Reuters reports that Britain will face an exponentially growing death rate from Covid-19 within weeks unless urgent action is taken to halt a rapidly spreading second wave of the outbreak, the country's senior medics said on Monday.
The United Kingdom already has the biggest official Covid-19 death toll in Europe - and the fifth largest in the world - while it is borrowing record amounts in an attempt to pump emergency money through the damaged economy.
But new Covid-19 cases are rising by at least 6,000 per day in Britain, according to week-old data, hospital admissions are doubling every eight days, and the testing system is buckling.
Chris Whitty, the government's chief medical officer, and Patrick Vallance, its chief scientific adviser, cautioned that if left unrestricted the epidemic would reach 50 000 new cases per day by mid October in the United Kingdom.
"If this continued along the path...the number of deaths directly from Covid... will continue to rise, potentially on an exponential curve, that means doubling and doubling and doubling again and you can quickly move from really quite small numbers to really very large numbers," Whitty said.
"If we don't do enough the virus will take off and at the moment that is the path that we are clearly on and if we do not change course then we're going to find ourselves in a very difficult problem."
The virus is spreading across all areas of the country and less than 8% of the population have antibodies to the virus, though in London around 17% of the population may have antibodies, Vallance said.
Speed and action are urgently needed, Vallance and Whitty said, adding that as winter was approaching the COVID problem would haunt Britain for another six months at least.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to speak on Tuesday.
Study suggests dengue may provide some immunity against Covid-19
Reuters reports on a new study that analyzed the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil has found a link between the spread of the virus and past outbreaks of dengue fever that suggests exposure to the mosquito-transmitted illness may provide some level of immunity against Covid-19.
The not yet published study led by Miguel Nicolelis, a professor at Duke University, and shared exclusively with Reuters, compared the geographic distribution of coronavirus cases with the spread of dengue in 2019 and 2020.
Places with lower coronavirus infection rates and slower case growth were locations that had suffered intense dengue outbreaks this year or last, Nicolelis found.
"This striking finding raises the intriguing possibility of an immunological cross-reactivity between dengue's Flavivirus serotypes and SARS-CoV-2," the study said, referring to dengue virus antibodies and the novel coronavirus.
"If proven correct, this hypothesis could mean that dengue infection or immunization with an efficacious and safe dengue vaccine could produce some level of immunological protection" against the coronavirus, it added.
Nicolelis told Reuters the results are particularly interesting because previous studies have shown that people with dengue antibodies in their blood can test falsely positive for Covid-19 antibodies even if they have never been infected by the coronavirus.
"This indicates that there is an immunological interaction between two viruses that nobody could have expected, because the two viruses are from completely different families," Nicolelis said, adding that further studies are needed to prove the connection.
The study was being published ahead of peer review on the MedRxiv preprint server and will be submitted to a scientific journal.
It highlights a significant correlation between lower incidence, mortality and growth rate of Covid-19 in populations in Brazil where the levels of antibodies to dengue were higher.
Brazil has the world's third highest total of COVID-19 infections with more than 4.4 million cases - behind only the United States and India.
More than 240 migrants at new Greek camp have virus
AFP reports that more than 240 asylum seekers at a new temporary camp on the Greek island of Lesbos are infected with the novel coronavirus, the public health agency said Monday.
"243 new infections have been discovered" among 7 000 asylum seekers tested, the Eody agency said in a statement.
It added that another tests on 120 police and 40 staff at the camp, which was hastily built last week after Europe's largest migrant camp of Moria was destroyed by fire, had come back negative.
Over 12,000 people including elderly and newborns were left sleeping alongside roads, parling lots and even at the local cemetery when the Moria camp burned down on September 8.
Six young Afghans face arson charges over the incident.
It took over a week for most of the asylum seekers to be rehoused in the new tent camp hurriedly built on a disused army firing range a few kilometres away.
Many migrants were wary of being locked up again after spending months at the notoriously overcrowded and unsanitary Moria camp, where ethnic gang crime was rife.
Russian landlords feel the pinch as Covid-19 hits incomes and rents
As in many other countries, the crisis has hit people in the pocket in Russia - some have lost jobs, others have seen their wages fall, and businesses have encountered difficulties, Reuters reports.
Demand for rented accommodation in Russian cities has dwindled as tenants struggle to pay their rent or move to cheaper places outside the city to work from home. Foreign students, who usually help prop up the rental market, are largely absent because of the pandemic.
Prices on the residential rental market in cities of more than 1 million people fell by up to 12% from March to May before recovering slightly in July, said Alexei Popov, head of research at CIAN, Russia's leading real estate database.
The fall was particularly bad in foreign currency terms as the rouble has lost around 20% of its value against the dollar and the euro this year.
Commercial bank Rosbank has said lower proceeds from real estate ownership was one of the factors behind the fall in Russians' income in the second quarter.
With lockdowns in place to curb the spread of the virus, Russians' real disposable income fell more than in any other quarter in the past 20 years.
About 10 million people live in rented accommodation in Russia, and only half of them plan to continue doing so in the next two years, according to a study by the independent NAFI research centre.
Uganda reopens borders after 6-month closure over virus
AFP reports that Uganda has reopened to international visitors bearing a negative Covid-19 certificate, President Yoweri Museveni has said, six months after the country sealed its borders to contain the pandemic.
"The international airport and land borders will now be opened for tourists" provided they test negative for the virus 72 hours before arrival in Uganda and efforts are made to minimise their interaction with the public at large, Museveni said Sunday.
Business travellers must meet the same requirements, he said in a televised address to the nation.
Ugandans returning from abroad will be allowed to proceed home without quarantining as long as they also possess a negative test result.
Uganda took drastic measures to restrict movements in March when it had only a handful of coronavirus cases.
The East African nation imposed one of the earliest lockdowns and border closures on the continent.
Borders remained open to truck freight, but this emerged as a major source of infection, prompting Uganda to begin refusing drivers entry if they tested positive.