Stolen footage from 50,000 hacked S’pore home cameras sold on porn sites

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Singapore — At least 50,000 home security cameras have been hacked with personal footage being stolen and shared online.

A report on AsiaOne shared that the rather large amount of stolen footage was uploaded onto pornographic sites, tagging many of the videos as being specifically from Singapore.

The videos are said to be between less than a minute to more than 20 minutes each, and they show a variety of homes with people in different states of undress, or in compromising positions. Many show couples, mothers who are breastfeeding, and even children.

They clearly show people in various parts of the house, including the living rooms or  bedrooms. Meanwhile, others can be seen on the toilet, having left the bathroom doors slightly open.

The asiaone.com report also shared that one particular video, which was time-stamped in March 2020, displays a teenage girl surrounded by her school books wearing nothing but a T-shirt and underwear. One of the books in the footage was an O-level Ten-Year Series book, which is used by students when studying for their exams.

It was also notable that in many of the Singapore-tagged videos, the home layouts looked like typical Housing Board flats.

The report mentioned that the footage was probably from Internet Protocol (IP) cameras, which are known to be very common in Singapore homes. These cameras allow tracking for security purposes in order to assist homeowners in watching over the elderly, domestic workers, children and pets.

The authorities have found that the videos were downloaded by a group that hacks into IP cameras. The group can even be found on Discord, which is a social messaging platform that has almost 1,000 members from all over the world.

The group posted more than 3 tera bytes (TB) of video clips for 70 members who paid a subscription fee to watch the clips. Each lifetime access fee is worth US$150 (S$203).

In order to get subscribers, the group first sends a 700 MB “sample” video that has 4,000 pictures and videos of hacked materials for buyers to view.

Once people pay the fee, the group will give members a list of more than 50,000 hacked cameras that they can access. It even has special VIP members who will be instructed on how to “explore, watch live and even record” for themselves during personalised sessions.

Although the highest number of hacked videos are from victims living in Singapore, there are also some from Thailand, Canada and South Korea.

When explaining how the hacking probably occurred, solution architect for Asia-Pacific for Check Point Software Technologies, Mr Clement Lee, explained that most IP cameras are easy targets since they can be accessed via the Internet.

He said: “Hacking of IP cameras is possible if they are accessible from a central cloud service or exposed to the Internet.

“Usually, it is the result of poor password management. Never assume your camera is secure. The best way to avoid falling victim to hackers is to avoid sharing personal details online.”

Meanwhile, criminal lawyer James Ow Yong explained that even if these hackers are outside of Singapore, they can still be punishable by Singapore law since the “program or data was in Singapore at the time of the offence”.

Those who watch or share the videos can also be prosecuted for voyeurism. He added: “Where the victim is under the age of 16, the material may be considered child pornography, and such offences attract a higher range of sentences.”

According to Mr Ow Yong, those who are involved in the selling or distributing of child pornography can face charges of up to seven years in jail, fined and caned.

He added: “We also know that international and regional outfits like Interpol are quite active in finding such offenders.”

The police have urged members of the public to file reports if they suspect anyone joining in any illegal hacking activities.

They also advise everyone to secure their IP cameras by using a trusted brand, to continuously update the available software and to use strong passwords which they change on a regular basis. /TISG

New tripartite body to study how to raise incomes of lower-wage workers

Singapore — A new workgroup will study how to raise the salaries of workers with lower wages, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said in a Facebook post on Sunday (Oct 11).

In a post entitled “Uplifting Workers Who Earn Less”, Mrs Teo said she had met Mr Ng Chee Meng, the Secretary-General of the NTUC, and Dr Robert Yap, the President of the Singapore National Employers Federation, at the HomeTeamNS Khatib Clubhouse “to update each other on issues important to employers and workers”.

The plan for a tripartite workgroup on lower-wage workers was also mentioned in another Facebook post on the same day by Mr Ng. He said it will let NTUC push for the development of mandatory progressive wage models (PWMs) in more sectors and allow for the study of other approaches towards raising the wages and well-being of lower-income workers.

UPLIFTING WORKERS WHO EARN LESSLovely morning at HomeTeamNS Khatib Clubhouse! NTUC Singapore Sec-Gen Ng Chee Meng…

Posted by Josephine Teo on Sunday, 11 October 2020

Mrs Teo, who posted a photo of the three of them at the clubhouse, noted that two years ago, following a similar meeting, plans were put in place that led to the formation of the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers.

She added that, given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had recently suggested setting up a workgroup similar to the earlier group but this time for lower-wage workers.

The Manpower Minister wrote that while the tripartite partners (the Government, SNEF and NTUC) have “made much progress” in helping workers, there is more to come.

“Workcare initiatives should become ground-up and pervasive. In sectors where PWM is mandatory, it is important to sustain continued wage growth. We want to expand PWM to cover more workers while protecting their employability. Their families depend on them, and we must not take this concern lightly or treat it academically. This is especially because the availability and nature of work is going through deep change at all levels,” wrote Mrs Teo.

Therefore, in agreement with Mr Heng’s suggestion, Mrs Teo said a tripartite workgroup will be set in motion again, together with key stakeholders to look into “issues holistically” as well as “refresh the consensus on what will work best for our workers and businesses”.

And while the process may take a while, she added that “this is also a good time to ensure our lower-wage workers too can emerge stronger from the crisis brought about by Covid-19”.

But the work has begun, with the heads of SNEF and NUTC agreeing to bring the idea to their teams to “see how best to get this new tripartite workgroup going soon, and shape a national movement to uplift workers who earn less”.

Mrs Teo ended by writing: “We share the conviction that this is important for Singapore.” /TISG

Read also: Pritam Singh praises employers who see the value in uplifting lower-wage workers even if their costs go up

Pritam Singh praises employers who see the value in uplifting lower-wage workers even if their costs go up

Private lab accidentally disposes of 233 Covid-19 swab samples

Singapore — A total of 233 Covid-19 swab samples were disposed of accidentally before they were tested at a private medical laboratory.

The samples were sent to Quest Laboratories to be tested and, according to a report on straitstimes.com, a spokesman said that an in-house courier did not follow standard operating procedure (SOP) when handing over the untested samples to the lab, which led to the accidental disposal.

The batch was collected from clinics under the Swab-and-Send-Home (Sash) programme. Those tested are sent home to await the test results. The matter came to light when one of those tested made enquiries on not getting results after two days.

The test samples were “inadvertently discarded (of) prior to testing” at the lab, a spokesman for Quest Laboratories said on Monday (Oct 12).

According to the lab, 87 affected clinics have been informed of the incident and 102 patients have been retested. It added that the results were negative.

The spokesman from Quest Laboratories said that it found two lapses in the courier’s SOPs. The first lapse relates to the handover of specimens from the courier to the specimen reception staff. The second lapse occurred when laboratory staff were disposing of specimens in the specimen reception area, leading to the erroneous disposal of the untested batch.

He explained that the in-house courier will also receive disciplinary action adding that the lab has carried out a review of the incident and has implemented corrective and preventive measures.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said it takes a serious view of the incident and is investigating the matter.

According to the straitstimes.com report, the MOH said: “We will take appropriate actions against the laboratory if investigations reveal any breach of the regulations. We will also remind the other licensed laboratories on the need to ensure proper staff training and adherence to their standard operating procedures.” /TISG

Elva Hsiao wins suit against social media user who claimed she is HIV-positive

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Beijing — A Chinese Internet user has lost a suit to Taiwanese singer Elva Hsiao for spreading rumours that she was HIV-positive.

A Beijing court ruled that the Internet user, surnamed Ho, had defamed the 41-year-old celebrity and sentenced the guilty party to publish an apology for 10 days.

The China Times, a Taiwanese daily, reported that the court ordered Ho to pay Hsiao 80,000 yuan (S$16,000) for causing mental anguish. Ho, who posted the defamatory statement last May, claimed that he had got confirmation from Hsiao’s manager.

In 2017, Hsiao announced that she was taking a short break from work due to stress. The singer previously dismissed rumours that she had suspended her showbiz career due to active treatment for HIV.

In 2012, Hsiao reportedly rejected a marriage proposal from 1MDB-linked financier Jho Low. It cost him a whopping RM6.6 million (S$2 million).

Hsiao is also a songwriter, dancer, actress and entrepreneur.

Since being signed to a record deal in 1998 after competing in a singing competition, she has gone on to release 14 studio albums and achieve success in the Chinese pop music industry. Known for her R&B influenced ballads, the artiste’s first album, Elva Hsiao (1999), was considered one of the first to incorporate R&B in the Chinese market. Her most recent album Shut Up And Kiss Me was released in 2014.

Elva Hsiao was a victim of a false rumour. Picture: Instagram

Hsiao has been recognised as one of the four most popular female singers on the Chinese music scene among her contemporaries. As a result, she has been brand ambassador to  Motorola, Sprite, De Beers, Avon, Pantene and Ford..

She was signed by EMI Virgin Records in 1998 as its first artiste after being scouted from the New Talent Singing Awards affiliated with Hong Kong’s TVB. She was one of 12 finalists. Singers Jacky Chu and Ruby Lu also competed that year.

Hsiao was part of a girl group called Phenomenon initially but pursued a solo career after her bandmates dropped out. She was studying design in Vancouver, Canada, at John Casablancas Institute at the time. After signing, she was managed and groomed by songwriter Yao Chien, who was also the president of Virgin/EMI in Taiwan at the time. /TISG

Ong Ye Kung: We ‘can’t wait around for a vaccine’ to revive Singapore’s aviation industry

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Singapore—In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia on Monday (Oct 12), Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung underlined the importance of creating travel bubbles with ‘safe countries’ to revive the badly-hit aviation sector.

And while he admitted that the development of a vaccine is vital in restoring travel to pre-Covid levels, questions remain as to when a vaccine will be made available and how effective it will be.

“The bottom line is this,” he said. “We can’t wait around for a vaccine. The aviation industry, critical to so many economies, particularly a small one like Singapore where you need all these connections in order to be economically viable, can’t wait around for a vaccine.

We’ve got to start doing something. Active steps.

And the fact is that we can open up safely because there are countries, regions, that kept the epidemic under control, and testing is no longer a constraint.”

Mr Ong discussed the current situation facing the aviation sector, saying that while ‘green lanes’ keep essential businesses going, these are quite restrictive, as permission is needed to be obtained for air travel, as well as a rigorous testing protocol, and only have limited itineraries.

These green lanes would “in no way” revive the aviation sector, the Transport Minister added.

But what is needed now are travel bubbles with safe countries and regions, where general travel can happen.

“We need to change the defaults” for traveling, he said, because at present, flying is very limited. With the default changed for travel between safe countries, people no longer need to ask for permission to go from one country to another.

However, it would still mean observing a post-arrival protocol, with travellers tested when they arrive at their destination countries. Scientists are looking at travellers being tested for Covid-19 on the third, fifth or eleventh day after they arrive.

For Singapore, Mr Ong added, “when our scientists look at 10 numbers, eleventh-day testing seems to be very effective, so we need to be ready to put into place such protocol.”

But the most important thing, he emphasized, is for countries that have managed to control the spread of the coronavirus, to come together and form travel bubbles.

When asked for his views on a Covid-19 vaccine, he acknowledged that the availability of a safe and effective global vaccine would be a “turning point” in reviving global travel, but this may take some time.

For now, he added, steps to restore travel can safely be taken already. Earlier in the year, Singapore could only do 2,000 Covid-19 tests each day, and now, the country is on track to be able to do 40,000 tests daily.

“We have the tools to revive air travel, at least among safe countries and regions,” Mr Ong said.

On Monday (Oct 12), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) announced that applications for the reciprocal green lane (RGL) for essential business and official travel between Singapore and Indonesia will start on Oct 26, with travel beginning soon after.

Indonesian citizens and Singapore citizens and residents are eligible for the cross-border travel between the two countries.

However, members of the online community have expressed their concern about the plan due to the possibility of an increase in Covid-19 imported cases in Singapore. —/TISG

Read also: Netizens concerned over Singapore-Indonesia reciprocal green lane

Netizens concerned over Singapore-Indonesia reciprocal green lane

Raw meat left hanging to ‘dry’ at HDB laundry area leaves neighbours speechless

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Singapore – “Are they selling homemade bacon?” asked a concerned neighbour on social media after seeing pork slabs left hanging to dry in an HDB (Housing & Development Board) flat’s laundry hanging area.

On Sunday (Oct 11), Facebook user Steven Tan – 陳運楸, took to Complaint Singapore’s page to share his discovery. “My neighbours and I are speechless. If you have someone like them, how do you feel? I believe you will get pissed,” said Mr Tan. “Are they selling homemade bacon? They are ridiculous, selfish and unhygien(ic) people,” he added.

He attached photos showing the upstairs tenant had left a couple of slabs of pork hanging on the poles meant for laundry.

With over 1,500 shares and 345 comments, the post has garnered shocked responses from the online community.

Many urged for Mr Tan to report the incident to their respective Town Council or Member of Parliament. Facebook user Edwardo Lee suggested Mr Tan use the photos and submit a report through the One Service App to get the authorities to handle the situation.

Photo: FB screengrab/Complaint Singapore
Photo: FB screengrab/Complaint Singapore

“This unit probably owns a hawker stall or restaurant,” commented Facebook user Fei Zai. “Really unhygienic for consumption!” Others were appalled at the possibility that the unit in question has a home-based business and engaged in such practices. “Regardless of HBB (home-based business or for personal consumption, this is really unhygienic!” added Facebook user Juan Juan.

Photo: FB screengrab/Complaint Singapore
Photo: FB screengrab/Complaint Singapore
Photo: FB screengrab/Complaint Singapore

“TC indirectly promoted this,” observed Facebook user Molly Tan. “In the first place, HDB had built kitchen and outside kitchen laundry area for hanging our laundry, but when people started hanging clothes outside their unit, along walkways, parapets, TC was not quick to action but rather turn a ‘blind’ eye.” The concerned citizen wondered what would be hung next.

Photo: FB screengrab/Complaint Singapore

Facebook user Nicholas Neo shared a similar sentiment, noting there wasn’t much Mr Tan could do, “when HDBs are built so small that we aren’t able to live comfortably.” He added that a report could be submitted but if HDB does not take action, “it only means it’s not wrong to do it.”

Photo: FB screengrab/Complaint Singapore

Meanwhile, many others highlighted that the nearby tenants could be Muslim; hence the action would be deemed inconsiderate. “Be sensitive, we have Muslim friends living among us,” said Facebook user Allen Sim who suggested to hang the slabs inside the house instead.

Photo: FB screengrab/Complaint Singapore
Photo: FB screengrab/Complaint Singapore
Photo: FB screengrab/Complaint Singapore
Photo: FB screengrab/Complaint Singapore
Photo: FB screengrab/Complaint Singapore

Read related: Lit cigarette butt thrown out the window lands on kitchen blinds of neighbour below

Lit cigarette butt thrown out the window lands on kitchen blinds of neighbour below

 

China bristles at Canada over duo detained on spy charges

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Beijing on Monday rubbished a Canadian charge that two of its citizens were being arbitrarily detained in China, instead accusing Ottawa of “double standards” over the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Canadian former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor have been held in China for nearly two years and have been charged with spying.

Over the weekend the men were granted their first meeting with Canadian embassy officials since January, leading Canada to reiterate its objection to their “arbitrary detention.”

Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was arrested in Canada in December 2018 on a US warrant during a stopover in Vancouver — just days later Kovrig and Spavor were picked up in China.

“What Canada has done to Meng Wanzhou is arbitrary detention,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.

Accusing Canada of “double standards” for holding her, Zhao said any attempts “to form international cliques to put pressure on China together are totally futile and counterproductive.”

Meng, chief financial officer of the Chinese telecoms giant, is charged with bank fraud related to violations of US sanctions against Iran, and has been fighting extradition ever since.

Zhao added that the accusation of arbitrary detention “cannot be pinned on China” and urged Canada to “fully respect China’s judicial sovereignty, and stop releasing irresponsible remarks.”

Canadian ambassador Dominic Barton obtained “virtual consular access” to Spavor on Friday and Kovrig on Saturday, ending a months-long absence of direct communication.

Kovrig and Spavor have been held in China since December 10, 2018. They were formally charged with espionage in June.

Zhao also criticised the Canadian justice department’s decision last week to deny Meng access to confidential documents, in a fresh blow to her case.

“If the Canadian side truly respects the rule of law, it should agree to disclose the case’s key evidence as soon as possible,” he said.

lxc/apj/mtp

© Agence France-Presse

/AFP

‘Disappointing’ to see huge new NKorea missile: US official

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A US official said Sunday it was “disappointing” that North Korea had displayed a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at a military parade in Pyongyang, as denuclearization negotiations between the two countries remain deadlocked.

Leader Kim Jong Un watched the huge ICBM roll through Pyongyang at the climax of an unprecedented night-time parade on Saturday, weeks before the US election.

“It is disappointing to see the DPRK (North Korea) continuing to prioritize its prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile program,” a US official said.

“The United States remains guided by the vision President Trump and Chairman Kim set forth in Singapore (in 2018) and calls on the DPRK to engage in sustained and substantive negotiations to achieve complete denuclearization.”

Analysts said that it was the largest road-mobile, liquid-fuelled missile anywhere in the world, and was likely to be designed to carry multiple warheads in independent re-entry vehicles (MIRVs).

The ICBM was proof that the North had continued to develop its arsenal throughout the diplomatic process, analysts said, and could give Pyongyang greater heft to demand a return to the negotiating table.

The missile — which may have been a mock-up — was carried on an enormous and previously unseen 11-axle transporter-erector-launcher, far larger than the eight-axle Chinese-made vehicles the North has employed so far.

Nuclear negotiations between Trump and Kim have been deadlocked since the collapse of their Hanoi summit early last year over sanctions relief and what the North would be willing to give up in return.

bgs/ec

© Agence France-Presse

/AFP

Claiming Covid-19 immunity, Trump hits the election trail again

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by Jerome CARTILLIER

US President Donald Trump will launch a campaign marathon Monday, holding rallies in three key swing states over the next few days as his White House race against surging rival Joe Biden enters its critical final weeks.

The Republican leader will hold a rally in Florida, followed by Pennsylvania and Iowa — states all crucial to clinching a victory on November 3.

Trump will likely try to galvanize his electoral base by touting his nominee for Supreme Court justice, Amy Coney Barrett.

The Republican-controlled Senate will begin hearings for the 48-year-old judge, whose confirmation — of which there is little doubt — will shift the nation’s highest court firmly to the right for generations.

Trump’s doctors gave him the all-clear Saturday to return to the campaign trail after he was ruled no longer a coronavirus transmission risk, and on Sunday he said while calling in to a campaign event that he tested “totally negative.”

But he has yet to be declared virus-free, and his immunity claim is unproven.

“It looks like I’m immune for, I don’t know, maybe a long time and maybe a short time, it could be a lifetime, nobody really knows, but I’m immune,” Trump told the Fox News show “Sunday Morning Futures.”

“The word ‘immunity’ means something, having really a protective glow.

“So now you have a president who doesn’t have to hide in a basement like his opponent,” Trump added — in a jab at Democratic challenger Biden, who has taken a far more cautious approach to campaigning during the pandemic.

But it is not yet clear to what degree contracting Covid-19 confers immunity, with early studies suggesting a few months while newer ones have indicated it could last longer.

Twitter on Sunday hid a tweet from Trump in which he claimed he was immune, saying the post violated its rules about misleading and potentially harmful misinformation.

The tweet was still visible once users clicked through the warning.

– Trailing in polls –
Trump, 74, was treated with an experimental antibody cocktail made by Regeneron that may give immunity for just a few months when taken as a treatment rather than as a vaccine.

“In some cases, vaccines can last for decades. (But) if you get it in the form of natural immunity, that isn’t known yet,” Regeneron CEO Leonard Schleifer told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

“If you get it in our vial, if you will, that’s probably going to last you for months.”

Badly trailing Biden with just weeks until the November 3 vote, Trump has been counting the days until he can hit the trail again.

During his phone interview on Fox News, Trump suggested that his White House rival could himself be sick.

“If you look at Joe, he was coughing yesterday horribly and grabbing his mask, as he’s coughing,” Trump said. “And I don’t know what that was all about, and it didn’t get much press.”

– ‘Never endorsed a candidate’ –
The Biden campaign has been publishing daily coronavirus tests for their 77-year-old candidate since Trump tested positive on October 1 — landing him in a military hospital for three nights and derailing his campaign.

There has been less transparency surrounding Trump’s own state of health, with his medical team repeatedly refusing to say when he last tested negative for the virus. That has fueled suspicion that he may not have been tested for several days prior to his diagnosis.

Covid-19 has killed more than 214,000 people in the United States, but the president has urged Americans not to fear the virus.

A reelection ad that lauds Trump’s handling of the outbreak was criticized by top government scientist Anthony Fauci, who said a clip was edited to make him seem to endorse the president’s response to the pandemic.

“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate,” Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said in a statement sent to AFP.

Trump defended the clip, and his handling of the pandemic, and rebutted the doctor’s criticism.

“They are indeed Dr. Fauci’s own words. We have done a ‘phenomenal’ job, according to certain governors,” the president wrote in a tweet.

Biden has slammed Trump’s coronavirus response, on Sunday tweeting: “In January, I said President Trump was the worst possible leader to deal with a public health crisis. And everything we’ve been through in the months since has proven that to be true.”

Barack Obama’s former vice-president is currently close to 10 points ahead in national polls with a solid lead in some key battleground states.

jca/to/qan/to/leg

© Agence France-Presse

/AFP

China to test whole city of 9m as Europe rolls out new virus rules

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by Sébastien Ricci, with AFP bureaus

All nine million people in a major Chinese port city will be tested for Covid-19 following a tiny outbreak, health officials said Monday, as surging infection numbers in Europe force another round of containment efforts.

The virus has been largely brought under control in China — where it first emerged last year — in stark contrast to many parts of the world still afflicted by rolling lockdowns and high case numbers.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will on Monday announce a new three-tiered alert system for coronavirus cases in England, while German authorities shuttered Berlin bars and clubs after 11pm until the end of the month and France is believed to be mulling local lockdowns in major cities.

In the United States — the world’s worst-affected nation with 7.7 million infections and 214,000 deaths — President Donald Trump controversially declared himself immune after his treatment at a Washington hospital last week.

Six cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Sunday in Qingdao — a northeastern port city of 9.4 million — prompting health officials to announce China’s first mass testing in months.

Five districts will be tested “within three days” and the whole city “within five days”, a statement from Qingdao’s municipal health commission said, although it did not give a precise figure on how many people would be tested.

China has extensive, quick test capabilities and by noon Monday the health commission said more than 277,000 people had already been tested in Qingdao, with nine positive results.

In June large areas of the capital Beijing were subject to mass tests after the city of more than 20 million detected virus cases linked to a food market.

China has bounced back since the virus emerged, closing the country down and hammering the world’s second largest economy.

Hundreds of millions travelled across the country for the “Golden Week” holiday last week as the country edges back to growth, while rapid tests and swift lockdowns have tamped down secondary waves of the virus.

The picture elsewhere in the world, however, is strikingly different as countries battle new waves and alarming spikes.

– Three-tier system –
Britain’s leader Johnson will unveil his tiered system on Monday, with northwestern Liverpool expected to be the only city placed in the top category.

Like governments across Europe, Johnson’s Conservative cabinet is seeking to balance bringing down the rate of new infections against frustration and concern about the economy.

The new alert system, which will classify all areas as either “medium”, “high” or “very high” risk, is an attempt to bring transparency and uniformity to restrictions introduced to combat the spread of the disease.

“This is a critical juncture and it is absolutely vital that everyone follows the clear guidance we have set out to help contain the virus,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

Several urban centres in northern England have already been hit with a range of curbs on social life such as a ban on different households mixing, but the south has escaped stricter restrictions for now.

The national death toll from coronavirus in Britain is more than 42,000 — the worst in Europe.

Globally more than 37  million people have now been infected, and at least 1.07 million have died.

– Trump claims immunity –
Trump’s doctors gave the president the all-clear Saturday to return to the campaign trail after he was ruled no longer a coronavirus transmission risk, and on Sunday he said he tested “totally negative”.

But he has yet to be declared virus-free, and his immunity claim is unproven.

“It looks like I’m immune for, I don’t know, maybe a long time and maybe a short time, it could be a lifetime, nobody really knows, but I’m immune,” Trump told Fox News.

However, it is not yet clear to what degree contracting Covid-19 confers immunity, with early studies suggesting a few months while newer ones have indicated it could last longer.

Meanwhile a study by Australia’s national science agency found the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 can survive on items such as banknotes and phones for up to 28 days in cool, dark conditions.

Researchers at CSIRO’s disease preparedness centre tested the longevity of SARS-CoV-2 in the dark at three temperatures, showing survival rates decreased as conditions became hotter.

burs-je/mtp

© Agence France-Presse

/AFP

Theindependent