GPs will prescribe bicycles under a £2bn plan to “shift gears” and overhaul couch potato lifestyles.
Boris Johnson will launch the scheme, promising thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training for those who want it as well and bikes on prescription.
Pilot schemes will see GPs in areas with particularly poor health asked to prescribe cycling to unfit patients, with patients able to borrow bikes through their local surgery.
A national e-bike programme will be created to improve access for those who are older, have to travel long distances or are less fit to take up cycling.
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Today’s front page
Here is your Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, July 28.
Working from home? We’re WFA (working from abroad) instead
For the thousands left unexpectedly facing quarantine on return from their holiday in Spain after this weekend’s abrupt change to travel restrictions, there is, perhaps, an alternative: what if they just stayed there? Indeed the world has become the remote workforce’s new office, breeding a new tribe of WFA (work from anywhere) employees who, since Covid-19 hit, have swapped their homes for more distant climes.
The Prime Minister has said that, from August 1, staff may begin returning to offices. But with up to 40 per cent of Britain’s workforce able to work remotely and as many as a third keen for things to stay that way many are trading in their travelcards for a one-way plane ticket.
Hoping to capitalise on this sudden abundance of itchy feet, Barbados this month began offering 12-month visas to frazzled workers looking to make a move; cheaper rent makes it a yet more compelling prospect.
Read the full story
Read more: Should I return to work? Your rights if your employer asks you to go back to work
Australia restricts surgeries so nurses can be deployed to care homes
Victoria state, Australia’s coronavirus hot spot, is restricting non-urgent surgeries so that hospital nurses can be transferred to elderly care homes, where most deaths are occurring, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said on Tuesday.
Victoria reported 384 new infections and six deaths on Tuesday, down from a record 532 cases on Monday.
Mr Andrews said residents of the care homes would be moved to hospitals if they were not being adequately protected from infection.
“Some of the stories we’ve heard, some of what’s gone on in some of these settings is simply not acceptable,” Mr Andrews said, without elaborating.
Chinese authorities ‘covered up’ cases in Wuhan, claims scientist
Chinese authorities were warned that coronavirus could spread between humans in early January, but did not tell the public for a week, a leading microbiologist has claimed, saying that there has been a “cover up”.
Professor Yuen Kwok-yung says he alerted health officials on January 12 to suspected human to human transmission of Covid-19, but his warnings were not made public until January 19, according to a new BBC Panorama documentary about China’s sluggish early response to the pandemic.
The professor, who helped to identify an outbreak of Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, diagnosed a family of seven with the novel coronavirus in Shenzhen, 700 miles from Wuhan, the global pandemic’s original epicentre.
Only some members of the family had been to Wuhan, which set alarm bells ringing about the infectious nature of the virus. Prof Yuen said he immediately informed Beijing.
Read the full story
Australian police disperse protesters at BLM rally
Australian police on Tuesday detained at least one person and ordered about 50 others to disperse after they gathered in Sydney to go ahead with a Black Lives Matter protest despite an official ban because of the pandemic.
The march had been called to highlight the deaths of Aboriginal people in custody, building on momentum from global rallies for racial justice and against police brutality.
Organisers had pressed ahead with the gathering despite the courts upholding the police ban, pledging to comply with social distancing restrictions.
Pakistan urges worshippers to buy sacrificial animals online
Pakistani authorities are encouraging people to buy sacrificial animals online or at least wear masks when visiting cattle markets, fearing preparations for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha could reverse a decline in infection numbers.
Government social-distancing restrictions this year including half-day closing have seen a drop in customers at the normally bustling markets which, like in other Muslim countries, are set up in urban centres ahead of one of Islam’s most important festivals.
The main cattle market of Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, was less busy on Sunday than in preceding years with just six days before festivities.
Most visitors flouted a requirement to wear masks, and many were accompanied by children who this year are barred.
“I don’t understand this coronavirus. I have not seen anyone dying of it,” said trader Muhammad Akram. “Look around you: No one is wearing a mask.”
Pakistan has reported over 270,000 cases with almost 6,000 deaths.
Vietnam suspends flights to and from tourism hot spot
Vietnam has suspended all flights to and from Da Nang for 15 days starting on Tuesday after at least 14 cases had been detected in the city, the government said on Tuesday.
The Southeast Asian country has also suspended all passenger bus and train services to and from the city, the government said in a statement.
The city, a tourism hot spot, had reintroduced social distancing measures over the weekend after the government confirmed the first domestically-transmitted cases in more than three months.
Read more: Vietnam joins list of Asia-Pacific nations struggling to beat Covid-19
68 new cases reported in China
New cases continue to rise in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang, with 57 reported on Tuesday.
The capital Beijing also reported its first case of domestic transmission in more than two weeks, while the northeastern province of Liaoning added another six cases in its local outbreak. Another four cases were found among Chinese travellers arriving from outside the country, bringing the daily total over the past 24 hours to 68.
Despite the new clusters, China appears to have largely contained the virus and the death toll remains at 4,634 among 83,959 cases.
Australian Open postponed
The Australian Open, the country’s oldest and most prestigious golf event, has been postponed from its scheduled staging in November due to Covid-19, organisers said on Tuesday.
Golf Australia had planned to stage the 105th edition at Melbourne’s Kingston Heath Golf Club later this year but were now looking at other dates in early 2021, the governing body said.
Melbourne is midway through a six-week lockdown as authorities battle a surge in Covid-19 infections.
“These are very challenging times for all Australians and the uncertainty the global pandemic has caused makes it very difficult to be definitive in relation to future dates at this time,” Golf Australia operations manager Simon Brookhouse said in a statement.
“Then, when you consider the rescheduled major championships, particularly the (US) Masters from 12-15 November, assembling the customary world-class field was also becoming increasingly difficult.”
Bolivian prison inmates riot over Covid exposure in pictures
The death of an inmate suspected of having the coronavirus prompted rioting in four of the most populated prisons in Bolivia’s Cochabamba region over access to medical care.
Brazil’s President takes off mask for selfies with supporters
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro on Monday took off his mask in public as he greeted supporters in Brasilia, days after saying he had recovered from coronavirus, which he said had not had a serious impact on his health.
The right-wing leader tested positive earlier this month and went into quarantine at his residence, but said on Saturday that his latest test had come back negative.
“I didn’t have any problems,” Mr Bolsonaro said on Monday. “For people who have prior health problems and are of a certain age, anything can be dangerous.”
Brazil has the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world outside of the US and Mr Bolsonaro has been criticised for minimizing the severity of the disease and doing little to curb its spread as deaths mount.
Standing outside the Alvorada Palace, the Brazilian president’s official residence, Mr Bolsonaro removed his mask after supporters asked that he take it off so they could snap pictures and selfies with him.
Initially, Mr Bolsonaro said he would not take his mask off because he would end up “on the frontpage of tomorrow’s newspapers” if he did, but ended up doing so for brief periods of time in response to supporters.
More than 900 females feared dead during lockdown in Peru
A staggering 900-plus girls and women are missing and feared dead in Peru since Covid-19 confinement began, authorities said on Monday.
The Andean nation home to 33 million people has long had a horrific domestic violence problem.
But Covid-19, which has compounded home confinement combined with job losses and a health crisis, has seen an already scary situation grow worse in just 3 and a 1/2 months, according to Eliana Revollar, who leads the women’s rights office of the National Ombudsman’s office.
Seventy percent of that figure are minors, she added.
“During the quarantine, from March 16 to June 30, 915 women in Peru were reported missing,” and feared dead, said Ms Revollar.
Before Covid-19, five women were reported missing in Peru every single day; since the lockdown, the number has surged to eight per day.
Read more: Pandemic fallout will leave 6.7m children dangerously undernourished, Unicef warns