Signs of economic recovery:4
- Although the infection rate has now increased, it’s important to note that, over the summer, the UK economy showed steady growth.
- It grew 6.6% in July on a monthly basis, according to initial estimates published Friday, as it sought to recover from the sharp downturn caused by coronavirus-induced lockdown measures.
- UK GDP in July was 18.6% higher than its April 2020 low, but remained 11.7% compared to the same period last year, slightly below expectations of an 11.4% contraction.
- The country’s emergence from lockdown measures and reopening of pubs and restaurants in recent months meant that activity in the accommodation and food services sector surged 140.8% month-on-month in July.
Oxford University to resume vaccine trial:5
- Trials of a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University will resume after being paused due to a reported side effect in a patient in the UK.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) says nearly 180 vaccine candidates are being tested around the world but none has yet completed clinical trials.
- Hopes have been high that the vaccine might be one of the first to come on the market, following successful phase one and two testing.
- Its move to Phase three testing in recent weeks has involved approximately 30,000 participants in the US as well as in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. Phase three trials in vaccines often involve thousands of participants and can last several years.
Back to school:6
- UK pupils have returned to school amid concerns that the country may have suffered a ‘brain drain’ during the lockdown.
- A poll of nearly 3,000 school leaders and teachers found 98% said students had not made as much progress in their learning as would normally be expected.
- Many students were expected to learn at home, but teachers said only 38% returned their last piece of work in July, compared to 42% in May.
- The National Foundation for Educational Research's survey found that teachers had on average covered 66% of the year's curriculum by July.