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

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One in 7 reported COVID-19 infections is among health workers, WHO says

One in seven cases of COVID-19 reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) is a health worker and in some countries that figure rises to one in three, the agency said on Thursday. The WHO called for frontline medical workers to be provided with protective equipment to prevent them from being infected with the novel coronavirus, and potentially spreading it to their patients and families. “Globally around 14% of COVID cases reported to the WHO are among health workers and in some countries it’s as much as 35%,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
18th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Latin Americans seek more time to join COVAX vaccine facility

Several Latin American countries have informed the World Health Organization (WHO) they intend to request more time to sign up for its global COVID-19 vaccine facility known as COVAX, an official at the WHO's regional branch said on Thursday. Countries have until midnight on Friday to formalize legally-binding commitments to COVAX, a mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of eventual vaccines. The requests for an extension to the deadline will be sent directly to the GAVI Alliance, the COVAX secretariat, the official at the Pan-American Health Organization said. A representative for GAVI said by email that details of which nations joined COVAX will only be made public after the deadline.
18th Sep 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

Canada could lose ability to manage COVID-19 cases, says chief medical officer

Canada could lose its ability to manage the coronavirus pandemic due to a worrying recent spike in new COVID-19 cases, the country's top medical officer said on Thursday. The warning from Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam is the clearest indication yet of how worried authorities are about the potential for the outbreak to spiral out of control. An average of 779 new cases had been reported daily during the most recent week, more than double the level in July, Tam said. Officials in major provinces blame social gatherings for the spike. "The ongoing increase in new cases being reported daily continues to give cause for concern," Tam said in a statement. "With continued circulation of the virus, the situation could change quickly and we could lose the ability to keep COVID-19 cases at manageable levels."
18th Sep 2020 - YAHOO!

School closures are inevitable if teachers and pupils cannot get Covid-19 tests

As executive head of an alternative provision school and two social, emotional and mental health schools (SEMH), I know from experience that the start of a new academic year brings its challenges. Pupils can take time to settle back into school life after the summer break and routines can take time to be established as well as welcoming many new children and all the issues that come with that. But in my 24-year teaching career, never before have I experienced such a difficult and frankly chaotic start to the school year on a national scale. Our teaching teams have worked tirelessly over the summer to make sure our schools are as safe as they possibly can be, meeting all government “Covid-safe" guidelines. We have introduced meticulous handwashing, created one-way systems, re-arranged classrooms, and ensured social distancing in some form or other where we can.
17th Sep 2020 - The Independent

Business daily - How the French economy is faring six months after the lockdown order

It's been six months since France went into lockdown over the coronvirus pandemic, tipping the economy into its worst recession since World War II. How bad was the damage, and what hopes are there for a recovery? Also today, we look at the divisions within the French government over a proposed increase in environmental taxes on flying.
17th Sep 2020 - FRANCE 24

‘You could see it was really serious’: France’s lockdown, six months on

On March 17, 2020, the day after Emmanuel Macron’s famous address to the nation, lockdown measures to fight the spread of Covid-19 came into force in France. Six months on, people remember the surprise and anguish they felt during this unprecedented historical moment. By mid-March the French government needed to act to prevent coronavirus infections spiraling out of control. Consequently, the president addressed the country on March 16, telling the French people that “from noon tomorrow, for 15 days at least, trips outside the home will be reduced greatly”. The lockdown came into force the subsequent day. The aim was to reduce French people’s interactions as much as possible: “The message is clear – stay home!” the then Interior Minister Christophe Castaner declared after Macron’s speech. Everyone lived through this moment in his or her own way – without knowing that these “15 days at least” would in fact last for 55 days, ending on May 11.
17th Sep 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

Why India’s Covid problem could be bigger than we think

India is approaching the ninth month of the coronavirus pandemic with more than five million confirmed cases - the second-highest in the world after the US - and more than 80,000 reported deaths. Infection is surging through the country in a "step-ladder spiral", a government scientist told me. The only "consolation" is a death rate - currently 1.63% - that's lower than many countries with a high caseload. The increase in reported cases has partly to do with increased testing - but the speed at which the virus is spreading is worrying experts. Here's why. It took 170 days for India to reach the first million cases. The last million cases took only 11 days. Average daily cases have shot up from 62 in April to more than 87,000 in September. In the past week, India has recorded more than 90,000 cases and 1,000 deaths every day. Seven states are worst affected - accounting for about 48% of India's population.
17th Sep 2020 - BBC News

New Zealand officially in recession as second-quarter GDP posts record decline

New Zealand fell into its deepest economic slump on record in the second quarter as its battle against the coronavirus pandemic paralysed business activity, official data showed on Thursday.
17th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

A shark and mermaid love affair: surreal Burberry show kicks off London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week kicked off on Thursday in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic with Britain’s Burberry putting on a live virtual display of its latest collection which broke with the traditional catwalk show.
17th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

France to implement extra COVID measures in two new cities

France is to implement extra measures to curb the COVID-19 epidemic in the cities of Lyon and Nice, the health minister said, adding to the three other regions deemed as virus “red zones” where additional measures are already in place. The minister, Olivier Veran, did not say what those measures would be, but that local officials in Lyon and Nice would have until the weekend to submit their plans for extra measures to the government in Paris. France has this month seen a resurgence in the number of virus cases, surpassing the daily record reached earlier this year. Numbers in hospital and intensive care with COVID-19 are climbing too, though they are still a long way short of the peak reached in the spring.
17th Sep 2020 - Reuters


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

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Coronavirus in Scotland: Almost half of over-50s ‘less confident about going to shops due to Covid-19’

Some 35% of respondents said they are not comfortable visiting friends, 62% are less confident to eat out and 63% are worried about using public transport. There has also been an increase in the number of people experiencing loneliness, the charity said. Three in ten (30%) respondents who live alone said they have spent too long on their own and just over one in five (22%) said they feel lonely and isolated – more than three times the figure for those living with others.
16th Sep 2020 - The Scotsman

Spain’s economy faces long-lasting pandemic drag, warns central bank

Spain’s economy will struggle to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic to such an extent that it will still be as much as 6 per cent smaller at the end of 2022 than it was before the crisis hit, according to the Bank of Spain. In a grim set of economic projections released on Wednesday, the central bank highlighted the destructive impact of both the initial coronavirus outbreak and of the resurgence in infection rates following the end of the country’s lockdown in June. Spain’s economy contracted a record 18.5 per cent in the second quarter of this year compared with the previous three months, following a 5.2 per cent first-quarter contraction.
16th Sep 2020 - The Financial Times

Australian industry still caught in a post-lockdown slump

Excess capacity, weak investment and low profit expectations continue to hurt Australia’s manufacturing sector as a result of pandemic-related restrictions, a survey of industrial trends has found. The Australian Chamber-Westpac Survey of Industrial Trends indicates that business conditions remained weak in the September quarter; with investment, profit and employment expectations low and production lower than capacity.
16th Sep 2020 - Australian Times

As Covid-19 Cases Rise, Europe Enters ‘Living-With-the-Virus Phase’

Europe’s leaders choose targeted measures over nationwide lockdowns, even as cases rise. In the early days of the pandemic, President Emmanuel Macron exhorted the French to wage “war” against an invisible enemy. Today, his message is to “learn how to live with the virus.’’
16th Sep 2020 - New York Times

'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme pushes UK inflation to near five-year low

A hefty drop in meal prices, spurred by Britain’s scheme to support the hospitality sector through the COVID-19 pandemic, helped to push inflation down last month to its lowest rate in almost five years. Consumer prices rose by 0.2% in annual terms in August, the smallest increase since December 2015 and a sharp slowdown from July’s 1.0% increase, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Wednesday. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a reading of 0.0%. Discounts for more than 100 million meals were claimed Last month through the government’s “Eat Out to Help Out” programme, which offered diners a state-funded price reduction of up to 10 pounds ($12.89).
16th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Top medical expert says Ontario needs smaller classes as COVID-19 cases accelerate

Classes in Canada’s high risk schools should ideally have 20 or fewer students so children can maintain safe distance from each other, a top doctor who advised the government of Ontario on school reopening said, as sometimes crowded classes resumed in the midst of a spike in COVID-19 cases. Dr Ronald Cohn, president of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, is one author of two reports that Canada’s most populous province cited repeatedly in drafting back to school plans. Cohn said much depends on the size of classrooms - some can accommodate only 15, while others may be large enough to teach 18 or 20 children, but likely not many more than that.
16th Sep 2020 - Reuters.com

US outlines sweeping plan to provide free COVID-19 vaccines

The federal government outlined a sweeping plan Wednesday to make vaccines for COVID-19 available for free to all Americans, even as polls show a strong undercurrent of scepticism rippling across the land. In a report to Congress and an accompanying "playbook" for states and localities, federal health agencies and the Defense Department sketched out complex plans for a vaccination campaign to begin gradually in January or possibly later this year, eventually ramping up to reach any American who wants a shot. The Pentagon is involved with the distribution of vaccines, but civilian health workers will be the ones giving shots.
16th Sep 2020 - Al Jazeera English


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

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Decision time for Europe as virus surges, WHO warns

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that Europe was facing decision time about tackling Covid-19 as case numbers hit record highs, children return to school and summer recedes. WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said it was time to “stop looking for unicorns” and instead take hard decisions to protect those most vulnerable and keep youngsters in education — but inevitably see others lose out. “Europe is facing that moment as Europe enters into a season in which people will begin to come back indoors. The pressure of infection will grow, no question,” Ryan told a virtual press conference.
16th Sep 2020 - Manila Bulletin

U.K. unemployment rose in July despite lockdown lifting, with more job losses likely

Unemployment in the U.K. has risen in the three months to July, the latest official data published Tuesday showed, despite this period marking the beginning of looser restrictions. The headline unemployment rate for May to July stood at 4.1%, up from the 3.9% figure seen in the previous three month period, which covered the start of the U.K.‘s lockdown that began in late March, the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Estimates indicated that 32.98 million people aged 16 years and over were in employment between May and July, 202,000 more than a year earlier, but down 12,000 from the previous quarter. The annual increase was mainly driven by more women in employment, the ONS noted.
15th Sep 2020 - CNBC

ANALYSIS: Has crime in France spiralled out of control since lockdown?

As a ferocious debate over whether French society has descended towards "savagery" and gang culture has dominated headlines in France the past weeks, we look at whether crime rates really are on the rise since lockdown ended. The word ensauvagement has dominated news headlines in France the past weeks. The term, which could be translated as "a descent into savagery", is not new. It has been a favourite of France’s far-right for years and in 2002, then Front National (now Rassemblement National) party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen used it repeatedly during his presidential campaign. This time it was not a far-right party member, but Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin who brought it back into public discourse. “We need to stop the ensauvagement (descent into savagery) of a certain part of society," Darmanin told Le Figaro in late July.
15th Sep 2020 - The Local France

Relief and fear as Portuguese students go back to school

Wearing masks and trying to keep a safe distance, more than a million pupils returned to schools across Portugal on Monday, a long-awaited moment for many after students were forced in March to learn remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. At the Maria Amalia high school in Lisbon teenagers were called into the classroom one by one and asked to disinfect their hands, while windows were left open. Standing next to her son as they waited outside, Alexandra Borges said she feared there would be new infections at school but going back to in-person classes was essential for pupils of all ages, including her son Pedro, who brought hand sanitizer inside his backpack.
15th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

UPDATE 1-Fuel demand rises as schools open, commuters shun public transport

Traffic picked up in cities across the globe as the summer season ended and schools opened, giving a boost to fuel demand, but the prospect of recovery remained weak as many commuters still worked from home and vehicle sales were down. The reliance on isolated forms of travel including private cars seemed to be the main factor boosting demand, analysts and traders said, as most people avoided public transport for fear of the coronavirus. Road traffic in New York, London and Paris was on a slow but steady recovery, data provided to Reuters by location technology company TomTom showed.
15th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

UK jobless rate rises for first time since COVID-19 lockdown

Britain’s unemployment rate rose for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began in March, prompting fresh calls for finance minister Rishi Sunak to extend a job subsidy programme which is due to expire next month. The unemployment rate increased to 4.1% in the three months to July from the 3.9% level it had clung to since early 2020, in line with the average forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. Sunak’s coronavirus job subsidy scheme has shielded millions of workers, and the number of people in employment fell less than feared in the figures published on Tuesday.
15th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Greece tightens restrictions in Athens as COVID-19 spreads

Greek authorities on Tuesday tightened restrictions to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the greater Athens area, saying the pandemic was showing “worrying signs of resilience”. Health authorities reported 310 new confirmed COVID-19 infections on Tuesday and three deaths, bringing the total number since the first coronavirus case was detected on Feb. 25 to 13,730 and deaths to 313. “The prefecture of Attica is now between a moderate to high epidemiological risk. There is an increase in the occupancy of intensive care beds,” Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias told reporters
15th Sep 2020 - Reuters on MSN.com

U.S. COVID-19 death analysis shows greater toll on Black, Hispanic youth: CDC

A disproportionate percentage of U.S. COVID-19 deaths have been recorded among Black and Hispanic people younger than 21, according to a U.S. study, a reflection of the racial and ethnic make-up of essential workers who have more exposure to COVID-19. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that from Feb. 12 through July 31, there were 121 deaths among people younger than the age of 21 in 27 states. Hispanic, Black, and non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native people accounted for about 75% of the deaths in that age group, even though they represent 41% of the U.S. population aged under 21.
15th Sep 2020 - Reuters


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

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UK's autumn Covid-19 redundancies could exceed 700,000

Close to half a million redundancies are likely to be announced in the autumn, although the number could end up exceeding 700,000, according to a study that lays bare the scale of the Covid-19 jobs crisis facing the UK. These job cuts are on top of 240,000 redundancies officially recorded by the government up until June. That means the total redundancy figure for 2020 could top one million.
14th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Older teachers in Italy fear Covid-19 risks as schools return

Older Italian teachers and those with underlying illnesses fear the reopening of schools in Italy this week could pose a serious threat to their health. Millions of children will return to classrooms across 14 Italian regions on Monday, more than six months after schools were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. While teachers in other countries have had similar concerns over the risks, Italy stands out for having the oldest teaching workforce in the EU. A report by the OECD published on Tuesday showed that more than half of primary and secondary school teachers are over the age of 50, and 17% are over 60. At the same time, about 13,000 teaching and non-teaching staff will not immediately return to school after testing positive for Covid-19 antibodies as part of a blanket screening carried out last week, leaving many schools understaffed.
14th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Wetherspoons says 66 staff have tested positive for Covid-19

JD Wetherspoon has said 66 employees out of its workforce of more than 41,000 have tested positive for Covid-19 as it maintained that its pubs are safe for drinkers and diners. The firm’s announcement came after concerns were raised last month that the chain was failing to prevent overcrowding in its pubs, which are popular with young people due to their comparatively low prices for alcohol and food. The company said it had 32m customer visits to its 861 pubs open in the 10 weeks since 4 July. During this period, 66 of its 41,564 staff tested positive for coronavirus. It said 811 pubs had reported no positive tests. Most of the reported cases have been mild or asymptomatic and 28 of the 66 employees have returned to work, after self-isolating in accordance with medical guidelines.
14th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Italy's initial virus hotspot back to school after 7 months

The morning bell Monday marked the first entrance to the classroom for the children of Codogno since Feb. 21, when panicked parents were sent to pick up their children after the northern Italian town gained notoriety as the first in the West to record local transmission of the coronavirus. While all of Italy’s 8 million school students endured Italy’s strict 2½-month lockdown, few suffered the trauma of the children of Codogno, whose days were punctuated by the sirens of passing ambulances. “Many lost grandparents,” said Cecilia Cugini, the principal of Codogno’s nursery, elementary and middle schools.
14th Sep 2020 - The Associated Press

France’s Economic Rebound Is Stronger Than Initially Thought

France’s economic recovery from the coronavirus lockdown is stronger than previously expected, the Bank of France said Monday as it revised up its growth and inflation forecasts for this year and next. The slump in the euro area’s second-largest economy during state-ordered confinement wasn’t as deep as initially reported, and recent activity has been better than business leaders had forecast,
14th Sep 2020 - BloombergQuint

India’s parliament reopens with unprecedented Covid safety measures

An 18-day monsoon session of India's parliament has gotten underway with extraordinary safety measures to protect against the coronavirus, including staggered sittings of both Houses and social distancing between MPs. With 200 of the 785 members of parliament over 65 years of age, and at least seven ministers and two dozen lawmakers recovering from Covid-19 infection, the pandemic has cast a shadow over the session, which takes place at the end of the monsoon season. The session, which usually starts in mid-July, had to be deferred due to the pandemic, which enforced a sweeping federal lockdown from 25 March. When proceedings began on Monday, the sitting was adjourned for an hour to mark the demise of former president Pranab Mukherjee.
14th Sep 2020 - YAHOO!

More women than men left jobless post-lockdown

The adverse impact of the pandemic-induced lockdowns and restrictions on the livelihood of women is reflected in the responses of 3,221 women workers from the informal sector in a new survey report covering 20 Indian states.
14th Sep 2020 - Times of India

Europe will see a rise in Covid-19 deaths, WHO says

WHO's Europe director Hans Kluge is expecting an autumn rise in daily fatalities. Deaths have so far remained relatively stable despite summer surge in infections. Kluge also warned that delivering vaccine could present a 'logistical nightmare'
14th Sep 2020 - Daily Mail


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

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Pfizer CEO says company will know if vaccine works by end of October

Albert Bourla, the head of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which is among the companies developing a coronavirus vaccine, said Sunday there is a "good chance" the company will know whether its vaccine works by the end of October. In an interview with "Face the Nation," Bourla said it's not yet known whether Americans will be able to receive a coronavirus vaccine before 2021, as issuance of a license depends on federal regulators. But studies from Pfizer indicate "we have a good chance that we will know if the product works by the end of October."
13th Sep 2020 - CBS News

Coronavirus: 'UK at a turning point' as sharp COVID rise sees eight million Britons facing tougher lockdown

Nearly eight million people in Britain will be living under stricter lockdown rules, including a large part of the West Midlands, ahead of a widespread ban on gatherings of more than six people. From Monday, social gatherings of more than six people will be banned across England, Wales and Scotland. Households will be banned from meeting each other in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull from Tuesday after a rise in coronavirus cases
12th Sep 2020 - Sky News

Covid vaccine: 8,000 jumbo jets needed to deliver doses globally, says IATA

Shipping a coronavirus vaccine around the world will be the "largest transport challenge ever" according to the airline industry. The equivalent of 8,000 Boeing 747s will be needed, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said. There is no Covid-19 vaccine yet, but IATA is already working with airlines, airports, global health bodies and drug firms on a global airlift plan. The distribution programme assumes only one dose per person is needed. "Safely delivering Covid-19 vaccines will be the mission of the century for the global air cargo industry. But it won't happen without careful advance planning. And the time for that is now," said IATA's chief executive Alexandre de Juniac.
10th Sep 2020 - BBC News

Scarcity of key material squeezes medical mask manufacturing

“N95s are still in a shortage,” said Mike Schiller, the American Hospital Association’s senior director for supply chains. “It’s certainly not anywhere near pre-COVID levels.” Early in the pandemic the White House failed to heed stark warnings, specifically about N95s, from high-level administration officials. The Associated Press has found the administration took months to sign contracts with companies that make the crucial component inside these masks: meltblown textile. Meltblowing is the manufacturing process that turns plastic into the dense mesh that makes N95 masks effective at blocking vanishingly small particles, including viruses. Even today, manufacturers say the Trump administration hasn’t made the long-term investments they need in order to ramp up to full capacity. Meanwhile, the administration allowed meltblown exports to slip out of the country as the pandemic, and the demand for masks, soared.
10th Sep 2020 - Associated Press

Ethiopia opens facility to make coronavirus test kits

With increasing cases of COVID-19, Ethiopia has opened a facility to produce kits to test for the coronavirus and says its researchers are working to develop and test a vaccine. The company producing the testing kits is a joint venture with a Chinese company, called BGI Health Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to nearly 64,000 causing almost 1,000 deaths, according to government figures. On Sunday, Ethiopia also opened a field hospital to hold up to 200 severely affected Covid-19 patients, which will start admitting patients immediately
13th Sep 2020 - Washington Post

Coronavirus: France reports highest number of daily COVID cases since pandemic began

More than 10,000 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in France in a single day - the country's highest daily number since the pandemic began. A total of 10,561 new COVID-19 infections were recorded on Saturday, the first time they have topped 10,000 over 24 hours in France. The total surpasses the previous record of 9,843 new cases reported on Thursday.
12th Sep 2020 - Sky News

'It's not too late' to prevent major COVID-19 resurgence in Canada, Hajdu says

Parts of Canada have experienced a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases and, as the weather gets colder, there are worries about a resurgence of infections. "[The increase in cases] quite possibly could be a resurgence," Minister of Health Patty Hajdu told The Current's Matt Galloway. "It's not too late to bring those numbers down.… Governments are working really hard and in many different ways, and individuals really need to maintain those measures that are so difficult to maintain." Ontario reported 213 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, marking the first single-day increase of over 200 cases in over a month. British Columbia reported 139 new cases on Thursday, setting a new record for new cases in a single day.
12th Sep 2020 - CBC.ca

How Liverpool ended up on the brink of coronavirus lockdown

There was actually more of a concern for Wirral, where infections were rising rapidly. But a week is a long time in the world of covid-19. And at the end of that week, the city finds itself on a government danger list and facing the very real prospect of new lockdown restrictions being brought in to restrict people's lives. On Monday we started to get the feeling that things were rapidly heading in the wrong direction. Cases had started to increase very quickly and the city's Director of Public Health Matt Ashton raised the alarm bells, stating that he was "deeply concerned" by how many new infections were being found in the city. Monday was also the day we saw hundreds of school pupils sent home as positive cases wreaked havoc on the city's education system.
13th Sep 2020 - Liverpool Echo


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

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France extends programme to protect workers from further Covid-19 related job losses

Labour Minister Elisabeth Borne said that the government would continue paying up to 84 percent of salaries for employees in struggling companies. “I confirm we will maintain the same level, so the cost for the employer will be limited to 15 percent [of net salary], until next summer,” Borne told BFM television on Thursday. Currently, the scheme to help the most exposed sectors - hotels, cafes, events - was in place until the end of the year. The idea, Borne said, is that “companies can keep jobs and skills” while they restructure or retrain people.
10th Sep 2020 - RFI English

German firms spared insolvency spike despite pandemic

The number of firms declaring insolvency in Germany was 6.2% lower in the first half of last year despite the coronavirus crisis, the Statistics Office said, partly because of a rule designed to keep firms afloat in the pandemic
10th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Employment recovering: Urban unemployment at lowest since lockdown, even as salaried jobs get cut

The high unemployment rate in urban India subsided in the week ending 6 September 2020, falling to the lowest level since the lockdown began. The urban unemployment rate fell to 8.32 per cent in the week, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy. Interestingly, the employment situation in urban India has improved despite a severe loss of salaried jobs. An estimated 21 million salaried employees have lost their jobs by the end of August. There were 86 million salaried jobs in India during 2019-20, which fell to 65 million in August 2020. The loss in salaried jobs was the biggest among all types of employment.
10th Sep 2020 - The Financial Express

New Zealand mental health crisis as Covid stretches a struggling system

New Zealanders are experiencing more depression and anxiety since the coronavirus lockdown, doctors say, despite the country leading the world in its battle against the pandemic. New Zealand has been lauded for its effective management of the virus, with most Kiwis returning to their normal routines following a strict seven-week lockdown in April and May. A recent outbreak in Auckland has now largely been contained. But GPs working on the front line say “generalised anxiety” is proliferating in the community, and putting a strain on mental health services that are already overburdened.
10th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Italy July industry output rises more than expected as post-lockdown rebound continues

Italian industrial output rose a stronger-than-expected 7.4% in July from the month before, data showed on Thursday, a third consecutive increase following the end of the country's coronavirus lockdown
10th Sep 2020 - Reuters India

UK house prices jump as buyers seek gardens after lockdown - RICS

The post-lockdown surge in Britain's housing market intensified in August, and prices hit a four year high, as buyers sought properties with gardens, according to a RICS survey that also sent a warning signal that the recovery could run out of steam
10th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Portugal toughens virus rules as schools return

Ministers decided on new rules to come into force from Tuesday, including limiting gatherings to 10 people rather than 20 previously—a cap already in force in the capital Lisbon since late June. Also extending a measure from the capital, sales of alcohol will be barred from 8 pm as will drinking in public spaces. Meanwhile sporting venues will remain closed to fans ahead of the football championship kicking off next week. "We've been seeing a sustained rise in the number of new cases since the beginning of August," Prime Minister Antonio Costa said, after Portugal saw 646 new infections in the 24 hours to Wednesday—its highest since April 20.
10th Sep 2020 - Medical Xpress

UAE sounds warning after virus cases jump five-fold

The United Arab Emirates said Thursday that daily coronavirus cases had jumped five-fold compared with a month ago, and warned residents and citizens to abide by measures designed to curb the disease. The daily tally of cases hit 930 on Thursday, said Farida al-Hosani, spokeswoman for the Emirates' health sector, compared with 179 on August 10. "This is the highest number recorded in four months," she said during a televised conference. "Those who violate the preventive measures in place, whether an individual, shops, or restaurants, will be held accountable." Hosani said 12 percent of cases were among residents or citizens returning to the UAE from abroad, even though they received negative tests from their destination countries -- which are a requirement for entry.
10th Sep 2020 - The Daily Star

India inches closer to 100,000 daily Covid-19 case mark

The latest numbers put total cases at 4.46 million and 1,152 new casualties recorded over the past 24 hours took the death toll to 75,062. In terms of infections, India is second only to the United States’s 6.5 million. In terms of deaths, India is third with the US having recorded over 194,000 fatalities and Brazil over 128,000.
10th Sep 2020 - Hindustan Times


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

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Outbreaks of infections including Covid-19 in England's care homes at lowest levels for six MONTHS

Between August 24 and August 30 outbreaks dropped to just 58 in England. This is below the highs of 1,010 a week recorded at the height of the pandemic. Outbreaks are when two or more people have the same symptoms, like a cough. They may not mark a coronavirus infection as the figure includes other diseases
9th Sep 2020 - Daily Mail

France's economy set to bounce back despite impact of coronavirus

France's economy, which like those of other countries was pushed into a bruising recession by the coronavirus, will bounce back now that lockdown measures are lifted but will still contract over the year as a whole, official data showed Tuesday. France's gross domestic product, which had shrunk by a record 13.8 percent in the second quarter, is forecast to grow by 17 percent in the subsequent three months, the national statistics office Insee calculated. Nevertheless, the rebound was not quite as strong as expected and Insee said it was sticking to its forecast for an overall economic contraction of 9.0 percent for the year as a whole.
9th Sep 2020 - YAHOO!

New Zealand economy faring better than expected

A cluster of numbers suggests the economy may be faring better than expected despite a resurgence of Covid-19 and reimposition of some travel restrictions. ANZ Bank's preliminary look at business confidence for September showed an improvement in sentiment, with companies markedly less pessimistic about the broad outlook for the economy, falling to a net negative 26 percent from 41.8 percent in August. The more closely followed measure of firms' view on their own future improved 8 points, with a net 10 percent expecting conditions to get worse in the next year.
9th Sep 2020 - RNZ

Rural Communities Needlessly Risk Covid-19 From Prisons

In May, two West Virginia prisons, FCI Gilmer (in central WV) and FCI Hazelton were designated to be quarantine sites for the entire Bureau of Prisons (BOP) system. A number of prisoners were to be transferred from overcrowded DC jails before being sent yet again to another facility after 14 days of quarantine. Part of the objection to the initial transfer was that the BOP screening of prisoners for Covid-19 included a temperature check and questions, but no actual testing for Covid-19. Gilmer received 124 inmates and promptly had an outbreak affecting at least 83 prisoners and additional staff.
9th Sep 2020 - Forbes

Positive Covid tests in no-lockdown Sweden hit lowest rate since pandemic began

Sweden carried out a record number of new coronavirus tests last week with only 1.2% coming back positive, the health agency said on Tuesday, the lowest rate since the pandemic began at a time when countries across Europe are seeing surges in infections.
9th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

One in three central London venues haven't reopened since lockdown

One in three central London hospitality venues yet to reopen from lockdown won’t do so until footfall drastically improves, it was estimated today as pub giants called for more government support. Trade association UKHospitality, which represents hotel, pub, restaurant and club owners, made the reopening forecast at a time when numerous people are yet to return to offices and travel restrictions keep tourists away. Some firms have also struggled with making certain smaller sites financially viable due to social distancing rules.
9th Sep 2020 - Evening Standard

COVID-19: Angola to reopen schools in October

Angolan authorities have decided to reopen schools in the country next month after months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to media reports. “Classes will resume in phases and on alternating days. Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 will resume on October 5,” nation.africa news website quoted Education Minister Luísa Grilo as saying. Classes for the grades 7 and 8 will resume on Oct. 19, she added. The class sessions are expected to be divided into two and will go for two-and-half hours for primary schools and three-and-half hours for secondary schools, according to the website. Meanwhile, Adao de Almeida, the head of the presidential palace, announced that the government will continue observing certain COVID-19 guidelines until Oct. 9 when schools will resume, according to the website.
9th Sep 2020 - Anadolu Agency


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Risking jail, some parents in Spain resist sending kids back to school

Ángela López hardly fits the profile of a rule breaker. But López, the mother of a 7-year-old girl with respiratory problems, has found herself among parents ready to challenge Spanish authorities on a blanket order for their kids to return to school. They are wary of safety measures they see as ill funded as a new wave of coronavirus infections sweeps the country. They fear sick students could infect older relatives who are at higher risk of falling ill from the virus. And they say that they have invested in computers and better network connections to prepare for online lessons, even preparing to homeschool their children if necessary.
8th Sep 2020 - Los Angeles Times

Coronavirus: Spanish children return to school amid fears over surge in cases

Wearing colourful masks, the pupils of the Mariano Jose de Larra primary school in Madrid laughed and played on Tuesday morning before their teachers made them form two lines at the gates to take their temperature. It was the first day back at school for millions of Spanish children after a six-month break, bringing parents feelings of both relief and worry about a possible rise in coronavirus infections. "I'm a teacher and I still haven't brought my children back to school because it's not safe yet," said Maria Varas, who teaches music.
8th Sep 2020 - The Independent

Teachers and pupils missing classes due to lack of Covid-19 tests

One teacher near Birmingham told the PA news agency she and her son were missing school because they were unable to get a home test. The nearest drive-in centres were Oldham in Greater Manchester or Romford in Essex. “I think any school is going to have difficulty eventually unless things change. I should have been able to walk in today and get a test and be back at my desk in 24 hours,” said the teacher, who asked not to be named. “In my opinion the testing system is not fit for purpose and is preventing me from doing my job.”
8th Sep 2020 - Aberdeen Evening Express

Tech companies ramp up hiring as London moves past lockdown

Tech companies in the UK’s capital have accelerated their hiring plans over the summer as businesses get ready to go back to work, with digital roles jumping by more than a third. Advertising for vacancies in the digital tech sector rose 36 per cent in the last two months, according to data collated by Tech Nation for the government’s Digital Economy Council. Technology companies now employ around a fifth of all Londoners at almost 3m people, thanks to major expansions in the city by the likes of Apple, Amazon and Google. Meanwhile digital tech roles account for nine per cent of the UK’s overall workforce.
8th Sep 2020 - City A.M.

London NHS staff join trial to see if 'super sniffer' dogs can detect coronavirus

London NHS workers have been recruited to a trial that aims to determine whether dogs can sniff out Covid-19. A team of 25 volunteers from University College Hospital (UCLH) in Euston are allowing trained “bio-detection dogs” to smell their socks and T-shirts to see if they can detect whether a person has the virus. They are among 3,500 NHS staff nationwide signed up in the trial. The £500,000 government-sponsored project is being led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), charity Medical Detection Dogs and Durham University.
8th Sep 2020 - Evening Standard

French economy bouncing back after Covid-19 lockdown measures lifted

France's economy, which like those of other countries was pushed into a bruising recession by the coronavirus, will bounce back now that lockdown measures are lifted but will still contract over the year as a whole, official data showed Tuesday.
8th Sep 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

French economy bouncing back after Covid-19 lockdown measures lifted

France's economy, which like those of other countries was pushed into a bruising recession by the coronavirus, will bounce back now that lockdown measures are lifted but will still contract over the year as a whole, official data showed Tuesday. France's gross domestic product, which had shrunk by a record 13.8 percent in the second quarter, is forecast to grow by 17 percent in the subsequent three months, the national statistics office Insee calculated. Nevertheless, the rebound was not quite as strong as expected and Insee said it was sticking to its forecast for an overall economic contraction of 9.0 percent for the year as a whole. French economic activity should run at 95 percent of pre-epidemic levels in the third quarter and at 96 percent of pre-outbreak levels in the fourth, INSEE said. Economic activity ran at 81 percent of pre-outbreak levels in the second quarter, data showed.
8th Sep 2020 - Yahoo! News


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Covid-19 vaccine developers prepare joint safety pledge: Wall Street Journal

Several Covid-19 vaccine developers, including Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Inc, plan to issue a public pledge not to seek government approval until their vaccine candidates are proven to be safe and effective, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday (Sept 4). The companies would pledge to adhere to high scientific and ethical standards in the conduct of clinical studies and in their manufacturing processes, the Journal report said, citing the draft of a joint statement that is still being finalised. The companies might issue the pledge as soon as early next week, the report added, citing two people familiar with the matter
7th Sep 2020 - The Straits Times

Coronavirus: Schools face disruption over positive Covid-19 cases

Pupils and teachers have been asked to self isolate with schools across Wales affected by positive Covid-19 cases. Areas affected include Bridgend, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Carmarthen, Gwynedd, Neath, Rhondda, and Wrexham. Thirty pupils in Year 7 class at Ysgol Bro Edern, Llanedeyrn, Cardiff, have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days after a confirmed case. Head teacher Iwan Pritchard said the school had acted "as quickly as possible" to contact those affected. They were identified as close contacts of a confirmed case at the school.
7th Sep 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Train services increase amid evidence of 'modest' return to work

Train services are ramping up from today amid evidence of growing demand as schools reopen in England and Wales and workers are urged to return to offices. Timetables are increasing to around 90% of pre-lockdown levels - meaning additional trains and longer carriages on many routes - according to industry body the Rail Delivery Group. The changes coincide with figures suggesting a "modest" rise in demand since the August Bank Holiday weekend following the government's plea for staff to go back to the office over fears the coronavirus crisis will leave a permanent scar on city centres.
7th Sep 2020 - Sky News

Russia reports 5,185 new coronavirus cases, 51 deaths

Rusian reported 5,185 new coronavirus cases on Monday, pushing its national tally to 1,030,690, the fourth largest in the world. Authorities confirmed 51 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the official toll to 17,871
7th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: India overtakes Brazil with second-worst number of cases in world

India has overtaken Brazil to become the country with the second highest total number of coronavirus infections after the United States. Some 90,802 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours on Monday, pushing India’s total to 4,204,614, surpassing Brazil, which has more than 4.1 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 6.2 million people in the US have been infected. India has recorded the world’s largest daily increases in cases for almost a month. However, India has a relatively low per capita death rate, which some observers have speculated could be due to the younger average age of the population.
7th Sep 2020 - The Independent

India now has the second highest number of Covid-19 cases behind the US as number of infections surges

Another 90,082 cases were recorded on Monday, with 1,016 new fatalities. Rising number of daily infections in the cities and is spreading into rural areas. India has recorded 4.2 million cases; the US, 6.2 million; and Brazil 4.1 million. India's death toll stands at 71,642 compared to 193k in the US and 126k in Brazil
7th Sep 2020 - Daily Mail

PR blitz: China tries to flip the pandemic script, starring a 'reborn' Wuhan

China is recasting Wuhan as a heroic coronavirus victim and trying to throw doubt on the pandemic's origin story as it aims to seize the narrative at a time of growing global distrust of Beijing. China is recasting Wuhan as a heroic coronavirus victim and trying to throw doubt on the pandemic's origin story as it aims to seize the narrative at a time of growing global distrust of Beijing. The PR blitz plays out daily in comments by Chinese officials and lavish state media coverage of a "reborn" Wuhan that trumpets China's epidemic-control efforts and economic recovery while the United States struggles. The drive peaked in the past week as Chinese primary schools welcomed back students with considerable fanfare and Wuhan hosted executives from dozens of multinationals, from Panasonic to Dow and Nokia, on a highly choreographed tour of the central Chinese city
7th Sep 2020 - RTL Today

S.Africa consumer confidence improves in third quarter as lockdown eases

South African consumers regained some confidence in the economy in the third quarter after consumer confidence hit a 35-year low in the previous quarter, a survey showed on Monday, as the country reopened its borders and businesses from the lockdown.
7th Sep 2020 - Reuters

Primark sales rise as shoppers return to UK high streets after lockdown

The group may have been boosted by a trend that has seen more people baking since lockdown began. Increased demand for yeast and bakery ingredients helped ABF's ingredients arm, and profits from sugar sales are expected to increase this year.
7th Sep 2020 - The Independent

India's coronavirus infections overtake Brazil as some rail services resume

India overtook Brazil in coronavirus infection numbers on Monday, making it second only to the United States after a record jump, but the government resumed underground train services and announced plans to re-open the Taj Mahal this month
7th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK


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Tiny village offers window into India's surging COVID-19 caseload

The quaint, sugarcane growing village of Rajewadi in India's west did not have a single case of confirmed coronavirus until mid-August. Now one in every four people there is positive for the virus, with police blaming a local religious event for the spread.
5th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

COVID-19 outbreak is worsening malnutrition in India

There are warnings the world is on the brink of a "hunger pandemic". Charity Oxfam says up to 12,000 people could starve to death each day because of coronavirus-related restrictions. In India, malnutrition is already a threat to life - and the United Nations says the pandemic is making that worse.
5th Sep 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Under the cloak of Covid, the government is rushing ill-considered changes to Australia's environment laws

It seems our leaders don’t want tricky environmental matters elevated to them, so they plan to flick responsibility to the states
5th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Brazil's coronavirus cases pass the four million mark: ministry

Brazil has recorded more than 4 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 43,773 new cases and 834 deaths from the disease caused by the virus reported in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday.
5th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

India crosses four million coronavirus cases with record surge

India's total coronavirus cases surged beyond 4 million with a record rise on Saturday, making it the third country in the world to surpass that mark, following the United States and Brazil. India added 86,432 cases of the new virus on Saturday, a global daily record, according to data from the federal health ministry.
5th Sep 2020 - Reuters

Hundreds of students in quarantine after university in U.S. finds COVID-19 in wastewater

While schools and universities across the U.S. monitor coronavirus outbreaks with human testing, Utah State University officials announced they've discovered evidence of the virus a different way. The school found elevated amounts of COVID-19 in wastewater samples collected from four residence halls on campus. Officials issued a safety alert on Sunday calling for mandatory testing and quarantine of all 287 students living in Rich, Jones, Morgan and Davis on-campus residence halls.
5th Sep 2020 - CTV News

Indiana University sees 'alarming' spike in COVID-19 at frat, sorority houses

Indiana University at Bloomington on Thursday urged students living in fraternity and sorority houses to move out, citing an alaraming rate of positive Covid-19 tests that marked the latest outbreak in the U.S. Midwest and at college campus.
5th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

The bleak Covid winter? America still not on course to beat back the virus

The US is closed for many outside its borders, and many within are too scared to fly as Covid continues its deadly sweep across the country. The rate of infection has eased in Florida and elsewhere and Pesquera, president of the marketing group Discover the Palm Beaches, is hopeful business is improving. But it comes in a year of catastrophic collapse for Florida’s tourism. “Nobody has seen anything like this in a couple of generations,” said Pesquera. As the US enters its first coronavirus winter, economists and epidemiologists see a pivotal moment – a hinge whose swing will determine the direction of the economy and the course of the disease into 2021 and for years – potentially generations – to come
5th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

US university workers fight a return to campus as COVID-19 cases grow

A wave of activism is sweeping US campuses that have reopened after their summer break amid the COVID-19 crisis. Across the country, university workers — including faculty members and staff who teach in classrooms and laboratories, and housekeeping staff who clean dormitories — are pushing back against requirements that they show up on campus alongside undergraduates, thereby, they say, risking their own health. One group has filed a lawsuit against the University of North Carolina (UNC) system, which includes 16 institutions across the state, claiming that the system has not provided a safe workplace for its staff. Others have staged protests — including ‘die-ins’, in which demonstrators have simulated coronavirus deaths — to demand remote classes and more COVID-19 testing. In one case, university faculty members passed a ‘no confidence’ vote to indicate that their chancellor had neglected their concerns and botched the institution’s reopening.
5th Sep 2020 - Nature.com

U.S. CDC reports 186,173 deaths from coronavirus

The CDC on Friday said the number of deaths die to the cornoavirus has risen by 1,081 to 186, 173 and there were 6,132, 074 reported cases, an increase of 44,671 cases from the previous count.
5th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK


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117 children have tested positive for Covid-19 since return to school

A total of 117 children have tested positive for coronavirus since Scotland’s schools reopened last month, the Education Secretary has revealed. John Swinney announced the number of positive tests for the virus as teachers’ unions spoke out about their ongoing fears over safety inside schools. Since pupils returned to school in August, a total of 77 youngsters aged between 12 and 17 have been found to have Covid-19, along with 40 children aged between five and 11. The Education Secretary told MSPs at Holyrood the evidence he had seen suggested most cases were “coming within households”, describing this as the “predominant explanation” for how youngsters had contracted the disease. But he added that overseas travel was also “resulting in quite a number of the cases”.
2nd Sep 2020 - Wales Online

Coronavirus: How it feels to be back at school

As millions of pupils in England return to school after lockdown, the BBC went to two primary schools in Luton, Whitefield Primary Academy and Southfield Primary School, to find out how parents and children felt.
2nd Sep 2020 - BBC News

Spain, France and Greece report fresh surges in Covid-19 cases as schools reopen in Europe

The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, said he was particularly worried about the surge in coronavirus cases in Madrid. One of the countries in Europe hit hardest by Covid-19, Spain has reported a surge in infections in the capital and other regions since lockdown was lifted in June. “We are worried about the state of public health and evolution of the virus in Madrid,” Mr Sánchez said.
2nd Sep 2020 - iNews

India's coronavirus case tally nears 3.8 million as country reopens

India said on Wednesday it would allow metro services to reopen nationwide, despite the number of novel coronavirus infections there reaching almost 3.8 million. The country reported 78,357 new cases in the last 24 hours, federal health data showed, taking total infections to 3,769,523. Some 66,333 people have died. India’s total cases lag only the United States and Brazil, which it will overtake in days based on current trends. A dozen metro services including in the capital New Delhi would be allowed to reopen from Sept. 7, India’s urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday
2nd Sep 2020 - Reuters

Months after lockdown, children in Wuhan return to school

Children returned to school Tuesday in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the original epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic that underwent months of lockdown but which has not seen new cases of local transmission for weeks. State media reported 1.4 million children in the city reported to 2,842 kindergartens, primary and secondary schools as part of a nationwide return to classes. Life has largely returned to normal in Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus was first detected late last year. After what critics called an attempt to ignore the outbreak, the city underwent a 76-day lockdown during which residents were confined to their homes and field hospitals opened to assist an overwhelmed medical system.
2nd Sep 2020 - The New Indian Express


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'Madness': Parents wait in huge queues as UK schools return after lockdown

A long queue of parents has been filmed outside a London school uniform shop as children prepare to return to school for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown. In the video filmed on Monday, the line of shoppers waiting to get into school uniform store Hewitts of Croydon, snakes down the street and around the corner in London. Schools in the UK have been closed since March 18 due to the coronavirus pandemic but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced all children will return to school after summer holidays in September.
1st Sep 2020 - Yahoo News Australia

Coronavirus: Which parts of the UK are recovering fastest after lockdown?

The UK's major city centres are still significantly less busy and Britons are, for the most part, continuing to shun public transport, data shows. Despite a government drive to get people back in shops, restaurants, bars and workplaces, some parts of the country are recovering far more slowly than others from the coronavirus lockdown. Coastal towns are busier, but cities are still quiet
1st Sep 2020 - Sky News

Venice Reclaims Spotlight as 1st COVID-Era Film Fest Opens

Venice is reclaiming its place as a top cultural destination with the opening of the Venice Film Festival — the first major in-person cinema showcase of the coronavirus era after Cannes canceled and other international festivals opted to go mostly online this year. But don’t be fooled. The 77th edition of the world’s oldest film festival will look nothing like its predecessors. The public will be barred from the red carpet, Hollywood stars and films will be largely absent and face masks will be required indoors and out as the festival opens Wednesday.
1st Sep 2020 - The New York Times

Russia Passes 1 Million Covid-19 Cases as Epidemic Simmers

Russia became the fourth country to pass 1 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, joining the U.S., India and Brazil, on the day schools across the country reopened for the new academic year. The Russian government’s virus response center reported 4,729 new coronavirus infections Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,000,048. The number of new daily cases has gradually declined from a peak of more than 11,000 in May. The death toll increased by 123 to 17,299, a mortality rate that remains much lower than that of many other large nations. The number of fatalities is also significantly lower than those reported by the Federal Statistics Service, which said there were nearly 25,000 Covid-19 related deaths in May and June alone, the most recent data available. While a strict nationwide lockdown in the spring helped tame the initial surge, new infections have remained stubbornly high and averaged more than 5,000 per day in August. Several countries in Europe are now facing a second wave of the epidemic, raising concerns that Russia could see a spike in infections as schools reopen.
1st Sep 2020 - bnnbloomberg

Russia's Virus Cases Exceed 1 Million, Globally 4th Highest

Russia's tally of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed 1 million on Tuesday as authorities reported 4,729 new cases. With a total of 1,000,048 reported cases, Russia has the fourth largest caseload in the world after the U.S., Brazil and India. Over 815,000 people have so far recovered, authorities said, and more than 17,000 have died. Experts say the true toll of the pandemic is much higher than all reported figures, due to limited testing, missed mild cases and concealment of cases by some governments, among other factors. As of Tuesday, Russia has lifted most lockdown restrictions in the majority of the country’s regions.
1st Sep 2020 - The New York Times

Asia's factories shaking off COVID gloom, China shines

Factories across Europe and Asia continued to shake off the coronavirus gloom in August as the global economy gradually emerges from a downturn triggered by the health crisis, thanks in part to massive fiscal and monetary stimulus programmes. Surveys showing an expansion in manufacturing activity may reduce pressure on policymakers to take bolder steps to avert a deeper recession. Many analysts expect recovery to be feeble, however, as renewed waves of infections curb business activity and prevent some nations from fully reopening their economies. Fears of a resurgence in infections in some economies may discourage firms from boosting capital expenditure and delay a sustained rebound, some analysts say.
1st Sep 2020 - Reuters

Texts books and face masks, Europe's children return to school

Tens of millions of pupils returned to school in France, Poland and Russia on Tuesday, their rucksacks loaded with exercise books, geometry sets and, for many, face masks to protect them from a resurgent coronavirus pandemic. Hand cleansing stations, social distancing and staggered play time will become the new normal as countries across Europe seek ways to get children back into the classroom safely and their economies functioning once again. But they do so at a time when infections rates are spiraling upwards across the continent and there are widespread concerns that the return to schools and offices, the autumn flu season and excess mortality in winter could drive a second wave.
1st Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Face mask sales soar as Swedes eye potential guideline change

Sweden is seeing a spike in demand for face masks, several drug stores said, ahead of a possible U-turn by the authorities, who have so far doubted their effectiveness in fighting the spread of the new coronavirus. Unlike most other European countries, Sweden has kept many businesses, restaurants and most schools open, while not recommending the use of face masks, which remain a rare sight unlike in neighbouring Denmark, Norway and Finland. But after the public health agency (FHM) said two weeks ago that it may issue new recommendations, Swedes appear to be stockpiling. Face mask sales at online pharmacist Apotea have increased to around 400,000 units a week in the past two to three weeks from 150,000 in previous weeks, CEO Par Svardson said.
31st Aug 2020 - Reuters


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Capita plans to shut offices as staff work from home

One of Britain’s leading government contractors is planning to close more than a third of its 250 offices after concluding that staff are working just as effectively from home. Almost 100 sites are set to be closed as Capita, which has 45,000 staff in the UK, prepares to transform its operations permanently.
31st Aug 2020 - The Times

Spain reports more than 23,000 new COVID-19 cases since Friday

Spain has registered more than 23,000 new COVID-19 cases since Friday, health emergency chief Fernando Simon told a news conference on Monday, suggesting the infection rate had declined slightly from an Aug. 21 peak. Health ministry data showed 2,489 new cases were diagnosed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total since the onset of the pandemic to 462,858. “Of course we are worried because we have to stabilize and bring down the infection chain,” Health Minister Salvador Illa told Catalonia’s regional TV channel 324 late on Monday, adding that the goal is to avoid pressuring hospitals. Illa said that the situation is not comparable to the pandemic’s first peak in March and April, noting hospitals now have greater capacity. He said that nothing can be ruled out but it would be unlikely Spain would need to close schools again or impose a new state of emergency to try to tackle the virus.
31st Aug 2020 - Reuters

Pakistan records lowest daily count of COVID-19 in four months

Pakistan on Sunday reported 213 new coronavirus cases, its lowest daily count in more than four months. The country reported its first case of the deadly virus on February 26 and went into a three-week lockdown in late March. In the subsequent months, the caseload kept climbing, peaking at 6,825 new cases in a single day on June 13. While it recorded 153 deaths, its highest to date, on June 19. However, in the last month, Pakistan's daily infections and fatalities have dropped significantly. On August 30, it recorded only 213 new cases in a day, and six deaths across the country, while it sampled 18,017 tests.
31st Aug 2020 - Geo News

Coronavirus 'super-spreader' has 'infected at least 140 people' at Brit hotspot

A coronavirus "super-spreader" could be responsible for at least 140 positive cases on the holiday island of Gran Canaria, which is facing the threat of a new lockdown. Health experts believe the virus was introduced via the nightlife scene in the Guanarteme district of the popular Playa de las Canteras resort. While mainland Spain struggles with a second wave, Gran Canaria is battling escalating outbreaks of coronavirus which have put the island on the brink of a new lockdown unlesss the situation drastically improves in the next 14 days. The Canary government says it is watching the evolution of the virus very carefully and monitoring what action to take on a day to day basis.
31st Aug 2020 - Mirror Online

France Covid-19: Paris compulsory face-mask rule comes into force

Wearing a face mask in public has become mandatory across Paris and several surrounding areas, amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in France. On Friday the country recorded 7,379 new infections - its highest number since early May. The number of "red zones" where the virus is in active circulation has risen from two to 21. Announcing new local curbs on Thursday, PM Jean Castex said he wanted to avoid another general lockdown. He said the coronavirus was "gaining ground" across France, and that if the government did not act fast infection growth could become "exponential". Despite a sharp rise in cases in recent weeks, daily death tolls have remained low. Overall, more than 3
31st Aug 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: It would be a miracle if Tour de France finishes, UCI president admits

It would be a "miracle" if this year's Tour de France finishes, the head of the world governing body for competitive cycling has warned, after a surge in coronavirus cases prompted a rule change. There was an unusually subdued atmosphere as the race began in Nice on Saturday amid fears the 176 riders may not make it to the finishing line in Paris. Union Cycliste Internationale president David Lappartient said it was "a first miracle that we are able to start this race".
31st Aug 2020 - Sky News

France Tightens Mask Protocols Amid Gain in Virus Infections

The French government isn’t taking any chances. From Tuesday, masks will be mandatory for companies with groups working in enclosed spaces, Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne said Sunday on BFM TV. While opera singers are among those who can be granted exemptions, mask-wearing is becoming entrenched in daily life. Cities from Paris to Marseilles are making masks compulsory, even outside, while students over 11 years old will have to cover their faces when returning to school next month.
31st Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

Island paradise off Brazil reopens to welcome tourists, but only if they’ve had Covid-19

Fernando de Noronha has reopened for visitors after a five-month shutdown, but with one stipulation. Tourists have to have contracted and recovered from Covid-19 before being allowed on the island
31st Aug 2020 - South China Morning Post

Merkel Calls on Germans to Avoid Virus-Hit Areas Like U.S.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Germans to refrain from non-essential travel to areas with severe coronavirus outbreaks, including the U.S. Merkel’s warning to people in Europe’s biggest economy reflects growing concern among European leaders faced with a summer surge of Covid-19. Paris is expanding its mask-wearing mandate to public spaces citywide, Spain reported the most new infections since late April and Italy had the most since early May.
27th Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

Coronavirus Australia: Free mental health and wellbeing support during the COVID-19 pandemic

When we’re not coping, it’s not always possible to see a psychologist for help. Sometimes there are barriers to professional support services – cost, distance, availability and, more recently, coronavirus lockdowns. If you’re struggling during COVID-19, there are a number of free and accessible tools available.
31st Aug 2020 - News.com.au

'The reversal of gentrification': how Covid-19 could remake Australia's cities

Office buildings in Australian CBDs could be converted into residential living spaces, as a tanking commercial property market leads to a potential reversal of gentrification. The prediction of drastically different city centres, made by property experts and architects, follows the Covid-19 shift in work habits that have forced employers to allow staff to work from home, with expectations the flexibility afforded to them as a result of coronavirus will remain in some capacity into the post-pandemic future. Urban planning thinktanks believe that as businesses require less floor space and less commercial property is used, state and local governments will have to do more to draw people into the city centres in which they have already invested heavily.
29th Aug 2020 - The Guardian


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Falling care home demand since Covid poses threat to UK

There is a graph circulating in the care home industry that should send chills down the spine of the health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock. It predicts, under a worst-case scenario, a plunge in the demand for care homes by the end of 2021 that would leave 180,000 beds empty. The forecast by consultants Knight Frank is not good news based on a healthier aged population, but rather is based on fresh waves of coronavirus killing thousands more people in the community and in care homes, creating a flight from the sector. It is pessimistic, but for care home bosses reeling from the first wave of the pandemic – which killed more than 17,000 of their customers – it does not seem impossible. Short-term, it could have a serious impact on an NHS left to look after the infirm. Longer-term, it could seriously erode the UK’s capacity to look after its most vulnerable.
27th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

UK reports highest daily COVID case total since June 12

The United Kingdom recorded 1,522 new cases of COVID-19 in the latest daily government statistics published on Thursday, the highest number since June 12 and up from 1,048 cases a day earlier. A further 12 people were recorded as having died within 28 days of their first positive test for COVID-19, taking the United Kingdom’s cumulative death toll on this measure to 41,477.
27th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

French Business Morale Rebounds in August Despite Surging COVID-19 Cases

French business confidence rebounded in August to its highest since France went into a coronavirus lockdown despite a resurgence of new infections, a survey showed on Thursday. INSEE, the official statistics agency, said its monthly business sentiment index rose to 91 from 84, reaching its highest since March, when midway through the month the government put France under one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe. Business confidence has rebounded since the government began lifting the lockdown on May 11 as companies struggled to respond to pent-up demand from clients.
27th Aug 2020 - The New York Times

Brits must return to offices to stop city centres becoming 'ghost towns', CBI boss warns

City centres risk becoming permanent "ghost towns" if staff do not return to offices, a senior business leader has warned. Carolyn Fairbairn, the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said getting staff back into offices and workplaces is as important as pupils returning to school in September. Boris Johnson signalled an end to stay at home guidance in July as he gave employers the green light to get staff back to work, but Dame Carolyn called for the Prime Minister to do more to get office workers back at their desks. "The UK’s offices are vital drivers of our economy," she wrote in the Daily Mail. "They support thousands of local firms, from dry cleaners to sandwich bars. They help train and develop young people. And they foster better work and productivity for many kinds of business.
27th Aug 2020 - Evening Standard


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Thailand delays human testing for coronavirus vaccine

Thailand will delay human trials of its coronavirus vaccine due to limited production capacity at overseas facilities, a senior official said on Wednesday, but it hopes to resume trials by the end of the year. Thai health authorities had planned human testing of the vaccine by October, but must delay that by several months as factories abroad are at full capacity, said Kiat Ruxrungtham, director of the Chulalongkorn University vaccine development programme. The delay will be a setback for Thailand’s push to quickly create its own vaccine and comes as developers worldwide race to complete trials and secure regulatory approval. A race is on among countries to guarantee a supply amid concern about competition for access, with Britain and the United States in the lead in securing six vaccine deals with drugmakers each.
26th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Myanmar shuts schools after biggest daily climb in coronavirus cases

Myanmar ordered all schools to close after reporting 70 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, its biggest daily rise, as authorities try to tackle a resurgence of the virus following weeks without confirmed domestic transmission.
26th Aug 2020 - Reuters

India: Health workers alarmed over 'black holes' in COVID-19 apps

Health officials and lawyers have expressed worry about unclear terms on issues like data retention and sharing. "People were just hostile," said Kaur, who is one of more than one million Accredited Social Health Activists, or ASHA workers, on the front lines of India's battle to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. "We didn't want to download the app, but our concerns were ignored," Kaur said in a phone interview. "There is so much information the app wants from every individual, including pictures. Many are just scared to give it now and threaten us if we persist." Considered key tools in stemming the pandemic, the rollout of Punjab's Corona Virus Alert (COVA) app and the dozens of tracing apps being used by different Indian states has been mired in concerns over privacy issues.
26th Aug 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Is Boris Johnson following the science – or following the Scots?

Boris Johnson and his ministers are well known for their mantra that they are “following the science”. On the evidence of recent weeks it might be said that they are also “following the Scots”. The recent Westminster/English policy U-turn on masks follows other such examples, where UK ministers now responsible only for policy in England have followed the Scottish precedent, reversing a previously decided approach, as on the wearing of face coverings on public transport, in shops and indeed on abandoning plans to send pupils back to school towards the end of the last term. Most recently, the UK’s secretary of state for education, Gavin Williamson, has pleaded to be allowed to keep his job on the grounds that his counterparts in Belfast (DUP/Sinn Fein), Edinburgh (SNP) and Cardiff (Labour/Lib Dem) have been doing much the same as he has, and if they’re not being sacked neither should he be dismissed from his role. There is also some suggestion that the Scottish government (as well as the devolved administrations in Wales and Northern Ireland) earlier in the year urged the English authorities to proceed more slowly in relaxing the lockdown from May onwards, and to retain more of the social distancing conventions and business support for longer. So far as their devolved powers allowed them to, this is indeed what transpired in the three mostly self-governing parts of the UK. Arguably their greater caution has resulted in better health outcomes and fewer local lockdowns.
26th Aug 2020 - The Independent

People on low incomes in UK Covid hotspots to be paid if self-isolating

People on low incomes in areas with high coronavirus infection rates will be eligible for a payment of up to £182 if they have to self-isolate, the government has announced. Under the scheme, being trialled from Tuesday in Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham and Pendle, low-paid people who test positive for Covid-19 will receive £130 for their 10-day isolation period. This rises to £182 – or £13 a day – for people they have been in close contact with, including members of their household, who have to isolate for 14 days. The move follows weeks of campaigning by regional mayors, councils and trade unions who said millions of people across the country could not afford to isolate without pay for a fortnight.
26th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

COVID-19 -- Scenarios for the post-lockdown period in Italy

Infection has been reduced up to 70% as of May 1st. Thanks to developed model, scenarios can be drawn regarding future containment measures. While the pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 is still ravaging most countries of the world and containment measures are implemented worldwide, a debate is emerging on whether these measures might be partially alleviated, and in case how and when. This discussion requires appropriate models that guide decision-makers through alternative actions via scenarios of the related trajectories of the epidemic. This is the subject of a research whose results are published today in the journal Nature Communications by a team of Italian scientists from Università Ca' Foscari (Venice), Politecnico di Milano (Milan), Università di Padova (Padua), and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland).
26th Aug 2020 - EurekAlert


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Tourism Industry Faces $1 Trillion Loss, 100 Million Jobs At Risk From Covid-19, UN Reports

A new policy brief from the United Nations outlining Covid-19’s impact on the tourism industry projects the pandemic will cost the tourism industry approximately $1 trillion in losses and threaten more than 100 million jobs worldwide, underlining how the ongoing global crisis has devastated one of the world’s largest industries. Tourism “allows people to experience some of the world’s cultural and natural riches and brings people closer to each other, highlighting our common humanity. Indeed, one might say that tourism is itself one of the wonders of the world,” Guterres said Tuesday. “That is why it has been so painful to see how tourism has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
25th Aug 2020 - Forbes

How India's Silicon Valley saw its COVID-19 success come undone

On June 9, an Indian health education minister posted an infographic on Twitter showing COVID-19 infections and deaths in the city of Bengaluru were running about half the rate in New Zealand, a country acclaimed globally for reining in the disease. The city — which has more than double the population of New Zealand — “stumps the Kiwis,” said the caption to the image posted by Sudhakar K., who is responsible for medical education in the southern state of Karnataka. Bengaluru, known to many as Bangalore, is the capital of the state. His tweet was liked and retweeted by thousands. But the celebration was short-lived. At the time, only about 450 cases of the novel coronavirus had been recorded among Bangalore’s population of more than 12.5 million, compared with more than 260,000 cases across India and about 1,150 in New Zealand.
25th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Second lockdown ‘not necessary’ as 91% of England has zero cases in four weeks

A second lockdown is not necessary because the majority of people in England live in neighbourhoods with no new coronavirus cases for four weeks, an expert has claimed. Professor John Clancy, from Birmingham City University, fears ‘dodgy data’ is being used to justify local lockdowns. He says 91% of the country – 51 million people – live in areas without new infections for nearly a month. He said the UK’s testing system was in ‘total chaos’ as new restrictions were enforced in Oldham and parts of Blackburn and Pendle as part of a strict ‘semi-lockdown’. And Birmingham could face fresh measures after rapidly rising infections saw the city added to the Government’s coronavirus watch list.
24th Aug 2020 - Metro


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India hits grim milestone of 3,000,000 coronavirus cases

The number of coronavirus cases in India has crossed the 3 million mark. More than 10,000 new cases and 912 deaths were reported today, bringing the total to 3,044,940. India is the third country in the world hardest-hit by the pandemic, after the United States and Brazil. Health officials are hoping scientists will be able to develop a vaccine by the end of the year, with clinical trials said to be underway.
23rd Aug 2020 - Metro

Care homes 'ordered not to resuscitate' at height of pandemic, report claims

Care homes were told to introduce “do not resuscitate” orders for residents at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, a report has claimed. The Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI) report also found that care home residents were regularly refused treatment in April and May. One carer reported being told to change the status of all the home’s residents to “do not resuscitate” but said staff had refused to comply. Homes were told hospitals had a blanket “no admissions” policy at the height of the Covid-19 crisis. The survey of nurses and managers in 163 care homes across England, Wales and Northern Ireland found 56 per cent said their physical and mental health had suffered due to the stress of the pandemic.
25th Aug 2020 - Evening Standard

People acting like Covid-19 isn't out there, says West Midlands police chief

A police chief has warned that people are acting like “the virus isn’t out there” after a weekend of illegal gatherings in the West Midlands, despite Birmingham edging closer to a local lockdown. Waheed Saleem, the deputy police and crime commissioner for the West Midlands, welcomed new police powers that allow fines of up to £10,000 for organisers of unlawful raves from Friday. Police forces across the country have been dealing with a rise in unlicensed music events as the weather has improved. The increased fine comes into force ahead of the August bank holiday weekend, when senior officers expect many illegal gatherings to take place.
24th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

India coronavirus cases cross 3 million mark as economy opens up

The number of coronavirus infections in India crossed the 3 million mark with 69,239 new cases reported on Sunday even as the country opened up various sectors from a lockdown that ground businesses to a halt and hurt economic growth. With the fifth straight day of more than 60,000 new cases, India's tally stands at 3.04 million, federal health ministry data showed, behind only the United States and Brazil. Deaths in India from COVID-19 rose by 912 to 56,706. India on Sunday issued guidelines to open up its media production industry with norms for social distancing, crowd management and sanitisation. "The general principles behind the SOP will help create a safe working environment for cast and crew in the industry," Prakash Javadekar, India's union minister for information and broadcasting said in a tweet. Top producers, distributors and actors from Bollywood, the movie industry in India's financial capital of Mumbai, had said in May it would take at least two years for them to recover financially from the pandemic, putting at risk tens of thousands of jobs.
24th Aug 2020 - YAHOO!

No10 urges workers to tell bosses if they want to come back to the office amid home working surge

No10 said businesses had a obligation to offer staff 'Covid-secure workplaces' NatWest is among banks telling staff they will not return to offices this year The rise in home working sparked fears for ancillary service industries
24th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus home test kits 'run out' in England and Scotland

England and Scotland appeared to run out of coronavirus home testing kits within hours on Monday, amid a backlog in laboratories. People were advised to travel long distances to test centres after being told that the daily allowance of home tests had run out. Callers to the NHS 119 number for Covid-19 were told: “We’re very sorry – the available allocation has already been issued at this time.” The reason behind the apparent shortage is unclear, but laboratories have been struggling to clear a backlog of tests since the end of July. The health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock, announced on 28 April that his department was increasing the number of home testing kits available from 5,000 a day to 25,000 a day by the end of that week.
24th Aug 2020 - The Guardian


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Germany COVID concerts: Experiment to study virus transmission

Restart-19 is studying the movement of people and flight of the tiny airborne particles that can carry viruses. Scientists in Germany have held three pop concerts to study the risk of virus transmission during large events. The mass experiment, staged with nearly 2,000 people in the city of Leipzig, comes at a time the country has banned all such gatherings until at least the end of October. Al Jazeera’s Um-e-Kulsoom reports.
23rd Aug 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Tour de France: teams will be expelled if two members test positive for Covid

Teams will be withdrawn from the Tour de France if two riders or staff show symptoms or test positive for Covid-19 under strict protocols from race organisers. However the race, which starts in Nice on 29 August, will continue even if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in the peloton according to an 18-page document shared with teams this week. “If two persons or more from the same team present strongly suspect symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19 the team in question will be expelled from the Tour de France,” states the document, which has been obtained by the VeloNews website. “Its riders will not be authorised to start the Tour de France (or the next stage) and the team’s personnel will have their accreditation withdrawn.” All team members will have to enter a “bubble” three days before the race by passing two Covid-19 tests – and everyone in the Tour entourage will be tested again on both rest days, 7 and 14 September.
22nd Aug 2020 - The Guardian

In China, Where the Coronavirus Pandemic Began, Life Is Starting to Look Normal

Markets, bars and restaurants are crowded again. Local virus transmissions are near zero. But some worry that people are letting their guard down too soon.
22nd Aug 2020 - The New York Times

Scale of pandemic in Mexico 'under-recognised', says WHO

The scale of the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico is “under-represented” and “under-recognised” and testing is limited, the World Health Organization’s Dr Mike Ryan said on Friday. He told a Geneva briefing that testing in Mexico worked out at about three people per 100,000, compared with about 150 tests per 100,000 people in the United States. More than 22.78 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 792,837​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.
22nd Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Thailand tops the list of the world’s safest destinations during COVID-19

Thailand was considered the world’s safest travel destination during the COVID-19 pandemic based on various criteria including the 14-day notification rate of new COVID-19 cases and deaths per the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
22nd Aug 2020 - Thailand Business News

Beijing says residents can go mask-free as China COVID cases hit new lows

Health authorities in China’s capital Beijing have removed a requirement for people to wear masks outdoors, further relaxing rules aimed at preventing the spread the novel coronavirus after the city reported 13 consecutive days without new cases. Despite the relaxed guidelines, a large proportion of people continued to wear masks in Beijing on Friday. Some said the mask made them feel safe, while others said social pressures to wear the masks were also a factor. “I think I can take off my mask anytime, but I’ll need to see if others accept it. Because I’m afraid that people would be scared if they see me not wearing mask,” one 24-year old Beijing woman surnamed Cao told Reuters.
22nd Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Pope Francis prays for victims of Covid-19

Pope Francis turns his thoughts and prayers to the victims of the novel coronavirus, and recalls the 4th anniversary of a deadly earthquake in central Italy.
22nd Aug 2020 - Vatican News

COVID-19 response: How Italy went from ‘well-prepared’ to worst-hit in a few weeks

While there are many things that need to be fixed in Italy's health system, a comprehensive, integrated health information system could make the overall health system upgradation process seamless and cost-effective as it will improve the monitoring and evaluation process.
22nd Aug 2020 - Devdiscourse

The Masked Singer production shut down after coronavirus outbreak on Melbourne set

The Melbourne set of The Masked Singer has been shut down after several crew members tested positive for the coronavirus. “The entire production team, including the masked singers, the host and panellists are now in self-isolation,” the Network 10 program posted on Twitter late on Saturday night. “They are all being monitored closely and are in constant contact with medical authorities.”
22nd Aug 2020 - The Guardian

India, Brazil, and South Africa will face the 'harshest' economic impact from the coronavirus in major na..

India, Brazil, and South Africa will face the 'harshest' economic impact from the coronavirus in major nations as they're corrupt and badly run, a report says
22nd Aug 2020 - Business Insider


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World Bank chief warns extreme poverty could surge by 100 million - The Jakarta Post

David Malpass, the president of the World Bank, warned that the coronavirus pandemic may drive as many as 100 million people back into extreme poverty. The Washington-based development lender previously estimated that 60 million people would fall into extreme poverty due to COVID-19, but the new estimate puts the deterioration at 70 to 100 million, and Malpass told the AFP news agency "that number could go higher" if the pandemic worsens or drags on. The situation makes it "imperative" that creditors reduce the amount of debt held by poor countries at risk, going beyond the commitment to suspend debt payments, he added.
21st Aug 2020 - Jakarta Post

New Zealand defers lockdown decision as it reports new COVID-19 cases

New Zealand on Friday reported 11 new cases of coronavirus, and put off a decision about easing restrictions in its biggest city of Auckland to next week. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she would announce on Monday whether the government would ease alert level 3 restrictions enforced in Auckland, and level 2 measures in the rest of the country. Of the new COVID-19 cases, nine were in the community while two were imported.
21st Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Lockdown-free Sweden records its highest number of deaths in a six-month period for 150 years

Lockdown-free Sweden has recorded its highest death toll in a six-month period for 150 years - with 4,500 of its 51,405 fatalities being Covid-19 related. Its the highest tally from January to the end of June since 1869 when 55,431 people died, largely because of a famine. The population of Sweden then was just 4.1million, compared to 10.3million today. It should also be noted that Sweden remained neutral during the two world wars, whereas most European countries were experiencing the equivalent of a six-month coronavirus death toll in the course of a single battle 75 years ago.
20th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail

'Distanced aperitivo and no hugs: How we're hosting house guests in Italy after lockdown'

But it has been a relief to be able to invite people to our house again. This has, however, required adopting some measures to keep everyone safe. There have been no decrees or lists made available to guide this accommodation, so we have had to cobble together our own. In some ways, we have learned from what we have experienced with lodging and restaurants. But then have added a domestic twist. One event that got our attention early-on was the covid-caused death of the village pharmacist and the infection of several members of his family. It seems the family had a large get-together and a few weeks later, the effects were dramatic. Given that he was a kind of town patriarch and friend of everyone, Patrizio’s sudden passing got everyone’s attention. One week he was his affable self, standing by the entrance to his shop and chatting people up; the next week he was gone. Thereafter, people diligently wore masks and maintained proper separation.
20th Aug 2020 - The Local Italy

How the Pandemic Is Reshaping India

With a white handkerchief covering his mouth and nose, only Rajkumar Prajapati’s tired eyes were visible as he stood in line. It was before sunrise on Aug. 5, but there were already hundreds of others waiting with him under fluorescent lights at the main railway station in Pune, an industrial city not far from Mumbai, where they had just disembarked from a train. Each person carried something: a cloth bundle, a backpack, a sack of grain. Every face was obscured by a mask, a towel or the edge of a sari. Like Prajapati, most in the line were workers returning to Pune from their families’ villages, where they had fled during the lockdown. Now, with mounting debts, they were back to look for work. When Prajapati got to the front of the line, officials took his details and stamped his hand with ink, signaling the need to self-isolate for seven days.
20th Aug 2020 - YAHOO!

China state papers back Wuhan park after viral pool party

Chinese state newspapers threw their support behind an amusement park in the central city of Wuhan on Thursday after pictures of a densely packed pool party at the park went viral overseas amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
20th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Chinese state media dismisses attacks on Wuhan's huge pool party as 'sour grapes'

Chinese state media has defended Wuhan residents after photos and video of a huge pool party went viral this week, saying complaints by foreigners were “sour grapes” . Thousands of people celebrated at a water park music festival in Wuhan this week, crowded in front of the stage, shoulder to shoulder. An AFP photo of the dance party drew some negative responses at Wuhan’s apparent return to normal life. A newspaper front page in Australia headlined the story as “China’s big party”, and “life’s a beach in Wuhan as world pays virus price”. Chinese authorities have faced persistent criticisms over early attempts to cover up the coronavirus outbreak, with some world leaders saying they could have stopped its spread to other countries.
20th Aug 2020 - The Guardian


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Inside the French Riviera's pandemic party problem

From Saint-Tropez to Marseille and Nice, parties across the French Riviera this summer have been making international headlines. In conversations with Business Insider, several French residents described a scene of non-stop partying and minimal mask-wearing. In recent weeks, restaurants and night clubs across Saint-Tropez have been forced to close down.
19th Aug 2020 - Business Insider

Notre Dame becomes latest university to suspend in-person classes

The University of Notre Dame on Tuesday suspended in-person classes and moved them online for at least two weeks after seeing a surge in coronavirus cases, the latest university to roll back campus reopenings. Notre Dame University President John Jenkins announced the decision after the prestigious Catholic university near South Bend, Indiana, reported a spike of 80 positive test results on Monday, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 147 since Aug. 3, according to the university’s website. The results from 418 tests represented a positivity rate of 19 percent at the school with overall positivity at around 16 percent since Aug. 3.
19th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Why China’s economic recovery from coronavirus is widening the wealth gap

Amanda Wang’s family businesses — a call centre and two restaurants in Beijing — are grappling with a plunge in revenue following the coronavirus outbreak. She imposed a company-wide 30 per cent pay cut on about 120 workers in July even after receiving tax cuts and employment subsidies from the government designed to help companies survive the pandemic. “My biggest challenge is a lack of business and policy support [from the government] isn’t helpful [on this],” says Ms Wang, referring to her decision to cut workers’ salaries. “I have to make savings where I can.” Yet Ms Wang had no qualms about renewing her annual Rmb150,000 ($21,000) membership at a downtown beauty salon in the Chinese capital. “I am not going to cut corners on my basic needs,” says the 41-year-old, who in July sold one of her six apartments in Beijing for a profit of Rmb3m. “There are ways to make up for the income loss.”
19th Aug 2020 - The Financial Times

Wuhan pool parties bring post-lockdown relief in China

Night-time pool parties are proving popular in the Chinese city hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak as residents in Wuhan seek relief from lockdown. For more than two months, 11 million residents endured a strict lockdown as coronavirus raced around the city in central China. Now, some are letting loose en masse at night-time pool parties at a popular amusement park chain. The Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park reopened in late June and the crowds have picked up this month.
19th Aug 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

Millions in India face eviction amid coronavirus recovery push

Thousands of people were evicted across India during lockdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic, with millions more at risk of being uprooted as authorities push infrastructure projects to spur economic growth, housing rights campaigners said. At least 20,000 people were evicted from their homes between March 16 and July 31, despite court orders that banned such actions during lockdowns, according to a report published by the Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) in Delhi on Tuesday. In the last three years for which HLRN has records, at least 568,000 were forcibly removed from their homes across India, or 22 people every hour. Last year alone, more than 107,600 people were evicted. “India’s grave housing crisis has been exacerbated by the forced eviction and home demolition of marginalised, low-income communities - even during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Shivani Chaudhry, HLRN’s executive director.
19th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Millions return to schools lacking handwashing facilities: UN

A joint report (PDF) published last week by the WHO and UNICEF, the UN children's fund, revealed that 43 percent of schools worldwide lacked facilities for basic handwashing with soap and water in 2019, affecting 818 million children - more than a third of them in sub-Saharan Africa. In the least-developed countries, seven out of 10 schools lack basic handwashing facilities, and half of all schools lack basic sanitation and water services, the agencies said.
19th Aug 2020 - Al Jazeera English

COVID-19 pandemic causes mental health crisis in Americas, says WHO official

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a mental health crisis in the Americas due to heightened stress and use of drugs and alcohol during six months of lockdowns and stay-at-home measures, the World Health Organization’s regional director said on Tuesday. The pandemic also has brought a related problem in a surge in domestic violence against women, Carissa Etienne said in a virtual briefing from the Pan American Health Organization in Washington. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a mental health crisis in our region at a scale we’ve never seen before,” she said. “It is urgent that mental health support is considered a critical component of the pandemic response.”
19th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK


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Coronavirus: Australia signs deal for potential vaccine and says it will be free for all its citizens

Australia‘s prime minister Scott Morrison says the country has signed a deal with drugmaker AstraZeneca to secure and manufacture a potential coronavirus vaccine, and that it will be made available for free to all citizens if successful. The University of Oxford jab is considered a leader in the global race to deliver an effective vaccine against Covid-19. With several countries moving to secure supplies that some fear may lead to a global shortage, Australia said it had signed a letter of intent with AstraZeneca to produce and distribute enough doses of the Oxford vaccine for its population. “Under this deal we have secured early access for every Australian,” Mr Morrison said in a statement. ”If this vaccine proves successful we will manufacture and supply vaccines straight away under our own steam and make it free for 25 million Australians.”
18th Aug 2020 - The Independent

Chinese-built lab eases strain in Iraq's virus battle

Iraqi lab staff are busy each day shuffling piles of swab samples that await COVID-19 testing in a Chinese-built facility that has transformed the way they do their vital work. From boosting testing capacities to setting a high standard of testing protocols, the laboratory has played a critical role in helping the Iraqi Ministry of Health battle the disease since its inauguration in Baghdad's Medical City on March 25, lab director Mohammed Ghanim Mahdi said. "The lab was equipped and established by a donation from the Chinese government at a critical time," Mahdi said. "When this lab was established, Iraq had only one working lab fighting COVID-19." Mahdi said the lab has facilitated the Iraqi campaign against the coronavirus, especially in the first few weeks of the outbreak in Iraq.
19th Aug 2020 - ChinaDaily USA

Wuhan coronavirus: From silent streets to packed pools

Thousands of people packed shoulder-to-shoulder with no face masks in sight, frolicking on rubber floats and cheering along to a music festival. It's not a very 2020 image, but it was the scene this weekend in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where Covid-19 first emerged late last year. Pictures of partygoers at the Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park - looking very much removed from the outbreak that the rest of the world continues to battle - have now gone, well, viral. It's worlds apart from the images that came out of Wuhan when it had the world's first Covid-19 lockdown in January - a ghost town devoid of residents and vehicles. The lockdown was lifted in April and there have been no domestically transmitted cases in Wuhan or Hubei province since mid-May.
18th Aug 2020 - BBC News

Wuhan pool party sees thousands of people gather at water park as lockdown is eased

Thousands of people have been pictured crammed into a water park in Wuhan — the Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged — as lockdown restrictions ease. The Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park was filled with partygoers over the weekend as it hosted an electronic music festival. Photos shared widely online show thousands of revellers in swimming costumes and goggles, floating in inflatable rings whilst enjoying the DJs and performers on stage.
18th Aug 2020 - Evening Standard


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Migrants return to Delhi as India's COVID-19 deaths top 50,000

India’s COVID-19 deaths topped 50,000 on Monday, five months after the country reported its first such fatality, as migrant workers poured back into major cities in hopes of regaining work after the easing of anti-virus restrictions. Hundreds of migrant workers from the countryside who had left the capital New Delhi in droves after losing their jobs in a nationwide lockdown in March returned in buses on Monday and were made to wait in lines for rapid COVID-19 tests. Those who tested positive were sent to quarantine centres while the rest were allowed to leave the city’s busy inter-state bus terminus with their luggage. Almost all of them wore masks or covered their nose and mouth with scarves or handkerchiefs, though in the countryside such virus-fighting measures have become tough to enforce and the infection rate has surged.
17th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Nicola Sturgeon announces 26 new Covid-19 cases but no deaths recorded

There were 26 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours in Scotland, the First Minister has announced today. But there have now been zero deaths related to the killer virus since July. The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases across the country now stands at 19,358. Patients currently being treated in hospital with the deadly virus stands at 248 with three currently in intensive care. The total number of Covid-19 deaths in Scotland remains at 2,491. Early estimates show 13 of the new cases are from the Grampian area, with a new cluster emerging in Coupar Angus.
17th Aug 2020 - Daily Record

Fears overcrowding in Wetherspoon pubs may lead to Covid spike

Fears that relaxed summer socialising will lead to a surge in Covid-19 cases around the UK have been heightened after concerns that JD Wetherspoon is failing to prevent overcrowding in pubs in its 900-strong chain. Concerns about poor social distancing by customers in Wetherspoon pubs followed a surge in visitors during recent hot weather and after the publication of A-level results last Thursday. Customers in a south London pub run by the company said they had not been asked to provide personal details, including mobile phone numbers that can be used in the government’s track and trace system. The Guardian found that in one of south London’s most popular pubs with young people, customers were allowed to buy drinks directly from the bar and stood within 1 metre of others without any intervention by the staff
17th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

India travel demand high, says Lufthansa as air bubble flights to Germany resume

The Lufthansa Group on Monday expressed confidence that air travel demand to and from India remains high despite the COVID-19 lockdown disruption, as it welcomed the bilateral air bubble agreement which allowed Germany’s largest airline to resume flights from India last week. George Ettiyil, Lufthansa Group’s Senior Director for South Asia Sales, said the airline is offering more than 40 flights from Frankfurt and Munich to Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore until the end of August, beyond which it hopes to formally apply for inbound flights to India in consultation with Indian authorities.
17th Aug 2020 - Financial Express

Italy’s businesses enjoy ‘better than expected’ virus rebound

In the southern Italian town of Avellino, Salvatore Amitrano has been rushing to dispatch a backlog of deliveries since the country emerged from its strict coronavirus lockdown. Mr Amitrano and his two brothers run a multinational business producing components for household appliances with annual revenues of about €25m. His company Pasell Group, which has plants in Italy, Turkey, Slovakia and Poland, registered year-on-year sales drops of up to 50 per cent in March, April and May as Rome imposed some of the most stringent antivirus measures so far seen in a western democracy.
17th Aug 2020 - Financial Times

Japan’s GDP drop less severe than US and Europe

Japan’s economy shrank by a record 7.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 as it outperformed the US and Europe but lagged behind neighbouring South Korea and Taiwan in its response to coronavirus. The figure, which equates to a 27.8 per cent decline at an annualised pace, exposes the consequences of a nationwide state of emergency over Covid-19 in April and May, which put much of the economy into a voluntary lockdown. Japan’s performance relative to other advanced countries highlights how the effectiveness of a country’s coronavirus response affects the economy, with Japan forced to close schools but able to avoid the strict lockdowns used in Europe.
17th Aug 2020 - The Financial Times

Japan's economy shrinks at fastest pace on record, despite no coronavirus lockdown

Japan's economy shrank at its fastest pace on record between April and June as trade and consumer spending dropped off sharply in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The world's third largest economy saw output drop 7.8 per cent in the second quarter, official data released on Monday showed. At an annualised rate, the fall was 27.8 per cent, the worst ever recorded in Japan. However, it is not as severe as the economic hit taken in a number of other countries. Last week the UK reported its own record slump, with gross domestic product (GDP) shrinking 20.4 per cent in the second quarter alone.
17th Aug 2020 - The Independent

Thousands, Without Masks, Party At Wuhan Water Park In China

Thousands of partygoers packed out a water park over the weekend in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, keen to party as the city edges back to normal life. The popular Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park was filled with people frolicking in swimsuits and goggles for an electronic music festival, many perched on rubber dinghies or wading up to their chest in water. The water park reopened in June after Wuhan gradually opened up after a 76-day lockdown and strict restrictions to try and control the spread of the virus. The park -- which local media says has capped attendance at 50 percent of normal capacity -- is offering half price discounts for female visitors.
17th Aug 2020 - NDTV

China partygoers cram into Wuhan water park

Thousands of partygoers packed out a water park over the weekend in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, keen to party as the city edges back to normal life. The popular Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park was filled with people frolicking in swimsuits and goggles for an electronic music festival, many perched on rubber dinghies or wading up to their chest in water. The water park reopened in June after Wuhan gradually opened up after a 76-day lockdown and strict restrictions to try and control the spread of the virus. The park -- which local media says has capped attendance at 50 percent of normal capacity -- is offering half price discounts for female visitors.
17th Aug 2020 - YAHOO!


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India may soon be world's worst Covid hotspot as virus ravages countryside

An exodus of the poor from cities has caused a rural health crisis — and may spark a political one for PM Narendra Modi
16th Aug 2020 - The Times

No fiesta in Spain as public drinking banned, clubs closed due to coronavirus surge

Spain on Friday ordered nightlife establishments to close and banned drinking on the street in an effort to stem a coronavirus resurgence - measures that caused anger and dismay in the hard-hit hospitality sector. Smoking in public places where keeping a safe distance from people is impossible was also banned, Health Minister Salvador Illa told a news conference. Bars and restaurants will have to down their shutters by 1 a.m. as part of the new restrictions, Illa said. The minister also advised against gatherings of more than 10 people and specifically warned young people not to gather outside to drink alcohol, a popular practice called "botellones".
16th Aug 2020 - Reuters on MSN.com

Germany declares most of Spain a virus risk region

Germany declared nearly all of Spain, including the tourist island of Mallorca, a coronavirus risk region following a spike in cases there. The move deals a blow to hopes for a swift revival of mass tourism after months of lockdown all but wiped out this year’s high season in Europe. The Bild daily had reported earlier that Mallorca had been added to the list of high-risk regions published by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s public health agency. The latest version of the RKI’s list on its website said the whole of mainland Spain and the Balearic islands were risk regions.
16th Aug 2020 - Reuters

India overtakes UK to have fourth-highest coronavirus death toll in world

India has overtaken the UK to have the fourth-highest coronavirus death toll in the world. The nation of 1.3 billion reported another 1,007 deaths on Friday, bringing the total to 49,036, overtaking the official UK toll of 41,358. India’s confirmed cases surpassed 2.4 million after a single-day spike of 64,553 in the last 24 hours, making it the fastest-growing outbreak in the world, according to the John Hopkins University tally. A sign of how quickly the disease is spreading across the sub-continent, the daily increase in new infections was about 15,000 in the first week of July, but jumped to 50,000 the next month.
16th Aug 2020 - Metro

New Zealand has 69 active Covid cases after 13 more diagnosed

New Zealand on Sunday reported 13 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus for the last 24 hours, as the country’s first outbreak in months continued to grow. All but one of the new cases were from community transmission and appeared to be linked to a cluster in Auckland where the most recent outbreak started, said Ashley Bloomfield, the New Zealand director general of health. The 13th was a traveller who returned from abroad and was in managed quarantine. It brings the number of active cases in New Zealand to 69. Since the start of the year the country had recorded 1,271 cases, Bloomfield said.
16th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Island nations have the edge in keeping Covid away – or most do

Island nations have an advantage when it comes to stopping travellers importing disease, be it Covid or other infections. Seas are usually harder to cross than land, and beaches are easier to police. There are no cross-border towns, and fewer ways to sneak over frontiers. These advantages, combined with strict quarantine policies, have made island nations some of the most successful at containing Covid. But the ones that did best had shut themselves off from the world to varying degrees. And a fresh outbreak of cases in New Zealand last week suggests coronavirus can evade even tight controls. Experts say the lack of special border measures in the UK ahead of lockdown was a “serious mistake” that significantly increased the pace and scale of the epidemic. Even now, the UK’s quarantine measures – for selected countries and with limited enforcement – appear to be nowhere near as comprehensive or effective as those used by other island nations.
16th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Covid-19: How New Zealand can avoid lockdowns in the future

New Zealand can avoid going into lockdown every time there is a Covid-19 outbreak by improving its pandemic response, says epidemiologist Sir David Skegg. The Otago University professor says the extended alert level changes across the country were the right thing to do in these circumstances. While it was not necessary to find the source of the cluster in order to control it, it would be critical to do so to stop any future possible breaches, Sir David said. "I agree with the those who say the virus hasn't been lurking around for the last three months or longer. This virus has undoubtedly come in through the border, one way or another, and we need to discover how that happened."
15th Aug 2020 - RNZ

COVID-19 lockdown lifted in Thiruvananthapuram

The lockdown in Thiruvananthapuram city has been withdrawn effective from early on Saturday. With this, all shops can function from 7 am to 7 pm. The bars and beer parlours in the city will now open for takeaway while the government, private offices, and other financial establishments can function with 50 percent staff. Gyms, markets including the fish markets, malls, hypermarkets, hotels beauty parlour and barber shops can now open adhering COVID protocol. While restaurants and cafes can be opened, only takeaway is permitted. However, they can function till 9 pm. Home delivery is also allowed till 9 pm.
14th Aug 2020 - The New Indian Express


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France's COVID-19 cases at four-month high, health system holding up

France reported more than 2,500 new COVID-19 infections for the second day in a row on Thursday, levels last seen in mid-April when the country was in the middle of one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns. Despite the rise in cases, which could prompt Britain to remove France from its list of safe travel destinations, the number of people hospitalised due to the disease continued to fall, having dipped below 5,000 for the first time since mid-March on Wednesday. Experts say this is because more young people are being infected, who are less likely to need hospital care. The total official tally of cases now stands at 209,365.
13th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Top U.S. health official says approval of COVID vaccines unlikely before November

Any potential COVID-19 vaccine backed by the Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” program is unlikely to receive a green light from regulators any earlier than November or December, given the time needed for a large-scale clinical trial, the National Institutes of Health director said on Thursday. In a call with reporters, Francis Collins said he thinks testing a vaccine in at least 10,000 people could potentially give enough evidence of safety and efficacy to clear it for wider use. U.S. late-stage vaccine trials launched so far aim to recruit up to 30,000 people. “I would not expect to see, on the basis of what we know scientifically, that we would be at the point where the FDA could make such a judgment until considerably later than October 1st,” Collins said, referring to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Maybe November or December would be my best bet.”
13th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Sweden avoided a coronavirus lockdown; now its critics urge more caution to avoid a second wave

Goran K. Hansson, the general-secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and Economist Lars Calmfors called for a different strategy to the one of no-lockdown and little restrictions. Sweden had one of the worst coronavirus crises in Europe. “Now a retake is required where effective measures are put in place to protect the population,” Hansson and Calmfors wrote.
13th Aug 2020 - CNBC

20 offices turned into 2,000 individual pods for post-Covid working

Welcome to cube city. Xu Weiping, a Chinese multimillionaire, has a vision for the future of office work in the post-Covid-19 pandemic world: thousands of office pods where each person works in their own self-contained 3m x 3m cube. Xu reckons the coronavirus pandemic will have such a fundamental impact on the way people work that he is converting 20 newly constructed office buildings in east London into 2,000 of the individual cube offices. If the cubes, which feature a kettle, fridge, microwave, videoscreen and fold-down bed as well as a chair and desk, prove popular Xu plans to convert all of his £1.7bn 35-acre regeneration project in east London into more than 10,000 of the individual cubes.
13th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Brazil death toll passes 105,000 – as it happened

Brazil recorded 60,091 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,261 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in a 24-hour period, the Health Ministry said on Thursday (Aug 13). Brazil has registered 3,224,876 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll from Covid-19 has risen to 105,463, according to ministry data. Brazil ranks as the country experiencing the world's worst coronavirus outbreak after the United States.
14th Aug 2020 - Straits Times

Bill Gates On Covid Vaccine Timing, Hydroxychloroquine, and That 5G Conspiracy Theory

Bill Gates, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder and billionaire philanthropist, has become, for better and worse, a central character in the story of Covid-19. The good news: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged more than $350 million to fight the disease, including funds for vaccine manufacturing efforts at AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax. The bad news: Gates has been vilified by anti-vaxxers and other conspiracy theorists who claim he seeded the virus for his own nefarious purposes. Gates says he’s optimistic about the world’s chances of seeing through the wilder theories and of beating the coronavirus, too. His remarks have been condensed and edited for clarity.
13th Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

German health minister: 'Certainly' a coronavirus vaccine 'in the next year'

Germany's health minister says there will "certainly" be a coronavirus vaccine "in the next year." Jens Spahn said he was "optimistic" that a vaccine would be developed in the coming months. He did not specify which vaccine he believed would prove safe and effective and added that it was not yet possible to know how long any such treatment would offer immunity against Covid-19 for. More than 100 vaccines around the world are currently in development.
13th Aug 2020 - Business Insider

Biden calls for mask mandates nationwide for 3 months, targeting Trump's pandemic response

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday called for immediate mask mandates nationwide for the next three months, keeping the focus on drawing a stark contrast between how he would respond to the pandemic crisis compared to how he says it's been mishandled by President Donald Trump. Trump fired back at an evening news conference, saying, "We want to have a certain freedom, that's what we’re about."
13th Aug 2020 - ABC News


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England's revamped contact-tracing app to begin public trials on Aug 13

A revamped coronavirus contact-tracing app for England will begin its public trials on Thursday (Aug 13), BBC News reported on Wednesday. The software will be modelled after Apple and Google's privacy-centric method of one smartphone detecting another, the BBC said. Engineers were still trying to resolve issues with the Bluetooth-based tech wrongly flagging people as being within 2 metres of each other. The app will let people scan barcode-like QR codes to log venue visits, as well as implementing Apple and Google's method of detecting other smartphones, the BBC reported. The test-and-trace programme is key to reopening the economy but has been dogged by problems. A smartphone app developed by the National Health Service (NHS) was initially expected to be rolled out in May but did not materialise. In June, the government pivoted away from a homegrown model for the app to use the Apple and Google system.
13th Aug 2020 - The Straits Times

Russia's coronavirus case tally passes 900,000

Russia’s confirmed coronavirus case tally, the fourth largest in the world, rose to 902,701 on Wednesday after officials reported 5,102 new infections. Authorities said 129 people had died in the last 24 hours, pushing the official death toll to 15,260.
12th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Germany's coronavirus infection rate reaches three-month high

Germany's government has urged citizens to keep their guard up and stick to public health guidelines, as new Covid-19 infections hit a three-month high and schools reopened in the country's most populous state. Germany's response so far has widely been seen as successful in slowing the spread of the pandemic efficiently and quickly, but the country's disease control authority today reported 1,226 new infections, the highest number since early May, although the figure has topped 1,000 on several days recently. Health minister Jens Spahn said smaller and mid-sized outbreaks have occurred in almost all regions, largely driven by travellers returning from abroad and people partying or having family gatherings. "This is worrying, without doubt," he told Deutschlandfunk radio. "And it can naturally lead to a new dynamic, if we don't all now exercise caution." In the early days of the pandemic the average age of people infected was 50; it is now 34.
12th Aug 2020 - The Irish News

Disney World actors ready to work after COVID testing dispute resolved

Walt Disney World actors, who argued that the Florida theme park’s proposed coronavirus safeguards were inadequate to protect them, have resolved a dispute over COVID-19 testing, a union statement said on Wednesday. The Actors’ Equity Association had called on Walt Disney Co to provide regular coronavirus testing for its members, who cannot wear protective masks while performing as other park employees do. Disney said on Wednesday it would provide space just outside Walt Disney World in Orlando for a testing site run by the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The site will be open to Disney employees, known as cast members, and the public. “Our actions support all cast and our community at large,” Disney said in a statement. Walt Disney World reopened on July 11 with several safety measures including limited attendance, social distancing in lines and on rides and mask requirements for guests and staff.
11th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK


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Coronavirus: Pupils in Scotland begin returning to school

Scotland's pupils have returned to classes for the first time since lockdown began nearly five months ago. Borders and Shetland schools are the first to reopen with most others following on Wednesday. Physical distancing among students will not generally be required but hygiene and safety measures such as one-way systems have been put in place. Except for children of key workers, most of the country's 700,000 pupils have not been in class since 20 March.
11th Aug 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: How the pandemic is hitting Britain's poorest communities

2020 has become one of the hardest years the charity has seen in its long history. In the basement of their headquarters on Wood Street there is a dedicated team sorting donations and stock in a purpose-built modern space, but the basement is where 300 street children would have crammed in for overnight shelter over a century ago. The friendly staff are trying their best to juggle the demand – more and more families are being referred to them.
11th Aug 2020 - Sky News

Coronavirus: UK to nosedive into recession after COVID-19 triggers record slump

Britain is to be officially declared in recession for the first time since the financial crash with figures set to show the COVID-19 crisis triggered a record economic slump. The dramatic 21% downturn between April and June - the worst in western Europe - is expected to be confirmed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Wednesday after a 2.2% fall in the first three months of 2020. A recession is defined as two successive quarters of decline in gross domestic product (GDP), which has not been seen in the UK since the financial crisis back in 2008.
11th Aug 2020 - Sky News

Coronavirus England: Infection rates are rising in under-65s

Coronavirus infection rates among all age groups under 65 have been on the rise since lockdown was eased, official data shows. Among people aged 15 to 44 in England, the rate has increased by 35 per cent since July 5 - a day after 'Super Saturday' when bars, restaurants and cinemas reopened and a large chunk of the workforce returned to work. A total of 11.9 people per 100,000 population in the age group caught the virus in the week ending August 2, compared to 8.8 per 100,000 five weeks ago. A combination of people having more social interactions and a ramping up of widespread testing is likely behind the rise, experts say. The latest Public Health England data shows weekly infections have jumped by 40 per cent in infants during the same time period. But cases in this age group are still relatively rare, with just 3.8 youngsters per 100,000 being diagnosed per week compared to 2.7 at the start of July. Professor Paul Hunter, an epidemiologist at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline the reopening of nurseries and pre-schools could be to blame.
11th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail


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New Zealand records 100 days without domestic virus case but warns against complacency

New Zealand marked 100 days without a domestic transmission of the coronavirus on Sunday, but warned against complacency as countries like Vietnam and Australia which once had the virus under control now battle a resurgence in infections.
10th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Will Cars Rule the Roads in Post-Pandemic New York?

When New York went into lockdown five months ago to contain the virus, traffic virtually disappeared, and the mostly deserted streets suddenly became a vast trove of open space in one of the world’s most crowded cities. But now as New York slowly recovers and cars have started to return, a battle for the 6,000 miles of city streets is just beginning.
10th Aug 2020 - The New York Times

Reporting on Covid-19 in Spain: 'The limits of our new normality are being tested'

Many of the unhealed socioeconomic wounds of the 2008 financial crisis have begun to seep once again. Here, as elsewhere, the poorest have been hit disproportionately hard by the virus and its attendant effects, while the health and care systems in regions such as Madrid are crying out for proper management and investment. But, as a glance at the number of people wearing face masks on the street will tell you, Spaniards have also shown a remarkable degree of forbearance and a willingness to put their lives on hold for the common good. If only the same could be said for all of the country’s elected representatives. While some have called for unity and cooperation in the face of a common and global enemy, others are only too happy to exploit the pandemic and carry on puffing out clouds of rhetoric that are as mephitic as they are empty. My life as a reporter is slowly drifting back towards something approaching its former normality. On Tuesday I drove out of Madrid for the first time in months to report on a story which, also for the first time in months, had nothing to do with Covid-19. And apart from the mask, the hand gel and the distancing, it didn’t feel all that different.
10th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: New Zealand marks 100 days without community spread

New Zealand has gone 100 days without recording a locally transmitted Covid-19 case, a milestone that has both been welcomed and brought warnings against complacency. The last case of community transmission was detected on 1 May, days after the country started easing its lockdown. Sunday was the fourth day in a row that no new cases of Covid-19 were reported. The total number of active cases in the country remained at 23, all in managed isolation. New Zealand has fared better than other countries, recording 1,219 confirmed cases and 22 deaths since the virus arrived in late February.
10th Aug 2020 - BBC News

'Broken America': Grim US coronavirus milestone leaves Europe aghast

That the most powerful nation on Earth could be found wanting has led to complete bewilderment on the other side of the Atlantic. Much of the incredulity in Europe stems from the fact that America had the benefit of time, European experience and medical know-how to treat the virus that the continent itself didn’t have when the first COVID-19 patients started filling intensive care units. Yet more than four months into a sustained outbreak, the US has reached 5 million cases, according to the running count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
10th Aug 2020 - Sydney Morning Herald

US tops 5 million confirmed virus cases, to Europe's alarm

With confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. hitting 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe. Perhaps nowhere outside the U.S. is America’s bungled virus response viewed with more consternation than in Italy, which was ground zero of Europe’s epidemic. Italians were unprepared when the outbreak exploded in February, and the country still has one of the world’s highest official death tolls at over 35,000. But after a strict nationwide, 10-week lockdown, vigilant tracing of new clusters and general acceptance of mask mandates and social distancing, Italy has become a model of virus containment.
10th Aug 2020 - The Associated Press

England could see drive-thru flu vaccination centres

Drive-thru flu jabs are reportedly planned in a bid to get people vaccinated without having to mix with others. The plan echoes the drive-thru coronavirus testing stations, which were set up in the UK during the pandemic. Now, similar centres could pop up for people to get their flu jabs as part of NHS England plans, according to The Times.
11th Aug 2020 - The Independent


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Hong Kong to Offer Free Virus Tests to Entire City, Lam Says

The mainland-sponsored testing push has fanned suspicions that authorities will collect DNA samples from residents, as local law enforcement recently did with protesters who were arrested. The tactic is also deployed frequently by police in Xinjiang and elsewhere on the mainland. The Hong Kong government denied that there are plans to harvest DNA, saying that the claims are unfounded and that test samples will not be transported to the mainland. “We are talking about lives here,” Lam said. “So I hope people will bear in mind scientific evidence and facts, and not resort to conspiracy theories, and smear every effort indiscriminately.” Local media Ming Pao reported Monday that China wanted Hong Kong to conduct mandatory testing of the entire population but the city’s government and experts blocked the proposal, citing unidentified sources. Some local District Council members had led demonstrations outside the hotel where the mainland testing support team is staying and at the locations of their site visits this week. The Hong Kong government said that this disregarded “public interest, health and safety” in a statement on Wednesday.
8th Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

Coronavirus cases top five million in United States

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 - Daily Mail

Sweden’s pandemic no longer stands out

Sweden is no longer the outlier it used to be on coronavirus. It no longer has the least restrictive approach to the pandemic in Europe and it has lost its briefly held status as the country with the highest number of deaths per capita after its number of Covid-19 cases decreased over the summer. Its economy has suffered less than the European average in recent months, but at least as much and possibly more than its Nordic neighbours. “We get a second chance. We don’t want this to take off again. We now have the chance to learn and do additional things to avoid things taking off,” said Cecilia Söderberg-Nauclér, a critic of Sweden’s approach and a professor of cell and molecular immunology at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm.
9th Aug 2020 - Financial Times

WHO reports one-day surge in coronavirus cases by over 284,000

More than 284,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection were registered worldwide in the past day, exceeding 19.18 million, while the coronavirus-related fatalities increased by over 6,000 to surpass 716,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its daily bulletin on Saturday. As of 11.00 Moscow time on August 8, as many as 19,187,943 novel coronavirus cases and 716,075 coronavirus-associated deaths were registered across the globe. The number of confirmed cases grew by 284,441 in the past 24 hours and the number of fatalities increased by 6,565. The day before, 278,291 new cases and 6,815 fatalities were documented throughout the world. The WHO statistics are based on officially confirmed data provided by countries.
9th Aug 2020 - TASS

When Covid-19 Hit, Many Elderly Were Left to Die

Of all the missteps by governments during the coronavirus pandemic, few have had such an immediate and devastating impact as the failure to protect nursing homes. Tens of thousands of older people died — casualties not only of the virus, but of more than a decade of ignored warnings that nursing homes were vulnerable. Public health officials around the world excluded nursing homes from their pandemic preparedness plans and omitted residents from the mathematical models used to guide their responses. In recent months, the coronavirus outbreak in the United States has dominated global attention, as the world’s richest nation blundered its way into the world’s largest death toll. Some 40 percent of those fatalities have been linked to long-term-care facilities. But even now, European countries lead the world in per capita deaths, in part because of what happened inside their nursing homes.
8th Aug 2020 - The New York Times

Two Countries, 232,851 Cases and One Big Problem

A lot of things were going right in Southeast Asia’s two great archipelago nations before the coronavirus came around. Indonesia and the Philippines had relatively robust economies tended by well-regarded policy makers, and the benefit of young, educated populations. Both countries were poised to become bigger regional forces in the decades to come. Indonesia and the Philippines took different approaches to battling Covid-19, but the outcome has been the same: deep growth contractions and signs that recoveries — when they do come — will be shallow. These countries were always going to take a hit, given the way global growth has incinerated. Yet they also suffer from home-grown missteps and submerged logs that made a terrible situation worse.
8th Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

Ukraine closes checkpoints at Crimean border to control coronavirus

Ukraine’s government said on Saturday it had temporarily closed its border with Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014, to prevent further spread of coronavirus. All three crossing points between the mainland and Crimea, which is defined by Ukraine as an occupied territory, will be closed from Aug. 9 to Aug. 30, a government statement said. Only Crimean residents with Ukrainian citizenship will be allowed to enter Crimea.
8th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Poland reports 843 new coronavirus cases

Poland reported 843 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, according to the health ministry’s Twitter account, the seventh daily record in two weeks. Poland has reported 51,167 cases of the new coronavirus in all, and 1,800 deaths.
8th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Boy, 7, becomes youngest to die with COVID-19 in Georgia

A 7-year-old boy with COVID-19 has become the youngest known person to die in Georgia since the coronavirus pandemic began, state health officials reported. The boy had no other chronic health conditions, according to data released by the state. The case is from Chatham County, which includes Savannah, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported. The child is Black, but state data lists no other details about him or the death. The boy’s death comes amid nationwide debate about the risks that children face in getting infected or spreading the coronavirus, particularly as the school year begins. There is no indication in the health department’s reports about where or when the child contracted the virus.
7th Aug 2020 - Associated Press


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Covid-19 could push some universities over the brink

DUE TO BE completed in 2022, Boston University’s $141m data-sciences centre will tower over the city like an uneven Jenga tower, providing 350,000 square feet of space. The University of Reading in Britain has nearly finished a £50m ($65m) life-sciences building, designed to make more space for subjects that are attracting lots of students. The University of New South Wales in Australia has pumped more than A$500m into new facilities, as part of a project intended to push it into the top 50 of global rankings. Now, thanks to the virus, this is all in question
8th Aug 2020 - The Economist

Global recovery will come faster if COVID-19 vaccine available to all: WHO chief

Economic recovery around the world could come faster if any COVID-19 vaccine is made available to all as a public good, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday (Aug 6). He was speaking in an online panel discussion with members of the Aspen Security Forum in the United States moderated by the NBC network. "Sharing vaccines or sharing other tools actually helps the world to recover together. The economic recovery can be faster and the damage from COVID-19 could be less," Tedros said. "Vaccine nationalism is not good, it will not help us," he said in an allusion to the competitive scramble of nations and pharmaceutical researchers to come up with an effective vaccine and order as many doses as possible in advance.
7th Aug 2020 - Channel News Asia

Primary care networks and mental health services post COVID-19

A new briefing by the NHS Confederation’s PCN Network and Mental Health Network sets out where such opportunities may lie and possible approaches mental health providers and PCNs could take to improve partnership working. It says better partnership working will not only help to meet rising demand in the short-term but also ultimately improve care for patients with a mental health condition in the long-term. The briefing, which comes off the back of a meeting between senior leaders from the two networks’ memberships in June, shines a light on where partnership working has been successful, including how Mosaic Healthcare PCN in Hampshire used data and stakeholder workshops to identify the physical and mental health needs of their population which lead to a clear focus on social prescribing and closer relationships with social services and voluntary organisations.
6th Aug 2020 - Pharmafield

UK lags behind Europe on returning to office

Office workers in the UK have been comparatively slow to return to their desks in relation to employees in Europe, now lockdown has eased. According to analysis from US bank Morgan Stanley’s research unit AlphaWise, only one-third (34%) of UK white-collar employees are commuting again, well off the pace of their European counterparts, where almost three-quarters of staff (68%) have done so. In France – the leading European country among returnees – 83% of office staff have returned, whereas in Spain, Italy and Germany three-quarters (around 75%) are now heading back in. Office workers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are still advised to work from home as much as possible but the prime minister has urged staff in England to return to their workplaces, a request that has not been taken up by many so far.
6th Aug 2020 - Personnel Today

Shoppers steer clear of high streets despite lockdown lifting

Shoppers continued to stay away from UK high streets last month despite the reopening of non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants following the lifting of lockdown measures. The number of visitors to UK retail destinations dropped by 39.4% in July compared with the same month a year ago, according to figures from Springboard, a data company that tracks footfall at consumer hotspots. Despite an improvement of almost a fifth from June, in the best month for visitor numbers since February, the figures suggest intense pressure remains for the high street as people continued to stay away from town and city centres amid the ongoing health risks from Covid-19. Non-essential shops began reopening in England and Northern Ireland in mid-June, and in Wales and Scotland later that month. Hotels, pub and restaurants in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland followed suit in July, though customers were only allowed back inside Welsh pubs and cafes this week.
6th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Spain diagnoses 1,772 new coronavirus cases in post-lockdown record

Spain reported 1,772 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, marking the biggest jump since a national lockdown was lifted in June and beating the previous day’s record rise. The rate of increase in new cases, which does not include data from two regions, sharply rose from the previous day, while one more death was registered, bringing the total to 28,499. Cumulative cases, which include results from antibody tests on people who may have recovered, increased to 305,767 from 302,814, the health ministry said in a statement.
6th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

More Than Half of Canada’s Workers Fear Returning to the Office

More than half of Canadians are afraid to go back to their workplaces and 77% are worried their colleagues might show up infected with the coronavirus, according to research from consulting firm KPMG. About six in 10 say they’ll will refuse to go back if they believe their place of work is not safe enough and 57% are concerned about sharing meeting rooms and other common areas. The survey polled more than 1,000 Canadians online and was conducted July 22 to 24
6th Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

Health experts warn US cities of 'trouble ahead'

White House health experts are warning of a slow rise in the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus in U.S. cities such as Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Washington and urged local leaders to remain vigilant to avoid a surge.
6th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Learning 'pods': a new solution to the coronavirus school crisis

Parents are banding together to form education pods for children to learn in groups, but not everyone can afford them.
6th Aug 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Lockdown sees Turkish women bear brunt of unpaid work: research

Turkish women did four times as much household and care work as men during lockdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, research supported by the United Nations Development Programme showed on Thursday. A survey conducted in May of more than 2,400 people showed women shouldered most of the unpaid work during lockdown even though men spent substantially more time working in the home. The gender gap in paid work narrowed under lockdown as a result of changes in work patterns and a fall in men’s paid work hours, the research found. But gender gaps in unpaid work and total work time widened: on average women’s workload, including both paid and unpaid work, increased while that of men decreased, the findings said.
6th Aug 2020 - Reuters


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When Covid Subsided, Israel Reopened Its Schools. It Didn’t Go Well.

As the United States and other countries anxiously consider how to reopen schools, Israel, one of the first countries to do so, illustrates the dangers of moving too precipitously. Confident it had beaten the coronavirus and desperate to reboot a devastated economy, the Israeli government invited the entire student body back in late May. Within days, infections were reported at a Jerusalem high school, which quickly mushroomed into the largest outbreak in a single school in Israel, possibly the world.
4th Aug 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus: France records two-month high in cases

France has recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus infections in more than two months. Figures released on Wednesday showed 1,695 new cases within 24 hours. With more than 30,000 deaths, France has the third-highest death toll in Europe, behind the UK and Italy. The city of Toulouse has introduced new rules requiring face masks in its busiest streets, with Paris and a number of other cities expected to follow suit. France is not the only European nation to witness a resurgence in cases since lockdown measures were eased.
5th Aug 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: New Zealand's COVID-19 response criticised by Australian economics journalist

"If New Zealand's the COVID-19 role model then we're in strife", an Australian economics journalist has argued, claiming that declining case numbers are not correlated to the success of "draconian" lockdown measures. Sydney-based journalist Adam Creighton has argued that New Zealand's COVID-19 response - internationally lauded for its success at flattening the curve - is not deserving of praise, arguing lockdown in response to a virus with a low infection fatality rate is not worth the economic sacrifice.
5th Aug 2020 - Newshub

Coronavirus: Is the UK in a better position than we think?

Another day, another worrying coronavirus headline. On Tuesday it was reported the UK's testing and tracing system was not good enough to prevent a second wave once schools reopen. It came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week the brakes were being applied on the lifting of further restrictions. And that was off the back of the announcement that parts of northern England were to have some of the lockdown restrictions reimposed on them. The problem, ministers and their advisers warned, was that infections were on the rise. We had, concluded chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty, reached the limits of lifting lockdown. It prompted a weekend of debate, with people urging pubs to close so schools could open. But is the situation really as bad as it seems?
5th Aug 2020 - BBC News

Sweden eschewed lockdowns. It's too early to be certain it was wrong

A full accounting of how Sweden’s approach has fared compared to other country’s will take time, and will involve trading off health, economic, educational and other outcomes. Confidence in its Public Health Agency remains high at 65%, suggesting Swedes are not unhappy with the tradeoffs made. And they are prepared to follow directions, perhaps more than Australians and residents of the United States and the much-touted Germany. Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency says 87% of the population is complying with the social distancing restrictions that are in place, up from 82% a month ago.
5th Aug 2020 - The Conversation AU

‘We don’t live in Spain’ - noise concerns over new al-fresco dining policies

City eateries will be free to use outdoor space for al-fresco dining and drinking in a bid to boost businesses following the impact of the coronavirus lockdown. Social distancing measures mean bars and restaurants are having to maximise outdoor seating in line with government guidance to limit the spread of the virus. And Norwich councillors have agreed to introduce new policies to make it quicker and cheaper for firms to get permission to do so. But concerns were raised ahead of a meeting of the city council’s licensing committee over a rise in noise complaints and the impact on residents during the summer.
5th Aug 2020 - EDP 24


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UK coronavirus cases experience highest daily increase since June

The number of new coronavirus cases in the UK has risen by 938 across 24 hours – the highest daily increase in confirmed infections since late June, the government has confirmed. The latest figures from the department of health and social care (DHSC) brought the total number of cases since the beginning of the UK’s outbreak to 305,623. The daily increase in cases is the highest confirmed figure since 26 June, part of a gradual upward trend in infections since the bulk of lockdown measures were eased in early July.
3rd Aug 2020 - The Independent

Lockdown leaves 85 per cent of parents stressed and seeking family life changes, poll finds

More than eight in 10 parents are feeling stressed about family life and want to make changes after the lockdown, a new poll reveals. Eighty-five per cent of the 2,000 parents questioned said they felt more anxious during the pandemic, with 87 per cent concerned about their children’s emotional heath. The research was commissioned by parenting coach Zoe Blaskey, founder of the Motherkind podcast. She has launched a “family reset plan” after coaching families through lockdown
4th Aug 2020 - Evening Standard

Amidst quieter streets and ongoing uncertainty, Paris and its post-lockdown tourists forge a new normal

A friend phoned me from Paris after a particularly dystopian morning in April. She had walked almost two miles east to venture into Bois de Vincennes and, as she approached the sprawling park, a drone buzzed overhead. “Go home,” was its strange disembodied order. My friend, an interpreter by profession, ran all the way there. The coronavirus crisis has stolen much of normal life this year. France curbed its social ways with a stern lockdown to try to tame the killer virus. In a matter of months and in time to salvage some summer holidays, the country found a better way than many others to rise above the dread. In the early days, personal travel was restricted to less than a mile and then only for essential needs—which is how my friend got in trouble. Travel limits eased as infections noticeably fell and when most citizens seemed to comprehend COVID-19 as a resilient foe.
4th Aug 2020 - National Geographic UK

France reports 3,376 new COVID-19 cases over three-day period

France has reported 3,376 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the last three days, the country’s health department said on Monday, while the number of people being treated in ICUs for the disease is creeping higher. The seven-day moving average for new cases has held above the 1,000 threshold for the fifth day in a row, meaning the country is experiencing levels not seen since a two-month lockdown. France’s total number of cases now stands at 191,295. The 1,125 daily average of cases seen since the beginning of August is more than twice as high a June’s 435 figure and a third higher than July’s 746. Earlier on Monday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex urged people not to let down their guard in the fight against COVID-19. Lille, one of France’s biggest cities, has ordered people to wear masks outdoors in busy pedestrian streets.
4th Aug 2020 - Reuters

Manufacturers make headway as lockdown restrictions are eased

Factory output rose at its fastest pace in nearly three years in the UK last month, a closely watched survey has suggested. The IHS Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index climbed further above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction, rising from 50.1 in June to 53.3 in July. The figure was also broadly in line with an earlier flash estimate. Output, new orders and business confidence all improved last month as large parts of the economy started to reopen. The output component climbed to 59.3, its highest level since November 2017. Rob Dobson, a director at IHS Markit, said: “The UK manufacturing sector started the third quarter on a much firmer footing, with output growth hitting a near-three-year high and new orders rising for the year
4th Aug 2020 - The Times

Cardiff Bay: Young people not taking pandemic 'as seriously as others'

A minority of young people who have caused trouble in public spaces since lockdown was eased are spoiling it for the majority, it is claimed. The BBC spoke to a number of small groups enjoying a quiet drink in the sun at Cardiff Bay's Roald Dahl Plass. Two people in their 20s were arrested after a large gathering at the weekend. Welsh government minister Eluned Morgan has said there is evidence young people are not taking coronavirus as seriously as others. Since the easing of lockdown restrictions, hundreds of young people have been gathering, drinking alcohol in large groups in Cardiff Bay.
4th Aug 2020 - BBC News

June death toll in Lancaster below usual levels as lockdown eased

Fewer deaths were recorded in Lancaster in June than a year ago, despite thousands of excess deaths elsewhere as lockdown was eased in England. But a new report is calling for "intense preparations" to ready the NHS for winter, with fears a second coronavirus wave could lead to 120,000 deaths nationally. Office for National Statistics figures show 101 deaths were recorded in Lancaster during June. That was seven fewer than the number recorded in June 2019, a drop of 6%.
4th Aug 2020 - Lancaster Guardian

Covid-19: Man is brutally beaten with baseball bats by gang of 4 men after asking them to wear masks

The attack happened in Soisy-sous-Montmorency, a town north of Paris . Victim, who asked to be named Augustin M., was attacked in a launderette. He asked one of his attackers to put on a mask but he refused and turned angry. A verbal argument broke out, and a few minutes later one of the men involved returned with three friends, two of whom brandished baseball bats
4th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail

EasyJet increases flights as summer demand takes-off despite Covid-19 uncertainty

Greater than expected demand has led easyJet to increase the number of flights it is offering over the summer, despite continuing uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic. The budget airline expanded its schedule to 40% of normal capacity between July and September rather than the 30% previously expected. The carrier said it has seen strong demand from UK holidaymakers flying to Greece, Turkey and Croatia.
4th Aug 2020 - Sky News


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Spanish and Italian manufacturing activity picks up after virus hit

Activity in Spain’s manufacturing sector picked up by more than expected in July, an early indication that the country’s economy may be experiencing the start of a rebound. Data released last week indicated Spain was the European economy hardest hit by the pandemic in the three months to June. The IHS Markit purchasing managers’ index for Spanish manufacturing rose to 53.5 in July, from 49.0 a month earlier — above the 50 threshold which indicates the majority of business managers reported an improvement in activity compared with the previous month. The reading was higher than the 52.0 expected by economists polled by Reuters.
3rd Aug 2020 - Financial Times

How the Pandemic Defeated America

How did it come to this? A virus a thousand times smaller than a dust mote has humbled and humiliated the planet’s most powerful nation. America has failed to protect its people, leaving them with illness and financial ruin. It has lost its status as a global leader. It has careened between inaction and ineptitude. The breadth and magnitude of its errors are difficult, in the moment, to truly fathom.
31st Aug 2020 - The Atlantic

School is back in Germany — but coronavirus is not gone

All of Germany is looking toward the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in the coming days. In 2020, the sparsely populated region in northeastern Germany is the first to start the school year this time. Summer holidays are staggered in Germany, so not all 16 federal states go on vacation at the same time, clogging the nation's airports and famed autobahns. This year's return to school can best be described as a large-scale experiment.
3rd Aug 2020 - DW (English)

Thousands of students return as schools reopen in Germany

Thousands of children attended classes as northern Germany became the first region in Europe to reopen schools on Monday. In Germany's Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, wearing masks will be mandatory for students and people belonging to different age groups will be taught separately so that if one pupil gets infected, the whole school doesn't need to close.
3rd Aug 2020 - WION

Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Three weeks without Covid-19 death

Northern Ireland has gone three weeks without a death from Covid-19. The latest figures from the Department of Health show it has been 21 days since the last person died from coronavirus, with the death toll remaining at 556. Over the weekend another 40 positive cases of Covid-19 were confirmed bringing the total to 5,988 since the pandemic began. The new cases were detected after 4,632 tests were carried out on 3,206 people. There are currently three Covid-19 patients in Northern Ireland's hospitals with two in intensive care units. In Northern Ireland's care homes there are currently five active outbreaks of the virus with 171 being closed after the virus was found to no longer be present.
3rd Aug 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

Coronavirus: Dozens test positive for Covid-19 on Norwegian cruise ship

At least 41 passengers and crew on a Norwegian cruise ship have tested positive for Covid-19, officials say. Hundreds more passengers who travelled on the MS Roald Amundsen are in quarantine and awaiting test results, the company that owns the ship said. The ship, which belongs to the Norwegian firm Hurtigruten, docked in the port of Tromso in northern Norway on Friday. Hurtigruten has halted all leisure cruises because of the outbreak. "This is a serious situation for everyone involved. We have not been good enough and we have made mistakes," Chief Executive Daniel Skjeldamsaid in a statement on Monday. "A preliminary evaluation shows a breakdown in several of our internal procedures," he added. "The only responsible choice is to suspend all expedition sailings."
3rd Aug 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Eight ways lockdown easing has changed the UK

Restrictions on daily life in many parts of the UK - to try to curb the spread of coronavirus - have been eased in recent weeks. Employers in England can bring staff back to the workplace and people can use public transport for non-essential journeys (while wearing face coverings). Many pubs, shops and restaurants have reopened, while most of those who have been shielding are no longer advised to stay at home. There are places where the easing of lockdown measures has been halted - Leicester and Greater Manchester, for example. But, overall, how have people in the UK responded?
3rd Aug 2020 - BBC News

UK coronavirus hospital deaths up by five in lowest rise since lockdown began

The coronavirus death toll in the UK has risen by nine, bringing the total number of fatalities linked to the disease to 46,210, according to the latest Government figures. A further 938 people were confirmed to have the virus in the 24-hour period to 9am on Monday, the Department of Health said on Monday. Separately figures from the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 56,400 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
3rd Aug 2020 - London Evening Standard

Anger as UK nightclub 6 miles from lockdown area reopens with £200 tickets and huge queues

Switch nightclub in Preston, Lancashire, has been allowed open its doors to punters who paid up to £200 for a ticket after the council gave it the green light - but photos show revellers packed together with no social distancing
3rd Aug 2020 - The Mirror

Coronavirus: 'Relief' for Leicester firms out of lockdown

Owners of restaurants, pubs and hairdressers in Leicester have spoken of their "relief" at being able to open for the first time since March. Businesses due to ease coronavirus restrictions with the rest of England on 4 July were told on 29 June to remain shut under a local lockdown. At the end of last week it was announced some hospitality companies in Leicester could finally reopen. Shop owner Drew Harriman said they now felt "ready for anything".
3rd Aug 2020 - BBC News


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Impact of coronavirus will be felt for decades to come, WHO says

The global coronavirus outbreak is the sort of disaster whose effects will last far into the future, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday. “The pandemic is a once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come,” Tedros told a meeting of the WHO’s emergency committee, according to remarks released by the agency. The pandemic has killed more than 670,000 people since emerging in Wuhan, China, with more than 17 million cases diagnosed. The United States, Brazil, Mexico and Britain have been particularly hard hit in recent weeks by the disease COVID-19, as their governments have struggled to come up with an effective response.
1st Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Latin America see coronavirus records tumble as cases near five million

Argentina broke past 200,000 COVID-19 cases on Sunday and Colombia set a daily record as grim milestones topple in Latin America, pushing the world’s worst affected region towards a combined 5 million cases. The region, which topped 200,000 deaths on Saturday, has struggled to stall the spread of the novel coronavirus, with infections picking up pace in many countries even as governments look to ease lockdowns and revive economic growth. Latin America, which has some 8% of the world’s population, accounts for close to 30% of global cases and fatalities, with infections still spreading fast and hitting regional leaders like Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and Bolivia’s Jeanine Anez.
3rd Aug 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus: Russia plans mass vaccination campaign in October

Russian health authorities are preparing to start a mass vaccination campaign against coronavirus in October, the health minister has said. Russian media quoted Mikhail Murashko as saying that doctors and teachers would be the first to receive the vaccine. Reuters, citing anonymous sources, said Russia's first potential vaccine would be approved by regulators this month. However, some experts are concerned at Russia's fast-track approach. On Friday, the leading infectious disease expert in the US, Dr Anthony Fauci, said he hoped that Russia - and China - were "actually testing the vaccine" before administering them to anyone. Dr Fauci has said that the US should have a "safe and effective" vaccine by the end of this year. "I do not believe that there will be vaccines so far ahead of us that we will have to depend on other countries to get us vaccines," he told US lawmakers.
1st Aug 2020 - BBC News

Mexico death toll overtakes UK as third-highest in the world

Mexico has overtaken the United Kingdom as the country with the world's third-highest coronavirus death toll - more than 46,600. On Friday, a multibillion-dollar agreement with the United Nations was announced to buy medical equipment and supplies. Al Jazeera's Manuel Rapalo has more from Mexico City.
1st Aug 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Indonesia reports 1,560 new coronavirus cases, 62 deaths

Indonesia reported 1,560 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, bringing the total in the Southeast Asian country to 109,936, data from the country’s COVID-19 task force showed. It also reported 62 COVID-19 related deaths, taking the death toll to 5,193.
1st Aug 2020 - Reuters

India's coronavirus cases rise by a daily record of 55078

India reported another record surge in daily COVID-19 cases on Friday, taking the total to 1.64 million, as the government further eases virus curbs in a bid to resuscitate the economy, while also trying to increase testing. Infections jumped by 55,078 in the past 24 hours, while the death toll rose by 779 to 35,747, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on its website.
31st Jul 2020 - National Post

Spain records 3,000 new coronavirus cases in biggest jump since lifting lockdown

Spain has recorded 3,092 more cases of coronavirus in the biggest jump since lifting their national lockdown in June. The country's health ministry said cumulative cases, which also include results from antibody tests on people who may have recovered from the disease,
31st Jul 2020 - London Evening Standard

French Daily Coronavirus Infection Rate Back to Lockdown Levels

France reported 1,346 new coronavirus infections on Friday, taking the total to 187,919 as the daily tally of new cases remained above 1,300 for the third day running, a level last seen during lockdown. At the end of the first month of school holidays, with millions of French people traveling and mingling with friends and family not seen for weeks, the infection rate has risen back to a level last reported in late April, when the epidemic was in full swing and a strict lockdown was in place. Comparisons can be difficult, as the health ministry does not publish data every day and it sometimes adds batches of historical data to single-day figures. But the seven-day moving average (7DMA), which smoothes out such irregularities, is now above 1,000 for the second day in a row. Except for early May, when the 7DMA was above 1,000 for a week due to a data revision, the 7DMA was above 1,000 from March 19 to May 1, with a peak of 4,5537 on April 1.
31st Jul 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

Vietnam braces for a fresh wave of coronavirus despite earlier success in containing the outbreak

Vietnam, once praised for its success in containing the coronavirus outbreak, is now battling a resurgence in cases and has warned that the disease could spread wider across the country. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc warned that every province and city in the country is at risk of further infections, reported Reuters, citing state broadcaster Vietnam Television. Authorities have tightened containment measures in Danang, such as stepping up contact tracing, limiting crowd sizes and halting non-essential services. Flights to and from the city have also been temporarily suspended.
31st Jul 2020 - CNBC


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Sao Paulo streets busy as Brazil's virus death toll surpasses 90,000

Streets are busy with people going about their daily business in Sao Paulo's 25 de Março neighbourhood as the country continues to ease lockdown measures and registers record daily numbers of deaths from COVID-19, surging past 90,000.
30th Jul 2020 - MSN

Brazil Covid-19 death toll surpasses 90,000 as government ends travel ban

Brazil, which has been hit harder than any country except the United States in the pandemic, recorded 69,074 new cases and 1,595 new deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the figures to a total of more than 2.5 million infections and 90,134 people killed since the start of the pandemic, the health ministry said. Technical issues likely contributed to the high daily figures. The health ministry had said Tuesday that problems with its online reporting system had delayed figures from Sao Paulo, Brazil's most populous state and the one with the most cases and deaths.
30th Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

US surpasses 150,000 deaths amid spike in cases | News

The US passed the grim milestone of 150,000 coronavirus-related deaths yesterday, amid spiralling outbreaks across southern states. Five states in the south and west reported daily records for coronavirus deaths, as health experts warned that other states were on the brink of new outbreaks. Arkansas, Florida, Montana, California and Oregon each had record rises with Florida reporting 216 deaths and California 185, bringing the national daily toll to about 1,267. The US has now recorded 150,447 deaths and more than 4.4 million infections. In Florida, the death toll now stands at 6,333, and a total of 451,423 people have been infected out of a population of 21 million. The state recently overtook New York in terms of total caseload, and is now second only to California.
30th Jul 2020 - The Times

Sweden, Which Never Had Lockdown, Sees COVID-19 Cases Plummet as Rest of Europe Suffers Spike

However, the Scandinavian nation ranks eighth among countries with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people. It outranks the U.S. and Brazil, which are the world's first and second worst-hit nations in terms of total cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Last week Anders Tegnell, the chief epidemiologist at Sweden's public health agency, who has led the country's COVID-19 response, said the nation's controversial anti-lockdown strategy has been a success "to a great extent," in an interview with UnHerd. While an official lockdown was never ordered, Tegnell noted: "We have cut down on movement in society quite a lot. We have compared how much we travel in Scandinavian countries, and the decrease in travel is the same in Sweden as in neighbouring countries. In many ways the voluntary measures we put in place in Sweden have been just as effective as complete lockdowns in other countries.
30th Jul 2020 - Newsweek

I’ve eaten at restaurants, gone to a mall and attended concerts. That is life in France.

While the outbreak occurred primarily in only two parts of France, French President Emmanuel Macron imposed a severe, nationwide lockdown on March 16. And during that lockdown, the government put extensive testing and contact tracing in place. Almost exactly two months later, France mostly reopened. And for the last two and a half months, the country has functioned in a primarily open status with around 500 new cases per day and only about 450 deaths in the last month.
30th Jul 2020 - The Washington Post

Russia Coronavirus Cases Pass 830K Amid Vaccine Race, Lifted Lockdown

Russia confirmed 5,509 new coronavirus infections Thursday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 834,499. Over the past 24 hours 129 people have died, bringing the total toll to 13,802 — a rate considerably lower than in many other countries hit hard by the pandemic. A total of 9,322 people recovered over the last 24 hours.
30th Jul 2020 - The Moscow Times

Coronavirus: Hundreds more families homeschooling after lockdown

More families are choosing to homeschool their children since New Zealand came out of the coronavirus lockdown. Ministry of Education figures show a surge in homeschooling applications since alert level 4 in March, with 552 received between then and May. Three hundred applications were received in June – the highest recorded in any month this year. In February, when school started, only 174 applications were received.
30th Jul 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Tracking Africa's coronavirus cases

As of July 30, the confirmed coronavirus death toll on the continent stood at 18,884, with deaths including the former president of the Republic of the Congo, Jacques Joachim Yhombi-Opango, and Somalia's former Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein. There are 891,199 confirmed infections and 540,872 recoveries, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts warn fragile healthcare systems in many African countries could be overwhelmed in the face of a severe outbreak of COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.
30th Jul 2020 - Al Jazeera English

'Worst phase of pandemic': Brazil hits record daily deaths, cases

Brazil has set daily records for new coronavirus cases and related deaths with nearly 1,600 deaths on Wednesday and a government under President Jair Bolsonaro determined to ease lockdowns designed to quell the outbreak. Brazil is second only to the United States in the number of cases and deaths confirmed from the coronavirus. The 69,074 new confirmed cases and 1,595 additional deaths reported by the Health Ministry pushed the country past 2.5 million cases and a death toll in excess of 90,000 people.
30th Jul 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Coronavirus may cost Latin America and Caribbean a decade: ECLAC

The coronavirus crisis could set back Latin America and the Caribbean by a decade as countries endure faltering economies and rising poverty, the U.N. economic commission for the region and the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. Poverty in the region is forecast to climb 7 percentage points compared with last year to engulf an additional 45 million people, according to a report by the WHO and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The number of unemployed people is expected to rise to 44 million, an increase of more than 18 million compared with last year, while the region’s economy is projected to shrink 9.1%, the report said. “The Americas are at risk of losing years of health gains in a matter of months. This is tragic,” Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), said in a news conference. A presentation with highlights from the report warned that the coronavirus pandemic could cause a “lost decade” if income per capita drops to levels not seen since 2010, as forecast.
30th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Japan's daily coronavirus tally tops 1000 for first time amid nationwide surge

The total number of coronavirus cases nationwide surged past the 1,000 mark for the first time on Wednesday, with Osaka, Aichi, Fukuoka and Okinawa prefectures setting single-day records for new infections, media reports said. Osaka reported 221 new COVID-19 infections, topping 200 for the first time, while Fukuoka saw at least 101 cases. Aichi recorded 167 cases, 93 of which were reported in Nagoya. Meanwhile, Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures recorded 70 and 49 new cases, respectively, NHK said, both the highest since the state of emergency was called off on May 25.
29th Jul 2020 - The Japan Times


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Brazil hits record 69,000 daily coronavirus cases as restrictions eased

Brazil set daily records on Wednesday for new COVID-19 cases and related fatalities, as the world’s second-worst outbreak hurtles toward the milestone of 100,000 dead amid easing lockdowns. Brazil is the country worst hit by COVID-19 outside of the United States in both its death toll and case count. The 69,074 new confirmed cases and 1,595 additional deaths reported by the Health Ministry pushed the country past 2.5 million infections and 90,000 killed. President Jair Bolsonaro has fought against restrictions on economic activity, and the disease has advanced as governors and mayors have yielded to the pressure. In some cases, Brazilians have packed into bars and crowded public squares without masks, often in defiance of local rules.
29th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

U.S. records a coronavirus death every minute as total surpasses 150,000

One person in the United States died about every minute from COVID-19 on Wednesday as the national death toll surpassed 150,000, the highest in the world The United States recorded 1,461 new deaths on Wednesday, the highest one-day increase since 1,484 on May 27, according to a Reuters tally. U.S. coronavirus deaths are rising at their fastest rate in two months and have increased by 10,000 in the past 11 days.
29th Jul 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

Coronavirus: Rotorua hotel in 'lockdown' after potential Covid-19 result

A Rotorua managed isolation centre went into lockdown on Wednesday after a potential new Covid-19 case was detected. Government officials confirmed restrictions were imposed at Rydges Rotorua. “Standard procedures were followed after the detection,” a Managed Isolation and Quarantine spokesman told Stuff. “In such cases, when regional isolation and quarantine teams are notified by health staff of a potential or confirmed case, the person is isolated to their room, and all relevant staff are informed,” he added.
29th Jul 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Germany begins mass coronavirus testing at airports

Berlin's Tegel airport began large scale coronavirus testing on Wednesday, as airports across Germany prepared for the advent of free, compulsory testing for many passengers from next week. Two rooms were set aside for tests, but an airport spokeswoman said a larger space was being prepared, indicating that authorities are preparing for testing to remain a fixture for a long time to come. "These rooms are of course a bit small, as you can see," said spokeswoman Sabine Deckwerth. "That is why the large Terminal D in Tegel is being prepared to host a bigger one."
29th Jul 2020 - SwissInfo

Italy 'walking a fine line' on coronavirus infections

Italy was the first European nation to be engulfed by coronavirus, but as the prospect of another lockdown looms in some of its neighbours, the country has managed to avoid a resurgence of infections. At least so far. Three experts who spoke to the Guardian put this down to good surveillance and contact-tracing, as well as most of the population diligently following safety rules, with many people wearing face masks outside even though it is not mandatory. On 4 May, when Italy began easing lockdown restrictions, more than 1,200 new cases were reported in a day. Since 1 July, the daily increase has been relatively static, reaching a high of 306 on 23 July, and falling to 181 on Tuesday. Several coronavirus clusters have emerged across the country, but this has mostly been due to infections imported from abroad.
29th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Germany's Covid-19 fears grow over ‘reckless’ partygoers

Lothar Wieler, of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the government’s main advisory body on public health, called the partygoers “irresponsible”. “It is reckless and careless to take part in wild parties,” he said during his latest update of the virus’s progress. “Young people can carry the illness back to their families, especially their grandparents.”
29th Jul 2020 - The Guardian


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Fifteen staff at NHS trust test positive for Covid-19

East Kent Hospitals tested 9,000 members of staff over five days last week and the results were announced on Tuesday. Kent has been under the spotlight after the region recorded some of the highest Covid-19 mortality rates in England last month. The 15 staff who tested positive are isolating in line with national guidance, the trust said. Chief medical officer Dr Rebecca Martin said: “We know that while many people experience mild – or even no – symptoms of Covid-19, they have the potential to carry and pass on the virus without knowing it.
28th Jul 2020 - Aberdeen Evening Express

Venice becomes first major film festival to return after coronavirus lockdown

Helen Mirren, Shia LaBeouf and Greta Thunberg are among the big names due to be on display at the 2020 Venice film festival, as it gears up to be the first major festival to stage a physical event in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Inevitably the lineup has a slimmed-down feel, with many films delayed or held back, meaning there is little in the way of Venice’s traditional dose of Hollywood glamour.
28th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Germans more optimistic about post-lockdown world than French, Spanish and Italians - poll

Germans appear more confident about life post-lockdown than the French, Spanish and Italians, a Euronews-commissioned poll has found. Data from the survey, carried out by Redfield and Wilton Strategies, has found Germans feel a little less cautious than other Europeans as the continent emerges from months of coronavirus restrictions.
28th Jul 2020 - Euronews

The art of contact tracing for the new workplace

I took the step out of curiosity. It was interesting to see a table blocking the entrance of the local temple and unless you enter your name and contact details after removing your shoes, you are not allowed to the almighty – as per NZ government rules. After all, the virus does not care about its creator. It only cares about one thing – reproduction. To its credit, the New Zealand government did try to learn the art of contact tracing during lockdown which reduced its cases to less than 50 in the country. All businesses, temples, churches, gyms, schools have a contact tracing register now. Going to a gym? You are not allowed entry – unless you enter your name and contact number in a register. This level of strictness made the island nation keep its numbers low, which reduced to zero at one point before increasing back to 20s (all in quarantine in government sponsored hotels).
28th Jul 2020 - Economic Times

Germany voices 'great concern' at virus spike, issues Spain warning

Germany's disease control agency voiced "great concern" Tuesday over rising virus numbers in the country as authorities issued a travel warning against parts of Spain. "We must prevent that the virus once again spreads rapidly and uncontrollably," Robert Koch Institute head Lothar Wieler told reporters. "The latest developments in the number of COVID-19 cases are of great concern to me and all of us at the RKI," he said. Germany has fared better than many of its neighbours in suppressing the virus, but Wieler urged citizens not to squander the progress following a spike in numbers in recent weeks. "It's in our hands how the pandemic evolves in Germany," Wieler said, calling on Germans to stick with prevention measures such as washing hands and keeping a safe distance.
28th Jul 2020 - Times of Malta

Hinkley Point concrete supplier closed by Covid-19 outbreak

A concrete-making plant supplying the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been closed after 22 employees tested positive for Covid-19. Balfour Beatty said the Avonmouth site in Bristol was closed until further notice to reduce the virus's spread. It said the plant was deep cleaned over the weekend and the NHS Test and Trace procedure had been initiated. It said this had "so far shown no impact" on the Hinkley Point C site. "We continue to engage with all those affected and remain committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of all those who work with and for us, as well as the general public," a spokesman added.
27th Jul 2020 - BBC News


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Slowly, Italy Is Waking From the Coronavirus Nightmare

This is a very strange, subdued summer for a country with an economy that relies heavily on tourism and merrymaking. But E.U. aid is on the way.
27th Jul 2020 - The New York Times

Robert O'Brien, key Trump adviser, tests positive for Covid-19

President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, has tested positive for coronavirus, the White House has confirmed. Mr O'Brien, 54, has been self-isolating and working from home. The aide has mild symptoms and there was no risk of exposure to Mr Trump or Vice-President Mike Pence, a statement said. Mr O'Brien is the highest-ranking official in Mr Trump's administration known to have tested positive. It is not clear when he and the president last met, but one administration official said it had not been for "several days". The pair appeared together two weeks ago on a trip to Miami.
27th Jul 2020 - BBC News

UK announces 14 more coronavirus deaths taking total to 45,752 in the lowest Sunday rise since lockdown began

There were 14 more fatalities in England, one in Wales - but Scotland had none This is the tenth consecutive day that Scotland has record no coronavirus deaths England patients were aged from 36 and 89, and all had underlying health issues
27th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus: 21 people test positive for COVID-19 in Shropshire caravan park

Testing has confirmed a COVID-19 outbreak at a caravan park in Shropshire with 21 new cases. The individuals were asked to self-isolate for at least seven days from the time they started displaying coronavirus symptoms or from when they received their positive result. However, the council fears the number of cases at the site will continue to rise before infection control measures start to take effect. All residents at the caravan park, which is in the town of Craven Arms, will be asked to self-isolate with their household for 14 days if they have come into contact with one of the positive cases.
27th Jul 2020 - Sky News


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Vietnamese City Reimposes Distancing after First Local Infections in Months

Vietnam reintroduced social distancing measures in the central city of Danang on Sunday after the country reported four locally transmitted coronavirus cases over the past two days, the first in more than three months. The Southeast Asian country was back on high alert after the government on Saturday confirmed its first community infection since April, and another case early on Sunday, both in the tourism hot spot of Danang. The two new cases included a 17-year-old boy in Quang Ngai province and a 71-year-old woman in Danang, the government said late on Sunday, bringing the total number of reported cases in the country to 420. Authorities gave no further detail on how the new infections were contracted nor whether they were believed to be linked
26th Jul 2020 - Voice of America

How tiny Uruguay, wedged between Brazil and Argentina, has avoided the worst of the coronavirus

In the weeks and months that followed the March 13 diagnoses of four recent travelers from Europe, the nation of 3.4 million would keep the virus in check. Wedged between Brazil, suffering the second-worst outbreak in the world, and Argentina, where infections are now surging, Uruguay has reported just 1,064 cases and 33 deaths — unusually low numbers for a Latin American nation testing widely. In June, it became the first country in the region to reopen virtually all public schools. It’s the only country in Latin America from which the European Union will accept visitors.
21st Jul 2020 - Washington Post

New virus cases tumble on fall in imported cases, local infections

South Korea's new coronavirus cases dropped to under 60 on Sunday, a day after the country recorded its highest figure in nearly four months due to a surge in infections among people arriving from abroad. The country added 58 new cases, including 46 cases from abroad, bringing the total to 14,150, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The number of new infections was down sharply compared to 113 the previous day, but health authorities are on alert over a possible spike in both local and imported cases. It marked the first time since April 1 for the country to report more than 100 cases. South Korea reported its first case on Jan. 20.
26th Jul 2020 - Korea Herald

Record number of new virus cases as public loses faith in govts

As governments worldwide struggle to contain the virus despite long and economically crippling lockdowns imposed on millions of people, a new survey suggested that faith in authorities is dwindling in six rich nations. Populations in France, Germany, Britain, Japan, Sweden and the US widely believed death and infection figures to be higher than recorded, according to the study, which polled 1,000 people in each nation. "In most countries this month, support for national governments is falling," said the report by the Kekst CNC communications consultancy.
25th Jul 2020 - YAHOO!

Vietnam back on coronavirus alert after first local infection in 3 months

Vietnam was back on high alert for the novel coronavirus on Saturday after medical officials in the central city of Danang detected, its first locally transmitted case for three months. Thanks to strict quarantine measures and an aggressive and widespread testing programme, the Southeast Asian country has kept its virus total to an impressively low 415 cases and had reported no locally transmitted infections for 100 days. Vietnam has reported no deaths from the virus. But on Friday, the health ministry said a 57-year-old man from Danang, a tourist hot spot, had tested positive, prompting the isolation of 50 people he came in contact with. The ministry said 103 people connected to the patient were tested for the virus but all returned negative results. The government said on Saturday a new test had confirmed the man's infection, bringing the total number of cases in Vietnam to 416.
25th Jul 2020 - The Star Online

How Sweden, Uruguay, Japan and Israel Reopened Schools During COVID-19 Pandemic

As American school officials debate when it will be safe for schoolchildren to return to classrooms, looking abroad may offer insights. Nearly every country in the world shuttered their schools early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have since sent students back to class, with varying degrees of success. I am a scholar of comparative international education. For this article, I examined what happened in four countries where K-12 schools either stayed open throughout the pandemic or have resumed in-person instruction, using press reports, national COVID-19 data and academic studies.
24th Jul 2020 - The Daily Beast

'Our epidemic could exceed a million cases' — South Africa's top coronavirus adviser

From the coronavirus pandemic’s first months, the World Health Organization warned that Africa’s health systems would struggle to cope if the virus began to spread on the continent. That prediction is starting to be realized, as Nature has reported from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. But more than half of the continent’s 780,000 reported cases are in South Africa. Initially, a hard five-week lockdown from 27 March helped to keep numbers low, but that became economically ruinous as 3 million South Africans lost their jobs. The official death toll stands at 6,000, but as with other countries, this is likely to be an undercount, according to the South African Medical Research Council.
24th Jul 2020 - Nature.com

Coronavirus: Will lockdown easing see more of us using rivers?

Figures suggest that more people than ever are heading to Britain's rivers with the easing of lockdown - renewing calls for better public rights of access. It comes as MPs are to consider proposals aimed at opening up the waterways to all. But after recent incidences of littering and overcrowding, there are fears more people on rivers could "cause chaos". Caroline Radford, who began wild swimming in lockdown, says it has helped her mental health.
23rd Jul 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: South Africa death toll could be 'far higher'

South African researchers say the number of deaths from coronavirus could be far higher than the official toll. The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) report says excess natural deaths rose by 17,000, a 59% increase compared to past years. Professor Debbie Bradshaw, one of the authors, said it revealed a "huge discrepancy" in the numbers. On Thursday the country said there had been a record 572 deaths in the last 24 hours. South Africa currently has the fifth highest number of confirmed cases worldwide with more than 400,000 infections and a death toll of 5,940. This is a far lower death toll than in other countries that have fewer confirmed cases, for example the UK.
23rd Jul 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Madagascar hospitals 'overwhelmed'

Hospitals in Madagascar have warned they are overwhelmed after a spike in coronavirus cases in a country where the president has been promoting a herbal drink to treat the virus. A record 614 new cases have been confirmed in the last day, bringing the total to 8,162 and 69 deaths. Several African countries have ordered the tonic, called Covid-Organics. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no evidence the drink works against Covid-19. Hospitals in the capital, Antananarivo, have warned that they are starting to run out of beds. "We are now only accepting severe cases," Andohotapenaka Hospital director Nasolotsiry Raveloson is quoted as telling AFP news agency. Directors at two other hospitals also told the news agency that they were overwhelmed.
22nd Jul 2020 - BBC News


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One third of UK workers 'reluctant to return' to offices post-lockdown

Employee research from e-days, the absence management company used by companies like ASOS and Monster Energy, has revealed that one third of employees are ‘reluctant to return’ to offices as lockdown eases in the UK. A survey of UK workers showed that 60% were reluctant or unsure about returning to the office on grounds of safety. Just over a third felt they were ready to go back to their offices.
23rd Jul 2020 - RealWire

Russia's Coronavirus Cases Approach 800K Amid Lifted Lockdown

Russia confirmed 5,848 new coronavirus infections Thursday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 795,038. Over the past 24 hours 147 people have died, bringing the total toll to 12,892 — a rate considerably lower than in many other countries hit hard by the pandemic. A total of 8,277 people recovered over the last 24 hours, bringing the overall number of recoveries to 580,330.
23rd Jul 2020 - The Moscow Times

COVID -19: As lockdown eases, Saudi Arabia gets ready to welcome Haj pilgrims

Saudi Arabia is gearing up for a scaled-down Hajj season amid fears of the new pandemic
23rd Jul 2020 - Gulf News

Disney postpones 'Mulan' indefinitely, delays 'Avatar' and 'Star Wars'

Walt Disney Co on Thursday postponed the debut of its movie “Mulan” indefinitely, dealing a new blow to theater operators that were counting on the live-action epic to help attract audiences during a pandemic. “Mulan” was scheduled to reach theaters in March but its release has been postponed several times as many cinemas remain closed. The film had most recently been set to debut on Aug. 21 and theater operators had hoped it would help spark a late-summer rebound for movie-going. Disney also said it had delayed the next film installments from two of its biggest franchises, “Avatar” and “Star Wars,” by one year as the novel coronavirus has disrupted production. The “Avatar” sequel is now set to debut in theaters in December 2022, and the next “Star Wars” movie in December 2023.
23rd Jul 2020 - Reuters

U.S. coronavirus deaths top 1,100 for a third day in a row

The United States on Thursday recorded more than 1,100 deaths from COVID-19, marking the third straight day the nation passed that grim milestone as the pandemic escalates in southern and western U.S. states. Fatalities nationwide were recorded at 1,118 on Thursday. Deaths were 1,135 on Wednesday and 1,141 on Tuesday. Even though deaths are rising in the United States for a second week in a row, they remain well below levels seen in April, when 2,000 people a day on average died from the virus. The United States on Thursday also passed a total of more than 4 million coronavirus infections since the first U.S. case was documented in January, according to a Reuters tally, reflecting a nationwide escalation of the pandemic.
23rd Jul 2020 - Yahoo! Voices

New Zealand beat Covid-19 by trusting leaders and following advice – study

The secrets to New Zealand’s success at eliminating coronavirus has been revealed by university researchers, who have found compliance with basic hygiene practices and trust in authorities was at nearly 100%. Researchers at Massey University interviewed more than 1,000 people post-lockdown, to investigate how New Zealanders responded to the pandemic. “We came together as a country, in part because we believed in our political and health experts to deliver and they did,” said Dr Jagadish Thaker, a senior lecturer at the school of communication, journalism & marketing at Massey University. “Simple, clear health messages, communicated with kindness and empathy, resonate with people, even when they are demanding tough changes.”
23rd Jul 2020 - The Guardian

United Airlines sees weak demand until coronavirus vaccine found

United Airlines Holdings Inc has warned that travel demand will remain suppressed until there is a widely accepted treatment or vaccine against the coronavirus, which plunged the carrier into a deep quarterly loss. Coronavirus infections are surging in the United States, causing some regions to scale back reopening plans and reinstate quarantines in a fresh blow to airlines. United, which is not blocking middle seats, plans to fly about 35 percent of its 2019 summer schedule in the third quarter and is expecting its planes to be about 45 percent full in July. They were about one-third full in the second quarter.
22nd Jul 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Coronavirus map: Just 3 states meet criteria to reopen and stay safe

With these metrics, states can gauge if they have repressed the coronavirus while building the capacity to contain future outbreaks should they come. In other words, the benchmarks show how ready states are for the next phase of the fight. So far, most states are not there. As of July 22, just three states — Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York — met four or five of the goals, which demonstrates strong progress. Twenty-two states and Washington, DC, hit two or three of the benchmarks. The other 25 achieved zero or one. (South Dakota and Wyoming didn’t report ICU data, but it wouldn’t be enough to change their rankings.)
22nd Jul 2020 - Vox.com


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Coronavirus cases surge among factory workers in post-lockdown India

When Bajirao Thengde voiced his fears about going to work after dozens of colleagues fell sick with coronavirus, his boss at a motorbike factory in western India said he should “learn to live with the virus”. As India’s coronavirus cases exceeded one million last week, unions say similar spikes in infections in reopened factories are putting workers at risk - accusing companies of skimping on health and safety as they rush to get business back on track. It was only after several workers died and district authorities ordered a seven-day lockdown that Thengde’s plant in Maharashtra state finally closed on July 10, weeks after calls for it to shut when the first cases appeared. “We were demanding that the factory be temporarily closed but work carried on,” said Thengde, a union leader who has worked for more than 30 years for Bajaj Auto Ltd - India’s biggest motorbike exporter.
22nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Egypt extends operating hours of cafes, restaurants until midnight from July 26 -statement

Egypt has extended the operating hours of cafes and restaurants from 10:00 PM to midnight while allowing them to operate at 50 percent capacity starting July 26, the cabinet said in a statement. The operating hours of stores, including malls, were also extended until 10:00 PM, the statement said. Egypt had reduced operating hours in its initial reopening phase to limit public gatherings and curb the spread of the coronavirus.
22nd Jul 2020 - Arab News

Covid vaccine could be rolled out for vulnerable Britons before it is approved by regulators

A Covid-19 vaccine could be rolled out for vulnerable Britons within months of one being found to work, according to the UK's vaccine tsar. Normally, it takes up to two years before a medication is given the green light by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the UK's drugs watchdog. But Kate Bingham, chair of the UK's vaccine taskforce, says a coronavirus jab could be fast-tracked through the process.
22nd Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

DC mayor orders mandatory masks as infections rise again

With coronavirus cases rising, Mayor Muriel Bowser issued an executive order Wednesday making face masks mandatory outside homes — an unprecedented step in the nation's capital. Bowser said the order would include “enforcement language” detailing possible fines for violations. After saying they had successfully blunted the infection curve in the city earlier this summer, health officials say the infection numbers have slowly crept upward, reaching triple digits on Wednesday for the first time in weeks. Limited exceptions to the order, according to material distributed by Bowser's office, include children under age 3, people “actively eating or drinking” and people “vigorously exercising outdoors” while not close to anyone else.
22nd Jul 2020 - San Francisco Chronicle

Female leaders doing 'better job' in virus crisis, says Lagarde

Female leaders are doing a better job handling the coronavirus crisis, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde said in an online interview with The Washington Post, praising them for their honest communication and for showing they cared. The differences in policies and communication were "quite stunning" in countries led by women, she said. The female leaders of Germany Taiwan, Belgium and New Zealand had also "carried the water of bad news as well as the water of clear explanation and strong recommendations", she added.
22nd Jul 2020 - CTV News

DR Congo ends virus health emergency, borders to reopen

DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has lifted a health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak and ordered a reopening in three stages of business activities, schools and borders. He said that from Wednesday all shops, banks, restaurants and bars would be allowed to reopen, public transport could resume and large gatherings would be permitted. Schools and universities can reopen on August 3, and airports, ports, borders and places of worship on August 15. The vast country of more than 80 million people has recorded 8,534 infections including 196 deaths since March 10.
22nd Jul 2020 - This is Money

Switzerland expands COVID-19 quarantine watchlist

Switzerland has expanded to 42 the number of territories on its watchlist of coronavirus hot spots, new arrivals from which must enter a 10-day quarantine, health authorities said. New entries as of Thursday include Bosnia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eswatini, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Montenegro, the Palestinian territories, Suriname and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
22nd Jul 2020 - Reuters

As Barcelona faces lockdown, it’s likely that the UK, too, will experience a second wave

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever why we could not see the same phenomenon playing out in London or other UK cities in the weeks to come, especially as restrictions continue to be eased. I may sound like a broken record but it really is crucial that we have a foolproof test-and-trace system, or else an outbreak will emerge and we will not be able to control its spread.
21st Jul 2020 - iNews

Russia's corona euphoria

Reports of massive electoral fraud haven’t stirred public anger, and there have been no protests on the scale of last summer’s demonstrations. (There’s ongoing unrest in the far east of the country over the arrest of a popular, anti-Kremlin governor but they’ve stayed local for now. Instead, Putin is being thanked by Muscovites for having forced the mayor of Moscow to lift the lockdown earlier than planned, and his popularity has spiked. Russians are mostly just relieved to be free again, even though the country is still recording more than 6,000 new cases daily. International borders may still be closed, but most Russians have thrown caution to the wind and already embraced a post-corona future.
21st Jul 2020 - Politico

Coronavirus: Nineteen cases linked to test and trace call centre

A total of 19 positive cases of coronavirus have been linked to an outbreak that started at a Motherwell call centre, NHS Lanarkshire has said. A statement released on Tuesday evening said 14 cases associated with the premises had been identified. There have been a further five cases involving other people linked to those at the call centre. Earlier on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon said 22 new cases had been detected in Scotland, with 14 in Lanarkshire. The first minister said "at least some of them" were linked to the call centre. She added that a Scottish government resilience meeting would consider the situation in Lanarkshire and whether any further action was required.
21st Jul 2020 - BBC News


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Brazil seeking COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna, AstraZeneca

Brazil is in talks with U.S. biotech firm Moderna Inc to possibly get priority in purchasing a potential COVID-19 vaccine that the company is developing, the country’s interim Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said on Tuesday. Pazuello said that Brazil also has an understanding with AstraZeneca for the firm to deliver 30 million doses of its potential vaccine.
22nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

NHS family who all fell ill with Covid-19 warn public not to take virus lightly as rules ease

A family of three frontline NHS staff who work at the same hospital and who all caught Covid-19 – taking them “to the brink of death” – are warning people not to take the virus lightly as lockdown restrictions are eased. Aryen Roxas, a surgical nurse at King’s College Hospital, London, developed a fever and a cough in March and began self-isolating at home, shortly afterwards testing positive for the coronavirus. Despite taking “every precaution possible” in the two bedroom flat she shares with her parents, her mother and father, who also work at King’s, also caught Covid-19.
21st Jul 2020 - iNews

Peru Restaurants Resume Operations as COVID Lockdown Lifts

Restaurants in Peru are accepting diners for the first time since closing four months ago at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in March. Under new guidelines, businesses on Monday resumed operations at 40% capacity. Tables were required to be at least two meters apart. Ruben Espinoza, chef and manager of the Punto Marisko restaurant, said he is excited about the reopening even if it's only at 40% of restaurant capacity because it's a start. The reopening of restaurants in the upscale Miraflores tourist district in the capital, Lima, attracted few diners as businesses begin to recover from the economic crisis created by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
21st Jul 2020 - Voice of America

Argentine capital begins timid reopening after virus lockdown

Argentina began a timid reopening of economic activity in the capital Buenos Aires on Monday, relaxing coronavirus containment measures despite continued high infection rates. "We need to learn to live with the virus because if we don't, the economic damage will be worse than the damage done by the virus," Daniel Bailo, a vendor at a hiking and fishing store that opened on Monday, told AFP. The reopening of the greater Buenos Aires area, where 90 percent of Argentina's coronavirus cases have been concentrated, comes despite the country reporting more than 3,000 new infections a day.
21st Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

Dutch coronavirus infections are increasing, health authorities warn

The number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands is increasing, the country’s health authorities warned in an update on Tuesday. The Netherlands Institute for Health said that 987 people had tested positive for the disease in the past week, up from 534 the week before.
21st Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus cases in California soar past 400,000, poised to surpass New York

California soared past 400,000 total coronavirus cases on Tuesday, as public health officials once again pleaded with residents to take shelter-in-place measures seriously. At midday, the case count in California jumped to 407,344 cases and 7,868 deaths, with the average number of daily cases in July more than double the average from June. “I don’t overread into the significance of that number,” said Mark Ghaly, California’s health and human services secretary, during a media briefing Tuesday. “I look at every day as an opportunity to do better and do more with our response to COVID-19.”
21st Jul 2020 - San Francisco Chronicle

Canada authorities had expected recent spike in coronavirus cases - World News

A recent spike in coronavirus cases across Canada as the economy gradually reopens is worrying but does not come as a surprise to authorities, a senior official said on Tuesday. Deputy public health officer Howard Njoo - who expressed concern last Friday about the increase - told a briefing that the success of efforts to combat the outbreak was fragile and could be undermined by people becoming complacent.
21st Jul 2020 - FirstPost


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 21st Jul 2020

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'It makes sense': French shoppers take compulsory masks in their stride

From Monday, shoppers entering the bakery in Paris where Kalil Gaci works are required by law to wear a mask, but his customers are taking the new rule in their stride. “There’s no problem in wearing one, I’m completely for it,” said Elina Outh, a 22-year-old business student who called in to buy some of Gaci’s pastries. “What’s happening makes sense and I think it should have happened a long time ago.” Government edicts about wearing face coverings to curb the spread of COVID-19 have touched off fierce debate in the United States and elsewhere about civil liberties. On France, most people accept them as a necessary tool to fight the epidemic.
20th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Egyptians struggle to return to work even as lockdown lifts

“[Thinking] of everything we’ve been through since coronavirus began until bringing things back and putting them away in storage feels very heavy ... the psychological impact has been intense,” Galal added. In mid-March Egypt imposed lockdown measures including a night curfew, bans on large public gatherings and the closure of restaurants and theatres. Restrictions were eventually lifted in June, with theatres allowed to operate at 25% capacity. But with several hundred new COVID-19 cases being reported daily, the Sitara decided to stay closed. “We actually closed before the government closed everything because it just felt wrong having children come in and then a whole load of new children come in and also schools were panicking and parents were panicking,” said Emma Davies, the artistic director of the theatre.
20th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Tunisia welcomes back tourists after pandemic lockdown

Tourists are back on Tunisia's beaches after charter flights resumed to the North African country following a break of more than three months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some 155 mask-clad holiday makers from France, Germany and Luxembourg were greeted late last week on the resort island of Djerba with temperature checks -- but also by hostesses offering them bouquets of jasmine. "We can't save the whole season, but we will do everything we can to save part of it," said Tourism Minister Mohamed Ali Toumi, who was at the airport to welcome the Luxair flight.
20th Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

What does life in a 'post-lockdown' world look like?

After months of imposing strict restrictions or lockdown rules, many countries across the world have started easing these control measures. What has this meant at a global level?
20th Jul 2020 - Medical News Today

Coronavirus fast-tracked plans to reform NZ healthcare

Covid-19 fast-tracked plans for health workers to do “virtual home visits” by telephone or video link, and is speeding-up initiatives to help people stay well in the community – such as an app to help slow the decline into frailty among elderly. “A key learning from the Covid situation is that we can successfully do remotely a lot of consultations we thought we should do face-to-face,” says Dr Ben Hudson,​ head of general practice at Te Papa Hauora​ partner, the University of Otago, Christchurch. “Phone consulting will become a more well-established way of accessing care, and video consults to a lesser extent,” he says. “There are potentially significant benefits in this more flexible way of working because patients won’t have to always travel to the practice or take time off work or find childcare.”
20th Jul 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Russia reports almost 6,000 new coronavirus cases

Russia reported 5,940 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, pushing its total infection tally to 777,486, the fourth largest in the world. In a daily readout, officials said 85 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 12,427.
20th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 20th Jul 2020

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Aged care 'the new front line' as 40 Victorian nursing homes report COVID-19 cases

At least 40 different aged care homes in Victoria now have at least one positive COVID-19 case, with a number of regional Victorian homes also dealing with infections. The number of facilities which have an active case of the virus has doubled in five days according to state government data, after only 20 aged care homes were affected on July 14. And the number of active virus cases connected to aged care facilities has risen from 86 to 216.
20th Jul 2020 - The Age

Japan to Pay at Least $536 Million for Companies to Leave China

Japan’s government will start paying its companies to move factories out of China and back home or to Southeast Asia, part of a new program to secure supply chains and reduce dependence on manufacturing in China. Fifty-seven companies including privately-held facemask-maker Iris Ohyama Inc. and Sharp Corp. will receive a total of 57.4 billion yen ($536 million) in subsidies from the government, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Friday. Another 30 firms will receive money to move manufacturing to Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and other Southeast Asian nations, according to a separate announcement, which didn’t provide details on the amount of compensation.
20th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

Korea confirms 34 more cases of COVID-19

South Korea reported 34 new cases of the novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19 in the last 24 hours ending Saturday midnight, putting the total at 13,745. Of the newly confirmed cases, 21 were from local transmissions and 13 from abroad. One more person died, bringing the death toll to 295. The fatality rate stands at 2.15 percent, which is much higher for those 80 or older at 25.3 percent. According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s daily situation report, the number of imported cases hit 421 during the first three weeks of July, which is 3.8 times the figure seen at the same time last month. The rise in travel-related cases has left quarantine lodgings occupied at over 80 percent capacity as of Friday afternoon.
19th Jul 2020 - Korea Herald

Mexico reports 7,615 new cases of coronavirus, marking record

Mexico’s Health Ministry on Saturday posted a record for new coronavirus cases reported on a single day, with 7,615 more confirmed cases, bringing its overall tally of infections to 338,913, health ministry data showed. The ministry also reported 578 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 38,888 deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases. Speaking to a news conference, the Mexican government’s head of epidemiology, Jose Luis Alomia, stressed that the country must not let down its guard. “We expect to have a long epidemic, so we have to change personal habits and protect ourselves from risk,” he said.
18th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Rouhani says 35 million Iranians may contract coronavirus

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said 35 million Iranians may contract the coronavirus as the country still did not have herd immunity although a quarter of the population may be infected. "Our estimate is that up to now, 25 million Iranians have been infected with this virus," Rouhani said during a televised meeting of the country's virus-fighting task force on Saturday. "We have to consider the possibility that 30 to 35 million more may face infection." It appears to be the first time a senior Iranian official has indicated the country is seeking to defeat COVID-19 via herd immunity.
18th Jul 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Brazil hospitals overwhelmed as coronavirus cases cross 2 million

Even as cases wane somewhat in the biggest and hardest-hit Brazilian cities, infections are peaking in new locations across the country. At a public hospital in the city of Campinas, northwest of Sao Paulo, a video recorded by a doctor who works at the facility showed no intensive care unit (ICU) beds available to treat COVID-19 patients. Health officials in the city say the coronavirus has become a major public health threat. "We've had many days with a 100 percent of ICU beds occupation," Andrea von Zuben, director of the Municipal Health Vigilance Department, told Al Jazeera.
17th Jul 2020 - Al Jazeera English

No One Knows What Thailand Is Doing Right, but So Far, It’s Working

Did Thailand’s early adoption of face masks, combined with a robust health care system, blunt the virus’s impact? Was it the outdoor lifestyle of many Thais, or their relatively low rates of pre-existing conditions? Is there a genetic component in which the immune systems of Thais and others in the Mekong River region are more resistant to the coronavirus? Or is it some alchemy of all these factors that has insulated this country of 70 million people?
16th Jul 2020 - The New York Times


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India coronavirus cases near one million, driven by surge in rural areas

The number of coronavirus cases in India neared one million on Thursday as infection numbers rose in the countryside, pushing authorities to reinstate lockdowns across several states. India reported a record 32,696 new cases of the COVID-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 968,876 with 24,915 deaths, according to data from the federal health ministry. The country of 1.3 billion people is behind only the United States and Brazil in the number of confirmed infections and there is no sign yet of the curve flattening. India's testing rate is also among the lowest in the world in relation to its population. While major cities such as Delhi and Mumbai were among the initial hotspots of the virus in India, newer cases are emerging in rural areas where healthcare infrastructure is much weaker. A fresh lockdown was imposed on Thursday in the largely-rural eastern state of Bihar, where cases have been rising after thousands of migrant workers returned from cities following a strict lockdown to contain the virus spread.
16th Jul 2020 - The Guardian.pe.ca

Life after lockdown

The pandemic is still affecting some regions of Europe. “There is strategy called Hammer and Dance,” says Dr Leticia Kawano Dourado, a respiratory physician at the Hospital do Coração in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “You alternate between closing down and reopening with a focus on testing and tracing until we get a vaccine.” The strategy, outlined by writer Tomás Pueyo, has drawn a lot attention from experts. “During the Hammer, the goal is to get R as close to zero, as fast as possible, to quench the epidemic. But once you move into the Dance, you don’t need to do that anymore. You just need your R to stay below 1.” He explains, where R means the average number of people each person with a disease goes on to infect.
16th Jul 2020 - Hindustan Times

China leads coronavirus recovery as economy returns to growth

China has reported a return to 3.2 per cent growth in the second quarter, in one the world’s first major signs of economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded expectations in the three months to the end of June, according to data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. The rise follows China’s first decline in decades, with GDP dropping by 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 as the pandemic peaked in the world’s second-largest economy.
16th Jul 2020 - The Independent

Quirky Campers reports boom in interest from New Zealanders post-lockdown

With international travel off the cards due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many New Zealand tourism operators catering to the domestic market are enjoying a boom. Quirky Campers is one of them - the campervan rental company is reporting a 1000 percent increase in visits to its website since January.
16th Jul 2020 - Newshub

New Zealand Inflation Slows as Virus Lockdown Stalls Economy

New Zealand inflation slowed in the second quarter, falling toward the low-end of the central bank’s target range, amid a collapse in the global oil price and a stalling economy due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Consumer prices rose 1.5% from a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said Thursday in Wellington. That compared with 2.5% in the first quarter, but was faster than the 1.3% expected by economists. Prices fell 0.5% from three months earlier -- the first quarterly decline since 2015.
16th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

Half of British workers have restarted commuting, ONS says

The proportion of people in Britain travelling to their place of work rose to 50% last week for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown started, a survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed on Thursday. Another ONS survey of businesses showed 90% of food and accommodation companies had incurred extra costs because of safety measures implemented in attempts to reopen following lockdown.
16th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

London restaurants fret as going out goes out of style

Restaurants might have reopened, but the owner of Etta’s Seafood Kitchen in London’s Brixton Village market fears the prolonged COVID-19 lockdown may have changed customer behaviour for good.
16th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Rising coronavirus infections threaten US economic recovery

Rising coronavirus infections across dozens of states are threatening the U.S. economic recovery, forcing businesses and consumers to freeze spending and keeping the unemployment rate stubbornly high. The government reported Thursday that retail sales rose a sharp 7.5% in June, but the positive trend was undercut by more recent data showing that credit card spending has stalled. A separate report showed that more than a million Americans sought unemployment benefits last week – a sign that companies continue to cut jobs as the virus slashes through the heavily populated Sunbelt.
16th Jul 2020 - The Associated Press

Growing Wait Times for Covid-19 Test Results Hinder Virus Response

“You have no idea how many infections you have today,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and head epidemiologist for the university’s Covid-19 Testing Insights Initiative, which tracks testing trends. “But it also just puts you behind the eight ball. It delays your ability to intervene, and that’s the whole point,” Dr. Nuzzo added. “What’s the point of doing a test if someone doesn’t get a test result for two weeks?” Aside from tracking the virus, the purpose of testing and identifying cases is to isolate infected people and then quickly locate those they have been in contact with and ask them to self-quarantine before they further spread the virus.
16th Jul 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

UK boosts healthcare funding to ward off winter COVID-19 wave

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to pour 3 billion pounds ($3.77 billion) into England’s National Health Service (NHS) to try to ward off any resurgence of the coronavirus. Britain is the worst-affected country in Europe by COVID-19 with a death toll from confirmed cases of more than 45,000. The government has faced criticism over several different aspects of its response to the pandemic, including that it was too slow to impose a lockdown and failed to ramp up testing capacity quickly enough. In recent weeks, the country has eased lockdown restrictions as infection rates have fallen but the government said it must now begin to prepare for a potential second peak in cases over winter. “The Prime Minister is clear that now is not the time for complacency, and we must make sure our NHS is battle ready for winter,” a spokesman said ahead of a news conference by Johnson on Friday afternoon.
16th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus tracked: England’s infection rate is now five times greater than Scotland’s, latest data reveals

The coronavirus infection rate in England is five-times greater than that of Scotland’s, the latest data has revealed. Since mid-May, both countries have seen new daily coronavirus cases reduce significantly, though Scotland’s handling of the virus appears to have been far more effective. At their peak, both nations recorded a similar amount of new cases per day, with England recording around 73 new cases per million people compared to Scotland’s 63 infections per million people.
16th Jul 2020 - The Independent

U.N. aid chief to G20 on coronavirus: 'Step up now or pay price later'

Coronavirus support to poor countries has been so far “grossly inadequate and that’s dangerously shortsighted,” U.N. aid chief Mark Lowcock said on Thursday as he asked wealthy countries for billions more dollars in assistance. The United Nations increased its humanitarian appeal by more than a third to $10.3 billion to help 63 states, mainly in Africa and Latin America, tackle the spread and destabilising effects of the coronavirus. This is up from the world body’s initial $2 billion request in March, then $6.7 billion in May. So far, Lowcock said, the United Nations has only received $1.7 billion.
16th Jul 2020 - Reuters


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One million Brits have quit smoking during covid pandemic

One million Brits have quit smoking since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) says. Ash has calculated that 1,036,000 smokers and recent ex-smokers had quit or continued their abstinence since coronavirus cases started circulating in the UK in March. The charity surveyed more than 10,000 people across England, Wales and Scotland, including 1,700 smokers and people who had quit in the last four months. It found that younger smokers were more likely to have stopped than older smokers – 17 per cent of smokers and recent ex-smokers aged between 16-29 said they had quit compared to seven per cent of those older than 50. A further 13 per cent of those aged 30 to 49 quit during the pandemic, too.
15th Jul 2020 - Evening Standard

Over 330000 coronavirus infections reported in Peru

Health authorities of Peru said on Monday that 3,797 more patients have been diagnosed in the country, increasing the total number of COVID-19 infections across the nation to 330,123. The health ministry said that a total of 12,054 coronavirus infected patients have died due to the disease so far in the country. A report released by the ministry said that "of the positive cases, to date 221,008 people have completed their period of quarantine at home or have been discharged from a health center". The country has continued the economic activity in most of its parts, having only seven regions under lockdown over the high numbers of infections
15th Jul 2020 - MENAFN.COM

As rowdy tourists flout coronavirus laws, residents in some Spanish resorts fear new surge in cases

Scenes of drunken young tourists cavorting without masks, jumping on cars and chanting aggressively on the streets of a resort town have raised concerns in Spain as the country teeters on the edge of a fresh coronavirus surge. Authorities say such incidents, video of which was shared by a local journalist but hasn't been verified by CNN, are isolated. But locals who endured heavy restrictions to limit the spread of the disease fear that ill-behaved visitors could undermine their earlier sacrifices
15th Jul 2020 - CNN

Coronavirus: R number 'lower than thought' before lockdown eased in England

The rate of coronavirus infections in the community in England was significantly reduced before lockdown eased in May, according to a government-commissioned study. Imperial College research showed there were, on average, 13 positive cases for every 10,000 people. This means the R number was lower than thought at 0.57, the study suggests. But the figure does not take into account infections in care homes and hospitals at the time. Calculated using this information, the national overall reproduction number - or R - was estimated to be between 0.7 and 1 during May. The study of 120,000 volunteers also suggested young adults aged 18 to 24 were more likely to test positive. The researchers said this could be due to young people having more social contacts over lockdown. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the findings showed the impact of lockdown.
15th Jul 2020 - BBC News

China's economy seen growing 2.5% in second quarter as lockdowns end, stimulus kicks in: Reuters poll

China’s economy likely returned to modest growth in the second quarter after a record contraction, as lockdown measures ended and policymakers announced more stimulus to combat the shock from the coronavirus crisis, according to a Reuters poll.
15th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Belgium, once hard-hit, reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since March

Belgium, which has reined in the coronavirus after becoming the worst-hit mid-sized country in the world, reported zero new coronavirus-related deaths in 24 hours on Tuesday for the first time since March 10. As in many European countries that were hard hit by the pandemic in March and April, Belgium sharply reduced infections by imposing a lockdown, which is now being lifted. The total number of deaths reported by the national public health institute Sciensano remained at 9,787. In the country of 11.5 million people, that works out to around 850 deaths per million, the worst in the world apart from the tiny city state of San Marino. The peak daily death toll was 343 on April 12.
15th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Bastille Day: France honours health workers amid pandemic

France has honoured its health workers at scaled-down events to mark the national celebration Bastille Day, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Authorities cancelled the traditional military parade but instead held a tribute to those tackling the virus. Invited audience members included families of French workers who died of Covid-19. The annual events mark the storming of Bastille prison on 14 July 1789, seen as the start of the French Revolution. It is the first time officials have called off the annual military parade through the capital Paris since the end of World War Two in 1945.
15th Jul 2020 - BBC News

LA Public Schools Will Start Year Online, as Virus Rises in State

Los Angeles and San Diego public school districts said Monday they will begin the year online, as California grapples with mounting Covid-19 cases and the WHO issued cautionary statements regarding coronavirus and kids.
13th Jul 2020 - Wall Street Journal


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UK retail sales in June show signs of recovery after covid lockdown

Despite signs of a gradual recovery taking hold, the latest snapshot from the British Retail Consortium and the accountancy firm KPMG, also revealed significant pressure still remains for high street firms, as many consumers continue to stay away from the shops while health risks remain from Covid-19. Over the latest three months – a better guide to the underlying trend because it can smooth over monthly changes – sales, excluding food, plunged by 47%.
14th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

California rolls back reopening as nations battle resurgent coronavirus

California drastically rolled back its reopening plans Monday as coronavirus cases surged across dozens of US states and the World Health Organization warned that too many nations are mismanaging their pandemic response. Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all indoor restaurants, bars and movie theaters to close again across California -- by far America's richest and most populous state, with a larger economy than all but four countries. Churches as well as gyms, shopping malls, hair salons and non-essential offices must also shut indoor operations in half of the Golden State's worst-hit and most densely populated counties, including Los Angeles. "We're moving back into a modification mode of our original 'stay-at-home' order," said Newsom
14th Jul 2020 - Yahoo News Australia

Paris bubbles over with optimism post-lockdown

Since the first days of déconfinement, Parisians have embraced with gusto a return to normal life that interprets liberally the official guidelines of social distancing and wearing masks. Judging by the festive outdoor hubbub, the feeling of risk has dissipated. At 5 Pailles, a trendy brunch spot in the 10th arrondissement, a densely packed line snakes around the corner on weekends. Bengisu Gunes, a partner in the restaurant, says business has never been better: “It’s like a placebo effect,” she says of the desire to come out again. “Or maybe it’s the French culture — a little revolutionary.” Meanwhile in Britain, where restaurants and pubs reopened on July 4, three-fifths of Britons still don't feel comfortable dining out, according to an Office for National Statistics survey.
14th Jul 2020 - Financial Times

Pandemic slows down in Chile, where 'improvement continues'

Coronavirus infections are no longer increasing as rapidly in Chile, which has reported 1,836 new cases - the lowest figure in 63 days. "The improvement continues," Radio Cooperativa quoted Health Minister Enrique Paris as saying. One of the Latin American countries with the most COVID-19 cases, Chile has confirmed a total of 319,493 infections and 7,069 deaths. Paris gave credit for the general improvement to his predecessor Jaime Manalich, who "prepared the country very well, above all in testing, treatment in intensive care units, the purchase of ventilators".
14th Jul 2020 - DPA-International

No vaccine, no carnival, Rio's samba schools warn

Some of Rio's biggest samba schools say they will not participate in next year's Carnival unless a coronavirus vaccine is widely available, Brazilian media reported Tuesday. Five of the 12 top samba schools, including Mangueira and Beija Flor, told Brazil's O Globo newspaper they would vote to postpone the parades at a meeting set for Tuesday. "It's simple. If there's no vaccine, there will be no samba," said the head of the Sao Clemente school, Renatinho Gomes. "How can you gather crowds without collective immunity?"
14th Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

Random Covid-19 tests at airports to double to 600 a day

The number of random Covid-19 tests to be held among arriving passengers from Group A and B countries is to be doubled from 300 to 600 a day, the Health Ministry announced on Tuesday. It said the decision was taken on the advice of the team of scientists advising the government on the coronavirus outbreak. Passengers from Group A countries do not need to show they have tested negative for coronavirus, but those coming from Group B countries must show a negative test no older than 72 hours. Authorities have been carrying out random tests — 300 a day — among both groups to monitor the situation. All Group C arrivals (only Cypriots and legal residents are allowed to travel to Cyprus from this group) undergo a test and must also self-isolate for 14 days. The Health Ministry said it had also adopted a proposal by the team of scientists to multiply the tests using a specific method at lower cost with the aim of maximising the number of the people who will be tested.
14th Jul 2020 - In-Cyprus News

France aims to reopen schools amid lingering COVID-19 concerns

France is aiming to reopen all schools for the new academic year under as "normal" conditions as possible, President Emmanuel Macron announced Tuesday, despite lingering virus concerns from some parents and teachers. France gradually reopened schools in May and June as the country emerged from virus lockdown, and most children returned to class. While new infections prompted a few schools to close again, the vast majority stayed open until the school year wrapped up earlier this month. "We have learned a lot" from that period, Macron said. "We developed a new way of teaching" to take the virus into account. France's school reopening was driven by concerns about getting parents back to work to restart the economy, as well as widespread worries about disadvantaged children who couldn't access online classes, who need special help or whose families depend on subsidized school lunches.
14th Jul 2020 - bna.bh

Tokyo to lift coronavirus alert to highest level - report

Tokyo will lift its alert level for coronavirus infections to the highest of four levels on Wednesday, Reuters news agency reported quoting Asahi newspaper, after a recent spike in cases to record levels in the Japanese capital. Daily coronavirus cases exceeded 200 in four of the last six days, touching an all-time high of 243 cases last Friday as testing among workers in the metropolis's red-light districts turned up infections among young people in their 20s and 30s. The highest alert level suggests that "coronavirus infections are likely spreading", the Asahi newspaper said.
14th Jul 2020 - Reuters


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Largest cities in Colombia reverse reopening as coronavirus threatens to collapse healthcare

Colombia’s capital Bogota and the country’s second largest city, Medellin, will reinstate partial lockdowns as COVID-19 is threatening to collapse healthcare. In Bogota, Mayor Claudia Lopez said Saturday that she will reinstate a rotating lockdown starting Monday in the hope that a reduction of people in the street will prevent a collapse of the capital’s healthcare system. The mayor said she will maintain this partial lockdown until after the projected peak in Bogota has passed at the end of August. Residents in areas under lockdown will not be allowed to go to work. Lopez said she would guarantee a universal basic income and food distribution in the locked down parts of the city.
13th Jul 2020 - Colombia Reports

Mexico surpasses Italy to become country with fourth-highest Covid-19 death toll

Deaths in Mexico from the coronavirus pandemic rose above 35,000 on Sunday, with the Latin American country overtaking Italy for the world's fourth-highest death total, according to Reuters data. But leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Sunday that the pandemic was "losing intensity" in Mexico, and blamed what he called "conservative media" for causing alarm. Mexico on Sunday recorded 276 additional fatalities and 4,482 new infections to bring its coronavirus death toll to 35,006, with 299,750 confirmed cases. Italy has recorded 34,954 deaths and 243,061 cases. Mexico trails the United States, Brazil and the UK in total deaths. While Italy appears to have tamed the virus, the pandemic is showing few signs of easing in Mexico, where the government has faced criticism for reopening its economy too soon.
13th Jul 2020 - YAHOO!

Families of Italy’s virus dead seek answers, solace and justice

Members of the Noi Denunceremo (We Will Denounce) Facebook group and an affiliated non-profit committee filed some 100 new cases Monday with Bergamo prosecutors investigating the outbreak, on top of 50 complaints lodged last month. Wearing a face mask with the group’s logo outside the tribunal Monday, We Will Denounce co-founder Stefano Fusco said the complaints don’t accuse anyone specifically of wrongdoing. “We simply tell our stories and ask the prosecutors to investigate about what happened here and why … there was such a huge massacre,” he said.
13th Jul 2020 - PBS

French mayor regrets lack of distancing at music event

The mayor of the French Mediterranean city of Nice has said he regretted a lack of social distancing at a shoreside DJ set thronged by partying crowds, vowing that in future masks would be obligatory at such outdoor events. A prominent French music producer hosted the set organised by the municipality on Saturday night, with crowds massing on central Nice's famous Promenade des Anglais esplanade. The density of the crowd as people danced the night away provoked fury on social media at a time when France is wary of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. "We regret that these rules have not been sufficiently respected," mayor Christian Estrosi wrote on Twitter.
13th Jul 2020 - RTE.ie

Coronavirus: Nail bars and tattoo salons reopen as England lockdown eases

Beauty salons, spas, tattoo parlours and nail bars are welcoming back their first clients for almost four months, as lockdown restrictions ease further in England. But some treatments, such as eyebrow threading, are still banned, leaving many salons unable to reopen. In Scotland, indoor shopping centres are allowed to reopen. In Wales, pubs, bars and restaurants can start serving customers outdoors, while hairdressers can also reopen. Businesses will be required to follow guidelines to reduce the spread of coronavirus - and treatments which involve work directly in front of the face will not be available.
13th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Shopping centres reopen as lockdown restrictions are eased

Scotland will see "the most significant easing of lockdown" this week with shopping centres, pubs and restaurants reopening, the first minister has said. Non-essential shops inside shopping malls are now allowed to return to business. Children and young people are also permitted to play organised outdoor contact sports. Further restrictions on the indoor hospitality sector will be lifted from Wednesday. Family and friends are also able to visit hospital patients from Monday. Patients can have a designated visitor, although they will have to follow strict public health guidance and arrange a time to visit in advance.
13th Jul 2020 - BBC News

178 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including one in the community

There are 322 new coronavirus cases confirmed as of Monday noon (July 13), taking Singapore's total to 46,283. They include 11 community cases, comprising two Singaporeans or permanent residents and nine work pass holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday. The ministry said that the higher number of cases on Monday is mainly due to fewer tests being conducted by the Covid-19 testing laboratories over the public holiday and weekend on July 10 and 11, with the backlog of samples being cleared from Sunday.
13th Jul 2020 - The Straits Times

Summer travel: Which countries in Europe have opened their borders?

Across Europe, governments have started to open their borders after weeks of closure during the coronavirus pandemic. Member states are not, however, legally obliged, to follow the recommendation. The list is to be updated every two weeks, the EU says. Given the pace of change, Euronews has compiled a handy guide to the situation in each European country. In the summer holiday season upon us, people have started to wonder whether they will be able to get away for a break abroad - and how far they will be able to go.
13th Jul 2020 - Euronews

Latin America virus deaths pass US as Spain lockdown blocked

California drastically rolled back its reopening plans Monday as coronavirus cases surged across dozens of US states and the World Health Organization warned that too many nations are mismanaging their pandemic response. Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all indoor restaurants, bars and movie theaters to close again across California -- by far America's richest and most populous state, with a larger economy than all but four countries. Churches as well as gyms, shopping malls, hair salons and non-essential offices must also shut indoor operations in half of the Golden State's worst-hit and most densely populated counties, including Los Angeles. "We're moving back into a modification mode of our original 'stay-at-home' order," said Newsom, whose state was the first to close down in March, but began easing restrictions in May.
13th Jul 2020 - Yahoo News Australia

Re-starting life after Covid-19

Getting through Covid-19 was "a bit like that too", he says, adding that New Zealand had done a great job of locking down – and the population knew they could survive. As a person who travels extensively and engages with lots of people, Thatcher says he missed this face-to-face interaction during lockdown. But, at the same time, he found it helped him think more about what is important to him – his family. "I loved every moment of it in the end," he says, although he worried - and still worries - about one of his two daughters who lives in Sydney. He enjoyed spending more time with his wife Awhina, getting his garden into shape and cooking the odd meal. Now, as Thatcher is gradually getting back to 'normal', the Te Hiringa Hauora/Health Promotion Agency is working with a range of partners to encourage all New Zealanders— but especially those in older age-groups – to get back to doing what kept them busy before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
13th Jul 2020 - New Zealand Herald

Save The Children Warns Almost 10 Million Children May Not Return To School After Covid-19 Lockdown

A new report Save Our Education from Save the Children warns of ‘unprecedented global education emergency’. Deep budget cuts to education and rising poverty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could force at least 9.7 million children out of school forever by the end of this year, with millions more falling behind in learning, Save the Children warns in a new report launched today. As the impacts of the recession triggered by Covid-19 hits families, many children may be forced out of school and into labour markets, and many girls are at risk of being forced into early marriage.
13th Jul 2020 - Scoop.co.nz

Mexico surpasses Italy to post world's fourth-highest coronavirus death toll

Deaths in Mexico from the coronavirus pandemic rose above 35,000 on Sunday, with the Latin American country overtaking Italy for the world’s fourth-highest death total, according to Reuters data.
13th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Florida sets one-day record with over 15,000 new COVID cases, more than most countries

Florida reported a record increase of more than 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours on Sunday, as the Trump administration renewed its push for schools to reopen and anti-mask protests were planned in Michigan and Missouri. If Florida were a country, it would rank fourth in the world for the most new cases in a day behind the United States, Brazil and India, according to a Reuters analysis. Florida’s daily increases in cases have already surpassed the highest daily tally reported by any European country during the height of the pandemic there. It has also broken New York state’s record of 12,847 new cases on April 10 when it was the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.
13th Jul 2020 - Reuters

With masks and gel, Spaniards vote amid new outbreaks of coronavirus

Voters in northern Spain protected themselves with face masks and hand sanitizer before voting on Sunday as Galicia and the Basque Country held regional elections despite new localised outbreaks of COVID-19. The health measures meant there were long lines outside polling stations. The elections were postponed from April due to the pandemic and are the first in Spain since the country relaxed what was one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns. More than 460 people in Galicia and the Basque Country who recently tested positive for coronavirus were barred from voting for the new regional governments, as were people awaiting test results. Spain has recently relaxed restrictions but a surge in cases has fuelled fears of a second wave of infections, prompting several regional governments to impose compulsory use of face masks and localised lockdowns.
13th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

French consumer spending has almost returned to normal levels - finance minister

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday that French consumer spending has almost returned to normal levels and that forced household savings during the coronavirus lockdown period could boost consumption later on in the year. “Our recovery plan...is working. A few weeks ago consumption in France was at minus 30%, today we are just minus 5%, we have almost returned to normal,” Le Maire said on RTL radio. Le Maire also said that he estimates that households will have saved about 100 billion euros (£89.3 billion) by year-end due to the coronavirus crisis. “What I wish for is that they will spend this 100 billion,” he said. Le Maire said that on top of a coronavirus rescue plan worth 460 billion euros in the form of emergency loans for companies and other measures, the government will present another leg of the recovery plan at the end of summer.
13th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Philippines records region's biggest daily rise in coronavirus deaths

The Philippines reported Southeast Asia’s biggest daily jump in COVID-19 deaths on Monday and warned of more fatalities ahead, as authorities scrambled to verify thousands of suspected cases and pressure grows on hospitals after the easing of a lockdown.
13th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Covid-19 Reinvades U.S. States That Beat It Back Once

The first U.S. states to endure the coronavirus this spring hoped the worst would be behind them. Instead, the virus is coming back. Many places that suffered most in the first wave of infections, including California, Louisiana, Michigan and Washington state, are seeing case counts climb again after months of declines. It’s not just a matter of more testing. Hospitalizations and, in some places, deaths are rising, too. The disease is raging -- Florida reported 15,300 cases Sunday, the biggest single-day increase of the U.S. pandemic -- and experts say the resurgence in the original battlegrounds has common causes. They include a population no longer willing to stay inside, Republicans more likely to refuse face masks as a political statement, and young people convinced the virus won’t seriously hurt them.
13th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

Corporations begin cautious return to UK offices after lockdown

When British holidaymakers return from the beaches and a truncated holiday season, some companies will be preparing to welcome back workers too. After months of Zoom video calls, a number of major businesses are getting ready for a return to (relative) normality. Last week accountancy firm PwC reopened all of its UK offices, while its competitor Deloitte began to allow staff back to some sites in the capital and other regional cities, and employees of law firm Slaughter and May were once again able to opt to work from its London headquarters.
12th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Banks are told they must provide cash machines within a 'reasonable distance' of every UK home after more than 7,000 ATMs were shut during lockdown

Around 7,200 ATMs have been closed during lockdown out of a total of 60,000. Cash usage has fallen by as much as 90% in some areas during Covid lockdown. Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised cash machines would be accessible in March
12th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

New York City Reaches Milestone With No Reported Virus Deaths

New York City, once the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak, has just reported its first day with zero confirmed or probable virus deaths since the pandemic hit New York State. The milestone came Sunday in initial data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. It marked the end of a four-month stretch since the city reported its first Covid-19 fatality on March 11. The confirmed daily death count hit its height on April 7 at 597. Another 216 people were reported likely to have died from the virus despite no positive laboratory tests that day.
12th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

China Gives World First View of Post-Lockdown Rebound: Eco Week

The country first hit by the coronavirus pandemic will this week have a clearer picture of its progress on nursing the economy back to health. China reports second-quarter gross domestic product on Thursday, along with monthly readings for industrial output and retail sales. An easing of lockdown measures plus a modest amount of policy stimulus should be enough to post a positive growth rate, after the historic 6.8% collapse in the first quarter.
12th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg


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India reports record surge of 28,637 Covid-19 cases in past 24 hours

Tests for Covid-19 were being carried out today as India's caseload neared 850,000 with a record surge of 28,637 cases reported in the past 24 hours. The Health Ministry also reported another 551 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 22,674. India has overtaken Russia in the number of positive cases but is currently behind the United States and Brazil. India has been reporting more than 20,000 cases every day for nearly two weeks now. The ministry said the recovery rate was continuing to improve at 62%.
13th Jul 2020 - TVNZ 1

Coronavirus update: Democratic Louisiana governor issues mask mandate as state’s death toll rises

Governors across the country are facing increasing pressure to pass statewide mask requirements and mount a more coherent pandemic response as coronavirus cases soar to record levels, daily deaths rise and hospitals in the South and West face a crush of patients. A growing chorus of local officials and health experts have warned that infections could continue to spiral out of control unless governors issue public health measures that apply to everyone. “We’ve been begging for a uniform response from the state,” said Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba (D) of Jackson, Miss., where hospital intensive care unit beds were nearing full capacity.
12th Jul 2020 - The Washington Post

Brazil surpasses 70,000 coronavirus deaths

Brazil surpassed 70,000 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the health ministry said, though the number of daily fatalities appears to be stabilizing. The ministry said there had been 45,000 new infections and 1,200 deaths over the last 24 hours, taking the totals to 1.8 million cases and 70,400 deaths. Brazil, a country of 212 million, is the second worst-affected country in the world after the United States. The number of deaths has doubled over the last 35 days with Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states the worst hit, respectively reporting 17,400 and 11,200 deaths.
12th Jul 2020 - Medical Xpress

Italy reports 7 coronavirus-related deaths

Italy on Saturday reported seven more fatalities due to the novel coronavirus, bringing the country's death toll to 34,945. According to the latest data by the Health Ministry, the tally of active infections dropped to 13,303. A total of 188 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, carrying the tally of cases to 242,827. Meanwhile, recoveries continued to climb, jumping to 194,579 as 306 more patients left intensive care in the last 24 hours. To this date, over 5.95 million tests have been conducted across the country.
12th Jul 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Mexico reports 6,094 new coronavirus cases, 539 more deaths

Mexico’s Health Ministry on Saturday reported 6,094 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 539 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 295,268 cases and 34,730 deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
12th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Virus brought ‘under control’ in Jordan, king says

Monarch wants to restart pandemic-battered economy of tourism-dependent kingdom, which has recorded 1,179 cases of the virus including 10 deaths
12th Jul 2020 - The Times of Israel

Walt Disney World reopens in Florida amid Covid-19 surge

Walt Disney World Resort has begun to reopen in Florida despite a coronavirus surge across the US state. The site's Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opened on Saturday. Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios are expected to follow from 15 July. Visitors will be required to wear masks and adhere to other safety measures across the complex in Orlando. Over a quarter of a million cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Florida, along with 4,197 deaths. Disney first closed the resort in March during the early months of America's outbreak. While infections were largely concentrated in New York and California at first, Florida is among several states recording a rise in cases in recent weeks. In Orange County, where the resort is based, authorities have reported 16,630 cases - some of the highest numbers in Florida.
11th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Australia's Victoria state records another day of high COVID-19 infections

Australia's second most-populous state on Saturday (Jul 11) reported one of its highest daily increases in new coronavirus infections and warned the numbers would get worse before they got better as it began its first weekend under a six-week lockdown. Victoria state recorded 216 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the 24 hours to Saturday morning, down from a record 288 cases the previous day but still one of the biggest daily increases of any part of the country since the pandemic arrived.
11th Jul 2020 - CNA

Lebanon records new coronavirus infection high

Lebanon's number of new coronavirus infections increased for a third consecutive day to a record 86, the government said on Saturday. Lebanon has recorded 2,168 infections and 36 deaths since February. Health Minister Hamad Hassan told Reuters on Friday the spike was partly due to expatriates who came after the airport was reopened on July 1. One infected 12 people at a wedding and another infected 12 at a funeral, he said. A second cluster of infections had appeared among nurses and doctors and a third among refuse collectors, he said.
11th Jul 2020 - MSN.com

Russia reports 6,611 new coronavirus infections

Russia on Saturday reported 6,611 new coronavirus cases, taking its nationwide tally of infections to 720,547. The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre said 188 people had died from the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 11,205. Russia said 497,446 people have recovered from the virus.
11th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: Brazil reports over 1,000 deaths

Brazil has become the first country in the southern hemisphere to surpass 1,000 deaths with coronavirus. The health ministry confirmed 1,056 deaths and 19,638 cases. The numbers are likely to be much higher as only patients at hospitals are being tested. Most states have imposed quarantine measures but President Jair Bolsonaro has challenged the restrictions, saying they needlessly harm the economy. Officials say the outbreak is not expected to peak for a few weeks yet.
11th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Panama hospitals on verge of collapse as virus cases surge

Hospitals in Panama are on the brink of collapse as coronavirus cases spike in the Central American country worst hit by the pandemic, where doctors are already exhausted. With a population of four million, Panama has gone from 200 cases a day to 1,100 over the last few weeks. "Our daily number of infected patients has been increasing in a sustained way to the point of passing 1,000 cases," David Villalobos, head of the intensive care unit at the Arnulfo Arias Madrid Hospital in Panama City, told AFP. "There are no hospitals that could sustain such a number," he said.
11th Jul 2020 - CNA

India virus cases cross 800,000 with record daily jump in infections

The country's caseload currently stands at 820,916. The health ministry also confirmed 519 new virus deaths, taking the toll to 22,123. India had breached the 500,000 mark 14 days ago, the livemint.com report said. Another 19,873 patients recovered from the disease in the same period, taking the total to 515,386. The recovery rate currently stands at 62.7 percent, the country’s health ministry said. The number of COVID-19 cases in the country jumped by 100,000 in just three days with more than 20,000 infections reported every day since July 1.
11th Jul 2020 - bdnews24.com

U.S. sees another record-breaking day with more than 63,000 coronavirus cases

A whopping 63,200 coronavirus cases were reported in the United States on Thursday – another all-time, single-day high for new confirmed infections. The previous high was on Tuesday, when 60,000 cases were reported across the country, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. Three of the hardest-hit states — California, Texas and Florida — just recorded their highest daily death tolls yet. There's growing evidence the surge is linked to reopenings.
10th Jul 2020 - CBS News

Augusta Mayor mandates executive order for masks

At a COVID-19 press briefing, Mayor Hardie Davis issued an executive order mandating facial masks in Augusta-Richmond County. According to the mayor, the order officially went into effect at 6 p.m. Friday. In the executive order, it states for the protection of the public and members apart of the vulnerable population, facial masks will be required in public places and all government buildings within Augusta-Richmond County. The order does not, however, apply to religious establishments, but the use of facial coverings is highly recommended.
10th Jul 2020 - WFXG

Georgia to reactivate makeshift hospital at Atlanta convention center

Georgia officials are racing to expand hospital capacity to cope with soaring numbers of coronavirus cases, unveiling plans Friday to reopen a makeshift medical facility at the sprawling convention center in Atlanta and other efforts to add more beds. Gov. Brian Kemp's office said the temporary hospital at the Georgia World Congress Center, which opened in April and shuttered a month later, will soon be reactivated to relieve healthcare systems struggling with rising numbers of coronavirus patients.
10th Jul 2020 - Atlanta Journal Constitution


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Some economies are bouncing back. But recoveries can easily go wrong

Most forecasters reckon that advanced-economy output, after plunging in the first half of 2020, is likely to regain its pre-crisis level some time after 2021. But not all recoveries will be equal. Some rich countries, such as Germany and South Korea, look best placed to bounce back—a “v-shaped recovery”, in the jargon. The path of gdp elsewhere may look more like an l or a w. The Economist’s analysis of real-time mobility data also shows how easily economic recoveries can go wrong, as consumers react to the possibility of fresh outbreaks.
11th Jul 2020 - The Economist

In race to bring vaccine to market, big pharma struggles to protect its intellectual property rights

The pharmaceutical industry is being careful to not set any dangerous precedent that may weaken their future intellectual property rights, Milena Izmirlieva from IHS Markit said. The World Health Organization said 21 candidate vaccines are in clinical trials at the moment, meaning they are being tested on human volunteers. Three of them are said to be in the third phase of those trials, according to the WHO.
9th Jul 2020 - CNBC

Coronavirus: Sweden's death rate falling faster than the UK's

Sweden's death rate is falling despite the country avoiding lockdown altogether On June 9 the country had the highest deaths per million figure in Europe, at 4.11 and since then it has come down to 1.6, a change of 2.51. In the same time the UK's death rate fell by just 1.88, and is now at 1.4 per million. Britain's death rate has largely stalled since lockdown started being lifted.
9th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

125 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including 21 in the community and 1 imported

There are 125 new coronavirus patients confirmed as of Thursday noon (July 9), taking Singapore's total to 45,422. They include 21 community cases, comprising four Singaporeans or permanent residents and 17 work pass holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). Of these 21 cases, five were close contacts of earlier cases and had already been placed on quarantine, MOH said. Epidemiological investigations are being done for the other cases.
9th Jul 2020 - The Straits Times

Asia Today: India’s cases jump, transmission rate increases

India reported nearly 25,000 new coronavirus infections Thursday and its transmission rate is increasing for the first time since March. The new cases bring the total in the world’s third worst-affected country to 767,296. India’s health ministry said the COVID-19 death toll had risen to 21,129. Research by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai shows that India’s virus reproduction rate ticked up in the first week of July to 1.19 after steadily falling from peak transmission of 1.83 in March. The rate needs to be below one for new cases to start falling.
9th Jul 2020 - WTOP

South Korea finds just one case of coronavirus antibodies out of 3,000 tested

Just one person in a South Korean survey of more than 3,000 people showed neutralizing antibodies to the novel coronavirus, health authorities said on Thursday, indicating the virus has not spread widely in the community. While the sample size is small it is believed to be a reliable indicator of a low infection rate among the 51 million people of a country held up as a coronavirus mitigation success story. “The results indicate that each citizen has taken an active participation in tough social distancing,” Kwon Jun-wook, the deputy director of the Korea Centers for Disease and Prevention (KCDC), told a briefing.
9th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

LME trading floor to stay closed despite Britain's lockdown easing

The easing of social distancing in England will not allow the London Metal Exchange (LME) to reopen its open-outcry trading floor, which has been closed for more than three months, the exchange said on Wednesday. The exchange, the world’s oldest and largest market for industrial metals, said last month it would examine whether it could reopen the floor, known as the ring, after the government announced less strict social distancing rules, which took effect on July 4.
9th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: Pandemic costs world's economy $3.8TRILLION

Researchers studied the global impact of coronavirus and lockdown measures The impact was worse due to the interconnected nature of the world economy The airline and wider travel industry was hardest hit by coronavirus lockdown Global wages dropped by $2.1 trillion or about 6 per cent of worldwide income $536 billion or 21 per cent was lost because of a reduction in international trade The team say that easing coronavirus lockdown measures prematurely could have more severe and prolonged economic impacts than remaining in lockdown
9th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail


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Miami rolls back restaurant dining as U.S. coronavirus deaths top 130,000

Florida’s greater Miami area became the latest U.S. coronavirus hot spot to roll back its reopening, ordering restaurant dining closed on Monday as COVID-19 cases surged nationwide by the tens of thousands and the U.S. death toll topped 130,000. Restaurants also were targeted for a weekend crackdown on coronavirus enforcement in California, where hospitalizations for COVID-19 have jumped 50% over the past two weeks and the state capitol building in Sacramento was temporarily closed for deep cleaning. For an eighth straight day, Texas registered an all-time high in the number of people hospitalized at any one moment with the highly contagious respiratory illness, up more than 500 admissions from the day before to nearly 8,700.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Philippines Virus Cases Soar Past 50,000 as Lockdown Eases

Confirmed coronavirus infections in the Philippines soared past 50,000 on Wednesday in a troubling milestone for a country that has reopened an economy on the brink of recession while still struggling to combat the pandemic. The Department of Health reported 2,539 new cases, bringing the country's total to 50,359, including 1,314 deaths. The Philippines' caseload is the second largest in Southeast Asia, where the combined number of infections has surpassed those in China, where the pandemic emerged.
8th Jul 2020 - Voice of America

U.S. Consumption May See Quick Pickup If Lockdown Is Short-Lived

“We estimate that the combination of expanded unemployment insurance benefits and stimulus payments should be sufficient to allow a swift recovery in consumer spending to its pre-crisis levels,” they wrote. However, if the shutdown lasts for a year and the unemployment rate hits 20%, “we find that the return of spending toward its no-pandemic path takes roughly three years.” Although recent U.S data has proved better than expected, Atlanta Federal Reserve chief Raphael Bostic earlier this week cautioned that parts of the economy are showing signs of leveling off amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
8th Jul 2020 - BloombergQuint

What regions of Spain are in lockdown and is it safe to travel there?

Europe might have eased many of its lockdown measures, raising hopes that summer holidays might still be on the cards – but it’s not such good news for some parts of Spain. That’s because two regions have found themselves in a local lockdown there, following a surge in Covid-19 cases. It comes after the country lifted its state of emergency last month, and reopened to most of Europe – but which areas are back in lockdown, and is it safe to visit Spain? Here’s what you need to know…
8th Jul 2020 - Metro

Scam calls will rise as lockdown eases, says UK trading standards

Trading standards bosses have warned of an imminent spike in scam telephone calls as Covid-19 lockdown measures ease and call centres around the world – including bogus ones operated by criminals – start to reopen. Between the end of March and May the percentage of nuisance calls made to UK homes as a proportion of total calls was much lower than the usual average of 37% a month, as all office-based call centres were forced to close. However, National Trading Standards (NTS) is now predicting a sharp rise in the coming weeks as fraudsters exploit coronavirus fears and prey on vulnerable and older people self-isolating at home. Analysis by the NTS of the latest data from call blockers trueCall – which it has used in household pilot schemes – reveals that the number of nuisance calls in March was 34% below expected levels and 77% less in April. However these figures are picking up, it says.
8th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Signs of normalcy emerge as China reopens

While we have seen a few clusters where the virus has resurged in recent days after lockdowns were eased, events by and large in China are giving us hope: the re-opening of factories, migratory workers going back to work since January’s Chinese New Year celebrations, and industrial activity returning to at least 90% capacity utilization. As other emerging economies come out of lockdown, we’ll be watching closely whether consumers will behave as they were before the coronavirus. It’s too soon to describe what a broad economic recovery will look like, but we believe China and other trade-sensitive neighboring economies will have to be more reliant on domestic recoveries, given the short-term challenges they face with disrupted global trade routes.
8th Jul 2020 - BusinessWorld on MSN.com

Chinese factories to face headwinds in next phase of post-lockdown recovery

Orders for infrastructure materials and equipment have helped industrial output recover faster in China than most places emerging from COVID-19 lockdowns, but further expansion will be hard to attain without stronger broad-based demand and exports.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Homeless choose to stay housed, but new faces appearing on streets

People who have been chronically homeless are choosing to stay in permanent housing - some for the first time in more than 20 years. Organisations working with rough sleepers say the change in attitudes is "phenomenal". But they are warning it's no time to get complacent about homelessness, especially as new faces start to emerge on the streets. Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly is well acquainted with people sleeping rough. There is one man in particular he never thought would be housed. He's been on the streets for 22 years. "He was reluctant. Three days into lockdown, when all of his mates had gone, he was sitting there alone and said to his case-worker 'I think it's time to go inside. But, I want a room with a view'." He's been in housing for three months now. Last weekend he took his first trip in many years out of Auckland, to visit family.
8th Jul 2020 - New Zealand Herald

California coronavirus cases surge more than 10,000 in single day

California reported more than 10,000 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, a record rise for a single day that also surpassed the number of contact tracers recently trained by the state to detect and prevent potential outbreaks. California is one of several U.S. states that have reported surging numbers of new COVID-19 infections over the past week, raising questions about how U.S. President Donald Trump has handled the crisis and impeding state plans to lift lockdowns. The 10,201 new cases reported on Tuesday took the total number of cases in California since the start of the pandemic to nearly 284,00. In June, California infections more than doubled with over 117,000 new cases.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Japan's service sector mood jumps in June as lockdowns ease

Japan’s service sector sentiment jumped at a record pace in June as businesses re-opened after lockdown measures were lifted in late May, data showed on Wednesday, offering hope that the economy’s coronavirus-induced slump has bottomed out. But a recent rise in new infections in Tokyo is clouding the outlook, leaving few analysts predicting a V-shaped recovery. “Japan’s economy will hopefully pick up as business re-opens and the effect of government stimulus measures appears,” said Takeshi Okuwaki, economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute. “But it will take some time for economic activity to return to pre-pandemic levels. The outlook remains severe,” he said. A government survey of workers such as taxi drivers, hotel workers and restaurant staff - called “economy watchers” for their proximity to consumer and retail trends - showed their confidence about current economic conditions jumped a record 23.3 points to 38.8 in June from the previous month.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Iran coronavirus death toll exceeds 12,000 as lockdown curbs ease

Iran’s coronavirus death toll exceeded 12,000 on Wednesday, the health ministry said, with 153 deaths in the past 24 hours, amid a sharp rise in the number of daily infections and deaths in the past week as lockdown measures have eased. The total number of infections has reached 248,379, with 209,463 people having recovered, ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in a statement on state TV. Iran recorded 200 deaths from COVID-19 within a 24-hour period on Tuesday, the highest official figure recorded by the ministry. President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday launched new measures to try to curb the spread. Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols will be shut for a week, he said.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Norway's economy rebounded in May as lockdown lifted

The Norwegian economy rebounded in May after two months of steep decline as a gradual reopening of businesses from coronavirus lockdowns helped turn activity around, Statistics Norway (SSB) said on Wednesday. The mainland economy, which excludes the volatile offshore oil and gas production, grew by 2.4% in May from April but has still contracted by 8.9% since February, the agency said.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Novavax, maker of a Covid-19 vaccine, is backed by Operation Warp Speed

Novavax has joined the ranks of Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers being supported by the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration announced Tuesday. The Gaithersburg, Md.-based biotech has been awarded $1.6 billion to support late-stage clinical trials and expansion of its manufacturing capacity. In return, Novavax will supply the U.S. government with 100 million doses — likely enough product to vaccinate 50 million people, assuming the product is safe and effective — starting in late 2020. The full amount is expected to be made available by February, Stanley Erck, the company’s president and CEO, told STAT.
7th Jul 2020 - CNBC


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Shops and bars reopen in São Paulo as Brazil reels from world's second-worst coronavirus outbreak

In Brazil’s largest city São Paulo, shops and bars started to reopen on July 6, 2020, after the city spent over three months in lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses that reopen are being allowed to operate for six hours a day at 40 per cent capacity. But Covid-19 continues to spread across the country, which reported 1,603,055 cases and 64,867 deaths as of July 6. Brazil’s outbreak is the world's second-largest following the US.
7th Jul 2020 - South China Morning Post

Coronavirus: Pubs close again after punters test positive for COVID-19

A number of pubs which reopened for the first time since lockdown measures were imposed have had to close again after punters tested positive for coronavirus. Bars across England welcomed drinkers on Saturday more than three months after the coronavirus outbreak closed down the hospitality sector. But three pubs have since alerted their patrons that they have had to shut again after cases of COVID-19 were detected.
7th Jul 2020 - Sky News

Birmingham has highest number of coronavirus cases in England as lockdown lifted

Birmingham has still seen the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country as the lockdown is lifted across England. The city has seen nearly 4,800 cases of the deadly bug, which has killed over 44,000 Brits, since the beginning of the outbreak in February. There have been 4,797 confirmed cases out of a local population of 1,141,816 to 6 Jul, with 1,155 coronavirus-related deaths registered to 19 Jun. 28% of all deaths involved coronavirus between 29 Feb and 19 Jun. The number of Covid-19 cases has been confirmed as pubs, hotels and restaurants begin operating across the city once more.
7th Jul 2020 - Birmingham Live

Coronavirus: Italian beach nudists fined as police crack down

Authorities in the northern region of Lombardy have been struggling to stop people converging on local beaches in the summer weather. Some 70 people were spotted on the beaches, mainly visitors from South American and Eastern Europe as well as neighbouring provinces. Lombardy has been hit harder by Covid-19 than any other Italian region. Although the lockdown is gradually being lifted it is compulsory to wear a mask, even outdoors. The Corriere website noted that it was not just masks that the six nudists had failed to wear.
7th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Brits now required by law to wear face masks on beach in Spain

Sunbathers can ditch their facemasks once they are on the sand in most regions of Spain but following a surge of new Covid-19 cases, La Marina north of Lugo in Galicia has been put on lockdown and people must wear face masks all the time
7th Jul 2020 - The Mirror

Russian court fines coronavirus-denying rebel monk

A Russian court on Tuesday fined a coronavirus-denying monk who has challenged Kremlin lockdown orders for spreading false information about the pandemic. The court in the Ural Mountains region ordered Father Sergiy to pay 90,000 rubles ($1,250). The 65-year-old monk, who has attracted nationwide attention by urging followers to disobey church leadership and ignore church closures during the pandemic, didn’t attend the court hearing. On Friday, a Russian Orthodox Church panel in Yekaterinburg ruled to defrock Father Sergiy for breaking monastic rules. He didn’t show up at the session and dismissed the verdict, urging his backers to come to defend the Sredneuralsk women’s monastery where he has holed up since last month.
7th Jul 2020 - The Associated Press

Few masks and little distancing as thousands pack Black Sea beaches

Tens of thousands of people descended on Black Sea beaches in Russia and Ukraine over the weekend but despite significant COVID-19 outbreaks in both countries, there was little evidence anyone was heeding public health advice. Few were seen wearing face masks or trying to maintain social distancing on the overcrowded beaches of Odessa and Sochi. Both are even more packed this year because of the EU's ban on travellers entering from outside the bloc. Fifteen countries have been exempted from the prohibition, but neither Russia nor Ukraine are on the list.
7th Jul 2020 - Euronews

India's coronavirus death toll hits 20,000 as infections surge

India’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surpassed 20,000 on Tuesday and case numbers surged as the south Asian nation pushed ahead with relaxations to its almost two-month lockdown amid grim economic forecasts. The rate of both new virus infections and deaths are rising at the fastest pace in three months, as officials lift a vast lockdown of India’s 1.3 billion people that has left tens of thousands without work and shuttered businesses. The country reported 467 new deaths on Tuesday, taking the toll to 20,160. It also recorded 22,252 new infections, increasing the total to 719,665. India on Monday overtook Russia as the third most affected country globally, behind the United States and Brazil.
7th Jul 2020 - Reuters


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'It's a tsunami': pandemic leaves vulnerable Latin America reeling

Four months after Latin America’s first Covid-19 case was recorded in Brazil, the region’s biggest economy is far from the only country struggling. Mexico, where 30,000 have died, has overtaken Spain as the country with the world’s sixth highest death toll – despite claims from its president, the leftwing populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, that the outbreak had been “tamed”. Nicaragua’s political elite has been hammered by an epidemic its authoritarian leaders are accused of trying to conceal, with at least 20 prominent Sandinistas dying after showing Covid-19 symptoms. Peru, initially praised for its swift and strict lockdown, has lost more than 10,000 citizens, while the number of cases in Chile, Argentina and Bolivia has been rising too. Fears that Venezuela’s already broken health system could be rapidly overwhelmed appear not yet to have been confirmed, with Nicolás Maduro’s administration recognising just 57 deaths and 6,273 cases. But many doubt those official figures, and reports suggest a worrying surge of infections in the western state of Zulia.
6th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Britain beyond lockdown: what we learned from two weeks on the road

Britain is crying out for a better normal. Communities across the country are emerging from lockdown with a new sense of what is possible and what is necessary – and the answers to both go a lot further than Westminster’s efforts to drive the country back to business as usual. That was the overriding impression from a two-week reporting trip around Britain, asking people in different regions how they view recovery and whether there is an appetite for more fundamental change. The answer, overwhelmingly, was that we cannot just go back to the way things were, that there are elements brought out by lockdown that should continue, and that more needs to be done to prepare the country for the economic, mental health and climate crises to come.
6th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

German restaurants still hungry for customers post-lockdown

For now the glass remains half full for many businesses. "The situation is dramatic," the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) summarised, noting that restaurant owners expect June revenues on average to be 60 percent lower than last year. "Sure, customers are coming back but very, very slowly," said Sahin Ciftci, the owner of Zeus pizzeria in Berlin's trendy Friedrichshain district. "People are still afraid to come and sit inside," he sighed, surveying his empty dining room at midday.
6th Jul 2020 - Bangkok Post

India becomes third worst-hit country as coronavirus cases rocket by 24,000 in a day after lockdown eased

India has seen a surge of more than 24,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. The country now has the third-highest number of infections in the world - 697,413, including 19,693 deaths.
6th Jul 2020 - London Evening Standard

Coronavirus pushes US hospitals to the brink as India hits record new cases

Hospital beds are full in parts of Texas, while calls for fresh stay-at-home orders are growing. Some mayors say their cities reopened too early, as President Donald Trump tries to downplay the disease that has gripped much of the country. India faces similar challenges as it clocked a record daily number of cases across a vast nation where medical facilities are uneven and many COVID-19 infections are likely to be undiagnosed.
6th Jul 2020 - The Japan Times

Vietnam reports 14 new COVID-19 cases, all imported

Vietnam’s health ministry on Monday reported 14 new coronavirus infections, all among Vietnamese citizens held in quarantine upon their arrival from overseas. The Southeast Asian country has been 81 days without a domestically transmitted infection due to successful programmes to contain the virus. It has yet to report any deaths from the coronavirus and has confirmed 369 cases in total, over 90% of which have recovered.
6th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

African nations reopening airspace despite rising COVID-19 cases

Kenya continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic with cases steadily rising each day. Government have locked down a handful of counties including the capital Nairobi and imposed a night-time curfew as part of containment efforts. Kenya as of May 10 was the fourth most impacted country in the East / Horn of Africa region only behind Djibouti, Sudan and Somalia. Government also rolled out mass testing in virus hot spots, borders remain shut and a ban on public gatherings continues.
6th Jul 2020 - Africanews English

India surges to 3rd-highest in cases as virus slams US hospitals

India on Monday became the third-highest coronavirus caseload in the world, as officials warned hospitals in the United States were in danger of being overwhelmed by a surge in infections. The Indian government—like many around the world—has gradually lifted virus restrictions to help the battered economy, but the number of cases has continued to climb, with 24,000 reported in 24 hours to take the total to nearly 700,000 on Monday. 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.
6th Jul 2020 - Medical Xpress

India just surpassed Russia as the country with the 3rd-most coronavirus infections

India recorded tens of thousands of new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, raising the country's total number past Russia's as the third-largest in the world. The country has recorded nearly 700,000 cases despite strict lockdowns imposed from March to May. A lack of testing and external factors preventing social distancing among the population of 1.3 billion are thought to be to blame as some cities are preparing to impose lockdowns again.
5th Jul 2020 - Business Insider

Peru Coronavirus Cases Top 300,000 as Andean Nation Eases Lockdown

The South American copper producer, which locked down in March against the virus but struggled to enforce a nationwide quarantine in the face of rising economic hardship, trails only Brazil in the region in terms of case numbers. Peru's death toll from the virus now stands at 10,589, the 10th-highest in the world, according to Reuters calculations. President Martín Vizcarra's government has eased restrictions this month to allow economic growth to revive, including the key mining sector. Peru is the world's second-largest producer of copper.
5th Jul 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

France's Louvre reopens after 16-week virus shutdown

The world's most visited museum, the Louvre in Paris, reopened Monday after nearly four months of coronavirus closure, with a restricted number of visitors enjoying a rare chance to view the "Mona Lisa" without the usual throngs. Several dozen visitors queued outside the vast former palace of France's kings, eagerly awaiting the opening as the famed museum hopes to start recuperating losses estimated at more than 40 million euros (US$45 million) due to the lockdown. The museum's most popular draws, including Leonardo's Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Louvre's vast antiquities collection will be accessible.
5th Jul 2020 - CTV News

Arrests as revelers defy distancing rules after pubs reopen in England

Lockdown restrictions were eased, the pubs opened and crowds flocked onto the streets of English cities Saturday, many ignoring social distancing rules and prompting complaints from the police. A number of arrests were made. John Apter, chair of the Police Federation for England and Wales, warned that it was "crystal clear" that drunk people cannot observe social distancing. Apter, who was on patrol in Southampton, a city on England's south coast, wrote on Twitter that officers dealt with "anti-social behavior, naked men, possession of class 'A' drugs, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights, more angry drunks."
5th Jul 2020 - NBC News

'Beautiful' to have a pint, 'brilliant' to get a haircut - England reopens after lockdown

People relished their first pub drinks in more than three months, went to restaurants and finally got haircuts on Saturday as England took its biggest steps yet towards resumption of normal life after the coronavirus lockdown. Some pubs started serving from 6 a.m., sparking worries of over-indulgence on what the media dubbed a “Super Saturday” of restrictions being eased. Some hairdressers were reported to have opened at the stroke of midnight. “It’s beautiful just to get back and have a pint,” said Jim Martin, a 56-year old carpenter enjoying a beer at The Holland Tringham pub in south London, part of the JD Wetherspoon (JDW.L) chain. It opened at 8 a.m. and was about three quarters full by 11.20 a.m.
4th Jul 2020 - Reuters


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Malawi cancels independence celebrations over virus spike

Malawi's president Lazarus Chakwera on Sunday called off planned independence celebrations and drastically scaled back on his inauguration ceremony following a spike in coronavirus infections in the southern African country. The cancellation will put a dampener on the euphoria generated by the historic opposition triumph in a recent landmark election re-run after last year's fraudulent polls were overturned.
5th Jul 2020 - The Peninsula Qatar

S.Africa reports record rise in COVID-19 cases

South Africa has reported a sharp rise in novel coronavirus infections with 7,210 cases reported in a single day on Saturday, and another 6,334 on Sunday, the Health Ministry said. “We are seeing a rapid rise in the cumulative number of positive COVID-19 cases indicating that, as we had expected, we are approaching a surge during the latter winter months of July and August,’’ Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced in a statement Sunday night. Mkhize said as of Sunday the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 138,134, with the death toll hitting 2,456 and recoveries standing at 68,925. The minister said 43 new fatalities were reported on Sunday, while a day earlier the country recorded 73 deaths from the disease. The highest fatalities were recorded in the tourism hub of Western Cape.
5th Jul 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Nearly 25000 Covid-19 cases in India in record daily jump

India’s tally of the coronavirus disease reached 673,165 with the biggest single-day increase of 24,850 new cases and 613 deaths, data from the Union health ministry on Sunday showed. The country’s death toll due to the disease has reached 19,268 and there are 244,4814 active cases of Covid-19 in the country, according to the health ministry’s dashboard, reports Hindustan Times. The number of recoveries stands at 409,082 with 14,856 people cured of the viral disease in the last 24 hours. The recovery rate is now 60.76%, slightly down from Saturday’s 60.80%. This is the third consecutive day when coronavirus disease cases have increased by more than 20,000.
5th Jul 2020 - Dhaka Tribune

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 239 to 196,335 - RKI

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 239 to 196,335, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by 2 to 9,012, the tally showed.
5th Jul 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

'Let’s do karaoke!': Bangkok nightlife eases out of lockdown

The city’s bars, clubs and even massage parlours are beginning to buzz again but the absence of tourists is taking its toll
4th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina Get Best Marks in Latin America for Pandemic Response-Poll

Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina are the Latin American countries that earned the best grades for their response to the coronavirus, according to a poll conducted in the region and released on Friday, while Brazil was tagged as the worst performer.
3rd Jul 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus mortality in Italy is highest among poor, study shows

Poor Italians are significantly more likely to die of the coronavirus than higher-income groups, the country’s first significant study into the disease’s disproportionate social impact showed on Friday. Italy is one of the world’s worst-hit countries with almost 35,000 COVID-19 deaths since its outbreak emerged on Feb. 21 and it was the first European nation to report large-scale infections. In its annual report, national statistics bureau ISTAT studied mortality rates for each month from January 2019 to March 2020, when the outbreak took off, focusing on the education levels of those who died. On average, Italians who leave school early with few qualifications have lower life-expectancy than those who study for longer, ISTAT said, and this “excess mortality” remained roughly constant through February this year.
3rd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Switzerland publishes list of ‘high risk’ travel quarantine countries

The United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Brazil are among 29 countries listed as posing a high risk of coronavirus infection by the Swiss authorities. From July 6, travellers entering Switzerland from these countries must go into quarantine for ten days.
3rd Jul 2020 - SwissInfo.ch


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Will Europe or the US Recover Faster from Coronavirus?

After the devastating financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, the United States recovered much more quickly than Europe, which suffered a double-dip recession. This time, many economists say that Europe may have the edge. The main reason America did well was the rapid response of the government and the flexible nature of the American economy, quick both to fire workers but also to hire them again. Europe, with built-in social insurance, tries to keep workers from layoffs through subsidies to employers, making it harder to fire and more expensive to rehire. But this is a different kind of collapse, a mandated shutdown in response to a pandemic, driving down both supply and demand simultaneously. And that difference creates the possibility that the European response, freezing the economy in place, might work better this time.
2nd Jul 2020 - The New York Times

Uruguay rides out COVID threat without imposing a lockdown

Uruguay's president was recently photographed surfing in the early morning ahead of a cabinet meeting, symbolizing his government's relief that a policy of "freedom with responsibility" in containing the COVID-19 pandemic is succeeding. Photos of 47-year-old Luis Lacalle Pou emerging from the South Atlantic in a wetsuit with a board under his arm and a smile on his lips hit the newsstands on Tuesday, as Europe reopened its borders to 15 countries. The list included only one Latin American country: Uruguay. With less than 1,000 registered novel coronavirus cases and just 27 deaths, the country of 3.4 million is a notable exception in a region that has become the epicenter of the global health crisis. Uruguay currently has just 83 active cases, while its giant neighbor Brazil is the world's worst-hit country after the United States.
2nd Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

Sweden's prime minister orders an inquiry into the failure of the country's no-lockdown coronavirus strategy

Sweden's prime minister has ordered an inquiry into the country's decision not to impose a coronavirus lockdown after the country suffered thousands more deaths than its closest neighbours. "We have thousands of dead" Swedish PM Stefan Lofven said at a press conference on Wednesday, while admitting the country's handling had exposed Sweden's shortcomings, The Times reported. "The question now is how Sweden should change not if"
2nd Jul 2020 - Business Insider India

Young Americans are partying hard and spreading COVID-19 quickly

COVID-19 is increasingly a disease of the young, with the message to stay home for the sake of older loved ones wearing off as the pandemic wears on. The dropping age of the infected is becoming one of the most pressing problems for local officials, who continued Wednesday to set curfews and close places where the young gather. U.S. health experts say that they are more likely to be active and asymptomatic, providing a vast redoubt for the coronavirus that has killed almost 130,000 Americans. In Arizona, half of all positive cases are people from the ages of 20 to 44, according to state data. The median age in Florida is 37, down from 65 in March. In Texas’s Hays County, people in their 20s make up 50 percent of the victims.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Japan Times

Return to class to be reviewed 'day-by-day' as school spread widens

Victoria's Chief Health Officer will review the planned reopening of schools within Melbourne's locked-down suburbs as new evidence of recent student-to-student transmission of COVID-19 emerges. Professor Brett Sutton said he still expected schools in the lockdown zones to return to face-to-face learning at the start of term three, but that he wanted a reduction in transmission rates. "It will certainly be reviewed on a day-to-day basis. I will give as much notice as I can around the resumption of school in those restricted postcodes," Professor Sutton said. The Chief Health Officer said there was evidence of student-to-student and especially teacher-to-teacher transmission.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Age

New Zealand health minister resigns after blunders

New Zealand's health minister has resigned after criticism of the government's response to coronavirus and his own breaches of lockdown rules. David Clark had already been demoted after breaking rules to take his family to the beach. He said continuing in his role was distracting from the government's overall response to the pandemic. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed on Thursday that she had accepted his resignation. New Zealand has been hailed as a success story when it comes to tackling the coronavirus. The country has recorded 1,528 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases and 22 people have died. Last month, all Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and the nation was declared virus free.
2nd Jul 2020 - BBC News

New Zealand health minister David Clark resigns after breaking coronavirus lockdown to go mountain biking, passing the buck on border failures

New Zealand's health minister has resigned following a series of personal blunders during the coronavirus pandemic. David Clark had earlier described himself as an "idiot" for breaking the nation's lockdown measures and then last week appeared to blame a respected health official for border lapses, generating an angry response from the public. Announcing his resignation, Mr Clark said he had put all his energy into the job. "But it has become increasingly clear to me that my continuation in the role is distracting from the government's overall response to COVID-19," he said.
2nd Jul 2020 - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

New Zealand health minister David Clark quits over handling of Covid-19 outbreak

New Zealand’s health minister has resigned after a series of major missteps during the coronavirus crisis which saw him draw the ire of the public and the prime minister. Dr David Clark has held the health portfolio since Labour was elected in 2017 but has largely been viewed as an ineffectual minister who has struggled to make an impact during his term. During New Zealand’s lockdown, Clark was twice discovered breaching the strict stay-at-home rules; once by going mountain biking, and a second time when he took his family for a beach trip 23km from his Dunedin home.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Lockdown has been eased too soon in the US - and was never strict enough - warns Dr Fauci as he slams young people hitting beaches, bars and protests infecting the vulnerable amid 'disturbing' spike in cases to over 52,000 a day

Anthony Fauci has warned that America's coronavirus lockdown was lifted too soon, was never strict enough in the first place, and that young people are driving a second wave that has seen daily infections top 50,000. Dr Fauci, the White House's top virus adviser, said the 'very disturbing' new rise in cases is being caused in part by the fact that the US never got its first wave under control - only locking down around 50 per cent of the country compared to 97 per cent as happened in most of Europe where daily infections are now very low. That meant that when the economy started to reopen, the virus began spreading rapidly almost immediately because there were still a large number infected people to pass the disease along, he told BBC Radio 4 in the UK.
2nd Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

Border town pays price for Sweden's no-lockdown as Norway reopens

The Swedish border town of Stromstad is paying a heavy price for Sweden’s decision not to lock down its economy like neighbouring Norway and other Nordic nations to halt the spread of COVID-19. Stromstad is just a two-hour drive from Oslo and popular with Norwegians who shop for cheaper consumer goods in Sweden, but Norway’s lockdown, imposed in mid-March, put a stop to that. And now, though Norway has lifted its lockdown following a sharp fall in COVID-19 cases, it still quarantines people returning from Sweden, which has registered more than four times the combined number of deaths in Norway, Denmark and Finland. “When Norway closed its borders, (Stromstad) went overnight from full activity to total stillness,” said Kent Hansson, the town’s mayor. “The border retail trade, it is (still) completely dead. The large supermarkets close to the border are completely deserted.” Sweden kept most businesses and schools open when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, bucking the international trend.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

End of lockdown fails to boost jobs market in Spain

The end of the coronavirus lockdown in Spain failed to bring a surge in employment as government data showed that the 900,000 jobs lost at the pandemic’s peak had not been regained, while the tourism sector has not yet returned to regular activity. The number of people in Spain registering as jobless rose by 0.13% in June from a month earlier, or by 5,017 people, leaving 3.86 million people out of work, Labour Ministry data showed on Thursday. The number of registered jobless people had risen in May by 0.68%. Overall there were 847,197 more jobless people in June than in the same month a year ago. A net 99,906 jobs were lost in June. According to data from the Social Security Ministry, on average 68,208 new jobs were registered in June compared to May, but 161,500 people were fired on the last day of the month.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

India's coronavirus cases cross 600,000 amid easing of lockdowns

India’s coronavirus infections surpassed 600,000 on Thursday, with 17,834 deaths, as authorities battled to contain the pandemic while easing lockdown rules, officials and the health ministry said. Fresh challenges to protect people from the virus emerged for disaster management officials in the northeast state of Assam amid torrential rainfall, where floods and landslides killed 57 people this week and more than 1.5 million were forced to flee their homes. Assam’s health minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, said the state had started testing aggressively to identify coronavirus cases among villagers forced to take shelter in community halls, schools and government buildings. “We were isolating new coronavirus hotspots; the situation is very critical,” Sarma told Reuters. The increase in infections presents a severe challenge for India’s strained medical capacity and overburdened health system.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Lockdown ends in Nigeria's Kano, where coronavirus killed hundreds

The Nigerian state of Kano ended its novel coronavirus lockdown on Thursday, the local ministry of health said, months after an outbreak of what was originally called a “mysterious disease” killed hundreds of citizens. The easing comes weeks after other parts of Nigeria relaxed restrictions, and marks an effort to resume everyday life in Kano, the commercial and cultural heart of predominantly Muslim northern Nigerian. In April and early May, roughly 500 people died in the state, a government probe found, saying the deaths were likely due to coronavirus. Local authorities did not acknowledge the outbreak at the time. Kano’s health ministry on its official Twitter account did not provide details of the state lockdown ending except to say civil servants would return to work from July 6. The end of Kano’s lockdown and other policies to relax restrictions come as coronavirus cases mount in Africa’s most populous country.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Swiss restrict entry from 29 countries to prevent coronavirus spread

Travellers to Switzerland from 29 countries will from July 6 have to register with the authorities and go into self-isolation to prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus, the government said on Thursday. The list includes the United States, Sweden, Brazil and Russia, which have been designated as countries with a high risk of infection.
2nd Jul 2020 - TODAYonline

Other deaths spike in Indian city ravaged by COVID-19

A large Indian city badly hit by the coronavirus has recorded a sharp rise in deaths not attributed to the outbreak, according to official data and burial records, highlighting how the pandemic has affected general healthcare. The spike in deaths in Ahmedabad, the most populous city in western Gujarat state, is due to patients with serious illnesses either not able to go to hospitals or being afraid to visit them because of the virus, doctors said. The numbers contain "ominous signals" for the rest of the country, said Dr Rajib Dasgupta, a professor of community health at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University.
2nd Jul 2020 - CNA

Peru looks to restart economy after months-long lockdown

Peru entered the final stage of its economic reopening on Wednesday after ending a months-long lockdown to try and contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The government said in a decree that “phase 3” of economic reactivation, which includes 96% of production activities, will restart all mining activities, industrial sectors and commerce, though they must comply with health protocols for the pandemic. Restaurants and shops will reopen to cater to a limited capacity of customers. Officials are also weighing health protocols for resuming domestic air and land transport. “The goal is to revive the economy and create jobs,” said President Martin Vizcarra, speaking at an event to announce the purchase of 400 ventilators from China. At least 240,000 companies received an economic stimulus from the government to help them reopen, Vizcarra said.
1st Jul 2020 - Reuters

Peruvians fill streets as lockdown ends despite infections

Blocks-long lines formed at bus stops, food markets and shopping centers in Peru's capital Wednesday as people left their homes en masse to go to work or shop as a 106-day coronavirus lockdown ended in many parts of the country. For the first time in months, food vendors offered breakfasts for 50 cents from street carts covered in clear plastic in Lima's historic center. Vendors hawked face shields and disinfectants outside crowded public markets. City workers cleaned statues with jets of water. “God always accompanies me,” said 73-year-old newspaper deliverer Segundina Lolo when asked if she feared the virus with infection rates in the country still high and scientists warning against ending three months of strict stay-at-home orders too soon.
1st Jul 2020 - YAHOO!


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Peru's biggest LGBTQ nightclub reopens as grocery store to survive pandemic

As Peru begins to ease its strict coronavirus lockdown, the country's biggest LGBTQ nightclub opened its doors on Tuesday, but there will be no nighttime revelers; its dance floor will instead be filled with shelves stocked with groceries. Instead of slinging cocktails at the bar or dancing on stage, ValeTodo Downtown's famed staff of drag queens will sell customers daily household products as the space reopens as a market while nightclubs are ordered to remain closed. The Peruvian government will lift the lockdown in most regions of the country at the beginning of July, but will keep borders closed, as well as nightclubs and bars. The lockdown has been a struggle for the club's 120 employees like drag queen Belaluh McQueen. Her life completely changed when the government announced the quarantine. Her nights were spent at home, rather than performing as a dancer at the club in vivid-colored costumes.
1st Jul 2020 - YAHOO!

Peru's biggest LGBTQ disco gets a new look

Peru's biggest LGBTQ nightclub opened its doors on Tuesday as the government began to ease a strict lockdown due to coronavirus. But there will be no nighttime revelers and its dance floor will be filled with shelves stocked with groceries.
1st Jul 2020 - Reuters

Prague celebrates end of coronavirus lockdown with mass dinner party at 1,600-foot table

People in the Czech capital, Prague, built a 1,600-foot table and held a massive public dinner party on Tuesday, to celebrate the end of the country's coronavirus lockdown. Residents stretched through the city's streets and over its famous Charles Bridge after the government lifted restrictions on large gatherings. The Czech Republic was quick to implement a lockdown at the start of the global coronavirus outbreak and became one of the first countries to tell its citizens to wear masks -- helping it avoid the worst of the pandemic and ease restrictions earlier than many other nations. This meant that locals could enjoy a jaw-dropping spectacle of alfresco dining and forgo social distancing to celebrate the country's progress.
1st Jul 2020 - CNN

Spain and Portugal reopen land border three months after lockdown

The leaders of Spain and Portugal marked the reopening of their land border, more than three months after shutting it because of the coronavirus pandemic. Spain’s King Felipe VI and prime minister Pedro Sanchez met with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and prime minister Antonio Costa for border ceremonies in Badajoz on the Spanish side and later in Elvas, Portugal. Wearing masks, which they removed to hear their national anthems played, the Iberian leaders toured a Moorish fortress and museum in Badajoz before visiting a 14th-century castle in Elvas, 12 miles away.They gave no speeches in Wednesday’s event.
1st Jul 2020 - ShropshireStar.com

Ryanair resumes flights from Leeds Bradford to Spain and France | ITV News

The airline Ryanair will resume 40 percent of its flights from today - including from Leeds Bradford Airport to Spain and France. It's introduced new guidelines such as fewer bag checks, online check-in and temperature measures at airport entry, More than 1,000 flights per day will be operated by Ryanair, which has run a skeleton schedule since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is restoring almost 90% of its route network but frequencies will be lower than normal, with just 40% of its normal July capacity.
1st Jul 2020 - ITV News

Russia: Coronavirus cases to date top 650,000

The number of coronavirus cases Russia has seen since the start of the coronavirus pandemic crossed the 650,000 mark on Wednesday. Over the last 24 hours, 6,556 more people tested positive for COVID-19, briging the tally to 654,405, the country's emergency task force said in its daily report. Over the same period, a spike in coronavirus-related fatalities was seen, with 216 people since yesterday, raising the death toll to 9,536, compared to an average of 100-plus fatalities reported over the last month. Single-day recoveries came in at 10,281, bringing the total number to 422,931. Russia will continue to increase the number of tests although the number of new cases is declining across the country to "identify new cases quickly, helping the patients and preventing them from infecting those around them," said Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. To maintain testing, the government allocated nearly 3.5 billion rubles ($500 million) for the production of COVID-19 test kits for use at federal and municipal establishments, Mishustin added.
1st Jul 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Government's $70 million lifeline for New Zealand film and TV industry

The Government has handed a $73 million lifeline to New Zealand's film and TV industry, which has been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wednesday's funding boost will cover new and existing projects and is expected to save thousands of jobs. While many people heralded the resurrection of high-profile movie Avatar last month, most of New Zealand's domestic film industry remains in lockdown. "There were 47 films in production at various stages before COVID lockdown, but only one has started up again," Dame Kerry Prendergast, chair of NZ Film Commission, said. The $3 billion, 16,000 job industry was at serious risk of a dramatic shrinking but after continued pleas, they netted a huge multi-million dollar cash injection. Kelly Martin, the producer of the upcoming Robyn Malcolm film This Town says it's "amazing". "It's fantastic that the Government is acknowledging the screen sector needs support," Martin said.
1st Jul 2020 - Newshub

Post-Covid New Zealand tackles a new threat – anxiety over an uncertain future

“It’s not so much the presence of Covid-19 that presents us with our greatest challenge, but the absence of it,” says Sarb Johal, a clinical psychologist based in Wellington, New Zealand. “We’re living with this reduced visibility of what’s coming in the future, and it feels sort of ominous and foreboding at the same time.” “It’s not so much the presence of Covid-19 that presents us with our greatest challenge, but the absence of it,” says Sarb Johal, a clinical psychologist based in Wellington, New Zealand. “We’re living with this reduced visibility of what’s coming in the future, and it feels sort of ominous and foreboding at the same time.”
1st Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Czechs mark end of lockdown with bridge dinner

Crowds gathered on Prague's Charles Bridge on Tuesday to celebrate the end of the Czech Republic's coronavirus crisis with a group dinner along a gigantic table set up on the historic landmark. The EU member of 10.7 million people has by now eased most of the anti-virus measures it introduced early on -- thanks to which it has fared relatively well, registering fewer than 12,000 coronavirus cases and under 350 deaths. On the 14th-century bridge, merrymakers munched on snacks and sipped drinks they brought from home, sharing their fare with others at the table spanning 500 metres
30th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24


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Toronto makes masks mandatory, citing US problems

Canada’s largest city has made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces. “You have told us you don’t want to see a repeat of what you see when you turn on your TV and see reports from the United States," Toronto Mayor John Tory said. Toronto city council approved a bylaw and it will come into effect July 7. Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, said there is growing evidence that shows non-medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and noted many cities in the U.S. are seeing a resurgence in cases since reopening. De Villa said she made the recommendation to help Toronto move from Stage 2 of the Ontario’s reopening plan to Stage 3.
1st Jul 2020 - ABC News

The Covid-19 changes that could last long-term

From the extinction of the daily commute to transforming our relationship with food, Covid-19 is changing our world already – and in some ways, it looks set to get better.
30th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Jacinda Ardern decries 'dangerous' calls to reopen New Zealand borders

The prime minister appeared to be responding to the opposition leader, who has said keeping the borders closed for months or years is ‘untenable’
30th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

EU agrees 'safe' list of 14 countries for travel resumption

European Union governments have agreed an initial “safe list” of 14 countries from which they will allow non-essential travel from July, with the United States among the most notable of absences. The “safe” countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, the European Council said on Tuesday. In addition, China would be included if it reciprocated by allowing in EU travellers.
30th Jun 2020 - Reuters

U.S. coronavirus cases double in 14 states during June

Coronavirus cases more than doubled in at least 10 U.S. states, including Florida and Texas in the month of June, a Reuters analysis on Tuesday showed. Arizona recorded the biggest jump in cases for the month at 294%, followed by South Carolina and Arkansas. Cases also more than doubled in Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Utah. Nationally cases rose by at least 43% and deaths increased by 20%. Several states have yet to report cases on Tuesday.
30th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Latin America COVID-19 Deaths Could Rise to 438000 by October, Says WHO Director

The Americas is the world epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic and the toll for the whole region could almost treble to 637,000 by Oct. 1, the WHO official said, though she cautioned that mathematical model projections should not be taken literally but only as planning guides. Under current conditions, the pandemic is expected to peak in Chile and Colombia by mid-July, but in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru not until August, and Costa Rica will not flatten its curve of infection until October, she said.
30th Jun 2020 - The New York Times


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The demise of British pubs has slowed- but lockdown could be the calm before the storm

Last year, figures published by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) showed pubs were closing at a rate of one every 12 hours, with 378 locals shutting permanently between July and December 2019. It was the worrying continuation of an existing trend and Covid-19 has only brought further concern across the industry. And yet a new report suggests the number of pubs “vanishing” from UK towns and cities has slowed, despite coronavirus.
29th Jun 2020 - iNews

Police across UK braced to quell disorder as lockdown eased on ‘Super Saturday’

Police will mount operations all over the country this weekend to prevent new outbreaks of violence when lockdown rules are eased. Martin Hewitt, head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said forces recognised “people have had frustrations” and would be ready to enjoy the “new freedom” that will come when pubs, restaurants, hotels and other businesses reopen on Saturday. But he said it remained vital that the public acted responsibly to prevent the risk of a second wave of Covid-19.
29th Jun 2020 - Evening Standard

As coronavirus lockdown eases, U.K. domestic abuse charity sees huge surge in calls for help

The London-based domestic violence charity Solace says it saw a 200% rise in calls to its helpline during the first easing of Britain's coronavirus lockdown in May, and that it is preparing for a massive rise in demand for its services when restrictions relax even further on July 4. "As restriction ease, as partners go back physically to work or come off furlough, for example, then they will be able to, they will be trying to seek those means of escape," Fiona Dwyer, chief executive of Solace, told CBS News. Coronavirus lockdowns around the world sparked warnings about an increase in domestic abuse, as partners were trapped in close proximity to one another to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Dwyer says the numbers of people fleeing abusive relationships is expected to increase as lockdown restrictions ease further and escape starts to feel like more of a possibility for some victims and survivors.
29th Jun 2020 - CBS News

First UK night out of lockdown – camping in Northern Ireland

In the same week Northern Ireland became the first part of the UK to allow camping, a new glampsite opened in the Sperrin mountains’ dark sky park
29th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

'They are the new poor': Covid-19 fuels rising poverty in Italy

The new faces are among the 1 million Italians who will be pushed into poverty this year as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, according to estimates from Coldiretti, the farmers’ association. “What is happening is right before everyone’s eyes,” said Lorenzo Bazzana, an economic adviser to Coldiretti. “Families who perhaps were not in difficulty before are now shouldering a very heavy economic burden and are turning to food banks for help.”
29th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Cheers! Irish pubs reopen as end of lockdown nears

Irish pubs unlock their doors and begin pouring pints on Monday, ending a 15-week dry spell forced by the nation's coronavirus lockdown. Pubs serving food as well as restaurants and hotels are permitted to open as the republic enters the penultimate stage of its plan to lift stay-at-home restrictions. All domestic travel restrictions were also lifted, as churches, hairdressers, cinemas and museums opened and mass gatherings of 50 indoors or 200 outdoors were permitted.
29th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Rise in coronavirus transmission seems inevitable as lockdown lifts

The June 29th milestone should be seen as end of the beginning but not the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic. We are a long way from an effective vaccine and there are no drug treatments for the virus on the horizon, so the best we can hope for is a gradual step-by-step reduction in infection. One of the country’s leading infectious disease specialists, University College Dublin’s Prof Paddy Mallon, certainly punctured any immediate optimism when he told the Oireachtas health committee “it is inevitable that we will experience a resurgence of cases as we relax restrictions and permit more travel”.
29th Jun 2020 - The Irish Times

Can I go clubbing? Yes – in New Zealand! Your guide to easing and the arts

Actors, dancers and comedians could find themselves experiencing a different kind of lockdown. Fancourt mentions film sets in the US, where entire casts and crews are agreeing to isolate for two weeks before a shoot. “We might have companies of people locking themselves away over a period,” she says. “Alternatively, if we’re able to exist in a state of semi-lockdown, with some social interaction permitted, theatres may be able to adapt their models. “Instead of having multiple different shows with different companies coming in and out, we might end up with scenarios like the Royal Shakespeare Company, where you have companies of actors who stay and do shows as a collective in one place. So the number of social interactions among the company is limited and it’s easier to track and trace if an infection does occur.”
29th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

High Street gets set to reopen as Scotland continues to emerge from lockdown

The first stage of Scotland's High Street recovery launched on Monday, with retailers opening their doors to customers for the first time in 14 weeks.
29th Jun 2020 - The Courier

Russia reports lowest number of coronavirus infections since April 29

Russia on Monday reported 6,719 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the lowest one-day reported increase since April 29, pushing its nationwide tally to 641,156. The national coronavirus taskforce said 93 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 9,166.
29th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Spain maintains ban on cruise ships even as tourism sector reopens

Spain is to uphold a ban on cruise liners from docking at its ports to stop the spread of COVID-19, according to a ministerial order published on Saturday. Cruise liners carrying thousands of passengers regularly stop off at ports in the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Barcelona and Malaga, but were prohibited when Spain went into lockdown on March 14. With their crowds of often elderly passengers, cruise ships have been especially vulnerable to outbreaks of the virus and have been barred from disembarking in several countries. Spain's ban on the vessels will continue until the coronavirus epidemic is brought under control, according to the Official State Gazette, even as the country otherwise reopens to tourists in an effort to revive an industry hammered by the coronavirus lockdown.
28th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

What Italy's Post-Lockdown Life Reveals About The New Normal

Italy, once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, has been easing restrictions for two months. Here are the lessons now emerging.
26th Jun 2020 - HuffPost


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 29th Jun 2020

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Ireland to keep its 14-day quarantine on British travellers: Sunday Times

Ireland will maintain a 14-day quarantine for travellers from the British mainland in July even as it plans to ease travel restrictions with some countries, the Sunday Times newspaper reported, citing a memo. The memo with the Irish cabinet committee said it was "highly unlikely" that Britain would be included in Ireland's safe travel list, the report added. Ireland plans to lift from July 9 a 14-day quarantine for people arriving from countries that have also suppressed the coronavirus, the Irish government said on Thursday.
28th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Australia's Victoria state mandates coronavirus testing for travellers

Australia's Victoria state will implement mandatory coronavirus tests for returning travellers after a sharp spike in infections over the past two weeks, the state's premier said on Sunday. The country's second-most populous state had 49 new cases on Sunday, its highest in more than two months and the 12th consecutive day of double-digit rises. The rest of Australia has seen almost no infections. "Much like a bushfire, putting this out is challenging," Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told a press conference, alluding to wildfires at the end of last year that burnt through vast swaths of the country. "Containing it, though, is something that we can do, and test and trace is the most effective thing to do."
28th Jun 2020 - MSN.com

Patient 91: How Vietnam saved a British pilot and kept a clean Covid-19 sheet

"If I'd been almost anywhere else on the planet, I'd be dead. They would have flicked the switch after 30 days," says Stephen Cameron from his hospital bed. The 43-year-old Scottish pilot spent 68 days on a ventilator, thought to be a longer stretch of time than any patient in the UK. He did so not in a hospital in his hometown of Motherwell, but in Vietnam's sprawling and hectic Ho Chi Minh City, with no close friends or family for thousands of miles. Cameron, the last Covid-19 patient in an intensive care unit in Vietnam, has been the sickest doctors have had to deal with during the outbreak. The country, home to 95 million people, has seen only a few hundred confirmed cases, single-digit ICU admissions and not a single recorded death. So rare was a case of Cameron's severity in Vietnam, every minute detail of his recovery was reported in national newspapers and on TV news bulletins. He's now known nationwide as Patient 91, the moniker given to him by public health officials when he fell ill in March.
27th Jun 2020 - BBC News

China, S. Korea report new cases in double digits

China has reported an uptick in new coronavirus cases, a day after the nation’s CDC said it expects an outbreak in Beijing to be brought under control soon. The National Health Commission said Saturday that 21 cases had been confirmed nationwide in the latest 24-hour period, including 17 in the nation’s capital. City officials have temporarily shut a huge wholesale food market where the virus spread widely, re-closed schools and locked down some neighborhoods. A report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that testing has found only a few infected people without a link to the market and that the steps taken mean the risk of further spread is low, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Anyone leaving Beijing is required to have a negative result from a nucleic acid test within the previous seven days. Many Chinese are traveling during a four-day holiday weekend that ends Sunday.
27th Jun 2020 - Asahi Shimbun

Mexican economy shrinks record 17.3% in April as industry swoons

Mexico’s economy posted a record contraction in April, official data showed on Friday, as the effects of the coronavirus lockdown devastated economic activity, particularly in manufacturing. Adjusted for seasonal swings, Latin America’s second-biggest economy contracted 17.3% from March, the biggest fall since modern data began being published in early 1993, according to figures put out by national statistics agency INEGI. The decline, however, was not as sharp as the 19.4% drop forecast by a Reuters poll of economists. In unadjusted terms, the economy shrank 19.9% in April compared with a year earlier, the figures showed.
26th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Costa Rica to accept tourists from countries with virus under control

Costa Rica will will open its international airports on Aug. 1 to tourists from countries that have “controlled transmission” of coronavirus, Health Minister Daniel Salas said on Friday. Starting this weekend, Costa Rica will also open more public spaces such as movie theaters, shopping centers and beaches in most of the country, Salas said.
26th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Viruses do not take breaks. The world can learn from how the DRC is beating Ebola

The Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has ended. Thursday marked 42 days since the last person with Ebola was discharged from care, double the maximum length of time it takes for symptoms to appear. Nearly two years of hard work and leadership by the communities in DRC has paid off, with the end of the first Ebola outbreak in a conflict zone. It’s a time for celebration but not complacency. Viruses do not take breaks. DRC’s 10th Ebola outbreak may have come to a close but an 11th, in the north-west part of the country, was detected on 1 June. Cases are appearing 240km away from Mbandaka, the centre of this latest outbreak.
25th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

South Africa to reopen casinos and cinemas despite COVID-19 spread

Tourism is an important revenue-earner and three months of lockdown has left many businesses fighting for survival. “We are continuing with the effort to reactivate the tourism sector so that we can save businesses and jobs in the sector,” Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said in a televised briefing, after warning last month that up to 600,000 jobs were at risk if the sector remained shut until September. Business travel has been allowed from June 1, but overnight leisure stays are still forbidden to try to contain the spread of the virus.
26th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

COVID-19: France reports more than 1,500 new cases since end-May

France reported more than 1,500 new confirmed novel coronavirus cases on Friday (Jun 26), a spike unseen since May 30, while the number of additional fatalities linked to the virus rose by the highest amount in three days. French health authorities said in a statement the total of newly confirmed infections rose by 1,588, way above both the daily average of 498 seen over the last seven days and the 430 daily average since the beginning of June. The number of people who died from the disease increased by 26 to 29,778, compared to 21 on Thursday and 11 on Wednesday and an average of 19 over the past seven days.
26th Jun 2020 - Channel NewsAsia

Corona and the Age of Ubuntu

Melinda Gates, speaking on CNN, predicted that the pandemic would devastate the developing world and that she would imagine bodies lying on the streets of African countries. This was when refrigerated trucks were carrying off the corpses of COVID-19 victims from US hospitals, and sports arenas were being repurposed as intensive care units in the US. It seemed inevitable that Africa, which has felt the brunt of virtually all epidemics to hit the world over the last 50 years, would become the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. If even the highly advanced medical teams and state-of-the-art equipment in Europe and the US could not halt its relentless march, what hope had Africa? Well, the hammer did not fall – or rather, it fell rather lightly, causing very little damage, relatively speaking. Let’s look at some comparative figures as at May 20:
26th Jun 2020 - The Southern Times

Beijing eases lockdown as mass testing gathers pace

Beijing has partially lifted a weeks-long lockdown imposed in the Chinese capital to head off a feared second wave of coronavirus infections after three million samples were taken in two weeks, officials said. Dozens of residential compounds across the city were shut down, with authorities rolling out a mass testing campaign to root out any remaining cases. A vast majority of them are linked to the sprawling Xinfadi market in the city's south that supplies about 80 percent of Beijing's fresh produce and meat. The lockdown was eased on Tuesday for seven apartment blocks after residents tested negative for the virus, officials said at a Friday briefing. The remaining blocks are still in lockdown. Eleven new virus cases across Beijing were announced on Friday, bringing the total number of infections in the capital since the June 11 outbreak to 280.
26th Jun 2020 - Medical Xpress

COVID-19 cases triple in Latin America in only a month

Number of cases in Latin America and Caribbean have risen from nearly 690,000 in late May to more than 2 million, says PAHO
25th Jun 2020 - aa.com.tr


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 26th Jun 2020

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Texas Covid-19 cases soar weeks after state lifts lockdown restrictions – video

Texas reported an all-time daily high of 5,489 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, weeks after the state became one of the earliest in the US to ease its coronavirus lockdown measures. The significant increase in cases has left hospitals in Houston near capacity, with some adult ICU patients treated at Texas Children’s hospital
25th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

US Daily Coronavirus Cases Once Again At Peak As Lockdown Measures Lift

“Our #COVID19 numbers are moving in the wrong direction,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner wrote on Twitter. He told the city council Wednesday that Houston’s intensive-care units were at 97% capacity, with more than one-quarter of patients infected with the coronavirus. Several states have considered imposing orders mandating that people wear masks outside. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) did so this week, saying the move was “about saving lives,” and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) followed suit, delaying reopening measures for at least three weeks. The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut went a step further, announcing a travel advisory for visitors from a handful of states that have “significant community spread.” Those travelers will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the tri-state area.
25th Jun 2020 - HuffPost UK

Coronavirus: Europe cases rise for first time in months. WHO says

Health systems will be "pushed to the brink" if new outbreaks are not controlled
25th Jun 2020 - Daily Telegraph

England leaves lockdown

On june 23rd Boris Johnson declared an end to “our great national hibernation”. Pubs, restaurants, hotels, heritage sites and hairdressers would be able to reopen from July 4th, he announced, albeit with dividing screens, lots of protective kit and doors wedged open “to reduce touchpoints”. Two households would be able to meet indoors, so long as they kept at a safe distance once there. Weddings would be allowed, too, so long as the guest list did not extend beyond 30 people. And the two-metre rule would become the “one-metre-plus rule”, with people encouraged to cover their faces, but allowed to get closer than they have in months
25th Jun 2020 - The Economist

UK coronavirus deaths rise by 149 as lockdown lift looms ahead

A further 149 coronavirus deaths have occurred in the UK, the Department for Health and Social Care announced today. The new toll takes the total number of Covid-19 deaths in Britain to 43,081. The figure takes into account people who have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm yesterday. It does not include all deaths involving coronavirus in the UK, which are thought to have exceeded 54,000.
25th Jun 2020 - City A.M.

Once the Center of the Coronavirus Crisis, Europe Now Looks Ahead With Hope

After lockdowns, Europeans are cautiously optimistic that any second wave won’t be as bad as the first. When the coronavirus first hit Europe, the continent was ill-equipped to detect or contain it. Now, many governments and health experts believe so much has changed that a crisis on the scale of this spring’s probably won’t be repeated. More than a month since Europe began lifting its lockdowns, new coronavirus infections are continuing to decline in most countries, despite concern about some new clusters, including among meat-processing workers in Germany.
25th Jun 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Europe sees surge in cases since lockdown eased says WHO

Europe has reported an increase in weekly coronavirus cases for the first time in months, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Hans Kluge, the regional director of the WHO in Europe, said the continent continues to report nearly 20,
25th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Spain squashed coronavirus. Will British tourists undo all that hard work?

In this first round of the Covid-19 pandemic, two countries vie for the gruesome title of having suffered the most deadly consequences – Britain and Spain. Between them, they currently share 107,000 dead, measured in terms of excess mortality. The comparisons end there. Spain had Europe’s strictest coronavirus lockdown, with children housebound for weeks and army patrols to enforce it. That has produced a dramatic tail-off. Spain’s mortality rate returned to normal on 10 May, after exactly two months of excess deaths compared with the same period over the previous five years. Britain continues to register excess deaths and, in the downward race to be the worst, has edged ahead. This is not just a matter of contrasting British failure with Spanish success. For, as Spain opens its frontiers, it threatens to become something else – a clash of Covid-19 cultures in which Spaniards can only lose.
25th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

France closes two Paris schools as precaution after coronavirus cases

French authorities have closed two schools in Paris as a precautionary measure after the discovery of coronavirus cases but they have not been classed as potentially dangerous clusters, authorities said Wednesday. France, unlike some other European countries which have taken a much more cautious approach, on Monday resumed obligatory schooling for all pupils after the coronavirus shutdown. Some schools had already been open at least partially for several weeks after the initial easing of the lockdown. But a school in the 12th district of Paris with 180 pupils has been closed until the end of the week after three cases were discovered, the local health authority told AFP.
25th Jun 2020 - Medical Xpress

What it's like to visit Paris post-lockdown

To preserve the ambience, Jégo was forced to rethink the layout of the restaurant he's helmed over the last 17 years. He quickly came up with a concept that takes the bistro back to its original roots, when it sold coffee, wine and sandwiches alongside newspapers and produce to the neighborhood locals nearly a century ago. The reinvented restaurant now features a small garden market in the front window that sells local produce -- cherries, heirloom carrots and tomatoes -- along with housemade paté and terrines. To draw in the after work and apéro crowd, bar stools, high tables and a tapas bar have been set up at the front of the bistro, while a separate space inside sells a selection of the chef's favorite wines. In a bid to make Chez L'Ami Jean more accessible, only a few reservations will be accepted at a time, according to the chef.
25th Jun 2020 - CNN

'Tears of joy': Eiffel Tower opens after 104-day virus lockdown

Tourists and Parisians ready for a workout gathered at the Eiffel Tower on Thursday as the iron monument reopened after its longest closure since World War II, a highly symbolic move as France emerges from its coronavirus lockdown. Journalists from around the world outnumbered about 50 people, mainly French, who began the steep climb by stairs to the first two levels, as elevators and the top observation deck will remain closed because of social distancing concerns. "I'm tearing up, but they're tears of joy. It's an emotional moment after these difficult months," said Therese, visiting from the southern French city of Perpignan.
25th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Professional tennis set to return to Australia following lockdown

For the first time since March, professional tennis is returning to Australia. Competitors will play for prize money in a UTR pro series starting this weekend in Sydney. The series, which will involve local competition for Australia-based men and women according to the Associated Press, is set to probably run through August. Former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur is going going to take part in it, while top-ranked Ash Barty is opting out to focus on practicing instead. In Australia, players have returned to practice at the national tennis academy and community tennis has returned in recent weeks. Those participating must adhere to social distancing guidelines, but the moves have made way for tennis to return not just in the aforementioned Sydney, but also in other hub cities across the country.
25th Jun 2020 - CBS Sports

'Stay away from us': New Zealanders returning home to Covid 'lifeboat' face backlash

Some Kiwis find a harsh homecoming amid concern about importing coronavirus after months of lockdown sacrifice by ‘team of 5 million’
25th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Trump administration sent $1.4bn in stimulus checks to dead people

The Trump administration sent almost $1.4bn in coronavirus stimulus payments to dead people, according to its own watchdog’s report. In the report released on Thursday, the US Government Accountability Office (USGAO) said almost 1.1 million dead people received payments of about $1,200 each, as of 30 April. The payments were part of about $3tn in economic relief approved by Congress in March and April. The need for help remains: on Thursday it was revealed that another 1.48 million Americans filed for unemployment assistance last week, bringing the total since the pandemic began to about 47 million.
25th Jun 2020 - The Guardian


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 25th Jun 2020

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Chile celebrated success against the coronavirus — and began to open up. Infections have soared.

It wasn't that long ago that Chilean President Sebastián Piñera boasted that the country was ready for the coronavirus. "Far better prepared than Italy," is how he put it in March. And after locking down the population, bolstering hospitals and testing aggressively, the country did appear to be faring well against the pandemic. With a comparatively advanced health-care system, it kept numbers of cases and deaths lower than in neighboring Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. By April, officials were touting plans to distribute a first-in-the-world “immunity passport,” enabling Chileans who had recovered from covid-19 to get back to work. They now appear to have been overconfident. After weeks of soaring infections, Chile has now reported more than 250,000 cases of the coronavirus, seventh in the world, and 4,500 deaths. Officials said over the weekend that 3,000 more deaths were probably caused by covid-19. Its 1,338.9 cases per 100,000 people lead Latin America.
24th Jun 2020 - The Washington Post

Face masks and class ‘bubbles’: Spain prepares plans for a safe return to school

Spanish education officials have for weeks been debating how to get non-university students safely back to school in the fall for in-person classes. Schools shut down across Spain in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and classes were moved online, but educators have been warning about the gaps in access to technology and the risk that some students could be left behind. Central and regional officials are now working toward the goal of getting all children in pre-university studies back to school despite the logistical problems involved. One of the main issues is how to maintain a safe physical distance between students in facilities with large class sizes and reduced space.
24th Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

French connections - Life after lockdown: Exploring the 'new normal' in France

As France eases out of lockdown, people are heading back to their old ways of life, but these feel so unfamiliar. Though the places are the same, the way the French are supposed to navigate life is just different, whether it's wearing a mask or avoiding a kiss to say hello. What long-term impact are the coronavirus and the two-month lockdown going to have on French society? In this episode of French Connections Plus, Genie Godula and Florence Villeminot take a look at the "new normal" in post-lockdown France.
24th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Putin declares a Russian victory over coronavirus, but warns 'epidemic isn't over yet'

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that further social support measures and incentives for businesses will be introduced as he hailed the nation's response to the coronavirus pandemic in the run-up to a vote that could extend his rule until 2036. Speaking in a televised address, Putin declared that Russia has successfully gone through the most dangerous phase of the outbreak. "Together we have proven that we are capable to fulfil the most difficult tasks," he said.
24th Jun 2020 - CTV News

Russia holds World War Two victory parade in coronavirus shadow

Russia is celebrating its biggest public holiday, Victory Day, with a military parade in Moscow that was meant to be held on 9 May. It is 75 years since the then USSR defeated Nazi Germany. World War Two cost more than 20 million Soviet lives. President Vladimir Putin reluctantly postponed the big annual celebration because of the coronavirus pandemic. But it was rescheduled ahead of a key constitutional vote, which could allow him a further two terms in power. Moscow's lockdown eased this month, but mass gatherings technically remain banned. Soldiers taking part had to go into quarantine ahead of the parade. The number of confirmed cases in Russia rose above 600,000 on Wednesday, with another 7,176 new infections reported over the previous 24 hours. This is, however, lower than in May, when the country reported more than 10,000 new cases a day for more than a week.
24th Jun 2020 - BBC News

No name, no pint - new rules for England's pubs after lockdown

Drinkers in England’s pubs will have to give their name before they order a pint, and there will be no live acts or standing at the bar, the government said in advice for reopening the sector next month. Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will have to keep a record of customers for 21 days to assist the state health service’s test and trace operation, which aims to identify and contain any local flare-ups of COVID-19 and stop a second wave of infections. Live performances, including drama, comedy and music, will also not be allowed, the government said. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday said that pubs, restaurants and hotels could reopen in England on July 4, easing the coronavirus lockdown that has all but shut the economy.
24th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Putin ploughs ahead with Victory Day parade despite coronavirus threat

Russia is holding its postponed Victory Day military parade on Wednesday despite steadily rising coronavirus infections, as Vladimir Putin seeks a popularity boost in the run-up to a referendum on extending his time in office. The parade celebrates the defeat of Nazi Germany and has grown to outsize proportions in the years since Putin came to power at the turn of the century. On 1 July Russians will vote on amending their country’s constitution to allow Putin to run twice more for president, potentially extending his stay in the Kremlin to 2036. Online voting will begin less than 24 hours after an estimated 14,000 Russian troops, as well as tanks, artillery, and aircraft, traverse Red Square in a patriotic display of the country’s military prowess.
23rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 24th Jun 2020

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Shielding in England: how do you feel about coming out of lockdown?

From 6 July, people in England with underlying health issues who have been shielding since March will be allowed to leave their homes. They will be able to meet up outside in groups of up to six people from different households, provided they keep 2 metres apart, and they will no longer have to remain 2 metres apart from the rest of their household at home.
23rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Italian cities see bicycle boom after COVID-19 lockdown

Italy has seen a surge in bicycle sales since the government ended its coronavirus lockdown as people steer clear of public transport and respond to government incentives to help the environment. Some 540,000 bikes have been sold nationwide since shops across the country reopened in early May, according to sector lobby Ancma, a 60% increase in the first month compared to the same period in 2019. To keep people off metros and buses and avoid road congestion, the government has offered to contribute up to 500 euros ($562.70) for city-dwellers who buy traditional or “pedal-assisted” electrical bicycles. The subsidy, which kicked in on May 4 and runs to the end of the year, has accelerated a trend in place even in small centres where it is not available.
23rd Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Summer solstice parties cancelled in Spain amid coronavirus concerns

Beach parties on the eve of the summer solstice have been cancelled across Spain as authorities tried to avoid crowds to prevent a new outbreak of Covid-19. Traditional bonfires and spectacular firework displays next to the sea were also prohibited by health chiefs from Valencia to Barcelona along the Mediterranean coast and in Galicia in the northwest.
23rd Jun 2020 - iNews

Spain reopens to tourists as lockdown ends amid surge in global spread

Spain reopened its borders to European tourists yesterday in a bid to kickstart its economy while Brazil and South Africa struggled with rising coronavirus infections. The head of the World Health Organisation has warned that the global spread of the virus is accelerating after a daily high of 150,000 new cases was reported last week. The new coronavirus has infected more than 8.8 million people and killed more than 464,000, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University. The true number is thought to be much higher because many cases go untested. Spain yesterday ended a national state of emergency after three months of lockdown, allowing its 47 million residents to freely travel around the country for the first time since March 14. Spain also dropped a 14-day quarantine for visitors from Ireland, Britain and other European countries to boost its vital tourism sector.
23rd Jun 2020 - Independent.ie

Cinemas re-open in France, the birthplace of film

After a three-month coronavirus hiatus, French movie fans made a comeback on Monday as cinemas across the country re-opened in the latest phase of the country's relaxation of lockdown measures.
23rd Jun 2020 - Reuters

End of télétravail? France's new rules for employees to return to work

Working from home will cease to be the norm as France lays out new protocols for people returning to work. The French government will this week lay out new protocols that will allow more people to return to work, including abolishing the recommendation that everyone should work from home if possible. As France has gradually reopened, government advice has remained the same as it was at the height of the lockdown - that people who can work from home should continue to do so if possible. The recommendation was intended to avoid large numbers of people in workplaces, as well as easing crowding on public transport at peak times in cities. But now a new protocol, set to be published in its final form later in the week, scraps this recommendation.
23rd Jun 2020 - The Local France

The French Are in No Hurry to Return to Work

After bringing everything to a screeching halt in an all-out war against the coronavirus, French President Emmanuel Macron wants to get the economy going again. The dark draconian days of the Covid-19 lockdown are over, confirmed cases have continued to fall, and Monday marks a new roll-back of stay-at-home curbs as cinemas, museums and more schools reopen. To do so, he’s harking back to themes from his 2017 presidential campaign as a pro-jobs candidate who would be judged on his ability to shake up the country’s rigid labor market and complex pensions system.“France must fully get back to work,” he said in a national televised speech on June 14. “We must work, and produce, more.”
23rd Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

France’s Revival Sees Economy Unexpectedly Return to Growth

The French economy’s revival from the coronavirus lockdown appears stronger than anticipated, with a measure of private-sector activity showing growth for the first time in four months. IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers Index jumped to 51.3 in June from 32.1 in May, beating economists’ expectations for 46.8. The individual gauges for both manufacturing and services also climbed above the 50 key level.
23rd Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

Russians Throng River Cruises as Moscow Lockdown Eases Ahead of Vote

Russians soaked up the sun on boat cruises on the river Moskva on Tuesday for the first time in three months after authorities lifted many of the city's last remaining restrictions aimed at halting the novel coronavirus. Officials in the city of 12.7 million, the epicentre of Russia's outbreak, say new infections have been falling from a peak in May and stood at just over 1,000 on Tuesday. Russia's national case load, the world's third highest, is nearly 600,000. The city, which began rapidly relaxing an array of lockdown restrictions earlier this month, on Tuesday allowed restaurants, cafes, libraries, playgrounds and gyms to open properly and for river cruises to resume.
23rd Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus surge threatens poor nations exiting lockdown

With fragile healthcare systems in poorer countries, those governments are now left with few potent tools to combat a virus which has the ability to overwhelm the health-care systems of these nations.
23rd Jun 2020 - Hindustan Times

Coronavirus surge threatens poor nations exiting lockdown

With fragile healthcare systems in poorer countries, those governments are now left with few potent tools to combat a virus which has the ability to overwhelm the health-care systems of these nations.
23rd Jun 2020 - Hindustan Times

Only lockdown has eased, for many life’s looking more difficult now

People from different walks of life opine that just the easing will not end the hard times or wariness or confinement soon, and that they are bracing themselves to tackle the situation. And regarding COV- ID-19, another said, “I have got over the fear. But still I take all precautions necessary.” Suggesting ways to cope the situation, she said, “Let’s not wait for government or any other body to support us. We have nobody and we are nobody. Let’s help ourselves and that is the least we can do to survive.”
23rd Jun 2020 - The Himalayan Times

Belgium Gives Free Rail Travel To All

But travel abroad will be anything but clearcut, with the reimposition of border controls and cancellation of flights possible this summer. For those with concerns about international travel, the Belgian government has given them a major incentive to take a Belgian ‘staycation’ instead: free rail journeys for the rest of the year to anywhere in the country. Every Belgian resident aged 12 and over will be entitled to a “national tour” rail pass giving them 12 free journeys, in an attempt to boost the country’s tourism sector which suffered badly from the lockdown. The free journeys can be claimed at a rate of two per month, from August 2020 to January 2021
23rd Jun 2020 - Forbes

13 New Coronavirus Cases Reported, Highest Number Since 24 April, Six Imported

Slovenia saw a surge in coronavirus cases on Monday, when 13 out of 984 tests came back positive. This is the highest number of new daily infections since 24 April, when 15 new cases were reported. Six out of 13 infections were imported - three from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and one each from Serbia, Croatia and Kosovo, Mario Fafangel, the head of the centre for contagious diseases at the National institute for Public health (NIJZ), told the press today. Five other cases were related to the imported ones, one is still being investigated and in one case the source of infection is not known.
23rd Jun 2020 - Total Slovenia News


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 23rd Jun 2020

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Saudi ends virus lockdown despite spike in infections

Saudi Arabia on Sunday ended a nationwide coronavirus curfew and lifted restrictions on businesses, including hair salons and cinemas, after three months of stringent curbs, despite a spike in infections. Prayers were also allowed to resume in mosques in the holy city of Mecca, state media reported, just weeks before the annual hajj pilgrimage is due to start. International flights and religious pilgrimages, however, remain suspended and social gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited, according to the interior ministry.
21st Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Spain to decide this week which non-European tourists can visit

Borders between European Union (EU) nations have reopened, prompting thousands of French to cross into Spain on Sunday seeking cheap tobacco and alcohol. Spain is the world’s second most-visited nation, with roughly one in five of its normally 80 million annual visitors coming from Britain. Health Minister Salvador Illa told Cadena SER radio station that Madrid would discuss with European Union (EU) partners whether to also let in travellers from outside the continent and make a decision this week. Would-be holidaymakers and Spain’s tourism industry are waiting anxiously. “This year it isn’t a question of making money, it is about losing less,” said Miguel Fluxa, owner of the Iberostar hotel chain, at a news conference on Mallorca island.
22nd Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Russia reopens ahead of Victory Day and Putin referendum -- but coronavirus threat remains

And Moscow is reopening just in time for the festivities. The last set of lockdown restrictions on gyms and restaurants will be lifted Monday, a week earlier than originally planned by the mayor and just in time for the big military parade in Red Square. The festivities are all part of the run-up to another big event for Putin: a nationwide vote on amendments to the country's constitution, scheduled for July 1. It's a return to normality for Russians exhausted by lockdown and economic uncertainty. But coronavirus has left a cloud of uncertainty over the festivities, which were postponed amid pandemic fears. By tradition, World War II veterans occupy the viewing stand next to Putin as thousands of soldiers march across Red Square. But this year, those veterans are quarantined at a health resort outside of Moscow. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has asked residents to watch the event on TV, saying attendance will be limited.
22nd Jun 2020 - CNN

France shows Europe can keep Covid-19 in check after reopening

With social-distancing measures still in place and the wearing of face masks made compulsory on public transport, new cases have lately stood at about 450 per day, from a peak of 7,500. Since easing the lockdown, the weekly number of Covid-19 patients sent to hospital has more than halved. France is to allow all businesses to resume and all children to return to school from Monday. “We are going to get back to our art de vivre and recover our taste for liberty,” Mr Macron told the French on June 14
22nd Jun 2020 - Financial Times

Coronavirus: French defy lockdown with Festival of Music

Thousands of people gathered across France on Sunday to celebrate an annual music festival, defying coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Revellers ignored social distancing rules and danced in the streets for the Fête de la Musique, known as Music Day in English. Police clashed with some revellers in Paris and with demonstrators in Nantes, using tear gas against protesters. Images posted online of the celebrations drew sharp criticism.
22nd Jun 2020 - BBC News

French schools reopen as more COVID-19 restrictions lifted

Millions of children returned to school in France on Monday as the country entered phase three of the loosening of COVID-19 lockdown rules. There has been no recent spike in infections in France and new cases have stood at around 450 per day from a peak of 7,500. Social distancing measures are still in place and wearing face masks on public transport is compulsory. But what else has changed after more than two months of lockdown?
22nd Jun 2020 - Euronews

How to rebuild a business after the coronavirus lockdown

“Go back to basics,” she says. “Who are your ideal customers, what problem do you solve for them, how has that changed, can you adapt? Approach people, don't wait for them to update you. Look at what others are doing, in and outside your industry, see if you can get ideas.”
22nd Jun 2020 - Wired.co.uk

COVID-19 Has Exacerbated School Exclusion: UNESCO

The agency's 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report says poorer children, girls, the disabled and immigrants are among those at a disadvantage, and that the situation got worse with COVID-19 when more than 90 percent of the world's schoolchildren found their learning affected by closures. While those from better-off families had internet and wifi connections and were able to use laptops and mobile phones, millions of youngsters were left out. "Health crises can leave many behinds, in particular the poorest girls, many of whom may never return to school," wrote Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO's director-general.
23rd Jun 2020 - Spotlight Nepal


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 22nd Jun 2020

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Germany struggles to impose local lockdowns as coronavirus infections spike

Authorities in Germany’s Goettingen and North Rhine Westphalia regions have called on police to enforce quarantine measures following a rise in local coronavirus infections and trouble getting people to adhere to isolation rules. Health authorities needed police reinforcement to maintain lockdown conditions at a tower block in Goettingen after a riot broke out on Saturday where around 700 people had been placed into quarantine. “Around 200 people tried to get out, but 500 people complied with quarantine rules,” Uwe Luehrig, head of police in Goettingen, said at a press conference on Sunday. In the ensuing fracas, eight police officers were injured after residents started to attack law enforcement officials with bottles, fireworks and metal bars, Luehrig said.
21st Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Spain reopens its borders as state of emergency comes to an end

Passengers wearing masks and wheeling suitcases arrived at Madrid’s main airport and French people crossed the border to buy bargain alcohol and tobacco on Sunday as Spain opened its borders to most European countries and ended a state of emergency imposed to contain COVID-19.
21st Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Germany's coronavirus reproduction rate jumps above key containment level

The coronavirus reproduction rate in Germany jumped to 2.88 on Sunday, up from 1.79 a day earlier, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health said, taking infections above the level needed to contain it over the longer term. A reproduction rate, or ‘R’, of 2.88 means that out of 100 people who contracted the virus, a further 288 other people will get infected. A rate of less than one is needed to gradually contain the disease. The number, a sharp increase from 1.06 on Friday, is based on RKI’s moving 4-day average data, which reflects infection rates one to two weeks ago. RKI said outbreaks have been reported in nursing homes and hospitals, institutions for asylum seekers and refugees, in meat processing plants and logistics companies, among seasonal harvest workers and in connection with religious events and family gatherings.
21st Jun 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus: R number jumps to 1.79 in Germany after abattoir outbreak

The coronavirus reproduction rate, known as the R number, has jumped to 1.79 in Germany. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health confirmed the rate was now far above what is needed to contain the outbreak over the longer term. The R number equates to how many people, on average, will be infected by each person who has COVID-19. If R is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially, but if it is below 1, the number of infections shrink and coronavirus can be brought under control.
20th Jun 2020 - Sky News

Saudi ends virus lockdown despite spike in infections

Saudi Arabia on Sunday ended a nationwide coronavirus curfew and lifted restrictions on businesses, including hair salons and cinemas, after three months of stringent curbs, despite a spike in infections. Prayers were also allowed to resume in mosques in the holy city of Mecca, state media reported, just weeks before the annual hajj pilgrimage is due to start.
21st Jun 2020 - Medical Xpress

Dubai allows foreign tourists to enter from July 7

Those entering would have to present certificates to show they had recently tested negative for the coronavirus. Citizens and residents would be permitted to travel abroad from Tuesday June 23
21st Jun 2020 - Arab News

How will countries pay off their debt after COVID-19?

As economies struggle and job losses increase, government debts are headed towards World War II levels. The full impact of the coronavirus pandemic was laid bare when the United Kingdom became the first G20 nation to release its economic data. In April, the first full month of the lockdown, the UK's economy tanked a staggering 20 percent. It is heading towards the worst recession in 300 years. The government is expected to spend $60bn from March to October as they pay 80 percent of salaries of furloughed workers. The scheme is currently supporting 8.7 million jobs, or a third of all working people
20th Jun 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Coronavirus: 75 staff at Anglesey chicken plant positive

More workers have tested positive for coronavirus after an outbreak at a chicken factory on Anglesey. All staff at the 2 Sisters meat processing plant in Llangefni are self-isolating after a number of workers were confirmed to have the virus on Thursday. On Saturday the number had risen to 75, Public Health Wales confirmed. Health officials said the number of cases were expected to rise and samples have been taken from about 350 staff. Testing sites were set up at Llangefni and Holyhead, and at an existing facility in Bangor, following the outbreak. All staff and contractors working at the processing plant, which has 560 workers, have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days, and are being contacted for testing.
20th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Poland to lift restictions on numbers of aircraft passengers

Poland will allow aircraft to fly with all their seats occupied as of July 1, Deputy Prime Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz has said. However, critics have argued that it is too early to lift all restrictions as it could trigger more infections leading to deaths. Poland has been easing lockdown restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic and opened its borders with other European Union countries on June 13. Despite that many countries have opened their economies, the epidemiological threat has not subsided yet and virus hotspots have sprouted in various parts across the world. In Poland, over 31,300 people have been infected so far resulting in over 1,300 deaths and more than 15,000 recoveries. Around the world, the virus has infected over 8.6 million, resulting in over 457,000 deaths and more than 4.5 million recoveries.
19th Jun 2020 - Warsaw Business Journal

Macron wants to find quick agreement on EU recovery fund in July: French official

French President Emmanuel Macron told European Union leaders it was necessary to find a quick agreement on a proposed 750 billion-euro recovery fund in July to maintain the current momentum, a French official said on Friday. Failing to agree on the recovery plan would send the wrong signal, Macron said, according to the same official. In the same call with EU leaders, the French president added that out of 750 billion euros, preserving the 500 billion euros in grants was France’s top priority, in line with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. France finds possible and legitimate to link grants with national reforms, though not through Troika-type mechanism, the official added.
19th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Spain expects swift decision on travel corridor with Britain

Spain expects a decision very soon in its talks with Britain on whether to establish a travel corridor to facilitate tourism and avoid imposing a quarantine on travellers, a Spanish foreign ministry source told Reuters on Friday. The source did not say if he expected a deal. Amid repeated changes over the past weeks on when and how to open its borders to much-needed foreign tourists, Spain said on Tuesday that it was considering imposing a quarantine on British travellers in response to a similar policy announced by Britain. Britons account for more than a fifth of the roughly 80 million tourists Spain receives every year, and Madrid had said it would talk with London to try to avoid such a quarantine at both ends. "Spain is willing to be open to the United Kingdom, we are in talks with them about their quarantine. We are in a position to open [our borders to UK tourists] without a quarantine," the foreign ministry source said, adding that he expected a decision before Spain opens its borders to tourists from most European countries, including Britain, on Sunday.
19th Jun 2020 - Gibraltar Chronicle

Switzerland lifts most remaining coronavirus restrictions

From Monday 22, events drawing up to 1,000 people will be allowed (as opposed to 300 at present), provided contact tracing can be guaranteed. Only gatherings of more than 1,000 remain banned until the end of August. Restrictions on when businesses such as bars and restaurants can be open will also be lifted. People will no longer be required to sit down inside. From tomorrow civil and political gatherings and demonstrations will be allowed but people are required to wear masks. The government is also ending its recommendation that people work from home wherever possible. It will be up to employers to decide and put the necessary safety measures in place.
19th Jun 2020 - swissinfo.ch

Singapore lifts most virus lockdown restrictions

Malls, gyms, massage parlours, parks and other public facilities reopened their doors on Friday in Singapore after nearly three months of coronavirus lockdown. While observing strict social distancing and healthy safety rules, Singaporeans can wine-and-dine at restaurants, work out at the gym and hold social gatherings of up to five people with the removal of most lockdown restrictions. Tuition classes also resumed, except for singing lessons. Minor prohibitions remain including contact sports and places of worship.
19th Jun 2020 - Republic World


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Catalonia to enter “new normality” after lifting state of alarm

Catalan premier Quim Torra on Thursday announced that the region is lifting the state of alarm imposed in mid-March by central authorities in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The move, effective at midnight, means that Catalonia as a whole will have spent just 24 hours in Phase 3, the last stage of a national deescalation plan that’s been underway for weeks. Barcelona and its metropolitan area as well as Lleida only entered Phase 3 on Thursday morning, while other parts of the northeastern region did so earlier.
18th Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Post-lockdown divorce: jump in number of Australian couples seeking help

The coronavirus lockdown has put a strain on couples, new data has confirmed, with family therapists and lawyers noting a jump in clients seeking counselling or divorce. A study on the impacts of Covid-19 by Relationships Australia, the leading national provider of relationship support services, found that 42% of people had experienced a negative change in their relationship with their partner during the last few months. Its national executive officer, Nick Tebbey, said this statistic was directly related to the finding that 55% of people reported feeling challenged by their living arrangements during this time.
18th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus lockdown: International students to begin returning to Australia

Hundreds of international students will be brought to Australia on charter flights as part of a plan developed by the government in concert with universities.
18th Jun 2020 - 9News

Many Jordanians struggling as country emerges from COVID-19 lockdown, U.N. agency says

Mohammed Natour, who went from selling airline tickets to selling fruits and vegetables, after the coronavirus outbreak brought the tourism industry in Jordan to a sudden halt, waits for customers at his office in Amman, Jordan
18th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Some Venezuelans welcome relaxing of lockdown after 14 weeks inside

Maduro decreed a national quarantine on March 17 to contain the virus, which so far has killed 26 people among 3,000 confirmed cases, according to the socialist government. Medical experts have expressed doubts about the government’s testing regime and the validity of the official figures. Authorities began to relax the lockdown on June 1, allowing some complexes like gyms, shopping centers and drive-in cinemas to open, while courts, schools and bars remain closed. Health workers warn that a recent acceleration in the number of cases coincides with the easing of lockdown measures, with the weekly case count rising from 45 to 450. They say Venezuela’s dilapidated health system, where some hospitals lack basics like soap and running water, would be unable to deal with a significant leap in severely sick patients.
18th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Bulgarians complain of long border queues after Greece eases lockdown

Hundreds of trucks and cars from Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia waited in long queues at the border with Greece on Wednesday after Athens eased coronavirus restrictions to try to salvage the summer tourism season. A line of cars stretched back more than 10 km (six miles) at the Kulata-Promachonas border crossing between Bulgaria and Greece, and the queue for trucks was over 15 km long, witnesses said. “People are angry, because the queues are scary. We are travelling with two kids. We had no idea it would be such a nightmare,” Bulgarian public radio BNR quoted a woman in the queue of cars as saying.
18th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus Isn't Over. New Yorkers Are Acting as if It Were.

All over the city, bars, stores and people themselves are bending or ignoring social distancing rules, irking officials trying to keep the coronavirus curve flat.
18th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Which international destinations are reopening to tourists?

Although most governments are still advising against "nonessential" international travel, a host of popular destinations are beginning to ease their Covid-19 lockdown measures and border restrictions and are moving toward welcoming tourists back. Back in May, the European Union unveiled an action plan to reopen its internal borders in time for summer, while countries such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have formed "travel bubbles," lifting restrictions for each other's citizens. Some Caribbean islands are already beginning to open their doors to foreign visitors again, while destinations such as Mexico and Thailand are planning to reopen region by region in the coming weeks. If you're one of many travelers eagerly awaiting news on where you can travel to this year, here's a guide to the top destinations making plans to reopen, as well as some of those that are keeping their borders firmly closed for now.
17th Jun 2020 - CNN


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Brazil records its biggest ever jump in coronavirus cases and 1,282 deaths in a day

Brazil recorded 34,918 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday and 1,292 new deaths. The figures came the same day as officials said the outbreak was under control. Some Amazonian villagers are drinking tea of jambú as a treatment for Covid-19. Protests have broken out in Sau Paulo over the death of a 15-year-old body
18th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Italy, battered by Covid-19, slowly emerges from lockdown despite deaths

Italy entered Phase 3 of its gradual release from lockdown this week as the number of deaths from coronavirus hit 26 on Monday, the lowest recorded since March 2. The number of new cases registered was 303 with 256 recorded in the hardest affected region of Lombardy. As the downward trend for both fatalities and new cases continues, nearly all businesses have gone back to work, operating in a new manner and with restrictions and what authorities insist are necessary precautions still.
17th Jun 2020 - RFI English

Moscow Flocks to Reopened Restaurant Patios After Virus Lockdown

Moscow's outdoor restaurant verandas opened to diners Tuesday as the Russian capital continues to gradually reopen following a two-and-a-half-month coronavirus lockdown. While the patios packed with people dining in the sunshine might look like a sign that the coronavirus pandemic is grinding to a halt in Russia, cases have continued to rise in the thousands across the country. Here's a look at Moscow's first day back to dining out....
17th Jun 2020 - The Moscow Times

Australia’s State Borders Slowly Begin to Reopen After COVID-19

South Australia has become the first state in the country to relax its border controls imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. From Wednesday, travellers from Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania are allowed to enter South Australia without going into quarantine. Australia has had 7,300 confirmed coronavirus cases. 102 people have died. South Australia closed its borders to other parts of the country in March when the COVID-19 crisis was intensifying. It was an attempt to stop the spread of the disease.
17th Jun 2020 - Voice of America

Fifteen friends get coronavirus on first night out at bar after lockdown

A group of 15 friends have fallen ill with coronavirus after meeting up for a drink for the first time since lockdown restrictions were eased. Erika Crisp, 40, who lives in Florida, US, fell ill after going for a drink with friends at a bar ten days ago. So far, 10 of her friends have tested positive with four more waiting for their test results. She said she was suffering from the ‘classic’ symptoms including shortness of breath before she got her positive test result. Erika identified where and when she caught the virus, pinning it down to Lynch’s Irish Pub in Jacksonville Beach, on June 6. She has been sick for well over a week after showing symptoms just three days after the bar visit.
17th Jun 2020 - Metro.co.uk

India to 'reimagine' streets for walkers, cyclists after coronavirus

India will make its streets and markets more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists as it emerges from one of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns, a move urgently needed to curb pollution and improve liveability, urban experts said. An advisory issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs recommended the pedestrianisation of up to three markets in each city, and adding more bicycle lanes. City authorities must select the markets by June 30, and begin implementing short-term measures from Oct. 1, it said. “COVID-19 presents us with an opportunity to reimagine streets for people,” Durga Shanker Mishra, the ministry’s secretary, said in a statement last week.
17th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Covid-19: Transmission fears spark bicycle frenzy in post-lockdown Paris

While Paris has long yearned to become the world’s No. 1 biking capital, it wasn’t until the coronavirus prompted widespread fears of transmission on public transport that Parisians really started to pedal. Since France began to lift its lockdown measures on May 11, the number of cyclists has exploded – and both vendors and repair shops are struggling to keep up with demand.
16th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24 English


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Coronavirus: US airlines threaten to ban passengers who refuse to wear masks

Passengers could be barred from flying with US airlines if they refuse to wear face coverings during their journey, the industry's main lobby group said. United said those who do not comply with the rule will be placed on an internal travel restriction list.
17th Jun 2020 - Sky News

Tens of thousands return to England’s high streets as non-essential shops reopen

Tens of thousands of people have poured onto England’s high streets as non-essential shops were allowed to reopen for the first time since lockdown began. While many of those who stepped out despite coronavirus fears to engage in some long-awaited retail therapy cited concerns about looming job losses in the sector and a need to restart the economy, the overwhelming sense was of people urgently seeking to regain a sense of normality after 11 weeks in stasis. Despite the busy street scenes captured across the country, with reports of overnight queues which sometimes remained throughout the day, the unseen majority will have remained at home, with some newly returned employees questioning why customers were physically shopping rather than purchasing online.
16th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Experts predict summer of illegal raves in England as coronavirus lockdown is eased

Experts have warned that England could experience a wave of illegal raves over the summer as the coronavirus lockdown is eased. With the summer festival and live music season effectively wiped out by the coronavirus outbreak, it’s now feared that many young people will turn to these illegal mass gatherings throughout the summer. Speaking to The Guardian, Night Time Industries Association chief executive Mike Kill said “the youth of today want to be out and want to be engaged”.
16th Jun 2020 - NME

Moscow reopens museums and terraces a week after lockdown lifting

For the first time in more than two months, residents of Moscow are now able to return to museums and summer terrace as the Russian capital rolled back more coronavirus curbs despite continuing to record over 1,000 new daily infections. Starting on Tuesday, museums, libraries and zoos in the city of nearly 13 million are reopening their doors, albeit with continued limits on the number of visitors at any one time. Dentists are getting back to business too. Authorities are also allowing sporting events to resume, though spectators must take up no more than 10 percent of a venue's given capacity.
16th Jun 2020 - CGTN

A warning from South Korea: the ‘fantasy’ of returning to normal life

A warning from South Korea: the ‘fantasy’ of returning to normal life - Vigilance and nimbleness over coronavirus outbreaks are critical in restarting economies
16th Jun 2020 - Financial Times

Rise in infections shows need for vigilance as world reopens

European countries reopened borders Monday after a three-month coronavirus shutdown, although international visitors are still being kept away and there was uncertainty over whether many Europeans will quickly embrace travel outside their home countries. Reopening continued in Mexico and Brazil despite cases climbing in the two largest nations in Latin America, where authorities struggled to handle the pandemic’s effect on already-weak medical systems. In the U.S., Vice President Mike Pence encouraged governors to highlight the “good news” around efforts to fight the virus despite several states reporting a rise in infections, which could intensify as people return to work and venture out during the summer.
16th Jun 2020 - The Associated Press

Australia's most populous state doubles public transport capacity as coronavirus curbs ease

Australia’s most populous state said on Tuesday it would nearly double its public transport capacity starting July 1, allowing more locals to avoid driving as it continues to ease curbs designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The relaxation of rules will allow more passengers to board buses, trains and ferries, whose capacity the state restricted last month. Additional ‘green dot’ stickers showing passengers where to sit and stand will be put on buses, trains and ferries to help people adhere to social distancing rules, New South Wales (NSW) premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a media briefing.
16th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Lessons in tackling coronavirus from New Zealand | News

In the First Wave series, Times and Sunday Times foreign correspondents investigate responses to Covid-19 and ask what happens next. Bernard Lagan looks at New Zealand’s approach — and the impact on its economy
16th Jun 2020 - The Times

Delhi's local health minister in hospital as infections surge in India

The health minister in Delhi’s state government checked into hospital with high fever and was being tested for coronavirus on Tuesday as India reported more than 10,500 new infections that are threatening to overwhelm hospitals. India has opened up businesses, public transport and shopping malls to resuscitate a battered economy but the ending of the nearly 70-day lockdown has come just as cases are rising at their fastest daily levels.
16th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus Accelerates Across Africa

The virus was slow to start in many African countries, but epidemiologists say the number of confirmed cases on the continent is now rising fast.
16th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus in South Africa: tobacco smugglers benefit from world's strictest lockdown

In the First Wave series, Times and Sunday Times foreign correspondents investigate responses to Covid-19 and ask what happens next. Jane Flanagan explores how South Africans are scheming to survive amid the most intrusive policies since apartheid
16th Jun 2020 - The Times


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Long queues, social distancing wardens and discounts: What to expect as UK high streets reopen after lockdown

Retailers have introduced Perspex screens, quarantine periods for items, and lots of hand sanitiser to help persuade shoppers it’s safe to visit
15th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Social bubble: 'Pure joy' for families reuniting after lockdown

This is the moment a brother is reunited with his sister after living apart for weeks. The Ashby family, like thousands across the country, have been separated during lockdown but reunited over the weekend. David Sheriff, who has Down's Syndrome and autism, and sister Elizabeth Ashby were reunited over a Sunday lunch in Stourbridge, West Midlands. Mum Helen Ashby said the day had brought "pure joy" for the whole family. Ms Ashby said David, 31, had found lockdown and being separated from his sister "very difficult".
15th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Shoppers rush to the High Street as England stores reopen

Demand across England's High Streets, retail parks and shopping centres surged on Monday as some shops reopened after a three-month lockdown. Research firm Springboard said that by 17:00, footfall was 38.8% higher than last week, as pent-up demand led to reports of long queues. However, shopper numbers were generally far below the same time last year. But at Bicester Village, near Oxford, crowding was so great that 3,000 people signed a petition to close it.
15th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Lockdown anxiety levels in the UK fall as restrictions ease but remain higher than usual

As restrictions continue to ease across the UK, fewer Britons are suffering increased anxiety levels compared to the start of lockdown, new figures show. But average anxiety scores are still higher than last year, with an estimated 19 million adults in Britain suffering high levels of anxiety. At the beginning of lockdown, there was a “marked” increase of anxiety, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Between March 20-30, almost half (49.6%) of people reported high anxiety. This reduced to 37% between April 30 and May 10. Older people were twice as likely as younger adults to report high levels of anxiety while one in five said they had found working from home had affected their mental health.
15th Jun 2020 - ITV News

German tourists arrive in Spain's Mallorca after lockdown

A select group of German tourists arrived in Spain's island Mallorca on Monday (June 15) as part of a pilot project which will bring 10,000 holidaymakers to the Balearic Islands to find out how mass tourism can work in a time of coronavirus.
15th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Shops reopen for first time in three months as huge swathe of lockdown restrictions ease

People will be allowed to hit the shops for the first time in three months as England’s non-essential retail sector emerges from lockdown. Among a swathe of lockdown restrictions being eased today, department stores and high street shops are opening with spacious floor plans, limited numbers of customers and plenty of hand sanitiser stations. Businesses have had to ensure they are ‘Covid-secure’ according to Government guidelines, and many have been keen to stress the extra precautions they are taking, from deep cleaning stores to putting items that have been tried on or returned in quarantine. While masks are mandatory on public transport from today, they are not compulsory in shops and most retailers are emphasising a sensible approach, using floor markings and signs to remind people to keep two metres apart and regularly wash or sanitise their hands.
15th Jun 2020 - Metro

End of lockdown could trigger ‘extreme’ congestion and worse air quality as commuters swap public transport for cars

Studies warn of surge in road users amid fear of coronavirus spreading on buses and trains. As lockdown measures have eased, authorities in cities around the world have warned against people crowding onto public transport where they could inadvertently cause another wave of coronavirus infections. The result is that commuters who may usually have opted for public transport may use personal cars more, experts have suggested.
15th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Paris restaurants reopen fully, still wary about post-lockdown

Parisian restaurants cautiously reopened their indoor dining halls on Monday as the government relaxed one of the last major coronavirus constraints, but with virtually no tourists and many French people still working from home, the mood was cautious. President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that restaurants and cafes in Paris could reopen fully from Monday, the same day France lifted border restrictions for European Union travellers, bringing much needed relief for the hospitality industry.
15th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Germans off to sunny Spain as Europe loosens border lockdown

European nations eased border controls on Monday as coronavirus cases declined after three months of lockdown, with German tourists heading for Mallorca and French bargain-hunters streaming into Belgium to buy cheap cigarettes. Greece allowed more international flights as it sought to salvage the summer season, German tourists flocking to neighbouring Denmark caused an 8 km (5 mile) queue and Italians popped into France to buy lottery scratch cards. Spain is initially allowing in about 1,500 visitors from Germany as part of a pilot project to begin opening up the Spanish tourism market in the coming weeks. Hundreds of German tourists, the first to visit Spain since borders were closed in March, arrived in Mallorca on Monday on a flight from Düsseldorf.
15th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Public space a 'lifeline' for post-lockdown cities

Public and outdoor space has been at a premium during the coronavirus pandemic: bike sales have leapt, park use is way up, and even pavement chalk drawing appears to be having a moment. Now as many cities start to reopen, some are looking at their sidewalks, squares, parking lots and even streets as a hidden asset in boosting their economies. “The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our relationship with our streets, open public spaces and public facilities,” said Laura Petrella, chief of planning, finance and economy at UN-Habitat. “Public space has emerged as a critical lifeline for cities and their residents,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The city of Braga in northern Portugal has opened public squares, sidewalks, parks and more throughout the city to restaurants and local businesses seeking to reopen to customers while maintaining social distancing.
15th Jun 2020 - Reuters

From crowded tubes to pedal power, London's COVID transport challenge

The crowded daily commute in London has long been a source of misery for millions. But getting to work will be even more of a challenge following Britain’s coronavirus lockdown. Capacity on the transport network in one of the world’s biggest financial hubs has been reduced by 85% to comply with social-distancing rules, protecting commuters by preventing them cramming into trains, the London Underground and buses. Everyone using public transport must also now wear a face covering. As the lockdown restrictions are gradually eased, many now face the quandary of how to reach the City of London, Canary Wharf and other business areas both quickly and safely.
15th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Primark pulls the crowds as stores reopen in England after lockdown

Long queues of shoppers snaked around stores in England on Monday, with discount fashion retailer Primark proving a particular draw as shops reopened their doors after 83 days of lockdown. Queues formed from early morning outside several branches of Primark, which does not sell online so has not made a penny in the UK for months. The chain reopened some of its stores early, including its biggest in Birmingham, to avoid overcrowding as hundreds of people lined up outside. At its Leeds store, the estimated afternoon wait time to get in was up to an hour. There was also a big queue outside the Nike Town store on London’s Oxford Street, the capital’s busiest shopping street, with many shoppers ignoring social distancing rules.
15th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Shoppers rush to the High Street as England stores reopen

Demand across England's High Streets, retail parks and shopping centres surged on Monday as some shops reopened after a three-month lockdown. Research firm Springboard said that by 17:00, footfall was 38.8% higher than last week, as pent-up demand led to reports of long queues. However, shopper numbers were generally far below the same time last year. But at Bicester Village, near Oxford, crowding was so great that 3,000 people signed a petition to close it.
15th Jun 2020 - BBC News


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France to reopen for business as Emmanuel Macron declares 'first victory' over Covid-19

France will reopen for business on Monday after President Emmanuel Macron announced a 'first victory' against coronavirus. In an upbeat live TV address on Sunday night, the head of state said virtually all lockdown restrictions for bars, restaurants and cafes would end at the start of this coming week. Schools, colleges and nurseries will then be back with all their pupils in a week's time.
14th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

COVID-19 social media vigilantes: A valid or harmful way of dealing with rule breakers?

What would you do if you saw someone not wearing a mask in public? Mind your own business, or perhaps advise the person to wear a mask because it is now required by law and helps reduce the spread of COVID-19? Another option might be to report the infringement to the authorities. However, some people have decided on a different approach: Snap a photo and post it on social media. With numerous Facebook groups and Telegram chats providing a platform for this in Singapore and elsewhere, experts CNA interviewed have explained why online vigilantism has appeared to become more prevalent during the pandemic. They said some see it as a social responsibility borne out of genuine concern for public health, while others cannot stand seeing others get away with breaking the rules as they themselves are compliant.
13th Jun 2020 - CNA

Coronavirus could push global poverty past one billion mark, new study suggests

The number of people in extreme poverty around the world could rise beyond 1 billion as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, new analysis has suggested. Figures from the World Bank suggest that 736 million people currently live in destitution, surviving on less than $1.90 a day (£1.53). But in a study published on Friday, researchers at King’s College London and Australian National University have warned that the pandemic could trigger “substantial” poverty increases and reverse decades’ worth of progress.
13th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Mexico City to begin gradual exit from lockdown on Monday

“We think next week the city can begin a process of very orderly transition,” said Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, noting there had been a slight drop in hospital occupancy rates and that the city’s contagion alert level was close to coming down a notch. Curbs on vehicle traffic and public transport are due to be eased on Monday and factories will start opening on Tuesday under strict sanitary protections, the city government said. On Thursday, small shops will have permission to reopen, while professional services and scientific workers linked to “industry” can go back as of Friday, it added. If conditions are deemed suitable, street markets and the historic center of the city will reopen the week of June 22-28.
13th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Confusion reigns as countries loosen coronavirus lockdowns and cases rise

There is a wide discrepancy in approaches to the coronavirus by the world's political leaders, some countries are lifting lockdowns as Covid-19 deaths continue to rise, and global health agencies are backtracking on their guidance. It's hardly surprising that the situation might seem unclear.
13th Jun 2020 - CNN

Medical workers resort to parking-lot deals and DIY projects to get safety gear

Medical shortages in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, have left many healthcare workers in a desperate hunt for medical supplies. Community clinics, nursing homes and independent doctors, in particular, find themselves on the fringe of the supply chain for masks, gowns, gloves and ventilators. Desperate administrators wire money to offshore banks to acquire supplies. Most medical supplies – from isolation gowns to the filtration components of N95 masks – originate in China in factories that manufacture so-called spunbond polypropylene out of toxic chemicals. Decades of honing has turned the supply chain into an efficient
12th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Hungary's health care services to restart on June 15: minister

All restrictions on Hungary's health care services will be lifted next Monday, while the measures on anti-epidemic preparedness remain in force, the country's Minister of Human Capacities Miklos Kasler announced here on Friday. "Practically this means that in hospitals, 80 percent of the beds previously set aside for the care of coronavirus-infected people can be re-used for other treatments, but 20 percent should still be reserved for the care of COVID-19 patients," Kasler said at a press conference. Appointments to seek the help of specialist doctors will still have to be requested by phone, patients will be triaged for their appointments, and suspected COVID-19 patients will be monitored, according to the minister. Kasler said that Hungary's health care system will need about two months to catch up on surgeries that had to be postponed during the state of emergency. According to official figures, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Hungary stood at 4,053 on Friday, with 2,447 recoveries and 555 fatalities
12th Jun 2020 - Xinhua

Spain's Galicia to be first region to exit coronavirus lockdown

Spain’s northern region of Galicia will be the first to exit the country’s coronavirus lockdown from Monday, Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Friday, part of a gradual opening up that Spain hopes can save its summer tourism season. A state of emergency, declared country-wide in mid-March, will be effectively lifted in Galicia, while it remains in force in all the other 16 of Spain’s regions. The government will lift some restrictions in other regions, which have been following a four-phase plan to gradually exit from lockdown as the epidemic ebbs. “From Monday, as many as 34 million citizens will be in the last phase, that’s three out of four Spaniards,” Illa told a news conference.
12th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Norway snubs COVID-19 hotspot Sweden in lifting travel curbs

Norway will allow travel to and from Finland, Iceland and the Swedish island of Gotland from Monday, but maintain travel restrictions on mainland Sweden due to its higher level of COVID-19 cases, amid concerns of a second wave of infections. Denmark, Finland and Norway have lifted some of the controls on leisure travel they imposed to slow the coronavirus pandemic, but have kept most of those imposed on Sweden, the richest and most populous of the Nordic countries.
12th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Canada to mandate temperature checks for airline passengers, Trudeau says

Canada will take airline passengers’ temperatures before they fly and anyone with a fever will not be allowed to travel, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday. “Temperature checks will not be detecting people with COVID-19,” Trudeau said in a news conference. “It’s an extra layer of safety to encourage people who might feel sick to stay home and not put others at risk.” The screening will be phased in, with those arriving in Canada being screened by the end of June, and then for those leaving the country as well as for domestic travelers at the country’s four biggest airports by the end of July. If a traveler is found to have a fever after two separate measurements 10 minutes apart, they will be asked to rebook after 14 days have passed, the transport minister said.
12th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

France unveils plan to reopen non-Schengen borders

France will gradually reopen its borders to countries outside the Schengen zone from July 1, the interior and foreign ministers said in a joint statement on Friday. The borders were shut in mid-March to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but the European Union recommended on Thursday that the bloc reopen to some countries in the Balkans from July 1. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said in their statement that France's reopening would be in harmony with the rest of the EU. "This opening will be gradual and will vary according to the health situation in each of the third countries, and in accordance with the arrangements that will have been agreed at European level by then," the ministers said.
12th Jun 2020 - Digital Journal

Rising Star: How Vietnam’s organisational skills during Covid have pumped up its economic profile

Vietnam has only had 333 Covid cases and zero deaths from the disease. But what is even more interesting is that today the world is bullish on Vietnam from an economic point of view. As multinational firms look to relocate out of China in the wake of Covid, Vietnam is fast emerging as the preferred destination of choice. True, India too is eyeing these relocating firms. But given that the Covid situation here isn’t quite under control — India is now in the fourth spot globally in total number of Covid cases — firms aren’t exactly queuing up to set up bases.
12th Jun 2020 - Times of India

Somalia's Islamist group al Shabaab says sets up COVID-19 treatment centre

Somalia’s Islamist group al Shabaab said on Friday they had set up a COVID-19 treatment centre in the country, and said the disease posed a grave threat, citing international health authorities. “Al Shabaab’s corona(virus) prevention and treatment committee has opened a COVID-19 centre,” the group said in a broadcast on their radio Andalus, adding the centre had been set up in Jilib, about 380 kilometres (236 miles) south of the capital Mogadishu. “International health organisations said COVID-19 is terribly spreading in countries of Africa continent.” For more than a decade the group has been fighting to topple the Horn of Africa’s Western-backed central government and establish its own government based on its own strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.
12th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Brazil overtakes UK with world's second-highest Covid-19 death toll

Brazil has overtaken Britain as the country with the world’s second-highest Covid-19 death toll after a further 843 deaths pushed its total to 41,901. The tally was published on Friday night by a coalition of news outlets which has been compiling independent statistics since Brazil’s health ministry was accused of seeking to conceal the full figures last week. According to the British government 41,481 lives have been lost in the UK since late January although the number rises to more than 50,000 when suspected cases are included. Brazil’s death toll is also considered an underestimate. Only in the US, where the official death toll stands at more than 116,000, have more died. Medical experts have voiced despair at what they call Jair Bolsonaro’s calamitous response to the pandemic.
12th Jun 2020 - The Guardian


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Brexit: UK backtracks on full EU border checks amid coronavirus crisis

The government is expected to apply much less rigorous EU border checks on imports than it initially had planned, after the Brexit transition period finishes at the end of this year. The Financial Times reports ministers have abandoned plans to introduce full checks after pressure from businesses. A government source told the BBC it would take a "pragmatic and flexible approach" due to coronavirus. The UK had committed to introduce import controls on EU goods in January. But the source said ministers recognised the impact the virus was having on businesses, and so pragmatism and flexibility on imports made sense - "to help business adjust to the changes" that were now imminent.
12th Jun 2020 - BBC News

In post-lockdown China, student mental health in focus amid reported jump in suicides

The heightened post-lockdown anxiety has become a matter of central government concern as domestic media report a spate of suicides by young people. It has also led to unprecedented measures by schools and local governments to focus on student mental health - a topic that like suicide has often been taboo in Chinese society. "There have been some heartbreaking incidents as schools reopened," Yan Wu, vice mayor of the southern city of Zhuhai, said at China's annual parliamentary meeting last month. "This highlights the importance and urgency of promoting mental health development in young students," he said. At the parliamentary meeting, at least four delegates put forward proposals for more attention to be paid to students' psychological needs.
11th Jun 2020 - The Jakarta Post

Mexico City to increase COVID-19 testing in break from feds

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said Wednesday the capital will embark on a large-scale COVID-19 testing effort as the centerpiece of its plan to reopen its economy, diverging from the federal government’s strategy, which has shunned widespread testing as a waste of resources. The goal will be performing some 100,000 tests per month by July and with those results trying to detect and isolate new infections as quickly as possible, Sheinbaum said in a news conference. It will be paired with an intensive information campaign. The sprawling city of 9 million — with an equal number or more in the suburbs — has confirmed more than 32,000 infections and more than 3,200 deaths, both considered to be undercounts because of limited testing.
11th Jun 2020 - Yahoo News UK

Most UK coronavirus cases traced to France and Spain after airports were not locked down

Just 0.08 per cent of the UK's cases came directly from China where Covid-19 originated - with the majority coming from the likes of Spain, France and Italy - all holiday destinations favoured by Brits, a study shows
11th Jun 2020 - Mirror Online

Quarantined surfers return to Peru's famous waves

Peruvian surfers are returning to their nation’s world-famous waves after three months spent in lockdown due to the coronavirus. Wearing masks and carrying their boards, the surfers this week descended onto Lima’s rocky beaches for the first time since the pandemic shutdown. “It was about time, no?” said a smiling Alessandro Currarino, sporting a black wetsuit and matching face mask after hitting the waves. “Peru has some of the best waves in the world and we need to take advantage of them.”
11th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Mexico City to Launch Aggressive Coronavirus-Testing Campaign

Mexico City is launching a massive COVID-19 testing program as it aims to begin reopening the capital city's economy. Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced Wednesday that officials intend to conduct 100,000 tests a month by July, with the help of an aggressive information campaign. Mexico City's approach is counter to that of President Andres Manuel López Obrador's administration, which dismissed mass testing as a waste of money. Mexico federal Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell praised Mexico City's effort, but he made no mention of expanding federal coronavirus testing.
11th Jun 2020 - VOA News

Norway allows airlines to fly full planes again- minister

Norway will no longer require airlines to leave middle seats on planes empty, a measure previously introduced to reduce the risk of contamination with the novel coronavirus, the country’s transport minister said on Thursday. The Nordic country, which advised its citizens in March not to travel abroad, is to open its borders for tourists coming from Denmark, and plans to update travel advice for other countries by June 15.
11th Jun 2020 - Reuters


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Italy PM says prosecutors to question him over coronavirus response

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he will be questioned by prosecutors on Friday over the way the coronavirus outbreak was handled in the northern Italian city of Bergamo, one of the areas most badly affected by the epidemic. “I am not at all worried,” Conte told reporters outside the prime minister’s office in Rome. “We will speak on Friday and I will pass on all the facts I am aware of,” he said, adding that he was not under investigation himself. The prosecutors are looking into why badly hit areas around Bergamo were not closed down early in the outbreak, and have already questioned the regional governor of Lombardy, which includes Bergamo, and Lombardy’s health chief.
10th Jun 2020 - Reuters

'We are still in a pandemic': In some states, summer months may not provide a hoped-for lull

Banner Health, the state's largest health care system, has reported that since May 15, the number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators has quadrupled. "This trend is concerning to us," the hospital system wrote in a tweet Monday. Dr. Matthew Heinz, an internist with Tucson Medical Center in Arizona, has witnessed the rise in COVID-19 cases following a lull. "Our case numbers were trending down in terms of hospitalizations," Heinz said. Within the past week, though, he and his colleagues have noticed an uptick in confirmed and in probable cases of the coronavirus, at least in that hospital. Two recent confirmed COVID-19 admissions were among ride-share drivers — one in his mid-twenties, and the other in his 50s.
10th Jun 2020 - NBC News

Going viral: A walk on a ‘new’ beach has never felt so good

I went for a walk on a new beach on Monday afternoon that’s some 25 kilometres from my house. Under new rules that kicked into effect in Ireland on Monday, I have a new sense of freedom – even if there are still many restrictions in place. Actually, chances are that you’ve seen the beach I walked on. If you’ve watched the Tom Hanks movie Saving Private Ryan, then you’ll be familiar with Curracloe Beach. It was the stand-in for Omaha Beach, where United States forces landed on D-Day 76 years ago on Normandy.
10th Jun 2020 - Gulf News

What Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Turkey say about an airbridge with the UK

There are a number of countries planning to reopen their borders to tourists in the coming weeks. However, in recent weeks there has been a concerns raised by a number of countries over the coronavirus record of the UK. The hope is that the government can agree to 'airbridges' which would allow Brits to travel freely to and from those nations.
10th Jun 2020 - Kent Live

Hairdressers, beauty salons reopen in Malaysia

Malaysia reopened nearly all economic and social activities Wednesday after nearly three months of lockdown successfully brought down virus infections. Malaysians can now travel for domestic holidays, get their hair cut and visit street markets, while schools and religious activities will gradually resume. While happy to be back at work, hairstylist Shirley Chai said she is nervous about the strict health rules for hairdressers. She is especially worried about the one-hour time limit for each client. The government says the country will enter a "recovery" phase until the end of August, and warned that restrictions will be reinstated if infections soar again.Night clubs, pubs, karaoke, theme parks and reflexology centers will stay shut during the recovery period.
10th Jun 2020 - Republic World

Africa’s coronavirus cases top 200,000

World Health Organisation director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is Ethiopian, warned Africa to “prepare for the worst” back in March, but the virus has been slow to spread on the continent. Expertise developed from previous outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola, HIV/Aids and cholera proved useful, and many countries moved quickly to impose lockdowns, closing borders and bringing in contact tracing systems. However, there is now growing concern that some countries are under-reporting cases due to limited testing capacities, or downplaying their figures because of political pressure.
10th Jun 2020 - The Irish Times

Canada's political consensus over coronavirus aid programs starts to fray

Canada’s political consensus over help for those hit by the coronavirus outbreak began to fray on Wednesday when opposition legislators blocked a government move to approve a proposed expansion of benefits.
10th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Egypt- WHO announces 670000 COVID-19 infections across Eastern Mediterranean

The World Health Organization's (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean region has reported almost 670,000 coronavirus (COVID-19) infections and over 15,000 deaths, according to the WHO's Regional Director for the area, Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari. In an announcement made on Wednesday, Al-Mandhari added that the Eastern Mediterranean region's figures for the virus make up almost 10% of the global caseload.
10th Jun 2020 - MENAFN.COM

Coronavirus Has Thailand Putting out Multiple Fires at Once

The novel coronavirus has led to a diverse array of crises for Thailand. Paramount are the nation’s healthcare and economy. But the pandemic has also impacted Thailand politics, with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha delaying a necessary cabinet reshuffle and extending a state of emergency. Analysts say the postponed reshuffle has placed the government in political limbo. The military, which came to power in a 2014 putsch, governs Thailand with a coalition of parties. One of them, the Palang Pracharath Party, saw 18 members resign last week after a schism over how Thailand is responding to Covid-19. The resignations force an election within the party, which in turn could change which party members are part of the executive cabinet.
10th Jun 2020 - VOA News

Coronavirus infections in Denmark are FALLING are lockdown eased and restaurants and shops reopened

Just 14 new Covid-19 cases were counted on 9 June - the lowest in two months Denmark has been in phase two of easing lockdown measures since late May. New cases continue to fall even as more tests are carried out, officials said
10th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Turkey lifts lockdown for seniors, minors:

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lifts stay-at-home orders for minors and for people aged over 65. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey is lifting stay-at-home orders for people aged over 65 and for minors as part of a further easing of restrictions.
10th Jun 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Peru coronavirus crisis deepens: oxygen in focus

The covid-19 (coronavirus) crisis continues to deepen in Peru, where gasworld understands there is a significant supply shortage of oxygen and individuals have been pictured taking supply into their own hands.
8th Jun 2020 - gasworld

Exclusive: Half of Singapore's new COVID-19 cases are symptomless - taskforce head

Tiny Singapore has one of the highest infection tallies in Asia, with more than 38,000 cases, because of outbreaks in cramped dormitories housing thousands of migrant workers. It reopened schools and some businesses last week after a near two-month lockdown, but many residents are still required to work from home and mix socially only with their families. “Based on our experience, for every symptomatic case you would have at least one asymptomatic case,” said Lawrence Wong, adding that the discovery was made in recent weeks as Singapore ramped up testing. “That is exactly why we have been very cautious in our reopening plans,” Wong said.
8th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK


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Spain sees rise in air pollution as coronavirus lockdown eases

As Spain began to deescalate the confinement measures, more traffic has returned to the roads, and nitrogen dioxide levels are once again on the rise. This increase was calculated by EL PAÍS based on the data from air-monitoring centers from the 15 most populous cities in Spain, which are home to more than 10.7 million people, or around one fourth of the total population. Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has been compiling and sharing the weekly evolution of several pollutants as recorded by around 3,000 air-monitoring centers in the European Union. Thanks to the work of the EEA, it is possible to follow the changes in air-pollution levels during the crisis.
9th Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Moscow's lockdown ends as coronavirus cases in Russia pass 485,000

Sobyanin's critics accuse him of rushing to ease the lockdown in time to allow a Red Square military parade later this month and a July 1 nationwide vote that could extend President Vladimir Putin's rule until 2036. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters he did not think the decision to lift Moscow's lockdown was hasty because some restrictions would remain in place until later in June. Sobyanin has cited a steady fall in the number of coronavirus cases in recent weeks, an easing of strains on the health system and Muscovites' responsible behaviour as reasons for lifting the lockdown. Most commuters wore masks on Tuesday while using Moscow's metro system, which was still less busy than before the outbreak.
9th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Chinese businesses adapt to post-lockdown reality

China’s big cities have started to come back to life but worries remain about a potential second wave and businesses are struggling with a shortage of customers. Most urban centres are free from the virus yet companies are implementing disease control measures, ranging from checking guests’ temperatures and having staff and customers wear masks to conducting regular deep cleans of facilities. To understand how China’s service industry is adapting to the post-virus environment, the Financial Times spoke to three representative businesses in Beijing and Shanghai.
9th Jun 2020 - Financial Times

NY emerges from lockdown today

New York will begin reopening today after 78 days of stay-home-orders due to the coronavirus pandemic which claimed the lives of nearly 22,000 New York residents and infected more than 205,000. Non-essential construction and manufacturing workers will return to work sites and retail stores will reopen to instore pickups. Hair salons, offices and indoor seating at bars and restaurants will be permitted in the next phase of reopening.
9th Jun 2020 - Sky News Australia

New Zealand ends its lockdown after eradicating Covid-19

New Zealand has completely eliminated coronavirus from within its borders. A woman in her 50s recovered in St Margaret's Hospital Auckland on Monday. The country had been battling the COVID-19 pandemic since February 28. The country will now end social distancing restrictions as it moves to level 1. Under the level 1 alert daily life resume to normal, borders remain closed. NZ had 1,154 cases of COVID-19 but has had no new cases in the last 17 days.
9th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

New Zealand has lifted most of its lockdown restrictions after reporting it has no more active cases of coronavirus

New Zealand has lifted most of its lockdown restrictions after reporting it has no more active cases of coronavirus
9th Jun 2020 - The Scotsman

New Zealand lifts lockdown as Jacinda Ardern declares it free of coronavirus

New Zealanders breathed easy yesterday as the government announced it was ending all coronavirus restrictions after the last known patient recovered and the country was free of active cases. The authorities lifted the last internal containment measures at midnight (1pm BST) yesterday following one of the world’s toughest lockdowns that was from the outset designed to eliminate the virus. However, border controls remain and all travellers entering the country are required to isolate for 14 days. Shops, restaurants, cafés, bars and public transport will resume almost normal operations, limits on public gatherings have been removed and social distancing will no longer be required although it will still be encouraged. Weddings and funerals will also be allowed to go ahead. New Zealanders will be the first
9th Jun 2020 - The Times

In New Zealand, shopping, parties and big hugs mark start of 'COVID-free' life

New Zealanders hugged and kissed, shopped, and planned parties on Tuesday as the country took off all coronavirus restrictions for the first time in more than three months, while much of the rest of the world is still grappling with the pandemic.
9th Jun 2020 - Reuters

New Zealand gears up for 1st rugby match with spectators post lockdown

New Zealand will host the inaugural match of the Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa competition on June 13 at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. This decision comes as the New Zealand government confirmed that the country will proceed to Alert Level 1, lifting all restrictions and allowing the first major sporting event with a live mass audience at the stadiums in the country, a statement said. Pulse Energy Highlanders CEO, Roger Clark, said he is delighted that level 1 has arrived in time for crowds to attend their first home game. "No one can ever underestimate the sacrifices New Zealanders have made to allow this special event to take place. In many ways the staging of this game in front of a crowd represents our country''s success in fighting the pandemic, and while we appreciate there is still some work to do, it''s certainly a good time to celebrate what we have achieved so far.
9th Jun 2020 - Outlook India

The Latest: SKorea Requires QR Codes at ‘high-risk’ Venues

South Korea has reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 as officials begin requiring nightclubs, karaoke rooms and gyms to register their customers with smartphone QR codes so they could be easily located when needed. The figures from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday brought national totals to 11,902 cases and 276 deaths. At least 41 of the cases were reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where officials have struggled to trace transmissions linked to entertainment venues, church gatherings and low-income workers who couldn’t afford to stay home. Since late May, the country has been reporting around 30 to 50 new cases per day, a resurgence that has threatened to erase some of the hard-won gains against the virus as people begin to ease on distancing.
9th Jun 2020 - NBC New York

New Zealand Declares Coronavirus Eliminated, Lifting Lockdown

Crowds will gather again in New Zealand’s restaurants. Weddings will include as many hugs and guests as the happy couple wants — and even social distancing will not be needed. New Zealand has no active coronavirus cases and no new cases, officials said on Monday, declaring that life could return to a form of pre-pandemic normal. Since the pandemic began, the country has reported 1,504 cases and 22 deaths nationally, and has been widely praised for its stringent approach to combating the virus. “While the job is not done, there is no denying this is a milestone,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, adding: “Thank you, New Zealand.”
8th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

With China's Economy Battered By Pandemic, Millions Return To The Land For Work

Seasonal agricultural workers plant peanuts next to wheat fields in China's Henan province. With tens of millions of urban and factory jobs lost, many of the newly unemployed have returned to their rural villages.
8th Jun 2020 - NPR


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Coronavirus in Ireland: Holohan insists time is right to ease lockdown

Now is the right time to ease Covid-19 restrictions, the chief medical officer has said, despite the view of dozens of medics and scientists who say Ireland has to eliminate and not live with the coronavirus. Tony Holohan said that the National Public Health Emergency Team was always willing to listen to those with a “different perspective” but that the country could not restrict movement for ever. Other countries that have lifted restrictions, such as France, have yet to record a resurgence in cases. The authorities have never claimed that any level of infection among the public is tolerable, Dr Holohan said. There is a “very low level of infection” in Ireland now and “if we can get down to zero we will be very pleased"
9th Jun 2020 - The Times

Coronavirus latest: Half of population in Italy hotspot tests positive for antibodies

More than half the residents of Bergamo have come into contact with the disease, a new study has shown. Brazil now has more than 700,000 infections, the second-highest number after the US.
9th Jun 2020 - DW (English)

COVID-19 cases yet to peak in Pakistan: Imran Khan

Pakistan's coronavirus cases are expected to peak by the end of July or August, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday. Addressing the nation, he warned the country of "a very difficult time" ahead if people continued to ignore the standard operating procedures (SOPs), Geo News reported. The prime minister said that that the entire world has now understood that lockdowns are not a solution for the COVID-19 pandemic. "We already know that the virus will spread, the trend that our experts have observed is that it spreads, then peaks and then the curve flattens. And the purpose behind flattening the curve is to reduce pressure on hospitals," Dawn quoted Khan as saying.
9th Jun 2020 - Afghanistan News

Tunisia orders lifting of coronavirus lockdown

Tunisia's president has ordered the lifting of a nationwide coronavirus lockdown. The decision came after health authorities said they continued to see a drop in the number of new infections. The country has record 1 087 coronavirus cases and 49 related deaths to date
8th Jun 2020 - News24

New Zealand lifts COVID-19 restrictions crowds free to attend Super Rugby Aotearoa

Crowds will be permitted to attend the opening round of Super Rugby Aotearoa this weekend, after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the country would shift to Alert Level 1 from midnight Monday [NZT]. In what is believed to be a first since the coronavirus pandemic put most professional sports on hold, there will be no restrictions on the size of the crowd that can attend this weekend's opening games between the Highlanders and Chiefs in Dunedin (Saturday), and the Blues and Hurricanes in Auckland (Sunday). New Zealand has not had a new COVID-19 case for 17 days, and there are no longer any active cases of the virus across the country.
8th Jun 2020 - ESPN.co.uk

New Zealand's star tourism attraction struggles as visitors stay away post-Covid

For now, with New Zealand's borders shut to almost all foreigners, only people already in the country can visit Queenstown. In the past, New Zealanders have avoided Queenstown as it has so many international tourists. Now the town is trying to lure them there -- Boult even did a bungy jump to mark the easing of the country's coronavirus restrictions in May. Over a recent holiday weekend, businesses reported seeing a boom as people from around the country descended on the town. But, Boult says, businesses "won't survive" on domestic travelers alone. He's hoping that the trans-Tasman bubble will be up and running by July for the ski season, where Australians make up 30-40% of customers. "This really is make or break," he says, adding that if there is no trans-Tasman bubble by July, more businesses will fail and more jobs will be lost.
8th Jun 2020 - CNN

New Zealand lifts all Covid restrictions, declaring the nation virus-free

At midnight local time (12:00 GMT), all of New Zealand moved to level one, the lowest of a four-tier alert system. Under new rules, social distancing is not required and there are no limits on public gatherings, but borders remain closed to foreigners. New Zealand has reported no new Covid-19 cases for more than two weeks. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters she did "a little dance" when she was told the country no longer had any active virus cases. "While we're in a safer, stronger position, there's still no easy path back to pre-Covid life, but the determination and focus we have had on our health response will now be vested in our economic rebuild," Ms Ardern said. "While the job is not done, there is no denying this is a milestone. So can I finish with a very simple, 'Thank you, New Zealand'."
8th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Action! Film-makers back to work in New Zealand after coronavirus

New Zealand’s capital has had an extra buzz of excitement over the past week since Hollywood director James Cameron and his crew flew in to film the much-anticipated sequel of the epic science-fiction film “Avatar”.
8th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

UK ministers face legal challenge for refusal to order PPE inquiry

Ministers are facing a high court legal challenge after they refused to order an urgent investigation into the shortages of personal protective equipment faced by NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic. Doctors, lawyers and campaigners for older people’s welfare issued proceedings on Monday which they hope will lead to a judicial review of the government’s efforts to ensure that health professionals and social care staff had enough PPE to keep them safe.
8th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

France ‘looks to increase fines for littering’ amid coronavirus waste

France is reportedly looking to increase fines for people caught dropping litter – including face masks and gloves. The proposal comes amid concerns over waste linked to the coronavirus pandemic, which has been found washed up on the country's beaches. Littering fines could increase to €135 (£120), according to French media. Brune Poirson, a junior environment minister, told AFP news agency a draft decree would propose harsher sanctions for those caught dropping rubbish on the floor, Le Monde reported.
8th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Covid-19: Singapore and France agree to keep supply chains for essential food open and connected

Singapore and France have agreed to maintain open and connected supply chains for essential food supplies during the Covid-19 pandemic. Both countries affirmed their intention to do so in a joint statement by Singapore's Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and France's Minister of Agriculture and Food Didier Guillaume on Monday (June 8).
8th Jun 2020 - The Straits Times

Vietnam reports two new coronavirus cases, taking tally to 331

Vietnam on Monday reported two new coronavirus infections, both of which were imported cases involving Vietnamese citizens returning from Mexico who were quarantined on arrival, its health ministry said. The Southeast Asian country has gone 53 days without a domestically transmitted infection and has a total of 331 cases, with no deaths, the ministry said. Over 90% of the confirmed cases have recovered.
8th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Germany gets ready to launch coronavirus tracing app

Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn says a mobile phone app to help trace coronavirus infections in a bid to keep the spread under control will be made available to the public in the coming days. Alongside shutting down public life for around two months, Germany’s 'track and trace' system has played a huge role in slowing the spread of Covid-19 to stop it from overwhelming the country's health system. And the rollout of an app, which would use bluetooth to alert smartphone users when they have been in contact with someone infected with the virus, is considered crucial in the fight against the pandemic as Germany continues to relax lockdown measures. "We will present the app in the course of next week," said Spahn in an interview with regional newspaper RP Online published on Monday June 8th.
8th Jun 2020 - The Local Germany

Football in Vietnam returns to crowded stadiums

Football in Vietnam returned this weekend to packed crowds as the Covid-19 threat in the country appears to have abated. In one of three opening V.League 1 games played on Friday, the stadium in Nam Dinh was close to its 30,000 capacity. Hand sanitiser was available and stewards performed temperature checks on fans, who were asked to wear masks, however, few face masks were seen, Reuters reports.
8th Jun 2020 - SportBusiness

Italy rolls out covid-19 tracing app

Italy begins testing the Immuni contact-tracing app, designed to help contain fresh outbreaks of covid-19, begins on Monday 8 June after getting the green light from the country's privacy ombudsman. The first trials of the app will begin in the regions of Abruzzo, Liguria, Le Marche and Puglia, with Immuni expected to be in nationwide use by 15 June. The app, which has been available since 1 June, has so far been downloaded by more than two million people in Italy, according to the nation's special commissioner for the coronavirus emergency, Domenico Arcuri.
8th Jun 2020 - Wanted in Rome

Boris Johnson's government has the worst approval rating in the WORLD for handling of coronavirus

Britons rate PM even lower than Americans rate Donald Trump, YouGov found. That is despite the US death toll dwarfing even the UK's at more than 110,000. Just 41 per cent of Britons say the government is handling the crisis well
8th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

A Million Volunteers Help Thailand Curb Coronavirus Infections

The nation -- the first to detect the illness outside of China -- has kept infections to about 3,100. New daily Covid-19 cases were mostly in the single digits for the past month, allowing officials to relax the lockdown gradually. Restaurants and shopping malls are open again and many hotels are accepting bookings from domestic tourists. As activity picks up, one part of the strategy to avoid a second virus wave is a network of more than 1 million health volunteers who monitor for cases so action can be taken quickly.
8th Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

Back to school for some, clubbing for others as Spain loosens restrictions

Some schools in the capital Madrid reopened for primary pupils on Monday and seniors preparing for university-entrance exams will return on Tuesday. Other regions are allowing different age groups to return. Children across the country were granted the right to play outside at any time of day, offering some relief after months spent indoors. A recent study showed nearly one in six children has felt regularly depressed during the crisis. Nightclubs reopened in much of Spain though a widely mocked ban on dancing will be enforced to prevent infections.
8th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Moscow mayor says to lift all major coronavirus restrictions this month

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Monday that all major restrictions relating to the novel coronavirus would be lifted in the Russian capital in June. Writing on his personal website, Sobyanin said beauty salons and veterinary clinics could open from June 9, museums and outdoor areas at cafes from June 16, and gyms and restaurants from June 23
8th Jun 2020 - National Post

As India reopens, one state outnumbers China in coronavirus cases

As India begins to reopen more public spaces after a 10-week lockdown, its western state of Maharashtra has crossed a grim milestone by having more coronavirus cases than China. India's health ministry on Monday said Maharashtra - the country's most industrialised state - now has a total of 85,975 coronavirus cases, including more than 3,000 deaths.
8th Jun 2020 - Al Jazeera English

India reopens more public spaces despite record virus infections - The Jakarta Post

Malls and temples reopened in several cities across India on Monday despite the country recording a record daily number of new coronavirus infections, with the pandemic expected to ravage the country for weeks to come. After a 10-week lockdown the government has risked lifting some restrictions in a bid to ease the devastating blow to the economy dealt by the coronavirus. But the number of new cases rose by 9,983 to 256,611, according to government figures announced Monday, putting the country of 1.3 billion on course to overtake Britain and Spain among nations with the highest number of infections.
8th Jun 2020 - Jakarta Post

Government seeking to increase social gathering limit to 50

Due to the Coronavirus Crisis, the public in Denmark has had to limit their social gatherings to a maximum of ten people in recent months. But that could well change in the very near future after PM Mette Frederiksen sent a letter to members of Parliament proposing increasing the limit to 50 on June 8. The letter also revealed the government proposes additional increases to the gathering limit – up to 100 on July 8 and then to 200 on August 8.
8th Jun 2020 - Copenhagen Post

France identifies 150 coronavirus clusters, many in health centres and hospitals

France has identified 150 coronavirus clusters, many of them in health centres, officials have reported.
8th Jun 2020 - The Local France

America Is Giving Up on the Pandemic

Americans may wish the virus to be gone, but it is not. While the outbreak has eased in the Northeast, driving down the overall national numbers, cases have only plateaued in the rest of the country, and they appear to be on the rise in recent days in COVID Tracking Project data. Twenty-two states reported 400 or more new cases Friday, and 14 other states and Puerto Rico reported cases in the triple digits. Several states—including Arizona, North Carolina, and California—are now seeing their highest numbers of known cases.
7th Jun 2020 - The Atlantic


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 8th Jun 2020

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Coronavirus: Pandemic ‘not over’, warns WHO as Brazil reports record number of daily deaths

The Covid-19 pandemic is “not over”, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned after Brazil reported a daily record number of deaths on Thursday. Stringent lockdown restrictions are being lifted across much of Europe and the west but a number of countries have seen an “uptick” in cases, according to the WHO. Meanwhile, officials in Brazil announced 1,473 fatalities on Thursday night, taking the South America country’s death toll to more than 34,000 – the third highest in the world behind only the US and the UK.
7th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Global report: South Africa records biggest jump in Covid-19 cases since pandemic hit

South Africa recorded 3,267 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, the biggest jump since the pandemic began. The country is the worst hit in sub-Saharan Africa and has nearly a quarter of all cases on the continent, with 40,792 infections. With 848 deaths, it ranks only second to Egypt for fatalities (1,126). Nearly two thirds of the country’s cases are in the Western Cape province, where Cape Town is the biggest city, and health services are under pressure. The region is also a major tourist destination, and local authorities have implemented one of the most rigorous testing regimes in the country.
7th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Brazil overtakes Italy as country with third-highest coronavirus deaths

Brazil has overtaken Italy as the country with the third-highest Covid-19 death toll after a daily record of 1,473 fatalities took its total tally to more than 34,000. The figure was published by Brazil’s health ministry on Thursday night and means only the United States and the United Kingdom have registered more deaths because of the pandemic. The official number of infections rose to nearly 615,000, second only to the US. In an online broadcast shortly before the numbers were released, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro made almost no mention of the victims but continued to publicly attack efforts to slow the advance of coronavirus with quarantine measures and social distancing. “We can’t go on like this. Nobody can take it anymore,” Bolsonaro said of the shutdown efforts being implemented by state governors and mayors across Brazil. “The collateral impact will be far greater than those people who unfortunately lost their lives because of these last three months here,” Bolsonaro said.
7th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Europe threatens to block holidaymakers visiting from UK due to high coronavirus rates

British tourists could be blocked from holidaying in some of the most popular European Union countries this summer after ministers from the bloc yesterday (Friday) warned that the UK’s coronavirus infection rates are too high. While EU home affairs ministers agreed in a video conference call to lift border controls inside the territory by the end of June, France, Germany, Greece and Spain have all indicated that they could keep restrictions on British holidaymakers. The objections to British tourists are partly due to the UK’s plans for 14-day quarantines for visitors.
7th Jun 2020 - iNews

France, Germany, Greece and Spain threaten UK travellers with quarantine sanctions

The UK is facing backlash over its plans to impose a 14-day quarantine on all new arrivals, while some EU countries say they won't let Brits in until the infection rate is reduced.
7th Jun 2020 - Metro

Coronavirus pandemic | Thailand to position itself as 'trusted' destination after COVID-19 eases

Thailand, the first to report a virus case outside of China, wants to build on its reputation and remake its popular image as a destination for big tour groups.
7th Jun 2020 - MoneyControl.com

Vietnam Breaks Out of the Covid Tourist Trap

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Vietnam is pulling ahead in the race to reopen Southeast Asia to city-hoppers and sunseekers. International arrivals were down 98% in May from a year earlier, after a record 2019. Yet success in containing the coronavirus epidemic means domestic travel has already restarted. Thailand, by comparison, is still under a state ...
7th Jun 2020 - Yahoo! News

Wearable device for Covid-19 contact tracing to be rolled out soon, may be issued to everyone in Singapore

A wearable device for contact tracing may be issued to everyone in Singapore to help curb the spread of Covid-19. This was announced in Parliament by Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan on Friday (June 5), when he explained that technical difficulties have prevented Singapore's contact tracing app TraceTogether from working well on iPhones. "The app does not appear to work as well on iOS or Apple devices," he said.
7th Jun 2020 - The Straits Times

Wear masks in public, says WHO in update of Covid-19 advice

The World Health Organisation (WHO) updated its guidance on Friday (June 5) to recommend that governments ask everyone to wear fabric face masks in public areas where there is a risk of transmission of Covid-19 to help reduce the spread of the pandemic disease. In its new guidance, prompted by evidence from studies conducted in recent weeks, the WHO stressed that face masks were only one of a range of tools that can reduce the risk of viral transmission, and should not give a false sense of protection. "Masks on their own will not protect you from Covid-19," the WHO's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters at a briefing.
7th Jun 2020 - The Straits Times

Coronavirus 'a devastating blow for world economy'

The coronavirus pandemic is a "devastating blow" for the world economy, according to World Bank President David Malpass. Mr Malpass warned that billions of people would have their livelihoods affected by the pandemic. He said that the economic fallout could last for a decade. In May, Mr Malpass warned that 60 million people could be pushed into "extreme poverty" by the effects of coronavirus. The World Bank defines "extreme poverty" as living on less than $1.90 (£1.55) per person per day. However, in an interview on Friday Mr Malpass said that more than 60 million people could find themselves with less than £1 per day to live on.
7th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Diary of a Wuhan lockdown survivor

Towards the end of January, acclaimed Chinese writer Fang Fang (the pen name of Wang Fang) began to write a daily online diary as her home town Wuhan became the epicentre of the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak. Within days, Michael Perry, Fang’s American translator, began to render her entries into English. Recently, these were collected and published as Wuhan Diary. Why should a personal account of lockdown by a 65-year-old writer matter to the rest of the world? Because she speaks truth to power like few in her country. In spite of stringent media and social media policing, Fang continues to ask hard questions of the authorities, points out lapses and challenges official claims—actions that most journalists in China can’t undertake. Her diary is not just a portrait of a society in lockdown but also that of a people muzzled.Fang’s book also feels like a warning as the world enters the sixth month of the outbreak.
7th Jun 2020 - Livemint

'Can't quite believe it': New Zealand tiptoes towards elimination of coronavirus

As health officials announce each new day of no new Covid-19 cases, social media explodes with New Zealanders celebrating the news. “That feeling like you got away with something that seemed impossible and you can’t quite believe it even though you want to believe it,” wrote one, on Twitter. “But for an entire country.” Twenty-two New Zealanders have died of Covid-19, ; thousands have lost their jobs and the nation’s largest export sector, tourism, lies in tatters. But as New Zealanders look to the hundreds of thousands of deaths recorded in other countries, there is a sense that the rest of the world faced a different pandemic, the disastrous scale of which never fully arrived here. Now, providing there are no new and unexpected cases to marr the country’s 14-day streak of zero fresh instances of Covid-19, scientists say they expect to be able to declare next week that the virus has been eliminated from New Zealand – making it the first country among the OECD group of wealthy nations, and the first country that has recorded more than 100 cases to make such a statement, analysts said.
7th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Prime minister told to dump rhetoric and plan for new Covid wave

Senior figures from across the NHS have issued an urgent plea for a comprehensive plan to tackle a second wave of coronavirus infections, as Boris Johnson continues to lose public confidence in his handling of the pandemic. Amid persistent fears among scientists that the virus remains too prevalent to ease the lockdown further, the prime minister has been urged to ditch “cheap political rhetoric” that risks eroding the public’s adherence to lockdown measures in the months ahead. Health chiefs say there should be no further easing before a comprehensive test and trace system has been proved to work, as NHS figures accuse the government of lacking a strategy and dodging an “honest and open” debate about Britain’s plight. They also warned of a “dramatic” drop in capacity at NHS hospitals.
6th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus deaths continue to rise in Brazil, Mexico

As the novel coronavirus continues to ravage Latin America, the death toll in Brazil topped 35,000 on Saturday and passed 13,000 in Mexico. In Brazil, 1,026 more fatalities over the past 24 hours raised the death toll to 35,047, according to the Health Ministry. The total case count in the world’s second-worst hit country reached 646,006 as 31,065 more people tested positive for COVID-19. In Mexico, 625 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 13,170. A total of 4,346 more people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, raising the overall count to 110,026, the Health Ministry said. Earlier this week, the World Health Organization said Latin America has become the "red zone" of coronavirus transmissions in the world and that solidarity and support are needed for these countries to overcome the pandemic.
6th Jun 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Global report: India's Covid-19 case total surpasses Italy's

India’s health ministry reported 9,887 new cases on Saturday, bringing the official total to 236,657. The country has fewer confirmed cases than only the US, Brazil, Russia, Britain and Spain. India’s official death toll of 6,642 is relatively low compared with the other countries, but experts say the country is still nowhere near its peak and doctors fear what will happen once the imminent monsoon season begins. Despite there being no sign the infection curve flattening, the country will begin opening up on Monday after more than two months of the world’s largest lockdown, which has involved 1.3 billion people. Shopping malls and places of worship will open their doors, but no large gatherings, distributions of food offerings, sprinkling of holy water or touching of idols and holy books will be allowed.
6th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Merkel among winners as Europeans give verdict on anti-Covid battles

One of the first EU countries to start easing its lockdown, Denmark’s per-million death toll is slightly lower than Germany’s, at just over 100. Public satisfaction with Frederiksen’s government has slipped just three points and remains at 85%, while support for her Social Democrats has surged from 27% to 35% – its highest share since 2006. In France, one of the Europe’s harder-hit countries with a per-million death toll of 433, Macron and his government – which has coped, on balance, reasonably well, and better than many comparable countries – have been the target of heavy criticism over an early shortage of face masks and a long delay in beginning widespread testing. But since public satisfaction in the government’s response slumped to 36% in the second half of March, it has climbed steadily back to 42% for a net fall of 14 points, while his personal approval rating stands at 44%, relatively high by French presidential standards.
6th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Want a vacation with no coronavirus quarantine? Iceland is charging $150

As more people yearn for a post-lockdown break, Iceland is seeking to get ahead of rival destinations while protecting the country from a spike in coronavirus cases. Travellers arriving at the island's international airport will soon be able to avoid a mandatory two-week quarantine by opting to pay 15,000 kronur (S$150) for an on-the-spot test as the nation seeks to salvage a tourism industry crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic. Testing will be free until the start of July, after which passengers landing at the country's main Keflavik hub will be given the choice of isolation or paying for the test, Iceland's Ministry of Health said on Friday (June 5).
5th Jun 2020 - The Straits Times

Spain adopts conservative attitude to restarting European travel

Spain is clearly siding with the most conservative members of the European Union when it comes to reopening borders. A meeting of interior ministers held on Friday revealed that most member states want to restore free travel by June 15 within the Schengen space, which includes 22 members of the EU plus Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechstenstein. Italy already lifted its restrictions on European travel on June 3. But Madrid is insisting on waiting until July 1. Spain is also very cautious about reopening Europe’s external borders to visitors from other countries, some of which are currently experiencing significant Covid-19 outbreaks, such as the United States, Japan and several Latin American nations.
5th Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Spain’s Prado reopens its doors

One of the world’s greatest galleries will throw open its doors again on Saturday, but in circumstances very different from the past. The Prado, home to masterpieces by Hieronymus Bosch, Diego Velázquez and Francisco Goya, will welcome visitors after its longest closure since the Spanish civil war, more than 80 years ago. The museum shut on March 11 as Spain’s coronavirus outbreak gained pace. Reopening has meant rethinking its basic facts of life, with only a fifth of its paintings on display, vastly reduced ticket sales and strict health guidelines in place. “It is obvious we can’t open in the same conditions the museum was in March, because of the health emergency,” said Miguel Falomir, its director.
5th Jun 2020 - Financial Times

Thousands of China’s movie screens could be shut forever

China has the largest number of movie screens in the world but all have been shut since January 23, the day the central Chinese city of Wuhan was locked down to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
4th Jun 2020 - Hindustan Times

Coronavirus: Spain considers reopening land borders with France and Portugal this month

Spain has announced it is considering plans to reopen its land borders with France and Portugal from 22 June. The country shut its borders in mid-March to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with only Spaniards, cross-border workers and truck drivers able to cross into neighbouring countries. Spanish tourism minister Reyes Maroto said the country would probably lift quarantine measures for travellers coming from Portugal and France at the same time.
4th Jun 2020 - Sky News


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 5th Jun 2020

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Tunisians Emerge From Lockdown Into Mosques and Cafes

Tunisians returned to mosques and cafes on Thursday as the country ended most lockdown restrictions after largely containing the spread of the novel coronavirus for now. Sitting with friends at the Brazil coffeeshop in the Ibn Khaldoun district of Tunis, schoolteacher Nizar Jamal said he was glad to resume his daily chats with friends.
4th Jun 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

Parents' view on children's first week back at school in Surrey as lockdown measures lifted

The message to reopen primary schools to allow pupils in reception, year one and year six back was not lost on local authorities, teachers and parents up and down the country as it sparked an outburst of concern that they would not be ready in time. Indeed, it came to light that as many as 18 councils would rebel against the proposals and keep classrooms shut, The Guardian reported. Here, in Surrey, the county council broke its silence to say it would not sanction any parents for keeping their children at home, and schools will "only open to more students when it is safe to do so".
4th Jun 2020 - Get Surrey

UK Zoos May Never Reopen Post-Lockdown: 'Our Future Hangs In The Balance'

Across the UK, zoos have been ordered to remain closed for the foreseeable amid the coronavirus pandemic, sparking urgent requests for donations to save them from permanent closure. Chester Zoo launched a ‘Save Our Zoo’ JustGiving page on Wednesday after admitting it is facing debt in excess of £24m by the end of 2020. ZSL – which runs zoos in London and Whipsnade – is also urging the public to donate to its regular fundraising page, so the sites stand a chance of reopening once restrictions are lifted. Many other zoos across the country are facing a similar pr