Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
12 August 2020
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- The UK economy shrank an unprecedented 20.4% in the second quarter of this year between April and June, confirming an official technical recession, as the economy shutdown during the first wave peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Department for Education has announced a “triple lock” on A-Level and GCSE results, which means pupils can accept their estimated grade, change it for a mark gained in a mock exam or take a test in the autumn – which could boost the replacement grades for exams cancelled in the pandemic.
- Oldham residents have been warned that a Leicester style lockdown could follow soon unless people start to obey rules more carefully.
- Sky News report that an undercover team found 90 per cent of pubs in a Greater Manchester suburb were not following the rules, which were set out by the Government when lockdown was eased.
- Tens of thousands of school pupils are to have their exam results upgraded after the Scottish government agreed to accept teacher estimates of scores.
- Measures to clampdown on a spike in coronavirus cases in Aberdeen are due to be reviewed later today, a week after being brought in.
- The number of people in work in Scotland fell by 15,000 between April and June as the impact of lockdown hit, according to the latest figures.
- Social care workers in Wales will pay tax on their £500 coronavirus bonus, despite Welsh ministers arguing the Treasury should not tax the payments.
- Iconic landmarks across Wales have been bathed in red lights to highlight the “critical” impact of coronavirus on the events industry.
- The rate of unemployment in Wales between April and June was down at 2.7% with 8,000 fewer people unemployed than between January and March.
- A new loan scheme for tenants with rent arrears due to coronavirus has been launched by the Welsh Government.
- The Northern Ireland exams board has said there has been “no change” in its approach to awarding exam grades.
- Northern Ireland Health Minister, Robin Swann, has expressed concern at the “increasing number” of Covid-19 cases in Northern Ireland – Forty-eight new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours and 194 people tested positive in the last seven days.
- A Belfast grammar school, Belfast Royal Academy, is making it mandatory for pupils and staff to wear face coverings when they return.
- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has named Kamala Harris as his running mate – the first black woman and South Asian American in the role.
- World leaders based decisions on implementing lockdown measures on what neighbouring countries were doing to prevent the spread of the virus, a study has suggested.
- French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, warned that the country had been going “the wrong way” for two weeks. The health ministry reported 1,397 new infections of Covid-19 on Tuesday, nearly double the previous day’s rise.
- In Germany, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 1,226 to 218,519 on Wednesday, data showed. Health Minister Jens Spahn said: “we must be very alert about the rise”.
- Figures released by Spain’s health ministry on Tuesday showed 326,612 infections have now been confirmed, an increase of 3,632.
- Australia has once again reported a new record in the number of virus-related deaths in one day. Twenty-one people died, all in the state of Victoria.
- The announcement that Russia has granted regulatory approval for a vaccine against the coronavirus has been met with scepticism by experts and US health officials.
- Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, has gone into lockdown after recording the country’s first locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in 102 days.
- On the Government’s announcement on exam grades, shadow education secretary Kate Green, said one of the problems is many students would not have sat mock exams – “I don’t think this is a perfect answer at all to what is now becoming a really chaotic situation,” she told BBC Breakfast.
- Giving her reaction to the news that the UK had entered into a recession, Labour’s shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said a downturn was “inevitable after lockdown” but added: “[Boris] Johnson’s jobs crisis wasn’t…we’ve already got the worst excess death rate in Europe – now we’re on course for the worst recession too.”
- Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, says that Scotland’s move to reverse result downgrades could intensify competition for university places among English students.
- Maternity staff should get regular coronavirus tests, scientists have said, as a study reveals one in six have contracted the disease, with a third of cases asymptomatic.
- Local authorities might not have enough contact tracers to knock on doors, a public health chief warned as more failings in the test and trace operation came to light.