UK coronavirus live: 'We will not hesitate to take further measures' if pandemic worsens, Johnson warns

News updates: PM promises more frequent press conferences on Covid situation; MPs vote by 330 to 24 to renew Coronavirus Act

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Related: Coronavirus live news: Italian senate suspended as lawmakers test positive; Covid travel slump could cost 46m jobs

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The government has this evening ruled out giving refunds to people holding railcards they have been unable to use – or granting a time extension – despite ongoing travel restrictions in place as a result of coronavirus.

There are an estimated 5.1m railcards in circulation in the UK, typically triggering discounts of about a third on ticket prices, and valid for a year.

After careful … Read more

Corralling the Facts on Herd Immunity

For a term that’s at least 100 years old, “herd immunity” has gained new life in 2020.

It starred in many headlines last month, when reports surfaced that a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and adviser to the president, Dr. Scott Atlas, recommended it as a strategy to combat COVID-19. The Washington Post reported that Atlas, a health care policy expert from the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, suggested the virus should be allowed to spread through the population so people build up immunity, rather than trying to contain it through shutdown measures.

At a town hall event a few weeks later, President Donald Trump raised the idea himself, saying the coronavirus would simply “go away,” as people developed “herd mentality” — a slip-up that nonetheless was understood to reference the same concept.

And as recently as last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) sparked Read more

Sick child this school year? Planning for the inevitable during a pandemic

Children get sick; it’s part of life. They catch colds, they get fevers, they throw up and get diarrhea. Most of the time, it’s nothing at all. But this year, as we struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic, every sniffle will be complicated.

The problem is, the symptoms of COVID-19 can be not just mild, but similar to the symptoms of all the common illnesses kids get all the time. Symptoms can include

  • fever, even a mild one
  • cough (that you don’t have another clear reason for)
  • breathing difficulty
  • sore throat or runny nose (that you don’t have another clear reason for)
  • loss of taste or smell
  • headache (if with other symptoms)
  • muscle or body aches
  • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

And even if there is another explanation for that sore throat or cough, it doesn’t mean that your child couldn’t also have COVID-19. People can get two germs at once.

Set

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Coronavirus live news: one million deaths worldwide; Netherlands reports record daily rise in cases

Global death toll passes one million; Angela Merkel says new action is needed in Germany; New York test positivity rate climbs

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The head of the International Monetary Fund has given a stark warning that Covid-19 will lead to a lost generation unless urgent steps are taken to prevent the pandemic widening the gap between rich and poor countries.

Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s managing director, said financial support for the most vulnerable countries had to be stepped up to prevent long-time scarring that would roll back anti-poverty efforts of recent decades.

Related: No lost generation: can poor countries avoid the Covid trap? | Kristalina Georgieva

6.18pm BSTRead more

Promises Kept? On Health Care, Trump’s Claims of ‘Monumental Steps’ Don’t Add Up

When it comes to health care, President Donald Trump has promised far more than he has delivered. But that doesn’t mean his administration has had no impact on health issues — including the operation of the Affordable Care Act, prescription drug prices and women’s access to reproductive health services.

In a last-ditch effort to raise his approval rating on an issue on which he trails Democrat Joe Biden in most polls, Trump on Thursday unveiled his “America First Healthcare Plan,” which includes a number of promises with no details and pumps some minor achievements into what the administration calls “monumental steps to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare in the United States.”

As the election nears, here is a brief breakdown of what Trump has done — and has not done — on some key health issues.

Affordable Care Act

Trump has not managed to repeal and … Read more

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