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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 7th Jul 2020

News Highlights

State border closed in Australia after 100 years as cases surge

For the first time in 100 years, Australia shut the border between Victoria and New South Wales, its two most populous states, as health authorities scrambled to contain a coronavirus outbreak in the city of Melbourne. The last time the border was closed was in 1919 during the Spanish flu pandemic.

India overtakes Russia, now has third highest coronavirus caseload

India added another 24,000 infections on Monday to take the total number of coronavirus cases to close to 700,000, overtaking Russia and becoming the country with the third highest caseload in the world. Major cities like Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai are hardest hit and factors including a population of 1.3bn has made it very difficult to maintain social distancing norms and control the infection, despite a harsh 3-month long lockdown.

After just a few days, the first recently opened pubs in England start to shut again, after patrons test positive

Several pubs in England that had just reopened over the weekend were forced to close once again as some customers tested positive for the coronavirus. Hundreds of venues around Britain welcomed customers for the first time in over three months as restrictions were eased, but the huge crowds indicated that social distancing norms were being disrgarded.

Spain imposes two local lockdowns to contain outbreaks

Two regions in Spain reimposed restrictions on their citizens in consecutive days to curb the spread of the coronavirus after reported local outbreaks. The northwest region of Galicia imposed restrictions on about 70,000 people just a day after a similar lockdown was announced in Catalonia. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has appealed for calm, stating the country is much better prepared to tackle the outbreak than it was in March.

Lockdown Exit
'It's a tsunami': pandemic leaves vulnerable Latin America reeling
Four months after Latin America’s first Covid-19 case was recorded in Brazil, the region’s biggest economy is far from the only country struggling. Mexico, where 30,000 have died, has overtaken Spain as the country with the world’s sixth highest death toll – despite claims from its president, the leftwing populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, that the outbreak had been “tamed”. Nicaragua’s political elite has been hammered by an epidemic its authoritarian leaders are accused of trying to conceal, with at least 20 prominent Sandinistas dying after showing Covid-19 symptoms. Peru, initially praised for its swift and strict lockdown, has lost more than 10,000 citizens, while the number of cases in Chile, Argentina and Bolivia has been rising too. Fears that Venezuela’s already broken health system could be rapidly overwhelmed appear not yet to have been confirmed, with Nicolás Maduro’s administration recognising just 57 deaths and 6,273 cases. But many doubt those official figures, and reports suggest a worrying surge of infections in the western state of Zulia.
Britain beyond lockdown: what we learned from two weeks on the road
Britain is crying out for a better normal. Communities across the country are emerging from lockdown with a new sense of what is possible and what is necessary – and the answers to both go a lot further than Westminster’s efforts to drive the country back to business as usual. That was the overriding impression from a two-week reporting trip around Britain, asking people in different regions how they view recovery and whether there is an appetite for more fundamental change. The answer, overwhelmingly, was that we cannot just go back to the way things were, that there are elements brought out by lockdown that should continue, and that more needs to be done to prepare the country for the economic, mental health and climate crises to come.
German restaurants still hungry for customers post-lockdown
For now the glass remains half full for many businesses. "The situation is dramatic," the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) summarised, noting that restaurant owners expect June revenues on average to be 60 percent lower than last year. "Sure, customers are coming back but very, very slowly," said Sahin Ciftci, the owner of Zeus pizzeria in Berlin's trendy Friedrichshain district. "People are still afraid to come and sit inside," he sighed, surveying his empty dining room at midday.
India becomes third worst-hit country as coronavirus cases rocket by 24,000 in a day after lockdown eased
India has seen a surge of more than 24,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. The country now has the third-highest number of infections in the world - 697,413, including 19,693 deaths.
Coronavirus pushes US hospitals to the brink as India hits record new cases
Hospital beds are full in parts of Texas, while calls for fresh stay-at-home orders are growing. Some mayors say their cities reopened too early, as President Donald Trump tries to downplay the disease that has gripped much of the country. India faces similar challenges as it clocked a record daily number of cases across a vast nation where medical facilities are uneven and many COVID-19 infections are likely to be undiagnosed.
Vietnam reports 14 new COVID-19 cases, all imported
Vietnam’s health ministry on Monday reported 14 new coronavirus infections, all among Vietnamese citizens held in quarantine upon their arrival from overseas. The Southeast Asian country has been 81 days without a domestically transmitted infection due to successful programmes to contain the virus. It has yet to report any deaths from the coronavirus and has confirmed 369 cases in total, over 90% of which have recovered.
African nations reopening airspace despite rising COVID-19 cases
Kenya continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic with cases steadily rising each day. Government have locked down a handful of counties including the capital Nairobi and imposed a night-time curfew as part of containment efforts. Kenya as of May 10 was the fourth most impacted country in the East / Horn of Africa region only behind Djibouti, Sudan and Somalia. Government also rolled out mass testing in virus hot spots, borders remain shut and a ban on public gatherings continues.
India surges to 3rd-highest in cases as virus slams US hospitals
India on Monday became the third-highest coronavirus caseload in the world, as officials warned hospitals in the United States were in danger of being overwhelmed by a surge in infections. The Indian government—like many around the world—has gradually lifted virus restrictions to help the battered economy, but the number of cases has continued to climb, with 24,000 reported in 24 hours to take the total to nearly 700,000 on Monday. India's major cities including New Delhi and Mumbai are the hardest-hit, and critics say too few tests are being conducted and that many COVID-19 infections are likely to go undiagnosed.
India just surpassed Russia as the country with the 3rd-most coronavirus infections
India recorded tens of thousands of new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, raising the country's total number past Russia's as the third-largest in the world. The country has recorded nearly 700,000 cases despite strict lockdowns imposed from March to May. A lack of testing and external factors preventing social distancing among the population of 1.3 billion are thought to be to blame as some cities are preparing to impose lockdowns again.
Peru Coronavirus Cases Top 300,000 as Andean Nation Eases Lockdown
The South American copper producer, which locked down in March against the virus but struggled to enforce a nationwide quarantine in the face of rising economic hardship, trails only Brazil in the region in terms of case numbers. Peru's death toll from the virus now stands at 10,589, the 10th-highest in the world, according to Reuters calculations. President Martín Vizcarra's government has eased restrictions this month to allow economic growth to revive, including the key mining sector. Peru is the world's second-largest producer of copper.
France's Louvre reopens after 16-week virus shutdown
The world's most visited museum, the Louvre in Paris, reopened Monday after nearly four months of coronavirus closure, with a restricted number of visitors enjoying a rare chance to view the "Mona Lisa" without the usual throngs. Several dozen visitors queued outside the vast former palace of France's kings, eagerly awaiting the opening as the famed museum hopes to start recuperating losses estimated at more than 40 million euros (US$45 million) due to the lockdown. The museum's most popular draws, including Leonardo's Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Louvre's vast antiquities collection will be accessible.
Arrests as revelers defy distancing rules after pubs reopen in England
Lockdown restrictions were eased, the pubs opened and crowds flocked onto the streets of English cities Saturday, many ignoring social distancing rules and prompting complaints from the police. A number of arrests were made. John Apter, chair of the Police Federation for England and Wales, warned that it was "crystal clear" that drunk people cannot observe social distancing. Apter, who was on patrol in Southampton, a city on England's south coast, wrote on Twitter that officers dealt with "anti-social behavior, naked men, possession of class 'A' drugs, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights, more angry drunks."
'Beautiful' to have a pint, 'brilliant' to get a haircut - England reopens after lockdown
People relished their first pub drinks in more than three months, went to restaurants and finally got haircuts on Saturday as England took its biggest steps yet towards resumption of normal life after the coronavirus lockdown. Some pubs started serving from 6 a.m., sparking worries of over-indulgence on what the media dubbed a “Super Saturday” of restrictions being eased. Some hairdressers were reported to have opened at the stroke of midnight. “It’s beautiful just to get back and have a pint,” said Jim Martin, a 56-year old carpenter enjoying a beer at The Holland Tringham pub in south London, part of the JD Wetherspoon (JDW.L) chain. It opened at 8 a.m. and was about three quarters full by 11.20 a.m.
Exit Strategies
Coronavirus: Scotland reopens beer gardens and outdoor cafes as lockdown eases
People in Scotland are now able to return to beer gardens and pavement cafes after they opened for the first time in 15 weeks. But customers are being warned that al fresco eating and drinking will not be the same as it was before the lockdown. As well as following strict distancing and hygiene rules, they will have to leave their contact details so they can be traced in the event of an outbreak. Pubs and restaurants should be able to welcome customers indoors from 15 July. That will be part of phase three of the Scottish government's route map out of lockdown, which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to confirm on Thursday.
Australians could soon be allowed to travel to New Zealand
Travel-bubble between Australia and New Zealand has been on table since May But the plan is being held back by a massive coronavirus outbreak in Victoria Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said is prepared to restart trans-Tasman flights But it would be on a state-by-state basis meaning Victorians are banned
India puts back Taj Mahal reopening citing COVID-19 risks
India has withdrawn a planned reopening of the Taj Mahal, citing the risk of new coronavirus infections spreading in the northern city of Agra from visitors flocking to see the 17th century monument to love.
Kenya announces phased re-opening of the country from coronavirus lockdown
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on Monday a phased reopening of the country from a COVID-19 lockdown, lifting restrictions on travel in and out of the capital Nairobi and allowing air travel to resume.
"Mona Lisa" back at work, visitors limited as Louvre reopens
The “Mona Lisa” is back in business. Paris' Louvre Museum, which houses the world's most famous portrait, reopened Monday after a four-month coronavirus lockdown and without its usual huge throngs. The reopening of the world's most-visited museum was a bright spot in what is otherwise shaping up as a grimly quiet start to the summer tourist season in France, with far fewer visitors than was normal before the pandemic closed borders.
Saudi Arabia makes masks mandatory, bans gatherings during Hajj
Saudi Arabia on Monday said all the intending pilgrims in 2020 Hajj must wear face masks at all times, while workers would ensure no overcrowding or gatherings take place during the pilgrimage. The kingdom has drastically curtailed the pilgrimage amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying that only the few thousands who reside in the country could perform the Hajj, scheduled for July ending. Saudi Arabia’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SaudiCDC) released a list of instructions for pilgrims and workers to follow.
Coronavirus: Pubs close after positive tests
A number of pubs in England have closed after customers tested positive for coronavirus. At least three establishments announced they had shut their doors again just days after reopening at the weekend. They were among hundreds of venues that welcomed customers for the first time in three months as lockdown measures were eased. Crowds descended in some towns and cities, prompting fears social distancing was being disregarded. The affected pubs announced their closures via Facebook. The Lighthouse Kitchen and Carvery in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, said it was "slowly" working through a list of customers who had left details at the weekend. In Batley, West Yorkshire, the Fox and Hounds said a customer had phoned to say they had tested positive for coronavirus. The pub said staff had taken tests and the venue would be deep-cleaned prior to reopening.
Fiji reports first coronavirus case in 78 days
Fiji's 78-day run without coronavirus is over, with Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama confirming Monday a 66-year-old man tested positive after returning from India. It is the 19th case in the small South Pacific island nation, and more are now expected. "We've confirmed a border case of COVID-19 among a returning citizen while he was securely in the confines of government-funded quarantine," Bainimarama said. All arrivals to Fiji have to undergo 14 days of quarantine. The acting permanent secretary for health, James Fong, said Fiji had deliberately refrained from calling itself 'COVID-free' and was not surprised when the positive test was recorded Sunday.
Bali holds mass prayers for reopening from coronavirus lockdown
Bali conducted mass prayers on Sunday as the Indonesian resort island prepares to reopen to tourists shut out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than a thousand people attended a prayer at Besakih Hindu temple in the town of Karangasem, expressing gratitude for the handling of the new coronavirus on the island and seeking blessings for the start of a “new normal”. Bali has reported 1,849 coronavirus infections and 20 deaths so far, while Indonesia as a whole has recorded 63,749 cases and 3,171 deaths since early March.
Partisan Exits
Wales further eases lockdown as first minister criticises Boris Johnson
Speaking at his daily press conference, the Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, said the lockdown restrictions in Wales were being lifted in a “careful, step-by-step way”. Drakeford said the cautious approach made it easier in Wales to track the effect of lifting particular restrictions. He revealed that at the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak, 45% of all tests processed by NHS laboratories in Wales were coming back positive. By the end of June this had fallen to 3.5%. The first minister emphasised that the 2-metre social distancing rule still applied in Wales. He asked people to continue to work from home wherever possible and, despite the lifting of the stay local rule, said unnecessary travel should still be avoided.
Lockdown easing in England threatens cautious approach of devolved nations
With new coronavirus infections falling fast, Scotland now seems to have a real chance to effectively eliminate Covid-19 transmission among the general public. But some experts warn that one big obstacle stands in its way: England. Despite much higher levels of infection and hospitalisation, the UK government has since May been easing England’s lockdown restrictions more rapidly than the devolved governments in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Stormont.
White House rejects national strategy on masks
The White House is again rejecting calls for a national mask-wearing mandate. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows says in an appearance on “Fox and Friends” Monday morning that the president sees the issue as a “state-to-state” matter. He says that, “certainly a national mandate is not in order” and that “we’re allowing our local governors and our local mayors to weigh in on that.”
Trump says U.S. schools must reopen in fall amid pandemic
President Donald Trump said on Monday that U.S. schools must open in the fall - a decision over which he has limited power - as governors struggle with a nationwide rise in coronavirus infections and states reverse and pause attempts to reopen. Schools are largely under the jurisdiction of state and local governments. Educators have struggled with decisions over opening schools considering the risk of infection to both students and faculty.
Premier of Australia's Victoria defends hard COVID-19 lockdown
The premier of Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, defended on Sunday his decision to put nine public housing towers in a complete lockdown as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Melbourne’s suburbs. The state recorded 74 cases new cases on Sunday, after Saturday’s 108 cases prompted Premier Daniel Andrews to order about 3,000 people not to leave their homes for at least five days and to place police to guard the buildings. “This is not going to be a pleasant experience for those residents, but I have a message for those residents: this is not about punishment but protection,” Andrews said in a televised conference. Promising two weeks of free rent and hardship payments to the residents, Andrews said public health workers would test every resident of the buildings, except those who have previously tested positive.
Boris Johnson news: No ‘perfect way’ to end lockdown, Whitty warns as Scottish and Welsh leaders attack ‘shambolic government’
The UK government was accused of a “shambolic” response to the coronavirus pandemic as it lifted its travel quarantine for 59 countries and further eased lockdown restrictions. Scottish and Welsh leaders both described the new policy for arrivals in England as a “mess” as police forces braced for the “perfect storm” of pubs reopening for “Super Saturday”. However chief medical officer Chris Whitty said there was no “perfect” way to reopen Britain’s economy after the lockdown. Meanwhile Boris Johnson indicated he would not take the knee in support for Black Lives Matter – saying he does not believe in such “gestures”.
Continued Lockdown
India surges in cases as virus slams US hospitals
India's major cities including New Delhi and Mumbai are the hardest-hit, and critics say too few tests are being conducted and that many COVID-19 infections are likely to go undiagnosed. The surge has forced authorities in India to convert hotels, wedding halls, a spiritual centre and even railway coaches to help provide care to coronavirus patients
Lockdown Extension News Today: These Districts Are Under Complete Shutdown For a Week From Today
To combat the spread of coronavirus pandemic, several states have announced a week-long complete shutdown for certain districts from July 6, Monday. The lockdown would continue to remain in force these areas till July 12-13 and only essential activities will be allowed
The North Korean refugees supplying PPE to care homes
Jihyun Park and Timothy Chow understand the meaning of hardship. Both suffered under the brutal North Korean regime, enduring famine, the deaths of family members and imprisonment in forced labour camps - before fleeing and eventually receiving asylum in the UK. Wanting to give something back to the country that gave them safe haven, the pair have teamed up with other members of the North Korean community to donate a total of 7,000 sets of personal protective equipment to seven care homes in the north of England. "I escaped North Korea two times," says Jihyun, who lives in Manchester. "The first time I only escaped as far as China where I was married off to a farmer and effectively became his slave. I was later sent back to North Korea and forced to work in a labour camp in the mountains."
Coronavirus: Australia's economy brutalised by pandemic lockdowns, report finds
The coronavirus pandemic has brutalised Australia's economy as lockdowns are tipped to bring major financial downturns this calendar year, a new report has found. The country's economy is expected to shrink by an overall three per cent, however Victoria's economic output alone will fall by 3.5 per cent, followed by Tasmania and Western Australia, the Deloitte report says. "Even though this is turning out to be a better year than expected, it's still a shocker," Chris Richardson from Deloitte Access Economics told 9News.
Countries around the world in fresh or extended lockdowns
As Melbourne enforces fresh lockdown measures this week, countries around the world - from Spain to Ireland, Israel to El Salvador - are also extending or reinstituting their own lockdown measures to keep a lid on the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic. In the US, rising cases in 39 states cast a shadow over Fourth of July holiday celebrations, while President Trump claimed that 99 per cent of cases were "totally harmless".
South Africa's boozy church struggles with COVID lockdown rules
When South Africa began easing its coronavirus lockdown in May, it allowed religious worshippers to gather in groups of up to 50, but maintained a ban on people assembling to drink alcohol. That’s a problem for the “Gabola” church — the name means ‘drinking’ in the local Tswana language — for whom a tipple is an integral part of their religious worship. Founded just two years ago, the church tried to hold its usual meetings in local bars, called shebeens, to praise God while downing whisky, but they soon got arrested, its leader and self-styled ‘pope’ Tsietsi Makiti, 55, told Reuters. “They can arrest us until Jesus comes back,” said Makiti, wearing a bishop’s mitre with a miniature bottle of spirits hanging off it. But he added they had been moving services from place to place to avoid a run-in with the authorities.
Scientific Viewpoint
Spain's coronavirus antibodies study adds evidence against herd immunity
Spain's large-scale study on the coronavirus indicates just 5% of its population has developed antibodies, strengthening evidence that a so-called herd immunity to Covid-19 is "unachievable," the medical journal the Lancet reported
One in 20 people in Spain have had coronavirus, national survey finds
More than one in 20 people in Spain have had coronavirus, a national survey has found. The nationwide antibody study discovered that 5.2% of Spanish people have been exposed to COVID-19. The study has tested almost 70,000 people across Spain every month for the past three months, and the number of infected has held firm around the 5% mark since May. The figures are backed up by those from Johns Hopkins University, which reports more than 250,000 coronavirus cases out of a population of 47 million people. It says there have been more than 28,385 COVID-19 deaths in Spain, one of the worst-hit countries.
Counting the Lives Saved by Lockdowns—and Lost to Slow Action
On May 20, disease modelers at Columbia University posted a preprint that concluded the US could have prevented 36,000 of the 65,300 deaths that the country had suffered as a result of COVID-19 by May 3 if states had instituted social distancing measures a week earlier. In early June, Imperial College London epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, one of the UK government’s key advisers in the early stages of the pandemic, came to a similar conclusion about the UK. In evidence he presented to a parliamentary committee inquiry, Ferguson said that if the country had introduced restrictions on movement and socializing a week sooner than it did, Britain’s official death toll of 40,000 could have been halved.
Lessons from China: Agency execs discuss impact of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and its aftermath on pharma
The COVID-19 pandemic placed China in the spotlight, not only because it had the first cases of the disease but because it had some of the earliest reopenings. It’s an unenviable position, but one that can give insight into the impact on the pharma industry across issues such as digital engagement, healthcare access and communications. WPP Health's Claire Gillis, international CEO, and Yi Han, executive vice president of WG Market Access, have had front-row seats to COVID-19 in China. Gillis travels frequently to China for WPP, while Han splits his time between Shanghai and the U.S. Both worked throughout the pandemic with pharma clients and agency teams in China, and more recently have tackled reopening issues. The two spoke to Fierce Pharma about what they’ve learned and how the pharma industry will permanently change—and in some ways already has—because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
British consortium ends after making over 13,000 ventilators
A British consortium formed by a group of aerospace, automotive and engineering firms to build ventilators for the country’s health service said on Sunday it would end after delivering over 13,000 devices. VentilatorChallengeUK said its production had more than doubled the stock of ventilators available for use in the National Health Service. The consortium, which was formed on a not-for-profit basis by the likes of Ford, McLaren, Rolls-Royce and Airbus, said in May it was ramping up production in case of a second peak in infections. But Dick Elsy, Chairman of VentilatorChallengeUK, said the NHS was now well-placed for the future.
Regeneron starts Phase 3 trial of Covid antibody drug that might treat and prevent infection, company says
An antibody cocktail is now beginning late-stage clinical trials to evaluate the drug's ability to prevent and treat coronavirus infection. The biotechnology company Regeneron announced the late-stage clinical trials of REGN-COV2, its investigational double antibody cocktail for the treatment and prevention of Covid-19, in a news release on Monday. Specifically the release noted that a Phase 3 trial of the drug will assess its ability to prevent coronavirus infection among uninfected people who have had close contact to an infected person, such as a patient's housemate. The Phase 3 prevention trial is happening at around 100 sites and expected to include 2,000 patients across the United States, according to Regeneron
COVID-19 imperils AIDS progress, UN warns
COVID-19 could cause an additional half a million AIDS deaths if treatment is disrupted long term, the United Nations said Monday in a warning that the pandemic was jeopardising years of progress against HIV. At the start of a week of virtual International AIDS Conferences, the UN said the world was already way off course in its plan to end the public health threat even before COVID-19. Although AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 60 percent since the peak of the HIV epidemic in 2004, in 2019 around 690,000 still died from the illness.
Brazil trials of potential Chinese COVID-19 vaccine to begin July 20
João Doria, governor of Brazil’s richest and most populous state São Paulo, said on Monday that trials of a new potential vaccine against COVID-19, developed by China’s SinoVac, will start on July 20. The trials, to be done in partnership with the Instituto Butantan, will involve 9,000 volunteers spread across 12 research centers located in Sao Paulo and four other states as well as the federal district Brasília.
UK launches study of Covid-19's long-term health effects
Government SAGE advisers have warned effects of Covid-19 can last for months. Research suggests coronavirus can cause lasting damage to heart and lungs. Even people who only get mildly ill may suffer from long-term symptoms. Top researcher said 'we have much to learn' about lasting effects of Covid-19. NHS is launching online advice and services for long-term recovery this month
Coronavirus Australia: AMA recommends pause on lifting restrictions
The head of the Australian Medical Association has called for a pause on the lifting of restrictions after Victoria's surge in cases.
Study confirms new version of coronavirus spreads faster, but doesn't make people sicker
A global study has found strong evidence that a new form of the coronavirus has spread from Europe to the US. The new mutation makes the virus more likely to infect people but does not seem to make them any sicker than earlier variations of the virus, an international team of researchers reported Thursday. "It is now the dominant form infecting people," Erica Ollmann Saphire of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology and the Coronavirus Immunotherapy Consortium, who worked on the study, told CNN. "This is now the virus."
How China's CanSino Biologics jumped to the front of the coronavirus vaccine race
In May, CanSino became the first globally to publish a full scientific study on its early human trials, an important step because it allows researchers worldwide to assess a vaccine’s potential. The company — which is yet to generate revenue and logged a $22 million loss last year — has so far kept up with, and occasionally even outpaced, Western pharmaceutical giants with the speed of its initial coronavirus vaccine trials. The research is still too nascent to know if the shot from CanSino, or indeed any company, will provide the magic bullet countries are seeking to open up while the pandemic rages. But CanSino’s inroads show China’s young biotechnology industry is becoming a global contender, and a powerful tool for President Xi Jinping.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Coronavirus: Australia to close Victoria-New South Wales border
The border between Australia's two most populous states, Victoria and New South Wales (NSW), is to close after a spike in Covid-19 cases in Melbourne. The outbreak in Victoria's capital has seen hundreds of cases in the past two weeks - more than 95% of new Australian infections. Until now, the two states had maintained open borders even when others had shut them. The closure, beginning on Wednesday, will restrict travel to permit holders. Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews said it was a joint decision with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. "This is one of those precautionary measures - it is one of those things that I think will help us in broader terms contain the spread of the virus," Mr Andrews told reporters on Monday.
Australia closes state border for first time in 100 years after COVID-19 spike
The border between Australia’s two most populous states will close from Tuesday for an indefinite period as authorities scramble to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus in the city of Melbourne. The decision announced on Monday marks the first time the border between Victoria and New South Wales has been shut in 100 years. Officials last blocked movement between the two states in 1919 during the Spanish flu pandemic. “It is the smart call, the right call at this time, given the significant challenges we face in containing this virus,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne. The move will, however, likely be a blow to Australia’s economic recovery as it heads into its first recession in nearly three decades.
Coronavirus: Tenth Melbourne public housing tower exposed to virus
A tenth Melbourne public housing tower has been exposed to COVID-19, linked to an outbreak that caused the lockdown of multiple buildings put in places two days ago. 9News understands an infected resident, who lives in a locked-down North Melbourne tower, also worked in the apartment building in Richmond as a subcontractor for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
Covid 19 coronavirus: Victoria's virus cases skyrocket
"This is serious, this is real, and no Victorian has any excuse but to take this seriously. Otherwise, we will finish up in a situation where all post codes are locked down. No one wants that and no one through their actions and the choices they make should make that more likely." He went on: "I need each of you to do the right thing. Otherwise, everyone is going to be back in their home in a lockdown. That's what's going to happen.
Hospitals approaching capacity as Miami closes restaurants
Hospitals rapidly approached capacity across the Sunbelt, and the Miami area closed restaurants and gyms again because of the surging coronavirus Monday, as the U.S. emerged from a Fourth of July weekend of picnics, pool parties and beach outings that health officials fear could fuel the rapidly worsening outbreak.
New Lockdown
Leicester lockdown: Police warn of 'confusion' over differences between law and government guidance
Official police guidance has warned of “confusion” over the Leicester lockdown and gaps between the law and government instructions. While pubs and hotels have reopened across England on Saturday, non-essential businesses in the city have been forced to shut down because of a rise in coronavirus infections. Official police guidance has warned of “confusion” over the Leicester lockdown and gaps between the law and government instructions. While pubs and hotels have reopened across England on Saturday, non-essential businesses in the city have been forced to shut down because of a rise in coronavirus infections. Relaxed laws for the rest of the country now allow people to gather in groups of up to 30 without a risk assessment, but in Leicester the limit is set at six outdoors and two indoors.
Coronavirus: Another spike forces Spain into second local lockdown in 24 hours
Bars and restaurants will operate at half capacity and face masks will be compulsory, even when outdoors at beaches or pools.
The likely losers from Victoria re-entering lockdown
Domestic travel companies, financial services, non-discretionary retailers, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and toll road operator Transurban (ASX:TCL) are on a watchlist of sectors hurt by Victoria’s new COVID-19 restrictions. “This is a major blow for the travel and tourism sectors given many investors were hoping to see increasing interstate travel, a trans-Tasman bubble as early as July and certain international routes by the end of the year. This is now looking very optimistic,” Milford Asset Management portfolio manager William Curtayne said. For financial services companies the threat is more if rolling lockdowns in specific geographic areas become the new normal, lenders will face rising non-performing loans from businesses and residents trapped in the restricted zones.
Man arrested for fleeing Vic lockdown
A 32-year-old Victorian man has been arrested for fleeing one of the public housing towers in Flemington currently in COVID-19 lockdown. He was taken into custody after biting a police officer.
Melbourne towers residents translated Covid-19 information sheet into 10 different languages in 24 hours
“Some residents put together an information sheet and they translated that into 10 written and five oral languages within 24 hours and distributed it among their networks in order to help get government messaging across,” Lemoh said. “I’ve been involved in public health projects like this and if the government had to do this on their own, it would have taken them at least six months to get that kind of translation work done.’
Israel reimposes restrictions after COVID-19 spike
Israel on Monday reimposed a series of restrictions to fight a spike in coronavirus infections, including the immediate closure of bars, gyms and event halls. In public remarks at a special cabinet session on the health crisis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had to reverse course to avoid a wider lockdown that could paralyse its economy, where unemployment is just above 20%. The Bank of Israel on Monday forecast a 6% economic contraction in 2020. “The pandemic is spreading - that’s as clear as day. It is rising steeply daily and it is dragging with it, contrary to what we had been told, a trail of critically ill patients,” Netanyahu said.
Palestinians, Israelis face new lockdowns amid coronavirus surge
Israel ordered thousands of people into quarantine after a contentious phone surveillance programme resumed, as Palestinians in the occupied West Bank returned to life under lockdown following a surge in coronavirus cases in both areas. A statement on Sunday from Israel's health ministry said "many" messages had been sent to Israelis following the renewed involvement of the Shin Bet domestic security agency. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported more than 30,000 people were notified they must enter quarantine since Thursday.
Spain Announces Second Local Lockdown In 24 Hours After Spike In Coronavirus Cases
La Marina is the second region in the country to re-enter lockdown, after a fresh outbreak saw more than 100 people test positive for coronavirus.
County in Spain Back on Lockdown After New Coronavirus Infections
An entire county in northwestern Spain is on lockdown all week because authorities fear a new COVID-19 outbreak even after the federal government ended a nationwide lockdown. Officials in La Marina in the Galicia region placed all 70,000 residents in a countywide quarantine after several bars in the area reported new cases. Only essential travel in and out of the county is allowed and gatherings of more than 10 people are forbidden. The lockdown will be in place through Friday. The La Marina lockdown comes a day after authorities in Lleida in Catalonia reimposed a lockdown, affecting more than 200,000 people. Jesus Vazquez Almuina, Catalonia’s health minister, said he wants to avoid what he calls “an exponential growth” of COVID-19 in the popular tourist destination since more than 100 cases have been confirmed in the last two weeks.
Spain imposes second local coronavirus lockdown in two days
The northwestern Spanish region of Galicia imposed restrictions on about 70,000 people on Sunday following a COVID-19 outbreak, a day after Catalonia also introduced a local lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. People living in A Marina along Spain’s northern coast in the province of Lugo will not be able to leave the area from midnight on Sunday until Friday, two days before regional elections in Galicia on July 12. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, speaking at a local political rally in Bilbao on Sunday, urged people not to lower their guard, but called for calm as “the early detection of these outbreaks shows the health system is much better prepared” than in March.
COVID-19: Spain's Catalonia region reimposes lockdown amid spike
Spain's Catalonia region reimposed a strict lockdown on 210,000 people in one area Saturday after COVID-19 infections spiked. Catalan President Quim Torra said residents were not allowed to enter or leave Segria, an agricultural area west of Barcelona, including Lleida, a city in the west of Catalonia.