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Coronavirus live: Germany and Portugal reimpose localised restrictions

France records 517 new cases of coronavirus
France recorded 517 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours..

France records 517 new cases of coronavirus

France recorded 517 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours and is investigating 5 new clusters, bringing the total number of clusters in the country to 89.

The country eased out of lockdown, opening bars and restaurants from early June but continues to see hundreds of new daily cases.

Italy, meanwhile, recorded 122 new cases of coronavirus.

Both countries recorded low daily death tolls: there were 26 people who died in hospitals in France in 24 hours, and 18 people died in Italy due to COVID-19.

Across Europe, countries have been easing restrictions, but some are concerned that new clusters will create a second wave of infections.

There have been clusters reported in Spain and Germany that have led to new restrictions being imposed.



08:20 م

‘It’s going to be a long haul’, says England’s chief medical adviser

Chris Whitty said they learn more about the virus every few weeks and hope that there will be more breakthroughs on treatments.

But they said although they hope vaccines and therapeutics come soon, there are no guarantees.

Making it a “manageable disease” would mean changes in restrictions, UK officials said.

Whitty said that through the winter and next spring he expects coronavirus to be circulating and the current situation to be in place.



07:37 م

US infectious disease expert Dr Fauci says ‘it will be when not if’ for a COVID-19 vaccine

The US governments top infectious disease expert told Congress on Tuesday he thinks “it will be when and not if” there will be a COVID-19 vaccine.

He added that he remains “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine will be ready at the end of the year.




07:33 م

UK officials asked about outbreaks in meat industry in several countries

The risk that meat is a vector for transmitting the virus is very low, said Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK government’s chief scientific adviser.

He said, however, that meat factories were cold and often crowded, making it easier to transmit the virus.

Very often the area of maximum risk are “common areas or social areas,” said Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer.


07:22 م

Just 340 coronavirus patients in ventilated beds in UK hospitals

Boris Johnson is leading the UK’s coronavirus briefing. There are just 340 people on ventilators in the UK down from a peak of 3,301 in April.

The average number of daily deaths this week is at 121 down from a high of 943 in mid-April.

The UK has confirmed more than 306,000 coronavirus cases and recorded nearly 43,000 deaths.



Germany imposes new lockdown measures in west


New lockdown measures have been imposed on a region in western Germany that has seen an outbreak of coronavirus infections, linked to a slaughterhouse.

Authorities initially said more than 1,550 people had tested positive for coronavirus at the Toennies slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, but by Tuesday afternoon they said the exact number was still being verified.

The governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state, Armin Laschet, said people in Guetersloh county for the next week will face some of the same restrictions that existed across Germany during the early stages of the pandemic in March.

These include limiting the number of people who can meet in public, and closing cinemas, gyms and bars.

05:20 م

Portugal reimposes restrictions in Lisbon region


Lockdown restrictions to halt the spread of coronavirus have been reimposed in the Lisbon area in Portugal.

Just as its neighbours are opening back up in the hope of saving their tourism seasons, Portugal has been forced to take a step backwards from reopening, as it currently ranks second in the EU for the most new cases in per capita, according to data collected by AFP.

Restrictions have been reimposed in the Lisbon metropolitan area, which include: the banning of consumption of alcohol in public areas, the closure of terraces or cafes at 8pm local time, and the limiting of the size of rallies.



04:53 م

French contact tracing app has only notified just 14 people of coronavirus contamination risk

StopCovid has only notified 14 people that they’re at risk of being in contact with a confirmed coronavirus case, the country’s digital secretary Cédric O said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile just 68 people have used the application to date to prevent people they meet from becoming infected.

The digital secretary said the app had been downloaded 1.9 million times, but uninstalled 460,000 times.

He attributed the low numbers reported in the app to low virus figures even though France has recorded hundreds of new coronavirus cases per day.



04:23 م

Tennis player Novak Djokovic and wife test positive for COVID-19

Djokovic tested positive for the coronavirus after taking part in a tennis exhibition series he organised in Serbia and Croatia.

The top-ranked Serb is the fourth tennis player to test positive for the virus.



Mitigation strategies will be in place as England reopens

Restaurants and pubs indoors will be limited to table service to mitigate contact between people.

Hairdressers will be able to reopen but must use visors.

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Green, left-wing Michèle Rubirola becomes Marseilles first woman mayor

Issued on: 05/07/2020 – 11:00Modified: 05/07/2020 – 11:01

Marseille became the latest French munic..

Issued on: 05/07/2020 – 11:00Modified: 05/07/2020 – 11:01

Marseille became the latest French municipality to elect a Green mayor on Saturday, in a wave that has swept the country since local elections at the end of last month.

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Michèle Rubirola, the first female leader of Frances second city, won the most votes from city councillors, ending almost a week of suspense after the June 28 poll that failed to give her slate an absolute majority.

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Italy could transfer migrants from Ocean Viking rescue ship on Monday

Issued on: 05/07/2020 – 10:07Modified: 05/07/2020 – 10:16

Italy is carrying out tests on 180 migra..

Issued on: Modified:

Italy is carrying out tests on 180 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean with a view to transferring them to a quarantine vessel in Sicily, an interior ministry source said Saturday.

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The migrants have been on the Ocean Viking ship operated by SOS Mediterranee for over a week, with fights and suicide attempts on board prompting the charity to declare a state of emergency on Friday.

A medical team sent by authorities in Pozzallo, Sicily “ascertained the absence of particular health problems and also reported that some tensions that had been registered on the ship are being overcome”, the ministry source said.

The medical team is testing the migrants for the Covid-19 virus after which they will be transferred to a quarantine ship currently in Porto Empedocle, also in Sicily.

“The situation is carefully monitored in view of the transhipment of migrants, scheduled for Monday 6 July, on the Moby Zaza ship,” the source said.

The Ocean Viking, which has been in limbo in the Mediterranean south of Sicily, has been waiting for permission from Italy or Malta to offload the migrants at a safe port.

Italy could transfer migrants from Ocean Viking rescue ship on Monday

Tensions have risen in the past week, as witnessed by an AFP reporter aboard the boat, as migrants have become increasingly desperate to reach land. Others have become distraught at not being able to telephone their families to let them know they were safe.

SOS Mediteranee said in a statement on Saturday that “the only assistance proposed has been a visit by a medical doctor and a cultural mediator who spoke to the survivors but are not in a position to present a solution for their disembarkation.”

The migrants, which include Pakistanis, North Africans, Eritreans, Nigerians and others, were picked up after fleeing Libya in four separate rescues by the Ocean Viking on June 25 and 30.

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Air France to cut 7,580 jobs at French flagship carrier and regional unit Hop!

Issued on: 03/07/2020 – 20:16Modified: 03/07/2020 – 20:16

Air France confirmed plans to cut some 7..

Issued on: 03/07/2020 – 20:16Modified: 03/07/2020 – 20:16

Air France confirmed plans to cut some 7,500 jobs including 1,000 at sister airline Hop! on Friday, as staff protested over its response to the collapse in travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The French flag carrier, part of Franco-Dutch group Air France-KLM, said it had lost €15 million a day during the worst part of the crisis, which also saw its revenues plunge by 95 percent. It did not see traffic returning to 2019 levels before 2024.

As a result, Air France plans to cut 6,560 or 16 percent of jobs at the main airline by the end of 2022, more than 3,500 of which will come through natural departures, it said after union talks.

Another 1,020 jobs will go over the next three years at Hop!, representing 42 percent of staff at the regional carrier based in the coastal city of Nantes, which has also been hit by job cuts at plane manufacturer Airbus.

The French government – which granted Air France €7 billion ($7.9 billion) in aid, including state-backed loans, to help it to survive – has urged the airline to avoid compulsory layoffs, though it has conceded Air France is "on the edge”.

"A successful labour reorganisation is one where there are no forced departures," junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher told Sud Radio on Friday.

In its statement, Air France said it would give priority to voluntary departures, early retirement and staff mobility. It did not rule out compulsory redundancies, however.

The reconstruction plan will be presented at the end of July, together with a plan for the wider Air France-KLM Group.

This is not how I wanted to leave

Some 100 union members and employees, from cleaning staff to check-in assistants, demonstrated earlier outside the airline's base at Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris against plans to cut staff after receiving state aid to absorb the pandemic fallout.

Air France employees gather to protest a restructuring plan that includes thousands of job cuts in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis outside the French airline's headquarters in Roissy-en-France near Paris on July 3, 2020. The sign at right reads, "Not born to end up in the dumpster.” © Gonzalo Fuentes, Reuters

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