UK school


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry reporting from Kuala Lumpur. 

  • Global coronavirus cases now exceed 10 million and more than half a million people have died from the respiratory disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States accounts for about a quarter of all deaths.
  • The US health secretary Alex Azar has warned the “window is closing” for decisive action to curb the virus as cases there surge.

Here are the latest updates:

Monday, June 29

02:45 GMT – School building boom for post-COVID UK

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to set out plans for a 10-year rebuilding programme for schools in England, a December election promise derailed by the coronavirus.

“As we bounce back from the pandemic, it’s important we lay the foundations for a country where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, with our younger generations front and centre of this mission,” Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson’s Conservatives were returned to power with a large majority in December, taking many seats that traditionally vote Labour, but its handling of the pandemic has eaten into its support. 

UK schools have suffered badly under the severe spending cuts introduced after the financial crisis in 2009. More on the spending plans here.

UK school

The UK government is trying to look beyond the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 43,000 people in the country, with a promise to rebuild England’s schools [Eddie Keogh/Reuters]

02:30 GMT – ‘Absolutely concerning’: Spike in cases in Australia’s Victoria state

The state of Victoria in southern Australia has found 75 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, something its Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton has described as “absolutely concerning”.

The state has already embarked on a testing blitz, but Sutton says social distancing measures could also be reintroduced in the form of localised lockdowns.

“We have to do whatever is required to turn this around,” he told reporters. 

Monday’s daily cases are the highest in two months.

02:00 GMT – China adds 12 new cases, compared with 17 on Sunday

China has reported 12 new confirmed cases of coronavirus including five imported cases.

The seven domestic infections were all in Beijing.

About a third of the city’s 20 million people have been tested for the virus since an outbreak tracked to the capital’s main wholesale food market on June 11. 

01:45 GMT – Korea reports 42 new cases, concern over clusters

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has just announced 42 new cases of coronavirus – 30 of them local.

That’s lower than the numbers reported over the weekend, but Yonhap news agency says South Korean authorities are concerned about continued clusters of infection, particularly in churches.

On Sunday, South Korea announced a three level social distancing programme. The country’s currently at Level 1, the lowest level. It will increase to Level 2 if the number of cases exceed 50 for 14 days.

00:30 GMT – US accounts for a quarter of deaths as global toll passes half a million

The most recent numbers from Johns Hopkins show the death toll now stands at 501,206 since the first cases emerged in China late last year.

The US accounts for about a quarter of all deaths. Below are the five countries that have recorded the worst death tolls:

  1. US – 125,768
  2. Brazil – 57,622
  3. UK – 43,634
  4. Italy – 34,738
  5. France – 29,781 

More than 10.1 million people have been diagnosed with the disease.

23:30 GMT (Sunday) – LA bars told to close again after cases surge

Bars in Los Angeles and six other counties in California – together home to about 13.5 million people – have been ordered to close again after a surge in coronavirus cases.

Bars reopened on June 19.

Read the updates from yesterday (June 28) here.


SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies





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