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Coronavirus: Schools apology and UK death count reduced by 5,000

  • August 12, 2020

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Wednesday evening. We’ll have another update for you tomorrow morning.

1. Williamson apologises for school and exam disruption

Gavin Williamson has apologised to pupils for disruption to learning during the pandemic. The education secretary also said every student will receive “credible, strong results” – after an approach to determining grades in England was criticised as “chaotic”. It follows a U-turn in Scotland over how grades were estimated for exams. A-Level and BTEC results are due on Thursday morning across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, police in Manchester have warned students against celebrating together and spreading the virus.

2. Recession is unprecedented, Sunak says

Chancellor Rishi Sunak says the government is “grappling with something that is unprecedented” after figures showed the UK economy had suffered its biggest slump on record – as two consecutive quarters of decline were caused by the Covid-19 lockdown. The economy shrank 20.4% between April and June compared with the first three months of the year.

Media captionRishi Sunak: “We’re grappling with something unprecedented”

3. UK death count reduced by 5,000

The UK has seen one of the highest official coronavirus death tolls in Europe, with more than 40,000 people dying with the virus by early June. However, following a review into the way the figure is calculated, the government has announced that the official number has been reduced by more than 5,000 to 41,329. The recalculation is based on a new definition of who has died from Covid in England – bringing England’s way of counting in line with the other UK nations. There’s more here.

Image copyright
Suhail Patel

4. ‘We’ve been waiting months for a flight refund’

A new report by consumer group Which? says airlines are still taking too long to refund passengers. Among the unhappy customers are David Hanson and Jemima Rodwell who had to cancel their dream trip to New Zealand because of Covid-19 in March – and are still waiting for their money back five months on.

Image copyright
David Hanson

5. How Ebola prepared one doctor for Covid-19

The Democratic Republic of the Congo was still dealing with Ebola when Covid-19 arrived. But for Doctors Without Borders staff member Papy Dieya, important lessons learned from Ebola have helped him to treat coronavirus patients.

Media captionHow Ebola prepared one doctor for Covid-19

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And don’t forget…

…wearing a mask is mandatory in some circumstances, although the rules can differ in the UK nations. We have put together a user’s guide to wearing a face covering.

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

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