Updated: September 13, 2020 7:56:23 pm
Global Coronavirus Updates: The coronavirus tally across the world surpassed 28.75 million cases Sunday, according to a Reuters tally. As many as 918,894 people have succumbed to the virus bringing the global death toll closer to 1 million. Over 19.43 million people have recovered after testing positive globally.
The United States continues to top the charts with over 6.4 million infections and over 1.93 lakh deaths. The States reported 1,215 deaths on Friday, its highest toll since August 26. In Europe, France is re-emerging as an hotspot as it recorded over 10,000 additional Covid-19 cases for the first time in a day on Saturday.
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca and Oxford resumed their Covid-19 vaccine clinical trails in the United Kingdom on Saturday after they were suspended due to a neurological reaction in a study subject.
Here are the top global developments of Covid-19
South Korea eases social distancing for two weeks ahead of major holiday
South Korea on Sunday eased its tough social distancing policy for the next two weeks in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, with new daily novel coronavirus cases hovering stubbornly within triple digits. The government has lifted a ban on onsite dining after 9 p.m. though still requires restaurants and cafes to restrict seating and record patrons’ names and contact details.
While leisure facilities such as gyms and internet cafes are also allowed to reopen, under so-called phase two restrictions, indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people and outdoor gatherings to 100, while spectators are banned from sporting events. Health authorities said the easing would contribute toward a reopening of the economy, before returning to tougher guidelines for two weeks again from Sept. 28 during the Chuseok holiday.
Israeli minister quits as coronavirus lockdown looms over Jewish holidays
An Israeli cabinet minister tendered his resignation on Sunday in protest at a looming coronavirus lockdown that he argued would unfairly impede religious celebrations of Jewish holidays. “This wrongs and scorns hundreds of thousands of citizens,” Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman, who heads an ultra-Orthodox Jewish party in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative coalition, said in his resignation letter.
Although a sign of strained relations between Netanyahu and his ultra-Orthodox political partners, Litzman’s move was unlikely to have any immediate effect on the stability of the veteran leader’s governing coalition.
AstraZeneca resumes UK trials of COVID-19 vaccine
After suspending them due to an illness in a study subject, AstraZeneca Saturday resumed clinical trials of its COVID-19 in the UK , one of the most advanced in development, after getting the green light from safety watchdogs, the company said.
“On 6 September, the standard review process triggered a voluntary pause to vaccination across all global trials to allow review of safety data by independent committees, and international regulators,” AstraZeneca said.t added that safety reviewers had recommended to Britain’s Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) that it was safe to resume the British trials.
France’s daily Covid-19 caseload surpass 10k for first time
After registering a record 10,561 new cases of coronavirus, France’s daily caseload surpassed the 10,000 mark for the first time. This breaches the previous record of 9,843 new infections reported on Thursday and highlights a resurgence of the disease in the country. In response to the rise, French Prime Minister Jean Castex promised steps to speed up tests and toughen local measures in high-infection zones.
The country’s health ministry added 86 new clusters in the past 24 hours, taking the total clusters to 772. Over the past week, there had been 2,432 arrivals in hospital for COVID-19, including 417 entries into intensive care units, the ministry said.
Australia’s Victoria takes small step in easing virus restrictions
Australia’s Victoria state is set to ease lockdown restrictions on Monday as the number of new daily coronavirus cases continue to decline after the state reported 41 new coronavirus cases and 7 fatalities on Sunday. The city will remain under hard lockdown, but the amount of time people will be able to spend outside will double to two hours per day and the overnight curfew will be shortened by an hour as of Monday.
Officials also announced a $2.2 billion package that will provide financial aid to businesses in Victoria. The state accounts for about 75% of Australia’s more than 26,600 COVID-19 cases and its capital, Melbourne, has been under strict lockdown for several weeks. The numbers confirm a steady downward trend from a peak of more than 700 cases in a single day in early August.
Covid induced fatalities in Mexico surpass 70,000
After recording 421 fatalities on Saturday, the number of people that have succumbed to the virus in Mexico breached the 70,000 mark to reach 70,604. Mexico also added 5,674 new infections pushing the country’s total tally to over 6.63 lakh, its Health Ministry data reveals.
The government has said the real number of infected people is likely to be significantly higher than the confirmed cases. Mexico’s death toll is the fourth highest globally, and the 13th highest on a per capita basis, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
UN steps up Covid-19 measures at Syrian refugee camps as first cases emerge
After first cases were reported among thousands of Syrian refugees in camps in Jordan, the UN refugee agency is stepping up Covid prevention measures like conducting wide spreading testing, restricting movements and training medical staff on ground.
The UNHCR confirmed three cases in the country’s largest camp for Syrian refugees Zaatari, near the border with Syria, and two cases in a smaller camp, Azraq. Both these camps have a population of over 1.20 lakhs.
The developments this week have obviously been a worrying situation for all, but especially for refugees living in the camps. Crowded spaces and cramped living conditions make social distancing difficult,” said Dominik Bartsch, the UNHCR representative in Jordan.
Istanbul limits size of weddings parties as virus spreads
The governor of Istanbul has banned companies from hosting weddings and similar gatherings as part of new measures to combat the spread of coronavirus in Turkeys most populous city. Along with this a ban on concerts and festivals in open spaces was also reintroduced. The bans were to go into effect on Saturday but were postponed until Monday. The governor’s office has called for new restrictions as people are becoming complacent of following the restrictions and cases are rising everyday.
Coronavirus infections and deaths began increasing in Turkey after the government loosened restrictions on public activity in June. The Health Ministry announced 48 more deaths and 1,509 new cases Saturday bringing the country’s total infections to 290,000 along with 6,999 fatalities.
(With inputs from Reuters/AP)
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