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UK set to ask employers to pay 20 to 30 per cent of furlough wages from August

THE UK has drawn up plans to require employers to cover 20 to 30 per cent of furloughed employees’ wages from August to reduce the vast burden of the coronavirus crisis on government finances. Rishi Sunak had extended the job retention scheme — the centrepiece of the government’s attempts to cushion the coronavirus hit to […]

India reports record jump in COVID-19 cases; 137 deaths in a day

THE COVID-19 cases in India saw the biggest spike for the second consecutive day on Saturday (23) with 6,654 new infections in the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 125,101. With 137 fresh deaths, the toll rose to 3,720, the health ministry said. The active cases rose to 69,597, while 51,783 people have recovered […]

UK offers ‘peace of mind’ to stranded foreigners by extending visa reprieve to July end

THE UK government has announced a further extension of all expiring or expired visas of foreign nationals unable to return to their home countries due to the coronavirus pandemic, until end of July. The extension, initially announced until May 31, will apply to anyone whose leave to remain in the UK expired after January 24 […]

UK teaching unions challenge government’s June 1 school reopening plans

BRITISH teaching unions on Friday (22) urged the government to reconsider plans to reopen schools on June 1, after the government released scientific advice on easing the coronavirus lockdown. Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this month announced plans to begin a phased return of the youngest pupils as part of a slow easing of the […]

There is ‘no one-upmanship’ in global Covid-19 vaccine race: Serum Institute CEO

IF the world is to gain access to a vaccine for Covid-19, there’s a good chance it will pass through the doors of Serum Institute of India. Serum Institute, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, is working on several candidates for the novel coronavirus – including potentially mass-producing the AstraZeneca/Oxford University one that […]

British celebrities urge Muslims to celebrate Eid at home in video message

BRITISH celebrities such as chef Nadiya Hussain, comedian Adil Ray and cricketer Saqlain Mushtaq have come together in a video to encourage Muslims to maintain social distancing norms while celebrating Eid. Globally, over two billion Muslims observe the holy festival with communal congregations, group prayers, and feasts with loved ones. The online video urged British […]

UK to impose 14-day quarantine for international arrivals from June 8

Travellers arriving in Britain will face 14 days in quarantine from next month to prevent a second coronavirus outbreak, the government announced on Friday, warning that anyone breaking the rules faced a fine or prosecution. The new rules will apply to all international arrivals except Ireland from June 8 and come after weeks of calls […]

Children may have lower susceptibility to Covid-19 than adults, UK scientists say

CHILDREN have milder Covid-19 symptoms than adults and the balance of evidence suggests they may also have lower susceptibility and infectivity than adults, scientists advising the British government have said. As Europe and the US start to return to work after lockdowns imposed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, world leaders are trying […]

Pakistan reports over 50,000 COVID-19 cases; 2,603 new cases in a day

PAKISTAN has reported 2,603 fresh COVID-19 cases in a day, its highest single day tally. With this, the total cases in the country crossed the 50,000-mark on Friday (22), the health ministry said. The deadly contagion claimed the lives of 50 people in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 1,067, the ministry […]

UK borrowing surges as retail sales hit record slump amid lockdown

UK retail sales dived by a record 18.1 per cent in April with the country in coronavirus lockdown, triggering a surge in government borrowing to an unprecedented level, data showed on Friday (22). Government net borrowing hit a record £62.1 billion last month, a colossal increase on the £10.9-billion amount one year earlier, data from […]