France is told to ‘pull itself together’ to beat coronavirus

France’s prime minister has told his citizens to ‘pull themselves together’ amid a fresh surge in coronavirus cases. 

Jean Castex said the public was becoming careless and raised the spectre of a second lockdown after a rise of more than 10,000 cases in the last week. 

France’s seven-day average now stands at 1,691 new cases per day, up from 542 a month ago and 1,056 at the end of July.  

‘If we don’t act collectively, we expose ourselves to the heightened risk that the rebound in the epidemic becomes hard to control,’ Castex said on a visit to an intensive care ward in the South of France. 

Some parts of France have tightened their mask rules despite the summer heatwave, while neighbouring Belgium has today made masks compulsory in all public spaces including outdoors. 

Fears are growing that France could be added to Britain’s quarantine list within days after UK ministers said they would ‘not hesitate’ to close down travel corridors if cases rise. 

French health officials have reported 10,143 new cases in the last seven days, up from 8,833 in the previous week – making it five straight weeks of increase 

France's daily death toll remains low, with the total now at 30,354 fatalities linked to Covid-19 including 19,849 in hospital

France’s daily death toll remains low, with the total now at 30,354 fatalities linked to Covid-19 including 19,849 in hospital

France’s tally of coronavirus cases rose by 1,397 in the latest update on Tuesday, taking the total from 202,775 to 204,172. 

Health officials have reported 10,143 new cases in the last seven days, up from 8,833 in the previous week – making it five straight weeks of increase.  

On Monday, France reported the first significant rise in the number of coronavirus patients in hospital since the lockdown was lifted, although it fell again on Tuesday.  

Some 227 clusters have been identified across France, a rise of 25 in the last 24 hours, as summer holidays resume and people gradually return to work. 

The increase has led to fears that France will be the next country struck off Britain’s approved travel list, as Spain and Belgium have already been. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that Britain will ‘not hesitate’ to re-impose the quarantine requirement for more countries if needed, after previously doing so for Spain and Belgium among others. 

Castex said the situation had been going the ‘wrong way’ for two weeks and called on French people to ‘pull themselves together’, French media said. 

The PM said testing was ‘more than satisfactory’, with more than 600,000 tests being conducted weekly, but said more could still be done to target those with symptoms. 

Talking of the risk of another lockdown, Castex said: ‘Nobody wants to live through that again.’ 

Castex said he would ask local authorities ‘to extend as far as possible the obligation to wear masks in public spaces’. 

Some cities including Paris, Lille, Toulouse and Biarritz have already imposed a mandatory face mask order in crowded outdoor spaces despite the hot weather.   

Masks are already compulsory in shops and banks across France. 

Today the government said it will ramp up police checks to ensure people wear masks, saying France is ‘at a tipping point’.   

‘We’re going to mobilize polices forces to make checks,’ spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters. ‘But it’s not the police people should be afraid of… they should fear the virus, that lurks and contaminates.’ 

France's prime minister Jean Castex (pictured at a hospital in Montpellier yesterday) has told his citizens to 'pull themselves together' amid a fresh surge in coronavirus cases in France

France’s prime minister Jean Castex (pictured at a hospital in Montpellier yesterday) has told his citizens to ‘pull themselves together’ amid a fresh surge in coronavirus cases in France

People wear masks in Montmartre in Paris yesterday after face covering rules were tightened

People wear masks in Montmartre in Paris yesterday after face covering rules were tightened 

Earlier on Tuesday, President Emmanuel Macron held a video conference with top ministers from his Riviera summer retreat.

Ministers resolved to draw up new restrictions for the 20 largest cities to curb the infection rate and extend a ban on gatherings of 5,000 or more until October 31.

France’s daily death toll remains low, with the total now at 30,354 fatalities linked to Covid-19 including 19,849 in hospital. 

Meanwhile in Belgium, masks are now compulsory in public places in Brussels as the country battles its own worrying virus outbreak. 

The new measure has been imposed in all 19 municipalities of the Brussels region after the threshold of 50 daily cases per 100,000 people was reached. 

Residents of the city of 1.2million now have to wear masks when in parks, on streets or in any other public sites, as well as in private spaces accessible to the public. 

There are a handful of exceptions to the ruling in Brussels, such as when playing sports or for people with certain disabilities. 

Until now masks had been compulsory only in crowded public spaces and enclosed sites, such as shopping malls. Children aged 11 or under are exempt.   

The mask-wearing regulation is one of the strictest currently applied in European capitals and follows a similar decision by authorities in Madrid in July.  

Belgium has one of the highest per-capita death rates in the world and infections are rising along with those in much of western Europe.   

The measure does not apply to Belgium’s two other regions, Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia. 

People wearing masks visit Montmartre and look over the Paris skyline after the French capital imposed new face covering rules

People wearing masks visit Montmartre and look over the Paris skyline after the French capital imposed new face covering rules 

Elsewhere, Germany saw its worst daily spike in coronavirus cases for three months today as a ‘very concerning’ rebound in infections continues to gather pace. 

Health officials announced 1,226 new cases this morning, the highest figure since May 9 – bringing the total from 217,293 to 218,519. 

The seven-day average of new cases is now above 900, having been as low as 350 a month ago. 

Angela Merkel’s health minister said today there were outbreaks happening in almost all of Germany and warned that every new case was making track-and-trace procedures harder. 

He added that the rise was partly being driven by parties and family gatherings – warning that the virus can spread quickly ‘when there’s alcohol involved’.

Having not seen 1,000 cases in a day from for nearly three months, Germany has now crossed that threshold four times in the last week. 

The last seven days have seen nearly 6,500 new infections, up from 5,096 the week before and fewer than 3,000 per week as recently as mid-July.

Germany’s R rate has been above the 1.0 threshold for most of the last month, although it fell to 0.97 in the latest update on Tuesday.

Health officials say the ongoing rise is ‘very concerning’ and have linked it to travellers returning from summer holidays elsewhere in Europe. 

Germany yesterday extended its travel warning for Spain to cover Madrid and the Basque country, having previously curtailed travel to Catalonia and nearby areas.

Germany today suffered its worst daily spike in coronavirus cases since May 9 as 1,226 new infections were added to the tally

Germany today suffered its worst daily spike in coronavirus cases since May 9 as 1,226 new infections were added to the tally 

Spain has seen a worrying rise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, with nearly 26,000 cases recorded in the last seven days - up from fewer than 3,000 a week in June

Spain has seen a worrying rise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, with nearly 26,000 cases recorded in the last seven days – up from fewer than 3,000 a week in June 

Spain has already been struck off Britain’s approved list and cases have continued to mount since then, with the seven-day average now at 3,357 cases per day compared to 480 a month ago. 

Spain’s rolling average is now 3,357 cases per day, up from 2,300 at the end of July and only 480 this time last month.   

The total number of infections has now risen above that in Britain to become the highest in Western Europe, prompting criticism of the Spanish government.  

There are currently more than 500 outbreak clusters in Spain, according to the health ministry. 

The ministry’s emergencies coordinator Fernando Simon said on Monday that there are cases of community transmission in some places that are ‘not perfectly controlled’ but he said they had ‘gradually subsided’ in recent days. 

Spain’s government defended its response to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, saying ‘appropriate measures’ were being taken in co-ordination with the regions.  

‘The data shows that we are being very active in tracking and detecting the virus,’ the government said in a statement. 

Authorities also said they had tested nearly 7.5million people since the start of the pandemic, with over 400,000 tested in the past week alone. 

Spain imposed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns after the death toll surged in March and April, but the state of emergency has since been lifted.   

In a letter published in medical journal The Lancet, a group of Spanish health experts called for an independent probe into of the government’s handling of the crisis.

More than 50,000 health workers have been infected, and nearly 20,000 deaths were in nursing homes, the authors said. 

The health experts pointed the finger at a range of errors including poor co-ordination between Madrid and regional governments.

France is told to ‘pull itself together’ to beat coronavirus

France’s prime minister has told his citizens to ‘pull themselves together’ amid a fresh surge in coronavirus cases. 

Jean Castex said the public was becoming careless and raised the spectre of a second lockdown after a rise of more than 10,000 cases in the last week. 

France’s seven-day average now stands at 1,691 new cases per day, up from 542 a month ago and 1,056 at the end of July.  

‘If we don’t act collectively, we expose ourselves to the heightened risk that the rebound in the epidemic becomes hard to control,’ Castex said on a visit to an intensive care ward in the South of France. 

Some parts of France have tightened their mask rules despite the summer heatwave, while neighbouring Belgium has today made masks compulsory in all public spaces including outdoors. 

Fears are growing that France could be added to Britain’s quarantine list within days after UK ministers said they would ‘not hesitate’ to close down travel corridors if cases rise. 

French health officials have reported 10,143 new cases in the last seven days, up from 8,833 in the previous week – making it five straight weeks of increase 

France's daily death toll remains low, with the total now at 30,354 fatalities linked to Covid-19 including 19,849 in hospital

France’s daily death toll remains low, with the total now at 30,354 fatalities linked to Covid-19 including 19,849 in hospital

France’s tally of coronavirus cases rose by 1,397 in the latest update on Tuesday, taking the total from 202,775 to 204,172. 

Health officials have reported 10,143 new cases in the last seven days, up from 8,833 in the previous week – making it five straight weeks of increase.  

On Monday, France reported the first significant rise in the number of coronavirus patients in hospital since the lockdown was lifted, although it fell again on Tuesday.  

Some 227 clusters have been identified across France, a rise of 25 in the last 24 hours, as summer holidays resume and people gradually return to work. 

The increase has led to fears that France will be the next country struck off Britain’s approved travel list, as Spain and Belgium have already been. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that Britain will ‘not hesitate’ to re-impose the quarantine requirement for more countries if needed, after previously doing so for Spain and Belgium among others. 

Castex said the situation had been going the ‘wrong way’ for two weeks and called on French people to ‘pull themselves together’, French media said. 

The PM said testing was ‘more than satisfactory’, with more than 600,000 tests being conducted weekly, but said more could still be done to target those with symptoms. 

Talking of the risk of another lockdown, Castex said: ‘Nobody wants to live through that again.’ 

Castex said he would ask local authorities ‘to extend as far as possible the obligation to wear masks in public spaces’. 

Some cities including Paris, Lille, Toulouse and Biarritz have already imposed a mandatory face mask order in crowded outdoor spaces despite the hot weather.   

Masks are already compulsory in shops and banks across France. 

Today the government said it will ramp up police checks to ensure people wear masks, saying France is ‘at a tipping point’.   

‘We’re going to mobilize polices forces to make checks,’ spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters. ‘But it’s not the police people should be afraid of… they should fear the virus, that lurks and contaminates.’ 

France's prime minister Jean Castex (pictured at a hospital in Montpellier yesterday) has told his citizens to 'pull themselves together' amid a fresh surge in coronavirus cases in France

France’s prime minister Jean Castex (pictured at a hospital in Montpellier yesterday) has told his citizens to ‘pull themselves together’ amid a fresh surge in coronavirus cases in France

People wear masks in Montmartre in Paris yesterday after face covering rules were tightened

People wear masks in Montmartre in Paris yesterday after face covering rules were tightened 

Earlier on Tuesday, President Emmanuel Macron held a video conference with top ministers from his Riviera summer retreat.

Ministers resolved to draw up new restrictions for the 20 largest cities to curb the infection rate and extend a ban on gatherings of 5,000 or more until October 31.

France’s daily death toll remains low, with the total now at 30,354 fatalities linked to Covid-19 including 19,849 in hospital. 

Meanwhile in Belgium, masks are now compulsory in public places in Brussels as the country battles its own worrying virus outbreak. 

The new measure has been imposed in all 19 municipalities of the Brussels region after the threshold of 50 daily cases per 100,000 people was reached. 

Residents of the city of 1.2million now have to wear masks when in parks, on streets or in any other public sites, as well as in private spaces accessible to the public. 

There are a handful of exceptions to the ruling in Brussels, such as when playing sports or for people with certain disabilities. 

Until now masks had been compulsory only in crowded public spaces and enclosed sites, such as shopping malls. Children aged 11 or under are exempt.   

The mask-wearing regulation is one of the strictest currently applied in European capitals and follows a similar decision by authorities in Madrid in July.  

Belgium has one of the highest per-capita death rates in the world and infections are rising along with those in much of western Europe.   

The measure does not apply to Belgium’s two other regions, Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia. 

People wearing masks visit Montmartre and look over the Paris skyline after the French capital imposed new face covering rules

People wearing masks visit Montmartre and look over the Paris skyline after the French capital imposed new face covering rules 

Elsewhere, Germany saw its worst daily spike in coronavirus cases for three months today as a ‘very concerning’ rebound in infections continues to gather pace. 

Health officials announced 1,226 new cases this morning, the highest figure since May 9 – bringing the total from 217,293 to 218,519. 

The seven-day average of new cases is now above 900, having been as low as 350 a month ago. 

Angela Merkel’s health minister said today there were outbreaks happening in almost all of Germany and warned that every new case was making track-and-trace procedures harder. 

He added that the rise was partly being driven by parties and family gatherings – warning that the virus can spread quickly ‘when there’s alcohol involved’.

Having not seen 1,000 cases in a day from for nearly three months, Germany has now crossed that threshold four times in the last week. 

The last seven days have seen nearly 6,500 new infections, up from 5,096 the week before and fewer than 3,000 per week as recently as mid-July.

Germany’s R rate has been above the 1.0 threshold for most of the last month, although it fell to 0.97 in the latest update on Tuesday.

Health officials say the ongoing rise is ‘very concerning’ and have linked it to travellers returning from summer holidays elsewhere in Europe. 

Germany yesterday extended its travel warning for Spain to cover Madrid and the Basque country, having previously curtailed travel to Catalonia and nearby areas.

Germany today suffered its worst daily spike in coronavirus cases since May 9 as 1,226 new infections were added to the tally

Germany today suffered its worst daily spike in coronavirus cases since May 9 as 1,226 new infections were added to the tally 

Spain has seen a worrying rise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, with nearly 26,000 cases recorded in the last seven days - up from fewer than 3,000 a week in June

Spain has seen a worrying rise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, with nearly 26,000 cases recorded in the last seven days – up from fewer than 3,000 a week in June 

Spain has already been struck off Britain’s approved list and cases have continued to mount since then, with the seven-day average now at 3,357 cases per day compared to 480 a month ago. 

Spain’s rolling average is now 3,357 cases per day, up from 2,300 at the end of July and only 480 this time last month.   

The total number of infections has now risen above that in Britain to become the highest in Western Europe, prompting criticism of the Spanish government.  

There are currently more than 500 outbreak clusters in Spain, according to the health ministry. 

The ministry’s emergencies coordinator Fernando Simon said on Monday that there are cases of community transmission in some places that are ‘not perfectly controlled’ but he said they had ‘gradually subsided’ in recent days. 

Spain’s government defended its response to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, saying ‘appropriate measures’ were being taken in co-ordination with the regions.  

‘The data shows that we are being very active in tracking and detecting the virus,’ the government said in a statement. 

Authorities also said they had tested nearly 7.5million people since the start of the pandemic, with over 400,000 tested in the past week alone. 

Spain imposed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns after the death toll surged in March and April, but the state of emergency has since been lifted.   

In a letter published in medical journal The Lancet, a group of Spanish health experts called for an independent probe into of the government’s handling of the crisis.

More than 50,000 health workers have been infected, and nearly 20,000 deaths were in nursing homes, the authors said. 

The health experts pointed the finger at a range of errors including poor co-ordination between Madrid and regional governments.

Did London’s lockdown work? Capital has the same level of coronavirus antibodies as Stockholm

Covid-19 has infected the same number of people in London and Stockholm, despite the Swedish capital controversially choosing not to lock down, scientists say.

Antibody testing – which reveal if someone has previously been infected – show around one in six people in both cities caught the virus during the crisis.

Public Health England surveillance studies estimate that 17.5 per cent of Londoners had caught the virus by late June, based on testing 1,000 people a week.

And a similar Government programme in Sweden showed that 17 per cent of citydwellers in its capital had been infected by the same time period.

The UK and Sweden tackled the coronavirus epidemic very differently, with Boris Johnson ordering everyone to stay at home and shutting all but essential shops on March 24 for more than three months.

Sweden, on the other hand, only introduced a handful of restrictions, including banning mass gatherings and encouraging people to work and study from home. 

Two British experts who compiled the research said the finding throws into question whether the the economically-crippling lockdown actually worked in London.  

Writing in the study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the researchers say the restrictions in the English capital came too late. 

Sweden has a death rate of 564 people per million population, which is still better than the UK’s 707 per million. Although both epidemics have followed a similar trajectory

Two British experts who compiled the research drew on official antibody testing data from around the world. London and Stockholm had the most amount of positive results, other than New York City

Two British experts who compiled the research drew on official antibody testing data from around the world. London and Stockholm had the most amount of positive results, other than New York City

Public Health England surveillance studies estimate that 17.5 per cent of people in London had caught the virus by late June, based on testing 1,000 people a week

Public Health England surveillance studies estimate that 17.5 per cent of people in London had caught the virus by late June, based on testing 1,000 people a week

The authors, retired consultant neurologist David Goldsmith and Eric Orlowski, a behavioural scientists from University College London, said: ‘Lest this strategy seem like just the traditional risky Swedish exceptionalism, we in the UK would do well to remember we nearly trod the same path.

‘Right now, despite “strict (but tardy) lockdown” in the UK, and the more measured Swedish response, both countries have high seven-day averaged SARS-CoV-2 death rates when compared to other Scandinavian and European countries.

Covid jobs bloodbath in UK as employment sees biggest fall in a DECADE after lockdown 

The number of people on company payrolls in the UK has fallen by 730,000 since lockdown –  as employment saw the biggest drop in a decade.

Dire figures have started to show the huge impact of coronavirus on the labour market, with a wave of jobs being axed.

In the three months to June, the number in work decreased by 220,000 – the largest quarterly slump since 2009. Total hours worked slumped by a fifth over the quarter to the lowest level since 1994.

Meanwhile, the numbers on payroll tumbled another 114,000 in July, as the claimant count – which includes some people who are in work – increased again to reach 2.7million. 

Underlining the misery, store chain Debenhams has announced that it is cutting 2,500 roles. 

However, analysts warned the grim news is the tip of the iceberg, as the full effects of lockdown have so far been masked by the government’s massive support schemes. 

The latest figures today showed that 9.6million jobs have been furloughed, with the Treasury paying out £33.8billion in subisidies. 

Many people appear to have chosen to stay economically ‘inactive’ rather than hunt for work – meaning they remain outside the headline unemployment figures.

Figures released tomorrow are due to confirm that the UK has formally entered a recession – with a second consecutive quarter of GDP contracting. The Bank of England expects the fall to be as much as 21 per cent.

Boris Johnson said everyone knew the country was in for a ‘bumpy’ ride, but insisted the government was ready to make ‘colossal’ investments in the future.  

‘Only once we can fully understand both the pandemic and the impact of the measures that were taken – after 1-2 years at least – can we then begin fairly to judge what was done correctly.’

Much attention has been drawn to Sweden, for its controversial decision not to enforce a lockdown. 

At its peak, the country recorded only around 100 daily deaths, and as of July, this number had fallen into single figures, suggesting the virus is under control.

But UK scientists say this approach may not have proved so successful in the UK. 

Firstly, half of Swedish households are single-person, compared to just 15 per cent of the UK.

Keith Neal, emeritus professor of epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, said: ‘If you go to work and catch Covid-19, and you live with a partner, you’ve got someone to infect.

‘In 50 per cent of Swedish households that wasn’t a possibility – and household transmission is the key risk, we now know.

‘Sweden, per head of population, is a much wealthier country than the UK, and deprivation has been a leading driver for serious Covid illness here.’ 

Still, Sweden has not escaped unscathed. It has so far recorded more than 5,700 Covid-19 deaths – giving it one of the highest rates in Europe, taking into account the size of the population.

The Scandinavian nation has a death rate of 564 people per million population, which is still better than the UK’s 707 per million.

Its neighbours Norway and Finland, which did introduce lockdowns, have had more than 250 and 300 deaths respectively.

Professor Paul Hunter, an epidemiologist at the University of East Anglia, says it’s also a ‘myth’ that Sweden did not lockdown at all. 

Mass gatherings were banned, people were encouraged to work from home and older secondary students and university students were taught remotely.

Much of the school system did remain open – but mounting evidence suggests school closures had at best a minimal impact on reducing infection rates, including in Britain, as children are less likely to catch or spread the virus.

Separate modelling has suggested that the UK’s epidemic was already peaknig before Boris Johnson introduced unprecedented curbs on March 24.

It has led some scientists to believe that banning large gatherings and telling people to keep two metres apart would have been sufficient to keep the virus under control.

Professor Simon Wood, a mathematician at Bristol University, said  a growing body of data that indicates the average Covid-19 victim dies 23 days after being infected. 

The darkest days in the UK’s outbreak were on April 8 and 9, when more than 2,000 people passed away from the virus, official figures show. 

Professor Simon Wood believes most of these patients were infected between March 18 and 19 – 23 days earlier – and five days before the country locked down.

He claims that social distnacing measures alone would have squashed the UK’s epidemic. 

On March 16, the UK Government launched a public information campaign urging people to wash their hands and keep two metres (6’6′) away from others.

Many Britons were already working from home, shops, restaurants and gyms were closing and large public gatherings had been banned.   

He said it was difficult to be certain when infections peaked in Britain because widespread testing was abandoned in mid-March.  

Ashley Tisdale cuts a demure figure in a high-necked black patterned gown in LA 

Ashley Tisdale cuts a demure figure in a high-necked black patterned gown as she steps out for a solo outing in LA

She’s making the most of Los Angeles slowly getting back to normal life after the coronavirus quarantine. 

And Ashley Tisdale stepped out for a solo outing as she ran errands in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The High School Musical star, 35, cut a demure figure during the outing, covering up in a high-neck black patterned gown.

Out and about: Ashley Tisdale stepped out for a solo outing as she ran errands in Los Angeles on Tuesday

The star’s maxi dress featured a large collar and ruffled sleeves, with Ashley teaming it with brown leather mules.  

Staying in line with LA’s current mandate for people to wear masks when outside, Ashley had her white face covering on.

While she added extra protection with black sunglasses and a pair of black disposable gloves. 

Ashley was without husband  Christopher French, who she began dating back in 2012 and they married in 2014.

Demure: The High School Musical star, 35, cut a demure figure during the outing, covering up in a high-neck black patterned gown

Demure: The High School Musical star, 35, cut a demure figure during the outing, covering up in a high-neck black patterned gown

They currently reside in Los Angeles with their two dogs, Ziggy Stardust and Sushi Sue.

Last month, Ashley’s best friend Vanessa Hudgen’s took to social media to share a tribute to the star  on her 35th birthday.

She wrote: ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY OG BESTIE @ashleytisdale. ash and I started from the bottom now we here!!! Lol but for real tho.

‘We met on a commercial audition and our friendship took off. Next to high school musical, to touring the world, to shopping ALOT, to basketball games and a lot of rose.

Birthday girl: Last month, Ashley's best friend Vanessa Hudgen's took to social media to share a tribute to the star on her 35th birthday

Birthday girl: Last month, Ashley’s best friend Vanessa Hudgen’s took to social media to share a tribute to the star on her 35th birthday

Virtual duet: They previously teamed up for a virtual lip sync performance of We're All In This Together back in March from their movie High School Musical

Virtual duet: They previously teamed up for a virtual lip sync performance of We’re All In This Together back in March from their movie High School Musical

‘Now in our adulthood we busy helping each other decorate and renovate our houses. Lol so happy I have your fun loving spirit by my side in all walks of life. I love u ash. Always n forever happy birthday bby.’

The longtime gal pals are most known for their 2006 breakout Disney Channel movie High School Musical, as well as its sequels in 2007 and 2008.

The original cast of High School Musical reunited for the first time in over a decade for ABC’s The Disney Family Singalong in April.

Vanessa, Ashley, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman and Lucas Grabeel led the way, via remote, from their homes for a performance of We’re All In This Together from the Disney Channel Original Movie.

Together from a distance: Ashley's outing comes after the original cast of High School Musical reunited for the first time in over a decade for ABC's The Disney Family Singalong in April

Together from a distance: Ashley’s outing comes after the original cast of High School Musical reunited for the first time in over a decade for ABC’s The Disney Family Singalong in April

Germany suffers worst daily spike in coronavirus cases since May with 1,226 new infections  

Germany saw its worst daily spike in coronavirus cases for three months today as a ‘very concerning’ rebound in infections continues to gather pace. 

Health officials announced 1,226 new cases this morning, the highest figure since May 9 – bringing the total from 217,293 to 218,519. 

The seven-day average of new cases is now above 900, having been as low as 350 a month ago. 

Angela Merkel’s health minister said today there were outbreaks happening in almost all of Germany and warned that every new case was making track-and-trace procedures harder. 

He added that the rise was partly being driven by parties and family gatherings – warning that the virus can spread quickly ‘when there’s alcohol involved’.  

Germany today suffered its worst daily spike in coronavirus cases since May 9 as 1,226 new infections were added to the tally 

Germany's daily death toll has mostly remained in single figures despite the rising infections

Germany’s daily death toll has mostly remained in single figures despite the rising infections  

Having not seen 1,000 cases in a day from for nearly three months, Germany has now crossed that threshold four times in the last week. 

The last seven days have seen nearly 6,500 new infections, up from 5,096 the week before and fewer than 3,000 per week as recently as mid-July.

Germany’s R rate has been above the 1.0 threshold for most of the last month, although it fell to 0.97 in the latest update on Tuesday.

Health officials say the ongoing rise is ‘very concerning’ and have linked it to travellers returning from summer holidays elsewhere in Europe. 

Germany yesterday extended its travel warning for Spain to cover Madrid and the Basque country, having previously curtailed travel to Catalonia and nearby areas.  

While cases have been rising in Germany for several weeks, the daily death toll has mostly remained in single figures. 

Six new deaths in the last 24 hours brought the death toll from 9,201 to 9,207 today, still substantially lower than in Britain, Spain, France or Italy.  

Health minister Jens Spahn told German radio today that there were smaller and larger outbreaks happening in most of the country, in contrast to previous spikes which were confined to particular neighbourhoods or factories.

Only 46 districts have not recorded a case in the last week, down from 120 a month ago when cases were at their lowest.   

‘This obviously – if we don’t all watch out now – can lead to a certain dynamic’ and the reemergence of the pandemic,’ Spahn said.  

The health minister reiterated appeals to wear masks, keep distance and not go overboard in social settings.

He said: ‘When there’s alcohol involved, when a festive event turns into a party, it can go very, very quickly.’ 

The Robert Koch diseases institute (RKI) which gathers the figures says the rising numbers are ‘very concerning’. 

‘A further worsening of the situation must be avoided. This will only succeed if the entire population continues to be committed to decreasing transmission,’ it says.  

A traveller arriving in Germany gets his swab sample collected in a Covid-19 walk-in test center at Cologne Bonn Airport

A traveller arriving in Germany gets his swab sample collected in a Covid-19 walk-in test center at Cologne Bonn Airport 

The rising numbers in Germany come amid fears of a second wave across Europe, with France and Spain also seeing alarming increases in infections. 

France’s seven-day average is now at 1,691 new cases per day, the highest level since April and up from just over 500 in mid-July. 

Prime minister Jean Castex warned that the public was becoming careless and said that the ‘rebound in the epidemic’ could become ‘hard to control’. 

The increase has led to fears that France will be the next country to be struck off Britain’s list of approved countries for travel.  

Spain has already been cut off and cases have continued to mount since then, with the seven-day average now at 3,357 cases per day compared to 480 a month ago.  

Spahn, the German health minister, also voiced doubts about Vladimir Putin’s claims on Tuesday that Russia has developed the world’s first coronavirus vaccine. 

Spahn said he was ‘very sceptical’ about Putin’s announcement, saying the jab had not been ‘sufficiently tested’.

Russia has made the vaccine race a matter of national prestige and has named the product ‘Sputnik V’ after the former Soviet space satellites.  

‘It’s not about being first somehow – it’s about having an effective, tested and therefore safe vaccine,’ Spahn told Deutschlandfunk radio.

‘I would be pleased if we had an initial, good vaccine but based on everything we know – and that’s the fundamental problem, namely that the Russians aren’t telling us much – this has not been sufficiently tested.’ 

German health minister Jens Spahn (pictured) warned that outbreaks were happening across most of the country

German health minister Jens Spahn (pictured) warned that outbreaks were happening across most of the country  

Spahn added: ‘In order to have trust in such a vaccine, I think it is very, very important, even during a pandemic, to properly do studies, the relevant tests and especially to make them public. 

‘The problem is that we know very little about it as the Russian authorities are not being very transparent.’ 

Government officials have said it will be administered to medical personnel, and then to teachers, on a voluntary basis in the coming weeks. 

Mass roll-out in Russia is being lined up for October and officials claim that 20 countries have already ordered a billion doses of the vaccine. 

While experts have not dismissed the possibility that ‘Sputnik V’ is effective, scientists say there is ‘little detail’ on the vaccine and warn that it is ‘not possible to know’ whether it works without proper data. 

Prof Francois Balloux, a biologist at University College London, slammed Putin’s move as ‘reckless and foolish’ and said that ‘vaccination with an improperly tested vaccine is unethical’. 

‘Any problem with the Russian vaccination campaign would be disastrous both through its negative effects on health, but also because it would further set back the acceptance of vaccines in the population,’ he warned.  

Lockdown may have killed more UK children than coronavirus

Lockdown restrictions likely killed more children than coronavirus itself because ‘Stay at Home’ messaging deterred parents from taking them to hospital, leading experts warn

  • Brit paediatricians identified nine children who died of cancer or sepsis by May
  • That is higher than the total number of children who had died of Covid-19 at time
  • Health bosses admit parents too scared to come to hospital at height of crisis 

Lockdown restrictions are likely to have killed more children than the virus itself, experts warn.

British paediatricians have identified nine children who died of cancer or sepsis by the end of April after coming too late to hospital to receive effective treatment.

That is higher than the total number of children who had died of Covid-19 across the UK by that point.

Even health bosses admit parents were probably late to bring their children to hospital because they were heeding the Government’s ‘Stay at Home’ message.

These worrying statistics – highlighted in an opinion piece by leading health officials, paediatricians and governmental advisors in the British Medical Journal – are merely the tip of the iceberg.

Lockdown restrictions are likely to have killed more children than the virus itself, experts warn (file)

‘Children with critical illnesses were not accessing health services on time and, therefore, suffering potentially avoidable harm,’ they write.

Diabetes specialists also say they have seen delayed presentations among child patients.

Even child A&E admissions fell by half during lockdown as parents with badly injured children stayed away.

STAY AT HOME MESSAGING ‘LED TO SPIKE IN HEART ATTACKS’

Deaths from the most common type of heart attack soared by almost 40 per cent during the coronavirus lockdown, according to research. 

Analysis by University of Leeds experts found hospital admissions for heart attacks plummeted by 50 per cent in April and May in England.

The data also suggested that deaths rose from the most mild form of heart attack, which is usually treatable if patients are given quick medical attention.

Scientists behind the study say lots of very ill people appear to have been reluctant to seek help despite suffering life-threatening symptoms.  

This may have been an unintended consequence of the government’s ‘Stay at Home’ messaging, according to lead author of the study, statistician Dr Jianhua Wu.

Some patients will have been too scared to go to hospital in case they got the virus, while others wouldn’t have wanted to be a burden on the health service. 

Experts estimated around 2,000 fewer patients were treated for heart attacks during lockdown — despite them being classed as a medical emergency by the NHS. 

The UK locked down on March 23 to try to bring the exponentially growing epidemic under control.

Ministers were praised for their simple and effective slogan, ‘Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives’. 

But independent scientists reacting to the findings today said No 10 should learn to be ‘more nuanced’ in its communications in future.  

And the toll of lockdown is likely to rise for years to come, with many parents avoiding vital vaccination appointments for fear of exposing their children to the virus.

This raises ‘concerns of future outbreaks’ of measles, mumps and rubella in particular, the experts write.

School closures will also have impact on mental health and social skills for ‘many years after enforced isolation’, they write.

The six authors – who include SAGE members Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisations at Public Health England, and Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health – point out that the risk to children from coronavirus itself has been minimal.

‘Children and young people … account for only 1 to 3 per cent of Covid-19 cases, with only 5 per cent of those tested developing severe or critical disease, and very few deaths reported worldwide,’ they write.

Unlike flu – for which toddlers in particular are viewed as ‘superspreaders’ – coronavirus does not seem to even be passed on by children.

‘There is accumulating evidence from household transmission studies and outbreak investigations in educational settings that children do not contribute significantly to community transmission,’ they write.

School closures may not have even had an impact on infection rates, suggesting that fears of a second wave triggered by their reopening in September may be unfounded.

‘There is currently no evidence to support a major role for children in SARS-CoV-2 transmission within the household, community or educational settings, with studies reporting little to no impact of school closures predicted for transmission or death due to Covid-19.’

The writers concede that restrictions have reduced the exposure of children to the virus – and have also driven down rates of other gastrointestinal and respiratory infections.

But they add: ‘These benefits, however, are overshadowed by the negative consequences of the lockdown.’

They point to the findings of a survey of more than 4,000 paediatricians through the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit, carried out in late April.

The authors write: ‘In the BPSU survey, the reasons for the delayed presentations included parents strictly adhering to the “Stay at Home” messaging by the Government, as well as parental concerns about getting infected in hospital and not wanting to disturb doctors during the pandemic.’

UK OFFICIALLY in recession after plunging by shocking 20.4%

Rishi Sunak warns of looming jobs catastrophe as UK economy OFFICIALLY goes into recession after plunging a shocking 20.4% at height of coronavirus outbreak – wiping out 17 YEARS of GDP growth

  • The UK has officially entered recession after second quarter of contraction
  • GDP was down 20.4 per cent in the three month to June at height of Covid crisis
  • The economy did bounce back to an extent in June with 8.7 per cent growth 

Rishi Sunak warned of a looming jobs catastrophe today as it was revealed the British economy plunged by more than a fifth at the height of the coronavirus outbreak.

Figures showed UK plc shrank by a shocking 20.4 per cent in the three months to June, the biggest fall in modern history, with record reductions in construction, services and production. 

The news means the country is officially in recession, which is defined by two consecutive negative quarters. 

The economy dipped 2.2 per cent in the first three months of the year, and is now smaller than it has been since 2003. 

However, there was a glimmer of hope with the single month GDP figure for June bouncing back by 8.7 per cent as lockdown restrictions eased.

The Chancellor said the tumble showed that ‘hard times are here’ and warned many more jobs will be lost.

‘I’ve said before that hard times were ahead, and today’s figures confirm that hard times are here,’ he said. 

‘Hundreds of thousands of people have already lost their jobs, and sadly in the coming months many more will.

‘But while there are difficult choices to be made ahead, we will get through this, and I can assure people that nobody will be left without hope or opportunity.’ 

Boris Johnson has already warned that the country is in for a ‘bumpy’ ride, but insisted the government is ready to make ‘colossal’ investments in the future. 

Official figures showed UK plc shrank by 20.4 per cent in the three months to June

The Office for National Statistics said the UK had been harder hit in the first half of the year than many other economies

The Office for National Statistics said the UK had been harder hit in the first half of the year than many other economies

Office for National Statistics spokesman Jonathan Athow said: ‘The recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led to the biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record.

‘The economy began to bounce back in June with shops reopening, factories beginning to ramp up production and housebuilding continuing to recover. Despite this, GDP in June still remains a sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck.

‘Overall, productivity saw its largest fall in the second quarter since the three-day week. Hospitality was worst hit, with productivity in that industry falling by three quarters in recent months.’  

The plummet is roughly in line with the Bank of England’s predictions. 

The grim picture emerged after figures yesterday showed that the number of people on company payrolls had fallen by 730,000 since lockdown –  with employment seeing the biggest drop in a decade. 

In the three months to June, the number in work decreased by 220,000 – the largest quarterly slump since 2009. Total hours worked slumped by a fifth over the quarter to the lowest level since 1994.

Meanwhile, the numbers on payroll tumbled another 114,000 in July, as the claimant count – which includes some people who are in work – increased again to reach 2.7million. 

Underlining the misery, store chain Debenhams has announced that it is cutting 2,500 roles. 

However, analysts warned the grim news is the tip of the iceberg, as the full effects of lockdown have so far been masked by the government’s massive support schemes. 

Some 9.6million jobs have been furloughed, with the Treasury paying out £33.8billion in subsidies. 

Many people appear to have chosen to stay economically ‘inactive’ rather than hunt for work – meaning they remain outside the headline unemployment figures.

The Bank of England’s latest forecast says the economy will shrink by 9.5 per cent this year, making it the worst downturn in a century, and unemployment will rise by a million. 

GDP figures show UK has entered a technical recession - with two consecutive quarters of contraction. The Bank of England predicts that the downturn will be the worst in a hundred years (chart pictured)

GDP figures show UK has entered a technical recession – with two consecutive quarters of contraction. The Bank of England predicts that the downturn will be the worst in a hundred years (chart pictured)

UK OFFICIALLY in recession after plunging by shocking 20.4%

Rishi Sunak warns of looming jobs catastrophe as UK economy OFFICIALLY goes into recession after plunging a shocking 20.4% at height of coronavirus outbreak – wiping out 17 YEARS of GDP growth

  • The UK has officially entered recession after second quarter of contraction
  • GDP was down 20.4 per cent in the three month to June at height of Covid crisis
  • The economy did bounce back to an extent in June with 8.7 per cent growth 

Rishi Sunak warned of a looming jobs catastrophe today as it was revealed the British economy plunged by more than a fifth at the height of the coronavirus outbreak.

Figures showed UK plc shrank by a shocking 20.4 per cent in the three months to June, the biggest fall in modern history, with record reductions in construction, services and production. 

The news means the country is officially in recession, which is defined by two consecutive negative quarters. 

The economy dipped 2.2 per cent in the first three months of the year, and is now smaller than it has been since 2003. 

However, there was a glimmer of hope as the single month GDP figure for June bounced back by 8.7 per cent.

The Chancellor said the tumble showed that ‘hard times are here’ and warned many more jobs will be lost.

‘I’ve said before that hard times were ahead, and today’s figures confirm that hard times are here,’ he said. 

‘Hundreds of thousands of people have already lost their jobs, and sadly in the coming months many more will.

‘But while there are difficult choices to be made ahead, we will get through this, and I can assure people that nobody will be left without hope or opportunity.’ 

Boris Johnson has already warned that the country is in for a ‘bumpy’ ride, but insisted the government is ready to make ‘colossal’ investments in the future. 

Official figures showed UK plc shrank by 20.4 per cent in the three months to June

The Office for National Statistics said the UK had been harder hit in the first half of the year than many other economies

The Office for National Statistics said the UK had been harder hit in the first half of the year than many other economies

Office for National Statistics spokesman Jonathan Athow said: ‘The recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led to the biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record.

‘The economy began to bounce back in June with shops reopening, factories beginning to ramp up production and housebuilding continuing to recover. Despite this, GDP in June still remains a sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck.

‘Overall, productivity saw its largest fall in the second quarter since the three-day week. Hospitality was worst hit, with productivity in that industry falling by three quarters in recent months.’  

The plummet is roughly in line with the Bank of England’s predictions. 

The grim picture emerged after figures yesterday showed that the number of people on company payrolls had fallen by 730,000 since lockdown –  with employment seeing the biggest drop in a decade. 

In the three months to June, the number in work decreased by 220,000 – the largest quarterly slump since 2009. Total hours worked slumped by a fifth over the quarter to the lowest level since 1994.

Meanwhile, the numbers on payroll tumbled another 114,000 in July, as the claimant count – which includes some people who are in work – increased again to reach 2.7million. 

Underlining the misery, store chain Debenhams has announced that it is cutting 2,500 roles. 

However, analysts warned the grim news is the tip of the iceberg, as the full effects of lockdown have so far been masked by the government’s massive support schemes. 

Some 9.6million jobs have been furloughed, with the Treasury paying out £33.8billion in subsidies. 

Many people appear to have chosen to stay economically ‘inactive’ rather than hunt for work – meaning they remain outside the headline unemployment figures.

The Bank of England’s latest forecast says the economy will shrink by 9.5 per cent this year, making it the worst downturn in a century, and unemployment will rise by a million. 

GDP figures show UK has entered a technical recession - with two consecutive quarters of contraction. The Bank of England predicts that the downturn will be the worst in a hundred years (chart pictured)

GDP figures show UK has entered a technical recession – with two consecutive quarters of contraction. The Bank of England predicts that the downturn will be the worst in a hundred years (chart pictured)

Ed Sheeran and wife Cherry Seaborn ‘expecting their first child together in a matter of WEEKS’

Ed Sheeran and his wife of two years Cherry Seaborn are expecting their first child together. 

The chart-topping singer, 29, and Cherry, 27, who first met at school, are said to be weeks away from becoming parents, after keeping her pregnancy quiet during the global COVID-19 lockdown.

The couple are ‘over the moon’ at the prospect of becoming parents and are making the ‘last preparations’ at home before welcoming their baby into the world.

Baby news on the way? Ed Sheeran and his wife of two years Cherry Seaborn are reportedly expecting their first child together

A source told The Sun: ‘Ed and Cherry are over the moon. They’re very excited, but have kept things very low key. 

‘Lockdown was a perfect excuse not to be seen out and about too much, but things are getting closer and the excitement has been building so they have started telling friends and family.

‘They’re just making the last of the preparations at home, and the baby is expected later this summer. It’s a really happy time and their families are all totally delighted for them and cannot wait to meet the new arrival.’

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Ed Sheeran for comment.  

Low-key: The chart-topping singer, 29, and Cherry, 27, who first met at school, are said to have kept her pregnancy quiet during the global COVID-19 lockdown. Pictured in 2018

Low-key: The chart-topping singer, 29, and Cherry, 27, who first met at school, are said to have kept her pregnancy quiet during the global COVID-19 lockdown. Pictured in 2018

The news comes after Ed announced at the end of last year that he was taking an extended break from his career to focus on travelling and his personal life. 

The couple have been together for five years, with Ed confirming last summer that he and Cherry tied the knot in a private ceremony in January 2019. 

Singer Ed first revealed Cherry was his wife in an interview with Charlamagne The God to promote his album No.6 Collaborations Project.

After Charlamagne The God asked about lyrics on the album which refer to the singer’s ‘wife’, Ed admitted that he wrote the words before the couple tied the knot, but he ‘knew that we’d be married’ by the point that the song came out. 

The Grammy winner and Cherry wed in a ceremony that saw just 40 close friends and family in attendance, according to a report in The Sun. 

Popped the question: Ed announced his engagement to Cherry, 26, in January 2018 with a candid Instagram snap

Childhood friends: Ed and Cherry first met as children when they both attended Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham, Suffolk. Pictured in June 2019

 Childhood friends: Ed and Cherry first met as children when they both attended Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham, Suffolk. Pictured in June 2019

Said a source: ‘Neither of them were that fussed about making a big deal about it. Cherry just wanted to get it out of the way without any problems or intrusions.’

Ed announced his engagement to Cherry in January 2018 with a candid Instagram snap, gushing to fans: ‘Got myself a fiancée just before new year. We are very happy and in love, and our cats are chuffed as well xx’

The couple are thought to have started dating in 2015, with Ed’s best pal Taylor Swift sharing a photo of the pair kissing on her Instagram account.

Ed and Cherry first met as children when they both attended Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham, Suffolk. 

But Cherry moved to the US for university, meaning the friends lost touch. After working on Wall Street, she moved back to the UK in 2016 to be with Ed.  

Transatlantic: Cherry moved to the US for university, meaning the friends lost touch. After working on Wall Street, she moved back to the UK in 2016 to be with Ed

Transatlantic: Cherry moved to the US for university, meaning the friends lost touch. After working on Wall Street, she moved back to the UK in 2016 to be with Ed

During his candid 2019 interview with Charlamagne The God, Ed spoke about the sacrifices he would be willing to make for Cherry and their future family.

Ed explained that Cherry’s job as a risk assessor at an accounting firm meant they’ve previously been separated for long period when he’s been on tour, explaining that ‘something has to give’ in order for the couple to last long term. 

‘I’m starting a life with Cherry,’ he said, adding: ‘I can’t spend the next 20 years on the road. Kids would be the different thing. I wouldn’t mind sacrificing for them.

‘If someone told me you can’t tour again for the next ten years if you have kids that is fine, because that is what I have signed up for.’ 

Wedded bliss: As they danced words appeared on the bottom of the screen giving a brief description of their love, at the same time confirming the month in which they tied the knot

Wedded bliss: As they danced words appeared on the bottom of the screen giving a brief description of their love, at the same time confirming the month in which they tied the knot

‘I’ve already achieved more than I thought I would, so now I’m just trying to have fun.’ 

He added of his wife that he feels lucky every day that ‘she has chosen me’, gushing:  ‘I constantly wake up every day and look at Cherry and think, “why the f*** are you with me?” She could be with anyone she wants to but she has chosen me.

‘And I am saying all of the things that are wrong with me and you still want to be with me. She doesn’t add fuel to the flames.

‘If she said, “Yeah, why am I with you?” then you would get anxiety. But I think it’s sweet to think the person you’re with is out of your league. Imagine if you thought, you’re with me because I’m f***ing amazing. That would be the worst thing, just to take it for granted.’ 

Ed, who has enjoyed periods of time away from the spotlight in the past, is said to have embraced the quiet life during lockdown with Cherry at their sprawling Suffolk estate, taking up gardening and growing his own fruit and vegetables. 

Committed: ‘I’m starting a life with Cherry,’ he said in a 2019 interview. 'I can’t spend the next 20 years on the road. Kids would be the different thing. I wouldn’t mind sacrificing for them'

Committed: ‘I’m starting a life with Cherry,’ he said in a 2019 interview. ‘I can’t spend the next 20 years on the road. Kids would be the different thing. I wouldn’t mind sacrificing for them’

It was reported recently that the fiercely private star intends to buy out the owners of three houses that sit on the edge of his £3.7million Suffolk estate because their gardens encroach on his land. 

The singer who owns a total of 27 properties both within and outside London worth £57million, has slowly been accumulating the land around his home in Suffolk, turning it into what has become known as ‘Sheeranville’. 

Worth around £200million, Ed owns five of the properties on the land, but the homeowners [of the remaining three houses] know that Ed will give them the best price if and when they decide to move on. 

Ed has been building and adding onto his estate for the last five years, and now has a pub, swimming pool and hot tub, orchard, walled kitchen garden, greenhouses, an underground cinema, a gym, a recording studio, a wildlife pond and an area for goats, sheep and chickens. 

Break: Ed announced at the end of last year that he was taking an extended break from his career to focus on travelling and his personal life

Break: Ed announced at the end of last year that he was taking an extended break from his career to focus on travelling and his personal life

Questions Channel 10 REFUSES to answer about The Project host Lisa Wilkinson’s ‘$2.3million’ salary

Channel 10 is already facing widespread criticism for refusing to axe The Project while brutally sacking at least 25 other jobs on Tuesday afternoon in response to the COVID-19 recession.

And the network has continued to cop significant backlash after its decision to keep on board the show’s Sunday edition host, Lisa Wilkinson, who is rumoured to be earning between $1million and $2.3million per year. 

When contacted by Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday, Channel 10 refused to confirm whether the 60-year-old has taken, or offered to take, a pay cut to alleviate the financial pressures the company is under.

Criticism: Channel 10 copped backlash after keeping on board the The Project’s Sunday edition host Lisa Wilkinson [pictured] despite sacking 25 other jobs on Tuesday in response to the COVID-19 recession

After letting go of 25 prominent staffers, Channel 10 was called out for staying loyal to former Today anchor Wilkinson, who has been described as the ‘most overpaid person in Australia’ by frustrated viewers on social media.

‘Channel 10 shredding their news division so they can continue to pay Lisa Wilkinson millions to do sweet f**k all on a program no one watches. Makes sense,’ one critic tweeted.

‘They spent too much on Lisa Wilkinson’, another wrote, while a third chimed in: ‘The most overpaid person in Australia. She played sexist card and won.’

Despite the criticism, Channel 10 has steadfastly refused to confirm exactly how much money Wilkinson is earning at the network.

Furthermore, they refused to say when her contract expires, or if she’s willing to sacrifice her salary to protect the livelihoods of her colleagues.

Controversial: After Channel 10 let go of 25 staffers following the decline of advertising revenue due to the pandemic, they have still kept on Lisa - whose salary is estimated to be between an eye-watering $1million and $2.3million per year

Controversial: After Channel 10 let go of 25 staffers following the decline of advertising revenue due to the pandemic, they have still kept on Lisa – whose salary is estimated to be between an eye-watering $1million and $2.3million per year

Staying mum: When approached by Daily Mail Australia, Channel 10 refused to answer whether the 60-year-old has taken, or offered to take, a pay cut in light of the drastic measures taken by executives

Staying mum: When approached by Daily Mail Australia, Channel 10 refused to answer whether the 60-year-old has taken, or offered to take, a pay cut in light of the drastic measures taken by executives

The rage from viewers intensified overnight, with one former fan suggesting that the Wilkinson should resign in solidarity with those who lost their jobs.

‘Big job cuts at @10NewsFirst Our thoughts go out to Lisa Wilkinson, the highest-paid dud at the network, who was recruited with huge fanfare and self-promotion but now must be the first to go. 10 went woke, now going broke,’ they wrote. 

Others took direct aim at the former magazine journalist.

‘Yeah @Lisa_Wilkinson – it’s your huge salary that has caused this – shame shame shame!’ one viewer tweeted.

Another added: ‘It’s a weird thing you get to keep your job at 10 while a vast swathe of more capable and much, much lower-paid staff get the axe.’

Wilkinson moved to The Project in 2018, supposedly in protest because Nine wouldn’t raise her salary to match that of her Today show co-host Karl Stefanovic.

'She's not worth the salary': After letting go of 25 prominent staffers, Channel 10 was called out for staying local to former Today anchor Lisa - who was dubbed the 'most overpaid person in Australia' by frustrated social media commentators

‘She’s not worth the salary’: After letting go of 25 prominent staffers, Channel 10 was called out for staying local to former Today anchor Lisa – who was dubbed the ‘most overpaid person in Australia’ by frustrated social media commentators

She was believed to have quit Today because Stefanovic, her male counterpart, was reportedly earning $2million a year with bonuses, while she was on $1.1million.

When her contract was up for negotiation, Nine was only willing to increase her annual salary to $1.8million, but this wasn’t enough for her and she quit.

Meanwhile, Wilkinson isn’t the only Project host to be breathing a sigh of relief this week, as Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar have also kept their jobs.

Not answering: Channel 10 also refused to confirm Lisa's colossal earnings when asked by Daily Mail Australia. Furthermore, they refused to answer when Lisa's contract on The Project will come to an end

Not answering: Channel 10 also refused to confirm Lisa’s colossal earnings when asked by Daily Mail Australia. Furthermore, they refused to answer when Lisa’s contract on The Project will come to an end

'10 went woker, now going broker': The rage from viewers continued, with one suggesting that the TV broadcaster should resign in solidarity to those who lost their job

’10 went woker, now going broker’: The rage from viewers continued, with one suggesting that the TV broadcaster should resign in solidarity to those who lost their job

On Tuesday, the left-leaning current affairs show managed to avoid the swinging axe as the network announced a ‘restructuring’ of its news division, with the likes of Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Natarsha Belling and Tim Bailey being made redundant.

The ‘restructure’ was in response to the sharp decline in advertising revenue caused by the coronavirus recession.

Daily Mail Australia understands The Project avoided cancellation because Channel 10 boss Beverley McGarvey considers it an essential part of the daily schedule. 

A well-placed source said earlier this year: ‘For some reason, the higher-ups at Channel 10 love The Project, even though the viewers don’t. It doesn’t rate, it’s expensive to produce and a lot of the publicity it generates is negative.’

Gender pay dispute: Wilkinson moved to The Project in 2018, supposedly in protest because Nine wouldn't raise her salary to match that of her Today show co-host Karl Stefanovic

Decision: Despite Nine offering to increase her already-generous salary, the amount was not enough for Wilkinson to stay with the network, and she defected to Channel 10. Pictured: Karl Stefanovic

Gender pay dispute: Wilkinson moved to The Project in 2018, supposedly in protest because Nine wouldn’t raise her salary to match that of her Today show co-host Karl Stefanovic (right)

The insider added that despite many staffers believing the show ‘peaked years ago’, management sees it as one of the network’s ‘sacred cows’ and ‘will do anything to protect it’.

They explained: ‘Although it fails to attract a big audience, it does do well in certain demographics. There’s also the argument that it is popular on Facebook and drives social engagement, but that doesn’t translate to advertising dollars.

‘Still, it will never be cancelled because senior management won’t hear a bad word said against it.’

Despite recent calls for The Project to be cancelled, the show has won several Logie Awards over the years for Most Popular Panel and Most Popular Presenter, which are voted for by the public.

Staying put: Channel 10 is already facing criticism for refusing to axe The Project while brutally sacking at least 25 other jobs on Tuesday afternoon in response to the COVID-19 recession

Staying put: Channel 10 is already facing criticism for refusing to axe The Project while brutally sacking at least 25 other jobs on Tuesday afternoon in response to the COVID-19 recession