Global stock markets are starting the new week firmly on the back foot, as rising Covid-19 cases and US political tensions worry investors, writes Graeme Wearden on the Guardian’s business blog.
Stocks have dropped across Asia, with the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 1.5% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shedding 0.7%. European markets have just opened lower too.
London’s FTSE 100 has shed over 90 points, or 1.6%, at the open as the prospect of a second national lockdown looms. Travel companies, pub chains, hotel groups and banks are among the top fallers.
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Tory backbench signals resistance to new lockdown
Taj Mahal reopens after six-month closure
Contact-tracing app for England and Wales ‘hampered by loss of public trust’
Dominic Cummings’ lockdown travels and the exams fiasco could have contributed to dooming the government’s Covid contact-tracing app before it even launches, a technology expert has warned.
Evidence of low uptake overseas also suggests the app may not live up to ministers’ early hopes of a panacea. In late May, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, admitted it was “the cherry on the cake but [not] the cake”; in recent weeks it has barely been mentioned.
The app, which is due to launch in England and Wales on Thursday 24 September, will use the bluetooth signal in mobile phones to track close and sustained contact between users and then warn those who may have been exposed to an infectious person that they should self-isolate.
A series of hospitals will be designated as coronavirus-free zones during the second wave of the outbreak in a significant policy shift designed to ensure the NHS continues treatment for cancer and other conditions, the Guardian has learned.
NHS England is determined not to repeat the widespread suspension of normal service that occurred in the first wave, which doctors and charities have criticised for damaging patients’ health, leading to more deaths and creating a backlog of millions of treatments.
In a tacit admission that the March shutdown denied patients vital care, NHS bosses have drawn up plans for certain hospitals – mainly small district generals – to treat no Covid-19 patients and focus instead on common planned operations such as cancer surgery, hip and knee replacements, and cataract removals.
Under NHS plans, such “clean” hospitals will as far as possible be kept free of coronavirus patients in a reversal of the approach taken in spring. That should reduce the risk of patients admitted for normal care becoming infected with Covid-19 while on wards:
It was uncharted waters for the 72nd Emmy awards – the first major acting awards show held since the pandemic began, a strange and subdued ceremony in which stars accepted awards on Zoom. But unwelcome new methods (the telecast required more than 100 live feeds), and the end of former Emmys juggernauts Game of Thrones and Veep, ushered in a celebration of new series and talent: Canadian comedy Schitt’s Creek swept the comedy awards, HBO’s Succession dominated in drama and the evening’s most-nominated show, HBO’s prescient, eerie Watchmen, cleaned up in the limited series category: