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Edited by Sean Fanning

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thanks for joining us...

    A vendor with face mask as a precautionary measure against Covid-19, sells tri-coloured bangles ahead of Independence Day celebration

    We're pausing our live coronavirus coverage for now. But you can continue to follow all the major developments at Here's a round-up of the main stories from the UK and around the world.

    • The US saw 1,500 deaths from Covid-related causes on Wednesday - the highest number in a single day since mid-May
    • At least 166,000 people have now died of coronavirus in the US and infections are still on the rise
    • Globally, three quarters of a million people have now died with coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University
    • In England, 36% of A-level entries had a lower grade than teachers predicted and 3% were down two grades, in results in place of exams cancelled by the pandemic
    • India has registered more than 47,000 deaths, overtaking the UK to become fourth-worst affected globally for fatalities
    • The number of patients admitted for routine treatment in hospitals in England was down 67% in June compared with the same time last year, NHS figures show
  2. Virus making it harder for Wayuu to survive, HRW finds

    Wayuu people walk through a desert
    Image caption: The majority of the Wayuu live in La Guajira, a poor region in the north of the country

    The pandemic is putting the lives of indigenous Wayuu people in Colombia in danger and is putting children at risk of malnutrition, according to Human Rights Watch.

    With a population of at least 270,000, the Wayuu are Colombia’s largest group of indigenous people. The majority of the Wayuu live in La Guajira, a poor region in the north of the country.

    Lockdown measures - in particular travel restrictions - have seriously limited access to food for Wayuu, HRW said in a report with the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health.

    “Rural indigenous communities in La Guajira can’t get sufficient food or enough water for basic hygiene, such as handwashing, and access to health care and information is very poor,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch.

    “This situation has for years contributed to one of the highest levels of child malnutrition in Colombia, and it raises critical concerns in the current context of Covid-19.”

    Indigenous peoples tend to be at higher risk from emerging infectious diseases and Covid-19 is no exception.

    Amazonian indigenous groups are particularly vulnerable to dying from Covid-19 because they often live days away from professional medical help.

    As of 28 July, the disease had killed 1,108 indigenous people and there had been 27,517 recorded cases, with the majority in Brazil, according to data published by Red Eclesial Panamazonia.

  3. US facing greatest crisis in 100 years, health chief says

    Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    Image caption: CDC director Robert Redfield said the US was not prepared for the pandemic

    As the US registers its worst daily toll of new coronavirus deaths since mid-May, a stark warning from a top health official.

    The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest public health crisis to affect the US in a century, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director, Dr Robert Redfield said.

    The pandemic had hindered the progress of other programmes to improve health in the US.

    “There are thousands and thousands of people working 24/7 on this pandemic,” Redfield told the WebMD website. “The fact is that, really, all of our focus is on this pandemic right now.”

    In a candid admission, Dr Redfield said the country had not invested enough “in the core capabilities of public health” before the pandemic.

    He said investment had been made over the years, but “when the big one came - and this is not a minor one, this is the greatest public health crisis to hit this nation in a century - we were under-prepared”.

    Redfield said we owe it to our children and grandchildren to make sure the nation is never this unprepared for a public health crisis again.

  4. Wales and Scotland record no further deaths

    Wales has reported no further deaths of people who have tested positive for coronavirus, Public Health Wales says.

    The total number of cases in the country has increased by 15.

    No further deaths were recorded in Scotland but there were 47 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says.

    Figures for England and Northern Ireland, as well as UK-wide figures, will come in later.

  5. Global deaths pass 750,000

    Latin America is the continent where most people have died from the virus so far
    Image caption: Latin America is the continent where most people have died from the virus so far

    The number of people globally who have died from coronavirus has today passed 750,000, according Johns Hopkins University.

    The sombre milestone has been reached nine months after the first cases were reported in China in December. As the pandemic has accelerated, so has the death toll - doubling since 2 June, with 100,000 deaths in the past 17 days alone.

    Almost half of those killed were living in just four countries - the US (166,083), Brazil (104,201), Mexico (54,666) and India (47,033).

    Latin America, currently the epicentre of the pandemic, remains the hardest hit region with more than 228,000 losses.

    Our visual journalism team have been tracking the pandemic - see more here.

    Cases around the world are rising quickly
    Image caption: Cases around the world are rising quickly
  6. Did Indian men do more housework during lockdown?

    Geeta Pandey

    BBC News, Delhi

    Stock photo of a man cleaning

    Did Indian men do more housework during the Covid-19 lockdown? Preliminary data suggests they did, but is it enough to say that Indian homes are becoming more gender equal?

    Dr Rahul Nagar, a Delhi-based dermatologist, says there's always been "a very clear division of labour" in his home.

    His wife, also a doctor, did the cooking and was the primary carer for their child. Like most middle-class Indians, they employed a part-time help who did the cleaning and dishes, while Dr Nagar did little bits and pieces.

    But then came the pandemic - and as Covid-19 cases began to rise, India went into a strict lockdown and their domestic helper was unable to come to work.

    "Pre-lockdown, for every five hours of work my wife did, I did one hour. But this pandemic has been a bolt from the blue," says Dr Nagar.

    Read more here.

  7. Price cap plan for UK funerals shelved

    Kevin Peachey

    Personal finance reporter

    Plans to cap the cost of funerals in the UK have been shelved because of the pandemic.

    It comes after a long-running investigation by the UK's competition authority concluded the sector was not working well for grieving families.

    It found rising costs and difficulties for people in comparing prices.

    A report earlier this year by insurer SunLife suggested the average cost of a basic funeral has risen by more than 9% in a year in some regions, with the cost typically £4,417.

    Read more and get advice on paying for a funeral in advance here.

  8. Kamala Harris’s sister takes hydroxychloroquine - why?

    Alistair Coleman

    BBC anti-disinformation unit

    Kamala Harris with Joe Biden in the background
    Image caption: Kamala Harris is the is the democratic candidate for vice-president

    A right-wing commentator in the UK has attempted to make an issue out of the fact that the sister of Kamala Harris - US presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s newly-announced running mate - takes the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).

    His tweets, now shared over 13,000 times are factually true - Maya Harris does take the drug, but it's to treat lupus and not for either the prevention or treatment of Covid-19.

    Maya Harris revealed in April that she had been diagnosed with the condition as a student, but had kept her illness private until President Trump urged HCQ’s use for coronavirus.

    HCQ has been frequently touted by Donald Trump as a treatment for Covid-19, but there is no clear evidence that it is effective, and there are concerns that self-medicating with the drug could be harmful.

    Its use is tightly controlled for sufferers of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis because of its potential side effects, which can include heart rhythm problems, kidney injuries, and liver failure, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

    Writing in The Atlantic in April, Maya Harris said stockpiling HCQ to treat coronavirus would lead to sufferers finding the drug both scarce and too expensive.

    Noting that people of colour are more likely to suffer from lupus she said she considered it to be an equality matter. “If the supply shortages continue, those of us whose well-being depends on the drug have plenty to lose,” she wrote.

    Find out more about hydroxychloroquine here.

  9. Virus spike has chilling effect on US recovery

    Samira Hussain

    New York business correspondent

    The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell below one million last week for the first time since March.

    But the number of people out of work remains exceptionally high.

    At the beginning of the crisis, many of the job losses were temporary, but economists believe the newer ones are likely to be permanent.

    The recent surge in coronavirus cases has had a chilling effect on the country’s job recovery as many businesses were forced to review their reopening plans.

    Last month, the US economy added 1.8 million jobs, bringing the monthly unemployment rate to 10.2%.

    The figures reignited calls for Washington to approve further economic stimulus.

    A chart showing US economic growth
  10. How Ecuador's large shrimp industry has been hit

    BBC OS

    Many shrimp farmers in Ecuador have been forced to close their businesses during the pandemic
    Image caption: Many shrimp farmers in Ecuador have been forced to close their businesses during the pandemic

    Ecuador is one of the world’s biggest exporters of shrimp, but many farms have been forced to close down due to Covid-19.

    Exports to China plummeted after traces of Covid-19 were found in a container of shrimp exported from the South American country.

    BBC OS on World Service radio has been hearing from shrimp farmers in Ecuador.

    Luis Francisco Burgos works in the port city of Guayaquil.

    “We are mainly dependent on oil exports but after oil, the two big industries are bananas and shrimp,” he says. “In the last few years shrimp has gained more importance. Around 200,000 families depend on the industry.”

    He says that there has been a drop in demand for shrimp, because a large percentage of consumption comes from restaurants:

    “A lot of people are closing down their farms, because prices are so low that you cannot make money.”

    Another farmer in Guayaquil, Rodrigo Laniado, has a packing plant:

    “My farms are on small islands, so people leave there and go back home. So we had to make sure we isolated our employees.

    “In the factories it was difficult because there are more people there, so we had to control the temperature, disinfect everyone and do blood tests.”

  11. US unemployment claims drop below one million

    A woman stood outside an unemployment office in the US
    Image caption: Lockdown restrictions to curb coronavirus have damaged the US economy

    The number of new claims for unemployment benefits in the US dropped below one million last week, the first time it has done so since the start of the pandemic.

    There were 963,000 initial claims filed in the week ending 8 August, a drop of 228,000 from the previous week, US Labor Department figures showed.

    That was the lowest figure since mid-March, when lockdown restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus came into effect.

    Jobless claims still remain well above the pre-pandemic record set in 1982.

    Unemployment has soared during the pandemic and the US economy shrank by 9.5% in the second quarter of 2020.

    Read more: US jobs growth slows in July as pandemic takes toll

  12. South Korea installs anti-virus bus shelters

    A shelter booth designed to protect passengers from monsoon rains, summer heat and the COVID-19 coronavirus is seen at a bus stop in Seoul on August 12, 2020

    South Korea has launched new bus shelters in the capital Seoul, kitted out with temperature-checking doors and ultraviolet disinfection lamps.

    Before entering the shelters, passengers must have their temperature checked by an automated thermal-imaging camera. The doors will not slide open for anyone with a temperature above 37.5C.

    The shelters cost around 100m won ($84,000, £64,400) each.

    Kim Ju-li, a 49-year-old housewife using the new bus stop for the first time, told the AFP news agency: “I feel really safe in here because I know others around me had their temperatures checked as well as me.”

    A shelter booth designed to protect passengers from monsoon rains, summer heat and the COVID-19 coronavirus is seen at a bus stop in Seoul on August 12, 2020
  13. US sees highest daily death toll since May

    The Houston skyline is seen in the background as mask-sporting residents share hand sanitizer
    Image caption: The US has the highest number of cases and deaths in the world

    The US has recorded almost 1,500 more deaths linked to the coronavirus pandemic, its biggest single-day increase in fatalities since mid-May, data has shown.

    Wednesday’s rise brought the country’s death toll to at least 166,000 nationwide, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

    Coronavirus infections are still on the rise too, with at least five million confirmed to date.

    As the US edges towards 5.2 million cases, the Trump administration continues to push for children to return to schools, businesses to reopen and crowds to fill sports stadiums.

    “We’ve got to open up our schools and open up our businesses,” Trump said at a White House briefing on Wednesday.

    Since May, all 50 states have been lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions that curbed the spread of coronavirus, but damaged the economy.

    When restrictions were loosened, infections spiked again, with southern and western states seeing the largest outbreaks.

    A graphic showing the trajectory of the outbreak in the US
  14. England's revamped contact-tracing app begins new trials

    The Isle of Wight coastline with the logo of the NHS contact tracing app superimposed onto it

    England's revamped coronavirus contact-tracing app has begun public trials on the Isle of Wight, after months of delay.

    As you may remember, the government abandoned plans to develop its own technology in June amid accuracy issues and concerns about privacy.

    The new software will be based on Apple and Google's method of one smartphone detecting another.

    The app will log the time and distance a user has spent near to anyone, even if they don't know them, so it can alert them if that person later tests positive for coronavirus.

    But engineers are still trying to reduce how often the Bluetooth-based tech wrongly flags people as being within 2m (6.6ft) of each other.

    Read more here

  15. Where are cases and deaths rising?

    Latin America is the current epicentre of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.

    Brazil has the second highest number of cases in the world, after the US, and has recorded more than 100,000 deaths. Mexico, the second-most affected country in the region, has recorded more than 50,000 deaths.

    Cases have also risen rapidly in Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Venezuela.

    Outside Latin America, Iran is another country that has been badly hit. Official figures show cases on the rise again and a death toll of nearly 20,000 - but documents leaked to the BBC Persian service suggest the real number is actually more than double that.

    Countries rising graphic

    In Africa, South Africa and Egypt have seen the largest outbreaks so far, with South Africa becoming only the fifth country in the world to record more than 500,000 confirmed cases.

    Across the continent, there have been more than a million confirmed cases, although the true extent of the pandemic there is not known. Testing rates are reported to be low, which could distort official estimates.

  16. South Korea’s local cases hit one-month high

    A staff member wearing a protective face mask holds up a sign in the stands, as a football match resumes with fans for the first time since the outbreak of coronavirus in South Korea
    Image caption: South Korea received international plaudits for its virus containment strategy

    South Korea has recorded more than 50 new coronavirus cases for the second day running, raising fears of another large outbreak driven by local infections.

    Most of the new cases confirmed on Thursday, 47 of them, were locally transmitted infections, health authorities said.

    It was the highest number of domestic infections since 3 July, when the country reported 49 local cases.

    The country has been a success story in dealing with Covid-19, but since May, clusters of new cases have grown, including outbreaks at nightclubs in the capital, Seoul.

    "The country's capital area is in a volatile situation," Kwon Jun-wook, a senior health official, said at a news conference.

    "We are seeing simultaneous sporadic outbreaks in various areas, and if this situation combines with gatherings and trips in the vacation period, then things may go out of control."

    Read more: How South Korean life changed to contain the virus

  17. Could dogs sniff out Covid-19?

    Dog sniffs experiment

    Durham University in the UK is appealing for volunteers to help with its trial to see whether specialist sniffer dogs can detect coronavirus.

    Researchers want to recruit thousands of people with mild Covid-19 symptoms in England who are due to have a swab test or have had a swab test in the last 24 hours.

    The volunteers would provide samples of breath and body odour by wearing a mask for three hours, and nylon socks and a t-shirt for 12 hours.

    The project is a collaboration between Durham University, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Medical Detection Dogs.

    Should the trial be successful, the dogs could be deployed to airports in the UK within six months to assist with the potential of screening of up to 250 people per hour, the university said.

  18. New Zealand’s outbreak 'could be linked to quarantine breach'

    Winston Peters
    Image caption: New Zealand's deputy prime minister, Winston Peters, said he had "inside information" about the source of the new infections

    The new outbreak of coronavirus cases in the New Zealand city of Auckland could be linked to a quarantine breach, the country’s deputy prime minister has suggested.

    Four members of the same family tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week, with that cluster of local cases growing by 13 on Thursday.

    In an interview with ABC News, Winston Peters said he had “inside information” about the suspected source of the cluster.

    When asked to elaborate on what he knew, Peters said: "It wasn't an official, I found out from somewhere else, but I think there's been a breach inside our quarantine system.”

    Later in the interview, Peters said he was given the information by a New Zealand journalist who was "usually very reliable".

    People entering New Zealand must stay in managed isolation for at least 14 days and can only leave if they test negative for Covid-19.

    In an earlier news conference, New Zealand's director of health said there was currently “no exact link” between the new locally transmitted cases and imported cases in managed-isolation facilities, adding that investigations were ongoing.

  19. Workers test positive at UK food factory

    The Greencore site in Northampton
    Image caption: The Greencore factory in Northampton

    A sandwich-making company in the UK says “a number” of its workers have tested positive for coronavirus at its factory in Northampton, in the East Midlands.

    Greencore said in a statement that it had decided to "start proactively testing" all of its workers at its Northampton site after a rise of Covid-19 cases in the area.

    "We can confirm that a number of colleagues have tested positive for the virus and are now self-isolating," it said.

    The director of public health at Northamptonshire County Council, Lucy Wightman, said the borough had been experiencing a "high number of cases over the last four weeks" and employers had been asked to "act now" to avoid a local lockdown.

  20. Mexico and Peru inch towards half a million cases each

    A woman wearing a face mask kisses a man as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, in Xochimilco, Mexico City, Mexico, August 6, 2020.
    Image caption: Mexico City has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Mexico

    Mexico and Peru, which are Latin America's worst-affected countries after Brazil, are both expected to surpass more than half a million confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday.

    Mexico registered 6,686 new cases on Wednesday to reach 498,380. The capital, Mexico City, has the highest number of infections, followed by the surrounding Mexico state, Guanajuato and Tabasco.

    The country has also seen its unemployment rate rise as a result of the pandemic. Official figures suggest that on average more than five jobs have been lost every minute between March and July.

    Peru had a new daily record high with 8,875, reaching 498,555 on Wednesday. Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti said the number of children who've been infected has gone up since the lockdown was lifted. She said that in total 81 children had died of Covid-related diseases from the 23,000 children who had tested positive.

    She also announced that a total lockdown would be in force on the next two Sundays to curb the spread of infections.