- Spain lifts lockdown conditions in Madrid
- Chinese airline to restart flights from US next month
- India reports record jump in cases as lockdown eases
- Russia reports record jump in deaths
- Russian ‘hot nurse’ punished for accidentally exposing underwear due to ‘see-through’ PPE
- UN warns of looming collapse of Yemen’s health-care system
- Bulgaria allows EU residents to enter country
- Brazil becomes sixth country to hit 20k COVID deaths
- Thailand extends state of emergency even as no new cases reported
- Russia, Brazil drive largest daily jump in new cases
- Australia’s largest state, New South Wales, allows up to 50 people in restaurants and bars
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Update (0935ET): After a weeks-long delay, the Spanish government has finally started lifting lockdown conditions in the capital, Madrid.
Here’s more on that from Al Jazeera:
Spanish authorities will lift part of the lockdown restrictions in Madrid on Monday after the pace of the coronavirus contagion in the region slowed down, the Madrid regional health department said.
The restrictions in Madrid are now the same as in most of the country that started phasing out the lockdown in early May.
Bars and restaurants in the capital will be allowed to reopen terraces and groups of up to 10 people will be allowed to meet.
Spain has seen daily COVID-19-linked deaths drop to ~100 a day or fewer over the past week as the country’s strict lockdown has clearly helped quash what was once one of Europe’s deadliest outbreaks.
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Update (0920ET): Local press has reported that a major Chinese airline will re-start some flights from the US next month, the first stirring of what some expect will be a mini-revival in passenger travel in the coming months, even as most analysts believe it will take years for air traffic to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.
- CHINA CAAC TO ALLOW SOME FLIGHTS FROM U.S. IN JUNE: 21ST HERALD
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One of the most frustrating aspects of the coronavirus is how it seems to respond differently to the same basic strategies imposed by different governments. For example, in China, and across the US and Europe, lockdowns have coincided with sharp reductions in the spread of the outbreak.
But despite what has been repeatedly described as one of the most strict in the world, the rate at which new coronavirus infections are being confirmed has shown no sign of slowing after nearly 2 months (the lockdown started March 25). As we reported on Tuesday, the number of reported coronavirus cases in India crossed 100,000 earlier in the week, even as most parts of the country began to reopen businesses as India’s lockdown entered a new phase.
Three days later, India registered its biggest jump in coronavirus cases since the start of the outbreak, with 6,000 new cases as the country loosens a nationwide lockdown.
Additionally, India relaxed some of its travel restrictions on Friday to permit members of the Indian diaspora to reenter the country.
Meanwhile, in Russia, which is now home to the world’s second-largest outbreak (behind only the US) has reported 150 new deaths, a record daily rise, taking the country’s official national death toll from the virus to 3,249.
In another somewhat more lighthearted story from the world’s second-worst-hit country, a nurse working at a hospital in Russia’s central Tula region was suspended from her job for the mishap, which she says she didn’t realize until it was pointed out by a colleague. Several high-ranking government officials have weighed in, arguing that the hospital should reverse the punishment, according to multiple media reports.
The UN warned on Friday that as the coronavirus spreads across Yemen, the country’s health care system has, in effect, collapsed. Yemen will need emergency support from the international community to prevent yet another humanitarian crisis in country that, after Syria, has been among the most war-torn places in the world for a large chunk of the last decade.
Using data from Johns Hopkins, Al Jazeera developed a chart showing how the coronavirus pandemic reached the 5 million mark.
The number of new cases reported globally remained well above recent levels as Russia, Brazil and India pushed the number of new cases to a daily record, as outbreaks in the US and Europe slow while Russia and Brazil report unprecedented growth.
Additionally, Brazil has become the 6th country in the world to report more than 20,000 deaths from the coronavirus as interim Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello warned that while the level of infection had decreased in certain areas in capital cities, its spread across the rest of the country was “inevitable.”
As EU member states slowly lift travel restrictions on neighbors, while the UK devises new quarantine restrictions for foreign travelers, Bulgaria has scrapped its ban on visitors from the EU, according to the country’s health ministry.
Overly optimistic reports about preliminary vaccine trials have set off a handful of biotech pumps in recent days, to the delight of hedge funds that have piled into the sector, Oxford researchers, who have been among the most bullish in the world about the prospects for a vaccine in the near term, reported Friday that they have already immunized 1,000 people during the first phase of the trial, and that the research would be accelerated to begin recruiting the 10k volunteers they will need for the second stage of the study.
Despite reporting zero new coronavirus cases and deaths on Friday, Thailand’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration proposed an extension of the country’s state of emergency measures until June to allow more time for new easing measures to be adopted.
In the UK, BoJo’s government has extended its mortgage payment holiday scheme for homeowners in financial distress for another 3 months. In Panama, health officials say 59 migrants stranded at the Panamanian Migration Center have tested positive for the virus.
Finally, Australia’s largest state, New South Wales, has said restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus will be eased to allow cafes, restaurants and pubs to have up to 50 seated patrons, which should allow many smaller restaurants to move back to 100% capacity. The country also extended its ban on cruise ships for another 3 months, until Sept. 17.
And before we go, during his visit to a Ford factory in Michigan last night (where he infuriated the state’s AG by refusing to wear a mask after repeatedly clashing with the state’s Democratic governor), President Trump said that he wouldn’t be closing down the country again if a “second wave” of the virus does hit.
The FDA on Friday announced plans to crack down on faulty antibody tests, publicly listed dozens of antibody tests that have not yet been proved to work, a major step in its efforts to regulate these exams.