Coronavirus UK news LIVE: 'First person to catch virus revealed as 75-year-old in Nottingham' as death toll hits 41,433

A 75-year-old woman inNottingham was the first person to contract coronavirus in the UK, it is believe.

The woman, who died after falling ill with Covid-19, gave a sample on February 21 – which later tested positive – after being admitted to hospital with severe breathing difficulties.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham say they made the discovery after analysing 1,660 samples from 1,378 patients that were collected between January 2 and March 11 from a Nottingham teaching hospital for routine diagnostic investigation.

Meanwhile, the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme will come to an end on August 31, meaning diners will no longer get up to 50% off meals Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The UK death toll rose to 41,433, with four more deaths reported.

Follow our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates…


    The UK recorded 1,184 new cases of Covid-19 in the latest daily statistics published on Tuesday.

    This is up from 853 on Monday, government figures showed.

    Sixteen people died after testing positive for the coronavirus within the previous 28 days, compared with four deaths announced on Monday.


    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday he was “really pleased” by the work done to prepare schools for reopening next week.

    The Conservative government has come under fire for how it has tackled education during the coronavirus crisis.

    Mr Johnson said it was “crucial” for all children to return to school and that he would look at medical evidence to see whether he should change the government’s advice on wearing face coverings – as in Scotland.

    “I’m really pleased by the work that teachers, schools, parents, pupils have done to get ready,” the PM added.

    Questioned over whether England would have to change its policy on not advising some children to wear face coverings at school as Scotland has, Mr Johnson replied: “You know, we’ll look at the changing medical evidence as we go on.

    “If we need to change the advice, then of course we will.”


    A petition calling for the government's 50 per cent off meal deal to be extended beyond August has been launched by diners in a bid to save thousands of jobs.

    The Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which sees the state pick up half of the bill, is due to end on Monday, August 31.

    The Chancellor's scheme has been running every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday throughout August and has served up 64million meals so far across 87,000 restaurants, according to the latest Treasury figures.

    But, Rishi Sunak faces new calls to continue running the scheme throughout September or risk thousands of pub and restaurant jobs being axed.

    Around 14million employees in the hospitality sector were put on the furlough scheme in March but only around a third of them have returned to work.

    The petition has so far gained about 5,000 signatures since launching on Parliament's dedicated site earlier this month.

    The description reads: “Extend the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme to September to give restaurants and cafes financial stability prior to a potential second wave of COVID-19 causing local/national lockdowns.”

    For the full story, see HERE.


    The French health ministry said tonight that it had recorded 3,304 new coronavirus infections – well below daily highs seen last week and taking the cumulative total to 248,158.

    The number of new infections was above the 1,995 reported on Monday – which traditionally shows a dip.

    But Covid-19 cases remained well below Sunday's new post-lockdown record of 4,897 and less than the over 3,600 cases reported in the second half of last week in France.

    The ministry also said the death toll rose by 16 to 30,544, while the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 fell to a new post-lockdown low of 4,600.

    The number of people in intensive care rose by 11 to 410 and is now back up to levels last seen at the end of July.


    Flavio Briatore, one of Italy's most flamboyant businessmen who slammed restrictions aimed at curbing the coronavirus pandemic, was hospitalised on Tuesday after testing positive for the bug, his staff said in a statement.

    The former Renault boss, 70, was rushed to hospital after suffering from complications.

    Briatore became famous as a Formula 1 team manager in the 1990s and 2000s, and mentored world champion drivers Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso.

    He was taken to Milan's San Raffaele hospital on Sunday after coming down with a fever, his staff said in a statement. It added that his condition was “good and stable”.

    Briatore owns the Billionaire nightclub on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia and last week fiercely condemned a local mayor who had imposed limits on discos in an effort to stamp out a jump in the number of new coronavirus cases.

    “It breaks my heart to see an economy slaughtered by people who have done sod all,” Briatore said on a video posted on Instagram.

    His club is now seen as a coronavirus hotspot with more than 60 staff members and guests testing positive in recent days.

    Briatore has met a number of well-known personalities in recent days and played a game of soccer with celebrities on August 15.

    One of his fellow players, the manager of Serie A soccer club Sinisa Mihajlovic, said at the weekend that he had the virus.

    Briatore also met former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi according to a post on Instagram.

    Berlusconi said on Tuesday that he had taken a test and did not have Covid.


    South Korea is closing schools and returning to remote learning in the capital region – the greater Seoul area – after the country hit its 12th straight day of triple-digit daily increases in coronavirus cases.

    Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae said on Tuesday that at least 193 students and teachers were found infected over the past two weeks in the Seoul metropolitan region, following a viral surge.

    Most children at kindergartens, elementary, middle and high schools will receive online classes at least until September 11.

    High-school seniors will continue to go to school so their studies are not disrupted ahead of the crucial national college exams.

    South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 280 new cases of Covid-19, pushing the 12-day total to 3,175.

    The country’s caseload is now at 17,945, including 310 deaths.


    Big changes are coming into force next month for the millions of workers still on furlough due to the coronavirus crisis, as employers will have to start contributing more cash towards the scheme.

    From September 1, the government's contribution towards furloughed workers' wages will fall from 80% to 70%, up to a cap of £2,187.50 a month.

    This means employers will have to pay 10% of salaries to make up the rest of the 80% of wages the scheme pays, up to a cap of £2,500 a month.

    With September's changes, employers' bills will rise to 14% of staff costs, according to the government.

    New flexible furlough rules from September 1 explained – including how much employers must pay


    Five patients on a cancer ward in Northern Ireland have tested positive for Covid-19.

    It’s the second cluster of infections at Craigavon Area Hospital in Co Armagh.

    A member of staff has also tested positive and three close staff contacts are self-isolating as a precaution, the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said.

    It added: “Covid-19 is rising again in our community.

    “We urgently appeal to everyone to wash their hands, cover their face and maintain social distancing.”

    The cancer ward is now closed to admissions.

    Three staff members at the hospital's respiratory emergency department have also tested positive for the virus, according to health bosses.

    On Tuesday, 20 members of staff were self-isolating as a precaution, the trust said.

    It tweeted: “With reduced staff, longer waiting times more likely but will keep to minimum.

    “Emergency department remains open but is busy – only attend if urgent condition requiring emergency treatment and no alternative.”

    Staff are working closely with the Public Health Agency to manage the situation.


    A Greece tourist has warned of huge crowds and people ignoring face mask rules despite new measures enforced on islands – and says Italy is safer.

    Travel influencer Katie Giorgadze, currently on holiday on the island of Santorini with her partner, noted large groups of people when trying to take a picture at sunset.

    Along with hordes of other travellers, the couple headed to Oia Castle, the popular location to watch the sun go down – and were met by crowds failing to social distance.

    She said: “I was very shocked by the number of people at the location.”

    Santorini has new coronavirus restrictions in place after the infection rate across Greece has increased – with 8,987 total cases – which includes curfews for bars and clubs between midnight and 7am.

    According to local media, authorities on the island have been handing out free face masks to tourists to keep new infections low, with police moving on any large crowds.

    Ms Giorgadze said she felt safe for the rest of her trip, however, with staff wearing masks at the hotel – although she added that she felt even safer in Italy, where they had previously visited as part of their road trip.


    National Geographic says that the world's 3,000 species of mosquitoes “transmit more diseases than any other creature”.

    However, while mosquitoes can spread some diseases, most notably malaria, experts say Covid-19 is not among them.

    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it has no data to suggest the coronavirus is spread by either mosquitoes or ticks.

    Covid-19 is mainly spread from person to person through droplets people spray when they talk, cough or sneeze. And the World Health Organization says a mosquito bite won’t give you the virus.


    Shocking video has shown distraught residents in China's Xinjiang region yelling to be freed from their apartments during its strict coronavirus lockdown.

    Those living in the region's largest city, Urumqi, have been locked in their homes since July 18, reports ABC News.

    Clips shared on WeChat and Weibo shows people yelling: “Open the door”.

    Other footage reveals people handcuffed to rails in the street. It's not clear why, however.

    There have been no new cases of the bug since August 16, so people are pleading to officials to allow them out of their homes.

    ABC said it had confirmed that the distressing footage was filmed in Urumqi, but censors have since deleted posts showing people screaming for help.


    British drugmaker AstraZeneca has begun testing an antibody-based cocktail for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

    The study will evaluate if AZD7442, a combination of two antibodies, is safe and tolerable in up to 48 healthy participants between the ages of 18 and 55 years.

    The London-listed firm is already among the leading players in the global race to develop a successful vaccine against the coronavirus.


    British retailers have cut the most jobs since the depths of the financial crisis and expect the pace of losses to accelerate.

    That’s according to the Confederation of British Industry which added there were warning signs of an expected sharp rise in unemployment.

    Tuesday’s data also showed an unexpected drop in sales this month, which contrasted with a recent pick-up in demand by consumers after the coronavirus lockdown was lifted.

    “Firms will be wary of deteriorating household incomes and the risk of further local lockdowns potentially hitting them in the pocket for a second time,” said CBI economist Alpesh Paleja.

    Well-known British retailers Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and WH Smith have announced job losses in recent weeks, reflecting a shift in demand to online sales during the pandemic.

    However Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket, said on Monday it would create 16,000 permanent roles to meet a surge in home deliveries.


    England may follow Scotland’s lead by having pupils wear face masks in schools.

    There has been pressure to recommend England's high school students to don the protective masks, especially in communal areas such as hallways, after the advice in Scotland was changed.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government was ready to follow suit and advise a change in certain situations if the medical evidence supports face masks are necessary in containing the spread of the coronavirus.

    While visiting a Devon shipyard, he told reporters: “On the issue of whether or not to wear masks in some contexts, you know, we’ll look at the changing medical evidence as we go on.

    “If we need to change the advice, then of course we will.”

    The Scottish government confirmed today that it was giving obligatory guidance to students age 12 and above to wear face coverings when they are moving around schools starting Monday.

    It said that children of all ages should wear masks on school buses.

    The change of advice in Scotland came a day after the World Health Organization said children between the ages of 12 to 18 should wear them just like adults should – particularly in cases where physical distancing cannot be ensured and in areas of high transmission.

    Scotland has often led the way within the UK during the pandemic on the wider use of face coverings.

    For example it mandated their use in shops after they reopened a couple of weeks before England.

    The Welsh government also said that it was considering a change of policy for high schools in Wales.


    Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said today that troops would be made available to help regions overcome a resurgence of the coronavirus.

    Spain has suffered its worst week for infections since the pandemic’s peak in late March.

    “The pandemic data curve is worrying and has to be contained.

    “We have to be calm and vigilant,” Sanchez said after the first cabinet meeting following the summer recess.

    Spain's cumulative tally of coronavirus cases – already Western Europe's highest – hit 412,553 on Tuesday.

    But new infections, at 2,415 in the past 24 hours, appeared to have ebbed after a surge last week when over 7,000 cases were registered for four days in a row, Health Ministry figures show.

    Infections have risen sharply since Spain lifted a three-month state of emergency and lockdown in late June, but daily deaths have been much lower than in March-May.

    With 10 new deaths logged on Tuesday, Spain's total toll stands at 28,924.


    Virgin Atlantic says it has reached “a significant milestone in safeguarding its future” after creditors voted to approve a £1.2 billion bailout.

    It had warned earlier this month it could run out of money by the end of September if the rescue package was rejected.

    Virgin Atlantic has been hit hard by the collapse in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

    The £1.2 billion rescue deal involves only private funds, and includes a cash injection of £200 million from founder Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group.

    Creditors are being asked to accept 20% less than they are owed, and for repayments to be rescheduled.

    The company said: “Today, Virgin Atlantic has reached a significant milestone in safeguarding its future, securing the overwhelming support of all four creditor classes, including 99% support from trade creditors who voted in favour of the plan.

    “The next step is an English High Court hearing on September 2 to sanction the restructuring plan.”

    Virgin Atlantic has said it does not expect demand for air travel to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023.


    A further 44 Scots coronavirus cases have been confirmed over the past 24 hours.

    The country continues to see more positive tests after clusters in various regions.

    Of the 44 new cases, seven were in the Tayside cluster area, where a chicken factory has now had 152 cases linked to it.

    A further two cases were linked to the Aberdeen outbreak- although one had already been recorded but only now linked to the cluster originating from city centre pubs.

    One person is in intensive care battling the deadly virus – which is the same as yesterday.

    And a further 243 are in hospital with confirmed coronavirus, down five in the past 24 hours.


    Majorca and Ibiza have smashed their previous record for new daily coronavirus cases as 908 new infections were accounted in the last 24 hours.

    The number is quadruple any of the increases reported in 24 hours to date bringing the total of active Covid-19 cases to 2,227.

    According to the latest health data there had been 27 new hospitalisations in the last 24 hours and four admissions to ICU.

    Spain’s Health ministry has insisted in recent days that although the cases are rising, the current cases detected are milder and many asymptomatic.

    This has been reflected in the rate of discharges yesterday – 247 in the last 24 hours.


    The UK's coronavirus death toll hit 41,449 today after 16 more deaths were confirmed.

    Another 1,184 cases were logged, meaning a total of 327,798 have now tested positive for the bug.

    The latest deaths, published by Public Health England, refer to those who have died within 28 days of a positive test result.


    A further 15 people have died from coronavirus in England, bringing the total number of Covid deaths in English hospitals to 29,515.

    The patients were aged between 27 and 95 and all had underlying health conditions.


    Boris Johnson has rubbished “nonsense” claims he will quit in six months because of his ill-health from his battle with coronavirus.

    The PM said he was feeling “far better” than ever after losing 1.5 stone.

    It comes after a report claimed chief adviser Dominic Cummings' father-in-law had told a journalist he would resign.

    During a visit to Appledore Shipyard in North Devon the PM addressed the rumours, telling Devon Live: “It's absolute nonsense! I am feeling, if anything, far better as I've lost some weight. Not enough, but I have lost at least a stone and a half.

    “I feel much much better for having lost, by my standards, quite a lot of weight.”


    The Prime Minister has faced fresh calls to meet bereaved families who lost their loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group said they have asked for meetings with Boris Johnson on four occasions.

    Earlier this month, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus heard from bereaved families who said they felt they are being “swept under the carpet” by the Government.

    APPG chairwoman, Liberal Democrat Layla Moran, wrote to the Prime Minister and said she was “shocked” to learn that he had “refused” to meet the group – which represents 1,450 families.


    About 3,700 people in Sweden were told in error that they had the coronavirus due to a fault in a COVID-19 testing kit from China, the Public Health Agency has said.

    The kit from BGI Genomics could not distinguish between very low levels of the virus and a negative result, the agency said.

    “The supplier must adjust the performance that is required for this test to be used,” Karin Tegmark Wisell, the head of its microbiology department, said.

    The test kit has been widely exported to other countries, she added, but could not give further details.

    The Swedish labs that evaluate the tests have adjusted their methodology. The agency could not say how many tests had been done using the kit but only a minority of cases appeared to be involved, when the virus is at very low levels.

    Sweden said the false results had only marginally affected statistics on infections.

  • F1 SHOCK

    Former Renault boss Flavio Briatore, 70, has been rushed to hospital and is said to be in “serious” condition suffering from complications caused by coronavirus.

    Reports in Italy claim to the former F1 team boss was taken to San Raffaele hospital to Milan on Monday.

    Briatore's illness follows his Billionaire club being shut down following a spate of positive coronavirus tests seemingly coming from the in Porto Cervo hotspot.

    The ex-Benetton chief is not in intensive care, according to reports in Italy.

    However, the flamboyant Italian is said to be in “serious” condition.


    Sadiq Khan has said it is important that learn lessons are learned from the return of schools in different countries.

    The Mayor of London said: “Students need to be back in school and resume their learning in a safe environment.

    “It is vital that we do all we can to ensure we limit the spread of coronavirus in all settings, including in schools.

    “The World Health Organisation has advised children over 12 to wear a face covering where they can't socially distance, and as more countries are introducing them in school corridors and communal areas, it's important that lessons are learned.

    “I have continually called on Government to respond to the latest health advice and my team are speaking with officials in Scotland to ensure we have the most up-to-date advice ahead of our schools returning.”

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