Coronavirus live news: fresh restrictions in French cities include ban on parties; global deaths near 1m







Children have significantly less chance of catching Covid than adults – experts


Humanists say the new regulations allowing 15 people attending a wedding discriminates against non-believers who are ready to tie the knot.

The measures coming into force in England today make no provision for humanist marriages, according to the campaign group Humanist UK, which says the latest rules force humanist couples to only have six people at their secular nuptials. Andrew Copson,its chief executive, said:

This outrageous and unexpected situation is open-and-shut discrimination that the government should urgently put right. There is certainly no rationale for allowing religious weddings for 15 people while saying that humanist weddings must be limited to six. Everyone should be treated equally.

Jack Ford and Catherine Hard were due to have their humanist wedding in Surrey next month and said the exclusion of people such as them from the new rules allowing 15 at a wedding “discriminates against us as humanists”.

In July, six couples took a legal case to the high court over legal recognition of humanist marriages in England and Wales. In that case, the judge ruled that the failure to provide legally recognised humanist marriages means the law gives rise to discrimination, but instead deferred to the ongoing Law Commission review as meaning the government should have more time to fix the matter.

Italy’s situation could deteriorate within the next couple of weeks, putting pressure on hospitals amid the onset of season flu, a health ministry adviser has warned.

Walter Ricciardi said Lazio, the region surrounding Rome, and Campania in the south were the regions most at risk. In recent days, Campania has taken over from Lombardy to record the highest number of daily cases – on Sunday, the region registered 245 of a total 1,766 new infections, with Lazio in third place and Sardinia in fourth.

Hospitalisations have been steadily increasing, with 2,846 people currently being treated for Covid-19 across the country (up by 100 on Sunday), of whom 254 are in intensive care.

Ricciardi envisages a worsening of the situation within two weeks, telling La Stampa newspaper:

I hope [it won’t be] intense, with more pressure on hospitals, also due to the arrival of seasonal flu. For this reason it’s important to remind people of the precautions, and the flu vaccine for all ages.

Ricciardi said that, if people continue to behave cautiously, then Italy would avoid another lockdown.

In response to the increase in cases, authorities in Campania have made it obligatory to wear face masks outside. Calabria has adopted a similar measure and Sicily is following suit from Wednesday. Lazio might also adopt the measure. Ricciardi added:

France will need another total lockdown. Not Italy if we behave well…but Lazio and Campania are at risk.

Italy has been commended by the World Health Organisation for its handling of the pandemic, having gone from being the first hit Western country in the spring to relatively stable compared to other European countries. But the impact of schools reopening is yet to be seen. Up to 1,000 spectators are also allowed back in football stadiums.

A website dedicated to sharing images of Covid-19 related skin rashes to help doctors and patients identify whether an unusual rash might be a sign of coronavirus infection has been criticised for containing just two images of black or brown skin.

The British Association of Dermatologists’ (BAD) Covid-19 Skin Patterns website features 400 images of Covid-associated rashes, from prickly heat and chickenpox-type rashes, to raised itchy hives, and chilblain-like ‘Covid fingers and toes’. They were gathered by the Covid Symptom Study app in response to growing evidence that skin rashes are a key feature of the disease, present in around 9% of app users testing positive for Covid-19. In children they may be even more predictive, with a sixth of children experiencing a rash and no other symptoms.

“Being able to recognise these is crucial for reducing the spread of [Covid-19],” said president of BAD, Dr Tanya Bleiker.

Yet, the lack of images showing how Covid rashes manifest on people of darker skin tones may mean healthcare professionals are less equipped to diagnose potential cases, says Ore Odubiyi, director of BME Medics, a platform committed to improving diversity and inclusion in healthcare.




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