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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 8th Jul 2020

News Highlights

WHO acknowledges virus may be airborne even as pandemic accelerates

The WHO, which had previously said that Covid-19 is primarily spread through small droplets expelled from the nose or mouth of those infected, has now acknowledged evidence presented by a group of scientists that proposes airborne spread of the virus. Meanwhile, after record numbers of cases were reported worldwide over the weekend, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the outbreak is actually speeding up and the world had 'clearly not reached the peak of the pandemic.'

Bars and shops reopen in Sao Paulo even as President Bolsonaro tests positive for Covid-19

Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, who has been pushing hard for his country to reopen and has frequently claimed that the Covid-19 pandemic is 'nothing more than a little flu,' has himself been struck down by the virus. However, bars and shops in Sao Paulo reopened over the weekend, after remaining shut for over three months, even as the country struggles to control the virus, with over 1,603,055 cases and 64,867 deaths as of July 6.

South Africa cases rise steeply as Kenya plans reopening of its economy

Cases in South Africa contiued to rise steeply, with the country passing the grim milestone of 200,000 cases, with infections increasing by over 160,000 in the last month alone. Its African counterpart, Kenya, which has only 8,250 cases, is now going ahead with plans for a 'phased reopening' of its economy, despite cases rising sharply over the last few weeks.

Riots in Belgrade as lockdown reimposed

Clashes broke out between protestors and riot police in the Serbian capital of Belgrade after the government reintroduced lockdown after coronavirus cases spiked in the country. Serbia has gone from a strict initial lockdown in March to the near-complete reopening of the country in early May, with football and tennis matches held in packed stadiums, and now back to a lockdown all within the space of a few months.

Lockdown Exit
Shops and bars reopen in São Paulo as Brazil reels from world's second-worst coronavirus outbreak
In Brazil’s largest city São Paulo, shops and bars started to reopen on July 6, 2020, after the city spent over three months in lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses that reopen are being allowed to operate for six hours a day at 40 per cent capacity. But Covid-19 continues to spread across the country, which reported 1,603,055 cases and 64,867 deaths as of July 6. Brazil’s outbreak is the world's second-largest following the US.
Coronavirus: Pubs close again after punters test positive for COVID-19
A number of pubs which reopened for the first time since lockdown measures were imposed have had to close again after punters tested positive for coronavirus. Bars across England welcomed drinkers on Saturday more than three months after the coronavirus outbreak closed down the hospitality sector. But three pubs have since alerted their patrons that they have had to shut again after cases of COVID-19 were detected.
Birmingham has highest number of coronavirus cases in England as lockdown lifted
Birmingham has still seen the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country as the lockdown is lifted across England. The city has seen nearly 4,800 cases of the deadly bug, which has killed over 44,000 Brits, since the beginning of the outbreak in February. There have been 4,797 confirmed cases out of a local population of 1,141,816 to 6 Jul, with 1,155 coronavirus-related deaths registered to 19 Jun. 28% of all deaths involved coronavirus between 29 Feb and 19 Jun. The number of Covid-19 cases has been confirmed as pubs, hotels and restaurants begin operating across the city once more.
Coronavirus: Italian beach nudists fined as police crack down
Authorities in the northern region of Lombardy have been struggling to stop people converging on local beaches in the summer weather. Some 70 people were spotted on the beaches, mainly visitors from South American and Eastern Europe as well as neighbouring provinces. Lombardy has been hit harder by Covid-19 than any other Italian region. Although the lockdown is gradually being lifted it is compulsory to wear a mask, even outdoors. The Corriere website noted that it was not just masks that the six nudists had failed to wear.
Brits now required by law to wear face masks on beach in Spain
Sunbathers can ditch their facemasks once they are on the sand in most regions of Spain but following a surge of new Covid-19 cases, La Marina north of Lugo in Galicia has been put on lockdown and people must wear face masks all the time
Russian court fines coronavirus-denying rebel monk
A Russian court on Tuesday fined a coronavirus-denying monk who has challenged Kremlin lockdown orders for spreading false information about the pandemic. The court in the Ural Mountains region ordered Father Sergiy to pay 90,000 rubles ($1,250). The 65-year-old monk, who has attracted nationwide attention by urging followers to disobey church leadership and ignore church closures during the pandemic, didn’t attend the court hearing. On Friday, a Russian Orthodox Church panel in Yekaterinburg ruled to defrock Father Sergiy for breaking monastic rules. He didn’t show up at the session and dismissed the verdict, urging his backers to come to defend the Sredneuralsk women’s monastery where he has holed up since last month.
Few masks and little distancing as thousands pack Black Sea beaches
Tens of thousands of people descended on Black Sea beaches in Russia and Ukraine over the weekend but despite significant COVID-19 outbreaks in both countries, there was little evidence anyone was heeding public health advice. Few were seen wearing face masks or trying to maintain social distancing on the overcrowded beaches of Odessa and Sochi. Both are even more packed this year because of the EU's ban on travellers entering from outside the bloc. Fifteen countries have been exempted from the prohibition, but neither Russia nor Ukraine are on the list.
India's coronavirus death toll hits 20,000 as infections surge
India’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surpassed 20,000 on Tuesday and case numbers surged as the south Asian nation pushed ahead with relaxations to its almost two-month lockdown amid grim economic forecasts. The rate of both new virus infections and deaths are rising at the fastest pace in three months, as officials lift a vast lockdown of India’s 1.3 billion people that has left tens of thousands without work and shuttered businesses. The country reported 467 new deaths on Tuesday, taking the toll to 20,160. It also recorded 22,252 new infections, increasing the total to 719,665. India on Monday overtook Russia as the third most affected country globally, behind the United States and Brazil.
Exit Strategies
A return to tighter lockdown restrictions could be harder to enforce
New research by academics led by the University of Pretoria models three scenarios for the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa, combining previous models with new data. The results paint a worrying picture for the rate of infection against the country’s ICU capacity, amid decreasing levels of compliance to lockdown regulations. To curb the spread of Covid-19, many governments around the world have implemented tiered lockdowns with varying degrees of stringency. Lockdown levels are typically increased when the disease spreads and reduced when the disease abates.
New lockdown rules for the reopening of cinemas and sport in South Africa
Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has published a new directive outlining the new reopening rules for cinemas, sports, and libraries. The directive, which comes into immediate effect, forms part of the country’s ‘advanced level 3 lockdown’ which saw a number of business sectors reopen to the public. While the amended level 3 directive sets out a number of core regulations which all business must follow, the latest directive from Mthethwa also introduces specific guidelines for the arts and sports sectors. The changes are outlined in more detail below.
Italy could ‘section’ people who refuse treatment for Covid-19
Italy’s health minister has proposed “sectioning” people who refuse hospital treatment for Covid-19 and has suspended flights from Bangladesh as the southern European country grapples with several new coronavirus outbreaks. The potential move towards forced hospitalisations came after a cluster of infections arose in the northern Veneto region, triggered by a man who developed coronavirus symptoms on the day he returned from a business trip to Serbia and initially resisted treatment in hospital.
Global report: South Africa cases pass 200,000 as Kenya plans 'phased reopening'
South Africa’s coronavirus cases have passed 200,000, the highest total in Africa, as Kenya’s leadership announced that it was pressing on with plans to ease the country’s lockdown despite a steep increase in cases. There are currently 205,721 cases and 3,310 deaths in South Africa, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data, making it the 15th worst-affected country worldwide. South Africa’s Times newspaper reported that the country’s cases have increased by almost 160,000 in the last month alone.
Fleeing coronavirus outbreaks overseas: New Zealand restricts entry for Kiwis escaping coronavirus
New Zealand began restricting the return of its own nationals Tuesday as the country faces an accelerating influx of citizens fleeing coronavirus outbreaks overseas and limited quarantine facilities. National carrier Air New Zealand put a three-week freeze on new bookings and the government is in talks with other airlines to limit capacity, officials said. New Zealand has gone 67 days without any cases of coronavirus in the community and its 22 active cases are all in managed quarantine facilities for New Zealanders flocking home from worsening epidemics elsewhere.
Partisan Exits
Coronavirus: Riots in the Serbian capital after government reimposes lockdown
Thousands of protesters have clashed with riot police in the Serbian capital Belgrade after the country's president announced the reintroduction of a lockdown following a spike in coronavirus cases. Serbia went from one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe to a near complete reopening of the country at the beginning of May. Football and tennis matches were played in packed stadiums and parliamentary elections were held despite warnings that the mass gatherings without social distancing could lead to a new coronavirus wave.
Coronavirus: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for COVID-19
Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro, who infamously described coronavirus as a “little flu”, says he has now tested positive for COVID-19. Jair Bolsonaro – one of the world’s biggest coronavirus denialists – has tested positive for COVID-19.
Trump administration begins formal withdrawal from World Health Organization
The Trump administration has notified Congress and the United Nations that the United States is formally withdrawing from the World Health Organization, multiple officials tell CNN, a move that comes amid a rising number of coronavirus cases throughout the Americas over the past week. The withdrawal, which goes into effect next July, has drawn criticism from bipartisan lawmakers, medical associations, advocacy organizations and allies abroad. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden vowed Tuesday to reverse the decision "on (his) first day" if elected.
Trump Presses Schools to Reopen
In a daylong series of conference calls and public events at the White House, the president, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and other senior officials opened a concerted campaign to lean on governors, mayors and others to resume classes in person months after more than 50 million children were abruptly ejected from school buildings in March. Mr. Trump and his administration argued that the social, psychological and educational costs of keeping children at home any longer would be worse than the virus itself. But they offered no concrete proposals or new financial assistance to states and localities struggling to restructure academic settings, staffs and programs that were never intended to keep children six feet apart or cope with the requirements of combating a virus that has killed more than 130,000 Americans.
Continued Lockdown
Free ambulance helps save mothers and babies in Kenya lockdown
As soon as Kenya introduced a coronavirus curfew, Dr. Jemimah Kariuki, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Nairobi's Kenyatta Hospital, started seeing more death and complications. "Every time I went to the hospital it was fewer numbers but more complications...and when women died alone in childbirth, I was like 'in 2020?' You are dying? Alone?," she said. Mothers in labour and their babies die more frequently during disease outbreaks in Africa. Women are either too afraid of infection to give birth in hospitals, or drivers are too afraid to take them if police are enforcing movement restrictions. That means disruptions to health systems caused by COVID-19 could result in an additional 1.1 million additional child deaths and 56,700 maternal deaths in low and middle-income countries, a study by Johns Hopkins researchers showed.
Pandemic accelerating, global peak still to come: WHO chief
After a record number of new COVID-19 cases were reported worldwide over the weekend, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that the pandemic is worsening despite some regions having appeared to slow its spread. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday that the world has "clearly not reached the peak of the pandemic" and the "outbreak is accelerating." Ghebreyesus acknowledged that while the number of infections appears to have levelled off globally, some countries such as the United States and Brazil continue to see a surge in cases.
How many children at risk? UK health visitors count the cost of lockdown
Since lockdown, many services in England have had to stop or severely restrict face-to-face appointments in homes as health visitors have been redeployed to other healthcare roles. This has led to concerns about being able to pick up on vital clues about people’s mental health, particularly new mothers; children’s development; and domestic violence. “We expect children are having a difficult life in households with domestic abuse,” says Jacky Syme, a service development manager at Bedfordshire community health services. “The level has gone up, we’ve seen it on the ground.” Calls to the UK’s national domestic abuse helpline have reportedly risen by 66% during lockdown and visits to its website increased by 950%. Demand for beds in refuges has also rocketed. “There is a lot of concern around vulnerable children behind closed doors,” says Cheryll Adams, chief executive of the Institute of Health Visiting.
No distance learning for 12.7% of students in lockdown
Italy's communications regulator AGCOM said Tuesday that 12.7% of Italian students did not have access to distance learning during the coronavirus lockdown. It said this figure was "unacceptable for an advanced democracy". The authority said the pandemic has exacerbated "pre-existing social and digital inequalities" and risked "compromising the slow process of digitalization" in Italy. It said the problem was especially serious in Italy's less wealthy southern regions. The authority said Italian families' "inadequate" technological resources were "a significant obstacle and an unacceptable condition in the case of access to essential services such as education
Study from Uni.lu: Luxembourgers satisfied despite lockdown
A study whose results were published by the University of Luxembourg analysed the impact of the confinement on several countries. The results were surprisingly positive in Luxembourg. The study investigated the impact of the lockdown (or similar measures) in Luxembourg, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Sweden. Individuals in Luxembourg increased time spent for children’s care and for household chores. According to the report, "Luxembourg experienced the highest increase of 2.65 hours on average in childcare."
Displaced Yazidis head back to Sinjar as lockdown bites
Hundreds of Yazidi families driven from their hometown of Sinjar in northern Iraq years ago are now returning as the impact of coronavirus lockdown measures makes their lives in exile even harder. Many have lost their jobs and aid from donors in Sharya, where they have been living since they fled Sinjar in 2014. Mahma Khalil, the mayor of Sinjar but now in exile in Dohuk in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, said more than 1,200 displaced families have returned from their temporary homes to Sinjar since June. Most had relatives their who serve in the military or police, he said.
Displaced Yazidis head back to Sinjar as coronavirus lockdown bites
Hundreds of Yazidi families driven from their hometown of Sinjar in northern Iraq years ago are now returning as the impact of coronavirus lockdown measures makes their lives in exile even harder. Many have lost their jobs and aid from donors in Sharya, where they have been living since they fled Sinjar in 2014. Mahma Khalil, the mayor of Sinjar but now in exile in Dohuk in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, said more than 1,200 displaced families have returned from their temporary homes to Sinjar since June. Most had relatives there who serve in the military or police, he said. Overrun by Islamic State in 2014 and liberated by an array of forces the following year, little has been rebuilt in Sinjar.
Scientific Viewpoint
Sub-saharan Africa 'just at the start' of its coronavirus outbreak, UK aid department warns
"We're expecting the rate of increase to keep going in the next few months and particularly as a lot of countries lift their lockdown measures because of the economic pressures and sustaining those." Dr Watts said estimated by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Imperial College London supported by the department estimated that Covid-19 infections would peak in the next two to three months in parts of Africa.
'Silent spreaders' of coronavirus may pose serious threat as cases surge in 32 states
A new study finds asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people may be responsible for half of the United States' COVID-19 cases.
Parkinson's Patients in UK Survey Detail Struggles With COVID-19...
Many Parkinson’s disease patients in the U.K. feel challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions it has placed on social interaction, reporting problems ranging from canceled appointments and limited exercise to worsening symptoms, according to a survey conducted by Parkinson’s UK and Lancaster University. “Unfortunately this report shows just how hard the Parkinson’s community has been hit by the coronavirus crisis, both physically and emotionally,” Katherine Crawford, director of services at Parkinson’s UK, said in a press release. The survey, done between April and May 2020, was completed by 1,491 people with Parkinson’s (mean age, 67) across the U.K., and by 275 of their caregivers. Respondents were asked a variety of questions about their experiences related to the pandemic and lockdown in the context of this disease.
Lack of COVID-19 Lockdown Increased Deaths in Sweden, Analysis Concludes
Sweden’s controversial decision not to lock down during COVID-19 produced more deaths and greater health care demand than seen in countries with earlier, more stringent interventions, a new analysis finds. But Sweden fared better than would be expected from its public health mandates alone, roughly similar to France, Italy and Spain – countries that imposed more stringent measures, but adopted them after the pandemic took hold there. Sweden’s unusual approach also saw fewer patients admitted to intensive-care units than expected. But the country has seen a higher percentage of deaths in older patients outside ICUs than other countries when ICU beds were not limited. That suggests Swedish health authorities have considered patients’ chances of recovery in deciding who receives access to intensive care, the researchers say.
Coronavirus: Majority testing positive have no symptoms
Only 22% of people testing positive for coronavirus reported having symptoms on the day of their test, according to the Office for National Statistics. This hammers home the role of people who aren't aware they're carrying the virus in spreading it onwards. Health and social care staff appeared to be more likely to test positive. This comes as deaths from all causes in the UK fell to below the average for the second week in a row.
Coronavirus: Spanish study casts doubt on herd immunity feasibility
A Spanish study has cast doubt on the feasibility of herd immunity as a way of tackling the coronavirus pandemic. The study of more than 60,000 people estimates that around just 5% of the Spanish population has developed antibodies, the medical journal the Lancet reported. Herd immunity is achieved when enough people become immune to a virus to stop its spread. Around 70% to 90% of a population needs to be immune to protect the uninfected. The prevalence of Covid-19 antibodies was below 3% in coastal regions, but higher in areas of Spain with widespread outbreaks, the report said.
WHO acknowledges 'evidence emerging' of airborne spread of COVID-19
The World Health Organization on Tuesday acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people. “We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of COVID-19,” Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic at the WHO, told a news briefing. The WHO has previously said the virus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.
'Silent spreaders' may be responsible for half of Covid-19 cases, study finds
While no one wants to think of themselves as a super spreader of Covid-19, a new study has given support to the idea that "silent transmission" -- the spread of virus by someone with no obvious symptoms -- could be responsible for half of all novel coronavirus cases in the United States. Transmission via people with no symptoms, or during the few days before symptoms are apparent, is a primary driver of Covid-19 spread, the study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found. More than one-third of silent infections would need to be identified and isolated to suppress a future outbreak, the study estimated.
Blood Test at COVID-19 Diagnosis Can Predict Disease Severity, Study Finds
Doctors can examine COVID-19 patients’ blood to identify those at greatest risk of severe illness and to pinpoint those most likely to need a ventilator, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests. The discovery could lead to new treatments to prevent deadly “cytokine storms” seen in severe cases of COVID-19. It also may help explain why diabetes contributes to worse outcomes in patients with the coronavirus. The UVA scientists found that the levels of a particular cytokine in the blood upon diagnosis could be used to predict later outcomes. Cytokines – proteins produced by immune cells – are responsible for severe overreactions by the immune system, known as cytokine storms, associated with COVID-19 and other serious illnesses.
Coronavirus Resurgence
A snapshot of new coronavirus outbreaks in Spain: Two ‘comarcas’ confined and two buildings in quarantine
Several areas in Spain have been forced to reintroduce lockdown measures due to new coronavirus outbreaks. In the two weeks since the state of alarm came to an end, nearly 300,000 residents in Lleida province in Catalonia and Lugo province in Galicia have been confined to their comarcas following a spike in infections; another 80,000 people in the northwestern region of Aragón have been moved back to Phase 2 of the government’s coronavirus deescalation plan; two buildings – one in Santander and another in Albacete – have been placed under quarantine; and around 50 coronavirus outbreaks are being monitored across the country. Of Spain’s 17 regions, only Asturias and La Rioja have not reported a coronavirus outbreak.
Beijing proves a 2nd coronavirus wave doesn’t have to mean a 2nd lockdown
Beijing reported zero new coronavirus cases for the first time in 26 days, a sign the resurgence that ignited fears of a second wave in China looks to have been brought under control for now. The city of more than 20 million people appears to have quelled a flare-up that infected 335 people, with infections down from 36 a day at their peak in mid-June. Authorities took a different approach to the virus when it reappeared in China’s political and economic hub after nearly two months of no locally transmitted cases than they did in Wuhan, the central city where the pathogen first emerged.
As Melbourne goes into coronavirus lockdown, it's a sign it could happen anywhere in Australia
For many Victorians, this will feel frustratingly like a reset; back to square one. For the rest of Australia, it's disquieting news — a reminder this situation could occur at any time in any other state or territory. None of us can be complacent. It's hard, but this is just how vigilant we have to be until a vaccine is found. We're all keen to go back to "life as normal" but the reality is, life as normal doesn't exist for 2020.
California coronavirus cases surge more than 10,000 in single day
California reported more than 10,000 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, a record rise for a single day that also surpassed the number of contact tracers recently trained by the state to detect and prevent potential outbreaks. California is one of several U.S. states that have reported surging numbers of new COVID-19 infections over the past week, raising questions about how U.S. President Donald Trump has handled the crisis and impeding state plans to lift lockdowns. The 10,201 new cases reported on Tuesday took the total number of cases in California since the start of the pandemic to nearly 284,00. In June, California infections more than doubled with over 117,000 new cases.
New Lockdown
Madagascar reimposes lockdown in capital as coronavirus cases surge
Madagascar has reimposed a lockdown in its central region, which includes its capital Antananarivo, in an effort to tackle an increase in coronavirus cases in the city, according to the country's government. Schools and universities in the city have been closed and nonessential travel within the region is prohibited until July 20. Authorities say churches will be shut, and public gatherings of more than 50 people have been banned. The government said troops have been deployed to affected districts to ensure residents comply with containment measures, including a curfew in the capital city, the government said.
Assam: Entire state bowed before Corona, lockdown will remain for 6 days
The epidemic corona outbreak is spreading rapidly throughout the country. Like other states, Assam is becoming a victim of corona. To overcome the virus in the state, complete lockdown will continue in Jorhat from 9 July to 15 July. To stop the spread of coronavirus, the lockdown will continue till 7 pm on July 9. According to the order of DDMA, District Magistrate and President of Jorhat, all the weekly markets will be closed in the entire district. State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that 786 new cases of coronavirus have been reported in Assam on Monday, of which 598 cases are from Guwahati city.
Parts of Australia to re-enter lockdown as COVID-19 cases surge
Australian officials said Tuesday residents and businesses in Melbourne and other areas will soon re-enter a state of lockdown due to abrupt surges in COVID-19 cases. Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire region will begin the new six-week lockdown period beginning at midnight on Wednesday, officials said. The move came after Victoria state reported nearly 200 new coronavirus cases Monday -- its largest daily increase to date.
Is South Africa heading back into lockdown - and what can the UK learn?
As coronavirus cases surge and deaths begin to mount, South Africa’s government has left the country’s population guessing about whether a lockdown will be reimposed. Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Monday that a new hard lockdown “cannot be ruled out”, but denied that a decision was imminent. His intervention followed several days of mixed messages about whether South Africa would reverse the easing of what have been some of the strictest social distancing restrictions in the world.
Coronavirus UK: Leicester's infection rate falls, lockdown stays
Health Secretary said there is no set benchmark at which lockdown will be lifted. Leicester went into England's first local lockdown last week in spike of Covid-19 Mr Hancock said officials want to see 14 days of data before evaluating rules
Coronavirus: Gütersloh lockdown lifted after German court ruling
A German court has ended a lockdown imposed to tackle a coronavirus outbreak at a meat packing facility. While a lockdown was "not unreasonable" at first, the court ruled that authorities should have replaced it with more focused measures. Officials in North Rhine-Westphalia brought back a lockdown around Gütersloh in June after more than 1,500 Tönnies plant workers tested positive. It was due to end on Wednesday, albeit with the option to extend it again. But the state's Higher Administrative Court overturned the measures with immediate effect on Monday, calling them disproportionate. Restaurants, bars and gyms can now reopen in Gütersloh district, and up to 10 people can meet outside - in line with national restrictions. Kindergartens will reopen on Wednesday, officials said.
Spain imposes second local lockdown
Spain has imposed a second local coronavirus lockdown in two days following a rise in infections. Lockdowns were reintroduced in the country’s north-west preventing 70,000 people from leaving the region, with gatherings of 10 people to be banned and caps on the patrons in venues to be reviewed. Spain recorded 21 new cases of the virus in the past 24-hour period, taking the total to 106 active cases.
Australia's second-biggest city under new virus lockdown
Five million Melbourne residents were ordered back into lockdown after coronavirus cases surged in Australia's second-biggest city Tuesday. State Premier Daniel Andrews announced a six-week lockdown would begin Wednesday, warning "we can't pretend" the coronavirus crisis is over. It is the first such spike in Australia since the virus was believed surpressed countrywide in April, and a brutal reminder that risks remain even as life returns to normal.
Algeria to place targeted lockdown measures against COVID-19
Algerian Health Minister Abderrahman Benbouzid said Monday that a renewal of nationwide lockdown "is not on the agenda right now," but the government will choose "a targeted lockdown" in regions with a significant increase in coronavirus cases. "The failure to comply with precautionary and preventive measures" were among many reasons for the rebound of cases in Algeria, Benbouzid said in a press conference. As of Monday, Algeria had 16,404 confirmed cases with 959 deaths. The country reported the first infection with the coronavirus on Feb. 25, an Italian national who was subsequently sent back home. Algeria has taken preventive measures, including lockdown, since March to contain the spread of the pandemic, and has resumed economic and commercial activities since June 7 as part of the effort to ease the lockdown
Melbourne: FM issues warning after new Australian lockdown
Nicola Sturgeon has called on Scots not to drop their guard against Covid-19 after Australia put the city of Melbourne back into lockdown for six weeks due to rising coronavirus cases. The border between Victoria and New South Wales, Australia’s two most populous states, will be shut for the first time in 100 years as authorities try to contain the outbreak in the city. The border had not faced restrictions since the 1919 Spanish flu pandemic. The Victorian state of Melbourne reported 127 new Covid-19 infections overnight – its biggest daily spike since the pandemic began earlier this year. It also reported Australia’s first two deaths in more than two weeks, bringing the national death toll to 106.
Australia's second largest city heads back into coronavirus lockdown
Lockdown measures were reimposed in Australia’s second biggest city on Tuesday, confining Melbourne residents to their homes unless undertaking essential business for six weeks, as officials scramble to to contain a coronavirus outbreak. The decision, which affects around 4.9 million people, was announced just hours before the busy border between Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, and New South Wales is scheduled to close for the first time in a century. From midnight on Wednesday, everyone in Melbourne will be required to stay home unless travelling to work, studying, shopping for food or attending medical appointments. Restaurants, cafes and bars will be able to provide takeaway service only, gyms and hair salons closed, household gatherings limited to two people and the current school vacation extended.
Serbia reintroduces lockdown after highest daily Covid-19 death toll
Serbia’s president announced the reintroduction of a lockdown after the Balkan country reported its highest single-day death toll from coronavirus. President Aleksandar Vucic called the virus situation in the Serbian capital of Belgrade “alarming” and “critical” as the city’s hospitals neared their capacity limits.
Court overturns local lockdown on German slaughterhouse town
A court in western Germany overturned an emergency lockdown imposed in the town of Guetersloh following a coronavirus outbreak in a slaughterhouse there, ruling that the restrictions were disproportionate. The ruling, after some 1,500 workers were infected, throws into doubt the system of quick lockdown responses and rapid track-and-trace on which Germany has been relying to move into the second phase of its fight against the pandemic. After the outbreak, the premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia brought in a week-long lockdown, imposing social distancing on the town of about 100,000 people and closing many cultural institutions to try to stop its spread. A legal challenge brought by a private individual against the first week of lockdown was rejected. But when it was extended to run for another week until Tuesday, an entertainments company operating in the district put in a second challenge and the court changed its mind, saying authorities had had time to impose more targeted restrictions.
Court overturns local lockdown on German slaughterhouse town
A court in western Germany overturned an emergency lockdown imposed in the town of Guetersloh following a coronavirus outbreak in a slaughterhouse there, ruling that the restrictions were disproportionate. The ruling, after some 1,500 workers were infected, throws into doubt the system of quick lockdown responses and rapid track-and-trace on which Germany has been relying to move into the second phase of its fight against the pandemic. After the outbreak, the premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia brought in a week-long lockdown, imposing social distancing on the town of about 100,000 people and closing many cultural institutions to try to stop its spread.