Top four things you need to know – Friday August 20th

The Chief Medical Officer says a rapid rise in incidence of the disease, means Covid-19 is circulating widely.

12 thousand infections have been detected in the last week.

It comes as 1,818 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, with 237 patients in hospital last night, including 52 in ICU.

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The Irish Federation of University Teachers wants health and safety steps strengthened when college returns in September.

It’s concerned there’s no requirement for social distancing in classrooms and lecture halls.

It says clarity’s needed on how social distancing will be run, to avoid different policies in different colleges.

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Taliban militants are carrying out door-to-door searches for people who worked for NATO forces or the previous Afghanistan government, despite promising there would be “no revenge”.

The group has faced growing dissent in the country’s capital Kabul as the number of protests growing.

Yesterday, in the eastern city of Asadabad several people were killed when fighters fired into crowds, while thousands are still trying to flee the country.

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Plans for a Christmas panto at the Everyman Theatre are continuing despite the tough restrictions still being imposed on the arts sector

That’s according to the artistic director at the Everyman Sophie Motley who has warned that the sector will die unless a roadmap for reopening is urgently agreed

The Everyman is a 650 seater theatre and is 94% dependent on box offices sales

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