week, pubs and restaurants must keep a record of all meals ordered and if requested share the information with police and health officials for up to 28 days afterwards.

The government said the goal was to ensure customers ate, not monitor what they ate, but the hospitality sector and opposition politicians have denounced the rule, which was announced on Thursday.

“Bureaucracy gone mad,” said the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland. “Completely bonkers,” said Alan Kelly, leader of the Labour party. A “Stasi” move that risks turning Ireland into a police state, said Marc MacSharry, a backbencher with the ruling Fianna Fáil party. Anne Rabbitte, a junior minister, joined the backlash by telling the Irish Independent she was “totally gobsmacked” by a rule that was “a step too far”.

Publicans have asked the data protection commissioner to review the rule.

The government defended the measure as a way to protect people and ensure a level playing field for pubs and restaurants. The government is also coming under pressure to allow so-called wet pubs, which do not serve food, to reopen.

Updated at 10.30am BST

9.44am BST

Here’s a little more on Silvio Berlusconi being admitted to hospital.

The former Italian premier, who has history of heart and other medical problems, was admitted to a Milan hospital early Friday as a precaution to monitor his coronavirus infection, a top aide has said.

Senator Lucia Ronzulli told RAI state TV that the media mogul, 83, who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier in the week, was doing well. She said he was undergoing precautionary monitoring of his infection.

“He passed the night well,’’ she said.

3 September 2020
Press and cameramen gather outside the villa of Silvio Berlusconi’s Villa San Martino in Arcore, north-east of Milan, on Thursday.
Photograph: Matteo Corner/EPA

State radio later said Berlusconi was admitted to San Raffaele hospital, where his private doctor is based, shortly after midnight.

Sky TG24, reporting from outside the hospital, said Berlusconi had the beginnings of pneumonia and was given an oxygen mask to aid breathing. Italian media have stressed Berlusconi is not in intensive care. Sky also said he arrived by private car, walked into the hospital, where he had a CT scan early Friday shortly after arrival.

On Thursday, Berlusconi, speaking in a strong but somewhat nasal voice from his estate on the outskirts of Milan, told his supporters he no longer had fever or pain.

Italian media have said two of his adult children also were recently diagnosed with coronavirus and are self-isolating.

Unfortunately this isn’t a cold,’’ La Stampa newspaper said Berlusconi told the daily on Thursday. “Now it touches me but not only me, but also my family I realise more than ever how grave [the pandemic is].

“I’m aware of how much sorrow it has sowed in so many families, of how much pain it has caused so many people. I think of all those who aren’t here any more, I think of those who lost their loved ones,’’ the Turin daily quoted Berlusconi as saying.

Berlusconi has a history of serious medical problems. In 1997, he successfully battled prostate cancer, including by surgery. In 2006, he had heart tests at San Raffaele after fainting during a speech. A few weeks later he was fitted with a pacemaker at a U.S. hospital.

He also has had bowel surgery for an obstruction and suffered an inflammatory eye condition in the past.

Berlusconi spent some of his summer vacation at his seaside villa on Sardinia’s Emerald Coast. Many of Italy’s recent cases of coronavirus have been linked to clusters in people who vacationed on Sardinia.

29 August, 2020.
Tourists wear protective masks in front of the entrance to Phi beach on the Costa Smeralda, which was to close early due to coronavirus.
Photograph: Emanuele Perrone/Getty Images

According to Italian media, at the urging of family members, he spent a few weeks at another one of his villas, in France, early in Italy’s coronavirus outbreak, which was particularly devastating in Lombardy, where Berlusconi’s home and business empire is based.

On Thursday, the three-time former premier vowed to keep campaigning in upcoming regional elections in Italy for the center-right party, Forza Italia, that he created more than 25 years ago. The party has steadily lost popularity with voters in recent years as Berlusconi battled legal problems linked to his media business and his famed “bunga bunga” parties.

After being convicted of tax fraud in 2013, Berlusconi had to surrender his senate seat. He is currently a lawmaker in the European parliament.

Updated at 10.34am BST

9.18am BST

The Philippine health ministry reported 3,714 novel coronavirus infections and 49 additional deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases have increased to 232,072 while deaths from the disease have reached 3,737.

8.52am BST

Russia reported 5,110 new coronavirus cases, pushing its national tally to 1,015,105, the fourth largest in the world.

Authorities said 121 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 17,649.

8.18am BST

Silvio Berlusconi hospitalised

Italy’s former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has been hospitalised in Milan for further checks after testing positive for the coronavirus, his Forza Italia party said on Friday.

The party said his medical condition was not a cause for concern.

The 83-year-old-media tycoon had been in isolation in his house in the town of Arcore, north of Milan.

Forza Italia said he was at the San Raffaele hospital “as a precaution”.

Berlusconi had spoken via video link to a meeting of Forza Italia supporters on Thursday and said his fever had passed. “I no longer have fever, nor pain, I want to reassure everyone that I am quite well,” he said.

Updated at 9.36am BST

8.07am BST

The French education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, has closed 22 schools in France due to coronavirus cases.

“In mainland France there are currenly 12 schools closed out of a total of over 60,000, which is a small figure. Adding 10 schools in La Reunion (island), that makes it 22,” Blanquer told Europe 1 radio.

As more than 12 million pupils returned to school in France on Tuesday, some parents and teachers’ unions have voiced concern at plans for reopening classrooms as the spread of the virus gathers pace.

The health ministry said it had registered more than 7,000 new coronavirus infections over 24 hours for the second time in two days, just shy of a 7,578 record set on March 31, while hospitalisations for the virus also rose again.

Updated at 8.10am BST

7.45am BST

Nurseries and childminders in England who rely on fees from parents may be forced to close or quit the sector, creating a national shortage of childcare places, according to research published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The study found that the coronavirus lockdown caused severe financial pressures for providers that received the bulk of their income from fees rather than through the government’s childcare entitlement, leaving about 25% of private sector nurseries vulnerable:

Updated at 8.10am BST

7.39am BST

Hello, I will be updating the blog this morning. As ever, please do send any tips and stories to nazia.parveen@theguardian.com or send me a DM on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NParveenG

7.37am BST

Ryanair raised €400m from shareholders via a share placement aimed at strengthening its balance sheet in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier said on Friday.

The Irish airline issued 35,242,291 shares at a price of €11.35 per share, a discount of approximately 2.6% to its closing price on Thursday, it said in a statement.

A Ryanair plane takes off from Manchester airport in June
A Ryanair plane takes off from Manchester airport in June.
Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Ryanair decided to raise the funds to capitalise on opportunities created by Covid-19 disruption and to “de-risk” its debt repayments over the next 12 months, it said on Thursday.

Updated at 8.13am BST

7.28am BST

US president Donald Trump has criticised the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, after the Democrat was filmed at an indoor hair salon with her face covering around her neck. Trump, a longtime critic of Pelosi, pounced on the opportunity to attack her over the incident.

“I’ll tell you what, she must have treated that beauty salon owner pretty badly. She uses the salon and the salon turned her in?” he said. “So I just put out that if she was set up, then she shouldn’t be leading the House of Representatives. I want the salon owner to lead the House of Representatives”:

Updated at 8.14am BST

7.15am BST

A groundbreaking new comedy sketch show based on women’s sex lives during lockdown, starring Aimee Lou Wood and Miriam Margolyes, is designed to “claim the stage” for women, its co-creator, Joanna Scanlan, says.

Sex Lives, believed to be the first interactive comedy backed by the BBC’s commercial wing, BBC Studios, documents stories submitted anonymously by women and has proved a hit online.

Following the #MeToo movement, Scanlan, who acted in The Thick of It, said she had “been thinking for a long time about trying to get a conversation around women’s sexuality into the open, into the mainstream. It always ends up being to the side, to the edge.”

7.02am BST

That’s it from me, Helen Sullivan, for today.

Before I hand over to my colleagues in London, may I suggest you start your weekend with this piece by my colleague Alyx Gorman, who tried several airplane meals (which are for sale in Australia for around US):

Updated at 7.03am BST

6.57am BST

Ukraine sees record new cases

Ukraine registered a record 2,723 cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the national security council said on Friday, up from a previous record of 2,495 cases.

Ukraine has imposed a temporary ban on most foreigners entering the country until 28 September, and extended lockdown measures until the end of October to contain a recent spike in cases.

A woman visits a street bazaar in central LvivA woman wearing a protective face mask tastes a pear as she visits a street bazaar amid the coronavirus outbreak in central Lviv, Ukraine 3 September 2020.
A woman visits a street bazaar in central Lviv.
Photograph: Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Updated at 7.26am BST

6.43am BST

Summary

Here are the key developments from the last few hours:

  • Brazil has recorded more than 4 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 43,773 new cases and 834 deaths from the disease caused by the virus reported in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday.
  • Israel announced Thursday a new lockdown affecting 30 areas as it grapples with one of the world’s highest detected per capita infection rates and a death toll nearing 1,000, AFP reports. From Monday, travel from 30 areas classified as “red” will be limited and non-essential businesses shut down.
  • The Australian state of Victoria has confirmed 81 new coronavirus cases and 9 deaths in the last 24 hours. It also added 50 deaths from people who passed away in aged care facilities in July and August.
  • New Zealand to retain current restrictions until mid-September. New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said on Friday the country’s current restrictions to beat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic would be retained until mid-September. The largest city, Auckland, will remain on alert level 2.5, while the rest of the country will be on alert level 2.0, Ardern told a news conference. The settings would be reviewed on 14 September, she said.
  • France counts more than 7,000 new infections for second day. France registered more than 7,000 new coronavirus infections over 24 hours for the second time in two days, the health ministry said on Thursday, while hospitalisations for the virus also rose again.
  • Robert Pattinson tests positive for Covid-19, halting Batman production. The actor Robert Pattinson has tested positive for Covid-19, pausing production in the UK of Warner Bros movie The Batman, US media reports.
  • US public health officials prepare for October vaccine rollout. Federal public health officials in the US have asked their state counterparts to prepare to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine to high-risk individuals as early as late October.
  • Tracing apps may stem Covid-19 spread even when only a few use them – study. Contact tracing apps can sharply reduce the spread of Covid-19 even when only a few people use them, a study published on Thursday by researchers at Google and Oxford University showed. An app used by 15% of the population together with a well-staffed contact-tracing workforce can lead to a 15% drop in infection rates and an 11% drop in Covid-19 deaths, according to statistical modelling.
  • Mexico leads the world in healthcare worker deaths from Covid-19. Mexico leads the world in coronavirus deaths among its healthcare workers, Amnesty International has said in a new report. The report said Mexico has reported 1,320 confirmed deaths among health workers from Covid-19 so far, surpassing the US at 1,077, the UK at 649, and Brazil at 634.
  • Thailand reports first locally transmitted case in 100 days. Thailand has reported its first locally transmitted coronavirus case in 100 days, after a prison inmate was confirmed to have Covid-19. Dozens of contacts are now being tested, including his family members, people he met in court and other inmates. He had been arrested for drug offences on 26 August.
  • Greece and Portugal stay on England’s list of quarantine-free travel. English tourists in Greece and Portugal have been spared the cost and chaos of rushing back to the UK after the British government defied expectations and maintained quarantine-free travel from both countries for the time being.

Updated at 7.28am BST

6.39am BST

Friday briefing: Eat out to help out budget blowout

At least 100m subsidised meals were eaten by diners in the UK in August under the government’s month-long “eat out to help out” scheme. The subsidy has cost more than the £500m that Rishi Sunak set aside in the July mini-budget. There was a rush during the last week of the scheme with 51m meals claimed in England, 6m in Scotland, and more than 2m in both Wales and Northern Ireland:

6.30am BST

More now on New Zealand, from Reuters:

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday retained the restrictions put in place to beat the spread of the coronavirus until at least mid-September, as the country reported a new death related to the virus.

Auckland, the country’s largest city and the centre of a fresh outbreak, will remain on alert level 2.5, which limits gatherings to no more than 10 people.

“The best economic response remains a strong health response. If we get it right we will ultimately shake off restrictions faster and lessen the risk of bouncing around,” Ardern told a news conference.

Other parts of the country will be under alert level 2, which requires people to observe social distancing rules and restricts gathering sizes to no more than 100 people. The settings will be reviewed on 14 September.

New Zealand’s health ministry said a man in his 50s had died in an Auckland hospital on Friday due to Covid-19. He was linked to a known Auckland cluster and was in intensive care for the last few days. His death takes the number of COVID-19 related fatalities in the country to 23.

The ministry also reported five new Covid-19 cases on Friday – three cases of community transmission and two imported cases at managed isolation facilities. The country has had 1,413 coronavirus cases so far, of which 112 are active.

6.01am BST

Pupils at special schools in England have been “forgotten about” in the rush to restart full-time education, with 20,000 children with special needs unlikely to return to school because of safety concerns, according to a study.

Parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities (Send) said they were concerned about sending their children back to school in September because their children were medically vulnerable or because their child’s needs mean they cannot adhere to social distancing and safe practice.

Headteachers at more than 200 schools and colleges in England told researchers the government’s guidance had been unclear and showed a lack of understanding of how special schools work, the types of pupils they support, and how much they rely on other key services including healthcare and local charities:

5.57am BST

India cases top 80,000 for second day in a row

India has for the second day in a row reported more than 80,000 cases in 24 hours:

India reported a daily jump of 83,341 coronavirus infections on Friday, taking its tally to 3.94 million, health ministry data showed, as Asia’s worst-hit country closes in on Brazil as the world’s second most affected nation from the virus.

The ministry said 1,096 people died from Covid-19, taking the toll to 68,472.

Updated at 6.47am BST

5.39am BST

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 782 to 246,948, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Friday.

5.27am BST

Turkey has extended by two months a layoff ban it introduced to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports.

The presidential decision, which retains the ban until mid-November, was announced in the Official Gazette on Friday.

The measure was first imposed in April for three months, but President Tayyip Erdogan has the authority to extend it until July 2021.

5.12am BST

A prize-winning Iranian lawyer is over three weeks into a hunger strike to draw attention to the plight of political prisoners in the country during the Covid-19 pandemic, as international concern grows over the state of her health, AFP reports.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, co-laureate of the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov prize in 2012, is serving a 12-year sentence in Tehran’s Evin prison, imposed last year, after she defended women arrested for protesting compulsory headscarf laws.

Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh in 2008.
Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh in 2008.
Photograph: Arash Ashourinia/AP

Her husband Reza Khandan said on social media channels that she began the hunger strike on August 11, posting a statement from Sotoudeh saying that the conditions of political prisoners detained on “unbelievable” charges were impossible to tolerate and they were offered no legal hope of release as the pandemic engulfs Iran.

Sotoudeh, 57, said her strike was to secure the release of political prisoners – who have not benefited from the furloughs that saw tens of thousands of other convicts freed during the pandemic – after the judiciary ignored her written pleas.

4.53am BST

Near Madrid airport, an army of cranes works round the clock to build a new pandemic hospital which is expected to open in November, AFP reports.

But a second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak is already under way in Spain, straining the capital’s public health care system. Around 400 builders have been working round the clock since July to build the 45,000-square-metre Isabel Zendal hospital, which will be able to care for over 1,000 patients during a health emergency.

Concrete mixers churn at full speed at the vast building site as welders set off sparks from the pillars which will form the backbone of building.

“Two months ago there was nothing here,” said Alejo Mirando, the director general of health infrastructure in hardest-hit Madrid region.

The regional government of Madrid is spending over 50 million euros ( million) to build the hospital, which will have bay windows which will allow doctors to monitor patients without becoming contaminated and large halls without individual rooms.

The architecture was designed to “avoid transmission” of viruses and it was inspired by the design of a temporary field hospital set up at Madrid’s sprawling Ifema exhibition centre between March and May, said Mirando.

The opening of the new hospital however will come too late to deal with a surge in infections in the Madrid region, which Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has called “worrying”.

4.43am BST

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says that that the country plans to introduce a “hotspot” approach to tourism from New Zealand, which will allow people from parts of New Zealand that are declared safe (in coronavirus terms) to visit Australia:

I spoke to Prime Minister Ardern this morning, and what I advised her was that Australia will be looking to apply the same hotspot approach to New Zealand. So, that means, when we’re in a position to do so, and when the Acting Chief Medical Officer has come to a set of arrangements with New Zealand, then we would be able to have New Zealanders come to Australia.

That doesn’t mean Australians can go to New Zealand. That’s a matter for Prime Minister Ardern. But if there’s no Coivd in Christchurch, and there’s no Covid in Queensland, then there’s no reason both of them can’t come to Sydney. And that will mean, I think, an important boost for our tourist economy, whether it’s in New South Wales or anywhere else. And so Prime Minister Ardern was very happy to have further discussions on that, but ultimately that’s a decision for our border and people coming in to Australia.

But we would just need to ensure that the arrangements in place of identifying hot spots and things of that nature were well-understood and were practical.”

4.33am BST

The risk of dying from Covid-19 is at least 50% higher for Māori than New Zealanders from European backgrounds, according to a study from The Conversation published today.

Māori and Pacific populations are historically at greater risk of hospitalisation and death from pandemics. During the 2009 influenza pandemic, the rate of infection for Māori was twice that of Pākehā (European New Zealanders). Māori were three times more likely to be hospitalised and almost three times more likely to die.

Their results show that if Covid-19 were allowed to become more widespread in New Zealand, it would have a devastating impact on Māori and Pacific communities:

4.17am BST

4.06am BST

Mexican officials on Thursday downplayed the countrys rate of coronavirus infections and deaths among medical personnel, appearing to dispute reports this week that Mexico had the highest rate in the world, AP reports.

The Health Department said 1,410 doctors, nurses and other hospital employees had died from Covid-19, while a total of 104,590 medical workers had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Infections among among health care personnel represented about 17% of Mexicos total 616,900 coronavirus cases, though such workers account for only about 1% of the population. Deaths in the sector were only about 2% of Mexico’s total deaths, and the government said the fact that health care workers died less frequently than other severe cases showed they weren’t particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

The argument appeared to ignore that health care workers are younger in general than other severe cases almost half of those severely ill from Covid-19 are above retirement age and that they presumably have better medical knowledge and access to care which tend to improve their chances of survival.

3.37am BST

Mexico’s health ministry on Thursday reported 5,937 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 513 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 616,894 cases and 66,329 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

General view of the monument to the Pipila, which is adorned with a giant mask to raise awareness of the importance of their use during the coronavirus pandemic, in Guanajuato, Mexico, 2 September 2020.
General view of the monument to the Pipila, which is adorned with a giant mask to raise awareness of the importance of their use during the coronavirus pandemic, in Guanajuato, Mexico, 2 September 2020.
Photograph: Luis Ramirez/EPA

3.22am BST

South Korean doctors have agreed to end a two-week strike which has hindered efforts to curb a new wave of coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said on Friday, after overnight talks over the government’s medical reform plans, Reuters reports.

Some 16,000 intern and resident doctors have been on strike since 21 August. Trainee doctors are the backbone of healthcare services in emergency rooms and intensive care units, and volunteer at temporary testing stations.

The doctors oppose the reform proposals, which include increasing the number of doctors, building public medical schools, allowing state insurance to cover more oriental medicine, and expanding telemedicine.

The government says the initiatives could help better deal with health crises like the coronavirus, but the doctors argued it would only deepen the concentration of physicians in cities without improving poor medical infrastructure and work conditions in rural provinces.

Chung said the government, the ruling party and the Korean Medical Association that represents the industry have reached a “dramatic compromise” after lengthy negotiations.

3.05am BST

2.27am BST

New Zealand to retain current restrictions until mid-September

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday that the country’s current restrictions to beat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic would be retained until mid-September.

The largest city, Auckland, will remain on alert level 2.5, while the rest of the country will be on alert level 2.0, Ardern told a news conference.

The settings would be reviewed on 14 September, she said.

2.02am BST

Rishi Sunak has been urged by union leaders to launch a wage subsidy scheme to prevent a “tsunami” of unemployment when furlough comes to an end this autumn.

Demanding the chancellor follows the examples of other leading European countries to avert a looming jobs crisis, the Trades Union Congress said a continental-style system of “short-time working” wage support could be used in Britain to save millions of jobs from redundancy.

Under the system, companies struggling to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic receive a government subsidy for the hours a worker is away from their job. Similar systems are used in Germany, Austria and France and have been extended in recent months because of the growing risks for companies and workers around the world amid the Covid recession:

1.41am BST

Once, Gate Gourmet’s Sydney warehouse produced 30,000 in-flight meals a day, for 21 airlines. They catered around 200 flights a day. They are one of the largest airline catering businesses in the world, supplying over 200 airports. In Australia, they have warehouses in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

In Covid times, things are a little different. With flights in and out of Australia largely grounded, and domestic flight schedules slashed, they are selling direct to the public. And the price is right.

My “clearance meal pack” is for 10 frozen meals, a regular meal pack of seven is . The “snack pack”, which promises 10 “assorted items” – from baggies of pork crackle to cans of cola – is a mere . You cannot pick the meals you’ll receive – though they have options for vegetarians.

Gate Gourmet aren’t the only ones getting on to the direct to consumer bandwagon – until 4 September, Qantas is having a stocktake sale, with cut-price mystery wine cases at .50 a bottle, as well as tiny wine bottles for .99 a pop:

1.31am BST

Asia Pacific shares suffer heavy losses

Shares in Asia Pacific are suffering heavy losses in early Friday morning trade following some hefty falls on Wall Street on Thursday.

The Nikkei was down 1.4% in Tokyo, the Kospi was off 2% in Seoul but the heaviest losses are in Sydney where the ASX200 has plummeted by 2.5%.

The US losses were driven by a correction in the price of technology stocks which have soared to record highs because the coronavirus crisis has been seen as broadly positive for the sector.

We have a full story on that here:

1.12am BST

Victoria adds 59 coronavirus deaths – majority from July and August

The Australian state of Victoria has confirmed 81 new coronavirus cases and 9 deaths in the last 24 hours.

It also added 50 deaths from people who passed away in aged care facilities in July and August.

12.59am BST

A choral cry for help based on a song from the musical Les Misérables is being aimed at the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, by workers who have slipped through the government’s coronavirus income protection net.

A hundred people, including self-employed driving instructors, fitness teachers and health workers, have recorded a version of One Day More in a plea for the government to bail out people whose incomes have evaporated since lockdown but have received little or no emergency help.

12.42am BST

Israel to impose partial lockdown

Israel announced Thursday a new lockdown affecting 30 areas as it grapples with one of the world’s highest detected per capita infection rates and a death toll nearing 1,000, AFP reports.

From Monday, travel from 30 areas classified as “red” will be limited and non-essential businesses shut down, said Professor Ronni Gamzu, who is coordinating Israel’s battle against Covid-19.

A face mask is painted on a statue of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in the Israeli coastal city of Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv, on 2 September 2020.
A face mask is painted on a statue of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in the Israeli coastal city of Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv, on 2 September 2020.
Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Authorities have unveiled a categorisation of districts, escalating from green, where coronavirus is deemed under control, through yellow, orange, and finally red for highest risk areas.

The Jewish state detected over 3,000 new infections on Wednesday alone, the highest number of confirmed infections in a single day. The 30 areas in the red category will be announced by Sunday, according to authorities.

The defence ministry said around 100 soldiers would be deployed to back up police as they enforce measures in red zones. Some 7,000 reservists would also be mobilised across Israel, it added.

12.24am BST

Brazil cases pass 4m

Brazil has recorded more than 4 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 43,773 new cases and 834 deaths from the disease caused by the virus reported in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday.

Brazil has registered 4,041,638 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll from Covid-19 has risen to 124,614, according to ministry data, in the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak outside the United States.

Updated at 12.24am BST

12.09am BST

Summary

Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest news from around the world for the next few hours.

Get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan or via email: helen.sullivan@theguardian.com.

Israel announced Thursday a new lockdown affecting 30 areas as it grapples with one of the world’s highest detected per capita infection rates and a death toll nearing 1,000.

From Monday, travel from 30 areas classified as “red” will be limited and non-essential businesses shut down, said Professor Ronni Gamzu, who is coordinating Israel’s battle against Covid-19.

The Jewish state detected over 3,000 new infections on Wednesday alone, the highest number of confirmed infections in a single day.

Meanwhile Brazil’s infections have passed 4 million, with 43,773 new cases and 834 deaths reported in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday.

Here are the other key developments from the last few hours:

  • France counts more than 7,000 new infections for second day. France registered more than 7,000 new coronavirus infections over 24 hours for the second time in two days, the health ministry said on Thursday, while hospitalisations for the virus also rose again.
  • Robert Pattinson tests positive for Covid-19, halting Batman production. The actor Robert Pattinson has tested positive for Covid-19, pausing production in the UK of Warner Bros movie The Batman, US media reports.
  • US public health officials prepare for October vaccine rollout. Federal public health officials in the US have asked their state counterparts to prepare to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine to high-risk individuals as early as late October.
  • Tracing apps may stem Covid-19 spread even when only a few use them – study. Contact tracing apps can sharply reduce the spread of Covid-19 even when only a few people use them, a study published on Thursday by researchers at Google and Oxford University showed. An app used by 15% of the population together with a well-staffed contact-tracing workforce can lead to a 15% drop in infection rates and an 11% drop in Covid-19 deaths, according to statistical modelling.
  • Mexico leads the world in healthcare worker deaths from Covid-19. Mexico leads the world in coronavirus deaths among its healthcare workers, Amnesty International has said in a new report. The report said Mexico has reported 1,320 confirmed deaths among health workers from Covid-19 so far, surpassing the United States at 1,077, the United Kingdom at 649, and Brazil at 634.
  • Thailand reports first locally transmitted case in 100 days. Thailand has reported its first locally transmitted coronavirus case in 100 days, after a prison inmate was confirmed to have Covid-19. Dozens of contacts are now being tested, including his family members, people he met in court and other inmates. He had been arrested for drug offences on 26 August.
  • Greece and Portugal stay on England’s list of quarantine-free travel. English tourists in Greece and Portugal have been spared the cost and chaos of rushing back to the UK after the British government defied expectations and maintained quarantine-free travel from both countries for the time being.

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