“Long Covid” is genuine and leaves patients suffering debilitating symptoms for many months after their recovery from coronavirus, experts have confirmed.
Campaign groups supporting survivors of the virus have previously warned that doctors are dismissing ongoing problems or misdiagnosing the ongoing effects of Covid-19 as chronic fatigue syndrome.
But in the first study to show a conclusive pattern, researchers at North Bristol NHS Trust found that three quarters of virus patients treated at Bristol’s Southmead Hospital were still experiencing problems three months later.
Symptoms included breathlessness, excessive fatigue and muscle aches, leaving people struggling to wash, dress and return to work.
Follow the latest updates below.
LA mayor authorises utilities to be shut off at party house
The mayor of Los Angeles says he authorised shutting off utility services at a home in the Hollywood Hills that has been the site of raucous parties despite a ban on large gatherings during the pandemic.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Wednesday that “this house has turned into a nightclub in the hills, hosting large gatherings in flagrant violation of our public health orders”.
The city has not identified the home’s address or the owner.
Mr Garcetti warned earlier that such action would be taken against houses and businesses for hosting parties. He says big parties can be “superspreaders” of the coronavirus.
South Korea fights to get control of new outbreak
South Korean health officials are struggling to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus centred in the capital Seoul, as new cases levelled off but remained in triple digits on Thursday.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 288 new cases as of midnight Wednesday, marking at least a week of triple digit daily increases.
Overall, South Korea has reported 16,346 cases with 307 deaths.
The latest outbreak has been driven by hundreds of cases in a church, and has been centred in Seoul and the surrounding areas. The government this week banned in-person church meetings in the area, and also ordered closed other “high-risk” locations including nightclubs, karaoke bars, buffets and cyber cafes.
The country used intensive tracing and testing to beat back previous spikes, but the recent surge in cases is raising concerns there could be a broader outbreak in the Seoul metropolitan area, which is home to more than 25 million people.
Beijing backs Wuhan park after pool party row
Chinese state newspapers threw their support behind an amusement park in the central city of Wuhan on Thursday after pictures of a densely packed pool party at the park went viral overseas amid concerns about the spread of Covid-19.
Videos and photos of an electronic music festival at the Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park on July 11 raised eyebrows overseas, but reflected life returning to normal in the city where the virus causing Covid-19 was first detected, the official English-language China Daily newspaper said in a front-page story.
Another story in the Global Times, a tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily, cited Wuhan residents as saying the pool party reflected the city’s success in its virus-control efforts.
While the coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, strict lockdown measures that paralysed the Chinese economy earlier this year have kept its spread in check.
China on Thursday reported its fourth straight day of zero locally transmitted coronavirus infections.
Trump says university closures ‘cost lives’
President Donald Trump has attacked universities that have canceled in-person classes amid coronavirus outbreaks, claiming the move could cost lives.
Mr Trump said the virus is akin to the seasonal flu for college students and that students pose a greater safety threat at home with older family members than on college campuses. He cited no evidence to support either contention, and the White House did not respond to a request for information about on what Mr Trump based his remarks.
Health experts have said the novel coronavirus appears to be deadlier than the seasonal flu and more easily transmitted. In addition, most college students are 18 and older and thus considered adults, who are more susceptible to coronavirus illnesses than children.
“It’s significantly safer for students to live with other young people than to go home and spread the virus to older Americans,” Mr Trump said.
Students won’t get grades today amid new chaos
Close to half a million pupils face fresh exam chaos on Thursday after an eleventh hour decision to withhold their results.
On Wednesday night, with less than 24 hours to go until results day, the exam board Pearson told schools not to publish BTEC results, saying they needed more time to recalculate the grades.
It is the latest results exams fiasco and follows the A-level results chaos last week which led to the Government’s U-turn on teachers’ predicted grades.
The development will heap further pressure on the education secretary, who was accused of “forgetting” about the 450,000 students who take vocational qualifications.
Students are being assessed by predicted grades this year due to school closures following the coronavirus pandemic.