August 4, 2020 / 6:44 AM / Updated 25 minutes ago

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

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

A man wearing a protective face mask walks past an illustration of a virus outside a regional science centre, as the city and surrounding areas face local restrictions in an effort to avoid a local lockdown being forced upon the region, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Oldham, Britain August 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Military helps enforce Australian state’s 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 ($14,250.00). 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.

Trump vows to sue Nevada over voting by mail

President Donald Trump vowed on Monday he would sue Nevada after the state’s Democratic lawmakers passed a bill to send mail-in ballots to every voter ahead of November’s presidential election in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump, who has repeatedly claimed without evidence that voting by mail will lead to rampant fraud, has raised a series of questions about the integrity of the election. Election experts say voter fraud of any kind, including incidents related to mail-in ballots, is extremely rare.

Nevada is the seventh state to send ballots to all registered voters for the Nov. 3 election between Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

No silver bullet

The World Health Organization warned on Monday that there might never be a “silver bullet” for COVID-19 in the form of a perfect vaccine and that the road to normality would be long, with some countries requiring a reset of strategy.

“There are concerns that we may not have a vaccine that may work, or its protection could be for just a few months, not more. But until we finish the clinical trials, we will not know,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Teaching by loudspeakers

One overcast morning in a farming village in hilly western India, a group of schoolchildren sat in designated, 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. “It gives me happiness that my son can now sing songs and narrate stories,” said Sangeeta Yele, a mother.

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 that getting students safely back to the classroom must be “a top priority.”

Compiled by Karishma Singh; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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