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Live Reporting

Edited by Rob Corp

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all for today

    Our live reporting of the pandemic is now finished for the day. Thanks again for tuning in.

    This live page was brought to you by Rob Corp, Hugo Bachega, Joseph Lee, Alexandra Fouché, David Gritten, Alex Kleiderman, Yaroslav Lukov, George Bowden, Holly Honderich and Joshua Nevett.

    We’ll see you again tomorrow for more coverage of the pandemic.

  2. Trump snubs virtual debate and other global headlines

    A woman wearing a face mask
    Image caption: Masks were made mandatory outdoors in Italy on Thursday

    We’re ending our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic for the day now. Thanks for joining us as we try and make sense of things for you.

    If you’re catching up with the news, here are some of the headlines from around the world today:

  3. What's been happening around the UK?

    Man in mask

    We're going to be bringing today's live coverage to an end soon. Here's what has been happening around the UK this Thursday:

  4. BreakingWHO reports record 24-hour rise in cases globally

    A rise of 338,779 new coronavirus infections have been reported globally in the previous 24 hours, the biggest one-day increase since the pandemic began, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data.

    India registered the highest number of new cases with 78,524, followed by 41,906 in Brazil, and 38,904 in the US.

    The daily global increase in cases breaks the previous record of 330,340, set on 2 October.

    There were also an extra 5,514 deaths reported worldwide on Thursday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 1.05 million, the WHO reports.

  5. Night curfew reinstated in Tunisia's capital

    Rana Jawad

    North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    The mayor of Tunisia's capital, Tunis, has said a night-time curfew will be reinstated for two weeks in a series of restrictions intended to control the spread of coronavirus, which has significantly risen in recent weeks.

    Since July there were only a few soft measures in place to control the rate of infection in Tunisia. But in the past month alone, more than 20,000 people have tested positive for Covid-19.

    The curfew will start on Thursday and run from 21:00 to 05:00 local time on weekdays, and 19:00 to 05:00 local time on weekends. Weekly markets and Friday prayers have also been banned, and cafes and restaurants can no longer have seated areas.

    The curfew will also be imposed in the neighbouring provinces of Manouba, Ariana, and Ben Arous. Four other cities, which have also seen a significant rise in Covid-19 cases, had already imposed a night curfew.

    There is a real worry that the country’s health sector could significantly struggle if the infection rate does not slow down. But the Tunisian government has so far ruled out a return to a nationwide lockdown that was imposed earlier this year.

  6. Canada Covid-19 cases up 40% ahead of holiday weekend

    People are reflected as they walk through Toronto's financial district, October 7th, 2020

    The number of daily Covid-19 cases reported across Canada increased 40% in the last week compared with last, the country's top health official has announced, with the average daily case count hovering at some 2,000 infections.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last month that most of the country had entered its second wave. Canadians are now being encouraged to hunker down and stay home as this next wave worsens.

    The vast majority of new cases are concentrated in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. On Thursday, Ontario reported 797 cases of the virus - the highest single day total since the start of the pandemic.

    The surge in cases comes just days before Canada's Thanksgiving weekend, typically a time for large, indoor family gatherings.

    Ontario Premier Doug Ford has encouraged residents to celebrate with just your own household this year.

    "We're all going to make sacrifices... I know this will be very, very tough," he said.

  7. Antibody therapy may have helped Trump, says Fauci

    There is a “reasonably good chance” that an experimental antibody therapy helped President Donald Trump during his treatment for Covid-19, the top infectious diseases expert in the US has said.

    Dr Anthony Fauci was referring to a drug cocktail made by the company Regeneron. You can read more about this therapy, which mimics the body's immune response to fight the virus, here.

    In an interview with MSNBC, Dr Fauci said the therapy may have made a “significant difference” to Trump’s condition, but warned against calling it a “cure”, as the president has done.

    Dr Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also addressed claims President Trump made about the lethality of the flu compared with Covid-19.

    The health expert said the Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 210,000 people in the US, is far more serious than seasonal flu.

    "There is no doubt about that," Fauci said. On Wednesday Facebook removed a post in which Trump made claims to the contrary.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: How do monoclonal antibodies work?
  8. Drive-through flu jabs launched at Asda

    A handout picture of a drive-through flu vaccination centre at Asda
    Image caption: Asda says it hopes the drive-through service will appeal to people worried about visiting their GP or pharmacy

    The supermarket Asda has launched a free NHS drive-through flu vaccination service for eligible people at 13 UK stores. Anyone entitled to free jabs - including elderly people, frontline NHS staff and pregnant women - can use the service.

    People who do not qualify for the free vaccine can get it for £8, which Asda claims is the cheapest on the market.

    It comes after the government said up to 30 million people in England can be vaccinated against flu this year, in an effort to reduce the winter pressure on the NHS as Covid-19 cases rise.

    Pharmacies have said they face "unprecedented demand" and some suspended bookings for anyone outside the vulnerable groups who qualify for a free jab.

  9. Closed schools and protests amid NYC virus surge

    Groups of protesters gather in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park to denounce lockdowns of their neighborhood due to a spike in COVID-19 cases on October 07, 2020 in New York City

    Amid a new surge in coronavirus cases, New York City will close an additional 61 public schools, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday, bringing the total of newly shuttered schools to 169. They will remain closed until at least 21 October, the mayor said.

    City and state officials are now scrambling to respond to climbing cases, largely concentrated in the Brooklyn and Queens boroughs, imposing strict attendance limits on schools, businesses and places of worship in virus hotspots.

    This recent crackdown - led by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo - has been met with outrage among Orthodox Jewish communities, who make up a large proportion of these hard-hit neighbourhoods.

    On Wednesday, hundreds of ultra-Orthodox men took to the streets for a second night of protests. Many without face coverings, those gathered clashed with police and burned face masks.

    Over the past week, the city has reported an average of some 566 cases a day - an increase of 61% from the average two weeks earlier, according to data from the New York Times.

  10. Social distancing driving economic downturn - IMF report

    Andrew Walker

    World Service economics correspondent

    A waiter walks past tables that have been blocked to maintain social distancing at restaurant
    Image caption: The IMF says voluntary social distancing has partly driven the global economic downturn

    A new report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has looked at the extent to which the global economic recession has been driven by voluntary social distancing and lockdown measures.

    Government restrictions on business and individuals to curb the pandemic come at an economic cost.

    The IMF research supports that view, but it also found that much of the downturn was due to voluntary social distancing. In other words, people choosing to avoid activities they feared might expose them to the risk of infection.

    The effect was particularly marked in rich countries where working from home is often more feasible.

    The report argues that while lockdowns impose short-term costs, they can generate a faster recovery if they lead to lower levels of infection and less voluntary distancing.

    The report acknowledges that the analysis neglects important side effects of lockdowns, including on educational attainment and mental health. It says these are crucial areas for future research.

    Read more: A visual guide to the economic impact of the pandemic

  11. Brit teens' 22 days of quarantine and counting

    Millie, Lily, Lily Rose and Rachel

    When Millie, Lily, Lily Rose and Rachel finished their A-levels this year, they just wanted to get away for a few days.

    They flew to Sicily, Italy, on 8 September (it was on the UK's safe list at the time) and had a pretty good trip until they were ready to fly home.

    On 14 September all four experienced coronavirus symptoms - they'd lost their sense of smell.

    They were transported by ambulance to a coronavirus quarantine centre at a hotel - 22 days later, three of the girls are still there in solitary confinement. They cannot leave until testing negative twice in succession.

    Read more here.

  12. BreakingFour French cities raised to maximum alert level

    The French cities of Lyon, Lille, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne will become maximum-alert zones for coronavirus from Saturday, French Health Minister Olivier Veran has announced.

    The coronavirus alert level was raised to maximum in Paris earlier this week and Marseille last month, leading to the closure of bars and restaurants.

    "The situation has deteriorated in several metropolises in recent days," Veran said at a news conference on Thursday. “Every day, more and more people are infected.”

    He said the alert level could soon be raised to maximum in Toulouse and Montpellier, which are seeing worrying spikes in infections.

    France's maximum alert level comes into force when the infection rate in a locality exceeds 250 infections per 100,000 people and at least 30% of intensive care beds are reserved for Covid-19 patients.

    Minutes before Vernan made his announcement, French health authorities reported 18,129 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday, slightly lower than Wednesday's all-time high of 18,746 daily cases.

    Infections have risen rapidly since the end of summer in France, a trend seen across Europe as winter approaches.

  13. The latest from the UK this Thursday

    A person with a face covering walks past The Corona pub in Glasgow on Thursday

    It's early evening in the UK. Here are the latest coronavirus news updates

  14. Italy records biggest daily rise in cases since 12 April

    A man wearing a face mask outside the Colosseum in Rome
    Image caption: Masks are now mandatory in outdoor spaces in Italy

    Italy has recorded 4,458 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the biggest daily rise since mid-April when the country was under a national lockdown.

    It is the steepest 24-hour rise since 12 April, when 4,694 new infections were reported, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The Italian government managed to bring its coronavirus epidemic under control by imposing one of the strictest nationwide lockdowns in the world from March.

    That lockdown inflicted heavy economic costs, but allowed the government to reopen restaurants, bars and shops by summer.

    But the virus is spreading once again, albeit at a steadier rate than during the first wave of the pandemic. On Thursday, the government made it mandatory to wear face masks in outdoor spaces to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

  15. BreakingGreek islands added to England's travel corridors

    People arriving in England from the Greek islands of Lesvos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos and Zakynthos will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days from Saturday, the government has announced.

    The islands have been added to the list of travel corridors for England having been assessed by the Joint Biosecurity Centre as posing a lower infection risk.

    The quarantine rule for the islands will be lifted at 04:00 on 10 October.

    Zakynthos was the subject of controversy in August following reports of outbreaks in resorts popular with British tourists and after several clusters of Covid-19 infections were traced to UK-bound flights from the island.

  16. In 1960, Nixon and Kennedy held debate in format snubbed by Trump

    Kennedy and Nixon take part in a virtual debate in 1960
    Image caption: Kennedy and Nixon debated with 4,828km (3,000 miles) between them in 1960

    As we reported earlier, US presidential debate organisers have decided to change the format of the next TV clash between President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, opting for a virtual rather than an in-person event.

    Trump has scoffed at the proposal, dismissing the idea of a virtual debate as “ridiculous”.

    However, the format was acceptable to two former presidents, Richard Nixon and John F Kennedy, when they were vying for the White House in 1960. There was no coronavirus then, of course.

    But in their third debate of the campaign, Nixon and Kennedy went head-to-head, albeit via video link from different cities on the west and east coasts of the US.

    "The two candidates will not be sharing the same platform," moderator Bill Shadel said when opening the debate. "In New York, the Democratic presidential nominee Senator John F Kennedy. Separated by 3,000 miles, in a Los Angeles studio, the Republican presidential nominee Vice-President Richard M Nixon."

    American TV network C-SPAN has a recording of the debate on its website.

  17. More on today's UK coronavirus figures

    Thursday's number of new coronavirus cases in the UK, 17,540, is an increase of more than 3,000 on Wednesday, when 14,162 were recorded.

    There were also a further 77 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, seven more than the day before.

    Hospitalisations across the UK rose by nearly 100 on Sunday 4 October, meaning they are now doubling roughly every two weeks, according to BBC News head of statistics Robert Cuffe.

    In England, 368 people with Covid-19 were recorded as being on a ventilator in hospital on Wednesday. On the previous Wednesday, 285 people were recorded as needing ventilation in England.

    Daily UK coronavirus figures: 77 new deaths and 17,540 new cases
  18. Minimum fine for Covid law breach to rise to £200 in NI

    Woman wears a face mask in Northern Ireland

    People in Northern Ireland caught breaching coronavirus regulations will now face a minimum fine of £200 under plans agreed by the executive.

    It is understood ministers have signed off on proposals brought by Justice Minister Naomi Long.

    At present, fixed penalty notices start at £60, but can rise to £960 for repeat offenders.

    There are also changes planned around mandatory face coverings. Read more here.

  19. Trump official predicts vaccines by April

    A woman holds a small bottle labelled with a Vaccine COVID-19 sticker
    Image caption: Scientists are developing vaccines at break-neck speed

    A senior official in the Trump administration has said there will be enough vaccines against coronavirus for “every American” who wants one by March to April of 2021.

    US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said up to 100 million doses of a vaccine could be ready by the year’s end.

    “The good news is that we're doing everything we can to ensure that we have supplies manufactured,” Azar said at a Goldman Sachs Healthcare virtual conference on Thursday.

    There are around 40 different coronavirus vaccines in clinical trials around the world. Several US companies are developing vaccines that are currently in the crucial phase-three stage of clinical trials.

    The US government has chosen three candidates to fund for phase-three trials under Operation Warp Speed - its plan to fast-track coronavirus vaccines.

    In June, US regulators said that a vaccine would have to protect at least 50% of vaccinated people to be considered effective and approved for use. There is no guarantee any of the candidates will pass that test on the timeline mooted by Azar.

  20. False viral claims about 'government psyop' troops

    Alistair Coleman

    BBC Monitoring

    A video going viral on Facebook and Twitter shows a man swearing at Royal Air Force personnel in Birmingham, calling them part of a "government psyop" and claiming they are part of a secret plan to increase the number of positive tests to justify restrictions.

    But Birmingham City Council and the Ministry of Defence say the troops are helping a council "drop and collect" Covid-19 testing service.

    It means that vulnerable people or those with mobility issues do not have to leave their homes to be tested. The council says troops are not present in a military capacity and that there is no compulsion for anybody to accept a test kit.

    Further claims circulating online allege that people are being paid to take tests. While councils are not paying people to be tested, volunteers taking part in an Office for National Statistics survey are.

    The survey is trying to determine the national spread of the virus. Participants are paid in shopping vouchers for the scheme, which involves weekly or monthly tests for up to a year.

    Lab-testing. File photo
    Image caption: The "drop and collect service" sees tests dropped off at a resident's door and collected by staff