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  1. Thanks for joining us

    We're pausing today's live coverage and will be back again tomorrow morning. Here's a roundup of Friday's biggest coronavirus stories:

    • As the US hit a record daily high of 40,000 new cases, Vice-President Mike Pence held the first coronavirus briefing in nearly two months
    • He said the US had "flattened the curve" but admitted that infections were rising in 16 southern states. Texas has closed bars in response to the surge in cases, while Florida announced a new record number of cases on Friday
    • Sweden hit back against a World Health Organization warning which said the country was at risk of another rise in infections
    • Unicef has warned that millions of children in war-torn Yemen could face starvation after a drop in aid due to the pandemic
    • Worldwide, almost 9.6 million cases and more than 490,000 deaths have been recorded, according to Johns Hopkins University

    Our live coverage was brought to you by our BBC teams in the UK and abroad: Owen Amos, Krutika Pathi, Frances Mao, Alexandra Fouche, Hugo Bachega, Patrick Jackson, Victoria Bisset, Joseph Lee, Victoria Lindrea, Holly Honderich, Sophie Williams, Katie Wright, Alix Kroeger and Rob Corp.

  2. What happened in the UK today?

    We will soon be ending our coronavirus live coverage for today. But before we leave, here's a chance to catch up on Friday's main developments across the UK:

    • Scotland is "not far away" from eliminating coronavirus, according to the country's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon
    • Coronavirus patients in hospital in England are dying at a slower rate now than they were at the peak of the epidemic, according to new analysis. Improvements in treatments are among the possible reasons for the drop from 6% to 1.5% between April and June
    • And the business leader, Lord Paul Deighton, who was brought in by the government to sort out shortages of personal protective equipment for health and care workers in England says the crisis is over
  3. Analysis: Spin in the age of pandemic

    Tara McKelvey

    BBC News, Washington

    It was a tough week for the White House.

    The number of cases has shot up in Florida, Texas, Mississippi and other states where governors have tried to reinforce President Trump’s message that the nation’s returning to normal.

    The spike in cases has alarmed many people, and Vice President Mike Pence expressed his condolences to those who lost loved ones. Then he tried to put a gloss on the situation.

    White House officials have much to be proud of, he said, explaining that they have made “remarkable progress” in moving the country forward: “We slowed the spread, we flattened the curve, we saved lives.”

    His self-congratulatory tone was surprising, given the dire news, and his effort to put a positive spin on things seemed jarring.

    One thing was clear, however: Pence has had a tough job from the start, trying to support the president’s controversial positions.

    Pence’s performance on Friday was an especially difficult – and unconvincing - one.

  4. 'The sheer amount of beach rubbish is colossal'

    Kate Scotter and Laura Devlin

    BBC News

    Rubbish on the pavement

    After the hottest day of the year saw thousands of people descend on beaches around the UK, the BBC went to Great Yarmouth on the east coast to see the scale of the mess left behind.

    The refuse collector's cart is overflowing. There's the usual drinks cans and plastic bottles, but also a crumpled hat, a paperback book and, balanced on top, a wind break.

    "It's as if people have gone slightly mad with lockdown easing," says Penny Carpenter, as she helps pick up rubbish along Great Yarmouth beach.

    With cafes and restaurants only open for takeaways, much of the litter is polystyrene cups and burger cartons, plastic bottles and cans. Rubbish bins have been filling up quicker than they can be emptied.

    Ms Carpenter said in the 16 years she has lived in the coastal town, she has never seen anything like the amount of litter left in recent days.

  5. Taking Pride online under lockdown

    Joe Tidy

    Cyber-security reporter

    Hadi Damien at a Pride event in France

    For the last two years, Hadi Damien's big plans for celebrating Pride in Lebanon have been destroyed.

    In 2018, he was arrested and detained minutes into a recital of a play about homophobia.

    He was released, but had to cancel the rest of the week-long Pride events he and his team had organised.

    Then last year, the centrepiece concert of Beirut Pride had to be called off after violent threats were made against the venue and participants.

    At the start of 2020, Hadi and his team of volunteers were determined not to be put off and had begun to plan some Pride events when, once again, everything was cancelled. This time though Hadi's difficulties were truly global...

    Read the full story

  6. Guidelines issued for food factories in Wales

    2 Sisters food factory on Anglesey
    Image caption: 2 Sisters food factory on Anglesey has suffered an outbreak of coronavirus

    Meat plants should consider staggered staff starts and gaps between carcasses on production lines to prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to new government guidelines for Wales.

    They have been issued following clusters of cases at Welsh food factories - including 2 Sisters on Anglesey, Rowan Foods in Wrexham and Kepak in Merthyr Tydfil.

    The guidelines emphasise social distancing and ask staff to work and take breaks in small groups.

    "Cohorts" should be formed, particularly if staff live together and travel to work with each other.

    It also says staff should not lose pay if they have to self-isolate. Read more here.

  7. Northern Ireland 'could find tracing app solution' for UK

    Rory Cellan-Jones

    Technology correspondent

    If Northern Ireland does manage to release a functioning contact tracing app within weeks that will be a major embarrassment to the UK government.

    After all, in England an NHS team managed to spend four months and nearly £12m ($15m) developing a centralised app that did not work.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock then announced that the new focus would be on a decentralised app using the Google Apple toolkit - but that was unlikely to be ready for months.

    Then this week the prime minister assured the House of Commons that no country in the world had a working contact tracing app.

    Yet Northern Ireland's health minister seems confident that a few weeks' work, perhaps building on the experience of Germany and other countries which have released decentralised apps, can deliver something that will do the job and even be compatible with the Irish Republic's project.

    The NHS X team had always hoped its app would be rolled out across the UK - now perhaps it's Northern Ireland which will provide a high tech contact tracing solution that all four home nations can use.

  8. Northern Ireland to launch separate contact-tracing app

    Google and Apple images

    Northern Ireland is planning to release its own coronavirus contact-tracing app within weeks, the BBC has learned.

    It follows the failure of the National Health Service app in England, which was trialled on the Isle of Wight.

    The NI app will be based on the Google/Apple model. It is designed to be compatible with an app due to be released soon in the Republic of Ireland.

    The Apple and Google model is more privacy-focused but provides less data to epidemiologists than the centralised version that England was trialling - although that was ditched last week as the government made a U-turn.

  9. Second UK lockdown not needed, says former adviser behind lockdown

    Prof Neil Ferguson
    Image caption: Prof Neil Ferguson's advice led to the UK government's decision to go into lockdown

    Prof Neil Ferguson, a former UK government adviser whose advice led to the decision to go into lockdown, has said he does not believe a second national lockdown would be necessary.

    Instead, he said he would expect to see "targeted" restrictions to contain outbreaks. He also said the easing of restrictions needed to be monitored "very closely".

    The UK should "be prepared to row back a bit if we start seeing increases in case numbers," he told BBC Radio 4's Political Thinking programme.

    The next series of measures to ease the lockdown will take place in England on 4 July, when the two-metre (6ft) social-distancing rule will be reduced to "one metre plus".

    Prof Ferguson said he "did not disagree" with the policy changes announced this week and did not expect to see "very large growth of cases across the country" as a result.

    "What I do expect to see, depending on how sensible people are, how much they judge the risks themselves and reduce those risks, is clusters of cases," he said.

    But he added he believed there would be "a bigger potential risk of more widespread community transmission" as the UK goes into autumn and winter.

  10. What we learned from the US task force briefing

    The White House briefing has come to an end. Here's what we learned:

    • More than 126,000 people have now died from the virus in the US and more than 2.5 million confirmed cases have been reported
    • 30 million tests have taken place across the country with daily testing levels reaching 500,000 a day
    • The number of daily new cases had fallen from around 30,000 in April and has now risen to 40,000 today
    • 16 states have seen a rise in cases - the two leading states for positive tests are Texas and Arizona
    • About 5% of new confirmed cases were hospitalised, down from 15% of cases two months ago
    • Half of new cases are under 35 and there has been a big rise in the number of people under 40 getting tested
    • 120,000 courses of anti-viral drug remdesivir have been made available to states to treat patients. There are currently more than 140 clinical trials underway in the US
    • Vice-President Mike Pence defended the recent Trump rallies telling reporters the right to assemble and the right to free speech were enshrined in the constitution
    • Pence is set to make visits to Texas, Arizona and Florida in the coming days to get a ground report
  11. Pence plays down impact of reopening on case numbers

    Pence appeared to deny any link between states reopening and the increase in cases in the south.

    Responding to a reporter's question, he said: "I think there will be a temptation for people to look at these sunbelt states that have been reopening and putting people back to work, and suggest that reopening has to do with what we're seeing in the last week or so.

    "But frankly in the case of each of these states, they reopened - in some cases - almost two months ago. And their test cases, their new cases from testing was low and steady, their positivity rate was low."

    Pence blames much of the rise on positive test results from asymptomatic young people.

    "We're seeing more and more young people under the age of 35 who are testing positive - in many cases they have no symptoms, but they're coming forward," he says, adding that while they may be at lower risk of serious symptoms, they should "take countermeasures" and listen to state governors' advice.

  12. White House says vaccines could be ready by end of year

    Alex Azar, the health and human services secretary, told the White House briefing, "America has never been readier to combat Covid-19."

    In addition to surveillance and testing capabilities, Azar said the country now had "promising therapeutics that are benefiting tens of thousands of American patients and that have already saved thousands of lives".

    He said provision of the most "promising" treatments, remdesivir and dexamethasone (the cheap and widely available drug which has shown promising results), had already begun, with 120,000 courses of remdesivir allocated to states and dexamethasone added to guidelines.

    Convalescent plasma has been used on more than 25,000 patients, Azar said.

    He added that there were more than 140 clinical trials in the US, with large investments in three vaccines - which have now reached human trials - "some with the potential to start delivering safe and effective doses before the end of the year".

  13. Death rate falling in England's hospitals

    Rachel Schraer

    Health reporter

    Coronavirus patients in hospital in England are dying at a slower rate now than they were at the peak of the epidemic, analysis suggests.

    University of Oxford researchers found the proportion of coronavirus patients dying each day in England fell from 6% to 1.5% between April and June.

    Improvements in treatments, changes in the patient population and seasonal effects could all play a role.

    Around the height of the outbreak, on 8 April, there were 15,468 people in hospital in England with coronavirus, of whom 899 died (6%).

    By 21 June there were 2,698 hospitalised coronavirus patients, 30 of whom died (1%), according to the most recent data.

    While the number of people in hospital and the number of hospitalised people dying are both falling, deaths are falling at a faster rate.

    The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is halving every 29 days, while deaths are halving every 16 days.

    Prof Carl Heneghan, who carried out the analysis, said the pattern of falling death rates in hospitals was also being seen in other countries, including Italy.

    "We should be investigating what's changed," he said. "It's a radically different disease we're looking at if the death rate is 1% rather than 6%".

    Read more here.

    Covid death rate in hospitals
  14. Pence defends recent Trump rallies

    US Vice President Mike Pence (C) participates in a White House Coronavirus Task Force news briefing, beside Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Deborah Birx (L), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci (2-R) and US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar (R), at the US Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC, USA, 26 June 2020
    Image caption: Flanked by Dr Birx and Dr Fauci, Vice-President Mike Pence takes questions during the White House task force briefing

    Responding to questions from reporters, Vice-President Mike Pence defended President Trump's decision to hold two campaign rallies, one of them in Phoenix, Arizona, one of the two US states now leading the country in positive virus tests.

    "We have an election coming up this fall," Pence says. "We still want to give people the freedom to participate in the political process."

    The vice-president adds that the right to assemble and the right to free speech are enshrined in the US Constitution.

    "People are using common sense, they're being responsible," he says, insisting that, between states, "one size doesn't fit all".

  15. Isle of Man lifts state of emergency

    A picture of the Isle of Man
    Image caption: The state of emergency was declared on 16 March on the Isle of Man

    The state of emergency on the Isle of Man, a British crown dependency, has been lifted more than three months after it was first declared in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

    The island announced on 17 June that it had achieved "local elimination" of coronavirus.

    Chief Minister Howard Quayle said the island was in an "enviable and rare position" as life returned to "relatively normal".

    A threat from the virus remained but it was a chance to "breathe and pause for reflection", he added.

    Read more

  16. Fauci urges Americans to act responsibly

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci addresses the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 17, 2020

    Top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci notes the "serious problem" of rising cases in certain areas of the country.

    Dr Fauci then urges Americans to respect their "societal responsibility" to help slow the spread.

    "A risk for you is not just isolated to you," he says. "Because if you get infected you are part - innocently or inadvertently - of propagating the dynamic process of a pandemic."

    "If we want to end this outbreak, really end it… we’ve got to realise that we are part of this process," he says. "The only way we're going to end it is by ending it together."

  17. Pence calls on young Americans to protect older people

    Pence has said there is still "work to do" and called on younger people to play a role in halting the spread of Covid-19.

    "And so we say to every American, particularly those in counties and in states that are being impacted by rising cases, that now is the time for everybody to continue to do their part," he said.

    "And I think you'll hear from this podium today a particular message for younger Americans across the sunbelt [southern US states] and the role that you can play in protecting the vulnerable."

    "Recognise that this is different than two months ago," he said, "both in our ability to respond and in the nature of those that are being infected and that younger Americans have a particular responsibility to make sure that they’re not carrying the coronavirus into settings where they would expose the most vulnerable."

  18. Top US doctor thanks millennials who heeded guidance

    Response coordinator for White House Coronavirus Task Force Deborah Birx speaks to the press on May 22, 2020, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC

    White House coronavirus task force co-ordinator Dr Deborah Birx says officials now have a better understanding of who is at risk of infection and death from Covid-19, namely those over 80 years old and with co-morbidities like diabetes and significant obsesity, as well as how the virus is spread by asymptomatic carriers.

    “Thanks to the millennials who have been heeding our guidance they have been coming forward and getting testing… now we are telling them to get tested,” Dr Birx says.

    “It allows us to find the asymptomatic and mild diseases that we couldn’t find before.”

    Noting the rising cases in southern states, Birx says the two leading states for positive tests are Texas and Arizona.

  19. Pence repeats Trump's message on testing and cases

    Vice-President Pence echoed President Donald Trump's message that the number of cases had been increasing because testing had been stepped up.

    Last weekend, the president told a rally in Oklahoma he had asked his team to reduce testing to keep case numbers down.

    The White House said at the time that Trump was "in jest" but the president said on Tuesday: "I don't kid."

  20. Cases and percentages rising in 16 US states - Pence

    Mike Pence

    Pence says that while 34 states "are experiencing stability", "we have seen cases rise precipitously across the south".

    He adds that while daily new cases had fallen from around 30,000 in April, the number has now risen again (today, the US reached 40,000 new cases for the first time).

    He says there are 16 states with rises in cases and the percentage of positive results.