| |

"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 16th Jun 2020

News Highlights

India's Chennai to reimpose lockdown as cases continue to surge

Chennai city and adjoining districts, with a population of close to 15 million people, will go into full lockdown again from June 19 through to the end of the month, as authorities struggle to contain the coronavirus pandemic. India had been gradually relaxing restrictions imposed for two months, but new infections have risen steadily across the country.

Anxiety levels reduce in UK as restrictions ease but still higher than normal

People around the world have been grappling with anxiety and stress due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, as well as with lost jobs and a sense of isolation. In the UK, new figures show that with the ease of restrictions, anxiety levels have reduced compared to the start of the lockdown, but they are still much higher than a year earlier.

Summer tourists welcome back in Greece as restrictions ease

Greece depends heavily on tourism as a source of revenue and the lockdown imposed in March helped contain coronavirus infections to just 3,000 but brought the economy to a halt. Foreign tourists are now welcome back into Greece, with coronavirus tests and possible quarantine for passengers coming from airports deemed 'high risk' and randomised tests for arrivals from other airports.

Beijing drugmaker reports progress in early vaccine study

Drug companies around the world are hastening trials for a Covid-19 vaccine with varying results. One of these is Sinovac, a Beijing-based drugmaker that said a vaccine it is developing produced antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in more than 90% of study participants with no serious side effects. However, the company did not offer much supporting date for its claim, saying results will soon be published in a medical journal.

Lockdown Exit
Long queues, social distancing wardens and discounts: What to expect as UK high streets reopen after lockdown
Retailers have introduced Perspex screens, quarantine periods for items, and lots of hand sanitiser to help persuade shoppers it’s safe to visit
Social bubble: 'Pure joy' for families reuniting after lockdown
This is the moment a brother is reunited with his sister after living apart for weeks. The Ashby family, like thousands across the country, have been separated during lockdown but reunited over the weekend. David Sheriff, who has Down's Syndrome and autism, and sister Elizabeth Ashby were reunited over a Sunday lunch in Stourbridge, West Midlands. Mum Helen Ashby said the day had brought "pure joy" for the whole family. Ms Ashby said David, 31, had found lockdown and being separated from his sister "very difficult".
Shoppers rush to the High Street as England stores reopen
Demand across England's High Streets, retail parks and shopping centres surged on Monday as some shops reopened after a three-month lockdown. Research firm Springboard said that by 17:00, footfall was 38.8% higher than last week, as pent-up demand led to reports of long queues. However, shopper numbers were generally far below the same time last year. But at Bicester Village, near Oxford, crowding was so great that 3,000 people signed a petition to close it.
Lockdown anxiety levels in the UK fall as restrictions ease but remain higher than usual
As restrictions continue to ease across the UK, fewer Britons are suffering increased anxiety levels compared to the start of lockdown, new figures show. But average anxiety scores are still higher than last year, with an estimated 19 million adults in Britain suffering high levels of anxiety. At the beginning of lockdown, there was a “marked” increase of anxiety, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Between March 20-30, almost half (49.6%) of people reported high anxiety. This reduced to 37% between April 30 and May 10. Older people were twice as likely as younger adults to report high levels of anxiety while one in five said they had found working from home had affected their mental health.
German tourists arrive in Spain's Mallorca after lockdown
A select group of German tourists arrived in Spain's island Mallorca on Monday (June 15) as part of a pilot project which will bring 10,000 holidaymakers to the Balearic Islands to find out how mass tourism can work in a time of coronavirus.
Shops reopen for first time in three months as huge swathe of lockdown restrictions ease
People will be allowed to hit the shops for the first time in three months as England’s non-essential retail sector emerges from lockdown. Among a swathe of lockdown restrictions being eased today, department stores and high street shops are opening with spacious floor plans, limited numbers of customers and plenty of hand sanitiser stations. Businesses have had to ensure they are ‘Covid-secure’ according to Government guidelines, and many have been keen to stress the extra precautions they are taking, from deep cleaning stores to putting items that have been tried on or returned in quarantine. While masks are mandatory on public transport from today, they are not compulsory in shops and most retailers are emphasising a sensible approach, using floor markings and signs to remind people to keep two metres apart and regularly wash or sanitise their hands.
End of lockdown could trigger ‘extreme’ congestion and worse air quality as commuters swap public transport for cars
Studies warn of surge in road users amid fear of coronavirus spreading on buses and trains. As lockdown measures have eased, authorities in cities around the world have warned against people crowding onto public transport where they could inadvertently cause another wave of coronavirus infections. The result is that commuters who may usually have opted for public transport may use personal cars more, experts have suggested.
Paris restaurants reopen fully, still wary about post-lockdown
Parisian restaurants cautiously reopened their indoor dining halls on Monday as the government relaxed one of the last major coronavirus constraints, but with virtually no tourists and many French people still working from home, the mood was cautious. President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that restaurants and cafes in Paris could reopen fully from Monday, the same day France lifted border restrictions for European Union travellers, bringing much needed relief for the hospitality industry.
Germans off to sunny Spain as Europe loosens border lockdown
European nations eased border controls on Monday as coronavirus cases declined after three months of lockdown, with German tourists heading for Mallorca and French bargain-hunters streaming into Belgium to buy cheap cigarettes. Greece allowed more international flights as it sought to salvage the summer season, German tourists flocking to neighbouring Denmark caused an 8 km (5 mile) queue and Italians popped into France to buy lottery scratch cards. Spain is initially allowing in about 1,500 visitors from Germany as part of a pilot project to begin opening up the Spanish tourism market in the coming weeks. Hundreds of German tourists, the first to visit Spain since borders were closed in March, arrived in Mallorca on Monday on a flight from Düsseldorf.
Public space a 'lifeline' for post-lockdown cities
Public and outdoor space has been at a premium during the coronavirus pandemic: bike sales have leapt, park use is way up, and even pavement chalk drawing appears to be having a moment. Now as many cities start to reopen, some are looking at their sidewalks, squares, parking lots and even streets as a hidden asset in boosting their economies. “The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our relationship with our streets, open public spaces and public facilities,” said Laura Petrella, chief of planning, finance and economy at UN-Habitat. “Public space has emerged as a critical lifeline for cities and their residents,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The city of Braga in northern Portugal has opened public squares, sidewalks, parks and more throughout the city to restaurants and local businesses seeking to reopen to customers while maintaining social distancing.
From crowded tubes to pedal power, London's COVID transport challenge
The crowded daily commute in London has long been a source of misery for millions. But getting to work will be even more of a challenge following Britain’s coronavirus lockdown. Capacity on the transport network in one of the world’s biggest financial hubs has been reduced by 85% to comply with social-distancing rules, protecting commuters by preventing them cramming into trains, the London Underground and buses. Everyone using public transport must also now wear a face covering. As the lockdown restrictions are gradually eased, many now face the quandary of how to reach the City of London, Canary Wharf and other business areas both quickly and safely.
Primark pulls the crowds as stores reopen in England after lockdown
Long queues of shoppers snaked around stores in England on Monday, with discount fashion retailer Primark proving a particular draw as shops reopened their doors after 83 days of lockdown. Queues formed from early morning outside several branches of Primark, which does not sell online so has not made a penny in the UK for months. The chain reopened some of its stores early, including its biggest in Birmingham, to avoid overcrowding as hundreds of people lined up outside. At its Leeds store, the estimated afternoon wait time to get in was up to an hour. There was also a big queue outside the Nike Town store on London’s Oxford Street, the capital’s busiest shopping street, with many shoppers ignoring social distancing rules.
Shoppers rush to the High Street as England stores reopen
Demand across England's High Streets, retail parks and shopping centres surged on Monday as some shops reopened after a three-month lockdown. Research firm Springboard said that by 17:00, footfall was 38.8% higher than last week, as pent-up demand led to reports of long queues. However, shopper numbers were generally far below the same time last year. But at Bicester Village, near Oxford, crowding was so great that 3,000 people signed a petition to close it.
Exit Strategies
Coronavirus: Contact-tracing apps face further hitches
Norway's health authority has had to delete all data gathered via its Covid-19 contact-tracing app and suspend further use of the tool. The Norwegian Data Protection Authority ruled the Smittestopp app represented a disproportionate intrusion into users' privacy. A switch to a rival design backed by Apple and Google is being considered. Elsewhere, researchers say a bug in the latest version of Australia's app means many iPhones fail to log matches. In mid-April, Norway became one of the first places to introduce a contact-tracing app, when the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and software company Simula rolled out their tool to three of the country's municipalities.
Should UK employers offer employee mental wellness support post-lockdown?
A survey of 2,000 UK consumers by digital health company BioBeats finds that nearly a quarter (21%) of UK employees say that their mental health will be negatively impacted by extending remote working measures post-lockdown. Only 5% of respondents state that their mental health will improve as a result of extended remote working but alarmingly only 3% say they would ask for help in coping with this new way of working, which presents a striking gap between employees’ needs and their ability to seek support from their employer. “As companies such as Twitter announce that remote working policies will remain in place through the end of the year or even longer, the transition to a more permanent new way of working will have an impact on employee wellbeing that HR departments must be prepared to proactively address,” stated David Plans, Founder & CEO of BioBeats.
New lockdown rules explained: What’s changed in the UK today, from non-essential shops opening to face masks on public transport
From today, Monday 15 June, thousands of non-essential shops across England are reopening their doors to customers for the first time in almost three months, with many retailers eager to get back to business. Business secretary Alok Sharma said the move would allow the High Street to “spring back to life”, but shops must follow social distancing guidelines and retailers will have to complete a coronavirus risk assessment. Shoppers will have to employ their patience as they join queues at stores due to limits on the numbers of people who can enter at any one time. Boris Johnson has urged the public to “shop with confidence” and said he did not know whether to expect “a flood or a trickle” when the shops reopened but that he hoped people would return in “sensible” numbers.
Welsh lockdown review this week will cover three main areas, First Minister confirms
The review of lockdown measures in Wales this week will look at three key areas, the First Minister has confirmed. Restrictions are being reviewed on Thursday with First Minister Mark Drakeford likely to make the decisions public on Friday.
Spain to open borders on June 21 to most European visitors, including British
Spain will reopen its borders to most European visitors from June 21, 10 days earlier than previously planned, the government said on Sunday, in a further easing of coronavirus restrictions but a week later than some other EU member states. From June 21 - when Spain’s state of emergency ends - it will allow the entry of visitors from the European Union and the open-border Schengen area, which also includes non-EU countries such as Switzerland and Norway, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya tweeted. Visitors from outside the EU or Schengen area will be able to visit Spain from July 1, though that will hinge on their country’s public health situation, Laya said. British visitors would be able to travel to Spain from June 21 since Britain is still considered part of the EU, a Spanish foreign ministry source said.
Emmanuel Macron lifts lockdown in Paris as borders and restaurants reopen
Restaurants and cafés were reopening fully in Paris today after President Macron announced he was accelerating the lifting of lockdown in France. It coincided with borders opening across Europe after three months of closures due to the coronavirus.
France Speeding Up Post-Lockdown Restart
To spur the restart of the French economy, President Emmanuel Macron announced a quicker end to restrictions put in place to contain the coronavirus. Bloomberg’s Maria Tadeo reports on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Europe.”
Germany and France reopen borders as Europe emerges from lockdown
France and Germany became the latest European countries to reopen their borders as the continent emerges from its three-month Covid-19 lockdown. Speaking on Sunday evening, France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, said the country’s Schengen borders would be open from Monday and its non-EU borders from 1 July. He said that while France could be proud of its response to the pandemic, it needed to reflect on the crisis.
Covid 19 coronavirus: More calls for New Zealand to include Cook Islands in 'bubble'
The Aotearoa Society of the Cook Islands has joined the call for New Zealand to open up its borders to allow travel with south Pacific nations that are free of Covid-19. Spokesman Derek Fox said, in the Cook Islands' case, the economy is almost totally reliant on tourism, but this had stopped dead, despite there having been no coronavirus in the country.
Greece welcomes foreign visitors, restarts summer tourism
Tourism employs about 700,000 people and accounts for some 20% of Greece’s economic output, so how the sector fares is significant for the country’s recovery. Greece emerged from a decade-long debt crisis two years ago. About 33 million tourists visited the Mediterranean nation last year, generating revenues of 19 billion euros. Passengers arriving from airports deemed high-risk by the European Union’s aviation safety agency will be tested for the coronavirus and quarantined up to 14 days, depending on the test result. Restrictions remain for passengers from Britain and Turkey. Arrivals from other airports will be randomly tested. Restrictions on movement imposed in March helped Greece contain the spread of COVID-19 infections to just above 3,000 cases, a relatively low number compared with other EU countries. But it brought the economy to a standstill.
Moscow lifts virus lockdown despite thousands of new cases
Moscow emerged last week from one of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns as City Hall abruptly lifted all restrictions on movement, despite nearly 6,000 new cases of Covid-19 in three days, and gave the green light to shops and businesses to reopen ahead of a referendum that could keep President Vladimir Putin in power until 2036. On the Old Arbat, a bustling pedestrian zone near the Kremlin, the grim realities of Covid-19 seemed to fade in the summer heat as cafes and restaurants prepared to welcome their first customers for months. In an underpass near Red Square, musicians entertained an enthusiastic crowd with raucous rock music, while on Friday, the Russia Day national holiday, City Hall urged people to bake cakes, decorate them with the national flag and “invite your grannies and grandads” in for a slice. The end of the lockdown came as a major surprise. Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow and head of Russia’s Covid-19 taskforce, had previously insisted that coronavirus curbs would only be lifted once the number of new daily cases in the Russian capital had fallen to “the tens, or hundreds”.
Australia's largest states further ease coronavirus curbs
Australia's two largest states will further ease public coronavirus restrictions at libraries, community centres and nightclubs, officials said on Sunday, despite recording increases in new infections. New South Wales (NSW), the most populous state, said that from July 1, a 50 person limit on indoor venues such as restaurants and churches would be scrapped, so long as the venues observed a one person per four square metre rule. Nightclubs and music festivals would also be allowed to operate from August if new cases remain low, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said. The state on Saturday reported the first locally transmitted COVID-19 case in weeks, and state officials on Sunday said there had been nine new infections since late Friday. In neighboring Victoria, where pubs and other venues are currently limited to 20 people, indoor businesses will be allowed to have up to 50 seated patrons from June 22, said state premier Daniel Andrews.
Britain reviews distancing rule for next stage of easing lockdown
Britain is reviewing its two-metre social distancing rule ahead of the next stage of lockdown easing planned for July 4, when bars, restaurants and hairdressers could reopen in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday. Progress in tackling the coronavirus pandemic had created “room for manoeuvre” on the rule, which many employers have said will make it harder to get back up to speed, Johnson said at an east London shopping centre preparing to reopen next week.
Swiss Covid-19 second wave response plan excludes national lockdown
The Swiss government is against imposing nationwide lockdown restrictions if a second wave of Covid-19 strikes the Alpine nation, according to the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper. The weekend press also took stock of how Switzerland has handled the pandemic overall.
New Zealand did 'support bubbles' first. Here's what England can learn from them
First, support bubbles made a huge difference. Whether it was having grandchildren stay over, reconnecting with a partner, or simply being able to cook and clean for a loved one, bubbles allowed people to provide and receive much-needed forms of support. As they did so, they rediscovered their sense of value and purpose....
Partisan Exits
US revokes emergency use of drugs touted by Trump vs. virus
U.S. regulators on Monday revoked emergency authorization for malaria drugs promoted by President Donald Trump for treating COVID-19 amid growing evidence they don’t work and could cause serious side effects. The Food and Drug Administration said the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating the coronavirus. Citing reports of heart complications, the FDA said the drugs’ unproven benefits “do not outweigh the known and potential risks.”
The Great British COVID-19 Procurement Scandal – Byline Times
Bernie Spofforth reveals how small businesses with little experience and expertise were awarded major contracts for personal protective equipment
Broken by the coronavirus, Boris Johnson's team losing faith
Inside Boris Johnson’s government, senior officials are exhausted, demoralized and starting to despair. Their dreams of reshaping Britain for a bright post-Brexit world have been blown off course by coronavirus. With more than 41,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.K., Johnson has presided over one of the worst records in the world after the U.S. and Brazil. Now Britain faces among the heaviest financial tolls from the pandemic of any major economy, and the deepest recession in 300 years. In the background is the specter of compounding the pain by failing to reach a trade deal with the European Union, with Johnson next week set to try to rescue talks that are going nowhere.
Fear of coronavirus, not lockdown, is the biggest threat to the UK's economy
Tory MPs are missing the point: lifting restrictions won’t ease this recession, people need to feel the outbreak is under control
'We may be able to do more than we thought in easing out of lockdown' says Health Minister
The Health Minister Vaughan Gething said we may be able to move at a "slightly faster rate" when it comes to easing lockdown restrictions. Mr Gething said we are in this position because people in Wales have followed the rules. Following the rules has saved lives and means we may be able to move at a slightly faster rate than we thought possible even just a few weeks ago.
Boris Johnson desperately needs his lockdown gamble to pay off
"I don't think it's too much to say that his survival as Prime Minister is in danger if we get a second spike," says Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University. "I'm not sure he could restore public confidence in his government if anything like a return to the lockdown had to be executed. The government really has to get this right and pray it's not too early, as some people claim it may be." These claims that lockdown is being lifted too soon range from the editorial pages of the left-leaning Guardian newspaper, which believes Johnson is "seeing polls, not science" and "gambling with the health of the nation," to scientists advising the government who have called it a "political decision."
WHO's Kluge warns against further lifting of lockdown in England - Guardian
The coronavirus induced lockdown in England should not be further lifted until the government’s contact-tracing system proves to be “robust and effective”, the World Health Organization’s regional European director Hans Kluge said. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Kluge also cautioned that Britain remained in a "very active phase of the pandemic" and warned against rushing into reopening the economy. Britain said on Sunday it was reviewing its two-metre (6.5-foot) social distancing rule ahead of the next stage of lockdown easing planned for July 4.
Continued Lockdown
Coronavirus: Woman jailed for lockdown party attack on officers
A woman has been jailed for assaulting three police officers who were called to a party attended by about 30 people, despite the coronavirus lockdown. Nerys Williams, 32, of Carneddi, Bethesda, Gwynedd, admitted three charges of assaulting an emergency worker. Llandudno magistrates jailed her for a year with 26-week sentences for each offence but two running consecutively.
Scientific Viewpoint
Covid-19 can damage lungs of victims beyond recognition, expert says
In findings that he said showed the potential for “real problems” after survival, he told the Lords science and technology committee that he had studied the autopsies of patients who died in Italy after 30 to 40 days in intensive care and discovered large amounts of the virus persisting in lungs as well as highly unusual fused cells. “What you find in the lungs of people who have stayed with the disease for more than a month before dying is something completely different from normal pneumonia, influenza or the Sars virus,” he said. “You see massive thrombosis. There is a complete disruption of the lung architecture – in some lights you can’t even distinguish that it used to be a lung.
Coronavirus vaccine hope as potentially 'game-changing' government-backed candidate enters human trials
Ministers have also pledged millions of pounds to a separate candidate being developed by Oxford University, with Mr Sharma claiming in May that around half of the UK population could have access to that vaccine by September if trials are successful. The Imperial vaccine will be trialled in 300 healthy volunteers aged between 18 to 70, the Department for Business said, with “rigorous pre-clinical safety tests” showing “encouraging signs of an effective immune response in animal studies”.
Sinovac claims progress with early coronavirus vaccine study
Sinovac, a Beijing-based drugmaker, said on Saturday a vaccine it's developing for the new coronavirus spurred immune responses in healthy adults given the shot in an early-stage study, a hint that the experimental candidate could be working as intended. The company offered little supporting data for its claim, indicating only that neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were found in more than 90% of study participants tested two weeks after inoculation. Importantly, no serious side effects occurred among the more than 700 volunteers enrolled in the trial, according to Sinovac. Results from the Phase 1/2 study, which Sinovac conducted in the Jiangsu province of China, will be published in a medical journal, the company said. So far, only one company — China's CanSino Biologics — has detailed coronavirus vaccine study data in an academic publication.
CDC warns U.S. may reimplement strict coronavirus measures if cases go up 'dramatically'
States may need to reimplement the strict social distancing measures that were put in place earlier this year if U.S. coronavirus cases rise “dramatically,” the CDC said. “Right now, communities are experiencing different levels of transmission occurring, as they gradually ease up onto the community mitigation efforts and gradually reopen,” one CDC official said.
Germany says coronavirus tracing app ready to go, as Italian privacy fears ease
Germany’s smartphone app to trace coronavirus infections is ready to be launched this week, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Sunday (14 June). After delays to ensure the bluetooth technology would work at the correct distance, the government says the app will be a vital tool to help avoid a second wave of infections. “It’s coming this week,” Spahn told ARD television, but he declined to confirm German media reports that the app would be launched on Tuesday. The app uses bluetooth short-range radio to detect and contact people at risk of infection by coronavirus and does not rely on a centralised database. Deutsche Telekom and software company SAP are involved. Spahn urged people wishing to go on holiday after European border controls are eased on Monday to be careful and ask themselves whether their trip was necessary.
South Korea crushed a huge coronavirus outbreak. Can it beat a second wave?
It’s taking the same approach again, this time gaining experience from bringing under control a series of potentially dangerous virus flare-ups at nightclubs and retail distribution centers as it gets ready for an expected surge of new infections when the weather cools in the fall. Steps taken include introducing entry registration for nightclubs and gyms, requiring tracking and health-monitoring phone apps for foreign visitors, and installing mask vending machines in parks and subways. “We’ve learned a few things from how the virus has been trending,” said Kwon Jun-wook, deputy director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, referring to recent outbreaks. “If we are thoroughly prepared, we can avoid the explosive resurgence of coronavirus.”
Germany and Japan to launch decentralised Covid-19 apps
The German and Japanese governments are expected to launch their Covid-19 contact-tracing apps this week. Both of these apps are based on a privacy-focused API developed by Apple and Google. Covid-19 contact tracing involves identifying and notifying the contacts of an infected person, such that those who have been exposed can take action to prevent further transmission. Many countries consider contact tracing a necessary accompaniment to easing economically damaging lockdown measures while preventing a second wave of infections, along with social distancing, mass testing, and enhanced hygiene. The German Health Minister Jens Spahn has told ARD television that the German contact-tracing app is “coming this week”, although he did not confirm reports that it would be launched on Tuesday. The launch of the app follows some delays to ensure that the Bluetooth technology used to detect nearby users works at the appropriate distance. The app is intended as a supplement for a manual contact-tracing scheme.
Coronavirus Deaths Set to Spike in Coming Weeks Following Surge in Post-lockdown Cases, Experts Warn
The U.S. may be hit by a spike in COVID-19 deaths in the coming weeks, health experts told Newsweek, as over a dozen states have seen cases surge in recent days. As the country's first wave of its COVID-19 outbreak continues, cases have been increasing in 27 states over the past 14 days. This has been largely in the south and west, according to CovidExitStrategy.org, a tracking website run by public health and crisis experts. For instance, Hawaii, Arizona, and Florida, have seen their 14-day trend of COVID-19 cases rise by 456, 147 and 129 percent, respectively.
Coronavirus vaccine: Chinese biotech says jab produced antibodies in more than 90 per cent of people
Some 743 healthy adults were recruited to two randomised control trials – 600 took part in phase II and 143 in phase I. The larger trial showed that the vaccine induced neutralising antibodies in more than 90 per cent of volunteers, who were tested 14 days after receiving two injections, two weeks apart. There were no adverse events reported in the trials. Weidong Yin, chief executive of Sinovac, said: “Our phase I/II study shows CoronaVac is safe and can induce immune response. Concluding our phase I/II clinical studies with these encouraging results is another significant milestone we have achieved in the fight against Covid-19.” He added that the company, which has developed similar inactivated virus vaccines against hepatitis A and B as well as seasonal and pandemic influenza, has already begun to invest in manufacturing facilities.
AstraZeneca to supply Europe with up to 400 million doses of Oxford University's vaccine at no profit
AstraZeneca has reached an agreement with Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA), spearheaded by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, to supply up to 400 million doses of the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine, with deliveries starting by the end of 2020. AstraZeneca continues to build a number of supply chains in parallel across the world, including for Europe. The Company is seeking to expand manufacturing capacity further and is open to collaborating with other companies in order to meet its commitment to support access to the vaccine at no profit during the pandemic. Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, said: “This agreement will ensure that hundreds of millions of Europeans have access to Oxford University’s vaccine following approval. With our European supply chain due to begin production soon, we hope to make the vaccine available widely and rapidly. I would like to thank the governments of Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands for their commitment and swift response.”
Coronavirus: Prosecutors grill Italy’s PM over two-week delay to order lockdown
Italian prosecutors are questioning prime minister Giuseppe Conte over the alleged lack of lockdowns in two towns in the north that have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Doctors and virologists have said the two-week delay in quarantining Alzano and Nembro allowed coronavirus to spread in Lombardy’s Bergamo province, which saw a 571 per cent increase in excess deaths in March compared with the average of the previous five years. Lead prosecutor Maria Cristina Rota arrived with a team of aides at the premier’s office in Rome, Palazzo Chigi.
Coronavirus Resurgence
China's new virus outbreak underscores continued threat
European countries reopened borders Monday after a three-month coronavirus shutdown, although international visitors are still being kept away and there was uncertainty over whether many Europeans will quickly embrace travel outside their home countries. Reopening continued in Mexico and Brazil despite cases climbing in the two largest nations in Latin America, where authorities struggled to handle the pandemic's effect on already-weak medical systems. In the U.S., Vice President Mike Pence encouraged governors to highlight the “good news" around efforts to fight the virus despite several states reporting a rise in infections, which could intensify as people return to work and venture out during the summer. The need for constant vigilance came into sharp focus as China, where COVID-19 first emerged in December, rushed to contain an outbreak in the capital of Beijing.
Pakistan’s Lockdown Ended a Month Ago. Now Hospital Signs Read ‘Full.’
Medical workers are falling ill in Pakistan at alarming rates as the country registers at least 100,000 new coronavirus cases since the lockdown was lifted.
China braced for coronavirus resurgence
Beijing has suspended the restart of some classes and reversed the relaxation of some social isolation measures. Neighbourhoods close to the market have been put on lockdown and more than 76,000 people tested. China's authoritarian communist political system and tight social controls enable tracking of residents' movements through the use of social media. Entry to office buildings and grocery stores requires proof on a smartphone that the person has not travelled to areas where the virus is still active.
Beijing battles ‘explosive Covid-19 outbreak’ as market cases mount
Scientists struggle to track source of cluster linked to massive food wholesale centre Mass testing and strict lockdowns imposed in some parts of the capital while other cities order isolation for travellers from Beijing
Italy: New Coronavirus Lockdown in Rome Sparks Fears of Second Wave
An entire apartment block in Rome has been placed under total lockdown over fears there is a deadly second wave of infections on its way. The apartment block, located on Piazza Pecile in the Garbatella district of Rome has now had at least 17 residents test positive for the virus. News of the new infections emerged as the country lost 78 more of its people to the virus on Saturday.
New Lockdown
India's Chennai To Reimpose Lockdown As Coronavirus Cases Surge
A lockdown will be reimposed Friday on some 15 million people in the Indian city of Chennai and several neighbouring districts, state officials said, as coronavirus cases surge in the region. Home to 1.3 billion people, India has been gradually lifting a nationwide lockdown in a bid to get the economy back on track. But new infections have still been rising across the country -- particularly in Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu. "Full Lockdown from 19th for Chennai, Thiruvallur, Chengalpet & Kanchipuram districts," the Tamil Nadu state government tweeted Monday. It will be in place until the end of June.
India's Chennai to reimpose lockdown as coronavirus cases surge
A lockdown will be reimposed Friday on some 15 million people in the Indian city of Chennai and several neighbouring districts, state officials said, as coronavirus cases surge in the region. Home to 1.3 billion people, India has been gradually lifting a nationwide lockdown in a bid to get the economy back on track. But new infections have still been rising across the country -- particularly in Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu. "Full Lockdown from 19th for Chennai, Thiruvallur, Chengalpet & Kanchipuram districts," the Tamil Nadu state government tweeted Monday. It will be in place until the end of June.
India's Chennai to reimpose lockdown as coronavirus cases surge
A lockdown will be reimposed Friday on some 15 million people in the Indian city of Chennai and several neighbouring districts, state officials said, as coronavirus cases surge in the region. Home to 1.3 billion people, India has been gradually lifting a nationwide lockdown in a bid to get the economy back on track. But new infections have still been rising across the country -- particularly in Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu. "Full Lockdown from 19th for Chennai, Thiruvallur, Chengalpet & Kanchipuram districts," the Tamil Nadu state government tweeted Monday. It will be in place until the end of June.
China Coronavirus Second Wave Risk 'Very High' Says Beijing Official as Lockdown Reinstated After Record New Cases
New cases of the novel coronavirus in China have climbed past 100 over the past two days, with a record 36 new cases reported Sunday in the Chinese capital of Beijing, city officials confirmed Monday, sparking fears over a potential second wave of the virus in the country. For the second consecutive day, the country's latest daily case count was the highest it's been since around mid-April, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The new cluster of cases is linked to Beijing's Xinfadi wholesale food market, a sprawling complex over 20 times larger than the seafood market in Wuhan where the first outbreak is suspected to have originated, Reuters reports.
NCOC identifies 20 cities across Pakistan with potential Covid-19 hotspots
The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) on Monday identified 20 cities across Pakistan with potential Covid-19 hotspots using a strategy termed as 'testing, tracing and quarantining (TTQ)', according to press release issued by the centre. The TTQ strategy involves ramping up Covid-19 testing followed by rapidly tracing the contacts of confirmed positive cases, and effective quarantining of positive and suspected cases.
Parts Of Beijing Under Lockdown After Coronavirus Outbreak Linked To Market
An outbreak of coronavirus linked to a Beijing market has sparked fears of a second wave of Covid-19. An area of China’s capital has been put into lockdown – with 24-hour guards in place – after dozens of people tested positive for coronavirus. Out of the 517 people tested for Covid-19 at the Xinfadi market in Beijing – one of the biggest wholesale markets in Asia – 45 tested positive, Reuters reported. The BBC said the cluster of cases was the first time any Covid-19 cases had been reported in the city in more than 50 days. The entire Xinfadi market was shut down at 3 am on Saturday after two men working at a meat research centre who had recently visited the market were reported to have the virus.
Beijing lockdown tightens as new coronavirus outbreak spreads
China’s capital enters ‘extraordinary period’ after 36 new cases are linked to a second seafood market
Coronavirus: Beijing locked down amid second outbreak
China has put in place 'war time'-style lockdown measures in Beijing after a second COVID-19 outbreak.