Spain defends response over Covid-19 outbreak – latest updates


The coronavirus pandemic has now infected over 20 million people and has killed more than 734,000. Here are the latest updates for August 10:

People queue outside a medical centre to be tested for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, north of Barcelona, Spain, August 10, 2020.
(Reuters)

Monday, August 10, 2020

Spain says country active in detecting virus

Spain’s government has defended its response to the coronavirus pandemic after official data showed the country had overtaken Britain to register the highest total number of cases in Western Europe.

“Appropriate measures are being taken to control the pandemic in coordination” with the regions, the government said in a statement, after experts questioned its policies. “The data shows that we are being very active in tracking and detecting the virus.”

Health ministry data showed 1,486 new cases were diagnosed in the past day, bringing the cumulative total to 322,980, compared with 311,641 in Britain.

The disease claimed 65 lives in Spain over the past seven days. More than 28,000 people have died from the disease in Spain, while more than 46,000 have died in Britain.

Turkey reports 1,193 new cases

Turkey has confirmed 1,193 additional cases of Covid-19, raising the tally to 241,997.

“The daily test count is close to its highest level [so far] during the pandemic,” the country’s health minister said.

“The ratio of active patients aged 60 and over to the total patients ranges between 20-25 percent in the country,” Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter, citing Health Ministry’s data.

The country confirmed 1,211 more recoveries raising the total to 224,970.

Mexico City lets bars ‘change’ to restaurants to reopen

The government of Mexico City will allow bars to operate as restaurants starting Monday in order to reopen as part of an easing of the virus lockdown.

While bars and nightclubs have been closed for four months, the city is now offering automatic approval if bar owners fill out an online application and agree to offer food and enforce sanitary and social distancing measures. In exchange, they can open at 30 percent capacity until 10 pm.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said that was to avoid more job losses among bar employees.

Thailand to let teachers in, will keep tourists out

Thailand is making plans to allow at least 3,000 foreign teachers to enter the country, even as it continues to keep out tourists and tightly restricts other arrivals to guard against new virus infections.

Attapon Truektrong, secretary-general of the Private Education Commission, said that those who have registered include teachers returning to their jobs after leaving during the pandemic, as well as newly employed teachers.

The teachers, who come from countries including the Philippines, New Zealand, the United States and Britain, will have to be quarantined for 14 days after arrival. Thailand barred scheduled passenger flights from abroad in early April

US virus cases rise among children

The number of new virus cases among children in the United States rose 40 percent in the last two weeks of July, according to a report released just weeks before tens of millions of American students are scheduled to begin the new school year.

Health experts are keeping an eye on virus infections among kids and teenagers as officials struggle with the thorny question of whether to reopen schools for in-person classes, adopt a virtual learning model or a hybrid of the two.

President Donald Trump, who is seeking a second term in the White House in a November 3 election, has pushed states to allow students to physically return to classrooms, but health officials have expressed caution about doing so in areas where cases have been rising sharply.

Finland imposes virus testing, quarantines

Finland will introduce mandatory virus tests and quarantines for travellers from certain high-risk countries, the minister in charge said, after 24 of 157 passengers arriving from Skopje in North Macedonia tested positive for the virus.

The voluntary testing was organised at Turku airport in Finland on Saturday for all passengers arriving on a flight from Skopje after authorities had traced flights from North Macedonia and Bucharest in Romania as two main sources of recent new virus infections in Finland, the minister of family affairs and social services Krista Kiuru told reporters.

“The epidemic is native of the Balkans,” Kiuru said referring to the recent modest rise in infections in Finland.

The mandatory two-week quarantine and a possible random virus test upon arrival to Finland will be applicable to anyone arriving from a country with more than 8 to 10 new virus cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the latest 14-day period, authorities said.

Greece announces curfew

Greece has announced a night curfew for restaurants and bars in some of its top tourist destinations after new virus infections hit a new high.

A government spokeswoman also announced new entry restrictions for Balkan arrivals and flight passengers from several EU countries.

Areas in which eateries and bars will be closed from midnight to 0700 am local include the popular islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu, Rhodes and Crete, spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni said in a televised address.

The restriction will be in place from Tuesday to August 23, she said.

In addition, all passengers on flights from Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden arriving from August 17 must provide a negative Covid-19 result obtained up to 72 hours before entry, as must all land border arrivals.

Denmark infection rate rising 

Denmark has seen a new spread of Covid-19 infections in the past week with the reproduction rate rising to 1.4.

“The virus is moving through our society once again,” the country’s health minister Magnus Heunicke told reporters.

In the past week, infections have been confirmed in 67 out of Denmark’s 98 municipalities. The country’s second biggest city Aarhus had the biggest number of new infections.

Last week, the Danish Health Ministry said it would not raise a limit on public gatherings, originally planned for this month, after seeing a spike in virus infections. 

Antonio Banderas tests positive

Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, 60, has said that he has tested positive for the virus and is in quarantine.

“I’d like to add that I’m feeling relatively well, just a bit more tired than usual, and confident that I will recover as soon as possible,” Banderas said on Twitter. 

Atletico Madrid says two players are virus-positive

Atletico Madrid has said that players Angel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko have tested positive for the virus but the rest of the squad has been cleared to make the trip to Portugal for the Champions League quarterfinals.

The new negative results for the rest of the team came as a relief for the Spanish club — and UEFA — just two days before the start of the final stage of Europe’s top club competition. 

Karachi restaurants reopen

Restaurants have reopened in Pakistan, after three months of facing strict lockdown restrictions amid the pandemic.

Businesses in Karachi were buzzing with clients from early morning, as owners of restaurants, eateries and bistros were allowed to open their doors once more.

According to a government announcement, all restaurants and beauty salons were set to reopen across Pakistan on August 10, as efforts against the pandemic seemed to be bearing fruit.

India adds 1,000 dead, 62,000 new infections

India has registered a record 1,007 fatalities in the past 24 hours as fresh coronavirus infections surged by another 62,064 cases.

The Health Ministry says the total fatalities touched 44,386.

The number of positive cases reported so far are 2,215,074. At least 634,935 patients were still undergoing treatment.

India has recorded more than 60,000 cases of the virus daily in the last four days and more infections than any other country in the world for six consecutive days. It has averaged around 50,000 new cases a day since mid-June.

India has the third-highest caseload in the world after the United States and Brazil. It has the fifth-most deaths but its fatality rate of about 2 percent is far lower than the top two hardest-hit countries.

Sri Lanka resumes education

Sri Lanka reopened schools, nearly five months after shutting them to contain the spread of virus.

The government decision says state-run schools and government-approved private schools were to reopen in stages.

Students in grades 5, 10, 11, 12 and 13 should attend daily to prepare for government exams. Students in grades 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 must attend once a week while students in grades 4 and 9 must come two days per week.

The arrangement will continue until Oct. 9 when the school holiday is expected to start.

Israel to allow live performances 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says officials have agreed to allow live performances to resume.

After consultations with his culture, health and finance ministers, Netanyahu’s office said that performances could take place outdoors. 

Audiences will be divided into 20-person “capsules,” and venues will need to be approved by the Health Ministry.

Thousands of Israeli musicians, actors and other performers have been out of work for months due to coronavirus restrictions.

After moving rapidly to contain the virus outbreak last spring, Netanyahu apparently reopened the economy too quickly, and the country is grappling with a renewed outbreak.

India’s largest crocodile park strapped for cash

India’s largest crocodile park may have as little as four months before it runs out of funds to feed animals, pay staff and do research, as ticket revenue shrinks after coronavirus lockdowns choked the flow of visitors, park officials said.

Annual sales of about 5 million tickets usually make up roughly half the revenue of the park, located about 40 km (25 miles) from the southern city of Chennai, but it has been shut since March 16, with no prospect of reopening in sight.

The lockdowns during the summer vacation season have cost an estimated $187,000 (14 million rupees) as visitors dropped by almost 2.5 million, said Allwin Jesudasan, the director of the Madras Crocodile Bank.

Germany’s confirmed cases rise by 436

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 436 to 216,327, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by one to 9,197, the tally showed.

Russia reports more than 5,100 new cases

Russian authorities confirmed 5,118 new cases of the novel coronavirus, pushing the national case tally to 892,654, the fourth largest in the world.

The official death toll rose to 15,001 after authorities said in their daily coronavirus report that 70 people had died in the last 24 hours. 

Over 20M cases worldwide

Global cases of the coronavirus crossed the grim milestone of 20-million mark, according to a tracking portal.

United States is the worst affected country with over 5.2 million cases followed by Brazil and India with over 3.02 million and 2.12 million reported infections, respectively.

Mexico reports 292 more deaths

Mexico’s health ministry has reported 4,376 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 292 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 480,278 cases and 52,298 deaths.

China reports 49 new cases in mainland

China has reported 49 new cases in the mainland for August 9, compared with 23 cases a day earlier.

The National Health Commission said in a statement on Monday 35 of the new infections were imported cases. There were no new deaths. China also reported 31 new asymptomatic patients, compared with 11 a day earlier. 

As of August 9, mainland China had a total of 84,668 confirmed coronavirus cases, it said. China’s death toll from the coronavirus remained unchanged at 4,634.

Australia’s Victoria state reports 322 new cases

Australia’s second-most populous state has recorded 322 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the state’s health department said on Monday.

Victoria state said there were 19 fatalities from the virus in the last day.

Brazil registers over 23,000 confirmed cases 

Brazil reported 23,010 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 572 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said.

Brazil now has registered 3,035,422 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, and the official death toll from Covid-19 has risen to 101,049, according to ministry data. 

UK daily death count could be scrapped – report

The UK’s official Covid-19 daily death count could be scrapped following an investigation into Public Health England’s method of counting the toll, The Telegraph newspaper has reported.

The conclusions of the investigation, which was ordered by Health Secretary Matt Hancock after it emerged officials were “exaggerating” virus deaths, are expected this week, the newspaper said on Sunday.

One recommendation could be to move to a weekly official death toll instead, a government source told The Telegraph.

Britain paused its daily update of the death toll last month and the government ordered a review into how Public Health England reports coronavirus deaths, after academics said the daily figures may include people who died of other causes.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies



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