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Live Reporting

Edited by Lauren Turner

All times stated are UK

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  1. Czech authorities to create central 'smart quarantine' body

    Rob Cameron

    BBC Prague Correspondent

    A man is seen running wearing a protective mask in Prague

    Czech Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamacek has said the government will create a new body to co-ordinate the country's much-criticised "smart quarantine" system.

    Representatives of both the defence and health ministries will be represented in the body. Earlier calls for the system to be taken over by the army had been rejected by Health Minister Adam Vojtech.

    "Smart quarantine" - involving a centralised database and contact tracing apps - was offered as a solution in the spring, but its introduction has been repeatedly delayed.

    Meanwhile, authorities "audited" their Covid-19 figures over the weekend and found the number of recovered patients was actually 1,775 higher than previously reported. The total now stands at 15,324 cases, 11,429 of whom have recovered.

    It came at the end of a week that saw new infections at well over 200 a day. Only 15 people across the country are in a serious condition or in intensive care. The vast majority of cases are asymptomatic or mild and coronavirus wards are about 10% full.

    Prague has lifted incoming travel restrictions on Sweden from today, meaning all of Europe is now "green" on the Czech travel map.

    Travel from the Czech Republic is currently being restricted by Estonia, Latvia and Cyprus, due to the increase in Czech cases.

  2. Watch: Scottish pilot says he was told he was Asia's sickest patient

    Video content

    Video caption: Scottish pilot Stephen Cameron spent 10 weeks in a coma in Vietnam

    "My lungs were down to 10% capacity at one stage. I've been told that I was Asia's sickest patient."

    Those are the words of Scottish pilot Stephen Cameron, 42, from Motherwell. He spent two months on a ventilator in Vietnam and has now returned to the UK.

    He's warned people in Britain "not to be blasé about coronavirus" as lockdown eases.

    "I'm a living example of what this virus can do and how serious it is," he told the BBC in an exclusive interview from his hospital bed at University Hospital Wishaw.

  3. What has happened in the UK today?

    People on the beach

    The fallout from the UK's decision to reimpose 14-day quarantine measures on people travelling from Spain has continued to lead the headlines in Britain.

    The decision was made on Saturday and Health Minister Helen Whately said the government had moved "rapidly and decisively" - while the Labour Party has called for support for those forced to quarantine.

    Elsewhere in the UK:

  4. 'A long hard road ahead of us' - WHO

    Imogen Foulkes

    BBC News, Geneva

    The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says he will reconvene the agency's emergency committee this week to assess the pandemic.

    The WHO first declared the spread of the virus to be an international health emergency in January, and there is no possibility that that status will be changed at this point.

    Dr Tedros said that although the world had made a huge effort, there was "a long hard road ahead of us".

    Asked about border closures and travel restrictions, the WHO's Dr Mike Ryan said they were not sustainable in the long term, and that there could be no "one size fits all" approach to controlling the virus.

    Asked about the rise in cases in Spain, Dr Ryan described them as "a series of clusters" confined mainly to the north-east of the country.

    People wear protective face masks as they make their way, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Barcelona, Spain
    Image caption: A rise in cases in Spain were described as "a series of clusters" confined mainly to the north-east of the country

    He said Spain had a very sensitive surveillance system, adding that it would take some days - or weeks - to see how the situation developed, but that with an open approach, sustained testing, and the co-operation of the population, the outbreaks could hopefully be dealt with.

    "Complacency is not an option and the government of Spain is certainly not being complacent," he said.

    WHO officials acknowledged, however, that further lockdowns in countries experiencing renewed outbreaks may be necessary, but suggested they should be as short as possible, and confined to as small a geographic area as possible.

    "The more we understand about the virus, the more surgical we can be in controlling it," Dr Ryan added.

  5. What are the latest global developments?

    A tourist bike taxi rider wears a mask in Barcelona
    Image caption: A bike taxi rider wears a mask in Barcelona

    Thank you for reading our live coverage of the pandemic today, brought to you by our team of reporters in London and around the world.

    If you're just joining us, welcome, and here are some of the latest global developments:

    • The number of confirmed infections has risen to over 16.2 million worldwide, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 648,000 virus-related deaths have also been reported
    • America remains at the epicentre of the pandemic, accounting for around 20% of all cases
    • Hong Kong has reported a record daily rise in the number infections and rolled out some of its toughest lockdown measures yet to help contain community spread
    • Vietnam has closed the city of Da Nang to tourists after four new locally transmitted coronavirus cases were recorded - the country's first since April
    • Spain has insisted that recent outbreaks of new cases are isolated and under control, and that the country is safe for tourists to visit. It comes as the UK introduces new measures requiring visitors from Spain to quarantine for 14 days
    • North Korea has reported what it describes as its first suspected case of coronavirus. State media said a person who defected to South Korea three years ago returned across the demarcation line last week with symptoms
  6. Mother and daughter sentenced over toilet roll brawl

    A mother and daughter have been criticised by a judge in Australia over a toilet roll bust-up at a supermarket in March.

    Treiza Bebawy, 61, and her daughter Meriam, a 23-year-old healthcare worker, got into an altercation with another woman at a Woolworths store in Chullora, west of Sydney.

    A video of the incident, which went viral on social media, shows them yelling and exchanging blows amid widespread panic-buying.

    Appearing in court, the pair argued that they had acted in self defence after shopper Tracey Hinckson snatched a pack from their trolley. But they were both found guilty of affray.

    Daughter Meriam was given a criminal conviction, unlike her mother, and they were both placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond - the sentence requires offenders to obey the law during a set period, and in some cases to take counselling or rehabilitation, or face a further penalty.

  7. The Highland town where a record cruise season has been wiped out

    Cromarty Firth

    A record 106 cruise ships were due to dock at the port town of Invergordon in the Scottish Highlands this year - but due to the pandemic, all but three have been cancelled.

    From there the passengers would have been ferried by coaches to landmarks like Loch Ness or Dunrobin Castle, and spent their money in the shops in the town and surrounding area.

    Coach firm D&E Coaches said they will lose about £1.5m in turnover while Sandra Munro, who runs Tanstar Gifts in the town said the lack of cruise ships was "a big loss to... everybody".

    "We are all in the same boat, pardon the pun, in that we all rely greatly on the tourist trade throughout the summer to give us that comfort through the winter," she said.

    Read more here.

  8. Penguins visit care home in England

    Video content

    Video caption: Humboldt penguins Charlie and Rupert are part of a breeding programme at Heythrop Zoological Gardens

    Many residents in care homes have gone months without seeing their families and it's been tough. Although visits are now allowed to resume in England, it depends on local authorities and public health directors saying it's safe.

    So one care home near Chipping Norton decided to put some smiles on the residents' faces in an unlikely way - by bringing in a pair of penguins.

    "They've been very frustrated," said Caroline Dyett, the manager of Enstone Care Home. "A lot of them not understanding why families can't visit so just to have something different in their day has made so much difference."

  9. Which UK restaurants are offering money off meals in August?

    Waitress with mask

    From the start of August, diners in the UK will be able to get money off their bill on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

    The idea behind the "eat out to help out" scheme is to encourage people to return to restaurants and cafes and give the economy a boost.

    More than 32,000 venues have signed up to take part so far - and a list of restaurants have been published.

    The government has launched a tool online where you can search for nearby restaurants taking part in the scheme, which offers up to 50% off food or non-alcoholic drinks with a discount of up to £10.

    Some of the chains taking part have also been named - including Costa Coffee and Dishoom. Some fast food chains like KFC, McDonald's and Subway are also taking part.

    Read our guide here.

  10. UK economy 'could take four years to recover'

    A woman shopping wearing a face mask
    Image caption: Shops reopened in England in June

    There have been many gloomy forecasts about the impact of the pandemic on the UK economy.

    The latest analysis this morning suggests the economy might not bounce back to its pre-coronavirus size until 2024.

    Forecasters from the EY Item Club - who use a similar economic model to the Treasury - suggest unemployment will rise to 9% from 3.9%.

    They also estimate the economy will shrink by 11.5% this year, worse than the 8% they predicted only a month ago.

    Consumers have been more cautious than expected, they said, while low business investment will dampen growth.

    But the forecasters say it is early days and useful data has only recently been made available.

    Read the full piece here.

  11. Lebanon 'on the brink of losing control' of outbreak

    Martin Patience

    BBC News, Middle East correspondent

    The top health official leading Lebanon's fight against the coronavirus has warned that the country is "on the brink of losing control".

    Dr Firass Abaid made the comments after Lebanon saw the number of daily infections rise to almost 170 on Sunday - a significant spike for the country.

    According to Lebanon’s health ministry, if the current rate of admissions is maintained the country will run out of beds to treat patients with Covid-19 by the middle of next month.

    Lebanon's fared relatively well compared with other countries in dealing with the coronavirus – with around 50 deaths recorded so far. But the reopening of Beirut airport last month has contributed to a rise in cases – and with the country now in a state of economic collapse, officials fear that early gains could start quickly unravelling.

    Dr Abaid - the head of the main hospital treating Covid-19 - warned that Lebanon had won the battle but could now end up losing the war. The country’s government is effectively bankrupt and would be in no position to fund a massive emergency response.

  12. Covid 'easily the most severe' emergency WHO has declared

    Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus
    Image caption: Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization (WHO)

    Covid-19 is "easily the most severe" global health emergency the World Health Organization (WHO) has ever declared, the agency has said.

    Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, the head of the WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said that almost 16 million cases have been reported to the UN body, along with 640,000 deaths.

    "The pandemic continues to accelerate," he said, adding: "In the past six weeks the total number of cases has roughly doubled."

  13. 'Our family was separated for three months in lockdown'

    Video content

    Video caption: Lockdown eased in Kenya: 'Our family was separated for 3 months'

    Kurian Omukimbizi, a 34-year-old journalist, went to Nairobi for work and was "stuck" when Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, announced a lockdown in a bid to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

    Kurian had hoped that he would make it home before the lockdown began, but that wasn't possible. He could no longer visit his family in Nakuru county, about two and a half hours away from he Kenyan capital.

    He shared how he managed to remain close with his family over this period, and celebrated his birthday long-distance.

  14. Nigeria doubles fares as train services set to resume

    Nigeria Railway Corporation train

    Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has announced the resumption of services on its Abuja-Kaduna route, four months after they were halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi said fares had been increased because trains would carry fewer passengers.

    He said the bump in price was "nothing compared to the risk of paying ransom to kidnappers" on the Abuja-Kaduna road.

    Fares for economy class will rise to about 3,000 Naira ($8; £6), while first class could cost 6,000 Naira for the 187km (116 miles) trip, according to local media reports.

    The services will resume on Wednesday with social distancing enforced to prevent the spread of the virus. The NRC has shared a video of the new sitting arrangement on Twitter.

    View more on twitter
  15. Zambian MP with HIV tests positive for coronavirus

    Kennedy Gondwe

    BBC News, Lusaka

    Princess Kasune Zulu

    Zambian MP Princess Kasune Zulu, who is living with HIV and is a prominent AIDS activist, has announced that she has tested positive for Covid-19.

    Ms Zulu, a member of the opposition United Party for National Development, was tested last Thursday.

    Ms Zulu told the BBC that she was not surprised by the results, partly because Zambia's parliament had initially continued holding sittings despite the rise in coronavirus numbers.

    "I guess one saw it coming given the laissez-faire attitude we have in Zambia towards the health guidelines," she said.

    She blamed a surge in Covid-19 in Zambia on "the lack of adhering to guidelines, the politicisation of issues and lack of leadership at a critical time".

    She encouraged people with already existing health conditions to adhere to medication.

    Zambia has to date reported 4,481 coronavirus cases since March and 139 deaths. Some 15 Zambian MPs have so far tested positive for Covid-19, according to Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya. Parliamentary sittings have now been indefinitely suspended.

  16. Face masks on and bars closed as first students return to uni

    The trainee vets say they're relieved to be back with their friends again after the long lockdown
    Image caption: Masks have to be worn by staff and students at Nottingham University

    The first students are beginning to return for face-to-face teaching on UK university campuses - and it's the first look at what student life could be like after the coronavirus lockdown.

    Most students won't begin until the autumn, but veterinary students are now back at the University of Nottingham.

    The first cohort going back in Nottingham are 150 trainee vets, some of whom will see a great deal of each other - as the university adopts the "bubble" system in which small groups will live as well as study together.

    The university is calling it "households" rather than "bubbles", but it is the same principle of keeping people in small groups separate from each other.

    The student bars are also closed and there are posters up for a pizza night that's going to be an online event.

    Read more here.

  17. Watch: Heathrow Airport hires disinfection robots

    Video content

    Video caption: Heathrow Airport brings in robots to fight coronavirus

    Heathrow Airport is a lot quieter than usual - but that's good news for the airport's "disinfection robots".

    The robots use ultraviolet (UV-C) light to kill viruses and stop them replicating. There's one per terminal and they disinfect high-risk areas like bathrooms or lifts.

    But they must not operate near humans.

    "For the first few seconds it's on, the room smells of burning skin," says reporter Lara Lewington - and that smell is just coming from anything that may be lying around.

    To avoid any nasty burns the robot needs to get its work done when no-one is around. Its motion and vibration sensors double check that no-one has appeared unexpectedly.

  18. 'We'll go through the quarantine to get out of this rain'

    People cool off at Calella beach, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Calella, north of Barcelona, Spain
    Image caption: Confirmed cases have been increasing in Spain

    We've heard a lot this morning about the UK government changing the quarantine rules for Spain, meaning anyone arriving from the country will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

    For many people who have booked holidays to Spain and its islands, they may not be able to go if they need to be back in work. But for others who can work from home, it's more of a dilemma. Should they still go, accepting the quarantine?

    One woman told BBC Radio 5 Live that she and her family will still go ahead with her holiday.

    "We booked our holiday last week after... gaining confidence from seeing news reports from people abroad saying how relatively normal it was, and the precautions people were taking," said Chloe from Wetherby.

    "So we decided, we know the risks, we'll go ahead, we'll book it. If it changes, if they shut the borders or something then we'll get a refund.

    "So yeah, we were and still are fairly relaxed about it and were prepared to go through the strict quarantine to get out of this rain."

    Chloe said she's looked at the rules for self-isolating, adding: "It was a surprise that you're not allowed to literally go out your front door or take any exercise or anything like that, but I still think, do you know what, for 10 days away in the sun, let's do it."

    And she said she appreciates she's in a really lucky situation as she and her partner work from home, and they have a garden.

    Martin, in the town of Runcorn, is due to fly out to Alicante on Saturday. He also said it's not a problem for his family to quarantine on their return and that they were prepared to go away.

    But he added: "The dilemma we have is because of the change in the [government] guidance, [meaning] our current insurance policy is rendered invalid."

  19. Europe anxious about rising infection rates

    British tourists in Majorca, 26 Jul 20
    Image caption: British tourists in Majorca

    New outbreaks in Spain, mostly clustered in north-eastern regions, have dealt a blow to the vital tourism industry.

    Urgent talks are under way with the UK, after quarantine was imposed on Britons returning from holiday. Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya insisted that "Spain is a safe country". "Like other European countries, Spain has new outbreaks. It's not unusual."

    Official data shows the Aragón region, in Spain’s north-east, topping the list of infection rates in Europe, at about 238 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The next high-risk region is Catalonia (112), then Navarre (110). But much of Spain – notably the Canaries and Balearic islands - has far lower rates, and the country as a whole is ranked sixth.

    Belgium is also worried about a new surge in cases: nationally the infection rate is 26.9 per 100,000 people, but in Antwerp it is 67.9. Belgian officials are anxious to avoid reimposing a national lockdown, but tighter measures are expected in Antwerp and some other clusters.

    In Austria attention is focused on the resort of St Wolfgang, after 56 people tested positive, nearly all of them hotel staff. Hundreds of tourists are on holiday now in the village of 3,000 residents, especially popular among Germans. They have been advised to get tested for coronavirus. It echoes a winter outbreak in Ischgl, a major ski resort, blamed for spreading the virus widely among tourists.

  20. Brazilians adapt as cases rise again in Campinas

    Katy Watson

    BBC South America correspondent

    Brazil had its worst week of the pandemic last week – a record 319,653 contracted Covid-19 and 7,677 people died. The virus originally hit big cities like São Paulo but it's been going inland for some weeks now, heading towards smaller cities and towns in Brazil's vast interior.

    Campinas, a city of 1.2 million people, has, in recent weeks, been pushed to its limits. Shops here started reopening in early June with authorities thinking the worst was behind them. But then hospital beds started filling up, so they closed again. This week, though, they’re starting to reopen once more – even though hospitals are still busy.

    Doctor Marta Bandicioli, an intensive care doctor, is worn out. In recent weeks, every intensive care bed at her hospital has been occupied. She likens her life to swimming – she wonders when they will be able to come up for air, when things will start to ease?

    "Only when they find it hard to breathe do people start to believe that this is real, and it's really sad to see these people short of breath, it’s distressing," she says. "That's when people start pleading, doctor, don’t let me die."

    Residents at Espaco Gero doing physiotherapy
    Image caption: Espaco Gero residents have been taking part in socially-distanced physio classes

    Across town, residents at Espaco Gero, one of Campinas' many retirement homes, are having their weekly physio class. The home is separated from the street by pink metal railings. On the street the physiotherapist is giving instructions. On the other side, nine residents are sitting in their chairs, each with a polystyrene tube which is being used as a prop.

    It's an extreme measure but it's paying off - unlike other residential homes that have been badly hit in the city, there haven't been any cases here.

    Staff at Espaco Gero prepare a plastic 'hug sheet' for residents
    Image caption: Staff at Espaco Gero prepare a plastic "hug sheet" for residents

    The care home is also offering a compromise for families desperate to give their relatives some affection. On the railings, they've hung up a hug-sheet – a large piece of plastic with four arm holes – two for the patient in the home, and two for relatives on the street. It’s proving popular.

    Brazil is, after all, the land of warm embraces – Brazilians thrive on affection – so even the care home staff take advantage while they can.