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" COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 28th Jul 2020

News Highlights

UK imposes quarantine on travllers returning from Spain as cases surge

Spain's tourism industry was dealt a heavy blow as the UK imposed a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from the country in the midst of rising coronavirus cases, particularly in the Catalonia region. Spanish officials say the outbreaks are under control but the UK has issued travel advice to its nationals, telling them to avoid non-essential travel to Spain.

Are llama antibodies the answer to fight Covid-19?

A research team from Rosalind Franklin Institute, Oxford University, Diamond Light Source and Public Health England suggest that antibodies found in llamas, camels and alpacas may help us treat severe bouts of Covid-19. According to the team, nanobodies that prevent Covid-19 from entering human cells can be engineered from naturally produced antibodies found in the animals.

Study says earlier British lockdown could have saved bus drivers lives

The ongoing pandemic has taken its toll on essential workers all over the world, including bus drivers in London, 29 of whom died due to Covid-19 related complications. A study conducted by University College London has suggested that an earlier lockdown in Britain 'would likely have saved more lives,' as it would have limited their exposure to the virus.

PM Modi urges vigilance, as recoveries rise along with new cases

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an address to the nation on Sunday, said that India needs to be 'extra vigilant' about the coronavirus despite a record 36,145 patients recovering and being discharged from hospitals on Sunday. However, more than 48,000 new cases were added as well, with the total case count over 1.4 million and more than 30,000 deaths.

Lockdown Exit
Slowly, Italy Is Waking From the Coronavirus Nightmare
This is a very strange, subdued summer for a country with an economy that relies heavily on tourism and merrymaking. But E.U. aid is on the way.
Robert O'Brien, key Trump adviser, tests positive for Covid-19
President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, has tested positive for coronavirus, the White House has confirmed. Mr O'Brien, 54, has been self-isolating and working from home. The aide has mild symptoms and there was no risk of exposure to Mr Trump or Vice-President Mike Pence, a statement said. Mr O'Brien is the highest-ranking official in Mr Trump's administration known to have tested positive. It is not clear when he and the president last met, but one administration official said it had not been for "several days". The pair appeared together two weeks ago on a trip to Miami.
UK announces 14 more coronavirus deaths taking total to 45,752 in the lowest Sunday rise since lockdown began
There were 14 more fatalities in England, one in Wales - but Scotland had none This is the tenth consecutive day that Scotland has record no coronavirus deaths England patients were aged from 36 and 89, and all had underlying health issues
Coronavirus: 21 people test positive for COVID-19 in Shropshire caravan park
Testing has confirmed a COVID-19 outbreak at a caravan park in Shropshire with 21 new cases. The individuals were asked to self-isolate for at least seven days from the time they started displaying coronavirus symptoms or from when they received their positive result. However, the council fears the number of cases at the site will continue to rise before infection control measures start to take effect. All residents at the caravan park, which is in the town of Craven Arms, will be asked to self-isolate with their household for 14 days if they have come into contact with one of the positive cases.
Exit Strategies
Coronavirus: Vietnam evacuating 80,000 from city after 11 positive COVID-19 tests
Vietnam is evacuating 80,000 people, mostly local tourists, from the central city of Da Nang after 11 residents tested positive for coronavirus. The Southeast Asian country is back on high alert after confirming its first community infections since April over the weekend. The evacuation will take at least four days with domestic airlines operating approximately 100 flights daily from Da Nang to 11 Vietnamese cities, the government said in a statement. The 11 new COVID-19 cases are all linked to a hospital and include four healthcare workers, the country's health ministry said on Monday.
Belgium Implements Drastic Plan to Avoid Another Lockdown
Belgium's prime minister has unveiled a set of drastic social distancing measures aimed at avoiding a new general lockdown while local authorities in Antwerp imposed a curfew amid a surge of COVID-19 infections.
Huge queues at UK airport as travellers returning from Spain complain holiday plans were ruined by 'knee-jerk' quarantine rules
Travellers returning from holidays in Spain vented their frustration today, complaining their plans had been "ruined" by the Government's new quarantine rules. As of midnight on Saturday, holidaymakers were told they must self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the UK from Spain after the European country recorded a surge in coronavirus cases. Initially the the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised only against "all non-essential" travel to mainland Spain, but this advice was updated to include the Balearic and Canary Islands on Monday evening.
Coronavirus: Germany considers compulsory tests for returning holidaymakers
As Germans return from holiday destinations like Spain and Italy this summer, concerns are growing that they could bring the coronavirus back with them, causing fresh outbreaks in Germany. Unlike the UK, where the government this weekend imposed a two-week quarantine on those returning from Spain, the German government is mulling a different approach — compulsory coronavirus testing in airports for arrivals from high-risk destinations. German health minister Jens Spahn told public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk that the government was currently looking into whether it could legally oblige people to take coronavirus tests, or whether that would encroach on their personal freedoms.
Stop partying or we may go back into lockdown, regional chief tells young Catalans
Young Catalans should stop partying to help halt a surge in new coronavirus cases or local authorities may have to reimpose harsh restrictions, the leader of the northeastern Spanish region said on Monday.
France and Germany 'could join UK quarantine list' as British holidaymakers braced for further travel 'uncertainty'
More European holidays could be thrown into disarray this summer with officials warning of possible new lockdowns in France and Germany. British holidaymakers in Spain were left fuming after being told they must quarantine for 14 days when they return home following a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the country. The Government has stood by its decision to strike the popular holiday destination off the UK's 'safe list', with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab refusing to rule out rescinding further so-called travel corridors, warning there was "an element of uncertainty this summer if people go abroad".
More Brit holidays at risk as France and Germany could join Spain on quarantine list
More summer holidays could be thrown into chaos after officials hinted France and Germany could be added to the UK’s quarantine list due to a spike in coronavirus cases. British tourists in Spain were left fuming after being suddenly told to self-isolate for two weeks on return, with the decision affecting over one million people. The government has defend striking the popular holiday destination off its list of ‘safe’ places to travel, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab warning on Sunday that more countries could follow suit. France and Germany are at risk of joining Spain after officials in both countries warned of possible new lockdowns to prevent a second wave of Covid-19
Which countries could go on UK’s quarantine list? France, Germany and others at risk as returning Spain visitors ordered to self isolate
Britain is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation in Germany and France as people returning from Spain must isolate for 14 days. While the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) still advises against all non-essential travel abroad, a list of 'travel corridors' highlights the countries and territories deemed 'safe' to visit.
Coronavirus: French government advises companies to prepare for a new wave
Across Europe, countries are taking measures to avoid being overwhelmed by another wave of COVID-19 infections. The number of coronavirus cases in the UK on Monday passed 300,000 and in Germany, Angela Merkel's Chief of Staff Helge Braun urged Germans to bring the recent daily case numbers of more than 800 daily cases, back down below 500. The coronavirus pandemic “continues to accelerate," with a doubling of cases over the last six weeks, the World Health Organization chief said. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said nearly 16 million cases have now been reported to the UN health agency, with more than 640,000 deaths worldwide.
Modi says coronavirus risk persists in India, recoveries rise
India needs to be “extra vigilant” as the novel coronavirus threat persists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a public address on Sunday, even as the country registered a record number of patient recoveries in a day. Infections from the coronavirus have risen rapidly in India, the world’s second most populous country, with more than 48,000 cases recorded in the last 24 hours. India has so far recorded nearly 1.4 million cases and more than 30,000 deaths. On Sunday, the Indian government said 36,145 patients had recovered and been discharged in the last 24 hours, marking a record number of single-day recoveries. At the same time, a record number of tests in a single day - more than 440,000 - were conducted, it added.
Partisan Exits
Coronavirus: 'We cannot wait' to learn lessons before potential second wave of COVID-19, government warned
"We cannot wait" to learn lessons from the coronavirus pandemic, an MP leading an inquiry into the government's handling of the outbreak so far has told Sky News. Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Layla Moran said the "rapid inquiry" was needed before a potential second wave of COVID-19 later this year. The Lib Dem MP and party leadership candidate told the programme that more than 50 MPs - including some Conservatives - are involved with the inquiry.
Coronavirus disbelievers meet in Melbourne and recite script to slip through lockdown in Victoria
Hoards of anti-mask coronavirus disbelievers are reciting scripts to police and attempting to escape fines. The scripts are read to cops at COVID checkpoints as drivers refuse to cooperate or provide personal details. Drivers are increasingly arguing with authorities over COVID-19 lockdowns among 'anti-masker' community The groups are also meeting weekly to discuss 'conduct of the police, government and media lies.' During the meetings, they break social distancing measures and gathering limits imposed during pandemic.
Americans Back Tough Lockdown Restrictions as Trump Admin Pushes to Reopen
A majority of Americans favor strong lockdown restrictions as President Donald Trump is pushing for the economy and schools to be reopened amid a spike in coronavirus cases, new polling data shows. The latest AP-NORC survey found that more than half of U.S. adults wanted people to be required to stay in their homes if they weren't running essential errands, and a similar number backed the forced closure of restaurants and bars. A requirement to wear face masks when outside was also backed by a large number of U.S. adults polled as U.S. coronavirus cases topped the 4 million mark..
Covid 19 coronavirus: Judicial review into legality of lockdown - Government must obey law, lawyer says
A lawyer challenging the legality of New Zealand's coronavirus lockdown said no matter how urgent something was, the Government must still obey the law. A judicial review into whether the lockdown was legal began in Wellington today, with members of the public pouring in to the courtroom to hear the arguments. The Criminal Bar Association and Wellington lawyer Andrew Borrowdale are working to determine whether director general of health Ashley Bloomfield had the legal authority under the Public Health Act to effectively shut the country down and to order people to stay at home unless they had good reason for being out. The three-day hearing started in the High Court at Wellington this morning before a panel of three judges, including Chief High Court Judge Susan Thomas
Philippines Duterte says coronavirus intervention prevented millions of cases
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte defended his tough approach to fighting the coronavirus on Monday amid a surge in cases, touting its effectiveness in an annual address that critics said revealed little about plans to resuscitate a battered economy.
Spain is safe, minister insists as British quarantine move sows dismay
Spain is safe for tourists and Spaniards, the government insisted on Sunday after Britain abruptly imposed a two-week coronavirus quarantine on travellers returning from there, a decision that filled holidaymakers with dismay. Last year, Britons made up over a fifth of foreign visitors to Spain, which relies on heavily on tourism revenues, meaning the UK move could deal a hard blow to efforts to restart the Mediterranean country’s economy after months of lockdown. “Spain is safe, it is safe for Spaniards, it is safe for tourists,” Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya told reporters. The Spanish government will focus its efforts on trying to persuade Britain to exclude the Balearic and Canary islands from the quarantine measure, she said, adding that the prevalence of the virus in those popular travel destinations was much lower than in the United Kingdom.
Only 19 bereaved families approved for NHS staff coronavirus compensation scheme
At least 540 health and social workers have died in England and Wales during crisis. Only 19 families of NHS and social care workers who died after contracting coronavirus have so far been approved for the £60,000 compensation payment from the government. At least 540 health and social care workers have died in England and Wales during the crisis but, as of 8 July, just 51 claim forms for the taxpayer-funded bereavement scheme had been received. None have been rejected, with 32 still under consideration, according to the figures, provided by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
Continued Lockdown
Review finds people from BAME backgrounds more likely to get Covid-19 fines than white people
An independent review has found men from black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) backgrounds were more likely to be handed fines for breaches of Covid-19 lockdown rules compared to white men of the same age. The review, conducted by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), found there was “disproportionality” in the issuing of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) by forces in England and Wales. It found people people from BAME backgrounds were handed fines at a rate of 1.6 times higher than white people between March 27 and May 25, with black and Asian people 1.8 times more likely to be handed penalties.
'What about us?' Canada home care workers' lockdown heroics neglected
Personal care workers provided a vital service to their elderly and vulnerable clients, but face precarious terms and low wages
South Korea says defector who fled to North 'did not have' Covid-19
South Korea has said that a defector who recently fled to the North does not appear to have contracted Covid-19, a day after Pyongyang imposed a lockdown near the border, claiming the man was its first recorded case of the illness. North Korean state media reported on Sunday that the 24-year-old man, who was reportedly in quarantine, was displaying symptoms of coronavirus after returning to his homeland across the border separating the two Koreas last week.
Coronavirus: North Korea announces state of emergency and lockdown in border town after first suspected case
North Korea has announced a state of emergency and a lockdown in a border town after someone with suspected coronavirus illegally crossed the border with South Korea, according to the country’s state media. Kim Jong-un has imposed a lockdown on the city of Kaesong – which is close to the border with South Korea – warning “the vicious virus” may now have infiltrated the secretive country, state media said on Sunday. The patient will be North Korea’s first official coronavirus case if the authorities confirm they definitely have tested positive for the virus.
North Korea introduces lockdown in signs of 'first' coronavirus case
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 on 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.
Coronavirus: Defector who fled to North Korean lockdown did not have Covid, Seoul says
A defector who led to a lockdown in North Korea due to infection fears did not have coronavirus when he crossed the border from South Korea, according to officials. Alarm was raised in Pyongyang on Sunday after a man who had previously defected to South Korea was suspected to have Covid-19 when he got to Kaesong City after illegally swimming across the border.
North Korea declares emergency over suspected Covid-19 case
North Korea has declared an emergency and a lockdown in a border town after a person suspected of having coronavirus returned from South Korea after illegally crossing the border, state media has said. If confirmed, it would be the first case officially acknowledged by North Korean authorities. Kim Jong-un convened an emergency politburo meeting in response to what he called a “critical situation in which the vicious virus could be said to have entered the country”, the North’s KCNA state news reported. A person who defected to South Korea three years ago returned across the fortified border that divides the two Koreas to the town of Kaesong this month with symptoms of Covid-19, according to KCNA.
Scientific Viewpoint
Healthcare workers in COVID-19 units are NINE TIMES more likely to get infected
For the first study, researchers compared asymptomatic healthcare workers in coronavirus units to those not working with coronavirus patients. About 5.4% of employees in COVID-19 units had positive test results as did 0.6 percent from non-COVID wings. In a second study, a team looked at the amount of microdroplets expelled by someone who breathes and coughs to assess coronavirus risk. Hospital ventilation systems have about 10 air exchanges per hour, which means the concentration plateaus after around 30 minutes. By comparison, a typical office only has about three air exchanges per hour, so the concentration increases for more than one hour
Enrollment in Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine trial to complete by end of summer: Fauci
The top U.S. infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci said on Monday enrollment in Moderna Inc’s late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial is expected to be finished by the end of summer this year. Data readouts from the trial, which enrolled the first of 30,000 trial participants on Monday, could occur by November or even earlier, Fauci said in a media call discussing the late-stage study.
Advice for pet owners confirmed or suspected of having Covid-19
BVA has issued the following advice for pet owners confirmed or suspected to have Covid-19: Restrict contact with pets as a precautionary measure - If your pet requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible - Keep cats indoors if possible, and only if they are happy to be indoors. Try to arrange for someone else to exercise dogs, taking care to restrict any contact with the person walking your dog and making sure they practise good hand hygiene. This is to reduce the likelihood of your pet spreading the disease through environmental contamination on their fur – there is no evidence that pet animals can pass Covid-19 to humans - If your pet shows clinical signs, please do not take it to the vet but call the practice for advice first and alert them to the household’s status
Covid-19 vaccines may cause mild side effects, experts say
While the world awaits the results of large clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccines, experts say the data so far suggest one important possibility: The vaccines may carry a bit of a kick. In vaccine parlance, they appear to be “reactogenic,” meaning they have induced short-term discomfort in a percentage of the people who have received them in clinical trials. This kind of discomfort includes headache, sore arms, fatigue, chills, and fever. As long as the side effects of eventual Covid-19 vaccines are transient and not severe, these would not be sources of alarm — in fact, they may be signals of an immune system lurching into gear. It’s a simple fact that some vaccines are more unpleasant to take than others. Think about the pain of a tetanus shot, for instance.
How Long Are You Contagious With Covid-19 Coronavirus? Here’s A CDC Update
You may be able to lose a guy in 10 days, based on the 2003 rom-com movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. That also may be time that it takes for you to “lose” enough of the Covid-19 coronavirus so that you are no longer contagious, based on updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is now saying that if you have mild-to-moderate Covid-19, keep yourself isolated from other people for at least 10 days after you first noticed symptoms. You can discontinue this isolation after the 10-day mark if you haven’t had a fever for at least 24 hours and your other symptoms have improved. Note that not having a fever because you took a fever-reducing medication like Tylenol doesn’t count. That would be cheating. The fever has to have naturally disappeared. Still having a fever after 10 days means that you may need not only more cowbell but also more isolation.
Coronavirus doctor's diary: Will vaccine sceptics make trials a headache?
It will soon be critical for the NHS to start vaccinating people against flu, to prevent hospitals being swamped with flu and Covid-19 patients this winter. Large-scale trials of Covid-19 vaccines, already under way in some places, are likely to start in Bradford in the autumn. It's therefore worrying, says Dr John Wright of the city's Royal Infirmary, that anti-vax conspiracy theories seem to have flourished in this pandemic.
Coronavirus: Covid 'most severe health emergency' WHO has faced
Covid-19 is easily the most severe global health emergency ever declared by the World Health Organization (WHO), its leader has said. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he would reconvene the WHO's emergency committee this week for a review. There have been five other global health emergencies: Ebola (two outbreaks), Zika, polio and swine flu. More than 16m cases of Covid-19 have been reported since January, and more than 650,000 deaths. "When I declared a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January... there were less than 100 cases outside of China, and no deaths," Dr Tedros said. "Covid-19 has changed our world. It has brought people, communities and nations together, and driven them apart.
COVID-19 gender study gets funding boost
LSE researchers looking at the real-time impact of COVID-19 on women’s health, social and economic welfare are part of a global team which has been awarded a $1.6 million USD grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The team will provide rapid guidance and recommendations to policymakers, and others responsible for responding to the pandemic, by identifying how COVID-19 is affecting women and men differently and gaps in preparedness and response. Dr Clare Wenham, from the Department of Health Policy, and Professor Naila Kabeer, from the Department of International Development and Department of Gender Studies, are working on the project with academics from Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Hong Kong, Kenya, Nigeria and the USA. The initial Gender and COVID-19 Project was focused on China, Hong Kong, the UK and Canada with support from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR).
Llama antibodies could help treat COVID-19
Llamas could be the answer to treating severe bouts of COVID-19, researchers have said. A collaborative team from the Rosalind Franklin Institute, Oxford University, Diamond Light Source and Public Health England say antibodies from the animals have shown to neutralise coronavirus in lab tests. Their findings were based on nanobodies which prevent COVID-19 from entering human cells because it binds so tightly to the spike protein of the virus. The nanobodies are engineered from naturally produced antibodies found in llamas, camels and alpacas.
A virtual respiratory clinic to support patients with Covid-19 after discharge
Many patients discharged from hospital with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 need ongoing clinical support. A team of respiratory clinical nurse specialists set up a virtual clinic providing telephone support to these patients
Earlier lockdown 'would likely have saved' bus drivers
An earlier lockdown would "likely have saved" the lives of London bus drivers who died with coronavirus, according to a study. University College London (UCL) was asked by Transport for London (TfL) to investigate the high death rate of London bus workers. Thirty-four London bus workers died with Covid-19, including 29 drivers - 3.5 times the rate of other roles. An earlier lockdown "would likely have saved more lives," the report found. Professor Sir Michael Marmot, who led the study, said: "Our review explicitly suggests that lockdown was the main factor that saved bus drivers' lives. "Because London was an early centre of the pandemic, it is likely that the increased risk among London bus drivers is associated with exposure."
Expert calls for stricter mask controls to halt coronavirus spread, as Melbourne and Mitchell Shire near halfway point in lockdown
Workplace transmission remains a major concern as Victorian cases rise. Premier says too early to know if lockdown will be lifted in mid-August. More than 500 cases linked to aged care centres
Lockdown helped restore happiness, research suggests
The wellbeing inequality gap between wealthy professionals and the unemployed even began to narrow during lockdown, according to a study. Happiness fell as the coronavirus pandemic began – but lockdown helped to restore it, research suggests. The wellbeing inequality gap between wealthy professionals and the unemployed even began to narrow during lockdown, according to the study by Cambridge University’s Bennett Institute for Public Policy. Researchers used a year’s worth of data taken from YouGov Weekly Mood Tracker surveys and Google searches to track wellbeing in the British population before and during the pandemic. They say it is one of the first studies to distinguish the effects of the pandemic from those of lockdown on psychological welfare, as it uses week-by-week data, rather than monthly or annual comparisons.
Is Primary Care Locking In The Digital Gains Of Covid-19?
When the country moved to Alert level four in late March, GPs were asked to do a virtual consult with every patient before seeing any in person. This dramatic shift to using telehealth saw some practices conduct almost all of their consultations over the phone or via video during lockdown. By early June, half of practices had returned to seeing the majority of patients in person, but by the end of the month that had risen to 90 percent. The figures are the results of a series of national surveys conducted by Auckland University asking general practices about their experience with Covid-19 and its aftermath, attracting between 150-170 respondents each time. But despite some practices returning to ‘business as usual’ post-lockdown, there are encouraging signs that some of the digital gains will become permanent.
NZ Response Criticised By British Epidemiologists
At the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, I heard New Zealand regularly lauded in the international press. Our “bold,” “decisive” move into lockdown was the envy of many of my friends and relatives overseas. Today, however, I heard a different take on the New Zealand response… also from overseas. Two UK epidemiologists (one currently working in Italy), were being interviewed on “Unherd” about what the evidence-based response to Covid-19 should look like. Dr Carl Heneghan is a member of the Centre for Evidence based Medicine at Oxford University and Dr Tom Jefferson is an author and editor of the Cochrane Collaboration's acute respiratory infections group. Both have worked as physicians, with Heneghan still working part-time as a GP.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Spain’s Murcia region gets lockdown warning if COVID-19 cases carry on rising
A lockdown return could happen across more towns in the Murcia region if COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise. It rolled back Totana into Phase One restrictions after a spike in cases, with entry in and out of the municipality heavily restricted.
Coronavirus: Spain races to save tourism as cases surge
Spain is fighting to save its embattled tourism industry after the UK government imposed a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from the country. Spanish officials insist the virus is under control and want certain areas exempt, including the Balearic Islands. The UK said it had no plans to change its decision, and extended its travel advice, telling nationals to avoid non-essential journeys to all of Spain. About 18 million Britons travelled to Spain in 2019.
Spain Second Virus Wave Swells, Fuels Concern Across Europe
Spain is scrambling to stay ahead of new outbreaks of the coronavirus that prompted the U.K. to impose a quarantine on travelers returning from the country, dealing a new blow to its tourism-dependent economy. Only weeks after the U.K. included Spain on a list of countries safe for summer holidays, the government reversed course and announced late Saturday it would impose a 14-day quarantine on anyone arriving from Spain. The move came after cases in the country jumped, particularly in the Catalonia region, where authorities are racing to stamp out new outbreaks.
Asia battles second wave of coronavirus with fresh lockdowns
Nations in Asia imposed new restrictions on Monday, while an abrupt British quarantine on travellers from Spain threw Europe’s summer reopening into disarray, as the world confronted the prospect of a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
Australian state records daily virus record; warns of lockdown extension
Australia's Victoria state on Monday reported the country's highest daily increase in coronavirus infections, prompting the authorities to warn a six-week lockdown may last longer if people continue to go to work while feeling unwell. The second-most populous state reported 532 new cases of the virus which causes COVID-19, the most new cases in a day since the pandemic arrived in Australia, and six more deaths, taking the state toll to 77, almost half the national death toll. Five of the latest deaths were people in aged care facilities, the authorities said. Until recently Australia had avoided the high COVID-19 casualty rates of other countries, but a wave of community transmission in Victoria has prompted a lockdown in Melbourne, the only Australian city to make it mandatory to wear a face mask in public.
Hong Kong imposes restrictions as Covid-19 cases rise across Asia
China, Australia and Hong Kong have all reported rising coronavirus figures and Vietnam has detected its first locally transmitted cases since April, as countries across Asia try to fend off an apparent second wave of infections. Hong Kong banned dining out and capped group gatherings at two on Monday after recording more than 100 new cases for five days running. Authorities in the densely populated city have also closed pools and sports venues and made mask-wearing mandatory in public, urging people to stay home as much as possible in the middle of a sweltering summer. “The next two to three weeks will be critical. We need to prevent the further spread of the disease in the community,” said Hong Kong’s chief secretary, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung. “There is a high risk of a major outbreak in the community.”
China reports virus spike as global cases pass 16 mn
China on Monday reported its highest number of coronavirus cases in three months, part of a worrying swell of second and third-wave infections that are hitting Asia and Europe. Australia has been rocked by its deadliest surge since the start of the pandemic, Hong Kong is experiencing record daily numbers and Spain's caseload has tripled in the last fortnight. Meanwhile, other regions are still battling their first waves after never getting the virus under control: the US alone has recorded almost 4.23 million cases of COVID-19, while infections in Latin America and the Caribbean surged on Sunday to briefly overtake North America's total for the first time.
Coronavirus Australia: Victoria reports record 532 new cases and six deaths as NSW reports 17 cases
Victoria has recorded the highest number of Covid-19 identified in a 24-hour period in Australia to date with 532 new cases announced by the premier Daniel Andrews on Monday, along with six more deaths of people aged in their 50s to 90s. “We are seeing too many people for whatever reason attending work with symptoms,” Andrews said. “That just cannot continue. Otherwise, these restrictions will be in place for longer than they should be and I’m sorry to say – we’ll see more people die, particularly in aged care. Get tested and get tested quickly and then stay home until you get you get your result.”
Australian state records daily virus record, warns of lockdown extension
Australia’s Victoria state on Monday reported the country’s highest daily increase in coronavirus infections, prompting the authorities to warn a six-week lockdown may last longer if people continue to go to work while feeling unwell.
Australia's Victoria to take longer than current lockdown period to slow virus
Australia’s Victoria state on Monday reported the country’s highest daily increase in coronavirus infections, prompting the authorities to warn a six-week lockdown may last longer if people continue to go to work while feeling unwell. The second-most populous state reported 532 new cases of the virus which causes COVID-19, taking the national total to 549, the most new cases in a day since the pandemic arrived. Victoria currently has more than 4,500 active cases after weeks of triple digits daily rises.
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.
France, Spain, Germany Suddenly Facing New Coronavirus Surge
Countries across the world are mulling second lockdowns as they see local resurgences of the coronavirus after easing out from social distancing restrictions, disappointing news for the residents of those countries and for the national economies.
New Lockdown
Second Wave of Coronavirus in Asia Prompts Fresh Lockdowns
Countries around Asia are confronting a second wave of coronavirus infections and are clamping down again to try to contain the disease, with Australia recording a record daily rise in cases and Vietnam locking down the city of Danang. Mainland China is battling the most aggressive return of COVID-19 in months, confirming 57 new locally transmitted cases on Sunday, the highest level since early March, driven by fresh infections in the far western region of Xinjiang. In the northeast, Liaoning province reported a fifth straight day of new infections and Jilin province reported two new cases, its first since late May. Hong Kong is expected to announce further restrictions on Monday including a ban on restaurant dining and mandated face masks outdoors, local media reported.
European countries considering new lockdown restrictions amid coronavirus surge
A surge in new coronavirus cases across Europe has prompted several nations to consider tougher restrictions to prevent a “second wave”. Spain, France, Belgium, Germany and Romania have all experienced a significant rise in infections amid concerns citizens are starting to drop their guard against the disease in the summer weather. “In two weeks, we have tripled our rate of contagion,” said government expert Maria Jose Sierra. “We could be seeing a second wave, but we have to see what happens in the coming weeks.” It came after the 30,000 residents of the town of Totana in the southeastern region of Murcia were locked down on Thursday following 55 new cases that were traced to a bar. Authorities in Romania also blamed Friday’s record daily high of more than 1,000 new infections on a failure to wear masks, including in indoor public places or on public transport.
Coronavirus: Muslim women cook free meals for struggling families during Melbourne’s second lockdown
A group of Muslim women has come together to feed Melbourne’s most vulnerable people amid the city’s second Covid-19 lockdown. Lawyers, teachers and healthcare professionals volunteer their time every Friday to cook meals for those struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic. Afshan Mantoo, chairperson of Muslim Women’s Council of Victoria Inc. and head of the volunteer group, said she hoped the programme would help change attitudes about Muslim women’s participation in Australian society.
Coronavirus cases rising in every global region as Catalonia orders partial lockdown measures
Dozens of countries, including the US, Spain and Australia, have reported record single-day increases in coronavirus infections over the past week, as data shows the pandemic is rising in every region of the world. In Spain, Catalonia has ordered the closure of nightclubs and late-night bars as fears grow of a second wave, with a new daily record figure likely to deter tourists from visiting one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. The US remains officially the worst hit, according to the data, having this week passed more than 4 million cases in total and recording more than 1,000 deaths from the virus for the fourth straight day.
Second wave of coronavirus in Asia prompts fresh lockdowns
Nations in Asia imposed new restrictions on Monday, while an abrupt British quarantine on travellers from Spain threw Europe’s summer reopening into disarray, as the world confronted the prospect of a second wave of COVID-19 infections. In the United States, still dealing with its first wave as infection rates have climbed since June, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, became the most senior official to test positive. The White House said Trump had not interacted with him in days and was not at risk. Surges were reported in several countries that previously appeared to have the virus under control.