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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 30th Jun 2020

News Highlights

Pandemic 'speeding up' says WHO director Tedros

Non-stop efforts have been made across the globe to stop, or at least slow, the spread of the coronavirus, but according to WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the pandemic is actually speeding up. More than 10 million people have now tested positive for the coronavirus and more than half a million people have died worldwide.

Strict lockdown in Beijing with fresh outbreak; Seoul considers following suit

Chinese authorities placed more than half a million people in Anxin county, near Beijing under strict lockdown on Sunday, in order to contain a fresh cluster of coronavirus cases. Health authorities in South Korea are also considering strict measures to contain new outbreaks in Seoul, including banning gatherings of more than 10 people, shutting schools and restricting operations of non-essential businesses.

India: First coronavirus vaccine candidate approved for trials as cases rise sharply

The Drug Controller General of India approved Bharat Biotech's application to conduct human trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, Covain, developed along with the National Institute of Virology. The trials begin in July, even as the country grapples with over 100,000 cases in the last week alone, and several states reimposing partial or full lockdowns.

Restrictions eased in Egypt despite uptick in new infections

The Egyptian government allowed cafes, clubs, gyms and theatres, that were closed for more than three months, to reopen, despite coronavirus cases still continuing to rise. Mosques and churches are now allowed to operate with a limited capacity and the night time curfew has also been lifted. Egypt's economy has been hit hard by the lockdown and the IMF has promised almost $8bn in loans to help the country tide over the economic effects of the pandemic.

Lockdown Exit
The demise of British pubs has slowed- but lockdown could be the calm before the storm
Last year, figures published by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) showed pubs were closing at a rate of one every 12 hours, with 378 locals shutting permanently between July and December 2019. It was the worrying continuation of an existing trend and Covid-19 has only brought further concern across the industry. And yet a new report suggests the number of pubs “vanishing” from UK towns and cities has slowed, despite coronavirus.
Police across UK braced to quell disorder as lockdown eased on ‘Super Saturday’
Police will mount operations all over the country this weekend to prevent new outbreaks of violence when lockdown rules are eased. Martin Hewitt, head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said forces recognised “people have had frustrations” and would be ready to enjoy the “new freedom” that will come when pubs, restaurants, hotels and other businesses reopen on Saturday. But he said it remained vital that the public acted responsibly to prevent the risk of a second wave of Covid-19.
As coronavirus lockdown eases, U.K. domestic abuse charity sees huge surge in calls for help
The London-based domestic violence charity Solace says it saw a 200% rise in calls to its helpline during the first easing of Britain's coronavirus lockdown in May, and that it is preparing for a massive rise in demand for its services when restrictions relax even further on July 4. "As restriction ease, as partners go back physically to work or come off furlough, for example, then they will be able to, they will be trying to seek those means of escape," Fiona Dwyer, chief executive of Solace, told CBS News. Coronavirus lockdowns around the world sparked warnings about an increase in domestic abuse, as partners were trapped in close proximity to one another to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Dwyer says the numbers of people fleeing abusive relationships is expected to increase as lockdown restrictions ease further and escape starts to feel like more of a possibility for some victims and survivors.
First UK night out of lockdown – camping in Northern Ireland
In the same week Northern Ireland became the first part of the UK to allow camping, a new glampsite opened in the Sperrin mountains’ dark sky park
'They are the new poor': Covid-19 fuels rising poverty in Italy
The new faces are among the 1 million Italians who will be pushed into poverty this year as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, according to estimates from Coldiretti, the farmers’ association. “What is happening is right before everyone’s eyes,” said Lorenzo Bazzana, an economic adviser to Coldiretti. “Families who perhaps were not in difficulty before are now shouldering a very heavy economic burden and are turning to food banks for help.”
Cheers! Irish pubs reopen as end of lockdown nears
Irish pubs unlock their doors and begin pouring pints on Monday, ending a 15-week dry spell forced by the nation's coronavirus lockdown. Pubs serving food as well as restaurants and hotels are permitted to open as the republic enters the penultimate stage of its plan to lift stay-at-home restrictions. All domestic travel restrictions were also lifted, as churches, hairdressers, cinemas and museums opened and mass gatherings of 50 indoors or 200 outdoors were permitted.
Rise in coronavirus transmission seems inevitable as lockdown lifts
The June 29th milestone should be seen as end of the beginning but not the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic. We are a long way from an effective vaccine and there are no drug treatments for the virus on the horizon, so the best we can hope for is a gradual step-by-step reduction in infection. One of the country’s leading infectious disease specialists, University College Dublin’s Prof Paddy Mallon, certainly punctured any immediate optimism when he told the Oireachtas health committee “it is inevitable that we will experience a resurgence of cases as we relax restrictions and permit more travel”.
Can I go clubbing? Yes – in New Zealand! Your guide to easing and the arts
Actors, dancers and comedians could find themselves experiencing a different kind of lockdown. Fancourt mentions film sets in the US, where entire casts and crews are agreeing to isolate for two weeks before a shoot. “We might have companies of people locking themselves away over a period,” she says. “Alternatively, if we’re able to exist in a state of semi-lockdown, with some social interaction permitted, theatres may be able to adapt their models. “Instead of having multiple different shows with different companies coming in and out, we might end up with scenarios like the Royal Shakespeare Company, where you have companies of actors who stay and do shows as a collective in one place. So the number of social interactions among the company is limited and it’s easier to track and trace if an infection does occur.”
High Street gets set to reopen as Scotland continues to emerge from lockdown
The first stage of Scotland's High Street recovery launched on Monday, with retailers opening their doors to customers for the first time in 14 weeks.
Russia reports lowest number of coronavirus infections since April 29
Russia on Monday reported 6,719 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the lowest one-day reported increase since April 29, pushing its nationwide tally to 641,156. The national coronavirus taskforce said 93 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 9,166.
Spain maintains ban on cruise ships even as tourism sector reopens
Spain is to uphold a ban on cruise liners from docking at its ports to stop the spread of COVID-19, according to a ministerial order published on Saturday. Cruise liners carrying thousands of passengers regularly stop off at ports in the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Barcelona and Malaga, but were prohibited when Spain went into lockdown on March 14. With their crowds of often elderly passengers, cruise ships have been especially vulnerable to outbreaks of the virus and have been barred from disembarking in several countries. Spain's ban on the vessels will continue until the coronavirus epidemic is brought under control, according to the Official State Gazette, even as the country otherwise reopens to tourists in an effort to revive an industry hammered by the coronavirus lockdown.
What Italy's Post-Lockdown Life Reveals About The New Normal
Italy, once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, has been easing restrictions for two months. Here are the lessons now emerging.
Exit Strategies
The UK Government has advised people to work from home, rather than their usual workplace, wherever possible
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced several changes to current lockdown restrictions following the government’s latest review on 23 June. The changes, which include plans to allow family visits overnight, the reopening of businesses, and a reduction of the 2m social distancing rule, will take effect in England from Saturday 4 July. But what do the latest rules mean for office workers? Here’s everything you need to know.
Coronavirus: Shops reopen in Scotland as lockdown restrictions ease
Shoppers queued early as non-essential retailers across Scotland prepared to reopen their doors. Shops with on-street access and some workplaces such as factories are reopening following further easing of lockdown. Small weddings and civil partnerships can be held outdoors and zoos can reopen, but only to local visitors. However the first minister urged people to act responsibly and "not to squander" Scotland's progress. The resumption of non-essential retail is one of the biggest changes to restrictions to date.
UK coronavirus death toll rises by 25 as England prepares for lockdown lifting
A further 25 people have died from coronavirus in the UK, bringing the total death toll to 43,575. The increase, announced today by the Department of Health (DoH), includes the number of people who have died after testing positive for Covid-19 in hospitals, care homes and the wider community in the 24 hours up to 9am this morning. However, government officials, including England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, have warned that infection numbers “will rise again” if people ignore social distancing guidelines. A major incident was declared in Bournemouth last Thursday, after thousands of sun seekers flouted lockdown rules to head to the beach. Johnson has warned that he “will not hesitate to apply the handbrakes on a local or indeed national level” should the number of infections rise in the country.
Austria lifts travel warning for German state of North Rhine-Westphalia
Austria has withdrawn a general travel warning for Germany's most populous state issued after a massive coronavirus outbreak at a meat processing plant. The country put the warning in place for people travelling from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) following the outbreak at Tönnies meat plant in Gütersloh. Now it has been lifted – but the ban remains in place on the Gütershloh district of NRW. "As of today (Sunday) at midnight, the general travel warning for North Rhine-Westphalia will be lifted; it will only apply to the district of Gütersloh," said Elisabeth Köstinger, the Austrian minister responsible for tourism, during a live broadcast organised by German newspaper Bild. If people from Gütersloh want to visit neighbouring Austria, they have to present a negative coronavirus test that is less than 48 hours old. Those who can do this will "be able to start their vacation in Austria", said Köstinger.
Spain Plans to Open its Borders with Morocco Wednesday
Spain is planning to reopen its borders with Morocco on Wednesday after months of suspended international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Schengen Visa Info quoted the President of the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, Eduardo de Castro, who said PM Pedro Sanchez informed him of Spain’s plans to resume international travel on July 1. The outlet added that the reopening of borders might be a “one-side action, as Spain expects that Morocco’s government will maintain its borders closed until winter.” Spanish outlet El Pais also reported that Spain will allow travelers from outside the Schengen area to visit the country starting July 1, “providing there is a reciprocal agreement on travel and taking into account the epidemiological situation in the country of origin.”
Thailand to ease nightlife lockdown, allow some entry to foreigners
Premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha said the "most at-risk businesses" will be allowed to reopen from Wednesday, as there has been no local transmission of the virus for more than a month. "The most important thing we care about are the people who have no income for their families," he said. "Secondly we are confident that our health system is ready to handle (the situation)." Beginning July 1, bars, clubs and karaoke lounges can reopen, though they must adhere to a midnight closing time and have social distancing measures, said Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for COVDI-19 Situation Administration. Massage parlours and teahouses -- which sometimes act as fronts for brothels -- will also have to register customers using the government's tracking app. "Staff must be tested for COVID-19 from time to time and there should be no sex trade," said Taweesin.
Thailand To Ease Nightlife Lockdown, Allow Some Entry To Foreigners
Thailand's nightlife will restart with some restrictions this week, the kingdom announced Monday, part of a return to normalcy as it prepares to welcome business travellers and medical tourists after a ban on foreign entry. So far Thailand has 3,169 cases and 58 deaths from the coronavirus -- a low toll considering the kingdom in mid-January became was the first country outside China to register a case. But the country's tourism-reliant economy has been hit hard by the border closures, while a halt to its infamous nightlife has left the kingdom's informal workers -- in bars, massage parlours, and karaoke lounges -- adrift. Premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha said the "most at-risk businesses" will be allowed to reopen from Wednesday, as there has been no local transmission of the virus for more than a month.
Covid 19 Lockdown Measures in France: Déconfinement
As of 22 June France is now in the 3rd phase of “déconfinement“, the relaxation of lockdown rules. Cinemas, holiday centres, sports halls for group sports, all crèches, schools, and collèges are fully open but with strict adherence to sanitary regimes. Earlier in June restrictions were lifted on restaurants, bars, travel distances, tourist accommodation, parks and more. The 2nd phase also saw the end of the 100km travel limit restriction so people are now free to travel without carrying documents proving their purpose of travel. Residents now no longer need to carry an attestation form to travel further than 100km from their home, and the limit has been dropped. Hotels, restaurants, gites, B&B’s, cafes, parks and gardens were also opened during the 2nd phase. France is still under an official ‘state of health emergency’ whereby government can fast track legislation and local authorities have the power to restrict movements, stop gatherings, festivals, concerts etc in their own departments if they deem these to be a health risk.
US, Russia not on welcome list when EU reopens Wednesday
Europe will allow tourists from countries and regions outside of the bloc to begin entering again on Wednesday, but the US and Russia are now among the nations considered too risky because they have not controlled the novel coronavirus outbreak, The New York Times reported on Friday. Travelers from more than a dozen countries that are not overwhelmed by the virus are set to be welcomed when the bloc reopens on Wednesday after months of lockdown, the newspaper said. According to the report, countries that made the safe list were judged on a mix of scientific criteria that included their infection rates and the credibility of their public health reporting data.
Testing stepped up as India’s virus cases jump with another daily high
Governments were stepping up testing and warily considering their next moves on Monday as the number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases surges in many countries. India reported 20,000 new cases on Monday, while the US confirmed more than 40,000 new infections for the third straight day. As infections rise along with summer temperatures in the northern hemisphere, many governments are stepping up testing and mulling more aggressive moves such as renewed lockdowns to stem fresh outbreaks. India’s 20,000 new infections was a new daily record. Several states reimposed partial or full lockdowns after the total number of cases jumped by nearly 100,000 in one week to 548,318.
Australia, New Zealand Recovery Paths to Differ on Virus: HSBC
Australia’s suppression of the coronavirus in contrast with New Zealand’s elimination will bring different outcomes in their growth paths, according to Paul Bloxham at HSBC Holdings Plc., as cases spike Down Under while Kiwis are heading to the rugby. Australia’s southern state of Victoria has seen an isolated sharp rise in new cases in recent days. New Zealand, on the other hand, has recorded no community transmission for 38 days -- the 20 active cases are recent overseas arrivals and are in quarantine. Given these outcomes, HSBC said in a Monday report it expects a “U-shaped” recovery in Australia, with a sharp fall in second-quarter GDP of 7.5% followed by a modest rise of 0.4% in the next three months. It sees a much sharper slump of 14.7% in New Zealand for this quarter, but expects the economy to be on track for a “V-shaped” rebound with a 12.6% surge during July-September.
New Zealand government sat on Palantir Covid-19 data tracking offer
Emails released to RNZ show a US offer to rapidly set up Covid-19 data-crunching capabilities sat with the government for more than a month during the lockdown period before being rejected
'Get Britain moving again', PM Johnson to unveil new infrastructure plan
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will launch a plan this week to get Britain “moving again” after the coronavirus lockdown, when the government will set out measures to boost infrastructure construction, interior minister Priti Patel said on Sunday. Johnson will make a speech on Tuesday to set out plans to fast-track building projects such as hospitals, schools, housing, and road and rail infrastructure, part of efforts to try to stem a fall in support for his government. The British leader has been criticised for his response to the coronavirus crisis, with opposition parties and some scientists saying the government was too slow to bring in a lockdown, too slow to carry out widespread testing and not clear in its messaging.
Has Covid Testing Gone Wrong?
Is the biggest mistake in the Covid-19 crisis about to happen? As the country comes out of lockdown, the UK needs a test and trace system that can stop the disease from spreading again. So is that system ready to keep us safe? Reporter Richard Bilton investigates the rapid expansion of our testing capacity and asks whether we have got the world-beating service the prime minister promised.
Spain maintains ban on cruise ships even as tourism sector reopens
Spain is to uphold a ban on cruise liners from docking at its ports to stop the spread of COVID-19, according to a ministerial order published on Saturday. Cruise liners carrying thousands of passengers regularly stop off at ports in the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Barcelona and Malaga, but were prohibited when Spain went into lockdown on March 14. With their crowds of often elderly passengers, cruise ships have been especially vulnerable to outbreaks of the virus and have been barred from disembarking in several countries. Spain's ban on the vessels will continue until the coronavirus epidemic is brought under control, according to the Official State Gazette, even as the country otherwise reopens to tourists in an effort to revive an industry hammered by the coronavirus lockdown.
Egypt eases restrictions despite surge in coronavirus infections
Egypt on Saturday lifted many restrictions put in place against the coronavirus pandemic, reopening cafes, clubs, gyms and theaters after more than three months of closure, despite a continued upward trend in new infections. Authorities also allowed the limited reopening of mosques and churches, and lifted the nighttime curfew. President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi's government has been keen to save the Egyptian economy that was hit hard by the virus outbreak. On Friday, the International Monetary Fund approved another $5.2 billion loan for Egypt, to be added to the $2.8 billion the fund had already promised to stave off the pandemic’s worst economic effects.
Singapore ‘bans Britons from working over lockdown bar crawl’
Several Britons have been banned from working in Singapore after reportedly going on a bar crawl during lockdown. Six people found guilty this week of breaching anti-coronavirus measures have had their work permits revoked, authorities said. They had meet-ups near the city-state's Robertson Quay while social gatherings were banned to limit the spread of the virus, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MoM).
Australian supermarkets limit toilet roll sales amid panic-buying, as country eases coronavirus lockdown despite spike in cases
Australian supermarkets have restricted toilet roll sales after a new bout of panic-buying, as the country continues to ease its coronavirus lockdown despite a spike in infections in its second-most-populated state. Despite assurances from prime minister Scott Morrison that Australia’s coronavirus curve is “flat”, the country’s largest supermarket chain, Woolworths, on Friday introduced a two-pack limit on toilet paper and kitchen towels across all of its stores. Claire Peters, managing director of Woolworths’ supermarkets division, said the company was “taking preventative action now to get ahead of any excessive buying”.
Australian supermarkets limit toilet roll sales amid panic-buying, as country eases coronavirus lockdown despite spike in cases
Australian supermarkets have restricted toilet roll sales after a new bout of panic-buying, as the country continues to ease its coronavirus lockdown despite a spike in infections in its second-most-populated state. Despite assurances from prime minister Scott Morrison that Australia’s coronavirus curve is “flat”, the country’s largest supermarket chain, Woolworths, on Friday introduced a two-pack limit on toilet paper and kitchen towels across all of its stores. Claire Peters, managing director of Woolworths’ supermarkets division, said the company was “taking preventative action now to get ahead of any excessive buying”.
Partisan Exits
Reuters Special Report - Into the fog: How Britain lost track of the coronavirus
To tackle the invisible virus, doctors and health specialists first needed to find it. But with few tests, little contact tracing and a government culture of secrecy, they lost sight of the enemy.
Putin tells Russia that the coronavirus is in retreat. Critics face crackdowns for saying it’s far from over.
Sometimes information slips out, telling a more dire story for Russians grappling with mixed messages: the Kremlin’s upbeat assessments versus statistics showing that Russia’s confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus are still climbing. When infectious-disease doctor Victoria Adonyeva predicted in a newspaper interview that the nationwide vote would cause a spike in new cases, many readers applauded her honesty. Adonyeva, chief infectious-disease specialist of the Orlovskaya region, about 220 miles south of Moscow, also called into question the accuracy of Russia’s statistics on coronavirus deaths — now at 9,152 — in the interview with the Orlovsky Novosti newspaper. “The numbers are going up. There’s no plateau,” she said. “What kind of stabilization, what kind of lifting of restrictions can we talk about?” Her hospital and others in the city of Oryol had no free beds, she added.
Coronavirus: Victoria can’t blame bad luck for coronavirus failures
Victoria’s chief medical officer said residents may be asked to wear face masks in light of the state’s surging coronavirus cases, contradicting earlier warnings that wearing personal protective equipment was unnecessary and potentially harmful. Brett Sutton told ABC’s Radio National on Monday that health authorities were preparing advice on whether Victorians should wear masks. “I take the perspective that when you are really trying to drive numbers down to maintain your test and trace capability, it needs to be considered,” Sutton said. “I have got a team working up some advice now and we will talk about masks in those types of settings for people to choose it and provide some guidance on the masks that work and how much protection you get.” The federal health minister, Greg Hunt, told ABC’s 7:30 on Monday night that states and territories can make decisions about whether wearing masks “could be encouraged or even mandatory” – confirming that “that’s one of the items that Victoria is looking at”.
Duncan Garner: It's time to completely shut New Zealand's border - returning Kiwis included
Duncan Garner: It's time to completely shut New Zealand's border - returning Kiwis included
Continued Lockdown
COVID-19: Asian New Zealanders experienced high rates of anxiety, depression during lockdown - survey
According to new research the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has been tough on the mental wellbeing of Asian New Zealanders. The New Zealand Asian Mental Health and Well-being report, commissioned by charity Asian Family Services, found high levels of anxiety and nervousness, as well as racism. The research surveyed 580 Asian New Zealanders across the country and found almost 44 percent of them experienced some form of mental distress since level 4 lockdown. Nervousness and anxiety are the most widely experienced (57 percent), followed by little interest or pleasure in doing things (55.2 percent), uncontrollable worrying (47.4 percent) and feeling down and hopeless (44 percent).
Sudan extends coronavirus lockdown in Khartoum state
Sudan is extending a lockdown in the state of Khartoum aimed at curbing the spread of the new coronavirus by one week until July 7, the government spokesman said on Sunday. From July 8 there will be a gradual return to normal, though a night curfew will be imposed from 6 p.m. until 5 a.m., Faisal Salih told Reuters. Sudan has confirmed 9,258 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 572 deaths. Authorities have extended the closure of Khartoum’s international airport until July 12.
Arizona governor closes bars, gyms and movie theaters for a month
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said bars, gyms, movie theaters, waterparks, and tubing rentals will shut down for 30 days, as coronavirus cases continue to soar in the state. The measure is meant to help ease the strain on the state's healthcare system.
Scientific Viewpoint
India's first COVID-19 vaccine candidate approved for human trials
Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for human trials, making it India’s first domestic candidate to get the green light from the government’s drug regulator as cases surge in a country with more than 1.3 billion people. The Drug Controller General of India has approved the company’s application to conduct a Phase I and II clinical trial of Covaxin, which was developed along with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology, the company said in a statement on Monday. Human clinical trials are scheduled to start across the country in July for the vaccine, which was developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s facility at Genome Valley in Hyderabad, India. India, which lags only the United States, Brazil and Russia in total cases, reported close to 20,000 new infections on Monday, according to data from the country’s federal Health Ministry.
Virus re-emergence after lockdown ends
A new report in the journal Nature Human Behaviour in June 2020 reports predictions as to the effects of removing lockdown restrictions on the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and suggests that individual responsibility concerning social distancing and other precautions could avoid the need for lockdowns. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is in different phases in different countries, waning in some former hotspots but rising rapidly in others. Since there are no antivirals to prevent or treat infections, the only preventative measure available is social distancing and lockdowns.
WHO director: Pandemic 'speeding up' | TheHill
More than 10 million people across the globe have tested positive for the coronavirus, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday, nearly 180,000 of whom tested positive in the last 24 hours. Almost half a million people have died worldwide. "The reality is this is not close to being over," Tedros told reporters. "Globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up." About half the cases, and nearly half the deaths across the globe, have come in the Americas. The United States, which accounts for about 4 percent of the global population, has nearly a quarter of the total confirmed cases, 2.4 million.
CanSino's COVID-19 vaccine candidate approved for military use in China
China’s military has received the greenlight to use a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by its research unit and CanSino Biologics (6185.HK) after clinical trials proved it was safe and showed some efficacy, the company said on Monday. The Ad5-nCoV is one of China’s eight vaccine candidates approved for human trials at home and abroad for the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. The shot also won approval for human testing in Canada. China’s Central Military Commission approved the use of the vaccine by the military on June 25 for a period of one year, CanSino said in a filing. The vaccine candidate was developed jointly by CanSino and a research institute at the Academy of Military Science (AMS).
Mexico talking to China, AstraZeneca over coronavirus vaccine -official
Mexico is in talks with the Chinese government and private Chinese laboratories, as well as the University of Oxford and company AstraZeneca about running trials for experimental COVID-19 vaccines, a senior Mexican official said on Monday. More than 100 vaccines against the novel coronavirus, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and ravaged the global economy, are now being developed and tested by various teams around the world. Martha Delgado, a Mexican deputy foreign minister, told Reuters the government was seeking to collaborate with different countries and laboratories that are working on experimental vaccines.
Temasek-led investor group in $250 million vaccine bet on BioNTech
Singapore's state investor Temasek and other investors are injecting $250 million into German biotech company BioNTech , which is developing an experimental vaccine against the coronavirus with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. The investment, which BioNTech said was via a private placement, reflects heightened investor interest in the race to develop an agent that will stop the pandemic and sent shares in biotech firms such as Moderna and Novavax soaring this year. U.S.-listed shares in the German company jumped almost 15% to their highest since March 19 on the news. They have surged more than 80% so far this year against the Nasdaq biotech index's gain of 12%.
Gilead's coronavirus treatment remdesivir to cost $3,120 per U.S. patient with private insurance
Gilead Sciences announced its pricing plans in preparation for it to begin charging for the drug in July. The company has been donating doses to the U.S. government for distribution since it received emergency use authorization in May. The drugmaker said it will sell remdesivir for $390 per vial to governments “of developed countries” around the world, and the price for U.S. private insurance companies will stand at $520 per vial.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Will there be a second wave of coronavirus? Could cases of Covid-19 in UK rise again after Germany sees infection rate jump
As lockdown restrictions ease across the UK, concerns amongst experts are growing in regards to the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus cases if social distancing guidelines are not adhered to
Is Victoria’s dire COVID-19 situation going to be Australia’s second wave of coronavirus?
The declaration by New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian that Victorians shouldn’t cross the border, and that her citizens should avoid travel south, highlights the seriousness of the resurgence. Authorities say the situation is likely to get much worse, given the benefits of renewed restrictions and a rapid testing blitz across 10 suburbs won’t be felt for weeks. Professor James McCaw from the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics at The University of Melbourne initially wondered whether the uptick was just a blip that could be managed. “The pendulum is starting to swing towards this being more than a statistical blip,” Prof McCaw said. “While there is no apparent uptick in hospitalisation yet, it is too early to tell why. It may be that cases are in younger people picked up by the targeted testing system who are less likely to become severely ill. “Or it may be that in a few weeks time we will see increasing hospitalisations as the infection spreads further.”
Vic records highest peak since lockdown
Victorians have been warned they might be legally forced to minimise their movements to help contain the spread of coronavirus after the state recorded 75 new cases. Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the increase in cases on Monday was concerning but big numbers could be turned around if people "do the right thing".
Coronavirus US: Over 1,000 San Quentin Prison inmates infected
As of Monday, 1,015 inmates in the prison had tested positive for COVID-19. The number has grown by 973 in just two weeks. The spike is thought to have been caused by an influx of inmates from California Institute for Men. Sixteen inmates there died from the virus; 121 were transferred to San Quentin on May 31. Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday some inmates would be removed to be cared for in medical facilities. It comes as the number of cases across the US continues to rise
CDC report reveals coronavirus spread to 72% of inmates exposed in Louisiana
In the weeks following a prison staff member's positive coronavirus test, 35 inmates in five buildings tested positive. Less than two months later, despite quarantines, 71 out of 98 remaining inmates in those buildings were infected. Sixteen people tested negative once before testing positive and two had two negative COVID-19 tests before the tested positive. Weeks may have elapsed between when they were infected and when they tested positive, a CDC report reveals
With coronavirus surge, L.A. County may run out of ICU beds
Los Angeles County health officials issued a dire warning Monday that conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic are deteriorating rapidly and the highly contagious virus is spreading swiftly in the nation’s most populous county. They said they are now faced with one of their biggest fears: that the reopening of L.A. County would coincide with sudden jumps in disease transmission that have the potential to overwhelm public and private hospitals. L.A. County has long been the epicenter of the coronavirus in California — with nearly 98,000 confirmed cases and more than 3,300 deaths — but officials said Monday that the outbreak is worsening. Barbara Ferrer, the director of public health for L.A. County, said that new data show “alarming increases in cases, positivity rates and hospitalization.”
New Lockdown
UK's first local lockdown to be discussed by Government today
Coronavirus testing data will be discussed at a Monday morning meeting between Leicester’s mayor and Government officials amid suggestions a local lockdown could be imposed on the city. City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby and the council’s director of public health Ivan Browne will be present to examine the data behind a local surge in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks. Sir Peter said the council was only provided with detailed testing information for the first time on Thursday – a week after Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that there was a local outbreak in the city. It comes as restrictions are being eased elsewhere in the UK, with parks and shops with outdoor entrances able to reopen in Scotland, and schools in Wales welcoming more pupils
Coronavirus: How would a local lockdown work in Leicester?
Leicester could be kept in the current stage of lockdown for another two weeks, because of a local surge in coronavirus cases. That means pubs and restaurants would remain closed when they open in the rest of England from Saturday, and social distancing guidelines would stay at 2m (6ft). But local politicians say it is unclear how restrictions can still be maintained in one area.
Germany extends lockdown in district hit by COVID-19 in abattoir
The western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) said on Monday that as a precaution it would extend by one week a lockdown in one of two districts affected by an outbreak of the coronavirus at a slaughterhouse. NRW premier Armin Laschet said restrictions keeping bars, museums, galleries, cinemas, sports halls, gyms and swimming pools shut would remain in place in the district of Guetersloh for now even though the outbreak was under control. A lockdown in the neighbouring district of Warendorf will be lifted on Tuesday because the number of positive tests there was lower than in Guetersloh.
Kazakhstan heads for second COVID-19 lockdown after botched reopening
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered his government on Monday to prepare a package of coronavirus restrictions similar to the hard lockdown that the Central Asian nation imposed in March-May after a recent sharp rise in infections. Tokayev gave his cabinet two days to draft the new measures and scolded senior officials, formally reprimanding a few, for botching the reopening and allowing the outbreak to resurge in the country of 19 million. "In foreign observers' opinion, the situation in Kazakhstan is critical, on the brink of spiraling out of control," he said, adding that the government was considering several lockdown options and ways to support the economy.
Coronavirus cases surge worldwide, governments consider renewed lockdowns
India’s 20,000 new infections was a new daily record. Several states reimposed partial or full lockdowns after the total number of cases jumped by nearly 100,000 in one week to 548,318. While some states have tightened precautions, in the worst-affected regions of Maharashtra, which includes India’s financial capital, Mumbai, and Delhi, home to the federal capital of New Delhi, most restrictions have been eased, with restaurants, shopping malls and parks reopened, and public buses and shared-ride services back on the roads.
Portugal, Italy, Spain: Several European countries reimpose local lockdowns
The number of coronavirus cases is starting to rise again in several countries, especially in the south of Europe. Portugal, for example has recently reimposed lockdown measures in some neighbourhoods around Lisbon.
UK city of Leicester could be the first to face local lockdown after virus surge
The central English city of Leicester could be the country's first to face a local lockdown due to a rise in coronavirus cases, the UK's Home Secretary Priti Patel said Sunday. The Midlands city recorded 658 new cases in the two weeks up to June 16, many linked to fresh outbreaks at food production plants. Patel told the BBC that there have been "flare-ups across the country in recent weeks, in just the last three or four weeks in particular". "For local outbreaks, it is appropriate to have local solutions in terms of infection control, social distancing, screening and many tools," she added.
Half a million in lockdown as Beijing fights new virus cluster
China imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh coronavirus outbreak on Sunday, as authorities warned it was soon to "relax" over the new cluster of cases. After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in neighbouring Hebei province. Health officials said Sunday that Anxin county -- about 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Beijing -- will be "fully enclosed and controlled", the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year.
Asia Today: Seoul Considers New Curbs as Virus Cases Climb
The capital district of the northeastern state of Assam on the Bangladesh border has reimposed a full lockdown until July 12 following a spike in cases. Another border state, West Bengal, has extended its lockdown until July 31. However, in India’s worst-affected states, Maharashtra, which includes India’s financial capital, Mumbai, and Delhi, home to the federal capital of New Delhi, most lockdown restrictions have been eased, with restaurants, shopping malls and parks reopened, and public buses and shared-ride services back on the roads.
Spike in COVID-19 Cases Brings Renewed Lockdowns
A rise in coronavirus cases around the world is prompting authorities in some countries, including India and the United States, to reimpose lockdown restrictions, as the head of the World Health Organization said the pandemic “is not even close to being over.” "Most people remain susceptible. The virus still has a lot of room to move," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday during a virtual briefing in Geneva. “Although many countries have made some progress globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up," he said. India reported another record one-day increase in confirmed cases Monday with nearly 20,000, a jump of more than 100,000 in a week. The country trails only the United States, Brazil and Russia in total confirmed cases since the pandemic began late last year in China. Part of India’s Assam state has reimposed its lockdown through July 12, while West Bengal state extended its restrictions until the end of July.
Seoul considers new lockdown measures as virus cases climb
With people increasingly venturing out in public, new clusters are tied to a variety of places. Health Minister Park Neung-hoo announced on Sunday that the government is prepared to implement stronger social distancing measures if the epidemic continues to grow. He said the strongest measures — including banning all gatherings of more than 10 people, shutting schools, halting professional sports, and restricting operations of non-essential businesses — will be enforced if the daily increase in infections doubles more than two times during the span of a week.
China puts half a million people in lockdown as Beijing fights new cluster
China imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people in a province surrounding the capital to contain a fresh coronavirus cluster on Sunday, as authorities warned the outbreak was still "severe and complicated." After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in neighbouring Hebei province in recent weeks. Health officials said Sunday that Anxin county -- about 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Beijing -- will be "fully enclosed and controlled", the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family will be allowed to go out once a day to purchase necessities such as food and medicine, the county's epidemic prevention task force said in a statement.
Coronavirus deaths hit 500,000 worldwide as China imposes local lockdown and Seoul considers new measures amid spike
Texas has seen a surge of cases after allowing businesses to reopen following the US' nationwide lockdown, and has begun to reimpose restrictions. Both Vice President Mike Pence and Texas Governor Greg Abbott acknowledged the rapid rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the state in recent weeks after Mr Abbott began allowing businesses to start reopening in early May. "Covid 19 has taken a very swift and very dangerous turn in Texas over just the past few weeks," said Mr Abbott, who on Friday again shut down bars and limited restaurant dining, a day after Texas reported a record high confirmed positive tests of 5,996.
Hebei: China locks down 400,000 people after virus spike near Beijing
China has reinstated a strict lockdown near Beijing, affecting around 400,000 people, after a small surge in cases. The restrictions have come into force in Anxin county in Hebei province near the capital. After the pandemic emerged in China at the end of last year, the country has managed to get new infections to a consistently low level. To avoid a second wave, even small surges are taken very seriously by the country's health authorities.
Coronavirus in Victoria: Daniel Andrews considers suburban lockdowns as 49 new cases confirmed
The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, says the state will consider potential stay-at-home orders and suburban lockdowns to contain several coronavirus clusters in Melbourne, after another 49 cases of coronavirus were detected on Saturday – the highest daily number since April. The overall total has increased by 41, with eight cases reclassified after further testing found these indeterminate results to be negative. On Sunday afternoon, the federal deputy chief medical officer Michael Kidd told reporters that while Victoria’s spike was “of genuine concern” it was not a second wave. “This is not a second wave,” he said. “What we’re seeing in Victoria is exactly what was planned when we have outbreaks occurring across the country.” He praised the Victorian government’s response so far, saying it was “very vigorous and appropriate”.
Leicester lockdown: Restrictions could be extended for two weeks
Pubs and restaurants in Leicester may stay closed for two more weeks due to a surge in coronavirus cases, the city's mayor has said. Sir Peter Soulsby said the government had recommended current restrictions are maintained for a further fortnight. He told the Today programme the city could "remain restricted for two weeks longer than the rest of the country". The prime minister said Public Health England and local authorities had the power to bring in a local lockdown. There have been 2,987 positive cases in Leicester since the pandemic began, with 866 of those - 29% - reported in the two weeks to 23 June.
Leicester Faces Local Lockdown As Covid-19 Cases Under Scrutiny
Coronavirus testing data will be discussed at a Monday morning meeting between Leicester's mayor and UK Government officials amid suggestions a local lockdown could be imposed on the city. City Mayor Peter Soulsby and the council's Director of Public Health Ivan Browne will be present to examine the data behind a local surge in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks. Soulsby said the council was only provided with detailed testing information for the first time on Thursday in a week after Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that there was a local outbreak in the city. It comes as restrictions are being eased elsewhere in the UK, with parks and shops with outdoor entrances able to reopen in Scotland, and schools in Wales welcoming more pupils. The Welsh Government said schools will operate with staggered starts and breaks for check in, catch up and prepare sessions starting on Monday.