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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 9th Jul 2020

News Highlights

U.S. states reimpose restrictions as cases rise sharply

Several U.S. states reimposed coronavirus restrictions as cases continued to rise and the death toll in the country crossed 130,000. California reported more than 10,000 cases on Tuesday, a record rise, and Florida and Texas also reported steep increases in numbers. Restaurants in the Miami area, and in California, were shuttered to curb the spread of the disease and to deep clean the premises.

'Triple lockdown' imposed in Indian city as cases surge

The Indian state of Kerala, much lauded for its efective initial handling of the pandemic, has seen a sharp increase in cases recently as nearly half a million migrant workers returned from abroad, or from other Indian states, many of them carrying the virus. To counter the threat, health officials imposed a 'triple lockdown,' which is a combination of three strategies of discouraging general movement, enforcing police presence in clusters and focused intervention in the households of infected persons.

Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan to reimpose lockdown to beat Covid-19

More than a month after restrictions were eased to restart their economies, the Central Asian countries of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have a announced a second lockdown in response to a jump in Covid-19 cases. Vehicle movement will be restricted and non-essential businesses, parks, cafes, restaurants, sports and entertainment venues will be shut.

France: Coronavirus takes toll on mental health of children

The coronavirus pandemic has caused many hardships on people across the globe, with stress and anxiety levels on the rise. In France, children seem especially vulnerable, with a psychiatry expert warning that lockdown measures and social distancing norms have led to children experiencing thoughts of suicide, sudden withdrawal and a fear of going to school.

Lockdown Exit
Miami rolls back restaurant dining as U.S. coronavirus deaths top 130,000
Florida’s greater Miami area became the latest U.S. coronavirus hot spot to roll back its reopening, ordering restaurant dining closed on Monday as COVID-19 cases surged nationwide by the tens of thousands and the U.S. death toll topped 130,000. Restaurants also were targeted for a weekend crackdown on coronavirus enforcement in California, where hospitalizations for COVID-19 have jumped 50% over the past two weeks and the state capitol building in Sacramento was temporarily closed for deep cleaning. For an eighth straight day, Texas registered an all-time high in the number of people hospitalized at any one moment with the highly contagious respiratory illness, up more than 500 admissions from the day before to nearly 8,700.
Philippines Virus Cases Soar Past 50,000 as Lockdown Eases
Confirmed coronavirus infections in the Philippines soared past 50,000 on Wednesday in a troubling milestone for a country that has reopened an economy on the brink of recession while still struggling to combat the pandemic. The Department of Health reported 2,539 new cases, bringing the country's total to 50,359, including 1,314 deaths. The Philippines' caseload is the second largest in Southeast Asia, where the combined number of infections has surpassed those in China, where the pandemic emerged.
U.S. Consumption May See Quick Pickup If Lockdown Is Short-Lived
“We estimate that the combination of expanded unemployment insurance benefits and stimulus payments should be sufficient to allow a swift recovery in consumer spending to its pre-crisis levels,” they wrote. However, if the shutdown lasts for a year and the unemployment rate hits 20%, “we find that the return of spending toward its no-pandemic path takes roughly three years.” Although recent U.S data has proved better than expected, Atlanta Federal Reserve chief Raphael Bostic earlier this week cautioned that parts of the economy are showing signs of leveling off amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
What regions of Spain are in lockdown and is it safe to travel there?
Europe might have eased many of its lockdown measures, raising hopes that summer holidays might still be on the cards – but it’s not such good news for some parts of Spain. That’s because two regions have found themselves in a local lockdown there, following a surge in Covid-19 cases. It comes after the country lifted its state of emergency last month, and reopened to most of Europe – but which areas are back in lockdown, and is it safe to visit Spain? Here’s what you need to know…
Scam calls will rise as lockdown eases, says UK trading standards
Trading standards bosses have warned of an imminent spike in scam telephone calls as Covid-19 lockdown measures ease and call centres around the world – including bogus ones operated by criminals – start to reopen. Between the end of March and May the percentage of nuisance calls made to UK homes as a proportion of total calls was much lower than the usual average of 37% a month, as all office-based call centres were forced to close. However, National Trading Standards (NTS) is now predicting a sharp rise in the coming weeks as fraudsters exploit coronavirus fears and prey on vulnerable and older people self-isolating at home. Analysis by the NTS of the latest data from call blockers trueCall – which it has used in household pilot schemes – reveals that the number of nuisance calls in March was 34% below expected levels and 77% less in April. However these figures are picking up, it says.
Coronavirus: Signs of normalcy emerge as China reopens
While we have seen a few clusters where the virus has resurged in recent days after lockdowns were eased, events by and large in China are giving us hope: the re-opening of factories, migratory workers going back to work since January’s Chinese New Year celebrations, and industrial activity returning to at least 90% capacity utilization. As other emerging economies come out of lockdown, we’ll be watching closely whether consumers will behave as they were before the coronavirus. It’s too soon to describe what a broad economic recovery will look like, but we believe China and other trade-sensitive neighboring economies will have to be more reliant on domestic recoveries, given the short-term challenges they face with disrupted global trade routes.
Chinese factories to face headwinds in next phase of post-lockdown recovery
Orders for infrastructure materials and equipment have helped industrial output recover faster in China than most places emerging from COVID-19 lockdowns, but further expansion will be hard to attain without stronger broad-based demand and exports.
Homeless choose to stay housed, but new faces appearing on streets
People who have been chronically homeless are choosing to stay in permanent housing - some for the first time in more than 20 years. Organisations working with rough sleepers say the change in attitudes is "phenomenal". But they are warning it's no time to get complacent about homelessness, especially as new faces start to emerge on the streets. Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly is well acquainted with people sleeping rough. There is one man in particular he never thought would be housed. He's been on the streets for 22 years. "He was reluctant. Three days into lockdown, when all of his mates had gone, he was sitting there alone and said to his case-worker 'I think it's time to go inside. But, I want a room with a view'." He's been in housing for three months now. Last weekend he took his first trip in many years out of Auckland, to visit family.
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.
Japan's service sector mood jumps in June as lockdowns ease
Japan’s service sector sentiment jumped at a record pace in June as businesses re-opened after lockdown measures were lifted in late May, data showed on Wednesday, offering hope that the economy’s coronavirus-induced slump has bottomed out. But a recent rise in new infections in Tokyo is clouding the outlook, leaving few analysts predicting a V-shaped recovery. “Japan’s economy will hopefully pick up as business re-opens and the effect of government stimulus measures appears,” said Takeshi Okuwaki, economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute. “But it will take some time for economic activity to return to pre-pandemic levels. The outlook remains severe,” he said. A government survey of workers such as taxi drivers, hotel workers and restaurant staff - called “economy watchers” for their proximity to consumer and retail trends - showed their confidence about current economic conditions jumped a record 23.3 points to 38.8 in June from the previous month.
Iran coronavirus death toll exceeds 12,000 as lockdown curbs ease
Iran’s coronavirus death toll exceeded 12,000 on Wednesday, the health ministry said, with 153 deaths in the past 24 hours, amid a sharp rise in the number of daily infections and deaths in the past week as lockdown measures have eased. The total number of infections has reached 248,379, with 209,463 people having recovered, ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in a statement on state TV. Iran recorded 200 deaths from COVID-19 within a 24-hour period on Tuesday, the highest official figure recorded by the ministry. President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday launched new measures to try to curb the spread. 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, he said.
Norway's economy rebounded in May as lockdown lifted
The Norwegian economy rebounded in May after two months of steep decline as a gradual reopening of businesses from coronavirus lockdowns helped turn activity around, Statistics Norway (SSB) said on Wednesday. The mainland economy, which excludes the volatile offshore oil and gas production, grew by 2.4% in May from April but has still contracted by 8.9% since February, the agency said.
Novavax, maker of a Covid-19 vaccine, is backed by Operation Warp Speed
Novavax has joined the ranks of Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers being supported by the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration announced Tuesday. The Gaithersburg, Md.-based biotech has been awarded $1.6 billion to support late-stage clinical trials and expansion of its manufacturing capacity. In return, Novavax will supply the U.S. government with 100 million doses — likely enough product to vaccinate 50 million people, assuming the product is safe and effective — starting in late 2020. The full amount is expected to be made available by February, Stanley Erck, the company’s president and CEO, told STAT.
Exit Strategies
The rules returning and support ending as lockdown eases, from free NHS parking to evictions
The coronavirus pandemic has had a wide-ranging impact on the lives of many people, leading the Government to suspend various policies to support Britons during these unprecedented times. But as the country begins to emerge from the lockdown, it appears that business is returning to normal. Some of those policies – many of which were unpopular in the first place – are beginning to be reinstated or are slated to return over the next few months.
People refusing coronavirus treatment may face jail in Italy's Veneto
People who test positive for the coronavirus but refuse hospital treatment could face a prison sentence under a new regulation introduced in Italy’s northeastern region of Veneto. The order by Governor Luca Zaia says that until the end of July hospitals must tell the public prosecutor’s office of anyone refusing admission after testing positive. Anyone returning to Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, must also be given two compulsory swab tests, Monday’s regional order says if they are returning from a business trip outside the European Union or a non-Schengen country.
Global report: Catalonia makes mask-wearing in public compulsory
Spain’s northern Catalonia region will make wearing a mask in public spaces compulsory at all times from Thursday morning, as French prosecutors charged two men with with attempted murder after a bus driver was attacked and left brain dead for refusing to drive a group of mask-less men. The move in Catalonia was announced as the region struggles with a renewed outbreak of coronavirus around Lleida that has forced a new lockdown for 200,000 inhabitants and pushed hospitals to the brink. The announcement by the Catalan regional leader, Quim Torra, came as authorities around the globe confronted fast-emerging new peaks of the disease even as they looked for ways out of economically damaging nationwide lockdowns. “Masks in Catalonia will be mandatory,” said Torra. Spain has since June ordered the use of masks indoors and outside where 1.5 metres of social distancing cannot be maintained.
France Can’t Afford Another Lockdown If Covid Returns, PM Says
France’s new government would seek to preserve the economy should a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic force it to bring back lockdown measures, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday. “We won’t survive, economically and socially, an absolute and generalized lockdown,” Castex told BFM TV and RMC radio, adding that he advocated more targeted restrictions. With the World Health Organization advising countries to prepare for a second wave of pandemic spread, it’s a balancing act that officials around the world are also contemplating. But with public finances already battered by the first wave, the tradeoffs look increasingly bleak.
COVID-19 lock-down: How the Gauteng government plans to safely reopen schools
Since the gradual opening of the economy after lock-down there has been a sharp incline of COVID-19 cases. The government has the task of balancing the health of the people with keeping the economy going and opening the schools. How is the Gauteng provincial government helping? The Gauteng MEC for education is laying out the plans to welcome back school goers….
How Rishi Sunak could kickstart UK's post-lockdown economy
Rishi Sunak is preparing to announce a wide-ranging package of tax and spending measures to kickstart Britain’s economic recovery from the coronavirus lockdown. Designed to cushion the blow from rising unemployment and to help businesses back to their feet, the summer economic update on Wednesday comes as Britain grapples with the worst recession in living memory. Here are the key announcements to look out for from the chancellor.
French PM says any new coronavirus lockdown would be targeted
New French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday that any new lockdown will be targeted, and not imposed nationwide, if there is a major new coronavirus outbreak. The previous French government enforced a strict nationwide lockdown from mid-March to May 11 to try to curb the spread of COVID-19, and some restrictions on public gatherings are still in place. “We must be ready for a second wave, but we would not proceed to a general lockdown like in March, as that has terrible economic and human consequences. Any new lockdown would be targeted,” Castex told BFM television.
Mexico posts new case record to overtake Spain; official says virus 'slowing'
The government has said the real number of infected people and deaths is likely significantly higher than the confirmed numbers due to low levels of testing. Lopez-Gatell, the deputy health minister and who spearheads Mexico’s coronavirus response, said the new figures do not mean the spread of the virus is accelerating. “The epidemic in Mexico is slowing down,” he said, adding that the velocity of the spread was decreasing. He highlighted progress in Mexico City, the epicenter of the virus. He said despite officials in the capital loosening restrictions and reopening for business two weeks ago, there have been no signals the virus was on the rise.
South Africa prepares 1.5 million gravesites as coronavirus cases rise
A health official in South Africa’s new coronavirus hot spot of Gauteng province says authorities are preparing over 1.5 million gravesites as confirmed cases rise.
Strains of hope: Chilean nurse serenades COVID-19 patients with violin
When most Chilean nurses finish their long shifts caring for the country’s many COVID-19 patients, there is little else on their minds but seeing their families, eating and sleeping. Not so Damaris Silva, who twice a week when she finishes her shift at 6 p.m. picks up her violin and returns to the ward. Silva, 26, spends several hours walking the corridors of the Hospital El Pino, in the capital Santiago’s poor southern La Pintana neighbourhood. She plays a mix of popular Latin songs, bringing a moment of levity for both patients - some of whom have spent weeks in critical care - and exhausted colleagues. “As soon as I walk in the patients brighten, they seem happier; they smile and applaud,” she told Reuters.
Partisan Exits
Serbian President Retracts COVID-19 Curfew After 60 Hurt in Violence
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has retracted his decision to reimpose a coronavirus curfew and has urged people to stop attending anti-government rallies after a violent clash between protesters and police. The president said Wednesday that new measures could still include shortened hours for nightclubs and penalties for those not wearing masks. On Tuesday, Vucic said at a news conference he would implement a curfew Friday, “probably” to run from 6 p.m. until 5 a.m. on July 13. The president added that gatherings would be restricted to five people starting Wednesday, citing a rising number of coronavirus cases in the country and hospitals running at full capacity.
Covid-19 news: UK could eliminate coronavirus entirely, say scientists
The UK government has “given up” on trying to eliminate the coronavirus, says a new report published today by Independent SAGE – an independent group of scientists. They propose a new strategy aimed at the complete elimination of covid-19. It would replace what the report calls the government’s “failing NHS Test and Trace system” with a locally controlled contract tracing and testing system that has more laboratory provision, as well as tighter lockdown measures and restriction of international and domestic travel. The report also points out that the UK’s death toll has been one of the highest in the world but says it’s not too late to change that trajectory. “We believe that a clear strategy based on proven public health principles is now required to see us through the next 9 to 12 months,” says the report. But the report has been criticised by researchers, including epidemiologist Mark Woolhouse at the University of Edinburgh, for being overly simplistic. “This is a worthy but extremely ambitious aim,” says Woolhouse.
Brazil's right-wing President Bolsonaro says he is taking Trump's favourite drug hydroxychloroquine to tackle his coronavirus and already 'feels a lot better'
Bolsonaro claimed in on Twitter that the anti-malaria drug had made him better Said 'I am very well with its use and, with the grace of God, will live a long time' Bolsonaro yesterday said he had tested positive but was feeling 'perfectly well' Last night he showed off footage of himself taking a dose of hydroxychloroquine Anti-malaria drug is touted by him and Donald Trump but is not proven to work
As Coronavirus Cases Top 3 Million, Fauci Warns Against Misreading a Falling Death Rate
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, cautioned on Tuesday that it was a “false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” which President Trump, top White House officials and several governors have stressed in recent days. Dr. Fauci’s comments came at an event Tuesday with Senator Doug Jones, Democrat of Alabama, as the United States surpassed three million cases on Tuesday, and some states that had hoped to be getting back to normal by now have instead been forced to reinstate restrictions and issue mandatory mask orders.
White House Adviser Says Another COVID Lockdown Would Be a Big Mistake
The economy would likely suffer some impacts as certain U.S. states reimpose coronavirus-related restrictions, but imposing another nationwide shutdown would be "a big mistake," White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday. He added that he has seen has seen no evidence of a so-called double-dip recession as some financial analysts have suggested as more states reported record numbers of new infections. On Tuesday, U.S. confirmed cases topped 3 million. "I don't see it yet," Kudlow told reporters at the White House, referring to any economic fallout as some of the country's most populous states such as Florida, Texas and California saw cases surge and reimposed various measures aimed at mitigating the outbreak.
Israel health chief quits in protest at lockdown easing – as it happened
Israel’s public health director resigned on Tuesday in protest against ministers’ decision to ease lockdown so quickly, as another warned that the country has “lost control” of the coronavirus. Siegal Sadetzki, an epidemiologist, said she had resigned because her warnings were ignored, with infection rates soaring to more than 1,000 daily new cases in recent weeks.
How New Zealand's media endangered public health
New Zealand's health minister, David Clark, has been forced to resign and the nation's hyperactive media have claimed their latest scalp. In the middle of a pandemic, no less. Unseemly as the media's months-long hit on Clark was - a classic example of trial by media - it was consistent with the borderline misconduct that has defined much of the reporting throughout the COVID-19 crisis. While the response to the pandemic threat from the national capital, Wellington, can be held aloft, for now, as a rare success story in a world of disarray, the machinations of much of the nation's media leaves much to be desired.
Lockdown heroes: will they ever get a raise?
In the US, they are called “essential” staff, in the UK “key workers” and in France travailleurs clés. The Germans have the most elaborate name for the new group: systemrelevante Arbeitskräfte or “system-relevant workers”. But the essential are not always treated as essential. The pandemic has upended the hierarchy of work, demonstrating that many of the people critical to the functioning of a modern economy are also among the least well paid — from the nurses treating Covid-19 patients to the warehouse and delivery workers who provide vital supplies.
Continued Lockdown
Colombia coronavirus lockdown extended until Aug. 1
Colombia's national lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus will be extended by just over two weeks until Aug. 1, President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday. The Andean country has reported more than 124,400 cases of the novel coronavirus and 4,359 deaths. Duque declared a national lockdown in late March to slow coronavirus infections across the country. While thousands of businesses have begun reopening, the lockdown was due to be lifted on July 15. "After analysing the country and considering we have cities where the rate of cases has accelerated and grown, as well as the mortality rate, we have continued to work on preserving the mandatory preventive isolation as the general concept," Duque said in a nightly televised broadcast.
Sharp increase in UK child sexual abuse during pandemic
“Our pursuit of high-risk online offenders has been unrelenting during lockdown,” says Charles Yates, the NCA’s deputy director. But these figures could be the tip of the iceberg. “The full scale will only be revealed once children return to schools and have more access to trusted adults, and the tech industry brings back human moderators [who check their platforms for illegal content],” he says. Even then, it may take some time. Andy Burrows, head of child safety online policy at NSPCC, warns that it may not be until 2021 that we will know the full impact. “What we’re likely to see here is a long tail of disclosures [in autumn].”
Bristol creates more new companies during lockdown than any other UK city
Bristol created more online companies during lockdown than any other UK city, new research has revealed. According to website building service Web Eden, the city had the largest number of company website registrations, followed by Leicester, London, Manchester, Gloucester and Birmingham. Web Eden analysed internal data between March and June 2020 to see where businesses were set up.
FEATURE-With schools closed, child labour on the rise in lockdown Uganda
Every morning soon after dawn, 10-year-old Moses leaves home carrying trays of hard-boiled eggs and walks for half an hour to sell them outside a petrol station in the Ugandan city of Gulu. With schools closed indefinitely since the nation went into a strict lockdown to fight COVID-19 in March, Moses is among some 15 million Ugandan children at risk of being forced to work as families are pushed towards extreme poverty, charities say.
Colombia coronavirus lockdown extended until Aug. 1
Colombia’s national lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus will be extended by just over two weeks until Aug. 1, President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday. The Andean country has reported more than 124,400 cases of the novel coronavirus and 4,359 deaths. Duque declared a national lockdown in late March to slow coronavirus infections across the country. While thousands of businesses have begun reopening, the lockdown was due to be lifted on July 15. “After analysing the country and considering we have cities where the rate of cases has accelerated and grown, as well as the mortality rate, we have continued to work on preserving the mandatory preventive isolation as the general concept,” Duque said in a nightly televised broadcast.
Scientific Viewpoint
Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine Collaboration with Butantan Receives Approval from Brazilian Regulator for Phase III Trial
Sinovac Biotech Ltd, a leading provider of biopharmaceutical products in China, today announced an update to its previously announced partnership with Butantan, a leading Brazilian producer of immunobiologic products and vaccines.
Sprawling Countries Find Coronavirus Hard to Contain
These countries often face several outbreaks to monitor and contain. They often must rely more on local health authorities, making it harder to coordinate nationwide responses. And they require more resources, from tens of thousands of contact tracers to millions of tests, for their large populations. “All other things being equal, it’s harder to manage an epidemic in a large country than a small country,” said Maciej Boni, an epidemiologist and professor at Pennsylvania State University. “In a large country you have multiple epidemics originating from multiple places that are separate from each other,” he said. “It’s a different management problem than Singapore, South Korea, the Netherlands or some of these smaller countries.”
Professor warns of long-term effects of lockdown weight gain
Many more of us could have diabetes and high blood pressure if we don't lose the extra weight we've put on during lockdown, a renowned cardiologist at Keele University has warned. "This is a big ticking time bomb for our nation's health—one that hasn't had as much attention as it should have," he said. "Permanent weight gain will have a long-term impact on our health. If we don't lose this extra weight, or we get into bad habits that continue after lockdown, many more of us could have diabetes and high blood pressure. This, ultimately, makes us more at risk of suffering heart attacks and strokes." Professor Mamas has urged Britons to see the relative easing of lockdown "as an opportunity to adopt a healthier lifestyle." His comments come after a study showed that 48% of us believe we have put on weight and 20% of us admit to drinking more alcohol during the lockdown.
Has Italy Beaten COVID-19?
Menicanti attributes Italy's success to surprisingly high levels of compliance with social distancing measures from the Italian people. "In the beginning, all of us were shocked by the rules. To be locked in, not being able to travel or meet people, that's very strange for us. Italians love crowded places," Menicanti said. "But the population, incredibly, has followed the rules." Other towns that didn't implement such a strict lockdown right away, such as Bergamo and Cremona, were hit harder, and scenes of coffins piling up in churches were burned into the national psyche. Mario Carminati, a priest in Bergamo, told the BBC that the "sound of ambulance sirens was constant. This was a reminder to be on the lookout, that if you didn't do as they said, you could be next." "We don't want to forget what happened," Carminati said. "We want it to be a reminder of how to live in a certain way."
French children traumatised by coronavirus crisis, expert warns
The coronavirus crisis has caused an uptick in stress and anxiety disorders in French children, with some experiencing thoughts of suicide, a leading child psychologist has warned. Benjamin Landman, chief of psychiatry at Paris’s Robert-Debré paediatric hospital, told French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche that lockdown measures and new social distancing norms have had a significant impact on children’s mental health. Young children were experiencing developmental regression, such as bedwetting, difficulty falling asleep and separation anxiety, while older children were showing behavioural problems, signs of agitation, sudden withdrawal and a fear of going back to school.
As Victoria goes into coronavirus lockdown, it's time to consider moving infected people outside the home
Ultimately, governments around the world face the tough choice of being proactive or reactive during the pandemic. Being proactive to small spikes might be perceived as being heavy-handed, especially economically. Victoria, so far, has been more reactive than proactive — but the time has come to consider different approaches. We know many people pick up the virus in their own homes from another family member, even if the infected individual isolates in one room. This is partially because indoor environments often have crowding and poor ventilation. It's also quite difficult to practice good sanitation, cleaning high-touch surfaces properly with detergent or bleach. The best option is to relocate an infected family member to reduce the risk of spread to the rest of the family. An option is to relocate them to hospitals or other suitable purpose-built health facilities. Victoria's numbers will get worse unless infected individuals are relocated. This is a particular risk for crowded high-rise housing. Victorians should also be wearing masks in all public places.
The way in which it was executed, India’s lockdown itself became source of virus’s spread
By having people huddle together, infecting one another, and then having the same people travel hundreds of miles, the pandemic has been made much worse than it need have been.
Warning of serious brain disorders in people with mild coronavirus symptoms
Scientists at University College London are warning of the risk of brain damage from coronavirus. UCL researchers studied 43 patients who suffered either temporary brain dysfunction, stroke, nerve damage or other serious effects on their brain, and say the disease can lead to severe neurological complications including psychosis and delirium. The study found nine of the patients were diagnosed with a rare condition called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), which is usually seen in children and can be triggered by viral infections. The team said they would only usually see about one adult patient with ADEM a month, but it had risen to a "concerning" one a week while they were conducting the study. "Given the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," said Ross Paterson, who co-led the study. "Doctors need to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."
Risk of airborne coronavirus spread being underplayed, say researchers
Over 200 scientists have called for the world to take more precautions against the airborne transmission of the coronavirus. While the virus is known to spread through the air via large droplets produced when people cough or sneeze, they say it can also be spread by smaller droplets known as aerosols that can linger in the air. Preventing this means ventilating buildings and avoiding overcrowding. “Hand-washing and social distancing are appropriate, but, in our view, insufficient to provide protection from virus-carrying respiratory microdroplets released into the air by infected people,” states a letter written by Lidia Morawska at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. It has been signed by 239 researchers. The letter also calls for international bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) to acknowledge the possibility of this type of airborne spread and suggests precautions against it.
FDA Authorizes Becton, Dickinson Portable 15-Minute Coronavirus Test
A new test for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease that results from it is now available on the market. Healthcare technology specialist Becton, Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) announced Monday that it has been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an antigen test that can effectively detect the presence of the coronavirus. The test is used in combination with the company's BD Veritor Plus System, a handheld electronic diagnostic machine. The small profile of this device makes it very portable, and thus ideal for situations where testing must occur at the many point-of-care locations now scattered throughout the country. According to Becton, Dickinson, it is also very fast; the company says it can produce results in 15 minutes.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Coronavirus: Is India the next global hotspot?
The coronavirus took hold slowly in India, but six months after its first confirmed infection it has overtaken Russia to record the world's third largest caseload. With the world's second-largest population, much of which lives packed into cities, the country was perhaps always destined to become a global hotspot. But the data behind its case numbers is questionable, because India is not testing enough, and an unusually low death rate has baffled scientists. Here's five things we know about the spread of coronavirus in India.
Coronavirus: Texas is 'ten days away from total crisis'
Hospitals in the state capital of Texas are within a fortnight of being overwhelmed, officials said yesterday, as coronavirus cases continued to soar across the United States. Steve Adler, the Democratic mayor of Austin, said that his city was near to crisis point. “If we don’t change the trajectory, then I am within two weeks of having our hospitals overrun,” he told CNN. “And in intensive care, I could be ten days away from that.”
Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 397 to 197,341 - RKI
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 397 to 197,341, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday. The reported death toll rose by 12 to 9,036, the tally showed.
German slaughterhouse contending with COVID-19 to remain closed pending hygiene plan
According to reporting in Reuters, the chief executive of the Guetersloh district made the announcement on 7 July. Nearly 600,000 people in Guetersloh, a city in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, were forced back into lockdown on 23 June after more than 1,500 workers at the Toennies abattoir and packing plant tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Sven-Georg Adenauer said in a news conference broadcast online that the plant could only be reopened if there is "no threat to the people who work in this company and also not to the people in the Guetersloh region".
Hundreds of Cases, But No Lockdown: What’s Changed in Japan?
As of Monday, the ratio of cases in Tokyo whose infection path can’t be identified stood at 39%, compared with more than 70% at the height of the pandemic. That’s significant because contact tracing and cluster-busting has been the core of Japan’s response to the virus -- identifying and shutting down locations where multiple people were infected, and aggressively testing those linked to these clusters.
Australia battles to contain Melbourne coronavirus outbreak
State police were patrolling the city and setting up checkpoints on major roads to stop people heading out to regional areas and spreading the virus from what is now Australia’s pandemic epicentre, with 860 active cases. “The window for police discretion is very small and is closing as the threat to public health and safety created by those breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions is too great,” Victoria police said in a statement. Cafes, bars, restaurants and gyms which only recently reopened had to shut again. Police had no comment on whether anyone has been stopped or fined since midnight. ​ The renewed lockdown follows the closure of Australia’s busiest state border, between Victoria and the most populous state New South Wales, on Tuesday night.
New Lockdown
Indian city imposes 'triple lockdown' as coronavirus cases surge
Thiruvananthapuram in the southern state of Kerala implemented what it called a "triple lockdown" this week, as India overtook Russia to record the world's third-highest number of coronavirus infections. Kerala's strict early measures to curb the coronavirus's spread meant it had just about 100 cases in May, a scenario that propelled its health minister - a retired teacher with a previously low profile - to rockstar status. But since then nearly half a million people, mostly migrant workers, have arrived back in Kerala from abroad or from other Indian states. On Wednesday, the state recorded the highest single-day spike of 301 infections, taking the total to 6,301. Kerala's Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who had voiced concerns about an outbreak if people were not tested before coming back, has attributed the rise in numbers to the returnees, saying they account for more than 80% of coronavirus cases. "The city seems to be sitting on an active volcano," said Kadakampally Surendran, the state minister in charge of the area, urging people to "strictly follow" the lockdown measures.
'Vocal minority are twisting Leicester lockdown to spread foul, racist ideas' says anti-racism group
An anti-racism group says the blame for Leicester’s local lockdown lies with central Government and not Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, whom it says are being stigmatised and scapegoated as a result of rules being extended in the city and surrounding areas. Leicester Stand Up To Racism has received backing from Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe, local politicians, religious leaders, community figures and union representatives since putting out an open letter for the public to sign, urging people not to pay attention to those it says are using the local lockdown to “spread their foul racist ideas”. The letter reads: “Leicester people stand together and place responsibility for this crisis, both in Leicester and nationally, at the door of central Government.
Panic-buying returns as Melbourne braces for lengthy lockdown
Shoppers in Australia's second-biggest city stripped supermarket shelves Wednesday as millions in Melbourne prepared for a return to virus lockdown, with warnings the new restrictions will cost the economy Aus$1 billion a week. Five million residents were ordered back into a six-week lockdown beginning midnight Wednesday into Thursday as soaring community transmission of the coronavirus brings more than 100 new cases daily. A further 134 infections were detected in the past 24 hours -- small in comparison to the tens of thousands in hard-hit countries like the US and Brazil but considered a major spike in Australia, which had otherwise been successful in containing COVID-19.
Australian police lock down major state border
Australians wanting to enter New South Wales state from Victoria in the early hours of Wednesday (July 8) were forced to show permits allowing travel or be turned around, as officials scramble to contain a coronavirus outbreak. Libby Hogan reports.
Six-week lockdown imposed on Australia's Melbourne
The Australian city of Melbourne is heading back into a six-week lockdown after a spike in coronavirus cases. Officials from the state of Victoria reported 134 new infections. The numbers in the rest of the country have remained in the single digits.
Covid-19 lockdown like the one in Australia can happen here if we're careless'
Malaysians are reminded to remain vigilant and practise self-discipline to remain safe from Covid-19, to prevent possible lockdown as faced by those in Melbourne, Australia, who are once again placed under restrictions due to surge in cases. Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said any prior efforts to curb the virus would be futile if continuous preventive measures were not being practised by everyone. "With the cooperation of all Malaysians, our country has managed to contain the spread of the virus. However, this does not mean that we can be careless as the virus is still around us. Hence, we must ensure that we always practice self-discipline.
Coronavirus crisis: Victorian lockdown to cost Australian economy $6 billion, says Josh Frydenberg
Victoria’s latest coronavirus lockdown is expected to cost Australia’s economy $6 billion and significantly slow the nation’s economic recovery. Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed about $1 billion a week was expected to be lost during the lockdown, currently expected to last six weeks. “We will see a substantial economic impact as a result of these restrictions coming back in," he said on 2GB. He added later on Sky there would be a “serious impediment to the speed and the trajectory of the nation's economic recovery, not just Victoria”.
How Melbourne ended up under a second Covid-19 lockdown
For weeks now the Victorian government has been desperately trying to get the coronavirus outbreak under control. It locked down postcodes, public housing towers and finally Melbourne itself. In this episode of Full Story, reporter Melissa Davey explains how it all unfolded
Uzbekistan to introduce second lockdown from July 10
Uzbekistan will impose a second lockdown between July 10 and Aug. 1 to curb a new surge in cases of the novel coronavirus since the easing of its first set of restrictions in late May and early June. The Central Asian nation’s government said on Wednesday it will limit the movement of vehicles and close non-food shopping malls, markets, parks, cafes, restaurants and sports and entertainment venues. Uzbekistan saw a surge in fresh COVID-19 cases in June after lifting many of the restrictions introduced earlier. It has confirmed almost 11,000 cases with 40 deaths; more than a half of the latter occurred within the last two weeks. Neighbouring Kazakhstan has also imposed a second lockdown from July 5, citing a jump in cases.
Dozens injured in Belgrade rioting sparked by new virus lockdown
Serbian police fired tear gas at anti-government protesters after being pelted with flares and stones on Wednesday as thousands protested in front of the Belgrade Parliament despite warnings that such gatherings could spread coronavirus infections. The evening before, violence erupted when a crowd stormed Parliament in protest of plans to reimpose a lockdown following a new spike in COVID-19 cases. Forty-three police officers and 17 protesters were injured and there were 23 arrests. Although President Aleksandar Vucic hinted Wednesday he may back down from his plan to introduce a weekend lockdown, demonstrators began gathering in front of the Serbian Parliament building around 6 p.m
Millions of Australians brace for lockdowns amid Melbourne virus outbreak
Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne, went back into lockdown at midnight on Wednesday, forcing five million Australians to stay home for all but essential business for the next six weeks to contain a flare-up of coronavirus cases. State police were patrolling the city and setting up checkpoints on major roads to stop people heading out to regional areas and spreading the virus from what is now Australia’s pandemic epicentre, with 860 active cases.