Here’s what you need to know on 20 August. This article was updated at 4.30pm.
Deaths: The Government said 41,403 people had died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 as of 5pm on Wednesday, an increase of six on the day before.
Local lockdowns: Putting Oldham under lockdown based on coronavirus case numbers is 'incoherent and unsustainable', a leading professor has said. Carl Heneghan, professor of evidence-based medicine at the University of Oxford, told BBC Newsnight the government should let test and trace do its job before considering a lockdown. Read more here.
Scotland: Scotland has recorded the largest daily jump in coronavirus infections in almost three months with 77 in one day. Nicola Sturgeon has said she’s concerned the R rate might be above one in Scotland. Read more here.
Education: GCSE pupils received record-breaking results as teachers predicted grades were given out to thousands of teenagers across the country, after exams could not be sat. The algorithm used for A level pupils was scrapped after days of controversy. Read more here.
The cap on university places to study medicine has been temporarily lifted this year after the fiasco around A level grades. Every pupil will now be able to attend their first choice university either this academic year or next. Read more here.
Travel: Croatia is set to go onto the UK government’s red list, meaning people arriving from there will have to quarantine for 14 days. It comes as Croatia’s cumulative seven-day average has risen to 27.4 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 of the population. Read more here.
London commuters could save almost £15,000 ($19,657) over the course of their careers if COVID-19 travel trends continue, research suggests. Londoners plan to go into their physical workplace one day less every week in 2020, even as “work from home” advice is lifted — meaning the cost of their commute tickets has been cut from about £124 a month to just £103 a month, Totaljobs found. Read more here.
Science: Children may carry more coronavirus than previously thought, according to a small study. Infected children were shown to have a significantly higher level of virus in their airways than hospitalised adults in intensive care units, researchers have said. Read more here.
Some patients hospitalised with COVID-19 continue to show symptoms months after being discharged, a study has found. Three-quarters of 110 patients who were discharged from Southmead Hospital in Bristol still had symptoms like breathlessness months on. Read more here.
Scientists from the University of Bristol have found singing is no riskier than talking providing it is done softly in a well-ventilated space. This coincides with the updated government guidance that states “both professionals and non-professionals” can “engage in singing”, providing they meet in a “group of no more than two households (indoors and out) or up to six people from different households (if outdoors)”. Read more here.
Sport: The FA has expressed hope that some fans could be back at matches in October. FA chief executive Mark Bullingham hopes to get supporters into Wembley for some England international matches, including one against Wales. Read more here.
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Rest of the world
Europe is no longer the ‘epicentre’ of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. In an update on Thursday, WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge said Europe currently has a registered 3.9 million cases - making up 17% of the global total of nearly 22 million cases. Read more here.
Sweden recorded the highest death rate in 150 years, as COVID-19 claimed about 4,500 lives in the six month period to the end of June. COVID-19 meant that deaths were some 10 percent higher than the average for the period over the last five years, according to officials. Read more here.
France and Germany are seeing their worst rises in new coronavirus cases in months, with concerns about rates in Europe as holidaymakers return and children go back to school. France recorded nearly 3,800 cases in 24 hours, and Germany reported more than 1,700 in 24 hours. Read more here.
An orange a day and keeping calm is the secret to beating COVID-19 in old age, according to a 107-year-old who beat the disease. Angela Hutor has lived through both world wars and five respiratory pandemics including the 1918 Spanish Flu. Read more here.