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10th May 2020

Science Coronavirus: Post-lockdown workplace rules, global vaccine effort and UK treatment trial

Science Coronavirus: Post-lockdown workplace rules, global vaccine effort and UK treatment trial


Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Monday morning. We’ll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.

Science 1. The post-lockdown workplace

At the end of this week, the prime minister will reveal his “roadmap” to get the UK out of lockdown. Ahead of that, the BBC has seen what the rules around workplaces might look like, including reduced hot-desking, staggered shifts and continued home-working. There is an acceptance, though, that keeping 2m away from colleagues and customers won’t always be possible. Here, the BBC’s David Shukman looks at the science behind that number.

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Protective screens are already in use in many premises

Science 2. Public transport warning

Rail union leaders have written to Boris Johnson expressing “severe concerns” over plans to increase train services as part of easing the UK lockdown. The letter says it is “completely unacceptable” to put passengers and rail staff at risk. See how other nations are going about lifting their restrictions, including requiring people to wear masks on all public transport.

Science 3. World ‘must pull together’

Boris Johnson is among leaders who’ll today sign up to a global fundraising drive aiming to raise £6.6bn (€7.5bn; $8.3bn) to find a coronavirus vaccine. The PM will call it “the most urgent shared endeavour of our lifetimes”. The Brussels-led fundraising initiative comes as France, Spain and Italy see death rates continue to fall.

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Media caption“We risked everything to survive” – Naples resident Filomena

Science 4. Full fees for online degrees

University students in England won’t get a discount on their tuition fees if their courses are taught online in the autumn. The sector is facing a budget squeeze because of a drop in lucrative foreign students, so universities have also been told they’ll be able to recruit more home-grown entrants to help fill the gap. We answer your questions on universities and a host of other topics here.

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Getty Images

Science 5. New treatment trialled

There are currently few effective treatments for coronavirus, with doctors relying on patients’ own immune systems. However, a new drug developed by UK scientists is being trialled at University Hospital Southampton, with initial results expected by the end of June. Read more on the most promising drugs in the pipeline.

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BBC Panorama

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Kaye Flitney is one of 75 people enrolled in the Southampton trial

Get a longer coronavirus briefing from the BBC in your inbox, each weekday morning, by signing up here.

Science And don’t forget…

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page and follow all the latest developments via our live page.

Among today’s stories, a child psychologist asks whether lockdown has any impact on babies, and one mother-to-be, navigating this whole experience without a partner, shares her story.

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