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Coronavirus latest news: Universities told to hold places for students appealing A-level results

Students who fail to achieve their predicted A-level grades will have their university places held open for them while they appeal, under plans to be outlined by the Government.

Pupils who are awarded unfair grades must have a “safety net” to ensure that their university plans are not ruined, the higher education minister has told vice-Chancellors.

On Thursday some 730,000 students will receive grades that are largely based on statistical modelling as well as the rank order of their class drawn up by teachers. But following chaos in Scotland where close to 125,000 students’ grades were downgraded from their teacher predictions, there are fears of similar problems this Thursday.

It raises the prospect of students losing out on university places if they are given incorrect grades.

Even if they are later awarded the correct mark on appeal, they may still lose out on their first choice institution if the place has been reallocated by the time they get the result of their challenge.

Now, in a letter to vice chancellors, the higher education minister Michelle Donelan said universities should set aside space on undergraduate courses for teenagers who have missed their offers and are appealing against their grades.

Follow the latest updates below.

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3:02AM

Wuhan on the road to recovery

Fans dancing at an electronic music festival, long lines at breakfast stands, gridlocked traffic – the scenes in ground zero Wuhan these days would have been unthinkable in January.

The central Chinese city’s recovery after a 76-day lockdown was lifted in April has brought life back onto its streets.

The queues snaking outside breakfast stands are a far cry from the terrified crowds that lined up at the city’s hospitals in the first weeks after the city was quarantined in January.

The hazmat suits and safety goggles that were once the norm have given way to umbrellas and sun hats as tourists shield themselves from the scorching summer sun, posing for photos in front of the city’s historic Yellow Crane Tower.

But all is not back to normal.

Business remains slow in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people where the coronavirus was first detected late last year before it unleashed a global pandemic.

People dancing during the afternoon next to the Yangtze River in Wuhan

People dancing during the afternoon next to the Yangtze River in Wuhan

Credit:
AFP

1:50AM

Summary of news from around the world

  • Spanish actor Antonio Banderas says he has tested positive  and is celebrating his 60th birthday in quarantine. 
  • Greece‘s culture ministry is closing down the Museum of the Ancient Agora, a major archaeological site in central Athens, for two weeks after a cleaner there was diagnosed with Covid-19. 
  • Thailand is making plans to allow at least 3,000 foreign teachers to enter the country, even as it continues to keep out tourists and tightly restricts other arrivals to guard against infections.
  • The incoming president of the United Nations General Assembly has praised Pakistan for quickly containing the coronavirus, saying the South Asian nation’s handling of the pandemic is a good example for the world.
  •  Mexico‘s health ministry on Monday reported 5,558 new cases and 705 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 485,836 cases and 53,003 deaths.
  • In the US, California’s top public health officer has resigned following data-collection failures that led to an undercount of cases as the state was reporting a downward trend in infections. 
  • Australia‘s second-most populous state of Victoria on Tuesday reported 19 deaths  in the last 24 hours and 331 new cases.

Thai kindergarteners wear face masks as they play in screened in play areas

Thai kindergarteners wear face masks as they play in screened in play areas

Credit:
Getty

1:17AM

Global cases tally reaches 20 million

The global number of Covid-19 cases has reached 20 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Centre.

The total number of global deaths stands at 733,103, according to experts at the American university, whose aggregated tally has become the main reference for monitoring the disease.

The UK has 313,390 cases according to the university, putting it 12th on the list, just behind Spain.

The US has suffered the most deaths at 163,331, while there have been 101,000 in Brazil, 52,000 in Mexico, 46,611 in the UK and more than 44,000 in India.

A health worker collects a swab from a resident at a makeshift free Covid-19 testing booth in Hyderabad 

A health worker collects a swab from a resident at a makeshift free Covid-19 testing booth in Hyderabad 

Credit:
AFP

12:35AM

Rio considers app for beachgoers to reserve space

Sunbathers wanting to visit Rio de Janeiro’s famous beaches, despite Brazil’s raging Covid-19 epidemic, could soon be able to reserve socially-distant sand space through a mobile app, the city’s mayor said on Monday.

Rio’s beaches currently have a hodgepodge of sanitary restrictions in place. Visitors and cariocas, as local residents are known, can swim and practice individual sports on the sand during the week. But team sports can only be played Monday through Friday. Merchants can sell beverages, but not alcoholic ones.

The one thing nobody has been allowed to do since the outbreak, officially at least, is to simply plunk down on the beaches and take in the sun.

Rio’s beaches have often been full recently, especially on weekends, as visitors ignore restrictions aimed at fighting the world’s second worst outbreak, with deaths surpassing 100,000.

Now city officials are hoping to turn to technology to help ensure that social-distancing measures, including and proper conditions for sunbathing, are respected.

Cariocas and tourists who wish to sunbathe on the beaches will have to reserve their space through a mobile application

Cariocas and tourists who wish to sunbathe on the beaches will have to reserve their space through a mobile application

Credit:
Antonio Lacerda/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

12:19AM

Trump weighs blocking US citizens coming home over infection fears

The administration of US President Donald Trump is considering a measure to block US citizens and permanent residents from returning home if they are suspected of being infected with coronavirus, a senior US official confirmed to Reuters.

The official said a draft regulation, which has not been finalised and could change, would give the government authorisation to block individuals who could “reasonably” be believed to have contracted Covid-19 or other diseases.

Mr Trump has instituted a series of sweeping immigration restrictions since the start of the pandemic, suspending some legal immigration and allowing US border authorities to rapidly deport migrants caught at the border without standard legal processes.

12:02AM

Today’s top stories

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