Hundreds of types of face masks have been withdrawn from sale in Australia over concerns that they don’t offer proper protection from infection.
The regulator said of one supplier that the “single use surgical masks have not provided sufficient evidence to show compliance … Continued use of these particular surgical masks may increase the risk of spreading infections (including Covid-19) between individuals”
Here’s the full story:
Mike DeWine, governor of Ohio, has tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing him to scrap a planned meeting with Donald Trump.
The Republican governor, who was an early advocate among his party of wearing masks and other pandemic precautions, said he took a test arranged by the White House in Cleveland as part of standard protocol before he was to meet Trump at an airport in Cleveland. He had planned to join the president on a visit to the Whirlpool Corp. plant in northwest Ohio.
Uber’s ride-sharing business recovered slightly from earlier in the year but booking still remained 75% down on the same period last year thanks to the pandemic, the company said as it revealed its second quarter figures.
However, it still aims to make a profit by the end of 2021 and will be helped by growing demand for its Uber Eats food delivery service as Americans stayed at home.
Uber posted a $1.8bn net loss from April to June, including charges related to laying off 23% of its global workforce during a period when infections of the novel coronavirus continued to spread in the United States, Uber’s largest market.
Deaths in US ‘could reach 300,000’ – study
Staying with the United States, a study from the University of Washington says that 300,000 Americans could be dead by December if the leaders of large cities fail to drive through counter measures such as mask-wearing
The team at the university’s respected Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said 70,000 lives could be saved if more people wore face coverings during the pandemic.
“We’re seeing a rollercoaster in the United States. It appears that people are wearing masks and socially distancing more frequently as infections increase, then after a while as infections drop, people let their guard down,” Dr Christopher Murray, director of the IHME said in announcing the university’s latest forecast.
More than 159,000 people have died in the US from Covid-19 so far but new daily cases have been falling in recent weeks.
The IHME said infections were falling in former epicentres such as Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas, but rising in Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Virginia.
Talks over the latest stimulus package for the American economy aren’t going well. Democratic Congressional leaders went to the White House to thrash out a deal by Friday but it’s looking a long way off.
Follow all the developments at our US live blog:
As I mentioned in the intro, Australia’s government has had more success in extending its relief package and you can ctach up with that and how things are going in the crisis-hit state of Victoria right here.
WHO warns against ‘vaccine nationalism’
The World Health Organization has warned against “vaccine nationalism,” saying that richer countries that develop treatments cannot expect to remain safe if poor nations remained exposed.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it would be in the interest of wealthier nations to help every country protect itself.
“Vaccine nationalism is not good, it will not help us,” Tedros told the Aspen Security Forum in the United States, via video-link from the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva.
“For the world to recover faster, it has to recover together, because it’s a globalised world: the economies are intertwined. Part of the world or a few countries cannot be a safe haven and recover.
“The damage from COVID-19 could be less when those countries who… have the funding commit to this.”
Good morning/afternoon/evening. I’m Martin Farrer and I’ll be taking you through the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic for the next few hours. Here are the main points of the last 24 hours:
- Africa passes one million confirmed virus cases. Africa’s confirmed coronavirus cases have surpassed one million, but global health experts say the true toll is likely several times higher, reflecting the gaping lack of testing for the continent’s 1.3 billion people.
- New York City has opened new traveller checkpoints to register visitors and residents returning from nearly three dozen states who are required to quarantine for 14 days, an initiative that drew swift criticism from privacy advocates.
- Travellers returning to UK from Belgium, the Bahamas and Andorra to quarantine from Saturday. In a tweet, transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “Data shows we need to remove Andorra, Belgium and The Bahamas from our list of coronavirus Travel Corridors in order to keep infection rates DOWN.”
- US lifts global health coronavirus travel advisory. The US has lifted a global health advisory imposed in March that advised US citizens to avoid all international travel because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Australian government extends federal furlough payment scheme. As the outbreak in Victoria worsens, Canberra has extended the life of its “jobkeeper” scheme, while Russell Crowe comes to the aid of embattled Victorian premier.
- A rise in the Covid-19 infection rate in Ireland is a “serious concern”. Ireland has seen a rise since last Thursday and has identified a number of clusters of infections in meat plants and accommodation for asylum seekers, while cases in Greece have passed 5,000 in a week.
- French universities will reopen in September. Institutions will reopen after nearly six months but students will be encouraged to wear face masks and social distance.
- US top infectious disease expert forced to hire security to protect family. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus taskforce, told CNN the pandemic has brought out “the best of people and the worst of people, and, you know, getting death threats for me and my family and harassing my daughters to the point where I have to get security”.
- Brazil decree to provide $356 million for coronavirus vaccine. Jair Bolsonaro has issued a decree to provide 1.9bn reais ($356m) in funds to purchase and eventually produce a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University researchers.