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Asked about comments earlier by Prof John Edmunds – a epidemiologist and government Sage adviser – that he
wished the UK had gone into lockdown “earlier” so that more lives could have been saved, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he disagreed with him, insisting “we
took the right decisions at the right time”.
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr there was a “broad range” of scientific opinions on
the Sage scientific advisory committee and the government had been “guided by the science” and the
balance of those opinions.
Challenged on whether the timing of the lockdown had cost lives, Mr Hancock insisted he was “sure” that taking into account everything that was known at that moment, the government “made the right decisions at the right time”.
He added any further easing of the lockdown would have to be done very cautiously with a “safety first” approach.
The number of coronavirus-related deaths recorded around the world has now reached 400,013, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The US university – which started compiling its
data soon after the outbreak began in China late last year – says there have
been more than 6.9 million confirmed cases.
In the UK, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy has been asked whether she thinks people are right to attend Black Lives Matter protests given the potential risk of coronavirus spreading.
She told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that she wanted people to protest safely, stressing the need for social distancing and taking other precautions, but insisted she was “very proud” of the young people coming out and “speaking up”.
She described her personal experience with racism in the UK and argued people needed to take an “active stance” against it.
She said: “You cannot be silent in the face of racism and police brutality and those young people are right to raise their voices and demand change.”
She criticised the “silence” from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and “the refusal of Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to comment” on the issue, saying it had “really upset people”.
Asked about the small number of violent incidents during protests in London, she said it was “completely wrong” to attack police officers and urged people to stop.
She warned such incidents could “dampen” the voices of those calling for change, particularly by distracting the media attention.
The German Bundesliga continues behind closed doors with three further matches on Sunday. They come a day after UK viewers were treated to some atmosphere thanks to the TV wizardry of broadcasters BT Sport, who added artificial crowd noise to matches featuring Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
The Danish, Austrian, Greek and Portuguese football leagues also continue in Europe. In other sports news:
- Newmarket hosts the second British horse racing Classic of the season – the 1,000 Guineas. There will be no crowds present
- Men’s tennis world number one Novak Djokovic has called the coronavirus safety protocols planned for the US Open “extreme”
- There were no positive results for coronavirus from 1,195 tests in the latest round of Premier League testing. The league is set to resume on 17 June
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s has been criticised repeatedly for his response to the coronavirus pandemic – from opposing lockdown measures to attending rallies without a face covering.
Brazil has the world’s second-highest number of cases, but has now removed months of data on Covid-19 from a government website.
The health ministry said it would now only be reporting cases and deaths in the past 24 hours, no longer giving a total figure as most countries do.
Brazil has more than 670,000 confirmed infections, but the number is believed to be much higher because of insufficient testing. Almost 36,000 people have died – the third-highest toll in the world, after the US and UK.
Read more on this story here.
Russia has reported 8,984 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 467,673.
The number of recorded deaths rose by 134 to 5,859 over the same period, according to the official figures from Moscow.
Russia, like many countries, is also suffering acute economic hardship after weeks of coronavirus lockdown. As a result, President Putin’s approval rating has fallen to an all-time low.
In the UK, there are concerns that the R number of the coronavirus – the number of people each infected person, on average, passes the virus onto – could be creeping up, particularly in the north-west and the south-west of England.
Prof John Edmunds, who sits on the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) group and specialises in infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has told the BBC the epidemic has been concentrated around specific settings, including hospitals, care homes and other enclosed locations like prisons.
He explains that the R number is less than 1 and as the epidemic has “shrunk” there have been outbreaks in these settings, meaning the slope of the number of cases “has flattened off”.
The R number is now “creeping up”, he believes, because it’s “reflecting this flattening off of the slope”. But he wonders: “Does that mean we are seeing an increase in community cases or is this just a reflection of ongoing outbreaks in hospitals and care homes?”
He says scientific estimates of the R number are “fairly crude”, partly because the number of cases are low, so they have to look at other data, such as the weekly Office of National Statistics (ONS) survey.
He says that suggests 5,000 people in the community in England are being infected every day, which he says is “still a lot of infection”, adding there’s “no room for complacency”.
BBC’s Paris Correspondent
Fear isn’t something 88-year-old Mathilde gives into easily. Sitting on the terrace of her local bistro in Paris, hours after it reopened, she sipped a fizzy drink, as the morning sunshine drew perspiration from her glass.
“I’ve been waiting for this,” she said. “To be surrounded by people, not to be alone anymore!”
Mathilde had dressed for the occasion: a printed dress, perfectly styled hair.
Public life here has always demanded a little extra effort. For its cafes and restaurants that means new rules on seating, new cleaning procedures, hand sanitiser everywhere you look.
Many people have expressed relief that Paris’s bars and cafes are open again, but the gradual return to normality is also creating familiar frictions.
Read more from Lucy here.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that the Black Lives Matter protests taking place across the UK risk increasing coronavirus infections.
Speaking on the Sophy Ridge on Sunday show on Sky News in the past few minutes, Mr
Hancock said that he supported the argument being made by demonstrators for
more equality, but that “gathering in large groups is temporarily against
the rules, precisely because it increases the risk of spreading this virus”.
“Please don’t gather in groups of more than six
people because there is a pandemic that we must control,” he said.
Mr Hancock is appearing on the BBC’s Marr show and you can watch that at the top of this page.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has changed its advice on face masks and coverings, saying they should be worn in public to help stop
the spread of coronavirus.
But if you wear
your face covering incorrectly, you could actually be putting yourself more at
Here, the BBC’s
Laura Foster and Tobias Chapple explain why.
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One of the more repulsive sights to emerge in recent weeks on the streets of France and elsewhere is abandoned, single-use masks, and now the French government has decided to get tougher on anyone caught throwing them away.
There’s already a fine of €68 if you do throw a mask or a cigarette butt on the floor – that’s now set to increase to €135 (£120; $150). It also applies to discarded gloves or other waste.
Environmental transition minister Brune Poirson told AFP news agency that everyone “has to understand that all waste thrown on the ground often finds its way in the ocean”.
Good morning and welcome to our rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
We’ll keep you posted on developments worldwide and in
Here are some of the latest news stories:
Big – largely peaceful – protests have taken place in cities
around the world against racism and police brutality sparked by the death of
African American George Floyd. The demonstrations
went ahead despite advice against mass gatherings due to Covid-19
- Some of the biggest were in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco
In the UK, rallies were held in London, Manchester, Cardiff, Leicester and Sheffield. Some held signs referring to the pandemic, including
one that read: “There is a virus greater than Covid-19 and it’s called
- The number of people around the world confirmed to have lost their lives due to coronavirus has reached almost 400,000, according to Johns Hopkins University in the US. Infections are close to 6.9 million
Brazil, which has
the world’s second-highest number of cases and has recently had more new deaths
than any other nation, has removed months of data on Covid-19 from a government website, amid criticism of
President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the outbreak
The World Bank has warned that 60 million people could be pushed into “extreme poverty” by the effects of coronavirus. It defines
“extreme poverty” as living on less than $1.90 (£1.55) per person per
- Meanwhile, famous cultural venues have been reopening in European cities, including the Palace of Versailles outside Paris, and the Prado museum in Madrid.
- Big – largely peaceful – protests have taken place in cities