Robert Jenrick urges Londoners to ‘splash cash and get back to work’ — as Bank of England warns of one million job losses

A cabinet minister today issued an unprecedented plea to people to return to central London to work and spend in shops, restaurants and cafés to save thousands of jobs.

Robert Jenrick said people with secure jobs “should be safely going out to shop and to use cafés and restaurants and getting back to work to support the economy”.

The strongly worded intervention from the Communities Secretary came as the Bank of England warned that the recovery from the worst slump in almost a century would be slower than initially forecast, though the downturn will not be as deep as feared.

In a further grim forecast, the Bank also suggested more than a million jobs could be lost by Christmas.

The Evening Standard has launched a Saving Central London investigation because so many jobs and businesses are under threat with so few workers, tourists and day-trippers visiting the city.

Asked about the centre of the capital being “hollowed” out, Mr Jenrick told LBC Radio: “I’m very concerned about London and city centres more generally. Many of our city centres are very quiet and we need to get back into them, using the Chancellor’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme, going to visit shops safely, it can be done.

“Shops and the hospitality industry are going to great lengths to make sure they are following social-distancing guidelines and those of us who can do so need to get out and support them now or else we will see, I’m afraid, further job losses and a loss of some of those fantastic businesses that we see in our cities.”

The minister urged those with “secure” jobs to go out and spend in shops, bars, cafes and restaurants (PA)

In a direct appeal to millions of people whose jobs are not under threat, he added on BBC Breakfast: “Those of us who can, who do have secure jobs, should be safely going out to shop and to use cafés and restaurants and getting back to work to support the economy.”

The economy has been gradually revving up as lockdown has been eased. Many firms in central London as well as some Whitehall departments are bringing staff back into their offices, but at a cautious rate.

However, concerns are now rising that some of the relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions may have to be reversed as the number of cases rises, with several towns in the north — including Preston today, as well as Aberdeen — already bringing in measures to combat local surges in infections.

The Bank of England said today that economic output will not return to levels seen before the start of the pandemic until the end of next year.

In its quarterly Monetary Policy Report, it said the recovery from the deepest slump in almost 100 years would be slower than initially forecast.

The Bank expects GDP to contract by 9.5 per cent in 2020, less than the 14 per cent it originally predicted, with a nine per cent bounce in 2021. This compares with a forecast of 15 per cent growth in the last report in May.

The bank said the recovery had been “earlier and more rapid” than it had forecast in its last report in May, with lockdowns lifted more quickly than anticipated and online spending stronger.

However, unemployment is expected to nearly double to about 7.5 per cent by the end of the year as employers react to the downturn and the end of the furlough scheme with mass redundancy programmes. The forecast suggests that more than one million jobs will be lost by Christmas.

The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee unanimously voted to leave the benchmark interest rate at the record low level of 0.1 per cent and said there would not be a rise until there was “clear evidence” of a strong recovery. Forecasters Capital Economics said they expected the cost of borrowing to remain at this level or even lower for “at least five years”.

The committee also said it was currently considering whether interest rates could go below zero to help stimulate the economy.

Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at investment platform AJ Bell, said: “The bank now forecasts that UK GDP will return to its 2019 levels by the end of next year, meaning it’s expecting two lost years of growth for the UK.

“It’s buoyed by the fact that people are getting out and spending more, no doubt fuelled by the summer holidays and lots of people staycationing, while Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty giveaway has also put the rocket boosters under the housing market, with the bank saying it has returned homebuying to near-normal levels.

“However, the bank paints a bleaker picture on the outlook for employment and business spending and cautions that the UK’s future is ‘unusually uncertain’ thanks to the continued spread of the coronavirus.”

The UK construction industry expanded for the second month in a row in July.

The IHS Markit/CIPS construction purchasing managers’ index hit 58.1 last month, compared with 55.3 in June. Any reading above 50 represents an expansion in business activity.

Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit which compiles the survey, said: “Construction companies took another stride along the path to recovery in July as a rebound in house building helped to deliver the strongest overall growth across the sector for nearly five years.”

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There may never be a ‘silver bullet’ for COVID-19, WHO warns

The Planet Overall health Business has warned that, regardless of potent hopes for a vaccine, there may well never be a “silver bullet” for COVID-19, and the road to normality would be long.

A lot more than 18.14 million people all-around the environment are reported to have been infected with the sickness and 688,080​ have died, according to a Reuters tally, with some nations that imagined they have been about the worst dealing with a resurgence.

WHO Director-Typical Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and WHO emergencies head Mike Ryan exhorted all nations to rigorously implement wellness actions this kind of as mask-wearing, social distancing, hand-washing and testing.

“The message to individuals and governments is clear: ‘Do it all’,” Mr Tedros told a digital news briefing from the UN body’s headquarters in Geneva. He mentioned facial area masks really should become a symbol of solidarity round the world.

“A amount of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a amount of helpful vaccines that can aid reduce folks from an infection. However, there’s no silver bullet at the minute – and there may possibly in no way be.”

Mr Ryan reported nations with high transmission prices, such as Brazil and India, needed to brace for a big battle: “The way out is extended and necessitates a sustained dedication.”

Investigation into the origins of COVID-19

The WHO officers reported an progress investigation workforce was not yet again from China, wherever the virus originated.

A larger, WHO-led crew of Chinese and international industry experts is planned subsequent, to research the origins of the virus in the metropolis of Wuhan, despite the fact that the timing and composition of that is not yet crystal clear.

Mr Tedros urged mothers to continue on breastfeeding even if they experienced COVID-19, as the advantages “substantially” outweighed the challenges of an infection.

The WHO head reported that, while the coronavirus was the largest world-wide well being crisis because the early 20th century, the worldwide hunt for a vaccine was also historic.

“There are numerous vaccines less than trial, a few in the ultimate phase of medical trials – and there is hope. It does not necessarily mean that we will have the vaccine, but at minimum the velocity with which we attained the degree we achieved now is unprecedented,” he explained.

“There are concerns that we may not have a vaccine that may do the job, or its protection could be for just a couple of months, not far more. But right up until we end the scientific trials, we will not know.”

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If you are going through chilly or flu indicators, remain residence and prepare a examination by contacting your health practitioner or speak to the Coronavirus Wellbeing Details Hotline on 1800 020 080. Information and facts is available in 63 languages at

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Nick Kyrgios says he won’t play at the US Open over COVID-19 fears, warns players not to be selfish

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has ruled out playing in this year’s US Open, saying he is making his decision for “my Aussies”, and for the people who have lost their lives in the COVID-19 pandemic.

He becomes the second high-profile Australian tennis player to announce he will be staying away from the New York-based tournament, following this week’s statement by women’s world number one Ash Barty.

The tournament is scheduled to start on August 31 — it will be held at its usual home in Flushing Meadows, Queens but will be played without fans to limit the risk of spreading of the virus.

Kyrgios posted a video on Sunday, where he read from a statement.

“I will not be playing this year at the US Open,” he said.

“It hurts me at my core not to be out there, competing in one of the sport’s greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“It’s my decision.”

A tennis player stands with his head down and his fist in front of his face after losing a point.
Nick Kyrgios says he is sitting out the US Open for Australians, and for the Americans who have died from COVID-19.(AP: Adam Hunger)

Uncertainty remains around the tournament that is usually the last major of the year.

The tennis world has been largely shut down for months in response to the pandemic, and players have expressed concerns over safety.

While tournaments are just about to restart, there have been a number of exhibition events held — the most notorious being the ADRIA Cup, a tournament organised by world number one Novak Djokovic, held in a number of countries, but which featured poor social distancing.

Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric later tested positive. Kyrgios described the decision to go ahead with the exhibition as “boneheaded”, saying people had to stick to the protocols.

Kyrgios has also been drawn into online exchanges with Coric and former world number one Boris Becker over their approach to the virus.

“Dear tennis, let’s take a breath here and remember what’s important, which is health and safety as a community,” he said in the video.

The Canberra native said he had no problem with the USTA putting on the US Open, and that if players wanted to go, that was up to them.

“So long as everyone acts appropriately, and acts safely,” he said.

“No-one wants people to keep their jobs more than me. I’m speaking for the guy who works in the restaurant, the cleaners, the locker room attendants.

“These are the people that need their jobs back the most and fair play to them.”

Kyrgios called on players to act in each other’s best interests and work together.

“That’s just so selfish. Think of all the other people for once.

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Coronavirus: Young people are not invincible to COVID-19 effects, warns WHO chief

Young people “are not invincible”, the World Health Organization (WHO) stressed on Thursday, warning of growing evidence that patients with mild COVID-19 can have long-term health issues.

“Evidence suggests that spikes in cases in some countries are being driven in part by younger people letting down their guard during the northern hemisphere summer,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“We have said it before and we’ll say it again: young people are not invincible. Young people can be infected; young people can die; and young people can transmit the virus to others,” he added.

It comes after Dr Hans Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe, told Euronews more and more young Europeans were testing positive for COVID-19.

“We see from reports both nationally and sub-nationally that now the spike in cases in quite a number of countries is primarily in age cohorts between 20 and 39,” he said.

In several countries, including France and Germany, health experts have said that more young people are testing positive for the virus. Officials said that young people have been social distancing less often and have more contacts.

‘I have no fear’

Indeed many young Europeans contacted by Euronews have said that although some aspects of life are different, they are still seeing as many friends as they did before coronavirus.

“I think I see as many people as before, but maybe less often because of the decrease in the number of events. I prefer outdoor meetings to limit wearing a mask,” said Simon, a 33-year-old living in Lyon, France.

But he said his friends have stopped the French custom of greeting by kissing each other on the cheek.

Sarah, a 32-year-old who works for a non-profit foundation in Paris, said that she sees just as many people as before, and has since at least June when bars and restaurants reopened in France.

She said most people she knows aren’t concerned about the outbreak.

“I have no fear in terms of the virus because I’m in a young population, and not at risk. I don’t really frequent people who are at risk,” Sarah added.

“There comes a point where the desire to resume normal life is stronger than the fear of dying,” she added, explaining that people also wanted to start living again due to the economic crisis.

“I think I’m seeing as many people as before little by little,” said Vincent, a 34-year-old in Lyon. “I’m using preventive measures, wearing a mask when necessary, washing my hands and maintaining distancing when possible.”

Simon and Vincent agreed that they’re more worried about “transmitting” the virus to others rather than getting it themselves.

Sarah said that around people at risk, however, she pays close attention to distancing and using preventive measures. Otherwise, it’s just during “the rare times” that a friend is worried about the virus.

‘Why take the risk?’

But WHO stressed on Thursday that even a mild COVID-19 infection can result in long term health implications.

Dr Maria van Kerkhove, WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, listed extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, and difficulty resuming normal activity as some of the longer-term effects people who had a mild infection can experience.

WHO’s executive director of health emergencies programme, Michael Ryan, also cited evidence of prolonged inflammatory changes to patients’ cardiovascular system.

He added that little is still known about the longer-term implications of the virus.

“Why take the chance? Why take the risk?” he asked. “Don’t take a risk that you cannot quantify.”

Both urged young people to wear masks, wash their hands regularly and avoid crowded places with van Kerkhove flagging that “we’re consistently seeing nightclubs as being amplifiers of transmissions”.

For Dr Kluge, the increase in the number of cases is largely “due to changed behaviour in human beings”.

He said health experts needed to change their messaging to young people.

“The key issue here is to tailor our risk communication to that group or segment of the population and getting away from younger people are less vulnerable,” Dr Kluge said.

“Blaming is the worst thing we can do,” Dr Kluge added, explaining that they need to convince young adults with positive messages.

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Coronavirus: Boris Johnson warns of Europe ‘second wave’ amid Spain row

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Media captionBoris Johnson defends adding Spain to the quarantine list

Boris Johnson has warned there are signs of a “second wave” of coronavirus in Europe, as he defended a 14-day quarantine on travellers from Spain.

The PM said the government had to be “swift” – and it would continue to take further action “where it is necessary”.

It comes after the Spanish prime minister called the UK’s decision to change the rules for Spain “unjust”.

Pedro Sánchez said tourists in most regions in Spain would be safer from coronavirus than in the UK.

The UK is advising against all non-essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic and Canary Islands. It also removed Spain and its islands from the list of countries that are exempt from the 14-day quarantine rule.

Meanwhile, Germany has advised against travel to three areas of Spain.

Speaking during a visit to Nottinghamshire, Mr Johnson said: “What we have to do is take swift and decisive action where we think that the risks are starting to bubble up again.

“Let’s be absolutely clear about what’s happening in Europe, amongst some of our European friends, I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic.”

It came as the UK reported a further 119 coronavirus deaths – taking the official number of deaths so far to 45,878 – but the daily figure is typically higher on Tuesdays due to delays in reporting deaths at the weekend.

An additional 581 positive cases have also been reported across the UK, a small dip on recent days.

‘Stick with guidance’

Asked about reports that the 14-day period could be reduced – as reported by the Daily Telegraph – Mr Johnson said “we are always looking at ways in which we can mitigate the impact of the quarantine”.

“At the moment you have got to stick with the guidance that we are giving, we have given the guidance now about Spain and about some other places around the world.”

When asked whether the 14-day quarantine period could be cut, transport minister Baroness Vere said the government was “looking at a range of options” including “testing people on certain days” after they arrive.

Ministers are also “certainly looking” at the idea of restrictions on travel to regions rather than whole countries, she said during an urgent question in the House of Lords.

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Spain’s rate of infection has jumped in recent days

Mr Johnson said if the UK did see signs of a second wave in other countries, it was the government’s duty to stop travellers returning and spreading the disease.

“It’s vital that when people are coming back from abroad, if they are coming back from a place where I’m afraid there is another outbreak, they must go into quarantine,” he said.

“That’s why we have taken the action that we have and we will continue, throughout the summer, to take such action where it is necessary.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon echoed Mr Johnson’s concerns, saying “we are currently seeing a worrying resurgence of Covid” in European countries.

She warned potential travellers not to assume quarantine measures would remain the same at the time of booking a holiday as when they returned, adding: “I wouldn’t be booking a foreign holiday right now.”

The Department of Health said there had been a handful of suspected cases this month where a person had tested positive for the coronavirus after returning to the UK from Spain.

But it added these were not a factor in evidence presented to ministers and that the decision to reintroduce a quarantine for arrivals from Spain was taken because of rising infection rates there.

‘UK error’

In an interview with the Telecinco TV network, Spain’s Mr Sánchez said his government was “talking with British authorities to try to get them to reconsider” the decision.

He said the UK had made an “error” by considering the infection rate for the whole country.

He added that “64.5% of the new cases registered are in two territories” and in most of Spain the prevalence of Covid-19 was “very much inferior to the numbers registered in the United Kingdom”.

The rate of infection in Spain is 47.2 cases per 100,000 people, while the UK is at 15, according to the latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

While the outbreak remains under control in many parts of Spain, certain areas – in particular Catalonia in the north-east, which includes the city Barcelona, and the neighbouring region of Aragón – have seen a huge spike in infections.

According to data from the Spanish government, as of Monday, the infection rates in the Balearic and Canary Islands were 9.22 and 7.06 per 100,000 respectively.

The same data showed infection rates in Catalonia, which includes Barcelona, was 132.4 per 100,000, and 28.21 in Madrid.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, local government minister Simon Clarke said “we’ve seen a very sharp increase in cases in Spain”.

“A 75% increase in cases reported between the middle of last week and the end of last week. That’s why we took the action that we have.”

On Tuesday, the UK government added Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and St Vincent and the Grenadines to the list of countries which are exempt from the quarantine rule.

Travellers returning to the UK from anywhere not on the list – including Spain – must now self-isolate for 14 days at a registered address.

People who do not self-isolate can be fined up to £1,000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and those returning to Scotland could be fined £480, with fines up to £5,000 for persistent offenders.

Government sources told the BBC that there are no plans to introduce testing at airports, and the priority is to get walk-in centres up and running.

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In Barcelona, some businesses are quiet as residents are being told to stay at home

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Tourism is important for Spain’s economy, with about 18 million trips made by Britons last year

Some travel agents say they are struggling to understand the logic of the UK government’s advice.

And MP Chris Bryant, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group for Spain, said: “Why the Canaries – which are further away from Barcelona than Barcelona is to the UK – are on the list as well as mainland Spain, I simply don’t understand.

“And there are many, many regions of Spain which have much lower infection rates than many areas in the UK. I think this has been terribly badly handled.”

Labour said the government’s handling of the restrictions had been “chaotic”, and urged it to step in to protect jobs in the travel industry.

“The airline industry and passengers need clarity,” said shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon.

Holiday companies Jet2 and Tui were among those to announce sweeping flight cancellations following the UK announcement.

EasyJet, British Airways and Ryanair said they would continue to operate full schedules of flights to Spain, though EasyJet said its holidays would be cancelled for the next few weeks.

Among the thousands affected by the change in travel advice and quarantine requirement was Jason Ward who was on holiday in Ibiza with his wife when he heard the rules had changed.

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Jason Ward

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Jason Ward said he felt safer in Ibiza than in the UK

The couple, from Stevenage, in Hertfordshire, arrived on Saturday for a two-week holiday and now face having to self-isolate for the same amount of time when they return to the UK.

“Both of us are key workers and have worked through lockdown,” Mr Ward told the BBC.

“We feel safer here then back at home.”

He called on ministers to “remove the quarantine and allow the businesses here to have a chance to survive”.

Have your travel plans been affected due to the new government advice? Have you returned to the UK and are facing problems due to quarantine? Are you still stranded in Spain? Share your experiences by emailing .

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist.

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Coronavirus: Cyprus warns against infected migrants illegally crossing into the EU

Asylum-seekers infected with coronavirus could be seeping through the porous cease-fire line in the ethnically divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus, the country”s health minister warned Sunday.

Minister Constantinos Ioannou pointed to “a problem” after a number of migrants who recently crossed from the breakaway north to seek asylum in the internationally recognized south have tested positive for COVID-19.

Ioannou said the government had ordered two months ago that all migrants undergo testing for COVID-19 before they enter reception centres. At least eight Syrian migrants who crossed southward in the last week have reportedly tested positive.

Ioannou said coronavirus checks are being conducted at several crossing points that dot the 180- kilometre UN-controlled buffer zone. But migrants seek other, more remote routes to cross into the south, which is part of the European Union.

The crossing points opened late last month after being shut down for three months due to coronavirus restrictions. However, the Cypriot government still bans crossings of foreigners because of uncertainty over the virus infection rate in the north.

In the south, Cyprus has seen over 1,000 infections and 19 confirmed virus deaths.

“The virus is still here, we haven’t gotten rid of it as many think and if we don’t take protective measures then we may have a problem in the future,” Ioannou said.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup aimed at union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence in the north. The nation joined the EU in 2004, but only Greek Cypriots and others in the south enjoy full membership.

More than three-quarters of the migrants who sought asylum in southern Cyprus crossed over from the north.

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Blackrock warns US-China tensions primed to get worse

“Issues between US and China are structural and persistent and as such will continue regardless of who wins in November.”

Chief investment officer at Platinum Asset Management, Andrew Clifford, agrees the relationship between China and the West has changed permanently, but believes the world is so globally intertwined that economic interests would continue to trump political disputes. Platinum has about $4.5 billion, or 17 per cent of assets, invested in Chinese-listed stocks.

“The US is wanting to redefine that relationship with China, and I think that will be on-going whoever is in power,” Mr Clifford said. Meanwhile, he warned that markets and economies were on different trajectories, and a recovery could take up to five years.

Platinum Asset Management’s Andrew Clifford. Re-starting economic activity is a political decision, he says. Credit:Bloomberg

“Economies do get better from here, even with secondary shutdowns. But, even with a vaccine out tomorrow, we are not going to be back at levels of activity that we were at the start of the year.”

The pandemic has also forced a revolution in central bank policy, according to Mr Powell, who cited the US Federal Reserve’s move in March to step in and keep financial markets from freezing as a sign of policymakers willing to do what it tto contain the economic damage.


As the global economy tackles the turbulence, Blackrock is tipping European equities and corporate debt to deliver the best returns in coming months

“We upgrade European equities to overweight as the most attractive exposure to a cyclical uptick,” Blackrock Investment Institute’s latest mid-year report states.

“We cut US equities to neutral after a stretch of outperformance as we see risks of fading fiscal stimulus and election uncertainty.”

Investment-grade corporate debt is seen as a good option because central banks would support low rates and yields would make up for the risk of collapse.

Singapore-based Mr Powell says the virus remains ‘’extremely serious’’ but must be balanced with re-starting economic activity. It remains a political balancing act between the spread of COVID-19 and avoiding economic depression.

“If the [virus] data changes then politicians will have to course-correct in real time, so that balancing act is genuinely very hard,’’ he said.

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Government warns of social media manipulation as TikTok faces backlash

“The Morrison government recognises social media can be a particularly effective tool in the manipulation of information,” he said. “We are working with partners both internationally and domestically to share information and increase resilience to foreign interference in at-risk sectors, including disinformation through social media.”

Last year leaked documents showed TikTok instructed its moderators to censor videos that mentioned Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence or the religious movement Falun Gong.

Dr Belinda Barnet, senior lecturer in media at Swinburne University of Technology, said it was “beyond doubt” that TikTok and its Chinese counterpart Douyin, which is also owned by ByteDance, contributed to misinformation.

“They engage in censorship and targeted misinformation campaigns to disrupt and hijack public debate,” she said.

However TikTok’s global transparency report which was published on Thursday failed to address these concerns, instead detailing how the platform removed almost 50 million videos globally in the second half of last year, mainly for depicting adult nudity and sexual activities.


Privacy is only mentioned once – with the report noting “TikTok offers a wide range of privacy settings that users can activate during account setup, or at any time” – and security is not covered at all.

The report details 500 legal requests for information from governments in 26 countries including two requests from Australia and six requests from Australian government agencies to remove content.

TikTok did not report any similar requests from the Chinese government and a spokesperson for TikTok said the app had not received any requests from the Chinese government for user information or to remove content.

“We do not and have not removed any content at the request of the Chinese government, and would not do so if asked,” the spokesperson said.

TikTok Australia’s general manager Lee Hunter has defended the security of data on the platform by pointing to the storing of TikTok Australia user data in Singapore and efforts to “minimise data access across regions”.


However Fergus Ryan, an analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said Mr Hunter’s claims made it clear TikTok data was accessed in China.

“Reading between the lines this is a roundabout way of saying they are still sending some data to China,” he said. “That makes a lot of sense because in order to update the app and improve the app, Beijing-based engineers will need to access some of the data being stored in the US and Singapore.”

Mr Ryan said this was “particularly worrying” as China has a suite of national security laws that, in effect, remove any firewall between the user data and Chinese authorities.

“A company like Apple can publicly refuse the FBI access to an iPhone, that simply wouldn’t happen in China and there is no evidence it has ever happened,” he said.

Mr Ryan pointed to Article 7 of China’s National Intelligence Law which states “Any organisation and citizen shall, in accordance with the law, support, provide assistance and co-operate in national intelligence work and guard the secrecy of any national intelligence work that they are aware of”.

“In other words, if the Chinese government requested TikTok user data, the company would be required by law to assist them and then would be legally prevented from talking about it,” Mr Ryan said.

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Nick Coatsworth warns death toll could rise if Australians stop social distancing

Australia’s deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth has issued a stern reminder to anyone becoming complacent about the importance of social distancing, warning the nation’s death toll will rise if people slip back into old habits.

Speaking to reporters Sunday afternoon, Dr Coatsworth’s warning came after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced a man in his 70s had died from coronavirus overnight – the state’s second death this week, bringing the national death toll to 108.

“This is a dangerous time. This is a very challenging time,” Mr Andrews said, days after greater Melbourne and Mitchell Shire re-entered six weeks of a stage-3 lockdown, in an attempt to get Victoria’s COVID-19 resurgence under control.

“I know we are asking a lot of Victorians, but we simply have no choice but to acknowledge the reality that we face and to do what must be done, and that is to follow those rules, to only go out when you need to, and to only go out for the purposes that are lawful.”

The state reported another 273 new infections overnight after a shocking week of record rises in cases.

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But an outbreak in New South Wales, linked to the Crossroads Hotel in Casula, has served as a “timely reminder” to all Australians that “infectious diseases of any sort, particularly ones with pandemic potential, highly infectious ones, do transmit”, Dr Coatsworth said.

The number of coronavirus cases linked to the pub jumped to nine this afternoon, with health authorities urging everyone who attended the venue between July 3 and July 10 to self-isolate and submit for testing.

Dr Coatsworth said people going out and about “need to be very cautious” of the risk we still face without a vaccine yet developed.

“That is not to say that people can’t frequent those venues, of course you can, within the restrictions that the state governments have put on numbers of people and density, but people need to be very cautious, certainly if you have any symptoms of a cold and you are on the road, don’t drop into the roadhouse and sit down and have a meal. Obviously do things like get a takeaway. If the place looks full, move on to the next venue,” he said.

“These are just important, basic things that we are all going to have to do with COVID-19, with the COVID-19 epidemic.”

If people fail to act responsibly, the “reality” is that the death toll will start to climb again, he said.

“That’s the reality of COVID-19. They are the reality of a pandemic. It is possible that the death toll will increase. There is no doubt about that,” he warned.

Our “main weapon” against a surge in deaths and getting any coronavirus outbreaks back under control is “movement restriction and decreasing mixing of individuals”, Dr Coatsworth said.

“The avoidance of what we have seen overseas, which are large numbers of deaths, particularly in elderly members of society, is precisely why we take the measures that we are doing at the moment. We had to do it in February and March. We are doing it again,” he said.

“We know that once movement gets to a certain level – decreases to a certain level, and this has been the case in any situation of a second wave around the world – that the numbers eventually start to drop again.

“The key after that, of course, is to make sure that community transmission stops, that there are no cases of community transmission, and that we do our best to maintain the security of our borders through hotel quarantine and so on and so forth.”

Dr Coatsworth said that, for now, the focus is to get the “particularly significant outbreak” in Victoria under control, and “then go back to what we do best, which is contacting, tracing and eliminating small outbreaks”.

“I don’t think it would be fair to say that that is an unsustainable way to deal with it. The reduction in movement, the reduction in mixing of people is something that is our main tool to deal with COVID-19,” he said.

“What I don’t think we should suggest is that there will be outbreaks of the extent that we have seen in Victoria that would then necessitate the sort of stage three restrictions on the border closures that we have seen in response to this outbreak.”

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New COVID-19 treatment remdesivir is ‘no silver bullet’ warns DCMO, as Victorian outbreak worsens

The Australian government will request to invest in extra provides of the antiviral drug remdesivir following the cure was given provisional approval by the Therapeutic Items Administration.

The selection to green-gentle the drug follows a sharp improve in coronavirus instances in Victoria.

Made by US corporation Gilead Sciences, remdesivir is a person of the extra promising solutions to lower hospitalisation time for those people suffering from significant coronavirus bacterial infections.

“In light of what is actually likely on in Victoria, we will look for to procure additional cures from Gilead,” Deputy Chief Healthcare Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth explained to the media on Saturday.

Despite staying widely deemed as a primary COVID-19 remedy, remdesivir does not prevent coronavirus infection or demise, nor does it alleviate milder circumstances.

So significantly, none of the worldwide trials have delivered conclusive outcomes it is productive on all sufferers treated.

“The crucial point to notice about any of these prescription drugs, of study course, is that none of them as however are a silver bullet,” Dr Coatsworth said.  

The drug will be accessible only to patients who are severely unwell, call for oxygen or superior level assistance to breathe, and are in healthcare facility care.

Australia is a single of the initial nations around the world to approve the use of the drug soon after the European Union, Japan, and Singapore.

In June, the United States federal government moved to safe in the vicinity of-exclusive entry to the drug until eventually Oct.

But Dr Coatsworth is self-assured the countrywide professional medical stockpile has ample provides to satisfy the demand of clients in Victoria.

The impressive steroid Dexamethasone is also remaining used in Australian hospitals as a remedy for coronavirus sufferers.

Sydney pub cluster spreads

As Victoria recorded a different day of far more then 200 circumstances, a new COVID-19 cluster has emerged in New South Wales.

Five circumstances are now joined to The Crossroads Resort in Casula following NSW Health on Saturday confirmed a male patron experienced passed the virus to home contacts.

All those a few contacts tested optimistic late on Friday and are also isolating in the Blue Mountains.

The patron’s stop by to the pub on the evening of 3 July is the only known connection among him and a southwestern Sydney woman, who examined positive previously this 7 days.

A COVID-19 screening warn indicator at the Crossroads Lodge tests centre in Sydney.


“It’s a well timed reminder that COVID-19 spreads in situations of near call,” Dr Coatsworth reported.

Any person who attended the lodge last Friday is now staying asked to self-isolate and appear forward for testing instantly if they build even the mildest signs or symptoms.

The pub is shut for deep-cleaning when a makeshift screening clinic operates in its auto park.

Big hospitals in the place have also extended opening several hours for their coronavirus tests clinics.

“We are at a important level on the struggle to include the COVID-19,” a NSW Overall health spokesperson reported in a statement on Saturday.

“It is completely important the community functions with each other to limit the unfold of the virus, by normally maintaining very good hand cleanliness, adhering to physical distancing policies when possible and receiving analyzed anytime indicators manifest, even so gentle.”


Men and women in Australia need to keep at the very least 1.5 metres away from other folks. Look at your state’s restrictions on gathering boundaries.

Testing for coronavirus is now commonly offered across Australia. If you are suffering from cold or flu signs, organize a examination by calling your medical professional or get hold of the Coronavirus Overall health Info Hotline on 1800 020 080.

The federal government’s coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is readily available for obtain from your phone’s application retail outlet.

SBS is fully commited to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the hottest COVID-19 developments. Information and information and facts is available in 63 languages at

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