What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Oldham

(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Europe braces for second wave

Germany is already contending with a second wave of the coronavirus and risks squandering its early success by flouting social distancing rules, the head of the German doctors’ union said.

The number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases has ticked up steadily in recent weeks, with health experts warning lax adherence to hygiene and distancing rules among some of the public is spreading the virus across communities.

A study shows Britain faces a second wave of COVID-19 this winter twice as widespread as the initial outbreak if it reopens schools without a more effective test-and-trace system in place.

France’s top scientific body said a second wave of the coronavirus was “highly likely” this autumn or winter as the country grapples with a marked increase in new cases over the past two weeks.

Poland reported another record daily increase in cases, with 680 new infections and six deaths, after a spike driven by outbreaks amongst miners and after public gatherings.

Military helps enforce Australian isolation rules

A group of 500 military personnel will be deployed to enforce COVID-19 isolation orders in Australia’s Victoria state, with anyone caught in breach of those rules facing hefty fines as high as A$20,000 ($14,250). The only exemption will be for urgent medical care.

Nearly a third of those who contracted COVID-19 were not home isolating when checked on by officials, requiring tough new penalties, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said on Tuesday.

Australia has closed the national park that is home to its revered indigenous site of Uluru after some in the community blocked an access route for fear that visitors could carry in coronavirus infections.

“Some progress” in U.S. aid talks

Top White House officials and Democratic leaders in the U.S. Congress will try again on Tuesday to narrow gaping differences over a fifth major coronavirus-aid bill to help stimulate the economy and possibly dispatch new aid to the unemployed.

“We’re making some progress on certain issues,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters after Monday’s talks. “There are a lot of issues that are still outstanding.”

Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans on Monday urged Congress and the White House to agree to more federal spending to help the economy, which has seen tens of millions lose their jobs.

Classes without a teacher

One overcast morning in a farming village in western India, a group of schoolchildren sat in socially distanced spots on the mud floor of a wooden shed for their first class in months. There was no teacher, just a voice from a loudspeaker.

The recorded lessons form part of an initiative by an Indian non-profit organisation that aims to reach 1,000 village students denied formal classes since the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to close four months ago.

It reaches children who are usually the first in their families to go to school, with content covering part of the school curriculum, as well as social skills and English language lessons.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Tuesday that the world faces a “generational catastrophe” because of school closures amid the coronavirus pandemic and said getting students safely back to the classroom must be “a top priority”.

(Compiled by Linda Noakes and Karishma Singh; Editing by Giles Elgood)