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Live Reporting

Edited by Owen Amos

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thanks for reading

    The virus live page is closing - but there will be live coverage of the US presidential debate here.

    Our writers were Toby Luckhurst, Ashitha Nagesh, Alice Evans, and Lauren Turner. The editors were Paulin Kola and Owen Amos.

  2. The main headlines from the UK and around the world

    Masks being put on shop dummies in London, UK

    We're closing our virus live page soon. Here are the main stories we've been covering, both here in the UK and around the world.

  3. Former Sainsbury's boss takes on Test and Trace role

    Mike Coupe, who is joining Test and Trace

    Mike Coupe, former chief executive at Sainsbury's is taking over as director of Covid-19 testing at England's Test and Trace agency.

    He left the supermarket chain in May and replaces Sarah-Jane Marsh, who earlier this month issued a "heartfelt" apology for problems with the coronavirus testing system.

    Mr Coupe has experience in running supply chains and logistics, said the Department for Health and Social Care. But Labour shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said it would make more sense to put "those trained in actual infectious disease control in charge".

    At Test and Trace, Mr Coupe will be joining other former retail executives. The head of the service, Dido Harding, worked at Tesco and Sainsbury's before spending seven years as boss of TalkTalk.

  4. How to stay safe?

    As we've been reporting, the rate of infections in many parts of the world appears to be picking up.

    So here is a reminder on what simple measures we all need to take to stay safe - beginning with washing the hands.

    Simple guide to staying safe.

    Simple advice graphic
  5. Canada's provinces react to country's second wave

    Robin Levinson King, BBC News, Toronto

    Testing in Toronto

    Covid-19 cases in parts of Canada have been rising at an alarming rate and last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned the country was experiencing a second wave.

    Some regions are now further tightening restrictions.

    Quebec will close bars and restaurants for 28 days, in three “red zones” across the country, including the city of Montreal. Indoor home gatherings will also be forbidden. The province saw 750 new cases on Monday, and 896 on Sunday, its highest tally since the spring.

    In Ontario, where about 40% of the country’s population lives, new cases reached an all-time peak, with 700 new cases. That’s 60 cases higher than the previous high of 640 on 24 April.

    The milestone renewed calls to scale back reopening – the Ontario Hospital Association urged the province to go back to Stage 2, which would shutter restaurants and bars except for outdoor dining, and other businesses like gyms.

    Ontario Premier Doug Ford did not announce such measures on Monday, the same day casinos reopened across the province. Last week, with cases rising, the province issued an earlier closing time for bars and shut down strip clubs.

    Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr David Williams said the province may consider further “targeted” closures as needed.

  6. Analysis: Government accused of not being in control

    Nick Eardley

    Political correspondent

    The rules people are being told to follow are becoming a lot more complicated and can vary significantly in different parts of the UK.

    But at the same time the government is ramping up enforcement - creating criminal offences and introducing fines for those who don't follow them.

    That's why it's so important that ministers can explain to the public what the rules are and the rationale behind them. On two occasions today, the prime minister and a junior minister have been unable to do so.

    Opposition parties accuse the government of not being in control - and not understanding the rules it is enforcing.

    But at the same time the PM is facing pressure from within his own party - with a significant bloc of Tory backbenchers demanding Parliament has more of a say when new restrictions are brought in.

    They fear some of the decisions go too far - and perhaps don't make sense. The PM being unable to explain them won't help.

  7. First local Covid restrictions for north Wales

    Restrctions have already been tightened in other parts of Wales - and now four councils in north Wales are to go into "local lockdown".

    The new measures for Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham come into effect at 18:00 BST on Thursday.

    Vaughan Gething, Wales' health minister, made the announcement in the Welsh Parliament on Tuesday evening.

    He said a similar pattern of transmission was being seen in the four areas as had happened in the south, but rates in neighbouring Gwynedd and Anglesey currently "remain low".

    Travel to and from the areas will not be permitted unless people have a "reasonable excuse", such as work or for buying essentials.

    It will be illegal to meet others indoors who are not within your immediate household.

    You can read more about it here.

    North Wales cases
  8. Flu vaccine delays after high demand for jab

    A woman receiving a jab, wearing a face mask

    Some GPs and pharmacies have run out of flu jabs in the UK amid high demand - and are asking people to wait until more stock can be delivered.

    Boots says it has had to suspend bookings.

    But there is no national shortage, government officials say, and there are enough doses to vaccinate the 30 million people who are deemed most vulnerable to flu.

    The over-65s, and those in higher risk groups, are being given priority.

    Once those groups have been immunised, healthy 50 to 64-year-olds in England will, for the first time, be eligible for a free flu jab on the NHS. This is to help protect against the double threat of flu and coronavirus this winter.

    Research shows people can catch both diseases at the same time, with serious and sometimes deadly consequences.

  9. WHO releases rapid tests - here's why the UK won't have any

    Rachel Schraer

    BBC Health Reporter

    Rapid coronavirus test

    On-the-spot coronavirus tests – 120 million of them – which give results within minutes are being made available to low- and middle-income countries by the World Health Organization.

    One of the tests – the South Korean-made SD BioSensor – is already in use in Italy to screen people at airports.

    But these speedy tests are not currently available in the UK.

    That’s partly because different countries have different ways of approving tests, and hold them to different standards.

    And the UK has generally erred on the side of caution in this arena.

    Apart from a natural risk aversion, these very quick tests are considerably less sensitive than the standard test used in the NHS.

    That means they pick up fewer cases and tell more people they’re negative when they do in fact have the virus.

    For countries that don’t have the infrastructure to run big labs and currently have very little access to any testing at all, these kits could be a game-changer.

    The UK is instead focusing its energy on two other rapid tests, which take more like 90 minutes to process than ten and are roughly as sensitive as the standard diagnostic test.

  10. South Africa loses 2.2m jobs in Covid lockdown

    Johannesburg, South Africa

    South Africa lost 2.2 million jobs during the country's coronavirus lockdown earlier this year - one of the strictest in the world.

    This is the biggest fall in job numbers since 2008, when the country's employment survey began.

    Most businesses were shut for five weeks from 27 March, and as a result the economy shrank at an unprecedented level.

    Read the full story of South Africa's unemployment crisis here.

  11. UK hospital admissions rising; excess deaths close to normal

    Hospital admissions chart
    Excess deaths chart
  12. UK cases and deaths in charts

    Updated to include the data released earlier this afternoon...

    Cases chart
    Deaths chart
  13. New York primary school children return to class

    Children return to school New York

    Primary schools in New York have reopened and welcomed children for in-person lessons, after being closed for six months.

    The reopening of primary schools is the second stage in a three-part plan for reopening education. Last week, nursery-age children and some children with special educational needs were allowed back into buildings.

    Middle and High School pupils are expected to return to in-person classes on Thursday.

    But this comes as Mayor Bill de Blasio warns that New York City's positive Covid-19 test rate was higher than 3% "for the first time in months". He also says anyone who refuses to wear a mask in public will be fined.

  14. Village re-elects mayor who died of Covid

    Memorial for Ion Aliman

    A village in southern Romania has re-elected a beloved local mayor, Ion Aliman, 10 days after his death of Covid-19.

    His death was so close to the election that it was too late to remove his name from the ballot, Associated Press news agency reports. Because of this, residents of Deveselu village paid their respects by casting their votes for him anyway.

    Aliman won 1,057 of the 1,600 votes cast in the village, which is home to just 3,000 people. His victory was a landslide, meaning that had he been alive he would have won an unprecedented third term.

    The popular mayor would have celebrated his 57th birthday on election day.

  15. Landlord sorry after 300 turn up for biker funeral

    The Gate Hangs Well
    Image caption: The landlord said his decision to allow the funeral to take place on the pubs grounds "was led by a personal friendship" with the biker who had died

    A pub landlord has apologised after 300 people turned up for a biker's funeral, "far exceeding" the number expected.

    Police visited The Gate Hangs Well, in Syston, Leicestershire, on Friday where a service was being held in a marquee.

    Publican Neil Henderson said it was set up to seat 30 people but he was "naive" to think numbers "would be manageable" and voluntarily closed when regulations were no longer met.

    Police said the group was dispersed and a fixed penalty notice was issued.

    Mr Henderson said he did not know how much the fine would be but Charnwood Police said in a tweet it could be "up to £10k".

    Read more here

  16. Analysis: Hospital admissions more encouraging in England

    Nick Triggle

    Health Correspondent

    While the number of new infections and deaths will cause alarm – both are up on previous days – the data on hospital admissions is more encouraging.

    For the fourth day in a row, the numbers have come down in England.

    On Sunday there were 241 admissions, down from 314 on Wednesday.

    To put that in context, at the peak England was seeing 3,000 admissions a day.

    This mirrors what has been seen in France and Spain – a gradual upward trend in serious Covid cases, but not the rapid increase that was seen in the spring.

    Even the number of new daily cases – the highest on record at over 7,000 – is still below the doomsday trajectory the government’s senior advisers warned about last week when they said there could be 50,000 cases a day by mid October.

    It all points to a second wave, but one that is more manageable than feared by some.

    It is, though, still early days. The areas with the highest rates in the North West and North East are causing concern.

    And we are just at the start of the autumn and winter season when respiratory viruses circulate more.

    Another unknown is the impact the problems with testing are having on the ability of the system to pick up on cases.

    Last week surveillance suggested perhaps less than half of cases were being picked up.

    That is why, arguably, it is more important to pay close attention to hospital cases in the coming days and weeks to measure the true impact Covid’s second wave is having.

  17. How has the picture changed in the UK in the past week?

    Last Tuesday, 22 September, there were 37 deaths recorded - which has now nearly doubled, to 71.

    And the number of cases recorded that day was 4,926, whereas it is now over 7,000.

    But it's important to note cases had dropped for the past three days, while deaths had dropped for the past two days.

    Here's the overall picture of how things have changed in the past seven days.

    • 29 September: 7,143 cases, 71 deaths
    • 28 September: 4,044 cases, 13 deaths
    • 27 September: 5,693 cases, 17 deaths
    • 26 September: 6,042 cases, 34 deaths
    • 25 September: 6,874 cases, 35 deaths
    • 24 September: 6,634 cases, 40 deaths
    • 23 September: 6,178 cases, 37 deaths

    There were lower numbers for deaths and cases at the weekend and on Monday - but that's usually the case, due to the fact more are recorded during the week.

  18. Indonesian burial site to have 6,000 extra graves

    Cemetary in Jakarta running out of space

    Officials in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, are preparing a burial site that will have 6,000 additional graves for people who've died of Covid-19.

    Indonesia has the highest virus death toll in South East Asia, and is currently dealing with another surge in deaths. It has now had more than 280,000 reported infections, and more than 10,000 deaths.

    The country has recorded more than 4,000 new cases of the virus each day for almost 10 days, despite limited testing.

    Gravediggers have told local media that they've been rushing to bury as many bodies as possible during daylight hours. Cemeteries in the capital have been running out of space.

  19. New Yorkers to be fined for not wearing masks

    Police officers in masks in New York City

    From today people in New York City will be fined if they refuse to wear masks, Mayor Bill de Blasio says.

    Officials will first offer free masks to anyone not wearing one. If that person then refuses, then they will be fined. De Blasio didn't specify how much the fine would be.

    He also says New York City's positive Covid-19 test rate was higher than 3% "for the first time in months".

    "Obviously everyone is concerned about that," he says. "That is something we all have to work on together to address."

    New York City was the original epicentre of the US outbreak, during the country's first wave of the virus in spring.

  20. The UK figures in context

    While the 7,143 lab-confirmed cases recorded in the UK is the highest since the outbreak began, experts have previously warned that describing the daily figure as a record could be "misleading".

    That's because it is not clear how many people were actually infected at the height of the first wave due to a lack of mass testing in the community.

    Coronavirus cases have been rising again since July, but the rate of growth has increased since the end of August.

    The 71 deaths recorded were the highest UK total announced since 1 July.

    Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies show there have now been nearly 57,900 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

    UK deaths by date announced
    Image caption: UK deaths by date announced