Beijing delays school opening after 3 new cases, Italian premier questioned over lockdown delay
The Associated Press · Posted: Jun 12, 2020
A customer uses an elevator while maintaining physical distancing at Paradise restaurant in Hyderabad, India, on the first day of its opening after the government eased a nationwide lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against COVID-19. (Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images)
India’s coronavirus caseload has become the fourth-highest in the world, overtaking Britain, by adding 10,956 new cases in yet another largest single-day spike.
India’s two-month lockdown kept transmission low, but in a large population of 1.3 billion people, residents remain susceptible and the campaign against the virus is likely to go on for months, said Balram Bhargava, director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research.
India’s lockdown was imposed nationwide in late March but has eased since, and it is now largely being enforced in high-risk areas. The new cases rose after India reopened shops, shopping malls, manufacturing and places of worship.
Subways, schools and movie theatres remain closed.
The increase reported Friday raised India’s confirmed cases to 297,535, with 8,498 deaths.
China’s capital is suspending plans to restart classes for the first three years of elementary school next week amid reports of new cases of community transmission in the city.
Beijing’s municipal government said it wants to ensure the health and safety of students and teachers.
Local authorities on Thursday announced a 52-year-old man had become the city’s first confirmed case of local transmission in weeks after he arrived alone at a clinic complaining of fever.
The official Xinhua News Agency said another two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Beijing on Friday.
High school students leave at the end of their school day in Beijing on Friday. Beijing said Friday it would delay primary school students returning to class after three fresh coronavirus cases emerged in the capital after two months of no infections in the city. (Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)
The man whose diagnosis was announced Thursday had reportedly visited a market on June 3. The hall where he shopped has now been closed for disinfection, state media reported. It wasn’t clear if there was a connection between the three new cases.
China, which has faced questions over its disclosures and how it reported cases, has defended its record amid growing criticism from the United States. The novel virus now known as SARS-Cov-2 was first reported in China in late 2019 before spreading around the world.
According to a tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University, as of early Friday morning there were more than 7.5 million reported cases worldwide, with more than 421,000 deaths.
The U.S. accounts for more than two million of those cases and more than 113,000 of the deaths, according to the Baltimore-based university.
Nevada health officials are closely monitoring a recent uptick in confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide, including the biggest one-day increase to date in the Reno area reported Thursday.
But the state’s response director isn’t convinced a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak has arrived.
Nevada COVID-19 response director Caleb Cage said the state has seen an above-average rise in daily positive cases this week and experienced six consecutive days of an increase in the number of cases requiring hospitalization. He said the most recent spike is the fourth-highest since the pandemic was declared in mid-March in Nevada, which now has nearly 10,400 cases and 458 deaths.
But Cage said that “our assessment based on this data is that we are not seeing evidence of a second wave of COVID-19 in the state of Nevada yet.”
What’s happening with COVID-19 in Canada
As of 7:30 a.m. ET on Friday, there were 97,530 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases in Canada, with 57,658 cases considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,050.
Infectious disease specialist answers questions about key issues around COVID-19
Dr. Isaac Bogoch says Ontario’s partial reopening is a positive move and believes the benefits of allowing visitors back into long-term care homes now ‘significantly outweigh the risks. 7:11
Premier Giuseppe Conte is being questioned by prosecutors investigating the lack of a lockdown of two towns in Lombardy’s Bergamo province at the start of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak. Doctors and virologists have said the two-week delay in quarantining Alzano and Nembro allowed the virus to spread in Bergamo, which saw a 571 per cent increase in excess deaths in March compared to the average of the last five years.
Lead prosecutor Maria Cristina Rota arrived with a team of aides Friday morning at the premier’s office in Rome, Palazzo Chigi. In addition to Conte, she is expected to question the health and interior ministers.
An elderly couple wearing face masks and holding hands walk in a street in the upper city of Bergamo on Thursday as Italy eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Migeul Medina/AFP/Getty Images)
Italy registered its first domestic case on Feb. 21 in the Lombardy province of Lodi, and 10 towns in the province were immediately locked down to try to contain the spread.
Alzano and Nembro registered their first cases two days later, on Feb. 23, but the government didn’t quarantine them for two weeks until all of Lombardy was locked down on March 7. Conte told La Stampa daily that he acted based on “science and conscience.”
Three airlines have launched legal action against the British government, describing the country’s plan to quarantine most incoming travellers as “flawed.”
British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair said in a statement Friday that the quarantine will have a “devastating effect” on tourism and the wider economy. The airlines want the government to re-adopt its previous policy, where quarantine was limited to passengers from high-risk countries.
Quarantine measures imposed this week stipulate that all passengers — barring a handful of exceptions like truckers or medical workers — must fill in a form detailing where they will self-isolate for two weeks. The requirement applies regardless of whether they are U.K. citizens or not, and those who fail to comply could be fined.
The quarantine was imposed after a heated debate over whether it would help British efforts to tamp down the outbreak or simply stamp out any hopes that the tourism industry will recover following months of lockdown.
South Korea is reporting 56 new cases of COVID-19 as the country continues to see a resurgence of the virus concentrated in the capital area.
Figures released by South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday brought national totals to 12,003 cases and 277 deaths. It says 10,699 people have so far been released from hospitals after recovery, but 1,057 others remain in treatment.
At least 45 of the new cases were reported from the Seoul metropolitan area, where about half of South Korea’s 51 million people live. Health officials have struggled to track transmissions linked to entertainment and leisure activities, church gatherings and low-income workers who couldn’t afford to stay home.