Covid-19 Around The World: Latest Developments

Published June 28th, 2020 - 10:00 GMT
People wearing facemasks cross a street beside an auto-rickshaw with a graffiti depicting actor Heath Ledger (L) in his role as the Joker, in Rawalpindi on June 26, 2020.  Aamir QURESHI / AFP
People wearing facemasks cross a street beside an auto-rickshaw with a graffiti depicting actor Heath Ledger (L) in his role as the Joker, in Rawalpindi on June 26, 2020. Aamir QURESHI / AFP
Highlights
Novel coronavirus has infected more than 10 million people and claimed more than 501,000 lives around the world. Here are the updates for June 28:

Indonesia reports 1,198 new cases, 34 new deaths

Indonesia reported 1,198 new coronavirus cases and 34 deaths, taking the total number of infections to 54,010 and fatalities to 2,754, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said.

Strict lockdown near Beijing as China fights virus new cluster

China imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh coronavirus outbreak on Sunday, as authorities warned it was soon to "relax" over the new cluster of cases.

After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in neighbouring Hebei province.

Health officials said Sunday that Anxin county — about 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Beijing — will be "fully enclosed and controlled", the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earl ier this year.

Now, only one person from each family will be allowed to go out once a day to purchase necessities such as food and medicine, the county’s epidemic prevention task force said in a statement.

Earlier the county had been subject to some travel restrictions, but now individuals are only allowed to leave their homes to seek medical treatment, the notice said.

The move comes after another 14 cases of the virus were reported in the past 24 hours in Beijing, taking the total to 311 since mid-June.

The outbreak was first detected in Beijing's sprawling Xinfad i wholesale food market, which supplies much of the city's fresh produce and sparked concerns over the safety of the food supply chain.

Russia's daily number of new cases drops

Russia reported 6,791 new cases, a figure that keeps the daily rise below 7,000 for a third day in a row for the first time since late April. 

The new cases take the cumulative nationwide tally to 634,437.

The country's coronavirus response centre said 104 people had died of the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 9,073.

Virus-hit Iran makes masks compulsory

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said that mask-wearing will be mandatory in certain areas as of next week and gave virus-hit provinces the green light to reimpose restrictive measures.

The country has refrained from enforcing full lockdowns to stop the spread of the Covid-19 disease, and the use of masks and protective equipment has been optional in most areas.

Mask-wearing would be "obligatory in covered spaces where there are gatherings", Rouhani said during a televised meeting of the country's anti-virus taskforce.

The measure would come into force as of next week, continue until July 22 and would be extended if necessary, he said.

Rouhani said the health ministry had devised "a clear list" of the types of spaces and gatherings deemed high-risk, but he did not elaborate.

He also did not say what the penalty would be for those who fail to observe the measure.

Modi urges stronger economy as India cases climb

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says his country must focus on bolstering the economy as it exits the lockdown phase, even as the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb.

India reported additional 19,906 confirmed cases, taking the total to 528,859 with 16,095 deaths. 

It says 309,713 people have recovered.

Modi told a radio address that during the post-lockdown period, Indians have to stay more vigilant compared to the lockdown and only alertness can save them from the coronavirus.

He again urged people to wear a mask and observe social distancing norms and other precautions, or else would be putting others at risk, especially the elderly and children at home.

Italy to honour those who died from virus with Bergamo concert

Italy is honouring its coronavirus dead with a Requiem concert performed in front of the cemetery in Bergamo, one of the hardest-hit provinces in the onetime epicenter of the European outbreak.


President Sergio Mattarella, the 243 mayors of cities in Bergamo province and a representative of families who lost loved ones have been invited to attend the evening concert, which is being transmitted live on RAI state television. 

It will feature the Requiem Mass composed by Bergamo native Gaetano Donizetti, one of Italy’s most important 19th century composers.

Bergamo recorded its first positive case February 23 and by the end of March had registered a 571% increase in excess deaths compared to the five-year monthly average. Images in mid-March of an army convoy hauling caskets away because Bergamo’s cemeteries and crematoriums were full came to epitomise the horrific toll of the virus in Italy’s north.

Donizetti composed the unfinished Requiem to honour his friend and fellow composer, Vincenzo Bellini, who died in 1835. During the peak of the epidemic, Bergamo’s Donizetti Theater and the city government put on social media the recording of a 2017 performance of the Requiem Mass to honour the victims.

Switzerland quarantines 300 in club infection

Swiss authorities say they’ve ordered 300 people into quarantine after a so-called “superspreader” outbreak of the new coronavirus at a Zurich nightclub.

Zurich officials said in a statement that a man who had been at the Flamingo Club a week ago tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, and that five people who were with him there were then tested and also were positive and reported to authorities on Friday.

Working from a list of guests provided by the club, officials were then able to get in touch with the others who were there and ordered them into quarantine on Saturday for 10 days in order to try and stop any further spread of the virus as they are tested.

Swiss officials say the incident shows how important it is to stick to hygiene and distance regulations as lockdown measures are gradually lifted. They say if there are more super spreader type events in clubs they will have to resort to closing such facilities again.

Like many European countries, Switzerland had drastically reduced the number of new coronavirus infections, and is now starting to see a slight uptick as it tries to restart its economy.

In its latest report posted on Sunday, Switzerland reported 69 new cases overnight from Friday to Saturday for a total of 31,555 cases; 1,681 people have died.

Pakistan producing own ventilators as cases rise

Pakistan’s minister for science and technology says the country has started producing locally designed ventilators, as authorities reported 83 more deaths from the coronavirus.

In a tweet, Fawad Chaudhry said the first home-made ventilators will be handed over to the national disaster management agency soon. The announcement comes days after Pakistan said it was racing against time to arrange for 1,500 more ventilators as part of a contingency plan.

Currently, 1,503 ventilators are available at government hospitals treating Covid-19 patients.

Pakistan on Sunday reported 4.072 new cases of the coronavirus, taking the total to 202,955 with 4,118 deaths.

Pakistan has witnessed a spike in new infections since last month, when Prime Minister Imran Khan lifted lockdown, saying it was necessary to save the economy.

Czech Republic records its highest daily tally since April 8

The daily number of new cases in the Czech Republic jumped to 260, the highest since April 8, Health Ministry data showed.

That is nearly triple that of the 93 recorded on Thursday. In total, the country of 10.7 million has confirmed 11,298 cases of the Covid-19 illness, with 347 deaths as of the end of Saturday.

Chief public health officer, Jarmila Razova, told publicCzech Radio on Saturday that the rise could be linked to intensive testing in local hotbeds of the infection.

Australia's Victoria state mandates testing for travellers

Australia's Victoria state will implement mandatory tests for returning travellers after a sharp spike in infections over the past two weeks, the state's premier said.

The country's second-most populous state had 49 new cases on Sunday, its highest in more than two months and the 12th consecutive day of double-digit rises. The rest of Australia has seen almost no infections.

"Much like a bushfire, putting this out is challenging," Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told a press conference, alluding to w ildfires at the end of last year that burnt through vast swaths of the country.

"Containing it, though, is something that we can do, and test and trace is the most effective thing to do."

Victoria's officials said earlier this week that some 30% of returning travellers refused a Covid-19 test, and Andrews said it will be a mandatory procedure. Australia also requires all locals who return to quarantine in hotels for two weeks.

People in quarantine will be tested twice, first on day three and then on day 11 of their-two week quarantine period. Those still refusing testing will be required to remain in quarantine for a further 10 days, Andrews said.

South Korea still coping with new virus clusters

South Korea has confirmed 62 additional cases over a 24-hour period as the Asian country continues to face new clusters of infections amid eased social distancing rules.

The additional cases reported on Sunday took the country’s total to 12,715, with 282 deaths.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 40 of the newly reported cases were domestically infected, while the other 22 came from overseas. It says 26 of the 40 domestic cases were detected in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area.

South Korea has been struggling to suppress a spike in new cases since it eased up on its rigid social distancing rules in early May.

Those new cases have been linked to nightclubs, church services, a huge e-commerce warehouse and low-income workers.

Ireland to keep its 14-day quarantine on British travellers

Ireland will maintain a 14-day quarantine for travellers from the British mainland in July even as it plans to ease travel restrictions with some countries, the Sunday Times newspaper reported, citing a memo.

The memo with the Irish cabinet committee said it was"highly unlikely" that Britain would be included in Ireland's safe travel list, the report added.

Ireland plans to lift from July 9 a 14-day quarantine for people arriving from countries that have also suppressed the coronavirus, the Irish government said on Thursday. 

Germany's confirmed cases rise by 256 to 193,499

The number of confirmed cases in Germany increased by 256 to 193,499, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by three to 8,957.

Brazil cases rise past 1.3 million, deaths at 57,070

Brazil recorded 38,693 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours and 1,109 additional deaths, said the Health Ministry.

The nation has now registered 1,313,667 total confirmed cases of the virus and 57,070 deaths.

Mexico reports 4,410 new cases, 602 deaths

Mexico's health ministry reported 4,410 new virus infections and 602 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 212,802 cases and 26,381 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases. 

China reports 17 new cases, including 14 in Beijing

Mainland China reported 17 new coronavirus cases, mostly in the Chinese capital of Beijing.

The National Health Commission said 17 new infections were confirmed on Saturday, down from 21 a day earlier.

In Beijing, 14 new confirmed cases were reported, down from 17 a day earlier.

Since June 11 when Beijing reported its first case in the current outbreak, stemming from a sprawling wholesale food centre in the southwest of the capital, 311 people in the city of more than 20 million have contracted the virus.

Mainland China reported three new so-called imported cases on Friday, infections linked to travellers arriving from abroad. That compares with four cases a day earlier.

That took the cumulative number of confirmed cases in mainland China to 83,500.

Washington governor pauses reopening of counties

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he’s pausing moving counties to the fourth phase of his reopening plan as the virus cases continue to increase.

Inslee made the announcement with state Secretary of Health John Weisman.

Inslee says the rising number of the virus cases across the state makes it impossible to move to phase four, which would have meant basically no restrictions.

371 test positive at Missouri chicken plant

Tyson Foods has announced that 371 employees at its chicken processing plant in the far southwestern corner of Missouri have tested positive for the virus.

The company said in a news release that it tested 1,142 employees at the plant in Noel from June 17 to June 19, and 291 tested positive for the virus. 

The announcement confirms suspicions that the large spike in McDonald County’s reported Covid-19 numbers starting this past weekend was the result of large-scale testing at the plant, the Springfield News-Leader reports.

Florida notches one-day case record

Florida hit a new daily coronavirus case record of nearly 10,000 – a dramatic setback that several other states are also experiencing as economic re-openings clash with public health realities.

Infections are also up in some other parts of the world that have reopened, including the Czech Republic, which recently marked its biggest spike in virus cases in months.

The US leads the world in Covid-19 cases by far, accounting for 2.5 million of the global total of nearly 9.9 million since the virus emerged late last year in China.

Zurich quarantines nearly 300 nightclub revellers

Zurich's health authority said it had ordered a 10-day quarantine for almost 300 guests and staff of a nightclub after a reveller tested positive for the virus and had been proven to have infected others during his outing.

The man was at the Flamingo Club on June 21 and tested positive for Covid-19 on June 25, the statement said. Five other people who were at the club with him have also tested positive since, it said.

As other European countries who have eased restrictions, Switzerland has seen a rise in new infections.

This week, the number of new infections has increased daily from 18 on Monday to 69, according to the Health Ministry.

Swiss nightclubs were allowed to reopen this month, but they are obliged to register their guests.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


Copyright © 2020 TRT World

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