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Coronavirus developments at a glance: 26 Sept to 2 October

This week’s coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic from Research Professional News

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A major staff union has urged prime minister Boris Johnson to instruct all universities to move teaching online after thousands of students have been locked down in their halls of residence due to outbreaks of coronavirus on campus.

Students should still be offered face-to-face teaching despite a growing number of Covid-19 outbreaks on university campuses, education secretary Gavin Williamson has said. Despite an increasing number of students being stuck in isolation in their student halls, education secretary Gavin Williamson told MPs on 29 September that it was “essential that we allow our students to have face-to-face teaching wherever possible as part of a blended learning approach”.

The presidents of Germany’s four major non-university research organisations have called for consistent wearing of masks indoors and further hygiene precautions in order to keep students and researchers safe in winter.

The prospect of hundreds of millions of dollars in university research funding being brought forward in the federal budget has been cautiously welcomed by universities and research organisations.

Australian universities are scrambling to find ways to get international students back into the country under strict quarantine rules and with limited flights.

The African Union will launch a new travel information hub on 5 October to assist intra-African travellers to access and comply with Covid-19 travel restrictions.

A multi-funder call for African Covid-19 research proposals has selected 80 successful projects, South Africa’s National Research Foundation announced on 28 September.

Countries at the United Nations General Assembly have pledged a further $1.2 billion for global efforts towards providing equal access to Covid-19 vaccines.