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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 29th May 2020

News Highlights

France: Social distancing on beaches and drinks on the streets

Sunbathers relaxing on the beach on La Grande-Motte, near Montpellier, had to do so in roped-off socially distanced zones that they could book for three and a half hours at a time. In Paris, people are protesting the continued closure of bar by consuming their traditional pre-meal drinks in small groups in the streets or outside shops allowed to offer takeout.

European countries set to welcome bored Brits for summer

Several European countries, including Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal, are set to welcome British holidaymakers back to the continent in June and July, as hopes rise of salvaging the summer. Airlines such as Ryanair, Easyjet and British Airways are also committed to restarting flights as the UK and Europe emerge from lockdown.

Russia reports significant rise in cases even as Moscow set to ease lockdown

Russian health officials reported 174 new deaths from the virus on Thursday, a new daily high that brings the total number of deaths in the country to 4,142. However, Moscow Mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, announced an easing of the lockdown in the Russian capital from June 1, claiming the peak of the pandemic has passed.

Success stories: How Ethiopia and Japan are beating Covid-19 without lockdown

Ethiopia and Japan both seem to be making good progress in the fight against Covid-19, without imposing harsh lockdowns on their citizens. Ethiopia chose a response built around public messaging, with a heavy focus on social distancing and hand washing. Clear messaging seems to have worked for Japan, where the government avoided lockdown and stressed people avoided the three C's: Closed Spaces, Crowded Places and Close-Contact Settings.

Lockdown Exit
Cineworld is re-opening UK cinemas in July as country emerges from lockdown
Cineworld says it plans to reopen UK branches in July after the coronavirus lockdown. The cinema chain has been shuttered since mid-March, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a nationwide lockdown amid the health crisis.
Ted Baker plans to reopen stores in June as UK eases lockdown
British retailer Ted Baker is preparing for a gradual reopening of its stores from mid-June and will recall furloughed staff based on the needs of its operations, the company said on Thursday. A coronavirus-triggered lockdown in the UK had forced the fashion retailer to shut all of its stores and furlough 75% of its staff. The British government said earlier this week that outdoor markets and car showrooms in England can reopen from June 1 followed by all other non-essential retail from June 15. Stores will look and operate very differently from how they did before a coronavirus lockdown was imposed on March 23 as they comply with new health and safety and social distancing rules.
French Take Their Apéros to the Streets, Testing Lockdown Limits
With bars still closed despite the loosening of France’s coronavirus lockdown, the pre-dinner drinking tradition of the apéro has given way to the apérue: clusters of revelers on the streets, or rues, of Paris, outside establishments that are allowed to offer takeout. “They’re forcing us to do infantile things all the time,” said Frédérick Cassea, who was having drinks with two friends in front of Le Syndicat, a bar in the 10th arrondissement. “We’re all adults, we’re all responsible, we’re all aware of what’s going on,’’ Mr. Cassea added, describing the apérue and other acts of “civil disobedience” as a reaction to the government’s “catastrophic” handling of the epidemic. “Treating us like kids doesn’t work for long.”
Italians Flock to Beaches, Hoping Tourists Will Follow
It is Italy, which endured one of Europe’s worst outbreaks, that is most counting on the economically restorative powers of its beaches and seas. Tourism accounts for 13 percent of Italy’s gross domestic product, and 40 percent of that is from beach activity. Officials and beach club owners have expressed hope that foreign tourists will spend time and money in their country when the borders reopen in June. But in the meantime, it is the Italians who must pick up the sunbathing slack.
‘Hunger queues’ and food bank use on the rise as Spain struggles to recover from coronavirus
Erica Camargo is close to tears when she arrives to pick up her first basket of food from the Red Cross. She lost her job in a hotel in Barcelona the night before and has not yet received any unemployment benefit. With three children and a disabled husband to feed, she is unsure how she will manage. “I am in shock. The worst thing is the uncertainty about the future,” she tells The Independent, as she picks up a box of fresh vegetables, frozen fish and rabbit from a pick-up point outside Barcelona. “I don’t know how I am going to feed my family.”
Beaches introduce social distancing to keep sunbathers apart in France
A beach in France has shown what a summer holiday during the coronavirus pandemic could look like. Sunbathers have been seen relaxing in La Grande-Motte, in the south of the country near Montpellier, in roped-off social distancing zones over the last week. Visitors can reserve a slot for three and a half hours, but must stay within their designated area, MailOnline reports. There are 66 spots available and they were booked up within two hours when they first went on offer after France started to emerge from a two-month lockdown.
Air France-KLM to resume flights to Italy from June 1
The group will gradually resume flights to Rome, Milan, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Naples and Bari, the company said adding that by the end of June, 78 Air France and KLM weekly flights to Italy would be operational. "Returning to the Bel Paese is a great pride for us and confirms the importance of the Italian market for the Air France-KLM Group," said Stefan Vanovermeir, Air France-KLM East Mediterranean General Manager. He said more than 15% of its flights would be to and from Italy and the company had put in place all necessary measures to fly safely.
Michelin-starred takeout: French chef Guy Savoy turns to lockdown deliveries
It’s not your typical takeout menu, even in Paris: raw trout in a sour cream followed by quail confit with a cauliflower and almond sauce. Then again, in normal times three-star Michelin chef Guy Savoy doesn’t do delivery. One of the world’s most celebrated chefs, Savoy opened one of his four Paris restaurants, Le Chiberta near the Arc de Triomphe, for takeaway after France partially relaxed some coronavirus lockdown restrictions earlier this month. “We wanted to do this to show people that we’re still here, still here to help them keep up their spirits,” said Gilles Chesneau, executive chef at Savoy’s restaurants.
French cafés eye return to business as government prepares new lockdown easing
While restaurants, bars and cafés in so-called "green" zones with limited Covid-19 cases could open on June 2, those in "red" zones including Paris and a large swathe of the northeast may have to wait until July, a government source said. Cities will also be allowed to reopen parks and public gardens, though in red zones visitors will have to wear masks. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has urged the government to reopen parks for residents who have been cooped up for weeks, not least to avoid the mass gatherings witnessed on canals and esplanades as summer approaches.
Rising caseloads in India, Russia underline reopening risks
India saw another record daily jump in coronavirus cases Thursday while Russia reported a steady increase in its caseload even as it moved to swiftly ease restrictions in sync with the Kremlin's ambitious political plans. The developments come as the United States crossed a somber landmark of 100,000 coronavirus fatalities, meaning that more Americans have died from the virus than were killed in the Vietnam and Korean wars combined. India, home to more than 1.3 billion people, reported more than 6,500 new infections, another record daily surge that brought the nation's total to more than 158,000 infections. The spike comes as the nation’s two-month-old lockdown is set to end Sunday.
As Coronavirus Lockdowns Are Lifted, Slow Return to Normality Begins
Now some of that is easing, albeit tentatively. Official data take time to reveal the pace of recovery, but early figures show that consumers are venturing out to stores; factories are ordering more goods; and purchases of household goods have normalized.
Horse racing returns in New Zealand as lockdown eases
New Zealand’s financially troubled horse racing industry reopened Thursday after being shuttered for months because of the coronavirus outbreak, leading the return of organized sports as the nation moves toward normality. A harness racing meeting which took place without fans at the Addington racecourse at Christchurch was the first since New Zealand went into strict lockdown on March 24.
Vast majority of New Zealanders don't want to return to office after Covid-19
A study of New Zealanders working from home during coronavirus lockdown has found many were just as productive as when they were in the office, and a majority were reluctant to return to traditional workplaces. New Zealand went into lockdown for seven weeks from 25 March, and has become a global success story in containing the coronavirus, with fewer than 1,500 people infected and 21 deaths. During lockdown, many workers experimented with working from home for the first time, and a University of Otago study of more than 2,500 people found the arrangement suited many.
Exit Strategies
How China emerges from lockdown will affect global tourism
You can wave to the giant Mickey Mouse mascot, but not get close enough for a jolly selfie. Such are the rules at Disneyland Shanghai, which reopened on May 11th. Visitor numbers are capped at 30% of the sprawling park’s capacity. Meanwhile the Forbidden City in Beijing can now take only 5,000 visitors a day, just 6% of its normal cap.
Dubai gives the green light to reopen gyms, movie theaters and other non-essential businesses as lockdown lifting continues
The Dubai government announced new measures to lift restrictions on businesses, allowing gyms, movie theaters, leisure venues, educational and training institutes, child learning centers and all retail and wholesale establishments to reopen at varying limited capacities. The emirate of 3.3 million, the UAE's commercial capital, is pushing ahead with reopening its economy after a grueling two months of lockdown that included a three-week stretch in April of some of the strictest measures imposed anywhere in the world
US jobless claims top 40m as economy struggles to reopen
The number of Americans to have sought unemployment benefits during the pandemic has eclipsed 40m after more than 2m people applied for the first time last week, even as the number of people actively receiving benefits unexpectedly fell. New jobless claims have slowed for eight consecutive weeks, and the decline in continuing payments was the first since the coronavirus crisis began, as states have begun to emerge from Covid-related shutdowns and restart economic activity.
'Lockdown is not over': Nicola Sturgeon reminds us to abide by rules as first phase of restrictions are eased
The First Minister said it does not mean picking just one household to meet with but only one other household at a time and only one a day. She said she knows there will be “emotional reunions” adding “we have all waited a long time for this but please respect the parameters." Nicola Sturgeon said: “The only reason we can make any changes is we have made progress in suppressing the virus and that is down to the sacrifices you have made.”
What is phase 2 of lockdown? New rules for England explained, and when the rest of the UK will ease measures
While lockdown measures have slowly begun to ease, a further lifting of restrictions will soon be implemented across England. The UK government must review lockdown measures every three weeks, with the next update due to take place on 28 May. Any amendments made to the current rules will then come into force a few days later, from 1 June.
Coronavirus: Schools and workplaces could see 'local lockdowns'
Local lockdowns could see schools and workplaces targeted in areas of England that have "flare-ups" of coronavirus, the communities secretary has said. Robert Jenrick said restrictions could be introduced at "a micro level" to control the virus in particular communities. The measures will be part of the test and trace system, which will be ready by next week, he said. Health Secretary Matt Hancock will give more details shortly, Mr Jenrick added.
Germany supports struggling restaurants by slashing their VAT
Germany's parliament voted on Thursday to slash value-added tax on restaurant meals by more than half for a year to help them recoup devastating losses caused by the lockdown and social distancing introduced to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Philippines' Duterte eases lockdown in capital from June 1
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (May 28) approved a recommendation to ease the lockdown in the capital Manila from Jun 1, resuming much-needed activity in an economy on the brink of recession. Strict restrictions on commerce and movement since mid-March have ravaged the economy, which is facing its deepest contraction in 34 years. The nation reported 17 more deaths and 539 new infections on Thursday, the largest number of cases reported in a single day since the virus was first detected in the country.
Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal all issue travel advice to Brits over holidays this summer
Birmingham Airport is set to spring into life in the coming weeks as the tourism industry is given a jolt of adrenalin across the continent. Europe will welcome British holidaymakers once more from June and July, with summer holiday hopes revitalised for bored Brits at home. Birmingham Airport has been eerily quiet in recent weeks - with one week seeing just six flights take off from the transport hub, situated near Solihull. But now, as the UK emerges from lockdown, travel firms from TUI, Ryanair and Jet2, to British Airways and Easyjet, are committing to restarting flights.
Spain lifts lockdown rules on exercise and walks in Phase 2 areas
From Wednesday, children living in areas of Spain that have entered Phase 2 of the coronavirus deescalation plan will be able to go outside as many times as they like, without any restrictions on how far they can go or for how long. That’s according to the Health Ministry order published Tuesday in the Official State Gazette (BOE), which has formalized what many families have been doing since last week, when the timetables for walks and exercise were removed for areas under Phase 2, with the exception of the time slot allocated to senior residents.
Relief for restaurants as France prepares new lockdown easing
The French government is expected to announce Thursday new measures to ease the coronavirus lockdown, allowing restaurants in areas where the outbreak remains contained to open as soon as next week.
France Triples Emergency Budget For Cycling To Keep People Out Of Cars As Lockdown Eases
“In a few weeks, the [COVID-19] crisis has won more for cycling than years of bicycle campaigning,” French environment minister Elisabeth Borne told Paris Match on May 28 as she announced that France would be tripling the amount to be spent on getting more people on bicycles to avert urban gridlock in cities across France. At the end of April Borne said France would spend €20 million on emergency cycling measures, including €50 vouchers for repairing bicycles. The budget has now been increased to €60 million, which will pay for more repair vouchers and more generous subsidies for purchasing e-bikes.
Coronavirus: Russia reports over 4,000 deaths as medics warn of bursting hospitals
Health officials reported that 4,142 people had died in Russia from the virus, with 174 new deaths over the last 24 hours. The number of new deaths equaled Russia’s highest daily toll recorded yet on Tuesday. Officials said last week Russia would see a sharp rise in the mortality figures for May as they anticipate deaths of patients who were admitted to hospitals during the peak of the epidemic several weeks ago. Although the number of new cases has steadily declined, medical workers in Saint Petersburg said hospitals remain at peak capacity. Sergei Sayapin, a doctor at the Pokrovskaya municipal hospital, told local media that 650 patients were being treated at his hospital last week, which has just over 540 beds. “People lie on examination benches, without mattresses or pillows,” Sayapin was quoted as saying on Wednesday. He declined to speak to AFP.
Moscow to ease lockdown from Monday as pandemic stabilizes
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Wednesday announced an easing of the Russian capital's lockdown starting June 1 after the Kremlin said the coronavirus pandemic had passed its peak in the country. "Today we can already talk about the next steps out of the crisis situation," Sobyanin told President Vladimir Putin during a televised video conference. "I propose from June 1 to reopen not only food retail but all non-food retail."
US passes 100,000 coronavirus deaths as states relax lockdown measures
The United States has recorded more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, moving past a grim milestone even as many states relax mitigation measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. The US has recorded more deaths from the disease than any other country in the pandemic, and almost three times as many as the second-ranking country, Britain, which has recorded more than 37,000 Covid-19 deaths. The latest count of fatalities is 100,047 according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Many fear a surge in hate crime once lockdown is over – the government has to step up and help
The prime minister will review the lockdown today, but any increase in our freedom sadly comes with the risk of a rebound in hate crime. A recent Home Affairs Select Committee session heard that Facebook had deleted 9.6 million hate speech posts in the first quarter of 2020. Surely, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Community Security Trust, Stop Hate UK and Tell Mama UK have all raised concerns about closed online groups mobilising to incite hatred and violence against communities who are becoming Covid-19 scapegoats.
Is this the future of dining? Restaurants could feature bubble pods after lockdown
A French designer has created transparent bubble pods for restaurants so that diners can eat safely once lockdown comes to an end. The plastic cylinders would create a see-through barrier for those sitting at the same tables, helping limit the spread of coronavirus. Christophe Gernigon, who designed the pods, said they would hang from a cable in a ceiling and would have a cut out section at the back to allow people to sit and stand up without having to bend over
No lockdown, few ventilators, but Ethiopia is beating Covid-19
Instead of strict lockdown, Ethiopia chose a response built around public messaging. “This is not a disease you fight by ventilators or intensive care units,” says Mr Arkebe, “90 per cent of the solution is hand washing and social distancing. The only way we can play and win is if we focus on prevention.” The government has leaned heavily on a community-based health system built by Meles Zenawi, prime minister until his death in 2012, and his health minister, one Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, now director-general of the World Health Organization. Shunning flashy hospitals, Ethiopia has instead poured what money it can into basic healthcare: vaccination campaigns and child and maternal support.
How Japan tackled coronavirus without a lockdown, avoided the 3 Cs
Many people predicted that Japan would be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but the country has been relatively unscathed. People have posited several reasons for Japan's success, including an existing culture of mask-wearing. Others have said it was the government's clear messaging about avoiding the three C's: closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings. Some experts have said that Japan might not be as successful as we think and that there may be significant underreporting.
National Gallery of Australia first to open its doors on Tuesday, June 2 as lockdown restrictions ease
For art and culture lovers, at least, the end of lockdown is well and truly in sight - the National Gallery of Australia will be opening its doors to the public again on Tuesday June 2. The National Museum of Australia is following suit, opening Tuesday with visitors able to finally see the landmark Endeavour exhibition that was two weeks from opening when lockdown was announced.
Partisan Exits
Lockdown protester fired after hanging effigy of governor
Terry Bush, the head of a right-wing militia group Kentucky 3 Percenters, has been fired from his job at a car dealership after being seen on video hanging Governor Andy Beshear in effigy.
NYC Tanning Salon Owner to Reopen in Defiance of Lockdown, Says 'All Businesses Are Essential'
New York City tanning salon owner said he will reopen Thursday in defiance of city lockdown orders. "I'm opening business on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.," Bobby Catone, owner of Sunbelievable in Great Kills, Staten Island, said Tuesday in an interview with the Staten Island Advance, a local newspaper. "We had to flatten the curve, and on Staten Island we not only flattened it, we demolished it," Catone said.
Spanish regions request to move to new phases of deescalation plan
Several regional authorities in Spain have sent the central government their requests to move to a new phase of the coronavirus deescalation plan. Currently in Spain, 53% of the population is in Phase 1, which allows social gatherings of up to 10 people, and 47% is in Phase 2, where there are no restrictions on outdoor activities. Here is an overview of what each region has so far requested.
U.K.'s Boris Johnson faces schools rebellion over plans to send kids back
In the early days of the lockdown, it almost felt like a novelty for parents like Claire Collins as she and her friends swapped home schooling tips on WhatsApp. "There was an influx of people passing around, quite excitedly, things you could do with your kids at home: links on Pinterest, that sort of thing," said Collins, 37, who has children ages 2 and 5 and lives in the town of Abergavenny in Wales. "Now I think that enthusiasm has died. It's fizzled out," she said, struggling to speak over her children, Amber and Romy, who were vying for her attention in the background. "It sounds fun, but it's actually been quite taxing and draining."
Continued Lockdown
Lockdown violators using Cummings as excuse, say police
Lockdown rule-breakers are using the controversial actions of the prime minister’s top adviser, Dominic Cummings, as an excuse, a police and crime commissioner has warned. The West Midlands PCC, David Jamieson, revealed he had received intelligence that officers are getting “pushback” from members of the public breaching Covid-19 containment measures after Downing Street’s defence of Cummings’ 264-mile lockdown trip. It comes as a leading human rights lawyer told the Guardian people fined for breaching lockdown rules may try to complain about penalties or protest about paying them by referencing Cummings’ excuses, which include the claim that he drove to a beauty spot in order to test his eyesight.
Coronavirus lockdown breakers telling police 'if it's okay for Cummings, it's okay for us', says crime commissioner
David Jamieson says the scandal has made it "almost impossible for officers to be able to carry out their job effectively".
UK asylum applications fall sharply during lockdown
The number of applications for asylum in the UK has plunged during the Covid-19 pandemic, figures show, as global restrictions have disrupted travel. In the first four weeks of the UK lockdown, 800 applications were lodged, a fall of 69% from the 2,500 made in the preceding four weeks. The number of asylum applications had been steadily rising since 2018. The number of applications granted or rejected also fell as interviews with applicants and most decision-making was stopped. There were 300 initial decisions made in the first four weeks of the lockdown, about a sixth of the number before the emergency measures.
Mobile data shows which European countries took lockdown seriously
It then released aggregated data on time spent at each of the six location types for the past several months, compared to a baseline: the five-week period between January 3 and February 6 2020. To the extent that no special events happened during this time, the change from the baseline after this reflects people’s collective response to the pandemic and the lockdowns. Using the Google data, we then created the following graphs, comparing the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Greece between mid-February and early May. To get a smoother image, we calculated a seven-day moving average. Countries are also ranked and coloured in the graph legends according to their average reaction over the whole period (meaning a country’s colour can differ between graphs).
Lockdown is worsening people’s dermatillomania and making their skin picking compulsion feel inescapable
While the causes behind dermatillomania, also known as excoriation disorder, are complex, an unexpected side effect of the coronavirus pandemic is that it has triggered and worsened skin picking, alongside a fresh fear over how the behaviour’s resulting open wounds and constant touching could put sufferers at increased risk of catching Covid-19. It’s hard enough not to react to warnings about touching your face by immediately touching your face – now imagine you have a compulsive disorder that can make it feel impossible to stop poking, scratching, and picking. Being confined to the home, no longer going out to a workplace or to see friends or family, allows the secretive habit of skin picking to thrive.
Coronavirus has created a 'lockdown generation', with one in six young people forced to stop working
International Labour Organisation said it has disproportionately hit the young. Figures show 17.1 per cent of young people globally have stopped working. ILO chief Guy Ryder said a lot of young people will 'simply be left behind'
Coronavirus: Man denies operating Japanese restaurant from home during lockdown despite large advertising sign above property door
A man has denied running a Japanese restaurant from his home despite neighbours’ complaints and what appears to be a large advertising sign above the door of the property. Norwich City Council said it will open an investigation after the restaurant reportedly sold takeaways during lockdown.
Rise in child porn cases during coronavirus lockdown in Australia
Child abuse and the spread of child pornography is on the rise as more Australians access the dark web. Police say there has been a disturbing increase in Australians downloading and sharing illegal images during the coronavirus lockdown period. The Australian Federal Police is working with Home Affairs, telcos and other agencies on how best to "deliver a stronger punch into the dark web", commissioner Reece Kershaw told a parliamentary committee today.
Lockdown Fuels Interest in Learning Among Remote Workers
Employers should reignite learning and development programs for home workers Questionmark, the online assessment provider, is encouraging employers to reignite investment in learning and development programs. The call comes as research reveals a wave of enthusiasm among remote workers for online learning to improve their professional and personal skills.
Parent shaming video confronts alcohol consumption during coronavirus lockdown
The cliches adults use to justify their alcohol consumption have been turned on their head, with a new video campaign from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation. Because Carly and Matt are primary school age children. And in a simulated Zoom meeting they are seen toasting their mates Noah, Lilly, Jason and a dozen others, mimicking the behaviour of the adults around them.
'It sucks': homeless Victorians asked to help pay for lockdown hotels
The Council for Homeless Persons, Victoria’s peak body for homelessness care providers, confirmed that some rough sleepers were being asked to co-pay for their rooms, with some paying up to half of the cost of the accommodation, potentially several hundred dollars a week. Some of those who have been placed in motels and hotels said this system felt unfair, given the huge number of returned travellers whose hotel accommodation is being paid for in full by the Victorian government. “Am I allowed to say it sucks?” said Adam Bollingmore, who was sleeping rough in Melbourne before being placed in a motel by service provider Launch Housing.
Scotland's 'Covid Capital' has five times as many deaths as New Zealand
Coronavirus deaths in Scotland's worst hit area are now five times higher than the entirety of New Zealand. Deaths in Inverclyde, which has been dubbed the country's 'Covid Capital', continues to surpass the rest of the country, recording 14 Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 people. Now, it has emerged that the area's total death toll is five times the total number of coronavirus deaths in New Zealand. Last week, the death rate in Scotland's poorest community went up by three, taking the total to 109.
Ahead on penalties: Victoria leads nation on COVID-19 lockdown fines
Victorians have been fined for breaking coronavirus rules at almost triple the rate of any other state or territory, with almost 6000 people each receiving a $1652 penalty since COVID-19 restrictions were imposed. Information obtained by The Age shows the number of fines in Victoria is nearly three times the number issued in Queensland and four times greater than in NSW – a state with more coronavirus cases and deaths than its southern counterpart.
Scientific Viewpoint
UK weeks behind where it ought to be with testing and tracing – NHS Providers
The UK is “weeks behind” where it should to be with coronavirus testing and tracing, the chief executive of NHS Providers has claimed amid reports of major problems with the service. The NHS Test and Trace system – seen as key to easing lockdown restrictions – has been rolled out across England with the help of 25,000 contact tracers.
How late a country imposed COVID-19 lockdown links to excess deaths
A Financial Times analysis of the excess death rates of 13 countries compared to when they imposed a lockdown has shown a close correlation between the two factors. The data suggests that the less widespread the virus was when a country locked down, the lower the excess death rates. For example, the UK waited until later in the severity of its outbreak before locking down, and now shows a high excess death rate. The opposite is true of Germany. The FT used excess deaths — the difference between the current number of deaths from the expected number of deaths at this time — instead of countries' reported coronavirus death numbers
Coronavirus: Italy envoy rejects remark by Sweden's chief epidemiologist
Italy's ambassador to Sweden has defended his country's healthcare system after the chief Swedish state epidemiologist questioned Italy's capacity to tackle the coronavirus. Anders Tegnell suggested in a radio interview that Italy had "fewer resources" than Sweden to fight it. Ambassador Mario Cospito issued a defiant statement in response. "Everyone outside of Italy should express only praise and solidarity to our country and our people," he wrote. The spat comes days after Mr Tegnell's predecessor as state epidemiologist criticised him, arguing the country should have imposed a lockdown.
AstraZeneca locks up COVID-19 vaccine supply with Oxford BioMedica production deal
AstraZeneca is on the hook for millions of doses of the University of Oxford's front-runner COVID-19 vaccine candidate, assuming it proves effective. To fill those orders, the British drugmaker has agreed to a short-term manufacturing deal that will help it bridge the gap. AstraZeneca and Oxford BioMedica inked a one-year deal covering "multiple batches" of the University of Oxford's adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222, as part of a consortium aimed at speeding production of the shot. As part of the agreement, AstraZeneca will have access to Oxford BioMedica's 84,000-square-foot OxBox commercial manufacturing center in Oxford, England. The agreement will turn out most of the clinical and commercial supply in 2020 with the possibility of expansion in the future, Oxford BioMedica said in a release.
Coronavirus Resurgence
South Korea reports its largest single-day rise in coronavirus cases since April
South Korea reported 79 cases Thursday, its largest single-day rise in weeks Majority of infections are linked to an outbreak at a warehouse near Seoul Health minister has said the country will now reimpose social distancing rules South Korea has been widely-praised for one of the world's best virus responses
South Korea coronavirus spike stirs second wave concern, social distancing crackdown
South Korea reported 79 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the most in nearly eight weeks, triggering the return of tougher social distancing curbs amid the spectre of a second wave of disease in a country praised for containing the first outbreak. At least 82 cases this week have been linked to a cluster of infections at a logistics facility run by Coupang Corp, one of the country's largest online shopping firms, in Bucheon, west of Seoul, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said. About 4,100 workers, including 603 delivery people, at the warehouse were believed to have not properly followed social distancing and protective measures, such as mask wearing, KCDC deputy director Kwon Jun-wook told a briefing.
South Korea coronavirus cases jump to highest since early April
South Korea reported 79 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the most since April 5 and the third straight day of rising infections, raising the specter of a second wave of the disease in a country widely praised for containing the initial outbreak.
New Lockdown
Coronavirus: South Korea set to bring back lockdown restrictions after sharp increase in new cases
‘There’s a need to maximise social distancing in areas where the virus is circulating, to force people to avoid public facilities and other crowded spaces,’ say health officials
South Korea re-imposes some coronavirus restrictions after spike in new cases
South Korea has reimplemented strict lockdown measures in the capital Seoul following the biggest spike of new coronavirus infections in nearly two months. Museums, parks, and art galleries will all be closed again from Friday for two weeks, health minister Park Neung-hoo said. Companies are being urged to reintroduce flexible working hours among other measures. The move follows the biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases in 53 days, in a country that appeared to have brought the outbreak under control. The new lockdown will take effect in the capital’s metropolitan area, which is home to half of South Korea’s 51 million people. It will remain in place until June 14.
Namibia puts coastal town on lockdown after new COVID-19 infections
Namibia has put the coastal town of Walvis Bay under complete lockdown after recording two positive cases of COVID-19 after 45 days of zero new infections, President Hage Geingob said on Thursday. Speaking at a media briefing, Geingob said at midnight on June 1, all 14 regions, with the exception of Walvis Bay, will transit from stage 2 to more moderate precautions under stage 3, until June 29, for a period of 28 days or two incubation periods. "Due to recent developments, the Walvis Bay local authority area will revert to stage 1 with 7 days and will remain effective until midnight June 8, 2020. This strict but necessary restriction on the movement of people is needed to ascertain the extent of possible spread of the disease," Geingob said.