May 28, 2020 / 5:47 AM / Updated 7 hours ago

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

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

Pedestrians in face masks cross a street, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Seoul, South Korea, May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Test and trace

England launches its COVID-19 test and trace programme on Thursday with a task force of 40,000 specialists to test those with symptoms and identify their contacts, who will be instructed to isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms.

“That captivity for a tiny minority for a short time will allow us gradually to release 66 million people from the current situation,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Britain has the second highest death toll from the virus globally, with the confirmed tally rising by 412 to 37,460 on Wednesday.

Second wave spectre

South Korea reported its third consecutive day of rising coronavirus cases and the most new cases on Thursday since April 5. At least 69 cases this week were linked to a cluster of infections at a logistics facility operated by Coupang Corp, one of the country’s largest online shopping firms, in Bucheon, west of Seoul.

The spreading outbreak and warehouse closures come as Coupang and other e-commerce firms scramble to keep up with a surge in orders as more people opted to shop from home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Resurgence in state-backed hacking

Security experts at Alphabet Inc’s Google have seen new activity from “hack-for-hire” firms, many based in India, that have been creating Gmail accounts spoofing the World Health Organization (WHO), in an uptick in hacking and phishing attempts related to the coronavirus outbreak.

These accounts largely targeted business leaders in financial services, consulting and healthcare corporations in numerous countries, the company said in a blog post.

“Since March, we’ve removed more than a thousand YouTube channels that we believe to be part of a large campaign and that were behaving in a coordinated manner,” Google said.

Books not beer

The world’s largest book fair will take place in Frankfurt as scheduled in mid-October, a sign of some return to normality.

Organisers said they were able to persuade city authorities the fair could go ahead after outlining comprehensive sanitary measures. The event, which dates back to the 15th century when Johannes Gutenberg introduced the mass printing of books in nearby Mainz, usually draws more than 300,000 visitors.

While the book fair is going ahead, Germany’s Oktoberfest, the world’s largest folk festival due to take place in Munich from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4, has been cancelled.

Compiled by Karishma Singh; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

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