Global COVID-19 cases nearing 9 million: Johns Hopkins University

Agencies
June 22,2020

The total number of global COVID-19 cases was nearing 9 million, while the deaths have increased to over 467,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

By Monday morning, the total number of cases stood at 8,927,195, while the fatalities increased to 467,636, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

With 2,279,306 cases and 119,967 deaths, the US continues with the world's highest number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities, according to the CSSE.

Brazil comes in the second place with 1,083,341 infections and 50,591 deaths.

In terms of cases, Russia ranks third (583,879), and was followed by India (410,461), the UK (305,803), Peru (251,338), Spain (246,272), Chile (242,355), Italy (238,499), Iran (204,952), France (197,008), Germany (191,272), Turkey (187,685), Mexico (180,545), Pakistan (176,617), Saudi Arabia (157,612), Bangladesh (112,306) and Canada (103,078), the CSSE figures showed.

The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are the UK (42,717), Italy (34,634), France (29,643), Spain (28,323), Mexico (21,825) and India (13,254).

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North Korea Locks Down City Over 1st Suspected Case Of COVID-19: Reports

News Network
July 26,2020

Seoul, Jul 26: North Korean authorities have imposed a lockdown on the border city of Kaesong after discovering what they called the country's first suspected case of the novel coronavirus, state media reported Sunday.

Leader Kim Jong Un convened an emergency politburo meeting on Saturday to implement a "maximum emergency system and issue a top-class alert" to contain the virus, official news agency KCNA said.

If confirmed, it would be the first officially recognised COVID-19 case in the North where medical infrastructure is seen as woefully inadequate for dealing with any epidemic.

KCNA said a defector who had left for the South three years ago returned on July 19 after "illegally crossing" the heavily fortified border dividing the countries.

But there have been no reports in the South of anyone leaving through what is one of the world's most secure borders, replete with minefields and guard posts.

Pyongyang has previously insisted not a single case of the coronavirus had been seen in the North despite the illness having swept the globe, and the country's borders remain closed.

The patient was found in Kaesong City, which borders the South, and "was put under strict quarantine", as would anybody who had come in close contact, state media said.

It was a "dangerous situation... that may lead to a deadly and destructive disaster", the media outlet added.

Kim was quoted as saying "the vicious virus could be said to have entered the country", and officials on Friday took the "preemptive measure of totally blocking Kaesong City".

The nuclear-armed North closed its borders in late January as the virus spread in neighbouring China and imposed tough restrictions that put thousands of its people into isolation, but analysts say the North is unlikely to have avoided the contagion.

South Korea is currently recording around 40 to 60 cases a day.

Earlier this month Kim warned against any "hasty" relaxation of anti-coronavirus measures, indicating the country will keep its borders closed for the foreseeable future.

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After surge in COVID-19 cases, Spain reinstates restrictions

News Network
July 25,2020

Madrid, Jul 25: Spain is witnessing a new surge in virus" coronavirus infections with nearly a thousand cases daily, a month after lifting the pandemic lockdown.

The country is reinstating both voluntary guidelines and mandatory restrictions that it had lifted on June 21, The Washington Post reported.

Spain on Wednesday reported over 224 outbreaks and 2,622 virus" coronavirus cases. According to a report in Washington Post, the new surge is attributed primarily to seasonal farmworkers, people attending family get-togethers and nightclub partyers.

On Thursday, the health ministry reported an additional 971 cases.

"The majority are related to fruit collection and also to the spaces where measures to avoid contact are relaxed," Spain Health Minister Salvador Illa told parliament. "We have to call on citizens to not lose respect for the virus not to be afraid of it, but not to lose respect for it either."

The government of Spain lifted all restrictions put in place to combat virus" coronavirus on June 21 and declared 'a new normal'. 

The virus" coronavirus pandemic till then had killed 24,000 people and infected more than 2,70,166.

Countries around the world are witnessing the second surge of virus" coronavirus. The resurgence could threaten the economic bounce Spain was hoping to get from vacationers eager for summer fun.

The surge in cases has been greatest in the northeastern region of Catalonia with more than 7,953 new confirmed cases since July 10.

Spain's National Epidemiological Survey has predicted that the rate of increase more than doubled in the past three weeks.

Meanwhile, the Catalan government reverted to pre-June 21 confinement rules in Barcelona and a dozen other municipalities in the metropolitan area, as well as in Figueras, Vilafant, La Noguera and Lleida.

Authorities have ordered bars and restaurants to limit indoor occupancy to 50 per cent, reduced sports to fewer than 10 people, closed night clubs and gyms and blocked some cultural activities.

The epidemiologist in charge of the region's biggest hospital warned in an interview last week with the Spanish daily El Pais that the situation in the agricultural hub of Lleida, located about 100 miles west of Barcelona, "had clearly gotten out of hand."

"Nobody foresaw that there would be a number of people coming from abroad to pick fruit in unfavourable conditions and that they might be infected," said epidemiologist Magda Campins of Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona. "And when the infections began to be detected, it was hard to keep tabs on the cases and their contacts because some of them, although they should have been in isolation, got away because they needed to earn money."

Catalonia's Department of Labour, Social Affairs and Family is using a hotel in Lleida to quarantine fruit workers who test positive for COVID-19 but are unable to isolate at home.

In the capital of Madrid, which was the epicentre during the pandemic's first wave in the spring, authorities reported 710 new cases in the past week. The use of face masks is widespread, but the region has shied away from making them mandatory in public.

Madrid's regional health secretary, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, defended that position while citing an uptick in infections in the under-40 age group. He told young people not to let down their guard.

"We can't take even one step backwards. Young people have to be aware of the responsibility they have," Ruiz Escudero said in a news conference Thursday. "I ask them to use the face mask and to maintain a safe distance."

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Global COVID-19 cases top 15.4 million: Johns Hopkins

Agencies
July 24,2020

The total number of global coronavirus cases has topped 15.4 million, while the deaths have increased to over 631,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

As of Friday morning, the total number of cases stood at 15,439,456, while the fatalities rose to 631,926, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

The US accounted for the world's highest number of infections and fatalities at 4,034,831 and 144,242, respectively, according to the CSSE.

Brazil came in the second place with 2,287,475 infections and 84,082 deaths.

In terms of cases, India ranks third (1,238,798), and is followed by Russia (793,720), South Africa (408,052), Peru (371,096), Mexico (370,712), Chile (334,683), the UK (298,721), Iran (284,034), Spain (270,166), Pakistan (269,191), Saudi Arabia (260,394), Italy (245,338), Turkey (223,315), Colombia (218,428), France (216,667), Bangladesh (216,110), Germany (204,881), Argentina (148,027), Canada (114,398), Qatar (108,244) and Iraq (102,226), the CSSE figures showed.

The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are the UK (45,639), Mexico (41,908), Italy (35,092), France (30,185), India (29,861), Spain (28,429), Iran (15,074), Peru (17,654) and Russia (12,873).

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