1 September 2020
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- Hundreds of thousands of children across England will start to head back to school this morning as Education Secretary Gavin Williamson begins trying to get people back into classrooms. Williamson seems optimistic about success, texting Politico to say: “Every day over the next week as the new term starts in different parts of the country we will see schools opening their doors and welcoming all children back. It is what everyone who cares so passionately about the future of our children wants to see.”
- Williamson is expected to make a statement in the House of Commons this afternoon at around 3.30 p.m., covering both the schools return and the fallout from the exams u turn of the last month.
- Children arriving in school can expect a number of measures designed to encourage social distancing. Many schools will stagger arrival and leaving times and lunchtimes to reduce crowding, resulting in shorter days for some and longer days for others
- School populations and building sizes are also constraining the use of the bubbles designed to restrict Covid-19 outbreaks. Instead of keeping small groups separate so a limited number of children have to self-isolate in the event of an outbreak, bubbles may be hundreds-strong.
- Glaxosmithkline (GSK) has begun a partnership trial of a Covid-19 vaccine and, if successful, aims to make the treatment available during the first half of 2021. The study, called Comet-Ice, is conducted with Vir Biotechnology and already has 1,300 patients. A similar trial is underway by Astrazeneca with preliminary results for both due before the end of the year.
- Nicola Sturgeon is to put a “national mission to create jobs” at the heart of her plans the year ahead in the wake of the pandemic. The first minister is to prioritise jobs and training for young people in her annual “programme for government”, announced later today. She said she wanted to see Scotland “rebuild an economy that is stronger, fairer and more sustainable”. Opposition parties have called for more investment in transport, childcare, housing and support for local firms.
- The number of infections in the United States surpassed 6 million overnight.
- India has added nearly 2m coronavirus cases in one month, jumping from 1.64m infections at the end of July to 3.62m at the end of August.
- Western Europe has continued to see a sharp increase in cases, with Spain registering more than 23,000 new Covid-19 cases since Friday. France’s new Covid-19 infections surged by almost 50 percent in August, hitting 281,025 cases, versus 187,919 at the end of July.
- Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who has consistently downplayed the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, said nobody will be forced to have the vaccine against Covid-19 once it is developed.