Influenza or seasonal flu is a perennial public health burden that, like Covid-19, causes most severe problems among elderly people and those with underlying health conditions.
During the winter of 2018-2019, about 35.5 million people in the US got sick with flu, almost half a million were hospitalized and 34,200 died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Johnson said the country must “reserve the right to go further” with coronavirus restrictions. He does not want to impose a second total lockdown, but said there have been “too many breaches” of the rules.
NHS Tayside is investigating a single positive case and a small number of suspected cases of coronavirus linked to private student accommodation, Parker House in Dundee.
Close contacts of the positive case, who is a student of Abertay University, are being contacted.
All 500 residents at the accommodation have been asked to self-isolate until further contact tracing has been completed.
Dr Daniel Chandler, associate director of public health, said:
We know from outbreaks in other university settings across Scotland that the virus can spread very quickly in student accommodation.
Therefore, as a precautionary measure, we are contacting all residents of Parker House and advising them to self-isolate immediately.
Further investigation and contact tracing are continuing and we will review this advice in the coming days.
Prof Nigel Seaton, principal of Abertay University, said:
Our students in Parker House are being supported to self-isolate safely and we will remain in regular daily contact with them.
The university already has enhanced cleaning and safety measures in place on campus, in line with national guidance, and the campus will remain open.
We have contacted students and staff to remind them of their personal responsibilities in relation to Covid safety and to inform them of today’s changes in Scottish government guidance.
In the first stage, “6,000 citizens and residents within the kingdom will be allowed to perform the umrah per day from October 4,” the ministry said in a statement published by the official Saudi press agency.
Visitors from outside the kingdom will be permitted from 1 November, when the capacity will be raised to 20,000 pilgrims per day, the ministry said.
Umrah, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time of the year, attracts millions of Muslims from across the globe each year.
The ministry said umrah would be allowed to resume at full capacity once the threat of the pandemic is eliminated.
Saudi Arabia suspended umrah in March and scaled back the annual hajj over fears that the coronavirus could spread to Islam’s holiest cities.
The pilgrimages are a massive logistical challenge, with colossal crowds cramming into relatively small holy sites, making them vulnerable to contagion.
The decision to resume umrah was in response to the “aspirations of Muslims home and abroad” to perform the ritual and visit the holy sites, the interior ministry said.
Saudi Arabia’s custodianship of Mecca and Medina – Islam’s two holiest sites – is seen as the kingdom’s most powerful source of political legitimacy.
The sites draw millions of pilgrims every year and are a key revenue earner for Saudi Arabia.
The government hopes to welcome 30 million pilgrims to the kingdom annually by 2030.
The thinktank UK in a Changing Europe said the political and economic effects of the pandemic were likely to mitigate or hide that of failing to secure a trade agreement with the EU.
But in the short term, the lack of a new formal trading relationship with Brussels would be bad news for economic recovery, and its impact larger than that of the health crisis in the long term.
The thinktank, which collaborated with the London School of Economics (LSE), said Brexit would hit growth in the coming years more than if the UK had opted to remain in the bloc. Its authors wrote:
The claim that the economic impacts of Covid-19 dwarf those of Brexit is almost certainly correct in the short term.
Not even the most pessimistic scenarios suggest that a no-deal Brexit would lead to a fall in output comparable to that seen in the second quarter of 2020.
However – assuming a reasonably strong recovery, and that government policies succeed in avoiding persistent mass unemployment – in the long run, Brexit is likely to be more significant.
Our modelling with LSE of the impact of a no-deal Brexit suggests that the total cost to the UK economy over the longer term will be two to three times as large as that implied by the Bank of England’s forecast for the impact of Covid-19.
The study estimated that the negative impact on gross domestic product would be 5.7% over the next 15 years compared with the current level, while GDP was forecast to take a 2.1% hit from Covid-19.
The projections come despite a lack of clarity about the overall repercussions from the pandemic, and as a second wave of infections hits Europe.
The two groups, which plan to seek regulatory approval for the vaccine in the first half of 2021, launched human clinical trials in early September, for which 440 participants are being recruited.
Canada already signed in August agreements in principle for candidate vaccines with American firms Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna.
Ottawa has requested from Moderna an additional 14m additional doses, procurement minister Anita Anand said on Monday.
In total, “Canada has now ensured guaranteed access to a minimum of 154m doses and up to a maximum of 262m potential vaccines to protect Canadians and save lives,” she told a news conference.
As of Monday, Canada, which has a population of nearly 38 million, had recorded more than 146,000 cases of Covid-19 and 9,269 deaths.
Several countries have already reserved doses of the vaccine candidate from Sanofi and GSK – 60m doses have been promised to the British government, the European Commission has reserved 300m, and the US 100m with an option for up to 500m additional doses over the longer term.
In-person social gatherings led to cases skyrocketing among people aged 18 to 24, Evers said, as he pleaded with students who returned to colleges for the fall semester to stay out of bars and wear masks.
“We are seeing an alarming increase in cases across our state, especially on campus,” the governor said in a statement.
Evers’ previous mask mandate, part of a second public health emergency he issued in late July, was due to expire on Monday and has been challenged in court by a conservative group arguing the governor, a Democrat, violated state law in using emergency powers more than once.
Wisconsin has experienced one of the highest percentage increases of coronavirus cases nationwide over the past two weeks, and has the second-highest rate of positive coronavirus tests in the nation at 17%, according to a Reuters tally.
The US continues to have world’s highest number of Covid-19 deaths. On a weekly average, it is losing about 800 lives each day to the virus, according to a Reuters tally. That is down from a peak of 2,806 daily deaths recorded on 15 April.