Donald Trump is no longer at risk of transmitting coronavirus, the White House doctor said on Saturday night.
The diagnosis comes as the US President prepares to resume campaign rallies and other activities.
Dr Sean Conley said Mr Trump meets the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognised standards” he is no longer considered a transmission risk.
The memo did not declare Mr Trump as testing negative for the virus. But sensitive lab tests – like the PCR test – detect the virus in swab samples taken from the nose and throat.
The memo followed Mr Trump’s first public appearance since returning to the White House after being treated for coronavirus.
Mr Trump took off his mask moments after he emerged on the White House balcony to address the crowd on the lawn below.
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New Zealand PM defends pandemic response
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday burnished her leadership credentials on the back of her successful response to the coronavirus pandemic at a campaign rally six days ahead of the country’s election.
Polls show Ms Ardern’s Labour Party is expected to win the election with a wide lead over the conservative National Party, and could form government in a coalition with the Greens and New Zealand First.
“While there was no playbook for Covid-19, we went hard and early and committed to a strategy of elimination which has meant that when we’ve had new cases, we’ve circled and stamped them out and opened up our economy faster than others,” she told a campaign rally.
“I will always maintain that it has been, and will continue to be, the right thing to do.”
New Zealand, with 1,514 cases and 25 deaths in a population of five million, has been hailed along with South Korea and Taiwan for its success in combating coronavirus partly due to swift lockdown measures.
‘I’m feeling great,’ says Donald Trump
Donald Trump said he “feels great” as he made his first public speech since being diagnosed with coronavirus.
The US President stood on a balcony at the White House, delivering an address to a crowd of a few hundred black supporters.
Mr Trump emerged in a mask, then took it off to speak.
He spoke for 18 minutes, without coughing, and appeared well.
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Health Secretary denies breaking Covid drinking curfew
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has denied claims that he broke the Government’s Covid drinking curfew.
The Cabinet minister’s spokesman insisted allegations Mr Hancock stayed drinking in a Commons bar beyond 10pm were untrue.
The comments came after the Mail on Sunday said the Health Secretary breached restrictions introduced by the Government to halt the spread of the virus.
The newspaper reported Mr Hancock arrived at the Commons bar just before a 9.40pm vote, ordered a glass of white wine and joked: “The drinks are on me – but Public Health England are in charge of the payment methodology so I will not be paying anything.”
Mr Hancock’s reference to Public Health England came after he had addressed the Commons regarding the controversy over the organisation misplacing nearly 16,000 coronavirus test results.
The Health Secretary’s spokesman insisted the minister had not broken curfew rules.
He said: “The proposed timeline of events is false and no rules have been broken.
“The Secretary of State was in the smoking room prior to the vote that evening. The Secretary of State left the smoking room to vote. The vote took place at 9.42pm.
“The Secretary of State then departed the parliamentary estate to go home.”
However, a Government source told the PA news agency that Mr Hancock had made the joke as reported.
The accusations come at a highly sensitive time for the Government as mayors in northern England have expressed opposition to expected moves next week to shut down parts of the hospitality sector, such as pubs.
China reports more than 20 new cases
Mainland China has reported 21 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, up from 15 a day earlier, the country’s national health authority said on Sunday.
All the new cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas, the National Health Commission said.
The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed, fell to 23 from 39 a day earlier. All of them were imported.
The total confirmed cases in mainland China stands at 85,557, while the death toll remains at 4,634.
Cashless society closer as usage falls by half
Cash usage has nearly halved in three years, ATM data has shown, amid fears coronavirus has accelerated the “permanent” decline in notes and coins.
Usage has been declining in recent years, but the data has shown that weekly withdrawals have been around a third lower since the first lockdown was lifted than they were before, prompting concern that Covid-19 has hastened the demise of cash.
It emerged this week that nearly 60,000 people had found themselves cut off from cash during the lockdown.