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" COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 27th Jul 2020

News Highlights

Vietnam imposes distancing measures after cases reappear after months

Vietnamese health authorities reported four locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus in the city of Danang, putting back the country on high alert and imposing distancing measures on the city after months. Vietnam has been widely lauded for having successfully controlled the pandemic so far, despite sharing a long border with China, with only 420 cases of Covid-19 and not a single fatality.

North Korean city under lockdown after suspected outbreak of Covid-19

North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, placed the border city of Kaeson under total lockdown after a person was found with suspected Covid-19 symptoms, acknowledging for the first time a case of coronavirus within its borders. Until now, the country had said that no single Covid-19 case existed within its territory.

Latin America tops count in world coronavirus cases

Latin America, with 4,327,160 total cases of Covid-19, surpassed the tally of North America and now has 26.83% of all worldwide cases, the highest number in the world. Infections surged in Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina, with Mexico alone counting for 6,751 new coronavirus cases and 729 new deaths.

Iceland quarantines dozens after domestic virus transmission

Iceland, which responded swiftly to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and has so far reported only 1,827 cases and 10 deaths, has placed close to 50 people in self-quarantine after two domestic cases of Covid-19 were discovered last week. Authorities suspect that one individual contracted the virus from people who travelled to the country from abroad but are unsure where the other person caught the virus.

Lockdown Exit
Vietnamese City Reimposes Distancing after First Local Infections in Months
Vietnam reintroduced social distancing measures in the central city of Danang on Sunday after the country reported four locally transmitted coronavirus cases over the past two days, the first in more than three months. The Southeast Asian country was back on high alert after the government on Saturday confirmed its first community infection since April, and another case early on Sunday, both in the tourism hot spot of Danang. The two new cases included a 17-year-old boy in Quang Ngai province and a 71-year-old woman in Danang, the government said late on Sunday, bringing the total number of reported cases in the country to 420. Authorities gave no further detail on how the new infections were contracted nor whether they were believed to be linked
How tiny Uruguay, wedged between Brazil and Argentina, has avoided the worst of the coronavirus
In the weeks and months that followed the March 13 diagnoses of four recent travelers from Europe, the nation of 3.4 million would keep the virus in check. Wedged between Brazil, suffering the second-worst outbreak in the world, and Argentina, where infections are now surging, Uruguay has reported just 1,064 cases and 33 deaths — unusually low numbers for a Latin American nation testing widely. In June, it became the first country in the region to reopen virtually all public schools. It’s the only country in Latin America from which the European Union will accept visitors.
New virus cases tumble on fall in imported cases, local infections
South Korea's new coronavirus cases dropped to under 60 on Sunday, a day after the country recorded its highest figure in nearly four months due to a surge in infections among people arriving from abroad. The country added 58 new cases, including 46 cases from abroad, bringing the total to 14,150, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The number of new infections was down sharply compared to 113 the previous day, but health authorities are on alert over a possible spike in both local and imported cases. It marked the first time since April 1 for the country to report more than 100 cases. South Korea reported its first case on Jan. 20.
Record number of new virus cases as public loses faith in govts
As governments worldwide struggle to contain the virus despite long and economically crippling lockdowns imposed on millions of people, a new survey suggested that faith in authorities is dwindling in six rich nations. Populations in France, Germany, Britain, Japan, Sweden and the US widely believed death and infection figures to be higher than recorded, according to the study, which polled 1,000 people in each nation. "In most countries this month, support for national governments is falling," said the report by the Kekst CNC communications consultancy.
Vietnam back on coronavirus alert after first local infection in 3 months
Vietnam was back on high alert for the novel coronavirus on Saturday after medical officials in the central city of Danang detected, its first locally transmitted case for three months. Thanks to strict quarantine measures and an aggressive and widespread testing programme, the Southeast Asian country has kept its virus total to an impressively low 415 cases and had reported no locally transmitted infections for 100 days. Vietnam has reported no deaths from the virus. But on Friday, the health ministry said a 57-year-old man from Danang, a tourist hot spot, had tested positive, prompting the isolation of 50 people he came in contact with. The ministry said 103 people connected to the patient were tested for the virus but all returned negative results. The government said on Saturday a new test had confirmed the man's infection, bringing the total number of cases in Vietnam to 416.
How Sweden, Uruguay, Japan and Israel Reopened Schools During COVID-19 Pandemic
As American school officials debate when it will be safe for schoolchildren to return to classrooms, looking abroad may offer insights. Nearly every country in the world shuttered their schools early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have since sent students back to class, with varying degrees of success. I am a scholar of comparative international education. For this article, I examined what happened in four countries where K-12 schools either stayed open throughout the pandemic or have resumed in-person instruction, using press reports, national COVID-19 data and academic studies.
'Our epidemic could exceed a million cases' — South Africa's top coronavirus adviser
From the coronavirus pandemic’s first months, the World Health Organization warned that Africa’s health systems would struggle to cope if the virus began to spread on the continent. That prediction is starting to be realized, as Nature has reported from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. But more than half of the continent’s 780,000 reported cases are in South Africa. Initially, a hard five-week lockdown from 27 March helped to keep numbers low, but that became economically ruinous as 3 million South Africans lost their jobs. The official death toll stands at 6,000, but as with other countries, this is likely to be an undercount, according to the South African Medical Research Council.
Coronavirus: Will lockdown easing see more of us using rivers?
Figures suggest that more people than ever are heading to Britain's rivers with the easing of lockdown - renewing calls for better public rights of access. It comes as MPs are to consider proposals aimed at opening up the waterways to all. But after recent incidences of littering and overcrowding, there are fears more people on rivers could "cause chaos". Caroline Radford, who began wild swimming in lockdown, says it has helped her mental health.
Coronavirus: South Africa death toll could be 'far higher'
South African researchers say the number of deaths from coronavirus could be far higher than the official toll. The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) report says excess natural deaths rose by 17,000, a 59% increase compared to past years. Professor Debbie Bradshaw, one of the authors, said it revealed a "huge discrepancy" in the numbers. On Thursday the country said there had been a record 572 deaths in the last 24 hours. South Africa currently has the fifth highest number of confirmed cases worldwide with more than 400,000 infections and a death toll of 5,940. This is a far lower death toll than in other countries that have fewer confirmed cases, for example the UK.
Coronavirus: Madagascar hospitals 'overwhelmed'
Hospitals in Madagascar have warned they are overwhelmed after a spike in coronavirus cases in a country where the president has been promoting a herbal drink to treat the virus. A record 614 new cases have been confirmed in the last day, bringing the total to 8,162 and 69 deaths. Several African countries have ordered the tonic, called Covid-Organics. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no evidence the drink works against Covid-19. Hospitals in the capital, Antananarivo, have warned that they are starting to run out of beds. "We are now only accepting severe cases," Andohotapenaka Hospital director Nasolotsiry Raveloson is quoted as telling AFP news agency. Directors at two other hospitals also told the news agency that they were overwhelmed.
Exit Strategies
NZ tempts Covid-19 fate by not introducing masks - researchers
New Zealand is the only OECD member state that has had no community transmission for more than 28 days, and the low Covid-19 death rate here (4 deaths per 1 million population) puts New Zealand in a uniquely favourable position the report says. But they warn there are still gaps in the government's response, and it should put more systems in place to quickly stamp out transmission of any cases that do arise. New Zealand was the only country left that had not included a requirement to wear masks in public in its pandemic control plans. "If we had masks built into alert level two so people had to wear masks on buses and trains and potentially when going to the supermarket and so on, that could help us avoid a lockdown in the future, so some smart thinking is really urgently required for the alert level system to be upgraded, given the evidence that masks are very effective. "I think it's just complacency - we have succeeded with community transmission being eliminated, and they just think that that's good enough, but it's not. "We know that border failures can occasionally occur, that quarantine failures can occur. So we need to build in all the systems to hep us deal with an outbreak situation.
France expands free COVID-19 testing as infection rates rise
French health authorities are making COVID-19 tests available free of charge without prescription as they closely monitor an uptick in infections after the lifting of lockdown measures. PCR nasal swab tests, which detect COVID-19 infections caused by the novel coronavirus, will be freely available on demand under government orders published on Saturday. “We wouldn’t describe this as a second wave, but what’s clear is that for several days now we have seen a noticeable increase in the number of confirmed cases, which had been in decline for 13 weeks,” Health Minister Olivier Veran said in an interview published in Le Parisien’s Sunday edition.
Indian firms try to lure workers as coronavirus keeps them away
Millions of migrant workers who fled India's cities when the virus hit are too scared to return. Spurning free air tickets, accommodation and higher pay, millions of migrant workers who fled India's cities when the new coronavirus hit are too scared to return, with grim implications for the already crumbling economy. Migrant labourers form the backbone of Asia's third-biggest economy toiling in every sector - from making consumer goods and stitching garments to driving cabs. But when India went into lockdown in late March, vast numbers of them lost their jobs, prompting a heart-rending exodus back to their home villages, sometimes on foot, their children in their arms.
From Iceland — Iceland To Participate In Covid-19 Vaccine Project
In a civil defense information meeting yesterday, it was stated by chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason that Iceland is going to take part in a project led by the World Health Organisation to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus. The project is called COVAX and is an international co-operation lead by the WHO, in coordination with different manufacturers. According to a report from Vísir, the project is intended to support the development of a vaccine and establish overall control over its distribution. By participating, Iceland secures its access to vaccines. Fréttablaðið reports that nine manufacturers have been selected for collaboration and are deemed likely to succeed. Six of them are already in the clinical trail phase of testing their vaccine.
Latin America leads world in coronavirus cases, Reuters count shows
Coronavirus cases in Latin America for the first time have surpassed the combined infections in the United States and Canada, a Reuters tally showed on Sunday, amid a surge of infections in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Argentina. The quickly growing number of cases make Latin America the region most impacted by the pandemic globally, with 26.83% of worldwide cases. Latin America now has 4,327,160 total cases of the novel coronavirus compared to 4,308,495 infections in United States and Canada, according to the count based on data provided by the governments of each country
Surge in single-use PPE feeds ‘toxic’ pandemic waste crisis
A study published on Thursday forecasts that the flow of plastic into oceans would nearly treble by 2040 to 29m tonnes per year if much greater action was not taken by governments and industry. “We’re getting ourselves deeper and deeper into a plastics hole without knowing where any of it is going,” said Martin Stuchtey, managing partner at SystemIQ, a sustainability group that co-authored the report. Much of the PPE used around the world is single-use by design and can contain a range of different plastics, from polypropylene and polyethylene in face masks and gowns to nitrile, vinyl and latex in gloves.
Jharkhand’s ‘no mask’ penalty – up to Rs 1 lakh; here’s how other states are dealing with Covid rule violators
In view of the surge in coronavirus cases, Jharkhand Cabinet Wednesday approved Jharkhand Contagious Disease Ordinance under which penalty up to Rs 1 lakh and a jail term up to 2 years can be imposed against violators.
Torino tests out anti-virus gate for stadium access
Torino tested out an automated anti-virus gate before its match against Hellas Verona in Italy’s top soccer division Wednesday. The device, called Feel Safe, measures match goers’ body temperature and uses facial recognition software to verify that a mask is being worn properly. It also sprays match goers with disinfectant. Capable of being set to three different safety levels, the system sends an alarm to stadium personnel when any parameter is not met. The gate is designed to speed up the entrance of fans to stadiums. Although with fans still not permitted to attend games in Italy, it was tested on journalists and other stadium personnel.
Partisan Exits
Israelis Continue Protests Against PM's Handling of Pandemic
Thousands of Israelis held several demonstrations across the country against their prime minister Saturday, with the main protest taking place in Jerusalem outside the official residence of Benjamin Netanyahu. The protests have been going on for the past few weeks, sparked by what critics see as a government failure to handle the coronavirus crisis after initially keeping the threat of the virus at bay. Corruption charges against Netanyahu have further fueled the demonstrations.
Duterte's Political Future Hinges on Philippine Pandemic Rebound
At the start of the coronavirus outbreak, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the disease would “die a natural death.” Five months later, the pandemic is raging, the economy is facing a deep contraction, and his political future could be at stake. While leaders around the world have struggled in their pandemic response, Duterte has a lot riding on an economic rebound. Down to his last two years in office and barred from seeking re-election, he has to maintain political capital to help his chosen candidate win in the 2022 polls. Presidents before him were sued, with some even detained after stepping down.
Head of worst-hit Italy region is probed for COVID supplies
In the aftermath of an Italian investigative TV program report on the deal, Fontana contended last month that he didn’t know anything about the contract, which reportedly was valued at more than a half-million euros (more than $600,000). The governor insisted that the region never paid for the gowns, which were reportedly eventually donated to Lombardy. The region at the time was struggling, like all of Italy, to obtain vitally needed medical protective gear for doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients. Fontana’s wife has a minor stake in the company, according to Italian media. The governor is a prominent figure in Matteo Salvini’s right-wing opposition League party, which often rails against corruption among public officials. In a tweet on Saturday, Salvini blasted the probe as “one-way wrong justice.” Lombardy is a League stronghold. Meanwhile, some politicians from the center-left government’s parties called Saturday for Fontana’s resignation.
Sinclair says it will postpone and 'rework' segment featuring conspiracy theory about Fauci
The Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) said Saturday it will postpone and rework a segment it planned to air this weekend that suggested Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, was responsible for the creation of the coronavirus. The baseless conspiracy theory was set to air on stations across the country in a segment during the program "America This Week" hosted by Eric Bolling. The show, which is posted online before it is broadcast over the weekend, is distributed to Sinclair's network of local television stations, one of the largest in the country. In a memo sent to its local television stations on Saturday, Sinclair instructed news directors to avoid airing for now the most recent episode of Bolling's show, which was supposed to include the conspiracy theory.
San Francisco bus driver assaulted with bat over mask order
A San Francisco bus driver was assaulted with a wooden bat after asking three passengers to wear a mask in keeping with city health orders to combat the coronavirus. The three men boarded the bus in the city’s South of Market neighborhood Wednesday afternoon, said San Francisco Police Department officer Robert Rueca in an email Friday. The driver asked the passengers multiple times to wear a mask but they refused, so the driver pulled over to let them off, Rueca said in a statement. “As the victim was escorting the males off the bus one of the males pulled out a wooden bat and struck the victim several times, which caused the victim to be injured,” he said.
Rich country vaccine rush threatens supply security
The resulting patchwork of agreements has raised big questions about global vaccine access and stoked wrangles over pricing, supply security and liability for possible side-effects. “On the positive side, bilateral deals between countries and companies can drive forward the science and clinical development — and expand the world’s manufacturing capacity,” said Seth Berkley, chief executive of Gavi, a UN-backed alliance that buys and distributes vaccines in more than 50 of the world’s poorest countries. “But . . . you [also] end up with unnecessary competition, shortages of supplies and a failure to optimise a pipeline that should make the best vaccines available at scale as quickly as possible.”
Continued Lockdown
The Coronavirus Unleashed Along the Amazon River
The virus swept through the region like past plagues that have traveled the river with colonizers and corporations. It spread with the dugout canoes carrying families from town to town, the fishing dinghies with rattling engines, the ferries moving goods for hundreds of miles, packed with passengers sleeping in hammocks, side by side, for days at a time. The Amazon River is South America’s essential life source, a glittering superhighway that cuts through the continent. It is the central artery in a vast network of tributaries that sustains some 30 million people across eight countries, moving supplies, people and industry deep into forested regions often untouched by road. But once again, in a painful echo of history, it is also bringing disease.
Iran Says Medics Exhausted in Battle against Coronavirus
Iran reported 216 new deaths from the novel coronavirus on Sunday, calling on its citizens to observe health protocols more closely to ease the burden on exhausted medical staff. The Islamic republic announced its first COVID-19 cases on February 19, and the outbreak quickly became the Middle East's deadliest. Declared coronavirus deaths have surged since the end of June and claimed more than 200 lives nearly every day in the past week, including a record 229 on Tuesday. "Our biggest concerns are the infection and fatigue of medical staff," health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in a televised briefing on Sunday. "We can help them and prevent the spread of the disease" by observing basic guidelines such as hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing, she added. Iran said earlier this month that 5,000 health workers had been infected with the novel coronavirus and 140 had lost their lives.
Mass COVID-19 screenings begin in Pakistan provincial prisons
Detention facilities in the province are currently overfilled, with more than 17,600 people incarcerated in 24 prisons built to accommodate 13,000. Half of Sindh’s prison population is housed in two jails in Karachi. In June officials at one of them — Karachi Central Jail — said a quarter of the prisoners there had tested positive for COVID-19. “This is a big problem for us. They are hugely overcrowded, and it’s very difficult to manage them,” Kazi Nazeer Ahmed, the inspector general of prison police in Sindh, told Arab News. “We were a bit worried that COVID-19 might spread like wildfire in such a situation,” said Dr. Rafiq Khanani, president of the Infectious Disease Society of Pakistan, who oversees the country’s testing programs.
Arrivals to the UK from Spain must quarantine for two weeks | ITV News
Anyone arriving in the UK from Spain must quarantine for 14 days, it has been announced, after the government reacted to a spike in the country's cases of coronavirus. Spain has been removed from the government’s list of safe countries to travel to, the Department for Transport confirmed, meaning anyone arriving from there must self-isolate for two weeks. Spain is feared to be "already" tackling its second wave of coronavirus, one of the country's leading experts warned, and restrictions have been reimposed there in an attempt to stem a new spike in cases. As such, the Foreign Commonwealth Office is advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain
Gujarat records highest 1,110 Covid-19 cases in day; 21 deaths
Gujarat on Sunday saw the highest single-day spike of 1,110 new Covid-19 cases, taking the state tally to 55,822, the Health department said. Gujarat on Sunday saw the highest single-day spike of 1,110 new Covid-19 cases, taking the state tally to 55,822, the Health department said.
Scientific Viewpoint
German scientists to host series of concerts to test how coronavirus spreads in crowds
Scientists are planning to hold a series of concerts to work out whether it's possible to hold large indoor events without spreading coronavirus. Researchers at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg in Germany are recruiting 4,000 volunteers for the "coronavirus experiment" at an indoor stadium in Leipzig with singer Tim Bendzko on August 22. The scientists have warned that "the existence of entire sports and cultural forms is endangered" as a result of banning crowds amid the Covid-19 outbreak. "We are trying to find out if there could be a middle way between the old and the new normal that would allow organisers to fit enough people into a concert venue to not make a loss," the university's head of clinical infectious diseases, Stefan Moritz, who is coordinating the experiment, told The Guardian.
US is accused of hampering attempts to find a Coronavirus vaccine with ‘willy-nilly’ testing – as woman in charge of the UK’s hunt for a cure says she is trying so hard ...
Sarah Gilbert of Oxford University is trying to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. She is critical of the US in their 'willy-nilly' attempt to deal with the virus. If successful, the Oxford team will be in the running to win a Nobel Prize
Coronavirus is here 'for the foreseeable future', Tony Blair warns
Tony Blair has told Sky News the UK is going to be living with COVID-19, not eliminating it, for the foreseeable future. He has urged Boris Johnson to put measures in place to contain and control the virus to prevent a new surge of cases in the autumn. The former prime minister has also accused the government of inconsistent messages on face masks, which became compulsory in shops in England on Friday.
US ‘failures’ are holding back search for coronavirus drugs
The failure of the US medical system to match this output has meant that other promising treatments that could have been cleared for widespread use have still to be evaluated. In particular, convalescent plasma (blood plasma that is taken from Covid-19 patients and which contains antibodies that could protect others against the disease) has still to be properly tested on a large-scale randomised trial. “Tens of thousands of people have already been given convalescent plasma in the US but these treatments were not randomised,” said Professor Martin Landray, one of the founders of the Recovery programme. “They just give individuals convalescent plasma in the hope it will work. Vast quantities have been given and they still have no idea whether it helps or harms or has no impact,” added Landray, an expert in the setting up of large-scale drug trials.
Preventing the next pandemic will cost $22.2 billion a year, scientists say
As the world grapples with the toll of the coronavirus pandemic, scientists are warning the funding needed to prevent the next zoonotic disease outbreak is severely lacking — leaving everyone vulnerable. The price tag for protecting and monitoring pristine forests and wildlife trade where diseases emerge is an estimated $22.2 billion to $30.7 billion, according to the report in the journal Science. While hefty, it pales in comparison to the minimum of $8.1 trillion in losses globally resulting from the current pandemic, the report said.
COVID-19 recovery can take a few weeks even for young adults
Recovering from even mild coronavirus infections can take at least two to three weeks, according to U.S. research published Friday. Lingering symptoms can even affect otherwise healthy young adults. Among those aged 18 to 34 with no chronic illness, 1 in 5 were still experiencing COVID-19 symptoms after two to three weeks, the study found. Cough, fatigue and body aches were among the most common persistent symptoms. Most previous research on long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms has focused on sicker hospitalized adults. Only 7% of patients in the new study needed hospital treatment.
Covid-19, Coronavirus and Virus Risks: How Do People Avoid It?
For the most part, SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, spreads by close personal contact via tiny particles emitted when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks, sings -- or even just breathes normally. These can infect another person by falling into an eye, nose or mouth, by being inhaled or getting stuck on a hand and transferred to one of these entry sites. Here’s an explanation of the established route of contagion and other pathways under investigation.
UK could eliminate the coronavirus but it might do more harm than good
Becoming a covid-19-free zone sounds like the ultimate goal for any nation. Several countries around the world have come pretty close and, according to a group of independent scientists, the UK could join them. The group says that, as an island nation, the UK could introduce specific measures over the next year and follow in the footsteps of other island success stories, such as Iceland, Taiwan and New Zealand. But closer scrutiny reveals that no country has truly eliminated the coronavirus from its shores and that doing so would mean making such large sacrifices in other areas of public well-being that it might not be worth it. Earlier this month, Independent SAGE – a self-appointed group of scientists that provides advice with the intention of guiding UK government policy on the coronavirus – published a report recommending that the UK aims for zero reported cases, known as elimination, within the next 12 months.
Gates Says Korean Firm Could Make 200 Million Vaccines by June
SK Bioscience, the South Korean pharmaceutical company backed by Bill Gates, may be capable of producing 200 million coronavirus vaccine kits by next June, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder said in a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Gates is seeking to cooperate closely with South Korea, the presidential office in Seoul said Sunday, citing the July 20 letter, without elaborating on what else it said.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Person who travelled from NZ to South Korea tests positive for Covid-19
The Ministry of Health is seeking more information after a person who had travelled from New Zealand tested positive for Covid-19 in South Korea. The Korean Centres of Disease Control and Prevention says it is presumed the person caught the virus while in New Zealand, but under what circumstances is not known at this point. It is also unknown how long the person had been in South Korea before being tested. The person was one of 13 new imported cases in South Korea on Friday, of which three were tested on arrival, and the others while in mandatory self-isolation. A ministry spokesperson said they had been advised of the case by South Korean health authorities, and are following up.
Victoria records 459 new coronavirus cases and 10 deaths in Australia’s deadliest day in pandemic
“That is a significant challenge, given, whilst we have overall capacity and we’ve worked very hard all throughout the year to grow the number of people that can be available for our fight against this virus in a clinical sense, whenever we have clinical staff and other critical health workers away, furloughed because they are a close contact or in fact as an active case, that does put some additional pressure on our system,” he said. Retired health staff and paramedics were among those now being called on to address the health worker gap. More than 4,000 current and retired nurses and midwives and 800 other skilled healthcare workers who may have left the workforce to undertake research or for a break are being trained to again be deployed across the health system, Andrews said.
Mexico reports 6,751 new coronavirus cases, 729 new deaths
Mexico’s Health Ministry on Saturday reported 6,751 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 729 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 385,036 cases and 43,374 total deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
Mainland China reports 46 new coronavirus cases, including 22 in Xinjiang
China reported 46 cases of the new coronavirus in the mainland for July 25, up from 34 cases a day earlier, the health commission said on Sunday. Of the new infections, 22 were in the far western region of Xinjiang, according to a statement by the National HealthCommission. Thirteen were in the northeastern province of Liaoning, while the remaining 11 were imported cases. China reported two new asymptomatic cases, down from 74 a day earlier. As of Saturday, mainland China had 83,830 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 4,634.
Costa Rica Registers Record 931 New Coronavirus Cases and 11 Deaths
Costa Rica's Health Ministry reported a record 931 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths on Saturday, both single-day highs for the small Central American nation where 72% of all its confirmed cases have been registered since the beginning of this month. In total, Costa Rican authorities have reported 14,600 cases and 98 deaths in the country of 5 million people. Despite the increase in cases, hotels are operational and the government has announced European, British, and Canadian tourists will be allowed to enter the country beginning Aug. 1.
Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 305 to 205,269 - RKI
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 305 to 205,269, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll was unchanged with 9,118, the tally showed.
Florida passes New York for number of coronavirus cases
Florida reported more than 9,000 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, a day after overtaking New York as the state with the second-highest number of confirmed infections, behind only California. The surge in cases across some of the most populous US states has also led to a sustained climb in fatalities. On Saturday, the number of deaths across the US increased by more than 1,000 for the fifth day in a row. The 1,037 fatalities registered on Saturday, down from 1,178 a day earlier, marked the first time since May 23 that the death toll has risen by more than 1,000 for five consecutive days. It has been underpinned by the most populous states — California, Texas and Florida — which all reported record daily jumps in deaths this week
Ukraine reports its highest daily COVID-19 case count in a month
Ukraine reported 1,106 new cases of the coronavirus within a 24-hour period, the highest daily toll since a record on June 26, when it reached 1,109, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said on Saturday. The number of new daily infections has increased sharply in the past two months following the gradual lifting of restrictions that began in late-May.
Nearly fifty quarantined after domestic Covid-19 transmission
Authorities have yet to fully determine how two people were able to contract the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Iceland. As Iceland Monitor reported the two cases were confirmed last Thursday with contact tracing leading to dozens of people being required to self-quarantine. One of the infected persons is a male in his twenties who participated in a sporting event in Hafnarfjörður last weekend. Close to forty people have been required to self-quarantine after having been in close proximity with the athlete. As the transmission route of the virus to the athlete is still unknown, at this stage, it is impossible to tell if he contracted the virus before, after or during the sporting event. The other infected individual is in his thirties and contact tracing has led to less than ten people self-quarantining due to that particular case. Authorities suspect that the person caught the virus from people who had travelled to Iceland from abroad.
Australia state reports 10 new deaths, 459 cases
Australia’s Victoria state has recorded 10 deaths overnight from COVID-19, its highest daily toll amid a continuing surge in coronavirus cases. State Premier Daniel Andrews said the deaths included seven men and three women. A man in his 40s became one of the youngest COVID-19 fatalities in Australia. There are 459 new infections, the 21st straight day of triple-figure increases. The fatalities bring Victoria's toll to 71 and Australia’s national tally to 155. A total of 228 people are hospitalized in Victoria, 42 in intensive care. Victoria processed 42,973 tests on Saturday, Andrews said, “far and away the biggest testing result that we’ve seen on a single day.” He said he is not currently planning to extend the lockdown in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city.
Pittsburgh's virus success fizzles in crowded bars, eateries
Pittsburgh’s story may be inevitable for every part of the United States. It may be a victim of other places that were complacent about containing the virus. In a sharp critique last week, Wolf attacked “a lack of national coordination” that resulted in other states eschewing tough containment measures and spreading the virus back to Pennsylvania: “We don’t want to become Florida. We don’t want to become Texas. We don’t want to become Arizona.”
Why Texas is losing its fight against Coronavirus
Memorial Day weekend didn’t bode any better: Bars in Austin blew past their 25 percent capacity limits; mask-less patrons stood shoulder to shoulder. Partygoers crammed into a swimming pool at one club in Houston. City authorities there received more than 200 complaints about social distancing violations in matter of days. The weekend crowds left public health officials uneasy. They urged Texans to remain vigilant about practicing social distancing and wearing masks for their benefit and that of their neighbors. But the fatigue of shutdown combined with inconsistent public health messaging at a federal, state, and local level had made people complacent, Umair Shah, executive director of the Harris County health department, said.
South Africa Schools to Close for 4 Weeks to Curb Coronavirus
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said schools were closing for four weeks to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, which he described as a storm hitting the country. The school closing order comes a week after teachers unions urged authorities to close schools through August, citing the increase in coronavirus cases. South Africa currently has the fifth-highest total of COVID-19 infections in the world, with more than 400,000. Ramaphosa said the school closures begin Monday and classes will resume on August 24 for most students. However, Ramaphosa said Grade 12 teachers and students will take only a one-week break, while students in Grade 7 will resume classes after two weeks.
New Lockdown
NKorea puts border city in lockdown over suspected outbreak
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un placed the city of Kaesong near the border with South Korea under total lockdown after a person was found with suspected COVID-19 symptoms, saying he believes “the vicious virus” may have entered the country, state media reported Sunday. If the person is officially declared a virus patient, he or she would be the North’s first confirmed coronavirus case. North Korea has steadfastly said it has no single virus case on its territory, a claim questioned by outside experts. The lockdown was declared Friday afternoon. The Korean Central News Agency said the suspected case is a runaway who had fled to South Korea years ago before illegally crossing the border into the North early last week.
North Korea declares state of emergency after Kim meets advisers to discuss 'first coronavirus case'
North Korea decalred a state of emergency after a person suspected of having coronavirus entered the country. If officially confirmed it would be the first official case acknowledged by North Korean countries in the country
Morocco Shuts Down Major Cities After Spike in Coronavirus Cases
Morocco will stop people entering and leaving some of its biggest cities from midnight to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases, the interior and health Ministries said on Sunday. The cities to be locked down include the economic powerhouse of Casablanca as well as Tangier, Marrakech, Fez and Meknes. The country eased a nationwide lockdown a month ago, though international flights are still suspended except special flights by national airlines carrying Moroccans or foreign residents. On Sunday, the health ministry said 633 new COVID-19 cases were recorded, one of the biggest daily rises so far, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 20,278, with 313 deaths and 16,438 recoveries.