More than quarter of a million cancer sufferers have been struggling with panic and anxiety attacks during lockdown and are now facing new fears about the loosening of restrictions, research has revealed.

The study, by Macmillan Cancer Support, found fear levels among UK cancer sufferers have been so high that 270,0000 people have experienced panic or anxiety attacks or even suicidal thoughts because of coronavirus.

Since the start of the pandemic, over half a million people with cancer have barely left their homes and around a fifth of them say they will stay indoors until a vaccine or effective treatment is widely available, regardless of recent changes to government shielding guidance, the charity found following a survey this month.





UK needs ‘biggest-ever peacetime job creation plan’ to stop mass unemployment

The biggest job creation package in peacetime is needed to prevent the worst unemployment crisis in Britain for a generation, a leading thinktank has warned.

Sounding the alarm as job losses mount, the Resolution Foundation called on the government to continue subsidising the wages of workers in the sectors of the economy hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis until at least the end of next year.

It said the coronavirus job retention scheme – which is supporting the wages of more than 9 million workers at a cost to the taxpayer of more than £22bn so far – should be turned into a job protection scheme that would be kept in place throughout 2021.

Under current plans, the scheme will close to new entrants on Wednesday. Firms will be asked to contribute to furloughed workers’ wages from August, regardless of whether they operate in sectors of the economy that remain closed under government rules, before it closes entirely at the end of October.

The intervention came as Labour, union bosses and business leaders pressure the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to use his planned summer statement next month to extend support to prevent a looming jobs crisis from taking hold.





California governor orders bars to close in seven counties





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Half a million confined in Beijing





US health secretary: ‘Window is closing’ to stop coronavirus in country

US health secretary Alex Azar has warned that “the window is closing” on the country’s chance to take action to effectively curb the coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases surpassed 2.5m.

The Health and Human Services secretary pointed to a recent surge in infections, particularly in the south and said people have “to act responsibly” by social distancing and wearing face masks especially “in these hot zones”.

For a third consecutive day on Saturday, the number of confirmed US cases rose by more than 40,000. In Arizona, cases have risen by 267% so far in June and jumped by a record 3,857 cases on Sunday, the eighth record-breaking increase this month. Overall, US deaths from Covid-19 have passed 125,000 with more than 2.5m confirmed cases, according to compiled by Johns Hopkins University, far more than any other country in the world.

The fresh surge in Covid-19 cases has been most pronounced in a handful of southern and western states that reopened earlier and more aggressively, with the support of the Trump administration, despite warnings by health officials to wait to see a steady decline in cases. Texas and Florida were among the states that reversed course on parts of their reopening plans last week as cases continue to increase.

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