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Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 18th Sep 2020

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Who suffers most from Melbourne's extended lockdown? Hint: They are not necessarily particularly vocal

Businesses are protesting vociferously about Victoria's extended lockdown. It's "gut-wrenching," "devastating," a "trainwreck," a "death knell." Yet businesses and shareholders are far from representative of those most at risk. The best evidence we've got suggests the hardest hit are Victoria's already disadvantaged. Those arguing for extended lockdowns make the point that they are not as costly as they might seem (to anyone) because their effects need to be compared not with business as usual, but with business in which a pandemic encourages people to stay at home and reduce spending.
17th Sep 2020 - Medical Xpress

Australia says daily COVID-19 cases fall to three-month low

Australia on Thursday reported its lowest one-day rise in new COVID-19 cases in nearly three months, as states said restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the virus will be further relaxed. Australia said 35 cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the past 24 hours, the lowest one-day rise since June 24. Victoria state - Australia’s COVID-19 epicentre - accounted for the bulk of the new cases, with 28 people diagnosed with the virus in the past 24 hours. “It is a fantastic outcome and a tribute to the hard work, sacrifice and contribution every single Victorian is making and I want to say thank you,” Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.
17th Sep 2020 - Reuters

Victorian lockdown impact to be 'laid bare' in August unemployment figures

InvestSMART’s Evan Lucas says Australia’s August unemployment numbers set to be released on Thursday will take into account the entire Victorian lockdown scenario. Mr Lucas said the numbers would be negative and were difficult to gauge correctly due to the JobKeeper program. “The Victorian effect will finally be laid bare today with how much unemployment in Victoria has now happened because of stage four lockdowns,” he said. He said the United States Federal Reserve had come to the point where “monetary policy is running out of its ability to actually react to the market and to react to the economy and needs to get fiscal policy to support it”.
17th Sep 2020 - Sky News Australia

Southern hemisphere has record low flu cases amid Covid lockdowns

Health systems across the southern hemisphere were bracing a few months ago for their annual surge in influenza cases, which alongside Covid-19 could have overwhelmed hospitals. They never came. Many countries in the southern half of the globe have instead experienced either record low levels of flu or none at all, public health specialists in Australia, New Zealand and South America have said, sparing potentially tens of thousands of lives and offering a glimmer of hope as winter approaches in the northern hemisphere. General practitioners in New Zealand have not detected a single influenza case since they started screening patients in June, health data shows; last year about 57% of the samples they collected were positive.
17th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Victorian child deaths spike during Covid lockdown after series of home accidents

Eight young children have died in the past two months across Victoria in a series of incidents experts say have spiked due to the state’s Covid-19 lockdown. In one case, a youngster was unintentionally strangled after getting caught in a curtain chain. Each year an average of 17 children die from unintentional injuries across the state, according to the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit. But there have been eight deaths since the beginning of August, the coroner reported. They were all aged under five.
17th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Melbourne’s lockdown set to surpass Wuhan’s

Residents in Melbourne’s original 10 hot spots have already been through 78 days of lockdown, beating the 77 days faced by residents of Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus was first detected. Those living in other parts of Melbourne will surpass Wuhan’s lockdown next week. The Chinese city, which went into lockdown on January 23 and came out of it on April 8, had about coronavirus 70,000 cases. As of Thursday, Victoria has 19,970.
17th Sep 2020 - NEWS.com.au


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 17th Sep 2020

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Australia sees lowest one-day rise in coronavirus cases in almost three months

Australia reported its lowest one-day rise in novel coronavirus infections in nearly three months on Monday as authorities began to ease restrictions aimed at slowing its spread. Thirty-nine people were found to be infected with the virus in the past 24 hours, the lowest one-day increase in new cases since June 26, when 37 infections were detected. With dwindling numbers of new infections, the epicentre of Australia’s latest outbreak, Victoria state, has begun easing restrictions, allowing people to leave their homes for longer periods for exercise and shortening a curfew at night.
16th Sep 2020 - Reuters

Australia's Victoria state reports 42 new COVID-19 cases, eight deaths

Australia’s Victoria state on Wednesday said the daily rise in infections in its coronavirus hot spot of Melbourne has eased further, putting it on course to relax an extended hard lockdown in the city by the end of the month. Average cases over the last two weeks in Melbourne, the state’s largest city, fell below 50, health authorities said, the benchmark the state set to start easing curbs. Construction sites, manufacturing plants, warehouses and childcare facilities can reopen, allowing more than 100,000 workers to return to their jobs, if the 14-day rolling average is under 50 cases as of Sept. 28. The state has set a much tougher target of a 14-day average of five cases for lifting a nightly curfew, allowing people out of home for more than two hours a day, and reopening more businesses in Melbourne from Oct 26.
16th Sep 2020 - Reuters


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 16th Sep 2020

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Nicola Sturgeon coronavirus update RECAP as lockdown restrictions continue in west central Scotland

A new law has come into force across Scotland today limiting social gatherings to a maximum of six people from two different households. It comes as the number of positive coronavirus cases continues to rise. Over the last 24-hour period a total of 70 people tested for the deadly virus, but Nicola Sturgeon said the figure was likely incomplete. She raised concern over a serious backlog of lab tests in the UK-wide system. The new rules apply to both indoor and outdoor setting, including in pubs, restaurants, homes and gardens. Kids under the age of 12 will not count. Across Glasgow, East and West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Lanarkshire people are restricted from meeting anyone from other households. The restrictions were today ordered to continue until another review on September 22.
15th Sep 2020 - Daily Record

Coronavirus in Germany: American ‘superspreader’ could face €2,000 fine for pub crawl in Bavaria

An American woman who became a “superspreader” by heading out on a pub crawl in Bavaria, despite being told to self-isolate, has been identified but not yet reprimanded, local authorities in Germany have said. Despite showing symptoms of coronavirus, a 26-year-old US citizen allegedly went out partying in the Alpine resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, kick-starting more than 40 infections in the town. Local media report that the woman, who works at a hotel for US soldiers and their families, was tested for the virus after suffering from a sore throat. She was told to quarantine herself for 14 days while awaiting the result, but ignored the order and went on a pub crawl. She reportedly visited a number of bars and restaurants and was told the following morning that she had tested positive.
15th Sep 2020 - iNews

Teachers in India carry on with lessons outdoors during lockdown

Out on a street in an Indian village, half a dozen children gather around their teacher who points a stick at the diagrams on a wall, one of many murals in the neighbourhood being used to help poor students keep up with their education during the coronavirus pandemic. With schools shut since March in a virus lockdown, teachers in Nilamnagar, western India, became concerned that some youngsters would fall behind because their families cannot afford an Internet subscription for online classes. So they came up with a workaround – children like playing on the streets, so they would take their lessons outside. “Since most of the families lack resources to educate their kids digitally, we had to come up with an innovative method to keep children invested in education, ” said Ram Gaikwad, a teacher at Asha Marathi Vidyalaya school.
15th Sep 2020 - The Star Online

India's economic activity almost at pre-lockdown levels but Covid looms: Nomura

Economic activity accelerated further in the week ended September 13, returning almost to pre-lockdown levels, a private tracker released on Monday showed. The Nomura India Business Resumption Index, which monitors economic activity normalisation, rose to 81.6 from 79 in the week ended September 6.
15th Sep 2020 - Economic Times

Filmmakers capture horror and humanity of Wuhan’s coronavirus lockdown

Documentary shows life inside the city’s hospitals during the 76 days it was locked down in early fight against virus. Toronto film festival screens harrowing account which stays out of politics and focuses on human suffering.
15th Sep 2020 - South China Morning Post

Australia records first day without COVID-19 death in two months

Australia on Tuesday recorded its first day without a COVID-19 death in two months, as states began to lift restrictions amid growing confidence that a second wave of infections has been contained. While officials said there were 50 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, a small increase from a day earlier, Australia reported no fresh fatalities for the first time since July 13. Most of the new cases were in Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state, which has accounted for about 75% of the country’s COVID-19 infections. Still, with infections falling in regional areas of Victoria, state Premier Daniel Andrews announced social distancing restrictions in those areas would be eased late on Wednesday.
15th Sep 2020 - Reuters

Regional Victoria ‘step 3’ roadmap restrictions and lockdown rules explained

The state government has announced that regional Victoria will now move to step three of the state’s roadmap out of lockdown from midnight on Wednesday 16 September. Stage three restrictions were previously in effect across all of regional Victoria from Thursday 6 August. Metropolitan Melbourne entered stage four restrictions from Sunday 2 August and you can find out all about stage 4 restrictions here. A statewide mandatory mask policy has also been in effect since Monday 3 August. The Victorian government has released a roadmap for easing coronavirus restrictions, with the government expecting to move into the final step from 23 November if the entire state has recorded zero new cases for 14 days. Until then, here are some of the main things you need to know about the step three restrictions in regional Victoria:
15th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Australia’s coronavirus ‘dictator’ enforces a drastic lockdown. He’s still popular.

Detractors call him "Dictator Dan." Supporters declare, on social media, #IStandWithAndrews. To residents of Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city, he is Daniel Andrews, the premier, or governor, of Victoria state and the politician responsible for inflicting upon them some of the most stringent pandemic control measures on Earth. The city named repeatedly over recent years as the “world’s most livable” has been locked down since July 9. A week ago, Andrews declared that a citywide curfew will not be lifted until Oct. 26 — and then only if the coronavirus is almost eliminated.
15th Sep 2020 - The Washington Post

New Zealand faces another week of Covid restrictions as Ardern defends cautious approach

New Zealand will remain at its current level of Covid-19 restrictions for another week, the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said on Monday as she urged the public to stay the course on the county’s “cautious” approach to quashing the virus. “New Zealand has followed a plan that has worked,” she said, referring to her government’s strict, early lockdown of the country in March as New Zealand’s coronavirus cases started to rise. “This has both saved lives, but also meant our economy has been able to be more open in a more sustained way than nearly any other country in the world.”
15th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Alert level 2 extension cancels school formal in Marlborough

An extension of alert level 2 has “gutted” year 13 students in Marlborough, after having to cancel their school formal four days out from the event. On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland would remain in alert level 2.5, while the rest of New Zealand would remain in level 2 until at least 11.59pm on Monday. With a date set down for September 19, restrictions of 100 people per event meant the combined Marlborough Girls’ and Marlborough Boys’ College formal could not go ahead. Formal committee co-chair and Marlborough Boys’ College student Jono Poswillo said he and fellow co-chair Taryn Breen, of Marlborough Girls’ College, started organising the event during New Zealand’s level 4 lockdown earlier this year.
15th Sep 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Singapore grapples with coronavirus in migrant workers' dormitories

Singapore is battling new clusters of coronavirus infections in migrant dormitories that had won the all-clear from authorities, highlighting the difficulty of stamping out the disease, even in a closely monitored population. As the wealthy city-state tumbled into recession, officials facing intense pressure to revive the economy are opting for limited isolation measures rather than the wide clampdowns earlier, but most low-wage workers are still penned in. “There is little choice,” said Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious diseases expert at the city’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital. “We need to be realistic. We need the economy to go on.” The dormitories, home to more than 300,000 workers in industries such as construction and shipbuilding, with several allocated to a room, contribute nearly 95% of Singapore’s tally of more than 57,000 infections.
15th Sep 2020 - Reuters Africa


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 15th Sep 2020

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Stuck on the launchpad: How coronavirus is trapping our young people

Ms Thomas, 19, is not alone. She is among the 320,000 people aged between 15 to 24 whose jobs disappeared between March and May. While in other parts of Australia the recovery is under way, Victoria’s youth employment numbers are bumping along the bottom. According to research by Dr Jenny Chesters from the University of Melbourne’s Youth Research Centre, being out of work at the beginning of their productive lives could have long-term consequences for young people. The damage to self esteem from years of rejection stayed with them.
14th Sep 2020 - The Age

Coronavirus Australia: Melbournians escape stage four restrictions by moving to countryside

Melburnians are taking extreme measures to escape the city’s stage four lockdown by upping and moving to the countryside, which has recorded far fewer cases of coronavirus. Real estate agents and academics have noticed an uptick in interest in regional centres around Melbourne, particularly concentrated in areas like Castlemaine and Bendigo. The demand for rural properties is so high that sometimes a property is listed in the morning and it’s sold by the afternoon, according to Rob Waller from Waller Realty in Bendigo.
14th Sep 2020 - NEWS.com.au

'We need to keep our eyes on that prize': Jacinda Ardern extends New Zealand's coronavirus restrictions

Jacinda Ardern's cabinet has split over a decision to extend COVID-19 restrictions across New Zealand for an additional week. On Monday, the Prime Minister announced New Zealanders would retain the current social distancing and gathering caps until next week at the earliest. New Zealand enjoyed 102 days without community transmission of the virus over winter but Auckland returned to lockdown last month when new cases emerged. With a tail of cases still being identified by health authorities, including one new case on Monday, Ms Ardern's cabinet made a majority decision not to relax its current restrictions this week.
14th Sep 2020 - SBS

Alert Level 2 Continuation A Slap In The Face To New Zealanders

“Keeping New Zealand at Alert Level 2 shows the Government has failed at its Covid-19 response,” says ACT Leader David Seymour. "The Government says it has done a great job, and we must stay locked down. They cannot have it both ways. Either the Government has failed, or the restrictions can be lifted. “Six months into this epidemic, the only tool the Government has is lockdowns. This approach is not sustainable “New Zealanders are understandably becoming increasingly frustrated at the rules and restrictions they’re facing because the Government didn’t go hard or early enough.
14th Sep 2020 - Scoop.co.nz

India reports over 94,000 new coronavirus cases, over 1,000 more deaths

India reported 94,372 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, taking total cases past 4.7 million, as infection numbers rose in several states amid a gradual opening up of businesses. The number of deaths rose to 78,586, with 1,114 new deaths, health ministry data showed. While several states showed a rise in infections, including the capital New Delhi and the central Chhattisgarh state, the highest numbers were from the India’s biggest and richest state, Maharashtra, which reported 8,204 fresh cases. Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in a news briefing on Sunday urged residents to wear masks and maintain social distancing, amid growing fatigue over a drawn-out lockdown that has made many lax about taking precautions.
14th Sep 2020 - Reuters


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 14th Sep 2020

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New UK town 'faces imminent lockdown' after spike in coronavirus cases

Hartlepool could face "imminent" new lockdown restrictions after a worrying spike in new coronavirus infections. The leader of the town's council has described it as a "wake up call" and warned that further restrictions may follow. Hartlepool was this week added to a government watchlist after 51 cases were confirmed in seven days - up from 22 the previous week. Shane Moore, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, described the new figures as "extremely worrying". Care homes have been advised to suspend family visits to protect the vulnerable
12th Sep 2020 - Mirror Online

More than 100 children were homeless in Epping Forest at the start of lockdown

More than 100 children were homeless and in temporary accommodation in Epping Forest at the start of the coronavirus lockdown, figures show. Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government figures show 114 children from 62 households were housed in temporary accommodation in Epping Forest at the end of March – an increase of 25 on the same point last year, when there were 89. Across England, there were 129,380 children in temporary accommodation on March 31 – the highest number since 2006.
12th Sep 2020 - Epping Forest Guardian

Sydney woman has been in coronavirus lockdown since March

Jazzy Regan, who is in her 20s, has been in coronavirus lockdown for 183 days Ms Regan is severely asthmatic and lives with her 84-year-old grandma. The pandemic has probably been the 'best time ever' for the young woman. She has learnt to cook, exercises in her loungeroom and works from home
12th Sep 2020 - Daily Mail


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 11th Sep 2020

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Calls for help surge as teens' mental health suffers in lockdown

Mental health support services have seen calls from children and young people in Victoria jump by up to a third as the state's hard lockdown and extended restrictions on school attendance take a toll. There was a 28 per cent spike in calls to the phone counselling service Kids Helpline between March and July 2020 compared with the same period last year and a 19 per cent jump from July to August compared with the previous month.
10th Sep 2020 - The Age

Make your bed, phone your mother in tears: as Victoria's lockdown drags on, just keep going

Maintaining good nutrition is crucial and an excellent means of incorporating structure into your day. If you are growing your own vegetables – as many have since the “toilet paper-themed scarcity apocalypse” phase of isolation – Instagram everything. Demonstrate second world war-style thrift as you transform beetroot stalks into colourful, inedible gourmet feasts. There’s no need to illustrate your daily half-a-block of Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut habit, or admit your car interior reeks of rendered pork fat because you’re driving through at Macca’s at least three times a week. It’s ... not considered polite.
10th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Businesses in lockdown areas COULD be entitled to £1500 every 3 weeks

Cash grants will be available to businesses ordered to close due to local lockdowns in England, the Government has said. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay said “lifeline” grants of up to £1,500 will be on offer every three weeks. His announcement came as Labour demanded targeted income support for businesses and self-employed people in sectors which have been most affected by coronavirus. The Opposition also called for extra income support to be given to areas of the country placed under local lockdown restrictions.
10th Sep 2020 - Lancashire Telegraph

Palestine records highest daily coronavirus infections

Palestine confirmed seven more deaths and 1,000 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours -- the highest single-day jump since the outbreak began. The virus claimed six lives in occupied West Bank, and one in Gaza Strip. In a statement on Thursday, the Health Ministry said the death toll in the country rose to 224, while the total infections reached 37,214 including 25,483 recoveries.
10th Sep 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Norway may have to tighten COVID-19 restrictions, PM says

"The government is considering tighter measures," Solberg told a news conference. "We can't open up anymore at this time ... In case of a rise in the number of infections without a known source, or local outbreaks that are not contained, we will consider tighter restrictions locally, regionally or nationally," she said. The number of people allowed at public gatherings could be cut to 50 from the current 200, and the maximum permitted at private events to 5-10 people from 20 currently, Solberg said. Universities, which reopened with in-person classes in August, could be told to return to all-online teaching, she added. Earlier plans to allow adults outside of the professional leagues to take part in contact sports such as football, remain on hold for the time being, she added. Norway, with a population of 5.4 million, reported 738 coronavirus cases last week, the highest number of any single week since early April, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI).
10th Sep 2020 - Channel NewsAsia Singapore


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 10th Sep 2020

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The UK's Drinking Problem Got Worse Under Lockdown. Here Are The Facts

When Adam Winstock, founder of the Global Drug Survey, was reading through the most common reasons UK respondents gave for drinking more in lockdown, one stood out to him: “I’m rewarding myself for getting through Covid.” The annual survey, conducted this year during April and May to take a snapshot of lockdown, revealed what we probably already know: that more than half of people have been drinking more – but also that excessive drinking left many of us feeling worse, exacerbating underlying mental and physical health issues.
9th Sep 2020 - HuffPost UK

Survey shows many young people are drinking less alcohol in lockdown

Our Global Drug Survey released today, which includes replies from more than 55,000 participants, shows a mixed response. We found some people are increasing their use of alcohol and cannabis, mainly due to boredom, which previous research has found. But other people have reduced their drinking and drug use now festivals, nightclubs or parties are no longer an option—a trend that has so far gained less attention.
9th Sep 2020 - Medical Xpress

Fire sweeps refugee camp on Greek island amid virus lockdown

Moria had been under a coronavirus lockdown when the first fire gutted a large section of it, and health officials said some of those who had tested positive for the virus had fled. “The combination of migration and the pandemic in these conditions is creating an exceptionally demanding situation,” Alternate Migration Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos said. Civil protection authorities declared a four-month state of emergency for public health reasons on Lesbos. Officials said the original fire was started by camp residents angered by the lockdown measures and isolation orders imposed after 35 people tested positive for COVID-19. The cases were found during broad testing and contact tracing after the illness of a Somali man who had been granted asylum and had left the island in July but later returned.
9th Sep 2020 - Washington Post

Singapore’s poorest stay in lockdown while others move freely

With restaurants and malls bustling, pre-pandemic life is slowly returning for people in Singapore—except for the more than 300,000 migrant workers who make up much of the city’s low-wage workforce. Since April, these workers have been confined to their residences with limited exceptions for work. After an extensive testing and quarantine campaign, the government cleared the dormitories where most of these workers live of COVID-19 in August, letting residents leave for several “essential errands,” like court appearances and doctor’s appointments. The government said last month it was working toward relaxing more rules for workers. Those plans are now under threat, with new virus clusters emerging in the dorms, where workers from China, India, Indonesia and elsewhere share bunks and tight living spaces.
9th Sep 2020 - BusinessWorld


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 9th Sep 2020

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Social gatherings of more than six people to be banned in England

Social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal in England from Monday as the Government seeks to curb the rise in coronavirus cases. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use a press conference on Wednesday to announce the change in the law after the number of daily positive Covid-19 cases in the UK rose to almost 3,000. The legal limit on social gatherings will be reduced from 30 people to six. It will apply to gatherings indoors and outdoors – including private homes, as well as parks, pubs and restaurants.
8th Sep 2020 - ITV News

Virus lockdown plunges South Africa deeper into recession

South Africa’s economy has sunk deeper into recession, with its gross domestic product for the second quarter of 2020 plummeting by 51%, largely as a result of COVID-19 and the country's strict lockdown, according to statistics released Tuesday. South Africa imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in the world in April and May in response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has now claimed more than 15,000 lives and infected 639,362 people in the country.
8th Sep 2020 - YAHOO!

Coronavirus lockdown drives rise in micro start-ups across the UK amid fears for job security

UK workers have been turning to starting their own companies in unprecedented numbers as fears over job security have spurred a new wave of entrepreneurs. The “State of the Nation” review, compiled by website builder group GoDaddy, showed there had been a 14 per cent increase in micro-businesses, start-ups with nine or fewer employees. The online group, which provides website templates to new businesses, has also experienced a 62 per cent increase in new UK customers. The survey also identified micro-business hubs which experienced bursts of activity between 2017 and 2019 and have continued their growth trajectory. The hubs suggest a suburban revival, as micro-business activity is concentrated on the outskirts of some of the UK’s largest cities.
8th Sep 2020 - iNews

Coronavirus: Greek islands quarantine and Scottish lockdown extends

Travellers arriving in England from seven Greek islands will have to self-isolate for 14 days from 04:00 BST on Wednesday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says. It's a slight change in policy for the government, which previously applied restrictions to entire countries. It also brings England in line with Wales, which has already introduced specific rules for six islands, some of which are the same.
8th Sep 2020 - BBC News

India's active Covid cases nears the million mark; lockdown fatigue setting in

Hindustan Times’ National Political Editor, Sunetra Choudhury brings you the top stories you need to know. Sunetra talks about the number of Covid-19 cases in India so far, new cases outstripping recoveries and deaths, lockdown fatigue setting in, rise of Covid infections in Europe and more. Watch the full video for more details.
8th Sep 2020 - Hindustan Times

The New Normal: Lockdown spurs green recovery

Carbon emissions have fallen, there’s clear water in Venice canals, and China’s air quality has improved – for now. But will COVID-19 have a lasting impact on the environment?
8th Sep 2020 - Reuters

Melbourne under lockdown for longer than China's virus ground zero, says health minister

Melburnians will be under strict lockdown longer than residents of the Chinese city of Wuhan where the coronavirus first came from, Health Minister Greg Hunt says. The federal government would continue to back Victoria but locking down people was not the right way to solve the crisis, he said. "We will continue to support Victoria and Victorians, whether it is the vaccine as the first line of defence, contact tracing as a very important second line, (but) the last thing you do is you lock people in their homes," Mr Hunt told Today.
8th Sep 2020 - 9News

Is Melbourne's coronavirus lockdown really the longest in the world? Here's how other countries stack up

Melbourne’s lockdown is one of the longest and strictest in the world, with curfews that won’t be lifted for at least another seven weeks. The Victorian capital has been under social restrictions since 16 March, which were initially extended to 11 May. On 8 July, restrictions were then reimposed in Melbourne specifically following a second outbreak, with a state of disaster and an 8pm-5am curfew ordered on 2 August. Melburnians now face an extra two weeks in Stage 4 lockdown under the roadmap revealed on 6 September, although from 14 September the nightly curfew will start an hour later at 9pm and run until 5am.
8th Sep 2020 - SBS News

Job Loss Figures Reveal Grim Reality Of Covid Lockdown

News that 185,000 New Zealanders expect to lose their jobs or businesses by mid next year drives home the scale of the economic challenge our country is facing, National Party Leader Judith Collins says. The grim prediction comes from a Stats NZ survey that found 7 per cent of employed people, or 1 in 14 workers, felt there was a high or almost certain chance they would lose their jobs or businesses within the next year. Another 18 per cent said there was a medium chance. Transport, retail, trade, accommodation and food were among the most at-risk industries.
8th Sep 2020 - Scoop.co.nz

‘The lockdown killed my father’: Farmer suicides add to India’s virus misery

Randhir Singh was already deeply in debt when the coronavirus pandemic struck. Looking out at his paltry cotton field by the side of a railway track, he walked in circles, hopeless. In early May, he killed himself by lying on the same track.
8th Sep 2020 - bdnews24.com


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 8th Sep 2020

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Return to work is too late to save city centres, says British Retail Consortium

The slow return of UK workers to their normal place of work will come too late to save hard-pressed city centre stores from going under, the body that represents retailers has said. Despite a pick-up in spending in August, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said sales were still below their pre-pandemic level and the lack of people was having a devastating impact on shops operating in places once thronged with workers. The latest health check of high street and online spending from the BRC warned that September would see more job losses, a gloomy view backed up by the latest survey of employment trends from the consultancy group Manpower.
8th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

How much did the Covid-19 lockdown really cost the UK?

Cancer treatments cancelled. Children deprived of schooling. More cases of domestic abuse. Continued restrictions on personal freedom. Over and above the direct damage caused to the economy, the collateral damage from the Covid-19 pandemic has been colossal. And the crisis is not over by any means. Travel restrictions come and go with mind-boggling frequency. Local quarantining has replaced national lockdowns. Every leading policymaker in the UK, from the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, downwards, knows that the job losses to come threaten to leave permanent scars. An obvious question, therefore, is was it worth it? Have the costs of shutting down a great chunk of Britain for three months and leaving many restrictions in place after six months been outweighed by the benefits?
7th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Covid-19 curbs ‘not worth economic pain’ for low-income countries

Some of the largest emerging economies — including India and Mexico — have suffered the most from coronavirus-related lockdowns, highlighting their limited policy options as the pandemic continues and wealthier countries start to consider reimposing restrictions in the face of a second surge in infections. India’s economy, the world’s fifth-largest, shrank by about a quarter in the three months to June, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed severe curbs on business activity and movement to contain the disease. In the same period, Mexico lost 17 per cent of its output from the first quarter. Peru, whose output contracted by 27 per cent, was hardest hit.
7th Sep 2020 - Financial Times

Coronavirus: Melbourne lockdown extended by two weeks

A strict lockdown in the Australian city of Melbourne has been extended by two weeks, with officials saying new Covid-19 cases had not dropped enough. Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews said the restrictions would be in place until 28 September, with a slight relaxation. A gradual easing of the measures will be implemented from October. The state has been the epicentre of the country's second wave, accounting for 90% of Australia's 753 deaths. Australia has recorded a total of 26,000 cases in a population of 25 million. The greater Melbourne area entered a second lockdown on 9 July after a rise in cases. A 5km (3 mile) travel limit and night time curfew was imposed while shops and businesses were closed.
7th Sep 2020 - BBC News

Health experts welcome Melbourne lockdown extension but question curfew

Public health experts have backed the Victorian government’s decision to extend Melbourne’s stage four lockdown and only lift all restrictions once there is no community transmission of Covid-19, but have questioned the effectiveness of the overnight curfew. The stage four lockdown has been extended for two weeks with some allowances made for single people living alone and a doubling of the time permitted for exercise. After that, from 28 September, the harshest measures of stage four will continue – including the curfew – but people will be able to meet in larger groups outdoors and some students will return to school.
7th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Australia's COVID-19 epicentre extends hard lockdown till late September

Australia's coronavirus hot spot state of Victoria on Sunday extended a hard lockdown in its capital Melbourne until Sept. 28, as the infection rate has declined more slowly than hoped. "We cannot open up at this time. If we were to we would lose control very quickly," State Premier Daniel Andrews told a televised media conference on Sunday. The hard lockdown was ordered on Aug. 2 in response to a second wave of infections, that erupted in Melbourne.
7th Sep 2020 - YAHOO!

Australia extends Melbourne lockdown despite drop in Covid-19 cases

Australian officials on Sunday (Sept 6) extended a strict virus lockdown of the country’s second-biggest city by two weeks, saying that new cases had not dropped enough to prevent another spike. Melbourne residents were due to exit a harsh six-week lockdown next weekend but face continued restrictions for months to come, with Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews saying that the current lockdown would remain in place until Sept 28. “If we open up too fast then we have a very high likelihood that we are not really opening up at all – we are just beginning a third wave,” he told a press conference.
6th Sep 2020 - The Straits Times


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 7th Sep 2020

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Covid-19 impact on personal hygiene industry and its future in India

In an ideal world, people should be able to do the right things and focus on the right areas as a default approach. However, the reality is quite different. Despite there being ample emphasis on personal hygiene and no lack of medical as well as scientific evidence to highlight its importance, hygiene practices failed to make a major impact in India. Eventually, a pandemic of the magnitude of Covid-19 made people notice this need and take steps to adopt personal hygiene practices. This realization and the importance of basic hygiene practices such as washing hands dawned suddenly. Hand sanitizers, face masks, disinfectants etc. are crucial components of our defense against the virus until a vaccine is found.
5th Sep 2020 - The Financial Express

Lockdown protesters defy police as Australia coronavirus cases ease

Protestors against a Covid-19 lockdown defied police in Australia's hotpsot on Saturday, prompting 15 arrests, even as the state of Victoria continued its gradual improvement in stemming new cases due to the nearly five weeks of restrictions
5th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: Australia extends ban on people leaving the country until December

A ban on Australians leaving the country because of the coronavirus pandemic has been extended until mid-December. The "Human Biosecurity Emergency Period" has been in place since March and prevents Australian citizens or permanent residents from leaving the nation's shores. It can only be circumvented with permission from the government, which must be approved beforehand. Residents of other countries, offshore freights and boats, essential workers and government officials are excluded from the measure, which also prevents international cruise ships with 100 or more passengers from docking on the country's ports.
5th Sep 2020 - Sky News

Brazil Hands Out So Much Covid Cash That Poverty Nears a Low

Brazil, which has suffered one of the world’s worst pandemic tolls, has responded to the crisis by distributing so much cash directly to citizens that poverty and inequality are approaching national historic lows. Some 66 million people, 30% of the population, have been getting 600 reais ($110) a month, making it the most ambitious social program ever undertaken in Brazil, a shocking shift under President Jair Bolsonaro who railed against welfare, dismissed the virus -- and now finds himself newly popular.
5th Sep 2020 - Bloomberg

In the Amazon, the coronavirus fuels an illegal gold rush — and an environmental crisis

Alessandro Souza is a gold hunter. He chases it deep into protected Indigenous lands in the Amazon rainforest, traveling days by foot and canoe, and doesn't emerge until his pockets are full. Sometimes he's gone two months. Sometimes six. The only certainty is that he'll be back, because hunting gold is his business, and business is booming. “Today’s market quote,” Souza messaged his WhatsApp group, Goldminers Without Borders, one recent day: Gold was going for nearly $1,800 an ounce. Souza posted an arrow pointing skyward.
5th Sep 2020 - The Washington Post

Indigenous communities in Brazil equipped with a “Covid-19 Alert” to keep track of the pandemic

Indigenous and environmental organizations in Brazil launched an app on Friday aimed at alerting indigenous communities to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in their lands. “The application maps and periodically updates the situation regarding the pandemic in cities within a 100 kilometer radius of indigenous lands,” said the Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB) and the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) in a joint statement. The app, called “Covid-19 Indigenous Alert” aims to help indigenous people identify areas with high infection rates. Provided free on the Android system, the app uses data from Brazil's health ministry, people working in the indigenous health system, leaders from indigenous organizations and the COIAB network.
5th Sep 2020 - MercoPress


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 4th Sep 2020

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Vic lockdown will last longer than China, Italy lockdowns if extended

If Victoria extends its lockdown for another two weeks it will have lasted 82 days which is longer than both China and Italy’s lockdowns, according to Sky News host Paul Murray. Italy has had 35,497 deaths with lockdown running for 58 days, China has had 4,634 deaths with lockdown running for 77 days whilst Victoria has had 576 deaths with lockdown due to end on September 13 having run for 68 days. A recent leak revealed the Victorian government may be planning to extend Victoria’s lockdown for a further two weeks, which would end Victoria’s lockdown after 82 days, a longer period than both Italy and China. “This bloke has failed, he failed to have a system that meant that the virus didn’t get out of hotel quarantine, and he has failed to stop it the second time around,” Mr Murray said.
3rd Sep 2020 - Sky News Australia

Australia's social distancing fatigue: 'Worrying' new figures show that fewer people are heeding safety warnings the longer lockdown goes

Australians are losing their will to maintain social distancing measures as restrictions arising from the coronavirus pandemic drag on, new data shows. Victoria is also the only state to maintain the highest level of vigilance as it fights its way through a second-wave of COVID-19 and harsh lockdown. The Australian National University (ANU) survey of more than 3,000 people showed 'worrying' trends related to physical distancing behaviour nationwide.
3rd Sep 2020 - Daily Mail


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 3rd Sep 2020

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CDC Directs Halt to Renter Evictions to Prevent Virus Spread

The Trump administration has issued a directive halting the eviction of certain renters though the end of 2020 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Federal, state and local governments have approved eviction moratoriums during the course of the pandemic for many renters, but those protections are expiring rapidly. A recent report from one think tank, the Aspen Institute, stated that more than 20 million renters live in households that have suffered COVID-19-related job loss and concluded that millions more are at risk of eviction in the next several months. The administration's action stems from an executive order that President Donald Trump issued in early August. It instructed federal health officials to consider measures to temporarily halt evictions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention followed up Tuesday by declaring that any landlord shall not evict any "covered person" from any residential property for failure to pay rent.
3rd Sep 2020 - Voice of America

Despite stringent lockdown, India's COVID-19 cases, deaths record fastest rise even as GDP plummets

The country's GDP contraction was the worst among many major economies Despite enforcing the most stringent lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19, the average daily cases and deaths in India are growing at the fastest pace in the world. Due to the severe restrictions between April and June, the economy took an unprecedented hit with the GDP contracting for the first time in decades in the April to June quarter.
2nd Sep 2020 - The Hindu

Coronavirus lockdown hurt Indian industries 'dramatically'

The Indian economy had been moderating even before the pandemic but the lockdown to curtail the spread of the virus dealt a further blow to industrial production and consumer spending, IHS Markit chief economist Rajiv Biswas told DW. But there are already some signs of a recovery.
2nd Sep 2020 - Deutsche Welle

Covid-19 ends Australia’s 28-year run without a recession

Australia has entered its first recession in almost three decades after Covid-19 battered the economy, which shrank a record 7 per cent in the June quarter. The decline in gross domestic product follows a fall of 0.3 per cent in the March quarter, marking two consecutive quarters of contraction — the technical definition of recession — according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. “The global pandemic and associated containment policies led to a 7 per cent fall in GDP for the June quarter. This is, by a wide margin, the largest fall in quarterly GDP since records began in 1959,” said Michael Smedes, ABS head of national accounts. The economic contraction was worse than expected, with economists forecasting a 6 per cent fall in the second quarter and a decline of just over 5 per cent on an annual basis. The ABS figures revealed that GDP fell 6.3 per cent in the 12 months to the end of June.
2nd Sep 2020 - The Financial Times

As Victoria endures prolonged coronavirus lockdown, mental health workers see devastating impacts of COVID-19

Many exhausted Victorian healthcare workers have been among the callers. They're experiencing burn-out and fatigue, and they're stressed about not being able to take time off work, Joy says. They have also raised concerns about the possibility of unknowingly contracting and passing on the virus.
2nd Sep 2020 - ABC News

Coronavirus despair forces girls across Asia into child marriage

Tens of thousands of girls across Asia are being forced into child marriage by desperate families plunged into poverty because of the coronavirus pandemic, as campaigners warn that years of progress tackling the practice is being undone. Child marriage has long been practised as part of tradition in communities from the Indonesian archipelago to India, Pakistan and Vietnam, but numbers had been decreasing as numerous initiatives worked to spread awareness of its dangers and encouraged access to education and women's health services.
2nd Sep 2020 - Al Jazeera English


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 2nd Sep 2020

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Coronavirus: Pupils 'months behind' and Rashford continues child poverty fight

The lockdown has left children in England three months behind in their learning, with boys and poor pupils worst hit, a survey of 3,000 head teachers and teachers suggests. The National Foundation for Educational Research says the learning gap between rich and poor pupils has grown by 46%. The Department of Education has said it's determined that children should not miss out because of coronavirus. Find out more here about the return to school and whether you have to send your child back.
1st Sep 2020 - BBC News

Lockdown's legacy on UK's poorest children: Richer pupils 46% further ahead than worse-off peers

Shocking new data lays bare devastating impact of lockdown on school children In a poll of 3,000 teachers and leaders, 98 per cent believe pupils are behind Teachers estimated on average that their pupils were three months behind Survey found gap between disadvantaged and well-off increased by 46 per cent
1st Sep 2020 - Daily Mail

Poland bans direct flights from Spain, Israel due to coronavirus fears

Poland is banning from Wednesday direct flights from 44 countries including Spain, Israel and Romania in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the Central European country, the government said on Tuesday. The United States, Malta, Montenegro, Mexico, Brasil, Argentina and India are also on the list of countries, but local media reported that Russia and China had been removed from it.
1st Sep 2020 - Reuters

Australia virus cases drop after lengthy Melbourne lockdown

Australia reported fewer than 100 new coronavirus cases Monday, the lowest number in two months as authorities appeared to bring an outbreak in the country's second-largest city under control. Victoria state, which has been battling a second wave of infections in Melbourne, recorded just 73 cases after peaking above 700 in late July, providing hope for a way out of a strict city-wide lockdown. Melbourne residents are currently enduring a raft of restrictions including an overnight curfew, while all non-essential businesses remain closed until at least September 13.
1st Sep 2020 - FRANCE 24

In China's Xinjiang, forced medication and citizens hosed down accompanies lockdown

When police arrested the middle-aged Uighur woman at the height of China's coronavirus outbreak, she was crammed into a cell with dozens of other women in a detention centre. There, she said, she was forced to drink a medicine that made her feel weak and nauseous, guards watching as she gulped. She and the others also had to strip naked once a week and cover their faces as guards hosed them and their cells down with disinfectant "like firemen," she said. "It was scalding," recounted the woman by phone from Xinjiang, declining to be named out of fear of retribution. "My hands were ruined, my skin was peeling." The government in China's far northwest Xinjiang region is resorting to draconian measures to combat the coronavirus, including physically locking residents in homes, imposing quarantines of more than 40 days and arresting those who do not comply.
1st Sep 2020 - New Zealand Herald

New Zealand lockdown led to biggest spike in welfare claims in modern history

The number of people claiming benefits grew by nearly 12% during New Zealand’s first month of lockdown, a new report has found, representing a demand for social welfare “unprecedented in modern history”, the government says. Analysis by the Ministry of Social Development showed the jump in April was the biggest monthly rise in 24 years, “noting that this period includes the global financial crisis and the Asian crisis”. New Zealand’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been globally lauded with fewer than 2,000 infections and just 22 deaths. But the economic consequences of multiple lockdowns have been catastrophic, say, economists, with unemployment figures forecast to peak as high as 26%, at worst estimate
1st Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Australia prisoners set fire in cells as virus lockdown sparks unrest

Inmates at a high-security Australian prison lit fires, smashed windows and flooded their cells with water, authorities said on Tuesday, after a lockdown sparked by a coronavirus outbreak resulted in a shortage of staff and services. The unrest began a day earlier at Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre in the city of Brisbane, four days after local media said the prison went into lockdown due to two staff testing positive to COVID-19. A shortage of replacement staff for those stood down to get tested for the virus had resulted in problems delivering basic services like meals and medication, the authorities said.
1st Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Ireland lifts local COVID-19 lockdown, national picture still 'uncertain'

Ireland lifted an extended local lockdown on Monday in the eastern county of Kildare ahead of schedule, but the whole country remains under some of Europe’s strictest COVID-19 restrictions. Ireland closed or limited business on Aug. 7 in three of its 26 counties - Kildare, Laois and Offaly - and their residents were barred from travelling outside their county. Ten days later, an uptick in coronavirus cases prompted a significant tightening in measures nationwide. Authorities cut to six the number of visitors allowed in a home, banned fans from all sport events and urged people to avoid public transport where they could.
1st Sep 2020 - Reuters UK


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 1st Sep 2020

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Philippines extends partial coronavirus curbs in Manila until Sept. 30

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday partial restrictions in and around the capital Manila will be kept for another month starting Sept. 1 to tackle a rising number of coronavirus cases and further expand hospital capacity.
30th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Brazil coronavirus deaths rise above 120,000

Brazil has registered another 758 novel coronavirus deaths over the last 24 hours and 41,350 new cases, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. The nation has now registered 120,262 coronavirus deaths and 3,846,153 confirmed cases. In terms of total deaths, Brazil is the hardest hit country in the world outside of the United States. However, daily new cases and deaths have begun to stabilize in recent weeks.
29th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern announces ‘level 2.5’ for Auckland

New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, left lockdown overnight and moved into what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described as “level 2.5” after just two new cases were announced on Sunday. Ms Ardern on Sunday thanked residents in the city after living through two and a half weeks of lockdown, but she has warned the government would raise levels again “if we need to”. “For Auckland, you are at a form of level two that I am going to call level 2.5,” Ms Ardern said. “It is designed to keep us on track with our elimination strategy at level two in the scenario we now have, but it will only work if people follow the guidance, I understand it is easy to become complacent.”
31st Aug 2020 - News.com.au


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 28th Aug 2020

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Poorest countries face lost decade due to Covid-19, says IMF

The shock waves from Covid-19 will lead to a lost decade for the world’s poorest countries unless they get concerted and urgent help, the International Monetary Fund has said. The Washington-based IMF said low-income developing countries (LIDCs) entered the pandemic in a vulnerable position and faced the prospect of their progress in poverty reduction over the past seven to 10 years being wiped out. In a blog, IMF economists called on the international community to adopt a seven-point plan so that poor countries could cope with Covid-19 and recover quickly. Growth, which averaged 5% in 2019, was likely to come to a standstill this year, the IMF said, adding that previous pandemics had left permanent scars. It backed a recent call from the World Bank president, David Malpass, for a more ambitious programme of debt relief that would move beyond repayment holidays to a reduction in the stock of debt.
27th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Global 'education emergency' due to Covid - UN

The U.N. children’s agency says at least a third of children couldn’t access remote learning when the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools, creating “a global education emergency.” At the height of lockdowns meant to curb the pandemic, nearly 1.5 billion children were affected by school closures, UNICEF said. “For at least 463 million children whose schools closed due to COVID-19, there was no such a thing as remote learning,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said. “The sheer number of children whose education was completely disrupted for months on end is a global education emergency,” she said in a statement. “The repercussions could be felt in economies and societies for decades to come.”
27th Aug 2020 - ABC News

Domestic violence has seen a shocking rise in lockdown – mothers will be in danger when children go back to school

At least 26 women have been killed during the coronavirus lockdown by domestic terrorisers – the youngest was two, the oldest 82. A woman was on the phone behind me at the supermarket, her voice loud and panicky. She was talking about a friend or relative who was dreading the reopening of schools: “He’ll start belting her again. Kicked her head in last time. Stopped when the kids were home.” Most parents are desperate to get their children back into the classroom. But for this woman – whoever she was – and many others too, as I later discovered – being alone with an abusive partner is as dangerous as being in a cage with a raging, wild beast. It was bad enough before the pandemic, when around two women per week were being killed by men they knew. The media often neglects to report these deaths. They died as they had lived, without dignity or due care. Look up the Counting Dead Women Project, which lists these homicide cases. It’s like walking into the saddest graveyard of buried bodies, whose stories will never be fully known.
27th Aug 2020 - iNews

WHO warns young people flouting lockdown rules could lead to spike in deaths of elderly this winter

As the winter months get nearer, a stark warning about a possible increase in coronavirus deaths has been issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). During a briefing on Thursday morning, WHO’s European regional director Hans Kluge warned that as youngsters stay in more during the colder months they may be more likely to spread coronavirus, especially if they visit multiple households. Kluge said there was growing evidence that young people were infecting people at social gatherings and said that this could result in increase hospitalisations and deaths. He said: "The younger people are not necessarily going to die from it but it's a tornado with a long tail…
27th Aug 2020 - YAHOO!

Argentina daily COVID-19 cases top 10,000 for first time

Argentina posted a record daily rise of 10,550 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the health ministry said, taking the total caseload to 370,188 as the country struggles to rein in the spread of infections while trying to ease open its crisis-hit economy. The grains producer, which imposed a strict lockdown in March that initially helped slow the spread of the virus, is now fast catching up with other hard-hit countries in the region, including neighbor Chile where new infections have slowed. Latin America has become the epicenter of the global pandemic, with the highest number of infections and deaths, while the region’s economy is set to plunge sharply this year pushing millions of people into poverty. The nightly report showed there had been 276 new COVID-19 fatalities in the 24-hour period since the previous evening’s count, taking the total to 7,839.
27th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Global report: Germany bans large events amid rise in Covid cases

Germany is to ban large events until the end of this year, amid fears of a resurgence in coronavirus cases and as the World Health Organization warned that Europe was entering “a tricky moment” as children go back to school. The chancellor, Angela Merkel, has set out a new package of measures in discussions with leaders of federal states. It comes amid a worrying rise of infection rates in Germany not seen since April, and a similar uptick in Italy and France. Under the new rules, German football fans will not be allowed back into stadiums until 2021, later than had been hoped. Regulations on mask-wearing will also be toughened. Mass gatherings including festivals, concerts and big sporting events will remain prohibited. The draft text allows for exceptions in regions with low virus numbers and where participants are all locals. But it goes against a suggestion by Germany’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, that Bundesliga football games might resume in October with socially distanced spectators.
27th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Gaza coronavirus lockdown extended by 72 hours after infections spread

Gaza will remain in lockdown at least until Sunday, health officials said on Wednesday after reporting two deaths and 26 COVID-19 cases in the first public outbreak of the coronavirus in the blockaded Palestinian enclave. As of two days ago, when the first four cases were discovered in a refugee camp in the 360 square-kilometre (140 square-mile) territory, and a 48-hour lockdown was imposed, there had been no infections outside border quarantine facilities for new arrivals. But by late on Wednesday, health officials said 26 people in several locations had tested positive for COVID-19 and two patients had died - a sign the world pandemic had penetrated Gaza’s forced isolation
27th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 27th Aug 2020

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Victorian economy could lose four years of growth due to virus lockdown

Lockdowns to stop the spread of coronavirus across Victoria could punch a $41 billion hole in the state's economy and drag it back to where it was in 2016 with fresh warnings its COVID-19 outbreak is holding back the entire nation. Forecasts from both the ANZ and the NAB suggest the Victorian economy will this year suffer the single largest economic hit of any state or territory on record that will also drive up unemployment and weigh on wages growth.
26th Aug 2020 - The Age

Ukraine bans foreigners, extends lockdown measures to fight COVID-19: government meeting

Ukraine on Wednesday imposed a temporary ban on most foreigners from entering the country until Sept. 28 and extended lockdown measures until the end of October to contain a recent spike in coronavirus cases. Speaking at a televised cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal also said the government would need to take a decision on Thursday on whether to ban major public events in September. “The rise in coronavirus infections we have seen in recent weeks is forcing us to act more decisively,” Shmygal said. The daily tally of new infections jumped to around 2,000 last week with a record high of 2,328 on Saturday. The total number of infections reached 110,085 on Wednesday, with 2,354 deaths.
26th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 26th Aug 2020

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Coronavirus lockdown set to stay across Blackburn and Pendle

Coronavirus restrictions in parts of East Lancashire are expected to continue when the Government reviews existing measures later this week, but will be more tightly targeted and focus on smaller areas. People in Oldham and in specific wards in Pendle and Blackburn were told not to socialise with anyone outside their household from midnight on Saturday. They were also advised to only use public transport if essential and numbers attending weddings, civil partnerships and funerals were restricted to up to 20.
25th Aug 2020 - Lancashire Telegraph

Coronavirus rates are falling in Greater Manchester after 3 weeks of lockdown

Coronavirus rates are now lower in Greater Manchester than they were at the start of the local lockdown, with the latest data suggesting a regional spike in cases has been reversed. Extra restrictions on the ten boroughs in the region have been in place for three full weeks after being announced on July 30. At the time the local lockdown was declared, infection rates were rising in all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester, and this trend continued broadly for the first two weeks after the measures were brought in. But in the third week, the upward trend hit a peak, and in many areas they have been falling sharply for the past seven days. Five of the boroughs now have weekly infection rates below 25 cases per 100,000 population - which means they are no longer on amber alert on the government watchlist. Tomorrow, local restrictions will be lifted in Wigan and the falling numbers in other boroughs suggest the measures may soon be removed in other areas of Greater Manchester.
25th Aug 2020 - Manchester Evening News

Eight in 10 poorer UK families feel worse off since lockdown – survey

Some families have abandoned balanced meals for lack of money during the coronavirus crisis, while many have faced physical and mental problems, according to a report. Researchers from the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and the Church of England (C of E) spoke to parents who said they had been forced to sell possessions to protect their children’s quality of life, and found that 80% of poorer families surveyed felt they had become worse off financially since the lockdown began. The findings underline the disproportionate strain being placed on the poorest households as the UK struggles to deal with the pandemic. In June the Resolution Foundation said that while many low-income families were turning to credit cards to get by under lockdown, many higher-income households were able to save more money as their costs fell.
25th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus hard lockdown of Melbourne public housing towers left residents feeling like 'criminals', inquiry hears

Victoria's hard lockdown of some of Melbourne's most vulnerable residents last month left the community feeling anxious, fearful and as if they were being "treated like criminals". The chaos and confusion at nine public housing towers is detailed in reports to a Victorian Ombudsman inquiry, revealing residents slept rough in their cars, ran out of food and supplies, while others reportedly self-harmed. 7.30 has obtained two legal submissions by the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre and Inner Melbourne Community Legal which are now representing residents.
25th Aug 2020 - ABC News

Victorian jobs slump amid stage 4 coronavirus lockdown, but 'COVID recession' bites elsewhere

Paula Evans, owner of boutique Tierra Alma in beachside Mordialloc, didn't need the Australian Bureau of Statistics to tell her about the epic economic pain of Melbourne's August lockdown. "It's been a really huge impact this time around with the stage 4 hitting Melbourne," she said. "I would say my business is down by 70 per cent." New data submitted to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) from payroll systems around the country show jobs fell 1 per cent in the month to August 8. But in Victoria, the hit was much harder.
25th Aug 2020 - ABC News

Northland towns quiet as Auckland lockdown extended

Northland's towns and tourist spots will remain quiet until Sunday night due to the government's extension of Covid-19 alert level 3 restrictions in Auckland. Businesses in the region say the last two weeks have been a grind without Auckland visitors spending. As essential workers, Checkpoint's Nick Truebridge and Nick Monro were allowed through the State Highway 1 roadblock to speak to Northlanders about how they're faring.
25th Aug 2020 - RNZ

Lockdown costs $1 billion as Government digs in heels over decision not to extend wage subsidy

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has dug in his heels about not extending the wage subsidy by four days to cover keeping Auckland in lockdown until Sunday night. He says struggling businesses had 22 weeks of support from the scheme - with the majority of that time in alert levels 2 and 1 with little or no restrictions. "We recognise this has been a tough time but there has been a lot of support provided." And in Parliament this afternoon, Robertson revealed Treasury estimates the two weeks of restrictions to contain the resurgence of Covid-19 caused a $1 billion hit to the economy with each week costing $500 million.
25th Aug 2020 - New Zealand Herald

Gaza in lockdown to try to contain its first COVID-19 outbreak

Gaza was in lockdown on Tuesday after the first cases of COVID-19 in the general population of the Palestinian enclave, whose restricted borders until now had helped spare it from an outbreak. Health authorities in the Hamas-controlled territory are concerned over the potentially disastrous combination of poverty, densely populated refugee camps and limited hospital facilities in dealing with an outbreak. A government spokesman said the four cases were uncovered after a woman travelled to the West Bank, where she tested positive. Four members of her family then tested positive in Gaza, the first cases outside quarantined border facilities. Interior Ministry spokesman Eyad al-Bozom said the family had been in contact with many other people in the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, and that the camp was now isolated from the rest of the 360 sq. km. territory.
25th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 25th Aug 2020

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Latin American women are disappearing and dying under lockdown

It’s a pandemic within the pandemic. Across Latin America, gender-based violence has spiked since COVID-19 broke out. Almost 1,200 women disappeared in Peru between March 11 and June 30, the Ministry of Women reported. In Brazil, 143 women in 12 states were murdered in March and April – a 22% increase over the same period in 2019. Reports of rape, murder and domestic violence are also way up in Mexico. In Guatemala, they’re down significantly – a likely sign that women are too afraid to call the police on the partners they’re locked down with. The pandemic worsened but did not create this problem: Latin America has long been among the world’s deadliest places to be a woman.
24th Aug 2020 - The Conversation

13 die in stampede at Peru disco after police raid building due to coronavirus concerns

Thirteen people died in a stampede at a disco in Peru after a police raid to enforce the country’s lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Sunday. The stampede happened at the Thomas disco in Lima, where about 120 people had gathered for a party on Saturday night, the Interior Ministry said. People tried to escape through the only door of the second-floor disco, trampling one another and becoming trapped in the confined space, according to authorities. After the stampede, police had to force open the door.
24th Aug 2020 - USA TODAY

Coronavirus lockdown forces Aussie Rules final out of Melbourne for first time

One of the most iconic fixtures on the Australian sporting calendar, the AFL “Grand Final”, will be played outside Melbourne for the first time in its history this year, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed on Monday. Melbourne remains in a strict lockdown after a second wave of COVID-19 cases and Andrews said an exception would not be made even for an event so important to Victorians that a public holiday is observed the day before it. “For the sake of one event — as important, as religious almost, as it is — the notion that you would take a holiday from the coronavirus for the day so we could have the grand final for a day and a dose of normal, that doesn’t make any sense,” he told a news conference in Melbourne.
24th Aug 2020 - Reuters

COVID-19 Victoria: What 116 cases means for lockdown stage 4

Victorians desperate for good news, for an end to the daily grind of home schooling and curfew and empty shops and deserted cities will look at today’s numbers with some optimism. There are 116 new coronavirus cases in the state, marking the lowest daily total in nearly two months. There are also, sadly, 15 more deaths. As the September 13 deadline looms for easing stage 4 lockdown, the Premier and the chief health officer are under pressure to give some certainty that businesses can reopen and that workers furloughed for three weeks already can go back to providing for their families.
24th Aug 2020 - NEWS.com.au

Australia's Victoria reports lowest rise in COVID-19 cases in seven weeks

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday extended a coronavirus lockdown in the country’s largest city until the end of the week and introduced mandatory mask wearing on public transport across the nation. Ardern said the four-day extension in the city of Auckland was critical to enable the country to step down its scale of emergency restrictions - and remain at less restrictive levels. “We want both confidence, and certainty for everyone,” Ardern said during a televised media conference. The Auckland lockdown, imposed on Aug. 11 after officials detected the country’s first locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in more than three months, had been scheduled to end on Wednesday. It will now end on Sunday night. The city’s step down from Level 3 to Level 2 restrictions will be made gradually from Monday, Ardern said.
24th Aug 2020 - Reuters


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 24th Aug 2020

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Will France be placed on Switzerland’s coronavirus quarantine list?

According to projections from the University of Geneva, arrivals from France may have to quarantine on arrival in Switzerland in the coming days. France’s infection rates have almost doubled in the previous week. The University of Geneva set up a forecasting model which predicts that the infection rate will continue to rise in the coming weeks, eventually crossing the Swiss government's quarantine threshold. They now stand at 43 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants - just shy of Switzerland’s quarantine threshold of 60 per 100,000. As of August 21st, there are more than 50 countries with an infection rate above Switzerland’s threshold of ‘high risk’.
23rd Aug 2020 - The Local Europe

UK records 1,041 new COVID-19 cases: government data

The United Kingdom recorded 1,041 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, down from 1,288 on Saturday, government figures showed. Six people died after testing positive for the coronavirus within the previous 28 days, compared with 18 deaths announced on Saturday.
23rd Aug 2020 - Reuters UK


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 21st Aug 2020

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Parents reveal challenges of caring for disabled children during lockdown

During the past five months, many parents of children with special educational needs have not had a moment’s respite. Despite the Government advising that schools should remain open for vulnerable children. Four parents of disabled children tell Susannah Butter and Katie Strick how school closures and the withdrawal of support in the Covid crisis left them with a battle to cope with children whose routines were turned upside down
20th Aug 2020 - Evening Standard

Melbourne's public housing tenants suffering in coronavirus lockdown

Nearly 150 complaints have been lodged with the Victorian ombudsman from residents of Melbourne’s public housing towers, with many reporting ongoing distress after last month’s hard lockdown to contain spread of COVID-19. Paramedics and COVID testing staff remain onsite at the commission flats in north Melbourne, a month after Victoria’s public housing towers became the epicentre of the state’s pandemic. Achol Aluier contracted the virus in the first wave, but with seven people living in her three bedroom flat, there was no way to contain the spread.
20th Aug 2020 - SBS

How Victoria could be a victim of its own lockdown success

An infectious disease expert has warned Victoria could be a victim of its own success after Premier Daniel Andrews said Stage 4 lockdown would not be lifted if testing rates continue to drop. While Victoria has recorded a decline in new daily coronavirus cases, showing signs Stage 4 is making an impact, Mr Andrews revealed this week testing had dropped 17 per cent in comparison to the previous week. Mr Andrews said on Wednesday there were 17,695 tests in the prior 24-hour period, while the state was recording more than 40,000 daily tests at the peak of the second wave. Mr Andrews said the state needed to be in a position where they were confident of knowing the levels of community transmission before they could enter a “new phase”. “The test numbers are too low for us to have clarity about just how much virus is out there,” he said.
20th Aug 2020 - YAHOO!

How Victoria's Covid-19 lockdown is devastating its economy

Before coronavirus, Victoria’s economy was powering ahead, but the tough lockdown as it endures a second wave has hit businesses hard. As companies close their doors and staff numbers are savagely cut, the state’s shutdown threatens to drag the rest of Australia even further into economic peril. Business correspondent Ben Butler explains how Victoria’s prosperity was dealt a succession of blows
20th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Colombia passes half a million coronavirus cases as deaths approach 16,000

Coronavirus cases in Colombia surpassed 500,000 on Wednesday as deaths from the virus approach 16,000 and the country nears the end of five months of lockdown. The Andean country has 502,178 confirmed cases of the virus according to the health ministry, with 15,979 reported deaths. Active cases number 158,893.
20th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK


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Coronavirus: Local lockdown in Aberdeen extended

A local lockdown in Aberdeen will be extended for another week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced. Pubs and restaurants were shut two weeks ago, and restrictions placed on travel and visits to other households, after a spike in Covid-19 cases linked to bars and nightlife in the city. Ms Sturgeon said the lockdown was having an impact - but that it was "not yet safe" to lift the restrictions. Aberdeen City Council said it did not support continuing the lockdown. A midweek review will be carried out on Sunday, and Ms Sturgeon said she hoped some restrictions could be eased next Wednesday.
19th Aug 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Depression in the UK officially doubled during lockdown

The number of people suffering from depression symptoms in the UK doubled when the country was under a COVID-19 lockdown, official figures show. Almost a fifth of British adults — 19.2 per cent — were likely to be experiencing some form of depression in June 2020, according to a survey of more than 3,500 people carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released on Tuesday. Prior to the pandemic, fewer than one in ten said so. "Today's research provides an insight into the mental health of adults during the coronavirus pandemic. Revisiting this same group of adults before and during the pandemic provides a unique insight into how their symptoms of depression have changed over time," Tim Vizard, the ONS' principal research officer, said in a statement.
19th Aug 2020 - Euronews

Lockdown makes life tougher for those in rehab

Ever since Victoria declared a state of emergency on 16 March, almost every event or gathering was cancelled or postponed so as to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While this was an inconvenience for some, it was a loss of income for others. But for an even smaller community, restrictions meant the loss of an essential tool needed for drug and alcohol recovery: social interaction. And now that Melburnians have entered into a six-week-long period of isolation with stage four restrictions in effect, it is going to be even tougher for those who require a strong social network to combat substance use.
19th Aug 2020 - Independent Australia

Ireland ramps up COVID-19 restrictions again as cases surge

Ireland significantly tightened its nationwide coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday to try to rein in a surge in cases, urging everyone to restrict visitors to their homes, avoid public transport and older people to limit their contacts. A spike in cases over the last three weeks, after Ireland had one of Europe’s lowest infection rates for several weeks, pushed its 14-day cumulative cases per 100,000 of population to 26, and led to the first local lockdown last week. The 190 new cases on Tuesday, the second highest daily rise since early May, took the rate of growth in the last two weeks to the fourth highest in Europe and meant infections would inevitably spread to the most vulnerable if it continued, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said.
19th Aug 2020 - Reuters

S. Korea tightens restrictions in Seoul area to tackle virus surge

South Korea on Tuesday ordered nightclubs, museums and buffet restaurants closed and banned large gatherings in and around the capital as a burst of new coronavirus cases sparked fears of a major second wave. The country's "trace, test and treat" approach to curbing the virus has been held up as a global model, but it is now battling several clusters mostly linked to Protestant churches. Authorities reported 246 new infections on Tuesday, taking South Korea's total to 15,761, the fifth consecutive day of triple-digit increases after several weeks with numbers generally in the 30s and 40s.
19th Aug 2020 - FRANCE 24


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Most parents are worried about their kids' educational growth in lockdown

Two-thirds of parents are worried their child will be below grade level in the fall — as a result of the classroom time lost due to COVID-19, according to new research. The survey of 2,000 parents with school-aged children revealed 65% are concerned about their child being behind due to the disrupted 2019-2020 school year. The average parent surveyed said their child lost about eight weeks of classroom learning at the end of the school year. And while the majority of parents said their child's district continued with distance learning for all or part of the rest of the school year — through video calls or educational worksheets — 13% said their child didn't have any form of continued distance education. Commissioned by The Genius of Play and conducted by OnePoll, the survey looked at what parents have done to keep their child learning this summer, and what their thoughts are for school starting back up in the fall.
18th Aug 2020 - Yahoo! News

Coronavirus: Fewest weekly deaths in England and Wales since lockdown began, latest figures show

England and Wales have recorded the lowest weekly number of deaths from coronavirus since lockdown was imposed towards the end of March, the latest figures show. There were 152 fatalities from Covid-19 in the week up to 7 August, according to the Office for National Statistics. It marks the lowest number of deaths from the disease since the week ending 20 March saw 103 fatalities – just before Boris Johnson brought in strict lockdown measures. The new figures also show that the UK’s true death toll – taking in up-to-date statistics from Scotland and Northern Ireland – has now surpassed 57,000 people, based on death certificates mentioning Covid-19.
18th Aug 2020 - The Independent


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The South West companies finding success during the Covid-19 pandemic and UK lockdown

The UK is in the deepest recession since records began and the West of England, like the rest of the country, is reeling from the impact of the pandemic. Businesses from all industries have been hit, with major sectors in the region such as aerospace, tourism, hospitality and retail particularly affected.
17th Aug 2020 - Business Live

Coronavirus: UK lockdown loneliness strikes women and younger workers most

Women and younger workers are the two groups most likely to have been adversely affected by feelings of loneliness while working remotely, according to a new study. Half of women and nearly three-quarters (74%) of younger workers said they had felt lonely in lockdown according to research conducted by Totaljobs. Social distancing, working from home and endless screen time has meant it is inevitable that experiences of loneliness will spike, the recruitment website said. The poll of 2,000 UK workers found that almost half (46%) of UK workers have experienced loneliness and social isolation during lockdown. More than half of workers agreed that the majority of their social interactions happened in the workplace. Employees are facing what Totaljobs calls a “social silence” when it comes to interactions with colleagues.
17th Aug 2020 - Yahoo Finance UK

Child marriages in Maharashtra soar during lockdown

When Mitali Sathe stepped out of her home in Latur decked in a yellow sari, the mehendi and green glass bangles gave her away. A member of an adolescent girls' protection group spotted the 15-year-old before her marriage to a man four decades her senior. After her elder sister's death, Mitali was the sacrificial bride on offer to the 50-year-old widower: he needed her to care for the children. With their earnings as seasonal labourers cut off and the daughter out of school due to the pandemic, Mitali's parents saw this as a way out. However, timely intervention halted the wedding and led to the suitor's arrest.
17th Aug 2020 - Times of India

Covid-19 lockdown extended in Bihar till September 6

The Bihar government has once again decided to extend the lockdown till September 6, owing to the rising cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the state. The state’s home department issued an order in this regard on Monday. The lockdown was imposed from July 16 to July 31 and later extended till August 16. The orders issued on July 30 for the containment of Covid-19 would be prevalent across the state. No public transport would be allowed to ply in areas falling under lockdown norms, but there would be no bar on construction activities besides transportation of goods, state officials said. Air and rail travel have been allowed to continue and offices, banks, and other offices would function with minimal staff strength, they added.
17th Aug 2020 - Hindustan Times

Lockdown deaths in India ignite debate on police brutality

For two and a half minutes the popular Indian radio DJ described in graphic detail what she said was the torture and killing of a father and son in police custody. The father was arrested for flouting coronavirus lockdown rules by keeping his mobile phone shop in southern India open past curfew, Suchitra Ramadurai alleged in a video posted to her Instagram. The man’s son went to check on him at the police station and both were beaten so badly they were still bleeding when they appeared before a judge the next day. Three days later, on June 23, they were both dead.
17th Aug 2020 - The Associated Press

Lockdown extended in Bihar till September 6 as Covid-18 cases spike

The Bihar government has extended the lockdown to control the spread of Sars-Cov-2, which causes Covid-19, till September 6 amid the rising number of cases in the state, according to a report on Monday. HT’s sister publication Hindustan said the home department issued the extension order after a high-level meeting. The order issued on July 30 will be effective, Hindustan reported. The previous order, which was issued till August 16 under which religious places in Bihar were not allowed to open, will stand. Prohibition on religious, political, social or cultural events and restrictions on bus services have been upheld. Commercial and private establishments have been allowed to open but parks, gyms and educational institutions will remain closed as before, Hindustan reported.
17th Aug 2020 - Hindustan Times on MSN.com


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Argentina sticks with COVID-19 lockdown focused in and around Buenos Aires

Argentina extended until Aug. 30 restrictions taken against the coronavirus, President Alberto Fernandez said on Friday, affirming that the country's lockdown would continue in its current form in an around capital city Buenos Aires.
16th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Argentina sticks with COVID-19 lockdown focused in and around Buenos Aires

Argentina extended until Aug. 30 restrictions taken against the coronavirus, President Alberto Fernandez said on Friday, affirming that the country’s lockdown would continue in its current form in an around capital city Buenos Aires.
16th Aug 2020 - Metro US

New Zealand COVID-19 outbreak grows, Australia still struggles

New Zealand on Saturday reported seven new cases of the coronavirus as a lockdown in the country’s biggest city, Auckland, was extended on Friday in response to the country’s first coronavirus outbreak in months. Six of the seven new cases have been linked to the cluster responsible for all the previous community cases, while one case was being investigated, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told a media briefing in Wellington. The new cases bring New Zealand’s total infections since the start of the year to 1258, while the number of currently active cases stands at 56. Twenty two people have died so far.
15th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Britons go green in lockdown lessons

Surveys have revealed an uptick in environmentally friendly behaviors during the lockdown in the United Kingdom, including gardening, cycling, and meal planning, and transport consultancy Sia Partners has reported a 60 percent reduction in passenger vehicle emissions. Research conducted by Manchester and Cardiff universities suggests that most Britons intend to maintain a greener lifestyle when society starts to open up again. Out of 1,800 people surveyed in the study, 63 percent said they spent nothing on clothes and footwear from March to May, up from 9 percent over the three months before lockdown. There has also been a marked increase in meal planning, a small but detectable reduction in meat consumption, and 92 percent of those surveyed said they are now wasting less food.
15th Aug 2020 - ChinaDaily USA

Coronavirus: New Zealand extends Auckland lockdown after cluster of COVID-19 cases found

Coronavirus restrictions in New Zealand's biggest city are being extended for another 12 days after more cases were discovered. New Zealand reported the new outbreak after more than 100 days since its last case was recorded, and had largely returned back to normal. But this week an Auckland family tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the city back in to a three-day lockdown, with freight being investigated as a possible cause.
14th Aug 2020 - Sky News

After 146 Days in Lockdown, Argentina’s Virus Problem Is Getting Worse

Argentina’s coronavirus fight is taking a turn for the worse as the nation that implemented one of Latin America’s strictest lockdowns sees deaths surge anyway. South America’s second-largest economy reported 303 Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, a record that was double the prior day’s tally. It’s quickly climbing in the ranks among the deadliest outbreaks over the past week on a per capita basis. In the past seven days, Argentina reported 22.5 deaths per million people compared with 28.1 in Brazil and 23.4 in the U.S., the world’s biggest hot spots. Total deaths have now surpassed 5,000 since the pandemic began. Worse still, concerns are mounting that real case and death tallies may actually be much higher. The number of coronavirus tests coming back positive has been hovering around 40% for the past week, similar levels to Mexico where testing levels have been deemed insufficient. The World Health Organization recommends that countries aim for 5% or less for 14 days straight before reopening economies
14th Aug 2020 - BNNBloomberg


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UK's poorest 'skip meals and go hungry' during coronavirus crisis

The coronavirus pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on the nutritional health of the UK’s poorest citizens with as many as one in 10 forced to use food banks, and vast numbers skipping meals and going hungry, according to the government’s food safety watchdog. Food insecurity has shot up even further since lockdown as people’s income reduced, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said, heightening the risk both of malnutrition and obesity as struggling families adopted highly restrictive “basic sustenance” diets that largely cut out healthy foods.
13th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Longer lockdown drove UK to one of deepest recessions in Europe

The UK can now claim the dubious distinction of having suffered one of the highest death tolls from coronavirus in Europe — and also one of the deepest recessions. The second quarter’s 20.4 per cent fall in gross domestic product, shown in official data on Wednesday, was the biggest drop in output in any main European economy over the period. Although a recovery from April’s low point picked up speed in June, output remains 22.1 per cent below its level at the end of 2019. This makes it the sharpest recession in the G7, and second only to Spain among European peers over the first half of the year — a period that captures national lockdowns that began earlier in some countries.
13th Aug 2020 - Financial Times

Goa Lockdown News: Police to Crackdown on Night Parties Amid Pandemic as Section 144 Continues to be Imposed

The top cop's comments came days after a house party organised at a villa in the coastal village of Arpora turned into a streetside brawl after youngsters attending the event got embroiled in a brawl with a local gang.
13th Aug 2020 - India.com

Coronavirus in India: Did men do more housework during lockdown?

Dr Rahul Nagar, a Delhi-based dermatologist, says there's always been "a very clear division of labour" in his home. His wife, also a doctor, did the cooking and was the primary carer for their child. Like most middle-class Indians, they employed a part-time help who did the cleaning and dishes, while Dr Nagar did little bits and pieces. But then came the pandemic - and as Covid-19 cases began to rise, India went into a strict lockdown and their domestic helper was unable to come to work. "Pre-lockdown, for every five hours of work my wife did, I did one hour. But this pandemic has been a bolt from the blue," says Dr Nagar.
13th Aug 2020 - BBC News

Cancer cases surge amid COVID-19 lockdowns

Hundreds of Australians are at great risk of cancer and other serious illnesses because fear of COVID-19 and the current lockdowns has been keeping people from seeking medical help. Chief Medical Officer at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre David Speakman said there would likely be “a wave of diagnosis from cancer and a whole lot of other medical conditions that have been missed or not attended to because of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Cancer Council Australia reported a 40 per cent drop off in cancer referrals than was usual at this time of year. Mr Speakman told Sky News host Chris Kenny people had been ignoring symptoms and choosing not to see a doctor for fear of contracting the killer virus.
13th Aug 2020 - Sky News Australia

Portugal keeps Lisbon under stricter COVID curbs until end-August

The Portuguese capital and its surrounds will remain under tougher anti-coronavirus restrictions than the rest of the country until at least the end of August, the government said on Thursday. Portugal has reported 53,223 infections and 1,764 deaths from the coronavirus, much lower than many other European countries including neighbouring Spain, where more than 28,500 have died. But although the sunny southern European nation initially won praise for its quick response to the pandemic, a steady count of several hundred new cases per day in and around Lisbon in June and July, after the end of a nationwide lockdown, prompted authorities to re-impose some curbs. Even as the number of infections in Lisbon has fallen again, the government wants to take it slow, especially when some of Europe’s top soccer teams are in the city for a special ‘Final Eight’ UEFA Champions League mini-tournament.
13th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK


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Worst recession on record strikes UK as coronavirus lockdown shrinks economy by 20 per cent

The UK’s economy has fallen into the worst recession on record, with coronavirus pushing down spending and output. Between April and June, the size of the economy reduced by 20.4 per cent, according to data released by the ONS.
12th Aug 2020 - iNews

India's COVID-19 lockdown threatens efforts to stop spikes in child marriage

When the police knocked on the door as 15-year-old Muskaan prepared to head to the temple in their village in northern India, the bride-to-be was distraught. With a sick father and unemployed brother, Muskaan believed that getting married to a distant relative’s son would alleviate the financial burden on her family and offer a better future. Yet a tip-off to the authorities in June by local activists concerned about a spike in early marriages during India’s coronavirus lockdown led to Muskaan’s wedding being called off, while her parents were charged under child marriage legislation. “When my father fixed my marriage, I agreed,” Muskaan, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, said by phone from her village in Jaunpur district in Uttar Pradesh. Yet she said she would have preferred to go to school if possible.
12th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Dutch government plans to tighten coronavirus quarantine measures

The Dutch health minister plans to introduce mandatory home quarantine for people identified by local authorities as having been in close contact with somebody infected with coronavirus, and for travellers returning from high-risk countries. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said in a letter to politicians that mandatory quarantine could be imposed if people refuse to isolate voluntarily. The move comes amid rising infection rates in the Netherlands and an unwillingness among some people to adhere to social-distancing measures and cooperate with contact tracing. "Mandatory quarantine is a tough measure but justified. Quarantine stops the spread of the virus so sticking to the rules is crucial," Mr de Jonge wrote.
12th Aug 2020 - The Irish News

Peru's President: Nationwide curfew on Sundays to prevent COVID-19 contagion

President Martin Vizcarra on Wednesday announced the return of mandatory social immobilization (curfew) on Sundays due to a rebound in COVID-19 infections in Peru. In this sense, the Head of State affirmed that the corresponding Supreme Decree will be published in the official gazette El Peruano on Thursday. It will prohibit family and friends meetings that usually take place on the seventh day of the week. "Starting this Sunday, we are going to return to mandatory immobilization on Sundays. We think that it is preferable to take a step back, only on Sundays, in order to generate a sense of responsibility for all and then regain the conditions that we all would like to have," he expressed.
12th Aug 2020 - Andina - Agencia Peruana de Noticias


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France extends ban on mass gatherings to October 30: PM

The renewed spread of coronavirus in France could become harder to control without a collective effort to stop a rise in the infection rate, its prime minister said on Tuesday. The public was becoming careless, Jean Castex warned, speaking shortly before health authorities said new daily infections were up by 1,397 over 24 hours, almost twice as much as Monday, to reach 204,172. “If we don’t act collectively, we expose ourselves to the heightened risk that the rebound in the epidemic becomes hard to control,” Castex said during a visit to a hospital intensive care ward in southern France. A health ministry statement also reported 15 new deaths in hospital due the disease, compared to an increase of 16 over a three-day period between Monday and Saturday, with the total death toll standing at 30,354.
11th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Bhutan in virus lockdown for the first time

Bhutan has been largely shielded from coronavirus but on Tuesday, the remote Himalayan kingdom famous for measuring gross national happiness went into lockdown for the first time. The country of 800,000 people between India and China has recorded just 113 novel coronavirus cases and is one of the few nations to report zero deaths. The lockdown ordered in the early hours of Tuesday allows only essential services for an initial five to six days, said Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, a doctor who continues to practise on weekends.
11th Aug 2020 - Medical Xpress

Bhutan orders first coronavirus lockdown as cases hit 113

Bhutan ordered its first nationwide lockdown on Tuesday after a returning resident tested positive for coronavirus after being discharged from quarantine and coming into close contact with people in the capital Thimphu. The case took the total in the tiny Himalayan kingdom to 113, still the lowest in South Asia, and it has yet to record a fatality. Bhutan, which is heavily reliant on high-end tourists, banned tourism in March after an American visitor tested positive for the virus, and ordered a three week mandatory quarantine for everyone returning from abroad. The lockdown was ordered after a 27-year-old Bhutanese woman, who returned from Kuwait and was discharged from quarantine after testing negative, tested positive at a clinic on Monday.
11th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Bhutan in virus lockdown for the first time

Bhutan has been largely shielded from coronavirus but on Tuesday, the remote Himalayan kingdom famous for measuring gross national happiness went into lockdown for the first time. The country of 800,000 people between India and China has recorded just 113 novel coronavirus cases and is one of the few nations to report zero deaths. The lockdown ordered in the early hours of Tuesday allows only essential services for an initial five to six days, said Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, a doctor who continues to practise on weekends.
11th Aug 2020 - Medical Xpress


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Coronavirus: Australia records deadliest day but fewer new infections

Australia has recorded its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic amid a second wave of infections in Melbourne. Victoria state - of which Melbourne is the capital - reported 19 deaths on Monday. Victoria has now seen about two-thirds of Australia's total 314 deaths and approximately 21,400 cases. But the number of daily infections - though still in the hundreds - has dropped in recent days, prompting hope that a strict lockdown is working. Melbourne's second lockdown began over a month ago, but residents have been subject to a night-time curfew and stricter requirements since 3 August.
10th Aug 2020 - BBC News


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97,000 children reportedly test positive for COVID-19 as schools gear up for instruction

Nearly 100,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks of July, a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics finds. Just over 97,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus from July 16 to July 30, according to the association. Out of almost 5 million reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S., CBS News' Michael George reports that the group found that more than 338,000 were children. Vanderbilt University's Dr. Tina Hartert hopes increased testing of children will help determine what role they play in transmission, as school districts around the country return to some form of school. She is leading a government-funded study that saw DIY testing kits sent to some 2,000 families.
9th Aug 2020 - CBS News

Whitmer extends coronavirus emergency through Sept. 4

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday extended Michigan’s coronavirus emergency through Sept. 4, enabling her to keep in place restrictions designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. The governor, whose administration earlier this week said new cases had recently plateaued, noted that they still remain higher than nearly two months ago and that many students will return to in-person instruction over the next month. The seven-day statewide average is up six-fold since June 10, to about 700 cases per day, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. The rate of tests coming back positive also has trended higher since early June.
7th Aug 2020 - Associated Press

El Salvador supreme court rebukes president's decree to reopen economy

The constitutional chamber of El Salvador’s Supreme Court of Justice on Friday declared an executive decree that would establish protocols for the gradual reopening of the economy as unconstitutional. President Nayib Bukele and Congress have clashed over how to manage the pandemic and the country’s gradual reopening. Bukele had released an executive decree on July 29 that set out a calendar for a gradual reopening of the poor Central American economy. But in its ruling, the court stated that the new measures “contradict constitutional parameters established” earlier to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
8th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Eerie sight of thousands of freshly dug graves in Johannesburg cemetery

Fresh graves were photographed at Olifantsveil Cemetery outside Johannesburg. South Africa is not coping with its high amount of coronavirus cases and deaths. Experts believe there are many more cases and deaths going unreported in SA
8th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail


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Colombia's long virus lockdown fuels anxiety and depression

In the Colombian capital of Bogotá, the mayor’s office reports that suicide attempts are up 21% since the start of quarantine, with psychologists also reporting a rise in new patients.
6th Aug 2020 - Buenos Aires Times

The South Koreans left behind in a contact-free society

Digital technology has helped South Koreans cope with the pandemic. But the elderly have been left behind in the new contact-free era. Like many people around the world, Lee Ye-rin has spent most of the last few months alone at home. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 32-year-old office worker now works remotely from her apartment in Seoul; she avoids going to the gym by training at home and streams films on her TV rather than going to the cinema. She reads e-books instead of going to the library, which has been closed during the pandemic anyway. “I have rarely eaten out since the outbreak,” Lee says. “Instead, I order a variety of takeaway meals and even ice-cream for dessert on a delivery app. When I am fed up with that, I order ingredients from the grocery store and cook at home.”
6th Aug 2020 - BBC News

N. Korea's escalating virus response raises fear of outbreak

North Korea is quarantining thousands of people and shipping food and other aid to a southern city locked down over coronavirus worries, officials said, as the country’s response to a suspected case reinforces doubt about its longstanding claim to be virus-free. But amid the outside skepticism and a stream of North Korean propaganda glorifying its virus efforts, an exchange between the country and the United Nations is providing new clarity — and actual numbers — about what might be happening in North Korea, which has closed its borders and cut travel — never a free-flowing stream — by outsider monitors and journalists.
6th Aug 2020 - The Associated Press

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un directs aid to town under lockdown over 'virus concerns'

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un directed his government agencies to act immediately to stabilise the livelihoods of residents in a city locked down over coronavirus concerns, state media reported Thursday. North Korea declared an emergency and locked down Kaesong near the inter-Korean border in late July after finding a suspected virus case there. It hasn't confirmed yet if the person tested positive and still says the country hasn't had a single case of COVID-19, a claim questioned by outside experts.
6th Aug 2020 - The New Indian Express

Strict lockdown measures raise suspicions of virus outbreak in North Korea

North Korea is quarantining thousands of people and shipping food and other aid to a southern city locked down over coronavirus worries, officials said, as the country’s response to a suspected case reinforces doubt about its longstanding claim to be virus-free. But amid the outside scepticism and a stream of North Korean propaganda glorifying its virus efforts, an exchange between the country and the United Nations is providing new clarity — and actual numbers — about what might be happening in North Korea, which has closed its borders and cut travel — never a free-flowing stream — by outsider monitors and journalists.
6th Aug 2020 - The Asian Age

Proportion of COVID-19 contacts reached by English tracing scheme falls

The proportion of the contacts of positive COVID-19 cases reached by England’s test and trace system fell in its latest week, the health ministry said, adding that the decline was partly due to local health protection teams handling outbreaks. The Department of Health said 4,642 positive cases were transferred to the system in the week to 29 July, of whom 79.4% were reached and asked to provide their contacts. Some 19,150 people were identified as coming into close contact with someone who had tested positive and of these 72.4% were reached and asked to self-isolate, it said, a decrease from 76.2% in the previous week
6th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK


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Lockdown having 'pernicious impact' on LGBT community's mental health

The coronavirus lockdown has provoked a mental health crisis among the LGBTQ community, with younger people confined with bigoted relatives the most depressed, researchers found. A study of LGBTQ people’s experience during the pandemic, by University College London (UCL) and Sussex University, found 69% of respondents suffered depressive symptoms, rising to about 90% of those who had experienced homophobia or transphobia. Around a sixth of the 310 respondents to the Queerantine study said they had faced discrimination during the pandemic because of their sexuality. The rate rose to more than a third among those living in homes where they were not open about their identity. Almost 10% of people reported they felt unsafe in their homes. The study’s co-author, Laia Bécares, deputy director of the centre for innovation and research in wellbeing at Sussex University, said the pandemic was having a “pernicious impact” on the LGBTQ community’s mental health, with younger trans and non-binary people suffering more discrimination and reporting the highest levels of depression.
5th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

America must readjust as lockdown bites business

The rash of cold feet has not generally extended beyond the US. Globally, only 593 deals had been withdrawn, down 9 per cent year on year. That’s partly because laws outside America make it much harder for a buyer to claim conditions have changed so much that it justifies pulling out of a deal. The Takeover Panel, which governs British M&A, made this abundantly clear back in 2001, when it knocked back WPP’s claim that it should be allowed to drop its offer for Tempus because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. US-based payments group WEX is due in a British court in September to test that high barrier as it tries to break its deal to purchase two systems from Travelport, citing the pandemic. Lawyers say that they would be surprised to see many European deals falter because of Covid-19. “Europe is still a market where if you do a deal, you are locked-in,” says one top M&A lawyer. “People are looking not at walkaway rights but at financial adjustments.”
5th Aug 2020 - Financial Times

'I had to hide myself again': young LGBT people on their life in UK lockdown

The experiences of LGBTQ people across the UK during lockdown have been as diverse as the community itself. Married and cohabiting older gay men and lesbians have mainly felt the pandemic has had no more impact on them than on their heterosexual peers. But for many of the more than 200 respondents to the Guardian’s callout, the past few months have brought significant challenges, including weeks of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, increased isolation and deteriorating mental health. Younger LGBTQ people reported that lockdown meant being confined with families who were unsupportive or hostile. Kate, a 24-year-old bisexual demi-girl, meaning she identifies as a woman but not completely, said moving from her flat in Glasgow back into her childhood home in Ayrshire had meant hiding her sexuality again.
5th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Uganda's tough approach curbs COVID, even as Africa nears 1 million cases

Uganda’s crumbling public hospitals, doctors’ strikes and corruption scandals make its success in the fight against the new coronavirus all the more unlikely. But the nation of 42 million people has recorded just over 1,200 cases and five deaths since March, a strikingly low total for such a large country. As the number of cases in Africa approaches one million, Uganda’s experience shows what can be accomplished when a government with a firm grip on power acts quickly and enforces a strict lockdown. But its success came at a cost, critics say. Jobs were lost, and economic growth is set to plunge to as low as 0.4% in 2020, from 5.6% last year, according to the World Bank.
5th Aug 2020 - Reuters

N.Y., N.J. and Conn. to require travelers from 35 states to quarantine

Travelers from 35 states are now required to quarantine for 14 days when traveling to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, per New York state's health department. What's new: New York City will set up bridge and tunnel checkpoints to enforce the quarantine order, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, per the Wall Street Journal. Why it matters: The tri-state area, the original hub of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., has successfully flattened its curve and is reopening. Officials fear, however, that the surge of cases in others states across the country could erase progress.
5th Aug 2020 - Axios.com

India's fatality rate hits its lowest since first lockdown despite case surge in some states

The Union Health Ministry in India announced that the country is now registering its lowest Covid-19 fatality rate since the first national lockdown was imposed in March. The fatality rate dropped to 2.1 percent while the recovery rate is now double the number of active cases, a good indicator that the country is on the right track in its battle with Covid-19. Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Rajesh Bhushan, stated “This is the first time after the first lockdown that the fatality rate is at its lowest, at 2.1 percent. The fatality rate has seen a progressive decline and it is continuing, which is a good sign".
5th Aug 2020 - AS English


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Lack of special border measures before UK coronavirus lockdown was 'serious mistake'

The government’s failure to impose special border measures such as mandatory self-isolation in the run-up to the UK coronavirus lockdown was “a serious mistake” that significantly increased the pace and scale of the epidemic, MPs have concluded in a damning report. Between January and mid-March, non-mandatory guidance to self-isolate for 14 days was issued to travellers from designated high-risk countries, including China, Iran and Italy, but not Spain. Yet on 13 March this guidance was withdrawn. Evidence suggests thousands of new infections were brought in from continental Europe in the 10 days between the withdrawal of guidance and the introduction of lockdown on 23 March, the home affairs select committee says in the report. “It is highly likely that this contributed to the rapid increase in the spread of the virus in mid-March and to the overall scale of the outbreak in the UK,” the MPs say.
4th Aug 2020 - The Guardian


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Less than half of people in England understand current lockdown rules

Levels in Scotland and Wales have also fallen but are higher than those in England, with reported levels of understanding at 75% and 61% respectively. Complete understanding has fallen even further, with only 14% of adults in England reporting understanding the rules completely as lockdown eased, compared to 18% in Wales and 27% in Scotland.
3rd Aug 2020 - Medical Xpress


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California becomes first state to hit half a million coronavirus cases

More than half a million people have tested positive for the coronavirus in California, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. California is the first U.S. state to hit 500,000 cases. More than 9,000 people have died from coronavirus in California, and more than 6,000 people are currently in the hospital or an intensive care unit, according to state data published Friday morning. In mid-July, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced new restrictions to try and ease the spread of the virus. Bars, breweries, restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and other indoor businesses that "encourage mixing of individuals beyond immediate households and make physical distancing and wearing face coverings difficult" were ordered to close. Counties that are on the state's monitoring list for three or more consecutive days were also ordered to close indoor operations, including fitness centers, places of worship, indoor protests, personal care services, salons, and malls.
1st Aug 2020 - CBS News

Fewer than half of adults understand the current coronavirus lockdown rules, study suggests

Fewer than half of people in England understand the current coronavirus rules, a study has revealed. Researchers found that as measures eased at different rates across the UK, levels of understanding of what is and what is not permitted dropped, particularly among younger adults. University College London (UCL) research conducted on more than 70,000 adults showed that 45 per cent only had a “broad understanding” of the current rules in place.
1st Aug 2020 - Evening Standard

Spike in Covid-19 cases puts reopening of pubs at risk amid worries over spread of virus

Pubs may have to agree to shorter opening times and limits on customer numbers as a price for reopening. Acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said at least 19 cases over the two days have been identified as community transmission with an unknown source, while 20 cases remain under investigation. "We may be beginning to see more cases which we cannot link to outbreaks or close contacts. The National Public Health Emergency Team will continue to monitor this situation closely over the coming days," he said. The Irish Dog Foods factory in Naas, which was the centre of a large outbreak, remained closed yesterday for a deep clean
1st Aug 2020 - Independent.ie

Germany adds 3 coronavirus-hit Spanish regions to quarantine list

Germany on Friday (July 31) added three northern Spanish regions to its list of high-risk destinations, meaning anyone arriving from those areas will have to produce a negative coronavirus test or go into quarantine for 14 days. Germany's Foreign Ministry said it had toughened up its warning against travel to the regions of Catalonia, Navarre and Aragon following a spike in Covid-19 cases there. The move comes after Germany's Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control added the three regions to its high-risk list.
31st Jul 2020 - The Straits Times


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Community Circles: The lockdown lifesavers connecting hundreds across Lancashire

When you’re an organisation dedicated to helping people connect and come together to explore hobbies, interests, and experiences together, a global pandemic resulting in lockdown and social distancing can safely be described as a bit of an issue.
30th Jul 2020 - Lancashire Post

Coronavirus: Why some people want to keep working from home

Bedrooms, kitchen counter-tops and dining tables became the new way of working for millions of people. According to the ONS, 30% of adults in the UK were exclusively working from home at the start of July. From 1 August, employers in England can allow staff back into offices at their own discretion when they feel it's safe to do so. But now it's time to return to those communal workplaces, research from Eskenzi suggests that 91% of the UK's office workers would like to work from home at least part of the time. So why are so many office staff keen to keep working from home?
30th Jul 2020 - BBC News


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Another escape from managed isolation in Auckland

The Minister in charge of isolation facilities Megan Woods says another person managed to escape from the Crowne Plaza in Auckland after tailgating a staff member. She said the man was apprehended by police after only making it 50 metres from the hotel. "They didn't even make 50 metres. Security and the police were on to it and it really does show the work of having the police on site. "They could be immediately brought back into the facility. This is an example of the systems working as they should.
30th Jul 2020 - RNZ

North Korea tells foreigners in capital to follow rules amid coronavirus crackdown

Following the announcement that North Korea is investigating its first possible coronavirus case, authorities reminded foreigners living in Pyongyang to abide by anti-coronavirus measures, the Russian embassy there said on Wednesday. North Korea’s foreign ministry circulated a notice on Tuesday telling foreigners not to leave the city, hold large meetings, and to wear masks, among other rules, the embassy said in a post on its Facebook page. North Korea declared a state of emergency and introduced tougher curbs against the coronavirus, state media reported, after it locked down the town of Kaesong, on the border with the South, to tackle what could be its first publicly confirmed infection.
29th Jul 2020 - Reuters

International students turn to food banks in lockdown

Hundreds of international students in the UK have turned to food banks after part-time work and funding from families dried up during lockdown. Some have been unable to pay their course fees and have been threatened with suspension by their universities which would result in their visas being cancelled. The Newham Community Project in east London, volunteers are feeding up to 600 students, most in their early 20s. "They're going through a lot of hardship," says organiser Elyas Ismail. "This is their first time abroad," he adds. "They're in a bad way."
29th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Kazakhstan extends coronavirus lockdown until mid-August

Kazakhstan has extended its lockdown over the novel coronavirus for two more weeks until mid-August and the restrictions will then be eased gradually, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Wednesday.
29th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Colombia coronavirus quarantine to be extended until Aug 30

Colombia’s national lockdown to curb infections of the new coronavirus will be extended by one month until the end of August, President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday. The Andean country has reported more than 267,300 coronavirus cases and 9,074 deaths. “Obligatory preventative isolation, as the general concept, will continue until August 30,” Duque said in his nightly broadcast. This is the eighth time the lockdown has been extended. Duque declared a national lockdown in late March to slow the spread of coronavirus across the Andean country.
29th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Victoria announces more than 700 new Covid-19 cases, 13 deaths

The 723 cases mark the highest daily tally of the pandemic in the Australian state, shattering the previous single-day total by almost 200 cases. Today, 13 new deaths were announced, another daily high. They were three men and three women in their 70s, three men and two women in their 80s, and two men in their 90s. From midnight Sunday, face coverings will be mandatory throughout Victoria. The government will also impose restrictions on face-to-face gatherings in some regional local government areas from midnight tonight. "It's inconvenient, it's challenging, but it's essentially stage four for Melbourne, and it's something we can do in regional Victoria without causing significant economic cost, but getting a really significant public health benefit," Premier Daniel Andrews said at a media briefing.
29th Jul 2020 - RNZ

Covid-19: New Victoria cases to be 'doorknocked' by military - Premier

The 723 cases mark the highest daily tally of the pandemic in the Australian state, shattering the previous single-day total by almost 200 cases. Today, 13 new deaths were announced, another daily high. They were three men and three women in their 70s, three men and two women in their 80s, and two men in their 90s. From midnight Sunday, face coverings will be mandatory throughout Victoria. The government will also impose restrictions on face-to-face gatherings in some regional local government areas from midnight tonight. "It's inconvenient, it's challenging, but it's essentially stage four for Melbourne, and it's something we can do in regional Victoria without causing significant economic cost, but getting a really significant public health benefit," Premier Daniel Andrews said at a media briefing.
29th Jul 2020 - Radio New Zealand

Leicester lockdown decision deadline changed by Government

The deadline for a decision to be made on future of the Leicester lockdown has been moved forward to July 30. The original date the Government said it would review restrictions in the city and Oadby and Wigston by was Saturday, August 1. The last review also took place on a Thursday, which could explain why the date has been changed.
28th Jul 2020 - Leicestershire Live


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North Korea steps up coronavirus prevention after first possible infection

North Korea introduced tougher curbs against the coronavirus on Tuesday, state media reported, after it locked down the town Kaesong, on the border with the South, to tackle what could be its first publicly confirmed infection.
28th Jul 2020 - Reuters

UK lockdown life: Binge eating, more alcohol, less exercise

People have been binge eating, drinking more, exercising less and suffering increased anxiety during COVID-19 lockdowns, according to preliminary findings of a UK study on Monday, with knock-on impacts likely on rates of obesity and mental illness. An online survey of around 800 adults in England who were asked about their health and habits during late June and early July found a stark rise in negative mental health, coupled with unhealthy eating and drinking, poor sleep and less exercise. Younger adults appeared to be disproportionately suffering from sadness and anxiety, while 46% of survey participants said they had been less active during lockdown. Many also reported binge eating or said they were eating more unhealthy, processed snacks and drinking more alcohol.
28th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK


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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.
27th Jul 2020 - Manchester Evening News

'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
27th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

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.
27th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

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.
27th Jul 2020 - The Independent

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.
26th Jul 2020 - Sydney Morning Herald

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.
26th Jul 2020 - The Independent

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.
26th Jul 2020 - The Guardian


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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.
25th Jul 2020 - The New York Times

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.
26th Jul 2020 - Voice of America

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.
26th Jul 2020 - Arab News

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
25th Jul 2020 - ITV News

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.
26th Jul 2020 - Deccan Herald


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Coronavirus: Domestic abuse helpline sees lockdown surge

More than 40,000 calls and contacts were made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline during the first three months of lockdown, most by women seeking help, new figures show. In June, calls and contacts were nearly 80% higher than usual, says the charity Refuge, which runs the helpline. And as restrictions ease, there is a surge in women seeking refuge places to escape their abusers, the charity says. The government says it prioritised help for domestic-abuse victims in lockdown.
23rd Jul 2020 - BBC News

Women did majority of childcare in UK lockdown, study finds

Women did significantly more in terms of childcare during lockdown compared to men, new figures reveal. According to a study from the Office for National Statistics, women in households with children under 18 carried out an average of more than three hours a day of childcare compared to just two hours for men. The research also found that one in three women home-schooling their children in lockdown said their mental health had suffered as a result.
23rd Jul 2020 - The Independent

Ukraine extends lockdown until Aug. 31

Ukraine’s government on Wednesday extended a nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic until Aug. 31, but it will allow separate regions to ease the regime if warranted. Ukraine imposed strict restrictions in March and partially eased them in May to help an economic recovery. The government extends the lockdown monthly, requiring people to wear masks and adhere to strict norms in restaurants and public places. But there have been worryingly high levels of new infections in recent weeks, which authorities attribute to a reluctance to wear masks and observe social distancing.
23rd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Turkish parliament gives Erdogan authority to extend layoff ban for a year

Turkey’s parliament on Thursday approved a law allowing President Tayyip Erdogan to extend a layoff ban imposed to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic until July 2021. The layoff ban was first imposed in April for three months. With the new law, Erdogan will be allowed to extend the ban by three months each time until June 30, 2021.
23rd Jul 2020 - Reuters


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British pupils 'struggled to continue learning at home'

A majority of British children struggled to continue learning at home during the lockdown, a report says. The Office for National Statistics research found that of the 52% who struggled, three-quarters of parents gave a lack of motivation as a reason. The research, based on weekly household surveys between April and June, also found women's well-being was being more adversely affected than that of men. It also showed wide disparities in what families were able to do. The ONS researchers carried out nationally representative surveys of more than 12,000 people in Great Britain between 3 April and 7 June about their experiences of home-schooling during the coronavirus pandemic.
22nd Jul 2020 - BBC News

Bogota mayor extends virus lockdown after govt refuses

The mayor of Bogota said she would expand a coronavirus lockdown from Thursday to cover five million residents of the Colombian capital after the government refused to authorize a total shutdown. Since July 13, with the health crisis worsening, the city of eight million has been under a series of rotating lockdowns by groups of neighborhoods, covering 2.5 million of the population at a time. Bogota mayor Claudia Lopez on Tuesday said she would extend the measure so the lockdowns overlap to cover more of the population from July 23 to August 14.
22nd Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

Rich Russians fuel private jet demand to skirt virus lockdown

For high-flying Russians used to spending summer holidays at Mediterranean resorts or in London penthouses, coronavirus restrictions that closed borders and grounded flights have made international travel a distant dream. Yet many of Russia's super-rich who hold second passports or residence permits abroad have discovered an elegant way of bypassing anti-virus measures to reach second homes in London, Cyprus, Monaco or Nice: private jets. Privately-operated flights from Moscow's airports more than doubled between April and mid-June, the RBK business news portal reported in late June citing sources at two of Moscow's airports.
22nd Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

COVID-19 deaths are rising once again. What's driving the increase?

"What we saw after about two weeks was the older population starting to catch up again," McDeavitt said, though he pointed out that there is no scientific data yet to link younger partiers with older patients. "Presumably, younger people were going out and getting infected, and then bringing that back to parents and grandparents," he said. "Young people are generally fine," said Dr. Michael Wasserman, a geriatrician and president of the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine. "They're not always, but if they give it to grandma, that's a problem." Indeed, McDeavitt said, more severe outcomes still tend to be among older people and people with underlying conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
22nd Jul 2020 - NBC News


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Coronavirus pandemic 'showing no signs of slowing down' in Americas - PAHO

Carissa Etienne told a virtual briefing from PAHO's Washington headquarters that some Central American nations were seeing their highest weekly increase of cases since the virus landed, and that because of the high burden of infectious diseases and chronic conditions in the Americas, three out of 10 people - 325 million - were at "increased risk" of developing complications from COVID-19. "The impact of co-morbidities on the spread of the virus should be a clarion call to every country in the Americas: Use data to tailor your response and make health your top priority," she said.
21st Jul 2020 - Devdiscourse


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Starving and sleeping on the streets: The reality of life for women seeking asylum in lockdown Britain

Women who have sought asylum in the UK have been forced to go without food and sleep outside or on buses during the coronavirus crisis, a report has found. The study, carried out by a coalition of women’s organisations, warned that the public health emergency has made asylum-seeking women more at risk of hunger and ill health. The coalition Sisters Not Strangers, which includes organisations working with refugee women around the UK, found that three-quarters of women seeking asylum went hungry during the Covid-19 crisis, including mothers who found it difficult to find food to give their children.
20th Jul 2020 - The Independent


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El Salvador to postpone second phase of economic reopening, ...

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said on Sunday that he would postpone the second phase of the country's economic reopening, slated to begin Tuesday, after evaluating inputs from experts and the Salvadoran health ministry. Just on Saturday, the president had reiterated his intention to move forward with the next stage of restarting the economy. "After listening to the opinions of experts and above all, the Ministry of Health ... I have decided to suspend Phase 2 of the economic reopening," Bukele wrote in a post on Twitter. Bukele and El Salvador's congress have clashed over how to manage the pandemic. Lawmakers have so far refused to approve a request from Bukele's government for new emergency measures to restrict the movement of people.
20th Jul 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation


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Illegal groups in Colombia using violence to enforce lockdowns

Illegal armed groups are imposing strict COVID-19 quarantines in parts of Colombia where the state has a weak presence, threatening and even killing those who don't comply, Human Rights Watch warned Wednesday. At least nine people have been assassinated in recent months for either refusing to abide by the restrictions or actively opposing them. One man, community leader Edison Leon, was killed in June after sending a letter alerting local authorities that members of a group called “La Mafia” were forcing residents to staff a health checkpoint in Putumayo.
16th Jul 2020 - CTV News

UK sheds 650,000 jobs during coronavirus lockdown

The UK has shed more than half a million jobs during the coronavirus lockdown while employees worked fewer hours and earned less despite the government rolling out numerous measures to support the economy. The number of UK payroll employees fell by 650,000 in June compared with March, a 2.2 per cent fall, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics based on tax data. The statistics body said, however, that the rate of decline in employment had slowed in June compared with May. “There are now almost two-thirds of a million fewer employees on the payroll than before the lockdown, according to the latest tax data,” said Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS.
16th Jul 2020 - The Financial Times

A Residential Area Remains on Lockdown in Beijing, China

An upscale residential area remains on semi-lockdown in Beijing on Thursday, July 16, 2020. China reported just one new confirmed case of the Covid-19 in the past 24 hours and two asymptomatic cases, as the U.S. struggles to fight the rising infections and deaths across the country.
16th Jul 2020 - UPI.com


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Colombian cartels killing those who don't obey their Covid-19 lockdowns

Human Rights Watch calls on government to do more to protect civilians after at least eight murdered by armed groups
15th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Online tutoring improves disadvantaged school pupils performance and wellbeing in lockdown

A Bocconi University and Harvard program also raised disadvantaged pupils' aspirations, wellbeing and socio-emotional skills, showing that the educational gap can be addressed even with limited resources
15th Jul 2020 - EurekAlert


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House-to-house check on COVID-19 patients in Philippines

Philippine police will go from house to house in search for COVID-19 patients who should be isolated in quarantine facilities to boost efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, an official said Tuesday. Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano said mild and asymptomatic Covid-19 patients should not be in home quarantine unless they have their own room and bathroom and if they do not have vulnerable family members. "So with the help of the local government units, the police will go house to house and we will take the patients to Covid isolation facilities.” “You are endangering the lives of other people when you stay at home,” he added. “You will get well faster, it’s just 14 days in quarantine and food is free.” Ano urged the public to report to authorities if they know someone who was infected to help stop the spread of the virus
15th Jul 2020 - Qatar-Tribune.com

Grassroots help for homeless, drug addicts thrives in lockdown S. Africa

While some of the nation's homeless shelters have made headlines for harsh living conditions and police brutality, others have become unexpected havens for some residents. "I found paradise here," said Matthew Nxumalo, 35, a mechanic who is also on the methadone program, which has helped some 200 people in different shelters since the beginning of the lockdown. "Nobody else thought about us until we arrived here, but I feel like I've been given a second chance," Nxumalo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation before he gathered firewood in the bushes next to the bowling green to light an evening fire.
14th Jul 2020 - The Jakarta Post

Portugal keeps parts of Lisbon under coronavirus lockdown

Portugal’s government said on Monday five areas on the outskirts of Lisbon will remain under a partial lockdown put in place two weeks ago to tackle a worrying wave of coronavirus cases. People living in 19 civil parishes of Greater Lisbon are allowed to leave home only to buy essential goods such as food or medication, or to travel to and from work. “Although the coronavirus incidence rate has improved in these 15 days, it has not yet reached a stage where we would reevaluate measures,” Cabinet Affairs Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva told a news conference.
14th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Italy to extend anti-COVID measures to July 31: health minister | English.news.cn

Italy's Minister of Health Roberto Speranza said the country will continue enforcing some restrictive measures at least until the end of this month. "We must not retreat one inch on prevention," Speranza said. The minister also said that authorities are keeping a watchful eye on all arrivals from abroad, including migrants landing on Italy's shores. The country will maintain a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days for everybody arriving from outside the European Union, Speranza said.
14th Jul 2020 - Xinhua

Germany eyes local travel bans to prevent 2nd virus wave

Helge Braun, who is Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff and tasked with coordinating the government's pandemic response, said Germany is considering local travel bans for areas that see a sudden, unexplained surge in virus cases. "Our measures are appropriate to preventing a second big wave," Braun told The Associated Press in an interview at the Chancellery in Berlin. "But this requires us to stay the course, not get careless in our measures and maintain our respect for the virus." Germany has managed to flatten the curve of infections to three per 100,000 inhabitants a week - a very low rate by international comparison. The country of 83 million has reported just over 200,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 9,077 deaths since the start of its outbreak.
14th Jul 2020 - ABC News


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Bathers banned from Rio's beaches as Brazil starts to take coronavirus seriously

Brazil reported 631 deaths yesterday bringing its overall death toll to 72,100 Beaches in tourist hotspot Rio de Janeiro are open for exercise and water sports Municipal police officers were pictured removing sunbathers who flout the rules
13th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

The women who can't get an abortion in lockdown

India's grinding national coronavirus lockdown complicated life for women trying to access safe abortions, and now cities are bringing back restrictions, reports Menaka Rao. In the last week of May, a 20-year old college-going woman in India's capital, Delhi, found out that she was pregnant. The woman, Kiran, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, had already taken abortion pills on the advice of a friend who was a doctor. But they did not work and so, her only option was a surgical abortion. India, however, was still under lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. It had enforced some of the world's most severe restrictions, stopping air travel, trains and buses, and confining people to their homes as much as possible.
13th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Germany's sex workers demand to go back to work as coronavirus ban continues

Prostitutes in Germany are demanding the right to get back to work. The country’s brothels remain closed following the coronavirus pandemic. Brothels have reopened in surrounding countries, including the Netherlands and Belgium.
13th Jul 2020 - CNBC

COVID-19 lockdown: A breeding ground for domestic abuse

Behind closed doors, the dark underbelly of domestic violence is thriving as more people are locked down at home, writes Anushka Britto. While some of us watched the exponential curve of COVID-19 cases and deaths rising around the world – including Australia – I was keenly aware of other curves also rising. I watched the unintentional adverse impact of keeping people at home.
13th Jul 2020 - Independent Australia


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 13th Jul 2020

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20 areas most at risk of a new coronavirus outbreak exposed in leaked document

There are fears the areas in England could face new local lockdowns - with three, Sheffield, Bradford and Kirklees, noted as needing "enhanced support" in the Public Health England chart. A leaked report has detailed 20 areas in England which are believed to be most at risk of a fresh coronavirus outbreak.
12th Jul 2020 - Mirror Online

The lost families of lockdown

Invisible, ignored and at risk, these are the lockdown children politicians don’t discuss. Now charities and medics are 'gravely concerned' about the toxic impact of the pandemic on an already desperate situation. Jen Williams reports.
29th Jun 2020 - Manchester Evening News


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Holidaymakers left fuming as Foreign Office tells ALL tourists not to go on cruises due to coronavirus risk - after previously urging only over-70s to avoid them - just as restrictions on travel are lifted

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) urges against travel on cruise ships Government previously urged over-70s to avoid cruise ships due to coronavirus The FCO says new position comes following advice from Public Health England Consumer groups has warned decision will lead companies to cancel sailings
10th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

UK universities receive record number of applications in lockdown

A record 40.5% of all 18-year-olds in the UK have applied to go to university, with numbers rising significantly during lockdown, according to the university admissions service Ucas. It is the first time that more than four out of 10 students (40.5%) had applied by 30 June to go to university and the figures will offer some comfort to universities bracing themselves for the Covid-19 aftershock. At the same point in the admissions cycle last year, the figure was 38.9%, and Ucas points out that between mid-March and the end of June, when the pandemic was at its height in the UK, applications rose by 17%.
9th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Traffic fell more in Britain than in any other European country during lockdown

They compared traffic data for February with records for March to June. UK came out bottom for post pandemic recovery out of 19 European countries. Recovery in major cities London, Belfast and Manchester also proved anaemic
9th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

Palestine tightens lockdown after recording 2 new COVID-19 deaths

Palestine tightened the precautionary measures all over the West Bank on Wednesday after recording two new COVID-19 deaths, raising the total fatalities to 24 since March 5. On Wednesday, a full lockdown dominated the West Bank after the Palestinian government decided earlier to extend it for another five days to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. The Palestinian Authority's Ministry of National Economy announced earlier on Wednesday that it fined 15 owners of industrial and commercial establishments for not abiding by the precautionary measures to combat coronavirus. The Palestinian police also announced that they had shut down 121 stores, seized 55 vehicles, and arrested 13 citizens for not abiding by the state of emergency and lockdown.
9th Jul 2020 - China.org.cn


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Colombia coronavirus lockdown extended until Aug. 1

Colombia's national lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus will be extended by just over two weeks until Aug. 1, President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday. The Andean country has reported more than 124,400 cases of the novel coronavirus and 4,359 deaths. Duque declared a national lockdown in late March to slow coronavirus infections across the country. While thousands of businesses have begun reopening, the lockdown was due to be lifted on July 15. "After analysing the country and considering we have cities where the rate of cases has accelerated and grown, as well as the mortality rate, we have continued to work on preserving the mandatory preventive isolation as the general concept," Duque said in a nightly televised broadcast.
8th Jul 2020 - YAHOO!

Sharp increase in UK child sexual abuse during pandemic

“Our pursuit of high-risk online offenders has been unrelenting during lockdown,” says Charles Yates, the NCA’s deputy director. But these figures could be the tip of the iceberg. “The full scale will only be revealed once children return to schools and have more access to trusted adults, and the tech industry brings back human moderators [who check their platforms for illegal content],” he says. Even then, it may take some time. Andy Burrows, head of child safety online policy at NSPCC, warns that it may not be until 2021 that we will know the full impact. “What we’re likely to see here is a long tail of disclosures [in autumn].”
8th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Bristol creates more new companies during lockdown than any other UK city

Bristol created more online companies during lockdown than any other UK city, new research has revealed. According to website building service Web Eden, the city had the largest number of company website registrations, followed by Leicester, London, Manchester, Gloucester and Birmingham. Web Eden analysed internal data between March and June 2020 to see where businesses were set up.
8th Jul 2020 - Bristol Live

FEATURE-With schools closed, child labour on the rise in lockdown Uganda

Every morning soon after dawn, 10-year-old Moses leaves home carrying trays of hard-boiled eggs and walks for half an hour to sell them outside a petrol station in the Ugandan city of Gulu. With schools closed indefinitely since the nation went into a strict lockdown to fight COVID-19 in March, Moses is among some 15 million Ugandan children at risk of being forced to work as families are pushed towards extreme poverty, charities say.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Colombia coronavirus lockdown extended until Aug. 1

Colombia’s national lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus will be extended by just over two weeks until Aug. 1, President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday. The Andean country has reported more than 124,400 cases of the novel coronavirus and 4,359 deaths. Duque declared a national lockdown in late March to slow coronavirus infections across the country. While thousands of businesses have begun reopening, the lockdown was due to be lifted on July 15. “After analysing the country and considering we have cities where the rate of cases has accelerated and grown, as well as the mortality rate, we have continued to work on preserving the mandatory preventive isolation as the general concept,” Duque said in a nightly televised broadcast.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK


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Free ambulance helps save mothers and babies in Kenya lockdown

As soon as Kenya introduced a coronavirus curfew, Dr. Jemimah Kariuki, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Nairobi's Kenyatta Hospital, started seeing more death and complications. "Every time I went to the hospital it was fewer numbers but more complications...and when women died alone in childbirth, I was like 'in 2020?' You are dying? Alone?," she said. Mothers in labour and their babies die more frequently during disease outbreaks in Africa. Women are either too afraid of infection to give birth in hospitals, or drivers are too afraid to take them if police are enforcing movement restrictions. That means disruptions to health systems caused by COVID-19 could result in an additional 1.1 million additional child deaths and 56,700 maternal deaths in low and middle-income countries, a study by Johns Hopkins researchers showed.
7th Jul 2020 - SwissInfo.ch

Pandemic accelerating, global peak still to come: WHO chief

After a record number of new COVID-19 cases were reported worldwide over the weekend, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that the pandemic is worsening despite some regions having appeared to slow its spread. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday that the world has "clearly not reached the peak of the pandemic" and the "outbreak is accelerating." Ghebreyesus acknowledged that while the number of infections appears to have levelled off globally, some countries such as the United States and Brazil continue to see a surge in cases.
7th Jul 2020 - CTVNews.ca

How many children at risk? UK health visitors count the cost of lockdown

Since lockdown, many services in England have had to stop or severely restrict face-to-face appointments in homes as health visitors have been redeployed to other healthcare roles. This has led to concerns about being able to pick up on vital clues about people’s mental health, particularly new mothers; children’s development; and domestic violence. “We expect children are having a difficult life in households with domestic abuse,” says Jacky Syme, a service development manager at Bedfordshire community health services. “The level has gone up, we’ve seen it on the ground.” Calls to the UK’s national domestic abuse helpline have reportedly risen by 66% during lockdown and visits to its website increased by 950%. Demand for beds in refuges has also rocketed. “There is a lot of concern around vulnerable children behind closed doors,” says Cheryll Adams, chief executive of the Institute of Health Visiting.
7th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

No distance learning for 12.7% of students in lockdown

Italy's communications regulator AGCOM said Tuesday that 12.7% of Italian students did not have access to distance learning during the coronavirus lockdown. It said this figure was "unacceptable for an advanced democracy". The authority said the pandemic has exacerbated "pre-existing social and digital inequalities" and risked "compromising the slow process of digitalization" in Italy. It said the problem was especially serious in Italy's less wealthy southern regions. The authority said Italian families' "inadequate" technological resources were "a significant obstacle and an unacceptable condition in the case of access to essential services such as education
7th Jul 2020 - ANSA

Study from Uni.lu: Luxembourgers satisfied despite lockdown

A study whose results were published by the University of Luxembourg analysed the impact of the confinement on several countries. The results were surprisingly positive in Luxembourg. The study investigated the impact of the lockdown (or similar measures) in Luxembourg, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Sweden. Individuals in Luxembourg increased time spent for children’s care and for household chores. According to the report, "Luxembourg experienced the highest increase of 2.65 hours on average in childcare."
7th Jul 2020 - RTL Today

Displaced Yazidis head back to Sinjar as lockdown bites

Hundreds of Yazidi families driven from their hometown of Sinjar in northern Iraq years ago are now returning as the impact of coronavirus lockdown measures makes their lives in exile even harder. Many have lost their jobs and aid from donors in Sharya, where they have been living since they fled Sinjar in 2014. Mahma Khalil, the mayor of Sinjar but now in exile in Dohuk in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, said more than 1,200 displaced families have returned from their temporary homes to Sinjar since June. Most had relatives their who serve in the military or police, he said.
7th Jul 2020 - Arab News

Displaced Yazidis head back to Sinjar as coronavirus lockdown bites

Hundreds of Yazidi families driven from their hometown of Sinjar in northern Iraq years ago are now returning as the impact of coronavirus lockdown measures makes their lives in exile even harder. Many have lost their jobs and aid from donors in Sharya, where they have been living since they fled Sinjar in 2014. Mahma Khalil, the mayor of Sinjar but now in exile in Dohuk in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, said more than 1,200 displaced families have returned from their temporary homes to Sinjar since June. Most had relatives there who serve in the military or police, he said. Overrun by Islamic State in 2014 and liberated by an array of forces the following year, little has been rebuilt in Sinjar.
7th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK


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India surges in cases as virus slams US hospitals

India's major cities including New Delhi and Mumbai are the hardest-hit, and critics say too few tests are being conducted and that many COVID-19 infections are likely to go undiagnosed. The surge has forced authorities in India to convert hotels, wedding halls, a spiritual centre and even railway coaches to help provide care to coronavirus patients
6th Jul 2020 - Bangkok Post

Lockdown Extension News Today: These Districts Are Under Complete Shutdown For a Week From Today

To combat the spread of coronavirus pandemic, several states have announced a week-long complete shutdown for certain districts from July 6, Monday. The lockdown would continue to remain in force these areas till July 12-13 and only essential activities will be allowed
6th Jul 2020 - India.com

The North Korean refugees supplying PPE to care homes

Jihyun Park and Timothy Chow understand the meaning of hardship. Both suffered under the brutal North Korean regime, enduring famine, the deaths of family members and imprisonment in forced labour camps - before fleeing and eventually receiving asylum in the UK. Wanting to give something back to the country that gave them safe haven, the pair have teamed up with other members of the North Korean community to donate a total of 7,000 sets of personal protective equipment to seven care homes in the north of England. "I escaped North Korea two times," says Jihyun, who lives in Manchester. "The first time I only escaped as far as China where I was married off to a farmer and effectively became his slave. I was later sent back to North Korea and forced to work in a labour camp in the mountains."
6th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Australia's economy brutalised by pandemic lockdowns, report finds

The coronavirus pandemic has brutalised Australia's economy as lockdowns are tipped to bring major financial downturns this calendar year, a new report has found. The country's economy is expected to shrink by an overall three per cent, however Victoria's economic output alone will fall by 3.5 per cent, followed by Tasmania and Western Australia, the Deloitte report says. "Even though this is turning out to be a better year than expected, it's still a shocker," Chris Richardson from Deloitte Access Economics told 9News.
6th Jul 2020 - 9News

Countries around the world in fresh or extended lockdowns

As Melbourne enforces fresh lockdown measures this week, countries around the world - from Spain to Ireland, Israel to El Salvador - are also extending or reinstituting their own lockdown measures to keep a lid on the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic. In the US, rising cases in 39 states cast a shadow over Fourth of July holiday celebrations, while President Trump claimed that 99 per cent of cases were "totally harmless".
6th Jul 2020 - Sydney Morning Herald

South Africa's boozy church struggles with COVID lockdown rules

When South Africa began easing its coronavirus lockdown in May, it allowed religious worshippers to gather in groups of up to 50, but maintained a ban on people assembling to drink alcohol. That’s a problem for the “Gabola” church — the name means ‘drinking’ in the local Tswana language — for whom a tipple is an integral part of their religious worship. Founded just two years ago, the church tried to hold its usual meetings in local bars, called shebeens, to praise God while downing whisky, but they soon got arrested, its leader and self-styled ‘pope’ Tsietsi Makiti, 55, told Reuters. “They can arrest us until Jesus comes back,” said Makiti, wearing a bishop’s mitre with a miniature bottle of spirits hanging off it. But he added they had been moving services from place to place to avoid a run-in with the authorities.
3rd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK


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Taj Mahal remains shut as India reports record daily virus cases

The jump in infections came as local authorities in northern Agra city said the Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, would remain closed to visitors even though the national government said it had permission to reopen on Monday.
6th Jul 2020 - Economic Times

Israel, Palestinians face new restrictions amid virus surge

Israel said Sunday it has ordered thousands of people into quarantine after a contentious phone surveillance program resumed while Palestinians in the West Bank returned to life under lockdown amid a surge in coronavirus cases in both areas. Israel’s Health Ministry said Sunday “many” messages had been sent to Israelis following the renewed involvement of the Shin Bet domestic security agency. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that more than 30,000 people were notified they must enter quarantine since Thursday. Just weeks ago, both Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank appeared to have contained outbreaks after imposing strict measures early on during a first wave of infections. But after reporting just a handful of new cases a day in early May, both areas have experienced a steady uptick in cases following an easing of restrictions.
5th Jul 2020 - Washington Post

Mexico's coronavirus death toll surpasses 30,000

Mexico reported 523 more coronavirus deaths on Saturday, pushing its tally to 30,366, overtaking France to become the fifth-highest in the world. The health ministry also reported 6,914 new infections and a total of 252,165 confirmed cases. Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez Gatell reiterated that the actual number of infected was probably significantly higher. “We knew from the beginning that the cases we report here do not represent the total number of people with COVID-19 in Mexico,” he told a regular news conference. “Neither Mexico nor any other country in the world aims to make an exhaustive count.”
5th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

West Footscray COVID-19 sign chilling echo of Checkpoint Charlie as Melbourne suburb enters lockdown

COVID-19 sign with similar layout to Checkpoint Charlie raised in Melbourne. Sign warns residents they are entering COVID hotspot at West Footscray. The caution is translated from English into Russian, French and German.
4th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

Leicester lockdown map: What areas are included, and what are the rules?

Leicester has become the first city in Britain to be placed in a local lockdown after public health officials voiced concern at the city’s alarming rise in Covid-19 cases. Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday night, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that from Tuesday 30 June, non-essential shops in the city will be forced to close, and starting from Thursday 2 July, schools will be shut to all but the most vulnerable children, as well as the children of key workers. Residents have been advised to "stay at home as much as you can", while members of the public outside of the city have been told to avoid all non-essential travel to the region. The lockdown, which was signed off by Boris Johnson, was a difficult decision to make, the Health Secretary said. He told Parliament: "I know that this is a worrying time for people living in Leicester and I want you to know you have our full support." "We do not take these decisions lightly but with the interests of the people of Leicester in our hearts."
4th Jul 2020 - The Telegraph

Brazil registers 37,923 new cases of coronavirus, 1,091 ...

Brazil recorded 37,923 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours as well as 1,091 deaths, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. Brazil has registered more than 1.5 million cases since the pandemic began, while cumulative deaths total 64,265, according to the ministry
4th Jul 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

Australia sets up suburban checkpoints to contain Melbourne virus hotspots

Australian police set up suburban checkpoints in new coronavirus hotspots in Melbourne on Thursday as authorities struggled to contain new outbreaks in the country's second-largest city, even as travel restrictions eased elsewhere. Images published by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Thursday showed police flagging down cars in suburban streets after 36 suburbs in Melbourne in Victoria state went into lockdown following a spike in new infections there. The state reported 77 new cases on Thursday, up slightly from the previous day and in line with two weeks of double-digit daily increases. "I'm obviously concerned about the outbreak, and I'm pleased that the premier has taken the action he's taken by putting in place the lockdown for the outbreak in those suburbs," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a televised news conference, referring to the Victorian state government.
2nd Jul 2020 - Jakarta Post

Kazakhstan Back Under Lockdown After Coronavirus Spike

Kazakh authorities have reimposed lockdown in what is Central Asia’s largest country after a rapid increase in coronavirus cases, as more than 42,000 people have been affected. The country’s government announced Thursday the second lockdown as part of an online joint briefing chaired by the country’s prime minister, Askar Mamin, saying the ‘‘preventative measures’’ in Kazakhstan will last until July 19. Authorities banned the use of public transport operating between regions and limited public transport activities in the cities. Any interactive events, such as entertainment, sports and other public events, as well as family and commemorative events are banned. Around 80 percent of employees should continue working from home, except for essential workers, according to the new order.
2nd Jul 2020 - Caspian News


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Sindh extends ‘smart’ lockdown until July 15 to control rising COVID-19 cases

On the recommendations of the Sindh government, the home department has extended the date of ‘smart’ lockdown throughout the province until July 15. The notification issued on Wednesday said that in continuation of the order issued on June 1 and “for the same reasons recorded therein” by the Sindh government under Section 3(1) of the Sindh Epidemic Diseases Act, 2014, the home department has extended the lockdown until July 15. The sectors that will remain closed are educational and training institutes, marriage halls, business centres, expo halls, all contact sport and indoor sports clubs, indoor gyms and sports facilities, sporting tournaments, restaurants, cafes (excluding takeaway and home delivery), theme, amusement parks and arcades, beauty parlours and spas, cinemas and theatres, public processions and gatherings of all nature, shrines, tourism and tourist hotels, and interprovincial transport. However, the intercity transport shall be opened as per the inputs from the Sindh Transport Department, keeping in view the petition by transporters in the high court.
2nd Jul 2020 - MSN

Colombia tops 100,000 coronavirus cases, nears 3,500 deaths

Colombia's confirmed coronavirus infections tipped across the 100,000 case threshold on Wednesday, as the country's quarantine measures roll on and intensive care units fill. Confirmed coronavirus cases now number 102,009, the health ministry said, 54,941 of which are active. Some 3,470 people have died. Wednesday also marked the highest-ever daily increase in confirmed cases with an uptick of 4,163.
2nd Jul 2020 - Jakarta Post

'Cuddle curtains' are going global amid the coronavirus pandemic

Social distancing during lockdowns has ruined the beauty of the hug. But many people have come up with a way to hug safely, the “cuddle curtain.” The idea has caught on and is now being seen across the world.
2nd Jul 2020 - CNBC

French Guyana struggles with three-month Covid-19 lockdown measures as cases still on the rise

Almost two months after French government lift the coronavirus lockdown measures in mainland France, French Guyana has seen an alarming spike of Covid-19 cases and measures such as curfews were put back in place. The territory shares kilometres of borders with Brazil, the hardest-stricken country in Latin America. Meanwhile, the situation is “under control” in mainland France, the government says even though 200 clusters were identified.
2nd Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

Coronavirus cases spike in Serbia with 359 new infections | Daily Sabah

Serbia on Thursday reported 359 new coronavirus infections and six deaths, marking a new spike within a persistent upward trend which has forced the return of some restrictions on public life. The country had seemed to be on the verge of bringing the COVID-19 epidemic to a close, with the number of new cases in the low double-digits in late May and early June. But since then, new outbreaks have hit Belgrade and the town of Novi Pazar, where local health services were quickly overwhelmed. Infection numbers began to rise after the government fully relaxed restrictions, even becoming the first European country to allow spectators at football matches, with one game drawing a crowd of more than 20,000 people.
2nd Jul 2020 - Daily Sabah


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Zurich quarantines nearly 300 nightclub revellers after six people contract COVID-19

Zurich’s health authority said on Saturday it had ordered a 10-day quarantine for almost 300 guests and staff of a nightclub after a reveller tested positive for the coronavirus 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 coronavirus infections. This week, the number of new infections has increased daily from 18 on Monday to 69 on Saturday, according to the Health Ministry.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

US daily coronavirus cases jump by more than 50,000 for first time

The number of new US coronavirus cases surpassed 50,000 for the first time ever on Wednesday, propelled by record rises in some of the most populous states, including California and Texas. The surge in cases has increased concerns about the speed at which the disease is spreading in emerging US hotspots ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend. A further 52,982 people in the US tested positive for coronavirus over the past 24 hours, according to Covid Tracking Project, topping the previous record increase from June 26 by more than 8,600. Throughout the month of June, the daily case rate in the US rose 105 per cent. 
2nd Jul 2020 - Financial Times

Pet shop speakeasy busted in Brazilian city

The shutters were down, but the pub chatter in the midst of a coronavirus quarantine gave the game away: a crowded Brazilian bar under the cover of a pet shop with no pets. Municipal authorities in the city of Petropolis said they discovered the speakeasy on Friday after neighbors complained. Inspectors found 16 patrons drinking beer, none of them wearing a mandatory mask or keeping to social distancing rules. "The owner served customers behind a closed door. They came in through the adjacent pet shop," a city spokesman said.
1st Jul 2020 - Reuters on MSN.com

Brazil shuts down bar disguised as pet shop to skirt lockdown

A pet shop with no pets has been busted for being a front for a bar in Brazil. Municipal authorities in the city of Petropolis said they discovered the speakeasy after neighbours complained. Inspectors found 16 patrons drinking beer, none of them wearing a mandatory mask or keeping to social distancing rules.
1st Jul 2020 - SBS News

'Utter abandonment' of special needs families during lockdown

Families of children with special educational needs have felt "utterly abandoned" during school closures, an MPs' committee has been told. Witnesses told the education committee those with extra educational, physical or emotional needs had seen support "fall off a cliff" amid lockdown. Risk assessments linked to Covid-19 had been used by some schools to prevent SEND pupils attending, it heard. There was also concern national catch-up plans do not mention SEND children. Witnesses from the special educational needs and disability (SEND) world painted a bleak and disturbing picture of life for pupils with additional needs.
1st Jul 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Colombian mayor shops son to police for breaking lockdown

The mayor of a town in Colombia has been praised after he turned his own son in to the police for breaking a curfew imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Carlos Higgins Villanueva said he had to set an example. "My family are the first who have to respect the rules," he tweeted. There have been more than 95,000 confirmed cases of the virus in Colombia and more than 3,300 people have died.
1st Jul 2020 - BBC News

Child obesity risk as lockdown causes increased snacking among teenagers

Lockdown has had a mixed impact on healthy eating among young people, with teenagers finding new enjoyment eating as a family but reporting increased snacking, research has found. Over 1,000 14 to 19 year-olds from England were surveyed by the anti-childhood obesity campaign Bite Back 2030 and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.
1st Jul 2020 - iNews

Colombia tops 100,000 coronavirus cases, nears 3,500 deaths

Colombia’s confirmed coronavirus infections tipped across the 100,000 case threshold on Wednesday, as the country’s quarantine measures roll on and intensive care units fill. Confirmed coronavirus cases now number 102,009, the health ministry said, 54,941 of which are active. Some 3,470 people have died. Wednesday also marked the highest-ever daily increase in confirmed cases with an uptick of 4,163. The mayor of the country’s capital Bogota said over the weekend the city should prepare for a stricter lockdown as ICUs reached 70% capacity, but ruled out tougher measures after the national government turned over hundreds of additional ventilators.
1st Jul 2020 - Reuters UK


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Venezuela Tightens Quarantine in COVID-19 Hotspots amid Record Daily Case Count

The Venezuelan government has toughened lockdown measures in hotspot localities as the COVID-19 pandemic picks up. Starting Monday, 30 percent of the country will return to a strict quarantine after a month of easing restrictions , in which a range of enterprises were allowed to reopen across the country on a week-on-week-off basis, including banks, hardware stores and dentists.
30th Jun 2020 - MENAFN.COM

Coronavirus crisis deepens in US as restrictions return and cities go back into lockdown

The US state of Arizona has shut down bars, movie theatres, gyms and water parks, while leaders in several US states have ordered residents to wear masks in public. The moves are a dramatic policy shift amid an alarming resurgence of coronavirus cases nationwide. California has ordered bars in Los Angeles and six other counties to close as the city emerges as a new epicentre in the pandemic.
30th Jun 2020 - 7NEWS.com.au

India's Modi warns of coronavirus 'negligence' as some cities extend lockdowns

India’s prime minister on Tuesday warned citizens against flouting rules to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, as he extended a vast social security scheme until November. Several Indian cities prepared to extend their lockdowns to combat the spread of the infection on Tuesday, with daily new cases in the country remaining close to 20,000. “Ever since (easing of restrictions) started in the country, negligence in personal and social behaviour has been increasing,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a televised address, adding citizens were ignoring guidelines on social distancing and hand washing. Under pressure for leaving the poor to fend for themselves early in a stringent lockdown that began in March, Modi also announced the extension of a scheme providing free food grains to 800 million Indians, at a cost of around $12 billion.
30th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

German lockdown extended after abattoir outbreak | News

Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia state extended its coronavirus lockdown on a district hit hard by an outbreak at a slaughterhouse, but lifted the restrictions on a neighbouring area. The districts of Gütersloh and Warendorf last Tuesday became the first in Germany to go back into lockdown since the coronavirus shutdowns began easing in May, affecting more than 600,000 people. It was the country’s first big setback in tackling the pandemic. Armin Laschet, the state’s premier, said that Gütersloh would remain on lockdown until July 7 “as a precaution”, even if testing showed only a limited spread of the virus from the slaughterhouse to the wider population.
30th Jun 2020 - The Times

Covid-19 lockdown sees many young Kiwi children fall behind on vaccine schedule

Doctors' clinics in New Zealand are struggling to get children their routine vaccinations after Covid-19 lockdown saw many missing appointments and falling behind in their immunisation schedule. Some GP clinics still haven’t been able to get in touch with families who missed out, leaving doctors around the country worried about the potential fallout. Vicky Maiave, a Turuki Healthcare nurse in South Auckland, says her clinic had a lot of phone calls from families asking if they could bring their babies to get vaccinated, and despite them saying yes, they all chose not to. Home visit offers have also been turned down. “Mums who have had babies over the Covid period have chosen not to come in and get their babies vaccinated because of the fear of bringing their baby out." Children in New Zealand get injections for diseases such as chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough as early as six weeks old to four years.
30th Jun 2020 - 1News

Daily coronavirus cases in India near 20,000 as Mumbai extends lockdown

India reported close to 20,000 fresh novel coronavirus cases for the second day running on Monday, as the financial hub of Mumbai extended its lockdown by a month. There were 19,459 new cases reported in the previous 24 hours, according to data from India’s federal Health Ministry released on Monday. That is down slightly from Sunday’s record of 19,906, but still sign cases in the country are yet to subside. India lags only the United States, Brazil and Russia in total cases. More than 16,000 have now died from the disease caused by the virus since the first case in India in January — low when compared to countries with similar numbers of cases. But experts fear its hospitals will be unable to cope with a steep rise in cases.
30th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

India's daily coronavirus cases at about 20,000 as some cities extend lockdowns

India’s prime minister on Tuesday warned citizens against flouting rules to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, as he extended a vast social security scheme until November.
30th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Eight states added to New York governor's quarantine order

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday ordered people arriving from any of an additional eight states to quarantine for 14 days amid the coronavirus pandemic. The eight new states are California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee, all of which are contending with growing caseloads, Cuomo said in a statement. The order has been in place for eight other states since June 24. The order applies both to visitors and New Yorkers returning home from one of the states. Those found breaching the quarantine order could face fines, Cuomo has said.
30th Jun 2020 - CNBC

Coronavirus case in refugee camp on US-Mexico border raises alarm

An asylum seeker has tested positive for the novel coronavirus in a sprawling encampment just steps from the US-Mexico border in Matamoros, underscoring the challenges migrants face in protecting themselves from the pandemic. After showing symptoms of the virus last Thursday, the migrant and three family members were placed in isolation and tested, Global Response Management (GRM), a nonprofit providing medical services in the camp, said in a statement. When results came back on Monday, the migrant who had displayed symptoms tested positive and the relatives had negative results.
30th Jun 2020 - Al Jazeera English


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COVID-19: Asian New Zealanders experienced high rates of anxiety, depression during lockdown - survey

According to new research the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has been tough on the mental wellbeing of Asian New Zealanders. The New Zealand Asian Mental Health and Well-being report, commissioned by charity Asian Family Services, found high levels of anxiety and nervousness, as well as racism. The research surveyed 580 Asian New Zealanders across the country and found almost 44 percent of them experienced some form of mental distress since level 4 lockdown. Nervousness and anxiety are the most widely experienced (57 percent), followed by little interest or pleasure in doing things (55.2 percent), uncontrollable worrying (47.4 percent) and feeling down and hopeless (44 percent).
29th Jun 2020 - Newshub

Sudan extends coronavirus lockdown in Khartoum state

Sudan is extending a lockdown in the state of Khartoum aimed at curbing the spread of the new coronavirus by one week until July 7, the government spokesman said on Sunday. From July 8 there will be a gradual return to normal, though a night curfew will be imposed from 6 p.m. until 5 a.m., Faisal Salih told Reuters. Sudan has confirmed 9,258 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 572 deaths. Authorities have extended the closure of Khartoum’s international airport until July 12.
29th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Arizona governor closes bars, gyms and movie theaters for a month

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said bars, gyms, movie theaters, waterparks, and tubing rentals will shut down for 30 days, as coronavirus cases continue to soar in the state. The measure is meant to help ease the strain on the state's healthcare system.
29th Jun 2020 - Business Insider


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Mexican health ministry confirms 4,410 new coronavirus cases, 602 deaths

Mexico’s health ministry on Saturday reported 4,410 new confirmed coronavirus 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.
28th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

AP Interview: Delhi minister says city faces virus challenge

The acting health minister of India's capital said that New Delhi is facing a shortage of “trained and experienced” health care workers, providing a major challenge in a city that is the epicenter of the country's coronavirus outbreak. With over 77,000 cases, New Delhi has been hit harder than any other Indian city. Infections had been projected to rise to half a million by the end of July in Delhi, the territory that includes the capital. With the rate of infections slowing down, the number has been revised to 400,000, and Acting Health Minister Manish Sisodia said he was hopeful that it could be less. “But we can’t be under any illusions,” he told The Associated Press in an interview on Saturday, when India's total caseload passed half a million. “The availability of medical staff is a big challenge that (other) states need to address as well."
28th Jun 2020 - ABC News

Texas and Florida close bars after explosion of COVID-19 cases

The governors of Florida and Texas closed down the bars Friday to slow down the spread of the coronavirus that has been rampaging at record levels through their states. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the bar shutdown as the state health department reported 8,942 new COVID-19 cases, shattering the previous record of 5,508 set just two days ago. But DeSantis, who has been resisting calls to slow down the reopening of his state, left it to Halsey Beshears, the Secretary of Department of Business and Professional Regulation, to convey his message in a tweet
26th Jun 2020 - NBC News

Texas governor orders bars to close amid surge in virus cases

Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to close on Friday amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the second most populous state in the country. As Abbott outlined a series of measures aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19 in Texas, the chief executive of Harris County, the state's largest, issued a stay-at-home advisory and raised the threat level to Level 1, or "severe." Under Abbott's executive order, bars are required to close but may continue to provide delivery and take-out service.
26th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Asia Today: India's cases spike again to near half-million

India neared half a million confirmed coronavirus cases Friday with its biggest 24-hour spike of 17,296 new infections, prompting a delay in resumption of regular train services of more than a month. The new cases took India’s total to 490,401. The Health Ministry also reported 407 more deaths in the previous 24 hours, taking its total fatalities to 15,301. The ministry said the recovery rate was continuing to improve at 57.43%. Also, deaths per 100,000 stood at 1.86 against the world average of 6.24 per 100,000, it said. The actual numbers of infections and deaths from COVID-19, like elsewhere in the world, are thought to be far higher due to a number of reasons including limited testing.
26th Jun 2020 - The Associated Press

Record rise in virus cases as Ukraine warns of 'serious wave'

Ukraine on Friday reported a record daily increase in coronavirus cases as authorities warned lockdowns may have to be re-imposed if people continued to flout restrictions. Health authorities recorded 1,109 new coronavirus infections in the previous 24 hours, bringing Ukraine's total to more than 41,000. "People have ceased to comply with restrictions," Prime Minister Denys Shmygal wrote on his Telegram channel late Thursday. "If we want to preserve the economy and not quarantine the country, the only way is to adhere to restrictions together." Ukrainian officials have repeatedly complained that people are ignoring social distancing and other safety rules after anti-virus restrictions were eased last month.
26th Jun 2020 - Medical Xpress

Millions of Yemeni Children May Starve Amid Pandemic, UNICEF Warns

Millions of children could be pushed to the brink of starvation as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across war-torn Yemen amid a "huge" drop in humanitarian aid funding, the UN children’s agency warned Friday. The stark prediction comes in a new UNICEF report, “Yemen five years on: Children, conflict and COVID-19.” It said the number of malnourished Yemeni children could reach 2.4 million by the end of the year, a 20 per cent increase in the current figure.
26th Jun 2020 - Haaretz


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Coronavirus: Young people 'more anxious during lockdown'

The number of young people experiencing anxiety has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, a study has found. Bristol-based Children of the 90s asked 7,000 people across two generations about their mental health and lifestyle before and during lockdown. The study found the number of 27-29 year olds experiencing anxiety rose from 13% to 24% and they were more anxious then their parents. Underlying conditions and financial worries may be behind the increase.
25th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Illegal lockdown parties hosted in online rentals

Lockdown parties hosted in properties booked via online sites, including Airbnb and Booking.com, are putting "communities at risk", the Bed and Breakfast Association has said. Hosts and residents have complained of groups of up to 30 breaking social-distancing rules and taking drugs. BBC News has been told of several such parties in the past month. Airbnb said it had gone further than its rivals to protect public health during the pandemic. However, last week a man was stabbed at a party in a south London property police believe had been rented out via the platform.
25th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Victorians with disabilities speak of 'lifetime lockdown' due to inaccessible public transport

The coronavirus pandemic has seen lockdown restrictions applied across Australia, forcing people to find new ways to interact, work and travel. But barriers like this are nothing new for the thousands of people with disabilities across regional Australia who struggle with unreliable access to public transport.
25th Jun 2020 - ABC News

Roma across Europe seen as police target in lockdown

Roma communities across Europe have become a police target in lockdown, a report found on Wednesday, amid a sharpening global focus on racial equality and law enforcement. The report by Amnesty International, a human rights organisation, said Roma communities had faced tougher quarantines than citizens who posed a greater health risk. People returning from places with high rates of the new coronavirus - such as Italy - were not targeted by authorities with the same stringent measures as Roma communities, who were quarantined en masse in whole apartment blocks or streets, Amnesty researcher Barbora Cernusakova said.
25th Jun 2020 - Reuters


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Disneyland Resort delays reopening of Anaheim theme parks amid COVID-19 concerns

Disneyland Resort announced on Wednesday that it will delay the reopening of the theme parks and hotel. There was no new date given. "The State of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4. Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials," Disneyland said in a statement. Disneyland employee unions had asked the state to delay the park's expected reopening in July out of concerns for health and safety.
25th Jun 2020 - KGO-TV

Colombia extends coronavirus lockdown measures until July 15

Colombia's lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus will continue until July 15, President Ivan Duque said in a nightly broadcast on Tuesday. The Andean country has reported more than 73,500 cases of coronavirus and 2,404 deaths. "The current conditions of obligatory isolation, where we are returning to productivity and moving towards the re-opening of businesses, will continue as they are today until July 15," Duque said. Duque first declared a national quarantine to control the spread of the new coronavirus in late March. While certain restrictions have been relaxed, the quarantine was due to lift on July 1
24th Jun 2020 - MSN

Twitter tackles violent upsurge against women in lockdown

Twitter has launched a new prompt to fight gender-based violence in response to a surge in sexual assaults and domestic attacks during lockdown, a company official said on Wednesday. The social network said the feature, currently available in 11 countries, directs users to local helpline services if they search for terms such as “domestic violence” or “sexual assault”. “This is the first time that this notification prompt has been made available in multiple locations in multiple languages,” said Kathleen Reen, a senior director of Twitter in Asia-Pacific.
24th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Virus lockdown could fuel radicalisation, Europol warns

Coronavirus lockdowns could radicalise more terror suspects, the EU’s police agency warned Tuesday (23 June), saying both right and leftwing violence were on the rise. The pandemic’s worldwide economic and social impacts could escalate existing discontents, Europol director Catherine De Bolle said as she unveiled the organisation’s latest terrorism trends report. “These developments have the potential to further fuel the radicalisation of some individuals, regardless of their ideological persuasion,” De Bolle said in the report. “Activists both on the extreme left and right and those involved in jihadist terrorism attempt to seize the opportunity the pandemic has created to further propagate their aims.”
24th Jun 2020 - EURACTIV

The real reason lockdown is exhausting

Whether schooling children at home or facing many months living alone, lockdown has proven to be challenging for large numbers of people. At the start of May people in many countries, including the US, India, Canada, Japan, France and Germany, were in favour of lockdown measures being prioritised to protect health rather than the economy. About two-thirds of Britons said they could cope well with a lockdown that lasted until July, but might struggle with much more. More recent polling, however, suggests that adherence to lockdown measures began to wane even before restrictions were eased. Clearly, people’s patience has been tested. Video calls, bizarre dream-filled nights’ sleep and reduced exposure to daylight have all been blamed for lockdown lethargy. But another unforeseen problem could be tiring you out – the disruption to your daily habits. With daily routines shaken up – and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future even after restrictions are eased – we are now making many more little decisions about our daily lives. This can cause “decision fatigue”.
24th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Colombia extends coronavirus lockdown measures until July 15

Colombia's lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus will continue until July 15, President Ivan Duque said in a nightly broadcast on Tuesday. The Andean country has reported more than 73,500 cases of coronavirus and 2,404 deaths. "The current conditions of obligatory isolation, where we are returning to productivity and moving towards the re-opening of businesses, will continue as they are today until July 15," Duque said. Duque first declared a national quarantine to control the spread of the new coronavirus in late March. While certain restrictions have been relaxed, the quarantine was due to lift on July 1
24th Jun 2020 - Reuters


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How the world’s strictest lockdown affected India

An analysis of countries with the highest Covid-19 cases shows most of them have not relaxed lockdowns without a decline in daily cases. In fact, some continue with the strictest measures even after several days of fall in cases or have only reduced the stringency marginally. Those who haven’t followed these two paths seem to find it difficult to continue reducing daily cases. To be sure, this could also mean that a lockdown, although necessary, isn’t a sufficient enough measure to contain the infection. On June 18, 15 countries with the most Covid-19 cases in descending order were: United States, Brazil, Russia, India, United Kingdom, Spain, Peru, Italy, Chile, Iran, Germany, Turkey, Pakistan, Mexico, and France. Most of these 15 countries can be categorised into two groups based on the daily number of cases (we consider a seven-day rolling average to smooth out daily fluctuations): those with a rising number of cases, and those that have seen a decline in daily cases.
23rd Jun 2020 - Hindustan Times

Domestic abuse reports soar in Hampshire as police called to 7,950 incidents since coronavirus lockdown began

Figures obtained exclusively by The News have today revealed the county’s force has responded to a massive surge in domestic incidents during the coronavirus lockdown. Hampshire police have attended 7,950 reports since stay-at-home measures were announced in March, an increase of almost 500 compared to the same period last year. The worrying spike comes amid calls from abuse charities for the government to accelerate plans to create a new national strategy to combat the violence during the pandemic
23rd Jun 2020 - The News, Portsmouth

Generation COVID: The Spanish learners lost to lockdown

Out of 31 pupils in one of Madrid teacher Clara Mijares’ online classes last month, eight were missing. Two had not been seen for some time, she said, adding that this is a fairly typical ratio these days for her lockdown sessions for 12 to 16-year-olds. Some of those who had made it to that pastoral meeting of El Espinillo secondary school in Madrid kept their webcams disabled. They were in no rush to answer when she asked how they were doing. “Don’t just say ‘good,’” she coaxed the screen of 13-year-olds. “Use another word.” Eventually, more considered responses trickled through her speaker: Tired. Bored. Haven’t left home for exercise. Prefer to stay indoors. “The charm of being in a class has been lost,” Mijares said.
23rd Jun 2020 - Reuters UK


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Police die enforcing Latin America's strictest lockdown as Peru's futile strategy unravels

When Peru introduced one of Latin America's strictest lockdowns, national police brigadier David Rodriguez was sent to the streets of Lima to enforce the new guidelines. Just one month later the 55 year-old was struggling to breathe in the police clinic, pleading desperately on social media to be moved to an intensive care unit and for more oxygen. He died shortly after. “They’re the ones sent out to protect others from the virus and they end up infected themselves,” his daughter Krystell Rodriguez told The Telegraph. According to the country’s interior minister, nearly 10,000 police officers have contracted Covid-19 on duty in the country and 170 have died. The numbers not only present a grim picture of Peru's futile fight against Covid-19, but also the tragedy at the heart of the surging crisis in Latin America, the global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.
22nd Jun 2020 - The Daily Telegraph

Coronavirus: Poorer households funding lockdown with debt, says think tank

Lower-income households are using savings and borrowing more during the coronavirus lockdown, while richer families are saving more as eating out and trips abroad are banned. That's according to research from the Resolution Foundation, a think tank. Lower-income households are twice as likely as richer ones to have increased their debts during the crisis, it said. Workers in shut down parts of the economy have average savings of £1,900, it found. That compares to the £4,700 buffer of someone who has been able to work from home during the lockdown.
22nd Jun 2020 - BBC News

Will PH wave banner the longest and last lockdown in the world?

It is manifestly time for our government to survey the global pandemic map and reflect on where we are in the struggle to surmount the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). By the 30th of June, counting from March 16, the Philippines will have the incontestable honor of claiming the longest lockdown/ quarantine in the whole world — 106 days. At the rate that the advisory Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is hemming and hawing on the crisis, the country will probably also be the very last to surrender the lockdown as national policy. Our thoughts turned to these questions as we digested some of the latest developments on the international front, which collectively point to a massive policy change in fighting the pandemic.
22nd Jun 2020 - The Manila Times

'I felt depressed and didn't see anyone for four weeks' - Generation Z 'loneliest' age group during lockdown

Generation Z has been the loneliest age group during the coronavirus pandemic, with nearly three-quarters of people aged up to 25 admitting to feeling lonely since April, according to exclusive data. The study, by Kaspersky research group, involved 10,500 people across 12 European countries, and Japan, and was part of Loneliness Awareness Week. It found that 68% of people in this age demographic felt lonely during the lockdown, compared to just 37% of the Silent Generation - those aged 75 and over.
22nd Jun 2020 - Sky News

COVID-19: PM Imran defends stance on complete lockdown as virus cases surge past 182,000

Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again defended his decision not to impose a complete lockdown in the country despite strong criticism, saying that Pakistan's circumstances were different from Wuhan city and Europe. Speaking about the havoc that the coronavirus has wreaked on Pakistan's economy, the prime minister said that he had not been in favour of imposing a lockdown as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had done.
22nd Jun 2020 - The News International

Australian state extends state of emergency over virus

Australia's second most populous state Victoria has extended its state of emergency for four more weeks to 19 July, as it battles a spike in coronavirus infections with a pick-up in community transmission. The move came a day after the state announced it would reimpose restrictions capping visitors to households to five people and outdoor gatherings to ten, starting tomorrow. The limits had been relaxed on 1 June to allow up to 20 people in households and public gatherings. Victoria reported 19 new infections today, the fifth day of double digit-rises. The state has now had 1,836 total confirmed cases, or a quarter of the cases in Australia, since the Covid-19 pandemic erupted.
22nd Jun 2020 - RTE.ie

‘I'm broken’: how anxiety and stress hit millions in UK Covid-19 lockdown

Nashaba Matin is a single mother with three daughters: Kaya, 17, Amber, 15, and Natalia, 13. She is also an NHS doctor, working full-time on the Covid-19 wards of the Royal London Hospital. Exhausted by her work, Matin has relied on her eldest daughter to provide a protective wing over her younger sisters. “I think they’ve all had to grow up a lot,” she says.
21st Jun 2020 - The Guardian


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Morocco opens field hospital after spike in virus cases - The Jakarta Post

A new field hospital in eastern Morocco will from Sunday receive around 700 COVID-19 patients following a sharp spike in infections in the kingdom, the government said. Morocco reported a record single-day rise in novel coronavirus cases on Friday after an outbreak was detected in fruit packing plants in eastern Kenitra province, prompting Rabat to tighten restrictions in the region. The North African kingdom reported more than 500 cases on Friday, mainly in Kenitra, having recorded on average fewer than 100 new COVID-19 infections daily since confirming its first cases in early March
21st Jun 2020 - Jakarta Post

Victoria State Extends State of Emergency to Slow Virus Spread

Australia’s Victoria State will extend its state of emergency to July 20 after an up-tick in cases of coronavirus. The four-week extension “allows the Victorian government to continue to enforce physical distancing and isolation requirements,” according to a statement on the state premier’s website. Victoria recorded 19 new cases from Saturday to Sunday, the fifth day of double-digit increases and the most of any Australian jurisdiction, after hitting a two-month high of 25 on Saturday. On Saturday, state premier Daniel Andrews announced that the number of visitors permitted to homes will be reduced to five from Monday.
21st Jun 2020 - BloombergQuint

Coronavirus: Why the new 'normal' is merely a thin veneer

It now looks likely the UK will suffer a longer lockdown than European neighbours, a worse economic hit and a higher death toll. Schools will stay stubbornly closed to millions until September - leaving children bored and lonely, and parents wondering how many hours of TV is acceptable to watch in a day. The economic reality of lockdown is starting to cut through, and on Sunday we'll be speaking to the head of the TUC, Frances O'Grady, to talk about what it means for workers and the chef Ottolenghi to discuss the impact on the food and hospitality industry.
20th Jun 2020 - Sky News

U.K. lowers coronavirus alert level to 'epidemic' from 'exponential'

The Joint Biosecurity Centre recommended the Covid-19 alert level should move to level 3 - a Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation - from level 4. The United Kingdom has a Covid-19 death toll of more than 50,000 based on official data including fatalities where it is mentioned on death certificates, making it one of the worst hit countries in the world.
20th Jun 2020 - CNBC

Coronavirus: five ships detained in UK over welfare fears for crew

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has made an urgent intervention in the growing crisis over the welfare of 1,500 crew on five cruise liners, which British port authorities have detained after a raid on Friday. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said it was detaining five of six ships it inspected on Friday morning over serious concerns about the welfare of the crew, some of whom have been stranded for three months in Essex.
20th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Mexico virus cases, deaths continue high, reopening remote

The planned next stage of reopening of businesses in Mexico appeared to be put off once again Friday, as new confirmed cases and deaths continued at near-record levels. The Health Department reported 5,030 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 647 more deaths, both numbers down just slightly from Thursday. The daily death toll has been hovering around 700 for much of this week, while the daily case load increase has hovered near 5,000. Mexico now has 170,485 confirmed cases and 20,394 deaths, though both numbers are considered undercounts due to extremely limited testing. The country had been hoping to authorize a broad new round of openings for businesses like hotels, restaurants and shopping malls. But authorities in Mexico City, which has been hardest hit by the pandemic, said hospital occupancy and case numbers had not decreased to the point where reopening malls and street markets would be possible. The city has about 70% of its hospital beds occupied.
19th Jun 2020 - Houston Chronicle

Brazil issues new guidelines for meatpackers as coronavirus pandemic ravages plants

The Brazilian government on Friday published new guidelines for meatpackers after a spike of COVID-19 cases at food plants, including keeping workers at least one meter apart, but labor prosecutors criticized the steps as inadequate. No testing is required under the ministry of agriculture’s new rules, which were issued after consultations with the labor prosecutor’s office. A prosecutors’ representative said the guidelines ignored key recommendations made by the office that specified minimum distancing of 1.5 meters between workers in common areas of the plant, as well as mass testing. The prosecutors’ recommendations also addressed the quality of face masks required for use, physical distancing and testing protocols. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that meatpacking workers be spaced at least six feet (two meters) apart. In addition to distancing employees, Brazil’s ministry of agriculture said companies should also monitor those with coronavirus symptoms and immediately remove for 14 days anyone suspected of having been infected. They should also track any workers who came in contact with affected employees, it said.
19th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus: Brazil tops one million cases

Brazil's health ministry said the country surpassed one million confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, with total deaths fast approaching 50,000 as it struggles with a tense political climate and worsening economic outlook. Brazil confirmed its first case of the virus on February 26. It has spread relentlessly across the continent-sized country, eroding support for right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro and raising fears of economic collapse after years of anaemic growth.
19th Jun 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Argentina battles coronavirus spike as pandemic grips poverty-hit 'villas'

The early success Argentina had in slowing the pandemic is in the balance, with new cases soaring in recent weeks and a new daily record set on Thursday. The total has more than doubled to nearly 38,000 since the start of June, though it still stands well below the number of cases in neighboring countries including Brazil and Peru. The official death toll is nearing 1,000, while President Alberto Fernandez was put into partial isolation at his official Olivos residence this week due to the risk from rising cases. The government, unnerved by the recent surge, has moved to contain the spread. Some villas have faced periods of mandatory isolation, while authorities have done mass testing programs, first in Villa 31 and then in other vulnerable areas. "Thanks to these tests we are now learning about the number of infected we have," said Daniel David López, a resident of the Fuerte Apache villa and president of the Santa Clara football club.
19th Jun 2020 - MSN.com

Ireland says international quarantine to remain at least until July 9

Ireland’s 14-day quarantine for people arriving from other countries will remain in place at least until July 9 and the government will review the issue at a meeting next week, acting prime minister Leo Varadkar said on Friday. “My ambition ... is to reopen between countries where the virus is as suppressed as it is here, but we want to do that in a coordinated fashion with other European countries, but that hasn’t quite happened yet,” Varadkar told journalists.
19th Jun 2020 - Reuters


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Tension in Peru amid coronavirus lockdown

Tension on the streets of Lima, Tuesday, as riot police tried to remove hundreds of street vendors. Many vendors fought back… but were pulled away despite their efforts. Authorities took the forceful approach amid a nationwide lockdown to combat the country’s coronavirus outbreak. With over 230,000 cases of the virus and over 6,500 deaths in Peru, President Martin Vizcarra on Monday said the crisis was unprecedented. ''We knew this disease was going to generate a most serious crisis in our history, never before seen and that it was going to affect health, economy, employment, that is to say, the whole of society.” Peru’s economic activity sank over 40 percent year-on-year in April, its worst-ever percentage drop in output, as the lockdown slammed the brakes on key industries, like mining.
18th Jun 2020 - Yahoo News

Peru overtakes Italy in total cases of coronavirus

Peru topped 240,000 total cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, surpassing hard-hit Italy, government data showed, even as the pace of infections has begun to moderate in the South American nation. Peru moved quickly to lock down its citizens as the pandemic took hold in early March. But cases nonetheless exploded in May, reaching a peak of more than 8,000 per day late in the month. More than 7,000 Peruvians have died from the disease, the government reported. Peru has the second highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Latin America, behind Brazil, and the seventh highest globally. The Americas have become the epicenter of the global coronavirus outbreak, logging nearly 4 million infections and 204,000 deaths. Peru, Chile and Brazil have been particularly hard hit in recent weeks.
18th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus lockdown brings extra challenges for people with disability

But for many Australians living with a chronic illness or disability, social isolation is still their main way of staying healthy and safe, and the challenges posed by the virus are far from over. "It's frustrating hearing people go 'I really want a haircut' and I'm like, 'I really want my quality of life back'," says Emily McIntyre. Emily, 29, lives with what she describes as invisible disabilities. Her health conditions mean her immune system is compromised, which puts her at a high risk of both contracting COVID-19 and getting extremely ill if she does get it. She says she hopes Australia learns some lessons from lockdown, because she's terrified of it happening again.
18th Jun 2020 - ABC News

Virus cases reduce by 90pc in area under lockdown

The enforcement of smart lockdown has begun to bear fruit as it was revealed on Wednesday that the number of coronavirus cases reduced by 90 per cent in an area of the federal capital which was sealed on March 13. “Around 100 cases were being reported daily from Sector G-9, but after enforcement of smart lockdown the number of cases has reduced to 8-9 per day. It is nothing but benefit of the lockdown as the movement of people has been minimised,” Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqat told the media. He said no one was being allowed to unnecessarily go inside or outside the area under lockdown and even movement was being discouraged to reduce the chances of human to human transmission of the deadly virus.
18th Jun 2020 - DAWN.com

Chile tightens lockdowns as country exceeds 200,000 coronavirus cases

The Chilean government on Wednesday announced a tightening of lockdowns and “maximum” movement restrictions in its capital Santiago as the country´s confirmed coronavirus caseload exceeded 200,000. The total number of coronavirus cases was 220,628 cases, the health ministry said in a briefing, after officials said yesterday they had discovered 31,412 confirmed cases that had not been added to the tally previously, and announced 4,757 freshly-confirmed cases overnight. In a joint briefing by the health, interior and defence ministries, the government said residents of Santiago would be granted permission to leave their homes just twice a week instead of the five times amid concerns that lockdowns of up to three months in some parts of the capital had not succeeded in stopping the spread of the virus.
18th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Kazakhstan tightens COVID-19 restrictions, former president tests positive

Kazakhstan said on Thursday it would tighten coronavirus-related restrictions during the coming weekend and an aide said former President Nursultan Nazarbayev had tested positive for COVID-19. Shopping malls, markets and parks will be closed in big cities on June 20-21 and additional hospital beds will be made available for COVID-19 patients, the government said, citing a worsening of the outbreak in the Central Asian country. It also ordered all provinces to broaden testing for the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The spread of the virus has accelerated in the nation of 19 million since it ended a nationwide lockdown last month. Kazakhstan had reported about 23,000 cases as of Friday, with 100 deaths, up from about 5,000 at the end of its lockdown.
18th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Sudan extends lockdown in Khartoum state to June 29

Sudan has extended a lockdown in the state of Khartoum to June 29 as it tries to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, its Security and Defence Council said on Wednesday. Khartoum state, including the capital, is the Arab African country’s most populous. Curfew hours will remain unchanged, from 3 p.m. until 6 a.m., the council said in a statement issued after approving the recommendations of its Supreme Committee for Health Emergencies. Sudan will start a process to bring back stranded expatriates through flights and border crossings starting from Sunday, the statement said. Those who do not have medical certificates proving that they are not carrying the virus will be transferred to quarantine centres until being tested, it added.
18th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Sharp learning curve for bosses as WFH goes global

Two weeks into the coronavirus lockdown and Sergei Holmeckis, a boss at Deutsche Telekom’s Czech operations in the city of Brno, was frustrated with staff video calls. His team didn’t like turning on their cameras and the discussion was stilted. “I started to show them my cat,” Holmeckis said. “It showed the human side of me more and really changed the perception. It got people to switch on their cameras and be more engaged.” Such tactics obviously won’t appeal to everyone. But they do show how the world’s biggest experiment in working from home is forcing managers to reassess their methods - especially as surveys predict higher levels of remote working post-pandemic.
18th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Peru becomes epicentre of global Covid-19 pandemic after surpassing Italy's number of cases

Peru has surpassed Italy’s number of coronavirus cases, making Latin America the current epicentre of the global outbreak. The country’s number of confirmed infections stands at 240,908, the second-highest after Brazil’s tally of almost a million. There are more than four million confirmed infections across the region but health experts believe the true figure is much higher.
18th Jun 2020 - Evening Standard

Coronavirus UK: Major outbreak hits meat factory in Wales

One quarter of workers at the 2 Sisters meat factory are now self isolating. The factory in Anglesey, North Wales, produces meat for takeaways and shops. The 2 Sisters group is one of the largest producers of chicken in Britain. Officials confirmed they are dealing with a Covid-19 outbreak at the factory
17th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Colombia virus cases still rising despite swift lockdown

Colombia acted swiftly to lock down early and yet cases there keep on rising. The country is now beginning to ease restrictions, although strict conditions have just been reimposed in parts of the capital Bogota. It is taking its toll on many families who have been displaced by the decades-long guerrilla war, now living hand to mouth. Our Latin America correspondent Guillermo Galdos reports. Filmed by Marcel Mettelsiefen and produced by Juan Camilo Cruz Orrego.
17th Jun 2020 - Channel 4 News


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Colombia projects 41,000 coronavirus deaths before end of 2020

Colombia’s government informed the Constitutional Court that it expects the coronavirus to kill more than 41,500 citizens before the end of the year, local media reported Tuesday. Between March 6 and Tuesday, the National Health Institute (INS) had registered 1,801 confirmed deaths of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. The real number of deaths is believed to be much higher and, according to the Health Ministry, is projected to reach 41,500 by the end of December. The number is considerably lower than the 220,000 and 310,000 who the INS in March projected to have died before mid-June had the government of President Ivan Duque not imposed a lockdown.
17th Jun 2020 - Colombia Reports

Colombian government aid during the coronavirus pandemic

Like many countries, Colombia has set up a system of subsidies for those who are worst off. However – and perhaps unsurprisingly given the scale of the problem – distributing aid has not been straightforward. Announced in April, the Ingreso Solidario aims to give over 3 million families three payments of COP$160,000, a total of COP$480,000 per family. The idea is to reach people who are not covered by existing programs such as Familias en Acción, Protección Social al Adulto Mayor, and Jóvenes en Acción. Given the lockdown will soon enter its third month, COP$480,000 is a little over half the monthly minimum salary of COP$877,803 and comes to about COP$5,000 per day.
17th Jun 2020 - The Bogota Post

Peruvians strive to make a living amid lockdown

The government established one of the first and strictest lockdown measures in the region, but desperation for food and money is forcing people to risk their lives.
17th Jun 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Police in England and Wales far more likely to fine BAME people in lockdown

Police enforcing the coronavirus lockdown in England and Wales were almost up to seven times more likely to issue fines to black, Asian and minority ethnic people than white people, figures show. Data from police forces shows 17 were more likely to issue a penalty notice to BAME people than to white people. Two forces, Northumbria and Merseyside, were not. One senior chief constable said bias and lack of trust from certain communities may have played a role, as well as demographics. Officers had discretion on when to issue fines, and police said they followed an approach of trying to avoid enforcement, known as the four Es – engaging, explaining and encouraging, before considering enforcement. Figures obtained by Liberty Investigates, part of the civil liberties group Liberty, and the Guardian, give a force-by-force breakdown. The figures are yet to be officially released and had been requested by the home affairs committee investigation into race and policing, which met on Wednesday.
17th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

More than 100,000 carers 'forced to use food banks in UK lockdown'

Elderly spouses caring for each other and parents caring for disabled children are twice as likely as the general public to have used a food bank since lockdown, research has shown. The report, which experts said should “shock the nation”, found that more than 100,000 people doing unpaid caring for older, disabled or seriously ill relatives had been forced to use food banks since start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The figures paint a worrying picture of carers, especially those aged between 17 and 30, being under intolerable pressure. Almost 229,000 told researchers they have had someone in their household go hungry during lockdown.
17th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Tension in Peru amid coronavirus lockdown

Tension on the streets of Lima, Tuesday, as riot police tried to remove hundreds of street vendors. Many vendors fought back… but were pulled away despite their efforts. Authorities took the forceful approach amid a nationwide lockdown to combat the country’s coronavirus outbreak. With over 230,000 cases of the virus and over 6,500 deaths in Peru, President Martin Vizcarra on Monday said the crisis was unprecedented. ''We knew this disease was going to generate a most serious crisis in our history, never before seen and that it was going to affect health, economy, employment, that is to say, the whole of society.”
16th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Virus-hit Peru GDP plummets 40 percent

Before March, the Andean country registered 127 months of consecutive growth. Despite a lockdown in place since March 16, Peru is the second worst-hit country in Latin America after Brazil, with nearly 230,000 cases and almost 7,000 deaths from COVID-19. The centrist government of President Martin Vizcarra rolled out a series of economic measures including an aid package to more than 6.5 million homes. However, Vizcarra was later forced to extend the current quarantine until June 30, making Peru's one of the world's longest lockdowns.
16th Jun 2020 - The Jakarta Post

Syrian refugees profoundly hit by COVID-19 economic downturn

The number of vulnerable refugees who lack the basic resources to survive in exile has dramatically surged as a result of the public health emergency. The refugee hosting communities in countries in Syria’s neighbourhood experience similar hardships. Many refugees have lost what were already meager incomes, forcing them to cut down on the most basic needs, including food and medication. Refugee households are taking on additional debt and are not able to pay their rent anymore., Serious protection risks are growing, including risks of child labour, gender-based violence, early marriage and other forms of exploitation.
16th Jun 2020 - UNHCR


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Coronavirus: 612,000 UK workers lose their jobs during lockdown

Early estimates suggest 163,000 people lost their jobs in May, on top of 449,000 the previous month, as the coronavirus crisis lockdown took its toll on the UK economy. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) data covering the number of paid employees showed a fall of 2% since the country entered effective hibernation in March. It released the experimental data as its own figures showed a leap in the so-called claimant count - jobless claims applications through Universal Credit.
16th Jun 2020 - Sky News

Coronavirus: Job cuts warning as 600,000 roles go in lockdown

The number of workers on UK payrolls dived more than 600,000 between March and May, official figures suggest. Meanwhile, the number of people claiming work-related benefits - which includes the unemployed - was up 126% to 2.8 million. The early estimates reflect the impact of around six weeks of lockdown in which large parts of the UK were shut. But economists say the full effect on employment will not be felt until wage support schemes end in October. "The slowdown in the economy is now visibly hitting the labour market, especially in terms of hours worked," said Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the Office for National Statistics (ONS)."
16th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Saudi Arabia faces perilous hajj call as coronavirus spikes

Saudi Arabia is expected to scale back or call off this year’s hajj pilgrimage for the first time in its modern history, observers say, a perilous decision as coronavirus cases spike. Muslim nations are pressing Riyadh to give its much-delayed decision on whether the annual ritual will go ahead as scheduled in late July. But as the kingdom negotiates a call fraught with political and economic risks in a tinderbox region, time is running out to organize logistics for one of the world’s largest mass gatherings. A full-scale hajj, which last year drew about 2.5 million pilgrims, appears increasingly unlikely after authorities advised Muslims in late March to defer preparations due to the fast-spreading disease. “It’s a toss-up between holding a nominal hajj and scrapping it entirely,” a South Asian official in contact with Saudi hajj authorities said.
16th Jun 2020 - The Japan Times

'Dying of hunger': Zimbabwe street vendors hit by coronavirus clampdown

Martha Kahari was already struggling to make ends meet after Zimbabwe’s coronavirus lockdown forced her to stop selling second-hand clothes and tomatoes at the side of the road in the capital Harare. Then the council came to tear down her stall. Since April, local authorities in Zimbabwe’s major cities have demolished thousands of illegally built structures that vendors like Kahari use to sell their wares, in what authorities have said is an effort to legitimise informal trade in the city. With her stall destroyed, the 40-year-old disabled mother of two has given up hope of being able to afford rent or pay back the money she borrowed to buy the stock she planned to sell once the lockdown was lifted.
16th Jun 2020 - Reuters

More than 600,000 lose work in UK as COVID hits jobs market

The number of people on British employers’ payrolls fell by more than 600,000 in April and May as the coronavirus lockdown hit the labour market, and vacancies plunged by the most on record, data showed on Tuesday. The jobless rate unexpectedly held at 3.9% over the three months to April, but that was largely due to the government’s huge job retention scheme and a rise in the number of people not classed as unemployed as they were unable to seek work in lockdown. During the same period there was a record slump in Britain’s overall economic output. Economists polled by Reuters had mostly expected a jump in the unemployment rate to 4.7%.
16th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Peru archbishop fills cathedral with portraits of Covid-19 victims

Lima cleric covers walls and pews with thousands of photographs while criticising health system ‘based on business and not on mercy’
15th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Virus Exposes Weak Links in Peru’s Success Story

President Martín Vizcarra followed the best advice when the coronavirus arrived in Peru. He ordered one of Latin America’s first and strictest lockdowns, and rolled out one of the region’s biggest economic aid packages to help citizens stay home. He shared detailed health data with the public, rushed to add hospital beds and ventilators and increased testing. With robust public coffers and record-high approval ratings, Mr. Vizcarra’s centrist government appeared well prepared to face the pandemic. Yet instead of being lauded as a model of disease control, Peru has become one of the world’s worst coronavirus hot spots — its hospitals overwhelmed, its people fleeing the cities. The crisis has marred Peru’s veneer of economic progress, exposing the deep-rooted inequality and corruption that have thwarted its pandemic response.
12th Jun 2020 - The New York Times


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Coronavirus: Woman jailed for lockdown party attack on officers

A woman has been jailed for assaulting three police officers who were called to a party attended by about 30 people, despite the coronavirus lockdown. Nerys Williams, 32, of Carneddi, Bethesda, Gwynedd, admitted three charges of assaulting an emergency worker. Llandudno magistrates jailed her for a year with 26-week sentences for each offence but two running consecutively.
15th Jun 2020 - BBC News


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Ecuador struggles to secure enough virus test supplies

Fears of a second wave of coronavirus have sparked a global scramble for influenza shots from countries that hope to vaccinate great swathes of the population to reduce pressure on their health services. Health officials in the UK are considering whether to offer flu shots to everyone as part of planning for a resurgence of coronavirus in the autumn, but with other countries hitting on the same strategy, demand for flu vaccines has soared. Mass immunisation would aim to slash the number of people hospitalised with the flu this winter, giving the NHS a better chance of coping with any surge in Covid-19 patients that follows the easing of lockdown restrictions. The flu vaccine does not protect against coronavirus infection. One flu vaccine manufacturer, Sanofi, said it had been approached by the UK and other countries about boosting their orders of flu shots for winter 2020-21 but warned that it would struggle to ramp up production in time.
14th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Caring for coronavirus COVID-19 patients in Tegucigalpa | MSF

As numbers of COVID-19 cases rise in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, a team from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has started caring for patients with severe symptoms of the disease in an annex of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH). Working in coordination with Honduran health and emergency authorities, MSF teams aim to prevent the capital’s hospitals from becoming overcrowded. In the hospital annex, which has been adapted into a specialist 20-bed coronavirus ward, the MSF medical team is caring for patients who need oxygen support. Patients are transferred there from local hospitals and from two other coronavirus wards set up within the university, where mild and asymptomatic patients are being cared for by staff from the Ministry of Health and the National Emergency Department. The MSF team is also providing patients and their families with psychological support over the telephone. As of 11 June, a total of 7,360 COVID-19 cases have been officially confirmed in the country; 23 per cent of them in the Francisco Morazan department, where Tegucigalpa is located.
13th Jun 2020 - Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International

Coronavirus patients 'treated worse than animals': India court

Supreme Court also expresses concern over handling of bodies as cemeteries and crematoriums hold hurried last rites.
12th Jun 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Ukraine leader cancels meetings, trips after wife tests positive for coronavirus

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy cancelled face-to-face meetings and visits and will limit his contacts to a close circle after his wife tested positive for coronavirus, the presidential press service said on Friday. “Face-to-face meetings... are excluded in the coming days. Participation in mass events is also excluded, working trips outside the capital of Ukraine are cancelled,” the press service said in a statement. Earlier on Friday, Olena Zelenska said she had tested positive for coronavirus but her husband and their two children had tested negative. “Today I received a positive test for coronavirus. Unexpected news. Especially considering that I and my family continue to follow all the rules - masks, gloves, a minimum of contacts,” Zelenska wrote on Facebook.
12th Jun 2020 - Reuters

US Embassy Riga donates approximately $200,000 in tests and lab equipment to Latvian Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Health

U.S. Ambassador John Carwile presented the Latvian Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Health with two tranches of COVID-19 test-kits and associated lab equipment, supporting 4,000 tests. The United States’ contribution (approximately $200,000) to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) solidarity fund financed the tests, which will bolster Latvia’s capability to detect, isolate, and limit the spread of the coronavirus. Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense Artis Pabriks and Minister of Health Ilze Vinkele accepted the donation on behalf of the Latvian government. Upon presenting the donation, Ambassador Carwile said, “By taking early action, Latvia has done an excellent job reducing COVID-19 cases and protecting its residents. We are pleased to support the government’s continuing work by funding these important test kits and to show our continued commitment to our good friend and ally, Latvia.”
12th Jun 2020 - leta.lv

Volkswagen, Audi on hold as Mexico's Puebla state not ready to reopen

Mexico’s Puebla state, where German automaker Volkswagen and its luxury brand unit Audi have major plants, said it is not ready to reopen its automotive sector due to ongoing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. Puebla’s Governor Miguel Barbosa signed a decree on Friday stating that the conditions for return of the automotive and construction sectors are not favourable, according to a statement published on the state’s Twitter account. Barbosa, an ally of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has said he wants to reopen the state’s economy but not if that means people’s lives will be at stake. The Mexican unit of Volkswagen AG had previously said it was ready to resume operations in Puebla and the state of Guanajuato on June 15.
12th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Brazil President Embraces Unproven ‘Cure’ as Pandemic Surges

President Jair Bolsonaro hailed hydroxychloroquine as a godsend while he railed against quarantine measures and other best practices, undermining the country’s coronavirus response.
13th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Poland and Sweden are the only EU countries who have not passed COVID-19 peak: ECDC

Poland and Sweden are the only EU countries to have not yet passed their COVID-19 peak, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) flagged on Thursday. "The initial wave of transmission has passed its peak in all countries apart from Poland and Sweden," the ECDC wrote in its latest rapid risk assessment.
12th Jun 2020 - Euronews


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Indonesia coronavirus cases could double to 60k in two weeks

Indonesia's coronavirus case count could double to more than 60,000 infections in the next two weeks as testing becomes more widespread, according to Professor Amin Soebandrio, the director of Jakarta's Eijkman Institute of Microbiology. Australia's near neighbour recorded more than 1000 cases for two days in a row, a new record, a little more than two weeks after the major religious holiday of Idul Fitri. The spike in cases has prompted epidemiologists to call on the national government to rethink the easing of social restrictions.
11th Jun 2020 - Sydney Morning Herald

170 police officers die of coronavirus in Peru: minister

At least 170 police officers in Peru have died after contracting the coronavirus while enforcing the South American nation's pandemic lockdown, the interior minister said Thursday. Almost 10,000 officers have been infected with the disease as they enforced social distancing measures during Peru's 12 weeks of stay-at-home orders. "We have 9,900 infected personnel and 170 deceased personnel. That is the figure that we currently have despite the efforts being made," Interior Minister General Gaston Rodriguez told reporters. A further 4,000 police personnel, deemed vulnerable for reasons of age and health, were complying with mandatory quarantine, he said
11th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Peru's cases of coronavirus surpass 200,000

Peru's Health Ministry has confirmed coronavirus cases have surpassed 200,000, with 5,738 deaths. A spokesman for the ministry said there were now a total of 203,736 coronavirus cases. The country registered its first case on March 6 and has seen a surge amid a rigorous testing regime, but also high levels of poverty and informal labor complicating self-isolation efforts. Some Peruvian hospitals have run out of oxygen to treat COVID-19 patients.
11th Jun 2020 - Radio Havana Cuba

Inside a Mexican intensive care unit battling COVID-19

Mexico has reported a record daily rise of more than 4,800 cases of the coronavirus and more than 15,300 people there have died. Doctors and nurses on the front lines have been protesting over a lack of training and protective equipment as they treat patients. Al Jazeera’s John Holman reports from an intensive care unit in Mexico City.
11th Jun 2020 - Aljazeera.com

'We're forgotten.' Mexico City paramedics say government failing to support them amid the pandemic

In response to CNN's request for comment regarding allegations of improper PPE gear, the federal agencies that manage the paramedics said proper equipment is provided. They declined to provide numbers on how many staff have contracted Covid-19 or have died from it. CNN interviewed seven paramedics and one doctor who work in Mexico City public ambulances, belonging to two different sections of the country's Health Ministry. All eight said they feel a sense of betrayal because they argue the government has not helped to keep them safe.
11th Jun 2020 - CNN

IMF approves additional $111.06 mln to Rwanda to address COVID-19 pandemic

The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday it had approved an additional $111.06 million disbursement to Rwanda to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy. “Rwanda’s economic outlook has worsened since the approval of the first (Rapid Credit Facility) request on April 2, 2020, leading to a further downward revision in the 2020 GDP growth forecast from 5.1 to 2.0 percent due to deepening of the COVID-19 impact,” the IMF said in a statement. The funding brings total IMF COVID-19 support to Rwanda to $220.46 million, it said, and will help finance the country’s urgent balance of payments and budget needs. The central African country implemented one of Africa’s strictest lockdowns to try to stem the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, including shuttering some businesses, closing borders and schools. Authorities have since begun to gradually open up the economy, although some restrictions remain.
11th Jun 2020 - Reuters

In Yemen, coronavirus is killing off the educated elite

Already ravaged by war and famine, Yemen is suffering another blow to its future as the coronavirus kills off dozens of the country's top public servants, academics and the most educated. While a lack of widespread testing is masking the true scale of the crisis, scores of doctors, academics, engineers, politicians, judges, lawyers and business leaders, as well as high-ranking members of the Houthi militia, are thought to be among the dead as the virus spreads. It is a devastating blow for a county that has already suffered six years of civil war, further scuppering hopes for recovery as the government and institutions will struggle to fill the skills gap. The loss of leading members of society has also taken a toll on public morale.
11th Jun 2020 - The National

Coronavirus COVID-19 has made Yemen's health system collapse complete | MSF

“At first, there were many volunteer doctors and nurses around,” remembers Dr Nizar Jahlan, “but when they knew that cases were coming to the hospital, they all disappeared.” This is how the story of COVID-19 began in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, where Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is supporting the Ministry of Health to run the city’s principal centre to treat the new coronavirus and is planning to expand that support in the coming weeks. “At the beginning we faced many difficulties; the hospital lacked almost everything that it needed, but we brought in what we could in terms of drugs, and personal protective equipment to start activities,” said Dr Jahlan, who is MSF’s Medical Activity Manager for the project. “But then we faced problems in finding enough doctors and nurses willing to work in the hospital.”
11th Jun 2020 - Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International

WHO warns pandemic accelerating in Africa

The speed the new coronavirus jumped from 100,000 to 200,000 confirmed cases in Africa shows just how quickly the pandemic is accelerating on the continent, the World Health Organization said Thursday. According to an AFP tally, Africa topped the 200,000 mark on Tuesday. "It took 98 days to reach the first 100,000 cases, and only 18 days to move to 200,000 cases," Doctor Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa, told a video briefing hosted by the UN press association in Geneva.
11th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Africa's Coronavirus 'Hotspots' in South Africa, Algeria, Cameroon: WHO

Africa will have a "steady increase" in COVID-19 cases until a vaccine is developed and strong public health measures are needed in current "hotspots" in South Africa, Algeria and Cameroon, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. "Until such time as we have access to an effective vaccine, I'm afraid we'll probably have to live with a steady increase in the region, with some hotspots having to be managed in a number of countries, as is happening now in South Africa, Algeria, Cameroon for example, which require very strong public health measures, social distancing measures to take place," Matshidiso Moeti, WHO's Africa regional director, told a Geneva briefing.
11th Jun 2020 - News18


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Argentina's Coronavirus Infections on Rise, Exceeds 1000 New Cases Per Day

Argentina last week extended a mandatory lockdown in Buenos Aires, which accounts for the country's highest concentration of confirmed infections. Other areas have moved to "mandatory and preventive social distancing." Much of the nation had been under a shelter-in-place order since March 20. The country has a commercial flight ban until Sept. 1, one of the world's strictest travel measures during the pandemic.
10th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Burundi president dies of illness suspected to be coronavirus

The outgoing president of Burundi has died of a sudden illness, suspected by many to be Covid-19. The cause of Pierre Nkurunziza’s death was described as a heart attack in a government statement. The 55-year-old was due to stand down in August following elections last month. It was unclear exactly when he died. A government statement said the president, a keen sports enthusiast, had attended a game of volleyball on Saturday but fell ill that night and was taken to hospital. The former footballer’s health improved on Sunday but “surprisingly, on morning of Monday June 8, 2020, his health suddenly deteriorated and he had a heart attack”. The statement described Nkurunziza’s death as “unexpected” and asked people to remain calm. Seven days of mourning have been announced.
10th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Colombia & Peru: Assisting thousands of Venezuelan refugees amidst COVID-19 - Colombia

Humanity & Inclusion is supporting more than 2,000 Venezuelans in Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia, in conjunction with Medellín city council. Our teams provide them with psychological support by organizing one-to-one and group sessions, and help them complete legal formalities to access basic services such as health care. We also organize sports and cultural activities to strengthen the social cohesion and social and cultural inclusion of Venezuelans in Medellín. Our teams run similar activities in Bogota and Barranquilla on the Atlantic coast.
10th Jun 2020 - ReliefWeb

Bulgaria extends epidemic emergency on COVID-19 until end of June

The Bulgarian government on Wednesday approved the extension of a nationwide epidemic emergency until June 30 in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19. The epidemic emergency took effect on May 14 with a duration of one month, replacing the state of emergency which was implemented on March 13. The implementation of anti-epidemic measures has contributed to slowing down the COVID-19 epidemic in the country and reducing pressure on the healthcare system, the government said in a statement. "The prolongation of the epidemic emergency will help slow down and limit the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic by applying temporary anti-epidemic measures," the statement said. Meanwhile, it would improve the preparedness of the health care and other systems to respond to a subsequent wave, the statement said.
10th Jun 2020 - Xinhua

Nobel laureate Mukwege quits DR Congo Covid-19 team, blasts govt response

Nobel winner Denis Mukwege on Wednesday said he had resigned as head of a coronavirus taskforce in an eastern province of DR Congo, blaming organisational problems, outpaced strategy and slow testing. Mukwege, a DR Congo gynaecologist who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 for his work against sexual violence in war, was appointed on March 30 to lead a committee in South Kivu province. Panzi Hospital, where Mukwege treats abused women, is also located in the province. In a statement, he said there had been "weaknesses in organisation and clarity between the various teams in charge of the response to the pandemic in South Kivu." "We are at the start of an exponential... curve (in infections) and we can no longer apply a strategy that would be purely preventive," Mukwege said.
10th Jun 2020 - France 24

Why Kenyans are begging their president for freedom

In our series of letters from African journalists, Joseph Warungu captures the frustrations of Kenyans who have been pleading with the government to ease the measures taken to curb the spread of Covid-19. "Mr President, we beg you - please, please set us free!" These are not the words of people held in detention or mandatory quarantine after being roughed up by Kenyan police for not wearing face masks. Instead, it is the cry of many Kenyans who cannot stand the lockdown measures anymore. Before President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the nation on Saturday, social media had been awash with memes, pleas and videos urging him to ease the lockdown measures
10th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Peru in mourning: ‘The virus has changed everything’

The country reeling from pandemic is on track for one of the longest lockdowns in the world. There are many reasons for Peru’s brutal coronavirus numbers, not least its informal labour force. While this is an issue across Latin America and the whole developing world, it is particularly acute in Peru. The IMF says 70 per cent of employment is informal, against a Latin American average of 54 per cent. Many Peruvians say they have to break lockdown to work and survive.
10th Jun 2020 - Financial Times

Mexico Coronavirus Peak Still Weeks Away, Pandemic Czar Says

New coronavirus cases in Mexico are expected to keep rising, a top health official said on Tuesday, even as the government pushes a gradual reopening of the economy launched at the beginning of this month. "We still haven't reached the maximum point," Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell told a morning news conference. "For several more weeks, we will keep announcing there are more cases today than yesterday." His assessment was largely echoed by officials from the World Health Organization and its Pan American Health Organization during a webcast news conference later in the day. While Mexico has yet to reach peak infections, they said, officials should boost testing before any wide-scale economic reopening and stick to safety measures, including social distancing.
9th Jun 2020 - The New York Times


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WHO urges two-week lockdown, more tests

While expressing concern over the hasty lifting of restrictions, the WHO in a letter to the four provinces stated Pakistan did not meet any of the prerequisites for opening of the lockdown. It also alerted Pakistan to its high positivity rate, underlining seriousness of the Covid-19 situation and poor efforts of the government in this regard. As a strategy to help contain the massive transmission of coronavirus, the WHO recommended to the provinces to impose two-week lockdown. “WHO strongly recommends the two weeks off and two weeks on strategy as it offers the smallest curve,” the letter said
10th Jun 2020 - DAWN.com

Lockdown has changed the parameters of personal space – so where do we go from here?

We have never been more aware of personal space; the houses we are confined to, the two-metre-distance we maintain, the proximity of urban living. Zoe Beaty asks what this will mean long-term
9th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Schools reopening: Why primary schools in England may not open fully until September under new UK lockdown plans

Schools have said classroom sizes, social distancing regulations and inadequate staff numbers mean they cannot accommodate all pupils
9th Jun 2020 - iNews

Excess deaths in UK under coronavirus lockdown pass 63,000

ONS figures show fewest weekly coronavirus deaths in England and Wales for eight weeks. Hundreds more deaths from Covid-19 in the north-west of England and in care homes have driven up the number of excess fatalities since the UK went into lockdown to more than 63,000, a toll believed to be greater than those anywhere else except the US. The number of deaths from the virus in England and Wales fell to 1,822 in the last week of May, the fewest for eight weeks, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). But the numbers remain relatively high in the north-west, where there have been fears of a resurgence of the virus.
9th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Nine million UK children off school for six months will be 'lost generation'

Union leaders tonight warned that a return to school in September could not be taken for granted. Education Secretary Mr Williamson admitted the disruption could leave kids needing “a year or more” of support to catch up. It came as the UK death toll rose by 286 to 40,883. Children’s Commissioner for England, Ms Longfield warned “the education divide is broadening... almost a decade of catching up on that gap may be lost”. She said: “The risk I am most concerned about is that of a generation of children losing over six months of formal education, socialising with friends and structured routine... The Government need to face up to the scale of damage this is doing to children and scale-up their response.”
9th Jun 2020 - Mirror Online


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'Hunger is worse than corona': Sudanese demand end to lockdown

Sudan is facing growing demands to end the restrictions from a population mired in poverty and facing annual inflation of nearly 100 percent - as well as fielding complaints that promised aid for poorer Sudanese has failed to materialise. "We demand that the lockdown is lifted immediately so that we can ... get on with our lives, because hunger is worse than corona," said Othman, who is a daily wage earner. The government said the lockdown, extended in the capital Khartoum until June 18, has helped to stem the spread of the virus. Sudan has reported 6,081 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, with 359 deaths.
8th Jun 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Abu Dhabi extends ban on movement in and out of the emirate and between cities

Abu Dhabi will extend by one week a ban on movement in and out of the emirate and between its major cities introduced on June 2, the local government media office said on Monday. The ban applies to all residents of Abu Dhabi, the largest member of the United Arab Emirates federation, with exceptions made for those working in vital sectors. Movement within, but not between, the mentioned cities of al-Ain, al-Dhafra and Abu Dhabi is allowed outside the hours of a nightly curfew already in force to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
8th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Two sides of the coronavirus crisis in Spain: One half of the country has five times as many cases as the other

Phase 2 areas reported nearly four times as many coronavirus deaths in the last week as those in Phase 3
8th Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Spain’s macro study shows just 5.2% of population has contracted the coronavirus

A second set of tests conducted in Spain as part of a macro coronavirus study show that 5.2% of the population has developed antibodies after exposure to the virus, according to results released on Thursday. This is up just 0.2 percentage points from the results of the first wave of the study, which were released on May 13. The results indicate no major resurgence of the virus in this period, and confirm geographical variations observed the first time around. They also underscore the role of asymptomatic spreaders and the greater presence of the coronavirus in large cities. The eight-week seroprevalence study is being conducted by the Carlos III Health Institute, a public research agency. It comprises three waves of testing on a random sampling of households across Spain, and is due to end in late June. Between May 18 and June 1, researchers tested 63,564 individuals, a large sample size compared with similar studies conducted worldwide.
8th Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Thailand reports 7 more coronavirus cases, all in quarantine

Thailand confirmed seven new coronavirus infections and no new deaths on Monday, with the new cases found in quarantine, taking the country to two weeks without a local transmission. Thailand has reported 77 cases in the past 14 days and all were contained after being imported from overseas, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the government’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration. The total number of confirmed cases stands at 3,119, with 58 deaths.
8th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Honduras extends coronavirus curfew by one week to June 14

Honduras has extended a curfew by one week through June 14 in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, security ministry spokesman Jair Meza said on Sunday. Meza made the announcement on national television even as the Central American country is about to begin the gradual re-opening of its economy on Monday.
8th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Chile COVID-19 toll jumps sharply after new cases added

Chile revised its death toll linked to the novel coronavirus outbreak sharply higher on Sunday, adding fatalities from databases that previously had not been included.Health Minister Jaime Mañalich said 653 additional deaths linked to COVID-19 had to be counted, bringing the total number to 2,290. That included 96 new deaths announced in the Sunday daily report. Chile has one of the highest numbers of cases in Latin America, which has become an epicenter of the pandemic even as countries worldwide have begun to reopen. Brazil, Peru and Mexico have also been hard hit by the virus.
8th Jun 2020 - Deccan Herald

Thailand 'State of Emergency' may be extended

The state of emergency may be extended while schools and airports will reopen and there will be long holidays next month, according to Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam. “It is possible to extend the imposition of the emergency decree. It is being considered. The choice is to either extend or end it. However, measures will be reduced. For example, the curfew will be lifted and crowd gathering will be allowed. The emergency decree may remain in effect for the sake of swift solutions,” Mr Wissanu said.
8th Jun 2020 - Pattaya Mail

Coronavirus: UK daily deaths drop to pre-lockdown level

The UK has recorded its lowest daily rise in the number of coronavirus deaths since before lockdown on 23 March, latest government figures show. A further 55 people died after testing positive with the virus as of 17:00 BST on Sunday, taking the total to 40,597. This included no new deaths announced in both Scotland and Northern Ireland for the second consecutive day. However, there tends to be fewer deaths reported on Mondays, due to a reporting lag over the weekend. The number of new UK cases on Monday - 1,205 - is also the lowest number since the start of lockdown.
8th Jun 2020 - BBC News


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Coronavirus tracked: How badly the UK compares with the rest of Europe

With the second highest death toll from the Covid-19 coronavirus in the world, reports this week claimed that the UK had more daily deaths than the whole of the EU combined on a recent day, despite its population being just one seventh of the size. While the actual figures are close, the data used in the graphic has a number of flaws that reveal that to be inaccurate. The government’s daily coronavirus press conference no longer includes a slide comparing the UK’s coronavirus death toll to other countries. The chart was removed on 10 May, after the UK overtook Italy to become the country with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 deaths in Europe.
7th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Coronavirus infection rate in UK is second highest of any major European country

The level of infection and the deaths in all these countries are now coming down, but not all are improving at the same pace. In the UK and Sweden, the number of daily confirmed cases remains high and the shape of their epidemic is diverging from those of Spain, France and Italy.
7th Jun 2020 - Sky News

Pune Cantonment Board to open on June 8; virus zones stay locked down till month end

The Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) has decided to open area that falls under its jurisdiction on June 8, 2020, after nearly two-and-a-half months of lockdown. The decision was taken during a specially convened meeting by the board administration where the general body passed a resolution to the effect. The lockdown will be implemented on a staggered basis in the non-containment zones. Seven containment zones will be under lockdown till June 30. These are, Bhimpura, Modikhana, Bacchu Adda, Ghorpadi, New Modikhana, Gawli adda and Shivaji market.
6th Jun 2020 - Hindustan Times on MSN.com

Nepali climbers and support staff destitute after Everest closure

Nirmal Purja, the record-breaking Nepali mountaineer who is currently in lockdown in Winchester, is among a number of climbers attempting to raise funds for colleagues. He was concerned for the climbing community based in Nepal. “The community there is suffering. Some people don’t even have food to put on the table. It’s the saddest thing,” he said. Some of the large international mountaineering companies have continued to pay their staff but others have not, and there has been little support for the network of support staff that provide backup services to the international expeditions. The more experienced guides tend to be well paid and have savings that allow them to manage the interruption in their income, Purja said, but the lower-paid cooks and porters have found the disappearance of a year’s salary very difficult.
6th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Covid 19 coronavirus: New Zealand 'a week away' from Italy-style health system crash before lockdown

New Zealand was a week away from a Italy-style "health system meltdown" because of Covid-19 just days before the decision was made to lock the country down. The revelation is contained in a startling letter by Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners medical director Dr Bryan Betty, where he also warned it would take just several infected people several days to cause a "potentially exponential increase in cases again". Betty sent the letter to GPs on Thursday night. In it, he praised their work in confronting the virus and helping avoid a crisis. "New Zealand has done incredibly well to avoid a Covid-19 crisis, which I believe is in large part due to general practice," he wrote.
6th Jun 2020 - The New Zealand Herald

Paul Workman: Locked down in London, Day 75

You might consider this as well: Wuhan recently tested 10 million people in 19 days, worried about a second wave of COVID-19. The U.K.’s “world-beating” track-and-trace system won’t even be fully operational until the autumn. It’s been a slow start. It appears a number of the 25,000 people hired as trackers have been somewhat idle. One of them said he’s spent the last two weeks sitting in his garden “sunbathing, drinking and chilling with my pals.” This is the government that has now ordered people to start wearing face coverings on public transit—as of June 15. That leaves a lot of people asking—why wait until June 15?
5th Jun 2020 - CTV News

UK coronavirus death toll passes 40,000, R rate climbing

The Manchester Evening News reported that the R (disease reproduction) number in northwestern England is now above 1, the highest rate across England. An R value over 1 means the disease can spread rapidly throughout the population again. The numbers came from scientists at Public Health England and Cambridge University. The rise will provoke further debate over the speed at which the government is lifting the lockdown. There is evidence the R number “has risen in all regions and we believe that this is probably due to increasing mobility and mixing between households and in public and workplace settings,” the analysis said.
5th Jun 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Japan's coronavirus entry ban disrupting lives of foreign residents

Kady, who asked for her last name to not be used in this story, is one of the roughly 3 million foreign residents of Japan who have been affected by the entry ban. Many are frustrated at how wide a net the measures cast. All foreign nationals, including permanent residents and spouses of Japanese nationals that have traveled to any of the listed countries within the last two weeks, are being denied entry. "It blows my mind that we tax-paying residents are being treated the same as tourists and are unable to return to our homes," said a 37-year-old Australian, who asked to remain anonymous. She has been unable to return since traveling back to Australia with her toddler for Christmas and to undergo medical treatment.
5th Jun 2020 - Kyodo News Plus

Beware the dangers of COVID-19 fatigue

Like statistics, science-based decision-making doesn’t seem to be a high priority in Quebec. The premier and his trusty public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, seem more excited about announcing relaxed rules for socializing than wrestling with a highly contagious virus. Soon after Quebec permitted outdoor gatherings of 10 people from three different households last month, its public health institute published updated epidemiological models suggesting that even in best case scenarios, the odds were 50 per cent that deaths would increase in Montreal by July. The response to the models? Crickets. Perhaps it’s unsurprising that the science behind Quebec’s response is shaky when Dr. Arruda is ready to ignore the 80 per cent of Quebec’s almost 5,000 dead who perished in nursing and retirement homes. Arruda recently told a TV interviewer that if it weren’t for long-term care, “we would have a situation in Quebec that’s extraordinary.” That’s like a surgeon telling you that other than the terrible complications, the operation was a huge success.
5th Jun 2020 - iPolitics.ca

Six Months of Coronavirus: Here’s Some of What We’ve Learned

At first, it had no name or true identity. Early in January, news reports referred to strange and threatening symptoms that had sickened dozens of people in a large Chinese city with which many people in the world were probably not familiar. After half a year, that large metropolis, Wuhan, is well-known, as is the coronavirus and the illness it causes, Covid-19. In that time, many reporters and editors on the health and science desk at The New York Times have shifted our journalistic focus as we have sought to tell the story of the coronavirus pandemic. While much remains unknown and mysterious after six months, there are some things we’re pretty sure of. These are some of those insights.
3rd Jun 2020 - The New York Times


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Coronavirus: 'I can't get lifeline cancer trial in lockdown'

Because of lockdown, most trials have stopped taking on new patients or have halted completely. "If you've got advanced cancer it's often a lifeline for you," said Lesley. "You're basically taking away a life or death option." What began as a persistent cough for Lesley was eventually diagnosed as metastatic breast cancer. Scans showed the disease had spread to her lungs, liver and bones, and later to her brain. By October 2015, she was told to put her affairs in order as she had exhausted most forms of NHS treatment. However after being accepted for the last place on a drugs trial, Lesley said she felt a difference almost immediately.
4th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Chris Whitty says lockdown 'is not over' as he sets out UK's multi-layered defence against coronavirus

The UK's chief medical officer has explained the UK's 'multi-layered' response to coronavirus and why the lockdown is not over yet. Professor Chris Whitty said the nation will have to 'live alongside' COVID-19 for many months, which is why we need a 'multi-layered defence' against it. He went on to set out a number of measures that will remain in place to explain that the lockdown is 'not over', despite an easing in England last Monday (June 1). Some schools have reopened, many non-essential traders have been allowed to open and up to six people can now meet outdoors.
4th Jun 2020 - Manchester Evening News

Coronavirus lockdown halts surge in UK slavery

The number of suspected modern slavery victims identified in the UK has fallen for the first time in four years due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Home Office has said. Officials said the decrease “is understood to have been influenced by the effects of restrictions implemented in the UK as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic”. The UK’s national referral mechanism (NRM), the official system through which victims of modern slavery are identified and provided with support, received 2,871 referrals of potential victims in the first quarter of 2020 – a 14% fall from the previous three months. This is the first quarter-on-quarter fall since 2016.
4th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Queues for Spain's food banks swell as coronavirus cases dwindle

Queues for food banks have swollen in Spain as the coronavirus crisis has left hundreds of thousands of people teetering on the edge of poverty. the coronavirus lockdown, now in its 13th week, made it impossible for Mediavilla to get a job, and with a second newborn boy in tow, she and her mother Alicia rely on the help of a group of parishioners called Maria Auxiliadora, or Mary of Succour. The volunteers, who are associated to Santa Anna church in central Barcelona, gathered funds to provide Mediavilla’s son Julian with special glasses. They also helped her land a job as an admnistrative assistant in a laboratory, which she began last week.
4th Jun 2020 - Reuters Africa

Chile prolongs Santiago lockdown as daily virus deaths rise

Chile's government said Wednesday it was prolonging a three-week shutdown of the country's capital Santiago as the COVID-19 death toll reached a new daily record. Health officials said 87 people had died in the previous 24 hours, and nearly 5,000 new infections were recorded. The South American copper-exporting nation has now registered more than 113,000 infections and 1,275 deaths. Health Minister Jaime Manalich confirmed the government was extending a three-week lockdown of the capital for another week.
4th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Covid-19: Concern about emotional impact of lockdown in care homes

The commissioner for older people has expressed concern about the lack of social contact in care homes. Eddie Lynch told the Stormont health committee that he was worried about the emotional impact on residents.
4th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Lockdown prompts surge in Germans seeking help for alcoholism

When the coronavirus lockdown started in Germany, all Marco wanted to do was get drunk. The musician from Berlin, 38, was downing roughly a bottle of gin every night. “I was like, why not, come on! It’s quarantine, let’s party!” But as the days went on, he started to see things differently. “Because of quarantine you’re forced to look at yourself and realize, wait a second, this is not OK. This is actually a problem, this is addiction.” Marco — speaking on condition of anonymity — reached out to a local Alcoholics Anonymous group and made the decision to get sober after 20 years of drinking heavily almost every night
4th Jun 2020 - The Japan Times

Met feared 'serious disorder' if lockdown rules were enforced at racism protest

Britain’s top officer has said police feared there would be violence if they tried to intervene with protesters in London angered by the brutal death of George Floyd at the hands of an American officer. Demonstrators at protests in London on Sunday and Tuesday flouted coronavirus lockdown rules on how many people can gather together. But the Metropolitan police commissioner, Cressida Dick, said that with feelings running high over the police brutality case in the US and because of the effects of the coronavirus lockdown, officers feared serious and violent disorder if they stepped in to enforce lockdown rules.
3rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

South Africa's lockdown: a great start, but then a misreading of how society works

When South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown began on 27 March, opposition from some quarters was inevitable. What was not expected was that the most vehement resistance would be aimed at a ban on selling tobacco products. Only around 1 in 5 South Africans smoke and previous government limits on smoking were not controversial. The ban generated such heat because, when the government began relaxing the lockdown, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that tobacco sales would be allowed. Then, at the apparent prompting of the minister responsible for lockdown rules, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the decision was reversed; the ban is still in force.
3rd Jun 2020 - The Conversation Africa


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‘Stigmatized, segregated, forgotten’: Colombia’s poor being evicted despite lockdowns

Hundreds of Bogotá’s poorest residents are caught between two brutal forces: a nationwide quarantine that makes working impossible and authorities forcing people from homes they say were unlawfully built. “In the middle of a pandemic the authorities are breaking all protocols without a care for how it affects us,” Don Pacho said, as a pack of his 15 dogs barked around his partially destroyed home overlooking Colombia’s capital. “They’ve got us stigmatized, segregated and forgotten.”
3rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Met police twice as likely to fine black people over lockdown breaches – research

The Met, which covers London, issued 973 fines between 27 March 2and 14 May. White people, who make up 59% of London’s population, received 444 fines, or 46% of the total; black people, who make up 12% of London’s population, received 253 fines, or 26%. Asian people, who make up 18% of London’s population, received 23% of the fines. Analysis for the Guardian by Dr Krisztián Pósch, a lecturer in crime science at University College London, shows a clear disproportionality. Posch said: “Compared to their share of the population, people from a black ethnic minority were 2.17 times more likely to receive a fine and Asians around 26% more likely. In comparison, whites were 23% less likely to be fined.”
3rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Record numbers used UK food banks in first month of lockdown

Poverty campaigners have called for an emergency cash support scheme to help struggling low-income households after UK food bank charities reported that the first full month of coronavirus lockdown was their “busiest ever”. The charities said their experience of record food bank use in April, following a huge surge in food aid in March, showed it was clear that current social security safety net measures were not enough to prevent poorer families being swept into destitution. The Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest food bank network, said it gave out 89% more food parcels in April, compared to the same month last year, while the Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan) recorded a 175% increase over the same period.
3rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

The Latest: Minority Londoners targeted under lockdown rules

Spanish lawmakers have voted to extend for two additional weeks the state of emergency that allows the government to restrict movement and other rights as part of its fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says Spain has “overcome the worst of the pandemic” and declared that he won’t seek further extensions beyond the end date of the special powers at midnight on June 21.
3rd Jun 2020 - The News-Gazette

S. African court declares lockdown regulations "unconstitutional"

A South African court ruled on Tuesday that the COVID-19 lockdown regulations in the country are "unconstitutional" and "invalid." "Some of the regulations promulgated by the government simply did not meet the rationality test in preventing the spread of COVID-19," the North Gauteng High Court said in its ruling. The court gave the government 14 days to amend and republish the regulations to avoid infringing on people's rights. The court decision followed an application by the Liberty Fighters Network, which asked the court to declare the national state of disaster, established under the Disaster Management Act, "unconstitutional and unlawful."
3rd Jun 2020 - China.org.cn

Hong Kong extends coronavirus lockdown amid protests over new Chinese law

Hong Kong has been praised for the way it has contained the coronavirus. However, a new cluster of cases has propelled the government into extending restrictions. This extension comes amid protests about a new law being imposed by the central government.
3rd Jun 2020 - Global Village space

Here’s the data that shows the UK’s lockdown is falling apart

As restrictions eased, and Dominic Cummings revealed details of his Barnard Castle eye test, the lockdown has collapsed
3rd Jun 2020 - Wired UK

COVID-19 fattens wallets as Australians embark on saving spree in lockdown

Australians ramped up their saving efforts during the coronavirus pandemic and saw their bank accounts swell, according to national data released by Bankwest on Wednesday. Analysis of savings account data from the end of March to mid-May found median balances were up 45 per cent from the pre-COVID period and up 56 per cent year-on-year.
3rd Jun 2020 - Sydney Morning Herald

New Zealand on verge of eradicating virus

New Zealand is on the verge of eradicating the virus from its shores after it notched a 13th straight day with no reported new infections. Only a single person in the nation of 5 million people is known to still have the virus, and that person is not hospitalized. However, it remains likely that the country will import new cases once it reopens its borders, and officials say their aim remains to stamp out new infections as they arise. The country has already lifted many of its virus restrictions and could remove most of those that remain, including limiting crowd sizes, next week. Just over 1,500 people have contracted the virus during the outbreak, including 22 who died.
3rd Jun 2020 - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Australian councils struggle with huge rise in household rubbish during Covid-19 lockdown

Councils around Australia have seen a huge increase in volumes of household rubbish and dumping of waste triggered by a combination of more online shopping, home improvements, international workers returning to their home countries and a clearing out of unwanted possessions during the coronavirus lockdown. Streets across the country have been littered with items discarded by households either unable or willing to dispose of them any other way.
3rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian


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What India's lockdown did to domestic abuse victims

“Most of the time, women don’t want to leave an abusive spouse - they ask us how to teach them a lesson or make them behave better,” Ms Varma says. That’s because of the stigma attached to divorce in India - few families would support daughters who want to walk out of abusive marriages, especially if they have children, as Tara does. And leaving to go stay in a shelter or with parents is especially hard during the lockdown when transport has been limited. "Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives" accounted for 32% - nearly a third - of all crimes against women registered by the police in 2018, the last year for which data is available.
2nd Jun 2020 - BBC News

Indian coronavirus death toll surpasses China's, and rising, despite strict nationwide lockdown

With more than 190,500 Covid-19 infections reported as of June 1, 2020, India has become the seventh worst-hit country in the ongoing global pandemic. Despite a strict nationwide lockdown, the country’s coronavirus death toll has quadrupled in less than a month to surpass the number of deaths seen in China.
2nd Jun 2020 - South China Morning Post

UK protesters accuse police of targeting black people during lockdown

Organisers of anti-racism protests in the UK have accused the police of unfairly targeting black people during the lockdown and called for further demonstrations this week. Protests took place in London, Cardiff, Manchester and Nottingham on Saturday and Sunday against the killing last week of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minnesota, which has led to widespread unrest across the US. As well as showing solidarity with demonstrators in the US, Britons have expressed anger and frustration at the increased use of stop and search during the lockdown in areas with large black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) populations.
1st Jun 2020 - The Guardian


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Thousands Defy Lockdown in Europe to Protest Outside U.S. Embassies Over George Floyd's Death

Thousands of people in the U.K. and Germany defied coronavirus lockdown measures to gather at rallies showing solidarity with protesters in the U.S. over the death of George Floyd. Both the U.K. and Germany have started to ease the lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, but public gatherings remain banned amid fears of a second wave of infections. Despite the U.K. government's measures, people ventured outside for rallies in London and Manchester this weekend to support protesters in the U.S. following a week of unrest triggered by Floyd's death on Monday.
1st Jun 2020 - Newsweek

Spain to extend lockdown to 21st June - El Pais

Spain's prime minister said on Sunday the country needed 15 more days of lockdown until June 21 "to finish with the pandemic once and for all", and he would ask parliament to approve a final two-week extension to the stay home rule. "We have almost achieved what we set out to do," Pedro Sanchez told a press conference, as he expressed his intense relief that the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Spain, one of the nations hardest-hit by the virus, had fallen dramatically. From June 21 a national state of emergency will end and with it the lockdown, allowing citizens to move freely
1st Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Belgian prince apologises for lockdown party in Spain

A Belgian prince has apologised after being caught breaking Spain’s lockdown rules by attending a party, where he became infected with Covid-19. Prince Joachim, nephew of King Philippe of the Belgians and 10th in line to the throne, said on Sunday he deeply regretted his actions and would accept “all the consequences”. The prince has tested positive for coronavirus, according to Belgian media, after attending a private party in Córdoba on 26 May attended by friends and family. According to Spain’s El Confidencial, which broke the story, 27 people had attended the event, at a time when gatherings with a maximum of 15 guests were permitted.
1st Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Russia's COVID dissenters: Underground bars, gyms and hair salons flout tough quarantine rules

Another St. Petersburg bar, Depeche Mode, was also jammed with people socializing and drinking on a recent weekend night. There was no physical distancing and not a face mask or bottle of hand sanitizer in sight. "The [virus] fear is somewhere on the back burner," said bar owner Danya Lipovestsky. "For people, it's easier for them to come here to this underground bar to chat and forget the fear that we're all going to die. "Even me, I come here even though I am totally in the risk zone with asthma," he said. "I'm scared but to hell with it. It's just better to be here."
1st Jun 2020 - CBC.ca

COVID-19 lockdown worsens violence against women

The scourge of domestic violence has intensified during the lockdown period and the Prime Minister and religion must strongly condemn it, writes Dr Ray Barraclough.
31st May 2020 - Independent Australia

Coronavirus lockdown leaves hundreds of thousands of migrants without food in Russia

An estimated 11 million migrants live in Russia, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In 2019, 5 million of these were from the former Soviet countries of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Most of these immigrants do low-paid, manual jobs, working on construction sites, warehouses and markets and as cleaners and restaurant workers. As the pandemic intensified in mid-March, Russia and the Central Asian countries closed their borders, stranding thousands of migrants. Hundreds found themselves trapped at Russian airports, sleeping among the baggage counters, after their flights were indefinitely canceled. Many migrants were already living on the breadline, without savings and with unsecured jobs. When the lockdowns began, many of those jobs vanished instantly, without compensation and with no hope of even temporary support from employers.
31st May 2020 - ABC News


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Clacton-on-Sea: 'British common sense is saving us from Covid, not the government'

Sunbathers in seaside town say if lockdown works, it won’t be because of ‘confusing and hypocritical’ official advice
1st Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus lockdown: UK faces 'very sensitive moment' as rules ease despite high number of new cases

Britain faces a "very sensitive moment" as new lockdown rules come in to force in England and Wales on Monday, ministers and leading scientists have warned. Dominic Raab said the Government was prepared to reimpose strict lockdown measures at a local level if cases of coronavirus are seen to start rising again. Many leading experts, including some of those who advise ministers, believe that the UK is lifting its lockdown too quickly while Covid-19 continues to exact a heavy toll.
31st May 2020 - iNews

Nearly 17,000 fines issued in England and Wales for alleged lockdown breaches

Nearly 17,000 fines for alleged breaches of coronavirus lockdown rules have been issued by police in England and Wales, latest figures show. The provisional data from the National Police Chiefs' Council shows​ a total of 16,947 fixed penalty notices (FPNs), including 15,552 in England and 1,395 in Wales, were recorded by forces up to May 25. But since lockdown measures were eased on May 13, the number of penalties have plummeted with a total of 841 fines handed out by forces in England.
29th May 2020 - Evening Standard

Government rejected radical lockdown of England's care homes

An 11-point plan proposing “a further lockdown of care homes” was submitted to Downing Street on 28 April by officials at Public Health England (PHE), as fatalities peaked in care homes and the virus spread to half of homes in the worst-affected areas. They urged ministers to “use NHS facilities and other temporary accommodation to quarantine and isolate residents”, and to “consider whether staff can move into the care home for the next four weeks”. But neither of the proposals, recommended as “high impact”, were included in a subsequent action plan on infection control announced by the health secretary, Matt Hancock, last week.
29th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Lockdown rules 'unfair on many families'

The changes to the coronavirus lockdown rules in Wales are not fair on people living away from their families or in rural communities, some of those affected have said. From Monday, two households will be allowed to see each other outside but will be asked to stay local - within five miles as a "general rule". Some families told BBC Wales this makes it impossible for them to meet up. First Minister Mark Drakeford said some unfairness was inevitable.
29th May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: only half of UK adults 'strictly' sticking to lockdown rules

The ongoing UCL Covid-19 study, launched in the week before lockdown, now shows that "complete" compliance of following government recommendations, such as social distancing and staying at home, has decreased in the past two weeks - declining from an average of 70 per cent of people who were "completely" adhering to just over 50 per cent. Compliance levels among younger adults were even lower, with only 40 per cent "completely" complying with lockdown rules.
29th May 2020 - iNews

Moscow court jails journalist for one-person protest during coronavirus lockdown

A Moscow court on Thursday jailed a prominent anti-Kremlin journalist for a one-person protest during the city’s coronavirus lockdown, sentencing him to 15 days in prison. Ilya Azar, a journalist at the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, which is critical of the Kremlin, was detained by police on Tuesday as he stood alone outside the Russian capital’s police headquarters to protest against the criminal prosecution of a popular blogger. Such one-person protests are usually legal in Russia, but Sergei Sobyanin, the city’s mayor, has banned public events during the coronavirus epidemic and said that people only have the right to leave their homes for specific tasks, which do not include political protests. A court on Thursday found Azar guilty of repeatedly breaking protest legislation and ordered him jailed for 15 days.
29th May 2020 - Reuters

Lockdown breach fines plummet as restrictions ease

The number of fines for breaches of lockdown rules has plunged since measures were eased, with just 841 handed out by police in England, new figures show. A total of 16,947 fixed penalty notices (FPNs), including 15,552 in England and 1,395 in Wales, were recorded by forces up to May 25, according to provisional data released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC). There were 1,019 issued in England during the latest two-week period, between May 12 and 25 – although the figure is likely to be revised upwards as more fines are reported – compared to 4,967 during the previous fortnight.
29th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Online child abuse rising during lockdown warn police

Reports of obscene online material more than doubled globally to more than four million between March and April. The US-based Center for Missing and Exploited Children said some of that rise related to one especially horrific and widely-circulated video. In the UK, where 300,000 people are considered a threat to children, there were nearly nine million attempts in the last month to access child sexual abuse websites which had been previously blocked by the Internet Watch Foundation. The anti-child abuse charity which reports sites to internet service providers, says that since the lockdown began there has been an 89% drop in site deletions by the tech companies.
29th May 2020 - BBC News

How to stop people going to crowded beaches this weekend

With over 24,000 confirmed cases, weeks of restrictions on movement and a crippled economy in need of revival, Ireland is emerging from lockdown. As the numbers of daily infections and mortalities decrease, and we move tentatively towards easing restriction measures, there is the ever-present risk that complacency, fatigue and lack of compliance could rebound and force us back into extensive lockdown again. The welcome announcement by Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan that "we have effectively extinguished the virus from the community,' was accompanied by the risk requirement that there is "no certainty we can keep this virus suppressed."
29th May 2020 - RTE.ie


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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.
28th May 2020 - The Guardian

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".
28th May 2020 - Sky News

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.
28th May 2020 - The Guardian

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).
28th May 2020 - YAHOO!

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.
28th May 2020 - Metro

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'
28th May 2020 - Daily Mail

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.
28th May 2020 - The Independent

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.
28th May 2020 - Nine News Australia

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.
28th May 2020 - Yahoo! News

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.
28th May 2020 - 7NEWS.com.au

'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.
28th May 2020 - The Guardian

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.
28th May 2020 - HeraldScotland

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.
27th May 2020 - The Age


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 28th May 2020

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Coronavirus: Parents of disabled children 'cut off and ignored'

The coronavirus lockdown has placed additional pressure on many families. But what happens if you lose your work, your support network, and have a disabled child to care for? "You know what? It's needs must," says Gail Bedding, from near Grayshott in Hampshire. "We needed to pay the bills, we needed to pay the mortgage - and suddenly there's no money coming in." Gail's work has stopped - but there's another bigger factor dominating her life. She's the mother of a severely disabled 16-year-old son, Fergus, who is completely dependent on the care of his family. He is in a wheelchair, non-verbal and fed through a tube.
27th May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Britons increase TV and cooking time in lockdown - but lowest earners spend even longer at work

If you believed social media, most of us spent the first month of lockdown either baking sourdough or being outraged about the lack of toilet paper in supermarkets. But according to an Office of National Statistics (ONS) report, the reality was even more sedentary than that - trapped at home because of COVID-19, we travelled less, slept more and watched more TV. The online study looks at exactly how people in England and Wales saw their day-to-day lives change between 28 March and 26 April during the coronavirus lockdown, compared with 2014 to 2015.
27th May 2020 - Sky News

Domestic violence calls for help surge 66% as coronavirus lockdown continues, U.K. charity says

The charity that runs Britain's national domestic abuse helpline, Refuge, says demand for its services since under the national coronavirus lockdown has continued to rise, with calls to its helpline jumping 66% since stay-at-home measures were implemented in March and visits to its website up 950%. "The window for women experiencing domestic abuse to reach out for help is ordinarily very limited — with this window narrowing further when isolating with an abusive partner," Refuge said in a statement. "This spike in demand points to the sheer number of women affected."
27th May 2020 - CBS News

Coronavirus UK: Police powerless to stop 300 people at lockdown rave

Police attended a lockdown rave of some 300 people but couldn’t break it up due to the ‘sheer volume’ of intoxicated revellers. Dozens of officers stormed the mass gathering in the Paston area of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. They were initially called at 8.20pm on Monday to reports of seven or eight cars and 20 to 30 people gathering on a road. They found hundreds more then they arrived and decided there were insufficient numbers to safely move people on from the area. Just after 10pm the ambulance service contacted police to say someone had suffered minor injuries after being struck by a vehicle.
27th May 2020 - Metro.co.uk

Coronavirus: 'Mums do most childcare and chores in lockdown'

Mums appear to be doing most of the housework and childcare during lockdown, according to a new study. Research suggest that in homes where there is a working mother and father, women are doing more chores and spending more time with children. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and University College London (UCL) interviewed 3,500 families. They found that mums were only able to do one hour of uninterrupted work, for every three hours done by dads. "Mothers are doing, on average, more childcare and more housework than fathers who have the same work arrangements," said Lucy Kraftman, a research economist at the IFS.
27th May 2020 - BBC South East Wales

Coronavirus: Lockdown measures could widen gender pay gap in UK

Mothers are much more likely than fathers to have lost their job since the beginning of the UK-wide coronavirus lockdown, a development that could widen the gender pay gap, according to new research. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that mothers are 1.5 times more likely to have quit or lost their job since the lockdown was imposed in March. Because women are also more likely to have been furloughed, they are nine percentage points less likely to be currently working for pay than fathers, the research found. The IFS warned that there was a risk that the differences could result in “larger detrimental effects” on the career progression and earnings of mothers than of fathers.
27th May 2020 - Yahoo Finance UK

‘The support has fizzled out a bit’: frontline workers on lockdown easing

In early April, frontline workers including a bus driver, a care home manager and a cemetery worker spoke to the Guardian about their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. Two weeks later we checked in to hear how they had been coping with the peak of the virus. Now, another month on, with lockdown restrictions easing, we catch up with the workers to see how things have changed.
27th May 2020 - The Guardian

The Spanish Government is in Talks for the “Last Lockdown” Extension-But will Spain be Ready by Then?

The Spanish government is considering the 6th state of alarm extension but Ministers are worried that Spain is not fully ready yet. Consider this for a moment, the whole of Spain has been in various states of lockdown since the 14th of March this year. Thousands of people had sadly died, some sufferers are still in hospital fighting the disease, others have recovered but still bear the marks of a battle they never want to fight again. Last week, Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez, asked for a further month for the emergency lockdown to continue but he was out-voted and had to accept 14 days instead.
27th May 2020 - Euro Weekly News

S.African migrants face hunger, xenophobia during virus lockdown

Even as a strict lockdown to slow the coronavirus pandemic is eased, many foreigners living in this country have no work and are hungry. South Africa is the continent's second-largest economy and a magnet for millions of refugees and migrants from elsewhere. But the vast majority of them depend on day-to-day work -- and this informal source of income catastrophically dried up from one day to the next because of the lockdown. In a country considered by the World Bank to be the most unequal in the world, many of these luckless people now have nothing. "I see a lot of community members suffering because of this lockdown," said Alfred Djang, a 50-year-old lawyer who left the Democratic Republic of Congo 19 years ago. Some had been working in shops, "they were selling things on street corners, but they are not allowed to do it anymore," Djang said
27th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

Private jet demand rises as wealthy Russians spend lockdown in West

Some private jet companies have seen a rise in demand from wealthy Russians who want to spend time in the West during the coronavirus crisis but who were unable to take commercial flights amid tight restrictions by airlines and governments.
27th May 2020 - Reuters

179 Pakistan nationals, stranded in India due to lockdown, repatriated via Attari-Wagah border

As many as 179 Pakistan nationals, who were stranded in India due to COVID-19 lockdown, were repatriated via Attari-Wagah border on Wednesday.
27th May 2020 - Asian News International

'Health must come first': Gym owner slams lockdown rules allowing alcohol and gambling while gyms stay shut and even YOGA is banned

'Health must come first': Gym owner slams lockdown rules allowing alcohol and gambling while gyms stay shut and even YOGA is banned. A gym owner has slammed reopening pubs and gaming venues ahead of gyms. Up to 50 customers will be allowed in NSW pubs and restaurants come June 1. The state government has also given beauty salons the green light to reopen. The NSW Government has not indicated when gyms across the state will open
27th May 2020 - Daily Mail


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 27th May 2020

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Closed bathrooms afflict US homeless in coronavirus lockdown

U.S. lockdown closures leave hundreds of thousands of rough sleepers without access to soap and water, putting them at increased risk of infection, advocates say
26th May 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

Care home creates a drive-through so families can visit their loved ones safely during lockdown

Gracewell of Ascot set up a drive-through for people to visit loved ones safely The Berkshire care home keeps residents outside while visitors stay in their cars Many of the cars were decorated cheerfully with balloons, flags and drawings
26th May 2020 - Daily Mail

UK records lowest number of hospital deaths since lockdown began

The UK’s coronavirus death rate has fallen to its lowest point since the lockdown began in March after another 77 people were confirmed dead. NHS England today recorded 59 more deaths in hospitals – but this does not take into account other settings like care homes. Across all settings, Scotland announced three more deaths, while Wales had seven and Northern Ireland had eight.
26th May 2020 - Metro

UK food banks see demand soar up to 325% during lockdown with many children affected

Of those depending on food banks, 67% cited Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions as the cause of their visit and some of the hardest hit cities include London, Bristol, Bournemouth and Sheffield
26th May 2020 - The Mirror

Coronavirus: A day of lockdown for young people in the UK

It’s week ten of lockdown in the UK, after restrictions were introduced on 23 March to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Some of these measures have started to be lifted but others remain in place. Though the impact has been felt by everyone, young people are one of the demographics hit hardest - with traditionally smaller incomes and living spaces. So how are they coping? We asked young people across the UK to document a day in their life.
26th May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Hairdressers offer virtual appointments in lockdown

Hairdressers have been offering virtual appointments to help people style their hair at home. Stylists are using apps including FaceTime, Zoom, and YouTube to provide customers live one-to-one advice and tutorials. While salons have already reopened in France and Germany, hairdressers in the UK expect to remain closed until July.
26th May 2020 - BBC News

Europe’s elite skewered for lockdown double standards

Austria's President Alexander Van der Bellen apologized on Sunday after he and his wife were caught by police breaking curfew rules at a restaurant. The country's coronavirus restrictions include the mandatory closing of restaurants and bars at 11 p.m., but police said the couple still had drinks at their table after midnight Van der Bellen said on Twitter that he had gone out to eat for the first time since lockdown began with his wife and two friends. "We lost track of the time while chatting and unfortunately overlooked the hour," he wrote. "I am sincerely sorry. It was a mistake. If the restaurant host suffers any damage from this, I will take responsibility for it."
26th May 2020 - POLITICO

Russia reports record coronavirus deaths, recoveries

A man in a face mask on a Moscow Metro train. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin made mandatory wearing face masks and gloves in public places and on public transport since May 12. The self-isolation regime is extended in Russia through May 31 in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus infection.
26th May 2020 - AFP on MSN.com

I'm 21 and have had chemotherapy during lockdown. I was one of the lucky ones

When I was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the beginning of February, my mind immediately turned not to the illness and pain I knew would have to endure, but to the sadness of putting my life on pause. I could never have predicted that the world would end up putting its life on pause with me. My treatment – an intensive chemotherapy regimen – began on 4 March and finished on 12 May, coinciding closely with the UK lockdown which began on 23 March and is looking to be relaxed over the coming weeks. I have been lucky that, despite Covid-19, treatment at my Teenage Cancer Trust unit has been able to go ahead without interruption. Most adult patients from my hospital have been transferred to a local private hospital. Other cancer patients have not been so fortunate.
26th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Clamp-down on barbers offering lockdown haircuts

Thirty barber shops in Kent have been ordered to cease trading after a BBC investigation found businesses offering haircuts during lockdown. Trading standards issued prohibition notices to premises suspected of breaking legislation intended to halt the spread of coronavirus. It came after BBC South East found that 19 of 50 barbers contacted by phone were still offering appointments. Hairdressers and barbers are not expected to reopen before 4 July. "What these select number of barbers are doing is unfair, said Steve Rock, of Kent County Council Trading Standards.
26th May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Russia remains in lockdown as cases top 350,000

Moscow remains "at serious risk" and its coronavirus lockdown has been extended until May 31, according to its mayor, Sergey Sobyanin. Sobyanin has also made the wearing of masks and gloves in public places mandatory.
26th May 2020 - Euronews

New Mum Diagnosed With Breast Cancer During Lockdown Urges Others To Get Symptoms Checked

Health experts concerned as number of people seen by doctors for suspected cancer in March was 26,000 below expected figure.
26th May 2020 - Huffington Post UK

Coronavirus: drones used to enforce lockdown pose a real threat to our civil liberties

Some argue that the use of surveillance tools such as drones is a price worth paying if it helps to control the spread of infections. But drones offer a simplistic technological solution to a complex public health crisis. The overzealous deployment of surveillance drones risks damanging public trust in the police, in public bodies and in the lockdown measures. Many are also worried that using a health crisis to justify the introduction of public surveillance will enable it to continue after the emergency has passed. To prevent this scenario from unfolding, we need to have a serious conversation about the use and oversight over drones, how their use impacts on our rights, and their effectiveness in combating the pandemic. The actions taken during this pandemic, and the use of technologies that implement them, must be lawful, necessary, proportionate and time-limited.
26th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Soldiers deployed in Indonesia to enforce lockdown before reopening

Indonesia has deployed soldiers and police personnel to enforce the partial lockdown in a bid to bring the COVID-19 infections down as the country plans to relax restrictions to shore up the ravaged economy. Nearly 350,000 troops and police on Tuesday started guarding mall shopping centers, public transport and tourist attractions in the capital of Jakarta and three other provinces as well as 25 cities, Indonesian Military Chief Air Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto said. President Joko Widodo stressed that the soldiers and police personnel would make people abide by the protocols of social distancing so that the infection rate would continue to fall. "Starting today (Tuesday), military and police personnel will be stationed in spots where mass usually gather to discipline the people, making them obey the health protocols," Jokowi, as the president is known, said when visiting a mass rapid transport station in Jakarta
26th May 2020 - China.org.cn

Lockdown 'really rubs against conservative predisposition for freedom'

US Studies Centre Research Associate Elliott Brennan says anti-lockdown protests in the US are gaining momentum in republican states which are democratically governed. Mr Brennan told Sky News anti-lockdown protests were most active in “states that went to Donald Trump in the 2016 election but have democratic governors that are largely being viewed as tyrannical in the way they are imposing these lockdowns”. “It really rubs against conservative predisposition for freedom,” he said. “We all know the United States is the land of the free and they’ve been told at the moment their freedoms are limited. “And for people who have been affected economically and just want to work to provide for their families, this is a really frustrating phenomena.”
26th May 2020 - Sky News Australia


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 26th May 2020

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Police formally asked to investigate Dominic Cummings' trip during Covid-19 lockdown

Police have been formally asked to investigate a “plethora” of information surrounding Dominic Cummings’ controversial visit to the County Durham area during the Covid-19 lockdown.
25th May 2020 - The Scotsman

Coronavirus: Cummings row raises fears over future of lockdown

The PM's decision to back his chief aide's lockdown trip to Durham has sparked fears that the government's coronavirus message will be undermined. Some Tory backbenchers have called for Dominic Cummings to resign to ensure public confidence in future measures. The row comes as plans to further ease lockdown restrictions will be discussed at a cabinet meeting later. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said Mr Cummings "at no stage broke the law or broke the rules".
25th May 2020 - BBC News

Spain’s PM ponders need for potential sixth lockdown extension until end of June

The current lockdown extension will expire on June 7, and the sixth extension would potentially expire another 15 days later, during the latter part of June. “We are studying a sixth extension because it is our duty,” stated Sanchez in yesterday’s press conference. But he insisted it would depend on the country’s health and Covid-19 progress, and would make his decision after “listening to the experts and the regional heads”. During the last few weeks, Sanchez has found it increasingly more difficult to secure the support needed to extend the State of Alarm, particularly during this month. Opposition parties such as the far right Vox and Popular Party (PP) have either voted against or abstained from voting for more lockdown extensions, since the beginning of this month. They believe the Government can resort to other regulations and measures, instead of the current draconian measures to restrict the public’s movement.
25th May 2020 - Euro Weekly News

Russian women stuck in coronavirus lockdown hell as abuse surges

Ineta Akhtyamova's husband flew into a rage in late April, about a month into Moscow's coronavirus lockdown. She was preparing a meal in the small apartment she shares with her partner when he exploded, calling her names, hitting her and shouting at her to get out. "So off I went. I just could not take it anymore," said Akhtyamova, a 50-year-old singer who lost her income due to confinement restrictions. "I'm bad if I stay quiet. I'm bad if I talk. I'm bad if I make soup. I'm bad if I cook potatoes," she told AFP. When her partner hit her before, she would run to friends. This time she had nowhere to go. Friends were reluctant to take her in over fears of coronavirus infection, and two women's shelters turned her away because of Moscow's city-wide quarantine.
25th May 2020 - Channel NewsAsia Singapore

Russian Police to Probe Siberia Street Party

Authorities in Russia have opened an investigation into a street party that saw dozens gather in the center of Novosibirsk despite an anti-coronavirus lockdown in the Siberian city. The local investigative committee said it was launching the probe after photos and videos were posted online of young Russians dancing as music played from loudspeakers in the city's central Lenin Square in the night of Saturday to Sunday. The committee said more than 300 people may have joined the street party in the city of 1.5 million — Russia's third-largest — under lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
25th May 2020 - The Moscow Times

Russia’s small businesses left out in the cold by Covid-19

Small and medium-sized businesses such as Denis’s are trapped in the space between. For the whole of April they were forced by president Vladimir Putin to pay salaries to employees while also suspending their operations. Now they are subject to almost daily changes to local rules governing how they can operate, while waiting for state financial grants that pale in comparison with those offered in western countries. “We have got no loan vacations, no handouts,” Denis said, noting that Russia’s government has put companies such as McDonald’s on a list of entities which have been given permission to keep operating, but not enterprises such as his.
24th May 2020 - The Financial Times


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 25th May 2020

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Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr holiday amid curfews, coronavirus fears

Muslims around the world on Sunday began celebrating Eid al-Fitr, a normally festive holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, with millions under strict stay-at-home orders and many fearing renewed coronavirus outbreaks. The three-day holiday is usually a time of travel, family get-togethers and lavish daytime feasts after weeks of dawn-to-dusk fasting. But this year many of the world's 1.8 billion Muslims will have to pray at home and make due with video calls. Some countries, including Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, have imposed round-the-clock holiday curfews. But even where many restrictions have been lifted, celebrations will be subdued because of fears of the pandemic and its economic fallout. Saudi Arabia, home to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, is under a complete lockdown, with residents only permitted to leave their homes to purchase food and medicine.
24th May 2020 - CBC.ca

Bolsonaro calls coronavirus a 'little flu.' Inside Brazil's hospitals, doctors know the horrifying reality

In Brazil's largest and most badly infected city, coronavirus has yet to peak, yet already the healthcare system is crumbling visibly around us. As doctors struggle valiantly to save lives, the country's President, Jair Bolsonaro, seems more focused on another sick patient: his country's economy. Brazil this week became the country with the second most infections worldwide after the United States, with more than 330,000 confirmed cases. But Bolsonaro, who once dismissed Covid-19 as a "little flu," has urged businesses to reopen, despite many governors stressing social isolation measures to slow the spread. In the huge intensive care unit (ICU) of Emilio Ribas Infectious Disease Institute in São Paulo, anger swirls among doctors when asked about their President's comments. "Revolting," says one. "Irrelevant" declares another.
24th May 2020 - CNN

Doctors Without Borders go from wars to fighting Covid-19 in Brazil's poorest areas

Previously Doctors Without Borders have been accustomed to acting in disasters, now the NGO finds itself offering assistance to homeless people fighting Covid-19 in Sao Paolo
24th May 2020 - Folha.uol.br

Nigeria to impose precision lockdown in coronavirus hotspots

Nigeria announced on Monday it would impose precisely targeted lockdown measures in areas that report rapid increases in cases of the coronavirus, while the phased reopening of the economy as a whole would go ahead more slowly than planned. The government extended a full lockdown in Kano state, the northern economic hub where authorities are investigating a spate of mysterious deaths. Kano has the second highest number of confirmed cases in the country after Lagos. The government said its phased reopening of strict lockdowns in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states would go more slowly than initially planned, and the current phase of gradual reopening would last a further two weeks.
18th May 2020 - Yahoo News


Continued Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 22nd May 2020

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Compliance with UK lockdown rules has dropped to 60 per cent

More than half of young adults are no longer sticking strictly to the lockdown rules, according to a new survey. Researchers who questioned over 90,000 adults have found that “complete” compliance with Government safety measures, such as social distancing and staying at home, has dropped in the past two weeks from an average of 70% of people to under 60% who said they act this way. Less than 50% of younger adults are “completely” complying with lockdown rules, according to the University College London (UCL) study which looked at how adults are feeling about a range of issues during the pandemic. These include the lockdown, Government advice, their overall wellbeing and mental health.
21st May 2020 - Wales Online

Coronavirus: No more changes to NI lockdown restrictions yet

Stormont ministers have decided there will not be any further changes yet to lockdown measures in Northern Ireland. The executive met on Thursday to discuss its response to easing restrictions. Earlier this week, Arlene Foster said ministers would revisit whether relatives who do not live together could meet indoors. It is included in step one of the recovery plan, but the executive has not agreed to allow it to go ahead. Their decision comes as a further seven Covid-19 related deaths have been recorded by Northern Ireland's Department of Health, bringing its total to 501
21st May 2020 - BBC News

UK weather: Crowds hit beaches despite lockdown as Met Office confirms hottest day of the year

The UK has recorded its hottest day of the year so far – with people across the country journeying to jam-packed beaches and beauty spots to make the most of the sunshine for the first time since social distancing rules were eased. Temperatures hit a peak of 27.8C near Heathrow, up from the previous 2020 high set the day before when the mercury rose to 26.2C. And with the government having eased rules on trips outside – including those that once barred people looking to drive to far flung areas of natural beauty – thousands took to the nation’s shores with many of England’s top coastal areas appearing rammed with sunbathers.
21st May 2020 - The Independent

Coronavirus lockdown: Inspectors called to 20 water pollutions 'from DIY'

Inspectors have been called out to 20 incidents of water pollution caused by lockdown DIY in recent weeks. Staff from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency have investigated incidents caused by waste water linked to painting and decorating being disposed of incorrectly. It is believed the bulk of the problems occur when people use the wrong drain to get rid of material. There have been a number affecting the River Lagan at Dromore, County Down. The plumes of pollution are particularly hard to trace back to their origin as they are short-lived in nature.
21st May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Maximum lockdown penalties rise to £1,920 in Wales

Maximum penalties in Wales for breaching lockdown will rise to £1,920, the Welsh Government has confirmed. First Minister Mark Drakeford has faced calls to raise the penalties to deter breaches. Initial fixed penalties will stay the same at £60, but will double for each time someone is caught. But the police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Dyfed-Powys Police said the changes to penalties do not go far enough.
21st May 2020 - BBC South East Wales

Online casino searches at 'all-time high' during lockdown

Search interest in online casinos has hit an all-time high in the UK since lockdown began, data show. Google Trends shows gambling has moved online amid the closure of physical gambling venues and cancellation of sports events. Problem gamblers told the BBC lockdown measures were a "recipe for disaster". Watchdog the Gambling Commission said there had been a rise in some online gambling, but there was no evidence yet of a rise in problem gambling.
21st May 2020 - BBC News

Fewer young adults sticking to lockdown rules, UK study shows

More than half of young adults are no longer sticking strictly to UK lockdown rules, according to a survey. Researchers who questioned more than 90,000 adults found “complete” compliance with government safety measures, such as physical distancing and staying at home, had dropped in the past two weeks from an average of 70% of people to less than 60%.
21st May 2020 - The Guardian

What is it like to live on UK borders during lockdown?

After Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland refused to adopt the British government’s new “stay alert” slogan, instead opting to continue the original advice to “stay home”, the four nations’ approaches to coronavirus has begun to fracture. For those living on the UK’s borders, this division has left them grappling with conflicting guidelines. We’d like to hear from those living on the borders about what the differing advice has meant for them.
21st May 2020 - The Guardian

'It's been life-changing': Ramadan during UK lockdown

As an intensive care doctor, Usman Ahmed is spending much of Ramadan looking after patients. But working night shifts with other Muslim colleagues makes the experience easier, he says. At the start of each shift, Ahmed and his colleagues break their fasts together with food brought from home or donated by charities. Just before sunrise, they take another break to have breakfast and prepare for another day of fasting. “This Ramadan has been an emotional time for me and I have had to observe unwell patients in intensive care and an increased number of deaths in hospital,” says Ahmed, 34, who works at Whittington hospital in Archway, London. “This has an emotional strain and I have been reflecting upon this during Ramadan.”
21st May 2020 - The Guardian

Spain MPs vote to extend lockdown until June 6

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez won parliamentary backing to extend the lockdown for another two weeks Wednesday, despite opposition from his rightwing opponents and protests against his minority coalition government. It was the fifth time the state of emergency has been renewed, meaning the restrictions will remain in force until June 6 in a measure passed by 177 votes in favour, 162 against and 11 abstentions. The measure has allowed the government to impose a strict lockdown on Spain's nearly 47 million population, significantly limiting the freedom of movement to fight the epidemic which has now claimed 27,888 lives. But the government's management of the crisis has drawn a barrage of criticism from righwing parties who have denounced its "brutal confinement", while several hundred protesters have hit the streets demanding "freedom" and Sanchez's resignation.
21st May 2020 - YAHOO!

Scandal of Spain´s Children Suffering from Depression Especially in Struggling Lockdown Families

Spain's children are suffering increased levels of depression caused by the coronavirus lockdown according to a leading children’s charity. Statistics have been published which say that 17 per cent of youngsters in Spain have felt low during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a larger percentage in economically-struggling families. The stark figures come from a survey conducted by Save the Children in April, at the height of Spain’s State of Alarm lockdown.
21st May 2020 - Euro Weekly News

Spain's PM asks parliament for 2 more weeks of lockdown

Spain’s government extended the country’s state of emergency for two more weeks despite criticism from opposition parties. The country’s lockdown, which started on March 14, will now last at least until June 7. The government argued that at least one more two-week extension will be needed to complete a cautious return of centralized control over health policy to the governors of its 17 regions. The parliament on Wednesday approved the extension request by 177 votes to 161, with 11 abstentions. The main opposition conservative Popular Party and the far-right Vox party voted against an extension to the state of emergency, which gives the government the power to restrict constitutional rights such as free movement and assembly. “The path we are on is the only one that can possibly beat the virus. Thanks to all the parliament members who have supported the state of emergency because with their vote they have saved thousands of lives”, prime minister Pedro Sánchez told parliament.
21st May 2020 - New Europe

What does Switzerland's lockdown look like? Iain Dale discovers

Switzerland shares a border with Germany, France, Austria and Italy - reporter Harriet Hadman told Iain that the southern part that borders with Italy was "very badly hit" and the virus was spreading over the border from mid-February. "Many of the hospitals along the border are staffed by hospitals that have to commute over every single day so that's made it incredibly difficult to close those borders completely. They've had to keep those healthcare workers going across," Ms Harman said. There has been a high rate of cases in Switzerland and the country has been "hit quite hard" - the top 10 country in the world for cases, though "way behind" the neighbouring countries. There have been over 1,300 cases out of eight million people - fortunately there are a high number of ICU beds, good hospitals and extremely good healthcare.
21st May 2020 - LBC 973 FM


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US economy risks 'permanent damage' from long lockdowns, Mnuchin warns

Mnuchin’s comments came in a joint appearance before the Senate banking committee with Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve. Appearing via video link, the pair offered a stark assessment of the fragile state of the economy and warned of worse to come. “I think the jobs numbers will be worse before they get better,” Mnuchin said, adding that the overall economy too was likely to weaken in the near term before starting to recover towards the end of the year.
20th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus US: New Jersey gym-goer arrested defying lockdown

Atilis Gym in Bellmawr reopened Monday, defying Governor Phil Murphy's order for non-essential businesses to stay shuttered to slow the spread of coronavirus. One gym-goer was pictured wearing a face mask and a vest that read 'Only you can prevent dad bods' being led away in handcuffs by Bellmawr police Tuesday Gym owners say the facility has introduced measures for people to return safely including only operating at 20 percent capacity
20th May 2020 - Daily Mail

Spain's leader asks parliament for 2 more weeks of lockdown

Spain’s prime minister appears before parliament on Wednesday to ask for its endorsement to extend the state of emergency that his government has used to rein in the country's coronavirus outbreak that has killed at least 27,000 people. It would be the fifth two-week extension to the state of emergency, which is currently set to expire on Sunday. The government wants to extend it until June 7.
20th May 2020 - Associated Press on MSN.com

Complying with lockdown does become harder over time – here's why

Sir Patrick Vallance, chief scientific adviser to the UK government, said that this delay was necessary because people would get “fed up” of following rules. Delaying the start of the lockdown, the theory went, would make sure the public wouldn’t run out of patience with the restrictions when the outbreak was at its worst. The idea that the public would be susceptible to this “behavioural fatigue” prompted critique from some scientists as well as support from others. Was the government correct to think that adherence would fall over time?
20th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Russian Teenagers Found Partying On Goa Beach Amid Lockdown, Detained

A group of teenage Russians, including girls, was detained by police for partying on a beach in north Goa, an official said on Tuesday. The teenagers were found drinking and partying at an isolated area on Ashwem beach on Sunday in violation of lockdown norms and other government rules and were subsequently detained, he said. All the Russians who were detained by the Pernem police were found to be minors and in their teens, said Deputy Superintendent of Police (Mapusa) Gajanan Prabhudesai, citing personal details from their passports.
20th May 2020 - NDTV

'I miss dancing': Elderly South Koreans lament loss of 'playground' as senior discos shut

Yoon Ji-won, the ex-hotelier, says Korea’s young clubbers took away her “playground.” “Why should we suffer? We wore masks and put on sanitary gels before dancing. All of us were very careful not to get into any sort of trouble because we knew it could really kill us, you know, when you’re my age,” the 61-year-old said. Another jitterbug veteran who identified himself only as ‘Qingdao Wind,’ says he has moved from colatecs to hiking and camping because his dance friends are now spending time in Geomdansan, a mountain near Misari, east of Seoul. “I also like camping, but there’s nothing like gliding through the dance floor with a partner and some music,” he said.
20th May 2020 - Reuters

A U.S. Expat in China Weighs the Decision of Where to Shelter in Place

Chris Tuazon, a copywriter from California who resides in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen with his wife, Laura, their two daughters, and his mother-in-law, faced a conundrum similar to that of Defoe’s bachelor. Seeing the increasing number of covid-19 cases as the country began to shelter in place, Tuazon stayed awake at night, wondering if he should take his whole family back to the U.S. In the video above, Tuazon offers a visual journal of the eighty-odd days his family spent in lockdown, including their deliberations over whether to stay in China or travel to the U.S.
20th May 2020 - The New Yorker

Learning in lockdown across the globe: The challenges facing Shropshire's teachers and students

The transition to online learning has been tough enough for some, but international students at Acton Burnell's Concord College are having to learn from a variety of different time zones. While teachers have had to overcome significant challenges, commitment to studies have continued with one student in America even getting up at 2am to turn up for his virtual morning lessons. Just before Covid-19 struck, staff at the college had written a document focussing on ‘anywhere anytime learning’.
20th May 2020 - Shropshire Star

As lockdowns fuel domestic abuse, social media users fight back

When British teenager Kaitlyn McGoldrick heard domestic violence was increasing under lockdown, she posted a video on social media showing victims how to make a silent emergency call to police without their attackers finding out. “I just wanted to get the message out there that there are still places you can go,” said McGoldrick, 14, a volunteer police cadet whose post has had more than 50,000 views on the TikTok video-sharing platform. As the coronavirus measures trap victims under the same roof as abusers, the United Nations has called domestic violence a “shadow pandemic,” and the issue has led to a flurry of online campaigns by charities, celebrities and ordinary social media users. Inundated with positive responses to her video, McGoldrick plans to share more advice posts with backing from the local police youth volunteer group to which she belongs.
20th May 2020 - The Japan Times

Coronavirus: WA border lockdown set to be in place for months

Premier Mark McGowan claims Western Australia’s top health officer has advised to keep the border lockdown in place for another several months.
20th May 2020 - Nine News Australia

Lockdown poetry parties 'bring families closer'

A poet who specialises in health and wellbeing said poetry could help people feel "less alone" during the pandemic. Beth Calverley, from Bristol, created The Poetry Machine in 2015 to help people "put their feelings into words". During lockdown, she has worked online and with families and the hospital where she is also poet in residence. Bristol Royal Infirmary said her specially written poems "embodied everything we as staff are feeling for our patients and their loved ones". After almost all her pre-existing work until next year had been cancelled or postponed, Ms Calverley said the months ahead looked "very uncertain".
20th May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus lockdown leaves international tourists stranded in Australia

The Colombian trio are not the only tourists stranded in Australia due to restricted international travel. According to the Department of Home Affairs, there are more than 110,000 tourists in the country. Many nations are in the process of repatriating their citizens but with air travel still heavily restricted and flight tickets often expensive, tourists remain in limbo about when they will be able to return home.
20th May 2020 - ABC News

Why I'm nervous about the end of lockdown

The role of heat and humidity - a subject of particularly passionate debate - is probably what worries me most, living in one of the southern hemisphere's few temperate countries. Of the 17 nations with more than 50,000 confirmed cases, only Brazil and India have been outside the temperate, arid and high-altitude zones that a climate-based model would suggest are most likely to encourage infection. For much of the world, where spring is gradually turning to summer, seasonal variation in COVID-19's reproduction rate would offer the prospect of a welcome slowdown in the coming months. Here in Australia, though, a mild autumn is now giving way to the first bite of winter. As I step into the cool afternoon air onto a main street that's as busy as I've seen it in months, that's not a comforting thought.
20th May 2020 - Sydney Morning Herald

Brazil coronavirus outbreak worsens as country could soon be No. 2 in cases

Brazil’s coronavirus outbreak worsened on Wednesday and the South American nation could soon have the second-highest number of cases in the world as the Health Ministry reported 888 new deaths and nearly 20,000 new infections in a single day.
20th May 2020 - Reuters


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‘Don’t Come’: Hawaii Enforces Strict Lockdown Measures

Being thousands of miles from the nearest continent and reachable almost exclusively by air travel puts Hawaii in a unique position to not just contain the virus, but potentially eradicate it there, said Dr. Eric Toner, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “By every metric that we follow they’ve done a terrific job in being able to stop the spread,” he said. “If you can get the community spread under control and you can implement strict screening of passengers, you really can stop the epidemic in their state.” Ige has signaled he plans to maintain the tough stance on arriving travelers, even as several parts of the mainland U.S. begin to reopen their economies. While the state has already begun to reopen recreational draws including some state parks, beaches and golf courses with social distancing measures, Ige last week said he planned to extend the travel quarantine through the end of June.
19th May 2020 - Bloomberg on MSN.com

Coronavirus: UK lockdown sparked steepest drop in working hours in a decade

Britain’s coronavirus lockdown triggered the steepest drop in working hours in a decade, according to official figures. The new figures lay bare the economic cost of the country’s efforts to control the virus, with millions of workers’ jobs and incomes taking a heavy hit. Total hours worked in the final week of March plummeted by 25% compared to the average over the previous three months. Prime minister Boris Johnson ordered Britain to go into lockdown on 23 March, leading many firms to temporarily shut up shop.
19th May 2020 - YAHOO!

UK unemployment claims soar amid coronavirus lockdown

UK unemployment claims soared by more than 69% in April after the coronavirus lockdown gripped the labour market, official figures revealed. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) said that jobless claims under Universal Credit surged by 856,000 to 2.1 million in April, compared with the previous month. Official statisticians also said that early estimates for April 2020 indicate that the number of paid employees fell by 1.6% compared to March, as firms began to feel a greater impact from the lockdown.
19th May 2020 - The Scotsman

Lockdown Stringency Has Largest Impact in Spain, France, U.S.

A 10-point increase in lockdown stringency leads to a 4% drop in economic activity on average, according to Bloomberg Economics analysis of data from the Oxford Covid-19 Government Response Tracker. Yet the headline result masks differences between countries. In Spain, France and the U.S., unit increases in the stringency of lockdown appear to have a larger impact on activity, while in Canada, Australia, and Sweden, the impact seems to be smaller.
19th May 2020 - Bloomberg

Digital schooling is no ‘great leveller’ – education in lockdown is more divided than ever

Private school students are twice as likely to attend online classes than those in comprehensives, Shadim Hussain says. Suddenly democratising the internet doesn't sound so far-fetched
19th May 2020 - Independent

Coronavirus: The number of 'excess deaths' in care homes and hospitals compared with normal times is revealed

More than 20,000 more deaths have been recorded in care homes in England and Wales this year compared with the average.
19th May 2020 - Sky News

Wild protests break out in Chile over Covid-19 lockdown food shortages

Police and protesters clashed in Santiago on Monday amid a city-wide lockdown meant to stem the spread of the coronavirus as local officials warned that food shortages had hit one of the Chilean capital´s poorest neighborhoods. A group of protesters threw rocks, shouted and burned piles of wood along a street in the destitute neighborhood on Santiago’s southern fringe. Images on social media and local television showed police spraying tear gas and water cannons to disperse the growing crowd. The municipality said in a statement that families were going hungry in the poorest sectors of El Bosque, a neighborhood where many work informally, or not at all. The city district has been under quarantine since mid-April, city officials said in a statement.
19th May 2020 - FRANCE 24 English


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India extends lockdown to May 31, to relax rules in some areas

India on Sunday extended a nationwide lockdown to May 31, as cases exceeded 90,000 and further clashes erupted between police and stranded migrants. Schools, malls and other public places will remain mostly closed, though rules will be relaxed in areas with low numbers of cases, according to an order from the interior ministry. "New guidelines have permitted considerable relaxations in lockdown restrictions," the ministry said in a tweet accompanying the order. Large gatherings are still prohibited, but outside of containment zones with high numbers of active cases "all other activities will be permitted", it said, potentially allowing commerce and industry to reopen across much of the country.
18th May 2020 - YAHOO!

UK on brink of mental health crisis because of lockdown

The UK could be on the brink of a mental health crisis as millions of Brits suffer the effects of lockdown. Studies and surveys are already showing the pandemic’s impact on mental health globally. Psychologists say children are anxious and increases in cases of depression have been recorded in several countries. Domestic violence is also rising, while health workers are reporting an increased need for psychological support
18th May 2020 - Metro

UK benefits ban leaves migrants struggling for food during lockdown

When Shabana Aslam’s husband, Irfan, was made redundant from his marketing job at a multinational entertainment company last month as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, the loss of the main household income left her wondering how the family would eat. The decision by Mr Aslam’s employer not to put him on to the UK’s job retention scheme meant the family’s monthly take-home pay fell 75 per cent, leaving the couple and their 11- and 13-year-old daughters to rely on Ms Aslam’s £1,300 monthly income as a teaching assistant. But rent alone comes to £1,400 a month and the couple are barred from claiming state benefits.
18th May 2020 - Financial Times

India extends lockdown as it surpasses China for most COVID-19 cases in Asia

India has extended a two-month-old lockdown by two weeks after reporting nearly 5000 new coronavirus cases but says restrictions could be eased in low-risk areas to boost economic activity.
18th May 2020 - SBS News

India extends lockdown to May 31

The Indian government has extended its nationwide lockdown to May 31. But it now allows states to ease restrictions and reopen some businesses in areas with low numbers of infections. The federal government announced the two-week extension on Sunday, the day the lockdown was to end. The move came as the country recently recorded about 4,000 new infections per day. The cumulative figure has surpassed 90,000.
18th May 2020 - NHK WORLD

India forced to extend lockdown for another fortnight as case numbers surge

While announcing lockdown 4, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it would come in a "completely different form", with new rules. "Corona will be with us for a long time but our lives cannot revolve around it. We will wear masks, we will follow the six-foot distance, but we won't let it derail our targets," Modi said. Lockdown curbs were loosened further in many parts of the country. In many cities, restaurants were allowed to operate takeaway services, while sports complexes and stadiums could host events without spectators, the home affairs ministry said. The fourth phase of the lockdown in India will start from May 18 and last till May 31.
18th May 2020 - YAHOO!

India extends COVID-19 lockdown after surge in cases

India on Sunday extended its nearly 2-month-old lockdown by two weeks after reporting nearly 5,000 new coronavirus cases, but said restrictions could be eased in low-risk areas to boost economic activity. After surpassing China on Saturday, India now has the most confirmed virus cases in Asia, with nearly 91,000. New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and some other key regions are still battling to control the rising curve of coronavirus infections. But the Home Ministry said low-risk areas will be allowed to restore economic activity.
17th May 2020 - CTV News


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Brazil Overtakes Spain to Be World’s Fourth-Most Infected Nation

The country added 14,919 cases, according to government data on Saturday, bringing its total to 233,142. It trails the U.S., Russia, and U.K. The numbers exceed those in Spain, which has a total of 230,698 cases and is planning to extend the state of emergency for a fifth time to combat the outbreak. Brazil’s new cases come as Vice President Hamilton Mourao and his wife are in self-isolation after a civil servant he came into contact with tested positive for Covid-19, according to a note sent by his press office. They are awaiting test results, which are expected on Monday.
17th May 2020 - Bloomberg

Mexico's president pushes back on government forecast coronavirus could impoverish millions

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pushed back on Thursday against a government report that forecast the coronavirus pandemic could drag millions of Mexicans into extreme poverty in Latin America’s second largest economy.
17th May 2020 - Reuters UK

Covid-19 Outbreak in Nigeria Is Just One of Africa’s Alarming Hot Spots

Dozens of doctors are infected and gravediggers are overwhelmed in Kano, Nigeria’s second-largest city, where inaction led to an unchecked outbreak. Across Africa, other hot spots are emerging.
17th May 2020 - The New York Times

Kenya closes borders with Somalia, Tanzania to curb COVID-19 spread | English.news.cn

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday closed the country's borders with Somalia and Tanzania effective midnight as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus. Kenyatta banned the movement of persons and passengers in and out of Kenya through the Tanzania and Somalia borders for 21 days following the rise of cross-border COVID-19 transmission. "In the last week, we have witnessed increased imported cases among individuals crossing into the country through our borders. These areas have become areas of grave concern," Kenyatta told the nation in a televised news conference in Nairobi. He said all drivers of the cargo vehicles shall be subjected to mandatory COVID-19 disease testing and will only be granted entry into the Kenyan territory if they test negative.
16th May 2020 - Xinhua

Saudi Arabia's coronavirus cases top 50,000: ministry

The number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia topped 50,000 on Saturday, the health ministry said. A ministry official reported 2,840 new cases, taking the cumulative total to 51,980. That was up from an average of around 1,500 new cases a day over the past week. The death toll in the kingdom increased by 10 to 302, the official said on state TV. Saudi Arabia recorded its first COVID-19 infection on March 2, several weeks after the initial outbreak in Asia.
16th May 2020 - Reuters UK

Saudi Arabia's coronavirus cases top 50,000: ministry

The number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia topped 50,000 on Saturday, the health ministry said. A ministry official reported 2,840 new cases, taking the cumulative total to 51,980. That was up from an average of around 1,500 new cases a day over the past week. The death toll in the kingdom increased by 10 to 302, the official said on state TV. Saudi Arabia recorded its first COVID-19 infection on March 2, several weeks after the initial outbreak in Asia.
16th May 2020 - Reuters UK

Mass testing won't happen in Mexico. That's the way the government wants it

Mexican health officials believe the outbreak will peak in this country no later than May 20, though some studies suggest it could arrive in late June, even as the country has one of the lowest testing rates in the world. "I don't think testing is a must," Lopez-Gatell said when asked if the country could re-open safely without more tests. "This doesn't mean we're resistant to testing, we will use testing but in a carefully planned manner." As of May 11, Mexico had only conducted 89 tests per 100,000 people, according to health ministry data. By contrast, the US tested at a rate nearly 32 times higher than that, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
16th May 2020 - CNN

No beds, packed morgues: Mumbai hospitals near collapse in war against coronavirus

Packed morgues, bodies in wards, patients forced to share beds and medical workers run ragged: Mumbai's war against coronavirus has pushed the Indian city's hospitals to breaking point. Ravi, 26, had to change his mother's diapers himself as she lay dying from the disease in the huge Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, better known as Sion. "They would just give us medicines and leave," Ravi (not his real name) told AFP. Staff in the 1,300-bed facility were "overworked and tired", he said, with sometimes three patients per bed.
16th May 2020 - The Straits Times

South African platinum miner Impala finds 19 coronavirus cases at mine

South Africa’s Impala Platinum said on Saturday it had detected 19 positive cases of the COVID-19 disease at its Marula operation in northern Limpopo province, and that it would close the plant until it had taken necessary health measures. “Implats has identified 19 positive cases during the week, all of them asymptomatic. Of these cases, 14 were identified as the result of proactive testing of employees returning to work. None of these employees had started work at the mine,” the firm said in a statement.
16th May 2020 - Reuters

Zimbabwe to maintain virus lockdown: president

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Saturday the lockdown imposed to control the spread of coronavirus would stay in place for the moment, but would be reviewed every two weeks. The restrictions have so far borne fruit as transmission has not been widespread and numbers remain lower than had been initial projections, he added. From more than 25,000 tests conducted, the country has so far detected 42 cases, four of which proved fatal. Mnangagwa said the World Health Organisation had classified coronavirus transmission in Zimbabwe as "sporadic, with one or more cases imported or locally detected
16th May 2020 - News24

Brazil: Coronavirus pandemic reaches dozens of Indigenous groups

The coronavirus pandemic has hit 38 Indigenous groups in Brazil, raising fears for populations that have a history of being decimated by outside diseases. "The virus is reaching indigenous territories across Brazil with frightening speed," the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples' Association (APIB) said in a statement on Friday.
16th May 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Coronavirus - Kenya: COVID-19 and lack of protective equipment threaten lifesaving care in Kenya

MSF teams too, however, crucially rely on the availability of PPE to protect patients and staff from the risk of infection. The global shortage of protective material may force even MSF to shut down our programmes – including emergency, lifesaving activities – if a reliable source of PPE is not rapidly found. This happens at the worst possible time. While the number of reported COVID-19 cases has remained relatively low so far, it is expected to increase, and so risks doing the number of indirect victims – those who couldn’t access essential medical care for other types of medical issues. With the rainy season approaching, the seasonal increase in respiratory disease is expected to make the situation even more challenging.
16th May 2020 - Africa News English

Coronavirus: Are African countries struggling to increase testing?

African countries have started to lift lockdown restrictions, raising fears that coronavirus infections could rise. The World Health Organization has said countries should consider their ability to test and trace before lifting lockdown. The continent has so far conducted 1.2 million tests since the start of the epidemic. But is that enough?
15th May 2020 - BBC News

Mexico at 'peak moment' of coronavirus crisis after biggest daily rise in cases

Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell - an epidemiologist and Mexico's coronavirus tsar - described this as "the most difficult moment of the first wave of the epidemic". He said that the country "could not relax measures" in place to stem the spread of the virus, and instead needs to embrace a "new normal" to avoid another wave of infections. On Monday, some key industries - including mining, construction and automobile assembly - are scheduled to partially reopen. Mr López-Gatell stressed that the re-opening of these industries will be largely preparatory, with a broader restart of businesses not scheduled until 1 June. Government data released on Thursday also showed more than half of hospitals in the capital, Mexico City, were at capacity with coronavirus patients.
15th May 2020 - BBC News

Hundreds die in Yemen of suspected coronavirus

More than 500 people have died over the past eight days in southern Yemen’s main city, Aden, many with breathing difficulties, raising fears the coronavirus is spreading out of control, feeding off a civil war that has left the country in ruins.
15th May 2020 - AP

'The ship is sinking': Bolsonaro battles to block foul-mouthed cabinet video

“This meeting is the perfect portrait of the Bolsonaro administration,” said Bruno Boghossian, a columnist for the Folha de São Paulo newspaper in Brazil’s political capital, Brasília. “Conspiracy theories, ideological issues, made-up battles, and culture wars – all right there at the heart of government.” The video of the supposedly private plenum on 22 April was unexpectedly thrust into the public domain by the resignation of Bolsonaro’s justice minister, Sergio Moro, two days later. Moro says the images contain key evidence supporting his allegation that Bolsonaro tried to meddle in federal police business and must be released as part of a supreme court investigation into those claims. The footage was privately screened for investigators this week but has yet to be made public. Even before its release, however, the video is casting a profoundly embarrassing, and potentially compromising light on Bolsonaro and the far-right administration he has led since January 2019.
15th May 2020 - The Guardian

Stigma, fears of quarantine hinder Kenya's COVID-19 fight

Mass testing for the novel coronavirus is under way in the worst affected areas of Kenya. But many are reluctant to be checked, for fear of being forced into quarantine. There is also a stigma attached to the virus and the disease it causes, known as COVID-19. Al Jazeera's Catherine Soi reports from the capital Nairobi.
15th May 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Taps run dry in Kenya's capital as coronavirus spreads

Heavy rains swept away the main water pipes running through forests in the Aberdare mountain range north of Kenya’s capital a week ago. Soon after that, the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company shut down a treatment plant feeding the city. Now huge swathes of Nairobi, from its slums to its well-heeled districts of Lavington and Kitisuru are struggling with little to no supplies, at a time when the government is ordering people to stay put and keep clean. “Will we deal with water shortage or the coronavirus? How can we survive without water when we are being told to wash our hands?” asked Wanjiru, a mother-of-two who also needs water to wash the vegetables she sells on her stall.
14th May 2020 - Reuters

Mexico’s Cartels Distribute Coronavirus Aid to Win Popular Support

Mexico’s drug cartels are in a war for the hearts and minds of poor Mexicans, providing them with food and supplies as they struggle to survive the economic meltdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Since the coronavirus struck Mexico, a plethora of videos and photographs uploaded to social media have shown what appear to be cartel operatives in about a dozen states handing out food packages marked with the logos of the different criminal groups to lines of Mexicans. In some cases the videos show the food being distributed by heavily armed men, driving in military-style trucks with cartel markings.
14th May 2020 - Wall Street Journal

Coronavirus: Morgues and storage rooms are full of bodies. The true death toll in Mexico City is staggering

The number of people dying from the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico is five times higher than official government figures, according to health department insiders. A Sky News investigations team working in the country's capital Mexico City has documented cremations and funerals and gained access to morgues and storage rooms full of bodies - all indicate the official data is wrong. In much of Mexico City, the second largest city in Latin America, there is virtually no social distancing, with open air markets and some businesses operating normally, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
13th May 2020 - Sky News


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Washington mayor extends US capital's lockdown

Washington's mayor extended the US capital's lockdown on Wednesday (May 13) amid a stream of new COVID-19 cases, even as many parts of the country gradually reopen in a push to prevent further economic damage. The orders extend the city's home sheltering regime, which was set to expire Friday, to Jun 8, and came as similar measures were granted for the city's suburbs in the states of Maryland and Virginia. The two states are gradually reopening their economies, but have permitted communities near the capital - population: 700,000 - to open under different timelines, due to heightened levels of COVID-19. "The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 diagnoses has yet to fall and the number of daily deaths has failed to decline," Mayor Muriel Bowser said in her proclamation. "Community transmission of COVID-19 remains widespread throughout the district," she said, as well as "in the Maryland and Virginia areas near Washington."
14th May 2020 - CNA

Coronavirus: US Supreme Court overrules Wisconsin lockdown

The US State of Wisconsin will be re-opened, effective immediately, after the state's Supreme Court ruled its restrictions over-stepped the mark.
14th May 2020 - 9News

Russians Struggling to Survive Add Pressure to End Lockdown

Grigory Sverdlin has been doling out free meals from a night bus in Russia's second-biggest city for the best part of the past two decades, with Russians running out of money after six weeks of lockdown
14th May 2020 - Bloomberg

Strains in hard-hit Mumbai complicate India's coronavirus recovery

India’s lockdown, imposed March 25, is set to at least partially end May 18. Some restrictions on manufacturing, agriculture and self-employment were lifted May 4 to ease the burden on the poor and informal sector workers who comprise the majority of India’s workforce. Indian Railways also partially reopened to run special trains carrying migrant workers stranded in the lockdown who fled India’s big cities, including Mumbai, for their village homes. At least some of the passengers carried coronavirus with them, infection spikes in the states of Bihar and Orisha corresponding with their arrivals show.
14th May 2020 - The Japan Times

Japan suicides decline as Covid-19 lockdown causes shift in stress factors

The suicide rate in Japan fell by 20% in April compared with the same time last year, the biggest drop in five years, despite fears the coronavirus pandemic would cause increased stress and many prevention helplines were either not operating or short-staffed. People spending more time at home with their families, fewer people were commuting to work and delays to the start of the school year are seen as factors in the fall. In April, 1,455 people took their lives in Japan, 359 fewer than in April 2019. Suicide has been on a downward trend in Japan since peaking at more than 34,000 cases annually in 2003. Last year saw just over 20,000, and the large drop last month came at a time when there were fears of a fresh spike.
14th May 2020 - The Guardian

Cape Town becomes the centre of South Africa's virus pandemic

Cape Town has half of South Africa's coronavirus cases, making it the center of infection in the country
14th May 2020 - Bloomberg

Africa facing a quarter of a billion coronavirus cases, WHO predicts

Nearly a quarter of a billion people across 47 African countries will catch coronavirus over the next year, but the result will be fewer severe cases and deaths than in the US and Europe, new research predicts. A model by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional office for Africa, published in the BMJ Global Health, predicts a lower rate of transmission and viral spread across the continent than elsewhere, resulting in up to 190,000 deaths. But the authors warn the associated rise in hospital admissions, care needs and “huge impact” on services such as immunisation and maternity, will overwhelm already stretched health services.
15th May 2020 - The Guardian

Why is Russia's coronavirus death rate so low?

Russia has the world's second-highest number of coronavirus cases but has registered 10 times fewer deaths than Britain, France, Italy and Spain.So many are wondering: why is the country's mortality rate so low?. How they go about counting recorded cases....
15th May 2020 - Economic Times


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How the coronavirus crisis destroyed work-life balance in Spain

The lockdown has given the 4.5 million families in the country with small children an overload of responsibility. Experts are calling for urgent measures
13th May 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Coronavirus UK: Contract tracing may mean 770k self-isolate a day

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) made the estimate. They say for every 20,000 new cases each day, 770,000 people would be traced. Currently 3,000 cases are diagnosed per day but it is heavily under-reported. The study measured the impact of app-based tracing against manual tracing . Both methods are due to be implemented by health chiefs in the coming weeks.
13th May 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus: Saskatchewan government detaining people who won’t self-isolate

The Saskatchewan government is detaining people who are allegedly not self-isolating and putting them in a place where prisoners who are awaiting bail or trial are usually held. According to the Ministry of Justice, the White Birch Remand Centre in Regina is being used as an “isolation centre” for those “unwilling or unable to follow the self-isolation orders established by the chief medical officer of Saskatchewan.”
13th May 2020 - GlobalNews.ca

South Sudan: Coronavirus cases confirmed inside UN civilian protection site

The UN Peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) told the UN Spokesperson’s Office on Wednesday that the appearance of cases within one of the camps in the capital was “not unexpected, given the rising number of cases confirmed within communities across the city.” “The UN continues to urge displaced people in the sites to follow prevention measures such as social distancing, handwashing, and isolating themselves if they become sick”, Stéphane Dujarric told reporters during the regular online briefing in New York.
13th May 2020 - UN News

Coronavirus: UAE announces 725 new cases, 511 recoveries

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Wednesday announced 725 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, as well as 511 new recoveries. The total number of cases in the country has reached 20,386 and the total number of recoveries has also reached 6,523. As many as 34,869 new tests have also been carried out, the ministry added. 3 people have succumbed to the illness, bringing the total number of deaths to 206 in the country. The UAE's daily testing average is equivalent to a four-month screening average in other countries, and the country has conducted over 1.5 million Covid-19 tests so far, the ministry had said earlier.
13th May 2020 - Khaleej Times

Madrid protests at continued lockdown as Spain starts to reopen

A top official in Madrid has called on Spain’s government to move faster to end the city’s lockdown, arguing that keeping residents at home as other areas start to ease restrictions serves little health purpose and will deepen the damage to the nation’s economy. Ignacio Aguado, deputy head of the Madrid regional government, said there would be severe consequences for unemployment and poverty if Madrid was left behind after half the country began phasing out the coronavirus lockdown this week.
13th May 2020 - Financial Times

Philippines extends lockdown in capital beyond 11 weeks

The Philippines on Tuesday announced an extension of a lockdown of its capital, Manila, to 11 weeks, stretching one of the world's strictest and longest community quarantines to June to try to contain coronavirus outbreaks.
12th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Putin's coronavirus crisis deepens with fatal hospital fire and spokesman's diagnosis

A fire in a hospital treating coronavirus victims claimed the lives of five patients and forced the evacuation of 150 people in the Russian city of St. Petersburg on Tuesday, further testing the Russian government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic amid a growing crisis that has reached the Kremlin's inner circle. The St. Petersburg fire broke out on the sixth floor of an intensive care unit at the St. George Hospital, killing five coronavirus patients connected to ventilating equipment, the TASS news agency reported, citing medical personnel. According to initial findings, the fire may have been caused by a short circuit in a ventilator or its malfunction, state news agencies said. The Investigative Committee, Russia's top law enforcement body, said a criminal investigation had been opened into the matter.
12th May 2020 - CNN


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South Africa's coronavirus lockdown: Doubts creep in

We are now over six weeks into what remains one of the toughest lockdowns on earth, the government's health experts are predicting that the peak of the epidemic may still be two or three months away, infection numbers are surging in some regions, and the shocked silence and prompt conformity that greeted Mr Ramaphosa's early diktats has been replaced by an increasingly sceptical, angry, and politicised debate. A return to business as usual in this famously fractious nation? Perhaps. But South Africa is entering a long and difficult period in its fight against Covid-19.
12th May 2020 - BBC News

Brazil's regional capitals bolster lockdown measures to curb COVID-19

Several of Brazil's regional capitals on Monday stepped up lockdown measures in a bid to fight the novel coronavirus, which has claimed more than 11,000 lives. In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's second-largest city and the one with the second-highest number of COVID-19 deaths after Sao Paulo, Mayor Marcelo Crivella announced a measure to restrict traffic in 10 districts starting Tuesday and banned the reopening of shops in the favelas. "We had an increase in cases at the start of May. Some people think that it was due to May 1 celebrations. It is very important to remember that we are only protected if everyone is using a face mask," Crivella said at a press conference.
12th May 2020 - China.org.cn

Coronavirus lockdown has made jury trials backlog even worse in courts - people are suffering, says Bar Council chair

Since we were in that courtroom together, Pinto, an experienced corporate crime barrister who works as a judge part-time, has become chair of the Bar Council. She is a member of the working group of senior legal figures who have been meeting once a week to discuss how trials can resume. The latest announcement is “very encouraging”, she says. But there was already a backlog of 37,500 cases from last year for English and Welsh courts to deal with, because of “very, very grave reductions in the budget over a decade or so and a complete lack of investment in the system”, Pinto tells i. Scottish courts could soon have another 1,600, and the backlogs are growing longer, potentially worsening victims’ traumas and leaving people’s lives in limbo.
12th May 2020 - iNews


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Spike in China and South Korea figures while Germany feels lockdown tensions

China and South Korea reported new spikes in coronavirus cases, setting off fresh concerns in countries where outbreaks had been in dramatic decline, and new protests against pandemic restrictions erupted in Germany despite the easing of many lockdowns in Europe. In the United States, former President Barack Obama harshly criticised his successor Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic as an “absolute chaotic disaster”. The United States has seen 1.3 million infections and nearly 80,000 deaths in the pandemic, the most in the world by far, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, health officials are anxiously watching to see just how much infection rates rise in a second wave as nations and states emerge from varying degrees of lockdown. China reported 14 new cases on Sunday, its first double-digit rise in 10 days.
11th May 2020 - ITV News

Germany: Politicians worry about radicalization at anti-lockdown protests

After a weekend of demonstrations across Germany, lawmakers worry that they are being used to spread far-right and anti-vaccine ideologies. Attacks on journalists and police have also been on the rise.
11th May 2020 - DW (English)

The UK reacts to new coronavirus lockdown rules: 'I live in Wales, I can't visit my family in England but if I lived in France I could'

Little Britain star Matt Lucas summed up the mood of the nation with an impersonation of Boris Johnson following his controversial speech to the nation last night about the lifting of some coronavirus lockdown rules. In a video posted on Twitter he said: "So we are saying don't go to work, go to work, don't take public transport, don't go to work. Stay indoors, if you can work from home go to work, don't go to work. Go outside, don't go outside. And then we will or won't something or other."
11th May 2020 - iNews

Coronavirus: French arrivals exempt from UK quarantine plans

Passengers arriving from France will be exempt from forthcoming UK coronavirus quarantine measures. Boris Johnson said on Sunday the rules would be imposed on people coming into the UK, to prevent Covid-19 being brought in from overseas. As yet, no start or end date for the measures has been announced. The government has already indicated that people arriving from the Republic of Ireland will not be made to go into quarantine. However, the measures will apply to UK holidaymakers returning from other destinations
11th May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: 'Do not drive from England to Wales to exercise'

People have been warned they are not allowed to drive from England into Wales for exercise as the two countries move to different lockdown rules. Rules have been relaxed in England, meaning people can "drive to other destinations". In Wales, people cannot travel "a significant distance" from home. Police forces in Wales have the power to fine people for making non-essential journeys and that includes those travelling from England into Wales.
11th May 2020 - BBC News


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The law extending the state of health emergency in France re-adopted by Parliament

With the partial re-opening of much of France scheduled for 11th May the government extended its health emergency powers to allow it to manage the situation after the re-opening and cope with any eventuality
10th May 2020 - Liberation

What does the end of India’s Covid-19 lockdown mean for you?

The lockdown has not ‘killed’ the virus and was never going to. We will have to learn to live with Covid-19, possibly until 2022. What that means is that the easing of restrictions appears to be coming primarily because the country simply can’t afford to be shut for much longer. The effects on livelihoods and indeed lives would be too much, even if there is a clear explanation of what has changed now versus, say, three weeks ago. However, this lack of a clear approach leaves open the possibility that what are now cluster containment zones – areas with a high number of cases where full lockdowns remain in place – will continue to grow if case counts go up.
9th May 2020 - Scroll.in

Explained: India enforced one of the strongest lockdowns, here’s how it stacks up against other countries

University of Oxford quantifies that. The Stringency Index has found that India indeed had one of the strongest lockdown measures in the world — at a 100 score since March 22. It was relaxed slightly on April 20 after the government eased norms for certain workplaces in regions outside the red zones. It is among the metrics being used by the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker. The Tracker involves a team of 100 Oxford community members who have continuously updated a database of 17 indicators of government response. These indicators examine containment policies such as school and workplace closings, public events, public transport, stay-at-home policies. The Stringency Index is a number from 0 to 100 that reflects these indicators. A higher index score indicates a higher level of stringency.
8th May 2020 - The Indian Express


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Why lockdown rules aren't always the same around Italy

As Italy adjusts to phase two, the staggered reopening has been complicated by the highly decentralised government system which allows the country's 20 regions to layer on their own rules. Veneto and Calabria have thus been serving food and drink at bars and restaurants with outdoor seating since last week. The area around Genoa is thinking of reopening its beaches. Neighbouring Emilia-Romagna is keeping them closed - even to those who live by the sea. And fines for breaking the rules range from a maximum of 3,000 euros in most places to 5,000 in Lombardy. Such regional differences in the rules have been cause for confusion throughout the lockdown.
7th May 2020 - The Local Italy

Breaking A Sweat: Gyms Across Spain Weary About Re-Opening Under New Lockdown Limitations

Since the beginning of the quarantine most social and leisure activities have moved online, for example watching concerts or meeting up with friends has now taken place on the internet. Similarly, working out has been done virtually although since May 2, residents in Spain have had the opportunity to take to the streets to exercise. When it comes to sports installations or gymnasiums, which according to sources are the preferred source of exercise for around 5.5 million people in Spain, they will be allowed to reopen their facilities after Phase 1 of the de-escalation plan begins. For now, Phase 1 will allow these sports establishments to recommence individual sports activities with advanced bookings, no physical contact and closed changing rooms. Further on, in Phase 3, the gyms will be limited to 30 per cent capacity and changing rooms will remain closed.
7th May 2020 - Euro Weekly News

Spain approves fourth lockdown extension to May 25 as PM secures ‘last minute’ support from opposition parties

The country’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez finally managed to secure enough ‘last minute’ support from the opposition parties to extend the country’s lockdown for a fourth time, despite many threatening to withhold their vote this time round (as reported). The lockdown extension will allow the government to restrict citizen’s movements to contain the coronavirus.
7th May 2020 - Euro Weekly News

Major Brazilian cities set lockdowns as virus spreads

São Luis became Brazil’s first major city to begin a coronavirus “lockdown” on Tuesday with another, Fortaleza, saying it would follow suit on Friday, as local health services struggle to cope with the pandemic. Tuesday’s lockdown measure covers São Luis and parts of three other municipalities with a total population of around 1.3 million people in the poor northeastern state of Maranhão. It forbids people from going outside except to obtain groceries, medications or cleaning supplies. Maranhão has not felt the brunt of the crisis, in contrast to the populous southeastern states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and the interior state of Amazonas, where hospitals are overwhelmed and authorities have resorted to burying victims in mass graves. But with 4,227 confirmed cases and 249 deaths, Brazil’s poorest state is still dealing with a significant caseload.
7th May 2020 - Reuters UK

Brazil faces 'economic collapse' in 30 days due to lockdown: economy minister

Brazil could face "economic collapse" in a month's time due to stay-at-home measures to stem the coronavirus outbreak, with food shortages and "social disorder," Economy Minister Paulo Guedes warned Thursday. Brazil, Latin America's biggest economy, is also the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the region. But far-right President Jair Bolsonaro -- who appeared alongside Guedes, his free-market economics guru -- opposes stay-at-home measures to slow the virus, saying they are unnecessarily damaging the economy. "Within about 30 days, there may start to be shortages on (store) shelves and production may become disorganized, leading to a system of economic collapse, of social disorder," Guedes said. "This is a serious alert."
7th May 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

Brazil on Lockdown: New Rules for Most Heavily Affected Cities

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, northern and northeastern states have moved ahead and decreed lockdowns in municipalities with the imminent collapse of their health care systems.
7th May 2020 - The Rio Times

South African Business Wants Virus Lockdown Ended Within Weeks

Business For South Africa says up to 4 million jobs at risk - companies may need to consider cutting dividend, Kingston says. They are calling for the lockdown to end within weeks not months to avoid serious economic dislocation
7th May 2020 - Bloomberg

Anxious, stressed South Africans really battling under lockdown, says Sadag

Amid a protracted COVID-19 lockdown, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) has been receiving more calls from people feeling anxious, panicked and stressed. A recent Sadag survey suggests that 55% had feelings of anxiety and panic and 46% were under financial stress and pressure. Before the lockdown, the group averaged about 600 calls per day - now it's between 1,200 and 1,400 calls. Sadag's Cassey Chambers said that besides people contacting them because of anxiety, panic and depression, they were also getting calls about stress related to accessing food parcels, food security, shelters, safety, social grants and UIF. She said that calls were coming from employees and business managers.
7th May 2020 - EWN

COVID-19: Moscow Cases 'Likely Three Times Higher' Than Official Toll; Pakistan To Lift Virus Lockdown

The global death toll from the coronavirus has passed 260,000 with more than 3.7 million infections confirmed, causing mass disruptions as governments continue to try to slow the spread of the new respiratory illness. Here's a roundup of COVID-19 developments in RFE/RL's broadcast regions.
7th May 2020 - Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty

Day 44 of coronavirus lockdown: Ground report from Indian cities

Here is a look at the latest updates on the outbreak of coronavirus across some of India's most important cities
7th May 2020 - Times of India

People can’t help flouting lockdown laws – but why?

The last few weeks have seen endless reports of ‘covidiots’ flouting Government lockdown laws, which clearly state that we’re not allowed to meet up with friends or family from outside our household, and if we leave our homes for exercise or essentials we must keep two metres (6ft) away from others at all times. So far, police in England have issued more than 9,000 fines (CHK) under these new coronavirus laws – yet people are still flouting them. Although these rules are expected to be relaxed from next week, with a limit on exercise lifting and picnics and trips to rural areas to be allowed, police are concerned that this bank holiday weekend will spark another dangerous backlash against social distancing.
7th May 2020 - Metro

'We pray for this bad time to end': the steep cost of lockdown in South Africa

In country where half of population lives in poverty, coronavirus lockdown is causing mounting problems. “We had no chance to prepare, to get food, to get ready, to save some money. It is like I have been bound in chains … I understand it is [the same] for the whole world but we don’t know how or when we will solve [this disease],”
6th May 2020 - The Guardian

Spain’s Andalucia & Costa del Sol ask Government for changes to lockdown ‘outing’ timetable due to soaring temperatures

The Junta of Andalucia has approached the Central Government to request changes to the existing ‘outing’ timetable, announced last weekend, in order to protect families with young children from the soaring summer temperatures. Currently a parent can take out up to three children for an hour between the hours of 12pm and 7pm, but given the increasing heat the Junta is proposing a few changes to the existing lockdown ‘outing’ timetable.
6th May 2020 - Euro Weekly News

Spain’s parliament votes to extend lockdown powers

Spain’s parliament has granted a government request to prolong the extraordinary legal order that underpins the country’s lockdown after fierce clashes in parliament and a last-minute deal with an opposition party.
6th May 2020 - The Financial Times


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Lockdown continues: Australia's biggest state will NOT relax rules

New South Wales will not relax any coronavirus restrictions until next week but Queensland will allow five household members to visit another family in a home from Sunday. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said no restrictions will be relaxed in his state - and told reporters that he will not be visiting his own mother on Mothers' Day. On Friday the national cabinet will set out a three-step framework to ease the rules - but state and territory leaders will be able to choose when they implement the changes. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said rules in Australia's biggest state by population will not be changing until after the weekend.
7th May 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus lockdown batters German services in April - PMI

Phil Smith, principal economist at IHS Markit, said the plunge in services business activity accelerated in April and that the rate of contraction was much worse than seen during the depths of the global financial crisis more than a decade ago. "However, though manufacturing also suffered a record drop in output in April, the PMI surveys confirm that the decline in Germany's economy has been less severe than in France, Italy and Spain, where lockdowns have been more strict," Smith added. Germany took a further step on the long road back to post-coronavirus normality on Monday, with museums and hairdressers reopening under strict conditions, churches opening their doors for worshippers and more car factories resuming work. But more than a month after all but essential social and commercial life was suspended to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, the country's politicians are at odds over how far and how fast to move. Despite first steps to ease restrictions, there is still a lot of uncertainty among businesses about the timing of further relaxation of measures and the health of demand going forward, Smith noted.
6th May 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus lockdown: India jobless numbers cross 120 million in April

Scenes of desperate migrant workers, particularly daily-wage earners, fleeing cities on foot to return to their villages, filled TV screens and newspapers for most of April. Their informal jobs, which employ 90% of the population, were the first to be hit as construction stopped, and cities suspended public transport. But protracted curfews and the continued closure of businesses - and the uncertainty of when the lockdown will end - hasn’t spared formal, permanent jobs either. Large companies across various sectors - media, aviation, retail, hospitality, automobiles - have announced massive layoffs in recent weeks. And experts predict that many small and medium businesses are likely to shut shop altogether.
6th May 2020 - BBC News

The head of Sweden's no-lockdown coronavirus plan said the country's heavy death toll 'came as a surprise'

The head of Sweden's coronavirus response said in a new interview that the country's high death toll had "come as a surprise" and was "really something we worry a lot about." The state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told "The Daily Show" that the Swedish strategy had still been successful in many ways. But he said the no-lockdown strategy was not a conscious decision in favor of more deaths — instead he said the outsize toll was not part of the plan. About half of Sweden's deaths have been in nursing homes, which prohibit visitors. Tegnell said health officials had thought it would be easier to keep the disease away from them.
6th May 2020 - Yahoo!

As Coronavirus Lockdown Eases, Cypriots Still in Limbo

Birinci is one of thousands of Cypriots caught in limbo since the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government and the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north both imposed stringent lockdowns but without consulting each other. "I think what has been lacking since the beginning is cooperation between the two sides," said Hakan Karahasan, another Turkish Cypriot badly affected by the lockdown.
6th May 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

Australia's coronavirus lockdown to cost $4bn a week in reduced economic activity – treasurer

The treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the current restrictions Australian governments have adopted to stop the spread of coronavirus – restrictions likely to taper down from this Friday – are resulting in a reduction in economic activity worth $4bn per week. Frydenberg will use a speech to the National Press Club on Tuesday to warn the economic shock associated with Covid-19 will be both profound and prolonged, with Treasury estimating a 10 to 12% fall in gross domestic product during the June quarter alone.
4th May 2020 - The Guardian


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Coronavirus: Robin Swann says lockdown debate getting ahead of itself

The debate about easing Northern Ireland's pandemic lockdown restrictions is "getting ahead of itself", the health minister has said. A further 17 Covid-19 related deaths in NI were reported by Robin Swann's department, bringing its total to 404. The executive is holding talks about whether to relax any measures to curb the spread of the virus. "Call it my May Day alert," said Mr Swann, as he urged people to stay at home this bank holiday weekend.
5th May 2020 - BBC

Coronavirus: Cobourg, Port Hope staying the course on closures, restrictions for now

Northumberland County has not seen a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in quite some time now. As of May 5, the area has seen 13 confirmed cases — all of which have been resolved, according to numbers provided by the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. But that doesn’t mean the Town of Cobourg and the Municipality of Port Hope are jumping at the idea of lifting restrictions and reopening facilities and amenities just yet.
5th May 2020 - Global News

Gov. Tom Wolf talks about coronavirus and reopening more of Pennsylvania

Wolf didn’t offer a timetable for opening another series of counties, including the southcentral part of the state. “There is no schedule,” Wolf said. Last week, Wolf had said some southcentral counties could be among the candidates for reopening, but he didn’t identify those counties. He didn’t offer any new hints in Tuesday’s media call. Wolf said the state hasn’t made a decision to remove the number of cases in nursing homes and prisons when examining counties for reopening. He did say those cases would be considered in making decisions. “The goal is to keep people safe,” Wolf said.
5th May 2020 - PennLive

Defying French lockdown lift, Guadeloupe says won't open schools now

Mayors in Guadeloupe, a French overseas department in the Caribbean, have voted against reopening schools next week as stipulated in plans drawn up in Paris for easing the coronavirus lockdown. The region, like France’s other overseas territories scattered around the world, is subject to French laws, but mayors have authority over schools. On Monday, they gathered in an extraordinary “territorial conference” with the archipelago’s departmental and regional presidents to discuss the reopening of schools. Of the 32 mayors, 29 voted against restarting classes when the lockdown starts to be eased in France from May 11, saying students should go back only in September.
5th May 2020 - Macau Business


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Coronavirus: Irish restrictions extended until 5 May

The Republic of Ireland is to extend its Covid-19 restrictions for a further three weeks until 5 May. Taoiseach (Irish PM) Leo Varadkar made the announcement on Friday afternoon following a meeting of the National Public Health Emergency team. Gardaí (Irish police) have set up more than 1,000 checkpoints in recent days to stop people breaking restrictions. There have been 288 Covid-19 related deaths in the country, while the death toll in Northern Ireland is 92.
30th Apr 2020 - BBC News

UK coronavirus restrictions to roll into 'next year'

Restrictions on everyday life in the UK to slow the spread of COVID-19 are likely to be needed for the “next calendar year”, the country’s top medic said on Wednesday. Britain is in the fifth week of a lockdown that only allows people to leave home for essential work, food shopping, exercise and limited other reasons. Normal life will only return once an effective vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 is available, Chris Whitty said at the government’s daily news conference.
30th Apr 2020 - 7NEWS.com.au

Gov. Baker Defends Decision to Keep Mass. Closed for 2 More Weeks

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday defended his decision to extend the state's stay-at-home advisory and non-essential business closures for an additional two weeks. The governor announced Tuesday that he was extending the shutdown from May 4 until May 18 and established an advisory board to come up with recommendations on how a phased reopening can take place. The decision upset some in the business community who are struggling to survive due to coronavirus restrictions.
30th Apr 2020 - nbcboston.com

What coronavirus restrictions are in place around the world?

Some countries are now easing strict lockdown conditions as the world continues to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The global death toll stands at more than 200,000, with close to three million people having been infected worldwide. As countries weigh up the risk of a fresh wave of virus cases against the need to kick-start their economies, here is the lockdown status in several nations
30th Apr 2020 - expressandstar.com

Some UK coronavirus lockdown restrictions could last until next year, No10 suggests

Boris Johnson's spokesman did not deny claims we could have to continue social distancing until 2021 - raising the bleak prospect of pubs shuttered beyond Christmas
23rd Apr 2020 - Mirror Online