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- The Guardian
'Sheer fear': mental health impacts of Covid-19 come to foreCases of PTSD, anxiety, depression and insomnia lead to calls for routine follow-up of survivors * Coronavirus – latest updates * See all our coronavirus coverage
- The Independent
Ministers have been accused of trying to cover up the findings from investigations into hundreds of health and social care worker deaths linked to coronavirus after it emerged the results will not be made public.The Independent revealed on Tuesday that medical examiners across England and Wales have been asked by ministers to investigate more than 620 deaths of frontline staff that occurred during the pandemic.
- The Guardian
Scott Morrison’s coronavirus mea culpa was barely disguised score-settling with Daniel AndrewsPeople don’t need passive aggressive chest-bumping from politicians in the middle of the coronavirus crisis
- The Guardian
'I thought there would be more compassion': battling the bureaucratic maze of Covid-19 border restrictions
'I thought there would be more compassion': battling the bureaucratic maze of Covid-19 border restrictionsGrieving children, understaffed hospitals and remote town residents have all been left behind as changing restrictions move faster than red tape
- The Telegraph
Testing could end 'quarantine roulette' Tourists turn to private jets as 160,000 make the dash home Greece on course to join quarantine red list as infections rise Sign up to The Telegraph Global Health Security bulletin Summer sale: Save 50% - Just £1 a week for 6 months More health staff are being trained to treat people with post-traumatic stress disorder in preparation for a possible spike in demand for mental health services in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Nearly 3,000 trainees are expected to start courses in psychological therapies and former staff are being asked to consider returning to frontline roles. The aim is to be prepared for growing numbers of people with anxiety and depression and related conditions. NHS national director for mental health Claire Murdoch said the pandemic had "turned lives upside down". "Although talking therapy services have been available throughout, this is about making sure the NHS is ready for a potential spike in demand further down the line, which we know can happen during periods of extreme crisis," she said. "With more people than ever coming forward for mental health care, the health service needs more staff to support them, so if you are a former member of staff or are looking for a career where you can make a real difference, there is a role in the NHS for you."
- The Telegraph
Coronavirus has shone a light on a “lawless state” within Britain, where people are held as slaves and criminal gangs steal from the taxpayer, says Sir Iain Duncan Smith. The former Conservative Party leader tells of the “enormous criminal sub-society thriving in the UK”, whose practices have been exposed during the pandemic. Writing in The Telegraph, Sir Iain says: “A significant and well-organised network of gangs brings people into this country by different methods, including illegal passports. But the gangs don’t just go away when the migrants land in the UK. Too many migrants are then forced into slavery in disgusting conditions.” He made the comments after a report was published by the Centre for Social Justice, the think tank, on slavery and exploitation of workers in Leicester. It follows reports of a clothing factory in Leicester that allegedly paid staff illegally low wages and flouted safety measures.
- The Independent
Donald Trump has enlisted a new coronavirus task force advisor following tensions between the president and doctor Anthony Fauci, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge throughout the US.Scott Atlas, a healthcare policy expert at the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University, was announced on Monday as a new addition to the White House’s coronavirus team
- The Telegraph
France reported more than 12,300 new coronavirus cases this week as the infection rate rose to its highest in more than two months, sparking fears of a deadly second wave. Young people have been blamed for failing to maintain social distancing and not wearing masks, perhaps because many think they will not fall seriously ill if they catch Covid-19. Infections are increasing fastest among people under 45, with a 45 per cent increase in the 15-44 age group, compared with 20 per cent for people aged 45 to 64, and five per cent among those aged 65 to 74, according to the public health authorities. The health minister, Olivier Véran, said: “Young people keen to socialise after the isolation of lockdown have often failed to maintain social distancing or wear masks, and I can well understand how they feel. "However, it’s not just them. When family or groups of friends who know each well have met up after not seeing each other for a long time, many have forgotten the need to keep their distance, not shake hands or kiss on the cheek. I cannot over-emphasise that it is imperative for everyone to keep following the rules.” The gradual easing of France’s strict lockdown from May 11 triggered a feeling of over-confidence, Mr Véran said. Beach parties and revellers packing into crowded bars set off local surges of infections, especially on the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, and several big cities.
- Yahoo News UK
The rise in positive tests appears to have started soon after lockdown restrictions were eased on “Super Saturday”.
- The Telegraph
The UK’s Department for International Department (Dfid) has unveiled new funding to protect workers in developing countries supplying goods to the UK as the fallout from Covid-19 threatens global supply chains. Under the £6.85 million scheme, Dfid will partner with businesses including Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Primark, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose to improve conditions for workers in countries including Bangladesh, Ghana and Rwanda. The UK businesses will contribute £2 million while the remainder will come from the UK government. “We want to ensure people in Britain can continue to buy affordable, high quality goods from around the world,” said international development secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, announcing the plans on Thursday. Peter Alexander, senior lecturer in global food security at the University of Edinburgh, said the production ends of supply chains could still be hit by Covid outbreaks or worker lay-offs in major exporting countries, such as Bangladesh or Kenya. “So far the impact of Covid has been a demand shock rather than a supply shock but my concern is that this could still easily change,” he said. This alone is unlikely to create supply shortages. But if food prices rise as a result—or because of inflation—governments may respond by limiting exports. “These types of policies, which we’ve seen before, have a cascading effect that has potential to create a substantial supply shock and increases in global food prices,” he said. According to Ms Trevelyan, the new fund will “will strengthen vital supply chains for UK consumers, while supporting some of the most vulnerable workers in developing countries. It will make a real difference to people in the UK and abroad”. Charities like Care UK, the Fairtrade Foundation and Ethical trade initiative (ETI) are partnering with high-street brands to implement the scheme, which will benefit almost one million workers in developing countries, according to Dfid. The targeted countries are Bangladesh, Ghana, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda—producers of a large proportion of the food, flowers and clothes sold in the UK. The new initiative has drawn criticism from some quarters, coming on the back of the government’s decision to merge Dfid with the Foreign Office and cut the aid budget by £2.9 billion. The focus on safeguarding UK consumer interests has raised doubts about the plans. “This is hopefully just a question of how Dfid has framed it,” said Vidya Diwakar, a researcher in the Chronic Poverty Advisory Network, adding that the scheme offers “scope for cautious optimism” but that “the nuts and bolts need clarifying”. For example, “women and men workers face different vulnerabilities, with women particularly affected”, she said. “How will the programme be adjusted to reflect this?” Rubana Huq, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Export Association (BGMEA), welcomed the initiative. “We are hopeful that the benefits being extended to the businesses will trickle down to the manufacturers so that the workers can be the ultimate beneficiary,” she said. Bangladesh is the world’s second largest clothing exporter and its garment factories employ some 4.2 million people. The industry has been hard hit by plummeting demand for clothes in western markets and by cancellations from retailers—to the toll of £1.6 billion. British brands, such as the Edinburgh Woollen Mill company, are among those accused of abandoning Bangladeshi workers by garment suppliers and workers’ unions in the country. Brands need to be “more responsible with their purchasing practices,” said Ms Huq, adding that stalled payments from retailers have had a much larger impact on the sector in Bangladesh than Covid-19 itself. This would have had a “massive impact on workers, including lay-offs, if our government did not extend a soft loan to us,” Ms Huq said. Some 80,000 Bangladeshi workers in factories manufacturing Marks and Spencer’s clothes are due to benefit from the scheme, along with a further 300,000 people in their communities, according to Dfid. “The East African agricultural workers who supply so much of our food and flowers have been hit hard by Covid-19,” said Peter McAllister, executive director at Ethical Trading Initiative, adding that “Dfid’s support for this intervention will help protect thousands of jobs, and protect workers from infection as the regional economy begins to recover.” Partnering with Care UK, Marks and Spencer plans to “strengthen healthcare and services” in its factories and “the wider community,’ according to Fiona Sadler, head of ethical trading for the retailer. “Businesses have an important role to play to ensure people within their operations and values chains are safe, treated with dignity and can prosper,” said Laura Hawkesford, head of private sector for Care UK. “Coronavirus poses a critical threat to Bangladesh garment workers, with hundreds of thousands of people in dense areas at risk,” she said. “It seems a potentially good scheme to me, just rather a small budget,” said Andrew Shepherd, the Director of the Chronic Poverty Advisory Network, adding that “the partnerships will help protect the scheme against abuse.” Dfid confirmed that UK aid is not going to the businesses themselves but that the funds will be channelled through Dfid’s management agent, Mott MacDonald, and in most cases will then flow through the partner NGOs. 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