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Coronavirus roundup

■ DINERS will see restaurant bills cut by half with today’s launch of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. People visiting a participating establishment will receive the 50 per cent discounts on food up to a maximum of £10 per person. The government offer to boost the UK’s hospitality sector runs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August in more than 72,000 restaurants, cafés and pubs.

■ RECOVERED Covid-19 patients are being urged to donate blood plasma to help the NHS cope during any second wave. While 13,000 donations have been made so far, the NHS Blood and Transplant convalescent plasma collection has almost halved in the past month. Its chief medical officer Dr Gail Miflin said: ‘Fewer people are getting Covid-19. This does mean we need to work harder to recruit new donors.’ To donate call or 0300 123 23 23 or visitwww.nhsbt.nhs.uk

■ A £160MILLION fund for ‘Covid-friendly’ cancer drugs has been announced to reduce the risk to thousands of patients being treated during the pandemic. NHS England boss Sir Simon Stevens said it was ‘adopting kinder treatment options which are not only effective but safer for use during the Covid-19 pandemic’. These include drugs for prostate and bone marrow cancer that can be taken at home. Cancer Research UK called it ‘encouraging news’.

■ NINETEEN people have tested positive for Covid-19 after an outbreak linked to a Staffordshire pub, health bosses said. About 1,000 people came forward to be tested at a mobile unit outside the Crown and Anchor in Stone. It came after drinkers packed the pub’s garden between July 16-18.