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Daily News Briefing: UK’s flu vaccine program aims to vaccinate 30m before winter Covid spike

UK’s most ‘comprehensive flu vaccine program in history,’ aims to vaccinate 30m before winter covid spike

GLOBAL COVID-19 TODAY

CORONAVIRUS CASES: 16,652,674

DEATHS: 656,686

RECOVERED: 10,243,349

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UK’s most ‘comprehensive flu vaccine program in history,’ aims to vaccinate 30m before winter covid spike

RT News says the UK government has vastly expanded its free flu vaccination program, as the NHS prepares for a potential second spike in Covid-19 cases in winter.

The hope is to vaccinate 30 million people during the upcoming flu season, in an effort to mitigate the effects of a potential resurgence of coronavirus, the government has announced. 

The flu shot program will, for the first time, include all people over the age of 50, as well as children in their first year of secondary school. In previous years, the shot was offered for free to anyone over the age of 65, as well as young children, pregnant women, and people with serious underlying health conditions. However, the government is prioritizing those who are seen as most at risk.

Read the full story on RT News

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WHO says Covid-19 is ‘easily the most severe’ crisis it has faced

The Guardian says the WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned that the pandemic continues to accelerate, with the number of cases worldwide doubling in the past six weeks, nearly six months after it declared a “public health emergency of international concern”.

Fears are growing that more European countries will reintroduce restrictions, as Germany, France and Belgium introduced curfews, social distancing and quarantine measures.

Read the full story on The Guardian 

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UK quarantine ‘unjust’ says Spanish PM

BBC News says the UK government decision to impose a 14-day quarantine on everyone arriving from Spain was “unjust”, the country’s prime minister has said.

Pedro Sánchez said tourists in most Spanish regions would be safer from coronavirus than in the UK, and he was hoping Britain would rethink its move.

He said talks were ongoing after the UK also advised against all but essential travel to the whole of Spain.

Labour said the government’s handling of the restrictions had been “chaotic”.

Read the full story on BBC News

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Morocco shuts down major cities after spike in Covid-19 cases

France24 says Morocco will stop people entering and leaving some of its biggest cities from midnight to contain a surge in Covid-19 cases, the interior and health Ministries said on Sunday.

The cities to be locked down include the economic powerhouse of Casablanca as well as Tangier, Marrakech, Fez and Meknes.

The country eased a nationwide lockdown a month ago, though international flights are still suspended except special flights by national airlines carrying Moroccans or foreign residents.

Read the full story on France24

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The decision to scale down Hajj wins the support of Muslims

Arab News says the coronavirus pandemic has forced the postponement or cancellation of countless events and activities around the globe, causing great disappointment for many people.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced in June that it is severely limiting the number of pilgrims this year to preserve global public health in the face of the ongoing coronavirus threat. But the decision has won the support of Muslims. 

“I feel so pleased and gifted for having the chance to perform Hajj 22 times in my life,” said Wafa Shaheen, a Saudi author with a master’s degree in the scientific exegesis of the Qur’an. “I could not be more grateful to Allah.

Read the full story on Arab News

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Lebanon locks down again as infections spike

Aljazeera says Lebanon reimposed severe Covid-19 restrictions on Monday for the next two weeks, shutting places of worship, cinemas, bars, nightclubs, sports events and popular markets after a sharp rise in infections.

Shops, private companies, banks and educational institutions would be permitted to open, but only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with a near-total lockdown in place Thursday through Monday until August 10.

Read the full story on Aljazeera

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ARTS & ENT

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson caught up in a political row as they accept Greek passports

Sky News says Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have been presented with new Greek passports – but the happy occasion was marred by criticism due to the prime minister’s transport choice after the event.

The Hollywood couple were pictured holding the passports alongside Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his wife Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotakis to celebrate the citizenship.

Read the full story on Sky News

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SPORT

English clubs may have to play full 2020-21 season before reduced crowds, says government adviser

BBC Sport says the whole of the next football season in England could be played in front of reduced capacities and crowd sizes could be further impacted if chanting is proven to heighten transmission risk, a senior government adviser has said.

The first pilots for the return of crowds to sporting events in England took place with a cricket friendly at The Oval on Sunday, and additional test events are taking place at Edgbaston, the World Snooker Championship and Glorious Goodwood in the next week.

Read the full story on BBC Sport

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