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Coronavirus map LIVE: Hancock brutally wields axe as he SCRAPS PHE for coronavirus failure

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is set to announce this week that the pandemic response work of PHE will be merged with NHS Test and Trace. The move comes after repeated criticism over PHE’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

The new body is understod to be called the Institute for Health Protection.

It will become “effective” next month, although it will take until next spring to complete.

A senior minister said: “We want to bring together the science and the scale in one new body so we can do all we can to stop a second coronavirus spike this autumn.

“The National Institute for Health Protection’s goal will be simple: to ensure that Britain is one of the best equipped countries in the world to fight the pandemic.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is set to announce PHE will be axed (Image: GETTY)

The Conservative peer and former TalkTalk telcoms boss Baroness Harding, who currently heads Test and Trace, is expected to lead the organisation, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

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A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Public Health England have played an integral role in our national response to this unprecedented global pandemic.

“We have always been clear that we must learn the right lessons from this crisis to ensure that we are in the strongest possible position, both as we continue to deal with Covid-19 and to respond to any future public health threat.”

FOLLOW BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES:

9.15am update: Indonesia records 2,081 new infections

A further 2,081 coronavirus cases have been reported in Indonesia, bringing the total number of infections to 139,549.

Indonesia confirmed 79 new coronavirus deaths.

8.30am update: Russia confirms 4,969 new coronavirus cases

Russia has reported 4,969 further coronavirus cases taking the total tally to 922,853.

The country’s death toll has increased by 68 to 15,685.

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UK coronavirus map as of August 15 (Image: EXPRESS)

8am update: New Zealand reports 13 new coronavirus cases

New Zealand has recorded 13 further coronavirus cases, taking the total in the new outbreak to 69.

The country declared victory over the virus earlier this year and went 102 days without new infections.

But New Zealand is battling a fresh outbreak after cases were confirmed in Auckland last week.

7.15am update: New campaign tells parents it is safe to send children back to school

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The Government is launching a new campaign to persuade parents in England that is is safe for their children to return to the classroom in September.

The #backtoschoolsafely campaign will highlight the measures being put in place to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission.

The campaign – involving newspaper, digital, radio and billboard adverts – will emphasise the importance of school to children’s development.

It comes as most pupils have been away from the classroom since March.

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