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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 6th Jul 2020

News Highlights

India sees record daily rise in cases as deaths near 20,000

India recorded 24,850 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, the third consecutive day of cases increasing by more than 20,000. Despite a harsh lockdown of more than three months, there are still 244,814 active cases in the country and total deaths due to the disease has reached 19,268.

Hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir treatment trials discontinued by WHO

The WHO has discontinued the trial of the malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, and the HIV drug, lopinavir/ritonavir, as possible treatments for Covid-19 on the recommendation of the Solidarity Trial's International Steering Committee. Interim results showed that both hydroxychloroquine, the drug promoted by President Donald Trump, and lopinavir/ritonavir, showed little to no reduction in the mortality rates for hospitalised Covid-19 patients.

Lockdown reimposed in Madagascar as cases surge

Two months after restrictions were eased, the government of the island country of Madagascar has placed its capital Antananarivo under a full lockdown after recording more than 200 cases of Covid-19 on Sunday. Only one person from a household will be allowed onto the street between 6am and noon and no traffic will be allowed in or out of the region.

Scientists ask WHO to revise recommendations, say coronavirus is airborne

Hundreds of scientists have outlined evidence that they say shows that even minute coronavirus particles in the air can infect people. While the WHO states that the virus is spread primarily from person-to-person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, 239 scientists from 32 countries are asking the WHO to revise its recommendations, claiming that airborne transmission of the virus is possible.

Lockdown Exit
Malawi cancels independence celebrations over virus spike
Malawi's president Lazarus Chakwera on Sunday called off planned independence celebrations and drastically scaled back on his inauguration ceremony following a spike in coronavirus infections in the southern African country. The cancellation will put a dampener on the euphoria generated by the historic opposition triumph in a recent landmark election re-run after last year's fraudulent polls were overturned.
S.Africa reports record rise in COVID-19 cases
South Africa has reported a sharp rise in novel coronavirus infections with 7,210 cases reported in a single day on Saturday, and another 6,334 on Sunday, the Health Ministry said. “We are seeing a rapid rise in the cumulative number of positive COVID-19 cases indicating that, as we had expected, we are approaching a surge during the latter winter months of July and August,’’ Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced in a statement Sunday night. Mkhize said as of Sunday the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 138,134, with the death toll hitting 2,456 and recoveries standing at 68,925. The minister said 43 new fatalities were reported on Sunday, while a day earlier the country recorded 73 deaths from the disease. The highest fatalities were recorded in the tourism hub of Western Cape.
Nearly 25000 Covid-19 cases in India in record daily jump
India’s tally of the coronavirus disease reached 673,165 with the biggest single-day increase of 24,850 new cases and 613 deaths, data from the Union health ministry on Sunday showed. The country’s death toll due to the disease has reached 19,268 and there are 244,4814 active cases of Covid-19 in the country, according to the health ministry’s dashboard, reports Hindustan Times. The number of recoveries stands at 409,082 with 14,856 people cured of the viral disease in the last 24 hours. The recovery rate is now 60.76%, slightly down from Saturday’s 60.80%. This is the third consecutive day when coronavirus disease cases have increased by more than 20,000.
Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 239 to 196,335 - RKI
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 239 to 196,335, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by 2 to 9,012, the tally showed.
'Let’s do karaoke!': Bangkok nightlife eases out of lockdown
The city’s bars, clubs and even massage parlours are beginning to buzz again but the absence of tourists is taking its toll
Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina Get Best Marks in Latin America for Pandemic Response-Poll
Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina are the Latin American countries that earned the best grades for their response to the coronavirus, according to a poll conducted in the region and released on Friday, while Brazil was tagged as the worst performer.
Coronavirus mortality in Italy is highest among poor, study shows
Poor Italians are significantly more likely to die of the coronavirus than higher-income groups, the country’s first significant study into the disease’s disproportionate social impact showed on Friday. Italy is one of the world’s worst-hit countries with almost 35,000 COVID-19 deaths since its outbreak emerged on Feb. 21 and it was the first European nation to report large-scale infections. In its annual report, national statistics bureau ISTAT studied mortality rates for each month from January 2019 to March 2020, when the outbreak took off, focusing on the education levels of those who died. On average, Italians who leave school early with few qualifications have lower life-expectancy than those who study for longer, ISTAT said, and this “excess mortality” remained roughly constant through February this year.
Switzerland publishes list of ‘high risk’ travel quarantine countries
The United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Brazil are among 29 countries listed as posing a high risk of coronavirus infection by the Swiss authorities. From July 6, travellers entering Switzerland from these countries must go into quarantine for ten days.
Exit Strategies
Coronavirus: Arts venues welcome £1.57bn government support
The government has unveiled a £1.57bn support package to help protect the futures of UK theatres, galleries, museums and other cultural venues. It follows several weeks of pressure, with industry leaders warning that many venues were on the brink of collapse. Independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues will also be eligible for the new emergency grants and loans. Guidance for a phased return of the performing arts is expected to be published by the government shortly. A string of theatres have announced plans to make staff redundant in recent weeks, after being closed since the coronavirus pandemic took hold earlier this year. The announcement of the new funding comes just two days after theatres across the UK were covered in colourful messages of support.
Ireland to ease foreign travel restrictions from July 20
Ireland is to ease quarantine restrictions on people travelling from abroad on July 20, with people from a “green list” of countries with low COVID-19 rates to be exempt from isolating themselves for 14 days, transport minister Eamon Ryan said. Former prime minister Leo Varadkar in June said that the restrictions would be eased from July 9. “A so-called green list... will be published on July 20,” Ryan said in an interview with Newstalk radio station. “The green list will be operating after that.”
Former WHO director Anthony Costello: 'Opening pubs before schools says something about our priorities'
Well it’s very odd in Britain that we’re opening pubs before schools. It says something about our priorities. Being outdoors the risks are pretty low – 19 times lower risk according to a Japanese study. I would have said open pubs as long as you serve outside.
Lockdown heroes: couriers get Moscow monument
A group of Russian e-commerce companies said Friday they had erected a monument in Moscow thanking couriers for helping people through the coronavirus lockdown. The tribute comes after some delivery workers, many of whom are impoverished migrants from Central Asia, protested against conditions they said were unfair. Online shopping company Ozon, sometimes called the Russian Amazon, as well as several supermarkets and food delivery services said they clubbed together to put up the sculptural tribute in the south of the capital.
Brazil set to pass 1.5 million coronavirus cases, cities reopen anyway
Brazil was set to pass 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, as the virus continues to ravage Latin America’s largest country even as cities reopen bars, restaurants and gyms sparking fears infections will keep rising. Brazil has the world’s second largest outbreak after the United States and the virus has killed over 60,000 people in the country. In Rio de Janeiro, crowds gathered to drink on the sidewalk of an upscale beach-side neighborhood on Thursday night, the first evening bars in the city were allowed to reopen. Pictures of the revelry in Leblon, where few were wearing face masks and people were huddled close together, went viral on social media drawing condemnation and concern.
Partisan Exits
Greece shuts border to Serbians after virus spike
Greece announced on Sunday the closure of its frontier for Serbian nationals until July 15 because of a coronavirus spike. Serbia declared a state of emergency on Friday in the capital Belgrade because of the highest rise of coronavirus cases since April. Greece had made its decision after analysing the epidemiological data, said government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni. Greece, which has suffered fewer than 200 virus deaths, has launched a promotional campaign to revive tourism, which accounts for a quarter of its gross domestic product
Brazil dilutes mask law as its coronavirus cases top 1.5 million
President Jair Bolsonaro waters down law requiring face masks in public places as country's cases surpass 1.5 million. Bolsonaro on Friday used his veto power to dilute a law aimed at preventing the spread of the virus. The law mandates masks in public spaces, but the president removed provisions that mandate face coverings in shops and churches.
France to launch inquiry into ex-PM, ministers over coronavirus
A French court will open an inquiry into former prime minister Edouard Philippe and two cabinet ministers over their handling of the coronavirus crisis, a prosecutor said Friday. The inquiry will be led by the Law Court of the Republic (CJR), which deals with claims of ministerial misconduct, said senior prosecutor Francois Molins. Along with Philippe, who was replaced Friday in the first stage of a government reshuffle, the ministers under investigation are former health minister Agnes Buzyn -- who stepped down in February for an unsuccessful bid to become mayor of Paris -- and her successor Olivier Veran.
Continued Lockdown
Taj Mahal remains shut as India reports record daily virus cases
The jump in infections came as local authorities in northern Agra city said the Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, would remain closed to visitors even though the national government said it had permission to reopen on Monday.
Israel, Palestinians face new restrictions amid virus surge
Israel said Sunday it has ordered thousands of people into quarantine after a contentious phone surveillance program resumed while Palestinians in the West Bank returned to life under lockdown amid a surge in coronavirus cases in both areas. Israel’s Health Ministry said Sunday “many” messages had been sent to Israelis following the renewed involvement of the Shin Bet domestic security agency. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that more than 30,000 people were notified they must enter quarantine since Thursday. Just weeks ago, both Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank appeared to have contained outbreaks after imposing strict measures early on during a first wave of infections. But after reporting just a handful of new cases a day in early May, both areas have experienced a steady uptick in cases following an easing of restrictions.
Mexico's coronavirus death toll surpasses 30,000
Mexico reported 523 more coronavirus deaths on Saturday, pushing its tally to 30,366, overtaking France to become the fifth-highest in the world. The health ministry also reported 6,914 new infections and a total of 252,165 confirmed cases. Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez Gatell reiterated that the actual number of infected was probably significantly higher. “We knew from the beginning that the cases we report here do not represent the total number of people with COVID-19 in Mexico,” he told a regular news conference. “Neither Mexico nor any other country in the world aims to make an exhaustive count.”
West Footscray COVID-19 sign chilling echo of Checkpoint Charlie as Melbourne suburb enters lockdown
COVID-19 sign with similar layout to Checkpoint Charlie raised in Melbourne. Sign warns residents they are entering COVID hotspot at West Footscray. The caution is translated from English into Russian, French and German.
Leicester lockdown map: What areas are included, and what are the rules?
Leicester has become the first city in Britain to be placed in a local lockdown after public health officials voiced concern at the city’s alarming rise in Covid-19 cases. Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday night, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that from Tuesday 30 June, non-essential shops in the city will be forced to close, and starting from Thursday 2 July, schools will be shut to all but the most vulnerable children, as well as the children of key workers. Residents have been advised to "stay at home as much as you can", while members of the public outside of the city have been told to avoid all non-essential travel to the region. The lockdown, which was signed off by Boris Johnson, was a difficult decision to make, the Health Secretary said. He told Parliament: "I know that this is a worrying time for people living in Leicester and I want you to know you have our full support." "We do not take these decisions lightly but with the interests of the people of Leicester in our hearts."
Brazil registers 37,923 new cases of coronavirus, 1,091 ...
Brazil recorded 37,923 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours as well as 1,091 deaths, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. Brazil has registered more than 1.5 million cases since the pandemic began, while cumulative deaths total 64,265, according to the ministry
Australia sets up suburban checkpoints to contain Melbourne virus hotspots
Australian police set up suburban checkpoints in new coronavirus hotspots in Melbourne on Thursday as authorities struggled to contain new outbreaks in the country's second-largest city, even as travel restrictions eased elsewhere. Images published by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Thursday showed police flagging down cars in suburban streets after 36 suburbs in Melbourne in Victoria state went into lockdown following a spike in new infections there. The state reported 77 new cases on Thursday, up slightly from the previous day and in line with two weeks of double-digit daily increases. "I'm obviously concerned about the outbreak, and I'm pleased that the premier has taken the action he's taken by putting in place the lockdown for the outbreak in those suburbs," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a televised news conference, referring to the Victorian state government.
Kazakhstan Back Under Lockdown After Coronavirus Spike
Kazakh authorities have reimposed lockdown in what is Central Asia’s largest country after a rapid increase in coronavirus cases, as more than 42,000 people have been affected. The country’s government announced Thursday the second lockdown as part of an online joint briefing chaired by the country’s prime minister, Askar Mamin, saying the ‘‘preventative measures’’ in Kazakhstan will last until July 19. Authorities banned the use of public transport operating between regions and limited public transport activities in the cities. Any interactive events, such as entertainment, sports and other public events, as well as family and commemorative events are banned. Around 80 percent of employees should continue working from home, except for essential workers, according to the new order.
Scientific Viewpoint
The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus
New federal data provides the most comprehensive view to date of how Black and Latino people have been likelier than their white peers to contract the virus and die from it.
Hundreds of scientists say coronavirus is airborne, ask WHO to revise recommendations: NYT
Hundreds of scientists say there is evidence that novel coronavirus in smaller particles in the air can infect people and are calling for the World Health Organization to revise recommendations, the New York Times reported on Saturday. The WHO has said the coronavirus disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks. In an open letter to the agency, which the researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal next week, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined the evidence showing smaller particles can infect people, the NYT said
Coronavirus: Why Singapore turned to wearable contact-tracing tech
Singapore's TraceTogether Tokens are the latest effort to tackle Covid-19 with tech. But they have also reignited a privacy debate. The wearable devices complement the island's existing contact-tracing app, to identify people who might have been infected by those who have tested positive for the virus. All users have to do is carry one, and the battery lasts up to nine months without needing a recharge - something one expert said had "stunned" him. The government agency which developed the devices acknowledges that the Tokens - and technology in general - aren't "a silver bullet", but should augment human contact-tracers' efforts
WHO expects to see first results from coronavirus drug trials within two weeks
The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) says it should soon get results from the clinical trials of drugs that might be effective in treating COVID-19 patients. The Solidarity Trial started in five parts looking at possible treatment approaches to COVID-19: standard care; remdesivir; the anti-malaria drug touted by US President Donald Trump, hydroxychloroquine; the HIV drugs lopinavir/ritonavir; and lopinavir/ritonavir combined with interferon.
WHO urges countries to 'wake up' and halt virus
The World Health Organization on Friday urged countries hit by serious coronavirus outbreaks to “wake up” to the realities on the ground instead of bickering, and to “take control”. “People need to wake up. The data is not lying. The situation on the ground is not lying,” WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told journalists at a briefing hosted by the UN correspondents’ association in Geneva. Touching almost every country on Earth since it emerged in China late last year, the coronavirus has hit at least 10.8 million people and killed 521,000 worldwide. The Americas are the hardest-hit region, with most cases and deaths registered in the United States, and with numbers skyrocketing in a several countries in Latin America.
WHO discontinues hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir treatment arms for COVID-19
WHO today accepted the recommendation from the Solidarity Trial’s International Steering Committee to discontinue the trial’s hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir arms. The Solidarity Trial was established by WHO to find an effective COVID-19 treatment for hospitalized patients. The International Steering Committee formulated the recommendation in light of the evidence for hydroxychloroquine vs standard-of-care and for lopinavir/ritonavir vs standard-of-care from the Solidarity trial interim results, and from a review of the evidence from all trials presented at the 1-2 July WHO Summit on COVID-19 research and innovation. These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect.
Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in Belgian long-term care facilities
Belgium was the worst-hit country per capita in Europe. They did systematic testing for #SARSCoV2 in long-term care facilities, just reported @TheLancetInfDis No symptoms were reported in 6,244 *(74.8%)* of 8,343 people who tested positive
Stroke More Likely in COVID-19 Than Flu Patients
Ischemic stroke rate appears more than seven times higher with coronavirus
Will covid-19 be the catalyst for a "new deal" for the health and wellbeing of women, children and adolescents?
This week, I joined online with over 1700 delegates from 120 countries for Lives in the Balance: A covid-19 summit to explore ways of improving and increasing investment in health systems and social protection policies for women, children, and adolescents as the world rebuilds in the wake of the pandemic. As we came together, we reflected on the fact that the world had recently hit the grim milestone, of over 500,000 deaths from covid-19. Yet the World Health Organisation warns us that the worst of the pandemic is yet to come, and we see the deepening global public health crisis compounded by full blown social and economic crises with implications for global peace and security.
Coronavirus Resurgence
El Salvador delays next steps in reopening economy as COVID-19 cases rise
El Salvador’s presidential office on Sunday postponed the second phase of the economy’s reopening by two weeks, citing a still-rising number of coronavirus infections. President Nayib Bukele has imposed some of the toughest measures in the Americas against the pandemic, which has caused 217 deaths and 7,777 infections in the Central American country. His government on June 16 began a gradual process to bring back the economy, outlining a second phase that would allow public transportation, business services, manufacturers and the shoe, bag, box and paper industries to reopen. That phase was due to begin on July 7 but has now been delayed until July 21, after the government said infections rose by 50% and deaths increased by 80%.
Coronavirus cases in Czech mining area are under control, minister says
A rise in new coronavirus infections in a Czech coal mining region that has driven a recent jump in overall cases is under control and should ease soon, the health minister said on Sunday amid criticism. State hard coal miner OKD last week closed its mines in the Karvina area in the country’s east, along the Polish border, after a jump in cases among miners and their close contacts. The rise has caused overall case numbers to accelerate, prompting some other European Union members like Slovenia to bump the Czech Republic from their list of safe countries, complicating travel at the start of the summer holiday season.
Philippines records highest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases at 2,434; total exceeds 44,000
The Philippines recorded an all-time high single-day increase in COVID-19 cases on Sunday, with the Department of Health reporting 2,434 new infections. This broke the previous record high of 1,531 posted just two days ago. The total case count soared to 44,254, with 1,147 of the new cases classified as "fresh" or were detected in the last three days. The other 1,287 are “late” cases or were part of the validation backlog, according to the DOH. “As the country continues to ease community quarantine measures, the rise in the number of cases may be attributed to the increased contact among the population,” the agency said.
Morocco reports record number of novel coronavirus cases
Morocco reported Sunday 698 additional novel coronavirus infections, the highest one-day increase since the outbreak began in early March, with numerous cases discovered in a port city factory. The new figures bring the official total in the North African kingdom to 14,132 infections and 234 deaths, according to the health ministry. The majority of the new infections were detected in a fish canning factory in the southern port city of Safi. The city was quarantined overnight Saturday to Sunday and its around 300,000 inhabitants placed under a total lockdown, media reports Sunday quoted local authorities as saying.
Coronavirus Cases Rising In Saudi Arabia, UAE After Curfews Lifted
Restrictions had been in place in both countries since mid-March and their gradual lifting has allowed commercial businesses and public venues to reopen. Saudi Arabia, which has the highest count among the six Gulf states, reported more than 4,100 cases on Friday and on Saturday to take its total to 205,929, with 1,858 deaths. The daily tally first rose above 4,000 in mid-June, but had dipped. The United Arab Emirates, where daily infection rates recently dropped to between 300 and 400 from a peak of some 900 in late May, registered more than 600 cases on Friday and over 700 on Saturday, taking its toll to 50,857, with 321 deaths. Dubai, the region's business and tourism hub is due to reopen to foreign visitors on July 7, although this has not been implemented at a federal level in the UAE, which does not provide a breakdown of cases for each of its seven emirates.
Global report: WHO reports record 200,000 cases in one day, amid surging outbreaks
The World Health Organization has reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases with 212,326 being recorded in just 24 hours, amid a surge in the United States, Brazil and India.
S. Korea reports 61 new coronavirus infections
South Korea's daily new virus cases stayed above 60 for the third consecutive day Sunday as infections outside the Seoul metropolitan area continued to swell, putting further strain on the country's virus fight. The country added 61 cases, including 43 local infections, raising the total caseload to 13,091, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). South Korea added 63 new cases on both Friday and Saturday. Of the locally transmitted infections, 15 cases were newly identified in Gwangju, 330 kilometers southwest of Seoul.
Mainland China reports eight new coronavirus cases, two in Beijing
China recorded eight new coronavirus cases for July 4, up from with three a day earlier, the national health authority said on Sunday, while city officials in Beijing said nearly all the cases in a recent outbreak in the capital were mild. Of the new cases, six were imported and two were in Beijing, which has been scrambling to quash an outbreak traced to a massive wholesale market in the city early last month. In Beijing, 47% of the 334 confirmed cases since June 11 were staff at the Xinfadi market, Pang Xinghuo, a senior Beijing disease control official, told a media briefing on Sunday. Of all the cases in the city since then, 98% were “mild and normal,” she said.
Iran imposes new curbs as coronavirus toll rises
Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols will be shut for a week, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday as he launched new measures to try to curb the coronavirus. Iran has been battling the spread of the coronavirus, with the total number of cases hitting 237,878 on Saturday and a further 148 deaths bringing the country's toll to 11,408, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state television. Wearing masks becomes mandatory from Sunday in covered public places, Rouhani said on state television after tougher curbs were imposed in cities and towns in five provinces where the outbreak is rising after an easing of lockdowns from mid-April.
Spain locks down an area with 400,000 people after spike in coronavirus cases
Spain's Catalonia region has locked down an area of more than 400,000 residents from midday today. Comes as Britons prepare to make the most of 'air bridges' to visit Spain without having to quarantine. The regional president Quim Torra said this morning that no one could leave the area from 12pm. Western Catalan city of Lleida and the rest of Segrià county has been locked down after rise in cases
COVID-19: Serbia Declares State Of Emergency In Belgrade After Rise In Infections
Serbia has declared a state of emergency in the capital, Belgrade, and is reimposing a series of restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus after a spike in infections. The government on July 3 said it was making the wearing of masks compulsory in indoor public spaces or on public transport, and shortened the opening hours of clubs and cafes -- which will now be closed between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. -- while limiting gatherings to 100 people indoors or 500 outdoors. Those not wearing masks in closed spaces face hefty fines.
82-year-old Singaporean woman among eight new unlinked community Covid-19 cases
An 82-year-old Singaporean woman is among eight new unlinked community cases that were announced on Saturday (July 4). She was confirmed to have the virus on Saturday after showing symptoms on July 1. The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 185 new coronavirus cases in Singapore on Saturday, bringing the total to 44,664.
Dozens of U.S. Diplomats to Leave Saudi Arabia as Coronavirus Outbreak Worsens
Dozens of U.S. diplomats and their families are leaving Saudi Arabia this weekend amid a surge in new coronavirus cases, drawing into focus the kingdom’s struggle in containing the outbreak as it reopens its economy. The diplomats will take a repatriation flight Saturday after the State Department last week approved the voluntary departure of nonemergency personnel, U.S. officials familiar with the plan said. More diplomats are expected to follow in the coming weeks, they added.
Seven U.S. states post record COVID cases, curfew ordered in Miami
Alabama and six other U.S. states reported record increases in coronavirus cases on Friday as Florida’s most populous county imposed a curfew ahead of the Independence Day weekend and Arkansas joined a push toward mandating mask-wearing in public. North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alaska, Missouri, Idaho and Alabama all registered new daily highs in cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. Texas hit a new peak for hospitalizations, with one doctor calling for a “complete lockdown” in the state to get the virus under control.
No new state of emergency as nightlife drives Tokyo's coronavirus spread
Japan will not reintroduce a state of emergency to tackle the novel coronavirus, a government spokesman said on Friday, as cases in Tokyo rose to a two-month high driven by the spread of the virus in the capital's night spots. Tokyo reported 124 new cases on Friday, up from 107 the day before, partly due to increased testing among nightlife workers in the Shinjuku and Ikebukuro districts. Of all new infections confirmed in Tokyo in the week through Wednesday, 44% were traced to establishments where "food and drinks are provided along with company", chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said -- an oblique reference to spots such as "host bars" where male hosts are paid to flirt with female patrons over drinks. But despite the spike, the number of serious cases is declining and there was no need to reinstate the state of emergency that was lifted on May 25, Suga said.
New Lockdown
Coronavirus: Spain imposes local lockdown in Galicia
Officials in Spain's north-western region of Galicia have re-imposed restrictions on an area of 70,000 people following a Covid-19 outbreak. Only those travelling for work will be allowed to leave or enter the coastal district of A Marina from midnight on Sunday to Friday. The move comes a day after the north-eastern region of Catalonia imposed a similar local lockdown.
Madagascar re-imposes lockdown amid surge in COVID-19 cases
Madagascar has placed its capital Antananarivo under a fresh lockdown following a new spike in coronavirus infections, two months after the restrictions were eased, the presidency announced on Sunday. In as statement, “The Analamanga region (under which the capital is situated) is returning to full lockdown,” the presidency said. No traffic will be allowed in or out of the region starting Monday until July 20 and a strict curfew will be imposed on street movement by people. “Only one person per household is allowed to go out into the street between 6:00 am (0400 GMT) and 12:00 pm (1000 GMT),” said the statement. The measures have been taken “because of the spread of the epidemic and the increase of COVID-19 cases,” it added. Madagascar was used to registering dozens of COVID-19 cases a day however, the country has recently seen an exponential rise in daily numbers, jumping to a record 216 cases on Saturday after a total of 675 people were tested.
Catalan government confines residents of Segrià in Lleida due to rising coronavirus cases
The Catalan regional government on Saturday confined residents of the comarca of Segrià, in Lleida, given the rising number of coronavirus cases that have been detected there. The affected area is in the south of the province, on the border with neighboring Huesca and Zaragoza provinces, and contains 38 municipalities, including the city of Lleida. The comarca – a traditional administrative division in parts of Spain – holds a population of slightly more than 200,000 inhabitants, and occupies 1,400 square meters of land.