Coronavirus digest: COVID-19 shows ‘no seasonal pattern,’ warns WHO

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WHO Director-General Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressing a media conference in Geneva. PHOTO- SAT

There had been high hopes that the summer heat would slow the pace of transmission. This is not the case, according to the World Health Organization which made an appeal to governments. Catch up on the latest.

The novel virus “has demonstrated no seasonal pattern as such,” said a top official from the World Health Organization on Monday, warning health authorities to keep fighting it.

“What it has clearly demonstrated is that if you take the pressure off the virus, the virus bounces back,” said Dr. Michael Ryan at a press briefing.

The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to accelerate despite the arrival of warmer weather in some countries.

Scientists and politicians had earlier predicted that the virus would fade in the summer before picking up the pace again in the winter — similar to other respiratory viruses such as influenza.

Several countries, particularly in Europe, had started easing restrictions in a bid to get economies up and running over the summer. Lockdowns had previously appeared to be curbing the outbreaks.

Countries where COVID-19 appears to be under control — such as those in Europe — still need to maintain measures to slow virus spread, said Ryan.

Ryan called for countries where transmission remains intense, such as Brazil, to adopt measures so that communities have the necessary support they need to implement strategies like social distancing, wearing masks, and self-isolating if they have symptoms.

Asia

Thailand plans to allow at least 3,000 foreign teachers to enter the country while keeping out tourists and tightly restricting other arrivals to guard against new coronavirus infections.

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

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 largely barred scheduled passenger flights from abroad in early April.

Thailand hosts many international schools and there is a general shortage of qualified teachers of English and other non-Thai languages.

In India, cases are continuing to surge. The Health Ministry says the total number of fatalities reached 44,386 on Monday after a record 1,007 people died in the past 24 hours. Infections also surged by over 62,000 cases.

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. Infections in India remain concentrated in 10 states that contribute nearly 80% of the new cases.

Americas

Indigenous people in Peru were involved in a clash with local police following an assault on an oil company settlement in the Amazon, the government said on Sunday.

Around 70 indigenous people attempted to overrun the settlement at the remote town of Bretana in the Loreto region to voice their displeasure over government apathy towards native communities during the coronavirus pandemic and frequent oil spills. 

Three native community members were killed and multiple people — six police officers and 11 indigenous people — were injured.

The Republic of El Salvador will hand out immunity passports to people who have recovered from COVID-19, President Nayib Bukele announced on television late on Sunday.

Those issued with a certificate can then be employed by the government to distribute medical kits and food aid to households affected by the pandemic. It will also give them social privileges not enjoyed by the rest of the population.

Oceania

Australia reported 19 new coronavirus deaths on Monday, but the state of Victoria, which is the epicenter of the country’s second wave of the virus, saw a decrease in the number of confirmed infections.

Victoria reported 322 new confirmed infections in the last 24 hours, marking a two-week low, officials said. However, state premier Daniel Andrews has said that one cannot read too much into a single day’s data. 

Other states still haven’t posted their daily totals but the 19 deaths reported in Victoria over the past 24 hours already mark the country’s highest single-day rise in fatalities.

Europe

This weekend temperatures exceeded 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) in some parts of Germany. With many Germans on summer holiday and some foreign travel restrictions still in place, authorities feared that people heading to lakes would not respect social distancing. 

However, crowds at Germany’s lakes were somewhat smaller than expected.

German firms expect public life to be restricted for another 8.5 months due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey. Companies in hardest-hit sectors, such as the leisure industry, are most pessimistic about life returning to normal.

In France, authorities made face masks wearing mandatory in crowded areas and tourist hotspots as coronavirus infections once again surge in the region.

Masks will be obligatory for all those aged 11 and over “in certain very crowded zones,” according to a police statement.

The zones include the banks of the Seine River and more than one hundred streets in the French capital, including tourist destinations like Montmartre, where the Sacre Coeur basilica is located.

A group of migrants who sailed from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos last week arrived with the coronavirus, said authorities on the island capital Mytilene, sparking fears of a mass outbreak at the overcrowded migrant camps.

Of the 38 people in the group, 17 tested positive and displayed symptoms of COVID-19. They will remain in isolation for two weeks in the Kara Tepe camp before being re-tested.

Greek authorities are quarantining all migrants who arrive on the island as a precaution against the epidemic.

The EU’s health agency has urged countries seeing an increase in cases of COVID-19 to reinstate some curbs, warning of a resurgence of cases in parts of Europe.

Source- dw.com
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