Coronavirus latest news: Fears rubbish will pile on streets as binmen told to stay home if pinged

·8-min read
Health Fears grow As Leeds Rubbish Piles Up Due To Ongoing Bin Strike...LEEDS, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Overflowing refuse bins litter the streets in the Headingley area of Leeds on October 19, 2009 in Leeds, England. A strike by bin men in Leeds is now entering it's sixth week with many streets overflowing with rubbish bags creating a public health hazard. The strike centres on a proposal to cut the workers wages by GBP 5000 due to recent equality legislation - Getty Images
Health Fears grow As Leeds Rubbish Piles Up Due To Ongoing Bin Strike...LEEDS, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Overflowing refuse bins litter the streets in the Headingley area of Leeds on October 19, 2009 in Leeds, England. A strike by bin men in Leeds is now entering it's sixth week with many streets overflowing with rubbish bags creating a public health hazard. The strike centres on a proposal to cut the workers wages by GBP 5000 due to recent equality legislation - Getty Images

Unions have told binmen to stay at home if they are ‘pinged’ despite their exemption, raising fears that rubbish will pile up on the streets.

Refuse collectors no longer have to self-isolate if they are ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid-19 app, and can instead take a Covid test while at work.

They were made exempt last Tuesday (July 27) along with tax collectors and vets, as ministers expanded the exemption list in a bid to counteract the effects of the ‘pingdemic’ which has seen more than 1.2 million people forced to self-isolate within a week.

Unison, the UK's largest trade union which represents a range of council waste collectors nationwide, said that employees who are pinged by the app should not be “forced” to go to work.

​​Follow the latest updates below.

04:54 AM

Refugees forgotten in India's vaccine rollout

Salimullah, a Rohingya refugee, has been living in the Indian capital of New Delhi since 2013 when he fled violence in Myanmar. Stateless, and now homeless after a fire razed his camp, the 35-year-old lives in a tent with as many as 10 other people at a time.

He ran a small business selling groceries from a shack but that was closed during India's harsh, months-long lockdown, and his savings are gone. He and his family have been surviving on donated food, but he has to return to work soon, despite the risk of getting Covid-19 and infecting others.

Although some refugees in India have begun getting vaccines, no one in his camp has received shots. Just over 7 percent of India's population is fully vaccinated and vaccine shortages have plagued the nation of almost 1.4 billion.

For months the World Health Organisation urged countries to prioritise immunising refugees, placing them in the second priority group for at-risk people, alongside those with serious health conditions.

Kids play as Salimullah, 35, a Rohingya refugee comes out of his tent at a refugee camp alongside the banks of the Yamuna River in the southeastern borders of New Delhi, sprawling Indian capital, July 1, 2021. Millions of refugees living in crowded camps are waiting for their COVID-19 vaccines. For months, the World Health Organization urged countries to prioritize immunizing refugees, placing them in the second priority group for at-risk people, alongside those with serious health conditions. - AP
Kids play as Salimullah, 35, a Rohingya refugee comes out of his tent at a refugee camp alongside the banks of the Yamuna River in the southeastern borders of New Delhi, sprawling Indian capital, July 1, 2021. Millions of refugees living in crowded camps are waiting for their COVID-19 vaccines. For months, the World Health Organization urged countries to prioritize immunizing refugees, placing them in the second priority group for at-risk people, alongside those with serious health conditions. - AP

04:16 AM

Republicans claim evidence proves Wuhan lab leak

A preponderance of evidence proves the virus that caused the Covid-19 pandemic leaked from a Chinese research facility, said a report by US Republicans released on Monday, a conclusion that US intelligence agencies have not reached.

The report also cited "ample evidence" that Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) scientists - aided by American experts and Chinese and US government funds - were working to modify coronaviruses to infect humans and such manipulation could be hidden.

Representative Mike McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the report by the panel's Republican staff. It urged a bipartisan investigation into the origins of the pandemic that has killed 4.4 million people worldwide.

China denies a genetically modified coronavirus leaked from the facility in Wuhan - where the first Covid-19 cases were detected in 2019 - a leading but unproven theory among some experts. Beijing also denies allegations of a cover-up.

This file photo taken on February 23, 2017 shows Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan, capital of China's Hubei province. - The World Health Organization said on May 5, 2020 that Washington had provided no evidence to support "speculative" claims by the US president that the new coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab. The facility is among a handful of labs around the world cleared to handle Class 4 pathogens (P4) - dangerous viruses that pose a high risk of person-to-person transmission. - AFP
This file photo taken on February 23, 2017 shows Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan, capital of China's Hubei province. - The World Health Organization said on May 5, 2020 that Washington had provided no evidence to support "speculative" claims by the US president that the new coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab. The facility is among a handful of labs around the world cleared to handle Class 4 pathogens (P4) - dangerous viruses that pose a high risk of person-to-person transmission. - AFP

03:14 AM

Selfish male extroverts 'more likely to defy restrictions'

Extrovert self-centred men are more likely to defy Coronavirus pandemic restrictions, a study has found.

Researchers of the University of Sydney analysed the behaviour of 1,575 people in the UK, Australia, Canada and the US during the first wave of the pandemic in April and May last year.

The results showed that 92 per cent of women did comply with the regulations, six per cent more than their male counterparts.

Those who refused to comply had less agreeable personalities, researchers found, according to a study published in the journal Plos One.

Read the full story

Protesters gather in front of Parliament House during a World Wide rally for freedom on July 24, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination activists gathered in cities across Australia with New South Wales and Victoria are under strict Covid-19 restrictions as the states continue to fight the spread of the delta coronavirus strain. - Getty Images
Protesters gather in front of Parliament House during a World Wide rally for freedom on July 24, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination activists gathered in cities across Australia with New South Wales and Victoria are under strict Covid-19 restrictions as the states continue to fight the spread of the delta coronavirus strain. - Getty Images

02:18 AM

Democrats demand immediate extension of eviction ban

Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives on Sunday called on the Biden administration to immediately extend a moratorium on housing evictions through October 18.

The moratorium, related to the coronavirus pandemic, expired at midnight on Saturday. The request was made through a statement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top leaders.

"House leadership is calling on the administration to immediately extend the moratorium," the Democratic leaders said.

President Joe Biden on Thursday asked Congress to extend the deadline, citing the Covid-19 delta variant that is taking hold in the United States.

Representative Cori Bush, a Democrat from Missouri, left, joined by Congressional staffers and activists, protests the expiration of the eviction moratorium outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, July 31, 2021. - Bloomberg
Representative Cori Bush, a Democrat from Missouri, left, joined by Congressional staffers and activists, protests the expiration of the eviction moratorium outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, July 31, 2021. - Bloomberg

01:37 AM

Vaccines on way to Venezuela after payments cleared

Venezuela will receive 6.2 million doses of vaccines through the COVAX initiative "in the coming days," President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday, potentially speeding up an inoculation campaign well behind regional peers.

The announcement comes after the GAVI alliance, which co-runs the facility along with the World Health Organization (WHO), said in early July that COVAX had received payments from the South American country after Venezuelan officials said some payments were blocked by a bank due to US sanctions.

Maduro had given COVAX an "ultimatum" to send the doses or return the funds Venezuela has already paid.

Venezuela will receive doses of China's Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines through the initiative, according to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the regional arm of the WHO.

People receive their first dose of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the parking lot of the Social Security Institute of the Armed Forces, turned into a mass vaccination centre, in Caracas - Reuters
People receive their first dose of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the parking lot of the Social Security Institute of the Armed Forces, turned into a mass vaccination centre, in Caracas - Reuters

01:03 AM

Australian lockdowns continue as Army patrols Sydney

Australian officials on Monday extended a snap three-day lockdown in the city of Brisbane and some neighbouring regions while hundreds of army personnel began patrolling Sydney to help enforce Covid-19 lockdown rules.

Sydney, Australia's largest city, is into its sixth week of a lockdown as it struggles with a spike in infections that added nearly 3,500 cases since the first one was detected in a limousine driver who transported overseas airline crew.

Officials in New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, have implored residents to stay home to prevent more surges and brought in the military to help police enforce compliance after some defied lockdown rules.

Some 300 army personnel, who will be unarmed and under police command, will go door to door to ensure people who have tested positive are isolating at their homes.

Police officers check ID cards of people walking in the CBD in order to prevent an anti-lockdown protest, during lockdown in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, July 31, 2021. - Anadolu
Police officers check ID cards of people walking in the CBD in order to prevent an anti-lockdown protest, during lockdown in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, July 31, 2021. - Anadolu

12:34 AM

Pfizer and Moderna raise price of vaccines

Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc have raised the prices of their Covid-19 vaccines in their latest European Union supply contracts, according to a newspaper report.

The new price for the Pfizer shot was 19.50 euros (£16.65) against 15.50 euros previously, the Financial Times said, citing portions of the contracts seen.

The contracts show the price of a Moderna vaccine was £18.30 a dose, up from about £16 in the first procurement deal but lower than the previously agreed £20.50 because the order had grown, the report said, citing one official close to the matter.

Pfizer declined to comment on the contract with the European Commission, citing confidentiality.

11:43 PM

Today's top stories

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting