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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 23rd Jun 2020

News Highlights

South Korea confirms second wave as new coronavirus cases rise

Health officials in South Korea claimed that the country is in the midst of a 'second wave' of Covid-19 infections, following a surge in confirmed cases since May. The country was hailed as a success story in handling the pandemic, but a number of outbreaks linked to nightclubs and large offices have led to close to 100 cases during the past week.

Spain finally lifts state of emergency after 3-month lockdown

Spanish citizens emerged into the 'new normal' more than three months after imposing a national state of emergency in the country, which involved near-total lockdown. Now the country's residents can freely travel for the first time since March and 26 European countries including Britian, can visit Spain without a visa and without having to go through quarantine.

Reproductive rate jumps in Germany, indicating rising infection

Health authorities in Germany said the country's reproductive rate jumped to 2.88 on Sunday, an increase from 1.79 earlier, a setback for the country that was lauded for its swift and decisive handling of the pandemic. In the state of North Rhine Westphalia, all 6,500 employees of a meat processing plant have been ordered into lockdown, leading to fears of a new outbreak.

France keeps check on new cases, despite lockdown defiance

The weekly number of Covid-19 patients sent to hospital in France has more than halved since the government relaxed lockdown measures, with social distancing measures in place and the use of face masks compulsory on public transport. However, all norms were tossed aside Sunday, as thousands of people gathered around France for the Fête de la Musique, defying restrictions and ignoring social distancing rules

Lockdown Exit
Saudi ends virus lockdown despite spike in infections
Saudi Arabia on Sunday ended a nationwide coronavirus curfew and lifted restrictions on businesses, including hair salons and cinemas, after three months of stringent curbs, despite a spike in infections. Prayers were also allowed to resume in mosques in the holy city of Mecca, state media reported, just weeks before the annual hajj pilgrimage is due to start. International flights and religious pilgrimages, however, remain suspended and social gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited, according to the interior ministry.
Spain to decide this week which non-European tourists can visit
Borders between European Union (EU) nations have reopened, prompting thousands of French to cross into Spain on Sunday seeking cheap tobacco and alcohol. Spain is the world’s second most-visited nation, with roughly one in five of its normally 80 million annual visitors coming from Britain. Health Minister Salvador Illa told Cadena SER radio station that Madrid would discuss with European Union (EU) partners whether to also let in travellers from outside the continent and make a decision this week. Would-be holidaymakers and Spain’s tourism industry are waiting anxiously. “This year it isn’t a question of making money, it is about losing less,” said Miguel Fluxa, owner of the Iberostar hotel chain, at a news conference on Mallorca island.
Russia reopens ahead of Victory Day and Putin referendum -- but coronavirus threat remains
And Moscow is reopening just in time for the festivities. The last set of lockdown restrictions on gyms and restaurants will be lifted Monday, a week earlier than originally planned by the mayor and just in time for the big military parade in Red Square. The festivities are all part of the run-up to another big event for Putin: a nationwide vote on amendments to the country's constitution, scheduled for July 1. It's a return to normality for Russians exhausted by lockdown and economic uncertainty. But coronavirus has left a cloud of uncertainty over the festivities, which were postponed amid pandemic fears. By tradition, World War II veterans occupy the viewing stand next to Putin as thousands of soldiers march across Red Square. But this year, those veterans are quarantined at a health resort outside of Moscow. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has asked residents to watch the event on TV, saying attendance will be limited.
France shows Europe can keep Covid-19 in check after reopening
With social-distancing measures still in place and the wearing of face masks made compulsory on public transport, new cases have lately stood at about 450 per day, from a peak of 7,500. Since easing the lockdown, the weekly number of Covid-19 patients sent to hospital has more than halved. France is to allow all businesses to resume and all children to return to school from Monday. “We are going to get back to our art de vivre and recover our taste for liberty,” Mr Macron told the French on June 14
Coronavirus: French defy lockdown with Festival of Music
Thousands of people gathered across France on Sunday to celebrate an annual music festival, defying coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Revellers ignored social distancing rules and danced in the streets for the Fête de la Musique, known as Music Day in English. Police clashed with some revellers in Paris and with demonstrators in Nantes, using tear gas against protesters. Images posted online of the celebrations drew sharp criticism.
French schools reopen as more COVID-19 restrictions lifted
Millions of children returned to school in France on Monday as the country entered phase three of the loosening of COVID-19 lockdown rules. There has been no recent spike in infections in France and new cases have stood at around 450 per day from a peak of 7,500. Social distancing measures are still in place and wearing face masks on public transport is compulsory. But what else has changed after more than two months of lockdown?
How to rebuild a business after the coronavirus lockdown
“Go back to basics,” she says. “Who are your ideal customers, what problem do you solve for them, how has that changed, can you adapt? Approach people, don't wait for them to update you. Look at what others are doing, in and outside your industry, see if you can get ideas.”
COVID-19 Has Exacerbated School Exclusion: UNESCO
The agency's 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report says poorer children, girls, the disabled and immigrants are among those at a disadvantage, and that the situation got worse with COVID-19 when more than 90 percent of the world's schoolchildren found their learning affected by closures. While those from better-off families had internet and wifi connections and were able to use laptops and mobile phones, millions of youngsters were left out. "Health crises can leave many behinds, in particular the poorest girls, many of whom may never return to school," wrote Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO's director-general.
Exit Strategies
Coronavirus: Cinemas and museums set to reopen in England from 4 July
Cinemas, museums and galleries will be able to reopen in England from 4 July, Boris Johnson is expected to announce on Tuesday as he outlines a further easing of coronavirus restrictions. Venues closed since the middle of March will be able to welcome visitors as long as safety measures are in place. The PM is also due to set out how pubs can safely reopen following a review of the 2m distancing rule. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday the virus was "in retreat". Mr Hancock said England was "clearly on track" to further ease lockdown restrictions but No 10 warned the moves would be reversed if they led to a surge in new infections.
Peru: Authorities cancel reopening of Machu Picchu amid coronavirus concerns
-Just after a week of announcing Machu Picchu’s reopening, officials have now said that the famous tourist spot would not open in July due to coronavirus concerns. Machu Picchu, a world heritage site and the main attraction in Peru, is a 15th-century Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains. The site, however, was shut down in March after Peruvian authorities imposed a lockdown due to the pandemic. According to reports, the site’s management group made the decision after evaluating reports from authorities in the Cusco region, which houses the citadel. Speaking to international media reports Darwin Baca, the Machu Picchu district mayor said that it has been decided that the ancient citadel “would not open” on July 1 as per the previous schedule. In addendum, he also revealed that there were a series of health measures, like testing, still pending in the area.
Europe Eases Lockdown – But The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Still Getting Worse Globally
A recent analysis by the Covid-19 Brazil group – an initiative bringing together scientists from Brazilian universities and research centres – and Johns Hopkins University found Brazil has the highest growth rate of confirmed cases in the world. “We are the only country in the world where the number of cases and deaths is accelerating,” Domingos Alves, a member of the Covid-19 Brazil group, told HuffPost Brazil.
NYC re-opens restaurants, shops and salons in Phase Two after months of lockdown
Restaurants, shops and salons are now allowed to reopen in New York City, three months after they were forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. As of Monday, New Yorkers are now able to eat at tables outside of restaurants, children are allowed to visit playgrounds, and department stores such as Macy’s, can reopen. It has been estimated that between 150,000 and 300,000 people will go back to work on Monday, according to the Associated Press. The reopening is part of the city’s Phase Two of easing lockdown restrictions, after construction and manufacturing jobs were allowed to restart two weeks ago, in Phase One. There will be four phases in total, and as part of Phase Two, restaurants, salons, shops and offices are allowed to reopen at 50 per cent capacity.
New York to ease COVID-19 lockdown
New York City is getting ready to loosen a number of coronavirus restrictions, three months after the pandemic brought life there to a standstill. On Monday, some offices and non-essential business will be allowed to partially reopen, but the United Nations campus in New York will not be following suit. Al Jazeera's diplomatic editor, James Bays, has more.
Coronavirus lockdown easing: Groups of six can meet indoors in NI from Tuesday
Groups of up to six people in Northern Ireland can meet indoors from Tuesday, the executive has agreed. First Minister Arlene Foster said it would be a "new milestone" in NI's journey out of the Covid-19 lockdown. It means Northern Ireland will become the first part of the UK to permit limited indoor gatherings. People will still be required to maintain social distancing when meeting indoors with family and friends. The executive said people were "strongly advised" to wear face coverings during indoor gatherings, and the regulations did not extend to overnight visits.
Spain lifts national state of emergency after 3-month coronavirus lockdown
The country's 47 million residents can freely travel for the first time since mid-March and visitors from Britain and the 26 European countries that allow visa-free travel can visit Spain without going through a two-week quarantine. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said that hygiene controls must be followed and had this warning: "The virus can return and it can hit us again in a second wave, and we have to do whatever we can to avoid that at all costs." BBC News said Spain usually attracts some 80 million tourists a year, providing 12% of the country's GDP. The Associated Press reports there was only a trickle of travelers at Madrid-Barajas Airport as the travel restrictions were lifted, a stark contrast to a normal June day when it would be crowded.
Spain lifts lockdown after 98 days to enter a 'new normality'
Spain’s state of alarm, the emergency mechanism propping up the nationwide lockdown enforced to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, expired at midnight on Saturday (20 June), three months and one week after it first came into effect. From Sunday, Spain entered what politicians around the world have billed the “new normality.” The state of alarm will be lifted but social-distancing, hygiene protocol and obligatory mask use will remain in force until a vaccine for COVID-19 is found. With the gradual easing of restrictions several weeks ago, life has already slowly returned to the streets, squares, shops, highways, factories, offices, bars and beaches up and down the country.
France Enters Phase 3 Of Lockdown; Borders Open But These Rules Still Must Be Followed
On Monday, France enters phase 3 of lockdown or déconfinement. EU borders and all restaurants, cafés and bars opened on June 15 but from today, cinemas, sports halls, holiday parks and casinos can reopen too, meaning much of the French economy is back open for business. With some international borders expected to be lifted gradually from July 1 with EU countries, there are still a few key rules to remember:
WHO reports largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases
The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases by its count, at more than 183,000 new cases in the latest 24 hours. The UN health agency said Brazil led the way with 54,771 cases tallied and the U.S. next at 36,617. Over 15,400 came in in India. Experts said rising case counts can reflect multiple factors including more widespread testing as well as broader infection. Overall in the pandemic, WHO reported 8,708,008 cases — 183,020 in the last 24 hours — with 461,715 deaths worldwide, with a daily increase of 4,743.
Surge in coronavirus cases jolts prospects for world economy
The global economy’s fragile recovery is facing a fresh hurdle as a surge in coronavirus cases threatens to keep businesses closed and consumers on edge. Cases of the deadly virus rose by a record for a single day on June 21, according to the World Health Organization, with flare-ups across the U.S. and new scares in Germany and Australia. While China said the latest outbreak in Beijing is under control, other large emerging economies including Brazil, India and Indonesia continue to see cases soar. "The fight is nowhere close to being over,” said Tuuli McCully, the Singapore-based head of Asia Pacific economics at Scotiabank. "A second significant wave of infections in advanced economies is a huge risk for the global economy that is still in very early stages of recovery.”
Coronavirus Surge Threatens Developing Nations Exiting Lockdown
Developing countries face an explosion in coronavirus infections as they exit lockdowns amid worsening outbreaks because the economic cost of remaining shuttered is too great. From Pakistan to the Philippines, Brazil to South Africa, governments have been choosing to end orders confining people to their homes even as the global pandemic envelopes the developing world. Researchers at the University of Michigan predict India’s infections could almost double from current levels to more than 750,000 by mid-July, while Brazil just hit 1 million cases -- the second-highest tally globally - with more increases forecast for this month.
Roadmap out of lockdown: McGowan announces Phase 4
The next phase of Western Australia's COVID-19 roadmap out lockdown has been outlined with a number of restrictions to be eased on Saturday, June 27. The two square metre rule will still be in place but the capacity limit on all gatherings is set to be removed as part of Phase Four. Many Western Australians will be excited as patrons will now be able to stand up and have drinks at the bar without ordering a meal and unseated performances will be permitted. Major events can now occur with large stadiums such as Optus and RAC Arena reopening for events, but only at 50 per cent capacity. The casino floor at Crown will also reopen for gambling, but every second machine will be switched off.
India has the fourth-highest number of COVID-19 cases, but the Government denies community transmission
India now has the fourth highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, trailing only the US, Brazil and Russia, with more than 380,500 confirmed cases and more than 12,500 deaths. It marks a rapid rise. At the start of June, there were fewer than 200,000 cases. A month before that, it was fewer than 38,000. Last Friday's tally of more than 13,500 was the biggest spike in cases in a single day.
UK's Johnson to announce lockdown easing plans on Tuesday
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will unveil the latest easing of Britain's coronavirus lockdown on Tuesday when he will also announce the conclusion of a review into whether a two-metre rule on social distancing should be relaxed, his office said. Britain's economy has been hammered by the lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19 and although non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen last Monday, many businesses, particularly in the hospitality and leisure sectors, have remained closed. Some lawmakers in Johnson's party have been vocal in calling for him to drop the two-metre rule saying it was having a devastating impact on the economy which shrank by a quarter over March and April. But the government has been cautious, saying it did not want to risk a second spike in novel coronavirus cases. Johnson's office said the prime minister would tell parliament on Tuesday which sectors would be allowed to reopen on July 4 under the government's roadmap out of the lockdown. Detailed guidance would be provided to each sector so businesses were "Covid secure".
Johnson to Set Out Lockdown Easing Plans as Virus Cases Fall
Boris Johnson is preparing to relax social distancing rules in a major boost to the U.K.’s hospitality industry, as the government seeks to re-open more sectors of the economy that have been shut during the lockdown. Johnson will meet officials on Monday to discuss the conclusions of a review into the rule requiring people to keep 2-meters (6 feet 7 inches) apart. He will provide details of the plans in Parliament on Tuesday. Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested distancing can be reduced so long as other measures are brought in, such as wearing face coverings, using clear plastic screens and sitting back-to-back.
Partisan Exits
Coronavirus: Brazil becomes second country to pass 50,000 deaths
Brazil has become the second country, after the US, to register more than 50,000 deaths from Covid-19. It comes amid growing political tension and just days after the country confirmed more than one million coronavirus infections. Brazil recorded its highest number of daily deaths on 4 June; the seven-day average seems to have plateaued since. President Jair Bolsonaro's decision to oppose lockdowns and focus on the economy has been hugely divisive. Two health ministers - both doctors - have left their posts as deaths and infections have surged. The first was sacked by Mr Bolsonaro, the second resigned after disagreeing with the far-right president.
Continued Lockdown
Police die enforcing Latin America's strictest lockdown as Peru's futile strategy unravels
When Peru introduced one of Latin America's strictest lockdowns, national police brigadier David Rodriguez was sent to the streets of Lima to enforce the new guidelines. Just one month later the 55 year-old was struggling to breathe in the police clinic, pleading desperately on social media to be moved to an intensive care unit and for more oxygen. He died shortly after. “They’re the ones sent out to protect others from the virus and they end up infected themselves,” his daughter Krystell Rodriguez told The Telegraph. According to the country’s interior minister, nearly 10,000 police officers have contracted Covid-19 on duty in the country and 170 have died. The numbers not only present a grim picture of Peru's futile fight against Covid-19, but also the tragedy at the heart of the surging crisis in Latin America, the global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus: Poorer households funding lockdown with debt, says think tank
Lower-income households are using savings and borrowing more during the coronavirus lockdown, while richer families are saving more as eating out and trips abroad are banned. That's according to research from the Resolution Foundation, a think tank. Lower-income households are twice as likely as richer ones to have increased their debts during the crisis, it said. Workers in shut down parts of the economy have average savings of £1,900, it found. That compares to the £4,700 buffer of someone who has been able to work from home during the lockdown.
Will PH wave banner the longest and last lockdown in the world?
It is manifestly time for our government to survey the global pandemic map and reflect on where we are in the struggle to surmount the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). By the 30th of June, counting from March 16, the Philippines will have the incontestable honor of claiming the longest lockdown/ quarantine in the whole world — 106 days. At the rate that the advisory Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is hemming and hawing on the crisis, the country will probably also be the very last to surrender the lockdown as national policy. Our thoughts turned to these questions as we digested some of the latest developments on the international front, which collectively point to a massive policy change in fighting the pandemic.
'I felt depressed and didn't see anyone for four weeks' - Generation Z 'loneliest' age group during lockdown
Generation Z has been the loneliest age group during the coronavirus pandemic, with nearly three-quarters of people aged up to 25 admitting to feeling lonely since April, according to exclusive data. The study, by Kaspersky research group, involved 10,500 people across 12 European countries, and Japan, and was part of Loneliness Awareness Week. It found that 68% of people in this age demographic felt lonely during the lockdown, compared to just 37% of the Silent Generation - those aged 75 and over.
COVID-19: PM Imran defends stance on complete lockdown as virus cases surge past 182,000
Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again defended his decision not to impose a complete lockdown in the country despite strong criticism, saying that Pakistan's circumstances were different from Wuhan city and Europe. Speaking about the havoc that the coronavirus has wreaked on Pakistan's economy, the prime minister said that he had not been in favour of imposing a lockdown as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had done.
Australian state extends state of emergency over virus
Australia's second most populous state Victoria has extended its state of emergency for four more weeks to 19 July, as it battles a spike in coronavirus infections with a pick-up in community transmission. The move came a day after the state announced it would reimpose restrictions capping visitors to households to five people and outdoor gatherings to ten, starting tomorrow. The limits had been relaxed on 1 June to allow up to 20 people in households and public gatherings. Victoria reported 19 new infections today, the fifth day of double digit-rises. The state has now had 1,836 total confirmed cases, or a quarter of the cases in Australia, since the Covid-19 pandemic erupted.
‘I'm broken’: how anxiety and stress hit millions in UK Covid-19 lockdown
Nashaba Matin is a single mother with three daughters: Kaya, 17, Amber, 15, and Natalia, 13. She is also an NHS doctor, working full-time on the Covid-19 wards of the Royal London Hospital. Exhausted by her work, Matin has relied on her eldest daughter to provide a protective wing over her younger sisters. “I think they’ve all had to grow up a lot,” she says.
Scientific Viewpoint
Regional lockdowns 'preferable' to country closing in event of more Covid-19 clusters, says expert
Lockdown could be enforced on a regional basis if clusters of coronavirus break out in certain areas, an infectious disease specialist has said. Professor Sam McConkey said while it is unclear where and when clusters of the virus will occur again, putting the country into full lockdown again would not be the best approach.
WHO warns of 'accelerating' pandemic as Brazil reaches 50,000 deaths
The World Health Organization sent out a fresh warning on Monday over the dangers of the new coronavirus even as France returned to life by staging an annual music festival and sending millions of children back to school. In spite of numerous European countries further easing their lockdown restrictions, cases around the world are rising especially in Latin America with Brazil now registering over 50,000 deaths. There are also fears of a second wave with Australians being warned against travelling to Melbourne. "The pandemic is still accelerating," WHO's director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the virtual health forum organised by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Gilead Sciences to start clinical trials of inhaled remdesivir for COVID-19
Gilead Sciences plans to start clinical trials for an inhaled version of the antiviral remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19, company officials said Monday. The inhaled form is delivered using a nebulizer -- similar to many asthma drugs -- making it easier to administer outside of a hospital at earlier stages of infection, they said.
What countries did right and wrong in responding to the pandemic
Why were some countries better able than others to control their outbreaks despite having similar measures? To get an idea, CBC News compared countries' daily COVID-19 numbers with how strict their containment policies were, as measured by the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, which rates countries on a host of factors such as workplace closures, travel controls, restrictions on gatherings, and testing regimens. With the help of experts, CBC News found that successful countries were not only swift to respond, but also applied the three Ts of disease control: testing, tracing and trust.
Telehealth in lockdown meant 7 million fewer chances to transmit the coronavirus
The expansion of telehealth services was a deliberate strategy to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission between practitioners and patients, so is it working? According to our analysis, the answer is that telehealth is indeed reducing the risk. Since March 2020, more than 7 million MBS-funded telehealth consultations have been reported, with the vast majority (91%) being done by telephone
High risk of coronavirus second wave as Australian shops and workplaces reopen, report says
Workplaces pose a high risk of triggering a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in Australia, which means people should continue to work from home as long as they can, a report from public policy thinktank the Grattan Institute says. Published on Sunday evening, the report, Coming out of Covid-19 Lockdown: the Next Steps for Australian Health Care, says schools can safely remain open as long as policies are in place to reduce the risk of outbreaks. It comes as Victoria announced it would extend its state of emergency for at least four more weeks and ramp up its police enforcement of lockdown rules after a spike in Covid-19 cases in recent days. The rise also prompted neighbouring South Australia to reconsider its decision to reopen its border, while Queensland declared all of greater Melbourne a Covid-19 hotspot.
Beijing coronavirus cases to see 'cliff-like' drop this week - expert
China’s capital will see a “cliff-like” drop in new cases in a recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus by the end of this week with efforts to cut chains of transmission underway, a disease control expert said. “If you control the source, and cut the chain of transmission, the number will have a cliff-like drop,” Wu Hao, a disease control expert from the National Health Commission, told state television in an interview aired late on Sunday.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Coronavirus outbreak: Why Germany’s R rate spiked to 2.8 over the weekend
Germany’s coronavirus R rate spiked to 2.8 over the weekend, sparking concerns a second wave would hit the country. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said on Saturday the R number jumped to 1.79 on Saturday and 2.88 on Sunday, spiking 60 per cent in a 48-hour period. The upswing in infection risk made headlines across Germany and beyond, prompting concern from those who thought the outbreak was firmly under control.
Will there be a second wave of coronavirus? If UK cases of Covid-19 could rise again as Germany sees infection rate jump
As lockdown restrictions begin to ease across the UK, concerns are growing amongst experts about the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus cases if social distancing guidelines are not adhered to
Lockdown restrictions will be brought back if coronavirus R-rate rises like in Germany, minister warns
Boris Johnson will not hesitate to reimpose lockdown measures if infections surge again, a minister said today following signs of a fresh outbreak in Germany. Home Office minister James Brokenshire said it was “concerning” to see the rate of transmission rise in Germany after restrictions were eased. The Prime Minister has begun the formal process for the biggest relaxation of the UK’s economic straitjacket yet, including the switch from the two-metre rule of social distancing to a “one metre-plus” rule
Meat plant must be held to account for Covid-19 outbreak, says German minister
Hubertus Heil said an entire region had been “taken hostage” by the factory’s failure to protect its employees, most of whom come from Romania and Bulgaria. Germany’s coronavirus reproduction or R rate leapt to 2.88 over the weekend largely as a result of the outbreak at the plant at Gütersloh in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). About 7,000 people have been sent into quarantine as a result of the outbreak, and schools and kindergartens in the region that had been gradually reopened have been forced to close until at least after the summer holidays. Health authorities have accused Tönnies, the family-run business that owns the plant, of breaking regulations around physical distancing that were introduced to dampen the spread of coronavirus. Authorities say Tönnies has also been reluctant to give them access to workers’ contact details, allegedly hampering the tracking and tracing of the workers and their contacts. Tönnies said delays in handing over personnel data had been due to Germany’s strict data protection laws.
South Korea becomes first country to announce second wave of coronavirus
South Korea is in the midst of a “second wave” of coronavirus infections, health officials claimed on Monday. Until now the country had been hailed a success story for its handling of the worldwide virus pandemic. However, the Korea Centers for Disease Control (KCDC) said on Monday that a rise in new cases signalled a second wave in the capital of Seoul. Health minister Park Neung-hoo said 90 imported cases had been identified over the past week, a sharp rise from the previous week's 48. He said: “The government faces a grave situation as health officials need not only to contain locally transmitted infections, but also manage imported cases.”
South Korea confirms second coronavirus wave linked to nightclubs and offices
Officials in South Korea have confirmed the country is suffering a second wave of Covid-19, following a surge in confirmed cases since May. Despite the country being one of the first in the world to get the virus under control and avoided a lockdown, experts said a holiday weekend in early May sparked a fresh wave of infections in the capital Seoul. Numerous outbreaks have recently been confirmed at nightclubs in the city, which had previously not experienced many cases. Officials said on Monday that 17 new cases had been recorded over the last 24 hours, including clusters in warehouses and large offices.
'Very different than in March': Sebastian Kurz, Morrison's unlikely new ally, looks to second wave
One of the world leaders working closely with Prime Minister Scott Morrison on containing the coronavirus pandemic has cast doubt on using nationwide lockdowns and mass border closures to combat a second wave of the deadly disease, amid early signs from Victoria and China of a resurgence in cases. In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz — a rising star of conservative politics whose response to the outbreak has been credited with avoiding thousands of deaths — said draconian measures used to stamp out the virus might only be a one-off move because leaders were now better prepared to react and the public more alert to the health risk. "If there is a second wave, our situation would be very different than in February and March," said the 33-year-old Kurz.
In Beijing it looked like coronavirus was gone. Now we're living with a second wave
For just one day, Beijing was a Covid-free city. On Tuesday 9 June, local authorities reported that the last active Covid-19 case had been discharged from a local hospital. City health officials appeared without face masks at the daily press conference, to announce that there were “no new cases and no suspected infections”. Beijing, finally, seemed to breathe a little easier. The now-ubiquitous temperature checks, at the entrance to every office building, restaurant and hutong (alleyway), were dismantled. The Lama Temple and Beijing aquarium were open to the public for the first time since January and were immediately packed to capacity. It was a beautiful summer’s day – bright blue skies and the sharp Beijing light that glints golden on the city’s tower blocks.
New Zealand tightens border restrictions, as two new COVID-19 cases reported
After having successfully controlled the spread of coronavirus cases in the country, New Zealand is now reporting new cases as it eased its border restrictions. Among its recently reported two cases is an Indian man taking the total number of active COVID-19 cases in the country to nine after having none at all earlier this month, health officials said on Monday. The man in his 30s travelled from India along with his wife. He had been staying at a hotel in Auckland. He came to New Zealand in an Air India flight, director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield was quoted as saying by the New Zealand Herald. The second case involves a teenage girl who arrived from Islamabad via Melbourne on June 13.
South Korea is battling a 'second wave'
Health authorities in South Korea said for the first time on Monday it is in the midst of a "second wave" of novel coronavirus infections around Seoul, driven by small but persistent outbreaks stemming from a holiday in May. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) had previously said South Korea's first wave had never really ended. But on Monday, KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong said it had become clear that a holiday weekend in early May marked the beginning of a new wave of infections focused in the densely populated greater Seoul area, which had previously seen few cases. "In the metropolitan area, we believe that the first wave was from March to April as well as February to March," Jeong said at a regular briefing. "Then we see that the second wave which was triggered by the May holiday has been going on."
German coronavirus outbreak at abattoir infects more than 1,000
More than 1,000 employees at German meat processing firm Toennies have tested positive for coronavirus, prompting local health authorities to order all 6,500 employees and their families to go into quarantine. The localised lockdown is a setback for Germany’s reopening strategy. Chancellor Angela Merkel had favoured maintaining lockdown discipline for longer, but eased restrictions following pressure from regional premiers. Even though its management of the coronavirus crisis has been among the most successful in Europe, Germany has seen repeated outbreaks in slaughterhouses, whose employees are often migrants living in crowded company-provided accommodation.
Germany's coronavirus reproduction rate jumps, indicating rising contagion
Germany’s coronavirus reproduction rate jumped to 2.88 on Sunday, up from 1.79 a day earlier, health authorities said, a rate showing infections are rising above the level needed to contain the disease over the longer term. The rise brings with it the possibility of renewed restrictions on activity in Europe’s largest economy - a blow to a country that so far had widely been seen as successful in curbing the coronavirus spread and keeping the death toll relatively low. To keep the pandemic under control, Germany needs the reproduction rate to drop below one. The rate of 2.88, published by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health, means that out of 100 people who contract the virus, a further 288 people will get infected.
Three members of Pakistan tour party to England test positive for Covid-19
Pakistan’s tour of England appears to be in the balance, with three of their players having tested positive for Covid-19 and a further batch of results set to be published in the next 24 hours. A 28-man squad to cover three Tests in August and the Twenty20 series that follows is due to depart from Lahore on Sunday and all players and members of the support staff were tested regionally over the weekend. The results from Rawalpindi, where five individuals were tested, came in early and showed Haider Ali, Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan have the virus but are asymptomatic. Imad Wasim and Usman Shinwari were shown to be clear.
Brazilians flock to beach as WHO says country undercounting coronavirus surge
Brazil reached more than a million confirmed coronavirus cases and 50,000 deaths over the weekend as throngs of people swarmed Rio de Janeiro beaches, but the World Health Organization said on Monday that even more cases were likely going uncounted.
New Lockdown
Coronavirus: Extra police enforce German tower block quarantine
Police reinforcements have been sent to maintain a coronavirus quarantine on a tower block in the German city of Göttingen after violence on Saturday. Seven-hundred people were placed in quarantine, but about 200 who attempted to get out clashed with police. Residents - now fenced off - attacked police with fireworks, bottles and metal bars, officials said. The quarantine was imposed on Thursday, after two residents tested positive, then more tests showed 102 infections.
France mulls new lockdown on French Guyana as Covid-19 spreads
The coronavirus has been spreading faster in the last 10 days in French Guyana and the French government is not ruling out imposing a new lockdown on the overseas territory, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe's office said on Sunday. The prime minister's office also said in its statement that the government would be stepping up its resources to tackle the virus in the region, located on the northeastern coast of South America
Quezon City street placed on 'special concern lockdown'
Quezon City placed part of a private subdivision's street on special concern lockdown (SCL) after recording six active cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the same area. In a statement sent to reporters on Monday morning, the city's local government disclosed that a portion of King Christian Street in Kingspoint Subdivision in Barangay Bagbag was flagged for SCL after a confirmed active case reportedly infected three people in the same household and two other households in the area.
Victoria should consider hard lockdown: experts
Two of the experts behind Australia’s COVID-19 strategy say Victoria should consider a hard lockdown of up to eight weeks or brace for continual outbreaks and last-minute changes to restrictions until a vaccine is created. As the state experiences a rise in cases out of step with the rest of Australia, with 117 new cases recorded in the seven days to last Sunday, experts who prepared a special government report say they were not surprised by Victoria’s decision not to proceed with a planned relaxation of restrictions.
Police prepare to enforce coronavirus hotspot lockdowns if outbreak grows
Police will enforce strict stay-at-home directions in Victoria's coronavirus hotspots if the spread of COVID-19 cannot be suppressed before July 19, as epidemiologists warn a "severe regional lockdown" might be needed sooner to curb the outbreak. Victoria's coronavirus outbreak has prompted Prime Minister Scott Morrison to offer military assistance to enforce hotel quarantine – after infection-control breaches at two state-run quarantine hotels – and NSW residents have been warned not to visit Melbourne. Police have already ramped up patrols across the state including in the local government areas of Moreland, Darebin, Hume, Cardinia, Casey and Brimbank, where there have been several cases over the past week, prompting the Andrews government to hold back on easing restrictions.
Germany struggles to impose local coronavirus restrictions
Authorities in Germany’s Goettingen and North Rhine Westphalia regions have called on police to enforce quarantine measures following a rise in local coronavirus infections and trouble getting people to adhere to isolation rules. Health authorities needed police reinforcement to maintain lockdown conditions at a tower block in Goettingen after a riot broke out on Saturday where around 700 people had been placed into quarantine. “Around 200 people tried to get out, but 500 people complied with quarantine rules,” Uwe Luehrig, head of police in Goettingen, said at a press conference on Sunday. In the ensuing fracas, eight police officers were injured after residents started to attack law enforcement officials with bottles, fireworks and metal bars, Luehrig said.
Kazakhstan to lock down city at weekend as COVID-19 cases jump
Kazakhstan will impose a two-day lockdown in the northern city of Kostanay and four nearby towns next weekend after a jump in fresh COVID-19 cases, local newspaper Kostanayskiye Novosti reported on Monday. Residents of Kostanay and the four towns, including mining hubs Rudny and Lisakovsk, will be barred from leaving their houses except for work or urgent necessities on June 27-28, the newspaper reported, citing local authorities. The move continues a trend towards weekend restrictions in the oil-rich nation of 19 million which has seen the number of COVID-19 cases more than quintuple to about 28,000 since lifting a nationwide lockdown in mid-May.